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Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

A.M. Buzz: July 4, crime, polls and politics

Good morning. Planning for the holiday weekend? We have a Fourth of July guide with all the information you’ll need. Don’t forget the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival, where there’s a Soul Train dance party on the Mall tonight. Looking for fireworks? Right here.

Leslie Johnson, the Prince George’s County Council member who is expected to appear in court this morning to face charges of witness tampering and destruction of evidence, might not be planning to plead guilty to felonies, based on invitations her office sent out yesterday. @mirandawashpost will live-tweet this story.

We try to focus on what’s coming up in A.M. Buzz, but this is ridiculous: The H Street streetcars might not be operating until 2013., city transportation officials said.

Breaking Virginia politics news: A new poll just out this morning says Tim Kaine and George Allen are in a dead heat for one of the most high-profile U.S. Senate races in the nation next year.

Hamp Townsend, “the mayor of Old Town.” (Courtesy Alice Townsend Pearson)
Hamp Townsend, “the mayor of Old Town” Alexandria, died June 10. The body of one of the most popular figures in the city went unclaimed for nine days because police couldn’t find his family.

Off the streets: A Largo man went on a crime spree in 2008 and 2009, breaking into a series of Prince George’s County homes to rob terrified residents at gunpoint, burglarizing a gun store and sexually assaulting a teenage girl, prosecutors say. In separate cases, he’s suspected of two mother-daughter murders and another murder. He told police he committed 61 crimes, including 28 burglaries and nine home invasions. His attorney’s defense? He has identity issues.

Judge: “You are pure evil.” An arsonist in Maryland got 24 life terms for attempting to kill a police officer, his family and neighbors in an attempt to get out of a relatively minor burglary charge.

We don’t want to turn this into Crime Scene, but it’s notable that Alfred Evans, now 28, was convicted and sentenced to 47 years for beating and killing a homeless drug addict in 2003.

Let’s end this on a more upbeat note, shall we? The 11th annual International Submarine Races in Bethesda is drawing crowds of fit and brainy engineers to the the Naval Surface Warfare’s Carderock Division, where at midweek, the Naval Academy team already has busted the competition’s records — twice.

By  |  08:00 AM ET, 06/30/2011

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