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JUST IN: Three Arrested in D.C. After Driving the Wrong Way Down I-395 While Fleeing Police

Three people have been arrested and will likely face charges in Arlington after a desperate attempt to flee a traffic stop on I-395.

The incident started just before 10 a.m., when an Arlington police officer tried to pull over a vehicle heading northbound on I-395 in the Pentagon City area. The driver of the vehicle then sped off heading the wrong way on southbound I-395, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“The vehicle did not stop and fled the area at a high rate of speed,” she told ARLnow.com. “The vehicle traveled NB in the SB HOV lanes, struck a vehicle, and the three occupants of the suspect vehicle fled the scene on foot.”

A search ensued, as U.S. Park Police set up a perimeter and combed the area around East Potomac Golf Course for the suspects, according to scanner traffic. All three were eventually caught.

“With assistance by the United States Park Police and Virginia State Police, all three suspects were located and taken into custody,” Savage said. “Charges are pending at this time.”

There were no reports of injuries in the crash, according to Savage.

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State Police Investigating Fatal Motorcycle Crash on I-66

A motorcyclist died in a crash last night on I-66, near Arlington’s western border.

The crash happened just before 10 p.m.

“According to witnesses, two motorcycles were westbound on I-66 and traveling at a high rate of speed,” Virginia State Police said in a brief press release. “One of the motorcycles rear-ended a car traveling west on I-66. The impact of the crash caused the motorcycle to run off the interstate and strike the guardrail.”

“The motorcyclist died at the scene,” the press release continued. “The driver of the car was not injured in the crash.”

State police are investigating the crash. The name of the deceased has not yet been released.

Photo via Google Maps

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Southbound I-395 Delays Extend to Pentagon City

Delays due to the closure of southbound I-395 following a fatal crash extend all the way from Springfield to just after Pentagon City.

One person died in the crash on the southbound lanes of I-395, just north of I-495, according to Virginia State Police. The crash happened just before 2:30 p.m.

Most lanes have since reopened, but all traffic was halted for a period of time. VSP is on scene investigating the crash.

Image via Google Maps

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Photos: SWAT Team Raids Home in Arlington Heights

A Virginia State Police SWAT team raided a home Tuesday in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, but no arrests were made.

A resident said the raid happened around 2 p.m., near the intersection of S. Garfield Street and 6th Street S.

It involved an “armored vehicle [and] 7 or 8 officers with rifles, pointing at basement windows ordering someone to come out with hands up,” the resident said. “[A] woman and girl only in towels were escorted out.”

VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the police activity “was related to an ongoing criminal investigation” and added that no arrests were made.

“Because it’s ongoing, I’m not able to provide any additional information at this time,” Geller said.

While most criminal matters are handled by local law enforcement, Virginia State Police has a mandate to investigate felonies statewide via its Bureau of Criminal Investigation, either at the order of the Governor or at the request of the Attorney General, commonwealth’s attorneys, chiefs of police, sheriffs and grand juries.

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State Police: Bullet Fired on I-395

Virginia State Police are investigating a shooting on I-395 near the Pentagon.

Someone fired a bullet through the front seat windows of a car driving on northbound I-395 near the HOV entrance and the Pentagon, according to VSP.

The incident happened just before 8 p.m. No one was injured and there have thus far been no arrests.

In a press release, state police are asking for the public’s help in tracking down the shooter.

Virginia State Police are seeking the public’s help with a shooting incident that occurred Thursday evening (March 22) in the northbound main lines of I-395 prior to the northbound HOV entrance in Arlington County. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 703-803-0026 or #77 on a cell phone or by email at [email protected].

At approximately 7:53 p.m., the Virginia State Police Fairfax Division received a call about a shot being fired at a vehicle. When Virginia Troopers arrived on scene, they found a white Toyota Corolla and a gray Hyundai Sonata stopped on the right shoulder of the northbound I-395 HOV lanes at the 9 mile marker. The Hyundai Sonata had a hole in the front seat, driver’s side window and another hole in the front seat, passenger side window. Further investigation confirmed that the holes were the result of a bullet entering the vehicle on the driver’s side and exiting the car through the passenger side window.

