The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
PACKING HEAT AT STARBUCKS
In Virginia, you can still carry a loaded gun with your latte at Starbucks. At least for now that is. That’s because Starbucks requires all of its stores to obey all laws in the jurisdiction where it’s located. In Virginia, it means openly carried side arms are allowed.
DC SAFEWAY SHUTS ITS DOORS
Soledad Hernandez spotted the barren shelves Tuesday, as soon as her wheelchair was steered into the neighborhood supermarket she has visited once a week for many years. Gone were the heads of lettuce, the Roma tomatoes, the onions. There wasn't even a grape. "Where are all of the fruits and vegetables?" Hernandez, 78, asked.
After more than 25 years serving the Edgewood neighborhood, the Safeway store off Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast Washington will close Saturday. But for some residents in a nearby enclave of rowhouses and high-rise apartments, the store began closing, shelf by shelf, months, if not years, ago.
POLICE CRACK DOWN ON SPEEDERS
Virginia State Police are conducting a two-day traffic safety campaign along Interstates 81 and 95 this weekend. Officials say Operation Air, Land and Speed comes as Virginia continues to experience record decreases in traffic-related deaths. As of Friday, 83 traffic fatalities have been reported to the Virginia State Police, compared with 104 at the same time last year.
The first operation of 2010 will begin Saturday and conclude Sunday night. Police will target aggressive drivers, speeders and impaired drivers. Since the operation's inception in 2006, there have been nearly 114,200 summonses and arrests along Virginia interstates.
HI-SPEED INTERNET BIDDING BRAWL
Alexandria is on the cusp of joining a nationwide bidding brawl to become one of just a handful of cities plugged into a new, supercharged form of Internet technology. Google Inc. is planning to test-drive a "ultra-high-speed" type of Internet connection service -- dubbed "Google Fiber" -- in one or possibly several cities across the country.
The new technology will deliver information at speeds of 1 gigabit per second, or more than 100 times faster than the Internet connections most people now use in their homes or at work.
GIANT BILLBOARDS COMING TO GALLERY PLACE
Gallery Place, a buzzing area of the district that already looks like a mini Times Square thanks to the Verizon Center’s existence, could soon be home to more high-tech billboards. Orange Barrel Media, an advertisement agency that has signs in several U.S. cities, is proposing to install eight full-motion LED screens in Gallery Place this year.
The Grove City, Ohio-based company wants six of those to be in the form of street kiosks and two would be 45-feet-tall vertical signs that attach to the Residences at Gallery Place, a 192-unit condominium that delivered in 2005.
(WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL)
PENTAGON SHOOTER'S PARENTS WARNING
The parents of the man who opened fire in front of the Pentagon warned authorities their son was upset and might have gun, a law enforcement official said. San Benito County (Calif.) Sheriff Curtis Hill told the Associated Press the parents of John Patrick Bedell filed a missing persons report and were worried about his mental stability. After reading an e-mail from their son to an acquaintance, the parents told deputies they were worried that he had purchased a gun. The parents had reported Bedell missing on Jan. 4, one day after a Texas Highway Patrol officer had stopped him for speeding and was told he was heading for the East Coast.
KID BRINGS LOADED GUN TO SCHOOL
Authorities were trying to determine Friday how an 8-year-old boy obtained a loaded handgun that was found in his backpack by school police after he made threats toward a classmate. The third-grader at Sharp-Leadenhall Elementary School, a small Baltimore City school for special-needs children, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged as a juvenile with handgun possession. School officials said the boy was "acting suspiciously" and staff began closely monitoring his behavior, which led to a search of his backpack and the discovery of a .380-caliber handgun.
FREE FEMALE CONDOMS IN DC
The District will become the first city in the United States to distribute female condoms free, part of a project that will make 500,000 of them available in beauty salons, convenience stores and high schools in parts of the city with high HIV rates. City officials said the distribution could begin within the next three weeks in parts of wards 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7, where a study showed that large numbers of African American heterosexuals engage in risky sexual behavior that could easily lead to infection.
The move is an official acknowledgment of the futility of relying solely on the use of male condoms, which have been distributed citywide for nearly a decade, to stem the District's epidemic of HIV and AIDS.