News Archive - March 19, 2012

Alexandria Seeking The City's Best Landscaping

Spring has sprung, as Alexandria is seeking nominations from residents for the properties that best excel in the area of property beautification and landscaping excellence.

Metro Workers Plead Guilty To Coin-Stealing Scheme

Two Metro workers have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court after bilking hundreds of thousands of dollars in coins from fare machines over several years.

Report: DC Water Rigged EPA Lead Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency was "intentionally misled" about lead levels by officials at DC Water, according to the D.C. inspector general's office.

Energy Tax Increase Here To Stay In Montgomery County

Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett's plan to keep a controversial energy tax has roiled business leaders in the area who expected it to be a temporary measure when it was passed two years ago.

What's In A Name? Virginia Selling Naming Rights For Roads, Bridges

In an effort to drum up badly-needed revenue to repair transportation infrastructure, Virginia may soon begin selling the naming rights for roads and bridges in the Commonwealth.

Lawyer Of Soldier Suspected In Massacre Begins Mounting Defense

John Henry Browne also corrected some details initially reported about Sgt. Robert Bales.

Romney's Offshore Dominance Negates Santorum's Southern Wins

Despite losses in Alabama and Mississippi, Mitt Romney lost little ground to Rick Santorum in the delegate chase last week — thanks primarily to wins in offshore territories, whose residents will not be allowed to vote for president come November.

U.S. Makes $25 Billion In Mortgage-Backed Securities Sale

It's still likely the government will see significant losses stemming from the bailout effort.

New Jersey As Good-Government Leader? Believe It

An investigative journalism project concluded that New Jersey led the nation with the toughest government accountability laws and enforcement while Georgia had the dubious distinction of being ranked last.

Trayvon Martin Killing Puts 'Stand Your Ground' Law In Spotlight

The law, passed in 2005, got rid of the English Law concept of "duty to retreat" from a dangerous situation. Instead, a person can hold his ground and meet force with force — deadly if they feel is necessary.

Health Care In America: Follow The Money

With the Supreme Court poised to hear arguments about President Obama's health law next week, the time seemed ripe for looking at the economic stakes. The public sector is a big part of the American health care industry, which now accounts for 18 percent of the GDP.

One Nation, Two Health Care Extremes

When it comes to health care in the U.S., no two states are more different than Texas and Massachusetts, which boast the highest and lowest rates of uninsured people, respectively. Those differences come into stark relief in the lives of Texan Melinda Maarouf and Massachusetts resident Peter Brook.

Rep. Paul Ryan Stokes New Medicare Fight, This Time In Election Year

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who proposed a budget last year that was controversial because of radical changes it would have made to Medicare, is making another run at his target. This time he has a Democratic ally, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. But progressive groups were already attacking the plan even before its official release Tuesday.

Person Fatally Struck By Red Line Train

Red Line trains have resumed normal service, following an earlier incident of a man fatally struck by a train at White Flint station.

Meat Substitute Market Beefs Up

According to a U.S. product database, 110 meat substitute products were introduced in 2010 and 2011. All those new products are giving people who are looking for tasty alternatives to meat a lot more choice.

Kids Exposed To Meth In Womb Can Struggle With Behavior Problems

Meth-exposed children are more anxious and depressed at age 3, a new study found. And they tended to be more disruptive at age 5. But researchers say those problems are manageable if children and parents get help early on.

As Pope Visit Nears, Cuba Detains Dissidents, Mexican Cartel Calls For Truce

The Knights Templars Cartel in Mexico called for a temporary halt in the violence while the pope is in the country.

CQ Roll Call: Rep. Ryan To Release Budget, Mikulski Honored As Longest-Serving Woman In Congress

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will release a budget plan this week that most Democrats and some Republicans are expected to oppose.

Ahead Of Another 'Key' Primary, Romney Leads Illinois Polls

This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.

