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

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.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Click on the image for the audio.   

If politics truly makes for strange bedfellows, imagine how weird the NFL and its players feel right about now.

The league office and the players union have been at odds for virtually every second of the last decade, in matters on and off the field.

Just recently, the NFLPA took the league to federal court to challenge the six-game suspension of Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott as the NFL contends that Elliott violated the league’s policy on domestic violence.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The recently revised sewage collection consent decree requires Baltimore to replace aging sewer pipes by 2030. But first, the city needs to rebuild streams whose banks have eroded over time.

@BCFDL734

A warehouse fire at 1026 East Patapsco Avenue in Curtis Bay this morning sent smoke billowing into the sky at South Baltimore. The fire was less than a mile from where a chemical plant released an acid cloud last week.

John Lee

It's becoming more clear who will be running for Baltimore County Executive. There are three declared candidates with two more expected to follow in the coming weeks. The county GOP hopes the party will gain control of both the County Executive's office and County Council following the 2018 elections. WYPR’s John Lee talks it over with Nathan Sterner.

Rachel Baye

About 62 percent of registered voters in Maryland say they approve of the way Gov. Larry Hogan is doing his job, a decline from Hogan’s 70-percent approval rating last September, according to Goucher poll data released Monday.

Pamela D'Angelo

For as long as there’s been a Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at the mouth of the bay, there’s been a gift shop and restaurant perched on an island in the middle of it all. But now that Virginia has broken ground to add a parallel tunnel, the restaurant is about to become history.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A study released this month shows 40 percent of all disqualifications for Baltimore City Police applicants were due to marijuana use in 2017. Many in the city would like to see that policy revoked.

Karen Hosler / WYPR

  

Incumbent Republican Mayor Mike Pantelides will face Democrat Gavin Buckley in Annapolis's Mayoral Election in November. Pantelides handily won the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary. Buckley's victory was a bit of an upset, as he beat State Senator John Astle. It all sets up what could be a heated race in the coming months. WYPR's Karen Hosler talks about it all with Nathan Sterner.

John Lee

Donald Eurice was walking through one of his fields in Middle River when he picked up an ear of corn blackbirds had damaged.

"You take sweet corn," he said, pointing to gaps at the end of the ear where kernels used to be. "They take two picks on it you can’t sell it. It’s done."

@jemelehill/Twitter

Many years ago, far more than either of us would likely want to admit, a wonderful journalism professor of mine dropped a little verity on me and the rest of my class that has stuck with me ever since.

He said that each of us brings our own personal baggage to each story that we cover, meaning that we bring our life view and experiences to our work as journalists.

My professor was awfully prescient and his wisdom became apparent to me last week in the midst of a media tsunami where an ESPN anchor named Jemele Hill called the president of the United States a white supremacist in a tweet.

Rachel Baye

  

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that he is running for governor in a speech in front of the Baltimore County government offices in Towson Monday morning.

Kamenetz has been expected to make the announcement for months.

Residents of neighborhoods near an industrial plant in Curtis Bay were told to stay inside today when a cloud of acid leaked from the plant in the 3400 block of Fairfield Avenue.

The Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management sent a tweet to residents of three zip codes, 21060, 21225, and 21226 at about 12:30 pm on Monday.

Rachel Baye

By Monday, the State Board of Education must submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education outlining how Maryland’s schools will abide by the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind. The federal law governs how states monitor schools’ performance.

Maryland’s plan will be submitted without Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.

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