WAMU: Local News

News features from the Washington, DC Metro Area.
WAMU: Local News


News features from the Washington, DC Metro Area.

Link: wamu.org/


News & Politics


D.C. Wants Ambulances Used Only For Emergencies. But Who Decides What’s An Emergency?

Jul 15, 2019 4:01


D.C. Fire and EMS has one of the highest per capita call volumes in the country – and it’s growing. To help relieve pressure, officials are trying to steer more patients to clinics instead of emergency rooms. But not everyone trusts it.

A Window Into Space At The National Cathedral

Jul 10, 2019 4:37


Neil Armstrong picked up the rock at the Sea of Tranquility. It’s the only moon rock that was given to a non-governmental agency.

Flooded Basement? Here’s What To Do And How To Stop It From Happening Again

Jul 9, 2019 4:33


Cleaning up might just mean cleaning out.

Most Plays Performed In D.C. Are Written By White Men — And Other Facts About The City’s Theater Scene

Jul 9, 2019 1:20


The study analyzes playwright and director demographics for a season's worth of theatrical productions in D.C.

The Overlooked Monument That Marks ‘America’s Worst Road Trip’ Turns 100

Jul 8, 2019 4:34


The Zero Milestone is one of the best places to get a picture of the White House, but the marker itself rests in obscurity.

A Big Fight Over Small Apartments In Montgomery County

Jul 8, 2019 4:34


After a Montgomery County council member proposed allowing more tiny homes and basement apartments in the jurisdiction, the ensuing debate divided residents who disagree on their potential impacts.

Wake Up In 1916 When You Stay At This Restored C&O Canal Lockhouse

Jun 27, 2019 4:28


The C&O Canal is dotted with historic lockhouses. One of them has just been restored and opened to the public for overnight stays.

A Year Later, Widow Of Capital Gazette Shooting Victim Moves Forward With Her Grief

Jun 27, 2019 3:42


Andrea Chamblee's husband, John McNamara, was one of five people killed in the mass shooting.

Push For Improved Maternal Health Care In D.C. Addresses Racial Biases

Jun 26, 2019 1:13


Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) has introduced a bill expanding maternal health services covered under insurance in the District.

Five Don’t-Miss Events At This Weekend’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Jun 26, 2019 3:04


The annual festival has been shrunk down to two days this year, but there's still a lot to do.

John Delaney Has Been Running For President Since 2017. Now He Gets A National Stage.

Jun 26, 2019 4:42


While Bernie Sanders is pushing Medicare for All and doing away with private insurance, former Maryland Congressman John Delaney offers a more centrist view. He wants universal health care — like that of some European countries — with access to free health care while maintaining some private insurance.

Adult Graduates Get Hugs, Cheers And Second Chances

Jun 25, 2019 5:16


Nearly 50 students from Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter, with campuses in Wards 5 and 8, completed their high school requirements this year: they have passed the GED or the National External Diploma Program.

‘They Didn’t Expect To Get These Children’: Family Members Struggle Outside Of Foster System

Jun 24, 2019 5:08


Thousands of families agree to take in a relative's children and become kinship caregivers to prevent the children from going into foster care. Then, they have to navigate financial and emotional resource gaps.

What’s With The Black Stuff On The Jefferson Memorial Roof?

Jun 21, 2019 5:05


A mysterious substance has been growing on the monument's dome for more than a decade. Here's why it's taking so long to clean.

First Of Three Young, Black Lynching Victims In Loudoun County To Be Memorialized

Jun 18, 2019 1:15


A 14-year-old boy was lynched more than 100 years ago for allegedly scaring a white teenage girl. On Wednesday, officials will gather to remember him and place a marker at the site where he was murdered.

New Palestinian Museum In D.C. Favors The Personal Over The Political

Jun 18, 2019 3:56


The museum's founder hopes the new space will make room for conversation among a diverse audience.

For One Night, Asylum-Seeking Chef Offers D.C. A Taste Of South Sudan

Jun 17, 2019 4:20


Mary Apollo will be cooking a traditional dish from her homeland Monday as part of a new program called Tables Without Borders.

Ward 8 Community Fears Health Risks From Proposed 5G Towers

Jun 14, 2019 1:07


The fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) will be a game changer for how we live and work. Technology experts and policymakers participated in a town hall meeting in the District's Ward 8 to explore how 5G will benefit communities of color.

