Matt Purdy

Senior Producer, Maryland Morning

Matt Purdy is senior producer of Maryland Morning. He keeps an eye on city government, health policy, history, science, and music. Before coming to the show, he was a freelance reporter and producer in the WYPR newsroom. He reported on everything from crime in the city to legislation in the General Assembly. His short radio documentary about his bicycle trip across the United States won a 2010 ShortDoc Award from the Third Coast Audio Festival. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Maryland Morning
9:46 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Gov. Larry Hogan's First 100 Days

Credit Chris Connelly

A week from today will mark Governor Larry Hogan's 100th day in office.  Yesterday, Hogan took a moment to reflect on his time in office and on the state of Maryland politics.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Wed April 22, 2015

The Many Legal Questions Raised By Freddie Gray's Arrest

The protest Monday night at the Baltimore Police Department's Western District headquarters.
Credit Jonna McKone

The U.S. Justice Department is now investigating whether Baltimore City police violated the civil rights of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died Sunday, a week after he was injured while in police custody.

Police arrested Gray after a foot chase in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. A police report obtained by "The Baltimore Sun" said Gray was quote "arrested without force or incident”. The question investigators are trying to answer: how was he injured? Officials say they will conclude their criminal investigation by May 1st. With us by phone to talk through some of the questions this case raises is Susan Goering, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. Also with us is David Gray, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

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Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Wed April 22, 2015

How One Woman Changed A Law To Practice Law In Maryland

Maryland’s women lawyers are about to publish their history. It’s taken nearly a decade to get what they call the “Finding Justice Project” this far, and that’s what the book to be published next month will be titled, “Finding Justice: The History of Women Lawyers in Maryland.” The driving force behind the project is Lynne Battaglia, who has served on the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, since 2001. Sheilah visited her in her chambers in Annapolis to ask her about the project and the book she edited.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Wed April 22, 2015

California Twang And The Streets Of Baltimore

Perlman Street in East Baltimore
Credit Dorret / Creative Commons

On May 2nd at the Creative Alliance in East Baltimore, musicians Arty Hill and Caleb Stine and their bands will join a host of other folks from the mid-Atlantic region and beyond in a show called California Twang: A Tribute to West Coast Country. The concert will benefit Believe in Music, a music education program which is run by the Living Classrooms Foundation. Arty and Caleb join Tom Hall in the studio with their guitars.

Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon April 20, 2015

How Trauma Impacts Baltimore Residents' Health

Vacant homes in Baltimore
Credit Eli Pousson / Creative Commons

Trauma is a word many of us associate with the battlefield, or perhaps the athletic field – a wound, a shock, a blow--physical or mental. Now there’s growing understanding of how cities are affected by trauma – the people who live in some neighborhoods, and entire communities – and there’s more awareness of the awful toll trauma takes on health.

Today the Urban Health Institute at Johns Hopkins has assembled dozens of experts to look at the impact of trauma on cities and on health. One of the speakers will be Baltimore’s Health Commissioner Leana Wen. She has stopped by WYPR first to discuss trauma with us.

Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Did Abraham Lincoln's Last Speech Inspire John Wilkes Booth To Action?

President Abraham Lincoln
Credit Alexander Gardner / Public Domain

After four long, lethal years, the Civil War seemed to hurtle to an end: two days after the confederate government evacuated its capital, Richmond, in early April, President Lincoln and his 12-year-old son Tad visited that smoldering city. In his tall hat Lincoln walked Richmond’s streets, a moving target, but no one fired at him. In less than a week came Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and two days after that a jubilant crowd gathered in front of the White House. Lincoln stood in the window over the north door, and spoke to them – words that may have sealed his fate. When Richard Striner, professor of history at Washington College in Chestertown, visited us last month, we asked whether that speech was the first time Lincoln had publicly expressed support for voting rights for freed blacks.

Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Wed April 15, 2015

An Arts Festival For All Seasons

Todd Olson, Executive Director of the Columbia Festival of the Arts

The Columbia Festival of the Arts is about to launch its new season of events, and they do so with a new schedule and a new executive director. Todd Olson took the reins of the 28-year-old festival in August. He comes to Howard County from St. Petersburg, FL, where he served for 11 years as the artistic director of the American Stage Theatre Company. The Columbia Festival of the Arts Spring Festival opens tomorrow, and runs through the weekend. It’s called "American Routes". Todd Olson joins Tom Hall this morning to talk about it.

Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Will There Be Fights Or Friendship On Last Day Of The General Assembly?

The Maryland State House
Credit musicvet2003 / Creative Commons

Before the Maryland General Assembly ends its 2015 session at midnight, it has a lot of work to do and a lot of negotiating with Gov. Larry Hogan. The session has been a relatively quiet and calm so far. But it’s not over yet. Compromise on the state budget has to be reached and a handful of bills could still be passed. With Sheilah in the studio to talk about it is Fraser Smith, WYPR’s senior news analyst. And, with us by phone from Annapolis is Chris Connelly, WYPR’s state house reporter.

Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Return To The Scene Of The Crime: "Evolution Of A Criminal"

Credit Darius Clark Monroe

When Darius Clark Monroe was sixteen, he and two friends robbed a bank, at gunpoint. They were caught; Darius cut a plea bargain and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. While i incarcerated, Darius earned a GED, and started working on a college degree; he was released after serving 3 years, finished college and went on to study film-making at New York University. In his new documentary film, “Evolution of a Criminal”, Monroe turns the camera on himself and his family, friends, and community to explore that life-altering decision he made to rob a bank as a teenager in Texas.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Despite A Turbulent Relationship, Maryland Still Mourned Lincoln

President Lincoln's funeral procession in Washington, D.C.
Credit Library of Congress / Public Domain

Tomorrow marks 150 years since John Wilkes Booth, offspring of a prominent Maryland family of actors, slipped through the back passages of Ford’s Theater in Washington to the President’s Box, and fired a .44-calibre pistol at President Lincoln’s head. Lincoln died the next morning at age 56.

Lincoln had a complicated relationship with Maryland, which stayed in the Union but was home to many Confederate sympathizers. Charles Mitchell, who compiled the sourcebook Maryland Voices of the Civil War, has looked closely at that relationship, examining it through primary documents and letters. Charles Mitchell joins Sheilah in the studio.

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