July 13 // Free WiFi, public safety key to turning Baltimore into a 'smart city,' residents say

The people of West Baltimore want more WiFi, preferably free public WiFi. They support WiFi access on buses, so students can do homework and adults can stay connected on their commutes, said Sheri Parks, vice president for strategic initiatives at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Some might accept trash cans with WiFi hotspots that alert city employees when they’re full. But they were concerned about the idea of autonomous buses without a driver, which some worried would become a “party bus” if there wasn’t an authority figure behind the wheel, Parks said. (Balt. Sun)

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County Executive Schuh touts $4 million boost for filling potholes and paving roads in Anne Arundel

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said Thursday that he has put an extra $4 million into this year’s budget to catch up on an ever-deepening backlog of road maintenance projects. That brings the fund up to $30 million in fiscal 2019, though Schuh said he believes the increase just scratches the surface of repair needs estimated at more than $125 million. Schuh touted the road investment during a news conference in Pasadena, with Edwin Raynor Boulevard as his backdrop. He used the freshly paved road as an example of the type of maintenance he wants the additional money to pay for. The four-month project cost $1 million. (Capital)

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Howard County wants plans for limiting Columbia traffic as development continues

Development planned in central Columbia over the next 20 years is prompting Howard County’s Office of Transportation and Downtown Columbia Partnership to craft an updated plan to reduce single-car trips by 15 percent and encourage walking, biking, car-sharing and telecommuting. The plan calls for property owners to step up commitments to traffic management programs, adding more detailed traffic and parking metrics and encouraging alternative transportation with actions such as adding bike racks in front of buildings. New properties will be required to submit metrics for review by the county every three years until they have achieved traffic management goals. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Judge turns down Harford's request to waive bond in $45 million rubblefill judgment appeal

Harford County government suffered another legal setback Wednesday in its battle to overturn a $45.4 million judgment against the county in the Gravel Hill rubble landfill lawsuit. A county Circuit Court judge denied the county’s motion seeking to waive a requirement that it post a bond in order to continue pursuing its appeal of the judgment and also denied a motion to stay the judgment while the appeal is pending. Judge Kevin Mahoney signed an order requiring the county to “post a supersedes bond in the full amount of the judgment, $45,420,076, plus post-judgment interest.” (Aegis)

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BOPA taps insider to be Baltimore arts agency’s new CEO

After conducting a nationwide search, Baltimore’s arts agency has ultimately promoted one of its own to be its next leader. Donna Drew Sawyer began work on Monday as chief executive officer of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, the quasi-public agency that serves as the city’s arts council, events center and film office. A New York native, Sawyer joined the agency last year as chief of external affairs. Sawyer’s appointment was announced yesterday, more than 13 months after former CEO Bill Gilmore disclosed that he was stepping down after 37 years with BOPA and its predecessor organizations. (Brew)

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City expands telemedicine program for older adults in Park Heights

Baltimore officials are expanding a telemedicine program in the Park Heights neighborhood that helps people older than 60 monitor their health from home. Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen announced Thursday the expansion of the Telehealth Intervention Program for Seniors. The program, which originated in New York, has operated out of the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging since April and has 100 people enrolled. Technology monitors blood pressure, pulse, oxygen levels and weight. Nurses talk to patients remotely and ask questions about recent hospitalizations, changes in medication and recent falls. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland’s top court will hear state’s appeal in Syed case

Maryland’s top court will consider whether podcast star Adnan Syed’s murder conviction should be reinstated. The Court of Appeals agreed Thursday to hear the state’s argument that Syed’s trial attorney’s ill-fated defense might have been flawed but was not constitutionally ineffective. (Daily Record)

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After renovation, Timothy House and Gardens dedicated under new name

The crumbling Timothy House and Timothy Gardens housing complex was dedicated this week as Bowman Place and Homes at Monument, marking the latest redevelopment in the historic Clay Street neighborhood. The dedication Monday came after about a year of construction to revamp the properties, which were in disrepair. Homes for America, a local housing non-profit, purchased the Washington Street properties in 2015 after the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions withdrew its application for state funding. Construction cost $7.5 million and began in early 2017. (Balt. Sun)

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