<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Local News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usTue, 24 Jan 2017 18:37:23 -0500Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:37:23 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Social Media Posts Could Play Role in Rape-Murder Case]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:27:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sara+Packer+Facebook+_22275737.jpg

Old social media postings could play a role in the case against a woman accused of helping her boyfriend kill her adopted daughter in a rape and murder fantasy.

Sara Packer and her boyfriend Jacob Sullivan are both in jail and awaiting a preliminary hearing in the rape and murder of Grace Packer, 14. The couple allegedly beat, raped and killed Grace in their rented home in Quakertown last year and left her in the attic for months before eventually dumping her body in a wooded area of Luzerne County, according to authorities. They were arrested earlier this month and charged with criminal homicide, rape, kidnapping and other related offenses.

As the investigation into Grace’s murder continues, NBC10 obtained Sara Packer’s old posts on social media. In one long entry, posted by Packer in September of 2009, she talks about Grace, Grace’s brother, and two other foster children. She complains that one of the children ran away. She also wrote that after she called police the child was “nice and safe in the psych ward for a couple of days.”

“It is disturbing to me,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub who is leading the murder case against Packer. “We’re going to go wherever the evidence leads. Believe me we’re taking a look at her entire social media presence.”

Weintraub would not confirm whether or not the social media postings are part of the case. He told NBC10 forensic investigators are still looking at the couple’s phones.

“We are leaving no stone unturned,” he said.

Sara Packer was suspended from her job as a case supervisor with the Northampton County Child, Youth and Family Office in January of 2010. She was then fired from the job in April, 2010. Around the same time a criminal case was opened against David Packer, Sara's husband at the time. David Packer later pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Grace when she was 9 as well as another foster child.

Sara Packer appeared to be addressing those events in her social media postings. On January 19, 2010 she wrote that she lost everything in the span of four days and made mentions of tears and sobbing. Sources told NBC10 Grace and her brother were briefly taken from the Packer home at the time. On January 26, 2010 Sara Packer wrote, “It’s been one week…I miss them more than I have the words to express.”

In July of 2011, Sara Packer answered in a Facebook quiz that “money and my lack of it” got on her nerves. Five years later she continued to cash her daughter’s social security checks after her murder, according to investigators.

Sara Packer had 30 foster children placed in her care. In some of her social media posts, she mentions another foster child who was in her care at the time. Law enforcement sources told NBC10 that child has not been tracked down. Weintraub says many agencies are currently working on the case.

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<![CDATA[Drexel Researcher Gets $12 Million to Study Urban Living]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:20:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Drexel-Lead-Photo.jpg

A Drexel academic is getting a $12 million grant to study the effects of urban life on the health of people in Latin American countries.

Ana Diez Roux, who is dean of the Dornsife School of Public Health, will head a collaborative undertaking the expansive study. The grant was announced by the British foundation Wellcome Trust as part of its Our Planet, Our Health initiative.

Diez Roux's team "will study how the governance, design, organization and environment of Latin American cities affect population health, as well as health inequities within cities," according to a report on Drexel's website.

That team spans 11 Latin American and three U.S. institutions.

Diez Roux's study is one of four that Wellcome is funding to look at global health in a future where population concentrations are changing, according to one of the foundation's medical officials.

"There are so many factors that need to be addressed if we are to create a healthy and sustainable future. These major research programs bring together collaborators from all over the world to explore how we can create health, not just prevent disease, while being responsible custodians of the planet," Dr. Sarah Molton of Wellcome said.

The environmental sustainability of cities will be key to Roux's research, considering a trend in the last decade of city population growth after decades of retrenchment. 

"This is critical because health and environmental sustainability are closely entwined,” Diez Roux said. “This is because the environment affects health — for example, levels of air pollution and heat have especially strong health impacts in cities —but many of the things we can do to make people healthier, like promoting active travel and consumption of fruits and vegetables, also have favorable implications for the environment. We need to think of these things as synergistic, and that is a key goal of the project."

She also said that studying many Latin American cities will likely find differences in health outcomes and that those differences could point to ways for improving overall urban health.

"I suspect we will find that cities vary quite a bit in health and health equity and that there are real things cities can do to improve the health of residents," Diez Roux said. "I also suspect that many of the most promising interventions and policies we find will focus on ‘upstream determinants’ and factors outside the traditional health sector — like social policy or urban planning."

Proponents and researchers of urban life believe younger generations are more likely to find aspects of cities more appealing than older generations. Americans, for example, migrated from cities to suburbs as the middle class expanded during prosperous periods following World War II and in the 1980s and 1990s.



