Local News from WAMU 88.5

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Inspection Of Metro Electrical Issues Finds Hundreds Of 'Non-Emergency' Repairs

Metro officials are offering an update on the conditions that led to a Metro fire earlier this month — with board members offering stern criticisms about the transit agency's maintenance regime.

Mayor Bowser Doubles Down On D.C. School Modernizations In New Budget

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she's setting aside $1.3 billion to speed up the modernization of aging public schools in the city, pledging that by 2022 the city will be closer to finishing a campaign that started in earnest in 2007 under her mentor, Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

D.C. Regulator Approves Exelon's Takeover Of Pepco

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission has approved Exelon's nearly $7 billion takeover of rival utility Pepco.

FTA Inspectors Found 189 'Safety Defects' On Metrorail In New Oversight Role

It remains unclear whether inspectors for the FTA ever visited portions of Metrorail where damaged jumper cables ultimately prompted a 24-hour shutdown of the system, but in a WAMU 88.5 exclusive, they did detail much of the work they have accomplished.

Extended Closure Of L Street Cycle Track Angers Cyclists, D.C. Lawmakers

While developers knock down the old Washington Post building, the popular L Street cycle track will disappear for a block along with the sidewalk, creating conditions cyclists and advocates say is dangerous.

Building Trust, Note By Note: High School Band Program Integrates Immigrants

An after-school program in Prince George's County is attempting to bridge the divide between two groups of students who share a campus but attend different high schools.

Should Student Surveys Inform Teacher Evaluations? Educators Call It 'Bad Choice'

Research has found that student surveys are one of the most effective methods of assessing teacher performance, but educators that have already implemented a plan DCPS is looking at are cautioning teachers here to think again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LISTEN: The Capital Weather Gang Explains How Weather Affects Cherry Blossoms

Jason Samenow of The Capital Weather Gang and Jonathan Wilson of WAMU 88.5 talk about "peduncle elongation" and other aspects of cherry tree blooms.

Bowser To Propose Raising D.C.'s Minimum Wage To $15

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will introduce a bill raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, joining a growing number of cities across the country that have adopted the higher wage as a means to combat income inequality.

Package Of Police Reforms Makes Progress In Maryland On 'Crossover Day'

In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, lawmakers convened a workgroup to recommend a slate of reforms to law enforcement — many of which have made it through the House of Delegates so far.

How Can Schools Identify The Most Effective Teachers? Just Ask The Students

The evaluation process for teachers in D.C.'s traditional public schools is undergoing a change to include something studies have shown is the most reliable measure — surveys of students themselves.

Friday, March 25, 2016

D.C. Now Has 'Budget Autonomy.' But What Does That Even Mean?

A judge's ruling on the 2013 D.C. budget autonomy referendum means that city officials have wrested more flexibility from Congress on spending the locally raised dollars that make up the majority of the city's budget.

Monday, March 21, 2016

During A Rare Day In D.C., Trump Demands Republicans Embrace Him

A front-runner under attack from all sides, Republican Donald Trump demanded that his party's skeptical establishment embrace the inevitability of his presidential nomination as he stormed into Washington on Monday. Democrats responded by debuting a multi-pronged assault.

Is D.C. Moving Fast Enough On Bike Lanes? Six Miles To Be Added In 2016

D.C.'s long-term goal is to reach 75 miles of protected bike lanes, but with just 1 mile of new protected lanes being added this year, advocates are questioning DDOT's commitment to making the District a top city for cycling.

From Institution To Inclusion

How did D.C. treat residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the past and what lessons have we learned moving forward? Read Martin Austermuhle's four-part series about Forest Haven.