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Turkeys for Troops gives military families food for the holidays

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) --The USO of Metropolitan Washington and WUSA9 are teaming up to raise money to thank our military families this holiday season.

There are 500,000 active-duty military personnel in the DC Metropolitan area. We'd like to thank them by providing holiday food baskets. It's part of a program called Turkeys for Troops.

For many of our military members this will be the first holiday meal they've had with their families in a very long time.  Be a part of creating special holiday moments for them and their families and show your support by thanking them with a holiday meal.

Norton to launch campaign for 13th term

WASHINGTON (AP) - The District of Columbia's delegate to Congress is gearing up to run for a 13th term.

Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has represented the district in Congress since 1991. She is unopposed thus far in the April 1 Democratic primary.

Norton will launch her campaign on Saturday at a new apartment building near the Washington Navy Yard. Norton's campaign says the fast-growing neighborhood was made possible by a bill she pushed through Congress.

As a delegate to Congress, Norton can introduce legislation and vote in committees, but she can't vote on the House floor.

Calling All Citizen Scientists: Help Track DC Bunnies

WASHINGTON (WUSA9)--  Ever wanted to be a "Citizen Scientist?" Now's your chance to help out wildlife biologists here in the District.

The District Department of the Environment is asking all residents of the District to assist in counting the number of Eastern Cottontail Rabbits. On Wednesday, the DDOE sent out a letter to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) members to ask for help in tracking the numbers of these bunnies.

The purpose of the tracking is to help biologists figure out the numbers of the Cottontail's density, abundance and distribution throughout the District.

Regulation gives parity for Mental Health coverage

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new Obama administration rule requires insurers to cover treatment for mental health and substance abuse no differently than they do for physical illnesses.

The Obama administration had pledged to issue a final mental health parity rule as part of its effort to reduce gun violence.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says patients seeking mental health or substance abuse care have at time suffered discrimination through higher out-of-pocket costs or stricter limits on hospital stays or visits to the doctor.

Sebelius says nearly 60 percent of people with mental health conditions and nearly 90 percent with substance abuse disorders don't receive the treatment they need.

The rule puts into effect legislation signed into law five years ago. Mental health parity also is required under the Affordable Care Act.

Roads closed after crash in DC

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- D.C. police are on the scene of an accident reported in the 800 block of 8th Street.

Officer Saray Leon said an adult female was struck by a vehicle around 10:54 a.m., and she was reported not to be conscious or breathing. 

Our photographer on the scene says there is a body in the middle of the street covered by a tarp, however police have not confirmed that this is a fatality.

Streets are closed on 8th Street from L Street to G Street, 9th and G, 10th and I and the exit ramp onto 8th Street SE from I-395 westbound, officials said in a tweet from D.C. police.

Use M St. SE and 11th St. SE as an alternate route.

Apple CEO pushes for workplace discrimination bill

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The CEO of Apple is taking a stand on a social issue that affects the workplace.

Tim Cook is urging Congress to pass a bill that would bar workplace discrimination based on an employee's sexual orientation or gender identity.  He wrote an impassioned defense of the "Employment Nondiscrimination Act" in the Wall Street Journal.

The bill cleared a test vote in the Senate Monday night and appears to be on a path to passage there, but it is expected to die in the House.

The measure would change federal law to protect LGBT workers against discrimination.

Congressman declares he's gay

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat from Maine, disclosed Monday that he is gay.

Michaud, who is running for governor, declared his sexual orientation in op-ed columns in the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News, Maine's two largest newspapers. He did so to address what he called the "whisper campaigns" being waged by political opponents about his personal life.

"Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: Yes, I am. But why should it matter?" wrote Michaud, who is 58 and single. "That may seem like a big announcement to some people. For me, it's just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation millworker or a lifelong Mainer. One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine."

Michaud becomes the seventh openly gay or bisexual member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., is the only openly gay senator.