Recent stories by Scott Calvert
11:20 PM EDT, May 17, 2013
It's a dream Ida Heck never really expected to come true.
3:30 PM EDT, May 18, 2013
The emailed directive went out midmorning April 16 from a Baltimore City traffic engineer: No more speed camera tickets are to be issued from the camera in the 3900 block of The Alameda. Less than five hours later, an engineering supervisor wrote another email, stating that the city's entire speed and red-light camera network was being suspended.
9:28 PM EDT, May 10, 2013
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed an executive with a disaster response company Friday to lead Baltimore's Transportation Department at a time when the agency continues to struggle with its speed camera program.
8:05 PM EDT, May 2, 2013
A lawyer for Baltimore City says a task force appointed by the mayor to study the city's speed camera program did not hold an illegal closed-door meeting during a March visit to a contractor's headquarters.
2:53 PM EDT, May 4, 2013
A federal judge has ordered a West Pratt Street clinic and its former chief executive to repay more than 60 current and former employees nearly $50,000 that the private company never deposited into their retirement accounts as required.
9:02 PM EDT, April 30, 2013
A top aide to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake received more than $14,000 in homestead property tax breaks on an East Baltimore rental property he owns, records show, even though only owner-occupied homes qualify for the subsidy under Maryland law.
10:23 PM EDT, April 29, 2013
Tavon White, the accused Baltimore jailhouse leader of the Black Guerrilla Family gang, pleaded not guilty Monday to allegations that he oversaw a corruption scheme that employed corrections officers to smuggle drugs, cellphones and other contraband into the city detention center.
8:06 PM EDT, April 29, 2013
Baltimore issued more than 16,000 speed camera tickets in less than two months this year before shutting the troubled program down over a programming error, according to figures posted by the city.
1:02 PM EDT, April 29, 2013
After a three-month delay, Baltimore has resumed posting parking ticket data on OpenBaltimore, the city government's transparency website.
5:39 PM EDT, April 27, 2013
Corrections officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center were preparing for a middle-of-the-night search of jail cells, aimed at rooting out drugs, cellphones, weapons and any other contraband inmates had stashed away. But the officers weren't the only ones getting ready.
7:05 PM EDT, April 23, 2013
Baltimore City said Tuesday that it will throw out more than 6,000 speed and red-light camera tickets because its former contractor has stopped showing up in court to defend them — the latest sign of the dysfunction dogging Baltimore's speed camera program.
6:50 PM EDT, April 24, 2013
Baltimore officials are refusing to pay the city's former speed and red-light camera operator $2 million for its final three months of work, a period that preceded the troubled start for the new contractor in January.
11:23 PM EDT, April 3, 2013
Legislation that one Baltimore lawmaker said would create a "new and improved speed camera program" is headed to the House of Delegates, after a committee overwhelmingly approved a legislative package Wednesday in the waning days of the General Assembly session.
11:25 AM EDT, April 23, 2013
Last year Baltimore City paid vendors more than $800 million, much of it for construction projects, gas and electricity, trash and recycling services, transportation and the like, according to monthly figures posted on a city website.
10:28 AM EDT, April 17, 2013
Baltimore officials announced Tuesday that they have suspended the city's troubled speed camera program amid fresh reports of erroneous tickets, this time involving a new multimillion-dollar camera network.
8:20 PM EDT, April 2, 2013
With just six days left in the General Assembly session, a House of Delegates committee is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would increase oversight of speed camera programs in Maryland, tighten rules on camera placement and more clearly bar government contracts that pay vendors on a per-ticket basis.
11:48 AM EDT, April 4, 2013
The text messages were pinging to and from Gov. Martin O'Malley's BlackBerry. It was the latter part of October, and Election Day was just around the corner.
10:47 AM EDT, April 8, 2013
Three members of an anti-speed camera group have filed an open-meetings complaint against a task force appointed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to study Baltimore's troubled automated enforcement system.
9:29 PM EDT, March 24, 2013
Towson University baseball coach Mike Gottlieb got the call March 8 at 9:07 a.m. — a time he has committed to memory.
7:15 PM EDT, March 25, 2013
The Maryland Senate on Monday overwhelmingly passed a weakened speed camera reform bill that would bar local governments from paying vendors based on the volume of citations but wouldn't ensure motorists had enough information to fact-check their citations.
