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D.C. got almost a foot of snow, the federal government shut down and several of our sports teams won big victories. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable stories in the D.C. area in 2019.
AFP/Getty ImagesA winter storm in mid-January dumped nearly a foot of snow on parts of the D.C. area, making it the biggest storm to hit the region since the blizzard of January 2016. Federal offices and many schools were closed. And D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser got her very own Pat Collins Snow Stick.
Getty ImagesThe federal government shut down days before Christmas 2018 and remained shut down until Jan. 25, 2019, making it the longest shutdown in U.S. history. President Trump initially refused to sign a short-term funding bill that did not include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Furloughed federal workers lined up for groceries and free meals, and even said they were forced to choose between paying for rent or chemotherapy.
Getty ImagesVirginia Gov. Ralph Northam fought back calls for his resignation in February after a photo surfaced on his yearbook page showing people in blackface and a KKK robe, saying he “truly” didn’t believe he was in the picture. He initially planned to resign after apologizing for appearing in the photo but said he later had a change of heart.
NBC WashingtonAs calls for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam grew in February, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denied a woman’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her in 2004. The woman said he attacked her at the Democratic National Convention that year. Days later, another woman said Fairfax raped her in 2000, when they were students at Duke University. Fairfax denied both accusations and is pursuing a libel lawsuit against CBS, claiming the station violated his rights by airing interviews with the two women.
NBC 7Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked in February. The former archbishop of Washington, D.C., became the highest-ranking churchman and the first cardinal to be punished by dismissal from the clerical state, or laicization. The Vatican found him guilty of “solicitation in the sacrament of confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power,” the Vatican said. That commandment forbids adultery.
Getty ImagesFamilies of students who applied to Georgetown University were among dozens of people nationwide who stood accused of using bribes to secure admission to elite colleges. The stunning stories of false athletic records, cheating on the SAT and hundred-thousand dollar bribes were all revealed in a federal indictment in March. At Georgetown, families allegedly hired private proctors to correct applicants’ SAT exams before submitting them and wrote off bribes as charitable donations from their families’ foundations.
Matt York/APThe University of Virginia Cavaliers won the 2018-19 NCAA championship in April, beating Texas Tech in a thrilling 85-77 overtime win. The victory followed a crushing setback that might have sunk a lesser team for years.
American Cruise Lines: American ConstitutionA couple from Prince George’s County was found dead while vacationing in the Dominican Republic in May. The bodies of Cynthia Day, 50, and her fiancé, Nathaniel Holmes, 63, were found in their room. Investigators later said they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema. Local police said they were looking at the possibility that carbon monoxide poisoning was to blame.
Getty ImagesA city of Virginia Beach worker opened fire inside a municipal building on May 31, killing 11 city workers and one contractor. The victims had served the city for more than 150 years combined. “They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” the city manager said. An independent probe of the crime offered few answers.
WTOP/Dave DildineIn July, a flash flood drenched the District with nearly 3.5 inches of rainfall in just two hours. The inundation stranded drivers, poured into Metro stations and soaked basements, including the White House’s. Some terrified drivers were trapped in their cars.
Getty ImagesIn October, the Washington Nationals won their first World Series in franchise history, sending overjoyed fans into the streets for a victory parade. The Nats won Game 7 in Dallas, after nearly falling out of contention in May.
Getty ImagesDuring Game 5 of the World Series, a home run ball flew toward a Nats fan. He had a can of beer in each hand, so he made a split-second decision to let the ball hit him in the chest rather than drop the beers … making him an instant internet hero. Within 48 hours, Bud Light made him the star of a national ad campaign.
The Washington Post/Getty ImagesAlso in October, the Washington Mystics won their first WNBA championship, getting 22 points from Emma Meesseman and 21 from banged-up league MVP Elena Delle Donne to beat the Connecticut Sun in Game 5.
Getty ImagesMaryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died in October due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68. A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.
Steve Helber/APVirginia Democrats continued their winning streak under President Donald Trump and took full control of the statehouse in November, for the first time in more than two decades. Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate in the marquee warmup for the 2020 presidential election, the third election in a row in which they have made significant gains since Trump was elected.
Getty ImagesThe former mayor of Baltimore pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges in a case involving sales of her self-published children’s books. Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty in federal court in November to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the government and tax evasion. The case involves sales of her self-published “Healthy Holly” books to nonprofits and foundations to promote her political career and fund her run for mayor. Pugh, a Democrat who was elected in 2016, resigned under pressure in May.
Darcy Spencer/NBCWashingtonA man was stabbed to death at a Popeyes restaurant in Prince George’s County in November after he cut in front of people in line to order the chain’s popular chicken sandwiches, police said. Kevin Davis was stabbed once by a man who confronted him outside. He lived in Oxon Hill and was 28.
Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesIn a historic vote, every member of a D.C. Council committee voted in December to recommend the expulsion of Council Member Jack Evans, who repeatedly has been accused of ethics violations. Members of the Ad-Hoc Committee recommended Evans’ ouster in a 12-0 vote. The Council has never voted to expel a council member. Evans violated the D.C. Council ethics rules 11 times since 2014 and earned $400,000 from clients who were deemed “prohibited sources,” an investigation found. He was first elected in 1991 and is up for reelection in 2020 but has not filed paperwork to run.
Courtesy of family; University of Maryland Police DepartmentA jury found a Maryland man guilty of fatally stabbing Bowie State University student Richard Collins III. In December, a Prince George’s County jury convicted Sean Urbanski for the May 2017 murder. Prosecutors said racist propaganda emboldened the killer. But a judge dismissed a hate crime charge. Urbanski could serve a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
AFP/Getty ImagesA woman cross country skis in front of the US Capitol as snow continues to fall in Washington, DC on January 13, 2019. – Washington area residents are waking up to a winter wonderland, and may need to shovel aside several inches of snow that fell overnight as a winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday and more snow is expected to fall. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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