<![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 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:42:17 -0400 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:42:17 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Pregnant Va. Woman Dies After Allergic Reaction to Wasps]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:26:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0731-harkins-sarah.jpg

The life of a pregnant Virginia mother of four young children was cut short this week when she was stung by wasps and suddenly died.

Sarah Harkins Sarah was in her Spotsylvania County backyard Sunday afternoon when she was stung by wasps, her family said. The 32-year-old mother had an allergic reaction to the bites.

"She fell unconscious and went to the hospital, and it was discovered there was a brain aneurysm, and during the trauma of it all, it burst and caused her death," Sarah's brother Tom Schulzetenberg said.

Schulzentenberg said his sister had always wanted a big family. She had four young children, and another girl on the way. 

"It's something that you never really prepare for. We're doing our best to hold each other up," Schulzentenberg said.

He told News4 his sister was beloved by all. She made rosary beads and home-schooled her children. 

"With Sarah gone, [her husband] Eric is not equipped to do this by himself," Schulzetenberg said. 

Her family -- as well as her husband's co-workers -- have set up online donation sites to help with expenses related to her passing and the care of her four children.

As of late Thursday afternoon, donations exceeded $140,000.

"We've received donations from France, Germany, Japan." Schulzetenberg said. "Pray for the children. Pray for Eric. Pray for peace and strength for them."

Sarah would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on Saturday.

 

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<![CDATA[Coach Gruden Puts Son to Work at Redskins Camp]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:47:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Jack+and+Jay+Gruden+073114.jpg The presence of Coach Jay Gruden's 17-year-old son, Jack, at training camp helps bring out the kid in Redskins players. News4's Dianna Russini reports.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Trying to Get to Family in Ebola-Stricken West Africa]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:43:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007364870_1200x675_314091587964.jpg An Ebola quarantine has halted many travelers' plans to fly to three African countries -- News4's Transportation reporter Adam Tuss has the story.]]> <![CDATA[Dog Gym Opens]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:22:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0731-doggym.jpg The Alexandria area's first fitness facility for canines opens on Colvin Street.]]> <![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Dog From Ledge]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:40:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/jersey+city+dog+rescue.jpg

Jersey City firefighters rescued a frightened dog from a second-story ledge on Martin Luther King Drive Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors noticed the dog on the ledge after it climbed out of a window of a second-story apartment, according to animal control officials. The owner wasn't home at the time. 

Video taken by resident Raul Mercado shows one firefighter climbing a ladder and trying to coax the scared dog into his arms. When the animal wouldn't budge, a second firefighter climbed up to help bring it down.

The dog got down safely and wagged his tail as his paws hit the ground and the crowd on the sidewalk clapped and cheered. 

The dog was taken into the care of Jersey City's animal control department. It's not clear whether the owner will face charges.

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<![CDATA[Inside LA's Vast Water Supply]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:52:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sunset+ucla+sinkhole+repair+water+main+20140731_074101_resized+%288%29.jpg

There are many ways to conceal the signs of age in Los Angeles. But when it comes to the city's water line system, the effects of aging are more difficult to hide.

The massive Sunset Boulevard water main break Tuesday in Westwood illustrated in spectacular style -- geysers of water, a sinkhole, flooding on the UCLA campus -- the risks that come with expansive water line systems installed decades ago.

The failure also led to a familiar "Band-Aid approach" that experts say is common when pipes in an aging system fail.

"In the United States the basic approach to infrastructure is what many people call the Band-Aid approach," said Harvey Gobas, a civil engineer who worked on a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers on California's drinking water systems. "You fix, and it lasts a few more years. Maybe in some cases it will last 10 or 20 more years, but you still don't have a new pipe."

Tuesday afternoon's break occurred at the meeting point under Sunset Boulevard of a 30-inch pipe installed in 1921 and a 36-inch pipe installed in 1956. Pipes typically last 50 to 75 years, and in a city like Los Angeles many -- like the main line trunk that broke near the UCLA campus -- are actually older, said Gobas.

A 2012 report on LA County's water system, also by the American Society of Civil Engineers, rated it as a C overall and a C- for condition. According to the study, the grade was primarily based on the age of the systems and their need for replacement.

Both city officials and infrastructure experts agree that improvements to the city's water pipeline system need to be made, but the improvements cost billions which officials say the city doesn't have.

"A lot of the agencies that really need to be spending money to upgrade their infrastructure just don't have the money," Gobas said.

L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz said if the city was working at 100-year replacement rate fixing the pipe system would cost about $4 billion, a huge increase that would be passed on to ratepayers.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was scheduled to replace 130,000 feet of main line and five large valves in the city's 7,200 mile pipe system, but it said the project has fallen behind schedule. The department said the delay was due in part to budget constraints that caused a $380 million reduction in the previous annual plan.

In response to budget shortfalls, water agencies have implemented piecemeal solutions to patch up, instead of replace, the miles and miles of pipe that run water underground

By Thursday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews had stopped the flow of water to the Westwood site and started the repair process. The break, which sent about 20 million gallons of water onto the UCLA campus and surround area, flooding buildings and parking structures, involved two trunk lines.

"We have two trunk lines involved and where they connected required special fittings," said Jeff Bray, LADWP general superintendent for water distribution. "It isn't where we can just cut out a straight piece of pipe and put in a straight piece, which is a pretty simple repair. This a very complex repair. We're basically having to realign or reroute some of the pipes -- the direction on how they came together before they're going to come together in a different way now."

Los Angeles typically experiences an increase in pipe breaks during winter months, when colder water enters the system. Authorities have not determined what caused Tuesday's rupture.

The flooding created a spectacular mess, but no utility customers were without water. No injuries were reported. The rupture occurred about five years after a 62-inch pipe burst in the San Fernando Valley, sending water into a Studio City neighborhood.

To prioritize what repairs need to be made, the LADWP has an asset management system that includes strategies like periodically examining the water network and sometimes waiting for problems, or leaks, to spring up before fixing them.

Last year, however, the department took the first steps in a proactive approach toward its water infrastructure system. It began a pilot program to replace old pipes with earthquake resistant ones. The pipes, which are developed and used in Japan have no recorded leaks in 40 years of use.

Ellen Hanak, an economist who leads water research at the Public Policy Institute of California, said that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was making investments in its infrastructure both for maintenance and upgrades, as well as in new storage, recycling waste water and capturing storm water.

