<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:36:02 -0500 Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:36:02 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump Says He Can Predict Terrorism Via 'Feel']]> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:19:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpSC-AP_314879649945.jpg

Business deals aren’t the only thing Donald Trump says he’s good at executing. The Republican front-runner told South Carolina voters he can also predict foreign policy trends and events, NBC News reported.

"The other thing I predicted is terrorism," he told the crowd before elaborating on a longer story of a friend who told him the same. "A friend of mind called me and said 'Forget that, you're the first guy that really predicted terrorism.'"

Trump said his prediction of terrorism was documented in this 2000 book “The America We Deserve.”

He's also been touting his idea of bombing Iraqi oilfields and his stance on waterboarding.

He was joined in South Carolina by wife, Melania, and children, Ivanka, Tiffany and Baron.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Campaign Watchdogs: TV Ads Supporting Rubio Are Illegal]]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:34:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_527388600115-Rubio.jpg

Campaign-finance watchdogs say an outside group promoting Republican Marco Rubio's presidential campaign is breaking the law. 

Conservative Solution Project, an independent group, is behind $85 million in TV ads supporting Rubio. Unlike a Super PAC, Conservative Solutions Project doesn't have to disclose its donors because it exists as a tax-exempt social welfare group under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. 

But watchdog groups like Campaign Legal Center argue that these ads are illegal because they are benefiting an individual presidential candidate instead of advancing the general social welfare of society.

The groups requested that the Justice Department launches an investigation into Conservative Solutions Project. And while Conservative Solution Project officials claim that they are "not about any one specific elected official or candidate," Rubio is the only 2016 presidential candidate featured in any of the organization's TV ads that have aired in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as on national cable.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Residents Outraged by Trump's False Remark on 9/11 'Cheering']]> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:55:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_21212478014.jpg

Donald Trump's recent claim that "thousands and thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City when the twin towers came down on 9/11 is drawing the ire of Muslim residents there. 

Trump made the remarks in Alabama Saturday, saying, "I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down." 

Hamed Elshanawany, president of the Hudson County Islamic Council in Jersey City, said it never happened. 

"If anybody has any proof this happened in the community, is right but no proof at all," he said. 

Trump also tweeted Monday a passage from a Washington Post article posted a few days after 9/11 about Jersey City police detaining people allegedly seen celebrating. 

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop disputed the account.

"There is no record of anything he said, so we would hope going forward he would be more responsible," he told NBC 4 New York. 

The state's biggest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, said it doesn't have any proof that happened.

Even when he was reminded that police said it didn't happen during an interview on ABC Sunday, Trump doubled down on his remarks. 

"It did happen, I saw it," he said. "It was on television. I saw it."

Egyptian-born teacher Nabil Youssef said, "It is insulting, it is hurtful and it makes us not feel like a real American."

Youssef said he ran to help victims on 9/11, donating blood to the Red Cross. 

Trump is sticking by his comments but that may energize Muslims, said Ahmed Shedeed of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

"He'll get a lot of Muslims upset, a lot of Muslims now going to go out and vote," he said. 

NBC News' political blog First Read dissects more of the recent false statements made by Trump recently in a post titled: "Donald Trump, the post-truth 2016 candidate.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Claims 'World's Greatest Memory']]> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:42:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpColumbus-AP_568871122955.jpg

Donald Trump isn’t backing down from comments he made about “thousands and thousands” of U.S. Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, after the Twin Towers came down on 9/11, according to NBC News.

The Republican front-runner even told NBC News in a phone call that he has “the world’s greatest memory.” During the phone call, he offered reassurances that he had seen video of celebrations on television and “all over the internet.”

The comments come as a new poll shows Trump soaring in weekend polls, with a double-digit lead over rival, Ben Carson.