Photo Credit: daveadelphia/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Couple Escapes as Large Tree Crashes Through Home ]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:29:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Haddonfield+Tree+Home_22274449.jpg

A South Jersey couple managed to escape as a large tree crashed through their home during Monday’s nor’easter.

Dana Reganata was alone inside her home on West Mount Vernon and West End avenues in Haddonfield Monday around 6 p.m. as powerful winds hit the region.

“I always was a little worried about the tree between the houses,” Reganata said. “I just had a bad feeling about it.”

Suddenly Reganata heard debris falling into her chimney and she noticed her two dogs were acting strange. She grabbed a flashlight and ran outside as the storm continued. That’s when she discovered a giant red oak tree leaning against the house.

“I shined the flashlight. I could see that our fireplace chimney was cracked and it was leaning on the house. But the tree was still upright,” she said.

Reganata quickly called her husband David as well as the fire department who arrived within minutes. Firefighters told the couple to get out of the home immediately because the tree wasn’t stable. As Reganata and her husband grabbed important items, the enormous tree began to fall.

“So I ran upstairs to grab stuff for the boys. That’s when we heard this like crazy, loud, almost like an accordion sound and the tree just started to fall down,” she said.

The tree crashed into their bedroom as Reganata and her husband ran out of the house. They escaped without injury. Their two adult sons were not home at the time.

The couple stayed with a friend overnight. They plan to assess the damage and estimated repair cost once the home is stable. For now they’re counting their blessings.

“We’re all alive,” Reganata said. “We have good friends and good insurance. We should be fine.”  

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<![CDATA['Despicable Plan': Collapse Trial Closing Arguments Begin]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:25:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philly_collapse_P1.jpg

Closing arguments began Tuesday morning in the civil trial for the 2013 Market Street collapse catastrophe that killed seven and left another dozen people hurt.

Plaintiffs' attorney began the two days of closings, with the defense expected to begin their arguments in the afternoon. It marks a significant milestone in a trial going on five months, though it does not mean an end is near.

The six defendants are developer Richard Basciano and his company STB, his project representative Plato Marinakos, demolition contractor Griffin Campbell, Campbell’s excavator operator Sean Benschop, and the Salvation Army, which owned and operated the store that Basciano’s building crushed the morning of June 5, 2013.

Plaintiffs' attorney Steve Wigrizer began the day rehashing arguments and testimony that called into question the oversight and management of the project by STB officials and, by extension, its principal owner, Richard Basciano.

Early on in the trial, plaintiffs' attorneys used emails leading up to the disaster between an STB manager, Salvation Army officials and STB's project representative, Marinakos, to argue both an indifference to potential dangers and incompetence by all parties.

Wigrizer pointed to a June 2 email that he claimed showed "a very, very bad and despicable thought process." The email involved a plan to take down much of the building while leaving a four-story chimney that was attached to the Salvation Army. It was a vengeful ploy, Wigrizer claimed, by STB officials to get back at the Salvation Army for ignoring STB's requests for roof access during the demolition.

Wigrizer also described it as "a despicable plan in the context of a building on Market Street."

Attorneys for the defendants have at times during the trial blamed each other for what caused the collapse and resulting deaths. Alternately, attorneys for STB and Basciano would blame Marinakos or the Salvation Army, the Salvation Army would blame STB and Marinakos, Marinakos would blame Benschop and Campbell, and STB, Basciano and Marinakos would blame Benschop and Campbell.

Benschop and Campbell are serving lengthy sentences in jail for their roles in the collapse. They are the only two who were criminally tried. Marinakos served as a willing witness for the Philadelphia District Attorney in the cases against the two.

Day two of closings Wednesday is shaping up as a clash of titans in Philadelphia's legal world. Defense attorneys for Marinakos and the Salvation Army will present arguments in the morning, including attorney Jack Snyder.

Then, two of the city's best known civil case litigants, Richard Sprague and Robert Mongeluzzi, will present their closings in the afternoon. Sprague is the attorney for Basciano. Mongeluzzi is one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs.

After the closing arguments, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina will charge the jury to begin deliberations. Her instructions in the charging phase could make as long as half of the day Thursday.

The jury will then deliberate over a 36-question verdict sheet, which will determine whether any or all of the five defendants in the case are liable for damages to the families of the seven people killed and the surviving victims.

If any defendants are found liable, the trial will then enter its damages phase, during which attorneys will then present expert witnesses to give testimony about how much value can and should be assessed when life is lost, people are injured, and trauma is incurred upon victims.

