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A morning roundup of news, opinion, and links from City Paper and around the District. Send tips and ideas to citydesk@washingtoncitypaper.com.

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It’s that time of year again, folks: The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin are expected to reach peak bloom from March 31 to April 3. The complete festival runs from March 20 to April 17, so prepare yourself for the crowds.

LEADING THE MORNING NEWS:

  • The D.C. crime lab is partially resuming DNA forensic testing after a hiatus beginning last April. [Post]
  • Police have arrested a second suspect related to a fatal stabbing at Barcode, a club, in January. [Borderstan]
  • 2015 was the first year that a summer crime initiative didn’t correlate with a drop in homicides. [City Desk]
  • Regional leaders agreed this week to establish a new Metro safety oversight agency. [City Desk, DCist]
  • On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said the Purple Line would begin work soon. [WAMU, DCist]
  • If it doesn’t get $250 million in repairs by 2021, the Memorial Bridge could become pedestrian-only. [Post]

RECENT CITY PAPER STORIES TO HELP YOU MAKE SENSE OF YOUR DAY:

  • Stopping Street Harassment: The District could get a task force to study the topic under new legislation.
  • “But Anyway”: Rapper Tarcia June has a new video for a song that addresses gentrification in D.C.
  • ICYMI: City Paper has a guide to help you find the best seats at local theaters, stadiums, and other venues.

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Will Sommer (tips? wsommer@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Fighting homicides last year proved harder than usual. [City Desk]
  • Muriel Bowser signs Metro memorandum. [City Desk]
  • Bowser resubmits zoning commission nominee. [Blade]
  • Councilmembers rally against Exelon-Pepco deal. [DCist]
  • Brianne Nadeau pushes anti-street harassment task force. [City Desk]
  • Government cuts hurt the District’s economy. [WBJ]
  • Middle school problems loom for public elementary school students. [WAMU]

ARTS LINKS, by Matt Cohen (tips? mcohen@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mary Timony discusses being a “middle-class rock star.” [Washingtonian]
  • Watch a new music video for Tarica June. [Arts Desk]
  • Shocker: D.C. music audiences are “tame” than other cities. Kind of. [WAMU]
  • How other smaller African American museums are grappling with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opening. [Post]
  • 160 area musicians and bands submitted to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. Vote for the best. [Bandwidth]
  • Listen to Kevin Ross‘ soulful Andre 3000 cover. [Arts Desk]
  • Go jam at the Wilson Center. [DC Music Download]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Jessica Sidman (tips? jsidman@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Six half-smoke hacks from a Ben’s Chili Bowl historian [Borderstan]
  • Fabio and Maria Trabocchi will open a Spanish seafood restaurant at The Wharf. [Washingtonian]
  • Goodies is opening a soda fountain in the USDA building. [Post]
  • Where to eat by the National Mall during tourist season [Eater]
  • New restaurant coming to former Mehak space in Chinatown. [PoPville]
  • Declaration taste test [BYT]