<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usThu, 05 May 2016 08:48:58 -0400Thu, 05 May 2016 08:48:58 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Abduction Suspect Made Threats Against Boy, Police Say]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/amber+alert+williams.jpg

The man accused of beating his ex-girlfriend and abducting their 3-year-old son threatened to kill the toddler in the past, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says. 

An Amber Alert was issued for Zion Clinton Amir Williams Thursday morning.

Investigators say Joshua Christopher Williams, 28, assaulted the toddler's mother and put Zion Williams in a car wearing only a diaper. The two were last seen about 7 p.m. Wednesday at a home on Cleveland Court in Spotsylvania. 

The toddler's mother was hospitalized for a short time after the assault.

Investigators believe the toddler is in extreme danger.

"He's made threats against the child -- to either harm or kill -- in the past," said Captain Jeffery Pearce with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities found the vehicle Zion and Joshua Williams were traveling in several miles away from the home. Pearce said the two may still be in the Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area. 

Zion Williams is 3 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue and white diaper with characters from the movie "Cars."

Police say the Joshua Williams is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a navy blue and gray sweatshirt and blue jeans. 

Anyone with information that can help police is asked to call the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office at 1-540-582-5822 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453.

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<![CDATA[Man Guilty of Murder in Death of Va. College Student]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 04:31:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Steven+Vander+Briel+and+Grace+Mann.jpg

A jury found Steven Briel guilty of first-degree murder, strangulation and abduction in the death of a University of Mary Washington student last year.

Grace Mann, 20, was killed April 17, 2015, at the Fredericksburg, Virginia, home she shared with Briel and two other roommates.

The jury has recommended Briel be sentenced to life in prison with an additional 11 years.

Much of the courtroom was in tears during the verdict and jurors passed tissues to one another.

"All I ever wanted to do was be Grace's dad," Mann's father, Thomas Mann, said in a statement. "I want my daughter back."

"How do I explain to you what we've lost? How do I explan the hole in my arms and the hole in my heart," Melissa Mann, the victim's mother said.

The defense spent the first three days of his murder trial trying to show Briel was insane at the time.

"It's clear something is deeply and disturbingly wrong," defense attorney Mark Gardner said in his closing argument. "How could he be afraid of these young women? It's what most of us would say sounds insane. He's lost his damn mind."

In her closing argument, prosecutor La Bravia Jenkins urged jurors to reject the insanity defense, saying, "To make an excuse is inexcusable ... For a jury to accept that excuse would be dangerous for all of us."

Deliberations began shortly after 5 p.m. and lasted about three hours.

Dueling Diagnoses From Forensic Scientists

Forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Eileen Ryan, testified Wednesday that Briel did not understand the nature, character and consequent of his actions - the definition of insanity.

Ryan said Briel believed Mann had been tasked with killing him and was pumping poisonous gas into his bedroom.

When Mann returned home the day of her death and walked closely by Briel, he believed she was moving in to kill him, so he pushed her away, she fought back, he put his hand over her mouth, she bit him and he strangled her.

"He believed he was incapacitating Grace in self-defense," Ryan said. "He believed in his delusional mind he was about to be killed." 

The prosecution called its own forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Avram Mack, who testified he believes Briel was sane at the time of the attack and does not exhibit signs of schizophrenia.

The most powerful prosecution evidence came at the very end: A jailhouse phone call from Briel to his parents, recorded two weeks after Mann's death. Jurors heard a completely normal-sounding young man chatting and joking with his parents about books and jail food.

Briel's Mother Takes the Stand

Briel's mother, Mary Briel, took the stand for the defense Tuesday to explain her text messages with her son the day Mann was killed.

Mary Briel testified she began to worry about her son in the weeks before Mann’s death. When he sent his parents a rambling, troubling email, Mary Briel testified she thought he might kill himself. He also expressed concerns about his roommates.

His mother recalled a visit home five days before Mann’s death.

"He did mention he felt the girls were going to kill him and make it look like a suicide," she testified.

Steven Briel’s parents urged him to give his roommates notice and move out. The morning of Mann’s death, he confirmed plans with his mother to take the train home, she testified.

That afternoon, he sent a text message saying he was cleaning the house. During the following 30 minutes, Mann was strangled.

Steven Briel then sent another message to his mother, writing, “Hey, made a mess. Someone's at the door knocking. What should I do? Run?" 

She wrote back, "Are you serious? Don't answer.”

A few minutes later she wrote, “What the hell are you on? This is not funny.”

“I know. I'm scared,” he replied.

“Pack your clothes and get to a coffee place until the next train comes. Stat!!!!” Mary Briel texted back. 

She testified Tuesday she did not know what he was scared about at that moment.

He would send her another text, writing, “Hey, I'm in the woods. What should I do?”

“Get to the bus. You still have time,” she wrote back.

When she got home a short time later, she got a message from Fredericksburg police and learned her son was accused of murder.

Grace Mann’s Best Friend Testifies About Confronting Accused Killer 

Before the defense began its case Tuesday, Mann’s roommate Kathryn Erwin testified for the prosecution about confronting Steven Briel, introducing herself as Mann’s best friend.

She testified she received puzzling text messages from Briel as she and another roommate walked home that afternoon.

"I made a mess in Holly's room," texted Briel, referring to roommate Holly Aleksonis. Once the roommates were in the house, Briel emerged from a room.

"He'd sweated through his shirt. He seemed confused,” Erwin testified.

Briel then asked what she would you do if Mann wasn't there anymore.

Erwin testified she demanded to know what was going on, and Briel answered, “Grace came home and was a b---- to me. I slapped her. She bit me. So I strangled her.”

Erwin said she ordered Briel to go upstairs to his room, then she spotted Mann, whose skin was blue. 

Mann’s parents broke into tears as prosecutors played Erwin’s 911 call. She can be heard counting out her CPR compressions -- the number rising higher and higher -- with no response from Mann.

