<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usMon, 24 Jul 2017 01:02:45 -0400Mon, 24 Jul 2017 01:02:45 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[In Memory of Our Friend, Jim Vance]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 07:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Jim_Vance.jpg

For 48 years at NBC4, Jim Vance’s smooth voice and calm presence made viewers feel that, no matter how bad the news was, it would be OK.

Vance died July 22 at age 75 after a brief battle with cancer.

Before becoming a journalist, Vance was a teacher in his hometown of Philadelphia. He started reporting at WRC-TV in Washington in 1969. He was an only child, but Vance always contended he never knew that. His grandparents had 16 kids, so there were always young people around Vance’s early life.

Vance made a name for himself covering stories all over the world, including Vietnam, El Salvador and South Africa. But he didn’t have to go far for some of his best work: reporting on the people in his beloved adopted hometown of Washington.

For almost 50 years, Vance told viewers about every big story that occurred in D.C. From the race riots on U Street and in Columbia Heights to the 14th Street Bridge plane crash to Watergate to the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan and 9/11, Jim Vance kept the people of the Washington area informed and comforted.

He covered the inaugurations of 12 presidents and all seven of D.C.’s mayors. In 1977, Vance was the person the Hanfi Muslims asked to speak to the night they seized three buildings, and he was the first journalist Marion Barry called after he got arrested.

His “Vance’s View” provided a dose of reality that could be refreshing, even for those who disagreed with him.

Vance has some dark times as well, struggling with drugs and depression. But his openness about those struggles further endeared him to the people of Washington and provided him with the opportunity to teach young people that there was a better way.

"When cocaine almost killed me, and I left here in 1984 to go to the Betty Ford Center,” he told Washingtonian magazine in 2011, “I got boxes and boxes of letters from people saying little more than 'I’m praying for you.'"

His banter with his fellow anchors earned his recognition from the Foo Fighters as he and former sports anchor George Michael couldn’t stop laughing at a runway model’s misfortune. His love of area sports teams was on full display.

Vance's 11 p.m. shows with longtime broadcast partner Doreen Gentzler were sometimes the highest-rated shows of the entire day. Together for almost 30 years, "Jim and Doreen" -- as they were known -- were one of the longest-running anchor teams in the country.

Vance announced his diagnosis with cancer earlier this year and took that opportunity to reflect on the wonderful life he lived.

Over the years, Vance received many honors and awards, but his final one was perhaps the most meaningful to him as his face was added to the mural aside Ben’s Chili Bowl, a favorite spot of his through his entire life in Washington.

Jackie Bradford, president and general manager of NBC4, spoke from the heart when she announced his passing.

"We are heartbroken to announce that Jim Vance died this morning.

"For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area. His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void.

"Vance always celebrated the good and acknowledged the parts of life that didn’t go so well. That made him a great man.

"To everyone in the Washington area who is heartbroken today, please know we grieve right along with you. Jim loved his job, his family and Washington with all his heart, and we will all cherish the legacy he has left us forever."

Jim Vance never grew tired of reminding himself where he came from and how lucky he was to be invited into area homes for so many decades.

Among the many legacies Vance leaves behind are those of his children and grandchildren, and everyone at NBC4 grieves right along with them.

<![CDATA[Flood Warning for DC, Parts of Md., Va.]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 14:45:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Flood+Warning+DC.jpg

A series of storms could cause flooding in the D.C. area, the National Weather Service warns.

A flood warning has been issued for D.C., Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland and Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia until 5:45 a.m.

A flash flood watch was in effect for D.C. and parts of Maryland, including Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard, Montgomery, Frederick Baltimore, Harford and Prince George's counties until 3 a.m. Monday.

Radar showed thunderstorms producing heavy rain in those areas about 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Up to 1.5 inches of rain had already fallen and another inch could fall. 

Numerous rounds of heavy rain have affected the Washington and Baltimore metro areas Sunday afternoon and more rainfall is expected tonight, the National Weather Service said.

NWS warned rapid rises in water could quickly result in flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas.

Drivers should never try to drive through standing water, NWS warned.

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<![CDATA[How Jim Vance Inspired African Americans]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:53:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/207*120/Jim_Vance_70s.png

Denise Rolark Barnes was just a teenager when a young African-American reporter named Jim Vance came to Washington in 1969.

