<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usWed, 28 Sep 2016 21:53:12 -0400Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:53:12 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[2-5" of Rain Possible in DC Area; Flash Flood Watch]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:57:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-09-28_1507.jpg

Heavy, potentially dangerous rain has started to douse parts of the D.C. area Wednesday evening and will continue into Thursday -- with as much as 2 to 5 inches possible in some parts.

The heaviest rain is expected between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Thursday, said Storm Team4. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect through 10 p.m. Wednesday for the city of Fairfax and Stafford County in Northern Virginia, parts of central Virginia, and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties in Maryland.

Lines of strong storms with heavy rainfall are moving into the region. Even before the most powerful weather arrived, two houses in Montgomery County were struck by lightning in mid-afternoon, said a Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman.

The next 24 hours bring with them a strong concern of flooding, Storm Team4 said. A flash flood watch is in effect Wednesday evening through Friday morning for the entire region.

This may become a very dangerous situation in some areas, and roads may become impassible very quickly. Remember to NEVER drive through standing water.

Strong, gusty winds are also a possibility, and Storm Team4, which could not rule out the possibility of a tornado.

However, the biggest threat is the chance of a flash flood. Storm Team4 expects 2 to 5 inches of rain to fall in the D.C. metro area, with some areas getting as much as 8 inches of rain by the time it begins to subside. Although wet weather will likely continue through Sunday, the heaviest rain should begin to subside Thursday night.

Exact amounts of rain will vary throughout the region. The weather alert from the National Weather Service said there is a potential for flash flooding of small streams, creeks and urban areas.

The two houses struck by lightning are in the 8600 block of Augusta Farm Lane and the 11300 block of Neelsville Church Road. The house on Augusta Farm Lane sustained some damage to its roof, said Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer. The single occupant of the house was not hurt, he said. There was no information immediately available on the other house that was struck.

Piringer advised residents and drivers should be mindful of street flooding "target hazards."

Some parts of southern Maryland got more than 2 inches Wednesday morning before a break of a few hours.

Photo Credit: Storm Team4
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<![CDATA[Hero School Bus Driver Surprised With Thank-You Party]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:04:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/092816+renita+smith+surprise.jpg

The Maryland school bus driver who saved 20 children when her bus burst into flames received a huge thank-you on Wednesday -- hundreds of students cheered for her and waved signs expressing their gratitude.

Renita Smith jumped into action when she saw flames on the bus she was driving in College Park, Maryland, the afternoon of Sept. 12.

"I opened my door, took off my seat belt, and I got my babies off that bus," she told News4 the next day.

Flames engulfed the Prince George's County Public Schools bus, but Smith ran back on board to make sure every child was accounted for.


And for that, the children of Glenarden Woods Elementary School thanked her. The school declared Wednesday to be Renita Smith Day and threw the bus driver a party.

Smith's jaw dropped as she walked into the school auditorium. The room was a sea of black-and-white signs printed with "THANK YOU!" The students cheered as a marching band paraded into the room.

Smith clapped her hand to her mouth and began to cry.


The school choir serenaded Smith and each of the children she saved presented her with a long-stemmed rose. 

"I think it was extremely heroic and it was very amazing," one little girl who was on board Smith's bus said. "If she didn't do that, I don't know what would have happened." 


"I'm just glad that nobody got hurt and nobody died and we're all still here today," a little boy said. 

School district CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell presented Smith with a plaque.

"I saw the smoke and the flames, and she showed her unthinking, unflinching courage," he said.

And then Smith herself stood at a podium and said a few words.

"I promise, I didn't do it for this. I did it because that's what I'm supposed to do," she said. "I'm a mommy. And mommy watches out for her babies."

With that, Smith, the mother of a 4-year-old, said "thank you" again and stepped off stage.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Majority of Voters Say Clinton Won the Debate: Poll]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:43:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/clinton-and-trump.jpg

A majority (52 percent) of voters who followed the first presidential debate said Hillary Clinton won, according to an NBC News/Survey Monkey post-debate poll.

Twenty-one percent of those polled thought Trump was the winner, while 26 percent said neither candidate emerged victorious.

Fifty percent of Democrats said their impression of Clinton changed for the better after watching the debate. About a quarter of Republicans polled said their impression of Trump changed positively.

Thirty percent of women polled, regardless of party affiliation, said their opinion of Clinton improved after the debate, while just 11 percent of women overall said their opinion of Trump changed for the better.

The first face-off of the 2016 presidential election cycle broke debate viewership records and about three-quarters of respondents said they watched the debate live.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[For-Profit College Students Say They're Left in Limbo]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:15:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160928+For+Profit+College.jpg A recent crackdown on for-profit colleges has left thousands of students in limbo. The government says it's protecting students' best interest in taking action against schools like Medtech and ITT Tech; earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Education said it would no longer allow the school to enroll students receiving federal financial aid. Immediately afterward ITT closed 137 campuses in 39 states, stranding 43,000 students. The industry, meanwhile, says it's being unfairly targeted. In the middle are students who have paid for credits, and some are having trouble transferring them to other schools. News4 Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan heard their stories.]]> <![CDATA[Veteran Sues Apartment, Says Rat Bites Sent Him to Hospital]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:03:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Lafayette+Wright+copy.jpg

A veteran says he owes more than $75,000 in medical bills after rats bit him in his sleep at his northeast D.C. apartment.

Lafayette Wright, 56, said he is suing the managment of Pentacle Apartments because they failed to fix an opening where rats were getting into his apartment. Wright has been a tenant of the apartment since 2010 and said he never had issues with rats until this year.

According to the lawsuit, Wright reported the rats to the apartment on April 27 and maintenance came by to put down rat traps a few days later on May 3. 

Wright, who served 11 years in the U.S. Navy, said he explained to maintenance that they needed to fix the hole where the rats were getting in, but maintenance told him he would have to put in another request.

Rats bit Wright several times one night while he was sleeping, he told News4. 

"I started throwing up, couldn't hold any food down, getting chills,"  Wright said. "My doctor even told me he said, 'I don't know what I'm dealing with here.'"

Wright was diagnosed with "rat bite fever" and has suffered from spinal abscesses, inflammation, extreme debilitation and pain, according to the lawsuit.

