Local News from WAMU 88.5

Friday, October 9, 2015

Top Transportation Official Opposes Move To Change Metro Safety Oversight

A move to change who is watching over Metrorail is facing its first obstacle: the Department of Transportation is not endorsing an urgent safety recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board to shift oversight to the Federal Railroad Administration.

A Storm, A Friend, And Redemption: A Street Sense Vendor Is 'Still Standing'

The unlikely duo of Gerald Anderson and Susan Orlins collaborated on a book about a life on the margins, Hurricane Katrina, and redemption.

At 'Low Point,' Metro Leadership Acknowledges Self-Inflicted Wounds

The interim general manager of the second-busiest commuter rail system in America officially conceded what many riders and outside observers have been saying: Consistently poor service is pushing customers away.

Inside Virginia's Car-Title Loan Industry, And Why It Drives Watchdog Groups Crazy

WAMU 88.5's Michael Pope discusses his reporting on the commonwealth's car-title lending industry, which offers the promise of quick cash in exchange for the title of your automobile.

Council Member's Million Man March Message: Economic Power, D.C. Statehood

Council member Vincent Orange says the theme of "Justice or Else!" is about using the minority community's economic power to better effect. The march will mark the 20th anniversary of Louis Farrakhan's 1995 event.

This Week On Metro Connection: Oct. 9, 2015

We go poking around Metro stations with a botanist, and find out why the Kennedy Center is teaming up with the U.S. Botanic Garden. We also visit a D.C. neighborhood where some residents say the city isn't doing enough to get rid of vacant and blighted properties.

Art From El Salvador's Civil War Sparks Painful Memories

El Salvador's bloody civil war displaced as many as one out of every four Salvadorans. It also inspired great — if often disturbing — works of art.

Door to Door: Vienna, Va., and Greenbelt, Md.

It's our ongoing journey around the region. This time, we'll visit two towns on the ends of Metro lines: Vienna, Virginia, and Greenbelt, Maryland.

Unusual Coproduction Uses Musical Theater To Teach Kids Botany

Musical theater and botany? You may be thinking "Little Shop of Horrors," but there are no man-eating plants in two new productions at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

From Baghdad To Baltimore: Rebuilding Life As A Refugee

In response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. government recently announced it will take in 100,000 refugees a year by 2017. We meet a man who's among the 10,000 refugees who've come to Baltimore in recent years.

New Book Chronicles Women Of The Great War, 'In Their Own Words'

Of the 499 names engraved on the D.C. War Memorial off the National Mall, just six belong to women. But many more female Washingtonians contributed during the Great War, and a new book chronicles their forgotten work.

Local 'Genius' Changed How We Think About Health Care And The Environment

Doctors aim to make humans healthy, but the health care industry can make the planet less healthy, thanks to toxic waste and dangerous chemicals. One of the winners of this year's MacArthur "Genius" Grants founded a nonprofit working to change that.

Why Does D.C. Have So Many Vacant Houses, When Real Estate Is So Pricey?

D.C. has more than 1,100 vacant buildings, many in some of the city's trendiest neighborhoods. Why don't property owners do something with the houses, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and why doesn't the city crack down?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

White House Nominates Channing Phillips For D.C. U.S. Attorney

Phillips, a former prosecutor and spokesman for the office, is being picked over acting U.S. Attorney Vinnie Cohen.

Metro Delays Caused By Fire May Be Resolved Sooner Than Expected

After a short circuit sparked a fire at a power substation near RFK Stadium, Metro warned riders that speed restrictions and delays would last into next spring. But now, the transit authority's infrastructure chief, Andy Off, says normal service could be back by the end of the year.