Trump took center stage in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, where he spoke to a crowd about rival Governor John Kasich and about his stance on national security.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 @Issue: FBI Agent Looks Into Impacts of Paris Attacks]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20:41:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012816984_1200x675_571185219604.jpg Former FBI special agent and counterterrorism expert Jeffrey Tomlinson discusses the impact the Paris attacks are having on our area and he tackles the growing argument over settling Syrian refugees close to the Philadelphia area.]]> <![CDATA[Christie's 'Security Incident']]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 19:33:25 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Christie+Airport.jpg

Presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was involved in a security incident on board a flight from San Francisco to Boston on Friday morning, according to a spokesperson for Christie's campaign.

Campaign staff confirmed that the presidential candidate was on a United Airlines flight when a passenger was removed before takeoff.

According to San Francisco police, the flight crew on board United Flight 1108 was alerted about a passenger taking cellphone photos of the crew. The crew asked the passenger to delete the photos, which he did, police said.

A second passenger saw a picture on the man's phone that showed a second cellphone, which appeared to be rigged with wires, according to police. The second passenger informed the flight crew of the photo, and the man with the cellphone was removed from the plane.

All passengers and luggage were re-screened, including the hand-wipe test for explosive residue, police said.

San Francisco police detained the passenger and ran a background check on him with the help of the FBI. According to police, the man has no criminal history.

All other passengers were allowed to board the flight, which took off around 1 p.m. The man who was held for questioning boarded another flight to Boston.

"United Airlines flight 1108 departed at 1:59 p.m. PST, just over five hours late, following a delay that resulted from a passenger not complying with crew member instructions," United Airlines said in a statement. "We will be reaching out to our customers individually to apologize."

A Christie spokesperson said the passenger did not interact with the governor or threaten him in any way. The governor had been in California for a fundraising event.

"Governor Christie, an aide and a member of his security detail were traveling on a United flight from San Fransisco to Boston this morning when a passenger was removed from the plane before takeoff at the request of United Airlines," Christie's campaign said in a statement Friday afternoon. "At no point did Governor Christie interact with this passenger nor did this passenger pose a verbal or physical threat to the Governor. Any other inquiries about this matter should be directed to United Airlines."

There is no word on why the passenger was removed.

Christie was expected to land in Boston later Friday night. He will be in New Hampshire for campaign events Saturday and Sunday. Click here to see our interactive tracker for candidates' visits to the Granite State.

Photo Credit: @MoizSyed/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Candidates Pan Trump's Call for Muslim Database]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:32:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_102485184838.jpg

Republican presidential candidates swiftly condemned Donald Trump's call for requiring Muslims in the United States to register in a national database, drawing a sharp distinction Friday with the GOP front-runner.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called Trump's proposal "abhorrent." Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Trump was trying to "divide people." And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has largely avoided criticizing Trump throughout the 2016 campaign, said that while he was a fan of the billionaire businessman, "I'm not a fan of government registries of American citizens."

"The First Amendment protects religious liberty, and I've spent the past several decades defending the religious liberty of every American," Cruz told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa.

The rebuke followed Trump's call Thursday for a mandatory database to track Muslims in the U.S. In a video posted on MSNBC.com, Trump was asked whether Muslims would be required to register. He replied, "They have to be."

On Friday, Trump said on Twitter that he didn't suggest creating such a database but instead was answering a question from a reporter about the idea. However, he did not disavow the prospect of a database on social media or at an event Friday morning.

Civil liberties experts said a database for Muslims would be unconstitutional on several counts, while the libertarian Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro said the idea also violates basic privacy and liberty rights.

Marci Hamilton, a Yeshiva University legal expert on religious liberty, said requiring Muslims to register appears to be a clear violation of the Constitution's protection of religious freedom.

"What the First Amendment does and what it should do is drive the government to use neutral criteria," Hamilton said. "You can use neutral criteria to identify terrorists. What it can't do is engage in one-religion bashing. That won't fly in any court."

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League in New York called Trump's proposal "deeply troubling and reminiscent of darker days in American history when others were singled out for scapegoating."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned as "Islamophobic" comments from both Trump and fellow GOP candidate Ben Carson, who on Thursday compared blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. to handling a rabid dog.

