Local Leads: 4/27/09

News you need to know

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

Maryland health officials are bracing for swine flu, although there had been no confirmed nor suspected cases in the state as of Sunday night. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is monitoring the outbreak closely, and officials don't believe there's much chance Maryland will be spared. There have been 20 confirmed cases of swine flu in five states so far, none of them fatal. (Baltimore Sun)

The families of three men killed on the Bay Bridge in 2007 after a trailer detached from an SUV are claiming the state is partially to blame for the ensuing seven-vehicle pileup and the deaths of their loved ones. The families of three people killed in this seven-car crash on the Bay Bridge in May 2007 have filed a wrongful-death civil lawsuit against eight entities, including the Maryland Transportation Authority. The accident occurred while two-way traffic was in use on the westbound span. In a $19 million wrongful-death lawsuit filed earlier this month, the families of James Hewitt Ingle and father and son Randall and Jonathan Orff argue the Maryland Transportation Authority was negligent May 10, 2007, when it allowed two-way traffic on the bridge's westbound span. (The Capital)

Three days next week officials will test a ferry run on the Potomac River between Prince William County and southwest D.C. The time of the trip, possible stops and commuter interest will be evaluated.  The ferry idea has been talked about for about five years. Prince William Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, says officials conducted test runs two years ago. "We consistently did 55-minute runs from Quantico up to the Navy Yard," he says.  (WTOP.COM)

General Motors Corp. said it will cut 21,000 U.S. factory jobs by next year, phase out its storied Pontiac brand and ask the government to take more than half its stock in exchange for half of GM's government debt as part of a major restructuring that would leave current shareholders holding just 1 percent of the company. (ap/Richmond Times Dispatch)

A chili dog may be a messy mix of meat and onions, but it's one man's symbol of victory over death.  For more than 2 years, Samuel "Eddie" Butler fought for the chance to chow down on a dog with chili and cheese as he battled back from throat cancer that was so advanced, no one around him thought he'd survive. "The truth was, they all thought I could die at any time," Butler wrote in his journal. (Fredericksburg.com)

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