- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 14, 2009


500,000 expected at Lincoln Memorial

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said that Sunday’s star-studded inaugural celebration for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial is expected to draw about 500,000 people.

Turnout will be comparable to the city’s July 4th fireworks show, he said.

A large portion of downtown streets will have restricted access Sunday, including a roughly seven-block area stretching north from Constitution Avenue to K Street, and east from 23rd Street to 17th Street. Independence Avenue and a portion of the Rock Creek Parkway also will be closed.

Beyonce, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban and James Taylor are among the musicians scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon. HBO will televise the show at 7 p.m.

Cyrus, Jonas Bros. to perform for Obama

Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers are scheduled to perform in a concert honoring military families on the eve of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the talent lineup Tuesday for the “Kids’ Inaugural: We Are the Future” event. The concert, to be held at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, will air Monday night on the Disney Channel.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of the vice president-elect will host the concert with their families.

In a separate event, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and others will perform at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on Tuesday night after Mr. Obama has been sworn in as president. ABC will broadcast that event live from the Washington Convention Center.



O’Malley braces for lean budget

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, is preparing lawmakers for a lean budget and a tough legislative session.

The governor met with Democratic and Republican legislators Tuesday, a day before the General Assembly gathers for its annual 90-day session.

Maryland is facing a $1.9 billion budget deficit, and Mr. O’Malley has warned there will have to be many budget cuts to balance the state’s books.

Mr. O’Malley met with the Republican caucus. He said he is hoping for a lot of cooperation to deal with the tough fiscal times.

Republicans asked Maryland Budget Secretary T. Eloise Foster whether the state’s dire fiscal situation will require layoffs of state employees. She said it was too soon to say, and everything is on the table.


2 suspects die after police chase

Two men killed near Havre de Grace during a police chase had $18,000 worth of cocaine in their car, Maryland State Police say.

Charles Quinones, 37, of Baltimore, and Willie Robertson, 74, of Bel Air, were riding in Mr. Robertson’s car Tuesday morning on I-95. A state trooper tried to stop the men for speeding, but the two pretended to stop near Route 272 before fleeing.

The chase continued at speeds greater than 90 miles per hour before Mr. Quinones tried to get off I-95 at westbound Route 155. That’s when witnesses said he was passing cars on the right, lost control and crashed into trees.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. The cocaine was in the car’s trunk.


Senators back bill honoring Tubman

Maryland’s U.S. senators have helped introduce a bill that would establish two parks honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski joined New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton in introducing the legislation Tuesday. All four are Democrats.

One park would be located on tracts in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The other would be in Auburn, N.Y., where Tubman lived after escaping slavery.

Tubman was born in Dorchester County, where she spent nearly 30 years as a slave before escaping in 1849. She later returned and led hundreds of slaves to freedom for more than 10 years as part of the slavery resistance network known as the Underground Railroad.



U.S. grants to fund low-income housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved more than $5.5 million in grants to build low-income housing in three Virginia localities.

The grants will provide developers interest-free capital advances to build housing and provide rental assistance for clients who are elderly or have disabilities, the department said Tuesday.

A $5 million grant is for construction of 48 one-bedroom apartments for low-income elderly residents in Christiansburg, HUD said. Funds also will be used to construct a home in Rocky Mount and one in Stafford County that will each house six people with disabilities.


Environmentalists oppose drilling

Environmental groups are calling on the U.S. Department of the Interior to keep Virginia’s coast free of offshore oil and gas drilling.

In a letter to the Minerals Management Service, the Southern Environmental Law Center says the drilling poses “substantial risk” to the environment and coast communities. Three other environmental groups also took a stand against drilling.

The concerns were offered as part of a public comment period that ended Tuesday.

President-elect Barack Obama has said he would support limited expansion of offshore oil and natural gas development. The proposed drilling would occur 50 miles from shore in an area equal to approximately 3 million acres.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


Twenty-two face illegal-alien charges

Twenty-two people are charged in a conspiracy to supply Norfolk-area hotels and restaurants with illegal immigrant labor.

The indictment was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Most of the suspects were promptly arrested and made their initial court appearances. They are being held pending bond hearings Friday.

The suspects are mostly Eastern and Central European nationals, some of whom were granted asylum under false pretenses and some of whom entered into fraudulent marriages to gain citizenship, the indictment says.

The case involves 10 companies that supplied housekeeping and janitorial workers to hotels in southeastern Virginia and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.


Va. state trooper shoots, kills man

A Virginia state trooper fatally shot a Patrick County man who drove a car toward officers and struck two police cars Monday night.

The shooting occurred as the trooper and three Floyd County sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call at a home near Check, state police Sgt. Rob Carpentieri said Tuesday. He said the home belongs to the man’s mother and stepfather.

The trooper shot Vincent James Lumia III, 33, after the suspect drove his car toward approaching deputies and hit the police cars, Sgt. Carpentieri said in a statement.

The trooper, whose identity was not released, is a 27-year state police veteran. He was placed on leave.

No charges have been filed, and a spokeswoman said the Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office was investigating.

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