<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usFri, 24 Feb 2017 15:13:36 -0500Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:13:36 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mother Shoots, Kills Teenage Son After Argument, Police Say]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:51:41 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Angelique+Chase+Mug.jpg

Police say a mother shot and killed her teenage son after they got into an argument Thursday night. 

Officers were called to the 6200 block of Buckler Road in Clinton, Maryland, about 9 p.m. When they arrived, they found 17-year-old Christopher Perry suffering from a gunshot wound. 

He died at the hospital a short time later. 

Police believe Perry and his mother, 48-year-old Angelique Chase, got into an argument prior to the shooting. Chase was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and assault. 

She is being held on a no-bond status.  

Photo Credit: Prince George County Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[2 Officers Wounded, 1 Suspect Killed in NE DC Shooting]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:31:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Northeast+DC+Shooting.jpg

Two police officers were wounded and a suspect was killed in a shooting in Northeast Washington Thursday night. 

Speaking at a press conference close to midnight, Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said both officers were shot in the lower part of their bodies.

One officer's injuries were serious; he underwent surgery late Thursday. The other was being treated in the hospital, police sources told News4. One had been released by Friday afternoon.

D.C. Police Union Treasurer Gregg Pemberton tweeted Friday morning that the officers were in stable condition and in good spirits. He said Mayor Muriel Bowser and Newsham spent time with the officers at the hospital. 

The uniformed officers -- who are with MPD's 5th District -- were shot about 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of Holbrooke and Morse streets NE, Newsham said. They had been in the area because there had been sounds of gunfire earlier in the evening.

The officers attempted to stop a suspect who then tried to run from them; after they stopped him, a struggle ensued, Newsham said Friday afternoon. During that struggle, shots were fired, he said. It appears that only one of the two officers fired, and that the suspect's gun was also discharged, he said.

Newsham he said he didn't know why the officers had tried to stop the suspect.

Police identified the suspect Friday as Timothy Lionel Williams, 47, of no fixed address. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have recovered a semi-automatic handgun from the scene that they believe was his.

Newsham said both officers had activated their body-worn cameras before the pursuit began.

"That footage is currently under review," he said Friday afternoon. 

Before Bowser can consider releasing the body cam footage to the public, she will have to consult with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Office of the Attorney General, Newsham said. That consultation is underway, he said.

Newsham was named the District's new police chief hours before the incident. He has been the interim police chief for nearly five months. The D.C. Council is expected to approve his appointment in the coming weeks.

Earlier in the night, four men were shot in three different shootings on Wheeler Road SE, police said. They have non-life threatening injuries.

In addition to the suspect's weapon, officers recovered seven other firearms throughout the District Thursday night, Newsham said.

"...We had two of our officers that were out here. We tasked them with getting illegal firearms out of our community," Newsham said. "As a result of them being involved in that task, both of them ended up in the hospital with gunshot wounds. Our police officers should never have to experience that."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Selling Your Home? Here Are The Expert Tips You Need To Know]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:18:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017880757_1200x675_884245059567.jpg

If you're thinking of putting your house on the market, you'll want to hear these tips from DIY Yard Crasher's Mark Blashaw. See him talk this weekend at the Capital Remodel and Garden Show in the Dulles Expo Center.

<![CDATA[Gabby Giffords to GOP: 'Face Your Constituents']]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:18:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Giffords-Louie-Gohmert-congress.jpg

With loud protests roiling congressional town halls this week, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, decided not to hold one in person, citing the shooting of former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

NBC News reported that his excuse drew Giffords' ire. She was shot in the head during an event in January 2011, and noted Thursday on Twitter that, despite the shooting on a Saturday, her offices were open for business the following Monday.

"To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents," Giffords said. "Hold town halls."

She added that town halls and constituent meetings were a hallmark of her tenure, and that representatives who aren't holding town halls also "have opposed commonsense gun violence prevention policies."

