October 16 // After police union rejects contract, city solicitor says both sides will continue negotiations

After Baltimore police officers resoundingly rejected a city-proposed labor contract with their police union Thursday night, both city and union officials hinted Friday that negotiations will continue. The union had characterized the rejected contract as the city’s “final offer,” but Andre Davis, the city solicitor, played down the idea that the city was ready to walk away from the negotiating table or that the vote had left the city on unsound footing. “I do not believe we’re in limbo at all. Officers reported for their shifts today and they will tomorrow,” Davis said Friday. “The next step will obviously be determined by the parties, individually and collectively.” (Balt. Sun)

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Fentanyl makes its way from Chinese labs to Baltimore streets, with deadly consequences

In a laboratory somewhere in China, a chemist is producing the fentanyl that will kill an opioid user in Maryland. Within China’s vast drug industry, which produces much of the global supply of pharmaceutical ingredients, laboratories are taking advantage of cheap labor and lax oversight from Beijing to churn out new versions of the cheap, powerful and often deadly synthetic opioid faster than U.S. authorities can identify, classify and ban them. From China — the largest producer of fentanyl worldwide — the drug is sent daily by plane or ship to Mexico, where traffickers and truckers push it along well-worn paths of illicit narcotics north to the United States. In Baltimore and other cities, well-established gangs push the powder and pills to consumers. (Balt. Sun)

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Bike share program relaunched Sunday in downtown, waterfront

When the Baltimore Bike Share program returns to the streets Sunday, stations will be located at nine locations downtown and around the waterfront. About 50 bikes will be available at the following stations: Brown Advisory, BioPark, BGE at Center Plaza, Constellation at Harbor Point, McHenry Row, the Can Company, Harbor East, the Inner Harbor Visitors Center and the National Aquarium. The relaunch represents about a quarter of the bike share’s fleet. Remaining stations will be opened by the end of the month, city officials said. The $2.36 million program was shutdown for about a month this fall after widespread thefts and maintenance backups. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore artists, activists and educators ask what's next after removal of Confederate statues

About 15 community members gathered in an old church space in Charles Village on Sunday to discuss Baltimore’s removal of three Confederate statues and what should take their spot. “People definitely want to talk,” said Sheila Gaskins, an organizer with the group Artpartheid. “And they want to be heard.” “I’m concentrating on Baltimore history,” said Kimberly Sheridan, a 57-year-old artist from Pigtown who’d brought a sketchbook of renderings for possible statues: one of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, perhaps, or some of the many local legal luminaries of the civil rights movement. The removal of the statues is “not going to solve problems,” Sheridan said, “but it can inspire people to do that.” (Balt. Sun)

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Thousands go pink for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Baltimore

If there’s one thing Mei Chen has learned in the nine years since she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, it’s that a strong support system and a positive attitude can be almost as crucial to recovery as the right medical treatment. The 47-year-old Ellicott City woman learned it when her family helped her through her mastectomy. She learned it again when they backed her at her first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure last year. But the idea came across more clearly than ever Sunday morning, when a horde of supporters cheered as Chen crossed the finish line on Woodall Street in Locust Point in the 25th annual running of the Komen race. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel County to consider tax credits for public safety officers

The Anne Arundel County Council will consider legislation Monday that lowers tax bills for public safety officers and would change when Board of Appeals members can participate in decisions based on their attendance. The council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the County Council chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis. Bills that are up for public hearing can be voted on after discussion as long as the bill isn’t significantly amended. The public safety tax credit is sponsored by County Councilman Jerry Walker, R-Crofton. The bill would give police, fire and detention officer’s a $2,500 property tax credit for living within the county. It also would apply to the sheriff’s office and volunteer firefighters. (Capital)

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Baltimore native Davis eager to guide hometown through consent decree as new city solicitor

As Baltimore native Andre M. Davis watched the city negotiate a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in the waning days of the Obama administration, he was thinking about a job opportunity he had recently turned down: running the city’s Law Department. (Daily Record)

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Baltimore KKK leader denied bail for firing weapon at Charlottesville rally

A Baltimore Ku Klux Klan leader charged with firing a pistol during a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been denied bail despite his claim that he acted in self-defense. Richard Wilson Preston is accused of firing a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school during the August rally. The Daily Progress reports Preston told a judge Thursday that he drew his pistol twice: first when he was threatened by a man he thought was going to throw a newspaper box at him and again when threatened by a man with a nail-laden stick. (Daily Times)

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