After months of wrangling, Congress passed a $900 billion coronavirus aid package late Monday that will bring relief to millions of Americans, including tens of thousands in the aviation industry who were furloughed in September.
The deal includes $45 billion in support for the transportation sector, including $15 billion for airlines and $1 billion for airline contractors.
The money will be used to extend the Payroll Support Program, which provided funds to keep flight attendants, reservations agents and pilots on the job. Airlines and unions have fought for months to extend the program, only to see more than 30,000 of their colleagues furloughed when it expired at the end of September.
“This agreement will get tens of millions of working people emergency help, including more than 12 million who are slated to lose unemployment insurance by [Saturday],” Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said in a statement. “The legislation will also restore paychecks for over 100,000 flight attendants and other aviation workers who have been without since October 1.”
Coronavirus figures released by D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Monday showed 6,075 additional cases in the region and 101 deaths.
Hundreds of thousands of doses of coronavirus vaccines are beginning to arrive in Virginia, Maryland and the District. The city has already administered more than 4,500 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government.
More than 10,000 people from D.C., Maryland and Virginia have died of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Those who have died were activists, writers, firefighters and pastors. They worked in grocery stores, drove public buses and taught children. Read about their lives here.
Reported cases: 160
Reported deaths: 2
In the past seven days, the District has reported 1,561 new cases.
Reported cases: 2,324
Reported deaths: 48
In the past seven days, Maryland has reported 16,035 new cases.
Reported cases: 3,591
Reported deaths: 51
In the past seven days, Virginia has reported 26,172 new cases.
In this era of nomadic superstars, one move soon becomes two, and a player who was once synonymous with one organization is the new guy again. Russell Westbrook wasn’t able to re-create what he had for 11 seasons in Oklahoma City, but he has settled into something that feels familiar in Washington.
Westbrook is back with Scott Brooks, the first coach who allowed him to play outside the margins until he discovered his greatness. Back with some recognizable faces on the training staff and in the front office. Back with the ball in his hands. And, for someone who is fiercely loyal and a stickler for stability, starting over in a place of comfort is the least Westbrook can ask for as he begins to play for his third team in as many years.
Replacing a beloved local figure in John Wall, Westbrook joins the Wizards after having already deposited an MVP trophy, nine all-star appearances and three seasons of averaging triple-doubles into his first-ballot Hall of Fame account. Despite being one of the (angry) faces of the league for a while, Westbrook remains an enigma — a guarded, sometimes distant personality who has let the perception of him get simplified to on-court snarls and mean mugs.
The string involved a carjacking, attempted car thefts and a home invasion in which a man had to fend off the intruder from a child’s nursery, according to police and charging papers.
Robert Hill, 31, started out in the 500 block of Pacer Drive, police said. According to charging documents, Hill allegedly shot Clifford Ellis as he sat inside his blue pickup truck in his own driveway. Witnesses told police they saw Hill pull Ellis from the truck, climb into the driver’s seat and drive away, the documents said.
County police, who said they think the carjacking was random, arrived at the Landover home at 5:40 p.m. They found Ellis lying in his driveway, according to court documents. He was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.
For 10 years, police investigating the disappearance of Unique Harris slowly assembled scraps of evidence. DNA from a couch. Stories from a companion of the victim that didn’t add up. A jailhouse informant who heard talk of a missing girl. The fuzzy recollections of a child.
For detectives who had chased a slew of false sightings and leads, including someone who claimed to have kidnapped Harris and demanded a ransom for her return, those scraps finally came together into a cohesive, tragic story.
This past weekend, police arrested the companion they had long suspected, accusing Isaac Moye of killing the 24-year-old mother of three who vanished from her apartment in Southeast Washington in 2010, leaving her three children alone inside. Her body has not been found.
Police charged Moye, 43, with second-degree murder while armed. He was released from prison last month after serving nearly five years for assaulting a woman with a knife. On Monday, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered him detained on the murder charge.
