Comic Con takes Frederick

The Francis Scott Key event center at the Clarion Inn in Frederick, Maryland was turned into a crowded space filled with comic books, collectibles, toys and other fun items on Sunday. Frederick Comic Con was in full swing by 11 a.m. and would continue for another four hours. Nick Shoff, owner of Shoff Promotions, has held the Comic Con event three times a year in Frederick since 2014. “If you’re interested in comics or collectibles or games, you can usually find it,” Shoff said. Shoff began hosting shows 40 years ago, and back then it was just baseball cards. Now his shows tend to be a little more colorful and cartoonish. (News-Post)

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Therapy dogs bring smiles to somber courthouse proceedings

All kinds walk through the security checkpoints at the Frederick County Courthouse on any given day, but few manage to turn heads like Giuseppe, Welton, Zeke and Zoey. “We’re just the handlers. They call us ‘the dopes on the ends of the ropes,’” said Francina Baldi with a smile as she led Giuseppe, a 3-year-old mini goldendoodle, toward the stairwell through a cluster of onlookers July 10. “It’s the dogs who are the stars.” Stopping patiently to give everyone the chance to kneel down to pet the adorable entourage, the dogs’ handlers gradually made their way up to Magistrate Hearing Room 1 on the second floor where, every Wednesday, the court’s Children in Need of Assistance cases are heard. (News-Post)

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These 3 Maryland counties won in the digital counties survey

Three Maryland counties were named winners of the Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties 17th annual digital counties survey. Montgomery County placed first among American counties with more than 1 million residents. Prince George’s County placed fourth among counties with between 500,000 and 999,999 residents. Charles County placed fourth among counties with between 150,000 and 249,999 residents. The survey identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response recovery efforts. (Daily Record)

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Harrison Talks About Crime Strategy, Data That Informed It

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison isn't expecting violent crime to vanish "overnight" as a result of the five-year crime strategy announced Thursday, but he said parts of that plan are already being implemented. Police are already patrolling a number of micro zones where a significant portion of the city's violent crimes are taking place. The pattern emerged as Harrison, who was installed earlier this year, reviewed historical crime data. "We've known for five years now that -- and it has not changed; it's remained constant -- that... of the shootings and armed robberies, a third of them are occurring in these areas, and it hasn't changed," Harrison told C4 on Friday. (WBAL-Radio)

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New Baltimore deputy police commissioner robbed at gunpoint near Patterson Park

One of Baltimore’s newest deputy police commissioners and his wife were robbed at gunpoint Friday night near Patterson Park, police said. Deputy Commissioner Daniel Murphy and his wife were approached around 9 p.m. by four men in a large white SUV at the 2200 block of East Pratt Street, police said in a statement. Two approximately 18-year-old men got out of the SUV and approached the couple. The men announced it was a robbery, showed a gun and fled with a wallet, a purse, some cash and multiple cell phones, the press release said. No one was injured. (Balt. Sun)

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Nike closing its Hagerstown Premium Outlets store

The Nike Factory Store just south of Hagerstown will close Sunday. The store is at 375 Premium Outlets Blvd., in the Hagerstown Premium Outlets complex. A voice recording that answers the store telephone states, “Our location is closing on Sunday, July 21.” It does not give a reason for the closure. An email to Nike’s corporate media office was not returned Friday night or Saturday. (Herald-Mail)

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Amid rising home prices, Talbot County tackles affordability issues

Growing up, Wayne Bridges easily found peers to play with in the small coastal town of St. Michaels, nestled along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Now, his high school-age son travels a few miles to hangout with friends as more families move outside the township because of rising home prices. “It’s tough for a working family to afford to be in town,” said Bridges, who works as general manager at a local restaurant called The Crab Claw. “We’ve been called the Hamptons of the South.” After the 2008 housing crisis, many wealthy individuals swooped into town, scooping up unassuming properties at cheaper rates, Bridges added. (Daily Record)

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Maryland Transit Administration forecasts $2 billion shortfall over next decade

The Maryland Transit Administration faces a funding shortfall of more than $2 billion over the next decade — money that is needed to keep the agency’s transit systems running safely, in compliance with regulatory requirements, and enhanced with new technology and mobility options, according to the agency’s first Capital Needs Inventory. The report, required as part of last year’s Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act following the emergency shutdown of the Baltimore Metro Subway, identifies $5.7 billion in necessary spending between now and 2028. (Balt. Sun)

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