<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:58:04 -0400 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:58:04 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Doctor, Daughter Busted in Drug Raid]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:19:45 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Marijuana+Plants+Havertown+Drug+Bust+Ezell.jpg

Authorities raided the home of a Main Line eye doctor this morning and pulled marijuana plants and other drug paraphernalia out.

Police could be seen going in and out of the home along the 200 block of Sagamore Road in Havertown, Pa. around 8:30 a.m.

Law enforcement sources said that police raided the home because of a tip received about three weeks ago that a Delaware County eye doctor was growing pot out of his home.

Early Wednesday, police went to the home of Havertown ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Ezell who has an office on West Chester Pike (Route 3) in Havertown to investigate the claims.

Police confirmed Ezell, 58, was taken into police custody Wednesday morning.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead a short time later you could see police taking large green plants and bags from the home. In total, police said they removed more than one dozen pot plants -- some taller than 2 feet.

More than $1,000 in cash, a computer and scales used to weigh drugs were also removed from the home, according to police.

Police said Ezell lives in the home with his daughter. The unidentified daughter, who is in her 20s and at home at the time of the raid, was also arrested.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified said Ezell's wife died last year and that Ezell never caused any problems in the neighborhood.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Kristen Catalanotto]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Highway Shooting]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:21:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Police-crime-scene-generic-.jpg

Dallas police are investigating a highway shooting that the victim believes was a road rage incident prompted by her driving with the car's high beams on.

The alleged road rage incident happened just after midnight Monday on Interstate 20 near South Prairie Creek Road, between Interstate 45 and state Highway 175. It was one of two separate shootings along the same stretch of Interstate 20 over a four-day period.

"If they would have had better aim they could have killed somebody out there that night," said Gerald Pinke, who was traveling home from a funeral in Tyler with his wife when the shooting happened.

According to the police report, the passengers were headed westbound on I-20 in their Nissan Altima with their high beam lights on, when they pulled up behind an orange Pontiac Vibe.

Gerald Pinke said he was asleep and his wife, Gail, was driving when an orange Pontiac Vibe aggressively pulled in behind their car and began to tailgate them and flash its high beams.

Gail Pinke believes the only possible explanation for what could have angered the shooter was that she had been driving with her high beams on.

"I was on cruise control. I wasn't doing anything," she said. "There were not a lot of cars on the highway. [So] I tapped on the brake to let them know to get away and they got even closer. And I kind of stomped on the brake and woke my husband up."

After he woke up and his wife told him what was happening, Gerald Pinke said he told Gail to pull to the side of the highway so he could drive.

Once in the driver's seat, Gerald Pinke said he realized that the Pontiac Vibe had slowed down ahead in an apparent effort to allow them to catch back up.

Even in the darkness, Gerald Pinke said he could see someone gesturing toward him through the window of the sport utility vehicle.

"They were talking and I was telling them to pull over," Gerald Pinke said about what was happening when they heard the bang.

Pinke thought it was a gunshot; his wife was more confident of what had just happened.

"They shot at us," Gail Pinke said Tuesday, standing in front of the bullet scar that tore across the passenger side of her maroon Nissan Altima, a matter of inches away from where she was seated at the time.

The Pinkes then dialed 911 and followed the suspects at a safe distance, before losing them off the St. Augustine exit.

"I wanted to see them get caught. I still want to see them get caught," Gerald Pinke said.

The Pinkes' story is thought to be the latest of two separate shootings along the same stretch of Interstate 20 over a four-day period.

The first shooting was reported around 3:30 a.m. April 18, along the 40700 block of Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, just east of where I-20 meets state Highway 67, according to a Dallas police report.

In that incident, a 19-year-old passenger was shot in the leg by an unknown gunman, the police report states. The bullet came through the front passenger door.

NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Man Carrying Dead Snake Smashes Target Window: Police]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:46:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/target-store-sign.jpg

It sounds almost comical, but for customers, employees and police at a Montgomery County Target, a incident involving a dead snake and sledgehammer was anything but.

Police say that last Saturday a man carrying a dead snake used a sledgehammer to bust through a window at the Target on Route 100 in West Pottsgrove Township, according to The Times Herald.

Authorities were called and the store was placed on lockdown until they arrived and Tasered the suspect who was giving officers a hard time, reports the paper.

"The male became non-compliant with officers' directions, but was detained after being Tasered..." police said in a press release.

