<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Local News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:02:02 -0400 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:02:02 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Pa. Prisoner Confesses to 2004 Murder]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:53:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/jail-generic.gif

A Pennsylvania prisoner has pleaded guilty to a decade-old murder in Michigan.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Walter Antraell Wilson told police last week he killed Robert Anthony Farmer in 2004. The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Kent County court this week.
 
Police say Farmer was shot in Grand Rapids during an attempted robbery and died soon after. They say detectives used DNA evidence, tips and witness statements to link the crime to Wilson.

Wilson is in federal prison serving a minimum of 15 years for possession of illegal weapons in a 2007 case. He faces a minimum sentence of 25 years for Farmer's death because of his record.
 

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<![CDATA[Security Cameras in Philly Cabs?]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:33:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cameras-Philly-Cabs.jpg

A service that many Philadelphians take for granted also happens to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the city. Khalid Alvi, president of the Philadelphia Cab Association, tells NBC10 that being a cab driver in Philly isn’t easy or safe.

“It’s a high risk business,” Alvi said.

According to Alvi, just last month, nine cab drivers at All City Taxi were robbed at gunpoint. Last May, Alvi’s friend and co-worker Hafiz Sarfaraz was shot and killed in Cobbs Creek when a man pretending to be a customer tried to rob him.

The incident is one of many that prompted the Philadelphia Parking Authority to propose a measure for the installation of security cameras in taxi cabs.

“If you have a camera, this camera can protect these drivers,” Alvi said.

PPA officials agree.

“We think it’s going to have a very big impact,” said Dennis Weldon of the PPA. “This is something we think will be able to reduce crime, when people know they’re being watched. People who do bad things tend to go to places where they’re not gonna get caught.”

The PPA must get approval from the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission before proceeding. If approved, the new measure will affect 3700 taxi drives and 1600 medallion owners.

“I think with the cameras, it will be a good chance for everybody who gets in the cab,” said Salman Butt, a cab driver. “They will know there is an eye on them.”

A vote will take place Thursday at 10:30  a.m. If approved each camera will cost $1,600 and the medallion owners will be in charge of carrying them. If the measure passes, you’ll start seeing the cameras inside of cabs starting in September.

 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[City to Improve Rec Center Safety]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:05:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/199*120/simons+rec+center.PNG NBC10's Katy Zachry explains how the City of Philadelphia is increasing security at recreation centers.]]> <![CDATA[In Case You Missed It: Yesterday's Top Stories ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:22:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/crying-baby-generic.jpg

Didn't get to catch the local news? Check out yesterday's top stories.

2 More Babies Get Herpes After Ritual Circumcisions: Officials
Two more infants were diagnosed with herpes in New York this month after undergoing ritual Jewish circumcisions, the Health Department says.

Mom, Daughter in Food Truck Explosion Die From Injuries
A mother and daughter in Philadelphia who were injured earlier this month after a propane tank exploded in the back of a food truck have died from their injuries, according to a family member.

McDonald's Cook Nabbed Selling Crack: Police
An undercover sting at a McDonald's on suburban Philadelphia's swanky Main Line has led to the arrest of a fast food employee who police say was selling crack at the restaurant.

Adorable Black-Footed Kittens at the Philadelphia Zoo
A trio of small and mighty black-footed kittens are now on display at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Boy with 27 Bruises Walks into Policing Center, Mom Charged
A mother in Pennsylvania was arrested after her 11-year-old son walked into a policing center with 27 bruises and welts on his body, police said.

 



Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Family of Pregnant Woman Who Died in Ambulance Sues City]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:16:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pregnant-woman-dies.gif

The family of a pregnant woman who died in an ambulance nearly two years ago is suing the city of Philadelphia as well as the city’s ambulance manufacturers and maintenance company.

In the wrongful death and infant brain injury lawsuit filed on Thursday, the family alleges that Joanne Rodriguez, a 24-year-old expecting mother, would still be alive today if the Philadelphia paramedics who arrived at her house were properly trained and had proper medical equipment.

On October 1, 2012, paramedics responded to Rodriguez’s Philadelphia home. Rodriguez, who was 9 months pregnant, was having trouble breathing after falling down the stairs. The family says she was asthmatic and on medication for a blood clot.

"I told her (dispatcher) she fell down the steps, she's 37 weeks pregnant, she's hurt, and she's lying down,” said Joanne’s aunt, Carmen Morales. “I told her she was responsive but couldn’t breathe.”

Her family says Medic 22 took three minutes to get from the firehouse to their home. Surveillance video from the family home shows the medics walking into the house without any medical equipment.

