Cutting-edge tracts lead way as more local residents take up agriculture

It's not quite 9 a.m. and already the sun is glaring overhead when Jess Beck greets a reporter with a firm handshake and bare feet. She and her mother, Cathy Marsteller Cooper, momentarily stop harvesting ripe, pesticide-free tomatoes to talk about their 32-acre farm in Freeland. The farm produces a majority of the family's food — up to 80 varieties of produce plus pork, eggs and poultry. They sell to local restaurants and at a stand at the top of their street. The family home's enclosed front porch also contains stocked shelves and a refrigerator bursting with in-season produce for sale on a self-serve basis. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Marylanders among the worst tippers in the U.S.

Marylanders rank among the worst tippers in the United States, according to a new report. The industry standard is considered to be 15 to 18 percent for adequate service and while the average Maryland diner is tipping within that range, some customers believe the standard should be higher. “Twenty percent is standard I feel like you have to do, and I’m like I’m fine, 25 percent if they’re doing better, and 15 if they’re not so good,” says Maryland resident Griffin Scully. Guidelines differ by state, according to data from the payment processing company Square. (WJZ-CBS)

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Partially treated sewage spills into Piscataway Creek in Prince George's County

A broken pipe at the Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Accokeek area allowed 17,000 gallons of partially treated sewage to spill into nearby Piscataway Creek on Wednesday, utility officials said. The pipe was carrying wastewater that had been through the entire treatment process except for final disinfection, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), which supplies water and sewer services to Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The water reached the creek via a storm drain on the plant grounds, WSSC said. The spill lasted about eight hours before it was stopped. (Wash. Post)

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Columbia native starts latest viral craze, the Backflip Challenge

Grant Fox had an idea. While in Ocean City for senior week, the Columbia native “had too much to much time on his hands” and thought he’d do a public backflip on film. In the video captured on his Instagram, bystanders seated on a bench look around in astonishment and confusion after Fox backflips and cooly walks away, as if he hadn’t been airborne moments before. He posted the video on Instagram and waited for it to hit. What ensued, he didn’t expect, he said. The video scored thousands of views. (Balt. Sun)

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Jared Kushner's firm seeks arrest of Maryland tenants to collect debt

The real estate company owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and top adviser to President Donald Trump, has been the most aggressive in Maryland in using a controversial debt-collection tactic: getting judges to order the arrest of people who owe his company money. Since 2013, the first full year in which the Kushner Cos. operated in Maryland, corporate entities affiliated with the firm's 17 apartment complexes in the state have sought the civil arrest of 105 former tenants for failing to appear in court to face allegations of unpaid debt, The Baltimore Sun has found. That's more than any other landlord in the state over that time, an analysis of Maryland District Court data shows. (Balt. Sun)

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Schuh pushes for law enforcement, public safety officials to purchase homes in Anne Arundel

County Executive Steve Schuh will propose a $2,000 stipend for law enforcement and public safety officials who buy their first home in Anne Arundel County. In a release Wednesday, Schuh said he will propose the stipend during collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the unions representing the county’s police, firefighters, corrections officers and sheriff’s officers. The push to entice public safety officials to live in the region comes at a time when the county police department is recruiting entry level police officers, advertising on social media and elsewhere. (Capital)

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Maryland judge denies DC sniper Malvo's bid for new sentence

A man convicted of taking part as a teenager in deadly sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area has lost a bid for a new sentence in Maryland. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg said in a ruling dated Tuesday that Lee Boyd Malvo's "physical, mental and emotional state" was given full consideration before he was sentenced to life without parole. Malvo was convicted in Maryland and Virginia of playing a role when he was 17 in the 2002 shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three. Malvo's attorneys say his sentences should be thrown out because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles is unconstitutional. (Balt. Sun-AP)

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In Baltimore, police face pressure to halt violence and heated scrutiny of arrests

In the middle of an East Baltimore street, three police officers struggled to subdue an alleged drug dealer as a gathering crowd screamed objections and recorded the officers’ every move. A video of the incident last week quickly racked up tens of thousands of views on Facebook. The footage shows an officer pushing the man’s chest onto the pavement and placing a knee on his lower back. By the time the confrontation was over, one officer had a dislocated shoulder and two men were arrested — Myers on charges of illegal drug possession and resisting arrest, and a second man, Martez Buckner, 29, on charges of obstruction and hindering and resisting arrest. (Balt. Sun)

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