Library patrons check out a diverse group of 'human books' in Baltimore County

A woman in an Islamic headscarf sat in Baltimore County’s Owings Mills branch library on Saturday trying to dispel misconceptions about Muslims. Seated nearby, an African-American woman discussed subtle forms of racial profiling she said she has encountered. And near her was a Baltimore County police lieutenant in his blue uniform who said he was “trying to break down some walls” between police and the community. The trio was among 11 people who volunteered to serve as “living books” in the library system’s first-ever Human Library — an initiative in which people of diverse ethnicities, backgrounds and experiences are “checked out” by library patrons. (Balt. Sun)

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Sentencing date set for past Baltimore Police sergeant of corrupt Gun Trace Task Force

A sentencing hearing has been set for next month for Baltimore Police Sgt. Thomas Allers, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for stealing thousands in cash from people he was investigating while he ran the Gun Trace Task Force. Court records show Allers’ sentencing will take place May 11. Allers is the first officer convicted in the case to have a sentencing date set, after previously scheduled sentencing hearings were canceled earlier this year. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Poor People's Campaign looks to Dr. King for inspiration

The work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not end with the civil rights movement alone. King, along with Ralph Abernathy, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was instrumental in planning a Poor People’s Campaign, which would make use of non-violent civil disobedience — thousands of the poor traveling to Washington, D.C. — to turn the focus of the U.S. government toward the plight of the poor. The original Poor People’s Campaign was seriously dampened, though not broken, by King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, but there are those that wish to pick up the torch today — and they are inviting those interested to meet in Westminster, on Tuesday. (Carr. Co. Times)

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County patients finding relief with medical marijuana

Tucked into the rolling farm fields of Warwick is likely Maryland’s largest medical marijuana grow facility, where some 100,000 plants bask in the sunshine under a state-of-the-art greenhouse. This is SunMed Growers LLC, the vision of Jake Van Wingerden, a third generation greenhouse grower who started Tidal Creek Growers in Earleville in 2002. (Cecil Daily)

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Maryland to receive another $10 million in federal funding for opioid crisis

Maryland will receive another $10 million in federal funding to help combat the ongoing opioid crisis. The grant is part of $485 million in funding being awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to all 50 states and four U.S. territories. The funding piggybacks off $10 million the state received last year from DHHS to fight the opioid epidemic. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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OC wrestling with including pot in smoking ordinance

With the relaxing of marijuana laws in recent years, coupled with the proliferation of legal medical marijuana dispensary outlets in the area, resort officials are wrestling with how to fit weed into the town’s smoking ordinance. A few years back, Ocean City passed an ordinance banning smoking in most public areas, particularly on the beach and Boardwalk, except within 15 feet of designated smoking areas. (Dispatch)

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Baltimore police chief apologizes for 200 years of policing at Eric B & Rakim show, gets frosty reception

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa took the stage during the reunion tour for hip-hop act Eric B. & Rakim at Baltimore Soundstage on Wednesday night, and videos of the appearance posted to social media suggest they didn't exactly get a warm reception. Videos posted to Instagram show De Sousa making a brief speech to say sorry about how police have treated black communities since the nation’s founding. (Balt. Sun)

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Mayor: Frederick City ‘having conversations’ about whether to join federal lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors

Mayor Michael O’Connor said city officials are discussing whether Frederick will join roughly 200 other cities, counties and states across the country in suing a number of drug manufacturers and distributors for their potential roles in contributing to the nationwide opioid epidemic. “We are considering what our options are in that regard,” O’Connor said Thursday in response to a direct question about the federal litigation and the city’s potential to become part of it. (News-Post)

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