OneBaltimore — created to raise millions after the unrest — has shut down

OneBaltimore, a group that promised to bring long-lasting change to some of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods in the wake of the April 2015 unrest, has shut down. Michael Cryor, tapped by former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to lead the group, said this week the group was no longer operating. Cryor said he plans to continue some of the group's work on his own, but without the OneBaltimore name. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Pugh scrutinizes amount of police overtime

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh called for an audit of the Baltimore City Police Department's overtime. Overtime fraud is a key part of the federal case against seven officers recently charged. But police overtime has been running unchecked for years, due, in part, to big events in where their presence is needed. Officers are typically paid overtime to staff the events, and it is an expense the mayor is questioning. Pugh has asked for a forensic audit of the Police Department's overtime. On Wednesday, she stressed the current rate at $1.6 million every two weeks, which is $40 million per year, is unaffordable. (WBAL-TV)

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Casino funds, rising property values fuel modest growth in Pr. George’s budget

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is proposing a fiscal 2018 budget that includes modest spending increases on teacher salaries, economic development and other initiatives, fueled by rising property values and the first full year of revenue from the new MGM casino at National Harbor. The $3.84 billion spending plan would fund hundreds of new police, sheriff and fire recruits, as well as programming targeted at the some of the county’s most vulnerable populations: senior citizens and the disabled. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore veterans center touted as example of energy efficiency program's success

Environmental advocates who want Gov. Larry Hogan to support stronger carbon emissions cuts hosted an event at a veterans training center in Baltimore to tout the benefits. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a joint effort among nine states including Maryland, calls for emissions to be reduced by 2.5 percent per year through 2020. (Balt. Sun)

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Hopkins-led study finds 'the pill' would be safe without prescription

A new Johns Hopkins study could fuel ongoing efforts to allow women to get birth control pills without seeing a doctor. Bills pending in each house of the Maryland General Assembly would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives. The study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins' School of Medicine found that oral contraceptives can be sold safely over the counter to all women, including teens. (Balt. Sun)

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Fracking problems would affect whole state, opponents tell Harford forum

Natural gas companies may be looking only at far Western Maryland to extract the fuel via hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but opponents stressed to Harford County residents Wednesday that ill effects to the environment and public health could be felt throughout the state if a two-year moratorium ends in October. Harford County Climate Action partnered with the Harford County League of Women Voters and Harford Community College's Environmental Club to put on a three-hour long community forum, which included a panel discussion and question-and-answer session about fracking. (Aegis)

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Van Hollen, Berliner admonish state for delays in improving safety at Bethesda intersection

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Council President Roger Berliner and four state lawmakers are pressuring Maryland transportation officials for a status update on safety improvements at the Bethesda intersection where three people died last year. Members of the Walt Whitman High School community have grown frustrated by lack of progress in addressing safety concerns at juncture of River Road and Braeburn Parkway. (Bethesda)

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Reggie Oldak to run for District 1 County Council seat

A second candidate has emerged for the District 1 County Council seat that will be open in 2018. Bethesda resident Reggie Oldak confirmed Tuesday in an interview with Bethesda Beat that she will pursue the seat being vacated by her former boss—council President Roger Berliner—who must step down from the council due to term limits. (Bethesda)

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