Grace Mann's Roommate Testifies on First Day of Murder Trial 

Aleksonis testified Monday about returning to the home and finding Briel drenched with sweat and speaking very quickly. She testified he stood before a closed bedroom door and said, "Grace and I got in an altercation. She hit me so I had to defend myself ... She bit me. What would you do if she weren't here anymore?'"

Aleksonis opened the door and saw her purple comforter on the floor.

"I pulled the comforter off," Aleksonis testified, "and Grace was there with a plastic bag over her head. I pulled it off and screamed and ran from the room."

As many in the courtroom sobbed, prosecutors played the 911 call from Aleksonis that day. She was so distraught, the dispatcher had trouble getting information until Aleksonis finally shouted, "My roommate strangled her!"

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<![CDATA[Clinton Defends Against Sanders & Trump ]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 06:45:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CLINTON_AP_367442082209.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will now be defending her campaign from two flanks as Bernie Sanders' campaign continues and the sudden departure of Donald Trump's rivals have made him the presumptive GOP nominee, NBC News reported.

"I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that any Republican, let alone Donald Trump, was able to solidify the nomination before she was," said Patrick Murray, the polling director at Monmouth University. "This makes it really tough for her. There's no feasible way for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination, yet his decision to fight on in anything more than just a token way means she's got to continue to expend resources in places that she wouldn't bother."

Clinton and her campaign have adopted a posture of benign indifference to Sanders, largely ignoring him and declining to engage his attacks. Meanwhile, they've pulled resources away from the primary to devote to the general election, and have already been engaging consistently with Trump.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Murder-Suicide IDs Released]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:42:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/knight-transportation-houston.jpg

Officials have identified the man who shot and killed a former co-worker before turning the gun on himself two weeks after he was fired from a transportation center in Harris County, Texas.

Marion Guy Williams, 65, returned to Knight Transportation's Katy Service Center on Tuesday morning, where he shot and killed 35-year-old employee Mike Dawid, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Officials said the shooter was armed with two guns — and shotgun and a pistol — and burst through the door shouting that his life had been ruined. He fired a "warning shot" and moved through the building as if looking for someone, authorities said.

Police have not released the employees' job titles or described their relationship, but in a press conference after the shooting, Sheriff Ron Hickman surmised the victim may have been a supervisor.

A spokesperson for Knight Transprotation confirmed an employee was killed in the shooting, saying: "Our deepest sympathies are with the family during this difficult time."

At least one other employee injured by shrapnel was treated at the scene. An officer fell to his knee while entering the building and was taken to the hospital.

The Phoenix-based company, which provides nationwide truckload transportation services, said all work would be suspended at the facility while police investigate.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[#RapedAtSpelman Tweets Spark Gang-Rape Probe]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:25:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482158506.jpg

An anonymous Twitter account claiming to detail a gang rape has prompted an investigation at two elite Atlanta Universities.

The owner of the @RapedAtSpelman account posted the first tweet on May 2, alleging to be a freshman at Spelman who was gang-raped by a group of Morehouse College students at a party.

Subsequent tweets allege reporting the attack to campus security and speaking with school officials, who took a month to get back to her.

The president of Atlanta's Spelman University urged the voice behind the @RapedAtSpelman account to come forward "so that I may offer you my full support and assistance."

The president of Morehouse said the school's Office of Campus Safety has been "activated" to fully investigate the claims, noting the information shared on twitter was "our very first indication of this incident."

Atlanta police tell NBC Affiliate 11Alive there is no police report or investigation into the alleged Spelman rape because no one has come forward to report a crime.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sailor Rescued After 2 Months Adrift Ate Seagulls to Survive]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:03:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-05-05-at-7.04.38-AM.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a Colombian sailor who spent two months adrift in the Pacific Ocean and survived by eating seagulls, NBC News reported.

During his time at sea, the sailor witnessed the death of three fellow shipmates. He was picked up some 3,500 miles from home, far out in a desolate stretch of the Pacific Ocean, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The sailor — a 29-year-old Colombian — told the Coast Guard his group of four set out more than two months ago and found themselves adrift after the engine of the group's 23-foot skiff failed.

Officials did not name the sailor but said he was taken ashore on Honolulu.



Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard District 14
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<![CDATA[Armored Truck Overturns Along Route 50 in Md.]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 07:29:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/2016-05-05_0619.png

Drivers traveling along Route 50 in Prince George's County may experience some delays Thursday morning after an armored truck flipped onto its side. 

The accident happened just before 5 a.m. near the ramp for Route 410.

Maryland State police say a car traveling in front of the armored truck stopped suddenly, startling the driver of the armored truck. The armored truck crashed into a guardrail, coming to a rest on its side. 

Crews pumped gas from the truck before towing it away from the scene. 



Photo Credit: NBC4]]>
<![CDATA[Cali. Doctor Center of Prince Death]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 06:43:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*122/doc7.JPG

A Mill Valley, California doctor’s office became Ground Zero for all-things Prince on Wednesday, a day after a newspaper reported that the late pop artist had been trying to get drug recovery help from him the day before he died.

But Dr. Howard Kornfeld, who runs “Recovery Without Walls,” did not answer the door or phone at his practice, which became a media stakeout in the affluent Marin County city. News outlets from NBC News to Extra were there, all trying to get an interview with the man who reportedly was trying to help Prince overcome his problems.

"Dr. Kornfeld felt his mission was a life-saving mission," the doctor's attorney William Mauzy said. "He felt it to be urgent."

At Kornfeld's home nearby, a “Do Not Disturb” sign hangs on the door. When a reporter went to the door of the doctor’s home, a man came out to say “no comment.” It appeared as though both Kornfeld and his son were home.

