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Critical Infrastructure News

Walter Reed Medical Center Placed on Lockdown After Report of Suspected 'Shooter'

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center campus near Bethesda, Maryland, placed a shelter-in-place (code white) order this morning [July 6] following a report of a suspected active shooter around 11 am.  Montgomery County Police officers responded but could not confirm the initial report of a gunshot heard on campus. There are no confirmed shots and no reported injuries following an initial sweep of the facility, sources said.

Some responding federal agents were subsequently told to stand down, a federal law enforcement official told ABC News. Stand down meaning that no other emergency personnel is needed at the location.

The Navy originally confirmed the lockdown in a statement, saying: "All base personnel are sheltering in place as a result of unconfirmed reports of an active shooter," the Navy's statement added. "DOD Security Force, NIH Police Force and County EMS and Medics have responded and searching the area."

Bomb sniffing dogs will check buildings once police finish a sweep of the buildings.

This, just days after the Washington Naval Yard was shut down for about two and a half hours after a report of possible gunshots at the Navy Yard triggered a massive law enforcement response in the area. There was no evidence of a shooter or shooting were found.

Just after 7:29 a.m., an official at the Navy Yard called D.C. police for assistance after someone reported hearing gunshots. A Navy Yard employee had reported internally "she may have heard gunshots in the facility," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

Multiple agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI, U.S. Park Police, Homeland Security, and the ATF responded.  Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said a sweep of the Navy Yard showed "no signs of a shooter, no shooting and no injured," She said authorities do not believe it was a hoax.  Authorities said that the quick response are attributed to exercises conducted after the 2013 killings.

Source: Multiple Reporting Sources

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 6, 2015


Peter Neffenger sworn in as sixth TSA administrator

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson welcomed Peter Neffenger today as the sixth administrator of the Transportation Security Administration in a ceremony held at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Neffenger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 22, 2015, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. He now leads a workforce of approximately 60,000 employees, the security operations at nearly 450 airports throughout the United States, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and shared security for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines.

“TSA’s mission is critical to the safety and security of our nation. I am deeply honored to continue serving our country, particularly alongside the dedicated men and women of TSA,” said Neffenger. “I look forward to applying my years of leadership experience, law enforcement background and security skills to protecting our nation’s transportation systems.”

Neffenger recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard, where he held many operational, staff and leadership positions during his 34-year career. Before joining TSA, he served as the 29th Vice Commandant, a position held since May 2014. Prior to this post, Neffenger served as the Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Operations, where he directed strategy, policy, resources, and doctrine for the employment of Coast Guard forces globally. He is a recognized expert in crisis management, port security, and oversight of the commercial maritime industry. He most notably served as the Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest and most complex in U.S. history.

Neffenger officially took the oath of office as administrator on July 4, 2015.

Anne Arundel County crews repair water main break


Tens of thousands of water customers in the Russett neighborhood of Anne Arundel County lost service for hours Friday [July3]. County officials said crews found the break around 2 a.m. Friday in a wooded area near Lost Creek and Bayou Bend boulevards.

Because the water didn't flow into the streets, it was difficult for crews to find the source of the problem. The 20-inch water main break occurred in three 20-foot segments and was caused by erosion along the Little Patuxent River bank, DPW officials said. The erosion washed away the protective soils around the pipe and exposed it to damage, sending about 1.5 million gallons of water into the river. Heavy equipment was brought in build an access road, make repairs to the pipe and restore the riverbank.

"The riverbank eroded apparently from the high storm events we've had over time, and ... it exposed about 60 feet of pipe, and when that got exposed, it floated and separated those joints, so three joints separated," Public Works Director Chris Phipps said.

About 30,000 customers were affected in the 20724 ZIP code, officials said.

The lack of water also affected area businesses, which posted signs explaining why they were not open. A Burger King restaurant brought in a water tanker so it could serve customers.

Laurel Park canceled simulcasts and live racing. Friday was to be the start of its summer racing season.

"Obviously, we're extremely disappointed that we won't be able to run our opening-day program and our first twilight program of the summer," Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra said in a statement. "We were looking forward to a big day, a great crowd, and the start of an exciting summer program, but our first priority is the safety and health of our horses and our fans.


Source: WBAL TV

Marylanders traveling for July 4 holiday to increase

More than 870,000 Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the July 4 holiday weekend, the highest figure for the period since at least 2001. The figure is up 2.3 percent over last year, reflecting lower gas prices and an improved jobs market, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The holiday period is defined as July 1-5.

