Dan Rodricks: Should the Grand Prix be a symbol of Baltimore?

This will be the third year in a row that Baltimore tries to get its head wrapped around an IndyCar race on our downtown boulevards, and the question is: Are we there yet? Is Baltimore now a Grand Prix town, and is that even something we want? (Balt. Sun)

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Protect against virus

The first confirmed cases of West Nile virus for the season aren’t unexpected, but they do serve as a reminder that we have to take precautions to help reduce our chance of getting infected. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported last week that there were three confirmed cases in adults in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and skin rashes. (Carroll Co. Times)

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NAC social media

Frederick is working to create new guidelines for social media pages used by city groups and employees, including some of the city’s 12 Neighborhood Advisory Councils. The city needs some degree of control over what can be posted on such sites, but not all NAC leaders are on board with what’s been proposed. Under the projected policy, the city would have administrative access to all NAC social media pages, some of which are managed by NAC coordinators themselves. (News-Post)

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New school year brings opportunities, challenges

H.G. Wells surveyed the big picture: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” But when it comes to education, parents across the county will be looking at a smaller picture as public schools open Monday and Tuesday: Do the kids have the necessary supplies? Can we get them up in time? Are they at the right place to catch the school bus? (Capital)

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August 26 // The hospital Prince George’s deserves

Of the 32,000 Marylanders who leave the state each year to seek medical care elsewhere, about three-quarters are from Prince George’s County. One reason is a “pull” factor: the abundance of health-care facilities in the District and Northern Virginia. The other reason is a “push”: the paucity of ­high-quality health-care options in Prince George’s itself. (Wash. Post)

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Cracking down on payday loans

Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably — and must be hammered with authority — these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. (Balt. Sun)

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Md.’s standardized tests should not be used in teacher evaluations yet

Maryland's plunge in scores on standardized tests for elementary and middle school students has unsettled a state that, as a national leader in education, had become accustomed to yearly increases in student performance. The drop in test scores is attributable to the transition to new national academic standards that have yet to be aligned with the state assessments — and that’s lead some to question the new standards or call for a moratorium on testing. (Wash. Post)

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On high alert

Schools will be back in session today in Allegany and Garrett counties, and police say they will be especially vigilant in keeping students safe. (Times-News)

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