WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Rebecca Blatt

Senior News Editor

Blatt is WAMU’s senior news editor for special projects. In this role, her work focuses on in-depth reporting, political coverage and community engagement. Blatt coordinates coverage of special events such as elections, and she edits and produces news features and series. She also oversees WAMU’s Public Insight Network, an online community of people interested in sharing experiences and perspectives for public radio news and programming.

Blatt got her start in radio at North Carolina Public Radio, where she produced interviews for The Story. She earned a master’s degree in journalism at UNC Chapel Hill before coming to WAMU as a morning producer in 2008. Her work has been recognized by the Education Writers Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Journalism Center on Children and Families, the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the New York Festivals radio programming awards. She is currently a student in the Professional MBA program at American University’s Kogod School of Business.


Articles Written by Rebecca Blatt

WAMU 88.5
A federal postal facility in Northeast Washington has been evacuated after a package ignited inside Friday afternoon. V Street is closed between Bladensburg Road and South Dakota Avenue in Northeast as police investigate.D.C. police spokesman Hugh Carew says this latest package at the facility in Northeast ignited about 2:45 p.m. He says there have not been reports of serious i...
WAMU 88.5
Click here for the latest on this story.In Maryland, the Department of Transportation is taking precautions following Thursday's mailroom incident at its headquarters in Hanover. The department is not bringing in new mail.Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Inspectors are trying to track the origin of incendiary packages s...
WAMU 88.5
Rules adopted Wednesday to govern the House of Representatives take away the limited floor voting rights of six delegates -- including that of D.C's delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton.The GOP's decision to rescind the ability of delegates to vote on amendments on the House floor was not surprising.Democrats extended those voting rights in 1993 when they controlled the House...
WAMU 88.5
Maryland's Department of the Environment is reporting an unusually large fishkill in the Chesapeake Bay.Dawn Stoltzfus, a spokesperson for the Department, says as many as 2 million fish are turning up dead in the Bay. She says they're mostly juvenile spot fish -- 4 to 6 inches long -- and right now investigators think they're dying because of cold water stress.The water ...
WAMU 88.5
Public health officials in Maryland say certain cancers appear to occur at younger ages among people living near Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., than in people statewide.Clifford Mitchell of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says investigators will probe deeper into the discrepancies involving liver, bone and endocrine cancers.The most pronounced difference inv...
WAMU 88.5
Click here for the latest on this story.D.C.'s new mayor, Vincent Gray, is expected to join D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to protest an effort by Congressional Republicans to reduce Norton's role in the House.Gray and Norton are expected to speak out about proposed House rules...
WAMU 88.5
A passenger on a D.C.-bound flight departing from Boston has been released on his own recognizance after being arrested Monday. Passengers reported that he had placed a suspicious package in the overhead bin.Police say 35-year-old Ognjen Milatovic refused the crew's request to hang up his cell phone and sit down on his U.S. Airways flight. And passengers reported hearing strang...
WAMU 88.5
About 4,500 to 5,000 people are expected to attend mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast Washington Saturday afternoon. It's a particularly special event for the local Catholic community.This is the first year Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will celebrate Christmas as a cardinal. Washington Diocese Spokeswoman Susan Gibbs...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia is adding 15 sites to its Landmarks Register, including several from Northern Virginia. Two of those sites represent dreams of former presidents.Among those in the D.C. area is the Great Falls Park Historic District in Fairfax County, including part of the Potomac Canal. That engineering project was part of George Washington's dream of making the Ohio River Valley acce...
WAMU 88.5
D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department says an assistant chief placed on administrative leave amid allegations she was involved in a test cheating scandal has been reinstated.Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes was put on leave last month. She oversees patrol services and school security, and was accused of compromising a test given to command staff members as part of an in-ser...
WAMU 88.5
One of the nurses fired from the Washington Hospital Center after failing to report for shifts during February's snowstorm is heading back to work. An arbitrator has ordered the hospital to give her job back.The arbitrator ruled that Geri Lee's conduct did not amount to the gross misconduct needed for termination, though he did consider it to be insubordination. He ordered that...
WAMU 88.5
A slave burial ground in Richmond dates back centuries and is believed to lie beneath a section of a parking lot owned by Virginia Commonwealth University. Now Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing that the state buy the 2.5-acre lot.A budget amendment would provide $3.3 million for the purchase. The property would then be transferred to the City of Richmond, which would work to pres...
WAMU 88.5
As a result of new Census data released Tuesday, eight states will pick up seats in the House of Representatives, and 10 states will lose seats. D.C. does not have a voting member in Congress, but the new Census data will influence its strategy for gaining one.The Census has been a tool used by voting rights advocates. One proposal this year called for giving Democrat-heavy D.C...
WAMU 88.5
The Preakness Stakes will stay in Maryland, after the state's racing commission approved an agreement reached by horse racing representatives earlier Wednesday.The agreement calls for a full calendar of 146 days of live racing at the state's horse racing tracks, and keeps the Preakness Statesk -- the second jewel in racing's...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. Public Schools officials say they're working on a plan to relocate students of the Takoma Education Campus after a three-alarm fire damaged the school building Wednesday.More than 150 firefighters were called to the the Takoma Education Campus in Northwest Washington Wednesday morning to find heavy fire coming from the roof. The school was closed for the holidays, so only ...
WAMU 88.5
The Office of D.C.'s Chief Medical Examiner says the death of a man outside a nightclub in October was a homicide.A statement from the medical examiner's office says Ali Mohammed's death was caused by several factors: "excited delirium Associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcohol intoxication and physical exertion with restraint."The office did not elaborate...
WAMU 88.5
New Census figures released Tuesday show growth across the mid-Atlantic region over the past decade.Virginia had the highest percentage growth in the area -- its population is up 13 percent or more than 900,000 people -- since 2000. Maryland saw a 9-percent increase in residents. Though neither state grew enough to gain representatives in Congress.The District saw its fi...
WAMU 88.5
Metro is hailing congressional passage of tax legislation signed into law by President Obama Friday. The law also includes extensions of commuter tax benefits.Of most interest to commuters is an extension of the maximum transit benefit allowed under federal law. The benefit allows Metro riders to load pre-tax dollars onto smarttrip cards.For almost two years the maximum ...
WAMU 88.5
The Washington Metro system will start randomly inspecting bags at subway entrances within the next few days.Metro says the program is based on similar policies in Boston and New York and is just another part of the system's continuous effort to improve security.Metro police and officers from the Transportation Security Administration will randomly select bags or package...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia's governor, Bob McDonnell, is proposing $191 million in new spending cuts, and the elimination of funding for public broadcasting is at the top of the governor's list.McDonnell says eliminating the funding by fiscal year 2013 would save the state $4 million."In the free market, with so many choices now, I don't think we need to be funding one type of radio stati...