<![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-usMon, 24 Oct 2016 22:00:26 -0400Mon, 24 Oct 2016 22:00:26 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cisco, Smithsonian’s National Zoo Andean Bear, Dies]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:15:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cisco7.jpg

A 23-year-old male Andean bear named Cisco died Monday during an emergency veterinary exam, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Zoo officials said an exam showed Cisco had large amounts of liquid in his lungs and abnormal soft-tissue masses in his chest cavity, resulting in difficulty breathing. While performing a procedure to remove the fluid, Cisco went into cardiopulmonary arrest.

Veterinarians, due to Cisco’s grave prognosis, made the decision not to resuscitate him and let him humanely pass pain free and quietly.

“Cisco was important to the Andean bear population living in zoos,” said Craig Saffoe, curator of Andean bears at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. “Having come to the National Zoo at 20 years old, he proved that older male Andean bears are quite capable of producing offspring."

"He helped us learn more about Andean bears, and we are sharing everything we have learned about their husbandry, breeding, nutrition and veterinary care from him and our other bears with colleagues in other zoos and in Peru to help the species.”

Male Andean bears in human care, on average, live into their early 20s. A final pathology report will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Born in 1993 at the Calgary Zoo, Cisco came to the National Zoo on loan from the Queens Zoo in New York in September 2013. During his time at the National Zoo, he sired two male cubs born in November 2014. Those cubs, Mayni and Muniri, now live at Nashville Zoo.

Andean bears, also known as spectacled bears, are South America’s only bear species. As their name suggests, they live in the Andes and outlying mountain ranges. Andean bears are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, and it is estimated that there are only 2,000 left in the wild.

The Zoo’s adult female bear, Billie Jean, can be seen at the Andean bear exhibit.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Institution]]>
<![CDATA[D.C. Woman Waits Months for Fence After Paying $1,600]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:32:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Long+Fence+Responds+102416.jpg

A Washington, D.C., woman paid hundreds of dollars for a fence, but months later it still wasn’t installed.

Gwendolyn Bridgett wanted to keep her dogs and children from trampling her flowers.

“I just wanted to beautify my home,” she said.

She bought a $1,600 fence in May from Long Fence, thinking it would be installed within two weeks, but May turned into June,

“We waited a little bit, and then I called the company only to find out that we had to wait on D.C. government to issue us a permit,” she said.

By September, she still didn’t have a fence.

NBC4 Responds contacted the company and learned it was waiting on the city to issue the original permit submitted in May. It wasn’t approved and eventually expired.

The D.C. Department of Transportation, which issues the permits said the "permit in question was slowed because the original application was incomplete..." It went on to say, "The applicant was notified of the missing paperwork, but failed to respond and the permit lapsed in June."

In a statement, Long Fence said it resubmitted two more permits applications with the necessary information and neither got approved.

Long Fence went onto say, "It was only after notifying DDOT that NBC was launching an inquiry into the delays ... that the permit was ultimately ... approved."

DDOT did admit that the fence company did submit another application in August, and the city admits it wasn't approved until October, two weeks longer than it usually takes.

“Within, I'd say, two weeks, voila!” Bridgett said.

The fence was installed.

When it comes to obtaining permits, ultimately it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure it's taken care of. While most companies will do it for you, it's always a good idea to make sure to follow up with the city just in case.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Faith Community Plays Important Role in Fight Against Domestic Violence]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:07:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016515297_1200x675_792674883644.jpg Former Executive Director of the Family Crisis Center in Prince George's County Mandrell Birks, who co-hosts a weekly talk show on WHUR-FM devoted to domestic violence, and News4's Pat Lawson Muse discuss why domestic violence remains taboo for some ministers to address this from the pulpit.]]> <![CDATA[Redskins Players, Law Enforcement Meet Over Police Policies]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:40:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/102416+fairfax+police+rodney+barnes.jpg As NFL players across the country express their concerns about shootings by police office officers, members of the Washington Redskins sat down with law enforcement leaders on Monday. News4's Julie Carey reports on some reactions after the three-hour-long session.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Born Before Suffrage, 98-Year-Old Woman Votes for Clinton]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:40:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/102416+estelle+schultz.jpg

Estelle Schultz was born before women had the right to vote, and she's hoping she will soon see the first woman president take office.

Schultz, a 98-year-old Rockville, Maryland, resident recently cast her vote for Hillary Clinton.

"I'm very thrilled to be able to be alive at this crucial election," she told News4.

The great-grandmother said she never thought she would see the day a woman was so close to being voted into the White House. Schultz was born in 1918, two years before women across the United States got the vote in 1920.

"I think it's the most exciting thing that can happen to women anywhere, anytime," she said.

