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

  

  The Baltimore County Council is deciding whether to ask voters to force the county executive to cough up information when council members demand it. It’s part of a proposed change to the county’s charter.

 

John Lee

A Baltimore County Councilman says the county is ignoring its own zoning laws. Councilman Wade Kach is proposing legislation he said would make the county abide by its own rules when building on county-owned property.

John Lee

  Students walked out Wednesday at thousands of schools across the country, including Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County. They were demanding action on gun violence. 

 

Perry Hall High is in Congressman Andy Harris’s district, and the incumbent congressman is being challenged on his record of being a strong supporter of gun rights.

 

 

John Lee

  

It wasn’t supposed to be about her. But last night’s public hearing by the Baltimore County School Board on the qualifications for the next school superintendent turned into a referendum on interim school superintendent Verletta White.

 

In the lobby of the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Oakleigh Elementary School Principal Sharon Mason was handing out white carnations to those who came out to support White.

 

“We know her,” Mason said. “We trust her. She’e been a great leader for us in the past year.”

 

John Lee

Former Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance Thursday pleaded guilty to four counts of perjury. Prosecutors are recommending Dance serve time in jail.

 

Dance admits he did not disclose nearly $147,000 he earned from consulting jobs while he was running the county schools. Those payments include money he received from a company he helped win a contract from the county.

 

 

Tradepoint Atlantic

Tradepoint Atlantic, the developer that is bringing economic life back to Sparrows Point in eastern Baltimore County, plans to ask the county this year for help to pay infrastructure costs at the site. When that happens, the county will be balancing Tradepoint’s promise of thousands of jobs with a tightening budget and expected opposition from those who might see it as corporate welfare.

John Lee

  

Parents and teachers recently gathered with school administrators and it had the feeling of a classroom exercise. They sat around tables and made T-charts with poster paper and markers. On the left, they listed safety and security problems, on the right possible solutions. Christopher Jakubiak, who has two daughters, one at Dumbarton Middle, the other at West Towson Elementary, wasted no time telling his number one top-of-the-T-chart worry.

 

“What happens when an active shooter or someone who is intent on harming kids shows up at the school grounds?” Jakubiak asked.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

If you want to run for the Baltimore County School board, tick tock. Tuesday night is the deadline to file to be a candidate for the county’s first partially elected school board. 

 

At the last minute and after a plea for candidates, the races are becoming more competitive. 

 

 

Kevin Kamenetz for Maryland

  

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced his running mate Thursday in his campaign to become Maryland’s next governor. 

 

Kamenetz begins his sprint in a crowded Democratic field when members of his own party are challenging Kamenetz over how he’s handling the county’s finances.

 

 

The Baltimore County School Board heard a passionate plea from its student member last night for support for the student-driven March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C., in response to the mass murder of 17 people at a Broward County, Florida, high school. 

 

The board did not take a stand on whether to support the March 24 demonstration.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board agreed last night to start the process for a nationwide search for a permanent school superintendent.

 

 

John Lee

MTA bus 63 pulls up to Tradepoint Atlantic at Sparrows Point in Southeast Baltimore County. This route’s only been running for a couple of weeks and there are no passengers on Angela Davis’s bus. But Davis expects that to change.

“It’s cool that the buses are coming down here to the jobs so people can get to work,” Davis said.

 

 

John Lee

  

The Baltimore County Council—Democrats as well as Republicans—are defying County Executive Kevin Kamenetz over his plans to build a new Dulaney High School. Members from both parties sent a letter to Kamenetz Tuesday, putting him on notice they will block the project from getting off the ground this year.

 

 

JohnLee

  

Governor Larry Hogan is making no commitments as to how much the state will kick in to help Baltimore County pay for a new Dulaney High School, despite concerns about the cost of the project.

 

A Baltimore County Councilman is accusing County Executive Kevin Kamenetz of making fiscal decisions that are unsustainable.

 

Last fall, Kamenetz said he’d have to think about building a new Dulaney High School. Last week, he decided to do it. Councilman Tom Quirk is concerned the outgoing county executive is making promises the county won’t be able to keep.

 

 

John Lee

  

The Baltimore County School Board heard last night from the county council chairman, two teachers of the year and others who want Interim School Superintendent Verletta  White to be given the job permanently.

 

That show of support comes as there are calls for both a state audit and an expanded county audit of the county schools’ finances.

 

Rob Ferrell/Goucher

Ashley Aylward is a senior at Goucher College in Towson, majoring in political science. She wants to run for office one day. When she opened a Democratic gubernatorial forum at the Ungar Athenaeum at Goucher, Aylward wanted the seven candidates who particiapated to know something about young voters.

 

"Contrary to popular opinion, we do care about issues far greater than the legalization of marijuana,” Aylward said.

 

John Lee

 

Some people who live near Baltimore County’s animal shelter in Baldwin  say the sound of barking dogs is blasting into their neighborhood and dumping on their quality of life. The County Council is considering legislation that would spell out how many barks and yelps could land the pound in the doghouse.

 

Pat McDonough/Facebook

 

“The thing about Baltimore County is, it has potential for greatness, and it has the potential for disaster.”

 

Tune in to Delegate Pat McDonough’s radio show Saturday nights on WCBM-680, and you’ll hear callers like Barbara giving her full-throated support for the President, and McDonough giving it right back.

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 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.

 

Pages