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

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At this time last week, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had few worries beyond where to get good stone crabs during the All-Star break in Miami in July.

And, then, within the space of two games between the Orioles and Red Sox in Boston, Manfred had a couple of crises on his hands.

In short order, Manfred, the latest of the Big Four American sports bosses to get his powers, had to solve racism and deal with a group of recalcitrant boys passing as grown-ups who don’t know how to get along.

"Precious" Hammond

In this Reveal/WYPR collaboration, we look at two cases of running from cops that reveal some truths about the intersection of policing and the courts.

Reporter Mary Rose Madden brings us the story of Jay Cook. He died in 2007 after a foot chase by Baltimore cops. When his parents asked why, they faced a wall of bureaucracy and evasion. 

Click here for a map showing the distance between the sites where Freddie Gray, Greg Butler and Jay Cook ran from police. 

Audio below. 

Baltimore County

Here is one of the things you get to do when you are county executive: show up at groundbreakings for new schools.

That’s what Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz did Wednesday at the site of the new Lansdowne Elementary. And it gave him a chance to tout his plan to spend $1.3 billion on 16 new schools, as well as 19 school additions and renovations.

Rachel Baye

Last month, state legislators passed a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees. But more than three weeks after the General Assembly’s 90-day session ended, it’s still not clear whether Gov. Larry Hogan plans to veto the bill or to allow it to become law.

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell introduced legislation Monday night that would in essence deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in this country illegally.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

With just a few weeks before budget hearings at Baltimore City Hall, police officials appeared a public safety meeting Tuesday chaired by Councilman Brandon Scott, to talk about fighting violence in the city. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi was there, and spoke with Nathan Sterner about what happened.

A large blue van with the letter NIBIN, or National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, rolled out in front of city hall today as Mayor Catherine Pugh and local representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms announced the joint efforts partnership.

The mobile unit will be used throughout the city to provide homicide crime scene analysis within four hours of an incident. The vehicle is equipped with computers to match guns with previous homicide offenders.

Dottie Day/flickr

The word hero might be inappropriate for anyone whose name is associated with the idea of reducing the incidents of violence against women.

But Fred Glass, Indiana University’s athletic director, has made himself, if not heroic, at least admirable with two words: No more.

With the approval of the campus faculty athletics committee, Glass announced that, under his leadership, the university’s teams will not accept athletes who are found guilty of sexual violence.

Orchkids

When was the last time you heard a 12-year-old rhapsodizing about Beethoven, Mozart and especially Shostakovich?

Or seriously considering a career in astrophysics.

Or, before the age of 10, seeming to have the makings of an orchestra-level flute player. If you spent any time around the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Orch-kids program you’d hear all that.

Pugh calls on FBI for assistance

Apr 26, 2017
pughformayor.com

This week marks two years since the riots following the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, and Mayor Catherine Pugh called Wednesday on the local Federal Bureau of Investigation office to request more agents and equipment to assist Baltimore police.

The need for more resources from the FBI comes as the city hits 100 homicides before the end of April, surging fatal opioid overdoses and a stubborn 6.6 percent unemployment rate.

John Lee

What with the prospect of Irish beer giant Guinness opening a brewery and tap room in southwestern Baltimore County this fall you might think local craft brewers and bar owners would be worried. You’d be wrong.

In fact, they’re salivating at the prospect, figuring a rising tide of beer will lift all kegs. 

Sleep: It's good for what ails you

Apr 25, 2017

April 23-29 is the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Awareness Week. The folks at the foundation want you to know that those who don’t get enough sleep, or work changing shifts and get irregular sleep put themselves at risk for all sorts of health problems.

And Maryland is among the most sleep deprived states in the nation, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Keith Allison/flickr

Some things in life, and in sports, for that matter, make so much sense you wonder why no one thought of it before.

The reported move of Coppin State University to name Juan Dixon as its men’s basketball coach makes so much sense for both sides that some will no doubt ask, why didn’t this happen before?

Governor's office

Lawrence J. Hogan, Senior, father of Maryland’s governor, died Thursday at age 88 after suffering a stroke. But he lived long enough to see his son fulfill his own political dreams.

