Fire cadets in the spotlight


Pallbearers carry the coffin of Medric Cecil Mills Jr. from Canaan Baptist Church in Northwest Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Hundreds of mourners packed Canaan Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant Saturday to pay their final respects to Medric Cecil Mills Jr., who might not have succumbed to a heart attack had he gotten prompt attention from the first responders stationed across the street from where he collapsed. His death, however, continues to focus attention on issues in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. The Post’s Amy Brittain reports that the incident implicates the department’s long-controversial “cadet” program, in which graduates of city high schools are funneled into the fire academy. Cadets have been subject to lower entry standards than other recruits, and numerous cadets have run into trouble over the years, but the program has helped the department look more like the city it serves and remains a top priority for Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. The firefighter on duty at Engine 26 last month when Mills collapsed, Remy Jones, was a cadet. What Jones and his superiors did in response remains under investigation.

In other news:

Cold-weather crisis puts focus on Vincent Gray’s record on homelessness (Post)

Jeffrey Thompson is said to have secretly spent more than $100,000 on Michael Brown’s 2008 campaign (PostNLJWaTimesLoose LipsAP)

Gray moves to fire Mary Oates Walker, chief administrative law judge (DofDWJLA-TV)

Judge declines to force attorney general race onto the primary ballot (PostDCistRoll CallAPLoose LipsWaTimes)

Liquor-license moratoriums start falling out of fashion (Post)

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An “increasingly tense standoff” between Eleanor Holmes Norton and the D.C. Council over scholarship funding (Roll Call)

Behold renderings of a possible new MLK Library (WBJDCistHousing Complex)

Incoming DCPL chief: “The opportunity to work on the coming renovations … is fascinating, both architecturally and from a service perspective” (Library Journal)

Bob McCartney declares Muriel Bowser “the one to beat” in the Gray-challenger sweepstakes (Post column)

And she tops your latest LL power rankings (Loose Lips)

Gray campaign apparently also believes so, using two-month-old quote to paint Bowser as a tea partier (Loose LipsWashingtonian)

The Kojo Nnamdi debate is set for Feb. 26 (WAMU-FM)

Your Democratic mayoral ballot order: Evans, Shallal, Lewis, Orange, Bowser, Gray, Allen, Wells (@mikedebonis)

Meet the heir to Doug Jemal’s real estate empire (WBJ)

@IMGoph broke the Hatch Act by soliciting donations for Kenyan McDuffie on Twitter (WAMU-FM)

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Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps commits $20,000 to marijuana legalization bid (WAMU-FM)

Farewell to Harriet Tregoning, a rare “rock star” of urban planning (Post)

DDOT: Speed cameras prevent accidents, save lives (WTOPWJLA-TV)

Deal Middle School students lobby council for a better bus shelter (Post)

Metro riders speak out on proposed fare hikes (Post)

Pro-gay-marriage banner is vandalized outside Methodist church in Glover Park (WRC-TV)

Non-Democratic candidates want in on primary forums and debates (Loose Lips)

Turning a school into a police station is indeed an “awful metaphor” (Post)

Explaining why the surplus isn’t really much of a surplus (DCFPI)

To make wider sidewalks in Georgetown, take away parking spaces (Capital Business)

Peter Hendy, 33, gets 20-year sentence for beating 4-year-old to death (PostAP)

Capitol Heights man admits to striking and killing 24-year-old pedestrian on Benning Road while high on PCP (AP)

Police pay debate hits the PoPville comments (PoPville)

NCPC seems okay with Kennedy Center expansion plan (AP)

Politicos line up to remember Deoni Jones, two years after death put focus on anti-transgender violence (Blade)

Georgetown U. gets $10 million to create “Center for Social Impact and Innovation” (AP)

Now trending in Anacostia: verrines and tartines (GOG)

Can you take a mattress on a Metrobus? Hey, why not (DCist)

Another piece of the 11th Street Bridge opens (WTOP)

Celebrating 10 years of the Capital Weather Gang (CWG)

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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Mike DeBonis · February 7, 2014