"So they're doing all of that as well as managing the existing assets that they have, some of which are old," she said. "My understanding is that they have a pretty modern and sophisticated asset management program to try to basically make strategic decisions on what you replace when."

Researchers documented the urban water supply situation around the state in a March report titled, "Paying for Water in California."

"We found in general that the state's urban water suppliers and water agencies were doing a pretty good job in terms of planning for their capital needs and investing in it, if you compare estimates of needs with what their spending," Hanak said. "That doesn't mean that everything is perfect but it does mean we're not seriously off track."

NBC4's Lolita Lopez and Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV, Toni Guinyard]]>
<![CDATA[Transgender Girl Stabbed on Green Line Train, Police Say]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:34:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0730-klaiber.jpg

A transgender 15-year-old girl was stabbed in the back aboard a Metro train Wednesday afternoon, D.C. police say.

The attack at the Fort Totten station on the green line going toward Branch Avenue was reported just after 4:30 p.m.

The girl's friends told News4 the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber, came up to the group inside the train and insulted the victim's appearance, asking why she was wearing a wig and commenting on what she was wearing.

According to documents, the victim repeatedly told Klaiber to leave her alone, but he was persistent and asked her, "Are you a boy? Are you a boy? ... Why you be looking like a girl?"

Document say that when the train stopped at Fort Totten station, both the victim and Klaiber got up. That's when documents say Klaiber grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and stabbed her in the back. Documents say one of the victim's friends then sprayed Klaiber with pepper spray. 

The victim and her two friends then ran off the train with Klaiber giving chase, documents say, shouting, "I'm going to [stab you] again!"

Klaiber was apprehended shortly after and charged with assault with deadly weapon. 

Metro Police say the charges include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate or bias motivation. If convicted, Klaiber could be subject to a 1.5-time enhancement under D.C. law.

According to court records uncovered by News4, Klaiber has a lengthy criminal history that includes previous charges of assault and resisting arrest.

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<![CDATA[Woman Found Dead in Columbia Heights Home]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:11:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dcpolice2.jpg

D.C. police say two women were found inside a Northwest home early Thursday morning -- one was dead and another had non-life threatening injuries.

Crews responded to a home in the 1300 block of Columbia Road NW near the Columbia Heights Metro station just after 5 a.m. Police are investigating the woman's death as a homicide; an upcoming autopsy will determine how she died.

D.C. police haven't released any motive or suspect information, but ask that you call 202-727-9099 tips if you have any information.  

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<![CDATA[Pedestrian Dies After Being Hit, Dragged by Bus]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:38:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-31_1112.jpg

An elderly woman died after being hit by a Prince George's County bus and dragged about 30 feet while pinned underneath it.

Authorities were called to Main and Water streets in Upper Marlboro around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The woman, who worked in the area, was crossing the street when she was struck by a county transportation bus, also known as "The Bus." She died at the scene.

Surveillance video shows the woman walking on a crosswalk, but officials have not yet determined whether she was crossing against the stoplight.

Prince George's County Police are investigating the accident.

Mark Brady, spokesperson for Prince George's County Fire and Emergency, said officials will look at videos from the area's stores for more details on the case.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more.

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<![CDATA[Zoo Gets Fruit From Flipped Truck]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:27:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/elephant8.jpg

Talk about not letting roadkill go to waste.

The elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo got to nosh on African jackfruit and bananas Wednesday thanks to a overturned big rig that dumped 60,000 pounds of fruit in Livermore near the Altamont Pass earlier in the week.



"The elephants loved it," Brian Deering, president of the nonprofit F.A.I.R. Foundation, told NBC Bay Area. He masterminded the transfer – taking the lightly squished fruit from the side of Interstate Highway 580 and getting about 15,000 pounds of it to the animals at the zoo.



About 35,000 pounds fed humans at the Alameda County Food Bank, and the rest was too badly bruised to be eaten.



The truck is owned by All Seasons Produce in Oakland, which grows fruit in Mexico. Deering knows the owners, who contacted him after the truck tipped early Monday morning to say they didn't want the food to go to waste. He also knows the owners of Save Tow, who schlepped the tropical fruit to the zoo.

Deering's agency, which has roots in Sunnyvale but now is headquarted in Elk Grove, is a nonprofit that connects families in custody battles with material goods, such as cars, dishwashers, computers and food.



Zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said there is enough donated fruit for the elephants and bears to dine on all week.



Photo Credit: Erin Harrison/Oakland Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Capital Bikeshare Posts Record Ridership]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:58:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/capital+bikeshare+eastern+market.jpg

The D.C. area's Capital Bikeshare system is smashing records for ridership.

DDOT says Bikeshare saw its highest ridership month ever in June, with more than 320,000 trips taken.

The previous record was set in May when there were about 310,000 trips taken.

And July looks strong, too. DDOT says so far this month, the system has been averaging about 11,000 trips per day.

Bikeshare is now spread across the area in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.



Photo Credit: Tim Persinko]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Plows Into CA Sidewalk Cafe]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:22:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/07-31-2014-palo-alto-crash-2.jpg

Six people were injured, two seriously, when a car driven by a 90-year-old man slammed into the outside street seating at the University Cafe in Palo Alto during lunchtime Thursday, police said.

The crash was reported about 12:30 p.m. at 271 University Ave., outside the University Cafe, not far from the Stanford University campus.

Officers responded to the scene after receiving several 911 calls about a car that had driven into a building, injuring several people. Four people sustained minor injuries, including the driver. Two people were hospitalized in serious condition and would require surgery, police said, who added that one of those victims was a pedestrian, the other had been sitting at the cafe.

The elderly driver accidentally drove up onto the curb and struck five people, Palo Alto police officials told reporters. Officers on the scene confirmed the driver's age.

Metal sidewalk cafe tables were seen askew on the sidewalk, but the crumpled 2010 Nissan four-door sedan hadn't actually plowed into the restaurant. Police said the driver was apparently trying to parallel park when he accidentally hit the gas, striking another vehicle before he drove onto the sidewalk, stopping short of the building.

Police said the driver and two other patients with minor injuries were expected to be released from Stanford Hospital sometime Thursday night.

"It was crazy," Elizabeth Johnson, 19, a journalism student at Northwestern University who is interning at a start-up.