"It's really shocking, but I know Mill Valley has a lot of resources," said Jessica Varney of Marin.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune first reported that attorney William Mauzy said Prince had been trying to seek Kornfeld’s help on April 20. But Kornfeld was busy, the newspaper reported. So the doctor sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, from San Francisco International Airport to Paisley Park in Minneapolis to help, the Star Tribune reported.

"Andrew's purpose for being there was to describe the Recovery Without Walls Program to familiarize Prince with that," Mauzy said. "Prince could go there for pain management and any addiction issue."

It was Andrew Kornfeld, a consultant at the practice, who made the 911 call when he found the 57-year-old unresponsive, the paper reported. Prince died on April 21.

"He arrives to see him dead in the elevator," Mauzy said, deeming it "certainly a difficult time."

The artist had performed in San Francisco and Oakland, less than a month before he died.

Marin resident Michele Miller said she "would pray [Prince] could have gotten the help sooner so he could be with us."

On his website, Kornfeld described his practice as a “personalized outpatient clinic, specializing in innovative, evidence-based medical treatment for chronic pain and drug and alcohol addiction.”

Kornfeld described himself as a “nationally recognized leader in the utilization of the opioid pain medication,” specifically buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone or Subutex. In 2013, he was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle in an article called Controlling chronic pain without dangerous drugs.

Kornfeld is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Medicine and teaches at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine’s Pain Medical Fellowship Program. According to his biography, Kornfeld is the founding medical director at the Alameda County Medical Center, Pain Management and Functional Restoration Clinic.

His son, Andrew Kornfeld, is a University of California at Santa Cruz graduate, where he studied neuroscience and psychology. He has worked on several papers with his father, his biography states, and occasionally, he's acted as a peer mentor to younger patients.

"I work in the area and have heard good things about [Dr. Howard Kornfeld] so maybe he could have really helped him," Varney said. 

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<![CDATA[Deer's Head in the Light Globe]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 08:29:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/deer+in+light.jpg

It gives new meaning to "deer in the headlights."

A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officer rescued a deer after the critter got its head stuck in a light globe on Long Island.

Conservation Officer Jeff Hull went to check on the deer after he received a call Tuesday morning.

Hull found the deer with its head stuck inside of a light globe that had been lying in the woods of Centereach since the previous night.

The deer was about 20 yards from a road when Hull found it. Hull tried to grab the globe, but it slipped out of his hands and the deer took off.

The deer, blinded by the light globe, ran into a tree and fell to the ground.

Hull tried to remove the bulb again, this time flinging his coat over it and bear-hugging it as the deer kicked and struggled to break free, according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

The deer finally slipped out and ran off into the woods.

Hull suffered a few bruises in the rescue.

Last fall, a deer got its head stuck in a pumpkin, sparking a social media storm.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of NYS DEC ]]>
<![CDATA[Hornqvist Scores in OT, Penguins Beat Capitals 3-2]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 23:16:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Game4.jpg

Patric Hornqvist beat Braden Holtby between the legs 2:31 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the second-round series.

Washington's Mike Weber tried to clear a shot, but the puck went right to Hornqvist in the circle. He buried it for his fifth goal of the postseason to give the Penguins a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. Game 5 is Saturday night in Washington.

The Penguins ended an eight-game losing streak in overtime playoff games.

Matt Cullen and Trevor Daley also scored for Pittsburgh, and rookie goalie Matt Murray stopped 34 shots.

Penguins captain Crosby left briefly in the third period after getting slashed by Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

Jay Beagle and John Carlson scored for Washington. Holtby made 29 saves, but the Capitals dropped a third straight game, something they did once all season.

The Capitals dominated Game 3 everywhere but the scoreboard, falling 3-2 behind a spectacular 47-save performance by Murray. Washington coach Barry Trotz insisted there was ``a good vibe'' coming from the President's Trophy winners, pointing to the way his team tilted the ice as proof the results would come if the Capitals kept at it.

The Penguins realized they were lucky to escape Game 3 with the series lead and responded with a far better performance even with star defenseman Kris Letang forced to sit out after the league ruled his hit on Marcus Johansson on Monday night was late and illegal.

The suspension forced Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan to return Justin Schultz to the lineup. The Penguins acquired Schultz from Edmonton in February and he hadn't played since Game 1 of the opening playoff series against the Rangers. Schultz was steady as were most of his teammates, who were far better at protecting their rookie goaltender than they were 48 hours earlier.

Still, Washington needed just 2:58 to take its first lead since Game 1 as Beagle beat Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy to the puck on a dump in and flipped a backhander Murray's way despite being nearly parallel to the goal line. The shot sailed over Murray's shoulders and into the far top corner.

Daley's first playoff goal in nearly two years tied it later in the period, as his shot from the top of the right circle deflected off Washington's Karl Alzner and by Holtby. The 39-year-old Cullen, playing between a pair of forwards _ Tom Kuhnhackl and Oskar Sundqvist _ who were born when Cullen was well into his teens, put Pittsburgh in front by taking a stretch pass off the boards from Brian Dumoulin and beating Holtby between the legs.

The goal was part of perhaps Pittsburgh's best period since Game 2 but the Penguins couldn't escape it with the lead. Justin Williams stripped Derrick Pouliot deep in the Pittsburgh zone and slipped it across the ice to Carlson, who had little trouble firing it over Murray's extended glove set the stage for the latest dramatic moment in a series that is living up to its considerable hype.

NOTES: Pittsburgh went 0 for 4 on the power play and is 0 for 14 with the man advantage during the series. ... The Capitals scratched D Nate Schmidt, who struggled in Game 3. ... Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole watched from the front row next to the Washington bench and was caught on camera good-naturedly yelling at the Capitals before being chastised by an usher.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lead Found in Boston Schools' Water]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 07:39:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/water+fountain+generic+4.jpg

Lead has been found in the drinking water of several public schools in Boston, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Water fountains installed at six schools were prematurely activated before testing had been completed, according to Boston Public Schools.