Schultz's daughter and granddaughter started a website called I Waited 96 Years! that is collecting the stories of women in their 90s or older who are casting their votes for Clinton. As of Monday evening, the site had stories and photos from nearly 20 women.

“I am looking forward to the first female U.S. President. I believe Hillary will do an excellent job as president not because she is a woman but because she is most qualified," a 102-year-old Arizona woman, Geraldine "Jerry" Emmett, is quoted as saying.

"I can't say how proud I am to get to vote for her," a 96-year-old Pennsylvania woman, Alice Siegel, is quoted as saying.

Schultz, a New York native, retired 20 years ago as an assistant schools superintendent in Compton, California. She reads the paper every day and keeps up with every twist and turn of the presidential race.

On one wall of her home hangs a photo of her as a 1-year-old, taken one year before women could vote.

"If you have the privilege, grab it," she said.

<![CDATA[AT&T, Time Warner Deal May Negatively Impact Consumers]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:20:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016514788_1200x675_792584771883.jpg Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan shares the latest on the $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner. “The merge would bring together AT&T’s wireless broadband and satellite TV services with Time Warner’s HBO, TNT, TBS and other channels,” Hogan reports. How will this affect cost and choice? Hogan discusses the conflicting views.]]> <![CDATA[Redskins Help Macy's Share the Warmth for Children in Need]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:12:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016513417_1200x675_792524867976.jpg Students from several metro area elementary schools shop for winter coats at Macy's with team members from the Washington Redskins.]]> <![CDATA[Maryland Trooper, Motorist Hospitalized After Crash]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:09:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Trooper+SUV.jpg

A Maryland State Police trooper and another person were injured after a crash on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Police said the collision happened on Interstate 495 near U.S. Route 1 in College Park, Maryland, just after 8 a.m.

Trooper First Class Robert Cearfoss was parked on the shoulder monitoring traffic when Elwin Cedilloz, driving a Dodge Dart, veered off the road and struck the trooper's patrol car, police said.

Cearfoss was trapped in his car and rescued by fire personnel who responded to the scene.

Cearfoss was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in a helicopter, while Cedilloz was taken via ambulance to Prince George's Hospital. Cearfoss has been treated and released.

Police said charges are pending, and they are investigating the cause of the wreck, including whether alcohol played a role.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Health Board Votes to Loosen Abortion Clinic Rules]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:01:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/102416+virginia+board+of+health+meeting.jpg

Restrictions on Virginia abortion clinics may soon be reduced.

The state Department of Health voted on Monday to reject several regulations on the clinics. Board members voted 11-4 to loosen restrictions, one of which required clinics to follow the same building codes as full hospitals.

Dozens of people attended the meeting held in a hotel in Henrico, Virginia, and waited hours to speak during the public comment period.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe thanked the board for voting to change rules he said could have forced the closure of many abortion providers.

"I want to thank the Virginia Board of Health for working to repeal onerous regulations designed solely to reduce or outright remove access to essential reproductive health services for women across the Commonwealth," he said in a statement.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions of a Texas law similar to Virginia's. The Texas law required clinics that provide abortions to meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, as NBC News reported.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion: "...Neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes. Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a pre-viability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution."

The public has 30 days to comment before McAuliffe can sign the changes into law.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

<![CDATA[Video Shows Attack on Maryland Diner Manager]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:17:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016514334_1200x675_792576067963.jpg

Surveillance video shows an attack that had a 74-year-old Maryland diner manager fearing for his life earlier this month.

Three masked men pistol-whipped Joe Fredholm and robbed the Tastee Diner in Laurel. Police believe the robbers may have also caused a massive crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. 

Fredholm was inside the Tastee Diner with a cook and two customers when the robbers dressed as ninjas rushed inside about midnight. 

They forced Fredholm to the floor, held the cook at gunpoint and tried to kick down the office door. 

The suspects eventually let Fredholm get up so he could open the cash register. 

He said they threatened to kill him a couple times and hit him with his gun twice on the side of the head.

"He threatened to kill me a couple of times," Fredholm said. "He hit me with the bell of his gun twice on the side of the head."

The robbers left with about $400 and a cellphone, an assistant manager at the restaurant said, fleeing in a burgundy BMW and were last seen heading toward Howard County. 

After the robbery, police received calls about an erratic driver in a burgundy BMW in the southbound lanes of the BW Parkway about 12:30 a.m. According to U.S. Park Police, the erratic driver crashed into at least seven vehicles at a fast speed before getting out of his wrecked car and firing a single shot to scare another driver and steal that car. 

A spokesperson for the City of Laurel said the getaway car from the robbery was among the vehicles at the crash scene on the BW Parkway. 

Police recovered the stolen vehicle in Northeast Washington, but the driver got away. It's not clear whether the other robbers from the diner were involved in the incident on the BW Parkway.

