The Washington Times - November 14, 2011, 08:01AM

The Washington National Cathedral reopened Sunday with the first public service since an earthquake in August did millions of dollars in damage to the soaring Northwest church. “Thank you for your patience and support,” the Rev. Canon Jan Cope, the cathedral vicar, said before the audience erupted in cheers. “This has been quite an extraordinary pilgrimage. There are lessons all around about opportunity.” The service marked the second event at the cathedral over the weekend and began a weeklong series of events to celebrate the reopening, including concerts and an interfaith day of prayer on Tuesday, reports Meredith Somers of The Washington Times.

The U.S. Park Police now have an arrest warrant in connection with shots fired over the weekend near the White House. The warrant is for 21-year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega, who was originally identified as a person of interest after shots were apparently fired at about 9:30 p.m. Friday in the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue Northwest. Sgt. David Schlosser says the warrant charges Mr. Ortega with carrying a dangerous weapon, a felony. Investigators were led to Mr. Ortega shortly after the incident after examining evidence found in a vehicle abandon about seven blocks west of the incident, near the base of the Theodore Roosevelt, according to The Times.


An unknown assailant fired three gunshots into a Metro bus at a stop near Fort Dupont Park in Southeast Washington at about dawn Sunday morning, wounding a Prince George’s County man in the left hand and right arm, transit authorities said. The victim was taken from the scene at 37th Street near Ely Place to Prince George’s County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. The shooter escaped, according to The Washington Post.

Justin Timberlake made good on a promise to escort a Quantico corporal to her Marine Corps Ball in Richmond Saturday night. Kelsey De Santis, a martial-arts trainer, issued a sassy YouTube invitation to Timberlake in July after his “Friends with Benefits” co-star Mila Kunis agreed to a similar date with an Afghanistan-based Marine, triggering a spate of copycat celeb invites, The Post reports.

The Prince George’s County Council is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a zoning bill that could effectively ban slots. The bill has stirred up debate over traffic, community impact, morals and the county’s need to raise money. As Prince George’s leaders try to redefine the county’s identity and invigorate its economy, they are divided over whether bringing slots and perhaps other casino gambling to Rosecroft horse track will help their efforts or hinder the county’s progress, The Post reports.

One of the less obvious consequences of Virginia’s legislative elections last week was the further dwindling of an increasingly rare breed of Virginia politician: the rural Democrat. Crippled by demographics and politics, the once dominant force in Virginia politics has evaporated in recent decades as the party’s foothold has shifted to urban areas and suburbs, with Republicans assuming control of nearly all remaining swaths of rural territory, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

It will be three years before ballots are cast in Maryland’s next election for governor, but half a dozen potential candidates are already asking donors for cash. At one of the latest fundraising events, Democratic Howard County Executive Ken Ulman was the main attraction and guests paid up to $1,000 each to attend the party. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, all Democrats, have held events in recent months. They are widely regarded as possible candidates for governor, though none has said publicly he wants to succeed Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is prevented by law from seeking a third term, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell told GOP delegates Saturday that he’s considering a challenge to Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat. O’Donnell said that he’ll make his final decision within weeks and plans to continue his in his role of House Minority Leader if he decides to run. Hoyer represents Maryland’s fifth congressional district, which includes southern Maryland. The district was largely unchanged in October when maps were redrawn and remains heavily Democratic. But O’Donnell thinks the poor economy mixed with voter anger will allow him an opening, according to the Sun.