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

‘Seriously, your porn?’ Va. state senator faces threats over age-verification law

A new age-verification law in Virginia has turned the porn industry in the Commonwealth on its head. State Sen. Bill Stanley knew his law requiring porn websites to verify a user’s age with an ID would ruffle some feathers, but he didn’t expect the threats against his family. The law also faces stiff legal critiques from the Free Speech Coalition — a porn industry trade group that believes the law violates the constitution. On the show, we hear from both sides on the issue.
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Why Md. Gov. Moore says the FBI headquarters shouldn’t be in Va.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s recent criticism of the FBI amid its investigation into former-President Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents should play a role in which state is picked for the new FBI headquarters building. Securing the FBI building for Maryland is a top priority for Moore, who is now 6 months into his tenure. On the show, Maryland’s first Black governor lays out his pitch for the headquarters and also talks about gun control, violence and transit.
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Behind the $500M plan to bring ‘modern-day Roman baths’ to DC

Last month, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District had inked a deal with a company seeking to build a massive $500 million complex in the city. No, it’s not for a new Commander’s stadium or swanky hotel. The agreement is with an Austrian-based company that hopes to build an indoor spa and waterpark the size of 10 baseball fields somewhere in the nation’s capital. Chief Development Officer at Therme Group US Omar Toro-Vaca is overseeing the possible construction of a DC Therme. He comes o n the show to talk about what is a Therme, where it could go, and who is going to pay for it.
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Are you working your life away? Why this rising star got off the DC ‘hamster wheel’

Spirituality, mortality, nepotism, mental health and travel are topics covered in Luke Russert’s New York Times bestselling book “Look For Me There.” It chronicles Russert’s journey through grief after losing his father — TV-news giant Tim Russert who died unexpectedly at 58-years-old in 2008. The book is also about how Luke found himself while traveling to six continents and more than 67 countries. Luke comes on the show and tells us what he’s learned.
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‘Rampant homelessness’: How to curb a rise in encampments

The D.C. region saw an 18% increase in homelessness last year. Suburbs experienced the largest jump. It’s the first time homelessness has risen in the greater Washington area in four years. Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless Donald Whitehead said our area has a “rampant homelessness” problem and people are treating it like it’s the new “normal.” Whitehead comes on the show to talk about his time living on the streets, why homelessness is on the rise and how we can end it.
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NASA commander wants to ‘make the impossible real’ with Artemis II

Artemis II marks a new era of NASA space travel. It’s the first manned mission to the moon’s orbit since 1972 with Apollo 17. Reid Wiseman will lead astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Jeremy Hansen on a journey around the moon — a key step toward the Artemis III moon landing mission. The Artemis II Commander and NASA astronaut comes on the podcast to talk about his mission, what’s at stake and why he’s excited to return to space.
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‘Exceptionally lethal’: Maryland’s battle over concealed-carry permits

More Maryland residents can carry guns in public after the landmark Supreme Court decision on the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case made it easier for people to get concealed-carry permits. Since then, the number of Maryland residents with approved concealed-carry permits tripled between July 2022 and May 2023. But a law signed by Maryland Governor Wes Moore puts new limits on who can get a permit and where they can conceal carry. Co-Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions Cassandra Crifasi comes on the show to talk about the ongoing battle over concealed-carry permits in Maryland and talks about gun violence from a public health perspective.
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‘Everybody loves a campaign’: Raskin weighs Senate run

Personal tragedy and political upheaval have marked the last few years for Maryland U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin. On December 31, 2020 Raksin’s son Tommy died. A week later, a violent mob broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6 – forcing Raskin to seek shelter in a congressional hearing room while his youngest daughter barricaded herself in another member’s office. Two years after his son’s death on December 28, 2022, Raskin was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cancer. His cancer is now in remission and Raskin is considering a senate run in 2024. The congressman comes on the show to discuss it all.
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Another helicopter? Why choppers rule DC skies

Helicopter noise is a sonic mainstay for the D.C. region with more than 80 helicopters flying overhead per day. But for some this sound of rotor is oppressive and damaging, sparking lawmakers like DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Virginia U.S. Representative Don Beyer to demand that helicopter pilots fly quieter. To better understand the rules of the sky and how helicopters really operate, we hear from Director of Physical Infrastructure at the Government Accountability Office Heather Krause. She wrote a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind report on helicopter in the DC region.
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Why DC’s height act may fall this time

Office buildings in downtown D.C. sit relatively empty when compared to pre-pandemic vacancy rates and it doesn’t look like they’ll regain their commercial tenants with the work-from-home revolution holding strong. This new real estate reality has prompted DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to launch her ‘DC Comeback Plan’ which proposes major changes to city zoning and the DC Height Act — a century-old and beloved law that keeps the city skyline low in the nation’s capital. Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Georgetown University Uwe Brandes comes on the show to shed light on what all this means for life in the District.
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