"If there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog," Carson told in Alabama. "It doesn't mean you hate all dogs, but you're putting your intellect into motion."

Said CAIR's Robert McCaw said in a statement, "Donald Trump and Ben Carson are contributing to an already toxic environment that may be difficult to correct once their political ambitions have been satisfied."

In New Hampshire on Friday, Carson said the U.S. should have a database on "every foreigner who comes into this country," but he rejected the idea of tracking U.S. citizens based on their religion.

"One of the hallmarks of America is that we treat everybody the same," he said. "If we're just going to pick out a particular group of people based on their religion, based on their race, based on some other thing, that's setting a pretty dangerous precedent."

The controversy followed the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, elevating fears of attacks in the U.S. and prompting calls for new restrictions on refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton took to Twitter Friday and challenged all Republican candidates to disavow Trump's comments. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called Trump's words "outrageous and bigoted."

"This is shocking rhetoric," Clinton wrote. "It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country."

Several did just that.

"You're talking about internment, you're talking about closing mosques, you're talking about registering people, and that's just wrong," Bush said Friday on CNBC.

A spokesman for Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the candidate "does not support databases based on one's religion."

Kasich, the Ohio governor, said requiring people to register with the federal government because of their religion "strikes against all that we have believed in our nation's history." Kasich had faced criticism following the Paris shooting for saying he would set up an agency with a mandate to promote what he called "Judeo-Christian values" overseas to counter Islamist propaganda.

Trump spoke Thursday a few hours after the House passed legislation essentially barring Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the United States. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has slotted the bill for possible Senate consideration, though it's unclear whether the chamber could get enough votes to override a veto by President Barack Obama, who opposes the measure.

The unified pushback against Trump was rare. Republicans have vacillated in their handling of other inflammatory comments from him, wary of alienating his supporters but also increasingly concerned that he's managed to maintain his grip on the GOP race deep into the fall.

The first reference to a database for Muslims came in Trump's interview with Yahoo News published Thursday in which the billionaire real estate mogul did not reject the idea of requiring Muslims to register in a database or giving them special identification cards noting their religion.

"We're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely," Trump told Yahoo News.

According to Yahoo, he also suggested he would consider warrantless searches, saying, "We're going to have to do things that we never did before."

Asked by reporters Thursday night to explain his Yahoo comments, Trump suggested his response had been misconstrued. "I never responded to that question," he said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Fires Back At Pro-Kasich Group ]]> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 06:55:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_21212478014.jpg

Donald Trump and John Kasich ended up in a Twitter fight Thursday after a super PAC backing the Ohio governor was launching an ad blitz against the billionaire Republican candidate, NBC News reported.

Pro-Kasich New Day for America PAC is planning to air radio, TV, mail and online ads in New Hampshire, where Trump has a wide lead.

The line of attack is one that hasn't yet been tried on Trump: Arguing he's inexperienced and unsuited for the demands of the White House. According to Politico, the group's first ad invokes the Paris attacks and ties Trump to President Obama, declaring, "On-the-job training for president does not work." The ads are sure to be hard-hitting since the man behind them, Fred Davis, is known for effective political spots.

Trump unleaded a dozen tweets dismissing Kasich because of his standing in the polls.

Trump’s general counsel also threatened to sue the Kasich campaign and New Day over the ads.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Bridgegate: Christie Under Fire]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:06:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/christie+gwb+scandal+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Refugee Debate Continues]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:56:45 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012819460_1200x675_570333763949.jpg NBC10's Lauren Mayk has the latest on the status of Syrian Refugees seeking asylum.]]> <![CDATA[Buxco Officials Threaten To Hold Funds]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:20:18 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012818751_1200x675_570243651807.jpg NBC10’s Deanna Durante has the latest details on the Pennsylvania budget stalemate and how it is affecting the area.]]> <![CDATA[Senate Holds Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:24:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/159977439.jpg

