August 15 // Baltimore's new speed camera system stumbles on first day, issues $38,480 in duplicate tickets

The re-launch of Baltimore’s speed camera system stumbled on its first day, when the program’s vendor accidentally issued a combined $38,480 in duplicate tickets to 962 people, officials said Monday. To clear up any confusion, those drivers who received the duplicate speeding tickets issued on July 31 will receive a letter explaining the error and have their violations forgiven. Those who received only one ticket must pay their fines, officials said. “They found the error early on, and so [people who were issued duplicate tickets] will probably get the notice of the violation being canceled even before they get the second ticket,” city Transportation Director Michelle Pourciau said. (Balt. Sun)

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Staff shortages are dangerous, Anne Arundel firefighters union says

Firefighter union leaders on Monday accused Anne Arundel County of creating "dangerous situations" for firefighters and county residents because of staffing shortages in the fire department. In a press conference outside the Arundel Center in Annapolis, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1563 president Joe Addivinola said firefighters arriving on the scene of blazes in Shady Side on Thursday and Deale on Saturday had to rely on help from bystanders to start fighting the fires before backup crews showed up. "Right now we're at dangerous situations; we're understaffed," Addivinola said. "We truly think this is a state of emergency and we need more personnel on staff." (Capital)

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County fighting back as drug abuse death toll climbs

The number of heroin-related deaths in Howard County between January and March this year doubled compared to the same time frame last year, painting a grim reality of the substance abuse crisis the county faces. Maryland's Department of Health released a statewide report Aug. 4 detailing the number of drug- and alcohol-related intoxication deaths during the first quarter of 2017. The report comes amid a time of high publicity for the opioid crisis, as President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the crisis a national emergency. Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland in March. Howard County, like other jurisdictions in Maryland, saw a rise in deaths related to a number of drugs, including heroin, prescription opioids and, most dramatically, fentanyl. (Ho. Co. Times)

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New vision says Aberdeen is 'vibrant,' 'growing,' 'proud' and 'bold'

Aberdeen mayor Patrick McGrady and the four City Council members spent the better part of the day Saturday crafting a long-range vision for their city and setting major goals they want to achieve. They produced a vision statement which encompasses the city's heritage, its position as a regional transportation hub and a desire for future excellence. They then homed in on three major goals involving quality of life, downtown revitalization and north Interstate 95 growth and encouraging businesses to locate and/or expand in Aberdeen. (Aegis)

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Williamsport plans $1.5M water-line project

Williamsport is planning to replace water lines along Sunset Avenue and Artizan Street next year. The Williamsport Town Council voted 4-0 Monday night to introduce an ordinance allocating $1.5 million in funding, including a $750,000 loan for the project. The council is expected to vote on adopting the ordinance during its Sept. 11 meeting. Old water lines tend to leak, costing the purchasers and producers of water money, said Rob Hebb, an engineer with The Thrasher Group. (Herald-Mail)

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Frederick medical clinic evaluating hundreds of patients for medical cannabis program

A clinic in Frederick has qualified more than 1,000 patients for Maryland’s medical cannabis registry. Green Health Docs has been operating in a storefront in the Monocacy Village Shopping Center on East Street. The company also has locations in Hagerstown, Rockville and Cumberland, with a Dundalk location slated to open later this month. One of the clinic’s owners, Dr. Shivangi Amin, said one of the clinic’s motivating factors is the opioid crisis. “I had a friend that, unfortunately, lost their life to an opioid overdose,” Amin said. “Marijuana is something that helps with pain and, taken in the right dose, is not addictive. And it can help these patients live a better life, function better in their daily lives.” (News-Post)

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Discolored water showing up in Montgomery, Prince George’s. Yechhh.

Hundreds of people in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties have been complaining about discolored, brownish water gushing from their taps, but the problem is one of appearance and not of safety, authorities said. Since the start of this month, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which serves the two Maryland counties, has received more than 700 complaints about the color of the water, the utility said Monday. In the spring, it said, about 200 to 300 such complaints are logged each month. But the utility’s CEO, Carla A. Reid, said no adverse health effects are expected. (Wash. Post)

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City begins work to control traffic at 'crash corner' after Spirits Tavern accident

Baltimore’s Department of Transportation installed new posts at the corner of Bank and Wolfe streets in Fells Point in an effort to control traffic at the intersection known to residents as “crash corner,” where Spirits Tavern was struck by a car last weekend. Running along Wolfe Street on the northwest side of the intersection, the posts are intended to give drivers heading east on Bank Street better visibility as they cross Wolfe Street’s two southbound lanes. City Councilman Zeke Cohen, whose district includes Fells Point, unveiled the new posts Monday afternoon. (Balt. Sun)

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