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January 26, 2022 | Daily News Brief | Mask Mandate Upheld Again. Home Invasion. HACA Woes. Watermark Celebrates 50.

| January 26, 2022, 06:00 AM


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Today…

The injured firefighter in Baltimore has been upgraded to fair condition. A Judge upheld the County mask mandate. A Glen Burnie home invasion. Serious financial woes for HACA. How much do you need to be considered a 1%er? And Watermark is prepping to celebrate its 50th anniversary. And we can always use some more local businesses to spotlight! Give me some leads!

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TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning, it is Wednesday, January 26th,  2022 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Have you ever had one of those days when things just click and go your way? Yesterday was that day for me. Solid walk, got my tech woes resolved, and got a ton of stuff done, AND into bed early enough to fall asleep during the news!   OK, speaking of news. Let’s get into OUR news … shall we?

Here’s some good news. The firefighter that was in critical condition after being trapped in that burning building in Baltimore was upgraded to fair condition. He is conscious and alert, but doctors say that Firefighter EMT John McMaster has a long way to go, but they are “incredibly optimistic”. After the horrible news yesterday of the three firefighter deaths, this is a sliver of good news. We’re pulling for you, Firefighter McMaster!

No huge surprise but a Circuit Court Judge did not issue an injunction on the County Health Officer’s mask mandate. He essentially said the plaintiffs did not meet ANY of the criteria to issue it. So, unless another court or the health officer says otherwise, they stay on through Monday. The County has said they do not plan to extend it. However, the plaintiffs have switched gears a little now that the “we’re losing money” argument didn’t work and are going to appeal the decision and continue with the suit saying that the Health officer and County Executive usurped the council’s authority. The County Executive released a statement thanking the judge and reiterating that the masks are making a positive impact on our COVID numbers.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department has arrested a 17-year old from Severn and a 26-year old from Aberdeen after a Glen Burnie home invasion. It happened Monday evening and the two broke into an apartment and demanded money. When the victim did not comply they beat him and fled in a silver Nissan which was quickly located. You have to wonder what a 26-year old from Harford County is doing with a 17-year old teen from Severn.

Brooks DuBose from The Capital has an alarming story on the financial perils of HACA. They are cutting hours and staff because they are $1.5 million in the hole. Currently, more than $750K in rent is past due, and Melissa Maddox Evans, the Executive Director says that 50% of residents are not paying rent because of the eviction moratorium and not understanding that it is not a rent moratorium. HACA is also redeveloping the Newtowne 20 property which is scheduled to be done in April. But they are already $322k behind on payments to the contractor. And to rub salt in the wounds, the organization is still being assessed fines from the City for code infractions and while some are thrown out in court or reduced, it is costing the agency $6000 to $10,000 to defend itself in court. To resolve this…the City Council is calling for a committee to be formed to look into it and to include all stakeholders. At some point, someone is going to have to bite the bullet here and I suspect the only solution is a tax hike to be able to afford to keep affordable housing in Annapolis.

And speaking of affordable. Smart Asset, a financial website released a report detailing how much money you need to earn to be considered a 1 percenter in each state. Connecticut was number #1 and to be in the top 1% you need to earn $896,490. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California rounded out the top five. Maryland came in at #11 and to be a 1 percenter here, you need to haul in $588,035. If you want to be a 5 percenter, $265,100. I believe I am a 5 percenter… but only if you read from the bottom up! Virginia was right on our heels at #12 and the bottom of the barrel … not really a surprise… Mississippi at 49 and West Virginia at #50. To be a 1 percenter in West Virginia–$350,212 and a 5 percenter is at $171,135. Discouraging!

Last week we told you about the sale of Watermark to Jake and Laura Iversen after 50 years of being owned by the same family! Well, the Iversen’s are picking right up where the Hartmans and Gosselins left off and are planning a season of celebrations for the 50th anniversary. First up is an Anniversary Garden Gala at the William Paca House on April 21st. And because they are a great corporate neighbor..and they are, they are donating the proceeds to Historic Annapolis which is their partner for many of the land-based tours! Tickets are available now, and I am going to go get a pair when I am done here. But you need to go to WatermarkJourney.com/celebrating-50-years

Always looking for more local business spotlights so keep the suggestions coming. Send them to [email protected] or DM me on Twitter. There is no cost at all to the business and the episode will be sent to 14,000+ subscribers of the DNB, sent to our 50,000 on Twitter, the 130K on Facebook and then the 180,000 or so that read EyeOnAnnapolis.net.  Again, zippo for the cost!

OK, that’s it for the news, but first a quick thank you to our sponsors for this Daily News Brief– Solar Energy Services, the Kristi Neidhardt Team of Northrop Realty, a Long and Foster Company, Alpha Engineering, and Rehab 2 Perform!

OK, so now, hang tight,  George Young from DCMDVA Weather is standing by with your locally forecast weather report–might be some more old man winter in the mix. And back again–because it is Wednesday, Beepr Buzz with all the music buzz with Annapolis After Dark! All that in just a bit!

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Category: Daily News Brief, Local News, NEWS, Podcast

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