He filed a $750,000 lawsuit agains Pentacle Apartments on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Uptick in School Child Abuse Reports Creating Backlog for Investigators]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:10:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Prince+Georges+County+Social+Services.jpg News 4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins looks at how child protective services is handling a growing number of reports involving alleged child abuse, including the bus aide accused of abusing special needs children on a school bus.]]> <![CDATA[Medical Examiner: Terrence Sterling Was Shot in Back, Neck]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:23:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/229*120/092716+terrence+sterling.jpg

The motorcyclist killed this month by a D.C. police officer suffered gunshot wounds to the back and neck, the D.C. medical examiner said Wednesday afternoon.

Terrence Sterling, 31, died of the wounds in what the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined to be a homicide. That manner of death rules out that Sterling died because of suicide, an accident or natural causes.

Information was not available immediately on whether Sterling was shot more than once or if a single bullet caused his injuries.

Sterling, of Fort Washington, Maryland, died Sept. 11 after a Metropolitan Police Department officer shot him at 3rd and M streets NW. Police say the officer fired after Sterling intentionally rammed a police cruiser with his motorcycle.

Witnesses disputed the police department's account of the incident and said the crash was unavoidable.

D.C. officials released body camera footage on Tuesday that shows the moments after Officer Brian Trainer shot and killed Sterling. The graphic video shows the man bleeding as an officer performs CPR.

Police said the encounter began when an officer saw a motorcyclist driving recklessly about 4:20 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 near 15th and U streets NW.

A few minutes later, Trainer saw a motorcycle near 3rd and M streets NW that matched the same description, police said.

As Trainer exited a police cruiser on the passenger side, intending to stop the driver, Sterling intentionally drove into the passenger door, police said.

Trainer then fired, hitting Sterling.

Two ambulances were dispatched at 4:30 a.m., city officials said. One ambulance left a fire station a block away and arrived moments later, officials said. The second ambulance arrived about 5 minutes after dispatch.

Sterling was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Trainer was not seriously hurt. He was placed on administrative leave, per department policy.

Police said in subsequent days that Trainer did not turn on his body camera until after he fired.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said 911 dispatchers now will remind officers to turn on their body cameras before they arrive at scenes.

The investigation continues, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue said.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington as we continue to update this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[DC Officers Credited With Saving Woman's Life]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:24:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000016247705_1200x675_775203907775.jpg Three officers with the Harbor Patrol Unit of D.C.'s police department are being called heroes after saving a woman Tuesday. They say she was in the Potomac River when they first spotted her. News4's Mark Segraves reports.]]> <![CDATA[How Trump Fared With Women After the Debate]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:35:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16271039934629.jpg

Donald Trump's debate performance did not help his standing among among women likely to vote in the election in November, according to a new NBC NewsSurveyMoney poll taken after Monday’s debate.

NBC News reported that 27 percent of likely female voters said the debate caused them to think worse of Trump, while just 12 percent said their views on Clinton worsened. Eleven percent of women voters said their views on Trump improved while 30 percent said their views on Hillary Clinton improved.

The poll found that overall, 52 percent of likely voters who watched the debate or followed coverage on it thought Hillary Clinton won, and women named Clinton the winner of the debate by a 10-point margin over men.

"I'm undecided, but I'm leaning more towards Hillary than I ever have before because of the debate," said Joan Hume, a 71-year-old retiree from Ohio who said she voted for Trump in the primary.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[OPEC Reaches Preliminary Accord to Curb Oil Production]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:36:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GasPricesPump-GettyImages-528664158.jpg

OPEC nations reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday to curb oil production for the first time since the global financial crisis eight years ago, pushing up prices that had sunk over the past two years and weakened the economies of oil-producing nations.

Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar's energy minister and current president of OPEC, announced the deal after several hours of talks in the Algerian capital. The levels must still be finalized at an OPEC meeting in Vienna in November.

The preliminary deal will limit output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day, he said. Current output is estimated at 33.2 million barrels per day.

Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $2.38, or 5.3 percent, to $47.05 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, was up $2.72, or 5.9 percent, to $48.69 a barrel in London.

Long-running disagreements between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran had dimmed hopes for a deal at Wednesday's talks.

Iran had been resistant to cutting production, as it's trying to restore its oil industry since emerging from international sanctions over its nuclear program earlier this year. According to Wednesday's deal, Iran exceptionally will be allowed to increase production to 3.7 million barrels a day, according to Algerian participants at the meeting. It is currently estimated to be pumping around 3.6 million.

The OPEC officials met informally on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algiers to try to find common ground on how to support oil markets.

"We reached a very positive deal," said Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. He said all countries will reduce output but the specific quotas will be set in Vienna in November.

Earlier, Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh had played down the OPEC gathering, calling it "just a consultation meeting."

The price of crude oil has fallen sharply since mid-2014, when it was over $100 a barrel, dropping below $30 at the start of this year.

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer and Iran's rival for power in the Middle East, appeared to be more amenable to some sort of production limit, certainly more so than in April when OPEC failed to agree on measures to curb supplies.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih this week promised to "support any decision aimed at stabilizing the market."

Over the past couple of years, OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia, had been willing to let the oil price drop as a means of driving some U.S. shale oil and gas producers out of business. Shale oil and gas requires a higher price to break even.

Those lower prices have hurt many oil-producing nations hard, particularly OPEC members Venezuela and Nigeria, but also Russia and Brazil.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Kidnapped While Waiting for Bus in DC, Police Say]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:05:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DC+Bus+Stop.jpg

A woman was kidnapped in broad daylight in D.C's Petworth neighborhood Tuesday and was forced to take her kidnappers to her apartment, where they stole from her and then left, police said.

The woman was waiting for a bus at the corner of New Hampshire and Georgia avenues NW about 1 p.m. Tuesday when she was approached by two men she did not know, she told Metro Transit Police.

The men chatted with her and then ordered her to leave with them, threatening to harm her if she did not comply, Metro Transit Police said.

The men forced the woman to get into a vehicle and asked her where she lived, police said.

The men then drove to her apartment in Hyattsville, Maryland, where they stole valuables and cash from her before leaving, police said.

The woman was not hurt.

Police said one suspect was described as about 40 years old and 5-foot-9. He was wearing a long-sleeved gray and white Hawaiian-style shirt, dark blue jeans and a black watch.

The second suspect was described was 20 to 25 years old and 5-foot-3. He was wearing a short-sleeved green plaid shirt and blue jeans, police said.

The vehicle was described as a silver SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder.

Women were abducted off streets in Northeast and Northwest D.C. in two separate incidents last month, police said.

