Andrew Copeland / Maryland Historical Society

Crowdsourcing is a new term but it’s not a new idea. In the 19th century, thousands of volunteers submitted entries to the Oxford English Dictionary, for instance. But if you’ve ever used Wikipedia, you know the internet has made crowdsourcing possible on a much larger scale. Historians are among those taking advantage of the internet’s broad reach. How is our increased connectivity changing the way we tell stories about the past? We’ll talk with Denise Meringolo, a historian at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Joe Tropea, digital projects coordinator at the Maryland Historical Society, about how they’re collecting and archiving materials from the Baltimore Uprising of 2015.

Michael Reynolds/Landov


It's been one year since Freddie Gray’s arrest and death sparked protests and rioting across Baltimore. In the aftermath, there were renewed calls to address the lack of opportunity plaguing the city’s long-neglected neighborhoods. But 2015 ended with record violence -- 344 murders. We hear from community leaders devoted to engaging young people. Ericka Alston, of West Baltimore’s Penn-North Community Resource Center and Kids Safe Zone, tells us how they are engaging kids with music and yoga, and building trust between the community and police. And Munir Bahar of the 300 Men March movement talks about a community center planned for East Baltimore, as well as how his organization is encouraging men to become mentors.

urbanfeel/Flickr via Creative Commons

Which of Baltimore's neighborhoods are growing and which are shrinking? How do commute times vary across the city? A new report by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance captures thousands of data points on everything from education and workforce development to transportation and the arts. Seema Iyer, associate director of the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, tells us what we can learn from this statistical portrait of city life. But first, we hear about a block party that aims to unite some of those neighborhoods across lines of race and class in Central West Baltimore. 

Courtesy of Thread

How do you take students performing in the bottom 25 percent of their class to walking across the stage at college graduation? The Baltimore non-profit Thread seems to have the answer: follow each student for a decade, provide them with a team of supporters, and do whatever it takes to help kids succeed, from packing lunches to matching students with summer internships. Ninety-two percent of Thread students graduate from high school, and 90 percent are accepted to college. Sarah Hemminger, co-founder of Thread, tells us how Thread is scaling up its efforts. And we hear from a volunteer and from a member of Thread’s first cohort, now a board member with the organization. 

m01229 / Flickr via Creative Commons

No income tax cuts for Marylanders, but the aerospace corporation Northrup Grumman will get $37.5 million dollars in tax breaks. These were among the many last minute decisions the General Assembly made before the clock struck midnight last night. We look back at the session and examine which proposals made it to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk and what happened once they arrived. WYPR Statehouse reporter Rachel Baye brings us the latest from Annapolis. Plus: Barry Rascovar of the Political Maryland blog and Baltimore Sun opinion editor Andy Green offer their reflections on the testy relationship between our highly popular Republican governor and a legislature dominated by Democrats.

Chris/Flickr via Creative Commons

Race, policing, inequality. We speak to two Baltimore City public school teachers about how their classroom conversations have changed in the year following the Baltimore Uprising. What have students shared about their perceptions of police? How have the issues raised by Freddie Gray’s arrest and death been incorporated into lesson plans?  One Baltimore class connected with students in Washington state, answering questions about how the riots impacted their neighborhoods. 

baldeaglebluff / Flickr via Creative Commons

Scientists have been telling us for a while that sea levels are rising as a result of climate change. Then, a few weeks ago, the world got some devastating news. The oceans may be swelling much faster than we thought. One study found that if we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the current rate, a giant ice sheet in the Antarctic could crumble, to devastating effect. Children alive today may witness a sea level increase of five or six feet. That would mean environmental devastation and the disappearance of many coastal communities. What level of sea rise is now inevitable? What can we do to prepare? And what’s in store for Maryland? We speak to John Englander, oceanographer and author of “High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis”. 

Artondra Hall / Flickr via Creative Commons

Over the last week and a half, at least five vacant houses in Baltimore City have collapsed. The first, on March 28th, killed a man as he was sitting in his car in a vacant lot next door. The rest tumbled down during high winds last weekend. According to the Baltimore Sun, more than 500 buildings in Baltimore are considered so close to collapse that city inspectors visit them every 10 days. Many of these are row houses, making the risk of collapse extra troubling for neighbors. How common are collapses? Who owns these buildings? What is the city doing to prevent collapses, and what should the city be doing?

Navy_NADAP / Flickr via Creative Commons

One in three Americans gets less than the recommended bare minimum - 7 hours - of sleep each night. That’s according to a study released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Making due on just a few hours of sleep can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and mood changes...yet, some wear their sleeplessness like a badge of honor. Dr. Emerson Wickwire, director of the Insomnia Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center, joins Midday to talk sleep - how much we need, why we aren’t getting enough, and what healthy sleep habits we should adopt.

Courtesy The Arc of Maryland

Thousands of people with developmental disabilities like autism or Down syndrome are on Maryland’s waitlist for services. About 100 people are considered “in crisis.” That means they lack stable housing or may be at risk of physical harm. State funds for even the most urgent cases are in jeopardy each year. What happens when a family can no longer meet the needs of a loved one with a disability? This hour the head of the non-profit Arc of Maryland tells us about past efforts to lock in funds for the developmentally disabled. And we hear from the brother of two young men with developmental disabilities. He worries about their future care. Should funding the crisis waitlist be mandatory?