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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 02/24/2010

Wednesday news roundup

By Washington Post editors

Good morning. Okay, let's just get it over with: looks like more snow may be on the way. There, we said it or rather, the Capital Weather Gang said it. CWG says there's a 40 percent chance of snow or rain Wednesday night and a 50 percent chance of snow overnight. How much of that will stick is still unclear. And, sadly, there's more: we're in for blizzard-like winds (possibly up to 50 mph) on Thursday. Just try and remember: spring is less than a month away.

NTSB hearings continue: The NTSB will hold its second day of hearings into the causes and aftermath of the June Metrorail crash on Wednesday with members of the Tri-State Oversight Commission, which monitors Metro's safety, set to speak.

During the first day of testimony on Tuesday, Metro officials testified that the same equipment malfunction that factored into two earlier near-misses is linked to the June 2009 crash that killed nine people. This contradicts previous statements by a Metro spokeswoman who said the two earlier incidents “were very different” from the June crash. NTSB board members repeatedly questioned Metro officials on their commitment to safety during the nine-hour hearing. Metro General Manager John B. Catoe, Jr., who is slated to leave his job in April, was among the first to testify. Transcripts of 911 calls from the day off the accident were also released. The Examiner has this excerpt of a call from the driver of the second Red Line train involved in the crash.

The families of crash victims were also on hand. Kenneth Hawkins, the younger brother of Dennis Hawkins, 64, said he believed federal oversight was the only way to ensure system safety.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on details from the hearing.

I’m sorry: Marion Barry apologized Tuesday for embarrassing the City and the D.C. Council by awarding a contract to his former girlfriend. But he remained adamant that he did not break any laws and will not give up his city council seat. “I am truly sorry.” The apology comes one week after a report by Robert Bennett, hired by the council to investigate the incident, concluded Barry not only awarded the $15,000 contract, but also took a cut. The key of course now is whether the council will vote to censure Barry and whether the U.S. Attorney’s office will opt to prosecute him. WJLA interviews locals folks about their reaction to Barry's apology.

She’s sorry. The mother of a middle school student in Montgomery County is demanding an apology after she says a teacher humiliated her daughter when the girl refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The teacher then had security escort the student from the classroom. Montgomery County School officials said the teacher violated school policy and will apologize.

Teen suspected in teacher’s death. Citing unnamed sources, WJLA reports that officials in Prince George's County are building a strong case against a 13-year-old boy, who they suspect raped and killed a teacher at a youth facility last week.

Budget talk: A showdown is likely over school funding in Montgomery County. (The Examiner) Arlington County school officials have unveiled a budget that would increase class size, but prevent teacher layoffs (Post)

A Fairfax County woman drives home then finds a body under her car. (Post)

In short: University of Maryland, Baltimore gets a new president. (The Batlimore Sun); Snow has put construction on the ICC several months behind schedule. (Post); A D.C. woman gets a surprise from Fed-Ex:: a parcel filled with illegal drugs. Talk about suspicious packages. (The Hill is Home)

Okay, that's it for now (we wish we could say the same about the snow). But we’ll have more headlines and updates as they happen, so check back. And remember: we’ll have your evening news roundup this afternoon – as well as sigh, weather updates.

By Washington Post editors  | February 24, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
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