In one case, two men forced a woman into an SUV and sexually assaulted her for days, according to police. The woman managed to escape and call 911.

Police said last month that they did not believe those two cases were connected. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro Transit Police detectives by calling 301-955-5000. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call 844-MTPD-TIP (844-687-3847) or text a message to "MyMTPD" (696873).

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Aleppo Airstrikes Destroy 2 Hospitals]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:15:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16253598019602.jpg

Two hospitals in the rebel-held territory of Aleppo were attacked Wednesday morning, further eliminating medical aid that the area desperately needs.

After the collapse of the Syrian cease-fire deal, a new government offensive has left hundreds dead this past week, NBC News reported.

A doctor said the hospital has been taken out of service "completely and indefinitely," calling it a "sad day" for medical professionals.

At least two people were killed and three injured in the latest strike.

An estimated 29 doctors are left to treat an estimated 250,000 Syrians, a ratio that medical organizations have warned is unsustainable. The recent attack in Aleppo is being called the worst bombardment since the civil war erupted.

Photo Credit: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP]]>
<![CDATA[21 Local Schools Named 'Blue Ribbon Schools']]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:41:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160928+Classroom+Generic.jpg

Twenty-one schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia - some public, some private and one charter - have been named "Blue Ribbon Schools" by the U.S. Department of Education.

The blue ribbon designation means the schools show overall academic excellence, or have made progress in closing achievement gaps among different groups of students.

Some of the schools were named "exemplary high-performing schools,"

Here are the blue-ribbon schools, by state:

District of Columbia

Center City PCS-Congress Heights Campus
220 High View Place S.E.
Washington, DC 20032-9998
District: Center City Public Charter Schools
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School

Holy Trinity School
1325 36Th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2604
District: Archdiocese of Washington
Exemplary high-performing school

Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School
659 G Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4305
District: of Columbia Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Our Lady of Victory School
4755 Whitehaven Parkway, NW
Washington, DC 20007-1558
District: Archdiocese of Washington
Exemplary high-performing school


Arnold Elementary School
90 Church Road
Arnold, MD 21012-2344
District: Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
938 York Road
Towson, MD 21204-2513
District: Baltimore County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Hereford High School
17301 York Road
Parkton, MD 21120-9757
District: Baltimore County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

North Harford Elementary School
120 Pylesville Road
Pylesville, MD 21132-1397
District: Harford County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
4801 Ilchester Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043-6823
District: Archdiocese of Baltimore
Exemplary high-performing school

Pasadena Elementary School
401 East Pasadena Road
Pasadena, MD 21122-4067
District: Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Saint Joseph School, Fullerton
8416 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236-0319
District: Archdiocese of Baltimore
Exemplary high-performing school

Saint Patrick's Catholic School
4101 Norbeck Road
Rockville, MD 20853-1898
District: Archdiocese of Washington

Saint Pius X Regional School
14710 Annapolis Road
Bowie, MD 20715-1813
District: Archdiocese of Washington
Exemplary high-performing school

White Marsh Elementary School
29090 Thompson Corner Road
Mechanicsville, MD 20659-4065
District: St. Mary's County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school


Coeburn Middle School
P.O. Box 670 518 Centre Avenue NE
Coeburn, VA 24230-0670
District: Wise County Public Schools

Deer Park Elementary School
11541 Jefferson Avenue
Newport News, VA 23601-1930
District: Newport News City Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

George W. Carver Elementary School
1110 West Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23220-3142
District: Richmond Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Green Valley Elementary School
3838 Overdale Road
Roanoke, VA 24018-4438
District: Roanoke County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Springfield Estates Elementary School
6200 Charles C Goff Drive
Springfield, VA 22150-0000
District: Fairfax County Public Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Tunstall High School
100 Trojan Circle
Dry Fork, VA 24549-2300
District: Pittsylvania County Schools
Exemplary high-performing school

Watauga Elementary School
23181 Watauga Road
Abingdon, VA 24211-7073
District: Washington County
Exemplary high-performing school

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / maroke]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Charged in Death of Md. High School Student]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:49:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Erik+Lopez.jpg

A teenage boy is facing a manslaughter charge after police say he fatally shot a high school student while handling a gun.

Diego Gomez-Martinez, of Bladensburg, was with a group of teens playing video games at an apartment on 58th Avenue when he was shot Sept. 22.

Police say 17-year-old Erik Lopez was handling the weapon when it discharged and struck Gomez-Martinez. 

Witnesses said four to eight people were inside the apartment and others were outside. A teenager witnesses said they didn't know came out of the apartment about 8 p.m. then went back inside. Then the witnesses heard a gunshot and saw the same teenager running out of the building moments later. 

"We got a shirt and we pressed down on his bullet hole 'til the feds got here," said Malik Hebrin, a friend of the victim.

Despite their efforts, Gomez-Martinez was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Lopez was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter and a weapons charge. He was charged as an adult. 

Police say it's possible the shooting was accidental.

A Prince George's County Public Schools spokesman confirmed the victim was a sophomore at Bladensburg High School.

"He was looking forward to a life of college and career and exploring what different experiences the world had in store for him," Principal Aisha Mahoney said. "It's just sad."

<![CDATA[4 Percent Meal Tax Debate Heating Up in Fairfax County]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:58:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_167577659.jpg

Should Fairfax County add a 4 percent tax on restaurant meals? 

Residents will get the opportunity this week to weigh in. Discussions on the proposed tax will be held Wednesday in Alexandria and Thursday in Falls Church.

The meals tax referendum is up for a vote on Nov. 8. Voters will decide whether the county's board of supervisors should levy a meals tax of no more than 4 percent on prepared food at restaurants. The tax also would apply to drinks served with meals and ready-to-eat food at grocery stores, among other locations.

The tax would give the county a new source of revenue, which would decrease dependence on real estate taxes, the county says on its website. It would generate an estimated $99 million per year, the county says.

Seventy percent of the revenues would be dedicated to Fairfax County Public Schools. The remaining 30 percent would go toward county services, capital improvements and property tax relief.

Opponents of the plan say the tax will unfairly affect low-income and middle-income families, and harm tourism.

Meals tax advocate and mother Jane Miscavage said the tax is a small sacrifice for a big payoff to fund schools.

“For parents who really want solutions to the schools-funding challenges, this is the time to vote for the meals tax," she said.

Claude Andersen, a father who works for Clyde's Restaurant Group, said the tax would hurt the restaurant industry.

