<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usTue, 06 Dec 2016 15:16:47 -0500Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:16:47 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Erratic Driver Strikes, Kills NJ Trooper: Police]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:09:16 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/194*120/Trooper+Frankie+Williams.JPG

An erratic driver struck and killed a promising young New Jersey State Trooper in Millville, Cumberland County Monday night, said New Jersey State Police. The erratic driver also died in the head-on wreck, said investigators.

Trooper Frankie Williams, 31, was responding to the erratic driver call around 7 p.m. and traveling northbound on State Highway 55 at milepost 22.2 when a man driving southbound in a Toyota Corolla -- that matched the erratic vehicle description -- crossed the grass median and entered the northbound lanes, said stat police.

The Corolla struck Williams' vehicle head-on.

The Corolla driver -- identified as 61-year-old Lloyd Rudley of Elmer, New Jersey -- was pronounced dead at the scene. Trooper Williams was flown to Cooper University Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Williams, of Atlantic City, was assigned to the Port Norris Station. He was a member of the 156th State Police Class which graduated on Jan. 29, 2016. NJSP called him a "bright and promising trooper."

Route 55 northbound was closed at the scene of the crash.

The wreck remained under investigation Tuesday. Rudley's car matched descriptions of the erratic vehicle that Williams was responding to at the time of the wreck, witnesses told state police investigators.

Photo Credit: New Jersey State Police
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<![CDATA[Half-Marathoner Lost for 12 Hours]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:33:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/120516+marathon+runner+gets+lost.jpg

Melissa Kitcher had full intentions of completing her first half-marathon Sunday, but it's safe to say she pictured it ending a little bit differently.

Kitcher went missing for nearly 12 hours after running off the trail during the Trail Hog Half-Marathon at the Carlton Reserve near Venice in Sarasota County, Florida.

"I kept thinking to myself, 'Wow, how do people run these trails? I can't even walk them,'" she said. "When I hit the power lines I said, 'Yes I'm definitely way off course. I'm lost.'"

But how did she manage to get lost?

Kitcher said there was no marking to indicate or properly direct her. “The website says you're supposed to be on Jeep trails. So when I came out there was a Jeep trail and I figured that was the path I needed to be on," Kitcher explained.

The runner ended up six to seven miles off course with no phone — it inconveniently froze up two minutes before the start of the race, she said.

Race director Thierry Rouillard had this to say about the situation: "It's the worst nightmare for a race director. I love what I do and want everyone to be happy. That was her first half-marathon. That was her first trail run. She learned the hard way.”

Kitcher ended running over 16 miles before the park’s department located her in the reserve about 7:30 p.m.

She was uninjured. Thirsty, of course, but just happy she could go home.

“She was happy when we found her. I'm going to send her a gift package with racing stuff. A finisher's medal and award for the longest Trail Hog half-marathon in the history of the event," Rouillard joked.

Despite going a little off course, Kitcher already has sights set on redemption.

"There's the Sarasota Half Marathon on March 19th. I already have that in my head," she said. "Everybody keeps telling me no more races, I said I'm lucky this one's on the street."

Photo Credit: SNN-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Singer Granger Smith Partially Collapses Lung at NJ Concert]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:30:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Granger+Smith.jpg

Country music artist Granger Smith is back in Texas after he was hospitalized for injuries sustained when he fell off a stage in New Jersey.

Smith posted Tuesday on Twitter that he's starting to regain movement.

Smith was treated for two broken ribs and a punctured and partially collapsed lung at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

He was singing while standing on an audio monitor when it gave way and he fell into a metal barricade at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on Friday night. He got back up and continued performing.

His remaining 2016 shows have been canceled.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Country Thunder
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<![CDATA[Transgender Community Wants Proper Identification ]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:06:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Bohka_Pines_Askew.jpg

The Oakland warehouse artists' enclave was supposed to be a safe place, emotionally and spiritually, for the artists and free spirits who chose lives off the beaten track. An electronic music party had also attracted many in the transgender community, who had come together on Friday night, as they did regularly, to dance with friends and blow off steam.

