FY 2018 projected county transportation budget moves forward, includes additional routes

Carroll County's fiscal year 2018 annual transportation projected operating budget, which brings with it contract and salary increases and additional routes, is making its way to the Maryland Transportation Administration after being approved by the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The plan calls for an increase of nearly $140,000 from the county — $93,123 in required county match and $45,828 in county overmatch. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Baltimore County officials notified calls were intercepted during 2013-14 wiretap

Numerous Baltimore County government officials received notices from federal prosecutors this month saying their communications had been intercepted as part of a wiretap investigation in 2013 and 2014. Members of the County Council and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration are among those who received the notices, which were dated March 8. Some county officials called the FBI after getting the letter, said Don Mohler, Kamenetz's chief of staff. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore Co. Council questions proposed sewer extension to official's property

The Baltimore County Council postponed action this week on a resolution that would have extended a public sewer line to a single property at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $200,000. "I think the question that we all have is the exorbitant price that the county is going to undertake to get this done for one house," Councilwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, said Monday when the council tabled the vote. Suzanne Berger, who is the county's deputy director of the Office of Human Resources, is an owner of the property, according to state property records. (Balt. Sun)

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Battle lines form on Harford emergency medical services study

The first steps in the transition to a county-run emergency medical services system are just months away, as Harford County Executive Barry Glassman prepares to begin implementing wholesale changes recommended by an outside consultant. But leaders of the mostly volunteer fire and EMS service, who operate independently of the county government, aren't sold on the conclusions of the report prepared for the county executive by the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, or CHHS. (Balt. Sun)

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Heroin has killed more than 100 since Sheriff's Office started count in 2015

With four fatal heroin overdoses this weekend, Harford County has reached the tragic milestone of 100 opioid-related deaths since the sheriff's office started keeping track at the start of 2015. And Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said the worst is yet to come. The deaths this weekend – three Saturday and one Sunday – bring the total of opioid-related deaths this year to 20. With 56 in 2016 and 27 in 2015, that's 103 heroin deaths, according to statistics from the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Gahler doesn't want to look at it as just a number. (Aegis)

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Harford emergency services director prepares Aberdeen fire leaders for intense changes ahead

Great changes are coming to Harford County's fire and EMS service in the next decade, and the leaders of the Aberdeen Fire Department — like their counterparts throughout the county — must be prepared for it, according to Edward Hopkins, director of the Department of Emergency Services. "Think about those people, from 1889 forward, who built a foundation of your fire company, embracing change and never wavering in their mission to serve and protect your Aberdeen community and all the residents of Harford County," Hopkins said during Aberdeen's annual awards banquet Saturday. (Balt. Sun)

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Mulberry Street in Baltimore reopens after street collapse

The 500 block of Mulberry Street near Lexington Market, closed since the street collapsed last July, has finally reopened, the Baltimore Department of Public Works said Tuesday. A leak in an 8-inch water pipe feeding a single property on Mulberry caused a 30-foot-deep sinkhole to open up between Greene and Paca streets. At one point, a city worker was injured when he fell into the sinkhole. The department said it used the sinkhole as an opportunity to do more long-term improvements on more than a mile of the city's principal sewer main. (Balt. Sun)

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March 21 // Baltimore City Council passes $15 minimum wage, final decision rests with Pugh

After months of public debate, the Baltimore City Council passed a bill that will raise the city's minimum wage rate to $15 by 2022, with a 11-3 vote Monday. The bill calls for a gradual minimum wage hike in the city to $15 by 2022. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will have until 2026 to make the hike. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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