"People pay the bottom line and they’ll notice a difference," he said.

"I think it's just more money to be spent in a poorer way," he continued.

"We need to control spending and growth in government, StopTheFoodTax.com says. "Giving government hundreds of millions of dollars more every year will only make the spending problem worse."

The tax would add an additional $0.40 to a $10 meal and an additional $2 tax to a $50 meal.

Multiple surrounding jurisdictions tax restaurant meals, including a 10 percent tax in D.C. and a 4 percent tax in Arlington County.

Fairfax residents rejected a meal tax in 1992. The measure was defeated 58 percent to 42 percent, with about 25 percent of registered voters participating, a county spokeswoman said.

The tax was proposed again, including in 2012, but that effort did not put the question on the ballot.

A discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Franconia Governmental Center.

A panel will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church. The panel will take questions from the audience. Questions can be submitted in advance by writing to league@lwv-fairfax.org or taking an online survey.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that voters have rejected a proposed meal tax in Fairfax County once, in 1992.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[9-Year-Old Girl in Charlotte Makes Plea For Peace]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:42:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_charlottegirl0928_1920x1080.jpg One of the biggest voices heard following the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott was from a 9-year-old during Monday's Charlotte City Council meeting. Zianna Oliphant's message about protests in Charlotte has spread, capturing the hearts and attention world-wide. "We are black people, and we shouldn't have to feel like this," she said. "We shouldn't have to protest because y'all are treating us wrong."]]> <![CDATA[More Rabid Bats in Maryland ]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:13:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_365129159.jpg

You probably do not want to get up close and personal with one of October's most popular animals. 

For the second year in a row, the number of rabid bats in Maryland has increased, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The department is bringing awareness to the dangerous disease Wednesday, World Rabies Day.

“Rabies is a serious disease transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, such as a bat. It is nearly always fatal without the provision of preventive treatment,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Howard Haft in a news release.

The department says that while only a small portion of bats have rabies, many recent U.S. cases of the disease in humans were due to rabid bats.

There have been 100 confirmed rabid bats in Md. so far this year.

Though a rabid animal typically exhibits identifiable behavior, like foaming at the mouth and staggering, there may be no obvious symptoms during the early stages of the disease. So it's important to exercise caution around all wild animals.

If a bat becomes trapped inside a building and there is a possibility that it may have bitten someone, the department recommends catching the bat so it can be tested for rabies.

Wear leather work gloves to carefully capture the bat with a small container and piece of cardboard with air holes.

Once the bat is securely trapped inside the container, contact the city or county health department so that it can be tested for rabies. 

A preventative vaccine is available to anyone who may have been exposed to the disease.

Maryland residents can call 1-877-463-6497 to report a suspected rabid or otherwise sick animal.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[ADL Declares Pepe The Frog a Hate Symbol]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:53:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pepe-hate-symbol.jpg

Internet meme Pepe the Frog has been declared a symbol of hate by the Anti-Defamation League. The green amphibian has been frequently used by alt-right campaigners, Donald Trump supporters and white supremacist groups, NBC News reported.

While Pepe's origin as the "feels good man" is inoffensive, it has recently been appropriated for bigoted, anti-Semitic themes, according to the ADL.

"Although Pepe memes have many defenders, the use of racist and bigoted versions of Pepe memes seems to be increasing, not decreasing," ADL announced in their inclusion of the meme into the database of hate symbols.

The frog has been posted on social media by presidential candidate Donald Trump and his son in various contexts, including a play on a poster of "The Expendables" to "The Deplorables," featuring Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos and Pepe the Frog.

Photo Credit: Anti-Defamation League]]>
<![CDATA[Feds ID Men in NYC Bomb Luggage Vid]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:23:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/men+sought+27th+street.jpg

Federal authorities think they've identified the men seen on camera taking luggage allegedly planted on a Manhattan sidewalk by a man accused of terror and other charges in connection with explosions in New York and New Jersey earlier this month, senior law enforcement officials told NBC 4 New York.

The officials said the two men seen in the video taking the bag — but leaving behind the pressure cooker bomb that was inside — from West 27th Street on Sept. 17 are believed to be airline employees and are now likely overseas.

One senior official familiar with the investigation said they are thought to be employees who worked as part of a flight crew for an Egyptian airline. They were identified from a security camera at the hotel where they were staying. 

The men have never been considered suspects; authorities have said they wanted to recover the luggage to assist in their investigation. Officials say the the FBI believes it knows where the men are and is trying to reach them. 

The FBI's New York office released a photo of the two men on Sept. 21, four days after the bombing. 

"They are witnesses, we are very interested in talking to them and hearing about how they found the bag," Jim Waters, head of the NYPD's counterterrorism bureau, said last week. "They found the bag, opened it, found the device -- a pressure cooker -- and took the bag. They are witnesses. There are no criminal charges. I want to stress that."

The pressure cooker bomb inside the suitcase was allegedly planted by Ahmad Rahami, a New Jersey resident who was charged with planting that device and one that exploded on 23rd Street, injuring 31 people, Sept. 17. He is also charged with planting the pipe bomb that exploded in a trash bin along a Marine 5K race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, hours earlier.

Waters said the men who removed the bomb from the bag were "very lucky" they weren't hurt. He said if the men weren't plugged into news coverage, it was possible they still didn't know they had taken the bag that held the bomb.

Photo Credit: Handout
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<![CDATA[Trump: I'll Be the Greatest Jobs President God Ever Created]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:08:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trump_chicago_2.png

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used a surprise stop in Chicago Wednesday to target Hillary Clinton for failing the bar exam in Washington D.C. years ago and claimed he would be "the greatest president for jobs that God has ever created."

“Hillary Clinton, who I happen to believe is grossly incompetent, by the way, I just feel she’s grossly incompetent,” Trump said at Chicago’s Polish National Alliance, “Hillary Clinton is going to increase taxes and she didn’t pass her bar exam in Washington, D.C. A lot of people don’t know that.”

“I happen to believe that she’ll be very, very bad for our country. I think it will be worse than four more years of Obama,” he added.

He vowed, if elected, he'll be the "greatest president for jobs that God ever created."

According to NBC News, Clinton failed the bar exam in D.C. in 1973. Trump first admonished Clinton for failing the exam in a tweet last month. In her 2003 autobiography “Living history,” Clinton noted that she failed the D.C. bar exam the same summer she passed the Arkansas bar.

