Local Leads: 2/4/11

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    NEARLY 4,000 TRUANTS LAST SEMESTER IN DCPS
    Washington Examiner: "D.C. police picked up more than 3,700 students for truancy in the first semester of a school year marked by new reforms. "The challenge is, how much does a student learn when he's not in school?" D.C. Councilman Sekou Biddle, chairman of the Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy, told The Washington Examiner. "For us to have long-lasting, sustainable education reform, we've got to improve what's going on inside classrooms, but also the number of students there to benefit from it." 

    10 TONS OF POACHED ROCKFISH
    The Capital: "Boatload after boatload, they kept coming in: Piles and piles of fat rockfish, all caught in illegal nets just offshore from Kent Island. All week, Natural Resources Police officers have been finding illegally anchored nets in the waters around the Bloody Point Lighthouse near the southern tip of the island. The first nets were discovered Monday afternoon. After that, the police found two more sets of nets in that area of the Chesapeake Bay."

    THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT POTHOLE
    wtop.com: "Ever wanted to shake your fist in anger after running over an axle-jarring, teeth-chattering pothole? A Springfield man hopes you'll shake your smartphone instead.  Minh Tran has developed a free app for iPhone and Android called Pothole Alert." 

    YIDDISH AT UMD!
    Diamondback.com: "Yiddish is far from dead at this university. At this time last year, it seemed as though regular Yiddish instruction would be terminated after this semester due to a lack of funding, but the traditional Ashkenazi Jewish language that many consider archaic has made a comeback. Thanks to the intervention of private donors, the university's Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies managed to raise $120,000 over the course of a year — enough to keep Yiddish classes going at least through spring 2013. Hayim Lapin, the center's director, said the program's longevity depends largely on funds acquired through private donations, as do many of the other programs offered by the center. Last year, given the unstable state of the economy, things were especially uncertain."