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Sneak Peek At MLK Memorial

Sneak Peek At MLK Memorial

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- We are just a few days from the national holiday celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Thursday, we got a special hard hat tour of the MLK Memorial rapidly taking shape on the National Mall.

SLIDESHOW: Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Construction

The memorial sits along the Tidal Basin on a direct line between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. It is still months away from the grand opening, but for the group of invited guests, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and two members of the Obama cabinet, there was still plenty to see.

Fenty Gets A New Gig As 'Celebrity Speaker'

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has landed a new job as a "celebrity" public speaker with the Greater Talent Network (GTN), according to the company's website.

Fenty joins speakers like boxer George Foreman, actor Elizabeth Berkley and Olympic athlete Apolo Ohno as an "exclusive" speaker for the company.

"Adrian Fenty has become a national leader in the area of urban education reform after changing the city's public schools structure in his first months in office," according to GTN's website.

The site also calls Fenty a "national education reform advocate" and a bright young star in the political forum.




A Nickel-A-Bag Nets $2 Million

A Nickel-A-Bag Nets $2 Million

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington shoppers have spent approximately $2 million on paper and plastic bags in the past year, one nickel at a time.

The city's 5-cent tax on bags began last January, but consumers spent much less pocket change than predicted to pay for bags from grocery, liquor and convenience stores. City officials had guessed the fee would raise $3.5 million to clean up the city's Anacostia River before the end of 2010, but it has raised a little more than half that.

City officials said they were surprised so many consumers appear to have changed their habits, bringing reusable bags to carry everything from milk and eggs to shampoo and toilet paper.

DC May Collect Mega-Millions, In Unpaid Fines

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The District is owed more than 300 million dollars in outstanding parking tickets and fines that date back for years.

The DMV under Mayor Adrian Fenty had a plan for an amnesty for
violators and that plan may be implemented by the new administration
under Mayor Vincent Gray.

While its far from a done deal, Officials today expressed support in
private conversations. DC Council members, including Chairman Kwame
Brown and Mary Cheh also seemed to support an amnesty in their comments.

The amnesty story was first reported Tuesday by the Washington Examiner.

DMV Officials confirm they have considered a program whereby people
who haven't paid their tickets would be allowed to pay the original
fine. The added penalties would be forgiven.

It would be welcome news to drivers who got tickets today outside the
DMV where they were already trying to pay existing tickets.

Tickets Available For Gray's Inauguration

Tickets Available For Gray's Inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The public is being invited to attend the inauguration of Vincent Gray as the sixth elected mayor of Washington.

Several inaugural events will be held Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in northwest Washington, and all are free.

The day will begin with a prayer service at 8 a.m. Gray's inauguration and a swearing-in ceremony for D.C. Council members will be held at 10 a.m. Tickets are not needed for either event.

There will also be a black-tie gala at 7 p.m. featuring D.C. artists Chuck Brown and Raheem DeVaughn, along with Style Band and The Yvonne Johnson Trio. Tickets for that event are required and will be available at the convention center on Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are 7,500 free tickets available.

Free Parking In Effect In DC

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington's Department of Public Works has an early Christmas gift for drivers: free parking.

Spokeswoman Linda Grant says no expired parking meter tickets will be written on Friday, the day before Christmas, or on Saturday, Christmas Day. Residential parking restrictions and rush hour parking restrictions will also be suspended.

Drivers should still be careful, however. The Metropolitan Police Department can still write parking tickets for things like parking in an emergency zone or in front of a fire hydrant.

Census Shows DC's First Growth In 60 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The District of Columbia has seen its first population growth in 60 years based on 2010 Census data, surpassing the milestone of 600,000 residents.


The numbers announced Tuesday show the nation's capital grew steadily over the past decade to 601,723 residents this year. That's an increase of 5.2 percent from 572,000 residents in 2000.




Washington's population had been declining since the suburban flight in the 1950s until this turnaround fueled by a real estate boom and the federal government's expansion after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


The city reached its peak of 802,000 residents in the 1950 census after decades of growth during the New Deal and World War II.
Overall, the nation experienced its lowest rate of growth since the 1930s.