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By Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2014
As Lievinne Mongu listened to the speakers at her naturalization ceremony, she reflected on her 14-year journey - from fear in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo to asylum in the United States, a home in Silver Spring and a job with the International Monetary Fund in Washington. She beamed throughout Friday's ceremony at the William Paca House & Garden in Annapolis. And after standing up, raising her right hand and reciting the oath of citizenship, she said she wished that others around the world could feel what she was feeling.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2014
Two businesses and a park were evacuated when an underground natural gas line caught fire Tuesday afternoon, Baltimore County officials said. BGE crews were working to shut off gas after firefighters were called at 1:07 p.m. to the line in the 6900 block of Golden Ring Road. No structures were involved but the businesses in a nearby industrial park and Rosedale Park were evacuated as a precaution, officials said. No injuries were reported. jkanderson@baltsun.com twitter.com/janders5
NEWS
By Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
In a narrow hallway on a high shelf, a sign sits next to an intricate wreath of looped vines, feathers and dried flowers. “Flowers feed the soul,” it says.  That hallway divides the front and back rooms of Natural Gatherings, Rick and Jane Barger's shop on Main Street in Bel Air. For the Bargers, that message rings true. In a narrow hallway on a high shelf, a sign sits next to an intricate wreath of looped vines, feathers and dried flowers. “Flowers feed the soul,” it says.  That hallway divides the front and back rooms of Natural Gatherings, Rick and Jane Barger's shop on Main Street in Bel Air. For the Bargers, that message rings true.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | June 16, 2014
A Severna Park man was arrested Sunday after police allege that he impersonated a law enforcement officer after being stopped in a Taco Bell drive-through lane. Police had expected the man was intoxicated. Robert Knickerbocker, 47, of the 100 block of Cedar Road, faces driving while intoxicated and police impersonation charges, and was issued five traffic citations, according to Anne Arundel County Police. Responding to a call in the 500 block of Ritchie Highway at around 2 a.m., officers saw the driver of a Mercedes 300D repeatedly sounding the horn of his vehicle.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
The gunshot wound suffered by a Virginia man while kayaking in Pasadena in April might have been self-inflicted, Maryland Natural Resources Police said Monday. Police said the man shot himself at his home in Virginia last week and is hospitalized. Natural Resources Police investigators now believe his wound from April might have been self-inflicted. David Seafolk-Kopp, 56, of Reston, Va., was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after he was shot in April. Seafolk-Kopp was in a kayak in Main Creek off of Bodkin Creek on the night of April 12, and he told police he saw a red reflection on the water before he was shot.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The idea for the business came to Greg Vetter shortly after a friend swiped a two-liter bottle of his mom's homemade lemon-garlic salad dressing from his refrigerator. Inspired by the lengths someone would go to for a dressing by "Tessemae," his mom's nickname, Vetter challenged her: If he got Whole Foods to sell the dressing, she would go into business with him. "She said, 'That's never going to happen,'" he recalled. Five years later Vetter, 31, is CEO of an Essex-based company - Tessemae's - that makes the top-selling dressing in the produce department at Whole Foods.
NEWS
By Allison Eatough | June 2, 2014
From the outside, Belmont Manor and Historic Park in Elkridge hasn't changed much. The 68-acre estate is still home to the Georgian-style, stucco-on-brick manor house, built by Caleb Dorsey in 1738. It still has intricate gardens and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. But the house and its surrounding property are subtly evolving. For the first time in its almost 300-year history, Belmont is hosting public environmental and preservation programs. The Woodstock-based Howard County Conservancy began offering programs at the new Belmont Nature Center in May and will continue to do so year-round, says Meg Schumacher Boyd, the conservancy's executive director.
SPORTS
By Nate Rabner, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
Since May 2, boaters and anglers trying to use a Gunpowder Falls State Park parking lot in Kingsville have encountered a padlocked gate. Signs in English and Spanish flanking the gate say the Jones Road lot is closed through Sept. 1 to “allow the park's natural resources to recover from heavy use.” “We were noticing over time that the carrying capacity at Jones Road was being exceeded,” said Sarah Witcher, northern-area manager for the park. “Way more people were coming than the area was originally designed for, and as a result, it would have a number of impacts both on the environment and the surrounding community,” including littering, trampled plants and cars parked on neighborhood streets.
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2014
When Kay McConnell's daughter moved with the rest of her classmates into Friends School's new middle-school building, the kids seemed out of sorts in the unfamiliar space. It was as if they missed the coziness of the cramped quarters that had been their home. Like the students, the trees that had been planted in the ground around the new structure didn't look happy either. McConnell, a lifelong and self-taught gardener, offered to try to help the plants, at least, feel comfortable in their new space.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2014
A proposed natural gas export facility in Southern Maryland moved closer to reality Friday, but state regulators ordered the terminal's owner to include more safety and environmental protections for the controversial project, and to donate $48 million to promote clean energy in the state and to help low-income Marylanders pay their power bills. The Maryland Public Service Commission authorized Dominion, an energy company based in Richmond, Va., to build a 130-megawatt generating station at its existing Lusby import terminal.
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