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Bad Boys: Police officials like to boast of record-setting statistics, but a new set of numbers aren’t likely to cause any joy near Judiciary Square. By mid-June, 16 Metropolitan Police Department officers have been arrested this year; all of last year, the total number was only 17. The vast majority of D.C. cops arrested get busted for domestic violence or drunk driving. We’re not sure if that’s supposed to make people feel better, or worse. -4
Better Safe Than Sorry?: After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a whole new set of fortifications and walls went up around the Pentagon, making it pretty tough to drive anywhere near the building without proper credentials. That didn’t stop a suspicious backpack from prompting authorities to close highways and exit ramps around the Defense Department headquarters this morning. By late afternoon, an alleged suspect, Yonathan Melaku, was in custody for allegedly vandalizing cars in Leesburg, Va. He’s in the Marine Reserves. Since no bombs went off, commuters in northern Virginia may want Melaku tried on a more serious charge: disrupting rush hour. -2
Cheetahs Are The New Pandas: Ever since Tai Shan shipped back off to China, the cute factor on the eastern side of Connecticut Avenue NW between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park has been a bit lacking. (No offense to any readers who live there—you all look marvelous.) New photos the National Zoo released today of adorable cheetah cubs, though, give some hope for the future. The cubs are in Front Royal, Va., for now, but we expect them to make their way to the District quickly—after all, can cheetahs do anything any other way? +3
Doughnut Wars: The idea of a fried chicken-and-doughnut sandwich would seem to be sufficiently absurd—albeit also delicious—that it could only occur to one person in a city at a time. (Though we suppose the Double Down goes to show anything is possible.) But not here in D.C.: ChurchKey and the U Street Music Hall are feuding over who invented the idea first. The food coma that would result after eating one, though, should ensure that things don’t get too heated. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 62 Today’s score: -2 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 62