tv Fox 5 News at Ten FOX March 1, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EST
and take a look at the bottom of your screen. that's an alleged drunk driver on the runway of a major airport as the jet approaches for landing. but we begin tonight with a history making day in maryland. thanks for joining us tonight. i'm laura evans. >> i'm shawn yancy. people who have been fighting for same sex marriage are celebrating tonight. the governor signed it into law a few hours ago. our bob barnard was there and joins us live now from annapolis. >> reporter: the state of maryland has now legalized same sex marriage, but gay and lesbian couples should not be rushing for a license. this new law will not go into effect until next january at the earliest. >> the bill is signed. [ cheering and applause ] >> reporter: and with that maryland becomes the eighth state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage. the bill signing ceremony in the rotunda of the statehouse with hundreds on hand to witness it. >> i could not be happier. you have no idea. i cried through the signing and i want to dance. i do.
i feel like i'm in disneyland. >> reporter: in the hallway between the maryland house and senate chambers scores of same sex couples, gay rights activists, state lawmakers, their staffs and families and every day marylanders coming together to watch governor martin o'malley sign the civil marriage protection act of 2012 into law. >> this is a huge day for maryland and equality. i can't tell you how big my heart feelings right now, how warm it is for -- feels right now, how warm it is for the diversity that we're respecting in the state. >> reporter: the legislation was passed by the maryland state last thursday. the house of delegates the week before. >> we are one maryland and all of us at the end of the day want the same thing for our children. we want them to live in a loving, caring and committed home that is protected equally under the law. >> reporter: but don't let this picture fool you. not every lawmaker here in annapolis is applauding tonight. >> here we have a very controversial bill that
governor o'malley really shoved through the process. he pushed it, did everything he could. >> reporter: washington county republican house delegate neil parrot is helping lead the effort to collect more than 55,000 signatures to get the issue put on the ballot in november. >> you know, it's just a matter of common sense. from the beginning of time marriage has always been between one man and one woman and that's -- we just can't go changing definitions just because some people are upset about a definition. >> reporter: if there is a referendum come november? >> the polls now show more people in maryland are for same sex marriage than against it, but it always depends who shows up on election day, who are the national candidates and who is brought out to the poll to vote on this issue and others. it will be close. it's getting closer each time. >> reporter: now if the issue gets on the november ballot and a majority of maryland voters reject the law as written, same sex marriage will not be legal come january. it's back to square one. >> we saw all the celebrations
there. were there any protests either outside or inside the statehouse this afternoon? >> reporter: not at all. it was all good spirits inside. though there are a number of church leaders who are opposed to this. however, the law as written does not require them to marry any couple they don't wish to. >> thank you for the latest tonight. to virginia where a controversial bill requiring ultrasound exams for women seeking an abortion is one step closer to becoming law. the house of delegate overwhelmingly approved the measure it. includes a senate amendment to exempt victims of rape and incest. the bill now heads to governor bob mcdonnell who is expected to sign it. another big story, police still trying to identify a man struck by a hit and run driver, happened yesterday on route 198 in laurel. now tonight this key piece of evidence could help in the investigation. fox 5's maureen umeh is live in laurel with the latest. maureen? >> reporter: well, tonight
laurel police have been canvassing the area looking at homeless shelters and missing persons reports trying to identify who that victim it. they're hoping the video you just -- victim is. they're hoping the video you just saw helps id the victim and also the truck that hit him and the driver behind the wheel. you can see the victim at the top right of your screen walking along eastbound route 198 in laurel. the white pickup truck americans from route 1. then swerves into the man mowing him down and taking off. >> it's terrible because at least could he have stopped and see what, you know, you could do to help the person. >> reporter: it happened just after 2:00 wednesday afternoon. a metrobus' dashcam captured the crime. laurel police say the bus driver and the driver of the red car behind stopped, but no one was able to get the white truck's license plate. police say it is unlikely the
driver of the truck didn't know what they had done. >> knowing that he hit someone and sent them down an embankment 30 feet, it's definitely surprising. it could have been an accident, but we don't know because they decided not to stop and continued on. >> reporter: police believe the truck is an f250 pickup with a super cab and extended bed. its model year is between 2005 and 2007. they believe it could be someone's work truck with writing on the door. it has one working brake light, the back left, and has significant front end damage. >> looking at everything to attempt to identify our victim. >> reporter: the victim who police say is a white male between 50 and 60 years old suffered severe head injuries, a snapped femur and crushed pelvis. he had no id. police are going door to door trying to find out who he is and trying to find the white truck and the driver who ran down a pedestrian leaving him for dead. >> whatever you hit with your car, you can tell something wro he knew he hit someone.
