<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Local News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usWed, 04 May 2016 23:09:37 -0400Wed, 04 May 2016 23:09:37 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: Ofc. Hartnett Receives Award After Surviving Ambush ]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 22:55:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Officer-Hartnett-One-on-One.jpg

A Philadelphia Police officer who chased down a gunman after being shot during an ambush attack earlier this year was honored by law enforcement officials from around the world Wednesday night.

Officer Jesse Hartnett received the “Man of the Year” award during the annual National Police Defense Foundation (NPDF) Awards Dinner in Howard Beach, New York. Hartnett spoke to NBC10 about the honor during his first on-camera interview since the shooting.

“It’s a big deal and it’s nice to be recognized,” Hartnett told NBC10’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas in an exclusive interview. “Especially after something tragic like that.”

On January 7, Hartnett, 33, was shot by a gunman in an ambush attack while he was sitting inside his patrol car. Despite being struck in the arm and bleeding heavily, he still chased after the suspect and returned fire. The gunman, who police identified as 30-year-old Edward Archer, was later captured a few blocks away. During Wednesday’s award ceremony, attendees praised Hartnett for his heroic actions that night.

“In 40 years of police work this is the first time I’ve ever seen such an incident that turned out good,” said Joseph Occhipinti of the National Police Defense Fund.

Hartnett couldn’t discuss the details of the shooting while speaking with NBC10 due to the pending court case. He did say however that his military and police academy training ultimately saved his life.

“I’m sitting here speaking to you,” he said. “So did it keep me alive? I would say yes. It definitely kept me alive.”

Hartnett also addressed what he believed to be the unfair depiction of police officers involved in shootings.

“A lot of the media coverage you see a lot of bad, negativity of police when you see different shootings and different cases,” he said. “Everything is obviously a different scenario but you have split seconds to react to something where lawyers can just attack it for months, sometimes years and you have seconds to respond to something.”

Hartnett suffered extensive nerve damage and has limited use of his left arm after undergoing eight surgeries. He just started physical therapy and continues to recover. 

“I really look forward to getting my hand back,” Hartnett said. “It’s difficult. You don’t really realize what you have. It’s a real eye opener when you lose something. But I’m working with really good people at Penn Hospital and everything is going really well.”

Hartnett says he’s spoken to police recruits about his experience and plans to do more volunteering in the future.

“I think It helps to focus their minds and let them realize what they’re getting into,” he said. “It’s not just you it’s your family involved, so many other people and yourself. It’s a huge decision that they’re making. I think it’s an eye-opener, me sharing my story.”

Watch the full interview in the video embedded above.

<![CDATA[Soda Tax Hearings Spawn Protests]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:26:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SODA+TAX+PROTEST+CITY+HALL+GROUND+%28WATSON+RAW%29+-+15-12-13-03_19331730.jpg

Tractor trailers, many emblazoned with soda name brands on their sides, surrounded Philadelphia City Hall two hours before a public hearing Wednesday evening on Mayor Jim Kenney's proposed "soda tax."

The drivers were joined by other groups who objected to the tax, including corner store coalitions and beverage distributors, which rely on soda and other sugary drinks for revenue.

Most of the organizations and businesses against Kenney's proposed 3-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks are part of an umbrella group called Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax Coalition.

Protesters with that group spoke at a rally outside City Hall before the 5 p.m. budget hearing in council chambers. The hearing is one of two chances the public will get to speak to council about the entire city budget proposal for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. The budget would begin July 1, if approved by council.

Speakers at the rally included Dany Vinas, owner of CTOWN Supermarket; Anne McNally, owner of McNally Tavern; Danny Grace, business manager for the Philadelphia Teamsters; and Miguel Martinez, the head of the Dominican Merchants Association.

Meanwhile former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is joining in on the soda tax debate. Bloomberg contributed an undisclosed sum to a nonprofit group starting an $825,000 ad campaign in support of the soda tax.

Bloomberg tried unsuccessfully to ban oversized sodas in New York, and supported successful soda-tax efforts in Mexico and Berkeley, California.

The American Beverage Association has already spent more than $1.5 million on its Philadelphia anti-tax campaign.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Last Republican Standing: Can Trump Unify the Party?]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:06:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpInd-528543736.jpg Donald Trump is the only Republican left in the race, but the question remains – can he bring the party together? NBC10’s Lauren Mayk reports.

Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Defend Yourself In Case of An Attack]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:17:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/How-to-Defend-Yourself-From.jpg A stranger stalked and attacked a young woman from behind and it was all caught on camera. Now, police are commending the woman for managing to escape. NBC10’s Denise Nakano talked to a self-defense expert about what you can do to stay safe.]]> <![CDATA[Montco Bike Share Returns, Will Expand]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:35:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/175*120/Zagster+Montgomery+County+Bike+Share.JPG

In the race for super-hip bicycle sharing programs, Montgomery County doesn't want to be left in the dust by Philadelphia.

County commissioners, citing a successful pilot program at two locations last year, said the bike share program would begin again Thursday, and expand to a third location.

“We expect the program to grow as more and more people become aware of it, and there is also the possibility of individual municipalities signing on and offering the bike share program on their trails or in their parks," county Assets and Infrastructure interim director Chris Smith said in a statement.

The three locations where bike share members can rent bicycles are: Norristown Farm Park off the Germantown Pike entrance, Lower Perkiomen Valley Park in Oaks, and the head of the Pennypack Trail near Huntingdon Pike in Lower Moreland.

There are four bikes to rent at Norristown and Lower Perkiomen, and six at Pennypack.

The rates remain the same as last year: $5 per hour, $25 per day.

In 2015, the county said there were 717 active bike share members and 1,306 total rides.

The county is using a company called Zagster to administer the program. Bikes are available through Zagster's mobile app or by text to use by the hour or day.

Download the Zagster Mobile App, which is available on iPhone or Android, or go to www.zagster.com/montcopa.

Photo Credit: Zagster]]>
<![CDATA[Run-D.M.C. to Take Stage at Musikfest in Bethlehem]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:34:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/179*120/madej66.jpg Run-D.M.C. is reuniting for a trip to Bethlehem this summer. They will take Musikfest’s main stage on August 6, 2016. ]]> <![CDATA[Project HOME Opens New Place of Residence in Chinatown for Those in Need]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:35:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000015138788_1200x675_679532099979.jpg Dozens of formerly homeless men and women now have a place to call “HOME.” Organizers from Project HOME held a grand celebration for “Francis House of Peace” in Chinatown Wednesday. ]]> <![CDATA[Stagnant Water Could Pose Zika Threat]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:23:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/virus+zika+puerto+rico.jpg Mosquitos and the threat of the Zika virus have become even more of a problem with all the rain our region is getting. NBC10’s Randy Gyllehaal spoke to experts in Allentown.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Living Flame Memorial Honors Officer Hurt on Job Who Succumbed to Injuries]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:24:48 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Living-Flame-Memorial.jpg The "Living Flame” memorial in Old City honors fallen police officers and firefighters. On Wednesday, Officer Walter DeWitt III was added to the memorial. He died last year from complications related to an injury he suffered while on patrol back in 1995.]]> <![CDATA[Double Shooting Occurs After Trenton's Address on Violence]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:43:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trenton-Violence.jpg City leaders in Trenton gathered to unveil a new crime-fighting initiative. NBC10’s Cydney long was there for the meeting but left the address on violence to respond to a double shooting. She has the story.]]> <![CDATA[Ridesharing Bill to Enter Pa. House in Wake of Uber and Lyft Popularity]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:29:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/uber211.JPG The growing popularity of Uber and Lyft is forcing Pennsylvania lawmakers to create statewide regulations on ridesharing. The ridesharing bill now moves to the house for a vote that will create a permanent legal framework for these companies.]]> <![CDATA[Big Names to Address Grads in Philly Region]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 14:23:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Obama+Rutgers+New+Brunswick.PNG Before students can walk away with their well-earned diplomas this graduation season, they'll have the opportunity to hear wise words from some influential people during commencement speeches at Philadelphia area colleges and universities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Philly's Homeless Community Gets New Housing Development]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 09:55:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000015127435_1200x675_679067715894.jpg Project HOME is unveiling the Francis House of Peace in Chinatown, which will provide housing for homeless and low-income men and women.]]> <![CDATA[High School Girls Get Closer Look at Tech Jobs]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 09:54:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000015127327_1200x675_679061571920.jpg Wilmington University held it's sixth annual 'Digigirlz' Day in an effort to encourage young women to pursue a career in technology.]]> <![CDATA[Body Found in Philly Backyard ]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 13:03:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/holmesburg+address+map+8100+crispin+street.JPG

A man's body was found in the backyard of a home in the Holmesburg neighborhood of Philadelphia Wednesday morning.

