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Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers

Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at msomers@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Meredith Somers

A 70-degree afternoon Wednesday gets people shedding jackets and enjoying the outdoors. As girls run past the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the District's Lincoln Park, 6-year-olds Amelia Huxley and Owen Stamper play underneath it. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Warm January good omen for February

The shortest month of the year began nearly 30 degrees warmer than usual in the District, continuing a spell of balmy weather that kept temperatures well above - and snowfall well below - averages for January. Published February 1, 2012

James McPherson of Norfolk, Va., holds an upside-down American flag on Jan. 30, 2012, at the Occupy D.C. encampment at Freedom Plaza in D.C. Park Police said they would begin to enforce the no-camping laws at noon that day. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Occupy D.C. deadline passes with rancor, no arrests

The noon deadline Monday for Occupy D.C. protesters to stop camping in McPherson Square and another federal park passed without confrontation, but the rancorous group danced, played music and draped a gigantic blue tarp over a statue of Civil War Gen. James McPherson amid a strong police presence. Published January 30, 2012

Occupy DC demonstrators protest against the Alfalfa Dinner at the Capitol Hilton in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Occupiers prep for breakup of two D.C. camps

Occupy D.C. protesters gave a mix of responses Sunday when asked what they will do when the National Park Service begins its crackdown on their camps in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza. Published January 29, 2012

Metro rail cracks again, snarling morning commute

Metro officials are trying to determine what caused a Red Line rail to crack and cause significant delays during the Thursday morning commute, the second such incident in recent weeks. Published January 26, 2012

Occupy D.C. protesters Drew Veysey and Sam Jewler (from left) hold a D.C.  flag behind Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton as she speaks to reporters following a hearing Tuesday about the occupation of McPherson Square.

Park Service to move against McPherson Square Occupiers

Occupy D.C. protesters are one warning away from a National Park Service crackdown, officials said during Tuesday's House oversight committee meeting on the decision-making process behind the handling of the protesters. Published January 24, 2012

Priests, bishops and cardinals process up the aisle at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. for the Catholic mass that was part of the Youth Rally and Mass for Life Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Pro-life activists take to National Mall for annual march

Some arrived with fellow parishioners, others with classmates or alongside family members, but the thousands of pro-life activists who rallied Monday on the National Mall to mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade all came to support the same goal: life. Published January 23, 2012

Tracy Keith of Chapel Hill, N.C., works the information booth at the Occupy D.C. encampment at McPherson Square. Suggestions that the campers there move to join fellow protesters over at Freedom Plaza have not gone over all that well. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Occupy D.C. camps divided, don't want to be united

With their patchwork of colorful tents and tarps, neo-hippie residents and rallying cries about corporate and government greed, the two Occupy D.C. camps look and sound almost identical to outsiders. Published January 19, 2012

With the Washington Monument as his backdrop, Philanthropist David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group, speaks to reporters on The National Mall, to announce his donation of $7.5 million dollars to help with the repair of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., Thursday, January 19, 2012. The gift matches federal funds approved by Congress in December and completes the funding necessary for the overall repair. Rubenstein's donation will be made through the Trust for the National Mall, the National Park Service's philanthropic partner whose Campaign for The National Mall will raise $350 million over five to seven years towards the $650 million needed to restore The National Mall. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

Donation helps quake-damaged Washington Monument

Well-known philanthropist David Rubenstein has donated $7.5 million to help repair the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument, a gift that will jump-start efforts to reopened the national landmark to visitors. Published January 19, 2012

John Amick of the District with his Occupy flag gathers with Occupiers from McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza on the West Lawn. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Occupiers converge on Capitol's lawn

The Occupy Congress rally that organizers guaranteed would unite thousands of supporters under a banner of anti-government greed in fact spurred only one collective opinion: underwhelming numbers. Published January 17, 2012

**FILE** Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican (Associated Press)

Issa schedules hearing on Occupy D.C.

The chairman of a powerful House oversight committee has asked the director of the National Park Service to testify next Tuesday on the decision-making process behind Occupy D.C.'s camp at McPherson Square. Published January 17, 2012

An Occupy DC protestor's sign and tents sit in McPherson Square Park in Washington, Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Occupy D.C. seeks jump-start at Capitol rally

Occupy D.C. on Tuesday will spend its first day of action in more than a month with a scheduled rally on Capitol Hill, an event organizers have promised will draw thousands of supporters and could determine the movement's ongoing viability. Published January 16, 2012

From left, Hunter Old Elk, 17, Calista Monroy, 13, Brooke Stevenson and Devin Kills Back, 15, get into Native American dress of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribes before performing at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 as part of the Winter Storytelling Festival. The young women are part of the St. Labre Indian School Dance Troupe from Ashland, Mont. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Indian rhythms keep cultures alive

A rhythmic beat, chanting and jingling bells greeted visitors Sunday to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, where students from the drum-and-dance group from Montana's St. Labre Indian School performed as part of the museum's Winter Storytelling Festival. Published January 15, 2012

**FILE** Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican (Associated Press)

Issa presses for answers on Occupy D.C. protesters

The Republican chairman of a powerful House oversight committee on Tuesday told the Department of the Interior secretary that the National Park Service has been "unresponsive" to his questions regarding Occupy D.C.'s extended stay in McPherson Square despite getting a deadline extension and that he might consider "compulsory processes" to get answers. Published January 10, 2012

Snow creates slick roads for commuters

Weather officials said the low temperatures that produced some snow across the region Monday set up a threat to roadways Tuesday morning in the form of black ice. Published January 9, 2012

Manuel Sanchez and Rosmery Solorzano, playing Joseph and Mary, lead a Three Kings Day procession Sunday around the GALA Hispanic Theatre in Northwest. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Hispanics mark Three Kings Day

It's not every day a donkey can be seen walking through the heart of Columbia Heights, but on Sunday the four-legged creature was just a small part of the GALA Hispanic Theatre's Three Kings Day Celebration. And for Cesarina Pierre, it was a welcome sight. Published January 8, 2012

John Hoover, 20, was one of three young people who died in a May 15 car crash near Olney in which the driver, Kevin Coffay, was impaired.

Rockville man gets 20 years in fatal crash

A Rockville man who crashed his car, then fled as three friends clung to life, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years behind bars and five years of probation with alcohol treatment. Published January 5, 2012

Cracked Metro rail fixed for evening commute

The broken Metro rail that caused delays Wednesday morning was caused by the sudden drop in temperatures but has been repaired in time for the evening rush hour, transit agency officials said. Published January 4, 2012

Occupy D.C. plans challenge to police action

An attorney representing a member of Occupy D.C. had until midnight Tuesday to file papers in U.S. District Court challenging the procedures by which police can seize property in an attempt to dislodge his clients and other protesters living in McPherson Square. Published January 3, 2012

A protester who calls himself "Harmony" helps Lexi Ricciardelli, of New Jersey, add a folding table that will serve as an entranceway to her tent. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Occupy D.C. ranks thin as winter settles in

The Occupy D.C. movement, which for three months has been encamped in a downtown park, is facing a crossroads, with its numbers dwindling, federal officials questioning why its members have not been removed and its organizers attempting to recapture the momentum of its earlier days. Published January 2, 2012