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Posted at 4:45 PM ET, 01/14/2010

PM news roundup

By Washington Post editors

Good afternoon.

Well, we've got news breaking out all over the place.

A surprise Metro departure. The biggest local story at the moment -- the surprise resignation of Metro General Manager John B. Catoe, Jr.. One can hardly blame the man -- it hasn't been the best of times for the transit agency. Catoe took over Metro management in 2006. His resignation comes as the Metro system faces harsh criticism from federal lawmakers over lapses in safety oversight. Last year was an unprecedented year of tragedy in the Metro system. Nine people died, including a train operator, and scores were injured in a June 22 crash on the Red Line. The agency also faces $40 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year and a $175 million budget gap in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Share your thoughts on Catoe's resignation. Incidentally, WMATA's internal public relations department is calling Catoe's departure a "retirement" not a resignation. Indeed.

Our other big story continues to be the situation in Haiti. Rescue efforts continue in Haiti Haiti. Food and medical supplies have been arriving on the island but workers face monumental difficulties reaching those most in need. Amid, the misery, there were some bits of good news. Fairfax County's elite search and rescue team saved a United Nations worker who had been buried beneath a collapsed building. Excellent work for the team of 72 that landed in Port-au-Prince only yesterday. In the meantime the FAA has halted all civilian flights into Haiti at the request of the Haitian government. The Red Cross has estimated there may be as many as 50,000 dead.

Gilbert Arenas has made a deal. The Washington Wizards superstar, currently on indefinite suspension from the NBA after a locker room gun incident, is charged with carrying a pistol without a license. It's a felony. The Post will have more on whether this will involve jail time or probation.

Court rejects effort to put gay marriage referendum on the ballot. A D.C. Superior Court judge has rejected a request by opponents of the District's same-sex marriage law to put the measure on the ballot. The decision paves the way for marriage licenses to be issued in early March.

Slots in Prince George’s? The president of the Maryland State Senate has raised the possibility of slots in Prince George's County. Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert). Such a move would require another ballot measure since Prince George’s was not one of the five counties approved for slots in 2008.

Md. schools are tops, magazine says.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back in the morning with another news roundup.

By Washington Post editors  | January 14, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
 
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