Local Leads: 1/17/2010

News you need to know

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

A Silver Spring man returned home Saturday after being trapped for 50 hours without food or water in the wreckage of a hotel in the earthquake-ravaged capital of Haiti.  Rick Santos, 47, who heads the international aid group IMA World Health, said in an interview that he was pulled by French firefighters from the rubble of the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince, where he and several others had been confined to a space of about eight feet by five feet by three feet. He said a first responder from Fairfax County helped check him out.  The days and nights inside the tiny chamber were a time of hope and despair, he said, a period he described as having "a lot of highs and lows."

Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean spoke out Saturday in defense of his foundation after charity screening groups raised concerns about its accounting practices.  Jean said he was baffled by the timing and nature of criticism of The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc., which has already raised more than $2 million to help Haiti earthquake victims.

Bob McDonnell was sworn in Saturday as Virginia's 71st governor, using the occasion to compare the state's daunting, ongoing fiscal woes to Virginia's 400 years of historic struggles.  Under hazy skies and soft sunshine on a gentle winter's day and with his wife, Maureen, at his side, McDonnell recited his oath of office on the steps the Capitol Thomas Jefferson designed.  McDonnell entered the ceremony to the sounds of a fife and drum corps dressed in colonial uniforms. His daughter, Iraq war Army veteran Jeanine McDonnell, sang the national anthem.  "That's my girl," he quipped as she concluded the song.


A calf that has been on exhibit at a Prince George's County farm has tested positive for rabies, and authorities want all those who may have been in contact with it to consult medical authorities about the possible need for preventive treatment.  Dr. Donald Shell of the county health department said the calf was found at the Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek, which is open only to groups on scheduled visits.  He said anyone who had any contact with calves at the facility between Dec. 21 and Jan. 14 may have been exposed to rabies. Such people should go at once to an emergency room, or telephone the health department after- hours infectious disease number, 240-508-5774, to determine if they need antirabies inoculation.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille isn't rolling out the welcome mat for another high-profile terrorist case.  The city was the site of the 2006 death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks -- and the bomb-sniffing dogs, armed guards and virtual lockdown that came with it.   As Justice officials mull a District trial for Riduan "Hambali" Isamuddin, accused of the 2002 Bali bombing that killed around 200 people, security experts say Washington's detention center isn't equipped to house him.   And they point to Alexandria's as a natural fit, much to Euille's chagrin. "The city's opposed to having any terrorist tried in our city," he said. "It's not about what we'll be known as but protecting the quality of life of our residents."   He said the inconvenience for Alexandrians outweighs any perks associated with bringing an alleged mass murderer to justice.

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