Local Leads: 11/9/09

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    NUKES AND WALMART
    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Walmart for improper disposal and transfer of exit signs containing tritium, a radioactive hydrogen isotope. But the agency decided against a hefty fine, saying the company was quick to take action when notified that there was a problem at its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including the Central Park store in Fredericksburg. (Fredericksburg.com)

    SWINE FLU DEATH?
    State and local health officials said Thursday they are awaiting confirmation of whether a Charles County woman has died from complications of the H1N1 virus. According to posts on an Internet social networking site, a Port Tobacco woman died Thursday at a regional hospital from complications of the H1N1 virus, including a "very severe case of pneumonia." (The Independent)

    SUSPENSIONS DROP
    The number of suspensions in Montgomery County public elementary, middle and high schools dropped dramatically over the past two years. During the 2007-08 school year, 13 of the district's 25 high schools had 100 or more students suspended for offenses ranging from carrying weapons to disrupting class. In 2008-09, only four high schools had 100 or more students suspended: Montgomery Blair and Springbrook in Silver Spring, Col. Zadok Magruder in Rockville, and Gaithersburg High School. (The Examiner)

    BAR WARS
    In the latest battle in a frustrating, decade-long war over when bars close in Annapolis, the city Planning Commission has called for the creation of a panel to address issues that stand in the way of moving last call to 2 a.m. (The Capital)

    EXOTIC PETS BAN?
    Arlington government officials have abandoned, at least for now, their effort to forge a regional consensus on which “exotic” pets should be banned across the region. County government spokesman Mary Curtius said local officials found “little interest” among governments across the region in acting as a group to codify the hodge-podge of rules on which animals and reptiles can be kept as pets, and which cannot. (Sun Gazette)

    WHITE SQUIRRELS
    They're not as fearsome as a white whale on the high seas, or as portentous as a white buffalo calf on the Great Plains. But a handful of white squirrels is causing a stir in Maryland. Two of the critters have been spotted scampering about between the historic Holly Hall Mansion and the Big Elk Mall in Elkton, chasing nuts and making headlines in the local newspaper. (Baltimore Sun)