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Matthew Cella

Matthew Cella

Matthew Cella is The Washington Times' Metro editor. He can be reached at

Articles by Matthew Cella

Sidebar to Part 3: DYRS chief sees self as 'part of solution'

It's a time-honored tradition of local government: a somewhat aloof director of a troubled city agency resigns, declaring success in bringing about needed reforms, and eventually a straight-talking replacement comes along and pledges transparency in completing the unfinished job. Published November 21, 2010

Razor wire wraps around a fence at Oak Hill Academy, which was closed by a D.C. Council mandate.

Part 3: 'Anti-prison' at root of DYRS problems

Across the nation, states have been experimenting with more compassionate approaches to juvenile justice, but the lack of effective options in Washington raises questions about the success of its ongoing reforms. Published November 21, 2010

Assistant Chief Diane Groomes. (Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department)

Police put senior official on leave in cheating probe

A senior Metropolitan Police Department official has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate a charge that she helped other senior officers cheat on a department exam. Published November 19, 2010

The 700 block 21st St. NE was the scene of a homicide in the Langston Terrace neighborhood of the District in February. Langston Terrace residents heard the victim's screams. Some even saw the attack that left a 47-year-old handyman dead. (Photograph by J.M. Eddins Jr./The Washington Times)

Part 2: DYRS wards increasingly violence-prone

Carlos Bernard Alexander's cry carried surprise and terror when three boys trapped him in a dark courtyard of the Langston Terrace public housing complex in Northeast Washington and demanded his money. Published November 18, 2010

Sidebar to Part 2: Wards of the D.C. DYRS

Here are some of the other wards of the District of Columbia's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services facing homicide charges: Published November 18, 2010

Shooting victim, suspect both wards of the District

A 19-year-old fatally shot over the weekend in Northwest Washington and the 19-year-old arrested for his killing were both wards of the city's troubled Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), The Washington Times has learned. Published November 17, 2010

NOT FORGOTTEN: LaVonne Abney (left), with her mother, Ruth Wheeler (right), and LaVonne's niece, Leshawn Wheeler, 15, visit the Landover, Md., grave of Chicquelo Abney on the first anniversary of his death.

Part 1: Youths lost to violence often in city's supervision

Five teenagers loiter behind a scarred steel door that opens on the cramped foyer of a squat, brick apartment building, one of many in a warren of public-housing complexes in Southwest Washington. Their looks are vacant but their manner is confrontational. Published November 15, 2010

U.S. attorneys spend over travel allowances

Some of the nation's top federal prosecutors — including a former U.S. attorney now serving as governor of New Jersey — have been skirting travel regulations, opting for accommodations well above the government's budget with little or no justification, the Justice Department's inspector general says. Published November 8, 2010

FBI investigators leave the home of Farooque Ahmed in Ashburn, Va., on Wednesday. Mr. Ahmed was arrested and charged with trying to help people posing as al Qaeda operatives planning to bomb subway stations around the nation's capital, the FBI said. (Associated Press)

Pakistani-born Virginian held in Metro terror plot

A Pakistani-born Virginia man was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday on suspicion of taking part in what he thought to be plans for a simultaneous al Qaeda attack next year on multiple Northern Virginia Metrorail stations, the Justice Department said. Published October 27, 2010

Sue Ann Marcum is remembered at American University as "an extraordinary educator." (American University)

Man in slain professor's vehicle was a ward of D.C. youth agency

An 18-year-old man arrested early Tuesday after police caught him in a Jeep belonging to an American University professor slain a day earlier was a ward of the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, The Washington Times has learned. Published October 26, 2010

Police Chief Lanier's job safe so far, despite Fenty leaving

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has resigned, Attorney General Peter Nickles says he will resign, and Fire and EMS Chief Dennis L. Rubin has reportedly filled his office with packing boxes in case he's asked to resign. Published October 14, 2010

Technician Charles Riggings in March services traffic cameras designed to catch speeders and motorists who run red lights in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Court rulings give 'go slow' to red-light cameras

A Supreme Court ruling last year requiring that scientists be made available to testify in court cases about lab evidence they prepare may have the added effect of curtailing the use of automated traffic-enforcement cameras to assess criminal penalties. Published August 30, 2010

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II

Cuccinelli: Virginia has right to regulate abortion clinics

Virginia has the legal right to regulate abortion clinics in the same manner it currently regulates hospitals and surgery centers, says Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II — a ruling that pro-choice advocates say could cost abortion providers $2 million and put most of them out of business. Published August 23, 2010


Despite war chest, Fenty trails in poll

Four years of incumbency and an overwhelming fundraising advantage have not translated to public support for D.C.'s mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, in his bid to fend off a Democratic primary challenge from Vincent Gray. Published August 18, 2010

ABOVE Mayor Adrian Fenty speaks to reporters at the intersection of Eastern and Kenilworth Aves. in NE Washington D.C., after a press conference to announce the replacement of Eastern Ave. bridge, Tuesday, November 10, 2009. (Allison Shelley/ The Washington Times)

Poll finds Gray has slim lead over Fenty

Challenger Vincent C. Gray holds a slim lead over incumbent Adrian M. Fenty with less than a month to go before Washington's Democratic primary race for mayor, according to poll figures released Wednesday. Published August 18, 2010

Social Security Administration's long reviews costly

The Social Security Administration paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years to a handful of employees who were placed on administrative leave for more than half a year while officials considered misconduct accusations against them or their involvement in illegal acts. Published July 28, 2010

Schools risk theft of SS numbers of children

Schools are putting children at risk of identity fraud by obtaining their Social Security numbers when it is not required by law and often unnecessary, the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General has concluded. Published July 25, 2010

D.C.: Gay marriage upheld

Same-sex-marriage opponents in Washington, D.C., vowed to appeal to the nation's highest court after an appeals court Thursday upheld a city law allowing the unions and rejecting an effort by opponents to put the issue before voters. Published July 15, 2010

Appeals court upholds D.C. gay-marriage law

A D.C. appeals court on Thursday upheld the District of Columbia law allowing same-sex marriages, rejecting an effort by opponents to put the issue before city voters. Published July 15, 2010

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, helped persuade the GSA that a new anti-terrorism training center was not right for a rural Eastern Shore county. (Associated Press)

GSA drops plan for Maryland training site

The State Department has abandoned plans to build an anti-terrorism training center funded in part with stimulus dollars on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Published June 29, 2010