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Posted at 08:18 AM ET, 08/26/2011

A.M. Buzz: Before the storm, local news

Good morning. It’s (almost) all Irene from now through the weekend. The live interactive tracker of the hurricane is what you’ll want to watch, as well as Post Now, where we will live-blog the approaching storm.

News you can use: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication has been postponed; the D.C. Rally for full voting rights has been canceled; Alexandria and the District give away sandbags; colleges change move-in plans; and don’t fail to prepare yourself.

The importance of a reliable Metrorail to the area is demonstrated with each snowstorm, earthquake and tropical storm that passes through. Reporter Dana Hedgpeth, our own @postmetrogirl, looks at the fourth-busiest station in the system to find out why the “two-week repair” at Farragut North has taken nine months, and it’s not done yet.

Virginia health officials are planning to release draft emergency regulations for abortion clinics as soon as Friday that reproductive-health activists say could impose strict physical, staffing and equipment requirements and could force many of the state’s clinics to close.

Principal Rikki Hunt Taylor assists pre-schooler Saniyah McBeth, 3, as she steps off the bus in January at the newly renovated Eugene Meyer School in Washington. (Gerald Martineau - For The Washington Post)
Installing seat belts on school buses sounds like a common-sense idea but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says no, disappointing non-governmental safety advocates.

Today’s the day that TheRootDC launches, a sister site to and it’s anticipated to be a Web home for local African Americans.

Don’t panic, prepare: I’m talking to you: Too much cable TV watching raises your alarm and blood pressure, so just turn it off. Now, remove your outdoor furniture, secure flowerpots or other potential missiles, stock up on batteries, fill your water bottles and make sure you have a cooler and ice or icepacks in case your power goes out. We’ll keep it calm and informative on PostLocal so you can ride out Hurricane Irene safely.

By  |  08:18 AM ET, 08/26/2011

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