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State lawmakers are questioning the decision by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration to fire the long-time manager of the state’s blue crab program. State House and Senate committees grilled administration officials over the dismissal at a joint hearing Monday.

AP Photo/David Goldman

One of the more attractive aspects of sports for many is the idea that in athletics, it’s actions that carry the day over words.

Every so often, however, an athlete’s words far outpace his on-field performance and force us to take stock of what’s been said and done.

Andre Iguodala is a reserve player with the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He’s been a solid, if not spectacular player through his 13-year career, making an All-Star team once and winning a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in London five years ago.

Nearly 200 years after her birth, Harriet Tubman, who led escaped slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, was honored over the weekend with the opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center near her birthplace in Dorchester County.

The $22 million park on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, was eight years in the planning. Then-President Barack Obama named the site a national monument in March of 2013, the 100th anniversary of her death. The visitor center rises from the marshes, fields and woodlands that still look much as they did during  Tubman’s life.

Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Friday a joint plan with the state to help fill the city school system’s budget gap with $180 million over three years. The plan needs to be approved by the full legislature and Gov. Larry Hogan.

Cummings meets Trump, is optimistic. Sort of

Mar 10, 2017
Howard County Library System via flickr

Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, says he’s optimistic after having President Donald Trump’s ear earlier this week, at least on the subject of prescription drug prices.

Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said Trump agreed that drug companies "are in many instances charging these very unreasonable prices" and said "he thought it was just unfair to the American people."

Family Photo

Jenny Carrieri is frustrated that Baltimore County Police appear to be no closer to solving her twin sister’s murder now than they were on an early, snowy morning in 1996.  She charges that detectives have mishandled the case.

“They were not following up on leads, lying, contradicting themselves; it’s just been – it’s incredible what we’ve gone through,” she says.

March 2 marked 21 years since 23-year-old Joann “Jody” LeCornu was shot and killed near the City/County line in Towson.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Sitting handcuffed and shackled for a long car ride can be traumatic for a child. Deborah St. Jean, the director of the state public defender’s Juvenile Protection Division, said one of her clients particularly dreaded the shackles.

“When this girl has to come to court, she is handcuffed, shackled — black box, waist chains, 25 pounds — and she has tremendous anxiety about that,” St. Jean said. “And each conversation I have with her when I’m telling her she’s going to court, she will invariably ask me, ‘Do I have to be handcuffed? You know that’s so awful.’ It’s a three-hour ride for her.”

Rachel Baye

As Congress debates cutting access to Planned Parenthood for Medicaid recipients, Maryland’s legislative leaders are pushing a plan to replace the lost funding, which they estimate would be about $2.7 million a year.

Dulaney High bucks renovation and AC plans

Mar 8, 2017
John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board rejected last night plans to renovate Dulaney High School in Timonium after parents argued to wait for a new school. And that could put in jeopardy County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s plan to have all county schools air conditioned in the next couple of years.

Diageo North America

Guinness’s plan to build a brewery and taproom in Southwest  Baltimore County cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly Monday.

For a local bill to have a prayer, it has to get voted out of its local delegation. Guinness’s bill for some exemptions in state liquor laws did that, breezing through Baltimore County’s Senate delegation 6-0; but not without some changes.

“Pay-to-Play” tanks in the legislature

Mar 7, 2017

Developers in Baltimore County will be able to continue contributing to the campaigns of county candidates after all.

A proposed ban on that kind of contribution died Monday in Annapolis at the hands of Baltimore County lawmakers.

State Senator Jim Brochin’s so-called “pay-to-play” bill could not get enough support to get voted out of the county’s Senate delegation. So Brochin says that means it’s dead.

Rachel Baye

Nicole Hanson can rattle off a long list of examples of people who couldn’t pay their bail.

Some parents, teachers, students and administrators in Baltimore City Schools spent the week trying to convince state and local lawmakers to plug the schools’ $130 million dollar budget gap.

The search for money to “fix the gap” started in Annapolis on Monday where Mayor Catherine Pugh staged a press conference. “We have not heard yet what the governor's commitment is going to be,” she said, calling for the state to pitch in more funds.  “And he knows how important our school system is and how important our children are.”