The man, who has not been identified yet, is facing multiple charges, including criminal mischief.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Local Bishop Heads to Rome for Canonization Ceremony]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:16:12 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/Bishop+John+McIntyre.JPG Bishop John McIntyre will be going to Rome to see Pope John Paul II canonized.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Tears Through Berks Co. Motel]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:57:17 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fire-Generic.jpg

Firefighters are battling a multi-alarm blaze at a Berks County motel Wedensday morning.

The two-alarm fire at the Klein's Motel on the 4800-block of 5th Street Highway in Muhlenberg Township broke out around 11 a.m.

SkyForce10 is on its way to the scene.

No injuries have been reported.

This story is developing, please check back with NBC10.com for updates.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Rally Against Chester Crime]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:37:14 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000006833799_1200x675_234849347652.jpg There will be an anti-crime rally before the Chester City Council meeting today.]]> <![CDATA[In Case You Missed It: Yesterday's Top Stories]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:53:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trenton-Church-Shooting.jpg

Didn't have a chance to catch up on local news yesterday?

1 Person Arrested in Shooting at Teen's Funeral
"We've arrested one individual and we've recovered five weapons," said Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera. "Three in the parking lot adjacent to the church, one at the foyer of the church and one on the individual who was arrested."

Take a Look at a $6M MontCo Mansion
The 1962 Richard Neutra house in Bryn Athyn that was featured in the April edition of the Architectural Digest is on the market.

Another Suspect Booked in Prep School Drug Ring Bust
Dealers allegedly sold drugs in five Main Line high schools and three area colleges.

Man Mowing Lawn Hit by Car in NE Philly
A man mowing the lawn on the median of a busy Northeast Philadelphia roadway was hit by a car sending him to a local hospital.

4 South Philly Restaurants Robbed Overnight
FUEL, a restaurant in a hip South Philadelphia neighborhood known as East Passyunk, was just one of four restaurants hit in a rash of break-ins overnight.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[The Hottest Towns for Home Sales]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:02:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000006833635_1200x675_234848323797.jpg Berkshire Hathaway Realtors release their list of the top five local towns for home sales.]]> <![CDATA[County Relases Mosquito Killers]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:15:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000006833853_1200x675_234811971718.jpg Gloucester County Mosquito Control will be relaeasing 15,000 fish that eat mosquito larva into retention ponds throughout the county.]]> MELISSA S. TREACY | THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS OF LOWER PROVIDENCE]]> <![CDATA[Supporters Want Popular Coach Rehired]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:53:18 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/carousel_image_bdfa9268034a539f242c_Photo_Apr_15__6_50_55_PM.jpg

UPDATE: Tuesday night supporters came out again to speak out on behalf of Anthony Maida.

The Methacton Board of School Directors held its monthly work session before a sea of green T-shirts, speaking to a full house on Tuesday night. The LGI Room of the Methacton High School was standing room only, and it wasn’t for anything on the agenda. The green-dressed supporters, donning shirts that read "Team Maida" were only there for one reason: to tell the board about their disappointment and ask that the recently removed Methacton High School wrestling coach Anthony J. Maida be reinstated.

In a nearly three-hour meeting, more than 40 different speakers stood up, all in support of Maida and against the board’s decision to let him go.

Prior to the public’s opportunity to speak, known as the “Courtesy of the Floor,” Methacton Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe read from prepared statement.

“In the past week, I have seen signs of support for our former high school wrestling coach,” said Zerbe. “In all, these messages are representative of the support a well-liked coach would expect.”

The position of head wrestling coach was opened up on Monday, April 7, according to Zerbe in a decision he said stemmed from a recommendation.

“That decision was made as a recommendation by the high school athletic office, which was supported by the high school principal, and subsequently, following an appeal by the former coach to me, was upheld,” he said.

Despite the criticism from the parents and players, Zerbe said the administration handled the matter correctly.

“This decision, regardless of its popularity, was made appropriately and was communicated to each of the stakeholders in a manner appropriate for the privacy rights attributable to the individual of this issue, which is similar for any other school-related position,” said the superintendent.

Though a massive crowd came to support the former coach, Zerbe said that due to the protective nature of matters pertaining to personnel, it was difficult to share with the public all reasons he may have been let go.

“The opening of the head wrestling position has drawn criticism and concern and is met with misinformation,” said Zerbe. “This information either in whole or in part may stem from our inability to address our stakeholders completely to their liking due to our constraints around this matter.”

