The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:
CAP HILL CARJACKINGS
An increase in carjackings in part of Capitol Hill has many residents on edge. "I don't think there's a much more scary experience for the people involved," said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier on WTOP's Ask the Chief. Lanier says the armed, and unarmed carjackings occurred between 10th and 14th Streets NE. Most of the carjackings occurred on the weekend, some in broad daylight. "Between September and December we did see a jump in carjackings, carjackings and robberies actually," says Lanier. Mothers with children have often been the targets. Victims and neighbors have been sharing their stories and fears. Lanier says there have been eight arrests in twelve difference cases
FORMER HOWARD UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DIES
James E. Cheek, 77, who was president of Howard University during a tumultuous 20-year period from 1969 to 1989 and left the university in the wake of a student uprising, died Jan. 8 in Greensboro, N.C., where he was living. The cause of death could not be learned. Dr. Cheek came to the historically black university in the heart of Washington after the school had been rocked by two years of demonstrations and student boycotts. Only 37 when he took office in September 1969, Dr. Cheek sometimes appeared in dashikis and seemed to speak the language of a new generation. He pledged to launch a "new era" at the university and to help Howard maintain its standing as one of the nation's preeminent black educational institutions.
PANDA PREGNANCY WATCH
There might be another baby panda in our future! It could be just the thing to lift us out of our Tai Shan is leaving funk too. Turns out Mei Xiang went into heat Saturday -- the second January in a row that that's happened -- and started mating with Tian Tian. (Mei Xiang and Tian Tian being Tai Shan's parents, of course. We only hope Tai Shan was not peeking.)Female pandas are usally in heat for 48 hours; that's the time a wee panda could start forming. Give or take 90 to 185 days, et voila, we could have our next Tai Shan. So the clock is running -- and in more ways than one. In addition to Tai Shan's farewell at month's end, this may be the last time Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are in Washington. They're scheduled to return to China later this year. Last year, panda watch did not result in a new baby, but just like the lottery, you never know. This could be DC's year.
ARENAS SENIOR TELLS GILBERT TO STOP TWEETING
At Gilbert Arenas Sr.'s lowest, the three days in 1989 when he and his young son lived out of the back of his Mazda RX-7 in North Hollywood, Calif., he first began to notice the pattern. It didn't matter what his boy did -- smiled, pouted, acted silly -- people took a liking to him, wanted to help the child out. At Gilbert Arenas Sr.'s lowest, the three days in 1989 when he and his young son lived out of the back of his Mazda RX-7 in North Hollywood, Calif., he first began to notice the pattern. It didn't matter what his boy did -- smiled, pouted, acted silly -- people took a liking to him, wanted to help the child out.
OBAMA ACCEPTS REID'S APOLOGY
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologized on Saturday for saying Barack Obama should seek — and could win — the White House because Obama was a "light skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Obama quickly accepted, saying "As far as I am concerned, the book is closed." Reid made the comments in private during the long 2008 campaign, according to a new book about that election, which elevated Obama from first-term Illinois senator to the first black president. After excerpts from the book appeared on the website of The Atlantic, Reid released a statement expressing regret for "using such a poor choice of words. I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African-Americans for my improper comments."