Photo Credit: AP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Missing 6-Year-Old Connecticut Girl Found in Pennsylvania]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:12:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Bridgeport+Amber+Alert+Ends+in+Pennsylvania.jpg

A 6-year-old Bridgeport, Connecticut girl was found safe in Pennsylvania with her father after a multi-state Amber Alert and the father is suspected of stabbing and killing the girl’s 26-year-old mother and assaulting the woman’s friend, according to police. 

Officers responded to the Greenwood Street home of 39-year-old Oscar Hernandez, his girlfriend, and 6-year-old Aylin Sofia Hernandez, around 2:45 a.m. after the landlord called police to report stabbings. What officers found there was a grisly, blood-covered scene that police called "horrendous." 

Aylin’s mother, 26-year-old Nidia Gonzalez, had been stabbed and was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman’s friend had been stabbed around 14 times, but survived and was rushed to the hospital. 

Oscar and the little girl were missing, so police launched an Amber Alert in Connecticut for the little girl and said they believed she was with her father. Police later said that the home was listed as Oscar Hernandez's address and they are working to determine if he lived there.

Then, police obtained information that the father and daughter were in New York, so they expanded the Amber Alert.

Around 11:15 a.m., a Pennsylvania State Police spotted the car and Oscar Hernandez led them on a chase and hit a tractor-trailer, police said. Pennsylvania State Police then struck Hernandez's car and he was transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries. 

Police said the little girl and the state trooper sustained minor injuries to her head and leg. Police are now working with the state Department of Children and Families to reunite the girl with other family members.

Authorities have not identified the mother’s friend, who was taken to St. Vincent Medical Center and is listed in critical, but stable, condition. Police said they believe she will survive her injuries.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and the other young woman that was assaulted. We are concerned for the little girl, and frankly we're also concerned for the father of the little girl," Bridgeport Police Chief Armando J. Perez, said during a news conference Friday morning. 

"This is the ugly, ugly side of domestic violence," Perez added, noting that he has "full confidence" in the Bridgeport Police Department and detective bureau to find Hernandez. 

Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim also spoke during the news conference, calling the incident a "terrible tragedy." 

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence also issued a statement.

"We are saddened that another life has been taken because of domestic violence, but are grateful that the victim's daughter has been found," Karen Jarmoc, chief executive officer of CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said in a statement. "We urge everyone to be vigilant of the signs that abusive behaviors may be escalating towards fatal violence. We want the public to know that our 18 member organizations are here to help by providing safe, confidential and free services across the state, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week."

The police investigation is in the early stages, but police believe the two victims had gone out, arrived home late and an argument ensued. 

Police said they had not responded to the home for domestic incidents in the past, but a protective order had been issued against Oscar Hernandez, who was accused of assaulting another female.

Oscar Hernandez's cousin said through tears that he he does not know why his cousin did what he's accused of.

He said he's glad that police found Aylin safe and described Oscar as a great dad who has other children, a "great person" and a great cook.

Photo Credit: WJAC and Police
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<![CDATA[Pet Lions, Crocodiles Could Soon Be Banned in Arlington]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:43:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lion-shutterstock_126767138.jpg

Pet lions and crocodiles could soon become illegal in Arlington, Virginia.

Surprised they aren't already? Turns out, many D.C.-area jurisdictions ban exotic or wild animals as pets -- but Arlington isn't one of them. Yet.

Now the Arlington County Board is considering whether to hold a public hearing on whether to ban keeping these animals as pets.

"Under current County Code, Arlington bars the keeping of pigs, fowl and poisonous reptiles. But there's nothing now on the books to prevent residents from raising a lion, monkey or even a crocodile," Arlington officials said in a press release Friday.

The change would also prohibit the keeping of wolves, raccoons, lynxes, alligators, tarantulas, hedgehogs and sugar gliders. Non-poisonous snakes or other reptiles longer than four feet would also be banned.

However, there would be an exception for some exotic pets already owned by residents. Those pet owners would be able to keep their animals if they register them with animal control, officials said.

Officials said the ban would aim to prevent humans from getting hurt and animals from being mistreated.

Arlington officials said in their release that D.C., Fairfax, Prince William and Montgomery counties all already have similar laws on the books.

During a board meeting Saturday, Arlington County Board members will consider a request to advertise a March 18 public hearing on the issue.

