Local News from WAMU 88.5

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Look At The Bills That Passed The Maryland General Assembly

Maryland's legislative session wrapped up on Monday night, and we've got a look at some of the legislation that cleared the General Assembly in the last 90 days.

Dedicated Bus Lanes Planned For Most Of Route 7 Between Tysons Corner, Alexandria

Local officials are seeking the public's input on a plan that would bring a bus rapid transit system between Tysons Corner and Alexandria instead of a light rail line.

Monday, April 11, 2016

First DCPS Teacher To Win Arbitration Over Evaluation System Discusses His Case

In 2010, during the second year of the new teacher evaluation system called IMPACT, Thomas O'Rourke received an "ineffective" rating, and he eventually lost his job. Four years later, an arbitrator ruled in his favor. He talks about the case with WAMU 88.5's Kavitha Cardoza.

Gov. McAuliffe Seeks To Keep Execution Drug Suppliers Secret

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has rejected an effort to force Virginia's condemned inmates to die in the electric chair, replacing the proposal with one that would keep secret the identities of pharmacies that supply lethal injection drugs to the commonwealth.

Problems With D.C. Circulator Buses Started With Decision To Hire Private Firm, Union Says

An audit released last week found systemic problems with the District's fleet of Circulator buses, which union officials are saying is the consequence of the decision to hire a private, for-profit contractor to run the system.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Drivers' Union Seeks Major Changes After Audit Exposes Problems With Circulator

The union representing D.C. Circulator drivers called on the District to fire the private firm in charge of operating and maintaining the bus line, after an audit determined Cincinnati-based First Transit kept buses in service that were in a state of disrepair.

MPD Asking For Public's Help Cracking Down On Dirt Bikes, ATVs

After several high-profile incidents, D.C. Police are hoping the public can identify more than 200 persons of interest in connection with incidents involving groups of people on dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Defective Buses, Inadequate Maintenance Found In Audit Of D.C. Circulator

The oldest D.C. Circulator buses in the District’s fleet have remained on the roads despite “an exceptionally high number of defects,” says an audit by the District Department of Transportation.

'Surprising' Super PAC Spending Continues To Grow In Maryland Senate Race

Independent campaign groups are pouring unprecedented amounts of money into Maryland' s Senate race, and the cash is having an outsized influence on the Democratic primary race between Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards.

Metro Track-Safety 'Blitz' Continues On Specific Areas Of Rail System

Federal safety inspectors are descending upon Metrorail for a “track inspection blitz,” part of the federal government’s temporary yet growing intervention into the regional subway system’s routine maintenance program.

Passenger 'Panic Buttons' Coming To D.C. Cabs Over Industry Opposition

Prompted by legislation to improve safety, "panic buttons" are starting to appear in D.C. cabs. Rollout so far has been slow and early implementation is exposing potential wrinkles in the idea.

Development Without Displacement? Proposal In D.C. Council Aims To Try

Two D.C. Council members have proposed an idea that would seek to prevent residents of the Congress Heights neighborhood from being displaced as the development of the St. Elizabeths site moves forward.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How Can Teachers Meet The Needs Of Unaccompanied Minors Who Have Suffered 'Complex Trauma?'

There are nearly 700 students in Montgomery County Public Schools who fled from Central America, and the school system is working on training to meet the socio-emotional needs of this often traumatized unaccompanied youths.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Maryland Wraps Up State-Level Approval Process For Purple Line

The Maryland Board of Public Works, which includes Gov. Larry Hogan as a member, has approved the deal between the state and a team of private contractors to build the 16-mile line between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

D.C. Police To Search National Arboretum For Relisha Rudd

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced on Wednesday morning that police will search the National Arboretum for Relisha Rudd, who disappeared from the D.C. General homeless shelter two years ago when she was 8.