Boston Marathon bombing victim Brannock wants to start Baltimore's races 'in an emotional way'

Erika Brannock has not been to an organized race since April, when the first of two homemade bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line so badly injured the 29-year-old Towson preschool teacher that doctors were forced to amputate her left leg above the knee. That will change Saturday, when Brannock -- who took her first steps with a prosthesis just last weekend -- serves as the official starter at the Baltimore Running Festival. (Balt. Sun)

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Tax plan could pay for Crofton community center

Crofton homeowners would pay $75 a year more in taxes to fund a long-discussed community center, under a plan by supporters of the project. Organizers will need to get 50 percent of the 18,000 homeowners affected to sign a petition approving the special benefit tax district, said Steve Grimaud, president of the Crofton Civic Association. If approved, it could raise $1.35 million a year for a Crofton regional community center. (Gazette)

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Maryland DNR scraps proposal to build off-road vehicle trails on Sideling Hill

Sideling Hill resident Wayne Hovermale said he breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when he heard that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources was scrapping a proposal to build off-road vehicle trails near his property. Paul Peditto, director of the DNR’s Wildlife Heritage, said Thursday that the proposed Sideling Hill trails were withdrawn from consideration after officials weighed a slew of negative comments from residents who live there. (Herald-Mail)

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Hampton Mansion grounds closed because of shutdown

Law enforcement rangers with the National Park Service are among the few employees left at Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, because the government shutdown has forced the scenic park and historic mansion to close to all visitors. “The park is closed, even for dog walkers,” Ranger Vince Vaise, director of interpretation at Hampton, said Wednesday. “Even if you live right next door, you cannot go on the property. … We have law enforcement rangers that are there to provide for the safety of the resource. As far as interpretive rangers, they’re not there.” (Balt. Sun)

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First-ever lion cubs born at zoo; mother dies of complications

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced the "bittersweet" news Thursday that its first-ever lion cubs had been born, but their mother had died of birth complications. Lioness Badu, just 31/2 years old, went into labor and gave birth to two cubs, a male and a female, last Thursday. When she showed signs of distress the next day during her attempt to deliver a third, the veterinary staff made the decision to perform a cesarean section. Two more cubs were delivered but neither survived. (Balt. Sun)

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Prince George's gets a leg up on dog parks

Officials said Prince George’s is seeing “tremendous growth” in community interest in dog parks, so much so that the county plans to build a 5,000-square-foot, county-run dog park for every 120,000 residents over the next 30 years, said Chuck Montrie, Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission planning supervisor for the county parks and recreation department. With the county’s population of about 880,000 and anticipated growth, the commission anticipates under the 30-year plan adding six more dog parks to the three it already operates. The three dog parks in Bowie, Laurel and Greenbelt are run by the municipalities, community organizations or both, Montrie said. (Gazette)

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After two years of planning, Silver Spring Village is open for members

Silver Spring is the newest addition to the Village movement, a community-based support neighborhood network where volunteers help people age in place. The Silver Spring Village officially opened for members to sign up Sept. 29 and the program already has 25 members and 30 volunteers. By becoming members residents will have access to a variety of services, including home repairs, grocery help, transportation to appointments and dog walking. (Gazette)

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Dr. William R. Bell, Hopkins hematologist

Dr. William R. Bell, an internationally known Johns Hopkins hematologist who conducted research into bleeding and clotting disorders, died Oct. 4 of complications from a blood clot at his Roland Park home. He was 78. "Bill was one of the premier hematologists of his era, hands down. He had an international reputation and was a master clinician," said Dr. Jerry L. Spivak, a Johns Hopkins Hospital hematologist who was chief of its hematology department from 1980 to 1992. "If you were ever sick, you'd want Bill Bell for your doctor. He was tireless." (Balt. Sun)

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