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State seeks traffic safety proposals

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The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office is accepting grant applications for traffic safety projects that will take place between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020. The application deadline is Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Two types of grants are available: one for law enforcement; and one for other eligible agencies, including state and local government, institutions of higher education, hospitals, associations and nonprofits. More information is available at www.mva.maryland.gov/_resources/docs/MarylandSHSP_2016-2020-Final.pdf. To apply for a highway safety grant, visit mva.maryland.gov/safety/mhso/grants-management.htm or call 410-787-4050.

Army Field Band to perform ‘The Army Story’

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The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus will perform “The Army Story,” on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m., at the North County High School Auditorium, 10 E. First Avenue, in the Ferndale section of Glen Burnie. The performance and tickets are free to the public.

“The Army Story” brings audience members the music that has had a large impact on American culture and the perception of soldiers’ lives and sacrifices. Through musical and visual elements, “The Army Story” reminds Americans of the contributions, service and sacrifice of our soldiers. For tickets and more information, call 443-962-4012.

Housing department accepts MIHU applications

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The Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is accepting applications for its Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) program during its first open enrollment period of 2019. Applications will be accepted through Thursday, Jan. 31. The DHCD will host three MIHU workshops to explain the program’s eligibility requirements and the application process.

On Wednesday, Jan.16, DHCD will host a MIHU Renters Information Workshops, from 6-7:30 p.m. at DHCD’s offices at 9820 Patuxent Woods Drive, in Room 211, Columbia. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/mihu-renters-information-workshop-tickets-53447286272.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, DHCD will host its first of two MIHU Home Ownership Information Workshops, from 6-8 p.m. at 9820 Patuxent Woods Drive, in Room 211, Columbia. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/mihu-homebuyers-information-workshop-1-tickets-53447477845.

The second MIHU Home Ownership Information Workshop will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6-8 p.m, at 9820 Patuxent Woods Drive, in Room 211, Columbia. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/mihu-homebuyers-information-workshop-2-tickets-53447894090.

For more information, contact DHCD’s Housing Opportunities Programs Division at 410-313-6318 or visit www.howardcountymd.gov/MIHU_openenrollment; persons interested in obtaining more information or household size/eligibility requirements should call 410-313-6318 or visit www.howardcountymd.gov/MIHU_openenrollment.

PNW Cap for MBE firms increases

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The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Office of Minority Business Enterprise announced that the Personal Net Worth (PNW) cap applied to the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program has increased from $1,713,333 to $1,749,347.

As required by Maryland law, the state’s MBE Program adjusts its PNW cap annually, based on the Consumer Price Index. MDOT, as the official certification agency for the state, is responsible for calculating the annual cap. The PNW cap applies to any disadvantaged owner whose ownership interest in a firm is relied upon for certification in the MBE Program and all MBE certification decisions rendered between this past Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019.

In addition to the PNW cap, firms must meet eligibility requirements for minority status, ownership, control and size. The PNW cap in place for the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is not affected. Accordingly, the DBE cap on personal net worth remains $1,320,000.

Casinos generate $148.4M in December

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Maryland Lottery & Gaming announced that December 2018 gaming revenues for the state’s six casinos totaled a $148,381,413 an increase of $7,347,286 (5.2%) from the December 2017 total of $141,034,126.

Contributions to the state of Maryland from December 2018 casino gaming revenue totaled $61,032,048, including $45,792,178 for the Education Trust Fund. Casino gaming revenues also support local communities and jurisdictions where the six casinos are located, as well as Maryland’s horse racing industry.

Live! Casino & Hotel, Hanover (3,825 slot machines, 198 table games): $50,075,907 in December 2018, an increase of $2,876,453 (6.1%) from December 2017.

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (2,194 slot machines, 158 table games): $22,226,466 in December 2018, a decrease of $1,735,771 (-7.2%) from December 2017.

MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill (3,137 slot machines, 198 table games): $59,916,626 in December 2018, an increase of $3,340,758 (5.9%) from December 2017.

Walker named AAEDC’s CEO

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that former County Councilman Jerry Walker will be the new president and CEO of Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC). Walker most recently served two terms on the council, representing District 7; he has been employed by DCA Imaging Systems, a family-owned small business in Lanham, for 22 years.