8:47 PM EDT, March 20, 2013
A task force studying Baltimore's troubled speed camera program will urge the city to increase oversight, change the way camera sites are selected and create a website containing maps and other information of interest to the public, according to draft recommendations released Wednesday.
7:33 PM EDT, March 18, 2013
The state Senate could vote as soon as Tuesday to bar the state and local governments from paying speed camera contractors based on ticket volume and to require that all automated speeding tickets issued in Maryland give drivers enough information to fact-check their citations.
11:16 PM EDT, March 15, 2013
An Abingdon man was stabbed multiple times Friday evening during an argument with his roommate, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.
8:22 PM EDT, March 15, 2013
A tractor-trailer that flipped on the Bay Bridge last week was carrying a load too light for the gusty conditions, a situation made worse when the trailer's soft canvas wall caught the wind like a sail, transportation authorities said Friday.
1:12 PM EDT, March 11, 2013
How many speed camera tickets has Baltimore City issued so far this year? How many red-light camera tickets? City officials won't say.
12:14 PM EDT, March 10, 2013
About 9 a.m. Saturday, Bonny Eisenbise strode up to a man outside a Giant supermarket in North Baltimore.
8:20 PM EST, March 6, 2013
State tax officials should take steps to help ensure that Marylanders who receive the homestead property tax credit remain eligible for the popular discount, auditors said in a report released Wednesday.
6:26 PM EST, March 9, 2013
About 9 a.m. Saturday, Bonny Eisenbise strode up to a man outside a Giant supermarket in North Baltimore.
9:25 PM EST, March 5, 2013
A Circuit Court judge has ruled that Baltimore County's contract with its speed camera vendor is illegal, because it pays the company a cut of each citation issued — a ruling that could help others challenge their citations in court.
9:52 PM EST, February 25, 2013
If you want to know who in Baltimore benefits most from the homestead property tax credit, look north.
5:48 PM EST, February 17, 2013
Baltimore transportation officials have set high expectations for the city's new speed cameras, telling state lawmakers the devices won't be susceptible to errors that plagued the system over the past three years.
2:59 PM EST, February 9, 2013
Quick: Name the school closest to North Charles Street and Lake Avenue in North Baltimore.
4:09 PM EST, February 23, 2013
Fanya O'Donoghue had just learned she was pregnant when she happened to meet a group of nurses at a social gathering. She was looking for an obstetrician, and asked them whom they would recommend.
10:58 AM EST, January 29, 2013
District judges in Baltimore threw out just over half of the 3,000 speed camera tickets they considered last year after hearing appeals from motorists, city records show.
6:25 PM EST, February 22, 2013
Owls can rotate their heads a dizzying 270 degrees, allowing them to see what's happening behind them while perched on a tree branch or barn beam.
12:55 AM EST, February 4, 2013
Ravens fans had waited 12 years for another Super Bowl victory, and they packed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, dwarfing 49ers rooters in both numbers and volume.
4:17 PM EST, January 26, 2013
Two Baltimore police cruisers were involved in an accident Saturday afternoon on the southbound Jones Falls Expressway near Guilford Avenue, police say.
8:08 PM EST, January 26, 2013
The Pale Knight arrived ready to plunge.
6:00 PM EST, January 25, 2013
Members of Baltimore's legislative delegation in Annapolis chastised city transportation officials Friday for problems with the city's lucrative network of speed cameras.
9:59 PM EST, January 22, 2013
Baltimore's speed and red light camera system has experienced a near-complete shutdown during what city officials are calling a problematic transition to a new contractor, records show, and the new vendor says it could take four months to get its system running.
9:38 PM EST, January 24, 2013
Baltimore police officials said Thursday the department is doubling to 25 the number of officers available to review speed camera tickets — one of several moves intended to help prevent the issuance of erroneous citations, which has cast a cloud over the city's program in recent months.
8:54 PM EST, January 8, 2013
Legislators who learned this week that Baltimore will replace its troubled network of 83 speed cameras say the planned upgrade will do nothing to slow momentum in Annapolis toward tightening rules that govern the automated cameras across Maryland.
9:36 PM EST, January 7, 2013
Baltimore officials said Monday they are scrapping all 83 of the city's automated speed cameras and "methodically" replacing them with newer models, after a Baltimore Sun investigation found errors with the system.
7:28 PM EST, January 10, 2013
Baltimore plans to pay its new speed camera contractor $11.20 per $40 citation — continuing its use of a so-called bounty system that Gov. Martin O'Malley and key state legislators say is illegal under Maryland law.
