Local News from WAMU 88.5

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How A D.C. Bike Shop Is Helping Youth Find Their Way

Gearin’ Up Bicycles — a nonprofit bike shop in Northeast D.C. — serves as a refuge for young men, teaching them practical mechanical skills even as it provides alternatives to the streets.

Almost Every D.C. Cop Is Getting A Body Camera. Here's What You Need To Know.

The D.C. Council has given final approval to a bill that will greatly expand the city's body-worn camera program. Currently, only 480 officers are using them. But by mid-2016, all patrol officers will have them.

Public Hearing On Pepco-Exelon Merger Draws Tough Questions But Sparse Attendance From D.C. Council

The latest public hearings on the proposed merger between Pepco and energy giant Exelon featured tough questions by environmental organizations and good government groups, but only one D.C. Council member from the five-member environment committee was on hand for the whole thing.

Honeymoon Is Over For New Metro Boss As He Fields Complaints At Riders' Forum

Paul Wiedefeld — Metro's new general manger — listened to rider complaints Monday night at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. In his two weeks on the job, he has focused on reminding audiences that change is coming.

In Legal Fight Over Minimum Wage Vote, A Much Larger Issue Looms: D.C.'s Elections

A legal fight over a possible public vote on raising the minimum wage in D.C. to $15 has exposed what could be a much bigger issue: whether or not the city's election agency has been operating legally.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Virginia Candidates Rake In Record-Breaking Haul Of Campaign Cash

The latest round of campaign finance disclosures in Virginia shows a record year in the state's political history.

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.