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Posted at 8:20 AM ET, 01/13/2010

Wednesday's news roundup

By Washington Post editors

Good morning. I know we keep promising it'll get warmer, but this time we really mean it. The Capital Weather Gang says it'll be in the high 30's and maybe even the low 40's.

Now, today's headlines:

Haitian quake. Large numbers of people remain unaccounted for after a massive quake hit the capital of Haiti. The 7.0 quake was the largest in the island nation’s history. The Haitian Embassy is scheduled to hold a press conference this morning and we’ll bring you news of that as soon as we can. Locally, a team of elite emergency rescuers from Fairfax County are also preparing to be dispatched to the disaster site to aid in the recovery. (WJLA)

A close win. Democrat David W. Marsden narrowly won a special election to represent southwestern Fairfax County yesterday. It’s an important victory for Democrats after November elections when Republican swept all statewide offices in Virginia. Marsden beat former Fairfax County School Board member Stephen M. “Steve” Hunt. Coverage from NBC 4. In other Virginia news, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell said while he doesn’t necessarily agree with many of the proposals, he won't revise the budget proposed by Gov. Tim Kaine. (WJLA)

Slow down? Just when drivers thought they knew when to ease off the gas pedal, authorities have gone and changed the rules. We’re talking speed cameras in Maryland. After installing fixed cameras along several dangerous stretches of road, authorities are now turning to mobile speed cameras to help reduce speeding and improve traffic safety. So be on the lookout – or maybe just drive the speed limit, eh? (The Examiner)

"Cocktail tax?" More legislative proposals are surfacing as the Maryland State Legislature prepares to convene. There’s lots of talk about a 10-cent "cocktail tax". The money would go toward preventing cuts in social service programs, advocates say. But it’s unclear whether such a measure, wwhich would tax every eight-ounces of alcohol, would gain support. A similar five-cent tax proposed last year, was defeated (The Examiner). Also, The Baltimore Sun, WAMU.

Ciruclator expansion.. Circulator service may expand to Arlington, which has many folks cheering. But at least one D.C. Council member is not pleased: Kwame Brown (D-At Large) had hoped to offer service to residents east of the Anacostia before moving service into Virginia. (The Examiner) What do you folks think? Email us at or comment below.

Montgomery update: Authorities have identified the body found on a rural Montgomery County road Monday. He was 18-year-old Alex Nando Roman. (WJLA)

Hospital bailout? United Medical Center, formerly known as Greater Southeast Community Hospital is in deep financial trouble and may need a bailout, The Post’s Tim Craig reports. Apparently, the situation is so dire that D.C. officials are looking for new owners.

GOAAAAAAAAAAL! D.C. and Baltimore could be in the running to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. If the U.S. gets the nod to host, these cities will compete with New York, Atlanta and Miami for the games. (Baltimore Sun)

Homeowner vs. bug. And finally, Fox 5 reports that several Calvert County homes are in danger of tumbling down a cliff – in part because of beetles. It seems beetles are eating away at the cliff that the homes are perched on, but homeowners can’t go in and shore up the area because these are special beetles. They are Purtian Tiger beetles, which are a protected species. About 300 live in the cliffs. Hmmm, caught between a rock and a hard place? (Okay, we’re sorry we wrote that, but we couldn’t resist).

Have a good day and check back with us for more headlines.

By Washington Post editors  | January 13, 2010; 8:20 AM ET
Tags:  The Post's Wednesday local news roundup  
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