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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics and the White House for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

Medical marijuana proceeds in D.C. as feds reconsider enforcement

The District passed its first milestone in selecting who gets coveted licenses for the city's burgeoning medical marijuana program — even as the federal government takes a second look at its hands-off approach to those who grow and sell the drug for patient use. Published July 5, 2011

I-Gaming plan caps losses at $250 per week

Players can lose only as much as $250 a week in the D.C. Lottery's upcoming online gambling program, but there is no limit on how much they can win on a hot streak, said Buddy Roogow, executive director of the city-run D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board. Published July 4, 2011

Kenneth Ellerbe

Fire-EMS chief extends duration of light duty

Pregnant members of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services can now perform light duty for up to 90 days, remedying a 30-day policy that raised ire in the ranks in recent weeks, Chief Kenneth Ellerbe said Thursday. Published June 30, 2011

Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat

Lottery to seek community input on 'hot spots'

The D.C. Lottery has assured a key D.C. Council member that it will not roll out online gambling in public locations until communities have their say on where the contentious program may operate. Published June 30, 2011

Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times
D.C. Lottery chief Buddy Roogow (center) and D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan (left foreground) attend a D.C. Council committee hearing Wednesday on the lottery's forthcoming online-gambling program. Mr. Nathan said the program complies with federal laws and may proceed toward a September launch .

D.C. Lottery's online-gaming plan ruled legal

The D.C. Lottery's plan to introduce unprecedented online gambling in the District is legal as long as play occurs within city borders, the District's top lawyer said Wednesday. Published June 29, 2011

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, at-large independent, says online gambling is a win-win that can generate millions in public revenue. (The Washington Times)

Debut dates planned for D.C.'s Internet gambling

The D.C. Lottery announced roll-out dates for its unprecedented Internet gambling program, kicking it off with two demonstration games in midsummer before players wager real cash in September. Published June 27, 2011

Future of D.C. development will be in Ward 8, Gray says

Nearly six months into his term, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is striking a firm tone on the economic pillar of his One City plan and looking to rebound from the scandals that have surrounded the John A. Wilson Building. Published June 27, 2011

D.C. Council seeks to clarify celebrity police-escort policy

Believe it or not, actress Hilary Duff and Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan have something in common: Both enjoyed a D.C. police escort before bad-boy celebrity Charlie Sheen highlighted the muddled policy issue in April, according to a ranking Metropolitan police officer. Published June 23, 2011

D.C. CFO Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. surplus revenue can't fund priorities

An influx of $77 million into the District's coffers will not be enough to fund even two of the nine spending priorities the D.C. Council settled on for any additional money the city collects, according to revenue projections released Wednesday. Published June 22, 2011

Online gambling readied to roll

D.C. Lottery officials are gearing up for unprecedented gambling over the Internet through "demonstration games" that will allow players to get their feet wet before wagering real dollars. Published June 20, 2011

** FILE ** In this April 20, 2011, file photo, gas prices above five dollars a gallon for Plus and Supreme octanes, are seen on a sign at a gas station in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

D.C. Council considers high cost of gas in the city

A D.C. Council committee on Friday explored why gas prices in the District are consistently higher than the national average in its hearing on a bill that would prohibit "jobbers" — those who sell gas from the refineries to service stations — from both owning and operating retail gas stations. Published June 17, 2011

Henderson on track to head D.C. schools

Mayor Vincent. C. Gray's pick to lead the District's public school system received open support from several council members on Thursday, despite mixed reviews from the public and varying opinions about her links to the prior regime. Published June 16, 2011

Neil Stanley

Investigation delays vote on DYRS chief

D.C. human resources officials are investigating whether the nominee to lead the District's troubled juvenile justice agency tailored a key job posting to fit the background of someone he had known socially for 10 years. Published June 16, 2011

D.C. CFO Natwar M. Gandhi

D.C. Council decides on contingencies

Three weeks ago, the District's chief financial officer issued a warning: Inserting items into the city budget based on hopes that revenue may exceed projections down the road is not sound fiscal policy. Published June 15, 2011

D.C. Council passes $10.8 billion budget

The D.C. Council on Tuesday approved a $10.8 billion budget plan for the coming fiscal year after hours of debate that focused on the best way to spend any additional dollars projected to enter the city's coffers. Published June 14, 2011