Zerbe said he and staff of the high school have done their best to communicate all aspects they are permitted to share with parents and students.

“There have been several communications suggesting that there exists a personality conflict or a philosophical difference of sorts between the high school principal and the former coach,” he said. “Statements to this effect are unfounded in fact and are far from reason for the resulting action.”

Zerbe said, while the board and administration cannot likely answer all questions due to the personnel issues surrounding the topic, reasons being floated around as rumors for the firing are incorrect.

“There are aspects of any position that may not be apparent to the players and the parents, yet are equally or are more valuable than those easily observed,” said Zerbe.

Following his statements, a multitude of speakers lined up to offer public comment on the matter. From former wrestlers, taking time out from college studies, to a PAC-10 wrestling official, former Methacton wrestling coaches, neighboring school district’s coaches, parents and players, a litany of reasons were provided as to why the community present did not feel the decision was a wise one.

Raymond Green, of Collegeville, father of state championship wrestler Tracey Green, started things off, amid a choked up explanation about how much the coach had meant to his own son.

“I think Coach Maida was the best for our team,” said Green. “[Maida] said something. He said ‘I have a lot of coaches calling me about your son, about where you’re going to wrestle, but what I worry about is where you’ll get a degree from.’”

Jeff Madden, of Royersford, was a Methacton graduate and spoke as president of the District I Coaching Association. Madden said he represented all of the wrestling coaches in the PAC-10.

“He is a coach that cares about wrestlers and the Methacton wrestling program,” Madden read to the board. The statement was prepared by Tim Seislove, coach of the Spring-Ford High School’s wrestling program. “My opinion is that not renewing the head wrestling contract of A.J. Maida at Methacton High School would be a loss for Methacton, PAC-10 and District I.”

Dennis Kellon, former Methacton coach of 30 years, teacher for 35 years and current chairman on both the Pennsylvania Chapter and the Southeast Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame, as well as current chairman of D-1 wrestling, said he wasn’t here representing D-1.

“I’m here representing Methacton, all the parents, and tradition you have here at Methacton,” said Kellon. “[Maida] made fine gentlemen.”

Scott Dorn, a PIAA official who lives in the district, had only positive things to say about Maida.

“He embodies core values,” said Dorn.

Four members of the D’Annunzio family spoke in favor of reinstating Maida, including the parents, son Robert currently at Ursinus, and son Michael, age 13.

“How dare you, Mr. Superintendent, tell the parents on Saturday morning that you know what is in the best interest of our children,” said father, Bill D’Annunzio. “How dare you. And how dare you tell them to remain silent in the aftermath of your decision and not attend the school board meeting and not speak out against your power and your decisions.”

Bill D’Annunzio’s tone and remarks garnered a response from the board members, who reminded speakers to keep comments polite.

“How dare you, Madame Principal, after receiving all of our concerns and emails, and letters, to ask the athletic director to talk to the wrestlers and tell them not to appear here tonight to talk about Coach Maida. How dare you try to silence them.”

Other speakers included current Methacton head football coach, Paul Lepre, who said he appreciated the advice from Maida and enjoyed coaching alongside him.

“He is the heart and soul of the Methacton Wrestling program,” said Lepre. He also noted that since the late 90s a revolving door had created frustrations with the program until Maida gave it stability.

Tim Walsh, Perkiomen Valley High School’s head wrestling coach said he got into education because of coaches he had as child.

“I don’t know another coach in this league, including myself, that works as hard,” said Walsh. “I’m jealous of his kids I see here tonight. He has kids working out with him in the mornings, after school. That says a lot about him.”

Countless current and former wrestlers asked for their beloved coach to be reinstated, alongside future Methacton wrestlers who said they were looking forward to having his coach their high school careers.

Kevin Rebert, of Audubon, president the “Outlaws,” Methacton’s Youth Wrestling Club, said he had seen first-hand Maida speak to a lot of kids.

“You can’t teach the passion like AJ has,” said Rebert. “I don’t think you can buy passion. I think that is important to consider in bringing AJ back. It is rare to find coaches that have that type of passion, that type of drive.”

Many parents said the change in coaching came without warning, and questioned the process that coaches are evaluated on in their positions. Some called for a more formal review process, allowing coaches and parents to be aware of any challenges in the future.

Others noted that Maida was a father-figure to some, stating he put the wrestlers school work before their athletics.

Blake Sprayberry, a former Marine, noted that Maida was a good leader for the young men at Methacton.

