FIB, Quentinsburgh Police, QUARTA, investigating after death threats toward President Rosenthal broadcasted over the loudspeakers and displays of a Line 3 train

BREAKING NEWS

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIA- 4:10am: The Freedemian Investigation Bureau (FIB) and the Quentinsburgh Metro Police Department (QMPS) are investigating an incident on a QUARTA train yesterday evening, after the displays and loudspeakers on a Line 3 QLine Metro train began broadcasting threats and warnings towards President Angela Rosenthal as it pulled into the Capitol Mall/National Court station, the closest station to the Executive Residence.

Reports from police and witnesses say that around 10:26pm, as the local 3 train was pulling into the station, the loudspeaker began crackling and the displays on the front, sides, and insides of the train glitched and turned bright orange as if rebooting. After that came about five minutes of cryptic text, including the phrases “hope you enjoyed your reelection, it’s your last term anyhow” and “here today Angela, but soon with the angels”.

Trains were backed up for around a half-hour during the initial confusion, but QUARTA rerouted all Line 3 and Capitol Shuttle trains onto the express tracks and announced that trains would be skipping the stop until around 6:00pm Saturday evening to give the police and the FIB the chance to fully investigate to make sure that there’s no threat to the safety of the riders.

“So far it appears the displays were somehow hacked from the outside. No one operating the train or its displays/loudspeaker were responsible for the incident”, Police Chief Henriette Martina explained to reporters. “But this is going to require a pretty thorough investigation.”

“We’ve had incidents where displays have been glitchy before, and even one or two dumb pranks like the incident last baseball season when some kid made the display of a Capitol Shuttle say ‘Qburgh Quails are looserss heh get rekt noob subscribe to my TubeMe’, but never anything like this before,” Lenny Grent, with the technology support and IT division of QUARTA, explains. “It’s only happened with someone editing what the displays say like twice since we created the newer systems 10 years ago, and usually things so minor that it wasn’t worth investigating too deeply. We honestly didn’t expect something this serious to come up. I believe we fixed the initial glitch and vulnerability on most newer displays, but this was a renovated Q500 train and I think it’s using one of the early display systems, which might be part of the problem.”

President Rosenthal was recently reelected, and still maintains a near-record approval rating of around 80%. The seeming lack of enemies or disapproval makes the incident even more odd in the eyes of many. But security will be high near the Capitol Mall in the coming weeks as the investigation continues.

Vice President Patrick Houser and Vice President-Elect Katherine Nelzer are expected to give a joint speech later today addressing the cybersecurity state of Freedemia and what they’re getting ready to do to address it. While the whole plan is still in progress, currently there are plans to send a bill to the legislature by February that completely overhauls the military to include major cyber security provisions and departments instead of a focus on land/sea/air combat.

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QUARTA, QDOT announce beautification project for the “Rail Wall” near Hayes University, taking suggestions

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIAQUARTA and the Quentinsburgh Department of Transportation announced today that the “Rail Wall”, a commonly cited eyesore in the Hayes neighborhood in south central Quentinsburgh, will be undergoing a beautification project within the next 2 years, and that they are taking suggestions for ways to make the area special.

The section of track “affectionately” known as the “Rail Wall” stretches from Freeman Square Mall in downtown to Hayes University’s campus, and is mostly next to Freeman Road around QMedCtr Warren and Railroad Street (named after the railway, who’da thunk it) just south and west of the main part of Hayes University.

Sketch of the Rail Wall (2)
Location of the “Rail Wall” in Quentinsburgh, generally defined by the area where the tracks for the 4, 4x, and CS are directly above the tracks for the 7, 7x, 14, 14x, AX and the freight/commuter tracks.

Below grade in a sort of ditch along most of the rail wall are FreedemiRail and freight tracks, making most of the roads passing by bridges over the ditch. These tracks had been there before the QLine subway was built.

The wall part is an interesting aspect that comes from the metro, not the freight tracks- there are two very large elevated structures for the QUARTA QLine Metro immediately above the freight/FreedemiRail tracks, as QUARTA used the existing tracks’ right of way.

The first structure, built one level above street level and two levels above the freight tracks, today houses lines 7, 7x, 14, 14x, and the AX (Airport Express). It was originally built for the second branch of the then QUARTA Red Line Subway back in the early 1950s. It being such an old structure, one of the oldest metal elevated structures in the system, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as many later structures, though some locals have some affection for the rustic burgundy steel.

The second structure, built one level above the tracks for the 7, 14, and AX, houses lines 4, 4x, and the Capitol Shuttle. Constructed in 2015 as a pre-Pancontinental Games extension of the 4 and 4x was completed, it was controversial at the time of building, and in many ways still is.

