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Posted at 9:10 AM ET, 03/12/2010

Friday news roundup

By Washington Post editors

Good morning. It’s Friday. With all the sunshine the last few days, we know you might have been lulled into a false sense of spring – but that’s over now. Be sure you grab your umbrella before you head out the door. The Capital Weather Gang says we'll have showers on and off during the day, but it will really start to pour this evening. Chance of rain Friday night? 100%. Chance of rain Saturday? 100%. Okay, we’ll stop now.

Tough talk. In a blistering report, a transit expert hired to study Metro operations says it will take three years to turn the troubled agency around. David L. Gunn, a former general manager of the transit agency, said WMATA must revamp its culture to encourage employees to step forward with safety issues and concerns and must be open with the public about problems facing the nation’s second busiest system. On the personnel side, Metro has a significant absentee problem and suffers from chronic low morale among employees. ( The Examiner, WJLA, Fox 5, WAMU)

At the same time WMATA released a two-page summary of Gunn’s report, it also revealed that there had been another Red Line train derailment on Wednesday in the Brentwood rail yard. A four-car train derailed as two Metro operators were trying to reposition it. No passengers were on board, there were no injuries and service was not affected. (WJLA). Also, WTOP

EMS investigation. D.C. police have begun a criminal probe into the death of a 2-year-old girl who was not immediately taken to the hospital by EMS personnel after her family reported she had difficulty breathing. The child was eventually taken to the hospital after a second emergency call but later died. (Post). Also, WJLA, NBC 4, Fox 5, WAMU, WTOP and WUSA

As D.C. police launch an investigation into the conduct of EMS personnel, a former D.C. fire chief is saying that the merger between D.C.'s fire and EMS departments is a failure and should be undone. The merger was originally designed to improve emergency response. (The Washington Times)

So much need, so little space. The recession is hitting families hard. At D.C.’s shelter for homeless families, more than 200 families are jammed into a space meant for 135. (Post)

Mistaken identity. Police say intruders may have targeted the wrong house in a bold daytime home invasion robbery in Prince William County on Thursday. Two men burst into a townhouse in Lake Ridge and demanded drugs. What they found instead was a 29-year-old mother at home with her three young children. WJLA, Fox 5, WUSA

Strange bedfellows. An unlikely opponent has come out against a proposed bag tax being considered in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Environment said although it supports the intent of the bill, it lacks the resources to adequately fund outreach programs to educate the public about the change. (WAMU)

In short: UDC may get $5 million from the federal government. (Washington Business Journal); Forbes annual list of billionaires includes 14 folks from the D.C. area. Are you one of them? (Washington Business Journal); Maryland has revamped its driver education programs, tossing out those films from the 1970s. (WUSA); Another recession-related silver lining: Traffic fatalities dropped in 2009. (Baltimore Sun)

Thanks for reading. Try and stay dry today and be sure to check with us throughout the day for the latest updates and headlines.

By Washington Post editors  | March 12, 2010; 9:10 AM ET
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