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tv   News4 This Week  NBC  September 2, 2017 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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right now on "news4 this week" flooding fears. we've all seen the devastation down in texas, but how would our area do with a big hurricane? we take a look at the district's flood plan. and full steam ahead. a new way to get from montgomery to prince george's county hits a big milestone. we'll tell you what's next for people in the direct path of the purple line. plus, song silence. we'll tell you why a big part of the university of maryland's sports repertoire will no longer be played, at least for now. >> announcer: welcome to "news4 this week." >> hi, everybody, i'm jim handly. all week we've been showing you the heart-break andns
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pictures from the gulf coast where hurricane harvey put a huge swath of texas under water. one of the questions we've been asking this week, could our region survive that kind of storm? news4's tom sherwood takes a closer look at the flooding fears this d.c. and the potential fix. >> my father's family has lived on this waterfront 150 years. >> reporter: 75-year-old carl cole, a life spent on the water showing his 16-year-old grandson, robert, the southwest wharf. a $2 billion project in a city busy reclaiming its waterfront. the new river sea wall is more than five feet higher than some of the old ones from the 1960s. >> you'll see that that's much, much higher. and that, i think, would survive probably a 500-year flood plane, if not higher. >> reporter: from the ever-present sandbags around some metro stops to massive flooding at some of the city's most iconic buildings, nbc4 has detailed how local, state a
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prepare for major flooding and have more to do. >> i expect in the next five to ten years we're going to see a massive effort. >> reporter: this man from the national capital planning commission details how even some storm water can flood low parts of the nation's capital. at the blue plain, the largest water treatment plant, a series of sea walls are being constructed to protect billions in clean water machinery. back on east potomac park, water retainly laps over fencing and walkways that should have been built four feet higher. fishermen look for a dry spot to cast their lines. and the golf course wurponders n it might be inundated with water. but carl cole hopes all the work here will be lasting. >> are we fighting against nature? >> yes, and no. it's a very natural thing. nature has a way of always wanting to reclaim what it once had. >> in the district, tom sherwood, news4. >> t
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on how some of d.c.'s most iconic buildings and museums are at risk of flooding. to see those pictures from past floods, just click on investigations in our nbc washington app. this week the purple line took a big step forward. governor larry hogan helped tear down a building to make way for the new light rail project. the demolition work came after a ceremonial ground-break and a signed promise of $900 million in federal funding. the 16-mile light rail will connect bethesda with new carrollton. with 21 stops along the way. prince george's county bureau chief, tracee wilkins, is working for you with new reaction from the community. >> i guess it's going to be good. i mean i'm really not sure. >> reporter: some people who live in riverdale park don't know what to make of the coming purple line. they just know some of their neighbors are gone, their homes purchased by the state. >> a whole row
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knocked down. >> reporter: some of the front yards here now belong to the maryland department of transportation. >> they purchased a corner of it. i'm not exactly sure what they're going to use it for. >> reporter: others are worried they may lose much more. >> way too much stress on the house. >> reporter: this home sits directly across the street from the purple line. the train will go down the center of kenilworth avenue, just steps there her front door. >> just the traffic itself now does a lot of water. >> reporter: this gas station has stopped selling gas and may soon be closed to make way for a purple line depot. >> it's a disaster, i mean you're losing business and we have a prime location. >> reporter: there was a plan to take some of the lanes at the bowling alley. that's no longer the plan. but they are expecting construction work to seriously impact their business. >> if they are working right out in front, how are you going to get in and out? >> reporter: but a former college park resident has spent 20 years advocating for the purple line. she now lives in
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>> for me it means that parents instead of wasting an hour can get home and read an hour with their kids. it will save time going from silver springs over to bethesda. it makes so much sense in so many ways. >> reporter: they're hoping to have this project complete by 2022. in riverdale, i'm tracee wilkins, news4. it's an issue that's worried parents and students for years, an underground frat recruiting members and throwing parties at american university. as news4's justin finch reports, 18 students have now been expelled. >> reporter: american university now really cracking down, making a prime example of this so-called underground frat case, expelling the 18 students who were involved and also placing another on probation just as a new school year is beginning. this group called itself epsilon iota or ei. they sprang
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campus about 15 years ago after the alpha tau omega frat disbanded. so about 15 years they were operating without being properly recognized. also acting like a frat while recruiting people here on campus and throwing off-campus parties here. news4 intern and a reporter for the student paper, matt holtz, says he has been covering ei for some time and its reputation of drugs, underage drinking, hazing and physical violence. >> i think the campus reaction, everyone is relieved. in 2014, there were members that were accused of trying to hit one of their pledges. >> reporter: american also now hoping these 19 students who were disciplined will send a lesson to other underground party circuits here that operate around the campus. their campus life office put out a statement reading that epsilon iota has perpetuated a threat to the safety and well-being to our
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message to anyone involved in groups engaged in activities prohibited by the conduct code. not only have campus police looked into ei but also d.c. police as well. i'm justin finch, news4. back to you in the studio. when we come back, a construction update on one of our area's most popular commuter roads. and even children know the number, dial 911 for emergency, but what happens if you get the wrong person when you call? it can happen around here. news4's darcy spencer tells you how to protect yourself when we come right back.
