The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
EXPECT DELAYS ON ALL LINES
All five Metrorail lines will see some kind of maintenance this weekend. People using the Red Line between the Medical Center and the Friendship Heights stations should add 30 minutes to travel times as Metro will be replacing rail and rail fasteners, along with various tunnel repairs. Trains will share one track from Friday at 10 p.m. to closing on Sunday. People traveling between the Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory Metrorail stations should add 30 minutes to travel time as Metro will conduct bridge maintenance on the structure outside the Stadium-Armory Metrorail station. Trains will share one track between these locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. People traveling between the Georgia Avenue-Petworth and the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo stops should add 30 minutes of travel time to their trips as Metro will be replacing rail. Trains will share one track between 8 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. People traveling between the Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street on the Blue line and the Huntington station on the Yellow line should add 30 minutes to travel time as Metro will be tamping rail tracks to ensure durability. Trains will share one track from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Along with the delay, Blue line trains will not service the Braddock Road station.
Strong thunderstorms tore through parts of Frederick County on Friday afternoon, causing severe damage to properties, authorities said. Winds in excess of 60 mph shattered trees, fences and barns, especially in Ijamsville, New Market and Mount Airy . As many as 1,500 power failures were reported in Mount Airy , 1,450 in Adamstown , 1,200 in Ijamsville, and 900 in Monrovia , said Mark Nitowski, Allegheny Power spokesman. Scattered debris partially or fully closed several roads, including Md. 75 at Md. 80, Md. 80 at Cornfield Drive and I-270 south near Doctor Perry Road. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning in Frederick and Carroll counties at 2:17 p.m. because some of the storms were rotating, said meteorologist Nikole Listemaa. Thunderstorms dropped nearly 2 inches of rain in less than two hours, she said. The National Weather Service received damage reports in New Market and sent someone there Friday evening to see if there had been a tornado, she said.
CHOPPER PILOT WARNED OF FOUL WEATHER
Federal investigators say the pilot of a helicopter that crashed on a western Maryland freeway last week, killing all four aboard, had been warned of the foul weather minutes before taking off. The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board does not state a cause of the mountaintop crash. It indicates that less than 15 minutes before leaving Hagerstown Regional Airport for Frederick on the night of July 23, pilot Jeffrey Nordaas spoke by telephone with an acquaintance living on the Frederick side of South Mountain who warned of fog, wind and lightning. The report says Nordaas said he would wait for better weather, but took off shortly thereafter and crashed on South Mountain.
MORE MONEY FOR CLUNKERS PROGRAM
Wearing skin-tight, blue plastic gloves to protect his hands, Brad Brooks poured the liquid poison into the engine of a Ford Bronco, putting the 1992 sport-utility vehicle out of its misery. It was quickly rendered dead Friday, and in exchange, the SUV's owner received $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient Toyota Tacoma pickup at the Darcars Toyota Silver Spring dealership, courtesy of the U.S. government's "Cash for Clunkers" program. The plan was designed to stimulate auto sales in a sour economy, improving the environment along the way -- the gas-guzzling trade-ins must be scrapped rather than resold and put back on the road to pollute another day. The program was so popular in its first week that it almost ran out of money. After an evening of confusion Thursday, the House hurriedly convened Friday and provided an additional $2 billion to keep it going. Senate leaders hope to bring the bill up next week. Meanwhile, the clunkers are lining up. "We poured it into that Dodge and it killed it in eight seconds," said Brooks, pointing to another vehicle as he put down the half-gallon jug of liquid called "Clunker Bomb." The chemical is sodium silicate. In red lettering on the bottle, it reads, "Engine Grenade," and there's a skull and crossbones over the profile of a car. Brooks, the service director at Darcars Toyota, surveyed the clunker haul, rounded up by the dozens in the corner of a sprawling, fenced lot: rows of old Jeep Grand Cherokees, Mercury Grand Marquises, Chevy Suburbans, a Mercedes station wagon and even a sleek, musty-smelling 1991 Cadillac Brougham with 130,000 miles and worn-out, old-fashioned, chrome push buttons next to the driver's seat.The Darcars dealership, like thousands of others across the country, has been swamped with customers coming in to trade their old vehicles for new cars since the government began touting the program last month. But the effort has been beset with problems since its formal launch July 24.