She had been in a nearby Apple store when she heard of the crash. When she exited, the area was "full of ambulances and police cars." She said the entire windshield of a four-door silver car had been smashed.

At this point, police said, the driver isn't facing any charges or citations.

The cause of the collision is under investigation. Police said there is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

 

Bay City News and NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews and Gonzalo Rojas contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Yee Pleads Not Guilty to RICO Count]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:43:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/07-31-2014-leland-yee.jpg

Suspended state Sen. Leland Yee pleaded not guilty on Thursday – as he did before to previous charges – to the latest racketeering charge, which alone carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

The senator, who is out on $500,000 bond, appeared to be in a good mood in the hallway of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

"I'll talk to my attorney and see where we go from there," Yee told reporters while leaving the courthouse in a charcoal gray suit.

His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Yee and more than two dozen others were swept up in a wide-reaching federal investigation in late March, first reported by NBC Bay Area, during an FBI raid on Yee’s office.

The San Francisco Democrat is accused of a string of illegal actions in exchange for campaign contributions, including conspiring to mastermind an international arms deal involving machine guns to an undercover FBI agent posing as a mob figure and, as alleged in the most recent indictment, offering his support on legislation for the NFL.

In April, Yee pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges. He is being represented by Curtis Briggs, who said in a previous interview that the government's case is very "weak" against Yee, who is still being paid his annual salary of $90,000.

But on Friday, federal prosecutors added the racketeering count, under the statute known as RICO, to a superseding grand jury indictment. A racketeering conviction carries a possible prison sentence of 20 years or more and huge fines.



That means Yee now faces three additional charges: one count of "conspiracy to conduct the affairs of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity" and two counts of conspiracy "to obtain property under the color of official right."

The revised indictment alleges that Yee tried to extort "individuals and professional sports teams related to the passage of legislation governing the ability of professional athletes to collect workers compensation for injuries in California."

In 2013, investigators allege that Yee told an undercover FBI agent posing as an Arizona businessman that he should contact an NFL team owner the agent claimed to know and the owner "should contact Yee with an offer to help Yee," because he would be a key vote on the workers compensation bill, according to the indictment.

The undercover agent allegedly asked Yee how much his vote would cost. "Oh no," Yee is accused of having replied. "We gotta drag it out, man. We gotta juice this thing."



The undercover agent offered Yee $60,000 for his vote, the indictment reports, but Yee, after voting for the bill in committee, did not receive a campaign contribution. Yee abstained when the full Senate approved the bill.

The documents do not implicate the NFL.

If convicted on all counts, Yee faces a maximum of 165 years in prison and $2.25 million in penalties.



The revised grand jury indictment now includes 228 charges against 29 defendants.

Two of those high profile defendants have already entered not guilty pleas. They include: Keith Jackson, a former Yee consultant and San Francisco school board president and Chinatown gang leader,  Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.

Chow's attorney, Tony Serra, said outside U.S. District Court on Wednesday that the government's case is weak, and that the grand jury would indict a "ham sandwich."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[6 Million Gals of Water Lost in Hyattsville Main Break]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:11:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0731-hyattsville-watermain.jpg

Officials estimate 6 million gallons of water were lost in a Hyattsville water main break Thursday afternoon. 

Crews worked for several hours to contain the break at Rhode Island Avenue and Crittenden Street. According to WSSC officials on Twitter, the break was contained around 7 p.m. Crews are working overnight to make repairs, and the corridor will remain closed through Friday morning rush hour.

News4's Pat Collins reported the water main -- which looked like a "gigantic fountain" -- caused the road to buckle. 

Back in January, a pedestrian was struck and killed on the same stretch of Rhode Island Avenue by a woman driving an SUV who hit a patch of ice -- police and WSSC officials had said they were looking into whether that water came from a broken water main. 

Rhode Island Avenue is a major corridor that leads to Beltsville and Baltimore.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Prince George's County Police/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of Faith Leaders Arrested at D.C. Immigration Rally]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:04:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-31_1549.jpg

More than 110 people, including nuns, rabbis and pastors, were arrested during an immigration rights protest in front of the White House Thursday afternoon.

Organizers said that the group was demanding an end to President Barack Obama's "inhumane" immigration policies.

"Well, today I think it's the moment to give a message to our president," said Sister Eileen Campbell, a nun who lives and works in Silver Spring.

Campbell said she wanted to be arrested in a show of solidarity with immigrants who are "victims of an unjust and broken immigration system."

The rally began with a prayer service and press conference in Lafayette Park across from the White House, as protesters called on Obama to stop deportations and provide more help to immigrant families and workers.

Later in the afternoon, planners announced 112 people were arrested after purposely getting close enough to the White House fence to attract authorities' attention. They were arrested for  failure to disperse when officers ordered them to.

U.S. Park Police officers used plastic zipties to secure the wrists of the protesters, who appeared to be compliant.

Planners called the protesters' actions a "massive act of civil disobedience" done to garner attention for their cause from Obama.

"He's worked with immigrant groups before, he wants to listen to us, and this is a very strong message to him... to give his executive voice and power to make some changes," said Campbell, who is vice president of the Sisters of Mercy.

She said she sympathized with immigrants and understood the dangers they faced in their home countries.

"...[O]ur sisters from our other countries, from Honduras, from Guatemala, tell us of the gangs and the violence and all of the reasons why people are forced to migrate," she said.

The event was sponsored by several faith groups and immigration advocates, including the United Methodist Church, Church World Service, CASA de Maryland, CASA de Virginia, the Unitarian Universalist Association and others.

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<![CDATA[Woman Cold Calls Officer for Sex, Gets Arrested: PD]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:17:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/angela+ayers.jpg

Police say a Walkersville, Maryland, woman is facing a prostitution charge after she cold called a police officer and offered him sex for money.

Angela Marie Ayers, 44, allegedly called a member of the Frederick Police Department's Drug Enforcement Unit and offered him a sex act in exchange for money. Authorities say Ayers got the officer's phone number during the course of an earlier case.

When the officer asked her if she knew who he was, police say she told him that she did but called him the wrong name.

A price and meeting location was agreed upon, and Ayers was arrested when she arrived.

Police said a glass smoking device, known as a crack stem, was found on her when she was searched. They said it contained what was believed to be crack cocaine residue.

Ayers was charged with solicitation of prostitution, possession of paraphernalia and possession of crack cocaine.

