July 22 // Community health centers brace for health reform

Community health centers such as Chase Brexton are about to play a far larger role in the nation's health care when the federal health reform law is fully implemented in January. The Affordable Care Act includes $11 billion to be awarded to community health centers over five years to build new clinics and expand existing ones. By 2015, the health centers are expected to double the number of patients they serve to 40 million. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Fracking a win-win 

An environmental advocacy group is crying foul over a report commissioned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that it says shows the state is readying regulations to allow hydraulic fracturing. State officials say there’s nothing to see here. (Daily Record) 

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Federal government struggles to unload surplus property

Two years after the Obama administration relaunched an effort to get rid of surplus federal buildings, almost all of the excess property identified in Maryland remains in government hands, a review by The Baltimore Sun has found. Red tape, lack of congressional action and inadequate funding have left federal agencies stuck with at least 200 vacant or underutilized properties in the state, from closet-size storage sheds in Beltsville to an eight-story, historic office building a block from Baltimore's Inner Harbor. (Balt. Sun)

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Bus line makes a Charles-Prince George’s connection

Spurred by concerns about growth and traffic congestion in Southern Maryland, Charles County and neighboring Prince George’s County have partnered to launch a bus line that provides, for the first time, a mass transit connection between the jurisdictions. (Wash. Post)

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County exec wants performance at Fillmore canceled

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett wants a Silver Spring concert venue to cancel next month's show by the Mexican band Molotov because of homophobic lyrics in one of the band's songs. (Capital)

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VA opens first legal-aid clinic for homeless veterans

Rochelle Richardson hopes to continue securing back pay and benefits for former service members as she oversees the state's first Veterans Administration Medical Center legal clinic. The clinic, which opened this month on the fifth floor of the Baltimore VA Annex on West Fayette Street, fills what Richardson says is a longtime need to help the growing number of homeless veterans who struggle to navigate the complex process of applying for benefits. (Balt. Sun)

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Clear-cutting in Critical Area: It may look bad, but it's legal

The clear-cutting of the shoreline on Cattail Creek in Severna Park looks like everything the state’s waterfront protection laws are meant to prevent. But it’s legal. (Capital) 

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Water crisis forced Prince George’s businesses to scramble

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Cari DeSantis got word that Melwood, an Upper Marlboro nonprofit that offers programs for disabled adults, would not have water for the rest of the week. That’s when things got moving. (Wash. Post)

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