Arlington residents will also be able to comment several other ways:

  • By using Arlington's online CiviComment tool.
  • Mail or hand-deliver comments to: Arlington County Department of Human Services, Attn: Lyn Hainge, 2100 Washington Blvd., Second Floor, Arlington, VA 22204.
  • Speak at the (proposed) public hearing, which would be held March 18 at 8:30 a.m. in the County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd., third floor, Arlington).
  • Email comments to animals@arlingtonva.us.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[100% Chance There Is a Spy Site in Your Neighborhood]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:52:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Georgetown+pizza.jpg

The chances you live within walking distance to a spy site are 100 percent for those living in the D.C. area, according to a former CIA official.

Robert Wallace, who spent 40 years in the CIA, wrote the book “Spy Sites of Washington, D.C., A Guide to the Capital Region's Secret History,” which details hundreds of locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia with connections to espionage.

Walking the streets of D.C., Wallace said locations where spies lived, worked, held secret meetings and conducted dead drops are all around.

“I think it's about 100 percent certain that there is a spy site in your neighborhood, somewhere in your neighborhood,” he said. “I assure you, you can walk to it.”

In December 1976, retired CIA employee Edwin Moore lived in a home on Fort Sumner Drive in Bethesda, Maryland.

“He decided to go to the other side,” Wallace said.

Moore stole enough classified documents to fill several boxes and tried to sell them to the Soviet Union. He wrapped up a sample of the secret documents with a note and threw the bundle over the fence of the Soviet Embassy, which is now the Russian ambassador’s home. A security guard at the embassy found the package and called D.C. police, fearing it was a bomb.

“They come, retrieve the package, determine it isn't a bomb,” Wallace said. “They open the package, and some very alert police officer in Washington says, ‘Hmm, I think the FBI might be interested in this, and in fact, they were.”

Moore’s note instructed the Soviets to deliver $3,000 in cash to a dead drop location by a fire hydrant right across the street from his house, which undercover FBI agents did.

“He's arrested, he's tried, he's convicted, he's sentenced to 15 years in prison and then subsequently paroled after about three years,” Wallace said.

From the Soviet Union to the United States and Back
The security guard who found the package at the embassy was KGB.

Eight years after turning over Moore’s package of secrets to police, Vitaly Yurchenko returned to the Soviet Union.

“He was a fast-rising officer of the KGB,” Wallace said.

In 1985 after being diagnosed with cancer Yurchenko returned to the United States as a defector.

“He had knowledge of a lot of KGB operations in the United States, so of course we were interested, from a counterintelligence perspective, to debrief him thoroughly, and we did,” Wallace said.

Yurchenko’s defection didn’t last long. One night while having dinner at a Georgetown restaurant that is now the location of an &pizza restaurant, Yurchenko told his CIA security officer he was stepping outside for some fresh air.

“When he walked down the street maybe a block or so he was likely picked up by the KGB at that point,” Wallace said. “We saw him a day or so later on TV announcing that he had been drugged by the CIA for the last three months and he was very happy to be back in friendly hands.”

Spy Tactics Used for a Political Purpose
In his book, Wallace recounts hundreds of spy stories from locations across the area, including the famous garage in Rosslyn where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward held secret meetings with his Watergate source Deep Throat.

“The Watergate story is in fact an adaptation of espionage techniques for a political purpose,” Wallace said.

“Spy Sites” includes maps of neighborhoods in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Dulles Arrivals Area Reopens After Suspicious Package]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:50:14 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Dulles+International+wide.jpg

The arrivals area at Dulles International Airport is back open after police found a suspicious package in the hourly parking lot. 

The package was found in the parking lot near the arrivals area of the main terminal. Doors 1 through 7 were closed for a short time, and traffic in the area was diverted. 

Police inspected the package and determined it was not a threat. 

The arrivals area and roadway has since reopened. 

<![CDATA[Status Check: 'April' the Giraffe Doing Well, Still Pregnant]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:18:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/april+giraffe+update.jpg

The 15-year-old giraffe named "April," who has captivated millions of people across the world as they watch a live stream in anxious anticipation of the birth of her fourth calf at an upstate New York zoo, is still pregnant and doing well. 

