Maryland 2012, year in review

2012 was a stormy year in Maryland filled with great achievements and unthinkable tragedies. Here are a few moments that we will never forget.

Derecho summer storm

Derecho summer storm

On June 29th a derecho storm blew through Maryland causing hundreds of thousands to lose power. A derecho storm is a series of  severe thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds. This summer storm brought winds as high as 70 mph. Besides power outages, Maryland’s derecho storm caused downed trees, crushed cars, and roofs blown off houses. Six months later on October 29th, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Atlantic Coast. Although Maryland was not hit as hard as New Jersey, Sandy did cause damage – especially in Ocean City. This storm caused downed trees and flooding throughout Maryland and almost 200,000 people were without power. The fishing pier at the inlet in Ocean City was severely damaged, as was some of the boardwalk.

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino

Maryland Live Casino, the third largest commercial casino in the U.S., opened on June 6th with long lines and causing terrible traffic. Maryland Live is a $500 million casino located at Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, MD. Along with 4,750 slot machines, Maryland Live is also home to great restaurants such as Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, The Cheesecake Factory, Phillips Seaford and The Prime Rib and concert venue Rams Head Center Stage. The casino just began 24-hour operation this week and has plans for table games in 2013. Maryland Live Casino has generated more than $1 million a day for five of the past six months that it has been open. Almost half of its revenues goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund, which is used for health, education, public safety and environmental programs.

Ellicott City train derailment

Ellicott City train derailment

Two unthinkable tragedies occurred in the same week in August. On August 21st, 21 cars of an 80-car freight train derailed in historic Ellicott City killing two young women who were sitting along the train tracks. Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, were from Ellicott City and were scheduled to return to college the following week. The train derailment also caused damage to many parked cars in nearby lots as well loss of business to many restaurants and shops while Main Street was closed. Just six days later on the first day of school, there was a shooting at Perry Hall High School. One student opened fire in the cafeteria, shooting and seriously injuring another student, Daniel Borowy. Luckily no one was killed thanks to the heroics of one of the teachers.

Cal Ripken and his statue

Cal Ripken and his statue

2012 was a great year in Maryland sports. It was the year Orioles Magic returned to Baltimore, and we proudly admitted that we were Orioles fans! For the first time in 15 years, the Baltimore Orioles made it into the playoffs. Throughout the season, the Orioles unveiled statues of its Hall of Famers. September 6th marked the 17th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2131 record-breaking game (for most consecutive games played). Cal’s statue was unveiled with much fanfare and a pregame ceremony that had fans arriving hours before the first pitch. Another team in Baltimore also made the playoffs in 2012. For the fifth consecutive year, the Ravens made the playoffs winning the AFC North division. And Baltimore native Michael Phelps broke the record for winning the most Olympic medals on July 31st when he won his 19th, a gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Orioles Magic

Orioles Magic

What will you remember about 2012? Hopefully next year’s review will have more achievements and less tragedies. Have a safe and happy new year – 2013!

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Baltimore is America’s 14th Coolest City

Forbes ranked Baltimore 14th among coolest cities to live in – and Burnam Woods, Chatham Gardens, and Old Orchard apartments are within 20 miles of Baltimore City!

Baltimore – America’s 14th Coolest City
(courtesy of Visit Baltimore)

Forbes refers to Baltimore as an “up-and-coming metro area” and according to Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s Best Places, “Baltimore is in transition because it has been down and out for a long time but it’s beginning to come back because it’s affordable.” Using seven criteria, Forbes ranked 65 of the largest Metropolitan areas according to their “coolness.” Here are Baltimore’s stats:

Arts & Culture Index: 96
Recreation Index: 98
Diversity Index: 57
Number of Local Eats: 4,451
Median Age: 38
Unemployment: 7.1%
2011 Net Migration: 4,610 people

Baltimore native Michael Phelps winning his 19th Olympic medal to become the world’s most decorated Olympian in history definitely adds to Baltimore’s cool factor.

Michael Phelps makes Baltimore proud!

Read the full story from Forbes here