Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) said Thursday that indoor dining will be eliminated at 5 p.m. Wednesday through at least Jan. 16. Outdoor dining will still be allowed at 50 percent capacity.
She said casinos and retail establishments will be limited to 25 percent capacity.
“The numbers that we are seeing tell us we are headed in the wrong direction and that we need to take swift and quick actions right now,” Alsobrooks said at a news conference.
The test positivity rate in the county has jumped to 10.1 percent, she said.
In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also will announce tighter restrictions Thursday.
Luka Garza remembers the day his name appeared on ESPN’s list of the top 100 basketball recruits in the Class of 2017. He was No. 100.
And yet, that ranking signified another landmark for a player who had been a slow-moving bench resident just a few years before, had averaged four points as a freshman at Maret School in D.C. and had been told by numerous coaches that his best hope was becoming a role player.
Now, there was his name, listed on the screen among the biggest and buzziest prospects in the country. He looked at it with pride: “Luke Garza.”
“Yeah, it was spelled wrong,” Garza said recently. “And I was looking at that list and I knew there were a lot of guys ahead of me that I felt strongly I was better than. I was honored to be a part of it, but there were a lot of things that filled me with motivation as a player.”
Four years later, Garza’s name is well known to most college basketball fans. The Iowa forward might be the game’s biggest returning attraction this season, coming off a junior campaign in which he garnered national player of the year honors and earned a spot on all-American teams.
It has been a stunning ascendance for the 6-foot-11 Northern Virginia native.
President Jimmy Carter put on a dark overcoat on the evening of Dec. 17, 1979, walked across Pennsylvania Avenue and arrived at Lafayette Square to perform an act no president had ever publicly done.
He prepared to light a menorah in commemoration of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.
For weeks, Carter had been largely holed up in the White House because of the Iranian hostage crisis, a saga marked nightly by television shows such as “America Held Hostage.” But now he emerged, urged on by a Jewish aide who had fought for a menorah to have equal rights with a Christmas tree.
There was one problem. The silver menorah, shielded from the wind by a tall, narrow glass enclosure, was too deep to be easily lit with a tiny match. A Secret Service agent hurried to a Scandinavian design store one block from the White House called the Midnight Sun, owned by my mother, a Jew who well understood the moment’s importance. She retrieved a box of Swedish eight-inch-long matches from a display case, and the agent hustled back to Lafayette Square.
In this small way, as I learned much later, my mother, Allye Kranish, played a part in a revealing moment in our nation’s history.
There is at least one way that 6-foot-9 Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija is a lot like an ordinary 19-year-old. This year, he’s a freshman again.
Avdija is at the beginning of his second rookie season in a professional basketball league after experiencing his first three years ago as the youngest to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv’s senior team in the Israeli Premier League. It’s there that he learned the professionalism that Wizards Coach Scott Brooks so raves about, as well as critical non-basketball skills such as how to communicate with co-workers 10 years his senior.
He also got used to the hazing.
“We didn’t have rookie duties overseas, but guys were definitely hazing me: tying my shoes together, taping my locker up,” Avdija said with a laugh Wednesday during a virtual news conference. “I got hit with some thing, but not something like rookie duties with [wearing] the backpack and bringing food and stuff. … If I need to do it, I’ll do it out of love, you know. Those are my teammates.”
Avdija has gladly taken on Washington’s newbie burdens of wearing a kiddie backpack around and bringing the team food.
Archie Djabatey climbed the narrow stairwell and stopped on the second-floor landing. It was a tight space for the wide-shouldered 35-year-old. The two facing apartment doors were only a few steps apart. Before entering his own unit, Djabatey’s eyes paused on the door opposite, where the sounds of a television leaked into the hallway.
“You want to help, but it’s also a business,” Djabatey said once his own door was closed, the noise from the neighbor still pushing through the wall. “That’s the way it is.”
Djabatey was not a typical resident in this small four-unit building in Northeast Washington’s Deanwood neighborhood. He was also the owner. With a mix of optimism and an eye for how gentrification was changing the District, he had hoped this property would prove to be the “start of my legacy for my future kids.”
But Djabatey’s aspirations of riding the District’s real estate market to a measure of financial security that he didn’t know growing up in Southeast D.C. are now complicated. The long-term cause is the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The short-term problem, however, was across the hallway.
In February, Djabatey won an eviction case against a tenant for failure to pay rent, the end of a saga that included claims of drug use, strangers allegedly spinning through the tenant’s apartment at all hours and complaints from his other residents.
But then the pandemic interrupted the legal process, and nine months later the tenant was still there rent-free, leaving Djabatey, a government contractor with the Federal Protective Service, without the monthly $1,002 rent to cover his own mortgage payments. “It’s coming out of my pocket,” he said. “I’m in a very tight situation.”
Gov. Larry Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford and seven members of Hogan’s Cabinet, including Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson, were targeted by fraudsters who filed unemployment claims using their personal information, the state Labor Department announced Wednesday.
The unemployment claims used a combination of names, birthdays, addresses and — in some cases — Social Security numbers of the top Maryland officials to try to cash in on benefits, Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci said.
“This kind of fraud truly can happen to anyone, and we need to remain vigilant,” Hogan (R) tweeted.
Fallon Pearre, a spokeswoman for the state Labor Department, said the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Labor Department’s inspector general’s office are investigating.
Ricci said the claims passed the initial verification process. They were later flagged, and no benefits were paid.
“Pre-pandemic, these claims actually would have been caught and flagged earlier,” Ricci said in a statement. “But given that there are minimal checks and balances around these federal pandemic programs, and people want us to pay claims as automatically as possible, the claims began to make their way through the system.”
