With some concerns, Hyattsville asks state to review police coordination in wake of Capitol siege

Without much comment, Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. But it took more discussion for a second resolution to be passed calling on state lawmakers to review regional law enforcement coordination, study the prevalence of extremist views in local law enforcement, and to expand state and local police powers against “domestic terrorism.”

After Capitol siege, Hyattsville wants state to study police extremism

The Hyattsville City Council turns its attention to national politics at its Tuesday meeting, considering two measures focused on the attempted Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol. The first would condemn President Trump and the attempted insurrection, while the second calls on Maryland legislators to study extremism in state police forces and to grant greater power to local officials dealing with “domestic terror” threats.

An African-American man wearing a dark suit sits at a wooden table with his hands clasped. He's looking directly at the camera. Behind him, a sign reads "Mount Rainier."

Mount Rainier police chief resigns for new job

Mount Rainier Chief of Police Anthony Morgan will resign in February, ending a two-year career leading the city police department. Morgan was the city’s first African-American police chief in its 110 year history. In an interview with Route 1 Reporter, Morgan said he had accepted another chief of police job at an department outside of Maryland, but declined to specify further because that department has not announced his hire yet. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as chief of police for the last two years,” said Morgan in a statement posted to social media. “I have enjoyed working alongside a dedicated group of public safety professionals.”

Morgan’s appointment as the city’s top cop was announced Jan. 30, 2019.

P.G. Plaza Metro gets new name (that everyone hates)

The Prince George’s Plaza Metro Station will be renamed to Hyattsville Crossing, and many people hate the new name. 

The proposal was approved in a Nov. 19, 2020, vote by Metro’s board of directors. Along with Hyattsville Crossing, Tysons Corner will be renamed to simply “Tysons.” With the significant caveat that it’s not a scientific survey, survey data collected from the public before the name change vote showed only 33 percent of respondents like the new Hyattsville Crossing name, 48 percent did not like the name (with 35 percent saying they “strongly” disliked the name). The move is the culmination of a years-long effort by city economic development officials to develop a more cohesive identity for the neighborhood anchored by the Metro station. 

In a June vote, Hyattsville City Council approved a measure directing city staff to request the name be changed on official Metro maps in advance of the planned opening of Phase II of the Silver Line, which will require all Metro maps to be reprinted. The Metro station derives it name from the former Prince George’s Plaza mall, known today as the Mall at Prince George’s and branded as simply MPG by its owners REIT.

College Park city manager resigns

College Park City Manager Scott Somers will resign effective Dec. 23, 2020, city officials announced Friday. The move ends Somers’ more-than five-years leading College Park’s city staff.  “This was a very difficult decision;” said Somers in a statement. “the past five years that I have worked for the City have been the most challenging and rewarding period of my career.”

Somers is resigning to take a new position as CEO for Green Valley Recreation, Inc., a southern Arizona nonprofit that provides recreation, social, and leisure services for its members.

College Park special election hinges on absentee ballots

Election day came and went, but voters in College Park’s District Two will have to wait days to learn who their new City Council representative is as election officials there wait to count absentee ballots. Sound familiar? Preliminary results released Nov. 8, 2020, show Llatetra Brown Esters leading with 69 votes compared with rivals Ron Cameau and Lindsay Dively, who got 50 and 11 votes, respectively. But those were only votes cast at the College Park Community Center on election day Nov.

College Park won’t ask landlords for lease relief

College Park City Council voted down a measure that would have seen the city endorse a letter from area elected officials calling on landlords to be lenient with student tenants who may not be returning to campus this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The vote took place during a special voting session held after Council’s regularly-scheduled Aug. 4, 2020, worksession. College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, explaining his support for endorsing the letter, said University of Maryland officials expect about half of their students to attend class remotely this fall. Some students, as reported by The Diamondback and The Baltimore Sun, are now scrambling to cancel their plans to live on or near campus as a result of the pandemic’s impacts on in-person schooling.

Mapping & graphing COVID-19 in Maryland as of May 3

Prince George’s County continues to be the epicenter of Maryland’s coronavirus outbreak, with at least 7,333 confirmed cases and 265 deaths as of May 3, 2020. Statewide, Maryland counted 25,462 cases and 1,182 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with 989 cases and 26 deaths confirmed between May 2 and May 3. !function(){“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,(function(a){if(void 0!==a.data[“datawrapper-height”])for(var e in a.data[“datawrapper-height”]){var t=document.getElementById(“datawrapper-chart-“+e)||document.querySelector(“iframe[src*='”+e+”‘]”);t&&(t.style.height=a.data[“datawrapper-height”][e]+”px”)}}))}();

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The 20783 ZIP Code, which covers the Prince George’s County neighborhoods of Adelphi, Langley Park and Chillum, has the highest-per-capita rate of confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, a Route 1 Reporter analysis reveals. Using its 2010 Census population numbers of roughly 44,500 residents, 20783’s 817 cases equals a normalized incidence rate of 1,738 cases per 100,000 residents. It’s important to remember that county and state health officials emphasize we don’t know the full extent of the outbreak in Maryland, so these numbers are considered to be the tip of the iceberg.