"[I was] really excited to see someone who looked like me who really had a connection to the community to be on television," Barnes said.

Vance quickly became a household name and he developed a following of loyal viewers who would stick with him and NBC4 for decades to come.

Barnes said Vance was on the frontline of a diversity movement, covering stories people cared about.

"More African Americans were going into elective office and so it was an interesting era. Jim Vance seemed to come into D.C. owning it and claiming it," she said.

Barnes is now a publisher of the Washington Informer, a newspaper founded by her late father and dedicated to covering African American issues.

"I just wish some of the young people that are aspiring to these careers in journalsim, broadcast journalism, could really take some time to learn about Jim Vance and his contributions to this community," she said.

<![CDATA[Hundreds Remember Jim Vance, Patriarch of DC News]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 07:56:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Vance4.jpg

D.C. has lost a legendary journalist. But most of all, a friend.

As word of Jim Vance's death spread Saturday, so did an outpouring of support, memories and condolences.

Vance probably wouldn't have liked to admit it, but he was big-time. And D.C. loved him.

"I saw people fall in love with him, the viewers fall in love with him and I also saw Washington embracing him during the time when he was challenged with some personal issues. He was very open about them and he won the hearts of a lot of people who could see themselves in his issues," said former WJLA anchor Maureen Bunyan.

"He loved this city and we loved him back," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "I know I speak for all 681,000 of us in sharing my condolences with his family, with his work family, with all of his viewers and just thanking him for a job well done."

"Washington loved Jim Vance. He was loved not because he was a TV anchorman, a celebrity or a 'personality.' He was loved because of his life, his continuity in our lives and the trust we had in him," said Bob Ryan, who worked at NBC4 alongside Vance for decades. "Every day for 30 years I would watch him edit bad grammar or a poorly written news story on the fly, as he read it. No one I ever worked with could do that. There is and was only one Vance. What a life. What a journalist. What a friend. Knowing and working with him enriched my life and also I 'had a ball,' as Vance would say. He'll always be with everyone who loves him."

Washington Post columnist Colby King wrote Saturday, "He and I spoke of things not easy to talk about: what it’s really like on the job — it ain’t all sunshine and roses. And what it means to be clinically depressed, a condition that we shared."

“I was saddened to learn of the untimely death of my friend and Washington, D.C. icon, Jim Vance. Jim has been a role model for me and countless others from the first time we saw him anchoring the news in the late 1970s," Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker said in a statement. "He inspired us all because we could see ourselves in him. Jim was someone we could count on to tell us the truth and he delivered the news in a way that drew us in. He was thoughtful, compassionate, extremely smart and genuine."

Vance's passing has been felt not just throughout the D.C. area, but throughout the country.

“When I hear the name Jim Vance I think of a king, man. ... He was the king of news; he was the king of anchors, you know, and people. Think that only applies to D.C.? No. I mean a king around this entire country,” said Donnie Simpson, a longtime DJ and one of Vance's friends.

"He was just a person who never forgot where he came from. Always understood that people looked up to him, respected him and he gave that respect back. And I think that came through in real life and on the screen as well," said former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The National Association of Black Journalists remembered him as a pioneer for African-American journalists.

"As one of the first African-American primetime anchors in a major television market, Vance was an impeccable deliverer of news, keeping the citizens of Washington informed for 45 years. He inspired multiple generations of African-Americans to pursue journalism as their craft. His beautiful spirit touched everyone he met and lives on in the scores of working journalists he mentored," NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement.

His calming delivery, quick wit and sharp style -- and, of course,  that unforgettable moment when he could not stop laughing on air -- Vance was a true legend.

“It was all about the information he was giving to the audience; it wasn’t about him. He did it with grace and humor, he had a terrific personality. And all of it were the ingredients of making a good news broadcaster,” D.C. broadcaster Gordon Peterson said.

"Jim Vance was one of our important local figures of the past half century. In some ways he was a more important figure, leader, then all of our politicians. Because he would tell it like it is. He didn't just report the news but conveyed a sense of what's right and wrong, or forgivable in recognition of human frailty," D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said.

"I knew him, in the same way everyone else did, as a TV newscaster," Mendelson said. "But I also knew Jim as an adoptive parent, and as a citizen of D.C., and as someone who cared deeply about our community. Jim will be missed. And that's an understatement."

