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 Podcast
11:00 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Apprenticeships in Maryland; The Given World; World Refugee Festival

Credit Western Area Power / Creative Commons

An apprentice /can learn career skills without taking on student debt. Apprenticeships have been concentrated in the building trades, but there’s a move to create more apprenticeships in non-traditional careers – like cybersecurity and healthcare. We talk to Maryland’s labor secretary and a workforce developer from Washington state.

Then –Marian Palaia has set her first novel, "The Given World" in America after the Vietnam War. Tom Hall and Palaia discuss the meaning of home and her characters' search to find it.

Plus: Spoken-word artist Bilphena Yahwon  came to America from Liberia as a refugee when she was 7 years old. She talks with Tom about the cultural challenges of growing up an African in America.

Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Growing Up African In America

Credit Creative Alliance

Saturday is World Refugee Day, and the Creative Alliance is using it as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the talented refugee and immigrant artists who currently live in Baltimore. The World Refugee Day Street Festival starts at noon on Saturday in East Baltimore. There will be music, dance, food, and crafts.

Joining Tom Hall in the studio is a woman who will be one of the featured performers at the festival, Bilphena Yahwon, a spoken word artist and refugee from West Africa. She will be performing at the World Refugee Day Street Festival on Saturday along with Sudanese musician, Mosno Al-Moseeki and Persian musician, Behfar Bahadoran. It’s from 12-3 on Conkling Street in East Baltimore. The event is produced by the Creative Alliance, Baltimore Resettlement Center, International Rescue Committee, and the Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon June 15, 2015

A Proposed Change In Section 8 Housing Could Allow Movement To The Suburbs

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture // Flickr Creative Commons

Like cities across the country, Baltimore for decades concentrated subsidized housing into areas that became racially segregated, even if they hadn’t started out that way. Lawsuits have been filed, housing mobility programs have started. The segregation remains.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, is now considering a change that would allow more flexibility in where people who hold public housing vouchers can live. Voucher holders now concentrated in the city could move to the suburbs. With Sheilah on the line from HUD to talk about it is Kathy O’Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at HUD.

Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Baltimore R&B And Soul Star Maysa Gets "Back 2 Love"

Credit The Blueroses Entertainment Group, LLC

On Thursday night, the Reginald F. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a concert by the internationally acclaimed jazz, soul, and R&B singer, Maysa.

Maysa grew up in Baltimore, and she still calls Baltimore home. She studied classical singing at Morgan State University, and she has toured the world with the likes of Stevie Wonder, and the British jazz/funk band, Incognito. Twenty years ago, she released her first solo album, and last month, she released a new album, "Back 2 Love", to mark that milestone. She joins Tom Hall to talk about it.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Annapolis Celebrates Return of Revolutionary Ship

Credit thierry llansades // Flickr Creative Commons

Annapolis will see a grand sight tomorrow: the precise replica of the tall three-masted frigate that carried the Marquis de Lafayette back to America bearing the good news of French reinforcements for America’s fight for independence. There will be ceremonies, a fife-and-drum parade and a wreath laying.

Joining Sheilah to put tomorrow’s events in context is architect and amateur historian Peter Schwab. He’s past president of the ‘Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of Maryland’ and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati descendants of Revolutionary army officers. The current president, Russell Rich, has also been working to welcome the Hermione. The Hermione will be in Annapolis through tomorrow, and then comes to Baltimore for the weekend.

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Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival Returns This Saturday

Credit Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival

For the last five years, the Maryland State Arts Council has produced a festival of music, arts, crafts and food that celebrates the great ethnic and cultural diversity of our state. This year’s edition of the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival takes place tomorrow at the Creative Alliance in East Baltimore. Cliff Murphy, Director of Maryland Traditions, as well as Brooks Long, a rock and soul musician who is one of the featured performers at the festival join us in the studio.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Fri June 12, 2015

How Irish Immigrants Helped Build The B&O Railroad

Credit triforce_goddess64 // Flickr Creative Commons

Walk along Lemmon Street, just a block north of the B&O Railroad Museum on Pratt Street, and you’ll pass a row of little red brick alley houses. They were built in the 1840s for immigrants from the Great Famine in Ireland who had come to work in the rail yards. The houses were boarded up for decades, and the city eventually made plans to raze them. But in the 1990s, a group of citizens stopped the demolition and raised money to restore them.

Today, one of the homes looks just as it would have in the 1840s. Next door is a museum. Tuesday evening, Baltimore Heritage will lead a tour of the museum. Joining Sheilah to talk about it is the president of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, Michael Mellett.

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Maryland Morning
10:45 am
Wed June 10, 2015

How Baltimore Police Are Responding To The Spike In Violent Crime

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As Baltimore reeled from a surge in homicides since April, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts insisted police are focused, and fighting. He said last week at a press conference that the spike in shootings was driven by 175,000 doses of prescription drugs looted from pharmacies during the rioting: "Criminals are selling those stolen drugs, there are turf wars happening which are leading to violence and shootings in our city. We have established a task force with our federal counterparts to bring state and federal charges against individuals who committed crimes, harmed our officers, and broke and looted our businesses in our city."

So far in June, at least 13 more people have died in homicides in Baltimore. We all want to understand the forces at work behind the onslaught of violence, and what could stop it. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis joins Sheilah now to talk about it.

Maryland Morning
10:00 am
Wed June 10, 2015

'Wait, Wait' Host Peter Sagal Returns To His Scripted, Theatrical Roots

Strathmore Hall Music Center.

Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s Wait Wait! Don’t Tell Me is in town this week to play the role of the Narrator in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are finishing up their current season with a semi-staged production of Mr. Bernstein’s famous operetta. Full disclosure: Tom Hall is the chorus master for this production which features the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

Peter Sagal is no stranger to the stage. He’s written a bunch of plays and screenplays, and he’s worked as a stage director and actor. In 2007, he published a very funny book of essays called The Book of Vice: Naughty Things and How to Do Them. Peter Sagal joins Tom in the studio.

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Maryland Morning
9:49 am
Wed June 10, 2015

How Contracts Can Shape Family Relationships

Credit Beacon Press / Creative Commons

What drew us to Martha Erthman’s new book is its title. Ertman is a professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, but the title "Love’s Promises" sounds more like poetry than law. True, the subtitle is a bit more lawyerly: "How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families".

The book is a blend of memoir and case law that argues contracts and informal deals are not the enemy of love and families, but their friend. Professor Ertman joins Sheilah on the line from her home in Washington.

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