Terror Alert Increases Security
Streets Closed, Parking Restricted, Officials Irked
A heightened terror alert left a portion of First Street NE closed, some parking restricted and security checkpoints scattered across the Capitol, the Treasury Building and the World Bank-IMF complex. Some streets were dotted with heavily armed officers. City officials were livid because they had not been consulted on the restrictive measures. Meanwhile, there were snags in the District's new emergency alert system -- it failed to prove an "immediate" information tool as promised by the city.
'No-Child' Law Lets Students Transfer
Space Limited in Better-Performing Schools
The selection process for a new superintendent of the District's public schools ground on, but whoever gets the job will inherit a district in which nearly half the students are entitled to switch schools under the No Child Left Behind Law. There aren't enough slots at higher-performing schools to accommodate them, however, and officials are worried that there might not be enough money to provide them the tutoring help for which they qualify.
Slots Initiative Won't Go on Ballot
Fraud, Forgery Found in Petition Collection
There won't be an initiative to bring slot machines to the District on the November ballot this year, the D.C. Elections Board ruled, and it tossed out many of the signatures on the required petitions to qualify the measure for the vote. The board also found evidence of fraud, forgery or other violations of local election laws. Proponents said they would appeal and that they intend to keep trying.
Juveniles Missing From City Homes
Some Gone for More Than Two Years
Of the 223 juveniles who have gone AWOL from city-sponsored group homes and shelters in the past three years, almost a third are still missing and some have been gone for more than two years, according to an investigation by the D.C. inspector general. He urged "quick and determined" action to address the chronic problem -- the youth agency's "minimal and ineffective" efforts to track down teenagers who have absconded.
Ninth Charged in Bank Robberies
Money Taken Is Not Recovered
Eight of nine men sought in a series of brazen bank robberies are in custody, but the $361,000 they got is not. Law enforcement officials announced federal charges against nine men, saying they planned each robbery and obtained masks, body armor and assault weapons.
Health Department Director Named
Appointment Subject to Council Approval
The city's Health Department is no longer without a director. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) named Gregg A. Pane, 49, an emergency room physician who has held senior positions in health administration, as interim director and chief medical officer. His appointment is subject to council approval.
Short Staffing Worries Ramsey
Resignation, Retirement Rules Enforced
Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he is worried about short staffing with a spike in juvenile violence, the threat of terrorism and an increasing number of officers leaving the force. So, he said, he will no longer grant waivers of the rule that any officer who retires or resigns must stay on the job a certain number of days after turning in notice of resignation or retirement. Regulations say an officer must give 60 days' notice before retiring and 30 before resigning.
Across the Region
WSSC Buyout; Gang Task Forces
* The board of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission voted to pay each of its two top managers more than $250,000 to step down, and appointed longtime agency employees as replacements.
* A recent infusion of money and task forces to combat the growing gang problem has resulted in duplicated prevention efforts, turf battles and no new officers on the street in Northern Virginia.