Clarksburg Homes Ruled in Violation

Hundreds Built With Illegal Height, Setback

The Montgomery County Planning Board ruled that hundreds of houses in Clarksburg Town Center were illegally constructed in violation of setback and height requirements. But attorneys for the developer, Newland Communities, said the board's staff and other county officials knew what was happening as the homes were being built. The board delayed issuing fines until later this month. Officials said an outside expert will be hired to investigate the review procedures for approving subdivision plans.

Interim Schools Chief Paid $100 an Hour

Plan for Successor Uncertain in Prince George's

The interim leader of the Prince George's County school system is being paid $100 an hour for up to 50 hours a week as a stopgap replacement for former schools chief Andre J. Hornsby. Howard A. Burnett's assignment ends Aug. 23, the day after schools reopen. So far, the school board has not agreed on a detailed plan to search for a successor. Board Chairman Beatrice P. Tignor (Upper Marlboro) said the search could take one of three paths. The board could offer someone a two-year contract with an option to extend the term for another two, offer a four-year deal or name an acting chief as caretaker while a longer search is underway.

Utility Says Additives Can Fix Gas Leaks

Supplier Disputes Findings in Prince George's

Washington Gas said it can fix the damaged seals that have caused thousands of leaks in Prince George's County by mixing additives into the imported liquefied gas it receives. But Dominion Cove Point, which supplies 8 percent of the utility's gas, said the leaks were caused by old, poorly maintained couplings that link the underground pipes.

Montgomery Fixing Improper Tax Credits

$1 Million May Be Recouped on Rental Properties

A discovery by an Olney man that dozens of property owners were receiving tax credits they weren't entitled to has spurred changes in how Montgomery County monitors county properties. Louis M. Wilen, an information technology worker, spurred county officials this spring to identify owners of nearly 2,700 rental properties who received tax credits because the properties were incorrectly listed on state tax records as principal residences. The county stands to gain $1 million or more of lost revenue.

Across the Region

Pentagon Plan Challenged; Early Primary Sought

* Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) and other Virginia officials challenged the legality of the Pentagon's plan to move 23,000 workers away from close-in Northern Virginia suburbs by 2011 as part of a national defense streamlining proposal.

* Some Maryland Democratic leaders are pushing to move next year's primary election from September to June, a change they believe could help them win back the governor's mansion and hold on to a key U.S. Senate seat.

* Anne Arundel County school officials are studying later starting times for high schools. Classes now begin at 7:17 a.m., the earliest in Maryland.

* The Howard County Council has approved a temporary slowdown in new housing construction. However, the council could review the issue later this month or in September.

* After several years of problems, the American Bar Association voted to fully accredit the University of the District of Columbia's law school, and the accreditation of the school as a whole was reaffirmed.

* A Prince George's County farmer is selling his 35-acre family farm in Capitol Heights, the last known working farm inside the Capital Beltway. Duane Dickerson said crime and vandalism have been problems in recent years.

* Arlington County police are investigating the manner in which an officer killed a deer last month. The injured deer was suffering, so the officer, who has not been named, shot it in the head. When it didn't die, he ran over it with a police cruiser and then suffocated the animal.

Less Litter: A worker cleans the World War II Memorial the day after Fourth of July festivities. The 45-ton trash haul from the Mall was less than in years past.