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U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings Dies At 68

Cummings used his fiery voice to highlight the struggles and needs of inner-city residents

WYPR News

AP PHOTO Julio cortez

Elijah Cummings’ hometown of Baltimore is mourning.

The 12-term congressman, who passed away in the early hours of Oct. 17, was one of the earliest black leaders in Baltimore to achieve national standing.

AP PHOTO/PATRICK SEMANSKY

Baltimore, Maryland and the nation are mourning the death of a congressional veteran who became a national leader in the cause of civil rights.

Elijah Cummings lost his months-long fight for life Thursday at the pinnacle of his lengthy political career.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday due to complications from longstanding health challenges. He was 68.

Tributes and remembrances have been pouring in since the news broke that Cummings passed, and WYPR is remembering our interviews with the 11-term Democratic congressman. 

As Climate Changes, Scientists Re-Think Phragmites

11 hours ago
Pamela D'Angelo

If you visit the tiny Virginia town of Saxis, just across Pocomoke Sound from Crisfield, Maryland, you’ll be greeted by fields of bobbing, feathery heads of 10-foot phragmites.

The tall reed launched its invasion of the Chesapeake Bay centuries ago when the plants hitched a ride across the Atlantic with the first European colonists. And for the most part, it’s been seen as a pesky plant that clogged wetlands and waterways, taking over the habitat of native plants.

Pamela D'Angelo

The wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay are nurseries for blue crabs, striped bass, menhaden and other important species. The variety of plants in them absorbs pollutants like nitrogen that run off city streets and farm fields.

And they protect properties from flooding by stabilizing shorelines and absorbing storm water.

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Out of the Blocks

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Eastern Ave, East To Highland, Part 1: Pebble In A Pond

Stories from a Dominican barbershop, a tattoo parlor, a lawyer’s office, a coffee counter, and a collaborative arts hub, all neighbors in the melting pot that is Eastern Avenue in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood.

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WYPR, NPR, AND REGIONAL NEWS

Four U.S. senators told the head of the nation's top consumer protection agency Thursday that they want her to launch examinations into serious problems with a program designed to offer loan forgiveness to public service workers.

An NPR story this week revealed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau attempted such examinations but was thwarted by the Trump administration's Department of Education.

Taika Waititi may be best known for directing the Marvel blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but what got him that job was smaller movies like Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople — films best described as "quirky."

That epithet fits his latest film, Jojo Rabbit, about a little boy in Nazi Germany who has an imaginary friend named Adolf Hitler.

In the opening scenes of the new French drama By The Grace Of God, we see a Catholic family man named Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud) taking his wife and five kids to church. He's happy, excited to share his faith with his family. In voiceover, though, we hear him say he'd been molested repeatedly by his priest thirty years prior. What's more, he's recently learned the priest has returned to the area, and is again in close contact with children.

There's something very strange about Greener Grass.

Well, actually, there are many strange things in this fever-dream of a suburban satire: unruly children transformed into golden retrievers, underwear touted proudly as neck scarves, an entire population of adults wearing braces on straight teeth — but perhaps the most unsettling bit is just how familiar it all feels.

Had you told me even a month ago that Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg, Academy Award-nominee Abigail Breslin, three-time Academy Award-nominee Woody Harrelson, and three-time Academy Award-nominee / one-time Academy Award-winner Emma Stone were reuniting for the long-unawaited, highly unanticipated sequel to Zombieland — the 42nd highest grossing picture of 2009 and to be fair, a perfectly agreeable expenditure of 88 minutes — I would've assumed someone in the Culver City offices of Sony Pictures was embezzling.

As Disney continues to plunder its animated IP for live-action remakes, where these films fall on the spectrum of pointlessness has to do with how closely they adhere to the source. The remakes that simply copy the material from one format to the other, like Beauty and The Beast or Aladdin, have been consistently enervating whereas the ones that attempt a full gut rehab, like Dumbo or the excellent Pete's Dragon, at least have the benefit of an independent artistic vision. In this particular creative desert, every droplet of water counts.

Arthur S. Seigel / Flickr/Creative Commons

In the 1870's, horse racing began at a track in Pimlico with a series of exciting sweepstakes races.

As a teenager, Katie Gruman was prescribed one mental health drug after another. None seemed to help her manage symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, so she self-medicated with alcohol and illicit drugs.

It would take five years, and trying more than 15 different medications, before she found meds that actually helped.

Now 28 and in recovery, Gruman has been on the same drugs for years. But when a clinician recommended a genetic test to see which drugs work best for her, she took it.

AP PHOTO Julio cortez

Elijah Cummings’ hometown of Baltimore is mourning.

The 12-term congressman, who passed away in the early hours of Oct. 17, was one of the earliest black leaders in Baltimore to achieve national standing.

A protest by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion sparked violence and disruption at a train station on Thursday. Before the sun had come up, some trains were at a standstill. Protesters had climbed atop the railcars; at least one grandfather had glued his hand to one.

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