<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:16:46 -0400 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:16:46 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man on Overpass Shuts Down Freeway]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:24:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/5+freeway+man+sign+july+25.JPG

Authorities took a man into custody Friday evening after he forced an hours-long shutdown of the Golden State (5) Freeway in East LA during rush hour as he stood on the railing of a freeway overpass.

The freeway was shut down for more than three hours at Olympic Boulevard as crews were attending to the man, said California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio.

At the foot of the overpass, firefighters inflated a giant mattress, called a rescue air cushions, under where the man stood at the edge of a railing behind a sign for the Long Beach (710) Freeway transition.

Video from the scene showed the man struggling with crews as they tried to get him to surrender behind one of the freeway signs.

He was taken into custody by about 7 p.m. and placed on a mental health hold, officials said. Both sides of the 5 Freeway reopened by 7:30 p.m.

Traffic was diverted off the freeway during the closure and some drivers got out of their cars to take a look.

<![CDATA[6 Shot, Boy Fatally, in Chicago]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:22:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/224*120/west+side+6+shot.jpg

A 13-year-old boy was killed and at least six more people were wounded in a shooting on Chicago's West Side Friday, authorities said.

The shooting took place around 6 p.m. in the 2800 block of West Lexington Street, near the intersection of Lexington Street and California Avenue, according to police spokesperson Veejay Zala.

Two people were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, two others were transported to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and one person was taken to Saint Anthony Hospital in good condition, fire officials said.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and another person refused treatment, authorities said.

Police, along with family and friends at the scene, said the victim killed in the shooting was a 13-year-old boy.

Antonijah and Antonisha Johnston watched in horror as they say their 13-year-old friend dropped to the ground. Like dominoes, six others followed.

"They had come out the store and they started shooting," said Antonijah Johnston. "I had thought it was fireworks."

Police said details on circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately available.

Witnesses said the shooting may have been a drive-by and that some of the victims were young teens, but police could not confirm their ages.

"Kids have no jobs," said area resident Larry Morris. "After school, they need jobs, something to do. More time they can be on these programs and stay off the street -- even people who are failures -- they deserve a second chance."

The shooting took place less than 2 miles from where an 11-year-old girl was fatally shot while at a sleepover with friends last weekend.

A prayer circle gathered near the scene of the shooting Friday night. Praying for change.

Check back for details on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[3 Siblings Killed, 3 Hurt After Carjackers Run Them Down]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:28:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/hit+and+run+tioga+child+killed.PNG

Three siblings who were helping their mother sell fruit along a North Philadelphia street are dead after carjackers ran them down, police say. Their mother, another woman and the carjacking victim are fighting for their lives as police search for the men responsible.

The five pedestrians were working at the fruit cart on the corner of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues around 11:15 a.m. on Friday when a white Toyota 4Runner, stolen minutes earlier by two men, blew a tire and jumped the curb, Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. James Clark said.

The large SUV plowed into the group, skidded across a grassy lot and rammed head-on into a tree.

A 10-year-old boy drew his last breath on the street, Clark said. His 15-year-old sister was taken to Temple University Hospital where she died a short time later. Their 7-year-old brother, whose father identifies him as Terence, was rushed to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children where, despite doctor's efforts, he died. The names of the elder children are not yet being released because police are still working to notify all their family members.

"That's my son ya'll took away from me," said Terence's father. "Whoever you all are, turn yourselves in!"

Officials said the children were helping their mother sell the fruit to raise money for their church.

"I've been in the homicide unit for six years and this is one of the saddest cases I've come across," Clark said. "You have three innocent children who had the rest of their lives in front of them that were taken in this fashion. It's very sad. It's very tragic and we will find the individuals that are responsible."

The children's 34-year-old mother and 69-year-old family friend Thelma Brown were also seriously hurt. Clark said the mother is in extremely critical condition at Temple University Hospital.

A sixth victim, the woman who was carjacked, is also in critical, but stable condition at Temple. She was in the SUV when it crashed. Clark said she is a real estate agent and had just finished showing a home near 6th and Cumberland Streets when the men forced their way into her SUV at gunpoint. That's about a mile from the crash scene.

At first, the suspects had the real estate agent drive, but then forced her into the back seat as one of the men took the wheel, Clark said. Detectives believe the SUV was traveling at a very high rate of speed when the tire blew.

Both suspects fled the scene on foot after the crash. A manhunt is now underway. The suspect's descriptions are not fully clear, but one was wearing a white T-shirt and basketball shorts. Police say he was armed with a gun. The other suspect is wearing an orange shirt and basketball shorts.

Authorities say the men may be injured from the crash and they have alerted all area emergency rooms to be on the lookout for anyone who comes in with car crash injuries.

Homicide detectives have also obtained some surveillance video from both scenes and plan to look for any identifying photos of the suspects.

The city is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the men. The reward had begun at $20,000, but continued to rise as each child passed away and additional donors chipped in.

The Fraternal Order of Police added an additional $10,000 to the reward for the arrests of the men wanted in the fatal accident. To receive the $10K, the men must be in police custody by noon Saturday.

"There are really no words for how I feel right now, but we do need to find these people and that needs to be our focus right now," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "Finding the people responsible for this crime and get them in custody as soon as possible before they harm anyone else."

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fla. Gay Marriage Ban Overturned]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:18:47 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/l_l_pa_gay_marriage1200a-3.jpg

A Miami-Dade judge has struck down Florida's gay marriage ban, becoming the second Florida judge in a week to find it unconstitutional.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel found that the state's ban, approved by a referendum in 2008, "offends basic human dignity" and violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal of the ruling within an hour of the ruling being issued.

“Preventing couples from marrying solely on the basis of their sexual orientation serves no governmental interest,” Judge Zabel wrote in her order. “It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.”

Florida originally enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution in 2008. Voters approved an amendment that year banning same-sex marriage. Since then, the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act at a national level and lower-level courts have repeatedly overturned state laws as appeals over state bans moves towards the U.S. Supreme Court.

“At its heart, this case is about the right to marry the person of one’s choice. It is about whether the right to marry can be denied to members of a particular group based upon their sexual orientation, and whether couples and families who have members that fall into that group are entitled to the respect, benefits, and protections which marriage brings,” Judge Zabel wrote.

Zabel put an immediate stay on her order pending the outcome of the expected appeals to be filed by the state of Florida.

Judge Zabel’s order came in a motion for summary judgment in the case Catherina Pareto, et al vs. Harvey Ruvin, and the State of Florida. The summary judgment was granted, giving the plaintiffs an immediate victory.

Pareto and Karla Arguello were one of five gay couples who sued in Miami to overturn Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. The couples claimed the ban on same-sex marriage violated the equal protection and due process clause, which Judge Zabel agreed with.

Aguello and Pareto didn't know the decision was coming down on Friday.

"We got a text, 'congratulations,' from one of our friends, and we're like, 'congratulations for what? What? What happened? Did we miss something?" Aguello told NBC 6.

"While it was hard to wait for it, it was well worth the wait," Pareto said.

Judge Zabel's ruling also said that Article I, Section 27 of Florida’s Constitution is “void and unenforceable.” She also declared the Florida Statutes that prohibit the issuance of marriage licenses “unless one party is a male and the other party is a female is similarly void and unenforceable.”

The ruling also said that the Clerk of Courts should not be prosecuted for complying with the order and that the Clerk of Courts should modify marriage licenses to conform to the ruling.

"We're just like any other couple out there that wants to protect one another," Karla Aguello said.

The ruling from the Miami-Dade Court would apply only in Miami-Dade County. It comes just a week after Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled that Florida’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.

Judge Garcia’s order was immediately stayed when Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal. Garcia later declined to lift the stay while the case is on appeal. 

Stay with NBC6.com for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[CA Sen. Charged With Racketeering]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:18:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP588054204940.jpg

The government has added new charges in the high-profile corruption case against suspended state Sen. Leland Yee, Chinatown association leader Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and 27 others.

