Dec. 2 // Details Of Downtown Columbia Arts Park Revealed

Symphony Woods in downtown Columbia is a patch of nondescript land used mainly as a pathway for the tens of thousands of people who attend concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion each year. But a new development plan calls for a dramatic makeover designed to bring more activity to the 36-acre property. Among the architectural features is the Butterfly building, a sweeping structure of mirrors and glass that would include an art gallery and large decks. (Balt. Sun)

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Intercounty Connector toll revenue falls short of early forecasts

Maryland officials have said repeatedly that traffic on the Intercounty Connector matches state projections, even as motorists say the controversial toll road continues to feel remarkably underused two years after it opened. Tolls collected on the highway, between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, do align with state forecasts, but only because those projections were adjusted downward, according to internal state reports obtained under a public records request. (Wash. Post)

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Purple Line’s obscure obstacle: The endangered Hay’s Spring amphipod

A rare shrimplike creature found in Rock Creek Park — believed to be its only location in the world — could end up taking center stage in a fight against a proposed light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs. The tiny Hay’s Spring amphipod has been listed as a federally protected endangered species since 1982 and has been spotted in Rock Creek Park in the District, downstream of where Purple Line trains would cross the park in Montgomery County. (Wash. Post)

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Mayor-Elect Pantelides Looks Into Annapolis Safety Policies

Mike Pantelides doesn’t want to take any chances. Given the city’s erratic history of weather forecasts, he wants to be prepared if another Snowmageddon should hit the city on Tuesday, the day after he’s inaugurated. The Annapolis native said that when it comes to emergency preparedness, he wants to make sure officials are communicating well with city residents. (Capital)

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Police Telephone Unit Aims To Keep Officers On Street

Amid criticism of a nearly $8 million projected shortfall in their overtime budget, Baltimore police say they have found one solution to troubling staffing shortages: a new unit that handles some 911 calls by phone so patrol officers can concentrate on emergencies. The Telephone Reporting Unit carries an additional benefit, police say. Officers restricted from street duties by injuries or health problems can use their experience to handle many calls, including those about property damage or stolen vehicles. (Balt. Sun)

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Ready to aim and fire with classes for Maryland gun licenses

Faith Wachsmuth wanted to know she could protect herself. Christopher Deleon is looking at a career in security. Jan Montgomery needed to know her mother would be safe. The reasons why people buy guns are varied, but in Maryland new owners are all required to be on the same page when it comes to fulfilling purchasing requirements. As of Oct. 1, anyone looking to buy a handgun must obtain a qualifying license, a process that includes four hours of training taught by a certified instructor and time spent firing at a range. (Wash. Times)

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Addressing The Intractable Problem Of Homelessness In Baltimore

The persistent queue at the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Housing Resource Center illustrates the difficulties the shelter, city officials and others face in addressing the intractable problem of homelessness in Baltimore. Many who are waiting for longer-term lodging wind up at overflow shelters where beds are too few, while others remain on the street. The number of homeless people in Baltimore is in the thousands, but no true count exists. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel Sees Decline In HIV Cases, Increase In Treatment Efforts

There were 42 new HIV cases in Anne Arundel County this year. The number is preliminary, but it is one of two important milestones in the prevention and treatment of the virus and the disease it causes, AIDS. The second milestone is another number, 60 — the percentage of those who test positive for human immunodeficiency virus who get information from public health officials on treatment. That percentage is three times what it was just a few years ago. (Capital)

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