8:17 AM EST, December 31, 2012
Here's a recipe for systematically fact-checking the accuracy of speed camera tickets, at least in Baltimore City where the time stamps on citation photos go to the thousandth of a second:
10:05 PM EST, December 14, 2012
Baltimore's speed camera contractor disclosed Friday that several of the city's automated cameras have been wrongly ticketing roughly one of every 20 passing cars and trucks.
11:30 AM EST, January 7, 2013
By the time Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. sought bankruptcy protection Dec. 28, the once-high-flying drug treatment and mental health clinic had been showing signs of financial trouble for two years.
4:59 PM EST, December 27, 2012
AAA Mid-Atlantic says Baltimore's speed camera "nightmare" was one of the transportation lows of 2012, though the driver advocacy group credited a similar program run by the State Highway Administration with helping to improve safety in construction zones.
5:15 PM EST, December 13, 2012
A "perfect storm of errors" caused the city of Baltimore to issue a speed camera citation to a stationary vehicle, the Police Department's chief spokesman said Thursday.
11:09 PM EST, December 14, 2012
Granting an appeal by Gov. Martin O'Malley, the Obama administration reversed course Friday and approved disaster aid for Somerset County residents who suffered damage from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.
4:26 PM EST, December 14, 2012
When researcher Erik Patel hiked into the mountainous rain forest of northeast Madagascar in 2001, he was a doctoral student embarking on a quest for basic scientific knowledge about one of the rarest primates in the world: a snow-white lemur called the silky sifaka.
9:54 PM EST, December 12, 2012
The Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone — and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction.
7:42 PM EDT, October 25, 2012
School officials in Baltimore and Baltimore County pledged Thursday to track, for the first time, automated camera citations that are issued to privately owned school buses hired to transport public-school children.
8:14 PM EST, December 10, 2012
Speed camera companies and local governments would be penalized $1,000 for each "bogus" citation issued to motorists under proposed legislation announced Monday by state Del. Jon Cardin.
10:24 PM EST, December 11, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that state law bars speed camera contractors from being paid based on the number of citations issued or paid — a so-called bounty system approach used by Baltimore City, Baltimore County and elsewhere in Maryland.
8:34 PM EST, November 29, 2012
City transportation officials said Thursday they are investigating a second speed camera on West Cold Spring Lane in North Baltimore after more questions were raised about whether it has been issuing inaccurate tickets to motorists.
12:31 PM EST, December 8, 2012
Federal Hill resident Sean O'Connor wants to fact-check the automated speed camera ticket that he got in Baltimore County. But he can't.
7:37 PM EST, November 27, 2012
Maryland's legislative auditors criticized the State Highway Administration for inadequate monitoring of its speed camera program in an audit report released Tuesday, saying the state began using the cameras without conducting sufficient tests to ensure they could accurately record a vehicle's speed.
4:25 PM EST, November 21, 2012
Speed cameras have tagged Benjamin Parker's pickup truck 41 times in the Baltimore area over the past three years, records show — enough to have his license suspended 10 times over if those citations had been handed out by a police officer and not a machine.
9:59 PM EST, November 30, 2012
City officials said Friday that they no longer have complete confidence in the accuracy of their speed cameras' radar systems and have instituted a new "reasonableness" test on two cameras known to have issued erroneous tickets.
9:07 AM EST, December 8, 2012
Baltimore City's automated traffic enforcement contractor carried out 189 vehicle test runs past a camera on West Cold Spring Lane but could not determine the cause of erroneous speed readings there, the company said in a letter this week to the city Department of Transportation.
11:19 PM EST, November 18, 2012
The vice chairman of the City Council's public safety committee called Sunday for a hearing on Baltimore's vast and lucrative speed camera program after an investigation by The Baltimore Sun found that the $40 citations issued to motorists can be inaccurate and the process unfair.
8:23 PM EST, December 4, 2012
City transportation officials were so worried four months ago about inaccurate speeding tickets coming from an automated camera on Cold Spring Lane that a supervisor ordered the problem fixed before it could "get out of hands," documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun show.
6:24 PM EST, December 6, 2012
The speed camera ticket that Baltimore City issued to John Slingluff last summer said he was speeding, yet the evidence says he was closer to stopping than to breaking the law.
11:20 AM EDT, October 25, 2012
Automated speed cameras, installed around area schools three years ago with the goal of punishing dangerous drivers and making the streets safer for children, have caught hundreds of school buses speeding near the schools they serve, often with children aboard, a Baltimore Sun analysis has found.