No one was hit by the bullet, but several people suffered minor injuries in the crashes, U.S. Park Police said.

<![CDATA[More Towing of Illegal Parking Blocking DC Rush Hour Traffic]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:43:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc+rush+hour+traffic.jpg

Parking along some of Washington's busiest roads is about to get more difficult in an effort to make the drive through the District faster.

Gridlock has increased along Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues since the start of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Safetrack Program and the Beach Drive construction closure. In an effort to relieve some of the traffic pressure, the Department of Public Works will be increasing enforcement of parking violation, meaning more cars will be towed.

The region has already been struggling with additional traffic since Metro’s Safetrack rail closures. The closure of Beach Drive, a popular route for commuters from Montgomery County, has forced additional traffic onto already crowded arteries, like Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, and Connecticut Avenue, Northwest.

“We had traffic fairly well stabilized in the first few weeks, and then over the last week, things have been thrown out of balance because of some other situations with Metro, police activity, crashes,” said District Department of Transportation Director Leif A. Dormsjo. “It’s a very fragile system.”

Neil Albert, the former deputy mayor of D.C., knows how tough it is to manage traffic in the District. He currently represents businesses in the downtown area that are hoping officials manage to get a handle on the traffic problems.

“As people try to leave the District of Columbia, and particularly in the downtown area, where we are standing, there is gridlock between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., 7 p.m.,” Albert said. “I think something has to happen.”

Dormsjo said the District is keenly aware of the problems and are working to ease the congestion.

“I had a meeting earlier this week with senior city officials. One of the focus areas was Connecticut Avenue, principally with the parking enforcement,” Dormsjo said. “I think there are some things people should see in the coming weeks from DPW that should make sure that we are getting compliance in regard to the parking restrictions that we do have in place.”

The plan is to add two additional tow trucks to the northwest section of Connecticut Avenue for the morning and afternoon/evening rush hours to tow cars off when they park illegally between the 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. extended time.

Since May 2016, they have issued 1,695 tickets, mostly along Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, and Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest, during that extended time. Many of those tickets were given to D.C. and Maryland drivers.

Construction crews working closing lanes during rush hours have also created more problems to throw the traffic flow out of balance.

“It’s not allowed, but we’ve got a lot of construction activity across the city, and we don’t have an endless supply of inspectors," Dormsjo said. "We try to police that as closely as we can.”

DDOT has 20 inspectors that sometimes can’t get to construction crew violators fast enough when notified about a lane closure.

“Keep in mind, the inspector is going to have to fight through the traffic as well," Dormsjo said. "But we were aware when (News4’s) Tom Sherwood made sure that on Twitter we had a minute by minute reporting on what was going on up there.”

Metro's SafeTrack program is scheduled to continue until at least April 2017. Construction on Beach Drive is expected to take several years, but it is being done in segments.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Michelle's Style Shines Through 8 Years of State Dinners]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:28:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/01shmobama20.jpg First Lady Michelle Obama has been a fashionista for the eight years she’s been in the spotlight. Here are some of her iconic looks during various state dinners that the Obamas have hosted.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obamas Host BET Concert at White House]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:32:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-616086728+%282%29.jpg The Obamas welcomed some big names to D.C. on Friday night during BET's "Love and Happiness: A Musical Experience" concert in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. The show featured performances by Usher, Jill Scott, Common, The Roots, Bell Biv DeVoe, Janelle Monae and more, plus appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Williams and Angela Bassett.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pets Banned at Arlington National Cemetery]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:44:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/101716+arlington+national+cemetery+fall.jpg

If you're heading to Arlington National Cemetery, leave your pet at home.

Pets -- with the exception of military working dogs and approved service animals -- will no longer be allowed at the military cemetery, the staff announced Monday.

"While we know that pet owners intend no disrespect to our veterans and military families, non-service-related animals on cemetery grounds can and have impacted the decorum of both funeral services and ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," the staff said in a statement.

The ban will go into effect Wednesday, the same day cycling will be prohibited for everyone except families and their guests who are visiting loved ones' graves.

At least 27 funeral services are held every weekday at the cemetery where more than 400,000 active duty service members have been laid to rest.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Try to ID Woman Whose Body Was Found in Parking Lot]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:10:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_3696493581.jpg

A woman was found dead in a parking lot Monday morning in Rockville, Maryland, and police are still trying to identify her.

A man on his way to the Metro found the woman's body about 6:30 a.m. in a parking lot near the fence at the back of 12349 Parklawn Drive, Montgomery County Police said. The parking lot borders an apartment community, and residents often walk through the lot to reach the Twinbrook Metro station, police said.

Police said there was no apparent trauma to the woman's body. She had no identification with her.