According to the district, fountains were turned on erroneously at Trotter Elementary School, Curely K-8 School, Lee Elementary School, Mather Elementary School, Boston Green Academy and Another Course to College.

  • From Nov. 23 through Dec. 14, fountains at Mather were prematurely in use. Testing in November showed seven of the school's nine fountains had high levels of lead. The same figures were found through eight more rounds of testing through March. All fountains were turned off after the issue was discovered in December, and parents were notified of the situation in February.
  • Fountains at Lee were left on for about five days in January. Five rounds of testing were performed between December and March, and one of the seven affected fountains had high levels of lead.
  • At Another Course to College, six fountains were on for 12-24 hours. One of those fountains was found to have elevated lead levels.
  • The fountains at Curley were turned off within 24-48 hours. Of the 12 fountains that were prematurely activated, eight were found to have levels of lead beyond the state's standard acceptable limit.
  • Trotter's fountains had been covered with garbage bags and were turned off very quickly. School officials do not believe anyone drank from these fountains, but tests in February and March showed that five of the seven fountains had high levels of lead.
  • Fountains at Boston Green Academy were turned on for 12-48 hours, but subsequent testing showed the lead content was within the acceptable limits - lead was not even detectable in some cases.

At these six schools, and in the majority of other public schools in the city, bottled water is being used, according to the district.

In April, 38 schools with functioning water fountains were inventoried. Fountains at 36 of those schools were sampled, and four of those schools had fountains with levels of lead that eclipsed the standard limit.

At Kenny Elementary School, three fountains sampled were found to have too much lead. At Hernandez School, one of the six fountains tested contained high levels. One of the 10 fountains sampled at Murphy School had high levels of lead. At Boston Latin Academy, three of the five fountains sampled had high detections.

Lead is an extremely toxic substance. The Boston Public Health Commission notes that it can damage the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells - particularly in children and pregnant women.



Photo Credit: File photo]]>
<![CDATA[High End Car Makers Developing SUVs]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 04:32:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/BENTLEY_GettyImages-512134280.jpg

The 2017 Bentley Bentayga will be the most expensive in the U.S. with a base price of $229,000, NBC News reported. And that's just the beginning of luxury carmakers producing SUVs.

It's being billed as "the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious, most exclusive SUV in the world." Add the long list of accessories and some buyers are likely to double that figure. An optional Breitling clock alone is listed at $160,000.

Within the next few years, the world's most exclusive automotive manufacturers will be launching SUVs of their own, including the likes of Lamborghini, Aston Martin and even Rolls-Royce.Even as U.S. auto sales surge to record levels, the market share of so-called light trucks, including pickups, minivans and SUVs, has also climbed to an all-time high.The shift is happening at every price level, from entry level to the market's most rarefied segments.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Metro to Make Major Announcement About Maintenance Plan]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:35:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151008+Metro+Generic.jpg

Metro's leader is getting ready to make a major announcement about a new maintenance plan that could shut down sections of the system for extended periods of time.

The announcement could come as early as Friday, sources told News4, and the Metro Board will be briefed on the plan in the coming days.

General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld has said that he doesn’t think large sections of the rail line will have to be closed, but parts of track in between stations may be closed, and buses could carry riders around those closures.

Another possibility is that Metro may open later or close earlier on the weekendsso that maintenance crews have more time to work in the system.

No timetable for when the plan will officially go into action has been set.

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<![CDATA[Residents Say Md. Intersection Where Man Killed Needs Change]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 23:55:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RockvilleIntersection.jpg

An intersection in Montgomery County may need further improvements after two crashes happened at the intersection in the past four days, including one that killed a man in a wheelchair trying to cross the road.

A 57-year-old man using a wheelchair was struck by a Toyota Scion while using a crosswalk in the 600 block of East Gude Drive in Rockville, Maryland, about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, police said.

He died a few hours later.

His name was not made public, but Susie Sinclair-Smith with the Montgomery County Coalitition for the Homeless said the man was headed to its shelter nearby.

"One client who has been with us, coming in and out of the shelter since 2009, was a double amputee, had throat cancer, was in a wheelchair. He was the bravest person I've ever met in my life," Sinclair Smith said.

Two cars were involved in a crash at the same intersection on Wednesday morning and while there was serious damage to the cars, no one was hurt.

The current crosswalk signal was created to improve the intersection and blinks yellow. It turns red when the crosswalk sign is pushed and allows pedestrians 11 seconds to cross the six-lane road.

"You can never quite make it across the street with the timing of the go and everything. Plus, the cars don't always make it stop," said David Stone, who knew the man who was struck and killed. 

He said the man used a manual wheelchair and often struggled to cross the road in time.

The man was also struck in the westbound lanes of East Gude Drive, where the road curves ahead of the signal.

The Montgomery County Police Department said it is investigating the crash and will try to determine what the traffic signal indicated when the man was crossing.

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<![CDATA[New Robot Surgeon Works on Its Own]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:50:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/160504-robot-surgery-mn-1506_64766b4b95b687114fdd1811d9967469.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

A new type of robot can perform tricky surgery as well as — and in some cases better than — human surgeons, NBC News reported. 

Researchers with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington said the new robot — called Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR — could be operated with minimal human supervision. That means it frees up surgeons for work that requires more thought. 

The team, led by Dr. Peter Kim of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, compared the robot to some existing systems and to human surgeons. It was reported to be slow, but accurate, and managed to sew together two ends of a tiny pig intestine.



Photo Credit: Carla Schaffer / AAAS]]>
<![CDATA[DC Residents Discover Voter Registration Paperwork Not Completed]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:24:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/VoterRegistrationForm.jpg

Months before the June primary, some Washington, D.C. residents have discovered they were never registered to vote, despite checking the registration box at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Rob Finn moved to D.C. last year and said he went to the DMV to get a new driver's license. Finn and his boyfriend registered to vote using the same form they filled out to get licenses, but when they recently checked their voter registration status in advance of the June primary, they found they were not registered.

