The Block is a weekly newsletter presented by Maryland-based media coop Bloc By Block News (BxB). At BxB, we’re dedicated to informing, engaging and equipping Baltimoreans by refocusing their attention on local news.

This edition was curated by Kevon Paynter and Christina Sturdivant Sani. Below are the stories we’ve been following.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Below: Harlem Park in 2010. Photo by Eli Pousson via Baltimore Heritage/Flickr.

City Will Pay $96k To Harlem Park Residents For 2017 Lockdown

Following the fatal shooting of a Baltimore police detective in 2017, Harlem Park was locked down for six days. “It felt like martial law,” described one of four residents who sued the city and received $24,000 and a formal apology, according to Baltimore Brew. The police department is also required to adopt and enforce policies around crime scene boundaries, searching residents, and other measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

ENVIRONMENT

Below: Green infrastructure treats stormwater pollution on the campus of MedStar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore. Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program via Flickr.

EPA Will Dole Out $200k To Baltimore-based Youth Program

The YH2O mentoring program prepares youth for full-time jobs in water management. The financial support is part of The Environmental Protection Agency’s $50 million commitment to helping low-income and communities of color impacted by pollution, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Axios.

BUSINESS

Below: Photo of Baltimore’s Domino Sugar Factory circa 2011. Photo by Andrew Anderson via Flickr.

A Black Woman Is In Charge At The Domino Sugar Factory For The First Time In Its 99-Year History

Cockricka White was promoted to refinery manager at Domino Sugar’s Baltimore facility on May 17, 2021. The Baltimore plant produces more than 40 products, employs more than 500 people, and refines more than 885,000 tons of raw sugar a year, according to The Baltimore Sun. White worked her way up within the company since in 2003. In her new position, she’ll oversee a $20 million installation project, among other responsibilities.

Last Call For Alcohol

Baltimoreans are no longer able to order to-go cocktails from their favorite bars and restaurants. The city’s liquor board, which approved the sales during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, shut down the program effective June 30, Baltimore Fishbowl reports. The new mandate coincides Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to lift Maryland’s State of Emergency declaration today, July 1.

SPORTS

Below: The Mount St. Mary’s student section taunts St. Francis University player Earl Brown (15) during a game at the Knott Arena on January 24, 2015. Photo via WikiMedia.

Legendary Basketball Coach Dies

For 49 seasons, Coach Jim Phelan “formed student-athletes who embodied the Mount’s mission statement by having a passion for learning, being ethical leaders and serving God and others,” Mount St. Mary’s University president Timothy Trainor, said in a statement. Phelman, who passed away at 92, recruited players such as the late Jerry Savage, who went on to build the Baltimore Catholic League’s first dynasty, at Loyola Blakefield, according to the Catholic Review.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Below: Man travels in wheelchair in Mount Vernon. Photo by Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

Wheelchair Users Risk Their Lives Maneuvering Bmore Streets

A group of wheelchair users are suing Baltimore City for “widespread and ongoing” violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal laws. “My biggest issue is a lot of the time you don’t know if the sidewalks have curb cuts, so sometimes you end up having to ride literally in the street,” Keyonna Mayo told the Baltimore Brew. In response, the city is assembling a multi-agency task force to tackle ADA compliance.