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Virginia Business Leaders Rally Behind 'Outer Beltway'

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At a news conference in Manassas on Thursday, business leaders responded to what they view as a dishonest campaign by opponents of the "outer beltway," a new north-south corridor being backed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"They are really designed to scare folks off from the many benefits this road will bring. There has been less than a fair and open conversation about the many attributes of the bi-county parkway project," said Tony Howard, the president of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. "We can advocate a message of reducing congestion in our region, of accommodating the substantial growth we know we are going to see. Our two communities brought in 250,000 new residents in the last ten years."

Future job and population growth in the Dulles area, say supporters, necessitates more north-south lanes, even though state data show significantly more traffic volume on Northern Virginia's east-west routes. The new roadway is expected to cost $1 billion.

"Loudoun and Prince William County are no longer bedroom communities exclusively. They are now true employment centers," said Howard. "We know with the growth of the commercial tax base in our respective communities that there is going to be ever increasing demand for north-south connectivity."

"The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments projects that much of the region's future population and job growth will occur in the adjacent communities to Dulles," said Rob Clapper, the president of the Prince William Chamber. "At the end of the day this road is about improving the quality of life throughout all of our communities. There are things it is targeted to do, specifically untangling the region's transportation mess."

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A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

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Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

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A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

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