The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PARTY CRASHERS
Before Tareq and Michaele Salahi catapulted to international notoriety as possible White House gate-crashers this week, the Virginia socialites had their pictures taken with President Obama during his inauguration, Prince Charles at a polo match and Oprah Winfrey at another event. They had Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy speak at their elaborate wedding, which more than 1,800 guests attended. Friends describe the 40-something pair as "fun-loving" and unabashed about pursuing the spotlight and playing the debonair couple who know and are known by all the right people. But by Friday, Secret Service agents were seen trying to track down the pair to learn how they managed to get into Obama's first state dinner; interviews and court records also show the couple have a far less glamorous side.
DEER HUNTERS TAKING AIM
Maryland deer hunters are heading back to the woods after killing a record-high number of whitetails and sikas last year. The Department of Natural Resources says more then 68,000 people will participate in the two-week firearm season that opens Saturday. Modern firearms accounted for about 45,000 of the more than 100,000 deer killed in Maryland last year. Some enthusiasts say hunting opportunities on private land are declining due to landowner liability issues. Last year, hunters accidentally fired into at least two occupied dwellings, even though the shooters were outside the 150-yard safety zone specified by state law.
COPS TALKING TO TIGER WOODS TODAY
Florida highway patrol troopers plan to talk to pro golfer Tiger Woods on Saturday to get more information about his car crash near his home, a spokeswoman said. Woods was treated and released from a hospital after suffering minor injuries in a car accident early Friday in his central Florida neighborhood. State troopers had tried to speak to Woods on Friday as part of a routine car accident investigation, but his wife said he was sleeping, said Kim Miller, a spokeswoman for the Florida highway patrol.
Troopers decided they would return Saturday afternoon, Miller said. A joint statement from Woods' publicist and Health Central Hospital said the golfer was in "good condition" after the accident outside his home. The single-vehicle accident occurred about 2:25 a.m. in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, according to police. Woods pulled out of his driveway in a 2009 Cadillac SUV and struck a fire hydrant, then a tree, according to an incident report from the Florida highway patrol in Orange County.
MIXED REVIEWS ON BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING
Shoppers began storming stores and websites on Thanksgiving, and the throngs continued through Black Friday, according to retailers and website traffic-tracking companies. While there were no reports of significant problems like those that marred Black Friday last year — including a death at a Walmart — the day wasn't without angst for shoppers and retailers. Shoppers began storming stores and websites on Thanksgiving, and the throngs continued through Black Friday, according to retailers and website traffic-tracking companies. While there were no reports of significant problems like those that marred Black Friday last year — including a death at a Walmart — the day wasn't without angst for shoppers and retailers. Although retailers have dubbed the Monday after Thanksgiving "Cyber Monday" — and the National Retail Federation reports 90% of stores will have specials starting that day — many have been offering discounts since well before turkeys hit ovens Thursday.
GET A TREE FROM THE FARM THIS YEAR
Mention Christmas trees and the images quickly form: evergreens glistening with decorations and topped by an angel or star; family outings to select the “perfect tree.” This holiday season, why not start a new tradition by displaying a fresh, real Christmas tree grown by a Maryland farmer? “Maryland farmers work year-round to provide customers with high-quality, fresh, fragrant Christmas trees for the holiday season,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “Buying locally keeps Maryland smart, green and growing. It supports our local economy and gives consumers an opportunity to experience a delightful time of year on the farm.” Like other farmers who produce a variety of the finest, fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products anywhere, Maryland tree farmers also raise Christmas trees as crops – with one big difference: it takes eight to 14 years to grow a living-room sized tree. Maryland farmers offer some of the freshest Christmas trees available, which come in several unique varieties. While the Fraser Fir is a popular choice, there are many additional varieties grown throughout the state. The Fraser does not always fare well in Maryland soils, but the Canaan is similarly beautiful and grown more easily and in more locations throughout the state. Additional Christmas trees varieties grown in Maryland include: Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, and Blue Spruce.
(SOUTHERN MARYLAND ONLINE)
SHELTER A PET THIS HOLIDAY
The song says “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” The Maryland SPCA is counting on just that, says Aileen Gabbey. Gabbey, the executive director of the SPCA, is speaking of the “Home For The Holidays 2009” event, which has the stated goal of placing shelter pets in permanent homes before the conclusion of 2009. Home for the Holidays is a national program to promote adoption from shelters around the holidays. The Maryland SPCA has been taking part in it since 2005. In the past, shelters and adoption groups discouraged individuals from adopting animals around the holidays, or from giving them as gifts. Recent research, however, has shown that animals given as gifts tend to be kept in the home longer. The important thing to remember, however, say adoption officials, is that the excitement of the holiday season that is so stimulating and fun for humans may seem unsettling to a new pet — or even to a longtime animal companion, and can cause them to behave abnormally, being scared, shy or sometimes even getting into mischief.