Local Leads: 08/13/09

News you need to know

By Charlie Bragale
|  Thursday, Aug 13, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM EDT
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Local Leads: Suburban Swine Flu Death and Killer Lawnmower

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

VIRGINIA TEST SCORES CLIMB
More Virginia schools fell short of academic benchmarks in the past school year even though passing rates on state reading and math tests continued to climb, according to results made public Thursday morning.  The data show that 525 schools, or 28 percent of the statewide total, failed to make adequate progress under federal education law in the 2008-09 school year. In the previous year, 479 schools -- or 26 percent -- fell short.  (Washington Post)

MARYLAND SWINE FLU DEATH
Maryland health officials say the state’s sixth death associated with swine flu is an adult from the Washington suburbs with underlying medical conditions. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene didn’t release any other details about the person. (InsideNoVA.com)

ALEXANDRIA SCHOOLS STIMULUS MONEY
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has been awarded funding totaling $4,106,822  for FY 2010 as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Six separate grants will support professional development and capacity building activities, classroom instruction, supplemental student services, management information system upgrades, early childhood education services, and facilities renovations. (AlexandriaNews.org)

MAN KILLED BY LAWNMOWER
A 27-year-old Columbia man working for a commercial landscaping company died Wednesday after falling down a steep hill and becoming trapped under a riding mower. Howard County police said Celerino Baltazar-Avila, of the 8800 block of Tamar Drive, was found pinned under the large mower about 2 p.m. by a man working at a nearby business in the 9000 block of Junction Drive in Annapolis Junction. (Baltimore Sun)

I-270 TOLL?
A coalition of environmentalists and mass transit advocates is pushing a three-faceted alternative to the state's proposal to add toll lanes to a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 270 — which, costing as much as $4 billion, would be Maryland's most expensive transportation endeavor ever.After a vigorous e-mail and letter-writing campaign this summer, the advocates are focusing on the Montgomery County Council, which is set Sept. 15 to choose which of seven versions of the interstate expansion to endorse and if the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway from Shady Grove to near Clarksburg should be a light rail or a rapid bus line. (Gazette)

RESIDENTS FIGHT SPEEDERS
Frederick city could see speed cameras by the end of the fall, but in the meantime, residents and police are working together to continue to show heavy-footed drivers just how fast they're going, and collect data on where the city should focus its crackdown efforts in the future Four of the city's Neighborhood Advisory Councils came together to pool money from their neighborhood budgets to buy a third SPEEDSentry radar speed display — a device that shows drivers how fast they are traveling while gathering data on traffic volume and speed — to place along some of the city's most hastily traveled streets. (Gazette)

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