- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kaine, Allen spar in first debate; Police arrest 62 as Occupy hits K Street; Man wearing Spider-Man mask robs P.G. bank; Report: D.C. has wide achievement gap; Franchot: Shop stores over Web; Arrest made in teen stabbing; McDonnell: K-12 funding will increase.

Tim Kaine accused George Allen in their first debate Wednesday of employing divisive and “bullying” rhetoric against his opponents in the sharpest jab of a caustic first debate between the candidates for U.S. Senate from Virginia. “We are accountable, of course, for what we say in public life,” said Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, referring to an incident in Mr. Allen’s re-election bid in 2006 when he referred to a Democratic campaign tracker as “macaca,” according to David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.

A massive protest Wednesday along the K Street lobbying corridor in Washington resulted in 62 arrests, closing busy downtown streets and marking the second such mass arrest in the city in four days. The protests, which were part of a five-day movement bringing people from across the country to rally against corporate and government greed, also appeared to mark a shift toward a more combative stance by protesters. And three Occupy D.C. protesters are now planning to begin a hunger strike Thursday until Washington gives the District of Columbia full voting representation in Congress and full control over its local budget and laws, according to The Times and the Associated Press.

A man wearing a Spider-Man mask and sweater robbed a Prince George’s County bank on Wednesday, police say. The suspect walked into a BB&T branch in Fort Washington around 3:15 p.m., police say, and tried to access the back part of the bank, which was locked. The suspect then approached a teller window, passed a note and demanded money while displaying a handgun. Police say the teller handed the man an undisclosed amount of money and the suspect left the bank, according to AP.


While students in other large urban school districts have made significant progress on standardized reading and math tests in recent years, achievement gaps between black and white students remain stubbornly high, with the most lopsided disparities of all coming in the nation’s capital. According to a new report released Wednesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the District of Columbia has the biggest black-white and Hispanic-white gaps in the country by every measure the study made, The Times reports.

More consumers are doing their holiday shopping online, but don’t expect Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot to join them any time soon. Mr. Franchot, a Democrat, said Wednesday that he thinks out-of-state Web retailers are taking business from local entrepreneurs who “desperately need” to make money during the holidays. Some national online retailers also have been a thorn in the side of state tax collectors, who say they lose millions in revenue each year to websites that fail or refuse to collect sales tax on the state’s behalf, The Times reports.

Montgomery County police say they have made an arrest in the stabbing of a teenage girl outside a high school in Silver Spring. Police say a 17-year-old girl was charged as an adult with attempted homicide, assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon on school property. The girl turned herself in to authorities. The incident occurred Tuesday night in the Northwood High School parking lot. The 17-year-old victim received several, non-life-threatening stab wounds to her lower torso. Authorities say the stabbing occurred during a fight, according to AP.

Funding for K-12 public education in Virginia will go up in the next state budget, Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday. “But it might not go up as much as people want,” Mr. McDonnell he cautioned. The governor’s remarks followed a panel on K-12 education ahead of the 2012 General Assembly session. Despite recent growth in revenue forecasts, Virginia faces tough times in funding education. The state spent the same amount on education last year as it did in 2007, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.