Farmers applaud U.S.-Japan agreement

Several local organic farmers said they have no problem with a recent agreement that allows organic products certified in Japan or in the United States to be sold as organic in either country. The agreement connects the two nations’ $36 billion organic industries. The agreement becomes effective Jan. 1. Local organic farmers like the plan. “It does make it much easier for U.S. organic producers and companies to export products to Japan and opens up a broader market for our goods,” said Holter, owner of Holterholm Farms, a certified-organic dairy farm near Jefferson. (News-Post)

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Frederick police target downtown crosswalks for pedestrian safety

Frederick police are targeting Carroll Creek in their latest pedestrian safety enforcement effort. Officers issued 11 citations Monday afternoon to drivers who did not yield at crosswalks on South Market Street, and the department might soon revisit the downtown location because of the operation's success. Lt. Wayne Trapp, Frederick Police Department patrol commander, said the program involved an officer in plain clothes posing as a civilian crossing one of two crosswalks at Carroll Creek on South Market Street. Police have received numerous complaints about drivers not stopping for pedestrians in the Carroll Creek crosswalks despite posted caution signs. (News-Post)

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Hagerstown fears $20 million state stormwater mandate

Hagerstown officials said Tuesday they are expecting the state to require the city to treat or remove pollutants in stormwater runoff from 20 percent of its impervious surfaces that existed before 1985 at an estimated cost of $20 million over five years. In the last 18 months, Maryland has intentionally let National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase stormwater permits — permits tied to a municipality’s general runoff and pollutant load — expire for smaller communities, called Phase II communities, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said. (Herald-Mail)

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Deadly September Has Baltimore City Leaders Working To Curb Violence

Shocking homicide numbers this year have city leaders looking for ways to combat the growing number of murders. There have been almost 200 murders in 2013 and September is the second deadliest month this year. From stabbings to shootings, Baltimore City police have their hands full with murder investigations. The mayor has already added additional prosecutors to the state’s attorney’s office in response to the crime. (WJZ-TV)

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Technology driving younger generations' shift away from cars, study finds

New car-sharing services, travel applications and other technological tools are contributing to the broader shift away from driving among Americans, especially younger ones interested in digital multitasking on the go, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. In Maryland, drivers have decreased their mileage by 4.1 percent since 2007, the organization said, and fewer young people are seeking drivers' licenses in high school. (Balt-Sun)

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Oyster season starts with a busy day

The first day of oyster season on Tuesday, Oct. 1, was a busy one. In Broad Creek, the water looks good, the oyster bars look good and there was plenty of spat on shells, which watermen were conscious to make sure and throw back in the water for further growth, Talbot County Watermen’s Association President Bunky Chance said. (Star Democrat)

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St. Mary's blight ordinance heads to hearing

The St. Mary’s County commissioners voted Tuesday to take a property maintenance ordinance to a public hearing this fall on a 3-2 vote. The proposed ordinance would allow St. Mary’s County government to target blighted properties that show “substantial deterioration, dilapidation or lack of maintenance” and have “significant economic or public health or safety adverse effects on neighboring properties,” wrote the commissioners’ attorney. The St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management would be responsible for enforcing the rules on blighted properties. Owners found in violation could ultimately be fined up to $1,000, the draft ordinance states. (Gazette)

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Construction started for Perry Hall park

Baltimore County on Tuesday announced plans a new 17-acre park in Perry Hall designed to address a shortage of sports playing fields in this designated growth area. "Public parks enhance our lives, and I am delighted to break ground on Gough Park, which will provide the people of Perry Hall with a fun, safe place for their families to play sports, exercise, have a picnic or simply connect with nature," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in a statement. (WMAR)


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