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Preview: The Washington Times Staff Writers: Stories by Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons

Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:05:09 -0400


'Synthetic marijuana' is not marijuana, 'stupid'

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:05:09 -0400


Friday is 4/20 Day. Weed Day. Beware, however.

A bulletin last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was fairly direct: "89 in Illinois, 2 in Indiana, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, and 1 in Wisconsin" cases of fake weed laced with rat poison. This week ...

Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Betsy DeVos -- the Big 3 needs to set education agenda

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:21:07 -0400


Now that the lines of the red state-blue state models are as blurred as those in the Robin Thicke-Pharrell Williams 2013 groove "Blurred Lines," it's time to begin formulating a chit-chat about federal education policy.

There's a long line of conservatives and Republicans who still want to snip the ...

Sex, crimes and videotapes

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 19:45:08 -0400


Is OK for a child to be prostituted because his parents' failed to pay the "coyotes" who "escorted" him into the United States across the border with Mexico?

Should young women who conscientiously prostituted themselves to pay for college or Pampers be prosecuted?

How about deep-throated porn stars who ...

Cherry blossoms peak as Nationals prepare for All-Stars

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 22:27:38 -0400


Cherry blossoms spoiler alert: The nation's capital isn't the only U.S. city adorned by the glorious blooms of spring, but if your blossom-watching plans include hitting Washington, move quickly.

Peak bloom began Thursday.

More on that a bit later. It's springtime, and that means Americans' favorite warm-weather pastime — ...

Dreamers, dreams 50 years after MLK assassination

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 18:43:08 -0400


April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee, where an assassination's single high-velocity shot pierced the right side of his face.

King was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital and pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m., an hour later.

On the Sunday morning ...

Free preschool for many means free child care

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:41:07 -0400


The underpinnings of the universal pre-K movement appeared noble: Provide youngsters with basic academic and social skills and by kindergarten those kids would be on solid footing for grade school and beyond.

Local and state governments danced to that beat and began pouring "investments" into public coffers for preschool ...

Jeff Sessions has a D.C. parole decision to make

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 19:48:07 -0400


It has been written in stone since 1997 that the federal government has control of and authority over D.C.'s felons — in prison and on parole.

That means if someone is convicted of a felony in the District, the federal government decides where they will be imprisoned and what ...

Capitol Hill lawmakers in a spending crunch

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 22:30:16 -0400


Once the fiscal conservatism knob begins to drip, it never stops leaking money into public coffers.

The spending bill is an example.

Donald Trump winked, Paul Ryan blinked and Chuck Schumer nodded, late Thursday night.

So it goes in Washington, where Capitol Hill's sandman sprinkled pixie dust to remind ...

Parents need to do more to ensure their child's safety

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:35:14 -0400


It takes a parent to raise a child, and there's no hands-free app for that.

Here again is yet another reason why parents must step up and into their children's lives.

At 1,600-student Great Mills High School on Tuesday, an armed school resource officer stepped into the danger zone ...

Brewing off the shores of the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 20:03:07 -0400


The Pamunkey Tribe is staking a claim but not in Maryland's Charles County, where the family of the first mayor of D.C. — Robert Brent — put down stakes before the Revolutionary War in what is now the town of Pomonkey and its environs.

Instead, the Pamunkey Tribe is ...

Kirk Cousins' family shows what matters

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 18:08:08 -0400


Julie Hampton Cousins is likely pulling up stakes in Virginia and moving to Minnesota.

Who's Julie Hampton Cousins, you ask, and why is she moving to Minnesota?

Julie is the mother of not-quite 6-month-old Cooper Cousins, the son of Kirk Cousins, former quarterback of the Washington Redskins and soon-to-be ...

Martin Luther King, guns, gun control

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 16:48:07 -0400


The eyes and ears of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI weren't in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine's Day or trawling the internet for menacing words by accused killer Nikolas Cruz.

These days, however, in the aftermath of Mr. Cruz's streak of violence inside a schoolhouse, we are forced to looked backward ...

National School Walkout smackdown

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 22:49:06 -0400


What are your children walking into?

Across the nation, kids are scheduled to walk out of school on Wednesday to honor the 17 victims killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida.

The plan calls for students to spend 17 minutes reciting the ...

Washington, D.C.'s education con game

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 20:58:07 -0500

Smart prosecutors and politicians who smell something fishy often say they will "follow the money."

That's a wise rule, whether referring to an individual or group of individuals.

Members of Baltimore's elite Gun Trace Task Force, for example, racked up praise until the feds discovered the officers actually had also ...

Paging Mayor Muriel Bowser

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 22:29:16 -0500

Madame Mayor, as a Christian woman, you're probably quite aware that John 8:32 offers powerful advice for people, including those running so fast they're likely to meet themselves turning the corner.

Well, the race for your re-election began four years ago, and now you must pause.

Antwan Wilson, the man ...

Teachers contract addresses school safety, security

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:31:06 -0500


So, President Trump wants teachers to strap themselves with firearms and get extra pay in the process, eh?

He wants to stake a claim on federal policy for gun control and school safety following last week's massacre in Florida's Broward County.

Then, with all deliberate speed please draw his ...

D.C. school cheating scandals worsening

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 17:58:06 -0500


There is a funky smell coming from D.C. Public Schools.

During the 2012-13 school year, a D.C. varsity football coach was fired amid allegations that a player lived in Maryland.

During the 2017-18 school year, D.C. officials learned that school employees cheated by granting diplomas to students who did ...

School shootings, violence relay silenced message

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 19:27:09 -0500


"Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge/I'm trying not to lose my head"

— Part of the hook of "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, 1982

Mark President Trump's words. He laid out a new goal in the ongoing debate about gun violence.

The ...

D.C. 'fair' elections bill is unfair

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:38:36 -0500

It's 2022. Muriel Bowser is trying to decide whether she, like Marion Barry, will be dubbed "Mayor for Life" after winning a third term.

She has to be cautious about this run because she has two opponents who have name recognition and, more important, larger war chests.

She suspected in ...

Fund DCTAG with Washington, D.C., money, Mayor Muriel Bowser

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:19:07 -0500


When news broke Monday that some D.C. officials cried foul because President Trump's budget proposes cutting federal funding of a special college tuition program, I took it personally.

Prodded to send one of my daughters to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, my research on Tuesday led me to the ...