"They start looking at my niece and say 'OK ma'am I need you to sit up,'” said Morales. “My niece is telling them, 'Please, I can't breathe, I'm weak, I can't move,' and she was like, 'You need to do your part.' The EMT is telling her she needs to do her part.”

According to the  surveillance video, it took eight minutes for the medics to bring Rodriguez out of the home and another minute before the emergency workers gave her any oxygen.

After Rodriguez was loaded into the ambulance, surveillance video shows it took another seven minutes for the ambulance to leave for Temple University Hospital. Rodriguez's mother rode inside the ambulance with her daughter.

A Fire Department investigation determined it was a total of 20 minutes from the time the medics arrived at the family's house, until reaching Temple University Hospital. Once they arrived, the family says the medics realized the ambulance doors were stuck.

"The EMT says 'Oh my God',” said Morales. “Her heart stops beating, that's when they arrive to the hospital. The other EMT goes around to open the doors, they can't open the doors, the doors are stuck.”

Her aunt says the medics tried to get the door open from the inside and outside. It wasn't until an officer from Temple University Hospital came out to help that they opened the doors.

The Fire Department's investigation found that Rodriguez was stuck for about three and a half minutes, during which a doctor was able to get inside the ambulance through a side door and start working on her. Rodriguez died before they could get her inside the hospital.

Autopsy results found she died of natural causes. Rodriguez's baby, Xavier, was delivered in an emergency cesarean section. The family says the baby suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result.

Her family believes Joanne would still be alive if she had received the urgent care she needed.

"If they would have come here better trained, with all their equipment, oxygen on time, yes, she would have been maybe in the hospital still, but alive," said Morales.

NBC10’s initial report in 2011 triggered a 2 1/2-month internal investigation. On January 8, 2013, Bill Gault, the President of Firefighter’s Union Local 22 announced that both paramedics involved in the incident were suspended for two days.

NBC10 filed a request for the 911 tapes and the incident printout patient care report under the “Right to Know” act. The city denied both requests. City officials claimed 911 tapes, by state law, are exempt from disclosure. They also said they couldn’t release the incident printout or patient care report because of patient confidentiality.

Last year, the Rodriguez family said they were “disappointed” with the city’s decision to not release the 911 recording. They also said they made similar requests which were also denied.

The Rodriguez family will officially announce their lawsuit during a press conference in Center City starting at 1 p.m. The family also plans to share newly released copies of the 911 call, newly released copies of the medics’ response calls, internal investigation documents and photos of Joanne and Xavier.



Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA["Mom from Hell" Charged After 27 Bruises Found on Son]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:08:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Samantha-Starnes.jpg

A woman from suburban Philadelphia, who police have dubbed a "mom from hell," was arrested after her 11-year-old son walked into a policing center with 27 bruises and welts on his body.

The boy walked into the Upper Darby Community Policing Center on Tuesday badly injured, police said. He was met by Nashid Ali, a social worker who runs the center.

The boy claimed his mother, 39-year-old Samantha Starnes of Upper Darby, beat him with a belt inside their apartment on Radbourne Road on Sunday because he wasn’t doing his chores, Ali said.

According to the child, his mother then returned an hour later to beat him again, this time using her fists. As he spoke, Ali said he saw the welts and bruises on the boy’s arms, back and legs.

“He lifted up his shirt,” Ali said. “His back was worse than his arms.”

Ali called both his supervisor and police to report the alleged abuse.

“What surprised me was that number one, he came in by himself,” Ali said. “Number two, he was 11-years-old and number three, I knew it was serious because he was patient.”

Investigators said they counted a total of 27 bruises and welts on the boy’s body.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood only had one way to describe a mother accused of beating her son.

“We dubbed her around here as the mom from hell,” Chitwood said.

Police later found and arrested Starnes, charging her with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. She’s awaiting her preliminary hearing, unable to post bail. An attorney for Starnes is not listed on the docket and it is unclear if she obtained a lawyer.

Starnes’ neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said she often heard name-calling echoing through the walls of her apartment but was disgusted to learn about the abuse allegations.

“She really needs some help,” the neighbor said. “They shouldn’t let her a** out of jail, no offense. Keep her in jail.”

As for her son, officials with the Children and Youth Services are working with family members to develop a safety plan for the child.



Photo Credit: Upper Darby Police ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Struck, Killed in Hit-and-Run]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:51:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Camden-White-Van-Hit-and-Ru.jpg

Police have released new surveillance video of a white van that struck and killed a pedestrian before fleeing the scene in Camden last week.

Alfredo Siguenza-Trejo, 39, was walking on North 27th Street near High Street around 9:20 p.m. last Friday when he was struck by a white van. After striking Trejo, the van fled down 27th Street towards River Avenue, according to police.

Trejo was taken to Cooper Hospital in critical condition. He later died from his injuries on Monday.

