Local Leads: 1/7/11

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    WATCH OUT FOR "WOODCHUCKS"
    Fairfax Times: " The lunar calendar designates 2011 as the year of the rabbit, but in Fairfax County, law enforcement officials are hoping it won't become the year of the "woodchuck." "Woodchucks," according to Fairfax County Police Lt. Mike Cole, is a term used to describe a network of scam artists who prey on senior citizens, often beginning by overcharging them for trimming trees and then seeing how much more they can get away with. Cole said the term likely originates from a brand of portable wood-chippers by the same name."

    SNEAKERHEAD
    Connection Newspaper: "You may come across different people who love to collect a variety of things, from sports gear, cards, shells, stamps, even small mementos like shot glasses from around the world. Paul Tomaselli, a George Mason University Communications student, happens to collect sneakers. It is cliché that girls love shoes and can never have enough, but Tomaselli proves that guys can have that same obsession. He has more than 200 of them and does not plan on stopping his collection any time soon."

    SPEED CAM FINES PAY SALARIES?
    Gazette: "Chevy Chase Village is considering paying more than 60 percent of its police force salaries with money generated from speed camera tickets. The move is designed to make up for an estimated $400,000 shortfall in income tax revenue for fiscal 2011. Currently, the village uses about $366,000 from the camera program — whose revenue is deposited in the village's Safe Speed Fund — for salaries for its 11-member police department, which has a total personnel budget of about $1.1 million"

    SECURE 7-11
    Frederick News Post: "After a recent robbery attempt at their business, during which a man held a butcher knife to an employee's throat, Frederick merchants Sauda and Abdul Ayub decided to take action. The Ayubs, owners of the 7-Eleven store on Sundays Lane, are fed up with the rash of recent armed robberies, which includes two at their store in the last several months, as well as another attempt where a man grabbed a bag he believed contained money. They are making some changes they hope will reduce their chances of being hit again."