Local Leads: 3/7/2010 - NBC4 Washington

Local Leads: 3/7/2010

News you need to know



    New Shoulder Replacement Procedure Gives the Gift of Movement
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    The following stories have been hand-selected by the Assignment Desk at News4:

    D.C. police need the public's help in finding a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a jogger along the National Mall early Saturday morning.  A woman described as an Asian or white female, possibly in her mid-thirties to early forties with dark hair, was hit by white vehicle around 6 a.m, at the intersection of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW.   She was taken to the George Washington University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.  The jogger has not been identified, but was wearing a multi-colored top, black Spandex pants, Asics running shoes, several yellow metal bracelets, and a Sony CD Walkman.Police said they are looking for a white tractor trailer with a conventional cab, a rear window and an air deflector attached to a flatbead containing a scissor lift and a rectangular crate.

    The National Cherry Blossom Festival is coming up and volunteers are needed. The biggest volunteer need is for ushers at the parade on Saturday, April 10. Ushers will help people to their seats, with crowd control and with hosting people in the grand stand seats.   Volunteers also can help with stage activities and performances, handling children's crafts and activities, parade duties and office support.   The festival runs from March 27 to April 11.

    A witness to the shooting in front of the Pentagon says he is still reeling from being taken in by police that day.  "I was thinking I was going to die," Dan Namisi told NBC4. "I am very traumatized with this whole experience."  Namisi was on his way home to Virginia when John Patrick Bedell opened fire at the entrance to the Pentagon Thursday. When it was over, police said Bedell was the lone gunman who injured two police officers before being fatally shot.   But soon after Namisi heard the shots, he found himself in handcuffs.  "I heard a 'pop! pop!' so I ducked down to the ground," he recalled. "They gave commands to lay down flat and then they handcuffed me. And I was puzzled. Why are they handcuffing me?"

    Plans to erect the tallest building in the Washington area have stalled as money has dried up in the Washington area.   Private property owners planned to construct three buildings in Rosslyn, including a 31-story, half-million square-foot skyscraper overlooking downtown Washington and the Potomac River.   The massive commercial and residential developments were to bring new jobs and residents to Arlington County. But those plans are on hold thanks to a sufferingcommercial real estate market and an absence of available credit from lenders.   "We actually thought they'd have shovels in the ground on at least two of the projects a year and a half ago," said Arlington Board Chairman Jay Fisette. "But that's right when the market crashed."

    A frigid Florida winter is taking its toll on your sandwich. The Sunshine State is the main U.S. source for fresh winter tomatoes, and its growers lost some 70% of their crop during January's prolonged cold snap.  Wholesale prices are up nearly five times over last year. That means you can say goodbye to the beefsteaks on that burger and prepare to pay more than usual for the succulent wedges in your salad.  At Costello Sandwich and Sides in Chicago, which uses 10 to 15 cases of tomatoes a week and is now paying $25 a case instead of $15, customers can expect to get a bit less tomato on their sandwiches. The shop hasn't raised prices or stopped serving tomatoes altogether, but manager Matthew Villareal says he can see the tomatoes are soft when the prep cooks are cutting them.

    Human remains were found Saturday afternoon in the Damascus area of upper Montgomery County, the county police said. The remains were found about 12:30 in near Ridge and Brown Church Roads in the vicinity of Patuxent River State Park, the police said.
    The matter was under investigation Saturday night, but few details were available about the discovery.