The driver in the Hyundai was not injured. No bullet was found inside or outside the vehicle, nor were there any other bullet holes in the Sonata.

The Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Corolla were traveling together at the time of the shooting. Neither driver could provide any description or license plate of a suspect vehicle.

Arlington County Police and Pentagon Police responded to the scene to assist State Police with the investigation, which remains ongoing at this time.

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Now in Effect: New Location for New Virginia Inspection Stickers

As of Jan. 1, there is a new location on your windshield for Virginia state inspection stickers.

Year 2019 inspection stickers — aka those issued in 2018 — should be placed on the lower driver’s side corner of the windshield (lower left from the inside of the vehicle), according to Virginia State Police. Existing stickers can stay where they are — the bottom center of the windshield — until they expire.

The change is “due to new innovations in the automotive industry” — namely, crash avoidance systems that need a clear line of sight at the center of the dashboard.

The new location applies to other stickers, like the Arlington County vehicle property tax decal, as well.

“This change in location will also apply to the placement of any other authorized stickers,” Virginia State Police said in a press release. “There have been no changes made to the size or appearance of the existing vehicle inspection sticker.”

“The core mission of the Virginia Safety Inspection Program is to promote highway safety and the crash
avoidance technology is another tool provided by manufacturers to ensure vehicles operated on the roadways are safe at all times,” said Capt. R.C. Maxey Jr., Virginia State Police Safety Division Commander. “Therefore, we immediately began evaluating the situation and set forth to make the necessary changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual, which governs the placement of the safety inspection sticker on all vehicles.”

Photo courtesy Virginia State Police

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Virginia State Police: Get Ready for I-66 Changes Monday

After more than a year of work, the switchover from HOV to HOT lanes on I-66 is upon us, and Virginia State Police are asking commuters to be prepared for changes to their routines.

Starting with Monday’s morning commute, the inbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway will be free for carpoolers with at least two people in the car — and, now, an E-ZPass Flex device set to HOV. All other drivers will be able to take I-66 towards D.C. in the morning, as long as they’re willing to pay a toll that will vary with demand (as announced by electronic signs).

The High Occupancy Toll restrictions and charges will apply only to the peak demand direction during rush hour — 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the morning and 3-7 p.m. in the evening. During the evening commute, lone drivers heading outbound (westbound) on I-66 will be charged, even if they’re heading to Dulles airport.

Another change: drivers of hybrid vehicles who were previously able to use I-66 during HOV-only times will now have to pay.

In a press release, below, Virginia State Police said Sunday night that drivers should get ready for changes to the morning commute and a stepped-up police presence along I-66.

With the opening of the new 66 Express Lanes, Virginia State Police are encouraging all drivers to plan in advance if needing to travel I-66, especially during the Monday morning commute on Dec. 4, 2017. State police will have additional troopers on I-66 to help ease the flow of traffic, especially as motorists become accustomed to the new Express Lane changes.

“If you will be traveling I-66 on Monday morning and/or afternoon, then please plan ahead and before your trip research your options with the new Express Lanes,” said 1st Sgt. Steve Mittendorff, Virginia State Police Area 45 Office Commander. “Your morning and afternoon drives on I-66 inside the Beltway are going to look much different from what you are used to, so take advantage of the maps and detailed information provided at http://www.66expresslanes.org. Familiarize yourself with where the traffic lanes change to decide if you want or can use the Express Lanes on I-66 inside the Beltway during the designated hours.”

Plan Ahead. Recognizing and being prepared in advance of the change in traffic patterns at the Express Lanes entrance will help keep traffic moving safely and smoothly along I-66 during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Don’t stop or back up. Drivers should never stop or back up in an attempt to avoid the Express Lanes. If you accidentally find yourself in the Express Lanes, then just keep going in the Express Lanes and get off at the first exit. Go to http://www.66expresslanes.org and follow the directions on how to pay the toll online. Backing up or stopping puts you at risk of causing a crash and being seriously injured or killed.

