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Laurel Mayor responds to closing of Regional Hospital


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A major hospital in the Laurel-Beltsville region will close its doors by 2018. The plan is to replace Laurel Regional Hospital with a $24 million dollar outpatient facility.

It was made public Friday that the full service Laurel Regional Hospital will close, according to the Mayor, Craig A. Moe, and City Council of Laurel Department of Communications. The decision happened in closed door sessions and neither the community or local elected officials were involved in the final decision. It was based on a consultant's report that had no evaluation of the potential to sell the hospital and the campus, according to officials.

Laurel police deny public strip search charge


Laurel, Md. (WUSA9) -- Laurel police are denying a Prince George's County man's claim that he was strip searched in public and intentionally humiliated during an unjustified traffic stop in March of 2014.

"The City unequivocally denies that the traffic stop, which was initiated by a call about a suspicious vehicle was the result of any racial profiling, or that racism of any type was involved," said a statement issued by Laurel City Spokesperson Audrey Barnes late Thursday (see the full statement at the end of this article).

Man has medical emergency after lightning strike in Laurel


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A male construction worker suffered a medical emergency after a lightning strike in Laurel, Md. Thursday afternoon, according to the Prince George's County Fire Department.

The lightning strike was not a direct hit and happened near the construction worker, who is in good condition and has been taken to Prince George's Center hospital.

According to fire officials, the lightning strike happened at Muirkirk Road and Odell Road. The man, who is in his 50's. is part of the construction crew at the intersection.

A witness told WUSA9 the man was stunned and knocked down after the lightning strike, but conscious and alert.

The lightning strike happened at around 2:45 p.m.

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Snake removed from bush near Laurel apartment building


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Laurel police officer removed a 3-4 foot long snake from a bush in front of an apartment building where children frequently play.


According to Laurel police, PFC Jordan safely removed the snake from the bush, transported it to a wooded area and released it back into the wild.


Officials believe the snake is a non-venomous 'black racer', which is found all over the United States, primarily east of the Colorado Rockies.

Crews respond to Laurel commercial building fire


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Crews responded to a commercial building fire in Laurel, Md. Thursday morning, according to Mark Brady with Prince George's County Fire and Rescue.

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The fire was in the 14800 block of Sweitzer Lane UPS Distribution Center. A fire on top of the elevator was put out, officials said. The smoke is being ventilated.

Man wanted in 2 separate robbery incidents in Laurel


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A suspect is being sought in connection with two separate armed robbery incidents in Laurel, Md. early Monday morning.

Police responded to the Russett Green community for reports of the two incidents that happened around 5:30 a.m.

The first incident happened when a man was walking his dog on Oxbow Place close to Widgeon Place, Anne Arundel County police said. The suspect approached the victim, pulled out a handgun and demanded money. The suspect fled after the victim told him he did not carry valuables when walking his dog. Police say the suspect drove off in a light brown, four door, 1980's style "Oldsmobile" sedan.

Fire in Laurel engulfs townhouse


LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A fire Sunday night in Laurel completely engulfed a townhouse and left one firefighter with minor burns.

At around 7 p.m. Sunday, Howard County firefighters responded to a call of a townhouse fire in the 9400 block of Riverbrink Court in Laurel.

Crews found heavy fire coming out the rear of a 2-story end-unit townhouse with a walk out basement.

More than 50 firefighters from Howard County and Prince George's County responded to the fire, which was under control after about 45 minutes. However, the fire caused significant structural damage and parts of the first and second floors were deemed unsafe.

There were no civilian injuries, but one Prince George's County Firefighter received minor burns. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment.