Charles OKs alternative to Ocelot Street widening, chooses to link Piney Grove to McDaniel instead

A month after they voted to halt work widening Ocelot Street in the Waldorf neighborhood of Hampshire, the Charles County commissioners directed staff Oct. 29 to shift focus toward extending and linking Old McDaniel Road to McDaniel Road. Ocelot Street, which contains 15 homes, has been slated to provide a required second access point to the adjacent Piney Grove community, which is under construction. (Md. Ind. News)

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Kristen Renee Foundation working with Massachusetts lawyer on Fort Detrick claims

The Kristen Renee Foundation is working with a Massachusetts lawyer as it prepares to file a mass lawsuit against Fort Detrick. The Florida nonprofit foundation sent an email to followers asking them to contact a paralegal for Michael Hugo, an attorney for Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti LLP, with claim information. The nonprofit, named for a woman who died in 2008 of brain cancer, has argued that a Superfund site location on Detrick's Area B is responsible for a cluster of abnormal illnesses in area residents. (News-Post)

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Nov. 5 // Maryland Health Insurance Carriers To Drop 73K Members

The Maryland Insurance Administration says carriers have notified the state that they plan to discontinue non-grandfathered individual health benefit plans affecting more than 73,000 members in Maryland next year. Individual health insurance policies are being canceled for millions of people nationwide because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act. (AP/WBAL)

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Mount Airy votes down funds for fire company

The Mount Airy fire company will not be receiving additional funding from the town, after a shift in the public safety budget. Councilman David Blais was the sole vote for an ordinance Monday night that would have added about $16,000 to the fire company’s budget. (Carr. Co. Times)

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New Bail Rules Ready, Waiting 

Maryland’s top court Monday approved procedural rules designed to ensure that defendants are represented by counsel at initial bail hearings; however, it delayed their implementation for an unknown amount of time. The Court of Appeals said it will not implement the new rules at least until it can issue its decision on a request from the Maryland attorney general’s office, which has asked the court to stay its September decision that the state constitution gives defendants a right to counsel at initial bail hearings. The attorney general’s office said the executive and legislative branches need more time to figure out how to pay for the additional attorneys needed. (Daily Record)

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In Calvert County, Environmentalists Clash With Elected Board Over Proposed Gas Terminal

A proposed terminal on the Chesapeake Bay for exporting natural gas has divided environmentalists and members of the Calvert County Board of Commissioners, who approved a zoning exemption for the project last week and will consider another proposal Tuesday for granting the terminal’s owner tax credits that are potentially worth tens of millions of dollars. Business leaders and county officials say the project will help the county’s economy and expand its tax revenue. But leading environmentalists and some residents worry about the consequences for traffic and the environment. (Wash. Post)

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Arundel Lowers Stormwater Fees For Nonprofits

The Anne Arundel County Council on Monday lowered the new stormwater fees to $1 for all nonprofit organizations. Previously, the county charged the nominal $1 fee to religious nonprofits and churches, but the American Civil Liberties Union objected this summer, saying religious groups shouldn't be treated differently than other groups. (Balt. Sun)

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City Council OKs Hiring Its Own Lawyer

The Baltimore City Council unanimously granted preliminary approval Monday to a proposal to hire an independent lawyer instead of relying on City Solicitor George Nilson for legal advice. Some council members say they believe Nilson, who reports to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is loyal primarily to the mayor, and does not give the council's views the same weight in making decisions. (Balt. Sun)

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