Veterinarians with the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, outside Binghamton, said April's progression continues, but giraffes tend to hide signs of labor as a natural instinct, so they can't confirm active labor.

That said, vets checked in on her twice overnight and "physical posturing and other activity observed would suggest we are close," the group wrote on Facebook Friday morning. Around 8:30 a.m., the live stream actually showed significant movement in April's belly as the long-necked beauty began to walk outside.

Another update was expected Friday evening. 

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines earlier Thursday after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so. 

More than 30 million people across the globe have tuned in over the last few days to watch it. You can check out the live stream above.

April was seen slinking gracefully around her hay-laden home Friday morning in no apparent distress. Once she goes into active labor, zoo officials say the keepers will go in to help her but first-time dad, 5-year-old Oliver, will be held out of the pen. The dad-to-be will get to go outside with his mate for some exercise Friday, zoo officials said, but they have to be kept apart.

"Her and Oliver will both enjoy yard time today, but are kept separate due to April's condition," the group wrote on Facebook. "His rambunctious play for an extended period could have negative effects. Boys will be boys."

Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour. The zoo says it will hold a contest to name it.

Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park/Mazuri
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<![CDATA[Poll: More Than Half Disapprove of Trump's Job Performance]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:38:49 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trumpwarpress.jpg

Fifty-four percent of Americans somewhat or strongly disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling the presidency after a month in office, while 43 percent approve somewhat or strongly, according to the latest NBC NewsSurveyMonkey poll.

NBC News reported that Trump enjoys broad support from within his party, but few outside of it, with evident divisions along gender and racial lines as well.

Nine of 10 Republicans or people who lean Republican approve of Trump's performance as president, with the same percentage of Democrats and those who lean Democrat disapproving. 

But independents split two to one against Trump. His aggregate low approval rating is below any other newly elected president since pollsters began tracking presidential job approval.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Metro Fare Hikes, Service Cuts Likely: Board Chair]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:05:38 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/218*120/Metro+Rider.jpg

Metro riders will probably have to shell out more money -- and experience less service -- by the summer, according to a Metro board chairman.

Metro Board Chair Jack Evans, who has been a staunch opponent of Metro fare hikes, is joining other transit officials who are supporting a proposal to raise fares and further reduce service. The changes could take effect as early as July 1.

What was once a last resort to plug a massive budget gap is now reality as Metro quickly approaches a financial cliff.

"I'm willing to do these actions at the request of the general manager so that starting in July, this year, when the '18 budget kicks in - we can go to Congress and the three jurisdictions and say that we have done everything we possibly can - and we still do not have enough money. Now you must step up to the plate," Evans said.

Evans said it's time local leaders realized how dire the situation is and found a dedicated funding source such as a sales tax to permanently fund Metro.

People who depend on Metro, including many who have disabilities, pleaded with the Metro board during a public meeting Thursday not to cut service or raise fares.

"I rely on Metro to get around. I live, work, play and socialize just like you," one woman told the board. "I just found my freedom. Please don't take it away from me."

Meanwhile, a group of D.C.-area lawmakers sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office on Thursday asking for a report on Metro's "safety and operational management, governance, and dedicated funding."

“Previous GAO reports have lent insight into these issues, but we believe a comprehensive analysis would be worthwhile in providing an objective picture of where WMATA is on these fronts and where it should be going in the future,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[LA DACA Recipient, 22, Accused of Smuggling, Held in Ga.]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:06:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2-23-17-DACA.JPG

The plea from the family and girlfriend of 22-year-old Jesus Alonso Arreola Robles paints a picture of a young man who came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was just 18 months old.

He graduated high school, applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program initiated by the Obama Administration and was granted temporary legal status. He worked in a North Hollywood hotel with his dad and allegedly as a driver for either Lyft or Uber.

But NBC4 Southern California has learned that Robles is under investigation by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for allegedly smuggling into the country another man who didn't have the legal right to be here.

