- The Washington Times - Friday, December 5, 2008


Newseum to open for inaugural viewing

The Newseum plans to offer visitors attending the presidential inauguration a warm viewing spot along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route.

Newseum spokeswoman Susan Bennett said officials approved plans Thursday to open the museum from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Inauguration Day. Several balconies inside the building have prime views of Pennsylvania Avenue. Outdoor balconies with views of the Capitol have been reserved by the TV networks.

The museum about news had planned to remain closed until 3 p.m. because of security restrictions. The Secret Service has now agreed to allow the museum to open for the morning festivities, Ms. Bennett said. President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in will be shown live on the Newseum’s giant-screen television.

The Newseum already has sold 9,000 tickets for tours the day before on the Martin Luther King holiday.



Teen indicted in classmate’s slaying

A Baltimore boy, 14, has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of a middle school classmate, prosecutors said.

Timothy Oxendine had an ongoing dispute with the victim, Markel Williams, 15, court documents show.

Markel was stabbed several times outside William H. Lemmel Middle School on Nov. 21. He died at a nearby hospital.

It was the city’s first killing on school grounds during school hours since 2001.

Mr. Oxendine has been charged as an adult, but his attorney can ask that the case be referred to juvenile court. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 23.

Patrick Todd Williams, Mr. Oxendine’s attorney, has said that his client felt threatened by the victim.


Enrollment off 5% at Catholic schools

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is reporting a 5 percent drop in enrollment in Catholic schools.

The decrease equals about 1,200 students, the number that would fill four schools, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien said. He has scheduled an education summit for next month with priests, school principals and others to work on solutions.

Archbishop O’Brien said something probably will have to be done to reconfigure or merge schools, but he said the standard of education will not be compromised.

Catholic schools are facing higher costs, he said, adding that he hopes state lawmakers will approve tax breaks to businesses that give scholarships to private schools.



Food banks need help from state

Virginia’s food banks are struggling to feed people in a weak economy, and they’re turning to the state for help.

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks plans to ask the General Assembly to allocate $1 million for an emergency food-purchase program. The program would be shared by the state’s seven food banks.

Demand for food is up while donations are down, Federation Executive Director Leslie Van Horn said.

At least 26 other states provide funding to food banks, she said.

Food bank officials understand that Virginia is having budget problems, she said, but noted that her group is trying to provide a bare necessity and state funding would help.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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