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Posted at 08:18 AM ET, 05/12/2011

A.M. Buzz: Untimely deaths, unreal gas prices and working toward success

Good morning! Day 5 of beautiful spring weather. Treasure these days, friends, because summer’s heat and humidity is coming.

Prince George’s County experienced two murders overnight. A 7-Eleven clerk was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Fort Washington. Another man was fatally shot Wednesday evening in an Oxon Hill area parking lot.

Gas prices up, who’s to blame? The District’s attorney general is investigating the local gas station mogul, a man who owns about half the gas stations in the city, and about one-fourth of those in the region.

It’s hard to trust elected officials when revelations about dealing for jobs keep coming. D.C.’s latest: Top advisers to Mayor Vincent Gray spent a lot of time rewarding job-seeking supporters in the first months of the administration, according to e-mails. By the way, Gray is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill this morning to testify before Congress about the city’s $322 million budget shortfall.

The Metrorail system isn’t so bad, according to a new study. (Linda Davidson - The Washington Post)
We like to complain about Metrorail, Metrobuses, commuter rail ... but it ain’t so bad, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution. We won’t mention rail station escalators. And the bus passes have problems. (Dr. Gridlock will moderate a panel on the report at 9:30 a.m. at, which is where you can find the full report.) Additionally, Amtrak turns 40 and it’s just as much a whipping boy as ever.

As for those U-Md. engineering students who couldn’t get their human-powered chopper off the ground yesterday, here’s a reminder from the boom days in Silicon Valley: If you don’t fail, you’re not trying hard enough.

Just try to resist reading this story after this first paragraph: Henry Feffer, a prominent Washington spine surgeon whose patients included Saddam Hussein and Nikumba, a beloved National Zoo gorilla, died May 9 of congestive heart failure at his home in Bethesda. He was 93. (You have to click, don’t you?)

Now for something fun: After the chat with Google Doodles animator Ryan Woodward yesterday, Comics Riffs blogger Mike Cavna got to thinking about his favorite Google Doodle. Check it out — but what about yours?

The Mark Twain Prize, which is given by the Kennedy Center to an American humorist, will be awarded this morning. You’ll like the winner, we expect — it will be on PostLocal before midday.

By  |  08:18 AM ET, 05/12/2011

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