Slots Supporters Turn In Petitions

Opponents Say Forms Were Circulated Illegally

Those who want slots in the District turned in thousands of petition sheets to the Board of Elections and Ethics and said they had enough signatures to get the issue on the November ballot. The board will review the signatures to see if they're valid, and opponents plan to argue that the petitions were circulated illegally. Proponents say they have 50,000 signatures; 17,599 are needed.

Environmental Health Manager Is Fired

Official Called Termination 'a Total Surprise'

Theodore J. Gordon, a fixture at the D.C. Department of Health for 31 years and the man who oversaw the environmental health division, was placed on administrative leave and given a termination letter for August. Gordon called his firing "a total surprise." It comes months after the department's former director was terminated. Others have been reassigned. A review found problems with the agency. Gordon said that there was nothing negative in his personnel record.

House Panel Approves Tuition Breaks

Bill Would Cut Costs for District Graduates

The House Appropriates subcommittee on the District voted to put more money behind tuition breaks for the city's high school graduates. The panel approved an $8.6 million boost for the program that allows graduates to attend schools across the country at reduced tuition. The bill goes to the full House.

Drugs Sold Outside Treatment Centers

Dealing Hurts Addicts' Efforts to Get Clean

The General Accounting Office confirmed frequent and blatant drug dealing outside drug treatment centers that workers say undermines their efforts and those of addicts to get clean. GAO investigators, who made repeated visits to five clinics, called the areas around the city's treatment centers a "virtual bazaar of illegal drug dealing."

Barry Turns In Signatures for Ballot

Former Mayor Vying for Ward 8 Council Seat

The signatures are in for Ward 8's new challenger. Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry filed more than 1,000 signatures with the Board of Elections and Ethics to get his name on the Sept. 14 Democratic primary ballot for the council's Ward 8 seat. He needed at least 250 signatures and, starting yesterday, petitions will be subject to a 10-day challenge period.

Chemical to Deter Lead Successful

Systemwide Distribution Planned for August

The additive officials put in a limited test area to protect against lead in the drinking water seems to have worked. With no adverse side effects apparent from a chemical added to the water supply, officials decided to move toward a systemwide distribution next month. They said it will take months for the chemical to work to combat the high lead levels.

Homicide Pace Reduced This Year

District Could Have Fewer Than 200 Slayings

Crime news that's good? Yes, the District should finish the year with fewer than 200 homicides, a mark exceeded each year for nearly two decades. If the pace of homicides is kept to what it has been for the first six months of the year, the city will end the year with about 180 homicides. The city last recorded fewer than 200 homicides in 1986, when the tally was 196.

Across the Region

Sex Offender Registries; National Harbor Update

* National child safety experts say the case of Thomas Richard Koucky underscores a problem with sex offender registries. Koucky, 41, was arrested in Guatemala and returned to face charges in Arlington of molesting a youth who is now 17. Despite being wanted in Florida, a 1993 Frederick County conviction and being charged in 2003 in Charles County -- with all of the cases involving improper contact with children -- Koucky did not appear on registries in Maryland, Virginia or the District.

* In a series of unanimous votes, the Prince George's County Council approved measures that move the $2 billion National Harbor project on the Potomac River a step closer to breaking ground this year.

Soggy Independence Day: A family wades through the flooding and rain that halted the Independence Day Parade on Constitution Avenue.