“Despite the satisfaction of my work, I was lonely and missed Bill more than I could stand,” Clinton told NBC News. “I had taken both the Arkansas and Washington, D.C. bar exams during the summer, but my heart was pulling me toward Arkansas,” she wrote. “When I learned that I passed in Arkansas but failed in D.C., I thought maybe my test scores were telling me something."

Trump, who was criticized following Monday’s presidential debate for sniffling onstage despite his staff denying reports, sounded a bit nasally during Wednesday’s event. The Republican, who famously called his opponent Jeb Bush “low energy” during the Republican primaries, seemed to lack his typical gusto during the speech.

The real estate magnate was introduced Wednesday by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who thanked Chicago for sending police officers in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and faulted the Obama Administration and former Secretary of State Clinton for resetting the United State’s relationship with Russia and giving up a nuclear defense of the Czech Republic and Poland.

Giuliani also had some harsh words for Russia, claiming the U.S. needs to bolster its military to defend against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he called a “bully.”

“[Trump] doesn’t know Putin, he’s never met Putin,” Giuliani said. “Will he negotiate with Putin? Yes. Did Reagan negotiate with Gorbachev? Yes. But he’s going to negotiate with him from a position of military strength that dwarfs the Soviet... I’m sorry, Russia.”

Following the introduction, Trump pledged to support the Polish community in America.

“The Polish people are great people, these are great people, and if I get elected, believe me, we take care of all our people, all of our people,” Trump said. “But we do have a very, very special place because Polish-Americans, what you’ve done for this country, is really incredible and I don’t think frankly that people know the great sacrifices that you’ve gone through,” he added.

The Republican also boasted about being dubbed “Mr. Brexit” after championing the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union earlier this year, breaking with President Barack Obama, who opposed the move.

Trump claimed that America would "have a job growth like we’ve never seen” if taxes and regulations could be cut on businesses. He faulted Obama for the national deficit growing to unprecedented levels during his administration and bemoaned the nation's faltering infrastructure, schools, hospitals and airports.

The Republican nominee is now set to attend a big-ticket fundraiser at Bolingbrook Golf Club Wednesday afternoon.


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Republican Former Virginia Senator Endorses Clinton]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:36:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/76258584.jpg

Hillary Clinton picked up another Republican endorsement, this time from former Virginia Sen. John Warner.

Warner, a Republican, appeared Wednesday morning with Democratic vice presidential nominee and current Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine in Alexandria, Virginia.

"I see in her today the same tenacity and understanding and desire to get in there and lead and maintain a strong military but in a respectful and dignified way," Warner said during an interview.

Warner served five terms in the Senate and has strong national security credentials. He is a former Navy secretary and Senate Armed Service Committee chairman.

Warner's endorsement strengthens Clinton's argument that she is better prepared to handle national security and foreign policy than rival Donald Trump.

During his comments, he criticized Trump for his comments on the military. 

"You just don't denigrate the uniforms of our country," he said. 

Warner and Clinton served together briefly in the Senate. He retired in 2009.

Clinton's campaign said this is Warner's first time endorsing a Democratic presidential nominee. She said she is honored Warner would trust her "with the weighty responsibility of being commander in chief."

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck said Virginians have "a great deal of respect for John Warner and rightfully so," but he criticized Clinton and the endorsement. 

"One endorsement from a former Senator won't undo the failed Russian reset, the Iran nuclear deal, Libya, or her utterly reckless handling of classified information," Whitbeck said in a statement. "That horse is already out of the barn, and not even John Warner can close the door."

Trump's Virgina Chairman Corey Stewart called Warner "the old guard Washington establishment that both sides of the aisle are rejecting." 

However, a new survey shows Virginians agree with Warner on his endorsement, saying Clinton, not Trump, has the right temperament and experience to be president. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Crowd Protests San Diego-Area Police Shooting]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:51:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/09-28-16-El-Cajon-Officer-Involved-Shooting-Protest.JPG

A crowd of people angry over the shooting death of an unarmed black man in El Cajon swarmed the streets near the site of the shooting late Wednesday night, prompting an intensified police presence. 

Earlier in the day, protesters holding signs walked in between cars traveling in the opposite direction along Broadway.

Some protesters cursed as they walk, others screamed, "No violence! No violence!"

A dozen San Diego County Sheriff's deputies stood in a line across Broadway near Ballantyne Street, approximately two blocks west of Mollison Avenue. It appears that they are trying to keep the protesters from getting onto State Route 67.

Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, on the 400 block of Fletcher Parkway off Interstate 8, temporarily closed their doors Wednesday because of the protesters. 

"By request of local authorities and out of an abundance of caution, Parkway Plaza will be temporarily closed due to demonstrations in the area. We will let you know when we are scheduled to reopen," the Plaza said in a statement on their Facebook page.

El Cajon Police said the mall chose to close on its own. Police are not actively evacuating patrons. 

On Tuesday, officers with the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) shot and killed Alfred Olango during an encounter in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 800 block of Broadway. Police said Olango was reported to be "acting erratically" and did not follow orders to remove his hands from the pockets of his pants.

Police said at one point he pulled an object from his pants and pointed it at officers in a "shooting stance." An object, which has yet to be identified, was recovered at the scene, but no weapon, police said.

The killing of Olango sparked outrage in the community amid racial tensions nationwide stemming from deadly police shootings of unarmed black men.

An NBC 7 news crew captured one confrontation between a protester and a sheriff's deputy.

“Pigs! Be scared! [You’re all] in riot gear because you’re all f---ing cowards!” the protester said.

Suddenly a woman nearby chimed in, directing her comment to the deputy, “No, you guys aren’t. You guys are doing your jobs."

"You may not be part of it, but your buddies are," another man shouted at law enforcement officers. "It's time to expose everybody."

A man wearing a shirt with the words #BlackLives tried to walk across the line formed by law enforcement but was quickly stopped by a deputy.

The man shouted that he was trying to get to his son on the other side of the line.

“Stop! Go back!” the deputy told the man.

“Are you kidding me?” the man asked the deputy. “You wonder why we gotta problem with you all? Are you serious?”

"Is not following police orders a justification for killing? This is Murder," said Christopher Rice-Wilson, the Associate Director at Alliance San Diego who was one of the protesters.

