Local Leads: 11/26/09 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 11/26/09

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    Local Leads: 11/26/09
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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    In many ways, Virginia is still recovering from Prohibition. Antiquated laws discouraging the demon alcohol still govern the commonwealth, and state regulators routinely march through restaurants looking for violations and levying fines. Last year, for example, restaurants were finally allowed to mix brandy and wine to make sangria thanks to a King Street restaurant that challenged the ban. Now Pizzeria Paradiso owner Ruth Gresser may have another fight on her hands. (Alexandria Gazette Packet)

    Violent crimes in Fairfax County declined by 12 percent for the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2008, according to third-quarter statistics released by county police on Nov. 24. There were 10 murders during this period, versus 12 last year, and 83 rapes, down slightly from 84 in 2008. Robberies decreased from 327 in the first three quarters of 2008 to 291 this year and aggravated assaults dropped from 293 last year to 245 in 2009, police said.(Sun Gazette)

    Even with the place a quarter full on a sleepy Sunday night, the thin, gray haze of cigarette smoke still hangs over Q-Ball Billiards in Springfield. Located in the same shopping center off Rolling Road, Q-Ball is a neighborhood pool hall, mostly attracting a crowd of 20- and 30-somethings who grew up nearby. Virginia technically has no bars or taverns. All establishments with a liquor license are classified as restaurants and required to serve food. But to the average person, Q-Ball, with its menu of standard pub fare — burgers, fries and wings — and lack of a traditional sit-down dining service, appears to be more bar than eating establishment (Fairfax Connection)

    A new policy set into motion by the Facilities and Grounds Committee of the Loudoun County Courthouse now prohibits displays on the courthouse grounds. This means no more Christmas trees, nativity scenes or any other holiday displays, something that has left some local residents in despair. (Leesburg Today)

    Is Herndon the most obscene municipality in America? The 4.2-square-mile Town of Herndon, with a population of approximately 23,000, has received its share of business-media accolades over the years. In 2006, it was named one of the "Most Affordable Suburbs" in America by BusinessWeek magazine. This past summer, the municipality was ranked one of the top 25 national locations to live "For The Rich and Single" by Money magazine. But the town's mayor is a little reticent to accept Herndon's latest designation, that of "Most Obscene City in America." (Fairfax Times)

    Holiday shoppers should think twice this year before using their credit and check cards instead of cash, according to Prince George's County Police Detective Joey Benford. These days, he said, you can't even trust cashiers not to steal your information."If you can not take a card and scan it through a machine and press your own PIN number, I'd say don't do it," he said. (Gazette)