A Metro escalator
Credit: Darrow Montgomery/File

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Happy Monday, D.C. May you all feel as rested after this weekend as former Washington quarterback Doug Williams looked at the Super Bowl last night, commemorating the 35th anniversary of his victory in Super Bowl XXII. If football/pregnancy announcements/doughnut commercials dominated your timeline in recent days, here’s the local news you may have missed.

Metro Policing Is Increasing

As of this morning, Metro riders can expect to see off-duty Metropolitan Police Department officers providing extra security at five stations throughout the system. Two MPD officers will be posted at each of the stations—Gallery Place, Metro Center, Union Station, Congress Heights, and Georgia Avenue-Petworth—and members of the Metro Transit Police will continue its “problem solving police strategy.” 

The increased patrols, developed in an agreement between WMATA, the D.C. government, MPD, and MTPD, come following multiple shootings that took place at stations and on buses over the past several months. Passengers can expect the increased patrols to continue through June.

Traffic Deaths, Crashes Increase Following End of COVID Restrictions

Shutdowns and closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic put fewer drivers on the road in 2020, but a new survey from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments shows that the number of crashes across the region increased in 2021, as residents resumed some of their normal activities. Regionwide, crashes increased more than 19 percent from 2020 to 2021, with the District reporting 18,311 crashes in 2020 and 21,617 crashes in 2021.

Traffic deaths also increased by more than 17 percent over the same period. The District reported 40 traffic fatalities in 2021, up from 37 in 2020. The number of traffic fatalities fell in Montgomery County and Loudoun County, but rose in Prince George’s County, Fairfax County, and Prince William County. 

Residents Gather to Promote Peace, Seek Justice for Maryland Teenager

Family and friends gathered in Hillcrest Heights over the weekend for a peace walk organized in memory of Jayz Agnew. The 13-year-old was shot and killed in November while he was raking leaves. Police have made no arrests in the case, but the killing did prompt legislators to introduce a rebate program for residents and business owners who buy and install security cameras on their properties. The lack of video footage has made finding the person who killed Jayz more difficult. 

“We need to get gun violence under control. We really do,” Jayz’s father, Antoine Agnew, told reporters and participants at the walk.

Caroline Jones (tips? cjones@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • A D.C. Police officer shot the wrong man while looking for a suspect in an alleged assault. MPD has not released the name of the officer who shot 38-year-old Steven Shaw on Good Hope Road SE Friday morning. Officers later arrested Wallace Lewis, 59, in connection with the original alleged assault. [WTOP]
  • Charging documents reveal new details of Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig’s assault in an elevator in her Northeast apartment building. A 26-year-old man, who was not wearing shoes and who has no fixed address, punched Craig in the face and tried to prevent her from leaving the elevator. She escaped after she threw hot coffee on the man. Police believe the man, Kendrid Khalil Hamlin, was experiencing a mental health crisis. A judge noted that he appeared heavily sedated during a Friday court appearance. [Post]
  • MPD is searching for 10 to 15 suspects in a “felony theft by flash mob” of the Chanel store in downtown D.C. Police say suspects made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise and escaped in a white Infiniti and black Acura SUV. [NBC Washington]

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

  • The National Park Service is facing criticism for its role in evicting homeless people from federal parks in D.C., such as the planned clearing at McPherson Square, when the agency isn’t equipped with experts to manage these clearings. Meanwhile, advocates for the homeless fear that the camp eviction will further squeeze the city’s strained shelter system. [E&E News, Street Sense]
  • D.C.’s State Board of Education is finalizing new standards for social studies education in public schools for the first time since 2006. Some officials fear the world history portion of the curricula is still too “Eurocentric,” however, seeking to cut against efforts to whitewash school lesson plans elsewhere across the country. [Post, Informer]
  • The city has seen a substantial drop in eviction filings over the past year, despite the phaseout of COVID-inspired tenant protections. A recently passed ban on evictions for unpaid rent of less than $600 could account for the change. [Axios]

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

  • Lebanese-style kebab restaurant Yasmine has replaced Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market and charmed diners with its bright flavors. [Post]
  • Mark’s Kitchen owner and founder Mark Choe is hoping to retire after more than three decades of running his Korean/American diner in Takoma Park. [DCist]
  • Axios Local has launched a pizza bracket, pitting the pizza offerings of cities with Axios newsletters against one another. D.C. faces Boston in the first round. [Axios]
  • The original Duke’s Grocery on 17th Street NW is closing for several months of renovations. But don’t worry, Proper Burger fans, you can still get your fill at the Duke’s in Foggy Bottom or Cleveland Park. [WTOP]

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

Arguably one of the most valid complaints about Valentine’s Day is that it requires a lot of planning. For most restaurants, you’ll need to call three weeks in advance unless you want to eat at 5 p.m. or 9 p.m. And for some really big-name, fine-dining establishments in D.C., it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about next year. 

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and if our District Love Daily feature hasn’t served as enough of a reminder, here’s an idea that doesn’t require much foresight and still guarantees a good time with your loved one: an evening at Silver Spring cult favorite Quarry House Tavern. The beloved watering hole opened in 1917 and has withstood the many tests of time throughout the years, including a fire that forced it to close down for three years. But nothing can keep this dive down for long. Home of one of the Best Burgers in D.C. Right Now, as well as a well-stocked jukebox, it makes for a perfect low-stress, high-reward Valentine’s date. 

Round out the evening and catch an early or late show at another Silver Spring favorite, AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The historic theater is currently showing Women Talking, one of burgeoning film critic Ella Feldman’s 10 Movies That Made 2022, as well as the Cannes Jury Prize winner, EO, previewed by Alan Zilberman for AFI’s December EU Showcase.

Did we miss your favorite date spot in D.C.? Let us know! And finally, if you are more content avoiding the holiday, swap some silly Valentines, and enjoy your Tuesday away from the sea of couples that are sure to flood the DMV tomorrow.

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

Werllayne Nunes Captures Magic Realism in His Paintings

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Magic Mike 3 Just Wants to Put on a Show. And It Does.

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  • Nothing says “spring is back” like National Gallery Nights, which return to the mall on March 9. [NGA]
  • You might think that the Hirshhorn and MTV don’t have much in common, but that’s about to change when the two team up for a new reality show. The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist premieres on MTV and the Smithsonian Channel this spring. [DCist
  • Among the 1,000 people who descended on 9:30 Club Thursday to celebrate the Crystal Casino Band’s album release was newly elected representative Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z member of Congress who wants to visit every D.C. venue during his first year in the House. [Washingtonian, Instagram]

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

  • Nationals’ billionaire owner and real estate magnate Ted Lerner died Sunday at his home in Chevy Chase due to complications from pneumonia. He was 97. [Post]
  • The Wizards don’t look great on the court, but off the court, Kristaps Porzingis and Deni Avdija have developed a chess-based camaraderie. [Post]
  • Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. visited the Eagles training camp at the start of the NFL season. He took note of how coach Nick Sirianni ran practices. “I thought they did a terrific thing as far as how they organized and how they messaged. You’ve gotta think, too. We’re messaging 15 guys, they’ve got 60, 65,” Unseld Jr. said. [WTOP]

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

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