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News 2015 April

Stories for April 2015

Thursday, April 30

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Ravens First Round Selection Projection

The NFL Draft is tonight. Who will the Baltimore Ravens choose?

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Freddie Gray investigation turned over to prosecutor

Report: A prisoner in the same van said he thinks Freddie Gray was trying to hurt himself

The Maryland state's attorney for Baltimore said Thursday that the report she received from Baltimore police on their investigation into the death of Freddie Gray will only supplement her office's own examination of the case.

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Floyd Mayweather: The star athlete no sponsor will touch

Floyd Mayweather is one of the most successful athletes in the world, but no advertiser wants him selling their product.

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Black women face pay gap

Black women working full time earned just 64 cents for every dollar White men made in 2013, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

Wednesday, April 29

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Ravens 2015 NFL Draft Needs: Running Backs

How will Baltimore Ravens address their needs at Running Back during the 2015 NFL Draft?

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Governor Hogan launches 'Maryland Unites' to assist Baltimore relief efforts

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that his administration is launching a new Web page, “Maryland Unites,” as a way to provide information and encourage the public to lend a helping hand to the Baltimore community in the aftermath of this week’s rioting and looting.

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‘Black Panther Party’ film seeks wider audience

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first feature-length film to focus on the origin and downfall of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is making waves in the film community. It’s been a breakout entry at the Sundance Film Festival, and has already won an award at the Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

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Tips to reduce your risk of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. There are no symptoms in the early stages of this disease; but over time other symptoms become obvious. A woman’s bones may become painful or tender.

Tuesday, April 28

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Ravens 2015 NFL Draft Needs: Wide Receiver

Devin Smith WR Ohio State Smith tracks the ball very well. He is more than just a vertical threat. He can run every route and can do so from over top of the numbers. Smith is a field stretcher and will open things up underneath.

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A few brave peacemakers tried to intervene on Baltimore's streets

Please, not even a demonstration. Freddie Gray's family had asked there be quiet on Baltimore's streets the day they laid him to rest. And above all, no violence.

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Al Sharpton to Baltimore to organize march to Washington, D.C.

Rev. Al Sharpton is headed to Baltimore this week to meet with community leaders and plan a march from that city to Washington, D.C. to ramp up pressure on federal officials to take action on racial bias in policing.

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Vaginal Health 101: Dryness, Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRTs) and Viagra for her

In communities around the world, the vagina seems to be a taboo topic; an irrelevant topic or a touchy topic to say the least. However, in other communities, it seems to be the first line of interest and debate for very loud discussion.

Monday, April 27

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Ravens 2015 NFL Draft Needs: Cornerback

The uncertainty at the position leads many to believe that the Ravens will address the cornerback position with their first selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Life of black man displayed in zoo matters, too

An ordinary Internet search on Ota Benga yields black-and-white photos of a petite Black man, almost naked, smiling with a row of spiky teeth. Some accounts say he achieved fame in the early 1900s as part of controversial human zoo exhibitions in the United States.

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Will you spend your rent on weave?

With the low-income levels of Black women living in Miami’s Upper East Side and the rise of the Black natural hair movement, some question the viability of the new, luxury hair extension boutique Indique that opened in the Miami Modern district last month.

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Freddie Gray funeral draws White House officials, Eric Garner's family

Gray was arrested April 12 and died a week later from a severe spinal cord injury

Freddie Gray will be laid to rest Monday before the country even knows what really happened to him.

Sunday, April 26

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What happened to Freddie Gray?

In this timeline, CNN's Nick Valencia breaks down what happened to Freddie Gray based on the information that has been released so far.

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Bats Quiet in 7-1 Loss

Baysox Drop Final Three-Games in Akron

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HBCU Sports: Baseball- Delaware State 12, Coppin State 0

Prior to the start of the game, Coppin State celebrated its seven senior players: Nathan Pitts, Alejandro Hernandez, Michael Wright, Yayha Muhammed, Chris Vazquez, Jeffrey Fitch and William Brown. Every player enjoyed bright moments during their Coppin State careers.

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Baltimore protesters damage cars; 12 arrested

Video shows demonstrators upset with the Baltimore police's handling of the arrest of Freddie Gray damage a number of police vehicles

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President jokes at White House Correspondents' Dinner

President jokes at White House Correspondents' Dinner

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Tips to Stay in Touch with Your Spiritual Side

“Finding common ground in the various religious scriptures, history and spiritual practices can help us reach peaceful solutions to social issues,” says author Star Chang

Saturday, April 25

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5 Tips to Avoid a ‘Break the Bank’ Summer Vacation

How can you avoid vacation sticker shock? One option is sitting in your wallet, as certain credit cards offer rewards with virtually every purchase.

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Simple Tips to Lose Weight and Improve Your Health

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle offers more than just weight loss alone; it can also promote your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even some types of cancer,” says registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Ximena Jimenez.

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Ginger Beer 101: Spice up Your Summer Cocktails

Superb on its own, ginger beer is a soft drink being used increasingly in cocktails around the world to add intense flavor to mixed drinks featuring whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, liqueurs and vodka. 

Friday, April 24

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HBCU Sports: Marsh selected to attend NCAA Career in Sports Forum

“I am extremely happy to have been chosen to be part of this program,” Marsh said. “It means a lot that I can see all that athletics has to offer beyond being a collegiate student-athlete. I am a criminal justice major but I love sports way too much to leave it alone. If I don’t work in the criminal justice field then I would love to be a track coach or an Athletics Director.”

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Fourth in a Row Captured in Extras

McDade Sac Fly in 10th Drives Home Winner in 3-2 Victory

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2015 Draft Spotlight: USC WR Nelson Agholor

Outside of Tyler Lockett and Amari Cooper, Nelson Agholor may be one of the best route runners in this year’s draft class. He is a polished receiver that can be used in a variety of places and cause problems for defenses. He was a key chess piece that was moved around in a pro-style offense at USC.

