In the Media: Ta-Nehisi Coates Named MacArthur Fellow; Gilmor Homes Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.
From The Baltimore Sun: West Baltimore Native Ta-Nehisi Coates Named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow
"Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author who grew up in a struggling West Baltimore neighborhood and who is known for his provocative looks at race relations in America, was named a 2015 MacArthur Foundation fellow on Tuesday.
"Coates, who celebrates his 40th birthday Wednesday, is one of 24 recipients of what are popularly known as 'genius grants.' The awards, accompanied by a stipend of $625,000 to be paid out over five years, are given annually to people the Chicago-based foundation says show exceptional creativity and a significant record of accomplishment.
"The citation praised Coates' 'highly distinctive voice' and added: 'Writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, Coates addresses complex and challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing.'"
From CBS Baltimore: Lawsuit: Handymen Traded Sex For Repairs in Public Housing
"Maintenance workers were trading sex for repairs in public housing units. Those are the allegations in a new $70 million federal lawsuit just filed against the Baltimore Housing Authority. Seven women says they are victims of the abuse."
From The Washington Post: Which Officer Will Go on Trial First in the Freddie Gray Case?
"Lawyers will meet with a Baltimore judge Tuesday afternoon to schedule the trials for the six officers charged in the arrest and transport of Freddie Gray and determine whose case will head to court first.
"The scheduling hearing comes almost one month after Judge Barry G. Williams ruled that the six officers should face separate trials and weeks after he decided the case should remain in Baltimore.
"While scheduling hearings are typically routine matters, Tuesday’s hearing in the high-profile case is significant for many reasons. There is the logistics of getting six fair and speedy trials on the calendar while giving attorneys time to slog through thousands of pieces of discovery material. The trial schedule will be important for city police, who have been preparing for the threat of more civil unrest if the officers are acquitted. And trial strategy will come into play as attorneys determine which officer should head to court first."
From The Baltimore Sun: City Plans New Youth Violence Initiative Through Hospitals
"Faced with surging violence in the city, Baltimore's health officials want more doctors, nurses and others in area hospitals to engage with victims and perpetrators of crimes and steer them out of harm's way.
"The campaign, called 'Words Not Weapons,' will remind the hospital workers who often come in contact with the same troubled youths to get their facilities' social workers in involved.
"Those professionals can connect with existing resources in the community that can help the youths get back into school, or to work or just somewhere safe and learn about non-violent conflict resolution, said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's health commissioner, and a former emergency room physician.
"'In the ER you often see victims of violence; maybe they came in with a superficial stab wound, or they punched a wall or someone else and broke their hand,' she said. 'So often providers don't feel like they have a way to help break the cycle of violence.'
"Wen said the health department will hand out cards that with reminders of what to ask those who repeatedly come in with wounds. On the other side will be some existing city resources, including a crisis hot line, which can point them and their patients to aid.
"The campaign will be run out of the city health department's Office of Youth Violence Prevention, which operates such programs as the recently expanded Safe Streets, which taps outreach workers to combat violence in their own neighborhoods.
"The commissioner plans an official announcement Tuesday afternoon at the John Eager Howard Recreation Center with youth leaders from across the city."