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
It started unfolding in the summer of 2009, Sizemore said. The paper became aware that a senior member of the state legislature, who was also on the Old Dominion staff, had been actively helping to bring in money for the university."It just seemed like it was worthy of digging," Sizemore said.The paper published an initial story and then put in a FOIA request to the univ...
WAMU 88.5
Hamilton was accused of soliciting a job as director of a teacher training center at Old Dominion University while working to secure state funding for the project.He sponsored a $500,000 budget amendment for the center in 2007, then worked as the center's director for two years.A prosecutor argued the evidence of guilt was overwhelming, and in the end the jury apparently...
WAMU 88.5
Original post: The bribery and extortion case against a former Virginia state delegate is in the hands of a jury in Richmond -- after closing arguments concluded earlier today.Phillip Hamilton is accused of soliciting a job as director of a teacher training center at Old Dominion University while working to secure state funding for the project.He sponsor...
WAMU 88.5
McDonnell will visit Japan, China and South Korea before heading home on May 17.Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry -- among others -- are joining him on the trip, with the goal of encouraging business investments and job creation in the Commonwealth. They'll also work to boost Virginia's agricultural and forestry exports, such a...
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Williams coaching career has spanned 33 years and more than 600 wins including a national championship. He's the winningest coach in Maryland basketball history, and the fifth winningist active coach in the country.In a statement Williams says simply -- "It's the right time" to retire.He'll stay at Maryland as assistant athletic director.Williams will discuss his ...
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Authorities say the teen escaped from the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel, Md. after attacking a guard and stealing his vehicle. He was stopped by police Monday afternoon.D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is not releasing additional details about where the teen was found or where he is being held. In a statement, acting director Neil Stanley s...
WAMU 88.5
Investigators say the teen escaped from the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel, Md., on April 18 after attacking a guard and stealing his vehicle.The incident raised questions about the security of the facility. Authorities ...
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Legislators filled several lower court vacancies. But they were unable to agree on successors for two Supreme Court justices.Delegate David Albo of Fairfax County chairs the House Courts of Justice Committee. He says the House wants to promote Virginia Court of Appeals Judges Elizabeth McClanahan and Arthur Kelsey -- while Senate favors McClanahan and Appeals Court Judge Cleo P...
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A grand jury in Washington indicted Haynesworth on the charge Tuesday. Haynesworth, 29, is accused of fondling a server at the rooftop lounge of a hotel in Northwest D.C. The incident reportedly happened in February.If convicted, Haynesworth could face up to 180 days in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000....
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Metro says the "high visibility" will include security sweeps, with officers spreading out across stations and boarding trains to look for suspicious activity. More than 100 officers from multiple law enforcement agencies -- including the Metro Transit Police Department's anti-terrorism team -- will participate.Police will also hand out fliers to remind passengers how to protec...
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A police spokesperson says the suspect opened fire in a barbershop in Alexandria's Belle View Shopping Center just after 2 p.m. Officer Shelley Broderick says one person was killed and another injured.Police are currently fanning out across the area searching for the suspect.He's described as an Asian male -- 5'5" inches tall and approximately 120 pounds -- last seen we...
WAMU 88.5
The provision allowing D.C. to offer online gaming was included in the 2011 budget compromise reached by the White House and Congressional leaders. Under the measure, D.C. would be allowed to offer online poker and other games of skill and chance.The office of D.C. Council Member Michael A. Brown says conservative estimates show the city could bring in $13 million through fisca...
WAMU 88.5
Metro says it estimates that a federal government shutdown could reduce ridership by 5 to 20 percent. The transit agency says the actual reduction would depend on which government operations are put on hold.The Metro system is expected to operate on a normal schedule, but there could be fewer 8-car trains in circulation. Metro says it would make adjustments to save money....
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Former Republican Sen. George Allen and Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke have already entered the race for the Republican nomination.WAMU's Rebecca Blatt spoke with Bob Holsworth about how the race is shaping up. Holsworth is the founder and president of Virginia Tomorrow, a nonpartisan group that studies emerging trends in the Commonweal...
WAMU 88.5
The teachers were hired under a visa program for foreign workers -- and the Department of Labor said the teachers were illegally required to pay fees that should have been paid by their employer.The Department is ordering the school system to repay the teachers more than $4 million in fees and is fining the school system $1.7 million for its conduct.The school system has...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia's governor, Bob McDonnell, has placed a friendly wager on Saturday night's game with Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, which is home to Butler.If Butler wins, McDonnell will owe Daniels a Virginia hand-cured country ham. If VCU wins, Daniels will send a variety of duck products from Maple Leaf Farms in Milford, Ind.McDonnell says he is confident the Rams will ...
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She says Maryland's schools have received the top ranking by Education Week magazine three years in a row, and that it's a good time to pass the job on to someone else.Grasmick is Maryland's first female superintendent. She began her career as a teacher of deaf children in Baltimore.In 1989 she was appointed the Maryland special secretary for Children, Youth and...
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Leslie Johnson attended a County Council meeting Tuesday. It was first scheduled meeting after the court filing last week. But she didn't have much to say to reporters. She refused to answer questions from a group of journalists afterwards.Leslie Johnson is accused of destroying a $100,000 check authorities say was given to her husband, former County Executive Jack Johnson, by ...
WAMU 88.5
The magnitude 2.5 tremor was focused near Pulaski, Va. -- in the southwestern part of the state.USGS Geophysicist Don Blakeman says this type of minor quake generally only lasts about a second or two and feels like a sudden jolt."A lot of times people describe them as: 'I thought someone backed into the house'...sometimes they're heard as well, there will be a sharp nois...
WAMU 88.5
Documents obtained by USA Today show some high-scoring schools touted by former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee had extraordinarily high numbers of erasures correcting wrong answers.The newspaper singles out Noyes Elementary -- a National Blue Ribbon School -- as being flagged for a high rate of wrong-to-right erasures.On the 2009 reading test, for example, sev...