Baltimore Metro

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR


There is a house on Stonewood Road in the New Northwood neighborhood in Northeast Baltimore that is clearly falling apart.

The rain gutters are hanging on their last hinges.  The shingles are peeling away from the roof. Rusted outdoor furniture is on the front porch and the railings are wrapped in weather beaten garland for the holidays. More Christmas decorations stick up from a couple of flower pots.

It looks as if neighbors have been trying to take care of the yard.  Someone had started bagging leaves.

BCPL Photo via flickr

In his second inaugural address last week, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said that he wants county residents to feel that their local government represents them all. WYPR's Joel McCord and John Lee talk about why this message of inclusion matters in the wake of protests around the country and how Kamenetz hopes to accomplish his goal.

Towson Asks: Is the Free Ride Worth It?

Dec 9, 2014
John Lee / WYPR


Plans are in the works to bring a free circulator bus to Towson, like the one that currently runs in downtown Baltimore.  But not everyone is on board. Supporters of the circulator want people in Towson to keep their cars parked at their homes, then catch the free bus into town. Lori Seraphin, who lives in Towson, says if the Circulator comes, she’s all in. And it’s not just the slow traffic on York Road. “There’s parking issues down here, Seraphin says. “So if people don’t have to get into their car and worried about finding a spot, then that would be great.”

Baltimore Housing

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Vacants to Value Initiative aims to reduce the blight of vacant houses in the city by giving people incentives to buy them and fix them up.  The houses that can’t be fixed are demolished, leaving gaping empty lots.

City officials are trying to beautify those lots  by offering incentives to community groups and others to turn them into “green spaces.”

Green Ideas For Green Spaces

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced Monday his department has implemented more than half of the recommendations of a consultant’s report since it was completed a year ago. But he didn’t take a victory lap.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The Baltimore City Council’s final meeting of 2014 began uncharacteristically late Thursday. Council President Jack Young, along with Councilmen Warren Branch, Jim Kraft and Mary Pat Clarke were busy making speeches at the swearing in of Frank Conaway Sr., the newest member of the Maryland Republican Party, to his fifth term as clerk of the circuit court.  His daughter, Belinda Conaway, was also sworn as register of wills; occupying an office her mother, Mary, held for 30 years.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore City Public Works officials have rejected the bid of a firm community and government transparency advocates feared would use a consulting contract to take over the city’s water system.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore City officials announced Tuesday a one-year pilot program to allow average citizens to anonymously report illegal guns.

The Illegal Gun Bounty Program, a partnership between the city and Metro Crime Stoppers of Maryland, will allow people to call or send a text message to report the location of illegal firearms in the city.

Vetoes, She Wrote

Dec 2, 2014
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

As promised, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed Monday bills that would require police officers to wear body cameras and ban plastic bags.