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Baltimore’s Farmers’ Market & Bazaar open

The 38th season of the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar in now open on Sundays from 7 a.m. to sell out— approximately noon.

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Drycleaners keep 35 million hangers out of landfills in time for Earth Day 2015

Many people have a pile of steel hangers in their homes from their drycleaners and all too often, these hangers end up in the trash.

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Local Communities Benefiting from Expanded Transportation Access

Substantial and robust public transportation infrastructure is one key innovation that helps to support economic growth in local communities.

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New initiatives launched to maximize resources and results for Maryland’s children, youth, families

One Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan charged the Children’s Cabinet with the responsibility of contributing to his goal of an economically secure Maryland by focusing on two new initiatives:

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Baltimore City College students win national debate title

Baltimore City College Principal Cindy Harcum says she is proud of all of the students at Baltimore City College and Nick Imparato and Jonas De La Huerta are certainly no exception. The two have won the Urban Debate National Championship.

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HBCU Sports: Coppin State at Penn Relays day 1 recap

Coppin State's Tanaya Yarde won her heat of the 400-hurdles and finished ninth overall (1:00.97).

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Minority Health Month: Making progress on health disparities

Half a century ago, our nation was in the midst of a Civil Rights revolution. Over these last few years, we've reached several milestones: the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Dr. King's transformative "I Have a Dream" speech, and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

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Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree comes to Southern Maryland CSM

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) signed an agreement of dual admission April 8 to bring a seamless transition from the Associate of Science in Nursing to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to Southern Maryland.

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Now is the time to answer the call

At a commemorative event two years ago, I heard a historian say that history is not a steady stream of events, but rather a series of punctuation points, like ripples from stones tossed into water.

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No easy solution to eliminate health care disparities

There are no easy answers for finding out the key to eliminating health disparities and several factors might help lead to the reason why such inequities exist.

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Odenton nonprofit provides free grooming services to Annapolis students

When money is extremely tight for families, haircuts and hairstyling are often not top priorities. Nevertheless, having a well-groomed appearance can be an important part of self-esteem. Robert W. Cradle, founder of the Odenton-based nonprofit called Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation (R.B.C.F.), finds resources to fund grooming projects.

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RAMBLING ROSE: Spend an evening with your favorite jazz musicians

Hello everyone, how are you? I hope you all had a very nice weekend.

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Deadline to File Homestead Tax Credit application approaching

Homeowners have until May 1 to file to determine eligibility for July 1, 2015

If you own a home in Maryland, you may already know that the property value where your home is located is reassessed once every three years.

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Gospel singer Naomi B Speaks to the power of faith with inspiring single

Growing up on Baltimore’s rough east side, singer Naomi B and her friends used to knock on every door in their neighborhood to sing to anyone who would listen.

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30th Fallen Heroes Day honors police, firefighters killed in line of duty

On Friday, May 1, 2015, hundreds of law enforcement officers and firefighters, dignitaries and members of the community, family and friends will gather at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens for the 30th Annual Fallen Heroes Day, a day set-aside to honor and remember those who died in the line of duty.

Colgate Bus to provide free dental services to Baltimore children

The number one chronic childhood illness in Baltimore City is tooth decay, which mainly affects minority and poor children.

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Ravens C.J. Mosley adjusting to NFL off-season program

C.J. Mosley is coming off an outstanding debut season in the NFL. He was a consensus All Rookie selection and came close to winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Mosley recently took time to talk about adjusting to the Baltimore Ravens’ off-season program.

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Mount Washington School social studies teacher named City Schools’ 2015 Teacher of the Year

Ryan Kaiser of The Mount Washington School is Baltimore City Public Schools’ 2015 Teacher of the Year. In a surprise visit, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Gregory E. Thornton presented the award to Kaiser on Thursday, April 15, 2015.

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Who can we turn to politically?

“Who can I turn to, when nobody needs me? My heart wants to know, and so I must go where destiny leads me.” Listening to an old album by the Temptations, “In a Mellow Mood,” made me think about the political trick-bag that black folks are in now that Barack is on his way out and the focus is on 2016 presidential candidates.

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Normalizing relations with Castro

I was standing in the Jacksonville, Florida Airport waiting for a flight home when I looked up at the television at the gate. CNN was repeating the story that President Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro were to have a one-on-one discussion and were also to speak to the press. This was a sight that, until a few months ago, I had never expected.

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Roland Park Place Nurse Among Best in Baltimore

She was just as surprised as her colleagues when she discovered that she had been named one of the top nurses in Baltimore.

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HIV/AIDS outreach ministry empowers people to take charge of their health

Whenever Gail Graham, director of HIV/AIDS Outreach Services and Ministry at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, performs an HIV screening, she remembers what it was like to sit on the other side of the table, waiting for the results.

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Local Navy Hospitalman participates in humanitarian aid in Belize

Dermatologist Assistant Hospitalman Apprentice Keone Hooker, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, attached to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia, removes a botfly larva from a patient's cheek at the Independence Polyclinic in Independence, Belize during “Continuing Promise 2015.”

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‘The Book Thing’ marks 10 years of donating books

National Volunteer Month is an ideal time to recognize people like Russell Wattenberg and volunteers who assist him.

Thursday, April 23

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Baysox Seek Military Hero Nominations

Andrews Federal Credit Union Sponsoring Special Card Set

“We are very excited to bring this promotion back for a second season,” said Baysox Assistant General Manager Phil Wrye. “It was a great success last year and with our stadium’s close proximity to a number of military bases, there are many more men and women who deserve special recognition for their service. This card set giveaway is another great way to honor local Military Heroes.”