The U.S. government is about to send checks — or direct deposits — to most Americans to help people survive financially this winter until coronavirus vaccines are more widely available.
A bipartisan deal reached Sunday will provide $600 payments to adults with annual incomes up to $75,000, plus another $600 per child. Some Americans earning more than $75,000 will also receive money if they meet certain qualifications outlined below. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hopes to start sending out payments the last week in December.
Who exactly qualifies for a payment? The IRS is using your 2019 tax return to determine eligibility for this payment.
Individuals with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 a year will be eligible for the full $600 payment. Reduced checks will go out to individuals making up to $87,000 a year (down from $99,000 in the spring).
Married couples are eligible for a $1,200 check as long as their adjusted gross income is under $150,000 a year. Reduced checks, on a sliding scale, will go out to married couples who earn up to $174,000. Married couples also will receive an additional $600 for every child under 17.
“What’re you doing New Year’s Eve?” has always been a loaded question. But this year, we know exactly where most people will be when the clock strikes midnight: home.
The District, Maryland and Virginia have all issued orders that end alcohol consumption at 10 p.m. in restaurants and bars, while Virginia has declared a curfew that bans nonessential travel between midnight and 5 a.m. So if you want to ring out this dumpster fire of a year with a glass of well-deserved champagne (or whiskey or mezcal or ... ), you can’t do so in public.
Instead, in-person celebrations are taking place earlier across the region, while restaurants and bars are trying to replicate New Year’s Eve specials for takeout and delivery.
Here are some ideas for New Year’s Eve:
The Hamilton is offering an all-inclusive package with a live-streamed 90-minute show and options of hors d’oeuvres, batched cocktails, beer and bottles of wine.
The State Theatre in Falls Church is hosting a free concert by the Nowhere Men in the venue’s parking lot at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
The 5,500-page spending and relief bill that Congress passed Monday night includes the authorization of two Smithsonian museums — one focused on the American Latino, the other on American women — that pave the way for the world’s largest museum complex to become even more diverse.
The omnibus bill calls on the Smithsonian to begin the lengthy process of creating the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum by giving the quasi-federal institution permission to hire staff members, collect objects and present programs aimed at telling stories unique to the groups.
The proposed museums would be the first new Smithsonian facilities since the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016.
After working nearly 20 years as a stagehand, doing behind-the-scenes work to put on concerts, plays and events of all stripes, A.J. Silvester was able to bring home a six-figure income. It was enough in the notoriously expensive Washington, D.C., area for his wife, Rosalyn Silvester, who also worked in the entertainment industry, to quit the workforce and stay home with their two young children.
It was enough so that after the couple received some inheritance money, they could afford to buy a home in a desirable neighborhood in Arlington, Va., near good schools. They drained their savings and put nearly everything into fixing up that house. It meant that money was tight, but it was a nice life.
But then in March, much of the country went into lockdown, and live performances were canceled. A.J. abruptly found himself out of work — that comfortable income suddenly reduced to nothing.
“We’re people with credit scores in the upper seven, low eight hundreds,” Rosalyn said. “So it’s not like we’re people who were already kind of on the iffy line. This would be the beginning of something really bad for us.”
A.J. struggled to get through the jammed unemployment phone lines. Even when he was finally approved, the checks were slow to arrive. The federal government’s stimulus money had also been promised but not delivered. But besides, none of that would be enough for their family of four to pay all of their bills. And who knew when live events would begin again? Who knew when the pandemic would end?
The family cut back on spending every way they could think of trimming. Seven months later, with the pandemic still raging, not much has turned out like they planned. Watch the documentary above to learn how their story unfolds.
The stimulus bill brokered by Congress should eliminate or significantly reduce Metro’s need to cut weekend rail service, lay off one-third of its workforce, close stations and cut Metrobus service in half.
It is still unclear how much Metro would get from the $900 billion federal stimulus bill, but a chunk of the $14 billion apportioned for public transportation has been earmarked for the Washington metropolitan area. The transit agency should receive “more than enough” to stave off drastic proposed cuts, Metro board member Michael Goldman said Monday.
