WYPR News | WYPR

WYPR News

News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

Karen Hosler

It’s Tuesday morning rush-hour at the Shady Grove metro station and buses are unloading passengers at the rate of 50 at a time. Amie Hoeber is trying to get as many as she can to accept her campaign brochures, and maybe talk a little bit. "Amie Hoeber running for Congress. Good morning, Amie Hoeber running for Congress," she says over and over.

Sheila’s back, but can she win?

Oct 11, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced she will try to get her job back as a write in candidate for the general election.

Dixon filed the paperwork Tuesday before a news conference.  She acknowledged her newly revived campaign is going to be challenging.

“I know this is a uphill battle.  But I know that in the next four weeks, were gonna educate people in the ‘ABC’s’ of what it means to write-in a candidate,” she said.

She also added that her campaign is going to be “organic” and “grassroots.”

Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition

State and local elected officials from the Baltimore and Washington metro areas are calling for a transit network that would connect their respective regions. The policy makers joined activists at a press conference Tuesday morning in front of Baltimore’s Penn Station, gearing up for a political fight that could last through the spring's General Assembly session.

The transit system the group envisions would build off MARC and the D.C. Metrorail. It would extend from Martinsburg, West Virginia to the west, to Waldorf, Maryland, to the south, all the way up Elkton, on Maryland’s Delaware line.

John Lee

Oysters are nature’s filtration machines, and there used to be enough of them in the Chesapeake Bay to filter and clean all that water in three days. Now, there are so few oysters it takes more than a year.

So, environmentalists are trying to rebuild the population by growing oysters. And one of the so-called oyster gardens is in an unlikely place-- Baltimore’s polluted inner harbor. It’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Baltimore Initiative.

YouTube

Repealing Obamacare has become a litmus test for many Republicans seeking federal office. But Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Friday she wouldn’t vote to repeal the federal healthcare law.

Fraser Smith and John Fritze, of the Baltimore Sun's Washington Bureau, talk about the changes in Clinton v Trump polling since the presidential nominees debated in September at Hofstra University.

P. Kenneth Burns

Those who live in Baltimore’s suburbs have at least two options for cable television and high speed internet; Comcast and Verizon.  But for city residents, Comcast is the only game in town for cable television.  And they’re pretty much the only option for extremely fast internet as well.

Jason Hardebeck, Baltimore’s broadband coordinator, says it all “comes down to infrastructure.”

John Lee

Republican Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga said Tuesday that her top priority if she is elected would be to fix management problems at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The delegate from Baltimore County made the comments while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

Without the she crab, there'd be no he crab

Oct 3, 2016
Pamela D'Angelo

The Atlantic blue crab, Chesapeake Bay’s signature crustacean, has been through tough times in the last 20 years. Some recent improvement has been credited to restrictions on harvesting females. Yet Virginia still allows the harvest of egg-bearing females, something Maryland banned back in 1917. The reasons why seem to be wrapped up in economics.

Lining up already?

Sep 30, 2016

It may seem early, but Fraser Smith and John Lee, of the WYPR news team, assess the potential candidates in the 2018 Baltimore County Executive race.

SRB says Mosby didn’t do her job

Sep 28, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake charged Wednesday that State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby caved in to political pressure in the Freddie Gray case and failed to do a thorough investigation before charging six police officers.

“You can't bow to political pressure and charge when you're not ready,” the mayor said. “You got to stand up, be in the big role and say to the people if you need time to investigate."

Fraser Smith and Mileah Kromer, head of the Goucher Poll, talk about how Gov. Larry Hogan's non endorsement of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has left him in good standing in Maryland. 

State and federal programs have poured billions of dollars into some of the nation’s worst schools since 2009 in hopes of making improvements. But once those schools show progress, the money disappears, and they risk sliding backward.

Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School in East Baltimore is one of those schools. After drastically improving test scores, school climate, enrollment and absenteeism, it is no longer eligible for turn around funding.

State releases second-year PARCC results

Sep 27, 2016

More than half of Maryland’s students who took standardized tests last spring failed them, according to the state Department of Education.

The department released scores on the 2016 Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests Tuesday which showed overall, modest gains throughout the state. The percentage of students passing the English test was essentially flat, but the percentage of African American and Hispanic students passing showed a small positive gain.