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CSM Athletics Director Earns Under Armour Athletic Director of Year for Junior, Community Colleges

Ruble was hired as CSM’s head volleyball coach in 1991. She became the college’s athletic director in 2001 and was named CSM’s director of Student Life and Athletics in 2007.

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2015 Draft Prospect Spotlight: Miami WR Phillip Dorsett

Dorsett is most dangerous from the slot position. He has the unique ability to be a serious vertical threat from the slot. A lot of the slot receivers today are smaller, shifty guys that can get open in a hurry because of their quickness. Dorsett pierces defenses on three routes from the slot position; the post, corner and nine route.

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Protesters block major Baltimore intersection

Baltimore protesters block major intersection.

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T.I.: 'We are calling for the death of our people to end'

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and rappers, T.I and Kap G discuss police brutality and rap lyrics

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Goodbye 50% off: Deep discounts are ending

If you're like me, you rarely walk into stores until the 50% off signs pop up.

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America's transgender moment

A TV interview with Bruce Jenner, to air Friday, may add to the conversation

It's only April, but 2015 may be remembered as the year the term "transgender" fully entered mainstream consciousness.

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Don’t Wait, Vaccinate: Protect Infants from Deadly Diseases

Infants don’t receive their first dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine until they are two months old, and they can’t receive a flu vaccine until six months.

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Ravens Marlon Brown Feels It Will Be a Big Year for the Receivers

“Steve Smith Sr. helped me a lot. Steve is a Hall of Famer.” Brown said. “I am a team guy. Small me, big team. I was taking notes because I know that the time was going to come and once it came, I had to be ready.”

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Proof that the Supreme Court got it wrong in Shelby

When the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act nearly two years ago in Shelby County v. Holder, many of us suspected that Chief Justice John Roberts in particular was distorting the severity of voting violations in jurisdictions covered by the act. As a popular GEICO commercial says, now we know.

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Freddie Gray death: Protests grow; cop union compares them to 'lynch mob'

Police union: "The images seen on television look and sound much like a lynch mob"

As protesters decrying Freddie Gray's death plan more rallies in Baltimore Thursday, anger is mounting over a police union's comparison of the protest to a "lynch mob."

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Technology in education: Research

Over the last group of weeks we have been covering Technology in Education which included insights into Education Technology Infrastructure, Research and E-Learning.

Wednesday, April 22

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Dr. Oz: 'We will not be silenced'

Dr.Oz response to critics.

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2015 Draft Spotlight: Alabama RB TJ Yeldon

Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon is surely a match for the Ravens. Yeldon was productive right from the start at Alabama

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Building Secure Futures, One Family at a Time

Many Americans think that they can’t afford life insurance, especially when some are struggling to balance the daily and monthly expenses that most households face. But life insurance is often more affordable than you might think.

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What is obesity costing you?

Sometimes celebrities or otherwise physically fit people will put on a fat suit and document their experience with a video camera, usually to be aired on a daytime talk show. The overall impression is universal: Being severely overweight is taxing on almost every level, says Dr. Eleazar Kadile, who specializes in treating patients with obesity and associated chronic disease.

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Jumping the Broom: Celebrating African American Weddings in Maryland

Call for Participation

Exhibition to Open at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in May 2016

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Study of more than 95,000 kids finds no link between MMR vaccine and autism

They also find no increased autism risk from vaccine for children with older siblings with autism

The vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella doesn't bring an increased risk of autism, according to a new study of more than 95,000 children.

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Indiana HIV outbreak linked to injection drug use

129 cases of HIV have been confirmed since mid-December

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued an executive order Monday to extend a public health emergency in his state in response to a rampant HIV outbreak that first began in mid-December.

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HBCU Sports: Baseball Recap: Georgetown 13, Coppin State 0

Coppin State returns to action Wednesday night when it visits UMBC for a 6:00 p.m. at Alumni Field.

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Ravens sign Jimmy Smith to four year extension

The deal is reportedly worth $41,102,000 over four years. It is said to guarantee Smith $20 million including a $13 million signing bonus. Smith’s annual salary will be $10,275,000 but his cap hit is a lowly $3.6 million in 2015.

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Why I fled: New migrants in Italy share their stories

They come in their thousands, crammed onto barely seaworthy boats to make the treacherous journey from Libya to Italy.

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The death of Freddie Gray: Baltimore protests grow

The emotions are raw and protests are growing in Baltimore, where a community wants answers in the death of Freddie Gray.

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The colorism of race: Bill Duke

Bill Duke is one of America’s most prolific actors and directors as he continues to capture the topics that challenge people to think consciously on social issues. His latest project, Light Girls, is a documentary film and book as a follow-up to his Dark Girls film based on the serious problem of skin color discrimination within certain ethnic cultures — specifically the African American community.

Tuesday, April 21

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A Quick Look at the Ravens 2015 Regular Season Schedule

The Ravens host the Bengals for the home opener. The Ravens lost both of their games against their AFC North rivals

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HBCU Sports: A&T Bowling wins USBC national title

Several Aggies have stepped up in clutch situations the entire season.

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2015 Draft Spotlight: Arizona State Safety Damarious Randall

The safety position is said to be weak this year but Damarious Randall is rising. He is probably the best pure free safety in this draft and has been said to be a possible first round pick.

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Soldier-dad surprises son by photobombing

A soldier-dad returned home after a year to surprise his son at school during a photo shoot.

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Baltimore mayor: We're committed to getting this right

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tells Erin Burnett she's committed to getting the investigation into the death of Freedie Gray right.

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Blue Bell Ice Cream recalls all products over Listeria concerns

After weeks of gradual recalls, Blue Bell Creameries is now pulling all of its products off the shelves.