"It was a little scary because at least before I moved to D.C. I never missed an election and I know my parents would have killed me if I did," Finn said.

While the Board of Elections and the DMV could not say how many times this has happened, they said that prior to a few months ago, the motor voter process in D.C. was all done on paper.

The completed forms went directly from the DMV to the Board of Elections, where they were entered by hand.

A spokesperson for the Board of Elections said residents also sometimes forget they have to not only check the box to register, but they also need to sign the form.

The board started using a new system this February to avoid the signature problem.

"It is now far more convenient for voters to register and update their registration if they do so through the DMV. The DMV has an electronic way to transmit this information to us, including a voter signature," said Margarita Makhaylova, a compliance officer and acting public information officer for the Board of Elections.

But even if a resident's registration is not completed, no one will be turned away from voting, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"They can be registered the same day. Nobody who’s a resident of the District will be turned away from the poll," Bowser said.

D.C. residents who are already registered but want to change their party affiliation must do so before May 16 in order to vote in the June Democratic primary.

New residents who registered to vote at the DMV before February 2016 may want to double check they are registered.

To check your voter registration status, visit the Board of Elections website

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<![CDATA[DC Police Chase Wrong Person Into Maryland]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:45:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc+to+bowie+maryland+police+chase+050416.jpg News4's Tracee Wilkins reports on a police chase that started in D.C. and ended in Prince George's County. Police said the person they were chasing was not who they thought he was.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Ahead at General Election in DC Area]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:15:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014604480_1200x675_679482947579.jpg News4's Tom Sherwood looks at what Donald Trump's continued success in his bid for the presidency may mean for the D.C. area.]]> <![CDATA[Infected Mosquitoes Can't Transmit Zika Virus: Study]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:22:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Zika-GettyImages-506977656%281%29.jpg

Infecting mosquitoes with a strain of bacteria reduced their ability to transmit the Zika virus, according to Brazilian researchers, NBC News reported.

Mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria have been released in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam to help control dengue — and new findings are showing success with Zika. This raises hopes that it might block transmission of the virus.

The new study, by researchers at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and published in Cell Host & Microbe, takes advantage of the naturally occurring strain of Wolbachia, which live in insect cells and are found in 60 percent of common insects. The method involves inserting the bacteria into mosquito eggs, which pass the bacteria along to their offspring. 

After two weeks in the Zika study, mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia had fewer particles of the virus in their bodies and saliva - making them less able to infect humans with the virus. 

Researchers caution this strategy isn’t 100 percent effective and will not eliminate the virus. But it can be used as part of a control strategy.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Improv Class Offers Special Skills for Psychotherapists]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:49:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014605163_1200x675_679550019721.jpg Learning about comedy improvisation offers special skills for therapists, helping them be in the moment with their clients. Doreen Gentzler reports.]]> <![CDATA[Flint Official Takes Deal, Pledges to Cooperate in Probe]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:01:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/FLINT_AP_16103603277244.jpg

A Flint municipal official struck a deal with prosecutors Wednesday, pledging cooperation in exchange for reduced charges as authorities continue investigating lead contamination of the impoverished Michigan city's drinking water supply.

Utilities administrator Mike Glasgow entered a plea to one count of willful neglect of duty, a misdemeanor, in exchange for dismissal of a felony charge of tampering with evidence. The state attorney general's office said the deal will take effect in one year. 

The neglect of duty count is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. But the attorney general's office said both charges will be dropped if Glasgow keeps his promise to assist and testify during future court proceedings.

Reached at his home, Glasgow declined to comment on the case but said he might make some public statements in the next few weeks. 

Two officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality also have been charged. 

Meanwhile, Michigan senators voted to spend $128 million more this fiscal year in Flint, where the lead pollution has led residents to use faucet filters or bottled water. 

The emergency aid bill, passed 34-3, was sent to the House for consideration. A Senate committee also approved a fund transfer to expand government-provided health insurance coverage to 15,000 children and pregnant women in the Flint area starting next week.

Glasgow, 40, is one of three officials charged with criminal offenses in connection with the disaster. He oversaw day-to-day operations of the water plant when the city changed its water source from Detroit, which draws from Lake Huron, to the Flint River in April 2014. At the time, government operations in the city of nearly 100,000 were controlled by a state-appointed emergency manager. 

Shortly before the switchover, Glasgow complained in an email to a state official that things were moving too quickly and the water plant staff was not ready. Still, prosecutors said he failed to perform duties required of a certified water plant operator. 

Also facing charges of evidence tampering, misconduct in office and safe drinking water violations are Michael Prysby, a former district engineer with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Stephen Busch, a supervisor in the department's drinking water office. Both pleaded guilty last month. A probable cause hearing scheduled for Wednesday in their cases was delayed. 

Glasgow has said Prysby instructed him not to add anti-corrosive chemicals to the water in what the state department later acknowledged was a misreading of federal regulations. The omission enabled the corrosive river water to scrape lead from aging pipes and reach some homes and schools. 

The funding under consideration by the Legislature would be the fourth round since the health disaster was confirmed seven months ago. Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators previously authorized $67 million for the emergency. 

The latest bill includes $25 million to replace lead pipes that connect water mains to customers and more than $48 million to create a reserve fund for future costs. 

Unlike when the Republican-led Legislature unanimously approved the earlier three aid requests from the GOP governor — who has apologized for regulatory and other failures that created and prolonged the crisis — three Republican senators voted against the new funding. 

"There's a lot of other communities that have similar infrastructure issues that we have with Flint," said Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who contended that the $67 million already allocated is enough to address the actual emergency response and has not been fully spent. "You're setting up community-specific bailouts when a lot of other communities would benefit from that same sort of treatment as well." 

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said legislators fatigued with Flint budget bills should keep in mind that the spending would help residents. 

