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Affordable housing hard to come by in Baltimore County

"Most areas don’t want you. Most apartment complexes don’t want you because you’re section 8."

WYPR News

John Lee

More than 23,000 families in Baltimore County are on a waiting list for housing vouchers once known as Section 8. And while they're waiting, the long running debate over where to put affordable housing in the   county rolls on.

Take Chanel Harris, for example. She's been waiting for a federally-subsidized housing voucher to help her pay her rent 1998.

Harris said her name was deleted from the voucher list a couple of times, so she had to reapply. The last time she did that was 10 years ago. While she waits, Harris, her three children and her aunt live in her grandmother’s three bedroom apartment in Woodlawn.

Joel McCord and John Lee, of the WYPR news team, discuss a measure making its way through the General Assembly that would keep landlords from automatically turning down renters with housing vouchers.

P. Kenneth Burns

Apprenticeships have always been a way to provide on-the-job training for people who want to work in the skilled trades; like a carpenter or electrician.

Not so much for IT, until now.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland House of Delegates voted along party lines Wednesday to make it easier for the state attorney general to sue the federal government.

Jonna McKone

With Baltimore city schools facing a $130 million shortfall-- roughly 10 percent of the annual budget—schools CEO Sonja Santelises has warned of painful cuts, including teacher layoffs.

Some of the specifics are beginning to take shape as school principals received their budgets last week.

Job Grotsky, the principal at Mount Royal Elementary in Bolton Hill says next year’s budget is significantly smaller than in the past.  He’s probably going to lay off nine people, some of them teachers.

“As a result we basically have to build the school from the ground up,” he said.

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WYPR Presents Terry Gross

Join WYPR on March 22, 2017 for an evening with public radio's talk-show host, Terry Gross. You'll hear stories about her 40 year career on the radio and excerpts of interviews.

Out of the Blocks

all images by Wendel Patrick

2100 Edmondson

The corner diner, Soul Source, is the hub of the 2100 block of Edmondson Avenue. The manager, Joyce, has been serving breakfast to the locals for 30 years. Her restaurant looks out onto a West Baltimore block scarred by gunshots and stabbings. But the block is more than its scars. It’s a block where a Pentecostal pastor keeps her faith in the face of suffering, where a reformed drug dealer works as a kitchen appliance repairman, and where a political reporter from Kashmir has found sanctuary working behind the counter at a sandwich shop. It’s a block where a former Nigerian soccer star operates an auto repair shop. In his car lot, he lets a homeless man sleep in a van. Next door is an army veteran who issued air-strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And across the street is a tire repairman who’s trying to beat a 30-year heroin addiction. Crystal, who works in the kitchen at Soul Source, sums it up like this: It’s not always peaches and cream, but this is a place that you know is always going to be real .

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On The Watch

On the Watch, Part 10: Cincinnati’s police reform story – a lesson for Baltimore?

In 2001, as the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Black United Front brought a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and the police department for racial bias, a white officer in Cincinnati shot an unarmed black teenager as he fled police. And then, along came a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found a pattern of discriminatory practices by the department and an agreement for changes that took months to hammer out. The process of instituting those changes has lasted years. Some would say it’s ongoing.

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BBC News

In the span of a single sentence, President Trump managed to flummox a nation.

"We've got to keep our country safe," Trump said at a campaign-style rally Saturday in Melbourne, Fla. "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden — Sweden, who would believe this?"

Swedes, in turn, answered Trump's question with a question of their own: "Wait — what?"

So Much Anxiety Over Sibling Rivalry

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Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars hear from a woman who is thinking about having a second child, but terrified of the idea that the children could be cruel to each other.

The Iraqi offensive to retake the western half of Mosul has begun, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced Sunday. The long-awaited assault comes just over a month after Iraqi forces largely cleared Islamic State militants from the districts east of the Tigris River in the major Iraqi city.

Some family members of inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center protested outside of the facility Saturday afternoon, expressing concerns that their relatives are being mistreated.

To paraphrase an age-old saying: If at first you don't succeed, well, dust off the historic launch pad and try another liftoff.

What a week it was for Donald Trump.

Argentina can be beguiling, but its grand European architecture and lively coffee culture obscure a dark past: In the 1970s and early 80s, thousands of people were tortured and killed under the country's military dictatorship. In many cases, the children of the disappeared were kidnapped, and some of those children were raised by their parents' murderers.

If Hacksaw Ridge breaks Kevin O'Connell's Oscars losing streak, he'll have a pile of acceptance speeches to choose from. Over the years, he's earned 21 Academy Award nominations for sound mixing, but doesn't have a single statue to show for it.

Most of his unused acceptance speeches are sitting in a drawer. "I don't pay much attention to that stuff anymore," O'Connell says. "I almost feel like this is like a rebirth for me at this point, you know?"

O'Connell's a re-recording mixer — he brings sound into movies.

This is a two-part story on immigrants and small town viability. Part one aired on this Weekend Edition Saturday. For the full story, listen to both audio segments.

Like thousands of rural towns across the country, Cawker City, Kan., was built for bygone time.

Resident Linda Clover has spent most of her life in Cawker City, and she loves the place, but it's a shell of the town it used to be.

On Saturdays, Jim Stokes searches for typefaces.

And on the floors of parking lots, the displays in antique stores and the dust jackets of his modest 4,000 book science-fiction collection, he finds them.

Then, he waits until Sunday to post them on Twitter.

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