Murders Increase In Baltimore Through First Half Of 2019

As of July 11, there have been 170 murders in Baltimore. 12 of those have happened since July 1. The first half of 2019 has been full of deadly gun violence, with often multiple shootings daily throughout one of Maryland’s most violent cities. Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police released their year-to-date homicide rate from the last two years Wednesday morning but updated it Thursday after three more homicides occurred throughout Wednesday and overnight Thursday. This time last year, there had been 147 murders. This year, the number has already hit 170, a 16 percent increase. (WJZ-TV)

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Maryland Is The Worst State For Retirement, Study Says

Despite all of the great things about Maryland from seafood, beaches, wineries, and more — it’s ranked the as worst state for retirement. For this study, Bankrate looked at affordability, weather and a number of other factors important to retirees. Maryland ranked dead last at no. 50 overall. It ranked no. 47 for affordability, no. 33 for crime, no. 42 for culture, no. 18 for weather, and no. 37 for wellness. “Where to live is probably one of the most personal decisions one can make because it’s not just about preferences, it’s also about the financial considerations that are associated with it,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. (WJZ-TV)

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Harbor Tunnel Toll Plaza To Remain Closed Thursday Due To Health Scare; Drivers Told To Proceed Without Stopping

The toll plaza and administration building at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, closed since Tuesday, will remain closed Thursday while state and city health officials assess a Legionnaires' disease scare. Two Maryland Transportation Authority employees were diagnosed with legionellosis. While both of them have been treated, health officials are at the toll plaza to determine where the bacterial pneumonia may have been present, MDTA officials said. State health officials took samples Wednesday morning. (WBAL)

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Washington County residents continue to express concerns about proposed solar farm in Chewsville area

A Maryland public utility law judge heard concerns Wednesday night about a proposed Chewsville-area solar farm in the Maryland Public Service Commission's second local public hearing about the project. Concerns included that the approximately 40,000-panel array would be built on a visible ridge, that it is proposed to go on farmland, and that residents still haven't gotten a clear answer on how the solar project will be connected to the electric grid. (Herald-Mail)

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Large hole opens in downtown Baltimore road, swallowing part of Light Rail station

A downtown Light Rail platform collapsed into the ground beneath it Wednesday morning, two days into a mess of infrastructure failures that Baltimore officials warned could cause significant traffic and transit disruptions for days. A sinkhole near the intersection of Howard and Pratt streets appeared to swallow an elevated platform that allows wheelchair users to access Light Rail trains. As the underground void grew, crews were in the process of removing the ramp and platform when it collapsed, Public Works Director Rudy Chow said. (Balt. Sun)

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Fired police chief who alleged racial discrimination in Eastern Shore sentenced to probation in misconduct case

The former Eastern Shore police chief who alleged “virulent” racial discrimination within his department was sentenced to three years of supervised probation Tuesday after being convicted of misconduct in office. Kelvin Sewell, the former Pocomoke City police chief who was fired in 2015, was sentenced to three years in prison by Worcester County Circuit Judge W. Newton Jackson III, all of which will be suspended in favor of the three-year probation sentence, the state prosecutor’s office wrote in a news release. (Balt. Sun)

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Jury orders former Baltimore cop who beat handcuffed, hospitalized 14-year-old to pay $100,000, lawyer says

A federal jury on Tuesday returned a $100,000 verdict against a former Baltimore police officer who had already been convicted of assaulting a 14-year-old while the teen was handcuffed to a hospital gurney, the teen’s attorney said. Former Officer Duane Williams Jr. struck the teen 10 to 15 times, causing him to lose hearing in his left ear, according to filings from the teen’s civil complaint. The boy’s mother, Latoya Coner, filed a lawsuit in February 2017 in U.S. District Court against the officer, and jurors returned the verdict Tuesday, attorney Latoya A. Francis-Williams said. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: BPD marine unit spent $30K on mismanaged salvage operation

The Baltimore Police Department’s marine unit wasted more than $30,000 in a botched boat salvage operation in late 2016 and early 2017, the city’s inspector general has concluded. The unit began removing a 32-foot boat from the Inner Harbor near Thames Street in December 2016 and spent several days over the next three months on the removal, according to a report released Wednesday. Though the boat was intact at the beginning of the operation, by the end it was “reduced to a pile of wood and fiberglass.” The Office of the Inspector General concluded the operation was mismanaged and dangerous, and estimated the combined loss to the city to be $30,142. (Daily Record)

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