Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight
The National Capitol Holiday Tree will be lighted tonight on the front lawn of the Capitol in a ceremony starting at 5. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will flip the switch to give power to more than 10,000 lights on the red spruce.
A 40-foot Colorado blue spruce that grows on the Ellipse in front of the White House and is referred to as the National Christmas Tree was lighted Dec. 2. The red spruce is this year's "people's tree," which is cut each year in a national forest. For the first time, the tree hails from Virginia.
The spruce, from a corner of forest in Highland County, was trimmed back to 65 feet from 82 feet. It was hauled out of the woods by helicopter, then bundled and strapped to a flatbed truck before traveling to 33 towns and communities in the state.
All that time, its trunk was encased in a water-filled rubber bladder to keep the tree fresh. It arrived in the District on Nov. 29 and will glow each night from sundown until 11 through Jan. 1.
Cheetah Euthanized at National Zoo
The National Zoo euthanized a 10-year-old male cheetah yesterday that was suffering from chronic kidney failure and wasn't responding to medical treatment.
The cheetah's deteriorating condition was reported last week by zoo officials. The animal, Amadi, fathered four cubs born at the zoo last month, the first cheetah cubs born at the zoo in its 115-year history.
Cheetahs are the world's fastest land mammals. The zoo has nine cheetahs: one male, four females and the four cubs, who are not yet on exhibit and whose genders have not been determined.
$10 Bet Might Have Led to Stabbing
Authorities arrested a 36-year-old District man last night and charged him in the stabbing Tuesday of a co-worker at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allegedly in a dispute that officials said started over a $10 bet on a football game.
William T. Bell surrendered to investigators and was charged with aggravated assault while armed in the stabbing of a custodial worker, said Dean Hunter, deputy regional director for the Federal Protective Service. Both men were contract employees.
They argued over a wager on a Monday Night Football game while in the USDA's south building, at 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, officials said.
Man Shot in Car in Southeast Identified
D.C. police yesterday identified the 60-year-old man who was fatally shot Tuesday inside his parked car in Southeast Washington as Edgar White.
White was in the driver's seat of his white Toyota about 11:50 a.m. in the 2400 block of Wagner Street SE when he was shot twice, police said. White, who lived in that block, was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.