Buzz: Bad weather, bedbugs, cupcakes
Good morning. With light freezing drizzle already falling in some parts of the D.C. region, commuters are bracing for a messy commute -- and there are signs that last week's epic bad commute is on the minds of many officials. On Monday, the federal government announced that employees could take unscheduled leave or telecommute. Regionwide, officials announced steps there were taking to prepare for more wet weather. And Pepco, on the hot seat again after many residents experienced extended outages, announced that the extra workers it had brought in to help with power restoration would remain in town on standby.
Closures, delays. School is in session for most of the region, but we do have some systems starting two hours later (Montgomery and Anne Arundel) and some that have canceled classes all together (Spotsylvania, Loudoun and Frederick counties) Here's a full list.
Cold, wet and possibly icy. The forecast looks pretty ominous for other parts of the country. Boston to get 18 to 20 inches of snow by Thursday. Looks like we won't get quite the massive snowfall, but it will be cold and slick today and Wednesday. The Capital Weather Gang says we'll have light freezing rain and drizzle around the region this morning with daytime temperatures in the low- to mid-30s. The freezing rain will continue through tonight. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 40's on Wednesday, so what precipitation we do have is most likely to be rain.
Itchy, scratchy. The Federal Bed Bug Work Group (yes, there really is such thing) is hosting its second national summit Feb. 1-2 in Washington to brainstorm about solutions to the resurgence of the tiny bloodsuckers that has made many a seasoned traveler rethink that hotel stay at some of New York City's poshest hotels and has helped at least one lawyer carve out a lucrative business in bed bug-related lawsuits. And you're in luck: It's open to the public.
The faces behind the numbers. It's been a grim start to 2011 in Prince George's County, which had 16 homicides in January. We offer these portraits of the 16 victims, including a physics and astronomy major at the University of Maryland and a teenager who would wake up and cook eggs for his 3-year-old brother so his mother could get some extra sleep.
Report: speed cameras save lives. News that a Prince William County legislator is pushing for a ban of new red-light cameras in Virginia brought cheers from many drivers who've already paid their share of fines. But a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that the cameras used catch speeders and those who run red lights, are saving lives, even as they bring in millions in ticket revenue. The report looked at 14 cities that had camera programs and compared their accident rates with cities that did not. What do you think? Should speed/red light cameras be banned?
Restoring order, honor to Arlington. A report issued Monday by the Northern Virginia Technology Council said that officials at Arlington National Cemetery, the nation's premier military burial ground, must digitize its records, improve its scheduling system and establish a rigorous chain of custody for remains as they move from funeral homes to burial. The report follows reports that dozens of graves had been mislabeled or misidentified and that at least four urns had been dug up and dumped in a landfill.
Fines for poor service? Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said he backs legislation that would impose fines on Pepco and other utility companies that fall short of new state "reliability standards," including ones laying out how quickly power should be restored after snowstorms.
In short. Alexandria's city manager has announced he's stepping down after six years in the job (Post); a new memorial at Metro Center honors Metro workers killed in the line of duty (Post); two young sisters who died in a house fire in Hyattsville last month were laid to rest on Monday (NBC 4); D.C. officials are considering moving primary elections in the District from September to July. (WAMU)
Free fix? Looking for a free fix this morning? If you're in the Penn Quarter area, Red Velvet Cupcakery is giving away free muffins today. The family-owned cupcakery is expanding -- adding the A.M. breakfast treats to its line of popular gourmet cupcakes.
That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check PostLocal.com for these and more headlines and updates throughout the day. We'll keep you informed about weather-related commute news before you head home tonight.
| February 1, 2011; 8:15 AM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather
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