Harford farmer McDaniel in position to head national soil conservation organization

Lee McDaniel, a farmer from Darlington and longtime member of the Harford Soil Conservation District Board of Supervisors, has been confirmed as president-elect of the National Association of Conservation Districts. "I am honored to know that I will be the first NACD President from Maryland," said McDaniel, who has been involved in the national association for several years. (Balt. Sun)

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Warm up to offer window for pothole repairs on Maryland roads

The promise of warm weather and the threat of more rain through the rest of this week have pushed the State Highway Administration to craft a two-pronged plan for its continuing winter clean-up operations. The focus: potholes and drainage. Recent cold snaps and snowfalls have left many roadways crumbling in spots, the result of freezing water cracking surfaces and plows and layers of salt compounding the damage. (Balt. Sun)

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New Brand Of Heroin Makes A Comeback In Maryland

A powerful street drug that killed notable actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is making a comeback in Maryland and police say it’s contributing to a number of crimes in Anne Arundel County. This new blend of heroin has killed 37 people across Maryland already this year and the number of violent crimes and drug use is only expected to get worse unless law enforcement officials find a way to stop it. (WJZ-TV)

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Feb. 18 // Congregations, nonprofits work to address stormwater pollution

Once, when heavy rain hit the roof of the Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson, there was so much runoff that it would wash away the wood chips and soil that cover the children's play area. Today, the church on Providence Road uses rain barrels and a rain garden to help filter the water — and reduce the polluted runoff that eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Presbyterian is one of many religious and nonprofit groups in Maryland that are trying to address that pollution, an effort that has grown more urgent now that they must pay the state's new stormwater management fee. The church's fee — dubbed "the rain tax" by critics — comes to about $1,000 a year. (Balt. Sun)

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In Silver Spring, interest grows in creating park adjacent to troubled transit center

In Silver Spring, “The Turf” is gone but not forgotten. The half-acre patch of artificial grass at Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, laid down in 2005 as a placeholder in the heart of the redeveloping downtown, became a popular village green for picnics, music and just hanging out. But three years later, it gave way to construction of the Montgomery County Civic Building, Veterans Plaza and an ice rink. The yearning for green space in Silver Spring’s urban core has remained unrequited since the artificial grass was pulled up. Interest is growing in creation of a park from what supporters describe as the last viable piece of publicly owned land in Silver Spring. (Wash. Post)

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Ray Rice's image could be tarnished by assault charge

Off the field, Ray Rice is among the Ravens' most visible players, from the running back's community outreach to his anti-bullying activities to a myriad of profitable endorsements. But an alleged domestic dispute this weekend between Rice and his fiancee at an Atlantic City casino could jeopardize much of that and tarnish the image that he has built during his six years in Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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Paying for parking is going mobile in College Park

After about two years of discussion, College Park officials finally picked a vendor to provide mobile parking-payment options for drivers. On Feb. 11, the City Council hired New York-based MobileNOW! to supplement College Park’s kiosk parking system with a remote-payment feature. Cash and credit cards will be accepted at the kiosks, but MobileNOW! users will be able to create or extend transactions by calling or using the MobileNOW! software application and paying with a credit card. (Gazette)

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Schuh pushes to exempt Arundel from stormwater fees

Drama over stormwater fees continues in Anne Arundel County, where a proposal by Del. Steve Schuh to exempt the county from the fees was met with resistance from fellow delegates last week. Schuh's bill would remove Anne Arundel from the list of 10 jurisdictions that are required to collect a fee from property owners to help pay for projects that reduce polluted stormwater runoff that harms the Chesapeake Bay. (Balt. Sun)

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