All Articles Tagged "virginia"
(Washington Post) – Torrential rains swept over the Washington region Thursday, triggering flash floods that killed two people in Fairfax County and one in Anne Arundel, trapped scores of terrified motorists, forced hundreds to evacuate their homes and shut major highways, including Interstate 66 and the Capital Beltway. The victims included 12-year-old Jake Donaldson, who was swept away by the flood-swollen waters of Piney Branch Creek in Vienna; 67-year-old Arsalan Hakiri, who was killed near his stranded vehicle in Great Falls ; and a 49-year-old man who drowned in Pasadena, Md., authorities said. Fairfax County Police identified the victims Friday morning after family members were notified. The name of the Pasadena man has not been released. The Virginia Department of Transportation and State Police ordered the Beltway closed from Route 1 to the Mixing Bowl at Interstate 395, as the waters of Cameron Run spilled onto the highway, VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris said. Maryland officials closed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to keep cars off the flooded portion of the Beltway in Virginia. Interstate 66 was also closed westbound near Route 50.
This Wednesday, a searchable database of about 1,400 slaves and 180 owners will become available at vahistorical.org, The New York Times reports. They are the preliminary results of a research project conducted by scholars at the Virginia Historical Society with a goal of going through eight million documents, some dating back to the 17th century.
“’Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names’ is searchable by locations, professions and first and last names, among other keywords,” the Times reports. “Listings for Thomas Jefferson’s holdings do not yet mention Sally Hemings, but they do include ‘Thurston the son of Isabel’ and ‘Bec daughter of Minerva.’ A search for nurses brings up Judy, near age 10, valued at $900, working at a plantation near Fredericksburg, Va., with dozens of other slaves including Jef Davis, Magnus, Fenton and Jinney.”
Procured through wills, family Bibles, memoirs and other correspondence, the high resolution scans have potential to answer a lot of questions and close many historical holes, “providing links that families have been looking for, literally, for generations,” Paul A. Levengood, the historical society’s president, told the Times. “Descendants of plantation owners may be dismayed to learn how many slaves lived at the properties; in some cases legends have persisted that the families only had loyal servants.”
Eye witness accounts of history are social treasures, especially for a group of people so deprived of such gems. And it will only continue to unfold as the full eight million page roster of documents will eventually make its way to the Web.
(Wall Street Journal) — For a moment, however brief, New York shook. Office floors roiled like ocean waves. Residences rocked, knocking pictures off the walls. Cellphone service was suddenly spotty. And the streets teemed with workers from evacuated buildings, the wail of emergency vehicles ringing around them. ”Our building was in a bowl of Jell-O for like 10 seconds straight,” said Sarah Abramson, who works in a seven-story building in Dumbo, Brooklyn. “No one knew what the heck was going on.” And then, just like that, normalcy resumed. The ripples from a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered near Washington, D.C., struck the New York metropolitan region Tuesday, disrupting the city’s normal rhythms shortly before 2 p.m. The temblor was felt from New Jersey to Connecticut, upstate New York to Long Island.
(Washington Post) — An unsettled Washington region awoke Wednesday to the closure of many area schools, some federal buildings and landmarks including the Washington Monument, a day after a rare, powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the eastern third of the United States and unnerved tens of millions of people from Georgia to New England. The early-afternoon quake, which damaged older buildings and shut down much of the nation’s capital Tuesday, was followed by several aftershocks, including a 3.4-magnitude temblor early Wednesday. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded it at 12:45 a.m. Eastern time 39 miles northwest of Richmond. Like Tuesday’s quake, it was a shallow one, occurring three miles below the surface.
(AP) — For a few minutes from Georgia to Maine, the question rang out: What was that? The answer — a rare East Coast earthquake, magnitude 5.8 — was far down on the list for most not used to the earth shaking beneath them. In Washington and New York, their nerves still raw, thoughts instantly turned to terrorism. In small towns and rural areas near the epicenter and elsewhere, guesses ran the gamut: A truck crash or train derailment. A plane breaking the sound barrier. Worse, a nuclear reactor exploding. There ended up being no known deaths or serious injuries, but cracks appeared in the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral, which had three capstones break off its tower. Windows shattered and grocery stores were wrecked in Virginia, where the quake was centered. The White House and Capitol were evacuated.
(Washington Post) — A 30-year-old Williamsburg man sentenced to death for the 2001 rape and murder of an elderly woman could become the first Virginia inmate executed using a new combination of drugs. Jerry Terrell Jackson is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday night at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) denied his request for clemency last week. Now only the U.S. Supreme Court can intervene. If the execution goes forward, it would be the first time the state has used pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, as part of its lethal mix of drugs. Virginia, and many other states, previously had used sodium thiopental as the first drug in a three-drug procedure until the drug’s only American manufacturer stopped producing it this year.
(Washington Post) — Archaeologists at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg have uncovered the brick foundations of a Colonial-era structure that may have housed slaves who cooked and cleaned for students and faculty. The remnants sit next to the Wren Building, the core of the historic campus. Scholars believe that they are the traces of an outbuilding — sleeping quarters, perhaps, or a kitchen or a laundry — built in the 18th century for slaves who lived and worked at the college.
(Washington Post) — School leaders in Virginia and Maryland said they are likely to seek exemptions for the most stringent requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law after an announcement Monday that the Obama administration will offer flexibility to states willing to modernize their accountability systems. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is exercising rarely used executive authority by inviting states to apply for legal waivers. The move comes after efforts to update the federal law stalled in Congress this year, frustrating educators across the country. “I applaud the secretary for recognizing that relief is necessary” said Patricia L. Wright, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction.
(Washington Post) – At a rustic summer camp in Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains, wedged between a monster water park and a Golden Corral restaurant, a raucous, Ethiopian feast unspooled and 9-year-old Mati found her groove at last. There was a pony, an African marketplace and piles of injera bread. There was a drumbeat that grew faster, twangs from a stringed instrument called a krar and an impossibly fast esketa — an Ethiopian dance that had Mati and her friends shrugging their shoulders at warp speed. Whoa. This wasn’t baseball. Or Wii bowling. Or skateboarding. This was what kids do in Ethiopia, the country Mati had tried to forget ever since her adoption at the age of 5.
(Washington Post) — Community leaders in Fairfax County’s Gum Springs neighborhood say county officials appear once again to be neglecting the concerns of the historic African American enclave by green-lighting Inova Mount Vernon Hospital’s expansion plans without taking adequate steps to manage the expected traffic. “The hospital, Inova, has taken this whole thing and tried to ram it down the throats of everybody,” Queenie Cox, president of the New Gum Springs Civic Association, said Thursday, a day after the hospital’s expansion plans were cleared by the Planning Commission with certain conditions.