The jury would then deliberate again.

No timeframe has been set for the entire process, but Sarmina has put time limits on the closing arguments for both the plaintiffs and the defense. Without any unforeseen occurrences, closings will conclude by Wednesday afternoon.



Photo Credit: FILE - AP]]>
<![CDATA[Montgomery County News]]> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 17:21:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Valley+Forge+Tourism.jpg
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<![CDATA[WX Blog: Brief Warmup Then Return to Colder Temperatures ]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:04:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Warmup-Blog-2.jpg

WARMER THAN AVERAGE PAST WEEK
Over the last week, temperatures have consistently rose to warmer than average values in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

From a high of 45 last Wednesday (Jan. 18) to a high of 50 on Sunday and even a high of 46 Monday, the temperatures have been rather mild.  To be fair, Monday actually felt pretty chilly due to high winds and an afternoon cool down with the Nor’easter (the high temperature hit just before 2 a.m.).

The average this time of year isn’t too much colder, 40 degrees in Philly. But the warmer than average temperatures have been just enough to ensure almost our entire region stuck to rain during the Nor’easter passage on Monday, which happened to come exactly one year after a MUCH snowier Nor’easter passage in 2016.

A QUICK CLIMB FOR OUR AFTERNOON HIGHS
Over the next two days, temperatures will remain above average. In fact, they’re expected to take a fairly nice jump for Wednesday and Thursday. Take a look at the temperature anomaly map for early afternoon Wednesday, based off one model. The reds indicate warmer than average air temperatures.

The NBC10 First Alert Team is forecasting a high of 55 in Philadelphia Wednesday and the same high temperature for Thursday. Mid 50s are likely through parts of Delaware and New Jersey as well.

We’ll see plenty of sunshine Wednesday, but Thursday will be accompanied by more clouds and some morning light rain.

THE RETURN TO TYPICAL JANUARY TEMPERATURES
Remember, for this time of year, a high temperature in Philadelphia of 40 degrees is average. So while it won’t be bitterly cold when we drop this weekend, it will feel quite a bit colder than the mild conditions we’ve been experiencing.

We’re forecasting high temperatures right around the upper 30s to 40 degrees beginning Saturday. Actually, those seasonal conditions last right into next week!  Here’s the temperature anomaly map again, but now looking to Saturday afternoon. Notice our region is partially in the white (right at average). Some spots are shaded in light yellow, which indicates temperatures just barely above average.

Overnight lows will return to average as well. Over the last several days, low temperatures remained above freezing throughout the nights and mornings. That’s not going to be the case much longer. Chilly nights return for the weekend, with lows forecast in the mid to upper 20s for Philadelphia.

We’ll stay dry, too, this weekend. It appears that trend may hold tight through the next work week!

Stay with the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team for your neighborhood forecast and the latest weather updates.


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<![CDATA[Sheriff's Lt. Hurt in Elevator Malfunction Heads Home]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:36:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/200*120/PAUL+Owens+CJC+Elevator+Fall.JPG

A Philadelphia sheriff's sergeant went home Tuesday, months after the elevator he was riding in at the city's Criminal Justice Center malfunctioned, leaving him severely injured.

Sheriff's Lt. Paul Owens was thrown across the elevator car "like a projectile" when the lift shot up to the building's top floor and smashed into the machine room back in August.

The 20-year veteran suffered broken bones in his back. [[389196501, C]]

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams -- who has visited Owens during his recovery -- family members and fellow members of law enforcement greeted Owens as he was released from Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Tuesday morning.

Owens used a motorized wheelchair as he left an elevator to talk to the reporters. Owens said he is "feeling real good."

"It's unbelievable how much support I've had," said Owens. "I'm just happy this part if over with and I'm moving on."

"There has never been a moment when Lieutenant Owens and his family have not been in our collective prayers," said Williams in a news release. "I am both proud and honored to be here to salute his ongoing recovery and to let him know he has the support of myself and the office as he heads home to his family and loved ones."

Owens will not be able to return to his post or the sheriff's office because of the injuries, Williams said in the days after the incident. Owens will receive benefits for an officer injured in the line of duty.

Owens was riding in a staff elevator when the malfunction happened. Debris from the crash also damaged a second elevator on the building's first floor. The woman inside that car suffered minor injuries.

The Stout Criminal Justice Center reopened after inspectors spent days checking the 17-story building's elevators. As many as 6,000 citizens, attorneys and staff pass through the building at 13th and Filbert streets each day.

