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Baltimore City

Dominique Maria Bonessi

While thousands of people in Baltimore City remain homeless, uninsured, or under insured, one event this week provided a one-stop shop to residents for dental work, vision care, job searching, and more.

To understand venture capital and how it affects start-up businesses in Baltimore, you might want to try a baseball metaphor. 

It takes anywhere from $1 million to $5 million in seed money to get started. And that's just hitting singles and doubles. A start-up that wants to knock a grand slam out of the park needs a lot more than that, $10 million or more. And for that, local businesses have to turn to out of state investors.

A Johns Hopkins University report released last week found that almost 70 percent of venture capital investments for start-ups in Baltimore are coming from outside of Maryland.

Baltimore City Police Department

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the third Baltimore Police body camera video that has surfaced. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis rejected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's dismissal of the 43 out of 101 cases pertaining to the footage. Mosby responded to Davis in a statement saying that "this re-enactment undermines the public trust" and "creates indefensible doubt in the minds of the general public, judges, and jurors."

Rachel Baye

Facing record levels of violence, Baltimore officials are grappling with the best way to curb the violence, Mayor Catherine Pugh met with Governor Larry Hogan Monday afternoon to strategize.

At the top of her list, Pugh said she plans to bring in a team from the U.S. Department of Justice next month to help the city strategize.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition host, Nathan Sterner, talks with City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the competition between 26 law firms vying to be the U.S. Department of Justice consent decree's independent monitors for police accountability. A grassroots coalition, The Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs and Baltimore residents met last night at a townhall meeting at Coppin State University to ask tough questions of the monitor applicants. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland announced today it has filed two separate suits to overturn gag orders contained in settlements in police brutality cases.

The suits against Baltimore City and its police department and Salisbury and its police department were filed in federal court and in Baltimore Circuit court.

Susan Goering, ACLU Maryland’s executive director, says settlements that impose gag orders on plaintiffs violate their rights.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The Baltimore Teachers Union partnered with Baltimore City Schools last week to launch a five-week campaign to enroll 1,000 new students in city schools. 

Using a database of targeted houses provided by the city, groups of teachers and paraprofessionals have gone door knocking to try to talk parents into sending their kids to city schools. But at least one group found that many of the houses where they were told school aged children lived were vacant; one after another, after another, with mail piled up at the threshold. .  

MD Manual

U.S. District Judge James Bredar approved Friday a police reform agreement negotiated between Baltimore City and the U.S. Justice Department, despite Trump administration requests to hold off on that approval.

Bredar’s ruling came only a day after an hours-long hearing in which Justice Department lawyers asked for a 30-day delay to re-evaluate the agreement finalized in the last days of the Obama administration. 

Mary Rose Madden

After months of negotiations, Baltimore police and the U.S. Justice Department reached an agreement on a roadmap to police reform. But now, Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal judge to wait 90 days before finalizing that map.

Searching for black Republicans in Baltimore

Nov 8, 2016
Taylor Haire

It’s no secret that Baltimore is a heavily Democratic, and majority black, city. And it’s no secret that African Americans have been the Democrats’ strongest voting block for decades. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t Republicans who are black out there, running for office in Baltimore.

Maryland goes to the polls

Nov 8, 2016
Jonna McKone

Marylanders flooded polling places Tuesday as one of the nastiest and most divisive elections in recent memory came to a close. There were long lines at many polling places and glitches here and there, some of them related to Maryland’s return to paper ballots. Scanners broke down in several places and in other precincts, voters waited in long lines to put their ballots through a single scanner. 

Maryland Voices: Out of the polls

Nov 4, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

What do most Baltimore City voters fear as they cast their ballots?  That Donald Trump will be elected the next president of these United States of America…North America.

Scholars sing to start the day at Play On Purpose's Summer Camp
Jonna McKone

Every parent faces challenges finding constructive opportunities for their children in the summer while school’s out. But that process can be even more difficult for parents who can’t afford day camps.  

On a hot, August morning, about 75 kids play, sing and chat in the cafeteria of ConneXions, a public charter school in the Mondawmin neighborhood of West Baltimore. Play on Purpose (POP) runs a free summer program here that includes curriculum through the Freedom School, a program of the Children’s Defense Fund. Freedom Schools teach culturally relevant reading and local African American history at over 12,000 sites around the nation to, in part, stem the tide of summer learning loss.

Blue Water Baltimore

Baltimore City asked the U.S. District Court last month to extend its deadline for making critical improvements to the city sewer system by 17 years, from January 2016 to the year 2033.

