<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:47:50 -0400 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:47:50 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teams to Search Park for Relisha Rudd Saturday]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:35:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/217*120/2014-03-28_0535_001.png

Volunteers are gearing up for a massive search for an 8-year-old D.C. girl who has been missing for seven months. 

Four teams will search three areas near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast D.C. Saturday for Relisha Rudd.  A search and rescue team from Maine arrived in the area Thursday to also help with the search. 

Rudd was last seen on March 1 at a motel on New York Avenue with 51-year-old Khalil Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where her family lived.

Police say Tatum purchased a shovel, lime and contractor-sized trashbags at a Home Depot, and spent a significant amount of time at Kenilworth Park around the time Relisha was last seen.

He was found dead in the park later that month, as police and volunteers searched for signs of Relisha. Police believe he committed suicide. Authorities were looking into the possibility that Tatum had killed Relisha and buried her body in the park.

Tatum had also been wanted in the death of his wife, Andrea. Her body was found at a Red Roof Inn in Oxon Hill March 20 during the search for Relisha.

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<![CDATA[D.C. Teen Remains in Coma After Hit-And-Run]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:32:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/1024-wright.jpg

Jeremiah Williams' grandmother says she's remaining by his side, waiting for his eyes to open. He's been in a coma since he was struck by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday night in D.C.

The accident was reported around 5 p.m. when Williams was crossing East Capitol near 50th Street.

The 17-year-old is being kept alive through a feeding tube while doctors attempt to control internal bleeding and a collapsed lung. They're also working to save one of his legs.

"They put some pins in to hold it together. They got a pin at his ankle, pin at his knee, pin at his hip," his grandmother, who helped raise him, said. "I'm just waiting for him to open his eyes. I know he's going to open his eyes."

Williams is a junior at Woodson High School in D.C. where he succeeded academically and played the cymbals in the school band.

"It's hard," Woodson High School band director Anthony Moore said Friday night while visiting Williams at the hospital. "My band guys are like my own children, so that's one of my sons. The guys in the band know about it, one of them has already been up here to see him."

The individual who struck Williams immediately fled the scene, and police don't have much to go on -- they say they're looking for a dark-colored car.

If you have any information, call police at 202-727-9099.

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<![CDATA[Hannah Graham: Remains Found Belong to UVa. Student]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:42:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hannah+graham+triple+photo.jpg

The remains found Oct. 18 on an abandoned property are those of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, the Albemarle County Police Department said Friday.

The suspect in her disappearance, Jesse L. Matthew, Jr., was charged last month with abduction with attempt to defile Graham, 18.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Hannah," Graham's parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement Friday afternoon. "Over recent weeks Hannah has been described by those who know her as bright, witty, thoughtful, loyal and fun to be around. She was all those things and more."

Graham's parents' statement continued:

Put simply, Hannah lit up our lives, the lives of our family and the lives of her friends and others who knew her. Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished. We will hold it in our hearts forever and it will help sustain us as we face a painful future without her.

Graham's family originally lived in England but later moved to the United States; Graham graduated from West Potomac High School in Fairfax County, Virginia in 2013.

In her second year at UVa., Graham had intended to pursue a career in global public health and wanted to help others, her parents said. They said it is heartbreaking that she'll never get to pursue that dream.

UVa. President Teresa Sullivan released a statement Friday, noting the 18-year-old "brought immense energy and delight to her learning at the university, [where] she was a source of friendship and joy for so many people."

Graham's family thanked Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo and other law enforcement agents for their dedication.

The Albemarle County Police Department announced the medical examiner's results at about 4:40 p.m. Friday, saying on Twitter, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graham family & Hannah's friends during this incredibly difficult time."

Volunteer searchers found the remains at about noon Oct. 18 in an "abandoned property" in the Walnut Creek Park area of Albemarle County, authorities said.

A day later, investigators interviewed nearby residents, and forensic teams combed the sides of a road for several miles past the site. 

Authorities are still asking to hear from people who live along Old Lynchburg Road or those who may have any information; the Charlottesville Police Department's tip line remains open at 434-295-3851.

Matthew's attorney, Jim Camblos, issued a statement Friday, saying the "Carrs (Matthew's family) asked me to convey that they will continue to pray for the Grahams and the Harringtons throughout this ordeal."

Graham was reported missing after a night out with with friends Sept. 12. She was last seen on surveillance videos from the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

The videos show her walking unsteadily, and later running, in downtown Charlottesville. She is also shown with a man police have identified as Matthew, who is shown wrapping his arm around Graham. He is also accused of buying her alcohol.

Investigators believe Matthew, a hospital worker and former taxi driver, acted alone and didn't know Graham before her disappearance.

Matthew was arrested in Texas two weeks after Graham's disappearance, and was extradited to Virginia, where he remains in custody in the Charlottesville area.

He is not due for a court appearance in the case until December, but could appear in a Fairfax, Virginia court earlier to face charges in a separate, earlier case.

Matthew was indicted Monday for attempted capital murder and two other felonies in that case, a 2005 attack on a 26-year-old woman in Fairfax, Virginia.

Police said the victim was walking home from a grocery store in September 2005 when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

On Thursday, a Fairfax judge issued a bench warrant to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia to face charges in that case.

