Local Leads: 11/23/09

News you need to know

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

A growing number of companies are turning their attention to creating renewable products — such as adhesives and plastics — from the animal parts that can't be sold on supermarket shelves. From plastics made from feather protein to diesel fuel made from fat to organic fertilizer made from poultry litter, the USA's top meat producers are developing new uses and markets for the animal parts that humans won't eat, says Tom Cook, president of the National Renderers Association in Alexandria, Va. (USAToday)

Sit down to a $50 restaurant meal in Spotsylvania or Stafford county and you'll be charged $4.50 in added state and local taxes. Sit down to that same meal in Fredericksburg, and you'll pay $5.50 in tax. The $1 difference is because Fredericksburg's meals tax is 2 percent higher than those of its neighbors. The City Council raised the tax this year from 5 percent to 6 percent.  And so far, that has resulted in an increase in revenue for the city. (Fredericksburg.com)

Besides dreading the mall traffic, there's the traffic just to get to the mall! To avoid other shoppers, there's always shopping during your lunch hour this holiday season. Starting Monday there will be a new shuttle in Tysons Corner so you can skip the car traffic as well. (wtop.com)

The "shaky" economic recovery may have an effect on this year's holiday sales, economists say. Several factors that were part of the recession, including fluctuating house prices and the dramatic increase in unemployment, add to the stress felt by consumers, said Robert A. Dye, a senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, the parent of PNC Bank. The bank is one of the largest in deposits and branches in Maryland. (Gazette)

Tax refunds are up sharply in Virginia as the recession batters the balance sheets of upper-income residents, adding to an already staggering budget shortfall facing the state.  Virginia has doled out $220 million in tax refunds since the beginning of the fiscal year, a 26 percent increase from the same point last year and $45 million more than what was forecasted. (Examiner)

Contact Us