Yee and Chow are both accused of racketeering, or running a continuing criminal enterprise, in the revised grand jury indictment unveiled late Thursday, in two separate counts of the indictment.

Yee, a Democrat who represented parts of San Francisco and San Mateo County, is charged together with former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson with racketeering by soliciting bribes and campaign contributions in exchange for political favors by Yee.

Chow is accused together with Jackson and 15 other defendants of racketeering by allegedly running drug sales, money laundering, gun sales and schemes to buy stolen property through an alleged criminal faction of the Chee Kung Tong, a fraternal association.

Chow is the dragonhead or leader of the Chee Kung Tong, based in Chinatown in San Francisco.

The racketeering counts carry a possible maximum penalty of 20 years in prison upon conviction.

Legal analyst Dean Johnson says that means everyone in the case is looking at the potential for serious prison time.

“I think some of these people who are currently names as defendants might very well turn up later as government witnesses,” Johnson said.

One who will not be taking a deal is Chow. His attorney Curtis Briggs said Chow is a reformed gangster who has been swept up in the FBI’s three-year undercover investigation.

Briggs said the whole raft of crimes detailed by the feds is a fabrication by FBI agents.

“Anything these informants can say that would actually hurt – there is no evidence to support any statements,” Briggs said.

The new indictment is actually good news for Chow, Briggs said. “For them to come out with a superseding indictment that essentially alleges the same facts as the original indictment is a sign of weakness in their prosecution.”

The 88-page revised indictment, known as a superseding indictment, contains a total of 228 counts against various of the defendants. It repeats a number of charges in an earlier indictment, including a charge that Yee, Jackson and Daly City dentist Wilson Lim conspired in a never-completed international arms deal.

One other interesting detail: Leland Yee is accused of trying to get an NFL owner to pony up $60,000 in exchange for limiting a player’s ability to make a workman’s comp claim in California.

A status conference is scheduled for Aug. 7 in San Francisco before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the trial judge assigned to the case.


Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bystanders Catch Violent NY Robber]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:47:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/good+samaritans+bronx+robber+july+25.jpg

Bystanders helped capture a violent robber after he allegedly forced a woman into her Bronx apartment, bound her hands and feet, and took off with cash and valuables, police say. 

The victim was walking into her apartment in Bedford Park Friday evening when the suspect pushed her inside and duct-taped her hands and feet, according to police. He ransacked the place and took off with money, jewelry and a cellphone.

"He just pushed her inside, threw her on her bed, tied her arms, her legs. Took her belongings, put a fake gun to her head, said he was going to kill her," said Katheria Gines, the building superintendent who spoke to the victim immediately after the attack. 

As the suspect ran out of the apartment, the victim rushed to the window and called for help, police said. Bystanders outside the building were able to catch the suspect as he came out of the building and held him for police. 

Video shows several men pinning the suspect against a car as a crowd barricaded the suspect. The apparent victim is also seen yelling for help, with her hands still taped. 

The accused robber "tried to resist, but there's about six guys holding him down, so when the cops came, they got him right there," said Gines, who was outside the building and watched as the suspect got caught. 

Witnesses said the suspect pleaded for them to let him go if he returned the stolen items, but the good Samaritans wouldn't budge. 

"Everybody held him down until the cops came and took him in, and he had all her belongings in a bookbag, in his pockets," said Gines. 

The 29-year-old suspect, identified as Bruce Lee, had an imitation pistol, police said. He's facing charges including robbery, harassment and unlawful imprisonment. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

<![CDATA[Suspect's Mom Arrested in Burglary]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:35:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/lb+intruder+mother+4+blue+bg.JPG

The mother of a man charged with murder stemming from the fatal shooting of his alleged accomplice by a homeowner during a Long Beach robbery has been arrested on suspicion of robbery in connection with the case.

Ruby Adams, 49, of Long Beach, was booked into jail on Thursday night, police said Friday. She is the mother of Gus Polly Adams, a suspect in a Tuesday night robbery that ended with his accomplice getting shot by the homeowner.

The alleged accomplice, Andrea Salina Miller, 28, from Long Beach, was killed after telling the homeowner she was pregnant. An autopsy completed on Friday concluded Miller was not pregnant, said Lt. Ed Winter, of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

The homeowner, Tom Greer, told NBC4 that he shot the woman twice in the back with his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver as she was fleeing with a male accomplice.

Gus Adams, 26, of Long Beach, was booked into jail on charges of robbery, burglary and murder, prosecutors said. He faces a murder charge in Miller's death because he was allegedly involved in a felony that led to a death, authorities said.

He also faces a gun theft charge because he allegedly stole a gun from Greer's home, according to the felony complaint.

It was not immediately clear whether Adams hired an attorney.

Greer described what happened during Tuesday night's break-in at his home in the 3900 block of Country Club Drivein.

He said Miller and Adam tackled him, severely hurting his collarbone, when he walked in on them allegedly trying to break into his gun safe.

"When I went in there they tackled me," he said. Both of them jumped up on top of me."

Greer said he got his gun from another room when Miller went to help Adams try to break open the safe.

"I come back and they see me with the gun and they run," he said.

Greer followed them as they ran outside and fired again.

Miller was struck by gunfire, fell in the alley, and died, authorities said. Adams got away, but was captured later. At some point, Greer said, Miller begged him not to shoot, saying she was pregnant.

"She says, 'Don't shoot me. I'm pregnant. I'm going to have a baby.' And I shot her anyway."

Long Beach police said they are investigating whether Greer should face charges in the shooting.

But Greer said it was self defense and he has no regrets.

"I've never in my life shot anybody, killed anybody," he said. "I'm a good Christian. I had to do what I had to do."

Greer said he believes the suspects broke into his home and stole cash and property three times before, police said. Greer's estranged wife, Dorothy, said one of the burglaries happened while she was at home. She saw her jewelry stolen.

NBC4's Rosa Ordaz and Gordon Tokumatsu contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Most Border Children With Sponsors Go to Texas, New York]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:19:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/452665994.jpg

Most of the unaccompanied children who have been placed with relatives or other adults since surging across the border this year are in Texas, followed by New York, Florida and California, according to numbers released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly 4,300 children have been placed in Texas while their immigration cases are heard. More than 3,000 are in each of New York, Florida and California, and 2,200 in each of Virginia and Maryland.

The state-by-state breakdown accounts for about 30,000 children who have gone to sponsors between January 1 and July 7, according to the Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

Some 57,000 unaccompanied children have been picked up at the border since October, though in the last four weeks, the numbers have dropped. The Associated Press has reported that fewer than 2,000 have been sent back.

The Administration for Children and Families said that 52,880 children were referred by Homeland Security to its Unaccompanied Alien Children program during the 2014 fiscal year, which began in October. So far, 47,695 of those have been placed with sponsors.

The surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States has prompted protests across the country and spurred Texas Gov. Rick Perry to say he would deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. The crisis has also sparked a stalement between the Obama administration and Congress. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency money for immigration judges, detention facilites and other resources to handle the influx of children, but many Republicans first want revisons to the law dictating how the children are treated.

The Obama administration is also considering screening children in Honduras to determine whether they are eligible for refugee status.

Most children are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They are coming to the United States to escape violence, to find relatives already in the United States, to find work or were brought to the United States by trafficking rings, according to the administration.

The children are turned over to the Children and Families’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, which tries to place them with parents or other relatives or friends. If no suitable sponsor can be found the children remain in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Typically between 7,000 and 8,000 children are served by the program, but the number jumped dramatically to about 13,625 between October 2011 and September 2012 and then more recently.

The office maintains 100 short-term shelters throughout the United States, but because of the recent surge in numbers, it has had to open three temporary ones — at the Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas, the Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme in California and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The capacity for each is nearly 3,000 beds.

