Bay ‘dead zone’ expected to be bigger this summer due to heavy rains in Pa., N.Y.

A year after experiencing its best water quality in decades, the Chesapeake Bay is expected to have a larger than average “dead zone” this summer, where fish, crabs and shellfish will struggle to breathe. Researchers with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the University of Michigan are forecasting that the volume of oxygen-starved water in the Bay will grow to 1.9 cubic miles, enough to nearly fill 3.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. A “dead zone” is a popular term for water that’s low in oxygen, or hypoxic. “The forecast is a reminder that the improvements such as we saw last year are subject to reversal depending on weather conditions—two steps forward, one step back,” said UMCES President Donald F. Boesch. (Bay Journal-Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article

Columbia is blowing out the candles on a 50th birthday cake

"I often wonder," Columbia's founder James Rouse mused to a Sun reporter in 1982, "how many cities in the world there are that celebrate their birthday every year." Perhaps not many. But from its first birthday in June 1968, Columbia, like a typical American child, has celebrated with a birthday cake. At first Rouse, Columbia's developer and omnipresent father figure, cut the cake in Symphony Woods, handing out slices to the children of his new little town of around 1,200; a Sun story in 1984 said nearly the entire population of the town was there. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Bringing Aberdeen charter changes to referendum 'a challenge,' mayor admits

It's going to be a challenge for Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady to get all the signatures he needs by Saturday evening to bring the recent charter changes to referendum, he said earlier this week. He didn't have the most recent count Wednesday afternoon, but said early in the week he had about 800 signatures out of the 1,990 needed (20 percent of the voters registered in Aberdeen) by midnight Saturday, 40 days after the changes were approved. McGrady is hoping to bring to referendum changes approved last month by a 3-2 vote of the Aberdeen City Council to the city charter that he says changes the city's form of government. (Aegis)

Read Full Article

Washington County approves $774K for array of projects

Building a bigger horse ring for equestrian events at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center is among 12 development projects that will receive Program Open Space funding in the coming fiscal year. It is a long-term project, with the county trying to bank some money for the horse ring and a new access road off Keedysville Road to the 13.78 acres the county acquired a couple of years ago to expand the agricultural center property, Public Works Director Jim Sterling said. The $66,444 the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday for the project is expected to be mostly used for planning and design. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article

Capitol Police officer injured in congressional baseball practice shooting lives in Baltimore County

When a gunman opened fire on congressional Republicans at a baseball practice, a Capitol Police officer from Baltimore County was among three officers who stepped up to engage him. Special Agent Crystal Griner — a Gywnn Oak resident who graduated from a Howard County high school and played college basketball at Hood College — and Special Agent David Bailey were injured while taking on the gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, who was fatally shot Wednesday within minutes of opening fire at a ball field in Alexandria, Va. A third officer, Henry Cabrera, was not injured. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

June 15 // 'Gun violence is out of control,' Pugh says amid spike in murders

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis on Wednesday pledged to more heavily address gun violence and step up police patrols as a spike in violence rips through the city. Pugh and Davis said they are continuing to focus on guns, gangs and drugs. Pugh said she is also actively pursuing higher penalties for illegal gun possession not only in Baltimore, but at a statewide level. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Baltimore law department to conduct audit of police department overtime

The city's law department has begun an audit of the Baltimore police's overtime payouts and rules. Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Catherine Pugh and Interim City Solicitor David Ralph confirmed the audit was taking place. Pugh had initially expressed a desire to audit the police department's overtime budget in March. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Sides clash at meeting on Frederick County’s controversial immigration program

Critics of Frederick County’s controversial immigration enforcement program called for independent oversight of it at a combative 287(g) steering committee meeting Wednesday night. Supporters and critics of the 287(g) program met with Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, sheriff’s deputies and officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to learn about the county’s cooperation with federal immigration officials and ask questions. Under the 287(g) agreement, sheriff’s deputies may inquire about the immigration status of all people booked into the Frederick County Adult Detention Center and hold inmates on ICE detainers. (News-Post)

Read Full Article