Former chairman of UMMS board audit committee: 'What we've done is nothing wrong'

Robert L. Pevenstein, one of a handful of University of Maryland Medical System board members who have resigned in the wake of a self-dealing scandal related to lucrative contracts their companies held with the system, said he and his former colleagues have done “nothing wrong.” “I know what was disclosed in our committees,” said Pevenstein, who chaired the financial and audit committees that oversaw the board’s operations. (Balt. Sun)

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Addiction recovery center opens in Hagerstown

Frank Biden spoke in Hagerstown Thursday, but he didn't talk about politics. He talked about recovering from addiction. "This isn't about politics. This isn't about left and right and middle. This is about people who are suffering," he said. Biden is the brother of former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden. He also is a recovering alcoholic, sober for 23 years. He was in Hagerstown to help celebrate the grand opening of Awakenings Recovery Center, a 51-bed residential treatment center at 111 S. Potomac St. (Herald-Mail)

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Protestors crash Anne Arundel County police chief swearing-in ceremony

County Executive Steuart Pittman touted Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare’s relationship with communities and police in choosing to keep him as top cop. “People seem to love the guy, like he’s everyone’s brother,” Pittman told a crowd gathered Thursday for a ceremony to re-swear Altomare in as chief.  Most comments and speakers were met with cheers and applause. Pittman said there wasn’t room on the stage for all the supporters of the chief. Altomare spoke of his love for community leaders and police officers alike. But he wouldn’t depart without addressing the elephant in the Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park. (Balt. Sun)

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Fentanyl led to overdose increases in Maryland last year

In 2018, 2,114 people died in opioid-related deaths in Maryland, up from the 2009 fatalities in 2017. It was the eighth straight year opioid-related deaths increased, according to preliminary data released by the state. Most of the growth in opioid-related deaths can be attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, while deaths related to heroin have fallen.  While the number of deaths has continued to rise, that they rose at the slowest rate since 2011 — 5.2% — is a sign for optimism, said Steve Schuh, executive director of the state’s Opioid Operational Command Center. (Daily Record)

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Maryland drivers warned of license recall, confiscation risk

More than 66,000 Maryland drivers could have their licenses confiscated if they don’t quickly provide documentation to make them compliant with the federally-mandated REAL ID process. According to Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration, 66,300 are in possession of the newly-designed license, which include a REAL ID star near the upper-right corner, but haven’t brought required documents to the MVA by June to complete the process. “Without those documents, MDOT MVA will start flagging the affected driver’s licenses and identification cards in June as ‘recalled,'” according to the agency in a Thursday release. (WTOP)

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Pilot will allow e-scooters, bikes on some Montgomery Co. trails

Electric scooters and bikes will be allowed on certain park trails in Montgomery County, Maryland, starting next month. The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday approved a Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) pilot program that is meant to coincide with the official approval of shared, dockless pedal-assist bikes as well as electric scooters. Though electric bikes and scooters are technically banned on a number of trails across the region, including trails owned by the National Park Service, many users frequently take the trails anyway because the rules are not always clear, parks and planning staff said. (WTOP)

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Baltimore ransomware attack: Here's what's working and what's not in city government

Baltimore City agencies are scrambling this week to conduct business as normal amid a ransomware attack on government computers. Officials said Tuesday the city had fallen victim to hackers demanding payment to unlock encrypted files in city computers. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said city systems have had to “revert back to manual.” (Balt. Sun)

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Residents continue push for public hearing, Board of Appeals review of New Points sober living near Bel Air

Two residents of the Bel Air South community surrounding the planned New Points sober living facilities called upon members of the Harford County Council to act on their neighborhood’s behalf Tuesday as residents continue to seek a Board of Appeals review of the project as well as a public hearing. “As stated in the zoning code, the zoning Board of Appeals may impose conditions limitations and restrictions as necessary to preserve harmony with adjacent uses, ‘to protect the public health, safety and welfare’ of the neighbors, and this needs to happen,” resident Karli Bain said. (Aegis)

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