Howard Begins New Pedestrian Project

Howard County has started on a new construction project to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians accessing Burleigh Manor Middle School and Centennial High School in Ellicott City. The project is expected to be completed soon, weather permitting. Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk ramps and a crosswalk will be installed, along with a pedestrian refuge island in the middle of the existing roadway. From the press release: Signs and flagging operations will be in…

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Montgomery Rescinds Order Prohibiting In-Person Classes At Nonpublic Schools

Reemphasizing the need to protect the health and safety of Montgomery County residents as well as parents, students, teachers and staff from the spread of COVID-19, County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles today announced that he has rescinded his health order that prohibited nonpublic schools from opening for in-person instruction until after Oct. 1, 2020. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the County, whose public schools will be remote offerings for the coming semester, recently…

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Montgomery Doubles Down on Order to Close Private Schools Until October

In an ongoing dispute between Montgomery County officials and Governor Hogan on the authority to determine whether nonpublic schools can bring students back to campus, Montgomery County officials issued a new order to restrict in-person learning. Last week, Montgomery County Health Officer, Dr. Travis Gayles, issued an order barring in-person instruction at all schools through the end of September. In response, Hogan issued a revised emergency order that bans local Health Officers from closing schools…

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All-Electronic Tolling Now Permanent Statewide at MDTA Facilities

Governor Hogan announced that full-time cashless tolling will now be permanent across the state at all Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) facilities. While MDTA temporarily implemented cashless tolling in March as a part of its COVID-19 response, this will now be permanent at all facilities including the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95), Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95), Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), and Nice/Middleton Bridge (US 301). With cashless tolling, tolls are automatically collected through E-ZPass and…

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Howard Library System Goes Fine Free
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Howard Library System Goes Fine Free

As of August 1, the Howard County Library System wiped all accounts clean of existing overdue fines with exception for items in the DIY and art collections. Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines have found that return rates increase due to removing the threat of accumulating fines, which account for just two percent of Howard County Library System's budget. From the media release: Why fine free? It removes a barrier to access: Being fine free is…

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Hogan Exempts Schools from Local Health Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
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Hogan Exempts Schools from Local Health Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order prohibiting "blanket school closures" in Maryland. Hogan amended a prior emergency order that authorizes Local Health Officers to close any facility deemed unsafe according to community health metrics. Today's order prohibits Local Health Officers from closing schools and instead grants public and private schools complete authority over the reopening of facilities for in-person instruction based on public health guidance. Section 1.(e)(i) removes schools from the list of…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – August 12, 2020 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Maryland Dept of Labor Announces 13 Weeks of Extended Unemployment Benefits

Claimants Must Exhaust Both Regular and PEUC Benefits Before Applying The Maryland Department of Labor today announced that Maryland is offering an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program. Under federal and state law, the Extended Benefits program is available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance. Federal enhanced unemployment benefits are…

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Revised CDC Isolation Times a Reminder for Non-Static HR Policies

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its guidance for determining when non-hospitalized individuals with COVID-19 may end home isolation and return to work. Previously, the CDC referenced a timeline of 14 days for employees to quarantine from the workplace after testing positive for COVID-19, new guidance is not a 'one-size-fits-all rule.' According to HR Dive, the updated guidance states that those with COVID-19 symptoms directed to care for themselves at home may…

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Clarence Crawford Elected President of the Maryland State Board of Education

The Maryland State Board of Education unanimously voted to elect Clarence Crawford as president and Jean Halle as vice president for the 2020-2021 term. President Crawford was appointed as a board member in 2019 and currently serves as an adjunct professor at American University.  He "is a recipient of the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, the African American Federal Executive Association’s Ebenezer Bassett Award, and is an elected NAPA Fellow. He earned his MPA in Finance and…

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