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WYPR News

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

John Lee

This is a tale of two states and their approaches to local brewers.

The folks at the Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are making 450,000 barrels of beer each year and selling 6,000 of those barrels in their tap room, one pint at a time. That works out to about one and a half million pints. No Maryland brewer comes anywhere close to that.

Rachel Baye

Facing record levels of violence, Baltimore officials are grappling with the best way to curb the violence, Mayor Catherine Pugh met with Governor Larry Hogan Monday afternoon to strategize.

At the top of her list, Pugh said she plans to bring in a team from the U.S. Department of Justice next month to help the city strategize.

Daniel X. O'Neil/flickr

The end of the NBA playoffs in June brings within a few weeks the start of the league’s free agency period. And with that comes a string of signings with salary numbers that are akin to Powerball winnings.

Rachel Baye

The Baltimore City Health Department is getting a new $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute – Baltimore to aid in the fight against opioid overdoses, city Health Commissioner Leana Wen announced Monday. The money is slated to pay for real-time alerts about overdose spikes and new community engagement efforts.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Morning Edition host, Nathan Sterner, talks with City Hall Reporter, Dominique Maria Bonessi, about the competition between 26 law firms vying to be the U.S. Department of Justice consent decree's independent monitors for police accountability. A grassroots coalition, The Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs and Baltimore residents met last night at a townhall meeting at Coppin State University to ask tough questions of the monitor applicants. 

Google Maps

Speed cameras are back in Baltimore. An earlier system was shut down in 2013 after it was discovered cameras were issuing speeding tickets to cars that weren’t violating the speed limit. Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the implementation of the new cameras in May and said that she hoped the new camera system would renew Baltimoreans’ confidence and bring revenue to the city.

Below is a map showing where the first seven cameras are. They're all in school zones.

Looking for the Maryland 400's mass grave

Jul 4, 2017
Tom Moore

This is a story about Marylanders fighting and dying in Brooklyn (New York, that is) during the Revolutionary War and the mystery of where their bodies are buried.

Archeologists are looking for evidence of the Maryland 400’s possible mass grave in a part of Brooklyn called Park Slope.

Creative Commons

Last year, 157 people in Maryland died from overdoses of Oxycodone, a prescription narcotic.

Jamyla Krempel

Anthony Lloyd is one of those kids who was doing everything right; getting good grades, going to college.

Still, he was shot in the back by a 17-year-old who was trying to steal his scooter. He survived--though, with a bullet lodged in his liver--and recently graduated from Bard High School. He says he wasn't surprised by the attack.

"You know, for me, getting shot it wasn't like, 'Oh my God, I got shot!'" said 18-year-old Anthony in an interview at his summer job at the Middle Branch Park Recreational Center. "It was like this is proof that there is a serious problem. It's proof that there is a serious problem."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland announced today it has filed two separate suits to overturn gag orders contained in settlements in police brutality cases.

The suits against Baltimore City and its police department and Salisbury and its police department were filed in federal court and in Baltimore Circuit court.

Susan Goering, ACLU Maryland’s executive director, says settlements that impose gag orders on plaintiffs violate their rights.

A bipartisan plea for bay funds

Jun 29, 2017

  

A bipartisan array of state officials went to bat for the Chesapeake Bay yesterday, lobbying their Congressional representatives to restore $73 million in bay restoration funds that was chopped out of the 2018 federal budget.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The great Potomac Street bike track controversy appears to be settled.

Mayor Catherine Pugh has a plan to maintain the bike lane, eliminate parallel parking on both sides of the street and allow angle parking on one side.

The whole thing blew up back in May when Pugh said she was going to tear up the $775,000 bike lane because the neighbors feared it would hamper emergency vehicles. The advocacy group Bikemore sued to keep the lane and a circuit judge temporarily blocked the city's plan to destroy it.

Pugh announced her new plan at a news conference Wednesday.

Katie Piekes

More than 60 people gathered on the beach at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Tuesday to watch the folks from Baltimore’s National Aquarium release a harbor seal they had been treating for more than two months back into the Atlantic Ocean.

Phil—he was named for a fisherman who helped monitor him—had been in a pond in Kent County, Delaware, all winter and came to the aquarium in mid-April with an eye irritation — likely from being in freshwater too long.

Suzanne Thurman, the director of the Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation Institute in Delaware, said Phil likely stayed in the pond because he had no competition for food.

Earlier this month, Baltimore City Schools laid off 115 people to help plug a looming budget gap. But at the same time the school system was trying to fill 200 vacancies.

And that has left teachers and their representatives in layoff limbo.

"It’s just a mystery to me why you can’t find a place for these people," fumed Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

Daniel X. O'Neil/flickr

The calendar says late June, and, in a sports context, that, for many, means baseball and the early stages of a pennant race. But, soon enough, the calendar will turn to fall and the American sports attention will  quickly turn to football, assuming it ever leaves football.

And for millions of parents of kids, especially those kids who want to play football for the first time, the changing of the calendar will bring on a decision: whether to let those kids play the game or not.

Once upon a time, say, a generation or so ago, such a decision was a no-brainer.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

The Baltimore Teachers Union partnered with Baltimore City Schools last week to launch a five-week campaign to enroll 1,000 new students in city schools. 