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Richard receives NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship for careers in athletics

“I entered Coppin State knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in sports medicine,” Richard said in her scholarship essay. “The Women’s Minority scholarship will provide the opportunity to educate myself further in area of sports medicine. I will help to broaden the melting pot in physical therapy. According to my research, I noticed there are not many ethnic women working in this particular field. I believe I can be an asset and role model that will inspire other young women to pursue a career in physical therapy.”

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Cadillac unveils new plug-in hybrid sedan

Cadillac will sell a plug-in hybrid version of its new CT6 full-sized luxury sedan, General Motors said at the Shanghai Motor Show.

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Mayor vows to 'get to the bottom of' Freddie Gray's death

The autopsy hasn't yielded many answers in Freddie Gray's death -- in fact, it's prompted more questions -- but Baltimore's mayor pledged Tuesday to find out how the 25-year-old died from a spinal cord injury after being arrested a week prior.

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Bobbi Kristina Brown's brain damage 'irreversible,' grandmother says

"We can only trust in God for a miracle at this time," Cissy Houston says

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, has "global and irreversible brain damage," according to her grandmother.

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A young sister ‘hashtagged’ me out of my silo

When a colleague dropped the line, “You can’t hashtag your way to freedom,” I loved it! I laughed out loud, and promised that I’d not borrow the line, but steal it because I was so enamored of it. I’ve used it quite a few times since then, and gotten my share of grins and guffaws. So I used it again and again, always getting the same reaction.

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Baysox take all night affair

The game started 28 minutes late after the first delay and was halted for two hours and 13 minutes after the sixth inning with the Baysox leading 4-3.

Monday, April 20

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Why did Baltimore police chase Freddie Gray?

Why did Baltimore police chase Freddie Gray?

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2015 Draft Prospect: Georgia RB Todd Gurley

Coming in and contributing as soon as he is healthy is a goal for Gurley. He feels very confident that being an early contributor is something that he can do. “I feel like I can come in and help a team. I have that confidence in myself.” Gurley continued; “I know the way I work and what type of back that I am. I will work as hard as possible to come back and be that guy when I come back. “

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Walters Art Museum and Morgan State University Announce Partnership

Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John. H. Laporte Director, the Walters Art Museum and David Wilson, President, Morgan State University, announce a new Partnership Agreement between the Walters and Morgan State.

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Calvert Hall Head Coach Donald Davis to help instruct clinic in South Korea for children of U.S. service members

Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education. USA Football trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S., advancing coaching education and player skill development for safer play and positive experiences through athletics. Follow USA Football at www.facebook.com/usafootball

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When one partner makes more than the other

It's a common scenario: One person in a couple brings home a higher salary than the other, causing tension in the relationship.

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Attacking economic racism

Despite ill-intended efforts to do it for us, Black Americans have a responsibility to define our own reality. It is a fundamental human right recognized and respected by the United Nations.

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Martin O'Malley: GOP refrain on regulations 'bulls---'

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley called the Republican Party's assertion that overly-burdensome regulations are contributing to inequality "patently bulls---."

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Baltimore seeks answers in Freddie Gray's death

Cell phone video recorded police dragging Gray as he screamed

Freddie Gray was in perfect health until police chased and tackled him in Baltimore over a week ago, his lawyer said. Less than an hour later, he was on his way to a trauma clinic with a spinal injury, where he fell into a coma.

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Controversy over videotaping cops

Feidin Santana, the young Dominican immigrant who videotaped North Charleston, S.C. police officer Michael Slager firing his gun eight times, killing Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man who was fleeing, was a hero. His quick decision to videotape the unfolding action on his telephone led to the arrest of Slager for murder.

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“Thank God for Peanut Butter and Jelly”

Kaylyn Sigman is a high school senior with big plans. A star soccer player from a poor rural Appalachian Ohio community who loves calculus and creative writing, she’s college bound this fall and dreams of becoming a middle school special education teacher.

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Encore Chorale holds Summer Camp for Singers

Registration is now open for Encore Chorale’s Summer Choral Institutes offering “singing summer camp” for older adults. The Institutes are sponsored by Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the nation’s largest choral singing program for adults 55 plus. The institutes, now in their eighth year, will attract adult students from all over the country, at all levels of vocal experience, for an exciting week of intensive choral music study.

Friday, April 17

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Money Smart Week 2015 at The Pratt

April is Financial Literacy Month

As part of Money Smart Week across the nation, the Enoch Pratt Free Library is hosting several financial planning and money management workshops to encourage financial literacy among Baltimoreans.

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The Nile Project comes to Maryland

National Public Radio says the Nile Project is producing harmony in a divided region while the New York Times calls euphoric the performance that, to a traditionalist, looks like an ungainly mélange: a gathering of musicians from the 11 countries of the Nile basin, playing instruments that weren’t made to share a stage or a song.

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Johns Hopkins’ neurosurgeon receives Cortes de Cadiz Prize from Spain

Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa has been awarded the Cortes de Cadiz Prize in the category of surgery by the city council of Cadiz, Spain. The jury prize, in which members of the Royal Academy of Medicine and Surgery took part, was awarded to Quinones-Hinojosa not only for his renowned scientific career but also for his “moving life experience,” which, the judges noted, is full of “self-improvement and success.”

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Baltimore attorney receives Trailblazer Award at National Summit of Black Women Lawyers

Ava E. Lias-Booker, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Baltimore office, received the Trailblazer in Excellence and Diversity Award at the 2015 National Summit of Black Women Lawyers on April 10, 2015 in Chicago.

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Orioles “Birdland Passport” Program returns in 2015

The Orioles announced that the popular “Birdland Passport” program, designed to reward fans who visit Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Orioles’ local minor league affiliates, is back for another season.

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Author discovers how to be 'brave in a new world'

It’s a day that Yvonne Broady will never forget. On January 24, 2009, her beloved husband Clarence Cortez Loftin III, a distinguished venture capitalist and educator succumbed to pancreatic cancer sending her into deep depression and loneliness.

