<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Local News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usFri, 30 Sep 2016 23:12:01 -0400Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:12:01 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[2 Teenage Girls Missing in Prince George's County]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:36:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Sinthia+and+Jordan.jpg

Two teens have gone missing in Prince George's County, Maryland, police say.

Police said 16-year-old Jordan Jennings and 15-year-old Sinthia Parade went missing on Thursday.

Jordan was last seen on Grandhaven Avenue in Upper Marlboro about 1:30 p.m. and the last time someone saw Parade was about 6:30 a.m. on Catesby Terrace in Landover.

Detectives believe the two teens could be together.

Jordan is described as an African American female who is 5 feet 3 inches tall and 130 pounds with dark brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a white polo shirt, tan pants and a yellow backpack.

Parade is described as a Hispanic female who is 5 feet 1 inch tall and 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a black jacket, navy blue shirt, tan pants and tan shoes.

Police ask that anyone with information about where they are to call (301) 772-4911.

<![CDATA[Alexandria Teacher Honored As 'Champion' by White House]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:22:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016273195_1200x675_776854595942.jpg A teacher at Alexandria, Virginia's West Potomac High School is among those being honored as a Champion of Change at the White House.]]> <![CDATA[Brown is the New Green Along the Side of the Beltway]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:55:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Brown+Beltway.jpg If you've noticed there is a lot of brown vegetation along the Capitol Beltway and Interstate 95 -- you're not alone. The Maryland State Highway Administration has been tackling an invasive species plant that is threatening trees and other vegetation. News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss explains what is being done to stop the invasive species.]]> <![CDATA[Olympians Visit Local Students]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:59:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Olympian1.jpg Fresh off of their gold medal wins in Rio, three track and field Olympians paid a visit to some local students. Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver has more on their mission from Carlin Springs Elementary School.]]> <![CDATA['Rapping Robber' Pleads Guilty in Montgomery County]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:52:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Rapping+Robber.jpg

A man known as the "rapping robber" has pleaded guilty in Montgomery County for setting up his ex-girlfriend to be robbed.

Prosecutors say 22-year-old Dominic Garrett posted a video of him rapping about the crime he was going to commit on the way to meet his ex-girlfriend. In the video, he waves a gun.


"In this era of phones and social media everywhere, 
sometimes criminals decide to brag or boast about their exploits and even do it beforehand," said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.

"In this era of phones and social media everywhere, sometimes criminals decide to brag or boast about their exploits and even do it beforehand," said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.


According to court documents, Garrett told his ex to meet him at a McDonald's in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She thought she was meeting him to buy weed.

When she met up with Garrett, he got into her car and directed her to drive down a dead end street. He then took the keys out of the ignition so she couldn't go anywhere, documents say.

Garrett's friend then jumps in the care and forces the woman to lie across the seat. He steals her designer handbag, wallet and iPhone before hitting her in the head with a gun, according to the documents.

After Garrett and his accomplice fled, the woman used a neighbor's phone to call the police.

Prosecutors said Garrett is a member of a gang called the "Hit Squad."

Watch the complete story on News4 at 6.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Jim Vance Shares His Experience at African American Museum]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:51:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016273687_1200x675_776955971837.jpg Like many members of the media, Jim Vance took a tour of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture a few days before it opened. He shares his story of what it meant to him and why he couldn't make it to the top.]]> <![CDATA[Northern Va. Officers Build Trust in Hispanic Communities]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:58:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016273564_1200x675_776903747834.jpg In Northern Virginia, police departments are reaching out to Hispanic neighborhoods, spending time building relationships and even kicking a soccer ball around. News4's David Culver rode along with Fairfax County Police officers in the neighborhoods they serve. ]]> <![CDATA[Solar Contractor Accused of Theft Appears in Court]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:42:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016273563_1200x675_776903747519.jpg The solar panel contractor Morgan and Morgan appeared in court Friday on felony theft charges. News4's Susan Hogan asks the company to respond to allegations that they owe homeowners thousands of dollars.]]> <![CDATA[NBC4 Responds Recap: $635,000 Recovered]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:42:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016273571_1200x675_776905795806.jpg News4's Susan Hogan gives an update on all the funds her team recovered for consumers in our area this week. The running total now tops $638,000.]]> <![CDATA[Police: Fake Officer Tries to Pull Over Real Officer]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:40:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/229*120/093016+john+vincent+angelini.jpg

A Maryland man posing as a police officer accidentally turned his lights and sirens on behind a real police officer, officials say.

