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tv   wusa 9 News at Noon  CBS  January 6, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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. the first snowfall of the season is causing a lot of headaches and problems on the roads throughout the region. rush hour traffic was gridlock in many areas this morning. and there was some confusion and frustration when it came to school closings. thanks so much for joining us
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no the news at noon. i'm mike hydeck. we have two meteorologists and a whole host of report information our team coverage. we start with howard bernstein. mike, the snow just about over. here's the storm. this clipper came through and it overproduced an inch or two, three tops. we had some areas got five inches of snow today. we expected the snow to begin before dawn and end before lunch time and that's pretty much what's happening. we have a few lingering snow showers going on here, bands of flurries and snow showers across loudoun county, northern prince george's county and in toward the baltimore area right now. going to see a little bit here, maybe a dusting or coating left over from this but the bigger accumulating snows, they have left. we don't have the heavy bands like we did by mid-morning. even in southern maryland, st. mary's, leonard town, newland a couple of snow showers, flurries coming through you. the problem will be the cold temperatures. they won't be moving too much. visibility shows the reduced areas with the snow, still coming out of frederick, visibility a mile and a
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quarter, mile in hagerstown. got to watch out for slick spots still up there. our temperatures are only in the 20s here. 34 fredricksburg. a little bit of sun trying to eke out toward luray and parts of the shenandoah valley. we'll likely get to freezing. you better dress for single digits and teens. that's what the windchills will be on wednesday. we'll have more on the the bitterly cold in a few minutes but we've turned the corner from today's snow. >> one by one school systems across the region decided to close. the main exception though was the area's largest school system, fairfax county public schools and when they decided to continue classes on a normal schedule, that set off a social media backlash that is still gaining momentum on twitter right now. debra alfarone is live at marshall high school with more. >> reporter: one word to describe the school system to keep it open? it failed.
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this is as good as it gets. seriously, this is fine as you lead up to marshall high school but that was a really unpopular decision. lots of people tweeting me earlier saying it was really just hell getting out there on the roads. i want to show what you it looked like earlier. video of snow conditions throughout fairfax. let me tell you a little bit more about this decision to keep the schools open. i spoke to fairfax county public schools. they told me -- the spokesperson told me they made the decision early this morning around 5:00 a.m. using the best information they had. well, people took to twitter, voiced their displeasure. by displeasure, i'm really using an understatement. there's a lot of word i could use that i won't that i saw on twitter. several accidents on the roads this morning, though. i did call fairfax inova hospital and they told me that they're seeing more students than they normally see getting into fender benders with minor injuries and stuff like that. also they're seeing a lot of adults who basically have had slips and falls, more people than normal coming into the e.r. there but they say it's not really out of line with a
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regular snow day. thy have -- they have closed the preschool classes for later on this afternoon and they're planning to dismiss everyone on time. we're going to be here and talking to loot of people out here later on but for now we're live by marshall high school, debra alfarone, wusa9. >> our look at the power of social media and situations like this continues with delia goncalves. she's in the wusa9 newsroom with a look at some of the most compelling posts we've seen so far. delia, facebook and twitter are really giving a voice to families in situations like this like never before. >> reporter: absolutely. they went to twitter and facebook. and their voices were heard loud and clear. fairfax county school system literally taking a virtual beating. still at this hour because they made that decision to keep schools open. hashtag closefcps trending worldwide and here in the u.s. take a look at some of the top
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sweets we gathered. spent the entire first period chilling in the auditorium. no teachers there right now. then there were some students that tweeted out, sos signs they posted outside their classrooms. some other classrooms that were completely empty and tweets from parents who said their roads were -- there's the tweet there of the sos picture. we had a tweet about a road that was not treated at all. that child's school bus was a no show. there is that empty classroom as well. a lot of people are talking about the conditions and really just flabbergasted that fairfax county did not make the decision to cancel schools. taking a look at the road conditions there, bus a no show. there's a mom adding a little light and levity to the situation saying they made it to school on time via a kiddy
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toy car. traffic still a nightmare. a spokesperson for fairfax county told me he saw the tweets and admits there were major delays, some empty classes and even some minor bus accidents. all i could do now is apologize. back to you, mike. >> and of course, delia, we know they sent out an apology, both on their website and on social media, on twitter and other outlets to let people know they understand and they hear them. delia is live in the newsroom. thank you. wusa9's team coverage of this winter storm takes us west ever the beltway out to lou -- of the beltway. out to loudoun county. i understand there was a problem with schools there this morning, too, nikki. >> reporter: you're exactly right. a lot of problems here in loudoun county. right now, we are at farm diss well station middle -- farmwell station middle school. we have been in loudoun county all morning. we got here before 4:00 a.m. and saw the snow flakes falling and it wasn't until about an hour ago they stopped. right now it's beautiful. it was not the case this
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morning. rush hour was a nightmare trying to get to work, trying to get to school was a big problem for a lot of drivers. we spoke to some of those teachers, some of those bus drivers, students and parents all baffled that they were not in school today. >> we drove around this morning, dropped her off. then on the way home it was even worse. my car was sliding around. i have a slight ilinto my driveway. i couldn't get -- slight hill into my driveway. i couldn't get my car. my wife said get her before it gets worse. >> reporter: his daughter and friend are in the eighth grade. they were happy going home. >> it was all the way backed up. there was to buses here and no one left to be seen. >> reporter: did you finally get to school? >> we got in the school and no teachers were there. we were waiting in the auditorium. school starts at 8:30. we weren't in class till 9:00. >> reporter: one teacher able to make it albeit late told us her commute was a nightmare. >> it was bad. i'm actually surprised we came in on time but we did.
