Local Leads: 4/7/09

News you need to know

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

Fewer Prince George's County students are in danger of failing to graduate.  Some 1,200 students now fall into that category, down from more than 2,700 in fall, says newly appointed school Superintendent Dr. William Hite.  The reduction is the result of aggressive remediation. (wtop.com)

With interest rates at historic lows, it seems everyone wants to refinance their home loans. A person who would never qualify today to refinance just may be able to in a couple of weeks. Guidelines through the federal stimulus package will make it easier for homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. "The new underwriting guidelines aren't going to look as heavily at the value of the home, they're going to loosen up on credit scores and even on debt to income ratio," Steve Cohen with National City Bank says.  (wtop.com)

Nonnative Asian oysters will not be introduced into the Chesapeake Bay because they pose too great a risk, Maryland, Virginia and federal officials announced yesterday. The final decision -- after a five-year, $17-million study overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- was to abandon the nonnative, or Asian, oyster in favor of a concerted effort to restore the native oyster to ecological and economic viability. (The Capital)

Soon after the sudden string of brake lights, a large cloud of dust mushroomed into the air above a relatively clear stretch of Interstate 95 Monday morning. Shortly after 9 a.m., a Loomis armored truck had veered off the highway just south of the I-195 exits for Catonsville and the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and overturned. Within seconds, drivers of other vehicles headed north on the interstate had jumped out of their vehicles and run up to the truck. (Baltimore Sun)

Stanley Fields doesn't have to tell anyone just how much noise and vibration comes from military training at nearby Fort A.P. Hill these days. He can show them. Fields, who lives in Portobago Bay off U.S. 17 in northern Caroline County, pointed out popped nails in drywall and tears along walls and ceilings throughout the home he and his wife, Cindy, share on Portobago Trail. "That shouldn't be there," he said. Fields, who helped build the spacious home seven years ago, says none of that is normal wear and tear. (Free Lance-Star)

Dozens of Charles County employees turned out at a Tuesday evening hearing to share their general support for a four-day work week designed to save the county $1.5 million.The two-year pilot program is the product of a committee assembled several months ago to explore solutions for the county's projected financial shortfall in the coming fiscal year, efforts to increase "green" operations and, most importantly, save jobs. (The Independent)

Teenagers who work in Prince William County this summer won’t have to hitch a ride from mom or dad to get to work.The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission said this week the Teen Summer Bus Pass Program will return for its second year, offering an alternative for teens that may not yet have a license or car. For $25, teens or their parents will be able to purchase the summer pass, good for unlimited rides on all local OmniLink buses and the OmniRide Cross-County Connector bus.
The bus pass will be honored from June 1 to Sept. 5. (insidenova.com)

The Greenbrier Resort's nearly $142 million worth of assets include a Hobart potato peeler, fudge warmer, Beretta white onyx shotguns and 22 horses. Financial statements filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court also show the posh resort's collection of linens is worth about $649,000, while its fleet of golf carts is worth almost $253,000. (AP/wtop.com)

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