Local Leads: 10/20/08

News you need to know

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

Authorities in Fairfax County say a 5-year-old boy who had been the subject of an Amber Alert has been found unharmed. Police say Kameron Wells was with his sister and grandfather at a shopping center in Alexandria around 11 a.m. Sunday when he disappeared. Police say a security camera image showed the boy outside the store with a woman family members said they didn't know. (NBC Washington.com) http://www.nbc4.com/news/17758281/detail.html?dl=headlineclick

Commuters who drive through Georgetown are hitting detours and delays because of an early morning fire at a restaurant. Deputy Fire Chief Ken Crosswhite says the blaze was reported at 5:16 a.m. in the 1000 block of 31st NW. The fire is in a 2 1/2 story wood frame end unit. The two-alarm fire broke out at the Ristorante Piccolo. M Street has been closed near the restaurant, along with Wisconsin Avenue at L Street. Crosswhite says the fire has been contained to the single building. No injuries have been reported. He says damage to the restaurant is "pretty significant." (The Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/20/AR2008102000688.html

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Circuit City Stores Inc. is considering a plan to close at least 150 stores and cut thousands of jobs. The Journal quoted unnamed sources as saying the store closings and furloughs would be an alternative for the troubled Henrico County-based consumer electronics retailer to filing for bankruptcy-court protection. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

Property value in Loudoun County is projected to drop 6.31 percent this year, while taxable value is expected to decline 6.96 percent, according to the county assessor. Loudoun property valued at $66.9 billion on Jan. 1, 2008 is projected to be valued at $62.7 billion on Jan. 1, 2009. The taxable value is projected to decline from $62 billion on Jan. 1, 2008 to a projected $57.7 billion on Jan. 1, 2009. Loudoun County finances are heavily dependent on property taxes, which are based on assessed values. The county, which is suffering through difficult budget times with the rest of the Washington area, raised property taxes 19 percent in April to shore up its coffers.  (DC Examiner)  http://www.dcexaminer.com/

University Police releasd images of the man who they believe sexually assaulted a female student near the information desk of McKeldin Library. The student was walking through the reference stacks on the first floor of McKeldin at about 9:40 p.m. on Oct. 8 when a man grabbed her buttocks and began to masturbate in front of her, University Police spokesman Paul Dillon said shortly after the crime.  (UMD Diamondback)

Spotsylvania County Administrator Randy Wheeler will poll the county's 814 full-time employees on whether any would be willing to work fewer hours to reduce layoffs.  The action is fueled by gloomy forecasts that revenues are down at least $11 million. The Board of Supervisors has chipped away at that by asking all departments heads, constitutional officers and the school system to cut their budgets by 3 percent and prepare for an additional 7 percent in cuts. ( Free-Lance Star)

The nationwide price of gas took some of its biggest drops on record, falling more than 50-cents a gallon in the last two weeks and more than 75-cents in the last month. About 20 states fell below the average of $3.00 a gallon this week. (Wall Street Journal)http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122418052416641331.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Airlines will offer almost 3,000 fewer domestic flights a day during the Thanksgiving season, promising fewer choices, fuller planes and higher fares for millions of Americans. Compared with last Thanksgiving season, there will be 11% fewer flights - 2.6 million fewer seats - on non-stop domestic routes from Nov. 20, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, through Nov. 30, the Sunday afterward.  (USA Today)

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