Rachel Baye

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga makes no secret of the fact that she has been endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan in her bid to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Rachel Baye

A poll released Monday by Goucher College found that Marylanders are increasingly divided over whether the state should ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

The state’s moratorium on the practice is set to end in October 2017, when the Department of the Environment plans to begin issuing drilling licenses.

East side progress

Sep 23, 2016

Fraser Smith and Melody Simmons, of the Baltimore Business Journal, talk about new housing development and sales near Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, talk about Republican efforts to retake Maryland's Sixth Congressional District seat with a 74-year-old "young gun."

Rachel Baye

On sunny days, you might have to look a little harder to find evidence of sewage overflows on the Jones Falls Trail. But it’s there.

No surprise: Port Covington TIF passes

Sep 19, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

As expected, the Baltimore City Council passed Monday the largest tax financing package for a development in city history.

The 12-1-2 vote – for each bill - came after months of controversy over the size of the tax package and requirements for jobs, wages and housing.  The three-bill package creates the Port Covington development and taxing districts and authorizes $660 million in tax bonds to finance infrastructure work at the site.

The bonds would be repaid with property tax revenue generated by the profit.

Councilmen Bill Henry and Mary Pat Clarke abstained from voting on the package.  Councilman Warren Branch voted against the bills.

Joel McCord

A few years ago, scientists began worrying that blue catfish, the much larger cousins of those squirmy, yellowish bottom feeders, might take over in Chesapeake Bay. They’re big—better than 100 pounds in some cases--voracious eaters and they’re prolific. So, at least one seafood wholesaler appropriated a slogan applied to other invasive fish--eat ‘em to beat ‘em—and began aggressively marketing them. And local watermen have found a new market and seemingly endless supply. 

What? No spring break?

Sep 16, 2016
Baltimore County

    

It looks like spring break could be on the chopping block for Baltimore County school students during the 2017-2018 school year. WYPR’s John Lee joins Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to talk about the changes and to tie it all to Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order to start school after Labor Day.

In 2001, as the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Black United Front brought a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and the police department for racial bias, a white officer in Cincinnati shot an unarmed black teenager as he fled police.

And then, along came a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found a pattern of discriminatory practices by the department and an agreement for changes that took months to hammer out. The process of instituting those changes has lasted years. Some would say it’s ongoing.

Port Covington and the community benefits precedent

Sep 16, 2016

    

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR news team, talk about how community benefit agreements greased the skids for the Port Covington TIF and the precedent that sets for future city development deals.

John Lee

So, if you want to draw a crowd on a college campus, offer up free ice cream. Earlier this week, dozens of students lined up at the ice cream truck parked outside the Towson University Union It was one of the inauguration week events for University President Kim Schatzel. She was out there working the crowd and posing for selfies.

Plans for Confederate monuments formalized

Sep 14, 2016

A Baltimore mayoral commission released Wednesday formalized recommendations to remove two city-owned Confederate monuments.

The commission studied four monuments in particular; the Lee Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell, the Roger B. Taney Monument at Mt. Vernon Place, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mt. Royal Avenue near Mosher Street and the Confederate Women’s of Maryland Monument at Bishop Square Park.

In January, it recommended removing the monuments to Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision, and Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and keeping the other two.

The report also explained the history behind each monument.

United States Department of the Interior, GIS

    

The mood was bright and optimistic when a dozen or so Republican women posed for a recent campaign gathering in Severna Park with Mark Plaster. They were eager to help the GOP candidate give Democrat John Sarbanes the only serious challenge he’s faced since first winning Maryland’s Third District congressional seat 10 years ago.

Tom Chalkley

    

Fraser Smith and John Lee, of the WYPR reporting team, talk about the rebirth of Sparrows Point and what it means for Baltmore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

John Lee

Sparrows Point, once the home to Bethlehem Steel in Southeast Baltimore County, is starting to come back to life. And more than a year into the Point’s rebirth, there are already hundreds of jobs on site, due in part to what the steel-making giant left behind.

Back in January, officials announced that Fed Ex would be the first major tenant at the Point, with plans to build a distribution center. It’s expected to open in the spring with about 150 employees. A few weeks ago, Under Armour said it was going to build an e-commerce distribution center with about 1,000 employees expected.

Rachel Baye

In a speech in Baltimore Monday afternoon, Donald Trump promised the National Guard Association of the United States that he would support military growth and defeat ISIS if elected president.

Pages