Christopher Connelly

Reporter

Christopher Connelly is a political reporter for WYPR, covering the day-to-day movement and machinations in Annapolis. He comes to WYPR from NPR, where he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow, produced for weekend All Things Considered and worked as a rundown editor for All Things Considered. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He’s reported for KALW (San Francisco), KUSP (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and KJZZ (Phoenix), and worked at StoryCorps in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s filed stories on a range of topics, from a shortage of dog blood in canine blood banks to heroin addicts in Tanzania. He got his start in public radio at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when he was a student at Antioch College.

Ways To Connect

As Baltimore continues to struggle with an unrelenting surge of murders and shootings, the city’s police department announced a new task force yesterday to help stop the bloodshed. The announcement comes after Baltimore ended its deadliest month since 1972.

Gov. Larry Hogan surprised Baltimore Thursday when he announced that he’ll be closing part of the city’s jail. The Men’s Detention Center, built in 1859, houses about 750 men who will be moved to nearby facilities. The decision comes after years of scandal and lawsuits.

“The Baltimore City Detention Center has been a black eye for our state for far too long,” Hogan said.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Lawmakers in Maryland charged with exploring potential policing reform measures heard from the public in Annapolis on Thursday. More than a dozen activists from a broad coalition of labor, civil rights and faith groups turned out to call for major changes to make law enforcement more accountable, transparent and community-oriented.

Fraser Smith and WYPR's Christopher Connelly discuss the Hogan administration's--and others'--claims about business, bond ratings and so forth.  

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

After South Carolina lawmakers voted to take down the confederate battle flag flying over the state capitol, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday said it’s a fine line to figure out whether the state’s historical monuments are symbols of oppression or of history.

Hogan, speaking with reporters in Annapolis, said the state is no longer making Sons of the Confederacy license plates, and that he thinks the flag in South Carolina should come down. But he said that the Civil War is part of the state’s history, and going much further verges on “political correctness run amok.”

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Huge amounts of crude oil are passing through Maryland every year by rail. A dramatic expansion of oil and gas production in the US has left drillers with a central question: How do you get the crude from the oil fields in the middle of the country to  refineries on the coasts. Railroads have been a big part of the answer, but some high-profile accidents have left many cities wondering if they’re at risk. On Wednesday, a panel of Baltimore City Councilmembers held a hearing to see what they could do.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Ben Cardin was in Baltimore yesterday talking up federal legislation he introduced in the wake of the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. Cardin’s so-called BALTIMORE Act, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, is a push to improve police-community relations.

This is one of those bills where you can really see how far politicians are willing to stretch to make an acronym that works. It’s the Building And Lifting Trust In order to Multiply Opportunities and Racial Equality Act – the BALTIMORE Act.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

State and city leaders welcomed the shipping company Maersk back to the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday.  It was a largely ceremonial thing – the company actually started delivering to Baltimore in March, after leaving in the 1990s – but the folks gathered at Seagirt Marine Terminal said it’s a big deal for the port.

Maersk is the world’s largest container shipping company. It moves about 15 percent of the manufactured goods shipped around the globe, so it makes sense that elected officials are pretty stoked Maersk is here.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Barbara Mikulski was in Sandtown Monday to talk with clergy about criminal justice reforms at the federal level, and discussed measures being considered in the Senate aimed at strengthening police-community relations.

Mikulski is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations committee.  That committee gave approval last week to a spending bill that includes initiatives Mikulski thinks can improve policing. She said the protests following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custodies put light to a problem that exists in communities across the nation.

Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr

Two environmental organizations are suing Gov. Larry Hogan for blocking proposed clean air regulations on his first day in office. The Sierra Club and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility argue that the governor lacked the authority to pull back the rules aimed at reducing nitrogen oxides that are key ingredients in ozone.

Just before leaving office, the Maryland Department of the Environment under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley approved smog-combatting regulations that would have required coal-fired power plants to run pollution controls throughout the summer ozone season and forced upgrades to pollution control technology in older facilities.

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