Howard County, Maryland

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Howard County, Maryland
1Howard co. circuit.jpg
The Howard County Courthouse in May 2008
Flag of Howard County, Maryland
Flag
Seal of Howard County, Maryland
Seal
Map of Maryland highlighting Howard County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1838
Named for John Eager Howard
Seat Ellicott City
Largest community Columbia
Area
 • Total 253 sq mi (655 km2)
 • Land 251 sq mi (650 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (7 km2), 1.0%
Population
 • (2010) 287,085
 • Density 1,145/sq mi (442/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 3rd, 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.howardcountymd.gov

Howard County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2010 census, the population was 287,085.[1] Its county seat is Ellicott City.[2]

Howard County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. However, recent development in the south of the county has led to some realignment towards the Washington, D.C. media and employment markets. The county is home to Columbia, a major planned community of approximately 100,000 founded by developer James Rouse in 1967.

Howard County is frequently cited for its affluence, quality of life, and excellent schools. With an estimated median household income of $108,844 in 2012, Howard County had the second-highest median household income of any U.S. county in 2013.[3] Many of the most affluent communities in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, such as Clarksville, Dayton, Glenelg, Glenwood and West Friendship, are located along the Route 32 corridor in Howard County. The main population center of Columbia/Ellicott City was named second among Money magazine's 2010 survey of "America's Best Places to Live."[4] Howard County's schools frequently rank first in Maryland as measured by standardized test scores and graduation rates.[5]

In 2010, the center of population of Maryland was located in the Howard County town of Jessup.[6]

Etymology[edit]

The name of the county honors Colonel John Eager Howard,[7] an officer in the "Maryland Line" of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, commander notably at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in 1781, among others. He was the fifth governor of Maryland from 1788 to 1791. His home was the mansion "Belvedere", located at the present-day intersection of East Chase and North Calvert streets, north of Baltimore Town in an area also called "Howard's Woods", where Baltimore's Washington Monument was later erected and the neighborhood of Mount Vernon was developed in the 1820s.[8] The county's nickname of "HoCo" is derived from a contraction of the words "Howard" and "County".

History[edit]

The lands of prehistoric Howard County were populated by Native Americans. The Maryland Historical Trust has documented sites along the Patapsco, Patuxent, Middle and Little Patuxent River valleys.[9] In 1652, the Susquehannock tribes signed a peace treaty with Maryland, giving up their provenance over the territory that is now Howard County.[10] In 1800, the mean center of U.S. population as calculated by the US Census Bureau was found in what is now Howard County.[11]

In 1838, Dr. William Watkins of Richland Manor proposed the "Howard District" of Anne Arundel County.[12] After several adjournments, the area of western Anne Arundel County was designated the Howard District in 1839.[13] The district had the same status as a county except that it was not separately represented in the Maryland General Assembly. In 1841, the county built its first courthouse in Ellicott City.[14] At the January 1851 constitutional convention, Thomas Beale Dorsey submitted a petition led by James Sykes. A committee was formed with Dorsey, Bowie, Smith, Harbine and Ricaud. After several postponements, the district became erected officially as Howard County on March 7, 1851.[15]

The plantations of modern Howard County used slave labor as early as 1690. At the time of the Underground Railroad, some Howard County residents assisted slaves who were escaping to freedom. This was particularly risky, as many prominent plantation families were confederate sympathizers during the civil war, contributing militiamen to the South to protect local interests.[16] Maryland was exempt from the Emancipation Proclamation, later abolishing slavery in the update of the Maryland Constitution in November 1864.[17]

By 1899, Howard County contained 400 miles (640 km) of dirt and 48 miles (77 km) of stone roads, including three paid turnpikes maintained by 118 men. Most traffic consisted of loads delivered to rail crossings.[18] In 1909, County Commissioners Hess, Werner and O'Neil were charged with malfeasance regarding contract bids.[19]

In 1918, a deadly flu pandemic swept the county starting with an early outbreak in Camp Meade in adjacent Anne Arundel County.[20][21] The 1930s saw a shift from one-room schoolhouses to centralized schools with bus service. By 1939 wheat harvesting fell to just 18,800 acres (7,600 ha).[22] The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 eventually led to the construction of Interstate 70 across northern Howard County and Interstate 95 across the eastern part of the county.[23] From 1963 to 1966 the Rouse Company bought 14,000 acres (5,700 ha) of land and rezoned it for the Columbia Development. In 1972, the Marriott company proposed to build a regional theme park on Rouse-owned land but was denied zoning.[24]

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[25]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 251 square miles (650 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (1.0%) is water.[26] It is the second-smallest county in Maryland by land area and smallest by total area.

