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

West Midlands Police / Flickr via Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the Baltimore City Police Department began its pilot body-worn camera program -- 150 officers will be testing models over the next two months. We speak to Commissioner Kevin Davis about the program and the continued uptick in homicides. Then, David Rocah, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of MD, describes concerns regarding the police department's body-camera policy and transparency.

  Today on Midday we’ll hear from a panel of experts including City Councilman, Carl Stokes, and Greg Countess, director of housing advocacy and community economic development at Legal Aid, on the controversy at the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Residents at some of Baltimore’s public housing developments are dealing with no heat and no water this fall. And yesterday, Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano said a federal investigation is underway over allegations that some housing maintenance workers demanded sex in return for repairs.

At the top of the hour, Baltimore Sun education reporter Erica Green and Chair of the Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Will McKenna join us to explain the discord over funding between city schools and charter schools.

Justice Reinvestment

Oct 28, 2015
Still Burning / Creative Commons via Flickr

About three out of five people who enter prison in Maryland are sent there for non-violent crimes. But, over the past decade, Maryland has been sentencing even non-violent offenders to more time behind bars. A high-level panel of police chiefs, prison experts, judges, legislators, and others is looking at facts like these to figure out whether Maryland can reduce sentences and do a better job of rehabilitating inmates and supervising them when they get out -- in other words, spending less money, or spending it more wisely, without reducing public safety.

Apprenticeships and Baltimore City Contracts

Oct 27, 2015

On Midday Tuesday, we’ll talk about apprenticeships. They can be a path to upward mobility – young people learn skills and get connected to a job without taking on college debt. But the U.S. has not seen the surge in apprenticeships that have shaped England’s labor force in the last 15 years. Why not? We’ll talk to Del. Cory McCray, D-Baltimore, who apprenticed to become an electrician, and to Tom Bewick, who designed the U.K.’s apprentice system.

Rueters via

  It’s been six months since the riot in Baltimore beginning in the late afternoon of April 27th, following the funeral of 25 year-old Freddie Gray. The actions from that night affected as many as 400 Baltimore City businesses. While the unrest was short lived, its impacts are still evident for businesses in places like Mondawmin Mall and Fells Point. Today on Midday, we’ll talk to two reporters who wrote about Baltimore's recovery: Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times and Colin Campbell of the Baltimore Sun; and Lance Lucas, the President of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce to determine the extent of the damage to the city’s businesses and reputation.

 CNN’s medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is coming to town tomorrow for the Baltimore Speakers Series presented by Stevenson University. He’s not only a journalist and multiple Emmy winner for reports on CNN, he’s also a practicing neurosurgeon, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University. WYPR's Sheilah Kast is host of the Speakers Series. She spoke with Dr. Gupta last week.

Maryland high schools are about to get their first look at results from the PARCC exam – a relatively new standardized test of complex skills. We ask interim state superintendent of schools Jack Smith how the scores will be used. Plus: headlines from the Baltimore Business Journal with Sarah Gantz; Jed Dietz of the Maryland Film Festival on the Parkway Theater’s 100th birthday celebration and local brewer Jon Zerivitz on Baltimore’s craft brewing scene.

How Is The Left Shaping Up For 2016?

Oct 22, 2015
Jason Reed/Reuters, via Landov

  As Joe Biden decides not to run, Jim Webb pulls out and Hillary Moves into the hot seat, we'll discuss how the left is shaping up for the 2016 Presidential race. We’ll look at Republicans on the Hill too. Will Paul Ryan's own party keep him from becoming Speaker of the House?

Our guests are Max Hilaire, chair of the Political Science Department at Morgan State University; John Fritze, Washington correspondent for the Baltimore Sun; and Rebecca Sinderbrand, political editor for the Washington Post.


 From in-home daycare and child care centers to nannies and babysitters, parents often see their budgets strained by the high cost of child care. While the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that families spend no more than 10 percent, a recent study by the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, found that very few people live in areas where child care costs are at all close to that threshold. In this hour of Midday, EPI's Elise Gould and Maryland Family Network's Margaret Williams join Sheilah to discuss the financial burden placed on American families with young children.

October is breast cancer awareness month, so we want to spend this hour discussing detection, treatment and prevention. We’ll meet Leslie Ries, who learned after her surgery that her family had a history of breast cancer, and talk to her and her daughter about decisions they face. And we’ll learn about this weekend’s Komen Race for the Cure from someone who’s helping organize it. 

Also joining us is Dr. Vered Stearns. She’s co-director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Program, and holds the Breast Cancer Research Chair in Oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.