THE REGION

Storms Interrupt Power, Uproot Trees

Fierce thunderstorms swept across part of the area late last night, knocking out electricity to more than 9,000 customers.

The storms swept through Montgomery County about 11 p.m., toppling trees and disrupting power in much of the southern part of the county.

Early today, Pepco estimated that 7,800 customers were without electricity in Montgomery and 500 were without power in Prince George's County.

Electricity was cut off to an additional 1,000 homes in Northern Virginia, according to Dominion Virginia Power.

VIRGINIA

Snow Elected to Loudoun Sanitation Post

The Loudoun County Sanitation Authority board has elected Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) as its chairman for the second time in a month. A 6 to 3 vote for Snow on June 9 was improper and needed to be redone because board members did not put their names on their ballots.

Water and sewer lines are an important part of Snow's effort to spur development in fast-growing Loudoun. It is unusual in Virginia for an elected official to chair a sewer authority.

Snow's original opponent, former chairman John Rocca, asked to be withdrawn from consideration in the follow-up vote held at a public hearing last week. The roll call vote was unanimous for Snow.

THE DISTRICT

Victim of Halfway-House Killing Identified

D.C. police yesterday identified Cleveland McKinney, 33, as the man killed by gunfire late Wednesday at a halfway house for prisoners in Northeast Washington.

McKinney was shot by an unknown assailant about 10:50 p.m. in a meeting room at the facility in the 2200 block of Adams Place NE. Police said the gunman may have been a resident or former resident of the facility, which had 89 residents at the time of the shooting.

McKinney, who was in the halfway house after serving time in federal prison for armed robbery and handgun convictions, was seen arguing with someone the day before the shooting, police said.

The gunman apparently sneaked into the facility through a door that could not be opened from the outside, police said.

McKinney was scheduled to be released in September.

Police urge anyone with information about the killing to call 202-727-9099.

Pro Athlete Accused in Loaded-Gun Case

A professional football player was arrested Thursday night on charges of carrying a loaded semiautomatic handgun in his car, D.C. police said.

Leon Joe, 23, who played at the University of Maryland and is a linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals, was arrested about 11:40 p.m. Police said officers spotted his BMW in a no-parking zone in the 400 block of 14th Street NE. The officers approached the car and began to question Joe, police said.

They then searched the car and found the loaded pistol. Handguns are illegal in the District. Joe, of Clinton, was charged with carrying a handgun without a license.

Lawmakers Target Lead in Drinking Water

Four members of Congress have introduced legislation that would tighten the nation's regulation of lead in drinking water, prompted by the high lead levels found last year in tap water in thousands of D.C. households.

The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to broaden regulation of lead in drinking water, improve notification to consumers when their water system has high lead levels and impose stricter testing and remediation requirements on schools and day-care centers.

It also would provide more federal money to upgrade water distribution systems, including $40 million a year to the District from 2006 through 2010, and would lower the permissible level of lead in new plumbing.

The Lead-Free Drinking Water Act of 2005 is similar in some respects to legislation introduced last year but not passed. The sponsors are Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.); Sens. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.); and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).

MARYLAND

U.S. Attorney Confirmed by Senate

The U.S. Senate confirmed Justice Department lawyer Rodney J. Rosenstein yesterday as U.S. attorney in Maryland.

Rosenstein, 40, was named to a four-year term as the state's top federal prosecutor that could begin next week. He replaces Thomas M. DiBiagio, who announced his resignation in December after three years marked by controversy over his personal style and prosecutorial goals.

Rosenstein served as an associate independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation in the mid-1990s and then became an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland.

He is a principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's tax division.

In a statement, Rosenstein said: "I look forward to rejoining the distinguished men and women of the U.S. Attorney's Office. . . . We will strive to inspire public confidence by adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards."

Pedestrian's Death Spurs Awareness Drive

Prince George's County police are beginning a pedestrian awareness campaign in response to the death of Simia Soloman, 4, who was struck by a car in Fort Washington on Monday afternoon at Indian Head Highway and Palmer Road.

Police will be monitoring the area of Livingston and Palmer roads, giving out tickets to speeders and warnings to pedestrians who do not observe the crosswalk.

They also will hand out safety brochures at the Livingston Square Shopping Center, 9502 Livingston Rd. in Fort Washington, beginning Wednesday. On Thursday, police will also be in the neighborhood passing out fliers.

"It's a way of ensuring that developers feel obligated to enter into a dialogue with the community. We don't do land use by plebiscite. [But] we try to let people vent. We try to get them engaged."

-- Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D)

on the meetings supervisors urge developers to have

with homeowner associations. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers D'Vera Cohn, Susan Kinzie, Allison Klein, Michael Laris, Eric Rich, Martin Weil, Del Quentin Wilber and Clarence Williams.