Higher youth positivity rate sparks fears of Md. COVID-19 surge

Maryland could be entering a phase of resurgence of the novel coronavirus as public health officials express concerns about a growing percentage of young adults testing positive for the disease. Maryland has seen a number of positive trends regarding new infections and reduced deaths, hospitalizations and positivity rates even as dozens of states are experiencing sharp increases and spikes in intensive care utilization. (Daily Record)

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Maryland drops beneath 400 coronavirus hospitalizations for first time since March

For the first time since March, Maryland’s count of patients hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus fell below 400. At 398, the state’s tally of current hospitalizations Wednesday is at its lowest since there were 308 reported March 31. The next day, that number jumped to 402, reaching a peak of 1,711 by the end of April. Wednesday’s count marks a 77% decline since that peak. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland Health Department launches new text message service after 842% hotline surge over the past year

The Maryland Department of Health has announced a new text message-based mental health initiative to help people continue to cope with social distancing and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. The new initiative, MD Mind Health, was spurred by crisis hotline texting increasing by 842% since March 2019, the department said in a news release Wednesday. It also is a low-cost intervention that can reach and attract more people, such as teens, young adults and those in rural areas. (Balt Sun)

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Howard County Fair canceled due to coronavirus; some events and livestock auction will be held online

The 75th annual Howard County Fair, originally scheduled for Aug. 8 to 15, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Howard County Fair board of directors announced Wednesday. “After a much-discussed, difficult decision, the 2020 Howard County Fair has been canceled,” a post on the Howard County Fairgrounds’ website reads. (Balt Sun)

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Havre de Grace leaders pay tribute to the late Wardell Stansbury, the city council’s first Black president

The Havre de Grace mayor and City Council president paid tribute this week to a former council member and the council’s first Black president, Wardell V. Stansbury. Stansbury died June 22; he was 85 years old. Mayor William T. Martin called for a moment of silence in honor of Stansbury, whom he called “a very distinguished Havre de Grace citizen,” at the start of Monday’s council meeting. (Balt Sun)

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State’s attorney offering alternative to prosecution for woman punched by Baltimore officer

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office is offering an alternative to criminal prosecution to the woman punched by a Baltimore Police officer in a video that circulated widely last month, her attorney said. J. Wyndal Gordon, defense attorney for Sharnesha Street, 43, of Waverly, said he’s discussing with prosecutors the arrangement that will likely to spare her any jail time. In the video, she hits a police officer first. She hits him twice. (Balt Sun)

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Crews of ‘professional’ thieves using trucks as battering rams to steal ATMs from inside Baltimore businesses

Sometimes, they operate with the speed and precision of a NASCAR pit crew — prying open the locked steel gates and doors of small businesses around Baltimore, then lifting away ATMs and hurrying them to a waiting pickup truck or van. Other times, the thieves use vehicles — typically stolen — as battering rams to force entry. They crash through storefronts to commit a small bank robbery that does not require holding up a teller. (Balt Sun)

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Bowie council rejects public-private proposals, creates ice rink task force

The Bowie City Council rejected the public-private partnership proposals it solicited to repair and operate the ice arena Monday night, and created a task force for the amenity. In May, the council voted to cancel the construction of a new two-sheet ice rink planned off Church Road, and instead asked staff to solicit proposals from private groups to renovate and operate the arena. City staff’s recommendation was to renovate the rink and keep the rink city-operated. The council agreed and rejected the three bids it received. (Balt Sun)

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