Local Leads: 1/18/09

News you need to know

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

Drivers who get a ticket could pay an extra fee to help subsidize gas expenses for local police under a bill from state Sen. Richard Stuart. Stuart's bill would add $10 to the fines charged to ticketed motorists, with the money going back to localities to help cover gas costs. A locality would have to pass an ordinance to levy the fee.  Stuart said he submitted the bill because local police and sheriffs offices were hit hard by last year's high gas prices, along with budget cuts and increasing demands on their services.  (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

A Division of Correction official says a convicted murderer has escaped from a Western Maryland prison.  Division spokesman Mark Vernarelli says Kanderlario Garcia-Ramos apparently jumped the fence Saturday morning at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, a medium security men's prison that holds abut 2,000 inmates. Vernarelli says Maryland State Police were immediately alerted.  (WTOP/AP)

The phone started ringing at Cherry Hill RV Park the morning after the election, but Mike and Linda Gurevich didn't really believe it until the recreational vehicles started lumbering in by the hundreds. Winter's a quiet time at the Gureviches' campgrounds in College Park, but yesterday, their 60 acres hard by the Beltway turned into an instant Obamaville.   It was a community of people from all across the land who felt compelled to be here this weekend, not because they're political types, not because they worked for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, but because they believe to their core that there's good mileage left in this battered old tin can of a country. (Washington Post)

If only all home moves could be as quick and easy as at the White HousePresident Bush will leave the White House on Tuesday morning and hand over the country to Barack Obama at noon sharp. By the time the Obamas enter their new quarters a few hours later, the new first family's clothes will be hanging in the closets and their photos will be on display.  A team of federal employees will work nonstop during the few hours while the outgoing and incoming presidents are occupied with the inaugural festivities. Damage to White House furniture from the Bush years will be repaired, and anything else the new first family wants to bring will be unpacked. (Washington Times)

Metro officials say they can carry up to 1.6 million people on the system’s trains and buses on Tuesday as crowds come to witness Barack Obama’s swearing-in as president.
But it isn’t clear how many people that really means, since the Metro system counts rides, not people. One person who takes Metrorail into the city for the inauguration, then back home, counts twice. Someone who takes three trips — to downtown, then to an inauguration party, and back home — would count three times. (DC Examiner)

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