Police say the hit-and-run vehicle appears to be a 1983 to 1991 model Ford Econoline with damage on the passenger's side.

If you have any information on the vehicle, call the Camden County Prosecutor's Office at 856-225-8514 or Camden County Police at 856-757-7420.




Photo Credit: Camden County Police]]>
<![CDATA[Mom, Daughter Die Weeks After Food Truck Explosion]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:22:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/food+truck+explosion+and+victims.jpg

A mother and daughter in Philadelphia, who were injured earlier this month after a propane tank attached to the back of their food truck exploded, have died from their injuries.

Jaylin Landaverry, 17, and her mother, 42-year-old Olga Galdernez both passed away, according to Landaverry’s brother and Galdernez’s son, Marco Hernandez. A family friend told NBC10 that Galdernez had been in a coma since the blast and succumbed to her injuries Sunday afternoon. Landaverry died Tuesday night around 7 p.m. from fluid in her lungs, the friend said.

Back on July 1, the mother and daughter were working inside their food truck, La Parrillada Chapina, at 3rd Street and Wyoming Avenue when the 100-pound tank blew around 5:30 p.m. The truck was equipped with two such tanks filled with gas.

Investigators believe propane vapor began leaking from one tank and filled the truck. A flame from the grill inside the mobile restaurant provided the spark, officials said. Witnesses told detectives they smelled gas before the blast.

The propane fueled a fireball that engulfed the truck, the street and surrounding sidewalks. One tank was blown 95 feet away into the backyard of a home nearby, police said. The truck was properly licensed to operate, officials said.

Philadelphia Police said eight other people were hurt when the tank exploded. The investigation is on-going.

A prayer service and candlelight vigil were held Wednesday night for the mother and daughter. The prayer service was held at Little Flower Catholic High School on the 1000 block of W. Lycoming Street while the vigil was held near the site of the blast.

A funeral for the women will be held on Friday in Philadelphia. Their bodies will then be flown to Guatemala for burial.


PHOTO: Olga Galdemez, 42, and her 17-year-old daughter, Jaylin Landaverry, pictured two years ago at the girl's quinceanera.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com/Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Severe T-Storms, Heavy Rain Strike Region]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:31:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/huge+lightning+strike+mellon+cam.JPG

Storms cleared out Wednesday night after heavy rain and lightning struck the region.

The system, which produced damaging winds over 60 mph and quarter-size hail moved into the Poconos, Lehigh, Berks and Lancaster counties earlier in the afternoon. 

In addition to large hail and damaging winds, frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with the storm. People who are outside are advised to move indoors immediately. The system produced around 1700 lightning strikes in 30 minutes in the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster County.

Those storms moved into the  I-95 corridor around 7 p.m. The system began to weaken as it moved into the Jersey Shore and Delaware around 9 p.m. It finally cleared out around midnight. 

It was hot and humid for most of the day with temperatures reaching a high of 91 and the heat index at 96 for parts of the area.

Clouds and some showers will continue to linger Thursday morning before it starts to clear. By Friday we're in for a beautiful day with sunshine, low humidity and temperatures in the mid-80's. The humidity will return on Saturday while more rain and possible thunderstorms will hit the area on Sunday.

Stay with NBC10.com for more weather updates.
 



Photo Credit: Matt Byrne]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's Cook Nabbed Selling Crack: PD]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:24:31 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/McDonalds+Alleged+Crack+Dealing+Trammal.jpg

An undercover sting at a McDonald's on suburban Philadelphia's swanky Main Line has led to the arrest of a fast food employee who police say was selling crack at the restaurant.

Officers from Radnor Township Police went undercover four times over the past month at the burger joint located along the 500 block of West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, Pennsylvania, right in the heart of the town's business district.

Each time, police say they bought the illegal drugs from 29-year-old Allen Trammell, of Philadelphia, in the restaurant's parking lot. A cook at the McDonald's for the past two years, Trammell would leave the kitchen line to deal, officials said.

“When not working as a crew and preparing food, he was out in the rear parking lot selling crack cocaine so in a sense it can give you a new definition of what may be considered a Happy Meal," Radnor Police Lt. Andy Block said.

Officers returned to the McDonald's on Tuesday to arrest Trammell. Police say they found cash and 157 dime bags of crack cocaine packets on him at the time. Block said Trammell could have been grossing $1,500 a week from the illicit sales.

Trammell has been arraigned on $100,000 bail, which he was unable to post. He remains in the Delaware County Prison. Pennsylvania court records show the man has plead guilty to drug possession offenses in 2005.

A spokesperson for the Wayne McDonald's said the franchisee is taking the police matter seriously, but would not comment beyond that.