‘One Of The Biggest Ghosts Of Our Past’: Corcoran Revisits Its Canceled Mapplethorpe Exhibition 30 Years Later

Jun 13, 2019 1:37


Graduate students at George Washington University pored through thousands of documents from the gallery's archives to tell the story of the Mapplethorpe show's conception, controversy and cancellation, as well as the community outcry that followed.

It’s A West Nile (Virus) Story: Fairfax County’s Bug Rapper Returns With New Video

Jun 13, 2019 1:36


He's back! The man behind the raps about Zika and Lyme disease returns with sick beats and catchy rhymes about the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States.

She Was Told Her Son Wouldn’t Make It To Age 5, But The Graduate Is On The Road To Adulthood

Jun 11, 2019 4:53


For students with severe functional needs getting to graduation is just half the battle. As adults, graduates are no longer entitled to the services they had in the school system.

The Smithsonian’s Founder Never Set Foot In America. Now His Descendants Are Touring The Museums

Jun 11, 2019 1:42


For the first time, descendants of the English scientist who founded the Smithsonian are in Washington to visit the museums.

Virginia Primaries Breeze Past Spending Records

Jun 10, 2019 0:58


Local contests in Tuesday’s primary elections in Virginia are among the most expensive in the state’s history. One race in Fairfax County has seen an influx of more than $1.7 million dollars, with one candidate contributing roughly half of that amount.

Against The Backdrop Of Barry Farm’s Demolition, The Goodman League Returns

Jun 10, 2019 4:47


The community basketball league has brought neighbors and families together for years, but regulars wonder what the future holds.

What’s In A Name? Residents East Of The Anacostia River Say, ‘Everything.’

Jun 7, 2019 4:34


Some residents in Wards 7 and 8 say there’s too much rich history to give up the area's nickname “East of the River."

Voters Get Ready For ‘One Of The Most Diverse Tickets Virginia Has Ever Seen’

Jun 6, 2019 4:49


Four young progressives are vying to represent the ever-changing Loudoun County area in the House of Delegates.

D.C. Students Turn To Renowned Educator To Tackle Gentrification And Racism

Jun 6, 2019 1:42


World-renowned diversity expert Jane Elliott hosted master classes with students, parents and a Southeast D.C. community to address the impacts of gentrification on public schools, and what children should be taught about it.

Who Mows The Lawn On The National Mall And When Do They Do It?

Jun 6, 2019 4:45


The National Mall is "America's front yard," but it didn't get that way all on its own. Meet one of the hard-working people keeping things looking beautiful.

McAuliffe Steps In As Virginia’s ‘Surrogate Governor’ For Democrats This Election Season

Jun 5, 2019 4:29


The scandals among Democratic leadership in Virginia in the last year have left local candidates looking for fundraising help. Enter the commonwealth's former governor.

The Fourth Of July Is A Month Away, But D.C. Officials Still Have No Details On Trump’s Plan

Jun 4, 2019 1:55


The White House hasn't clued the National Park Service or D.C. into what changes it wants to the Fourth of July celebrations, although officials expect them to include a new location for fireworks and a possible speech by President Trump.

Choosing The Right Assisted Living Community: Tips, Costs And More

Jun 3, 2019 6:27


Assisted living communities come with a wide range of services in many different forms, from small group homes to plush apartments buildings. All provide a place to live, meals and help with tasks from bathing to medication reminders.   

Child Care Is Expensive, But Providers Themselves Struggle To Get By

May 29, 2019 4:14


While child care costs continue to rise, many providers are still among the lowest-paid workers in the country. This may come as a surprise to D.C. area parents, who are paying among the highest costs for child care in the nation

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Capital Beltway Expansion

May 29, 2019 4:41


State leaders are grappling with agitated residents and local leaders over the plans and how neighborhoods might be impacted.

Trump Promises Rolling Thunder Will Return To D.C., But Organizers Say ‘It’s Not Just About The Money’

May 28, 2019 3:25


Trump tweeted that Rolling Thunder will be back in D.C. next year. That was news to the ride's organizers.

Transgender Military Members Say Ban Is ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 2.0’

May 28, 2019 4:48


The Trump administration's ban on transgender service members has many asking how they can serve their country and be true to themselves.

Meet The D.C. Glydiators, The Electric Unicycle Fanatics Who Glide All Over The Region

May 24, 2019 4:16


Could these rare electric vehicles be the new way to get around?