Authorities have previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in fall 2009.

Harrington disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Her body was found in January 2010, a little more than five miles from where Graham's body was found Oct. 18.

No one has been charged in Harrington's murder. But Harrington's parents have been active in searching for Graham, noting the similarities between the two cases.

"I thought [Graham's disappearance] seemed very similar to Morgan's situation with sort of the question of her maybe being somewhat impaired, someone just picking her up and trying to take care of her," Dan Harrington said earlier this fall.

Virginia State Police said late last month that they believe they have found a link between Harrington's death and Graham's disappearance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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<![CDATA[Micro Cameras Found in Search of Rabbi's Towson U. Office]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:29:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/rabbi+Dr+Barry+Freundel.jpg

A D.C. rabbi accused of secretly recording women shower at a Georgetown synagogue also had a collection of secret recording devices in his office at a Maryland college, according to court documents.

Search warrants reveal police found micro cameras inside regular objects including a tissue box and a clock at Barry Freundel’s Towson University office. Police also found hard drives, memory cards and a handwritten list of names.

Freundel has pleaded not guilty to voyeurism. He is accused of recording at least six women at Kesher Israel in Georgetown.

A student at Towson says Freundel once invited her and her classmates to take a ritual bath during a tour of his synagogue in Georgetown.

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<![CDATA[Va. Woman Not Guilty by Insanity in Husband's Stabbing Death]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 04:01:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Leesburg-Woman-3-4-13.jpg

Dae Hwang, a Leesburg woman accused of killing her husband last year, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The finding comes more than a year after Hwang called 911 to report “she had killed her husband with a knife” on the morning of March 2, 2013. Kyung Hwang, a part-time minister at a church in Falls Church, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in an upstairs bedroom of the couple’s home.

Dae Hwang was ordered to receive psychiatric services over the course of her trial. Two court-ordered reports from Central State Hospital and Loudon County Department of Mental Health, respectively, declared her legally insane at the time of her husband’s murder.  

Dae Hwang has a history of mental illness including paranoid delusions and a hospitalization as a result of an attempted suicide, according to court documents.

Dae Hwang has been ordered to undergo further psychological examinations and treatment, and has a hearing in January 2015.

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<![CDATA[Nina Pham Meets With Obama After Discharge From NIH]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:37:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP570888027428.jpg

Dallas nurse Nina Pham was declared free of Ebola and discharged from the hospital on Friday, just before she met with and hugged President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," Pham said in a brief statement outside the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, just before she headed to the White House. "I am on my way back to recovery, even as I reflect how many others have not been so fortunate."

Tests show that Pham, who contracted the virus while caring for the first patient diagnosed in the United States, has no more virus in her system, Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIH told reporters.

Pham thanked everyone who has been praying for her, and the medical workers who have been caring for her. "As a nurse, I have a special appreciation for the care I have received from so many," she said.

Pham, a nurse with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, contracted Ebola while helping to care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. She helped treat him from his first day in intensive care at until Oct. 7, the day before he died, NBC5 in Dallas reported.

Pham was flown via charter flight Oct. 16 to Frederick, Maryland's municipal airport and taken by ambulance to the Clinical Center, a hospital located on the grounds of the 312-acre NIH campus in Bethesda.

In her statement Friday, Pham thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American to recover from Ebola, for the "selfless act" of donating his blood, and she asked people to pray with her for her colleague Amber Vinson and for just-diagnosed Dr. Craig Spencer.

In advance of Pham's arrival at NIH last week, Fauci, one of the most highly respected immunologists in the world, announced he would be her admitting physician.

On Friday, while wearing the colors of Pham's nursing school, Texas Christian, Fauci called her a "courageous and lovely person," saying that she also represents the nurses and healthcare workers who put themselves on the line caring for sick patients.

He said they did not administer any experimental drugs to Pham during her treatment at NIH.

Fauci said she was doing well in Texas, and continued to do well at NIH. "We both supported her, so I can't pinpoint in one patient, what was the turning point," he said.

Fauci said it was not possible to pinpoint whether Brantley's donation of plasma was critical in her recovery and that more research is needed.

He said Pham's youth and general health were likely other factors that likely helped, as was the fact that she entered a hospital that was able to give her intensive care early.

Fauci said that Pham communicated with her family via FaceTime during her treatment -- and that she taught him how to use the program, too.

"I gave her my cell phone number just in case I get lonely," he quipped.

Pham's dog, Bentley, tested negative for the virus, Dallas officials announced Wednesday. Dallas Animal Services have been caring for him in isolation. Officials said they'll run one more test before the end of a 21-day quarantine period Nov. 1.

Pham said Friday she plans to return home to Texas and looks forward to reuniting with Bentley.

Pham's Texas hospital said the decision to transfer her to NIH was made in consultation with Pham and her family, adding that many of the medical personnel who would have usually worked in the intensive care unit were themselves "sidelined" for monitoring.

In an emotional video recorded shortly before she left Texas, Pham is shown in her hospital room speaking with a doctor and another medical worker, telling them, "Come to Maryland, everybody!" and "I love you guys."

As medical workers prepared to transport Pham to Dallas' Love Field last week, her coworkers at Texas Health Presbyterian held up signs to encourage her.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[6 Rescued From Storage Container Trailer]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:21:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/1024-moco-rescue.jpg

A technical operation was underway Friday evening in Gaithersburg when six people got trapped inside a storage container trailer.

