State's foreclosure-start rate among nation's highest

Maryland had the fifth-highest rate of new foreclosure cases in the nation during the summer, the number increasing from the spring even as many other states improved, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. It's not a new problem. The mortgage bankers' trade group said the effects of the mortgage crisis, which hit about six years ago, are lingering longer in Maryland and other states that require at least some court involvement before foreclosure auction is permitted. That "tends to slow things up," said the group's chief economist, Jay Brinkmann. (Balt. Sun)

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Montgomery County cabbies protest credit card transaction fees

Montgomery County taxi drivers rallied Thursday morning in protest of the credit card transaction fees they say they are forced to pay to the taxi companies in the county. The drivers said they pay a bigger share on every credit card transaction than other Washington area cabbies and they are asking Montgomery County to intervene on their behalf. The cabbies say they pay a transaction fee of up to 8.5 percent on every credit card fare, when other D.C. area taxi drivers pay between 3 percent and 5 percent per transaction. (Wash. Post)

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Calvert grants Dominion temporary tax credit, payments in lieu of taxes

Following 20 speakers’ comments during a public hearing this week about granting Dominion Cove Point tax credit and payments in lieu of taxes, the county commissioners didn’t seem to hesitate to grant the proposed agreement. The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved to close the public record and amend county code to permit the county to grant a property tax credit and enter into an agreement for the payment of county taxes with the owner of a facility for the liquefaction of natural gas. (Recorder)

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Pepco, PSC criticized at forum

Just hours after Pepco executives touted earnings and promised investors a push for higher rates, power reliability advocates castigated the utility and the Maryland system they say hurts customers. Pepco representatives were not welcome Wednesday evening at a forum in North Bethesda, designed to educate candidates for state and local office about the current regulatory climate. (Gazette)

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Environmental group again rallies residents to action against Dominion project

Maryland is at a crossroads between clean, renewable energy and a “radical detour,” according to Chesapeake Climate Action Network. On Wednesday night, about 50 people attended CCAN’s town hall meeting at St. Mary’s College of Maryland as part of the organization’s nine-stop “Maryland Crossroads 2013 Tour: Clean Energy, Not Cove Point!” The purpose of the tour is “to rally public opposition” and “educate Marylanders” about Dominion’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project at its Cove Point facility in Lusby, according to a CCAN press release. (Recorder)

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Commissioners accept MAA grant money for airport master plan

A new master plan for the Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster will be developed as the county prepares to fund a runway expansion project. The Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 Thursday to accept $8,333 from the Maryland Aviation Administration to cover 5 percent of the cost to develop a new airport master plan. The county will be responsible for $8,333 while the Federal Aviation Administration will pay $150,000, according to Jeff Topper, deputy director of the county Department of Public Works. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Court denies bid to reopen menhaden fishery

A Dorchester County judge has denied a watermen's group's bid to reopen Maryland's menhaden fishery, but ordered a trial scheduled next spring on how the Department of Natural Resources has imposed catch limits on the prized bait fish. Circuit Court Judge David B. Mitchell refused in a hearing in Cambridge Wednesday to issue either a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction against DNR's enforcement of regulations under which it curtailed the catch of menhaden at the end of June. (Balt. Sun)

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Nov. 7 // Maryland Gets Approval To Seek Public-Private Partnership To Build, Operate Purple Line

Maryland transportation officials received state approval Wednesday to pursue private companies to design, build, operate and help pay for a $2.2 billion Purple Line in the Washington suburbs, marking a major milestone for the light-rail proposal. The state’s Board of Public Works — Gov. Martin O’Malley, State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot — unanimously approved the Maryland Department of Transportation’s plan to seek a public-private partnership for a 16-mile Purple Line. (Wash. Post)

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