US Open Underway in Bethesda; WMATA Praised for Making Progress: Morning Links

Must-reads from around Washington

WMATA Praised for Making Progress: One of Metro's toughest critics handed out a few rare compliments on Wednesday. Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski admitted to WMATA GM Richard Sarles at a meeting yesterday that the transit agency has started to show signs of improvement. WAMU has a report. Among Mikulski's comments? That WMATA has improved its ability to face issues, rather than deny them.

7th DC Police Officer Arrested in 5 Months: When embattled DC Mayor Vince Gray points his finger at you and calls you an "embarrassment," you know you've got problems. That's exactly how Gray described the recent string of DC police officers who have been arrested and charged with serious crimes over the last several months. The most recent, as WTOP reports, is a sergeant who was arrested Tuesday for stealing $43,000 from an elderly woman she was supposed to be helping. 

Heroin Smuggler Arrested at Dulles: Authorities have arrested and charged a 54-year-old Nigerian man for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than three pounds of heroin inside his abdomen through Dulles International Airport. Rasheed Martins, 54, was arrested after he arrived at Dulles from Paris last Wednesday. Click through the Examiner's story for an image of what three pounds of heroin pellets looks like after its been swallowed and passed through the body. It's amazing this guy wasn't injured. This is the third time such an arrest has been made at Dulles in the last couple of months.

US Open Starts in Bethesda: Residents near Congressional Country Club have been bracing themselves for weeks, and now the moment is finally here: the 111th US Open got underway this morning. In addition to increased traffic and congestion created by golf fans heading to the tournament, there's of course also an upside: An increase in golf spending.

Giffords Leaves the Hospital: For the first time since she was shot in the head five months ago, Representative Gabrielle Giffords slept in her own bed last night. The congresswoman was released from Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann Wednesday, though she'll continue her rehabilitation there on an out-patient basis for the foreseeable future. She'll be staying at her husband's home in League City, Texas, about 30 miles from the hospital, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Briefly Noted: Rockville likely to be next to join Capital Bikeshare … Five-year-old separated from mom on Metro. 

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