Radnor Police say they learned about the alleged drug dealing after a confidential informant tipped off its Drug Task Force officers.

An attorney was not listed for Trammell.



Photo Credit: Radnor Township Police]]>
<![CDATA[Israeli, Palestinian Protesters Converge on Center City]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:38:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*160/104718023250699609914781847245545n.jpg
The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia brought together hundreds of supporters to rally in LOVE Park for an Israeli solidarity rally at 5 p.m. today.
 
As Jewish supporters gave speeches, Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered across the street.
It was a peaceful clash of two sides in Center City, although there were a couple of arrests. One protester was taken into custody for assault with a cane.
 
The Federal Aviation Administration banned flights to Israel for the second day. For some local families who had planned to travel to Israel, the ban has been frustrating.

Rebecca Perkins of Bala Cynwyd just canceled her trip to Israel to celebrate a bat mitzvah next weekend. 

 


Photo Credit: wantsum_m0/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Oldest Flyer Fan Honored]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:09:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Oldest-Flyer-Fan-Honored.jpg The Flyers honor a special fan on her 104th birthday.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Kidnapping Leads to Wild Chase Across I-76: Police]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:13:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Home-Invasion-Holstein-Road.jpg

A man is behind bars after he allegedly broke into a woman’s home, kidnapped her fiancé and then led police on a wild chase across I-76.

Police say 24-year-old Keith Morrison of West Philadelphia entered a home on the 100 block of Holstein Road in Upper Merion on Tuesday around 8 a.m. According to investigators, Morrison found a shotgun inside the house which belonged to the homeowner.

Using the shotgun, Morrison allegedly robbed a woman, tied her up and then kidnapped her fiancé. He then left the home with the fiancé after stealing the woman’s orange BMW, according to investigators.

The woman managed to free herself and call police.

According to investigators, Morrison forced the man to drive to an ATM at the Wawa on Route 23 in Conshohocken and make several cash withdrawals. He then allegedly forced the man to drive back to his home.

As the suspect and victim drove back, a responding police officer spotted the BMW. Police say the BMW pulled into a SEPTA train station lot in Gulph Mills and then fled the scene when the officer tried to stop it. The officer pursued the BMW northbound on South Gulph Road until it pulled into the parking lot of the Universal Health Services building.

Police say Morrison then jumped out of the BMW and fled on foot as more officers chased after him. Morrison allegedly ran towards I-76, climbed a fence, hopped the center divider and scaled the concrete sound barrier. He then ran onto Bob White Road where officers were finally able to catch up to him and apprehend him.

The kidnapping victim was found unharmed inside the BMW. Police say they also found cash and the shotgun inside the car.

Morrison is charged with robbery, kidnapping, burglary, simple assault and other related offenses.

Keith Morrision (Credit: Upper Merion Police)



 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Delaware State Fair]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:06:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000007664174_1200x675_311862851900.jpg Attendees at this year's Delaware State Fair are dealing with the hot weather and humidity. NBC10's Tim Furlong has the details. ]]> <![CDATA[Your Storm Photos]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:10:23 -0400 A line of thunderstorms moved into our area on Wednesday. Check out photos from our viewers.]]> A line of thunderstorms moved into our area on Wednesday. Check out photos from our viewers.]]> http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Newest-Storm-Photo-Lead.jpg A line of thunderstorms moved into our area on Wednesday. Check out photos from our viewers.

Photo Credit: Dana-Mari Ciaranca ]]>
<![CDATA[Dine, Buy a Blue Dress at Lewinsky's on Clinton]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:00:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/203*120/Lewinskys+on+Clinton.JPG

Lewinsky’s on Clinton.

No, “Bubba” hasn’t reignited his love affair with the former White House intern, but there’s a brand new Delaware City restaurant named after the scandal-ridden tryst.

“We’re on Clinton Street,” said restaurant partner John Buchheit. “I wanted something easy to remember, something that sticks with you.  And it goes together:  Lewinsky and Clinton.”

Buchheit’s new upscale gastropub is just the latest addition to Clinton Street’s tongue-in-cheek eateries.

The former mayor, along with long-time business partner, Dale Slotter, also lay claim to Crabby Dick’s, a crab joint with an interesting menu, and Buster Nutts, a 140-seat pub.

And as if owning three restaurants, a hotel, a bakery and a few other businesses isn’t enough, Buchheit is also into selling merchandise at his cleverly-named establishments.

We’re not talking T-shirts and hoodies, although you can get those at Lewinsky’s, Crabby’s and Buster’s, we’re talking dresses. More specifically, blue dresses.

Yep, that’s right, Lewinsky’s is marketing blue dresses, a sort of tribute to its namesake, Monica Lewinsky, whose infamous blue dress played an integral role in the uncovering of her “sexual relations” with President Clinton.

