First family attends Easter service
WASHINGTON — President Obama and his family marked the Easter holiday by attending a music-filled service at a historically black Methodist church in southeast Washington.
A crowd of more than 1,000 people welcomed the Obamas yesterday at the Allen Chapel AME Church.
Joining the president at the service were his wife, Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson. Also attending were the mayor of Washington, Adrian Fenty, and his wife.
"Mr. President, you have no idea how much your presence has meant to us today," Allen Chapel's senior pastor, the Rev. Michael Bell, said after his sermon.
Southeast Washington was rocked last week by a drive-by shooting that left four dead and five others wounded. The area is also beset by high unemployment and poverty.
Bell said it was providence that the president would attend service at Allen Chapel so shortly after the shootings. It was heartening to know that southeast Washington has not been forgotten, he said, adding that Obama's presence at the church was "bringing healing and hope into this community right now."
Obama took communion at the end of the nearly two-hour service. He and his family have attended several churches since his inauguration but have not settled on joining a specific congregation.
RAPPER SENDS MESSAGE FROM PRISON
NEW YORK — Lil Wayne wants his fans to know that his spirit and love will "never be confined to prison walls." The Grammy Award-winning rapper's message was posted Friday to his new Web site. He was sentenced in March to a year in jail for having a loaded gun on his tour bus.
The 27-year-old said he's in good spirits and thinks about his four children every day. He said: "I just hope my love and adoration for them provides a temporary bandage on a wound I unknowingly inflicted on them."
Lil Wayne also said he'll be blogging soon for ESPN. But ESPN the Magazine's editor-in-chief Gary Belsky said there are no plans for him to blog at the moment. Lil Wayne said he'll be reaching out to fans through his Web site every week.
On the Web: www.weezythanxyou.com/
AILING CONDUCTOR OUT FOR THE SEASON
NEW YORK — Conductor James Levine will have a second back operation and will miss the rest of the Metropolitan Opera season.
The 66-year-old is the music director of the Met and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He had surgery last fall to repair a herniated disk in his back and returned to the podium Dec. 3. The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced March 22 he would miss three weeks because of back problems. The Met said yesterday he will have corrective surgery.
Levine has missed performances for a series of ailments. He tore his rotator cuff in March 2006 when he tripped and fell on the stage of Boston's Symphony Hall during ovations. His right kidney was removed in July 2008 because of a malignant tumor.
— Advertiser News Services