Workshops on Terrorism for Media
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Academies will host a series of 10 workshops on terrorism and the role of the news media across the country starting in July. The workshops are modeled after a program developed by the Greater Washington Board of Trade's Potomac Conference.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the table-top scenario workshops will help the department provide journalists and state and local officials with complex but potentially life-saving information in a crisis.
"We hope these workshops will help all involved to develop strategies for dealing with unprecedented terrorist events and create an instant pool of trusted experts to be called upon," said National Academy of Engineering President William A. Wulf.
The interactive sessions will begin in Chicago in July and continue for 12 months, visiting Portland, Ore.; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia; Miami; Austin, Tex.; Atlanta; San Francisco; Denver; and Boston.
The board of trade hosted a workshop with the news media in Washington last June.
NAACP, Smiley Host Brown Symposium
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is teaming up with television and radio personality Tavis Smiley to present a series of panel discussions tomorrow commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
The free event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Seating is limited; doors will open at 7 a.m.
Speakers include Jack Greenberg, who helped argue the case that struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine that was a barrier to school desegregation. Various panels will discuss issues including education, affirmative action and the No Child Left Behind law.
Water Pipe Bursts in Annapolis
A water main break in downtown Annapolis yesterday morning closed several businesses and left city workers racing to repair the breach by this morning.
A roughly 2-foot-by-1-foot piece of a cast iron pipe beneath Dock Street at the Annapolis City Dock burst about 7:15, according to Margaret Martin, the city's director of public works. Witnesses saw a small geyser spurting water onto the street, she said.
Police closed off the area and redirected traffic, and workers set up temporary bathrooms and provided local businesses with bottled water. Several restaurants in the area closed for the day.
Martin said the pipe might have burst because of its age. The 12-inch-diameter pipe was installed in the 1930s.
She said workers hoped to have the water main repaired by today.
Counties Disagree Over WSSC Budget
For the first time in at least 20 years, the Montgomery and Prince George's county councils failed yesterday during a joint meeting to come to an agreement on the fiscal 2005 budget for the bi-county commission that provides water and sewer services to 1.6 million residents in the two counties.
The vote was not taken because no one on the Prince George's County Council seconded a motion by Montgomery County Council member Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County) to adopt the nearly $700 million budget
The disagreement does not preclude the budget for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission from taking effect July 1. Under state regulations, if no action is taken on the budget, the spending plan goes into effect by default.
The Prince George's County Council opposed the budget -- which includes a 3 percent rate increase amounting to about $15 a year on average for residential customers -- because the Montgomery council would not agree to pay to extend water and sewer lines to Marlboro Meadows, an aging housing development in Prince George's.
The housing development uses a private company for services and has fought for years to have WSSC provide services. Prince George's council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Mitchellville) said residents complain about the smell and color of their water.
"I am just looking to bring some closure to this issue for the residents," Dean said.
The project would cost about $12 million.
I-64 Repaving Canceled for Lack of Funds
A $55 million plan to repave 60 miles of Interstate 64 between Richmond and Newport News has been scrapped because there's no money for the work in the new state budget, transportation officials announced yesterday.
The repaving was to be part of Virginia's preparations for Jamestown 2007, the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first English colony in the New World.
Instead, the Virginia Department of Transportation will only fix potholes and repave the worst sections.
"Hard choices have to be made to provide appropriate funding for the most-needed projects in the state," VDOT Commissioner Philip A. Shucet said in a news release.
More Space for Day-Care Children
A state council voted yesterday to require licensed day-care centers to increase the amount of indoor space per child. New providers would have three years to comply. Existing centers would be spared from the new regulations for eight years.
The new floor space requirement would increase from 25 square feet per child to 35 square feet.
An initial proposal would have excluded space occupied by such items as cribs or diaper-changing tables, but the proposal passed by the Child Day-Care Council measured wall-to-wall space, regardless of what takes up floor space, council Chairman Gail Johnson said.
Current providers that expand their centers will have to comply with the new space rules three years after they are in effect.
The changes will go into effect Jan. 1 at the earliest, after the state secretary of health, the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission and Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) review the measures, said Holly Cammarasana, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.
Maryland "used to be the center of winter racing in America. They used to have trains from New York down here for the races."
-- Ellen Fredel, one of the owners of Water Cannon, a racehorse who trains in Bowie and will be competing tomorrow in the 129th running of the Preakness Stakes. -- Page A1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Spencer Hsu, Nelson Hernandez, Ovetta Wiggins and the Associated Press.