he just -- i don't know. he just wasn't human. >> reporter: now again no id yet on this victim. he is at baltimore shock trauma in critical condition. police say if you have any information at all about this case, please give them a call. that is the latest from here in laurel. the man known as the aspen hill rapist will spend the rest of his life in prison. a judge gave timothy buzbee two life sentences today. he's been in prison now since the early '80s. he was eligible for parole, but dna connected him to five more rapes. he will be in jail now forever. >> reporter: when timothy buzbee went to prison in the early '80s detectives thought they knew quite a bit about the man known as the aspen hill rapist suspecting he had carried out a series of attacks close to help, but when detective joe modano and other detectives started looking at cases from the late '70s they were astounded to learn buzbee was attacking women all over
montgomery county. >> this is the most prolific rapist i think in the history of montgomery county. >> reporter: in fact, just by the is here terror state's attorney john mccarthy compared the rapist to the sniper shootings carried out by john muhammad and malvo. >> the only thing we do know is at some point in time he said there are so many victims he can't distinguish them all himself. he doesn't remember the details. >> reporter: just before hearing his sentence buzbee listened as four of his victims, all women now in their 50s stepped forward to tell their stories. three of them agreed to comment as long as we only showed their shadows. >> i feel like i was very fortunate because i didn't let this man control me for much beyond what i had to do in the short term afterwards. there were things like being afraid of the dark and as most of us confirmed, we still cannot be approached by
surprise from behind. >> that was one of my biggest concerns throughout this last 35 years it seems, that at any given time i would be called upon to testify against my rapist and i would then have to go to my superiors to tell them by the way, i'm going to be out because of this and i just felt that that made me vulnerable and that made me vulnerable in the eyes of the people i worked with and worked for and i just did not want that to happen. >> reporter: one of the victims tearfully told the court she still wonders who she could have been had she not been raped. >> i believe the experience of the rape at hands of timothy buzbee helped to kill off the person that i was supposed to be. and i still wonder how that might have been different had it not happened, but things
aren't supposed to happen. >> reporter: before calling buzbee an evil predator judge nelson rupp said with the sentence it was his hope the defendant would never walk free in the community again. when the state's attorney called the three victims into the well of the court to give a victim impact statement, one of them looked right at timothy buzbee and said mr. buzbee, i'm the 18-year-old lifeguard you raped so many years ago. buzbee actually looked up and listened to what these ladies had to say. another victim had an impact statement that was very well written and it was about three pages long and she wanted the judge and buzbeeton exactly what this had done to -- buzbee to know exactly what this had done to her life. she tried to keep it a secret from family and friends and felt like she'd be vulnerable if anybody ever knew that she had been a rape victim. a third lady was so nervous she didn't have anything written down and she was just wringing her hands and she was tearful as she said that she wanted the judge to know that this had impacted her life so much that
she always wondered what the real person she would have become had she not been raped. judge them son rupp before sentencing buzbee told -- nelson rupp before sentencing buzbee told him the most astonishing thing he found out about this man was that he came from an upper middle class family and he was living life of privilege that, his father owned a surveying company. he married. he had a child. he didn't have drug or alcohol abuse problems and yet he was this evil predator. another thing that sticks with me from this story is that the way buzbee was discovered by the police so many years ago was because he had two friends who were police officers back when he was in high school and after reading about the details of the case they realized that he fit this description right down to the raspy voice and they had one of the victims actually call the surveying firm and listen to his voice to see if she recognized it and she thought she did.
