For Barry, the Inevitable
No Jail Time in Proposed Plea Deal on Taxes
D.C. Council member Marion Barry is under investigation by federal authorities for failing to file income tax returns. Sources said that Barry (D-Ward 8), who served four terms as D.C. mayor, had not filed federal income tax returns since 1998. Authorities are focusing on Barry's income from January 1999, when he left the mayor's office, until this January, when he joined the council. Barry and his attorney have declined to comment.
Sources familiar with the probe said that Barry and the U.S. attorney's office have been in plea discussions. Under a deal they said is being considered by the Justice Department, Barry would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and get no jail time. The sources said Barry also failed to file D.C. income tax returns. It remains unclear how much money is at stake in back taxes and penalties.
Delivering the Doctors
Program Provides Care for Those Who Lack It
The District is moving forward with a project to bring basic medical care to underserved neighborhoods. The city awarded $1 million to seven nonprofit groups that plan to open two health clinics and expand seven.
The awards are the first under an initiative that aims to make doctors available to an estimated 210,000 D.C. residents who live in areas that lack access to routine medical services. The project also calls for providing treatment for such common illnesses as asthma, diabetes and hypertension.
The District has pledged $17 million toward the project over the next three years.
A Bug in the System
No Alert Issued After Test for Bacterium
Sensors on the Mall detected a potentially dangerous bacterium Sept. 25, a day after an antiwar rally and a book festival drew tens of thousands of people there. But the Department of Homeland Security delayed sharing that news with area health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because follow-up testing was not conclusive.
Area health officials were notified five days after the sensors showed the presence of bacteria that cause tularemia. Officials have confirmed no cases of tularemia and said they were wary of issuing a false alarm. But U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) questioned why local and state officials were not told immediately, and he is seeking more details about the episode.
Armory Closes, but Services Continue
The cots are folded, the chairs are stacked. The D.C. Armory is no longer a temporary home for survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
The last few residents have moved into hotels and apartments. The armory became a shelter Sept. 6, when 295 hurricane survivors were airlifted from New Orleans; some of them have left the area, some have been reunited with family members, and others have been placed in hotels or subsidized housing.
City officials and the Red Cross continue to offer housing assistance, job referrals and various social services.
Teachers Say Some Books Are Absent
The D.C. school system is still having trouble getting textbooks to students who need them. After six weeks of classes, many special education students remain without math and reading textbooks, according to several teachers.
A school official said that at least 90 percent of the special education students have their materials.