But physically, the enclave wasn't safe at all on Friday. A fire ripped through the illegally converted warehouse at 1305 East 31st Avenue in the city's Fruitvale neighborhood, killing at least 36 people.

It's the deadliest blaze in Oakland history, and it counts at least three transgender people among the victims: Cash Askew, 22, of Oakland; Feral Pines, 29, of Berkeley and Em Bohlka, 33, of Oakland. All are transgender women. 

The father of one is lamenting how few spaces trans people have to gather safely.

"My heart goes out to the entire trans community who feel as if they must gather in unsafe buildings to experience their community and celebrate their identity," said Jack Bohlka in an Instagram post remembering his daughter, Em. 

She and the others preferred their new names be used to identify them, instead of the ones they were born with, following commonly accepted tradition in the trans community. And that's let authorities to have to deal with an unorthodox situation; one they said they're willing to comply with, albeit with a few mistakes.

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What's in a Name?
When Feral Pines was identified as a victim in the fire, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office on Monday first gave her name as Justin Fritz, how she was born. That was corrected and the sheriff tweeted an apology.

In an interview on Tuesday, Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. J.D. Nelson said the coroner's office is now identifying the victims to the public by the names their families — not their friends — ask for, and will note the legal name, if different, on the official death certificate. Alameda County sheriff's Tya Modete added that department was working with an LGBT advocate to report the proper gender identification.

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A name means a lot in the trans community, a fact that was known by most, if not all, of the creative, musical and artistic party goers at the warehouse on Friday night.

"It's called 'dead naming,'" Carol Dauley, an audio engineer and past president of Transgender SF said in an interview on Tuesday. "That means their old name no longer exists. It's disrespectful, and in the eyes of the trans community, there is never a good reason to use the old name."

Scout Wolfcave, executive director at the Trans Assistance Project in Portland and a friend to one of the victims, said using the right names and pronouns is especially important for trans people when they die.

"Many in the transgender community don't want to be referred to by the names they were given at birth, because when they transition from one gender to another, they want to make a clean break from the past," Wolfcave wrote on Facebook.

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Feral Pines: 'Shined in the Sun'
Wolfcave was roommates with Pines, who moved to the Bay Area from Indiana and was originally from Connecticut. She graduated from Staples High School in 2005 and attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where she studied offset lithography, her father said. She had always loved music.

"I had just texted her on Friday, telling her about something I was doing with my daughter that she and I use to do together and I know that she saw it, so that makes me feel better," Pines' sister, Amanda Parry, told News 12 in Connecticut.

On Facebook, Wolfcave reminisced about being really close with Pines — they loved and hated most of the same things.

"We also all had eerily similar senses of humor and were constantly joking about death, burners, body horror, poop, tiny glasses, gogurt," Wolfcave wrote. "Conversely, there were a few things that Feral and I would always argue about, like ... whether one would rather go to Burning Man or the Gathering of the Juggalos."

Pines moved to California recently and just "blossomed," Wolfcave wrote.

"She went from the comically sad basement dwelling synth collector," Wolfcave wrote, "to a person that shined in the sun, and moved up and down the 1, and took in the fresh air and saw all these fresh possibilities open up before her."

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Cash Askew: 'Brilliant, Talented, Unique' Student
Askew, a graduate of Urban High School in San Francisco, was active in the Bay Area music and art scene and was part of a band called Them Are Us Too. "Them" is a preferred pronoun for many in the transgender community instead of "him" or "her."

The band's debut album on Dais Records, Remain, was released in 2015.

"Cash Askew was an absolutely loved and treasured member of the Dais Records family," the label and band's management team said in a statement.

"We were in awe of her talent, her gentle kindness, and her creative momentum," it continued. "Her passing is an excruciating loss that we may never fully process or recover from."

Askew also was a 2008 graduate of the Children's Day School in San Francisco. "She was a brilliant, talented, unique, nonconformist student," Head of School Molly Huffman wrote in a letter, noting that Askew transitioned to female after middle school.

CDS teacher Terry Askhinos wrote a letter to the school remembering Askew as "a gentle, free spirited 13-year-old who always found ways to be an individual, whether it was in her class work, her fiction writing, her fashion, her art, or her political convictions. Cash was always one step ahead of the rest of us and I often held her up as an example to the class of how to make learning a work of art."

