Downtowner News: Metro Ridership Up, D.C. Gov’t In!

D.C. Government Employees Back in Office 

As of today, D.C. Government employees are back in their offices. They’ll be greeted with lots of welcome back perks including free food, Pilates classes and festive balloons. Mayor Muriel Bowser had an official welcome back celebration at 11 a.m. at the Department of Employment Services. Many workers have been out since the pandemic began in March 2020. While some are ready to return, many others are hoping to arrange a hybrid schedule, working from home at least part-time. 

Uber Eats Carjacking Suspect Sentenced to Juvenile Detention 

A teen involved in the carjacking death of an Uber Eats driver has been sentenced to juvenile detention. The girl, 14, will be detained until age 21. She and another girl used a stun gun to carjack 66-year-old Mohammad Anwar near Nationals Park on March 23. Anwar held on to the open driver’s side door and one of the girls hit the gas pedal. The car hit a curb and landed on top of him, WTOP reported.   

More Ticks Than Usual This Season 

As the summer sets in, people are spending more time outdoors. During the warmer months, ticks are typically most dangerous for disease transmission. They’re easily able to hide in clothes and on our furry loved ones. According to Alex Cumbie, a postdoctoral researcher at the disease ecology lab of Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Gillian Eastwood, Cumbie’s seeing more ticks than usual so far. NBC Washington reported that ticks are usually the size of a poppy seed.  

Arrest in Washington Monument Area Crash 

An arrest was made after a vehicle drove toward a crowd of people on the Washington Monument grounds over the July 4 weekend. The U.S. Park Police said Jack Joseph Dessin, 38, from New Jersey, hit a security barrier with his car on the southeast side of the grounds. The Washington Post reported no one was hurt. Dessin was arrested on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and destruction of government property.  

Metro Hits Highest Ridership since March 2020 on (Surprise Surprise) July 4 

On July 4, Metro riders topped 210,000, DCist reported. The number was the highest single-day total since March of last year, when the pandemic began. Metro riders have fallen about 85 percent since the health crisis started. However, the city’s mass transit use is still nowhere near what it was. During July 4, 2019, there were over 400,000 riders on Metro.  

Howard University Announces Two New High-Profile Faculty Members 

Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates will be joining Howard University as prestigious faculty members. Hannah-Jones is the creator of The New York Times’ 1619 Project. She will become the very first Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at the Cathy Hughes School of Communications. She’ll also found the Center for Journalism and Democracy. Coates, an alum of Howard, is returning as the Sterling Brown Chair in the Department of English. He’s best known for his novels and journalism addressing issues of race and politics. He first got his start at the DC City Paper, according to the Washingtonian.  

Jack Evans Set to Pay Fines for Violations 

Beginning July 1, former Ward 2 councilmember Jack Evans will be paying hefty fines due to ethics violations. According to the DC City Paper, Evans is set to pay the D.C. government $2,000 per month for the next two years and two months. This news comes after Evans didn’t pay the $55,000 he owes for violating ethics rules while in office. This latest agreement is the third signed by Evans. The first two (signed in August 2019 and May 2020) had deadlines that have long since passed. Since July 1, Evans has paid only $3,000 of the full total he owes.  



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