Thursday, July 08, 2004

IN THE NEWS: Gov.'s Plane Nearly Shot Down, D.C. City Hall Evacuated, Snakehead Lover Revolt

. . . Close Call for Fletcher. The Washington Post reports that the plane of Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R-Ky.) was nearly shot down last month when it violated secure airspace above the capital on its way to National Airport before the body of the late President Ronald Reagan was to land in the area.

From The Washington Post's Spencer S. Hsu:
Although many planes have violated restrictions imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the June 9 episode was extraordinary because the aircraft penetrated so deeply into the no-fly zone during a high-security event and remained unidentified to air defense officials for several critical minutes. Current and former homeland security officials said the incident was a significant security breakdown.

"Plane That Caused Capitol Evacuation Nearly Shot Down" [The Washington Post]

"Thousands Flee Capitol After Warning of Imminent Attack; Ky. Gov. to Blame" [Oculus]

. . . Speaking of Evacuations. The District's Wilson Building, home to Mayor Anthony Williams and the D.C. City Council, was evacuated during the afternoon rush hour Wednesday when authorities received word from the Albany Times-Union newspaper (of all places) that the building was being threatened. The mayor's spokesman tells WTOP radio and The Associated Press that "some harm would come at 3:30 p.m."

The building was promptly evacuated, bomb squads swept the building and an clear was declared.

"D.C. City Hall Evacuation Over" [WTOP/AP]

. . . Snakehead Defenders Raise Their Voices. Facing the possibility of becoming the owners of a banned marine species, snakehead owners in Maryland are making their positions clear on what some would call throwing the baby out with the bath water. According to The Washington Post's Darragh Johnson, "Protesters and speakers in Annapolis yesterday were asking that pet owners who have snakeheads 'be grandfathered in, and that's one thing we will be looking at,'" said a spokeswoman for Maryland's Department of Natural Resources Fishery Services.

"Fish's Fans Ask, What's Not to Love?" [The Washington Post]

... Briefly Noted.
General Electric has donated GE filtered water pitchers to reduce lead in the D.C. drinking water. [WRC-NBC4/AP]
Two embattled officials in the District of Columbia government -- the D.C. health department manager and Mayor Anthony Williams' chief of staff -- have left their respective posts. [The Washington Post]


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