Local Leads: 12/3/09

News you need to know

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    ELF ARRESTED OVER DYNAMITE HOAX
    A man in an elf suit was jailed after police in Georgia say he told a mall Santa that he was carrying dynamite. Police say Southlake Mall in suburban Atlanta was evacuated but no explosives were found. Morrow police arrested 45-year-old William C. Caldwell III, who was being held without bond today in the Clayton County jail. He was not part of the mall's Christmas staff. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

    GRANDMOTHER CHARGED IN SLASHING
    A 44-year-old Fredericksburg woman was charged with two felonies Tuesday after she slashed two men she accused of stealing money from her, police said.  The incident occurred about 12:50 p.m. in the 1200 block of Kenmore Avenue, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said. A 21-year-old Spotsylvania man reported that he was visiting his child’s mother when his 26-year-old uncle arrived to pick him up.  The suspect, the grandmother of the child, stormed into the kitchen and accused the two men of stealing a large amount of cash from her bedroom. The woman then pulled out a knife and started swinging, Bledsoe said. (Fredericksburg.com)

    HOMICIDES DOWN IN PRINCE GEORGE'S
    Prince George's County may finish the year with fewer than 100 homicides, a feat that has not been achieved since 2000. As of Nov. 27, 81 homicides had been recorded in the county this year, a 25 percent decrease from the 108 homicides recorded from the same period last year. (Gazette)

    WALK OR BIKE TO SCHOOL
    Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee) believes that getting more students to walk or bike to school would be a win for everyone -- more exercise for the students, fewer vehicles on the road and lower transportation costs for the county's school system. He plans to take the lead on getting the "walking school bus" concept started at schools in his district. This is a concept in which bus routes that are within a reasonable walking distance of schools are replaced with a walking route, allowing parent volunteers to chaperone groups of students. (Fairfax Times)

    MARYLAND ALCOHOL TAX
    Increasing alcohol taxes in Maryland would raise substantial new revenue for the state, according to a report released Tuesday by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.The report, funded by the Abell Foundation, says if there was a dime a drink increase in Maryland’s alcohol excise taxes, alcohol consumption would be cut by 4.8 percent and $214.4 million in new revenues would be generated for the state. (Washington Business Journal)