“When you find a leader who can touch young people like you see here tonight, you do not let them go,” said the 28-year veteran and retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corp. “I know up-close and personal the importance that a good leader can make in a young person’s life. And when you find a leader who drives people to do more than they ever thought possible, who leads by example, who touches young people, who makes them better than they were before, you do not, do not let them go.”

Following the former-Marine’s remarks, the crowd gave a roaring standing ovation.

School board member Jim Phillips said that he appreciated the input from the community.

“I was where you are five years ago,” said Phillips. “I felt the board was arrogant and didn’t hear me, but we do hear you.”

Phillips, who had asked prior to courtesy of the floor to extend an executive session, said he hoped the board would do its due diligence to find out more on the matter.

“That is one of the reasons I want to go back and talk more and ask questions, so we know fully what’s going on from both sides,” said Phillips. “I don’t take offense of what people may say. Criticism is good at times.”

Phillips added he understood that some questions may have to go unanswered, as it was a matter of personnel.

“We do make our votes based on what we learn from the public, and also what we learn on this side, which the public doesn’t necessarily see. We’re in a tough predicament here being that it is a personnel issue and the laws that govern that.”

Following the meeting, Zerbe reiterated his points presented in the read statement. When asked what “next steps” the board may purse, he said the answer plainly.

“Typically the next step is to find a new head coach,” said the Superintendent. “That will be recommended to the board.”

During his statement, Zerbe said the same.

“Now with our focus on the future,” said Zerbe, “we seek to fill the position of head wrestling coach who exhibits the many qualities defined in our core values, has a strong competitive spirit and is attuned to our long-standing district traditions.”

This story was published through a news coverage partnership between The Alternative Press of Lower Providence and NBC10.com

Photo Credit: Melissa S. Treacy | The Alternative Press of Lower Providence]]>
<![CDATA[Power Outage Delays Courthouse Opening]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:47:24 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/gavel10.jpg

A suburban Philadelphia courthouse and government offices will open late this morning due to a power outage.

The Delaware County Government Center and Courthouse offices on W Front Street in Media, Pa. will open two hours late Wednesday morning, according to county officials.

The building is set to open at 10.30 a.m.

According to county officials, the weekly public County Council meeting will begin one hour later than scheduled at 11 a.m.

No word yet on what caused the outage.

If you have business at the courthouse Wednesday, be sure to check the council Twitter feed before you go for updates.

Click here for more news from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.


Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[More Assistance for Sandy Relief]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:30:09 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Sandy+Home+Damaged+Sand+Cumberland+Co.JPG New Jersey will receive $3.6 million for additional aid for Hurricane Sandy. This will give New Jersey funds to hire people to help with the ongoing recovery process.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:49:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/mynypdtwitter.jpg

An NYPD social media campaign backfired when the police department asked New Yorkers for photos with cops and Twitter erupted with unflattering pictures of officers making arrests, tangling with citizens and in some cases wielding their weapons.

The department on Tuesday asked followers on its official Twitter account, @NYPDNews, to post photos of themselves with officers:

"Do you have a photo with a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD."

The #myNYPD hashtag quickly took off when people began tweeting photos that the NYPD would probably rather not highlight. The hashtag became a trending topic, drawing responses from around the world. 

Many of the photos showed the NYPD wrestling with demonstrators and pointing or swinging weapons at civilians. Few included any context.

The captions accompanying the photos were often negative and sarcastic.

"The #NYPD will also help you de-tangle your hair," read one tweet accompanying a photo of officers pulling a woman's hair as she was in handcuffs.

"Need a lift? The #NYPD's got you! Free Delivery, only at #myNYPD" read another, with a photo showing a man being carried by officers from his arms and legs. 

In a statement, the department defended its campaign, saying it was "creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community."

"Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city," the statement read.

Some people did post the kind of police-friendly photos the department hoped to get.


Photo Credit: Twitter/NYPDNews]]>
<![CDATA[Was Stowaway Headed to Africa?]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:51:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/219*120/plane36.jpg

A teen stowaway from California who flew to Hawaii tucked into a plane's wheel well may have been trying to reach family in Africa, where his biological mother lives, an NBC affiliate in Hawaii reported.

A teacher and classmate described the 15-year-old to NBC Bay Area on Tuesday as a quiet boy who, despite some troubles in his English class, mostly keeps to himself.