According to Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, the incident was reported in the 7800 block of Beechcraft Avenue around 8:30 p.m.

The load had shifted in the trailer, which forced the front of it to tip forward. The angle was too steep for the people inside to climb out, so a rescue team was sent in to help. They used a bucket truck to pull the six people out, and no one was hurt.

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<![CDATA[Sisters Killed in Oxon Hill Crash Laid to Rest]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008296320_1200x675_347576899781.jpg News4's Darcy Spencer spoke with grieving family members of two sisters, 32-year-old Typhani Wilkerson and 34-year-old Tameika Curtis, who were killed in a horrific crash in Oxon Hill several weeks ago.]]> <![CDATA[Six Flags Beefs up Security for Fright Fest]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:00:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008296295_1200x675_347580995606.jpg Following rumors of planned violence, security is increased at Six Flags for Fright Night. Kristin Wright reports.]]> <![CDATA[Decades of Running in the Marine Corps Marathon]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:57:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008296269_1200x675_347572291963.jpg Mo Higgins has run the Marine Corps Marathon 27 times, more than any other woman, and Matthew Jaffe, who has never missed one, is preparing to run in his 39th. News4's Mark Segraves reports.]]> <![CDATA[Take Advantage of Hidden Car Warranties]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:51:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008295005_1200x675_347535427653.jpg Consumer Reports says you might be able to get your car fixed for free. Consumer Reporter Erika Gonzalez shares the secret.]]> <![CDATA[H.D. Woodson Football Coach's Comeback]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:48:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008296194_1200x675_347561027687.jpg After a two-year suspension H.D. Woodson's Greg Fuller is back on the sidelines. Jason Pugh reports.]]> <![CDATA[Mauled Dog Sitter on the Road to Recover]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:20:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008296226_1200x675_347563075657.jpg News4's Shomari Stone spoke with Jill Horvat, a dog sitter who was brutally mauled last week by one of the 11 dogs she was taking care of. Horvat lost her right eye. To help pay for her medical expenses, her friends set up a GoFundMe account.]]> <![CDATA[Running for Love and to Honor Wounded Warriors]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:39:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MCM+wounded+warrior+Love.jpg News4's Mark Segraves spoke to runners participating in the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of those injured serving the country.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Handcyclist Competing in Third MCM]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:11:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141024+MCM.jpg

A Marine who lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan will be one of dozens of handcyclists racing alongside runners in the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday.

Sgt. Michael Frazier was introduced to his first handcycle while being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the explosion. Frazier has also served three tours in Iraq.

"I wasn't a big cyclist before, then at the hospital through recovery they put me on a handcycle and I fell in love with it," Frazier said.

Frazier became a member of Team Semper Fi. The parent groups, the Semper Fi Fund and America's Fund, pay for wounded warriors to participate and compete in athletic events around the country.

There are 119 service members competing for Team Semper Fi and Team America's Fund in either the marathon or 10K. Of those, 39 are handcyclists.

The group also has 730 community members competing to raise money.

Frazier says being on Team Semper Fi is as much about the camaraderie as it is about the competition.

"Just being there for each other, having that good support system. That's what team Semper Fi is about," he said.

Frazier completed his first Marine Corps Marathon just 17 months after he was wounded.

"I did it in 2 1/2 hours but that was my first marathon, and from there I was hooked," Frazier said. "I did 26.2 miles with my arms by myself. That's amazing."

Handcycling has been an important part of his recovery and helps him deal with the effects of PTSD. To train for races, Frazier handcycles thirty miles a day, traveling from Mt. Vernon to Reagan National Airport and back.

This year's race is Frazier's third Marine Corps Marathon. Frazier hopes to achieve a personal best, beating a time of one hour and 50 minutes.

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<![CDATA[A History of School Shootings Since Newtown]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:49:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/school-shooting-AP746502146007_0.jpg

A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding at least three others before killing himself, officials said.

The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, outside of Seattle, happened during the lunch period. Witnesses described the shooter walking in with a blank stare before opening fire.

"Just all of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket," Austin Taylor, who had just finished lunch, told NBC affiliate KING. 

Taylor said he heard five pops, then saw three kids fall from the table.

The shooting is at least the 11th planned mass shooting at a school since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012, when Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-grade students and six adult staff members at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, before killing himself. Here's a look at the ten other major incidents.

Reynolds High School, Oregon

June 10, 2014

Parents of 15-year-old gunman, Jared Michael Padgett, were "confused and shocked" when they found out their son was the suspected killer in the school shootings at an Oregon high school that left one student dead, NBC News reported.The shooter concealed his weapons, an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, in a backpack and guitar case. Padgett killed a 14-year-old student athlete, Emilio Hoffman. He eventually killed himself in the school bathroom, police said.

Seattle Pacific University, Washington

June 5, 2014

The man responsible for the Seattle Pacific University shootings at the beginning of June was off his psychosis medication because he "wanted to feel the hate", the Associated Press reported. Aaron Rey Ybarra, 26, was armed with a shotgun, a knife and nearly 50 shells of ammunition with intentions to attack a mass number of students and managed to injure two people and kill one 19-year-old student before a student security guard subdued the shooter with pepper spray. After being arrested, police learned Ybarra had done extensive research on other mass shootings, and the shooter told police he didn't target anyone but had a "hatred for the world in general," according to the Associated Press.

