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WYPR News

News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

Rising tides make life difficult for scientists

Aug 9, 2016
Pamela D'Angelo

  Chesapeake Bay shorelines are gradually disappearing as sea level rises and higher high tides eat away at beaches and fragile, sandy cliffs. And while that causes anxiety for some waterfront property-owners, it also creates a dilemma for archeologists and paleontologists.

They’re gradually losing important sites and artifacts to the water.

Tom Chalkley

WYPR's senior news analyst suggests there's something other than the continuing controversy over Donald Trump's insensitive comments about a Gold Star family that could undo his run for the White House.

Jonna McKone

The standard picture of a debate team looks something like this: white students in jackets and rep ties from schools like Dartmouth and Princeton. But that’s changing, especially in Baltimore, which has developed a reputation for producing some of the most accomplished high school and college debaters in the country.

Take rising 10th grader at Baltimore City College, Nicolas Broaddus, who stands in front of the  judges at the Eddie Conway Liberation Institute’s debate competition. Clad in a dashiki he’s talking about things that "...constitute the domestic aspect of the US transnational network of secret prisons and black sites..."

Zoe Mitchell

Last May, a three-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and was picked up by Harambe, a rare, endangered silverback gorilla. Out of fear for the boy’s life, zoo officials made the tough call to kill Harambe.

The next morning, Don Hutchinson, CEO and president of The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, sent his staff out to double-check their own security measures to make sure animals and visitors are protected.

Rachel Baye

  The governor’s office said Wednesday it will not release nearly $80 million the legislature had set aside to pay for a range of items including teacher pensions, the rehabilitation of aging schools, the demolition of the Baltimore City Detention Center and Baltimore’s Safe Streets initiative.

Baltimore County police say they asked Facebook to suspend a woman's Facebook and Instagram accounts during a standoff because people commenting on videos of the law enforcement operation were encouraging her not to comply with orders from officers.

Looking past November

Aug 3, 2016

Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR reporting team, say Maryland politicians are looking past this year's presidential race and setting their sites on the next run for the governor's mansion in 2018.

In the aftermath of the storm

Aug 1, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Torrential storms pushed swollen streams over their banks in the Baltimore region over the weekend, causing two deaths and major damage in Ellicott City and tearing up businesses in the Woodberry section of Baltimore.

Early Monday the clean-up efforts were well underway as trucks with heavy equipment and police cruisers streamed down Ellicott Mills Drive onto Ellicott City’s historic Main Street, each vehicle followed by a cloud of dirt.

Mayor says Port Covington not a rush job

Aug 1, 2016
Sagamore Development

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake took issue Monday with those who say the city is rushing to approve the $5.5 billion Port Covington project. The mayor disagreed with critics who charge the proposal has not been thoroughly studied.

Conventional wisdom

Jul 29, 2016

    

Fraser Smith and John Fritze, of the Baltimore Sun's Washington Bureau, compare and contrast the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Blue Water Baltimore

Baltimore City asked the U.S. District Court last month to extend its deadline for making critical improvements to the city sewer system by 17 years, from January 2016 to the year 2033.

The deadline stems from a 2002 lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice filed against the city for allowing raw sewage to leak into public waterways, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

P. Kenneth Burns

Prosecutors defended Thursday their investigation and strategy in the case of Freddie Gray, who died from injuries suffered in police custody. 

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow said in a news conference they believed in the case and were prepared to continue with the trials.  But State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby determined that they had to be realistic.

“Mrs. Mosby correctly determined that we had to face the reality [that] defendants would select judge trials,” he said.  “And that this judge made determinations and that he had seen the significant portions of the evidence that he was going to see.”

Schatzow added he “obviously” disagrees with Williams’ view and that “there should have been guilty verdicts.”

BPD's new use of force policy: What's changed?

Jul 28, 2016
Baltimore Sun

    

In her news conference Wednesday, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby blamed the legal system for her inability to convict any of the six police officers charged in the Freddie Gray case.

"Without real substantive reforms to the current criminal justice system, we could try this case 100 times and cases just like it, and we would still end up with the same result," she said.

The trials of six officers in the Freddie Gray case came to an end Wednesday morning when prosecutors dropped charges against the remaining officers facing trial; Officers Garrett Miller and William Porter along with Sgt. Alicia White.

