Archives for the month of: February, 2014

I had the privilege of interviewing Juan Pinera, a friend of the late Alfredo “Freddy” Tello, Jr., who was killed in 1997 by Samuel Sheinbein. Sheinbein was killed in an Israeli prison Feb. 23.

This the first A-section story for The Washington Post I have worked on. It begins on A1, and my contributing tag is on A5. It also lived on the homepage of above the jump.

It was a pleasure working with Dan Morse, Victoria St. Martin and Maria Glod on this story. Coordinated effort well done by all.

Grisly story ends in shots 6,000 miles away
The Washington Post
Feb 25 2014

Zach C. Cohen, Ruth Eglash, Victoria St. Martin and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

“A neighbor described the missing youth as a shy and conscientious teenager, the youngest of three children, who was ‘extremely handy with tools.’ ” — The Washington Post, Sept. 23, 1997 Samuel Sheinbein, then 17, a senior at Montgomery County’s John…read more…

You can also find the story online at

UPDATE Feb. 25, 10:34 a.m.: This post was updated with info on the print story as well as mentions of members of the team I worked with.

Another tragic story out of Seven Corners, Va. His wife got away safe, but Alvaro Zepeda will be missed by those who knew him.

Thanks to my Spanish, I got to learn a little about Mr. Zepeda. Everybody I talked to described him as a friendly and helpful member of the community.

My latest for The Washington Post. Special thanks to Dana Hedgpeth for doing the first write based on police reports and to Luz Lazo (an American University alumna!) for helping me with the more advanced Spanish.

Fairfax stabbing leaves man dead, woman injured

Luz Lazo contributed to this report.

The Washington Post
Feb 21 2014

A Fairfax County man was stabbed and killed and woman was wounded Thursday morning at an apartment complex in Seven Corners, county authorities said. Police responded to a report of a stabbing at a low-rise brick apartment building on John Marshall…read more…

Read the story online at

This post has been updated with thanks to Dana and Luz.

Each week on Latin Pulse, the able Megan Ekhaml hosts a roundup of that week’s news in Latin America.

This week, I stepped in and earned the role of associate producer by guest hosting the newscast. This week, we focused on Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Thanks to executive producer Rick Rockwell for writing the script and editing the final package.

New Voices 2.20.14 Figure skating to Schindler's List

If Lipnitskaia’s performance is inappropriate, then anything other than straightforward facts about the Holocaust, according to these commentators, should be forbidden.

If art is meant to force its viewers to struggle with complex emotions, what is the difference between Spielberg’s use of Schindler’s List to make money and Lipnitskaia’s use of the movie’s theme to win points? Would these same commentators condemn Everything is Illuminated, a Holocaust movie that also contains some of the most brilliant comedy I’ve ever seen? Should libraries pull Phillip Roth’s Plot Against America off the shelves for altering the history of the Holocaust? Should Ballet Austin have shut down Light, a ballet that showcased the beauty of humanity and its suffering during the Holocaust? Should American University, my school, have shut down a children’s musical about the Holocaust (of which I was a cast member) because it originally had a song about cheese?

When did political correctness force us to lose our humanity, our ability to recognize art for what it is: defiance of people like the Nazis who preferred a world of hatred and death?

Read the rest of my take at New Voices. 

I returned to The Eagle newsroom for last week to for some marathon copy editing in the first print edition of the semester. Following some print delays, it was released today.

If you’re on campus, pick up a copy today for stories on evolutions in the WONK campaign, an off-campus housing guide and a great profile of men’s basketball’s “Pee Wee.”

Snow days


There have been a lot of snow days in the D.C. Metro area. That should come as a suprise to nobody, given the weather we’ve had.

Here’s a roundup I helped compile last week on the snow days in each county. I reported on Frederick and Howard counties.

College Park drops age for elected office to 18
The Washington Post
Feb 13 2014

The College Park City Council voted this week to allow 18-yearolds to run for public office, opening up the opportunity for students at the University of Maryland to seek council seats or the mayor’s office. Under the new rules, adopted in a 5 to 3…read more…

You can also read the online at The Washington Post, my first clip for the education section.

(This blog post has been updated.)


Washington’s favorite cephalopod, the National Zoo’s female giant octopus Pandora, has died, the zoo announced Wednesday.

Pandora was 5 years old, the upper range of the median life span for her species, when she died Feb. 11.

Read the rest of the story in The Washington Post.

A tragic story out of Virginia Tech, with questions left unanswered. My latest for The Washington Post, on B2 with an A1 tease in today’s paper.

My condolences to Sam’s friends and family. Everybody I spoke to said she was a sweet, caring, intelligent woman. Thanks to the legendary Martin Weil for helping me on my first Post crime story.

Slain Tech student was from N.Va.
The Washington Post
Feb 12 2014

A 21-year-old Virginia Tech student from Northern Virginia was found slain Monday in the Blacksburg area, where the university is located, authorities said. The student was identified as Samanata Shrestha, who grew up in Vienna and attended James Madison High…read more…


The Peace Corps named AU the third largest volunteer-producing, middle-sized university in the country Feb. 11. AU lost its No. 2 slot to the University of Virginia by a single student.

AU has fluctuated between second and third place since 2009 with the exception of 2011, when it was in fourth place.

Read the rest of the story at The Eagle.