Hearing set for requested change to Emerald Pointe development plan

Washington County officials have scheduled a hearing Tuesday afternoon to obtain additional public reaction to a requested change to the final development plan of the Emerald Pointe development north of Hagerstown. (Herald-Mail)

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Sept. 30 // Md., Va., N.J. to team for drone tests

Maryland has agreed to work with Virginia and New Jersey on research into unmanned aircraft, a move that could strengthen Maryland's bid to land one of the six drone test sites to be awarded this year by the Federal Aviation Administration. The three states are among the 25 finalists seeking an FAA-sanctioned site to study how unmanned aircraft might safely be integrated into U.S. airspace. The FAA is scheduled to announce the six winners by Dec. 31. (Balt. Sun)

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Billions spent to save the Chesapeake Bay. Is it working?

After three decades of work and more than $15 billion spent, the Chesapeake Bay isn't cleaned up. Measures of water quality -- clarity, oxygen, grass, algae -- remain far below goals for a healthy estuary. (Capital)

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Bikeshare rolls into Montgomery County

The backdrop for Montgomery County’s launch into the Bikeshare age Friday was fitting, if unintentional: a massive construction crane looming over Rockville Town center, symbol of the relentless development that has spawned this suburb’s mind-numbing traffic.  Montgomery, the first local government in Maryland to adopt Capital Bikeshare, joins the District, Arlington County and Alexandria in trying to reshape the way residents travel. The short-term rental system allows bikes to be picked up in one location and returned to another. (Wash. Post)

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Havre de Grace considers taller buildings by waterfront

Havre de Grace's waterfront skyline could change dramatically if a new zoning map is approved by the city's planning commission, which began meeting this summer to discuss the draft of the map made by a city council committee earlier this year. The proposed map features a waterfront overlay district that could allow buildings as high as 10 stories by the Susquehanna River. (Aegis)

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Maryland casinos fined for underage gamblers, who aren’t punished for sneaking in

A consent agreement signed by Maryland Live on Sept. 5 and by gambling regulators last week marks Maryland’s first financial penalty for underage violations. It won’t be the last: Hollywood Casino in Perryville will soon pay $10,000 for two such episodes, Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino said. The crackdown on casino operators has brought renewed attention to Maryland’s policy for punishing underage violators, which is: It doesn’t. Bills that would have established civil fines for anyone younger than 21 who sneaks in to play slots or table games in Maryland have died in House and Senate committees during the past two General Assembly sessions. (Wash. Post)

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Howard citizens petition for referendum of comprehensive zoning bill

The petitioners come from Ellicott City, Clarksville, Highland, Fulton and everywhere in between. They're Democrats and Republicans, farmers and suburban homeowners. But they're united by the feeling that a comprehensive zoning bill recently passed by the Howard County Council didn't get enough time for debate in the public square. Under the banner of a group called Citizens Working to Fix Howard County, they're petitioning for a referendum of what they say are the most ill-considered parts of the bill. (Patuxent)

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Prostitution arrest leads government to try to seize assets

Even before local and federal agents raided Jade Heart Health in Towson in March and charged its operators with prostitution and human trafficking, what went on at the massage parlor at 1404 E. Joppa Road was hardly a secret. Men arrived day and night at the small house, customers posted graphic reviews on adult websites, and the owner, Di Zhang, had been arrested multiple times over the past 10 years on charges of running what police said were houses of prostitution. But court and financial documents reveal what might be the real surprise: Zhang may be as much mogul as alleged madam. (Balt. Sun)

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