Baltimore | WYPR

Baltimore

Rachel Baye

Thirty-five-year-old Cory McCray checked his list of registered Democratic voters before climbing each set of porch steps and knocking on each door in a Northeast Baltimore neighborhood on a recent afternoon.

“I’m Cory McCray, your state delegate,” he told a resident who answered her door. “I’m in a very contentious race, so when you go to the ballot in June, I’ll be trying to elevate from delegate to senator, and I’m just hoping and praying to get your consideration.”

McCray said it was his third time knocking on doors in the neighborhood, so he hoped most people there knew who he is.

Baltimore City Health Department

Some state legislators who represent Baltimore in Annapolis are trying to increase state funding for programs designed to prevent gun violence before it happens.  The officials compared gun violence to a contagious disease at a press conference announcing the legislation Monday in South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood.

statecenter.org

 

A state-commissioned study released Tuesday offers a list of new, alternative uses for State Center in Midtown Baltimore.

The state office complex has been slated for redevelopment for more than a decade. Community members told a state panel Tuesday afternoon that starting over with new plans disregards what they want for their neighborhoods.

baltimorehousing.org

The Baltimore Housing Authority is planning to have the Gilmor Homes public housing community partially demolished by 2019. Gilmor Homes is where Freddie Gray once lived. Last night, Housing Authority officials met with Gilmor Homes residents to lay out their plans. WYPR City Hall reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi talks about it with Nathan Sterner.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

As Baltimore’s homicide rate reached record proportions—343 murders this year—Mayor Catherine Pugh held a candle light vigil for the victims last night at the War Memorial.

University of Maryland Medical System

Asthma makes it difficult for thousands of Baltimoreans to breathe. Decrepit houses, trash and rodents can trigger asthma flare-ups. Would cleaning up poor housing cost less than frequent trips to the ER? A reporting partnership between Kaiser Health News and the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service looked deeply at where asthma flares up in Baltimore and what hospitals are doing about it.

We hear from Kaiser Health News’ senior correspondent Jay Hancock, and from one of the Capital News Service journalists who took part in that project--now a reporter for The Baltimore Sun--Talia Richardson.

Plus, the Breathmobile is run by the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. We speak to Dr. Mary Beth Bollinger, professor pediatrics, is the Breathmobile’s co-founder, and medical director.

More information at these links:

Kaiser Health News story - Hospitals Find Asthma Hot Spots More Profitable to Neglect Than Fix

Capital News Service package of asthma stories - Home Sick

A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project and the Abell Foundation documents stark difference in asthma hospitalization rates in rich versus poor neighborhoods in Baltimore, and reveals a dramatic drop in the far southern part of the city after a pair of nearby coal-fired power plants installed air pollution control devices in 2009. Asthma hospitalization rates in the zip codes for the Cherry Hill, Brooklyn, and Curtis Bay neighborhoods fell 57 percent between 2009 and 2013 – more than twice the drop citywide. 

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

Since Governor Larry Hogan has held the Maryland’s highest elected office, Baltimore has seen homicides go through the roof.

In 2015, there were 344 homicides.

2016: 318 homicides.  2017: So far, 323 homicides.

Hogan wants 2018 to show a different story. And for that – he’s got a plan. 

Over the next few weeks, the Baltimore City Police Department consent decree monitor is hosting community engagement forums to develop a monitoring plan. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi attended one at Frederick Douglas High in West Baltimore; she tells Nathan Sterner that the event did not go exactly as expected.

Mary Rose Madden

A Baltimore City Council committee unanimously approved Tuesday a $12 million youth fund for programs throughout the city.

But before that, dozens of community advocates, parents and young people rallied in front of the Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a community center in Sandtown created after the riots following the death of Freddie Gray, and marched to Frederick Douglass High School, where the council's Education and Youth Committee met.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Late last month, most of the kitchen staff at The Boathouse walked off the job after immigration agents asked the Canton restaurant’s management for their immigration documents. Some of them have returned to work, but the incident sent a chill through Baltimore’s restaurant and Latino communities.

Alma Cocina Latina is just a few blocks from The Boathouse in Canton. The restaurant’s owner, Irena Stein, says starting her Venezuelan restaurant in Canton wasn’t easy.

Rachel Baye

The Baltimore City Health Department is getting a new $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute – Baltimore to aid in the fight against opioid overdoses, city Health Commissioner Leana Wen announced Monday. The money is slated to pay for real-time alerts about overdose spikes and new community engagement efforts.

Google Maps

Speed cameras are back in Baltimore. An earlier system was shut down in 2013 after it was discovered cameras were issuing speeding tickets to cars that weren’t violating the speed limit. Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the implementation of the new cameras in May and said that she hoped the new camera system would renew Baltimoreans’ confidence and bring revenue to the city.

Below is a map showing where the first seven cameras are. They're all in school zones.

In response to the arrest of Jesus Peraza, the Honduran father who was detained after dropping his 8-year-old son off at school, CASA, a Latino community organizing group, held a rally Thursday in front of immigration offices at Hopkins Plaza in downtown Baltimore.

Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who represents northwest Baltimore, was charged in U.S. District Court Friday of accepting cash in exchange for advancing a development project in the city.

