Baltimore politicians, track owners duel over Pimlico future

Aptly nicknamed Old Hilltop, antiquated Pimlico Race Course has finally reached the point where its illustrious past might not be enough to assure a vibrant future. The 144th Preakness will be run Saturday at Pimlico, and will be back next year, too. After that, well, nobody can predict the fate of a track where Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat and many others pranced to the winner’s circle. There continues to be a push to have Laurel Park host the second leg of the Triple Crown. (AP) 

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New Maryland law aimed at ‘team culture’ to help protect college athletes

A bill designed to protect the health and safety of college athletes has been signed into law in Maryland. State Del. Shelly Hettleman said the bill was a direct result of the “unfortunate and tragic death” of Jordan McNair, a 19-year-old University of Maryland athlete from Randallstown, Maryland. McNair was an offensive lineman at the College Park campus who collapsed after a preseason conditioning drill and later died last year. Investigations found that there was a delay of more than an hour before 911 was called to attend to the freshman football player. McNair’s death led to calls for changes at the University of Maryland. (WTOP)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan signs bill banning young adults from buying tobacco, nicotine products

Gov. Larry Hogan signed a measure Monday to raise the age for buying tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21 — after Maryland’s legislature carved out an exemption for members of the military. In signing the bill, the Republican governor broke with some members of his party, who had decried the measure as “nanny state” legislation. Democrats argued the bill is aimed at protecting teens from the harmful health effects of smoking. “There is no more important job than protecting the health and safety of Marylanders,” Hogan said of signing the legislation, along with several other health-related bills. (Balt. Sun)

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Hogan, Local Lawmakers Give Thumbs-Down to Trump’s July 4 Plan

President Trump’s plan to tweak Washington, D.C.’s traditional July 4 celebration on the National Mall isn’t playing well with political leaders in neighboring Maryland. According to The Washington Post Saturday, Trump ordered Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to begin organizing an event called “A Salute to America” three months ago. The customary Independence Day fireworks would be moved from the center of the mall to a spot closer to the Potomac River, the Post reported. And the president, who is up for reelection next year, would break from tradition by giving a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. (Md. Matters)

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‘I’m at the helm’: In battered Baltimore, a veteran politician aims for calm

On his first weekend as mayor, Bernard C. “Jack” Young visited a neighborhood where a gunman’s stray bullets outside a corner market wounded five people, including two toddlers. “My heart breaks for our babies,” said Young, standing in the rain alongside the police commissioner, himself only recently hired. They were seeking to reassure a raw and frazzled city three days after a scandal forced former mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) to resign. Their audience was skeptical. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore finance director says people who paid taxes at last minute won't be penalized because of ransomware

Baltimore Finance Director Henry Raymond said people who made payments last week to avoid having their property included in Baltimore’s annual tax debt auction will be “held harmless,” even though a ransomware attack meant city staff couldn’t properly process payments. The tax sale, which takes the form of online auction, proceeded as scheduled Monday. Raymond and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young briefed members of the City Council on the fallout from the hack at a regular working lunch. (Balt. Sun)

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City seeking state funds for three projects

City officials said Tuesday they are seeking $540,000 in state funding for three improvement projects in Cumberland. The projects include improvements to the Center City Parking Garage, $140,000; replacement of the YMCA's central dehumidification system, $250,000; and $150,000 for code enforcement in the city's historic districts. Kathy McKenney, community development program manager, gave a presentation on the proposals during Tuesday's regular meeting of the mayor and City Council. (Times-News)


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Year after his death, Kevin Kamenetz's legacy lives on

It was quite possibly the most shocking story in local politics last year: Kevin Kamenetz, in the midst of a run for governor, died of a massive heart attack. A year later, his family is continues to try to redefine normal for them. Kamenetz's widow, Jill Kamenetz, remembers the man who stood out after just their second date. "I came home from my second date and I said to my mother, 'This is it.' And she said, 'You never like anybody. Why is this it? And he dresses terribly.' And I said, 'I know, he does, but I'm going to fix that,'" Jill Kamenetz said. (WBAL)

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