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NTSB finds dozens of problems in L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident

 

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WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board determined said an arcing insulator caused a fatal smoke incident on the Yellow Line and said Metro’s lack of maintenance procedures contributed to the severity. 

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USDOT secretary fires 3 Metro board members

 

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Thursday replaced three of four members of the Metro board of directors with individuals who have transportation safety backgrounds to increase the safety culture of Metro.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “No more excuses” to jurisdictions Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, which he has been ordering to create a new state level safety oversight agency for Metro.

On Thursday, April 28, Foxx replaced three of the four board members representing the federal government with officials currently or previously involved in transportation safety. The reason for the replacement was to push the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board of directors to pick up the pace to creating a new state-level safety oversight agency in Metro.

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MoCo Health Officer provides answers to Council about the Zika virus

As the weather starts to turn warmer and mosquito eggs start to hatch on the East Coast, concern over the spread of the Zika virus has become an issue for local health officials. In Montgomery County, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Ulder Tillman gave a presentation to the Montgomery County Council Tuesday and answered questions on the Zika virus.

Tillman’s presentation to the Council focused mainly on what steps Montgomery County residents can take to prevent themselves from getting the disease.

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Local priest honored for homeless work

The Montgomery County Coalition of the Homeless honored local priest Father John Enzler with the 2016 Distinguished Service Award Thursday night at the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless Gala.

Enzler was awarded for his efforts to veteran homelessness throughout the County by developing the idea of “adopting a veteran” in several communities.

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Local residents clean up Sligo Creek

SweepSligoCreek3MarkPoetkerLocal volunteers clean up litter along Sligo Creek. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

TAKOMA PARK – Dozens of volunteers cleaned up litter at 14 sites along and near Sligo Creek during a “Sweep the Creek” event hosted by Friends of Sligo Creek last weekend.

It rained nearly the entire two-hour period Saturday morning.

Resident Barbara Underwood said this was her family’s first time participating in the two-day event.

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Gaithersburg department heads push for greater health care and more cops

GAITHERSBURG – City department heads are pushing for more police officers and medical attention for the city as the budget season progresses.

The heads of city agencies testified before Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council Monday night about how they would use the funds allocated to them in the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

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County continues to face budget hardships

ROCKVILLE-- As the Montgomery County Council debates Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposed budget, each of the items faces scrutiny faces, especially benefits and salaries for county employees.

The County Council is recommending Leggett and his staff reopen negotiations with the county’s public sector unions. The council said it is recommending that the Leggett renegotiate the 3.5 percent scheduled pay-increase for county employees.

Leggett said that the deals he and his staff originally negotiated with the unions as part of his 2017 fiscal budget are good deals and he will be hard-pressed to renegotiate them.

“This has happened before,” said Leggett about renegotiating collective bargaining agreements with the union, “but it is highly unlikely that any kind of negotiations are going to change that.”

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Rockville challenged by aging police department

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ROCKVILLE – Older isn’t better when it comes to police – at least according to the retiring city police chief.

When city Police Chief Terry Treschuk retires June 1, he may be among the first senior officers to leave the department in the short term.

Treschuk told the mayor and city council Monday night "about 30 percent of the agency is eligible for retirement" during the next three to four years.

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Residents propose rebuilding historic Chestnut Lodge

CNLChestnut Lodge before the 2009 fire. COURTESY PHOTO

ROCKVILLE – Local residents spoke out Monday against a proposal to build seven townhouses at the site of the historic Chestnut Lodge, saying they would rather the building lost to a fire be reconstructed.

Meanwhile, three people representing the developer JNP Chestnut Lodge LLC, defended the proposal, saying it's the most practical way forward.

City staff recommended the public record be kept open until May 6 with a discussion by council on May 16 and a resolution on June 17.

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Where there's smoke...

WMATA spokesperson says train pieces caused Red Line trouble

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WASHINGTON – Metro closed some Red Line stations Saturday evening after a piece of metal fell off a train, hit the third rail and caused smoke to fill a railcar and the station, according to Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly.

Richard Jordan, another Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority spokesperson, said Friendship Heights, Tenleytown and Bethesda stations were closed after a smoke incident occurred near Friendship Heights around 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services reported no injuries at the time of the incident.

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