chesbayprogram via flickr

Having labored for years to save the bay, Maggie McIntosh turns now to matters of the purse. How Maryland spends the taxpayers’ money is about to become her new Job 1. 

 She takes over as chair of the House Appropriations Committee at a moment of  great challenge. The Baltimore delegate takes control of this body when cuts in spending are in the offing. Unless handled carefully, cuts could undermine values such as public education. 

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR


Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works says it spends $ 16 million a year picking up trash from illegal dumping.  The city’s Department of Housing and Community Development Permits and Code Enforcement Division, the department that is responsible for tracking violations, says it handed out 840 citations for dumping and littering in the last year.

Julie Lawson from the advocacy group Trash Free Maryland Alliance, says there is far more illegal dumping than that number of citations would suggest. She compares Baltimore’s citations with Philadelphia’s. 

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Republican Blaine Young (R) lost his run to be the first Frederick County Executive. But in a deft procedural move Monday, he secured a place on the county's Planning Commission. WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News-Post about how Young's maneuver means he'll still have a say in county planning decisions.

P. Kenneth Burns/WYPR via DEA

National health agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and others have reported an increase in heroin addiction throughout the nation. And they say it’s fueled by people looking for something to replace the high of prescription pain pills that are more difficult to get because they are closely monitored by a health department prescription registry. Heroin, the professionals say, is now stronger, cheaper and more easily available than before.

judicial bench taken by Phil Roeder via flickr

Incoming governor Larry Hogan will have at least two vacancies to fill on the Maryland Court of Appeals. WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to Steve Lash of the Daily Record about how these judicial appointments are made and one particular Maryland case that's likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

painaporo via flickr

In an "11th hour" move, Governor O'Malley put forth rules to tighten regulations on phosphorus that runs off into the Chesapeake Bay. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Tim Wheeler of the Baltimore Sun talk about what this means for farmers, the Bay, and why O'Malley made the decision when he did.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Chants of "Brantley Security, shame on you" reverberated through Harbor East Monday afternoon as more than 30 Brantley officers began a 24-hour strike against the company.  The officers, who provide security for the shops, restaurants, hotels and residences of Harbor East, claim the company’s managers have retaliated against them for trying to unionize.

John Lee / WYPR

The big Republican wins in the November election have led lawmakers in Baltimore and Annapolis to look toward rolling back the stormwater remediation fees imposed after the 2012 General Assembly session. The fees have been derided by opponents as a “rain tax.”

Who you gonna call? taken by warrenski via flickr

The election’s behind us. Winter lurks. And depending on who or where you are on the political spectrum, it’s a season of change, challenge and melancholy.

Call it the Transition Blues. No one’s immune.

Take governor-elect Larry Hogan. He’s about to take charge of a $40 billion government with a deficit of about $1 billion. You probably can’t keep your tax-cutting promises. The ecstasy of victory slams into reality.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore City officials announced they will nearly double the size of their rat-eradication team in hopes of ridding the city of the vermin.