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The Gods Are Angry With Us: Torrential downpours and furious lightning aren’t really so out of the ordinary for the D.C. region in August, but the two rounds of storms today seem to have knocked the city back to the Stone Age. The rain led to Metro station closures, a sinkhole and the shocking second case in a month of lost power at the home of Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz! What kind of capital city allows its leading daily newspaper’s media critic to go without electricity? -7
Ladies And Gentlemen, Dupont Circle Is Burning: The thunderstorms didn’t just flood Metro stations and deprive the world of Howard Kurtz’s wisdom; they also appear to have caused an underground electrical transformer near Connecticut Avenue NW and T Street NW to blow up, causing smoke to billow out of the office building above and more or less paralyzing traffic anywhere nearby. Clearly, the whole thing is part of Pepco’s master plan to win the coveted title of Washington’s Most Hated Institution. -3
Cops Let Suspected Serial Killer Go, But Caught Him Again: Federal agents detained Elias Abuelazam as a “person of interest” in a string of attacks and killings—which seem racially motivated—in Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia, just before he boarded a Delta flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv. It turned out Arlington County police had caught Abuelazam already last week, letting him go on his own recognizance after a traffic stop despite an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor assault. A few hours later, he allegedly stabbed a man in Leesburg. Nearly all of his alleged victims have been black men. Which should make for a lengthy voir dire process if he goes to trial. +3
Ex-D.C. Employee Nailed For Wire Fraud: 38-year-old Farrukh Awan was sentenced to 14 months in jail and ordered to pay $156,807 in restitution. Prosecutors say he took kickbacks from job applicants. No word yet on whether Awan—who lost his own job in the process—has been approached to appear in any campaign spots for Vincent Gray. +3
Chick-fil-A City!: The sandwich chain has 1,500 stores, mainly in suburbs and small towns. But officials this week announced plans for a new concept: The “urban” Chick-fil-A store. Because sometimes, we city folk need more than the KFC Double Down. (Just not on Sundays; that’s a time for the Lord, not a time for chicken.) +2
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 43 Today’s score: -2 Today’s Needle rating: 41