Local Leads: 03/31/2010

News you need to know

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

Drilling Off Va. Coast

The Obama administration will approve significant oil and gas exploration off America's coasts, including a possible sale two years from now of leases off the Virginia shore, administration officials said Wednesday. The move, which President Obama will announce Wednesday morning with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at Andrews Air Force Base, ends a long-standing moratorium on oil and gas drilling along much of the East Coast, from Delaware to central Florida (Washington Post)       

Divorce Lawyers Welcome Gay Marriages

Divorce lawyers are welcoming the surge of just-married gay couples in the District, lining up for a stable of new clients once wedding bells are drowned out by alimony fights, custody battles and other legal standoffs previously reserved for straight couples. "It will bring more business to family lawyers for all sorts of issues," said Carolyn Goodman, a D.C. general practice lawyer who focuses on divorce law. "The bottom line is you see a lot of people getting married for the wrong reasons and it will probably cause the same strife that breaks [straight] marriages down." (Washington Examiner)         

Home Schooling Up in Fairfax

Fairfax County parents are increasingly turning to home schooling as an alternative to public schools for their children. Since 2005, the number of students learning at home in the county has grown 23 percent, said Lori Hershey of the Department of Special Services. This is compared with a 6.5 percent rise in public school enrollment during the same time, also recorded by the school system. The reason for the increase is that home-based instruction has become easier, more acceptable and attractive in Fairfax County, local parents of home-schooled children said. (Fairfax Times) 

85 Y.O. Man Arrested for Abducting Girl

 An 85-year-old man who was already on electronic monitoring was arrested yesterday for attacking a teenage girl, Fredericksburg police said. John William Sinnett of Spotsylvania is accused of fondling a 17-year-old James Monroe High School student Monday after she accepted his offer of a ride home. Sinnett was charged yesterday with abduction with the intent to defile, which carries a possible life sentence. (Fredericksburg.com)

More Women Carry Guns                              

American women are buying guns and taking aim on firing ranges in growing numbers, according to a recent study and interviews with gun-shop owners. A 2009 study found 70 percent of shop owners reported more female buyers. The study, conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Southwick Associates, also found 80 percent of the female gun-buyers who responded said they purchased a gun for self-defense, followed by 35 percent for target practice and 24 percent for hunting. (Washington Times)

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