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News coverage, Series and Commentary from WYPR's award winning news staff.Series from WYPR Newsroom.

Tourists visiting the Chesapeake Bay region have plenty of options: boating, fishing, dining and more.

But one particular type of tourism that has grown over the last five years gets those visitors thinking about the natural environment around them: Ecotourism.


hubison.com

Click on the image for the audio. 

It took just a few hours into the new college football season for the proverbial apple cart to be overturned – and by two teams in the DMV, no less.

In the middle of Saturday afternoon, the Maryland Terrapins launched their 2017 campaign with a most improbable 51-41 win over heavily favored Texas.

Maryland’s win was one of the big surprises of recent note. But the Terps’ relative miracle pales in comparison to what happened a few hours later just off the desert strip in Las Vegas.

John Lee

Baltimore County’s Interim School Superintendent Verletta White was walking the halls of Dumbarton Middle School last week. She was there for a half day program that helps sixth graders figure out which end is up in their new school.

At one point, White tried to help a student work his locker combination. At another time she was told by a couple of students that their bus didn’t show up.

Just as Maryland and Virginia are in the middle of ambitious oyster restoration efforts in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, a new threat has appeared; excess acid in the deeper waters.

According to new research out of the University of Delaware, deeper bay waters—30 to 50 feet—are becoming more acidic. That means carbon dioxide is dissolving in the water, which could potentially hurt oysters.

Rachel Baye

The meeting of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Tuesday morning was closed to the public and to the press, but the city and state officials who attended said tougher sentencing practices was a major focus of the discussion.

AP Photo/Dino Vournas

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has already approved 11 dispensaries to be placed throughout Baltimore. But lack of strict zoning requirements has city residents worried about where the dispensaries will be located.

Rachel Baye

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with city and state officials to discuss rising levels of violent crime in Baltimore, Gov. Larry Hogan said his biggest concern is the number of people who are committing multiple violent crimes without serving time.

Tom Newby/flickr

The beginning of a new year in Maryland schools is nigh and around most high schools these days, you’re likely to hear the sounds of pads thumping against each other and grown men yelling at younger men in the relative chill of the morning or the blazing heat of the afternoon.

Yes, it’s nearly football season, and those sounds are in play universally across the region, save for one place.

There will be no thumping pads, screaming fans or any of the other attendant sounds or sights of football around Centennial High this season.

Baltimore City Police Department

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the third Baltimore Police body camera video that has surfaced. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis rejected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's dismissal of the 43 out of 101 cases pertaining to the footage. Mosby responded to Davis in a statement saying that "this re-enactment undermines the public trust" and "creates indefensible doubt in the minds of the general public, judges, and jurors."

Joel McCord

A group of anthropology majors from Washington College in Chestertown has spent the summer not at the beach, but as research assistants roaming the Eastern Shore, talking to residents about the risks of flooding and projected sea level rise. They’ve traveled through Talbot, Dorchester and Somerset counties talking to local residents about their communities, changes and their experiences with flooding.

And on a recent trip, Kirsten Webb and Hayley Hartman were visiting Roland and Sheilah Bradshaw at their home on Smith Island. Kirsten was hardly into her opening spiel about community response to flooding when Roland jumped in.

Rachel Baye

State lawmakers plan to introduce legislation requiring the state to get all of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2035. The bill is expected to be introduced when the General Assembly returns to Annapolis in January.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a plan today for a permanent solution for those homeless people camped out in front of city hall to seek housing. The mayor says she looked to charitable organizations for help. 

Flickr via Creative Commons

I am a Lee from Virginia. I lived in Charlottesville for four years. I lived on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, with its statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Jeb Stuart. I’m a white, middle aged guy. And until weekend before last, I was on the wrong side of history.

I thought statues of Confederate heroes served a purpose. While I by no means thought the South was justified in leaving the union in order to preserve slavery, I thought those statues were about something else. 

Who was Roger Taney?

Aug 23, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Any discussion of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney inevitably begins with the opinion he published in 1857 in Dred Scott v. Sanford.

Eclipse fever

Aug 21, 2017
Mary Rose Madden

The moon’s shadow swept across the sun Monday afternoon, totally obscuring it in some parts of the country, and blotting out about 80 percent of it Maryland. It was the first coast to coast solar eclipse in the US in a century and thousands turned out in Baltimore to catch a glimpse.