The state-by-state breakdown is here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What to Know About the Immigration Crisis]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:35:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/450883216.jpg

The news that thousands of unaccompanied children are crossing the U.S. border is just making headlines, but the surge has been happening for months, even years. President Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion to tackle the issue, which has become a flashpoint in the debate over immigration.

The number of children has overwhelmed the U.S. immigration system, which faces a backlog of hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants, according to The Associated Press.

President Barack Obama says that violent crime is driving migrants north, while Republicans blame Obama’s policies, saying they have given migrants an incentive to come.

Here’s what you should know about the crisis.

How Many Kids Are Trying to Cross the Border Alone

Since October, more than 57,000 children have been caught traversing the U.S.-Mexico border without an adult. That’s more than double the number in 2012 and triple the number in 2011, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. Border Patrol was already noticing an increase in children coming up from Central America in the fall of 2011. Most of the apprehended children are between 14 and 18-years-old, according to the Women's Refugee Commission.

Three-fourths of the kids caught since October have traveled over 1,000 miles — by car, train, raft and foot — from the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The rest are from neighboring Mexico, according to Border Patrol data.

Making the trek is uncertain and dangerous. Smugglers, or coyotes, charge up to $10,000 for each child, according to The Associated Press. These smugglers may take the children’s money and run, or worse, assault or traffic them. The journey is also physically challenging, with dense forests, dry deserts and rugged mountains along the way. One stretch of land in Texas is referred to as the "killing fields."

Migrant children aren't just traveling to the U.S. All of Central America is seeing an increase. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize jointly documented a 712 percent increase in the number of people seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

Why They Left Central America

The mass migration is chiefly caused by three things: gang-related violence, poverty and rumors that migrant children will be welcomed to the U.S. if they make it to the border.

Violence. A good portion of the drug trade is now in Central America and plenty of gangs capitalize on this. Incompetent police forces do little to stop them. Children are actively recruited as "foot soldiers" for cartels. These gangs give children an ultimatum: work in the drug trade or face death. Honduras’ homicide rate was 90 killed per 100,000 people in 2012. That’s the worst in the world and six times the global average. Guatemala and El Salvador aren't far behind.

Gangs run rampant in these countries, and many children find themselves in the crossfire. It is not uncommon for children to arrive at hospitals riddled with bullets. Fifty-eight percent of children migrating north are motivated by violent conditions in their home country, according to a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Trust in the police is low in the children's countries of origin. In many places, gangs and police are intertwined. "You never know who is who," several migrant children told the Immigration Policy Center.

Poverty. Nearly two-thirds of the Honduran population lives below the poverty line, according to UNICEF. One in three infants is malnourished, and most kids in rural areas will only get four years of schooling on average. Guatemala's poverty rate is 26 percent. In El Salvador 17 percent of the population is living on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.

Rumors. The recent surge may have its roots in rumors that a change in U.S. immigration policy means any child who crosses the border can stay. This is a false belief, according to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Children who arrived after 2007 are not eligible for deferred deportations or a path to citizenship. A Border Patrol report that was leaked in June says families' misconception that they will obtain "permisos" when they arrive in the U.S. is driving most migration, according to Vox.com. They believe "permisos" means work permit, but it's actually a notice to appear in immigration court.

• Family. Over a third of Central American children who traveled to the U.S. alone were looking to reunite with one or both parents. It is common for relatives to send children north to reunite with family members, who also have questionable legal status, according to a report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

What Caused the Crisis

In addition to the violence and poverty in Central America, some have said the U.S. government is at the root of the influx, particularly policies put forth by the last two presidents.

Obama's order. Republicans have blamed the Obama administration for the rumors, saying that poor policy and communication has led migrants to believe they can stay, according to the Los Angeles Times. They say the president has been weak at enforcing border policy and that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was authored by the Obama administration in 2012 and gives some undocumented migrants temporary legal status, has given Central American families a false hope.

Bush's law. A bipartisan law that President George W. Bush signed in 2008, known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, seeks to combat sex trafficking by granting protections to children traveling alone from countries that are not Mexico or Canada. Under the law, unaccompanied children can’t be hastily sent back and are instead allowed an immigration hearing and must be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Obama administration said the law is partly to blame for the crisis, according to The New York Times. The White House and Republicans are both looking for ways to adjust the law's requirements to make it easier for children to be returned to their home countries.

Where the Migrants Arrive and What Happens When They Get Here

The crisis is happening all along the United States’ Southwest border. The greatest number of migrants are entering through southern Texas, where there has been a 178 percent change in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border from 2013 to 2014, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Border patrol agents in Texas are overwhelmed and facilities are brimming with migrant children.

The city of Murrieta, California, made national headlines after protesters blocked buses carrying undocumented children and families to immigration processing facilities in Southern California. Overcrowded facilities in Texas looked to ease the burden by sending some migrants there. About 140 migrants ended up in San Diego.

More recently demonstrators on both sides were out in Oracle, Arizona, waiting for unaccompanied children they thought were about to be transferred to a camp there. The children never arrived though anti-immigration protestors briefly halted a bus carrying other children from a YMCA, according to The Associated Press. The Sycamore Canyon Academy in Oracle told NBC News that it had been asked by the federal government to provide shelter temporarily for a small number of children.

When migrant children are apprehended by Customs and Border Protection they are held in a detention center — usually a sterile place that resembles a warehouse. They will remain there until they are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Division of Children Services (ORR/DCS). These facilities range from group homes to juvenile detention centers that are locked and surrounded by barbed wire.

Children stay at ORR/DCS facilities for an average of 55 days while authorities attempt to locate a parent or guardian. If none can be found, the child remains in DCS custody for the entirety of her immigration case. Ultimately, she will either end up with her parents or foster parents in the U.S. or be sent back to the country she came from.

What's Being Done About the Influx of People

More cash. The White House is asking Congress for more than $3.7 billion to address the wave of migration. Most of that cash would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection would also get a share. Almost $300 million would go towards efforts to “repatriate and reintegrate migrants to Central America.” The request must pass both houses of Congress, though, and it's not clear how, or whether, the GOP-led House will vote.

More shelters. Immigration officials are scrambling to find more shelter space for new arrivals. Dallas County in Texas agreed to shelter 2,000 children if the federal government foots the bill. Hospitals and schools no longer in use are among the buildings that could possibly house the children.

Foster care. Organizations and families in parts of Texas and the Southwest are taking up kids, particularly those who have no family in the U.S. or no safe places to return to in their home countries.

Programs in Central America. The Obama administration has earmarked $300 million for programs in Central America to boost the quality of life of people and address the underlying root causes that are driving migration. It hopes to do this by improving economic and security conditions and helping migrants reintegrate into their communities instead of returning north.

Ad campaigns. U.S. officials are trying to counter the flow of migrants with a Spanish-language ad campaign that looks to frighten them from coming in the first place. The ads warn that smugglers are criminals who could subject migrants to violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking or forced labor.

Border security. Some in Congress, especially Republicans, have said the focus should be on strengthening border security. Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a congressional committee that unaccompanied kids should be deported immediately to show the U.S. is serious about enforcement. Advocates for migrants have criticized the Obama administration, saying that future funding should go to ensuring migrant children with legitimate claims of asylum see their day in court, not border security.

What's Next

As protests continue and politicians try to figure out the best way to tackle the crisis, migrant children keep pouring in. The Obama administration expects the number of migrant children arriving in the U.S. to rise to 90,000 by September 2014. While visiting Texas, President Obama urged Congress to approve the $3.7 billion he asked for to help deal with the surge.

A first group of about 40 undocumented immigrants, including children, were returned to Honduras from New Mexico, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The group had been staying at a temporary detention center. Homeland Security officials told NBC News that the flight was just the start of deportations. "We expect additional migrants will be returned to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the coming days and weeks," one official said.

