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Maryland resident captures meteor video

NEW YORK  - East Coast residents were buzzing on social media sites and elsewhere Friday night after a brief but bright flash of light streaked across the early-evening sky - in what experts say was almost certainly a meteor coming down.

Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office said the flash appears to be "a single meteor event." He said it "looks to be a fireball that moved roughly toward the southeast, going on visual reports."

"Judging from the brightness, we're dealing with something as bright as the full moon," Cooke said. "The thing is probably a yard across. We basically have (had) a boulder enter the atmosphere over the northeast."

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Church struggles with young members as Pope leaves

COLLEGE PARK - As the Catholic Church prepares to elect a new pope to guide it into the future, church leaders are struggling to keep young people from leaving the faith.

Four out of five Catholics who have left the church -- and have not joined another -- did so before the age of 24, according to The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.    

Some young Catholics have drifted away as they moved from home and failed to connect to a new parish, while others have left because their personal political views made them feel isolated. Some have blamed the church’s conservative stance on gay marriage and abortion for their departure.

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State's high school graduation rate increases

Maryland high school students are graduating at record high rate, according to newly released statewide data.

The four-year cohort graduation rate reached 83.57 percent for the class of 2012 – students who entered school in the fall of 2008 – compared to 82.82 percent in 2011.  The new rate represents a jump of nearly a full percentage point.  At the same time, the four-year cohort dropout rate fell statewide from 11.22 percent in 2011 to 10.28 percent in 2012.

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State launches site for area youths with health care needs

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is launching a new online resource database for children and youth with special health care needs.

In Maryland, over one third of families of these children report that they cannot easily access needed community based services and half of the same families report that they need help finding services for their youngsters. For families in rural areas of the state, it can be even more difficult to find specialty services.

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Maryland Gun Control One Step Closer

   ANNAPOLIS - Gov. Martin O’Malley is one step closer to achieving his goal of strengthening Maryland’s gun control laws thanks to a vote of approval in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday.
    The committee approved SB 281, known as the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, by a 7 to 4 vote.
    The legislation will move to the floor of the Senate where additional amendments are expected to be introduced.

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