Magothy River Association volunteer team dives for oysters

On the Magothy River people are diving for oysters — not to fry, bake or slurp, but to monitor the health of the river's five oyster reefs. On Sunday morning, Dick Carey, the leader of the all-volunteer dive team for the Magothy River Association, watched the water above the Dobbins Hill reef, located near Dobbins Island. Two heads, complete with goggles and masks, appeared from beneath the waves. The divers hadn’t found anything. It’s hard to see in the water — the visibility below was about eight inches, one of the divers said Sunday. The volunteers who dive for the river association are specifically trained in how to work in low-visibility conditions. (Balt. Sun)

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County transit system carries books for reading program

Users of Frederick County’s TransIT system will have something to read on the bus, as the county takes part in a program to promote reading and the discussion of literature. The transit system will take part in the Wandering Book program, part of the Maryland Humanities’ “One Maryland, One Book” campaign. The campaign encourages all Maryland residents to read the same book and then share it with others as part of an effort to promote reading and cultural discussion. This year’s book is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Purple Hibiscus,” about a teenage girl and her brother growing up in Nigeria. (News-Post)

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Mark Zuckerberg to Ocean City? Mayor says come visit in Facebook video

Closing in on 1 million Facebook likes on its tourism page, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan went on camera Thursday to invite Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the beach town. "If you accept, I promise there will be plenty of saltwater taffy, Thrasher's French Fries, caramel popcorn and crab cakes in your future," Meehan said in the video.  Meehan was thanking Zuckerberg for his creation of the social network and explained how the town has used it to grow. (Daily Times)

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Cutting-edge tracts lead way as more local residents take up agriculture

It's not quite 9 a.m. and already the sun is glaring overhead when Jess Beck greets a reporter with a firm handshake and bare feet. She and her mother, Cathy Marsteller Cooper, momentarily stop harvesting ripe, pesticide-free tomatoes to talk about their 32-acre farm in Freeland. The farm produces a majority of the family's food — up to 80 varieties of produce plus pork, eggs and poultry. They sell to local restaurants and at a stand at the top of their street. The family home's enclosed front porch also contains stocked shelves and a refrigerator bursting with in-season produce for sale on a self-serve basis. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Marylanders among the worst tippers in the U.S.

Marylanders rank among the worst tippers in the United States, according to a new report. The industry standard is considered to be 15 to 18 percent for adequate service and while the average Maryland diner is tipping within that range, some customers believe the standard should be higher. “Twenty percent is standard I feel like you have to do, and I’m like I’m fine, 25 percent if they’re doing better, and 15 if they’re not so good,” says Maryland resident Griffin Scully. Guidelines differ by state, according to data from the payment processing company Square. (WJZ-CBS)

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Partially treated sewage spills into Piscataway Creek in Prince George's County

A broken pipe at the Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Accokeek area allowed 17,000 gallons of partially treated sewage to spill into nearby Piscataway Creek on Wednesday, utility officials said. The pipe was carrying wastewater that had been through the entire treatment process except for final disinfection, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which supplies water and sewer services to Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The water reached the creek via a storm drain on the plant grounds, WSSC said. The spill lasted about eight hours before it was stopped. (Wash. Post)

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Columbia native starts latest viral craze, the Backflip Challenge

Grant Fox had an idea. While in Ocean City for senior week, the Columbia native “had too much to much time on his hands” and thought he’d do a public backflip on film. In the video captured on his Instagram, bystanders seated on a bench look around in astonishment and confusion after Fox backflips and cooly walks away, as if he hadn’t been airborne moments before. He posted the video on Instagram and waited for it to hit. What ensued, he didn’t expect, he said. The video scored thousands of views. (Balt. Sun)

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August 17 // Jared Kushner's firm seeks arrest of Maryland tenants to collect debt

The real estate company owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and top adviser to President Donald Trump, has been the most aggressive in Maryland in using a controversial debt-collection tactic: getting judges to order the arrest of people who owe his company money. Since 2013, the first full year in which the Kushner Cos. operated in Maryland, corporate entities affiliated with the firm's 17 apartment complexes in the state have sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants for failing to appear in court to face allegations of unpaid debt, The Baltimore Sun has found. That's more than any other landlord in the state over that time, an analysis of Maryland District Court data shows. (Balt. Sun)

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