Metro railcar issues go beyond recent derailment

Illustration of a Metro train with a front window shaped like a danger sign.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The 7000 series Metrorail fleet abruptly pulled from service had at least 31 wheel-based failures over the past four years, the National Transportation Safety Board disclosed Monday morning.

The revelation came in the wake of last Tuesday's Blue Line derailment which NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy said could have been a “catastrophic event.”

Why it matters: This is the worst news for Metro as it tries to win back riders, and it throws cold water on the promise that the Washington region is ready to fully reopen.

Chelsea Cirruzzo
17 hours ago - News

NPS clears homeless encampment

A sign attached to a fence detailing encampment clearing info.
Photo: Chelsea/Cirruzzo/Axios

Steps away from a cot tucked under a tarp, David Graves, 42, smoked a cigarette and prepared to leave a homeless encampment near Union Station late last week.

On Friday morning, the National Park Service enclosed the small park with a fence after asking roughly ten people experiencing homelessness, including Graves, to leave.

Why it matters: Homeless encampments have been in the spotlight in recent months as both local and federal entities in D.C. resume clearing them. 

Paige Hopkins
Oct 15, 2021 - News

NFL email scandal embroils Washington Football Team

A black and white image: Washington football players run onto the field through a haze of fog.
Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

An explosive investigation into the Washington Football Team's working conditions has uncovered career-ending emails, and sparked nationwide conversations about discrimination in the NFL and journalistic integrity, Paige writes.

Why it matters: While Jon Gruden has stepped down from his post with the Las Vegas Raiders, the investigation's fallout continues to rope-in recent Washington Football Team officials.

Paige Hopkins
Oct 14, 2021 - News

Howard University students protest campus safety and facilities

Howard University freshman move-in at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Howard University freshmen move in at the start of the 2021-22 school year. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

Howard University students are staging a sit-in to demand school officials address safety concerns and give students representation on the board of trustees, Paige writes. 

  • Students at the prestigious HBCU are reporting black mold, water leaks, bugs and rodents in university facilities, all while the price of tuition increases. 

Why it matters: This is the second large student protest of its kind in the last few years at Howard. Students and alumni say the university still isn’t putting students first. 

Chelsea Cirruzzo
Oct 14, 2021 - News

D.C. organizers start petition for tipped minimum wage

Tipped minimum wage rally in D.C.
Photo: Chelsea Cirruzzo/Axios

Campaigners to raise tipped minimum wage began collecting signatures yesterday for a similar ballot initiative that voters approved in 2018 — only to be overruled by council members.

Details: Initiative 82 aims to gradually raise the minimum wage of tipped workers to full parity with minimum wage in D.C.

Cuneyt Dil
Oct 13, 2021 - Politics

Council member Robert White runs for D.C. mayor

Robert White exits the Office of Campaign Finance after filing to run for mayor, wearing a "vote" face mask.
Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

At-large Council member Robert White joined the D.C. mayor's race Wednesday, emphasizing the need to stem violent crime and fight poverty.

Why it matters: White's entry sets up a likely contest against Mayor Muriel Bowser to lead the nation's capital amid a spike in homicides and the pandemic's continued disruption to health and the economy.

Chelsea Cirruzzo
Oct 13, 2021 - News

Why some parents leave D.C. public schools

Illustration of school desks, some of them cut out with nothing behind them.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Parents who move their children from D.C. public schools to surrounding jurisdictions cite school quality and housing affordability as major contributing factors to leaving — but what makes a quality school varies widely by household, a new report out today by the D.C. Policy Center found. 

D.C. Policy Center surveyed parents, including more than 600 in D.C. and more than 800 in the DMV suburbs, between January and February of this year.

Cuneyt Dil
Oct 12, 2021 - Politics

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine won't run for office in 2022

Karl Racine stands before microphones at a press conference
Photo: Andrew Harrer for Bloomberg via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said Tuesday he will not run for office next year, capping off two terms where the Democrat took on former President Donald Trump and corporate titans.

Why it matters: For years, Racine captured national attention and considered running for mayor, but now his exit sets the stage for a competitive race to fill his seat, and other candidates to run for mayor.

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