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Baltimore County Council Passes First Income Tax Hike in a Generation

Part of an effort to close an $81 million deficit

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As the rest of the country obsesses about the 2020 national elections, some folks in Annapolis are facing a more immediately pressing issue; filling the city council seat vacated by Shaneka Henson when she was sworn in to the House of Delegates seat long held by the late Speaker Michael Busch.

City officials have set a special election for July 2, but things aren’t going very well.

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Baltimore Introduces “Manual Workaround” For Homebuying During Ransomware Attacks

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After ransomware attacks hit Baltimore City’s computer servers, the city’s lien system became inaccessible and kept prospective homebuyers from closing on properties. This week, the city introduced a “manual workaround” for homebuyers in limbo that involves paper and sworn affidavits.

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A Resilient Chesapeake

May 22, 2019
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Despite record rainfall washing pollution and debris into the Chesapeake Bay last year, the bay’s health continues to improve.

Sure, it took a little dip from its 2017 score, say scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, but it still maintained an overall “C,” which the scientists say is a sign of resilience in the nation’s largest estuary.

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Final Plan for Tax Hikes Taking Shape in Baltimore County

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Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government
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There's no way around it. Tax hikes are coming to Baltimore County. But the specifics are still being worked out days before the Baltimore County Council is set to vote on them.

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Union President Challenges Election Results

May 17, 2019
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The president of the Baltimore Teachers Union has formally challenged the results of this week’s election, which she lost by 62 votes.

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'The Weekly Reader' Book Club

Second Thursday of Every Month

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Out of the Blocks

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Out of the Blocks teamed up with the education activists at Inspire Citizens to spend a week at Seoul Foreign School , working with students on empathy and active listening. The week culminated in a global youth media conference, when 150 middle & high school kids from international schools in Korea, China, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi headed out into the streets of Seoul to interview strangers. Check out this special audio postcard, and hear what the students learned about others and about...

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There was a bittersweet quality to ABC's triumphant two-hour live sitcom special on Wednesday night. At least, for me there was.

On the sweet side, watching talented stars like Jamie Foxx and Woody Harrelson re-create classic scripts from All in the Family and The Jeffersons was a shot of pure, uncut nostalgia. There are few spectacles as entertaining as these guys mugging their ways through impressions of classic characters like George Jefferson and Archie Bunker — in live performance.

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'Diamantino': Portuguese Satire About Soccer, Nationalism And Cloning Scores Goal

3 hours ago
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You can tell something is off about fictional Portuguese soccer star Diamantino, who looks an awful lot like actual Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, as soon as he mentions the puppies. And that doesn't take very long, because Diamantino, the pride of his nation, is quick to bring up that when he's on the field, and when he gets in the zone, he starts to see gigantic puppies, flopping around in a mist of sparkling pink clouds.

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The opening moments of Booksmart, the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, present a question, just by force of viewing habit: What kind of cinematic high-school girl type is this?

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'Aladdin': A CGI World, Neither Whole Nor New

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As Disney plunders its archives for live-action remakes of animated classics, the question of "Why?" continues to be less evident on the screen than it is on the company ledger. The one quiet exception was Pete's Dragon, which succeeded because it had no fidelity to the second-rate slapstick and songcraft of the original, and could re-imagine the premise from the ground up. When the catalog titles get as massive as Aladdin, however, the mission becomes to replicate it as closely as possible, which inevitably leads to stilted facsimile.

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A growing number of states are passing laws banning abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Anti-abortion-rights activists see this as an unprecedented opportunity to roll back Roe v. Wade.

Watch the video above to learn more.

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Senate Reaches $19 Billion Deal For Disaster Aid Without Border Wall Funding

3 hours ago
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Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a $19.1 billion disaster aid package Thursday that includes money for states impacted by flooding, recent hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as money for communities rebuilding after wildfires.

The measure passed overwhelmingly — 85-8.

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In 1998, Ichard Oden committed a crime that got him sent away for two decades. He was 19.

He got out of prison in February. Today, he's a 40-year-old man with very little job experience.

As it turns out, Oden is coming back into society at a time when the economy is booming and attitudes toward people with criminal records are changing.

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Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

Prosecutors are bringing a slate of new charges against Julian Assange, including alleged violations of the Espionage Act, raising the stakes for his prospective extradition from the United Kingdom.

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Modi Wins In Landslide Election, A Victory For Hindu Nationalists

3 hours ago

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been reelected and his party is poised to take more seats than the 2014 election, signaling India's support of the strongman leader and his Hindu nationalist ideology.

The voting lasted almost six weeks to accommodate nearly 900 million people who were eligible to cast their votes.

On Thursday, the ballots were counted and results showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, winning more seats than any other party.

In This Town, You Apply For A Job And You Get It

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Ames, Iowa, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. That's great for workers — but a challenge for those looking for them.

Tanisha Cortez is one of those benefiting from this tight labor market. The restaurant where Cortez worked closed in late November, so she went looking for a new job. She submitted applications to about half a dozen companies.

Almost right away, she got offers from every one of them. And she was working again at a new restaurant two weeks later. She will earn $2,000 more a year than she made at her old job.

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