in 1982 timothy buzbee was arrested. in the fox 5 newsroom paul wagner, fox 5 news. the man known as the east coast rapist has confessed to raping two teen-age girls in virginia on halloween back in 2009. aaron thomas was in court today where a judge found him competent to stand trial. a court ordered evaluation found he was faking insanity. investigators say he confessed shortly after being arrested. he's accused of attacks on 17 women from virginia to connecticut. a drunk driver shuts down a major airport after driving right onto the tarmac as a plane is coming in for landing. plus an alert for anyone who parks in the district, a parking meter change that is catching a lot of people by surprise. >> i wonder if today's temperature caught people by surprise. we got up to 70 degrees, what a way to bring in meteorological spring and the first day of march. i'm not sure we can keep that trend going. we have a little rain in the forecast, too. we'll let you know what to expect as we close out the
workweek. at 11:00 tonight an accused hitman found not guilty in the murder of this pregnant teen- ager, how the drama played out and reaction from the victim's family on the news edge. fw? @ . welcome to carmax. hi. i was on carmax dot com and i think i found the one. great car. and i think, it's right over there... (sighes)... finding your perfect car is easy at carmax because we carry only the highest quality used vehicles. and at carmax dot com, you can choose from nearly 30 thousand cars with most available for transfer to the store nearest you. so come find the one for you today... at carmax.
look at the bottom of your screen, a chaotic scene at philadelphia airport today. a suspected drunk driver ran his truck through a fence. several planes had to circle the airport, couldn't land because of the incident. the driver is arrested and facing numerous charges including driving under the influence, reckless endangerment. the airport closed about half an hour. heads up if you park in the district. hundreds of brand-new red topped meters for disabled drivers are now active. fox 5's john henrehan explains what may happen if you get caught parking at one of those meters and you're not disabled. >> reporter: parking rules in d.c. have changed. for people that have valid handicapped placards in their cars formerly could park at any metered spot in the city and they could park twice as long
as usual if this was a two- hour zone, they could park free for four hours. those rules are gone and under the new rules this person is getting a ticket. there were a couple of problems with the old rules. for one thing it's widely suspected that some of the handicapped placards are not kosher. do you think a lot of people were using bogus handicapped placards? >> yes. >> yes. of course they were. >> we know where you can buy them. >> reporter: and say city officials some people parking free at metered spaces were staying put there all day. >> curbside parking is not intended to be used all day. that's not the purpose of it. it's to provide short convenient parking so that you can go to businesses or restaurants. >> reporter: so under the new rules in d.c. cars with handicapped placards can no longer park free anywhere. 400 city spots have been designated as red top meters.
only cars with handicapped placards can park there. the drivers must feed the meters. what do you think about the change? >> it's going to be an inconvenience for some people because as me, i'm sure other folks weren't aware of it either. >> reporter: some drives fave the new rules requiring disable -- favor the new rules requiring disabled parkers to always pay. >> the city losing revenue if folks stay on the meter all day long and then it doesn't give other people opportunity to use the meters. >> reporter: remember, though, the red topped meters are only for disabled drivers. not everyone has got than word. what do these red topped meters mean? >> as far as i know, the red topped meters are new ones they're putting in accepting credit cards. >> reporter: after a week of warnings enforcers are now writing tickets. remember in d.c. all must now pay at meters and the red top meters are for disabled drivers only. john henrehan, fox 5 news. the former head of the faa appeared in court today on
drunk driving charges. randy babbitt was arrested in fairfax is he? december. he was driving on the wrong side of the highway. today's hearing was continued until may. a showdown in the senate today over birth control, republicans tried but failed to roll back a provision of the healthcare law that requires most employers or insurers to cover the cost of contraceptives. fox 5's tom fitzgerald reports. >> reporter: when healthcare reform became law, it mandated employers offer free contraceptive care in their health insurance. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> reporter: in the senate thursday republicans offered a measure to end that mandate saying it forces churches and religious groups to violate their beliefs on birth control and abortion. >> i believe that such a mandate poses a threat to our religious freedom. >> it's not within the power of the federal government to tell anybody what to believe. >> reporter: but democrats argue the white house offered a compromise having insurance
