Local Leads: 2/19/09 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 2/19/09

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

    SLEEPY DRIVER THAT CAUSED FATAL ACCIDENT FINED $470
    The driver who fell asleep while crossing the Bay Bridge last summer, causing a fatal wreck that sent a tractor-trailer plunging into the water more than 30 feet below, has pleaded guilty to three traffic charges. Candy Lynn Baldwin, 19, of the small Eastern Shore town of Millington in Kent County, was not required to appear in Queen Anne's County District Court last month to face the charges of negligent driving, failure to drive right of center and violating a license restriction. (The Capital)

    SHOPLIFTING SPIKE
    Incidents of shoplifting have spiked in recent months, and the Alexandria Police Department is concerned that the slumping economy could be contributing to a shoplifting crime spree in the city. In the first half of February alone, the police have logged 22 separate incidents of shoplifting. Public-safety officials have apprehended suspects in about half of those cases, yet Police Chief David Baker said he is concerned that shoplifting incidents could continue to increase as the economy continues to decline in the coming months. (Alexandria Gazette Packet)

    ROUTE 28 RE-DO
    Residential could be the new buzz word for the Route 28 corridor. Two recently filed applications seek to construct mixed-use developments along the mostly business-oriented corridor. Dulles World Center, consisting of 75 acres in Loudoun County, along with four acres in Fairfax County, on Innovation Drive, along the northeast quadrant of routes 28 and 267, is proposed to have 3,394,600 square feet of nonresidential uses, including hotels, restaurants, retail and offices as well as 1,495 housing units consisting of 32 townhouses and 1,463 multifamily units. (Ashburn Connection)

    SICK SCHOOLS?
    Absences have been higher than normal at Bells Mill Elementary after what parents described as a "mild flu" struck the school community this month. But according to school health officials, the bug -- which is not influenza -- is not limited to the elementary school, currently located on Grosvenor Lane in Bethesda in anticipation of the opening of the new school building in Potomac this fall. (Gazette)

    DRINK MORE WATER BEFORE THE RATES GO UP
    The board that oversees the troubled water and sewer system for Montgomery and Prince George's counties yesterday approved sending a 9 percent rate increase to their counties' leaders for approval, saying it would keep the utility running but do little to overhaul decaying underground pipes.  (Washington Post)

    CYBER BULLYING BILL
    An Anne Arundel County legislator wants to expand Maryland law to allow the state to investigate and prosecute those who engage in cyber bullying.The measure would protect people from harassment on message boards and networking Web sites like MySpace. Republican Delegate Nic Kipke from Pasadena says online bullying is a "silent problem" that is blamed for suicides in Maryland and throughout the country. (AP/Wtop.com
     
    UNCLAIMED LOTTERY TICKET
    A $250,000 winning ticket, just sitting and waiting for you, only you forgot about it. The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a 7-Eleven on Lincolnia Road in Alexandria for the Aug. 26 drawing. But you'd better start checking that sock drawer or bowl on the kitchen counter, because time is running out. Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty says the owner needs to contact the lottery office  fast. "At close of business on Monday, that slip of paper that right now is worth a quarter of a million dollars will become just a worthless slip of paper" Hagerty says. The winning ticket numbers? 6-16-24-34-36.

    COUCHES ON PORCHES
    A proposed ordinance in Mount Rainier intended to prevent house fires could ban residents from keeping upholstered furniture like couches outside of their homes.  Councilman Bryan Knedler (Ward 2) introduced the ordinance earlier this month. He said he wants to prevent fires like one that occurred in November 2006 that was started by a lit cigarette discarded on a couch on a porch. (Gazette