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Regional Recap, August 4, 2010

Communities Talk Crime During National Night Out.  The issue of crime prevention took center stage in neighborhoods across nation as part of the National Night Out.The annual event took on a special significance in Charles Village, where neighbors are still coping with the murder of Stephen Pitcairn, a medical research at Johns Hopkins University.Residents held a community cookout on Tuesday and tried to turn the anger they feel into positive, anti-crime initiatives.Community leaders said witnesses have already come forward in Pitcairn’s case, possibly showing that attitudes about “snitching” are changing.

‘ShopMD’ Week Offers Sales Sans Sales Tax.  The state of Maryland will lose about $20 million in sales tax revenues next week, which the state’s chief economic officer said is actually good for business.Beginning Sunday and ending on Aug. 14, Maryland will enact the state’s first tax-free shopping week since 2001.Comptroller Peter Franchot said the effort represents an attempt to help jumpstart the local economy.

Woman, 71, Priced Out Of MedsA 71-year-old woman is selling her belongings in an effort to afford medication she needs to help her breathe.The cost of Betty Braun’s daily medication increased 5,000 percent, leaving her stuck with the bill.While sick and in hot weather, she sells her belongings — from paintings to poker chips — at a flea market in Joppa.”I think it’s terrible that I have to do this, especially at my age,” she said.Braun suffers chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. She takes nebulizer treatments several times a day with the drug Xopenex to clear her lungs.

Woman To Be Charged After Tossing Baby Out Window.  Authorities want to file attempted murder charges against a woman who police said threw her newborn baby out a window. However, it’s unclear when she could face charges because she is currently under treatment at a mental health facility.Rebecca Diane Himes, 21, will also be charged with first-degree child abuse and reckless endangerment. Baltimore County police said Himes put the newborn in a plastic bag and threw the child out of a second-story window on July 22.

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