The Night Note: 12/29/08

News you need to know

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

National Park Sites Lift Local Economies

The country's national parks have become valuable assets during the recession -- drawing thousands of visitors and propping up local economies, a new study shows. Visitors to the National Park Service sites in the District and elsewhere in country last year helped support roughly 209,000 jobs and spent $11.8 billion in gift shops and nearby businesses such as hotels, restaurants and gas stations, according to the study by the National Park Service and Michigan State University. (Washington Times)

Giant Biotech Hiring Hundreds

Hundreds of new hires will soon be housed in MedImmune's Gaithersburg headquarters, which is doubling its size over the next few years, leasing more space and expanding a manufacturing plant in Frederick to accommodate products expected to come from its new research facility. (

Pollution Killing Chesapeake Bay Crabs

Chesapeake Bay's iconic and profitable blue crabs face suffocation, hunger and cannibalism as dead zones continue to expand across the estuary, draining oxygen from the water and killing off enough clams and worms to feed 60 million crabs.  That bleak assessment came today in a new report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the nonprofit environmental group that monitors the bay and the multimillion-dollar industries it supports. (Washington Post)
Sober Rides Offered
A local nonprofit will offer free taxi rides in the Washington area to "would-be drunk drivers" in the hopes of preventing alcohol-related traffic accidents. SoberRide is sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which includes area law enforcement officials and business professionals, among other groups. (WTOP)
Man Wearing Clinton Mask Robs Bank
A gunman wearing a Bill Clinton mask robbed a bank near Westfield Annapolis mall Friday afternoon, police said. At just after 3:30 p.m., the man, whose face was covered with the rubber mug of the former president, walked into the PNC Bank at 116 Defense Highway with a revolver and announced he was robbing the place, said Justin Mulcahy, a county police spokesman. (Hometown Annapolis)
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