Gaithersburg residents question bus rapid transit line along Great Seneca Highway

Some Lakelands and Kentlands residents aren’t warming to the idea of having a new bus system run along the outskirts of their neighborhoods. Project management team members for the Corridor Cities Transitway, a planned 15-mile bus rapid transit line that will connect Clarksburg to the Shady Grove Metro station in Rockville, presented information about the project and spoke to residents at a community meeting Wednesday. (Gazette)

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Jan. 30 // Regulators approve BGE gas surcharge

Maryland regulators said Wednesday that they will allow Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to charge gas customers a monthly fee to pick up the pace of replacing aging pipes — the first such surcharge in the state. The surcharge will start at about 32 cents a month for residential customers this year, increasing annually until it caps out at $2 a month in 2017 and 2018. Business customers would pay different amounts, with almost all starting at $1.58 a month and topping out at $9.75 monthly. (Balt. Sun)

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Congress members call on Maryland to ‘reevaluate’ Purple Line bidder

Two members of Congress have asked Maryland transportation officials to “reevaluate” a firm bidding on a contract to build and operate the light-rail Purple Line because its majority owner once transported prisoners to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust. (Wash Post)

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Baker: ‘Tough choices’ coming in next budget

Prince George’s County’s budget is rising in fiscal 2015, but “tough choices” will have to be made due to sluggish revenues, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) told residents. County government is forecasting a $2.79 billion budget for fiscal 2015, an increase of 2.7 percent over the current fiscal year. Baker said modest increases in revenues, due in part to an anticipated 2.2 percent increase in property taxes, are not keeping pace with increasing expenditures, and some cuts will need to be made. (Gazette)

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Debate Over Baltimore’s Historic Read’s Drug Store Rages On

It was the site of a historic student sit-in. Now, decades later, the fight over what to do with the Read’s Drug Store building rages on between the city and a civil rights icon. Tensions reached a boiling point as activists and the city faced off. The group, led by civil rights icon Dr. Helena Hicks, came to protest what they believe is a plan to destroy the historic former Read’s Drug Store on Howard and Lexington streets. (WJZ-CBS)

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Thickest ice in decades collecting on waterways, posing challenges for boaters

Jeff Lill is a popular man lately, as captain of the J.C. Widener, one of the state's few ice breakers. After leaving its Annapolis harbor at 8:30 Wednesday morning, the Widener spent the day criss-crossing the waters off Anne Arundel County — beckoned for help from the creeks of the Severn River to government research buoys in the Chesapeake Bay. It cleared paths for a sea trial from an Annapolis marina, a waterman in search of rockfish on the South River, and a county fireboat in the West River's Parrish Creek. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor says speed camera audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified'

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake offered a new explanation Wednesday for why her administration never acted on the results of an audit that found a high error rate for city speed camera tickets: The national engineering firm the city hired was "not sufficiently qualified" to do a thorough report. She also said the 90-page audit by engineering consultant URS Corp. was "incomplete." (Balt. Sun)

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Stink bugs pose continuing threat to Md. crops

When J.D. Rinehart noticed brownish, depressed areas on his orchards’ apples and peaches about five years ago, he thought the fruit was low in calcium. But spraying the fruit with calcium didn’t help. When University of Maryland researchers cut open his fruit and examined it, it became clear that the problem was much more damaging and unpredictable: stink bugs. (CNS/Daily Record)

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