Meanwhile Las Vegas became the latest city to announce that its police department would no longer honor requests from federal officials to detain undocumented immigrants without a court order or arrest warrant. It joins Philadelphia, Chicago, Newark, N.J., and nearly all major urban centers in California.

Officials at the United Nations want many of the people fleeing Central America to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict. This designation would increase pressure on the U.S. and Mexico to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum, according to The Associated Press.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bear Cub Orphans Flood Into Rehab]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:38:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/P1080781.JPG

It's been three months since the adorably cute baby bear Tahoe arrived at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care center, capturing the imagination of hundreds across the country.

The story of her survival – she was mysteriously left on a doorstep one night and transported to LTWC – is a happy one, thanks to her caretakers Tom and Cheryl Millham, who bottle-fed her and looked after her every need.

Now, the Millhams have their hands full with eight new bear cubs at LTWC, the only place in California licensed to care for wild bear cubs. (Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated the LTWC is the state's only wildlife rehab organization.)

No one really knows the reason for so many black bear cubs showing up at once. All the cubs are orphans with one exception, Meyers, who was hit by a car at 5 months old.

"Mom was crossing the street with two cubs behind her, and the car swerved to miss the mom and the second cub but didn't see the first cub," Millham said. 'When we got there we thought it was dead. We picked it up, and it kind of opened its eyes and looked at me like, 'What are you doing?'"

Millham hopes that all nine cubs will be ready to go back into the wild in about seven months.

Until then, this is home.

Tucked away inside a leafy residential street on Cherry Hill Circle in South Lake Tahoe, the center is a haven for sick animals: bears, bobcats, fawns, porcupines, birds – Millham even helped rescue a mountain lion once, but didn't bring it back with him.

"We started because there was a need," Millham said. "It's made a world of difference."

LTWC is getting ready to move to a bigger $10 million, 27-acre space nearby and has already raised $3 million towards it.

The center relies entirely on donations, which funds everything from food — it costs about $800 per week to feed growing cubs — to special cages and medicine.

NBC Bay Area caught a glimpse of the cubs this week as they played with each other inside one of the bear enclosures. Missing from most of the action was Tahoe, who decided she'd rather spend the time hiding in the room next door.

And that's not because she doesn't like humans. "It's because she's likes them too much," said Millham, who is trying to limit any human interaction with her and instead make her socialize with the other bears.

"She sometimes make noises out there — it's kinda like a dog in pain — and we know she's not happy and will not associate with other cubs," he said. "They want to play with her, but she doesn't."

Tahoe is sharing her cage with Bieber 1 and Bieber 2, who hail from Bieber, California, population 312 as of the 2010 census. The cubs saw their mother get hit by a car and killed, and California Fish and Wildlife brought them to LTWC on June 29.

Tahoe makes an appearance toward the very end, lured by the fresh trout lying on the floor. The cubs also eat a ton of fruits -- watermelon, canteloupe, grapes -- for their diet.

Also in the bear cage are two cubs from Conway Summit and one of a pair from Paradise, California. His sister is in a different cage by herself, recovering from gum surgery.

"Our volunteers have named her 'Toothless' because she's missing a tooth," Millham says, adding that they are hopeful it will grow back.

Brockway, the newest arrival, is also in a cage by himself until he puts on some weight. At 11 pounds, Millham says he's still too small to socialize with the other bear cubs. He was found next to the body of his dead mother near Lake Tahoe's north shore.

"It's kind of a double-edged sword here, but we hope that a cub is picked up only because the mom is dead," Millham said. "That's obviously a sad situation — but don't pick up a cub just because it's there by itself. The mom may be somewhere nearby."


For more information on Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care or how to donate, visit their Facebook page or website.

To watch the bear cubs on web cam, click here.


<![CDATA[Dramatic Photos: The Conflict in Gaza]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/452668608.jpg The violence in Gaza between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate despite international calls for a cease-fire.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Florida Girls Arrested for Torturing Rare Tortoise]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:39:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/071714+gopher+tortoise+torture.jpg

Two teen girls accused of lighting a threatened gopher tortoise on fire and stomping it to death in a videotaped incident have been arrested, authorities said Friday.

Jennifer Emoke Green, 18 and a 15-year-old girl are facing charges of felony cruelty to animals and taking harassing and killing a gopher tortoise, a second-degree misdemeanor, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Videos posted on Facebook showed the Orange Park girls dousing the tortoise with a flammable fluid and laughing as the creature tries to get away from the flames.
A second video shows one of the girls stomping on the animal until its shell breaks and it's dead.

The FWC received a tip about the incident on July 15 and worked with the State Attorney’s Office of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in the investigation.

"We take these issues very seriously," Col. Calvin Adams, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, said in a statement. "We appreciated the help from the public and our partners in working to protect our valuable natural resources."

Green faces up to five years in prison plus up to 60 days in jail and or a $500 fine on the misdemeanor charge. The 15-year-old is being prosecuted in the juvenile system.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/MyFWC]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies After Protecting Child]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hollywood+Good+Samaritan+July2014.jpg

Police on Friday asked for the public's help to find the attacker of a 57-year-old good Samaritan who died after he was assaulted while he tried to protect a young child at a Hollywood fast-food restaurant, officials said.

Gabriel Ortega was at a restaurant on the 1400 block of Vine Street abound 9:30 p.m. on July 14 when he saw a man yelling at a child.

The attacker reportedly clenched his fist and walked toward the child. Ortega then stepped in front of the child to act as a shield and told the attacker to leave the child alone, police said.

The man then started punching Ortega before running away, officials said.

Ortega checked himself into the hospital on July 17, three days after the attack. He died as a result of his injures from the fight, and the coroner said his cause of death was blunt force trauma.

City News Service contributed to this article.


Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Madonna Badger Marries Friend]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:14:02 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/madonna+badger+wedding.jpg

Madonna Badger celebrated a moment of joy earlier this week when she and a college friend got married in New York.

William Duke has been one of the many people to stand by Badger and help her over the two and a half years since a devastating fire in Stamford took the lives of her three daughters and her parents.

The couple got married on Tuesday, according to Badger’s Facebook page

Badger suffered a terrible tragedy on Christmas morning in 2011, when fire spread through the Stamford home.

Her three daughters, 10-year-old Lily and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah, as well as her parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, were killed.

Over the last couple of years, Badger has publicly shared her story of devastating grief and healing

In November 2013, Badger wrote a column for Vogue Magazine, and said Duke was one of the many friends who made sure she was not alone as she began to deal with the life-altering tragedy.

Over time, they fell in love. On Tuesday, they eloped.

Badger’s Facebook page is filled with well wishes and messages of congratulations. 

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Worker Stole Items From Military]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:27:50 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/James-Matthews.jpg

An employee at O’Hare International Airport was charged with theft after he allegedly stole items from military foot lockers that were meant to be shipped overseas.

James Matthews, 41, of Sauk Village, Illinois, was charged with two felony counts of theft, police announced early Friday.

Chicago police officers and the U.S. Postal Service Inspector saw Matthews taking mail, a military foot locker that contained a laptop, and other stolen items from flights to the post office just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

He is scheduled to appear in bond court Friday.

Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Mysterious Dolls Left on Doorsteps]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:00:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/209*120/San+Clemente+doll+4+%282%29.jpg

A Southern California woman who attends her Orange County community's church decided to clear out her doll collection and surprise her neighbors with the dolls, leaving some residents stumped and "disturbed" by a resemblance to some neighborhood children.

The slew of deliveries began July 16 with at least eight San Clemente families finding porcelain dolls on their doorsteps.

While residents said they felt creeped out and "disturbed" over fears someone was trying to scare the Talega neighborhood of San Clemente, investigators learned Thursday night that the woman's intentions were pure.

"The woman attended church with many of the impacted families," Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

The woman said she was clearing out an old doll collection and thought of some young girls in the neighborhood who might enjoy them, Hallock said.

It was not clear why the woman did not leave a note or tell the residents about the dolls.