The boy, who attends high school in the Santa Clara Unified School District, lives with his biological father and a stepmother in Santa Clara, police told Hawaii News Now. But the station reported that the teen was not happy living with so many siblings and step-siblings, and wanted to reunite with his mother in Somalia.

The teen's former English teacher at Oak Grove High, Keith Chung, told NBC Bay Area he did not know much about the teen, other than that he had moved to the U.S. from Africa three years ago and that his father was a cab driver.

Chung said the boy had some recent run-ins in his English-learning class. Those issues, on which Chung did not elaborate, had culminated in a transfer to Santa Clara High.

"I'm totally shocked," Chung said. "I had this random thought that when I heard the news, that wouldn't it be funny if he went to Oak Grove? No, I wouldn't think he would do anything that this. He's very quiet."

Student Emanuael Golla, 18, told NBC Bay Area that the teen had just transferred to Santa Clara High about five weeks ago. Golla described him as very quiet, someone who kept to himself.

And Santa Clara High Principal Greg Shelby said that when the teen returns to school, he will be able to receive psychological services if he wants.

What prompted the teen to hitch a hazardous ride inside the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines plane Sunday at San Jose International Airport remains unclear.

Hawaii News Now reporter Lynn Kawano spoke to a source in the Maui police department who told her that the teen had run away after getting into an argument with his father. The teen then either misunderstood or couldn't read the information on the plane he jumped into, before making the 5 1/2-hour journey to Hawaii. He told the FBI when he landed and was found walking around on the tarmac that he had had a fight with his family, according to Kawano.

But the teen's family told NBC Bay Area in a brief interview Monday that the reports of an argument were untrue.

Both FBI Special Agent Tom Simon and Maui Police Lt. William Juan declined to confirm or deny to NBC Bay Area the report that the boy was trying to head to Africa.

The Department of Human Services in Hawaii said the teen was in the care of Child Welfare Services, and the agency is doing what needs to be done to "ensure the child's safe return to his home in California." While the teen was said to have miraculously survived, Hawaii News Now said he was taken from a hospital in Maui to a hospital in Oahu.

The teen's journey has raised questions about airport security, with many wondering how anyone — especially a high schooler — could scale the barbed wire fence at the airport and escape scrutiny before hiding in the wheel well of a Boeing 767.

Many have also questioned how a person could actually survive a flight in 80-below temperatures with little oxygen flying at 38,000 feet.

The FBI said the teen was was unconscious for most of the flight, and that it was "clearly amazing" that the boy exited the wheel well unscathed.

According to the FAA, the last known survivor of a stowaway incident was in August 2013 on a domestic flight within Nigeria. Since 1947, the FAA has recorded 94 stowaway incidents involving 105 people. Of those, only 25 survived.

The Hawaiian Airlines plane the Santa Clara stowaway hid on returned to San Jose International Airport, April 21, 2014.


 NBC Bay Area's Chase Cain and Dan Pyryt contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Shot at Shopping Complex]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:09:35 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/garfield+shooting+april+22.jpg

A police officer making an undercover drug purchase was shot Tuesday afternoon in a busy New Jersey shopping complex, sending shoppers running for cover as the gunfire erupted.

Prosecutors said the officer was part of a team conducting an undercover drug buy of $400 worth of marijuana around 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Garfield complex that includes a Wal-Mart, a Marshalls and an Applebee's restaurant.

The officer, a nine-year veteran of the Paramus Police Department, was sitting in an undercover car with one suspect. A second suspect approached the car, pointed a gun at the police officer and said "give me everything that you have," prosecutors said.

A struggle ensued and the suspect shot at the cop twice, hitting him in the right hip and left foot, prosecutors said. Backup officers who were nearby returned fire, and the suspect was also shot twice. He is in custody, along with two others.

The midday gunfire alarmed shoppers and workers in the area.

Lena Sarao, who works at Marshalls, said people came running into the store saying there were gunshots outside, and some took cover in the back room.

"We just all went to go hide," she said.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said the transaction "was an average street drug buy," but added that he believed it had been set up by the suspects as a planned theft.


<![CDATA[FedEx Sued Over Deadly California Bus Crash]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:26:32 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/198*120/AP437289118866.jpg

The mother of a 17-year-old honors student who was among 10 people killed in a fiery Northern California bus crash sued FedEx on Tuesday, alleging that its trucks have a history of catching fire.

The negligence suit that seeks $100 million in damages is the first filed in connection with the April 10 freeway crash in Orland, said A. King Aminpour, the attorney for the plaintiffs.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of Rosa Rivera, mother of Jennifer Bonilla of Los Angeles.