Olango, 38, was born in Uganda and emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 when he was 12 years old.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego
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<![CDATA[Rally Planned After Police Shooting]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:10:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/OIS-Alfred-Olango-blurbPic.jpg

Demonstrators rallied in front of a police station in San Diego’s East County Wednesday demanding a federal investigation into the deadly police shooting of an unarmed black man and the full release of a video that shows the encounter.

Signs in hand, protesters gathered at the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) in their quest for answers into the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, a refugee from Uganda. Olango, 38, emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 when he was 12 years old.

“We’re looking for procedural justice,” said Bishop Cornelius Bowser, of Charity Apostolic Church, at the rally. “We don’t want to see a still picture of him pointing something that was not a gun. We want to see the whole story, so put the whole video out.”

“These senseless killings have to stop – not just here in El Cajon, but in the entire country. We need answers, not just one photo that tells one side of the story,” said Estella De Los Rios, a longtime resident of El Cajon and civil rights activist.

The ECPD confirmed officers obtained video of the incident captured on a cell phone by an employee at a nearby taco shop. Police said the witness voluntarily turned that video over to investigators.

Officers with the ECPD are not currently outfitted with body-worn cameras.

From that clip shot by a bystander, the ECPD released a still image that they said shows why Olango appeared to be a threat to officers.

The photo shows the man in what police described as a “shooting stance,” pointing some sort of object at two officers. The ECPD has not said what that object was.

Rev. Shane Harris, of the National Action Network San Diego, said the image released by police does not reveal the full story of what transpired between officers and Olango. Other speakers at the rally said the release of the single photo only serves to "shape the narrative" of police.

“The nation’s eyes are watching us. America’s Finest City – it ain’t looking so fine right now,” Harris said.

According to the ECPD, officers approached Olango Tuesday just after 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Broadway Village Shopping Center on Broadway after his sister called authorities to ask for help because her brother was “not acting like himself.”

Police said Olango was walking in and out of traffic and said the man was acting “erratically.”

ECPD Chief Jeff Davis said at a news briefing Tuesday that the officers who approached Olango told him to take his hands out of the pockets of his pants, but he allegedly “refused multiple instructions by the first officer on the scene” and kept his hands in his pockets.

The man then pulled an object from his pocket and pointed it at officers, assuming a “shooting stance,” Davis said.

The ECPD said one of the officers deployed a Taser on the man, while the other officer fired multiple rounds, striking and killing him.

Davis said the two officers involved in the shooting each have 21 years of service as police officers. Per standard department policy, both officers have been placed on leave, as the investigation is ongoing.

The shooting sparked uproar in the community amid racial tensions across the nation stemming from many other deadly shootings of unarmed black men by police officers, including the recent killing of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.

At the rally Wednesday, locals addressed those tensions, including longtime El Cajon resident Eddie Price.

“I’ve been a black man for 56 years. The feelings that I’m feeling are not new,” said Price, saying that he’s been targeted by police his entire life for the color of his skin.

“I’m armed right now. I’m armed with the melanin in my skin and information in my mind. I’m armed and dangerous. That’s what I feel like, every time I see the police, I feel like I’m already armed and dangerous and I’m a suspect already,” Price explained. “That’s no way to live.”

Price also demanded justice in this case.

“We don’t want you to look at us like us. We want you to look at us like you. We want morals and humanity back in this society. I’m tired of walking around like I’m a target,” he said. “We need some action. Feel something.”

Price, along with other speakers, called for the news media to support the black community.

“It’s not just us against them,” added Price, referring to the police. “This goes into the morality of humanity. Everybody ought to be conflicted about this. Imagine if this was you.”

The rally was peaceful but became heated for a moment when Armand King, leader of the Paving Brighter Futures organization, stepped up to the podium.

“They murdered somebody last night. Somebody’s at home right now with their family, and someone is dead now,” said King. “This is just wrong.”

The crowd began chanting, “Murder! Murder!”

At that moment, a man in the crowd heckled King and he was shaken.

“We cannot respond to them,” said Christopher Rice-Wilson, of Alliance San Diego, who led the rally.

“Every time a black man is killed by police, it’s a message to us to stay in line. When we speak out, we’re told we don’t matter. Black lives matter. And if a black life doesn’t matter, then no lives matter. We’re supposed to be all equals,” said Rice-Wilson.

Mallory Webb, president of the San Diego Youth and College Division of the NAACP, also spoke briefly talking about her experience as a young black woman.

“I’m angry. I’m very angry and I’m hurt. That could be my little brother; that could be my twin sister any time. I don’t know what to do,” she lamented. “I’m scared to walk the streets every single day – I walk to school every single day – and why do I feel like I have to look behind bushes and hide behind trees? Because I could get shot and killed at any time.”

Fighting back tears, Webb added: “It’s not fair at all. Every life. I bleed the same color of blood as you do!”

As the young woman spoke, people in the crowd could be heard responding, “We’re all one nation!” and “We’re all human beings.”

Rice-Wilson said Olango was killed for three reasons: for being black, for being mentally ill and for not following orders from police.

“How do you expect a man who can’t understand your orders to follow your orders?” he asked the crowd.

Rice-Wilson criticized the ECPD for not calling for help from the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) during their encounter with Olango.

According to the 211 San Diego website, PERT “provides emergency assessment and referral for individuals with mental illness who come to the attention of law enforcement. PERT pairs licensed mental health clinicians with uniformed law enforcement officers and deputies.

“The PERT team should’ve been dispatched to handle and deal with Mr. Olango. Why did they not dispatch a PERT team?” said Rice-Wilson.

NBC 7 asked the ECPD about utilizing PERT in this case. Lt. Rob Ransweiler said at least one of the officers involved in the shooting had attended at three-day PERT training course. He said all officers who graduate from the police academy get some kind of PERT training.

Harris said he’s been in contact with Olango’s family and they plan to seek a federal investigation into the deadly police shooting.

“We do not trust local prosecutors to investigate local police,” said Harris. “You won’t have no peace until we get justice. We will not sit down and shut up!”

Agnes Hassan, a woman from Sudan who was friends with Olango, spoke briefly at the end of the rally and said Olango was a refugee from Uganda. They both moved to El Cajon in search of a better life and future for their families.

“We suffer too much – there was a war in Africa, to suffer again?” Hassan said with tears in her eyes. “If somebody has mental problem, how can you not deal with him with a mental problem? This is not right.”

“My heart is just broken,” she sobbed.

NBC 7 reached out to the ECPD Wednesday morning and the police department said it had no news conferences planned for today. No further details on the case were immediately released.