RICHMOND — Democrat Terry McAuliffe launched his long-teased comeback bid for governor Wednesday, casting himself as a “bold” but tested leader who can address stubborn social inequities as he rebuilds a post-pandemic Virginia.
“I am running for governor again to think big, and to be bold, and to take the commonwealth of Virginia to the next level — and to lift up all Virginians,” he said at a Richmond elementary school, a location meant to signal a commitment to education.
McAuliffe, 63, made a wide-ranging pitch, promising to build a “stronger and fairer” economy, continue the fight for civil rights, ensure access to affordable health care and boost wages, affordable housing and clean energy. But his focus Wednesday was education, as he rolled out a detailed, $2 billion-a-year plan to raise teacher pay above the national average, get every student online and expand preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds.
Through campaign adviser Jake Rubenstein, McAuliffe later in the day made another promise: to refuse any campaign money from Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility and most prolific political donor.
Swearing off Dominion money has been a point of pride for many of the state’s Democrats in recent years, as the party has shifted leftward and has become less accommodating to the utility giant. But the pledge was new for McAuliffe, who has been socially liberal but friendly to business.
Two people were fatally shot Wednesday night and early Thursday in Southeast Washington, according to D.C. police.
The shooting Wednesday night occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of 13th Street SE, near Potomac Gardens. Police said a man was fatally injured and another man was wounded and taken to a hospital with injuries described as not life threatening.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, police said a male was fatally shot in the 3200 block of 23rd Street SE, in the Shipley neighborhood.
Police did not immediately provide further details but said additional information would be made available later Thursday. The identities of the victims were not made public pending notification of relatives.
Child dies after car slides on ice and crashes into vehicle in Fairfax
Authorities said a driver lost control of his car on an ice-covered section of road and crashed into a vehicle, killing a child, in Fairfax County.
The crash happened about 7 a.m. Wednesday on Richmond Highway near Mount Eagle Drive, according to Fairfax County police.
An initial investigation found the driver of a Ford Crown Victoria was northbound on Richmond Highway when he lost control on an ice-covered part of the road. He drove into the southbound lanes and crashed into a Hyundai Elantra that was carrying the child.
Police said a woman who was driving the Elantra and the child were taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The child later died.
A teenager who also was in the Elantra and the driver of the Crown Victoria were taken to a hospital with “injuries that were not life-threatening,” police said in a statement.
Detectives are continuing to investigate other possible factors in the crash.
After months of debate, Fairfax County school officials are proposing final options for reforming admissions at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — either switching to a lottery system or adopting a “holistic review,” revisions meant to boost diversity at the flagship STEM magnet school.
Under the suggested lottery system, the 100 “highest-evaluated” applicants would earn places at the school, while the remaining 450 seats would be filled through a random lottery of all qualified eighth-graders. Under the “holistic review” proposal, all 550 students would be admitted through the evaluation process.
The Fairfax County School Board is slated to vote and choose an option later this month.
The Washington Post’s Hannah Natanson covers K-12 schools in Virginia and answered a few questions about the reforms.
Q: What’s behind the reforms at Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax? Who’s criticizing the current admissions system?
A: Thomas Jefferson, known as TJ, is nationally known for failing to enroll Black and Hispanic students: Since its founding in 1985, the school has enrolled single-digit percentages of Black and Hispanic children. Community concern and anger has been simmering for a long time, but it rose to a boiling point this summer following nationwide protests of the death of George Floyd — and after Fairfax County Public Schools released data showing that TJ’s Class of 2024 included fewer than 10 Black students. Alumni, parents and students have since banded together to demand that TJ change its admissions process to make it more equitable, and the school more diverse.
Q: Has anyone shared what they think of the proposed reforms?
A: The proposed reforms have divided the community. Students, parents and TJ graduates in favor argue that, although imperfect, the reforms represent the best chance to enact real change — after more than a decade of previous, failed attempts to boost diversity — at a moment when there is momentum and will among top administrators to do so. But those against argue that it is a poor idea to alter the admissions system so abruptly and radically, without fully grasping the possible consequences. They are especially incensed by the idea of the proposed “merit-based lottery” system of admissions, which they argue will deprive hard-working and talented students of their spots at the prestigious school, force unqualified kids into an academic environment far too rigorous for them and ultimately drive down TJ’s stellar rating.
Q: Could the reforms at Thomas Jefferson lead to changes elsewhere in Fairfax or Virginia? Or, is the magnet school a unique example?
A: So far, the TJ reforms have not directly led to changes elsewhere in the state. But it’s notable that, in late November, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office determined that the Academies of Loudoun — an elite STEM magnet school in neighboring Loudoun County — discriminates against Black and Hispanic students in its admissions process.
The coronavirus is coursing through Maryland, prompting state and local leaders to reimpose restrictions. Infection rates and hospitalizations are up. Here’s an explanation of what is — and isn’t — allowed in the state.
Indoor capacity at restaurants, other businesses, gyms and religious organizations will be capped at 50 percent.
Statewide, officials recommend that no indoor social gatherings exceed 25 people. Some of the state’s most populous jurisdictions, including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, have taken that restriction further.
In-person visits to nursing homes have been limited to “compassion care” visits only, and visitors will need to be tested beforehand.
What about other parts of the region? Here are similar guides for D.C.and Virginia.
George Miller, 26, of Capitol Heights, Md., was charged in a warrant with first-degree murder while armed, according to D.C. police. He was arrested by members of the Capital Area Fugitive Regional Task Force.
Miller could make an initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday, when additional details of the shooting would be made public. It could not immediately be determined whether Miller has an attorney.
The victim, Elias Flores of Adelphi, Md., was shot the afternoon of Nov. 18 in the 1600 block of Olive Street NE. His son, Luis Flores, said his father owned a construction company and was renovating a home on that block.