Local Leads: 2/12/10

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    CURRIE INVESTIGATION
    An influential state senator who has been the subject of a federal corruption probe used campaign contributions to pay $41,500 in apparent criminal defense legal fees over the past year, despite a 2008 Maryland attorney general's advice letter that bars such spending. Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George's County Democrat who heads the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, declined to answer questions about the payments to a prominent criminal defense attorney recorded on his annual campaign finance report.(Baltimore Sun)

    SCHOOL MAKEUP DAYS
    Stafford County students haven't endured school on Monday all month thanks to the record snowfall. That trend could continue next week, depending on what the School Board decides at its winter retreat today. Elsewhere, four other area school systems--Spotsylvania, Caroline, Culpeper and Orange counties--are scheduled to have classes on Presidents Day this coming Monday to make up for lost time. (Fredericksburg.com

    SNOW-EXPENSIVE
    A politician's response to a snowstorm can mean the difference between re-election and riding out the next blizzard as a private citizen, according to political observers. Residents expect elected officials to keep them informed during a storm — but the true test of their leadership is whether the roads are plowed and the power is on, said Ronald W. Walters, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Gazette)

    THE HORNET IS BUZZING HERNDON
    Even on the snowy streets it is difficult to miss the Town of Herndon's big red Hornet snowplow. 
    When the 1996 blizzard swept through Herndon, workers had a difficult time plowing the snow on the town's main roads, and public works superintendent Sonny Lynch began looking for a better way.   After a few years of searching Lynch came across a V-plow on eBay and was able to purchase it for the town for only $150. The only problem was the plow was in Minnesota, according to Bob Boxer, director of public works. "To get it here was a challenge," he said. "It cost nearly $1,000 to haul it down on a tractor trailer."  (The Observer)

    LESS HOMES SOLD, PRICES CLIMB
    Lower home sales across Fairfax County in January were offset by higher average prices, giving the real estate market a partial boost moving into the new year. Total sales across Fairfax stood at 738 for the month, according to figures reported Feb. 10 by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., the area's multiple-listing service. That's down 6.6 percent from the 790 sales reported in January 2009. (Sun Gazette)