- - Monday, August 23, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Jackson hearing set for next year

LOS ANGELES | A preliminary hearing where prosecutors will lay out some of the evidence against a doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death will begin Jan. 4 in Los Angeles, a judge said Monday.

The hearing had been expected to begin later this year, but was pushed back owing to issues involving witness availability and the ongoing investigation, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said.

After the hearing, which is expected to last at least two weeks, Judge Pastor will determine whether enough evidence exists to order cardiologist Conrad Murray to stand trial.

Dr. Murray, 57, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson in June 2009 at the age of 50. Authorities have accused Dr. Murray of administering a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol to Jackson in the bedroom of the singer’s rented mansion.

MARYLAND

Obama Elementary opens school year

UPPER MARLBORO | Classes are in session at the new Barack Obama Elementary School in Prince George’s County.

As of the first day of classes Monday, it became the latest of at least six schools across the country named for the president and the first in the Washington area. The Prince George’s school system is touting the new building as an environmentally friendly “green” school.

Voters in majority-black Prince George’s County supported Mr. Obama by wide margins in the 2008 election.

Corey Armstrong of Upper Marlboro says it’s an honor for his two children to attend a school named for the president, though he says he’s worried about larger class sizes, though, because of teacher cutbacks in the county.

MINNESOTA

Victims settle last bridge lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS | An engineering firm that consulted on the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed in 2007 has agreed to pay $52.4 million to settle the last major piece of litigation brought by victims, lawyers said Monday.

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