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February 17, 2022 | Daily News Brief | Masks OFF in Schools. Unemployment Scams. Pantelides Running for County Council. Maritime Museum Lecture!

| February 17, 2022, 06:00 AM

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Dr. Arlotto recommended and the school board unanimously supported eliminating the mask mandate in the schools. The Maryland State Police are warning about an increase in unemployment scams and fraud. You can check off box 35 on your tax form and help save the Bay. The Parole Rotary is looking for a few good non-profits. Former Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides is running for County Council in District 6. And don’t forget the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park is hosting their winter lecture series tonight–and tonight sounds particularly fascinating!

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.

And as usual, George from DCMDVA Weather is here with your local weather forecast! Please download their APP so you can keep on top of the local weather scene!

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, February 17th, 2022 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Was with the Katcef peeps for lunch yesterday…had to return a tent they loaned me to emcee the Military Bowl that did not happen, but we recorded a new beer cast at West End Grill and I tried a new ..well new to me… flavor of wings… the OTIS. Not sure what’s all in it, but if you like a little heat…this is the wing for you!  OK, lots o news today, so let’s get into it, shall we?

Good news for some. Disconcerting news for others. Yesterday, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. George Arlotto said that he got word that 80% of the county’s eligible population was vaccinated and that was an “off-ramp” for masking of students. So, that was his recommendation to the School Board Last night–an immediate lifting of the mask mandate. The Board is ultimately responsible for that decision and they voted unanimously to lift the mandate effective Friday, February 18th. There are a few caveats–so don’t toss the masks just yet. School buses are still considered public transportation so per federal regulations, masks must be worn. And bad news for the kids that attend school on Ft. Meade — federal regulations still require masks in their buildings and the schools will follow the regulations of the post..

The Maryland State Police are wading into the unemployment fiasco. They put out a strong warning about an increase in unemployment fraud. Generally, it is an email or text that is very well crafted to look like it came from the Labor Department…and since it is still fouled up, many may be expecting it. Anyhow, it obviously asks you to log in because it is secure…and bam they now have access to your account and have the ability to re-direct the funds. They say since the pandemic’s start, they’ve flagged 2.3 million false claims. To protect yourself, don’t click or respond. The Labor Department does NOT work through text messages or direct messages on social media. They will never ask you to pay for assistance. And they recommend you verify that the email address is from a maryland.gov email, but that is flawed as it is easy enough to spoof. If you get an email, if you do not know how to look at headers and verify an email, my advice is to pick up a phone and call the Labor Department to verify it is authentic.

Hey, here’s a VERY simple way to help the Bay. Check off the box on Line 35 of your Maryland State tax return and donate a dollar…or 5…or 10…or 100…or a million and it will come right out of your refund and go directly to the Chesapeake Bay Trust! And if you are looking for a million-dollar refund….we need to go have some beers!

Earlier this week we told you about the Annapolis Rotary and its scholarships for students. Now the Parole Rotary has some money for local non-profits! If you are involved with a non-profit that serves the needs of kids in the areas of education, health, or the arts…pretty broad, you can apply for a grant. The applications are due March 18th. Head to parole-rotary.org and use the drop-down menu for Foundation Grants to get started!

Some political news. Former Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides has tossed his hat into the ring for Anne Arundel County Council and will take on current District 6 Councilwoman Lisa Rodvien. Currently they are the only two in the race for that seat with Pantelides being a Republican and Rodvien being a Democrat!

And tonight.. the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park rolls on with their Winter Lecture Series. It is virtual again this year and the cost is only $10…but included for no cost with a membership… up this week at 7 pm is Dr. Matthew Perry, an educator, and scientist–he is NOT an actor on Friends! It’s important to know the difference. He will be discussing Commodore Matthew Perry’s (also not on Friends) accomplishments fighting piracy in the 1820-30s, claiming Key West for the US, repatriating freed slaves to Africa, and suppressing the illegal slave trade. This sounds really fascinating.   AMaritime.org is where you need to go to get tickets or buy a membership–and summer camp registration is open too.

And as we wrap it up, up this Saturday on the local business spotlight… SoFo and coming up soon, Fence & Deck Connection, Wild Kid Acres, Liquor Mart & Deli, Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, Snap Fitness, Unity Gardens, and Junior League of Annapolis. But keep sending me suggestions of any organizations or businesses that should be spotlighted– [email protected] or a DM on Twitter @eyeonannapolis

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

It is Thursday so we have Trevor from Annapolis Makerspace with your Maker Minutes.  And of course, George from DCMDVA Weather is here with your locally forecast weather.  All of that gets underway in a bit…so, hang tight!

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