News Bullets, whatever happened with... Thursday;

We'll start this morning's news with an edition of "whatever happened with..."
  • Remember that time last year when an off-duty MPD detective brandished a firearm at a snowball fight? Back on Snowpocalypse, Det. Michael Baylor got out of his red Hummer after it was pelted with snowballs. He confronted the crowd and removed his sidearm from it's holster. Witnesses dialed 911, reporting a man with a gun. Uniformed officers arrived and were able to defuse the situation, and no one was injured or arrested. MPD opened an investigation, and Chief Cathy Lanier made it clear this would be a pretty open-and-shut deal. Well, on January 7, MPD said the investigation was almost finished. Nothing new has been released on the case. I'll be curious if this is wrapped up quietly, since those pre-holiday things are often forgotten.
  • Back in November, 9-year-old Oscar Fuentes was shot and killed in his family's Columbia Heights apartment. Shortly after that, Josue Pena was arrested and charged with first degree-murder. On November 25, Pena was found dead in his jail cell, apparently from hanging. The DC Department of Corrections said that Pena was in a special unit with more supervision, and that an investigation would be conducted into the death. So far, it appears, no information has been released about that investigation.
  • What about Marion Barry's non-profit scandal? Yet another item to file under "investigation pending." If you recall, this bombshell came on the heels of his arrest by the Park Police. This has been all-but-forgotten after Ted Loza took the corruption spotlight, yet many unanswered questions remain. The feds are supposedly investigating the shady non-profit dealings, where Barry funneled city earmarks to his own personal interest groups (which were mostly bogus non-profits.)
District's youth detention facility pushed way beyond capacity. The Youth Services Center in Northeast is the District's short-term youth detention facility. The stated capacity of this facility is 88, however recently they have packed in nearly twice that amount--156. This has resulted in all sorts of problems, according to a court-appointed monitor. The poor conditions at the Youth Services Center are the latest headache for the city, which is still battling a 25-year-old class action lawsuit for its treatment of juvenile offenders. I strongly suggest reading this Washington Post article, it yet again demonstrates government incompetence at magnitudes that are mostly unbelievable. I'm sure operating a facility like this isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it's not impossible. There are jurisdictions in the United States of America that can figure out how to run prisons and detention facilities. Between this, the problems at New Beginnings, and of course the completely out of control squalor and security breaches at the DC Jail--maybe the whole thing should just be federalized.

Maryland state senators hope to stop employment credit checks. The District should absolutely do this as well. As you may know, some employers are using an applicants credit history or score in the hiring process. This makes sense in certain cases, say if the job position handles cash or gives access to financial records. However, this has been used in many cases to deny people who have ended up with poor credit because they had been laid off of their previous job... thus creating a spiral of debt. We'll see if the proposed measure gets anywhere.

DC is getting Mega Millions. So we'll have both Mega Millions and Powerball? Interesting. Starting January 31, the tax on people with poor math skills will be expanded in the District, with a the new offering. I'll be honest, I buy a Powerball ticket every now and again. A year ago I suggested WMATA use revenue to purchase lottery tickets, perhaps that strategy should be revisited.

Speaking of people who should buy lottery tickets. Dr. Frank Ciampi of Lorton, VA should consider playing the lottery, or maybe roulette. Ciampi's office was struck with a meteorite Monday evening. The doctor described hearing a loud explosion in his office, and found an exam room strewn with debris. The Smithsonian confirmed it was indeed a space rock, which weighed about a half-pound and was traveling at an estimated 220 mph when it struck the office. No one was hurt in the incident.


  1. OMG, that's my doctor! What if I was there?!

  2. I saw that meteorite! I was sitting down by the river and saw a bright green meteor that lasted a really long time. Even my wife saw it! I was wondering if it hit anything.

    That's incredible.

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