Authorities will conduct an autopsy to determine how the woman died and to try to identify her. Police plan to release images of the woman's clothing and tattoos to the public on Tuesday in hopes that someone will know her name.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 240-773-5700.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Role-Playing Weapon Props Cause Scare at Richmond Airport]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:37:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/229*120/propsforlarptsa.jpg

A checked bag at Richmond International Airport caused trouble on Saturday when Transportation Security Administration officers discovered a suicide vest, two guns and an old military manual on bombs.

It turned out they were all realistic props for a live action role-playing game.

The bag triggered an alarm and needed to be pulled off the conveyor belt so that a TSA officer could get a better look at what was inside. The image on the X-ray machine was very suspicious, said TSA in a press release.

The officer opened the bag and found a suicide vest, two guns and an old military manual on bombs. TSA explosive experts rushed to the checked baggage room, and airport police were called immediately.

Upon investigation and detainment of the bag's owner, a man who resides in Henrico County, Virginia, officers determined the suicide vest, the two guns and the old military manual on bombs were all props meant for use in a live-action role-playing game. The suicide vest was fake, and the guns were plastic replicas.

"The good news is that there was nothing harmful in the bag," said TSA's Richmond Federal Security Director Chuck Burke. "The items looked realistic by design. Bringing items to an airport that are meant to resemble items known by terrorists... well, I don't know what the man could have been thinking would come of it."

TSA has seen its fair share of alarming and strange items through the year, including a mummified corpse prop from the horror movie, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

The Transportation Security Administration screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives.

Photo Credit: Transportation Security Administration]]>
<![CDATA[DC's Animal Rescue Groups Unite Under One Name]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 18:51:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Capturcxve.JPG

After 145 years, the District's two major animal welfare organizations will now serve the nation's capital under a new name revealed at an event on Monday: Humane Rescue Alliance

The new name, revealed Monday, is the result of a merger between the Washington Humane Society and Washington Animal Rescue League, which combined operations in February. 

"We believe the name Humane Rescue Alliance honors the two predecessor organizations by using the strongest word from each legacy name and represents the strength of the new organization as a bridge from our past to the future," said Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of the Humane Rescue Alliance.

The nation's capital is the only major urban area in the country to have all of its animal control protection programs and a wide range of services -- from medical to humane law enforcement to adoption -- unified in one organization, the Humane Rescue Alliance said.

"We're combining our proficiency and knowledge in all aspects of animal care, from providing quality, affordable medical services to creating families with each adoption," LaFontaine said. "Most importantly, we will continue to tenaciously protect and advocate for the animal's in our community and support and celebrate people's love and compassion or them." 

The Humane Rescue Alliance serves more than more than 60,000 animals per year, with a 90 percent save rate, the organization said. It maintains two animal care and adoption centers in Washington, D.C., and provides a comprehensive set of animal care services, such as low-cost veterinary care and spay/neuter services.

The new Humane Rescue Alliance logo -- featuring an animal's face with a Capitol dome for a nose -- was developed by Ogilvy Public Relations pro bono, the Humane Rescue Alliance said Monday.

Photo Credit: Humane Rescue Alliance]]>
<![CDATA[Pastor, Wife Accused of Defrauding Members of Va. Church]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:42:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/gavel+and+book2.jpg

A senior pastor and his wife defrauded members of their Virginia congregation of more than a million dollars, prosecutors said.

Victorious Life Church Pastor Terry Wayne Millender; his wife, Brenda, and church member Grenetta Wells -- all of Alexandria -- were arrested Sunday in a $1.2 million scheme, allegedly operating a company that claimed to help the poor and recruited investors with the false promise of guaranteed return rates, according to an indictment released by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Virginia.

The company claimed a Christian mission of providing loans to start or expand existing businesses in developing companies, prosecutors said, but actually used the money for personal reasons, including paymets toward the Millenders' $1.75 million home.

They blamed the Great Recession, among other things, for the delayed repayments, prosecutors said.

Federal authorities began investigating three years ago when some investors became suspicious.

The Millenders' attorney, Drew Hutcheson, said he thought investigators closed the case because he hadn't heard from prosecutors in a while.

In court Monday, Brenda Millender was released on her personal recognizance, but Terry Millender and Wells were ordered held. Another hearing is set for Tuesday.

Terry Millender served as chief executive officer of the company and Wells as chief operating officer.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock Stock Image]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Left Child in Hot Car Pleads Guilty]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:51:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Daiquan+Fields+Mug1.jpg

A Northern Virginia man has pleaded guilty to leaving his girlfriend's toddler in a hot car, leading to her death.

Daiquan Fields, 32, pleaded guilty Sept. 20 to charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse and neglect, News4 has learned.

Fields was arrested in April after he drove to Pentagon City to pick up his girlfriend at work and discovered he'd left the two-year-old girl in the vehicle earlier that morning.