“Jim was always Jim," Simpson said. "24/7 -- I don’t care who he was talking to, he’d be in the presence of the president or the janitor. It was always the same. He knew who he was, he knew who you were, he respected you, he had time for you."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Jim Vance Tells The Story of His Early Life]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:08:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Jim_Vance_Tells_The_Story_of_His_Early_Life.jpg

Well before Jim Vance joined the NBC4 family, his life was rooted at his home in Pennsylvania. So much of what happened in his younger years helped to shape his life and the man he became.

<![CDATA[Pokémon Go Fest Attendees Refunded as Glitches Plague Event]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 12:19:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Pokemon+Go+Fest+-+10005609_28152926.png

Thousands of people descended on Chicago Saturday for Pokémon Go Fest – an event that was billed as a celebration of the smartphone game’s first year but instead became a debacle plagued by massive lines and connectivity issues.

Organized by the game’s developer, Niantic, the all-day festival in Grant Park was the company’s first official live event for players of the augmented reality game.

However, upon arrival, the roughly 20,000 attendees were met with hours-long lines to enter the festival, and then technical problems preventing play once inside the event.

Niantic’s chief marketing officer addressed the crowd to boos in the late morning, citing three specific problems that rendered attendees unable to access the game.

“One is a network issue. One of the providers is trying to pump in some more bandwidth so that’s something that we’re working with them closely on,” CMO Mike Quigley said onstage.

“The other two issues are on the Niantic side. There’s a crash bug issue that we’ve identified. I know some of you have had that issue, as well as an authentication issue, so we’ve got it completely pinpointed to those three things.”

Quigley said the company would offer players a refund on the $20 ticket price, as well as $100 in the game credit Pokecoins.

However, even with a refund, many attendees – some of whom traveled to Chicago from around the world – will only receive a fraction of what they actually paid.

Tickets to the festival, which promised rare Pokémon encounters, special challenges and exclusive rewards, sold out in just minutes last month.

Many were then listed for resale on sites like eBay for as high as $400.

Despite the connectivity issues, the festival was scheduled to continue as planned while the engineering team worked on a fix, Quigley said.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA['God Bless His Spirit': DC Mourns Jim Vance]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 07:29:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/God_Bless_His_Spirit_DC_Mourns_Jim_Vance.jpg

News4's Pat Collins reports outside of Ben's Chili Bowl, where D.C. residents came to remember Jim Vance after news of his death.

<![CDATA[Jim Vance's Start at NBC4]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 09:58:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Jim_Vances_Start_at_NBC4.jpg

Jim Vance always made everything look so smooth, but it took hard work and a bit of wisdom in the beginning to get him started on the path.

<![CDATA[Rookie From New Jersey Wins 2017 World Series of Poker]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 08:48:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17204287121151.jpg

A recent Temple University graduate took his place atop the poker world early Sunday by winning the world's biggest poker tournament — and hauling in $8 million.

Scott Blumstein, a native of northern New Jersey who lives outside Atlantic City, took down the last two competitors at the final table of the 2017 World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. He held a commanding lead going into the final night of play that started Saturday evening, and was one of more than 7,000 that started the tournament.

The 25-year-old, who was described by Poker News as "an East Coast tournament grinder," entered the night with a commanding lead. A grinder is a player who spends a lot of time at the poker table and who considers poker a career.

The win "changes my life," he told ESPN, which broadcast the event.

"I'm really happy with how I played tonight," Blumstein said. "Really happy with the result, really happy with the deuce, because I was playing good, but I'm pretty tired of poker at this point, honestly. To have to go back and battle pretty deep-[stacked] again, I wasn't looking forward to it."

Entering Saturday, Blumstein had 226 million chips, compared to the second-place chip-holder Dan Ott's 88 million and Benjamin Pollack's 45 million.

Ott is also a Pennsylvanian who hails from Altoona. Pollack is a French poker professional.

Despite the win, Blumstein isn't getting overly confident just yet.

"If you had to ask me, probably the two guys I would least want to get three-handed with," Blumstein told ESPN. "But with that being said, I have a lot of chips and I'm confident we're going to go home, work on some three-handed poker, and come back ready to play tomorrow."

