<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Local News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usFri, 26 May 2017 11:17:01 -0400Fri, 26 May 2017 11:17:01 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Rain, Storms Likely for Memorial Day Weekend]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 11:07:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Friday-2017-05-26_1057.jpg

Friday is the sunniest day we've had for the past week -- enjoy it! The rain likely won't stay away for long, though. More rain and thunderstorms are expected this Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday, however, will be quite nice, with plenty of sunshine and a gusty northwest wind bringing temperatures into the high 70s, with comfortably low humidity.

We could have a few isolated showers Friday afternoon, but they'll be short-lived and should have little (if any) impact on your outdoor plans.

If you're beach-bound to Rehoboth or Ocean City, watch for storms Saturday afternoon. Rain showers are possible Sunday and Monday. Highs will be around 73, 70 and 75 degrees respectively for the three-day weekend.

But the water temperature wil be just 62 degrees, so you might just want to dunk in your toes this weekend.

At home, Saturday will start out with sunshine, but clouds will build in the afternoon, leading to a chance of strong to severe storms after 3 p.m. Temperatures will be around 80 before the storms get going. If you have outdoor plans on Saturday, stay aware and be ready to move indoors at a moment's notice or at the first sound of thunder

Skies will remain mostly cloudy Saturday night and into Sunday. Another chance of showers with a few thunderstorms will be possible again Sunday afternoon. Rain is more likely at any time on Sunday, but the severe weather threat is lower. Sunday's highs will be in the upper 70s.

Rolling Thunder participants will have to dodge the occasional shower, but at least it won't be 90 degrees.

Memorial Day will also be mostly cloudy, with scattered rain showers, but the severe weather risk is low. Highs on Monday will be in the low 80s.

A drier weather pattern will arrive for the middle and later parts of next week, with temperatures close to average for the beginning of June.

Photo Credit: Storm Team4
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<![CDATA[Get Outta Town: Top 10 Nearby Beaches]]> Mon, 15 May 2017 18:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Assateague-shutterstock_117408220.jpg No, Waikiki isn't on the list -- we're looking at the best beaches within an easy drive of the DMV. Get ready to vacuum the sand out of your car.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[North Beach: Exploring a Local Gem]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 10:15:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/north+beach+md1.jpg

The unofficial start to summer is here. This Memorial Day weekend many will be flocking to the beaches to kick off the holiday. News 4's Megan McGrath went to North Beach and shares what you and your family can do down there this weekend.

<![CDATA[Super Kids: Young Gymnast Hopes to Go to Olympics]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 06:47:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Super_Kids_Gymnast.jpg

JJ Eig is just 13 years old, but she spends 32 hours a week at the gym. The young gymnast recently competed at the Junior Olympics in Indiana. News4’s Aimee Cho has her story.

<![CDATA[Vice President Pence to Speak at Naval Academy Graduation]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 06:25:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP881663904879.jpg

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to address the graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy. 

The commissioning ceremony is set for Friday morning in Annapolis. Graduation for the Class of 2017 is taking place at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. 

About 1,000 students will graduate. Most will be commissioned as officers, either as Navy ensigns or 2nd lieutenants in the Marine Corps. 

The vice president's son, Michael, is serving as an officer in the U.S. Marines.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Has New Law to Help Fight Opioid Addiction]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 06:17:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Maryland+Flag.jpg

Legislation to battle heroin and opioid overdoses in Maryland with education, prevention, treatment and law enforcement was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Larry Hogan. 

Matt and Cheryl Godbey, whose 24-year-old daughter Emily died in November from a fentanyl overdose, came from Frederick, Maryland, for the bill-signing ceremony. Matt Godbey applauded a new law that will bring stiffer penalties to drug dealers who knowingly sell fentanyl resulting in a death. Fentanyl is a painkiller that is often combined with heroin, with deadly results. 

Drug dealers were so aggressive in selling drugs to his daughter, Godbey said, they would pull up to the drive-thru window at the fast-food restaurant where she worked to place drugs in front of her when she was trying to quit. 

"It killed her so fast, she couldn't even close her eyes. They found her sitting in a chair with her eyes open,'' Matt Godbey said. "We just don't want other families to hurt like we are.'' 

One measure is called the HOPE Act. It requires hospitals to set a new protocol for discharging patients treated for substance abuse disorders. It creates a 24-hour emergency hotline and establishes a 24/7 crisis treatment center for people experiencing mental health and substance abuse crises. It also increases access to the overdose-reversal drug known as naloxone. The bill also provides added funding for community behavioral health providers. 

Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Baltimore County Democrat who sponsored the measure, said she worked to make the bill as comprehensive as possible to fight the stubbornly disturbing rise in overdose deaths. She said the only thing lawmakers didn't do was to put the words "please keep it in your prayers'' in the law. 

"Because that's what we need to do, because I feel like it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse,'' she said. 

Sen. Michael Hough sponsored legislation to create an added 10-year penalty for people who knowingly sell fentanyl resulting in an overdose death. The Frederick County Republican said his county has been particularly hard hit by the scourge. 

