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tv   News4 This Week  NBC  February 18, 2017 5:30am-6:00am EST

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right now on "news 4 this week," learning curve. we meet the district and school chancellor to find out his biggest concerns as he takes the helm. hate crime concerns. post election surge has slowed but one county in our area says there is a new problem starting to take root. bao-bao good-bye. the national zoo says farewell to one of its beloved panda cubs. >> welcome to "news 4 this week." this week we got a chance to sit down with the new chancellor of d.c. public schools. we learn one thing right off the bat. he gets an early start. antoine wilson gets up at 3:00 a.m. to meditate and get in a workout. he tells our tom sherwood he knows he has a lot to learn t
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form oakland, california, superintendent antoine wilson. he started work here two weeks ago. he's on a mission to visit all 100-plus schools within a year and to get up to speed on the billion-dollar school system and its 48,000 students. >> the learning curve for me is around just getting to know the city, getting to know what is important to the city. i am a quick lerner, though. >> reporter: wilson already reaching out to the washington teachers union knowing conflicts are natural. the wtu says it was given little input on his appointment. >> those communications have been cordial. they have been i think productive. and i think we are relying on the importance of teaching, we're relying on the importance of supporting teachers. >> reporter: wilson follows reform efforts of michelle reid and kaya henderson. one spoke does showing middle schools are improving across the city, better than their reputations. a tall, imposing person, he's anxious for his wife and young ch
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oakland. in our interviewea highly publi job who gets up at 3:00 a.m. >> i pray and meditate. i also have to get my workout in. i am an introvert. so it doesn't mean what i don't love interacting with people, i do. >> reporter: wilson also said he identifies with broken families that can undermine a student's education. his mother raised him. >> my father wasn't there. so my mother did a tremendous job in being a mother and a father. >> reporter: wilson was approved unanimously by the d.c. council. he has a two-year contract. in the district, tom sherwood, news 4. it's happened at homes, churches, schools. the past few months, there's been a spike in hate-inspired crimes in montgomery county. chris gordon went to a county council meeting this week where lawmakers took a closer look at this troubling trend. >> reporter: a sign at a
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supporters nation, whites in burtonsville spray painted with the words "trump, racist," and a swastika. montgomery county council figures showing last year there were 94 reported bias incidents, an increase of more than 42% over 2015. >> right after the election there was a -- i think a real sense among some folks that there were winners and losers and that was expressed in terms of people acting out. >> reporter: so far in 2017, there have been fewer hate symbols. but fear is growing. the fear of deportation. >> there's a lot of anxiety right now among students who are wondering, do i go to school? if i come home, are my parents going to be there? there's a lot of that happening. >> it's important for everyone to be reminded that schools are safe places. they are places where we do not
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students. >> reporter: councilmembers say they need to develop a plan to deal with deportations if they happen here. one councilmember says a legal defense fund is needed. >> we can raise a lot of private money because there are a lot of people of conscience who do not want for families to be separated and communities to be divided and people to live in fear. >> reporter: others say montgomery county may have to consider providing foster care for children whose parents are taken away from them. chris gordon, news 4. the national zoo's older panda cub bao-bao is preparing for a nonstop flight to china. she's leaving on the 21st. kristen white took a trip to the zoo and spoke to visitors who are sad to see her go. >> reporter: sammy cronin brought his panda to say good-bye. his brother will isn't happy about her leaving
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>> reporter: there's a bit of heartbreak at the national zoo. >> she has been a beautiful addition here. she has made us laugh, she has made us cry. she will make us cry more. >> reporter: bao-bao has grown up before our eyes. from that stick of butter to her 1st birthday, and the 2nd, and the 3rd. soon bao-bao will be 4. that means it's time to go. >> we know she's going to go to china and hopefully have little bao-baoss or whatever you want to call them, little babies. and fulfill her destiny in becoming a mom and adding to the population of the pandas. >> reporter: it's hard. they're like family. >> she's a spitfire. and funny. just like her dad. >> reporter: from her enclosure to a 16-hour direct flight. >> i'll travel with her on the 16-hour flight from dulles to chongdu then drive up to the base where she's going to stay for a 30-day quarantine. for a couple of days i'll stay with her to hand her off to my
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panda hatstbao-bao. >> i'm going to miss her. >> rep athe national zoo, kristin wright, news 4. >> i think she speaks for a lot of us. when we come back, one of the oldest churches in the country gives thanks in repentance to the people who helped build it over 200 years ago. new concerns about mobile loungers at dulles airport. the i-team looks into their troubling safety record and what the airport is doing about it.