 

 

 

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<![CDATA[Nats Acquire Indians' Cabrera]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:15:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/218*120/451446088.jpg.jpg

Less than an hour before Major League Baseball's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Nationals acquired shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for infielder Zach Walters.

A two-time All-Star, Cabrera is batting .246 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 97 games so far this season. He has spent the majority of his playing career at shortstop (730 games), but he can play second base. That would allow Anthony Rendon to play third base while Ryan Zimmerman remains out indefinitely with a significant hamstring strain. Cabrera is scheduled to become a free agent at season's end.

Walters hit .234 with three home runs and six RBIs in 40 games for Washington in the past two seasons.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Russini in Richmond: Pushing Through Training Camp Wall]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:37:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins+sprints+073114.jpg

News4's Dianna Russini is in Richmond throughout Redskins Training Camp, and sending regular reports. Here's today's news from camp.

The Redskins have been practicing for one week and in one week they'll play in their first preseason game -- against the New England Patriots.

Wednesday is hump day for most of us, but today is more like a hump day at camp. Everything is piling up -- the work load, the installs, the soreness.

The team is getting close to hitting that training camp wall, but pushing through it is how you make strides as a team. The Redskins have been through 50 percent of their practices and the chemistry is getting better.

Coach Jay Gruden demands physical plays as the guys are starting to get tired here.

Today the focus of practice was the running game. I kept a close watch not just on Alfred Morris, who had a spectacular day with the ball, but also Roy Helu and Silas Redd.

The unit I'm watching closely every day? The offensive line. These players need to be like synchronized swimmers. They need to communicate with non-verbal cues. I'm told this unit has been working the hardest to improve this season. Of the five starting linemen, two have been replaced. They drafted two rookies, and Gruden says Shawn Lauvao, the free agent pickup, is the most improved player on this team since OTAs.

Lets talk some nuggets:

  • Offensive lineman Trent Williams was limping during the end of practice. He put ice on his left leg but I'm told no major problems.
  • Wide receiver Pierre Garcon sat out during team drills today. They are trying to go easy on his hamstring.
  • I interviewed Santana Moss about a lot of different things. The 14-year veteran and Redskin for the past 10 years said RGIII is more accurate this camp. He also pointed out that DeSean Jackson tracks the ball better than any other receiver he has ever played with.
  • Coach Gruden gave the team a choice at the end of practice -- run sprints or play two more 10-minute periods. They chose running. It looked exhausting!

Coming up on News4 at 5 p.m. Jack Gruden, Coach Gruden's 17-year-old son has the best summer job in the world, and he tells us about it. At 6 p.m. you will hear from the O-linemen and how they are improving.

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<![CDATA[14-Year-Old Girl Missing From Wheaton]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:20:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/alexandra-innis.jpg

A 14-year-old girl is missing from her Wheaton, Maryland home, and police and her family are worried.

Alexandra Lexus Innis was last seen near her home on Peppertree Lane on Wednesday. She is five feet, six inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. She has black hair with the right side shaved, brown eyes and a birthmark on her stomach.

Innis was last seen wearing a gray V-neck T-shirt, light blue skinny jeans and pink flip-flops.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call police at 240-773-5400 or 301-279-8000.
 

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<![CDATA[Teens Shot Walking Along Hyattsville Street]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:32:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0730-hyattsville-shooting.jpg

Police are on the lookout for three suspects wanted in connection with a shooting in Hyattsville Wednesday night that sent two teens to the hospital. 

According to Hyattsville City Police, the incident was reported just before 8 p.m. in the 5700 block of 30th Street. Police say a group of teen boys aged between 15 and 17 years old was walking on the street when they were approached by three men, who appeared to be between 18 and 20 years old.

One of the men pulled out a handgun, hitting one teen in the right side and another in the face, arm and torso. The third teen went unharmed. 

Hyattsville police describe the suspects as Hispanic men between the ages of 18 and 20 years old, who fled the scene in a brown Jeep Cherokee driven by a fourth man. 

Police do not yet have a motive for the shooting. Two teens remained hospitalized Wednesday night.

If you have any information, you're asked to call police at 301-985-5060.

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<![CDATA[Metrobus Driver Found Dead Inside Bowie Home]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:01:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AmirAliJr.jpg

A Metrobus driver was killed in his upscale Bowie home Thursday. Police say they believe it was a drug-related robbery that turned into a murder.

Amir Ali Jr., 39, of the 9900 block of Chessington Way, died from apparent gunshot wounds. Police said they believe he was targeted because he was involved in the drug trade.

At 5:45 a.m. Thursday police received a call about a shooting in the neighborhood. When they arrived they found Ali dead inside his home.

Dozens of police cruisers converged on the home and spent the day canvassing the neighborhood and taking bags of evidence. They also towed four vehicles from Ali's driveway and garage, including a silver Mercedes-Benz, a silver Infinity, a black Range Rover and a white Ford pickup truck.

News4's Darcy Spencer reported there were no signs of forced entry and a single bullet was found in the street.

A relative told News4's Megan McGrath a family member got a frantic call Thursday morning, saying men had entered the house. Ali's wife and son were also reportedly in the home at the time, but they were not hurt.

Police said they are looking for two suspects, but they will continue canvassing for information in the neighborhood Thursday evening.

Anyone with information is asked to call Prince George's County police at 301-772-4925 or to contact crime solvers anonymously at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). A reward of $25,000 is being offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest.



Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police]]>
<![CDATA[Toddler Falls During Circus]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:28:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AAC+2.jpg

A toddler is in the hospital after tumbling over a railing at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Wednesday night during a performance by the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Officials at the arena said the 2-year-old girl fell from the 200 level as the family got up from their seats during intermission.

Paramedics with Dallas Fire-Rescue were at the arena and were able to provide immediate emergency treatment to the child before she was transported to Children's Medical Center. Her injuries have not been released to the public, but she remains in critical condition.

The child's family released a statement Thursday afternoon through Children's Medical Center:

"We want everyone to know our child is doing well and on the mend, although still being cared for in the ICU. We appreciate the actions of the first responders, both good Samaritans and professionals, who came to our family's aide. We also thank all those who are concerned and have reached out by thought and prayer. We request that everyone please have respect for our privacy at this time."

Officials have provided no further additional information on how or how far the child fell.

