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News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Maryland has licensed 15 companies to grow medical marijuana since the General Assembly legalized it more than four years ago. WYPR takes us inside one of those companies’ growing facilities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

During the last General Assembly session, lawmakers created a temporary fix to stabilize Maryland’s Obamacare exchange after Congress repealed the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Now, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates are backing what they say would be a permanent fix.

Baltimore County Police Department

Three more teens have been charged as adults with first-degree murder in the death of a Baltimore County police officer, authorities said Wednesday.

Fifteeen-year-old Darrell Jaymar Ward, 16-year-old Derrick Eugene Matthews, and 17-year-old Eugene Robert Genius IV were charged in the killing of officer Amy Caprio. 

baltimorehousing.org

 

Last night Baltimore City Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioner approved an application to plan for the transformation of the Poe Homes neighborhood, just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard near the University of Maryland campus. WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi speaks with Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner.

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond Tuesday night took herself out of the running to complete Kevin Kamenetz’s term as county executive. Kamenetz died nearly two weeks ago and his term ends December 3. Almond said no thanks even though she had enough votes on the County Council to land the job.

 

AP Photo/Nick Wass

It was probably difficult to see on television Saturday, what with all that fog and mist that enveloped Pimlico, but a few seconds after Justify won the Preakness, another horse crossed the finish line.

This horse, however, is far older than the field of three year-olds in the race, but know this: If Justify has this horse’s stamina, he’ll win the Belmont and thus the Triple Crown going away in less than three weeks.

In a nod to the group, America, this horse has no name, per se, but rather a theme, namely that Pimlico Race Course is in trouble.

Baltimore County Police Department

A 16-year-old charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of a Maryland police officer has been ordered held without bail.

Dawnta Anthony Harris, of Baltimore, has been charged in the death Monday of Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio. He made his first court appearance by video Tuesday. 

Rachel Baye

Eight Democrats vying for their party’s nomination for governor shared the stage at their first televised debate Monday. The debate was taped Monday morning and aired at 7 p.m. on Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio and WEAA. In addition, it was simulcast online.

At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture in Baltimore, the large group of candidates struggled to distinguish themselves in just one hour of debate.

Lost Crab Pots: Not as Bad as We Thought?

May 21, 2018
Pamela D'Angelo

Back in 2016, a team of scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science said watermen lost an astounding number—145,000 crab pots, leading to the deaths of millions of dollars’ worth of crabs trapped in those pots.

But a different panel of scientists says it’s not as bad as they originally thought.

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.

Valerie Ervin for Governor

When Valerie Ervin announced Thursday she would run for governor, she tapped as her running mate former Baltimore County School Board member Marisol Johnson.

 

The campaign hopes Johnson will help them in what is considered a key battleground in the governor’s race.

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Mayor Catherine Pugh offered an update Thursday on her estimated $110 million plan to redevelop the blighted Park Heights neighborhood, which abuts Pimlico Race Course. She made the announcement just days before the Preakness is to be run at the aging track.

Pugh’s plan calls for acquiring and demolishing vacant buildings, putting up new, affordable housing and building a new school. She says its part of the effort to keep the Preakness, the second jewel in racing’s triple crown, in the city.

John Lee

Baltimore County school officials are to present their proposed budget to the County Council Thursday. At the same time, they’re working on a five-year strategic plan for the schools. 

 

All this is going on while Interim School Superintendent Verletta White’s future remains in limbo, and her supporters on the school board make another pitch to the state school superintendent to allow them to hire her permanently.

 

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

One day after Darryl De Sousa resigned as Baltimore’s police commissioner, Mayor Catherine Pugh took full responsibility for his hiring.

Baltimore Police Dept.

Darryl De Sousa resigned as Baltimore City Police Commissioner Tuesday, four days after Mayor Catherine Pugh suspended him as he dealt with federal tax charges.

Pugh announced she had accepted the resignation shortly before noon and said in a statement it would not affect efforts to reduce crime in the city.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Some Baltimore City public schools have lost thousands of dollars in federal funding because of changes to the school lunch program. City Council members are looking for ways to bridge the gap.

www.mcdonogh.org

You could get pretty good odds in Vegas or even at Pimlico this weekend that you couldn’t say with specificity what you were doing on April 13, 2009, or that you are doing the same thing now.

