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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Utility workers secure power lines on a pole as their team repairs lines downed by fallen trees in Springfield. (Associated Press)

Power finally back on for 90% of Pepco's customers

Pepco boasted on Wednesday it had "beat by two days" its estimate for restoring power to 90 percent of its customers in the wake of a fierce storm that devastated the region on Friday night. Published July 4, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (right), at-large independent, and D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (far right), a Democrat, take part in the nonpartisan parade, in the Northwest neighborhood of Palisades.

D.C.'s Palisades Parade is canon on Fourth of July

"It's got a patriotic quality about it," Even if they don't know how or why it became a tradition, politicians in the District know they'd better head to the Palisades for its annual Fourth of July parade. Published July 4, 2012

Hugo Rodriguez, courtesy Montgomery County Police

Silver Spring man charged in stabbing death

A 38-year-old Silver Spring man was charged with first-degree murder after police say he stabbed a man multiple times on Tuesday during a dispute that escalated into a knife fight. Published July 4, 2012

Woman sexually assaulted on Arlington trail

A man sexually assaulted a 23-year-old Arlington woman at knifepoint on Tuesday during her job along the Four Mile Run bike trail, according to police. Published July 4, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray stressed accountability as he swore in Sandra Mattavous-Frye on Tuesday to her reappointment as the D.C. People's Counsel, an advocate for ratepayers in their disputes with utilities such as Pepco. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

D.C. Council member calls for Pepco investigation

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh is calling for a formal investigation into Pepco's response to the storm that thrashed the D.C. area Friday and caused widespread power outages, a multiday trial that has city leaders talking about a piece-by-piece effort to bury power lines underground despite an astronomical price tag. Published July 3, 2012

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser

D.C. Council committee approves ethics panel nominees

A D.C. Council committee Tuesday approved a trio of nominees to serve on the city's newly created Board of Ethics, despite lingering concerns about the number of times its chairman-to-be must recuse himself from cases. Published July 3, 2012

An electrical engineer from Pepco electric company attempts to repair and replace downed power lines, in Bethesda, Md., Monday, July 2, 2012. The storm left hundreds of thousands of people without power and caused wide spread property damage. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Outages put Pepco on multiple hot seats

D.C. Council members planned to meet face-to-face with officials from Pepco as soon as Tuesday to address the "unacceptable" pace of the utility's recovery efforts after Friday night's fierce storm swept through the region and left hundreds of thousands without power in stifling heat. Published July 2, 2012

D.C. DOH director to take leave of absence

D.C. Department of Health Director Mohammad N. Akhter will request a leave of absence from his Cabinet post to serve on a board governing the city's health care exchange, a key ingredient of President Obama's reforms that were upheld last week by the U.S. Supreme Court. Published July 1, 2012

A fallen tree blocks one lane of traffic on 13th Street NW in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, Saturday, June 30, 2012. Violent evening storms following a day of triple-digit temperatures wiped out power to more than 2 million people across the eastern United States. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Storms leave 9 dead in Md., Va. and D.C.; 4 in N.J., Ohio and Ky.

Devastating thunderstorms Friday left nine people in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia dead and hundreds of thousands without power in the region as residents across the area face more extreme temperatures and the possibility of additional thunderstorms this weekend. Published June 30, 2012

D.C. DOH director to request leave of absence

D.C. Department of Health Director Mohammad N. Akhter is poised to request a leave of absence from his cabinet post to serve on a board governing the city's healthcare exchange, a key ingredient of President Obama's reforms that were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, he and city officials said Friday. Published June 29, 2012

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli waits his turn to talk  about the Supreme Court decision on the Health Care law during a press conference Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Richmond, Va. Cuccinelli said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding President Barack Obama's health care overhaul makes this "a dark day for American liberty."  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Cuccinelli finds solace in aspects of ruling; Maryland, D.C. officials cheer

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Thursday upholding health care reform was a loss on policy but a victory for the Constitution, while across the Potomac in Maryland leaders said the ruling affirmed their decision to act quickly to implement the controversial law. Published June 28, 2012

Journalists wait outside the Supreme Court for a landmark decision on health care on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Washington.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Supreme Court health care ruling draws mixed reaction locally

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision on Thursday to uphold President Obama's health care mandate as a tax prompted Democratic leaders in the District and Maryland, as early adopters of Mr. Obama's vision, to rejoice while Virginia's Republican governor denounced it as "a blow to freedom." Published June 28, 2012

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman defends D.C. on city affairs

Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday publicly defended the District's right to govern its local affairs, noting "no one in Congress would dare to impose laws on any of the states." Published June 27, 2012

Pedestrians, veterans and members of the media walk around the grounds of the newly renovated District of Columbia WWI Memorial after a rededication ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 10, 2011.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

Congressman abandons plan to 'nationalize' D.C. WWI memorial

A Texas congressman is no longer pursuing a plan to nationalize the District's World War I memorial, a contentious proposal that had prompted D.C. officials to focus on downtown's Pershing Park as a "fitting alternative" to the local monument's prized site on the National Mall. Published June 26, 2012

Councilmember Muriel Bowser, chair of the committee on government operations, listens to testimony during a public roundtable Monday, June 25, 2012 at the Wilson Building in Washington, D.C. on the nominees for the Board of Ethics and Accountability. The three nominees -- Robert Spagnoletti, Deborah Lanthen and Laura Richards -- all testified. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Conflicts will be few, says D.C. ethics panel pick

Former D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti told a D.C. Council committee on Monday he can be an effective member of the newly created ethics board - despite what his critics may say - and that his ties to city government are unlikely to force his recusal from many cases. Published June 25, 2012