Police said the man may have suffered some type of fatal head injury.

He appeared to be in his late 50s and was pronounced dead at the scene in the 8100 block of Crispin Street.

That block of Crispin runs right by the James Ramp Memorial Recreation Center and is about a block away from Father Judge High School.

The body was discovered before 7 a.m. Police were working to identify the man.

Investigators on the scene told NBC10 the death appeared to be a suicide.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

<![CDATA[Sick Passenger Causes Philly-Bound Flight to Make U-Turn]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:18:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/201*120/Manchester+England+Flight+Aware+Philly+Munich+Flight.JPG

An international flight bound for Philadelphia suddenly turned around before leaving Europe Wednesday morning so that an ill passenger could get medical treatment.

American Airlines Flight 717 took off from Munich, Germany shortly after noon (6 a.m. EST) bound for Philadelphia but it never made its way over the Atlantic Ocean as it made a sudden U-turn over the United Kingdom before landing in Manchester, England about 2 and half hours later.

Crews would do routine safety checks of the Airbus A330-200 before allowing it continue the trip toward America.

It is scheduled to take off from Manchester shortly after 3 p.m. local time and then arrive in Philadelphia, said American Airline spokesman Justin Franco.

The plane wound up actually taking off again around 3:30 p.m. and was expected to land in Philly around 6:20 p.m. EST.

American Airlines didn't reveal the nature of the medical emergency.

Photo Credit: FlightAware]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Shot Dead By Philly Police IDed As NE Pa. Man]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 21:40:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/187*120/Bullet+Riddled+Minivan.JPG

The driver of a minivan shot to death by a Philadelphia police officer early Wednesday morning was identified as Richard Ferretti from a northeast Pennsylvania town.

Ferretti, 52, of Andreas, which is about 15 miles north of Allentown, allegedly failed to listen to plainclothes officers as they stood in front of his minivan and yelled at Ferretti to stop as he drove on Overbrook Avenue near Lancaster Avenue.

"Police received several calls" from college students concerned about the man "casing the area," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross. "Police arrived and they saw the male doing just exactly what the callers indicated," said Ross. "They attempted to stop the male, initially he tries to flee."

Homicide detectives are now investigating the shooting. It was one of two police-involved shootings late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. Another man, allegedly armed with a gun, was shot in Southwest Philadelphia two hours earlier.

The incident that left Ferretti dead occurred shortly before 1 a.m.

Crews rushed him to Penn Presbyterian Hospital but he was dead on arrival.

Plainclothes officers cut off the driver around the corner and told him to stop, said Ross.

"Apparently (the driver) attempts to flee from them, trapping one of the officers between the car and some other area where (the officer) didn't feel he could escape and he discharged his weapon," said Ross. "That male was struck, one time I think, and he was subsequently pronounced dead."

"I heard a screeching sound and I heard a loud boom," said witness Gregory McCowin. "So I got up and I heard 'freeze, stop!'"

"It's way too early" to determine if the shooting was justified, said Ross. An internal affairs investigation would determine the exact circumstances leading to the incident.

The incident played out on police radio. "All cars standby... shots fired," said police band traffic around the time of the shooting.

"Do we have an offender hit?" asks one voice.

"It's all under control," can be heard a short time later as officers are told to resume with regular police work.

Investigators focused on the crashed minivan with its airbag deployed. Ross said officers didn't find a weapon in the vehicle.

About 90 minutes earlier, officers on patrol heard gunshots then found a man shooting into the air from the back porch of a home along Grays Avenue near Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philadelphia and asked him to drop the weapon, said Philadelphia Police.

"Police are in the area in this case and they hear gunshots," said Ross.

"They approach the male, tell the male to drop the weapon, and that male aims and fires one shot at police, misses," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Ray Evers. "And then one of the officers fires two times back and shoots the man in the leg"

The man, who is in his 40s, then made his way inside the house where police arrested him and took him to Presbyterian Hospital in stable condition. They also took in another man who was inside the home for questioning.

Police recovered ballistic evidence at the scene.