The investigation into the incident continues.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Nor’easter Brings Coastal Flooding to Jersey Shore]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 11:44:26 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/197*120/Boots+Floodwater+Atlantic+City.JPG NBC10’s Matt DeLucia surveys the aftermath of coastal flooding in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 Responds: Tablet Charge Questions]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:42:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/206*120/TMobile+Responds.JPG When Sharon and Bill Batta were charged for an iPad they didn't buy they turned to Harry Hairston and the NBC10 Responds team.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Coastal Flooding at Jersey Shore]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:10:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/Atlantic+City+Flooding.JPG NBC10’s Matt DeLucia reports live from Atlantic City where a nor'easter has caused streets to flood near the bay.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Montco Gets Historic New Commissioner]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:59:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Montgomery+County+Comissioner+Ken+Lawrence.jpg

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania’s new commissioner has deep ties to the Philadelphia region.

The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas unanimously picked Ken Lawrence Jr. to fill the vacancy on the three-member board of commissioners left vacant when Josh Shapiro became the state attorney general.

Lawrence, a 35-year county resident, will be the first African-American commissioner in the county’s history. The Plymouth Meeting resident – who was endorsed by county Democrats – will serve out the remainder of Shapiro’s term through 2019.

"Ken has deep ties and a long history of service to the Montgomery County community," Commissioners Chairwoman Valerie Arkoosh said. "I am certain his unique blend of public and private sector experience, his collaborative approach to problem solving, and his personal commitment to the highest ethical standards will make him an outstanding governing partner with Commissioner Gale and myself." [[238427591, C]]

Lawrence, a Temple University alumni, serves as the college’s vice president of alumni relations, overseeing alumni activities. He also served on various boards including Montco’s representative to SEPTA, the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Big Brothers Big Sisters - Independence Region, James A. Finnegan Foundation, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, North Penn Chamber of Commerce, Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Avenue of the Arts, Inc. and other boards.

A swearing-in ceremony will take place at the county courthouse on Wednesday at 3 p.m.



Photo Credit: Montgomery County]]>
<![CDATA[Electrical Issues Close Major Stretch of NJ Roadway]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:50:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Cherry+Hill+Route+70+Wires+Down.JPG

Crews worked overnight to repair downed wires that caused traffic troubles along a busy South Jersey road Tuesday morning.

The repairs closed all of U.S. Route 70 between N Cropwell and Springdale roads – almost a 2-mile stretch – in Cherry Hill early Tuesday.

The closed stretch of Route 70 includes multiple auto dealerships and stores.

Crews could be seen around 5 a.m. working in baskets from multiple utility trucks as they tried to get repairs done and the roadway reopened.

The roadway was reopened shortly after 6 a.m.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[10 at 7: What You Need to Know Today]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:43:37 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Clock_Wht.jpg

Here are the 10 things you need to know to start your day from your friends at NBC10.

TODAY'S TOP STORY

Roaring Waves Take Aim at Jersey Shore: Huge waves and whipping winds pummeled the Jersey Shore as a nor'easter moved over the tri-state area. The U.S. Coast Guard said winds gusted up to 60 mph on parts of the shore.

YOUR FIRST ALERT FORECAST  

It is a cold and windy start to Tuesday but it is expected to slowly dry out through the day. Showers are expected to linger through the afternoon but should move out by the evening. Wednesday is expected to be sunny with temperatures in the 50s and Thursday is expected to be the same but with more wind. Temperatures are expected to drop back to the 40s for Friday and Saturday. But it is expected to stay dry. High Temp: 43 Degrees. Get your full NBC10 First Alert forecast here.

WHAT YOU MISSED YESTERDAY

NJ Transit Warns Riders to be Prepared for Slow Commute: New Jersey Transit officials warned riders to be prepared for a crowded, crawling Tuesday morning commute due to damage caused by a nor'easter. Whipping winds from the powerful nor'easter downed electrical wires Monday afternoon in Linden, taking several train tracks out of service. Amtrak was forced to suspend service on its heavily trafficked Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains in New Jersey, and NJ Transit suspended service on the Northeast Corridor and the New Jersey Coast Line for the same reason.

AROUND THE WORLD

President Trump Resigns from Businesses: President Donald Trump has resigned from his namesake company and more than 400 affiliated entities, a Trump Organization spokesperson told NBC News. In a statement, the spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, said Trump had transferred title, management and authority of the companies to a trust under the management of his sons Don and Eric and of Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of The Trump Organization. The spokesperson provided a resignation letter dated Jan. 19 and signed by Trump, along with a list of hundreds of companies that he had left. The news comes amid rising pressure on Trump to resolve his perceived conflicts of interest — although the move will likely do little to persuade critics, including ethics lawyers for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who have argued that he should liquidate his assets or place them in a blind trust.

