Work crew removes Taney statue from Maryland State House grounds

Workers dismantled a 145-year-old statue of Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney outside the Maryland State House shortly after midnight Friday, the latest ripple effect from last weekend’s deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said his revulsion at what happened in Charlottesville — at a demonstration purportedly in defense of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — prompted him to change his mind about the Taney statute and push for its removal, an act long sought by civil rights groups. (Wash. Post)

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Hogan announces $38.4 million in grants for local roads

Gov. Larry Hogan announced this week that the administration is making nearly $38.4 million in grants available for local roads in Baltimore city and municipalities and counties from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. The Maryland Department of Transportation has released the application that needs to be submitted by Thursday, Aug. 31, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The grants will be awarded to jurisdictions based on the existing formula for the distribution of Highway User Revenues, according to the release. "Since the beginning of our administration, we have been committed to investing in roads and bridges across the state," Hogan said in the release. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Tapped To Root Out 'Pill Mills' In Maryland

Maryland's acting top federal prosecutor this week announced the appointment of a prosecutor focused on opioid-related health care fraud. Rachel Yasser will lead that effort in Maryland. Yasser, 38, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland since 2008. Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would dispatch prosecutors to 12 cities ravaged by addiction. He said the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit would use data to root out pill mills and track down practitioners who illegally prescribe or distribute narcotics like fentanyl and other powerful painkillers. (WBAL)

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A “Tent City” outside City Hall to press the mayor on homelessness and more

While national media swarmed City Hall this week to cover Baltimore’s overnight removal of its Confederate monuments, Mary Scott was inside one of about 20 matching red tents in front of the building to plead for a lower profile cause: The plight of Baltimore’s homeless and struggling poor. “I was more than excited to come out here and sleep in a tent,” said Scott, explaining she just recently had to leave her East Baltimore house after her boyfriend’s cousin was killed inside, making it dangerous to return. “And now I get to keep the tent and maybe use it or give it to someone in need of it,” said Scott, 34, who works as a security guard in four office buildings near City Hall. (Brew)

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Baltimore's Confederate statues under tarps as Trump, Stonewall Jackson descendants weigh in

The Confederate monuments taken down in Baltimore remained out of sight Thursday, relegated to a city-owned lot under tarps and police protection, but not out of mind for many, particularly President Donald J. Trump. “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” the president said on Twitter Thursday morning, a day after the city removed four monuments from their pedestals in an unannounced overnight operation. “You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” (Balt. Sun)

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Magothy River Association volunteer team dives for oysters

On the Magothy River people are diving for oysters — not to fry, bake or slurp, but to monitor the health of the river's five oyster reefs. On Sunday morning, Dick Carey, the leader of the all-volunteer dive team for the Magothy River Association, watched the water above the Dobbins Hill reef, located near Dobbins Island. Two heads, complete with goggles and masks, appeared from beneath the waves. The divers hadn’t found anything. It’s hard to see in the water — the visibility below was about eight inches, one of the divers said Sunday. The volunteers who dive for the river association are specifically trained in how to work in low-visibility conditions. (Balt. Sun)

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County transit system carries books for reading program

Users of Frederick County’s TransIT system will have something to read on the bus, as the county takes part in a program to promote reading and the discussion of literature. The transit system will take part in the Wandering Book program, part of the Maryland Humanities’ “One Maryland, One Book” campaign. The campaign encourages all Maryland residents to read the same book and then share it with others as part of an effort to promote reading and cultural discussion. This year’s book is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Purple Hibiscus,” about a teenage girl and her brother growing up in Nigeria. (News-Post)

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Mark Zuckerberg to Ocean City? Mayor says come visit in Facebook video

Closing in on 1 million Facebook likes on its tourism page, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan went on camera Thursday to invite Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the beach town. "If you accept, I promise there will be plenty of saltwater taffy, Thrasher's French Fries, caramel popcorn and crab cakes in your future," Meehan said in the video.  Meehan was thanking Zuckerberg for his creation of the social network and explained how the town has used it to grow. (Daily Times)

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