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Remembering Jim Vance, a Washington institution and the city's guiding light

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NBC Washington

Remembering Jim Vance, a Washington institution and the city's guiding light

Washington, D.C. is a city of great institution, and in its human form, there was no greater institution than Jim Vance. 

For 45 years -- the longest of any newscaster in the region -- Vance treated every Washingtonian with courtesy, respect and the ability to not just read the news, but talk with you about it. The latter is an important distinction in this city, one ruled by political grandstanding and ruthless social posturing.

On Saturday, the nation's capital lost its kindest, most charismatic and respected voice of news and information, as Vance passed away at the age of 75.

I am not writing this as an employee of NBC Universal, nor am I writing this as a former intern at NBC4.  I am writing this as the son of a Washingtonian. I am writing this as a 32-year old who was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Someone who took the local bus to high school every day, the same bus adorned with his NBC4 headshot.

I am writing this as someone who loves Washington, D.C. as not the seat of American politics, but the greatest local community in the country.

And Vance was the face and the voice of the local community.

But what made Vance great was not what he did, but how he did it.

Vance was as charming a newscaster as you will ever see. He was polite but direct. He could make you laugh and make you cry. He made you care about the community, whether you grew up on a metro line or simply spent a summer interning on one.

I did not know Jim Vance on a personal level. I met him on several occasions as an intern, and as incredible of a journalist as he was, what always shined was his urbane sophistication and truly warm demeanor.

He was the same person on television as he was in the newsroom, and was that very same person when you ran into him at the local florist. He was Washington D.C.'s guiding light. The city's voice of knowledge and community.

It's why despite hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians not knowing Jim Vance on a personal level, each and everyone felt like he was a part of their extended family.

We welcomed him into our houses every day.

We discussed the local happenings and important world issues.

We groaned when local teams were eliminated from the playoffs and shared imaginary yet all-too-real hi-fives when the teams won. 

He wasn't just a newscaster. He was a Washingtonian. He was the guy whose photo you saw on the wall at local delis and the guy who stood behind you in-line at the very same place. 

Death is human, but influence is forever. Jim Vance truly is a Washington institution, one that will never die.

Delle Donne scores 25, Mystics get 7th straight victory

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USA Today Sports Images

Delle Donne scores 25, Mystics get 7th straight victory

Elena Delle Donne scored 25 points, Kristi Toliver added 19 and the Washington Mystics used an 18-2 fourth quarter to beat the Indiana Fever 76-62 on Wednesday night.

Washington (21-11) has won seven straight and is one game behind second-place Atlanta (22-10), with the top two seeds getting double-byes in the playoffs.

Monique Currie scored 14 points for Washington. She made back-to-back 3-pointers to start Washington's 12-2 game-opening run. The Mystics were 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the first quarter and finished 9 of 22.

Delle Donne, Toliver and Currie each scored in double-figures in the first half to help Washington take a 48-41 lead.

Natalie Achonwa led Indiana (5-27) with 15 points. Candice Dupree added eight points and became the ninth player in WNBA history to reach 6,000 points. Dupree needs two points to tie Lauren Jackson (6,007) for eighth on the scoring list. Diana Taurasi leads the pack with 8,506.

Indiana started the second half on a 10-0 run to take its first lead at 49-48.

The Washington Valor are Arena League Champions

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Twitter/@WashingtonValor

The Washington Valor are Arena League Champions

Washington, D.C. is still the city of champions.

The Washington Valor defeated the Baltimore Brigade 69-55 in a Ted Leonsis owned battle of the beltways.

The Valor, who had gone 2-10 during the regular season, took on the 7-5 Baltimore Brigade as their underdog heading into Saturday's championship match.

Quarterback Arvell Nelson put the Valor on the board first with a touchdown during the second quarter. Nelson had a record-setting game with 223 yards passing and five touchdowns.

This is the Valor's first-ever championship title.