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Howard County Shooter, Amazon in Baltimore, and Microchips For Horses

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Thursday headlines from around the region.

Update: The suspected shooter has been captured. The Baltimore Sun has more here.

Howard County police shooting:Howard County police last night announced a $50,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of 29-year-old Stephon Prather, who is suspected of shooting an officer yesterday.  Prather allegedly shot Officer Steven Houk in North Laurel and escaped into a wooded area before officers could detain him. Police from several jurisdictions are actively searching for the suspect with aviation, K-9 and foot patrols.  Officer Houk remained in serious condition last night but was reportedly alert and talking, according to wire reports. WBAL reports that the part of Route 1 in Laurel that was closed yesterday appears open Thursday. Click here for more from the Baltimore Sun.

Corrected from original posting. Suspect's name is Stephon, not Stephen.

Amazon in Baltimore:Amazon.com’s announcement on Tuesday that it will be bringing a new distribution facility to Baltimore next year is being cheered by local job-seekers, but it brings disappointing news for online shoppers.  Online retailers outside of Maryland are not required to collect sales tax from local consumers. But since this will be Amazon’s first presence inside the state, Maryland shoppers will now have to fork over the extra six-percent tax on Amazon purchases, according to a wire report. In related news, The Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Business Journal break down the various tax incentives Amazon could get from state and city government. WYPR's Kenneth Burns reports that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that city officials used "every incentive" to bring Amazon to Baltimore.

Weather: The National Weather Service forecasts unseasonably cool temperatures for much of the Eastern U.S. through Friday.

How to Foster LEADERs: WYPR’s Fraser Smith writes about the founding of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s LEADERship program in his weekly commentary.

BWI Hotel to Close: The only hotel at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is set to close on November 30th. The Capital Gazette reports that the Four Points by Sheraton there was in talks with the Maryland Aviation Administration over extending the lease, but could not commit to another 5 years. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Michener’s Restaurant inside the hotel will also close. MAA officials are looking for another company to manage the property.

Gansler and Teenage Drinking: State Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler is once again on the defensive. The Baltimore Sun reports that Gansler arrived at a “Senior Week” party in Delaware in June where underage drinking took place. Images of Gansler among the revelers appeared on social media. Gansler, who has advocated against underage drinking, said that he spoke briefly with his teenage son and left.

City Water Meter Contract: The Baltimore Brew reports that the same lobbying firm that worked to get $107 million dollars in tax increment financing (TIF) for the development project at Harbor Point is now helping a different firm with a bid for a Baltimore City water meter contract. The decision on the contract may come as early as next week.

Arrabers with Microchips: A 100-year old Baltimore horse stable is about the reopen. The Baltimore Sun reports that the Arraber facility at 207 Bruce Street was closed last year by the city health department, but new owner Dorothy Johns was allowed to reopen it if she implanted her four horses with microchips for health and identification purposes. Johns upgraded the stable and paid 100 dollars to have her horses microchipped this week. Arabbers sells fresh fruits and vegetables from horse-drawn wagons.

Copyright 2013 WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

Bret Jaspers
Bret Jaspers is a reporter for KERA. His stories have aired nationally on the BBC, NPR’s newsmagazines, and APM’s Marketplace. He collaborated on the series Cash Flows, which won a 2020 Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting. He's a member of Actors' Equity, the professional stage actors union.