Police have yet to identify either man shot by police. No officers were hurt.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Katy Zachry]]>
<![CDATA[New Jersey Community Honors Holocaust Victims]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 07:57:11 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000015127234_1200x675_679062595669.jpg The Yom HaShoah service was held at the Beth Judah Congregation in Ventnor Tuesday night.]]> <![CDATA[Ted Cruz Drops Out, Bernie Sanders Wins Indiana]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:21:49 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527806054-prezs.jpg Following Republican Donald Trump's win in Indiana, rival Ted Cruz suspended his campaign. Meanwhile Bernie Sanders inches closer to catching Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[AstraZeneca Committed to Staying in Delaware]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:55:04 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AstraZeneca+Job+Cuts+100611+PHI.jpg The drugmaker vows to stay in the First State despite massive budget cuts.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Naturalization Ceremony for New Americans]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:54:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000015126415_1200x675_679056451597.jpg Nearly three dozen people from 17 different countries are now American citizens following a ceremony Tuesday in Cape May, New Jersey.]]> <![CDATA[CO Kills NJ Boy, Hurts Sister]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 05:24:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/carbon-monoxide-linden-0503.jpg

A 9-year-old boy died and his 10-year-old sister is in critical condition after carbon monoxide leaked into their bedroom at a New Jersey home Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The house was equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, but the device's batteries were dead, police said.

The boy was pronounced dead shortly after the incident at the home on Passaic Avenue in Linden, according to authorities. The girl was taken to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and was set to be transferred to Jacobi Hospital for specialized treatment.

Their mother, who wasn't injured, called police to report that one of the two children was having difficulty breathing. She had administered CPR to the boy before an ambulance arrived, police said.

The incident remained under investigation, but authorities say that a malfunctioning furnace or burner might have caused carbon monoxide to leak into the basement and the children's room above it. 

Neighbor Arlene Carolina said that the siblings' mother was a nurse and that she used to babysit the pair. 

"She's a very good mother, a very good mother," Carolina said. 

The Linden Fire Department and the Red Cross offered free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors two weeks ago, but no one from the household called back to receive one, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Men Attack School Officers Outside HS: Police]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 18:38:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/School-Officers-Attacked.jpg

Officials released video of two men who they say attacked a student as well as two school police officers outside of a Northeast Philadelphia high school.

On Monday around 3:30 p.m., two school police officers were escorting students outside Northeast High School on Cottman Avenue after dismissal. Suddenly the officers spotted two men who were assaulting another student, investigators say. The officers separated the student from the two men in order to stop the attack, according to officials. The officers and the two men then began to argue which escalated into a physical confrontation. The men allegedly began pushing and shoving the two officers who then defended themselves, according to officials. 

One of the suspects threw an officer to the ground while another suspect punched the second officer, police say. A third male suspect then joined in and all three began to attack the school officers, according to officials. Philadelphia police officers then arrived at the scene and the suspects fled east on Cottman Avenue.

One of the school officers suffered a broken jaw during the fight and was taken to Temple University Hospital to undergo surgery. The second school officer suffered a sprained ankle and some bruises.

So far police have only released a description of one of the suspects, describing him as a muscular African-American man in his mid-20s weighing 185 pounds with dreadlocks who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.

If you have any information on the incident, please call Philadelphia Police.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Jury Chosen For Rep. Chaka Fattah's Trial]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 04:27:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fattah3.gif

A pool of 255 potential jurors that arrived Monday at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia for the trial of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was whittled down by Tuesday evening to the final 18.

That number includes the 12 jurors and six alternates in a case that will begin May 16 with opening arguments and is expected to take several weeks.

Various motions by both Fattah's defense and federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia are also expected between now and the beginning of the trial in two weeks.

Fattah, 58, is charged with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and other charges in an alleged scheme that dates back to a $1 million loan during his failed 2007 run for mayor.

"It's a great day," Fattah said as he left the courthouse at 601 Market St. "I can't really comment."

Four others, including a wealthy longtime political supporter, are also charged.

The congressman, who hails from West Philadelphia and has represented the city-based 2nd Congressional District for 22 years, lost his re-election bid last Tuesday to state Rep. Dwight Evans.

<![CDATA[Bodies Found in Unlicensed Funeral Home: Police ]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:35:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Funeral-Director.jpg

A tip led the NBC 10 Investigators to an unlicensed funeral home in Chester, Pennsylvania. When our cameras captured bodies prepped for burial it led to questions [of oversight and enforcement] for those watching Pennsylvania’s funeral industry.

We met Leychawne Johns inside an unlicensed funeral home.  He was standing over a body in a casket.  Another corpse lay in a back room.  According to state records Leychawne Johns is a licensed funeral trainee, meaning he can only practice under the supervision of a licensed funeral director.