9:21 AM EST, November 21, 2012
Turns out the wheels of government move faster than you might think.
12:57 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
Hurricane Sandy's howling winds and torrential rains walloped Maryland late Monday and early Tuesday, cutting electricity to more than 300,000 utility customers and disrupting life for millions from Ocean City to the suddenly snowy mountains of Garrett County.
5:26 PM EDT, November 1, 2012
A 41-year-old Washington woman was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for her role in conspiring to steal $1.4 million from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland announced.
8:54 PM EDT, August 3, 2012
Baltimore police have named the officer who fatally shot a man Tuesday afternoon as 32-year-old John Hanyok, a seven-year department veteran who had no previous shooting involvement.
10:53 AM EST, November 26, 2012
July 21, 2012
The research involved laser scans, underwater video and special animation software. And it took thousands of hours of computer time to run simulations that crunched complex fluid mechanics equations.
9:44 PM EDT, August 3, 2012
Nine people were hurt in an eight-vehicle accident Friday afternoon in Dundalk, Baltimore County police said.
9:54 PM EDT, August 27, 2012
As authorities continued to investigate the shooting at Perry Hall High School, about two dozen students gathered at a church Monday night, recounting their fears during the incident — and a reluctance to go back to school.
10:06 PM EDT, August 24, 2012
Cholera broke out in Haiti two years ago, and more than 7,000 people have died. Some researchers traced the outbreak's origin to United Nations peacekeepers sent from Nepal after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
9:16 AM EDT, June 30, 2012
More than 427,000 BGE customers remained without power Saturday morning after deadly storms hammered the region, toppling trees and light poles.
5:17 PM EDT, July 8, 2012
Gone are the plywood-covered door and windows that never seemed to keep the vacant house sealed very long. Gone too is the gaping hole where the first floor should have been — a dungeonlike pit where police say a 13-year-old girl was raped one night last fall as she walked home.
8:56 PM EDT, July 7, 2012
Jack and Betty Scrivener of Stoneleigh lost power last August thanks to Hurricane Irene. They lost it again when storms pummeled the region June 30 — and after one very long, very hot week, the elderly couple still hadn't gotten it back. They don't know if they can take another extended outage.
8:20 PM EDT, August 6, 2012
Baltimore's public housing agency announced Monday it has paid $3.7 million to a former public housing resident who suffered lead-paint poisoning as a young child in the 1980s.
8:48 PM EDT, June 29, 2012
A 25-year-old former cruise ship employee was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl on a Royal Caribbean ship that left from Baltimore, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.
4:29 PM EDT, July 7, 2012
The City of Baltimore has been selling records containing personal information about its employees, including home addresses and driver's license numbers, even though the city's own lawyers say the information cannot legally be disclosed under state law.
9:23 AM EDT, June 24, 2012
The city of Baltimore has failed to collect millions of dollars in potential revenue because of chronic errors and miscalculations in a program offering tax breaks for historic renovations, a Baltimore Sun investigation has found.
9:11 PM EDT, June 29, 2012
High-earners in Maryland will feel a financial pinch as employers start withholding more money from paychecks to accommodate the higher income tax rates approved by the General Assembly in May and signed into law by Gov.Martin O'Malley.
7:06 PM EDT, May 2, 2012
Henry Hager, the husband of former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager, is entitled to a $296 property tax discount on his South Baltimore rowhouse for the current tax year, the state Department of Assessments and Taxation says.
10:17 AM EDT, April 29, 2012
A 21-year-old Sykesville woman was fatally injured in a one-vehicle accident early Saturday morning in Westminster, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office said.
9:04 PM EDT, May 31, 2012
In a career spanning three decades, forensic psychiatrist Steven Hoge has evaluated just a handful of people implicated in acts of cannibalism. It's exceedingly rare behavior, he says, and clear answers are often elusive when it does occur.
6:49 PM EDT, June 27, 2012
State auditors are examining how well Maryland's assessments agency has managed the homestead property tax credit, a popular tax break for homeowners that has come under increased scrutiny since The Baltimore Sun revealed that hundreds of city owners were improperly receiving multiple credits.
6:07 PM EDT, April 8, 2012
Over the past two years, Maureen Coyle has received $5,700 in property tax breaks that the city admits she never requested for her Patterson Park rowhouse. Now the city is demanding full repayment by month's end.
