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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.

Washington residents take advantage of early voting at Judiciary Square in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. According to voter site officials, some 2,400 voters had voted here since Monday, when the voting opened. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Long lines expected at local polls despite early voting

Officials in the D.C. region predict heavy turnout at the polls despite the long lines that marked pre-Election Day voting, as campaigns urge citizens to flock to the ballot box on Tuesday to decide a deadlocked presidential race, heated local contests and controversial ballot questions. Published November 5, 2012

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)

Ethics issue looms over D.C. campaigns

Voters in the District will decide Tuesday whether to reshape the D.C. Council in election contests that serve as a referendum on the makeup of a body that has faced a steady trickle of ethical problems in the past two years. Published November 4, 2012

Mayor Vincent Gray was joined by Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier and other public safety officials on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at the Wilson Building in Washington, D.C. to announce changes to improve both safety and fairness in the photo enforcement violations for traffic cameras in the city. The new program, which goes into effect on Monday, will include the following changes: Violators caught speeding up to 10 mph over the limit will be fined $50 instead of $75; violations from 11 to 15 mph over the limit will be fined at $100 instead of $125; and violations of more than 25 mph over the limit will increase from $250 to $300. The mayor said that the revenue raised from these fines will go towards hiring 100 new police officers in 2013. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray lowers some D.C. speed camera fines

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday lowered the fines for all but the most egregious speeders who are nabbed by traffic cameras in the District, pledging to use higher-than-anticipated revenues from the automated enforcement program to hire 100 new police officers. Published November 2, 2012

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (left) enters the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse for his plea hearing in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 8, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Prosecutors want six days in jail for Kwame Brown

Federal prosecutors think former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown should serve six days in jail and spend three years on probation for submitting false information on loan applications while he served as a city lawmaker, according to papers filed Thursday in federal court. Published November 1, 2012


Gray begins assessing storm damages

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray set off on a tour of shelters and sites along the Potomac River Tuesday morning to examine the damage and debris left by a one-two punch of harsh weather in the capital region. Published October 30, 2012

A woman leaves a house on Arlington Terrace in the Huntington neighborhood of Alexandria, Va., on Oct. 29, 2012, during a mandatory evacuation order as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy pound the Atlantic coast. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Sandy socks East Coast

Swirling from the nation's capital to New England, a hurricane-fueled superstorm struck the most populous region of the United States on Monday with the type of brute force that had been predicted for days. Published October 29, 2012

This NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Sandy off the Mid Atlantic coastline moving toward the north with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Heavy rain spreads across North Carolina and Virginia coastlines into the Delmarva Peninsula. Farther east, rain showers are along a stationary front over the eastern Ohio Valley (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

Sandy brings wet weather to D.C. area

Commuters who would normally flow through the turnstiles of the busy Silver Spring Metro station to start the workweek heeded alerts to stay away from the dormant transit system as Hurricane Sandy and its unprecedented date with wintry weather set in on the area Monday morning. Published October 29, 2012


Sandy a ‘unique, large, dangerous’ storm

Officials on Sunday implored residents of the Washington area to use common sense and respect nature's will as Hurricane Sandy steered toward its clash with wintry weather from the north. Published October 28, 2012

D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. begins storm prep for Sandy

D.C. residents in flood-prone areas such as Bloomingdale are on "pins and needles" as city agencies put the final stamp on plans to deal with heavy rains and potentially dangerous winds on Sunday into next week from Hurricane Sandy's creep up the eastern seaboard, officials said Friday. Published October 26, 2012

** FILE ** In this Oct. 25, 2012, file photo, William P. White, D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking chief, testifies at an oversight hearing on Chartered Health Plan. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Chartered Health Plan’s finances draw scrutiny

The embattled managed-care company owned by the man at the center of a federal probe into D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign was carrying $3 million in unexplained revenue on its books and had transferred $1 million to an unknown recipient, city agency directors said Thursday. Published October 25, 2012

D.C. residents Kerry Knight, left, and Pinar Arcan take advantage of early voting at Judiciary Square on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. Mr. Knight said he just finds it easier to vote early, while Ms. Arcan originally thought she would be out of town on Election Day but since she has already decided who she is voting for she thought this would be more relaxing. According to voter site officials, some 2,400 voters have voted here since Monday, when the voting opened. The District will open seven more early voting sites on Saturday (one in each ward), which will be open every day except Sundays until Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Getting an early jump on voting

Alejandra Baez will be visiting Spain for three weeks, Chadon Smith gets anxious in big crowds and Michael Hardiman doesn't know what his busy schedule will bring Nov. 6. Published October 24, 2012

SEC joins scrutiny of D.C. CFO's office

Troubles mounted on disparate fronts for D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi on Tuesday with fresh accusations of employee-driven fraud in his office's tax division and an "informal inquiry" from the Securities and Exchange Commission compounding the scrutiny the city's purse-minder has endured for weeks. Published October 23, 2012

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. tax employee charged with stealing $300,000 from city

A city lawmaker and frequent critic of D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi is calling for a closer look at how the District evaluates people who are hired to work at the Office of Tax and Revenue amid allegations an employee bilked the city for $300,000 in fraudulent tax returns. Published October 23, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times/File)

Enrollment fails to keep pace with D.C. voucher funds

A decision this year to add nearly $5 million in funding for federal vouchers that help low-income families in the District send their children to private schools is not guaranteed to result in higher enrollment under the program than last school year, according to preliminary data. Published October 22, 2012