J.F. Meils
J.F. Meils
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J.F. Meils is a reporter in the Washington, D.C. bureau of the Capital News Service. He covers foreign policy and climate change on Capitol Hill as it relates to Maryland. He has written about everything from white nationalists to cops to marijuana.

June 2, 2017
Big Chicken is still king on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but can solar and aquaculture make economic inroads?

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland — Kevin McClarren has been growing oysters in nets on the Chesapeake Bay for 20 years. “We were told it would never work,” said McClarren, who manages four acres of floating oyster grounds for the Choptank Oyster Co. near Cambridge in Dorchester County. “Now we’re ground zero for the artisanal oyster movement in […]

November 10, 2017
Cardin, other Senate Democrats determined to keep U.S. in climate talks

WASHINGTON — Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin and a group of other Senate Democrats said Friday that they are going to continue to participate in global climate talks, even though President Donald Trump won’t back the Paris Climate Agreement. “We are here because it’s our responsibility to be part of the global community,” Cardin said in […]

October 6, 2017
Critics oppose Trump mine agency pick from industry over safety issues

David Zatezalo, President Trump’s nominee to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration, had repeated safety violations at mines he managed as CEO of Rhino Resources, a coal company.

June 2, 2017
For Maryland’s northern counties, the economic riddle is blending the old with the new

By J.F. MEILS and SEBASTIAN OBANDO FREDERICK, Maryland — Before he got involved in the beer business, Frederick County farmer Greg Clabaugh grossed about $600 an acre for growing traditional crops like corn and soybeans. Now, on the land where he grows barley and rye, he grosses $6,000 an acre. Included in that number is […]

September 27, 2017
Hogan sues EPA over neighboring power plant pollution

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the federal Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enforce limits on air-pollution control at 19 mostly coal-fired power plants in five states upwind of Maryland. “We want the EPA to step in and make sure provisions of the Clean Air Act are […]

October 19, 2016
In age of Trump, profile of Maryland-born white nationalist grows

When Hillary Clinton warned about the dangers of the “alt-right” in an August speech, she was referring to people like Poolesville, Maryland, native Matthew Heimbach.

June 1, 2017
In Maryland politics, the war on rural is dead — long live the war on rural?

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — In 2009, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley closed the visitor center at the Sideling Hill cut, the symbolic gateway to Western Maryland, as a cost-saving effort. Some saw the move as personal, or at least confirmation of how the former governor felt about the state’s rural counties. “We had only two visitor […]

June 2, 2017
In Western Maryland, ‘whales’ are out and a fight over fracking reveals divergent economic visions

CUMBERLAND, Maryland — Allegany and Garrett, the state’s two westernmost counties, tend to be lumped together as “Mountain Maryland,” their problems similar, their prospects equally muddled. But the two counties’ economic issues — and their approaches to solving them — differ starkly. In Allegany, many problems stem from the legacy of past reliance on “whales,” […]

September 8, 2017
Is Maryland ready for the next big storm?

WASHINGTON — In Maryland, which has historically ducked many of the worst storms of the last 50 years, the question is increasingly not if but when the next big one will strike. And while some believe the state has often been spared from big hits by dint of location and the buffer of the Chesapeake, […]

September 13, 2017
Maryland’s Langley Park tests yet another relationship with Prince George’s County

For decades, Prince George’s County had been criticized for neglecting Langley Park, a transient, low-income Latino neighborhood on its far northwest border. That impression began to change in 2012, when the county included Langley Park in its data-driven “Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative.” Then, in 2017, with little fanfare, the country “graduated” Langley Park from the program.

October 27, 2017
Maryland’s mysterious Russian compound gathers dust, awaits its fate

CENTREVILLE, Maryland — The soccer field is still trimmed to perfection, but no Russians will be gracing the pitch anytime soon. Nor will they be staying in either of the two Georgian-style mansions or in any of the ten bungalows clustered on the 45-acre waterfront property.

November 22, 2017
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay defenders hold breath, wait on Senate

WASHINGTON — If the Senate does not restore a deep, House-passed cut in federal funding to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, the ripple effect on Maryland conservation efforts could be far larger than what the state would lose in actual dollars, according to program supporters. For the fourth consecutive year, House appropriators in […]

June 2, 2017
Opioid abuse may be rural Maryland’s worst problem

DENTON, Maryland — If there is one hopeful thing about Maryland’s opioid crisis, it’s that no one is denying the obvious. “Very honestly nothing is working,” said Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” For rural areas where communities are small and the stigma is large, opioids can be particularly insidious. […]

February 10, 2017
Prince George’s police prepare to roll out body camera program

Advocates hope the PGPD program — smaller in scope than similar efforts by police forces across the nation — will bring more accountability to a department with a long history of wrongdoing.

June 2, 2017
Repopulating rural: Can Salisbury and other small urban enclaves make rural cool again?

SALISBURY, Maryland — Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, 34, has a floor-to-ceiling erasable board dotted with Post-it notes on the longest wall of his office. It’s a jarring display of terrestrial organization for a millennial, but Day is hardly old school. He’s got two masters degrees, one from Carnegie Mellon in urban design and the other […]

September 26, 2017
Threats mount against Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts

After years of steady progress for Chesapeake Bay clean-up efforts, the conservation outlook is increasingly bleak for the country’s largest estuary—and the state that depends on it most, Maryland—says bay advocates.