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Two new models offer subtle ways to significantly reduce fuel usage

2017 Kia Niro -- cropped for webThe all-new 2017 Kia Niro is a gas-electric hybrid that saves on gas without demanding many sacrifices or calling much attention to itself. COURTESY PHOTO

Ever since Toyota launched the 2004 Prius with an unmistakably unique shape, fuel savings have been associated with unique looks. Subsequent generations of Toyota's best-selling gas-electric hybrid have followed that mold, as have a number of competitors.
But two tall hatchbacks that are all new for 2017 promise impressive fuel savings without styling that telegraphs anything special under the hood: the Kia Niro hybrid and the Chevrolet Bolt EV all-electric car.

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Washington Spirit open up the preseason with Penn State

WashSpirit vs. PennState 1Penn State’s Frannie Crouse (9) gets her attack interrupted by key Spirit defenders Shelina Zadorsky and Whitney Church. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

The Washington Spirit took on Penn State’s women’s soccer team in a preseason exhibition game on Saturday. On an artificial turf field surrounded by snow piles upwards of 3 feet, the Spirit played their first of four preseason matches with a three to nil win over Penn State.  

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Maryland need not honor Virginia

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There has been much discussion about efforts taken in Virginia to restore the legal rights of convicted felons, including the right to vote as well as the right to possess firearms. Recently those rights in Maryland were explored by the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of James Hamilton v. William Pallozzi.

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‘Hey I didn’t do it - he did’ defense

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The courts are frequently called upon in criminal cases to determine whether a search by the police violated a defendant’s 4th Amendment constitutional protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. Many of these cases involve a search where no warrant was involved, but sometimes the warrant itself may be at issue. This is illustrated by an unreported opinion this month from Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in a case called Hector Colon v. State.

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Court of Appeals Adopts New Bail Rules

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Last week Maryland’s Court of Appeals unanimously decided to adopt new rules to change the way bail is set when a person charged with a crime comes before a judicial officer. This follows extensive publicity and discussion as to whether poor people who cannot afford to post bail were disproportionately having to remain in jail pending trial.

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The coming optimism in the housing market

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There’s no doubt that 2016 was an outstanding year for real estate and the housing market. In fact, National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun was reported to say in a January NAR press release (www.nar.realtor) that the 2016 housing market was the best since the Great Recession. There were 5.45 million total existing home sales in 2016, which exceeded 5.25 million during 2015.

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Protect valuables when selling your home

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I often write about preparing your home for a sale. Of course, that preparation is to make your home sell quicker and get the best price. However, preparing your home is more than just deep cleaning, decluttering, and minor repairs. Preparing and planning how to store your valuables will not only keep the prying eyes of nosey home buyers focused on your home’s spaces – it can also thwart would-be criminals.

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Grief and nothing but heartbreak and anger

Aluminum Winged Caduceus Silver Spring MD

There is absolutely nothing worse in life, nothing, than to lay your child to rest.
Absolutely nothing.
The hole created in one's heart can never be filled. Combine this with the fact that six beautiful young children will grow up without their devoted father and we have a catastrophe of immeasurable proportion. That is the devastating loss I and my family and the family of my son face and will face for the rest of our lives.
My son made choices that made his life and the lives of those closest to him more complicated than they ever needed to be.
But he was also the most personable and likable individual you would ever want to meet and the person with the biggest heart.
He was also the most positive individual I have ever known and the devastation of his loss cannot be captured into words. However, this is an extremely personal loss and it is not my intention to share my grief with the readers of this newspaper.
What I will share with readers and what this column is about is my experience in dealing with the Philippines, specifically a Philippine hospital.

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The politics of a local tragedy

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Somewhere in this county right now a 14-year-old girl is confused, angry and hurting. Dragged into a bathroom at her high school and repeatedly raped, she has been violated and her humanity torn from her in a way no child should ever face.
An 18-year-old illegal immigrant stands accused of the crime along with a 17-year-old juvenile illegal immigrant – one of whom was facing deportation hearings - and because of who they are the story has taken on national significance.

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