David Brown, general manager of the American Airlines Center, released the following statement after the fall:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with a two year old child who was injured in a fall during a performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at American Airlines Center Wednesday evening.  The child's family was leaving their seats on the front row of the 200 level just before intermission when the child fell to the Plaza Level below. Dallas Fire Rescue officers who work at the facility rushed to the child and provided immediate emergency care.  She was transported by ambulance to nearby Children's Medical Center."

Officials with American Airlines Center told NBC 5 Thursday morning that something like this has never happened in the arena and that they do not plan to make any safety changes in response to the accident.

Thursday afternoon, they released a revised statement to include the following few sentences:

"Right now our focus is on the injured child and her family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and we are doing what we can to help to the family.  We are also reviewing the circumstances of the accident to determine what additional measures may be necessary to insure the safety of our guests."

The circus resumed their performance after intermission Wednesday night.  Other performances scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday will go on as planned.

Falls from stands have resulted in serious injuries and even deaths in recent years.  In 2010, firefighter Tyler Morris was hospitalized after falling 30 feet while trying to catch a foul ball during a Texas Rangers game.  Morris suffered a head injury and a sprained ankle in the fall, but luckily no internal injuries.

In 2011, Brownwood firefighter Lt. Shannon Stone died after a 20-foot fall while reaching for a ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton.

NBC 5's Johnny Archer contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Disgruntled Exec Shoots CEO: Cops]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:52:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Lavoie-p1.jpg

The CEO of a Chicago-based company was critically injured in a shooting Thursday morning at his high-rise office in the city's Financial District downtown, police confirmed. Police said the gunman, a recently demoted executive at the company, took his own life.

Police responded to shots fired at 9:50 a.m. at 231 S. LaSalle on the 17th floor, listed as the old Bank of America Trade Operations Building. They found a 54-year-old victim, identified as ArrowStream CEO Steven LaVoie, injured with gunshot wounds to his stomach and his head and the 60-year-old gunman deceased with a gunshot wound to the head.

The shooter was identified by the medical examiner as Anthony DeFrances of Barrington.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by the events that have occurred today," ArrowStream said in a statement. "Our focus during this tragedy is to ensure the well-being of our ArrowStream family."

"We want to assure our customers that our business continuity plan is in place, and our operations will continue to function normally."

According to a profile on arrowstream.com, LaVoie founded the company, which provides supply chain management solutions for the food service industry, in 2000.

DeFrances is listed on the company's website as ArrowStream's chief technology officer, with the company "virtually since its inception."

LaVoie and DeFrances were lying unresponsive on the floor of an office when police arrived. Supt. Garry McCarthy said the victim is in "grave condition."

Police said the gunman's wounds were self-inflicted. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

"What we have here is a workplace violence issue," McCarthy told reporters. "Apparently there's a technological company on the 17th floor. They've been undergoing a downsizing. They've demoted a number of people."

An employee who had been demoted last week arrived Thursday morning for a one-on-one meeting with the CEO, McCarthy said.

"During the one-on-one, he produced a firearm," McCarthy said. "There apparently was a struggle over the firearm, the CEO was struck twice -- he is in grave condition -- and then the man took his own life."

The incident is being investigated as a possible murder-suicide incident, according to police.

Fire crews arriving to the scene initially were warned that a suspect was still on the floor and still armed, according to radio reports.

Police said the scene was contained at about 10:40 a.m. There was only one gunman involved.

Nearby Ann Taylor and Jos. A. Bank stores locked their doors after reports of the shooting.

Jessica Cazares, who works at nearby Caffe Baci, said she witnessed a chaotic scene outside the building.

"There were people running, afraid," she said, "but we thought it was a movie filming. This time it was a real situation."

Tiffany Baggett, a woman who works in the building, said an alarm went off in the building and everyone was told to stay on their floor of the building. Employees moved to a safer area, she said, away from the glass doors.

"I was just informed as an employee there was a shooting, so we just evacuated our reception area as quickly as possible," Baggett said.

Pedestrians were being held across the street as detectives and police entered the building.

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<![CDATA[Major Delays After Crash on Beltway's Inner Loop]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:09:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2014-07-31_1103.png

It could be slow going for drivers trying to get home on the Beltway Thursday afternoon.

Earlier in the morning, crews shut down all lanes of the Inner Loop following a serious crash that involved a tractor-trailer and two other vehicles, injuring three people. 

According to Maryland State Police, witnesses say a tractor-trailer was weaving on the Inner Loop at New Hampshire Avenue when it hit a taxicab around 10:20 a.m.

The tractor trailer then jackknifed into the jersey wall. Several vehicles behind the crash were forced to stop short.

Hazmat crews had to be called in to assess some chemicals that spilled from the truck.

There's no word on the condition of those injured.

For much of the afternoon, only a couple of lanes were reopened, leading to backups.

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<![CDATA[5 Things to Know About New House GOP Leader McCarthy]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:14:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/450883992.jpg

House Republicans are getting a new second-in-command this week, as Rep. Kevin McCarthy takes over for outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

The California native was selected for the position in June, after Cantor was handed a surprising defeat by a little-known GOP challenger in Virgnia's primary election.

The promotion puts the 49-year-old McCarthy, who has quickly risen through the leadership ranks during his four terms in Congress, next in line to potentially succeed House Speaker John Boehner.

Here are five things you may not know about the new majority leader:

He got his (lucky) start in sandwiches.

A young McCarthy used a $5,000 lottery prize to start his own business, opening a sandwich shop called Kevin O's Deli at age 19. The shop he has descibed as "Subway before there was Subway," offered "fresh Dutch Krunch white rolls every day," and sandwiches "hot upon request," according to The Orange County Register. McCarthy says he used the profits from later selling that deli to finance his college education. The experience of building a business before hitting 21, he says, helped shape his views on limited government regulations and taxes.

He sees (some of) himself in “House of Cards.”

When Netflix’s popular political drama debuted in 2013, a few things felt a little too familiar to McCarthy, who, like the show’s fictional lead, Rep. Francis Underwood, served as majority whip. That framed whip hanging in Underwood’s office? A spitting image of the one McCarthy received as a gift from Cantor. The scene where Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, tells members “Vote your district, vote your conscience, don't surprise me"? Sounds strikingly like what McCarthy says he tells his own conference. The real-life whip believes those nods came out of a meet-and-greet he had with Spacey before the show started filming. He says the similarities between him and Underwood, a Democrat known for his duplicitous and Machiavellian ways, stop at those superficial references, though. "This one is made professionally about Washington, but it's not Washington," he said of the show during an appearance in Sacramento. "Don't believe what you see in there, but it's intriguing."

