$700,000 grant will im­prove rail cross­ings

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION -

The Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion won a $700,000 fed­eral grant on Tues­day to im­prove four rail cross­ings in Rosedale, near where a train de­railed and ex­ploded in 2013. The Fed­eral Rail­road Ad­min­is­tra­tion grant will help pay for new gates, bells and lights at four pri­vate grade cross­ings in an in­dus­trial area of Rosedale. In 2013, a truck driver drove over the tracks as a freight train was pass­ing by, and the col­li­sion caused the trail to de­rail and haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als car­ried by the train to ex­plode. No one was killed, but a few peo­ple were in­jured and the blast broke win­dows, cracked con­crete and buck­led metal pan­el­ing and roofs, caus­ing mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age. Driv­ers are re­quired by law to stop at un­gated rail cross­ings, but many don’t. The Bal­ti­more Sun found in 2013 that of 631 pub­lic grade cross­ings statewide, only 20 per­cent were gated. The Rosedale cross­ing where the col­li­sion hap­pened ranked16th in the state for like­li­hood of a col­li­sion, with a 4.2 per­cent chance that one will oc­cur any given year, ac­cord­ing to fed­eral records.

Ex-Ravens player in med­i­cal mar­i­juana law­suit

Former Ravens player Eu­gene Mon­roe chas­tised the state’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana com­mis­sion Tues­day, say­ing that it un­fairly re­jected his com­pany’s ap­pli­ca­tion to grow cannabis. Mon­roe is part of GTI Mary­land, which filed a law­suit on Monday over pre­lim­i­nary li­censes is­sued last month. He is also one of the most out­spo­ken ad­vo­cates for let­ting NFL play­ers use med­i­cal mar­i­juana to treat pain. In a news con­fer­ence with lawyers and other prin­ci­pals in GTI, Mon­roe em­pha­sized his role as a foot­ball player as he con­tested the de­ci­sion of the Mary­land Cannabis Com­mis­sion to pick lower-ranked com­pa­nies over his in or­der to achieve ge­o­graphic di­ver­sity. “One les­son I learned early in life, and it’s fol­lowed me through­out my foot­ball ca­reer, is that you don’t change the rules after the game has been played, and yet that’s what’s hap­pened here,” Mon­roe said. GTI was one of two com­pa­nies bumped out of the topranked ap­pli­cants to re­ceive pre­lim­i­nary grow­ing li­censes.

Fi­nal charge dis­missed from ac­tivist’s ar­rest

The last re­main­ing charge against an ac­tivist ar­rested in De­cem­ber while protesting the trial of a Bal­ti­more po­lice of­fi­cer charged in the death of Fred­die Gray was dis­missed on Monday, after a judge found that his ar­rest was base­less, his le­gal team said. Kwame Rose, 22, was ar­rested out­side the Bal­ti­more Cir­cuit Court build­ing on Dec. 16 after a 12-mem­ber jury failed to reach a con­sen­sus on four counts against Of­fi­cer Wil­liam Porter, one of six of­fi­cers charged in Gray’s ar­rest and death. Rose, who had been us­ing a bull­horn dur­ing the protest, was charged with ob­struct­ing ve­hi­cle traf­fic in front of the court­house, ob­struct­ing pedes­trian traf­fic on the side­walk, dis­turb­ing the peace by us­ing the bull­horn, and fail­ing to obey an or­der from law en­force- One day after fed­eral of­fi­cials an­nounced fund­ing to boost men­tal health re­sources for stu­dents at Matthew A. Hen­son El­e­men­tary School, some­one burned down the play­ground. Fire crews re­sponded to the West Bal­ti­more school around 5 p.m. Satur­day, where they found the school’s play­ground en­gulfed in flames and heavy black smoke, ac­cord­ing to Fire Depart­ment spokesman Sam John­son. Of­fi­cials said smoke was vis­i­ble from at least three blocks away from the school’s Payson Street location — where fed­eral and lo­cal lead­ers gath­ered Fri­day to cel­e­brate a $2.375 mil­lion grant from the U.S. Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion. Among those who at­tended were Mary­land law­mak­ers U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cum­mings. “This re­in­forces what Fri­day was about,” said David Guz­man, prin­ci­pal of Matthew Hen­son. “We need a myr­iad of ser­vices and op­tions to keep our schol­ars’ minds ac­tive and fo­cused on pos­i­tive out­comes.”

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