Border Patrol says they arrested Robles on Feb. 12 on State Route 94 near Campo, California. In a statement to NBC4 radio partner KPCC, Robles' attorney, Joseph Porta, falsely claimed local police had arrested his client for a minor traffic violation and handed him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I'm a little at odds as to why he's actually being detained right now," Porta said in a Thursday morning news conference at the headquarters of CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. Porta claims ICE had since moved his client from San Diego to Arizona and ultimately to Georgia where is currently being detained.

"It's very troublesome because it's prevented me from speaking to my client, having access to my client and mounting a defense," he said.

ICE says detainees are often moved around when there's an overcrowding issue and San Diego is a location that often sees cases like that. But they add that Robles has access to a phone 24/7 even though Porta claims he has yet to speak with his client.

In Thursday's public news conference, Porta claimed he didn't know why Robles was arrested and Robles' mother also denied know the details. But NBC4 has learned that in an interview with KMEX in Los Angeles, Rosa Robles admitted that her son had unknowingly picked up a passenger near the U.S.-Mexico border that night. Neither she nor the family attorney have responded to requests for comment.

Meantime, a spokesman for CHILRA says Robles was near the border because he was working at the time as a driver for a ride share app, claiming it was either Lyft or Uber. NBC4 and our partners at Telemundo 52 have confirmed that is also false, with both companies denying Robles was a registered driver at the time of the arrest.

But the fact remains that Robles is in federal immigration custody and faces deportation to a country he's never been to since he left at such a young age, and he faces losing his DACA status. ICE says that since DACA went into effect in 2012, they have deported 1,500 recipients who "pose a threat" to national security.

In a statement to NBC4, ICE says undocumented immigrants granted deferred action from deportation who are subsequently found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time. According to the statement, "this includes those who have been arrested or convicted of certain crimes, or those who are associated with criminal gangs."

Border Patrol would not go into specifics into Robles' arrest but say he was subsequently transferred to ICE custody on Feb. 15 pending a hearing before an immigration judge. It will be up to the judge to determine if he has a legal basis to remain in the U.S.

The question as to his defense lies with his attorney, who says he's not sure about why his client was arrested in the first place.

"I haven't been able to verify that with my client and I need to maintain that silence until I know what's going on," Porta said.

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<![CDATA[Trump Wants to Make US Nuclear Arsenal 'Top of the Pack']]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:18:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/donaldtrumponnukes.jpg

President Donald Trump on Thursday again expressed a desire for America to be an unparalleled military power, saying he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to make it "top of the pack," NBC News reported.  

In an interview with Reuters, the president stated that the United States had fallen behind on atomic weapons but did not detail what kind of expansion, if any, the military would pursue. 

"A dream would be that no country would have nukes," Trump told Reuters. "But if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gospel Artist Heals, Helps Community Through Music]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:08:15 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/2017-02-24_0557.png

Name: Tim Bowman Jr. 

Education: Wayne State University 

Occupation: Grammy-nominated gospel artist
Assistant Spirit of Faith Christian Center Choral Director

His Story: Born into a family of musicians, Bowman was destined for musical success. His father, Tim Bowman Sr., is a noted smooth jazz artist while his aunt, Vicki Winans, has topped the gospel charts for years.  The Detroit, native found his way to D.C. through love. He currently lives in the D.C. area with his wife, Brelyn Freeman, who is the daughter of Spirit of Faith Christian Center founder and pastor Dr. Mike Freeman. 

Making History: Tim Bowman Jr. has a voice known to heal souls. He’s not a traditional gospel artist -- sonically speaking -- which is why he has become so successful. Tim began his music career in 2012, with the release of his debut album "Beautiful." Since then, he has continued to rise and landed his first Grammy nomination for best gospel album this year. Outside of being a singer/songwriter, Tim is one of the choral directors at Spirit of Faith Christian Center, as well as a mentor.

<![CDATA[DC Police Respond to 4 Shootings on Same Street]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:07:59 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017873183_1200x675_883850819896.jpg

News4's Shomari Stone reports four shootings happened in less than two hours on Wheeler Street in Southeast.

