Zach at The Washington Post post

Zach at The Washington Post post

Zach occasionally writes for The Washington Post, where he worked as an American University School of Communication Dean’s Intern in 2014, reporting local news for The Washington Post’s Metro section.

See below his clips in print and online.


“The pandemic makes it harder for journalists to cover Congress — and trillion-dollar relief bills,” May 4, 2020.

“Lou Harris, pollster for presidents and others officeholders, dies at 95,” December 19, 2016

Federal official denies threatening to shoot ex-boss
BY DINA ELBOGHDADY AND ZACH C. COHEN Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.
The Washington Post
May 15, 2014

A high-ranking federal official who faces a felony charge for allegedly threatening to shoot the former head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency appeared in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday and, through his lawyer, denied the allegations lodged against him.

Richard Hornsby, 58, allegedly threatened former FHFA acting director Edward J. DeMarco after receiving a review last month for his performance as the agency’s chief operating officer, according to a court document…read more…

Online: “Federal official denies threatening to kill boss or ‘shoot him in the kneecap’”

Truck attack silences TV station
peter. Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.
The Washington Post
May 14, 2014

A man rammed a stolen landscaping truck into the lobby of a Baltimore television station Tuesday, police said, prompting a standoff that forced the building’s evacuation and knocked the ABC affiliate off the air for hours.

Authorities in Baltimore County eventually entered the building and found the man armed with a golf club and holed up in a second-floor editing room, where he was watching television accounts of the incident…read more…

Online: “Police arrest man suspected of crashing truck into Baltimore news station”

An updated story came the following day with the release of the police report and the charges, along with a little extra reporting.

Crash suspect claims reincarnation
BY PETER HERMANN AND ZACH C. COHEN Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.
The Washington Post
May 15 2014

A 28-year-old man charged with ramming a truck into a Baltimore television station Tuesday told police he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and King Tutankhamun and wanted to expose what he called the “multiverses” where bad things happen to people and they disappear, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Police said Vladi­mir Mehul Baptiste roamed through WMAR-TV’s headquarters north of Baltimore — prompting a 41 / 2-hour standoff that knocked the ABC affiliate (Channel 2) off the air until after 5 p.m. — and was finally arrested as he watched newscasts of himself from an editing office while holding a golf club…read more…

Updated story the next day: “Suspect in Baltimore TV station crash said he was reincarnation of Jesus Christ and King Tut”

Editor led exposé that won Pulitzer
The Washington Post
May 14, 2014

William J. Coughlin, who traversed four continents as a foreign correspondent before guiding a 10,000-circulation North Carolina newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into cancer-causing chemicals in the municipal water supply, died May 8 at a hospice in Bolivia, N.C. He was 91.

read more…

Online: “William J. Coughlin, who led small North Carolina newspaper to a Pulitzer, dies at 91”

Man sought in shooting at store
— Zach C. Cohen
The Washington Post Sunday
May 4, 2014

Police are searching for the man they believe shot a 20-year-old man several times at a convenience store in Anne Arundel County, Md., early Saturday morning.
Authorities were called to the Royal Farms store in the 7200 block of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard at 1:12 a.m. for a reported shooting. There they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds. Police said he had gotten into an altercation with a man, who then shot him before fleeing on foot from the store….read more…

Online: “Police seeking suspect in Ferndale Royal Farms convenience store shooting,” May 3, 2014

“Roads near collapsed building have reopened,” May 3, 2014

“Police arrested Thaddeus Desean Bailey Saturday in fatal stabbing of Hyattsville man,” May 3, 2014

“Pepco customers can learn from experience of Exelon customers who use BGE,” April 30, 2014

Many historic sites are in jeopardy
The Washington Post
April 30, 2014

The commonwealth’s rich history includes land where the English first settled in the New World and enslaved people sought rest on their way to freedom. But many of those places are in jeopardy from decay and development, weather and lack of resources, according to Preservation Virginia, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting historic locales.