8:56 PM EDT, June 25, 2012
City and state lawmakers called Monday for stepped-up scrutiny of property tax credit programs in Baltimore, after a Baltimore Sun investigation found that chronic errors have cost the city millions of dollars in lost revenue, despite warnings stretching back more than a decade.
12:05 PM EDT, May 21, 2012
Want to express yourself on a license plate? Go ahead. The state will gladly take your $50 per year. You can't say any old thing, though. The Motor Vehicle Administration has cataloged more than 4,000 words, phrases and letter-number combinations it won't put on a tag.
9:48 PM EDT, April 30, 2012
It's been about a year and a half since former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager and her husband, Henry, reportedly left their South Baltimore rowhouse for new digs in Manhattan. But Henry Hager still owns the Baltimore place — and the couple still enjoys a property tax break that's supposed to be available only to owner-occupants.
6:19 PM EDT, May 2, 2012
A Baltimore jury on Wednesday awarded $1.3 million in damages to a 17-year-old girl, finding that negligence by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City was a substantial factor in lead-paint poisoning she suffered as a young girl.
10:05 PM EDT, April 29, 2012
At the ding of a cowbell Sunday, staffers in a command center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital began clapping and yelling out victory cheers.
9:28 PM EST, March 8, 2012
Alonzo Smith was walking Thursday in the 1600 block of Darley Ave. when he spotted his 92-year-old neighbor Janie Frieson standing in her doorway.
6:25 PM EDT, April 12, 2012
A District Court judge on Thursday convicted an Ellicott City man of undertaking major renovations at his mother's Canton rowhouse without permits, but spared him jail time by suspending his 90-day sentence. Martin Pozoulakis, found guilty of two misdemeanor counts, also was fined $1,000.
5:56 PM EDT, May 17, 2012
The directors of Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc., a major drug treatment provider in Baltimore, have laid off longtime executive William "Kris" Hathaway, as the once high-flying nonprofit continues to cut costs.
8:16 PM EDT, March 26, 2012
The man insisted he didn't illegally dump the toilet by the side of the road. No, he just left it there as a favor for "Moe," a homeless guy who planned to put it to use in a vacant house somewhere.
6:10 PM EDT, April 10, 2012
It was unusual enough when Baltimore housing officials had to get a search warrant to gain entry to a Canton rowhouse where they believed illegal renovations were occurring. But the owner's son had barred inspectors, and neighbors were complaining of work that was noisy, substantial and ongoing.
8:07 PM EDT, March 15, 2012
State lawmaker: Graziano said in January deal was near for city housing authority to pay lead judgments
By now, Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg says he expected big news from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City — that it had found a way to resolve the millions of dollars in court-ordered judgments it owes former public housing residents who suffered lead paint poisoning as children.
10:11 PM EST, March 6, 2012
As someone who's made a hobby of unmasking tax cheats, Patterson Park activist Matt Gonter told state lawmakers Tuesday that he backs a proposal to fine homeowners caught getting unwarranted homestead credits on their property tax bills.
9:37 PM EST, January 22, 2012
Deverick Howell could only stare at the television as Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff's last-chance field goal attempt hooked left of the uprights, dealing the team and its fans a heartbreaking 23-20 loss Sunday to the New England Patriots.
8:38 PM EST, January 10, 2012
In early 2010, officials at Baltimore's public housing agency noticed a few thousand dollars had gone missing — transferred without authorization to the bank account of a man who rented his Northeast Baltimore home to a low-income tenant, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday.
7:31 PM EDT, March 23, 2012
The Baltimore housing department received a $2.9 million federal grant Friday to clean up poisonous lead paint found in the walls of thousands of city buildings.
11:18 PM EST, January 22, 2012
Twelve people were displaced Sunday night by a two-alarm fire at a Perry Hall apartment complex, Baltimore County fire officials said. No one was injured.
8:12 PM EST, January 19, 2012
State officials have revoked tax breaks from more than 550 homes in Baltimore after a Baltimore Sun analysis showed that hundreds of owners have been receiving the homestead property tax credit on multiple houses in apparent violation of state law.
7:51 PM EST, January 18, 2012
Two siblings trying to collect a $2.6 million judgment against Baltimore's public housing agency for lead-paint poisoning argue in court papers that an auction of 20 agency vehicles must go forward because officials have refused to pay.