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Em Bohlka: Beginning her Transition
Her father, Jack Bohlka of Claremont, Calif. took to Instagram to document his child's life.


"Many of you will remember her as Matt. But recently she was transitioning to become a beautiful, happy woman. She took the name Em. I just wish with all my heart that she had more time to live her life as she truly wanted. My heart goes out to the entire trans community who feel as if they must gather in unsafe buildings to experience their community and celebrate their identity. Our communities must become more open and accepting of all people, all identities, so that everyone can enjoy a great party or concert in a space that is not a death trap."

He also told NBC Bay Area in a statement he will be establishing a fund at his local LGBT center in memory of Em, so that more transgender people will be able to become who they truly are, and so that there will be more safe spaces available.”

Donations to the Oakland warehouse fire victims can be made at YouCaring.com

Photo Credit: Family
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<![CDATA[Teen Surrenders to Face Charges in 14-Year-Old's Murder]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:51:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Ian+Wilsey+_21642864.jpg

More than a week after a teenage boy was gunned down in Philadelphia's Mayfair section during an apparent robbery attempt, Philadelphia Police announced charges against a fellow teenager.

A yet-to-be-identified 19-year-old turned himself into Philadelphia homicide detectives Tuesday to face murder charges in the killing of 14-year-old Ian Wilsey, said Philadelphia Police.

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Wilsey was on the 6200 block of Brous Avenue at 9 p.m. on Nov. 28 when at least one unidentified gunman opened fire. The teen was struck three times in the chest and torso. Donna Dressler, a Mayfair resident, found him lying on the ground moments after the shooting.

"I was down the basement, I heard 'pop, pop, pop,'" Dressler said. "I quick, ran out the door and I wasn't expecting to see a young kid laying down like that."

Wilsey, who would have turned 15 in a few weeks, died a short time later. The teen was not from the immediate area where he was killed but he had an address connected to a home in the neighborhood.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said it appeared that Wilsey was the victim of a robbery. Investigators spoke to the 16-year-old Wilsey was with in an attempt to find out if the boy was targeted.

Wilsey attended Northeast High School. Friends and family gathered last week for a vigil in his memory.

"He was very tight with me, and somebody took him," wailed mom Kelly Wilsey.

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<![CDATA['Never Forget' Tribute Classic Honors 9/11 Victims]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:44:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/Sixers+CEO+76ers+Scott+ONeil.JPG Sixers CEO Scott O'Neil stopped by NBC10 to discuss the Never Forget Tribute Classic college basketball double-header as well as the latest on the 'The Process' of the 76ers.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Purse Snatcher Gets Away After Dragging Victim]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:39:21 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/South+Philly+Purse+Snatcher.JPG The thief was caught on surveillance video dragging a woman with a car after stealing her purse outside a South Philadelphia grocery store.

Photo Credit: Surveillance image released by Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Kimmel Center Holding 'Hairspray Live!' Viewing Party]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:34:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NUP_175042_0002.JPG The Kimmel Center in Center City Philadelphia will be open to fans Wednesday night for a Hairspray Live! Viewing Party.

Photo Credit: NBCUniversal]]>
<![CDATA[Nordstrom Is Selling a Stone for $85]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:21:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/nordstrom+stone.jpg

For just $85, your pet rock memories from childhood can come back to life -- all thanks to Nordstrom.

The department store recently added a "unique rock" or "medium wrapped leather stone," to its website. Made by Los-Angeles based company Made Solid, the stone was handmade by artist Peter Maxwell.

Some wondered whether the item was a real product or not. 

"A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you," an ad on Nordstrom's website reads.

People took to social media, as well as the comments section of the website to poke fun at the stone.

Photo Credit: Nordstrom]]>
<![CDATA[Syrian Girl Chronicling Aleppo Siege Back on Twitter]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:23:38 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16340488013303-Aleppo-Shelling-Syria-rebels.jpg

The seven-year-old girl from Syria who has recounted on Twitter her family's struggle in the nation's conflict is back online, after the account went dark amid an attack nearby.

