Harford plans 'signing bonus' to spark land preservation

In an effort to entice more farmland owners to participate in the county-funded preservation program, Harford County's administration wants to offer a special incentive payment aimed at farms in areas under development pressure. Described by Director of Administration Billy Boniface as a "signing bonus," the one-time cash payment would be offered to landowners who agree to sell their development rights to the county. The properties must be located within two designated areas: along Route 23 between Forest Hill and Jarrettsville and along Route 136 between Churchville and Creswell. (Aegis)

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Carroll water and sewer rates to hold steady next year

Carroll County water and sewer rates will not increase in fiscal year 2018, according to a presentation by county Comptroller Robert Burk made at the Thursday morning meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. "We take a look at the rates on an annual basis to make sure we are able to support the budget called for in the upcoming year," Burk told the commissioners. "My recommendation is that no rate change is needed for FY18." (Carr. Co. Times)

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City official says APG is 'extraordinarily helpful, supportive' to Aberdeen

The City of Aberdeen recently received a donation of playground equipment from Aberdeen Proving Ground that the Army installation was no longer planning to use. That donation of several thousand dollars worth of equipment and two other donations in recent months are an indication of just how good the city's relationship is with the post, Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson said recently. "The relationship between us has been phenomenal, not just giving us things, but the working relationship," Robertson said. "The synergy between the two ... I can't be more complimentary of how they're working with the city." (Aegis)

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HBO movie on Henrietta Lacks puts spotlight on Johns Hopkins

As a movie starring Oprah Winfrey about Henrietta Lacks and her groundbreaking cells hits television screens Saturday, one major character in her story has remained muted. Johns Hopkins Medicine, whose doctors took Lacks' cells without her consent during a diagnostic procedure in 1951, has kept a low profile amid the fanfare surrounding the HBO movie, based on the bestselling book "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. (Balt. Sun)

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Woman who collapsed in Baltimore police custody dies; investigation continues

A woman who collapsed in a holding cell at a Baltimore police station this month — leading to the suspension of a police lieutenant pending the conclusion of an investigation into her arrest — has died, according to police. Kim Doreen Chase, 52, was pronounced dead Thursday morning at Saint Agnes Hospital, police said. She collapsed April 9 after being arrested near her mother's home in Southwest Baltimore by city police officers on an open warrant out of Calvert County. Police said an autopsy will determine the "exact cause and manner" of Chase's death, but that there was no inappropriate force used during her arrest. (Balt. Sun)

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No Independence Day carnival in Havre de Grace this summer

There will be no carnival during the Independence Day celebration in Havre de Grace this summer, a member of the commission planning the event said earlier this week. The carnival will not happen this year because the operator the commission said it had secured earlier in the year, Sherwood Amusements, bowed out after the owner retired because of health issues, Keri Kateley, the commission's carnival coordinator, told the Havre de Grace City Council during their meeting on the road Monday night at Joseph L. Davis American Legion Post 47. (Aegis)

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April 20 // Maryland regulators ease restrictions on past marijuana use by prospective police officers

Regulators in Maryland have eased restrictions on the amount of marijuana prospective police officers may have smoked before being hired in the state — a move Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis championed to boost his department's hiring efforts. The new rule, which received final approval from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission on Wednesday, bars the hiring of any prospective officers who have smoked marijuana in the past three years. It replaces a state policy dating to the 1970s that had disqualified police applicants who had used marijuana more than 20 times in their lives, or five times since turning 21 years old. (Balt. Sun)

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Parks officials decide to rid system’s vending machines of certain sports drinks, sodas

A resolution approved Wednesday will effectively bar many sodas and Gatorade products from vending machines in Montgomery County parks. The proposal endorsed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission sets caps for calorie and sodium content in snacks and drinks. Health advocates earlier this week had been concerned about proposed amendments that would've raised the limits from 250 to 290 calories and from 200 to 270 milligrams of sodium. (Bethesda)

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