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are held a hearing Thursday on the impact ISIS is having on the homeland and refugee resettlement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Wrong Arrest Raises Race Concerns on Main Line]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 12:00:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012812058_1200x675_569893955829.jpg The Lower Merion Police Department is being questioned about possible racial profiling after an African-American man was mistakenly arrested following a heist.]]> <![CDATA[Jersey Shore Police Hold Seminar on Fair Policing]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:36:36 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012810822_1200x675_569859651846.jpg The Atlantic City Police department held a conference Wednesday in an effort to eliminate bias and improve police sensitivity.]]> <![CDATA[Philadelphia Receives National Preparedness Award]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 08:37:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/222*120/Philadelphia+OEM.JPG Philadelphia's emergency management program will be receiving recognition for its handling of big events like the AMTRAK train derailment and Pope Francis visit.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[NIH's Last 50 Chimpanzees Are Retiring]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 06:18:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/ChimpsAP_421866916958.jpg

The National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that the last 50 chimpanzees set aside for federal medical research will be retired, NBC News reported.

The chimpanzees, which are kept at three facilities in Texas and New Mexico, will be gradually sent to Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana.

No one's applied to use the chimpanzees for almost three years and it appears there is no pressing need to study the apes, the closest genetic relative to humans, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said.

"There will be no more federally supported research done on chimpanzees. The benefits of that appear to be negligible," Collins told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Photo Credit: AP Images for The Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Delaware County Fire Station Under Investigation]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 06:54:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000012809518_1200x675_569837123844.jpg Officials for the Delaware County District Attorney's official served a search warrant at the Colwyn Fire Department Wednesday amid allegations of misuse of taxpayer money.]]> <![CDATA[Trump Knocks Obama, Media]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:41:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Donald+Trump+Worcester+111815.jpg

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rallied Wednesday in front of thousands of supporters and a small handful of protesters Wednesday in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Among his targets at the DCU Center were President Obama, the media, his Republican and Democratic opponents in the 2016 race, John Kerry, ISIS, undocumented immigrants and the protesters who interrupted him in three separate instances.

One man interrupted Trump while he spoke of how many Americans are unemployed, in poverty and on food stamps.

"It's amazing. I mentioned food stamps and that guy that's seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy," Trump said after the person was removed. "That's an amazing sight."

Security was very tight at the event, as Trump now has Secret Service. After each outburst, those partaking were promptly and forcibly removed.      

But the great majority of those at the event were wildly enthusiastic supporters.

"I'll be honest with you, I'm petrified right now," said Nancie Zecco of neighboring Holden. "We need somebody like him in office."

One of the people removed from the event was shouting, "Trump's a racist!"

A Hispanic attendee said he disagrees with the accusation of racism and supports Trump on immigration.

"What they need to do is do things the right way," Roberto Rivera of Hartford, Connecticut, said. "Everyone wants to be here - best country in the world. But we need to do it legally."

Trump said that the media would overblow the small number of protesters in comparison to what he called more than 12,000 attendees.

"We had three little protests," he said. "And the press will say 'protests at Trump!'"

Additionally, the candidate insinuated that the media was responsible for glorifying those responsible for the terror attacks in Paris.

"The press plays right into their hands! The press is calling the leader of the pack in Paris a mastermind. So all these kids are sitting home, even in New York and in California and in Massachusetts - 'Ah, the mastermind,'" said Trump. "He's not a mastermind, he's a low-life. This is just a low-life guy."

Trump said members of ISIS are not smart, but are using the Internet as a recruitment tool effectively.

"We have to take back the Internet! There's so many things that we have to do. We have a president that doesn't have a clue," he said. "Obama has been a disaster."

The candidate criticized Obama and Kerry for the Iran deal, saying if he were negotiating, he would have done a better job.

As for his fellow presidential candidates, Trump notably took aim at Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - even construing the latter's stance in favor of environmental reform as a lack of concern over terrorism.

"According to Bernie, the Paris attacks were caused by global warming," he stated.

With his own stance on ISIS, though, Trump easily drew applause.

"We gotta knock the [expletive] out of these people," he exclaimed.