John Vincent Angelini, 51, was arrested Wednesday after Montgomery County police say he trailed an off-duty detective driving on the Intercounty Connector (ICC) in an unmarked car.

As News4's Mark Segraves was first to report, the detective was headed eastbound on the ICC near Georgia Avenue about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday when he saw a car alongside him. It was a Ford Crown Victoria that looked like an unmarked police car, police said.

The driver of the Crown Victoria then slowed down so that he was behind the detective's car and turned on his siren, police said.

"The detective felt like he was being pulled over, began to reduce his speed and pulled over to the side of the road, at which point the Crown Victoria abruptly changed lanes again and continued past him," police spokesman Officer Rick Goodale said.

The detective then turned on his own lights and siren and stopped the driver near Layhill Road. He approached the Crown Victoria and saw it had red and blue lights on the grill and multiple antennas, police said. Inside, the car had a radio microphone, emergency lights and switches, a dashboard-mounted camera and other police gear.

The detective determined that Angelini, of Baltimore, was not an officer and arrested him.

"By activating his siren, he represented his vehicle as an emergency vehicle, and he's not authorized to do that," Goodale said.

He was charged with impersonating a police officer and released after posting $2,500 bond.

Anyone who believes that Angelini misrepresented himself to them as an officer is asked to call police at 240-773-6370.

Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Tour 2016's DC Design House]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:03:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016+DC+Design+House+Exterior09.30.16+-+Copy.jpg The 9th annual D.C. Design House opens to the public Saturday. Each year, one local home has every single room redesigned by local interior designers and architects.

Photo Credit: Angie Seckinger/DC Design House]]>
<![CDATA[Upper Marlboro to Illuminate Night With Purple Lights for Domestic Violence Victims]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:33:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Purple+Lights+Nights.jpg

A Prince George's County community will host a lighting ceremony Monday in honor of victims of domestic violence.

As part of the Purple Light Nights campaign, Upper Marlboro will join neighborhoods around the world that, each October, light up the night with purple lights to bring attention to the impact that domestic violence has on families and children.

"We want citizens and residents, and businesses and partners to shine a purple light on their porch or in their window during all the nights of October signaling our county's unity in the fight against domestic violence," Prince George's County Sheriff Melvin High said in a press release.

Monday night at 6:30 p.m., community members can each grab a free purple light bulb at the Prince George's County Family Justice Center (14757 Main St., Upper Marlboro), which opened over the summer. The lighting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Victoria Throm started the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Washington state in 2004; the Purple Lights Nights campaign began three years later, according to the organization's website.

Lighting ceremonies are now held in 32 states, Canada and Guam.

This is the first event of several in October hosted by county partners united against domestic violence.

Photo Credit: Victoria Throm]]>
<![CDATA[Video of Trump Deposition Released]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:32:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TrumpScreenShot2.jpg

Video of Donald Trump giving a deposition in a case involving one of his hotels was released Friday. The case is part of Trump’s ongoing legal feud with celebrity chef and restauranteur Geoffrey Zakarian.

Zakarian and another chef pulled out of deals to open restaurants at a new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., NBC News reports, after Trump’s 2015 speech in which he referred to “rapists” crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, “bringing crime” to the United States.

“All I’m doing is bringing up a statement that is very real about illegal immigration, and I think most people think I’m right,” Trump testified under oath.

He further defended his speech on-camera and objected to the chefs being “politically correct” and “grandstanding.”

