Local Leads: 12/11/09

News you need to know

By Charlie Bragale
|  Friday, Dec 11, 2009  |  Updated 2:31 PM EDT
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Local Leads: Stinky Situation and Teacher Evaluation

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

MARYLAND TEACHER EVALUATION 
Maryland state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick made bold proposals Thursday to alter teacher compensation, tenure and evaluations -- changes she said are needed to reform education and position the state to be competitive in applying for $250 million in federal stimulus money. Speaking at a state school board meeting, Grasmick said the three proposals were sure to spur "lively discussion" in the coming months. She proposed lengthening the time it takes teachers to receive tenure; linking teacher evaluations to student test scores; and requiring local unions to bargain over whether teachers can receive incentive pay to work in courses where there are shortages of instructors, such as science, math and foreign languages. (Baltimore Sun

FAIRFAX HOME SALES
Home sales across Fairfax County in November were up almost 28 percent from the same month a year ago, while both the average and median sales prices showed increases. A total of 1,113 homes were sold across the county last month, according to figures reported by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., the area’s multiple-listing service. That compares to 872 sales in November 2008. (Sun Gazette)

HOLIDAY DISPLAY NIGHTMARE OVER
Loudoun's holiday display nightmare is over — again. County supervisors on Thursday outlined specific rules that would fast-track the application process for erecting displays at the county courthouse, and allow applicants who win approval to put displays up immediately. The rules require the county administration to approve applications before anyone can erect a display or gather on the grounds. There had been a handful of applications pending. the board also outlined 10 designated areas for displays on the property.  Last week, the board paved the way to allow public displays — including religious and holiday-related items — at the courthouse. The board-appointed citizen committee charged with handling the requests was not scheduled to meet until Dec. 22, however, necessitating the special meeting on Thursday.  (Examiner)  
 
SURPRISE IN  THE RED KETTLE
A gold coin worth just more than $1,100 was found at the bottom of a Salvation Army red kettle placed in downtown Annapolis. The other side of the Canadian $50 piece portrays a maple leaf. A man had already counted the bills Monday night, and was dumping the change into a coin counter, when something fell onto the table. "I just went, 'What's that?'" he said. "It would have gone through (the counter) as a dollar coin." (The Capital
 
STINKY SITUATION
A startled skunk has cost Allen and Leslie Scott hundreds of dollars so far and left them homeless since Monday evening. A terrible smell awoke the couple at 2:30 that morning. When Allen walked outside to look around with a flashlight, he discovered a hole where a skunk had just sprayed in the crawl space under their log cabin home on Mountaindale Road. (Frederick News Post)

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