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Top Stories With Washington Post Columnist Robert McCartney

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Testimony Begins On Gray Administration's Hiring Practices

Hearings on the hiring practices in the Gray administration started this week in the D.C. Three officials said Gerri Mason Hall, Gray's former chief of staff,, was determined to get a job for former mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown. The officials' statements tend to support Brown's allegations that he was promised a job in 2010 in return for attacking then incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty.

McCartney said Brown's own credibility suffered as details emerged about why he was fired, including poor performance and erratic behavior.

On the question of nepotism, "it was clear...the mayor's office ignored concerns that were raised about actual or apparent nepotism and that they were concerned about getting maximum pay for political supporters rather than trying to save taxpayers' money," McCartney said.

Hall, who will testify about Brown's hiring, is also a part of the council's probe on nepotism. Hall's son, Nicholas, was hired as a writer/editor in the Department of Parks and Recreation.

"To the extent that there was any good news," he said, "all but one of the offspring of Gray officials or supporters has already been pushed out."

There will be another hearing on April 7 and possibly a third on April 11. Still to testify are Brown himself, Hall and Lorraine Green, chair of the campaign and transition.

Virginia Governor Vetoes, Amends A Number Of Bills

McCartney says McDonnell may be getting ready for running for national office by visibly enforcing conservative principles: The governor has vetoed four bills this year, when he didn't veto any his first year in office. McDonnell has made amendments to several other bills, including the recent [autism insurance legislation]http://wamu.org/news/11/03/30/virginiagovernorsignsautisminsurancebillproposes_changes.php).

NPR

Making A Change To Keep A Constant Consonant

Given two words, change the first consonant sound in each word to the same new consonant sound and you'll phonetically name two things in the same category.
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Hops Coming Home: Loudoun County To Add Hop Production Facility

The first commercial-scale hop production and processing facility in the region is being planned out in Loudoun County, further adding to the region's burgeoning beer business.

NPR

Families Feel Sidelined As U.S. Reviews Hostage Policy

The White House is reviewing how it handles hostage crises following the brutal murders of Americans abroad, but families of hostages say they're often left out of the conversation.
NPR

Marine Corps Finds It Tough To Shut Down Sexist Facebook Groups

Female Marines are being humiliated and generally degraded by their peers on Facebook. The groups' pages are frequently shut down, but return within days due to a dedicated following.

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