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VRE kicks off major expansion plan

(Gerald Martineau / The Washington Post)

A new Spotsylvania station for Virginia Railway Express is part of a long-range plan to increase train frequency and boost capacity in Northern Virginia.

    Latest local news

    McAuliffe finds himself back in campaign mode for Hillary Clinton

    But Virginia’s governor says his focus is on his state, not the 2016 election.

    Washington-area population increase slowing down, census figures indicate

    Washington-area population increase slowing down, census figures indicate

    Fairfax County shows largest decrease in growth rate, with more people leaving than arriving in 2014.

    America’s Most Challenging High Schools national top 25 list for 2015

    America’s Most Challenging High Schools national top 25 list for 2015

    Post education columnist Jay Mathews ranks the nation’s top 25 most challenging high schools.

    America’s Most Challenging High Schools local top 25 list for 2015

    America’s Most Challenging High Schools local top 25 list for 2015

    Post education columnist Jay Mathews ranks the nation’s top 25 most challenging high schools.

    How the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list works

    How the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list works

    The selection method behind the list.

    Alternatives to the Challenge Index

    The Washington Post’s Challenge Index, which began in 1998, is not the only way to rank high schools.

    Top-performing schools with elite students

    Top-performing schools with elite students

    These were excluded from the main list because their admission rules and standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students.

    Many U.S. schools still resist challenging all their students

    Many U.S. schools still resist challenging all their students

    COLUMN | A look at U.S. schools raises the question: Why do we stand in the way of motivated kids?

    Local digest: April 19, 2015

    A roundup of news from across the region.

    Md. legislation to help ex-offenders points to a slow shift in Annapolis

    Md. legislation to help ex-offenders points to a slow shift in Annapolis

    State lawmakers are supporting bills to reform the justice system and help criminals turn their lives around.

    Loudoun sheriff in election battle with former major

    Mike Chapman sought to fire Eric Noble in 2014, but the major retired before any action was taken.

    Column

    Seeing my four-wheeled beauties in all the familiar places

    Seeing my four-wheeled beauties in all the familiar places

    Old cars stir up memories when you see them, making it hard to forget where you saw them.

    Forecast: Heavy rain likely tonight, with slight severe storm risk Monday

    Forecast: Heavy rain likely tonight, with slight severe storm risk Monday

    Expect one to two inches of rain overnight, and a possibility of strong thunderstorms tomorrow night.

    State Sen. Jamie Raskin announces run for Van Hollen seat

    State Sen. Jamie Raskin announces run for Van Hollen seat

    Raskin becomes the second Democrat to officially enter the race for the Maryland 8th District seat.

    Prince George’s firefighter rescues two children from burning home in Clinton

    The siblings were trapped in a second-floor bedroom.

    Cooler and cloudier today with evening showers, heavy rain likely tonight

    Cooler and cloudier today with evening showers, heavy rain likely tonight

    WEATHER GANG | Today isn’t a total loss as we stay dry most of the day. But a heavy soaking is likely tonight.

    Nationals vs. Phillies weather forecast: Leave the sunglasses, grab the jacket; will rain hold off?

    Nationals vs. Phillies weather forecast: Leave the sunglasses, grab the jacket; will rain hold off?

    Trade in your sunglasses for perhaps a light jacket if you’re headed to the park today. Rain should hold off unless the game runs long.

    Column

    Squirrel chilling out at National Zoo gets its moment in the sun

    Squirrel chilling out at National Zoo gets its moment in the sun

    As Squirrel Week comes to an end, we focus on a special photo contest.

    District’s incoming fire chief, Bowser hope to expand firefighter hiring pool

    District’s incoming fire chief, Bowser hope to expand firefighter hiring pool

    It will be part of an effort to improve the quality of firefighters and paramedics in the academy.

    ‘Free-range’ flap fans the flames of a national debate on parenting

    ‘Free-range’ flap fans the flames of a national debate on parenting

    Long before a Maryland couple’s clash, other parents were asking: When are kids really at risk?

