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American Scene

- - Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Chancellor Rhee to wed Sept. 4

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will get married in a ceremony in California Sept. 4, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The paper reported Tuesday that invitations say that the wedding will begin at 4 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sacramento. A party afterward is at the estate of developer and longtime Johnson supporter Angelo K. Tsakopoulos.

The Bee said the invitations came in a box wrapped with a silver bow. The package includes directions to the Tsakopoulos estate, though the developer's name is misspelled.

According to California law, there is no cap on the value of wedding gifts given to politicians, but Mr. Johnson will have to report any gift valued at more than $50.

LOUISIANA

Teens drown during family outing

SHREVEPORT | Seven teenagers from two families were splashing around in the shallow waters of the Red River when one of them stepped off a slippery ledge and plummeted into much deeper water. The others tried to save the boy even though none of them could swim, but they too were swallowed by the water some 20 to 30 feet deep.

Their relatives, who couldn't swim either, looked on helplessly as six struggling teens screamed for help, then vanished and drowned on Monday afternoon.

DeKendrix Warner, the 15-year-old who was the first to fall in, was rescued by a bystander.

The large group of family and friends had gathered for an afternoon of swimming and barbecuing in the oppressive heat. The group had been at the river for about 10 minutes when tragedy struck.

Those who drowned were identified as the Warners: 13-year-old Takeitha and her elder brothers, 14-year-old JaMarcus and 17-year-old JaTavious. The others were the Stewarts: 18-year-old Litrelle, 17-year-old LaDairus and 15-year-old Latevin.

MARYLAND

Claims of more sniper victims probed

Montgomery County police are investigating claims made by convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo that he and his partner had additional victims across the country.

In a TV interview last week, psychiatrist Neil Blumberg said Malvo told him he had participated in at least 42 shootings. County police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said Tuesday that authorities were aware of only 27 shootings attributable to Malvo and fellow shooter John Allen Muhammad.

Ms. Baur said county police have been the lead agency in the sniper investigations and feel they have a responsibility to look into the truth of Malvo's claims. She said they plan to speak with Dr. Blumberg and interview Malvo in the next several weeks.

Ms. Baur said there are no open cases related to Malvo in the county.

MISSOURI

Driver arrested in ATM heist

ST. LOUIS | Officers canvassing the area where gunmen robbed an ATM-servicing company of containers full of cash spotted a car thought to have been used in the heist and arrested its driver after a brief chase through downtown St. Louis, a police official said Tuesday.

The officers spotted the Dodge Charger in midtown St. Louis and began following it, prompting the driver to try to flee, police spokeswoman Katie O'Sullivan said. The driver crashed after a short chase and tried to flee on foot before he was captured, she said.

Ms. O'Sullivan declined to identify the driver and said it is too early to call him a suspect. He was being treated for injuries at a hospital, and had not been charged as of Tuesday afternoon, she said.

PENNSYLVANIA

Eyesore owners ID'd on Web

READING | Property owners neglecting their homes in one eastern Pennsylvania city are getting an online shaming.

Reading Mayor Tom McMahon on Monday announced a new online "Wall of Shame" featuring blighted properties.

Mr. McMahon said the property owners' names will be posted along with pictures and addresses. He said he's serving notice to property owners who fail to take action on eyesore properties.

Ten properties are facing designation as blighted, which could lead to their razing. Fifty other properties are listed on the site, and Mr. McMahon said they're being targeted for blighted status by the city.

From wire dispatches and staff reports