Baltimore mayor orders security review after city employee found with hacking tools on his computer

Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered a security review after a technology staffer at Baltimore’s water agency gave himself special access to the computer of the Department of Public Works director and was found with hacking tools on his own city computer, according to the city inspector general and documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun. On Thursday, Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming issued a summary of the investigation into the employee, who no longer works for the city. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll County to offer relief for federal workers affected by shutdown

Residents of Carroll County who are financially impacted by the federal government shutdown will be allowed to delay payments on certain bills. “We know we have residents affected by the federal shutdown and want to provide any assistance we can to our citizens during this difficult time,” said Commissioner Stephen Wantz, president of the Board of County Commissioners. “Carroll County has historically worked with its citizens in times of challenge and we will continue to do so.” (Carroll County Times)

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Surrounded by scaffolding for years, historic Mount Vernon church goes up for sale

For sale: Historic church. Prime Mount Vernon location. Needs repair. Features: 750-seat sanctuary, baptismal pool and scaffolding many neighbors have long considered an eyesore. Six years after the city first erected the scaffolding around the New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral to protect pedestrians from falling roof shingles, the Mount Vernon landmark has been put up for sale. An attorney working with the church’s owner told members of the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association this week that the building at 1110 St. Paul Street has been listed with RE/MAX Commercial Logic for $1.395 million. (Balt. Brew)

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Maryland, Baltimore City among worst for 2018 foreclosures

Foreclosure filings nationwide, including default notices, auctions and bank repossessions, fell to the lowest level in 13 years last year, down 78 percent from 2005. The 624,753 properties with foreclosure filings in 2018 represented a foreclosure rate of 0.47 percent of all mortgaged U.S. households, according to Attom Data Solutions. Maryland remains among states with the highest foreclosure rate — and Baltimore City still ranks among cities with the highest foreclosure rates. (WTOP)

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Baltimore approves $1.25 million to turn old movie theater into hub for growing Latino community

Baltimore officials approved using $1.25 million Wednesday to help turn a dilapidated former movie theater on Pulaski Highway into a hub for the city’s immigrant community, a project its backers say will help revitalize a neighborhood that is increasingly attracting Latino families priced out of other areas. Immigrant rights group and social services organization CASA de Maryland is in the midst of construction at the center, which will be housed in the old Belnord Theater, and hopes to open it early next year. (Balt. Sun)

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Purple Line opponents file third lawsuit over Maryland light-rail project

Opponents of Maryland’s Purple Line project have filed a third federal lawsuit aimed at stopping the rail line’s construction, arguing that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly allowed work that will harm streams and wetlands. The plaintiffs — the nonprofit Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, and Chevy Chase residents John M. Fitzgerald and Leonard Scensny — alleged in a lawsuit filed Jan. 10 that the corps permit allowing dredging and other work in streams and wetlands is illegal under the Clean Water Act. (Wash. Post)

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ICE withdraws from detainee agreement with Anne Arundel

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a letter Wednesday it is ending its agreement with Anne Arundel County to house detainees at a correctional center in Glen Burnie. County Executive Steuart Pittman recently proposed using money from the program to pay for legal assistance for the detainees. He said Wednesday he does not know why ICE wants to end the agreement, through which the county houses up to 130 detainees awaiting immigration hearings. “These are the same people who shut down the federal government and are costing our economy a lot of money,” Pittman said. “I can’t even begin to explain their motivation.” (Capital)

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Baltimore approves $1.25 million to turn old movie theater into hub for growing Hispanic community

Baltimore officials approved using $1.25 million Wednesday to help turn a dilapidated former movie theater on Pulaski Highway into a hub for the city’s Hispanic community, a project its backers say will help revitalize a neighborhood that is increasingly attracting immigrant families priced out of other areas. Immigrant rights group and social services organization CASA de Maryland is in the midst of construction at the center, which will be housed in the old Belnord Theater, and hopes to open it early next year. (Balt. Sun)

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