He called 911, but emergency crews could not revive the little girl.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, all but six months of the five-year prison term was suspended, allowing Fields to go free Sept. 27.

Now on supervised probation, Fields is barred from living with the victim's mother, must find full-time work and must stay away from drugs and alcohol. In addition, he was ordered to complete a parenting class, pay court costs and get a mental health evaluation. He is not permitted to drive.

Court documents suggested a change in his routine dropping off the 2-year-old and her older siblings may have contributed to the tragedy.

Fields said in an interview with police that he normally dropped off the toddler with a babysitter and then took the two older children, ages 10 and 15, to school. But on April 20, they were running late dropping off the oldest child, so Fields dropped off that child first, followed by the middle child, he told police. Fields then returned to the family's apartment in Annandale, leaving the 2-year-old strapped in her car seat.

A change in routine can contribute to a child being left in a car, Don Goddard of the Fairfax County Police Department said in the wake of the little girl's death.

"When people get into routines like this, they become accustomed to doing things in an order," he said. "If that routine or habit changes, sometimes it leads to a tragedy."

Fields told police he was home in Annandale, Virginia, all day, even meeting a housing inspector who stopped by. He drank a beer and watched TV before he left late in the afternoon to pick up the children's mother from her job at the mall in Pentagon City, he told police.

An investigator wrote that when Fields pulled up at the mall and sent a text message to his girlfriend, he saw the toddler in the back seat. The child appeared blue, and fluid was dripping from her nose, he told police. He called 911 and told the dispatcher he was trying to perform CPR. The toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The temperature that day was about 70 degrees, but the toddler had a body temperature of 107 degrees when she was rushed to a hospital, a search warrant said.

<![CDATA['Prescription Chicken' Is Delivering Chicken Noodle Soup]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:43:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016509755_1200x675_792305219911.jpg A company called Prescription Chicken will deliver chicken noodle soup to your door. "It's just the food that has the most connection to comfort," one of the company's founders told News4's Eun Yang.]]> <![CDATA[Public to Weigh in on I-395 Express Lanes Extension]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:41:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016505326_1200x675_792112195958.jpg Drivers will get a chance to weigh in on a plan to help further ease congestion on I-395. More Express Lanes are in the works in Alexandria and Arlington. News 4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss is live to tell us what it will mean for your commute.]]> <![CDATA[New Smithsonian Podcast to Meld Science, Art & More]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:12:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/102416+podcast+listener.jpg

The Smithsonian is launching a new podcast Wednesday to dive into stories about science, art, history, humanity and the areas where they overlap.

"From dinosaurs to dining rooms, this podcast connects big ideas to the people who have them," according to a description of of the new podcast, "Sidedoor," on iTunes.

In a teaser for the podcast on iTunes, a Smithsonian brand marketing assistant revealed some of the work he and his colleagues have been up to in preparation for the podcast.

"[We've] been busy learning how to listen to the cosmos, getting backstage passes at the panda exhibit, interviewing an artist that creates virtual worlds and chatting with lots of other really interesting folks from around the Smithsonian," Tony Cohn said in the clip.

The podcast will launch on iTunes on Wednesday, but would-be listeners can begin subscribing now.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Duran Duran to Play MGM National Harbor on New Year's Eve]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:46:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/102416+duran+duran.jpg

You can ring in the new year with Duran Duran.

The iconic British rock band will perform at The Theater at MGM National Harbor on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, theater representatives announced Monday.

Duran Duran will perform at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and 9 p.m. Jan. 1. Tickets go on sale Friday and will cost from $125 to $300, plus fees.

The National Harbor, Maryland, casino and resort is set to open Dec. 8. Bruno Mars, Cher, Kings of Leon and Jim Gaffigan also are set to perform.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Halloween Costumes for 2016]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:45:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579181396.jpg Take a look at the most popular 2016 Halloween costumes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Witnesses Tried to Help Man Fatally Hit by Car in Md.]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:43:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/220*120/2016-10-24_1338.png

A man in his mid-60s was hit by a car and killed Monday morning as he tried to cross a road to catch a bus, Montgomery County police said. 

Robert Michael Grossman, 64, was struck by a Toyota Camry just before 7 a.m. Monday in the northbound lanes of Georgia Avenue at Regina Drive in Silver Spring. 

Leanna Vogt was waiting for her bus to school and tried to help the victim after the crash.

"I'm more in shock that I had to witness something like this," Vogt said. "We were talking to 911 and they told me to flip him, lay him on his back."

Despite the efforts of witnesses at the scene, the victim later died of his injuries at a hospital. 

The driver of the striking vehicle remained at the scene. The driver, a Hyattsville man, was not injured.

Police say Grossman was not in a marked crosswalk at the time the crash. But crosswalks in the area are few and far between. 

