Adventist launches regional entity to improve health care delivery

The federal health care reform law — known as the Affordable Care Act — is sparking a vast array of changes across Maryland and the nation. More providers are joining together to better compete with larger hospital networks and cut costs, while more people are at least trying to obtain coverage through exchange networks that have gotten off to a rocky start since rolling out in October. (Gazette)

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Light rail forums to begin in spring

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to hold public outreach meetings in the spring to gauge whether Charles County residents prefer to address local transit needs with a light rail or bus rapid transit system. The state announced in July that $5 million was allocated for a study examining transit options linking Waldorf and the Branch Avenue Metro station in Marlow Heights. The county has designated a light rail system as its chief transportation priority and the linchpin of its Waldorf redevelopment plan, but the state has not eliminated bus rapid transit as a potential alternative. (Gazette)

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WSSC accused of Potomac River pollution

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is facing a lawsuit brought by environmental groups who say the utility is destroying the health of the Potomac River. Attorneys from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Environmental Integrity Project, which represents the Potomac Riverkeeper, filed a lawsuit against the commission Wednesday. The attorneys said a WSSC water filtration plant near Seneca, south of Poolesville, is discharging millions of pounds of sediment and aluminum into the Potomac River instead of treating it and transporting it to a facility for disposal. The Potomac Water Filtration Plant provides water for much of Montgomery County and parts of Prince George’s County. (Gazette)

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Frederick Special Olympics coach will help lead state team at nationals

Long, of Keymar, has been coaching swimming and other sports for Frederick County Special Olympics for 14 years. This year, he was selected to coach the Maryland swimming team at the National Special Olympics USA 2014 Games in New Jersey from June 14-21. (News-Post)

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Bel Air commissioners to weigh joining water and sewer authority

Bel Air would be the third and final municipality in Harford County to sign on to the second phase of implementing a regional water and sewer authority, if the members of the Board of Town Commissioners approve a memorandum of understanding during their next meeting. Signing on to Phase II will come with a price tag of about $25,000 for Bel Air, Town Administrator James Fielder Jr. said during a town work session Tuesday. The entire study of all aspects of merging the water and sewer systems of three municipalities and the county is expected to cost $831,000, and each municipality must cover a portion of that cost. (Aegis)

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Residents call mayoral response on crime “dismissive”

Southeast Baltimore residents who packed a Highlandtown church last night to confront the mayor and police commissioner about a violent crime wave in their community – and perceived official indifference about it – met conditions that seemed to confirm their suspicions. (Brew) 

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Gambrills farmers face critics of their switch from organic practices

After spending more than two hours last week listening to critics, farmer Edwin Fry said he's open to suggestions of how he might be able to keep the former Navy Academy dairy farm in Gambrills an organic operation. Fry, who leases the land for his Maryland Sunrise Farm, is planning to give up his organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to battle weeds, erosion and other problems on the farm. (Balt. Sun)

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Feb. 13 // FBI, IRS agents search WSSC headquarters in Laurel, seize records

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents searched the Laurel headquarters of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission on Tuesday and seized documents and computer records, according to the FBI and the utility. (Wash. Post)

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