Report: Baltimore County needs to improve emergency response to mental health situations

Baltimore County could make significant improvements to how it responds to emergency situations involving people with mental health issues, including hiring more crisis counselors and expanding training for police officers and 911 call-takers, an outside group says in a new report. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz ordered an independent review of how police and first responders handle mental health calls after a series of incidents involving subjects with mental illness, including the police shooting death of Korryn Gaines in her Randallstown apartment in 2016. (Balt. Sun)

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BGE unveils TED, Mr. Trash Wheel's cousin, in South Baltimore

Mr. Trash Wheel has a new relative in South Baltimore. "TED," short for Trash Elimination Device, was formally introduced Wednesday on Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s Spring Gardens campus. The trash-collection device was designed by Pasadena-based Clearwater Mills LLC, creators of the Inner Harbor's Mr. Trash Wheel and the rest of the Trash Wheel family, which includes Professor Trash Wheel in Canton and Captain Trash Wheel in Masonville Cove. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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$1.9 million settlement reached after death during confrontation with off-duty deputies

The family of Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome who died after a confrontation with off-duty Frederick County sheriff's deputies in 2013, will receive $1.9 million in a settlement reached earlier this month. Saylor, who was 26, tried to enter a second screening of “Zero Dark Thirty” at the Westview Promenade movie theater on Jan. 12, 2013, without buying another ticket. The three deputies, who were working as security on behalf of Hill Management Services at the time, tried to remove Saylor and a struggle ensued. Saylor suffered a fractured larynx during the encounter and died of asphyxia, according to autopsy reports. (News-Post)

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Maryland still on the bottom of hospital ranking list

When it comes to preventing things like infections and accidents, how well does your hospital do? A public service group called Leapfrog has released its latest report card of hospital grades and Maryland is toward the bottom of the pack. Our state did do slightly better this time than the last round of rankings which was in the fall, but we're still in the bottom five of the national list. (WMAR-TV)

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'Officer Friendly' program returning to Baltimore Police

The Baltimore Police Department is bringing back its "Officer Friendly" program. Policing in Baltimore took a sharp turn away from programs like Officer Friendly when drug enforcement and zero tolerance became top strategies. Now, it is one more attempt the department is making to rebuild trust within communities. "I'm sure a lot of people in this room will like this," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa. (WBAL)

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In 2010, Baltimore had 16,800 vacants. Eight years and millions of dollars later, the number is down to 16,500

Barbara Stokes stood on the stoop of her home at the edge of the Druid Heights neighborhood of West Baltimore and surveyed the line of row houses across the street. Every one of them was vacant. But that’s not the worst of it. In January, police found the body of a 41-year-old man in one of the houses, dead from an overdose. A week earlier, a 30-year-old man was found dead outside another. Stokes, who grew up in the neighborhood and has lived in her current home for four decades, said the houses are open for people to come and go. (Balt. Sun)

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Female detention facility in Carroll moving toward construction

On March 30, Carroll County’s delegates announced success in securing funding for several county projects when the FY19 Capital Budget was adopted by the Maryland General Assembly. A significant financial earmark was the $22,649,000 allocated to the building of a new female detention center on the grounds of the Thomas O'Farrell Youth Center in Marriottsville, which was closed in November 2008. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Washington County looking for ways to manage water and sewer costs

Among the moves Washington County officials are looking at to manage water and sewer costs are seeking more Maryland water quality loans over bonds, reducing infiltration to treatment plants, and reviewing capital projects. No residents testified about proposed county water and sewer rate hikes during a public hearing on Tuesday morning. They will have another opportunity to provide feedback before the commissioners vote on rate changes. (Herald-Mail)

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