So far, residents are embracing the name – and the dress code.

“I was surprised at how many female customers came in wearing blue dresses,” Buchheit said.

Lewinsky’s on Clinton is open daily, although their hours vary. The menu they’re offering through August is temporary. The permanent menu, will launch in August when the restaurant celebrates its official opening, is a mix of Old World European mixed with modern American flavors, said Buchheit.

No matter how good the menu is, you can bet this won't be a campaign stop next time Hillary's in town...
 

 



Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Lentil the Cleft Palate Puppy Spreads Cheer]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:14:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/lentil_puppy77.jpg

A hero puppy from Philadelphia is on a mission to spread cheer and let kids know it's okay to be different. 

A French bulldog named Lentil has become an internationally-sought after puppy in his first year of life. The little white and brown pooch was born with a cleft palate last February but that hasn't stopped him from bringing smiles to children's faces. Lentil has become a poster dog for facial and cranial differences.

"It's his destiny and it's been a whirlwind. He's a happy puppy. Everybody has their own bond with him," said Lentil's' dogmom Lindsay Condefer. 

Unable to eat alone, two days after he was born, Lentil was taken in and nursed to health for months by Condefer of the Street Tails Animal Rescue in Philadelphia.

Condefer has chronicled his progress on the My name is Lentil Facebook page and has raised awareness for cleft palate, one of the most common birth defects for newborns.  

"Lentil's the bridge. He's shown me that just because I look different doesn't mean I should be excluded and that it's okay to kind of look different. He teaches you not bully people who look different," said 15-year-old Daniel Pfeiffer, who underwent craniofacial surgery two years ago at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Conferfer receives many requests for public appearances for "little bean" as he's affectionately known. But, airfare is not cheap for a canine travel buddy. The cost for roundrip ticket for Lentil alone to ride under a seat is $300. Condefer is torn because he gets so many calls but the cost to travel is just too much for a dog without income. 

Despite the monetary hurdle, one thing is clear -- Lentil lights up the room and Condefer wants children with cleft palate to know that they are not alone.

"Lentil makes kids feel good about themselves. He instills power in kids. He's just an amazing little dog. He makes all kids feel great," said Diana Sweeney, who works as a parent liaison coordinating facial reconstruction surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

She came up with the idea to ask as many people as possible to donate $1 to help underwrite Lentil's traveling costs to visit children with craniofacial deformities in Lentil's smile club. Then Conderfer decided to turn to Kickstarter to broaden the effort and to reach a wider audience. 

The "Chews Kind" Kickstarter fundraiser proceeds will underwrite her ability to travel with Lentil to meet as many of the 200 children who have facial and cranial differences that she communicates with around the country. 

The response has been overwhelming.

For those fans who may never meet Lentil in person, they can keep up with his progress on his Facebook page and watch him eat, play with a ball and bring smiles to children's faces. It's the simplest things that has drawn legions of fans to him.

Lentil had his first surgery to fix his cleft palate last May. The surgery was performed by Dr. Alexander Reiter and Dr. John Lewis of Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine. Cleft palate is more common in dogs than cats, and dogs with short noses, according to Reiter. For humans, one out of every 600 newborns is affected by cleft lip or cleft palate, according to the Cleft Palate Foundation.

"He's super cute," said Reiter. "I cannot explain it. He's special."

Lentil is the only surviving member of his litter. He was born in North Jersey with three other pups, all with facial deformities. Condefer recalls Lentil as looking like a “small hamster” when she first saw him. He weighed 5.7 ounces. He gained an ounce a day and now tips the scales at 20 pounds. Lentil's celebrity began when the French Bulldog Rescue Network spread word about Lentil and the need to raise funds for his first surgery. 

Condefer plans to take Lentil on the road for the "Chews Kind" tour starting this fall. She will keep Lentil's fans abreast of their travel and plans to post guessing games and quizzes to Facebook so fans can follow along. In addition to the tour, Lentil and craniofacial awareness will be celebrated at Lentil Fest, a multi-day celebration later this year in Philadelphia. 

"There's just something special about a fuzzy, sweet little dog that has a facial difference.  He's everybody's little pal," said Sweeney.


Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.

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<![CDATA[RECALL: Fruit Sold at Giant Supermarkets ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:13:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/nectarine.jpg

Giant Supermarket customers beware -- fruit sold at the grocery store chain this summer is being recalled.

Wawona Packing Company is recalling all organic peaches and nectarines and certain Orchard Perfect brand peaches, nectarines, and plums due to the potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria is a potentially deadly infection that generally affects people with a weakened immune system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infection has the most significant outcome on pregnant women and newborns. It is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning and can cause miscarriage and meningitis, the CDC reports.

