Local Leads: 10/15/09

News you need to know

By Charlie Bragale
|  Thursday, Oct 15, 2009  |  Updated 1:30 PM EDT
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Local Leads:

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

STAFFORD COUNTY DEATH
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting death this morning at the Second Time Around Thrift Shop at 1183 Warrenton Road in southern Stafford.  Officers on the scene said they received the call around 8 a.m.  Passersby said more than a dozen Stafford sheriff’s vehicles and an ambulance were at the scene.  The store was still roped off this morning as a crime scene and the investigation is ongoing. (Free Lance-Star)

NO MORE APPOINTMENTS FOR THIS DENTAL ASSISTANT
A dental assistant who sexually assaulted a woman during oral surgery will spend five years in prison, a judge ruled Wednesday in Frederick County Circuit Court. On April 22, the 23-year-old patient was under anesthesia to have wisdom teeth removed. She awoke to find Danilo Carabio Banados kissing her mouth and fondling her under her clothes, authorities said. (Frederick News Post)

VIRGINIA ROAD CUTS
Virginia's state highway construction and maintenance program is going to shrink again. The Commonwealth Transportation Board will have to cut an additional $134 million from the Virginia Department of Transportation's budget this year and trim the state's six-year highway program by $743 million by December. With the economy bottoming, and taking state revenue with it, "we could be talking about a billion or more [dollars] in cuts" this year, state Transportation Secretary Pierce R. Homer said yesterday. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

HOME PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS
For the first time in 20 years, Prince George's County homeowners will not have to pay more in property taxes based on any increase in their property's value. The Homestead Property Tax Credit, which has been around since 1977, is designed to reward people who live in their homes by capping the taxes on property value increases. While property assessments have sometimes jumped as much as 20 percent per year, the Homestead credit has capped the taxable assessment in the county at 5 percent. The credit fluctuates based on the consumer price index. Since 1991, the cap has floated between 1-to-5 percent in Prince George's County. But for the first time, the consumer price index has gone down, legislative officials told the county council last week, so there will be no allowed increase in home values to be taxed. (Gazette)

FORECLOSURES UP
Foreclosures throughout the Washington area rose in third quarter compared to the second, but the rate of foreclosure remained below a record-setting national pace. (Washington Business Journal)

GATES BIG DONATION
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Thursday that it is giving $10 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  The foundation, the largest private charitable fund in the world, is donating the money for the museum's capital campaign and to support the design and construction of the museum, which is scheduled to open on the Mall in late 2015. (Washington Post)

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