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[DC Launches Text-to-311 Service to Report City Issues]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:49:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Shutterstock_CellPhone.jpg

Now the ability to bring concerns to officials is a bit more convenient. While D.C. residents can continue to call 311 to report problems like burned-out street lights, potholes and illegally parked cars, the District has launched a new service that allows residents to report problems through text messaging.

This addition is actually makes the fifth way residents can report city service issues. Other ways include reporting on the D.C. 311 website, using their mobile app and tweeting to @311dcgov.

The text launch comes during an initiative focused on street light repairs. Residents are encouraged to text "street light" to DC311 (32311) when they spot an outage.

At the end of October, 311 will also relaunch their website, with updates including more efficient request options and more accurate information about repair time and status.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / LDprod]]>
<![CDATA[Prince George's to Fund New Program to Continue Head Start]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:03:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kindergarten+generic.jpg

Prince George's County is starting a new educational program for pre-school children after the county's Head Start program was stripped of a $6.5 million federal grant following allegations of abuse.

Early Start will continue the services provided by Head Start, and it will be funded by the school system, a press release from the county said. Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr.Kevin Maxwell is expected to talk about the new program at a news conference Friday morning. 

The county's 855 Head Start students will have the same teachers, same program sites, transportation services and meals under the new program, the school system said. 

Early Start will also give parent's new mental health, nutrition and wellness resources. The county says all Early Start teachers and classroom aides will undergo a Child Protective Services screening.

“No services will be cut, no Head Start sites will be closed and all students will continue to be served. That was our goal from the beginning,” said Dr. Maxwell.

Weeks before the county's Head Start program began the new school year, the program's 6.5 million federal grant was terminated after a review by the Administration for Children and Families allegedly revealed poor instructor training and alleged abuse of students.

Despite the loss of the grant, the program began Aug. 29 as planned.

The school system says Early Start students will be offered a slot in the county's full-time prekindergarten or kindergarten program for the 2017-2018 school year.

School officials say the school system will be eligible for future Head Start funding as early as fall 2017.

<![CDATA[Police: Maryland Man Kills Wife, Son and Then Himself]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:57:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092916+siddique+family.jpg

A retired Army officer killed his wife in their Harford County, Maryland, home and then drove to his son's home near the University of Maryland, College Park and killed him and then himself, police say.

Farhad Siddique, 19, died in what police are calling a double murder and suicide. His mother, Zarqa Siddique, 48, also was killed.

Officers found the body of the University of Maryland junior on Wednesday after he was reported missing to university police.

Prince George's County Police Capt. Brian Reilly said Farhad Siddique may have gone to morning classes. 

"He missed a class that he goes [to] with his friends," he said. "They started reaching out to him and he never responded back." 

Officers found his body and the body of his father, Nasir Siddique, 57, about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in the father's SUV, police said. The car was parked on 48th Avenue, less than a mile from the university's College Park campus. 

Police said they found a handgun in Nasir Siddique's lap.

"For somebody to take that step to kill their own child, we never understand that," Reilly said. 

Harford County police believe Nasir Siddique killed his wife, Zarqa Siddique, hours earlier at their home in Bel Air, northeast of Baltimore. Her body was found with a gunshot wound about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Officers then learned that Prince George County's officers were investigating the death of her husband and son. 

Zarqa Siddique worked for Harford County Public Schools. 

Nassir Siddique, an Army retiree, was an appointed member of the Governor's Commission on Maryland Military Monuments, Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Planning confirmed. Due to poor attendance, Nassir was not slated to be re-appointed, she said. 

"This is an unspeakable tragedy and the governor's prayers are with the family of the victims of this horrific crime," DeLeaver-Churchill said.

There had been "no previous indications of any problems at the house, no calls for service, no domestic violence or anything like that," Davis said at the news conference Thursday.

The mother, father and son are survived by Farhad Siddique's sister, who is attending college out of state, police said. 