The deadline stems from a 2002 lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice filed against the city for allowing raw sewage to leak into public waterways, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

SRB’s image problem

Apr 20, 2016

  The upheaval that followed the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015 had an undeniable effect on the political career of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

Just as she was getting ready for a re-election campaign against her predecessor, she decided to leave public office.  She will have been in Baltimore city government for 21 years when her term ends in December.

But Rawlings-Blake was already facing challenges before the unrest.

Audits at the center of City Comptroller’s race

Apr 20, 2016

Joan Pratt, Baltimore City’s Comptroller since 1995, is facing her first challenger in 17 years. He’s Mike King, a Northeast Baltimore resident with a background in financial operations, and he says Pratt hasn’t done enough to audit city agencies.

Mayor’s Race: Mosby Drops Out, Pugh Drops In

Apr 20, 2016

Hours before Councilman Nick Mosby shook up the race for mayor by dropping out, the frontrunner pulled a surprise of her own.

State Senator Catherine Pugh had begged off from a debate Wednesday on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with fellow candidates Elizabeth Embry and Councilman Carl Stokes, citing a scheduling conflict. Then about 15 minutes into the program Pugh showed up, surprising the candidates and host Tom Hall.

State lawmakers appear to have reached an agreement on a bill changing the controversial Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. 

Remember the touch screen voting in past years? Well, forget about it. When you vote this time around, you’ll be marking a paper ballot, filling in ovals next to the candidates of your choice.

Consider it a trip down memory lane when you took those standardized tests with number two pencils.

Three challenge one in Baltimore’s Fourth

Apr 2, 2016

Criticized for not doing enough to bring disparate communities together and for ignoring constituents, incumbent Fourth District City Councilman Bill Henry is facing three challengers in the Democratic primary.

Mayor’s race: MTA running late

Mar 14, 2016

  Marcie Roberts heard the disembodied voice--“Welcome aboard MTA”—one recent morning as she boarded a bus at Northern Parkway and York Road. She was in the middle of her daily 90-minute-two-bus commute from Windsor Mill to her job in Towson. The bus that got her to that point was the 44. She said it wasn’t so welcoming.

“Bus 44 is the worst bus I ever got on.”

Roberts said the bus is often late and doesn’t run at convenient times.

Mark Goebel/Flickr via Creative Commons

  

Twelve million gallons. That’s how much sewage Baltimore’s Department of Public Works estimates was dumped into the Inner Harbor last week after heavy rains overwhelmed the city’s dilapidated sewer system.This news comes on the heels of Baltimore missing the January 1 deadline imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of the Environment to eliminate overflows and spills. Halle Van der Gaag, Director of Blue Water Baltimore and Mark Reutter of The Baltimore Brew, join us to discuss the city’s response to this massive discharge, as well as the impact of sewage releases on our trails and waterways, and on public health.

Kenneth Burns / WYPR

A sea change is coming to the Baltimore City Council: Nearly half the members are not seeking reelection this year. Three of the 15 are retiring, two are vacating their seats to run for mayor, and another is pursuing a judgeship. Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun and WYPR news analyst Fraser Smith join us to discuss the implications.

Students Respond To The Officer Porter Mistrial

Dec 23, 2015
Digital Harbor HS

While a Baltimore jury deadlocked over the fate of Officer William Porter last week, teachers in city schools used the case to teach social studies lessons. Now that court officials have scheduled a new trial for Porter, one of six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, city teachers will continue to use what happens inside the courtroom as a learning tool for their students.

City teachers and students braced for a verdict in Porter’s trial last week, but it ended Wednesday with a hung jury and a mistrial. On Friday, in Brianna Carter’s first period, 10th grade social studies class at Digital Harbor High School the trial provided a chance to talk about central themes in her class, like due process and the Constitution.

Hope For Families Expanded In Sandtown

Oct 30, 2015

  Imagine an apartment with one bedroom, one laundry room, a dining area and a couple of bathrooms for 75 people. That’s about what Sarah’s Hope, a homeless shelter in Sandtown-Winchester, was like when it opened in 2008.

Now, after an $8 million expansion, the West Baltimore facility shelter is one of the few homeless shelters in the city that can accommodate intact families; mom, dad and kids.

Confirmed and Sworn: Davis Is Now Permanent Commissioner

Oct 23, 2015

  The Baltimore City Council confirmed Kevin Davis Monday as the city’s 38th police commissioner, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake swore him in. But none of it happened without protest. 

  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and several members of the City Council spent Monday publicizing bills that would be introduced during that day’s city council meeting. 

One bill would dedicate a small part of the city budget to youth programs. Another would return 911 operations to the police department. A third would cut property taxes for certain grocery stores and fourth would halve the storm water remediation fee.

Money For Children