8:15 PM EDT, March 18, 2012
When a Baltimore couple combined two Federal Hill rowhouses into a double-wide home a few years ago, the state's tax assessors made a mistake: Instead of factoring in the values of two addresses, they set the new home's value as if it were still just a single rowhouse.
6:28 PM EST, January 3, 2012
Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway Sr. has paid more than $3,600 in back property taxes on a rental home he owns, months after it emerged that he'd wrongly been receiving a homestead tax break on the house for years.
4:25 PM EST, January 7, 2012
When the city sends Tom Clancy his property tax bill, finance officials might want to tuck in a thank-you note.
2:16 PM EST, February 25, 2012
Vera Artis would seem to be a perfect fit for the state program created decades ago to ease the property tax burden on homeowners with modest incomes.
10:53 AM EST, January 4, 2012
The Baltimore sheriff's office began the process Wednesday of seizing 20 vehicles owned by the city's housing authority — part of a move by two siblings who suffered lead poisoning in public housing to force the agency to make good on $2.59 million in damages awarded by a jury.
7:05 PM EST, February 3, 2012
Maryland homeowners who are caught getting unwarranted homestead credits on their property tax bills would face fines equal to 25 percent of any undeserved break, under a bill introduced Friday in the General Assembly.
8:42 PM EST, January 29, 2012
The imposing three-story home on the 200 block of E. Montgomery St.stands out from its more modest Federal Hill neighbors. The edifice, with 15 front windows and a gated driveway, is noticeably bigger and no doubt much pricier.
8:45 PM EST, December 20, 2011
Eugene Schoene maxed out a credit card, drained his checking account and borrowed money from a relative. It was the only way, he says, to pay an unexpected property tax bill of gigantic proportions.
9:24 PM EST, November 19, 2011
Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the site Saturday of a contest waged not with bats, balls and gloves but test scores, curriculum overviews and student testimonials.
8:43 AM EST, February 2, 2012
City Councilman William H. Cole IV said Wednesday evening that his office told state assessors several years ago that they had mistakenly valued a large Federal Hill home as if it were a fraction of its true size. And Cole said others in the neighborhood had complained as well, yet the error was not fixed.
7:20 PM EST, January 5, 2012
Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. has sold its West Pratt Street campus to an affiliate of the Abell Foundation for $3 million, according to a recently filed deed, a move that the struggling mental health clinic had long sought as a way to help stabilize its finances.
8:24 PM EST, December 17, 2011
Since 2009 Patrick Tong has received "homestead" property tax breaks worth $18,000 on three rowhouses he owns in East Baltimore.
8:21 PM EST, January 9, 2012
City Councilman Carl Stokes says he may go straight to voters this fall to approve cutting the city's property tax rate in half by 2017 — a proposal he said would be paid for, in part, by raising a cap that limits the assessed value that can be taxed.
11:57 AM EST, November 19, 2011
Around 1,000 gallons of corn syrup escaped from a South Baltimore storage tank Friday night, and 300 gallons of the sticky substance wound up in the Inner Harbor before a leaking valve was plugged, fire officials say.
8:35 PM EST, January 4, 2012
Representatives from the Baltimore sheriff's office moved across a city housing authority parking lot Wednesday morning, tagging 20 of the agency's vehicles to be seized and eventually sold to pay part of a court judgment to lead paint victims.
5:24 PM EDT, October 29, 2011
After two patients were killed in the span of a week by fellow patients at the state's maximum-security mental hospital, mental health advocates say safety must be improved — but one warned against a clampdown.
8:14 PM EST, December 18, 2011
A state lawmaker who helps set tax policy is calling for an overhaul of Maryland's property tax cap law, after a Baltimore Sun investigation documented how the costly program has resulted in homeowners across Baltimore paying vastly different amounts for similarly valued houses.
7:40 PM EDT, September 17, 2011
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City often cites a lack of funds to explain its refusal to pay nearly $12 million in court-ordered judgments to former public housing residents who suffered permanent lead-paint poisoning as children.
7:14 PM EST, November 30, 2011
Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. says it has handed over some documents demanded by the federal government as part of an investigation into alleged shortfalls in the retirement plan at the West Pratt Street mental health clinic.
6:08 PM EST, December 18, 2011
Maryland Natural Resources Police said they would resume searching for a missing boater Monday morning, nearly two days after his sailboat capsized on the Chesapeake Bay, killing another man and sending a woman to the hospital.
