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Metro

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Just in time for Halloween, the ghost of the Red Line appeared as Baltimore County officials gave the state their wish list of transportation projects.

This comes as state transportation officials boast of a record number of road construction projects under way throughout Maryland, even if they do cause traffic jams.

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If you go around asking people who they plan to vote for, for president this year, you will find many are passionate about their choices. And that choice often has a lot to do with not liking the other candidate.

Take Liz Freedman, who lives in Reisterstown and plans to vote for Hillary Clinton.

"I could never vote for Donald Trump," Freedman said. "He is a misogynist."

Then there is Ed Aldridge, who lives in Essex.

"Trump all the way," he said. "Hillary will run the country into the ground."

Scholars sing to start the day at Play On Purpose's Summer Camp
Jonna McKone

Every parent faces challenges finding constructive opportunities for their children in the summer while school’s out. But that process can be even more difficult for parents who can’t afford day camps.  

On a hot, August morning, about 75 kids play, sing and chat in the cafeteria of ConneXions, a public charter school in the Mondawmin neighborhood of West Baltimore. Play on Purpose (POP) runs a free summer program here that includes curriculum through the Freedom School, a program of the Children’s Defense Fund. Freedom Schools teach culturally relevant reading and local African American history at over 12,000 sites around the nation to, in part, stem the tide of summer learning loss.

In the aftermath of the storm

Aug 1, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns

Torrential storms pushed swollen streams over their banks in the Baltimore region over the weekend, causing two deaths and major damage in Ellicott City and tearing up businesses in the Woodberry section of Baltimore.

Early Monday the clean-up efforts were well underway as trucks with heavy equipment and police cruisers streamed down Ellicott Mills Drive onto Ellicott City’s historic Main Street, each vehicle followed by a cloud of dirt.

Blue Water Baltimore

Baltimore City asked the U.S. District Court last month to extend its deadline for making critical improvements to the city sewer system by 17 years, from January 2016 to the year 2033.

The deadline stems from a 2002 lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice filed against the city for allowing raw sewage to leak into public waterways, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

SRB’s image problem

Apr 20, 2016

  The upheaval that followed the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015 had an undeniable effect on the political career of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. 

Just as she was getting ready for a re-election campaign against her predecessor, she decided to leave public office.  She will have been in Baltimore city government for 21 years when her term ends in December.

But Rawlings-Blake was already facing challenges before the unrest.

Audits at the center of City Comptroller’s race

Apr 20, 2016

Joan Pratt, Baltimore City’s Comptroller since 1995, is facing her first challenger in 17 years. He’s Mike King, a Northeast Baltimore resident with a background in financial operations, and he says Pratt hasn’t done enough to audit city agencies.

Mayor’s Race: Mosby Drops Out, Pugh Drops In

Apr 20, 2016

Hours before Councilman Nick Mosby shook up the race for mayor by dropping out, the frontrunner pulled a surprise of her own.

State Senator Catherine Pugh had begged off from a debate Wednesday on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with fellow candidates Elizabeth Embry and Councilman Carl Stokes, citing a scheduling conflict. Then about 15 minutes into the program Pugh showed up, surprising the candidates and host Tom Hall.

State lawmakers appear to have reached an agreement on a bill changing the controversial Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. 

Remember the touch screen voting in past years? Well, forget about it. When you vote this time around, you’ll be marking a paper ballot, filling in ovals next to the candidates of your choice.

Consider it a trip down memory lane when you took those standardized tests with number two pencils.

Three challenge one in Baltimore’s Fourth

Apr 2, 2016

Criticized for not doing enough to bring disparate communities together and for ignoring constituents, incumbent Fourth District City Councilman Bill Henry is facing three challengers in the Democratic primary.

Mayor’s race: MTA running late

Mar 14, 2016

  Marcie Roberts heard the disembodied voice--“Welcome aboard MTA”—one recent morning as she boarded a bus at Northern Parkway and York Road. She was in the middle of her daily 90-minute-two-bus commute from Windsor Mill to her job in Towson. The bus that got her to that point was the 44. She said it wasn’t so welcoming.

“Bus 44 is the worst bus I ever got on.”

Roberts said the bus is often late and doesn’t run at convenient times.

