WYPR News | WYPR

WYPR News

News coverage, Series and Commentary from WYPR's award winning news staff.
WYPR Election Coverage

John Lee

Audio will be posted later.  

Ben’s Run trickles through the Northwest Crossing Apartments property off Old Court Road in Randallstown. Volunteers on Monday fanned out and picked up all kinds of trash in the run: plastic bags, cups, even a tossed baby stroller. 

Baltimore County Monday launched a two-month attack on litter, to mark the 50th Earth Day.

 

 

GM Workers Resigned to Their Fate

Apr 18, 2019
Tom Flynn

Back in November, when General Motors announced it was closing five plants in the US and Canada, including the one at White Marsh in Baltimore County, local union leaders said they would put up a fight.

But now that GM has announced the plant’s last day will be May 4, the labor leaders seem resigned to their fate and that of nearly 300 workers about to lose their jobs.

AP

Mike Busch, Maryland’s long time Speaker of the House of Delegates, was eulogized at his funeral yesterday as an outstanding Marylander, a dedicated public servant and a fearless advocate for the causes he believed in.

During the service at St. John Neumann Church in Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, recalled his last phone conversation with Busch shortly before the speaker’s death April 7 at the age of 72.

Pamela D'Angelo

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is scheduled to launch a resupply mission to the International Space Station Wednesday afternoon from a launch pad that sits at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a climate change—and erosion--hot spot where rising waters and increasingly stronger storms are eroding the shoreline by about 12 feet a year.

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski put seed money in his proposed budget for a new Lansdowne High School.

 

That has supporters of new high schools for Dulaney and Towson wondering why they were left high and dry.

 

 

Rachel Baye

The late Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch arrived at the State House Monday for the last time. Busch died on April 7 at the age of 72.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Monday proposed raising the county’s income tax rate, taxing cell phone lines, charging developers impact fees, and hiking the county’s hotel tax.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

Audio will be posted Thursday morning.  

The audit of the Baltimore County Schools’ procurement practices, released to the public on Wednesday, shows no evidence of corruption.  But school board chairwoman Kathleen Causey said the investigation into the county school system is not over.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Interim School Superintendent Verletta White said a long-awaited audit that was received by the school board Tuesday night helps to make her case that she should become the county’s permanent superintendent. WYPR’s John Lee was at the board meeting and talked with Morning Edition guest host Matt Tacka about what the audit found. 

 

John Lee

A tax increase in Baltimore County is now a foregone conclusion. That’s according to County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who said the tax increase has to happen because the General Assembly did not deliver additional school construction money to the county.

 

 

 

 

The funeral for Michael Busch, the longest serving speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates, has been scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Bestgate Road in Annapolis, a spokesman for the family has announced.

Busch, who was 72, died Sunday after having undergone treatments for pneumonia.

His death cast a pall over the usually frantic, celebratory last day of the General Assembly session. In an unusual move, both Houses stopped work at 11:30 Monday evening, a half hour early, for a joint session to honor the late speaker.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly wrapped up its 439th session Monday night in Annapolis, and for the first time since 2003, Michael Busch wasn’t overseeing the House of Delegates as speaker. Busch died Sunday at the age of 72 after he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

The frenzied, celebratory atmosphere that’s typical on the last day of the General Assembly’s 90-day session was marred by Busch’s absence.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Baltimore City’s House delegation joined the Baltimore City Council last night in calling for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign because of her role in the Healthy Holly scandal.

Delegation chair Cheryl Glenn said the members moved to support all 14 City Council members who signed a letter calling for Pugh’s resignation.

All 14 of the district-representing City Council members have asked Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign from her office immediately.

Their two-sentence letter, released Monday morning, was blunt.

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore, for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” it read. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

Pugh’s office responded with a blunt statement of its own.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Monday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill prohibiting oyster harvesting in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries — Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

Rachel Baye

Statements of grief and sympathy at the death of House Speaker Michael Busch came quickly from both sides of the political aisle and all around the state.