Bana al-Abed lives in besieged Aleppo, and says she is fine, despite a recent bombardment. Her Twitter account disappeared from the internet on Sunday, sparking speculation online that the mother and daughter had been captured.

The account's last tweet before the account was deactivated read, "We are sure the army is capturing us now," and was written by Bana's mother, Fatemah.

Some worried that the Syrian army had found the family's hiding place and deleted the account. The hashtag #WhereIsBana surfaced, as users wondered why the account disappeared. Author J.K Rowling, who has spoken with the girl before, tweeted messages with the hashtag.

But a spokesperson for humanitarian group Syria Charity told NBC News that the family was not captured, and the Twitter account returned Monday, though with Bana and her family apparently still in danger.

"Under attack. Nowhere to go, every minute feels like death. Pray for us. Goodbye," Fatemah al-Abed said.

Tuesday brought better news and direct word from Bana, though bombing was still on her mind. She said she was fine in her slightly more up-beat tweet, and that she is "getting better without medicine with too much bombing."

The al-Abed family has chronicled the horrors of living in Aleppo as the Syrian conflict continues. Their account has garnered 213,000 followers.

Relieved users sent positive messages to the family once the account resurfaced, urging them to stay safe and offering prayers.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Part of MLK Drive Closed for Construction]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:51:13 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/MLK+River+Wall.JPG The eastbound lane of Martin Luther King Drive will be closed from Sweet Briar Drive to Eakins Oval for work along the Schuylkill River Wall. The project is set to run until Jan. 20, 2017.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Manager Refuses to Answer Safety Questions]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:37:17 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1205-2016-DerickAlmena.jpg

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The man who founded and ran the artists' collective at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland said he is grief stricken and "incredibly sorry" after the tragic fire that took his home and many of his friends. 

But in speaking out about the tragedy he refused to answer questions about safety concerns, telling NBC's "Today" show that he would rather "get on the floor and get trampled by the parents" or "let them tear at my flesh than answer these ridiculous questions." 

Derick Almena is the lease holder of the converted warehouse in Oakland that caught fire Friday night, killing at least 36 people who had gathered there for a dance party. 

"I'd gladly would give my entire life of fortune, of wealth and experence again and again," Almena said first in an interview with NBC Bay Area. "There's nothing more important than the lives lost there." 

Almena, 46, said he did not organize or attend the event, which he described as a fusion of art and culture. Instead, he decided to rent a hotel for the night for his wife and three children. 

City officials said the space was not permitted as a residential building, but Almena said about 20 people lived there. Almena said the group was a collective of young artists called Satya Yuga, and that he was like the group's grandfather.

"The center we all lived there, and was one of creativity, and beauty, and optimism," Almena told NBC Bay Area.

Almena, who was convicted in January of receiving stolen property and is now on probation, said police had been in and out of the East Oakland building through the past few years to respond to break-ins and other concerns of the people who lived there. 

"They'd come in and walk through our space, and they'd always say, 'Wow, what an amazing space,'" Almena said. 

In a follow-up interview on NBC's "Today" show, Almena said he was "only there to say one thing -- that I am incredibly sorry and that everything that I did was to make this a stronger, more beautiful community and to bring people together." 

The interview grew contentious when Almena was asked about allegations that he was more concerned about making profits than safety. Almena said he didn't want to "talk about me." 

"Profit? This is not profit, this is loss," he said on "Today." "This is a mass grave." 

“People didn’t walk through those doors because it was a horrible place," he said. "People didn’t seek us out to perform and express themselves because it was a horrible place.” 

Almena and his wife, Micah Allison, are cooperating with investigators and want to offer their hearts to the victims and their families, he said. 

"We haven't been in any way hiding from this," Allison told NBC Bay Area. 

"We're sorry to the families and all the friends that have lost loved ones," Almena said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Glenn's Blog: Rain Then an Arctic Blast]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:52:26 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PolarVortex-AP_968687082427.jpg


There’s a lot of rain in the Southern U.S. and much of it is heading our way. It’s a sure bet to hit us Tuesday afternoon and night. Only the details of exact timing and rain amounts are in question. It looks like a nice, sold, soaking rain-just the type to help ease the drought. But it also doesn’t look heavy enough to cause a flood threat. 