Berrendo Middle School, New Mexico

January 14, 2014

 A 12-year-old boy pulled a sawed-off shotgun from his bag and fired shots in a New Mexico Middle School gymnasium. According to officials, the unnamed seventh grade shooter opened fire in the school’s gym with a 20-gauge shotgun, killing one student and seriously injuring two others. John Masterson, an eighth grade social studies teacher, approached the shooter and talked him into putting down the weapon.

Arapahoe High School, Colorado

December 13, 2013

Karl Pierson, 18, entered Arapahoe High School on December 13th, 2013, equipped with a shot gun, a machete, 125 rounds of ammunition and three Molotov cocktails. Pierson entered the school through a door that was normally locked; he fired his first shot randomly in the school’s hallway, then his second, killing 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis. With his final shot, the gunman took his own life, shooting himself in the head. The teen was likely motivated by a dispute with his former debate coach, NBC News reported. 

Sparks Middle School, Nevada

October 21, 2013

A 12-year-old student arrived on the grounds of Sparks Middle School and shot a student in the shoulder, wounding him, then shot and killed Michael Landsberry, a math teacher at the school. The boy’s violent streak ended when he shot himself in the head. The shooter never entered the building and no shots were fired by law enforcement, NBC News reported. A Sparks student, Michelle Hernandez, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the shooter had complained about being teased.

McNair Discovery Learning Academy, Georgia

August 20, 2013

A young male opened fire at a Georgia elementary school last year. Michael Brandon Hill, 20, was taken into custody after he fired six rounds of gun shots in the main office of the McNair Discovery Learning Academy. Hill was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to officials. No one was injured, NBC News reported. 

Santa Monica College, California

June 7, 2013

John Zawahri, a former student of Santa Monica College, went on a mile-long shooting spree that culminated at Santa Monice College. He first set his father's house on fire, then carjacked a vehicle and threatened to kill the driver if she didn't drive him to the SMC campus, officials said. Zawahri killed five people and injured several others before killing himself, according to NBC News. Zawahri’s father and brother were among the victims.

New River Community College (NRCC), Virginia

April 12, 2013

An 18-year-old college student, Neil Allan MacInnis, faces two counts of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after shooting and injuring two women at New River Community College's satellite campus at the New River Valley Mall. The Christiansburg Police Department police chief said a year earlier MacInnis participated in the Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Academy program: a 12-week course where citizens observe the department on a regular day, get the opportunity to ride along in police cars, tour the offices and practice with firearms at the shooting range. 

University of Central Florida, Florida

March 18, 2013

James Oliver Seevakumaran, 30, planned a massacre at the University of Central Florida -- making a checklist that included instructions like "pull fire alarm" and "give them hell", police told NBC News. He pulled the firearm and pointed the gun at his roommate before the roommate slipped away and hid in a bathroom. When officers arrived, they found Seevakumaran dead in his bedroom, from a self-inclicted gunshot wound. They also found a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a .22-caliber tactical rifle, ammunition and a backpack with four homemade explosive devices.

Taft Union High School, California

January 10, 2013

A 16-year-old student came to Taft Union High School armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, intent on shooting two students who had bullied him, authorities said. He shot one in the chest, and fired at another but missed the other. Both students survived. Many students described the shooter as a loner and a year earlier, the shooter was suspended for compiling a "hit list", police said.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Actor Sean Astin to Start Marine Corps Marathon]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:22:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008294666_1200x675_347525699978.jpg News4's Mark Segraves spoke to actor Sean Astin, an avid marathon runner who will start the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend.]]> <![CDATA[NY, NJ Tighten Standards for Travelers at Risk for Ebola]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:59:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_newark_hospital_ebola_st.jpg

Anyone flying into John F. Kennedy or Newark Liberty International Airport after having contact with Ebola-infected patients in one of three West African nations battling an epidemic of the deadly virus will face a mandatory 21-day quarantine, the governors of New York and New Jersey announced Friday.

“We have to do more," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. "It's too serious of a situation to leave it to the honor system of compliance."

The new measures came one day after a doctor who had recently returned from an Ebola assignment in Guinea was diagnosed with the virus in New York City. In addition to the mandatory quarantine for those who came in direct contact with patients in the Ebola-ravaged nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, health officials at those two airports have been authorized to actively monitor and quarantine if necessary anyone with a travel history in that region.

Craig Spencer, a doctor just back from a month-long stint treating Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders, was admitted into an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, less than a week after he arrived home. In the days prior to his Ebola diagnosis, he made several outings in the city, including coffee in one of Manhattan’s tourist-packed parks, a stop by a meatball shop and a subway ride to Brooklyn for an evening of bowling with friends.

While Spencer followed the self-monitoring protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some experts are now suggesting health workers who return from Ebola-ravaged areas do more to avoid public places.

City officials praised the quick response to his illness and said Spencer, the city's first reported Ebola patient, followed all the proper steps to monitor his health and minimize exposure. But Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in retrospect those steps weren't enough.

