Local Leads: 05/14/2009

News you need to know

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

Maryland Plan to Tax Millionaires Backfires

One of Maryland's budget-balancing tactics - asking millionaires to pay more money to the state - appears to be backfiring as the number of the highest-earning taxpayers dwindles with the flagging economy. A year ago, Maryland became one of the first states in the nation to create a higher tax bracket for millionaires as part of a broader package of maneuvers intended to help balance the state's finances and make the tax code more progressive. But as the state comptroller's office sifts through this year's returns, it is finding that the number of Marylanders with more than $1 million in taxable income who filed by the end of April has fallen by one-third, to about 2,000. Taxes collected from those returns as of last month have declined by roughly $100 million. (Baltimore Sun)

Cicadas are Back

They weren't expected for another four years, but some 17-year cicadas are making an early debut in parts of the Fredericksburg area. Michelle Phillips, an entomologist and teacher who lives in Fredericksburg, first noticed them last week in her College Heights neighborhood. She was on on a nightly walk at the corner of Brent Street and Stafford Avenue and found one--partially emerged--on the ground. "Its shape is different than the [seasonal] dog-day cicada," the large green ones that make a racket in the treetops on hot summer days, she said. (Free Lance-Star)

Moran Says City, If Asked, Has 'Responsibility' to Host Terror Trials

Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) says Alexandrians have a “responsibility” to cope with possible trials here of accused terrorists now held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba if the Obama Administration decides to move them to the city. Though President Barack Obama has yet to decide what to do with the 240 prisoners being held at Guantanamo when the facility is closed, Alexandria has been discussed as their next destination because of the city’s modern federal courthouse and experience with high-profile trials. (Alexandria Times)

Pair Discussed Eating Leg of Murder Victim

A husband and wife convicted of murder in the slayings of two tourists they met in Ocean City in 2002 discussed cannibalizing one of the victims, a judge said yesterday. The reference to the discussion came in an order from a Frederick County judge denying a new trial to Erika Sifrit of Hollidaysburg, Pa. (Washington Post )

Mom, Distracted by Toddler, Slams Car into House

Amanda Murillo said she thanks God that no one was injured Wednesday after a car plowed into her Manassas area home. She’s not even upset with her next door neighbor, who accidentally crashed a late model Honda Accord through her front door. “This sort of thing just happens sometimes, and you can’t help it. We have to be thankful that everyone’s OK,” said Murillo. (InsideNova.com)

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