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it's taken me an hour. i left my house at 7:30 which is my normal time to get here and it's now 10 minutes to 9:00 so it took me over an hour to get here on route 7 which was fairly unplowed. i was going about 5 miles an hour. >> reporter: gl at one point we made it all the way up to 10 miles an hour. >> reporter: even a loudoun county school bus driver had a hard time picking up kids and getting them to school on time. >> it's very, very bad. cars were spinning out. if you have to go up a hill, it was really bad. >> reporter: i just got off the phone with an official with loudoun county public schools. they told me they made their decision very early this morning at 4:30 to keep stiewjts in school. they advertise -- students in school. they anticipated it not being nearly as bad as it was. by the time the roads got really bad it was too late changing their mind to have kids stay at home would have caused a lot of confusion. they apologize. they were keeping a lot of students in auditoriums because
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a lot of them didn't have teachers. they said the first priority was keeping these kids safe and that's what they did their best to do. in loudoun county, i'm nikki burdine, back to you in the studio. connecticut avenue in montgomery county was one of the area's biggest problem areas for commuters this morning. there were many areas that were problems. bruce leshan is standing by live now in kensington with more on the problems there. bruce? >> reporter: yeah, mike. as somebody on the radio said, it was a little bit like that paul simon song. the nearer your destination, the more you're slip sliding away. on connecticut just up from beach drive, a power pole snapped in the snow. wires down. briefly closed all four lanes of connecticut avenue. this major commuter route. also knocked out power to the signals down along beach drive. >> the snow was real slippery. real slippery. i was slipping coming up the road to pull into the gas
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station. i had to put it in first gear. cars were spinning out in front of me. i called my bus and said i'm going to sit it out. >> reporter: then up on veirs mill, a minivan spun out. all these cars behind it spun out too. simply too slippery, completely shutting down the road. >> it's crazy, ain't it? it's not like it's a couple feet, you know. and it's taken sometimes as long as it usually z. it's crazy. >> reporter: back up on connecticut avenue, check this out. a montgomery county police officer actually pushing cars to get them out of the way of the traffic. the hill here was simply too slippery for two-wheel drive vehicles to get up. southbound was closed down for a time. it has been a heck of a mess. a couple of guys told me it took them five hours to get from baltimore to here in kensington. they were trying to get to dulles. they gave up. check it out.
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the pavement is good here. conditions a whole heck of a lot better on the main roads. here's the situation on some of the side roads. mike, back to you. >> still plenty of work to do. thank you, bruce. the snow made scoot broom's commute from baltimore a marathon this morning, too. let's check in with him live. i believe he's made it to manager. scott? -- made it to montgomery county. scott? >> reporter: it wasn't as bad as the guys that bruce interviewed today. things have improved dramatically. i'm on interstate 270 right now. going to give you a look out of my dash cam very shortly. it's not working so we're not going to worry about that but i can just tell you we're seeing blacktop now. that is not to say it wasn't as serious trouble as we talked b. we talked about school buses, commuters. let's talk about a trucker. take a look at some of the pictures i took on interstate 70 just a little more than an hour ago when the road was still snow covered out there. this is a trucker who was traveling along at about 30 miles an hour and just lost it. he was quite surprised. here's some of his reaction.
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>> i let up off of the throttle and it slipped out and put me into the ditch. this is my first one. i don't like it. >> we thought we were just going to get about an maybe three. keeps coming down. i left early. i came in a little bit before 5:00 before it started getting too bad. the salt was still working on the roads. >> reporter: and that was the key for people who did make it into work today. leaving early was the way to go today. this afternoon getting back, it's likely to be a whole lot better. you're looking at pictures of the morning commute. 5 to 10 miles per hour. and because of that, snowplows could not push snow or spread salt nearly as efficiently. that certainly added to the complications today. let's come back live to the lockdown dashboard camera on my mobile newsroom. you can see 270 here headed outbound towards frederick county, right about the middle brook road, germantown. the road is now clear.
