MOBTOWN BEAT

Local Nepalese deal with double whammy of unrest and earthquake

Local Nepalese deal with double whammy of unrest and earthquake

A steady stream of customers rolls through the Medfield Mini Mart at Falls Road and Roland Heights Avenue on a humid Friday afternoon. One elderly man asks the store’s new owners, Nepali husband and wife...

Bail system creates another hurdle for poor defendants, including recent protestors

Bail system creates another hurdle for poor defendants, including recent protestors

Baltimore police arrested Dominick Torrence, a 29-year-old black man, on April 28 and charged him with disorderly conduct and rioting on North Avenue and Fulton Street; they say he was part of a group throwing rocks,...

Uprising Dispatches: Who is Meech?

Uprising Dispatches: Who is Meech?

On Monday, May 4, it looked like Penn North—and the city as a whole—might erupt into flames again when there were reports that police had shot a fleeing man in the back. It turns out that no one was...

After the Uprising, the Mondawmin Career Center gets back to work

After the Uprising, the Mondawmin Career Center gets back to work

Two of the primary cries among those protesting police brutality in Baltimore are “no justice, no peace” and “we need jobs.” Justice, though complex, imperfect, and sometimes heartbreaking, is...

Black tourist attractions seek more prominent role in Baltimore

Black tourist attractions seek more prominent role in Baltimore

On April 29, two days after the biggest spasm of violence following the death of Freddie Gray, the City Council’s taxation, finance, and economic development committee took testimony about “Establishing a...

Op-Alt: The money spent to arrest and prosecute Freddie Gray for nonviolent crimes could have sent him to college

Op-Alt: The money spent to arrest and prosecute Freddie Gray for nonviolent crimes could have sent him to college

In the much-anticipated May 1 press conference Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said that Freddie Gray’s arrest was illegal. Freddie Gray should have never been in that van. And the failed...

Op-Alt: Unite our city with equal access to services, improved quality of life

Op-Alt: Unite our city with equal access to services, improved quality of life

On April 12, Freddie Gray was severely injured in an encounter with the police, suffering a severed spine and damaged voice box. He died a week later. He was not the first detainee to experience severe spinal...

Op-Alt: Trade agreements exacerbate inequality, a root cause of unrest in Baltimore

Op-Alt: Trade agreements exacerbate inequality, a root cause of unrest in Baltimore

In the smoke and debris of last Monday’s riots, Baltimore local news is desperately calling for strategies to address the root causes of poverty and economic disenfranchisement of Baltimore&...

Rapper Kane Mayfield on Freddie Gray and the reality of police brutality

Rapper Kane Mayfield on Freddie Gray and the reality of police brutality

The death of Freddie Gray didn’t even shock me. It’s not good, but it doesn’t shock me. I’m not shockable. I’m desensitized. I’ve been desensitized by the slow and deliberate...

Helena Hicks talks about institutional neglect in Freddie Gray's neighborhood

Helena Hicks talks about institutional neglect in Freddie Gray's neighborhood

I grew up at 306 Presstman St., just across Pennsylvania Avenue, near Gilmor Homes in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, where Freddie Gray was arrested a week before he died April 19 from injuries apparently...

What happened to Freddie Gray? Former cops and arrestees shed light on the question tearing Baltimore apart

What happened to Freddie Gray? Former cops and arrestees shed light on the question tearing Baltimore apart

Nobody knows just how Freddie Gray’s spinal cord ended up severed in the back of a police transport wagon on April 12. Nobody knows why the cops are stationed behind barriers.

Why a New York orthodontist has a half-billion dollar hold on Baltimore

Why a New York orthodontist has a half-billion dollar hold on Baltimore

The lot at the corner of West Lexington and North Schroeder streets is empty but for a deteriorating sign announcing a hearing about the consolidation of the building lots.

The Maryland GOP on Pot: Free State Republicans have been warming to marijuana reform, but support for legalization so far remains a pipe dream

The Maryland GOP on Pot: Free State Republicans have been warming to marijuana reform, but support for legalization so far remains a pipe dream

While 2014 was a watershed year in the annals of liberalizing Maryland’s pot laws, ringing in decriminalization and revamped medical-marijuana laws, 2003 was a big one, too.

The Burning Question: Can cops still get all up in my grill just because I'm smoking herb?

The Burning Question: Can cops still get all up in my grill just because I'm smoking herb?

