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The Baltimore City Council Committee hearing Wednesday night on revamping the 1980s-era "Dollar-A-House" program was packed.

WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi was there, and talks about it with Nathan Sterner.

dcJohn/flickr

 

Baltimore County students who are poor, African-American or disabled are far more likely to get kicked out of school. That’s according to a new report on behavior and discipline presented last night to the Baltimore County School Board.

The number of people in Maryland who died after taking the narcotic Fentanyl increased by more than 70 percent in the first half of 2017, compared with the first half of last year, according to preliminary data the state Department of Health released Tuesday. 

Deaths related to heroin and prescription opioids were relatively flat across the state, the data show.

Houston Astros Twitter

In June of 2014, the story on the cover of Sports Illustrated predicted the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017.

At the time, the pick seemed to be one of those cheeky little pieces that magazines write to look clever or hip or ahead of the crowd.

Rachel Baye

Maryland’s government won’t contract with any company that boycotts Israeli products or services over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The change is the result of a new executive order Gov. Larry Hogan signed Monday opposing the BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — movement.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The five-mile stretch of Baltimore's North Avenue -- from Belair Road to Hilton Street -- will be getting a face lift complete with new dedicated bike lanes, better bus stops, sidewalk improvements, bike facilities, and roadway renovations.

John Lee

State Senator Jim Brochin officially launched his campaign Thursday for the county’s top office.

 

Brochin, a four-term state senator, has been plotting this run for a long time. Brochin made his announcement at Towson Manor Park.

 

  

John Lee

Baltimore County came under withering criticism Wednesday from the State Comptroller over the conditions of two of its high schools. Comptroller Peter Franchot called the conditions at Dulaney and Lansdowne High Schools deplorable and unacceptable.

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore officially submitted its proposal today to make Port Covington the site of Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2.

In an elaborate affair to say the least, the ceremony was complete with piano jazz and a multimedia production with the theme of “Why not Baltimore?”

A bill introduced in the Baltimore City Council Monday night would prohibit the expansion of the city's two crude oil terminals, and forbid the building of new ones.

A Baltimore police officer shot and killed a shotgun wielding 20-year-old man involved in an armed robbery at a 7-11 early Monday morning.

Police commissioner Kevin Davis said the officer, Kevin Amy, a 17-year veteran assigned to Northeastern District patrol, followed proper police procedure and turned on his body worn camera.

NCAA Facebook

 

In normal situations, the moment that the schoolyard bully is revealed to be all talk and no action is a celebratory one.

In that instant, the playground becomes an egalitarian utopia, a place where all children can run and play without fear of the noogie, the wet Willie or getting pantsed.

The NCAA has been likened in many circles to a playground brute that throws its weight around against hapless opponents, taking their lunch money without a trace of compassion.

DOMINIQUE MARIA BONESSI

Hundreds of teachers, parents, elected officials, and other community members filled the auditorium at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Thursday night to advocate for a more equitable approach to funding Maryland’s public schools. On the other side of their pleas was a state commission tasked with overhauling the current funding model. WYPR’s Rachel Baye was at the public hearing and joins Nathan Sterner to discuss it.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

While thousands of people in Baltimore City remain homeless, uninsured, or under insured, one event this week provided a one-stop shop to residents for dental work, vision care, job searching, and more.

Credit: Charlie Wambeke
Charlie Wambeke

  

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released her $350 million plan to reduce homelessness in the city today, but at least one homeless advocate sharply criticized it.

The 26-page plan drafted by a homelessness workgroup, recommends increased affordable housing, eviction prevention, improving the capacity and quality of family shelters and services and promoting a housing first model.

Baltimore Police

Trial boards for three of the five Baltimore police officers involved in the Freddie Gray case are to begin this month in public, but their results may remain private.

The hearings for Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice, and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. may be open, but City Solicitor Andre Davis says it could be difficult making the outcomes of those hearings public.

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County School Board is considering a proposal to keep schools open during the Jewish holidays next September. But the board got some blowback for that idea during a public hearing Tuesday night. WYPR's John Lee and Nathan Sterner talked about it on Morning Edition.

Ted Kerwin/flickr

Some time before new calendars are posted in offices and kitchen walls around town, a potentially significant summit will take place, presumably in the Orioles offices in the warehouse.

The outcome of that meeting may go a long way toward whether the Birds’ 2018 looks anything like their 2017.

Baltimore County

There are concerns that legislation is being rushed through the Baltimore County Council. A commission that is studying the county charter is expected to recommend that bills before Council have more time for debate. WYPR’s John Lee joins Nathan Sterner to talk about the work of the Charter Review Commission.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore activists sharply criticized Mayor Catherine Pugh last week, tweeting she hadn’t done enough for tent city residents staying at the old Pinderhughes Elementary School. But the reality on the ground is different.

To understand venture capital and how it affects start-up businesses in Baltimore, you might want to try a baseball metaphor. 

It takes anywhere from $1 million to $5 million in seed money to get started. And that's just hitting singles and doubles. A start-up that wants to knock a grand slam out of the park needs a lot more than that, $10 million or more. And for that, local businesses have to turn to out of state investors.

A Johns Hopkins University report released last week found that almost 70 percent of venture capital investments for start-ups in Baltimore are coming from outside of Maryland.

Frederick County Schools

Frederick County became the fourth school district in Maryland to create a policy specifically supportive of transgender students in the spring of 2017. A few months later, a mother and her daughter sued the school board that adopted that policy.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Mayor Catherine Pugh is expected to release her $350 million plan to curb homelessness next week. But, tent city organizers tweeted the mayor isn’t moving fast enough.

WYPR

A new state law that took effect this week makes major changes to criminal justice policies. The law is intended to save the state money by reducing prison populations, then invest the savings in crime prevention efforts.

But one provision in the new law that is designed to send offenders to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction may not work as planned.

The Baltimore County Council green-lighted a two million dollar state loan Monday to try to entice Amazon to build a distribution center at Sparrows Point.

County officials say they believe landing Amazon could mean more jobs than the official estimate of 1,500 at the distribution center.

Austin Kirk/flickr

Click on the image for the audio.  

It’s been 24 years, nearly a generation, since Charles Barkley uttered the famous words "I am not a role model." 

At the time, many people, myself included, thought Barkley was copping out, of begging out of the time-honored tradition of sports figure as hero or heroine.

Perhaps it was just naivete, but we used to live in a time where you could admire someone simply because he played sports, where you could ascribe heroic traits to a man simply because he hit a baseball, threw a touchdown or dunked a basketball.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Elizabeth Wexler stands at a chalkboard at the Baltimore City Police Training Academy while 50 cadets look on. She draws a large "T" and asks the class to say what comes to mind when they think of mental health.

Garrett Heights Elementary/ Middle School

The Baltimore City school system is highly segregated. In a city that’s 63 percent black, the average school is 84 percent black. Garrett Heights Elementary Middle School in Northeast Baltimore is therefore not unusual. Around 90 percent of its students are black, though the surrounding neighborhood is more than a third white. Many of those families choose to send their children to other schools. But last year the school launched a pilot program that may begin to change that.

Rachel Baye

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Environmental Protection Agency. State officials say the EPA is not enforcing the Clean Air Act in five upwind states, and that creates an unhealthy level of smog in Maryland, particularly in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas.

Wikimedia Commons

Baltimore County is close to landing an Amazon distribution center, to be located at Sparrows Point in eastern Baltimore County.

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