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Morning Notes

County Board Approves Affordable Housing Loan — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved a loan that will help preserve the 294-unit Park Shirlington Apartments as affordable housing. The $6 million loan from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund will allow a pair of developers to buy the complex, rehabilitate it and preserve as much affordable housing as possible. [Arlington County]

Ten Die in Va. Thanksgiving Weekend Crashes — “With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one… on Virginia’s highways. During the holiday… traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian.” [Virginia State Police]

Video Shows Helicopter Search of Crane — A video, posted by a Pentagon City resident, shows the Fairfax County Police helicopter using its spotlight to search a construction crane Sunday night, as part of a death investigation that was still ongoing as of Monday evening. [YouTube]

FCC Chair Reports Harassing Signs —  FCC chairman and Arlington resident Ajit Pai is again being targeted at his home by activists who oppose changes to net neutrality and media ownership rules. This time, signs outside Pai’s home have reportedly referenced his children. The Arlington County Republican Committee called the alleged harassment “disgusting.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Education Tech Company Sets Up Clarendon Studios — “Higher education is getting the star treatment… in Clarendon. Headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, [education technology firm] 2U recently revamped the former Henninger Media space off Wilson Boulevard to create a satellite office with eight TV studios, where visiting professors can spend a whirlwind three to four days taping lectures and other multimedia course materials designed to supplement live classroom chats and streaming video.” [Arlington Magazine]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

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Police Urge Driver Caution, Patience During Thanksgiving Getaways

As thousands of drivers around Arlington prepare to hit the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Arlington County Police Department is reminding everyone to always wear a seatbelt.

The department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to share the reminder: “Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time.”

More from ACPD:

Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach the winter holiday season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from November 20 to December 1, 2017.

According to NHTSA, during the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 301 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 53 percent were not their wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 57 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night. That’s why one focus of the campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

To learn more about the campaign, visit the NHTSA website.

In a similar effort, Virginia State Police will be be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and not wearing seatbelts.

State police will have increased enforcement from tomorrow (Wednesday) through Sunday.

“Tragically, traffic fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, said in a statement. “We’ve seen an 11 percent increase over this time last year. With so many people estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, we need everyone to help prevent crashes by driving smart, buckling up and never driving drunk or drugged. We want everyone to arrive alive and enjoy the holiday.”

And while traffic may be busy along the I-95 corridor, as it has been historically at this time of year, the Virginia Department of Transportation is trying to make life a little easier.

During the Thanksgiving travel period, VDOT will suspend most major highway work zones and lift lane closures on Virginia interstates and major streets from Wednesday through noon on Monday, November 27.

VDOT’s Thanksgiving traffic trends map shows that Tuesday evening and midday Wednesday are among the busiest times on Virginia highways for heading out of the D.C. area.

Similarly, Metro has no scheduled track work on Thanksgiving Day, with trains and buses operating on a Sunday schedule. The system opens at 8 a.m., and will close at 11 p.m. On Friday, November 24, the system will be open on a normal weekday schedule.

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March Against White Supremacy Will Rally in Rosslyn This Afternoon

A march from Charlottesville to D.C. against the “toxic ideology of white supremacy in our nation” is set to reach Arlington County this afternoon (Wednesday) before heading onto its final leg.

The March to Confront White Supremacy was organized by local religious leaders and social justice advocates. It began in Charlottesville on August 28 , following the death of Heather Heyer while protesting a white supremacist rally in the city.

Marchers are set to arrive at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) in Rosslyn at 3 p.m. today, then leave for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial for a 4 p.m. rally.

Arlington police said there are no planned road closures to accommodate the march, though ACPD and Virginia State Police will monitor it. Organizers said the march has attracted nearly 1,000 people for its final stages from Fairfax into D.C.

Since beginning in Charlottesville, organizers said they have overcome “inclement weather and threats to stop the march from state police,” on a route that took them 118 miles through “the largely white and rural Virginia countryside.” Today, the march is encountering rainy weather as it arrives at its destination.

In addition to countering the message of the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, march organizers say they are calling “for the removal of President Trump and all other elected officials who embolden and support white supremacists and the end of white supremacist public policies.”

