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Silver Spring apartment explosion under investigation; three buildings called ‘unsafe’ by firefighters

Public safety officials on Friday continued to investigate what caused a massive explosion and fire that leveled a Silver Spring-area apartment building and left 10 people injured. Firefighter crews stayed overnight at the Friendly Garden Apartments complex in the 2400 block of Lyttonsville Road, according to Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire Department. He said three buildings that had 40 units with roughly 100 people living in them were deemed “unsafe.”

Planning Commission approves six digital billboards in downtown Baltimore; discussion to continue on five others

A contentious proposal to erect 11 digital billboards in downtown Baltimore was considered Thursday by the city’s Planning Commission, which approved six of the signs while tabling five for further review. The commission voted 6-2 with Victor Clark Jr., a citizen representative on the commission, abstaining. City Councilman Eric Costello, who sits on the Planning Commission, presented a motion allowing six of the signs to be installed while the remaining five — all that had proposed changes to billboard size or location — will be discussed further at a separate meeting.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Operation Underway In Sparrows Point To Remove Abandoned Crab Pots From Chesapeake Bay

Baltimore area watermen are now on a mission to remove abandoned crab pots that are harming crabs, other marine life and their livelihoods.  13 crews of watermen have been hired by the nonprofit group Oyster Recovery Partnership for a project to remove the crab pots.   “Removing the gear under this program supports Baltimore County with a positive and localized to this area by removing unmanaged gear that would otherwise compete with active fishing gear,” said Ward Slacum, the executive director for Oyster Recovery Partnership.

Read More: WJZ
Anne Arundel County, Annapolis to receive millions to combat opioid addiction as part of national settlement agreement

Anne Arundel County will receive an estimated $30 million over the next 18 years after participating in a national settlement agreement with manufacturers and distributors of opioids, the county announced Thursday. The city of Annapolis will also receive an estimated $1.2 million as part of the settlement, according to City Manager David Jarrell.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Howard County school board adopts $1.1 billion budget plan for fiscal 2023

Howard County’s school board has unanimously adopted its operating and capital budget requests for the 2022-2023 school year, totaling $1.1 billion, a 14.5% increase over the school system’s fiscal 2022 operating budget. The request includes funding to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a multibillion-dollar plan that affects schools statewide.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
After settling gun show concerns, Ocean City approves event for H2Oi week

After ironing out questions and concerns surrounding its gun show component, Ocean City Town Council members have given the green light to an event planned to fall during the typical week of the unofficial H2Oi gathering. Council members voted 5-1 during a Monday work session in favor of approving plans for Adventure Fest, which will have an emphasis on law enforcement and run from Sept. 19-25, 2022, at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.

Read More: Delmarva Now
Aberdeen City Council introduces revisions to the city’s structure of government

At a meeting on Feb. 28, the Aberdeen City Council voted unanimously to introduce a resolution that will restructure the city government. This resolution will make the mayor more of an executive and the council the legislative body, which will lead the city to reestablish the council president’s seat and eliminate the city manager position.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
How Should You Decide Whether To Keep Wearing A Mask? Dr. Leana Wen Weighs In

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new measure for determining Covid-19 community levels. According to these new metrics that now take into account hospitalizations and hospital capacity in addition to infection numbers, nearly 70% of the United States population resides in areas where masks are no longer required. Why did the CDC make this change? How can people make sense of the Covid-19 community level in their area? Should individuals still mask if they no longer are required to? What about kids in schools? And how should parents evaluate activities like sleepovers and playdates?

Read More: WJZ
graduation cap, graduation, cap
Prince George’s Co. public schools boast higher graduation rate despite COVID

Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland have something to be happy about: Graduation rates were up for 2021, despite the pandemic. The system’s four-year adjusted rate increased by 1.5 percentage points, to 77.6%. In a release, PGCPS said 10 schools had a graduation rate of more than 90%. That’s according to data from the Maryland State Department of Education report card. In addition, the high school dropout rate fell to a five-year low, PGCPS said, at 15.36% — in 2020, it was 17.8%. Gains were made among Hispanic students, English language learners and students who come from low-income families.

Read More: WTOP
Nearly 300 Baltimore Police patrol vehicles need to be replaced, but supply chain issues causing delays

The Baltimore Police Department said it needs to replace nearly 300 patrol vehicles, but supply chain issues around the world are keeping it from getting some new cars on the road. Due to shortages of computer parts and plastic components, the department is specifically facing delays in vehicle manufacturing and the availability of fittings needed for the docking stations for the patrol vehicle’s computers, police spokeswoman Amanda Krotki said in an email last month.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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