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Md. to use stimulus funds to buy 100 hybrid buses

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Maryland will use money from the economic stimulus plan to purchase 100 hybrid diesel-electric buses, state officials said yesterday. The purchase of the fuel-saving vehicles had been on hold because of a shortfall in the state's Transportation Trust Fund. The $65 million purchase will more than double the number of hybrid vehicles in the Maryland Transit Administration's bus fleet. The MTA has 10 hybrids in service, with 30 more to be on the street by summer and now another 100 to come. Hybrid buses, which use a technology not unlike a Toyota Prius, are less noisy, cleaner and more fuel-efficient than traditional diesel-powered vehicles. MTA officials said the 10 hybrids in service since 2006 go twice as many miles as diesel buses before they have to be brought into the shop for repairs.

Michael Dresser

Girl, 14, riding a bicycle dies after being hit by car

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A 14-year-old bicyclist was fatally struck by a car while crossing Ritchie Highway in Anne Arundel County yesterday, police said. Ashley Nicole Meyers was attempting to cross Ritchie Highway near Hamburg Street in Pasadena when she was struck by a northbound 1999 Nissan Sentra about 5:47 p.m., according to a county police news release. Meyers was attempting to cross the thoroughfare, going west, while northbound traffic on Ritchie Highway was stopped in the right lane for the traffic signal about a quarter-mile ahead, police said. She made her way across the roadway, but when she entered the left lane, she was struck by the car. Police said that area of Ritchie Highway is not "designed, marked or engineered as a pedestrian crossing," and their investigation indicates that the cause of the crash was bicyclist error. Also, police said, Meyers was wearing dark clothing and the bicycle was not equipped with lights. Meyers was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m., police said. The driver was not identified.

Nicole Fuller

Officials try to stop rivalry violence at City, Mervo

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Officials of City College and Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School are stepping up security and working together in attempt to stem a rivalry that led to nine student arrests in connection with multiple fights. School police arrested four students from City and five from Mervo this week, according to a letter sent to parents by City Principal Timothy Dawson. The two schools are less than a mile from each other near Lake Montebello. On Feb. 5, several City students injured a Mervo student in a fight at a bus stop near both schools. The boy required medical attention but was not hospitalized, said Michael Sarbanes, a school system spokesman. The next day, there was a second fight between students from the two schools at a bus stop. Several of the injured boy's classmates from Mervo went to City on Monday and tried to retaliate, by attacking students there, but school police stopped and arrested them, Sarbanes said. In the letter, Dawson wrote, "As a school, we are outraged by the reprehensible behaviors of these students."

Sara Neufeld

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