Carroll commissioners debate potential budget scenario

Carroll County commissioners Doug Howard and Haven Shoemaker kicked off their month-long set of community meetings Tuesday at Charles Carroll Elementary School. And if the first session is any indication of what is to come, the meetings could further illustrate the different philosophies on the five-member Board of County Commissioners as it enters budget discussions. What was scheduled to be a presentation by Howard and Shoemaker on potential budget discussions, county education funding, and other county issues turned into a debate on which commissioner presented facts the public could believe. (Balt. Sun)

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Jan. 8 // Police officials before council after violent start to 2014

Amid a bloody start to the New Year following a violent 2013, City Council members asked police leaders at a hearing Tuesday whether they've changed something for the worse. "Baltimore has come too far to let the violence of years past return," said Councilman Brandon Scott, the vice chair of the public safety committee. He called last year a "failure" that citizens shared with police. (Balt. Sun)

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Kelly refutes allegations of crimes

Even the polar vortex couldn’t match the chill overhanging the Charles County commissioners’ meeting Tuesday morning as board President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) started off the New Year by asking her colleagues for a retraction of the allegations they lobbed her way in April 2012. In the process, Kelly also laid bare for the first time publicly the issues underlying those allegations, and their subsequent fallout, which included investigations by a grand jury, the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, which investigates criminal offenses committed by public officials and employees. (Md. Ind. News)

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Md. sees lowest casino revenue since May

Maryland's four casinos brought in about $65 million in December, their lowest monthly revenue since the Rocky Gap Casino Resort opened in May. Still the total was well above revenues seen at the end of 2012, riding a nearly 50 percent year-over-year revenue increase at Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore police top deputy, who oversaw declines, retires

Anthony E. Barksdale, who ran the operations of the Baltimore Police Department for five years during some of the city's most significant declines in crime, has retired. A city native, Barksdale became the youngest deputy commissioner in the agency's history in 2007 at age 35 when Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III named him to the post. (Balt. Sun)

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Growing Chesapeake oyster connoisseurship

Witch Ducks, Ruby Salts, Pleasure House: Today the Bay is teeming with small aquaculture startups whose evocative names are just one strategy to attract a new kind of consumer — the oyster connoisseur. At oyster events and stylish raw bars, these elite consumers will pay handsomely for an oyster that lingers on the palate. But this new luxury market is crowded with large, established brands whose customers request their favorites by name — a challenge for fledgling oyster farms in a region where “a dozen Chesapeakes, please” used to suit just fine. (Star Dem.)

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New board to address Baltimore's homeless

Baltimore's mayor moved Tuesday to kick start an effort to reduce the numbers of homeless people and eliminate the problem that frustrates some communities. Baltimore City officials are looking into whether the city gets its money's worth in the effort to end homelessness as evidenced by conditions right outside City Hall. Some might call the stretch of the Fallsway downtown where resources for the homeless are concentrated "Baltimore's skid row." As a result, the homeless who shun shelters have set up camp and, each day, large lines form for food and services. (WBAL-TV)

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City officials continue to examine proposed crime-free housing ordinance

In the hopes of introducing legislation at the end of the month, city officials will continue to consider a proposed ordinance that would make it unlawful for landlords to operate rental properties in Hagerstown without a crime-free housing license. The city’s landlords already are required to have a rental facilities license. (Herald-Mail)

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