Rolling Thunder Motorcyclists Converge On Washington For The Last Time

May 24, 2019 4:34


The motorcycle rally for veterans and POWs has been an annual Memorial Day tradition for 32 years, but it's ending due to high costs.

From Chanterelles To Serviceberries, A Forageable Feast Surrounds Us

May 23, 2019 4:41


Foraging for food is as ancient as the first human beings -- and it's also trendy, nutritious and probably not toxic.

Why This Historic Silver Spring Development Looks Straight Out Of Disney World

May 23, 2019 4:03


A school for women, circa 1894, looks like something of a children’s book. Today, it’s in the midst of a revival.

Let The Women Score: Gender Dynamics At Play In Washington Flag Football Leagues

May 23, 2019 4:49


Touchdowns in flag football are worth more points when women score. Some think gendered rules like this are "Band-Aids" on larger societal issues.

The Spy Behind Home Plate: New Film Tells The Curious Story Of Moe Berg

May 22, 2019 1:49


There’s often more to people than meets the eye — even ballplayers.

How Walt Whitman’s Decade In Washington Changed His Life — And His Poetry

May 22, 2019 4:49


On the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth, Washingtonians reflect on his time in D.C.

As Virginia Primaries Near, Progressives Get Ready For A Fight

May 20, 2019 4:10


Virginia's largest political story this year, the blackface scandal and sexual assault allegations in the executive branch, won't play a huge role, analysts say.

Many School Districts Hesitate To Say Students Have Dyslexia. That Can Lead To Problems.

May 20, 2019 5:26


Federal officials and researchers agree: Dyslexia is a disorder that needs to be screened for and treated. The problem is so widespread that now prisons are tasked with proactively treating dyslexia — something many schools still don’t do.

Mourning Nabra Hassanen: The Uncommon Aftermath Of A Muslim Teen’s Death

May 17, 2019 4:55


In the two years since Nabra was killed during Ramadan, her community is still reeling from the loss.

A Childhood Erased: Black Girls And Women Discuss Harsher Punishments Due To ‘Adultification’

May 16, 2019 1:33


A new report reveals findings from focus groups that examined whether a 2017 study aligns with the real lives of black girls and women, and what should be done to address adultification bias.

D.C. Teen To Race In NASCAR Series For Young Minority Drivers

May 16, 2019 5:05


Rajah Caruth, 17, is one of four young drivers accepted to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program.

Why Does It Seem Like Allergies Get So Much Worse For Washington Transplants?

May 16, 2019 4:41


Warmer weather is a pleasant change for many Washingtonians, but it also brings a new scourge: seasonal allergies. We look into the science behind worsening allergies for new residents and how they might only get worse.

1 In 14 D.C. Public High Schoolers Has Had ‘Exchange Sex,’ Study Finds

May 16, 2019 1:13


But certain groups of teens were much more likely to have had exchange sex than others.

Adoptees At Risk Of Deportation Bring Fight To Washington

May 15, 2019 1:10


Although they were adopted from other countries by U.S. citizen parents as children, tens of thousands remain without U.S. citizenship, limiting access to needed services and placing them at risk of deportation.

Giant Bugs And Neon Houses Take Over Smithsonian Gardens

May 15, 2019 1:30


"Habitat" explores the places that different species call home.

ACLU Study Finds D.C.’s Black Residents Arrested At Higher Rate For Largely Minor Offenses

May 14, 2019 0:00


Newly released data shows black residents were arrested disproportionately in the vast majority of the city's neighborhoods, including predominantly white areas.

Why Some Restaurants Call Food Delivery Apps A ‘Necessary Evil’

May 14, 2019 4:45


Customers love the convenience of delivery apps like Postmates and Uber Eats. But does that convenience come at a high cost to restaurants?

Two Dozen Bullets Almost Claimed A Father And His Teenage Son. Now The Whole Family Is Surviving The Aftermath.

May 13, 2019 4:55


Daryl and his 14-year-old son Rell survived 26 bullets mistakenly fired at them in late December 2018. Now the family is navigating a difficult road to recovery, one they say has brought them closer together.

Is Metrorail’s Reputation Improving? Poll Respondents Seem To Think So.

May 10, 2019 2:34


But ridership isn't improving -- it's at its lowest point in nearly 20 years.

