Local Leads: 1/17/09 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 1/17/09

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

    INAUGURATION COULD TEST AREA HOSPITALS
    Hospital officials in Northern Virginia have prepared for two months for any medical emergency that might occur during the inaugural festivities.  Now if they just had a few empty beds.  The members of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance, including Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, are full of patients. In a sense, the inauguration is happening at the worst possible time. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

    GAINESVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT EXTINGUISHED
    The Prince William Board of County Supervisors on Friday dissolved the Gainesville District Volunteer Fire Department.
    Prince William fire Chief Kevin McGee told the board that a county audit showed that the Gainesville company failed to follow policies and procedures, failed to control spending, failed to respond to citizens' concerns, failed to adhere to its own bylaws and had ineffective governance and oversight by the Prince William Fire and Rescue Association.  McGee also said that some of the volunteers at the Gainesville department were medically unqualified for service and some lacked proper training certification.  (Inside NoVa)

    WITH ECONOMY SLOWING, SO ARE CAR REPAIRS
    Rey Caballero saw a customer leave a Mr. Tire auto repair shop recently, despite being told that his car needed new brakes.
    A customer left Steven Duckson's Clearview Car Care shop Wednesday with a severely cracked drive belt and two days earlier, another customer left the shop with steel sticking out of her tire, Duckson said.  These customers had one thing in common: an inability to pay for the repairs, Caballero and Duckson said. (Frederick News-Post)

    BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS
    A reptile keeper at the Virginia Aquarium was bitten by a Komodo dragon and is being treated for her injuries.  The Virginia Beach aquarium's curator of reptiles and mammals said the worker was bitten on the hand Friday while feeding the carnivorous lizard. Curator Chip Harshaw said he came to the worker's aid as she was in the dragon's grip, and the Komodo released her hand. (WTOP/AP)