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Baltimore mourns Elijah Cummings, its native son and champion

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Community artist Christopher Johnson drew a chalk drawing of Rep. Elijah Cummings at Greenmount West Community Center near the late congressman’s home. (Samantha Hawkins/Capital News Service)

By Samantha Hawkins
Capital News Service

Baltimore was quiet today as the city mourned the loss of its longtime champion and advocate Elijah Cummings.

The Democratic congressman passed away at the age of 68 in the early hours of Thursday morning from longstanding health challenges, according to his office.

A civil rights giant and congressman for more than 22 years, Cummings was remembered for his calm during the Baltimore riots in 2015 and for his investigations of President Donald Trump.

But his neighbors in Baltimore also remember Cummings for his faith and his friendship.

Election to fill Cummings’ congressional seat expected for next year

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Rep. Elijah Cummings addresses a crowd at a November 2018 protest in Baltimore. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

By Emily Top
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland–The U.S. Constitution requires that vacancies in the House of Representatives be filled by an election.

Hogan orders traffic solutions for ongoing Bay Bridge fixes

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Credit: Ben Schumin, via Wikimedia Commons

By Eric Myers
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he was “furious” about the traffic backups around the Bay Bridge in recent weeks that have resulted from a resurfacing project on the westbound span’s right lane.

Undersized crab possession dominates Maryland crab violations

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

By Talia Dennis
Capital News Service

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources reported 2,341 crab-related violations across the state from 2013 through 2018. There were 27 types of infractions ranging from undersized crab possession to illegal harvesting methods.

Possession of undersized crabs was the highest reported infraction and made up nearly half of the reported violations. Crabbing or possessing crabs during the closed season was the second most common offense with 356 reported citations during the six-year period. Crab season opens April 1 and closes Dec. 15, according to DNR’s eRegulations website.

GOP Gov. Hogan affirms support for Trump impeachment inquiry

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Gov. Larry Hogan at a Baltimore Coca-Cola bottling plant in March 2018. Photo byJoe Andrucyk, via Flickr.

By Elliott Davis
Capital News Service

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has shared his support for a Congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying at one point that the allegations are “troubling and disturbing.”

Some Chesapeake Bay states fighting EPA clean water rule rollback

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The Thomas Point Shoal Light Station in Chesapeake Bay, just west of Kent Island. (James R. Carroll/Capital News Service)

By Dan Novak
Capital News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency revoked two regulations last month dealing with clean water and air that present conflicting positions from the Trump Administration over the role states should play in protecting their own natural resources.

The first came in the removal of an Obama-era rule that sought to protect streams, lakes, wetlands and other bodies of water from pollution, a move state officials say threatens the Chesapeake Bay.

“(The Trump Administration’s) determination to weaken the Clean Water Act threatens to undo our hard-won progress cleaning up (waterways) in Maryland and across the nation,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement. “We plan to vigorously challenge this latest unlawful rollback.”

A roundup of Maryland laws taking effect Oct. 1

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Photo by Martin Falbisoner, via Wikimedia Commons

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Hundreds of Maryland laws are going into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from criminal justice reform to election law to the state’s medical cannabis commission.

Rising heat requires swift action from individuals, neighborhoods

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A mural honoring the McElderry Park neighborhood runs along a treeless sidewalk. Photo by Timothy Jacobsen/University of Maryland.

By Dan Novak, Kaitlyn Hopkins, Ian Round and Sandy Banisky
University of Maryland

Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in a four-part series on Code Red heat in Baltimore by the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. A longer version is available to read on the Code Red project website.

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland–Researchers know how cities can ease the impact of climate change. For starters, they can replace some concrete and asphalt with grass and trees, cover tar roofs with reflective white materials, remove the hard pavement that contributes to flooding and substitute permeable surfacing materials that let water drain through.

All those plans are expensive, but Baltimore Del. Robbyn Lewis says cities no longer have the luxury of delay, no matter the politics, no matter the resistance from residents, no matter the cost–even in cash-poor Baltimore.

“Do we want to live,” she says, “or do we want to go extinct?”

No trees, no shade, no relief as climate heats up

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Alex Smith, director of operations at the nonprofit Baltimore Tree Trust, stands outside the trust’s work truck along North Milton Avenue in Broadway East on July 10. Photo by Maris Medina/University of Maryland Photo.

By Roxanne Ready, Theresa Diffendal, Bryan Gallion and Sean Mussenden
University of Maryland

Editor’s note: This is the third story in a four-part series on Code Red heat in Baltimore by the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. A longer version is available to read on the Code Red project website.

BALTIMORE, Maryland — Kwamel Couther stands on the front lines of a campaign to bring thousands of cooling shade trees to some of the hottest streets in Baltimore.

The urban poor hit hardest as the planet heats up

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Boisey Neal, 12, sells bottled water to passing motorists on the corner of Orleans Street and N. Milton Avenue in McElderry Park on July 1. Photo by Timothy Jacobsen/University of Maryland.

By Ian Round, Jazmin Conner, Jermaine Rowley and Sandy Banisky
University of Maryland

Editor’s note: This is the second story in a four-part series on Code Red heat in Baltimore by the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service and the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. A longer version is available to read on the Code Red project website.

BALTIMORE, Maryland–Heat radiates from the asphalt and concrete that cover the streets, the sidewalks, the alleys, even the tiny yards behind the homes in the East Baltimore neighborhood of McElderry Park. Trees are scarce. And air doesn’t move much when it comes up against block after block of rowhouses.

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