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City State: Morning Roundup

- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2011

Organizers have set a new date in October to dedicate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial after Hurricane Irene forced them to postpone the event in August, days before 250,000 people were expected to attend.

The memorial's executive architect, Ed Jackson Jr., said Sunday it now will be dedicated Oct. 16 on the National Mall. A formal announcement is expected this week, according to the Associated Press. The dedication had been planned as the culmination of a week's worth of events on Aug. 28, the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. But when Hurricane Irene swept through Washington with high winds and rain, organizers agreed to an indefinite postponement because of safety concerns.

A competitor died Sunday while biking in the Nation's Triathlon. Race director Bill Burke said a 59-year-old Virginia man went into cardiac arrest Sunday morning between mile 4 and 5 of the bike course, the Associated Press reports. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead just after 9 a.m. Mr. Burke declined to release the man's name. Because of currents in the Potomac River, this year's event was not a triathlon, but a 24.8-mile bike ride followed by a 6.2-mile run. Mr. Burke said that in the past six years he has been race director for the event, no one had died. The victim reportedly asked for assistance before going into cardiac arrest.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said D.C. Council member Marion Barry's efforts to hold up $1.5 million in funding for a trouble-plagued juvenile detention center has delayed security upgrades by "more than a month." Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, is known for holding up contracts or the reprogramming of budgeted money through "disapproval resolutions." His most recent effort attempts to prevent the city from using capital dollars for "safety and security enhancements" at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center, according to The Washington Times.

Virginia's Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council is busy prepping final recommendations on how to set up a state health benefits exchange as mandated by President Obama's health care overhaul — even as the commonwealth remains locked in litigation over the constitutionality of the law. The council, made up of of state officials, lawmakers and stakeholders appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, on Friday approved a broad outline for recommendations that will be forwarded to Mr. McDonnell and the General Assembly ahead of an Oct. 1 deadline, according to The Washington Times.

The Prince George's County Administration Building remains closed, after flooding last week from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, authorities say. The building was closed Thursday and Friday when roughly 2 feet of water flooded its lower level, disabling electrical, telephone and computer service and elevator operations. The building is still without elevator service and air conditioning, The Washington Times reports.

D.C. police are investigating the shooting of a transgender person Monday, the third in a string of similar attacks in the District of Columbia this summer, according to The Washington Post. The shooting took place just before 2 a.m. in the 2300 block of Savannah Street SE, police said. The attack appears to be nonfatal; the victim was conscious when transported to the hospital. The two earlier attacks on transgender people — one of which was fatal — occurred one block and 11 days apart in Northeast, according to The Washington Post.

President Obama's new jobs plan has prompted the latest round of rhetorical combat between former Virginia Govs. George Allen, a Republican, and Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, as the two Senate candidates accused each other of promoting the wrong prescription for the ailing economy, according to The Washington Post.

Sulaimon Brown, the formal mayoral candidate at the center of a D.C. government hiring scandal, was arrested early this morning, accused of driving with a suspended license. Police sources told News4 he was pulled over shortly after 1 a.m. for a broken headlight. When officers ran his driver's license, they learned that it had been suspended. Mr. Brown was taken into custody and has since been released. The former mayoral candidate came into the spotlight amid claims that he was promised a $110,000 a year job in Mayor Vincent C. Gray's administration if he waged a negative campaign against Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. A special D.C. committee is investigating the allegations and the hiring practices of the Gray administration.

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