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John Lee

The developer tells the Council "We will not let you down."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

University of Baltimore graduates and their families greeted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with mixed emotions. DeVos was the keynote speaker at UB’s winter commencement this afternoon.

Students and faculty from UB and other local schools critical of DeVos’s policies--including her stance on private schools and sexual assault on college campuses--protested outside the Lyric Theater.

@Panthers/Twitter

By all rights, Sunday should have been a really good day for Jerry Richardson.

The Carolina Panthers team that he owns won a big NFL game, defeating the Green Bay Packers.

The victory moved the club ever closer to a playoff berth and considering that the Panthers didn’t get to the postseason last year, things are looking finer in Richardson’s owner’s box.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Early Wednesday morning a fire broke out in a row home in the 700 block of East Cold Spring Lane in Northeast Baltimore. It killed two children, four and five, and an adult. Fire Chief Niles Ford said firefighters could not determine the cause of the fire, but said winter fires are common. He told WYPR how residents can protect their homes from those fires.

Rachel Baye

  

The leaders of the General Assembly voted Tuesday to update the body’s sexual harassment policy for both elected officials and staff in light of complaints lodged in other statehouses around the country.

The new policy requires an annual report that will reveal the number of harassment reports made each year. For each allegation of sexual harassment, the Department of Legislative Services’ Human Resources Manager will have to identify the type of harassment and how it was handled. The report won’t contain any names.

@Yankees/Twitter

Let’s assume the folks at Turner Broadcasting aren’t clairvoyant, that their scheduling of a loop of Star Wars movies this weekend was just an attempt to cash in on the new film opening next weekend and not commentary.

That may be, but man, it sure felt like someone at TNT in Atlanta knew that there would be a disturbance in the dark side of the force between Miami and New York, as the Evil Empire got another weapon to fire up the Death Star.

I’m speaking, of course, of the Yankees’ reported acquisition of Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton for the equivalent of a couple of used droids.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came to Baltimore today to talk about immigration and Central American gangs. Sessions tied that to Baltimore’s soaring homicide rate.

Sessions spoke of increases in violent crime nationwide, in part fueled by the Central American gang, MS-13, then turned to Baltimore.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Governor Larry Hogan released a plan to crack down on crime in Baltimore Tuesday, criticizing Mayor Catherine Pugh’s efforts. But the mayor was not impressed.

Hogan announced more state police patrols, more probation agents serving warrants and other initiatives. Pugh responded Wednesday morning.

Maryland Health Connection

If Congress repeals or stops enforcing the individual mandate and Maryland doesn’t change anything about the way its insurance market works, state residents will feel the effects quickly, health care experts warned a state commission Tuesday.

“If we don’t act next year, it’s very likely we won’t have an individual market in 2019 in Maryland,” said Deb Rivkin, Vice President of Government Affairs for Maryland at Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurer.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

Since Governor Larry Hogan has held the Maryland’s highest elected office, Baltimore has seen homicides go through the roof.

In 2015, there were 344 homicides.

2016: 318 homicides.  2017: So far, 323 homicides.

Hogan wants 2018 to show a different story. And for that – he’s got a plan. 

Karen Hosler / WYPR

Gavin Buckley took office as Annapolis Mayor yesterday, following a swearing-in ceremony that featured the national anthem, bible belt spirituals, and a dance performance of the James Brown tune "Sex Machine." WYPR's Karen Hosler took in the proceedings (tapping her toes for part of them), and talked about them and Buckley's proprieties with Nathan Sterner.

Tom Newby/flickr

It’s normally not our habit to be concerned with the University of Tennessee’s football team.

Goodness knows there are enough issues with the state university football squad in this area, or hadn’t you noticed the 66-3 thumping that Penn State administered to Maryland a couple of weeks ago to close the Terps 4-8 season?

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Thousands of people gathered in Mount Pleasant Church Wednesday for the funeral of Baltimore Detective Sean Suiter, who was fatally shot two weeks ago in Harlem Park.

Christmas garland and wreaths hung from the church balconies and large bouquets lined the edge of the pulpit where Mayor Catherine Pugh, Governor Larry Hogan, and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis spoke of Suiter’s calm demeanor and heroic choices.

Over the next few weeks, the Baltimore City Police Department consent decree monitor is hosting community engagement forums to develop a monitoring plan. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi attended one at Frederick Douglas High in West Baltimore; she tells Nathan Sterner that the event did not go exactly as expected.

John Lee

 

This is our first installment in an occasional series, “As They Grow: Tracking Change for the Next Generation.”

 Teacher Jackie Johnson tells a class of 20 sixth-graders to “circle up.” They stand facing each other. They clear away desk chairs and gather in the back of the room for a few minutes. This is something these students at Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Randallstown do every day. 

 

@UCFKnights/Twitter

Here’s the long and short of what I know about the University of Central Florida: The school is located in Orlando and its mascot is the Knights. Its stadium is sometimes called the Bounce House.

And I will be rooting like mad for the UCF football team this Saturday against Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Mary Rose Madden

A Baltimore City Council committee unanimously approved Tuesday a $12 million youth fund for programs throughout the city.

But before that, dozens of community advocates, parents and young people rallied in front of the Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a community center in Sandtown created after the riots following the death of Freddie Gray, and marched to Frederick Douglass High School, where the council's Education and Youth Committee met.

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Councilman Julian Jones wants the school board to vote to make Verletta White the county’s permanent school superintendent. This comes as White is under fire for not reporting income she made while consulting for an outside firm. WYPR’s John Lee talked it over with Nathan Sterner.

 

Rachel Baye

Thirty-seven-year-old Tara Herbert entered a classroom at the Little Flowers Early Childhood and Development Center in West Baltimore, where she’s a teacher.

Five one-year-olds sat around a small table while a movie played nearby. Another teacher was spoon feeding one of the toddlers.

Mary Rose Madden

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says officers have come up with new evidence in the shooting death of Detective Sean Suiter.

"Based on the results of the autopsy yesterday...we have recovered additional evidence from the crime scene," Davis told reporters. He wouldn't say what that evidence was, but stressed that investigators went back to the vacant lot in the 900 block of Bennett Place, where Suiter was shot, and made progress.

Tom Newby/flickr

For all the comfort and joy the holiday season can bring, the gatherings of family and friends over the last six weeks of the year can also be stress-inducing.

And if you think things are going to be anxious at your house this Thursday, imagine how tense Thanksgiving will be at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium.

That will be the scene of the NFL meeting between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cowboys.

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.

Twitter

The Baltimore police officer shot Wednesday afternoon has died.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis stood with Mayor Catherine Pugh and several doctors in front of the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center Thursday afternoon to announce the death.

Sean Suiter, an 18 year veteran of the force, a former Naval officer, husband, and father of five, succumbed to a single gun shot wound to the head shortly after noon Thursday. 

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.

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