‘We are supposed to respond’

More than 10 days after Medric Cecil Mills Jr. collapsed and died outside a Rhode Island Avenue NE strip mall while firefighters across the street dawdled, fire chief Kenneth Ellerbe has broken his silence. He spoke out first Tuesday with WTTG-TV’s Will Thomas, then again Wednesday with WRC-TV’s Mark Segraves and WJLA-TV’s Sam Ford. He recalled knowing Mills through the Shriners and described being “regretful” about his death: “When we are called, we are supposed to respond,” he told Segraves. Once the investigation is complete, he pledged, “we will hold people accountable.” But the matter is unlikely to end there: Mills’s family has hired the Cochran Firm’s Karen E. Evans; a morning news conference could indicate whether litigation is soon in the offing.

In other news:

Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe does more interviews: “When we are called, we are supposed to respond” (WRC-TVWJLA-TV)

Cecil Mills’s family has hired the Cochran Firm (WTTG-TV)

Marion Barry’s long-promised autobiography is “Incredible,” and it is scheduled to be released in June (Reliable Source)

Howard University says it will cut 200 staff jobs, many of them in the hospital (PostWBJHousing Complex)

Taxi Commission explores regulating Sidecar and Lyft (WAMU-FM)

What is to be done about charter funding inequity? (Post editorial)

Here’s what could have been done about the city’s homelessness surge (Post letter)

What Harriet Tregoning meant to Washington (Capital Business)

City’s tax breaks for LivingSocial were, in the end, “crafted … very shrewdly” (Housing Complex)

Judge will hear arguments, and possibly rule, on challenge to elected attorney general delay (DCistWaTimes)

Kaya Henderson is getting the DCPS budget in front of the public earlier than ever (Post)

DCPS may, or may not, have to schedule make-up days for snow (AP)

Family of Miriam Carey sue Capitol Police for wrongful death (Roll Call)

Harry Jaffe predicts a Post endorsement for Muriel Bowser (Washingtonian)

Bowser courts the female vote (Informer)

Council declines to endorse Vincent Orange resolution calling for release of Gray campaign audit (Loose Lips)

“Controlled choice”: An alternative to hard school boundaries (GGW)

Want dedicated streetcar lanes? Act now or else (GGW)

Navy Yard building where 12 died will be renamed for historical naval figure (AP)

What JBG has planned for north of the 9:30 Club (PoPville)

Is Florida Avenue project the beginning of a long, beautiful real-estate friendship? (WBJ)

Four men suspected in string of armed robberies (WRC-TV)

Georgetown is getting its bowling alley (DCist)

H Street is getting a Caps bar (Sports Bog)

And U Street is getting a McCafe (PoPville)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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Tim Richardson · February 6, 2014