Using a database of targeted houses provided by the city, groups of teachers and paraprofessionals have gone door knocking to try to talk parents into sending their kids to city schools. But at least one group found that many of the houses where they were told school aged children lived were vacant; one after another, after another, with mail piled up at the threshold. .  

Protecting female crabs

Jun 23, 2017
Pamela D'Angelo

Although surveys conducted last winter showed the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population has held steady, fisheries managers are suggesting new restrictions because they’re concerned about a drop-off in the number of young female crabs.

PUGHFORMAYOR.COM

Baltimore City schools officials failed to report a $100 million pension liability to the city government in fiscal year 2015, according to the city auditor.

Auditor Robert McCarty told the Board of Estimates about the missing information Wednesday morning.

"In their report they did not include their liability to the city's employee retirement system [ERS] of $100 million," McCarty said after the meeting. "In their opinion, it was a liability of the city of Baltimore to the ERS."

The Baltimore City Council has approved a resolution upholding the Paris Climate Accord -- an agreement President Trump backed the US out of earlier this month. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi shares the details with Nathan Sterner.

Baltimore Link debuts

Jun 20, 2017
John Lee

There was a lot of talk about numbers and colors at Baltimore’s bus stops Monday morning as the city’s newly revamped system of bus routes got its first test.

Dubbed BaltmoreLink, the system went into effect in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, but it wasn’t until the Monday morning rush that planners and riders got the first real sense of it. And Alice McClellan, who uses a cane, was not happy.

John Lee

Baltimore’s newly revamped system of bus routes got its first real test during the Monday morning rush.

And while it’s designed to be quicker and more efficient and to get commuter closer to their jobs, it didn’t go all that well for Rodney Bennett, who was making his way from his home in North Baltimore to work in Cherry Hill.

His first bus was 10 minutes late.

Planned Parenthood

Look at the schedule of virtually every professional and collegiate team in the country and you’re sure to find dates where the club aligns itself with a popular cause or constituency. There are Girl and Boy Scout Days, canned food and blood donation drives and salutes to the military, all the types of events that everyone can get behind.

What most teams avoid like the plague are instances where the club could be in cahoots with something controversial. And teams certainly stay away from involvement with anything that could be seen as political. In that vein, July 18 could be a very interesting date on the American sports calendar.

That’s the day that the Seattle Storm of the WNBA have a scheduled “Stand With Planned Parenthood” rally at their home arena.

John Lee

Baltimore County has counted heads and found more than 600 people homeless within its borders. But the actual number of people living in shelters and on the streets in the county is likely much higher.

The county recently released the findings from a one-day homeless census it conducted on January 24 when it found 609 homeless people countywide.

But county officials caution this is merely a snapshot on a given day that provides a rough estimate. And those who work with the homeless say it is a low ball number.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Hundreds of Baltimore youth showed up at a recent city council budget hearing to plead for more money for after-school and community school programs.

One city councilman called it a "rare moment of unity and strength."

Rachel Baye

Sixty-four-year old Johnnie Davis has been treating his heroin addiction at the Bon Secours New Hope Treatment Center in West Baltimore for nearly 20 years.

“When I came here, I didn’t have no insurance,” he said. “And if I wasn’t here, I could imagine where my life would have turned because I was known for drugs — selling drugs.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Plans for a 157-unit apartment building in Roland Park has split community residents. And it came to a head yesterday as the city council gave preliminary approval to a bill to allow the project at Falls Road and Northern Parkway.

As the vote was taken opponents of the project, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, "Don't OVERLOOK Us,"  stood up and disrupted the meeting. Jack Young, city council president, banged his gavel, telling the residents they were out of order and they left.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The long simmering battle over the redesign of a bike track on Potomac Street in Canton was thrown into limbo Friday when a circuit court judge temporarily halted city plans to demolish the lane.

Still, bicyclists who took to city streets and parks over the weekend as part of the 15th annual Tour Dem Parks event remained angry and worried about the fate of bicycle lanes in the city.

They even greeted Mayor Catherine Pugh with a smattering of boos and some chanting when she made an appearance.

Rachel Baye

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates all of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s $73 million and reduces or eliminates several other funds used to clean up the Bay and its watershed.

On Thursday, leaders from the six states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed — who together form the Chesapeake Executive Council — signed a resolution calling on Trump and Congress to replace that money in the budget and urging federal agencies to remain active participants in Bay restoration efforts.

Succeeding the speaker?

Jun 7, 2017

Joel McCord and Bryan Sears, of the Daily Record, ponder potential successors for ailing Mike Busch as speaker of the House of Delegates.

CASA de Maryland

Jesus Peraza, the Honduran who was picked up by immigration agents after he dropped off his son at Hampstead Hill Academy last March, will be forced to leave the country. 

The notice came Tuesday in a letter to Jared Jaskot, Peraza's lawyer, from John Alderman, the deputy field director in Baltimore for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Alderman wrote that he could “not find a compelling reason” to allow Peraza, who has been in the U.S. for more than a decade, to stay.  

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