General Assembly
1:13 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Hotels, Travel Sites Spar Over Sales Tax Burdens

The Maryland State House

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 5:35 pm

  It was hotels versus the online travel agencies in Annapolis on Wednesday. At issue: Exactly how much taxes online travel companies should be paying.

When an online travel agent like Priceline or Travelocity books a room, they get it at a discount from the hotel chain. Then they mark it up and rent it to the customer – that’s how they make their money.

Online travel agents like Priceline and Travelicity make their money by negotiating discount rates with hotel chains, and then renting it to customers at a higher rate.

Read more
2:43 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Speeding Up Innovation in East Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University has started a second business accelerator in East Baltimore called Fast Forward East.
P. Kenneth Burns WYPR

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 11:53 am

  Ed Yoon, chief technology officer of dataFascia, is drawing a diagram on a wall in his office.  Don’t worry; the paint used in the offices turns a boring wall into a dry erase board.

His company is working on a way to make electronic health records, EHRs, more available to app developers.

“In essence, we’re sort of a middleware lair that allows us to take data from different EHR's and abstract that in a way so that the app developer is just looking at the data; not caring really caring where the data's actually coming from,” says Yoon.

On the sixth floor, Lauren Dickinson and Matthew Davenport with Gemstone Biotherapeutics, a regenerative medicine company, sets up new equipment in a shared lab space.

The two companies, dataFascia and Gemstone, are among several companies that have moved into Johns Hopkins University’s second business accelerator, Fast Forward East, at the corner of North Wolfe Street and Ashland Avenues.

The school is to hold an open house Wednesday.

Read more
WYPR Series
2:38 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Sparrows Point: Hoping For The Return Of The Good Times

The Ore Pier continues to be used.

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 2:58 pm

Costas Inn on North Point Boulevard in Dundalk smells like beer and crab cakes. There was a pretty good crowd on a recent Friday.  But Donna Grover, a long-time regular, says it’s nothing like it was when Bethlehem Steel was running full strength at Sparrows Point, a few miles away. "This bar used to be packed like sardines and since Sparrows Point shut down, it staggers," Grover said.

Read more
WYPR Series
12:31 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Sparrows Point: Cleaning Up After A Century Of Making Steel

The Tin Mill Complex is being torn down. In its time, tin and chrome platings were applied here.

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 3:28 pm


The new owners of Sparrows Point have ambitious plans to redevelop the 3,100 acres on the lower east side of Baltimore County. But at the same time, they are beginning a massive cleanup for the industrial site where steel was made for more than a century.

Read more
WYPR Series
10:25 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Sparrows Point: Planning A Rebirth

The Star of Bethlehem used to sit atop the L Blast furnace. It was saved and developers are deciding what to do with it.

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 12:40 pm

Sparrows Point was once home to the largest steel mill in the world.  Today, it's home to abandoned and torn down buildings, environmental contamination and vegetation run amuck. But there is a new plan to bring back the former home of Bethlehem Steel known simply as The Point.

Read more
8:57 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Hogan Calls For Tax Cuts In State Of The State Address

Gov. Larry Hogan gives the state of the state address in the House of Delegates in Annapolis.

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 9:15 am


The state of the state is not that strong, according the Maryland’s new governor. Gov. Larry Hogan’s first state of the state address laid out a broad plan to fix the problems he sees plaguing the state – plans that Democrats who control the legislature are unlikely to pursue.

Read more
3:11 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

New Indictment, Same Suspect, In Phylicia Barnes Case

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby (center) says seeking a new indictment against Michael Johnson in the Phylicia Barnes case was suggested by the Attorney General's Office as the best way to return the case to court.

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 3:19 pm

Baltimore Prosecutors announced Tuesday a new indictment against Michael Johnson in the murder of Phylicia Barnes.

Barnes, 16, from Monroe, N.C., went missing while visiting family in the city in late December 2010.  Her body was found in the Susquehanna River four months later.

Read more
11:43 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

City Hall Notebook: Police Accountability Sets Rawlings-Blake’s Annapolis Agenda

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake discussed part of her legislative agenda news conference Monday dealing with police misconduct.

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 1:03 pm

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is seeking tougher penalties for bad cops from the General Assembly as part of the legislative wish list she released Monday.

Read more
3:48 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Teachers Union Wants Ban on Kindergarten Assessment

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 1:56 pm

Back at the start of the school year, before she could get her class at West Towson Elementary humming along in a regular routine, Bianca Crockett had to pull each of her 18 students from the classroom and individually give them the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, the KRA.

Read more
3:47 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Hogan, Franchot Stay Tight At First Board Of Public Works

A packed meeting for Hogan's first Board of Public Works meeting.

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:23 pm

Since he was elected governor, Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot have had nothing but praise for each other.  The Democrat and Republican have even gone shopping together. Their bipartisan bro-mance continued Wednesday at Hogan’s first Board of Public Works meeting.

Hogan was applauded as he entered the meeting of the three-member Board – the first he’d ever attended. He came in right as the meeting was scheduled to start at at 10 o’clock, which was something something that rarely happened under Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was regularly 15 to 30 minutes behind schedule.

Read more