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Posted at 9:02 AM ET, 12/22/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Flurry alert

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post editors


Good morning. More and more folks are leaving town for the holidays so with any luck, your commute in should be quick and maybe you'll even be able to snag a seat on the bus or Metro. Think of it as the upside of still working during the holiday season.

The cold will continue. We're still below seasonal norms -- but at least yesterday it hit 41 degrees at Reagan National. The Capital Weather Gang predicts we won't see a lot of sun today. It'll be partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures in the high 30's (maybe we'll even hit 40) and breezy. There's a chance of a stray snow flurry here and there -- so let us -- or the Weather Gang know if you spot anything.

Coming up:

U-Va. lacrosse slaying. We'll be at a hearing today in the George Huguely case. Huguely is the University of Virginia men's lacrosse player from Chevy Chase, who is accused of killing his former girlfriend Yeardley Love, a member of U-Va.'s women's lacrosse team. Today's hearing will likely be a continuation of issues related to Love's medical records -- but other issues may be dealt with. We'll keep you updated.

By air, car, train and bus. Air travel has picked up for the holidays, but more folks are expected to drive to their holiday destination this year, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. Today, Thursday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest travel days of the season. (WAMU)

Today's headlines:

DC9 death ruled a homicide. The D.C. Medical Examiner has ruled that the death of a 27-year-old Silver Spring man outside the DC9 nightclub was a homicide -- but whether that ruling will lead to criminal charges is uncertain. The report on the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed was released Tuesday. Mohammed allegedly threw a brick through the window of the club near U Street before being chased by four employees and a co-owner of the club. (None of the men are currently affiliated with the club.) The report said Mohammed's death was caused by "excited delirium associated with arrhythmogenic cardiac anomalies, alcoholic intoxication and physical exertion with restraint."

A growth spurt. For the first time in more than a generation, D.C.'s population has grown, surpassing 600,000 residents. In every Census count since 1950, the District's population has declined. Results released Tuesday showed D.C's population increased by almost 30,000 people -- about one-third of whom moved into the District over the last two years. While the number of white and Hispanic residents is increasing, the number of black residents is decreasing. By the next Census count, blacks may no longer be the majority in D.C.

D.C. Council passes a flurry of legislation. In their last session before the close of 2010 and the last in which Vincent Gray presided as chairman, the D.C. Council passed a flurry of bills. Among the legislation approved: requirements that those receiving homeless service prove ties to the District, an extension of rent control laws, and a travel tax on online vendors such as Expedia and Orbitz. Tuesday's session capped off a year in which council members passed some of their most ambitious legislation. In 2010, the D.C. Council legalized gay marriage, marijuana use for medicinal purposes and an adopted guidelines for healthier school lunches. In January, Gray will be sworn in as mayor and Council member Kwame Brown becomes council chairman.

Metro begins bag searches. Metro on Tuesday began random search of rider bags during the morning commute at two stations -- College Park and Braddock Road. The new policy announced last week seem to offer some riders reassurance while others were just plain annoyed. The searches took about 30 seconds -- with the exception of one gentleman whose bag tested positive for a chemical used in explosive. After about eight more minutes of testing and x-rays, the man and his bag were permitted to board the train. Civil liberties advocates have pledged to fight the bag policy.

The end of live horse racing in Md.? A last minute deal will be needed to keep the doors of Laurel Park Racetrack from closing for good Jan. 1 and to keep the Preakness Stakes -- Maryland's largest sporting event -- running. On Tuesday, a state commission rejected a proposed racing schedule that could have kept live horse racing going in Maryland.

In short. A 19-year-old man was shot and killed in Wheaton on Tuesday (Post); an arbitrator has ruled that a nurse at Washington Hospital Center should be able to return to her job after being fired during last winter's "Snowmageddon" storms (Fox 5); a Baltimore man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted murder of federal officers and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Other items:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You know you've got one. Whether it was a gift from your grandmother or you bought it yourself,  you've got an ugly Christmas sweater somewhere in your wardrobe. You're not alone. Check out our "Ugly Christmas Sweater" gallery where other Post readers share their examples of Christmas spirit run amok.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for more news and headlines throughout the day. We'll have the latest traffic updates as well as word on airport delays and other travel-related tidbits. This will be my last AM Buzz column of the year. I'll be taking some time off to visit family in California (apparently, I need to pack an ark, given the unending rains that are swamping the state). Elizabeth Flock will be "buzzing" in my place while I'm away. So help her out. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for making me a part of your morning routine.


By Lori Aratani  | December 22, 2010; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  Kwame Brown, Maryland, Washington DC  
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Next: Review of Love's medical records denied

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