Should D.C. Toll Streets During Peak Traffic Periods? Council Wants To Study ‘Congestion Pricing’

May 9, 2019 4:01


The concept of tolling to use regular roads is coming to the U.S. and New York City in 2021. Could D.C. be next?

When ‘1-In-100-Year’ Floods Happen Often, What Should You Call Them?

May 8, 2019 4:02


The term "100-year flood" is often confusing and misleading, scientists, local emergency officials and homeowners all agree. Experts say there's a better way to communicate about flood risk.

Former Deputy Assistant AG Offers Perspective On Unitary Executive Theory

May 8, 2019 7:25


John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, talks about executive power, and the tug of war between Congress and the White House over the Mueller report.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries On Contempt Proceedings Against Barr

May 8, 2019 4:38


NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, House Democratic Caucus chair, about the contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr.

Iran Announces It Will Ramp Up Nuclear Activities

May 8, 2019 4:19


Iran has announced its intention to begin withdrawing from parts of a 2015 nuclear agreement in 60 days. The decision could reduce the time needed to develop a nuclear weapon — if Iran chose to do so.

Mississippi River Closure’s Impact On Illinois Farmer

May 8, 2019 3:56


Illinois farmer Joe Zumwalt's soybeans, corn and wheat can't go down the Mississippi River because the Coast Guard has shut down a 5-mile stretch. Tariff conflicts have also affected his business.

Addiction Medicine Mostly Prescribed To Whites, Even As Opioid Deaths Rose In Blacks

May 8, 2019 2:33


A study looked at who gets prescriptions for buprenorphine, and found that white patients are almost 35 times more likely to get the lifesaving addiction treatment than African Americans.

Lessons Learned From California’s Effort To Tighten The Childhood Immunization Law

May 8, 2019 5:04


NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with California state Sen. Richard Pan. Pan is also a pediatrician, and he was one of the leaders of the effort to force parents to vaccinate their children.

House Judiciary Committee Votes To Hold Barr In Contempt

May 8, 2019 3:29


The House Judiciary Committee votes to hold William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide access to the unredacted Mueller report after the White House asserted executive privilege.

How Big A Problem Is Religious Objection In Health Care?

May 8, 2019 3:44


About once a year for the last decade, a health care provider would file a complaint of conscience through Health and Human Services. Last year, complaints skyrocketed to 343.

South Africans Head To Polls

May 8, 2019 4:05


South Africans voted Wednesday in an election viewed as a referendum on the African National Congress. It's been in charge since the end of apartheid but has largely failed to live up to its promises.

Want To Walk Or Bike Across The Country? There’s A Plan For That.

May 8, 2019 1:35


The Great American Rail-Trail would begin with a section in D.C. and Maryland, mostly along the C&O Canal. But don't put on your lycra bike shorts yet -- the trail is likely decades from completion.

‘They Don’t Understand’: Howard Neighbors Search For Solutions After Dog-Walking Uproar

May 8, 2019 4:42


A look at the complex history Howard University has with the surrounding community in light of the recent dog-walking controversy.

How One Non-Muslim Is Working To Make Restaurants More Inclusive During Ramadan

May 8, 2019 1:39


"There is obviously a religious aspect to this, in that we're talking about Ramadan and an Islamic holiday. But really, this is about capitalism," says Katherine Ashworth Brandt, Dine After Dark's founder.

Venezuelan President Maduro Denies Claims He Was Ready To Flee

May 1, 2019 3:43


President Nicolás Maduro emerged defiant on state television after opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on the military to oust him. David Greene talks to reporter Mariana Zuñiga about the issues.

Attorney General Barr To Testify On Capitol Hill About Mueller Report

May 1, 2019 7:08


Rachel Martin talks to Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Judiciary Committee member and 2020 presidential candidate, about Barr testifying on the special counsel's report. NPR's Tamara Keith comments.

Mattress Firm Seeks Intern To Sleep On The Job

May 1, 2019 0:27


The company calls it a snooze-tern. It's taking applications for an intern to test beds and post videos on social media.

High School’s Pitchers Throw Perfect Game And No-Hitter On Same Day

May 1, 2019 0:27


Pitchers at two teams at a New Mexico high school threw a perfect game and a no-hitter on the same day, according to the Carlsbad Current Argus.

Opinion: How Holzhauer Hacked ‘Jeopardy!’