“There are two bodies in the process of being prepared for viewing,” Deputy Chester Police Commissioner Otis Blair said.

Police arrived when the building’s owner, licensed funeral director Louis Hunt, called them.  Hunt rents an upstairs apartment to Johns.

“For months now I’ve been trying to let the board know that there’s unlicensed activity going on in the building,” Hunt said.

“I’m calling my attorney,” Johns said when asked about his license status.

Johns did not provide his attorney’s name or contact number.

It is not the first time recently we’ve seen unlicensed funeral activity in a Pennsylvania funeral home.

Last summer, we saw it twice in one week in Philadelphia.

First police discovered decomposing bodies in Blair Hawkins’ unlicensed funeral home.  Days later they found three decomposing in an unrefrigerated Philadelphia garage.  State records show Janet Powell-Dailey ran an unlicensed funeral home for three years.  Both Powell-Daily and Hawkins were charged with abuse of a corpse and are awaiting trial.  Hawkins said he won’t talk to us until his trial ends.  Powell-Dailey and her lawyer haven’t returned our calls for comment.

“You know what, this is a tough industry,” former state funeral board chairman Gregory Burrell said.

Burrell has been a member of the state funeral board for six years.  As chairman he was in charge of overseeing the industry.  When the NBC10 Investigators went to Harrisburg to see how the board enforces unlicensed activity – we watched them remove Burrell as chairman.

State records show he allowed his West Philadelphia funeral home’s license to lapse for four days in February.

“I think it’s a technicality because the license was gone for three days and I mean the checks and the applications were in the mail to get there on time so we would not be late,” Burrell said.

According to the Department of State, Burrell ran the Terry Funeral Home in West Philadelphia  without a license from February 1, 2016 to February 5, 2016.  The Terry Funeral Home’s website shows two funerals performed during that time.

Burrell said he thought the license was active.

“It is just baffling to me because I know we wrote the checks way in advance.  Way in advance,” he said.

The funeral board can issue fines and revoke licenses but whether it’s the board chairman or someone, such as Leychawen Johns, our investigation found the state powerless to stop the unlicensed from performing funerals.        

“We do not have the statutory authority to actually stop a person from practicing,” Deputy Secretary Peter Speaks said.

Speaks is in charge of Pennsylvania’s professional licensing.

Court records show the state regulator tried to shut down Powell’s funeral home last fall in Philadelphia but couldn’t.  State law requires “proof of immediate and irreparable harm” to the living.

“We can be effective to the extent that we are bringing attention to the fact that they are practicing without a license,” Speaks said.

CLICK HERE to check for a funeral home or funeral director's license.

<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Woman Fights Off Attacker: Police ]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 06:53:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/South-Philadelphia-Sex-Assa.jpg

A woman fought off a man who was trying to sexually assault her in South Philadelphia last month, according to police.

A 19-year-old woman told police she was walking on the 1300 block of Wharton Street at 1:30 a.m. back on April 20 when she was approached from behind by an unidentified man. Investigators say the man forced the woman to the ground and pulled the top of her dress down, exposing her breast. The woman managed to fight back however and sprayed him in the face with mace, police said.

The suspect then fled northbound on the 1200 block of South Clarion Street.

"It's pretty horrifying," said Laura Chance, who told NBC10 she heard and saw the struggle outside her apartment. "I wasn't sure what was going on until I heard the woman scream, 'fire,' which I know to be code for sexual assault. I ran to my window to find out where she was."

Police released surveillance video of the attack. The suspect is described as a 37-year-old man standing 5-foot-7 and weighing 225 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

If you have any information on his identity, please call the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251/52 or call 911.  

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Stuck in the Block: How Long Will the Rainy Weather Last?]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 00:12:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/rain-generic-GettyImages-456729820.jpg

Remember when we had those ten straight dry, sunny days last month? While many of us were enjoying that stretch of weather, it was day after day of rain in Louisiana and surrounding states, causing record flooding. It’s known as a Blocking Pattern, and it’s our turn to get stuck in the cool, cloudy, and damp part of one.

No. We have seen blocking patterns in the upper atmosphere as long as we’ve seen maps of the upper atmosphere. They are more common in some parts of the year and more common in certain parts of the world. If we didn’t have blocking patterns, that would be unusual.

