Baltimore settles lawsuit filed by protesters arrested during 2016 Artscape; police agree to change policies

Baltimore Police have agreed to change policies regarding protests after a settlement with local activists and others who sued the department following their arrest during a protest at Artscape in 2016. “Today’s settlement is a small step toward achieving Bloc’s and other community activists’ goals in creating a safer Baltimore, including for the free exercise of the right to criticize the government,” Public Justice Center officials said in a statement Wednesday announcing the settlement. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore sends 230 officers from offices to the streets in effort to stem tide of drug-trade violence

A day after 11 people were shot, including three fatally, Baltimore officials condemned the city’s drug trade and announced plans to get more police officers on the streets. About 230 Baltimore Police Department officers assigned to administrative duties will leave their offices for patrol work as the department seeks to combat a spike in violence across the city. (Balt. Sun)

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Splash of cash: Baltimore's Druid Hill Park pool closing for $6.5M renovation aided by surge in open space money

Druid Hill Park's 60-year-old pool will be closed for the next two years amid a $6.5 million renovation and improvement project. State officials approved $1.1 million of that budget Wednesday, part of a surge of state money going to city parks. The Maryland Board of Public Works also approved money for improvements at three other recreation facilities. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore Police union writes letter to SNL expressing 'great disappointment' in recent sketch

The president of the Baltimore police union called a recent Saturday Night Live sketch portraying city officers a “grossly inapt portrayal,” in a letter addressed to the show’s executive producer. “As you are most likely aware, the Baltimore Police department is currently a very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive amounts of criticism and disrespect,” wrote Lt. Gene Ryan, the president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, in a letter to SNL’s Lorne Michaels on Wednesday. (Balt. Sun)

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800-NEXT-STEP: First 24/7 Crisis Hotline Established in Harford County

Residents of Harford County now have access to a 24/7 behavioral health, mental health and addiction services crisis hotline. 800-NEXT-STEP (800-639-8783) is the centralized telephone number for people in crisis to call, operated by behavioral health professionals who can help navigate the often complex system of care. The hotline is made available through a public-private partnership led by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health along with Harford County Government, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil, Harford County Health Department and Office on Mental Health/Core Service Agency of Harford County, Inc. (Dagger)

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Planning and Zoning calls out Carroll commissioners in letter about the Freedom Plan

The Carroll County Planning and Zoning Commission sent a three-page letter to the Board of County Commissioners Oct. 16 raising “serious concerns about the process” the board used to take the Freedom Plan back from the planning commission this August, calling it “a sham ... driven by politics when it was supposed to be insulated from politics.” “This recission jeopardizes the plan you purport to finalize,” the letter states in its opening. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Finding a white whale: Coppin State professor might have confirmed lost Herman Melville manuscript

After 10 years of searching like Captain Ahab at sea, a Coppin State University professor thinks he may have found a lost Herman Melville manuscript that includes tantalizing hints of what later would become his masterpiece, “Moby-Dick.” Humanities professor Roger Stritmatter thinks the unsigned, one-page document he bought online for $850 in 2009 from a New Jersey antiques dealer — a satiric mock-newspaper called “The Extr. Gazette” — might have been created by Melville on April 11, 1846, to amuse his ailing older brother, Gansevoort, who died the following month from tuberculosis. (Balt. Sun)

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October 17 // First black woman to serve on Anne Arundel Circuit Court starts Wednesday

Elizabeth Sheree Morris is aware of her race and its importance in Anne Arundel’s judiciary. For the first time in the county’s history, it will have a black woman as a Circuit Court judge. Gov. Larry Hogan appointed the former attorney for the National Security Agency to replace Judge Paul Goetzke, who retired in June for medical reasons. She’s only the third black judge in the court’s history dating back to the 1970s — succeeding former judges Clayton Greene Jr. and Rodney Warren — and will be the only person of color out of 13 judges when she’s sworn in Wednesday. (Capital)

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