The state House of Delegates voted Friday to reprimand Baltimore County Del. Dan Morhaim for failing to disclose his relationship with an applicant for a medical marijuana license. Morhaim helped craft the state’s medical marijuana laws and licensing framework while working as a consultant for a company applying for a license.

Effort to give mayor control of Baltimore Police is dead

Mar 3, 2017
P. Kenneth Burns

The sponsor of a bill seeking to return control of Baltimore Police back to the city said Friday afternoon he is withdrawing his proposal.

Del. Curt Anderson, a city Democrat, discussed the bill with his colleagues in the city delegation which he chairs.  He cited a three-page opinion from the Attorney General’s Office that said returning control of the police department to the city would be “extremely expensive.”

Joel McCord and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR News team, talk about the $300 million price tag for restoring Pimlico Race Course and preserving The Preakness.

Students at predominately white Westminster High School fought back Wednesday after administrators removed posters promoting diversity. More than a third of them showed up wearing T-shirts modeled after the posters.

But things didn’t go exactly as planned at this Carroll County school that’s 87 percent white. A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the school in the afternoon just as thunderstorms rolled into Westminster. The students returned about a half hour before dismissal, some of them rattled by the threat.

John Lee

You don’t need a weather man to know that we haven’t gotten much snow this year. But despite that, Baltimore County has spent much of the money it set aside for snow removal. And here’s why.

Joel McCord and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR news team, try to figure out why a state senator wants to increase the residency requirements to run for mayor and city council in Baltimore.

Rachel Baye

  

Maryland lawmakers are making a last-ditch effort to prevent gas companies from fracking in the state, particularly in the Marcellus Shale that lies under Garrett and Allegany counties.

John Lee / WYPR

Last week Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she would update plans to shrink the city school’s $130 million budget shortfall. Monday, she and city officials unveiled that plan.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval rating remains strong among Marylanders, with 63 percent of adults approving of the job he is doing, according to a new Goucher Poll out Monday.

Watermen suspicious of Mallows Bay Marine Sanctuary

Feb 23, 2017
Don Shomette via NOAA

Back in 2014, Maryland asked NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to make Mallows Bay and its famed ghost ships a marine sanctuary. And that has raised the hackles of some watermen from both sides of the Potomac.

Lawmakers and prescription drug prices

Feb 23, 2017
Brendan Reynolds

Prescription drug prices have gone up sharply in recent years, angering consumers and their advocates. And now Annapolis lawmakers are trying to stem the tide in Maryland.

Both houses of the General Assembly are considering bills that would prohibit price gouging and require drug companies to file documents with state health officials when planning to increase drug prices. 

USDA

The Delmarva Peninsula lies under the Atlantic Migratory flyway, a path waterfowl migrate through. As Europe deals with recent outbreaks of a severe strain of Avian Influenza, some local poultry growers worry that just one infected bird passing through the region could contaminate and kill whole flocks of chickens.

Maryland's freshman senator has a tough job

Feb 22, 2017

Maryland’s junior senator may be in his first year in that body, but he isn’t exactly the new kid on the block. Chris Van Hollen served seven terms in the House of Representatives, where he was picked by party leaders to run the Democratic election arm of the House. Now he has the same job in the Senate, which is unheard of for a freshman, in what looks to be a rough cycle for the party.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan frequently offers a similar complaint about bills Democratic legislators introduce in the Maryland General Assembly — that the bills take away his power as governor. Hogan says this year’s legislative session features more than 30 such measures.

Karen Hosler

Ben Cardin and Steny Hoyer have been close friends and allies since they were boy wonders of Maryland politics a half century ago. But now they may be facing their greatest challenge ever: protecting the country from what they call the missteps--or worse—of President Trump. 

Joel McCord and John Lee, of the WYPR news team, discuss a measure making its way through the General Assembly that would keep landlords from automatically turning down renters with housing vouchers.

John Lee

More than 23,000 families in Baltimore County are on a waiting list for housing vouchers once known as Section 8. And while they're waiting, the long running debate over where to put affordable housing in the   county rolls on.

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