"Lots of young people dying and overdosing,'' Hough said. "It's just a real epidemic.'' 

A separate bill is called the Start Talking Maryland Act. It requires education programs in schools on opioid addiction. 

The governor signed 209 bills at his last scheduled bill signing from the legislative session that ended last month. 

At a separate news conference, Hogan vetoed a bill that would require businesses with 15 or more employees to allow employees to earn up to five paid sick days, saying it would kill small businesses. Democrats who support the bill said a veto override will be a priority in next year's session. 

Here's a look at some other bills signed by the governor Thursday: 


Authorizes expansion of Medicaid adult dental coverage. 


Prohibits pesticides known to harm pollinators on state land designated as pollinator habitats. 


Limits school testing to 2.2 percent of the school year. That's about 24 hours for elementary and middle schools and about 26 hours in high schools, except for eighth grade, which would be limited to about 25 hours.

<![CDATA[Student Killed at UMd. to Be Remembered at Funeral Friday]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 10:50:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/052217+richard+collins+iii.jpg

Family and friends will gather Friday to remember a student who was fatally stabbed days before his graduation.

The funeral for Richard Collins III will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Police say Collins was attacked by Sean Urbanski Saturday while visiting the University of Maryland. The black student's slaying is being investigated by the FBI as a possible hate crime.

Collins was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday. His family accepted his degree at the commencement ceremony and a black gown was draped across a chair in the front row in Collins' honor. 

Collins had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army, and "he prided himself on his time and in his ROTC unit on being the top runner in his PTs," remembered his father, Richard Collins Jr. "He even won a certificate for being the best."

Urbanski, who is white, is charged with murder and assault. The FBI is helping local police determine whether the killing was a hate crime after investigators learned that Urbanski belonged to a Facebook group called "Alt-Reich: Nation,'' where members post disparaging material about African Americans and others.

Court documents obtained by News4 say Collins was waiting for the university's shuttle bus with his friends about 3 a.m. Saturday when they realized the shuttle bus had stopped running for the night. The three decided to call an Uber and were waiting for one to arrive when they heard Urbanski screaming nearby, according to the documents.

Collins and his friends watched Urbanski as he approached them. According to court documents, Urbanski said, "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you," and Collins responded "No."

Urbanski continued to approach the group, pulled out a knife with a 3- to 4-inch silver blade and stabbed Collins once in the chest, the documents said.

Collins' father told NBC News he was in shock.

"I'm in no place to feel very many emotions beside sadness and just a deep sense of personal loss," he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of family]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Drivers Fight Conditions to Make Holiday Getaway]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 23:32:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018908123_1200x675_953832003671.jpg

It was a wet and messy drive for travelers trying to get out of town for the Memorial Day weekend. News4’s Shomari Stone talked to people making the holiday getaway.

<![CDATA[Md. Considers Shortening or Moving PARCC Standardized Tests]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 21:34:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Changes_Could_Be_Coming_to_PARCC_Tests.jpg

Maryland will consider changes to standardized testing for next school year.

The PARCC tests Maryland has used for the past few years consume a lot of time near the end of the school year, and some students and teachers are not happy with that.

Maryland education officials are considering shortening the test or moving it to earlier in the school calendar

"We worked to get them shorter,” Maryland's State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said. “We’re looking at having them more integrated into the school schedule rather than be daylong events. And that’s a goal of the governing board I serve on. We talk about it all the time."

Salmon said the agency received very little feedback about the PARCC tests, but at a public meeting in Baltimore, a group of Prince George's County high school students asked state officials to scrap the PARCC test or at least shrink it.

"When you have a school that has a lot of lower socioeconomic students issues there is a lot of other concerns, like maybe problems at home, so testing is not their main priority maybe as it is getting good grades and trying to work and helping out their families," Laurel High School sophomore Yarold Bautista said.

"I took two PARCC tests this year and I'm here to tell you that it's not working and that it should be eradicated," Laurel High sophomore Sydney Houston said.

This year is the first year sophomores must actually pass the PARCC test before graduating. In prior years, they only needed to take it.

Maryland is committed to the PARCC test for at least one more year.

<![CDATA[Mrs. Maryland Restores Home for Disabled Vietnam Veteran ]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 20:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Dereky+Martin-Hagler+and+Mark+Ward+Official+Photo.jpg

A disabled Vietnam war veteran can call his fire damaged house a home again thanks to a home makeover just in time for Memorial Day.

Dereky Martin-Hagler and her husband, Al Hagler, co-owners of D&A Designs, were determined to restore Mark Ward’s Bowie home, which was completely destroyed in a fire that left him living in temporary housing with his granddaugthe for six months. 

Martin-Hagler, the reigning Mrs. Maryland, and her husband wanted to help Ward after all of his service to the country.

She said if it wasn’t for someone else paying it forward to her, she wouldn’t be in the position she’s in today.

“When the real estate market crashed, I lost everything,” she said. “So I went from making seven figures to pretty much losing everything.”

D&A Designs wanted to add a special touch to the home.