Here’s the radar showing the big rain area (zoom out to find it).

And here’s what one of our computer models is showing for 8pm Tuesday (around the peak of the event):

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The yellow and reddish colors represent heavier rain, so I expect at least a brief period of downpours. 

The area in blue is snow, and you’ll notice some of it is dark blue. That represents heavy snow, but it’s mostly confined to the northern part of PA. So, the Poconos could see accumulating snow, perhaps even several inches. Just a bit farther south, and at lower elevations, it should be just about all rain. 


I first had the dramatic drop in temperatures in my forecast from last Tuesday, Nov. 29th. That was Day 10 of our 10-Day forecast. The next day, I had a forecast high of only 39 degrees for Friday, Dec. 9th-a full 10 degrees below normal. See, we can sometimes be precise in a forecast even TEN days in advance. That’s why we are the only ones to do a 10-day forecast every day. 

Here is what the Arctic air mass looks like tonight. The coldest air has just moved down into Montana from western Canada, with temperatures near zero:

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By the time the arctic air gets here on Friday, it won’t be as severe. Here are the temperatures predicted by one model for first thing Saturday morning:

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Those are low temperatures in the 20s. But the wind at the time will probably make it feel like the teens. That’s quite a change from our mild November. 

The unseasonably cold weather should last through the weekend, but it won’t be long-lasting….this time. Here’s the forecast from the “Best of the Best” that I’ve described in the past: Ensembles of the European model (the model is run 51 times, and the results averaged):

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Those blue and purple colors represent temperatures way below normal on December 15th. It sure looks like December is going to turn out to be a much different type of month than November.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[NBC10, Telemundo62 Award $100K to Local Nonprofits]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:40:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/21st-Century-Horizontal---HiRes.jpg

NBC10 and Telemundo62 partnered with the NBCUniversal Foundation and donated $100,000 in grants to three local nonprofits in the Philadelphia region as part of the 21st Century Solutions grant challenge.

The winning organization was Mighty Writers, they received $50,000. Camden City Garden Club and Norris Square Neighborhood Project were the runners-up and each received $25,000 grants.

"We're proud to support local nonprofits that are pursing ideas and innovative solutions to help our communities move forward," said Ric Harris, president and general manager of NBC10 and Telemundo62. "This year's 21st Century Solutions grant challenge winners are addressing many real life challenges that our communities face day-to-day and we're excited that these grants will help build stronger communities."

El Futuro's bilingual foundation, Mighty Writers, is focused on educating Spanish-speaking students in Philadelphia and helping them think and write with clarity. Mighty Writers takes two groups of struggling students in grades 2 through 4 and grades 5 through 8, evaluates their skills, and advises them on where they can help. The program has a 62-percent proficiency rate and a 75-percent confidence rate.

The Camden City Garden Club introduces students in Camden City schools to urban farming and healthy eating through an innovative, environmentally focused STEM curriculum. Students are able to hone their science lab skills  and enhance their understanding of the natural world around them. The program heightens interest in science-related fields and improves students' diets by having access to healthy foods.

The Norris Square Neighborhood Project helps children develop organizing and advocacy skills through peer-to-peer educational opportunities in food justice, community land preservation, and Latina cultural preservation. Participants lead "Garden Exploration" workshops for their peers weekly and quarterly workshops for neighboring schools.Students learn about gardening, nutrition, and cultural topics while sharing fresh, affordable, chemical-free produce to neighborhood residents.

This is the fifth year that the 21st Century Solutions grant challenge will award $1.2 million to 30 nonprofits across the country.

The winners were chosen by a community panel created by NBCUniversal stations.

To see the full list of winners from around the country, click here.

