December 29, 2016 at 8:00 am EDT | by Steve Charing
Top 10 Baltimore news stories of 2016
Baltimore Pride was deemed a success, despite scorching heat. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Pride was deemed a success, despite scorching heat. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Here’s a look back at the top 10 Baltimore news stories of 2016 as ranked by the Blade’s editorial staff.

#10: Life terms for killer of 2 gay men

Quinton Decarlo Bass, who was convicted in the 2012 killings of two Mount Vernon gay men, Alex Ulrich and Larry Peterson, was sentenced to two life terms plus 45 years. Police determined the murders to be the result of a botched robbery and not a hate crime.

Alex Ulrich, gay news, Washington Blade, Gay Baltimore

Alex Ulrich and Larry Peterson were shot to death in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of Baltimore Police Department)

#9: Hopkins resumes gender-affirming surgeries

The decision was reached following a petition by students and faculty criticizing the institution for not disavowing a controversial anti-LGBT report by two faculty members.

#8: Baltimore shows its Pride despite heat

With thousands attending the parade and block party in Mount Vernon as well as the festival in Druid Hill Park the next day, Baltimore Pride was deemed a success as it netted over $80,000 for the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore.

#7 Drinkery re-opens after liquor board reversal

A petition drive to close the 44-year-old gay bar in Mount Vernon because of alleged rowdiness was thwarted by a technicality as the liquor board reversed its initial decision. Many community members were angered by the efforts by the petitioners to close the bar.

The Drinkery, gay news, Washington Blade

Baltimore’s Drinkery has re-opened. (Photo by Steve Charing)

#6 Baltimore grieves with Orlando

Several vigils from Baltimore to Frederick —some drawing more than 1,000 participants—took place to grieve the loss of life from the massacre at the Pulse nightclub.

Baltimore vigil, gay news, Washington Blade

Vigils were held in Baltimore for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. (Washington Blade photo by Bob Ford)

#5 Community Center leaves Mount Vernon

The GLCCB announced a shift to larger, more functional quarters on the third floor of 2530 North Charles St. following two and a half years at the Waxter Center.

#4 FreeState Legal, Equality Maryland merge

In an effort “to form a comprehensive, statewide direct legal services and policy advocacy organization” for LGBTQ individuals, the two organizations merged into one entity and was renamed FreeState Justice.

#3 Baltimore Eagle eyes New Year’s Eve opening

Four years after the bar was closed, a new Baltimore Eagle is about ready to fly.  Construction delays and an initial liquor board decision slowed the re-emergence of the iconic leather bar.

Baltimore Eagle, gay news, Washington Blade

The exterior of the new Baltimore Eagle, which could open as soon as New Year’s Eve. (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

#2 Trans woman shot, killed in Baltimore

The still unsolved murder of transgender woman Crystal Edmonds, 32, in Northwest Baltimore prompted a community vigil and outcry against violence targeting transgender women of color.

#1 Unionizing effort roils Chase Brexton 

The firing of five professionals for alleged efforts in support of employees who desired to unionize triggered community backlash and a rally as well as the announced departure of the health provider’s CEO in 2017.

Richard Larison, gay news, Washington Blade

Chase Brexton CEO Richard Larison announced he would step down after a controversy erupted over a unionizing effort.

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