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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

Santa-skeleton-on-a-cross figure sparks jeers

A Santa Claus skeleton draped across a crucifix on Loudoun County property sparked outcry Tuesday from as far away as California and prompted local leaders to demand a change in First Amendment interpretation. Published December 6, 2011

Occupy D.C. camp peaceful after daylong standoff

Images of stoic police officers hauling away Occupy D.C. protesters were largely a memory Monday, as both sides tried to rebuild a cooperative — if cautious — co-existence following their 10-hour standoff Sunday. Published December 5, 2011

Park Police attempt to arrest protestors on the roof of a new structure the was erected in McPherson Square, in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 4, 2011.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

Police dismantle Occupy D.C. shelter, arrest 31

U.S. Park Police and a D.C. police SWAT team clashed Sunday with Occupy D.C. protesters and took down a wooden-frame shelter the Occupiers had brought into McPherson Square and then refused to dismantle. Published December 4, 2011

**FILE** The National Christmas Tree is pictured after it was lit by President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha Obama and and mother-in-law Marian Robinson, at the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec., 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Tree lighting kicks off D.C.-area holiday season

Washington's holiday season officially began Thursday night when thousands gathered behind the White House in President's Park to watch the first family light the National Christmas Tree. Published December 1, 2011

Mark Grapin, an Army National Guard chief warrant officer (top), makes a personal appeal before the board of zoning appeals to be allowed to keep the treehouse he built for his sons. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Hard regulatory climb over, family can enjoy treehouse

Seven months after Mark Grapin dialed the Fairfax County permit office before building his sons a treehouse, the U.S. Army National Guardsman and his family walked out of a government building Wednesday with the county's blessing on the unique structure - after a process that involved appeals, thousands of dollars and international attention. Published November 30, 2011

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez

Accused White House shooter deemed competent to stand trial

The Idaho man charged with the attempted assassination of President Obama after shooting at the White House is competent enough to stand trial, according to a preliminary mental evaluation submitted Monday in federal court in the District. Published November 28, 2011

The "Pride of Petworth" started out 100 years ago with a motorized pump-and-hose wagon, the first of its kind in the D.C. fire department. The equipment has changed since then but Engine Co. 24's service to the community has not. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

D.C. Engine Co. 24 marks 100 years serving Petworth neighborhood

The D.C. engine company that saw firsthand the advent of the motorized fire truck, civil rights riots of the 1960s and the deadliest crash in Metro history celebrated on Sunday its 100 years of serving the Petworth community. Published November 27, 2011

Allison Marman of Silver Spring visits her boyfriend, who has been living in McPherson Square, on Nov. 22, the day after U.S. Park Police arrested a person on charges of sexual assault and theft. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Sexual assault, theft reported at Occupy camp

Authorities on Tuesday were investigating complaints of sexual assault and theft at the site of the 2-month-old Occupy D.C. protest, which has largely dodged crime complaints that have plagued similar Occupy camps across the country. Published November 22, 2011

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez

White House shooter held without bond

An Idaho man facing charges of attempting to assassinate President Obama was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation and held without bond at a preliminary hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in the District. Published November 21, 2011

Occupy D.C. demonstrators took to the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Thursday as encampments across the country commemorated two months passing since the movement began. The protesters hoped to encourage Congress to consider reinvesting in the country's infrastructure. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Occupy D.C. protesters take case to Key Bridge

Occupy D.C. protesters and labor advocates formed a human chain Thursday across the Francis Scott Key Bridge, slowing rush-hour traffic as drivers craned their necks to watch the demonstrators wave signs and shout. Published November 17, 2011

Ice sculptors chill out for PG holiday exhibit

Growling chain saws, rumbling forklifts and the constant scrape of chisels are not a traditional holiday soundtrack, except at National Harbor, where skilled carvers are once again turning roughly 2 million pounds of ice into a winter wonderland. Published November 14, 2011

The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde (center) walks through the Washington National Cathedral. She asked those who attended the first service at the cathedral since an August earthquake to see the ongoing recovery as a time to strengthen and rebuild. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

National Cathedral holds 1st service since earthquake

The Washington National Cathedral reopened Sunday with the first public service since an earthquake in August did millions of dollars in damage to the soaring Northwest church. Published November 13, 2011

Kevin Coffay, 20, enters Montgomery County Circuit Court with his attorney, Michael McAuliffe, before pleading guilty to three counts of manslaughter that could land him up to 40 years in prison. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Rockville man pleads guilty in fatal crash

A Rockville man pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of manslaughter and failure to remain at the scene of a fatal accident, charges that carry up to 40 years in prison and which Montgomery County prosecutors said were so serious that they would push for the 20-year-old to spend substantial time behind bars. Published November 10, 2011

Slow but steady stream turns out for Va. vote

Virginia residents went to polling stations across the commonwealth Tuesday to vote in state and local elections, creating a slow but steady turnout amid some voting-machine malfunctions and confusion about new voting districts and where to cast ballots. Published November 8, 2011

Police will get tough on Occupy D.C. protesters

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Monday that Occupy D.C. demonstrators have become "increasingly confrontational and violent" and that the police department has adjusted its tactics accordingly. Published November 7, 2011