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D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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**FILE** Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden downplayed fears that this week's final space shuttle launch marks the end of American dominance in space during a speech Friday at the National Press Club. "We are not ending human space flight," he said. "We are recommitting ourselves to it."

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES EXPLOSIVE SALES: Jill Halter, of Centreville, stacks fireworks on the shelves at the TNT fireworks stand she is running with daughter Corrin in Manassas, Va.

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell received a favorable rating on his job performance after 16 months in office. A poll determined that 55 percent of the respondents like what he is doing, compared with 26 percent who don't.

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Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times Alan Ward with Sasaki Associates, a Watertown, Mass.-based architectural-design firm, presents his company's plans for a new design for President's Park South, also known as the Ellipse, to the National Capital Planning Commission on Tuesday. Five design firms from around the country were selected to present designs.

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Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times file D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

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Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times Petty Officer 2nd Class Hanlin Edwin, from Micronesia but now living in the District, examines his new certificate of naturalization, as an onlooker applauds, after he and 19 others became naturalized U.S. citizens Tuesday in Washington.

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES Leigh Hauter, owner of Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm in The Plains, Va., explains to his Arlington customers how many of each vegetable they get on Monday. He has been selling shares of vegetables from his farm for the past 19 years. But he says he not longer grows sprouts because of the potential for a food poisoning outbreak.

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Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times Surjo Bandyopadhyay, 14, of Lusby, Md., grimaces when given the word "nachschlag" to spell in the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. He misspelled what he jokingly called a "strange word."

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Photographs by Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times Sriram Hathwar and Arvind Mahankali, both 11, celebrate Thursday after both New York spellers were named finalists in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, held at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor in Oxon Hill. They were among the 13 finalists who were set to battle Thursday night for the spelling crown.

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D.C. Council member David A. Catania (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES Each refurbished Metro bus is labeled with a "Rehabilitated" note before returning to circulation. Every year, 100 buses are rehabilitated at a cost of $122,000 each during an 8- to 10-week process.

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES The Capitals practiced Tuesday at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington to keep their edge while waiting for their second-round opponent to be determined. Washington won its opening series against the New York Rangers in five games.

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Cleanup along the Georgetown waterfront at the Washington Harbour complex (top) in the District continued Thursday, following flooding earlier in the week. Teams from a property-restoration firm power-wash the deck below the waterfront's restaurants. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Jesus Gillian (left) and Boly Vasquez, who both work for Cabanas restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront, toss wine bottles into a trash bin Thursday. Water damage from massive flooding earlier in the week forced restaurants to discard food, furniture and more. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Mayor Vincent Gray, shown Wednesday at his press briefing on Freedom Plaza, said he has many questions about the two escapes and beating of a guard this week at New Beginnings Youth Development Center, a detention facility. Interim Director Neil Stanley said that planned security improvements will prevent another such escape. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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A proposed below-ground Metrorail station at Washington Dulles International Airport would be located at the end of the corridor leading from daily parking garages 1 and 2. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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**FILE** D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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A ska band named the Samsarians jams on the stage in the main-floor "live room" at Samis Grotto in Richmond, the new home of RVA recording studios. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)