Former three-term congressman Larry Hogan, senior, had wanted to be governor, but instead he will forever be linked to the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. As the first Republican to call for removing the GOP president, Hogan signaled that Nixon would have no escape except to resign.

Joel McCord, WYPR's news director, and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, discuss the changed political of Chesapeake Bay restoration.

On Thursday night, four Democratic members of Maryland's congressional delegation heard from their constituents. Senator Chris Van Hollen as well as Congressmen John Sarbanes, Dutch Ruppersberger, and Elijah Cummings took questions at a town hall meeting at the Baltimore War Memorial. 

John Lee

The three Republicans on the Baltimore County Council want to deputize county corrections officers to enforce federal immigration laws. And they say they're planning to introduce legislation to do that.

This is the latest in the ongoing debate in the county on how to deal with people living in the country illegally.

Baltimore County's school board bemoaned the loss of Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. Dance abruptly resigned earlier that day. WYPR's Jonna McKone covered the meeting, and told Nathan Sterner some of what happened.

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

Will is a second grader in Anne Arundel County schools, and already he’s on his third school since kindergarten; not because he moved, or his old schools closed, but because he has a disability that leads to behavioral problems. And the behavioral problems have led to suspensions.

He was suspended six times from Jacobsville Elementary in Pasadena as a kindergartner. His mother, Lori Cornwell, says the school didn’t recognize his disability.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s proposed $3.15 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year does not contain a tax increase. But it does include a two percent pay raise for county workers and plans for a new middle school in Perry Hall. 

Lawmakers approve drug "price gouging" bill

Apr 12, 2017
Photo by K. Whiteford

Hours before adjourning for the year, state lawmakers approved a first in the nation bill that would allow Maryland’s Attorney General to sue the makers of generic drugs over sharp rice increases—or price gouging.

It was part of an effort to hold down the sharply escalating prices of generic prescription drugs. 

Courtesy: Diageo

Near the end of its 90-day session, the General Assembly signed off on the liquor license changes Guinness needs to open a tap room and brewery in Baltimore County. But the Irish brewer plans to go back to lawmakers to ask for more. 

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan signed more than 100 bills into law Tuesday morning at a ceremony with House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller.

As the Maryland General Assembly’s annual 90-day session hurtled toward midnight Monday night, the legislature ran out the clock on a bill aimed at giving licenses to grow medical marijuana to minority-owned businesses.

AP Photo/Tony Avelar

One of the most intriguing questions of the NFL offseason has been is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed?

For most of the first six years of his career, Kaepernick was the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.

Baltimore football fans should remember that it was Kaepernick that got the Niners to within a drive of tying or winning the 2012 Super Bowl against the Ravens.

In the following season, Kaepernick helped lead San Francisco to the NFC championship game and a narrow loss to Seattle.

Kaepernick not only possesses a strong arm, but, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, he has a frame that makes him a dual threat, namely a quarterback who can run.

Wikimedia Commons

  

As the General Assembly hurdles toward Monday night’s deadline, one measure that still hangs in the balance would increase the number of business that can get licenses to grow medical marijuana. The bill aims to give more minority-owned businesses a shot at growing or processing the drug.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The General Assembly's 2017 legislative session ends at midnight Monday night. WYPR News Director Joel McCord spoke with reporter Rachel Baye about what has already become law and what still hangs in the balance.

Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Nathaniel Oaks, who represents northwest Baltimore, was charged in U.S. District Court Friday of accepting cash in exchange for advancing a development project in the city.

MD Manual

U.S. District Judge James Bredar approved Friday a police reform agreement negotiated between Baltimore City and the U.S. Justice Department, despite Trump administration requests to hold off on that approval.

Bredar’s ruling came only a day after an hours-long hearing in which Justice Department lawyers asked for a 30-day delay to re-evaluate the agreement finalized in the last days of the Obama administration. 

Wikimedia Commons

This is Del. Sandy Rosenberg’s 35th year representing northwest Baltimore in the House of Delegates, and it’s the third time in those 35 years that the first night of Passover, when Jewish families traditionally gather for the ritual Seder, has fallen on Sine Die, the last night of the Maryland General Assembly session. The last time was in 1990.

“So as we say, why is this Sine Die different from all other Sine Dies?” Rosenberg said.

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