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Virginia State Police Warn of Phone Scam

Scammers are calling Northern Virginia residents, claiming to represent Virginia State Police and demanding money.

VSP is warning about the scam, saying it never collects fines over the phone. Those who get a call from a scammer are encouraged to hang up immediately.

More from a VSP press release:

Virginia State Police is warning Northern Virginia residents about a consumer phone scam that appears to come from the Division VII Headquarters in Fairfax.

In the scam, the caller states they are from Virginia State Police and threatens to arrest the recipient unless the recipient pays a certain amount of money, usually around $5,000.

Anyone who receives such a phone call is urged to hang up on the caller. However, these callers can be especially aggressive, making repeated calls in a short period of time.

Virginia State Police will never attempt to collect fines via phone.

Consumers are urged to use the following tips from the Federal Communications Commission when dealing with phone scammers:

  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it.  Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number.  A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

Consumers who receive such calls can file a complaint with the FCC online.

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Morning Notes

Man Charged in Pike Apartment Fire — A 27-year-old Arlington man has been charged in connection with Saturday’s apartment fire on Columbia Pike. Police say Demetrius Antonio Taylor got in a verbal dispute with a woman, assaulted her, lit a carpeted floor mat on fire, pushed an infant in a stroller towards the fire and fled the scene. He faces a litany of charges including arson, felony child endangerment and two counts of assault on law enforcement, after becoming combative in a police department interview room. [Arlington County]

Man Dies in Motorcycle Wreck Following Pursuit — A Woodbridge man died early Sunday morning after crashing his motorcycle while being pursued by Virginia State Police. The pursuit started after a “BOLO” broadcast for a motorcycle seen traveling at a high rate of speed on I-395 in Arlington County. [Potomac Local, WTOP]

ACFD Battles Falls Church Blaze — Firefighters from Arlington County and Fairfax County battled a house fire on Railroad Avenue in the City of Falls Church early Sunday morning. The homeowners were displaced by the fire, which was “mostly confined to the basement.” ACFD provides firefighting services to Falls Church under contract. [Falls Church News-Press]

Northam, Perriello to Mingle With Arlington Dems — Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, will be the featured guest at an Arlington County Democratic Committee happy hour on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Pamplona in Clarendon. Tom Perriello, who lost in the gubernatorial primary to Northam, will be featured at the annual ACDC Labor Day Chili Cookoff at the Lyon Park Community Center on Monday, Sept. 4. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Virginia State Police to Heighten Presence Over Holiday Weekend

Drivers should expect to see more Virginia State Police troopers on patrol this Independence Day weekend.

State police are urging motorists to be safe on the Commonwealth’s roads and highways, after 15 people were killed in crashes throughout the state this past weekend.

State police expect a record breaking number of travelers this weekend and are stepping up patrols with the goal of reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failure to wear a seat belt.

More from a Virginia State Police press release:

RICHMOND – With a “record-breaking” number of travelers forecasted for the 2017 Independence Day weekend and the recent rash of fatal crashes in Virginia since the official start of summer, the Virginia State Police is urging all motorists to put traffic safety at the top of their list of holiday priorities. This past weekend, 15 people were killed in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. Those who lost their lives in traffic crashes June 23-25, 2017, included drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and pedestrians ranging from 4 months to 74 years of age.

To ensure the Fourth of July holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning Saturday, July 1, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2017 July Fourth statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, and continues through midnight Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

“Halfway through 2017, there have already been 20 more traffic deaths compared to this date in 2016,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Let’s try to turn this year around and work towards saving lives, beginning with this July Fourth weekend. Traffic crashes and deaths are prevented when drivers and passengers simply follow the rules of the road – this includes never driving impaired, avoiding distractions while driving and always wearing a seatbelt.”

During the 2016 July Fourth weekend, Virginia troopers arrested 106 drunk drivers and cited 9,487 speeders and 2,590 reckless drivers. They also cited 821 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt and 360 motorists for child safety seat violations during the four-day statistical counting period.

With increased patrols, state police also remind drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

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DEVELOPING: Virginia State Police Seeking Missing Senior

Update 8:50 p.m. – Olga Price was found safely in Washington, D.C. earlier this afternoon, after being declared missing on Saturday morning.

