Ex-inmate sues Maryland prison over hepatitis C treatment

A man is suing a Maryland prison for failing to properly treat his hepatitis C while he was incarcerated. The Daily Record reports Robert Williams filed a federal lawsuit last week that says that failure had led to long-term health complications. Williams says he wasn’t treated while at the Jessup Correctional Institute, leading to cirrhosis and internal bleeding. The lawsuit names the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, prison health care provider Wexford Health Sources Inc. and medical staff. The defendants didn’t respond to the outlet’s requests for comment. (WTOP)

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Spending board, controlled by Mayor Pugh, raises Baltimore water rates again

City Councilman Zeke Cohen was dissed, but it seems he’s in good company. Public Works Director Rudy Chow never replied to Cohen’s letter asking for a rate study to justify the proposed 30%, three-year Baltimore water rate increase, the 1st District councilman said. Comptroller Joan M. Pratt says Chow ghosted her on the issue, too. According to Pratt, she formally asked DPW in 2016 for information backing up future rate hike requests and did so again recently as part of an audit. (Balt. Brew)

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Baltimore police commissioner search: Michael Harrison of New Orleans is next pick, will serve in acting role

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh on Tuesday named New Orleans police superintendent Michael Harrison as her latest pick to lead the city’s beleaguered Police Department, saying his experience in reducing violence and introducing federally mandated policing reforms in The Big Easy would help him tackle similar challenges here. Pugh said Harrison has “achieved clear, compelling and consistent results” in reducing violence while deploying “proactive and effective policing strategies that reflect 21st century, constitutional policing,” and would bring the “insight and sensitivity needed to reestablish essential trust and confidence of citizens in their police officers.” (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore City Council members call for independent study of recently announced increase in water rate

Five members of Baltimore’s City Council are demanding that the Department of Public Works launch an independent study to justify a recently announced water-rate increase. Under DPW’s proposal, which will go before the city’s spending board Wednesday, water rates would go up more than 9 percent every year for three years, resulting in an approximately 30 percent increase over time. The city, citing costly but necessary improvements to its aging water and sewer systems, has raised rates regularly in recent years, to the point that residents pay double what they did nine years ago. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Federal government contributing to opioid crisis in Anne Arundel

Anne Arundel health officials say the federal government is contributing to the county opioid crisis by restricting low-income residents with public housing assistance to “areas where drugs are readily available.” In a draft report for the county’s Mental Health Agency’s Fiscal Year 2020 plan, officials wrote that Housing and Urban Development are effectively confining low-income residents to very specific areas by the way they calculate eligibility for housing vouchers. And agency officials say people in addiction recovery are having issues finding housing in drug-free areas as a result. (Capital)

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Use drones to deliver organs for transplant? Baltimore surgeon says it would save precious time, money

At a Southern Maryland airfield, Dr. Joseph Scalea watched a drone carrying a kidney in a cardboard cooler fly 3 miles. The test flight, repeated 14 times, was the culmination of three years’ work by the University of Maryland Medical Center transplant surgeon, who sees the unmanned aircraft as the ultimate method for delivering life-saving organs from donors to recipients. “I did a transplant where the organ flew 1,500 miles from Alabama on a commercial aircraft and it took 29 hours,” Scalea said. “That’s ridiculous. It could have been here in six. And yet that’s accepted as how we do things.” (Balt. Sun)

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After spike in complaints, Montgomery boosts inspections at high-rise complex

Montgomery County housing inspectors will examine every unit at a high-rise Silver Spring apartment complex that some county officials say has had problems with mold and vermin. The inspections of the Enclave Silver Spring — a 1,119-unit, three-building high-rise complex in White Oak — were announced Tuesday by County Executive Marc Elrich (D), who took office in December and has pledged a stronger focus on housing and tenant protections. Elrich had heard about mold and other issues from several Enclave tenants at listening sessions he held around the county after his election. He later said hearing their complaints was “embarrassing and humiliating.” (Wash. Post)

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Ahead of General Assembly start, millions requested through Anne Arundel bond bills

When women seek drug and alcohol treatment, they don’t always have a place to take their children. “We’re one of maybe four, that I’m aware of, where women in treatment can have their children with them,” said Chris McCabe, executive director of Chrysalis House in Crownsville. “Women come here from all over the state.” On any given day, Chrysalis House sees 70 women and children in its inpatient and transitional programs, McCabe said. And as the region’s opioid crisis rages on, the facility is nearly busting at the seams. (Capital)

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