Local News from WAMU 88.5

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.

Friday, November 20, 2015

'I Wanted To Go Somewhere Safe': A Syrian Father Starts Over In Baltimore

Mohammad is a Syrian national who left his home in Damascus 11 months ago. He lives with his family in East Baltimore, where he says he's slowly adjusting to a different life. But it's hard for him to stomach Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's recent comments about Syrian refugees.

Fight Over D.C.'s Concealed Carry Law Turns To Judge Who Overturned It

Did the New York-based judge who tossed out D.C.'s concealed carry law this year act appropriately in even considering it? A panel of judges is weighing the matter.

McDonnell Appeal Could Have Broad Consequences Beyond Virginia

So far 11 separate amicus briefs have been filed with the Supreme Court in support of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Many elected officials are concerned that the precedent set in his corruption case could apply too broadly.