Local News from WAMU 88.5

Monday, May 16, 2016

LISTEN: Howard U. Graduate Cited By Obama Prepares To Be A 'Change Agent'

Ciearra Jefferson will never forget her Howard University graduation ceremony: President Barack Obama was the speaker and he singled her out for praise. She talks about her personal story and her aspirations with WAMU 88.5's Tamika Smith.

D.C. Council Proposes Big Changes To Bowser's Plan To Close D.C. General Shelter

The chairman of the D.C. Council wants to put more of the shelters that would replace D.C. General on city-owned land, which he says would help bring down the overall cost to close the troubled 270-unit homeless shelter.

Plan For Wizards And Mystics Facility Has Some In Southeast D.C. Playing Defense

The mostly vacant St. Elizabeths campus in southeast D.C. may soon be home to an arena for the Washington Mystics and practice facility for the Washington Wizards, but questions remain about whether it represents money well spent, especially for local residents.

Friday, May 13, 2016

New Round Of Raids Could Spark Terror Among Central-American Immigrants

Local immigration activists are denouncing the ICE raids and bracing for a second wave of panic, similar to one sparked by raids in January.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Changes Loom For SafeTrack Plan Amid Friction Between Metro, Federal Officials

Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld conceded he should have reached out to federal oversight officials before unveiling a tentative schedule for a massive rail reconstruction program starting next month, saying his management style is sometimes impatient.

District Heights, Maryland, Mayor James L. Walls Dies

The city's police department says the cause of death has not been determined. Prince George's County Police, who are investigating the death, said in a news release that there are no signs of foul play.

Congress Takes Aim At D.C. In Battle Over Budget Autonomy

House Republicans could move a bill as soon as next week to nullify the 2013 D.C. referendum that limits the role Congress plays in approving the city's annual budget.

With SafeTrack Repairs On The Horizon, Are Metro Fares On The Rise?

Will Metro have to raise fairs for the major track work that's coming? And would lowering fares actually be the way to boost revenue? In our latest What's With Washington story, we pose reader questions to Metro board chairman Jack Evans.

Early Literacy Crucial For Students — Especially For English Language Learners

Getting any early grasp on academic language — even in a language other than English — is crucial for the development of language skills in school, according to a new Education Week report.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Metro's Big Problems Can't Be Dodged, Board Chairman Tells Regional Leaders

At a regional Council of Governments event Wednesday, Jack Evans publicly questioned whether some officials actually understand the dire situation facing the Metro system.

Clinton Pledges To Be 'Vocal Champion For D.C. Statehood' If Elected President

Presidential contender Hillary Clinton has joined her opponent in the Democratic primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in backing statehood for Washington, D.C. She pledged her support just as city officials plan to petition Congress for admission to the union as the 51st state.

Homelessness Ticks Up In Region, Largely Because Of Affordability Crisis In D.C.

Despite decreases in the number of homeless people in seven of the nine jurisdictions that make up the Washington region, the overall homeless population ticked up five percent from 2015 to 2016, driven largely by the District and in Frederick County.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

So. Much. Rain. The Capital Weather Gang Explains A Super-Wet May

All of the precipitation in the Washington region this month is threatening to break multiple records for consecutive days of rain. Jason Samenow of The Capital Weather Gang talks about the records, what an "omega block" pattern is doing to the local weather, and what we might expect for the summer of 2016.

Six-Month Sentence Given To Gray Aide For Role In D.C. 'Shadow Campaign'

A former top adviser to Vincent Gray has been sentenced to six months in prison for his role in an illegal, off-the-books effort that supported Gray in D.C.'s 2010 mayoral election.

Transportation Secretary Says He Almost Ordered Metro Shutdown Last Week

The nation’s top transportation official says he almost ordered a shutdown of the D.C. region’s subway system after inspectors were denied access to the tracks following an explosion May 5 at Federal Center Southwest.