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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.

Marion Barry

Barry: ‘It is wrong’ to deny ex-cons jobs

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has joined a chorus of lawmakers across the country pushing legislation that prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants with a criminal record unless there is a significant nexus between the crime and the job. Published December 2, 2012

D.C. joins states on synthetic drug ban

The nation's capital has joined more than 40 states in calling for a ban on synthetic marijuana and bath salts, a pair of drug genres that have raised eyebrows among law enforcement, parents and antidrug advocates alike because of their off-the-shelf accessibility and frightening effects. Published November 29, 2012

During his biweekly press briefing Wednesday, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and state schools superintendent Hosanna Mahaley talk about how a 4-year-old special-needs student was left alone on a school bus for several hours Tuesday. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Driver, aide fired after 4-year-old is left on school bus

A D.C. school bus driver and attendant who left a student with special needs alone on their vehicle for hours on Tuesday ignored set protocols — including disengaging a safety buzzer with an off switch at the back of the bus — and overlooked the 4-year-old boy, who stayed on the bus between the morning and afternoon runs, city officials said. Published November 28, 2012

The Metropolitan Police Department's Asian Liaison Unit is scheduled to be relocated from it's current office on H Street NW, in the heart of Chinatown, in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Police take liaison unit away from Chinatown

The Metropolitan Police Department is moving a liaison unit that works with the city's Asian community from its longtime home in Chinatown, a quiet change that ignited fears the police chief plans to tinker with another specialized crew despite vows that little will change except where the officers store their gear. Published November 28, 2012

THE WASHINGTON TIMES FILE
School buses.

Driver, attendant fired after leaving special needs student on bus

A D.C. school bus driver and attendant who left a student with special needs alone on their vehicle for hours on Tuesday ignored set protocols — including disengaging a safety buzzer with an off switch at the back of the bus — and overlooked the 4-year-old boy who stayed on the bus between the morning and afternoon runs, city officials said. Published November 28, 2012

Bill Bregenzer of Flemington, N.J., shows off his winnings while standing in line for a cashier near the gambling floor last week in Parx Casino, near Philadelphia. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Inaction on Hill seen as jackpot for states with online gambling

Months after D.C. lawmakers repealed a measure that would have allowed first-in-the-nation online gambling on home computers and at select sites in the shadow of Capitol Hill, several states are forging ahead with online games of chance while a harried Congress remains unlikely to pass a federal bill that would regulate the practice. Published November 27, 2012

Missing out on ‘Lincoln’ film costly to D.C.

Abraham Lincoln took on bloodshed among the states and the shame of slavery during his four years in the White House, thwarting plans of the Confederacy headquartered 90 miles to the south in Richmond. Published November 26, 2012

Michael A. Brown

D.C. statehood project put on hold

An uphill initiative to promote D.C. statehood in handpicked pockets of the country is in limbo as state lawmakers gear up for sessions in their respective capitals. Published November 22, 2012

Charles J. Willoughby

Audit cites ex-D.C. Council member in ticket-fixing scheme

The D.C. office of the inspector general says a former council member tried to get 10 traffic tickets voided last year by leveraging a law that exempts legislators from parking rules while on official business -- a common political perk that has led to confusion and abuse across the country. Published November 21, 2012

Decision upheld keeping Wilson out of Turkey Bowl

The D.C. State Athletic Association on Tuesday upheld a decision to bar Woodrow Wilson High School's football team from the Turkey Bowl on Thursday for using an ineligible player in the run-up to the public school system's championship game, citing evidence the student used Metro to commute to school from Maryland and held a driver's license from the Old Line State. Published November 20, 2012

Committee on Government Operations Chairman Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, asks a question of D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan on ways to improve campaign finance rules during a meeting Tuesday with other D.C. Council members. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Crafting D.C. ethics bill proving difficult

When D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson got up Tuesday to leave a meeting on campaign finance reform with city Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan, colleagues at the conference table joked he was running out to raise money before the proposed legislation kicks in. Published November 20, 2012

Residency fraud still plagues D.C. schools

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson stood before a room of high school athletes in a swanky Verizon Center dining room Monday and reminded them of their hard work, good grades and effort to "do what was good and right" in the run-up to their showdown in the annual Turkey Bowl. Published November 19, 2012

D.C. Council test drives sedan service rules

D.C. lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a billthat limits taxi regulators' authority over sedan-on-demand companies as long as drivers are transparent about their fares and follow some consumer-protection rules, making the nation's capital the latest American city to tackle 21st-century services that allow passengers to order up a ride with a few keystrokes on their smartphone. Published November 15, 2012

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

D.C. mandate to report child sex abuse moves ahead

The D.C. Council gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill that mandates "universal reporting" of sex abuse against children, making the District the latest jurisdiction to re-examine its laws in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University. Published November 15, 2012

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown leaves federal court in Washington on Tuesday after being sentenced to one day in custody and six months of home detention for lying on loan applications. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

D.C. Mayor Gray seeks to move on after probes

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. followed a public shaming of the former D.C. Council chairman this week with a vow to "ensure public trust" — a pledge sure to be tested as he resolves his probe into Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign, the last in a trio of investigations that blazed a path this year from city hall to the federal courthouse. Published November 14, 2012

Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown is released from federal court after being sentenced to one day in custody and six months of home detention for lying on loan applications, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Brown was also found guilty on a misdemeanor campaign finance violation in Superior Court Judge earlier in the day but will not face jail time on that charge as long as he stays out of trouble. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Brown sentenced to a day of custody, 6 months home detention

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown to an afternoon in custody for lying on loan documents, making him the second city lawmaker to lose his liberty in front of the public he was elected to serve. Published November 13, 2012

D.C. flag AWOL at military ceremony

D.C. residents Tomi Rucker and Michael Boyd beamed with pride as their son walked out for his basic-training commencement from the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. Published November 12, 2012

Former Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican

Referendum approach to D.C. budget autonomy hailed

The District's plan to pursue financial freedom from Congress through an amendment to the D.C. charter is being hailed after the prospect of budget autonomy has seemingly gone nowhere in the 18 months since it was proposed by a prominent congressional Republican. Published November 11, 2012