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Rachel Baye

A long-awaited report by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education — better known as the Kirwan Commission — recommends full-day preschool for all low-income 3 and 4-year-olds, higher academic standards, more training for teachers and raising teacher pay. And it proposes creating an “independent oversight board” to ensure that the new policies, once they are approved, are properly implemented.

The report, released Thursday, recommends rolling out the changes over the next decade.

"The Iron Duke"

20 hours ago

On a visit to England in 1816, Marianne (Caton) Patterson, the daughter of a prominent Baltimore merchant and granddaughter of Charles Carroll, captured the heart of The Duke of Wellington, a hero of the Battle of Waterloo and one of England’s most dashing and respected men.

Rachel Baye

Irma Pretsfelder was born in 1926 in a small village in Germany. She was 11 years old in November 1938, when the synagogue where she went to school was burned, during what is known as Kristallnacht.

“The next morning, policemen came and said to my father, ‘I have to take you into custody,’” she told the state Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee Wednesday afternoon. “‘But why are you taking me? What have I done?’ He said, ‘I have to obey orders. I have to take you to the next town.’”

The BSO: No contract, But They're Still Talking

Feb 14, 2019
Graphic courtesy BSO


The musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have been working without a contract since mid-January, when a temporary agreement expired. And while that could have meant a strike with other unions, the musicians have agreed to stay and play.

Brian Prechtl, a percussionist and co-chair of the orchestra’s Players’ Committee, says they’re making progress in the contract talks, but it’s been slow going.

Clayhouse wines

Argentina made malbec famous. But its origins are in central France, where the deep and brooding grape first was turned into wine.  It also grows extensively in California. Click the link to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Audio coming soon. 

Momodu Gondo, the former Baltimore police detective, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Tuesday for his role in the Gun Trace Task Force scandal.

Gondo pleaded guilty in the spring of 2018 to crimes ranging from overtime fraud to robbery to possession with intent to distribute heroin as part of a crew of rogue cops operating within the city's police department.

Amazon HQ Round 2 (BBJ Story)

Feb 13, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

Never say never. That is the sentiment of developer Marc Weller in a renewed push for to reconsider its HQ2 at Port Covington.

The battle over school starting and ending dates continues this week in Annapolis as the state Senate is set to vote on a bill allowing local school boards to set their own dates and House of Delegates committees are to hold hearings on similar bills. Also on the agenda in the Maryland General Assembly are bills to reinstate Maryland’s death penalty, squash Governor Larry Hogan’s plan for a new Redskins stadium in Prince George’s County and prohibit local school boards from spending money to arm teachers and more. Here is a partial list of committee hearings and other items of interest in Annapolis for Feb. 11-15.

Rachel Baye

A state House committee is considering a bill gradually raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in the next five years. Local leaders, business owners and labor union representatives came to express their support for the bill.

BBT Is Buying SunTrust Banks (BBJ Story)

Feb 8, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

BB&T Corp. is buying SunTrust Banks Inc., a $66 billion merger that will create the nation’s sixth-largest bank. 

Rachel Baye

Maryland elected officials are fighting over who should decide academic calendars for public schools.

Gov. Larry Hogan in 2016 signed an executive order requiring schools to start after Labor Day and end by June 15. He is now trying to write that change into the state code, while the Senate gave initial approval on Thursday to a bill reversing Hogan’s order.

John Lee

Baltimore County is looking under every sofa cushion for money to help close a projected $80 million budget shortfall next year.


That’s led Republican State Senator Chris West to propose that the state allow the county to charge developers impact fees.



Oriole Great Frank Robinson Dies at 83

Feb 7, 2019
The Associated Press

Crowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered his way into the Hall of Fame.


Rachel Baye

For a second year, Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed the creation of an inspector general within the state Department of Education to investigate reports of fraud and abuse in public schools.

At a hearing before a Senate committee Wednesday, Democratic committee members questioned whether the move would accomplish anything.

