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News Wrap: Black Lives Matter Sign Disappears in Bethesda; Maryland's Batman Dies in Car Accident

A Black Lives Matter sign outside of the River Road Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda church was stolen on Monday night. In the month since the congregation put it up, the sign has been vandalized twice and now stolen. On July 29 and then on August 11, the word “black” was cut from the original sign and from its replacement.

Baltimore Receives "Brownfields" EPA Grant 

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be awarding Baltimore a $200,000 "brownfields" grant. The grant will go toward cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous materials, with the goal of transforming vacant spots into green spaces like parks and urban gardens.

Outside the offices of the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition on N. Wolfe St., community partners joined EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for the announcement. 

"The Growing Green Initiative is my administration's strategy to transform city-owned vacant lots from liabilities into assets,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Making sure that such sites are safe and clean is vital, and we thank the EPA for their support of our efforts. We'll be working closely with residents and our partners in order to make the best use of these funds and ultimately create great new green spaces for Baltimore City.”

Baltimore is one of 147 communities in 2015 selected to receive brownfields assessment grant funding through a national competitive process. 

Maryland’s Batman Dies

Lenny Robinson, who dressed up as Batman to visit kids in local hospitals, was laid to rest on Tuesday. The 51-year-old was killed in a car accident this weekend. According to the Washington Post, Robinson was checking his engine on Interstate 70 near Hagerstown when a Toyota Camry slammed into Robinson’s Batmobile, which slammed into him. Robinson died at the scene.

Robinson worked with Hope for Henry, a D.C. organization that threw superhero parties in hospitals. He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his Batman costume, his 60’s-style Batmobile, and the keepsakes he handed out to children who he met both in hospitals and in daily life.

Funeral services took place at Owings Mills at Har Sinai Congregation on Walnut Avenue. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to SuperheroesForKids.org. 

Hogan’s Treatment is Working

Governor Larry Hogan told the Washington Post that a recent scan revealed 95 percent of his cancer to be gone. Hogan is halfway through his cancer treatments and begins his fourth hospital stay for chemotherapy on Friday. He says his progress fighting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma surprises even his doctors.   

Two Dead, One Injured In Three Separate Shootings 

Baltimore police are investigating three separate shootings. One man was shot multiple times in the 200 block of North Conklin Street shortly before 8:00 last night.  Another man was shot about an hour later on Ashton Street in Carrollton Ridge. About 30 minutes after that incident, police found a man with a gunshot wound to his buttocks on Old York Road in North Baltimore. The shootings left two men dead and another injured.

Upgrades Planned For Camden Yards 

The Orioles and the Camden Yards stadium's original architects are beginning to talk about making some improvements to the 23-year-old Orioles ballpark. Ideas include adding party areas to the left and right field corners of the upper deck and tearing out seats and concession stands on the lower level to create a large walk-through area with views to the field, similar to Nats Park in DC.

Mets Hold Off O's 

Curtis Granderson hit a pair of solo homers and the Mets held on for dear life to capture a 5-3 win over the Orioles. Gerardo Parra hit a solo homer for Baltimore, which had won four in-a-row.  Kevin Gausman gave up three runs in six frames to fall to 2-and-5. 

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