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Today…Tornado redux. Pittman giving $1000 bonuses for employees who are vaccinated. Hogan wants answers on air conditioning woes in schools. Best Buy is closing at Arundel Mills. Good Morning America is filming a segment with Monica from Bread and Butter Kitchen. And some heads up on our weekend podcast!
It’s Thursday, which means that Trevor from Annapolis Makerspace is here with your Maker Minutes with great ideas to work out your mind and hone your skills.
NOTE: For hearing impaired subscribers, a full transcript is available below.
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Good morning, it’s Thursday, September 2nd 2021 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.
OK, gonna admit it–George hyped up the storm today and at 1 pm, I sent him a text saying …. it’s a bust. He said not this time. I didn’t believe him. I was wrong. Very wrong. OK, so let’s get into it, shall we?
Wow-what an afternoon. The National Weather Service did confirm last night that it was indeed a tornado that touched down in Anne Arundel County. They still need to determine the strength, but it was a tornado. I got some flack for a photo I tweeted saying a “possible tornado” but there are some specific criteria that need to be met to classify it as one. Anyhow, significant damage along West Street near the McDonalds. Several businesses sustained significant damages as did the homes in the Parole neighborhood behind it. Admiral Heights also took a lighter hit. The tornado continues southeast across 665 and parallel to Route two into Edgewater when it took a left down Central Avenue toward Mayo. South River High sustained some significant damage as well as many homes in the area. We will not know the extent for a few days so stay tuned. West Street is expected to remain closed from Chinquapin Round Road to Old Solomons Island Road through at least midday. Avoid the area and let crews clean it all up. Also, avoid Mayo and Woodland Beach if possible. If there is any good news to come of this, we have not heard of any injuries–only property damage. Fingers crossed. And to give you an idea of the speed, the cell phone alert went off at 1:56, there was a reported tornado in Arnold by the Community College at 2:10, West Street at 2:15, and Edgewater at 2:20. I am sure George will have more on this, but all things considered–we came out ok.
Shifting gears a little bit. While COVID cases continue to rise statewide and county-wide, County Executive Pittman is dangling another carrot to get county employees vaccinated. The last time we heard, only about 40% of the police and fire departments had taken the jab. But Pittman is now offering a $1000 bonus to any employee or contractor of the county–and this includes the quasi-government entities as well if they can prove vaccination by the end of November. Pittman is putting his money where his mouth is because he has asked employers to incentivize employees to get vaccinated. Well, I guess he’s putting our money where his mouth is. But hey, a nice little bonus before the holiday.
Governor Hogan is pissed. At yesterday’s Board of Public Works meeting, he ordered the State superintendent of schools and the Interagency Commission on School Construction to do a top to bottom evaluation of air quality and ventilation in all schools. He’s looking to hold districts accountable for all the money they have been given to get the air and filtration fixed. He said the State has given schools statewide $3B to fix it and wants to know why 31 Baltimore schools were closed early because of lack of air conditioning the other day. In response, Baltimore City Schools said they are on track to do it by 22-23 and said that there would be no plan or timeline if the Governor did not approve it, but he continues to deny his role. Zing. Let the pissin’ match begin!
And as we start to wrap up some bummer business news. The Best Buy store at Arundel Mills will be closing at the end of October. On August 30th they filed a WARN notice with the state saying that it was a permanent closure and 47 people would be out of a job. WARN is an acronym..because we love them.. for Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification. Not a fan of corporate big box stores, but hate to see anyone close especially when they employ local people.
And lastly, a quick congrats to Good Morning America for realizing what we already knew—Monica is awesome. Monica Alvarado is the sassy owner of Bread and Butter Kitchen and the brain behind Feed Anne Arundel and GMA will be taping a segment at Bread and Butter today that will air on the 7th!
OK, that’s it for the news today. If you are a fan of our Saturday Local Business Spotlight series, and you should be…up this weekend is Jane Abraham who is the Owner of Scout and Molly’s–a cool boutique at the Annapolis Town Center … so cool that I bought a gift for a special someone when we recorded and it was an unqualified hit. And on deck for next weekend is another fun one–the guys from Park Fit in Severna Park. And please make sure you let your favorite businesses know we are doing them and tell them to reach out. They are completely free!
Now, a quick thank you to the four sponsors for today’s Daily News Brief– Solar Energy Services, the Kristi Neidhardt Team of Northrop Realty, a Long and Foster Company. Rehab 2 Perform, and MacMedics.
It is Thursday so we have Trevor from Annapolis Makerspace here with your Maker Minutes. And of course, George from DCMDVA Weather is here with your locally forecast weather report and a bit about the tornado. All of that gets underway in just a bit!