Local Leads: 10/10/2009 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 10/10/2009

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    Local Leads: 10/10/2009
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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    It was shortly after midnight, and the Fairfax County couple were fast asleep in their quiet Oak Hill neighborhood. That's when three shadowy figures suddenly began pummeling them -- and one was wielding a machete.  The beating became bloody. Then the silent home invaders left. That's when the homeowner screaming for help out the window of his second-floor master bedroom sparked calls to 911, and then an intense police investigation early Wednesday that resulted in the arrests of two men and the ongoing search for a third, Fairfax police said Friday.  Police think that the couple's 23-year-old daughter complained to some friends after fighting with her parents. But they do not think she knew that her friends would burst into the brick colonial home on Cinnamon Oaks Court near West Ox Road and attack her parents.  The daughter apparently returned home after her parents had been rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where they remained hospitalized. She was questioned but not arrested.

    Two Metrorail stations will be closed during the Columbus Day weekend so Metro may perform track maintenance.
    The Waterfront-SEU and Archives-Navy Mem'l-Penn Quarter Metrorail stations will be closed from 10:30 p.m. on Friday through Monday. There will be no service at these stations for three consecutive days. The Green Line will also be closed at the L'Enfant Plaza Metrorail station.  The Green Line will operate in two segments - between the Branch Avenue and Navy Yard Metrorail stations and between the Greenbelt and Gallery Pl-Chinatown Metrorail stations.  During the weekend, Metro will be replacing four rail switches at the L'Enfant Plaza Metrorail station on the Green and Yellow lines, and will close the Yellow Line Bridge over the Potomac River to conduct an annual safety inspection and conduct track maintenance. This means there will be no Yellow Line service between the Archives-Navy Mem'l-Penn Quarter and Fort Totten Metrorail stations. The Blue and Orange Line at the L'Enfant Plaza Metrorail station will not be affected.

    Among the most well known Ben's Chili Bowl customers is comedian Bill Cosby, who on Friday fondly recalled his times at the restaurant.  Mr. Cosby said he ate at the restaurant when it opened in 1958 and a half-smoke cost 35 cents.  "The price has gone up but the quality has never gone down," he said Friday. "The taste is one of those things I always dreamed about, even in the South of France."  Mr. Cosby, whose pictures still hang on Ben's walls, said he discovered Ben's as a military corpsman stationed in Bethesda and Quantico and racing across the region to play basketball and run track.  "I was lean then, had an athlete's body," he recalled. "I could eat six half-smokes. Chili, raw onions and mustard. That's how I like them."

    The Washington Teachers Union filled downtown's Freedom Plaza on Thursday with more than 1,000 teachers and labor union faithful as they struggled to capture public opinion following Chancellor Michelle Rhee's recent round of firings.  "No matter how many times Mayor Fenty talks about bad teachers, we know it's a lie," shouted WTU President George Parker from a stage filled with local and national union leaders. "We know you are good teachers."  Parker's protest came one day after the union filed a lawsuit in the District's Superior Court claiming that last week's firing of nearly 400 school employees under the pretext of a budget shortfall was an "attempt to sidestep [the teachers contract]," and to fire veteran teachers while taking away their union grievance process. Rhee defends the cuts as part of an effort to balance the number of teachers with the number of students.

    Activists are hopeful President Obama will articulate increased commitment to LGBT issues during his speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner — and are particularly looking for comment on pending anti-gay ballot measures, including the fight to preserve same-sex marriage in Maine.  Obama will deliver the event's keynote address Saturday at HRC's 13th annual national dinner, and activists want the president to say he opposes measures intended to compromise LGBT rights.  In Maine, an upcoming "people's veto" could overturn the state's same-sex marriage law; in Washington state, a referendum could roll back an expansion of the state's domestic partner registry; and in Kalamazoo, Mich., an initiative could repeal the city's non-discrimination ordinance.Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, said she hopes Obama will speak out against the referenda and continue to advocate against such measures even after voters have had their say.