“He loves to cook, so we gave him his dream kitchen,” Martin-Hagler said.

Ward’s granddaugther was thrilled by the new designs.

“I’m so happy, like, it’s so beautiful,” his granddaugther said when she first saw her new home. “I’m just so excited.”

Photo Credit: NBC Washington ]]>
<![CDATA[Metro Gets Ready to Raise Fares, Cut Hours]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 20:14:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Metro_Train_001.jpg

Starting June 25, Metro riders will have to deal with fare hikes and service cuts. Weeknight service will end at 11:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday service will go until 1 a.m. On Sunday, the system won't open until 8 a.m. and it will close at 11 p.m. Plus, you'll pay $0.10 to $0.25 more to ride the train or bus, depending when you take your trip. Riders, unsurprisingly, aren't happy. News4 transportation reporter Adam Tuss explains the changes.

<![CDATA[Alpha the Dog Gets Yearbook Photo, Right Next to His Human]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 07:12:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Alpha+Schalk+Stafford+High+School.jpg

In the high school yearbook, the black Labrador peers up from the bottom half of his picture, all lovable, big eyes.

It's an honor that Alpha, a service dog, earned after years at the side of his owner, junior A.J. Schalk.

“Where you see A.J., you see Alpha. Where you see Alpha, you see A.J., and he’s just one of the gang,” said Principal Joseph Lewis of Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Alpha has been assisting A.J. since the dog was four months old. A.J. has diabetes, and Alpha sits in class with him every day and alerts him when his blood sugar is too low.

A.J. said he wanted to make sure his dog was in the yearbook, so he can look back on the memories later.

“I just wanted to have my service dog in the yearbook,” he said. “I thought it’d be a great little thing, to put in to have for my school and me to look back on when I’m older.”

The yearbook staff agreed, and the rest is enshrined on page 220.

When the yearbook was released, a student snapped a photo of Alpha’s pose and shared it on Twitter. The Tweet went viral and was written up on Buzzfeed. It’s not very often you see a dog in a yearbook.

A.J. said he hopes Alpha gets another photo next year, but this time, in a cap and gown.

“Whatever I happen to do after high school, he’s going to be with me,” A.J. said. “So it’s exciting to have him along for the ride.”

Photo Credit: David Culver]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Governor Candidates Discuss College Tuition Plans]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 19:57:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170525+Tuition.jpg

So how could the race for Virginia governor affect the cost of college? News4's Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey looks at where each candidate stands on college tuition.

<![CDATA[Spending D.C.'s Biggest-Ever Budget: Will It Have an Impact?]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 19:20:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170525+WIlson+Building.jpg

Harry Jaffe, a longtime chronicler of the people and politics of Washington, D.C., writes a column for NBC Washington's First Read DMV blog.

On Thursday, D.C. Councilmembers gathered for one of their favorite endeavors: spending your money. Amid much rhetorical backslapping, the 13 legislators discussed how to divvy up what is by far the biggest budget in District history, at just south of $14 billion.

What they failed to do – indeed what they never do – is consider in any way, shape, or form whether the billions they disburse will have any impact, change any lives, educate kids, heal the sick or house the homeless.

“Accountability does not exist,” says longtime Councilmember Jack Evans.

“There is absolutely no oversight,” says a veteran budget analyst in the Wilson Building.

D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson, who served on Council for 12 years, has begun to follow funds to nowhere in her new capacity. “It’s time to measure outcomes,” she tells me. “Put money in to programs based on performance, department by department, program by program.”

Accountability. Oversight. Outcomes. Three words that rarely came up during Thursday’s giddy, marathon budget session.

Having witnessed this annual ritual for decades, I can say with certainty the 13 members will talk plenty but do little. They might quibble over details and nibble around the edges. A million here, a million there. But by and large they will rubber-stamp Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 2018 budget.

Magically, the budget will be both balanced, as required by law, but deep in the red. How’s that? The budget includes paying off the huge debt Council has racked up over the past decade. The line item to service the debt is now the fourth-largest in the budget.

Paying off the debt in the fiscal 2018 budget will cost more than funding the police department, Jack Evans pointed out when Bowser dropped her budget a few weeks ago.

“Let’s swipe that baby,” he said of the Council’s penchant for borrowing. “Our debt service is the highest per capita in the nation.”

Chairman Phil Mendelson chimed in to say debt service will top $900 million by 2020.

Evans, the longest serving member by far, was the only Councilmember to unsettle the celebratory mood Thursday. At that initial hearing he waved a list of the $329 million additions in funding over last year’s budget and said any cuts will be decreases in the increases.

Add this up: the District budget has nearly doubled in a decade, from $7 billion in 2008 to this year’s astronomical $14 billion.

“I don’t see the results,” Evans told his squirming colleagues. “We are still struggling with the identical problems as ten years ago. What went wrong? Nobody wants to look at that.”


We are already into the usual budget squabbles.

Ed Lazere, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, wants $23 million more for homelessness, $10 million added to rental housing assistance, $28 million more for schools and more funds for health and jobs.

