Howard County planning board approves zoning amendments for new courthouse development plans

Plans for a new county courthouse took a step forward Thursday when the county's planning board approved zoning amendments for the proposed location on Bendix Road in Columbia. The zoning amendments identified the courthouse as a permitted use for the property's zoning type, "Employment Center-Industrial." The zoning amendments are necessary in order to move forward with the proposed development of a new courthouse on the property, according to the Department of Planning and Zoning's technical staff. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Ocean City offshore wind project won't deter tourists, developer says

Scores of wind turbines off Ocean City's coast, many standing about as tall as the Washington Monument, likely won't lower property values and may even become a tourism draw, a new report suggests. The economic analysis prepared on behalf of U.S. Wind Inc. seeks to allay concerns among Ocean City officials that the proposed structures will turn off tourists and mar the resort's iconic ocean views. (Daily Times)

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Cherry Hill arts festival gives community reason to celebrate

Nearly 200 people gathered Saturday afternoon in Cherry Hill’s Reedbird Park to celebrate a community that organizers say is too often characterized by crime and poverty. “Just look around — there's no gunfighting, no cussing, no one selling drugs,” said Quinn Tyler Wise, a local resident who showcased his handmade dolls during the first Cherry Hill Arts & Music Festival. “It feels like Cherry Hill’s at peace, like when I was younger.” (Balt. Sun)

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August 18 // Work crew removes Taney statue from Maryland State House grounds

Workers dismantled a 145-year-old statue of Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney outside the Maryland State House shortly after midnight Friday, the latest ripple effect from last weekend’s deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said his revulsion at what happened in Charlottesville — at a demonstration purportedly in defense of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — prompted him to change his mind about the Taney statute and push for its removal, an act long sought by civil rights groups. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan announces $38.4 million in grants for local roads

Gov. Larry Hogan announced this week that the administration is making nearly $38.4 million in grants available for local roads in Baltimore city and municipalities and counties from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. The Maryland Department of Transportation has released the application that needs to be submitted by Thursday, Aug. 31, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The grants will be awarded to jurisdictions based on the existing formula for the distribution of Highway User Revenues, according to the release. "Since the beginning of our administration, we have been committed to investing in roads and bridges across the state," Hogan said in the release. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Tapped To Root Out 'Pill Mills' In Maryland

Maryland's acting top federal prosecutor this week announced the appointment of a prosecutor focused on opioid-related health care fraud. Rachel Yasser will lead that effort in Maryland. Yasser, 38, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland since 2008. Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would dispatch prosecutors to 12 cities ravaged by addiction. He said the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit would use data to root out pill mills and track down practitioners who illegally prescribe or distribute narcotics like fentanyl and other powerful painkillers. (WBAL)

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A “Tent City” outside City Hall to press the mayor on homelessness and more

While national media swarmed City Hall this week to cover Baltimore’s overnight removal of its Confederate monuments, Mary Scott was inside one of about 20 matching red tents in front of the building to plead for a lower profile cause: The plight of Baltimore’s homeless and struggling poor. “I was more than excited to come out here and sleep in a tent,” said Scott, explaining she just recently had to leave her East Baltimore house after her boyfriend’s cousin was killed inside, making it dangerous to return. “And now I get to keep the tent and maybe use it or give it to someone in need of it,” said Scott, 34, who works as a security guard in four office buildings near City Hall. (Brew)

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Baltimore's Confederate statues under tarps as Trump, Stonewall Jackson descendants weigh in

The Confederate monuments taken down in Baltimore remained out of sight Thursday, relegated to a city-owned lot under tarps and police protection, but not out of mind for many, particularly President Donald J. Trump. “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” the president said on Twitter Thursday morning, a day after the city removed four monuments from their pedestals in an unannounced overnight operation. “You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” (Balt. Sun)

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