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Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun

Former state Del. Cheryl Glenn pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal bribery and wire fraud charges. Prosecutors say she accepted more than $33,000 in exchange for political favors. 

Baltimore County

Gun shop owners in Baltimore County will have to make their stores more secure under controversial legislation passed Tuesday night by the county council. WYPR’s  Baltimore County reporter John Lee joined Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner to give the details.

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.

 

 

Credit Like_the_Grand_Canyon via Flickr


Baltimore mayoral candidates have raised more than $2.3 million towards a race that recent polls suggest is wide open, according to Board of Elections financial reports due late Wednesday night.

Mayor Jack Young has about $960,000 on hand and raised over $1 million total. A big chunk of that cash was raised during a $4,000-a-plate high-profile dinner fundraiser in October, hosted by restaurateurs Alex and Eric Smith of the Atlas Restaurant Group. His cash reserve, the largest of the crowded field, may help the incumbent hold onto his current seat. 

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

More than a dozen Democrats running for the late Congressman Elijah Cummings's seat pitched their platforms to a crowd at the Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club forum on Tuesday.

Many said they were inspired by Cummings, but they pointed out they had their own agendas.

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. 

 

 

AP/Patrick Semansky

 

After a tumultous year of multiple elected officials stepping down amid corruption charges, Councilman Ryan Dorsey introduced a new bill that would prohibit those in office from accepting or soliciting gifts at a City Council meeting Monday night. City Council President Brandon Scott introduced resolutions to examine possible solutions to the opioid crisis in Baltimore. The Council also pushed Councilman Zeke Cohen's Trauma Responsive Care Act further along in the legislative process. WYPR’s city hall reporter Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain what these bills are and how they came about. 

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, consultant, wife of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings and former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party is running against dozens of candidates who wish to be Maryland's next 7th district congressperson. The special primary is February 4th.

If elected, Cummings intends to bring an “equitable development” plan to Baltimore.

When DNA Testing Delivers A Surprise

Jan 14, 2020
Tom Flynn

Robert Benzinger didn’t see this coming.

His brother, Carl-Eric, asked him, a few months back if he had a daughter in Hawaii. You see, Carl-Eric had taken a 23 and Me DNA test and the results showed he had a niece in Hawaii. One question led to another and Robert soon discovered he did indeed have a daughter, now 41, living in Hawaii.

“I was in shock when I first found out,” said Robert. “But then I was immediately overwhelmed by joy. I had two sons and I love them but I’ve always wanted a daughter.”

Courtesy of the office of Councilman Bill Henry

Mayor Jack Young signed a plastic bag ban into law on Monday morning, marking Baltimore’s effort to reduce pollution and single-use plastics.

The Comprehensive Bag Reduction Bill was the council’s ninth attempt to ban plastic bags since 2006. Surrounded by the ban’s supporters at National Aquarium, Young said now is the time. 

John Lee

Since August, around 180 teachers, therapists, social workers and nurses have resigned from Baltimore County Public Schools. And that does not include staff who have retired and teachers who have gone on leave.

 

Rachel Baye


The General Assembly kicked off its 441st legislative session on Wednesday with new people leading both the Senate and the House of Delegates. That hasn’t happened for 33 years — since outgoing Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. first stepped into the role. 

Rachel Baye


Gov. Larry Hogan hopes to increase the penalties for state politicians convicted of corruption. He announced the legislation Tuesday, just weeks after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment of a Baltimore lawmaker for allegedly accepting more than 33 thousand dollars in bribes.

When the General Assembly opens its annual 90-day session Wednesday, Hogan noted, it will be the latest in a string of sessions to start shortly after a House or Senate member faced criminal charges. 

Rachel Baye


  Typically when state lawmakers return to Annapolis for the annual 90-day legislative session, each brings a unique set of priorities. But when the General Assembly convenes for its 441st session on Wednesday, one subject is poised to overshadow almost everything else:  A proposal to overhaul public education in Maryland. 

Democratic leaders in the state Senate and House of Delegates say they are confident the legislature will pass the sweeping education reforms recommended by what is known as the Kirwan Commission, and they say they won’t raise taxes to pay for the plan.

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. 

 

 

Rachel Baye

Former state Del. Cheryl Glenn accepted $33,750 in bribes between March 2018 and February 2019 in exchange for supporting several bills in Annapolis, according to criminal charges filed in federal court in July and unsealed Monday.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore’s “eye in the sky” surveillance plane program will return in May.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a Friday news conference the city will launch a privately-funded pilot program to place private surveillance planes in the sky to assist in violent crime investigations.

Short Term Rentals A Regulatory Headache

Dec 20, 2019
WYPR/Tom Flynn

Short-term rentals—those small, furnished apartments, or even single rooms rented by the day or week--are becoming increasingly popular, as internet services such as Airbnb and Vrbo make them competitive with hotels. But they are also becoming a regulatory headache for cities across the country.

In the last year, there have been battles over short term rental regulations in cities as far apart as Jersey City, New Jersey and Orinda, California. And property owners just down the road in Washington, DC,  say they are frustratned and confused by that city’s new short term rental law.

Rachel Baye

State Del. Cheryl Glenn resigned Wednesday, effective immediately. Glenn was the chair of the Baltimore City delegation in the House of Delegates and previously led the Legislative Black Caucus in Annapolis.

House Speaker Adrienne Jones announced Glenn’s resignation Thursday morning. Jones said Glenn didn’t give a reason for stepping down.

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.

 

 

Creative Commons

It was 36 years ago this week that the leaders of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia signed the first agreement to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. And that was 14 years after the Chesapeake Bay Foundation had launched its clean-up campaign.

And the best that can be said after all those years is progress has been mixed.

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.

 

 

PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates has awarded a $13 million contract to the company of a businessman connected to the “Healthy Holly” scandal.

At a meeting Wednesday morning, the board approved a noncompetitive contract worth more than $13 million for radio equipment under a long-standing master lease agreement with J.P. Grant’s financial services company, Grant Capital Management.

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.

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