The Baltimore Business Journal

Scaffolding around the Enoch Pratt Central Library came down recently, a sign that the $115 million renovation of the building is nearly complete. 

Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation

Dan Torsch’s older brother John remembers. It was about 17 years ago. 


“I can trace his addiction back to one 100 milligram morphine pill,” Torsch said.


They were teenagers, partying in Ocean City. Drinking, smoking weed, snorting cocaine. John offered his brother the morphine pill. The next morning John said he woke up with a hangover. 


“All I wanted to do was lay on the beach, maybe smoke a joint and eat some food,” Torsch said. “What do you think the very first thing Dan asked me when he woke up? ‘You got any more of those pills?’”

John Lee

Hundreds of Baltimore County teachers and their supporters rallied Tuesday night to push the school board to ask County Executive Johnny Olszewski to find the money for teacher pay raises.


They also want smaller classrooms and schools that are not in disrepair. WYPR’s John Lee was there and talked about what happened with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner.



The Baltimore Business Journal

A convention for black engineers is making its return to Baltimore after more than a decade away. 

The Baltimore Business Journal

That new McCormick & Co. Inc. seasoning you buy for your summer cookout may have been created by a computer. 

Timothy Vollmer/flickr

Audio coming soon. 

Ever since Al bought a pasta making machine, he loves trotting it out every now and then and whipping up a few yards of fresh pasta. Good enough. But when he compared his little strips of fettuccine with some of the complicated shapes he sees at the store, he got the feeling that he could be doing better. In this episode of Radio Kitchen, Chef Jerry Pellegrino, a great fan of home-made pasta, tells us how we all can have more fun with it.

AP Photo/Patrick Sison

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is considering appointing an Opioid Czar to be the point person as the county grapples with the second-highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses in Maryland. This comes as the county is being criticized for not doing enough to address a problem Olszewski says is ravaging parts of the county.



On the docket for this week in the Maryland General Assembly: bills about increasing the number of early voting centers, expanding food stamp eligibility, penalties for online harassment of minors, raising the minimum wage, and more. Here's a partial listing of committee hearings and other items of interest for Feb. 4--8, 2019.

Vision Technologies Seeks New HQ (BBJ Story)

Feb 1, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

Vision Technologies Inc., a local IT company with revenue over $120 million, is looking for a new headquarters after a deal to move to Hanover fell apart. 

The Baltimore Business Journal

The partners behind a popular Washington, D.C.-based cannabis brand are now working to build up a new cultivation facility in Hagerstown.

As Nazi power spread in the 1930’s and Jews in Europe struggled to escape, many countries closed their borders to Jewish refugees. An exception was the international city of Shanghai, China, which required no visa. Thousands of Jews made their way across continents to shelter in Shanghai. Marvin Pinkert, director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, explains how the early welcome the refugees received … withers after Japan, a Nazi ally, occupies Shanghai. And we meet Jack Jacob, a Pikesville resident who was born in Shanghai--and is now a world ping-pong champion.

The Baltimore Business Journal

With speculation of a possible presidential run continuing to mount, Gov. Larry Hogan again preached bipartisanship during his fifth "State of the State" address. 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

In the first State of the State address after winning reelection, Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted several of his priorities for the legislative session, including tax cuts and tougher sentences for violent crimes. His agenda was met with both praise and criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to deliver his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, highlighting some of his priorities for the General Assembly’s current legislative session. On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in the legislature announced their major priorities.

Hogan Promising Tax Cut In Speech (BBJ Story)

Jan 29, 2019
The Baltimore Business Journal

Gov. Larry Hogan promised a "major tax cut" when he delivers the first "State of the State" address of his second term on Wednesday. 

Rachel Baye

Now that the federal government has reopened, state lawmakers have turned their attention toward protecting Maryland residents from the economic effects of the next shutdown, and they warn that the next shutdown could be just around the corner.

The state’s Joint Committee on Federal Relations met Monday to consider the various impacts of any federal shutdown — the 35-day one that just passed, or the one that could come when the current federal funding agreement expires in three weeks.