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News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan plans to introduce legislation repealing a transportation law passed by the General Assembly last spring, he announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR news team, talk about the Christmas wish list newly inaugurated Mayor Catherine Pugh delivered to President-elect Donald Trump when he was in town for the Army-Navy game.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

State lawmakers voted Tuesday to approve a $20 million incentive for aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman. The money is intended to motivate the company to keep 10,000 jobs in Maryland and spend $100 million on new office space in Linthicum.

Mikulski.Senate.gov

Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski bade farewell to the U.S. Senate recently, concluding 45 years in elective office and projecting the next phase of her life.

"You know when people vote for you, it’s not only that they’re sending you to Washington or City Hall," she said. “They’re giving you a vote of confidence that you will be their voice, that you will be their vote, that you will be at their side and on their side.”

Undocumented immigrants face uncertainty

Dec 12, 2016
Jonna McKone

President-elect Donald Trump promised during his campaign to get tough on immigration.

Among other things, his campaign website promised to build an “impenetrable physical wall” on our southern border and he has promised to terminate President Obama’s program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation.

And that has raised anxiety levels in immigrant communities throughout the country as well as in Baltimore. “It’s very scary right now in our community,” said Nathaly Uribe Robledo, who entered the United States illegally as a child in 1997. “A lot of people are very afraid.  They are not sure what’s going happen.” 

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly reconvenes in Annapolis in just more than a month, and one of the biggest issues facing members will be filling the state budget’s roughly $400 million deficit. On Friday, legislative leaders and a representative from the governor’s office made some predictions about what’s to come at the Maryland Association of Counties conference on the Eastern Shore.

Fraser Smith and John Lee, of the WYPR news team, talk about Congressman Andy Harris' threat to withhold federal money from Baltimore County because of Executive Kevin Kamenetz's immigration stance.

Joel McCord

A recent study from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay program has confirmed that the water quality in the nation’s largest estuary is improving, thanks to a pollution diet for states in the Bay’s watershed.

But there’s one part of one state—the five counties of South Central Pennsylvania—that lags behind in reaching its pollution reduction goals, mostly because of fertilizer that runs off farm fields into Bay tributaries.

Young calls for partners to address city problems

Dec 8, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore 72nd City Council took office Thursday with more than half of its members newly elected.

Council President Jack Young said that the members will focus on reducing crime, reducing the number of vacant properties and increase affordable housing.  And, he said, he wants to partner with the private sector to accomplish those tasks.

John Lee

The inauguration and the parties are over.  And now Baltimore’s new mayor gets down to the business of running the city.

Mayor Catherine Pugh will attend Wednesday her first meeting of the Board of Estimates. This is the spending panel that a mayor can control through two of her appointees; the public works director and the city solicitor.  Each has one vote.

Pugh sent a clear signal that she will be very hands on.

Pugh begins her dream job; mayor of Baltimore

Dec 6, 2016
John Lee

Catherine Elizabeth Pugh became the 50th mayor of Baltimore Tuesday before a standing room only crowd at the War Memorial Building.

Her inauguration attracted not only a who’s who of Baltimore politicians and officials, but a who’s who of state leaders as well; Democrat and Republican.  That included Republican Governor Larry Hogan who said he is optimistic about Mayor’s Pugh’s leadership.

“I have no doubt that she will work tirelessly to address the problems facing Baltimore and to revitalize this great city,” he said.

Fraser Smith

Now in its second year – and recently awarded five more years of funding from the National Cancer Institute -- the CURE scholars program aims to change the lives of 60 or more Southwest Baltimore kids and to literally change the face of medical service and research in Baltimore.

Bikemore

Protected bike lines are cropping up all over Baltimore, and the newest is an especially long stretch of Maryland Avenue, 2.6 miles from 29th Street in Charles Village to Preston Street devoted strictly to non-motorized vehicles.

WYPR's Fraser Smith talks about the change of heart from Prince George's County Sen. Ulysses Currie and the upcoming change in membership as a result of the election with his colleague from The Daily Record, Government Reporter Bryan Sears.

Rachel Baye

A state legislative committee voted Thursday in favor of changes to how and when the Department of Juvenile Services strip searches children and adolescents in its custody. However, the group delayed decisions about new regulations for when and how to shackle youth.

Growing Blackwater

Dec 1, 2016

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is about to grow.

The US Fish and Wildlife service announced Thursday it has acquired 410 acres to add to the 27,000 it already holds on the Eastern Shore.


Rachel Baye / WYPR

A legislative committee is expected to vote Thursday to limit shackling and strip searching children. The proposals will likely lead to new Department of Juvenile Services policies almost immediately.

City ID proposal draws outside criticism

Nov 30, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

The Baltimore City Council is expected to approve a municipal ID program at its next meeting Monday.

The cards are aimed at helping residents who may not have other forms of identification gain access to city buildings and city services.

The idea is an outgrowth of one Councilman Brandon Scott had when he was on the staff for then-City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Fraser Smith and Adam Bednar, who covers real estate for The Daily Record, talk about a residential building boom in downtown Baltimore.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state agency that oversees services for people with disabilities has for years directed health care providers to overcharge patients, according to a state audit released Tuesday. Residents may have lost millions to the error, and they may not be able to get the money back. 

Who's in? Who's out?

Nov 25, 2016

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, WYPR's City Hall reporter, discuss the transition from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh.

Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR reporting team, talk about newly elected senator Chris Van Hollen's difficult assignment, cobbling together a Democratic majority in the Senate by 2018.

Tracking raptors on the coast

Nov 22, 2016
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Every fall, ospreys, falcons, eagles, hawks and other raptors migrate through the Chesapeake Bay region on their way to warmer places. And as they do, groups of volunteers keep track of them as part of the Hawk Watch initiative - an international effort to study raptors during their migratory period.

Rachel Baye

The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to replace the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge that crosses the Potomac River from Charles County in southern Maryland to King George County, Virginia, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.

The announcement comes roughly six months after Hogan vetoed a bill the Democrat-controlled legislature passed to set aside money to replace the bridge.

Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake promised on Thursday that immigrants will continue to be welcome in Charm City, and that the city police will not be actively checking immigration status.

The promises were a reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies and could cost Baltimore some of its federal funding.

http://www.harrisforbaltimore.com/

While state Senator Catherine Pugh easily won last week’s mayoral election, Joshua Harris, the Green Party candidate for mayor, managed to poll about 10 percent of the vote.

“The third party candidate did very well - over 10% is a good, healthy number,” said John Willis, a former Maryland Secretary of State.

The big shift in the Baltimore City Council

Nov 17, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

In less than a month, the Baltimore City Council will undergo its biggest change since 2003 when it went from multi-member districts to single member districts.

John Lee

Michelle Eubank and Wayne Warble were making the rounds one recent Sunday, taking care of the dozens, if not hundreds, of feral cats that inhabit the old Bethlehem Steel property at Sparrows Point.

They poured food and water into dishes and placed them at four sites with names that harken back to the old days, when Sparrows Point was home to the largest steel mill in the world.

Rachel Baye

The Baltimore City Council gave initial approval Monday to a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The move coincided with a resolution pushing for a statewide ban and is largely symbolic. The ban will effectively be repealed when the state’s drilling moratorium ends next year.

Jonna McKone

 

 

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood last night to voice their frustration with Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the race for president.

 

Police, who estimated the crowd at upwards of 600, said the protesters were mostly orderly, though some blocked roadways and sat down in the streets.

 

Officers detained three people, two men and a woman. The men were released, but the woman, identified as Stephanie Applegate, 25, of the 1600 block of Charmuth Road in Lutherville, was charged with failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer.

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