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WYPR News

News and Commentary from WYPR's award winning newsroom.

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.

 

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Tuesday’s 105-degree heat index kept 10 Baltimore County schools without air conditioning closed on the first day of the school year. In Baltimore City, more than 60 schools dismissed students early — some before noon — as a result of the heat.

The lack of air conditioning is part of a larger political fight over school funding.

@Ravens/Twitter

So, the Ravens completed their exhibition season with no blemishes on their record, a 5-0 mark, making them the only NFL team to win all their preseason games.

Now, before you run out and book plane and hotel reservations for Atlanta, the scene of February’s Super Bowl, consider this fact: The Ravens went unbeaten last exhibition season and the exhibition season before that.

And both of the succeeding regular seasons ended with the Ravens out of the playoffs.

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.

 

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Six-year-old Emily shows off the colors in her sidewalk drawing.

“Pink! Yellow!” Emily exclaims. “Blue, purple, pink!”

Her rainbow tie-dye dress matches the piles of chalk at her feet. Her bangs stick to her forehead on this muggy August evening.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr


An independent panel of experts released the findings from its investigation into the death of Det. Sean Suiter. After hundreds of hours of analysis, they’ve come to the conclusion that the officer died by suicide.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

When police found Detective Sean Suiter shot dead in Harlem Park last November, they cordoned off the neighborhood as they searched for the shooter. Residents had to show ID to get in or out.

Tom Moore

Researchers at the Maryland State Archives rolled out their latest findings on the Maryland 400, the Revolutionary War unit that fought at the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, at the State House Sunday.

Their project, called “Finding the Maryland 400,” includes detailed biographies that tell some of the soldiers’ stories for the first time. And they announced it with fanfare, featuring a color guard in revolutionary war uniforms marching into the historic state house.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

 

Never having met John McCain, my guess is the former Arizona senator, who died Saturday night, would find much of what has been said about him since his death, amusing, as if to say, geez, I wish you had loved me this much when I was still here on Earth.

But one of the under-reported parts of McCain’s legacy was his impact on sports.

The so-called maverick and engineer of the straight talk express didn’t hesitate to exert his influence on athletics. But unlike a lot of politicians who look like preening schmoes when they try to mix it up in sports, McCain was authentic in an athletic milieu.

EA Sports Gaming

Authorities have identified David Katz as the gunman that killed two people and injured 11 others before taking his own life at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday afternoon. The 24-year-old was a Maryland resident.

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. 

 

 

 

 

Tom Moore

Historians at the Maryland State Archives are piecing together new information on the soldiers of the Maryland 400, the Revolutionary War outfit that fought in the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776.

They’re learning more about the lives of some of those soldiers whose vastly outnumbered unit took heavy losses in the first and biggest battle of the war holding off the British while the rest of George Washington’s army regrouped at Brooklyn Heights.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Most of the restaurants in Baltimore City are operating without annual health department inspections; there just aren’t enough inspectors to go around. That’ s according to an audit released Wednesday morning at the Board of Estimates meeting.

@cedmull30/twitter

Let’s face it: From a sports standpoint, the calendar year 2018 has been nothing but lousy around these parts.

We certainly could use a glimmer of hope, some piece of positivity to hitch our collective Charm City wagons to.

It’s only been a couple of weeks, mind you, but newly christened center fielder Cedric Mullins shows signs of being a linchpin of a brighter Orioles future.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Jarrod Ramos, the man accused in the Capital Gazette shootings, appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arrest in June.

He sat slumped over in his chair at the defense table during the morning hearing wearing dark green hospital scrubs, socks and prison shower sandals and had shackles around his ankles. He only spoke in a whisper to his lawyer, William Davis.

Baltimore City Office of the Mayor

Some Baltimore City Council members want fewer police patrolling around Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. But Mayor Catherine Pugh rejected the idea at her Wednesday news conference.

