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WYPR Features

Tom Pelton

  Carlene Zach worked as a postal clerk and then the U.S. postmaster in the tiny town of Melfa on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  She proudly showed a visitor her 119-year-old wooden house, with its robin’s egg blue shutters, and doormat proclaiming, “home sweet home.”


“This is an Eastern Shore farmhouse,” Zach said. “The original homestead was over there. That one dates back to the 1700’s, and it’s the same family.”


Behind her house is a barn, where she feeds and cares for her horses. “They’re babies,” she said, kissing one of her animals and feeding it an apple. “He’s a good boy.”


It was through horses that she met the love of her life, her future husband, Peter, an Army veteran and lineman for the local electric company.



Danny's (2020-04-24)

Apr 22, 2020

Motorists driving north on Charles Street in late March of 1989 were delighted and excited to see off to their right, high on the two story building at Charles and Biddle streets housing Danny’s Restaurant, a sign that read, simply, “The Run Is On.” Motorists saw that sign there every March since Danny’s Restaurant opened in 1961. It alerted them to when the shad season started in Maryland. But Danny’s closed in 1961 and the sign hanging on building is gone. So how do Baltimoreans know when the shad season has started in Maryland? They don’t. This is a lament for the days when Danny told them when it had...

Chilean Whites

Apr 22, 2020
Kenilworth Wine & Spirits

Quality continues to improve in Chile with modern up to date wine-making.

Gamber: Long Live The New Normal

Apr 21, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

One of my favorite things about being principal at Bard High School Early College Baltimore is that at our school, administrators are expected to teach. This semester, I'm teaching a college level course on the history of race mixing in America. The class used to meet every day at 2:30, last period for us, so the 27 enrollees tumbled in with all the energy that comes with anticipating the end of a school day,

We've been on hiatus for a few weeks while news has been flooding in about the pandemic. We're glad to be back, and yes, Jerry and I are phoning it in from home. As we all work to get through this period of social isolation, we can still count on a few things to buck up our morale. And what could be more comforting than a big bowl of home made soup in the evening?

Chad Cooper via flickr

Don’t look now, but college athletics is immersed in yet another crisis that, depending on who you talk to, threatens its very existence.

Of course, given the real crisis we’re all facing, invoking the phrase existential threat is done advisedly. 

But a big challenge to the way things have been has suddenly emerged and it threatens to render college sports irrelevant. 


Wikipedia, marked for public use

Next Wednesday, April 22nd, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. So even though we’re living in strange and difficult times – with the coronavirus keeping most of us at home – it is an appropriate time to take stock of how we’re treating our home, the Earth.

The founder of Earth Day was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. He was a pioneer in environmental advocacy who was at the center of successful legislative efforts to pass the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act; as well as to ban the pesticide DDT; and create the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail.

Senator Nelson framed his vision for the environmental movement in broad terms in the very first Earth Day speech back in 1970.

Delacorte (l); Gallery (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews Helen Fremont's acclaimed 1999 memoir After Long Silence and her newly released follow-up, The Escape Artist.

KT King via Flickr

There’s hardly a person on the face of the Earth who hasn’t been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Virtually every demographic group has seen their lives fundamentally altered by the novel coronavirus, forcing us, theoretically, to alter our thinking and lifestyles.

You’ll notice that I said virtually. There is one group of humans who have marched on seemingly oblivious to the events of the last few weeks. That would be football officials.

U.S. Department of Defense

The coronavirus crisis has contributed to a crash in oil prices, as people are driving less while working at home and many businesses are shut down. Competition between Saudi Arabia and Russia has also caused a glut in global oil production.

As a result, many oil and gas companies are suffering huge financial losses, laying off workers, and asking the federal government for a bailout or some kind of government assistance.

President Trump held a meeting on Friday at the White House with the CEO’s of eight major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Phillips66.“I just want to start by saying it’s an honor to be with you,” Trump told the executives.

“I know most of you… But I know all of you by seeing you on the covers of all the business magazines and other magazines. And you’ve done a great job and we’ll work this out.  And we’ll get our energy businesses back. I’m with you 1,000 percent.”

Becoming His Best Self

Apr 8, 2020
Photo provided by family

When Marcus first came to Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger, he was a two-year-old boy who wasn’t speaking and would run laps around the furniture at home for hours at a time. After being diagnosed with autism, Marcus started therapy at the Center for Autism and joined our achievements program. Today, years later, Marcus is a friendly and social young man. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Melanie Pinkett-Davis, Clinical Director for the Center for Autism shares his inspiring story.

Moffitt: Media Literacy And Protecting Your Mind

Apr 7, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

Many of us are now confined to our homes possibly with children and a lot of time on our hands. While it creates an exciting time to generate new ideas, start existing home projects, or even read a few good books, it also lays ground for us to take in and be overexposed to all sorts of media. Specifically, we are facing a pandemic and an “infodemic”—an “overabundance” of information that makes it difficult for people to identify truthful and trustworthy sources from false or misleading ones.


chrismetcalfTV via Flickr

So, we know that we’re not supposed to venture out of our homes unnecessarily. But on those occasions when you have to find toilet paper, fill a prescription or pick up food from the drive-through window, how do you feel?

