Nikki B. On T.V.

Playgrounds intentionally set on fire in DC, VA

A string of arsons in one of the scariest places for a fire – playgrounds.It’s happened 3 times in the last 10 days. 

Most recently, a fire was set at the playground behind the old Sharpe Health School. Students from Bancroft Elementary are using the building now, and although they weren’t at school at the time, parents were. “We were standing here and there was a lot of black smoke,” says Dinora Padrino, who was at the school for a PTO meeting.

The fire started around 6:30pm behind the school. Investigators say they know without a doubt, the fire was intentionally set.

A heartbreaking blow to the students, who just can’t catch a break. “I just feel bad, our original school is being renovated now, too. We really need this space and appreciate having it,” says Padrino. “It’s too bad someone didn’t think about that before they committed that arson.”

In fact, the playground at the Sharpe School had been closed for renovations and on Wednesday, it was supposed to finally open back up for students to use.

“It was pretty devastating to find out the day it was going to be available it was unavailable once again,” says Padrino.

Students in Fairfax can relate. Two playgrounds were set on fire in the last 10 days. One at Lees Corner Elementary School on October 2nd, then on Monday, the Greenbriar West Elementary School.

The playgrounds are both insured, but it may be a while before kids have a place to play again. 

Students from Bancroft will use an alternative play space until their playground is fixed.

Although there is no clear indication the fires in Fairfax and DC are related, investigators say they’re not ruling it out and they are working together.

 If you have any information about any of the fires, call police.

Trump’s Twitter Tirade against Republican leaders

Donald Trump’s assault on his own party continues Tuesday. Trump went on a Twitter rant in response to more Republicans dropping their support. In one he said, “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!” But he’s not the only one facing trouble in campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton is dealing with more leaked emails.

More top Republicans are pulling their support for Donald Trump in light of the video of him making vulgar comments about women. Trump isn’t let them off easy, though, and we heard how he really felt online. The Twitter tirade started Tuesday morning by calling House Speaker Paul Ryan a ‘weak and ineffective leader’ after Ryan pulled his support.


When Grand Old Party staple, Senator John McCain was the next to distance himself from Trump, he called the Senator “foul-mouthed.”tweet3

Trump continued to take on the Republican establishment, saying “It’s nice that the shackles have been taken off and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”


This, as protests break out again outside the Republican National Committee HQ in Washington. The group “ALL OF US 2016” are demanding RNC Chair Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan revoke their endorsements of Donald Trump.
They say Trump’s remarks about women are indefensible.

Trump does still have the support of some GOP leaders: Governor Chris Christie. “I’m still supporting Donald, you know obviously disappointed by what happened and you know disappointed in some respects by the response initially, but I’m still supporting him,” Governor Christie said on the “The Boomer & Carton Show.”

Also debuting Tuesday, Trump’s newest ad. “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world,” the ad says.

Both candidates are in Florida on Tuesday: Trump at a rally in Panama City, Hillary speaking on climate change with Al Gore. Clinton, seemingly not fazed by the new batch of leaked emails, her lead over Trump: Not impacted either.

“I’m running against a guy who denies science, who denies climate change and says it’s a hoax created by the Chinese,” says Clinton in front of a crowd in Miami.

The latest Republican to respond to Trump’s comments Tuesday was Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Who said what Trump said in that 2005 recording was “disgraceful and outrageous.” Hogan said months ago he would not support Trump and plans to ‘write-in’ his choice for President.

Woman exonerated thanks to body camera footage

She was arrested and charged with a crime she didn’t commit. The case was headed to trial, until her attorney got his hands on the body camera footage.

This woman, who did not want to be identified, was arrested by DC Police for having an open container of alcohol. She says, she was wrongfully arrested. But when it’s a classic case of he said she said, how do you prove it? Her attorney had an idea.

We’ve seen the importance of body camera footage, it’s usually a life-and-death situation, such as a police-involved shooting. But what about an open container arrest? “An average run of the mill case,” says George Lyon, the attorney.

Lyon says his client was arrested in the Trinidad neighborhood in NE DC in August. Police said the can of beer and a bottle of tequila they found on the sidewalk belonged to Lyon’s client. “My client said she was not guilty,” says Lyon.

Not only that: She said she was arrested for doing something that wasn’t illegal at all; getting an attitude with the officer. “So I asked her, were the officers wearing body cameras? She said yes,” says Lyon. Lyon requested the video from her arrest, and the evidence was there. On the tape, you can hear the officer saying, “You got an attitude? OK, you can come with us, too.”

“People have the right to have an attitude and not get arrested,” says Lyon.

The video further proved her innocence, when it was clear the alcohol in question was nowhere near his client. “She couldn’t even get to it,” says Lyon. “It wasn’t within her car.”

Which means, she should never have been arrested in the first place. In the end, the prosecution dropped the charges.

Lyon says more and more attorneys are requesting body camera footage for their clients.. Lyon also says as more officers wear body cameras, the number of complaints against police officers has gone down, effectively keeping everyone involved honest.

We reached out to DC Police for a comment on this story and have not heard back. DC Police are now required to confirm with dispatchers that their body cameras are on. More than 1,000 DC Officers wear body cameras now.

Monday Motivation

Hermine impacting Delaware Beaches

The threat of Hermine seemed to be dwindling, and Monday the only real threats are strong winds, rip tides and the possibility of flooding.

Swimming was not allowed Sunday and it is not clear if people will be allowed in the water Monday. The waves are big even early in the morning and most beach-goers said they are not going to risk it.

