Mayor Catherine Pugh | WYPR

Mayor Catherine Pugh

Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Baltimore’s summer youth jobs program is riddled with problems. That’s according to an audit presented to the Board of Estimates this morning. Acting City Auditor Audrey Askew says it puts the program at risk of losing state funding.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Baltimore City Council passed three resolutions last night calling for the immediate reunification of families on the US-Mexico border, monthly meetings for oversight of the police department’s budget, and violence reduction strategy. WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi spoke with Morning Edition Host Andy Bienstock.

Funny thing about making a podcast:  You never know who’s listening.  Turns out, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, is a fan of Out of the Blocks, and she invited producer Aaron Henkin to join her in front of a live audience for a conversation about the show.  (Aaron got to ask her some questions, too.)  This episode is a recording of the event, which happened Monday evening, June 25th, at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s theater in downtown Baltimore.  

Dominique Maria Bonessi

  

Two months ago Mayor Catherine Pugh said Baltimore’s Department of Transportation would begin in June to crack down on drivers who let themselves get caught in the middle of an intersection when the light changes—known as “blocking the box.”

Well, that hasn’t happened, yet. And it may not for a while.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In this school year, nine Baltimore City students died as a result of violence. CEO of Schools Sonja Santelises and Mayor Catherine Pugh held a memorial vigil Wednesday for  them and all city school students.

Baltimore Police Department

Mayor Catherine Pugh has suspended police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa after he was charged with federal tax violations.

She announced the suspension with pay, effective immediately, at a Friday afternoon news conference, the day after federal authorities charged DeSousa with failing to file state and federal tax returns in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

District Three City Councilman Ryan Dorsey and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition unveiled a charter amendment that calls for an independent inspector general Thursday. The group needs 15,000 signatures on a petition and approval from city council and the mayor’s office to get the amendment on the November ballot.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

As part of her violence reduction initiative, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been meeting daily with the heads of every city agency. On Tuesday morning, she took another step, a walking tour of one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

City Councilman Brandon Scott is to introduce legislation at tonight’s city council meeting requiring each city agency to study whether their policies are discriminatory. This would also require a fund to made.

Scott, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is proposing two bills to deal with inequity in city agencies. One of which, would create a charter amendment to assure funding.

At last night's meeting of the Baltimore City Council, Brandon Scott, chair of the public safety committee, put forth a resolution for the state to create a board of police commissioners and transfer over full control of the city’s police department to the city.

WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi reports that this is the not the first time Scott has pushed for this legislation.


Mary Rose Madden

Mayor Catherine Pugh has fired Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and hired Deputy Commissioner Daryll DeSousa as his replacement.

Pugh announced the change Friday morning.

She said Davis worked hard , but that she'd grown "impatient" waiting for crime numbers in Baltimore to drop and wanted to see "new, creative, innovative ways to change what we're seeing here every day". 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Two days after Governor Larry Hogan promised $2.5 million for repairs to Baltimore City schools’ troubled heating systems, he met with Mayor Catherine Pugh to talk about the schools and other issues.

Baltimore City Public Schools

Governor Larry Hogan promised an emergency $2.5 million for repairs to Baltimore City Schools' troubled heating systems today. And he blamed the problems on mismanagement. Meanwhile, at least eight Baltimore City schools were closed today because of continuing problems with the heating systems and a water main break.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In December, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh launched her multi-agency initiative to reduce violence in the city. The city’s Department of Recreation and Parks responded by extending their hours and expanding their programs to keep kids off the streets.

WYPR went to Upton Boxing to check out the new programs for another installment in our series “As They Grow: Tracking changes for the next generation.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

As Baltimore’s homicide rate reached record proportions—343 murders this year—Mayor Catherine Pugh held a candle light vigil for the victims last night at the War Memorial.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Federal Bureau of Investigation rejected the Baltimore Police Department’s request to take over the investigation of the shooting death of Homicide Detective Sean Suiter. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the department will go back to square one of the investigation.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

Baltimore residents are being hit with skyrocketing water bills and many of them are heading to the Department of Public Works’ customer service office looking for some relief.

There was 81-year-old, Mary Duckett, who walked out of the customer service office glaring at her $385 water bill for the last three month.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came to Baltimore today to talk about immigration and Central American gangs. Sessions tied that to Baltimore’s soaring homicide rate.

Sessions spoke of increases in violent crime nationwide, in part fueled by the Central American gang, MS-13, then turned to Baltimore.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Governor Larry Hogan released a plan to crack down on crime in Baltimore Tuesday, criticizing Mayor Catherine Pugh’s efforts. But the mayor was not impressed.

Hogan announced more state police patrols, more probation agents serving warrants and other initiatives. Pugh responded Wednesday morning.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The five-mile stretch of Baltimore's North Avenue -- from Belair Road to Hilton Street -- will be getting a face lift complete with new dedicated bike lanes, better bus stops, sidewalk improvements, bike facilities, and roadway renovations.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore officially submitted its proposal today to make Port Covington the site of Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2.

In an elaborate affair to say the least, the ceremony was complete with piano jazz and a multimedia production with the theme of “Why not Baltimore?”

To understand venture capital and how it affects start-up businesses in Baltimore, you might want to try a baseball metaphor. 

It takes anywhere from $1 million to $5 million in seed money to get started. And that's just hitting singles and doubles. A start-up that wants to knock a grand slam out of the park needs a lot more than that, $10 million or more. And for that, local businesses have to turn to out of state investors.

A Johns Hopkins University report released last week found that almost 70 percent of venture capital investments for start-ups in Baltimore are coming from outside of Maryland.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Mayor Catherine Pugh is expected to release her $350 million plan to curb homelessness next week. But, tent city organizers tweeted the mayor isn’t moving fast enough.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s business owners will be hit hard by the Trump Administration’s recent blow to immigration policy that will deport tens of thousands of young immigrants.

Rachel Baye

The meeting of the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Tuesday morning was closed to the public and to the press, but the city and state officials who attended said tougher sentencing practices was a major focus of the discussion.

Rachel Baye

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with city and state officials to discuss rising levels of violent crime in Baltimore, Gov. Larry Hogan said his biggest concern is the number of people who are committing multiple violent crimes without serving time.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a plan today for a permanent solution for those homeless people camped out in front of city hall to seek housing. The mayor says she looked to charitable organizations for help. 

Mary Rose Madden

Baltimore quietly removed four Confederate monuments Tuesday night, responding to activists who called for them to be taken down after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend turned deadly.

P. Kenneth Burns

Earlier this year, Baltimore entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice to reform the city police department. As part of the agreement, an independent monitor will keep track of the changes made and report publicly on the progress.

Tuesday night, the city hosted the first of two forums where community members could hear from the four finalists considered for monitors.

WYPR's Matt Tacka and Rachel Baye discuss what happened at the forum and the process for selecting the monitor.

Mary Rose Madden

Four Confederate monuments in Baltimore were torn down overnight at the order of Mayor Catherine Pugh. She said she was concerned about the “safety and security” of the people of Baltimore after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Saturday turned deadly.

The action came after the Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution Monday calling for their removal. It also pre-empted calls from local activist groups to tear down one of the statues on Wednesday.

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