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New claims in JC Hayward/Options School suit

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The District Attorney General's office Wednesday made a new allegation against WUSA9 anchor JC Hayward in in the claim DC charter school managers misdirected funds.

In a court hearing, counsel for the District of Columbia claimed Hayward had a ten percent stake in EES, one of the companies they say benefited from insider deals with Options Public Charter School.

Hayward supporters prayed and sang outside the courthouse in freezing temperatures while, inside, attorneys for the five individual defendants took turns attacking the District's complaint.

Hayward's lawyer argued the new claim that she partially owned EES is speculative and without substantiation.

He has claimed that she had no knowledge of financial wrongdoing as school board chair.

Budget deal clears key Senate hurdle

WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday cleared a key procedural hurdle for final passage of a two-year, bipartisan budget deal before the end of the week.

By a vote of 67-33, Senate Democrats easily surpassed the 60-vote threshold required to end debate and move towards approving the legislation, which is expected by Thursday.

"It is a step in the right direction and a dramatic improvement over the status quo," said Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., who crafted the agreement with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.

"I'm hopeful this deal can be just the first of many bipartisan deals, that it can rebuild some of the trust and bring Democrats and Republicans together and demonstrate that government can work for the people we all represent."

McDonald's renovation "may endanger" health

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- Inspectors cited piles of rat feces in shutting down a market and construction at a McDonald's resulting in a closure.  These and 2 other sanitation violations that closed four District food establishments.

Updated: To see a photo gallery with hundreds of Washington area restaurant closures since 2012 click here

Grocery prices hinge on Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Congress has passed a stopgap measure on the farm bill that could help dairy prices, among other groceries, from surging in the next few months.

The national average for a gallon of milk could jump from $3.50 to more than $8.00.

"They need to keep the prices low," said Charles Miller, General Manager at Rodman's Grocery Stores.

The farm bill provides subsidies to farmers allowing them to keep prices lower. If Congress fails to pass a long-term bill beyond January, farmers would not receive those subsidies and their costs would increase. In turn, so would the price of your grocery store milk, cheese, butter -- you get the idea.     

"Everything would go crazy sky high. Restaurant prices would be so high they'd go out of business," said Miller.

Boffi-Maxalto create Albero di Natale, Italian for Christmas tree, at this year’s Georgetown Jingle

Boffi-Maxalto create Albero di Natale, Italian for Christmas tree, at this year’s Georgetown Jingle

Julia Walter of Boffi and Brian Fell of Maxalto designed an Italian-themed tree that includes a Tuscany Villa getaway and gift certificates from local Italian restaurants and beauty salon.

Spectacular holiday trees and décor are now on display in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in anticipation of the 8th Annual Georgetown Jingle held this Sunday, December 15th. The event benefits pediatric programs at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Power restored at Capitol South Metro station

(WUSA9) -- A commercial power outage impacted the Capitol South station on Tuesday morning.

All elevators and escalators were out of service. Metro officials say buses were requested.

The station remained open.

At approximately 8:35 a.m. power was restored.

Congress extends plastic gun ban

WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- The U.S. Senate approved a 10-year extension of a federal law banning guns that can go undetected by metal detectors or X-ray machines. The law was scheduled to expire today.

The Senate approved without objection the extension of the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act following a last ditch effort by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to expand the scope of the law. Schumer said the law should be updated to account for 3-D printing technology, which can produce solid objects out of digital models and did not exist commercially when the law was first enacted.

The gun rights lobby and congressional Republicans did not support expanding the law, and Democrats agreed to a simple extension so as not to risk the law's expiration. The House approved the 10-year extension last week; President Obama is expected to sign it.