"My heart is broken for Mike Busch’s family, the State of Maryland, and the Speaker's extended family - elected officials and staff that he has been a mentor and coach to over his time in public service," Senate President Mike Miller wrote in a statement.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

 

 

Baltimore County’s school board is struggling to find its way as a newly partially elected, partially appointed board. At the same time, it has come under fire for not releasing a long-anticipated audit, rushing through a permanent school superintendent search and micromanaging Baltimore County’s school administration.

 

Rachel Baye

The death Sunday of Michael Busch, Maryland's longest serving Speaker of the House of Delegates, has cast a pall over Maryland’s General Assembly as it rushes toward its adjournment at midnight Monday.

Reports of his death at the age of 72 brought a flood of fond memories from his friends and colleagues in the State House as well as others who have known the former high school teacher and football coach for years.

Rachel Baye

The House of Delegates voted along party lines Friday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill prohibiting oyster harvesting in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries — Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

Wikimedia Commons

The House passed and the Senate gave initial approval on Wednesday to legislation that would reshape the board of directors at the University of Maryland Medical System and prevent board members from using their positions for personal financial gain. The bills are the result of recent revelations that the hospital awarded its board members — including Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh — hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts.  WYPR state politics reporter Rachel Baye discussed the effort with Nathan Sterner.

Seth Sawyers/flickr

The long-anticipated audit into the Baltimore County School System’s procurement practices will be presented to the school board and made public next week. 

 

That is according to school board’s chairwoman.

 

 

John Lee

 

Construction money for schools in Baltimore County is in trouble in the General Assembly.

 

If the legislation doesn’t pass, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said it likely will be years before any new high schools are built in the county.

 

 

Official Photo

Bernard C. “Jack” Young kicked off his first week as acting Baltimore mayor by lobbying the Maryland General Assembly to kill a bill that could direct state funding to Laurel Park.  

 

Young, the city council president who became ex officio mayor when Mayor Catherine Pugh took a leave of absence for health reasons, visited with the Baltimore City delegation Thursday morning and fired off letters to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, seeking their help.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation aimed at tamping down on prescription drug costs. But the Senate version is significantly weaker than the version that passed the House last month.

Patrick Semansky/AP

After urging from Governor Larry Hogan and a slew of Baltimore elected officials, Maryland’s Office of the State Prosecutor has opened an investigation into Mayor Catherine Pugh’s "Healthy Holly" book sales.

The governor formally asked for the investigation on Monday, calling the sales "deeply disturbing allegations" in a letter to state prosecutor Emmet Davitt. On Tuesday, Pugh's lawyer confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that the office has opened an investigation.

Rachel Baye

The state Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that aims to reshape the way Maryland approaches public education.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young became acting mayor on Tuesday, after Mayor Catherine E. Pugh stepped down from her role to take an indefinite leave of absence post Healthy Holly scandal fallout.

Pugh's office announced in a statement Monday that she would be taking the leave starting Tuesday, citing the first-term Democrat’s recent pneumonia and making no mention of the scandal.

Lisa Grieco / Annapolis Department of Public Works

Nuisance flooding, that combination of heavy rains and high tides that inundates low lying areas, is an emerging global problem, scientists say. And you can easily see it in Maryland’s capital city where the City Dock area is frequently under water.

Sveinn Storm, who often spends the night in his ice cream shop at the city dock to make sure the pumps get rid of invading rain or sea water, says the problem has gotten much worse since he opened 44 years ago.

John Lee

Teachers say it’s crunch time. 

The General Assembly session ends in less than one week. In two weeks, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski presents his budget to the county council. 

 

Teachers and their supporters rallied outside the Historic Courthouse in Towson Monday night, calling on the state and the county to come through with money for schools.

 

As several dozen people congregated at the courthouse, most wearing red, a sign of support for teachers, they were joined by Olszewski, who is a former teacher.

 

Maryland’s General Assembly heads into the last full week of its 90-day session with a number of issues yet to be resolved, including legislation that would strip trash incinerators of their “green energy” label and  bills to raise the legal smoking age to 21 and to forbid members of the University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors from doing business with the system.

Gov. Larry Hogan introduced his bill to redraw the state’s Sixth and Eighth Congressional Districts Friday, but the Democratic leaders who drew the original districts don’t appear to be receptive to the Republican governor’s plan.

Pages