<![CDATA[DC Families in Danger of Losing Homes to Development]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:38:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017872669_1200x675_883817539630.jpg

A developer is promising to help hundreds of local families who say they're about to get priced out of their homes. But is it enough? News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

<![CDATA[Similar 'Jackie Shot JFK' Graffiti Found in DC, Boston]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:29:33 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Boston+DC+Graffiti.jpg

Days after several war memorials and national monuments were vandalized with strange messages in D.C., similar graffiti has been spotted on landmarks in Boston.

The World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the D.C. War Memorial and the Washington Monument were vandalized with permanent marker over Presidents Day weekend. Similar graffiti appeared on street signs and utility boxes along the National Mall, according to NPS.

The peculiar graffiti said: "Jackie shot JFK;" "blood test is a lie, leukemia, cancer HIV get a 2nd opinion;" and "In mexico."

On Thursday, WTOP reported similar graffiti had popped up in Boston. 

Richard Rudnickas, a photographer, told News4 he spotted what appears to be the same message near the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. He said he took the above photo on Thursday, but the vandalism had been there all week.

United States Park Police said it aware of the vandalism in Boston, which some people posted on social media. USPP is working with the Boston Police Department to investigate.

One U.S. serviceman who took his family to the Lincoln Memorial Tuesday said he takes the vandalism personally.

"I served the greatest air force in the world, but to come here to see that is like a slap in our face," Kevin Hall said.

Crews worked to remove the graffiti which was reported by a visitor at 1 a.m. on Sunday. It appeared at the Lincoln Memorial about 11 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities believe the same person is behind all the graffiti in D.C., but haven't ruled out others were involved, said Mike Litterst of the National Park Service.

"The similarity of what's written and you know, the handwriting style," he said.

Defacing a national monument or memorial is rare but not unheard of. The most significant case in recent memory was a bizarre incident in 2013, when a woman threw green paint on the Lincoln Memorial and later at the Washington National Cathedral. She was arrested but later found incompetent to stand trial.

In that case, it took crews nearly a month to clear the green paint from the Lincoln Memorial, but NPS staff are skilled in the tricky removal process of graffiti removal, Litterst said.

The staff used a pressure washer and solvent, safe for historic stone, to remove the graffiti. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and World War II Memorial were cleaned Tuesday. Cleaning at other locations will continue this week.

"Something like marble, which is more porous than granite, may have a different way to take it off," he said. "Sometimes it takes multiple cleaning and cleansings to get it to come out, but of course, in the course of getting it off... we don't want to do any further damage to the stone."

U.S. Park Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage from the locations. 

The memorials had more visitors than usual over the weekend due to unseasonably warm temperatures.

Photo Credit: Richard Rudnickas // Chris Gordon/NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[NIH Learning More About Zika Virus]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:17:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017872193_1200x675_883692611994.jpg

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci says they quickly are learning more about what the Zika virus can cause, but they hope they will develop a vaccine fast as well. Doreen Gentzler interviewed him Thursday.

<![CDATA[Discovery of a Lifetime: NASA Says 7 Planets Could Hold Life]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:48:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017872119_1200x675_883716163642.jpg

NASA announced seven Earth-size planets outside our solar system could potentially harbor life. Storm Team4's Amelia Draper discusses the amazing discovery with Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler.

<![CDATA[Meet the Nationals' Cutest Super Fan]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:58:10 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170223+Nats+Fan.jpg

Six-year-old Natalie "Nat" McCormick might be the Nationals biggest "little" fan. News4 sports reporter Carol Maloney brings you her story from spring training.

<![CDATA[ Historic Bethesda Church Wins Small Victory]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:55:38 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Macedonia+Church.jpg

Members of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Bethesda, Maryland, are worried that a new development would disturb the site they believe is an old African American burial ground. News4's Tom Sherwood explains what Montgomery County has agreed to search for possible remains before allowing any further cosntruction.

<![CDATA[Lawmaker Fighting for Better Protection for Maryland Domestic Violence Victims]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:39:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170223+Angela+M+Angel.jpg

Maryland Del. Angela M. Angel is fighting to get better protection for domestic violence victims. Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins talked to the woman, who represents Prince George's County and is herself a survivor of domestic violence. She's confident her proposal could soon become law.

