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Human Trafficking Part 1: Trafficking hidden in dozens of Md. communities while authorities struggle to fight it

Their stories, taken from court records, sketch out a common theme: Traffickers find vulnerable young women, seduce them with promises of security, then force them into the sex trade.

When they resist, they are beaten, drugged, threatened with the loss of their children.

And the businesses are everywhere. From a brick house in a quiet neighborhood to a three-star hotel near a swanky mall, sex trafficking has infiltrated the most ordinary of surroundings in Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Public Safety Secretary Stephen Moyer at the Baltimore City Detention Center Thursday.

Hogan shuts jail, evoking memories of ‘Do it now’ Schaefer

Gov. Larry Hogan's performance in Baltimore Thursday evoked memories of William Donald Schaefer, the legendary "Do it now" mayor and governor, as Hogan announced the immediate closing of the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Hogan's large bald head from his chemotherapy added to the impression, but it was more the tone, attitude and approach that was Schaeferesque: impatient, angry, concerned with the people affected, and denigrating those other politicians who couldn't get the job done.

Maryland State Board of Education

New PARCC tests of Common Core standards saving money

A new Maryland commission to study over-testing of children in public schools has yet to begin work, but new standardized tests based on the Common Core curriculum standards are already saving the state money, and four out of five Maryland students who took the tests did them online.

New protocols will ensure that this rain garden at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis is counted toward the Navy’s progress in helping Maryland meet its pollution reduction goals.

Federal facilities play role in Bay cleanup

The federal government is one of the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s largest landowners and manages an area roughly the size of Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, or 5.4 percent of the entire basin.

The land and facilities it controls share little in common except that they are all under federal management, and their owners, like all landowners, have a responsibility to reduce their pollution to meet the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.

Pete Rahn 2

Md. transportation secretary makes a good punching bag

A month after Gov. Larry Hogan made the decision to ditch the Red Line light-rail project in Baltimore, the city's political and business establishment, including editorial writers and columnists, continue to express outrage.

There's little indication that anyone beyond the immediate Baltimore area is paying much attention to the angry outbursts, and certainly not Hogan himself.

Boston Street portal of the Red Line tunnel

Rascovar: Hogan’s 20th century approach to transit

You’ve got to give Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn credit for one thing: honesty.

He fessed up at a legislative hearing last week that Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. had stripped every last cent from Baltimore’s Red Line rail-transit initiative – as well as most of the state’s previously allocated dollars for the Washington area’s Purple Line – and shifted the entire amount into highway and bridge projects far removed from Maryland’s population centers.

Wall Street stock exchange (by zonnabar, flickr)

Md. pension fund earns 2.68%, missing annual target

Maryland's $45.8 billion pension fund for state employees and teachers earned 2.68% for the past fiscal year, almost 5 percentage points below its target of 7.65%, but better than benchmark returns for its various asset classes, its Board of Trustees was told Tuesday.