Blumstein graduated from Temple three years ago with a degree in accounting. According to his Twitter account, he's a "professional liver."

He'll likely be a professional poker player for the considerable future. 

The $8.15 million isn't be his first big score in a poker tournament. He won nearly $200,000 in a tournament at the Borgata in Atlantic City last year.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Locher
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<![CDATA[GOP Legislative Agenda Stalled Amid Ideological Divides]]> Sun, 23 Jul 2017 06:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/senate-gop.jpg

Despite having control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, Republicans are struggling to pass major aspects their legislative agenda and face many issues that interfere with the party's ability to govern, NBC News reported.

In Congress, Republicans face differences within party on health care reform, a dynamic that threatens to intrude on other major issues like the federal budget. At the White House, President Donald Trump has been fixated on investigations, leaving him an ineffective chief spokesperson for the party and their ideas.

Party unity on key issues has proven elusive for a party with widespread ideologies, ranging from northeast centrists to religious conservatives, fiscal conservatives and small-government libertarians.

That dynamic has stymied the GOP on health care, an issue that appeared simple for the past seven years on the campaign trial and when Trump promised it would be done "on day one."

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Severe Storms Roll Through DC Area]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:27:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DFVk9GyW0AEjwro.jpg

A second round of severe thunderstorms rolled through the D.C. area Saturday evening.

A tornado warning issued for parts of Spotsylvania and Stafford counties in Virginia, as well as the City of Fredericksburg has expired.

A severe thunderstorm warning has also expired for Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles counties in Maryland and parts of Stafford, Culpeper, and Spotsylvania counties in Virginia as well as Fredericksburg, Virginia, until 7 p.m.

Temperatures dropped significantly after the storms and went from the 90s to the upper 70s.

A heat advisory was issued for most of the D.C. area from noon until 7 p.m.

Temperatures will remain in the upper 90s through the weekend, with the heat index likely above 105 degrees. 

Humidity levels will start to fall late Monday afternoon, and there will be some much-needed relief by Tuesday when temperatures top out in the mid to upper 80s.

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<![CDATA[PHOTOS: 30 Acres of Sunflowers On Display Now in Maryland]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:29:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RSunflowers4.jpg The sunflowers are the handywork of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who plant 30-acres of the tall golden flowers each year in the field off River Road.

Photo Credit: Mark Segraves/NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Red Panda Cubs Born at National Zoo's Conservation Center]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:18:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RRedPanda.jpg

The National Zoo’s panda crew is about to get a whole lot cuter.

Two litters of red panda cubs were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute last month, the National Zoo announced Friday.

Experienced mom Nutmeg gave birth to two cubs on June 14, while first-time mom Moonlight gave birth to another two cubs on June 17. One of Moonlight’s cubs died shortly after birth.

Red pandas are not closely related to giant pandas like Bei Bei and Mei Xiang, two of the zoo’s most famous cuddly creatures. They are endangered, according to the zoo’s website, and can become dormant in cold climates to save their energy.

SCBI is the zoo’s conservation wing, headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia. Its goal is to protect wildlife species from extinction.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute]]>
<![CDATA[ICE Detains Northern Virginia Pastor, Groups Pray for Stay]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:47:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Juan+Gutierrez.jpg

Faith groups around the Commonwealth are mobilizing to support a Northern Virginia pastor who may soon be deported.

Pastor Juan Gutierrez typically leads a small service of about 10 to 20 members at his home every Saturday in Dumfries, Virginia. But on Saturday, that number is expected to grow for a day-long vigil in support of his family.

Gutierrez went to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office for his usual check-in in late June, when he was suddenly taken into custody.

"I say why? He do everything like the rules say," Gutierrez's wife Aurelia Sicha said. "I was really sure surprised. I started to cry."

Gutierrez came to the U.S. from Peru in 2002 with a visa to play music. Sicha, who is a U.S. citizen, became pregnant and he stayed to help care for their family.

ICE is now enforcing an order of removal Gutierrez received in 2012.

"I understand my husband broke the rules of this country because he's here without the visa, but he's a good man. Never he do [anything] wrong. He's a pastor. He's a preacher. The word of God," Sicha said.

An ICE official confirmed to News4 that Gutierrez does not have a criminal record, writing in a statement, "As DHS Secretary Kelly and Acting ICE Director Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal."

