Baltimore is an independent city and the largest city in the state of Maryland in the United States. Baltimore is located in central Maryland at the head of the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay, and is approximately 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington D.C.. Founded in 1729, Baltimore is a major U.S. seaport and is situated closer to major Midwestern markets than any other major seaport on the East Coast. Baltimore's Inner Harbor has always remained a major asset, once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. Today the harbor is home to Harborplace and the National Aquarium in Baltimore and is a successful example of Baltimore's ambitious efforts at renewal. Following the fall of many of its largest manufacturing industries, Baltimore has shifted primarily to a service sector-oriented economy, with the largest employer no longer Bethlehem Steel but Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Despite some successful revitalization Baltimore is still posed with many big-city challenges such as concentrated poverty and crime, and inadequate public education.
As of 2007, the population of Baltimore City was 637,455. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area, which includes the city's surrounding suburbs, has approximately 2.6 million residents; the 20th largest in the country. Baltimore is also the largest city in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area of approximately 8.1 million residents. Because there is also a Baltimore County nearly surrounding (but not including) the city, it is sometimes referred to as Baltimore City when a clear distinction is desired.The city is named after Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, the founding proprietor of the Maryland Colony. Baltimore himself took his title from a place named Baltimore in Ireland, which is an Anglicized form of the Irish language Baile an Ti Mhoir, meaning "Town of the Big House" and referring to the O'Driscoll castle that still dominates the town. The Irish-language name for Baltimore is that of the O'Driscoll castle, Dun na Sead ("Fort of the Jewels").
MedStar Health notified the State of Maryland that they would be laying off 74 employees at three of its hospitals in Baltimore, including 19 at the Good Samaritan Hospital, 29 at the MedStar Harbor Hospital and 26 at the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. In addition, they were going to lay off an extra 24 employees from the Montgomery Medical Center. On the transportation side of things in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is talking up a proposed train line. According to the mayor, the construction of the rail line would introduce 4,000 jobs and running of the line would bring about 200 full time jobs.