Howard County is located in the Piedmont Plateau region of Maryland, with rolling hills making up most of the landscape. It is bounded on the north and northeast by the Patapsco River, on the southwest by the Patuxent River, and on the southeast by a land border with Anne Arundel County. Both the Patapsco and Patuxent run largely through publicly accessible parkland along the county borders. The Patuxent border includes the Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Climate[edit]

Howard County lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. As one travels west in the county away from the Baltimore area, the winter temperatures get lower and winter snow is more common. Annual rainfall is about 45 inches (1,100 mm) throughout the county.[27] Over a 50-year period from 1950 to 2010, there were 394 National Climatic Data Center reportable events causing 617 injuries, and 99 fatalities. There were 9 reported tornadoes, reaching a maximum of F2, with no recorded fatalities.[28]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 13,338
1870 14,150 6.1%
1880 16,140 14.1%
1890 16,269 0.8%
1900 16,715 2.7%
1910 16,106 −3.6%
1920 15,826 −1.7%
1930 16,169 2.2%
1940 17,175 6.2%
1950 23,119 34.6%
1960 36,152 56.4%
1970 61,911 71.3%
1980 118,572 91.5%
1990 187,328 58.0%
2000 247,842 32.3%
2010 287,085 15.8%
Est. 2013 304,580 6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[29]
1790-1960[30] 1900-1990[31]
1990-2000[32] 2010-2013[1]

2010[edit]

The ethnic makeup of the county according to the 2010 U.S. Census:

2000[edit]

As of the census[33] of 2000, there were 247,842 people, 90,043 households, and 65,821 families residing in the county. The population density was 983 people per square mile (380/km²). There were 92,818 housing units at an average density of 368 per square mile (142/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 74.33% White, 14.42% Black, 0.24% Native American, 7.68% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 3.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 15.1% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 9.3% English, 6.6% Italian and 5.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 90,043 households out of which 40.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 20.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $101,003, and the median income for a family was $117,186 in 2009.[34] The per capita income was $44,120. About 2.70% of families and 4.00% of the population were below the poverty line.

Education[edit]

The Howard County Public School System manages 71 schools and serves approximately 49,000 students. The graduation rate from this school district is an above-average 92%, and the county's schools are ranked among the best in the state. Student test scores consistently top the list for all Maryland school districts. Howard High School is currently the largest school in the county with over 1,700 students.

Library[edit]

Since 2005, Howard County Public Library has consistently been ranked among the top five libraries in its size category by HAPLR (Hennen's American Public Library Ratings). Under the library's sponsorship, a campaign called "Choose Civility" started in Howard County in 2006. According to its website, "Choose Civility is an ongoing community-wide initiative, led by Howard County Library, to position Howard County as a model of civility. The project intends to enhance respect, empathy, consideration and tolerance in Howard County." The campaign's distinctive green bumper stickers are often seen in Howard County and neighboring areas.

Politics and government[edit]

Howard County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP Dem Others
2012 37.88% 57,758 59.94% 91,393 2.18% 3,334
2008 38.14% 55,393 59.99% 87,120 1.87% 2,720
2004 44.69% 59,724 54.07% 72,257 1.25% 1,666
2000 44.17% 49,809 51.92% 58,556 3.91% 4,411
1996 42.77% 40,849 49.81% 47,569 7.42% 7,090
1992 38.67% 38,594 44.85% 44,763 16.47% 16,441
1988 56.22% 44,153 43.30% 34,007 0.47% 370

Howard County has developed a reputation for being reliably Democratic.[citation needed] However, it is slightly more moderate than Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County.[citation needed] Howard County usually supports Democrats at the state and federal level, though it voted for Republican Bob Ehrlich in the 2002 gubernatorial election over Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. The last time that Howard County voted for a Republican candidate for President was 1988.

