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In a Sharp Trend Reversal, Highway Fatalities Rise

(USA TODAY) -- Road deaths in the USA rose 5.3% last year to 34,080, the first year-over-year increase in traffic fatalities since 2005, according to preliminary estimates today from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The jump had been widely expected as more people are taking to the roadways as the economy improves. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that vehicle miles traveled in 2012 increased by 9.1 billion miles - a 0.3% rise. The fatality rate - which is number of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled - is projected to rise to 1.16 from 1.10.

Road deaths had steadily decreased each year since 2005, dropping by about 26% from 2005 to 2011, when 32,367 people died on the nation's roads.

Crash fatalities were up for every quarter of 2012 compared with 2011, the NHTSA says.

Montgomery Village Man Charged With Sexually Abusing Two Children At Wife's Day Care

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County Police say 66-year-old David Fernando Javier Zaraysi sexually abused two sisters, ages 3 and 7 years old, in his wife's day care center. 

Today, the "Playing And Learning Family Child Care" on Royal Bonnett Circle in Montgomery Village is still open for business. 

We talked to parents who came to pick up their children and many didn't know about the arrest, including mother Rocio La Cunza, "The person that is in charge is Elsa, and Elsa is a really good person. I have a lot of references of her, and this place is really nice." 

The day care center is located in the basement of the Zaraysi's home. No one came to the door when we knocked, which bore a note, giving us her lawyer's phone number. We called twice and did not receive a return call. Later, a second note was posted underneath, reading "He is innocent."

Publisher, photographer probed over topless Kate photos

Publisher, photographer probed over topless Kate photos

PARIS (AP) - French prosecutors have placed the publisher and photographer of unauthorized topless snaps of Prince William's wife, Kate, under formal criminal investigation, they said Thursday.

Caroline Chassain, spokeswoman for the Nanterre prosecutor, said that Mondadori Magazines France and local photographer Valerie Suau were placed under investigation earlier this month over possible criminal exploitation of the images, which appeared in the French Closer magazine last September.

The photos showed the duchess of Cambridge relaxing at a private villa in Provence, in southern France, sometimes without her bikini top and, in one case, her suit bottom partially pulled down to apply sunscreen.

Chassain added that Suau's employer, local newspaper La Provence, was also placed under formal criminal investigation on Monday, but she did not elaborate.

The investigation will likely take months to complete.

Police Ask For Help In Robbery Investigation

Police Ask For Help In Robbery Investigation

Bethesda, Md. (WUSA9) -- An armed bank robbery in Montgomery County is still being investigated and with no new leads, detectives are turning to the public.

Police say a suspect wearing a "dark blue jacket, a light green button up, gloves and a Halloween mask" robbed M&T bank off of Seven Locks Road on December 22, 2012 in the early morning," police said in the news release. 

The suspect walked into the bank, intimidated the teller with a small black handgun and left with an "undisclosed amount of cash," police said.

The robber is described as an "unknown race male, over 6'0'' tall, with a medium build." Investigators are urging anyone who may have tips about this incident to come forward and contact the Robbery Section at 240-773-5100, police said.

Rhode Island on track to be 10th state to allow gay marriage

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island is set to become the 10th state to allow same-sex couples to marry following a narrow/overwhelming vote in the state's Senate.

Gay marriage supporters erupted into cheers at the Statehouse on Wednesday following the Senate's vote.

The first marriages could take place Aug. 1, when the legislation would take effect.

The bill easily passed the House in January but now must get a largely procedural final vote there, likely next week. Gov. Lincoln Chafee supports the legislation.

While all other New England states already allow gay marriage, heavily Catholic Rhode Island has been a hold-out. An aggressive campaign this year by supporters helped sway lawmakers. The bill's chances also improved when Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed announced she would let it proceed despite her opposition.




Metropolitan Performing Arts Alliance raised $5,000 at their first Annual Benefit Concert to go toward construction of their new Alliance Theatre in Alexandria, Va. MFAC is working toward a fundraising goal of $100,000 to complete the theatre project. Visit www.metrofinearts.com for more information.

Metropolitan Youth Ballet, Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble and iMpulse Jazz Ensemble performed at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Alliance Benefit Concert.

“We are so grateful to the community for helping our dance companies get closer to our goal of building the Alliance Theater,” said Melissa Dobbs, executive director of the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center in Alexandria, Va.

5-year-old Girl Still Critical; Stable After Dog Attack in Md.

5-year-old Girl Still Critical; Stable After Dog Attack in Md.

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- The girl, who was attacked by at least one or more dogs has been stabilized, after being taken to the hospital in critical condition on Wednesday evening in Charles County, Md., officials said Thursday morning. 

The incident took place at a home in the 8600 block of Billingsley Road in Bennsville, MD.  The child, who was said to be in critical condition, was flown to Children's Hospital in Washington, DC.

The girl was supposed to be under the supervision of her mother's boyfriend at the time of the attack.  The boyfriend lost sight of her and later found her laying face down in the backyard where she had already been attacked, according to officials. 

Charles County Animal Control has taken three dogs into custody.  A pit bull, a bulldog, and a cane corso are the breeds suspected to be involved in the attack.