Local Leads: 4/25/2010 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 4/25/2010

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    New Shoulder Replacement Procedure Gives the Gift of Movement
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    Events marking the 40th Earth Day culminate Sunday in an all-day concert and rally featuring Sting, John Legend, Jimmy Cliff and others.  The Climate Rally begins at 11 a.m. on the National Mall and is scheduled to last until 7 p.m. Movie director James Cameron and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are among the scheduled speakers.  The rally is intended to push Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation.

    The top brass in Montgomery and Fairfax counties are raking in big bucks.  In Montgomery, nearly 1,200 employees make more than $100,000 when overtime is included in their pay, according to fiscal 2009 data obtained by the Washington Examiner. Fairfax would not release its overtime pay, but still has nearly 800 employees bringing in salaries of more than $100k a year.   The high salaries for so many public workers is "out of balance" with what private companies pay, said Dee Hodges, chairwoman of the Maryland Taxpayers Association. Hodges said the traditional trade-off of public-sector employees forgoing higher wages for more job security is long gone.   "Now they have both the job security and more money," Hodges said. Still, leaders in Montgomery are making bank compared with their counterparts in Fairfax.

    Eight children escaped injury Saturday afternoon after the fire engine they were playing on rolled down a hill and hit a tree, county firefighters said.  The Lake Shore Volunteer Fire Company had Engine 201 parked on Edgewater Road in Pasadena for a community event. Several children were on the fire engine throughout the day. At one point, the emergency brake was released and the fire engine rolled down the hill, said Battalion Chief Steve Thompson. One firefighter was injured after somehow trying to stop the engine.  "There were several children on the fire engine," Thompson said. "They were looking at it and crawling inside."

    The Arlington County Board approved a nearly $956 million budget for 2011 on Saturday, with an increase in the tax rate and fees that will require the average homeowner to pay $346 more in annual taxes.   The board approved a tax rate of 95.8 cents per $100 of a home's assessed value, an 8.3-cent increase. It also approved a rise in fees for utilities and a motor vehicle decal tax.
    Chairman Jay Fisette said board members worked to maintain direct services to residents with the most need, but to also find efficiencies within departments. He said the budget preserves "core services, ensures fiscal sustainability and retains our highly skilled workforce."

    Sitting in his office where pictures lean against a wall in piles, still waiting to be hung, Gov. Bob McDonnell said that even after 18 years in elected office, the scope and power of the governorship has been surprising.  He was inaugurated as Virginia's 71st governor during a legislative session in which lawmakers grappled with a suffocating $4 billion budget hole. He takes pride in closing that gap without a tax increase and boasts that it's among his major accomplishments as he reaches his 100th day in office today.  But his legislative successes have been tempered by controversies over not including a specific protection for gay state employees in an executive order, a tussle with the federal government over health care and a Confederate History Month proclamation that omitted any reference to slavery.

    Time to draft and time to trade ... and trade ... and trade. NFL teams were almost as busy dealing veterans as they were making draft picks Saturday. Jason Campbell, LenDale White, Kirk Morrison, Leon Washington and Bryant McFadden all changed teams on the final day of the draft.   With Donovan McNabb now in Washington, Campbell became expendable and was sent to Oakland for a fourth-round pick in 2012. Where that leaves JaMarcus Russell, the top overall pick of 2007 who has struggled with the Raiders, is anyone’s guess.