The state Senate also approved a spending bill that includes about $39 million for the Flint emergency in the budget year that begins in October. 

Associated Press writer Ed White reported from Otisville. Flesher reported from Traverse City.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[TSA Announces Changes to Airport Security Checkpoints]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:23:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TSACheckpoint.jpg The TSA has announced it is making several changes to shorten lines at airports, including hiring more TSA officers to speed up the checkpoint process. News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss reports.]]> <![CDATA[Man Charged in Killing of 11-Year-Old Girl in NM]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:29:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TomBegaye-AP_61100808711.jpg

A man accused of kidnapping and killing an 11-year-old girl from Navajo Nation land in New Mexico on Monday intended to sexually assault her, according to court documents, NBC News reported.

Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, New Mexico, was arrested Tuesday and faces federal charges including murder and kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Begaye allegedly told investigators that he drove the girl and her 9-year-old brother to a dirt road and took the girl away from the van. He said he struck her with a tire iron because she was crying, the criminal complaint said. The boy was told to get out, and was later taken to police by a passing motorist.

The man said little as he appeared before a judge in Farmington Wednesday, according to station KOB. Begaye is being held in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[What Trump Should Consider in a Running Mate]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:25:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16125071253980.jpg

Donald Trump says he will go by the playbook when choosing a running mate, which is an unconventional move that’s unexpected for him, NBC News reports. 

There is a range of criteria — and names — that Trump must consider in filling the position, according to observers. 

Certain names, including John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry may help Trump with with particular states, while others like Chris Christie and Keith Kellogg may give the real estate mogul an edge over a perceived weakness. 

Trump may consider tea party darlings like Sarah Palin, who has already been tested on the campaign trail during her time with presidential hopeful John McCain. Palin has also stumped for Trump during the primaries. 

Check out some of the other criteria Trump may need to consider to fill the position.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Person Hit by Train in Rockville; MARC Service Delayed]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:13:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/050416+person+hit+by+train+rockville.jpg

MARC trains running on the Brunswick Line were delayed Wednesday afternoon after a person was hit by an Amtrak train in Rockville, Maryland, police said.

A person was hit and killed by a train near Nebel Street and Randolph Road, behind the Target store, Montgomery County police said about 4:45 p.m. The person was not identified immediately.

Information was not released immediately on what occurred before the person was hit.

MARC train 875 was held temporarily at the Silver Spring station. All westbound trains on the Brunswick Line were held in Washington temporarily. Trains will operate at restricted speeds, MARC said on its website. Riders were advised to expect delays.

Metro will honor MARC tickets on the Brunswick Line, MARC said.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.



Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[SUV Rams Va. Diner, Bursts Into Flames: Witnesses]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:43:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Silver+Diner+Fire+Pic+by+liamkraz+crop.jpg

The driver of an SUV appeared to deliberately ram the entrance of a diner in McLean, Virginia, during the lunchtime rush Wednesday, hitting a man and causing the vehicle to burst into flames, witnesses said.

A man driving a Hummer crashed three times into the front of the Silver Diner restaurant in Tysons Corner Center about 12:30 p.m., witnesses told News4. A Fairfax County Police spokesman said he could not confirm whether the crash was deliberate.

The driver hit a man the second time he crashed into the Fletcher Street restaurant, witnesses said. The third time, the SUV burst into orange flames with the driver inside, sending a huge plume of black smoke over the diner.

"There was total pandemonium in the restaurant," witness Will Yeatman said. He was inside having coffee when the man slammed into the front door and customers scrambled to leave.

Video Yeatman recorded shows people screaming and dragging people away from the fire and crash.

The driver was a cook for the restaurant who had taken bereavement leave, Silver Diner spokeswoman Matilde Ott said. Neither she nor police immediately identified the driver.

The mayhem began when the driver crashed into the front door and then backed up, witnesses said.

He then rammed into the restaurant a second time, trapping a man between the SUV and the door. 

"Some people got inside quickly. He wasn't able to and he got pinned against the front door," Yeatman said. "It was really horrible. It was full-force. It looked like as soon as he got hit, he kind of passed out."

The driver then slammed into the restaurant a third time. The SUV burst into flames, sparking a roaring fire. The flames appeared to start between the driver's seat and passenger-side seat, Yeatman said. 

Orissa Morgan was at the hostess stand when the driver slammed into the entrance. 

"It scared me to death. I thought the whole building was going to blow," she said. "I thought he was going to run those people over. He just didn't stop."

People on the scene said they cut the driver's seat belt to free him, but he asked to be left in the burning car. 

"He was fighting. He said, 'Get away from me. Leave me alone, leave me alone,'" witness Janie Watkins said.

Customers and workers managed to extricate the man the driver hit and pull victims into the parking lot before first-responders arrived.

Three people were taken to a hospital, including the driver, police said. A fourth person was treated at the scene. Information wasn't available immediately on whether the man hit by the SUV was taken to the hospital.

The driver, who had been a diner employee for two years, was fired after the crash, the Silver Diner spokeswoman said. He took bereavement leave starting April 5. 

Police did not say whether the driver will be charged with a crime. The crash is under investigation.

The wreckage of the Hummer remained in front of the closed restaurant Wednesday evening.

Silver Diner said in a statement issued Wednesday night that the company had "no indication that the employee would harm himself or others."

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those injured," the statement said. The company is offering trauma counselors to affected employees and customers. Anyone desiring that service was advised to call 703-239-3324.

Silver Diner has 11 locations in Maryland and Virginia, plus outposts at Baltimore–Washington International Airport and in New Jersey.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police at 703-691-2131.

Stay with NBCWashington and News4 for more on this developing story. 



