Around D.C.

Snowball fight leads to child stabbing

A 13-year-old Maryland girl was charged with assault following a snowball fight Friday.

The girl, from Pasadena, Md., was charge in the stabbing of a 15-year-old boy after he threatened her dog and began to throw snowballs at her, WJLA reported.

The boy was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries, none of which were life threatening.

The girl, who was charged with first-degree assault, was released to the custody of her parents.

D.C. lights Christmas tree

President George W. Bush addressed a crowd of hundreds at the national Christmas tree lighting Thursday, calling for remembrance of the victims of September 11 and support for the military.

“And this season, we celebrate with our families and deeply miss family members no longer with us,” Bush said. “Thousands of families in our nation are still grieving over the terrible losses that came to them last year on September the 11th. We pray for their comfort. We pray for the comfort for everyone who’s lost a life this year.”

The President and the first lady were both in attendance for the lighting of the 200,000 colored lights on the national Christmas tree, a tradition since 1923.

Virginia considers cigarette tax hike

Virginia may be forced to increase taxes on cigarettes in the wake of budget shortfalls.

Raising the tax to the national average – 60 cents per pack – would generate more than $350 million per year for the state treasury, The Washington Post reported. Virginia’s budget shortfall may hit $1 billion if new revenue is not found.

“We think it’s the right thing to do,” Donna Reynolds told The Post. Reynolds is a lobbyist for the Virginia chapter of the American Lung Association, which is part of a 40-group coalition pushing for a tobacco tax increase.

States governments across the nation are raising cigarette taxes to close budget gaps.

District Mayor Anthony Williams successfully enacted an increase in the cigarette tax from 65 cents to $1 per pack, putting the capital on par with the tax rate in Maryland. The new D.C. tax goes into effect Jan. 1.

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