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In this June 9, 2016, file photo, Arthur B. Johnson Jr., of Baltimore, demonstrates alone outside Baltimore's Courthouse East on the first day of the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, in Baltimore. More than a year after Freddie Gray's death, the same streets that exploded in fury and flame are calm. Despite back-to-back acquittals for officers charged in Gray's death, the physical protest movement that helped topple the careers of both the police commissioner and the mayor has dissipated, leaving activists exploring other avenues for change. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

Weary of protest, Baltimore activists seek change elsewhere

- Associated Press

Under the beating summer sun, retired steelworker Arthur B. Johnson Jr. stood outside the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse in Baltimore, clutching the fraying wooden handle of a homemade sign.

Suboxone prescription strips. Image via NAABT.org. Accessed July 20, 2016. [http://www.naabt.org/sitemap.cfm]

Maryland withdraws proposal to ban letters to inmates

- Associated Press

Maryland prison officials on Wednesday withdrew proposed regulations to impose the nation’s first total ban on letters to inmates at state facilities, except for official legal correspondence and postcards. The regulations were proposed to block inmate access to Suboxone, an addictive drug sold in thin strips that are easily concealed inside envelopes.

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Lt. Brian Rice, second from left, one of the six members of the Baltimore Police Department charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives at a courthouse for opening statements in his trial in Baltimore, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Cops' attorneys: Gray was too dangerous for seat belt

- The Washington Times

As an increasingly disgruntled crowd gathered around the police van, Freddie Gray became combative, and the top police officer at the scene thought it unsafe to crawl into the van with the prisoner to secure him with a seat belt, defense attorneys told a judge Thursday.

A street vendor sells sweet snacks in Mexico City, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. A study published on Tuesday shows that Mexico's 8-percent tax on high-calorie snacks has been successful in reducing junk food purchases, but only by a small amount and only among poor and middle-class households. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Selection of school lunch vendor has some alarmed

- The Washington Times

Parents and some D.C. Council members chided school officials Wednesday for offering a school lunch contract to a vendor with a history of lawsuits and rotting food, only a year after having parted ways with a different food service company for the same issues.

The kitchen at Ben's Chili Bowl churns out its take on the iconic capital food known as a half-smoke, often smothered in chili. (The Washington Times)

Half-smokes inspire wholehearted love in D.C.

- The Washington Times

It's not just a local culinary mainstay in a transient, cosmopolitan town, not just a humble, versatile delicacy whose appeal -- served plain or smothered in chili -- embraces all classes, races and political persuasions, not just the undisputed signature dish of Washington, D.C.

The National Independence Day Parade starts at 11:45 a.m. on Constitution Ave. The Ninth Street and 12th Street tunnels will be closed. In addition, 12th Street NW will be closed from the Interstate 395 exit to Pennsylvania Ave. NW. (Associated press)

More than just fireworks

- The Washington Times

To celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, check out these patriotic and cultural activities in the District.

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs (The Washington Times)

Chesapeake Bay blue crabs rebounding

Associated Press

A report from the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee shows the blue crab population in the bay has grown, but still hasn't met target levels.