Ellicott City, Western Maryland to get $4.5 million in federal funds for to repair flood-damaged roads

Maryland is slated to receive $4.5 million in federal funding to help repair roads damaged during floods in Ellicott City and Western Maryland last June. U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin announced the money for the Maryland State Highway Administration on Wednesday. The funds, from the U.S. Department of Transportation, will help repair roads damaged during torrential rain in May and June in Ellicott City and Frederick and Washington counties, according to a statement from Van Hollen’s office. (Balt. Sun)

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In Baltimore County, Olszewski tries to fill a budget hole, and some wonder if that means higher taxes

Johnny Olszewski Jr. delivered an upbeat message on the campaign trail, promising a fresh approach to governing as Baltimore County executive. Now in office, he is traveling around the county telling a more sobering story. Confronted with an $81 million budget gap, Olszewski just wrapped up a series of town hall meetings where he told residents of challenging times ahead. After making bold promises about county schools — 20 percent raises for teachers, three new high schools, and pre-kindergarten for all families — the county executive says he’s trying to figure out how to fill the hole before he delivers his first budget plan this spring. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor Gavin Buckley establishes 'Cabinet' to monitor health of Annapolis waterways

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley has created a body tasked with assessing and reporting on the health of the city’s waterways. The Waterway Cabinet will help carry out the city’s goal to restore creeks and rivers and manage the the Annapolis watershed, which empties out into the Chesapeake Bay. The cabinet’s creation was announced Wednesday. Buckley created the cabinet, he said in a prepared statement, to tackle the “pressing environmental issues facing our city,” including watershed restoration, green transportation initiatives, climate change, and flooding and sea level rise. (Capital)

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Del. McKay seeks to create Md. dental clinic grant program

Del. Mike McKay championed legislation that, last year, allowed Medicaid to start covering dental care again for qualifying adults. This year, he wants to make sure there’s somebody to provide it. McKay, R-Washington/Allegany, told the House Health and Government Operations on Wednesday that his bill to create capital grants for community dental clinics will “be a key partner” to providing that dental care to about 38,000 Marylanders who will qualify through Medicaid. “By establishing a capital grants program for these providers, we can create an organized, planning process,” McKay said. (Herald-Mail)

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Baltimore City, Baltimore and Howard counties begin considering alternatives if Wheelabrator 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 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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Krish Vignarajah named CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, a former Democratic primary candidate for Maryland governor, on Wednesday was named president and CEO of Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Vignarajah is the first refugee and non-Lutheran to lead the organization, which works to create opportunities for refugees and immigrants, in its 80-year history. “At a time when too many refugees and asylum-seekers are unsure whether they will be welcome in America, I am committed to ensuring that all immigrants seeking a better life in America are afforded the same opportunities as my families received to pursue their dreams,” Vignarajah said in a statement. (Balt. Sun)

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Turner Station Fights To Revive Itself With Local Businesses, Millennials

A major renewal effort is underway in one of Baltimore’s best known predominantly African-American neighborhoods. Turner Station dates back to the late 1800s and is rich in history, not far from Dundalk in Baltimore County, it was once home to a dozen churches and three schools- but times have changed. “We’ve seen ups and downs here, we’re kind of on the down now, but we’re trying to revive Turner Station and bring it back up,” said Betty Watkins, long-time Turner Station resident. The renewal effort is called, “Save The Nation Of Turner Station,” and it’s being led by Courtney Mears-Speed, a local shop owner. (WJZ-CBS)

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Take heart: Studies find Baltimore is the most romantic city, Maryland the best place to find love after 50

As Valentine’s Day approaches, two studies suggest Maryland is a great place for love. One names Baltimore the “most romantic” city in America. Another labels Maryland the best state to find romance after 50. Instacart named Baltimore the “most romantic” city based on online search habits. In Charm City, orders for flowers grew by 755 percent ahead of Valentine’s Day. (Balt. Sun)

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