"Later on the department will work with the county agencies to determine whether or not improvement can be made to make it safer for everyone," said Montgomery County Police Sergeant Nick Picerno. 

<![CDATA[Arsonist Started Fire in DC Homeless Shelter, Police Say]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 07:07:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016505441_1200x675_792112707794.jpg D.C. police are looking for the person who intentionally set a fire inside a homeless shelter. The fire started on the sixth floor of the DC General Family Shelter in Southeast Washington Saturday night. News4's Molette Green is live outside the shelter with more on the investigation and cleanup.]]> <![CDATA[Early Voting Begins in DC; Starts in Md. Thursday]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:26:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/voting-generic.jpg

Can't make it to the polls Nov. 8?

Residents in Washington, D.C., and Maryland can cast their ballot early beginning this week. 

While Virginia does not have early voting, residents in the state can participate in absentee voting. 

Here's a guide to early voting and absentee voting in our area: 


Early voting in D.C. starts Oct. 22 at One Judiciary Square and on Oct. 29 at several community centers throughout the District. Go here for a list, hours and wait times.

Virginia does not allow early voting, but you can vote absentee (see below for details).

In Maryland, early voting starts Oct. 27. Go here for more information and a list of early voting sites.


Like voting deadlines, absentee ballot deadlines differ slightly from state to state as well.

If voting via absentee ballot in D.C., the Board of Elections must receive the request to receive the ballot by no later than November 1 (you can also apply online). Then, your voted balclicklot must be received by Election Day.

In Virginia, applications to receive an absentee ballots in the mail must be processed by Nov. 1 by 5 p.m. (you can apply online here). The deadline changes to Nov. 5 if requesting a ballot in person.

Absentee ballots must be received by Nov. 1 in Maryland as well (here's a link to the form you'll need). You can also download an absentee ballot online, which must be done by Nov. 4.

In Maryland, you'll have to postmark your absentee ballot by election day, and it must be received by Nov. 18. You can also hand-deliver your voted ballot to your local board of elections by 8 p.m. on election day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Weed World' Bridge Truck Fire]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:03:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Memorial-Bridge-Fire.jpg

A vehicle carrying marijuana-laced candy caught fire on the Delaware Memorial Bridge Sunday, causing lane closures and a massive backup.

The Weed World Candies truck was traveling from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia when it caught fire on the northbound side of the bridge around 6 p.m. Two northbound lanes were closed, causing heavy traffic as firefighters responded.

Firefighters were eventually able to bring the flames under control and no injuries were reported, according to bridge authority officials.

Weed World Candies is an organization that launched in 1999 that uses tour vehicles to promote the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. The company also sells marijuana-laced candy.

"Dr. Dro," the owner of 'Weed World Candies,' told NBC10 in Philadelphia that more than $50,000 in merchandise was lost in the fire. The company is visiting colleges on the East Coast.

Photo Credit: Kim Turner / ‏@KimTurnerInDE
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<![CDATA[1 Stabbed at Party in Germantown; Suspect in Custody]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:46:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/police-lights-generic-nighttime.jpg

One person is in critical condition after someone stabbed him at a party in Germantown, Maryland, police say.

Montgomery County police said officers received a call about the stabbing in the 13300 block of Kilmarnock Way about 7 p.m. Sunday.

The victim's age is not known. He is in critical condition, police said.

The suspect stole a car to get away. A Germantown police officer later saw the car and during a pursuit the suspect eventually tried to escape on foot, police said.

Officers set up a perimeter and caught the suspect about 9 p.m. on Charity Lane.

Police have not identified the suspect.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com as we continue to update this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Families Displaced After Fire at DC General Shelter]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 18:37:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016500070_1200x675_791934531675.jpg Investigators are looking into a fire that happened on an unoccupied floor at the DC General Family Shelter in Southeast. News4's Derrick Ward reports.]]> <![CDATA[Man Assaulted, Set on Fire in NW DC: Police]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:01:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DC+Ambulance.jpg

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from a previous version that said the man is homeless. Police said they cannot confirm at this time if he is homeless.

A man found suffering from third-degree burns Sunday told police he was set on fire the night before, according to a police report.

The man told D.C. police he was drinking with friends in an alley at 14th Street and Otis Place NW about 11 p.m. Saturday.

After drinking, he left the alley and proceeded to head home when he was approached from behind by two men, the police report said. He said the men asked him for his cash and when he told them he didn't have any, they hit him, causing him to fall face-down onto the ground.

According to the report, while the man was lying on the ground, he was set on fire. He told police he didn't seek medical attention at the time because "he just took off his burned jacket and threw it in a trashcan."

