Montgomery County begins construction of 14-mile Bus Rapid Transit line

Montgomery County is creating a system that transportation officials hope will make it easier for public-transit users along ­traffic-choked Route 29 to get from upper Montgomery to downtown Silver Spring. Construction is underway for the county’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line, a system that officials describe as similar to light rail, in which buses will use a mix of dedicated and general travel lanes, and make fewer stops, to get passengers to their destinations more quickly. (Wash. Post)

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Frederick County early voting more than doubles 2014 election totals

A large spike in turnout for early voting likely means one thing for Election Day. “It means we’re going to have a big turnout. Period,” Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey said. More than 23,000 Frederick County residents voted during the eight-day early voting period, which ended Thursday, according to the State Board of Elections. Four years ago, that number was 10,713 voters. (News-Post)

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More than 21,000 Montgomery County residents go to polls on last day of early voting

More than 17 percent of Montgomery County residents have cast ballots prior to Tuesday's general election, thanks to a large turnout on the eighth and final day of early voting. There were 21,148 residents who voted Thursday, bringing the county's final early vote tally to 113,315, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. Statewide, 661,276 Marylanders have voted, or about 16 percent of eligible registered voters. (Bethesda)

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Maryland governor joins faith leaders, other elected officials for post-Pittsburgh interfaith gathering

On the eve of the first Sabbath since a gunman killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, about 300 people gathered for an interfaith ceremony with Baltimore’s Jewish community to take a collective stand against anti-Semitism and “the poison of hate, no matter what form it takes,” as one speaker said. Gov. Larry Hogan, U.S. senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Mayor Catherine Pugh, Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and several local rabbis were among the officials and religious leaders who offered words of mourning — and of hope — during a one-hour ceremony at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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Looming schedule cuts imperil Baltimore Symphony's status as 'world class' orchestra, musicians say

After losing $16 million over the past 10 years, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is considering paring back its schedule — a move musicians say will demote the BSO from “a world-class symphony into a part-time regional orchestra.” Musicians, who had been playing without a contract since Sept. 9, agreed Thursday to a four-month extension of the previous collective bargaining agreement. They did so two days after receiving a seismic offer from management that would fundamentally change the status of the BSO. (Balt. Sun)

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Officials ID two men killed when tornado hit Amazon center in Baltimore; second twister in Carroll County confirmed

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado struck Baltimore City and County Friday night, resulting in the partial collapse of an Amazon warehouse where two people were killed, and causing heavy damage at a nearby Dundalk apartment complex. The forecasting agency said later Saturday that a second tornado had touched down in Carroll County, damaging a shopping center. (Balt. Sun)

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Purple Line construction noise that kept residents awake at night halted

Workers excavating a tunnel beneath a Silver Spring neighborhood as part of the construction of the light-rail Purple Line have stopped the noisiest overnight work that some residents had complained was waking them up at all hours, project officials said Thursday. The rock hammering beneath homes in the Long Branch area east of downtown Silver Spring has been halted between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., said Gary Witherspoon, a spokesman for the Maryland Transit Administration. He said the MTA and its contractor are still “testing” to determine what caused the complaints. (Wash. Post)

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November 2 // Maryland sees uptick in candidates younger than 30, bringing enthusiasm, optimism to the general election ballot

A Division I cross-country runner at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 20-year-old Matt Bennett is competing in a different kind of race this fall. After winning one of two Democratic nominations for Calvert County commissioner in June, he moved home, cut back on credit hours and put his athletic career on hold to prepare for perhaps his steepest run yet. “I’m out there every day, talking to as many people as possible,” the junior mathematics major said. “I believe I have a winning message, but it’s about getting my name out there.” (Balt. Sun)

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