State Roundup: Key Bridge collapses; search teams deployed; U.S. Secty Buttigieg offers aid to state

KEY BRIDGE COLLAPSES; SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS UNDER WAY: The Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed early Tuesday after being struck by a ship, and rescue teams were searching for multiple people believed to have fallen into the Patapsco River, a Baltimore Fire department spokesman confirmed. Justin Fenton, Giacomo Bologna, Alissa Zhu, Cody Boteler and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

    • A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard said the 948-foot cargo ship Dali struck the bridge at approximately 1:20 a.m. In video from the incident, black smoke can be seen coming from the vessel. Gov. Wes Moore declared a state of emergency and said he will work to “quickly deploy federal resources.” Michelle Deal Zimmerman and Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.
    • U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he spoke with Gov. Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott early Tuesday to offer the department’s help in responding to the vessel strike and bridge collapse. “Rescue efforts remain underway and drivers in the Baltimore area should follow local responder guidance on detours and response,” Buttigieg added. Ellen Francis/The Washington Post.
    • The Dali apparently malfunctioned right before it hit the bridge. All crew members were accounted for but several vehicles could be seen in the water, construction crews were on the bridge at the time it was hit and two people have been pulled from the water. One was in serious condition and has been transported and the other refused medical care. Staff/The New York Times.
    • Crews are still in an active search and rescue effort and have several aerial units helping them look for as many as seven people still in the water. Baltimore City Fire Chief James Wallace said those units will be working around the bridge for the next 8 to 12 hours. Staff/WMAR-TV News.
    • The collapse of the 1.6 mile-bridge on I-695 appeared to have severed access to the Port of Baltimore and will snarl traffic in the surrounding area. The Maryland Transportation Authority said to avoid the southeast corridor of I-695 and listed I-95 and I-895 as alternate routes. Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.
    • Photos were taken soon after the accident and into early this morning. Jerry Jackson and Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun.
    • Here’s another photo package. The Washington Post.


    The path of the Dali, which set out around 1 a.m. and hit the Key Bridge around 1:30, shortly after losing power twice. Image from Marine Traffic.

    THE KEY BRIDGE: A HISTORY: The 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge, which spans the Patapsco River and links Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the Chesapeake Bay, was built 47 years ago. It served as a key part of Interstate 695, carrying north-south traffic around the city of Baltimore. The structure carried four lanes of traffic, two in each direction, separated by a concrete divider. Jennifer Hassan/The Washington Post.

    GOP ELECTIONS BOARD NOMINEE HEADS FOR SENATE VOTE: A Maryland Republican Party nominee to the State Board of Elections will be recommended for confirmation to the full Senate despite concerns about a social media post and emails attributed to her. The Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted 12-3 Monday night to send Diane Butler, an Ellicott City resident, to the full Senate. The floor vote could come later this week. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

        • One of the no votes was Committee Vice Chair Sen. Clarence Lam. He said he could not vote for Butler after speaking with people who had worked with her on “election-related” matters. Many expressed concerns to him about Butler’s judgment and motivations when she had questioned election processes in the past, he said. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

    COMMENTARY: HOUSE DEMS DISREGARD TRANSPARENCY: The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act has taken center stage in the last week in Annapolis as conflict brews between the House and Senate over passing taxes during the 2024 Legislative Session. While the headlines have focused on the impending showdown between chambers, attention should also be paid to the disregard for transparency and good government shown by House Democrats. Dels. Jason Buckel and Jesse Pippy and Sens. Steve Hershey and Justin Ready/Maryland Matters.

    STATE DRUG BOARD NARROWS LIST OF MEDS FOR COST REVIEW: A board tasked with reining in prescription drug costs is starting to narrow a list of medications that might be eligible for “cost review,” in hopes of finding ways to bring down expenses for Marylanders on the state’s health plan. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

    RASKIN ENDORSES ALSOBROOKS FOR U.S. SENATE: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) weighed in on Maryland’s closely watched U.S. Senate contest Monday, endorsing Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks over Rep. David Trone in the May 14 Democratic primary — but also vowing to help keep the typically blue seat out of Republican hands, regardless of the winner. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.

    A VERY CROWDED U.S. HOUSE RACE: Harry Dunn, a retired Capitol Police officer who survived the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, is one of 22 Democrats vying in the 3rd District primary on May 14. The winner could easily be headed to Congress to represent this heavily blue district, though nine Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination. Front-runners Dunn, state Sen. Sarah Elfreth and Del. Mike Rogers of Anne Arundel are polling in single digits. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

    CAREER COUNSELORS BECOME VITAL IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Northern High School had never had a career counselor. Not until Christian Wargo walked through its doors. In September, Wargo became the Calvert County high school’s first career advisor as a part of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a multi-billion dollar legislative plan to improve education across the state. Now, every school district across the state is hiring career counselors like Wargo to help students navigate a pressing question: What do they want to do when they grow up? Wargo said his help is in high demand. Taylor Nichols and Adriana Navarro of Capital News Service/

    STATE SUPREMES RULE AGAINST KUSHNER APARTMENT COMPANY: The Maryland Supreme Court on Monday ruled against an apartment company co-owned by former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner in a lawsuit that five former tenants in Baltimore and Baltimore County brought against the business, alleging that it engaged in a scheme that involved charging illegal and excessive late fees. Dylan Segelbaum and Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.

    ORIOLES SALE COULD BE APPROVED THIS WEEK: The Orioles could have new ownership by opening day on Thursday. Major League Baseball will vote Wednesday on the sale of a majority stake in the Orioles to a group led by David Rubenstein, the final step before the transfer is finalized. It requires the approval of at least 22 of the other 29 owners. The sale is expected to be approved. Danielle Allentuck/The Baltimore Banner.

    MORE ON FORMER SEN. LARRY LEVITAN’s DEATH AT 90: Laurence Levitan, a former Maryland state senator who during his two decades in office became one of the most influential members of the Montgomery County delegation, died March 20 at a nursing home in Bethesda. He was 90. Emily Langer/The Washington Post.

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