Local Leads: 11/10/09

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    LOCAL OFFICIALS, "GAS TAX"
    Maryland is long overdue for an increase in the gas tax to help build new roads and ease congestion, Montgomery County Council President Phil Andrews said Monday. The tax -- 23.5 cents a gallon -- hasn't been increased since 1992, while the state's ability to pay for new massive transportation projects, such as expanding Interstate 270, dwindles, Andrews said.
    (Examiner)

    JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD EXECUTION TONIGHT
    It began in Wheaton with a single gunshot. James D. Martin, 55, had stopped off at a Shoppers Food Warehouse on his way home when, for no apparent reason, an unseen assailant shot and killed him. The next morning, four others in Montgomery County were killed while doing mundane activities - pumping gas, mowing a lawn, sitting on a bench, vacuuming a minivan. A sixth victim fell that night in Washington near the county line. (Baltimore Sun)

    PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
    How dangerous is it to walk on area roads? For the D.C. metro area, the answer is a mixed bag.  The region ranks No. 32 out of the 52 largest metro areas on a list by the Transportation For America of the most dangerous metro areas for walking.  But the region ranks eighth on the same group's rankings of the top 10 metro areas with the highest share of pedestrian fatalities. The data used for both rankings comes from 2000. (wtop.com)

    BAD TEACHERS SHIELDED
    A new national report card on educational innovation contends that principals in Maryland and the District of Columbia face too many barriers to ousting bad teachers. As a result, both jurisdictions earned an F for teacher-removal policies. Virginia received an A. The report, released Monday by the Center for American Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Enterprise Institute scholar Frederick M. Hess bridges constituencies from across the political spectrum. (Washington Post)

    SLIGO CREEK DEER
    One day in 2007, after a morning spent at Sligo Creek Park removing invasive plants so native plants could survive, Sally Gagne took a moment to look back on the acre of parkland she proudly worked to save. Her pride quickly turned to panic.
    "I couldn't believe how little was left," said Gagne, a Silver Spring resident and founder of the Friends of Sligo Creek, a citizens group dedicated to improving the quality of the Sligo Creek watershed, which covers 11.6 square miles from Wheaton to Hyattsville. "There were very few young trees and even fewer native plants." (Gazette)