Starting in 1914, Howard County was governed by a system of three elected commissioners with four-year terms.[35] Prior to 1962, the only polling location for Howard County voters was in Ellicott City. In May 1962, voters were offered a second location to vote, also in Ellicott City at the National Armory on Montgomery Road.[36] Senator James Clark proposed a five-person County Council and a County Executive in 1965.[37] In 1968, the county implemented a charter form of government.[38] The County Council serves as the county's legislative branch; members also provide constituent service and sit as members of the Zoning Board and Liquor Board. The current Howard County Executive is Kenneth Ulman, who was initially elected in 2006. Most of the county is in Maryland's 7th congressional district, represented by Democrat Elijah Cummings. A small portion is in Maryland's 3rd congressional district, represented by Democrat John Sarbanes.

County Commissioners[edit]

Chairman name Affiliation Term Commissioner name Affiliation Term Commissioner name Affiliation Term
George Howard[39] 1840 Charles Worthington Dorsey 1840 Z. Moore 1840
Thomas B. Hobbs[40] 1851
  Samuel Hopkins[41] Republican 1865
John T. Ridgely[42] 1885–1888 Ephraim Collins 1885– B. C. Sunderland 1885–
Benjamin F. Hess[43] 1901–1904 Thomas O' Neill 1901–1904 Jacob J. Werner 1901–1904
Jacob J. Werner[44] 1905–1907 Benjamin F. Hess 1905–1907 Henry A Penny[40] 1905–1911
Benjamin F. Hess[45] 1908–1909 Amos Howard Earp 1908–1911 Jacob J. Werner 1908–1913
Amos Howard Earp[46][47] 1911–1917 Grosvenor Hanson 1911–1915 William H. Davis 1911–1915
Amos Howard Earp[48] 1915–1917 Grosvenor Hanson 1915–1917 De Wilton C. Partlett 1915–1917
Amos Howard Earp[49] 1917–1919 John H. Shaab 1917–1919 De Wilton C. Partlett 1917–1919
Amos Howard Earp[50] 1920–1926 Daniel H. Gaither 1920–1926 De Wilton C. Parlett 1920–1926
  DeWilton C. Parlett[51] 1926–1930 H. Thomas Glimes 1926–1930 Daniel H. Gaither 1926–1930
  H. Grafton Penny[52] Democrat 1930–1934 J. Frank Curtis 1930–1934 Daniel H. Gaither 1930–1934
  H. Grafton Penny[53] Democrat 1935–1938 Robert H. Mercer Democrat 1935–1938 Hart B. Noll Republican 1935–1938
  Charles E. Miller Republican 1938–1942
  James Franklin Curtis Republican 1942–1949 Charles E. Miller Republican 1942–1949
  Norman E. Moxley Democrat 1949–1957 Roby H. Mullinix Democrat 1949–1954 E. Walter Scott Democrat 1949–1954
  Norman E. Moxley[54] Democrat 1958–1959 Howard W. Clark Democrat 1957–1958 Charles E. Harman Democrat 1957–1958
  Charles M. Scott[55] Democrat 1959–1962 Norman E. Moxley Democrat 1959–1962 Arthur K. Pickett Democrat 1959–1962
  Charles E. Miller Republican 1962–1966 J. Hubert Black Republican 1962–1966 David W. Force Republican 1962–1966
  Charles E. Miller Republican 1966–1970 J. Hubert Black Republican 1966–1970 Ridgley Jones Democrat 1968–1970

County Executives and Council Members[edit]

