tv News4 This Week NBC August 29, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT
welcome to "news4 this week." >> hi, everyone. i'm veronica johnson and we're going to show you some of the more interesting local stories making news this week. among them, asbestos onboard. the startling discovery on metro's oldest cars, as riders worry and metro taking action. plus food fight. why virginia is staking a claim to maryland's famed blue crabs. and battling the bite. what works, what doesn't when it comes to protecting your skip from those dreaded mosquitos. first, two years and more than four miles of work underneath d.c. is now complete. the goal is to prevent neighborhood flooding and make our rivers clean enough to fish and swim in. but it will come at a cost. to most of us, that is, news4's
mark segraves takes us inside the big dig. >> reporter: the milestone for the d.c. clean rivers project that will be complete in 2022 has the enormous borehead from the underground drill was removed from the tunnel. >> about four and a half miles. it's taken several years to do. we're on time, we're underbudget. >> reporter: that budget is more than $2 billion. >> there's an item on everybody's bill. next year it's going to be $20. it's going to continue to go up. >> reporter: while water bills will continue to go up each year, our rivers and creeks will continue to get cleaner. the new tunnels will supplement the existing tunnels which were built in the 1800s and can't handle all of the rain and sewage which leads to massive flooding in d.c. neighborhoods. >> for a long time that maintenance was deferred. the bill has come due now. >> reporter: flooding isn't the only thing these new tunnels will fix. the existing sewers become overwhelmed each time we have a
big rain, forcing billions of gallons of sewage and rain to be dumped directly into our rivers and creeks every year. in the district, mark segraves, news4. we have more information on our nbc washington app, including a map that can tell you if undergroundwork is happening below you. just search d.c. big dig. neighbors are calling the fire devastating. flames ripped through a row of buildings in harper's ferry business district. the fire broke out early thursday morning, damaging at least four buildings that house shops and apartments. for one shop, the vintage lady, all that remains is the sign outside. the building is gutted. the shop owner says it's a ploe -- blow to a tight-knit community. >> the best thing is that no one was hurt. but what this has done to the -- not just me personally, but to the fabric that is harper's
ferry is just -- it's devastating. >> we're told that some of the heaviest flames were in an area with long wooden stairs. investigators say it's still too early to know what sparked the fire. well, a civil war era home up for auction in frederick will be preserved as a museum. the nonprofit group asherman family foundation bought the house. according to the frederick news post, the winning bid was $200,000. during the civil war era, 95-year-old barbara fritchey stood up to a confederate soldier and refused to put down her union flag. in 1927 her home was rebuilt as a museum. the new owner told the frederick post he plans to keep it maintained for the public. well, when pope francis visits washington in september, leaders of the catholic church here want all citizens to welcome him by fulfilling a special pledge. this week the archdiocese kicked off a program to have more than
100,000 people do a good deed. news4's tom sherwood reports the program is open to anyone who wants to participate. >> reporter: at the catholic charities food bank in columbia heights, long-time volunteer, elba myra vargas is watching over a small but determined effort to prepare food bags for 120 families. today she was part of the catholic charities event to kick off a unique program to welcome pope francis to washington in september. cardinal donald wuerl, archbishop is asking more than 100,000 people to sign pledge cards by walking with francis to honor the pope's visit. the effort is not just for catholics. >> this effort to walk with francis includes everyone who wants to be a part of it. everybody can do a good deed to a brother or sister. >> reporter: monsignor john
ensler says it can be a simple prayer or deed. >> i'm going to serve someone by walking down the street to maybe someone who's homebound. we need at least 100,000 people locally to take this pledge. >> you're excited about the pope coming? >> yes, yes. i'm very excited. >> this pledge idea grew occupy catholic charities and grew occupy monsignor ensler's desire to do something that would reflect how catholic charities walks with people all the time. >> reporter: catholic charities has more than 65 diverse programs, serving more than 120,000 people in the washington area. in the district, tom sherwood, news4. well, you can see more about the pope's visit and the walk with francis pledge on our nbc washington app. well, lots of you are talking about a story that you saw first on news4. hundreds of metro's oldest rail cars are riding around right now with a small amount of asbestos. it's contained in the front and
back of each of the 1000 series rail cars. metro says it is outside the passenger cabin and not accessible to riders. there are around 280 1000 series cars still running. the people we talked to say this is something that they indeed will be looking for. >> i'll be looking as the train pulls into the station. i'll look and see which cars and decide which one to be getting on. >> i'll avoid those as much as possible. >> metro is asking a contractor to remove the asbestos. metro says the asbestos poses no health risk. all 1000 series cars will be phased out as the new 7000 series cars are put into service. well, there have been plenty of spottings this summer, but now bears seem to be hitting closer to home. the attack that has one community keeping a close eye on their pets. and he says he's just added another dome to the state
