Local Leads: 3/28/2010 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 3/28/2010

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

    A man with gray whiskers robbed a bank in downtown D.C. last week, bringing to five the number of bank holdups in the District that police blame on the same man.   The robbery at the Chevy Chase Bank branch in the 1200 block of F Street Thursday was another one in the series in which no gun was shown.   In last week's incident, police said a man passed a note about 2:10 p.m. to a teller at the bank. The man, wearing tan pants and carrying a shoulder bag, did not show a gun but implied that he had one, police said. They said he got cash and left.   Police said they believe that since Nov. 23, the same man held up two other downtown banks and two on Capitol Hill.   More than a dozen financial institution holdups have been reported recently in Northern Virginia and Prince George's County in which no gun was shown. On Tuesday, a man grabbed cash as it was being deposited in Manassas.

    Pope Benedict XVI opened Holy Week on Sunday amid one of the most serious crises facing the church in decades, with questions about his handling of cases of pedophile priests and the Vatican acknowledging its "moral credibility" was on the line.  Benedict made no mention of the scandal in his Palm Sunday homily. But one of the prayers, recited in Portuguese during Mass, was "for the young and for those charged with educating them and protecting them."  Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and is the start of the church's Holy Week, which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion and death and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

    A private development company is set to announce a plan for a set of high-rise buildings that would transform Alexandria's skyline.
    The Hoffman Co. is seeking approval to build three towers next to the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station. It would add more than 1.3 million square feet of residential space to the city, one of the region's tallest buildings and another 70,000 in retail, including a large Harris Teeter store, Alexandria development chief Gwen Wright said.   The proposal calls for 140,000 square feet more than called for in the city's original master plan, but Hoffman officials have promised to add 55 affordable condominiums or apartments into the mix — the largest affordable housing contribution by a developer in Alexandria, Wright said.

    Metro will stage simulated explosions on a train and bus this weekend as the transit system continues a series of emergency exercises, Get There reports.   The first drill this weekend will take place at 1 a.m. Sunday when the agency simulates an explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn stations.  A second drill will take place at 10 a.m. March 29 in the parking lot at RFK Stadium. The exercise will simulate an explosion on a bus.

    A day after Gilbert Arenas was sentenced to 30 days in a halfway house for bringing guns into the locker room, Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld reaffirmed that the All-Star guard will be back with Washington next season.  Grunfeld told reporters before the team's game against Utah on Saturday that the Wizards did not plan to void Arenas' contract.  “I think people forget that he's still one of the best players in this league,” Grunfeld says.  Arenas avoided jail time for the offense, instead receiving a sentence that also includes two years of probation and 400 hours of community service.