$107M FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION: The Board of Public Works approved $106.6 million worth of contracts Wednesday under a $1 billion plan to rebuild or replaceaging Baltimore schools — but not before grilling system officials about their management of state money, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. The five contracts comprise the second round of work authorized by the board under the system’s 21st Century Schools project, which aims to upgrade the city’s crumbling school buildings, the oldest in Maryland. The project is in its second year of construction work.
STATE TO STUDY GAMBLING ADDICTION: The state wants to know whether the rapid expansion of casinos in the past five years has led to an increase in problem gamblers. Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that, with five Maryland casinos and a sixth on the way, state-funded researchers said this week that they are preparing a survey to gauge how many people cannot control their gambling impulses in such a casino-rich region. The survey will take place next year, after the $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor — scheduled to open in December — has been operating for six months.