Another ovation came when Trump said he'd put some focus on taking care of veterans.

Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Compare Presidential Candidates on the Issues]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 09:09:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/candidates-grid.jpg


New England Cable News reached out to each presidential campaign for its position on select issues. Candidate positions from official campaign websites were used for the campaigns that didn't respond; those cases have been indicated in the graphic. 

Note: Some of the responses have been edited for clarity and length. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Black Students Threatened]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 20:10:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kean+university+threats.jpg

Authorities are investigating after someone tweeted threats against black students, faculty and staff at Kean University in New Jersey Tuesday night.

The university's police department said in a Facebook post that the campus would be open Wednesday, despite threats posted to Twitter during a peaceful rally protesting racial intolerance on college campuses. 

"We are profoundly troubled by this display of hatred which does not reflect in any way the values we hold sacred on our diverse campus," police wrote in the post.

Several anonymous messages posted Tuesday night threatened to "shoot every black woman and male" at the college. The tweets came as black students gathered at a clock tower for a peaceful rally to bring awareness to racism on college campuses.

At least one of the tweets was addressed to the Kean University Police Department's account.

"Although we have taken appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of our community, we respect your right to use your own best judgment in deciding whether or not to come to campus," university police wrote on Facebook. "We are profoundly troubled by this display of hatred which does not reflect in any way the values we hold sacred on our diverse campus."

The tweets have left many students at the university in fear.

Courtney Conner, a junior at the school, said that most of her friends are in their rooms. They've been afraid to leave since Tuesday's threats.

"They're in one room," she said. "They haven't left since the tweets went out." 

Kean University President Dawood Farahi made an impromptu address Wednesday to a few dozen students gathered back at the clock tower at lunch time.

"Statements like this show that we still have a lot of work to do," Farahi told the students as they gathered around.

Farahi made the decision to keep the school open despite the threats after university police deemed they were not credible. And though the Twitter account was shut down Wednesday morning, the person responsible was not in custody.

It's international education week at Kean, an irony not lost on Tandieka, a grad student who hoped students would not turn away in fear.

"It sends a clear message to the cowards who sent those tweets last night that we're not afraid," she said.

University police said they notified the Department of Homeland Security, along with state, county and local authorities about the tweets. Additional security will be provided in light of the threats. 

"If you see something suspicious or unusual in your daily routine or notice someone's behavior that doesn't seem quite right, say something," the department said.

Black students make up about 25 percent of the student body at Kean, which prides itself on diversity.

Still, in the wake of Tuesday's threats, there are calls for Farahi to step down.

"This has arisen from an atmosphere in which this kind of racism is allowed to flourish," Ronald Slaughter, of the Union County Ministerial Alliance, said.

The news came amid calls for a worldwide day of action Wednesday — #StudentBlackOut — as part of the push to end racial injustice on college campuses.

<![CDATA[Salt Lake City Elects First Openly Gay Mayor]]> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 07:37:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/BiskupskiMayor-AP_927255300518.jpg

Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday became the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City, The Associated Press reported.

Biskupski won 52 percent of the vote to defeat two-term incumbent Ralph Becker, who showed no reaction and later congratulated her on her win. He vowed to help her in the transition, according to The Associated Press.

The victory comes in a conservative state where the Mormon church and a small town judge delivered setback to the LGBT community.

"Today is not just about making history," Biskupski said. "It is about people. It is about affecting change."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[France Strikes Back]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:15:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_710805334070.jpg French President Francois Hollande continues to take action. NBC10’s Matt DeLucia has the latest details on the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris and the search for suspects.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kerry Says U.S. Stands Behind France]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 08:29:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/KerryFrance-AP_264546412113.jpg Secratery of State John Kerry visited Paris as the United States offers support to France following last week's terrorist attacks.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['I Don't Deserve Jail:' Teacher]]> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:32:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kelli+dugan+court.jpg

The 31-year-old teacher indicted on charges of child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child after cellphone video surfaced showing her manhandling a child at Hoboken Apple Montessori School in New Jersey says she doesn't deserve to go to jail.

