Local Leads: 1/16/2009

News you need to know

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

Circuit City Stores is asking a federal bankruptcy judge for permission to sell off all the merchandise in its 567 stores.
The Henrico County-based company is proposing a liquidation sale to start tomorrow. Shortly before a court hearing this morning on the bankrupt retailer's future, Circuit City lawyers filed a 30-page agreement with four firms detailing the sales plan. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

About six weeks before a 13-year-old girl was found dead in a Woodbridge area creek bed, the developmentally disabled child showed up outside a neighbor's home with a gash on her head, wearing only her underwear and wrapped in a tarp, the neighbor said. With temperatures hovering near freezing, a shivering Alexis "Lexie" Glover told Wes Byers and his wife Dec. 2 that her mother had hit her with a stick, causing the quarter-size wound on the back of her head. Inside their home, she ate anything they could muster -- Ramen noodles, toast, peanut butter sandwiches -- and pleaded with them not to send her back home, Byers said. (Washington Post
Nine high school students were charged with two counts each of malicious wounding by mob this week after two teenagers were severely beaten Sunday afternoon.  Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith said the beatings were videotaped on camera phones and investigators obtained the video as evidence. (Free-Lance Star)

Barack Obama's train trip Saturday from Philadelphia to Washington offers people who can't make it for the inauguration to catch a glimpse of the next president. The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Wednesday that Obama, his family and the group of "everyday Americans" accompanying them on the train plan to gather at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia that morning. Tickets for the event where Obama will speak have been distributed. (The Capital
Don't be surprised if the road closings on Inauguration Day extend to Interstate 95. Authorities also might close parts of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Interstate 295, Joseph Persichini, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office, has told security professionals and The Washington Times. With the security considered a National Special Security Event, the Secret Service will be in charge of security for the entire day. (WTOP.com
Abandoned vehicles left along interstates or state roads within the Baltimore/Washington corridor will be towed, starting Friday. Maryland State Police say the aim is to keep traffic flowing as people come into town for the inauguration. Vehicles abandoned along the shoulders of the interstates and highways will only add to the potential congestion and slow down any emergency medical responses that might be needed, police say.  (WTOP.com)

The town of Forest Heights is bracing itself for a potential shortfall in its fiscal budget that Town Council members fear could leave the municipality bankrupt by June. During a Dec. 29 council meeting, members of the Town Council sparred with Mayor Larry Stoner as to how the town would cope with a potential deficit in its $1.6 million budget and whether the town could afford to hire a new police chief to replace the acting chief. Stoner said he was hoping to take the police force in a new direction by permanently replacing Frank Webb, the town's acting chief. (Gazette)

Bill Dickens is not happy about the budget Superintendent Morton Sherman submitted to the Alexandria School Board this week, which could outsource his job. As a custodian who cares for the division's central administrative office on Beauregard Street, Dickens has now been cast into an uncertain future as a result of Sherman's plan to remove 61 employees from the payroll and hire a contractor to do the work instead. If the plan succeeds, Dickens could be guaranteed a job with the custodial service during contract negotiations. But he'll have no guarantees about his salary or his health-care benefits. (Alexandria Gazette Packet

To Conrad Harrell of port-a-potty supplier Don's Johns, next Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama will be historic, but not in the way you might think."This is the largest temporary restroom event in the history of the United States," he said. (The Capital)

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