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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.

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

** 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

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

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

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

Health law readiness follows state, party lines

The District of Columbia and Maryland are moving aggressively to implement virtual markets of insurance plans, becoming national leaders in carrying out President Obama's vision for health care reform, while their Republican neighbors in Virginia remain less than eager to implement the controversial law. Published August 12, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

IG report: No widespread school-test cheating in D.C.

A long-awaited report by the D.C. office of the inspector general says investigators found no evidence of widespread cheating among city public school students from 2008 to 2010, despite alarming testimony that some teachers at Noyes Education Campus in Northeast pointed out incorrect responses on standardized tests until students filled in the right answers. Published August 8, 2012

Users of some D.C. online services get malware warning

Local residents looking to pay parking tickets or use other online services from the D.C. government in the past week were greeted with an ominous message, saying their use of the city's website could expose them to malicious software. Published August 7, 2012

** FILE ** Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (Mary F. Calvert/The Washington Times)

Tax-reform panel aims to untie D.C. code’s ‘knot’

A newly seated edition of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission began wading through layers of the city's Byzantine tax structure on Monday and brainstorming ways to keep the city's finances in step with its flourishing population. Published August 6, 2012

New D.C. health director ready for challenges

Dr. Saul Levin left his native South Africa in 1984, a time when his country was still under the grip of a racially driven apartheid system and HIV/AIDS awareness was uncertain territory. Published August 5, 2012

Vouchers available to 1,788 D.C. students

More than 1,700 students from the District will get the chance to attend a private school this year through a federal voucher program, despite an ongoing debate among leaders in the city and on Capitol Hill about whether "school choice" should stay within the bounds of the public school system. Published August 2, 2012