Sheilah Kast

Host, Midday

Sheilah Kast is the host of Midday, Monday-Friday 12-1 pm.  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.

Ways to Connect

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis joins Midday to share his reaction to last week’s violence  --two black men shot by police, in Baton Rouge and near Minneapolis, and five police officers killed by a black sniper in Dallas, after a Black Lives Matter march. We ask Davis what police are doing to confront violent crime, including near-daily homicides. We ask about the number of officers who have left the department and what’s being done to fill those vacancies, as well as what to expect from the U.S. Justice Department’s review of Baltimore. Plus a look at Baltimore’s new policy about using force, the first full rewrite in more than a decade. And your questions for Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Snipers in Dallas killed five police officers Thursday night, the deadliest attack on law enforcement since September 11th. The shooting occurred at the end of a protest following the fatal shootings of African-American men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. What does this shooting mean for the Black Lives Matter movement? How does the path forward look for those calling for police reform? Professors Karsonya Wise Whitehead and Lawrence Brown join us to discuss what Dallas means for the future of protests. And Baltimore Police Lt. Kenneth Butler, president of a local group for black police officers, shares his reaction to last week’s violence.

During a portion of the hour usually devoted to Midday, WYPR carried live special coverage of the police ambush in Dallas. Five police officers were killed and seven injured after a protest in an ambush by snipers. With the shooting in Dallas and the recent deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police, we opened the phones to your calls and emails for the remainder of the hour.  

Ahead of the Democratic and Republican conventions later this month, where presumptive nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are expected to announce their running mates, we discuss the pros and cons of rumored vice-presidential picks. Will Clinton make history by choosing a female or Latino running mate? Can Trump select an experienced politician without compromising his anti-establishment platform? Does it matter what part of the country a running mate hails from? Political scientists Melissa Deckman and Todd Eberly join us as we discuss the candidate’s V.P. shortlists, the importance of grassroots support, and how the unpopularity of both major party candidates may impact turnout this November. 

Buying a car can be a daunting proposition. Which make and model? New or used? What about certified pre-owned? How long is too long to be paying off a car? What about extended warranties and the other bells and whistles dealerships offer? And just what’s the cost of holding out for that red paint job? Today we’ll talk about what you can do to get a fair price for the vehicle you want. If you’re in the market for a car - and don’t want to get taken for a ride - tune in to hear tips of the trade from Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for automotive research company Kelley Blue Book. 

Frank Tasche / Flickr via Creative Commons

Marriage rates are at historic lows. According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of 2010 Census data, while in 1960 nearly three out of four of all adults were married, today just half are. Why are Americans delaying or even shunning the institution? What could this decline mean for their economic futures? Does marriage still matter? University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen explains what factors, from gender equality to educational attainment, have played a role in the decline of marriage rates.

It’s summer and the mosquitoes are here. But this year that familiar buzz has a menacing quality. The Zika virus is spreading. There are now over 900 confirmed cases in the United States, 31 in Maryland. So far, all of them are travel-related. But the mosquitoes that transmit Zika are found in this country as well. Experts expect the first case of Zika transmission within the United States any day now. How can municipalities slow the spread of this virus? What are scientists doing to combat mosquito-borne diseases like Zika? And what can we do ourselves? Our guests: Joseph Conlon, technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association and retired US Navy entomologist; George Dimopoulos, professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.

Why Exercise?

Jun 30, 2016
Fit Approach/Flickr via Creative Commons

Recent headlines suggest that diet is more powerful in weight loss than is exercise -- but there are countless benefits from exercise beyond losing weight. Yet as a country, we drag our heels. Barely half of American adults meet recommended guidelines for aerobic exercise, far fewer than follow other health guidelines like not smoking and getting enough sleep. Today we look at a range of reasons to work out, from improving memory and sleep to warding off depression and extinguishing stress. We discuss the value of fitness trackers, and how to get back into a routine after an injury.

Hate crimes against Muslims have surged in the last year. And Muslims have been a popular target during the presidential campaign: Ben Carson said a Muslim could not become president; Ted Cruz called for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods. And Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants, a position he’s recently softened. Some Muslims say they feel less safe than at any time in recent memory, even after 9-11. Scholars say a long-standing fear of Islam among Westerners is driving the current wave of hostility. What are the roots of this anxiety? And how do terrorist attacks by people claiming a Muslim identity play into our fears? via Creative Commons

According to industry experts, health care costs are expected to rise 6.5 percent in the coming year, driven up by the growing cost of medical care and drugs, as well as increasing consumption of services. As premiums, deductibles, and co-pays climb, we ask, are these increases a course correction or the new normal? And who’s being hit hardest? Margot Sanger Katz of the New York Times, and Dr. Peter Beilenson, CEO of Evergreen Health Cooperative, join us to discuss. Plus, we dissect why health care co-ops face such tough odds and look at an alternative to the Affordable Care Act proposed by House Republicans.