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News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

Baltimore Police

Trial boards for three of the five Baltimore police officers involved in the Freddie Gray case are to begin this month in public, but their results may remain private.

The hearings for Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice, and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. may be open, but City Solicitor Andre Davis says it could be difficult making the outcomes of those hearings public.

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County School Board is considering a proposal to keep schools open during the Jewish holidays next September. But the board got some blowback for that idea during a public hearing Tuesday night. WYPR's John Lee and Nathan Sterner talked about it on Morning Edition.

Ted Kerwin/flickr

Some time before new calendars are posted in offices and kitchen walls around town, a potentially significant summit will take place, presumably in the Orioles offices in the warehouse.

The outcome of that meeting may go a long way toward whether the Birds’ 2018 looks anything like their 2017.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore activists sharply criticized Mayor Catherine Pugh last week, tweeting she hadn’t done enough for tent city residents staying at the old Pinderhughes Elementary School. But the reality on the ground is different.

Frederick County Schools

Frederick County became the fourth school district in Maryland to create a policy specifically supportive of transgender students in the spring of 2017. A few months later, a mother and her daughter sued the school board that adopted that policy.

Reacting to the shooting deaths in Las Vegas and marking Mental Health Awareness week, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh called today for the strengthening of background checks for gun owners today.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Mayor Catherine Pugh is expected to release her $350 million plan to curb homelessness next week. But, tent city organizers tweeted the mayor isn’t moving fast enough.

The Baltimore County Council green-lighted a two million dollar state loan Monday to try to entice Amazon to build a distribution center at Sparrows Point.

County officials say they believe landing Amazon could mean more jobs than the official estimate of 1,500 at the distribution center.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Elizabeth Wexler stands at a chalkboard at the Baltimore City Police Training Academy while 50 cadets look on. She draws a large "T" and asks the class to say what comes to mind when they think of mental health.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency. State officials say the EPA is not enforcing the Clean Air Act in five upwind states, and that creates an unhealthy level of smog in Maryland, particularly in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas.

Wikimedia Commons

Baltimore County is close to landing an Amazon distribution center, to be located at Sparrows Point in eastern Baltimore County.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Click on the image for the audio.   

If politics truly makes for strange bedfellows, imagine how weird the NFL and its players feel right about now.

The league office and the players union have been at odds for virtually every second of the last decade, in matters on and off the field.

Just recently, the NFLPA took the league to federal court to challenge the six-game suspension of Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott as the NFL contends that Elliott violated the league’s policy on domestic violence.

@BCFDL734

A warehouse fire at 1026 East Patapsco Avenue in Curtis Bay this morning sent smoke billowing into the sky at South Baltimore. The fire was less than a mile from where a chemical plant released an acid cloud last week.

John Lee

It's becoming more clear who will be running for Baltimore County Executive. There are three declared candidates with two more expected to follow in the coming weeks. The county GOP hopes the party will gain control of both the County Executive's office and County Council following the 2018 elections. WYPR’s John Lee talks it over with Nathan Sterner.

Rachel Baye

About 62 percent of registered voters in Maryland say they approve of the way Gov. Larry Hogan is doing his job, a decline from Hogan’s 70-percent approval rating last September, according to Goucher poll data released Monday.

Pamela D'Angelo

For as long as there’s been a Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at the mouth of the bay, there’s been a gift shop and restaurant perched on an island in the middle of it all. But now that Virginia has broken ground to add a parallel tunnel, the restaurant is about to become history.

Karen Hosler / WYPR

  

Incumbent Republican Mayor Mike Pantelides will face Democrat Gavin Buckley in Annapolis's Mayoral Election in November. Pantelides handily won the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary. Buckley's victory was a bit of an upset, as he beat State Senator John Astle. It all sets up what could be a heated race in the coming months. WYPR's Karen Hosler talks about it all with Nathan Sterner.

John Lee

Donald Eurice was walking through one of his fields in Middle River when he picked up an ear of corn blackbirds had damaged.

"You take sweet corn," he said, pointing to gaps at the end of the ear where kernels used to be. "They take two picks on it you can’t sell it. It’s done."

Rachel Baye

Krishanti Vignarajah formally launched her campaign for governor on Tuesday after announcing her intent to run online last month.

@jemelehill/Twitter

Many years ago, far more than either of us would likely want to admit, a wonderful journalism professor of mine dropped a little verity on me and the rest of my class that has stuck with me ever since.

He said that each of us brings our own personal baggage to each story that we cover, meaning that we bring our life view and experiences to our work as journalists.

My professor was awfully prescient and his wisdom became apparent to me last week in the midst of a media tsunami where an ESPN anchor named Jemele Hill called the president of the United States a white supremacist in a tweet.

Visions: Sandtown Mural & Art Project

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about the Justice Department not finding sufficient evidence in federal criminal charges on the six Baltimore City police officers involved in Freddie Gray Jr.'s death on April 19, 2015. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the NAACP, and Maryland Democratic Congressmen all weigh in giving their reactions.


WYPR

The state Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee convened a meeting Tuesday to examine record levels of violence in Baltimore — what’s causing it and how it can be stopped. WYPR's Rachel Baye spoke with Nathan Sterner about the discussion and the conclusions drawn.

Karen Hosler

Annapolis’ pre-Labor Day parade had the usual marching bands, dance troupes and city council members waving from antique convertibles. Then there was this guy strutting, skipping, and dancing down West Street, moving from side to side to shake a hand or grab a hug.

Just as he stole the show that day, Australia-born Gavin Buckley has injected the race for Annapolis mayor with a spark rarely seen in city elections.

"I feel like I have a passion to take the city forward and effect some change," Buckley said. "Not just talk about it."

Buckley, 54, is an entrepreneur credited with driving a nest of drug dealers and prostitutes from a main Annapolis thoroughfare.

AP Photo/Rob Carr

On April 20, 1996, the date of that year’s collegiate draft, the Baltimore Ravens tapped two men who would forge their places in league history.

Jonathan Ogden established himself as one of the best left tackles in league history, while Ray Lewis is seen in some circles as the greatest middle linebacker the NFL has ever produced.

Lewis and Ogden were teammates and Super Bowl champions, each taken in the first round of the draft, 22 picks apart.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about legislation to provide a $2500 property tax credit to public safety officers that reside in Baltimore City. Council President Jack Young and District 11 Councilman Eric Costello proposed the bill as incentive for more public safety officers to reside within Baltimore City lines. Currently 23 percent of police officers, 30 percent of firefighters, and 53 percent of sheriffs reside in the city. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In Baltimore, residents have faced sewage backups in their homes for years which, says one Johns Hopkins University researcher, could be hazardous for your health.

Rachel Baye

The state Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to cut more than $60 million from the state’s $43 billion budget. However, the body did not touch $6 million slated for local school systems that was initially on the chopping block.

Bay's osprey population in decline--again

Sep 6, 2017
Reese Lukei

Osprey, like bald eagles, are a comeback story.

Their eggs were destroyed by the pesticide DDT, until it was banned in 1972, when there were only about 1,400 breeding pairs of osprey around the bay. By the late 1970s scientists began seeing osprey in southeastern Virginia, according to Reese Lukei, who monitors osprey nests in that region, along with Chrystal Matthews for the William and Mary Center for Conservation and Biology and the Virginia Aquarium.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore city’s latest sewer repair plan contains $2 million a year to help residents with clean-up costs if sewage backs up into their homes. But it won’t be much help to those who already have spent thousands for repairs.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s business owners will be hit hard by the Trump Administration’s recent blow to immigration policy that will deport tens of thousands of young immigrants.

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