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Police: 2 Md. state troopers and motorist injured

JOPPA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two Maryland state troopers were injured after they responded to a robbery in Md, police said.

A motorist was also injured after he struck the back of the patrol car the troopers were in. Trooper Zachary Shelley and Trooper First Class David Stanley were both taken to the hospital. They are expected to be treated and released, police said.

The driver of a Volkswagen Beetle, Trina Emory, 32 was also taken to the hospital, officials said.

According to initial investigation, Emory was traveling southbound on Rt. 152 and was unable to go around the stopped patrol car with its emergency lights on. It then struck the back of the patrol car. At that time, Trooper Shelley was inside the car. TFC Stanley jumped down an embankment to get out of the way of the Volkswagen after it struck the patrol car, police said. 

National Zoo welcomes Andean bear Cisco

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The next time you're visiting the National Zoo, stop by the Andean bear exhibit and welcome Cisco.

Twenty-year-old Cisco arrived at the Zoo in September based on a breeding recommendation from the Species Survival Plan.

Zoo officials say Cisco, who has a relaxed, laid-back personality, has settled in nicely.

Keepers are hoping that he will woo Billie Jean in spring 2014.

*If you're viewing this on our iPad app, click VIDEO then choose photo option.

Man charged after attempting to assault police officer

DAMASCUS, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 34-year-old man is in custody after assaulting an officer with a gun, police said. 

Michael L. Roberts of the 24100 block of Newbury Road in Gaithersburg has been charged with one count of irst-degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment.'

The incident happened in Damascus around 5:19 p.m. at the 24100 block of Newbury Road when a woman called Police reporting that her daughter's boyfriend was acting violently and damaging their home. They were able to escape. When Police arrived the suspect exited the front door with a loaded gun after which the officer had to use his gun, police said.

The suspect was not injured and has been released on bond, police said. 


Giant Panda cub updates

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Giant Panda cub now weighs 7.7 pounds, zoo officials said. 

The mother of the cub, Mei Xiang leaves her cub for up to two hours at a time to get breakfast. At some point, the mother and cub will be comfortable spending many hours away from each other. The cub is even sleeping through the exams.  Mei nurses the cub before she goes out to get breakfast, zoo officials said.

The cub is now 23 inches long and her right front paw measured in at 2.4 inches long (6 centimeters) and her hind paws at 3 inches (8 centimeters), officials said. 

Click through these new photos from the National Zoo to see how much the cub has grown!

*If you're viewing this on our iPad app, click VIDEO, then choose photo option.


Banneker soccer player commits to healthy eating at Common Good Community Garden

Reporting by Diane Roberts

WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) -- Gessika Bridgeforth is a sophomore at Banneker High School in the District.

She says playing soccer makes her feel free.

"She's very, very aggressive, very persistent and always comes back very hard," said coach Kate Mansfield.

And even though Banneker loses more games than they win, Gessika loves playing for her team, although the sport isn't her only passion. After school, Number Six trades in the soccer field for the field of food -- Common Good Community Garden -- which grows food for the city's low-income population. 

So far this year, they've harvested 4,600 pounds of food. Besides their small staff, the farm employs 16 kids as part of their fall youth program, and Gessika is one of them.

Cool Schools: Howard Univ. Middle School

(WUSA9) -- Have you ever thought about starting your own business and then sort of gotten intimidated, thinking this is too hard?

Learning how to say "Yes I Can" is what today's Cool Schools is all about.  The students at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science can show you how to do it, too.

The seeds of entrepreneurship are being sewn at the school. Eight graders like Leah Porter come up with their own mobile apps that will solve a problem in their community.

"There is no app that is suitable for smart money management. We believe we could build Budget Buddies by December of 2014," proposed Leah Porter, who is the CEO of the app company.

Porter and her team are getting professional help to make it happen. Aaron Saunders owns Clearly innovative. He builds apps for a living.

Elementary school principal builds communities through after-school program

Elementary school principal builds communities through after-school program

On a late September afternoon, Atasha James sat in her office at Leckie Elementary School finishing the day's work when she was suddenly interrupted.

A parent of a child came into the principal's office, asking if James had tag board.

"I said, 'I thought this was something really important,'" James said. "She said, 'It is. We need posterboard!'"

A few weeks later, sitting behind her desk, James laughs at the memory. The parent wanted the material because she was going to Leckie's first DC SCORES soccer game that afternoon. She was one of many parents, school administrators and teachers excited that the Lions have a soccer team.

For the first time in the school's history, thanks to the after-school soccer, poetry, and service-learning program that serves 1,500 low-income youth in the District.