Baltimore Orioles Launch Educational Websites to Help Kids Learn at Home

With Maryland school closures extended until at least April 24, thousands of students have been required to stay home and utilize online learning tools. In an effort to make learning more fun, the Baltimore Orioles have launched two new websites to help young fans learn math, vocabulary, and more. From Baltimore Fishbowl: The Summer Slugger program is actually part of a campaign that is returning early this year as children take part in educational activities…

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Comptroller Warns of Stimulus Check Scams

Since Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act also known as the CARES Act, taxpayers have been expecting relief in the form of stimulus checks. Comptroller Peter Franchot today issued a statement warning the public of scammers attempting to exploit the COVID-19 crisis and gain taxpayer financial information by pretending it is needed to process stimulus checks. The Comptroller's Office reminds taxpayers not to share personal information online or over the phone.…

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FCC Order Aims to Bolster Rural Broadband Access Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless internet services providers serving 330 counties in 29 states, including Maryland, in order to serve rural communities facing increased broadband demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary order allows these providers to use the lower 45 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for 60 days. "Like everyone else, rural Americans are facing an increased need for broadband…

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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Record 3.3 Million Amid COVID-19 Epidemic

A record 3.3 million Americans, including 42,000 Marylanders, filed for unemployment benefits last week, as businesses shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the United States Department of Labor. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally…

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State Moves Forward with Plan to Conduct Presidential Primary Election Via Mail

As health officials warn that social distancing and other measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic might be in place months, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) yesterday voted to ban any in-person voting for the special general election on April 28 and recommended against in-person voting for the June 2 presidential primary election. https://twitter.com/KKinnally_MACo/status/1242902825631453184 Earlier this month, Governor Larry Hogan ordered the special general election to fill the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’s congressional seat…

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Howard to Host Virtual Town Hall on Coronavirus, Census, Upcoming Elections

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will host a Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, March 26th at 6:30 pm to answer questions and concerns from County residents concerning COVID-19 and the local response, the census, and upcoming elections. “I want the Howard County community to know that our government is working tirelessly to keep our public safe and informed,” said Ball. “We’re hosting this town hall to provide updates, clarity, and reassurance to our residents as…

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FBI Warns of Coronavirus Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the United States, scammers are exploiting the public health crisis to prey on vulnerable Americans, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). https://twitter.com/HarfordCountyMD/status/1242885309450326024 According to a press release: Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your…

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Feds Reach Deal on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package: What It Means for Counties

The U.S. Senate today is expected to pass a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep the economy afloat amid the deepening COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. House is likely to take quick action on the Senate bill and send it to President Trump for swift enactment. The bill includes $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds; $500 billion lending fund for industries, local governments, and states; $367 billion for small business loans; $130…

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Frederick Holds Virtual Public Hearing on Fiscal 21 Operating & CIP Budgets

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner yesterday held a virtual public hearing on the upcoming fiscal year budget. The budget is based on no property or income tax rate increases. Highlights of the six-year Capital Improvement Program include moving up construction of a new Brunswick Elementary School, a library in Middletown, and the expansion and renovation of Animal Control. According to a press release: A summary list of budget appeals and highlights…

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A Look at 2019 State Annual Personal Income
Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
A Look at 2019 State Annual Personal Income

Without question, the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic has been sudden and unprecedented. In the span of just a couple weeks, restaurants and non-essential businesses have been shut down statewide and consumer spending on non-emergency items has plummeted. The full effect of these impacts will not be known for some time, but it is clear they will be meaningful. Looking back to 2019, across the United States, state personal income increased by 4.4 percent…

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