Local Leads: 11/15/2009 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 11/15/2009

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    A boy younger than 10 was shot and killed Saturday night in the Columbia Heights area of Northwest Washington.  D.C. police said the boy was killed inside his apartment in the 1400 block of Columbia Road by a shot that apparently came through the door.  Authorities said the shot was fired shortly before 10 p.m. during a dispute in the hallway outside the boy's apartment.  Police were in the area in connection with the department's All Hands on Deck initiative and arrived at the apartment quickly, authorities said.  They said three people were being questioned late Saturday night.  D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who was among the officials who went to the scene, noted the irony in the child's death.  "Here's a boy in the safety of his own home," and yet he was killed, Graham said.

    The parents of a 14-year-old Maryland boy are asking a public school system to ban perfumes and colognes because they trigger their son's asthma.  Danial Murray, a ninth grade student at Smithsburg High School, often suffers a severe asthma attack when he smells cologne, perfume or other scented products. His parents say that means he has to come home from school three or four times a week. They're asking the Washington County Board of Education to ban the fragrances.  Kelly Murray says her son's condition was triggered last year when another student doused Danial's clothes with a scented spray during gym.  The president of the Washington County Board of Education says the board will likely review the matter during committee meetings next month.

    Sarah Palin will visit the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Valley View Mall Nov. 22 as part of the promotional tour for her book "Going Rogue: An American Life."  The former Republican vice presidential candidate's appearance will be at noon, a HarperCollins spokeswoman said. She didn't know if Palin would appear along with her family members, who traveled with her on the campaign trail last year.  To handle the expected crowds, the Valley View store will hand out wristbands to fans at 6 a.m., said Deanna Lemburg, Barnes & Noble's regional community relations manager.

    Virginia Railway Express is warning riders that trains on its Fredericksburg line will be seriously delayed Monday.  The agency is even urging its passengers to find other ways to work.  The commuter train service that ferries riders from Northern Virginia to D.C. will be disrupted because CSX, the freight rail company that owns the track, will be working on the signal system south of Alexandria on the Fredericksburg line. The Manassas line will not affected.  CSX was slated to do the work Friday through Monday, testing the signal system that alerts trains when to travel. During that time, trains will have to wait for dispatchers to verbally give them permission to travel through each signal, according to VRE. That could slow down trains for up to an hour.  The commuter train service originally planned to cancel service entirely on the line Monday but it decided it would run three trains -- about half its usual load -- during both the morning and afternoon.  "Although we are running limited service, those trains will be severely delayed," a VRE notice to passengers said. "If you absolutely need to be on time that day, VRE is not the best option. We strongly encourage you to take alternative transportation if possible."

    Jim Zorn kept his gaze down last Sunday as he strode toward a lectern in a concourse underneath the stands at the Georgia Dome, another loss just past. It was the fourth straight defeat for the Washington Redskins, and the season -- now halfway over -- was palpably slipping away.  Yet when Zorn stepped up to the microphone to face a bank of television cameras and reporters, he said what he says basically every week in virtually every such instance: "Hi, everybody."  It is, perhaps, the one constant in Zorn's interaction with the public, a unique and friendly moment even in the worst of times. But so much else of what Zorn says publicly has changed over the course of his brief tenure leading the Redskins. A 6-2 start to the 2008 season, in which Zorn was exhorting his players to shout "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" after victories, has dissolved into the misery of 12 losses in the past 16 games.