The investigation is ongoing, police said. Nassir Siddique left a note in his home in Bel Air, police said without disclosing whether it provided a motive.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George's County Police Department's homicide unit at 301-772-4925.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged With DUI After Driving Car Off White's Ferry]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:20:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/222*120/2016-09-30_0745.png

An intoxicated man drove his car off White's Ferry and into the Potomac River early Friday, Montgomery County police say. 

According to police, the 26-year-old Gaithersburg man drove his car through a gate, onto the ferry, off the ferry and into the river about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

A ferry captain who lives nearby heard his screams and rescued the man.

Police charged the driver with driving under the influence. 

White's Ferry was closed for several hours while crews worked to pull the man's car from the river. Police said the car was preventing the safe operation of the ferry.

Photo Credit: WTOP/Neal Augenstein
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<![CDATA[Couple Assaulted by Intruder Inside Gaithersburg Apartment]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:49:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Gaithersburg+Suspect.jpg

An elderly couple says they are frightened to go back to their home after someone attacked them inside their Gaithersburg, Maryland, apartment in the middle of the night.

Maggie, 71, said she walked out onto her balcony at their apartment on S. Frederick Avenue in the middle of the night on Saturday, Sept. 17 and saw a man sitting in the corner. She said he forced his way inside before he began beating her.

"I'm afraid it will happen again. I've never been hit by a man before. He had me down on the floor," Maggie said. 

When Maggie's 74-year-old husband tried to step in, the suspect started hitting him. The suspect eventually fled.

Maggie has bruises on her face and arms from the attack.

She and her husband have been staying with a relative, saying they are too traumatized to go back to their apartment.

"I can't sleep. I can't do anything," Maggie said.

Gaithersburg police released a sketch of the suspect on Thursday.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, 135 to 145 pounds, with brown eyes and dark brown or black hair. He was last seen wearing a charcoal black hooded jacket, light blue stonewashed jeans, and blue and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Gaithersburg police at (301) 258-6400. Anonymous callers can call (301)330-4471.

Photo Credit: Gaithersburg Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[DC Accidentally Tells 5,700 Voters They're Not Registered]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:44:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Voter+Mailer.jpg

Just weeks away from the presidential election, thousands of D.C. residents who have voted for decades received a note in the mail telling them they are not registered.

Pat and Peggy Fleming have lived in Northwest D.C. for 45 years. A postcard from the D.C. Board of Elections (BOE) recently arrived that reads: "We hear you're new in town... REGISTER TO VOTE!"

"I've been registered to vote here and I've voted in every election during that time. So, clearly this is not right," Pat Fleming said.

The card goes on to say that Peggy is not registered to vote and lists her birth date as Dec. 31, 1800.

Another longtime resident and voter, Mike Feinsilber, said his wife received the same card.

When News4 asked him about the 1800 birth date, Feinsilber joked, "Yes, she's getting on in years."

But it was no joke to D.C. council member David Grosso, who was frustrated that about 5,700 voters erroneously received the postcard, including one voter he knows.

"She has voted ... in every election since 1968. It's a point of pride for her," Grosso said. "The crazy thing about these cards is it says, 'Welcome to the District of Columbia.' I mean, she completely freaked out."

"No one's been removed from the voter roll. That's the first thing. There's no one being removed. This is not an effort to clean up the voter roll," said Alice Miller, executive director of the BOE.

Miller said the mailing list error was due to a computer mistake, which combined about 70,000 new D.C. residents with residents who have voted in D.C. before 1975. Prior to 1975, birth dates weren't shown and the year 1800 was a placeholder, Miller said.

A statement on the board's website reads in part, "Of the 74,000 individuals contacted, approximately 5,700 were individuals with default birthdates. These individuals registered many years ago, at a time when registration did not require voters to provide their dates of birth. Due to some confusion with the mailer, the Board will send a clarifying notification acknowledging voter registration status, and requesting updates to the voter’s profile."

Residents can visit this link to confirm or check their voter registration status.

