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The Midday News Wrap: Top Local Stories From The WYPR News Team

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An elementary school student wears a mask while on a school bus in October 2020. (Credit: Allison Shelley/Alliance for Excellent Education, via Flickr)

It’s the Midday NewswrapToday, we’re going to focus on local stories with three members of WYPR’s award-winning news team.

John Lee covers Baltimore County for WYPR, and won a 2020 Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association Award for his series of reports on COVID-19's impact on the Baltimore County Schools. He joins Tom today on our digital line to discuss the story he broke last week about a devastating auditor's report on the Baltimore County School system that described the school board as dysfunctional, the central office as bloated, and found systemic problems of low morale and poor communications. He also recaps his story about the potential political impact of the Baltimore County Council's redistricting plan on the Towson Council District.

Rachel Baye is WYPR'S Statehouse and Maryland politics correspondent, whose reporting on kids in the Maryland foster care system won her a prestigious 2021 National Edward R. Murrow award. She joins Tom on our digital line to discuss her recent coverage of the Columbia hotel that laid off its employees last year because of the pandemic and took $2.5 million in federal PPP loans this year, but has so far failed to rehire or compensate its laid-off workers. Rachel also describes the ongoing battles over mask mandates in the state's public schools, and the latest legislative efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Maryland.

Joel McCord has been WYPR's News Director since 2012, and also covers the Chesapeake Bay region and various counties throughout the state. In 2019, Joel won a Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association Award for his moving commentary on the mass shooting that killed five staffers at the Capital Gazette newspaper, in his home town of Annapolis. Today he joins Tom on Zoom to discuss his recent reporting of improved prospects for a proposed Chesapeake Bay Bridge replacement, following signs of a compromise from a long-time critic of the plan, Anne Arundel County Supervisor Steuart Pittman. And Joel recaps his coverage of the Talbot County Council's vote on September 16 to remove the Talbot Boys Confederate monument from the courthouse lawn in Easton.

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(l-r) WYPR Reporters John Lee, Rachel Baye, Joel McCord

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.