Where do I start when there’s so much going on? The Prince George’s County Commission on Excellence in Education is held a meeting yesterday from 6pm-8pm, at the County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro. I don’t know what the specific reason was but in general, there’s a LOT to meet about. Of concern, the aggressive five-year plan from PGCo School Chief Kevin Maxwell and the funding needed to make the plan a reality should be the entire agenda.
To fund the requested $1.9 billion requested by Maxwell and County Executive Baker, Baker has proposed raising property taxes by 16% and increasing telecommunications taxes by 12%. Baker has pledged to spend $120 million on schools. There are shenanigans taking place to circumvent the county’s law which requires PGCo residents to vote to increase property taxes. Baker says there’s a loophole in a recently passed law he can exploit to raise property taxes without a vote. Hmmmm, me thinketh this is NOT a good idea. Baker needs the buy in of the people he wants to tax. See the Washington Post article for the particulars on what the $1.9 billion budget/$130 million in tax revenue would be spent on. See the county’s proposed FY2016 budget for the breakdown.
As usual, there is crime to report but the local news does enough of that for me to just skip it. There are some crimes of note though. A security guard at Laurel High School was recorded on video body slamming a female student before forcibly taking her to the Principal’s office. Take a look at the Tracee Wilkins report below. You can hear the students reacting. It was a bad scene. Prince George’s County Schools Spokesperson Sherrie Johnson told reporters, “…the student officer had to use force to protect himself and the students and staff that were around.” I say GIRL PLEASE!
In other high school news, former NFL outside linebacker Cato June has been named the new coach of C.H. Flowers High School‘s football team. Cato said he knew he wanted to remain in football in some capacity following his retirement in 2010. Less than a year later, he found his calling as a high school coach. “I looked at it as a chance to compete at the highest level that we have to offer in this area of the country,” June said of his decision to become Flowers’ head coach. “If I was going to continue coaching, especially high school football … [I] wanted to coach against what is considered to be the best. I wanted to be a part of one of the biggest and best programs in the area. Article HERE.
Prince George’s County Police Department has suspended an officer for hazing. Umph. A grown man hazing? Umph again. News sources and the PGCo Police Department reported that Corp. Jesse Stewart is the second vice president of the Hyattsville-Landover alumni chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Its membership is mostly adult professionals. So yea, this is grad chapter, old man foolishness. A $2 million lawsuit alleges Stewart was hazing men who were pledging the chapter at his home garage in Upper Marlboro.
Complainant Harry Draughn Jr. said pledges were smacked on their buttocks six times.“Afterwards, we were required to remove our pants and our socks and perform tasks around his home in our bare feet and underwear,” Draughn said. Stewart is charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment for a March 23 incident.”
Governor Larry Hogan and the entire Maryland federal and state delegations, dubbed “Team Maryland,” are doing a full court press to lure the FBI to Greenbelt for sure, Landover possibly. Governor Hogan has pledged upwards of $200 million in road upgrades to bring the FBI to Maryland. I read the Washington Post article but the story is really in the comments. Some of the comments quote fictitious statistics and throw major shade at the county, “65% of FBI employees live in VA…PG is a horrible place to work…”
Lots of people are running for the Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards‘ soon to be vacated seat. Former County Council Chair Ingrid Turner, Delegate Jay Walker, Former PGCo States Attorney Glenn Ivey, Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and former Lt. Governor Anthony Brown have thrown their hats into the ring. All that matters is who the voters who reside in Maryland’s District 4 are likely to vote for. Yes I know I ended that with a preposition. In 2010 and 2014’s primary and general election, Congresswoman trounced her competition but there were slight weaknesses in her votes from Montgomery County in 2010 and Anne Arundel County in 2014. In both elections she overwhelmingly received the PGCo vote, but Anne Arundel County wasn’t feeling her in 2014. Republican opponent Nancy Hoyt beat Congresswoman Donna Edwards 2 to 1 (45k to 22k) in Anne Arundel County. The person who wins the seat for Congressional District 4 will have to win Prince George’s County and should try to appeal to more Anne Arundel County voters. Stay tuned for a PGC Blog radio show on that.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards, along with Chris Van Hollen (MD-8th Dist), have announced that they’re running for the U.S. Senate Seat being vacated by Senator Mikulski. We’ll be exploring that topic too.
First Baptist of Highland Park, The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square and St. Paul Baptist Church are battling it out to lose the most weight and become the “Biggest Winner.” I think this story needs more attention because our county is full of obese people and full of churches. Now there’s a report confirming what we all suspected. Thankfully these churches are taking a proactive approach to the problem. From The Gazette, “Challenged by a study indicating churchgoers are more likely to be overweight, three Prince George’s County church congregations are stepping up in a new county weight loss challenge. “We are delighted to be engaging in the Biggest Winner challenge, and let me say it, we aim to win,” said Pastor Henry Davis III of First Baptist Church Highland Park in Landover during the program’s announcement Feb. 24. Davis’ church, The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square in Capitol Heights and St. Paul Baptist Church in Capitol Heights have all agreed to take part in Prince George’s County’s “The Biggest Winner” weight loss competition. The program is an initiative of the Prince George’s County Council in its capacity as Board of Health.
Number of strip clubs in PGCo has been reduced from 60 in 2011, to 16 today. I won’t be happy until they are ALL GONE! Article here.