Harris said the officer who shot Olango has “a history,” but said he would be releasing those details at another news conference Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Cooler Temps to Aid in Fight Against Santa Cruz Mountains Wildfire]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:38:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/9-28-16-loma-fire-closeup-firefighters.jpg

Santa Cruz County residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday as firefighters looked to cooler temperatures for a much-needed boost in fighting the 2,250-acre Loma Fire.

Sheriff's officials lifted evacuation orders in Santa Cruz County around 2:30 p.m. Vehicle traffic will continue to be limited, however, due to a large number of emergency vehicles.

Meanwhile, road closures remained in effect elsewhere in the area, officials said. Non-residents are urged to avoid Ormsby Cutoff, Haven Hill Lane, Pacific Rim, Loma Prieta Way, and Rancho Prieta, Mt. Bachi and Summit roads.

"Last night went great," Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean told reporters early Wednesday. "Granted, the fire did continue to burn. But the lower temperatures are going to be a big help."

Cal Fire officials said they could probably contain the fire, which has charred nearly 3.5 miles in the Santa Cruz Mountains, by Monday.

For the last several days, temperatures have been in the high 90s and near 100 degrees, and were considered “hazardous,” by the National Weather Service.

"The fire was burning during the night time as though it were the day time," McLean said.

But Wednesday’s weather conditions were expected to be substantially cooler and last past the weekend. By the end of the week, temperatures should drop to the 60s and mid-70s, according to the NWS. Meteorologists were even predicting some light rain on Sunday and Monday.

That should be great news to the nearly 1,100 firefighters who had contained 10 percent of the fire – 5 percent more than the day before – and were working furiously to protect the 300 homes and communication towers that stood in the fire’s path. As of Wednesday, one home was destroyed and one was damaged, according to Cal Fire. Six other outbuildings were also destroyed.

The NBC Bay Area helicopter flew over the fire early Wednesday morning, capturing plumes of grey smoke billowing against the dark blue sky. The smoke drifted miles away, prompting the San Jose Unified School District to require principals to keep students inside for the day due to possible health risks.

The fire broke out Monday about 3 p.m. at the southern edge of Santa Clara County off Loma Prieta Road and Loma Chiquita Road, 20 miles northwest of Morgan Hill. The cause is under investigation.

This is the fourth significant wildfire to rock the area in 14 years: The Croy Fire erupted in 2002, the Summit Fire broke out in 2008, and another Loma Fire burned in 2009.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Frozen Onion Rings Recalled Due to Allergy Risk]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:04:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ONION+RING+RECALL1.jpg

McCain Foods USA announced it is voluntarily recalling frozen onion ring products nationwide because of mislabeled packaging that poses an allergy risk.

The packaging of frozen onion rings, sold under various brand names, does not declare milk as an ingredient. Those who suffer from milk allergies could accidentally eat the onion rings and suffer potentially life-threatening reactions.

The FDA said there have been no reported illnesses.

The recalled onion rings include 16-ounce bags under the Krasdale brand, 40-ounce bags under Save-A-Lot’s Premium Pick 5 brand, 20-ounce bags under the Spartan brand, and 16-ounce bags under the Shur Fine brand.

The affected frozen onion rings were manufactured between Oct. 20, 2015 and before Sept. 23, 2016. The production date code on the products begins with the letter “V.”

Consumers who are allergic to milk should throw out the unused product or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

The FDA website has more information about the recall.

    Photo Credit: Getty/FDA]]>
    <![CDATA[9 Out of 10 People Breathe Polluted Air: WHO]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:43:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_484690709547.jpg

    Nine out of ten people worldwide live in areas where air pollution exceeds guidelines, the World Health Organization said. The pollution puts these people at higher risk for heart disease, strokes and cancer. 

    "Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations — women, children and the older adults," Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general at the WHO said in a news release, NBC News reported. 

    The new WHO air quality monitor shows that 92 percent of people live in places with dirty air. Approximately three million deaths each year are linked to outdoor air pollution. About 90 percent of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[School Makes Student Take off Slave Costume]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:03:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_slaverycostume0928_1920x1080.jpg A Texas high school student was forced to change out of a slave costume worn for "Decades Day" during homecoming Spirit Week. ]]> <![CDATA[Mystery Caller Threatens Clinton Supporter]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:01:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/PoliticalThreat0928_MP4-147507026150400001.jpg A caller threatens an Ohio woman for her support of Hillary Clinton, warning that her Social Security number and other personal information have been released. ]]> <![CDATA[Obit: Shimon Perez, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Nobel Pri]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:34:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Perez-Obit-147506533758400001.jpg A former prime minister of Israel and Nobel prize winner Shimon Peres has died Tuesday at the age of 93. ]]> <![CDATA[One Dead in Small Plane Crash in Montgomery County]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:25:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160927+Plane.jpg

    Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said a small plane has crashed in the Laytonsville, Maryland, area, killing one person.

    Officials said the crash occurred near Ruppert Landscaping, located at 23601 Laytonsville Road, shortly before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The business closed at 5 p.m.

    Fire and rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said the plane, described as a Cessna-type plane, caught fire. He said one person was killed.

    "Small single engine plane associated with nearby Davis Airfield," Piringer said. "They believe there was only one person on the lane, and unfortunately, he did not survive the crash and fire."

    National Transportation Safety Board investigators responded to the scene. 

    "The airplane had some recent maintenance work done on it, brakes, from what I understand," said NTSB investigator Brian Rayner. "The airplane took off. The engine sounded normal. And then, depending on the witness accounts, about 500 to 1,000 feet above ground level, the pilot reported to air traffic control that he'd experienced an engine failure."

    A witness, Steven Bennett, said he saw the plane as it looked to barrel roll before the crash. He ran to the scene and arrived before emergency crews.

    "I just made a path through the cornfield, so they could run in there, and we got to the plane and saw that it was on fire," Bennett said. "I just kind of walked away. There was nothing anybody could do at that point in time."

    Davis Airport is located to the west of the crash site. Bill Harvey, who was not on scene but answered the phone for the Davis Airport, said he was told there was a crash about 2 to 3 miles from the airport. Employees told him he could see the smoke.

    Units from Howard County are also responded to the scene..