On the other side, former Mayor Anthony Williams has urged Council to maintain the $100 million in tax cuts that his commission advocates.

You can’t blame the usual suspects for advocating their cases. But somebody has to call a halt to the District’s unbridled and unaccounted spending. As Evans says, the good times will not last.

What's to be done?

“If the mayor and Council are committed to putting more money into schools and housing,” Lazere writes in an email, “they have the tools (more than I do) to find the needed savings elsewhere in the budget.”

Ed passes the buck, so to speak.

Standing at the opposite pole, Evans wants the District to cut off financial assistance to the poor after five years and asks: “At what point does the welfare state in the District come to and end?”

There is a sensible, middle ground. Our spendthrift politicians have been shown exactly how to calibrate their spending, reduce the debt and direct funds to programs that pay off with return on investment.

Kathy Patterson has been advocating the District adopt a system of oversight and monitoring recommended by The Pew Charitable Trusts. In its 2014 report “Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Guide for Effective Governing,” Pew presents a system of program assessment and evaluation that helps politicians direct funds to programs that work rather than ones where money disappears into a black hole with nothing to show.

“It’s a very strong model based on solid research,” Patterson tells me. “You build a data base on results.”

Patterson’s audit of the D.C. Housing Production Trust Fund discovered that the city’s principal way of building affordable house was leaking funds, lacking records and failing to house needy residents.

When the report came out in March, Councilmember Anita Bonds, whose committee allegedly oversees the fund, said: “Our inability as a government to effectively manage this essential tool means we’re failing to really do our part in addressing the affordability crisis.”

Sounds good, yet when the Council on Thursday considered the 2018 budget, Bonds recommended using $50 million from the prospective 2019 budget to finance the housing trust fund.

Mendelson balked at “borrowing from the future.”

To which Bonds responded: “It’s more of a paper transfer than actual dollars,”

Herein lies the problem: “actual dollars” are going out the window at an increasingly rapid clip. As the District budget doubled, from $7 billion to $14 billion in the past decade, the District got deeper in debt, too many schools failed to educate children, the number of homeless housed in motels paid for with city funds remained too high, and health care east of the Anacostia River continued to be inadequate.

Enough celebrating and backslapping in Council chambers. Back in the Marion Barry era, every budget cycle ended with the accounting of “funny money,” the unspent dollars that remained and needed to be spent. Barry’s gone, the District’s problems of poverty persist, and funny money still sloshes around the government agencies.

That’s nothing to laugh about.

<![CDATA[The Case That Changed Investigations of Missing Children]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 18:55:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170525+Missing+Kids.jpg

It was nearly 40 years ago that six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared while on his way to his school bus stop in New York City. And it wasn't until this year that a former store clerk was convicted of his murder. Despite the decades of pain for Etan's family, his case has done lasting good: it helped change how police track missing and exploited children. News4's Angie Goff goes inside the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

<![CDATA[Relative Suspected in Death of Elderly Maryland Man]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 19:18:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Fort+Washington+Homicide+Scene+052517.jpg

An elderly man was killed in his Maryland home, Prince George’s County Police said.

A man related to the victim is in custody, sources told News4.

The victim's family requested a welfare check Thursday morning after he did not answer phone calls.

Officers saw him slumped over through the window of his home on Mill Street in Fort Washington, and the Prince George's County Fire Department forced its way inside.  

Police found the victim unresponsive and suffering from trauma to his upper body. Responding units then suspected murder.

The house was locked up when officers arrived and there were no signs of forced entry, leading them to determine this was likely not a random act, police said.

At 5:20 p.m., police confirmed a suspect was arrested on Palmer Road, near the murder scene, on an unrelated warrant. The man is being questioned in connection to the murder.

“It's unbelievable,” a neighbor who lives across the street told News4. “I don't believe it. I've lived here since 1975. Shocking.”

Photo Credit: Mark Segraves/NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[JROTC Member Honors Fallen Army Sergeant He Never Met]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 18:28:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170525+Wreath.jpg

Over Memorial Day weekend, America will honor its war dead. A local teenager experienced his own personal Memorial Day earlier this year. During spring break, the Magruder High School student traveled to South America to honor a fallen Army sergeant he never met, but with whom he shared a common bond. News4’s Aaron Gilchrist explains the connection between a Rockville JROTC program and a grave site in El Salvador.

<![CDATA[DC Parks, Police and Pools Gear Up for a Safe Summer]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 19:12:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170525+DC+Summer.jpg

The approach of the Memorial Day Weekend has Washington, D.C. preparing for summer. Public pools are about to open, summer jobs programs are available for teenagers, and there’s still time to sign your kids up for summer camps through the Department of Parks and Recreation. DC Police are also designing their annual summer crime initiative. Officers will focus on getting illegal guns off the street and targeting repeat violent offenders. News4’s Tom Sherwood explores other ways D.C. plans to keep your family busy and safe this summer.

