Baltimore Metro

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. 

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.

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.

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.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Despite the threat of vetoes, the Baltimore City Council approved bills Monday that would ban plastic bags and require police officers to wear body cameras.

Councilman Jim Kraft originally proposed a five cent fee on plastic bags. The bill was changed to an outright ban last week.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has complained that the public was shut out of discussion on the ban, but Kraft said it was discussed at a hearing on Nov. 5 and at hearings on other plastic bag fees proposed over the last eight years.

Estelle Kline / WYPR

Next to Patterson Park’s Victorian style pagoda, a Chihuahua dressed as a ballerina accepted a dog treat from a man dressed as a giant slice of Papa John’s Pizza. This isn’t a new Miley Cyrus music video, but a scene from last weekend’s 10th annual BARCStoberfest. Dozens of vendors, merchandise booths, and animal care facilities set up tables on the south side of Patterson Park for a sunny afternoon of fundraising and light hearted fun. Beside almost every vendor’s candy dish was a matching dish of treats for the four legged friends.

“I’ve already decided my foster dog can have as many treats as she wants today,” one owner said. “No use keeping her from celebrating!”

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR


Community and government transparency advocates have accused Baltimore City officials of moving  to privatize the city’s water system by searching for a consultant to tell them how to run it better.

City officials say it’s not so, but the advocates claim that one of the companies that may, or may not, be involved – Veolia North America – will find a way to take over and cost the city millions of dollars in the process.

Kim Trueheart, a citizen activist, accused the company of trying to profit off water, which she called a human right.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

A Baltimore City Council committee unanimously sent a proposal requiring police officers to wear body cameras to the full council Tuesday, despite warnings from city lawyers that the bill overstepped the council’s boundaries.

“We’re the legislative body of the City of Baltimore,” insisted City Council President Jack Young. "We’re elected by the citizens of Baltimore and were moving forward with this bill.”

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The Baltimore City Council will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would require city police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. The measure is sponsored by City Council President Jack Young and Councilman Warren Branch. It comes after several high-profile incidents of alleged police brutality in Baltimore, as well as the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri over the summer. But the Baltimore City Law is not supporting the proposal -- saying it isn't legal. WYPR's Kenneth Burns gives Nathan Sterner an update.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

  Seventeen people are hard at work at a job site in the 2300 and 2400 blocks of E. Eager Street in Milton-Montford.  The site is right next to the Amtrak line and can be seen by train passengers.  The workers are salvaging what they can of the wood, brick and metal from one of the 35 houses being torn down.

At a table nearby, six people are chiseling mortar off bricks and setting them on a pallet.  The bricks will be sold to contractors along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast.