Change at AIDS Agency

Director Is Fired After Report, Complaints

Lydia L. Watts, appointed a year ago to lead the city's HIV/AIDS Administration, has been fired.

The move comes after a D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice report that the city had mismanaged its response to the HIV and AIDS problem in the District, where an estimated one in 20 residents is infected with the virus.

The agency also came under fire from HIV-AIDS service providers this year when they said the city was laggard in getting them paid. And federal health officials said the city failed to meet deadlines for providing statistical data on HIV-AIDS.

Death Through the Window

Stray Shot Kills Grandmother in Southeast

A 46-year-old grandmother watching television in her Southeast apartment was fatally shot, the District's 118th homicide victim of the year.

Dorine Fostion, whom neighbors called the mother of Robinson Place, lived in the apartment with her daughter and two grandchildren. No one else was harmed. Police said she was struck by a stray bullet.

Union Trial Wrapping Up

Teachers' Group Lost $5 Million

The jury is days away from being asked to decide the Washington Teachers' Union embezzlement case in federal court. Jurors will decide guilt or innocence of the union's former office manager, treasurer and tax preparer.

The former union president, Barbara A. Bullock, pleaded guilty to helping lead the $5 million embezzlement and is serving a nine-year prison sentence. On the stand, she admitted to charging nearly $1 million on the union's credit card for items that struck her fancy, including dresses, silverware and furs.

Park and Home

Sursum Corda Plan Sparks Opposition

A preliminary plan for revitalizing the Northwest neighborhood that includes the long-troubled Sursum Corda housing cooperative brought chants from children and vehemently opposed neighbors to a meeting. They were objecting to a plan to replace the New York Avenue Playground at First Street NW with 98 townhouses.

The residents left with some hope after the acting director of the D.C. Parks and Recreation Department said it was not a done deal. The townhouses would provide housing for Sursum Corda families who would be displaced while the housing is redeveloped.

Across the Region

Hispanic Help; a Home for Workers; Arson Trial

* The city has unveiled a Spanish-language guide to government and community services, aimed at the District's growing Hispanic population. The guide has sections on how to obtain information and services in education, employment, health, economic development, housing and legal issues.

* First he was the size of a stick of butter. Then he seemed like a little rugby player. Now he's a Tonka truck. The baby panda, examined last week, is vigorously healthy, officials at the National Zoo said after describing him as the sturdy children's toy.

* The mother of a 6-year-old boy found bound, beaten and drowned in a tub at his home has been found competent to stand trial. Julia Barber was arrested after her son's body was found July 18. She was sent to St. Elizabeths for psychiatric testing.

* The Herndon Town Council voted 5 to 2 to approve the creation of a formal, taxpayer-funded gathering spot for day laborers, saying the chaos in a 7-Eleven parking lot where the workers gather would only worsen if it did nothing.

* A prosecutor says Patrick S. Walsh, 21, had his gang burn homes under construction in Charles County because he wanted people to respect the gang. The arson attack destroyed or damaged 27 homes in December.

Checking Out: Police block off 17th and 18th streets NW and evacuate the Mayflower Hotel after the discovery of what turned out to be a fake bomb.