Washington County to hire Rob Slocum as next administrator

Rob Slocum's familiarity with operations and his 15 years as an employee were cited as reasons why the Washington County Board of Commissioners selected him Wednesday to be the next county administrator. The five commissioners were unanimous in selecting Slocum, the current director of the county Division of Engineering and Construction Management, from three finalists to succeed Greg Murray, Commissioner Wayne Keefer said. (Herald-Mail)

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March 15 // Leggett proposes $5.44 billion Montgomery County budget

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett released a $5.44 billion fiscal 2018 operating budget proposal Tuesday that includes a slight decrease in taxes to keep rates at the limit imposed by the county charter and additional funds for the county school system. The overall budget is a 2.7 percent increase from the current $5.3 billion budget that included last year's 8.7 percent property tax increase. (Bethesda)

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Harford County Council adopts pro-business, pro-green energy legislation launching Commercial PACE

The Harford County Council recently passed legislation proposed by County Executive Barry Glassman enabling property and business owners in the county to take advantage of Maryland’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (MD-PACE) program. MD-PACE is an innovative and affordable way for commercial, industrial, and nonprofit building owners to pay for energy improvements. (Dagger)

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House budget changes strike LYNX program, proposed conference center

As the Maryland House of Delegates continues work on next year’s state budget, funding for two key county projects has been thrown into question. A revision that the House Appropriations Committee passed to the state’s operating budget strips funding from the LYNX pilot program set to begin at Frederick High School next fall. The full House chamber is set to start debate on the operating budget Wednesday. On Tuesday, the House Appropriations capital budget subcommittee voted to accept Gov. Larry Hogan’s budget decision that deauthorizes $16 million in bond funding for a proposed hotel and conference center in downtown Frederick. (News-Post)

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Program would help link veterans with therapy dogs

Sgt. Matthew Morres couldn't escape the sense that he had lost a piece of himself when he first returned home from Afghanistan. After an explosion broke his back and left him with traumatic brain injury, he was told he would have to be medically retired. It was a dog that ultimately helped him regain his sense of self. Morres started working with Warrior Canine Connection, a Boyds-based nonprofit that teaches veterans how to train service dogs for fellow veterans. Morres shared his story in Annapolis last month to explain why he supports legislation from state Sen. Bryan Simonaire that would create a partnership between nonprofits and the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, with the goal of helping connect more veterans to therapy dog programs. (Capital)

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Former Baltimore County police chief still on payroll, will receive $117,000 severance package

Six weeks after leaving his position as head of the Baltimore County Police Department, former chief Jim Johnson is still on the county payroll. Johnson, who retired at the end of January, will continue to receive his salary through the end of March, making a total of $45,954 after leaving the job, officials told The Baltimore Sun. When the paychecks stop, he will receive a severance package totaling $117,000. (Balt. Sun)

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Ugly Route 13 could get urban makeover

The miles of fast food restaurants, gas stations and strip malls that line business Route 13 through Salisbury are not what most people consider attractive. Some people, including Mayor Jake Day, think it’s just plain ugly. Now a plan that will guide future development along the city’s backbone, with a focus on denser, more urban design, will be presented to City Council members this week. (Daily Times)

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Devin Allen publishes book of Baltimore photographs, 'A Beautiful Ghetto'

The photographer Devin Allen -- who in less than two years has become one of Baltimore's best-known and well-liked native sons -- is about to publish a book of photographs of his city. "A Beautiful Ghetto" will be published June 13 by Haymarket Books, an independent firm based in Chicago that specializes in publications aimed at bringing about social change. According to the listing on Amazon.com, "A Beautiful Ghetto" will include 100 of Allen's black and white photos, including the illustration that made the cover of Time magazine during the April, 2015 uprising after the death of Freddie Gray. (Balt. Sun)

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