companies pay for contraceptive care and creating an exemption for churches and religious groups. >> every step of the way it seems as if there is an assault on women's reproductive choice. >> not one of them suggested that men shouldn't have their viagra, but we'll gnata side. >> reporter: the republican effort was defeat -- put that a side. >> reporter: the republican effort was defeated 51-48. they were accused of fanning the flames of social issues to score point in an election year. >> we defeated an amendment that would have historically taken away something that women in this country have counted on for decades. >> it appeals to the social agenda of a small very vocal part of the republican party. >> reporter: but at a news conference of leading conservative congresswomen and conservative women's groups opponents of the mandate say their fight is not over 6789. >> what we see here is -- over. >> what we see here is really a violation of our first amendment rights and when that happens religious liberty is not free. >> reporter: but with the dual
forces of election year politics and religion coming together, the birth control battle shows no sign of going away. tom fitzgerald, fox 5 news. >> now this controversy has also become an issue in the republican presidential campaign. former senator rick santorum had been critical of mitt romney for not speaking out against the birth control rule. however, romney said today he supported the defeated amendment. a local council member caught going 105 miles per hour on the beltway, but only issued a warning, tonight a former state police sergeant explains how he would have handled the case. also thousands are picking up the pieces after violent storms sweep through their area. sue palka is tracking a new round of violent weather headed to the same region. ♪
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damage after that deadly string of tornadoes. >> yeah. and a little bit early, too. we often see this when the seasons are changing, but there were 12 deaths, 30 reports tornadoes and literally half of those deaths came from one community, the little town of harrisburg, illinois. first it was a very powerful storm, an ef4 and it hit at 5 a.m., a time when a lot of people are asleep and not paying attention to the warnings. take a look. >> reporter: a day after storms ripped through the midwest residents begin to pick up the pieces. after a tornado packing winds up to 180 miles an hour tore through harrisburg, illinois. mayor eric greg calling the ef4 tornado a horrific event. >> it's a horrific event that's happened to us in harrisburg and the loss of life, injuries, devastation is very profound. it's very profound. it's heartbreaking to tell you the truth. we're doing what has to be done
to help wherever needed. >> reporter: residents of this small town remember exactly where they were when the storm hit. >> it was terrifying. i'd never been through anything like this. it did sound like the train coming through the living room. been at 10:00 in the morning -- had this been at 10:00 in the morning when people were here shopping, i think the death told and damage could have been much higher. >> reporter: storms also causing damage across the region. both kansas and missouri were hit hard with the famous downtown area in branson, missouri, seeing severe damage. governor jay nixon declared a state of emergency after touring the area but says the state is ready to rebuild. >> the people in missouri are strong. joplin will serve as a real example, everybody here to rebuild the folks of branson today already talking about doing everything they can to get stood up and ready to go for the tourism season. >> now it looks like another round for these people. >> this is bad news, got a map behind me. this is put out by the storm
prediction center. that area in yellow is a moderate risk for severe thunderstorms for tomorrow night and a moderate risk doesn't get put out very often. that includes indiana again, illinois down through ohio, kentucky, tennessee and maybe into the deep south has a very strong likelihood of seeing more tornadoes tomorrow night and unfortunately the ingredients are coming together for it to potentially be a worse outbreak. >> again we're talking in the overnight hours. >> it looks like it will begin tomorrow afternoon, but it could absolutely continue into the overnight hours. so for people living in these regions and even for ourselves it's time to think about what do you do in the overnight hours, maybe a noaa weather radio, an app for the smartphone? when you're in the yellow areas, you need to be very vigilant and if you hear that wind coming up, know what your plan is. so what do you think most police officers would do if they caught a driver doing 100 on the beltway? a retired officer answers that question coming up next.
