Local Leads: 8/26/09

News you need to know

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

LAYOFFS BEGIN IN MARYLAND
Maryland officials are notifying more than 200 workers that they are being laid off as Gov. Martin O’Malley works to close a $740 million budget gap. Notifications began Tuesday and officials say they’ll release details on departments affected by layoffs and what facilities will be closed after affected workers are notified. (Frederick News Post)

ELDERLY MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER SUFFERS FROM DIMENTIA
Retired Baltimore Transit Company worker Earl Lafayette Wilder, the 87-year-old accused of killing a 91-year-old fellow resident at their Columbia assisted-living home, is a one-time boxer who suffers from dementia, according to court records. The eldest of Wilder's five children, who is his guardian, said Tuesday that she was still struggling to comprehend the Aug. 17 incident in which Wilder is alleged to have risen from his wheelchair and attacked James W. Brown with his fists as the victim sat on a metal bench outside Harmony Hall. Brown died five days later. (Baltimore Sun)

WIFE SUES LAROUCHE AFTER SUICIDE OF HUSBAND
The widow of a man who jumped to his death off of the Waxpool Road overpass in Sterling onto Route 28 in April 2007 has filed a lawsuit in federal court against perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche. Marielle “Molly” Kronberg's complaint charges LaRouche and his followers with harassment of a federal witness and libel. Kronberg, of Leesburg, alleges in the lawsuit that LaRouche and codefendants Barbara Boyd and the LaRouche Political Action Committee, along with others, conspired to injure her because she testified for the prosecution in a 1988 federal trial in which LaRouche was convicted of fraud and tax evasion. (Loudoun Times-Mirror

DC HOMES SALES UP
D.C.-area home prices rose 2.85 percent in June from May – double the national advance of 1.39 percent as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller survey of 20 major U.S. cities. In the past three months, D.C.-area home prices rose at an annualized rate of 21.8 percent, more than four times the national advance of 5.3 percent according to the report. D.C.-area home prices fell 11.78 percent in June 2009 compared to June 2008, a smaller decline than the national drop of 15.4 percent.
(Washington Business Journal)

PEDESTRIAN DEATHS UP
Police are unsure why pedestrian fatalities have nearly tripled from last year, but two fatal incidents last week show that they may continue to rise. In 2008, there were a total of four pedestrian deaths in Fairfax County; in just the first eight months of 2009, there have been 10. (Fairfax Times)

QUIETING THE PURPLE LINE
Concrete sound barriers and train cars with hidden wheels to reduce noise are some of the possible mitigation measures for the Purple Line light rail that state officials plan to discuss with the Town of Chevy Chase, although town officials maintain their adamant stance against the project. Town Mayor Kathy Strom said while the town hasn't conceded anything in its fight to keep light rail off the Capital Crescent Trail, which runs along the town's northern border, it plans to discuss what the Maryland Transit Administration will do to mitigate safety, noise, visual and other impacts within the next few months. (Gazette)

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Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

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SCHOOL DRESS CODES ENFORCED
A sea of short shorts and bra straps filled the cafeteria at Broadneck High School yesterday. It was the first day for freshmen and, fashionwise, arguably their most important day of high school. Most had been warned about the school's dress code during an evening orientation last week but, wooed by the trend for tight, low-cut clothing, not all of them obeyed.
(The Capital)

MEGA MILLIONS
The grand prize in the Mega Millions multistate lottery game is growing fatter still, to $325 million for the next drawing on Friday. (AP/ Richmond Times Dispatch)

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