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.

Baltimore County

  

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is dismissing Governor Hogan's call for an independent investigator general to root out corruption and mismanagement in Maryland schools.

 

John Lee

 

  

  Former Governor Martin O’Malley is taking sides in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County executive.

 

John Lee

 

The Baltimore County Council elected its first African-American chairman last night. The new chairman, Julian Jones, said he wished the day would come when there would be no more “firsts.”

John Lee

 

The names of the 37 homeless people who died this year in Baltimore County were read aloud at a memorial service in Towson Thursday night. It was one of a number of memorial services held for the homeless nationwide on the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.

John Lee

The developer tells the Council "We will not let you down."

John Lee

 

The controversial plan to use tax money to help finance the Towson Row project is scheduled for a vote at Monday night's Baltimore County Council meeting. But the councilman who represents Towson plans to call for a postponement of that vote.

 

John Lee

 

What to do with the big hole in the ground in Towson? A developer says he’s ready to move ahead with the delayed $350 million Towson Row project that would go on that property. But the developer and the County Council got blowback Tuesday from people who oppose plans to use taxpayers money to help get the project off the ground.

 

John Lee

 

This is our first installment in an occasional series, “As They Grow: Tracking Change for the Next Generation.”

 Teacher Jackie Johnson tells a class of 20 sixth-graders to “circle up.” They stand facing each other. They clear away desk chairs and gather in the back of the room for a few minutes. This is something these students at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Randallstown do every day. 

 

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones wants the school board to vote to make Verletta White the county’s permanent school superintendent. This comes as White is under fire for not reporting income she made while consulting for an outside firm. WYPR’s John Lee talked it over with Nathan Sterner.

 

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.

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