- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2009


Joel-John tickets to be rereleased

Concert planners are trying to make up for technical glitches that prevented many fans from purchasing tickets last weekend for a show featuring Billy Joel and Elton John at Nationals Park.

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On Thursday, the Washington Nationals organization announced it will release additional seats for the July 11 concert on Monday at 10 a.m. through www.tickets.com.

Ticket prices for the show range from about $57 to $182. Officials said they expect the ballpark to hold more than 40,000 people for the concert.

This will be the first concert at Nationals Park, and Nationals officials said they hope to make it a prime summer concert venue. The show is part of the artists’ “Face 2 Face” tour.

Man charged in teen boy’s killing

D.C. police have arrested a man in the shooting death of a teenager.

Police arrested Ransom J.H. Perry Jr., 18, on Wednesday in the death of Arthur Daniels, 14, in Northeast on Saturday night. Mr. Perry has been charged with first-degree murder.

Arthur was shot while walking with his church youth group in the 4100 block of Minnesota Avenue, officials said.

His parents said he was an honor roll student and played the bongo drums at church.

Michelle Obama serves lunch at soup kitchen

The mystery server at lunch was … Michelle Obama.

The first lady spent part of her lunch hour Thursday scooping mushroom risotto for homeless men and women at a soup kitchen a few blocks from the White House.

Her presence was a surprise for the people there for lunch.

The fruit salad was made with donations of food from White House workers.

The first lady said that times are tough and that plenty of people need a helping hand. If someone cannot donate food or money, they should donate time, she said.



Utility asked to support late payment plans

A Maryland office representing residential utility customers has asked the state public service commission to support payment plans for customers behind on their bills.

The Office of the People’s Counsel told the commission on Wednesday that banning utilities from terminating the service of those failing to pay their bills isn’t the best option.

“A moratorium is just pushing into the future handling of a problem that exists today,” People’s Counsel Paula Carmody said. “Whether it’s May or June or July, that bill may have been paid partially, it may not have been paid at all.”

But Public Service Commission Chairman Douglas Nazarian disagreed, saying utilities can stop service more easily after March 31 than during the winter.

“So 27 days from now, when your clients start getting terminated, you’re going to be OK with that?” he said. “I was hoping to hear constructive, aggressive solutions.”


Mayor vetoes wind turbine bill

Ocean City’s mayor has vetoed an ordinance allowing electricity generating wind turbines on residential or commercial land.

Mayor Rick Meehan said he wants to see the law rewritten with fewer restrictive zoning requirements.

He said he was opposed to the mayor and Town Council’s having the final say, instead of zoning officials. He also didn’t like that windmills had to be installed a certain distance from property lines based on height.

Mr. Meehan will ask the Town Council to consider a new ordinance that would allow turbines in all zoning areas but leaves setback restrictions up to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The mayor and Town Council would still need to give final approval.



Taubman museum cuts staff 18 percent

The Taubman Museum of Art has reduced its staff by 18 percent due to a drop in donations and lower than expected attendance.

Five of the Roanoke museum’s 33 full-time employees were laid off Tuesday, External Affairs Director Kimberly Templeton said. One full-time worker will go on contract status.

The board decided at a special meeting Tuesday to reduce staff because of the weak economy, board President John Williamson said. Attendance is running below expectations and giving is down, he said.

The staff cuts and other adjustments would save about $370,000 annually, Mr. Williamson said. He said there is no plan to cut services or programs.

The $66 million museum opened in November.


Man pleads guilty in I-64 shootings

An Afton man has pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges in a series of shootings along Interstate 64 that injured two people.

Slade Allen Woodson admitted Wednesday in Albermarle County Circuit Court that he fired a .22-caliber rifle at cars, houses, utility equipment and a deer in March 2008.

The shootings occurred in the Charlottesville area.

The felonies include malicious wounding, shooting from a motor vehicle and maliciously shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Woodson, 20, faces up to 150 years in prison on all the charges. Sentencing is set for June 23.

In November, Woodson was sentenced in Waynesboro to two years in prison for interstate shootings there.

A co-defendant, Brandon Dawson, 17, was sentenced in July to a 180-day intensive juvenile program.


Jury to decide suit over fatal dog mauling

The family of a Spotsylvania County grandmother who was fatally mauled by a neighbor’s pit bulls in 2005 is seeking $5 million in a civil suit.

A Circuit Court jury was to begin deliberations on Thursday in the claim brought by Dorothy Sullivan’s children. They argue that the Spotsylvania animal control officers are at least partly to blame for her death because they had been told of the threat of the neighbor’s roaming pit bulls.

Attorneys for the animal control officers said they did respond to Mrs. Sullivan’s calls.

The deaths of Mrs. Sullivan, 82, and her small dog resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of the pit bulls’ owners and Virginia laws regulating dangerous dogs.


New arts center on tap at Liberty

Liberty University is adding a 700-seat performing arts center to its Lynchburg campus.

Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said the center will be carved out of an existing warehouse on the school’s north campus. He estimates the cost at $2 million to $3 million.

Mr. Falwell said he hopes to raise enough money to start renovations this year. The theater would be ready for use sometime between spring and fall of 2010.

The theater will include an intricate system of ropes and pulleys capable of moving large-scale sets and backdrops.

Mr. Falwell announced the arts center on Wednesday, one day after the board of trustees gave the green light.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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