The group’s annual list of endangered historic sites was released Tuesday…read more…

Online: “Many of Virginia’s historic sites are in jeopardy”

“Great Falls woman charged with hosting party where 15-year-old girl overdosed on alcohol,” April 30, 2014

Obama fields questions, and a pitch, from kids
The Washington Post
April 25, 2014

First lady Michelle Obama acknowledged Thursday that the children of White House workers pay a price for all their parents do to help the president.

“We know how much you guys sacrifice because your parents work here,” Obama said. “You know, for many of you, I know it’s hard when your mom and dad [say:] ‘You know, I’m going to miss dinner tonight because I have to work late,’ or ‘There’s a meeting on Saturday, so I’ll miss your game,’ or ‘I have to travel next week, and I might not be able to get to that recital.’

“Our kids go through it,” she added, “and it’s not a lot of fun.”

On Thursday, Obama tried to bring a little of the fun back by hosting about 150 children of White House staffers at the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day…read more…

Online: “First lady says kids pay a price for the Washington life

Struggling to piece together chaos at the zoo
The Washington Post
April 23, 2014

Shortly past 5 p.m. Monday, the main entrance to the National Zoo teemed with people enjoying one of the attraction’s busiest days of the year. Tourists and mothers pushing baby carriages jostled for position as other visitors, enjoying the annual family day at the zoo, poured onto Connecticut Avenue.

Just then, a large crowd of men and women arrived at the zoo’s entrance. That came as authorities inside were in the process of expelling about three dozen disruptive youngsters from near the elephant exhibit. All of a sudden, hundreds of people milled about at the zoo’s entrance.

Then, at 5:17, someone pulled a gun and fired several shots. Once again — just like in 2000, when seven people were shot, and again in 2011, when a young boy was stabbed — an Easter Monday at the zoo became a day of terror and chaos for out-of-towners and native Washingtonians alike…read more…

Online: “Police search for motive in shooting outside National Zoo

Long unclaimed, 2 veterans honored
The Washington Post
April 17, 2014

TRIANGLE, Va. — No one who attended Wednesday’s funeral service at Quantico National Cemetery had ever met the two World War II-era veterans who were being laid to rest.

Their names, their ranks and their decorations had only recently been learned. No one could even say where the men were from.

What the attendees did know was that the men’s ashes had been found, unclaimed for more than 25 years, in a funeral home in Norfolk…read more…

Online: “Veterans, unclaimed for 25 years, laid to rest with honors at Quantico”

Syndicated to The Virginian-Pilot and The Santa Fe New Mexican 

Residents in uphill fight against condo in neighborhood
The Washington Post
April 17, 2014

…under the District’s zoning code, the property at 1511 A St. has few restrictions on what can be built there, beyond limiting the height to 50 feet. And the new owner, developer Taiwo Demuren, wants to “bring to the neighborhood condominiums that will not be pricing out those who want to live in Capitol Hill,” he said.

Residents opposed to Demuren’s plans say the development would not fit in with the neighborhood.

“We’ve had these 100-year-old homes here forever, and nobody ever thought this was zoned commercial,” said neighbor Brian Weeks…read more…

Online: “Under zoning code, few restrictions on what can be built on NE property”

Area ranks second in green-building count
— Zach C. Cohen
The Washington Post
April 10, 2014

The Washington area has the second-largest number of green buildings in the country for the fifth year in a row, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.

The region’s 435 Energy Star-certified buildings often use at least one-third less energy than comparable buildings. Increasingly popular energy efficiency tools include LED lights, real-time energy usage data, rooftop gardens, electricity remote control and automation, according to the EPA….read more…

Read the full story online at

In special Md. court, a teen takeover
The Washington Post
Apr 7 2014

The 16-year-old said he didn’t think before stealing a shirt, pants, hat and jewelry box from a local Kohl’s. He had fallen in with new friends after moving from Virginia to Maryland, and he followed their lead. He put on the clothes and started to walk out of the store.