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Indie Soul Review: Stevie Wonder’s 'Songs in the Key of Life' Tour

Many of us have a list of things that we want to accomplish during our lifetime— seeing Stevie Wonder perform is on my list. On Thursday, April 9, 2015, I had the opportunity to do just that here in Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena.

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Netflix brings Marvel’s Daredevil to streaming viewers

This review is strictly for my Super Hero geeks and comic nerds, like us here at Indie Soul.

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Annapolitan designer debuts apparel for female clergy

On March 18, 2015, a premiere party was held at Loews Annapolis Hotel to celebrate the television debut of Bishop Craig Coates’ clothing line, Modern Priestwear.

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Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday celebrated in fine style

Produced by Tom Saunders of Renaissance Productions and Tours and the Greater Baltimore Urban League, the musical tribute celebrating Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday was done in the finest of style at Baltimore’s historic Orchard Street United Methodist Church on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

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BGE celebrates National Volunteer Week

Employees from across Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) celebrated National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) by participating in nearly 30 employee-led service projects in central Maryland and the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metro area throughout the month of April. The month of service events kicked off today at Real Food Farm in Baltimore City.

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House of Mandela Wines celebrates family and legacy

It's dreary outside, but Tukwini Mandela, granddaughter of late legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela, is full of light and enthusiasm. Her visit to Baltimore is the last stop on a three-week U.S. promotional tour for House of Mandela, the wine company she runs along with her mother, Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela.

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Indie Soul Book Review: ‘Lil’ V Walks Home from School’ by Vonnya Pettigrew

This is definitely the year for independent authors and especially authors of children’s books. Vonnya Pettigrew has written a very necessary book for parents of small children who are attending school.

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Creating conscious black millionaires

Black folks have the ability to create our own conscious millionaires. We have certainly done it for others for a long time now. Conscious black millionaires, by definition, would most assuredly use some of their money to assist the black collective; conscious black millionaires would not hesitate to use their resources to help empower our people; conscious black millionaires would not be afraid to espouse the principles of economic empowerment and then use their money to support it.

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UMD's Deon Long to showcase at Ravens’ Pro Day

The road that Maryland wide receiver Deon Long has traveled up to this point is a very uncommon one. Long has played in multiple college football programs prior to getting ready to enter the professional ranks. The experience he has gained will be something he can lean on as he enters the next stage of his life.

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Dr. Levi Watkins a ‘Man among Men’

The accolades keep pouring in, from colleagues, friends and individuals who were touched in many ways by him.

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United States and United Nations failed Somalia

In 1991, I watched Somalia disintegrate. It was not just the breakup of a state, as we were to see in the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union. It was the complete collapse of the state structure and the devolution into “warlordism.”

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‘Kidz N Charge’ kid-friendly music to be featured on MTV Jams, other video websites

Markel Anderson is a nine-year-old boy who likes technology and computers and his 10-year-old brother Michael Anderson, Jr. loves to play video games. Although the boys from Fort Washington, Maryland have typical hobbies of youth their ages, since 2013, Markel and Michael have also been living their dream by performing R&B, pop and rap music in their group, “Kidz N Charge.”

Thursday, April 16

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Is the United States falling behind in women's rights?

Where do American women stack up against their counterparts around the world? While they're ahead in many regards, the U.S. falls short when it comes to paid maternity leave, wage equality, and even the number of women in leadership roles. Read more about where the U.S. lags in women's quest for equality.

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2015 Draft Spotlight: Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong

Catching the football is a natural thing for Strong. His hands are consistent and allow him to make some tough catches across the middle. It is hard to jam Strong, especially when he has to run a slant. He will condense himself at the snap to give defenders a smaller target to jam.

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Aaron Hernandez found guilty of murder

Aaron Hernandez found guilty of murder

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American Cruise Lines Announces Cruise Extension Packages in 2015

American Cruise Lines has announced pre and post cruise extension packages beginning in the summer of 2015

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Daniel named ECAC Division I South Athlete of the Week

It’s the second time this season Daniel was named ECAC Division I South Athlete of the Week.

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Michael Ealy joins ‘The Following’ cast as its newest villain

From his breakout role in Barbershop and Barbershop 2, Michael Ealy has quickly risen through the ranks as one of Hollywood’s leading male actors. For the last few years, Ealy has jumped from TV to film and back to TV in Fox’s season 3 The Following, where he premiered as Theo, a brilliant, chameleon-like killer who pushes former FBI agent Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to the brink March 30.

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This is nutty: Kind Bars are full of fat but healthy?

The FDA wants the fatty Kind Bars to stop pretending they're healthy. But Kind says the fat in its bars is healthy.

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Should African Americans endorse Whites over Blacks?

Two prominent Black Maryland officials – Montgomery County Executive Issiah Leggett and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III – have endorsed Congressman Chris Van Hollen, a White, over Black Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards in the race to replace retiring Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.

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Blacks missing out on ‘Obamacare’ savings

Even as health care costs continue to cause concerns for the poor, nearly 40 percent African Americans and about half of Whites didn’t know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can help those that need it the most to cover some of those costs.

Wednesday, April 15

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3rd Annual African American Children’s Book Fair

This program is sponsored by BGE and presented in partnership with Baltimore City Schools and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

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2015 Draft Prospect Spotlight: Wake Forrest CB Kevin Johnson

. Johnson is 6 feet 175 pounds but he isn’t a liability in run defense. You won’t see many “hit stick” kind of tackles when Johnson goes against running backs but he still is able to wrap up and bring the ball carrier down

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R.I.P. Percy Sledge (November 25, 1940 - April 14, 2015)

Sledge was part of the Muscle Shoals, Ala., music scene and best known for his hit "When a Man Loves a Woman."

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This app has helped millennials save $25 million

Investors -- and millennials -- are nuts about Acorns.