    Arlington won’t call 105-year-old Wilson School historic

    Too much about it has changed and it would cost too much to restore, the board said of the Rosslyn school.

    With Hogan as governor, Md. GOP is looking to grow

    With Hogan as governor, Md. GOP is looking to grow

    At party convention in Ocean City, Hogan says: “It’s a great time to be a Maryland Republican, isn’t it?”

    Hundreds turn out to remember family in Princess Anne, Md.

    Hundreds turn out to remember family in Princess Anne, Md.

    The seven children and their father died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home they shared.

    St. Albans boys, McLean girls finish on top at Smokey Jacobs Regatta

    St. Albans boys, McLean girls finish on top at Smokey Jacobs Regatta

    ROWING | The Bulldogs boys’ varsity eight breaks away at the 750-meter mark and holds on for the win; The Highlanders girls are also victorious.

    Paul Almond, filmmaker of 1964 documentary ‘Seven Up!,’ dies at 83

    Paul Almond, filmmaker of 1964 documentary ‘Seven Up!,’ dies at 83

    “Seven Up!,” about 14 British children, spurred a film series that followed the group over the decades.

    Reservoir baseball walks off with an extra-inning win over Mount Hebron

    Reservoir baseball walks off with an extra-inning win over Mount Hebron

    BASEBALL | Jon Mierzwa pitches a gem and Cameron Hyder draws a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning to help the No. 4 Gators stay on top of the Howard County standings.

    Track: D’Nia Freeman comes home again at Riverdale Baptist Invitational

    Track: D’Nia Freeman comes home again at Riverdale Baptist Invitational

    TRACK & FIELD | Fresh off competing in the CARIFTA Games in Saint Kitts and Nevis, D’Nia Freeman returned to Riverdale Baptist for Saturday’s invitational.

    Nothing is certain in the fight for Marion Barry’s D.C. Council seat

    Nothing is certain in the fight for Marion Barry’s D.C. Council seat

    Ward 8 candidates hit the streets in Southeast Washington ahead of the April 28 special election.

    VRE kicks off major expansion plan

    VRE kicks off major expansion plan

    A new Spotsylvania station for Virginia Railway Express is part of a long-range plan to increase train frequency and boost capacity in Northern Virginia.

    Local Digest: April 19, 2015

    A roundup of news from around the region.

    Local Columns

    John Kelly

    John Kelly

    Old cars stir up memories when you see them, making it hard to forget where you saw them.

    Petula Dvorak

    Petula Dvorak

    Florida mailman is part of a wave of homegrown, daffy, sometimes troubled activists descending on D.C.

    Courtland Milloy

    Courtland Milloy

    A computer-simulated police training exercise shows that it all comes down to what is reasonable.

    Petula Dvorak

    Petula Dvorak

    Sylvia McQueen, the daughter of a D.C. inmate, now works for controversial Corizon Health.

    Photo Galleries

    One poignant funeral for eight who died together

    Hundreds on Maryland’s Eastern Shore mourn a father and his seven children, all killed in a carbon monoxide accident.

    Big pitch for McLean boy hurt in sledding accident

    Bensten Schone, 6, was critically injured in a sledding accident in January.

    The secret lives of bees

    The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s “Native Bees” program gives nature lovers a closer look at the pollinators.

    A parade for D.C.’s Emancipation Day

    It marks the 153rd anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Washington.

    Gyrocopter lands on West Lawn of Capitol

    A pilot said to be a mailman from Florida was arrested after landing the one-person copter.

    A vigil at Ford’s Theatre, 150 years after Lincoln’s death

    Living historians recreated the scene from April 14, 1865, when the 16th president was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth.

    ‘The government ought to give me my money back’

    A Maryland farm known for its home-delivered milk is better known on Capitol Hill as an example of IRS overreach.

    Cherry blossoms spring to life in Washington

    A sea of pink and white decorates the Tidal Basin with peak displays.

    Our Washington

    From waterfronts to monuments, Post photographers share their favorite D.C. spots.

    More photos