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Police to canvass Laurel in homicide investigation

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Prince George's County Police will canvass a Laurel community Friday evening and pass out flyers in connection with a homicide that happened Thursday. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered in connection with the incident.

The victim, Tyrone Archer, Jr. 23, of Laurel was found suffering from gunshot wounds Thursday around 3:45 p.m. in the 8200 block of Imperial Drive, police said. Archer was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police are still trying to identify suspects and a possible motive in the case.

The canvass of the area will start at 6 p.m. in the 8200 block of Imperial Drive, police said.

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Monza of Historic Manassas will be collecting gently used coats to donate to SERVE of Manassas, Va. in exchange for a $25 Monza or Carmello’s gift card and free hot chocolate and coffee on Fridays and Saturdays in January at Monza at 9405 Battle Street in Old Town Manassas, Va. For more information, go to www.eatmonza.com.

“Winter is here, and we’re all pulling out our warm coats, many of us have more than one, while the neediest of our community go without a proper coat for the coldest of days,” said Alice Pires, owner of Carmellos and Monza in Historic Manassas, Va. “Help us support SERVE by dropping off a coat, and warm up with a free hot cocoa and gift card,” said Pires.

Woman dies from injuries sustained in Md. fire

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- A woman who suffered burns on nearly half her body during a Maryland fire has succumbed to her injuries and died, fire officials said.

At about 9:45 p.m. Thursday firefighters were called to a single family home in the 7200 block of Carriage Hill Drive in Laurel. Firefighters arriving on the scene found a burned piece of furniture that appeared to have been on fire and extinguished by the 80-year-old woman living in the home, fire officials said.

The woman was evaluated and was found to have sustained burns on half her body, fire officials said. She was taken to the Burn Unit in D.C. where she succumbed to her injuries on Friday, officials said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but appears to be accidental, officials said.

Police ID motorcyclist killed in fatal Bowie crash

BOWIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have identified the motorcyclist who died after a collision with an SUV on Monday.

The victim has been identified as Ali Blackshear, age 36, of Northeast Washington.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Laurel Bowie Road south of Powder Mill Road at 5:50 p.m., police said.

Blackshear was taken to the hospital in grave condition where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.

Preliminary investigation reveals that Blackshear was traveling southbound on Laurel Bowie Road when he veered into an oncoming traffic lane to avoid hitting a stopped car, police said. Blackshear than crashed head on with a Honda CRV that was traveling northbound police said.

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Laurel police: Use of force down with body cameras

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- After two years of using police body cameras, Laurel police are now reporting use of force by police is down 30 percent.

"It holds everybody to a higher standard," said Chief Richard McLaughlin.

The department has deployed 32 cameras at a cost of about $2,000 each.

Some citizens fear the cameras violate privacy and worry that police might be able to manipulate or edit video to use against suspects.

Others applaud the cameras.

"At least whatever happens we'll be able to confirm it," said Eniola Otuvando.

Results in Laurel mirror results in other cities that have adopted body cameras. In Rialto, California, use of force is down 59 percent and brutality complaints are down 88 percent.

Shoppers get a jump on Black Friday

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Shoppers started their shopping on Thanksgiving, what is now also being called Gray Thursday.

The National Retail Federation estimate about 25.6 million people are choosing to shop this Thanksgiving day, which is a lot less than the 95 million expected to come out for Black Friday.

There was plenty of parking and enough people to provide a buzz indoors at a Laurel mall.

Industry experts say that Gray Thursday may be quite popular among the young shoppers. According to experts, young people love the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving night so they can leave their parents, escape doing dishes and head out with their friends to go and see what kinds of deals are being offered.

Gray Thursday is problematic for some. Many employees who have to work on Thanksgiving are not thrilled about leaving their families and working on the holiday.



Ben Cherington and Kylie Levy of Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) Performing Arts Academy of Lorton, Va. and Alexandria, Va. were recently recognized for All-Star Cast by the Virginia Theatre Association Conference for their performances in I Never Saw Another Butterfly. This was the first time Metropolitan School of the Arts had participated in the conference. Cherington, an 11th grader from Burke, Va., and Levy, a 10th grader from Fairfax, Va. are students at Metropolitan School of the Arts. For more information, go to www.metropolitanarts.org.

Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) also earned the 2014 Virginia Theatre Association Conference award for Best Costume Design and was recognized for Staging, as well as received an honorable mention for Best Play, I Never Saw Another Butterfly.