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Posted at 5:53 AM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Studying the standoff

By Washington Post editors
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Lots of headlines so let's get right to it.

More Discovery details. We'll have more today in the aftermath of the hostage situation at Discovery headquarters in downtown Silver Spring, including an account from one of the three men held hostage. CNN reports this morning that Montgomery County police have given the headquarters an "all clear" after conducting sweeps throughout the multi-story building.

Who was James Lee? We have more details about the man authorities say entered the headquarters of Discovery Communications in downtown Silver Spring Wednesday afternoon and held three people hostage for about four hours before being shot and killed by police snipers. James J. Lee was an environmental militant who used $90,000 from the sale of land received in an inheritance to have his views aired in newspaper ads and through protests. Officials at Discovery were so familiar with Lee, who was arrested for staging a 2008 protest in front of the building, that they had a picture of him hanging on a security bulletin board in the building.

Inspired by a book. Lee allegedly was inspired by the book "My Ishmael" about a telepathic ape who tries to save humankind. But the author said that he is baffled by Lee's interpretation of his book.

Video. A Discovery employee describes what happened at Discovery headquarters in downtown Silver Spring. "A lot of people were concerned because there was a day care in the building," she said.

Coming up:

The wet factor. The Capital Weather Gang says it'll be in the low to mid-90's with a "high sweat factor." With Hurricane Earl approaching, governors in both Maryland and Virginia have declared a state of emergency -- which enables them to more easily mobilize resources should it become necessary -- but CWG and other forecasters say thanks to a strong cold front moving through the midwest, Earl will likely graze coastal areas and miss our metro area all together. Watch for coverage from the Capital Weather Gang and from Post staffers who've been dispatched to Maryland and North Carolina.

Pricey music? Today is the groundbreaking for the Fillmore, the long-anticipated music venue in downtown Silver Spring. The 34,242 square-foot venue, which will have a capacity of 500 to 2,000, is raising eyebrows largely because of escalating costs -- $3 million or more -- to taxpayers.

A new addition. Baltimore's National Aquarium is unveiling a new Conservation Center today. Even before the Center's official opening, researchers are already at work tracking contaminants from the BP oil spill and studying threatened eagle rays. (The Baltimore Sun)

Today's headlines:

D.C. mayoral debate. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said Wednesday if he is not re-elected, he has no one to blame except himself. His words came during closing remarks after a hour-long debate with his chief challenger D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray. Fenty pledged to be more inclusive and to listen more closely to his constituents if they send him back for a second term. But Gray said he didn't believe the mayor's pledges, saying they weren't a change of heart but rather a change of strategy. For his part, Gray pledged a more inclusive government, one that would put people back to work and address the needs of residents in all wards.

Ballot box confusion. A common moniker is leading to confusion at the ballot box for folks trying to choose a candidate for the at-large seat on the D.C. Council. A low-profile challenger with little money is outpolling longtime incumbent Phil Mendelson. Mendelson believes voters believe Michael D. Brown -- who is listed simply as "Michael Brown" on the ballot -- is popular at-large Councilman Michael A. Brown, who is not on the ballot. Michael A. Brown calls it "political identity theft." Michael D. Brown says the only way he knows how to campaign is as "Michael Brown."

A permanent Metro boss. There appears to be good news in the search for a permanent general manager to lead Metro. Members of Metro's board of directors said they have received a list of one to two dozen active candidates from the search firm hired to help recruit. The credentials of another dozen candidates are also under review.

A huge price tag. It will cost Metro almost $1 billion to make all the safety fixes recommended by the NTSB, officials said Wednesday. The bulk of the money is tied to the replacement of 300 of Metro's older 1000 series rail cars. Metro had planned to replace those cars when the new 7000 series cars are delivered in 2013, but officials are evaluating whether it can take its older cars off-line sooner.

Other items:

Fish tale. A man caught an eight-foot bull shark while fishing in the Potomac River in St. Mary's County. Don't believe him? Well, Willy Dean has pictures to prove it. (Not pretty -- meaning the shark, not Willy.) (NBC 4)

That's it for now. Don't fall behind on what's happening in the D.C. region. Check back with PostLocal for more news and headlines throughout the day.

By Washington Post editors  | September 2, 2010; 5:53 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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