News Roundup (Demo)

County Exec. appoints commission on county schools; seeks bigger role over school direction.
Mass Shooting training drill held at Henry Wise High School.
Story on MGM Grand’s alleged ties to China’s mob gains steam.  National Harbor Casino foes getting press.

After bombing out in his efforts to retain soon-to-be-former Superintendent William Hite, County Executive Baker has appointed a 12 member commission to advise him on education policy.  It appears that Baker understands that a stellar education system is key to a stellar county.  Baker, in a series of interviews, expressed his desire to be a major part of the

Rushern Baker
Exec. Rushern Baker

recruiting effort for a new superintendent, and to “seek out innovation models for teaching and learning for our children…”  Everyone has not sipped this Kool-Aid.  The Washington Post reports that some school board members, probably ones who remember when County Exec was a state Representative and led a push to have the elected school board system replaced with an appointee system, don’t trust Baker’s new-found gusto, “The move has left some school board members suspicious of Baker’s intentions. About a decade ago, when he was a state delegate, Baker participated in an effort that led to the dissolution of an elected school board in Prince George’s. The appointed-board structure later ended, and the county went back to an elected board.”
Prince Georg's County Emergency Response DrillTaking the Aurora, CO mass shooting into consideration, Friday, July 20th could not have been a more timely date to shore up the preparedness skills of Prince George’s County emergency responders.  Kevin Davis, PGCo assistant police chief, noted that this practice exercise, which simulated a mass school shooting, at Henry Wise High School had been on the books for some time now and takes place at least 2 times a year. “On the heels of the tragedy in Colorado, we want to demonstrate to the community that we have policies and procedures in place,” Davis said.
The Prince George’s County Police Department coordinated with county fire/EMS department bomb squads to simulate the entirety of a school shooting situation, from suspects entering the building to the dispatch of first responders and eventually the police Conflict Management team, which handles hostage and barricade situations.  Members of two police academy classes posed as students for the exercise.  Davis said of the exercise, “This can be moved to a shopping center, a mall or theater, a doctor’s office or a community center,” he said. “It’s important to do these  so it’s not a sterile environment. It’s important to know how [officers] react under stress, so they know how they’ll act in a real situation,” the Gazette reported.
You read about it here first on PGC Blog because other local news sources were timid about reporting such a preposterous sounding story.  I completely get that but I figured, hey, it’s a press release.  Ha!  Religious leaders and a former delegate have teamed up in opposition to the National Harbor casino project.  This coalition held a news conference on Friday in front of the county’s government headquarters in the Town of Upper Marlboro.  Former delegate Gerron Levi (D-Prince George’s), said any tax cut for casino operators would amount to “tax cuts for millionaires and mobsters.”  Pastor Douglas Edwards, who was formerly addicted to gambling,  added, The greatest impact will be felt by the poorest of the poor,” said Douglas Edwards, a Prince George’s minister who said he formerly was addicted to gambling.  “People will get off of work with their smalls checks and the first place they will head is the casino,” Edwards, of Mission of Love Outreach Ministries, said at the news conference.  Read entire WPost article here.

Now the Washington Post and  NBC news affiliates are carrying the story.   What do you think?  Will the casino make it?  Is there REALLY going to be a special session of the General Assembly?



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