In reversal, Baltimore County Council will seek public input in replacing Kamenetz as county executive

In a reversal from plans stated earlier this week, Baltimore County Council Chairman Julian Jones said Thursday the council will seek the public's help as it decides who should replace County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died suddenly on May 10. The council will hold a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to gather input from county residents, and is also encouarging people to email their thoughts to between now and the close of business Monday. Since Kamenetz’s death after suffering cardiac arrest, County Administrative Officer Fred Homan has been serving as acting county executive. (Balt. Sun)

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Ocean City named among Top 10 summer destinations of 2018

Just in time for the summer rush, Ocean City has received yet another boost from the popular travel site TripAdvisor. In TripAdvisor’s new list of Top 10 Hottest U.S. Destinations for Summer, Ocean City earned the sixth spot, according to a release. The listing is based on the greatest increase in seasonal hotel booking interest, including the average one-week vacation costs for hotels and airfare. “With the summer season about to begin, we are honored to be named one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Hottest U.S. Destinations for Summer,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. (Daily Times)

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Annapolis community specialists launch outreach efforts next week

Two members of Mayor Gavin Buckley’s administration will help host a community engagement event next week, marking their first large-scale outreach to members of the African American and Hispanic communities. Adriana Lee, Annapolis’ Hispanic community services specialist, and Adetola Ajayi, the African American community service specialist, will help host an event Wednesday to connect residents from traditionally marginalized communities with city services and job opportunities. The event, held in Pip Moyer Recreational Center, serves to launch engagement efforts between the city and the Hispanic and African American communities. The goal is for these meetings to become regular, said William Rowel, the city’s community relations specialist. (Capital)

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Maryland's garbage workers in harm's way

Jimmy Elben is almost 10 times more likely to die at work than most of the commuters who pass his truck every day. Elben doesn’t strap into a jet, or heave nets of fish onto a pitching deck at sea, but when he starts his work week, he may as well, since his profession is one of the top five most dangerous jobs in America. He’s a garbage man. Waste collection workers in Maryland face a daunting task: gathering tons of solid waste in the face of unpredictable weather, distracted drivers and inherently dangerous equipment. For Elben’s garbage crew, the difference between life and death can lie in a quick tap of the truck’s horn. (Wash. Times-AP)

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Aberdeen proposes property tax break for new employees

A proposal to give a partial property tax rebate to encourage new municipal employees to live in the city of Aberdeen is under consideration by the Aberdeen City Council. Resolution 18-R-02, or “New Employee Residence Incentive Policy,” was introduced during the May 6 council meeting and is sponsored by Councilmen Tim Lindecamp and Steve Goodin. Lindecamp said the resolution is a first draft, and the council will keep working on it as he and his colleagues are seeking changes. (Aegis)

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With rain in forecast after wet week, few seem concerned with track conditions for Preakness

There have been many comparisons drawn between American Pharoah and Justify in the two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and Saturday’s 143rd Preakness. Most of them have been raised with trainer Bob Baffert, who in 2015 helped American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. By Saturday night, there might also be similarities to the wet and wild conditions in which both horses won the Preakness. Three years after 1-5 favorite American Pharoah won by 7 lengths on a Pimilco Race Course track that was turned into an equine slip-and-slide, Justify will go off as a 1-2 favorite in the eight-horse field. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel County fire union wins arbitration dispute

Anne Arundel County firefighters will reach their maximum salary faster and get higher raises but lose allowances after an independent arbitrator sided with firefighters Wednesday. The union and the county had not been able to agree on a contract. The two-year agreement implements a step scale system that shortens how long it takes firefighters to reach maximum salary and includes a 4-percent increase between those steps. The pay scale will be implemented over a two-year period. (Capital)

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May 17 // Baltimore Mayor Pugh takes responsibility for hiring De Sousa while defending his record as police commissioner

The day after Darryl De Sousa resigned as Baltimore police commissioner in the midst of a federal tax investigation, Mayor Catherine Pugh said she "owned" the selection of him and defended his record fighting crime. “I own the appointment of Darryl De Sousa as commissioner for Baltimore City,” the mayor said at her weekly City Hall news conference. “I watched his work. I'm pleased with where we are in terms of reducing violence. At the same time, I don't control people’s personal lives and we will ask those kinds of questions.” (Balt. Sun)

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