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With sweeping rental housing law now in effect, advocates push tenants to get their homes inspected

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Volunteer Rianna Eckel hands a flyer to two renters outside the courthouse. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

A new law took effect in Baltimore on Aug. 1 requiring landlords to have all of their properties inspected—not just those with three or more units—by the end of this year. But are renters aware?

Baltimore officials approve covering transgender services in city health care plan

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Photo by Wally Gobetz, via Flickr

The City of Baltimore’s health insurance plan will soon cover sex reassignment surgery and other transgender services for municipal employees, bringing the city in line with surrounding jurisdictions that offer the same benefits.

Cash seized by police being used to send lieutenant cleared in Freddie Gray’s death to Nashville conference

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Lt. Brian Rice, via Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore police Lt. Brian Rice, one of six city police officers charged and later cleared in the in-custody death of Freddie Gray, is headed to a policing conference in Nashville next week. The $1,905.58 trip will be funded not by local, state or federal funds or grants, but by assets seized by Baltimore police, according to city spending board documents.

The official total of sewage that spilled out during recent storms: 85 million gallons

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Photo by Ethan McLeod

Remember that early estimate for how much sewage flowed into Baltimore’s waterways after a streak of storms in late July—10 million gallons? Not even close.

Photos: The First Anniversary of the Baltimore Ceasefire

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Young supporters of the Baltimore Ceasefire braved a downpour to carry signs at a rally at the corner of Edmondson Avenue and Edgewood Road on Saturday evening. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

Though founder Erricka Bridgeford and her co-organizers host Baltimore Ceasefire weekends year round, the event this past weekend celebrated the one-year anniversary with marches, water battles, concerts, prayer services and clouds of sage smoke to “cleanse the bad energy” from the streets.

The weekend ended in tragedy with two dead and five injured in shootings. On Monday, members of the Baltimore Ceasefire burned sage at one of the scenes on Broadway.

City council passes bill altering fire code to address stalled bike lane, building projects

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Photo by Ethan McLeod

The Baltimore City Council on Monday passed legislation changing the city’s fire code to substitute more flexible language governing street clearance for fire apparatus, a change Councilman Ryan Dorsey and others have said will speed up installation of cycling infrastructure and facilitate a handful of development projects.

The bill now sits on the desk of Mayor Catherine Pugh. James Bentley, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said Tuesday afternoon that “she’s still reviewing the legislation,” and “her only stance is that she wants to ensure citizens are able to reside in those neighborhoods safely.”

Broken water main in Hampden shuts off service for homes, businesses

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Photo by Ethan McLeod

A water main break at Union and Buena Vista avenues in Hampden shut off water service for neighbors on Monday, leaving homes without water service and prompting businesses to close.

Baltimore City Council to take up charter amendment that would ban water privatization

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Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young is proposing a change to the city’s constitution that would bar any deals allowing an outside company to take over Baltimore’s water supply, addressing concerns by activists about whether the water system could be up for sale.

Y in Central Maryland plans new center in SW Baltimore, updates to Waverly and Druid Hill locations

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A rendering of the planned Y at the Gibbons Commons. Courtesy of the Y in Central Maryland.

The Y in Central Maryland has kicked off a fundraising campaign to convert part of a shuttered Catholic high school in Southwest Baltimore into the city’s third YMCA center.

Baltimore among cities suing Trump administration over campaign to tear down Affordable Care Act

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President Donald Trump’s official portrait, via the White House

Baltimore is again suing the White House over its health care policies, this time due to the president’s alleged undermining of the Affordable Care Act.

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