Metro briefs

UDC raises tuition to aid development, utilities

The University of the District of Columbia is raising tuition and fees by $625 to improve teacher development and student counseling and to cover the cost of rising utility bills, The Washington Post reported.

The increase will occur because the D.C. government has not provided additional funding to cover the increased costs.

Full-time resident costs will jump from $1,260 to $1,885 per semester over the next two years. Additionally, non-residents' tuitions will jump from $2,910 to $3,535 per semester.

The increases will generate an extra $3.1 million dollars for the school during the first year.

Former D.C. mayor sentencing postponed

The sentencing for former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for charges of failing to file his taxes from 1999 to 2004 was postponed yesterday after a misunderstanding of a plea agreement that would decide his sentence.

Fredrick Cooke, Barry's lawyer, said the missing tax returns were filed on Tuesday, but prosecutors expected them to be filed sooner in order to proceed with sentencing.

As a result, Federal Judge Deborah Robinson said there was not sufficient info needed to continue with sentencing.

Last October, Barry pleaded guilty for failing to file his taxes and agreed to pay taxes on $534,000 made from 1999-2004 as a consultant for a brokerage firm, according to the Associated Press.

Barry will now be sentenced March 9 at 10 a.m. at the U.S. District Courthouse.

Tax laws allow for deductions for students

With taxes due in April, students often expect large returns but don't always know about tax laws that allow for credits and deductions relating to student loans, according to the Oklahoma Daily, the University Of Oklahoma newspaper.

The Hope credit and Lifetime Learning Credit are available for students, an H & R Block tax specialist told the Daily. The credits subtract the amount of qualifying education expenses from a person's taxable income.

Qualifying expenses include tuition, fees, books and student loans. The Hope credit applies to the first two years of a student's education and the Lifetime Learning Credit can be used for the remaining time.

To be eligible for the Hope credit, students must be seeking an undergraduate degree and have no felony drug convictions. The refund limit is $1,500. The Lifetime Learning Credit only requires a student to be enrolled in a course.

Felony drug convictions exclude students from the credit, and the limit is $2,000.

Student school costs are available on a 1098-T form.


Team discovers oldest T-rex ancestor

A Chinese paleontology discovery team recently discovered the oldest ancestor to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The species, named Guanlong wucaii, or "crown dragon from the land of five colors" is believed to be 160 million years old. Gualong was discovered a northwestern Chinese desert.

Scientists say that the creature lived before the T-Rex by 90 million years. Although the Guanlong was considered a predator, it was not the most notable one of its time. However, scientists believe that it could easily outrun its enemies. The notable feature of the skeleton was a large crest on its snout, which is uncharacteristic of meat-eating dinosaurs.

The leader of the team, Xing Xu, was from China's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology. A professor from George Washington Unviersity, James M. Clark, helped lead the expedition with Xu, after reported findings of fossils in the area during a search for oil.


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