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

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."


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.

Visions: Sandtown Mural & Art Project

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about the Justice Department not finding sufficient evidence in federal criminal charges on the six Baltimore City police officers involved in Freddie Gray Jr.'s death on April 19, 2015. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the NAACP, and Maryland Democratic Congressmen all weigh in giving their reactions.


The state Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee convened a meeting Tuesday to examine record levels of violence in Baltimore — what’s causing it and how it can be stopped. WYPR's Rachel Baye spoke with Nathan Sterner about the discussion and the conclusions drawn.

Karen Hosler

Annapolis’ pre-Labor Day parade had the usual marching bands, dance troupes and city council members waving from antique convertibles. Then there was this guy strutting, skipping, and dancing down West Street, moving from side to side to shake a hand or grab a hug.

Just as he stole the show that day, Australia-born Gavin Buckley has injected the race for Annapolis mayor with a spark rarely seen in city elections.

"I feel like I have a passion to take the city forward and effect some change," Buckley said. "Not just talk about it."

Buckley, 54, is an entrepreneur credited with driving a nest of drug dealers and prostitutes from a main Annapolis thoroughfare.

AP Photo/Rob Carr

On April 20, 1996, the date of that year’s collegiate draft, the Baltimore Ravens tapped two men who would forge their places in league history.

Jonathan Ogden established himself as one of the best left tackles in league history, while Ray Lewis is seen in some circles as the greatest middle linebacker the NFL has ever produced.

Lewis and Ogden were teammates and Super Bowl champions, each taken in the first round of the draft, 22 picks apart.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Host Nathan Sterner talks to City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi about legislation to provide a $2500 property tax credit to public safety officers that reside in Baltimore City. Council President Jack Young and District 11 Councilman Eric Costello proposed the bill as incentive for more public safety officers to reside within Baltimore City lines. Currently 23 percent of police officers, 30 percent of firefighters, and 53 percent of sheriffs reside in the city. 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In Baltimore, residents have faced sewage backups in their homes for years which, says one Johns Hopkins University researcher, could be hazardous for your health.

Sen. Ben Cardin said he is optimistic about a possible bipartisan health care bill. He made the comments on Friday while speaking with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Midday.

Rachel Baye

The state Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to cut more than $60 million from the state’s $43 billion budget. However, the body did not touch $6 million slated for local school systems that was initially on the chopping block.

Bay's osprey population in decline--again

Sep 6, 2017
Reese Lukei

Osprey, like bald eagles, are a comeback story.

Their eggs were destroyed by the pesticide DDT, until it was banned in 1972, when there were only about 1,400 breeding pairs of osprey around the bay. By the late 1970s scientists began seeing osprey in southeastern Virginia, according to Reese Lukei, who monitors osprey nests in that region, along with Chrystal Matthews for the William and Mary Center for Conservation and Biology and the Virginia Aquarium.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore city’s latest sewer repair plan contains $2 million a year to help residents with clean-up costs if sewage backs up into their homes. But it won’t be much help to those who already have spent thousands for repairs.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s business owners will be hit hard by the Trump Administration’s recent blow to immigration policy that will deport tens of thousands of young immigrants.

Mary Rose Madden / national public radio in Baltimore

Kids might be headed back to school, but their teachers have been hustling to put together lesson plans and to get their classrooms in order for weeks. And teachers are resourceful, of course, so they've been swapping everything - from supplies to ideas. 

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.


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.