"New Jersey and New York are going to determine the standards of quarantine since the CDC's guidance is continually changing," Christie said.

The governor tweeted that a health care worker who arrived at Newark International Airport after treating Ebola patients in West Africa is now under quarantine and has no symptoms.

The Obama administration also is considering quarantining healthcare workers returning to the United States from the Ebola hot zone of West Africa, Reuters reported.

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters on Friday that quarantine was one option being discussed regarding the monitoring of healthcare workers.

"We want to strike the right balance of doing what is best to protect the public’s health while not impeding whatsoever our ability to combat the epidemic in West Africa,” Skinner said. “Our risk here will not be zero until we stop the epidemic there.”

Some public health experts were already urging added extra caution as more doctors and others potentially exposed to the virus return from the front lines of fighting the outbreak in West Africa. Tighter restrictions on such health care workers could prevent mass hysteria and make the job easier on health detectives in the event of a positive Ebola test, they say.

Dr. Joseph McCormick, a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health who has cared for Ebola patients, said while putting a large number of people in quarantine because of possible casual interaction “is not warranted,” as the virus can only be spread by contact with the bodily fluids of person with symptoms, some situations may merit more prudence.

“I would say that for somebody like a health provider like the physician who clearly was in direct contact with patients, I’m not sure that total quarantine is needed but I think a more cautious approach to traveling around the city probably would be warranted,” McCormick, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official who investigated the first Ebola epidemic, said. “We all have to balance our messages here.”

The safeguards followed by Spencer, recommended by the CDC and Doctors Without Borders, included taking his temperature twice daily, watching for fever and other symptoms during the virus’ 21-day incubation period. Living in New York, he was well within the recommended 4-hour radius of a hospital with isolation facilities. When his temperature hit 100.3 degrees Thursday morning, he called health officials and was quickly moved to Bellevue Hospital.

Still, at least one other relief group operating in West Africa has gone beyond the CDC recommendations in light of the heightened public concern following the infection of two nurses treating an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital, including one who took flights to and from Ohio while she was self-monitoring for signs of the virus.

Samaritan’s Purse is mandating that employees who return from its efforts in Liberia undergo a “self-imposed, no-touch self sequestration” for 21 days that limits even physical contact with family members, according to Kendell Kauffeldt, the Christian international relief organization’s longtime country director in Liberia. Employees of the organization, which made headlines after its own Dr. Kent Brantly survived an infection, are also required to take their temperature four times a day, with the trigger for alerting officials set one degree lower than the CDC's level. They require returning staff, including three who are currently in the incubation period, stay within 90 minutes of an isolation facility for those three weeks.

Kauffeldt, who lived in Liberia for 10 years before returning to the United States with his family in August, stressed that Spencer took all the required steps and the potential of “anyone else becoming infected is almost zero because he followed the protocol.” He said the added precautions enacted for his own colleagues were simply meant to go even farther to ensure general public health, the safety of their employees and peace of mind.

“It was really just in reaction to the situations in Dallas and just recognizing that there is a level of uninformed fear, but we still as an organization have a responsibility to the general public to ensure we were doing everything possible for their safety and their health,’ he said.

The protocols for monitoring and protecting those workers will likely remain in the spotlight, as more are deployed to fight an outbreak that has sickened more than 10,000 since March. Demand for doctors is still high, and thousands have volunteered through an online portal USAID set up in early September to match qualified applicants with aid organizations.

Doctors, nurses and other medical aides are considered at the highest risk for contracting the virus because they deal with bodily fluids from the sickest of patients and the World Health Organization says an “unprecedented” number have been infected in this outbreak. In all, more than 440 health care workers have contracted Ebola and 244 have died as of Oct. 19, the WHO says. Six other American health workers — four who worked in Africa and two from a Dallas hospital that treated a patient from Liberia — contracted Ebola and recovered after receiving treatment in the U.S.

Both New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett and National Institute of Health’s Anthony Fauci, who cared for one of the Dallas nurses, suggested Friday that the federal guidelines for monitoring are the subject of active discussion.

 

Eden Wells, clinical associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, said she would personally restrict her movements if she were returning from West Africa or had been caring for someone with Ebola. She stressed she did was not criticizing Spencer, who she noted followed the current protocols.

She’d take the more cautious approach “not only just to reassure the public but it is also to aid public health epidemiologist disease detective, because the more contact that’s out there that has to be investigated because someone did leave the home really taxes the system.”

“Whether they’re sick or not sick what happens is any time a case like this happens there’s an incredible amount of resources undertaken to do the investigation to reassure everyone that there’s not then another case as a result of a contact,” she said.

Doctors Without Borders, which did not return multiple interview requests, said in a statement Friday that it will investigate how Spencer contracted the virus. But it acknowledged that even with its “Extremely strict procedures “ for staff, the “risk cannot be completely eliminated.”

"Tragically, as we struggle to bring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control, some members of our staff have not been spared," Executive Director Sophie Delaunay said in a statement."Our thoughts are with our colleague in his own struggle right now, and we sincerely hope for his quick and full recovery."
 


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<![CDATA[Revenge Porn Victim: "I Felt Helpless"]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:35:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/1022-md-revenge-porn.jpg

A woman who says her ex-boyfriend is one of the first people to be charged under Maryland's new "revenge porn" law says her life was ruined by her ex's actions.

