DMV Download from WTOP News

DMV Download is the only daily local news podcast created for Washingtonians. Every weekday afternoon, hosts Megan Cloherty and Luke Garrett go beyond the headlines with WTOP’s team of reporters and sources to bring listeners more on the biggest stories impacting the D.C. region.

Latest Episodes

Friend or foe: How to live with AI

Artificial Intelligence is getting good — like really good. In the past few months, new versions of AI chatbots have caught a lot of people off guard with how well Artificial Intelligence is doing human things like writing, creating art and even talking. Safe to say it’s time we get to know what AI is and how to live with this new technology. Rama Chellappa — a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering and chief scientist at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy — is a pioneer in artificial intelligence. He is also the author of Can We Trust AI? Professor Chellappa tells the story of AI, its abilities, potential and how we should interact with it.
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Understanding bank runs, failures and delayed paychecks

Compass Coffee baristas kept the caffeine flowing this week, but their paychecks froze after the DC startup’s bank – Silicon Valley Bank – failed on March 10. A spokesman from the local coffee house said all employees got their wages by March 13 after the federal government stepped in to backstop all the money deposited at the failed bank. And while this move by the government gave many a sigh of relief, questions remain about what this bank failure means for the economy. This week, WTOP financial contributor Barry Glassman, President of Glassman Wealth Services, explains what happened to Silicon Valley Bank, why Compass Coffee employees were impacted and how we should react.
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Abandoned graves ignite reckoning over slavery at Md. church

Sacred Heart Chapel in Bowie, Maryland is the birthplace of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. It’s where John Carroll was elected the first bishop in the newly formed country. It’s a history parishioners hold with pride. But there’s also shame. Carroll also ran a tobacco plantation that enslaved African Americans. This year, newly discovered graves – that are believed to be the burial ground of slaves – ignited a reckoning at Sacred Heart Chapel. WTOP’s John Domen takes us to this site and shares the voices of priests, church-goers and descendants — each trying to honor the forgotten and neglected graves. 
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‘Zombie drug’ makes Md. opioid crisis worse

The opioid epidemic in Maryland has entered a new and uncertain phase. Xylazine — also called “tranq” and “zombie drug” — is showing up more and more in the illicit drug supply across the state. While scientists can detect the animal sedative, there’s still a lot doctors don’t know about the drug: how it affects humans and how to best treat it. During an exclusive interview on the “DMV Download” podcast, Maryland’s Special Secretary for Opioid Response Emily Keller and Medical Director at the Center for Harm Reduction Services at Maryland Department of Health Dr. Malik Burnett explain what’s known about this drug, what’s still unknown and how the state plans to combat it.
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Council chairman mounts fiery defense of DC’s revised criminal code

The District’s revised criminal code faces its final hurdle before becoming law in the U.S. Congress, where even D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson — who has long championed the revision — has admitted it’s fighting an uphill battle. On the DMV Download podcast, Council Chair Mendelson defended the revised criminal code against opposition from all directions: congressional Republicans as well as D.C.’s mayor and the city’s chief of police.
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Why is AG Miyares investigating northern Va. school systems?

Commonwealth Attorney General Jason Miyares has launched three separate investigations into school systems in northern Virginia during his first year in office. The Republican Attorney General campaigned on education reform. And so far, Miyares has aimed his office’s prosecutorial power at Loudoun and Fairfax county school systems — earning him both praise and pushback from Virginians. Regardless, his investigations have launched northern Virginia school systems into the national limelight and the broader culture war over “wokism” and the equity vs. merit-based education debate. In a sit down conversation on the DMV Download podcast, Virginia’s top prosecutor addresses each investigation and defends their merits.
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DC’s ‘pastor for the poor’ set to retire, but not done yet

The CEO and President of Catholic Charities is stepping down after 10 years at the helm and tens-of-millions of dollars raised for the poor. Reverend Monsignor John J. Enzler transformed the nonprofit during his time there – making it one of the largest charity organizations in the D.C. region. Father John talks about his deep roots in the greater Washington area, how he raises so much money, what he thinks about politics and what’s behind his dedication to serving the poor.
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Police Chief Contee on DC’s violent start to 2023

Violent crime is up in DC. The nation’s capital saw a 14% jump in homicides in January when compared to the same time last year. In an exclusive interview, DC Police Chief Robert Contee III talks about gun violence against youth and the role parents play in prevention, the killing of 13-year-old Karon Blake and other ongoing investigations. Contee also speaks out against the revised criminal code recently passed by the DC Council.
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DC bar set to open without alcohol: ‘whether you like it or not’

DC’s first non-alcoholic bar is set to open to the public this February. It’s called Binge Bar and sits on H Street in Northeast DC near the NoMa neighborhood. Gigi Arandid created the dry bar after getting a DUI and going sober. Arandid says she wants to create a safe, sober place for recovering alcoholics and those who want to limit their drinking. We talk about her sobriety story, her hopes for the bar and the challenges it faces.
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Filming the fight: Why C-SPAN wants back in Congress

Since 1979, C-SPAN has broadcasted raw coverage of the U.S. Congress. But in the first week of January, something changed. C-SPAN became – as the Hollywood Reporter mused – “America’s Hottest TV Drama in 2023.” And all because, Congress let C-SPAN use their cameras to film the 5-day election of now Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. Usually only government provided feeds are allowed. This week, I sit down with the C-SPAN Director of Editorial Operations Ben O’Connell and Crew Chief Steve Kehoe (a.k.a. the man behind the C-SPAN camera). We talk about why C-SPAN wants Congress to change its rule and allow C-SPAN cameras to film the government in action. 
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