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y29kuy ysty since it opened in december it's primarily hosted music and comedy shows. now booked its first boxing matches. the first bout is going to be on march 11th, a doubleheader featuring capital heights native gary russell jr. in a featherweight title bout. fights will be held inside the casino theater. one of thees
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northern virginia. falls church episcopal church honored the slaves who built it back in 1769. now everybody who walked on the hallowed grounds will see this plaque, it acknowledges the hands of slaves who helped build that church. leaders felt the word "apology" was not strong enough, instead they chose to engrave the plaque with the word "repentance," acknowledging the past, moving toward reconciliation and healing. >> be with us now as we pause with gratitude and repentance to honored the enslaved people whose skill and labor built the falls church. >> the word "repentance" and the connotations really made a difference. >> the congregation hopes that spirit of repentance and reconciliation will spread beyond its church and that community. they used to be state of the art, now there are
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if you've ever flown in or out of dulles international you've likely seen them, those mobile lounge shuttles. they've been deployed more than 50 years ago to get passengers from ticketing to the plane. but an investigation by the news 4 i-team reveals a number of recent mishaps involving those shuttles and some are questioning whether they need to be safer. >> reporter: as you hustle for your plane, workers like jared dodson rush your bags there. >> i think about him probably every minute of every day. >> reporter: dodson was a baggage handler for southwest airlines at dulles international. >> if you asked him about his job he'd say he loved his
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>> reporter: his mother said jared had one complaint. >> it was told to me by a colleague that jared had told her he was afraid of the mobile loungers. >> reporter: january 2012, jared was pulling his luggage cart just after 6:00 a.m. >> i think it's fair to say he never knew what hit him. >> reporter: according to an airport authority police report and video obtained by the i-team, a mobile lounge shuttle struck the second of the four carts. the lounge pushed the card l carts more than 100 feet and jared was ejected. he was rushed to the hospital where he later died. >> how could this happen? how could somebody not see that? >> reporter: an airport investigation found the lounge driver was not at fault and he remains an employee. two days after the accident, police questioned the driver who said, "sometimes the smaller vehicles don't see us." in his written statement to police he said, darkness contributed to the accident. an investigation by dodson's employer, southwest, cited the risk of operating mobile loungers in the dark and
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back. >> i think those vehicles are unsafe. i think there's antiquated. >> reporter: the dodson family sued the metropolitan washington airport authority for wrongful death. court records show the case settled for $2 million. the mobile loungers are decades old. many of them built and first deployed when the airport opened in the early 1960s. they're still used and still needed, the airport says, to shuttle passengers to and from international flights and some areas not served by the airport's aerotrack. long-time director chris brown said safety improvements were made after dodson's desk, including exterior lighting on the vehicles. >> mobile lounge operators are frankly held to a higher standard than other operators on the air field. >> reporter: our i-team investigation found mishaps occur at a rate of about two a year. at least 16 crashes or incidents since 2007. lounges crashing into walls, vehicles, and other lounges. including two m
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in april, one loung sideswiped another. in october, a mobile lounge driver backed a vehicle into a construction site. >> i made it all the way home before i got injured. >> reporter: barbara callahan was a passenger. >> i flew forward. like this. and hit a pole that was in front of me. and bruised my forehead. >> reporter: the 74-year-old had just traveled to honduras. >> i would classify it as a loss of situational awareness. >> reporter: the airport director says the drive carry new of but lost track of the construction area before backing into it. >> should the mobile lounges be any safer? >> we always are looking to make things safer. i think that they are extremely safe, among the safest vehicles we have operating on the air field today. >> reporter: the i-team checked out mobile lounges and one of the operators let us see his perspective at night inside the cab. the view is limited on either
