Jockey Club host Breeders' Cup officials as they try to lure event to Laurel Park

The Maryland Jockey Club hosted officials from the Breeders' Cup at Laurel Park on Saturday, the next step in an effort to lure the most lucrative two-day event in thoroughbred racing to the renovated track. The Breeders' Cup, which awards $26.5 million in purses over 13 races, brings together the sport's best horses, trainers and owners every fall. It has never been held in Maryland, but state racing officials have said this would be an ideal time for that to change, given recent increases in field sizes, betting handle and breeding numbers. (Balt. Sun)

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How the U.N. is helping MD combat heroin

Fentanyl is helping to fuel the heroin epidemic in the United States but it's also posing a global threat. On Thursday in Vienna, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted to control two chemicals used to make fentanyl. The U.S. Department of State said the vote exemplifies an effective international response to a drug crisis that is claiming thousands of Americans each year. (WMAR)

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Democratic Women's Club revived in Anne Arundel County

The Democratic Women's Club of Anne Arundel County had been moribund for a decade. The 2016 election and its results triggered its rapid revival. Organizer Stacy Korbelak is the president of the newly revived club, known as Anne Arundel County Democratic Women. In her opening comments, Korbelak said a group of women started discussing reactivating the club while watching the presidential debates in September. They thought if Hillary Clinton was in office, they'd want to harness the excitement of locally politically-minded women. (Capital)

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At 50, Columbia celebrates past even as it faces a much-changed future

Lin Eagan has lived in Columbia long enough to cycle through a half-dozen homes and raise two sons, who would move away as adults but return once they became parents themselves. Eagan, a real estate agent and member of the Columbia Association governing board, was among those gathering Sunday to launch several months of events to celebrate the community's 50th birthday. The milestone comes at a pivotal time for Columbia, which is old enough that some of its earliest neighborhoods are fraying and need uplift, and young enough that it is only now undertaking the task of creating a true downtown, aided by a $90 million public financing deal that is the county's largest ever. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis water treatment plant expected to test water this month

The Annapolis water treatment plant was first expected to be done in February — then summer 2016. The $35 million water treatment plant is still not open, but officials expect to begin testing its water treating this month before opening the facility and delivering water to the public. Annapolis Public Works director David Jarrell said he expects the plant to run on its own after final tests in April. In the meantime, any water treated at the new plant will be treated by the old plant as well, until officials know for certain there are no issues. (Capital)

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Bill to give Mosby's investigators police powers hits dead end

A Senate committee has killed a bill that would have given police powers to investigators in the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office, a move the city's top prosecutor sought to improve investigations of police misconduct. The legislation was one of a slate of proposals State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby put forward last fall that were aimed at helping her office better investigate and prosecute officers accused of misconduct. Mosby cited the failure to convict any officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray as motivation. "That bill's not going anywhere," said Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat who chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee. (Balt. Sun)

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Heroin hits home: Officials weigh costs, benefits of fighting opioid addiction

A Washington County Circuit Court judge said she'd be willing to sentence certain drug offenders to more time in jail than recommended by law — if it will save their lives. Judge Dana Moylan Wright said she could live with going beyond the guidelines if extending a nonviolent offender's sentence a couple months gets that defendant into the new Washington County Sheriff's Office Day Reporting Center — giving them a chance to get clean rather than getting back on the street facing temptation. (Herald-Mail)

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Anne Arundel Co. Council likely to vote on new development rules

The County Council should vote to change the rules on cluster development at its meeting Monday night. The bill is set to expire if a vote is not taken, and any last minute amendment would have the same effect. The legislation aims to clean up and clarify the practice of allowing homes to be built on just a portion of a parcel in order to keep natural surroundings intact. In fact, the legislation changes the terminology for the practice from cluster to preservation-oriented development, to underscore that focus. (Balt. Sun)

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