Customers should throw out fruit if it was purchased from Giant stores between June 1 and July 1. If they bring their purchase receipts to the supermarket, they are eligible to receive a full refund, according to the supermarket chain.

Giant officials said they have not received any reports of recall-related illnesses.

Wawona Packing Company is also recalling fruit sold at Trader Joe’s and Costco.

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<![CDATA[Cute Black-Footed Kittens Born at the Philadelphia Zoo]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:15:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/black+kitten+philadelphia+zoo+11.jpg

A trio of small and mighty black-footed kittens are now on display at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Rhaegal, Viseron, and Drogon were the very first black-footed cats born at the Zoo.

The black-footed kittens are a species of wild cat and their native habitats range from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

They are known as the smallest cats in world and typically weigh no more than 4 lbs.

The siblings were born in April to eight-year-old parents, Ascari and Aza.

The tiny kitties feast on a commercial raw meat fix, but they love snacks like crickets and spiders too.   Although they aren’t great climbers like the traditional cat, they act as skilled diggers when searching for insects.

These charming felines can be found in the Carnivore Kingdom section of the zoo.

 

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<![CDATA[Kids Don't Need To Go Hungry Over the Summer]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:52:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/200*120/hungry+kids.PNG Thousands of students are provided meals during the school year, but most don't know they can receive the same thing during summer break. For more information, call the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger at 1-855-252-MEAL. ]]> <![CDATA[Charges Pending in Crash on I-76]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:07:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/west+conshohocken+road+rage.PNG

One person is hurt after an aggressive driver caused a crash along Interstate-76 in West Conshohocken early Wednesday morning.

Pennsylvania State Police said 48-year-old Francis McIlhenny III was traveling on the Schuylkill Expressway around 5:45 a.m. when another vehicle, operated by 54-year-old Joaquin Angles, began following them too closely and using his high beams.

McIlhenny slowed to allow a third vehicle to merge onto the I-76 from Interstate-476, according to police.

Unable to lower his speed, Angles lost control of his car and slammed into the concrete barrier near mile marker 331.8, officials said.

His vehicle pinballed to the right, striking McIlhenny's car, spinning out-of-control and then hitting McIlhenny's vehicle a second time, police said.

Angles' car then headed down an embankment, striking several trees and a light post before coming to a stop.

He was transported to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with non-life threatening injuries.

Charges against Angles are pending, according to State Police, who said the crash will not be classified as road rage as Montgomery County authorities initially reported.

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<![CDATA[In Case You Missed It: Yesterday's Top Stories]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:46:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sun+Generic.jpg

Didn't have a chance to catch up on local news yesterday? Here's what you missed:

2 Children Left Alone in Car Outside Police Building
A man was arrested on Monday after he allegedly left two toddlers by themselves inside a car that was parked outside a police building.

Man Accused of Paying Underage Girls for Sex
More allegations have surfaced against a Mercer County man who was arrested last May for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a 14-year-old girl. Adam Carnevale, 27, of Lawrence Township, is now accused of paying money to at least six underage girls in exchange for sex.

That Stench in South Philly: Blame it on Jersey
South Philadelphia has been getting really stinky lately. Seriously stinky. Sort of reminiscent of cat pee, according to some South Philly residents who commented on a story posted by their neighborhood news publication.

Woman Shot 9 Times, 4 Others Wounded in Violent Night
An engaged couple --including a woman shot nine times-- are in critical condition and three others are wounded after a violent night across Philadelphia.

Road Rage Leads to Stabbing at Gas Station
A man is in the hospital while another is in custody after a road rage incident led to a stabbing outside a gas station in Collingdale Tuesday afternoon.
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<![CDATA[Center City Hotel Evacuated]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:29:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/sheraton+evacuation.PNG

Reports of smoke in a Center City hotel forced hundreds of people outside in the dark around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Guests stood outside the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel at 201 N. 17th St. while firefighters investigated smoke coming from the building's basement, according to officials.

An ambulance transported two people to Hahnemann University Hospital, but it is unclear why.

Initial reports indicate an electrical problem may have caused the smoke.

Evacuations of the 757-room hotel, which sits next to Logan Square, took more than ninety minutes after fire crews arrived on the scene.

A Sheraton representative said it will be several hours before guests are allowed to return to their rooms.

The hotel is offering breakfast to those set to attend a 10 a.m. meeting  at the hotel as part of the 69th Biennial National Association of Letter Carriers Convention.

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<![CDATA[Charges to be Filed Against Mom of Baby Left in Car]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:09:03 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Walmart-Generic.jpg

Charges are expected to be filed on Wednesday against a woman who allegedly left her baby boy alone inside a vehicle outside a Philadelphia Walmart.

