The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
METRO TO POTOMAC MILLS?
The gears may be turning to bring Metrorail to Woodbridge. Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, D-11th is working on legislation that aims to appropriate study money to look at what it will take to bring heavy rail line as far south as Potomac Mills, according to his spokesman, George Burke. Burke said the engineering and feasibility study could cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but also said that Metro would be another travel option for commuters after the Base Realignment and Closure process is complete. (Insidenova.com)
A recent algae bloom in the Potomac River is highlighting the problem of nutrient pollution in the river, and also what steps are being taken at the local, state and federal levels to prevent those pollutants from washing into waterways.
County officials are gearing up to implement a new Municipal Separate Storm Water Sewer System Discharge Permit, issued through the Maryland Department of the Environment, that would place stronger regulations on polluted stormwater that rushes into streams and rivers. Stormwater deposits nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from sources including fertilizer used on lawns and agriculture, contributing to algae blooms and degrading water quality. (Gazette)
WORK IS EASY TO FIND IN DC
D.C. is the easiest metro area in the U.S. to find a job, according to jobs search engine Indeed.com. The largest 50 cities in the U.S. were ranked by comparing the number of unemployed to the number of job postings. D.C. had six job postings for every one unemployed person in June. Over the last year, job postings in D.C. have declined by 15 percent, compared to a national decline of 30 percent, said Indeed. (Washington Business Journal)
WHOLESALE ELECTRICITY RATES DROP
As residents crank up their costly air conditioning to cope with the relentless August heat wave, it may come as a shock to hear that electricity prices in the mid-Atlantic region have dropped significantly from this time last year. But customers aren't seeing those savings on their bills yet because they're paying for power their utility company probably purchased a couple of years ago. (The Capital)
CASH FOR CLUNKERS HURTING SMALL BUSINESS
So far, nearly 350,000 used cars nationwide have been traded in for cash incentives under the federal government’s new Car Allowance Rebate System, better known as “Cash for Clunkers.” Under the program, which began in July, consumers trading in their older vehicles qualify for up to $4,500 in subsidies if they purchase a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. The original $1 billion allotted for the program lasted about a week. Now, the program’s budget has been tripled and is expected to help instigate up to 750,000 new car sales. (Fairfax Times)
SUICIDE CALLS INCREASE
The economic recession has brought uncertainty to all of our lives, and, according to some local agencies, it has also contributed to an increase in calls for help in relation to suicide."We've definitely seen an increase in calls from people who are suicidal as a result of some of the issues relating to the financial crisis," said Marshall Ellis, director of development for CrisisLink, a suicide and crisis hot line based in Arlington that serves Loudoun County and Northern Virginia. (Loudoun Times)
HIGH END RETAILERS SLASHING PRICES
As consumers slowly rediscover shopping, retailers are struggling to strike a balance between slashing prices and going full price. Some high-end stores are settling on lower prices and products that don't have to be discounted to be palatable. That helps maintain their brand images — and profit margins. (USAToday)
POTOMAC ALGAE BLOOM