Patrick E. Himebaugh, 29, of Frederick County was arrested earlier this month on a handful of charges, including placing intimate sexual images or material on the internet, as first reported by the Frederick News-Post.

His ex-girlfriend -- who wanted to remain anonymous -- spoke with News4's Pat Collins in hopes of warning other potential victims. She said Himebaugh posted private videos of her on porn sites last month, and encourage other men to rape her, according to the News-Post.

"Yes, I made a video, but that doesn’t give him the authority to display my body or my sexuality for others’ enjoyment," she said.  “I felt helpless. I felt all these people were enjoying something that was supposed to be so beautiful and intimate. I was making love to my boyfriend. I wasn’t starring in a porn movie for people to enjoy.”

She said she put together a binder detailing a stormy relationship with Himebaugh, and contacted his parents several weeks ago, warning them about pressing charges.

“I’m about to file a police report against your son," she wrote. "He’s harassing me again and has posted a pornographic image of me online. Also, he’s threatening to post more.”

The revenge porn law, which went into effect Oct. 1, makes it illegal to post pornographic images of former "exes" online without that person's consent. If convicted, Himebaugh could face a maximum of two years behind bars and a $5,000 fine, according to the News-Post.

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<![CDATA[Map: Where NYC Ebola Patient Went]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:45:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ebola+map.jpg
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Massive Air Bag Recall: What to Know]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008281288_1200x675_347461699942.jpg News4's Erika Gonzalez has the latest on the massive air bag recall.]]> <![CDATA[Snow and Ice Prep -- Already]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:32:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2014-10-24_1631.jpg Crews conducted a "dry run" Friday morning to make sure they're ready for winter.]]> <![CDATA[Despite Strict Protocol, Risks Remain for Ebola Doctors: Group]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:25:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_newark_hospital_ebola_st.jpg

The medical and humanitarian organization that employed the New York doctor who tested positive for the Ebola virus said that the risk for staff returning from the front lines in West Africa can't be completely eliminated, even with "extremely strict procedures" to protect against the potentially deadly disease. 

Craig Spencer tested positive for the potentially deadly virus at New York's Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, six days after he arrived home from an Ebola assignment in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.  He is the first Ebola case in New York City and the fourth diagnosed in the United States.

Doctors Without Borders, which is also known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières, said the doctor who contracted the virus followed its guidelines for self-monitoring, which includes checking temperature twice a day and staying within four hours of a hospital with isolation facilities during a 21-day incubation period. He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday after reporting a fever of 100.3 degrees. 

"Extremely strict procedures are in place for staff dispatched to Ebola affected countries before, during, and after their assignments," Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF, said in a statement. "Despite the strict protocols, risk cannot be completely eliminated. However, close post-assignment monitoring allows for early detection of cases and for swift isolation and medical management."

The organization has launched a "thorough investigation" to identify how Spencer contracted Ebola.

More than 10,000 people have fallen ill with Ebola since the outbreak began in March, creating a dire need for international health workers in the West African countries that have been hardest hit. 

Spencer, 33, is one of more than 700 international staff Doctors Without Borders has sent to Ebola-stricken countries since March. Three international staff and 21 locally employed staff have fallen ill with the virus since that time, with 13 dying of the disease.

“Tragically, as we struggle to bring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control, some members of our staff have not been spared,” Delaunay said in the statement. “Our thoughts are with our colleague in his own struggle right now, and we sincerely hope for his quick and full recovery.”

Scores of other aid groups and health workers have stepped up as well. More than 3,700 people have signed up using an online portal USAID launched in early September to connect potential volunteers with aid organizations, said Lisa Hibbert-Simpson, press officer with USAID. Demand for more help hasn't slowed, she said.

“The need will exist until we have it under control," she said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health workers are among those facing the highest risk of contracting the virus, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids from a person who is already showing symptoms.

In late August, the World Health Organization called the "high proportion" of doctors, nurses and heath care workers infected "unprecedented." As of late October, the virus had sickened more than 440 health care workers worldwide, claiming the lives of 224.

Four American health workers and a freelance cameraman for NBC who fell ill after working in West Africa have recovered from Ebola after receiving treatment back in the United States. Two nurses in Dallas who contracted the virus while caring for a patient diagnosed there were also recently declared Ebola free. That patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, has been the only person to die of the virus in the U.S. so far.

Officials in New York have said the risk to the public is minimal given the timing of Spencer's symptoms and admission to the isolation unit.   They believe he had direct contact with fiancee and two friends, before going to the hospital. The three have been quarantined and are in good health, New York City's health commissioner said.

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<![CDATA[Missing D.C. 7-Year-Old Located]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:22:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/194*120/1023-zyvaunte.jpg

A 7-year-old boy from D.C. who had been missing for two weeks has been located, D.C. police said early Friday morning.

According to a release from D.C. police sent out Oct. 23, Zyvaunte Higgins was last seen Oct. 9 in the 200 block of Oakwood Place. He had been classified as a "critical missing person."

Police did not release any details on where the boy was found.

