The Washington Times - August 25, 2011, 07:53AM

The dedication ceremony Sunday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will take place regardless of forecasts for heavy rain and wind from Hurricane Irene, organizers say. “We invite everyone to join us throughout the week and on the Mall on Sunday — come rain or shine,” said memorial foundation President Harry E. Johnson Sr. However, earthquake damage to the National Building Museum forced the opening event, “Honoring Global Leaders for Peace,” to be held at the Washington Convention Center, The Washington Times reports.

The latest projections for Hurricane Irene has the storm near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva coast Saturday night, according to Irene is now on a path that could take it dangerously close to, if not over, the mid-Atlantic coastline and New York City on Sunday, posing a serious danger to millions of people. The weather firm is still “confident” Irene will strike the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Saturday evening as a strong Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane.


Aruba authorities have release photos of missing Frederick County woman Robyn Gardner and her traveling companion, Gary V. Giordano of Gaithersburg, who is being held in connection with the case. They are seen in the pictures leaving the Rum Reef Restaurant on the afternoon of Aug. 2, the day Ms. Gardner went missing, according to authorities on the island, The Washington Post reports.

The Washington area spent much of Wednesday cautiously evaluating the structural integrity of its homes, schools, office buildings, bridges, rail lines and tunnels. By the end of the day, it appeared that Tuesday’s earthquake shook nerves more severely than anything else. Still, significant damage was done to such landmarks as the Washington Monument and the Washington National Cathedral, according to The Washington Times.

Former Virginia Gov. George Allen, a Republican who is attempting to regain the U.S. Senate seat he lost to Sen. Jim Webb, was quick to oppose new Environmental Protection Agency smokestack standards for coal-burning power plants announcement last summer. Mr. Allen called them “backdoor tax hikes [that] have real economic impacts on Virginia families and businesses, destroying jobs and sending electricity rates soaring.” But as Mr. Allen advocates for the coal industry on the campaign trail, a financial disclosure form shows that as recently as last year, he was working as a consultant for a major coal company, reports Jim McElhatton of The Washington Times.

Just how deep Congress slashes the federal budget likely will determine whether Maryland legislators choose to pursue tax increases during next year’s General Assembly, Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, told David Hill of The Washington Times.

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh plans to introduce legislation next month that reduces the number of political appointees afforded the mayor, calls for proper screening of appointees and sheds light on their qualifications, according to The Washington Times.

A day after statewide primaries set the stage for the fall elections, Virginia Republican leaders touted their candidates and their party’s chances of retaking the state Senate and gaining unfettered control of state government for the first time in 10 years, reports David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.