In this new world of COVID-19, are you keeping your proper social distance? Are you wearing a mask? Do you feel safe?


The great flu that struck Baltimore was so deadly, contagious and debilitating that it pretty much shut down the city--schools, movies, department stories, even hospitals. But life went on for two determined and inventive young lovers who, each down with the flu and confined to their beds blocks apart, found a way to keep up their romance.

The Affirming Power Of LGBTQ Storytelling (Encore)

Apr 2, 2020

How is storytelling a form of survival? R. Eric Thomas, Senior Staff Writer at Elle Magazine and Board Member at FreeState Justice, tells us more. 

One World (l); Celadon (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new novels about lost loved ones and the pain of finding that we often don't know people as well as we think we do. Featured are Kevin Nguyen's New Waves and Alexis Schaitkin's Saint X

Wikimedia Commons

Thirteen years ago, after a series of near-miss pandemics, including those caused by the swine flu, bird flu and the SARS virus (which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome), U.S. health officials decided they needed to build an additional 70,000 ventilators.  

Ventilators, of course, are medical devices that hospitals use to help patients breathe when they are suffering from pneumonia or lung failure. The goal was to save lives in case of a future global pandemic of the kind we are now experiencing with the coronavirus.

According to reporting in The New York Times, the public health project got off to a great start. The federal Department of Health and Human Services awarded a contract to a small and nimble California company called Newport Medical.

Times of crisis often give people who are otherwise known for cowardice a chance to be heroes. 

The onset of COVID-19 may provide an opportunity to some of the most cowardly in sports, those who run college athletics, to do something noble and worthwhile.

Don’t bet on them taking it. 


Robert Ginyard

Mar 27, 2020
Rob Sivak

Tom talks with the entrepreneur and podcast host, Robert Ginyard. 

Robert recommends: Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss.

Autism Through A Literary Lens (Encore)

Mar 26, 2020
Hannah Grieco

How can writing create help create a more inclusive world for autistic people? Writer Hannah Grieco is the mother of an autistic twelve-year-old son well as a former teacher. Her byline has appeared in The Washington PostThe Baltimore Sun, and more. Hannah talks about how her son’s influence on her writing.  


Mar 25, 2020

Some call it Syrah, some call it Shiraz. Regardless, this is one interesting grape.

Tom Pelton


In these times of the coronavirus, the public health strategy of “social distancing” is hard on people because humans are, by their nature, a social species.

Zach Frailey via Flickr

For as long as men and women have run, swam and jumped and balls have been thrown, there’s been a joy among many to cast scorn on the social significance of sports. 

To a certain set, it’s a badge of honor to look down their collective noses at the silly frivolities of people in garish costumes doing things that bring no value to society at large and collect excessive salaries doing them.



When it comes to incredible native animal species, Maryland has an embarrassment of riches. We have over 100 species of native mammals that grace our forests, meadows, wetlands, and waterways. And while I love ALL of our state’s native mammals, there is one that sets my heart a-flutter. It’s an animal that I have seen only a handful of times in my travels, but each time I see it I’m struck by its appearance. It’s just so…so…CUTE. This mammal has two big, brilliant black eyes set in its tiny, furry little face. It has a delicate pink nose and incredibly soft fur. In fact, when I look at pictures of this animal standing upright on its hind legs, I’m struck by an almost magnetic urge to give it a belly rub.

And that’s when I have to take a step back and remind myself of something really important: this animal is a tiny killing machine, and my hands shouldn’t be anywhere near its belly. This animal – so cute, so fluffy, and so completely psychotic – is the stoat, also known as an ermine or a short-tailed weasel.


The back bone of many a Rioja, Tempranillo is a fabulous grape that also plays a prominent role elsewhere in Spain.

Complex Histories Along The Potomac

Mar 19, 2020
Accokeek Foundation

The Accokeek Foundation was founded to preserve the landscape along the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, the same view George Washington had more than 200 years ago. Laura Ford, the Foundation’s Executive Director, shares how this Prince George’s County organization has been shifting and widening its focus in recent years.

Mike Mozart via Flickr

Food insecurity is rampant in Baltimore, with nearly a quarter of the city's residents struggling to acquire healthy, affordable food. On this month's episode of Future City, we discuss why food insecurity persists in one of the wealthiest states in the country, and how local urban farmers, religious leaders, and advocates are fighting for food justice in the city. 

Wikimedia Commons


Kavin Senapathy is a freelance journalist who was drawn to the field of science blogging nine years ago. It was just after her first child was born and she found herself obsessed with and terrified about her daughter’s health.






We want to wish everybody a happy Saint Patrick's Day, in some respects the last hurrah of winter and the first salute to the coming spring. Here in the states we have a few traditional accompaniments, such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and lots and lots of Guiness. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has collected a number of recipes straight for the Auld Sod itself.

Doug Kerr via Flickr

By any reckoning, the 2020 Orioles season is going to be a long, tough slog. 

The Birds enter the campaign staring down the barrel of another 100-loss year to match or even exceed the losing of the last two years.