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so once the snow is cleared up fairly quickly, we expect the trend to continue. reporting live from my mobile newsroom, scott broom, wusa9. >> thank you. in other news today, sentencing day for bob mcdonnell. by the end of the day, the former virginia governor should learn if he is going to prison and if so, for how long. peggy fox is live outside the federal courthouse in richmond with the latest. peg? >> reporter: well, judge james spencer will be delivering that sentence this afternoon. he of course presided over the trial. he has decided one thing already, and that is that he has reduced the sentence guide lines that he's considering town to six and a half to eight years. so a surprise this morning, though, was that maureen mcdonnell, bob mcdonnell's extrained wife was here
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watching. -- exstranged wife was here watching. many thought she would not show up. some 200 people showed up to watch today's proceedings. bob mcdonnell's entire family is here, all five of his children, his sisters, as i mentioned his wife. we heard objections from the defendants. the judge heard those objections. and they included objecting to enhancing the sentence for what the prosecution basically called perjury. but the judge decided that bob mcdonnell was entitled not to be punished for what he said on the stand and what he was thinking. the judge then decided to diminish those guidelines as i said down to six and a half to nine years. so after the judge did that, then the defense started putting on witnesses. those witnesses include character witnesses. one of them was speaker of the house here in richmond bill howell who said quite a few nice things about bob
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mcdonnell. he said, look, this trial has already changed things in the legislature. we've made ethics changes. we're considering more. we also heard from presidents of nonprofit organizations. one nonprofit called blessings international, operation blessings international. they would like to have bob mcdonnell come down to haiti and manage the operation down there. that gentleman spoke in depth about the difficulty of that and how they could use bob mcdonnell's -- all of his knowledge and have him do that. so they've been hoping that the judge will consider an alternative to prison time. whether the judge will do that, everybody is waiting to see. and we are here and we'll bring you the very latest when we have it. i'm peggy fox reporting live in richmond. back to you. >> thank you, peggy. bob bk donnell is the first -- mcdonnell is the first former virginia governor to be convicted. a legal analyst will be in studio and break down the
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yellow alert day with good reason this morning. boy, we had a lot to talk about as far as commute is concerned, school times. >> the storm overperformed. that's one way we put it when we get more snow we expected. we expected snow. we expected it to start before dawn and end by noon. that's what happened and we expected a nasty commute. but yes, we got more snow than we anticipated. got news is it looks like the vast majority of the accumulating snows are over. allyson rae has been with me all morning. we've been tracking the storm. here she is with the very latest. >> now we're tracking where the snow s what's leftover. most of the accumulating snow is over. what we'll be left over with are a couple more flurries, emily the district, farther south and off -- especially the district, farther south and off to the north, 270, we'll continue to see a couple more flurries out there across the area. but the accumulating snow is over. this will last for another couple of hours. but look back off to the south
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and west. we are drying out a little bit. and also we're seeing a little bit of clearing of the skies. not for everybody but areas south and west. it is there. here is some of our snowfall totals. these aren't the biggest ones but kind of a wide variety. we did see five inches in middleburg. these were some of the higher totals. front royal at 5.3. dulles reported 4 inches. ashburn about 4 inches. a lot of places afternooned about 2 to 3 but there were the higher amounts of course. gaithersburg 4 imps. silver spring three -- 4 inches. silver spring three, almost three and a half. we'll start to see temperatures drop off tonight. watch out for slick spots. tomorrow is going to be quite uncomfortable. and howard is going to get to the details of that coming up. one thing i do want to point out through the visible satellite, you do see these cloudy skies with those flurries all the way over to hagerstown and through frederick. that's what we're looking for. we said hey, we could see a little sunshine before the sun
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sets. doesn't look like we'll see ample sunshine but some lucky folks are starting to see a good amount of sunshine as you head farther south. it's going to get cold. you have to find very heavy jackets to come. let's talk with howard. look at the temperatures especially up in pennsylvania and ohio in the mid-teens now. toledo 12. cleveland 15. this arctic air is coming n. the storm we just head held the arctic air up for a day or so but it's coming. a lot warmer south. 23 cumberland. the windchills, tomorrow it's going to be a brutally cold, painful cold sort of day. windchills in the single digits during the day on wednesday. temperatures holding in the 20s. look at all of the snow covering the ground here. officially 3 inches right here at wusa. our first real snowfall of the winter season in washington. currently 27 at reagan national. feels like 22.
