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WTOP Investigation D.C. Crime Lab Accreditation Suspension

Two reporters first called attention to problems with ballistics evidence last year.

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A D.C. crime lab recently lost its accreditation through alleged acts of concealment, according to a suspension letter obtained by WTOP Radio. The story, which began when federal prosecutors opened an audit into the handling of ballistics evidence recently culminated with the temporary revocation of the lab’s accreditation.

The story was first brought to the public’s attention last year by WTOP reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore. Documents obtained by the radio station indicate that prosecutors are using outside experts to reexamine every bit of ballistics evidence handled by the lab.

The lab reportedly plans to appeal the suspension of its accreditation, according to the report.

WTOP is reporting that the suspension is linked to an audit of the lab which was conducted by independent forensic experts last month.

The report authored by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said the lab has “deliberately concealed information from the ANAB assessment team, violated accreditation requirements, engaged in misrepresentations and fraudulent behavior, and engaged in conduct that brings ANAB into disrepute.”

According to WTOP, the lab’s accreditation suspension is temporary, but the board is “initiating the process,” for a complete withdrawal of the lab’s accreditation.

The lab, which opened in 2012, has come under scrutiny in the past. In 2015, the ANSI National Accreditation Board ordered the lab to suspend all DNA analysis after concluding that the lab’s procedures were “insufficient and inadequate.”

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News Radio

WTOP Collects Four Regional Murrow Awards

Award for Overall Excellence was 10th in 12 years for the D.C. all-news outlet

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WTOP continued its success in the Radio Television Digital News Association’s annual regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, claiming 4 honors.

The Washington, D.C. all-news outlet won the Overall Excellence Award for the 10th time in 12 years.

Other award winning efforts were the station’s coverage of the June 1, 2020 clearing of Lafayette Square protesters, the podcast “Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America” hosted by JJ Green and Chris Core and digital award for overall coverage of news in 2020.

“I am so proud of what our team accomplishes everyday but to be recognized for the work we produced in 2020 is special. 2020 was a year unlike any other in the journalism profession,” said Julia Ziegler, WTOP’s Director of News and Programming. “We are humbled to be recognized for our work across so many of our platforms – radio, web and podcasting.”

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News Radio

Dr. Laura Hits Podcasting Milestone

Schlessinger’s podcast is a segment from her daily SiriusXM show

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Legendary talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger reached a major milestone in her illustrious career recently when her Call of the Day podcast reached the 100 Million download mark.

The podcast is a feature that is taken from Dr. Laura’s daily SiriusXM talk show in which she features a call she designates as the best from each day’s show.

“We set forth to make this podcast a new avenue to hear Dr. Laura,” said Take On The Day LLC president Geoff Rich. “It turns out we made it one of the most popular focusing on families and parenting.”

The Call of the Day podcast was launched in 2017 and has consistently ranked #1 in Parenting on ApplePodcasts, is top ranked in Kids and Family, and is among podcasting Global 200 according to Chartable. 

Schlessinger moved her daily talk show from terrestrial radio to satellite radio 10 years ago. She was inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018. Dr. Laura is the author of 13 New York Times best-sellers. 

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Abrams to Step Down from KYW Newsradio

Abrams career stops included WHUM, WIP and WPEN before KYW.

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Longtime Philadelphia anchor, editor, and reporter Mark Abrams announced his retirement from KYW Newsradio Thursday. The multi-talented Abrams worked as journalist for several different companies in both the print and radio industries.  

Abrams’ career spanned 24 years. He came to KYW from WHUM in Reading, Pennsylvania. He also anchored at WPEN and WIP.  He served as reporter, columnist and desk editor for the Reading Eagle and Reading Times newspapers.

He covered the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Catholic community extensively for KYW, including the papal visit in Philadelphia in 2015. He covered the selections of two different popes, live from the Vatican, both in 2005 and 2013.

“Mark Abrams has long been a versatile part of the KYW Newsradio family,” said midday news anchor Michelle Durham. “I wish you the best of luck in retirement. Your family’s always been your priority, and I’m so thrilled that you will have an opportunity to spend more time with them.”

Morning drive sports reporter Dave Uram: “I think a perfect way to describe your role on KYW for nearly 24 years is versatile. Reporter, anchor, editor — you did it all, and you did it with professionalism, enthusiasm and leadership.”

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