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some good news for commuters this week. a large portion of beach drive reopened, but the bad news, another large section is now closed. beach drive is now closed from tilden street to joyce road in northwest d.c. drivers will be detoured around the construction zone. you can take connecticut avenue
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avoid this congestion. work along beach drive is being done in segments and the entire project should be complete by 2019. it's a new school year for students and the superintendent in fairfax county. dr. scott welcomed students at glasgow middle school this week. they returned a week earlier than normal. the summit had to get a waiver from the state to start before labor day. they are starting the year with a shortage of bus drivers. they say they have about 100 positions still to fill. when we come right back, a school superintendent at the center of a news4 i-team investigation is making changes to keep your kids safe. what's now being done to make sure bad teachers don't slip through the cracks. and we'll explain why a state song is being silenced at the university of maryland.
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students in fairfax county schools are safer after a news4 i-team investigation. the school district is promising to improve how it handles cases of teachers accused of sexual misconduct with students. as scott mcfarland reports, the new superintendent says bad teachers will no longer slip through the cracks. >> reporter: the news4 i-team found at least four fairfax county teachers slipped through the cracks since 2004. all admitted sexual misconduct with kids, all quit their jobs, including a west potomac high teacher accused of sexually touching this man's daughter. >> she had the least of the problems with the guy. her friends got it worse. >> reporter: but we found all four teachers managed to keep their teaching licenses intact for years. one of them, brad norton, managed to find a new teaching job in maryland where he pleaded guilty to assaulting yet another student. >> what we were doing around teacher licensure was not working. >> reporter: in each case we found the s
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paperwork with state regulators to ensure those teachers had their licenses revoked. fairfax county's new superintendent says that won't happen again. >> we really revamped our policies. we're being far more proactive about licensure revocation. >> reporter: and he says any teacher who cancels his or her license in fairfax because of allegations of misconduct will now be red flagged if other schools call for a reference. >> even a teacher who voluntarily submits their license, we're going to be giving a no recommendation for future employment to other school systems. so we're taking a clear stand. >> reporter: virginia approved a new law after the i-team revealed the problems in fairfax last year, requiring all school districts throughout the commonwealth more promptly report teacher misconduct to state regulators. >> i think your work shined a light on something that needed to be looked at. >> brad norton declined to comment when the i-team reached out to him. the i-team recently produced a half hour sci
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our year-long investigation into teacher abuse cases. to watch it, just go to our nbc washington app and click on investigations. let's say you have an emergency or need some help. from a young age we're trained to call 911. but what happens if that number takes you to the wrong person? someone who can't help you when precious seconds count. darcy spencer is working for you getting answers. >> reporter: she tells me she was at the starbucks in takoma park in d.c. sunday when a worker collapsed. witnesses called 911 and that's when the confusion started. 911 calls went to nearby montgomery county dispatchers instead of d.c., and, she says, people were panicking. the woman was having a seizure on the floor. >> and then you're also trying to remain calm for the people around you, and that's hard to do when someone is meeting you with a lot of questions. >> reporter: we went to
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center for answers. she said this is an issue that doesn't just affect d.c. she says the problem is with the phone service carriers and towers that direct calls to 911 centers. if you're in a border area, like along the d.c. line, it can happen. >> yeah, unfortunately it is out of our hands. we do have a voice in it, which is great, but it is on our carriers, which we're partners with. we have a relationship with them. they're all very open to getting this rectified. >> reporter: she says d.c. is also working on a campaign called help 911 help you aimed at making sure callers know where they're calling from. >> just knowing where you are, knowing a better location, knowing what city or state you're in helps. >> reporter: here in the region they're working on new technology called next generation 911. in the future when you call 911, they'll be able to know where that phone is that's making the call, and that should eliminate some of the confusion like what happened here. in the district, darcy spencer,