Don’t be insulted. That’s no knock on you personally, but rather a recognition that most of us don’t have total recall or perform precisely the same task over an extended period.

Heck, that date was my birthday and I don’t even remember what I did.

An exception might be granted to members of the McDonogh girls lacrosse team. From the aforementioned April date nine years ago until last Friday, the Eagles did one thing, the same thing, over and over.

Win.

Baltimore Police Department

Mayor Catherine Pugh has suspended police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa after he was charged with federal tax violations.

She announced the suspension with pay, effective immediately, at a Friday afternoon news conference, the day after federal authorities charged DeSousa with failing to file state and federal tax returns in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Rachel Baye

When Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died suddenly Thursday morning, the 60-year-old was competing in a crowded field for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor. With the primary election just six and a half weeks away, Kamenetz’s death could dramatically alter the dynamics of the race.

 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz died suddenly Thursday morning of cardiac arrest. He was 60. 

 

Kamenetz’s death sent shockwaves through the county courthouse.

 

 

DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's police commissioner was charged Thursday with three misdemeanor counts of failure to file taxes, the latest embarrassment to rock the beleaguered force reeling from scandal to scandal.

In a Thursday statement, the U.S. Attorney's office alleged that Commissioner Darryl De Sousa "willfully failed to file a federal return for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015, despite having been a salaried employee of the Baltimore Police Department in each of those years."

John Lee

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Kevin Kamenetz, a Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland and longtime leader in local politics, died early Thursday at age 60.  

 

Kamenetz, Baltimore County's two-term executive, died following a cardiac arrest, according to a news release from Baltimore County authorities.

Kamenetz was at home in Owings Mills when he awoke around 2 a.m., complaining of feeling ill, the news release said. He was hospitalized at St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:22 a.m.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore Police Union President Gene Ryan called Wednesday for the resignation of Marvin McKenstry from the panel overseeing civilian review of the police department under the city’s consent decree. That’s a tougher stance than taken previously.

Marilyn Mosby Campaign

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s first three and a half years in office have been marked by contradictions. She successfully prosecuted a number of violent criminals, but came under fire as her cases against six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray fell apart. Mosby, who is running for re-election, says she wouldn’t do anything differently.

City Schools Expected to Lose 1500 Student in 2018-2019

May 8, 2018
Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s schools, already suffering from declining enrollments, will lose even more students next year. School officials gave the news to a city council committee Tuesday.

Schools CEO Sonja Santelises told a committee looking into the school system’s enrollment task force that officials are projecting that 1500 students will leave the district in the 2018 to 2019 school year. She said the loss of students typically happens in 5th and 6th grades because parents are unsure of the middle school options available to them, but that trend has changed.

@Orioles/Twitter

It’s easy to look at the first month of the Orioles’ season and declare that all is lost.

Just look at the statistics. You can learn something of a team from the number of runs they score and the number of runs they allow. By those metrics, the Orioles are lousy.

To wit, there are 15 teams in the American League. Only two clubs have a higher earned run average than the Birds. And no team has scored fewer runs than Baltimore.

That adds up to lousy.

Ivan Bates for Baltimore City State's Attorney

The former prosecutor turned defense lawyer who wants to become a prosecutor again--the city's top prosecutor--doesn't have much good to say about Marilyn Mosby. Most recently he slammed her use of officers from the now disbanded Gun Trace Task Force trials. Here's Bates outside of the State’s Attorney’s office in March.

Thiru Vignarajah Campaign

Vignarajah’s campaign video sounds like the trailer for a summer blockbuster movie.

“So we have to face facts, Baltimore is not the greatest city in America any more, but it can be," says Vignarajah in his campaign video with a full orchestra behind him.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

District Three City Councilman Ryan Dorsey and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition unveiled a charter amendment that calls for an independent inspector general Thursday. The group needs 15,000 signatures on a petition and approval from city council and the mayor’s office to get the amendment on the November ballot.

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates Wednesday approved a settlement of $9 million to a man who spent 21 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

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