<![CDATA[Old Guard Places Flags at Arlington Cemetery Headstones]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 19:48:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/arl-2kw-IMG_4887.jpg Members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment were at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, placing flags at the headstones of U.S. military personnel buried at the cemetery. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Kristin Wright, NBC4]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Man Without License Paid People for Blood in DC Apt.]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 22:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/2017-05-25_1138.png

A man has been charged with practicing without a license after police say he collected large quantities of blood from D.C. residents and paid them for it.

Khoa Hoang Nguyen, 43, of Rockville, Maryland, was arrested for allegedly collecting blood from people in an abandoned apartment on P Street SW, police said.

The people were paid $30 each for the blood samples, according to charging documents.

"It was free money," said a woman who lined up but said she didn't have a chance to sell her blood.

Officers who were called to the scene Wednesday found a large group of people standing outside the building. Neighbors told News4's Darcy Spencer they had been seeing long lines of people going into the apartment.

"It was a long, long line. We didn't know what was going on," one neighbor said. "People were getting blood taken from their arm, and they put this tube stick down their nose."

A woman inside the unit where the blood was being drawn told officers she was part of a "work study" and the unit was the "source location," charging documents state. She told police Nguyen was in charge of the work study and called him over from across the street. 

Nguyen told police he worked for Boston Biosource, a Newton, Massachusetts-based company that says it provides blood and tissue samples to clients, according to its website.

Nguyen said he was approved and certified to draw blood and that he had drawn blood from 40 people between Tuesday and Wednesday, but a ledger police found in the apartment listed an additional 205 names, according to charging documents.

Police said they also found large quantities of blood and used needles in the apartment. Police said the blood was stored improperly.

Nguyen was not able to provide any documentation, licenses or certification to prove he was qualified to draw blood. Police say the collected blood was not being stored in a manner consistent with "professional practices."

Police said they were not able to get in touch with a representative of Boston Biosource.

Boston Biosource told News4 Nguyen goes to risky areas to collect blood for research, looking for cures to diseases like cancer, tuberculosis and Alzheimer's disease, calling it valuable work.

Nguyen has been charged with practicing registered nursing without a license.

<![CDATA[10 Places to Swim If You Want to Avoid Bay Bridge Traffic]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 11:15:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_170514887.jpg Rivers, lakes and bays: Here's where to go when you want to swim in a natural body of water... but you can't bear to brave the Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Getting Away for Memorial Day? Best Times to Leave]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 06:23:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/070116+bay+bridge+traffic.jpg

Headed out of town for Memorial Day weekend? Leave early or leave late. 

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) said these are the best times for beachgoers to travel if they're using the Bay Bridge:

  • Friday before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Saturday before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Sunday and Monday before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. 

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has similar advice. Traffic is usually heaviest on Memorial Day weekend from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Monday, VDOT said. 

VDOT has a new interactive map that shows when and where traffic was heaviest on Memorial Day weekend for the past three years. The map lets you pick your time and then zoom in on your route.

Officials hope the tool will help drivers dodge major traffic. Also, VDOT has suspended most road work from noon Friday to noon Tuesday to reduce congestion.

For a live map of backups and closures, see the NBC Washington traffic page.

VDOT has live updates on their website. MDTA updates are available by calling 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726)

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Teachers Protest Budget Cuts in Prince George's County]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 08:16:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018900537_1200x675_953096259664.jpg

Teachers, students and parents are taking a stand against a proposed $90 million budget cut to schools. News 4's Darcy Spencer is live this morning with how this will impact you and your kids.

<![CDATA[University of Maryland Stepping Up Efforts to Fight Hate]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 23:25:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/University+of+Maryland+M+Circle.jpg

After a fatal stabbing under investigation as a possible hate crime, the University of Maryland is stepping up efforts to battle hate on campus. 

President Wallace Loh announced Wednesday that the school will create a hate-bias and campus safety task force and an annual report tracking hate-bias incidents. 

The school also will create a rapid-response team to support hate incident subjects and allocate $100,000 for diversity and inclusion efforts. The Athletic Council will be asked to examine how to strengthen policy to explicitly prohibit hate-bias symbols or actions at athletic venues and remove violators. 

The announcement comes days after police say a visiting black Bowie State University student was stabbed by a white Maryland student on campus. Sean Urbanski is charged with murder in Richard Collins III's death.

In March it was revealed that a noose was discovered inside of a fraternity house.

Since December, flyers advancing the agenda of white supremacists have been discovered around campus.

<![CDATA[Summer Countdown: How to Find the Best Lawn Mower]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 08:13:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018900536_1200x675_953098307554.jpg

The grass may be greener on the other side, but with the right lawnmower you can improve the view on your side as well. Consumer reporter Susan Hogan has the details on the best lawn mower to keep your lawn looking pristine!

<![CDATA[2 Cars Damaged After Brick Wall Collapses in Md.]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 07:04:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/197*120/bricks_on_cars.png

Two cars were damaged when the wall of a building partially collapsed Wednesday night. 

The collapse happened in the parking lot of a shopping center on Cherry Hill Road in Beltsville, Maryland. 

The 6-foot tall brick facade of the building fell, shattering the windshield of one car and covering another car in bricks and other debris.