Low-lying areas like neighborhoods are still under a flood watch until late Monday morning, although it’s likely only minor flooding.

The weather will only get better which is good news for businesses on the boardwalk who rely on tourism to survive.

Despite the colder temperatures and strong winds, dozens of people came out to walk the boardwalk and then the beach before sunrise.

Monday Motivation

Dozens of strangers help save man

A freak accident Monday night in the District, a massive tree falling, seemingly randomly on a car, crushing the driver.  The person was seriously hurt, but not killed, and it could all be thanks to the heroic efforts of some good Samaritans.

In the heart of late afternoon rush hour on Rock Creek Parkway, where people are making their way home in cars or on bikes, something happened to make dozens of them stop.

“I was just riding home and all of a sudden I came up on this car that had been crushed by a tree,” says Michael Durr.” Durr was one of the good Samaritans who jumped off his bike when he saw the massive tree crushing the car. “I hope there’s not anyone left in the car,” Durr says he remembers thinking. But there was someone inside. A Maryland man was trapped under the trunk of the tree. Emergency crews weren’t there yet, but a quick-thinking Park Police Officer was. “The police officer said, ‘hey, let’s just get the tree off the car,'” remembers Durr. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘this tree is too big for people to move it.”

It was too big for just one person to move, but Durr wasn’t alone, he had the man power of about 20 or 30 strangers, determined to save a man’s life. “Everyone just ran over to the tree and lifted it and someone pushed the car out and we dropped the tree,” he says.

“The whole thing lasted less than 20 seconds. Once it went up they moved the thing out and said OK, we’re going to drop it,” says Durr.

The group of people sacrificed a few seconds of their day, and that no doubt saved valuable time and potentially that man’s life. Soon after the tree was moved rescue crews arrived took the man to the hospital. He’s now listed in stable condition.

“I think anybody would have done exactly the same thing,” says Durr. “There was no sacrifice, it was just let’s lift this off.”

The victim’s name has not yet been released.

Park Police investigators are looking into what lead to the tree falling.

Arlington County Police testing body cameras

Some body cameras will become standard issue for police officers in Arlington, Virginia. The details of the body program still need to be worked out, but Iot a first-hand look at one of the cameras today.

With just a double tap, the camera starts recording both audio and video. “To turn it on is really simple,” says an Arlington County Police officer who is testing out the cameras. On day one of the program, he’s already used the camera 4 times.

“We turn it on every time we get dispatched to a call, anytime we are on a traffic stop,” says the officer, who did not want to be identified. “With a couple of exceptions, pretty much any time we interact with anyone while we are on duty.” He’s one of 25 officers who will be testing out the body cameras during the pilot program, which lasts until mid-December.

Ashley Savage with the Arlington County Police Department says officers will be required to turn the camera on during a call for service, and leave it on. “They cannot turn it off during any of the contact, they need to record the whole thing,” says Savage.

Once turned on, the camera will automatically record for 30 seconds prior. In the state of Virginia, officers don’t have to tell you you’re being recorded. Most people say that’s a non-issue for them, what is concerning, is how these cameras will be regulated. “I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody,” says Arlington County resident, Pat Carty. “I can’t see any bad side to it, as long as they don’t turn them off.”

Terry Adams is a criminal defense attorney in Arlington, and he knows body cameras could have a big impact on his clients. But Terry has an especially unique perspective on the issue, he spent 18 years as a sheriff’s deputy in Arlington County.  “If the officers are required to activate their own cameras it could get dicey because if they are in a hurry and it’s an emergency situation, you will miss a lot of what happened before,” says Terry. “And what happened before is the most important.”

Arlington County Police say they have the same concerns, and that’s what this pilot program is for, to determine what works and what doesn’t.

it will be a good test for the first priority call that goes out, your blood starts pumping, do you remember to double tap? We’ll find out,” says the Arlington County Police Officer.

At the end of their shift, officers will upload the video to a cloud-based service. Now how long that video will be saved will depend on how serious the recorded offense is. For example, a serious offense that is not resolved must be saved for 100 years, per the Library of Virginia. Saving that much data will mean a big expense for the department. Three different models of body cameras will be tested over the next few months, then a determination will be made based on which service works best and is most cost-effective.

National Dog Day

Today is a day to celebrate dogs – on National Dog Day. And dog owners everywhere are giving their four-legged friends extra treats and belly rubs today. About 66 dogs rescued from Louisiana now have a big reason to celebrate: They’re in the caring hands of Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf.

We spent National Dog Day with the adorable dogs looking for their forever homes, meeting Eva, Ava, Dalton, Dakota, Zandra, Rory, Clayton, May, Kara and a couple dozen more. 66 dogs in all taken by the Last Chance Animal Rescue from Louisiana. Some are in fosters and will soon be ready to be adopted. But in the meantime, they’re getting all the extra love and attention they can handle – on a day that’s dedicated just to them. “We are celebrating just like we do every day,” says Cindy Sharpley, the Executive Director of LCAR. “We love them and feed them and take care of them and walk them and find them new homes.”

At LCAR, however, every day is National Dog Day. “You know what, we celebrate every day. We really do, it sounds corny but it’s true,” says Sharpley.

National Dog Day was started in 2004 as a way to celebrate dogs and bring attention to dogs and puppies all over the country that need homes.

If you’re interested in adopting or fostering dogs, contact the Last Chance Animal Rescue or call (240) 412-5751. Additional information is also available on their Facebook page:

Some of the dogs are available for adoption right away, and will be at the Alexandria PetSmart on Friday.

By the way – here are just some of the dogs looking for their forever homes! 


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