    <![CDATA[Police Shoot, Kill Man in Calif.]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:15:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/09-27-16-El-Cajon-Officer-Involved-Shooting-PIC.jpg

    A black man reportedly acting erratically at a strip mall in suburban San Diego was shot and killed by El Cajon police a minute after they arrived on scene, authorities confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego. Police say the man pulled an object from his pocket, pointing it at officers and assuming a "shooting stance."

    The man, 38, now identified as Alfred Olango, was first reported to be walking in and out of traffic in the middle of the street and “not acting like himself,” when a woman police believe may be the man’s sister called officers for help just after 1 p.m. Tuesday.

    El Cajon Police Department Lt. Rob Ransweiler said two officers first arrived at the scene at approximately 2:10 p.m. Tuesday. The officer-involved shooting happened at 2:11 to 2:12 p.m., between one to two minutes after they arrived. 

    El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis said that when officers arrived on scene and located Olango, he “refused multiple instructions by the first officer on the scene,” and put his hands in his pants pocket. When officers arrived on scene, they were not aware of Olango's criminal history, as far as he knows, said Ransweiler. 

    At the time, there was a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) in the area, but they were responding to another call of a reported man darting in and out of traffic. 

    He allegedly pulled an object and held it out “like he would be firing a gun,” Davis said during a press conference on Tuesday night. Police did not clarify what that object was.

    "At one point the male rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together on it, and extended it rapidly toward the officer taking what appeared to be a shooting stance putting the object in the officer's face,” Davis said. 

    The second officer on scene began to immediately prepare a less lethal electronic control device, or Taser, as the first officer covered him, Davis said. 

    The officer deployed his Taser to try and subdue the subject, Davis said, though it is unclear whether the Taser struck the man. Davis said that aspect of the incident is under investigation. At the same time, the other officer fired his weapon. It is unclear how many shots were fired. 

    Davis said there was also no indication that Olango was suffering an epileptic seizure during the encounter. Officers gave initial first aid to Olango before paramedics arrived and the man was then transported to an area hospital. 

    Shortly after the shooting, a witness came forward and told officers she had video footage of the incident, Davis said. The witness “voluntarily provided” the cell phone video to the department and gave written consent for officers to use it.

    “This was the only cell phone video provided to the officers and no cell phones were taken from anybody,” Davis said. He added that video from the scene coincides with the officers’ statements.

    Officers with the El Cajon Police Department are not currently outfitted with body-worn cameras.

    Following the incident, witnesses questioned the police motives in the shooting. Crowds gathering by the scene of the shooting began chanting, demanding answers from police. 

    The protest was angry but peaceful. Several dozen people, most of them black, gathered and some cursed at officers guarding the scene, The Associated Press reported. They chanted "black lives matter!" and "hands up, don't shoot!" 

    Davis urged the community to remain calm and said the investigation will be thorough. 

    "This will be transparent," he said. "This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours." 

    The district attorney was on scene and also will investigate.

    During the press conference, Davis also urged the community to cooperate with the investigation and come forward if they have any information.

    "I would like to convey my sincerest appreciation to the community of El Cajon for the strength that they have shown in light of this tragic event," he said.

    The woman they believe may be Olango's sister on scene has not cooperated with investigators, Davis said.

    “As you can understand, she was upset; she was not cooperating with us,” Davis said. “We can’t even confirm that it was his sister.”

    That woman is believed to have called the police to report the initial incident early Tuesday afternoon, Davis said. He added it took officers at least 50 minutes to arrive on scene after the first call.

    El Cajon police are asking for the woman come forward, as she may have information they are looking for.

    Davis said that the two officers involved in the shooting, who have not been identified, both have more than 21 years of service as police officers.

    Both officers have been placed on administration leave.

    The entire shooting was captured on cell phone video, but the video will not be released as it is part of an ongoing investigation, Davis said. 

    Meantime, other videos quickly surfaced showing the aftermath, according to the AP. In one posted to Facebook, an unidentified woman is heard telling police at the scene that the man was ordered to take his hand out of his pocket.

    "I said: 'Take your hand out your pocket, baby, or they're going to shoot you.' He said 'no, no, no,' " the woman said. "When he lifted his hand out ... he did have something in his hand but it wasn't no gun, and that's when they shot him."

    Lucy Peterson, who was wearing hospital-style work clothing, said she's Olango's sister. She appeared distraught, repeatedly shrieking and crying, telling officers that she had called them to help her brother, who she described as mentally ill.

    "I just called for help, and you came and killed him," she said.

    Olango was born in Uganda and emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 when he was 12 years old, NBC 7 has learned.

    Michael Ray Rodriguez was among the witnesses who said the man had his hands in the air. He said that he was driving out of his apartment complex past the shooting scene and saw a shirtless black man with his hands raised.

    The officer "let go of the trigger and shot him again and again," Rodriguez told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    The shooting in the community east of San Diego occurred just three days after police in Charlotte, North Carolina, released video showing the Sept. 20 killing of Keith Lamont Scott. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a police officer shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on a highway six days after the Charlotte shooting. In that case, Officer Betty Shelby, has been charged with manslaughter.

    Both shootings have reignited protests questioning the actions of law enforcement officers in cases where encounters ended with African Americans being fatally shot.

    El Cajon City council members approved the purchase of 88 body cameras this past May, but Davis said he was hoping to have the cameras in use by the start of 2017.

    Pastor Miles McPherson of Rock Church followed Davis in the press conference and urged members in the community to pray, and to remain peaceful while the facts continue to unfold.

    El Cajon, which is about 15 miles northeast of San Diego, has a population of about 100,000. It is 69 percent white and 6 percent black, according to 2010 census figures, and has become a home for many refugees fleeing Iraq and, more recently, Syria.

    Photo Credit: El Cajon Police Department
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    <![CDATA[US 'Reviewing' Report Airstrike Killed 13 Civilians]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:03:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ACHIN_Screen-Shot-2016-09-28-at-6.38.41-AM.jpg

    The U.S. military is reviewing claims that one of its airstrikes killed people after it hit a residential building in Afghanistan, NBC News reported.

    A local lawmaker told The Associated Press that 13 civilians were killed. NBC News could not independently confirm that account.

    American officials confirmed in an email to NBC News that one strike was carried out in the Achin district of Nangarhar province and that they were "aware of some claims of Afghan casualties."

    Local lawmaker Esmatullah Shinwari told the AP that an airstrike in Achin had hit a residential building where a crowd had gathered to welcome home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj, an annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

    Photo Credit: Google Maps ]]>