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Next steps discussed for struggling neighborhoods

Increasing tax credits to support investment in low-income communities, supporting summer jobs programs and helping ex-offenders expunge their criminal records are some of the priorities to help Baltimore's struggling neighborhoods, community activists said Monday. A week after riots erupted in Baltimore, a group of political, religious and community leaders met at the Greater Baltimore Urban League to discuss what the next steps for the low-income areas of the city ought to be. "[We need] to give an example for the nation as to how we can truly make a difference in Baltimore," said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.

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Factory orders rise in March

Orders to U.S. factories rose in March for the first time since last July, breaking a long stretch of weakness in manufacturing. Orders increased 2.1 percent following seven monthly declines, the Commerce Department reported Monday. And in further good news, orders in a key category that tracks business investment plans eked out a 0.1 percent rise. It was the first advance in this category since last August.

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Baltimore gas prices jump 10 cents

The average retail price for gasoline in Baltimore rose 10 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.58 per gallon Monday, according to a survey of 663 gasoline outlets in Baltimore. This compares with the national average that increased 8.5 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.62 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

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RegeneRx reports promise for drug

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals announced Monday that an independent team of South Korean researchers have reported that Thymosin B4 (TB4) plays an important role in accelerating the repair of second-degree dermal burn wounds, induced in an experimental mouse model, by promoting blood vessel formation and causing rapid vascular remodeling of damaged dermal tissue.

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Live Baltimore to host Buying Into Baltimore event Saturday

BALTIMORE – On May 9, Live Baltimore will host a Buying Into Baltimore event Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Edmondson-Westside High School, 501 N Athol Ave. There will be 30 $5,000 homebuying incentives available for prospective buyers. There will also be narrated bus tours of homes for sale as well as exhibitors from Baltimore City Housing, the state of Maryland, neighborhood and community groups and the real estate industry.

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MLSC seeks nominees for annual awards

The Maryland Legal Services Corporation is accepting nominations for the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award, the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award, the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award and the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award. Nominations must be submitted by June 15. The awards will be presented during a ceremony in the fall. For online nomination forms, nomination descriptions and instructions as well as a list of past award recipients, go to www.mlsc.org/awards/nominating-process. For more information, email hrobinson@mlsc.org.

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Destroyed seniors’ center, symbol of riot’s damage, set to rise again

As darkness fell over the cit last Monday, reports of a large fire in East Baltimore started to trickle in. Eventually, images of the fire appeared on television in the same area where The Woda Group had been building the $16 million Mary Harvin Center, with 61 units of affordable senior housing and various services. "I was saying to myself, 'Oh, no. I know what burns like that. The only thing that burns like that is lumber, and the biggest pile of lumber that I know in this town is four stories of lumber at Mary Harvin,'" Woda executive Kevin Bell said. Sure enough Bell's instincts were correct. The project, on which the company had been working with Southern Baptist Church for more than five years, was about 45 percent complete last Monday. The following morning it was a smoldering pile of rubble, a symbol of the violence and destruction that erupted in the city over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries apparently sustained while in police custody. On Monday, Bell, Pastor Donte' Hickman and several elected officials all gathered to announce that construction on the building could begin again as early as next week.

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