The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
IT'S GOING TO BE COLD TODAY
Baby, it's cold outside. That will be the refrain between now and Saturday as the coldest weather since 1996 will start moving in, plunging temperatures into the low 20s tonight. (The Capital)
FRED COLD SCHOOLS
Frederick County Public Schools students may have to put on an extra layer of clothing for school this winter. In effort to reduce energy use and save money, county schools are starting to lower their indoor temperatures and trying to keep thermostats at a constant 68 degrees. That means the temperature in some schools in the county will go down by 2 to 3 degrees. For others, the drop may be bigger - by 5 or 6 degrees. (Gazette)
Last year, 49,011 households in Virginia were in danger of losing their homes, up 201 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac. In all, 1.5 percent of all households in the state received at least one foreclosure filing, less than the national rate of 1.8 percent, the online researcher of foreclosures reported. Nationally, 3.2 million filings were reported on 2.3 million properties last year, an increase of 81 percent from 2007. (Richmond Times Dispatch)
IT WAS AN INSIDE JOB
Theft ring at local Wal-Mart alleged. Six Wal-Mart employees have been accused of stealing more than $20,000 from the Central Park store, police said.Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said the six were arrested Tuesday. All of them worked in the tire and lube section of the store. Bledsoe said the loss-prevention manager at Wal-Mart suspected that the group had been stealing merchandise since early September. (Free-Lance Star)
Peanut butter made in Virginia could be laced with a strain of salmonella that has sickened 410 people in 43 states, and possibly killed three — including two in Virginia. Of those two Virginia deaths, one was a resident of northwest Virginia; the other lived in southwest Virginia. State health officials declined to be more specific. U.S. health officials formed a task force last week to seek the source of the latest outbreak, which began last fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There have been 17 cases reported in Virginia. Officials say peanut butter used in institutional cafeterias — not the jars in your cupboard bought at retail — pose the danger. (Stafford County Sun)
WOMAN HELPS FOXES, CHARGED
Criminal charges have been filed against a Cabin John woman who was nursing two red foxes back to health in her home in December when they were confiscated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and euthanized. (Gazette)
“BEAR SAMARITANS" CONVICTED, FINED!
Two Nelson County residents were convicted and fined for feeding some renegade bears in an attempt to save them from being killed by authorities.A Nelson County General District Court judge yesterday convicted Barbara and David McGann of two misdemeanor bear-feeding counts and fined the couple $250 each. The judge took several related charges under advisement and acquitted the McGanns of illegal chasing, baiting and hunting. (Richmond Times Dispatch)
IT'S GOING TO BE A MESS...
As officials from around the region brace for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration festivities, their basic assessment is this: It's going to be a mess. Every inauguration is a slice of history, but the size of the 56th presidential inauguration’s slice is unparalleled. (Loudoun Times)