Dan Rodricks

Host, Midday

Dan Rodricks has been an award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun since 1979, and speaks of his adopted hometown as both its champion and its scold. He has observed local, state and national political trends for three decades.

His "Dear Drug Dealers" series in The Sun, a public call for an end to criminal violence in Baltimore bolstered by his one-man campaign to provide jobs or job training for ex-offenders, won the 2006 Excellence in Urban Journalism Award from the Freedom Forum and the Enterprise Foundation. His series, which exposed the obstacles that paroled felons face in finding jobs, was cited on national television and radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It won the 2005 Public Service award from the Chesapeake Associated Press. In 2006, he was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

From 1989 until 1993, Dan hosted a nightly talk show locally, as well as a five-hour Saturday morning show that ran until 1995. More than interviews and conversations with listeners, Dan's shows involved unique undertakings. His radio documentaries won acclaim, as well as the Silver Medal in an international broadcast competition in 1993. Listeners will recall some of Dan's popular radio features, including "Along The River," an outdoors travelogue and natural history, "Country Life Farm," a visit to a Maryland thoroughbred farm, "900 E. 33rd St.," a radio elegy to Memorial Stadium, "A Western Maryland Winter," and "The Greatest Game Never Played," a Chuck Thompson-Rex Barney play-by-play of a fictional game between the greatest Yankees and greatest Orioles.

A collection of Dan's columns, "Mencken Doesn't Live Here Anymore," was published in 1989, and in 1998 he authored, "Baltimore: Charm City," a celebration of Baltimore featuring the work of several accomplished photographers.

Dan also has performed in semi-professional theater in Baltimore.  His stage credits include: Young Victorian Theater Co., Samuel, The Pirates of Penzance, 1986; Monterrarat, Iolanthe, 1986; Shadbolt, The Yeoman of the Guard, 1987; Koko, The Mikado, 1988; Sir Joseph Porter, HMS Pinafore, 2001; and for Action Theater: Charlie, Death of a Salesman, 1999.  His performance in Pinafore was voted one of the Top Ten of the year by the City Paper.

Dan has lived in the Baltimore area since 1976, in the city since 1987.

Ways To Connect

Cinema and space for this edition of Midday on Film. From the Star Wars and Alien franchises to the opening of this weekend's The Martian, space has been the setting for action-adventure flicks, horror films, and dramas.

A busy Midday Friday for you -- we’ll hear about the upcoming Madonnari Arts Festival in Little Italy and Historic Chestertown, Maryland's transformation into the magical world of Harry Potter. We’ll talk sports - did you see the Ravens win yesterday? And Kevin Plank - Baltimore’s Bruce Wayne or 21st Century de Medici?

Midday on Culture

Oct 1, 2015
Julian Ortiz / Flickr

Pope Francis came the United States as polls indicate more and more Americans have moved away from Christianity in favor of atheism, agnosticism, or some other religion. Yet, Francis appeared to awaken, if not the sudden urge to attend church, at least some sense of spirituality among Americans, who seemed captivated by his presence and words. That prompts thoughts about how an increasingly secular society identifies and practices its values when the Pope's not around. Culture commentator Sheri Parks thinks the pageant of professional football has a lot to to with it.

Gaming in Maryland

Oct 1, 2015
World Poker Tour / Flickr

This summer, revenues from the state’s five casinos neared the $100 million per month mark. State gaming officials say this is a milestone that signals that new casinos have taken root. Meanwhile, workers in Prince George’s County are readying a $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor casino to open in mid-2016. And a $150 million expansion to Maryland Live! Casino at Arundel Mills was approved last month. Today on Midday, we take a look at the explosion of activity at some of the state’s casinos.

Could you be a fair and impartial juror if selected for one of the trials for the police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray? Listeners discuss possible questions that may arise in the jury selection process - voir dire - for the trials.

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