Local Leads: 1/29/2009

News you need to know

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

Local dream projects that haven't made it past the planning stages won't get funding from the federal economic stimulus package, but some projects already under consideration might, including the Purple Line. "We're looking at new projects that can be, maybe, moved pretty quickly. Perhaps with some of this economic stimulus and recovery funds that might be the case," says David Robertson, executive director of the Metropolitan Council of Governments.  (WTOP.com)

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has again failed to file his tax returns. The former District mayor has not submitted federal or city tax forms for 2007 -- the second instance in which he has not filed required returns while on probation for tax offenses, said two sources familiar with the situation.  Two years ago, federal prosecutors failed to convince a federal judge that Barry should be jailed for violating the terms of his probation, which was ordered in 2006, because he did not file 2005 tax returns. The probation expires in March. Barry declined last night to discuss the matter or say when he might file his taxes. "As with any American citizen, my tax status is a matter between the IRS and the taxpayer and not The Washington Post," he said. His attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., and Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, also declined to comment.  (Washington Post)

Metro spent more than $5 million to operate extra service for Inauguration Day and the days immediately leading up to Jan. 20, according to a report that General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. is to give to the Metro board today, officials said.The figure is an estimate sent to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's office yesterday with the understanding that the mayor's office would, in turn, include that figure in its request for reimbursement from Congress.  (Washington Post)

The starting salary for teachers in Prince William County is among the lowest in the region, and with projected budget shortfalls looming, salaries are not expected to get much better, school officials said during a recent School Board meeting. The Prince William County School Board heard a presentation at its last meeting comparing teacher salaries and class sizes in county schools to those in neighboring jurisdictions. (Potomac News and Messenger

Two Spotsylvania County parents were charged with felony child neglect Tuesday after their children were found naked, emaciated and living in poor conditions. First Sgt. Liz Scott, of the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office, said a deputy first responded to the home of Ronald Eugene Mongold, 28, and Amanda Nichole Mongold, 24, around 6:30 p.m. for a call about a domestic situation. Once at the home on Wagon Drive in the Meadows Trailer Park, both of the parents told the deputy they were fighting over the computer, Scott said. Then, when the deputies went into the home, they found three children. The children -- a 3-year-old boy, 4-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy -- were all naked, except for the youngest, who had a diaper on with feces spilling out, Scott said. (Free Lance Star)

Prince George's County is considering laying off up to 500 county employees beginning in July, according to budget projections that county officials shared with the General Assembly on Tuesday.  The terminations, which officials said are necessary to keep up with a projected $102 million deficit next fiscal year, could include cuts to programs that help former inmates find jobs and homes and reduce the number of civilian employees in the county police and fire departments, building permit inspectors and animal control officers. (Gazette)

A runaway bull was shot and killed yesterday by a state trooper in Carroll County after the animal charged officers. The shooting occurred about 11 a.m. in the 2500 block of Flag Marsh Road in Mount Airy, where officers from several agencies responded to the scene. The bull struck a county sheriff's deputy with its horns, knocking him to the ground, before the trooper shot the animal. (Baltimore Sun)

A Frederick County state delegate wants to let people harness the power of the sun to dry their clothes. Delegate Galen Clagett, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would require homeowners associations to allow clotheslines.  The bill gives HOAs the right to regulate size, placement and appearance of clotheslines for aesthetic or safety reasons, but it would prevent them and local governments from banning the lines completely at single family houses or townhouses. (Frederick News Post)

The Senate Finance Committee has unanimously passed SB 1421, bringing Virginia one step closer to being able to better compete with other states when it comes to attracting Hollywood filmmakers. The legislation would create a 10 percent fee on all in-room digital media purchased in a Virginia hotel or motel. This fee would be used to fund the Governor's Motion Picture Opportunity Fund which offers incentives to movie producers. This is the first time that any film-related legislation has received unanimous support. Virginia is currently competing for six major films with budgets totaling more than $235 million. These films include Lincoln, a Spielberg film, ($125 million), Secretariat ($30 Million), 1776 ($30 million), The Man Who Moved a Mountain ($20 million), Big Stone Gap ($15 Million) and Pony Island Run ($15 million).

A day after President Barack Obama publicly teased school officials for shutting down classrooms because of wintry weather, he and his wife visited their younger daughter at her school.  (AP/Washington Post)

You need to describe what happened to you and why you didn't make it to the Inauguration, if you're one of the blue, silver and purple ticket holders hoping to get hold those commemorative items the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies promised. The committee had told people to check its Web site for details on claiming the items. Now it says you need to shoot an e-mail to feedback@jccic.senate.gov and describe what happened. You'll then be sent the items.  (WTOP.com)

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