The transit agency said in a Twitter message that the relief bill “is a strong down payment on transit’s recovery” in the Washington region.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said nearly $830 million in the proposed emergency relief package would be devoted to public transportation in the D.C. region.
“In this new COVID-19 relief deal, I’m proud to announce we’ve secured $800+ million in relief for public transit for the DC-VA-MD region — funds I’ve been fighting for,” Warner tweeted Monday. “Ensuring public transit services survive this crisis is essential for the federal gov’t & frontline workers.”
Tianna Mills moved to Washington to work in politics. But when the coronavirus pandemic struck, she found herself yearning to help fight the virus. She quit her job on a political campaign and applied to work for the District government as a contact tracer.
The job, she found, was challenging but rewarding — long calls with patients who were sick and scared and often reluctant to say where they had been and with whom they had interacted. She says she cajoled and comforted them and explained the importance of sharing details that could be vital to controlling the deadly pandemic.
As she worked six or seven days a week, Mills, 26, started to think she was good at this role, at getting even the most frightened patients to trust her. She began considering a career in public health.
But then she tweeted her frustration that contact tracers weren’t getting paid overtime.
The post got thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets. Three days later, she says, the D.C. Department of Health fired her.
A possible solution for the gridlock on Capitol Hill.
Unfortunately, according to the Capital Weather Gang, recent weather models have lowered the Washington region’s chances of snow on Christmas. American and Canadian models now predict about a dusting of snow at most. So, it might be hard to make a snowball, let alone throw one.
This photo from the Library of Congress is one of thousands in a collection by the National Photo Company. In the first half of the 20th century, the National Photo Company photographed news and life around Washington. Some of the images in the collection date to 1850. The provided title for this photograph is “Senate pages in snow ball battle at Capitol,” and the negative was dated Jan. 2, 1925. For more information, and to see the listing posted by the Library of Congress, go here.
This is one part in a series in which we share a piece of the District’s past. If you have a story or a photo you’d like to share, please email email@example.com — and thank you in advance.
After 15 seasons, four teams and two postseason home runs that will live forever in Washington, Howie Kendrick has retired from baseball.
The 37-year-old announced his decision in an Instagram post Monday evening. He did so just a week after Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez and General Manager Mike Rizzo both said they expected Kendrick to return for 2021. But Kendrick had considered retirement before signing to play for the Nationals last season, and he chose this time to begin the next chapter of his life.
“Last but not least, my Beloved Washington Nationals,” Kendrick wrote after briefly reflecting on stints with the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. “Thank you for embracing me as one of your own. I feel as though I’d been a National my whole career and the wild, humbling and crazy ride we had in 2019 truly culminated everything I’d learned in my career, and we all became World Champions.”
Kendrick was drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of the 2002 draft. Before that, his high school coach, Richard Pearce, could get few local colleges to take an undersized infielder. Only one — St. Johns River Community College in Palatka, Fla. — took a chance on Kendrick. He used it to shine in front of the right scouts. Then he went all the way to the majors and stuck.
Hundreds of thousands of doses of coronavirus vaccines are beginning to come into the District, Maryland and Virginia as the numbers of infections and deaths continue to build.
The District expects to receive more than 30,000 doses this week, substantially increasing the city’s ability to vaccinate front-line workers as the arrival of the newly approved Moderna vaccine helps offset reductions in the number of Pfizer vaccine doses being distributed this week.
In the first days of vaccine delivery last week, the city administered more than 4,500 of the 6,825 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it received from the federal government, D.C. coronavirus vaccine program leader Ankoor Shah said at a news conference Monday. This week, the federal government will allot an additional 4,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 12,600 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine to the city.
The District will also receive 8,775 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Virginia and 8,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from Maryland, Shah said, after they agreed to share their supply to help vaccinate health-care workers, many of whom live outside the city, at their places of work in the District.