New trash wheel coming to the mouth of the Gwynns Falls

Rendering by Ziger-Snead Architects.

Baltimore’s trash wheel family is growing.

A fourth wheel is planned for the city’s waters, located where the Gwynns Falls empties into the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River just south of the Horseshoe Casino.

The to-be-named anthropomorphic trash collector will be larger than Mr. Trash Wheel, Professor Trash Wheel and Captain Trash Wheel, with a grappling arm to move large debris and a canopy covered with 72 solar panels.

A not-so Happy Halloween for Maryland’s struggling bat population

A big brown bat with a healthy muzzle in Round Top Mines. (Daniel Feller/ Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

By Emily Top
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS — Halloween is known as one of the spookiest times of the year, filled with witches, ghosts and scattering bats. But Maryland’s flapping, black creatures may be less prevalent this year, like years in the recent past.

Maryland’s bats have been getting annihilated due to a variety of causes, including a cold-loving fungus and high-powered wind turbines.

Late Baltimore journalist Gwen Ifill to be honored on a U.S. postage stamp

Image via USPS

 A former Baltimore Evening Sun reporter will soon be honored on a U.S. postage stamp. 

BPD launches independent investigation of Gun Trace Task Force

Gun Trace Task Force members (top row L-R) Thomas Allers, Momudo Gondo, Maurice Ward and Marcus Taylor, and (bottom row L-R) Jemell Rayam, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl and Wayne Jenkins. Images via the Baltimore Police Department.

A month after he expressed concerns about such an inquiry, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison today launched an independent investigation of the Gun Trace Task Force, the rogue unit in the department that robbed citizens, falsified reports and planted evidence, among other criminal violations.

Zombie Bird scooters spotted (and impounded) in South Baltimore

Photo courtesy of Mileah Kromer

After over a year of renting out its electric two-wheelers here in Baltimore, Santa Monica-based Bird was not among the quartet of firms picked for operating permits back in August. Its exclusion spurred an exodus of the sleek, black devices while others remained or launched their fleets.

So, Mileah Kromer was a bit surprised when she saw four of them sitting lined up on the sidewalk outside Riverside Park this morning while she was out walking her dog.

Empty store reborn as a time machine for the ‘silver tsunami’ of Baby Boomer retirees

The vintage Chevy at Town Square in Perry Hall. Photo by Ed Gunts.

The first thing visitors see at the former Rite Aid is a turquoise 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan, parked next to a Sinclair gas pump with vintage Dino the dinosaur graphics.

All traces of the Perry Hall store’s shelves and pharmacy counter are gone. In their place is a simulated streetscape right out of small-town America, with a series of storefronts that hark back to the walkable shopping districts where people bought goods before big box stores (and Amazon) came along.

Visitors can pick up a Life magazine or Saturday Evening Post from the corner newsstand. Take in a ’50s movie at the town cinema. Select songs from a jukebox in the diner, or play records on an old Victrola.

This time machine of sorts is the central feature of Town Square, an 11,000-square-foot daytime activity center tailored for seniors, including those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It contains areas for games, exercise, dining and socializing, like other eldercare centers. What makes it so unusual is that everything inside the building is designed to bring back memories of the post–World War II era.

Rudy Chow to step down as Baltimore DPW director in February

Outgoing DPW Director Rudy Chow (at center) along side former Mayor Catherine Pugh (left) and 11th District Councilman Eric Costello (right). Photo via Mayor Catherine Pugh/Twitter.

After nine years serving with Baltimore’s Department of Public Works, most of that time as its director, Rudy Chow is set to retire next February.

Hogan orders traffic solutions for ongoing Bay Bridge fixes

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.

Harrison declines to join Greater Baltimore Committee in endorsing spy plane, says it lacks evidence

The surveillance plane’s two “orbit areas” over Baltimore during its first test run in 2016. Photo via Police Foundation/BPD.

With yet another push underway to bring Persistent Surveillance Systems’ plane back to Baltimore skies, the city’s police commissioner said today he remains skeptical of the technology originally piloted in 2016, unbeknownst to the people it was surveilling.

After delay, city spending board approves $20M in cyber insurance

Photo by Christopher Sessums, via Flickr

UPDATED Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.: Nearly two months after punting on buying $20 million worth of cyber insurance for the city, officials approved the decision Wednesday morning.