Real Estate Rejuvenates Tax Cut

$100 Million in Revenue Was Unexpected

Thank your lucky real estate market. It will feed enough revenue to the city -- $100 million more than expected -- to allow the District to restore tax cuts suspended two years ago.

The projected windfall comes in addition to the announcement that the city will get $50 million more than expected from revived tourism.

Calling for Hands-Free Devices

New Cell Phone Law Goes Into Effect

The new cell phone law -- no driver can use one without a hands-free device in the District -- went into effect. But lots of people are still driving around the District with phones to their ears.

Police, though, said they will enforce the law the way they do other traffic measures.

Workers Allege Slots Petition Misdeeds

Some Say Nonresidents Collecting Signatures

Organizers of a petition drive to legalize slots in the District brought in some nonresidents to collect signatures, according to several of the workers, although D.C. law requires that circulators of the forms be District residents.

One worker said the campaign is having District residents sign affidavits that they gathered the signatures -- even though they did not witness all the signatures -- to get around the rule.

WASA to Replace 23,000 Lead Pipes

But Water Rates Could Increase by Even More

More than 23,000 lead service pipes will be ripped out and replaced by the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority to eliminate lead from the District's water supply.

Water rates, already on tap for a 5 percent yearly increase, could rise another 1 percent to 2 percent under the plan, the agency said.

Farmer in Tractor Standoff Released

Most of Six-Year Sentence Rescinded

The North Carolina tobacco farmer, decried by federal prosecutors as a domestic terrorist after his 47-hour standoff with police nearly 16 months ago, was freed.

A judge rescinded most of Dwight W. Watson's six-year sentence because he said he had misinterpreted a Supreme Court ruling.

"Praise the Lord," Watson said when released.

Search for Schools Chief Continues

New Applicants Will Be Considered, Board Says

Back to square one for somebody to run the public schools in the nation's capital. City and school board officials said they'll consider new applicants as well as candidates who applied but failed to make a list of finalists. All this comes after the two top runners bowed out.

To further entice the second choice, Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said he would drop his idea of making the schools report to him. It didn't work.

Barry's Ward 8 Campaign Manager Out

Formal Resignation or Firing -- It's Unclear

The campaign manager who was to bring Marion Barry 2,000 signatures (250 are required) to put him on the November ballot for the Ward 8 D.C. Council seat has been fired, Barry said, also citing other logistical problems.

In a letter dated before that announcement, the campaign manager, Dion Jordan, said that he was formally resigning and that the former mayor was not fit to represent the people of Ward 8.

SunTrust in NW Robbed by Masked Gang

TV Cameraman Records Stolen Getaway Vehicle

Another bank heist went down, apparently by the same gang that has pulled six lightning robberies. This one was at the Connecticut Avenue branch of SunTrust Bank in Northwest.

Heavily armed, masked and firing two shots into the ceiling, the robbers grabbed the money and made their escape but were taped by a WTTG-TV (Channel 5) cameraman who happened to be in the area on assignment.

The robbers fled the scene, this time with about $50,000 -- but authorities say the cash was rigged with a red dye. Police have asked tipsters to call.

In broad daylight: Masked robbers get away after taking thousands of dollars from a SunTrust Bank in Northwest.