Howard joins state, local jurisdictions in suing opioid manufacturers

Howard County has followed several local jurisdictions as well as the state of Maryland in filing a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid OxyContin, and other opioid manufacturers and distributors for their alleged role in the opioid epidemic. In Howard County, more than 130 people, 38 of those from 2018 alone, have died from an opioid overdose since 2016, County Executive Calvin Ball said in a statement Friday. (Balt. Sun) 

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Analysis of ransomware used in Baltimore attack indicates hackers needed 'unfettered access' to city computers

Officials in the eastern North Carolina city of Greenville arrived to work one morning in early April to find the files on some 800 of their computers locked up. More than five weeks later, they’re still recovering from the debilitating cyberattack. The city of around 92,000 realized April 10 it had fallen prey to hackers — the first known victim of a new strain of so-called ransomware dubbed RobbinHood. Somehow, the attackers gained access to a city administrative account, allowing them to take over the system and sow the virus one computer at a time. (Balt. Sun)

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Filly dies on track at Pimlico the day before Preakness

A filly collapsed and died while running at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, the day before the track hosts the second leg of the Triple Crown. Congrats Gal faltered in the upper stretch of the Miss Preakness Stakes in 83-degree heat and was eased to the finish line. The Florida-bred 3-year-old was running her sixth career race. She came in last in the eighth race on the card and fell to the dirt about 100 yards past the finish line. (WTOP)

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Gas company sues Maryland over blocked pipeline

A gas company has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Maryland after a board of high-ranking state officials voted unanimously to reject a proposed pipeline across 3 miles (4 kilometers) of western Maryland. Columbia Gas filed the lawsuit Thursday to seek access to the property through eminent domain proceedings. Maryland’s Board of Public Works, which includes Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, voted 3-0 in January against an easement for TransCanada’s pipeline. (WTOP)

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Baltimore officials announce manual workaround for property sales during ransomware recovery

A plan backed by the real estate industry to get Baltimore’s property market moving again in the midst of a crippling ransomware attack will start Monday, the mayor’s office said. The ransomware, which shut down many city computer systems last week, has made it impossible for buyers to obtain certificates showing there are no liens against the properties they want to purchase. Without those certificates, title insurance companies have been unwilling to sign off on transactions. (Balt. Sun)

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Pimlico grandstand plumbing begins failing hours into race day

The need for repairs at Pimlico Race Course became obvious less than five hours after gates opened Saturday welcoming Preakness Stakes attendees. Nearly all the women’s restrooms were closed for water issues, custodians told those in line. Marty Arnold, dismayed by the closed women’s restrooms in Pimlico’s grandstand, said the problems were just as bad during Black-Eyed Susan Day. “It was a disaster,” she said. Arnold and her friends said Pimlico workers said they were having plumbing and water woes. They said one bathroom remained open and workers encouraged them to use the men’s room. (Balt. Sun)

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Community Health Needs Assessment highlights disparities, social determinants of health

The most important aspect of the Community Health Needs Assessment has little to do with what many associate with health. Instead, the focus of the report is on social determinants of health, or the social, economic and environmental factors that attribute to someone’s wellbeing. “We tried really hard to emphasize in this report that health is a lot more than just ‘are you sick? Do you need to go to the doctor?’ The fact that our health is impacted by our decisions, and what we have access to, our environments, our neighborhoods." (News-Post)


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Dread about Pimlico's future hangs over race marked by condemned seats, closed bathrooms

The odd sight of a riderless horse racing down the track may have distracted from several other missing elements at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday — working bathrooms, Old Grandstand seats and a Kentucky Derby winner to hold out the promise of a Triple Crown champion. No amount of beautiful dresses and gorgeous hats at the 144th Preakness Stakes could brighten the sour faces of female fans enduring long lines for the few restrooms still working, one clear sign of the massive investment needed to rebuild Pimlico. Then, far above the fray, a small plane pulled a sign that displayed the stakes playing out between city officials who are fighting to keep Preakness in Baltimore and The Stronach Group, the Canadian company that wants to shutter Pimlico and move the party to Laurel Park. (Balt. Sun)

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