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Posted at 5:40 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: Levy jury gets to work

By Washington Post editors
Washington Post editors

Good morning. Be careful commuting this morning. There's lots of tree debris from last night's storms and the gusty wind this morning isn't helping matters. Power outages are scattered throughout the area -- and some of the roads still remain slick. Plus, there've been issues with VRE, MARC and Metro's Green Line.

Blowing in the wind. Well, the rain should exit the scene, but in its place . . . wind. The Capital Weather Gang says the skies will clear, but in place of the rain, we'll be dealing with gusty winds from the west today. They'll be in the 15-25 mph but gusts might near 30-35 mph. So hang on to your hat, briefcase and purse, eh? Temperatures will be in the mid-60's.

And the winner is . . . "Snowmageddon." "Snowmageddon" has been named one of the Global Language Monitor's "Top Words of 2010" (which is pretty good considering the year isn't even over yet.) The Capital Weather Gang reports that "Snowmageddon" shares the No. 7 spot on the GLM's top 10 list with "Snowpocalypse," most often associated with the record-setting snow of Dec. 17-19, 2009. All great -- but please, no repeat in 2011.

Coming up:

Deliberations begin in Levy case. The jury in the case of the man accused of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy begins deliberations today. On Wednesday, both sides offered the closing arguments with the prosecution calling the killing of Levy a "ghastly crime." The defense, meanwhile argued that the prosecution's case was based on "assumptions" and "suggestions" and that their case against Ingmar Guandique was "fiction." The jury of nine women and three men will now decide Guandique's fate. We'll bring you word of a verdict, as soon as it happens.

Making Metro safer, sounder. A regional task force will release a report around mid-morning today on how Metro can improve its governance structure in order to be a high-performing, financially sound and safe system. WMATA Governance Review Task Force was formed last June and is sponsored by the Greater Washington Board of Trade (BOT) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). It includes business and political leaders from the region, including former Maryland Congresswoman Connie Morella, former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams. We'll have a full report on their recommendations.

A streetcar in D.C.? A D.C. Council committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing today on the final details of a streetcar plan for the District. If all goes well, two streetcar lines -– one on H Street Northeast, the other in Anacostia -– could be in service by early 2012. (WAMU)

Today's headlines:

Prince George's corruption cases. More court appearances are scheduled today in the ongoing probe of corruption in Prince George's County. Prince George's County Police Officer Sinisa Simic is scheduled to appear in court as is Mirza Kujundzic. Both are accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine and using firearms in drug trafficking. On Tuesday, the owners of Tick Tock Liquor Store in Langley Park, Amrik S. Melhi and his wife Ravinder K. Melhi.appeared in court to face allegations that they paid bribes to Prince George's County officials and hid $400,000 cash in their closet. We'll have more on the Jack Johnson case as it unfolds.

The impact of a controversial immigration law. A University of Virginia study that looked at the impact of Prince William County's controversial immigration policy finds that it appears to have had some effect on the growth of the Hispanic population. Compared to other neighboring jurisdictions, Prince Wiliam County's Hispanic population dropped by 7,700 people, between 2006 and 2008. Researchers estimated illegal immigrants may have accounted for 2,000 to 6,000 of that number. But researchers caution that the implementation of the policy -- which requires police officers to check the legal status of all people arrested on suspicion of violating state or federal law -- also coincided with the economic downturn, the mortgage crisis and job reductions in the construction industry, where many Hispanic immigrant find employment. Prince William County adopted the policy in 2007 and modified it in 2008. Want hard numbers on diverse populations in the D.C. area? See our census database on our DataPost page.

Less holiday bell ringing? Giant supermarkets are putting new limits on the number of days and hours that charitable groups such as the Salvation Army will be able to raise funds in front of D.C.-area stores. The move has concerned officials with the non-profit group, known for its holiday season "Red Kettle" drive. They say the the reduction in time -- from 35 to 12 days -- will mean they'll raise less money at a time when there is more need. Officials at Giant said the change in policy is part of an effort to provide better access to other non-profit groups that want to hold fundraisers outside Giant stores.

In short. State officials say Maryland is paying $46 million in unemployment benefits to residents who aren't eligible to receive the money (Washington Examiner); officials are continuing to treat a bedbug outbreak at a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building in Rockville (; interim D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson canceled public office hours Tuesday night due to a scheduling conflict. (WAMU)

Other items:

So 1980. Looks like folks will soon have to find something else to use as a doorstop. Phone books were once an essential -- and handy -- source of information. Where to find a good plumber or how to find a good travel agent. But alas, now that we can use our smartphones for all of that (and soon they'll do laundry too!) officials at Verizon as asking permission to stop delivering the residential white pages to customers in the Washington, D.C. region. Instead, they'll make the information available -- gasp -- online or on CD-ROM.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Yesterday, you had to dodge rain, today it's wind -- but at least it's not "Snowmageddon." Check back with us throughout today for all your news headlines. From the Levy trial to the latest on the sprawling corruption case in Prince George's County, we're the best place to keep up with what's happening in the D.C. region.

By Washington Post editors  | November 17, 2010; 5:40 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  | Tags:  loris am buzz  
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