Local Leads: 11/11/08

News you need to know

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

<strong>VETERANS DAY </strong>
Lots of events today. (wtop.com)

Citigroup is imposing a moratorium on most foreclosures, becoming the latest big bank to announce sweeping efforts to try to curtail losses from sour mortgages. Citi (C) said late Monday that it won't initiate a foreclosure or complete a foreclosure sale on any eligible borrower who seeks to stay in a home if it is the borrower's principal residence, the homeowner is working in good faith with Citi and has enough income to make affordable mortgage payments. (USATODAY.COM)

<strong>OBAMA: AID FOR AUTOMAKERS</strong>
President-elect Barack Obama yesterday urged President Bush to support immediate aid for struggling automakers and back a new stimulus package, even as congressional Democrats began drafting legislation to give the Detroit automakers quick access to $25 billion by adding them to the Treasury Department's $700 billion economic rescue program.

Starbucks (SBUX) says its profit dropped 97% in its fourth quarter mainly because of the costs of closing underperforming stores and also falling sales in the U.S. Seattle-based Starbucks says profit fell to $5.4 million, or a penny a share, from $158.5 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier. The coffee retailer says it earned 10 cents a share when the costs from closing stores in the U.S. and Australia are excluded. Thomson Reuters says analysts expected profit of 13 cents a share and revenue of $2.58 billion. Revenue rose 3% to $2.52 billion from $2.44 billion. Same-store sales dropped 8% in the U.S. (AP/USATODAY.COM

Home sales across Fairfax County continued to rebound with a vengeance in October, but the resurrection came at a cost to sellers. Sales across the county totaled 1,132 in October, according to figures released by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., the area's multiple-listing service. That's up 43.7 percent from a year before, when 788 sales were reported. (Sun-Gazette)

Median home sales prices in the Fredericksburg area fell to their lowest point in almost five years in October, a month marked by financial turmoil and huge declines in the U.S. stock markets. The median sales price for an area home was $227,875, the lowest since March 2004, according to data released yesterday by Metro-politan Regional Information Systems Inc.  That was a 22 percent decline from last October, and a 35 percent fall from the price peak of June 2006. The market has suffered from a large number of foreclosures causing inventory gluts, a weakening economy and tighter credit conditions. (Freelance-Star)

<strong>ROOM RENTALS/PW COUNTY</strong>
Rooms and houses have always been for rent in transient northern Virginia, where many military and government families move in and out every couple of years. However, when the real estate market crashed earlier this year, prices plunged. Now confidence remains low despite the recent uptick in sales in Prince William County. This has forced many people -- many of them homeowners -- into the rental market. Take a look at online marketplace Craigslist these days and it's difficult to miss the huge volume of rooms for rent. There were almost 300 rooms to share listings posted in the last week for Woodbridge and Manassas and more than 500 listings in the area for apartments and housing for rent.  (Insidenova.com)

<strong>DC TRASH DAYS</strong>   
The biggest change in trash collection in decades will soon happen in the District.  On Dec. 1, trash day is moving for more than 45,000 homes. The D.C. Department of Public Works will notify you by hanging a notice on your front door and posting signs in your neighborhood. The notices will be in English and Spanish. Residents in Wards 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, with once-a-week collection service, will be affected, the department says. (wtop.com)

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