Freedom Readiness Center project underway; next step water mains

The Maryland Department of General Services, Department of Maryland Military and National Guard broke ground on the Freedom Readiness Center last fall and are about to move into the next steps of the project. “The clearing of the site is mostly compete at this point, and they are working on water main connections soon,” said DGS Assistant Secretary Lauren Buckler Tuesday. “That's the next big project activity.” (Carroll County Times)

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Baltimore church leaders handing over files amid abuse probe

The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore has delivered over 50,000 internal files to Maryland’s top law enforcement official amid an investigation into child sex abuse and are in the process of handing over more, church leaders announced Tuesday. Archbishop William Lori described the clergy sex abuse scourge that’s been rocking the church as a “genuine crisis” and said Baltimore’s archdiocese is “working very hard to cooperate” with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s investigation. (Daily Record)

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Washington County Economic Development Coalition still working on transition

Washington County Economic Development Coalition Chairman Michael Reyka said Tuesday that volunteers are still working on the transition from the former economic development commission to the coalition. The group hopes to formalize the structure, elect officers and identify funding streams by March, Reyka said. Reyka said in an interview that the group is looking into grants, state funding opportunities and other options. The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF, would help apply for grants. (Herald Mail)

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Harford County Retains Triple-A Bond Ratings; Highest Possible Ratings Reduce County Borrowing Costs

Harford County has retained its Triple-A bond rating from all three of the nation’s major independent bond-rating agencies. Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch have each reaffirmed their highest possible rating for Harford County, citing the county administration’s “very strong” management and healthy local economy. Triple-A bond ratings reduce the cost of borrowing to fund capital projects such as school buildings, road improvements and stormwater management projects. Harford County is among an estimated 2% of counties nationwide to earn the top rating from all three major rating agencies. (Dagger Press)

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Baltimore commissioner pick Harrison to meet with residents in each police district before formal nomination

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Monday that her new choice to become police commissioner will hold community meetings in all nine of the city’s police districts in the coming weeks, as part of a plan to build support for her pick. In the meantime, New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison will begin work as acting commissioner by Feb. 11, Pugh said — and possibly earlier. “The community meetings are going to be the most important for him,” Pugh said. “He wants to meet the people. He wants to get to know Baltimore.” (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Public Service Commission denies motion to dismiss power line case

Plans for new power lines will continue, but the Maryland Public Service Commission has extended the deadline for testimony about parts of the case. The commission handed down that ruling Tuesday in the case involving Transource's plans to build two new lines from Pennsylvania into Maryland. PJM Interconnection, which directs the operation of the region's electrical grid, hired Transource to build the lines to address what has been called "congestion" of the grid in certain areas. (Herald Mail)

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Pittman defends immigration policy decision at Glen Burnie town hall

Citing a chilling effect on crime reporting and redundancy in other federal programs, County Executive Steuart Pittman defended his decision to stop participating in a controversial immigration program Monday evening at the first of two town halls on the subject. Comments were not solely focused on the 287(g) program in question, but generally on immigration — “illegal” was the word used most often by the audience at the Pascal Senior Activity Center in Glen Burnie. (Capital)

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Taneytown Council adopts ethics, campaign finance amendments

The Taneytown City Council on Monday adopted amendments to the city’s ethics and campaign finance laws in an effort lawmakers say will improve transparency among candidates during elections and elected officials. Amendments to Taneytown’s ethics ordinance will require select city staff and all elected officials to complete more stringent financial disclosure forms, while changes to the campaign finance ordinance will allow the city’s Ethics Commission to fine candidates that do not comply with campaign finance reporting requirements. (Carroll County Times)

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