Tuesday news roundup
Good morning. It’s Tuesday and it’s Groundhog Day. Looks like Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we’ll be in for six more weeks of winter (because what better predictor of weather than a groundhog?) In the meantime, the Capital Weather Gang says it'll be cloudy today with a chance of snow – maybe one to three inches – in the late afternoon today.
Headlines? We’ve got your headlines (and yours and yours and yours).
Terrorism drill at Union Station. Metro commuters who ride through Union Station got a surprise this morning – big men, big guns. The transit system staged a mock terrorism drill during Tuesday's morning commute with more than 50 law enforcement officials. It’s one of several drills Metro officials plan to do this month – to be prepared in the event someone should attempt to sabotage the transit system. Today's drill had been announced, but the location was kept top secret until early this morning to avoid gawkers, etc. We’ll post video and reports from the scene as they become available.
So much excitement.
Unreported Metro accident? Speaking of Metro, The Examiner has learned there was a vehicle crash on the Red Line Metro tracks over the weekend in which four Metro vehicles were damaged. No one was hurt but the incident was not reported to the Tri-State Oversight Committee until Monday and there’s some dispute as to whether Metro officials lagged letting outside officials know about the incident. Tri-State committee officials say they’re supposed to report crashes within hours – not days of when they occur. This, of course, is the same Metro line where two Metro workers were killed last Tuesday.
A cash infusion? D.C. officials may have found a way to keep Southeast's United Medical Center going. A committee is considering pumping $6 million in tobacco and insurance taxes into the hospital to keep it operating. Originally known as Greater Southeast Medical Center – the hospital was taken over and renamed in 2008 with the hope that it could be turned around. But the new owners are losing as much as a half a million dollars every month. (The Examiner). Also see earlier Post coverage of United Medical Center's financial problems.
Arenas apologizes. Gilbert Arenas currently on suspension and awaiting sentencing on a felony gun charge next month, writes an Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post in which the Wizards basketball star apologizes for letting his fans and team down.
It's not a popularity contest. Meanwhile, Michelle Rhee says school reform is not a popularity contest and while her numbers in a new Post poll made indicate she’s not winning many friends, what matters is whether D.C. public school students are getting a better education, she says. Fenty hasn’t yet had a chance to look at the poll he says. Meanwhie, Post columnist Petula Dvorak has some thoughts on Adrian Fenty and his poll numbers.
Put the phone down. Maryland lawmakers are taking up the issue of texting while driving again. Last year the state outlawed texting while driving – this year, state legislators are considering making it illegal for drivers to read texts while behind the wheel. (The Examiner). Also, WJLA.
No mandates allowed. The Virginia State Senate has taken a pre-emptive strike against health care reform legislation, voting to make it illegal for people to be required to have health insurance. Support came from Democrats as well as Republicans and shows that the public and its representatives continue to be leery of government efforts to change health care. (Post) Also, WAMU.
In short. Car slides into Chinese restaurant
(wouldn’t delivery be easier?); The folks in Frederick want you to be able to take your dog out to dinner too. (but, it’s unlikely Fido will be picking up the check) and deaf inmates sue in Virginia.
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