Local Leads: 10/24/2008

News you need to know

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

U.S. stocks plummet at opening bell as investors absorb poor corporate profit data that indicates a global recession is taking shape. (Washington Post
Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's campaign rally in Fredericksburg will begin at noon Monday, the McCain-Palin campaign announced yesterday.The rally is planned for Hurkamp Park, which is bounded by Prince Edward, William and George streets in downtown Fredericksburg. City officials, Virginia State Police and Secret Service officials were working yesterday to determine logistics for the event, which will be open to the public.   (Free-Lance Star)

Metro and 30 other transit agencies across the country may have to pay billions of dollars to large banks as years-old financing deals unravel, potentially hurting service for millions of bus and train riders, transit officials said yesterday. The problems are an unexpected consequence of the credit crisis, triggered indirectly by the collapse of American International Group, the insurance giant that U.S. taxpayers recently rescued from bankruptcy, officials said. (Washington Post

The Charles County commissioners are considering a hiring freeze and up to 3 percent budget cuts for all county agencies after being notified this week that the county's tax revenues are falling behind estimates by $12.1 million.  According to the county's fiscal services department, revenues from the recordation tax, which is collected when land changes hands, could fall $8 million to $9 million under revenue estimates in this fiscal year. Recordation tax makes up 12.5 percent of the county's revenue. (Md. Independent

According to a congressional report scheduled to be released today, federal workers in the District and New York City failed to pay $176,000 in fines for 1,147 tickets issued last year to their U.S. government vehicles. Leading the way in the District were the Army, Navy and Air Force, whose employees ignored 158 tickets for $28,000 in 2007.  (Washington Post)

Frederick County, Md., has the 15th fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country, according to a study released Thursday. The county's Hispanic population has nearly tripled since 2000 and now stands at 12,900, according to a study by the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center. Frederick is the only Maryland county among the top 25 fastest-growing locations.  Frederick County, Va., topped the list with a Hispanic population that nearly quadrupled from 2000 to 2007. Six other northern and central Virginia counties, along with Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia, also ranked in the top 25. (Frederick News Post
Traffic headaches in Tysons Corner will likely get worse during the next five years as work proceeds on big road and development projects, including the Metro rail extension and the addition of toll lanes and ramps on the Capitol Beltway. Planners say the work will be complicated by the area's third rush hour, the midday crush of office workers driving short distances for lunch. (Washington Post)

The wheel looked a little different, but Pat Sajak looked right at home in front of the cameras in Glen Burnie. Mr. Sajak, who lives in Severna Park when he's not taping "Wheel of Fortune" in Los Angeles, popped into the county TV studio yesterday to co-host "Anne Arundel's Most Wanted," a show run by the county Sheriff's Department to help track down people wanted in connection with various crimes. (The Capital)

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