The Week That Was

July 20, 2008

Shelter plans upset neighbors

Mayor Sheila Dixon's goal to end homelessness is creating headaches for neighborhoods that have played host to homeless shelters in recent months. When the city set up a winter shelter in Baltimore's Greenmount West neighborhood last year, some residents worried that it might dampen revitalization efforts. There were similar concerns in Butchers Hill and Edmondson Heights, where two homeless shelters opened.

Test scores rise statewide

Statewide test scores for African-Americans and low-income children rose significantly this year and are moving closer to parity with other students, according to data released by state education officials. The Maryland scores were buoyed by large gains in Baltimore City and Prince George's County.

State rules against sidewalk fee

A hotly disputed fee imposed on Annapolis property owners for maintenance of city sidewalks was unlawfully levied, according to an opinion issued by the Maryland attorney general's office. The fee is essentially a new tax because it is mandatory and assessed even on those who have no sidewalks, said William R. Varga, an assistant attorney general.

Five city schools labeled 'dangerous'

The state school board labeled five Baltimore schools "persistently dangerous," as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but not before members denounced the designation and said they'd send a protest letter to the U.S. Department of Education.

City pledges to fight hunger

Acting on a finding that a lot of Baltimore children lack good nutrition, the city health department announced a plan to screen children for signs of hunger and to link families to food pantries and federal nutrition programs such as Food Stamps and Women Infants and Children.

Waste center gets 56 violations

An assessment of the Harford Waste Disposal Center has uncovered 56 violations, including unsafe areas and equipment, escaping litter, inadequate trash cover and erosion of surrounding ground at the county landfill in Street. The county has developed a response plan, officials said.

Video figure enters guilty plea

A 29-year-old man who appeared numerous times in the first Stop Snitching video pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, gun possession and other charges, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office. Sherman Kemp of Baltimore could face life in prison without parole.

Growth stresses Harford stream

Deer Creek will be increasingly stressed by population growth in the next two decades, much of it caused by expansion at Aberdeen Proving Ground because of BRAC, according to a study. The communities that rely on Deer Creek should develop additional water sources, the study by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission showed.

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