The couple has a son in the U.S. Air Force and a 13-year-old daughter.

<![CDATA[Va. Officer Has Offenders Clean Island, Not Pay Fines]]> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 08:44:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/072117+trash+pickup.jpg

When a police officer in Fredericksburg, Virginia, caught a young man drinking a beer in public last week, he didn't hand the man a ticket. He handed him a trash bag.

Police body camera footage showed Officer Joe Young's encounter with a man in swim trunks drinking out of a glass bottle on a hot day on Ficklen Island.

“Do you want $250 worth of fines and court costs, or do you want to help me out?" the Fredericksburg Police Department officer says. "It’s going to take about five minutes of your time.”

Then, he pulls his preferred crime-fighting weapon out of his police vest: A garbage bag.

The man accepts the bag, and together, they start picking up the cans and bottles that litter the land on the Rappahanock River.

"Great young man. He actually filled up three of my garbage bags. Then, in addition to that, wanted to know how to pay the fines. And I told him, 'There are no fines. You made the right decision,'" Young said.

If people caught committing minor crimes on Ficklen Island are polite and have no criminal record, Young gives them the option to clean up the riverbank instead of being fined for drinking in public, among other charges.

Young works on Ficklen Island at least eight hours a day, six days a week, and doubles as the watershed manager for the city.

“My goal is zero litter, zero graffiti," he said.

Many surfaces on the island are tagged with graffiti, some of it gang-related.

Young said he loves the river and wants to protect it for others.

“It needs to be protected. It is beautiful. It is this region’s life source. We have to keep it clean," he said.

Photo Credit: Fredericksburg Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Day Care Worker Charged With Sexual Abuse of Child]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:37:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Raul-Teroy-Tuban.jpg

A Montgomery County daycare worker has been charged after police say he sexually abused a 3-year-old girl at a day care in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Montgomery County Police say Raul Teroy Tuban, 56, worked as a cook and driver at a KinderCare Learning Center at 18000 Sioux Lane. Police say the victim was napping at the day care on Oct. 22, 2016, when she awoke to find Tuban touching her inappropriately.

The little girl reported the abuse to a family member later that day, police said. Detectives were notified of the allegations Nov. 22, 2016.

Police said Tuban gave inconsistent statements during a police interview, and detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest "[a]fter a lengthy and complex investigation."

Tuban was arrested at his Montgomery Village home July 14.

He is charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual offense against a juvenile, Montgomery County Police said Friday. He was released on a $25,000 bond. 

Police are trying to determine if there were any other victims, they said.

Parents of children who attend or attended the KinderCare location in Gaithersburg should talk to their children about their interactions with Tuban, police said. Parents should call detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

"I'm nauseas. It makes me sick to my stomach," said Jennifer Cunningham, whose daughter goes to KinderCare. "I would not want my daughter in a situation that anybody can prey upon her."

News4 spoke with two other parents who did not want to be identified, but said they do not believe the allegations against Tuban and said he is a "nice guy."

KinderCare released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"Our goal is always to do what's best for the children in our care and to provide every child with a caring, nurturing place to learn and grow. We are fully committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment for our children.

"We take all concerns about our teachers and staff seriously and follow a very specific protocol anytime an allegation is raised. It has always been our practice, including in instance, to report any allegations concerning our staff to state licensing and local police and to cooperate with state agencies as they investigate allegations.

"When we learned of the allegations against Mr. Tuban, he was immediately place on administrative leave. All of our teachers must pass a state and national background check during their hiring process. If those checks reveal any reason to be concerned about an employee's behavior toward children, we have protocol we follow."

Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Middle School Teacher Arrested for Child Pornography]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:53:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Christopher_Jordan.jpg

A Fairfax County, Virginia, middle school teacher has been arrested for possession of child pornography, police say.

Christopher Jordan, 24, of Centreville, was arrested Thursday and has been charged with six counts of possession of child pornography.

Jordan has been employed by Fairfax County Public Schools since 2016. He taught eighth-grade English at Holmes Middle School, police said.

The school system told police Jordan will not be returning to teach in the fall.

Police said the investigation into Jordan is still active and are urging anyone with information to call (703) 246-7800.

Photo Credit: Fairfax County Police Department]]>