Walker has a master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy from American University, and is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s Academy for Excellence in Local Government. He is the chair of the Responsive Government Transition Team Committee for the Pittman administration, and was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Association of Counties, serving as its president from 2017-18.

Walker will replace AAEDC President and CEO, Julie Mussog, who is leaving her position to become a senior vice president at Municap Inc., a public finance-consulting firm in Columbia that specializes in the public finance aspects of redevelopment.

MuniCap has assisted with more than 250 projects in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia, including many significant projects in Anne Arundel County, such as The National Business Park, Arundel Mills, Annapolis Town Center and Waugh Chapel Town Center.

Military Bowl draws 32,000

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Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) is reporting a crowd of 32,832 football fans attended the Military Bowl, which was held at U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, on a rainy New Year’s Eve afternoon in Annapolis.

The clash, won by the University of Cincinnati over Virginia Tech by a score of 35-31, outdrew more than a dozen other bowl games around the country, and its economic impact in the community was pronounced: four local hotels were fully booked on the Dec. 29 and 30, with eight sold out on Dec. 31; in addition, a half-dozen more, a number of which are located in the BWI Business District/Arundel Mills area, reached (or were close to) 75% occupancy.

“We’re blessed that, at a time of the year when traffic slows, restaurants are quiet and hotels have low occupancy, that we become an exciting destination again for three nights during the Military Bowl,” said Connie Del Signore, president and CEO of VAAAC. “I’m hopeful we’ll continue to host this bowl game in the years to come. It means dollars. That means people will continue to be employed after the busy holiday season. And it means new money that comes into the community that would otherwise not be here.”

Miller favors Preakness at Laurel

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At a recent press conference at the Maryland Economic Development Association winter conference, State Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Prince George’s) told attendees, “If you’re for business and you’re for demographics, [the Preakness Stakes] should be in Laurel.”

Miller’s comments come on the heels of the recent Maryland Stadium Authority report, which outlined one possible approach to reinventing Pimlico Race Course, in northern Baltimore City, to enable it to remain the home of the Preakness at a cost of $424 million.

The report called for the track’s complete demolition and rebuilding. “It’s a lot of money,” Miller said. “If an investor wants to build it, that’s fine, but for the state to come up with $400 million without doing anything for the communities in the surrounding areas is going to be very difficult to do.”

HCC offers federal shutdown assistance

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As the federal government shutdown continues, Howard Community College (HCC) is assisting families to ensure that college education remains on schedule. Current or prospective students affected by loss of income should contact the Office of Enrollment Services (OES), where staff will work one-on-one with impacted students to make any necessary payment arrangements.

Additionally, students with disabilities who are receiving tuition waivers based on Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability benefits from the federal government will be held in, and not dropped from, their winter and spring classes during the shutdown. To contact the OES, call 443-518-4133 or email abuckley@howardcc.edu; for a personal counseling appointment, call 443-518-1340.

Howard Executive Taps Lisa Myers As New County Police Chief

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball named Lisa Myers, a retired Howard County Police Department Captain, as the department’s new chief, effective Feb. 1. She will become both the first woman and the first African American to serve in that capacity.

“The success of our Police Department is exactly why I wanted a chief who had worked her way up and served in almost every area of the department and knows every neighborhood and community in our county,” Ball said. “Under Chief Myers I expect our police department to not only follow best practices, but to create best practices to ensure that we are that model for the rest of the nation.”

What glass ceiling? Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Chief Christine Uhlhorn, right, congratulates Lise Myers on her appointment as Howard County’s new Chief of Police.

Myers, a 27-year veteran of the Howard County Police Department, began her career as a civilian Crime Laboratory Technician in 1990 and has also served as Chief of Staff, Patrol Division Watch Commander, Supervisor of Youth Services and Public Information Officer.

“I had the opportunity to work with Lisa Myers in several assignments throughout her career and believe she is a great choice to lead the police department,” said current Police Chief Gary Gardner. “As I retire, I am glad to leave the agency in capable hands and know she will continue to build upon the police department’s history of excellence.”

In accepting the position, Myers expressed gratitude to Herman Charity, the first African American officer hired by the department in 1968, and to Leila Makowski, the first female officer hired in 1969.

“They blazed the trails that make it possible for me to stand here today,” Myers said. “I am eager to lead the charge as we continue to build on [the department’s] foundation of excellence.”

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