Here are some of my favorite stories from recent years. Click the headline to read the story. You can also read my latest work in The Baltimore Banner.
Maryland has had 30 governors since the current method of electing governors by statewide popular vote was established in 1867. Every single one of them has been a white man. Wes Moore could be the first to change that history. (2022)
Candidates often make broad promises about helping Baltimore, and I explored whether those promises line up with what’s really needed in the state’s largest city. (2022)
Maryland Gov. Hogan’s new chief of staff resigns
Just days after I reported that the governor’s chief of staff had negotiated a sweetheart exit deal from his prior state job, he resigned from his job with the governor. (He later was criminally charged.) (2020)
Do Maryland Gov. Hogan’s latest moves foreshadow a run for president?
Is Larry Hogan going to run for president in 2024? He hasn’t said “yes” yet, but he isn’t saying “no,” either. (2020)
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says governors don’t usually testify on bills. Ex-governors say it worked for them.
Maryland lawmakers have repeatedly claimed that the governor won’t meet with him face-to-face as past governors did. I interviewed the state’s three living ex-governors to get their take on the relationship between the chief executive and the legislature. (2020)
Historic deal aims to keep Preakness in Baltimore; track owner, city reach agreement
I helped break the story of a proposal to redevelop Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, whose fate was a long-simmering source of concern in Maryland. (The plan ultimately was approved.) (2019)
Tradepoint Atlantic hits a turning point, seeks government financing
As developers worked to turn a shuttered steel mill into a logistics and transportation hub, they sought financing and incentives from the local government. This story set the stage for the public debate that ultimately resulted in the developers getting a $78 million aid package from taxpayers. (2018)
Frederick jail chooses to help with immigration
A lot of people have opinions on whether local police and jails should be involved in immigration enforcement. I went to Maryland’s first jail participating in the 287(g) immigration program to explain how it works. (2017)
Guinness enters brewery debate
This was first of many stories about a proposed Guinness brewery and Maryland’s confusing liquor laws. (2017)
One year later, fatal hit-and-run crash remains unsolved
One spring night, three teens headed out for a short walk to a convenience store. But an SUV struck them, killing 15-year-old Skylar Marion. This story takes a look at the unsuccessful efforts by the police and the family to find Skylar’s killer. (2014)
Leopold adjusts to life as an outsider
A look at the post-jail life of a local politician whose decades-long career came to a halt when he was convicted of misconduct in office. On appeal in 2014, he won the right to run for office while on probation. (2013)
I detailed a high-stakes Clean Water Act lawsuit brought by the Waterkeeper Alliance against a family farm and Perdue Farms. This case had the potential to upend the poultry industry, but the farmers eventually prevailed. (2012)
I spent time with Capt. Barry Sweitzer and his crew aboard the Hilda M. Willing, one of the few remaining working skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay. These boats won’t be working the bay in another 10 years and I felt privileged to tell this story, this bit of history. (2011) PDF version.
Fort Meade environmental problems
I dug through piles of government documents, attended meetings and pestered the military for this package of stories explaining the scope of environmental contamination at Fort George G. Meade, which is a Superfund site. (2010) PDF version.
Small fines for big sewage spills
Each time there’s a big sewage spill, I get phone calls and e-mail messages from readers and sources who want to know if anyone is going to get in trouble. So I did some research and found that most often, the consequences for spilling raw sewage are minimal. (2010) PDF version.
Fear for the Turtle
A look at efforts to boost the population of the state reptile, the diamondback terrapin. (2008)
Atlantic sturgeon are a very cool fish in the Chesapeake Bay. I wrote about what makes them unique, as well as the people who are passionate about saving them. (2006)
Holding on to a heritage
I profiled a father-son team of watermen, the last working watermen of Eastport — and probably the last in all of Annapolis proper. (2009)
Capt. John Smith Shallop
I spent a fun day tagging along with the crew of a replica of the rowboat/sailboat used by Jamestown settler and Chesapeake explorer Capt. John Smith. (2007)
The state decided to close one of its under-utilized psychiatric hospitals to save money. This story looked at what might happen to an old cemetery on the hospital grounds. (2004)