The Washington Times - May 26, 2011, 12:18PM

The D.C. Council passed a $10.8 billion budget. Gone is Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s hike in the income tax for wealthy earners and a tax on live theater, but included is an historically unpopular proposal to impose a tax on out-of-state bonds. Increases to parking garage tax, alcohol tax stay. Mayor Gray is disappointed, but he says he will sign it. Tom Howell Jr. at The Washington Times tells us all about it (Note: Make sure to read far enough to catch Vincent B. Orange’s favor-trading. We sure missed the Emancipation Day parade).

A D.C. Superior Court judge says Sulaimon Brown must be served in person, The Washington Post reports. At a Wednesday hearing, a judge said Brown appears accessible, noting how freely he talks to reporters.Of particular interest, David Zvenyach, the council’s general counsel, told The Post that Cherita Whiting is cooperating and is scheduled to appear June 6.

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A D.C. Council subcommittee has released a draft plan for redistricting, Tom Howell Jr. writes in The Washington Times. The plan significantly shifts part of the western border of Ward 7 from the Anacostia River into the eastern frontier of Ward 6. The cut-out keeps Eastern High School and Eliot Hine Middle School in Ward 6, satisfying a main point of contention in the “Hill East.”

A Prince William County Court has order the University of Virginia to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request and hand over thousands of pages of documents related to the work of former professor Michael Mann. Mr. Mann had been involved in a leaked email exchange with colleagues that climate-change skeptics claimed showed scientific misconduct. We’ll bet you’re asking yourself what Virginia Attorney General and global warming skeptic Kenneth T. Cuccinelli has to say about all this. Read it here in The Washington Times.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says the state should drop its gas tax over long holiday weekends as a way to boost the state economy and give local drivers a break, WTOP reports. “It would lose us $2 million a day — that’s $6 million for three days. But I think it would be a big boost for the state’s economy and most of all, it would just give our citizens a break (from high gas prices),” Mr. Franchot says.

The head of the Montgomery County firefighters union is facing four drunken-driving-related charges and six traffic citations after police found him driving the wrong way down a divided highway at midnight, the Washington Examiner reports. John J. Sparks, 59, of Mount Airy, was weaving down the wrong side of Route 40 in Ellicott City and nearly swerved into the median before a Howard County police officer pulled him over on April 18.