A witness found the 6-week-old boy in the car seat of a 2005 Highlander at the parking lot of the Walmart on Franklin Mills Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. on Monday. The witness then called police.

By the time police arrived, the child’s 35-year-old mother had already returned to the vehicle. The child was evaluated by medics and then taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital. He was then released to his father.

The child’s mother was taken to Special Victims Unit where she was interviewed. On Tuesday, Special Victims announced they expect to file charges some time on Wednesday against the woman. According to investigators, surveillance video shows that the child was alone in the vehicle for almost 30 minutes before he was found.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Councilman Asks Mayor to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Pot]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:30:15 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sonic+Marijuana+062714.jpg

A Philadelphia councilman is calling on Mayor Michael Nutter to sign a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“Every day Mayor Nutter fails to act, more young people will be handcuffed and jailed for a minimal offense—something that doesn’t happen anywhere else in Pennsylvania," said Councilman Jim Kenney.

Kenney sent a letter Tuesday to the Mayor asking him to sign and implement City Council Bill 140377.

The bill, which was passed by city council in June, creates a civil penalty for the possession of a small amount of marijuana, defined as 30 grams or less. Currently, anyone who is caught with one ounce of marijuana or more is arrested.

“Just this week, it was reported that another 264 citizens have been arrested since this Bill overwhelming passed City Council on June 19, 2014,” Kenney said. "If implemented by the Mayor, the procedures outlined in Bill 140377 will allow thousands of police hours to be better spent on preventing violent crime, and it will save thousands of people a year from interacting with the criminal justice system for non-violent incidents."

In the letter, Kenney stated that based on partial data, Philadelphia Police are on pace to arrest nearly 4,000 people for simple marijuana possession, with over 80% of those individuals being African American.

“The disparity present here is totally unconscionable,” Kenney said.

If the bill is signed, anyone caught with a small amount of marijuana would get a ticket for $25. The Nutter Administration has until the next council session, which is slated for September 11, to make a decision on the bill. The Mayor’s Office says Nutter is currently reviewing the bill’s potential impact



Photo Credit: Carla McFarland]]>
<![CDATA[Man Accused of Paying Underage Girls for Sex]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:55:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Adam-Carnevale.jpg

More allegations have surfaced against a Mercer County man who was arrested last May for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a 14-year-old girl. Adam Carnevale, 27, of Lawrence Township, is now accused of paying money to at least six underage girls in exchange for sex.

“Shocking,” said Carnevale’s neighbor, Shalom Levin. “That’s the only thing to say. Shocking.”

According to police, Carnevale repeatedly paid the girls money, clothes, alcohol and cigarettes for sex. Investigators say the six victims ranged in age from 12 to 17.

Carnevale allegedly found his victims through social media sites such as Facebook. After Carnevale found the 12-year-old victim he immediately asked her if she wanted to perform oral sex on him for cash, according to police.

Police also say he threatened to put a 15-year-old girl’s nude photographs on the Internet if she didn’t perform oral sex on him.

Carnevale allegedly gave the girls $40 to $60 per encounter and would often have sex with the girls in parking lots and even inside his parent's home.

Carnevale was arrested last May by Falls Township Police after he allegedly tried to sexually assault a 14-year-old girl. The new allegations against him surfaced while he was in prison.

Carnevale remains in jail on a $1 million bond. Police continue to investigate whether more victims are out there.

If you have any information on Carnevale or any other victims, please call Falls Township Police at 215-949-9100. 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Baggage Handler Smuggles Drug Money Through Airport]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:06:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philly-International.jpg

A former baggage handler at the Philadelphia International Airport was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his involvement in a large-scale drug organization.

From February 2010 to July 2011, James Mickens, 30, of Philadelphia used his Airport access card to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money through Philly International, in order to avoid detection by law enforcement. Mickens was working as a baggage claim handler for US Airways while smuggling the money.

Mickens made several trips to Los Angeles for the drug organization, which purchased and transported several kilograms of cocaine and hundreds of pounds of marijuana back to Philadelphia as checked luggage.

In addition to the 11-year prison term, a judge also ordered five years of supervised release and a $200 special assessment for Mickens.

The FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Philadelphia Police Department were all involved in the investigation leading to Mickens’ arrest.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Bicyclist Shot Several Times in West Philly]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:25:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/West-Thompson-Street-Shooti.jpg

A man is fighting for his life after a shooting in West Philadelphia.

Police say the victim, who is in his 40’s, was riding his bike on the 4900 block of West Thompson Street around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night when an unidentified gunman opened fire.

The man was struck several times and the suspect fled the scene. The victim was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is currently in critical condition.

