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Posted at 8:29 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Bad hair day? Golf?

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Brrrr. Did you know that Thursday was the coldest day in the D.C.-region since Feb. 26? Remember February? Oh wait -- maybe you'd rather not. Reason to be happy? It's Friday -- the end of the work week for many of you.

Coat, gloves, scarf AND hat. Another chilly one today. In fact, The Capital Weather Gang forecasters says today feels a lot like January. Temperatures will be in the low 40's with 5- to 10 mph breezes. There's a slight chance of snow flurries on Saturday, but that seems to be diminishing. Either way, you're going to want to bundle up over the next few days. Also, be sure to check out our new weather page where you can find everything from the "bad hair day" and golf course forecast to the latest weather tweets.

Coming up:

U-Md. student beating incident. FBI agents today are expected to continue interviewing members of the Prince George's County Police force in connection with the alleged student beatings at Univeristy of Maryland last April following a basketball game. While Prince George's officials were aware the FBI was among those investigating the incident, the recent round of interviews that began Thursday night might indicate the case is coming to a head. Three officers connected to the beating remain on suspension or desk duty in the police department.

I-66 traffic alert. If Virginia is part of your regular commute, Dr. Gridlock wants you to know that the Virginia State Police are stepping up patrols on the I-66 corridor today and Saturday as part of "Operation, Air, Land & Speed." And they do mean business. During a similar campaign last year in the same area, troopers arrested 973 speeders, 226 reckless drivers and three drunk drivers.

A plan to make Virginians even smarter. A state higher education committee appointed by Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell will unveil its recommendations today for expanding access to college and university education in the state. We have a preview of the more than three dozen recommendations designed to boost the number of Virginian's who have college education.

Today's headlines:

D.C. lead and the water supply. D.C. Water officials on Thursday sought to resassure District residents that the risk of lead exposure in drinking water is "fairly minimal." George S. Hawkins, the water authority's general manager, said that lead levels in city water supplies meet standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and that the system is getting better. Hawkins spoke in response to a report released Wedneday by the CDC that confirmed that children living in the District were exposed to high levels of lead and that a pipe replacement program designed to mitigate the problem may have lead to short-term spikes in lead levels. Residents with concerns about lead levels in their water should call D.C. Water at 202-354-3600 for information on how to receive test kits or to find out whether pipes in their area had been partiall or completely replaced.

Major cutbacks for Montgomery County? Budget news out of local communities is rarely upbeat these days, but the news out of Montgomery County on Thursday was particularly grim. County Executive Isiah Leggett has told heads for most county departments to begin searching for cuts of 15 percent to address projected shortfall of more than $300 million. Even the county's vaunted school system is not immune. Leggett (D) also called Thursday for $19 million in cuts to the public school system as part of a proposed midyear "savings plan" that would reduce ambulance service and eliminate home heating subsidies for thousands of poor residents.

Safety fixes and Metro. A Metro panel on Thursday approved a $10 million project to replace track circuits throughout the system -- part of an effort to improve safety following the deadly 2009 Red Line crash. Replacement of the circuits was a key part of the NTSB's report recommending safety fixes for Metro. The circuits help in the managment of train traffic. The full Metro board will approve the plan -- as well as plans to allocate more dollars to safety fixes -- at its meeting on Dec. 16.

Rhee goes to Florida. Michelle Rhee (remember her?) has joined the trasition team of newly-elected Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican. A statement from Scott's office said the former D.C. schools leader will "help him find innovative ways to create a new education system for a new economy." The statement did not say how long Rhee would be employed, her salary, or whether she'd be relocating to Florida for the gig.

Other items:

And you thought you had a tough commute. It was a wild ride for passengers on theferry that carries cars across the Potomac River upstream from Washington Thursday morning. White's Ferry became stranded in the water after debris began accumulating on the cables that guide it across the river between Leesburg, Va., and Poolesville, Md., fire officials said. The cables eventually snapped, causing the ferry to drift down the Potomac. Fortunately, no one was injured, but some passengers were stranded for about five hours. (Associated Press)

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day. Check back with Post Local for more news and headlines throughout the day. Interested in what D.C.-area bloggers are talking about? I'll have a roundup of post from the area blogosphere this afternoon.

By Lori Aratani  | December 3, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Education, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  
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Next: Rhee advising Fla. gov. for transition


hi lori...i was trying to click on the link to the white's ferry story and it looks like it links to an internal post website.

Posted by: moo21 | December 3, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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