<![CDATA[School Districts Respond to Change in Transgender Policy]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:37:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Transgender+Twins.jpg

Some of the D.C.-area's largest and most diverse school districts are responding to the Trump administration's rollback of a federal policy that said transgender students could use the bathroom of their choice. News4's Chris Gordon talked with a Bethesda teen and his family about the new policy.

<![CDATA[Laurel High School Student Struck, Killed by Car]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:12:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_140766947.jpg

A Laurel, Maryland, high school student who was just days shy of his 17th birthday died after he was struck by a car, police say.

Justin Foster was trying to cross the road on Route One at Cyprus Street about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, when he was hit by a Chrysler, police said.

Justin was taken to Prince George's County Hospital Center, where he later died. 

Police said Justin was walking against the signal and the vehicle had the right of way. The driver, who was not hurt, stayed at the scene.

Justin, who was a junior at Laurel High School, would have turned 17 years old on Feb. 28, police said.

Laurel High School Principal Dwayne Jones brought in counselors to help students and teachers deal with Justin's death.

The school had a moment of silence in his honor and Jones also sent home a letter to parents.

Funeral arrangements for Justin have not been announced.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Crash on GW Parkway Closes NB Lanes]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:44:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/George+Washington+Parkway+Crash+022317.jpg

A truck crashed on the George Washington Parkway, closing the northbound lanes in Virginia at the beginning of the evening rush hour.

The truck jackknifed and hit a tree just before the CIA overpass in Langley. It's unclear why it left the road.

U.S. Park Police flew the driver to a hospital with serious injuries.

Trucks usually aren't allowed on the parkway, but this mail carrier truck was authorized to be there. Previous reports said the truck did not have permission.

All northbound traffic was diverted on to Route 123. The cleanup was extensive and stretched into the evening commute.

The northbound lanes reopened just after 8 p.m., hours after the crash.

No other vehicles were involved.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[NBC4 Celebrates Black History Month]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:47:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170223+Rushern+Baker.jpg

NBC4 joined leaders from throughout the region to celebrate Black History Month at the African-American Museum of History and Culture in Prince George’s County. Among the speakers was County Executive Rushern Baker. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.

<![CDATA[Will This Be DC's Warmest Winter Ever? ]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:22:07 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170223+Record+Temps.jpg

Thursday's toasty temperatures did more than induce a heavy dose of spring fever across the DMV. Temperatures broke a record -- and may contribute to a record-breaking winter.

It was the warmest Feb. 23 on record in Washington, D.C., with the high soaring to 77 degrees.

The previous record was 73 degrees, set in 1985.

Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer said there is a possibility Friday also may be a record-shattering day, with an expected high of 76 degrees. The temperature it needs to beat? 78 degrees in 1884.

Kammerer predicts temperatures in the 70s on Saturday, too, which would make a grand total of six above-70 degree days this month.

If Storm Team4’s forecast for the rest of February holds up, this will be the warmest February the D.C. metro area has ever experienced.

Temperatures were also significantly warmer in December and January, which puts this winter on pace to be among the warmest ever in Washington.

Kammerer said this jacket-less weather may not continue, so soak up the sun this week while you can. Colder air will likely move into the area the first week of March and possibly into the second week, he said.

But what about snow?

Kammerer said the possibility for snow is very low. He said the pattern could change, but the chance of significant snowfall is unlikely.

If there is no more snowfall this year, this winter will see the third-lowest snow totals in our area's history.

Because of these warm temperatures, trees have been blooming early and pollen levels are high. As a result, allergy sufferers may have a rough couple of days ahead of them.

<![CDATA[Boxer's Father Hopes for a Second Chance for His Son]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:25:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017871539_1200x675_883612227613.jpg

A promising young boxer ends up in jail on a gun charge. News4's Darcy Spencer explains why his father hopes this is the start of a second chance for his son. Dusty Harrison's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

<![CDATA[Loose Dog (Not a Wolf) Captured in Prince George's County]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:37:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170223+Wolf+Dog.jpg

A large dog alarmed some Prince George’s County residents this morning when it was spotted roaming in Capitol Heights. Because of the dog’s size and appearance, some passersby mistook it for a wolf -- and called animal control.