Some 87 percent of Marylanders traveling over the holiday are expected to do so by automobile. At $2.76 on Thursday, the average price for a gallon of gas in Maryland is at its lowest price in five years, according to AAA. Seven percent will travel by airplane, while 6 percent will do so by bus, train or watercraft.

Meanwhile, Marylanders will also see lower tolls across the state next weekend. Gov. Larry Hogan announced last month he was rolling back multiple tolls starting July 1, including from $6 to $4 for cars traveling over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Nationally, nearly 42 million Americans are expected to travel for the July 4 holiday.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

Hogan: State will not proceed with Red Line as it's currently designed

The Red Line light rail project in Baltimore will not proceed as it's currently designed, the governor announced Thursday. Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement while revealing plans to spend nearly $2 billion on roads, highways, and bridges throughout Maryland. Hogan said of the $2.64 billion Red Line proposal, "We can do better." The 14.1-mile, east-west light rail would have connected Woodlawn in Baltimore County with downtown Baltimore.

The governor said the state will contribute $168 million to the planned Purple Line rail system in the Washington suburbs instead of nearly $700 million. The governor said Montgomery and Prince George's counties will have to put up more money for the 16-mile light-rail project. The total cost is estimated at $2.45 billion.

Of the nearly $2 billion in transportation funding, the governor said $1.35 billion will be for new projects and about $625 million will be announced for projects that already have been lined up.

The announcement reflects the governor's plans to bring greater focus on roads and bridges.

About $845 million will go toward major projects, such as road widening or traffic management tools. About $500 million will be used to fix bridges and improve roads.

The plan calls for investing in 84 projects in every county, using available state funding that includes:

  • $790 million for 10 projects that support economic development
  • $250 million to repave 1,959 lane miles of highway
  • $355 million to improve safety in 25 locations
  • $25 million to fix drainage and keep roads from flooding in 10 locations
  • $355 million for 13 projects to improve traffic flow
  • $195 million to repair 26 bridges

The $195 million to repair 26 bridges will be combined with $830.7 million in existing state funds to fix the current list of 70 state-owned structurally deficient bridges and maintain existing bridges.

Projects include:

  • MD 404 - Widening MD 404 from two to four lanes with a median from US 50 to the Denton Bypass (Talbot and Caroline counties' top unfunded regional priority);
  • I-270 - Implementing Innovative Congestion Reduction Strategies (Maryland Department of Transportation's pilot project to develop statewide congestion tools);
  • US 113 - Widening US 113 from two to four lanes with a median from Five Mile Branch Road to north of Public Landing Road (Worcester County's No. 1 priority);
  • US 219 - Upgrading US 219 north of I-68 and building a new interchange at I-68 (Garrett County's No. 1 priority);
  • MD 175/MD 295 - Reconstructing the MD 175/MD 295 interchange to improve access to Fort George G. Meade (Anne Arundel County's No. 1 priority);
  • US 50 - Reconfiguring traffic lanes along US 50 eastbound over Severn River Bridge to provide an additional lane to reduce congestion (Anne Arundel County's No. 2 priority);
  • I-95/I-495 - Upgrading the existing partial interchange at the Greenbelt Metro Station to a full interchange to support the proposed FBI headquarters (Prince George's County's No. 1 priority);
  • US 1 - Reconstructing US 1 to a four-lane divided highway with a median and bicycle/pedestrian safety improvements from College Avenue to MD 193 (Prince George's County's No. 2 priority);
  • MD 140 - Widening Northbound MD 140 (Reisterstown Road) to add a third lane from Painters Mill to Garrison View Road (Baltimore County's No. 2 priority);
  • MD 2/4 - Widening MD 2/4 to provide a third through lane and auxiliary lanes in each direction from north of Stoakley Road to south of MD 765A (Calvert County's No. 1 priority);
  • MD 5 - Improving the intersection at MD 5 (Point Lookout Road) and Moakley Street/Abell Street (Breakout project for St. Mary's County No. 2 major highway priority);
  • MD 5 - Improving safety along Point Lookout Road from Camp Brown Road to Ranger Station (St. Mary's County No. 2 minor highway priority); and
  • MD 85/I-270 - Reconstructing the I-270/MD 85 interchange to reduce congestion and upgrade structurally deficient bridges (Frederick County's No. 1 priority).