Metro Votes to Buy Diesel, Hybrid Buses
Metro board members voted yesterday to spend $116 million to buy 117 diesel and 100 hybrid buses, scrapping plans to buy compressed natural gas models that emit less pollution. The 4 to 2 vote came after more than 90 minutes of debate and several attempts to delay action or reduce the number of diesel buses to be purchased.
Board members from Maryland, where the buses will be used, were behind the switch to diesel. Robert J. Smith and Charles Deegan, argued that Metro could buy more diesel than natural gas buses and that hybrids are the future of clean-fuel technology.
Jim Graham, who represents the District, and Chris Zimmerman, who represents Virginia, opposed the move. They said that natural gas buses are well liked by riders and reduce air pollution.
Metro operates 1,450 buses, including 164 natural gas models. The rest are diesel buses.
5-Year-Old Monkey Dies at Zoo
A 5-year-old female golden lion tamarin died Wednesday night at the National Zoo, according to a statement released late yesterday.
Zoo spokeswoman Peper Long said the monkey died after months of efforts, including an MRI and exploratory surgery, to determine the cause of its chronic liver and gall bladder disease.
Golden lion tamarins, native to Brazil, are an endangered species of small primates. The zoo has worked with conservation and government groups for more than 30 years to breed and protect the animals, returning more than 150 zoo-born tamarins to the wild.
GW Activists Get Store to Switch Eggs
An animal protection group at George Washington University has won an agreement from a grocery store at the school to stop selling eggs from caged hens, according to a school spokeswoman and the Humane Society of the United States.
GW Animal Advocacy worked with the Humane Society to get information on alternative egg producers that could supply the District Market, a grocery and deli in the basement of the Marvin Center. The group collected more than 1,000 student signatures on a petition and met with Aramark, the food service provider, to urge the shift to more humanely produced eggs.
About 98 percent of the eggs sold in the United States come from birds confined in cages so small that the birds cannot flap their wings or engage in perching, dust bathing and other natural behaviors, according to the Humane Society.
Condition Upgraded of Man Hurt at RFK
The condition of a Pennsylvania man who fell three stories from a ramp at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium after a baseball game Wednesday night has been upgraded to fair at Washington Hospital Center, authorities said.
Randy Plyler, 40, of Hummelstown tumbled backward over a railing just after 10 p.m., police said. His injuries included broken bones, police said. He was flown to Washington Hospital Center, where he was listed initially in serious but stable condition, police said. Police said they believe that the fall was an accident.