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Nation in brief: Virginia Tech closes building for classes

They’ve patched the bullet holes, replaced the ceilings, put in new floors. But never again will there be classes in Norris Hall.

Virginia Tech officials made the announcement Tuesday and lifted a chain-link fence surrounding the structure, taking with it some of the dread the community feels about entering the building where a student killed 30 people.

Norris will reopen for engineering offices and laboratories on June 18. But school officials made a decision: The classrooms where suicidal gunman Seung-Hui Cho did his killing April 16 will remain closed.


Key tests negative for TB patient

Laboratory tests of a patient isolated in Denver with a highly drug-resistant form of tuberculosis have found no signs so far of the bacteria in his sputum, an indicator that the chances he could have spread the disease are very low, the National Jewish Medical and Research Center said Tuesday.

The three consecutive negative results are the first step toward loosening hospital restrictions on the patient, who has been confined to a hospital room by public health orders.

The patient, Andrew Speaker, of Atlanta, has started on an intensive regimen of five or six antibiotics and is doing “quite well,” said Dr. Charles Daley, one of the attending physicians.


GOP seeks ouster of lawmaker

Republicans moved on Tuesday to seek Rep. William J. Jefferson’s expulsion from Congress, a day after the Louisiana Democrat was indicted on charges of taking more than $500,000 in bribes.

Jefferson, meanwhile, relinquished his seat on the House Small Business Committee before members of his own party could vote to kick him off the panel.

Republicans, citing Pelosi’s election-season promise to run the most ethical House in history, sought Jefferson’s expulsion from the chamber, possibly before he comes to trial on the bribery charges.


Pants lawsuit down to $54 million

A judge who was seeking $67 million from a dry cleaners that lost his pants has loosened the belt on his lawsuit.

Now, he’s asking for only $54 million, according to a May 30 court filing in D.C. Superior Court.

Roy L. Pearson, a District of Columbia administrative law judge, first sued Custom Cleaners over a pair of pants that went missing two years ago. He was seeking about $65 million under the D.C. consumer protection act and almost $2 million in common law claims.

He is now focusing his claims on signs in the shop that have since been removed. The suit alleges that Jin Nam Chung, Soo Chung and Ki Chung committed fraud and misled consumers with signs that claimed “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same Day Service.”


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