Where will the trash go? Baltimore and surrounding counties consider alternatives if incinerator closes

After the Baltimore City Council passed clean air legislation Monday that could force a large trash incinerator to shut down, officials in the city and surrounding counties began considering how to dispose of their garbage if they are no longer able to burn it. The Wheelabrator Baltimore waste-to-energy plant near Russell Street and Interstate 95 processes more than 700,000 tons of trash every year — about half of that trash comes from Baltimore city households and nearly 40 percent from Baltimore County. The rest comes from Howard and Anne Arundel counties, other Maryland jurisdictions and out of state. (Balt. Sun)

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Mosby announces that commercials, billboards will encourage witnesses in Baltimore to testify in court

Pledging more help for the victims and witnesses of crimes, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Thursday a series of TV and radio commercials intended to encourage people to come to court and testify. Mosby said billboards will also carry her message across the city. “It’s outrageous when an 83-year-old senior can be shot in the street, broad daylight, and nobody wants to come forward,” Mosby said. In Baltimore, police and prosecutors have long been hindered in their crime fight by a street culture of “no snitching.” (Balt. Sun)

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FTA threatens to withhold $1.6B from region, including Purple Line funding, if Metro restores late-night service

The Federal Transit Administration has threatened to withhold up to $1.6 billion in transit funding from the Washington region, including federal money for construction of Maryland’s Purple Line, if Metro restores late-night service as District officials are pushing, board members were told Thursday. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans and D.C.'s other voting board member, Corbett A. Price, are leading an effort to restore the service hours Metro cut beginning with its SafeTrack rebuilding effort in 2016, contending the agency has had ample time since then to catch up on maintenance. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore County judge approves Towson Station development plan

A Baltimore County administrative law judge ruled last week that the Towson Station development can move forward. Judge Lawrence Stahl ruled on Feb. 8 that developer Caves Valley Partners can proceed with the controversial retail development at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue, according to a written decision. “I believe that the Developer’s extensive and expert driven presentation met and exceeded the ‘guidance’ provided for development in the [Downtown Towson] district,” Stahl wrote in his decision, referring to the zoning district that encompasses the property. (Balt. Sun)

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Neighborhood residents opposed to Bel Air sober living community for 50 men

Construction of a new sober living community for recovering addicts in the heart of the county’s development envelope is drawing outrage from nearby residents who say they knew nothing of the project. New Points is building “the world’s first Sober Living Community built ground-up specifically for the recovery process,” according to its website, www.newspoints.org. Five buildings, approved by the county as single-family homes, are in various stages of construction on 2.5 acres on Ogden Court, just off the intersection of Wheel Road and Route 24. (Balt. Sun)

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Federal court approves Virginia redistricting plan

A federal court on Thursday approved new district boundaries for the Virginia House of Delegates that were drawn by a court-appointed expert and are likely to benefit Democrats in November’s state election. The U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Virginia voted 2 to 1 to finalize the map, which would put six Republicans into districts that would probably become majority Democratic, according to an analysis of recent elections by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project. Several of those Republicans hold leadership positions — including House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). (Wash. Post)

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Somerset County names new health leadership

 

Somerset County has announced a new leadership team at its health department. Lori Brewster, the Wicomico County Health Officer who has been acting health officer at Somerset County Health Department, will now oversee both counties’ departments, a news release said. Brewster was nominated for the post by Somerset County Commissioners and appointed by Maryland Health Secretary Robert Neall, said Sharon Lynch, the department’s public information officer, in the release. Brewster has been acting health officer since the retirement of Craig Stofko last year. (Salisbury)

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Maryland highway agency didn’t properly monitor speed cameras, snow removal contracts, audit finds

The Maryland State Highway Administration failed to properly oversee the company that operates speed cameras in construction zones, one of eight problems with the agency’s fiscal management, an audit found. The agency, which is responsible for maintaining all non-toll, numbered roads in Maryland, also failed to ensure that payments to snow- and ice-removal contractors were proper, and did not do enough to prevent snowplows, tires and other equipment from being stolen from district offices, according to the audit. (Wash. Post)

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