Local News from WAMU 88.5

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It's Official: If D.C. Becomes The 51st State, It Will Be Known As... New Columbia

If D.C. ever becomes the 51st state, it will officially be known as the State of New Columbia. And what's now the 13-member D.C. Council will become a 21-person House of Delegates.

Taking The Personal Approach To Lifting People Out Of Poverty

If a nonprofit is going to end poverty, it has to take a deep personal interest in its clients. Caseworkers for the Padua Project do it by having client loads that are a fraction of similar social service agencies, but does it work?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Black D.C. Residents More Likely To Fear For Safety And Distrust Police, Says Survey

There are stark disparities in feelings of safety between the District's 8 wards, with the city's African American population also reporting greater distrust of police.

Dispute Between D.C. Council Members Could Derail Bike And Pedestrian Safety Bill

Bicyclists who are found even 1 percent at fault in an accident often cannot get compensation for injuries. That would change under proposed legislation before the D.C. Council, but two legislators are sparring over the extent of the law.

Why Fight Poverty When You Can End It? Padua Project Calls The Nonprofit Bluff

Charities and social services organizations have tried to tackle poverty for years. But what if instead of just fighting poverty a nonprofit sought to end it for good? Is that even possible?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bowser Signs Bill Raising D.C.'s Minimum Wage To $15, With Nod From Obama

"I commend the District of Columbia, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and the Council of the District of Columbia for raising the District's minimum wage," said President Barack Obama in a statement on Monday evening.

Metro's Chief Looks To Slash 500 Positions In Major Restructuring

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld is cutting 500 positions in the transit agency, a move aimed at slimming down Metro’s bureaucracy to save money ahead of a tough budget year.

Supreme Court Overturns Conviction Of Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday in favor of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who was found guilty in 2014 of accepting gifts from a wealthy businessman in exchange for political favors.

D.C. Health Department Says Pot Sales Should Be Legal, But Congress Still Says No

The D.C. Department of Health says D.C. officials should consider legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana. The only problem? Congress won't allow it.

Metro Ridership Is Down, With WMATA Pointing To External Forces For Drop

Metro ridership remains well below its 2009 peak, but officials at the transit agency are pointing to structural problems instead of service that has been widely regarded as poor.

How Traditional Nonprofits Run Into Problems Trying To Tackle Poverty

Poverty is a more complicated issue than many people realize, and organizations trying to tackle it often run into institutional roadblocks.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Got A Paper Fare Card Hiding Somewhere? Metro Says It Soon Will Be Worthless

The Metro system stopped accepting paper fare cards in March 2016. After June 30, riders will no longer be able to transfer the money from old paper cards to a SmarTrip card.

Metro Asked Rail Riders To Stay Away During SafeTrack, And They Listened

Metro is in the midst of the second of 15 maintenance "surges" schedule through next year, and the data shows many riders are turning to other modes of transportation to get around the region.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Out: The D.C. Taxicab Commission. In: The Department Of For-Hire Vehicles.

The commission that regulates some 6,500 taxis in the District is becoming a full-fledged agency with a new name — but it is not clear what effect, if any, the change will have on the riding public.

'Sad Day' Has Local Immigration Activists Looking To November And Beyond

A tie vote Thursday in the Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to an executive order by President Obama that would have allowed some 4 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, including thousands in the Washington region.