For one day, OC 'spokesguard' Rodney will run this town

Rodney, Rodney, Rodney! This Ocean City lifeguard lookalike gets all of the attention in summer so it makes complete sense that he's taking over the town - at least for a day. Ocean City officials say the "spokesguard" - um, he's not a real member of the beach patrol - will be all about town on Tuesday, meeting visitors, posing for photos, traveling the boardwalk and even working behind the counter at Fisher's Popcorn. (Balt. Sun)

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Asbestos firms not responsible for family exposure

An asbestos company is not liable for an illness suffered by a woman who became exposed to the hazardous material while doing her grandfather's laundry in the 1960s, Maryland's highest court ruled Monday. The Court of Appeals ruled that Georgia-Pacific Corp. was not obligated to warn relatives of the dangers of asbestos in the 1960s. (AP/Capital)

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Potomac businessman pleads guilty to tax evasion

Potomac businessman Alexei Iazlovsky pleaded guilty on May 16 in federal court in California to filing a false tax return for tax year 2008, diverting a total of $2.6 million of untaxed income, according to court documents. Iazlovsky, who was born in Russia and became a U.S. citizen in 2002, had an undeclared bank account — held in the name of a foreign corporation — at the Luxembourg branch of an Israeli bank, according to court documents. (Gazette)

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Big rise in Canton burglaries has residents worried

More than two dozen burglaries and attempted burglaries have been reported in the past 30 days in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood, a significant jump from what residents usually face. (Balt. Sun)

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Purple Line plans soon could displace businesses, residents

Construction of a light-rail Purple Line through the Maryland suburbs is at least two years away, and there is no money yet to pay for it, but the state’s transit proposal soon could close Dario Orellana’s Silver Spring restaurant. Maryland transit officials confirmed that they do, indeed, plan to begin buying private property for the project this fall, and those right-of-way costs are estimated at $200 million. (Wash. Post)

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Fourth Circuit overturns ruling on abortion signs

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling striking down a Baltimore ordinance that required pregnancy clinics to post signs stating if they do not provide abortions. Judge Robert B. King wrote in a majority opinion that the lower court was too hasty in overturning the city law but did not decide on the case's merits. The city has agreed to keep the law on hold while the lower court takes it up again. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore raises water rates by 42 percent over three years

Baltimore officials voted to raise water and sewer rates by 42 percent over three years, despite residents who pleaded for relief and a city audit that called the increase "higher than necessary." Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who controls the spending panel that approved the increase, said she didn't have the "luxury" of voting against it.  As mayor, she said, it's her responsibility to work to prevent breakdowns and repair water system problems. (Balt. Sun)

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Somerset County, state at odds over U.S. disaster aid

Somerset County officials are calling on Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration to revise an application for $8.6 million in federal aid, saying it will render many families hurt by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy ineligible for money to rebuild. The county, hit hard by flooding from the superstorm in October, would be forced to spend the federal disaster relief only on lower-income families — defined at less than $48,000 for a household of two. That would exclude nearly half the county's homeowners, local officials said. (Balt. Sun)

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