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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Quake damage keeps School Without Walls closed

School Without Walls, a high school in Northwest, remained closed Friday while crews repair its chimney and bell tower damaged in Tuesday's earthquake. Published August 26, 2011

Gray says D.C. is 'as ready as we can be' for Irene

Mayor Vincent C. Gray urged city residents on Friday to stock up and form emergency plans as Hurricane Irene threatens to produce tropical storm-like rain and winds in the capital region. Published August 26, 2011

** FILE ** The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the Mall. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Hurricane delays King dedication

An impending storm threatening to be the worst to hit the region in nearly a decade has prompted evacuations and declarations of emergency and forced the postponement of the Sunday dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the Mall. Published August 25, 2011

Gray unveils 'MLK Drive' in D.C., cancels statehood march

Mayor Vincent C. Gray unveiled street signs designating "Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive" on Thursday, hours before Hurricane Irene disrupted his plans to tout D.C. statehood and voting rights in a march framed from the spirit of the late civil rights leader. Published August 25, 2011

Gray cronyism probe sparks call for reform

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh plans to introduce legislation next month that reduces the number of political appointees afforded the mayor, calls for proper screening of appointees and sheds light on their qualifications. Published August 24, 2011

D.C. 'red flags' 13 schools for quake damage

D.C. officials closed schools on Wednesday and "red-flagged" 13 educational facilities as they inspect damage from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that surprised residents up and down the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon. Published August 24, 2011

D.C. mayor's team unethical in hiring practices, probe reveals

The administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray engaged in cronyism, paid salaries above legal caps and illegally hired the children of senior officials, according to the findings of a D.C. Council investigation released Tuesday. Published August 23, 2011

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Report: 'Clear evidence' Gray administration engaged in cronyism

There is "clear evidence" that Mayor Vincent C. Gray's administration engaged in cronyism, paid excessive salaries above legal caps and illegally hired the children of senior officials, according to a council committee's draft report. Published August 23, 2011

Principal Jennifer Frentress welcomes Monica Jackson, 10, and other students on the first day of the school year at John Tyler Elementary in Southeast. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

D.C students asked to show up, step up

After millions of dollars in infrastructure investment and years of sharply scrutinized teacher performance, D.C. officials say it's time for students to step up their game this school year. Published August 22, 2011

Starr

Local schools kick off year with new chiefs

As another school year begins across the region, the District of Columbia and Montgomery County open their doors under new leadership and with widely contrasting academic and socioeconomic challenges. Published August 21, 2011

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Investigation largely clears Alexander

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander and her vocal opponent in next year's race to represent Ward 7 are breathing sighs of relief now that recent investigations have largely cleared both of mishandling government money. Published August 18, 2011

Gray wants big turnout at King events to back self-rule

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray urged residents Tuesday to attend events preceding the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial that highlight the city's efforts to achieve statehood and more autonomy from Capitol Hill. Published August 16, 2011

D.C.'s Internet gambling goal gets good odds

D.C. officials are optimistic about reaching their first-year revenue goal of roughly $2.2 million for an online gambling program, despite delays caused by concerns and opposition. Published August 16, 2011

**FILE** A marijuana plant flourishes under grow lights at a warehouse. (Associated Press)

D.C.'s medical-marijuana program accents risks

Applicants for the District of Columbia's medical-marijuana program now must state in writing that they assume the risk of federal prosecution for growing or distributing the drug and that they cannot hold the city liable for arrests, according to newly revised rules. Published August 14, 2011

Wal-Mart, D.C. announce job-training program

D.C. officials and Wal-Mart announced a three-year, $3 million pilot program Thursday to provide 2,000 city residents with skills needed to succeed in retail, as the box-store giant continues to prepare for at least four locations in the nation's capital. Published August 11, 2011

Gray announces statehood rally before King memorial dedication

D.C. officials want city residents to be among the first visitors to the long-awaited Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial and to insist that what the civil rights leader "has done for our country must also be done for the residents of our nation's capital." Published August 10, 2011

Evans

D.C. 'Jock tax' finds little support

The D.C. Council's effort to impose a "jock tax" on out-of-town professional athletes who play games in the District may have been flagged for a false start. Published August 9, 2011

DYRS official fired after questionable hire of Baynes

The District's juvenile-justice agency fired its human resources manager last week in the wake of unresolved questions around the hiring of a superintendent to oversee the city's youth-detention facility, D.C. human resources officials said. Published August 8, 2011