Maryland Divided

Hogan vetoes cut to board’s school-construction oversight

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would strip the state’s Board of Public Works of its power to oversee school construction funding, and was particularly aimed to take power away from Comptroller Peter…

Opioid abuse may be rural Maryland’s worst problem

DENTON, Maryland — If there is one hopeful thing about Maryland’s opioid crisis, it’s that no one is denying the obvious. “Very honestly nothing is working,” said Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” For rural…

Repopulating rural: Can Salisbury and other small urban enclaves make rural cool again?

SALISBURY, Maryland — Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, 34, has a floor-to-ceiling erasable board dotted with Post-it notes on the longest wall of his office. It’s a jarring display of terrestrial organization for a millennial, but Day is hardly old school.…

Big Chicken is still king on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but can solar and aquaculture make economic inroads?

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland — Kevin McClarren has been growing oysters in nets on the Chesapeake Bay for 20 years. “We were told it would never work,” said McClarren, who manages four acres of floating oyster grounds for the Choptank Oyster Co.…

For Maryland’s northern counties, the economic riddle is blending the old with the new

By J.F. MEILS and SEBASTIAN OBANDO FREDERICK, Maryland — Before he got involved in the beer business, Frederick County farmer Greg Clabaugh grossed about $600 an acre for growing traditional crops like corn and soybeans. Now, on the land where…

In Western Maryland, ‘whales’ are out and a fight over fracking reveals divergent economic visions

CUMBERLAND, Maryland — Allegany and Garrett, the state’s two westernmost counties, tend to be lumped together as “Mountain Maryland,” their problems similar, their prospects equally muddled. But the two counties’ economic issues — and their approaches to solving them —…

In Maryland politics, the war on rural is dead — long live the war on rural?

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — In 2009, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley closed the visitor center at the Sideling Hill cut, the symbolic gateway to Western Maryland, as a cost-saving effort. Some saw the move as personal, or at least confirmation of…