The decision to extend the 4 and 4x was made back in 2005, originally just planned as an extension running roughly under 9th Street connecting to the Freeman Square station (7)(7x)(14)(14x). However, demand from Hayes University students who wanted a better connection to the 2, 4, and 5, pushed for the extension to reach all the way to campus. This forced QUARTA to build a section of track essentially parallel to the existing tracks because the capacity of one set of tracks was roughly three major lines. Eventually, the Capitol Shuttle would also be extended to the campus, and both lines would share the new structure and terminate at Thurman/Hayes University (4)(4x)(7)(7x)(14)(14x)(CS)(AX).

With the new structure being nearly brand new, more design and decorative thought went into it and it is generally seen as more aesthetically pleasing than the older structure below, and renovations to the stations on the older platform have made them fit with the historical architecture of the neighboring campus . However, the two structures together still make up a 3-4 story wall of train structures- which most living in the area consider an eyesore.

Sketch of the Rail Wall
A sketch of the “Rail Wall” near the Hayes University campus. The multiple structures and levels are visible here.

A couple ideas have come in so far. One suggestion included murals of the Hayes University campus and the Hawks mascot and other artwork. Another was just to do cosmetic work to the structure and build a shell that fits the campus and neighborhood’s architecture better. A third one suggested plant walls on both sides of the tracks.

Whatever designs are chosen, the design will be split into two spaces with differing themes, one to reflect the Hayes University campus, and the other to reflect the Warrens Square neighborhood. QUARTA and QDOT will continue to take suggestions through the end of the year.

Franklin’s Supermarket announces closure of all international locations, but All-n-One locations will not be affected

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIA: Franklin’s LLC’s  CEO Kenn Franklin III announced today that the company will be shutting down all international locations of Franklin’s Supermarket, citing attempts to take the supermarket model international a near universal failure compared to the success of sister hypermarket All-n-One.

“Our All-n-One stores have been nearly universally successful, even competing against major mainstays in other countries, similar to how Mariana’s Gigante competes with All-n-One in Freedemia. And the All-n-One stores are still expanding. All-n-One has been a bigger success than we ever would have imagined when we experimented with the original All-mart back in 1983.”

“Franklin’s… hasn’t seen the same success. On any scale. The only country Franklin’s has been truly successful in is Freedemia. Several countries have had all locations shut down, and at this point we’re left with like two or three locations in Khaiwoon. It’s economically pointless to keep going down this path when it’s clear that the Franklin’s model has internationally been a giant failure.”

As of January 2018, all Franklin’s locations outside of Freedemia will be closed down, and no future locations will be opened outside of Freedemia.

All-n-One will continue to maintain all existing international locations and take opportunities to expand internationally, with part of the hope being that the Urban Market and Community Market formats may help reach areas that the Franklin’s model originally targeted (and failed to succeed in).

“We hope that as All-n-One’s smaller models like All-n-One Urban Market become more mainstream worldwide, that maybe we’ll see more success with All-n-One expanding to certain target areas than we have with Franklin’s.”

 

After a close election, President Rosenthal reelected Freedemian president by a landslide in runoff, Nelzer takes VP seat

QUENTINSBURGH- After what had proven to be a very close general election, President Angela Rosenthal officially keeps her place as the president of Freedemia through 2022 with an overwhelming win over former Tweetbook CEO Katherine Nelzer in the runoff election.

Rosenthal got a whopping 68.1% of the vote, over Katherine Nelzer’s 31.9%. These are numbers rarely seen in runoff elections between two popular candidates. In her last runoff against Tom Morganson, Rosenthal had only won 49.9% to 49.3%.

2018 Runoff Election (1)
The official results of the runoff election. Incumbent President (and President-Elect) Angela Rosenthal won with over 2/3rds of the vote, an overwhelming win. Nelzer got second place and will serve as Rosenthal’s new vice president come January.
2018InitialElection
Original general election results. Nelzer had barely edged out Rosenthal in the general, but lost by a landslide to her in the runoff. This is common in Freedemia- Rosenthal’s own election in 2014 saw her jumping from a 2nd place finish in the general to a 1st place finish and the presidency in the runoff.

Nelzer was happy with the results. “I highly respect President Rosenthal, and I greatly look forward to working with her. This was never about kicking her out of her office, it’s just about building on her amazing progress with fresh ideas to move Freedemia forward, and I believe I’ll be able to do that as your next vice president.”

Rosenthal’s reelection isn’t exactly surprising- she received the highest approval rating of any president in the nation’s history back in August 2015 with a 95% approval rating, and has consistently hovered around 80-90% approval through her term.

Due to Nelzer winning 2nd place, current Vice President Patrick Houser will serve one of the shortest vice presidencies in Freedemian history, having only gotten elected in very late 2015 to fill a vacant vice presidency seat. He is actually largely popular among Freedemians, with roughly a 79% approval rating, but wasn’t able to beat out the wave of popularity that pushed Nelzer forward during the campaign.

“I wasn’t able to make it into the top two. It’s disappointing, but I’m just glad I had a chance to serve. Besides, Nelzer shares a lot of the plans and ambitions I had to begin with, so I’m confident it will work out.” Houser also stated he plans to “eventually run for something” back in his home city Franklinsburgh.