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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Gray addresses Northwest D.C. flooding problems

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced a trio of short-term measures on Friday aimed at mitigating the impact of severe flooding that has damaged homes in the Bloomingdale and Le Droit Park neighborhoods this summer during bouts of intense rainfall. Published September 7, 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)

First D.C. West Nile death is a 'senior male'

The D.C. Department of Health on Thursday confirmed the city's first death this year from West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne infection that is causing alarm across the United States. Published September 6, 2012

Proponents of DC statehood, from left, David Lowell, John Cappozi and Ann Howell hand out literature outside the Democratic National Convention. DC Mayor Vincent Gray will speak during the convention. (Barbara Salisbury/ The Washington Times)

New D.C. statehood plan: Strategize with Puerto Rico?

D.C. officials have bandied about a number of strategies in recent months to increase the city's voting rights in Congress or achieve statehood, but one stands above the rest in terms of novelty — strategize with Puerto Rico. Published September 6, 2012

Initiative 70 delivered 30,000 signatures to ban corporate contributions to local politicians during a press conference held at Judiciary Square on Monday, July 9, 2012, in the District (Raymond Thompson/The Washington Times)

D.C. corporate political donations ban will not be before voters in November

Activists hoping to ban direct corporate contributions to D.C. political campaigns are no longer trying to put their issue before voters in November so they can focus on preserving thousands of petition signatures they gathered earlier this year and make the ballot in a special election next spring. Published September 4, 2012

Following his attorney Frederick D. Cooke, Jr., (left) Thomas Gore, a campaign treasurer for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, makes his exit from the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse after his plea hearing in the District on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr/The Washington Times)

Gray campaign investigation is ongoing, say investigators

Federal prosecutors indicated Tuesday that their investigation into D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 2010 campaign is still in full swing by delaying the sentencing of a campaign aide who pleaded guilty to destroying a record of furtive payments to a minor mayoral candidate. Published September 4, 2012

Eddy Torres of VeriFone installs the new Taxi Smart Meter System in a cab. It will enable passengers to pay with credit cards and also to watch news, weather reports and current events on TV minimonitors mounted on the seats. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Court ruling idles new D.C. taxi meters

A decision by a judge on the D.C. Contract Appeals Board has put on ice the District's highly touted plans to install "smart meters" in its taxicabs and prompted the city's "Mayor for Life" to gloat that he warned officials to delay the gadgets, which are intended to improve the city's fleet. Published September 3, 2012

Kenyan McDuffie

McDuffie adamant about emergency funds as Bloomingdale floods

A D.C. lawmaker is calling on the city to establish an emergency relief fund for residents of the Bloomingdale neighborhood reeling from flood damage after fierce rains backed up their outdated sewer once again during the Labor Day weekend. Published September 3, 2012

Police ID victim, suspect in fatal Sunday stabbing

Police identified a 27-year-old Northeast man as the suspect arrested in connection with a deadly stabbing near the Waterfront Metro station just after midnight on Sunday. Published September 3, 2012

Derwood man drowned in his pool

Montgomery County police say a 59-year-old man drowned Sunday afternoon in the pool at his Derwood home. Published September 3, 2012

Christophe Tulou

Protocol breach led to firing of agency chief

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's administration said Friday it had fired the city's environment director, Christophe A.G. Tulou, for what officials termed a "serious breach of protocol" in negotiations over a long-term sewer project. Published September 2, 2012

Washington Mayor Vincent C. Gray (left) advocates for D.C. statehood in front of the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs at the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Gray takes D.C. rights lobbying to convention

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is poised to use the Democratic National Convention to promote the District's right to local budget autonomy, a goal apparently within grasp as the city battles for voting rights in Congress or even statehood. Published September 2, 2012

Christophe Tulou

D.C. environment department director abruptly fired

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray's administration said Friday it had fired the city's environment director, Christophe A.G. Tulou, for what officials termed a "serious breach of protocol" in negotiations over a long-term sewer project. Published August 31, 2012

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (Raymond Thompson/The Washington Times)

Washington planning more speed cameras

Members of a D.C. Council task force on traffic fines agreed on Tuesday that speed limits and red-light cameras improve safety, but city officials need to show "a rational nexus" between hefty fines that can reach $150 and drivers' willingness to change their behavior. Published August 28, 2012

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

Gray proposes D.C. campaign reforms

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the city's attorney general unveiled a long-awaited proposal on Tuesday to curtail pay-to-play politics in the city, including a ban on contributions from contractors who do business with the city. Published August 28, 2012

MLK's quote goes unfixed for six months

Martin Luther King Jr. didn't say it exactly that way, but an inaccurate quote remains etched into his granite memorial in Washington more than six months after National Park Service officials vowed to fix it. Published August 27, 2012

A speed camera on New York Avenue Northeast in Washington (The Washington Times) **FILE**

D.C. task force to evaluate traffic-camera fines

A new D.C. Council task force will evaluate hefty fines levied on motorists caught by speed cameras and other forms of automated traffic enforcement, a controversial and expanding system that has some wondering if city leaders care more about revenue than public safety. Published August 23, 2012

Work on the first phase of a multiyear effort to bury the District's power lines will begin in the spring, after the D.C. Public Service Commission announced Thursday it had approved the $1 billion plan.. (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

‘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