Multiple Tornadoes In Maryland; Key Bridge Channel To Open This Weekend; Faulty Recordkeeping At State Psych Hospitals

FIVE TORNADOES IN MD CONFIRMED: There were five tornadoes confirmed in Maryland Wednesday night, according to the Baltimore/Washington office of the National Weather Service.The National Weather Service issued 22 tornado warnings in Maryland Wednesday night, one of the highest counts on record for the regional office. It’s been more than 10 years since the region had 23 warnings issued in one day in April 2011, according to meteorologist Erik Taylor. Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.

MAIN CHANNEL TO KEY BRIDGE TO OPEN THIS WEEKEND: The main channel to the Port of Baltimore is expected to fully reopen this weekend weeks after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. It is a critical step forward to boost Baltimore’s economy and save the thousands of jobs impacted by the disaster. The 700-foot-wide and 50-foot-deep channel was inoperable for nearly 11 weeks because of the tons of bridge debris blocking it. Alexus Davila/WJZ News.

BSO DEDICATES FRIDAY’S CONCERT TO KEY BRIDGE AFTERMATH: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony in the City concert series will come to a close for its 2024 season in a significant way: The outdoor concert taking place at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on Friday is dedicated to those affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge tragedy. Taji Burris/The Baltimore Banner.

AUDIT FINDS STATE RUN PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL RECORDKEEPING INADEQUATE: A legislative audit found that five state-run psychiatric facilities failed to provide adequate recordkeeping and financial documentation for payroll adjustments, as well as inadequate verification of the disposal of highly controlled drugs, among other issues. The audit is the latest of several reports dinging the Department of Health for “unsatisfactory” or “pervasive lack of documentation,” that have led to financial woes for the agency. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

BALT. PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO  SPEND $2.5 MILLION ON CIVIL LAWSUIT LEGAL FEES: The Baltimore City Public School System has allocated $2.5 million since 2020 for legal fees in two civil lawsuits — one saying the state underfunded city schools and the other accusing the system of wasting taxpayer dollars. At a meeting May 28, the school board added $775,000 to a contract with Baltimore law firm Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, which it has already paid nearly $1.725 million since 2020 to defend it in two cases: Keith Bradford vs. the Maryland State Board of Education and Jovani Patterson vs. Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.

HATE CRIMES ON THE RISE, STATE UNVEILS REPORTING PORTAL: As reported hate crimes continue to rise in Maryland, the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office has unveiled a new online portal where victims and witnesses can report information that will be used to track the crime and identify trends. The site,, comes as the number of hate crimes in the state has been steadily increasing, from 388 in 2021 to 465 in 2022, according to the most recent report from Maryland State Police. The 2022 numbers were three times higher than the 155 hate crimes reported in 2014.The portal can be used anonymously by victims and witnesses of hate crimes, but officials caution that it does not replace a police report. Maryland Matters Staff.

ACCESS FOR PEOPLE EXPANDS IN COMPLETE STREETS POLICY: Maryland transportation officials have updated a statewide policy on road safety and transportation access, expanding the policy’s reach and making it more difficult for projects to be exempt. The new Complete Streets policy — which seeks to place an emphasis on the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and people using mobility devices in the design of roads — will now cover all major state transportation projects. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

VP HARRIS/ALSOBROOKS TO CAMPAIGN ON GUN VIOLENCE: Vice President Kamala Harris is headed to Prince George’s County on Friday to campaign alongside Angela Alsobrooks, the county executive and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Harris and Alsobrooks are expected to mark national Gun Violence Awareness Day and discuss public safety at the event. Harris and Alsobrooks have a longstanding relationship, as both are former prosecutors and they’ve supported each other’s campaigns. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner

NO CHARGES FILED IN ANIMAL RESCUE, TWO STILL NEED HOME: Three weeks after 83 dogs and one cat were seized from a rowhome in Northwest Baltimore, just two of the animals are still searching for a permanent home. cat, dubbed Sponge Cake, and an adult dog named Funfetti, are both waiting for their fur-ever home, according to officials from the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.

MOSBY TO APPEAL MORTGAGE FRAUD, PERJURY CONVICTIONS: Former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed notice Thursday that she will appeal her mortgage fraud and perjury convictions to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mosby, 44, is set to begin a year of home detention later this month. She avoided prison at her sentencing two weeks ago, when U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby sentenced Mosby to three years of supervised release, beginning with the period of home detention. Madeleine O’Neill/The Baltimore Sun.  

 ASIAN SPIDERS COULD RETURN TO MARYLAND THIS SUMMER: Joro spiders were spotted in Maryland more than a dozen times last summer, the first major sighting in the area since the invasive species arrived in the U.S. from Asia in the early 2010s. And they could be coming back. Scientists believe it’s possible the roughly 4-inch, yellow and blue arachnid reappears this summer. The spiders might look intimidating, but researchers say they pose no known threat to humans or pets. Here are five things to know about the Joro spider. Dana Munro/The Baltimore Sun