Dominique Maria Bonessi | WYPR

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Reporter

Before working in Baltimore, Dominique was a freelance reporter with WAMU and other international outlets in Washington D.C.  In 2016, Dominique was a reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists to go to Turkey and cover lack of mental healthcare and educational resources for Syrian children and their families.  Her stories from Turkey appeared in The Atlantic, USA Today, US News & World Report, PRI’s The World, TRT World, and NPR.  She graduated cum laude from the George Washington University with a double B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communications and Arabic Language & Culture.As an Arabic and Spanish speaking Cuban-American, Dominique loves to document people’s stories no matter what language they speak.

Ways to Connect

Dominique Maria Bonessi

As part of her violence reduction initiative, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been meeting daily with the heads of every city agency. On Tuesday morning, she took another step, a walking tour of one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city.

Measures to be introduced at Monday night’s city council meeting would require local lobbyists to disclose more information and create public financing for city campaigns. The bills come prior to the June primary election.

Baltimore drivers could soon be getting fines for “blocking the box.” That’s getting caught in the middle of an intersection when the light changes and tying up traffic. It’s one of a number of new traffic safety enforcement measures throughout the city.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

City Councilman Brandon Scott is to introduce legislation at tonight’s city council meeting requiring each city agency to study whether their policies are discriminatory. This would also require a fund to made.

Scott, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is proposing two bills to deal with inequity in city agencies. One of which, would create a charter amendment to assure funding.

Joel McCord

The General Assembly wrapped up its 90-day session in Annapolis Monday night with a flurry of activity, passing bills to increase minimum sentences for some repeat offenders, tightening school safety measures and diversifying the medical marijuana industry.

Many lawmakers, including Gov. Larry Hogan, began the legislative session seeking an answer to the recent spike in violent crime in Baltimore. On Monday, the legislature passed what some lawmakers said is part of the solution:  mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders caught illegally carrying a gun.

Baltimore City Public Schools

Baltimore City school officials are considering moving from their long-time headquarters on North Avenue—the building that once housed Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. But it’s unclear when, or if, that will happen.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

About 25 residents gathered at Mount Pleasant Church for the Baltimore City Police Department's consent decree monitoring team's first quarterly community forum Tuesday night. Ironically, that's the same church where the funeral for slain Det. Sean Suiter took place in November. Shantay Guy, one of the monitoring team members and executive director of Baltimore Community Mediation Center, said that was only a coincidence. She wasn't aware the church was the scene of the funeral. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Senator Ben Cardin visited what must be one of the safest schools in Maryland Thursday morning to talk with students about gun violence, both in and out of school. The school has security guards, cameras and an electric gate.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh unveiled her $2.8 billion budget for the coming fiscal year yesterday at a meeting of the Board of Estimates. The budget projects maintaining the property tax rate at $2.25 per $100 of assessed value.

Melissa Archer, MD Dept. of Housing & Community Development

More than half of the rental units in Baltimore City are one and two-family homes, according to a study by the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. And the owners of those properties aren’t held to the same standards as the owners of multi-family units, which can create problems for the tenants.

Take, for example, the case of Kia Rogers, a single mother of two.

Marching for Their Lives

Mar 24, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators from throughout the nation gathered in Washington Saturday and in cities across the country to demand stricter gun control laws. Within that crowd were some 3,000 students, parents and community members, from Baltimore, who rode school buses, paid for with private donations raised by Mayor Catherine Pugh, to the nation’s capital.

Some 50 demonstrators met at the Patterson Park Recreation Center early Saturday, one of eight pick-up points in the city, to board the buses for Washington.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s Shake and Bake Family Fun Center is back after it received a $330,000 face lift.

The Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is pushing for a state bill that would allow them to create their own police force. But some 2000 JHU students, faculty and staff say they don’t see the need.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Students in Baltimore and around the nation walked out of classes Wednesday to protest gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school last month. About 200 students walked out of Hampstead Hill Academy in East Baltimore chanting, "No justice, no peace, no AR-15s!"