Photo Credit: Dave Krasinski / @liamkraz]]>
<![CDATA[NBC Play-by-Play Man Doc Emrick Previews Caps-Penguins Game 4]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:04:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000014603907_1200x675_679439939906.jpg News4 Sports Reporter Carol Maloney chats with NBC hockey lead play-by-play announcer Doc Emrick about Game 4 of the second round series between the Capitals and Penguins. Topics include the suspensions of Brooks Orpik and Kris Letang, the play of Alex Ovechkin, and just how he got the nickname "Doc."]]> <![CDATA[Medical Errors No. 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:16:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/SurgicalInstruments-GettyImages-511163598.jpg

Two medical experts said Wednesday that medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., NBC News reported.

Dr. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel from Johns Hopkins University said a count of all preventable deaths reveals that between 200,000 and 400,000 people a year die from these mistakes. 

Many health policy experts have been trying to call attention to the problem of medical errors for more than a decade. One problem is that mistakes are not usually put on death certificates. 

Cancer and heart disease are neck and neck as the top cause of death in the United States. In 2012, 24 percent of all deaths were from heart disease — 599,711 to be precise. And 582,623 deaths, or 23 percent, were from cancer.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carmageddon II: Behind the Meltdown]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:45:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Carmageddon+II+012016.jpg

Just after 9 p.m. Jan. 20, when Jerry Garson tried to drive home from a meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland, he got stuck in the mini-storm before the mega-blizzard.

"To go to the meeting, it took me about 20 minutes,” he said. “To get home, it took me seven hours." 

A quick snow squall brought the D.C. area to its knees with dozens of crashes and thousands of commuters still on the road until the wee hours of the morning.

Garson is the transportation chair for the Montgomery County Civic Federation and one of many who emailed the Maryland State Highway Administration to complain about his experience.

“This one-and-a-half inch snowstorm was probably one of the worst I've seen," he said.

The I-Team found Garson’s email complaint after obtaining more than 5,000 internal emails from all the area's major highway departments sent before, during and after the mini-storm.

The emails show all of the agencies were already gearing up for the record-setting blizzard that would hit Jan. 22 when just before noon Jan. 20, the National Weather Service sent an email warning “to prepare for a half-inch of snow starting in the vicinity of 6-8pm…with cold road temps and traffic - won't take much to cause iciness on untreated roads."

The Virginia Department of Transportation decided to stick with its earlier plan to "mobilize skeleton crews," relying on 122 trucks for all of Northern Virginia.

But by 9 p.m., the emails show, the agency was scrambling and trying to pull in another 200 trucks because crews "were captured in a 10 mile backup" on Interstate 66 and "could not get there to treat black ice."

One VDOT employee called it "a fiasco" while another wrote her colleagues not to "be surprised if I'm in the same clothes tomorrow!" because she never made it home.

“I want to apologize to the thousands of residents that were impacted by that unfortunate event Jan. 20," VDOT Assistant District Administrator of Maintenance Branco Vlacich told the I-Team.

VDOT’s snow mobilization plan allocates a certain number of trucks depending on the severity of the forecast.

"These little ones,” Vlacich said, “are very, very difficult to forecast.”

He explained that in the D.C. area there’s often a forecast for “one to three inches of snow. Well, the difference between one inch and three inches is a thousand vehicles."

He estimates about 40 percent of the storms they respond to never actually materialize.

But for this storm, Vlacich said he actually put more trucks on the road than the plan required because it was too cold to pre-treat the roads. "Anti-icing is basically 23 percent salt, 77 percent water. So we put that down so we have a light coating of salt. But for that to work, the water has to evaporate. So when you get real cold temperatures below 30 degrees, you don't do that because if the water doesn't evaporate, we've created a problem."

In Maryland, the emails the I-Team obtained show the Maryland State Highway Administration put out its plan just before 4 p.m., mobilizing a small number of trucks near the Capital Beltway. 

But the state agency ramped up to at least 147 trucks as employees started to report "crashes everywhere" with "gridlock" on all of the interstates and "vehicles sideways everywhere."

The state's customer service manager called it "a disaster for motorists" in an email to staff, and by 5 a.m., Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn demanded an explanation "about how we got so far behind the curve on this storm." 

In an interview with the I-Team, Maryland State Highways Administrator Greg Johnson said it ultimately boiled down to more snow falling than expected right at the peak of rush hour. "Our trucks get caught in the same traffic backups,” he said. “We're trying to apply salt and brine to the roadway that motorists are sitting on and we cannot get to the areas we need to get to because traffic is sitting on those areas."

Johnson said his crews have already started making changes.

"We look back on that storm and one of the things was to make sure that if a storm is coming in right around rush hour, which is the absolute worst time for anything to happen, let alone a snow and ice storm, is to make sure we stage vehicles more heavily along the Beltway," he said.

For his part, Garson said it’s going to be a long time before motorists like him forget what happened that night. "The State Highway Administration basically gambled this was not going to be a major snowstorm,” he said.

He explained even though the snow has long since melted, it's important to keep up the heat so the highway agencies follow through on their promise to prevent a meltdown like this one from happening again.

Reported by Tisha Thompson, produced by Rick Yarborough, and shot and edited by Jeff Piper.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Metrobus Hijacker Had Smoked Synthetic Drugs, Prosecutors Say]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:28:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/216*120/Metrobus_stolen.png

The man who police say attacked a Metrobus driver and hijacked the bus before fatally hitting a pedestrian Tuesday morning tested positive for the synthetic drugs K2 and PCP, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Keith Loving, 30, of Northeast D.C. boarded the bus in the 3800 block of Jay Street in Northeast about 10:30 a.m. A camera on the bus captured video and shows Loving wore a ski mask that partially obscured his face, the documents said.

When the bus arrived at its next stop, Loving got up and attacked the driver with needle-nose pliers, police said. Loving then drove the bus a short distance, causing several crashes along the way, police said.

He sideswiped a van carrying senior citizens, its driver told News4. Loving continued to drive recklessly and erratically, driving in opposite lanes of traffic as vehicles drove toward the bus, the court documents said.

