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BALTIMORE (AP) Baltimore's Board of Estimates has approved Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's proposed $2.7 billion budget. The panel's approval Wednesday clears the way for the city council to consider the proposed fiscal year 2012 spending plan, which closes a projected shortfall with cuts, but does not raise taxes.

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) The Chesapeake Bay's health has dropped for the first time in four years, according to a new report card. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science gave the bay's health a score of 42 out of 100 possible points in 2010, down from 46 the year before.

BALTIMORE (AP) The Howard County council is expected to take a vote Monday on whether to allow speed cameras in school zones. The proposal would only allow the cameras in school zones and would issue a $40 ticket for drivers going faster than 12 mph over the speed limit.

BALTIMORE (AP) Former Baltimore mayor and Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer has been remembered as a longtime cheerleader for the city during a political career that lasted more than 50 years. The funeral was held yesterday for the 89-year-old.

BALTIMORE (AP) A last candlelight vigil is being held to honor the memory of a North Carolina teen whose body was found in a river nearly four months after she disappeared in Maryland. The vigil is planned for 7 o'clock tonight at the Reisterstown Square Apartments, the place where 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes was last seen alive in December.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Wallace Loh was appointed president of the University of Maryland last August and started work on Nov. 1. But he has not yet been formally sworn in. That changes today, when university officials and other dignitaries gather for Loh's inaugural convocation and investiture ceremony.

NPR

Songwriter, Poet Rod McKuen Dies At 81

Rod McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums and more than 30 collections of poetry. He died on Thursday after a lengthy illness.
NPR

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

A new report from two environmental groups reviewed the recyclability and compostability of packaging from 47 food companies. It found few examples of companies that have prioritized waste reduction.
NPR

Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb Explores Presidential Bid

In considering whether to launch a presidential campaign, former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia tells Steve Inskeep his big challenge would be raising money to promote his ideas.
NPR

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

As people disappear from the audiences of conventional news organizations, 11 media outlets have partnered with Snapchat in the U.S. to offer its younger users easily digested fare within the app.

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