March 22 // Group of defense attorneys win access to more than 30 internal affairs complaints against Baltimore officer

Attorneys for a group of defendants arrested by a city police officer can now view internal affairs files for more than 30 complaints made against him, a city judge has ruled. The files for Sgt. Joseph Donato include excessive force and false arrest complaints that were sustained by internal affairs investigators, but remain tightly protected under the state's personnel laws. Prosecutors, who are required to disclose potentially relevant material to defendants, had not disclosed the cases to the defense attorneys and said in court earlier this month that they did not believe the files were required to be turned over. (Balt. Sun)

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Caretakers seek to counter sea swamping Assateague

Assateague Island is located in a precarious spot in regard to sea level rise. With sea levels rising — a total of 5 inches internationally since 1960, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — the barrier island has been faced with the task of adapting. Noting the vulnerability of the park, the National and Maryland parks services have taken strides to prevent future catastrophes. This year, the state park plans to eliminate eight campsites and relocate 18 others inland to make way for large storm and tide barrier dunes. (Daily Times)

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Annapolis alderman Ross Arnett announces re-election campaign

Alderman Ross Arnett, D-Ward 8, has announced he is running for re-election with a kick-off event at the Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport. This is Arnett's 10th year as a City Council member. He has represented Ward 8 since 2007. Council members are elected for four-year terms. City elections are held during off years between gubernatorial and presidential elections. Arnett said his campaign will focus on public safety, development, the environment and fiscal responsibility. (Capital)

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This week in Columbia history: Fred Weaver becomes first African-American on Howard County board

In March 1969, Howard County Executive Omar Jones appointed Columbia resident Fred Weaver to the county personnel board. The first African-American to be named to a county board, Weaver, 78, said he dedicated his service to diversifying the county's employees. His 10-year tenure, Weaver said, was an example of the many ways Columbia acted as a "catalyst" for the racial integration of Howard County. Jones' decision to put Weaver on the personnel board was notable, Weaver said, because it was not what he calls the "traditional" appointment for African-Americans at the time, but allowed him to have an impact beyond racial issues. (Ho. Co. Times)

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FY 2018 projected county transportation budget moves forward, includes additional routes

Carroll County's fiscal year 2018 annual transportation projected operating budget, which brings with it contract and salary increases and additional routes, is making its way to the Maryland Transportation Administration after being approved by the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The plan calls for an increase of nearly $140,000 from the county — $93,123 in required county match and $45,828 in county overmatch. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Baltimore County officials notified calls were intercepted during 2013-14 wiretap

Numerous Baltimore County government officials received notices from federal prosecutors this month saying their communications had been intercepted as part of a wiretap investigation in 2013 and 2014. Members of the County Council and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration are among those who received the notices, which were dated March 8. Some county officials called the FBI after getting the letter, said Don Mohler, Kamenetz's chief of staff. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore Co. Council questions proposed sewer extension to official's property

The Baltimore County Council postponed action this week on a resolution that would have extended a public sewer line to a single property at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $200,000. "I think the question that we all have is the exorbitant price that the county is going to undertake to get this done for one house," Councilwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, said Monday when the council tabled the vote. Suzanne Berger, who is the county's deputy director of the Office of Human Resources, is an owner of the property, according to state property records. (Balt. Sun)

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Battle lines form on Harford emergency medical services study

The first steps in the transition to a county-run emergency medical services system are just months away, as Harford County Executive Barry Glassman prepares to begin implementing wholesale changes recommended by an outside consultant. But leaders of the mostly volunteer fire and EMS service, who operate independently of the county government, aren't sold on the conclusions of the report prepared for the county executive by the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security, or CHHS. (Balt. Sun)

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