Sheilah Kast

Host, Maryland Morning

Sheilah Kast has hosted WYPR’s Maryland Morning since it started in 2006. 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.

Pages

Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon August 31, 2015

Motion Hearings In Freddie Gray Case Begin Wednesday; What Should We Expect?

Motion hearings for the trial of the six officers in the death of Freddie Gray begin Wednesday.
Credit CNN.com

Hearings in the trial of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray begin Wednesday. Mayor Rawlings-Blake said a few days ago that city officials know that an unpopular ruling by the judge could be a flashpoint for protests, and the city is preparing for that possibility. The pre-trial motions will be argued before Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams in two sessions – on Wednesday, and a week from Thursday, Sept. 10. Among the defense motions is one to move the trial out of Baltimore, and some to remove Baltimore State’s Attorney from prosecuting the case. Judge Williams already has ruled on some motions: last week, he rejected a subpoena by the defense lawyers for the prosecutors to take the witness stand at Wednesday’s hearing. Here to catch us up on what’s at stake on Wednesday is David Jaros, a law professor at the University of Baltimore and Doug Colbert, law professor from University of Maryland.

Read more
Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Fri August 28, 2015

Goucher Prison Education Partnership

Late last month, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to the MD Correctional Institute in Jessup to announce that the Obama Administration plans to introduce a pilot program that would allow a limited number of incarcerated people to receive Pell Grants for the college courses they take in prison. Congress banned the use of government grants for prisoners in 1994. The Obama Administration hopes that the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program will be a way of working around that ban to make grants available to some inmates. 

Read more
Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Fri August 28, 2015

Novelist Laura Lippman On Motherhood And Writing

Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
Credit HarperCollins Publishers

As a novelist, Laura Lippman keeps a pace like the tempo she set meeting deadlines as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun:  Lippman has published 21 novels in 18 years. But there was a curious gap in her signature series, the mysteries built around reporter-turned-private investigator Tess Monaghan. Until last spring, we hadn’t gotten a peek at Tess since 2011, when she was solving a mystery while on bed rest for a difficult pregnancy.Roughly the same time Tess became a mother, Lippman did, too.  Sheilah sat down with Lippman last February when she published her 12th Tess Monaghan mystery, called “Hush, Hush”.  

Read more
Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Wed August 26, 2015

Remembering Civil Rights Activist, Julian Bond

Civil rights activist, Julian Bond, died ten days ago at the age of 75.
Credit Reston Community Center via flickr Creative Commons

The charismatic equal-rights champion, Julian Bond, died ten days ago. He was 75. He served two decades in the Georgia legislature, and taught history for two decades at the University of Virginia – but he was connected to Maryland, also, through the dozen years he served as chair of the NAACP, headquartered here in Baltimore. All that came after the demonstrations and sit-ins of the 1960's, when Bond became a national figure as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. One admirer wrote last week, “SNCC was the #BlackLivesMatter movement before there were hashtags.” 
Read more
Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Fri August 21, 2015

The Wealth Gap: How Black Familes Have Been Excluded From Home Equity

Uncle Joe's house, furthest to left.
Credit Lawrence Lanahan

This spring, during #BlackLivesMatter protests, during the events that led to the riot in April, and the frightening violence that has strafed some Baltimore neighborhoods since then we’ve thought often of the reporting we did three years ago in our effort to look deep into the roots of inequality in the Baltimore region.  We called that year-long series, “The Lines Between Us.”  This morning we’re bringing you some of its episodes. 

In late 2012 we focused on the wealth gap, which has a big impact on which families get ahead and which families get stuck. Even more than income, wealth adds up all the financial assets families can use to get ahead which plays a big part in economic mobility.

This spring, in March 2015, two public-policy institutes reported that the typical black family has just 6 percent of the wealth of the typical white household – about $7 thousand dollars saved up compared to $111 thousand dollars for a typical white family.  The typical  average Latino household has just slightly more, a little over $8 thousand dollars.

Where does that wealth gap come from? And what does it mean in people’s lives? We started with our then-senior producer Lawrence Lanahan, who had the story of an 88-year-old African-American World War II veteran from West Baltimore.   

Pages