William Yeung/flickr

College students are only now starting to report for the new school year, and the first serious athletic competitions are a few weeks away.

But the scene is set for one of the biggest showdowns in college sports history between the NCAA and one of its highest profile member schools.

The outcome may go a long way to defining what a student-athlete is as well as determine whether the organization that governs college athletics can, in fact, play a role in academics.

Solar Eclipse 2017

Aug 21, 2017
Courtesy of Romeo Durscher/NASA

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

A statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney was removed from the State House grounds early Friday morning, following a key state committee vote, cast by email earlier this week. Taney is best known for writing the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery by ruling that black people could not be US citizens.

But a day after the State House Trust voted, Senate President Mike Miller jumped to Taney’s defense.

Mary Rose Madden

Baltimore quietly removed four Confederate monuments Tuesday night, responding to activists who called for them to be taken down after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend turned deadly.

Documenting Hate

Aug 16, 2017

Driven by the lack of reliable data on the number of hate crimes that occur in the U.S., ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom recently joined with partners to launch Documenting Hate, an initiative that collects stories about bias incidents and hate crimes. 

National and local data, user-submitted reports, and social media monitoring will allow journalists and civil rights groups to get a more accurate picture of hate crimes and acts of intimidation--in person and online. 

P. Kenneth Burns

Earlier this year, Baltimore entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice to reform the city police department. As part of the agreement, an independent monitor will keep track of the changes made and report publicly on the progress.

Tuesday night, the city hosted the first of two forums where community members could hear from the four finalists considered for monitors.

WYPR's Matt Tacka and Rachel Baye discuss what happened at the forum and the process for selecting the monitor.

Mary Rose Madden

Four Confederate monuments in Baltimore were torn down overnight at the order of Mayor Catherine Pugh. She said she was concerned about the “safety and security” of the people of Baltimore after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Saturday turned deadly.

The action came after the Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution Monday calling for their removal. It also pre-empted calls from local activist groups to tear down one of the statues on Wednesday.

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s watered down bill aimed at imposing a mandatory minimum one-year sentence for possession of an illegal gun survived a preliminary vote in the city council Monday night.

The 8-7 vote came after opponents gathered outside City Hall demonstrate against the bill.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Two weeks ago, state officials gathered in a shopping center parking lot in Dundalk to declare August first Henrietta Lacks Day. Last night, the Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution to follow suit. The resolution honors the woman whose cancer cells, taken by Johns Hopkins doctors in 1951 without her knowledge or consent, led to advances in treatment of polio, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Lack of patient consent, compounded by a history of mistrust of medical institutions, still reverberates in Baltimore’s gay black community.

Alistair Ross/flickr

We know you’ve been busy lately, what with summer vacations, planning for the eclipse, or checking out sunflowers, so maybe you haven’t been keeping up on the goings-on in the world of sports.

In our never-ending quest to inform and entertain, let’s let you in on a little secret: The Olympics are coming to the United States.

Chris Moe / UMCES

Dr. Helen Bailey, who did her PhD work on bottle nose dolphins, says she heard reports of occasional sightings of the marine mammals when she came to work as an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science in Solomons.

But then the underwater microphones the lab was experimenting with began picking up the tell-tale squeaks and clicks of dolphins foraging in the Chesapeake and its tributaries. Now, the scientists are finding out the dolphins are pretty regular visitors to the bay.

"We were discovering that we were actually detecting dolphins quite frequently during June, July and August," she said. "And so then put another hydrophone in the Potomac River and there we were detecting dolphins every day."

Rachel Baye

Two Maryland doctors have been charged with illegally selling prescriptions for opioid painkillers at so-called “pill mills.” State Attorney General Brian Frosh announced the indictments Thursday together with local and federal officials following an investigation spanning multiple agencies and jurisdictions.

After months of  increased-levels of violence and multiple requests, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her Violence Reduction Plan Wednesday. The plan contains many promises, but few bench marks.

WYPR-Tom Pelton

The Board of Estimates agreed today to changes in a 15-year-old consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency that gives the city more time to fix its troubled sewer system. But, not everyone was happy with it.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition Host, Nathan Sterner, talks to City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the Baltimore Police Department's officer vacancies, new hiring strategy, and programs in their pilot phase to bring the department into the 21st century. 

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