Local Leads: 5/22/2010

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    EXPECT MAJOR BELTWAY DELAYS
    There will be extensive delays this weekend on the Beltway because of emergency repairs. The two right lanes of the Inner Loop (southbound Interstate 95/495) will be closed between the exit for Pershing Avenue (Exit 174) and the exit for the Eisenhower Connector (Exit 176) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Traffic will narrow to a single lane between these exits so crews can make repairs to an overpass.   Telegraph Road on-ramps to the Inner Loop will also be closed.  Major traffic delays are expected. Traffic models indicate that if only 40 percent of weekend traffic uses this section of the beltway, backups could reach 10-15 miles and delays could extend to 90 minutes.   People are urged to use to the northwest arc of the Capital Beltway to avoid the delays.
    (WTOP)

    ZOO LION CUB DIES
    The National Zoo had the highest hopes for its newborn lion cub.  Hours after his birth Tuesday morning, the zoo had a public cub cam up and running. The newborn was nursing. His first-time mother was giving him excellent care. After months of preparation, the zoo had its first African lion cub in more than 20 years.   Then, Thursday afternoon, keepers became alarmed when the cub, who appeared to be sleeping, did not respond to his mother when she licked him. Zoo officials moved his mother, Nababiep, out of the compound so they could go in and check, officials said. When they did, at about 5 p.m., they found that the cub had died.
    Dismayed zoo officials said Friday that a necropsy showed that the cub had inhaled a piece of hay that lodged in a lung and sparked pneumonia, which was the cause of death.
    (WASHINGTON POST)

    WALE CANCELS PERFORMANCE
    D.C-born rapper Wale has backed out of an agreement to perform at D.C. Black Pride, after allegedly feeling uncomfortable with a gay event, reports the Washington Blade.  Wale, a local artist with national recognition, had been scheduled to headline the the May 30 festival.  The Blade reports:  Earl Fowlkes, a board member and spokesperson for Black Pride... said Black Pride organizers were startled this week when they received two e-mails from Wale’s agent, one saying the rapper had to cancel due to "family obligations," and the second saying he didn’t know Black Pride was a gay-related event when he agreed to appear.  Wale's agent has refunded an advance fee, but Fowlkes said the group is considering legal action for breach of contract.  Black Pride had wanted to book a black male artist for their 20th annual festival. The group has had many black female artists in the past, Fowlkes said.  The festival has booked J Holiday as its new headliner.
    (NBCWASHINGTON.COM)

    VA SCHOOL PASSES OUT FETUS DOLLS TO KIDS
    Norfolk school officials are investigating reports that an employee distributed plastic human fetus dolls to students at an elementary school.  Norfolk Public Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Thiel Mather said yesterday the worker was placed on administrative leave. She says the dolls aren’t authorized instructional materials.   WAVY-TV reported today that the principal of Oakwood Elementary School also has been placed on administrative leave. The investigation began after The Virginian-Pilot inquired this week about reports that the dolls had been distributed to students at Oakwood.   School board member Kirk Houston Sr. called the fetus dolls a “pro-life” tool. He said distributing them to students was inappropriate and unacceptable.
    (RICHMOND-TIMES DISPATCH)