John Lee | WYPR

John Lee

Reporter, Baltimore County

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County.

John has worked in news for more than 20 years. He has been a news director, assistant news director, managing editor, assignment editor and reporter at various radio and television news stations. He’s won numerous awards from The Associated Press, including best news operation, best continuing news story, and best news series.

Before coming to WYPR, John spent more than a decade as a stay-at-home dad. During that time he raised a disabled child. He also listened to WYPR every day thinking, “I’d like to work there.”

In 2013, John did just that. He started as “the world’s oldest intern,” and is now a freelance reporter.

John has both a master’s degree in media management and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University.

John Lee

No high school in Baltimore County is in worse shape than Lansdowne High. The county plans to renovate the school, but State Comptroller Peter Franchot said Lansdowne should get a new school and that isn’t happening because the community isn’t affluent, and doesn’t have much influence. 

 

But Franchot’s motives are being questioned.  

 

Tradepoint Atlantic

Amazon plans to build a distribution center at Sparrows Point in Eastern Baltimore County. It’s expected to open in 2019 and bring with it 1,500 jobs. 

 

Wednesday’s announcement follows months of negotiations between Amazon, the county and the state. Amazon is the latest piece in the redevelopment of the old Bethlehem Steel site by Tradepoint Atlantic.

 

Flickr

 

Baltimore County Schools will be closed next year on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Baltimore County School Board last night on a split vote rejected a proposal to keep schools open on the Jewish High Holy Days.

 

John Lee

 

Baltimore County is the first jurisdiction in the state to restrict when farmers can use air cannons. The County Council last night voted unanimously to make it illegal to use the noise makers from 10 p.m. to sunrise.

 

John Lee

 

 

 

Since April, more than 40 people who entered the United States illegally have been released from the Baltimore County jail despite requests from the feds to hold them. 

 

John Lee

 

 

Barring any surprises, the field is set for next year’s Baltimore County Executive’s race. Second District Democratic Councilwoman Vicki Almond formally entered the race last night, in what is expected to be a multi-million dollar battle for the Democratic nomination.

 

Tradepoint Atlantic

 

At an open house hosted by Tradepoint Atlantic at its Sparrows Point headquarters, Tom Hewitt, the Director of Service Development for MTA, laid out for Tammy Reeder plans for a new bus service. Currently, the closest bus stop to Sparrows Point is about three miles away. 

 

dcJohn/flickr

 

Baltimore County students who are poor, African-American or disabled are far more likely to get kicked out of school. That’s according to a new report on behavior and discipline presented last night to the Baltimore County School Board.

John Lee

State Senator Jim Brochin officially launched his campaign Thursday for the county’s top office.

 

Brochin, a four-term state senator, has been plotting this run for a long time. Brochin made his announcement at Towson Manor Park.

 

  

John Lee

Baltimore County came under withering criticism Wednesday from the State Comptroller over the conditions of two of its high schools. Comptroller Peter Franchot called the conditions at Dulaney and Lansdowne High Schools deplorable and unacceptable.

 

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County School Board is considering a proposal to keep schools open during the Jewish holidays next September. But the board got some blowback for that idea during a public hearing Tuesday night. WYPR's John Lee and Nathan Sterner talked about it on Morning Edition.

Baltimore County

There are concerns that legislation is being rushed through the Baltimore County Council. A commission that is studying the county charter is expected to recommend that bills before Council have more time for debate. WYPR’s John Lee joins Nathan Sterner to talk about the work of the Charter Review Commission.

The Baltimore County Council green-lighted a two million dollar state loan Monday to try to entice Amazon to build a distribution center at Sparrows Point.

County officials say they believe landing Amazon could mean more jobs than the official estimate of 1,500 at the distribution center.

Wikimedia Commons

Baltimore County is close to landing an Amazon distribution center, to be located at Sparrows Point in eastern Baltimore County.