No one was injured, fire officials said on Twitter. 

Photo Credit: Montgomery County Fire]]>
<![CDATA[1 Hurt After Trains Bump in DC Amtrak Yard]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 05:38:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/216*120/2017-05-25_0536.png

One person suffered minor injuries when two trains bumped each other in an Amtrak rail yard in Northeast Washington. 

The incident happened early Thursday morning in a rail yard off 9th Street NE, fire officials said on Twitter. 

Fire officials say there was "low-impact contact" between the two trains. Neither train derailed, but one person suffered minor injuries. 

No further information was released. 

<![CDATA[DC Mayor Gives Progress Report on Missing Teens]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 21:57:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Muriel+Bowser+Presser.jpg

D.C.'s mayor says the city has completed most of its six initiatives to help protect young people after false reports about missing teens went viral on social media earlier in the year.

Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated Wednesday that there is no increase in the number of teens reported missing and most of those who are reported missing are runaways who often return home a few days later.

"We have no evidence at this juncture that of any our children were abducted or taken off of our streets but they are vulnerable and they are in danger," Bowser said at a news conference.

As reports of missing teens gained more attention on social media in April, Bowser created a "Working Group" of public and private sector experts to make recommendations. 

One recommendation was to create a safe place where runaway teens can go for help. D.C. officials say that safe place should be ready in a few months.

"The ultimate goal is to move further upstream so we're doing more prevention and family intervention so that the kids don't run in the first place," Deputy Mayor Brenda Donald said.

Stacie Reimer, an attorney who advocates for at-risk teens, is part of Bowser's working group and said the teens who runaway often need legal help in addition to counseling and job training. 

"A lot of the kids have either been victims of a crime or they're facing arrest. They need a lawyer right there with them to help them.They might want to report criminal activity or they may be afraid of being arrested. Either way, they need a lawyer," Reimer said.

So far this year, 885 juveniles have been reported missing and the majority of those are under the age of 15, according to officials.

As of Wednesday, there are 28 open missing juvenile cases.

Below are the six initiatives and their status, according to Bowser.

1. Increase number of police officers assigned to help find missing children - Complete: The Metropolitan Police Department has 15 detectives and officers with the Youth and Family Services Division.

2. Expand missing persons site and social media messaging - Complete: D.C. has updated missing.dc.gov to include resources for families and teens, missing alert flyers, missing person statistics.

3. Establish Missing Persons Evaluation and Reconnection Resources Collaborative - Draft completed: The evaluation will examine why children ran away and help agencies provide more resources to the child and family. 

4. The Working Group - Recommendations submitted: Government and community partners came up with recommendations for "response protocol, support for youth and families and prevention."

5. Additional grant support for non-profits addressing runaway children -- Grant awards will be announced mid-July

6. PSA to address missing children in D.C. - Complete: The mayor's office shot a PSA to educate young people and the public on preventing children from running away from home.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Crofton Middle School Noose Suspects Face Hate Crime Charges]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 20:34:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Crofton+Middle+Suspects.jpg

Two 19-year-old men charged for hanging a noose outside a middle school building in Anne Arundel County will now face hate crime charges.

Conner Charles Prout, of Crofton, and John Adam Havermann, of Pasadena, Maryland, now face eight charges each, including two hate crime charges, the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Wes Adams announced Wednesday. Other charges include trespassing, disturbing operation and disorderly conduct.

On May 11, a teacher found the noose at Crofton Middle School at 2301 Davidsonville Road in Crofton, Maryland. The school's custodian immediately removed the noose.

Prout and Havermann were arrested and charged the next day. 

They were originally charged for trespassing school property, disturbing school operations, disorderly conduct and trespassing posted property, police said. 

Surveillance video showed the two suspects getting access to the school's roof and hanging the noose, police said.

Photo Credit: Anne Arundel Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Securing DC Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170524+Washington+Monument.jpg

Security is at the forefront of everyone's mind after a suspected suicide bomber killed more than 20 people outside a concert in England. Washington is a symbolic target for terrorists, but D.C. police said they are monitoring for threats around the clock, in conjunction with other local and federal agencies. News4’s Meagan Fitzgerald looks at precautions police are taking ahead of a busy holiday weekend -- and explains the role residents and tourists play.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mount Vernon Trail Reopens in Arlington]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:42:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018894040_1200x675_952636483841.jpg

In time for Memorial Day weekend, Mount Vernon Trail is back open. News4's David Culver takes a look at the upgrades and talks with one cyclist about safety.

<![CDATA[Man Shot, Killed in Fort Washington]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:56:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018893811_1200x675_952611907684.jpg

Residents of Fort Washington, Maryland, heard a single shot Wednesday morning and then found a young man outside, gasping for air. News4's Pat Collins reports on his murder. 

