Morning Rundown

Smith Commons on H Street NE

Man Pleads Guilty in Assault of 69-Year-Old Man in Eastern Market Metro Station — Elijah Smith, a 19-year-old who was arrested in May after punching a 69-year-old man in the face inside the Eastern Market Metro station, pleaded guilty to simple assault. [Washington Post]

Five People Hospitalized After Apparent Synthetic Marijuana Overdoses — D.C. Fire and EMS Department officials believe that five people who were hospitalized on Friday afternoon near Eastern Market overdosed on K2, a brand of synthetic marijuana. [CBS DC]

Southwest Business Improvement District Plans Street Cleaning, Ambassador Team — The Southwest Business Improvement District on Friday announced plans to hire street cleaners and local ambassadors for the growing neighborhood. [Washington Business Journal]

Two Boys Arrested in Connection With Robberies Wednesday in and Near NoMa — Police on Thursday arrested two juveniles in connection with a string of assaults and robberies Wednesday afternoon on the 200 block of Florida Avenue NE, the 200 block of K Street NW and in Shaw. [WJLA]


Spice (Photo via Wikimedia/U.S. Marine Corps)D.C. officials are targeting Capitol Hill-area homeless shelters in a new synthetic drug education campaign.

Representatives of the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office and the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health will provide information about synthetic drug hazards during presentations at the Community for Creative Nonviolence, Central Union Mission and D.C. General homeless shelters over the next two weeks.

The discussions are “tailored to equip the homeless population with important information about the dangers of using substances such as K-2 and Spice, as well as the current state of the law enforcement efforts related to the use and sale of the substances,” according to a new release. Staff with the Department of Behavioral Health also will be available to help people who need treatment.

The first presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today at D.C. General (1900 Massachusetts Ave. SE). The discussion at Central Union Mission (65 Massachusetts Ave. NW) is slated for 6 p.m. on Aug. 11. The final session is scheduled for Community for Creative Nonviolence (425 2nd St. NW) on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.

The meetings come after several people appeared to overdose on a synthetic drug and an unknown substance at the Community for Creative Nonviolence this summer.

At least seven people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the shelter in early June. Later that month, four people were hospitalized after they apparently overdosed on an unknown substance.

“Despite innocent-sounding names like Spice and Scooby Snax, synthetic cannabinoids threaten public health and safety,” Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen Jr. said in a statement. “While we are committed to enforcing criminal laws, we also have a responsibility to educate the public. As evidenced by recent overdoses of homeless individuals, we need to reach out to all segments of our community to get the message out that synthetic cannabinoids are far from harmless.”

Photo via Wikimedia/U.S. Marine Corps

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Morning Rundown

H Street NE public art

The District’s ‘Streetcar Ninjas’ — D.C. has brought on streetcar expert Timothy Borchert to serve as “launch manager” for the District’s streetcar line on the H Street corridor. D.C. Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo calls Borchert and his staff “streetcar ninjas.” [Washington Post]

Driver Involved in Capitol Barricade Crash Charged — Antonio Pierorazio, 51, who crashed into the barricade near the U.S. Capitol Friday morning, has been charged with felony destruction of property and unlawful entry, U.S. Capitol Police said. [WTOP]

Waiting Outside Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row — The Washington Post talks to people who wait hours to grab a table at Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row. “It feels like an accomplishment,” Majia Welton, a 31-year-old health-care policy consultant, said while waiting in line. [Washington Post]

Synthetic Drug Use in District — The D.C. Fire and EMS Department reported 439 overdose cases involving synthetic drugs in June and 149 of them in July. [DCist]

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Morning Rundown

NoMa Break Dancer

All Time High — Capitol Hill police and paramedics are treating more patients for synthetic cannabinoids, which are fake drugs sold under names like K2, Spice and Scooby Snax. District officials report that synthetic drug use reached an all-time high last month. Before May, less than 30 cases were reported per month. Last month, 439 cases were reported. [Washington Post]

Stabbing Suspect Summoned — The suspect in a fatal stabbing on a Metro train on July 4 faced court Friday for a previous assault charge. Jasper Spires, 18, was charged with assaulting a man in Friendship Heights with a wine bottle two days before the stabbing aboard a train at the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station. [NBC Washington]

You’re Out! — Friday night’s Nationals baseball game was suspended after the stadium lights went dark three times. A Nationals spokesperson said the failure was caused by a faulty circuit breaker. The game resumed on Saturday afternoon. [WTOP]

No Average Lemonade Stand — The Metropolitan Wellness Center on Barracks Row is selling cannabis-infused pomegranate lemonade. It costs $32 per 12-ounce bottle and a prescription is required. [Washington City Paper]


Community for Creative Nonviolence Homeless Shelter (Photo via Facebook/Community for Creative Nonviolence Homeless Shelter)(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Four people at a Capitol Hill homeless shelter were hospitalized this afternoon after they apparently overdosed on an unknown substance.

D.C. Fire and EMS Department units arrived at the Community for Creative Nonviolence Homeless Shelter at 425 2nd St. NW about 3 p.m. and left with four people about an hour later, a fire and EMS spokesman said.

The incident came less than two weeks after at least seven people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the shelter. A fire and EMS representative told NBC Washington that the suspected overdoses today appeared similar to the overdoses earlier this month. NBC Washington was the first to report on today’s suspected overdoses.

Mayor Muriel Bowser yesterday announced new drug enforcement strategy intended to give law enforcement enhanced authorities to crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs.

Photo via Facebook/Community for Creative Nonviolence Homeless Shelter


110314 hips

A city organization created to aid sex workers and drug users will open a new drop-in center in Ward 6.

The nonprofit HIPS is planning to move from Brookland to H Street NE in January, executive director Cyndee Clay said. The group that conducts outreach to sex workers on health, safety and housing will add drug treatment and mental health services to its offerings at 906 H St. NE.

Clay said her staff is looking forward to addressing reports of “street-based sex work” and drug use on H Street NE.

“Those are things that we help with,” she said. “It means a referrals to HIPS is just around the corner.”

HIPS was founded in 1993 to serve “individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion or circumstance.” They serve 75 to 100 people of all ages per week.

HIPS, which signed a five-year lease in the two-level, 6,500-square-foot building, plans to reach out to ANC 6A and 6C in the coming months, Clay said.

“I bet we can relieve a lot of problems we see on H Street, rather than contribute to them,” she said.


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