Challenge To Chesapeake Cleanup Tests EPA Power

Maryland is joining three other jurisdictions in supporting the Obama administration’s plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed, seeking to counter an election-year legal challenge by farmers and 21 attorneys general that could shape future U.S. environmental policy. The case before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia asks whether the Environmental Protection Agency went too far in negotiating a 2010 agreement that sets pollution limits in the nation’s largest estuary. (AP)

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D.C. to study extending streetcar to National Harbor

The top complaint D.C. residents have about National Harbor is that they can’t get there by transit. There are other issues, certainly, but inaccessibility is challenge No. 1. There are no plans to extend Metrorail to the Peterson Cos.’ resort on the Potomac, soon to be home to the MGM National Harbor casino, but maybe D.C.’s streetcar is the next best thing. The District has asked its private streetcar manager to draw up a concept design for a streetcar extension to National Harbor. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Gun buybacks can reduce accidental shooting

Gun buybacks may not be a solution to really make a dent in violent crime, but they can have an impact on another problem, accidental shootings. Those deadly tragedies are on the decline according to experts, and we’re putting the reasons why In Focus. Shotguns and handguns stacked along a stage in a Prince George’s County church were the haul for a buyback that offered people a holiday gift in exchange for a gun back in December. (WMAR-TV)

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Failures to appear stress Md. District Court

In 2013, there were over 41,000 cases where criminal defendants failed to show up to court in the state, according to Maryland District Court records. Defendants missed scheduled court dates for initial charges that included petty crimes to more serious offenses. (Daily Record)

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A full house attends county candidates' Green Forum in Silver Spring

More than 60 people on April 23 heard county candidates’ thoughts about a stronger water management program, creating more green spaces, and protecting trees while urbanizing downcounty. The discussion came during the 2014 Conservation Montgomery Green Forum in Silver Spring for candidates for county executive and council. (Gazette)

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Ulman weighs in on mulching issue

The issue of mulching on agricultural land in the county has, in the span of just about two months, risen from obscurity to become one of the hottest topics since comprehensive zoning to land in the County Council's lap. Monday night, County Executive Ken Ulman weighed in, adding his support to calls from western county residents to roll back changes made during comprehensive zoning that allow mulching facilities as a conditional use on agriculturally preserved land without limiting the space these facilities can occupy. (Balt. Sun)

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Montgomery County uses grant money to smooth over rough roads

Montgomery County will be throwing nearly $1 million down several holes— potholes that is. The county got a $992,145 grant, the second-largest amount of funding provided by the state to all 23 counties and Baltimore City, for repairs to local roads damaged by winter weather, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Finance. (Gazette)

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Laurel launches investigation of city hiring policies

After one resident’s allegations of nepotism and questionable hiring procedures, Laurel officials enlisted the help of retired judge to investigate the city’s employment policies. Carl DeWalt, a former Laurel police captain who has lived in the city for around 30 years, challenged the qualifications of a new Laurel Police Department employee during a City Council meeting on Feb. 10, saying the January hire amounted to nepotism. (Gazette)

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