Author Archive for William F. Zeman

Today in D.C. History: Hanafi Hostage Stand-Off Continues Into 2nd Day

On March 10, 1977, the city was in the midst of the second day of a bloody three-day hostage standoff with terrorists, where 12 gunmen occupied three buildings, including the District’s seat of government, killed a radio journalist and police officer, and wounded then-D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry.
The hostage-takers, led by the founder of the Hanafi [...]

Barred From the Job Until Wednesday, Striking Washington Hospital Center Nurses Take to Irving Street

With negotiations stalled, striking nurses at Washington Hospital Center today took to Irving Street NW, picketing the region's largest hospital.
Wearing red scrubs, the color of National Nurses United, several hundred protesters held signs and chanted slogans, angry over a cut in pay and what they say is dangerous understaffing.
“They [hospital officials] need to negotiate with [...]

Metro Bad News Roundup: Gun-Toting, Broken Staircase Edition

The Metro system, once a reliable point of pride for D.C.'s boosters, has had a rough few years: Safety problems, escalator outages, and rising prices have made the subway a regular subject of local griping. At times, it can be hard to keep up with the torrent of unflattering Metro-related scoops. As a public service,Washington [...]

Today in D.C. History: Marion Barry Plays Role of D.C.’s Chief Wordsmith

On Feb. 26, 1986, then-Mayor Marion Barry held a special meeting of more than 100 D.C. government employees, to announce a new list of "10 or 15 words" that would be in every press release issued by the D.C. government. The list consisted of words designed to cast city officials (including Barry) in a more [...]

Semen Squirter Sentenced to Probation

The Montgomery County “Semen Squirter,” who earned his nickname by squirting semen from a squirt bottle on women at a Giant and a Michael's craft store in Gaithersburg, has now been sentenced. But he’s not going to jail.
Michael Wayne Edwards, Jr. , who was originally arrested on charges of a July 15 squirting incident, and [...]

Metro Bad News Roundup: Dodged Questions and Rising Crime Edition

The Metro system, once a reliable point of pride for D.C.'s boosters, has had a rough few years: Safety problems, escalator outages, and rising prices have made the subway a regular subject of local griping. At times, it can be hard to keep up with the torrent of unflattering Metro-related scoops. As a public service,Washington [...]

Pepco Bad at Things Other Than Restoring Power, Too

Jessica Castro, a restaurant server who moved to the District last June, has always thought of her Shaw neighborhood apartment as a residence. Pepco doesn’t seem to think so.
Castro’s place sits above two floors of offices, so the electric company says it is classified as "non-residential."
This might be a minor technicality if that status didn't [...]

Today in D.C. History: Stolen Helicopter Lands on White House Lawn

On Feb. 17, 1974, U.S. Army Private Robert K. Preston stole an Army helicopter and flew to the White House, landing on the South Lawn. Preston, angry that he had been passed over as an Army helicopter pilot, staged the landing to demonstrate his skill as a pilot. Preston stole the helicopter at 2 a.m. [...]

Metro Bad News Roundup: Service Cuts and Videotaped Fights Edition

The Metro system, once a reliable point of pride for D.C.'s boosters, has had a rough few years: Safety problems, escalator outages, and rising prices have made the subway a regular subject of local griping. At times, it can be hard to keep up with the torrent of unflattering Metro-related scoops. As a public service, [...]

D.C. Councilmembers Share Your Pepco Pain

As mad as some of you might be after Pepco’s recent missteps restoring power following the Jan. 26 thundersnow event, don’t worry: some members of the D.C. Council would like you to know they are even more angry.
Speaking at public hearing of the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs late Friday afternoon, several councilmembers [...]

Guandique Sentenced in Chandra Levy’s Murder

One of the District’s most sensational murder cases is finally over, with Ingmar Guandique being sentenced to 60 years in prison in D.C. Superior Court this morning.
It was quite a dramatic sentencing. Susan Levy, the murdered intern’s mother, pointed at Guandique in the courtroom, telling him "rot in hell." She ended her remarks by looking [...]

Today in D.C. History: Charter Signed for GWU’s Predecessor School

On Feb. 9, 1821, President James Monroe approved a congressional charter for Columbian College in the District of Columbia, today now known as George Washington University. The college, today located in Foggy Bottom, was originally situated adjacent to today's Florida Avenue near 14th Street NW. Several Baptist ministers, notably Luther Rice, Obadiah B. Brown, Spencer [...]

Today in D.C. History: Fauntroy Says D.C. Close to Achieving Statehood Dreams

On Feb. 7, 1987, the District’s then-non-voting congressional delegate, Walter Fauntroy, declared that D.C.’s statehood hopes would soon be realized during a voting rights strategy session the pastor and civil rights leader organized.
As City Paper's Loose Lips reported in the Feb. 13 issue that year:
Fauntroy painted a rosy picture of the prospects for for action [...]

Today in D.C. History: MPD Officer’s Death Prompts Club Crackdown

On Feb. 5, 1997, a Metropolitan Police Department officer, Brian Gibson, was shot and killed outside the Ibex Club at Georgia and Missouri avenues in Brightwood. Police quickly arrested 23-year-old Marthell Nathaniel Dean, who had just been escorted out of the club, which was hosting a go-go event that night. Dean was found guilty [...]

Today in D.C. History: Metro Picks Randi Miller as Automated Voice

On Feb. 3, 2006, a woman from Woodbridge, Va., who worked at an auto dealership was named the new voice of Metro. Randi Miller was selected from 1,258 people and was praised for her voice, which "commanded attention, but was warm."
Riders didn’t agree at first, with some saying her “doors closing” announcement was "a bit [...]

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