TODAY'S TALKER

How Some People Cheat the Philly Marathon: Not all is what it seems when it comes to impressive marathon times. A Today Show report about marathon cheating focuses on how about a dozen people tried to cheat the Philadelphia Marathon course last year as well as other 26.2-mile races in part to earn a coveted Boston Marathon Qualifying time. NBC News' Stephanie Gosk spoke to Derek Murphy, an Ohio man who analyzes marathon finishing times using an algorithm and posts irregularities on his Marathon Investigation blog. "I think most people aren't aware of how much cheating goes on in marathons," Murphy said. The two major ways that people cheat is by cutting part of the course of swapping bibs – which contain a tracking chip – to register a faster time.

SPORTS SPOT

Sixers Set to Play Clippers: The Sixers will play the Clippers Tuesday without Joel Embiid. Get your full sports news at CSNPhilly.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

See more Top News Photos here.

THROUGH IGER'S EYES

@flash2times captured this cool photo of Philadelphia in the morning.

Have an awesome Instagram photo you'd like to share? Tag it with #NBC10Buzz.

TODAY'S VIRAL VIDEO

These otters love playing in the snow. Watch more here.

A LITTLE SWEETENER 

Rare Lion, Tiger Cub Litter Celebrate Birthday: An extremely rare litter of big cats just celebrated its first birthday at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, the park says. For the first time in history, the Six Flag's animal care team is raising Siberian tiger cub Nadya and African lion cub Zuri as “sisters,” despite the fact the species would typically never cross paths in the wild.  Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian, said an African lion and a Siberian tiger gave birth, each to a single female cub, within a week last year. The two fuzzy cubs weighed about 3 pounds at birth, and now tip the scales at 150 pounds each. Nadya was the first tiger birth at the safari in 13 years. Siberian tigers are endangered and rank as the largest cats in the world. Nadya is expected to reach a weight of 400 lbs. African lions are the second largest cats in the world, protected by the endangered species act, and females like Zuri are expected to reach 280 pounds. Read more.

 


That's what you need to know. We've got more stories worthy of your time in the Breakfast Buzz section. Click here to check them out


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<![CDATA[Rare Lion, Tiger Cub Litter Celebrates 1st Birthday]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:13:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/adorable+cubs.jpg

An extremely rare litter of big cats just celebrated its first birthday at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, the park says.

For the first time in history, the Six Flag's animal care team is raising Siberian tiger cub Nadya and African lion cub Zuri as “sisters,” despite the fact the species would typically never cross paths in the wild. 

Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian, said an African lion and a Siberian tiger gave birth, each to a single female cub, within a week last year.

“These first-time mothers were unable to care for their newborns, so our team stepped in, feeding them up to six times a day and caring for them around the clock. To help their socialization skills, we brought these two cubs together and formed one litter,” Keiffer said.  

The two fuzzy cubs weighed about 3 pounds at birth, and now tip the scales at 150 pounds each. Nadya was the first tiger birth at the safari in 13 years. Siberian tigers are endangered and rank as the largest cats in the world. Nadya is expected to reach a weight of 400 lbs. African lions are the second largest cats in the world, protected by the endangered species act, and females like Zuri are expected to reach 280 pounds.

The cats continue to play, eat and snuggle together. During their birthday celebration, they took turns devouring their custom meat cakes and exploring the presents safari caretakers wrapped with pink paper.

Although the safari staff no longer physically interacts with the cats due to their strength and natural predatory behaviors, the bond between them is still evident. Throughout the party, the cats spent much time near the fence where their caretakers were singing and cheering, and the cubs exchanged comforting “chuffs” as communication with their team of surrogate mothers.

Guests can see the cubs on Safari Off Road Adventure in the Tigris Asiana section when the park opens April 1. For more information on Six Flags’ safari, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure



Photo Credit: Six Flags Great Adventure]]>
<![CDATA[Roaring Waves Take Aim at Jersey Shore During Nor'easter]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:45:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NOR%27EASTER+NEW+JERSEY_WNBC_000000014761710+copy.jpg Huge waves and whipping winds pummeled the Jersey Shore as a nor'easter moved over the tri-state area. The U.S. Coast Guard said winds gusted up to 60 mph on parts of the shore. Checkey Beckford reports from Asbury Park. ]]> <![CDATA[Fundraiser Held for Victim of Center City Apartment Bombing ]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:47:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Jim+Alden+_22263467.jpg

Friends gathered near City Hall Monday night to raise money and show their support for the victim of the Center City apartment bombing.