The youth didn’t know police were on to him until right before officers handcuffed him. He was charged with theft under $1,000.

“I wasn’t in the right state of mind,” he said. “It was a dumb thing to do.”

But in Charles County, Md., the teen and other young first-time offenders get a second chance. Their records are wiped clean, and potential fines and driver’s license points can be forgiven. Instead, a jury of teen peers picks a different kind of punishment: community service, letters of apology, even having offenders plan their own funerals…read more…

You can also find the story online at 

Following animal deaths, ‘budget uncertainty,’ National Zoo renews caretaker hiring, April 4

D.C. mayoral primary coverage, April 1-2

First blind man to hike 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail
The Washington Post Sunday
Mar 16 2014

As he walked the length of the Appalachian Trail for eight months in 1990, Bill Irwin estimated that he fell thousands of times. He cracked his ribs and suffered from hypothermia as he climbed mountains and forded rivers. The pads he wore didn’t protect his scabbed knees.

Mr. Irwin, then a 50-year-old medical technologist and corporate manager from Burlington, N.C., did not use maps or a compass. He was blind, and he relied solely on his German shepherd guide dog, Orient…read more…

Online: Bill Irwin dies at 73; first blind hiker of Appalachian Trail

This obituary was also syndicated to the Portland Press Herald, the Columbus Dispatch and the Concord Monitor.

Martin E. Sloane
— Zach C. Cohen
The Washington Post
Mar 14 2014

FAIR HOUSING PROPONENT Martin E. Sloane, who championed against discrimination in employment and housing as a longtime official with the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, died Feb. 12 at the Washington Home hospice. He was 85.

The cause was pneumonia, said his daughter Phoebe Sloane.

Mr. Sloane worked with the rights group from 1973 to 1987, initially as general counsel and later as executive vice president…read more…

Online: Martin E. Sloane, fair housing proponent

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 Drive near Arlington Boulevard and Leesburg Pike about 6:20 a.m….read more…

Read the story online at

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-year-olds 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 vote Tuesday, anyone older than 17 who has lived in College Park for at least a year can seek elected office in the city, which is home to U-Md.’s flagship campus. The rule would allow U-Md. students who did not grow up in College Park to run for office by their sophomore year…read more…

Read the story online.

National Zoo’s giant octopus, Pandora, dies, Feb. 12

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…

Online: “Va. Tech student from N. Virginia is slaying victim; two are charged in connection with death”

TV’s Cap’n Tugg was ‘The Man With a Million Voices’
The Washington Post
Jan 30 2014

Lee Reynolds, an actor who played the seafaring title role on “Cap’n Tugg,” a Washington-area children’s TV show in the 1950s and 1960s, and who later became an announcer, writer and director for the public broadcasting station WETA, died Jan. 27 at Capital Caring hospice in Arlington. He was 87.

The cause was lung cancer, said his wife, Christine Lewis Reynolds….read more…

Online: “‘Man With a Million Voices” captained children’s television”

Contributing tags

Pepco takeover will bring better service, Exelon says
The Washington Post
May 1, 2014

Nuclear-energy giant Exelon launched a $6.8 billion takeover of Washington’s century-old local electric company on Wednesday, promising long-suffering Pepco customers better service and a quicker response when the lights do go out.
Consumer advocates and government officials across Pepco’s service area, which includes the District and much of suburban Maryland, largely welcomed the proposed merger, which would inject fresh resources and personnel into a company whose record for reliability has long ranked among the worst in the nation….read more…
Online: “Nuclear giant Exelon to buy Washington’s Pepco in $6.8 billion energy deal”

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

“Snow days are adding up at Washington area schools this winter”, Feb. 12, 2014

“Ice here and there but not everywhere, as the weather fault line divides the D.C. region”, Feb. 5, 2014

“Freezing rain closes schools in Montgomery, Loudoun; slippery roads reported” Feb. 4, 2014

I also blogged about my experience in the newsroom for the SOC Dean’s Intern Blog.