John Lee | WYPR

John Lee

Reporter, Baltimore County

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County.

John has worked in news for more than 20 years. He has been a news director, assistant news director, managing editor, assignment editor and reporter at various radio and television news stations. He’s won numerous awards from The Associated Press, including best news operation, best continuing news story, and best news series.

Before coming to WYPR, John spent more than a decade as a stay-at-home dad. During that time he raised a disabled child. He also listened to WYPR every day thinking, “I’d like to work there.”

In 2013, John did just that. He started as “the world’s oldest intern,” and is now a freelance reporter.

John has both a master’s degree in media management and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University.

John Lee

  

The executive and legislative branches of the Baltimore County government currently are in the hands of Democrats. But county Republicans are hoping to gain control of the government come election day. WYPR's John Lee talked with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner about the GOP strategy.

 

John Lee

Maryland Republicans believe they have a chance to stick a political knife into the Democrats’ veto-proof majority in the State Senate in November. They need to flip five seats. Two of the seats they think they can pick up are in Baltimore County. 

 

The success for the GOP may ride on whether the Governor’s popularity trumps a possible blue wave.

 

 

John Lee

  

The Republican running for Baltimore County Executive says if elected, he will not abide by a 2016 settlement over affordable housing between the county and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

The county's role in bolstering affordable housing is a major point of contention in the race.

 

John Lee

A new study finds it will take up to about $630 million for Baltimore County to fix overcrowding in its high schools. 

 

There are three proposals that address both crowded schools and building conditions.

 

 

John Lee

The candidates running for Baltimore County Executive debated for the first time Tuesday, and they differed over whether to provide universal prekindergarten and free community college tuition. 

 

How they answered those questions crystallizes how they are running their campaigns.

 

 

John Lee

The two candidates running for Baltimore County Executive agree on this: it’s going to cost a lot to modernize the schools. 

 

There’s another thing they have in common:  Republican Al Redmer and Democrat Johnny Olszewski aren’t providing many details on how to pay for promises they’re making.

 

 

Flickr

Public schools are opening across the state Tuesday.

 

The academic year begins with Baltimore County officials grappling with how to keep the district’s roughly 114,000 students safe.

 

 

John Lee

Hot, sweaty classrooms have been a hot button issue in Baltimore County for years. 

 

In past years, dozens of schools didn’t have air conditioning. So when the temperature hit 90 degrees, those schools would close. And that would have a ripple effect, closing schools throughout the county.

 

But starting with the new school year, that will change.

 

Baltimore County

 

Fomer Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance was released from jail Monday after serving four months for perjury.

 

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Dance apologized. Dance said he is ready to begin a new chapter in the book of life. 

 

 

 

 

John Lee

Violent crime increased by more than 14 percent in Baltimore County last year. As the general election race for county executive gets under way, both candidates say they have plans to improve public safety in the county.

 

 

  

Two breweries are opening to the public in the Baltimore area, one Friday and the other several weeks ago. 

 

One company, an international giant, is opening in Southeast Baltimore County. The other is a relatively small operation, born and bred in Woodberry in Baltimore City.

 

But despite their differences, both have similar plans on how to get you to buy their beer. And one of them, Dublin-based Guinness, wants you to think of it as a local beer.

 

 

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Council was warned Tuesday that it risks losing police and corrections officers and firefighters to nearby counties if it doesn’t give them a tax break. 

 

The council is weighing whether it’s worth the millions the county would lose in tax money.

 

 

Tradepoint Atlantic

  

Tradepoint Atlantic, the developer of the old Bethlehem Steel site in Sparrows Point, plans to ask Baltimore County for up to $150 million in tax increment financing, also known as a TIF.

 

The developer says it needs the financial help from the county for roads and water and sewer systems.

 

 

John Lee

There is a political time bomb ticking in Baltimore County, and it has to do with crowded high schools.

