Aberdeen council adopts new trash pickup ordinance

Ordinance 18-O-19, which makes residential trash containers part of the Aberdeen city code and sets fees for services related to trash and recycling pickup, was adopted by the unanimous vote of the mayor and City Council earlier this week. “What this ordinance does, practically, is it codifies the plan that the city wants to implement as it relates to garbage [pickup],” Mayor Patrick McGrady said before the council’s vote Monday night. The city has, in recent months, been distributing Toter-brand trash and recycling containers to about 4,600 residential customers. (Aegis)

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Maryland retirees irked over prescription-plan change

It was billed as a news conference, but it became a rally for dozens of retired Maryland employees upset over the pending elimination of their prescription coverage. Standing Thursday in front of Walgreens drug store on Dual Highway, Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, called the change a "broken promise" to retired state employees on the part of former Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Democratic leadership of the Maryland General Assembly. (Herald-Mail)

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Baltimore drivers frustrated over city gridlock

City Councilman Eric Costello said he's just as frustrated with the gridlock as his constituents. He says dozens of frustrated people have reached out to him saying their commutes are worse than normal. Backed up intersections are causing traffic jams according to Costello who said if the Department of Transportation doesn't fix the problem successfully, the city will likely need to reassess its congestion plan. Backups during rush hour are to be expected but Costello said the DOT promised to perfect its new timing pattern. (WMAR)

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CAIR welcomes Bruchey's 'delayed apology' for social-media comment, seeks meeting

The country's largest Muslim civil-rights and advocacy organization has taken notice and rebuked Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey's recent social-media comments calling the mayor of London a "terrorist." In a statement late Wednesday, Zainab Chaudry, director of Maryland outreach for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group accepted Bruchey's "delayed apology," but encouraged him to meet with CAIR and local faith leaders. (Herald-Mail)

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July 12 // Baltimore Police assign 115 extra officers to patrol the streets in hopes of curbing overtime spending, crime

Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Wednesday that he is bolstering the department’s patrol ranks by almost 20 percent in an effort to get more officers onto the streets, suppress crime and curb soaring overtime spending. As the department struggles to hire more recruits, Tuggle reassigned 115 officers from other units to patrol assignments in the department’s nine districts. (Balt. Sun)

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New leadership announced for Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, B&O Railroad Museum

Donna Drew Sawyer, an official at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts since 2017 who formerly worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, has been named to head the non-profit agency that produces Artscape, Light City and other local events. “Donna has a strong diverse history in arts leadership, solid marketing and business acumen and a fierce commitment to equity and collaboration,” BOPA board chair Anana Kambon said in a statement announcing the appointment. (Balt. Sun)

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NOAA's ‘heat island’ campaign will map which areas in D.C. and Baltimore swelter the most

Anyone who pays attention to temperatures around Washington and Baltimore knows that it is much warmer in these cities than in the surrounding suburbs, especially at night. This is due to a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Essentially, all of the asphalt and concrete in the urban core traps heat near the ground, creating a zone of elevated temperatures. But these urban heat islands are not uniform. Some neighborhoods have more dark, heat-absorbing surfaces and are particularly hot. As a result, they suffer the most during the summer’s punishing heat and are most vulnerable to health effects. From July 17 to July 20, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is leading a field campaign involving citizen volunteers to map and better understand the Washington and Baltimore heat islands. (Wash. Post)

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Annapolis prepares to launch bike-share program in mid-August

A new bike-share program will arrive in the city in mid-August as part of a partnership between Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and start-up Zagster. Mayor Gavin Buckley has announced the partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts company, which will install bike-share racks at locations in mostly downtown Annapolis. It’s a two-year pilot program. (Capital)

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