In this case, the cool, cloudy, damp weather will continue through at least Friday. Temperatures may not even reach 60 in many parts of the area (our normal high is 70). I don’t expect a lot of rain to fall-no flood threat or anything close to it. But we will see fog and some drizzle at times during the next two days. By Friday, the center of the upper-air low will be right over us, so that may be the day when we see more hours of rain. There could even be some coastal flooding, due to the persistent wind off the ocean plus the new moon (which raises tides all by itself).

Here is that upper-air map for Friday. That’s pretty extreme for May.

The blue areas are below normal pressures, with the center of the upper low right over Delaware Bay. And here’s the surface map for the same time:

That’s a map that shows a rainy and chilly pattern, especially for May.

It takes a while for blocking this strong to break up, and that’s been the case this spring. Look at the upper-air pattern for Thursday:

Not only is there a strong LOW in the Eastern U.S., there’s another one along the California coast. And then there’s a HIGH pressure ridge in-between. Does the U.S. pattern look familiar? It looks like the Greek letter Omega:

OK, it may not look exactly like an Omega to some of you, but meteorologists have been using the term for ages.

This particular Omega Block will be breaking up over the weekend, just in time to allow for some sunshine and mild temperatures to return. And the pattern by the middle of next week will look much different than it does now.

That’s a more “normal” pattern, which will allow much warmer air to move in. And lo and behold: temperatures near 80 are in the forecast by Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Funeral Set for Philly's 1st Black Police Chief Willie Williams ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 17:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/la-AP_950330052.jpg

Funeral arrangements have been released for Willie Williams, the first African-American to lead the Philadelphia Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, who died at the age of 72 last week.

A public viewing will be held Friday, May 6, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Baker Funeral Home on 2008 North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Another viewing will be held Saturday, May 7 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Zion Baptist Church on 3600 North Broad Street. A funeral service will immediately follow at the church at 11 a.m.

Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr. appointed Williams the Philadelphia Police Department's first black commissioner in 1988. He succeeded Kevin Tucker and paved the way for many other African-American leaders in the department, including current Commissioner Richard Ross and his predecessor, Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

"I remember most about his tenure that it was a historic appointment," former Mayor Goode told NBC10 on Wednesday. "He was the perfect person to be in that position as the first African-American police commissioner of the city."

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Goode, who said he was so close with Williams that he considered him to be like family, recalled Williams as humble and soft-spoken, but forceful. He said a hallmark of Williams' tenure as the leader of the Philadelphia department was his ability to bring the police and community together.

"When other cities were experiencing differences between police and the community, Philadelphia was kind of calm," Goode said. "I think it was due to the leadership of Willie Williams, being in control and having that kind of interpersonal skill to talk to neighborhood leaders throughout the city."

That skill caught eyes on the West Coast, and in the wake of the Rodney King riots in 1992, the Los Angeles Police Department recruited Williams to become commissioner there. Williams spent half a decade leading the LAPD. In 2002, he became head of federal security at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and settled in Atlanta.

Williams' daughter-in-law Valerie told the Associated Press that he died Tuesday night at his home in Fayettevelle, Georgia. She said he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Ross, Philadelphia's current leader, joined the force a year before Williams took over the department and was patrol partners with Williams' son, also named Willie Williams, who is now a lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department working in Mayor Jim Kenney's security detail. Ross echoed Goode's sentiments about Williams, saying he was fair, charismatic and committed to community policing.

Kenney in a statement on Wednesday said he was "deeply saddened" by Williams' death.

"He served this city with greatness, improving community police relations and breaking down barriers at Philadelphia's first African-American commissioner," Kenney said.

Ross said Williams served as an inspiration to him to rise through the ranks of the department.

"I'd seen that someone else had reached that pinnacle," Ross, who took over the department after Commissioner Charles Ramsey retired in January, said. "It was possible for me and others to do it as well. When you reach a milestone like that ... that just makes the barriers crumble for others as well."

Photo Credit: AP, File
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<![CDATA[Police Officer Injured in Crash in North Philadelphia ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 17:42:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philadelphia-Police-Officer1.jpg

A police officer was injured in a crash in North Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say the officer was attempting to pull over a vehicle on 25th and Diamond streets. Suddenly the police cruiser was hit from behind by another vehicle causing the officer to crash into the car he was pulling over.

The officer was not seriously hurt in the crash but was still taken to the hospital for observation.

Photo Credit: Matt Schaffer ]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Jogger Defends His Right to Carry in Front of Police ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 22:45:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/James-Moody-GoPro.jpg

If you see an armed jogger in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania, these days, it's not a "run-by" in progress.