Earlier Thursday, residents said they were afraid of the reason behind the toys.

"I'm actually thinking the worst, like someone creepy watching our children and I'm actually pretty scared about it," resident Mary Robin Baziak said. "(Someone) found a China doll on her stop that looked like her daughter."

"It's really creepy and disturbing. As a mom with a daughter, it freaks me out," another neighbor said. "Hopefully it's a prank and not someone with very bad motives."

Christina Cocca contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Doctor in Psych Unit Shootout Released from Hospital]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:19:51 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/191*120/RICHARD+PLOTTS.JPG

The doctor shot during a gunfight with a psychiatric patient inside a Delaware County wellness center has been released from the hospital.

Dr. Lee Silverman told county investigators he acted in self defense when he returned fire at 49-year-old Richard Plotts inside a small, third floor office at Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital's Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, Pa. on Thursday afternoon.

Plotts, a patient of Silverman's psychiatric unit, had come to meet with the doctor along with his case worker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, when an argument broke out. Officials say Plotts then pulled out a gun and held both Silverman and Hunt hostage before opening fire.

Hunt was killed, officials said. Silverman was grazed in the head by bullets before grabbing his own pistol and shooting Plotts three times in the stomach and arm. Nearby doctors and case workers, who witnessed the standoff, then rushed into the room and wrestled the gun away from the suspect.

Both Silverman and Plotts were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's trauma center in Philadelphia. Silverman was released late Thursday night, according to the Delaware County District Attorney's Office.

Plotts, however, remains in critical, but stable condition after emergency surgery, officials said.

Detectives are still trying to piece together what sparked Plotts, who has a well-documented troubled past, to pull out a gun and fire.

Plotts' ex-wife, who spoke to NBC10.com on the condition of anonymity, described the man as an abusive con-artist who served time in prison for fraud and a bank robbery. Records show he also violated his parole several years ago by possessing a firearm. It is unclear how he obtained the weapon allegedly used in Thursday's shooting.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Man Taunts Police Online, Gets Arrested the Next Day]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:20:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/roger+ray+ireland.jpg

An Edgewater, Maryland, man was arrested for violating his probation one day after he taunted Anne Arundel County officers on Facebook.

Anne Arundel County Police posted a picture of Roger Ray Ireland on their Facebook page Wednesday as part of the "Wanted Wednesday" campaign.

Shortly after the post was published, police say Ireland commented on his own mugshot, writing, "Y'all will never catch me..."

Well, it looks like they did.

After getting a few tips from the public, officers say Ireland was taken into custody during a traffic stop in South Baltimore on Thursday. 

"Social Media is a great tool for law enforcement and we appreciate our Social Media Sleuths," Police Chief Kevin Davis said in a release.  

<![CDATA[Shooting Suspect Was Abusive, Crazy: Ex-Wife]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:51:34 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/191*120/RICHARD+PLOTTS.JPG

He's been called abusive by his ex-wife and crazy by his neighbors, and he's even served time for a Delaware bank robbery. But the latest crime Richard Plotts, 49, of Upper Darby, is accused of committing left his case worker dead, a doctor wounded and himself fighting for his life.

Police say Plotts opened fire Thursday in the psychiatric unit at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, killing his 53-year-old case worker and wounding a doctor who fired back, critically injuring Plotts. He is in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," said former Crum Lynne neighbor Diane Clements. "He was a creep."

That's one of the nicer things said about Plotts.

His ex-wife, who asked to remain anonymous, told NBC10 her ex-husband was abusive, made threats on her life and acted violently toward her family.

"He was violent, physically and mentally," Plotts' ex said. "He has threatened to kill me. He's been violent to my family — parents, siblings — and he's just never been a very good person."

The couple's divorced was finalized in 1999, while Plotts served six years in prison for a Delaware bank robbery four years earlier.

While serving the remainder of his sentenced for the robbery -- three years supervised release -- he was arrested for possession of a firearm. His release was revoked and he was sent back to prison.

He was also arrested in the early 90s for trying to make a purchase at a John Wanamaker store with a stolen credit card, according to court records.

"He's a con artist," said his ex-wife. "He has psychiatric issues."

She did not elaborate on what those issues were, and details on his mental health were not immediately available.

"He was a goofball. He was crazy, and he had a girlfriend, and we used to hear him beating that girl up," Clements said.

Plotts was evicted from his home in the Kenneth House Apartments on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby about six months ago, according to a building maintenance man.

Cathy Nickels, his neighbor there, recalled the contentious way Plotts left after his eviction.

"As he was taken away in a van," she said, "he yelled, 'You haven't heard the end of me yet.'"

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[USC Graduate Student Found Dead After Attack]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/usc+student+xinran+ji1.JPG

A USC graduate student was found dead Thursday morning after he was attacked by three people as he walked home from an off-campus study group hours earlier, police said.

The 24-year-old student was attacked about 12:45 a.m. when he was "struck with an unknown blunt object," Los Angeles police said Thursday afternoon.

After the attack near 29th Street and Orchard Avenue, the student was able to walk home, leaving a trail of blood to his apartment about a block from the USC campus. His roommate found him dead inside about 7 a.m., police said.

He was identified by USC as Xinran Ji, whose family is in China. USC officials said they had spoken with the victim's family and they are making arrangements for them to travel to Los Angeles.

The campus community was on edge as they tried to figure out what happened to a fellow student.

"I live on the same floor that they found the body," one student said. "I still don't want to go back. I haven't been back to my apartment all day."

In a letter to the USC community, school officials said the engineering and graduate student died at his apartment north of the campus, near 30th Street and Vermont Avenue.

"Mr. Ji joined the school in the Fall of 2013 and was a beloved member of the Viterbi community and the Trojan Family," USC Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said in a statement. "As a Dean and Professor but also as a Viterbi parent, this news hits me very deeply."

School officials said there was no apparent threat to the campus community, but students were still concerned.

"It certainly raises questions about student safety," student Anshu Siripurapu said. "You're usually not out of, you know, eyesight of a private security officer, which is why it's shocking that this happened here and there haven't been any witnesses. It definitely has shaken my confidence a bit."

Police said they do not yet know a motive in the attack and are gathering security footage from the area. Investigators said they are searching for a dark colored compact sedan.

Robert Kovacik contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Xinran Ji/LinkedIn]]>
<![CDATA[2 Guilty in Fatal Nightclub Beating]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:43:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/01-santaana.jpg

Two women were convicted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in the beating death of a 23-year-old woman outside a Santa Ana nightclub.

Vanesa Tapia Zavala, 26, and Candace Marie Brito, 27, were also found guilty of assault with force to produce great bodily injury in Annie Hung "Kim" Pham's fatal beating, but were acquitted of felony second-degree murder.

They each face up to 11 years in prison.

The two are accused of killing Pham by kicking her in the head as she was on the ground fighting their friend outside the Crosby Restaurant and Nightclub on Jan. 19, officials said.

Friends of Pham told police that three women attacked her without provocation after the two groups bumped into each other outside the nightclub. Another witness said Pham instigated the fight by shouting obscenities and throwing the first punch after she and her friends bumped into another group exiting the bar.

Portions of the attack were captured on cellphone video as the victim's friends and a security guard unsuccessfully attempted to intervene, officials said.

Pham was hospitalized after the attack and taken off life support Jan. 21.


<![CDATA[Intruder Who Claimed Pregnancy ID'd]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:36:00 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/LB+Intruder+Female+Solo+2.jpg

Police on Thursday identified a suspected burglar who told a homeowner she was pregnant before he fatally shot her outside his home in Long Beach.

Tom Greer appeared to have no regret when he told NBC4 Wednesday night that he shot the woman twice in the back with his .22-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver as she was fleeing with a male accomplice.

The woman was identified as Andrea Miller, 28, from Long Beach. The male suspect was identified as Gus Adams, 26, of Long Beach. Adams was booked into jail on a robbery and murder charge, Long Beach police said in a press release.