The Dorsey High School student had earned a college scholarship. She and other teens were heading north for a free tour of Humboldt State University when the bus was struck head-on by a FedEx truck.

Dozens escaped through windows before the bus exploded into towering flames, but five students, three adult chaperones and both drivers died.

"She had her whole future before her," Aminpour said of Bonilla. "She was the first in her family to ever go to college."

The California Highway Patrol has not determined the cause of the crash 100 miles north of Sacramento.

Some witnesses reported that the FedEx truck was on fire before the crash, and the lawsuit alleges that FedEx trucks have a history of catching fire from mechanical problems, driver error or improper cargo loading.

"Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident," Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp. said in a statement. "We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation."

The suit also names the estate of the FedEx driver and the bus owner, Silverado Stages, as defendants. The bus lacked adequate exit doors that would have allowed passengers to escape after the crash, the lawsuit contends.

A message seeking comment from a Silverado Stages executive after hours Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Mom Gives Autistic Son Friends]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:52:06 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/joshua+birthday.jpg

A Queens woman who says her autistic son doesn't have any friends started a Facebook page for him so he could receive happy birthday wishes.

Brenda Figueroa said her son, Joshua, turned 12 years old Tuesday.

She said on Facebook that her son, who loves comic books, science-fiction stories and drawing, didn't have any friends, and she was sad about that.

Joshua told NBC 4 New York that he gets nervous when trying to talk to new people.

"When I'm trying to make friends, sometimes the kids ignore me," he said.

His father said other kids often just don't understand how to connect with Joshua.

"They see him one way, but they don't understand his behavior or attitude sometimes in certain situations," he said.

His mother said on Facebook that her role is to see that he is loved "by precious people." So she started the page on Monday.

By Tuesday afternoon, he had dozens of friends and many birthday greetings.

"Happy birthday Joshua and many more," said one.

"Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!!" said another.


<![CDATA[Officer Possibly Involved in Easter Dine & Dash]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:48:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tiffany-Dine-and-Dash.jpg

Philadelphia Police are investigating whether one of their own left counterfeit cash for a waitress and then tried to run her over during a getaway.

The 24-year-old waitress told police she was working at Tiffany’s Diner on the 900 block of Roosevelt Boulevard on Easter Sunday. The waitress says she was serving a man and three women at a table shortly before midnight when she brought their check.

Seconds later, the women ran out of the front door while the man left a $50 bill before running out, according to the waitress.

After realizing that the bill was a fake, the waitress ran outside to confront the customers. The waitress says she saw the man and three women go inside a black SUV. As she wrote down the license plate number, the driver of the SUV allegedly tried to run the waitress down.

The waitress says she narrowly avoided being struck by the vehicle as it fled the scene.

Investigators say they traced the tag of the SUV to a Fraternal Order of Police vehicle driven by a Philadelphia police officer. Sources tell NBC10 that the officer works in the 17th District.

“Internal Affairs is aware of the incident,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Stanford. “They’re looking into it to see if a Philadelphia Police officer is involved in this situation.”

While police confirmed that they are looking into the case, they also told NBC10 they couldn’t go into details since it is an Internal Affairs investigation. Police did say however that the officer could end up being suspended or fired if it was determined he or she was involved in the incident.

NBC10 is not revealing the name of the officer since he or she has not been charged at this time. The owner of the diner and the waitress say they turned over the surveillance video of the incident to police. Meanwhile, federal officials are investigating where the counterfeit money came from, according to sources.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged With Painting Swastikas on Businesses]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:06:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Brandon+Wetzel+racial+graffiti+arrests.jpg

A Yardley man was arrested after he allegedly vandalized several businesses in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

On April 17, police discovered several businesses had been vandalized along Route 179 in West Amwell Township. Electrical wires supplying power to the building were cut and swastikas as well as curse words were spray painted on the exterior walls.

Police say they later obtained a description of a vehicle used during the crime.

“It was later determined that a vehicle fitting that description was stopped in the neighboring township of Hopewell on the night in question,” said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns.

The investigation led to the arrest of 20-year-old Brandon Wetzel of Yardley, Pa. In addition to the vandalism, police also say he stole license plates from a vehicle parked in the parking lot near the businesses.

Wetzel was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and theft. He posted $15,000 bail and was released pending a court appearance.

