Local News from WAMU 88.5

Monday, December 14, 2015

Why Did 70,000 Washingtonians Ignore Their Jury Summons Last Year?

Last year in D.C., less than a quarter of jury summonses worked as they should. The national average is double that. A few reasons why so many D.C. residents don't make it to jury duty.

Uber Launches Wheelchair-Accessible Service In D.C. After Years Of Criticism

Wheelchair-accessible van service is coming to Uber in D.C. just weeks before the deadline — but the plan is not without critics.

Environment Back In Spotlight For Hearings On Pepco-Exelon Merger Monday

Much of the debate on a proposed merger between power companies Pepco and Exelon has focused on what a deal might mean for the bottom line, but on Monday the agenda will be the potential impact on the environment.

Urban Coalition Presses Virginia Lawmakers to 'Meaningfully Increase' Education Funding

The commonwealth of Virginia has reduced state funding for education by $1 billion since 2009, leaving local districts to hold the bag. A coalition of largely urban local governments is launching a coordinated plan to change that.

Changing Alexandria Political Landscape May Influence West End Redevelopment

The willingness of Alexandria's Mayor-elect Allison Silberberg to stand up to developers has raised hopes that more affordable units might be squeezed out of redevelopment in the West End neighborhood.

Friday, December 11, 2015

University Of Maryland Renames Stadium After Protests Over Racial History

When the University of Maryland football team takes the field next fall, it won't just be the head coach that is new. The name of team's home stadium will be, too, following controversy over its namesake.

LISTEN: Sen. Tim Kaine On Authorizing Use Of Military Force Against ISIS

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) has several military bases in his state and his constituents include many servicemembers — and he's been a leading advocate for putting Congress on the record on American use of force. He spoke with WAMU 88.5's Matt McCleskey about it.

Metro Won't Accept New Railcars Until Production Problems Resolved, Says GM

Metro's order of over 700 new railcars is on hold as production problems in a Nebraska plant are resolved, says the transit agency's new general manager.

D.C. Eyes Major Hikes In Fines For Traffic Violations; AAA Vows To Fight Them

A proposal that would raise the fines for traffic violations hundreds of dollars has prompted a strong response from organizations like AAA Mid-Atlantic, which say they would be both unfair and ineffective.

Homeless Camps Being Shut Down In D.C. Over Objections From Residents, Advocates

Homeless encampments by the Watergate complex and near the World Bank were shut down in just the last week. But do the displaced have a legal claim?

Can States Use Special Needs, ELL Students To Manipulate Test Scores?

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has attributed a decline in test scores this year to the inclusion of more students with special needs, but the group that runs the numbers tell a different story.

Divided On Arrival: Even In Diverse Schools, New Immigrants Face Bullying

Immigrant students face a number of hardships in reaching the U.S., but some Montgomery County schools are finding that tough challenges are awaiting these youths, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lawyer Says Witness Account Exonerated Gray In 'Shadow Campaign' Probe

The attorney for former D.C. mayor Vincent Gray says he provided federal prosecutors with testimony that he says proved Gray knew nothing of a scheme to illegally funnel money to his 2010 campaign.

Virginia Wants To Talk To Maryland About A New Potomac River Bridge — Again

Virginia's influential Commonwealth Transportation Board wants to open discussions with officials in D.C. and Maryland about improving congested Potomac River crossings. A new bridge west of I-495 would be part of the conversation.

For Maryland's Purple Line, The Bids Are In — But There Might Not Be A Winner

Maryland transportation officials are closer to making decisions that ultimately will determine whether the suburban light-rail line is built. Four teams have submitted their final financial bids, and the state's review is expected to last five to six weeks.