 

A study projects that in the next 10 years, there will be 1,700 fewer seats in county high schools than will be needed. County leaders find themselves looking for what one economist says is the least offensive way to deal with the problem.

John Lee

The nominees are now in place for the general election race for Baltimore County Executive. Former Delegate Johnny Olszewski won a recount over the weekend, a 17 vote win over State Senator Jim Brochin.

 

Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner spoke with WYPR’s John Lee about what happens next.

 

 

John Lee

For the second time, former Delegate Johnny Olszewski has won the vote count in the race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

 

John Lee

The political battle over who will be the Democratic nominee for Baltimore County Executive enters its next phase Monday, with the first step towards an inevitable recount.

 

Late Friday, former Delegate Johnny Olszewski claimed a nine vote win over State Senator Jim Brochin.

 

 

John Lee

Former Delegate Johnny Olszewski Junior won a squeaker nine-vote victory over State Senator Jim Brochin Friday night in the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

But a recount seems likely.

 

 

John Lee

  

By Friday evening we may know the winner in the too-close-to call race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive.

 

This follows legal wrangling Thursday between attorneys for Johnny Olszewski and State Senator Jim Brochin over how to handle hundreds of rejected provisional ballots.

 

 

John Lee

The environmental cleanup of Sparrows Point in Eastern Baltimore County is approaching what the developer of the site says will be a milestone. The ongoing cleanup is now focusing on the Tin Mill Canal, which in the hey day of the steel mill was the site of major contamination.

 

 

John Lee

The race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive remained too close to call as Tuesday night faded into Wednesday morning. Fewer than one thousand votes separated County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, State Senator Jim Brochin and former Delegate Johnny Olszewski.

But while the Democratic race remained up in the air, the Republican contest was settled.  State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer handily defeated Delegate Pat McDonough for the GOP nomination.

John Lee

Baltimore County Republican Councilman Wade Kach has been accused of grandstanding and fiscal recklessness by fellow council members and administration officials. Kach who is running for his second term, scoffs at the accusations.

 

 

John Lee

In the closing days of the hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County Executive, Councilwoman Vicki Almond is getting financial backing from a well-known developer. 

 

One of Almond’s opponents, State Senator Jim Brochin, said that makes his case that she is in the developers’ pocket. Almond countered her integrity is being attacked unfairly.

 

 

John Lee

 

Early voting is under way and Baltimore County residents will for the first time elect some of the members of the school board. The way it’s being done can be confusing, but there are those who think electing school board members is the key to mending the current, fractured board. WYPR’s John Lee joined Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about it.

 

 

John Lee

The race for the Republican nomination for Baltimore County Executive pits an establishment candidate with the governor’s seal of approval against a self-described crusader who is counting on votes from Trump supporters. The battle between State Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Junior and Delegate Pat McDonough has been contentious.

John Lee

Construction is getting under way on the controversial $350 million Towson Row project after years of delay. Once it’s done, it will be home for shops, offices, student housing, residences and a hotel. The project is considered the transformational centerpiece of Towson’s redevelopment. But only one of the candidates running for Baltimore County Executive  supports it.

 

 

Photo courtesy BCPS

The Baltimore County School Board Thursday night voted to make Verletta White the Interim School Superintendent for another year, beginning July 1. The vote was 8-4, with the board divided between the majority that wanted to make White the permanent superintendent, and the minority that opposes her.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board meets Thursday evening to talk about naming an interim school superintendent for the next year. The issue of whether the current interim superintendent, Verletta White, should remain on the job is dividing not only the school board, but the candidates running for county executive as well.

 

 

John Lee

Democratic voters in Baltimore County soon will be making a choice between three political veterans who are running for the party’s nomination for county executive. Early voting begins next week, on June 14.

 

The hotly contested three-way race is between State Senator Jim Brochin, County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and former State Delegate Johnny Olszewski Jr.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council Thursday voted unanimously to make Don Mohler the 13th county executive. Mohler will finish the term of Kevin Kamenetz, who died two weeks ago.

 

 

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