Baltimore city solicitor first pitched ethics exemption to allow mayor's staff and agency heads to raise money

The Baltimore city solicitor initially proposed an ethics rules exemption for staffers in the mayor's office and agency heads so that they all could raise private money to fund city programs, a request that has been scaled back since to only apply to the mayor herself. City Solicitor Andre Davis described the plan to the ethics board in an April 10 letter that the board provided to The Baltimore Sun. “Those soliciting donations (the Mayor and her designees) will be employees of the Mayor’s Office or cabinet level City officials and solicitations will be done by letter and in person or by telephone/email contact,” Davis wrote to the board’s chairwoman. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore's interim police chief speaks as he steps up to take over a department in crisis

Tony Barksdale, the last man to serve as an interim commissioner amid a national search, said the role brings its own challenges. He said commanders under Tuggle will jockey for position while speculating about whether he will last. “When you’ve got this type of turmoil at the top, the structure, the unity of command, it gets loose,” Barksdale said. To be successful, he said, Tuggle will have to be tough, professionally and personally. “It’s a whole lot. I hope he paces himself, that he takes care of himself, and spends appropriate time with his family, because that job will kill you,” Barksdale said. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore Makes List Of Fittest Cities In The US

Baltimore has made the list of the fittest cities in America, based on a new study from the American College of Sports Medicine. Charm City came in at No. 78 out of 100, and health advocates say this is an encouraging and positive trend. While Baltimore didn’t win the title for the fittest city in America, it is being recognized for promoting healthy behavior. “You will see in neighborhoods and communities, parks, urban gardens, more dog parks and a lot of that is being driven by the citizenry,” LifeBridge Medical Director Miriam Alexander said. (WJZ-CBS)

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Cosmetic facial salons, medical marijuana and more on Anne Arundel County Council agenda

The Anne Arundel County Council’s agenda Monday is lengthy with several hearings on zoning legislation that could change how incoming school populations are counted, where “cosmetic facial hair salons” may be built and reducing how often the county grants variances to medical marijuana projects. The council meets at 7 p.m. every other Monday where it holds hearings and votes on legislation. New legislation is introduced and will received a hearing about four weeks from its introduction. Public hearings are then held on bills available for a vote. If a bill is amended, then that bill is heard again at the next council meeting. (Capital)

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Baltimore’s McKeldin Fountain returns as an app

When you walk by the bland patch of grass where Baltimore’s McKeldin Fountain once stood, do you get a pang and wish you could rekindle its splashy spirit of public protest, free speech and Brutalist architecture? If so, you’re in luck – there’s an app for that! Artist Lisa Moren has crafted an “augmented reality” app that lets you bring the now-demolished landmark at the Inner Harbor back to life. You just need to go to the intersection of Pratt and Light streets (where the multi-tiered concrete water feature once stood) and hold up your phone or tablet like a protest sign. (Brew)

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Orioles outfielder Adam Jones buys Cal Ripken Jr.'s Reisterstown mansion, auction house confirms

The ownership of Cal Ripken Jr.’s regal Reisterstown estate has gone from one Orioles great to another. Adam Jones, center fielder for the Orioles, placed the winning bid for the property during a Saturday auction at the house, said Wendy Oliver, business development director for DeCaro Auctions International, which handled the auction. “We had eight bidders, registered bidders, and the house sold in 17 minutes,” Oliver said. (Balt. Sun)

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May 18 // Pugh lays out plans to revitalize Park Heights community, keep the Preakness at Pimlico

As preparations for the 143rd Preakness Stakes moved along in the rain Thursday morning, Mayor Catherine Pugh spoke at Pimlico Race Course to reiterate her commitment to keeping the race in Baltimore — and laid out her plans to revitalize the community surrounding the track. Plans in the works for Park Heights, the Northwest Baltimore neighborhood that is home to Pimlico, include several new housing developments, improvements to the Park Circle intersection at the gateway to the community and a new LifeBridge Health outpatient facility adjacent to the race course, the mayor said. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Montgomery County executive threatens rare veto over storm water proposal

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is threatening a veto if the County Council rejects his request to privatize storm water management in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. A line-item budget veto rare seen in Montgomery County, and Leggett’s promised veto of the roughly $48 million allocated to storm water management in the proposed capital improvement program budget would be the first time he will have wielded that part of his executive power. (Wash. Post)

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