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Local News from WAMU 88.5

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wildfire In Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp May Be Largest In History

A wildfire in Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge has burned nearly 5,600 acres and firefighters are working to strengthen fire lines to contain it.

Former Del. Phil Hamilton Sentenced to 9.5 Years In Federal Prison

Former Virginia Delegate Phil Hamilton has been sentenced to 9.5 years in federal prison for his role in securing a job at Old Dominion University.

Fairfax County Police Creates Task Force For 'Butt Slasher'

Fairfax County Police have stepped up their efforts to find the so-called "butt slasher." The department has set up a special task force to track the culprit down.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Virginia Asking Residents To Dial 811 Before Digging

The State Corporation Commission is using the date 8-11 to urge residents to dial 811 to contact the state's "Miss Utility" line before performing any digging—as required by state law. The SCC says too many incidents arise where an activity as simple as gardening in the backyard has caused major problems within a region.

Walmart Donates $3 Million For D.C. Job Training

Walmart continues to shower D.C. with donations as it looks to looks break into the market and open several stores, and the latest gift – a $3 million grant for job training -- impressed local leaders.

D.C. Pushes Back Online Gaming Meetings

D.C. continues to tap the breaks on online gambling. City lawmakers now say they will delay community meetings aimed at alleviating concerns about the new law.

Maryland's Highway Administration Wants Small Farm Stand Out

A Maryland farmer is trying to save his small farm after being stuck in a Catch 22 with state highway officials. The dispute comes at a time when the state is promoting local farms.

Chris Van Hollen Named To Special Committee, Likely No Benefits To D.C. Metro Region

A Maryland lawmaker has been named to a special committee in charge of finding ways to reduce the deficit, but his position may not help the region at all.

Strong Regional Representation In Budget Negotiations May Not Help The Region

The region's lawmakers have played key roles in the ongoing congressional budget negotiations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their states are getting any special perks.

Rising Standards Cause More Schools To Fail In Virginia

In Virginia, less than 40 percent of schools met federal standards this year compared to 61 percent last year.

Redskins Look For Answers At Quarterback Heading Into First Preseason Game

The Washington Redskins begin their pre-season schedule tonight with an exhibition against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But one still question hangs over the heads of the Skins faithful: Who will be the Redskins' starting quarterback?

Art Gallery Introduces Five Emerging Artists To D.C. Scene

Five local artists are having a coming-out party of sorts, thanks to the Hamiltonian Gallery.

Members Of Asian Gang Arrested In Virginia For Rigging Electronic Gambling Machines

The Northern Virginia Task Force says it has confiscated a million dollars in cash and $200,000 in video electronics that were illegally rigged as gambling machines. Authorities with the anti-gang units say a violent Asian gang ran the operation.

Dead Zone In Chesapeake Bay Is One Of The Worst Ever

Scientists say a massive 1,200 square mile dead zone growing in the Chesapeake Bay may be one of the Bay's five worst ever.

Q&A With Rep. Chris Van Hollen About His Role On The Super Committee

When the 12 lawmakers named this week to the debt reduction super committee return from their August break, they'll have their work cut out for them. The group has until Nov. 23 to propose $1.5 trillion in savings over the coming decade. Democrat Chris Van Hollen of the Maryland is the only member of the super committee from our region. He joins us now to talk about his role.

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