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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.

 

 

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The nine Democrats running for governor faced off Wednesday in their fourth debate, which was taped and will air on WMAR-2 News on June 13 at 8 p.m. WYPR’s Rachel Baye discusses the debate with Nathan Sterner.

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.

 

 

Eric Minor

By the end of this week, five of the eight convicted cops from the Baltimore Police Department's disbanded Gun Trace Task Force will have been sentenced and could be serving anywhere from 10 to 30 years in federal prison.

Six of them pleaded guilty and two were found guilty by a jury on federal charges of racketeering, conspiracy to racketeer and wire fraud for falsifying overtime claims. The case has left some wondering why it took federal, rather than local, Baltimore  authorities to catch this crew.  

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.

 

 

Tom Newby/flickr

Ten years ago, St. Francis Academy, the oldest continuously operating, predominately African-American Catholic school in the United States, launched a football program.

The theory after more than 150 years of no football was that the game would give boys at the East Baltimore school something to do after school that would keep them away from gangs.

At the time, I did a series of stories for WYPR on the growing pains of the program, so I know how special football is for that school.

Today, the Panthers are at the center of a controversy that touches on the question of how much success is too much, as well as on race.

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.

The Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association (CAPBA) honored WYPR with two awards at its annual ceremony on Saturday. WYPR reporter John Lee won for Outstanding Editorial or Commentary for "One Virginian's Take on Confederate Monuments" and Outstanding Feature or Human Interest Story for "Farms That Go ‘Boom’ Annoying Neighbors in Baltimore County." 

Midday host Tom Hall was recognized as a finalist for Outstanding Talk Show for "Freddie Gray, Two Years On: Baltimore Community Perspectives” and reporter Rachel Baye was a finalist for Outstanding Enterprise Reporting for "Maryland Poor Get Little Help on Child Care." 

In an era of sharp, partisan infighting, Maryland’s Democratic Senator Ben Cardin has helped craft a sweeping bipartisan bill that could go a long way to deal with Maryland’s water infrastructure issues. And proponents say it may be one of the few bills that can gt through Congress in this election year.

Cardin says the bill that’s aimed at revitalizing the nation’s ailing water infrastructure is key for Maryland because it offers a blue print for how the nation deals with clean water and ports.

AP

The flood that ripped through Ellicott City last Sunday, destroying homes and businesses and claiming one life was devastating. But it wasn’t anything new. Ellicott City has had a long history of floods.

In fact, the first grist mill, built by James Hood in 1766, was destroyed a mere two years later by one of the earliest recorded floods.

The town flooded again in 1817 and 1837. And then there was the flood of 1868 that killed 43 people and destroyed 14 homes.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

With a storm watch remaining in effect through 2 a.m. Friday, Ellicott City residents and business owners gird for another round of possible flash flooding.

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.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Maryland’s rivers once teemed with a fish called river herring, the generic name for alewife and blueback herring.

A century ago, watermen on the Choptank River caught millions of these fish that live in the ocean, but return to fresh water to spawn in a single year. 

But the population has plummeted, thanks to overfishing, dams that block their paths upstream to spawning grounds and habitat loss.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Residents and business owners of the historic Ellicott City continued cleaning up Tuesday after Sunday’s flood that tore down trees, washed away sidewalks, and wreaked havoc on homes and stores.

A body of a man was found in the Patapsco River Tuesday across the Baltimore County line from Howard County following a devastating flood Sunday night in Ellicott City.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

Black players in the National Football League have awakened to the realization, that despite their gifts to what has become the nation’s most popular sport, which are substantial, their views aren’t welcome.

That was the takeaway from the announcement following the NFL’s recent owners’ meeting, where it was decreed that dissent would not be brooked in the league.

What else are they to make of a policy that states that players who wish to bring attention to the rising instances of seemingly sanctioned police brutality towards people of color by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem now have two choices.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Maryland has licensed 15 companies to grow medical marijuana since the General Assembly legalized it more than four years ago. WYPR takes us inside one of those companies’ growing facilities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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.

 

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

During the last General Assembly session, lawmakers created a temporary fix to stabilize Maryland’s Obamacare exchange after Congress repealed the individual mandate to buy health insurance. Now, the Democratic gubernatorial candidates are backing what they say would be a permanent fix.

Baltimore County Police Department

Three more teens have been charged as adults with first-degree murder in the death of a Baltimore County police officer, authorities said Wednesday.

Fifteeen-year-old Darrell Jaymar Ward, 16-year-old Derrick Eugene Matthews, and 17-year-old Eugene Robert Genius IV were charged in the killing of officer Amy Caprio. 

baltimorehousing.org

 

Last night Baltimore City Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioner approved an application to plan for the transformation of the Poe Homes neighborhood, just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard near the University of Maryland campus. WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi speaks with Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner.

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond Tuesday night took herself out of the running to complete Kevin Kamenetz’s term as county executive. Kamenetz died nearly two weeks ago and his term ends December 3. Almond said no thanks even though she had enough votes on the County Council to land the job.

 

AP Photo/Nick Wass

It was probably difficult to see on television Saturday, what with all that fog and mist that enveloped Pimlico, but a few seconds after Justify won the Preakness, another horse crossed the finish line.

This horse, however, is far older than the field of three year-olds in the race, but know this: If Justify has this horse’s stamina, he’ll win the Belmont and thus the Triple Crown going away in less than three weeks.

In a nod to the group, America, this horse has no name, per se, but rather a theme, namely that Pimlico Race Course is in trouble.

Baltimore County Police Department

A 16-year-old charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the death of a Maryland police officer has been ordered held without bail.

Dawnta Anthony Harris, of Baltimore, has been charged in the death Monday of Baltimore County Officer Amy Caprio. He made his first court appearance by video Tuesday. 

Lost Crab Pots: Not as Bad as We Thought?

May 21, 2018
Pamela D'Angelo

Back in 2016, a team of scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science said watermen lost an astounding number—145,000 crab pots, leading to the deaths of millions of dollars’ worth of crabs trapped in those pots.

But a different panel of scientists says it’s not as bad as they originally thought.

Rachel Baye

Thirty-five-year-old Cory McCray checked his list of registered Democratic voters before climbing each set of porch steps and knocking on each door in a Northeast Baltimore neighborhood on a recent afternoon.

“I’m Cory McCray, your state delegate,” he told a resident who answered her door. “I’m in a very contentious race, so when you go to the ballot in June, I’ll be trying to elevate from delegate to senator, and I’m just hoping and praying to get your consideration.”

McCray said it was his third time knocking on doors in the neighborhood, so he hoped most people there knew who he is.

Valerie Ervin for Governor

When Valerie Ervin announced Thursday she would run for governor, she tapped as her running mate former Baltimore County School Board member Marisol Johnson.

 

The campaign hopes Johnson will help them in what is considered a key battleground in the governor’s race.

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Mayor Catherine Pugh offered an update Thursday on her estimated $110 million plan to redevelop the blighted Park Heights neighborhood, which abuts Pimlico Race Course. She made the announcement just days before the Preakness is to be run at the aging track.

Pugh’s plan calls for acquiring and demolishing vacant buildings, putting up new, affordable housing and building a new school. She says its part of the effort to keep the Preakness, the second jewel in racing’s triple crown, in the city.

John Lee

Baltimore County school officials are to present their proposed budget to the County Council Thursday. At the same time, they’re working on a five-year strategic plan for the schools. 

 

All this is going on while Interim School Superintendent Verletta White’s future remains in limbo, and her supporters on the school board make another pitch to the state school superintendent to allow them to hire her permanently.

 

 

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