Monday news roundup
Good morning. Happy March. We’ve got some good news on the weather front: The Capital Weather Gang says it could hit 50 degrees Monday. 50! But yes, the rumors are true: There is a chance of snow Tuesday evening. The good news: Right now it appears unlikely we’ll get more than an inch of accumulation.
Now for your other headlines.
Snowmageddon lingers on. It’s been more than two weeks since we were hit with back-to-back snowstorms, but we're still dealing with the fallout. Some workers apparently lost their jobs because they didn’t go to work during the storms.
Washington Hospital Center has fired 11 nurses and five support staff members for not coming to work during the storms. Those let go included Shirley Ricks, a 57-year-old nurse who’d worked at the hospital for 35 years. No other area hospitals appear to have taken a similar stance and last week the Transportation Security Administration reversed a decision that would have declared screeners who did not show up for work at Dulles AWOL. Hospital officials would not comment on specific cases, but said no employee was fired without an investigation. They also noted that the most of their employees did come to work despite the snow. (Post)
The District held a committee hearing Friday to examine the city’s snow response. The conclusion: D.C. needs a better snow plan. Gabe Klein, head of the District’s Department of Transportation, said D.C. did not have a plan or the proper equipment to deal with such massive amounts of snow. But Klein said officials are looking at ways to improve their response in future storms. (Post)
The District is considering ticketing folks when walks go unshoveled for too long. (NBC 4); D.C.’s infamous million-dollar snow melter has been spotted. The machine became a joke and symbol of government inefficiency during “snowmageddon” when it was revealed the darn thing didn’t work. (NBC 4); And finally, Joshua Temple, a church in Northeast D.C. that was forced to close after its roof collapsed during the area’s massive snowstorm, has been victimized again. This time, thieves broke in and stole the building's copper plumbing, flooding the church’s basement. Can’t help but think someone is going to pay for this in the afterlife.
How many animals went missing from the National Zoo during "snowmageddon?" How many calories do you burn off shoveling snow? The answers are here in The Post's Winter by the numbers.
Transparency please. Transit advocates are calling on Metro to publicly release a consultant's report on the system's troubles. Last month, Metro officials announced they were hiring former Metro general manager David Gunn to do a two-week assessment of the transit agency. Board members say they prefer to hear the results of the report in closed session in order to get the “unvarnished truth,” before deciding what should be released to the public.
Barry censured? WUSA is reporting that the D.C. Council is likely to vote to censure Marion Barry and strip him of his committee chairmanship at its Tuesday meeting.
A new way of shopping? From Rockville to Reston, town centers – developments that cluster stores, restaurants and housing in a compact location -- are popping up all over the D.C. region. But results have been mixed. Certainly the centers’ fates are linked to the economy, but in other cases developers must sell suburbanites on a new model for living and shopping that might not involve a car.
Russia rising? Russian is hot again in area schools Prince George’s County schools, which offers Russian language instruction at two high schools and one middle school, will be adding a class at a second middle school. Enrollment in Russian programs has grown in Fairfax County. Meanwhile, The Examiner explains why so many D.C. area students are considered "gifted."
In short: Prince George’s police are investigating why a man may have intentionally ran over four people early Monday. (Post); Over the weekend, two planes at Reagan National Airport collided, clipping wings. No one was injured. (Associated Press); Despite some snow damage, the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk is expected to open on time. (Wilmington News Journal); D.C. officials are investigating the accuracy of the breath analysis devices that provide key evidence in drunken driving cases. (Post)
Thanks for reading. Have a great day. With temperatures expected to hit 50, be sure to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. Don't forget -- while you're on that break -- you can still follow the headlines via Twitter @postmetro.
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