You were traveling, or maybe just hungover for most of the last two weeks – here are some of the most important things that’ve been happening around Baltimore recently.
Cyclist killed, remembered
Thomas Palermo, 41, was hit and killed while cycling in Roland Park on December 27th. Palermo, the father of two young children, was well-known in the local cycling community and was memorialized by cyclists on New Year’s Day. The driver that hit Palermo, Heather Elizabeth Cook, initially left the scene of the accident, but returned to take responsibility after other cyclists spotted her damaged SUV. Cook, a bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, has a 2010 DUI. So far, no charges have been filed against Cook. A fundraiser for Palermo’s children has raised over $50,000.
Murder rate down 10% in 2014
Baltimore ended the year with a total of 211 homicides, down from 235 in 2013.Despite this overall reduction in homicide and violent crime, Baltimore had 15 juveniles killed by violence in 2014, including the still-unsolved murder of 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott.
Hogan says Baltimore in decline
“There’s no businesses, there’s no jobs. The city’s declining rather than improving. We’re going to try to turn that around.” In an interview with the Sun, incoming governor Larry Hogan was hard on the economic situation in Baltimore, promising effort to revitalize Baltimore, but offering few specifics. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was irked by the comment and warned against “cutting your way to prosperity”.
New minimum wage
The new year brings new laws. Minimum wage in Maryland is now $8.00 and is scheduled to keep rising through July 2018. The state’s gas tax also increased slightly on January 1st.
FOX45 fires staffers for “kill a cop” edit
After airing a segment with footage edited to make it appear as if local activist Tawanda Jones and other protesters chanted “kill a cop” at a DC protest, FOX45 has fired the crew responsible for the misleading edit. People close to the station’s newsroom suggest that there will likely be more fallout from the story.
O’Malley clears out death row
After Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, four men were left on Maryland’s death row. Last week, Governor Martin O’Malley commuted their sentences to life without parole.