Name Affiliation Term Council
  Omar J. Jones Democrat 1969–1973 Alva S. Baker, Edward L. Cochran, J. Hugh Nichols, Charles E. Miller, William S. Hanna[56]
  Edward L. Cochran Democrat 1974–1978 Richard Anderson, Ruth Keeton, Lloyd Kowles, Virginia Thomas, Thomas Yeager[57]
  J. Hugh Nichols[58] Democrat 1978–1982 Ruth U. Keeton, Elizabeth Bobo, Lloyd G. Knowles, Virginia M. Thomas, Thomas M. Yeager
  William E. Eakle[59] Democrat 1982-1986 Ruth U. Keeton, Elizabeth Bobo, James C. Clark, C. Vernon Gray, Lloyd G. Knowles
  Elizabeth Bobo Democrat 1986–1990 Angela Beltram, C. Vernon Gray, Shane Pendergrass, Ruth Keeton, Charles Feaga
  Charles I. Ecker[60] Republican 1990–1994 Darrel E. Drown, C. Vernon Gray, Shane Pendergrass, Paul R. Farragut, Charles Feaga
  Charles I. Ecker Republican 1994–1998 Darrel E. Drown, C. Vernon Gray, Dennis R. Schrader, Mary C. Lorsung, Charles Feaga
  James N. Robey[61] Democrat 1998–2002 Christopher J. Merdon, C. Vernon Gray, Guy Guzzone, Mary C. Lorsung, Allan H. Kittleman
  James N. Robey Democrat 2002–2006 Christopher J. Merdon, David A. Rakes (Calvin Ball-appointed), Guy Guzzone, Ken Ulman, Allan H. Kittleman (Charles C. Feaga-appointed)[62][63]
  Kenneth Ulman Democrat 2006–2010 Courtney Watson, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, Mary Kay Sigaty, Greg Fox
  Kenneth Ulman Democrat 2010–2014 Courtney Watson, Calvin Ball, Jen Terrasa, Mary Kay Sigaty, Greg Fox

Departments[edit]

George Howard Building in 2014
Department External link
Howard County government County Official Website
Howard County Public School System Howard County Public Schools Official Website
Howard County Housing and Community Development Howard County Housing and Community Development Official Website
Howard County Board of Elections Howard County Board of Elections Official Website
Howard County Library Howard County Library Official Website
Howard County Fire and Rescue Howard County Fire Department Official Website
Howard County Hospital Howard County Hospital Official Website
Howard County Police Howard County Police Official Website
Howard County Department of Corrections Department of Corrections Official Website
Howard County Community College Howard County Community College Official Website
Howard County Animal Control Howard County Animal Control Official Website
Howard County Office of Natural Resources Howard County Office of Natural Resources Official Website
Howard County Department of Parks & Recreation Howard County Parks & Recreation Official Website
Howard County Department Recycling Division Howard County Recycling Division Official Website
Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning Website

Economy[edit]

Statistics for July 2014 indicate that Howard County's unemployment rate is at 5.2 percent (7,527 persons).[64]

Howard County Public School System employs 8,136 of which 4,670 are teachers.[65] The County Government employs 3,323 outside of the school system with 672 police, 482 public works, and 472 fire and rescue employees. [66] The top ten private sector employers in Howard County are as follows:[67]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory 5,000
2 Verizon Wireless 2,028
3 Lorien Health Systems 2,000
4 Howard County General Hospital 1,777
5 Howard Community College 1,294
6 Leidos 1,195
7 Giant Food 1,050
8 The Columbia Association 900
9 Wells Fargo 842
10 Oracle Corporation subsidiary MICROS Systems 815

Awards[edit]

Awards and recognitions achieved by Howard County or locations within it include the following:

Culture and attractions[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Howard County does not have any public or commercial airport facilities. There are two privately owned airstrips, Glenair in Glenwood, and Haysfield Airport in Ellicott City.[89] Commercial air service is provided at the nearby Baltimore–Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Public transportation[edit]

Bus routes that operate in Howard County are managed by multiple services, including Howard Transit, Connect a Ride, the Maryland Transit Administration, Commuter Solutions of Howard County, and Neighbor Ride.[90]

Roads[edit]

Howard County contains two primary Interstate highways: Interstate 70 which runs east-west across the northern portion of the county and Interstate 95 which enters the county in Elkridge and runs north-south to North Laurel, then crossing into Prince George's County.

Other major routes include U.S. Route 29, which runs from its northern terminus at MD 99 in Ellicott City into Montgomery County, Maryland Route 100 which provides quick access to BWI Airport from Ellicott City and Columbia, and Maryland Route 32 which links the northwest suburbs of West Friendship, Glenelg, and Clarksville with Columbia and Fort Meade.

Communities[edit]

Howard County has no incorporated municipalities.