The fundraiser for Jim Alden, 62, took place at the Rothman Cabin and Ice Rink in Dilworth Plaza.

"It always could have been so much worse," Alden said. "I'm so lucky for what I have."

On November 22, 2016, Alden arrived at his apartment on the 1800 block of Pine Street after being out of town. As he opened a package that he thought contained asthma medication, the contents inside exploded. The envelope, which was rigged with a bomb, contained some type of shrapnel, causing injuries to Alden’s face, chest and arms.

Officials believe Alden was specifically targeted and continue to investigate the bombing.

Alden, who pursued a career in theater before working as a restaurant manager and caterer at the Warwick Rittenhouse Hotel, continues to recover. He told NBC10 he has one more surgery coming up for nerve damage.

Alden's friend Talbott Smith created a GoFundMe to raise money for medical treatment. Smith traveled all the way from California to attend Alden's fundraiser Monday night.

"We're all here because we love him," Smith said. "Jim is one of the most funny, caring and kind people I know."

During Monday's event, Alden thanked all the friends who helped raise money as well as his partner.

"I just wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my dedicated and unconditional, loving partner Jason," Alden said while in tears. "I owe you my life and I thank you."

Police continue to search for a person of interest in the bombing who was captured on surveillance video. Police say he wore an "Elmer Fudd-like" lumberjack hat and a baseball cap as he dropped off a package at Alden's apartment before the bombing. Surveillance video showed the person of interest walking on Lombard and Pine streets, according to investigators.



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Impact of Nor'Easter Seen on Jersey Shore]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:38:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/4P+THOMPSON+NOREASTER+NJ+SHORE+PKG+-+00001719_WNBC_000000014760.jpg Waves battered the New Jersey coast as a nor'easter approached. Brian Thompson Reports.]]> <![CDATA[Service Delays for Amtrak, NJ Transit, SEPTA ]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:21:01 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Service-Problems-Lead.jpg

Monday's nor'easter caused service disruptions for Amtrak, SEPTA and NJ Transit.

Amtrak temporarily suspended service for their Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains traveling in New Jersey due to downed commercial power lines in an area east of Linden, New Jersey. They later restored all service after crews cleared the tracks.

SEPTA suspended its regional rail service on the Warminster Line between Warminster and Glenside due to a downed tree. Service was restored around 6 p.m.

NJ Transit Rail service is also suspended between Philadelphia's 30th Street  and Cherry Hill stations due to the Delair Railroad Bridge being stuck in the open position.



Photo Credit: Jorge Jimenez ]]>
<![CDATA[Sign Blown by Wind Strikes, Kills Man in Hunting Park ]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:46:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sign-Blown-by-Wind-Kills-Man.jpg

A man was struck and killed by a sign that was blown off a wall by the wind Monday afternoon in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia, according to police.

The 59-year-old man was at an auto repair shop on the 4300 block of Old York Road at 12:56 p.m. when a company sign fell on top of him and pinned him to a car. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:04 p.m.

Police have not yet released the man’s identity. An autopsy will be performed on him Tuesday. 

A nor'easter with powerful winds slammed the area Monday, causing damage across the region. A High Wind Warning with wind gusts up to 60 mph was in effect for Philadelphia, the surrounding suburbs, South Jersey and Delaware at the time of the man's death.



Photo Credit: NBC10 ]]>
<![CDATA[How Some People Cheat the Philly Marathon]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:51:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/Philadelphia-Marathon.jpg

Not all is what it seems when it comes to impressive marathon times.

A Today Show report about marathon cheating focuses on how about one dozen people tried to cheat the Philadelphia Marathon course last year as well as other 26.2-mile races in part to earn a coveted Boston Marathon Qualifying time.

NBC News' Stephanie Gosk spoke to Derek Murphy, an Ohio man who analyzes marathon finishing times using an algorithm and posts irregularities on his Marathon Investigation blog.

"I think most people aren't aware of how much cheating goes on in marathons," Murphy said.

The two major ways that people cheat is by cutting part of the course of swapping bibs – which contain a tracking chip – to register a faster time.

Per the NBC News report:

When he crunched the numbers for the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon — one of the biggest in the nation — he quickly found 12 entrants who apparently had qualified for Boston by taking a shortcut.