"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant -- I'm going to have a baby.' And I shot her anyway," Greer said. "The lady didn't run as fast as the man so I shot her in the back twice, she's dead ... but he got away."

There was no immediate confirmation of the pregnancy, but the Los Angeles County coroner's office planned to perform an autopsy on the woman on Friday, said Ed Winter, of the coroner's office.

Long Beach police said they are investigating whether Greer should face charges for Tuesday night's shooting in the 3900 block of Country Club Drive.

Even though the woman was running away, Greer said he regards what he did as self-defense.

He said he arrived at home Tuesday night to find a couple in the middle of a late-night break-in when they attacked him.

"When I went in there, they tackled me," Greer told NBC4. "Both of them jumped up on top of me."

At one point, Miller stopped hitting Greer to help Adams break into a safe, police said.

While the suspects ransacked his home, Greer got his gun from another room, returned to confront them and fired his gun while they were still inside his house, police said.

Both suspects ran out, making off with items taken during the burglary. Greer followed them as they ran out and fired again.

Miller was struck by gunfire, fell in the alley, and died, authorities said. Adams got away, but was captured later.

The surviving suspect was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of residential burglary and murder, McDonnell said. The murder charge, which will be considered by the district attorney, is possible because Adams is accused of being involved in a felony that led to a death, McDonnell said. 

It was not immediately clear whether Adams hired an attorney.

Greer told detectives he believes the suspects broke into his home and stole cash and property three times before, police said. Greer's estranged wife, Dorothy, said on Thursday one of the burglaries happened while she was at home. She saw her jewelry stolen.

But she never expected such violence.

"It's scary," she said. "Either way it goes, it's scary. It was just a bad situation, all the way around."

Greer was treated at a hospital Wednesday for a severe shoulder and collarbone injury.

Photo Credit: Long Beach Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Mistakenly Shot at in Dorner Manhunt to Get $1.8M]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:42:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Perdue+Still.jpg

A Southern California man mistakenly shot at by police officers during the manhunt for a murderous ex-LAPD officer on a rampage last year will receive $1.8 million in a settlement with the city of Torrance.

David Perdue, 39, and his wife, of Redondo Beach, filed an excessive force lawsuit against the city in June 2013, alleging two Torrance police officers rammed their car into Perdue's truck and shot at him Feb. 7, 2013 while he was on his way to go surfing.

The settlement with the city of Torrance and Officers Brian McGee and Erin Sooper was reached last month, but the amount of the cash payout was confirmed Thursday by Torrance police Sgt. Chris Roosen.

"We are grateful to the city of Torrance and to the attorneys representing the city of Torrance for their consummate professionalism throughout these proceedings," said Robert Sheahen, Perdue's attorney.

None of the bullets struck the 39-year-old Perdue, who had previously been stopped and cleared by other officers, according to the lawsuit, which was filed after he failed to reach a settlement with the city.

Perdue says he suffered a concussion when his truck's airbag opened and has lingering physical and emotional problems as a result of what happened to him that day.

Authorities said that the ex-LAPD Officer, Christopher Dorner, killed four people --  a Riverside police officer, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy and the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance -- during a rampage fueled by his anger over being fired from the Los Angeles force several years ago.

The disgruntled ex-cop's remains were found inside a burned-out Big Bear cabin after a shootout with law enforcement, culminating a nearly week-long manhunt for the fugitive.

<![CDATA[22-Year-Old Murders Mother: Police]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:04:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/orange+homicide+mug.jpg

A 22-year-old Orange, Connecticut, man admitted to police that he killed his own mother on Thursday afternoon, according to the incident report from police.

Police said Timothy Granata killed his mother, Claudia Granata, 58, in their home on Wild Rose Drive. He wiped tears from his eyes in court Friday.

Authorities received a 911 call at 2:20 p.m on Thursday from a man who said he'd just committed a murder, according to the incident report.

Emergency responders found Claudia Granata's body inside the house, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The state medical said she was beaten and stabbed to death. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Police said they believe they have the murder weapons in custody, but haven't reavealed any information about them.

Timothy Granata was found near the home, carrying a cell phone in his left hand and a Bible in his right, according to police. Police said he and other family members called 911.

"I killed her. I stabbed her," Timothy Granata said when police detained him, according to the probable cause statement.

He was unarmed, police said, taken into custody and held overnight at police headquarters. Timothy Granata was charged with murder and appeared in court Friday.

His attorney said at court Friday that Timothy Granata, a heavyweight wrestler his freshman year, may have taken time off from college to be hospitalized, although he couldn't elaborate on the circumstances.

"I'm not positive," said attorney Charles Tiernan. "I think it was within the last six-to-eight months."

The next court date was set for Aug. 5 and his mental health will be evaluated. His bond remains at $2 million and his case has been transferred to Milford Superior Court, police said.

When Timothy Granata was asked if he was on medication, he said, "I have joint pain and a bad lower back." He was a heavyweight wrestler his freshman year of college.

According to police, Timothy Granata lived at the home with his mother, father and two siblings.

The Yale School of Medicine Web site and other online records, including his LinkedIn page, list Dr. Attilio Granata, Timothy's father, as a professor who has spent 30 years teaching at the university and practicing medicine at hospitals along the shoreline.

A New York Times story published in 1984 to announce the marriage of Attilio and Dr. Claudia Dinan says both husband and wife graduated from the Yale School of Medicine. The couple married at Yale and said Claudia Granata would retain her maiden name professionally.

Tiernan called the incident "a horrible, horrible, devastating situation."

Orange police and the State Police Central District Major Crime Squad are investigating. It's the first homicide in Orange since 1992.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Orange Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Husband Killed Rookie Cop, Burned Home in Cover-Up Attempt: Police]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:57:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/LAURA-PEREZ3.jpg

A California man is in custody, accused in the death of his wife, who was a young mother and rookie Escondido Police officer.

According to Murrieta Police, Freddy Perez-Rodas told homicide investigators Thursday that he killed Officer Laura Perez and burned their home in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Hours earlier, firefighters arrived at the couple’s home on Grand Oaks Court for a house fire. It was just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and fire crews found no victims inside the home. When they responded to the fire, they did find Rodas, who reported that his wife was inside.

Fire investigators responded and "it was determined to be an arson immediately," said Murrietta Police Lt. Tony Conrad.

In addition to determining it was an arson, investigators discovered it was the same address connected to a missing person, 25-year-old Laura Perez.

Less than two hours later, homicide investigators arrested Perez-Rodas who had reported the house fire.

It was during questioning early Thursday that investigators learned the slain Escondido officer had been shot in the chest three times, her body moved to a storage locker in Moreno Valley.

Investigators were at All-Size Storage in Moreno Valley early Thursday morning and had closed off the business until 3 p.m.

Officials said that after Perez-Rodas led investigators to his wife’s body, he was booked on charges of murder, arson and child endangerment.

The couple has a 4-year-old child who was not injured, officials said.

Investigators also said they had recovered the weapon used in the alleged crime.

Laura Perez joined the Escondido Police Department in October 2013. The department had a flag-lowering ceremony in her honor Thursday evening.

Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter described Perez as "a wonderful officer who had a bright future."

"It's never an easy thing. We're going to be one day at a time, " Carter said. "I'm encouraging officers to remember we're here for the victim, which in this case is Laura. For every Laura, there's hundreds out there and we need to continue to do our job."

A department spokesperson said Perez' death is the first violent death of an Escondido police officer on the job or off duty.

Chief Carter will speak  at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Escondido Police Fire and Headquarters in the community room. NBC 7 will live stream the news conference.

Download the free NBC 7 mobile app to get alerts for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 ]]>
<![CDATA[Patient Kills Case Worker, Shoots Doctor Who Then Fires Back]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:21:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/226*120/mercy+fitzgerald+hospital+shooting+33.JPG

A female case worker was killed and a doctor shot when a psychiatric patient opened fire on them Thursday in a wellness center on the campus of a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, hospital, officials say.

