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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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.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The great Potomac Street bike track controversy appears to be settled.

Mayor Catherine Pugh has a plan to maintain the bike lane, eliminate parallel parking on both sides of the street and allow angle parking on one side.

The whole thing blew up back in May when Pugh said she was going to tear up the $775,000 bike lane because the neighbors feared it would hamper emergency vehicles. The advocacy group Bikemore sued to keep the lane and a circuit judge temporarily blocked the city's plan to destroy it.

Pugh announced her new plan at a news conference Wednesday.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The Baltimore Teachers Union partnered with Baltimore City Schools last week to launch a five-week campaign to enroll 1,000 new students in city schools. 

Using a database of targeted houses provided by the city, groups of teachers and paraprofessionals have gone door knocking to try to talk parents into sending their kids to city schools. But at least one group found that many of the houses where they were told school aged children lived were vacant; one after another, after another, with mail piled up at the threshold. .  

PUGHFORMAYOR.COM

Baltimore City schools officials failed to report a $100 million pension liability to the city government in fiscal year 2015, according to the city auditor.

Auditor Robert McCarty told the Board of Estimates about the missing information Wednesday morning.

"In their report they did not include their liability to the city's employee retirement system [ERS] of $100 million," McCarty said after the meeting. "In their opinion, it was a liability of the city of Baltimore to the ERS."

The Baltimore City Council has approved a resolution upholding the Paris Climate Accord -- an agreement President Trump backed the US out of earlier this month. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi shares the details with Nathan Sterner.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Hundreds of Baltimore youth showed up at a recent city council budget hearing to plead for more money for after-school and community school programs.

One city councilman called it a "rare moment of unity and strength."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Plans for a 157-unit apartment building in Roland Park has split community residents. And it came to a head yesterday as the city council gave preliminary approval to a bill to allow the project at Falls Road and Northern Parkway.

As the vote was taken opponents of the project, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, "Don't OVERLOOK Us,"  stood up and disrupted the meeting. Jack Young, city council president, banged his gavel, telling the residents they were out of order and they left.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The long simmering battle over the redesign of a bike track on Potomac Street in Canton was thrown into limbo Friday when a circuit court judge temporarily halted city plans to demolish the lane.

Still, bicyclists who took to city streets and parks over the weekend as part of the 15th annual Tour Dem Parks event remained angry and worried about the fate of bicycle lanes in the city.

They even greeted Mayor Catherine Pugh with a smattering of boos and some chanting when she made an appearance.

CASA de Maryland

Jesus Peraza, the Honduran who was picked up by immigration agents after he dropped off his son at Hampstead Hill Academy last March, will be forced to leave the country. 

The notice came Tuesday in a letter to Jared Jaskot, Peraza's lawyer, from John Alderman, the deputy field director in Baltimore for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Alderman wrote that he could “not find a compelling reason” to allow Peraza, who has been in the U.S. for more than a decade, to stay.  

The Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Monday night to make deep cuts to Mayor Catherine Pugh's budget plan for the coming fiscal year. 

photo courtesy baltimorecityschools.org

Baltimore City school officials sent layoff notices to 37 teachers, 39 administrators, 26 paraprofessionals and school personnel, 11 support staff, and five district managers Thursday. It was the first round of layoffs in city schools in a decade.

Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, denounced the layoffs, wondering why they were necessary when school leaders have said they need to fill 200 vacancies.

Mark Dennis, Staff Photographer / Mayor's Office of Communications

With the Baltimore City Police Department under a consent decree to overhaul its operations, Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis, and Mayor Catherine Pugh cut the ribbon on the new Baltimore City Police Museum today.

In response to the arrest of Jesus Peraza, the Honduran father who was detained after dropping his 8-year-old son off at school, CASA, a Latino community organizing group, held a rally Thursday in front of immigration offices at Hopkins Plaza in downtown Baltimore.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The simple task of dropping off or picking up a child at school became fraught with worry for parents at Hampstead Hill Academy in March when the father of a fourth grader was followed home and arrested by immigration agents. Now, parents, students and teachers at the school at Linwood and Eastern avenues have united behind their Latino parents and students.

"You never know when it is going to happen to you. So you live in fear and you live afraid," said David Rosario, father of a third-grader, in an interview at his office just blocks from the school.

Baltimore City 2018 FY Budget

 

Parents, administrators, and community activists made their case to city council last night for additional funds for youth, after-school, and additional educational opportunities.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

   

Tucked into a corner off Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown, there are Latino-owned restaurants, blacked-owned barbershops, and one small grocery store owned by an immigrant-Nepalese family that opened in 2013.

By the end of the month, red light and speed cameras will be back on Baltimore city streets.

The $9.7 million project was announced today by Mayor Catherine Pugh and three independent contractors at city hall. The contractors will be charged with installing, calibrating, and monitoring the cameras. A 30-day trial period will start when the 30 cameras are installed at the end of May.

On Monday night, the majority of the Baltimore City Council voted to confirm five new members of the city's Civilian Review Board, which is charged with examining complaints against police.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Calvin Rodwell Elementary School in the Howard Park section of Northwest Baltimore is just one of many schools that fears a $2.4 million budget cut again in the next fiscal year.

Child First Authority runs the after-school program at Calvin Rodwell, where 120 students  participate in extra classroom instruction, dance practice, and karate classes. With the current cut the elementary school will have to slice 50 kids from its enrollment and it will offer few extra-curricular activities.

Resolutions were a big part of the Baltimore City Council's agenda when it met Monday night. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi was at the meeting, and gave Nathan Sterner the details.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

With just a few weeks before budget hearings at Baltimore City Hall, police officials appeared a public safety meeting Tuesday chaired by Councilman Brandon Scott, to talk about fighting violence in the city. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi was there, and spoke with Nathan Sterner about what happened.

A large blue van with the letter NIBIN, or National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, rolled out in front of city hall today as Mayor Catherine Pugh and local representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms announced the joint efforts partnership.

The mobile unit will be used throughout the city to provide homicide crime scene analysis within four hours of an incident. The vehicle is equipped with computers to match guns with previous homicide offenders.

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