Local Leads: 3/1/10

News you need to know

By Charlie Bragale
|  Monday, Mar 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:01 PM EDT
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Local Leads: Sick Alexandria, Pricey Wings & Snow Fleas

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

ALEXANDRIA IS SICK
Alexandria has a drinking problem and a case of chlamydia. These and other findings are part of a new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which set target values for every jurisdiction in the country. The city fell behind the targets in several categories, including teen pregnancy, high-school graduation, uninsured adults, diabetic screening and adult smoking. The findings come at a time when the city’s leadership is in flux, with the city’s health director leaving to become part of the Obama administration. (Alexandria Gazertte Packet)

PILOT KILLED IN CRASH
The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed yesterday afternoon when he struck a tree outside a home just a quarter of a mile from the runway he was attempting to reach at Lee Airport in Edgewater. (The Capital)

COMMERCIAL ASSESSMENTS PLUNGE
The assessed value on District commercial property declined more than 10 percent from a year ago, according to the Office of Tax and Revenue, but the multiyear slide in overall D.C. assessments appears to be easing.  OTR is mailing 2011 assessment notices to 190,000 city property owners. Roughly 170,000 owners also should expect tax bills in the mail for the 2010 first half of the tax year. Payment is due by March 31. (Examiner

WING PRICES UP
It's getting more expensive to be a wing man — or woman — these days. The skyrocketing cost of chicken wings is causing restaurant and tavern owners to raise menu prices and threatening to put some out of business.

"Chicken wings once were so cheap," says Ken Moran, owner of Rochester, N.Y.'s Jeremiah's Tavern, which has had to increase menu prices twice in the past year. "It was an attempt to use all the parts of the bird. Now it's reversed. They've gotten pretty crazy in terms of popularity." (USAToday)

SNOW FLEAS
As the snow melts, you might see some funny little bugs come out. They're called snow fleas. And they're more common than you think.  Snow fleas are also called "springtails" because of a little spring-loaded appendage they keep tucked up under their bellies that help them hop. They look like little bits of pepper, hopping around in the snow.  You see snow fleas in the wintertime because they make their own version of anti-freeze. (wtop.com)

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