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Posted at 8:50 AM ET, 02/26/2010

Friday news roundup

By Washington Post editors

Good morning. Happy Friday. Wait – is that a cow that just blew by? It wouldn’t surprise us one bit. Wild, wild winds are expected to get slightly less wild Friday evening. The Capital Weather Gang says we'll have temperatures in the 30's with scattered snow showers but fierce winds will continue to batter the area. We’ve already had reports of scattered power outages (email us and let us know if your neighborhood goes dark – and at least one house fire in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood is being blamed on high winds. We’ve also got reports that traffic lights are out at several intersections and some roads are blocked with tree debris. The Fairfax County school system has announced it won’t hold classes in portable classrooms due to the winds. CWG says the winds should diminish Friday evening and the weekend is expected to be just breezy.

A safer system? In a bid perhaps to reiterate their commitment to safety, the Metro board Thursday expanded the number of workers, mainly mid-level supervisors, who can be fired without cause. The announcement came as the NTSB wrapped up a three-day hearing into the causes of the June Red Line Metro crash that killed nine people. The NTSB is expected to issue a report on the cause of the accident in June.

On the final day of the three day hearing, NTSB officials heard from a panel of experts from “high-reliability” organizations about the importance of creating a workplace culture in which employees feel comfortable speaking out about issues and problems they see. Union officials who represent Metro workers say that at WMATA, workers are afraid to speak up because they don’t trust their managers and because the organization focuses on discipline rather than resolving issues. (Post)

Gay marriage and Maryland. Same-sex couples and gay rights advocates are lauding Maryland's decision this week to recognize same-sex marriages from other places and to give the same rights to those couples as they do to heterosexual couples. But some Maryland lawmakers are less than pleased – and at least one is threatening to push to impeach Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who made the decision. Remember: D.C.’s same-sex marriage law is set to go into effect next week. (Post)

Honey, did you order this? A Capitol Hill couple received a big surprise via FedEx. Eric Anderson and Melanie Sloan thought maybe the unexpected FedEx package was a gift for their 11-month-old baby. Instead it was 33 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $120,000. Suspicious package indeed. (Post)

College for the cost of cable? An Alexandria firm is offering college on the cheap – as in $99 a month. StraighterLine, an online education company, wants to make college affordable to everyone. But some in the academic world are questioning its academic credentials. (Post)

Is that Lance Armstrong? The Giro d’Italia, one of cycling’s three Grand Tours, may be coming to the streets of D.C. in 2012. (Post)

In short: A woman is suing Metro for $2 million after a Metrobus driver allegedly ran over her foot: (The Examiner); Snow has cost Maryland schools at least $2 million. (The Gazette); Auto thefts are down around the region. (The Examiner); The U.S. Parks Service is trying to repair cherry trees damaged by the snow. (The Examiner)

Remembering. And finally – Fifty years later, friends and family remember 14 men who made beautiful music. A tribute to the lost musicians of the U.S. Navy Band, who were killed in a 1960 plane crash. (Post)

Thanks for reading. Check back with us for more news headlines throughout the day. And if you do see that flying cow, please call us first. Have a good Friday.

By Washington Post editors  | February 26, 2010; 8:50 AM ET
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