Monday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 26

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Northrop Grumman has chosen Northern Virginia for its headquarters. The Washington Business Journal reports that the company picked the location over Maryland and D.C. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to make the formal announcement Tuesday, but will not disclose a specific site. When announcing its move in January, Northrop said it would mean 100 to 150 new jobs for the Washington area. Northrop will also relocate about one-quarter of its current Los Angeles headquarters staff of 350.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration wants airlines to create and enforce policies that will limit cockpit distractions. The guidance announced Monday comes after an October 2009 incident in which two Northwest Airlines pilots overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles because they say they were engrossed in a complicated new crew-scheduling program on their laptop computers. In the FAA’s information for operators guidance, the agency asks carriers to address the issue of distraction through their crew training programs and to create a safety culture to control cockpit distractions.
  • The Pentagon official in charge of the wounded warrior program said Sunday he has been forced to resign, as the military continues to struggle with how best to care for troops injured in combat. Noel Koch said in an e-mail that he was asked to step down by Clifford Stanley, the undersecretary of defense for personnel. Koch had been serving as the deputy undersecretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert Gates had asked Stanley to do a full review of the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness office. He said this is not the first nor the last change to take place.
  • It’s down to the wire: With a few days left before final mail-in results are tallied, nearly three-fourths of U.S. households have returned their census form. But many fast-growing states in the South and West still lag in participation. Results from the decennial head count are used to apportion seats in the U.S. House and allocate federal funding. As of Friday afternoon, about 86 million households had mailed back their forms. That 72 percent rate matches the response in 2000, an important milestone given growing public apathy toward surveys, not to mention political challenges ranging from anti-government sentiment to tensions over immigration.
  • W. Willard Wirtz, a lawyer and labor arbitrator who was labor secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations but broke publicly with Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, has died. Wirtz, 98, died Saturday of natural causes at his home in Washington, his son Philip said Sunday. Wirtz left a Chicago law firm to join the Kennedy administration as undersecretary of labor in 1961. President John F. Kennedy promoted him to the top job in 1962 just one day after naming Labor Secretary Arthur J. Goldberg to the Supreme Court. Wirtz continued in the post after Johnson succeeded Kennedy in 1963 and stayed on until Johnson completed his term in January 1969. He remained in Washington and resumed the practice of law, often serving on boards and pursuing labor-related projects. His wife, Jane, who died in 2002, was a prominent Washington socialite who was active in political and social organizations.


Coming up on the Federal Drive

** A group called the Federal Human Capital Collaborative met last week, and it has some new ideas for hiring reform. We’ll tell you what they are.

** And the Defense Department is stepping up efforts to protect soldiers against genetically engineered bio threats.


Sign up for breaking news alerts