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Making Mental Health a Priority in Howard County

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in four adults and one in five children had a mental health disorder in the last year. We are not immune in Howard County and we know that left untreated, mental health impacts can overwhelm our health and human resources, our health services and our criminal justice system.  

Howard County is fortunate to have so many individuals and organizations that are dedicated to providing good mental health care, and we’ve made great progress in ensuring access to mental health care, but there are still gaps in resources including the ability to meet the demand for community-based treatment and the necessary support services to help people that are in recovery.

As part of my focus on improving services related to mental health in Howard County, I recently participated in the first two-day training class, “Mental Health First Aide” that is being offered to the public. This training program teaches citizens how to identify the early signs of people who are in crisis or developing a mental health disorder. It also teaches participants about the available resources and how they can connect those in crisis with mental health professionals.

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Citizen's Right to Referendum Must be Ensured

Howard County citizens, wishing to exercise their right to bring a legislative decision to popular vote, have found that Maryland State law, which governs the referendum process, is unclear and difficult to execute.

In 2009, after the Board of Elections expressed confusion with regard to laws on referendums, I sponsored Howard County Council Bill 34-2010. The bill, which passed unanimously, clarified for the Board of Elections that Maryland state law governs the rules of referendum.  

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Women’s Choice

In light of the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision and pending legislation to overturn that decision, I’ve had many women, as well as some men, ask me my position on women’s choice issues.

It’s an easy question to answer. Making our own decisions about our reproductive health is a simple, basic right. Most of us don't want to make a federal case out of it, or march in the streets over it; we just want to be able to make our own private decisions while we are in the doctor's office. This starts with choosing the birth control method that is right for each of us.

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New HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center Ready to Open!

Yesterday, I toured the newly renovated Howard County Library System’s Savage Branch & STEM Education Center. The vision of this new building is to “provide educational curriculum featuring science, technology, engineering and math concepts to launch students in to the STEM career pipeline,” and they’ve knocked it out of the park! This new branch truly launches the Howard County Library System as a “21st Century education institution”.

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New Howard County Police Museum Opens

Last week, I was on hand as the Howard County Police Museum officially opened in historic Ellicott City, adding a dose of history to the thriving Main Street.  It was one of the last official duties of former Howard County Chief of Police, William McMahon. A large crowd assembled outside for the event.

The museum, which is located inside the Howard County Welcome Center, showcases the department’s 61-year history through its exhibits on vintage uniforms, antique weapons, and memorials to our fallen officers.

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Mikulski, Councilmember Watson Tour Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, Discuss Innovation Jobs with Howard County Entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) on Monday was joined by Howard County Council Vice-Chairperson Courtney Watson in touring the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and discussing innovation jobs with Howard County entrepreneurs. On their tour, they were briefed by Howard County officials on a number of innovative programs that are creating jobs in Maryland and saw first-hand innovative laboratories that are revolutionizing manufacturing and business growth, and are creating a model blueprint for 21st century jobs.

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Howard County Executive Candidates Meet For First Post-Primary Forum

Howard County executive candidates Courtney Watson and Allan Kittleman talked affordable housing, business development, the environment and LGBTQ issues in their first post-primary forum, sponsored by the Howard County chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. 

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Watson - Kittleman and General Election Forum I

From the east, I rolled into the parking lot adjacent to the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, just ahead of what looked like a derecho tumbling in from the west.  The skies, like the two McDonald’s cheeseburgers I ruefully scarfed down for my dinner-in-a-Honda, added to a sense of foreboding.   Would the power go out at my destination, the aforementioned Center that, at that very evening, was hosting the PFLAG-sponsored Howard County Executive Candidate Forum?  Was my last-minute gastronomical choice something I would regret?  Too many questions, too many onions.


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Howard County Says Goodbye to Police Chief William McMahon

The new leader takes the helm on Tuesday.

After eight years, Howard County Police Chief William McMahon is turning over his post June 30 as he retires.

Here's what people had to say about the chief:

"What you will be known for is character, integrity and judgment."—Howard County Executive Ken Ulman

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Summer Turns Up the Heat on Howard County Executive Candidates

Like June bugs dropping at the first hint of summer's heat, the swarms of primary candidates in Howard County are gone. With each party's picks made, county Democrats and Republicans can unite behind their candidates and campaigns can refocus with just one opponent or set of opponents in mind.

But the two candidates running for the county's highest office have been locked in and focused for nine months already, campaigning but laying comparatively low until the primaries had run their course. Now, it's their turn for the spotlight.

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