Johns Hopkins panel creates guidelines for prescribing opioids after common surgeries

Johns Hopkins Hospital is recommending its doctors give patients far fewer opioids following surgery than they have in the past, after a panel including doctors, nurses and patients looked at the prescribing habits of physicians. The panel developed guidelines for how much opioids doctors should prescribe for patients after 20 specific surgeries, such as hysterectomy and breast surgery, saying there is no broad brush formula for pain treatment with opioids. (Balt. Sun)

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Topless case plaintiffs blast OC’s ‘moral balance’ argument

Days after Ocean City filed a motion in federal court seeking to prevent a preliminary injunction allowing women to immediately go topless in the resort, the plaintiffs this week fired back with a motion in response that calls into question the town’s “family-friendly” reputation. On July 27, the Town of Ocean City filed a motion to stop a federal judge from issuing a preliminary injunction that would allow women to go topless on the resort in the same public areas where men are allowed to go bare-chested. (Dispatch)

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Study: Maryland is among states with the fewest alcohol-impaired driving deaths

Maryland is among the 10 states with the fewest alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the country, according to a recent study. The website SafeWise used 2016 data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. census to rank states by number of drunken driving deaths per 100,000 people. Maryland ranked 43rd with 2.59 deaths per 100,000. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland-Virginia-D.C. area has seen more flood warnings over the past month than anywhere else in the country

It has been a busy month for meteorologists who oversee the Baltimore and Washington regions. The National Weather Service has issued more than five flood warnings a day, on average, far more than anywhere else in the country. The weather service office based in Sterling, Va., has issued 163 warnings for flash floods, overflowing rivers and water-covered roadways since July 14, according to data gathered by Iowa State University. (Balt. Sun)

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August 14 // Maryland grapples with national crisis of mental illness in jails

A man shot in Silver Spring recently is a stark example of the importance of police training in responding to those in mental health crisis, says the incoming vice chair of the Maryland Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee. Responding to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures about mental health and the criminal justice system, Sen. Will Smith, D-Montgomery, said more effective initial encounters with people in mental health crisis and offering pretrial services are two ways in which the state and local governments need to act. (Md. Reporter)

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Maryland state parks have become so popular, they’re turning people away

The Lopez family was awake before sunrise to pack up supplies: portable stoves, camping chairs, rainbow-striped mesh hammocks, and coolers filled with tortillas, sausages and whole tilapia. Nearly two dozen family members drove in a caravan from Dundalk, Md., to Cunningham Falls State Park, an hour and a half away. They arrived well before the park’s 8 a.m. opening — and found that they weren’t the only group waiting to claim a spot in the shade of oak trees near a sandy lakeshore. Recent rains had stopped, and the forecast was sunny and hot — so, as they expected, the line of cars was long. Such crowds have become routine at state parks across Maryland. Many have become so popular that rangers are shutting down the entrances and turning away latecomers. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore City Council leaders blast police officer seen punching man as 'coward'

Baltimore City Council leaders on Monday condemned the actions of a Baltimore police officer who was caught on video punching and beating a man on Saturday in East Baltimore. At its monthly police oversight hearing, City Councilman Brandon Scott, chairman of the public safety committee, called the incident involving the officer — who has since resigned amid an investigation — a “cowardly assault on a citizen in the city of Baltimore.” “It’s a clear example why we need structural change in the BPD,” he said. (Balt. Sun)

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Harford Circuit Courthouse to get new entryways, another courtroom, other renovations

Work, expected to cost nearly $2.5 million, will get underway later this month on three renovation projects in the newer section of the Harford County Circuit Courthouse in Bel Air. The part of the project that will be most visible to the public involves the expansion of the vestibule area on the building’s Office and Courtland Street sides, including the replacement of the revolving doors at both entrances with sliding doors. (Aegis)

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