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

The nominees are now in place for the general election race for Baltimore County Executive. Former Delegate Johnny Olszewski won a recount over the weekend, a 17 vote win over State Senator Jim Brochin.

 

Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner spoke with WYPR’s John Lee about what happens next.

 

 

John Lee

For the second time, former Delegate Johnny Olszewski has won the vote count in the race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

 

John Lee

The political battle over who will be the Democratic nominee for Baltimore County Executive enters its next phase Monday, with the first step towards an inevitable recount.

 

Late Friday, former Delegate Johnny Olszewski claimed a nine vote win over State Senator Jim Brochin.

 

 

John Lee

Former Delegate Johnny Olszewski Junior won a squeaker nine-vote victory over State Senator Jim Brochin Friday night in the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

But a recount seems likely.

 

 

John Lee

  

By Friday evening we may know the winner in the too-close-to call race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

This follows legal wrangling Thursday between attorneys for Johnny Olszewski and State Senator Jim Brochin over how to handle hundreds of rejected provisional ballots.

 

 

John Lee

The environmental cleanup of Sparrows Point in Eastern Baltimore County is approaching what the developer of the site says will be a milestone. The ongoing cleanup is now focusing on the Tin Mill Canal, which in the hey day of the steel mill was the site of major contamination.

 

 

John Lee

The race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive remained too close to call as Tuesday night faded into Wednesday morning. Fewer than one thousand votes separated County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, State Senator Jim Brochin and former Delegate Johnny Olszewski.

But while the Democratic race remained up in the air, the Republican contest was settled.  State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer handily defeated Delegate Pat McDonough for the GOP nomination.

John Lee

Baltimore County Republican Councilman Wade Kach has been accused of grandstanding and fiscal recklessness by fellow council members and administration officials. Kach who is running for his second term, scoffs at the accusations.

 

 

John Lee

In the closing days of the hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive, Councilwoman Vicki Almond is getting financial backing from a well-known developer. 

 

One of Almond’s opponents, State Senator Jim Brochin, said that makes his case that she is in the developers’ pocket. Almond countered her integrity is being attacked unfairly.

 

 

John Lee

 

Early voting is under way and Baltimore County residents will for the first time elect some of the members of the school board. The way it’s being done can be confusing, but there are those who think electing school board members is the key to mending the current, fractured board. WYPR’s John Lee joined Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about it.

 

 

John Lee

The race for the Republican nomination for Baltimore County Executive pits an establishment candidate with the governor’s seal of approval against a self-described crusader who is counting on votes from Trump supporters. The battle between State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Junior and Delegate Pat McDonough has been contentious.

John Lee

Construction is getting under way on the controversial $350 million Towson Row project after years of delay. Once it’s done, it will be home for shops, offices, student housing, residences and a hotel. The project is considered the transformational centerpiece of Towson’s redevelopment. But only one of the candidates running for Baltimore County Executive  supports it.

 

 

Photo courtesy BCPS

The Baltimore County School Board Thursday night voted to make Verletta White the Interim School Superintendent for another year, beginning July 1. The vote was 8-4, with the board divided between the majority that wanted to make White the permanent superintendent, and the minority that opposes her.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board meets Thursday evening to talk about naming an interim school superintendent for the next year. The issue of whether the current interim superintendent, Verletta White, should remain on the job is dividing not only the school board, but the candidates running for county executive as well.

 

 

John Lee

Democratic voters in Baltimore County soon will be making a choice between three political veterans who are running for the party’s nomination for county executive. Early voting begins next week, on June 14.

 

The hotly contested three-way race is between State Senator Jim Brochin, County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and former State Delegate Johnny Olszewski Jr.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council Thursday voted unanimously to make Don Mohler the 13th county executive. Mohler will finish the term of Kevin Kamenetz, who died two weeks ago.

 

 

Baltimore County Police Department

Three more teens have been charged as adults with first-degree murder in the death of a Baltimore County police officer, authorities said Wednesday.

Fifteeen-year-old Darrell Jaymar Ward, 16-year-old Derrick Eugene Matthews, and 17-year-old Eugene Robert Genius IV were charged in the killing of officer Amy Caprio. 

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond Tuesday night took herself out of the running to complete Kevin Kamenetz’s term as county executive. Kamenetz died nearly two weeks ago and his term ends December 3. Almond said no thanks even though she had enough votes on the County Council to land the job.

 

Baltimore County Police Department

A 16-year-old charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of a Maryland police officer has been ordered held without bail.

Dawnta Anthony Harris, of Baltimore, has been charged in the death Monday of Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio. He made his first court appearance by video Tuesday. 

Valerie Ervin for Governor

When Valerie Ervin announced Thursday she would run for governor, she tapped as her running mate former Baltimore County School Board member Marisol Johnson.

 

The campaign hopes Johnson will help them in what is considered a key battleground in the governor’s race.

 

John Lee

Baltimore County school officials are to present their proposed budget to the County Council Thursday. At the same time, they’re working on a five-year strategic plan for the schools. 

 

All this is going on while Interim School Superintendent Verletta White’s future remains in limbo, and her supporters on the school board make another pitch to the state school superintendent to allow them to hire her permanently.

 

 

 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died suddenly Thursday morning of cardiac arrest. He was 60. 

 

Kamenetz’s death sent shockwaves through the county courthouse.

 

 

John Lee

Two Democrats running for Baltimore County Executive are promising to build three new high schools, Dulaney, Lansdowne and Towson. But that promise would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and it’s not clear where they would find the money.

 

 

John Lee

Earlier this month, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz delivered his final budget message to the County Council. He reflected on his 24 years in office, 16 years on the council, and the last eight years as county executive.

 

“Over the decades, I probably met with every single resident at least once,” Kamenetz said. “Or maybe it just feels that way.”

 

 

Baltimore County’s school board voted Tuesday night to remove the word "acting" from Verletta White’s title and make it just Superintendent of Schools.

Now, White, who has been acting superintendent for nearly a year, says it’s time to hit the reset button and begin working to restore people’s faith in the county school system.

John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board Tuesday night decided to delay a decision to renovate Lansdowne High School until its next meeting in May.

Some board members objected to the planned renovation, saying that Lansdowne is considered the high school in the worst shape in the county and should be replaced.

Yuya Tamai/flickr

The Baltimore County Council is considering tightening up the laws on pet owners to protect animals from extreme weather. 

 

But council members were warned Tuesday that what they were considering might actually do pets harm.

 

 

John Lee

Reuben Jordan is grabbing a snack before class at the cafe on The Community College of Baltimore County’s Essex campus. Jordan is 34 and has been going to college off and on for ten years, but keeps getting derailed. Twice family members have died just before he was to take final exams. But now Jordan is back and has his sights set on being trained in respiratory care.

 

“I’m just trying to be successful, get my career under way and hopefully on to bigger and better things,” Jordan said.

 

 

John Lee

 

 

 

The Baltimore County School Board’s meeting Tuesday night broke out in open warfare, as members grappled with two controversial issues. The board green lighted a $140 million computer contract, and decided to move ahead on a nationwide search for a new school superintendent.  

John Lee

There were calls last night to change the way Baltimore County government conducts itself. 

 

On the same night the county council considered changes to the county charter, protesters demanded an audit, as well as more access to lawmakers and transparency.

 

 

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