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Community leaders look for solutions to DC violence


WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- An increase in violence in the Washington D.C. over the last few weeks prompted community leaders to meet Saturday to come up with long-term solutions to break the cycle.

So far in 2015, there have been 73 homicides in Washington, an increase of nearly 18 percent from this time last year.

For these community leaders, the latest concentration of violent crime has a familiar echo, and their meeting in Anacostia was a familiar solution.

"This has been done in the past, where in 2008 everyone came together and we had four straight years of murder rate going down and violence going down," Ron Moten of the Art of Peace initiative said.

But breaking the cycle is not going to be easy, and the synthetic drug problem is drawing comparisons to the crack epidemic 30 years ago.

METRO SCHOOL of the ARTS ACADEMY AUDITIONS, SUN., MAR. 1; for 2015-2016 School Year

METRO SCHOOL of the ARTS ACADEMY AUDITIONS, SUN., MAR. 1; for 2015-2016 School Year

Students interested in attending the Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) of Alexandria and Lorton, Va. can audition on Sun., Mar. 1 at MSA Lorton Campus at 9601 Ox Road. Auditions are required as part of the 2015-2016 academy registration. The MSA Academy audition is for performing arts students from 6th grade to 12th grade. Students should call 703-339-0444 ext.3 or visit www.metropolitanarts.org to register for an audition time. 

The audition process will give prospective students an opportunity to demonstrate his or her skills in dance, music and theater for the chairs of the respective arts departments.  Applicants must attend a live audition if they live within three geographical states of MSA.  Prospective students living beyond the three-state radius may submit a DVD audition. 

DONATE COATS for SERVE at MONZA; GET $25 MONZA/CARMELLO’s GIFT CARD

DONATE COATS for SERVE at MONZA; GET $25 MONZA/CARMELLO’s GIFT CARD

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.

METROPOLITAN SCHOOL of the ARTS’ STUDENTS AWARDED for ALL-STAR CAST

METROPOLITAN SCHOOL of the ARTS’ STUDENTS AWARDED for ALL-STAR CAST

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.

Walmart donates 1,000 backpacks to DC Children


WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Walmart donated $10,000 to provide 1,000 backpacks to children in DC's Ward 7 on Tuesday morning.

Unity Health Care serves the children in Ward 7, via the Minnesota Avenue Health Center.

"This program is another way we put our mission in action. We are thankful for the generous support of our partners at Walmart, who help us "promote healthier communities" one child at a time." Keane added. Currently, approximately 80,000 school-aged children live in the District of Columbia.

Unity Health Care provides services to more than 105,000 people, 20,000 of whom are children. They give affordable health care for the uninsured, underinsured, homeless and working poor residents of our nation's capital.

LEARNINGRx OFFERS MILITARY FAMILIES 11 % OFF of BRAIN TRAINING; DONATES $111/student to SEMPERMAX

LEARNINGRx OFFERS MILITARY FAMILIES 11 % OFF of BRAIN TRAINING; DONATES $111/student to SEMPERMAX

For Veteran’s Day, LearningRx of DC Metro Area is offering 11 percent off of their brain training programs for military families Nov. 11 through Nov. 30, located at six, local centers, Chantilly, Va., Fairfax, Va., Leesburg, Va., Reston, Va., Vienna, Va. and North Potomac, Md. For each military child they train, LearningRx will also donate $111 to SemperMax, a program to enhance the morale and welfare of wounded veterans and their families. LearningRx programs have been helping traumatic-brain-injured military veterans, like U.S. Army Capt. Patrick Horan (Ret.) of McLean, Va., recover their speech and memory skills, and LearningRx is now extending brain training to military families that are looking to make learning easier or for those who struggle with learning disabilities, ADHD or autism. For more information, go to www.learningrx.com.

Take the Plunge: Join Design Army X Karla Colletto for Pool Party, Fashion Show on Friday, Aug. 22

Take the Plunge: Join Design Army X Karla Colletto for Pool Party, Fashion Show on Friday, Aug. 22

Design Army X Karla Colletto to debut their swimwear collection - Swim At Your Own Risk - on Friday, August 22 from 7-10 p.m. at Capitol Skyline Hotel

On the heels of judging the global 61st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France as one of two US judges in the Design category, Pum Lefebure, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Design Army, just released her first swimwear collection, Swim At Your Own Risk, in collaboration with Karla Colletto. A capsule collection for Colletto’s Cruise 2015 line and Lefebure’s first venture into fashion design, the five-piece graphic swimsuits and beachwear debuted at the Miami Swim Show on July 19th.