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WYPR Election Coverage

Tom Flynn

This is the story of what may be the longest-running fight over a development project in Annapolis history. Three mayors have had to deal with it. One of them lost his job because of it.

And as the project, which has undergone a name change along the way, inches toward construction, it remains as controversial as ever.

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. 

 

 

nickjmosby.com

Delegate Nick Mosby formally launched his campaign for Baltimore City Council President on Tuesday. 

In a campaign video, the Democrat highlighted his experience at City Hall as a former councilman and in the House of Delegates in Annapolis.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council approved Monday a bill to establish public campaign financing for candidates running for city offices. The Fair Election Fund would distribute matching funds to candidates who agree not to accept individual donations larger than $150 or donations from corporations, unions and PACS.

The fund’s proponents say it will give candidates who don’t receive hefty checks from corporations a fighting chance as well as boost the impact of donations from Baltimore City constituents.

AP/Patrick Semansky

It’s difficult to get voters to turn out for a special election, but the task of replacing someone as visible as Elijah Cummings might motivate Marylanders to cast their ballots in a special election primary this winter.

Office of the Governor

Governor Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that Maryland will move forward with the long-delayed State Center project. It was the second time in 17 months he’s made that announcement.

Back in June 2018 the governor issued a call for developers interested in taking over the project, which has been tied up in lawsuits.

He said then he was “pleased to announce that we are finally able to move forward” with the project despite “15 years of inaction and failure.”

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to the sales of her Healthy Holly children’s books.

She entered guilty pleas in federal court in Baltimore to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion. 

During a scheduled arraignment, Pugh appeared publicly for the first time since a news conference in March the day after she was released from Johns Hopkins Hospital after being treated for pneumonia.

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

A federal grand jury has indicted former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of tax evasion.

The indictment, handed up Nov. 14 and unsealed Wednesday, was announced by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service.

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. 

 

 

Mary Rose Madden

State Senator Jill Carter has joined an increasingly crowded Democratic field of 17 candidates running for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings in October.

Carter filed to run for the seat Monday at the state Board of Elections and has planned a “special announcement” about her campaign for Tuesday afternoon. In between those events, she attended her third fundraiser Monday night in Ellicott City, the southern part of the 7th district.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The Baltimore City Council passed a plastic bag ban Monday evening, meaning those plastic bags found at the grocery store or your favorite takeout place will disappear next year. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  

  The Baltimore City Council passed the Water Accountability and Equity Act Monday, paving the way for water bill discount programs and Department of Public Works oversight measures.

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.

 

 

AP/Steve Ruark

For the fifth year in a row, 300 people have been lost to homicide in Baltimore.

Police confirmed the total on Thursday morning after the death of 21-year-old Donnell Brockington, of Aberdeen, who was found shot in the 2600 block of McElderry Street on Wednesday night. A man and woman, whose names have not been released, were killed in Thursday’s early hours in the 1900 block of McHenry St.

Tom Flynn

A recent study published in the journal Science found that North America has lost 29 percent of its bird population in the last 50 years. That’s nearly 3 billion birds of all different species, from meadowlarks to swallows to robins.

And to no one’s surprise, the Baltimore region has noticed that decline. For example, the whippoorwill and the American woodcock, once common around Baltimore and throughout eastern North America, are at risk because their habitat has been declining with urbanization.

AP/Julio Cortez

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings joined an ever growing field of candidates today running to represent to represent Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, a seat last occupied by her late husband, Elijah Cummings.

WYPR

Mayor Jack Young said he plans to sign a bill that bolsters water bill affordability and transparency in the Department of Public works, but he will not sign a city council bill that bans gag orders in cases of police brutality and police discrimination.

PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

The Baltimore City Council shepherded two highly visible bills toward law on their Monday, Nov. 4th meeting. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan discussed progress on the Water Accountability and Equity Act and a plastic bag ban bill with Nathan Sterner.

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. 

 

 

Rachel Baye

The first time Kweisi Mfume was elected to represent Maryland’s seventh congressional district, he was 38 years old. Now 71, he says he wants to continue the work of his one-time successor, Congressman Elijah Cummings, whose death last month left the seat vacant.

By now, you’ve heard that the NCAA finally got wise and agreed to join the 21st century by applying common sense to the way it treats athletes.

The news of the week was that the organization’s Board of Governors had approved a plan to allow athletes to personally profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses, which had heretofore been forbidden.

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. 

 

 

Atlantic's Largest Menhaden Fleet Facing Penalties

Nov 1, 2019
AP/Steve Helber

Menhaden are fish near the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay food chain. They’re good for crab bait and they’re pursued on an industrial scale by Omega Protein Corporation to be turned into fish oil and fish meal for factory fish farms.

The Canadian company owns several U.S. fishing fleets, including one in Reedville, Virginia.

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.

 

 

Rachel Baye

Chronic understaffing at several state agencies is forcing employees to work 80-hour workweeks and endure dangerous work environments, some employees told state lawmakers at a briefing Tuesday.

BARBARA HADDOCK TAYLOR/BALTIMORE SUN

T.J. Smith, a former Baltimore Police Department spokesman, formally announced his run for mayor on Tuesday.

The Democrat made the announcement on the 1400 block of Argyle Avenue, the same street where his younger brother Dionay was murdered in the summer of 2017. 

Surrounded by other families who lost loved ones to violence, Smith said the city needs fresh leadership to drive meaningful change.

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.

 

 

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

The Baltimore City Council passed a bill on Monday that bans the use of gag orders in the settlements of all police brutality and discrimination cases and bolsters transparency throughout the city’s litigation system. 

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