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February 24, 2022 | Daily News Brief | Felled Tree Claims Life. Annapolis Garage Going Offline. Major Drug Bust. Winter Lecture Tonight!

| February 24, 2022, 06:00 AM

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A Crofton woman died after a tree fell into her home. A major drug ring has been busted in Anne Arundel County. Annapolis City says that the Hillman garage will go offline at the end of March and the City Council is trying to understand the contract before Monday’s vote. A fascinating bonus pod with two guests who will be at the Home Owners Expo. 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 24th, 2022 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Maryland weather. Was sweating my butt off yesterday morning on my walk, and downright chilly when I left Lures after dinner last night. And it’s supposed to get colder still. Stupid b-polar weather! Anyhow, lots of news today, so let’s get into it, shall we?

A Crofton woman had died after a tree crashed through her roof on Tuesday evening. When crews arrived they were told one resident was unaccounted for and she was quickly located in a 2nd-floor bedroom. However, the condition of the house, made rescue a long process taking nearly 2 hours. Unfortunately, she passed away at the scene. We have heard that she was in her 40s. Terribly sad.

Attorney General Frosh and Anne Arundel Chief of Police Amal Awed announced the indictment of five people, three from Anne Arundel County accused of running a large drug ring. Four of the five are related. The investigation was a year in the making and as a result of 20 search warrants, they seized 5 kilograms of fentanyl, 500 grams of heroin, 7 kilograms of cocaine, and a marijuana grow operation with 400 plants in a Baltimore auto body shop. To put that metric system in perspective, I googled and 5 kilograms of fentanyl is enough to make 5 million to 7.5 million doses. No trial date has been set, but it will be tried here in Anne Arundel County.

Annapolis City sent out a notice that the Hillman Garage would be closing at the end of March for 14 to 18 months as it was rebuilt. The City has created a website accessAnnapolis.com which will give you all the options for parking and moving around town when the garage is out of service. They are going to have electric on-demand golf carts, enhanced circulators, and discounted parking at Park Place.

But City Hall may have put the cart before the horse. Check out the article in the Capital (or the Twitter thread) by Brooks DuBose on this. Yesterday there was a finance meeting and it became clear that the City is still trying to figure out how to pay for it. The terms of the contract have not been released and we do know that construction costs are already higher than planned and the concession from the private entity is lower than planned. VERY generally speaking, the two options being presented to the council on Monday are … one… get $25 million now and give up control of the garage for 30 years and all parking revenue in the downtown area. For that, a private entity will build and finance the garage. The other option is to sell bonds to finance it. That pushed our debt ceiling and will affect our bond ratings. Theoretically, the $25 million received now will be used to pay for the City Dock project…and the City will figure out how to pay for the remaining estimated $10 million to pull it off. And of course, this is all predicated on it being done on time and within budget–which is not likely. Under the best circumstances, the garage would be complete between May and September 2023 disrupting two tourist seasons. For those that have been here a while, this is the largest capital project ever undertaken by the City. It took us more than a decade to re-open the Market House when they renovated it. We were embroiled in a large lawsuit surrounding the construction of the police station. There is not a good track record. However, on Monday night, the administration will be asking the council to bypass traditional rules and accept public testimony, and vote on approving the project. Sorry–that was not too general, but this is a big deal and I find it hard to believe that we are now one month behind the projected start of the project and an agreement has not been reached and the Council will be pressured to vote. For much more detail…PLEASE read the article in The Capital from Brooks. He does a GREAT job of laying it all out!

Hey, the Annapolis Home Owners Expo is this weekend at the Byzantium Center and I hope you caught the bonus pod we did with Jeff Devlin and Doug Tallamy who will both be there. Two great guys–Jeff will be giving us solid and some hands-on advice and Doug is a world-renowned wildlife ecologist and will talk about how we can save our habitat. Our conversations were both fun and really interesting. Go have a listen!

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 Ann Swanson who is the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission who will be talking about how we measure the milestones and meet the goals of making the bay a lot cleaner. The EPA studied it 50 years ago and we still have a long way to go. Tune in and get this interim report card! 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… the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra and the following week– Current Dermatology & Cosmetic Center.

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 psychotic, but locally forecast weather.  All of that gets underway in a bit…so, hang tight!

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