Photo Credit: Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office]]>
<![CDATA[9 Facts About YouTube on Its 9th Anniversary]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:41:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/youtube-463842675.jpg

YouTube, with its bottomless supply of videos, is turning nine.

The first video ever uploaded to YouTube went up on April 23, 2005, nine years ago Wednesday. To commemorate YouTube's ninth anniversary, we've put together nine fun facts about the video sharing site we all know and love.

1. Paypal brought founders together

YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. The trio met at PayPal, where they were all former employees. YouTube's first headquarters sat above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, Calif. 

2. It was originally a dating site

An earlier version of YouTube was a dating site called "Tune In Hook Up," influenced by the site "Hot or Not," which let users rate the attractiveness of potential partners. But the idea of a video version of Hot or Not failed to catch on after a couple of months.

3. What inspired YouTube as we know it

YouTube's founders say two key experiences inspired them to turn what had been a dating site into the video sharing site we all know. Karim had had trouble finding footage online of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction and, later, of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. And Hurley and Chen had difficulty sharing a video shot at a dinner party in San Francisco in 2005.

4. YouTube? Or Utube

The domain name YouTube.com was activated on Valentine's Day in 2005 and the site was developed months after. But the domain name didn't sit well with an Ohio-based industrial equipment supplier called Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment, with the domain "utube.com." Utube.com was flooded with traffic from people trying to spell the video site, and its owners sued YouTube saying its business was hurt. Claims were dismissed, though, and Utube has changed its site to utubeonline.com.

5. And the first-ever YouTube video upload was...

The first video uploaded to YouTube, titled "Me at the zoo," made its online debut on April 23, 2005. The 19-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky and shows YouTube co-founder Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It has racked up 14 million views in its nine years online.

6. April Fools!

Since 2008, YouTube has featured an April Fools' Day prank on April 1 of every year. The first prank, known as "rickrolling," remains a classic: The featured videos on YouTube's main page linked to the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." From turning the site upside-down in 2009 to allowing users to submit ideas for memes in 2014, YouTube knows how to pull a great prank.

7. Surprising stats

YouTube says users worldwide upload 100 hours of video each minute, and more than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and 80 percent of traffic comes from outside the U.S.

8. Most Viewed Music Video of All Time

According to Videotrine, the nod for the most viewed video of all time goes to the music video for PSY's "Gangnam Style," with 1.9 billion views:

9. Most Viewed Viral Video of All Time

Not counting music videos, the most viewed viral video is the classic "Charlie Bit My Finger," which clocks in at 6.9 million views, according to Videotrine:

Photo Credit: Getty Images for YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[City to Pay for Razing Wrong House]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:53:10 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/demolish-wrong-071613.jpg

The Fort Worth City Council has agreed to pay more than $62,000 to a homeowner whose house was mistakenly demolished last summer.

A city crew marked the wrong house for demolition last July. A contractor destroyed 9716 Watercress Drive -- when the crew should have demolished the house next door, 9708 Watercress Drive.

That vacant home was owned by David Underwood. Underwood and his attorney met with city attorneys last month in mediation and agreed to a $102,500 settlement.

On Tuesday, Fort Worth agreed to pay $62,500 to Underwood for the mistake. The remaining $40,000 will be paid by the contractor and the insurance company.

Underwood was not at Tuesday's council meeting.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[This Week's Wednesday's Child]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:34:19 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/meaganvai.jpg NBC10's Vai Sikahema introduces you to some of the area's amazing young people who dream of being connect to a loving forever family. Visit the Wednesday's Child Home Page on NBC10.com

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Penguin Chicks Take 1st Swim]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:25:38 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/MysrticPenguinsSwim1.jpg

Penguin chicks are cute — and penguin chicks swimming are even cuter.

Three African penguin chicks that hatched in January took their first swim at Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium on Tuesday.

They spent the first 13 weeks of life huddled under their parents to stay warm. 

Now that the penguins are almost fully grown, trainers have worked to introduce each chick to a small spray of water to prepare them for their first swim.

Mystic Aquarium is part of the African penguin Species Survival Plan, a breeding program that ensures the long term survival of African penguins in zoos and aquariums. 

Since 1997, the aquarium has reared 19 penguin chicks as part of the program. 

Later this month, a blood sample will be taken to determine the gender of the chicks, which will each receive wing identification beads to show the order in which they joined the Mystic Aquarium’s African penguin colony. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[3 Crashes Into SoCal Home in 6 Mos.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:30:58 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/car+into+highland+home.JPG

After a car smashed through a Southern California home in the third such incident in six months, city officials are doing a traffic study to determine what improvements can be made.

