Activists, others arrested during 'AFROMATION' protest at Artscape sue Baltimore Police over treatment

Nine people arrested amid protests on and near the Jones Falls Expressway during last year’s Artscape festival have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department, alleging they were improperly targeted and subjected to inhumane conditions. The plaintiffs include several members of the activist group Baltimore Bloc, which helped organize the “AFROMATION” protests against police mistreatment of black residents, and others who joined the protest. (Balt. Sun)

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Md.'s bid to buy Somerset forest tract raises questions

A huge stretch of forest in Somerset County with a colorful past may be preserved for a greener future. But the deal is facing criticism levied by Maryland's top financial official. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot calls the proposed $3.4 million purchase a potential waste of tax money since the 1,664-acre property north of Princess Anne faces practically no threat of ever being developed. (Daily Times)

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National study puts timeline on impact of sea-level rise in Maryland and Virginia

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, rising seawater levels and chronic flooding threaten to disrupt daily life, damage homes and businesses, and swallow land in the relatively near future, according to a new study. For some parts of the Eastern Shore, there soon may be no more there there. That’s the takeaway from a report released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The study, “When Rising Seas Hit Home: Hard Choices Ahead for Hundreds of U.S. Coastal Communities,” looks at the impact rising sea levels caused by global warming will have on coastal regions across the country. (Wash. Post)

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Number of guns seized up sharply at BWI, airports nationwide

The number of guns seized at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is climbing sharply, authorities say, mirroring a years-long increase at airports throughout the region and across the country. Seizures at BWI rose 50 percent in 2016, and are on pace to climb another 33 percent this year. Nationwide, they increased last year by nearly 28 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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Emergency services staffing a growing concern in Washington County

The need for fire and emergency-medical service volunteers always has been a critical issue. It wasn't until last fall that staffing was determined to be the No. 1 priority for all 26 volunteer Washington County fire and EMS companies. Countywide, the average failed response rate for volunteer fire companies on dispatched emergency calls was 4.2 percent in May, while "light" or understaffed responses were significantly greater, at 39.6 percent, said David Hays, director of county emergency services. (Herald-Mail)

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Carroll overdose deaths up in first six months of 2017

Carroll County saw 25 deaths related to drug and alcohol poisoning in the first sixth months of 2017. That's according to the latest figures from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which indicated two deaths occurred in June. Heroin was implicated in seven of the deaths and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl in five deaths, a total that may change pending official toxicology reports from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. These statistic show that the rate of overdose deaths, particularly those associated with heroin and other opioids, have continued to grow. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Hopkins surgeons develop minimally invasive surgery for chronic pancreatitis

Johns Hopkins Medicine surgeons have developed a minimally invasive surgery to address chronic pancreatitis, a painful condition that can be remedied by removing the pancreas. While some cases of chronic pancreatitis are caused by alcoholism, most of them are from a genetic mutation. But the suffers of the condition are often written off as alcoholics or drug addicts because of the opioids they use to manage the pain, said Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. (Balt. Sun)

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Ocean City to explore gas, electric options for Boardwalk tram replacements

Resort officials this week moved closer to resolution on the Boardwalk tram issue after approving a dual Request for Proposal (RFP) to explore options and benefits for both gasoline and electric replacements. For the last several months, the Transportation Committee and city staff have been exploring options for repairing or replacing the city’s fleet of Boardwalk trams that are nearing the end of their useful life. From the beginning, all options have been on the table from refurbishing the existing trams used on the Boardwalk and at Winterfest of Lights, for example, or replacing them with new gasoline-powered or electric-powered options. (Dispatch)

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