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a homeowner in great falls, virginia, says a bear attacked one of his dogs. it happened tuesday night when richard kelly came home and found his dog, blue, bleeding. the 6-year-old rescue dog had hf a dozen wounds, including what appears to be a large claw mark on her left side. the veterinarian says the wounds are consistent with an attack by a bear. >> i cannot have my children playing out here, shooting hoops, running around my own front yard after dark until this problem is solved. >> fairfax county's animal services division won't relocate a wild animal unless it is sick or dangerous. since no one actually witnessed the attack, it may be difficult to say the bear is indeed dangerous. for folks who live in this area it's second nature to call
local crabs maryland crabs but they should be called virginia crabs. he made the comment last week during a radio interview. mcauliffe said the crabs are born in virginia. the only reason they end up in maryland waters is because the current carries them there. now he actually said all this as he chuckled, but many experts say, you know what, it's basically true. well, maryland's governor is sporting a new look as he fights cancer. larry hogan posted this picture on facebook and wrote, quote, it looks like there's another white dome in annapolis. i'm losing hair but i'm winning the battle. hogan was diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma last month. he's had two rounds of chemo so far and says he's feeling strong as he continues working through treatments. it's been a huge complaint for years. now our i-team is going
undercover to catch spotters in action even as a new law banning them is about to take effect. still feeling the pinch of mosquitos, even though you use repellent. we've got some alternatives for you, next. you exercise. you choose the salad. occasionally. but staying well - physically, financially, emotionally - its hard on your own. so cigna's got your back, and your knees, 24/7.
and everyone else in the family. everything we do is because of what really matters most. the goodness of oats and the people we love. ouch, right? take this into consideration if you're planning to enjoy some time outdoors this weekend. lots of those products that claim to protect you from pesky mosquitos, but do they really? many contain chemicals you don't necessarily want to spray on yourself or your kids. consumer reporter erika gonzalez has a look at other ways to keep the bugs from biting. >> reporter: like many people, roz and joe car vin considered their backyard a summer oasis until the mosquitos took over. >> what we've done is just stick a bottle of some sort of mosquito repellent on the table
and just advise everybody to lather up. >> reporter: not a fan of bug spray? consumer reports looked at alternative repellents like candles, diffusers and wristbands. testers suited up and filed into an enclosed room meant to simulate a mock picnic area, complete with 250 mosquitos. the first line of defense, an $8.50 off citron ella candle. they repeated the test with this bug band portable diffuser which refuses a different plant oil. neither the candle or diffuser kept mosquitos away. what about wristbands? if you're a tester with your arm inside a cage inside mosquitos, you don't want to be counting on them either. >> the wristbands contain various plant oilsz but they didn't work. >> reporter: what alternative worked best? an odor n an ordinary oscillating fan. >> it blew the bugs away.
it reduced them to about half. >> reporter: which means there is another tool in the arsenal in the war against mosquitos. erika gonzalez, news4. >> try them all. erika reached out to all those companies mentioned in the consumer reports test. bug band says it has sold thousands of diffusers and years of research and testing have shown them to be highly effective and nontoxic. "consumer reports" says another good way to reduce the number of bites is to rid your yard of those water-filled containers where are often where mosquitos breed. also make sure that you clear away any ivy and decaying leaves where they can hide. the newest law aimed to protect you from getting your car towed was signed this week but it isn't protecting you just yet and might not protect you for quite a while. our scott mcfarland and the news4 i-team went under cover and found tow truck operators making an 11th hour push for cars before the ink of that new
law is dry. >> reporter: near the court, the shops or a local hot spot like rockville town square, you know how difficult it is to find parking, making this half-empty parking lot down the street tempting. very tempting. the news4 i-team found very lucrative for some. >> don't park here because you will get towed. as soon as you get right there, your car is going to be towed. >> reporter: you can't use these spaces if you're shopping in the town square. it's only for these two nearby business offices. >> to me it feels like a full-time job just watching people. >> reporter: during the past week our undercover cameras rolled and we saw it over and over again. a tow truck driver parked on the lot watched as drivers left their cars and walked across the street to the town square. moments later, he jumped out, snapped a photo and towed the car away. watch, the man in this black suv headed toward the shopping complex and 54 seconds later, less than a minute, the tow truck driver had his photos, his hook lined up and hauled the car
away. >> when you have the tow truck driver doing it all, is it legal now? >> it's not legal now, it wasn't legal 20 years ago and it won't be legal when the new law takes effect and the tower knows that. the property owner has to authorize every single tow. >> reporter: eric friedman is director of montgomery county's office of consumer protection and friedman says current county law requires the tow truck driver first notify the police and get authorization from the property owner before towing the car. the new county law they're signing this week will require it to be written authorization and prohibit the tow company from even parking their trucks on the lots they cover. >> i'm scott with channel 4. >> reporter: we wanted to know why this driver is operating like this. >> on the last truck you towed, who saw the driver walk off? what kind of authorization did you get for the tow isn? >> the new laws don't go into effect until october 1st. >> reporter: and he immediately drove over to this white car and towed it too.
