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.

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Dominique Maria Bonessi

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about legislation to provide a $2500 property tax credit to public safety officers that reside in Baltimore City. Council President Jack Young and District 11 Councilman Eric Costello proposed the bill as incentive for more public safety officers to reside within Baltimore City lines. Currently 23 percent of police officers, 30 percent of firefighters, and 53 percent of sheriffs reside in the city. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In Baltimore, residents have faced sewage backups in their homes for years which, says one Johns Hopkins University researcher, could be hazardous for your health.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore city’s latest sewer repair plan contains $2 million a year to help residents with clean-up costs if sewage backs up into their homes. But it won’t be much help to those who already have spent thousands for repairs.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s business owners will be hit hard by the Trump Administration’s recent blow to immigration policy that will deport tens of thousands of young immigrants.

AP Photo/Dino Vournas

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has already approved 11 dispensaries to be placed throughout Baltimore. But lack of strict zoning requirements has city residents worried about where the dispensaries will be located.

Baltimore City Police Department

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the third Baltimore Police body camera video that has surfaced. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis rejected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's dismissal of the 43 out of 101 cases pertaining to the footage. Mosby responded to Davis in a statement saying that "this re-enactment undermines the public trust" and "creates indefensible doubt in the minds of the general public, judges, and jurors."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a plan today for a permanent solution for those homeless people camped out in front of city hall to seek housing. The mayor says she looked to charitable organizations for help. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Two weeks ago, state officials gathered in a shopping center parking lot in Dundalk to declare August first Henrietta Lacks Day. Last night, the Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution to follow suit. The resolution honors the woman whose cancer cells, taken by Johns Hopkins doctors in 1951 without her knowledge or consent, led to advances in treatment of polio, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Lack of patient consent, compounded by a history of mistrust of medical institutions, still reverberates in Baltimore’s gay black community.

After months of  increased-levels of violence and multiple requests, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her Violence Reduction Plan Wednesday. The plan contains many promises, but few bench marks.

WYPR-Tom Pelton

The Board of Estimates agreed today to changes in a 15-year-old consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency that gives the city more time to fix its troubled sewer system. But, not everyone was happy with it.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the Baltimore Police Department's officer vacancies, new hiring strategy, and programs in their pilot phase to bring the department into the 21st century. 

Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh had some sharp words today for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The 72-hour Baltimore ceasefire ended Sunday night, broken four times by shootings over the weekend. Nonetheless, organizers said they hoped to continue their movement going forward.

It began at 5 p.m. Friday with a 12-hour barbecue and resource fair at the corner of Erdman Avenue and Belair Road, one of 40 events scheduled for the weekend. This one was led by Out for Justice, a non-profit that helps people seeking legal advice.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Baltimore City Council’s Public Safety Committee released a violence reduction strategy today, a day after community organizations pleaded with Mayor Catherine Pugh to release her plan.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The state of Maryland officially declared today, August 1st, as Henrietta Lacks Day and dedicated the stretch of Broening Highway from the Baltimore city and Baltimore county lines into Turner’s Station to the former resident of that community.

A plan to revitalize Baltimore is set to land at the City Council today. It comes with the price tag of $10 billion, and no one knows where that money would come from. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition's Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the two amendments added to the legislation that would make illegal possession of a gun a felony in Baltimore. Bonessi was at the day-long city council hearing yesterday with more details. 

Justice for Tyrone West Facebook Page

The city and state reached a settlement Wednesday in the lawsuit over the death of Tyrone West during a traffic stop in 2013. West’s children are expected to receive $1 million.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

At times the hearing on Mayor Catherine Pugh's proposed gun bill got heated. After two and a half hours, two passed amendments, and two failed amendments, the public comment period opened. Protestors immediately interrupted the proceedings that were recessed for five minutes due to the protests. Two protestors were forcibly removed by police and arrested. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Baltimore Teacher's Union President, Marietta English, presented the almost final numbers of the efforts to enroll or re-enroll students Monday.

