A Metro in Brief item in some June 17 editions incorrectly said that the president of Catholic University, the Rev. David M. O'Connell, rejected an application for an NAACP chapter at the school. The university's Division of Student Life made the decision, officials said. (Published 6/18/04)
Group Wants Zoo to Refashion Kids' Farm
Compassion Over Killing, a D.C.-based animal rights group, has asked the National Zoo to modify its new Kids' Farm exhibit to inform visitors more accurately about commercial farming and the source of food.
"In the United States, 98 to 99 percent of farmed birds live in intensive confinement systems that bear little resemblance to Kids' Farm," Paul Shapiro, the group's campaign director, wrote zoo Director Lucy H. Spelman this week.
Shapiro said some of the exhibit's graphics misinform the public about the treatment of chickens and ducks on commercial farms, where such animals often do not have access to outdoor yards or ponds. He said the exhibit should include mock-ups or photographs of actual commercial farms, or focus on plant-based agriculture and "heart-healthy fruits and vegetables."
Zoo spokeswoman Peper Long said Kids' Farm "is not an exhibit about the industrial farming business" but rather an effort to provide young children with an introduction to animal care and the basics of where some food might come from.
Catholic U. to Reconsider NAACP Chapter
The president of Catholic University said yesterday that he will re-evaluate his decision to bar an NAACP chapter on campus, but not until students return in the fall for more discussions.
The Rev. David M. O'Connell met on campus yesterday with Kweisi Mfume, president and chief executive of the NAACP. He reiterated his concerns about overlapping student organizations and the NAACP's support of abortion rights, according to participants in the meeting.
Mfume, who has called the NAACP ban discriminatory, threatened legal action if O'Connell does not reverse his decision. Mfume said an NAACP chapter would not engage in any activities contrary to the school's mission.
William Jawando, 21, a student who spent the school year trying to organize the chapter, said NAACP supporters do not want further delays and are planning 90 days of "picketing and protest" to oppose the ban.
Voucher Program Picks Grant Recipients
The group running the District's new school voucher program, which provides federal funding for low-income families to send their children to private schools, held a lottery yesterday to determine which students would receive the grants.
Using computer software, the Washington Scholarship Fund selected 1,249 students to receive the vouchers of up to $7,500 in tuition and expenses. The students were chosen out of 1,725 eligible applicants.
Of those selected, 1,049 attend public schools or are about to enter kindergarten. The remaining 200 attend private schools.
Parents of all of the students in the lottery should receive phone calls today to inform them of the results, according to the scholarship fund.
The fund received 2,610 applications for the grants, but some families failed to meet income requirements or fill out all of the paperwork.
Investigation Widens Into Brazil's Conduct
The Office of Campaign Finance said yesterday it has initiated a full investigation into whether D.C. Council member Harold Brazil (D-At Large) violated city laws or personnel regulations by having members of his council staff do work for his private law practice.
Kathy S. Williams, general counsel for the Office of Campaign Finance, said the agency has decided to move beyond the internal inquiry it had been conducting for nearly two weeks to determine whether a broader investigation was necessary.
The Washington Post reported June 3 that Brazil, who runs his own personal-injury law firm, has used two lawyers on his council staff three times in the last several years to fill in for him in court and prepare documents for cases. The two attorneys said they used leave or vacation time whenever they did outside legal work for the council member. One of them said he was not paid for the work, and the other said she might have been but was uncertain.
Darden Copeland, campaign manager for Brazil, who is seeking reelection this year, said, "We will continue to comply with the investigation."
Conjoined Twins Born at U-Md. Hospital
Conjoined twins were born at the University of Maryland Medical Center on Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
No other details are being released at the request of the family, hospital spokeswoman Ellen Beth Levitt said.
The twins are at least the second born at the center, the last a pair born in the late 1980s, Levitt said.
A pair of conjoined twins born in Uganda two years ago were later separated at the hospital.
Conjoined twins occur about once in every 200,000 live births, according to hospital's Web site.
About half of conjoined twins are stillborn. The survival rate is 5 percent to 25 percent, according to the Web site.
Nurse at Chesapeake General Dies of TB
A part-time nurse at Chesapeake General Hospital died of tuberculosis, prompting health officials to notify hundreds of people who may have come in contact with her.
City health director Nancy Welch said patients and visitors who were on a medical-surgical unit on the hospital's second floor from October to April will receive letters advising them to be tested for TB.
The nurse, who lived in Virginia Beach, died Saturday at Bon Secours De Paul Medical Center in Norfolk. She had been suffering from a cough since October and only recently sought treatment. She resigned from Chesapeake General in April.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria and is spread through the air when a person with an active case of TB of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes.
Two of the nurse's family members and two Chesapeake General employees have tested positive for TB.
"Mr. Oken is aware. He understands the situation. And I believe he is ready, so to speak, to meet his maker."
-- Fred Bennett, lead attorney for Steven H. Oken, after the
Supreme Court lifted a stay of execution and cleared the way
for the state of Maryland to execute the killer. -- Page A1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, Justin Blum, Serge F. Kovaleski and Ylan Q. Mui and the Associated Press.