Baltimore County Executive Mohler proposes leveraging $200,000 annually for bike trails, lanes

Baltimore County plans to set aside $200,000 to match grants from the state, the federal government and private programs that could go toward building bike paths and bike lanes under a new initiative from County Executive Don Mohler. The money for the program, dubbed BaltCoBike 2030, initially come from the Department of Public Works budget. In an emailed statement, Mohler said he hopes there will be a line item in the county’s budget each year to support the program. Baltimore County has purchased 4 acres of land in Lansdowne that will be preserved as open space. (Balt. Sun)

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Consent decree monitor stresses need for permanent BPD commissioner

Consent Decree Monitor Kenneth L. Thompson stressed the importance for Baltimore to find a permanent police commissioner in order to implement changes required by the decree, he told a room of members of the region’s business community at a breakfast hosted by the Greater Baltimore Committee on Monday. In talking about a staffing plan for the Baltimore Police Department, Thompson said that such a plan needs to be a “living and breathing document” with input from a permanent commissioner. (Daily Record)

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Baltimore judge denies ex-bishop Heather Cook's request for immediate release from prison in fatal DUI crash

A Baltimore judge has denied former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook’s request for an early release from her prison sentence for fatally striking a bicyclist while driving drunk in 2014. In issuing his ruling Monday at the conclusion of a sometimes contentious 75-minute hearing, Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy Doory said he believed Cook has demonstrated “substantial rehabilitation” during her three years behind bars, but that was not the sole criterion to be considered. He said if he granted the sentence modification Cook requested — that two of her four sentences be changed from consecutive to concurrent status — it would amount to ruling that she spend no time behind bars on one of those counts: the crime of leaving the scene of a collision. (Balt. Sun)

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Aberdeen budgets $150,000 to start its defense of Ripken Stadium lawsuit

The City of Aberdeen is proposing an initial budget of $150,000 to begin its defense of a breach of contract lawsuit filed by Cal Ripken Jr. and his baseball management company. The Aberdeen City Council, at its meeting Monday night, voted 3-1 to introduce an amendment to its FY2019 budget to transfer $150,000 from its general fund into the stadium fund. “In concert with our movement into the Ripken issue, the stadium issue, this is a projection [City Finance Director Obiripo] Jack and I discussed… is earmarked for legal fees,” Aberdeen City Manager Randy Robertson said. (Aegis)

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Head of county permitting retires amid MGM National Harbor construction investigation

Haitham A. Hijazi, head of the Prince George’s County permitting department that is being investigated as part of a broadening probe of construction flaws at MGM National Harbor, submitted his retirement Monday. Hijazi is leaving the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, a spokesman for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) confirmed. Hijazi, who has led the department since 2013, sent a retirement notice to Baker’s office, spokesman Scott Peterson said. (Wash. Post)

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With Monday rain, 2018 becomes Baltimore's third-wettest year on record

More than an inch of rain fell across the region Monday, pushing 2018 to the No. 3 spot among Baltimore’s wettest years on record. There has now been more than 59 inches of precipitation this year at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall, a total surpassed only in 1889 and 2003. In both of those years, more than 62 inches of precipitation fell. That means 2018 is less than 4 inches away from becoming Baltimore’s wettest year. (Balt. Sun)

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Nearly $1.1 million distributed to flood victims

More than $1.1 million in grants has been distributed to victims of the Ellicott City flood, the Community Foundation of Howard County and the Ellicott City Partnership said. Eligible requests for individuals, heads of household, employees, business owners and residential property owners have been fully funded by donations, the two foundations said. The Howard County Community Relief Fund will continue to accept donations through Nov. 30 to bridge the $278,750 gap in funding the commercial property category of requests. Any donations made after Nov. 30 will go towards future relief funding. (WMAR)

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Patriot Plaza to reopen with new green space in Towson on Nov. 15

After five months of delays, the newly greened Patriot Plaza will be reopening in Towson with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 15, officials said. County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said the ribbon-cutting for the concrete square turned green space, adjacent to the Circuit Courthouse, will be held at 11:30 a.m. “I definitely get the sense that people are excited,” Kobler said. “It looked great already. Much more green space.” Kobler said a rainy year delayed the $5.5 million renovation, which broke ground in September 2017. (Balt. Sun)

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