They had missed timing mats and their splits — the amount of time it took for them to run certain sections of the race — didn't make any sense. In one case, a runner would have needed to make world record time in the final miles for his splits to add up.

Philadelphia race organizers spotted those inconsistencies, too, and quietly disqualified the fishy finishers. But Murphy also found some suspects the officials didn't catch: a couple he believed cheated together, with the husband running with the wife's chip to get her a faster time.

He dug into their history and found more races with peculiar results. In some, timing mats showed the husband and wife with identical splits, suggesting they ran side by side the whole way. But photos told another story: He crossed the finish line alone and she was caught on camera miles behind.

After Murphy confronted them, the couple came clean, admitting they cheated in at least five races across the country, including several marathons. She would peel the chip off her bib and give it to him, and he would carry it across that last timing mat.

The wife said she ran the full distance at each event, just slower than her husband — but their ruse allowed her to collect those coveted Boston qualifying times and, in one case, a trophy.

"I realized it made her happy," the husband told NBC News, which agreed not to publish their names. "And fortunately or unfortunately, putting a chip on another bib is a very simple process."

The wife said she had convinced herself it wasn't cheating because she pounded every inch of the course, had once been able to run as fast as her husband, and never collected any prize money.

Philadelphia Marathon officials have policies in place to deal with cheaters.

"There are runners who cheat in all races," said Alain Joinville with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. "The scoring company, which is on site at the race, is able to verify the times of all of our winners and those who placed in the top of their categories. For all others, we publish all of the results and if we get inquiries from the public about whether a runner’s time is accurate we check with the scoring company to make sure that the runner in question registered a time at all of our checkpoints and then we double check with course photos."



Photo Credit: G. Widman
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<![CDATA[Officer Shoots, Kills Armed Man in Wilmington: Police]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:55:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Wilmington+Police+Shooting+_22263968.jpg

A Wilmington Police officer shot and killed an armed man, according to officials.

Police were called to a home on the 1700 block of W. 13th Street in Wilmington, Delaware Monday around 6 p.m. for a report of a distraught male possibly armed with a gun. When they arrived they found the man who police say was holding a handgun.

Investigators say one of the officers opened fire and shot the man. They have not yet revealed whether the unidentified man aimed his weapon at the officers prior to the shooting.

The man died from his injuries. Wilmington Police and the State of Delaware Department of Justice are investigating the incident.

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<![CDATA[Police ID Homeless Man Accused of Punching Transgender Woman]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:48:37 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Daejon-Workman.jpg

Philadelphia Police have arrested a homeless man accused of attacking a transgender woman while yelling anti-gay slurs in an assault captured on Facebook Live.

Daejon Workman, 25, was arrested Sunday and charged with simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Ryannah Quigley, 23, of Seattle, Washington, told NBC10 she was attending the Creating Change conference in Philadelphia. Quigley said she was walking along the 1300 block of Filbert Street in Center City at 4:40 p.m. Friday with two of her friends when a man, who police later identified as Workman, began staring at her. Quigley said she greeted Workman but he continued to stare at her.

"I said, 'Is there a reason why you're staring at me up and down?' And he stopped and turned and looked and he said, 'Whatever bro.' So that's when I said, 'Please don't call me bro,'" Quigley said.

Quigley said Workman then started shouting at her and yelling anti-gay slurs.

"He just kept telling me, 'You're a f-----,' and 'You're going to hell.' Then he kept saying, 'You'll never be a real woman,'" Quigley said.

Quigley told NBC10 she then took out her phone and began recording the encounter on Facebook Live. That’s when she says Workman threw a bag of food at her and then punched her in the face before running away.

Quigley reported the incident to Philadelphia Police. On Sunday morning, officers saw Workman standing in the Frankford Terminal, wearing the same clothes he wore during the attack, investigators said. He was then arrested.

Quigley said she suffered cuts and a bruise but is doing okay. She told NBC10 she’s been the victim of violence before. She was attacked by a group of people a few years ago.

"Often times we are not believed," Quigley said. "We are often looked at as the problem. Because as trans women people assume that, 'Oh, you must have been hitting on him.'"

Quigley's friend Keyonna Fowler witnessed the incident and said the suspect's comments were "horrible."

"Just because a trans woman speaks to you does not mean that she wants you," Fowler said.

Quigley said the video of the attack was later taken down by Facebook administrators who claimed it violated their terms of service. Quigley also claimed she was blocked from accessing her Facebook account. Her friends and supporters have posted updates on her recovery to her page for her.

"Transgender individuals, they are people," Quigley said. "They are living and they will continue to be here."



Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police
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<![CDATA[Pizza Deliveryman Shoots at Teen Robbers in Philly: Police]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:52:38 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pizza+Deliveryman+Shooting_22263970.jpg

A pizza deliveryman is recovering after he shot at two armed teens who tried to rob him, police say.

The 36-year-old man was on 54th and Yocum streets in Philadelphia at 7:05 p.m. Monday when he was approached by two teens, police said. At least one of the teens opened fire. Police say the deliveryman, who was also armed, fired back. The deliveryman was shot once in the left arm and once in the left side. The teens fled the scene. Investigators have not yet revealed whether the suspects were struck in the shooting.

The deliveryman drove himself to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently in stable condition. No arrests have been made.

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<![CDATA[Philly Finds Racism, Discrimination Rampant in Gayborhood ]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:19:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/145063403.jpg

Mayor Jim Kenney pledged to take action against discrimination in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood during a news conference Monday morning.

City leaders unveiled a new report issued by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations detailing instances of discrimination in the historically gay neighborhood. This followed an October public hearing, which invited members of the LGBTQ community to share their experiences and concerns regarding racial tensions in an area often associated with inclusion and diversity.

But the facade of peaceful coexistence did not always extend to community members of color, many of who complained for decades about racial bias and discriminatory practices while frequenting bars, restaurants and even social service organizations in the Gayborhood.

“It’s an urban myth that people from a marginalized community don’t oppress each other,” said Ernest Owens, a gay activist and editor of G Philly. “Now, our concerns are validated.”

Among the report’s finding was evidence that “LGBTQ people of color, women and transgender people often feel unwelcome and unsafe in Gayborhood spaces.”

The report cites business practices that “substantiate the numerous reports of racism and discrimination” in the neighborhood.

Owens, a black 25-year-old who relocated to Philadelphia from Houston, has experienced some of these problems firsthand.

“I’ve had to get patted down, up and down, all around while I can see other people in front of me get in with no problem,” he said. “That kind of discrimination is very inhumane and derogatory. I really felt less than.”

While the report issued Monday did not provide statistics, the authors did find that discriminatory practices have been common for at least three decades. Most frequently, black patrons were turned away for not complying with dress codes and forced to present several forms of identification, according to the report.

The commission’s October hearing attracted close to 400 participants. Among those attendees were the owners of 11 bars that had been subpoenaed by the commission and several directors of nonprofit organizations that service the neighborhood.

The commission combined data offered by these businesses and found that employment policies, dress codes and other practices worked to create an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for people of color and transgender community members. As a result of their findings, the commission issued a series of recommendations that include mandatory training for business owners and nonprofits working in the neighborhood.

“Racism in the LGBTQ community is a real issue. It’s a real issue in our entire society, not only just in the LGBTQ area or in the Gayborhood,” Kenney said.

“We need to do more to address it here in Philadelphia. We will do whatever else we need to do to see that the recommendations are adopted. And that possibly could include eliminating organizations who won’t change their ways by limiting our participation in their work financially.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley]]>
<![CDATA[Fierce Winds Pound Jersey Shore, Cause Damage]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:47:45 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018969947_1200x675_860755011726.jpg NBC10 Jersey Shore Bureau reporter Ted Greenberg battles the strong winds as he reports on damage caused by Monday's nor'easter.]]> <![CDATA[How Will Dismantling the ACA Impact Your Healthcare?]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:13:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/get+covered+america+obamacare+plazo+2016.jpg One of President Trump’s top priorities is to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. How will this impact your healthcare? NBC10’s Lauren Mayk found out.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Boy, 16, Holding Metal Ladder Hits Wires, Dies]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:30:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/police-fire-lights-generic.jpg

A teenager died after the ladder was holding came in connect with live electrical wires over the weekend.

The 16-year-old accidentally electrocuted himself when the aluminum extension ladder he was working with at a home along Seagull Drive in the Farmington section of Egg Harbor Township Saturday morning came in contact with power lines, said township police.

Medics rushed the boy to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus in Galloway Township where he later died, said police.

Investigators didn’t immediately identify the boy. They called the incident an accident.

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has tips on how to avoid a deadly incident on a ladder.



Photo Credit: NBC ]]>
<![CDATA[Heavy Wind Causes Damage as Nor'easter Slams Region]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:29:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/TedGreenberg_storm1.JPG Monday is a First Alert Weather Day as a Nor'easter brings damaging winds and heavy rain to the region. Take a look at some of the damage the storm is causing across the area.]]>