P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

It could have waited.

A hands-free cell phone call seconds before a truck driver was hit by a freight train as his truck was crossing the tracks is being cited as the main cause of last year’s derailment and explosion in Baltimore County.

A can of Natty Boh taken by James Cridland via flickr

After a scathing state audit in 2013, the Baltimore City's liquor board has new leadership and has made decisions to kill some "zombie licenses." But as Fern Shen of the Baltimore Brew tells WYPR's Fraser Smith, the jury is still out on whether community groups will get what they want out of the new board.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Maryland Democrats trained some of their biggest guns, from U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards to House Speaker Michael Busch to two Annapolis Aldermen, on one Republican County Council candidate Tuesday.

They staged a news conference at the State House to urge the residents of Anne Arundel’s District 5 to vote against Michael Anthony Peroutka.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

There are more than 2,500 Liberians living in Baltimore and most have family members back home who were among the more than 4,000 West Africans who have died from Ebola. Some local families have lost multiple family members. And every time their telephones ring, they worry that it’s someone from home calling about more deaths from the virus. The death rate now is about 70 percent of those who contract the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

At their home in West Baltimore, Bobby Gborgar Joe and his wife Mabel Kennedy teased each other as they prepared tea but beneath the smiles, there was sadness in their hearts. Between the two of them, they've lost nearly 20 family members to Ebola.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

With approval ratings near record lows, President Barack Obama has not been invited to campaign for many Democrats facing tight races around the country. But he got an enthusiastic welcome Sunday from thousands of people packed into a high school gym in Upper Marlboro. The president was there to give a high-powered push to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in his bid for the governor’s mansion.

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the Democratic nominee for governor, has declared that he would not raise taxes if elected governor. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record talk about how that might put Brown in a difficult political position if voters choose him in November.

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Although Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan has tried to avoid a debate on social issues, Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has been hammering him on gun control this week. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about what, if anything, the controversy reveals.

Governor Martin O'Malley (MD) taken by chesbayprogram via flickr

Martin O’Malley surely gets glowing introductions as he tours presidential testing sites. Good for him that Maryland’s not on his list. For a governor who helped guide Maryland through the Great Recession with minimal damage, his standing among this state’s voters is less than anemic.

He takes solid story with him on the road:

A record of sound fiscal management. One of the best public school systems in the nation. An array of social issue triumphs from gay marriage to gun control and repeal of the death penalty.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

The news was good, bad and a bit scary Tuesday at a symposium on the deadly Ebola virus at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

The good news is that a new vaccine to combat Ebola is set to be tested in the hard hit West African country of Liberia in December. Several other vaccines are being developed around the globe to stop the spread of the virus that spread rapidly in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

SOL_Thomas_Perez taken by Department of Labor via flickr

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is considered to be a front-runner to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to the Baltimore Sun's John Fritze about Perez' close relationship with President Obama and why the Marylander would be a controversial nominee.

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