Water's Bacteria Level Rises
Lead-Eliminating Chemical May Be to Blame
District tap water turns out to have problems other than lead. In fact, its new problems may be a result of efforts to get rid of the lead.
Bacteria levels in water samples exceeded federal health standards this month for the first time since 1996, city and Environmental Protection Agency officials said. They added that most people are not at risk. The sudden rise in bacteria probably stemmed from use of a new chemical intended to reduce lead levels, officials said, that may have shaken off a layer of rust and bacteria from inside the water pipes.
Those at risk include people with weak immune systems, some elderly people and infants.
Anacostia Choice for Baseball Stadium
City Touts Waterfront; Soccer Plan Also Discussed
The city unveiled its preferred site for a Major League Baseball team, on the Anacostia waterfront, but the league had a much anticipated meeting and adjourned without a decision on where the Montreal Expos would go.
Meanwhile, city officials said they were talking to parties interested in building a soccer stadium across the Anacostia in underdeveloped Ward 8. Although the deal is not complete, D.C. sports and planning officials said they are committed to working with the D.C. United soccer team to erect a 25,000-seat soccer and concert stadium as part of a mixed-use development east of the river.
Plan to Repeal D.C. Gun Laws Dropped
Idaho Senator Lacked Necessary Votes
The District's strict gun restrictions will not soon be voided as residents feared. Senate leaders said they had no time to get bogged down in the issue now, and residents had been hostile to the idea.
Idaho Sen. Larry E. Craig (R) abandoned his proposal to drop the city's long-standing ban on handguns and semiautomatic weapons, a ban some have called ineffectual and unconstitutional; his spokesman acknowledged that the senator lacked the necessary votes. Opponents of his plan, who included parents of residents killed by firearms, rallied at the Dirksen Senate Office Building and lobbied senators. A similar House proposal has more than enough co-sponsors to pass that chamber.
2 Charged in Death of Ex-School Leader
Robbery Appears to Be Motive, Police Say
Two women were charged with killing former D.C. school board member Terry Hairston in May in his Southeast home. Police have said robbery appears to be the motive. The women, both 21, were held without bail on first-degree murder charges.
American Indian Museum Opens
Tribal Clothing, Festivities Fill Mall
The National Museum of the American Indian opened to great fanfare, a procession of thousands of Native Americans from all over the Western Hemisphere, many in full tribal clothing, and a six-day festival on the Mall.
Senate Panel Approves D.C. Budget
Funding Change for Tuition Grant Program Fails
The District's $8.2 billion budget for 2005 gained the approval of the Senate Appropriations Committee after an attempt to make the District help fund the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program failed. The Senate version of the bill provides $21.2 million for the tuition program; the House approved $25.6 million for it in its version of the bill. The Senate bill now goes to the full floor for a vote. Differences between the two budget bills will be negotiated in conference.
Judge in Sniper Trial Drops Out
Investigative Role in Muhammad Case Defended
The Fairfax County judge overseeing the second trial of John Allen Muhammad recused himself after he was accused of conducting his own investigation into a claim by the convicted sniper's attorneys.
Circuit Court Judge Jonathan C. Thacher defended his actions but said the focus needed to return to the victim and the suspect. Meanwhile, Fairfax Circuit Court Judge M. Langhorne Keith, who replaced Thacher, indicated that there may be sufficient evidence that Muhammad was denied a speedy trial to warrant dismissal of the Fairfax charges.