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Must-reads from around Washington By Samantha Miller

Three Die in Torrential Rains: Yesterday's unrelenting rain storm killed two people in Fairfax County and one in Anne Arundel. Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Joan Morris told the Washington Post, “I can’t recall flooding like this. This is unprecedented." Today, many Washington-area schools and government offices are announcing closures and delays—click here for the latest closings.

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Posted at 10:11 AM/ET, 09/09/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kyle Gustafson

Strasmas in September: Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg made his return to the majors last night, throwing 56 pitches over five innings, allowing two hits, and ringing up four strike outs. Not many people were there to see it, though. Inclement weather definitely played a part, but it also stands to reason that some may have stayed home after seeing this tweet from the Washington Post that (incorrectly) reported that Strasburg would be scratched and his return would be pushed back to today. Did you stay home because of the tweet? Let us know in comments.

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Posted at 10:16 AM/ET, 09/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kay Steiger

Zoo Celebration This Week: The National Zoo is planning a first birthday celebration for its seven lion cubs. Animal keepers plan to present wrapped treats to the cubs on Wednesday morning. You can check out photos of the one-year-old cubs here.

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Posted at 04:57 PM/ET, 09/06/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kyle Gustafson

We're Number One! A new study names Washington as the home of the worst drivers in America. But if you ask anyone from Maryland, they'll say it's because people from Virginia obviously cannot drive. Likewise Virginians will tell anyone that listens that you're just taking your life into your own hands by driving with all the crazies in Maryland. DC is just caught in the middle, right? 

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Posted at 09:42 AM/ET, 09/02/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kyle Gustafson

Gray to Name New Chief of Staff: As reported by the Washington City Paper's Loose Lips last week, Mayor Vincent Gray is set to announce Christopher Murphy as his new chief of staff today. Murphy previously served as deputy chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Former Howard Dean deputy campaign manager Andrea “Andi” Pringle will also be named as Murphy's deputy.

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Posted at 09:57 AM/ET, 08/30/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kay Steiger

Good morning, Washington. Hopefully everyone had a safe weekend as Hurricane Irene blew through the area.

Washington Area Assesses Hurricane Damage: City and county governments in the area are surveying damage from the hurricane that blew through the East Coast this weekend. Some residents say they were disappointed with the hurricane's power, reports Rachel Baye at the Washington Examiner. Still, as of Sunday evening, the area had five reported deaths due to the hurricane, including one 11-year-old boy in Newport News, Virginia, who was killed by a falling tree smashing into the apartment in which he lived, NBC4 reports. Montgomery County has closed several of its schools today, since 22 of them were without power as of 8:30 PM Sunday evening. Baltimore area schools are also closed today. Most DC schools remain open today. David Hill at the Washington Times reports that nearly 500,000 people are without power after the weekend's storm, with the heaviest damage concentrated in central Virginia and Southern Maryland. Pepco won't say so far when people will have power restored to their homes because, according to spokesperson Bob Hainey, "We're not issuing estimated restoration times until we figure out exactly what the damage is."  ARLNow is reporting several road closures and power outages, as well as one minor storm-related injury. Amtrak canceled some trains today and is working to restore service. Many airline travelers are waiting to get out after many flights were canceled over the weekend. And Yahoo! News's local reporters posted photos and video of damage on one DC block, the 500 block of R Street, Northwest.

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Posted at 10:49 AM/ET, 08/29/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kay Steiger

Good morning, Washington. It's Friday, but this weekend promises to be at best rainy and at worst hurricane-ish. Stay safe this weekend.

Washington Area Prepares for Hurricane Irene: Yesterday evening governors of both Maryland and Virginia declared states of emergency in anticipation of the hurricane, with many coastal towns, including Ocean City, calling for voluntary evacuations. Meanwhile, Metro is busy laying down more than 2,000 sandbags. BWI is suggesting that travelers check their flight status before leaving for the airport. The Virginia National Guard is preparing to mobilize for hurricane duty. Pepco says to expect power outages that could last for several days. And DC Fire and EMS announced that the Martin Luther King Jr. dedication scheduled for Sunday has been canceled. Amtrak has canceled all rail service from today through Sunday. In other words, it could be a rough weekend. Hopefully you stock up on water, have an emergency plan in place, and have some board games or other non-electronic activities scheduled.

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Posted at 10:08 AM/ET, 08/26/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kay Steiger

Morning, Washington. The weekend is quickly approaching, as is Hurricane Irene. The folks over at Capital Weather Gang have some tips on preparing for the storm, which has already been ravaging Puerto Rico and is expected to hit the Eastern seaboard soon.

Washington Assesses Earthquake Damage: After the earthquake on Tuesday, many were assessing the damage to buildings. It seems the National Cathedral lost three or four spires on the building's central tower, which is estimated to cost somewhere in the millions and won't be covered by insurance. Officials say it is still structurally sound. The Washington Monument, while certainly not "leaning" as a few news outlets were quick to report on Tuesday, is closed due to some cracks at the top of the structure. Some other buildings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia sustained some damage.

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Posted at 12:41 PM/ET, 08/25/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Must-reads from around Washington By Kay Steiger

Morning, Washington. Hopefully you you didn't have too much damage from the magnitude 5.9 earthquake yesterday. We hear commuting home was kind of a nightmare, with bumper-to-bumper traffic in downtown, exits closed on the Beltway, and WMATA reporting lots of delays as they checked the system. You can check out our coverage from yesterday here.

Hurricane Irene May Hit Washington Area: And just in case you didn't have enough to worry about, meteorologists are keeping their eyes on Hurricane Irene, which Capital Weather Gang says might impact the Washington area—though it's still a bit too early to tell. NBC4 reports that some are worried the potential hurricane could delay the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial dedication scheduled for Sunday.

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Posted at 09:46 AM/ET, 08/24/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()

Morning, Washingtonians. If you're a Virginia voter, today's the day you vote in nine state senate primary races. Looks like today is going to be just as nice as yesterday, Capital Weather Gang says, with highs in low to mid 80s.

First Streetcars Coming in Two Years: Frozen Tropics reports that the District Department of Transportation announced the H Street/Benning Road streetcar line will open no later than 2013. The agency asked for bids to design the remaining elements of the streetcar system, including the car turnarounds and a "car barn" to store and maintain streetcar units.

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Posted at 09:33 PM/ET, 08/22/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()