Local Leads: 08/24/2010

News you need to know

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    Sales of Existing Homes Plunge to 15-year-low

    Sales of previously built single-family homes plunged in July to their lowest level since May 1995 as job fears trumped today's low mortgage interest rates and relatively affordable home prices. The sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. (Washington Post)

    Vanpool Driver Charged with DUI

    A commuter vanpool bound for Spotsylvania County made an unscheduled stop along Interstate 95 southbound Friday afternoon when the van's driver was pulled over by Virginia State Police and charged with drunken driving.Eight passengers were riding in the commuter van, said Sgt. F.L. Tyler, Virginia State Police spokesman. (Fredercksburg.com)

    BGE Warns of Higher July Bills

    The dog days of summer may soon be over, but homeowners will likely stay hot under the collar when they see their utility bills.  July was much hotter this year compared to last, and many customers used more power to try to keep cool. Average electricity usage for residential customers of Baltimore Gas & Electric was more than 1,300 kilowatt hours in July, compared to about 1,000 kilowatt hours in July 2009. Because of this, BGE is warning customers to be ready for bigger bills. (WTOP)

    Liquor Lobby Gears Up in Va.

    A coalition of retailers and grocery stores that want a piece of the pie if Virginia's state-run liquor stores become privatized is now securing lobbyists for the effort. Five employees at the law firm Eckert Seamans recently registered as lobbyists for the ABC Privatization Coalition, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks political money in the state. The coalition, which has registered as a nonprofit corporation with the State Corporation Commission, is made up of major retailers including Safeway, Giant, Costco and CVS, and smaller retailers such as wine and cheese shops. (Washington Examiner)
     

    Yield to Pedestrians Signs Stolen

    Tempers flared between drivers and W&OD trail users in the City of Falls Church as officials announced the theft of five of the new Yield to Pedestrian signs placed at six W&OD trail crossings in the City last week. It has made the state’s upcoming Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week all the more relevant. Drive Smart Virginia, Bike Walk Virginia and the Virginia Highway Safety Office at DMV will join forces to promote the weeklong event come Sept. 12. In 2009, 84 people died walking or cycling on Virginia roadways, in addition to 607 cyclists and 1,402 pedestrians who were injured. (Falls Church News Press)