Sheilah Kast | WYPR

Sheilah Kast

Host, On The Record

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.  Originally, she hosted WYPR's  Dupont-Columbia University award-winning Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast from 2006 - October 2015.  She began her career at The Washington Star, where she covered the Maryland and Virginia legislatures, utilities, energy and taxes, as well as financial and banking regulation.  She learned the craft of broadcasting at ABC News; as a Washington correspondent for fifteen years, she covered the White House, Congress, and the 1991 Moscow coup that signaled the end of the Soviet empire.  Sheilah has been a substitute host on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Diane Rehm Show.  She has launched and hosted two weekly interview shows on public TV, one about business and one about challenges facing older people.

The National Archives, FHQ-NCR/MDW / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Afro newspaper is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. We mark the milestone by sitting down with Afro publisher Jake Oliver, to discuss a series he edited drawing on the weekly’s coverage of presidential inaugurations from Teddy Roosevelt through Lyndon Johnson. How did the black community view these new presidents, and what role did blacks play as they took office? How did the tension between being invited and being included evolve?

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The city of Baltimore and the U.S. Department of Justice just signed a document that could drastically re-shape how the city’s police do their work. The long-awaited consent decree agreement grows out of a scathing review of police activities by the Justice Department. The Department’s 14-month investigation decried years of what it called discriminatory and unconstitutional policing that disproportionately affects African-Americans. 

A new program offers a twist on traditional teacher mentoring groups. The Teacher Exchange pairs new teachers with the ultimate critics - students. Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields is a recipient of a 2016 Open Society Institute Baltimore community fellowship. For the next year and a half he will be working on his project at Coppin Academy, a public charter high school in Baltimore.

Maryland Book Bank

Kids from low-income families tend to grow up in homes with fewer books than their middle-class peers. And that difference can undermine how well they read, and what they can achieve in school. The non-profit Maryland Book Bank aims to remedy this imbalance by collecting and distributing free books. Founder Mark Fiering fills us in on efforts to put books in the hands of eager readers. 

Thousands of Baltimore City residents have outstanding warrants for failing to appear for court dates on misdemeanor charges. A partnership between Baltimore City and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is offering people a second chance to appear in court. We speak to Doug Colbert, professor of Law at the University of Maryland and director of the law school’s Access to Justice clinic, about who is eligible for a second chance, and how to proceed.

Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr via Creative Commons

The 2017 General Assembly convenes on this day, facing many environmental issues -- from fracking to pollution trading, tax credits for electric cars to cleaning up the Bay. Tim Wheeler, managing editor and project writer for the Bay Journal, joins us with a preview of the session’s anticipated environmental agenda.

Steven Depolo/Flickr via Creative Commons

Today we’re talking about cancer, and a surprising rise in oral cancer. A recent analysis found that insurance claims for oral cancer have skyrocketed over the last five years, particularly among men. What explains this rise, why do men appear to be more vulnerable than women, and what can be done to prevent cancer of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and throat? Dr. Gypsyamber D'Souza, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, joins us in studio.

The​ decade-long ​legal​ ​struggle​ ​between​ ​Maryland​ ​and​ advocates for ​its historically​ black​ ​​universities​ ​and​ ​​colleges​ ​is​ ​back​ ​in​ ​federal​ ​court. The​ ​HBCU coalition alleges​ ​Maryland​ ​has​ ​underfunded​ ​its​ ​historically​ ​black​ ​institutions and​ ​allowed​ ​other​ ​state​ ​schools​ ​to​ ​duplicate​ ​their​ ​programs, draining​ ​students​ ​away​ ​and keeping HBCUs from achieving racial diversity. “Frankly what happens is that white students will not go to the HBCU. They’ll go to the traditionally white institution if both schools offer the same programs," says our guest, Jon Greenbaum of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is one of the lawyers representing the coalition. We hear a different view from commentator Laslo Boyd, former acting state secretary of higher education.

Time for the next installment in our weekly feature from the Stoop Storytelling Series. Mario Rolando Diaz recounts his escape from El Salvador during the country’s Civil War. His story has been edited for brevity. The full version is available here.

You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast, all at

Instagram: @ShareaBabyMD / ShareBaby Baby Pantry

Babies go through dozens of diapers each week - an expensive but necessary purchase to keep infants healthy. But when families can’t make ends meet, they may resort to stretching out their supply. Social worker Eliseba Osore saw first hand the need for free diapers. Osore tells us how, as an Open Society Institute Community Fellow, she plans to expand her diaper bank into a free baby pantry - with clothing, furniture, and other supplies.