Mayor 'extremely honored' to receive Black Pride ICON award

When the first gay and lesbian couples legally allowed to marry in Baltimore began preparing for their big moment at City Hall in the first minutes of 2013, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was there to officiate. She'd campaigned to help make same-sex marriages legal in Maryland, and seemed genuinely happy that night to help them happen in Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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Arbutus chocolate shop opens doors, finally

Nearly six months after moving into the storefront at 5403 East Drive, Jama Cocoa is finally welcoming customers into the shop. Since coming to Arbutus last spring, the chocolate company has concentrated on selling its products online and increasing bulk sales to restaurants and hotels. (Balt. Sun)

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Damascus teens win big at national dairy judging contest

While sibling rivalry can jeopardize some families’ chances at succeeding, twins Julia and Ian Doody of Damascus overcame it with two other members on the Maryland team to win several awards, including top team overall, at the 92nd Annual 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Sept. 30. Following a recent first-place finish at the state dairy judging contest with the Montgomery County 4-H Dairy Judging Team, Julia and Ian joined Courtney Hoff of New Windsor and Cassidy Schirmer of Galena and traveled to Madison, Wis., for this year’s national competition by the World Dairy Expo. (Gazette)

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Council takes action on water

The Wicomico County Council voted unanimously Monday to create an urban service district around the neighborhoods polluted with trichloroethylene. The vote came after a lengthy public hearing where residents voiced both support and opposition for the $8 million project that was seen by a majority of residents and county officials as the best way to provide the community with clean, safe drinking water. (Daily Times)

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Delmarva Power to replace Ocean City utility poles

Delmarva Power will replace 90 wooden utility poles that hold a high-voltage transmission line along Coastal Highway in Ocean City. The utility says the work began Monday and will affect service in Ocean City and parts of Worcester County, Md. and Sussex County, Del. (Capital)

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Humane society programs in ‘dire jeopardy’ if Williamsport holds its own polar plunge

The fundraising chairwoman for the Humane Society of Washington County told the mayor and Williamsport Town Council on Monday night that the town’s decision to hold its own polar plunge at River Bottom Park to benefit a different nonprofit group puts some of her group’s programs in “dire jeopardy.” For at least a decade, the humane society has held its annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser, the humane society’s biggest annual event, at River Bottom Park, humane society officials have said. (Herald-Mail)

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Anne Arundel County attracting couples from all over after legalization of same-sex marriage

When Maryland became the southernmost state on the East Coast to legalize gay marriage, it became a destination-wedding location for some same-sex couples. Like Tina Harden, 46, and Candis Browand, 53, of Orange Park, Fla., who were together for 14 years before getting married on Sept. 19 in Linthicum. Gay weddings became legal in Maryland on Jan. 1, and Clerk of the Circuit Court in Annapolis Robert Duckworth says things really started picking up this summer. (News-Post)

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Second Sunday continues to grow in New Market

After four “Second Sunday” events, New Market business owners say they are seeing increased traffic as they gear up for holiday events in November and December. Steve Pippin, who lives in the Historic District, has organized Second Sunday with the help of a volunteer committee. “We're satisfied with the progress it's making,” Pippin said. “I think more people are taking notice of it, and it's something we're building on.” (News-Post)

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