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'Black Lives Matter' sign removed from Bethesda church

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Bethesda church is wondering who keeps vandalizing their 'Black Lives Matter' sign and why.

The sign has now been stolen.

Only a wooded frame remains where the banner should be. It's been replaced several times and for the third time in three weeks the sign has been vandalized or removed all together.

River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda put up the 'Black Lives Matter' sign last month.

A few days later, someone carefully cut out the word 'black.' Leaving the words 'Lives Matter.'

At first, the church wrote on Facebook that it was saddened by their ruined sign.

But when it happened a second time, they were angry and so were neighbors. 

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Crews respond to report of Freon leak at Bethesda military base

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- The Naval Support Activity Bethesda Fire and Emergency Services responded to the report of a Freon leak at an administrative facility on NSAB Friday morning.

Emergency services responded to the report of two unconscious personnel due to the Freon leak at building 147 around 10:20 a.m. The crews responded, investigated and evacuated everybody from inside of the building. They learned that nobody was unconscious and that there was in fact no active Freon leak.

Charged dropped against Md. summer camp magician

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County prosecutors have dropped sexual abuse charges against a magic counselor at a Bethesda summer camp.

Jose Luis Valenzuela, who performs as Jolly the Magician and Jolly the Clown, was accused in July of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl at the Holton-Arms Creative Summer Camp in Bethesda.

Prosecutors say they dropped the charges due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

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Magic camp counselor accused of sexually abusing girl

Car drives into Bethesda building


BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A car drove into the Bethesda Art Metal Works building in Bethesda Tuesday, according to Montgomery County fire officials.

The accident happened on the 4900 block of Bethesda Avenue. Officials say no injuries have been reported but the accident caused structural damage to the building.

No information has been released about the cause of the accident.

We will update this as more information becomes available.


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New escalator open at Bethesda Metro station

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Metro riders who use the Bethesda station should have an easier ride to the rail platform Monday.

The first of three new entrance escalators is now open. The new escalator has a rise of 106 feet, making it the second longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere. The escalator behind the Wheaton station is the longest.

It took crews took nine months to tear out the old escalator and replace it with the new one.

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Drone video goes inside abandoned White Flint Mall

Long before the White Flint mall closed in January it already was showing serious signs of age. About half a year after it closed, video shot by a photographer reveals how damaged the mall is now.

This video shot in June and uploaded to YouTube by Mike Purks tells the erie story of how fast this once busy mall has deteriorated. Purks says he used a drone and a GoPro camera to shoot the video.

Inside the mall, the video shows loose wiring, broken glass and knocked down walls. One destroyed landmark in particular is the old Dave and Buster's movie marquee, which is now mostly on the ground.

The White Flint mall was built in 1977 and closed earlier this year. The land will be redeveloped into a town center, following the national open air shopping center trend across the country.

Records: Md. delegate from Bethesda arrested in June

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A member of the Maryland House of delegates who represents part of Montgomery County was arrested last month and charged with indecent exposure and trespassing, according to court documents.

Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-16) allegedly flashed her breasts at her ex-husband after she saw his fiance inside his home. The incident happened while Kelly was dropping her children off to her ex-husband, the records say.

Kelly, 39, faces trial next month. She represents the 16th district, which includes Potomac and parts of Bethesda.

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