WEEK IN REVIEW
K More than 300 of the original Tuskegee Airmen — pilots, navigators, bombardiers, nurses, mechanics, engineers and others — were honored at a Capitol Rotunda ceremony. The famed black World War II cadre received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can give to civilians. K Metro has scrapped a plan to raise fares because General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. said he can work toward closing a budget shortfall by eliminating positions and tightening spending. But he said an increase may be necessary next year. Catoe set aside a complicated plan that would have raised bus and train fares and fees at suburban parking lots.
Webb Aide Arrested on Gun Charge Weapon Detected at Hill Building Entrance
A top aide to Sen. James Webb was charged with trying to carry a loaded pistol and extra ammunition into a Senate office building. Phillip Thompson told police that the gun belonged to Webb (DVa.) and that he had it for “safekeeping.”
He was arrested at an entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building when an X-ray machine spotted the gun in a briefcase. There were no indications that Thompson, 45, meant any harm.
Webb said he never gave the weapon to Thompson, a longtime friend, but that he was certain the incident was a mix-up.
Members of Congress are permitted to have guns in Capitol buildings, but D.C. law prohibits carrying guns on D.C. streets.
Voting Rights to Get Another Airing Democrats Hope to Remove Link to Gun Laws
The House will resume action on a D.C. voting rights bill in mid-April, top Democrats say.
House Democrats had expected to pass the bill, which would give the District its first full-fledged vote in the chamber, on March 22. But Republicans moved to send the measure back to committee, attaching new language that also would have thrown out the District’s strict anti-gun laws. Democrats said they expect to prevent such language from being inserted the next time around.
Schools Add Graduation Requirements Policy Will Require More Rigorous Coursework
Earning a D.C. high school diploma is about to become more challenging.
Superintendent Clifford B. Janey announced a new graduation policy that will require all students to take four years of math, science, social studies and English — an attempt to increase academic rigor and make the diploma more meaningful.
The policy will begin with students who will be in ninth grade next school year and will apply to all high school students by 2010.
Man Convicted in Bystander’s Death Woman Watching TV Was Hit by Stray Bullet
A grandson of former D.C. Council member Sandy Allen was convicted of murder in the killing of a 46-year-old woman who was hit by an errant bullet while in her Southeast Washington apartment. Dorine Fostion had been watching television.
Russell Mitchell, 19, one of at least seven people suspected to have opened fire in the Aug. 17, 2005, incident, is the only one charged so far in the death.
Zoo Begins Planning Panda Pregnancy San Diego Bear Could Be Next Father
The National Zoo is hoping for another giant panda cub. But this time the father would not be Tian Tian, who helped produce the popular cub Tai Shan in July 2005.
The zoo intends to artificially inseminate Tai Shan’s mother, Mei Xiang, with sperm from a giant panda kept at the San Diego Zoo. Gao Gao has a less common genetic makeup than Tian Tian, and the idea is to help diversify the world’s giant panda population.
Across the Region Gold Medals; Metro Fares; and Fees