Local News from WAMU 88.5

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Metro GM To Meet Riders In Public Forum — And Let Them Vent

Metro's incoming general manager Paul Wiedefeld hopes to strike a new tone with rider — agreeing to meet with the WMATA Riders Union and fielding their requests for his first days in office.

Virginia Lawmakers Target 'Predatory' Car-Title Lenders

There are several pieces of legislation in the works in Virginia that would target predatory tactics by the car-title industry in Fairfax County, which WAMU documented extensively earlier this fall.

As Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants Gain Traction, Policy Makers Look To States Like Maryland

More than 900,000 limited licenses have been issued to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. — and as more states craft policies, they are looking to states like Maryland for precedents that work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

After Drop In 2014, Traffic Deaths Nationwide Tick Up In 2015

Despite a record low fatality rate, staggering numbers of motorists, pedestrians, and bike riders continue to die on the nation’s roads, spurring top safety officials to call on states to pass stricter distracted driving and helmet laws.

D.C. Moving Forward On Plan To Close D.C. General Homeless Shelter

D.C. officials say they will soon announce the location of between six and eight shelters to replace the troubled homeless family shelter at D.C. General.

U.S. Transportation Secretary On Metro: Safety First, Expansion Later

Praising the hiring of Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said it was an "encouraging sign" on improving safety, which will have to be addressed before expansion fans are considered.

Leggett Changes Lanes, Plans To Build Rapid Bus Network 'Piecemeal'

A year ago, Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett proposed creating a transit authority for the county to help pay for transportation projects. Now he's scrapping that idea to build rapid bus routes on at a time.

How Should D.C. Commemorate Marion Barry? Commission Offers 4 Suggestions

Marion Barry died one year ago this week, and a city commission is now recommending that D.C.'s "mayor for life" be remembered with a statue or by having a local school renamed after him.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Virginia Should Scale Back 'Standards Of Learning' Tests, Recommends Committee

In the wake of a backlash, education leaders in Virginia are trying to rethink how the state approaches its Standards of Learning standardized tests, including reducing the length of tests and revising graduation requirements.

Northern Virginia, Land Of New Toll Lanes, Has Three Terrible Bottlenecks: Report

Three of the 50 worst highway bottlenecks in America can be found in Northern Virginia, according to a ranking released by a group representing businesses that would benefit from road construction.

Flipper Fined: Developer To Pay $300K Over Shoddy Construction Complaints

A Virginia developer who renovated and resold homes in revitalizing D.C. neighborhoods has agreed to pay a $301,500 fine for hundreds of construction violations on close to two-dozen properties she worked on.

Hybrid Owners To Lose 'Clean Fuel' HOV Exemption On Virginia's I-66

Virginia hybrid owners with special plates have been allowed to use I-66 inside the Beltway, normally reserved for HOV-2 carpoolers. That exemption will not last.

Maryland Remains Serious About Maglev, Despite Skeptics

Maryland has received a federal grant to study the engineering needed for a high-speed rail line between Baltimore and D.C. — evidence that a possible maglev project in the region is moving forward.

Radon Testing Now Mandatory For Montgomery County Home Sales

Radon is a silent, deadly killer, and now home sellers are on the hook for making sure the radioactive gas isn't present when a house changes hands.

Local Officials Sound Alarm On MS-13 Recruiting In Montgomery County Schools

Three suspected gang killings in Montgomery County have served to put school officials on notice — youth in the region could be at risk of being recruited in the classroom.