Baltimore County eyes $21 million extension of red light and speed camera program

Baltimore County is considering moves to expand the number of locations where speed cameras can be deployed and extend its entire traffic camera enforcement program for more than a decade. Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler, whose term in office ends in early December, is proposing a contract with a new red light and speed camera vendor that could be worth up to $21 million over the life of the deal. The contract would last more than 11 years if all extensions are carried out. (Balt. Sun)

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U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls on Justice Department to recommit to police oversight, including consent decrees

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is calling on the Justice Department to “return to vigorous enforcement of constitutional policing” through the use of binding police reform agreements like the one in place in Baltimore. The recommendation is one of several found in a 221-page report on policing that the independent watchdog group released Thursday. It comes less than a week after outgoing Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a terse memorandum dramatically reducing the ability of federal law enforcement officials to use such court-enforced consent decrees to challenge unconstitutional policing practices in local communities nationwide. (Balt. Sun)

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Doctors’ Initiative To Teach Marylanders First Aid Spurs From Deadly Shootings

Doctors are training thousands of Marylanders on simple ways to stop victims of traumatic injuries from bleeding to death, a grassroots initiative that grew after the Sandy Hook shooting. Maryland has endured several deadly mass shootings over the past 13 months, including at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, a Rite Aid distribution center in Aberdeen, and a granite business in Edgewood. The number of high-profile incidents also includes a school shooting in St. Mary’s County. For some, the violence has changed the perception that “it can’t happen here.” (WJZ-CBS)

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Citizens ask council to seek more environmental tests for Hampstead Overlook property

By the end of the evening Tuesday, Nov. 13, Hampstead Mayor Christopher Nevin and resident Brittany Phillips, a leading voice in opposition to a proposed development, agreed to meet one-on-one. Phillips grew up on the Leister Family Farm, a more than 100-acre property that has since been sold and is slated to house what’s been dubbed Hampstead Overlook. She spoke out against the development when representatives of Florida Rock Properties Inc. — the developer — addressed the public at the Sept. 26 Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. (Carr. Co. Times)

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President Bud Otis: Next County Council will decide Monocacy River plan

The next County Council will decide to accept or deny the Monocacy Scenic River Management Plan, President Bud Otis announced Thursday. In a statement from the council president, Otis (unaffiliated) wrote that it was "fitting and proper to pass the baton" to the next County Council to reach a final decision on the river plan. The plan — which makes recommendations for the management of the Monocacy River and its surrounding lands — has been a contentious and polarizing issue for nearly two years. (News-Post)

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'The doldrums are over' Salisbury mayor touts major shift in image, energy of city

Growing up in Salisbury, Mayor Jake Day said he remembers the things he would hear about city: There was never enough to do, there were neighborhoods to be avoided, open air drugs and prostitution were rampant and there was division between parts of our community. Not all of the barriers are gone, but when he walks through neighborhoods and talks to residents, the conversations are about the future, Day said in his annual State of the City address Wednesday night at the new Truitt Street Community Center. A new energy seems to have “melted the frost from our city walls,” he said. (Daily Times)

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Md. court agrees to report decision that state law preempts local solar farm regulation

The state has implicitly preempted local regulation of potential solar farms, according to a ruling from Maryland’s second-highest court re-issued Thursday as a reported opinion. The three-judge panel’s determination that the Maryland Public Services Commission has exclusive jurisdiction for considering applications for solar farms, previously issued in August as an unreported opinion, can now be cited as precedent and is an issue that other counties are interested in, according to William C. Wantz, a Hagerstown attorney who represented residents opposed to the location of the proposed Washington County facility. (Daily Record)

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Greenridge water system in Fountain Green area being upgraded with deeper wells

The private Greenridge Utilities water system that serves nearly 1,000 customers in the Fountain Green area just east of Bel Air is digging deeper wells to better meet customer demand, a company official said. Greenridge Utilities has about 930 connections to homes in the Greenridge I and II communities along the east and west sides of Route 543 just south of Route 22, according to Tom Oakley, director of communications and public relations for its parent company, Utilities Inc., of Chicago. (Aegis)

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