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Who gave this reserve cop a gun?

Robert Bates, 73, shot and killed a man while playing cops and robbers with real police.

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Study: Acetaminophen reduces not only pain, but pleasure, too

Unknown whether other pain products produce the same effect

Feeling so happy you just can't stand it? You might want to pop some acetaminophen.

Tuesday, April 14

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Central Florida WR Breshad Perriman

The Baltimore Ravens have a need for a receiver that can challenge defenses down the field from the outside.

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One year on, the man still fighting to #BringBackOurGirls

Charles Alasholuyi has held up a #BringBackOurGirls sign almost every day since, to keep up awareness

If you cared deeply about something, would you protest? Make a sign? Join a demonstration? How long could you keep going for, in the face of indifference and inaction?

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With breast milk online, it's buyer beware

One of every 10 samples bought online was not 100% pure breast milk according to study

Your great-great-grandmother might have called for a wet nurse. In today's e-commerce world, if you're having trouble breast-feeding, you can easily buy breast milk online and feed your baby yourself.

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Malala's letter to Nigeria's abducted schoolgirls: 'solidarity, love, and hope'

Malala Yousafzai tells the girls she associates with them

On the eve of the one-year mark since nearly 300 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Malala Yousafzai released an "open letter" to the girls Monday.

Monday, April 13

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon is known for his ability to break off long runs. The Baltimore Ravens could be looking to use the 26th pick on the dynamic playmaker from Wisconsin. He would be a nice complimentary player to Justin Forsett who led all NFL running backs in yards per carry (5.4) and explosive runs (17).

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'Active shooter' reported at North Carolina college

A shooting has been reported at Wayne Community College in North Carolina.

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Baysox Prepare For 7 Millionth Fan

Visit www.baysox.com for the full list of prizes and to purchase tickets for the game.

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Hillary Clinton launches second presidential bid

Hillary Clinton put an end to months of speculation on Sunday by officially announcing her candidacy for president, giving the former secretary of state another shot at cracking the highest glass ceiling in American politics.

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Indie Soul: Book of Negroes

“The Book of Negroes” recounts the harrowing journey of Aminata Diallo’s (Aunjanue Ellis) return home after being forced into slavery as a child. A universal story of loss, courage and triumph, the acclaimed mini-series, which made it’s United States broadcast premiere on BET in February this year is now available as a special edition three-disc DVD, exclusively from Entertainment One.

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Finally, an emoji black Santa

The new emojis are here! On Thursday, Apple released a new version of its mobile operating system that includes more diversity than ever when it comes to the race, ethnicity and sexual orientation of its emojis -- those cute little images that users can insert into text messages or emails when words alone just won't cut it.

Saturday, April 11

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Top chefs return to Baltimore for the 5th Annual Brothers Who Can Cook

On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Baltimore foodies can bring their appetites to the 5th Annual Brothers Who Can Cook tasting affair to benefit the Christian Warriors Marching Band.

Friday, April 10

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Washington OLB Hau’oli Kikaha

Kikaha is one of the best edge players in this class but there are some injury concerns. He has had two ACL injuries in the past.

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Free and fast help for tax time

It has been said that nothing is certain but death and taxes. While both are inevitable, residents who earned less than $53,000 in 2014 can fear taxes a little less this time of year, thanks to the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax filing services.

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Don't Bet on Obama's Plan to Drill in the Atlantic

President Obama's energy policies have irked many voters. So to win public support, Obama recently promised to open up areas of the Atlantic to drilling. But the promise, as Drew Johnson of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance explains below, is just hot air.

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BGE launches Annual Energy Saving Trees Program

BGE will again provide free trees to customers in an effort to promote energy-efficiency

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) kicked off its annual Energy Saving Trees Program on Monday, April 6, 2015, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance and promote environmental stewardship and natural resource responsibility in communities throughout its central Maryland service area.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem: Forty years of firsts at Reginald Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum welcomes Dance Theatre of Harlem: Forty Years of Firsts, an exhibition highlighting the many accomplishments of African Americans and other minorities who defied stereotypes and gravity itself, to pursue their passion and pave the way for future generations of artists. The exhibit opens Saturday, April 18, 2015 and runs until Sunday, August 30, 2015.

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Life In Baltimore: Leah’s Book Club honors women in the community

Leah’s Book Club was organized in February, 1998 by Leah Goldsborough Hasty for like-minded readers to get together to discuss books—particularly those by African American authors.

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Taxpayers urged to file electronically as deadline approaches

With the tax-filing deadline less than a week away, Comptroller Peter Franchot urges taxpayers who have yet to submit a return to considering using the agency’s free online tax filing system, iFile or another electronic method.

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Mr. Wade and the ‘First Family of the Housing Projects’

Approximately three weeks ago, I suffered a mild heart attack. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Robert T. Wade, a longtime family friend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, died at the age of 94.

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Church ushers call their duty a gift from God

Many consider them ministers of hospitality, or the doorkeepers of the church. However, for Vanessa Lucas and Sylvia Graves, greeting parishioners and visitors on Sundays and other gathering occasions, their job is much more than simply saying hello.

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Indie Soul Interview: Welcome back Kenny Lattimore!

If you look up the word humble in the dictionary, it is defined as “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.” Indie Soul believes that right next to the word would be a photograph of Kenny Lattimore, one of the most iconic figures in Soul Music.

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RAMBLING ROSE: Jack and Jill of America, Inc. celebrates 70th Anniversary Gala

Hello everyone, hope all is well and you are just beginning to enjoy this beautiful weather. I just want you to know that my “Boo-Boo” and I brought this weather back with us from the islands of our cruise, which was absolutely fabulous!

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Progress in baseball came with a cost

Anyone who has followed my columns knows that about this time of the year I normally write something about the commencement of the baseball season. More often than not, I write about the late Curt Flood and the late Marvin Miller.

