Road paving, sidewalk repairs are priority in Bel Air's proposed budget

A handful of streets in Bel Air will be repaved in the next fiscal year, if funding for them is approved as the town commissioners prepare the budget. At their meeting Monday night, the commissioners accepted the town administrator's proposed budget, which commissioners will review, change and, eventually, adopt as the FY2018 budget. The proposed budget — at $12,947,766 — is 1.3 percent less ($174,342) than what the commissioners approved for the current fiscal year, $13,122,108. (Aegis)

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April 21 // Exploring Baltimore, a City With Style to Spare, on a Budget

I’m a terrible bowler: I’m lucky to crack 90 on a good day. So when I went with my friend Jared to Patterson Bowling Center, east of downtown Baltimore, to try out duckpin bowling, an idiosyncratic local pastime, I thought my fortunes might change. My visit to Baltimore was filled with quirky fun like this: singular activities that make Maryland’s largest city a creative hotbed and thoroughly worthwhile place to visit. Despite my limited budget, I was able to enjoy excellent food, discover historical landmarks and make the most of a city whose eccentricity led the director John Waters, a native, to say, “you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style.” (NYT)

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Idea of a new bay bridge is subject of meeting

Maryland Transit Authority officials said Thursday night that they're looking at every location, from Kent County to the Virginia border, to find a spot for a new Chesapeake Bay bridge span. They hope to have that list narrowed by the end of 2018, and a final location by the end of 2020. The officials spoke during a transportation-focused meeting held by the Broadneck Council of Communities, Inc., a group which unites community associations on the peninsula with the goals of promoting environmental improvements to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, protecting the peninsula, and ensuring compliance with the county's critical area laws. (Capital)

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Baltimore accepting applications for Community Oversight Task Force members under federal consent decree

Baltimore is accepting applications from prospective members of a panel designed to provide community oversight of the city police department, as mandated under the city's federal consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. "This is going to be a transparent and open process because we need the community's input to make true reforms to our police department and to build a strong working relationship between the community and the department," Mayor Catherine Pugh said at City Hall on Thursday. (Balt. Sun)

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Advocates announce $500,000 legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants in Baltimore

Advocates announced a new $500,000 legal defense fund Thursday for undocumented immigrants in Baltimore in response to a series of high-profile federal immigration arrests here. Standing in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Southeast Baltimore, Diana Morris director of the Open Society Institute's Baltimore branch, said many immigrants feel "under attack." "We see children afraid to go to school," she said. "Parents afraid to drop their children off at school." (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel, Annapolis to offer 'safe stations' to help drug addicts

They couldn't have asked for more immediate interest. Inside the Brooklyn Park Volunteer Fire Company's fire house, a who's-who of Anne Arundel County dignitaries gathered to offer sanctuary to those addicted to drugs. About two hours later, someone took them up on their offer when a man walked into the fire station and asked for help with his addiction. The region's fire departments and police stations will serve as resource centers for people addicted to drugs who want help and also will give free medical evaluations to those seeking treatment, county and Annapolis officials announced Thursday. (Capital)

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Baltimore County, state to fund $4.5 million dredging of Bird River

Baltimore County is planning a multimillion-dollar dredging of the Bird River, a waterway in the eastern part of the county that residents say has been clogged by sediment-filled runoff. The $4.5 million project will be funded jointly by the county and the state and will remove about 50,000 cubic yards of sediment — enough to fill 15 Olympic-size swimming pools — from the bottom of the Bird River and Railroad Creek. "You're not going to find a river that's more sediment-polluted," said Janet Terry of the Bird River Restoration Committee, a community advocacy group. Terry hosted county officials at her riverfront home Thursday to announce the project. (Balt. Sun)

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Sotterley Plantation in southern Maryland to open its slave quarters to the public

When genealogist Agnes Kane Callum made her first visit to Sotterley, the sprawling St. Mary's County plantation where her great-grandfather lived as a slave, she was surprised to learn that the tour included no stops at the 1830s-era slave cabin that stands down the hill from the main mansion. In fact, when Callum, a Baltimore native who spent decades chronicling Maryland's African-American history, insisted on seeing the building, she found it locked with a "DO NOT ENTER" sign across the door. "For many years, the prevailing sentiment was 'Let's leave that whole subject behind; it's too difficult,'" says Nancy Easterling, director of Historic Sotterley Inc., the nonprofit that operates the 94-acre site as a living monument to the past. (Balt. Sun)

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