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still a south, southeasterly wind at 5. it will be going northwest. big picture, satellite and radar, there's the clipper coming through. lost a little ump. still snow showers? central west virginia. for us the massive amount of snow we had earlier in some cases over 5 inches has left the region. we'll continue to watch. maybe a stray flurry or snow shower for the afternoon. tonight partly to mostly cloudy, cold. dipping into the 20s. maybe a few upper teens. with the arctic air tomorrow, more snow showers on the up slope areas. a couple of snow showers will make it toward us later on in the day and afternoon and evening as temperatures tomorrow night will settle down in the single digits and teens, at least by thursday the winds will be a lot lighter. let me show you our forecast. today around freezing. leftover flurries. 25 tonight. upper 20s tomorrow. it will feel like single digits and teens with gusts over 30. mid-20s on thursday. but less wind. over the weekend, we'll see temperatures friday, saturday in the 30s. sunday and monday in the 40s. earlier today, if you've been following me on social media, i was kind of harsh on some of the school districts that
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decided not to close. you didn't put it communicate -- you didn't communicate it well. people blamed me for t. i would love to hear what you have to say. regardless of being a little more snow, the timing, the impact on the commute, i think it was pretty well communicated, even as well as 24, 36 hours ago. we've got more wusa9 news coming up in
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i'm delia goncalves live in the newsroom with one of the best tools you can have this winter and mobile app. it will give you all the latest information you need for this storm and any future storms. you can head on that app and you can take a look at all the closings and delays. you can even personalize your favorite. so just your school district
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will appear. we have some really great pictures in our foe foe gallery. -- photo gallery. some of you trying to get where you need to be today and make your way around town. take a look at all of those on our mobile app. so if you haven't yet downloaded our mobile app either from the app store or google play store, you can stay informed and stay safe. back you to. >> thank you, delia. back now to today's sentencing of former virginia governor bob mcdonnell. prosecutors are calling for a lengthy prison sentence. the defense is asking for a lengthy community service instead. joining us now is criminal defense attorney john riley. first and foremost, john, we were talking about this a moment ago. why do you think the judge decided to change the sentencing guidelines for the former governor? >> he made findings based upon the two prengs, the prosecution and the defense, in which he found the amount of monetary loss was not as great as the prosecution has alleged and was much more consistent with the
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defense. less amount loss, less sentencing guide lines. >> one of the gietd lines we -- guidelines from the judge, he didn't think he hindered the prosecution so he was getting leans defensey there -- leniency there. >> the judge found he testified truthfully, even admitting to the allegations saying it's not against the law. i'm agreeing with you actually just disagreeing with the prosecution's legal analysis. >> how much do you think the 450 or 4030 some letters of support mcdonnell's supporters sent to the scour have an impact and -- the court have an impact and also the people showing up as character witnesses, do they have a big impact? >> i think they'll have a tremendous impact on the judge's analysis and reasoning in the case. it speaks to the governor's -- the ex-governor's entire life, his history, not just one bad episode in his life. i think the judge will be very influenced by people from all walks of life, from his college days to his days as governor to his role in the community and
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things like that i think it will be have a tremendous favorable impact for the governor. >> is it likely he could get 6,000 hours community service instead of jail time? >> i think he will get some community service, absolutely. but i think leget some jail time. i don't think he'll get nearly the prison time the prosecution is aspiring to but i think there will be some aspect of some prison time. >> we have about 30-plus seconds left. let's talk about precedent here. there are other major politicians both here locally and around the country that have been in a similar situation and their sentences were closer to a decade. >> you're remember fehring to blagojevich -- you're referring to rod blagojevich in chicago. corruption is to be treated seriously but i don't think we'll see that with mcdonnell. his personality and character is different than the other two gentlemen. even his conduct while still troubling was still not quite as offensive as johnson or blagojevich. >> we'll see what he ends up
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with. we appreciate your time. that's it for the news at noon. we'll be back on tv at 5:00. don't forget the wusa9 app is terrific and free. it will help you in the next storm. take care, everybody. as a small business owner you wouldn't deliver just half of what you have to offer to your customers. so why are you settling for half-fast internet? only verizon fios comes with speedmatch - upload speeds as fast as your download speeds so files go out in a snap. don't miss your last chance to get $300 back when you switch to fios internet and phone for just $99.99 a month with a 2-year agreement and get $300 back. just call 1.888.774.4418 today.
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>> avery: what do you think you're doing? >> joe: conducting business. >> avery: why did you lock the door? >> joe: because i wanted some privacy. >> avery: the seller's not coming, is he? this was an excuse to get me alone with you. >> dylan: thank you so much for hearing my side. i really appreciate it. >> sharon: was that casey emerson from the chronicle? >> dylan: yeah. he just interviewed me for an article he's doing on the redevelopment project for this area. >> sharon: well, i hope that helps your cause. >> dylan: yes, me too, because we're running out of options. >> sharon: it's amazing how willing people are to destroy something that's meant so much to them. >> dylan: i know. they forget how much went into creating it. >> sharon: crimson lights is not

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