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Posted at 8:33 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Buzz: Flurries, Pepco, Ice Cream Guy

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Despite Thursday's clear skies, the area is still cleaning up from Tuesday's storm. With several area school systems delayed (Alexandria City) or closed (Montgomery, Fairfax), kids are probably cheering their early winter break. Parents -- especially if they've got no electricity or heat at home -- probably not so much. About 127,000 folks are still without power in the region -- down from 422,000 that were in the dark on Thursday. Dominion Power and Pepco officials have said they expect the bulk of their customers to be back online Friday night.

Coming up:

Slightlly warmer, with flurries. Shouldn't be too bad a day. The Capital Weather Gang says we could have some scattered snow flurries around midday today with temperatures in the mid- to high 30's. And while we might also get some scattered flurries on Saturday, it looks like Sunday will be relatively clear. There IS a threat of another snow storm next week -- but let's not worry about that now, OK?

The ice cream guy. If you haven't heard of him yet, you will soon. Remember the man in yesterday's Washington Post photo who was clutching an ice cream cone and running through the snowstorm? He's creating quite a buzz. Chat with him at today at 12:15 p.m.

What would you ask Washington’s local ‘ice cream man’ if you had the chance?

Use this tweet button to send a question using #icecreamsocial on Twitter, and check back in our live video chat at 12:15 p.m. today to see if your question was chosen. We’ll post some of the best responses back on the site.

@washingtonpost You got any endorsement offers from @BaskinRobbins, yet? #icecreamsocialless than a minute ago via web

Man vs. the Volt. Be sure to watch for our expanded Sunday Arts and Entertainment sections this weekend. If you're a home subscriber, you'll receive them on Saturday (along with all those great coupons). In the Sunday Magazine, The Post's always-entertaining Gene Weingarten tries out Chevy's new electric car -- the Volt. in advance of the upcoming 2011 D.C. Auto Show.

Today's headlines:

The traffic nightmare. Don't know about your office, but the topic that dominated conversation around the cubicles was most definitely Thursday's "nightmare commute" car trips and bus rides that lasted for hours. Officials said it was the Washington region's worst traffic snarl since Sept. 11, 2001. Some blamed the federal government's decision to release workers two hours early for creating an early rush hour. But others pointed at causes that jam up D.C.-area roads whenever a major storm hits: untreated roads, poor coordination among local jurisdictions and other factors.

Lights out. Thursday's nightmare commute may have dominated the conversation, but many residents were also stuck in homes with no power and heat. A closer look at how area utilities performed found that Pepco -- unlike other power companies such as Dominion Power and Baltimore Gas and Electric -- was slow to call in reinforcement crews to help get customers back online.

911 outage? Montgomery County officials are also looking into possible issues regarding Verizon's 911 service during Wednesday's storm. Montgomery County Police saw a 134 percent increase in 911 call volume from midnight Tuesday through midnight Wednesday. But some didn't reach police. That's because there was a partial outage to that line and now Montgomery County Police are investigating. (WAMU)

Father of three killed. A 41-year-old father of three was killed during Thursday's storm when a tree fell on the truck which he was driving on Miltary Road in NW D.C. (Post). Also, Anne Arundel Police are searching for the driver of a snow plow who may have been involved a hit-and-run accident in which Richard Oles, 77, the longtime coach of the Johns Hopkins University fencing team was killed. (Associated Press)

New start for Metro? Metro board members made it official on Thursday. Richard Sarles was named WMATA's new general manager. He'd been serving as interim head of the transit agency following John B. Catoe, Jr.'s departure last spring. Sarles, a veteran of the New Jersey transit system, pledged to improve service, safety and reliability on the transit system, which this week suffered from a series of incidents -- ranging from smoking brakes to cracked rails -- slowed traffic on almost all major rail lines.

Pay up, officer. The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that four Montgomery County police officers -- like other motorists who violate speed limits -- will have to pay speed camera tickets they received. A Montgomery County judge had initially ruled that the officers did not have to pay the $40 fines because the police department did not have a written policy for ticketing its own.  (Washington Examiner)

In short. Fifty-eight members of the Maryland House of Delegates have signed on as sponsors of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state (The Baltimore Sun); the boil- water order that had been in place in Prince George's County since Monday's water main rupture has been lifted. (Post);  Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has proposed charging bad drivers in the state higher fees. (The Gazette)

Other items:

An interpretive snow dance. I love this cartoon by the Washington Examiner's Nate Beeler, which he's dubbed, "A Dance to Winter on D.C.'s Roadways." I'm sure we can all relate.

That's it for now. Thank God it's Friday, eh? Be sure to check back with Post Local throughout the day for more news and headlines. If you like your updates in short bursts, you can also follow us via Twitter @postlocal. You can also follow me on Twitter @loriara for news and daily updates on what D.C.-area bloggers are chatting about.

By Lori Aratani  | January 28, 2011; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A.M. headlines around the D.C. region
Next: Mont. Co. cops must pay speeding tickets


Best way to save is called collective buying!!! search online for "Printapons" every day a local business will be featured and prices will be discounted upto 90% off

Posted by: helenmoritz | January 29, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

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