The Night Note: 12/19/08

News you need to know

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

Congregations Can Split from Church

Nearly a dozen conservative church congregations in Virginia have won a lawsuit involving their split from the U.S. Episcopal Church because of differences involving theology and homosexuality. The last court ruling in the long-running case was issued Friday. A Fairfax County judge said the departing congregations are allowed under Virginia law to leave, and that they can keep their property as they realign under the authority of conservative Anglican bishops from Africa. (

Crime Spate Hits University Square

At the University Square apartments in Greenbelt, the dimly lit houses and the dark wooded paths didn't really bother anyone. However, a recent rash of crime in the area has created a sense of fear in the community that residents are trying to change. Five robberies were reported in the complex during a span of six days in early November, in addition to other incidents that occurred earlier in the month. (The Diamondback)

O'Malley Expected to Make More Cuts

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is preparing $400 million in cuts to the current budget after fiscal leaders on Tuesday lowered revenue estimates by $415.3 million on news of lower-than-expected returns on the income, sales and tobacco taxes. Later in the day, lawmakers recommended severely restricted spending growth for fiscal 2010 on news that the budget gap could grow to $2 billion. (

No. 1 Priority: Porta-Potties on Mall

Here's the number everyone has been waiting for: There will be 5,000 porta-potties available on the Mall and along the parade route on Inauguration Day. If officials ordered the portable restrooms based on how many people they expect that day, then figure on crowds of 500,000 to 1.5 million people. That's a wide range based on whose toilet-to-bladder recommendation is used. Don's Johns recommends one unit for every 100 people. (Washington Post)

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