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.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski raised nearly $1 million in political contributions in 2019, his first year in office. That is five times what his predecessor, Kevin Kamenetz, raised during the first year of his first term in 2011.

Baltimore County

Gun shop owners in Baltimore County will have to make their stores more secure under controversial legislation passed Tuesday night by the county council. WYPR’s  Baltimore County reporter John Lee joined Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner to give the details.

Baltimore County

  

The Baltimore County Council Tuesday night is expected to approve the hiring of the county’s first executive director for ethics and accountability.

 

 

The Associated Press

Baltimore County gun shops would have to beef up their security under a proposal that was before the county council Tuesday. 

 

County Executive Johnny Olszewski said more has to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But some council members raised concerns the proposal would put too much of a burden on small businesses. 

 

 

John Lee

Since August, around 180 teachers, therapists, social workers and nurses have resigned from Baltimore County Public Schools. And that does not include staff who have retired and teachers who have gone on leave.

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins Monday night was tapped to be the chairwoman of the council for the coming year. Democrats control the council and take turns being chair.

 

 

Baltimore County Government/flickr

The number of murders in Baltimore County nearly doubled in 2019 when compared to the year before.

 

50 people were murdered last year according to a police department spokesman. That compares to 27 people killed in 2018 and 35 people murdered in 2016 and 2017. 

 

John Lee

The Mountain Christian Church controversy, which caused a rare public disagreement between Baltimore and Harford Counties, is leading to legislation in the General Assembly. It would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to contact localities that would be directly affected by proposed wastewater discharge permits. 

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has gotten the green light from the federal government to require most landlords to accept housing vouchers, also called section 8.

 

According to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, the controversial legislation passed by the county council last month has been approved by The Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

 

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Thursday that he is nominating Kelly Madigan, a career prosecutor, for the job of rooting out corruption, fraud and abuse in county government. 

 

Madigan will be the first leader of the county’s newly created office of ethics and accountability.

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County School Board Thursday night threw in the towel and gave up trying to elect a new chairman. 

 

Despite that, the current chairwoman Kathleen Causey will continue on in the post for now.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

A behind-the-scenes battle is being waged over the future leadership of the Baltimore County School Board, leaving it fractured.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski begins his second year in office this week. 

 

Challenges ahead for Olszewski in 2020 include getting state money for the county’s old, crowded schools and dealing with a rising crime rate. 

 

 

Gotham Greens

Lettuces and herbs soon will be growing on an environmental cleanup site in eastern Baltimore County. 

 

The Bethlehem Steel site at Sparrows Point was a toxic wasteland when Tradepoint Atlantic began developing it five years ago. 

 

The company Gotham Greens’ mission is to grow produce where you would least expect it. 

 

 

John Lee

Climate change is real and human activity is driving it. That is the science, and teachers and administrators say it’s being taught that way in Baltimore County schools. 

 

But there are climate change skeptics. 

 

In this way, climate change is like evolution. The teaching of the scientific theory runs afoul of some people’s beliefs.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County will prohibit landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use housing vouchers, also known as section 8. 

 

The Baltimore County Council approved the controversial legislation Monday night in a vote that went straight down party lines.The four Democrats on the county council voted for it. The three Republicans voted against. 

 

 

Arbutus. College Town?

Nov 4, 2019
John Lee

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Arbutus are near each other. But when you think about Arbutus, “college town” probably doesn’t come to mind. 

 

A business is opening Monday morning in the southern Baltimore County community that hopes to help change that. 

 

 

John Lee

It was standing room only in the Baltimore County Council Chambers Tuesday afternoon, as the council heard from both sides of the controversial issue of housing vouchers. 

 

Meantime, the odds may be improving that the legislation will pass the county council when it comes up for a vote next week.

 

 

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

Housing vouchers, also known as section 8: are they a helping hand for people in need or do they threaten neighborhoods? 

 

The Baltimore County Council has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on legislation that would forbid landlords from rejecting would-be tenants because they use the vouchers. 

 

Thousands of people in Baltimore County find themselves on opposite sides of the controversy.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

Former Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden has died. Hayden was county executive from 1990 to1994 and was the last Republican to hold that position. 

 

Hayden also served twice on the county board of education, from 1974 to1987 and again from 2017 until his death. 

 

 

John Lee

Mountain Christian Church, a mega-church in Harford County, has backed off plans to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have released its discharge into a tributary of Little Gunpowder Falls.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

The Baltimore County School Board is deciding whether to start school before or after Labor Day next year.

 

But at a public hearing Tuesday night, the board heard mostly from people who asked it to treat the major religions equally when deciding on religious holidays in the 2020-2021 school calendar. 

 

 

Seth Sawyers/flickr

The General Assembly earlier this year tossed out Governor Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order forcing school systems to wait until after Labor Day to start classes. 

 

School systems in Maryland now are considering taking advantage of that because they are facing a looming calendar crunch. Labor Day next year comes at its latest possible date, September 7.

 

 

Baltimore County Government

 

The fate of a controversial proposal to ban landlords in Baltimore County from rejecting someone because they are using a housing voucher, commonly called section 8, rests with two members of the Baltimore County Council.

 

WYPR’s John Lee joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about the two council members whose votes are in play and the political tug of war over this legislation. 

 

 

Howard County Library System via Flickr

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68.

 

A sharecropper's son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.

 

 

Stevenson University College Republicans/Facebook

  

What is driving climate change? According to a recent Goucher poll, your answer to that question has a lot to do with whether you are a Democrat or a Republican.

 

You need to look no further than Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District to hear the political divide over the science that humans are mostly to blame for what is happening to the climate.

 

 

Baltimore County

It soon will be legal to play live music in Catonsville and Arbutus.

 

The Baltimore County Council Monday night unanimously approved legislation to allow establishments in those towns to have live music. 

 

 

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether it will sue Monsanto Company for contaminating the county’s environment with Polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.

 

WYPR’s Baltimore County reporter John Lee and Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner hashed out the details.

 

 

John Lee

 

 

Controversial legislation that would ban landlords in Baltimore County from rejecting someone because they are using a housing voucher, commonly called section 8, is to be introduced next week at the County Council. 

 

The so-called “source of income discrimination legislation” was soundly defeated when it last went before the council three years ago.

 

 

John Lee

It appears the live music ban in Catonsville and Arbutus will be lifted. 

 

Following a public hearing Tuesday, The Baltimore County Council is poised to make a change in zoning law to let songs fill the air legally in those two towns.

 

 

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