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News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

The Baltimore City Police Department trial board found Lieutenant Brian Rice not guilty on all charges on Friday. The trial began on November 14. Rice was the commanding officer on duty in the Western District on April 12, 2015, the day Freddie Gray was taken into police custody. 

WYPR reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi reported on the trial.

Closing arguments are expected today in the disciplinary trial of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Rice. Lieutenant Rice was the commanding officer during the incident that lead to the death of Freddie Gray in April of 2015. Yesterday, the defense called three witnesses – two of whom we heard from during the disciplinary trial for Officer Caesar Goodson. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi tells Nathan Sterner about their testimony, and previews today’s proceedings.

John Lee

No high school in Baltimore County is in worse shape than Lansdowne High. The county plans to renovate the school, but State Comptroller Peter Franchot said Lansdowne should get a new school and that isn’t happening because the community isn’t affluent, and doesn’t have much influence. 

 

But Franchot’s motives are being questioned.  

 

Interstate conflict at a fisheries managers' meeting?

Nov 15, 2017
Pamela D'Angelo

Meetings of fisheries managers often can be snooze fests. But the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Linthicum this week turned into turned into a hand-wringing session for commercial fishermen, environmentalists, anglers, and even the commissioners.

And it was all because of a baitfish called menhaden.

NCAA Facebook

Quite before you were ready to deal with it, we’ve stumbled upon a new season that will consume the American consciousness for an extended period of time.

You thought I was talking about Christmas season? Oh, no, secret Santa, I’m talking about college basketball season, that mad March to April’s national championship games, with seemingly a million contests in between.

A lot has happened in college hoops since North Carolina and South Carolina captured the respective men’s and women’s crowns in April, and not a lot of it was good.

House of Ruth Maryland

One in four women are likely to experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. That’s according to House of Ruth Maryland, an organization that combats domestic violence.

DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

Back in October, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke moved to revive the city’s “Dollar House” program to revitalize blighted neighborhoods. On Wednesday, Councilman Zeke Cohen and a group of housing advocates delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures calling for more affordable housing in the city. And yesterday, the City Council had a hearing on Tax Increment Financing, or TIFs, like the $660 million deal Sagamore Development made with the city to develop Port Covington. WYPR’s city hall reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi joins Nathan Sterner to connect the dots.

Tradepoint Atlantic

Amazon plans to build a distribution center at Sparrows Point in Eastern Baltimore County. It’s expected to open in 2019 and bring with it 1,500 jobs. 

 

Wednesday’s announcement follows months of negotiations between Amazon, the county and the state. Amazon is the latest piece in the redevelopment of the old Bethlehem Steel site by Tradepoint Atlantic.

 

Karen Hosler / WYPR

Despite a chilly, rainy election day, following an eleventh hour barrage of negative ads, Democratic challenger Gavin Buckley has won the Annapolis mayoral race, handily defeating incumbent Republican Mike Pantelides.  WYPR's Karen Hosler has been following the race and talks with Nathan Sterner about what happened.

Flickr

 

Baltimore County Schools will be closed next year on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Baltimore County School Board last night on a split vote rejected a proposal to keep schools open on the Jewish High Holy Days.

 

Oyster stories from Virginia's Northern Neck

Nov 7, 2017
Pamela D'Angelo

It's November... one of those months with an "r" in it... and that means it's oyster season on the Chesapeake Bay, a tradition that goes back centuries. The folks at Belle Isle State Park, on Virginia’s Northern Neck, are working to preserve some of that tradition with the stories of people who lived there and worked in the oyster business in the 1940s and 1950s. Correspondent Pamela D’Angelo has compiled some of their stories. 

John Lee

 

Baltimore County is the first jurisdiction in the state to restrict when farmers can use air cannons. The County Council last night voted unanimously to make it illegal to use the noise makers from 10 p.m. to sunrise.

 

@Kaepernick7/flickr

In the nearly year and a half since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee, we’ve learned a lot about the NFL and, by extension, the nation.

For one, we’ve learned that for all our lofty talk about respecting our differences, it is only rhetoric. As a nation, we seem ill-equipped to handle much above the tastes great, less filling debate.

We learned over the weekend that no less a national treasure than retired Dodger announcer Vin Scully has succumbed to the tired trope that kneeling during the national anthem is an insult to the military.

John Lee

 

 

 

Since April, more than 40 people who entered the United States illegally have been released from the Baltimore County jail despite requests from the feds to hold them. 