No arrests have been made at this time. Police continue to investigate.



 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Co. That Sold Gate That Killed Girl Under Scrutiny]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:41:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Wynter-Larkin-Lead.jpg

New details continue to emerge on the company that sold the security gate that crushed a young girl to death at a Rita’s Water Ice last month.

On June 28 a one-ton security gate at the Rita’s Water Ice in Brewerytown suddenly gave way and fell on top of 3-year-old Wynter Larkin, crushing her to death.

Three weeks after the tragedy, NBC10 has learned that city inspectors found problems with another security gate in the same neighborhood sold by the same company, Day or Night Door Service in Gloucester City, New Jersey.

David Woods, the owner of Day or Night, sold the security gate to Rita’s Water Ice six years ago, according to his wife. Woods however, is unable to speak due to a violent incident earlier this year. Last February a man beat woods with a hammer while robbing him in West Philadelphia. Police say he was hit so hard he lost his speech.

While L&I isn’t responsible for inspecting the gates, officials told NBC10 they checked more than half a dozen security gates Woods sold to businesses on West Girard Avenue. L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams says they found a loose bolt on one of those gates and issued the business owner a violation. Officials have not yet confirmed however whether or not Woods’ company installed that gate.

Some Brewerytown officials believe L&I should check more than just the gates sold by Woods.

“All of these buildings around here are old,” said Valerie Graham. “They need to come and check every one of them.”

The owner of Fast Door, a company that installs security doors, told NBC10 that building owners should get their doors inspected at least once a year by the installer. He also says the fact that the Rita's Water Ice had bolts in its door was risky, given that trolley cars can run up and down the street.

Maintenance, care and inspections of roll down security gates are the responsibility of the property owner, according to City of Philadelphia property codes.

Property records list P&G Development as the owner. Attempts to reach P&G were unsuccessful.
L&I officials say they inspect these gates if they receive complaints of apparent defects. There are no open violations, and there is no violation history related to the gate, according to L&I.

Philadelphia Police continue to investigate the Rita’s Water Ice accident. No charges have been filed at this time.

"Whatever we come across in terms of the investigative piece of it we will turn that over to the District Attorney's Office," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Stanford.

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham told NBC10 that in order for any charges to be filed, investigators would have to determine that whoever placed the door outside the building had some awareness that it could fall.



Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Asks Borough to Cover Legal Fees]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:25:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/School-Board-Member-Attack.jpg

Council members in Penns Grove, New Jersey denied a request from the Mayor to have the borough cover the cost of his legal fees in connection to a recent incident that was captured on video.

Penns Grove Mayor John Washington was charged earlier this month with aggravated assault for his alleged role in an attack on a police officer at Penns Grove Middle School.

Witnesses say Penns Grove School Board member Walter Hudson, 33, assaulted a police officer during a youth basketball game at the school back on July 10. NBC10 obtained surveillance video showing a man, who police identified as Hudson, tossing the officer to the ground as children ran to the opposite end of the school gym.

Witnesses told NBC10 that the ordeal began as several youth basketball teams were being dismissed. A large group of teens had gathered on school grounds, prompting officials to call police to break up the crowd. As officers tried to manage the crowd, Hudson allegedly interfered. When police warned Hudson to back off, he allegedly shoved an officer to the ground and punched him.

"The officer advised him he was going to be arrested and that's when the altercation happened," said Penns Grove Police Chief Gary Doubledee, who added the assault victim was hospitalized with a torn labrum and had to be sedated.

During the incident, Mayor Washington allegedly grabbed the officer’s left arm while he was trying to arrest Hudson. Washington was accused of obstructing the administration of law and was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. Penns Grove councilwoman Jeanette Jackson was also charged for allegedly interfering in Hudson’s arrest.

Both Washington and Jackson held a meeting on Tuesday around 5 p.m. at the Penns Grove Borough Hall in which they tried to convince the Penns Grove Council to make the Borough cover their legal fees in connection to the incident. The council voted to deny the request however. Both Mayor Washington and Councilwoman Jackson were recused and did not vote.

Many residents who attended the meeting were glad the request was not approved. Angry residents also pushed for Hudson to be removed from the school board during a meeting earlier this month. School board members claimed their hands were tied however.

"File a complaint,' said Solicitor Mark Toscano of the Penns Grove Board of Education. "Press charges if you feel that way because this board doesn't have the legal ability to give you the redress that you seek."

According to Toscano, under the law the board can't discipline one of its members. Instead it's up to the school ethics commission. Parents say they filed complaints but were told that officials were investigating.

"I'm very disappointed in the whole thing," said Penns Grove Borough Councilman Carl Washington. "But again, my main concern is the youth."



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>