August 23, 2011
Property tax breaks meant to encourage homeownership have been awarded to 465 vacant houses in Baltimore, depriving the city of uncollected revenue in a difficult budget year and calling into question past promises from city officials to crack down on tax scofflaws, a Baltimore Sun analysis has found.
9:22 PM EST, December 17, 2011
Jeff Burdick and his next-door neighbors have nearly identical two-story rowhouses, on the same block of East Clement Street with the same public schools and the same city trash pickup. But one striking difference is the $5,300 he pays in yearly property taxes — more than both his neighbors combined.
6:27 AM EST, December 6, 2011
The vacant brick rowhouse at 2037 Orleans St. looks like many of the 16,000 abandoned homes that beset Baltimore. The front door is covered with plywood. The weedy backyard is strewn with trash.
8:54 PM EDT, November 2, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor is suing Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. and Chief Executive William "Kris" Hathaway for allegedly failing to turn over payroll and retirement account records that had been demanded by federal investigators, the agency announced Wednesday.
10:13 PM EDT, August 28, 2011
Schools throughout the region are closed today and hundreds of thousands of families and businesses remain without power as Marylanders clean up after Hurricane Irene.
6:03 PM EST, December 26, 2011
A cluster of vacant rowhouses in the 1600 block of North Gay Street succumbed to the metal claw of an excavator this month, as yet another batch of unwanted city homes turned to rubble.
9:22 PM EST, December 17, 2011
Along with some of his neighbors, the chairman of the Baltimore City Council's taxation committee is getting a remarkable tax break on his home: He pays just 16 percent of the bill. The Homestead Property Tax Credit picks up the rest.
7:50 PM EDT, September 30, 2011
Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano defended the city's public housing authority Friday, a day after a U.S. senator began an inquiry into what he termed "a wide range of allegations, including possible conflicts of interest, fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers' monies."
9:13 PM EST, November 15, 2011
At a time when City Hall is girding for another round of budget battles, spending on lawsuits filed against the Police Department is coming under increased scrutiny.
10:11 PM EDT, July 3, 2011
An 84-year-old woman suffered severe injuries Saturday in a fire at an Edgewater home that claimed a second person's life, Anne Arundel County fire officials said.
5:31 PM EDT, September 15, 2011
Employees of the West Baltimore mental health and substance abuse clinic Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. have complained of bounced paychecks in recent weeks, and state health officials say they are monitoring to make sure patient care doesn't suffer as a result of low morale among the staff.
8:58 PM EST, December 3, 2011
The vacant rowhouse at 825 N. Caroline St. has long been an open-and-shut case for the city. Opened up by somebody — vandals, junkies, homeless people, whoever — and then shut by public works crews. Then opened up again.
10:35 PM EDT, September 29, 2011
One of the U.S. Senate's most aggressive watchdogs said Thursday he has begun an inquiry into Baltimore's public housing agency, after receiving calls and emails concerning "a wide range of allegations, including possible conflicts of interest, fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayers' monies."
7:25 PM EDT, September 10, 2011
Michael Fitz-Patrick was on the 61st floor of Two World Trade Center, training to be a broker. A new father at 28, he was switching careers with a goal of spending more time at home.
5:57 PM EDT, August 28, 2011
A majority of Baltimore's most engaged Democrats approve of how Sheila Dixon handled her job as mayor.
6:32 PM EDT, August 19, 2011
Boating deaths in Maryland have reached their highest level in more than a decade, with 20 so far this year. But authorities say they can't find any explanation for the increase other than nice summer weather.
8:13 PM EDT, July 7, 2011
The chairman of a City Council committee says he will ask federal officials to push Baltimore's public housing agency to pay a six-figure judgment for lead-paint poisoning, saying the agency had effectively stuck its tongue out by refusing to budge on the issue.
9:20 PM EDT, August 29, 2011
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her predecessor Sheila Dixon have shared a lifetime of politics together. Dixon became the first African-American woman elected City Council president and then mayor. Rawlings-Blake followed in her footsteps.
8:16 PM EDT, July 23, 2011
A woman in a red bikini danced giddily on a big floating trampoline in the Magothy River, at one point turning a graceful back flip — without losing her straw hat. Her apparent carefree delight captured what fans consider the true spirit of Bumper Bash, a yearly convergence of boat-borne revelers.
5:23 PM EDT, September 13, 2011
Kathy Woods tried everything she could think of to save the female red-tailed hawk that was injured last year by crashing into a library window at the Johns Hopkins University.