<![CDATA[Teachers Protest Possible Cuts In Prince George's County]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:43:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170524+Teacher+Protest.jpg

Teachers in Prince George's County are protesting the county executive's proposed budget, which would spend $90 million less on schools than what the school board asked for. "We won't be able to survive as classroom teachers," said teacher Everette Hayes. Among the possible cuts: Stipends for teachers who are nationally board-certified, which was designed to keep well-trained teachers in Prince George's schools. The school district might also have to cut a pilot program designed to help students who have disciplinary problems. County Executive Rushern Baker has pointed out that his proposed budget increases school spending by 2 percent, adding that other budget priorities also affect the schools. “I think we gave them as much as we thought we could,” Baker told WTOP in March.

<![CDATA[Cutting the Rug at Fairfax County's Day Prom]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:34:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018893462_1200x675_952582723900.jpg

Special need students attended the annual Day Prom in Fairfax County, Virginia.

<![CDATA[Grief for Army Lieutenant Slain Days Before Graduation]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 18:27:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170524+Slain+Student+Honored.jpg

Hundreds of people poured into College Park, Maryland Wednesday to remember a student killed on campus. Many of the people didn't even know Army Lt. Richard Collins III, who was killed Saturday, just days before he was set to graduate from Bowie State University. But they wanted to be there , to hug and cry and march and to leave roses at the bus stop where his promising life came to a tragic end. News4 Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins captured the moments of reflection.

<![CDATA[Principal Speaks on Barring Pregnant Girl From Graduation]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 20:32:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/052417+dave+hobbs+maddi+runkles.jpg

Maryland high school student Maddi Runkles has stood out in the classroom for the past four years. She has a 4.0 GPA, she was student council president and she's an officer in the Key Club. But the spotlight is now on her for another reason.

The high school senior has been barred from participating in her private Christian school's graduation ceremony because she is pregnant.

School principal Dave Hobbs defended the decision.

"To have a girl who's seven months pregnant walk in a graduation would be easily misunderstood, bringing even more pressure onto Maddi," he told WHAGTV in Hagerstown, in a story published Tuesday.

The school's board of directors previously said in a statement that the matter was "an internal issue about which much prayer and discussion has taken place."

Runkles will be excluded from the June 2 ceremony at Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, because she violated the school's code of conduct by having premarital sex. Runkles discovered she was pregnant in January.

After her pregnancy became known, officials at the small school suspended her for two days and removed her from her student council position.

When students enroll at Heritage Academy, they sign a pledge promising they will abstain from sex and avoid alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. Runkles was disciplined because she violated that pledge, Hobbs said.

"When Maddi chose to breach that Bible standard, a discipline plan had to be established," he said.

Runkles' father once sat on the Heritage board and recused himself from decisions involving his daughter. He ultimately quit the board to protest how she was treated.

Runkles said she feels she has been treated more harshly than students who have been suspended for other reasons. The baby's father does not attend the school, she said.

The anti-abortion group Students for Life says barring Runkles from participating in her graduation ceremony goes too far, and even encourages students to have abortions.

"The school has shown students that it would be easier to choose abortion than to choose life," the president of the group, Kristan Hawkins, said by phone. "Because she chose to carry her child, and courageously made that decision, she's been punished this entire semester for being pregnant, and that's just wrong."

Runkles' family is holding an alternative graduation ceremony for her next weekend.

She's due to deliver her baby in September, and is planning to start taking online classes through Liberty University.

<![CDATA[Talk Around Town: Bowie State Student Killed at U.Md.]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:50:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Talk_Around_Town_Bowie_State_Student_Killed_at_UMd.jpg

The white University of Maryland student suspected of killing a black Bowie State student allegedly belongs to a white supremacist Facebook group, which has Troy Johnson's listeners on WHUR wondering if it was a hate crime.

<![CDATA[2 Arrests in DC in Conspiracy to Sell Trade Secrets to China]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 20:24:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Shan+Shi+and+Gang+Liu.jpg

Two men accused of conspiring to sell U.S. trade secrets to a major Chinese military contractor appeared in a Washington, D.C., courtroom Wednesday.

They are among seven men under arrest in the case.

Federal authorities arrested 52-year-old Shan Shi and 31-year-old Gang Liu along Connecticut Avenue NW.

They were accused of a scheme to sell trade secrets about a type of military equipment from a company based in Houston to the Chinese contractor. Court filings indicate the secrets involved a type of foam material frequently used for military projects.

The FBI raided a Houston home connected to Shi Tuesday, sources told the News4 I-Team.

Shi and Liu, a Chinese national who lives in Houston, are charged with conspiracy. They each face 10 years in prison. They were released Wednesday and will be under GPS monitoring in Houston until trial.

Neither entered a plea. They are expected back in court for a preliminary hearing June 12.

Also charged were 35-year-old Uka Kalu Uche, of Spring, Texas; 74-year-old Samuel Abotar Ogoe, of Missouri City, Texas; 48-year-old Johnny Wade Randall, of Conroe, Texas; 40-year-old Kui Bo, a Canadian citizen who also lives in Houston; and 32-year-old Hui Huang of China, who works for the Chinese manufacturer implicated in the conspiracy.

Bo was arrested in Massachusetts; Ogoe, Uche and Randall were arrested in Texas; and Huang remains at large.