<![CDATA[A First Look at Future Ballston Bridge Over Wilson Boulevard]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:26:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016259377_1200x675_776039491852.jpg A first look at architect renditions of the approved pedestrian bridge between the renovated Ballston Mall Quarter and the Ballston Metro.]]> <![CDATA[New Jersey Train Crash Alarms DC Rail Commuters]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:09:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092916+amtrak+passenger.jpg D.C. commuters said the deadly train crash in New Jersey Thursday morning was on their minds as they headed home Thursday evening. News4's Chris Gordon reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Mother-Daughter Team Dedicated to Fighting Breast Cancer ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:36:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/breastcancer3.jpg For Dr. Rachel Brem, diagnosing and treating breast cancer is personal. Brem, like her mother, is a breast cancer survivor, and it was her mother's diagnosis that inspired her to found The Brem Foundation. The foundation, which is now headed by Brem's daughter Andrea, provides accessible healthcare to women affected by breast cancer. NBC4's Eun Yang sits down with the mother-daughter team.]]> <![CDATA[Charges Dropped Against Baptist Bishop Accused of Sex Assaut]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:03:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/BishopTurner.jpg

Sex assault charges were dropped Wednesday against a Baptist bishop in Maryland.

Earlier this year, a 22-year-old woman had accused Michael C. Turner Sr. of stalking, harassing and making sexual advances toward her.

Turner is a senior pastor at the Miracle Center of Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

The Prince George's State Attorney's Office said the charges against Turner were dropped Wednesday and the victim no longer wanted to proceed with case.

According to the church's website, Turner has been a pastor in the D.C. area for 40 years and was ordained at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in D.C.

He was promoted to bishop about two months before the accusations.

<![CDATA[Documentary Honors Forgotten Olympians]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:48:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Forgotten+Olympian.jpg Jesse Owens' legacy is stamped in history, but a new documentary tells the untold story of the other African Americans who participated in the 1936 Olympics. News4's Kristin Wright reports.]]> <![CDATA[Md. Sheriff Refuses to Resign Despite Discrimination Claims]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:51:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Sheriff+James+Fitzgerald.jpg

Howard County Sheriff James F. Fitzgerald says he will not resign despite accusations that he has discriminated against his employees and created a hostile work environment.

At a news conference Thursday, Fitzgerald apologized for "the the atmosphere that has been created for the last week or so for accusations which have been directed at me during my time as the sheriff."

A recent investigation by the county's Office of Human Rights determined that a former sheriff's lieutenant was "subjected to a severe and pervasive workplace environment'' for not supporting Fitzgerald's political campaign.

Fitzgerald is also accused of making derogatory comments about African Americans, women and Jews.

The report states Fitzgerald used the "n-word" and once told an employee: "African-American deputies are not too smart, but they get the job done," according to The Baltimore Sun.

"I'm disappointed because of this scathing report about this sheriff's behavior of harassment and discrimination and racism, and there's just no place for it," said resident Paige Getty, who was part of a protest outside the sheriff's office Thursday.

The report also said Fitzgerald allegedly told someone, "I voted for your boy Obama."

"I can say that the report has been humbling, hurtful, and disappointing to all involved. It has caused me to reflect on what is important to my family, our community, and the men and women deputies that I have served with at the sheriff's office," Fitzgerald said Thursday.

County Executive Allan Kittleman asked Fitzgerald to resign last week.

Fitzgerald did not confirm or deny any of the allegations against him and made it clear that he will not resign.

"My wife and I raised our family here, and my service to the community is evident as I choose a law enforcement career as a police officer and then as your sheriff. I will continue to serve the residents of Howard County. I hope that you all will help me, as I do the job I was elected to do," Fitzgerald said.

To read Fitzgerald's complete statment, visit this page.