8:51 AM EDT, July 2, 2011
Brice R. Phillips, the patriarch of a Maryland seafood empire that began 55 years ago with a simple crab shack in Ocean City/, died Friday at his home in the seaside resort town.
6:41 PM EDT, August 6, 2011
Paul T. Graziano looked for all the world like a short-timer. Just weeks into his new job as Baltimore's housing commissioner, he was arrested at a Fells Point bar after a drunken tirade laced with anti-gay slurs.
8:59 AM EDT, August 18, 2011
State Sen. James Brochin suggested Wednesday that a surcharge could be used to help the Housing Authority of Baltimore City pay nearly $12 million in court-ordered judgments that it owes former public housing tenants who suffered lead-paint poisoning years ago as children.
12:05 AM EDT, June 9, 2011
It was late one afternoon when the email went out, warning of "hot front page news" that could be a "big embarrassment" to Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
8:28 PM EDT, July 19, 2011
Pterodactyls. Giant airplane propellers in the sky. Graceful, gliding birds. Blots on the verdant landscape.
10:05 AM EDT, July 4, 2011
A violent thunderstorm swept through the area on Sunday afternoon, resulting in the death of a cyclist on the C&O tow path in Washington, causing power outages and prompting police to clear the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where the National Symphony Orchestra was preparing to hold a public rehearsal of its Independence Day concert.
3:23 PM EDT, June 4, 2011
In the three months since revelations of widespread records destruction at the state health department's lab, interim managers have made strides to improve its operation, Maryland's top health officials say.
10:16 PM EDT, August 23, 2011
Baltimore officials moved Tuesday to take back undeserved tax breaks from owners of vacant properties who are profiting from a program intended for primary residences.
7:31 PM EDT, July 27, 2011
A staff member at Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the private clinic in Southwest Baltimore, alleging that officials there "diverted and stole" thousands of dollars from employees by failing to deposit payroll deductions into their retirement and disability plans.
5:38 PM EDT, June 18, 2011
The public housing unit Susan Batchelor shares with her teenage daughter on a blighted East Baltimore block has new kitchen cabinets, modern appliances and central air. After years on a waiting list, Batchelor is delighted with the renovated two-bedroom apartment she now calls home.
7:03 PM EDT, May 17, 2011
William Donald Schaefer's ability to surprise, delight and confound was on display again Tuesday with the public release of his last will and testament, which showered bits of his $2.4 million estate on devoted aides, friends and institutions.
8:07 PM EST, January 20, 2011
The state's top health official laid out new oversight measures Thursday aimed at better policing taxpayer-funded drug treatment and mental health providers.
8:51 PM EDT, May 12, 2011
One of Baltimore's largest providers of drug treatment services is in default on loans of up to $2.5 million, its bank says, raising questions about the financial well-being of a clinic that treats hundreds of addicts in the city.
8:40 PM EDT, March 25, 2011
A second high-level official at the state health department's laboratory was placed on leave this week, following revelations that the lab destroyed a large number of records documenting lead poisoning in Maryland children.
12:50 AM EDT, April 5, 2011
Echoing her housing commissioner, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Monday that Baltimore's public housing authority has decided "it is not possible" to pay lead-poisoning judgments that could one day exceed $800 million because the money is needed to improve living conditions for thousands of poor families.
8:06 PM EDT, April 8, 2011
The Maryland Senate directed Baltimore's public housing authority Friday to explain how it will pay nearly $12 million it owes in court judgments to residents poisoned by lead paint.
April 3, 2011
Antonio Fulgham can barely read or write. The 21-year-old from West Baltimore has been deemed "mentally retarded," with bleak job prospects. He blames his plight on lead poisoning he suffered as a toddler while growing up amid flaking paint in two Baltimore public housing units.
10:30 PM EST, February 24, 2011
To compensate for the arrest or suspension of more than two dozen officers in an alleged towing company scam, Baltimore Police will pull uniformed officers away from an initiative that contributed to a profound reduction in violent crime in the Southeastern District.
12:39 AM EST, February 11, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor has opened an inquiry into the employee retirement plan of a taxpayer-funded mental health clinic in Baltimore after former workers said money deducted from their paychecks as far back as 2009 never reached their retirement plan accounts.
11:39 PM EST, February 28, 2011
Baltimore, where thousands of buildings contain lead-based paint that can poison young children, has lost federal funding for abatement programs due to mismanagement of its most recent grant, officials said Monday.
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