New Sanction Severely Limits Iran's Global Commerce

The SWIFT financial messaging system used to arrange international money transfers has denied access to Iran as part of tightening sanctions. The move has effectively cut off Iran from the formal international commerce system. There are ways around SWIFT; will they be enough?

Reports: Peyton Manning Headed To The Denver Broncos

Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, has reportedly chosen Denver as the place he wants to play. Negotiations on a contract are underway, sources tell multiple news outlets.

Winter's Last Stand: Arizona Is Pummeled By Snow

Meanwhile Chicago has set warm-temperature records for the past five days.

EPA Awards Grants To Restore Bay

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the government with grants to help improve roads and water quality.

MPD Investigating Possible Bias-Related Crimes

Police are still looking for suspects in three crimes against gay and transgender individuals during the past few weeks. It remains to be seen whether they would all be treated as bias-related. 

Minivan Slams Through Window Of Day Care Center

An adult daycare center in Northeast D.C. is boarded up this morning after a freak parking accident on Sunday.

Sen. Mikulski Honored For Long Tenure In Congress

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) will be honored this week for serving 35 years in Congress.

Russian Court Case Underscores Protesters' Concerns

A high-profile court case in Moscow has again put the spotlight on Russia's judiciary. Alexei Kozlov was convicted of charges of fraud and money laundering. But many say the verdict appears to be revenge for the political activities of Kozlov's wife, a journalist and vocal government critic.

'Art Beat' With Sean Rameswaram, March 19

Into the Woods, into small spaces, and Ma Rainey.

Virginia Transportation Advocates Seek Improvements

Virginia's transportation advocates are disappointed with both parties' lack of leadership in improving the state's roads.

VIDEO: Kate Speaks; Duchess Gives First Public Speech

The former Kate Middleton, who some day may be queen of England, gave her first public speech today at a hospice in Ipswich. The reviews are good.

Virginia Fails In Corruption Risk Report, Maryland Ranks Low

Virginia and Maryland fared poorly in a state integrity review released this week, with Virginia achiving an 'F' overall on its corruption risk report card.

Do Digital Gadgets Increase Our Appetite For News?

More than twice as many people read news recommended on Facebook than on Twitter, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. One in four Americans now gets their news digitally from mobile devices.

Three Teams That Could Be This Year's George Mason

Need to fend off that annoying guy at work who wants to talk about NCAA men's basketball? Here are some lines that you can use.

Monday Political Grab Bag: Romney Wins In PR; Race Heads To Illinois

Mitt Romney handily won the Puerto Rico primary after Rick Santorum turned off many voters with a comment about English needing to be the island's official language. Romney and Santorum next were taking their battle for GOP delegates to Illinois where the former Massachusetts governor had a lead in polls but where the GOP party's shift to the right made predicting the outcome difficult...

Top Stories: National Debate Over Teen's Killing; Apple's Buyback Plan

Also: Romney wins primary in Puerto Rico; fierce fighting erupts in Damascus; NCAA men's "sweet 16" field is set.

Apple To Buy Back $10B In Shares; Pay Dividend Of $2.65 Per Share

The buyback program begins Sept. 30. The dividends will start to be paid in the quarter beginning July 1. Apple has about $98 billion in cash and securities on hand.

Soldier Suspected In Massacre To Meet With Lawyer Today

Meanwhile, a contradictory picture is emerging of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He had been a solid soldier. But he was also under stress.

Killing Of Fla. Teen Trayvon Martin Becomes National Story About Race

George Zimmerman claims he was out on Neighborhood Watch patrol, saw a suspicious youth and followed the boy. Trayvon's family and supporters want to know if the unarmed teen, who was black, was gunned down in a tragic case of racial profiling.

Killings At School In France Follow Earlier Murders Of Soldiers

Authorities say a gunman killed at least four people outside a Jewish school. One was a rabbi who taught Yiddish there. Two were his young sons. The fourth was a young girl. Last week, a gunman killed three French soldiers in the same part of France.