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<![CDATA[Who Is Craig Spencer, 1st New York Ebola Patient?]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:25:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/182*120/ebola+clothes1.jpg

New York City doctor Craig Spencer is the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and the first in New York. He recently came back from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, and preliminarily tested positive for the Ebola virus at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday, Oct. 23. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the following day that he had contracted the potentially deadly disease.

He was in stable condition as of Oct. 24 and talking on the phone with extensively with family members, officials said.

Spencer is the fifth U.S. aid worker to contract the virus while working in West Africa. Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered from Ebola earlier this year, issued a statement saying he is "grieved to hear about another health care worker contracting Ebola in West Africa.

"My prayers are with Dr. Spencer, his family and the crew taking care of him," he said in a statement released to NBC's "Today." "From everything I've read and heard about his circumstances, it sounds like New York has done everything right to contain this case."

Here's what we know so far about Spencer, his background, what he has done since coming back to the U.S. and the people with whom he may have come into contact.

Who is Craig Spencer?

Spencer, 33, is an emergency room doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Columbia Medical Center campus in Upper Manhattan. He is a Detroit native who went to Wayne State University there and has family in that area.

He attended Grosse Pointe North High School, where he played hockey and was a member of the National Honor Society, according to WDIV-TV in Detroit

His former principal there said she wasn't surprised to learn was on a humanitarian mission for Doctors Without Borders.

"I remember his smile, his energy and his positivity," said Kate Calabresa Murray. "He was the type of student you didn't have to have had in class to know him, because he was such a selfless leader." 

He was volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, one of the three West African nations experiencing an Ebola epidemic. His proficiency in the French language may have aided in his treatment in the French-speaking country. He hasn't returned to work at NewYork-Presbyterian since returning to the U.S., the hospital said in a statement.

Spencer "went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population," the hospital said in a statement. "He is a committed and responsible physician who always put his patients first."

Spencer graduated from the Wayne State School of Medicine in Detroit in 2008 and received a master's in public health from Columbia's University Mailman School of Public Health. He is board-certified in emergency medicine. 

"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders,'' he reportedly posted on Facebook on Sept. 18, along with a photo showing him dressed in protective gear. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.''

Spencer left for West Africa via Brussels in mid-September, according to the Facebook page. He completed his assignment there on Oct. 12 and left on Oct. 14 via Europe. He arrived in the U.S. on Oct. 17 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

When Did Spencer Test Positive for Ebola?

Spencer participated in the enhanced screening at JFK for all travelers returning from the West African nations affected by Ebola. He did not have fever or other Ebola symptoms.

While back in New York, Spencer checked his temperature twice daily, New York City’s health commissioner Mary Travis Bassett said at a Thursday evening media briefing. He began feeling sluggish on Oct. 21, but did not have any symptoms then. He felt well enough to go on a three-mile jog this week.

On Thursday morning, between 10 and 11 a.m. ET, Spencer reported coming down with a 100.3-degree fever and diarrhea and called 911, New York's Department of Health said. Officials corrected the number Friday morning after having first said in error that his temperature was 103 degrees.

He was transported from his apartment on West 147th Street in Hamilton Heights to Bellevue, one of eight New York state hospitals designated to treat Ebola patients, by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Spencer was placed in a special isolation unit at the hospital, where he's being cared for by the predesignated medical critical care team.

Doctors Without Borders said it was notified about Spencer's fever Thursday morning and immediately notified New York City health officials.

"We are fully prepared to handle Ebola," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

A blood sample was sent to the New York City Health Department laboratory, which is part of the Laboratory Response Network overseen by the CDC, for preliminary testing, and tested positive for Ebola. A CDC test confirmed he had contracted the disease.

What Has Spencer Done Since Returning From Africa? 

Bassett said Spencer spent most of his time in his apartment, limiting his contact with people, but he had gone on a three-mile jog, taken the A, 1 and L subway trains, visited the High Line in Manhattan, stopped by the Blue Bottle coffee shop near the elevated park, and went to The Meatball Shop on Greenwich Avenue.

He also took an Uber livery car to The Gutter bowling alley in Brooklyn Wednesday night, where he met some friends and bowled.

"At the time he was at the bowling alley, he had no fever," Bassett stressed.

Who May Have Been Affected?

Health officials have been tracing Spencer's contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. Bassett said officials were aware of four people who came in contact with Spencer: his fiancee, two friends, and the Uber driver.

The fiancee and friends who have been in direct contact with Spencer have been quarantined and are in good health, she said. They weren't yet being tested for Ebola because they were showing no symptoms, she said.

The Uber driver was determined not to be at risk because he had no direct physical contact with Spencer.

“Our understanding is that very few people were in direct contact with him," Mayor de Blasio said Thursday.

What Happens Next?

Spencer's apartment was cordoned off and the Department of Health was giving out information to area residents Thursday night. The bowling alley has been closed as a precaution, and will be examined Friday.

The Gutter said in a Facebook post Thursday that it had talked with health department officials, who determined that other bowlers weren't at risk for contracting the disease. They're cleaning the business as an extra precaution and will reopen afterward. 

Officials have Spencer's MetroCard to track where he's traveled. They said there's a "close to nil" chance anyone was exposed on the subway.

"There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," de Blasio said. "We've been preparing for months for the threat of Ebola with clear and strong protocols that were scrupulously followed in this instance."

