- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2009


New library opens in Northwest D.C.

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and other city officials on Monday opened a new library.

The Northwest One library on L Street Northwest near Union Station is part of a new campus that houses a public elementary school.

The 4,300-square-foot library will house 25,000 books, CDs and DVDs. Patrons will also be able to access free Wi-Fi.

Five new libraries have planned openings in 2010, according the system’s Web site.

Civic leader sends letter to Congress

A longtime neighborhood leader has sent a letter to every member of Congress saying they should oppose a proposed law that would allow same-sex marriage in the District.

Bob King sent the letters by fax Friday. He said he would meet with lawmakers and staff on Thursday.

Mr. King is part of a group called Stand4Marriage, which opposes the bill council members are expected to pass later this month. Because Congress has a chance to review the city’s laws, Mr. King has appealed the lawmakers.

His group wants residents to vote on same-sex marriage. The city’s board of elections, however, ruled that would violate a city human rights law. Stand4Marriage has since filed a lawsuit.



State outlines plan to help businesses

Gov. Martin O’Malley outlined plans Monday to help small businesses and increase jobs by expanding access to credit and providing businesses with incentives to hire the unemployed.

The governor discussed three initiatives he will bring before lawmakers in the upcoming session of the Maryland General Assembly, which begins in January.

Mr. O’Malley wants to simplify the loan-approval process for small businesses and expand access to credit by creating the Maryland Small Business Credit Recovery Program. Mr. O’Malley’s plan would offer a loan guarantee on small-business deals through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s current loan-guarantee program.

Under the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority Program, banks will be able to apply for up to a $50,000 guarantee, and a program will be developed to offer a 48-hour approval turnaround on loans needing up to a $250,000 guarantee, the O’Malley administration said.

The initiative could leverage up to $64 million in new private-sector lending for small businesses, the administration said.

The governor’s plan also would create a $3,000 tax credit for businesses for each unemployed worker hired. The initiative would last for one year and include a $20 million cap.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, also announced plans to introduce legislation to address a rate increase for small businesses to the Unemployment Trust Fund.


Boaters hurt by flying motor

Two boaters were hospitalized after their boat hit an underwater object, causing an outboard motor to break free and hit one man.

Maryland Natural Resources Police said Walter Ross, 52, of Havre de Grace, was piloting the 21-foot bass boat on the Susquehanna River on Sunday afternoon and was struck by the motor. Police said Willie Barrett, 44, was ejected.

After the accident, Mr. Ross was able to call for help using his cell phone.

Police said Mr. Barrett suffered serious injuries and was taken to the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, while Mr. Ross was taken to Bay View Hospital.



Bid to find missing student uses parades

An effort to find a Virginia Tech student who vanished after attending a Metallica concert is turning to holiday parades to publicize the search.

Police say Morgan Harrington, 20, of Roanoke, became separated from friends after she left the concert arena in Charlottesville on Oct. 17 and was denied re-entry.

A posting on FindMorgan.com says a “Let’s Bring Morgan Home for X-Mas” float will appear in Roanoke’s Christmas parade Friday. Floats appeared last week in parades in Vinton and Salem.

According to the posting, the floats were organized by the nonprofit Forgotten Victims. A Find Morgan banner will be carried in the parades by children from the group and fliers will be distributed.


Government jobs top workplace injuries

New numbers show more workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in Virginia from those in government jobs than in the private sector last year.

According to a Virginia Department of Labor and Industry report released Monday, 97,900 workers were injured or became ill on the job last year. That’s down from 104,200 in the previous year.

Of those, 4.9 of every 100 full-time workers in state and local government jobs reported an injury or illness, compared to 3.1 per 100 private employees.

The 38th annual survey of job-related injuries and illnesses was done in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor.

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