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Maryland teen honored at 2015 Black Girls Rock!™ Awards

Gabrielle Jordan is a 15-year-old jewelry maker, sought-after motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and mentor from Bowie, Maryland. She was honored as a M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Girl during the 2015 Black Girls Rock!™ awards program, which aired on BET on Sunday, April 5, 2015.

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Sisters welcome spring with hot shoe trends

Erica Mitchell and Domeakia Snyder are shoe-loving sisters who both owned over 300 pairs, even before they were in the business of selling them. In 2012, the fashionistas who always wanted to own their own business launched an online ladies shoe boutique called Goddess Couture Boutique (GCB).

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Ozzie Newsome: Simply the best!

The Baltimore Ravens are known as an organization that makes very few mistakes when it signs free agents and picks draft selections.

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‘Beat The Pro!’ celebrity basketball game to benefit charitable causes

The Meade Senior High School Alumni Association has partnered with Dominant Force, a sports, training and entertainment company that hosts sports camps, clinics and fundraisers, to host the fourth annual Meade Alumni Beat The Pro! basketball game on April 12, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Meade Senior High School in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Thursday, April 9

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Dashcam video under review in SC fatal shooting

Police are apparently reviewing videos from patrol car dashcams. The footage could be key in determining what happened moments before the shooting.

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Baysox Announce Opening Day Roster

Dylan Bundy, Tim Berry and Mike Yastrzemski are all rated among the Orioles top 10 prospects and all begin the year in Bowie

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Dr. Elijah Saunders remembered as driven, unselfish, committed

Prior to adjourning on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, members of the Maryland State Senate observed a moment of silence not for a fallen colleague or a long time government official, but for a man who for decades brought joy, relief and a lot of health care issues facing African-Americans to the forefront.

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Utah DB Eric Rowe

The mindset that is required to play corner and safety requires two different thought processes. Rowe enjoys having the flexibility to play both positions and has the mindset that is needed for either position.

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The Secret Service taught Malia Obama to drive

Secret Service agents have one of the toughest jobs in Washington: They are expected, if necessary, to put their lives on the line in the protection of the President and his family.

Wednesday, April 8

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NONPROFIT MARYLAND CASH CAMPAIGN CELEBRATES NATIONAL “MONEY SMART WEEK®” APRIL 18-25

Special classes & incentives offered statewide by Maryland CASH & its partners as part of April’s “Financial Education Month”

The Maryland CASH Campaign is a statewide network of organizations that promotes programs, products and policies that increase the financial security of low-to moderate-income individuals and families across Maryland. Maryland CASH advocates on behalf of these families, as well as provides financial education programs such as the Maryland CASH Academy at http://www.mdcashacademy.org/. Their partner organizations provide free tax preparation sites offering access to appropriate financial services and benefits screening. For more information, contact Ms. Robin McKinney, Director of the Maryland CASH Campaign, at robin@mdcash.org or 443-692-9422.

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MTA on-deck for ORIOLES opening day!

Complete service lineup prepared for Friday afternoon home opener against the Blue Jays

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Baysox, WNAV Partner for Radio Broadcast

Additionally, the Baysox will have a weekly show “Baysox Weekly” to air Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. throughout the season on 1430 WNAV. The show will also play prior to Baysox Broadcasts online.

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Ohio State WR Devin Smith

The 2015 NFL Draft has a number of prospects that can run like a deer. One of those prospects is Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith.

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Why Rand Paul is wrong for America

On civil rights, women's choice, voting rights, immigrant DREAMers, education, he has shown he'd take country backwards, she says

Georgia Davis Powers has served as a civil rights organizer, political activist, and elected official. In 1967 she was elected as the first woman and person of color to serve in the Kentucky State Senate. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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Heavy Seas Beer Presents 1st Annual Island Jam Music Festival

For more information on purchasing tickets for Heavy Seas Island Jam, visit www.hsislandjam.com or call 800-830-3976.

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Change is coming to Ferguson

Change is coming to Ferguson. In the next few weeks the Department of Justice (DOJ) will begin to negotiate in earnest with the city to restructure the police department, which the department has charged with engaging in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination.

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Blues legend B.B. King hospitalized

Blues legend B.B. King was hospitalized for dehydration, though the ailment didn't keep him out for long.

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South Carolina policeman charged with murder after video of shooting emerges

A video appears to show the white officer shooting an unarmed black man as he ran away

A South Carolina officer has been charged with murder after a video surfaced that appears to show him shooting an unarmed man who was running away.

Tuesday, April 7

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Missouri OLB/DE Markus Golden

Golden is one of those defensive guys that plays the game with attitude. He is an intense competitor that shows a high motor on every snap.

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Broadway Fitness

Bored with your workout? Holly Firfer takes you to an exercise class like no other.

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Aaron Hernandez's fate now in the hands of jury

Aaron Hernandez's fate now in the hands of jury

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MARC Increases Weekend Service to National Cherry Blossom Festival

Extra Saturday Train With New Bike Car Added to Meet Demand

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The Postal Service's Maya Angelou mistake!

James Taylor back in the studio, "American Pie" lyrics sell for $1.2M, and the Maya Angelou stamp mistake!

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Why your commute is bad for you

The farther you commute the more likely you are to be overweight

The average American commute to work lasts 25 minutes, according to U.S. Census data, but many workers travel far above and beyond that number.

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Michelle Obama's Let's Move turns 5; Is it working?

Chocolate bunnies and jelly beans generally render the Easter holiday a high-calorie event.

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Guatemalans deliberately infected with STDs sue Johns Hopkins

A similar lawsuit filed against the U.S. government was dismissed

Remember the Tuskegee syphilis experiment from the 1930s?

