Local Leads: 8/4/09

News you need to know

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

Legal Sea Foods and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are headed to court Friday in an escalating legal spat over restaurant space at Reagan National Airport. The Boston seafood chain says it is being pushed out after 12 years to make room for a Sam & Harry's steakhouse. The location is a prime spot in Terminal C, next to the boarding area for US Airways's popular northeastern corridor shuttles.  In a lawsuit filed in U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia in June, Legal Sea Foods is seeking a court order to stop the airport from closing the restaurant and an unspecified amount in damages, citing irreparable harm to Legal Sea Foods' brand name and reputation if the location is forced to close.  (Washington Post

The Ocean City Council voted overwhelmingly Monday night to approve an emergency proposal to weed out products made from salvia divinorum, a relative of herbal sage and common garden plants that is now sold openly at many shops along the Boardwalk. (Baltimore Sun)

Gov. Martin O'Malley endorsed a light-rail line over bus rapid transit Tuesday by announcing that Maryland will pursue federal transit money to build a Purple Line linking Prince George's and Montgomery counties. (Washington Post)

All D.C. officers on duty until Wed. morning. This is the District's sixth All-Hands-On-Deck this year, but the first one that is not on a weekend. "If I can prevent a violent crime on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, I want to prevent it on a Tuesday or a Wednesday," says Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier. "Crime, typically violent crime, will pick up through those last few weeks of summer," she says. So far this year 21 percent fewer murders have been committed in D.C. Police are working on closing not only homicide cases, but also burglary and robbery cases. "We're approaching our 75 percent closure rate," Lanier says. The city's latest effort lasts until 6 a.m. Wednesday.  (wtop.com)

Someone burned part of Middletown High School's artificial turf field early Monday by pouring an oil-based liquid on it and igniting it, authorities said.  The fire scorched a 15- by 16-foot section of the football field just below the large "M" on the 50-yard line, according to a press release from Frederick County Chief Fire Marshal Marc E. McNeal. The estimated damage is between $50,000 and $75,000, according to the press release.  (Frederick News Post)

The local post office long has been the center of many American communities, but with people turning increasingly to the Internet to send messages and pay bills, financial losses are forcing the Postal Service to consider consolidating or closing hundreds of local facilities. (Washington Examiner

Virginia in-state tuition and fees are up an average of 5.3 percent. The State Council for Higher Education in Virginia report showed the average annual in-state tuition and all mandatory fees at Virginia's 15 four-year schools is $7,984, up 5.3 percent from 2008-09. (Free Lance-Star) 

A group of horses in Thurmont is driving neighbors wild.
"The horses constantly, constantly get out," said Diana Miller, who lives next to 7029 Kellys Store Road, home to horses that have repeatedly gotten loose in the past decade. "They run through everybody's yards. They destroy our property. They tear up our yards." (Frederick News Post

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