Prosecutors failed to win a conviction in the case. Officers Edward Nero, Caesar Goodson and Lt. Brian Rice were acquitted in May, June and July, respectively.

Porter’s original trial ended in a deadlocked jury last December.

Is Port Covington's price worth the promise?

Jul 27, 2016
Sagamore Development

  Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s plan to develop Port Covington holds out the promise of jobs, affordable homes and millions in revenue for Baltimore City. Some people are excited about what’s to come, while others are wary about whether those promises can be kept, and if those promises are for them.

Miller trial will have some differences

Jul 26, 2016
Baltimore Police

Pre-trial motions in the trial of Officer Garrett Miller will be heard Wednesday at Courthouse East.

Miller, one of six officers charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, will be the fifth officer brought to trial in the case.

This trial will have some differences from the previous four.

Sagamore Development

The $5.5 billion Port Covington project moves to the city council this week and is on track to be approved before a new mayor and council take office later this year. But the new leadership will have to deal with the decisions the old guard makes over the next few weeks.

Mary Rose Madden

Camden County Officer Tyrrell Bagby is headed to his usual beat, but on the way he sees a man stumbling, about to walk off the curb and into a busy intersection near City Hall.  Officer Bagby leans out the window and tells the man the train is coming and that he could be hurt “sitting in the middle of the street.”

A tale of two Ryans

Jul 22, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

As you’d expect, Lt. Gene Ryan was a satisfied man Monday when Lt. Brian Rice was acquitted of all charges in Freddie Gray’s death.

Ryan, the head of Baltimore’s police union, has been among the most vocal critics of the charges filed against six police officers in the case and of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.  And some of that criticism has been inflammatory.

The case of the missing Chesapeake Bay blue crabs

Jul 21, 2016
Pamela D'Angelo

  Over the years, scientists have learned more about the Atlantic blue crab than just about any other species in the Chesapeake Bay. But there’s at least one mystery that still has them stumped. What happened to the millions of young crabs that vanished in 2012, what should have been a bumper year?

GLAAD

Sonja Santelises, Baltimore schools CEO, recently appointed DeRay Mckesson, a Baltimore native and leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, to be the city schools interim chief of human capital. As an educator and an activist, Mckesson brings a unique set of experiences to his new position. 

Another acquittal. Now what?

Jul 20, 2016

    

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR news team, take up the latest developments in the Freddie Gray case and what it may mean for future prosecutions.

Architects design the classroom of the future in Baltimore schools

Jul 19, 2016
Grimm and Parker

Baltimore’s billion-dollar, 21st Century School Buildings plan sounds ambitious enough to begin with; renovate and rebuild nearly two dozen schools over the next five years. But there’s more to the program - it’s also creating learning environments that will incorporate natural light, better acoustics and malleable learning spaces.

Sagamore Development

Opponents of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s plan to develop Port Covington say it is built on faulty numbers. They laid out their case Monday night to explain why they want the city to put the brakes on the South Baltimore development so it can be studied further.

Third officer in Freddie Gray case acquitted

Jul 18, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Lt. Brian Rice, the highest ranking officer among the six charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray, was acquitted Monday of all the charges against him by Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray.  Gray suffered a severe spinal injury in the back of a police van.  He died a week later.

Rice Trial: Williams to render verdict Monday

Jul 17, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams is expected to announce his verdict in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice Monday morning.

Rice is the highest ranking officer charged in last year’s death of Freddie Gray.  He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office.

Gray died from a spinal injury suffered in the back of a police van.

Rice could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the top count; the manslaughter charge.

    

Fraser Smith and John Fritze, of the Baltimore Sun's Washington bureau, talk about new Republican blood in Maryland's delegation to the GOP convention and presumptive nominee Donald Trump's vice presidential pick.

Prosecutors say Rice should have been a leader

Jul 14, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The fate of Lt. Brian Rice is now in the hands of Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams.

Williams heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Rice, the highest ranking officer in the Freddie Gray case. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in Gray’s death last year.

Judge Williams said he will render his verdict at 10 a.m. Monday.

Rachel Baye

The company behind the planned Port Covington development announced Thursday a multi-million-dollar arrangement with six nearby neighborhoods in South Baltimore.

  

In October, sweeping reforms to the state’s criminal justice system will shrink the state prison population. But that means the population of offenders on parole and probation will increase. Employees in the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation said they are worried about the anticipated increase at a news conference Thursday morning.

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