Monday, April 6

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April is Financial Literacy Month: Get Wise about Buying or Leasing a Vehicle

Mike Kane, vice president of Consumer Credit Operations at Ally Financial, is offering some tips to help you make a smart decision

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Get Ready for AACC’s 4th Annual Truck Pull April 23

Prizes are awarded in the student category for the first- and second-place finishers with the fastest times.

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Kentucky player apologizes to Wisconsin star for racial slur

Andrew Harrison, who is black, tweets that he apologized to Frank Kaminsky, who is white

A University of Kentucky basketball player is apologizing for the "poor choice of words" he muttered under his breath following the team's stunning loss to Wisconsin on Saturday.

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Minnesota TE Maxx Williams

Williams is more than capable of filling that role. Large portions (82%) of his catches were for either first downs or touchdowns. When he gets the ball in his hands, he makes it count.

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Where are the good jobs?

Rick McGahey: We won't see higher wages without two important policy changes

The American economy has added an average of 261,000 jobs every month for the past 12 months, with March's jobs report showing a slowdown to 126,000 jobs. Average hourly wages bumped up 7 cents in March, but have only grown by 2.1% in the last 12 months, a meager 52 cents per hour.

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Time for employers to sign up for AACC’s Spring Job Fair

Job Fair usually draws 750 jobseekers

Employers planning to hire workers this spring or summer should sign up now to have a booth at Anne Arundel Community College’s Spring Job Fair from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015 in the David S. Jenkins Gymnasium on AACC’s Arnold campus.

Friday, April 3

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Washington CB Marcus Peters

There was some push-back about Peters because of his 4.51 time at the Combine but one thing to note is that his 20 yard shuttle was 4.08 which is a strong indicator of his lateral quickness.

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NFL Draft Hopefuls Shine at University of Maryland Pro Day

Stefon Diggs was the main event at pro day. He took part in the short shuttle along with the 60 yard shuttle. Another thing that Diggs did was the bench press. He posted 11 reps there.

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College students use spring break to volunteer, give back

Spring break is usually a time when college students go home to visit their families, work to save money or most likely party! It’s not often that you hear about young college students donating their spring break to give back to less fortunate communities.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Died 47 Years Ago, April 4

Forty-Seven years have now gone by since our esteemed, leader Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Local history maker featured in documentary during Annapolis Film Festival

A piece of local history made it to the big screen during this year’s Annapolis Film Festival on March 27, 2015. A special preview screening of “JFK & LBJ: A Time for Greatness” was held at Asbury United Method Church.

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Cat in the Hat reads Dr. Seuss at Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary

Baltimore partners, faculty, staff, friends and students of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) read to children on Friday, March 27, 2015 as the “Read Across America” concept unfolded at UMB’s partner school, The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School (HSCT).

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Good Friday, Passover and Easter in perfect order

Providence has designed that Good Friday, Passover and Easter follow each other in perfect succession this year.

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Community event encourages conversation about bullying

Last week was Youth Violence Prevention Week (March 23-27). The Weinberg Family Center Y located 900 E. 33rd Street in Baltimore, hosted a community event to discuss how the issues of violence and bullying impact young people.

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Ravens defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt has work to do!

The Baltimore Ravens are known for having one of the more stingy defenses in the NFL. However, one area of the defense that requires improvement this year is the secondary.

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Nine-month program hopes to stem prevalence of diabetes

The statistics are sobering, if not eye opening.

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Local designer creates luxurious, ‘nostalgic’ handbags

What do Fashion Affair magazine, Luevo and News Channel 12 in New York have in common? They have all showed off designs by Baltimore-based handbag and accessories brand Linell Ellis.

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Indie Soul: Fifth Speaker Series featuring Sonja N. Hines

Coppin State University School of Business partnered with Times Community Services, Inc. to present the spring edition of the Speaker Series featuring Sonja N. Hines, president and CEO of H&S Resources Corporation, on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at Coppin State University.

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Wells Fargo launches campaign for African-Americans to tell their stories

Chaquita Venable tells a compelling story about her late father Clem Venable, who because of segregation in Virginia missed five crucial years of schooling and never recovered.

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Baltimore student wins prestigious entrepreneurship award

Cyprian Ekeagwu used to fix remote control toys when he lived in Nigeria before moving to the United States.

Thursday, April 2

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McDonald's gives workers a raise, but is criticized for not going far enough

McDonald's is once again a target for criticism. This time for giving raises to 90,000 of its hourly-wage workers.

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2015 NFL Draft Spotlight: Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett

Lockett talked about how he has been able to be successful as a receiver. “You have to be able to utilize the strengths that you have. For me, it’s speed, it’s quickness and being able to get off the release. I make them think that I am going one way and I am going the other way. I make sure that I am selling everything and catching the ball.”

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Hezekiah Walker honored with NNPA Torch Award

Grammy Award-winning artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker can add the 2015 Torch Award for religion to his list of accomplishments as a gospel music artist and pastor of Love Fellowship Tabernacle, a mega church in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Matt Schaub discusses why he signed with the Ravens

Head coach John Harbaugh said that Schaub is a great fit because “he knows the basics for the offense” and will be a good fit with offensive coordinator Marc Trestman.

Wednesday, April 1

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The worst foods to eat when you're sick, and the best ones

Headache-triggering foods includes aged cheeses, chocolate, red wine

When you're under the weather the last thing you want is to eat something that makes you feel worse.

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Pac-Man gobbles its way through Google Maps

Many people are turning their cities into Pac-Man courses

Blinky and Pinky on the Champs Elysees? Inky and Clyde running down Broadway? Power pellets on the Embarcadero?

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People with Down syndrome sit for stunning portraits

Sigga Ella's portraits show people with Down syndrome from 9 months to 60 years old

Icelandic photographer Sigga Ella wanted to show that people with Down syndrome are more than a chromosomal abnormality. They are diverse and they're unique, just like everyone else in the world.