He co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In the California state Capitol, that is. McCarthy, first elected to represent his home district in Kern County in the state Legislature in 2002, rose to leader of the Assembly’s Republican caucus during his first term. That put him at the bargaining table with then-Gov. Schwarzenegger, who entered office via a 2003 recall election, on state budget negotiations and other major issues facing the Golden State. McCarthy left California's Capitol for the halls of Congress after the 2006 election, when he won the House seat vacated by his own political mentor and former boss, former Republican Rep. Bill Thomas.

He’s an all-star Instagrammer.

McCarthy’s filter-laden Instagram account has attracted more than 12,000 followers to date. While cameos from the likes of Beyonce, Ringo Star and cute dogs don’t hurt, the GOP congressman also uses the social platform to post behind-the-scenes photos from his political and personal life (including frequent “Throwback Thursday” pictures). His social media savvy led BuzzFeed to name him the “best Republican congressman on Instagram” in 2013.

 


He splits with some GOP conservatives on immigration.

McCarthy hails from one of the nation's bluest states. But the California native hasn’t strayed much from the GOP line in his own time in office, voting with his party 96 percent of the time, according to one Washington Post analysis.  Still, he's split with the more conservative factions of his caucus on at least one key issue seen as a potential factor in Cantor’s primary defeat: immigration reform. Unlike his tea party-aligned colleagues, McCarthy has expressed support for creating a path to legal status for the country’s undocumented immigrants. His campaign for majority leader drew criticism from some conservative commentators, who blasted his backing of immigration reform, Sandy relief funding and a budget compromise. Despite some differences in ideology and style, McCarthy, a skilled networker and social butterfly, has made many friends in Washington, thanks in part to his success in raising cash and building a program to train and support up-and-coming candidates.
 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Choked With Rope: Police]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:18:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Woman-Choked.jpg

A man is facing attempted murder charges after he allegedly attacked a woman in broad daylight and tried to strangle her with a rope. 

Corrine McDonald, 29, who lived in Philadelphia for four years but recently moved back to upstate New York, was visiting friends Wednesday afternoon in University City. She was walking along 45th and Larchwood Streets around 1 p.m. to grab a cup of coffee.

As she was walking, police say a man, identified as 33-year-old Andre Taylor, approached her from behind, put a rope around her neck and started to choke her.

"I felt something come around my neck and constrict it," McDonald said. "He had put a rope around my neck and was pulling it with both hands."

Taylor allegedly dragged McDonald into an alleyway. That's when McDonald says she fought back as her adrenaline kicked in.

"I had this moment of fear but there is no option but to fight," McDonald said. "I yelled and he tried to stop me from yelling. He reached out and grabbed me by the throat with his hand because he must have dropped the rope." 

As she struggled with the suspect, two undercover police officers who happened to be on patrol at the time spotted McDonald, ran to her rescue and apprehended Taylor, according to investigators.

Police say that Taylor, who was recently released from prison and was wanted for violating his parole for robbery, is also responsible for another attack earlier this week.

"We do have another job similar to this on Sunday around the same time," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker. "We think he may have been in that area just looking for victims."

During the Sunday incident, Taylor allegedly attacked another woman from behind and used her headphones to choke her before fleeing the scene with seven dollars.

McDonald says she's still shaken by the terrifying ordeal but happy that it ended with Taylor's arrest.

"It was a traumatic event," McDonald said. "I'm glad that it happened in a way which means that he was apprehended. Now this man is not on the streets." 

Taylor was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault and other related offenses. Sources close to the investigation tell NBC10 that he confessed to his crimes.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Drought Spreads in Parched Calif. ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:37:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/216*120/DROUGHT+MONITOR+JULY29+CA.jpg

Exceptional drought conditions expanded this week to include more than half of California, marking a significant increase over just one week for a state in the middle of a third-consecutive dry year.

The most severe drought rating expanded to more than 58 percent of California, a 22 percent increase over last week's U.S. Drought Monitor report. At the start of the year, no part of the state was under the "exceptional" category. But that figure increased steadily after the state completed its warmest and third-driest winter on record.

The dire appraisal of current conditions comes as new, tougher restrictions on water use take effect across the parched state. Wasting water by overwatering laws, for example, could result in fines of up to $500 a day under the new rules.

"We are in a drought of historic proportions," State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus told The Associated Press earlier this month. "Many urban water users don't realize how bad this drought is. They're not seeing the communities that are actually running out of water. ... They don't see the streams and creeks running dry."

Exceptional drought spread significantly in the northern part of the state over the past week. Previously, the most severe conditions were confined to the a large swath of the Central Coast and Central Valley. The weekly report categorizes drought severity into abnormally Dry (D0), Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4).

"Drought indicators point to the fact that conditions are not appreciably better in northern California than in central and southern sections of the state," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report. "In addition, mounting evidence from reservoir levels, river gauges, ground water observations, and socio-economic impacts warrant a further expansion of exceptional drought (D4) into northern California."

Storage in California's 154 intrastate reservoirs -- those that are entirely within the state -- was at 60 percent of the historical average at the end of June. The record low is 41 percent of average, which occurred in June 1977.

The new statewide regulations approved earlier this month by the state water resources board include a $500-per-day fine for residents who waste water. The rules make it illegal for people to hose down driveways and sidewalks, waste water on their lawns or wash vehicles using a hose without a shut-off nozzle.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who declared a statewide drought emergency earlier this year, has asked Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that the new water use rules would go into effect Aug. 1. The regulations took effect July 29.



Photo Credit: US Drought Monitor]]>
<![CDATA[Family Mourns Md. Man Who Died During Ebola Quarantine]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:11:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/0729-nathaniel-dennis.jpg

The family of a comatose Maryland man who passed away in Liberia during the ongoing Ebola quarantine is now trying to get his body back to the U.S. for a proper burial.

Nathaniel Dennis, 24, was visiting family in Monrovia, Liberia this month when he suffered multiple seizures July 24. He was hospitalized and had been comatose until his death Wednesday, despite the efforts of his family to bring him to home for treatment.