 

Baltimore Ceasefire/Facebook

In late summer Baltimore residents organized a 72-hour “cease-fire” in hopes of stemming gun violence in their city. It wasn’t perfect. There were at least two homicides that weekend in August. But it led to Cease Fire 2.0, scheduled this weekend.

At the end of the last Ceasefire weekend, organizer Erricka Bridgeford said she wanted to continue the effort, but she didn’t know what it would look like.

John Lee

 

 

Barring any surprises, the field is set for next year’s Baltimore County Executive’s race. Second District Democratic Councilwoman Vicki Almond formally entered the race last night, in what is expected to be a multi-million dollar battle for the Democratic nomination.

 

episcopalnewsservice.org

Hate crimes in Maryland increased by nearly 40 percent in 2016, according to a recently released State Police report. The majority of the incidents were race-based and if you’ve been tallying up the news recently, that probably doesn’t surprise you.  

Jamyla Krempel

The calendar says that it’s only been a couple of months since the Ravens’ season started. And the numbers say that we’re halfway through, with eight games down and eight more to play.

But if ever a team or, for that matter, a fanbase, needed a breather, it’s the one the Ravens are in the midst of.

Karen Hosler

This year’s race for the post of Annapolis mayor is a spirited competition between two candidates more sharply different in style than on substance.

As their many debate spectators could attest, the contest might be dubbed: the Idea Man versus Mr. Not So Fast.

Tradepoint Atlantic

 

At an open house hosted by Tradepoint Atlantic at its Sparrows Point headquarters, Tom Hewitt, the Director of Service Development for MTA, laid out for Tammy Reeder plans for a new bus service. Currently, the closest bus stop to Sparrows Point is about three miles away. 

 

Rachel Baye

When Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed a bill requiring businesses to offer paid leave in May, he also signed an executive order creating a commission to study the issue and recommend a revised paid leave law.

Now the state Democratic Party is accusing the commission of keeping its meetings secret, violating state law and preventing the public from weighing in. On Thursday, party Chair Kathleen Matthews filed a complaint with the Maryland Open Meeting Compliance Board about the commission’s lack of publicized meeting dates and agendas.

dcJohn/flickr

 

Baltimore County students who are poor, African-American or disabled are far more likely to get kicked out of school. That’s according to a new report on behavior and discipline presented last night to the Baltimore County School Board.

The number of people in Maryland who died after taking the narcotic Fentanyl increased by more than 70 percent in the first half of 2017, compared with the first half of last year, according to preliminary data the state Department of Health released Tuesday. 

Deaths related to heroin and prescription opioids were relatively flat across the state, the data show.

Houston Astros Twitter

In June of 2014, the story on the cover of Sports Illustrated predicted the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017.

At the time, the pick seemed to be one of those cheeky little pieces that magazines write to look clever or hip or ahead of the crowd.

Rachel Baye

Maryland’s government won’t contract with any company that boycotts Israeli products or services over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The change is the result of a new executive order Gov. Larry Hogan signed Monday opposing the BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — movement.

John Lee

State Senator Jim Brochin officially launched his campaign Thursday for the county’s top office.

 

Brochin, a four-term state senator, has been plotting this run for a long time. Brochin made his announcement at Towson Manor Park.

 

  

John Lee

Baltimore County came under withering criticism Wednesday from the State Comptroller over the conditions of two of its high schools. Comptroller Peter Franchot called the conditions at Dulaney and Lansdowne High Schools deplorable and unacceptable.

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore officially submitted its proposal today to make Port Covington the site of Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2.

In an elaborate affair to say the least, the ceremony was complete with piano jazz and a multimedia production with the theme of “Why not Baltimore?”

A Baltimore police officer shot and killed a shotgun wielding 20-year-old man involved in an armed robbery at a 7-11 early Monday morning.

Police commissioner Kevin Davis said the officer, Kevin Amy, a 17-year veteran assigned to Northeastern District patrol, followed proper police procedure and turned on his body worn camera.

NCAA Facebook

 

In normal situations, the moment that the schoolyard bully is revealed to be all talk and no action is a celebratory one.

In that instant, the playground becomes an egalitarian utopia, a place where all children can run and play without fear of the noogie, the wet Willie or getting pantsed.

The NCAA has been likened in many circles to a playground brute that throws its weight around against hapless opponents, taking their lunch money without a trace of compassion.

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