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the university of maryland is marching into the battle over confederate symbols. they decided to stop playing "maryland, my maryland" at pregame performances because its pro confederacy lyrics. meagan fitzgerald went to college park to see what students have to say about the move. >> they do little dances in the middle of the field. entertaining. >> reporter: marching bands have a unique ability to instill a sense of school pride and spirit at sporting events. >> i always look forward to hearing that. >> reporter: but most students admit they don't know the history behind many of the songs they hear, especially this one. ♪ the marching band was playing the state song "maryland, my maryland" but they won't be playing it anymore until further notice, because it's considered pro-confederacy and uses the words "northern
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the versus. a university spokesperson says they're suspending the playing of the song to evaluate if it's consistent with their values. a lot of students say they didn't realize the band was playing the state song let alone the ties to the confederacy so it didn't bother them. now that they're aware of the history, they're pleased with the university's decision. >> i think it's a good idea. we want to break all ties with that way of thinking. >> i'm kind of glad that it's taken away now just to have respect for all races. >> reporter: and a lot of band members who actually had to play the song are relieved as well. >> i understand that we don't really play the part that is meant to hurt people or that was in the past, but it's guilt by association. >> reporter: but nothing is permanent just yet. the university says they're still evaluating the song to determine if it's appropriate or not. reporting in college park, meagan fitzgerald, news4. >>he
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show you how a local artist is changing the rules and using new technology to teach people about one of the district's historic neighborhoods.
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and we're back now with a feel good story, one of those emotional reunions. today brianna morsett got to hug the firefighter who saved her life during a crash last month. firefighter william gresson just happened to find the car. breanna broke down thinking him. >> i'm very grateful. and -- i'm very grateful from the bottom of my heart. >> i would pray that i have daughters that somebody would look out for them if they were in need. >> well, if that's not sweet enough, another little moment came out of that reunion. the firefighter found
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he and morsett share a birthday. his response, your family always grows. only on 4, murals can showcase hope, pain, even happiness, but a couple of local artists are changing the rules. as news4's mark segraves explains, it's the power of art that's combining social media and a dose of history to help educate one d.c. neighborhood. >> reporter: artist jarrett farrier has learned a lot about tinnily town over the past few months. he had no idea this northwest d.c. neighborhood had such a rich history, dating back hundreds of years. >> i mean i never really knew that much about tinley town, but it's been here since the late 1700s when this guy had a tavern here. >> reporter: looking over the neighborhood from the highest point in d.c. is the old ft. reno tower, which still stands. that tower is also looking over a new mural going up just off wisconsin avenue. farrier takes a page from
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henry thoreau when describing how he hopes the mural will affect the people in the neighborhood. >> to improve the quality during the day is the highest of arts. to me when people look up and they go, oh, that's neat. >> reporter: steven voss an his wife came up with the idea. >> i think what you have in this area of d.c. are a lot of people who live more in the downtown corridor who have come out to the suburbs to raise kids and want that same culture and vibe braens they see downtown out here. >> reporter: it was also his idea to make it interactive by creating social media accounts and a website where people can learn about the history. >> somebody can whip out their phone and 30 seconds after seeing the mural, they can be seeing a local expert talk about something that's depicted in the mural. >> reporter: farrier expects to finish the mural by mid-october, when neighbors have a celebration planned to welcome their newest arrival. in the district, mark segraves, news4. >> cool to know. that's
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we leave you now with a great week. have a good one, everybody.
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we start with what's going to be a saturday soaker. storm team 4 tracking what's left of harvey. show you how showers will impact your weekend plans. then the devastation, that's far from over. tell you about the big tab that president trump is asking congress to pick up as the commander in chief heads back south to survey the damage. a lifetime of service. remembering d.c. police chief ike fullwood. he through some of the most trying teams in history. 6:00 saturday morning, good morning to you. i'm david culver. you


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