Kelli Dugan spoke to NBC 4 New York outside court Monday after she was offered a plea deal in which she would receive probation with 180 days in county jail in exchange for pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child. The child abuse count against her would be dropped.

Dugan and her lawyer have time to consider the offer. She is due back in court Nov. 30. On Monday, though, Dugan said she shouldn't have to spend any time behind bars.

"I had to bring the girl inside the school because she was spitting and throwing a tantrum," Dugan said. "Inside the school, there's a video that shows me taking a paper towel to wipe her mouth and putting back on her shoes because she had kicked them off. There were two other people inside the classroom; I did not hurt the child."

The clip of Dugan obtained by NBC 4 New York in May shows her in red, sitting and holding a 2-year-old girl by her legs, preventing her from moving freely. The teacher is heard cursing in the video; she yells at the child and eventually swings her over a fence before dragging her back inside.

Dugan was among the five teachers, aides and officials fired from the school after several videos, including the one featuring Dugan, emerged showing workers inappropriately handling children. A grand jury opted to indict Dugan, but cleared another one of the employees in the videos.

As she headed into an initial court appearance last month, a tearful Dugan exclusively told NBC 4 New York she doesn't really remember that day but said it was probably just a bad day. She said she has seen the video and understands why people would get "the wrong idea" but insists she loves the kids she worked with at Hoboken Apple Montessori School and misses them greatly.

She said she probably could have handled the situation better than she did.

Dugan's attorney, Anthony Carbone, has said the prosecutor is making an example of his client. He says the allegations against her do not rise to the level of the charges in the indictment. Dugan has pleaded not guilty.

After the videos emerged, Apple Montessori, which runs 17 schools in New Jersey, said it implemented a comprehensive five-point plan to reinforce staff training, enhance security, and strengthen protocols for child safety and security.

"Because this matter is part of litigation, the school is placed in an awkward position regarding what can be shared through the media – even when challenging inaccurate and exaggerated claims," Apple Montessori said in a statement after Dugan's initial hearing last month. "However, it is important to emphasize that the school’s ownership took immediate and definitive action when learning of the incident – including the immediate termination of the employee involved."

"The behavior depicted in a related video clearly is inconsistent with the school’s reputation for high-quality education, which has been maintained by more than 2,000 teachers and staff who have cared for students during the school’s 42-year history," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the parents of the two children have filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Apple Montessori Schools and several employees for negligence, emotional damage, breach of contract, assault and other charges.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. Bill Would Eliminate School Property Taxes]]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 05:07:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WEB+Pa+Capitol+Dome.jpg

The Pennsylvania state Senate is nearing a vote on legislation to completely eliminate $14 billion in school property taxes by replacing the revenue with higher state taxes on sales and income.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said a vote is possible as early as Tuesday.

He says, if it passes, it would replace a week-old agreement between Senate Republican leaders and Gov. Tom Wolf to pursue legislation to reduce property taxes by $2 billion as part of a wider deal to end a 5-month-old budget stalemate.

A similar bill failed in the House two years ago, 138 to 59.

Under the bill, school districts would get a regular inflationary increase.

Districts wanting to spend above that allotment would have to win voter approval to increase local income taxes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Lays Out New Plan for Refugees, Including 'Safe Zone']]> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 01:37:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TrumpKnoxville-AP_141770555656.jpg

Donald Trump laid out a new plan for Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks, NBC News reported.

The Republican presidential candidate addressed a crowd of nearly 10,000 people at the Knoxville Convention Center, saying he would build a safe zone for refugees who, he said, want to go home after the crisis is over anyway.

"In Syria, take a big swatch of land, which believe me, you get for the right price, okay? You take a big swatch and you don't destroy all of Europe."

Trump said the migrants would be happier because they won’t have to learn the languages where they would move and because they wouldn’t have to get used to new climates or weather patterns.

Photo Credit: AP]]>