Officials say that patient was then shot by the doctor, who returned fire from his own gun.

The shootout took place around 2:20 p.m. Thursday inside a doctor's office in the psychiatric unit at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center, officials say. The center is located along the 1500 block of Lansdowne Avenue in Darby, Pa. That's located across from Mercy-Fitzgerald hospital, on its campus.

The gunman, identified as Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, had come to the unit with his caseworker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt of Philadelphia, according to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan. They then went behind closed doors in a doctor's third floor office when a confrontation occurred.

“A worker did confirm that he heard some loud arguing going on. They came in and they actually opened the door and saw him pointing a gun at the doctor. They did not notice the case worker at that point. They shut the door very quietly and one immediately called 911," Whelan said.

The DA said a short time went by and then gunfire erupted from Plotts' gun. Plotts has had run-ins with the doctor's and hospital staff in the past, Whelan said.

Both the doctor, identified as Dr. Lee Silverman, and the case worker were hit by the gunfire. The woman was fatally shot in the small office, and the doctor was grazed in the head, Whelan said.

Silverman also pulled out his weapon and fired upon the suspect, the preliminary investigation showed. Plotts was hit three times in the torso, Whelan said.

Other doctors and case workers then rushed into the room and tackled the man to the ground, wrestling with him for the weapon.

“We’re not exactly sure what had occurred and what might have precipitated this particular incident," Whelan said. "We do know the psychiatric connection, we have that concern, however we don’t know if there was another dispute that occurred inside that room that led to these shots being fired."

Both Plotts and Silverman were taken to the trauma center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in nearby Philadelphia. The suspect is in surgery and is listed in critical condition, Whelan said. The doctor's condition has not been released.

Officials say a 911 call came in at 2:19 p.m. with the caller saying a doctor had been shot. The center and hospital was quickly placed on lockdown as police swarmed the campus.

Allen Williams was checking in his father for an X-ray on the center's ground floor when the shooting happened.

"As we were giving the information, they said the hospital is on lockdown and they locked out the doors. They told us to sneak out the back door," he said. “I was hoping everyone was going to get out safe."

Williams slowly led his father, who uses a walker, in a group of 15 people onto a grassy area outside the building. He says police kept them at the scene as they checked the building.

Police arrived within minutes and evacuated the entire wellness center as SWAT officers swept the building as a precaution.

The Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center has physician offices and offers outpatient services for ambulatory care, audiology, cardiac rehabilitation, radiology and hearing and balance, according to the health system's website.

Late Thursday night, Mercy Fitzgerald released this statement regarding the deadly shooting:

"We continue to pray for the victims and their families. As this is an ongoing investigation, we remain focused on working with the Delaware County Police Departments to understand fully the details of the event and to do all we can to assist those affected.

We are thankful for the responders to this incident, the many law enforcement professionals who are a part of the investigation, and the outpouring of support we have received from our community."

A large police presence from Yeadon, Haverford Township and other Delaware County law enforcement agencies remained at the scene for hours as the crime scene was processed.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

<![CDATA[SUV Slams Boy on Bike Through Bronx Storefront]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:02:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/boy+on+bike+hit+suv.jpg

Surveillance video capturing a horrifying crash that sent a boy on his bicycle flying through a Bronx storefront has bolstered neighbors' calls for increased traffic safety measures in the area, and the city is promising changes.

Video of the May 10 crash obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York shows a black SUV veering across a median near White Plains Road and Watson Avenue, slamming up onto the sidewalk and plowing the boy through the plate glass of a barber shop. (Warning: Video above may be shocking to some.)

The boy, 12-year-old Abraham Al-Saidi, recalled: "I got hit hard."

Abraham said he was in such shock and that "it didn't hurt that much because I didn't feel it, because it came right away."

It's not clear what caused the driver to go across the road so suddenly, whether she was going too fast or trying to make a U-turn.

Crossing guard Glady Valdez, who's worked at the nearby intersection for 20 years, says traffic in the area has always been "very dangerous." 

"Sometimes I fear for my life," she said. 

Mark Solomon, the barbershop owner who witnessed the crash, thinks the road is so dangerous because "everybody is trying to beat the light."

The city acknowledges that White Plains and Watson, just yards from where Abraham was hit, was identified as a "high-crash corridor with the amount of severe crashes and fatalities ranking in the top of 10 percent of all Bronx corridors." 

The city sent the local community board a poster highlighting eight fatalities, 27 severe injuries per mile and 230 total injuries on that stretch of road since 2007.

Under Mayor de Blasio's new Vision Zero traffic safety plan, the city has lowered the speed limit to 25 miles per hour and will add turning lanes this fall.

Abraham's lawyer said the changes, while set in motion some time ago, didn't come in time to protect the boy.

"It's always good to improve safety for the lives of the people in the neighborhood and the lives of the people in the city," said Micah Kwasnik. "Unfortunately, it's a little late." 

The boy's family has filed a notice of claim against the city.

<![CDATA[Boy, 3, Drowns in Staten Island Day Care Pool: Police]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:53:13 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/161*120/IMG-20140724-12257.jpg

A 3-year-old boy drowned in a pool at a Staten Island day care center Thursday, police say.

The boy somehow got into the above-ground pool in the backyard of the Mothers Byrd Day Care Center on Maple Parkway center in Mariners Harbor around 5:30 p.m., according to police. The day care center appears to be run out of a home.

Police sources said the gate leading to the pool was locked, and the child accessed the pool by climbing on top of boxes.

Emergency responders rushed the child, identified as Edward Harris, of Staten Island, to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Neighbors said they were heartbroken by what appeared to be a tragic accident.

"It's summertime and everything, and for a kid to drown, it's scary," said Eduardo Tapia.

John Blanchard said, "You gotta watch your kids, especially these days. Anything can happen." 

State records show the day care center was first licensed in November 2007, and is registered to run through November 2015. It can hold up to 12 children from 6 weeks old to 12 years old.

It was last inspected in December 2013, and there are currently no uncorrected violations, records show. The day care is registered to Sherrie M. Byrd. No one answered at the phone number listed for Byrd, and the home was blocked off by police Thursday night.

-- Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Mother Drowns Trying to Save Boy]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:43:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/karen_wessel.jpg

An Illinois woman died Tuesday after trying to save a 9-year-old boy in a northern Wisconsin Lake.

Authorities say the victim, 47-year-old Karen Wessel, of Arlington Heights, was on vacation with her sister, a friend and four children in Star Lake when they decided to go for a swim.

Three of the boys swam across a channel to a sandbar, but when they started heading back, they got tired and started to struggle.

Wessel's sister, Janice Potocki, and her friend, Karen Altamore, swam out to assist two of the boys and swam back to shore. Potocki went back out to help the third boy, but Wessel also went out to assist when she noticed her sister getting tired.

Wessel swam underneath the boy to try to push him above the water's surface, but witnesses told authorities that after a short time, Wessel didn't come back up.  

A person in a pontoon boat rescued the boy from the water, but wasn't able to get to Wessel soon enough. Despite several efforts to perform CPR, she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Potocki spoke to NBC 5 Wednesday night about her beloved sister who she calls a true hero.

"The world needs heroes, and I'm sorry it was my sister, but the world needs them," Potocki said.

Potocki said Star Lake was a familiar place that the family visited many times.

"That's where you went to unplug and disconnect and find yourself again, relax and realize what's truly important in life," Potocki said.

Wessel, a single mother of two, was active in the Arlington Heights School District 25.

Superintendent Lori D. Bein issued a statement saying they are "saddened" to hear about the tragedy.

