City Desk

The Needle: No Country For Four Loko Edition

Homeland Security Knows What You Think About Metro: Do you grumble about #WMATA on Twitter? You may want to note that the Department of Homeland Security pays a contractor millions of dollars to monitor social media. "The Homeland Security National Operations Center focuses on many, many keywords when sifting through social media. Two big ones? 'WMATA.' 'Metro.'" All of this is in order to keep us safe from attacks, apparently. But DHS must surely also have a healthy list of Metro complaints. -1

Robberies, Police Levels Down: Current police staffing levels are at 3,830, which (excluding 100 in the academy and 40 assigned to work the academy), goes below the hard line of 3,800 that Chief Cathy Lanier said last year would prevent "trouble." Still Lanier says she has found a way to reassign enough officers to take credit for the decline in robberies after the huge spike back in February. +2

Four Loko In Trouble Again: Four Loko just can't catch a break. Though the company agreed to strip its disgusting sugar-laden drink of caffeine, now it's coming under fire from the FTC for having too much alcohol in it. But that's not enough! Opponents, who call the drink an "alcopop". -1

Did I HTJ Do That??: Did Harry Thomas Jr. steer funds to former Family Matters star Kellie Williams (you, know, Laura Winslow, object of Urkellian affection) in order to get a kickback? Loose Lips finds a trail worth noting: HTJ was personally interested in funding Williams: "The CYITC's tax forms show that Williams received $70,000 in tax year 2007, and the CYITC's annual report for fiscal 2008 and 2009 also indicate that Williams received funding." LL remains on the trail, and the plus side, we've been reminiscing about ABC's TGIF lineup all week. +3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 54 Today's score: +3 Today's Needle rating: 57

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