On the Record | WYPR

On the Record

MD Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

As opioid overdoses continue to surge, the top prosecutor in St. Mary’s County is taking a new get-tough approach: second-degree murder indictments when drug dealing leads to an overdose. We talk with State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, who argues that people who distribute lethal drugs show such disregard for life, they should pay a high price, and University of Maryland Law professor Renee Hutchins, who contends it’s often an addict, not the dealer who packaged the drugs, who gets caught.

Courtesy Joseph Young

Have you ever wandered through a place and thought, if these walls could talk … ? Artist and author Joseph Young has given life-- fictional life at least--to this concept, with his latest installation, “Microfiction Rowhouse.” We talk to him about the stories he's written that will cover the walls, doors, and ceilings of his home, invoked by the spirits of a fictional family living there. Young would like visitors to come away with a sense of who the characters are, but he also leaves room for imagination ...

Transplant coordinator Kate Pratt shares her Stoop Story about experiencing the power of spirit during a night at the morgue that she'll never forget. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Courtesy Baltimore/Washington Cricket Crawl

Armed with curiosity, patience, and all the right apps loaded onto a smartphone, anyone can become a citizen scientist. We talk with Anna Scott, a climate scientist who’s counting on Baltimoreans to help her measure air quality throughout the city with her project, Baltimore Open Air. And we also hear from USGS wildlife biologist Sam Droege, who tells us about the annual Baltimore/Washington Cricket Crawl count and how anyone can be a powerful asset in helping science collect big data.

Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr via Creative Commons

Millions of tons of sediment are trapped behind the Conowingo Dam. It can’t hold more, so Governor Hogan has called for a test of dredging some of the sediment. Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles explains how the state plans to work with Chesapeake watershed partners --and Exelon which operates the dam--to pay for the project, while finding new uses for the sediment. 

The tiniest creature with the deadliest of bites … Professor Chris Potter's lab at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is working to understand why mosquitoes are attracted to humans, in order to quell diseases such as malaria and Zika, both transmitted by mosquito bite. By studying its sense of smell, Potter hopes to alter the way mosquitoes perceive human scent and flavor--in an effort to make us less appealing as a meal. Want to see what happens when a mosquito stops for a bite? Watch this. To see all that Potter's lab is up to visit his site. This is a rebroadcast, original airdate was 6/27/17.

Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement Facebook page

One of the criticisms of last year’s US Department of Justice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department - the city’s Civilian Review Board was severely hampered by a lack of both resources and cooperation from the department. Jill Carter, director of Baltimore’s Office of Civil Rights & Wage Enforcement and former state delegate, tells us how things have changed. And Bridal Pearson, civilian chair of the Civilian Review Board and representative for the Northern District, explains how the board investigates complaints.

Stoop Storyteller Joel Green, astronomy scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, shares how his obsession with science fiction led him to study the formation, birth and destruction of planets. You can hear more stories at stoopstorytelling.com.

A new exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, “From Digital to Damask”, weaves together technology, fish fossils, and 17th-century portraits! Inspired by sewing circles in her native Netherlands, Annet Couwenberg creates art with a fresh take on form and fabric.

Courtesy ProPublica website

Even advocates of removing Baltimore’s four Confederate statues didn’t expect them all to disappear so swiftly. They were symbols of an ideology now repudiated by most Americans. We ask Baltimore Bloc organizer and Morgan State University Professor Lawrence Brown what forces he thinks speeded their departure … and what difference it makes now. Plus we talk to Rachel Glickhouse, a journalist at Pro Publica, the online investigative news source, about their efforts to aggregate hate crimes being reported, in order to develop a database with a clearer picture of how widespread they are. It’s called “Documenting Hate.” And if you've experienced or witnessed a hate crime in Maryland, please document it here to add your information to the national database.

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