Sickle-cell researcher also suffers from forgotten disease

Carlton Haywood, 37, belongs to the 0.003 percent of the U.S. population that suffers from sickle cell disease, which predominantly affects blacks and which he has battled since birth. A health care team at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center is about to remove 75 percent of his blood and replace it with donated units, a procedure he undergoes monthly. As rare as the blood disorder is, Haywood's situation is even rarer. A bioethics and hematology professor at the Johns Hopkins University, he's one of the few academicians who root a career studying the illness in personal experience. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Montgomery cultivates a new crop of farmers

By night, Mark Mills is apastry chef at Washington’s Blue Duck Tavern. But being a fine hand with the icing spatula didn’t completely prepare him for his new day job: spreading compost with a shovel on his very own farm near Poolesville. Mills’s sudden shift backward in the food chain — from the strawberry tart to the strawberry seeds — came through a new Montgomery County effort to match wannabe farmers with unused farmland in the county’s vast Agricultural Reserve. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

City jail grievance system broken, inmates, advocates say

Civil liberties advocates say a number of cases highlight the inadequacy of the inmate grievance process — an issue that has historically been ignored and is being de-emphasized as officials scramble to solve problems at the jail. Grievances should be a valuable tool for uncovering corruption, attorneys and corrections experts say. Indeed, grievances filed at the jail outlined problems that were later noted in the federal indictments — leading some to wonder whether officials had missed an early opportunity to address alleged corruption. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

City employees using Zipcar to get around town

When Baltimore crossing guard supervisors make their rounds, they're apt to be driving cars emblazoned not with the familiar city seal but with a "Z" — for Zipcar, the vehicle-sharing service that allows members to rent cars by the hour for short trips. The supervisors are among two dozen Transportation Department employees who use the nationwide service that launched in Baltimore in 2010. To date, the agency says it has spent $63,000 on Zipcar use. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

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)

Read Full Article

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)

Read Full Article

HUD, city reach $150,000 settlement for public housing residents with disabilities

Baltimore's housing agency must pay a public housing resident $150,000 because the city failed to accommodate the woman's request to be moved, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced. It also must pay the resident's attorneys $10,000, increase exposure of its reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, train staff about those policies and "submit regular reports to HUD on its efforts to promptly respond to reasonable accommodation requests," HUD said in a statement. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Biologists look for ways to make the bay a better home for ducks

These are tough times for the ducks that winter on the Chesapeake Bay. Threatened food sources and an imperiled habitat are forcing migrating waterfowl to look for other winter digs. Alicia Berlin hopes to unlock the formula to win them back. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article