Local Leads: 11/7/2009 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 11/7/2009

News you need to know



    Local Leads:  11/7/2009
    Getty Images

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

    Gov. Martin O'Malley issued an emergency order Friday to help speed immunizations once more swine flu vaccine is available in Maryland. The order allows paramedics, emergency medical technicians and cardiac rescue personnel to give shots to the general public. Before, they could give them only to each other under some circumstances.  The emergency order is basically a bureaucratic necessity. Health officials in Maryland and elsewhere are ramping up for what they hope will be plentiful supplies of vaccine, perhaps late this month. They don't want long lines caused by scant supplies to be replaced by long lines caused by a shortage of people to give shots.  Virginia made a similar emergency declaration in April and has been offering vaccination training sessions to EMT workers. In the District, which has not declared a public health or general emergency, paramedics can administer vaccines to the general public but emergency medical technicians cannot, officials said.

    The 13 people killed when an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, included a pregnant woman who was preparing to return home, a man who quit a furniture company job to join the military about a year ago, a newlywed who had served in Iraq and a woman who had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    What do Georgetown, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins have in common? They all cost over $50K per year to attend and they all made it onto the list of the top ten most expensive colleges in America, according to numbers recently compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Two of the three, Georgetown and GW, are perennial favorites having been among the top 20 most expensive colleges since at least 2003.  For the second year in a row, Sarah Lawrence College in New York has the dubious honor of being the most expensive college in the nation with tuition, fees, room and board totaling $55,788. Georgetown ($52,161) comes in at number three, with GW ($51,775) and Johns Hopkins ($51,690) holding the number five and six spots. St. John’s College in Annapolis joined other local $50K Club members at number 42 with costs totaling $50,352 per year.


    President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul moved toward a vote in the House Saturday after anti-abortion lawmakers won a chance to knock out language that would let federally subsidized health care plans cover abortions.  Democratic leaders were hopeful they could pass the bill, giving Obama his biggest victory since last November's historic election, no matter how the abortion issue is decided. Obama planned a rare Saturday visit to Capitol Hill in an effort to cement a majority to pass legislation that is certain to be seen as a test of his presidency.  The bill would cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade. It would provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who don't have it now, require most employers to offer it to their workers and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on a person's medical history.  "The status quo is unaffordable and unsustainable. Health care reform benefits all of us," said Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., as debate opened on the House floor.Republicans were united in their opposition to the bill.

    Charges may be filed after a group of people out for a joyride on the towpath of the C&O Canal crashed in the water.  Police say the car lost control and wound up in the canal Friday night.  The driver and passengers, reportedly in their late teens to early 20s, all got out OK, but three people were taken to the hospital as a precaution. Two others refused treatment.  Driving on the towpath is illegal.(NBCWASHNGTON.COM)