Local Leads: 8/4/10

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    FAMILY BAFFLED BY KILLING
    The final play of the opera singer was "Hamlet," the Shakespearean meditation on murder and ghosts and madness, at the Washington National Opera in the early summer. His own slaying, a few days later in or near Fort Dupont Park, apparently played out to an audience of one, that of his killer. His funeral, in Prince George's County, drew more than 1,000 mourners, who wept for the loss of his Pavarotti-size persona, his booming laugh, his oh-so-sweet tenor. (Washington Post)

    CUT THE GRASS
    Virginia is starting to play catch up with some of its mowing and road maintenance projects.  Mowing starts this month on interstates, primary roads and high-volume secondary roads.  "We are mowing fewer times -- on the major roads, 3 times during the summer-spring-fall cycle," says Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Joan Morris. (wtop.com)

    ALLIGATOR CAUGHT
    In the end, it was chicken on a string that brought a wayward "alligator" out of the Patapsco River. A two-hour search on Monday evening by Natural Resources Police failed to find a trace of the critter. But Eric Hammack Jr., the 16-year-old fisherman who first reported the reptile on Sunday, returned to the pond off Belle Grove Road in Patapsco Valley State Park on Tuesday. He had decided to try luring the gator with a hunk of chicken on a string. (Baltimore Sun)

    PORTABLE TOILETS STAY,  FOR NOW
    Portable toilets likely will stay in Montgomery County's parks, according to a letter from county parks Director Mary Bradford to County Council President Nancy M. Floreen. Bradford told Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park that a reduced price from supplier Don's Johns and a few sponsorships, coupled with cost savings and the early retirement of 43 park employees, are expected to enable the department to keep the potties in place through June 30, 2011. (Gazette)