Census-designated places[edit]

The Census Bureau recognizes the following Census-designated places in the county:

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Unincorporated places not listed as Census-designated places but known in the area include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates (DP03): All Counties Within United States". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  4. ^ "CNN Money Magazine: 2010 Best Places To Live". Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ "APL Environment". Retrieved 2008-02-08. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Centers of Population by State: 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 162. 
  8. ^ "Howard County History". Howard Life. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ M. Lee Preston, Jr. Archaeology In Howard County and Beyond. p. 21. 
  10. ^ Ethan Allen, Libertus Van Bokkelen. History of Maryland. p. 36. 
  11. ^ "Mean Center of Population of the United States". Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ Howard's Roads to the Past. p. 2. 
  13. ^ "Maryland Legislature". The Baltimore Sun. 19 January 1839. 
  14. ^ "Howard County Buildings". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ Joshua Dorsey Warfield. The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. p. 522. 
  16. ^ Seeking Freedom The History of the Underground Railroad in Howard County. p. 54. 
  17. ^ Moss, Paulina C; Levirn Hill; Howard County Center of African American Culture (2002). Seeking freedom : a history of the underground railroad in Howard County, Maryland. Columbia, MD: Howard County Center of African American Culture. OCLC 50728274. 
  18. ^ Maryland Geological Survey Report on the Highways of Maryland. 1899. p. 239. 
  19. ^ "Commissioners are Indicted". Times Dispatch. September 15, 1907. 
  20. ^ Jams A Clark Jr. Jim Clark Soldier Farmer Legislator. p. 11. 
  21. ^ "Baltimore MD and the 1918 Flu". Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "From Greater Production to More Efficiency". March 31, 1965. 
  23. ^ Weingroff, Richard F. "Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, Creating the Interstate System". Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  24. ^ Edward Walsh (June 14, 1972). "Recreation Park Planners Woo Howard County". The Washington Post. 
  25. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  26. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  27. ^ "CLARKSVILLE 3 NNE, HOWARD COUNTY, MARYLAND USA". Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  28. ^ "NOAA National Climatic Weather Center Search". Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
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  30. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
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  32. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
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  34. ^ "Howard County, Maryland – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  35. ^ C.M. Holland. Old homes and families of Howard County, Maryland: with consideration of various additional points of interest. p. 50. 
  36. ^ James A Clark Jr. Jim Clark Soldier Farmer Legislator. p. 108. 
  37. ^ "Clark Airs Howard Plan". Morning Sun. February 12, 1965. 
  38. ^ Peter C Muncie (November 3, 1968). "5 counties to pick government form". The Baltimore Sun. 
  39. ^ "Election in Howard District". The Baltimore Sun. 8 April 1840. 
  40. ^ a b The founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland. 
  41. ^ "Maryland State Archives". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
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  43. ^ Maryland State Manual Vol 113. p. 199. 
  44. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 117. p. 254. 
  45. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 120. p. 163. 
  46. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 121. p. 163. 
  47. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 123. p. 193. 
  48. ^ The Washington Times. 21 June 1919. 
  49. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 128. p. 218. 
  50. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 130. p. 238. 
  51. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 137. p. 174. 
  52. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 147. p. 194. 
  53. ^ Maryland Manual Vol 151. p. 200. 
  54. ^ Maryland State Manual vol 167. p. 294. 
  55. ^ Maryland State Manual Vol 169. p. 364. 
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  59. ^ Maryland State Manual vol 181. p. 553. 
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  74. ^ Greenberg, Zack O'Malley (June 27, 2008). "In Depth: America's Best Places To Raise A Family". Forbes. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  75. ^ "Howard County, Maryland: A GOOD SPORTS COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR". Sports Illustrated. December 7, 2005. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
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  82. ^ Rice, Kristine (June 1, 2012). "Heart Safe Community Awards". American Safety & Health Institute. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  83. ^ "Library Journal". Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
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  86. ^ "2012 Tree City USA Communities". Arbor Day Foundation. April 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  87. ^ "Venues that Rock". 
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  89. ^ "NASR Airports". 
  90. ^ "Transit Services". Retrieved October 6, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°15′N 76°56′W / 39.25°N 76.93°W / 39.25; -76.93