Local Leads: 7/16/09

News you need to know

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

If you have been on PropertyRoom.com recently, there's a chance you've purchased something from your next door neighbor. The Prince William County Police Department is one of more than 1,500 law enforcement agencies that participate with the national online auction company that sells unclaimed stolen, seized or found goods. County police have participated for two years, and so far it's been a win-win situation, according to Evidence Unit Supervisor Jeff Owens. Police split the profit down the middle with auction company, with police often receiving a check for $2,000 for a typical load. This June, the county handed over 115 items to PropertyRoom.com. (Inside Nova)

Jonathan Colson has always given his all when it comes to baseball. He was so happy to be on the field that he often seemed to be dancing, his joy so evident that it drew the attention of opposing players who didn't know him.  Jonathan, 11, is now putting his every effort toward recovering from a tragic June 3 accident. That evening, which had seemed like just another day at the ball field, turned into a night that has changed the lives of several families forever.  Right after Jonathan's Little League game had been called off for weather, a lightning strike from a sky that still had patches of blue took the life of his friend Chelal Gross-Matos, his baseball coach's son. The bolt left Jonathan lifeless on the ground.  (Free Lance Star)

Foreclosures are continuing to set records despite the Obama  administration's $75 billion plan to help borrowers at risk of losing their homes. There were 1.9 million foreclosure filings in the first six months of this year, a 15% increase from the first six months of 2008, according to a report today from RealtyTrac. One in 84 homes received a foreclosure filing in the first half of the year. June was the fourth consecutive month that foreclosure filings surpassed 300,000, RealtyTrac says, and the number of properties receiving one or more filings in the second quarter totaled 889,829 - the highest since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in 2005. (USAToday

The Watergate Hotel will be auctioned Tuesday, five years after a developer bought it with hopes of restoring it to its glory days as a Washington icon. The city's 30-day notice of foreclosure, sent to hotel owner Monument Realty last month after the company defaulted on its loan, expires today. The notice lists an outstanding $40 million balance on the loan. (Washington Post
The Prince George's County Planning Board has given developer Milton Peterson the go-ahead to build a convenience store, gas station and fast-food restaurant on his property at National Harbor, projects that some say are at odds with the upscale development. Andre Gingles, an attorney for National Harbor, said the panel's unanimous approval last week will allow National Harbor to provide guests, employees and residents with amenities not found at the resort, which is filled with hotels, specialty shops, condominiums and restaurants.  (Washington Post)

Brad Young said he never intended to violate Frederick County Public Schools' alcohol policy. In fact, the Walkersville High School softball coach said he wasn't even aware of it, nor what his role as a school system employee should have been in enforcing it. And he never expected that a summertime party at his home for his players and their families would be considered a school function. But Young is fighting for the job he has held for five years after he was fired last week for violating the school system's alcohol policy. (Gazette)

Police and prosecutors have hit an obstacle in their investigation into last week's discovery that the family of an 83-year-old Glen Burnie woman stored her body in a freezer for weeks after she died. Unless an autopsy reveals evidence of foul play in the death of Doris Lea Cooke, or unless some other crime is uncovered, officials at the county prosecutor's office said storing a dead body at home does not appear to be illegal. Police were called Friday at 6:17 p.m. to the home Cooke shared with two family members in the County Club Apartments in the 7400 block of East Furnace Branch Road. They were directed by relatives who do not live at the apartment to Cooke's frozen body. Homicide detectives learned that the woman had been bedridden with a variety of medical ailments for the past several years, police said. Family members told police she died several weeks ago and was stored in the freezer. (The Capital)

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