"Karen Wessel has been known as a positively involved parent, volunteering at school and with the ABC/25 Foundation. I know the wonderful families and staff in Arlington Heights District 25 will offer whatever support the family and community need," Bein said.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

<![CDATA[Sick Boy Becomes Cop for a Day]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:35:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Adam-Broderson.jpg

One suburban Chicago police department had a new top cop on Wednesday.

Adam Broderson -- a 7-year-old boy with a heart defect -- was named sergeant by the Buffalo Grove Police Department for a day, and got to hang out with the other members of the force.

Adam dreams of one day growing up to be a police officer, but has already had to tough out several surgeries during his short life due to a rare heart condition that left him with only one working ventricle.

His day on the force was a surprise, and the young boy suited up for SWAT training, patrolled the village with his partner and even got to catch a bad guy in a simulated arrest.

He even got to train at the shooting range, which wasn't the favorite part of his day because of the noise.

The police department set up Adam's special day after seeing a letter he wrote in school.

Adam's parents say after suffering through three major heart surgeries, getting to live out his dream was the chance of a lifetime.

<![CDATA[Man Hangs Family Dog Before Setting Home on Fire: Police]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:24:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fire-Generic.jpg

A New Jersey man allegedly involved in a domestic dispute hanged his family dog before setting fire to his home, police say.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that 29-year-old Janrv Bacolod is accused of using an accelerant and setting fire to several parts of his Holly Street home in Mays Landing last Friday.

Several cats inside the home were killed, according to The Press of AC.

Prior to setting the blaze, police say Bacolod hanged his dog.

Police records show that the suspect's estranged wife had a restraining order against him. They say he violated that order when he called her at work and threatened her.

Bacolod is being held on $100,000 bail, according to the paper.


Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Did Obama Delay Woman in Labor?]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:27:54 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/202*120/pregnant+woman+obama+motorcade+cedars+sinai.PNG

A pregnant woman was stopped from crossing a Los Angeles street Wednesday afternoon because the road was closed for President Barack Obama’s motorcade.

NBC4 anchor/reporter Robert Kovacik witnessed the woman take shelter at a bus stop bench on the south side of Third Street east of Robertson Boulevard and across from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The pregnant woman was with her spouse at the time. Witnesses and two LAPD officers on scene said they believe the woman was in labor and told NBC4 an ambulance was called to the location as a precaution.

NBC4 talked to the woman on the scene, and she asked not to be shown on camera. She was out of breath and appeared to be in active labor.

Police on the scene tell NBC4 there were two medical emergencies during the president’s motorcade, the woman’s pregnancy and a man having post-surgical problems.

Kovacik shot video on his cellphone of the woman sitting at a bus stop bench and posted it to his Instagram account.

Read: Man Accused of Killing Daughter, Wife Found Nearly 20 Years Later Living With New Family

Kovacik questioned LAPD Sgt. Kurt Smith at the scene.

"As soon as we can, looks like the motorcade is coming through right about now," the LAPD officer responded. "We’ll be able to open it up for traffic and first we’ll thing we’ll try to get to will be an ambulance, but I can’t guarantee ... the time on that," the officer said.

Obama was in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon for a 24-hour visit that included two political fundraisers and a speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Wednesday's fundraisers included a stop at the Hancock Park home of television producer Shonda Rhimes.

Several street closures were announced before the visit.

According to witness Carrie Clifford, the woman waited at least 30 minutes before she could cross the street, she told The Blaze. Clifford tweeted updates and pictures from the location, including: "Ironically, Obama is going to @shondarhimes. This could be #GreysAnatomy - woman in labor can't get to Cedars cuz of O."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Secret Service said the incident is under investigation by the LAPD.

"The Secret Service works closely with state and local police counterparts in planning for and conducting motorcade movements of our protectees," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in an email. "It is always our policy to prepare for and facilitate medical emergencies, medical flights, ambulances etc. in the fastest and safest way possible."

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Robert Kovacik]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Soldier Breaks NYSE Gavel]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:50:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Ryan-Pitts-Opening-Bell.jpg Watch what happened when Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts marked the opening of Wall Street on Wednesday, July 23.]]> <![CDATA[Obama Speaking on Economy in LA]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:28:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/200*120/lax+obama+af+1.jpg

President Barack Obama focused on the economy, jobs and growing the middle class during a speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on Thursday as he wrapped up a 24-hour visit to Los Angeles.

While speaking to the college-aged crowd, Obama took swipes at Congress for not helping middle-class Americans' quality of life.

"The hardest thing in politics is to change a stubborn status quo," Obama said.

Obama started his day at a fundraiser at the Brentwood home of Michael Rapino, the CEO of concert promotion behemoth Live Nation, according to City News Service. The cost for a ticket to the roundtable discussion was a hefty one, reaching $32,4000, the maximum allowable contribution to a national party in a calendar year.

Read: Obamas Buying $4.25 Million Home in California's Rancho Mirage: Report

Following the fundraiser, Obama made a surprise stop at Canter's Deli in the Fairfax area. There he met with four people who wrote him letters, according to the White House.

The president spoke at the  Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in South Los Angeles because it was awarded a Department of Labor skills training grant, which funds projects that train workers to obtain or upgrade employment in high-growth sectors.

Pro-immigration and pro-Palestinian groups were expected to protest outside the college campus, calling for an end to deportations of immigrants, the creation of a Palestinian state and for the U.S. to demand Israel end attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Southern California is the last stop on Obama's three-day West Coast trip, which began Tuesday in Seattle. Obama began Wednesday in San Francisco, where he attended a morning fundraiser benefiting the House Majority Political Action Committee, before arriving at Los Angeles International Airport around 3 p.m.

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Once in LA, Obama stopped in Hancock Park at the home of television producer Shonda Rhimes for a DNC fundraising reception.

Obama is expected to head back to Washington, D.C. following after his speech. Until then, Southland residents could expect traffic delays.

Drivers were urged to avoid the following areas:

  • Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Accused Killer Found After 20 Years]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:49:41 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/honsch+family.jpg

Almost 20 years after the body of a 17-year-old girl was discovered behind a Connecticut shopping plaza, police have identified the slain teen and charged her father with murdering her and her mother.

Robert Honsch had moved to Dalton, Ohio, and was living under the name Tyree Honsch with his current wife and children, authorities said.

His daughter, Elizabeth Honsch, was found shot in the head near 593 Hartford Road in New Britain on Sept. 28, 1995. Her body had been wrapped in a sleeping bag and plastic trash bags, according to police.

The body of her mother, 53-year-old Marcia Honsch, was found eight days later, 40 miles away near the entrance to a state park in Tolland, Massachusetts. She had also been shot in the head and had been dead for a week when her body was discovered, according to police.

Both women were found without any identifying information and, until Wednesday, were known publicly only as Jane Doe. DNA testing revealed that they were related, and their names were released at a news conference on Wednesday.

Police said they have obtained arrest warrants charging 70-year-old Robert Honsch with murder in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

He's in the custody of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in Wooster, Ohio, and will be extradited to New England, authorities said.

The Honsch family was living in Brewster, New York, at the time of the murders. According to police, the Honsches "suddenly lost contact with all other family members" in October 1995, shortly after the bodies were found.

Police released pictures of the clothing and jewelry Elizabeth Honsch was wearing at the time of her death, along with facial reconstruction images.

Police began investigating the disappearance of the mother and daughter when relatives reported them missing in June.

The arrest warrants for Robert Honsch have been sealed and it's not clear why family members waited so long to report the women's disappearances.

Information on an attorney for Robert Honsch was not immediately available.

Photographs of Marcia, Elizabeth and Robert Honsch were released on Wednesday.

Elizabeth Honsch isn’t the only woman to be found dead on Hartford Road in New Britain.

In 2007, the bodies of three other women were discovered in the same area near the intersection of Route 9 and Hartford Road.

Two of the woman have been identified as Joyvaline “Joy” Martinez, of East Hartford, and Diane Cuzack of New Britain. Their deaths are also considered homicides but police have not said whether they're connected.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department]]>