Two-months ago the Baltimore Teacher's Union and Baltimore City Schools began a door knocking campaign to enroll or re-enroll 1000 students. Efforts came as the school system faced a loss of 1000 students between the 2016 to 2017 school year and the $130 million budget deficit. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about whether or not the gun bill introduced at City Council Monday night would actually reduce gun violence. Bonessi shares her interview with Laura Dugan, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland. Also, listen to more to the research on mandatory-minimums for jail sentences and whether or not they reduce crime.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The mayor's gun bill introduced to city council Monday night would make possession of a gun a mandatory one-year jail sentence. Currently, six city councilmen sit on the fence of the controversial legislation. Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke is one of those on the fence. Even though the guns are illegal, Baltimore is a tough city and her constituents tell her they’re scared.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to WYPR's City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi on the gun bill dividing Baltimore City Council. Last week Mayor Catherine Pugh and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis proposed a bill that would make possession of a gun in a public place in Baltimore a mandatory sentence of one year. That bill was introduced on the council floor last night with some councilmen, like District Two's, Brandon Scott, saying that it was a "blanket call that would send more people to jail."

Courtesy of Reuters

Today, we examine the realities of being an immigrant in Baltimore in the Trump Era.  President Trump has called for the immediate deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, commonly known as illegal aliens.  Mr. Trump and his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, have made immigration enforcement a priority. Plans continue for a wall of unprecedented scale all along the U.S.-Mexico border.  And the Department of Justice has threatened to withhold federal funds from so-called "sanctuary cities" -- municipalities where local police authorities do not check the immigration status of people who are stopped for other reasons, or who are seeking public services.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Late last month, most of the kitchen staff at The Boathouse walked off the job after immigration agents asked the Canton restaurant’s management for their immigration documents. Some of them have returned to work, but the incident sent a chill through Baltimore’s restaurant and Latino communities.

Alma Cocina Latina is just a few blocks from The Boathouse in Canton. The restaurant’s owner, Irena Stein, says starting her Venezuelan restaurant in Canton wasn’t easy.

Rachel Baye

Facing record levels of violence, Baltimore officials are grappling with the best way to curb the violence, Mayor Catherine Pugh met with Governor Larry Hogan Monday afternoon to strategize.

At the top of her list, Pugh said she plans to bring in a team from the U.S. Department of Justice next month to help the city strategize.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition host, Nathan Sterner, talks with City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the competition between 26 law firms vying to be the U.S. Department of Justice consent decree's independent monitors for police accountability. A grassroots coalition, The Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs and Baltimore residents met last night at a townhall meeting at Coppin State University to ask tough questions of the monitor applicants. 

Google Maps

Speed cameras are back in Baltimore. An earlier system was shut down in 2013 after it was discovered cameras were issuing speeding tickets to cars that weren’t violating the speed limit. Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the implementation of the new cameras in May and said that she hoped the new camera system would renew Baltimoreans’ confidence and bring revenue to the city.

Below is a map showing where the first seven cameras are. They're all in school zones.

Jamyla Krempel

Anthony Lloyd is one of those kids who was doing everything right; getting good grades, going to college.

Still, he was shot in the back by a 17-year-old who was trying to steal his scooter. He survived--though, with a bullet lodged in his liver--and recently graduated from Bard High School. He says he wasn't surprised by the attack.

"You know, for me, getting shot it wasn't like, 'Oh my God, I got shot!'" said 18-year-old Anthony in an interview at his summer job at the Middle Branch Park Recreational Center. "It was like this is proof that there is a serious problem. It's proof that there is a serious problem."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland announced today it has filed two separate suits to overturn gag orders contained in settlements in police brutality cases.

The suits against Baltimore City and its police department and Salisbury and its police department were filed in federal court and in Baltimore Circuit court.

Susan Goering, ACLU Maryland’s executive director, says settlements that impose gag orders on plaintiffs violate their rights.

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