<![CDATA[DC Restaurant Specializes in Mole, Mezcal, Masa]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:00:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092916+Alexis+Samayoa.jpg The executive chef of the Southern Mexican restaurant Espita Mezcaleria, located in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C., visited News4 to talk about his three specialties: mole, mezcal and masa. "Mezcal is the most awesome thing you've never drank," Alexis Samayoa explained to News4's Erika Gonzalez.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Heavy Rain Leads to Several Crashes in DC Area]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:52:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016255738_1200x675_775748675965.jpg Several accidents were reported across the D.C. area as heavy rain made the morning commute a slick one. News4's Megan McGrath has more on Thursday's slick commute. ]]> <![CDATA[Get Your Free Caffeine Fix on National Coffee Day]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:12:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/caffeineGettyImages-511709928.jpg

There's nothing like a hot cup of coffee to warm you up on a dreary, rainy day. Luckily, Thursday is National Coffee Day, and you won't have to go far to celebrate. 

Several coffee shops and chains across the country are offering free cups of joe or special promotions to celebrate National Coffee Day.

Here’s where you can get your fix:

Dunkin' Donuts: To celebrate its 66th birthday, the chain is offering a medium hot coffee for 66 cents. 

Krispy Kreme: If you need a sweet fix with your cup of java, stop by Krispy Kreme. Customers will get an a FREE coffee AND an original glazed doughnut.  

Starbucks: The chain isn't offering any deals, but it will donate one coffee tree every time a cup of its Mexico Chiapas coffee is sold.

But if you head to the Starbucks at National Harbor, you can get a free ride on the Capital Wheel with your cup of coffee. 

Wawa: Celebrate National Coffee Day with a free cup of coffee at all Wawa locations. 

Peet's Coffee & Tea: You can grab a free cup of coffee with any food purchase at Peet's Coffee Thursday. 

Caribou Coffee: For every cup of coffee sold Thursday, Caribou Coffee wil donate a cup to nurses and family members in cancer centers across the country. 

McDonald's: Free small hot or iced McCafe coffee if you download the app.

Keurig.com: Time to stock up on K-Cups. Get 20 percent off select brands of K-Cup pods bought by using the code ‘GREENSAVINGS’ at checkout.

Bruegger's Bagels: Anyone who snaps a selfie with a Bruegger’s coffee cup and posts it with the hashtag #BrueggersMugShot and #Contest the chance to win unlimited free coffee for an entire year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[For-Profit College Students Say They're Left in Limbo]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:23:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160928+For+Profit+College.jpg A recent crackdown on for-profit colleges has left thousands of students in limbo. The government says it's protecting students' best interest in taking action against schools like Medtech and ITT Tech; earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Education said it would no longer allow the school to enroll students receiving federal financial aid. Immediately afterward ITT closed 137 campuses in 39 states, stranding 43,000 students. The industry, meanwhile, says it's being unfairly targeted. In the middle are students who have paid for credits, and some are having trouble transferring them to other schools. News4 Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan heard their stories.]]> <![CDATA[Uptick in School Child Abuse Reports Creating Backlog for Investigators]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:10:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Prince+Georges+County+Social+Services.jpg News 4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins looks at how child protective services is handling a growing number of reports involving alleged child abuse, including the bus aide accused of abusing special needs children on a school bus.]]> <![CDATA[DC Officers Credited With Saving Woman's Life]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:24:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016247705_1200x675_775203907775.jpg Three officers with the Harbor Patrol Unit of D.C.'s police department are being called heroes after saving a woman Tuesday. They say she was in the Potomac River when they first spotted her. News4's Mark Segraves reports.]]> <![CDATA[New Twist in Phone Scams: Asking for Gift Cards]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:25:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160928+Jury+Duty+Scam.jpg

The call terrified the elderly man: He'd missed jury duty. This was the Prince George's County Sheriff's department, the caller said. And he was in serious trouble. There was a warrant out for his arrest.

"My father has never been in trouble before," said his son, Don Wright. "He went into fear mode immediately."

But there was a way to avoid arrest, the caller said. Go buy $8,500 in gift cards, scratch off the coating on the back to see the number, and read the numbers over the phone. That's just what the man did.

"At that moment my dad was thinking this is legitimate," Wright said.

