Local Leads: 4/8/09

News you need to know

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

The explosive issues of guns in bars and expansion of the death penalty are likely to be overshadowed by a General Assembly showdown today over Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s plea to boost benefits for thousands thrown out of work by the economic crisis. With almost 300,000 Virginians idled, pushing the state’s jobless rate to 6.7 percent, Kaine is pressing a divided legislature to expand unemployment pay for part-timers and to protect health insurance for some laid-off employees. (Insidenova.com

The Frederick County Branch of the NAACP is seeking information and testimony from people about alleged excessive use of Tasers or other electronic weapons by police for an upcoming hearing.  (Frederick News Post)

The D.C. United soccer team may be on the hunt yet again for a new home.The Prince George’s County Council voted Tuesday to effectively kill the team’s plan to move from the District's RFK Stadium to a new 24,000-seat stadium in the county. The council voted 8-0, with one member absent, to send a letter to both Maryland General Assembly chambers outlining the county's concern with proposed state legislation that would authorize a feasibility study for the new stadium. (Washington Business Journal)

Washington County's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly wants Washington County to be excluded from a state law allowing speed cameras.  Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, asked other members of the delegation Wednesday if they would support an amendment that would exclude Washington County from the bill that allows speed cameras in construction and school zones. (The Herald-Mail

Fredericksburg's budget for next year is still very much up in the air, but council members said last night they'd like to look for ways to restore the salary cuts that take effect this month in City Hall and to restore some of the cuts proposed for the city schools. To do those things, they would likely have to raise the meals tax and spend even more one-time reserve money than is already proposed. And before they're finished making those decisions, council members will have to consider whether they want to raise personal property taxes on vehicles to make up for a loss in assessed value.  (Free Lance-Star) 
As D.C. officials fret over the public safety implications of a congressional push to limit gun control in the city, the administration of Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has voiced its own objections, arguing that the legislation would put a costly burden on the state's system for regulating firearms.   At issue for the District's neighbors is a key provision in a much-debated amendment to the D.C. voting-rights bill on Capitol Hill. Besides stripping the District of much of its power to regulate guns, the amendment would create an exception in federal law for D.C. residents, allowing them to buy handguns in Maryland and Virginia.  (Washington Post
The money's good even if the name's out of date.  More than 28,000 state tax refund checks were mailed last week bearing the signature of former Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, not current Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot. (Gazette)

Maryland’s Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille is crawling its way to develop 150 new franchised locations on the East Coast over the next five years. “It’s about slow and steady smart growth,” said Mike Sanford, CEO of the Edgewater-based sports bar chain, in an interview Tuesday. “And we are ready for it.” (Washington Business Journal)

Orange County sheriff's deputies have responded to several reports of an emu wandering around Wilderness Shores, but the animal remains missing in action in the subdivision off State Route 3.  (Free Lance-Star

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