Jul 05 2009

July 5, 2009 – Former D.C. Mayor Barry charged with stalking

Published by under Uncategorized

WASHINGTON (AP) – Police say former Washington Mayor Marion Barry has been arrested and charged with stalking a woman.

The United States Park Police said Barry, a current D.C. Council member, was arrested Saturday in Washington after a woman flagged down an officer and complained that Barry was stalking her.

Barry was charged with misdemeanor stalking and released.

A message left seeking comment from a spokeswoman for Barry wasn’t immediately returned early Sunday.

Barry served four terms as mayor. In his third, he was videotaped in 1990 in a hotel room smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting. He served six months in prison and in 1994 regained the mayor’s office.

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Jun 23 2009

June 23, 2009 – Track Investigators Focus on Sensors

Published by under Breaking News

From Washington Times
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Metro train crash investigators focusing on sensors

The investigation into Monday’s fatal Metro crash that killed nine people is focusing on radarlike sensors that failed to alert a red line train that other trains were stopped on the track, John B. Catoe Jr., the agency’s general manager, said Tuesday morning.

He said the computerized sensor system is similar to an air-traffic-control system and stops trains when a problem occurs on a track, including when another train is too close. Mr. Catoe said the system also has a mechanical override that did not engage during the afternoon rush-hour crash, but he declined to speculate on why it did not engage.

He said the system worked for several trains along the line, including the one that was stopped and struck.

“Something happened to it,” he said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Mr. Catoe spoke at a press conference in which federal investigators said the southbound train that rammed the stopped train, between the Takoma and Fort Totten stations, was composed of older-model cars — known as 1000-series cars — that had been identified as inadequate.

National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman said all “perishable data” has been collected in the first phase of the investigation and that the agency will now begin looking at documents, including cell-phone records. An agency spokesman said investigators will review all communications related to portable communication devices, including sending text messages.

Mrs. Hersman said the 1000-series cars do not have the crash-recording devices that were on board the newer, six-car train, which was hit at about 5 p.m. Monday on the red line. The accident also injured at least 70 people.

She said the agency recommended in 2004 and 2006 that such cars be retrofitted or phased out, but Metro has failed to do that.

“The case was closed in an unacceptable status,” Mrs. Hersman said.

She said the agency also recommended recorders be added to the 1000-series cars.

Metro officials announced later in the morning that nine people were killed in the crash — eight unnamed passengers and the operator of the moving train, Jeanice McMillan, 42.

At the press conference, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty could confirm only seven deaths.

Officials have not released the names of other victims but have scheduled a follow-up press conference for 5 p.m.

Chief Dennis L. Rubin of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department said a crane was brought to the crash site at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to begin separating the trains. The last cars of the struck train are underneath the front cars of the striking train.

He described the scene as “in layers” and “horrific.” Chief Rubin also said that two firefighters were injured in the rescue operation and that dogs were sent into surrounding woods to find crash victims.

Mrs. Hersman said the struck train was composed on newer-models cars that had nine data recorders that will help investigators learn exactly what happened.

However, having no recorders on the other train will hurt attempts to learn such key information as how fast it was going and whether the operator attempted to apply the brakes manually.

“We do not expect to get good information off of that train,” Mrs. Hersman said.

She also said nine NTSB investigators are on the scene and will be divided into several units, including a Signal Team; a Mechanical-Records Team; a Track Team, which will look for rail cracks and broken circuits; and a Survival-Factors Team, which will gather such information as how quickly passengers were removed from the wreckage.

Investigators also will try to determine how fast the train was traveling and conduct a “sight-distance” test to attempt to learn whether the train operator could see the stopped train. The accident occurred before twilight on a clear day.

Mrs. Hersman said investigators also will attempt to reconstruct the accident with “exemplar” cars.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty revisited the crash scene after the press conference and said the death toll likely will increase.

“It brought home what an awful tragedy this is,” he said.

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Jun 22 2009

Update – June 22, 2009 – Metro Train Crash

Published by under Breaking News

From WTOP.com

WASHINGTON – A Metro train smashed into the back of another at the height of the Monday evening rush hour, killing at least six people and injuring scores of others as cars from the trailing train jackknifed into the air and fell atop the first.One of the fatalities was a female train operator, Metro officials say. The woman’s name has not been released.

D.C. Fire Chief Dennis Rubin says more than 70 people were transported to hospitals. Of those, two people have life-threatening injuries and 50 are classified as “walking wounded” injuries.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says people who believe their loved ones were on the train can dial 311.

“It looks to be the worst Metro accident in D.C. history,” D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty says.

Metro General Manager John Catoe says it appears one of the trains was stopped on the tracks awaiting permission to clear the station when another train came up behind it and slammed into the back of the train.

“I give my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives today,” Catoe says. “This is an incredibly tragic event. We will get to the bottom and find out what happened.”

Rubin says there are about 200-250 firefighters on the scene. The firefighters are working to clear each train car. Two D.C. firefighters were injured, but their injuries are minor, Rubin says.

Authorities have scheduled a news conference for 8 a.m. Tuesday.

