Local Leads: 10/05/2009

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:

    Housing Market Steadies

    The housing market in Northern Virginia has steadied these past few months due largely to falling prices and to the nearness of government jobs, according to statistics compiled by George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. Moreover, the future economy for the region bodes well, as the GMU estimates for 2010 and beyond show a bounceback of gross regional product levels to those seen in 2003 and 2004. (InsideNoVa.com)

    DC Students Skip Classes to Protest Layoffs

     

     

    About 200 D.C. high school students skipped classes Monday morning to march on the offices of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and protest last week's teacher layoffs.  The protest -- which began at McKinley Technology High School, one of the hardest hit -- came amid lingering questions about how Rhee determined which teachers to lay off and which schools were targeted. The cuts, part of an effort to close a $40 million budget gap, resulted in 388 school employees losing their jobs; 229 were teachers. (Washington Post)

    Suspensions Drop in Area Schools

    Suspension rates have dropped sharply over the past few years in many area schools, but not because of a profusion of angelic adolescents. Instead, superintendents have signed on to the idea that kids behaving badly only turn worse when forced out, and often see suspension as a reward. The goal, educators say, should be to keep them in class. (Washington Examiner)

    Risk High for Striking Deer

    Virginia and Maryland are considered "high risk" states when it comes to the likelihood your car will collide with a deer. The odds of it happening in Virginia are one in 137, according to State Farm Insurance. In 2008, the odds in Virginia were one in 123. In Maryland, the likelihood is one in 141, compared with one in 154 last year. The odds of striking a deer in D.C. are one in 523, compared with one in 532 in 2008. (WTOP)

    Autism More Widespread in U.S.

    Two new government studies suggest autism spectrum disorders are becoming more common in children in the USA. However, researchers say, it is not clear how much of the increase is a result of more frequent and earlier diagnoses and how much is a result of a real rise in the conditions. (USA Today)