“First of all Hopkins does not exist on an island," she said. "It’s not 20 miles outside of Baltimore.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore has abandoned its troubled BikeShare program in favor of electric scooters and bikes. The city is launching a six-month pilot program with the scooters while shutting down the problem plagued BikeShare program after less than two years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the move Wednesday calling it the "wave of the future" in transportation.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Earlier in the day, Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the video of Officer Arthur Williams striking civilian Dashawn McGrier in the head. Then Mayor Catherine Pugh tweeted she was demanding “answers and accountability.”

Monday night, City Council president Jack Young said the incident “causes great concern with the community when we’re trying to rebuild police-community relations.”

“It’s like the officer just lost it,” he said in the monthly meeting of the council’s Public Safety and Budget committees with the police department. “But this is the type of behavior that we can’t have.”

AP

Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Monday he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the viral video of one of his officers beating up a civilian Saturday on Monument Street.

It pointed out, he said, “another deficiency in our training that we can actually learn from.”

@THEREALJMCNAIR/TWITTER

It’s been 32 years since Len Bias’ death sent the University of Maryland lurching about for its soul.

When that search was over, the entire power structure of the athletic department and the university itself had been toppled and the school emerged sufficiently chastened with a better sense of right and wrong.

Three decades later, it may take another death, that of football player Jordan McNair, to force people at College Park and beyond to examine what the university and its athletics are really about.

Baltimore’s law expanding inspection requirements to one and two family units went into effect the first of this month and housing advocates say they want to make sure renters know about the new law and continue to push for an increase in housing inspections.

Rachel Baye

A new poll of likely Maryland voters shows Democrat Ben Jealous lagging behind Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by nine points. Commissioned by Jealous’s campaign, the poll also shows that about a third of voters don’t know who he is.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Last month, an audit found that Youth Works, Baltimore’s summer youth jobs program for roughly 8,000 young people, was riddled with problems and in danger of losing state funds. Now, two city councilmen are trying to provide more support for young adults in those programs.

Council members, Zeke Cohen, who represents an East Baltimore district, and Kristerfer Burnett, whose district touches the western border of the city, are looking to expand “This is Working,” a program under the Youth Works umbrella.

Joel McCord

Last week, Governor Larry Hogan sharply criticized Pennsylvania and New York for not doing enough to slow pollution and trash flowing down the Susquehanna River into the Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Environmental Protection fired back, calling the remarks “careless and insensitive.”

But the two were a bit more conciliatory at Tuesday’s Chesapeake Executive Council meeting.

@raylewis/Twitter

If you’ve ever seen a talent show from the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem, you know that at some point when an act has stayed long past its welcome, a fellow named Sandman would emerge, with a hook to usher the offending performer off the stage.

The original Sandman has gone on to his eternal rest, but we sure could use him, or a reasonable facsimile to assist Ray Lewis out of our consciousness.

Joel McCord

Record rainfall across the Northeast in July has clogged the Chesapeake Bay and its beaches with logs, debris and other trash. And it’s required a herculean effort to clean it up.

Some 50 volunteers showed up at Sandy Point State Park, just north of the Bay Bridge, over the weekend to help park rangers clear those beaches.

  

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.

 

 

Tom Newby/flickr

The onset of football training camps serves as a reminder that there is no group of humans more inclined to obliviousness than college football coaches.

They consistently show an uncanny ability to tune the rest of the world out to focus on their team and their sport, often to their own embarrassment and the shame of the school.

We present, for your consideration, the recent contributions of leaders of two prominent programs to the assemblage of asinine utterings.

First up, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who told a gathering of media two weeks ago that it hadn’t been proven that football causes chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

AP

Jarrod Ramos, the man charged in the mass shooting at the Annapolis Capital newspaper, was expected to make his first appearance in court Monday. But his appearance was canceled after his lawyer filed papers on his behalf.

Ramos was scheduled to appear before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William Mulford, who, under normal circumstances, would read Ramos his rights, explain the charges against him and the maximum penalty for each count and tell him of his need for a lawyer.

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