A move afoot: As Towson urbanizes, groups work to get people walking

The suburbs have a familiar routine: If you need to get somewhere, hop in the car and drive there. Two errands? You’ll be driving to that second destination, too. But what happens when a suburban center, filled mostly with office buildings, starts to look more like a densely populated city, more urban? Towson is finding out. Today, cranes swing across Towson’s skyline. Tomorrow, those dusty construction sites will be large, mixed-use developments. Towson Row and Avalon Bay, two construction projects in Towson’s core, are set to add more than 500 apartment units. (Balt. Sun)

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Protesters rally outside Montgomery Co. police station after use of racial slur

Editor’s note: The text in this story may be offensive to some readers. At least 50 protesters chanted and marched to a Montgomery County police station in Silver Spring, Maryland, from a nearby library Monday night, and rallied outside. Some carried signs with slogans that included “Stop Racial Profiling,” “Black People Are Not ‘Suspicious!” and “Black Lives Matter.” The demonstration was a response to videos recorded last week, of a white officer using a racial slur. (WTOP)

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Federal judge blocks release of Coast Guard officer from Maryland who has been called a terrorist

A federal judge in Maryland on Monday blocked the release of a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling combat gear and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and TV journalists. U.S. District Judge George Hazel agreed to revoke a magistrate's order to free 50-year-old Christopher Hasson from custody while he awaits trial on firearms and drug charges. Prosecutors had appealed and asked Hazel to review the magistrate's order. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day decided last Tuesday that Hasson could be released from custody and supervised by relatives in Virginia. But Day didn't order Hasson's immediate release. Instead, he gave prosecutors time to appeal. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard to bore a tunnel and raze four buildings to ease Ellicott City flooding, could cost $140 million

Howard County will spend as much as $140 million to ease the deadly flooding that sweeps into historic Ellicott City. The massive civil works project involves boring a large tunnel near Main Street to divert the storm water that rushes down the steep-sided valley into the quaint mill town. Four buildings on the lower part on the historic strip also will be razed, county officials announced Monday. Yet none of this will prevent flooding, just reduce it. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Baltimore City's liability in Gun Trace Task Force lawsuits to be decided case by case

A Baltimore judge has thrown out a request by city attorneys seeking to ensure taxpayers won’t be responsible for lawsuits against the rogue cops of the Gun Trace Task Force. The dismissal Monday by Baltimore Circuit Judge Gregory Sampson sets the stage for judges to decide case by case if the city is liable, City Solicitor Andre Davis said. He had sought a preemptive ruling to strengthen protections for the city. Sampson, however, wrote that he could not grant such a request without hearing from the plaintiffs themselves. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. team deploys to practice hurricane response

A versatile rescue team from Maryland that is often sent to hurricanes and other natural disasters nationwide is going through extensive training this week, preparing for hurricane season. Montgomery County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, known as Maryland Task Force 1, was activated Monday as part of the elaborate drill. “It gives us the opportunity to exercise all the tasks and work that we would normally do,” said team leader Monte Fitch, a battalion chief with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue. “We do everything from life and safety to humanitarian missions.” (WTOP)

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Montgomery council approves union contract, after rejecting earlier raises

The Montgomery County Council on Monday voted to approve a union contract for county workers that walked back some negotiated pay increases, saying the more modest hikes were better aligned with the county’s finances. The 7-2 vote was an indication that the all-Democratic council is prepared to limit first-year County Executive Marc Elrich’s spending, including on items important to the labor unions that are a key part of his support base. Last month, the council rejected the package the Elrich administration negotiated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994 Municipal and County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO) and sent them back to the bargaining table. (Wash. Post)

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Poll: 61 percent of D.C.-area residents favor plan to add toll lanes to Beltway, I-270

A clear majority of Washington-area residents favor adding express toll lanes to Interstate 270 and Maryland’s part of the Capital Beltway, a centerpiece of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s traffic relief plans, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll. But support is uneven in the Maryland suburbs, and most residents regionwide say they are concerned about tolls being too expensive, the lanes failing to reduce traffic and nearby homes being destroyed by wider highways. (Wash. Post)

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