State Roundup: Baltimore County Incident Prompts Principals Nationwide To Seek Protections From Ai; State Considers Adopting Literacy Standards For Promoting Kids To 4th Grade; Marylanders Spent $1.1 Billion On Weed Products In First Year Of Legalization

AFTER BA CO INCIDENT, PRINCIPALS NATIONWIDE SEEK PROTECTION FROM AI: A group of middle and high school principals from across the country is calling on the U.S. Department of Education to come up with more ways they can protect themselves from artificial intelligence. The National Association of Secondary School Principals referenced the arrest of a former athletic director who, authorities say, used AI to impersonate Pikesville High School’s principal, leading the public to believe the principal had been caught on tape making racist and antisemitic comments. Kristen Griffith/The Baltimore Banner.

3rd GRADERS MAY BE HELD BACK, IF LITERACY POLICY ADOPTED: A proposed literacy policy in Maryland could have third-grade students held back for a year if they don’t achieve certain reading scores on state tests, or “demonstrate sufficient reading skills for promotion to grade 4.” Maryland would join more than half of states that allow third-grade students to be held back if the policy is adopted. The Maryland Department of Education is accepting public comments on the plan until July 19. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

MARYLANDERS SPENT $1.1B ON WEED IN FIRST YEAR OF LEGALIZATION: Marylanders spent about $1.1 billion on weed products since cannabis was legalized for retail sale a year ago. Adult recreational consumers made up most cannabis sales since July 1, 2023, spending more than $700 million as of last Monday, while medical consumers bought nearly $400 million worth of cannabis, said Gov. Wes Moore. Brad Matthews/The Washington Times.

HIGH COST MAKES HOUSING RENTAL A CHALLENGE IN MARYLAND: Maryland is among the most-challenging states for minimum wage workers to earn enough to be able to afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment, suggesting that affordable housing is “out of reach” for many low-wage renters. That’s the conclusion of the “Out of Reach” report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a housing research organization, which shows that Maryland is behind only seven states and Washington, D.C., in the 2024 ranking. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND JOINS CALL TO UPHOLD ‘GHOST GUN’ RESTRICTIONS: Maryland has joined 21 states, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands urging the Supreme Court to uphold federal restrictions on “ghost guns,” unregistered and untraceable weapons that can be assembled at home from kits. Staff/Maryland Matters.

WORK OF HIGHER ED COMMISSION BEGINS WITH BYLAWS: Maryland officials are drawing up bylaws for the panel that will review the process the Maryland Higher Education Commission will use when state universities propose new academic programs, with an eye toward a launch this fall. One of the first orders of business will be determining how many members will serve on the panel. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

REMAINING RAMPS OF KEY BRIDGE TO BE DEMOLISHED: The container ship Dali is gone. So, too, is the bulk of the 50,000 tons of wreckage that tumbled into the Patapsco River when the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on March 26. Some of the last vestiges of the Key Bridge and its demise are the two existing ramps — which led to the bridge’s main span — still standing in the water. They, too, will be gone soon as authorities make way for a rebuilt Key Bridge by October 2028. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

REACTIONS MIXED TO MOORE ZERO-EMISSIONS HEAT STANDARDS: When he signed an executive order advancing the state’s pollution reduction plan last month, including a call to phase in zero-emission standards for heating systems, Gov. Wes Moore (D) used words like “bold” and “ambitious.” But reactions to the executive order that Moore called “one of the most comprehensive executive orders on climate of any governor in Maryland’s history”ranged from glowing praise to outright opposition. Elijah Pittman/Maryland Matters.

MURDER SUSPECT HAD HISTORY OF BORDER CROSSINGS, EXPELLINGS: The man accused of raping and murdering Rachel Morin in Bel Air crossed the U.S. border three times in early 2023 and was expelled each time by U.S. Border Patrol, but Victor Antonio Martinez-Hernandez succeeded a fourth time, becoming part of a large wave of so-called “got-aways” to enter the country under a coronavirus pandemic-related border policy. During his encounters with Border Patrol, agents found no criminal or other derogatory information about him. Brooke Conrad/The Baltimore Sun.

THE JAN. 6 EFFECT TOOK THEM FROM CAPITOL POLICING TO POLITICS: Along with former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who ran for Congress from Maryland, Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and Former Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell are telling audiences about what they went through on Jan. 6 2021 and trying to lay out the contrast between President Joe Biden and Donald Trump. It’s an unusual transition for law enforcement officers who once protected members of Congress and are used to keeping their political views to themselves. Mary Claire Jalonick/The Associated Press.

MOSBY CAN KEEP LAW LICENSE DURING APPEAL: The Maryland Supreme Court on Friday ruled that former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby will be allowed to practice law while she appeals her perjury and mortgage fraud convictions. In an opinion with two dissents, the justices denied a request from the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland to immediately suspend her law license. Baltimore Circuit Judge Yvette M. Bryant will hear the disciplinary case after the appeals process is over. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

TERM-LIMIT REFERENDUM FAILS TO MAKE MO CO BALLOT: The Montgomery County Board of Elections announced Friday that the effort to place a referendum for a two-term limit on the county executive before the voters this fall is currently 626 valid signatures short of the minimum of 10,000 required to get on the ballot. Louis Peck/MoCo 360.

MO CO IG SEES SURGE OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT SCHOOL SYSTEM: Montgomery County’s inspector general fielded a surge in complaints in the past year about Maryland’s largest school system as the district has faced increased scrutiny of its handling of reports about conduct. Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.

VIKINGS ROOKIE FROM MARYLAND AMONG THREE KILLED IN CAR CRASH: Three former high school state champion football players from Prince George’s County — including one just drafted into the NFL — were killed early Saturday when a speeding and possibly alcohol-impaired driver struck their car in Upper Marlboro, Maryland State Police said. Those killed were Minnesota Vikings rookie Khyree Jackson, 24, and former teammates Anthony Lytton Jr., 24, and Isaiah Hazel, 23. Tom Jackman and Michael Errigo/The Washington Post.

FORMER MAYOR OF DENTON JOE LOVELESS JR. DIES: Joseph S. “Joe” Loveless Jr., whose careers spanned education, coaching, business and politics as a mayor of Denton, died from vascular dementia June 15 at his Joppa home. He was 84. Frederick Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.

FORMER DEL. AMEDORI REMEMBERED FOR CONSERVATIVE CAUSES: Carmen Amedori, a former Carroll County delegate, parole commissioner and journalist who died on June 9 at her Westminster home, was remembered by her daughter Nicole Amedori as a “very fierce” advocate with a strong personality while she worked in politics and championed conservative causes, with a heavy focus on criminal justice matters. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.