State Roundup: Gun Applications Up 48% Over Last Year; State Sees Highest Rise In COVID Since Early August

GUN APPLICATIONS UP 48% OVER LAST YEAR: The number of gun purchase applications processed by the Maryland State Police so far this year is already about 48% higher than the total number of applications processed last year, Bryan Renbaum reports for

HIGHEST ONE-DAY HIKE IN COVID CASES SINCE EARLY AUGUST: Maryland health officials reported 897 new coronavirus cases Tuesday — the most in one day since early August — and nine new deaths tied to COVID-19, the illness the virus causes, Ben Leonard of the Sun is reporting.

  • D.C., Maryland and Virginia reported daily numbers above their recent averages, with each jurisdiction seeing a rise this month. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday that he expects the pandemic to worsen this fall in his state but added that he has no plans to bring back the type of restrictions put in place earlier this year, reports Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.
  • The number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County has increased by more than 100 for each of seven consecutive days, Bethesda Beat reports. On Tuesday, the county added 157 cases — an increase of 0.62% from Monday’s total.
  • Like many hospitals across the country, Frederick Health Hospital is filling up with coronavirus patients once again, Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post reports. On Sunday, it was treating 20 COVID-19 patients, according to the county health department. That’s the highest number of patients with the disease at Frederick Health Hospital since May 30 when 24 were being treated. The number had been below 20 ever since.

SAFER WAY TO VOTE IN-PERSON: You might not be 100% safe from COVID-19 if you’re voting early this week. But you can still vote in-person while minimizing risk. Sarah Kim of WYPR-FM finds out how.

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT ON DAY 2: Voter turnout in Maryland continues to set records, WBFF-TV reports. The second day of early voting saw 153,493 voters statewide, announced the state Board of Elections. [A breakdown by county on the State Board of Elections website had the second day number at 144,056.]

  • In an extensive roundup of voting trends in Maryland, Madeleine O’Neill of USA Today Network writes that nearly 1.7 million Marylanders have requested mail-in ballots this year, and as of Tuesday, more than 1 million people had returned them. In total, more than 1.1 million Marylanders have voted already.

MD CONGRESSMEN: DEEP CONCERN ON PURPLE LINE FATE: Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation wrote to Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday, saying that their “deep” concerns about the fate of the Purple Line “have grown exponentially” since the consortium managing the project terminated its contract, Katherine Shaver of the Post is reporting.

BURIED PIPELINES, CABLES STUMP ROAD EXPANSION: WSSC Water is just one of many companies with underground assets – pipelines and cables — that could be impacted by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) and I-270, writes Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters. WSSC has estimated that the project would cost $2,250 per household over the next 20 years. The state agency has been meeting regularly with 21 utilities and private companies about the project, according to the state.

HOGAN PUSHES AGAINST QUESTION 1: Gov. Larry Hogan is making a last-minute push to convince people to vote against a proposal to give state lawmakers more say in Maryland’s budget, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. One of the Republican governor’s political groups, the Change Maryland Action Fund, launched a campaign this week against the statewide Question 1 on the ballot as early voting got underway.

STATE FINDS SLAVE QUARTERS: Archaeologists from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration have discovered a 300-year-old slave quarters on a Jesuit plantation in St. Mary’s County, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.

FALLSTON VOTER REFUSED TO WEAR MASK: The Fallston man arrested inside a polling place on the first day of early voting in Maryland had refused to wear a face mask inside a polling place, according to charging documents, report Emily Opilo and McKenna Oxenden for the Sun.

Advancing Energy Innovation as an Economic Development Strategy: State entities can play an essential role in moving advanced energy technologies from universities or R&D labs into the marketplace. These activities provide a new foundation for economic development. States such as Colorado, Massachusetts, and New York are strategically utilizing public investment to support technology commercialization, create ecosystems and clusters in clean energy, and create jobs in start-up companies. Learn about cutting edge energy technology development programs and strategies, and what it will take to position Maryland for success in this space during this FREE webinar on October 29th.

COLUMN: CONTINUE WORK OF LATE YOUNG DEM LEADER: Keenen Geter in a column for the Sun, writes that “this summer the Young Democrats of Maryland (YDM) learned that our president, Joseph Kitchen, had passed away. We were all heartbroken, shocked and left without our dear friend, mentor and fearless leader. Joseph led YDM for eight years and was a trailblazer for young people across the state and country. … That is why the executive board of YDM know that the best way to honor Joseph’s legacy is to continue to do the hard work. Our challenge is to continue to do so with the same energy, conviction and zeal that Joseph would have.”

B’MORE MAYOR FORUM: Although early voting has started in Maryland with record-breaking turnout, three of Baltimore’s mayoral candidates made one final appeal Tuesday night to voters in their last debate before Election Day, reports the Sun’s Hallie Miller.

  • Forum topics include the response to the coronavirus, violence in the city, trash issues as they pertain to violence in the city, the impact of the coronavirus on the city’s economy, police reform and more. You can watch the forum on WBAL by clicking here.

TURMOIL IN CITY HALL: Mark Reutter writes about the turmoil within Baltimore City Hall, writing that since The Brew broke the story last Monday that the Young administration wants to boost the number of full-time staff for incoming City Council President Nick Mosby, life in the upper reaches of City Hall has been anything but calm.

HOGAN JOKES ABOUT RUNNING FOR MAYOR: Gov. Larry Hogan joked Tuesday that perhaps his political future may involve running for Baltimore mayor. When asked during a WBAL Radio interview about what interventions he could take to curb crime in the city, Hogan dismissed the idea of bringing in the National Guard or the Maryland State Police, Pamela Wood and Christine Condon of the Sun report.

BA CO BILL ON NO-KNOCK WARRANTS YANKED: Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones has given up for now on legislation that would have restricted when police could use no-knock warrants, John Lee reports for WYPR-FM.

WHICH MARYLANDERS MIGHT SERVE IN A BIDEN ADMIN? Who from Maryland could wind up with prominent roles in the Biden administration if there is one? Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters posed the question to a variety of Democratic insiders around the state and in Washington, D.C., and came up with “educated guesses.”