Local Leads: 6/13/2010

News you need to know

The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray won a citywide Democratic straw poll for mayor Saturday with a whopping 703 votes. Incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty drew 190 votes, followed by 75 for former television reporter Leo Alexander. Other candidates posted single-digit outcomes, according to the unofficial results.  Seventy-four provisional ballots were not included in the totals that were released.  The victory at the D.C. Democratic State Convention was a major boost for the Gray campaign, which faltered at the Ward 8 Democrats' straw poll when Peaceoholics co-founder Ron Moten organized youths to vote for Fenty. Though Gray was ultimately declared the winner after provisional ballots could not be declared valid, the Fenty campaign showed that it was prepared and organized in a ward where Gray is heavily favored in polls.  On Saturday at Howard University School of Law, Gray volunteers blanketed the area with his blue signs in the morning. When Fenty supporters arrived in the afternoon, they had to scurry to create an equal presence with signs and stickers.

The couple that crashed the Obama administration's first state dinner had a party of their own Saturday in the nation's capital _ not in the White House, but in a white tent _ and everyone was invited.  Tareq and Michaele Salahi hosted the America's Polo Cup at a park on the National Mall. The tournament pitted a U.S. team against a team of players mostly from India and Pakistan.  "Michaele and I love and share the passion for the sport and we love and share the passion of bringing people together," Tareq Salahi said.

Gahiji A. Tshamba, the Baltimore police officer wanted on first-degree murder charges, turned himself in early Sunday after a vigorous effort to locate him, according to messages sent over Twitter by the Baltimore Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police.  Tshamba was in Central Booking following an intensified effort by Baltimore Police to mobilize dozens of officers to comb city streets and distribute fliers to locate one of their own. He had been missing for more than 24 hours since a warrant was issued for his arrest.  The first-degree murder warrant was issued Friday afternoon, charging Tshamba in the killing of Tyrone Brown, 32, a former Marine who was unarmed when he was shot nine times at close range outside a Mount Vernon club. Police had hoped to negotiate Tshamba's surrender with his attorney, but no one had been able to contact the 15-year veteran as the search entered its second day.

A Montgomery County ban on fortunetelling violates the First Amendment, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.  The decision is a win for Nick Nefedro, whose application for a business license was rejected because of the ordinance.  The county had argued that the ordinance, which dates to 1951, was intended to protect residents from those who fraudulently claim to be able to tell the future, but the state’s top court rejected this reasoning.  “If Montgomery County is concerned that fortunetellers will engage in fraudulent conduct, the County can enforce fraud laws in the event that fraud occurs,” Judge Clayton Greene Jr. wrote for a 6-1 majority. “The County need not, and must not, enforce a law that unduly burdens protected speech to accomplish its goal. Such a law will curtail and have a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech.”

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