Local Leads: 8/27/09

News you need to know

By Charlie Bragale
|  Thursday, Aug 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:15 AM EDT
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Local Leads: Cool Summer, Fewer Murders

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

COOL SUMMER, FEWER MURDERS
Homicides are down dramatically in the District and other cities across America at the same time many parts of the nation are experiencing the coolest summer in decades. That has some experts wondering if the big chill is allowing cooler heads to prevail on city streets. (The Examiner

NEW BIODEFENSE LAB
The Army is starting construction at Fort Detrick in Frederick of a biodefense laboratory building designed for expanded research on the world’s deadliest pathogens. The groundbreaking ceremony planned for Thursday afternoon marks the start of a new home for the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases. (Frederick News Post)

401K LIMITS?
Low inflation has made food and gas more affordable during the recession, but there's a downside: Social Security beneficiaries probably won't get a raise next year, and the IRS may reduce the amount workers can contribute to their 401(k) plans. (USAToday)

MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS UP
The number of mortgage applications rose for a second week, boosted by an increasing demand for refinancing. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s survey for the week ended Aug. 21, demand for applications increased 7.5 percent from the previous week. (Washington Business Journal)

CASINO TO BALTIMORE?
Developers outlined plans Wednesday for a $212 million slot machine parlor near the sports stadiums in south Baltimore that they say would generate $500 million in revenue in 2011, its first year of operation. Members of the Baltimore City Entertainment Group presented their plans for what they've dubbed the Celebration Casino to a state commission in charge of granting slots licenses. (ap/wtop.com) 

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