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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.

**FILE** D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council passes ethics reform bill

The D.C. Council passed a sweeping ethics-reform bill Tuesday, an attempt to restore faith in city hall after a series of problems that ranged from shaky hiring practices to deeds by elected officials that have lead to criminal probes. Published December 20, 2011

** FILE ** Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Low enrollment forces River Terrace closing

The D.C. public schools system is implementing a plan to close a Northeast elementary school with the lowest enrollment in the District and move its students to another school about a half-mile away. Published December 18, 2011

Allison Marman of Silver Spring visits her boyfriend, who has been living in McPherson Square, on Nov. 22, the day after U.S. Park Police arrested a person on charges of sexual assault and theft. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Gray asks feds for $1.6M to cover Occupy D.C. expenses

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray sent a letter to the National Park Service on Friday demanding "full and complete reimbursement" of the $1.6 million incurred by hosting protest camps on federal land at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square. Published December 16, 2011

Kevin B. Chavous

D.C. Council candidate accused of soliciting a prostitute

Kevin B. Chavous, a key challenger for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat in next year's elections, was arrested early Friday on accusations he offered money to an undercover officer "for sexual favors," the Metropolitan Police Department said. Published December 16, 2011

D.C. Council member Marion Barry, who owes the federal government more than $277,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties, answers questions of reporters after leaving the federal court house where he testified in Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 16, 2009. (Astrid Riecken/The Washington Times)

Barry: New tax lien a result of poor communication

D.C. Council member Marion Barry says poor communication between "my representatives and the different IRS divisions" is to blame for a tax lien the federal government recently filed against one of his properties, adding to his well documented tax woes. Published December 15, 2011

Mr. Gray gets into a 2012 Freightliner dump truck after discussing his new strategy for dealing with winter weather. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Gray prepared to act quickly when snow falls

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray pledged to make "swift, well-informed decisions" when snowstorms hit the District this winter, leveraging new trucks, early notification systems and asking city employees to "shelter in place" to avoid the traffic nightmares that followed a massive storm in January. Published December 14, 2011

Matthew Knopp, owner of Tattoo Paradise, listens to testimony at the hearing. Several tattoo artists told committee members that reputable businesses already adhere to standards incorporated in the regulations being considered. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Tattoo regulation welcome, artists say

Tattoo artists told a D.C. Council committee Wednesday they support legislation to regulate their industry for the first time as long as the associated fees and rules do not overburden them. Published December 14, 2011

D.C. Council member Jack Evans (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council members push boundaries for campaign cash

Maryland and Virginia towns inside the Capital Beltway are suddenly part of "DC," subsidiary companies and their owners are each donating to campaigns despite tough talk on "bundling," and a pair of D.C. Council incumbents did not disclose who employs any of their financial backers, according to the latest reports filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance. Published December 13, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Tommy Wells  (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Wells pressing three proposals for D.C. ethics bill

D.C. Council member Tommy Wells is pushing three proposals to "reduce the influence of pay-to-play" before his colleagues put their final stamp on ethics legislation meant to stem the trickle of scandal out of city hall. Published December 12, 2011

D.C. man convicted in honor-student’s killing

A 20-year-old District man has been convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting death of a 17-year-old honor roll student who was walking back to his Northeast home with a friend last year after a brief jaunt for cigarettes, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Published December 9, 2011

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray offers remarks Thursday as he introduces Brenda Donald as his choice to lead the District's Child and Family Services Agency. It will be her second stint at the helm of the agency, which she headed in 2004 and 2005. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Donald returns to D.C. child-family post

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has picked a former director of the city's Child and Family Services Agency to again run the department, which is responsible for the welfare of children in the District. Published December 8, 2011

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser

D.C. ethics reforms set for more negotiations

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser has scheduled a "working group" session to make good on her promise to hear out her fellow legislators' concerns ahead of a final vote on sweeping ethics legislation before the end of the year. Published December 8, 2011

D.C. Lottery exploring online gambling systems

The D.C. Lottery's planned online gambling program will not be hosted on the city's secure DC-NET Internet system as originally planned, information technology officials said Wednesday. Published December 7, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (The Washington Times)

D.C. Council passes ethics-reform bill

Four days after a federal raid on his Northeast home, D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. took part in the unanimous approval of a sweeping ethics bill that could see final passage before the end of the year. Published December 6, 2011

No consensus on D.C. Council after raid on Thomas’ home

A D.C. Council committee green-lighted ethics reforms on Monday, hours before the full body failed to reach a consensus on the political ramifications of a federal raid on the Northeast home of colleague Harry Thomas Jr. as part of an ongoing corruption probe. Published December 5, 2011

D.C. Council advances ethics-reform bill

A D.C. Council committee sent up ethics reforms to the full legislature on Monday despite concerns that late changes to the expansive bill warrant a delay that could extend deliberations into the new year. Published December 5, 2011

D.C. Council to hold closed-door talks after Thomas raid

D.C. Council members are to meet Monday behind closed doors to discuss the latest development in the federal investigation of colleague Harry Thomas Jr., whose house was raided Friday by federal agents. Published December 4, 2011