Aberdeen proposes property tax break for new employees

A proposal to give a partial property tax rebate to encourage new municipal employees to live in the city of Aberdeen is under consideration by the Aberdeen City Council. Resolution 18-R-02, or “New Employee Residence Incentive Policy,” was introduced during the May 6 council meeting and is sponsored by Councilmen Tim Lindecamp and Steve Goodin. Lindecamp said the resolution is a first draft, and the council will keep working on it as he and his colleagues are seeking changes. (Aegis)

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With rain in forecast after wet week, few seem concerned with track conditions for Preakness

There have been many comparisons drawn between American Pharoah and Justify in the two weeks between the Kentucky Derby and Saturday’s 143rd Preakness. Most of them have been raised with trainer Bob Baffert, who in 2015 helped American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. By Saturday night, there might also be similarities to the wet and wild conditions in which both horses won the Preakness. Three years after 1-5 favorite American Pharoah won by 7 lengths on a Pimilco Race Course track that was turned into an equine slip-and-slide, Justify will go off as a 1-2 favorite in the eight-horse field. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel County fire union wins arbitration dispute

Anne Arundel County firefighters will reach their maximum salary faster and get higher raises but lose allowances after an independent arbitrator sided with firefighters Wednesday. The union and the county had not been able to agree on a contract. The two-year agreement implements a step scale system that shortens how long it takes firefighters to reach maximum salary and includes a 4-percent increase between those steps. The pay scale will be implemented over a two-year period. (Capital)

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May 17 // Baltimore Mayor Pugh takes responsibility for hiring De Sousa while defending his record as police commissioner

The day after Darryl De Sousa resigned as Baltimore police commissioner in the midst of a federal tax investigation, Mayor Catherine Pugh said she "owned" the selection of him and defended his record fighting crime. “I own the appointment of Darryl De Sousa as commissioner for Baltimore City,” the mayor said at her weekly City Hall news conference. “I watched his work. I'm pleased with where we are in terms of reducing violence. At the same time, I don't control people’s personal lives and we will ask those kinds of questions.” (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland begins program to replenish freshwater mussels

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that the Eastern Elliptio — and other varieties of freshwater mussels — have disappeared from many streams and rivers in Maryland without a flicker of notice from the public. The little known or appreciated mussel lies in stream bottoms for most of its life, out of sight and growing slowly for decades. This year, though, it’s getting attention from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and a couple of biologists who value mussels for their role in keeping water clean and giving life to other species and are attempting for the first time to grow tens of thousands of them in a hatchery. (Balt. Sun)

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City auditor: Homeless Services office comes up short by its own measures

City auditor Audrey Askew told the Board of Estimates today that the Mayor’s Office of Human Services (MOHS) failed to meet its 2015 and 2016 targets in the area of homeless services. So scrambled and internally “unreliable” were the agency’s targets that it was impossible for the audit to pinpoint how much homeless services lagged behind its goals. All that could be determined was that it never met the goals, Askew said. Terry Hickey, the current director of MOHS, acknowledged the problems, but emphasized that they took place during the Rawlings-Blake administration. (Brew)

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Baltimore Using Predictive Policing Technology That Has Found Success In Chicago

Two cities that historically have shared similar violence problems are now sharing solutions on how to stop crime before it happens. Baltimore Police is modeling its new predictive policing technology after systems used in Chicago. “The good thing about law enforcement is that cops are willing to share ideas,” Baltimore Police Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle said. He said the department is copycatting the crime-fighting approach in Chicago, with officers working from behind keyboards to predict and stop violence in Baltimore before it happens. (WJZ-CBS)

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Five Towson-area polling places to get additional ballot scanners

Five election polling places in Towson, Cockeysville and Lutherville-Timonium will each get an extra ballot scanner this election season in an effort to prevent long lines reported during the 2016 election from reoccurring, Baltimore County Board of Education Director Katie Brown said. Most of the county’s 226 voting precincts have just one optical scanner, which reads the paper ballots, according to a county office of information technology report. Extra scanners will be deployed to 47 precincts across the county, according to an analysis of next year’s budget. (Balt. Sun)

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