John Lee

It's becoming more clear who will be running for Baltimore County Executive. There are three declared candidates with two more expected to follow in the coming weeks. The county GOP hopes the party will gain control of both the County Executive's office and County Council following the 2018 elections. WYPR’s John Lee talks it over with Nathan Sterner.

John Lee

Donald Eurice was walking through one of his fields in Middle River when he picked up an ear of corn blackbirds had damaged.

"You take sweet corn," he said, pointing to gaps at the end of the ear where kernels used to be. "They take two picks on it you can’t sell it. It’s done."

John Lee

Baltimore County’s Interim School Superintendent Verletta White was walking the halls of Dumbarton Middle School last week. She was there for a half day program that helps sixth graders figure out which end is up in their new school.

At one point, White tried to help a student work his locker combination. At another time she was told by a couple of students that their bus didn’t show up.

Flickr via Creative Commons

I am a Lee from Virginia. I lived in Charlottesville for four years. I lived on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, with its statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Jeb Stuart. I’m a white, middle aged guy. And until weekend before last, I was on the wrong side of history.

I thought statues of Confederate heroes served a purpose. While I by no means thought the South was justified in leaving the union in order to preserve slavery, I thought those statues were about something else. 

John Lee

Hops is a key ingredient in making beer. But while more breweries are opening in Maryland, the amount of hops being grown here is small potatoes when compared to other states.

Just look at Michigan, where Pam Miller and other farmers started growing hops to help feed the booming craft beer industry there.

John Lee

This is a tale of two states and their approaches to local brewers.

The folks at the Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are making 450,000 barrels of beer each year and selling 6,000 of those barrels in their tap room, one pint at a time. That works out to about one and a half million pints. No Maryland brewer comes anywhere close to that.

Baltimore Link debuts

Jun 20, 2017
John Lee

There was a lot of talk about numbers and colors at Baltimore’s bus stops Monday morning as the city’s newly revamped system of bus routes got its first test.

Dubbed BaltmoreLink, the system went into effect in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, but it wasn’t until the Monday morning rush that planners and riders got the first real sense of it. And Alice McClellan, who uses a cane, was not happy.

John Lee

Baltimore’s newly revamped system of bus routes got its first real test during the Monday morning rush.

And while it’s designed to be quicker and more efficient and to get commuter closer to their jobs, it didn’t go all that well for Rodney Bennett, who was making his way from his home in North Baltimore to work in Cherry Hill.

His first bus was 10 minutes late.

John Lee

Baltimore County has counted heads and found more than 600 people homeless within its borders. But the actual number of people living in shelters and on the streets in the county is likely much higher.

The county recently released the findings from a one-day homeless census it conducted on January 24 when it found 609 homeless people countywide.

But county officials caution this is merely a snapshot on a given day that provides a rough estimate. And those who work with the homeless say it is a low ball number.

A Battle Royale is playing out over a proposed Royal Farms store and gas station in Towson. Opponents claim it’s an example of developers running roughshod in Baltimore County. 

Baltimore County

Here is one of the things you get to do when you are county executive: show up at groundbreakings for new schools.

That’s what Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz did Wednesday at the site of the new Lansdowne Elementary. And it gave him a chance to tout his plan to spend $1.3 billion on 16 new schools, as well as 19 school additions and renovations.

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell introduced legislation Monday night that would in essence deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in this country illegally.

John Lee

What with the prospect of Irish beer giant Guinness opening a brewery and tap room in southwestern Baltimore County this fall you might think local craft brewers and bar owners would be worried. You’d be wrong.

In fact, they’re salivating at the prospect, figuring a rising tide of beer will lift all kegs. 

John Lee

The three Republicans on the Baltimore County Council want to deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws. And they say they're planning to introduce legislation to do that.

This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in the country illegally.

John Lee

Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance resigned unexpectedly Tuesday, leaving the county school board scrambling for a replacement. Dance said in a statement it was time for him to "transition to another chapter of my career."

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s proposed $3.15 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year does not contain a tax increase. But it does include a two percent pay raise for county workers and plans for a new middle school in Perry Hall. 

Pages