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this is fox 5 news at 10:00. the accused teenage gunman from this week's ohio high school shooting was formally charged today with killing three students and that's just the first step. he has a hearing later this month to determine whether he should be prosecuted as an adult. fox 5's karen gray houston is in the newsroom with this developing story. >> t.j. lane is charged as a juvenile with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder, one count of felonious assault. one of the injured students remains in serious condition. another was released from the hospital tuesday, all this as the devastated community prepares to reopen the doors at chardon high school tomorrow. softly singing their alma mater while holding hands, students
of chardon high school gathered at the courthouse square gazebo now decorated with ribbons, flowers, balloons and personal notes. many of the students were joined by their parents and other loved ones wearing school colors sharing tears and hugs of support. it was the beginning of a symbolic march to the campus where five classmates were shot, three of whom have since died from their injuries, not a long journey, but a difficult one with hopes of healing at the end. family members of the victims speaking after the march sharing their struggles like phyllis ferguson, her son demetrius one of the students killed. phyllis says his death will not be in vain. >> demetrius has donated his organs and for demetrius one life he gets to change eight lives. >> reporter: ron pamator, the uncle of dan pamator who died
in the attack recalling his nephew's fun loving spirit. >> danny was a joy in our lives and has touched many hearts during the short time with us. his love for his family, friends and others was an inspiration. >> reporter: the community getting support from washington. president obama called the chardon high school principal yesterday to offer his condolences and see how the community is holding up. if lane is tried as an adult, he could face life in prison if found guilty. meanwhile the high school reopened today for faculty. students are expected to go back tomorrow morning for classes. did prince george's county police follow proper procedure? an officer let a councilwoman off with a warning after pulling her over for going at least 105 miles per hour on the beltway. the officer pulled over karen toles last week after allegedly watching her weave in and out of traffic in a county vehicle. he said he hit 100 just trying to catch up to her, but he only issued a $90 citation for her
unsafe lane change. retired maryland state police sergeant ron maroney joins us now. we have heard from a lot of people who were outraged by this, most people pulled over going that fast on the beltway we figure would be in handcuffs in the back of a squad car. was this proper protocol? what would you have done? >> in an instance like this i would have issued a citation for the speed and for reckless driving and the unsafe lane change. the officer had said that he was unsure because his car wasn't calibrated. however, you know when you're going 40 miles an hour over the speed limit, which is a $510 fine and five points. he should have issued the citation and then went to court with his dash camera. that certainly could work. so in an instance like this what he could do is contact his supervisor, contact the traffic division and then they have a year and a day to charge
someone who is charged with a traffic violation such as this. >> the prince george's county police department says this councilwoman was the given any special treatment. of course, you mentioned the officer said his radar gun wasn't properly calibrated. i mean is this an appropriate response to say well, the gun wasn't calibrated, you know, we didn't give her any special treatment? clearly she got treatment the rest of us would not receive. >> well, obviously in this situation there was -- it was not handled the way most cases would be. however, they still have up to a year and a day to go back and charge her with this violation and with the reckless driving. any time you have someone who is doing 40 over the speed limit it is appropriate also to charge them with reckless driving, which is a $510 citation and six points along with the speeding citation of 530 and five points. if they want to consult with their supervisor because of the sensitive situation of it being a councilwoman, that's fine,
but still in this instance someone driving like that is a danger to herself and everyone else out on the roadway and that officer put himself at great risk to conduct that traffic stop by following her at those speeds. >> indeed. we should mention we reached out to her. she issued a statement saying she was sorry and taking full responsibility for her actions. retired maryland state police sergeant rob maroney, thanks so much for coming in tonight. we certainly appreciate your opinion and sharing exactly how this should have been handled. looks like even hank the cat can't escape negative ads this election season. see for yourself coming up. plus get out your calendars. we know when the experts think the cherry blossoms will hit their peak. >> this fox 5 stock market report is brought to you by your lexus dealer. live life heroically.
mark your calendars. we now know the best days to brave the crowds and enjoy the national cherry blossom festival. hundreds of thousands of visitors come every year to see them and fox 5's lauren demarco shows us when the peak days will be. >> reporter: first lady helen taft planted the first cherry blossoms here along the tidal basin back in 1912. that makes this national cherry blossom festival a centennial celebration and we now know the peak bloom dates. >> my forecast this year for when we'll reach peak bloom and that's on 70% of the blossoms are open is going to be sometime during march 24th through march 31st. >> reporter: one week of peak bloom, but the trees typically flower a total of two weeks and this year as we mark the 100th anniversary of the gift from japan, the celebrationsing going to go beyond the bloom -- the abrasions are going to go
beyond the -- the celebrations are going to go beyond the blooms. the museum was lit up in pink and this year's festival is expanded from two weeks to five. organizers promise spectacular events and performances from march 20th to april 27th. a big kickoff at the convention center will feature headliners including fair berelus and thanks to the government of japan's support we are bringing pop star misha here. the trees are a symbol of friendship between tokyo and washington, japan helping to make d.c. one of the most beautiful places to visit during the spring. >> the american bus association has said this is the no. 1 tourist attraction not just in this area, but in the nation. >> reporter: so what's the best way to take it all in? well, depends who you ask. >> sort of like that area where the original trees are over by the lantern. >> it's the least accessible area and there's the least people there all the time. early in the morning. i'm down here, have a little
champagne breakfast. >> historically you want to go down to the tidal basin area and something about a sunday afternoon that just seems to resonate to be able to see the cherry blossoms. >> early in the morning, quiet time. the phones aren't ringing and we ken joy it. >> reporter: lauren demarco -- and we can enjoy it. >> reporter: lauren demarco, fox 5 news. the lottery system for the easter egg roll is open. sign up monday morning by going to white house.gov. the winners will be announced march 12. the egg roll is slated for april 9th. this year the egg roll has a brand-new mascot, bo the first dog dressed up in his little easter outfit to promote the ticket lottery. his picture is also on the official 2012 easter eggs. how cute. >> that's very cute. e. >> i can't believe he didn't knock his ears off. he did very good. >> you start them early, they get used to it. all my dogs, if you put anything on them, they would have knocked it off.