Pugh asks the city to come together

Mar 16, 2017

On the 100th day of her term, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh asked the city to come together; to volunteer in schools, create jobs and cheer the success of Baltimore.  It was part of the State of the City address she delivered Thursday.

Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Friday a joint plan with the state to help fill the city school system’s budget gap with $180 million over three years. The plan needs to be approved by the full legislature and Gov. Larry Hogan.

Family Photo

Jenny Carrieri is frustrated that Baltimore County Police appear to be no closer to solving her twin sister’s murder now than they were on an early, snowy morning in 1996.  She charges that detectives have mishandled the case.

“They were not following up on leads, lying, contradicting themselves; it’s just been – it’s incredible what we’ve gone through,” she says.

March 2 marked 21 years since 23-year-old Joann “Jody” LeCornu was shot and killed near the City/County line in Towson.

Effort to give mayor control of Baltimore Police is dead

Mar 3, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

The sponsor of a bill seeking to return control of Baltimore Police back to the city said Friday afternoon he is withdrawing his proposal.

Del. Curt Anderson, a city Democrat, discussed the bill with his colleagues in the city delegation which he chairs.  He cited a three-page opinion from the Attorney General’s Office that said returning control of the police department to the city would be “extremely expensive.”

Pugh administration’s game plan released

Feb 24, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released Friday a report prepared by her transition team that provided recommendations on how to improve transportation, economic development and other areas of the city.

The real question about crime in Baltimore

Feb 9, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

A group of central West Baltimore residents gathered near Triangle Park Wednesday night to march against the surge of violence in their neighborhood and the city at large.

“Our deal is to show that we are the majority of this community and we won’t let a small percentage of violent individuals define what we are in Central West Baltimore,” said Ray Kelly with the No Boundaries Coalition; one of the march organizers.

Clarke optimistic about minimum wage bill

Feb 7, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said Monday that the city is in a good position to raise the minimum wage to $15 in five years.

“We’re in about the best position we can be in,” Clarke said.  “Sure, we’re coming from a setback, but we’ve surged; we’ve grown [economically] as twice the rate of the state itself.”

Pugh on consent decree: We can pay for it

Feb 1, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told a federal judge Monday morning the city can afford to implement a consent decree aimed at reforming the city police department.

U.S. District Judge James Bredar asked Pugh to attend the first hearing on the decree filed in the court in January.  The decree was the result of an investigation that found Baltimore Police regularly violated the civil rights of citizens.

Rachel Baye

When Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted parts of his proposed budget on Tuesday, he said it seemed too good to be true. He said he closed a $544-million revenue shortfall with “no serious cuts.” But the budget released Wednesday did reveal some cuts, including the elimination of much of a $290-million package passed last year in an effort to revitalize Baltimore.

Bail Reform

Jan 17, 2017

In this episode, Wes looks into the issue of pretrial justice in Baltimore and the problem of money bail. Wes looks to the examples of bail-reform models in Washington, DC, and Louisville, Kentucky, two cities that have radically changed how they deal with people awaiting trial.


DOJ v. FOP

Jan 13, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Shortly after the Justice Department and Baltimore City officials announced they’d reached a legal contract to reform the city police department Thursday the police union complained they were left out of the negotiations.

But Friday a DOJ spokesperson contradicted those claims.

Baltimore, Feds agree to consent decree

Jan 12, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the full consent decree below.

Baltimore City and federal officials announced Thursday an agreement that will force the Baltimore Police Department to reform. The decree comes six months after a scathing Justice Department report found that city police routinely violated citizens’ rights; especially of African-Americans.

The consent decree is the product of a civil rights investigation into the police department after the 2015 in-custody death of Freddie Gray.  Gray suffered severe injuries while being transported in a police van.

Details of the consent decree were made public as a news conference was taking place announcing the agreement.

P. Kenneth Burns

Gene Ryan, president of Baltimore City’s police union, planned to respond to comments made recently by Mayor Catherine Pugh and Commissioner Kevin Davis about staffing issues in the department and contract negotiations.

But the union tweeted Sunday evening that the news conference scheduled for Monday will be postponed “due to unforseen (sic) circumstances.”  And that it will be rescheduled.

P. Kenneth Burns

A man whose murder conviction was recently vacated after his story was at the center of a popular podcast will remain jailed while he awaits a new trial.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch on Wednesday denied Adnan Syed's request to be released from jail primarily because there is a pending appeal from the prosecutor's office.

Graziano turns in “very nice” resignation

Dec 20, 2016

Long-time Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano is leaving after 16 years on the job.

Graziano submitted his resignation to Mayor Catherine Pugh; who accepted it Tuesday.  The mayor said it was a “very nice letter.”

Graziano’s last day as housing commissioner will be January 6.  He will receive $116, 524; the amount of unused vacation and personal days.  Pugh said Deputy Commissioner Michael Braverman will be interim housing commissioner as she conducts a nationwide search to replace him.

Young calls for partners to address city problems

Dec 8, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore 72nd City Council took office Thursday with more than half of its members newly elected.

Council President Jack Young said that the members will focus on reducing crime, reducing the number of vacant properties and increase affordable housing.  And, he said, he wants to partner with the private sector to accomplish those tasks.

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