Photo Credit: Bill Hennessy]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland High School Student, 17, Killed in Crash]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 16:23:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Norman+White.jpg

A teenager has died after police say he lost control of the car he was driving and struck a tree in Clinton, Maryland.

Norman White, 17, was driving home from his job at a pizza parlor on Temple Hill Road Tuesday night when he slammed into a tree near Salima Street about 10:15 p.m., Prince George's County police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are trying to learn how White lost control. 

He was a sophomore at Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine.

"He was a good kid. No fights in school. No drugs. No gangs. Nothing negative. He just got baptized in church," Norman's father Phillip White said.

"Right before he left work, maybe 9:15, I text and said, 'the roads are wet please be safe,'" Norman's mother Yolanda White said.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 301-731-4422.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS, text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Prince George's County Public Schools]]>
<![CDATA[Memorial Weekend Guide: Local Events, Top Getaways, Weather]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 17:40:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_323287880.jpg

Memorial Day Weekend is almost here! And the unofficial start of summer means plenty of fun, as well as solemn remembrances for many. Read on for our guide to whatever your weekend has in store.


Rolling Thunder: The annual event roars into town this weekend, as thousands of bikers and spectators converge in D.C. to honor military veterans and members of the military missing in action. The official events start Friday evening, but start to watch the roads for motorcyclists now. See all events here.

Memorial Day Concert at Capitol: Gates for Sunday's concert on the west front of the U.S. Capitol will open to the public at 5 p.m.; the concert will begin at 8 p.m. Celebs expected to participate include Gary Sinise, Vanessa Williams and Laurence Fishburne, as well as several military bands. See all performers here. Can't make it? Catch a full concert dress rehearsal Saturday at 8 p.m. (gates will open at 5 p.m.). Find more information if you're planning to attend either day here.

JFK Centennial: The Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center are commemorating the 100th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's birth with exhibitions and performances that honor his memory and dreams for the nation. See all events here.

Free Outdoor Movies: You can catch a movie under the stars at several spots around the DMV on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Films include "Sing," "Jaws" and "James Bond: Spectre" -- see them all here.


Want to get out of town? Check out the best times to leave. Still trying to figure out where you're actually going? Oh, we've got ideas:


You'll want to watch the forecast this Memorial Day weekend -- depending on when you're outside, rain could seriously affect your plans. Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell breaks down when we might see rain and when we'll enjoy the sun.

See weather updates here and live interactive radar here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Gather to Remember Army Lt. Killed at UMd.]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:53:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018894170_1200x675_952650307969.jpg

With tears in their eyes and flowers in their hands, hundreds marched to the bus stop where Richard Collins III was killed in what police called an unprovoked attack. News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins was there for the somber ceremony.

<![CDATA[Group Asks FTC to Investigate Anti-Airbnb Ad With NY Actress]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 19:57:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Airbnb+Commercial+Actress.jpg

A travel industry group is now asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate an anti-Airbnb ad, claiming it's deceptive.

The commercial -- first investigated by the News4 I-Team in April -- features an actress portraying a resident of the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., who is upset about the impact of short-term rentals in her neighborhood.

In a letter addressed to the acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, Travel Technology Association President Steve Shur asks FTC investigators to examine the degree to which the ad's content is deceptive to consumers. He also accuses the Share Better Coalition, which produced the ad, of violating FTC guidelines for endorsements and testimonials.

"I'm tired of feeling like an outsider in my own neighborhood," the actress states in the commercial, after claiming to have moved to Anacostia at age 5, that she grew up there and raised her family there.

The News4 I-Team revealed the woman actually felt like an outsider because she's an actress from New York City.

The ad first surfaced right around the time the D.C. Council began considering regulations for the short-term rental industry.

"Every city contemplating regulations for short-term rentals deserves an open and honest discussion about STRs," said Shur. "False advertising, fake grassroots organizations and the misinformation campaign put forth by the hotel lobby serve no public good and won’t lead to the viable solutions cities seek."

Shur claims the ad was funded by the hotel industry in an effort to impact policy and eliminate competition.

FTC guidelines say ads like that should use actual consumers or clearly disclose that the people featured in the ad are actors.

Share Better Coalition did not return a call for comment regarding the FTC letter, but at the time of the original I-Team story, a Share Better spokesman defended the ad, saying it was intended to reflect the overall Airbnb experience in many neighborhoods, even though Anacostia is what was written on the screen.

"At some point, the credibility of the sponsors of these misleading campaigns needs to be called into question," said Shur. "Travel Tech urges the Federal Trade Commission to examine the degree to which the advertisement’s content is deceptive to consumers and violates the Commission’s guidelines for endorsements and testimonials in advertising."

The Share Better spokesman also defended the decision not to disclose that the woman is an actress.

"This ad is deceptive and disingenuous,” Airbnb said in a statement. “While Airbnb is helping real D.C. residents make ends meet, hotels have continued to ignore the District's east of the river communities, and we're glad their deceptive tactics have been brought to light."

An FTC spokesman said the agency does not confirm if or when it opens an investigation.

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