In an effort to control the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, Liberia's president has closed the majority of the country's borders, meaning Dennis' family was unable to transport him to a hospital in Ghana via medical evacuation -- although he had tested negative for Ebola, his family said. 

"At the same time, I'm relieved because I know my brother is no longer suffering," Dennis' brother Norwood Dennis said.

According to a GoFundMe site his family set up, Dennis grew sicker and began to need dialysis and a ventilator -- but the equipment wasn't available at the facility where he was.

"We're all devastated," Dennis' cousin Vannette Tolbert said. "We don't feel like we've been defeated because we tried as hard as we could."

A fundraiser was held in Dennis' honor Wednesday night at Lima Lounge on K Street NW in D.C. His family hopes to raise enough money to help transport his body back to the U.S. for a proper burial -- as of Wednesday night, the family had raised nearly $11,000.

Dennis' mother had traveled to Liberia to be with her son, but was unable to see him due to the quarantine. A medical examiner in Liberia will conduct an autopsy which should shed light on what exactly led to his death.

Dennis graduated from Howard High School and studied at Howard Community College.

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<![CDATA["Tip Bombers" Surprise Subway Artists With Cash, Cheers]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:57:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Tip-Bombing-NYC.jpg

A group of do-gooders has started surprising city subway performers with big tips and cheers, swarming their underground performance spots and filling their instrument cases with cash in a practice called “tip bombing.”

Twice this month, groups of people have come out to listen to artists and drop them extra tips in a Facebook-organized act of kindness. Organizers pick a busker to “bomb” and send out a message saying where and when they'll circle the artist and leave the tips.

The practice is similar to a nationwide trend, also called "tip bombing," where diners leave large tips for waitresses at inexpensive restaurants.

Robert Leslie was the first subway artist to get tip bombed. The group surprised him in a lower Manhattan subway station last week. He was tipped $319 in just a few minutes.

“Midway through, I was thinking ‘this is going really well,’” Leslie said in a YouTube video. “But then more and more people kept coming and I was like, ‘Wow, I should play here every day.’ I felt like Jay Z or something.”

On Wednesday, a group surprised an artist known as “Guitaro 5,000” in a subway station in Times Square.

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<![CDATA[SoCal Toddler Dies in Hot Car: Cops]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:28:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/toddler-dies-sylmar.jpg

A 3-year-old boy died Wednesday after becoming trapped in a hot car in Sylmar, police said.

Officers were called about 3:30 p.m. to a home in the 14400 block of West Foothill Boulevard, where the child had climbed into a Toyota Camry and was unable to get out, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The child was taken to a hospital in grave condition, police said. He was later pronounced dead.

Investigators believe the child was playing outside while his parents and 14-year-old brother were napping inside. Police say the boy's parents told detectives they all took a nap around noon. 

It was unclear how the child became locked inside the car. Investigators said the father found him around 3 p.m. in the car parked in the family's front yard and called 911.

It was 88 degrees in Sylmar at noon and 98 degrees by 3 p.m. In a car with the windows up, the temperature is exponentially higher.

No arrests have been made in connection with the boy's death, police said.

"Our investigation will determine if this was an accident or something worse, all we have to go on right now are the statements from the parents," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said.

Police said they were interviewing the parents at a relative's home Wednesday night. For now, investigators are treating this incident as an accident and awaiting the coroner's autopsy report to determine the exact cause of death.

"They had several kids running around the yard, they were really nice people and seemed to be really good with their kids," neighbor Kim Kesley said.

This is the 19th hot car death this year in the United States, according to San Francisco State University. 

NBC4's Samia Khan and Kate Larsen contributed to this report.
 

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<![CDATA[Plane Crash in San Diego Kills 1]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:01:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Plane-Crash-0731_3.jpg

A small plane crashed in the parking lot of a busy San Diego shopping center Wednesday evening, killing one of the two women aboard and wounding the other.

“Problem now. I’m not getting any altitude here,” the pilot was heard on a distress call to Montgomery Field.

The fixed wing single-engine Mooney M20L crashed in a parking lot between Target and the Costco Business Center off Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, about a mile from the airport, around 5:30 p.m. It landed near parked cars but away from main store entrances.

The 52-year-old pilot and her 78-year-old passenger were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with major injuries, according to fire officials. The 78-year-old woman suffered serious burns and died at the hospital. The condition of the pilot has not been released.

Family members told NBC 7 that one of the registered owners of the plane - Devon Logan of Point Loma - was aboard the plane.

Two witnesses who may have been trying to rescue the victims were treated for minor burns, fire officials said. One was taken to the hospital, and the other was treated at the scene. The plane did not hit any people in the parking lot when it crashed.

The Montgomery Field radio tower received a distress call from the aircraft right before the crash. The transciption of the call indicates the pilot knew she was in trouble.

“Problem now. I’m not getting any altitude here,” the pilot says.

“27 mike-pappa, full throttle,” the tower answers.

“I’m full throttle,” the pilot replies.

“27 mike-pappa, turn back to the field if you’re able,” the tower says.

“I’m going down,” responds the pilot.

Witness Gregg Smith was leaving work across the street and was only one block away when he saw and heard the aircraft crash.

“I heard the plane coming – it was a different sound – and I knew they didn’t have enough power to make the lift they needed to do,” Smith told NBC 7.

At that point, Smith said he looked up and saw the plane making a turn. “It missed my building probably by about 10 or 15 feet,” he added.

“I heard the distinctive thud of it hitting one of the light poles in the parking lot, and I heard it crash. The next thing I saw was a bunch of flames and black smoke,” Smith continued.

Helicopter pilot Vince Carter was taking off from Montgomery Field at the time of the crash. Carter told NBC 7 he heard the pilot’s distress call and heard her say her power was going out seconds before the crash.

“This is a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot. I really hope she comes through everything okay. This could have very easily killed a lot of people,” he said. “You could imagine, just shopping at Target, and a plane comes through the roof full of fuel.”

Carter said the area where the aircraft landed is really the only place where the pilot could have gone without causing a lot of damage.

“When we’re flying, we need air going over the wings at a specific speed to generate lift. Once you lose enough air speed, there’s not enough wind going over the wings to generate lift and you don’t fly any more. As you can see, the plane is in a relatively flat position. It didn’t travel extremely far when it hit the ground, so you can assume that it didn’t have a lot of forward momentum going into this,” he said.