On Sunday, D.C. Fire and EMS received a call about 1:15 p.m. about a man who appeared to be suffering from burn injuries on 14th Street and Spring Road NW. The man was described as homeless, a spokesperson for the fire department said; however, police later said they could not confirm that.

The man was taken to the hospital with third-degree burns to his back. He is in fair condition, the police report said.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[DC Police Officer Charged With DUI While on Duty]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:48:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc-police-car4.jpg

A D.C. police officer has been arrested and charged with DUI while on duty, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Officer Arthur Thompson was charged with DUI after a supervisor detected the odor of alcohol allegedly coming from him. Police said the supervisor was investigating a citizen complaint involving Thompson Sunday around 2:20 a.m. in the 1400 block of 18th Street SE.

Field sobriety tests confirmed the officer was under the influence, police said.

Thompson has been with the D.C. police for four years. Police said his police powers have been revoked, and the incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Division.

<![CDATA[Bicyclist Struck, Killed in Collision in Prince George's Co.]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:16:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/211*120/2016-10-23_0711.png

A bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle in Prince George’s County, Maryland, early Sunday morning, according to police.

Police said the bicyclist was heading northbound on Kenilworth Avenue at U.S. Route 50 around 1:15 a.m. They said officers found the man in the roadway, suffering from critical injuries.

Police said the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene.

U.S. 50 was closed while collision investigators worked the scene. It reopened shortly after 10 a.m. Sunda.

The name of the victim has not been identified.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Basement NW DC Restaurant Catches Fire; Firefighter Injured]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 09:23:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DC+Firefighters.jpg

A D.C. firefighter was injured as crews fought to contain an early morning restaurant fire in northwest D.C., according to officials.

The fire started in the 1300 block of Park Road, Northwest, shortly before 3 a.m. in the basement restaurant area of a three story rowhouse. The restaurant is the El Rinconcito Café, a Salvadoran restaurant.

Officials said the fire was contained to the restaurant area. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators said they believe the fire was accidental and electrical in origin. It is unknown if or when the restaurant will be ready for business after the fire.

Photo Credit: @dcfireems/D.C. Fire and EMS]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Man, 87, Shot in Head in Apparent Hunting Accident]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 07:33:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2016-10-23_0731.png

An man was shot in the head in an apparent hunting accident in Brookville, Maryland, police said.

The man, 87, was shot in his backyard in the 3800 block of Elton Farm Road about 1 p.m. Saturday, according to Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks.

A two millimeter projectile was found in the man's scalp. He was taken to the hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening.

Detectives said the projectile might have unintentionally come from a hunter, as the man’s property is near public land that is frequented by hunters.

Officers searched the area near the victim's house but couldn't find anyone, Starks said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at (240) 773-6327.

<![CDATA[Virginia Mom Uses Halloween Costumes as Lesson to Kids]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 09:00:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bus+stop+costume.jpg

A mother from Vienna, Virginia, is using the spirit of Halloween to teach her five kids about being different.

Julie Mudrick has been wearing different costumes in October to pick up her kids from the bus stop. She started doing it four years ago to show her shy son that it is OK to be different and stand out.

Every day, Mudrick comes up with a different theme. Students love it, and the Mudrick family is also in on the fun.

Mudrick posts photos of her and her family's costumes on her Instagram site, busstopcostumes.

Mudrick has inspired at least other moms to do it in Illinois, California, Virginia, Utah, Texas, New Jersey and Arizona. Many are using the hashtag #busstopcostumesunited.

On Oct. 31, Halloween, some moms are planning to dress up like skeletons and do a short dance to "Thriller" when the bus pulls up.

Photo Credit: Instragram @busstopcostumes]]>
<![CDATA[Miley Cyrus Campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Virginia]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 07:26:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Miley+Cyrus+GMU.jpg

She came in like a wrecking ball.

Singer and entertainer Miley Cyrus went door-knocking for Hillary Clinton at a George Mason University dorm Saturday afternoon.

Dressed in an “American flag” outfit that consisted of an oversize blue bow and a red-and-white striped skirt, Cyrus told students she agrees with Clinton’s views.

“Me and Hillary share equality for all. Everyone gets stuck on voting for her out of fear of what could be, but I would vote for her anyway,” she said. “Trump doesn’t understand how personal it is for women to be in control of their own health – access to checkups, birth control.”

She spoke about a recent trip home to Nashville that she described as a “wakeup call.”

“I saw one Hillary poster in a sea of terrifying Trump supporters and posters. This election has been super hateful, not only for the nominees themselves, but within our own community. When I post support for Hillary on Instagram, I can’t believe the hate that I get,” Cyrus said. “It seems like you’re just talking to different people that live on different planets.”

She added that “it’s not like I don’t understand the other side, because I grew up with a super conservative family.”

Many of the students told her they will be voting for Clinton, including Vashti Aveirls, who described meeting Cyrus as “surreal.”

