Local Leads: 8/22/2009

News you need to know

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

The Redskins at FedEx, D.C. United at RFK and the Nationals at Nats Park -- all at the same time.   All three games will be getting underway within a half hour of each other, the Nats at 7 p.m., the Skins and United at 7:30.  That could mean more than 120,000 fans trying to get to three stadiums that are within 10 miles of each other.  If you are going to FedEx Field, use Arena Drive or Central Ave. off the Maryland Beltway. Using East Capitol Street and Capitol Ave. out of D.C. could be difficult because the game at RFK.  The United game will also complicate parking for Nats fans. If you use the Nats Express from RFK, you will have to park in Lot 7, which is not accessible from Southeast-Southwest Freeway. You will have to use East Capitol Street.  Metro says it's ready for the crush, but look for it to be busy at key transfer points like Metro Center, Gallery Place and L'Enfant Plaza.  Also keep in mind that Metro has track work going on this weekend on the Red, Blue and Orange Lines.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol is warning beach-goers to beware of high tides and rip currents this weekend as Hurricane Bill churns in the Atlantic Ocean.  "If you're not a good swimmer, don't even think about going into the water," said Lt. Ward Kovacs.  Kovacs said all 92 lifeguard chairs will be filled this weekend in Ocean City in anticipation of a large crowd looking to take advantage of the waves created by the hurricane as summer winds down. Bill is not expected to make landfall, but instead languish in the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles away and head north up the Eastern Seaboard.  The National Weather Service is projecting 7- to 15-foot waves and swells along Maryland beaches as the storm passes. The danger is enhanced by high tides generated by the new moon.  By Friday evening, beach patrol officials said the wind and surf had picked up slightly.

The District's lead agency on the environment is proposing to dole out $3,000 to people who work in D.C. as an incentive to relocate from their suburban homes into the city, where their commute would demand less energy.  The proposal was put before the federal government as part of the D.C. Department of the Environment's stimulus application for the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program. The District requested roughly $22 million, most for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and window replacements at aging school buildings and government centers -- notably One Judiciary Square.  On a smaller scale is the proposed Live Near Your Work program, a $90,000 pilot for about 30 District workers. The D.C. government and participating employers would offer grants up to $3,000 eachto prospective homebuyers or renters who are eyeing a move into the city.

Maryland's chief public defender said Friday that she was fired by the board of trustees that oversees her office and she suggested that philosophical differences and racial division were factors.  In a one-page statement, Nancy S. Forster, 51, who is white, said she was ousted after she refused an order to fire "a well-respected African American District Public Defender, for absolutely no reason." Forster also wrote that the Office of Public Defender Board of Trustees voted 2 to 1 to terminate her, with the panel's lone black panel member voting to retain her.  "I have also been asked to perform other unlawful and wrongful acts. And, I have refused to do any of these," Forster wrote, without elaboration.

Authorities in Maryland say a man who assaulted a sheriff's deputy and escaped custody last week has been found in Virginia.  Howard County, Md., Sheriff's Deputy Mark Verderaime said Devin Champagne, 20, of Jessup was found in the Richmond area late Thursday night and taken into custody.  The sheriff's office says Champagne had just been convicted of felony theft on Aug. 13 when he attacked the deputy driving him to the detention center. Officials say Champagne used his handcuffs to choke and hit the deputy and tried to take his gun before climbing out a window.

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