The District Digest: More of Marion misbehavin’

Washington City Paper continued their phenomenal coverage of former D.C. Mayor and current Councilmember Marion Barry‘s current saga with a great expose of his sketchy dealings with and control of nonprofits he funneled $450,00 of D.C. funds to. The also had more details about the also sketchy contract Barry offered to the woman he was arrested on charges of stalking, former paramour Donna Watts-Brightbaupt.

The D.C. Council has launched an independent investigation of Watts-Brighthapt’s contract. The conflict took on some ugly homophobic undertones when Barry accused openly gay Councilmember David Catania (I—At Large), who has been publicly critical of Barry, of having it out for him because he voted against the recognition of same-sex marriages.

The trial of Banita Jacks, the D.C. woman who lived in a house with the decomposing bodies of her four daughters for seven months, started the week. Her testimony has been extremely disturbing, detailing how she believed her daughters were possessed by demons how she thought they would come back to life when the demons died.

Controversial D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee seems to be making good on her promises to make-over the failing system: test scores are up and the racial achievement gap is closing for her second year at the helm

A federal court ruled that the checkpoints the Metropolitan Police Department set up in the crime-riddled Trinidad neighborhood last summer were unconstitutional.

More chastising for MPD: The “All Hands on Deck” weekends which require extra officers to be out on the streets and are favored by MPD Chief Cathy Lanier have come under fire from detectives and victims who think they’re counterproductive.

D.C.’s unemployment rate rose to 10.9 percent.

D.C. leaders are still struggling to deal with the $666 million expected revenue shortfall. Mayor Adrian Fenty has proposed using the city’s reserve funds and stimulus money.

Desi Deschaine, 29, the communications director for Georgetown’s Councilmember Jack Evans (D—Ward 2) and a longtime fixture in local politics drowned in Baltimore this weekend.

The possibility that a congressional amendment to D.C.’s federal appropriations bill could curtail needle exchange programs has local AIDS activists worried.

Manny Acta was fired as manager of the erstwhile Nats.

Ending on a happy note: Lots of baby animals were born at the zoo, including a Przewalski’s horse foal, a red panda cub and a clouded leopard cub.  See them for yourself in this absurdly heartwarming video.

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