2.5 million cubic yards of material to be dredged from Chesapeake Bay shipping channel

About 2.5 million cubic yards of mud, silt, sand and other material will be dredged from the Cape Henry Channel at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay near Norfolk, Va. — an approach that’s used by shipping lines to reach the port of Baltimore — according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Great Locks Dredge and Dock, based in Oak Brook, Ill., was awarded a $14.5 million contract to dredge the channel to a depth of 51 feet, plus another foot of “overdepth” — an allowance to account for unanticipated variations in the bottom surface. (Balt. Sun)

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Rockville becomes first city in Maryland to adopt mail-in voting system

Next year, the mailbox will become the ballot box in one Maryland city. Late Monday night, the Rockville City Council voted unanimously to move its city elections to a vote-by-mail format — meaning the city’s roughly 40,000 registered voters will receive their official ballots by mail and can return them by mail, beginning with the November 2019 election. Lois Neuman, chair of the Rockville City Board of Supervisors of Elections, said no other city in Maryland conducts its elections via the U.S. Postal Service. Several states — including Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have adopted a vote-by-mail system. (Wash. Post)

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Annapolis mayor's tax increase proposal breaks with campaign promises

Mayor Gavin Buckley proposed a 13-cent property tax increase Monday — a break with his campaign rhetoric. Buckley in a questionnaire filled out for the progressive activist group Action Annapolis, Buckley stated his opposition for raising property taxes. “The largest single contributor to the city budget is property tax revenue, which is consistent with other municipalities — and most residents would be able to guess that is true every April 15th when their tax bill comes,” Buckley wrote. (Capital)

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Deadly Maryland highway closer to getting a speed camera

A measure allowing the deployment of a speed camera on one of Maryland’s deadliest highways cleared the General Assembly on Monday, sending the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for his signature. With only hours left in the 2018 legislative session, the Senate approved one speed enforcement device for the Fort Washington area of MD 210, also known as Indian Head Highway, where residents have long complained about chronic speeding and reckless driving. The House approved the measure last month. (Wash. Post)

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Strict mail inspection process aims to keep contraband, particularly drugs, out of Harford jail

Like most lockups, mail sent to inmates of the Harford County Detention Center has to be checked for contraband, which typically involves drugs, those charged with screening the jail’s mail say. Two inmates and a former inmate at Harford County Detention Center were arrested earlier this year for allegedly smuggling drugs into the detention facility through the mail, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. (Aegis)

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Harford bills on power line construction pass in final day of 2018 General Assembly session

Three bills sponsored by Harford County legislators related to construction of overhead power lines, spurred by the controversial Transource Energy project in northern Harford, have been passed by the Maryland General Assembly, including one that passed Monday in the final hours of the 2018 legislative session. House Bill 1126, sponsored by Democratic Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, sets up “criteria to consider” before the Maryland Public Service Commission issues a certificate for public convenience and necessity, which allows an applicant to proceed with building or modifying power lines and generating facilities. (Aegis)

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Baltimore Police commissioner may remove homicide unit from Suiter case, calling their involvement 'unfair'

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said Tuesday that he is considering removing the investigation into Det. Sean Suiter’s death from his department’s homicide unit entirely, because having them investigate their friend and colleague’s death was “unfair” from the start. “It was unfair for them to have to investigate [the death of] one of their very own detectives, who worked on the floor with them in the homicide unit,” De Sousa said. “This is too close to home for them.” It’s unclear what removing the case from the unit, which has already conducted a large-scale investigation, would mean. (Balt. Sun)

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Deal would move Baltimore animal shelter to Cherry Hill to make way for high-tech driving range

Baltimore’s spending panel is expected on Wednesday to resolve a tangled real estate deal that involves moving the city's animal shelter to make way for a high-tech driving range near Horseshoe Casino. The Baltimore Development Corporation is asking the Board of Estimates to waive certain city rules to keep the way open for a deal the BDC says is otherwise at risk of collapsing. The deal originated in 2012, when a company involved in the development of the casino secured the right to acquire a pair of city-owned lots. (Balt. Sun)

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