May 1, 2019 3:47


Sports commentator Mike Pesca has his say on the unstoppability of Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer.

NASA Warns About Threat Of Meteors

May 1, 2019 1:00


NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said meteor impacts happen more frequently than the general public knows.

Democratic Senators Look To Make Headlines In Barr Hearing

May 1, 2019 3:50


Attorney General Barr's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee will give three presidential candidates another opportunity to make headlines from the committee dais.

How Proposed Asylum Rule Changes Would Affect Asylum-Seekers

May 1, 2019 3:23


How will the Trump administrations' proposed changes to asylum rules affect asylum seekers? NPR's David Greene talks with Michelle Brané of the Women's Refugee Commission.

As Meth Use Surges, First Responders Struggle To Help Those In Crisis

May 1, 2019 5:53


The return of methamphetamine is overwhelming police, ERs and treatment centers — especially west of the Mississippi. But, unlike opioid dependency, meth addiction has no reliable treatment.

No Visas For Afghan And Iraqi Interpreters

May 1, 2019 5:15


Dozens of lawmakers have signed a letter to the Trump administration demanding to know why there has been a drastic slowdown in granting U.S. visas to Afghans and Iraqis who helped U.S. forces.

How Takoma Park Became ‘The Berkeley Of The East’

Apr 24, 2019 6:08


Exploring the origins of a Washington suburb's hippy-dippy reputation.

Fairfax County Proposes Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants

Apr 23, 2019 7:49


The program will benefit immigrants living in the county including permanent residents, DACA recipients and Temporary Protected Status holders who are facing deportation proceedings.

‘Compared To Notre Dame, We’re A Baby.’ National Cathedral Leadership Sees Lesson In Paris Fire

Apr 17, 2019 4:52


The National Cathedral is currently updating its fire plan. But "ironically, that's not fully funded," the Director of Preservation and Facilities James Shepherd said.

Despite Housing Crunch, Montgomery County Expected To Freeze New Development

Apr 16, 2019 4:29


To mitigate overcrowding, the county is looking at redistricting schools and putting a pause on housing development.

What Does It Mean To Have A Military Base In Your Neighborhood?

Apr 16, 2019 5:24


Between the hundreds of thousands of military personnel, including contractors and civilian employees, there are a host of benefits for local communities that have bases. But there are also some risks.

‘Save Black Women’: D.C. Gets To Work Addressing Pregnancy-Related Deaths

Apr 12, 2019 5:19


African American women in D.C. are dying at disproportionate rates after giving birth, when compared to other women in the District and across the country. The city's committing new resources to figure out why.

Kid-Sized ‘Traffic Parks’ Are D.C.’s New Playgrounds With A Purpose

Apr 11, 2019 4:27


"It is the city in miniature," says Ellen Drogin Rodgers, a George Mason University professor who helped coordinate the project. Preschoolers learn traffic safety basics. In second grade, DCPS teach students how to ride bikes on the traffic garden.

In The D.C. Region, Some Residents Complain About Too Many Banks — While Others Have Few

Apr 10, 2019 5:04


After years of closing branches, some banks are getting back into brick-and-mortar. But they're opening in Washington neighborhoods that arguably don't need more banks.

Why Is Child Care So Expensive? Costs Leave Washington-Area Millennials Hesitant To Have Kids

Apr 9, 2019 5:00


It's not unusual for young families to spend a quarter or more of their income on child care. Does it have to be this way? We look at some of the baked in costs for What's With Washington.

‘Slumlords’ Have A New Foe: D.C.’s Attorney General

Apr 8, 2019 4:43


D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has stepped up enforcement of the city's housing code, creatively using legal tools to go after landlords who don't fix up their properties.

More Than A Decade Later, Some Former D.C. Public Housing Residents Worry If They’ll Ever Return

Apr 8, 2019 4:35


Temple Courts residents were vouchered out of their homes more than 10 years ago. What has D.C. learned from their stories?

Washington’s New Archbishop Has A History Of Fighting Child Sexual Abuse

Apr 5, 2019 4:15


Archbishop Wilton Gregory brings his decades-long experience of fighting child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to the Washington diocese at a time when the community is reeling from a scandal-riddled past.

The (Very Scientific) Egg Carton Test

Apr 5, 2019 3:46


Maryland lawmakers spent a long time talking about egg cartons, during debate over banning foam food containers. Does foam really protects eggs better?