Critics decry plan to put a 79-space parking lot at Druid Hill Park for pool upgrade

A plan to give the aging swimming pool at Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park a makeover has been been floating around for years. But the city is now pushing ahead with a plan that includes a 79-car parking lot that has drawn intense opposition. Today the Board of Estimates is set to award a $10.1 million contract to reconstruct the Druid Hill Aquatic Center and install a parking lot across East Drive, next to the tennis courts. NOTE: At its meeting this morning, the BOE – led by Council President Brandon Scott and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young – DEFERRED approval of the pool and parking lot contract until February 26. There was no explanation. We will follow up. (Brew)

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State Should Make it Easier for Ex-Felons to Vote, Advocates Say

Convicted felons who’ve served their sentences can vote in Maryland elections. But the vast majority of them don’t know that they are eligible to cast a ballot, civil rights advocates said on Tuesday. They are urging the General Assembly to require the Maryland State Board of Elections and the state’s Division of Correction to help ex-felons regain their status as registered voters. (Md Matters)

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Meet the Baltimore Jazz Collective and more faces of Charm City’s swing renaissance

It might be better known for high-profile dream pop, hip hop and its namesake club music, but make no mistake: Baltimore is a jazz city. Monuments and buildings remind residents of hometown heroes and genre pioneers Billie Holiday, Cab and Blanche Calloway, Eubie Blake and Chick Webb. The state-designated Black Arts and Entertainment District brings new energy to West Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue, a bustling African-American commercial corridor where Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong headlined the Royal Theatre during the mid-20th century. (Balt Sun)

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Climbing a rock wall, Maryland adaptive athlete reaches for glory

Ben Mayforth grew up in a family of risk-taking athletes. The 25-year-old also grew up with VATER syndrome. It means a form of spina bifida that impacts his legs. It means not having a full rib cage on the right side, which impacts the core muscles. It means having one kidney, and having a liver where it’s not supposed to be. (WTOP)

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Baltimore Among The Unhealthiest Cities In The U.S., Study Says

Baltimore is among some of the unhealthiest cities in the U.S., a new study says. Baltimore ranked no. 76 in a list of 174 cities Wallethub ranked for its health. Analysts compared the 174 most populated cities across 43 key indicators of good health. They looked at things like cost of medical visits, to fruit and vegetable consumption to the number of fitness clubs and green space. (WJZ-TV)

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39 Homicides In Baltimore To Start 2020, 10 More Than This Time Last Year

It’s only the beginning of February, and already there’s been more murders in Baltimore than this time last year. Thirty-nine people have been killed so far in 2020. That’s compared to 29 at this time last year. Non-deadly shootings, however, are down compared to last year. (WJZ-TV)

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GBMC to open new space for victims of sexual violence

Greater Baltimore Medical Center Thursday will open a new space in its hospital to treat victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking. The new space, designed to make patients feel comfortable, will open at a time when the hospital is seeing more patients. GBMC has been at the forefront of a movement by health care providers to put more resources into helping patients who have been victims of sexual violence. (Daily Record)

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3 Maryland Towns Enter Running For HGTV’s ‘Home Town Takeover’

A number of Maryland communities have put their names into the running for a large-scale makeover as part of a new HGTV show. At least three Maryland towns — the town of Port Deposit, Cumberland and the Town of Hancock — have applied to be on “Home Town Takeover,” which HGTV calls a six-episode special based on the original “Home Town” show currently airing on the network. The network said towns with a population of 40,000 or less were eligible to apply. (WJZ-TV)

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