For decades police have followed their noses into people’s personal effects, using the smell of burning marijuana as “probable cause” for an arrest. Then they search the suspect&...

Op-Alt: Transgender in America hits critical mass

Op-Alt: Transgender in America hits critical mass

Last week in Chicago, the Trans 100 ceremony celebrated 100 transgender women and men who made a significant difference within the trans community in 2014. The keynote speakers were Lana Wachowski, half of the...

Lawsuits mount over wrongful murder convictions in Baltimore

Lawsuits mount over wrongful murder convictions in Baltimore

While the City of Baltimore has been fighting back hard against lawsuits brought by two men who were wrongfully convicted of murder and each spent decades in prison, it now faces a new suit brought in late March by a...

Kevin Plank's plans for Port Covington include evicting boat owners at the Baltimore Yacht Basin

Kevin Plank's plans for Port Covington include evicting boat owners at the Baltimore Yacht Basin

On March 25, about 35 boats were afloat at their slips in the Baltimore Yacht Basin (BYB), the marina next to Nick’s Fish House in Port Covington. Eight days later, many of them will need to be gone. In a...

Op-Alt: The injustice of a two-tiered education system in Baltimore City

Op-Alt: The injustice of a two-tiered education system in Baltimore City

“Class size doesn’t matter,” said no teacher ever. At Southwest Baltimore Charter School and City Neighbors High School (also a charter school), we have an average of 23 students in our sixth-...

Critics say locally born 'male enhancement' product S.W.A.G. packaging promotes rape and the FDA warns consumers about its contents

Critics say locally born 'male enhancement' product S.W.A.G. packaging promotes rape and the FDA warns consumers about its contents

It’s Baltimore-born, maybe Maryland-made, and supposedly contains “caterpillar fungus,” but one woman’s main concern about  Sex With A Grudge (S.W.A.G.)-brand male...

Grease Patrol: The city steps up enforcement on restaurants dumping grease in the sewers

Grease Patrol: The city steps up enforcement on restaurants dumping grease in the sewers

On a recent cold morning, environmental scientist Douglas Talaber uses a crowbar to dislodge two manhole covers, each engraved with the word “grease.” Talaber’s job is to make sure food-service...

Unintended Consequences: How making sex trafficking a felony might hurt 'sex slaves'

Unintended Consequences: How making sex trafficking a felony might hurt 'sex slaves'

Susan L. Aumann, a Republican delegate from Baltimore County, looked stern as she testified on HB 241, a bill that will make it harder for kidnappers to keep people in sexual slavery (it has a companion bill in the...

Op-Alt: An open letter to the mayor

Op-Alt: An open letter to the mayor

Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake,

After losing an eye for not helping Black Guerrilla Family prison-gang conspiracy, a Baltimore man wants his jailers to pay

After losing an eye for not helping Black Guerrilla Family prison-gang conspiracy, a Baltimore man wants his jailers to pay

The notorious Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison-gang leader Tavon White, now serving a 12-year prison sentence for leading a massive racketeering conspiracy inside the Baltimore City Detention...

On International Women's Day, activists keep attention on prisons, police brutality, and women heroes throughout history

On International Women's Day, activists keep attention on prisons, police brutality, and women heroes throughout history

When global corporations such as BP and Accenture become vaunted sponsors of International Women's Day, it's easy to worry that the holiday&...

Military retirees have it pretty good, so why does Gov. Hogan want to cut their taxes?

Military retirees have it pretty good, so why does Gov. Hogan want to cut their taxes?

If Gov. Larry Hogan gets his way, James M. Drake will get to retire free of state income tax. Hogan wants the state to exempt the pensions of military retirees and first responders from state...

Annapolis considers tossing the state-run, scandal-plagued Baltimore City Detention Center back into the city's hands

Annapolis considers tossing the state-run, scandal-plagued Baltimore City Detention Center back into the city's hands

State Del. John Cluster (R-Baltimore County) and state Sen. Michael Hough (R-Carroll and Frederick counties) have become experts on matters involving the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC), the...

A campaign to undermine a controversial Baltimore waste-burning power plant appears to be working

A campaign to undermine a controversial Baltimore waste-burning power plant appears to be working

In 2010, the Albany, New York-based company Energy Answers (EA) got the green light from Maryland authorities to build the nation’s largest waste-to-energy (WTE) power plant on Baltimore’s...