>> shawn, you're dressing up your dogs? this is another thing we didn't know about shawn. >> oh, my. i hope he was in his shorts today because it was so warm. >> what a day. >> it was beautiful today. >> 70 degrees. the pollen is out. so you're noticing the tree pollen, maybe a little cherry pollen. the peak bloom set for this march, but that's one of the best things about march is so much great stuff is happening in the city in march and you can keep ahead of all the weather by downloading our fox 5 weather app. about 62,000 of you have done that so far. we appreciate it. you can find it for free in the app store and android market. check it out and start using it. you are going to have a lot of changes to keep track of with that app, too because now we close the books on what was meteorological winter dem, january and february, and start -- december, january and february and start looking toward meteorological spring. this is the third warmest winter on record for reagan national and the warmest winter on record for dulles and we're
talking the meteorological months of winter. only 2 inches of snow for reagan. that is the eighth least snowy winter. '97/'98 we only had .1-inch and, of course, very few cold days. we only had one day at reagan national where the high temperature was below 32 degrees. so a very mild winter indeed. that's not to say we won't get some cold spells, maybe even some chances for flurries as we parade through march, but today we, off to a great start 70 degrees, well above average, dulles and bwi at 67 and around the region we even found a 77 at quantico. culpeper 73, fredericksburg 74, a little ripped off here to the north. there were clouds passing by and a couple light showers and that kept temperatures down especially across pennsylvania but also along the mason dixon line. unlike last night when it stayed really mild overnight we will get some chilly temperatures into the 30s and perhaps some 40s out there, but
down to our south still a few 50s. you'll recall we had a lot of rain yesterday, a lot of places getting 1 1/2 inches or so. we may get some patchy fog later tonight as our skies clear. here's a look at the next three days. tomorrow we'll start off sunny, but the clouds will start to roll in as early as noon and by evening rush hour i think some showers are back in the forecast, could be a rumble of thunder. that takes us to the first part of saturday. saturday morning might feature a shower or thunderstorm with a temperature of 65. strong front blasts through saturday afternoon and it gives us a little chill for sunday with a temperature of 53 degrees and a bit of a gusty wind just before and right after that front passes through saturday. on satellite and radar not much to see locally and we talked a few minutes ago in our broadcast about the big severe weather outbreak that is expected especially across the midwest, the ohio and tennessee valleys tomorrow night. that energy is beginning to get going and it will really fire up during the day tomorrow. so we'll be watching that area.
