Swayed by project’s job potential, NAACP endorses maglev proposal

Maryland’s NAACP says its support for a proposed maglev train linking Baltimore and Washington boils down to jobs. Officials from the Maryland State Conference NAACP said on Friday the organization supports the project, expected to cost more than $10 billion to build, which would enable trains to travel between Washington and New York in an hour. “We believe this project has the opportunity to create black millionaires who are already (living) in Baltimore,” Kobi Little, president of the city’s NAACP branch, said. (Daily Record)

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‘The world is not yet ready for DeepNude’: Creator kills app that uses AI to fake naked images of women

An app developer who created an algorithm that can digitally undress women in photos has pulled the plug on the software after high traffic and a viral backlash convinced him that the world is not ready for it. DeepNude used artificial intelligence to create the “deepfake” images, presenting realistic approximations of what a woman — it was not designed to work on men — might look like without her clothes. Deepfake photos and videos often appear credible to the average viewer, prompting concerns by researchers and lawmakers about their potential to mislead the public, especially in the run-up to the 2020 election. (Wash. Post)

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Plant operations end, USW Local 676 president holding out hope buyer will emerge

From its beginning in 1888 to its closure on Sunday, the paper mill at Luke was the economic engine of the community for 131 years. Life in the Tri-Towns area — Luke, Westernport and Piedmont, West Virginia — was inexplicably linked to the pulp and paper mill. That source comes to an end today, the official final day for the mill. Current owners Verso Corp. announced April 30 the mill would close on June 30. A Verso press release said closure was necessary due to a decline in demand for coated paper produced at the mill, rising input costs, competition from overseas suppliers and the increasing cost of environmental compliance. (Times News)

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With Maryland's minimum wage set to rise, some in Carroll County fear need for future cuts

As Maryland’s state minimum wage gradually increases in the next several years, some Carroll County managers fear the bump in their employees’ paychecks could mean staff cuts or fewer hiring opportunities. State lawmakers approved a bill in March detailing a rise in baseline earnings that would be phased in through 2025 or 2026, depending on the size of the business. The outcome was decided when the Democrat-controlled legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto, which he signed out of concern that the increase could cut low-wage workers’ jobs and make the state less competitive. (Balt. Sun)

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New Maplehurst owner doesn't plan to reopen course

The former Maplehurst Golf Club has a new owner, who does not plan to reopen course. “I’m not going to run a golf course,” Dan Riley said. Riley foreclosed on the course last summer, and took possession of the deeds May 7. Maplehurst Country Club properties at 100 Maplehurst Road and N.W. Route 36 were transferred to Mountainside-WMD for $730,000 each, according to deeds filed in the Allegany County Courthouse. (Times-News)

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Remington storefront challenge brings a fresh look to a neglected corner

An old Cities Service gas station, later a pizza delivery service, is being transformed this summer along the busy 29th Street corridor in Remington. Look for Cahoots Brothers, located between The Dizz restaurant and the R. House, to open later this year. The background needs to be told. There was a community competition to find a new use for what is a highly visible but aesthetically challenged corner. An ugly duckling 1940s filling station later made into a pizza shop was picked to be a makeover candidate for a vacant retail property. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland racetracks owner pledges to develop capital plan required for getting state subsidies

The Maryland Jockey Club said Thursday it would devise and submit a capital construction plan to detail racetrack renovations that have already received public subsidies even though horse racing regulators never approved a spending blueprint as required by state regulations. The Maryland Racing Commission asked the jockey club for the retroactive submission after The Baltimore Sun notified state officials that regulations require the commission to approve a capital construction plan before it can award grants from a slots-funded account reserved for racetrack renovations. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore is one of the 'most undervalued' cities for homebuyers, study says

A new study by personal finance site SmartAsset sought to find where homebuyers can get the best bang for their buck, and named Baltimore among the most undervalued U.S. cities. Charm City lands at No. 5 on the ranking, which compared 189 cities based on factors including the price of homes per square foot and other quality of life metrics. Baltimore was given a high score for the value of its homes, which based on a model of its own creation SmartAsset found to be $223.07 per square foot. That's nearly double the actual $106.83 per square foot home sale value of Baltimore homes, according to Zillow, an online real estate database. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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