The loose dog was seen walking on Valley Park Court shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday. Animal control received multiple calls about the German Shepherd / Husky mix, police say. By 10:30 a.m., the dog had been captured.

Even police weren’t sure about what type of animal the dog was at first. In tweets announcing the dog’s sighting and capture, police referred to the dog as an "animal," fueling social media debate.

However, when News4 later checked with Prince George's County Police, they said they now believe it was just a big dog.

Animal control is currently trying to find the dog’s owner. 

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police Department
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<![CDATA[ICE Detainee with Tumor Removed from Texas Hospital: Lawyer]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:08:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/041211+ICE+agent+generic.jpg

An undocumented woman in need of surgery to remove a brain tumor is being held at a North Texas Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center, Attorney Chris Hamilton said.

Sara Beltran Hernandez has been held at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado since November 2015. 

She collapsed at the detention center this month after complaining of headaches, nosebleeds and memory loss, according to Hamilton. He went on to say she was then transported to Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Burleson, where she was diagnosed with a brain tumor that requires surgery.

Hamilton claims his client was denied access to her other attorney and to vital medical attention while in ICE custody. 

Paralegal Melissa Zuniga says Beltran Hernandez has waited 13 days to have surgery and the lawyers in her asylum case are asking for a humane release to receive that care, The Associated Press reported.

According to AP, Zuniga says the woman's condition is worsening with nosebleeds, loss of memory and other symptoms increasing.

The 26-year-old fled her native El Salvador because of the violence there, Hamilton said. She came to the United States illegally but immediately sought asylum and surrendered to authorities.

Hamilton believes Beltran Hernandez was detained for not having proper documentation when she tried to go to New York City to be with family. Family members have also reportedly been trying to petition for her asylum.

A spokesperson for ICE said Beltran Hernandez was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and was returned to the detention center.

In a statement to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth the agency said:

"ICE takes very seriously the health, safety and welfare of those in our care ... During [Beltran Hernandez's] stay at the hospital, ICE ensured that she was able to speak to her family and to her attorney by phone. Like all detainees in our care, Ms. Beltran will continue to have access to 24-hour emergency medical care and to any required specialized treatment at an outside facility."

Hamilton claims Beltran Hernandez was forcibly removed from the hospital and that she was bound somehow.

"She's in a lot of pain," Hamilton told NBCDFW.

He also said a brain surgeon offered Wednesday night to help care for the woman.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Another Pregnant Woman Positive for Zika After Botched Tests]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:01:31 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/zika-GettyImages-543498576.jpg

Seven more pregnant women learned their Zika virus tests last year returned false negatives, the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences confirmed.

One of the women is a confirmed case of Zika, while the other six could also be cases of Dengue fever, the Department of Forensic Sciences said.

Those results come from the latest batch of retested specimens. Results from 205 retests included 198 negatives.

Last week, the Department of Forensic Sciences received results for the first group of 62 retested specimens, which found two cases of pregnant women who tested positive.

D.C. is having all 409 specimens that tested negative between July and December retested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labs, the Department of Forensic Sciences said.

Forensic Sciences hired Dr. Anthony Tran last year as director of its Public Health Laboratory, which handles all testing for the District. He had the laboratory's practices audited and learned of the flawed test, which was suspended Dec. 14. One of the problems was a mathematical error, he said.

The laboratory is working with the CDC to correct the test and get it back in use.

Of the 409 specimens, 294 were from pregnant women and 115 were from women who weren't pregnant or men.

The majority of the specimens are being tested at a CDC lab in Fort Collins, Colorado. Smith anticipates more false negatives.

Zika is transmitted from infected mosquitoes to people and from pregnant mothers to babies. The virus usually causes a mild illness, but babies born to mothers with the virus can have microcephaly, a condition associated with small, undeveloped brains. 

While the virus is not spread by casual human contact, health officials say it could be sexually transmitted.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>