What happens when a tax refund is sent to the wrong taxpayer?

What happens when a tax refund is sent to the wrong taxpayer?

A woman whose $1,000 state income-tax refund was misrouted has not been able to get the money back, and every institution involved has pointed at the others.

MTA's much-delayed bus-tracker beta launch shows real-time arrivals, at least for the buses it can find

MTA's much-delayed bus-tracker beta launch shows real-time arrivals, at least for the buses it can find

Mass transit news rarely makes people ecstatic, but early last week, local Twitter erupted in exclamation points.

As cremation becomes more common, new regulations could make it harder for crematoria to thrive

As cremation becomes more common, new regulations could make it harder for crematoria to thrive

It was in the late ’90s when Joseph H. Brown III first noticed a shift in cremation services. Up until that time the funeral ritual—which reduces human remains into bone fragments through...

A 'Yelp' for Migrant Workers: Local nonprofit's tool spreads the word about abusive and deceitful employers and recruiters

A 'Yelp' for Migrant Workers: Local nonprofit's tool spreads the word about abusive and deceitful employers and recruiters

Migrants working legally in the U.S. on temporary visas can end up as virtual slaves. They can’t change jobs, they’re often paid less than minimum wage for 80 or more...

The Nose on the Senate's 'porn rock' hearings, 30 years later

The Nose on the Senate's 'porn rock' hearings, 30 years later

The parents of many, if not most, of the Nose’s gentle readers might not yet have had the sex that spawned them when, in 1985, the issue of raunchy rock lyrics erupted in the U.S. Senate’s...

Another arabber exodus? After one of the last stables is raided, the future of Baltimore's produce peddlers is uncertain

Another arabber exodus? After one of the last stables is raided, the future of Baltimore's produce peddlers is uncertain

On a Monday night two weeks after Baltimore City Animal Control officers raided the arabber stables on South Carlton Street in West Baltimore, Dion Dorsey, 37, still can’t believe he’s staring at an empty...

A Baltimore transplant to Atlanta gets caught in a glitzy drug conspiracy, again

A Baltimore transplant to Atlanta gets caught in a glitzy drug conspiracy, again

Dec. 8, 2011, was the beginning of the end of Eugene Arnell Thomas’ second career as a major drug trafficker. That’s when a young man, Christopher Alves, was murdered in Edgewood,...

Three-plus hours at the City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on police procedures

Three-plus hours at the City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on police procedures

There are two, maybe three, important things to take from the three-plus-hour hearing on police procedures the City Council’s Public Safety Committee held last Tuesday.

Nose-picking, cringe-worthy Skynyrd tunes, and automatic defibrillators: The Nose goes to Gov. Hogan's inaugural gala

Nose-picking, cringe-worthy Skynyrd tunes, and automatic defibrillators: The Nose goes to Gov. Hogan's inaugural gala

Daniella, the new Maryland governor’s 2-year-old granddaughter, just wouldn’t quit. There she was, up on the stage in her mom’s arms, right next to Larry Hogan at his...

Whistleblower cop Joseph Crystal recalls his battles with Baltimore's blue wall of silence

Whistleblower cop Joseph Crystal recalls his battles with Baltimore's blue wall of silence

Faced with a potentially life-changing dilemma, Joseph Crystal asked his parents what to do. “Both my parents were NYPD police,” Crystal says by phone from a law office in New York City.

Baltimore's iconic Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?

Baltimore's iconic Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?

In the great wainscotted conference room on the second floor of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Dr. Carla Hayden, the library’s longtime director, apologizes for her casual dress, declines...

The Mosby Effect: The inauguration of Baltimore's new state's attorney was a godly rebuke of her critics

The Mosby Effect: The inauguration of Baltimore's new state's attorney was a godly rebuke of her critics

As a candidate last year for Baltimore City state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby cast herself as a crime crusader who, unlike incumbent Gregg Bernstein, would sow dread among Baltimore criminals....

Your 'Rain Tax' Dollars at Work: Baltimore's mandatory stormwater-management improvement plan is out for public review

Your 'Rain Tax' Dollars at Work: Baltimore's mandatory stormwater-management improvement plan is out for public review

The City of Baltimore will soon start using almost $80 million in revenues from its stormwater-management fees on property owners—what detractors call the “rain tax”—on 95...

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