Bike share returns: Lime to debut dockless bicycles in Baltimore this weekend

Bike share will return to Baltimore this weekend. Lime Bikes, which has operated a fleet of its dockless rental scooters under a six-month pilot agreement with the city Department of Transportation since August, will drop 100 electric-assisted dockless bicycles on streets this weekend and expand from there, according to German Vigil, a transportation department spokesman. Lime did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore police oversight panel withdraws lawsuit against city over internal affairs records

The Civilian Review Board, a panel of volunteers that reviews Baltimore police misconduct complaints, is withdrawing its lawsuit filed last month after the city refused to release police internal affairs records amid a dispute over confidentiality agreements. The board’s attorney planned to release a notice of dismissal of the lawsuit Thursday, said Bridal Pearson, the board’s chairman. The decision was made after the Police Department agreed to release official police internal affairs records to board members. (Balt. Sun)

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Feds: Ex-Baltimore police officer admitted misconduct, expanding scope of Gun Trace Task Force corruption probe

A former Baltimore police officer has admitted to the FBI that he stole money, lied in police reports and improperly used electronic surveillance devices, federal prosecutors in California said — widening the scope of police misconduct unearthed by the Gun Trace Task Force scandal. Former Det. Matthew Ryckman resigned from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Sacramento this fall after admitting the misconduct in an interview with the FBI, according to a Nov. 16 letter sent by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California to local defense attorneys that was obtained by The Baltimore Sun. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard County's police chief stepping down

After a 35-year-career with the Howard County Police Department, Chief Gary L. Gardner is bowing out. “While this was a challenging decision, I look forward to the future and spending more time with family,” Gardner said in a statement. “I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past four and a half years, and I know the agency will continue to build upon a foundation of excellence.” (Ho. Co. Times)

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Older Maryland licenses won’t be considered real IDs by 2020

 If you haven’t already visited the MVA to secure a Real ID, the clock is running to meet a federal law. “Please plan ahead,” said MVA administrator, Chrissy Nizer. “The deadline is October 2020 but we don’t want our customers to wait ’till then.” By 2020, older Maryland licenses will no longer exist. The new ones will look different but even if you have one now it won’t be a Real ID until conditions are met. (WJZ-TV)

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Annapolis housing authority puts together financing plan for Newtowne 20

The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis announced last week a tentative financing plan for Newtowne 20 redevelopment after the authority failed to qualify for tax credits that would have paid for the bulk of the project. Through a patchwork of bond funding, tax credits, grants, state and federal programs, HACA will try to secure the money to move forward with demolishing and rebuilding the severely blighted public housing. Fifty-eight families live in Newtowne 20, where residents have complained of frequent plumbing, heating and mold issues. (Capital)

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Tempers flare at Housing Opportunities Commission meeting over cemetery site

Despite assurances from the Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) that a parking garage will not be built on the site of a historically-black cemetery in Bethesda’s Westbard community, members of the nearby Macedonia Baptist Church are not satisfied. For the last two years, the church has been fighting to have the burial ground memorialized, which would make it illegal for the county to plan any development there. The site was originally bought in 1911 by an African American benevolent organization for the purpose of serving as a burial ground. The land was then sold in the 1950s, and much of the area was turned into a parking lot for the Westbard Tower apartments. (Bethesda)

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Lost your pet? Baltimore's shelter is using facial recognition technology to help reunite animals with owners

There’s a potentially powerful new tool to help reunite pet owners with their lost cats and dogs — facial recognition technology. The Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter announced Thursday that it is the first organization locally to use sophisticated computer algorithms that can let pet owners know almost instantly whether their missing Fido or Fluffy is at the organization’s shelter or in its network of foster homes. (Balt. Sun)

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