Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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After its 7000-series debacle, WMATA is looking forward to a new $70 million factory that could create up to 800 new fully electric railcars in the next decade. 

Hitachi Rail announced this morning that construction on Metro’s 8000-series railcars will start after a 41-acre plot in Hagerstown, Maryland, is land-graded this fall. Under the $2.2 billion agreement, Hitachi Rail will initially produce 256 8000-series cars—up to 20 railcars per month once the factory is operational. The railcars will replace the 2000- and 3000-series cars that have been in service since the 1980s. The 8000s, expected to be released in late 2024, will be stocked with digital maps, onboard Wi-Fi, and heated floors, as well as more space in aisles and between seats.

How will the railcar construction process affect locals? The DMV is expected to supply about 60 percent of its production materials, according to Hitachi. The company claims that local businesses are meant to benefit, with 27 percent of total expenses expected to go to small businesses. The factory will also hire as many as 460 people and sustain 1,300 jobs in the DMV, according to Hitachi.

In Other News …

Another D.C.-related beginning would have more widespread and historic impact: Confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a D.C. native and potentially the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, start today. Four days of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week will rev up the process to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire this summer. Jackson’s confirmation could happen by Easter. You can watch today’s hearing starting at 11 a.m. 

In Other, Other News …

Prince George’s County Police are investigating the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Markelle Morrow, a DMV rap artist known as Goonew. On Friday at around 5:40 p.m., officers responded to shots in the 3400 block of Walters Lane in District Heights and found Morrow in a parking lot, suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound. Morrow was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Morrow’s family told NBC Washington that they believe he was shot in a robbery. 

His mother, Patrice Parker Morrow, said he was shot while on his way to give his sister a birthday present. She told WUSA9 that her son gave up his chain and watch but was still shot in the back. 

“All he wanted to do is try to get his family out the hood,” Parker Morrow told WUSA9. “He had a heart bigger than his body. When they took him, they took me.”

Goonew was known for a nuanced flow that has in recent years become associated with the DMV, the Post reports. He had a gift for timing rhymes slightly in front of beats and making the imprecision sound natural and “timeless,” according to music critic Chris Richards

PGPD is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or conviction of people connected to Morrow’s death. 

—Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Survey work will close northbound lanes along the George Washington Parkway today and tomorrow. [NBC4]
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser and local advocates talked about gender pay equity at the HerStory 5K, where thousands ran on Pennsylvania Avenue NW Saturday morning to celebrate Women’s History Month. [WUSA9]
  • Formerly an Afghanistan finance minister, now an Uber driver in D.C., Khalid Payenda reflects on what went wrong last summer. [Post]

By Ambar Castillo (tips? acastillo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • All three major mayoral candidates squared off in another weekend forum, this time hosted by the Washington Interfaith Network. Mayor Bowser used her appearance to promise major gains in reducing single mens’ homelessness if she wins another four years. [WTOP]
  • ANC Monika Nemeth is dropping out of the Ward 3 Council race. Candidates around the city have until Wednesday to collect petition signatures and qualify for the ballot, which should further winnow the various fields. [Twitter]
  • A federal judge just dismissed Attorney General Karl Racine’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon. He says he’s mulling an appeal. [NYT]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Tierney Plumb is the new editor of Eater D.C. [Twitter]
  • Cherry Blossom-themed cocktails at Crazy Aunt Helen’s, The Doyle, and more. [Eater]
  • Post critic Tom Sietsema‘s seven favorite places to eat. [Post]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Monday Arts Roundup: Remembering Goonew

Here are some arts-related headlines and news stories you may have missed in recent days […]

Eli Waltz’s Americana Hour Plumbs Local Folk Roots

Eli Waltz is rekindling an old flame […]

  • Peak bloom is this week and the four-week long National Cherry Blossom Festival has begun! Happy spring, readers! [Twitter]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: Kelyn Soong

Maryland Women’s Basketball Heads Back to the Sweet 16

Cinderella stories rely on timing. In March, midnight strikes eventually for every team but one. […]

  • Kevin Willard is officially the next head coach of the Maryland men’s basketball team. Willard comes to College Park after 12 seasons at Seton Hall, where he finished with a 225-161 record and five appearances in the NCAA tournament. [Testudo Times]
  • As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shown, sports are never truly an escape, writes Post columnist Kevin B. Blackistone. [Post]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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