Former Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild member Robert Hiaasen, 59, among murder victims in newspaper mass shooting
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (PAI)—Former Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild member Robert Hiaasen, 59, an editor at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, was one of five murder victims in the latest U.S. mass shooting, when a 38-year-old gunman with a grudge opened fire with a shotgun at the paper on June 28. In years of mass shootings, it was the first at a newspaper.
Hiaasen was a Guild member while working as a reporter and columnist for the Baltimore Sun for 15 years before moving to the Annapolis paper. The Capital Gazette is Sun subsidiary. The Sun is unionized, but its subsidiaries, including the Annapolis paper, are not.
Angie Kuhl, retired Sun unit chair for WBNG, also reported a “go fund me” social media drive has started to help the families of Hiaasen and the four other victims: Reporter Wendi Winters, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, reporter John McNamara and another editor, Gerald Fischman. Two other people were slightly injured, treated at local hospitals and released.
Gunman Jerrod Ramos had a grudge against the paper after losing a defamation case in 2015, police said. He first shot through the paper’s front glass door, then walked inside. He also carried canisters with smoke grenades he used. In response, major cities beefed up police protection at their papers. Questions arose on social media whether the shooting was politically motivated, given GOP President Donald Trump’s open hate of the mass media. ###
Dozens of leaders from metro area public sector unions gathered Friday morning to strategize local response to this week’s Supreme Court Janus ruling. Participants agreed that one-on-one meetings with all members is critical to building support for unions as anti-union forces launch efforts to get members to opt out. New hire orientations are also a key strategic tool for getting co-workers to join and building union power. Participating organizations included AFGE, AFSCME, AFT, ASASP, ATU, NAGE, NEA, SEIU 400, Teamsters, UFCW 1994/MCGEO, and DC Jobs with Justice.
- photo: Teamster 639's Tommy Ratliff (left) was among those posting ideas for growing membership post- Janus; report/photo by Kathleen McKirchy
In March 2017, nearly 200 EMS professionals at American Medical Response (AMR) voted to join a union. Over a year later, they still have no contract. Click here to tell AMR to come to an agreement now with EMS Workers United/AFSCME District Council 20 and its members. “These brave men and women are there for us in our worst moments,” says DC Jobs with Justice. “It’s vital we’re there for them when they need us as well.”
Start practicing now for the Community Services Agency's 23rd annual golf tournament, set for Monday, September 24 at the Enterprise Golf Course in Prince George’s County, MD. For more information contact Sonte DuCote at [email protected]/202-974-8226.