Local Leads: 4/11/2010

News you need to know

By Michelle Tetu
|  Sunday, Apr 11, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 PM EDT
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Local Leads: Gridlock Countdown, Obama Leaves Press Behind

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The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

COUNTDOWN TO GRIDLOCK
The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit is heading to town next week, and local law enforcement agencies are gearing up to make traveling to or around the Washington Convention Center a living nightmare during that time.   The summit itself runs Monday and Tuesday, April 12-13, but road closures and transit route alterations will begin as early as 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. WMATA is planning to shutter the Mt. Vernon Square-7th St-Convention Center Metro station starting at midnight on Sunday, April 11. Green and Yellow line trains will be able to pass through the station, but passengers will not be allowed to access the platform until the station reopens at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14. Thirteen Metrobus routes (the 42, 63, 64, 70, 71, 79, 80, D4, G8, P6, S2, S4, and X2) will be detoured around the area starting at 9 p.m. on Sunday, and two Circulator routes will be altered -- the Georgetown-Union Station line will be divided into two separate sections, and the Convention Center/SW Waterfront line will terminate at I Street NW.
(DCIST)

MEDICAL MARIJUANA VOTE
The Maryland Senate voted 35-12 on Saturday to give sick people access to marijuana, sending a strong message that the upper chamber is serious about the controversial idea.  House leaders have said they will not take up the measure this year. The legislature's 90-day session ends on Monday.   Nevertheless, advocates hailed the Senate vote as a victory. "We are very happy," said Mike Meno, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization promoting medical use of pot. "To vote by such a margin means that the Senate is in line with public sentiment nationally and here in Maryland."   Senators from both parties supported the measure, which builds on a Maryland law passed in 2003 that allows leniency to defendants charged with marijuana possession if they can show a medical need.
(BALTIMORE SUN)

OBAMA LEAVES THE PRESS BEHIND
President Obama quietly breached years of protocol Saturday morning by leaving the White House without the press.  About two hours before reporters were supposed to be in position to leave with the president, Obama left the grounds of the White House. Members of the press were told that he was attending a soccer game of one of his daughters in Northwest Washington.   The White House press corps traditionally travels with the president anywhere he goes, inside and outside the country, to report on the president's activities for the benefit of informing the public and for historical record.   After Obama left, a press aide hastily gathered members of the news media who happened to be at the White House early or working on other matters. They rushed to a van and left the White House to catch up with the president.   Too late. By the time the press van appeared to arrive at the president's location, the press was told that he was already departing. Time to go back to the White House.
(WASHINGTON POST)

POLICE CLOSING IN ON FOURTH SHOOTER
D.C. police believe they know the identity of the fourth suspect in a South Capitol Street massacre, the Washington Examiner has learned.   The 21-year-old is already wanted on a bench warrant after he missed a hearing for an unrelated marijuana and alcohol case, a police source said and court records confirmed. Detectives have quietly asked street officers to pick him up on the marijuana warrant and to hand him over to the homicide unit for questioning, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.
Police believe the man is the third gunman who rode in a silver minivan and opened fire on a crowd of mourners on South Capitol Street Southeast on March 30. Four were killed and five more wounded. It was one of the city's worst shootings in decades.
(WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

ONLINE SMARTRIP RECORDS
Metro riders who use the transit agency's SmarTrip card may soon be able to access their records online.  A Metro committee has approved a revised privacy policy that allows online access to the information by a card's registered owner. The full board of directors is expected to vote on the change April 22.  The current privacy policy allows SmarTrip users to access their information, but they must request a hard copy. Metro says that providing online access will save the agency about $6,000 per year in staff time and copying costs.  To access records online, customers would have to provide some personal information and establish a password and a digital signature.
(WTOP)
 

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