He's trying to make a point.

James Moody, 49, who lives in the neighborhood and comes from a self-described "firearms family," said he began jogging with a handgun at his hip a couple months ago.

He admits a jogger with a gun in plain view on Vernon Road may be a bit "eye-opening," but Moody, a truck driver and city native who became Pennsylvania's Golden Gloves superheavyweight boxing champion in 1988, said he's doing it to raise awareness about gun rights.

One police officer walking the beat in the 14th District thought it jarring enough to stop Moody mid-run Monday — and the first 15 minutes of the encounter were caught on video shot by Moody's Go-Pro.

In it, which Moody posted to YouTube Tuesday, the officer, who identifies himself as Officer Cave, crosses Vernon Road to ask Moody about the handgun. Cave approaches with a coffee in one hand and asks Moody if he has a license to carry. Moody refuses to answer the officer's questions about a firearms license.

As other officers arrive, they too ask Moody about a license to carry or another form of identification. Cave, a sergeant and two other officers all in turn ask Moody as the group discusses the legality of carrying a firearm in public.

None of the officers nor Moody become angry, but at least one of the officers points to her phone and tells Moody he is not allowed to carry a firearm openly.

In Pennsylvania, Moody argued in the video and then in a subsequent phone interview Tuesday, gun owners with a license to carry firearms are free to "open carry" anywhere in the state — even Philadelphia.

"Clearly, the officers don’t know the laws that Philadelphia is governed by. They had no clue about what is lawful and unlawful," said Moody. "You can, under Title 18 Section 6108, open carry a firearm."

"We also don’t live in a stop-and-identify state. Do they stop everyone in a motor vehicle just because they’re driving? No, you need probable cause," he added. "You have no reason to detain me and question me. It may be a little eye opening, but it is not unlawful."

Moody's video of the encounter ends after about 15 minutes because his Go-Pro battery died, but he said police continued to question him about the gun and why he wouldn't show any identification. He said they handcuffed him briefly, searched him and found his license to carry inside his wallet. He was then let go.

"I love the idea of open carry. It’s our constitutional right. I do it all the time," Moody said. "I don’t see why anyone would impede my right to do so."

An attorney who has wrangled with the city of Philadelphia for decades over citizens' gun rights, Jon Mirowitz, said the law doesn't prohibit Moody from openly carrying his gun.

But, Mirowitz said, everyone, whether you're a cop or a civilian, should adhere to a simple rule: Act civil.

"In this sort of a confrontation, there is nobody that’s right or nobody that’s wrong," Mirowitz said. "Being civil is the key. All the guy has to do is say, 'Here's my ID.' All the cop has to do is say, 'I’m not giving you a hard time. I just want to see some ID.'"

The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

It occurred near April 24 shootings on Vernon Road that left two men dead, including one who had just been talking with a state House candidate. The shootings were related to one another.

Officers in the 14th should take heed: Moody said he doesn't plan to quit armed jogging anytime soon — even if his wife said she isn't happy about it.

"My wife is upset with me now because I put myself at risk," he said. "But I told her freedom isn’t free. I call it my exercising my mind, my body, and my Second Amendment rights."

<![CDATA[Allentown Officers Play Basketball With Kids]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 11:13:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/police+pick+up+game.png

An improptu game of basketball was all it took for two Allentown police officers and a group of kids to have some fun last weekend. 

Miriam Matos was out at Cedar Beach Park in Allentown for a community event when she saw the officers playing a game of basketball with a group of kids. She decided to record the game to share the moment and explained the officers looked like they were playing on different teams and were helping the kids make baskets.

"Most people think cops are bad, but forget their job is to help our community" says Matos, "It was awesome to see them playing together."

NBC10 tracked down the two Allentown officers -- partners Bryan Guzley and Nicholas Lerch -- who have been working together since February, 2016.

"Not all kids view us in a good way, but we want to have a good presence in the community" said Guzley.

Guzley told NBC10 he and Lerch decided to start the game after walking around the park while greeting residents and seeing a few kids on the court.

"After shooting some baskets with four kids, about five more showed up and we just thought we would start a game," said Lerch. "It's our way to give back and get involved with the community." 

Both officers enjoyed getting a chance to share the great day with the kids and agreed it was a fun experience for everyone.

Photo Credit: Miriam Matos]]>