Midday | WYPR


Monday-Friday from noon-1:00, Tom Hall and his guests are talking about what’s on your mind, and what matters most to Marylanders:  the latest news, local and national politics, education and the environment, popular culture and the arts, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine.  We welcome your questions and comments. E-mail us at midday@wypr.org, tweet us: @middaytomhall, or call us at 410-662-8780.
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Meet the Midday team

Midday programs with Sheilah Kast as host ended on September 16, 2016

Archive prior to October 5, 2015

  On Midday, we speak to Ned and Constance Sublette about their history of slavery, “The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry.” After the U.S. outlawed importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, it doubled-down on generating new slaves. Slave-owners in Maryland and Virginia sold thousands of slaves further South; many in these states made bigger fortunes selling slaves than from the labor of the slaves who stayed in the Chesapeake region. The economic value of enslaved people was the core of the southern economy. Slaves were essentially the savings accounts of their owners, the collateral behind mortgages in the South. Thus emancipation was not just an economic setback for the 15 percent of southerners who held slaves – it completely dissolved the south’s economy.

2016 Baltimore Mayoral Candidate Carl Stokes

Nov 3, 2015

  Today we’ll begin the first of many dialogues with Baltimore’s 2016 mayoral candidates. Up first: Two-term City Council member of the 12th district, Carl Stokes. We’ll discuss his plans for the city, which include making City Hall more transparent to taxpayers, and starting an “uptown Renaissance” where underserved communities are redeveloped. We’ll also follow up on our conversation from last week about the Baltimore Housing scandals.

Sunday marked the beginning of the 2015-16 Open Enrollment period for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Check out Maryland's health exchange site here. At noon we speak to Kathy Westcoat, president and CEO of HealthCare Access Maryland, a nonprofit that helps to enroll customers. We'll talk about what’s changing this year, and about the estimated 16,000 eligible but uninsured people who live in the Baltimore region. 

Congressman Chris Van Hollen is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski. He represents Maryland’s 8th District, which encompasses parts of Montgomery, Frederick and Carroll counties. Congressman Van Hollen was elected to Congress in 2002. We'll ask Van Hollen about polls that show he is trailing behind his opponents, and about newly elected House Speaker, Paul Ryan

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 IBtimes.com

  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.


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.