Baltimore County | WYPR

Baltimore County

John Lee

Starting Monday, teachers throughout Maryland will be getting an education on how to do their jobs in the new reality of online learning.

The head of the teachers union in Baltimore County said her members are anxious about what is a very uncertain time, as school administrators react to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maryland State Department of Labor

 


   About 3.3 million Americans, including 42,000 Marylanders, filed for unemployment benefits last week, surpassing the previous record from 1982 by more than four-and-half times. 

 

The Labor Department's data from last week is one of the first official signs of how many people are suddenly out of work: last week’s claims are nearly five times the amount of those at the peak of the Great Recession, according to NPR.

 

“Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts,” a department spokesperson said in a statement. “States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food services.”

John Lee

Now that schools will remain closed through at least April 24, school systems across Maryland are scrambling to come up with ways to teach children from a distance.

Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams said instruction on line will begin for county students on Monday, April 6.

John Lee

There have been at least 30 cases in Baltimore County over the past 10 days of people violating social distancing rules as authorities try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Statewide it is illegal for more than 10 people to gather together.

John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said President Trump could be putting lives at risk by saying he wants the country opened by Easter.

The president Tuesday said the U.S. economy is in jeopardy. During a Fox News town hall, the president said, “The faster we go back, the better it’s going to be.”

Alissa Eckert, Dan Higgins/CDC

A second Maryland resident has died from the novel coronavirus, Gov. Larry Hogan's office reported Friday.

The victim was a Baltimore County resident in his 60s who had an underlying medical condition.

John Lee

Schools across Maryland were to be closed this week and next to slow the spread of coronavirus. Now, system administrators are preparing for the real possibility they might be closed even longer. 

Lee Krempel

Maryland’s public schools will be closed for two weeks starting Monday March 16th through Friday March 27th  due to the growing number of cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the state.

State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced the closings in an afternoon news conference Thursday.

State universities throughout Maryland have begun canceling classes this week due to concerns over the coronavirus.

And they say students and faculty need to prepare for the possibility that classes will have to be taught online rather than in person for at least two weeks after spring break, which is next week.

Towson University announced Tuesday it is canceling classes for the rest of the week, beginning Wednesday. The University of Maryland Baltimore County and Salisbury University announced they would cancel classes Thursday and Friday this week.

John Lee

Bees are being wiped out. And area beekeepers are pointing the finger at pesticides as a major reason why.

The beekeepers are looking for help from the Maryland legislature, and from you, as you begin plotting your plans for your lawn and garden this spring.

John Lee

Baltimore County law allows developers to build homes and apartments near crowded schools. 

School advocates and some officials want to reshuffle the deck they say is stacked in favor of developers.

John Lee

The fractured Baltimore County School Board’s inability to elect a chairman and vice chairman is now an issue before the Maryland General Assembly.

In December, both chair Kathleen Causey and vice chair Julie Henn seemingly lost elections to be reappointed the board’s leaders by six to five votes. However, both remain in place as de facto chair and vice chair. The reason is you need seven votes to be appointed. The vote was complicated by the death in October of board member Roger Hayden.

Now Democratic Delegate Eric Ebersole is introducing legislation that would allow future votes to be decided by a simple majority.

John Lee

People who live in Turner Station, a historically African American community in southeastern Baltimore County, say they just don’t trust the police department. That comes from years of seeing black people treated unfairly by the police.

But at the same time, they also say they need help with a growing crime problem.

Mia Jeffries told a recent community meeting in Dundalk she and her daughter were pulled over for speeding one night, and that led to her being tased, her daughter being pepper sprayed and both of them being locked up.

John Lee

It might sound mundane, but a proposal to change the start time of one of its meetings sparked weeks of debates and arguments behind closed doors by the usually mild mannered Baltimore County Council.

John Lee

The Maryland Department of the Environment in April will begin notifying downstream localities about plans for wastewater discharge permits.

This is a direct result of last year’s controversy over plans by a Harford County mega church to build a wastewater treatment plant that would have discharged into Little Gunpowder Falls, according to Baltimore County Delegate Dana Stein.

John Lee

Owners of donation bins in Baltimore County would be more tightly regulated under legislation the county council will consider Tuesday afternoon.

Council members say the bins have become dumping grounds.

John Lee

 

This week, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski will begin holding town hall meetings on the budget for this coming year.

Last year, the county raised taxes for the first time in a generation to close an $81 million shortfall. But officials say that does not mean the county is out of the fiscal woods yet, and tough decisions lie ahead.

WYPR’s John Lee joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner in the studio to talk about what is at stake.

John Lee

Joe Lowe recently was having a beer in a bar in Bowleys Quarters in Middle River. Bowleys Quarters is prone to flooding, most infamously in 2003 when Tropical Storm Isabel destroyed more than 200 homes.

But Lowe does not believe climate change is a threat.

John Lee

  

The Baltimore County Council is considering moving its work sessions to the evening. The idea is that would allow more people to attend and have their say.

Seems like a simple enough idea.

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

  

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

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.

 

 

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. 

 

 

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