Baltimore to hold citywide fall cleanup Oct. 22

Cleanup in the McElderry Park area. (Photo: Carl Schmidt/Federal Hill Photography)

Residents across Baltimore City will be cleaning up their neighborhoods Oct. 22 as part of the Mayor’s Annual Fall Cleanup.

Adnan Syed: One of Many Overturned Convictions in Baltimore City


On Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, cheers from Adnan Syed’s family and supporters erupted throughout the courtroom as Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn announced her decision to overturn his conviction and asked law enforcement to “remove the shackles from Mr. Syed, please.”

The crowd’s elation carried outside below the courthouse steps, where dozens of supporters applauded the news with claps and honking car horns as Syed walked through the front doors alongside his mother, brother, and attorney, Erica Suter. The cheers continued as Syed was escorted to a white SUV and drove away.

Morgan State University President David Wilson on this year’s record enrollment and expansion plans, including a campus in Africa: ‘The brand of the institution has just caught fire!’

Morgan State University President David Wilson revealed the latest enrollment figures and discussed Morgan’s growth plans during a wide-ranging talk Sept. 7 with members of the Roland Park Civic League. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Most years, Morgan State University in Baltimore had an enrollment of about 7,460 students. This fall, it set a record for both its incoming freshmen class, about 2,400 students, and its total enrollment, 9,660.

For the first time, more than half of incoming freshmen came from out of state, forcing administrators to scramble to find enough student housing.

The record numbers have forced administrators to consider imposing a temporary cap on student enrollment for a few years, until they can build more student housing and complete other campus construction projects.

20th annual Pigtown Festival returns with food, crafts, and iconic pig races

Pigs race in the “SQUEAKness” at a previous year’s Pigtown Festival. Photo courtesy of Pigtown Main Street.

Festival season continues in the city with a celebration recognizing one of southwestern Baltimore’s most historic communities.

The 20th Annual Pigtown Festival will welcome thousands of residents and visitors to occupy five blocks of Washington Boulevard on Oct. 8 from noon to 7 p.m. 

250,000-square-foot UM BioPark lab building ‘4MLK’ to break ground in October

University of Maryland, Baltimore will break ground in October on 4MLK, the newest development project in the University of Maryland BioPark. Rendering from Wexford Science & Technology.

University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and Wexford Science & Technology, LLC announced today that 4MLK, the newest development project in the University of Maryland BioPark, is slated to move forward with the groundbreaking in October. Delivery is slated for Summer 2024.

Maryland Department of Transportation looking for feedback on transit alternatives between Towson and Downtown Baltimore

Baltimore Metro Subway train. Photo by Ben Schumin/Flickr Creative Commons.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) are working with Baltimore City and Baltimore County to determine the best alternatives to serve passengers traveling between Towson and Downtown Baltimore. 

The North-South Corridor Study is part of the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan (RTP), a project identifying 30 transit corridors, including places that show a strong demand for transit or could have a stronger transit system. 

Black Philanthropy Circle awards $250K to 10 organizations supporting Baltimore-area Black communities

Participants in B360, a program founded by Brittany Young, one of the founders of The Collective. Photo by Javon Roye.

Ten Baltimore organizations each received $25,000 to continue their work supporting Black residents in the Baltimore area.

The Baltimore Community Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Circle fund last week awarded a total of $250,000 to its first round of grant recipients.

Military sexual assault reports rise ahead of planned reforms

The Pentagon. Photo by Wiyre Media/Flickr Creative Commons.

By Grace Yarrow, Capital News Service

Reports of sexual assaults in the military increased 13 percent between fiscal 2020 and 2021, but fewer people came forward to report those assaults, according to the Department of Defense.

The Pentagon is working to implement a series of 82 recommendations from the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, created last year to address a chronic problem that has prompted action by Congress and the Biden administration.

Maryland can start counting mail-in ballots Oct. 1, judge rules

A ballot drop box in northwest Baltimore. Photo by Marcus Dieterle.

Maryland’s local elections officials will be allowed to begin counting mail-in ballots for the November general election starting Oct. 1, a judge ruled Friday.

Release of Adnan Syed focuses attention on Maryland wrongful prosecutions

Troy Burner, 50, who was freed in 2018 after 25 years in prison based on one prosecution witness’s ever-changing false testimony, stands in front of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he advocates for people who were wrongfully convicted. Ironically, it is the same courthouse where he was erroneously convicted. (Abby Zimmardi/Capital News Service)

By Abby Zimmardi and Shannon Clark, Capital News Service

Attorney Erica Suter recalled the disbelief in the voice of her high-profile client, Adnan Syed, the subject of the viral podcast “Serial,” when the judge told him he was being released from prison after 23 years for a murder Syed says he did not commit.

“At the trial table, he turned to me and said, ‘I can’t believe it’s real,’” Suter said.

Troy Burner, 50, remembers that feeling. Burner, who also lives in Maryland, spent 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit before a judge ruled in 2018 that like Syed, prosecutors had failed to give him a fair trial.

Syed and Burner are just two of thousands of cases of wrongful prosecution, according to records and attorneys at the Innocence Project.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra welcomes children ages six months to three years old to Music Box Children’s Series

Children learn about instruments from a BSO musician at a Music Box Children Series event. Photo courtesy of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is shaping the future musicians of the world with its Music Box Children’s Series. 

This Saturday, in the lobby of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the BSO will perform two half-hour concerts that focus on music enthusiasts ages six months to three years old.  

Protesters shut down meeting about plans for private, armed Johns Hopkins police force

Protesters raise signs opposing plans to create a private, armed Johns Hopkins University police department. Photo by Adam DeRose.

Demonstrators opposed to the development of a private, armed Johns Hopkins University police department shut down an in-person town hall meeting Thursday that was scheduled to discuss details of plans for the police force.

Video of the Week: Birdland Murals

A mural at Oriole Legends Park painted by artists Ernest Shaw, Christopher Batten and Gaia. Screenshot from video by Baltimore Orioles.

Artist Ernest Shaw says murals can emanate great power, particularly the ability to shape how young people see the world.

Shaw is one of the artists who were commissioned to paint murals for Oriole Park at Camden Yards as part of the “Birdland Murals” series.