Bridget Armstrong | WYPR

Bridget Armstrong

Producer, Midday

Bridget Armstrong is a producer for Midday hosted by Tom Hall. She joined the WYPR team as a producer of Maryland Morning in March 2016. Before coming to WYPR, she worked for SiriusXM and prior to that, at NPR.  While at NPR, Bridget worked on the 2014 Elections Desk and Tell Me More hosted by Michel Martin, where she produced discussions addressing race, gender and pop-culture.  A true lover of conversation, Bridget also hosted and produced a roundtable podcast. Bridget is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, an Historically Black College.


It’s the third day of a Republican National Convention that has been nothing short of eventful. Delegates have convened in Cleveland to set the party’s agenda and declare Donald Trump the official Republican presidential nominee. 

On opening day, delegates who were unhappy with the rules committee’s decision to reject a vote to unbind delegate votes, launched a last effort protest on the convention floor. If that was not enough, Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s wife, is facing allegations that she lifted sections of her RNC speech from a speech Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention. 

The Republican convention gets underway today in Cleveland. Elizabeth Copeland, a Baltimore Republican who is the founder of the Urban Conservative Project, gives a preview.

Liz Copeland


The Republican National Convention kicks off in Cleveland today. After blocking an attempt by anti-Trump insurgents to unbind the delegate votes, party officials will convene to declare Donald Trump the official Republican presidential nominee. Last week, Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate.

Earlier this year, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford both said they would not be voting for or endorsing Trump

Liz Copeland is the president and founder of Urban Conservative Project, a self-described "coalition of moderate Republicans, conservative Democrats, and Independents." Copeland was a candidate in the Republican Primary for the First District Baltimore City Council seat. She joins Tom in the studio to talk about the down-ticket implications of a Donald Trump candidacy, and what some political analysts have called the “battle for the soul of the Republican Party.”    

Marian House

There are an estimated 2,500 people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to some advocates for the homeless, that number could go up due to recent funding changes from HUD. 

In May, HUD decided to discontinue grants to 19 of 21 Baltimore-based homeless services providers. The cuts are part of an overall move by HUD to shift support away from transitional housing towards permanent housing solutions.   Marian House is one of the 19 programs affected by the cuts. In addition to providing shelter, the transitional housing program offers rehabilitation services, life skills training, job readiness and employment assistance to women and children experiencing homelessness.  Katie Allston is the Executive Director of Marian House. Jan Mitchell is an alumna of the program. They join Tom in-studio to talk about why transitional housing programs are important and how the recent cuts will impact Marian House. 


Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen joins for another installment of Healthwatch. It’s one thing to call gun violence in America an epidemic. It’s another to actually treat it like a public health crisis, and to employ scientific methods to shape policy and save lives. Leana Wen talks about efforts to combat gun violence in the city. 

Then, sports guru Mark Hyman talks about the Orioles best start in almost 20 years, and how Zika has impacted the upcoming Olympic games.  Plus, Wyclef Jean talks about his new music and Black Lives Matter before kicking off Artscape tonight.

Katie Piper and Karl Ferguson Jr

Artscape, the largest free arts festival in the country, is celebrating its 35th anniversary. This weekend, more than 350,000 festival goers will flood the streets to take in the music, art, theater and fashion presented during the three-day event. 

Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean is one of this year’s headliners.  Wyclef joins Tom to talk about his Artscape performance, his upcoming album Carnival III, Road To Clefication and his 2010 presidential run in his native country Haiti. Wyclef also weighs in on the racial tension gripping the country, the Black Lives Matter movement and what he says is an institutional problem within the criminal justice system.

Tom speaks with Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh for the Focus on the Counties series. 

Schuh was one of three county executives elected in the Baltimore region in the Republican wave led by Governor Larry Hogan. When Steve Schuh took office in late 2014, he was the third person to head the county in two years, following the scandal-ridden administration of John Leopold, and the brief tenure of Laura Newman. His working relationship with the county council has not always been smooth; he talks about his plans to streamline government, reduce taxes, and build more schools.   Then, Baltimore author James Magruder on his latest novel "Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall," a tale about the love lives of graduate students in the 1980s.        

(left) Miriam Berkely

James Magruder's Love Slaves Of Helen Hadley Hall tells the story, through the medium of a ghostly narrator, of a group of reckless Yale graduate students trying to find themselves in the early 1980s. Magruder draws on his own experiences as a grad student at Yale to create characters who are more obsessed with their messy love lives than their graduate studies. 

The book takes place during the 1983-84 school year, just as the HIV/AIDS epidemic was beginning in the United States. Magruder, who is living with HIV, says he wanted to revisit a time of innocence and "unsafety" right before HIV changed the way young people approach their relationships.  Baltimore native James Magruder joins Tom in-studio to discuss Love Slaves Of Helen Hadley Hall.  

David Y. Lee

Three out of five people who are arrested are not able to post bail, which means they are incarcerated, sometime for months, until their cases come to trial or are resolved. What are the standards for setting the amount of bail, and do those standards disadvantage the poor? Cherise Fanno Burdeen, the executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, and Tara Huffman, the director of Open Society Institute-Baltimore Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program join Tom to talk about making bail safer, fairer, and more effective. They also discuss #unconvicted, a photography exhibition organized by OSI-Baltimore the PreTrial Justice Institute that spotlights the plight of pretrial detainees. 

 In the light of events in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas  how has the conversation about police misconduct changed? Dr. Lester Spence, from Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Eddie Glaude from Princeton discuss how we got this point and the way forward.   Plus, theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck on the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s  production of The Three Musketeers.  

Princeton, Lester Spence

People across the country are trying to make sense of last week's shooting by the police of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul, and the fatal shooting of five police officers in Dallas, Texas during a peaceful rally. 

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, who is African-American, was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge after police say they received an anonymous call about an unidentified man with a gun outside of a convenience store. Sterling was shot outside the store after an encounter with two officers. The officers can be seen in a video, taken by a bystander, on top of Sterling before shots were fired. Both officers are white. Louisiana is an open carry state and police say Sterling had a gun in his pocket. Witnesses say Sterling never reached for the gun during the encounter. 

On Wednesday, Philando Castile, who is also African-American, was shot and killed by a police officer in Falcon Heights during a traffic stop. According to Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds, Castile was reaching for his wallet and disclosed to the officer that he had a pistol on him he was licensed to carry. Reynolds says the officer then said, ‘don’t move' and as Castile was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm. Reynolds live streamed a video of the immediate aftermath for 10 minutes. When the video starts, you can see Castile in the driver seat, his shirt covered in blood, with the officer's gun still pointed at him.