Local Leads: 2/1/09

News you need to know

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

Joe Murgo has a hard time finding workout partners.  Nevertheless, the North Stafford resident and father of two grown children never misses a day of his routine:  Wake at 3:15 a.m. Do 1,000 sit-ups. Run for two hours. But Murgo, who tests light tactical vehicles at Marine Corps Base Quantico, has recently traded the running for time on an indoor stair climber to train for what might be described as a giant fire drill--in the wrong direction.  Murgo is one of 350 people from around the world selected to participate in the 32nd Empire State Building Run-Up. (Free Lance-Star

A piece of chocolate a day might keep the doctor away.
Evidence is mounting that a small amount of dark chocolate is good for the heart.  “Heart health doesn’t mean sacrificing and giving up everything you love. It just means moderation,” said Allison Buchalter, campaign director for the Baltimore chapter of Sister to Sister, a national organization that runs heart health programs for women, including a health fair in Baltimore later this month. (DC Examiner)

At the top of a hill lying in the middle of a grassy plain, a female cheetah seems to barely notice a vehicle full of enamored onlookers. Nearby, scimitar-horned oryx graze and a clouded leopard stalks patiently back and forth, waiting for a chance to find food.  But this is not your typical safari, and this scene is not set on the savannahs of Africa or in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Welcome to Virginia, home of the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center (CRC), where you'll find plenty of animals but far fewer amateur enthusiasts. (Washington Times)

If you live in New England; Erie, Pennsylvania; Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago; or most other places where snow is a five- or six-month reality, you know how to deal with it. You never cancel school or work. The roads get cleared and salted without any fanfare, even when five new inches of snow falls on top of the twenty inches already on the ground. You put on your winter gear and "macho" on with your schedules. You don't complain but you laugh and boast about how hardy you are.  You laugh at Washington dismissing school when they get two inches of snow overnight. You say, "They get a little snow, everyone takes a day off with pay, afraid of a little cold, snowy weather. They have 10-car-truck pileups because they don't know how to drive in snow." (Washington Post)

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