Mark Goebel/Flickr via Creative Commons

  

Twelve million gallons. That’s how much sewage Baltimore’s Department of Public Works estimates was dumped into the Inner Harbor last week after heavy rains overwhelmed the city’s dilapidated sewer system.This news comes on the heels of Baltimore missing the January 1 deadline imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of the Environment to eliminate overflows and spills. Halle Van der Gaag, Director of Blue Water Baltimore and Mark Reutter of The Baltimore Brew, join us to discuss the city’s response to this massive discharge, as well as the impact of sewage releases on our trails and waterways, and on public health.

Kenneth Burns / WYPR

A sea change is coming to the Baltimore City Council: Nearly half the members are not seeking reelection this year. Three of the 15 are retiring, two are vacating their seats to run for mayor, and another is pursuing a judgeship. Luke Broadwater of The Baltimore Sun and WYPR news analyst Fraser Smith join us to discuss the implications.

Students Respond To The Officer Porter Mistrial

Dec 23, 2015
Digital Harbor HS

While a Baltimore jury deadlocked over the fate of Officer William Porter last week, teachers in city schools used the case to teach social studies lessons. Now that court officials have scheduled a new trial for Porter, one of six city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, city teachers will continue to use what happens inside the courtroom as a learning tool for their students.

City teachers and students braced for a verdict in Porter’s trial last week, but it ended Wednesday with a hung jury and a mistrial. On Friday, in Brianna Carter’s first period, 10th grade social studies class at Digital Harbor High School the trial provided a chance to talk about central themes in her class, like due process and the Constitution.

    

As expected, the Baltimore County Council voted Monday night to phase out the county's storm water management fee. WYPR's John Lee was there and joined Morning Edition host Matt Tacka to talk about how the county will go about getting rid of the fee.

The Baltimore County Council is expected to vote tonight to phase out the county’s storm water management fee by July 2017. But the repeal of the so-called “rain tax” is proving to be a politically bumpy ride.

Hope For Families Expanded In Sandtown

Oct 30, 2015

  Imagine an apartment with one bedroom, one laundry room, a dining area and a couple of bathrooms for 75 people. That’s about what Sarah’s Hope, a homeless shelter in Sandtown-Winchester, was like when it opened in 2008.

Now, after an $8 million expansion, the West Baltimore facility shelter is one of the few homeless shelters in the city that can accommodate intact families; mom, dad and kids.

“Rain Tax” Going Away in Baltimore County

Oct 24, 2015

The Baltimore County Council plans to repeal the county’s storm water management fee. All seven members of the Council said Monday they are united to phase out the so-called rain tax over the next two years.

  The Baltimore County Council has put off for at least two weeks a vote on whether to make developers in Towson pay more money if their projects don’t provide enough open space. The move came during Monday’s council meeting. 

Confirmed and Sworn: Davis Is Now Permanent Commissioner

Oct 23, 2015

  The Baltimore City Council confirmed Kevin Davis Monday as the city’s 38th police commissioner, and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake swore him in. But none of it happened without protest. 

Kopp Weighs In On AC Issue

Oct 8, 2015

For three weeks, Comptroller Peter Franchot has been criticizing Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for not air conditioning all the county’s schools fast enough. It wasn’t a question of money, Franchot said, but of leadership.

Last month, Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot summoned Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to appear before the Board of Public Works Wednesday. They want to question him about why some Baltimore County schools don’t have air conditioning.

But Kamenetz won’t be making the trip to Annapolis.

Kamenetz instead has a “Coffee With Kevin” meeting with constituents at the Essex Senior Center.

There was a protest at last night's Baltimore County Council meeting. About 40 people turned out to express their disapproval with plans to change the shifts at the County's 911 center. WYPR's John Lee was there, and tells Nathan Sterner what the protest was all about.

  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and several members of the City Council spent Monday publicizing bills that would be introduced during that day’s city council meeting. 

One bill would dedicate a small part of the city budget to youth programs. Another would return 911 operations to the police department. A third would cut property taxes for certain grocery stores and fourth would halve the storm water remediation fee.

Money For Children

Fixing Feral Felines in Baltimore County

Sep 29, 2015

On a recent morning, Karen Stettes and Joyce Mason were prowling a Dundalk neighborhood, searching for feral cats. 

Baltimore County Crime Down

Aug 27, 2015

Baltimore County’s violent crime rate dropped by a little more than six percent last year, even though the population increased.

County police released crime stats Wednesday showing there were 25 murders in 2014, matching the annual average over the previous five years. But the number of rapes went down by nearly 30 percent and aggravated assaults dropped by more than 11 percent.

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