BPD

  

After testimony in the Gun Trace Task Force trial revealed systemic corruption in Baltimore’s police department, state lawmakers filed bills in Annapolis aimed at making the department more transparent and accountable. One of those bills would require state auditors to conduct a financial audit of the department every six years.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh gave her state of the city address Monday to a gathering of city leaders with a theme of “Baltimore: A City on the Rise.” WYPR’s City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi spoke with Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner.

 

Ben Spier

The Salvation Army opened its first-ever non-profit grocery store in East Baltimore this week, aiming to provide affordable, healthy food options, especially for low income folks using food stamps. So, WYPR went shopping to see how the prices compared to other, nearby stores. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore City’s Board of Estimates voted to spend $100,000 to provide legal representation for undocumented immigrants Wednesday. The money matches a grant from a non-profit that provides legal aid to immigrants.

Ben Spier

The Salvation Army is set to open its first in the nation non-profit grocery store in East Baltimore Wednesday. WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi caught up with the organizers to see how it will all work.

Maryland’s Court of Appeals unanimously agreed at an emergency meeting Tuesday to restore the names of police officers deleted from the online case search data base.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore City Council nearly unanimously confirmed Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa as the new commissioner last night. WYPR’s City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi talks with Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, about witnessing the vote and other measures that would ban various things in the city.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Last night the executive appointments committee of the Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to confirm Darryl De Sousa as Baltimore’s new police commissioner, but not without some tough questions from committee members and the public. His confirmation is still pending until Monday when the entire city council is set to vote on his nomination, WYPR’s City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, spoke with Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner about the hearing.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The month-long shut down of Baltimore’s subway system came after inspections showed a need for emergency track replacements, but rail replacement might just be the tip of the iceberg.

David McClure, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local that represents MTA workers, told Baltimore’s General Assembly delegation Friday the subway system is in need of a complete overhaul. And has been for some time.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County was locked down for about 45 minutes Thursday after one student told administrators another was carrying a weapon.

It turned out to be a 10th grader with a pellet gun. He was taken into custody.

But the incident, coming the day after 17 people died in a shooting at a Florida high school, had a few things running through the head of one 11th grader, who identified himself as Jackson.  

WUSA TV-9 via AP

The circumstances surrounding the apparent effort to breach a gate at the National Security Agency on Fort Meade remained cloudy Wednesday afternoon. But the FBI said it wasn’t linked to terrorism.

According to the FBI, an SUV with three males was stopped as it tried to enter the NSA campus through the Canine Gate off Maryland Route 32 around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Two Baltimore police officers were convicted by a federal jury Monday night in a case that laid bare dysfunction within the city police department.

The room was silent as the jury foreman read the verdicts against Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, the only officers of the disbanded Gun Trace Task Force to go to trial. Racketeering, guilty; racketeering conspiracy, guilty; robbery with the use of force, guilty.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa announced additional internal changes to the department Friday. The appointment of one deputy commissioner, Thomas Cassella, is being held up.

De Sousa had named Cassella to be Deputy Commissioner for the Operations Bureau, but documents were leaked to the media alleging two disciplinary complaints against him.

AMR Meter by PSNH via flickr

Officials at Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works noticed an error in their system that incorrectly sent out 566 water bills to customers earlier in the week.

Rachel Baye

 

Gov. Larry Hogan called for increasing mandatory minimum sentences for violent repeat offenders during his State of the State address last week. The bills to do that came up for a hearing Tuesday in a House of Delegates committee and ran into opposition.

At last night's meeting of the Baltimore City Council, Brandon Scott, chair of the public safety committee, put forth a resolution for the state to create a board of police commissioners and transfer over full control of the city’s police department to the city.

WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi reports that this is the not the first time Scott has pushed for this legislation.


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