A specially trained team determined earlier this week that Bellevue Hospital has been trained in proper protocols and is well prepared to handle Ebola patients, the CDC said.

Several members of the CDC's rapid response team were on their way to New York on Thursday night, and others were arrived Friday morning.

President Obama spoke Thursday night to de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo and offered the federal government's support, The Associated Press reported. He asked them to stay in close touch with Ron Klain, his "Ebola czar," as well as public health officials in Washington.

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<![CDATA[Girl Found Dead at Shelter: Cops]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:55:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/Generic+Police+Tape+Generic.JPG

A 4-year-old girl was found dead at a Queens homeless shelter and authorities are classifying her death as "suspicious," police say.

Police found the child, identified as Linayjah Meraldo, after responding to a call at the Briarwood Family Residence, a temporary housing shelter for homeless families on 134th Street, on Thursday. The little girl's four siblings were in school when she was found; the child's mother said she kept the girl home because she wasn't feeling well, according to a source familiar with the case.

There were no other adults living in the unit where the mother and children were staying.

The mother initially told police Meraldo was involved in a physical altercation with a sibling -- "a tousling thing," she called it, according to the source. The source said the mother later said the child had fallen, and that the version of events she told investigators kept changing.

The little girl was last seen in the 100-unit shelter Thursday morning, the source said. The child was active and nobody noticed bruises or other injuries, according to the source.

The family has lived at Briarwood for nearly a year.

The Department of Health and Human Services called Meraldo's death "terribly disturbing." The agency said in a statement it was working closely with police.

The child's death comes less than a week after a 3-year-old girl was found dead in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, saying the girl died from blunt impact to her head and torso. Her 20-year-old stepfather was arrested on a murder charge.

After the Brooklyn girl's death, Mayor de Blasio called for a thorough investigation. 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Fires 28 Times on Neighborhood]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 02:42:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/225*120/Assault+Rifle+Alton+Street+Shooting.JPG

A Northeast Philadelphia man fired an assault rifle at his neighbor more than two dozen times after an argument spiraled out of control Thursday night.

"The shooter fired multiple shots, unloaded his magazine, then reloaded the weapon," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Not only was the 57-year-old neighbor hit multiple times but bullets -- police said at least 28 were fired -- also hit neighboring homes along the 8900 block Alton Street in the Bustleton section of the city.

Medics rushed a 57-year-old man from the scene to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition, according to Philadelphia Police.

"This victim stated who he was shot by," said Small.

Investigators said the incident began as an argument between the older man and a 26-year-old suspect around 7:30 p.m. in the rear driveway of the homes. At some point the suspect grabbed an assault rifle and began firing, police said.

At least 20 bullets hit two neighboring homes, said police. Officers checked on the residents inside and luckily no one was hit.

Police arrested the unidentified shooting suspect without incident and confiscated the rifle, said Small.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Viral Meningitis Cases at University of Maryland]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:21:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/umd-shutterstock_164643794.jpg

U.Md. is monitoring confirmed and suspected cases of viral meningitis and viral syndromes on campus.

Viral meningitis, which has been identified at UMD, is not as dangerous as bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis typically involves severe headaches, fevers, nausea, vomiting and sometimes dehydration, according to director David McBride, the director of the University of Maryland Health Center.

The university has intensified procedures to prevent the virus from spreading, McBride told News4.

McBride said the cases are being tracked carefully by the school's health center, Prince George's County Health Department and the State Health Department. The university has provided information to the affected organizations about the condition and what to do if they experience symptoms. 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Community Celebrates New Traffic Light]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:34:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008282054_1200x675_347150403798.jpg A Virginia community celebrates a new traffic light at an intersection where a driver died in 2006. Adam Tuss reports.]]> <![CDATA[Ex-Campaign Treasurer for Michael A. Brown Pleads Guilty]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:33:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/Michael+A+Brown.JPG

A former campaign treasurer pleaded guilty Thursday to income tax evasion and violations of campaign finance laws, according to a press release from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hakim J. Sutton, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion, a federal offense, and one count of knowingly filing a false and misleading campaign finance report.

Sutton was the principal owner of the Sutton Group, a political consulting service for D.C. and other areas. Sutton served as the treasurer and custodian of records in 2011 and 2012 for Michael A. Brown’s campaign for an at-large seat on D.C. Council.

Between July 2011 and May 202, Sutton wrote 36 checks from the campaign bank to his personal bank accounts, adding up to approximately $115,250 diverted from campaign funds.

Some of the money Sutton transferred was compensation for Sutton’s role in the campaign, according to court documents. However, Sutton must now pay the IRS $18,231 for the income tax returns he failed to file in 2011 and 2012, according to the release. 

Additionally, Sutton failed to reference checks he wrote to himself in a series of reports he filed during his time as treasurer with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Officials expect Sutton to face 10 to 16 months in prison and a fine of $30,000 for federal income tax evasion and up to two years in prison for knowingly filing a false campaign finance report.

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<![CDATA[Woman Joins Walk to End HIV for Her Grandfather]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:51:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Aimie+Krautwurst.jpg This weekend NBC4 and the community will support for the 28th Annual Walk to End HIV. Aimie Krautwurst is walking for her grandfather. News4's Zachary Kiesch has her story.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>