The study of the sweeping downgrade on Tuolumne Lane in Highland will take a couple of weeks and could result in the posting of new signs or cutting the speed limit.

The study is usually done once a year, but officials are making an exception.

Highland is nestled near the San Bernardino Mountains in the Inland Empire.

The news comes after a crash into a home and the arrest of a suspected drunken driver of a Lincoln Towncar who tried to run away.

The car slammed into the family's garage -- with their infant daughter sleeping in a crib 5 feet above. The family moved out of their house and into a hotel temorarily while their home is repaired.

The family whose house was hit said they have been looking for a solution after three vehicles smashed onto their property in six months.

"My first thought is, it’s a huge earthquake," Kristina Sauerwein said.

The impact sheared a gas line and a water line that flooded the home's first floor. The crash also damaged the family's new car that was parked in the garage.

"I opened up the door, and there's just a cloud of debris," Jeff Sauerwein said.

"I actually thought the whole entire car was going to explode," said the couple's son Tristan.

The family rushed to get out of the house.

As they did, the driver of the car ran, too. At one point the family and the driver exchanged words. While running after the driver, the husband dialed 911 from his cellphone, summoning deputies.

The driver was booked into jail on charges of driving under the influence and hit and run, deputies said.

A truck crashed into the family’s front yard in January. Last fall, another car crashed into their gate. The family said they have made calls and written letters to the city asking for help, but said those pleas have gone unanswered.

"Put some speed bumps, some kind of signage up there, to help with this problem, because someone's going to die," Jeff Sauerwein said.

Neighbors told NBC4 that more than a dozen cars had gone into that property in a decade.

<![CDATA[Severe Storms, Heavy Wind Move Through Region]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:59:16 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Lightning-Generic1.jpg

A severe thunderstorm warning has been lifted after storms with heavy rain and wind moved through the area.

The National Weather Service issued the warning for Philadelphia, the North and West suburbs and parts of South Jersey shortly before 8 p.m. The warning was lifted at 8:30 p.m. According to the Weather Service, the storms produced winds that were capable of reaching over 60 mph.

Residents were warned to seek shelter immediately inside sturdy structures and to stay away from windows.


Photo Credit: [UGCDFW-CJ-weather]]]>
<![CDATA[RECALL: Hickory Farms Chipotle Ranch Sauce]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:46:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hickory-Farms-Chipotle-Sauc.jpg

Following a recall by Hickory Farms, Giant Food Stores and Martin's Food Markets announced it removed from sale Hickory Farms Chipotle Ranch Sauce due to an undeclared allergen, milk, on the ingredient label. This product is safe to consume for individuals who do not suffer from a milk allergy.

The following product is included in this recall:

Hickory Farms Farmstand Recipe Chipotle Ranch Sauce, 9 oz., UPC 2135709957, with a best if used by date of February 8, 2015 and earlier.

Giant/Martin's has received no reports of illnesses to date. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk may run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product. Symptoms of food allergies typically appear from within a few minutes to two hours after a person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic. Allergic reactions can include: hives; flushed skin or rash; tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth; face, tongue, or lip swelling; vomiting and/or diarrhea; abdominal cramps; coughing or wheezing; dizziness and/or lightheadedness; swelling of the throat and vocal cords; difficulty breathing; loss of consciousness.

Customers who have purchased the product should discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to GIANT/MARTIN’S for a full refund.

Consumers looking for additional information on the recall may call Hickory Farms Consumer Line at 800-762-5558. In addition customers may call GIANT/MARTIN’S Customer Service at 1-888-814-4268 for more information. Customers can also visit the GIANT website or Martin's website.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
JARED SHELLY | PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL]]> <![CDATA[Swarthmore in Battle for Liquor License in Dry Town]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:44:55 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/Swarthmore+Liquor+Battle.jpg

Swarthmore College is in a court battle with local residents for an exception that would allow a liquor license in the dry town.

The school has plans for a 40-room inn and bar near the school, a plan that's been in the school's sights since the 1990s, NBC10 reports. The case is being held in the Court of Common Pleas.

Maurice Eldridge, vice president of college and community relations at Swarthmore said the establishment would bring commercial life to the area. To find out more about this story, go to PBJ.com.

More NBC10.com stories:

 For more breaking business news go to PBJ.com

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Business Journal]]>