But the elderly man hadn't missed jury duty. He wasn't in trouble at all. And that wasn't the Prince George's County Sheriff's Department on the phone.

The call was a scam that cost its victim thousands and thousands of dollars.

Wright is a police officer, and said he's seen this before. "I’ve seen cases like this before, very similar cases, and I feel people are preying on elderly people," Wright said.

But this case hit home. "It really upsets me, not just because it’s my parent, but because they are good people," Wright said. "The first thing I said to him is, why didn’t you call me?"

The FBI said this summer that it has seen a resurgence of jury duty scams, with communities in more than 12 states issuing warnings about the calls. Sometimes, the calls are seeking personal information. Sometimes, it's a credit card number.

The latest twist has the victim buy gift cards that can be used like cash. Authorities say that's a new trend in phone scams.

If you think you or a loved one has been victimized, you can report a phone scam here.

Meanwhile, the gift card company has added new language to its website and taken other steps to try to protect consumers.

And the store where he bought the cards is posting signs to warn customers about gift card scams.

Unfortunately, it's likely too late for Wright's father. "They’re retired, so their income is limited," Wright said.

"It’s a big blow. It’s a big blow to anyone. That’s just a lot of money."


Statement from Blackhawk Network:

Blackhawk Network is taking a number of proactive steps to protect consumers from scammers and ensure consumers have a positive and safe experience with their prepaid card products. Some of these efforts include:

• Internally at Reloadit, we have staff dedicated to proactively searching for fraudulent websites and fraudsters and we actively work with internet hosting companies, law enforcement and other third parties to help.

• We are consistently working with local, state and federal authorities on investigating scams. These investigations are initiated by Reloadit, to proactively alert the authorities to scams that we have determined to be preying on our consumers.

• Effective March 2015, we require all Reloadit Packholders to establish an online Reloadit Safe in order to transfer money. Only after a Pack has been stored in the Safe and the destination card number verified can funds be transferred. We have sophisticated fraud detection algorithms that allow us to block transfers we suspect to be fraudulent. This often allows us to prevent the fraudsters from transferring a victim’s money and provide the victim a refund.

• A pop-up alert on the Reloadit website warning consumers of scammers: https://www.reloadit.com/

• A video on the Reloadit website in the “Protect Yourself” providing consumers further education on how to protect their money: https://www.reloadit.com/ProtectYourMoney

Prepaid products are highly valued payments tools for many consumers today. Traditional banking products don’t work for a large segment of the population that is seeking an alternative to big financial institutions. General purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards give un-banked and under-banked consumers an alternative that doesn’t require a credit check or an existing bank account. Consumers receive all of the advantages of a card that’s accepted throughout the issuer’s (e.g., Visa) network without overdraft fees.

Other consumers like the convenience of budgeting that prepaid cards provide and the ability to spend only what’s available on the card — no overdrafts ever. Parents use the cards to conveniently provide funds and control the spending of teens or college students. And travelers and online shoppers choose them as a safer alternative to credit cards, cash and checks.

Money transfer devices like Reloadit allow consumers to reload their GPR cards quickly and easily. And Reloadit also permits consumers to pay a wide variety of bills with cash.

The potential for fraud exists with prepaid cards and money transfer devices, as with all payment products. The prepaid industry works consistently with law enforcement and the IRS to combat that fraud. Consumer advocates, government agencies, businesses and consumers all must work together to combat this threat in order to keep our data and money secure.

In addition to taking anti-fraud and crime-fighting steps, and educating consumers about the dangers of scammers in several places on the Reloadit website, Blackhawk proactively works with distribution partners (retailers) to educate them on the potential for fraud. Blackhawk distributes informational content for retailer employees as well as consumer-facing content for the retailers to post publicly alongside the Reloadit Packs.

<![CDATA[Veteran Sues Apartment, Says Rat Bites Sent Him to Hospital]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:03:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Lafayette+Wright+copy.jpg

A veteran says he owes more than $75,000 in medical bills after rats bit him in his sleep at his northeast D.C. apartment.