his boss told us this type of towing is allowed for now and that his company will continue operating here until then. >> our driver is well within the law with what he's doing. the truck is here on the property. he's observing people park and walk off. he's taking the pictures. >> reporter: in 2012 maryland passed a statewide ban on having lookouts watching for walk-offs in parking lots. but the law was written in a excusing way and the i-team found in the three years since no company has ever been cited for it. >> in our judgment it's gotten totally out of whack. 30,000 tows in this county is not okay. >> reporter: the county councilmember said the newly passed enhanced law will make it less confusing, at least in montgomery county. >> if they do this, they're going to get caught. >> reporter: but the tow companies tell the i-team they'll likely challenge the county law and the businesses for whom they work will likely support them. >> hopefully we'll keep operating afterwards.
>> reporter: if illegal parkers know they can get away with it more easily, he says, this lot will no longer be half empty. scott mcfarland, news4 i-team. >> to watch the i-team's past reports on predatory towing go to nbc washington app and click investigations. well, you may need a morning cup of coffee and joe to get started, but there's something else that could give you a big boost. we take a look inside a morning rave, next.
oh, that's right, check this out. many of you can't get enough of this video on facebook. a d.c. police officer going above the call of duty. she knows some kids in southeast. she showed them how to do a little bit of double dutch. officer candice young does it all, full uniform. her radio on, her hat, her belt, her badge, everything else that she has to wear. well, that is pretty good. some of your neighbors or
co-workers had a big night out before their day even got started. we are talking about something called daybreaker. a dance and yoga party that kicks off at 6:00 a.m. at union market in northeast d.c. news4's zachary kiesch was there as he reports on the morning being full of surprises. >> there's something pretty awesome about not being drunk or on something. everyone is sober at 7:00 a.m. and, you know, we're moving like we have no care in the world. just getting the blood flowing. >> reporter: it's a new spin on the all-night rave scene. part one, cut out the drugs and alcohol, mix in some yoga. part two, now that you're sweaty, sweat some more. dance parties. part three, it's a weekday, a wednesday, and it starts before work at 6:00 a.m. it's called daybreaker and it's a party. >> it's everything good about the night life without any of
the dark side. >> reporter: the concept started in new york just a couple of years ago and it spread to d.c., l.a. and san francisco. here in d.c., it's happening at the union market in northeast. the sun is still not out and the place is filling up. >> it's a sober crowd. it's active, healthy, conscious crowd. >> reporter: the cost is $20 just for yoga and $35 includes the dance party. kiersten has been to two in d.c. and is a big fan. >> loud music drumming in your ears in the morning and just an excuse to get sweaty and move your body before you sit down for work all day. >> reporter: reporting in northeast d.c., zachary kiesch, news4. >> that's a trend that's just going to get bigger. that's all for "news4 this week." thanks for joining us. until next time, be safe, be kind, be happy. do you like the passaaadd?
announcer: news 4 today begins with wreaking news. >> we begin with breaking news. two men are dead after a shooting in southeast d.c. this comes in the middle of what's supposed to be an all hands on deck for the police department. it happened on b street southeast before midnight. >> police tell us two men were shot and killed. a third man taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. no suspect as of now. >> good morning. it's 6:00 on the dot. >> welcome to news 4 today. we have had a beautiful stretch of no humidity. for those visiting, that's what summer is like. there's no humidity in d.c. it's usually nice and cool. >> no,it