- On Air Program Guide
- A Blue View
- Brain Talk
- Cellar Notes
- Choral Arts Classics
- The Environment in Focus
- Gil Sandler’s Baltimore Stories
- Humanities Connection
- Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast
- Midday with Dan Rodricks
- The Morning Economic Report
- Radio Kitchen
- The Signal
- Take Five
- Your Maryland
- Public Commentary
- War of 1812 Stories
Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake's State Of The City Speech, Frederick Mayor McClement's Bid For A Second Term, and Reactions To The Pope's Decision To Step Down
February 12, 2013
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake delivered her fourth State of the City address yesterday, five days after her administration released a dire 10-year fiscal forecast. The Mayor is proposing a number of fiscal reforms -- including changes to the city employee pension system. She wants to shift from a traditional pension plan for new civilian employees to a 401k-style benefit, and impose a hybrid retirement plan on new police officers and firefighters. The mayor also wants to reduce the size of the city government's workforce by 10%, raise salaries for the employees that remain, and impose a trash removal fee on city residents. She's also proposing a 22% cut in property taxes over the next decade. WYPR’s Bret Jaspers has this report on the speech.
The head of the nation's oldest Catholic diocese is reacting to news that Pope Benedict the 16th is stepping down at the end of the month -- making him the first Pope to step down from his duties while still living in nearly 600 years. Baltimore Archbishop William Lori yesterday expressed appreciation for Benedict and his eight-year church leadership. Archbishop Lori said that the news wasn't completely unexpected, as the Pontiff had hinted in the past that he would resign if he became physically or mentally unable to do his papal duties -- and in announcing his decision to step down, the Pope cited his age and declining health. Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, the former Archbishop of Baltimore, will have a vote in the election of the next Pope (via our wire service; more here from the Baltimore Sun, more here from the Frederick News Post, and more here from the Gazette).
Frederick Mayor Randy McClement has announced that he's seeking a second term. McClement is a Republican; so far, no other Republicans have entered the race; two Democrats have announced their intentions to seek their party's nomination. Frederick's primary election takes place on September 10th (there's more here from the Frederick News Post).
The General Assembly appears poised to let natural gas companies charge their customers up to $2 more a month, money that would be used to improve their aging pipelines. Opponents of the bill say it would change the state's regulatory structure... currently, the companies have to make upgrades first, and then ask for extra compensation. The bill would allow companies to get money from their customers before doing the work. In recent years, Maryland's Public Service Commission has repeatedly refused to allow such pre-payment systems (via the Washington Post).
High school graduation rates are up in Maryland. State education officials say the number of students earning their diplomas in four years jumped to 83.6% in 2012, up from 82.28% in 2011 (via the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun).
Maryland teachers could soon get additional tax breaks. Republican Delegate Steve Schuh wants to give teachers a $500 state tax credit for their spending on classroom expenses and supplies. Teachers already get a federal tax credit for such spending, but it only amounts to $250 (via the Capital Gazette).
Home sales were up 15% in the Baltimore area during the month of January, when compared to the same time last year (via our wire service and the Baltimore Business Journal).
BWI Airport set another record for commercial passenger traffic last year -- for the third year in a row. BWI saw more than 22.5-million travelers pass through its terminals in 2012... that represents a 1.3% increase from the year before (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
In sports news: Many Orioles team members are reporting to Sarasota, Florida today for spring training. Pitchers and catchers are due to report today with the first workout scheduled for tomorrow. Position players are due in camp Friday. The O's first spring contest is a week from Saturday against the Twins (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
And: The Ravens start contract negotiations this week with quarterback Joe Flacco. The team will meet with Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, at team headquarters. Linta is reportedly looking to make his client the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
IN FOCUS TODAY
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 7:00am
Attorney General Doug Gansler may run for governor in 2014, but he's moving toward a decision...