Earlier: The Virginia State Police issued a senior alert earlier this morning on behalf of Arlington police, who are looking for a missing woman.

Olga Ann Price, 84, was last seen on April 14 at 8:30 p.m. at 1910 N. Randolph Street. She is 5-foot-4 and weighs approximately 180 pounds.

Police believe she is wearing a gold wedding ring, a gold necklace and a red Washington Nationals baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to call Arlington police at 703-558-2222.

More from Virginia State Police:

** SENIOR ALERT ** SENIOR ALERT ** SENIOR ALERT ** SENIOR ALERT **

THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE HAS ISSUED A SENIOR ALERT ON BEHALF OF THE ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT ON APRIL 15, 2017, AT 0600 HOURS.

THE ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPT IS LOOKING FOR OLGA ANN PRICE, W/F, 84 YOA, HGT/5’4″ WGT/180 EYE/GRN HAI/GRY.  HER CLOTHING DESCRIPTION IS NOT KNOWN.  SHE SHOULD BE ADORNED WITH A GOLD WEDDING RING, A GOLD NECKLACE AND WEARING A RED WASHINGTON CAPITALS BASEBALL CAP.

SHE IS BELIEVED TO BE IN DANGER AND WAS LAST SEEN ON APRIL 14, 2017, AT 2030 HOURS, AT 1910 NORTH RANDOLPH STREET, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

SHE SHOULD BE DRIVING A 2003 TOYOTA CAMRY, BEIGE IN COLOR, WITH VIRGINIA LICENSE PLATES JGR-5815.

PLEASE CONTACT THE ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPT AT 703-558-2222 WITH ANY INFORMATION.

YOU MAY FIND COMPLETE INFORMATION AT HTTP://WWW.VASENIORALERT.COM/

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County Government, Schools Closed Due to Icy Conditions

Snow and sleet covered roads in Ballston 3/14/17A mix of sleet, snow and ice is making for slick driving conditions outside and has prompted the closure of Arlington Public Schools and government offices.

Local roads remain partially snow and slush covered, though traffic is very light. ART buses are operating on a “severe” service schedule, while Metrobuses are operating on a “moderate” snow plan. The Metrorail system is open and operating on a Saturday schedule.

APS announced just after 4 a.m. that it would be closed today.

All APS schools and offices will be closed today. Essential personnel should report to work at their scheduled time. All custodians report at 6 a.m. regardless of your regular shift. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County programs and operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

Arlington County announced that it was closed for the day just after 5 a.m.

Arlington County government offices, programs, courts, & facilities are closed today, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. If possible, stay off the roads while snow and ice removal efforts continue throughout the day.

VDOT is asking drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible.

Crews and almost 4,500 pieces of equipment worked through the night and continue to treat roads with salt and sand, and to plow in areas where there is enough accumulation.

Interstates and primary roads have stretches of slush and ice as snow and sleet continue to accumulate between plow passes.

Secondary roads and neighborhood streets remain mostly snow-covered.

HOV restrictions are lifted this morning on I-66, I-395 and the Dulles Toll Road.

Drivers are advised to continue to stay off the roads. If you absolutely must go out this morning, reduce speeds, use extreme caution and be alert to icy and inclement conditions. Road temperatures are expected to remain below freezing all day with potential for continued refreeze.

Virginia State Police say they’re dealing with a number of crashes in Northern Virginia.

Virginia State Police are currently on the scene of 10 traffic crashes throughout Northern Virginia. Only two involve injuries – minor – and the remainder of them involve damage to vehicles. From midnight Tuesday through 7 a.m., Virginia State Police have responded to 15 traffic crashes – all of which involved damage to vehicles only and no injuries.

Motorists are reminded to give extra time for travel, slow their speed for conditions, not to tailgate – to provide additional stopping distance in slick conditions, and to always buckle up.

The federal government, meanwhile, will be opening today on a three-hour delay. From the Office of Personnel Management:

Federal agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 3 hours DELAYED ARRIVAL and employees have the OPTION FOR UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hours later than they would be expected to arrive.

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