“So what probably happened is that in a loss of power and finding a place to put it down, she stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have,” he continued.

"I don’t know what kind of control they had, but they obviously had enough control to bring it down into an area where they were not going to crash into vehicles or buildings,” San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson said.

A small fire sparked upon impact, but firefighters extinguished it quickly, Swanson said.

Witnesses said several heroic bystanders rushed to the aid of the pilot and her passenger right after the crash, pulling the women from the wreckage.

A Costco employee who witnessed the crash told NBC 7 that the person taken to the hospital with minor burns to his hand is another Costco employee.

The Target store was not evacuated and remained open Wednesday evening. A Target employee said fire crews were assessing the building for damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on scene investigating the cause of the crash. The FAA said the aircraft bounced while attempting to land at nearby Montgomery Field but continued westbound and crashed in the Costco parking lot.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead the investigation and likely post a preliminary report of the accident within the next week or two. Still, officials said it typically takes the NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.

Per protocol, neither agency will release the identities of those involved in the aircraft accident.

San Diego Police Department Sgt. Steve Behrendt said the airplane struck a portion of the Target building before landing.

“It did hit the top of the Target building. There is some debris on the roof of the Target and some in the garden area. Then one of the light poles was taken out by the plane,” Behrendt explains.

NBC 7 spoke with a family member of the pilot at UCSD Medical Center Wednesday night who said the survivor of the crash was in stable condition.

According to FAA records, the aircraft is co-owned but registered to San Diego resident William Logan. The family member confirmed William Logan was not aboard the aircraft.

Check back for updates on this developing story.



Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Doctor Charged With Operating Pill Mill]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:21:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/216*120/generic-pills.jpg

A Maryland doctor is charged with operating a pill mill out of his office in Rockville, and prosecutors say one person died after using methadone the doctor provided.

Silviu Ziscovici, a pain management specialist who had his medical license suspended in by Maryland officials in 2010, was arrested Wednesday. Prosecutors say that starting in at least 2009 Ziscovici, also known as “Dr. Z,” prescribed drugs including oxycodone, methadone and morphine in exchange for a fee. All the offenses allegedly took place before his license was suspended.

Reached Wednesday afternoon by telephone the public defender assigned to the case, Lisa Lunt, did not have any comment.

According the Maryland State Board of Physicians' 2010 order suspending Ziscovici's license, officials in Maryland began investigating him in 2009 after several pharmacists became concerned about the prescriptions he was writing. One pharmacist became suspicious because Ziscovici's patients appeared to be drug users and paid cash for their prescriptions, the board wrote.

Others noted that his patients lived as far away as Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The state board said one mother called to complain that Ziscovici was writing prescriptions for her son and his friends, alleging her son had been hospitalized twice for overdosing on oxycodone.

The state board wrote that an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration found 15 of Ziscovici's patients had died as a result of drug overdoses. The DEA estimated Ziscovici saw more than 4,500 patients in 2009 and their investigation revealed he charged between $300 and $500 per visit.

The 29-count indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges that in February 2010 Ziscovici was responsible for providing methadone that resulted in a person's death. If convicted of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death, Ziscovici faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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<![CDATA[Questions Remain About Future of Current FBI HQ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:41:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/FBI+Headquarters+J+Edgar+Hoover+Building.jpg

As the possible locations of the future headquarters for the FBI are narrowed to three, questions remain about the current headquarters in downtown D.C.

Whether the General Services Administration chooses Landover, Greenbelt Metro or Springfield for its new FBI headquarters, the value in the deal will be the land swap of the Hoover building location. The developer who wins the bid to build the new FBI headquarters will in exchange get to redevelop the old FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in one of D.C.’s highest commercial rent districts.

Documents obtained by the News4 I-Team show the FBI isn’t sure how much the property is actually worth.

A congressional subcommittee questioned the FBI swap deal. According transcripts, the last FBI headquarters appraisal was in 2010. The subcommittee asked whether the GSA anticipates the costs of a new FBI campus will be entirely covered in the exchange.

“We anticipate the competitive forces of the exchange and the unique characteristics of the Hoover site will maximize its value,” GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[WMATA Facing Class-Action Lawsuit Over Hiring Process]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:28:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007351411_1200x675_313694275796.jpg

Metro is accused of over-reaching in its hiring processes, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The suit states Metro refused to hire qualified job applicants due to a range of criminal convictions without considering timelines or jobs in question. The suit alleges this has disproportionately affected African American applicants.

Metro's general manager earlier this year said, "all qualified canididates are given the opportunity to submit an appeal."

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<![CDATA[Md. Building Comes Crashing Down for Community Redevelopment]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:11:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007349797_1200x675_313713219872.jpg A vacant building was reduced to rubble Wednesday in Maryland -- two others are expected to follow in Hyattsville. News4's Kristin Wright reports on the future hopes pinned on the demolition project.]]> <![CDATA[Slow Start to Blue Crab Season Sparks Calls for Moratorium]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:10:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000007350310_1200x675_313696323906.jpg News 4's Chris Gordon gets reaction to a recent call for a moratorium on crabbing to protect blue crabs that are in short supply this season.]]> <![CDATA[UCLA Flooding: Before and After]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:06:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/UCLA-pavilion-after.jpg

A water main break Tuesday in Los Angeles' Westwood area sent millions of gallons of water gushing onto the campus of UCLA, flooding parking structures, the famed Pauley Pavilion and other buildings.

These photos reveal the extent of the damage with images taken before and after the affected areas. UCLA officials have yet to establish a damage estimate, but several campus buildings and parking structures were flooded after two water mains burst at their meeting point near the campus.

The break sent an estimated 10 million gallons of water onto Sunset Boulevard and the UCLA campus.

These photos show Sunset Boulevard before and after the water main break. The break shattered pavement and created a large sinkhole from which a geyser of water sprayed for hours. The before photo is from Google Earth, and the after photo is from KNBC-TV's NewsChopper4:

These photos show UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, which suffered severe flooding as a result of the water main break. The court, home to the UCLA Bruins, showed signs of buckling and expansion after it was under about eight inches of water, campus officials said. The before photo was provided by UCLA; the after photo was shot by the Associated Press:

These photos show the plaza outside the Acosta Center, which was flooded after the water main break. The before photo is from Google Earth; the after photo is from Gadi Schwartz.



Photo Credit: AP]]>