Lafayette Wright, 56, said he is suing the managment of Pentacle Apartments because they failed to fix an opening where rats were getting into his apartment. Wright has been a tenant of the apartment since 2010 and said he never had issues with rats until this year.

According to the lawsuit, Wright reported the rats to the apartment on April 27 and maintenance came by to put down rat traps a few days later on May 3. 

Wright, who served 11 years in the U.S. Navy, said he explained to maintenance that they needed to fix the hole where the rats were getting in, but maintenance told him he would have to put in another request.

Rats bit Wright several times one night while he was sleeping, he told News4. 

"I started throwing up, couldn't hold any food down, getting chills,"  Wright said. "My doctor even told me he said, 'I don't know what I'm dealing with here.'"

Wright was diagnosed with "rat bite fever" and has suffered from spinal abscesses, inflammation, extreme debilitation and pain, according to the lawsuit.

He filed a $750,000 lawsuit agains Pentacle Apartments on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Hero School Bus Driver Surprised With Thank-You Party]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:59:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092816+renita+smith+surprise.jpg

The Maryland school bus driver who saved 20 children after her bus burst into flames received a huge thank-you on Wednesday -- hundreds of students cheered for her and waved signs expressing their gratitude.

Reneita Smith jumped into action when she saw flames on the bus she was driving in College Park, Maryland, the afternoon of Sept. 12.

"I opened my door, took off my seat belt, and I got my babies off that bus," she told News4 the next day.

Flames engulfed the Prince George's County Public Schools bus, but Smith ran back on board to make sure every child was accounted for.

And for that, the children of Glenarden Woods Elementary School thanked her. The school declared Wednesday to be Reneita Smith Day and threw the bus driver a party.

Smith's jaw dropped as she walked into the school auditorium. The room was a sea of black-and-white signs printed with "THANK YOU!" The students cheered as the DuVal High School Marching Tigers band paraded into the room.

Smith clapped her hand to her mouth and began to cry.

The school choir serenaded Smith and each of the children she saved presented her with a long-stemmed rose. 

"I think it was extremely heroic and it was very amazing," one little girl who was on board Smith's bus said. "If she didn't do that, I don't know what would have happened." 

"I'm just glad that nobody got hurt and nobody died and we're all still here today," a little boy said. 

School district CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell presented Smith with a plaque.

"I saw the smoke and the flames, and she showed her unthinking, unflinching courage," he said.

And then Smith herself stood at a podium and said a few words.

"I promise, I didn't do it for this. I did it because that's what I'm supposed to do," she said. "I'm a mommy. And mommy watches out for her babies."

With that, Smith, the mother of a 4-year-old, said "thank you" for the last time of many and stepped off stage.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[More Rabid Bats in Maryland ]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:13:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_365129159.jpg

You probably do not want to get up close and personal with one of October's most popular animals. 

For the second year in a row, the number of rabid bats in Maryland has increased, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The department is bringing awareness to the dangerous disease Wednesday, World Rabies Day.

“Rabies is a serious disease transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, such as a bat. It is nearly always fatal without the provision of preventive treatment,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Howard Haft in a news release.

The department says that while only a small portion of bats have rabies, many recent U.S. cases of the disease in humans were due to rabid bats.

There have been 100 confirmed rabid bats in Md. so far this year.

Though a rabid animal typically exhibits identifiable behavior, like foaming at the mouth and staggering, there may be no obvious symptoms during the early stages of the disease. So it's important to exercise caution around all wild animals.

If a bat becomes trapped inside a building and there is a possibility that it may have bitten someone, the department recommends catching the bat so it can be tested for rabies.

Wear leather work gloves to carefully capture the bat with a small container and piece of cardboard with air holes.

Once the bat is securely trapped inside the container, contact the city or county health department so that it can be tested for rabies. 

A preventative vaccine is available to anyone who may have been exposed to the disease.

Maryland residents can call 1-877-463-6497 to report a suspected rabid or otherwise sick animal.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>