D.C. Police are asking everyone to stay away from the scene. Police have closed New Hampshire Avenue from Eastern Avenue to North Capitol Street as authorities investigate.

Metro is advising that people avoid the Red Line for the rest of the day.

The Red Line will be closed between the Silver Spring and Rhode Island stations through the Tuesday morning rush hour.

Shuttle buses will operate between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue stations. Metro buses can hold 50-60 people.

Other Red Line trains will run in manual mode and at reduced speeds.

Washington Hospital Center is treating seven of the injured people, WTOP’s Kate Ryan reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now leading the investigation.

The six-car train derailed and then collided with another train on an elevated track between the Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations around 5 p.m. Monday, trapping dozens of passengers.

Each train had six cars and was capable of holding as many as 1,200 people.

Emergency crews from Montgomery, Prince George’s, Fairfax and Arlington counties are responding, Rubin says. Officials are urging people to stay away from the scene.

The trains are “lodged on top of one another,” D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says. Officials are preparing for a “mass casualty event,” Etter says.

Rescue crews were using heavy duty equipment – including the jaws of life – to cut the train apart to rescue at least 100 people who were trapped, officials say. The extrication process appeared to be over just before 7 p.m.

Rescue workers propped steel ladders up to the upper train cars to help survivors escape. Seats from the smashed cars had spilled out onto the track.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg, who was on the scene, reports that four cars from one train are on top of the other train, with the front of the cars completely split open.

“It looks like a deck of cards falling on top of one another,” Silverberg says. “It looks almost like the trains hit each other in a head-on collision.”

The trains look like “a tangled roller coaster,” reports WTOP’s Patricia Guadalupe, who is on the scene.

“It looks like an accident at a roller coaster ride,” Guadalupe reports.

Metro spokesperson Candace Smith calls the scene “terrible.”

“One rail car is about a third of the way on top of another rail car,” Smith says.

The train was headed toward the Shady Grove station at the time of the accident, which occurred near the Maryland-D.C. border and the New Hampshire Avenue overpass.

Metro trains typically run through the station around 44 miles per hour, Silverberg reports.

All area hospitals have been advised to expect patients, Etter says.

MARC’s Brunswick Line has been suspended indefinitely because of the derailment. MARC says it is trying to arrange a bus bridge. The derailment has not affected the Penn or Camden lines.

Monday’s incident was the second involving customer fatalities in Metro’s 33-year history. In 1982, three people died after a train derailed between the Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations.

In 2004, two Metro trains collided at the Woodley Park/Zoo-Adams Morgan station, resulting in some minor injuries.

(Copyright 2009 by WTOP and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Jun 22 2009

June 22, 2009 – Metro Crash

Published by under Breaking News,General

From WTOP.com

WASHINGTON – At least two people have died and several people are trapped and injured after a Metro Red Line train derailed and collided with another Metro train, officials say.

The six-car train derailed and then collided with another train between the Takoma Park and Fort Totten stations around 5 p.m. Monday.

The trains are “lodged on top of one another,” D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says.

Crews are on the scene working to free several people who are trapped in the trains, Etter says.

“We have to make this car stable enough for firefighters to get people out of there,” Etter says.

The train was headed toward the Shady Grove station at the time of the accident, which occurred near the Maryland-D.C. border.

Etter tells WTOP rescue crews are setting up for the “possibility of a mass casualty event.”

All area hospitals have been advised to expect patients, Etter says.

Metro is advising that people avoid the Red Line for the rest of the day.

Trains are operating between Glenmont and Brookland and between Shady Grove and Brookland stations and from Glenmont to Takoma stations for the remainder of the day.

WTOP has a reporter en route to the scene and will have more information as it becomes available.

(Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)

————-

From The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Authorities say a six-car train has collided with another train near the Washington and Maryland border, killing at least one person.

D.C. fire spokesman Alan Etter says at least one person was killed and that this is developing into a “mass casualty event.” He says crews are cutting apart the trains to get people out. He says there are severe injuries, but no indication how many.

Spokeswoman Taryn McNeil says the collision happened about 5 p.m. between the Fort Totten and Takoma Park stations on Metro’s red line. The collision happened during rush hour on the transit agency’s busiest rail line.

Officials said it was too early to determine what caused the crash.

Monday’s derailment comes more than two years after a subway train derailed near downtown Washington, sending 20 people to the hospital and prompting the rescue of 60 people from a tunnel.

Copyright © 2009 Associated Press

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Apr 15 2009

Redskins Open At Giants…Again

Here we go! The NFL released the 2009 regular season schedule this week and Redskins.com has complete coverage. The Redskins open the season at New York for the second year in a row and play three prime time home games against NFC East opponents.

Redskins 2009 Regular Season Schedule
A Closer Look At the Redskins’ Schedule
Zorn: NFC East Games A Focus
Redskins Blog: Schedule Has Familiar Feel
Premium Seats At FedExField

Reminder: Redskins Draft Day Party

You’re invited to the Draft Day Party at FedExField on Saturday, April 25. Download your Free Invitation now! Stay tuned to Redskins.com’s Draft Central for full coverage of draft day, and more.

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