Local Leads: 07/27/09

News you need to know

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

On Saturday, July 25, at approximately 11 p.m., Arlington County police arrested Alexandria Chief of Police David P. Baker for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Chief Baker was involved in a traffic collision near the intersection of I-66 and North Fairfax Drive in Arlington County. The driver of the other vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local area hospital. According to Arlington County Police, Chief Baker’s blood alcohol level (BAC) was .19 percent. Under Virginia law, the legal limit for driving is a .08 BAC. Chief Baker was driving an unmarked City vehicle at the time of the accident. Following the arrest, he was released through normal booking procedures. (Alexandrianews.org)

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s oldest sorority for collegiate and professional black women, are asking a D.C. court to remove the group’s national leadership and order its president to return funds allegedly paid in contravention of the organization’s bylaws. The group’s national president, Barbara McKinzie, has come under fire for a long list of alleged financial misdeeds. The most interesting of those allegations: The plaintiffs claim McKinzie used the organization’s money to commission a $900,000 “living legacy wax figure” of herself.  (Washington Business Journal

The Virginia Department of Transportation said today it has started notifying about 600 employees that their jobs will be eliminated as part of the agency’s cost-cutting to save $2.6 billion. VDOT announced last year it would cut 1,000 full-time positions and 450 part-time staff to reduce the agency to 7,500 full-time staff by July 1, 2010. The job cuts will affect all nine of VDOT’s highway districts in Virginia. About 70 positions are being cut in its Richmond district operations, which covers 14 counties. Two of the seven equipment shops in the district are being closed. Another 82 jobs are being cut at the agency’s central office in Richmond. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

Obesity is not just dangerous, it is expensive. New research shows medical spending in the United States averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone who is normal weight. Overall obesity-related health spending reaches $147 billion, double what it was nearly a decade ago, says the study published Monday by the journal Health Affairs. (AP/Richmond Times Dispatch)

In the classroom, at least, nobody wants to make the teacher mad. But dozens of America's educators are angry as hornets about Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s plan to build a Supercenter near a national park at the Wilderness in Virginia. This weekend, teachers visiting the Fredericksburg area from across the nation hurled a respectful salvo at the retail giant, spontaneously penning a letter to Orange County. (Free Lance Star

Legal action that would halt light rail along the Capital Crescent Trail appeared to be favored by a majority of Town of Chevy Chase residents testifying on the Purple Line mass transit project July 23. Almost 50 people gave their opinions on the Purple Line during a public hearing that lasted almost three hours. While some said the Town Council had a duty to file the lawsuit to protect residents and expose shoddy analysis by the Maryland Transit Administration, others argued that legal action would waste the town's reserve funds and cast the community as selfish obstructionists. (Gazette)

Military authorities are investigating the death of a soldier from Virginia in a non-combat related incident in Iraq. The Department of Defense says 21-year-old Army Spc. Herberth A. Berrios-Campos of Bealeton died July 24 in Salman Pak, Iraq, from injuries suffered in the incident. (Insidenova.com)

New U.S. home sales rose by the largest amount in more than eight years last month, in another sign the housing market is finally bouncing back from the worst downturn in decades. The Commerce Department said Monday that sales rose 11 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, from an upwardly revised May rate of 346,000. (ap/Frederick News Post)  

Curry’s Auto Service in Gainesville is now "Certified Female Friendly.” Curry’s family-run business is the first auto service center in Virginia to complete training designed by AskPatty.com, a national program created to provide women with information on auto purchases, repairs and maintenance.  (Gainesville Times

Contact Us