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City State: Morning Roundup

- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2011

Battle over Ten Commandments in Virginia reaches federal court; Giordano to be released from Aruba prison; Caps fire Boudreau; O'Malley, McDonnell take business battle offshore; Elderly shoppers attacked in Montgomery County; Harris has Democrat challenger in 1st District; Arlington County considers eminent domain at Courthouse Plaza.

A long-simmering battle in Virginia over the separation of church and state heads to federal court Monday, with a southwestern county school board fighting for the right to display the Ten Commandments in a public high school. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke will hear arguments in the Giles County School Board's motion to dismiss a complaint brought by a high school student and the student's parent arguing that the biblical display violates the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights under the Constitution, reports David Shefinski of The Washington Times.

A Gaithersburg man is scheduled to be released from an Aruba prison Tuesday after being held for nearly four months in the disappearance of a female travel companion. Gary Giordano, 50, was ordered released after prosecutors failed to persuade a judge Friday that he should be detained an additional 30 days as they continue to investigate the presumed death of Robyn Gardner, 35, of Frederick, Md. Mr. Giordano has been held since Aug. 5, but no criminal charges have been filed, The Times reports.

The Washington Capitals have fired head coach Bruce Boudreau and have hired Dale Hunter to replace him, according to NBC-4 TV. Hunter, 51, becomes the 15th coach in Washington Capitals history and will make his debut behind the bench Tuesday as the Capitals host the St. Louis Blues at the Verizon Center. Hunter helped the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League win their first Memorial Cup Championship in 2004-05 and is the fastest head coach in OHL history to record 300 and 400 career wins. The Capitals started the season with a franchise-record winning streak, then went into a multigame slide that include some embarrassing, lopsided losses.

The spirited competition between Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to bring jobs and businesses to their respective states has moved offshore. The governors most recently have turned their attention to India, whose fast-growing economy ranks as the ninth largest in the world. Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, returned last week from an 11-day trade mission that included a visit to the nation of 1.2 billion people, and Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, left Friday for his own six-day trip to the country, reports David Hill of The Times.

Montgomery County police are investigating a kidnapping and robbery of an elderly man that occurred Sunday in Wheaton and was reported to police at about 3:13 p.m. Robbery detectives continue to investigate two similar crimes that occurred in Wheaton — on Nov. 23 and Nov. 26. The police think the three kidnappings were committed by the same suspect. The preliminary investigation revealed that at about 1:50 p.m. Sunday, at the Target department store at the Westfield Wheaton Shopping Mall, 11160 Veirs Mill Road, a 77-year-old man was entering his vehicle. He was approached by an unknown male suspect armed with a box cutter, who ordered him to get into his own vehicle.

Investigators think the suspect drove the victim to unknown locations, possibly attempting to withdraw cash from the victim's bank accounts. Detectives are still investigating this scenario. The suspect eventually drove to a location in the 3500 block of East-West Highway in Hyattsville, where he fled on foot, The Times reports.

Eastern Shore Democrat Wendy Rosen expects to transcend political labels in the 2012 election and unseat Republican Rep. Andy Harris with her message of small-business support being the mechanism to revive the nation's economy. Ms. Rosen filed last week with the State Board of Elections to run for Maryland's 1st Congressional District seat. She is the first to officially file for the seat representing all of Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties, reports the Star Democrat of Easton.

A Courthouse Plaza office building that Arlington County officials have been eyeing for years is on the market, and county officials say that if they can't agree with its owners on a price, they'll consider seizing the building under eminent domain. Eminent domain, the government practice of seizing private property for public uses such as schools or roads, is a rarely used tactic for the county, officials say. But the county is willing to use it if officials can't reach an agreement with the owners of the seven-story office building at 2020 14th St. N., which the county wants to use as a homeless shelter, according to the Washington Examiner.

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