Gray announces road improvement funds

The eastern end of Rhode Island Avenue is the latest D.C. corridor to get a financial boost from the city to jump-start commercial revitalization.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and others announced a $200,000 grant Wednesday morning for Friends of Rhode Island Avenue, which will invest in improvements along the thoroughfare from Third to 10th streets and from 18th to 24th streets NE.

The money comes from the city’s Main Streets program, which has been tapped to help develop seven other city corridors.

— Nikita Stewart

Appeals court candidates named

The District organization that selects judges for local courts nominated three people Wednesday for the D.C. Court of Appeals to succeed one of the retiring judges on the bench.

The D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission nominated D.C. Solicitor General Todd S. Kim, D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal E. Kravitz and attorney Paul R. Q. Wolfson of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr.

The nominees, who were narrowed from 11 applicants in October, were recommended to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Court of Appeals Judge Kathryn A. Oberly.

The commission will forward the three names to President Obama, who will have 60 days to select a final nominee.

— Keith L. Alexander

Chantilly bus fires under investigation

Two school buses caught fire at a Chantilly area storage lot near Westfield High School early Wednesday morning, the Fairfax County fire department said.

The blaze occurred around 12:30 a.m. in the 4700 block of Stonecroft Boulevard, officials said. When crews arrived, one bus was fully engulfed in flames. A second bus nearby was also heavily damaged.

There were no injuries, but the damage is estimated at $160,000. Fire officials said the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

— Justin Jouvenal

Pilot killed in crash of small plane

Virginia State Police say a pilot was killed following a small plane crash in Albemarle County.

The Wednesday morning crash occurred in a residential section near Route 29. The six-seater, single-engine Beechcraft crashed landed in the front yard of a house. No structures were struck by the plane.

The pilot has been identified as 52-year-old Gregory A. Voit of Northfield, N.J.

The aircraft had left Woodbine Airport in New Jersey and was to land at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.

Officials say the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

— Associated Press