Local Leads: 8/15/2009

News you need to know

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

Dog adoptions have been temporarily halted at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter because of an apparent outbreak of canine flu.  "We do have two laboratory confirmed cases of the virus at the shelter, but we had more than two dozen that were also showing symptoms," says Lucy Caldwell with Fairfax County Police.  Caldwell says those dogs with confirmed and suspected cases of canine flu are being isolated from other animals at the shelter.  The illness is generally non life-threatening to dogs, but in some cases the animals can develop severe disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no evidence that canine flu can be transmitted to humans or other household pets.  Caldwell says it could be more than two weeks before dog adoptions are allowed to begin again, but adoptions of other animals are going forward.  Caldwell wants area dog owners to be aware that the virus has arrived in the region. If your dog shows symptoms, like coughing or wheezing, runny nose or fever, take him/her to a vet.

More than 100 people are expected to paint a mural Saturday in northeast Washington's Edgewood neighborhood.  The Edgewood Mural Jam is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. behind the stores at the Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center.  Organizers say that over the past two months, D.C. artists have been helping a group of young people from the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities' Summer Youth Employment Program create "From Edgewood to the Edge of the World." The public art nonprofit Albus Cavus says the almost-complete 300-foot-wide piece serves as the mural's anchor.

Former Alexandria police chief David P. Baker pleaded guilty Friday to driving under the influence and is expected to turn himself in to the Arlington County jail to serve a five-day sentence. Baker's plea before Arlington General District Court Chief Judge Dorothy H. Clarke brought to a swift end an embarrassing episode that began last month for the popular chief. Baker was arrested July 25 after his city-issued Ford Explorer collided with another vehicle in Arlington County and he failed a series of sobriety tests. Arlington records indicate that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit in Virginia. Baker acknowledged with his guilty plea Friday that his blood alcohol content was between 0.15 and 0.20

A 28-year-old woman who was slightly injured when her Honda Accord hit a Cadillac Escalade driven by Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps in Baltimore's Mid-Town Belvedere neighborhood is to be charged with running a red light, a city police spokesman said Friday.  The woman is identified in a police report as Amanda Elizabeth Virkus of Sandy Spring in Montgomery County. If found guilty of the citation, she faces a $180 fine and three points against her driving record. Virkus suffered neck and shoulder injuries, according to the city Fire Department, and was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released.  Phelps and his three passengers - a man from Ann Arbor, Mich., a woman from Staten Island, N.Y., and a woman from Baltimore - were not injured in the accident at 9 p.m. Thursday at North Calvert and East Biddle streets that left the 2009 Escalade with a crumpled front end and its driver's side air bag deployed.  But the Baltimore Police Department's chief spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, said Phelps gave officers an invalid Michigan driver's license. The spokesman said Phelps will be summoned to court for the driver's license problem and was issued a $40 citation because he hasn't established a legal residency in Maryland.

A single newspaper headline summed up what many in the establishment felt about the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, then taking place on a dairy farm in upstate New York: "Hippies Mired in Sea of Mud" the New York Daily News gloated in large type on Aug. 17, 1969.  Barnard Collier, then a New York Times reporter, recounts in "Woodstock: Now and Then" — a theatrical-quality, two-hour documentary premiering tonight at 9 on VH1 and VH1 Classic and rebroadcast Monday night at 8 on the History Channel — that he had to fight tooth and nail to stop his prejudiced editors from printing a wrongheaded account of the now-legendary festival that painted it as an unmitigated disaster.  The times, they have a-changed.  Woodstock, long the ultimate symbol of the divide between the two sides of the culture wars, has, on its 40th anniversary, lost much of its power to polarize.

D.C. United has acquired defender David Habarugira, a veteran of Burundi's national team.  Habarugira worked out with United on a trial basis earlier this summer and will be eligible to play in Saturday's game at Toronto FC.  Habarugira, who turns 21 on Sunday, has earned six caps with the Burundi national team. He has also played in Belgium's second division league.

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