Local Leads: 2/28/2010 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 2/28/2010

News you need to know



    Meet a Former Radio City Rockette Who Got Her Life Back
    Getty Images

    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    One week later, Canada and the United States are here again. It's Sequel Sunday -- and this time, an Olympic gold medal is on the line.   One game between Canada and the United States just wasn't enough at the Vancouver Olympics. The North American neighbors played the most competitive game of the Olympic hockey tournament a week ago on a day dubbed Super Sunday. It was a 5-3 U.S. victory, which convinced the Americans they were the best team, and awakened the Canadians to the fact that an Olympic gold medal in their national sport wouldn't be a walkover.

    The District's largest private hospital has fired 11 nurses and five support staff members who failed to make it to work during the back-to-back snowstorms that paralyzed the region earlier this month.   Dozens of staff members at Washington Hospital Center face internal investigations, union representatives say, and it is unclear how many employees will lose their jobs. On Friday, the nurses union, Nurses United of the National Capital Region, filed a class-action grievance with the hospital.   "I see it as so unfair and uncaring," said Shirley Ricks, a 57-year-old nurse who has spent her entire career at the hospital. "That's it. You call in one day in the biggest snowstorm in history and you're out. No ifs, ands or buts about it. . . . You go from getting a salary every two weeks to nothing. It's scary."

    The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed yesterday afternoon when he struck a tree outside a home just a quarter of a mile from the runway he was attempting to reach at Lee Airport in Edgewater.  A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, which had personnel on the scene, along with firefighters, police and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane was registered to Joseph Kelly.  The crash occurred at about 4:20 p.m., which was only about 20 minutes after the plane took off from Lee. The pilot was on his way back to the airport in the Beechcraft Bonanza P35 when it crashed into a tree at 24 Warehouse Creek Lane in Edgewater, which is across Route 2 from Lee Airport.

    The ongoing mystery surrounding the whereabouts of D.C.'s expensive snow melter may be over.  It's been spotted -- in action.
    Crews were using the massive machine Saturday afternoon to clear mounds of snow from a parking lot at 10th and H streets in northwest D.C.  It had a big sign on it that read:  "SNOW MELTER."  So what's the big mystery?  The city bought the machine for $120,000 in 2003, but it wasn't used during this month's record snow storms.  And a lot of people wondered why.   Last week, city officials told NBC4's Tom Sherwood that the melter was broken, tough to operate, and not worth using again.  It had been sitting, idle, on the city's public works lot.  Adding to the mystery, the city government also declined NBC4's request to see the machine.
    Now, D.C. officials have not confirmed if the melter spotted Saturday is "the one."  However, we don't think it's a stretch.   A sign on the side of the equipment read:  "Snow Melter:  Just For You D.C."