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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.

Gray

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

Gray

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

Leonard Johnson, building manager for the Family Research Council who was shot on Aug. 15 when a gunman entered the lobby of the FRC building, was awarded a Medal of Honor by Mayor Vincent Gray on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. The ceremony was closed to the media. Mr. Johnson was the first recipient of the Mayor's Medal of Honor and is credited with saving many lives. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray awards medal to security guard shot by gunman

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Monday presented his first-ever Mayor's Medal of Honor to Leonard "Leo" Johnson, a security guard who was shot in the arm while thwarting a gunman who entered a conservative think tank near Gallery Place in August. Published October 22, 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

Correction of King quote under way with talks

The National Park Service is actively engaged in discussions with the Chinese sculptor who crafted the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in its effort to amend a controversial quote at the monument by mid-January, officials said. Published October 21, 2012

Thompson

D.C. takes over embattled political donor's company

The District has taken over a managed-care company owned by the man at the center of a federal probe into an alleged "shadow campaign" in 2010 that worked on behalf of now-mayor Vincent C. Gray, officials said Friday. Published October 20, 2012

D.C. sees modest drop in unemployment

Workforce data released Friday shows the District of Columbia continues to see a slow, but promising, decline in unemployment. Published October 19, 2012

A marijuana leaf neon sign advertises a medical-pot provider in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Feds put D.C. medical pot in a legal haze

While D.C. officials wait for six firms to grow medical marijuana in warehouses less than five miles from the White House, the role of cannabis in American life is taking center stage in political and legal bouts across the country. Published October 18, 2012

Prosecutor alleges plan to avoid tuition at McKinley Tech

The District is suing a Maryland woman and a city resident who works at a D.C. public charter school for $31,294 on claims they conspired to let an out-of-District student attend McKinley Technology High School in the city without paying tuition, the D.C. Office of the Attorney General said Thursday. Published October 18, 2012

Legal opinion on D.C. budget referendum under wraps

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has made it clear he has misgivings over a D.C. Council-driven referendum to fast-track the city's effort to spend local funds as it pleases. But for now, a legal opinion that outlines those concerns is for official eyes only. Published October 17, 2012

Gray targets preference program for D.C. firms

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray vowed to hit the reset button on a long-standing program that was designed to provide advantages to companies based in the District but has been vulnerable to fraud. Published October 17, 2012