“It was super cool. She’s beautiful and she’s a good person,” Aveirls said. “It’s nice to know that Hillary has people out here that actually care about her message, coming door to door, knocking on college student’s doors, so I felt really happy.”

GMU student Lauren Henry also met Cyrus.

“I’m pretty sure all of us are registered to vote already and are definitely planning on it, so having her there to hype us up and try to extend that excitement to other family members and community was really exciting,” Henry said.

Cyrus suggested to students that they convince their friends to vote on Election Day by making it a social event.

“You can go out to eat and celebrate afterward. Make a whole day out of it. It’s just fun to go. It’s important,” she said.

Cyrus’ visit caused a big stir on campus. Dozens of students camped out in the lobby of Piedmont Hall, the dorm where Cyrus was. The students told News4 they had been waiting for three hours to catch a glimpse of her. Outside the dorm, a long line of students sang “Wrecking Ball” as they waited, then cheered when they saw her in a window.

Donald Trump was in Virginia too this afternoon, holding a rally at Regent University.

Garren Shipley, the Virginia communications director for the Republican National Committee, said in an email, “Hillary Clinton has often said that this campaign is about role models. Miley Cyrus is campaigning for her today in Northern Virginia. Foam finger manufacturers could not be reached for comment."

Cyrus wasn't the only star musician stumping for Clinton with college voters. 

Katy Perry also hit the dorms on Saturday. The "Roar" singer knocked on doors at UNLV in the hopes of convincing young Nevada voters to support Clinton. Her shirt read "Nasty Woman" in a reference to a comment Trump made against Clinton at the final presidential debate. 

Photo Credit: Aimee Cho/NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Hundreds Without Power in Maryland, Virginia Saturday]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 16:16:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pepco4.jpg

Thousands of people were without power in Maryland and Virginia Saturday afternoon, according to Pepco and Dominion Power.

Strong winds left 1,500 Dominion Power customers without power in Northern Virginia. As of 9:30 p.m., those outages are down to about 200. Most of the outages are in Loudoun County.

Pepco reported that about 2,400 customers didn't have power in Prince George's County, Maryland. Those outages are now down to less than 5.

D.C. had 260 Pepco customers with no power; Montgomery County had about 130, according to Pepco. Power has since been restored for the District and Montgomery County.

Pepco said its outages were likely due to the weather.

<![CDATA[ Va. Boy Who Inspired Social Media Campaign Dies]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 07:32:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/210*120/2016-10-22_0732.png

The Fredericksburg, Virginia, boy, whose family sparked a social media movement to provide him access to an experimental drug, has died. 

Josh Hardy, 10, died Thursday at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, according to The Free Lance-Star. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Fredericksburgh Baptist Church.

Many people attended a "Superhero Costume Celebration" in Josh's memory on Friday at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center.

Josh's family first made headlines in March 2014 after he caught a rare viral infection following a bone marrow transplant to treat cancer.

His family begged the pharmaceutical company Chimerix to give Josh Brincidofovir, an experimental drug they heard may help treat his illness, but the company refused.

Fearing that Brincidofovir was the only thing that had a chance of saving their beloved son -- and knowing they had just days to do it, Josh's parents turned to social media and ignited the #SaveJosh campaign.

Thousands of people joined the campaign, and after just a little more than a week, Chimerix announced that it would allow Josh to receive the medication. And after just three doses, Josh began to recover.

But in January 2016, Josh's health began to decline. 

According to The Free Lance-Star, he was having trouble breathing and spent most of this year in the hospital. 

A day before his death, Josh's family posted a message on the Save Josh Facebook page, thanking God for what would be their last day with him. 

"Thank you for the many miracles we have witnessed," the post read. "It's hard to believe You will not deliver him again."

Hours later, a photo of a the hashtag #SaveJosh was replaced with the photo of a black ribbon -- a symbol of remembrance or mourning.

A final post reads, "We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. We will do what is required. We will find a cure."

“I just instantly broke down crying because he’s the most amazing, amazing little guy and he would never, ever, ever give up,” said his kindergarten teacher, Christine Montgomery.

Teacher Tony Wishard remembered Josh's sense of humor. The boy sent him a signed baseball and told him to hold onto it, it'll be worth something someday. Wishard now has it framed.

<![CDATA[Drop Off Prescription Drugs During Take-Back Initiative Day]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:41:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-10-22_0745.png

Anyone with unneeded or expired prescription drugs can get rid of them with no questions asked on Saturday during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The event is organized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration and will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. They want to provide a safe and responsible way for people to dispose of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse.

The White House said nearly 130 people die every day from drug overdoses, most involving opioids. Previous take-back days have collected more than six million pounds of prescription drugs.

To find a location site, visit the Department of Justice website.