Local Leads: 3/20/2010 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 3/20/2010

News you need to know



    Local Leads: 3/20/2010
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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    The National Marathon is the only marathon that is run completely in D.C., and when it starts Saturday there will be a new starting line.   Instead of the start being in front of the D.C. Armory on East Capitol Street, it will be on 22nd Street in front of RFK Stadium.
    "We had a section down around East Capitol where we had kind of boxed in some residents," says National Marathon Race Director Bill Reifsnyder.   So instead of starting on East Capitol directly in front of the armory and heading west toward the Capitol, the race will start on 22nd and head north, then it's on to C Street which runs into North Carolina Avenue.
    Runners will eventually end up in Lincoln Park.

    At least six people were arrested Friday as several dozen antiwar protesters marched through downtown Washington, authorities said.   Most of the arrests came at the Treasury Department in the late afternoon. Two people were arrested after apparently attempting to reach the colonnade on the 15th Street side of the building to unfurl banners. A witness said the banners read: “End War, Fund our Future.”  The two were arrested on a charge of trespassing, said a spokesman for the Secret Service.  The D.C. police said three people were arrested outside the Treasury building on a charge of crossing a police line.

    It's almost cherry blossom time in the nation's capital, with the festival beginning in one week.  Organizers hope you have a special talent you're willing to share   "We're looking for people from the Washington area who are not necessarily of Japanese ancestry -- although that would be fantastic -- but people who are fluent in both Japanese and English who can translate back and forth," says National Park Service spokesman Bill Line.   Line says volunteers with this skill are crucial to help visitors from Japan get their questions answered during the festival.

    British Airways canceled more than 1,000 flights after its cabin crew launched a three-day strike Saturday, wreaking havoc on the plans of tens of thousands of passengers just before the busy spring holiday season.  Hoping to keep as many passengers happy as possible, BA scrambled to rebook some on other services, chartered planes from rival airlines and drafted in volunteer crew. But it still had to scrap more than half of its 1,950 scheduled flights over the period.  Chief Executive Willie Walsh issued a direct apology via YouTube for the walkout, the airline's first in almost 15 years, saying it was a "terrible day for BA."

    Maryland isn’t accustomed to being the biggest team on the floor. Last night it was, and the Terrapins pressed their advantage to the utmost.  Center Jordan Williams scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds to lead Maryland to an 89-77 victory over stubborn Houston in an NCAA Tournament first-round game.  The Terrapins (24-8) advance to face Michigan State (25-8), which held off New Mexico State here earlier yesterday, 70-67. The matchup between the fourth-seeded Terps and the fifth-seeded Spartans is scheduled to tip off at 2:40 p.m. tomorrow.  It was Williams, a freshman on a senior-dominated team, who did the most to get them there.

    Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, whose image has been frayed by a series of high-profile news controversies, is turning to former White House communications director and veteran Democratic media consultant Anita Dunn for help.   A D.C. schools spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the agency is negotiating a contract with Dunn's firm, Squier Knapp Dunn. The objective is to more effectively handle the heavy load of local and national news media attention that Rhee attracts and to help roll out major stories to greater strategic advantage. The spokeswoman said Dunn has devoted time to District school issues but would not elaborate.