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."

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

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Council members currently can serve for as long as they can be reelected. Council members debated Tuesday whether that should change. They were divided.

Baltimore County

Two bills that would have given Baltimore County more oversight over the school system are dead in the Maryland General Assembly.

One would have given the county’s inspector general the authority to investigate fraud, waste and abuse in the school system. The other would have allowed the county to attach strings to some of the money it sends to the schools.

J Holsey Photography

The Maryland General Assembly is considering legislation that would ban hate symbols like swastikas, Confederate flags and nooses at public schools statewide.

John Lee

Legislation that would give Baltimore County’s executive and the county council more control over how the school system spends money is racist, according to the county NAACP.

AP Photo/John Raoux

Last fall, Jennifer Lynch was the principal at Hillcrest Elementary School in Catonsville. She was happy when County Executive Johnny Olszewski, using CARES money, offered each county school $100 per child to spend on PPE.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

A Baltimore County Councilman is proposing a three-term limit for council members. Democratic Councilman Tom Quirk, who will not run for a fourth term next year, said this week that being on the county council is not supposed to be a career.

John Lee

Many Baltimore County teachers won’t be fully vaccinated by the time students start returning to classrooms next month.

And the school system doesn’t know exactly which teachers have had their shots, according to spokesman Charles Herndon.

Editor B/flickr

Some Baltimore County students will return to classrooms two days a week, starting the week of March 1. The other three days the students will continue online learning from home. That’s according to a reopening plan released Monday by the school system.

John Lee

Some Baltimore County Public School students will return to school buildings March 1, nearly one year after they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

School Superintendent Darryl Williams told the school board Tuesday night the students’ return will be phased in.

Baltimore County

As Baltimore County administers its COVID-19 vaccine plan, it is also trying to figure out how to vaccinate a hard-to-reach group: people who are homebound. The limited number of available vaccines coupled with the logistics involved make them difficult to reach.

Associated Press/Jeff Chiu, File

The most recent jobless figures show more than 200,000 Marylanders remain unemployed. But Baltimore County officials are being advised the economy may come roaring back later this year.

County officials are finding they have collected more in taxes than they expected because a lot of people who pay higher taxes have been able to keep their jobs.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch has told county school officials they must run COVID-19 vaccination clinics for their employees.

Branch told the school board Tuesday night that if BCPS cannot run the clinics, its employees will have to get in line with everyone else waiting to get the vaccine.

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County teachers and staff will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week, but it is unclear how that will affect when school buildings reopen for students. All of the county’s school buildings have been closed since March.

John Lee

The clash between residents of an historically African American neighborhood in East Towson and a developer of affordable housing is coming down to a final legal battle.

Both sides squared off Wednesday before Administrative Law Judge Maureen Murphy, who will settle the dispute.

Baltimore County Public Schools

Baltimore County teachers told the school board Tuesday night that they need help dealing with their students who are in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a public hearing on the proposed budget for the coming year, the teachers pleaded with the school board to ask the county for more money to pay for mental health professionals and social workers.

John Lee

The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are driving Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams’ proposed $1.77 billion budget that goes before a public hearing Tuesday.

For example, Williams said, more of the county’s students qualify for free and reduced-price meals because of the pandemic.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has received more than 11,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines thus far, and County Executive Johnny Olszewski promised Thursday that “no vaccine will go to waste.”

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski wants the county’s inspector general to have oversight authority of the county school system.

John Lee

Baltimore County school officials stunned the school board when they recently released a list of proposed capital projects that does not include replacements for Dulaney and Towson High Schools.

Credit: Charlie Wambeke
Charlie Wambeke

Twenty-eight homeless people died in Baltimore County in 2020. Advocates say many of those deaths could have been prevented.

Those who lost their lives were recently remembered at a memorial service.

Baltimore County Public Schools

  

Baltimore County Public Schools officials want to bring students back to classrooms in the second semester. But with just one month to go, it remains unclear if the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate will throw that plan off course.

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County is capping how much third-party delivery services can charge restaurants to deliver their food.

Baltimore County Public Schools

The unions that represent teachers and principals in Baltimore County say they feel marginalized and disrespected by the school system’s response to last month’s ransomware attack.

In a scathing letter sent Sunday to School Superintendent Darry Williams, the unions paint a picture of a school system in disarray.

Flickr / Dystopos

Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, many Baltimore County students will find themselves back in crowded schools. One reason for that is that the county code allows developers to build near school buildings that already have too many children.

Flickr

Legally-required meetings about the services special education students receive in Baltimore County Public Schools are being postponed because of the November 24 ransomware attack.

Advocates say the delay could hurt some of the county schools’ most vulnerable children.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County’s first inspector general is pleading for help from county officials.

As she wraps up her first year in office, Kelly Madigan said she does not have the people she needs to find waste, fraud and abuse in county government and to keep its employees in line with ethics rules.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski sent a scathing letter Friday to the county school superintendent, charging his response to the November 24 cyberattack on the school system has been disjointed and ineffective.

@MakedaScott6/Twitter

A divided Baltimore County School board split the difference Tuesday night when picking its leadership for the coming year.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County officials remained mum Monday on who launched the cyberattack November 24 that crippled the school system and canceled virtual instruction classes for its 115,000 students.

However, they were able to say that they do not believe anyone’s data was stolen in the attack.

Baltimore County

When Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski took the oath of office two years ago this week, he had some big plans. But some of those remain on the shelf as he manages the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a wide ranging interview this week with WYPR, Olszewski talked about COVID, his accomplishments, a possible run for governor and what remains undone as he reaches the half way point of his four year term.

Olszweski said COVID remains jobs one, two and three, and that the county is preparing to administer the vaccines once they are available.

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