August 10 // City officials blast proposal to reduce late-night bus service to White Marsh Mall area

Two Baltimore councilmen unloaded Thursday on a push by two county legislators to reduce late-night weekend bus service near White Marsh Mall over concerns about “large crowds of youth.” City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said in an interview that he hopes the Maryland Transit Administration denies a request from Baltimore County Council members Cathy Bevins and David Marks, who have asked that bus service in the area end hours earlier on Friday and Saturday nights. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore aims to fill the most 'challenging police chief job in the country.' So who would want it?

As a leading consultant to the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies, Chuck Wexler has helped cities across the country find new police chiefs. Baltimore, he said, is different. “I don’t think there is a more challenging police chief job in the country right now,” said Wexler, the longtime executive director of the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum. “It’s facing a number of challenges: A consent decree, significant crime and issues rebuilding trust.” (Balt. Sun)

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Potential deal in place to fund Baltimore’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund

A tentative agreement is in place to prevent a charter amendment dedicating a chunk of Baltimore’s property tax revenue to affordable housing from going to Baltimore voters in November. According to a source with knowledge of the agreement, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s administration has agreed to a deal eventually providing $20 million annually to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The deal, however, has not been finalized with the various activist groups that are part of the coalition backing the Charter Amendment petition. (Daily Record)

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Task force to study Allegany County transit issues

A transit task force established during Thursday’s meeting of the Allegany County Board of Commissioners will work to address transportation related issues in the area, some of which may be holding people back from potential employment opportunities. “I’ve been talking to people who utilize the system on a regular basis,” County Administrator Brandon Butler said, “and I’ve been talking to businesses and they’re all saying the same thing — we need to take a hard look at our transit system.” (Times-News)

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Positive vibes celebrate Berlin library’s ribbon cutting

Local officials celebrated Berlin’s new library with a ribbon cutting ceremony this week. On Tuesday the Worcester County Commissioners joined municipal officials, area politicians and library leadership for a ribbon cutting at the new 12,000-square-foot Berlin branch of the Worcester County Library. “I think we all are awestruck by this wonderful facility,” Mayor Gee Williams said. The new library, which opened in July, is more than three times the size of the library’s previous location on Main Street. (Dispatch)

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Rally in Hagerstown's Public Square celebrates diversity

About 45 people gathered in downtown's Public Square Thursday evening to celebrate the community's diverse makeup, a reaction to hate speech across the country. The rally was sponsored by the RISE Coalition of Western Maryland, which helps provide resources to local immigrants. Among the speakers was Maheen Haq, a Hagerstown Muslim. Haq expressed concerns about young local Muslims being bullied because of their religious beliefs. (Herald-Mail)

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Maryland state parks have become so popular, they're turning people away

The Lopez family was up before sunrise to pack up supplies: portable stoves, camping chairs, rainbow-striped mesh hammocks and coolers filled with tortillas, sausages and whole tilapia. Nearly two dozen family members drove in a multiple-car caravan from Dundalk to Cunningham Falls State Park, an hour and a half away. They arrived well before the park’s 8 a.m. opening — and found they weren’t the only group waiting to claim a spot in the shade of oak trees near a sandy lakeshore. (Balt. Sun)

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August 9 // Baltimore board approves covering gender-confirming surgery for city employees

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates has approved a request to provide gender-confirming surgery for city employees. City officials said extending the benefit reaffirms the city's commitment to equal employment opportunity for all employees as the city aims to create diverse and inclusive workplace. "This is a victory for trans people and gender non-conforming people, a sign that everybody in the city matters," said Merrick Moses, president of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore board. (WBAL)

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