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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.

A Pepco electrical engineer attempts to repair and replace downed power lines. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

D.C. takes revised look at underground power lines

Members of a newly formed task force looking at ways to reduce power outages in the District said it might be wiser to bury power lines only in high-risk areas than shell out billions for a citywide project. Published August 23, 2012

The Culex pipiens (left) is the primary mosquito that can transmit West Nile virus to humans, birds and other animals. It is produced in stagnant water. At right is an Aedes vexans, primarily a nuisance mosquito produced from freshwater that it is not a key transmitter of disease. (Associated Press)

D.C. resident contracts West Nile virus

D.C. officials are asking city residents to do what they can to prevent mosquito bites after several samples of the insects tested positive for West Nile virus and one person contracted a non-fatal infection. Published August 22, 2012

‘Smart meter’ contract in court

A technology firm on the losing end of a contract to install "smart meters" in the District's taxicabs filed a complaint Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court to stop the city from installing its competitor's machines. Published August 22, 2012

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

Gray urges DNC to put D.C. statehood in its platform

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is lobbying the Democratic National Committee to put D.C. statehood in its party platform ahead of its convention next month in Charlotte, a hopeful push within his own party after Republicans slapped away any talk of D.C. voting rights and urged city lawmakers to relax gun laws in the nation's capital. Published August 22, 2012

Barry’s opposition a speed bump for taxi ‘smart meters’

Washington, D.C., is forging ahead Wednesday with plans to install "smart meters" in about 6,500 taxicabs that offer pay-by-credit-card readers and other amenities, despite a mystifying dispute initiated by D.C. Council member Marion Barry over how to pay for it all. Published August 21, 2012

Medical marijuana

D.C. medical marijuana firms moving slowly through regulatory process

Months after the D.C. government gave 10 firms the go-ahead to start growing medical marijuana and sell it to qualified patients within the city’s borders, none have acquired the regulatory documents needed to begin the program, city officials said. Published August 20, 2012

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

Gray cheers slight drop in D.C. unemployment rate

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Friday that a slight drop in the city's unemployment rate, from 9.1 percent in June to 8.9 percent in July, shows his workforce efforts "continue to pay off." Published August 17, 2012

A group of young people gather outside the John A. Wilson Building to protest for more gun rights on Friday. (Tom Howell Jr./The Washington Times)

Young people protest for gun rights in front of D.C. city hall

About 40 young people waved signs and voiced loud support for Second Amendment rights in the front of D.C. city hall on Friday, an unusual sight in a heavily Democratic city that is known for its strict gun-control laws. Published August 17, 2012

Storm result: D.C., Pepco to study underground utilities

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Thursday a newly formed task force will explore the best way to bury power lines in the District, a costly game changer intended to thwart the kind of long-term power outages that plagued the capital region after a fierce windstorm on June 29. Published August 16, 2012

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

D.C. clarifies error on after-school program

After a press release containing not-entirely-correct information went out Thursday, D.C. officials took pains to clarify that any parents who wish to enroll their children in after-school programs at city schools will not be turned away, even though the District must verify the citizenship status of students who benefit from federally subsidized programs. Published August 16, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (The Washington Times)

Gray defends District's gun laws, says he will work to preserve them

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said he will "work hard to preserve our gun control laws" in the nation's capital one day after police said a Virginia man shot a security guard who prevented him from entering a conservative research group's offices on Wednesday in a busy section of downtown. Published August 16, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times/File)

Mayor Gray vows to ‘preserve’ D.C.’s gun-control laws

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Thursday he will "work hard to preserve our gun-control laws" in the nation's capital, one day after police say a Virginia man shot a security guard who prevented him from entering a conservative research group's offices in a busy section of downtown. Published August 16, 2012

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

D.C. submits plan for health-benefits exchange to feds

The D.C. government submitted a detailed proposal to the federal government on Wednesday outlining its vision for a consumer-friendly marketplace of insurance plans as part of President Obama's health care law, a controversial package of reforms that the District embraced from the start while other states wait for its legal and political narrative to play out. Published August 15, 2012

** FILE ** Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

LaHood, local leaders demand reforms from airports authority

Elected leaders from the District, Maryland and Virginia joined the nation's top transportation official on Tuesday calling for immediate reforms at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in the wake of recent reports that raise "serious doubts" about its effectiveness. Published August 14, 2012

David Grosso (Grossatlarge.com)

D.C. Council candidates ramp up fundraising

New campaign finance reports show D.C. Council incumbents with adequate war chests or recharging their fundraising efforts with about three months to go before the Nov. 6 election. Published August 13, 2012