Local Leads: 12/19/08

News you need to know

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

Two of four Centreville men who pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute heroin in Fairfax County have also admitted to distributing the heroin that caused the death of 19-year-old Westfield High graduate Alicia Lannes. According to court records, Josh "JR" Quick, 21, and Daniel Nash, 19, pleaded guilty Dec. 9 to conspiring to distribute between 400 to 700 grams of heroin between June 2007 and March 2008. Court records state that on or about March 4 Quick distributed heroin to Nash, who then distributed a portion of that heroin to fellow defendant Skylar Schnippel at Quick's direction.  (Fairfax Times)

As thousands of state employees face up to five days of mandatory unpaid leave that will start the day after Christmas, lawmakers across Southern Maryland are willing to match the sacrifice by giving up part of their legislative salaries. Gov. Martin O'Malley enacted a plan Tuesday that calls for 67,000 state employees to be furloughed for between two and five days, based on their pay grade. Employees earning less than $40,000 a year will be required to take furlough days Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Workers who earn more than $60,000 annually will take five days. Those with salaries in between will take four days leave. (The Independent)

Milt Hathaway, the head librarian at Culpeper's Eastern View High School, defends his title tonight on the popular syndicated television show "Jeopardy." Last night Hathaway, who is originally from Newport, R.I., became champion with $38,401, about $200 more than defending champion Stevie Benson. Hathaway, who moved to Culpeper just prior to the school year, led during most of the game and cinched victory in Final Jeopardy round when he gave the correct question to the answer, "On April 29, 1861, he said 'We seek no conquest; all we ask is to be let alone.'" (Free Lance-Star)

It's no small surprise, but Capital Improvement Program projects for Prince William for fiscal 2010 to 2015 are pretty much at a standstill, according to county executive Craig Gerhart, who apprised supervisors of the financial reality at Tuesday's meeting. "We don't have a lot of options," said Gerhart. "We're recommending a CIP today that has been essentially deconstructed."  The county expects a budget shortfall for fiscal 2010 of $82 million, due in part to a projected 30 percent fall in residential assessments. The schools, meanwhile, must find ways to recoup an estimated $108 million shortfall for this same period. (Inside NoVA)

The members of a Montgomery County panel who are paid $12,000 a year to attend monthly meetings to shape fire and rescue policy are facing elimination weeks after voting against a controversial ambulance fee backed by some elected officials. The nearly 30-year-old Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission is outdated and overly expensive, Councilman George Leventhal told The Examiner. Its seven members -- two volunteer firefighters, two professional firefighters and three members of the public — receive $1,000 each month to attend a meeting on public safety issues, according to county law. (DC Examiner)

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