- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2009



Candidates debate over debates

First, Republican Robert F. McDonnell challenged his Democratic foe in the governor’s race, R. Creigh Deeds, to 10 debates.

Three weeks later, on Tuesday, Mr. Deeds presented a list of 10 debates and forums he finds acceptable.

Now Mr. McDonnell says he doesn’t like Mr. Deeds’ proposals.

Thus goes the quadrennial gubernatorial-race debate over debates.

Two debates are already set.

The first is Saturday before the Virginia Bar Association at the Homestead resort in Bath County, where Mr. Deeds lives. On Sept. 17, they will debate before the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

Six of Mr. Deeds’ proposals are forums where the candidates would discuss issues but not thrust and parry questions as they do in debates.

Mr. McDonnell said he wants 10 debates independent from the forums.


Kaine made 14 trips, records show

Gov. Tim Kaine took 14 trips on Democratic National Committee business in the first six months of 2009, information from the state police shows.

The disclosure was in response to a request by the Associated Press under Virginia’s Freedom of Information law.

It came about the same time Mr. Kaine’s office released an itinerary of travel from January through last weekend showing 139 destinations outside greater Richmond.

Mr. Kaine’s list, reflecting stops as exotic as Casablanca and as familiar as Fairfax, did not distinguish between travel on state business or DNC work.

The state police prepared its summary based on travel receipts the governor’s protective detail submitted to allow the Democratic Party to reimburse the state for $7,515 in security costs.


Police identify shooting victim

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday identified a 19-year-old man who was fatally shot at a house party in Sterling.

Police said Bryan Vidarte of Centreville was shot Sunday morning. Guillermo Alvarado, 20, of Berryville, and Rasheed Nurse, 26, of Herndon, have been charged with second-degree murder in his death.

They were charged Sunday morning after Mr. Alvarado got into an argument with Mr. Vidarte at the party.

Police said the dispute spilled outside and Mr. Nurse pulled a gun before Mr. Vidarte was shot in the Lowes Island community.



School board backs rebel-flag decision

The Allegany County school board upheld the superintendent’s decision blocking distribution to students of a brochure that purports to explain the history of the Confederate battle flag.

In a written decision released Tuesday, the board ruled that the superintendent’s decision last spring barring a local group from distributing the pamphlets to eighth-graders was neither illegal, arbitrary nor unreasonable.

The brochures were printed by the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, which decorates Confederate soldiers’ graves as part of its mission.

The brochure makes no mention of the banner’s use as a symbol of racial intimidation.


Internist on trial on drug charges

The trial of a Bethesda physician facing drug-possession charges began Tuesday, months after a raid in which police said they found the doctor in a dazed state with fresh needle marks on his arms.

Police said they found cocaine, powdered Ritalin and a meth pipe in an April raid on the home office of internist Dr. Eric Greenberg, who is charged in Montgomery County District Court with drug possession. He faces a second trial next month on charges he assaulted officers on a separate occasion.


NORAD to conduct exercise over D.C.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct a one-day exercise in the D.C. area.

The exercise, called Falcon Virgo 09-10, will be conducted beginning early Wednesday.

The exercise will include training flights conducted in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and others.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft and Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters also will take part in the exercise.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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