A short time later, police said Loving veered over a curb into the parking lot of a gas station at the corner of Minnesota and Nannie Helen Burroughs avenues.

According to the court documents, Loving drove the bus diagonally between two gas pumps before suddenly stopping the bus. The bus ran over a gas station worker, identified later as 40-year-old Anthony Payne, who had been taking out the trash.

Payne can clearly be seen in bus surveillance video standing near a trash dumpster a short distance in front of the bus before being struck, the documents said. Loving "propelled the bus forward and turned the bus directly towards [Payne]," the documents said.

Payne was pinned under the front left side of the bus and rushed to the Prince George's County Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The bus then stopped and Loving remained behind the wheel, the document said. Two witnesses who saw the bus hit Payne rushed to the scene and pulled Payne from under the bus.

Officers arrived and removed Loving from the driver's seat and the bus. The documents said Loving resisted and officers used pepper spray to subdue him.

Police arrested Loving and he has been charged with second-degree murder.

Officers heard Loving tell hospital staff he had smoked K2 and PCP before the attack, court documents said.

Loving appeared in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday and prosecutors said he tested positive for the drugs.

He was also wanted on a probation violation warrant issued by D.C. Superior Court on April 25, court documents said.

Loving is being held without bond and his next court appearance is set for May 26.



Photo Credit: NBC4]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton May Need to be Deposed: Judge]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:06:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ClintonAbedin-AP_11061119061.jpg

A federal judge said it "may be necessary" to depose Hillary Clinton about her personal e-mail server, in a freedom-of-information lawsuit over the employment of aide Huma Abedin, NBC News reported. 

Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan made the observation about the arrangement that allowed Abedin to do outside work while she was working for Clinton at the State Department. 

The question in the lawsuit is a narrow one: did the State Department do everything legally required when it searched for documents, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, about the Abedin employment arrangement?

Sullivan said, "questions surrounding the creation, purpose, and use of the clintonemail.com server must be explored through limited discovery," the legal term for gathering evidence in a civil lawsuit. 

State Department lawyers said when the existence of the private email account was revealed, they conducted a new search for relevant documents among the thousands of pages turned over by Clinton.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Structural Repairs Badly Needed at Carillon in Arlington]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:40:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/carillon.jpg

It's possible you've biked or jogged past it.

The Netherlands Carillon is a little-known structure with a towering view of Washington D.C.'s monuments -- and right now, it's in need of some major repairs.

For more than half a century, the 127-foot-tall carillon has stood on Arlington Ridge between Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Marine Corps Memorial (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial).

The carillon's 50 bells, the most recent added in 1995, chime throughout the hour, and the path in front of the carillon offers an incredible view of D.C., including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol dome.

News4 was offered a TV exclusive tour to the observation deck of the carillon, where National Park Service (NPS) guides pointed out some of the structural repairs badly needed.

Along the carillon's exterior, water has corroded around the bolts and caused the structure's shell to noticeably peel off. 

"It really shows what's happening here at the carillon," said Aaron LaRocca of the NPS. "So you have a protective paint here that's failing, because it hasn't been painted in a number of years.... What we're seeing here is the deterioration of the skin [and] what we're concerned about are the bones."

An observation platform that was once opened for the public to summit has been closed for several years now due to its deteriorating condition. The only person allowed up -- aside from NPS officials -- is the carillonneur, who plays the chimes and bells on a keyboard similar to an organ or piano.

"Our hope is once it's restored or rehabilitated that we can allow access to the top viewing platform," said Alex Romero, superintendent of the GW Memorial Parkway of the NPS.

The structural repairs would cost some $2.7 million and would take about two years to complete.

Once funding is in place, officials hope to do a full assessment to determine how deep the corrosion goes. That will also determine the extent of the repairs needed. 

The assessment will also be able to help officials figure out whether the viewing platform is structurally sound to be reopened to the public.

The Trust for the George Washington Memorial Parkway is hoping to raise money for educational aspects of the project.

"Our goal is to bring back that educational component, bring back the life in the park," its chairman, Duncan Blair, told News4. "By doing that then you create a donor base to help sustain it."

The carillon, a gift from Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, was given to the United States in 1952 as a sign of gratitude after World War II.

"It was moved here in 1960, and it tells that story of 'thank you,' a story of gratitude," said Romero.

The Dutch see it similarly.

"We were liberated by the Americans and the Canadians," said Ambassador Henne Schuwer of the Royal Netherlands Embassy. "And this was our gift to the American people to say 'thank you' for liberating us."

Seventy years after World War II, Schuwer hopes eventually more visitors will make the carillon a destination -- if anything, to remind future generations of the past.

"We have to tell, especially the younger people, that it is not a given that we live in a free world like we live [in] today. That you have to defend that freedom... we're doing that," Schuwer said.

Thursday marks the Day of Remembrance on which the Dutch reflect and honor the lives lost fighting in WWII. On Friday, they will celebrate the role the United States and other Allied nations played in liberating the Netherlands.

Go here to find out when you can hear the Netherlands Carillon's bells chime.



Photo Credit: David Culver, NBC4]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Pays $10K Reward to Boy for Reporting Glitch]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 16:22:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_351548094733.jpg

Facebook has given a $10,000 reward to a 10-year-old Finnish boy for finding a glitch in its photo-sharing app, Instagram, according to Reuters. 

"I wanted to see if Instagram's comment field could stand malicious code. Turns out it couldn't," Jani, whose last name was not released for privacy reasons, told Finland's Iltalehti newspaper. 

The boy is the youngest ever recipient of Facebook’s “bug bounty,” which is paid to users who find bugs or weaknesses in its platforms. 

"I could have deleted anyone's comments from there. Even Justin Bieber's," he told Iltalehti. 

Facebook said the glitch was fixed in February and the reward paid in March.



Photo Credit: AP]]>