it does not include d.c., but that severe threat does include southwestern virginia. kind of a similar aerial pattern to what we saw tuesday night and wednesday, but this yellow area means moderate risk for strong and severe storms and a lot of times this verifies the possibility of tornadoes, too. we do expect to see a lot of tornado watches and warnings flying tomorrow through the midwest. for us it's late clouds and showers coming through. the warm front will be first. that's why we'll pop into the 60s for a little while saturday and then saturday afternoon the front swings through. so your saturday afternoon will be drier. after that we begin to trend a bit colder as you'll see on the five-day forecast. maybe cold is too strong of a term, but upper 40s after today's 70, maybe you could make a case for that. we are going to trend a little bit cooler starting sunday and into monday and tuesday. we'll get the rain over with tomorrow afternoon and into the first part of saturday, but i got to tell you if we get a lot of thunderstorms, i would not be surprised to see some flash
flood watches popping up because we had so much rain yesterday. fox 5 sports is brought to you by acura. one washington national had a rags to riches season last year. went from a reserve to every day player, but can michael morse duplicate that success this season? here's lindsay murphy with more. >> we hope. so not everybody gets a chance to be an everyday player in the big leagues, so it's up to the player to make the most of it when the opportunity arises. that's exactly what player mike morse has done. 2011 proved to be a breakout season for 29-year-old michael morse. the slugger led the nationals with a .303 batting average, 31 home runs and 95 r.b.i.s. morse only hit 21 total home runs before last season. >> morse is hitting .319 in this ballpark this year. >> he never got a chance to be an everyday player with the white sox and mariners and last year the nationals gave him the
opportunity he'd been waiting for. >> my whole career the one thing i always did was believed in myself and i trusted my abilities. i always knew that i'd get an opportunity one time. i don't know when, but if i get an opportunity, i'm going to kick in the door and i feel like washington gave me an opportunity when i came over in 2009. i got a chance to play a little bit and next year 2010 i got the platoon. i got to may a lot in right field at the end -- play a lot in right field at the end and in 2011 i got a chance to play every day. i just relaxed and let my god given ability come out and i had some success. >> this year morse survived at spring training knowing he will play a key role in the nats fortune. in january he signed a two-year extension is expected to start likely in left field, but he's not allowing last year's success to go to his head.
>> baseball is a humbling game. you got ups and downs and there's so much stuff in between and if you get too high on yourself, baseball will kick you right in the butt somehow and bring you back down to reality. so i just stay humble. i stay hungry and humble. >> expectations have never been higher since the nats arrived in d.c. in 2005. the team is loaded with itch abouting depth. recently signed -- loaded with pitching depth all signs this could be something special. >> i think this is the first time we've had a team like this for sure. i think this spring training we'll learn to put that talent together and kind of gel and bring a winning ballclub here. >> we're looking forward to it. morse was drafted out of high school in florida in 2000 and made his major league debut five years later with the seattle mariners. let's hope he continues to improve every day. kids are usually begging
for gifts to open on their birthday. instead one 6-year-old is giving them to needy animals, his great story next. and on the news edge at 11:00 the biggest bank in america is testing out a new fee that could hit you right where it hits. >> this fox 5 sports update is brought to you by acura, acura advance. ththe droid razr by motorola,
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hank wants your vote for senate, but what do you really know about hank? hank has never released his birth certificate, his tax returns and has never responded to allegations that he used cat nip. >> oh, yeah, the claws have come out in the virginia senate race, the first attack ad against hank the cat has been released. hank is from springfield, virginia running for u.s. senate against george allen and tim kaine. you can watch the entire ad on www.myfoxdc.com. there's a little boy in virginia who would probably be a fan of hank's. is he an animal lover, so much so -- he is an animal lover, so
much so he gave up his own birthday presents to help some furry friends in need. fox 5's beth parker has his story. >> got it in there? >> reporter: little dylan harris has already done most of the heavy lifting. >> got it. >> reporter: you see, a few saturdays ago at his cowboy themed 6th birthday party he didn't get any presents. however, he did get exactly what he asked for. what's your favorite thing in the whole world? >> helping dogs and kitties. >> reporter: dylan told his friends instead of bringing a present to the party they should bring something for the animals at the fredericksburg regional spca. >> they're like no, i'm not going to do it. i'm like do it. >> reporter: after the party his mom loaded it all into her suv. >> i wanted to help but i was taking a nap. >> reporter: when a generous gift like this rolls in, it's a huge relief at the spca.
they rely almost entirely on donations for things like food and blankets. like you at home, they have to pay the bills. >> electric, the general employee bills, everything from water bills, repairs, maintenance. >> reporter: dylan is clearly giving something to the spca. he may be taking something, too. >> she just came up to me and started wagging her tail. so i just pet on her and she liked me and i like her of. >> reporter: while dropping off the donations he fell in love with a cat named baby girl and no matter where in the shelter he went he could not get baby girl off his mind. >> let's go look at the dogs. >> i'm still going for that one. >> yeah? i think kitty cats like you. >> i'm still going for that one. we're still going for that one. >> no, not surprised at all. there's a lot of cute faces in the back. we'll talk to day, okay? >> how many cats and dogs would you like to have at your house? >> 100. >> reporter: do you think your mom and dad would let you? and