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them. are the blind spotted eliminated? >> i don't know that everything's eliminated, but to the extent we can identify blind spots we address them. >> reporter: the i-team confirmed something the dodsons alleged, the speedometer is not always well illuminated in the cab at night, it can be difficult to see. the airport says there's a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit and that speeding for the lounges is not a problem and the overall number of accidents is low. how many more years will these mobile lounges remain? >> the foreseeable future. they serve an essential service. >> reporter: for passengers, who lost his son and flies frequently out of dulles, the shuttles are a painful reminder of why things sometimes go wrong. >> why am i still sitting on these things? why are they still being used? >> reporter: the airport says its mobile lounge operators undergo stringent training and the vehicles have been updated to increase safety and increase visibility. scott mcfarland, news
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maybe you've seen "hidden figures," the oscar-nominated movie that details how three african-american women literally helped nasa put a man on the moon. one of those women are still alive. katherine johnson was like a human computer, in many ways more reliable. news 4's barbara harrison spoke wilt the 98-year-old about her amazing journey. >> this one in the middle. it's supposed to be katherine johnson. >> if you say so. >> well, that's what they say. and we've all gone to the movies to see your story. does that surprise you? it does? >> yes. very much. >> you don't know that you're an international sensation? >> for what reason? >> because of what you did. >> did i rob a bank? >> reporter: katherine
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certainly not the introvert some might imagine a mathematics genius to be. >> we know that you did some incredible things when you worked at nasa. john glenn could not take a trip without you saying it was okay. >> yeah, he was like me, he didn't trust -- they'd put everything in the computers. >> reporter: john glenn trusted her telemetry calculations over those from computers, relatively new at the time. he knew her equations, done by hand, had worked for some very high-stakes missions. how did she feel about so much weight riding on her arithmetic? >> no problem. >> reporter: no problem because math has never stumped katherine johnson. she's a legend now at nasa where a lot has changed since her 33 years there. and she was a major catalyst for that change. her brilliant mind for math led to great strides in the race to get to space and bac
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it when a lot of people didn't know how to do it. >> shame. shame on them. >> reporter: she says she was just doing her job. but her part in putting america out front, in the pioneering days of the space race, and for her part in bringing her race from the back of the bus when they rode to work here, both have earned a place in history books and in the movies. she is one of the three women whose story was told in the popular new film "hidden figures." the other two, dorothy vaughn and mary jackson. the three were among the first female african-americans to work for nasa, where job assignments in the segregated computers division at langry research center were far beneath the heights they would eventually climb. through excellence and what they did and their perseverance in achieving equality. the movie glimpse us only a glimpse of katherine johnson's life
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raising three daughters as a single mother. a new husband who she still shares her life with today. at 98 now, katherine johnson is a lone survivor of those three who have come to be known as hidden figures. her brain can still pump out those numbers. >> what's 7 times 12? >> 84. >> that brain is still working. >> i'm glad something is still working. >> i bet a lot is still working for you. you're amazing. what year were you born? >> 1918. >> 1918. that makes you how old? >> close to 100, i'm working on that. >> katherine johnson says she wishes she could still work. barbara says she asked her a lot more math questions than just that one we saw, and boy, she was rattling them off with no problem at all. amazing. when
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whit resuse and how you can take part.
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this week we learn when tours will resume at the white house. first lady melania trump says they will start accepting visitors next month. in a statement the first lady says she's committed to restoration and preservation of the white house. self-guided tours are free to the public, but you need to submit a request to a member of congress at least 21 days in advance your visit. that's all for "news 4 this week." i'm chris lawrence. we're going to leave you with pictures of rumor, the german shepherd. he won the westminster dog show and celebrated with a nice juicy steak. thanks for joining us. have a great week.
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the president of the united states expects our allies to keep their word. to fulfill this commitment and for most that means the time has come to do more. >> a first foreign test for the vice president. right now on news4 today, the action mike pence wants world leaders to take and the new promise about russia. downpour disaster. the devastation in southern california as torrential rains unleash. we are hours away from the next big challenge from spacex. we're going to tell you about the daring mission they hope will bring us one step closer to sending

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