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Track Work to Delay Metro Trains This Weekend; Alexandria Homicide Victim Identified

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Friday, July 31, 2009

THE DISTRICT

Bill Would Reauthorize Vouchers

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a bill Thursday that would reauthorize the D.C. voucher program for the next five years.

The federal program currently provides up to $7,500 in tuition a year for 1,700 D.C. children from low-income families to attend private schools. Congress voted in March to close the voucher program to new students and end funding after the 2009-10 school year unless the entire program is reauthorized, an unlikely prospect in a Democrat-led Congress. The program was established in 2004 by a Republican-led Congress.

President Obama later proposed allowing students who currently receive vouchers to finish high school before the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is shuttered altogether.

-- Michael Birnbaum

Man Arrested After Chanting at Police

D.C. police launched an internal investigation after a 33-year-old lawyer complained that he was improperly charged with disorderly conduct after chanting "I hate police" while walking down the street.

Pepin Tuma, a lawyer in private practice, said he was walking in the U Street corridor late Saturday with two friends when they came upon several police cars at a traffic stop. Tuma and his friends, also lawyers, had been discussing the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

"In a singsong voice, a little louder than conversation, I said, 'I hate the police. I hate the police,' " Tuma said. He said an officer came over and said, "You can't talk to the police like that," before pushing him against an electric utility box and handcuffing him.

Tuma said he asked why he was being arrested and said he had a right to express his opinion. Tuma said the officer called him a "faggot."

A police spokeswoman said Tuma's complaint is being investigated but would not comment further.


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