<![CDATA[Oakland Warehouse Blaze: Faces of the Victims]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:12:11 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/4Oakland.jpg

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Photo Credit: Family
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<![CDATA[Newly Built Off-Ramp in Montco]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 10:55:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018246488_1200x675_825927235586.jpg PennDOT opened a new off-ramp along Route 422 in Lower Pottsgrove Township Monday.]]> <![CDATA[New Jersey Leaders Discuss PTC]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:31:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tren-sin-frenos-maquinista-thumbnail.jpg State leaders in New Jersey will meet over ways to make the rails safer after a deadly New Jersey Transit crash in Hoboken.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10 Responds: Broken Blinds]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:01:15 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000018244379_1200x675_825815107856.jpg When a customer needed back up, she called Harry Hairston and NBC10 Responds.]]> <![CDATA[10 Heroin Overdoses, 4 Deaths, in 10 Days in Bucks Co. Town]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 09:17:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Heroin21.JPG

Ten people overdosed on heroin and four died in just 10 days in one Bucks County community.

Falls Township Police said the 10 new overdoses brought the township’s total to around 80 on the year – 20-plus resulting in death. Around 34,000 people live in the township, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

Two of the recent deadly doses appeared to have come from Philadelphia while the other two likely came from Trenton, said police.

The news of the deadly overdoses comes on the heels of nine deadly overdoses in Philadelphia over the weekend. Those overdoses appear to be caused by a bad patch of the opioid circulating around the city’s drug scene.

<![CDATA[NYC Subway Rat vs. Dinner Roll]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:10:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/dinner+roll+rat.jpg

This so-called Roll Mole is giving Pizza Rat a run for its money.

A rat was recorded dragging a comically large dinner roll on the subway tracks on the Upper East Side last Thursday, another sign of the determination the city's rats apparently possess when it comes to acquiring food bigger than them. 

Christian Waugh told NBC 4 New York he was waiting for a train home from a Christmas concert rehearsal when he noticed the rat trying to drag the large dinner roll along the subway tracks at the 51st Street subway station.

Waugh said as he reached for his phone, the rat seemed to give up and dash away. However, the rat came back moments later to fight for his dinner. Waugh was able to take a quick video on his phone.

“I started recording his actions but noticed that no one else on the platform was paying attention whatsoever,” Waugh told NBC 4 New York. “Most were just on their phone with no clue regarding the epic activity that was taking place.”

Waugh said the event reminded him of Pizza Rat, but found the furtive antics of the dinner roll rat to be hilarious.

Waugh’s friend dubbed the rodent the “Roll Mole.”

Photo Credit: Christian Waugh]]>
<![CDATA[What Triggered Foam Flood in Center City?]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:38:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PECO+Substation+Fire.jpg

A tripped transformer is being blamed for a foamy mess that billowed out of a Center City Philadelphia substation over the weekend and onto streets and yards.

Despite residents in the area hearing "popping" sounds there was no explosion Saturday afternoon at the PECO substation along S. Juniper Street near Lombard Street, said PECO spokesman Ben Armstrong Monday.

"There was this loud bang noise and I was like, 'Oh boy. I hope everything is OK," said witness Christian Bygott.

A circuit breaker in one of two large transformers in the red-brick facility surrounded by row homes and apartments went offline. The tripping of that breaker caused the "pop" and a flash that people mistook for a possible explosion around 1 p.m., said PECO.

Once the system tripped, the building began to pump out a white foam as the station's fire suppression system automatically activated, pouring foam out of the building – some wound up in Bygott's backyard.

"[It was] sort of like that old movie, 'The Blob' except it was its really super slow cousin," he said.

The foam also pushed out of the roof of the empty substation. At one point the foam on the street was around 6-feet high.

The foam suppression system is set to automatically trigger when something goes wrong with the transformers, said PECO. Once it triggers, the foam will continue to pour out until the system is manually turned off or the foam – intended to be at least enough to coat the entire building – runs out, said PECO. It wasn’t clear, which happened in this case.

Around 17 units, including a Hazmat Task Force, were sent to the foam-flooded street. The foam is similar to the substance used in washing machines and is non-hazardous, according to officials. They also say it has no detrimental effects on the environment. Crews washed away much of the foam.

The utility continued to internally investigate the incident Monday, which temporarily knocked out power to about 2,500 customers and left around 650 customers without power for around three hours. Armstrong told NBC10 that PECO was looking into the chronology of events that led up to the incident and what triggered the fire suppression system.

PECO had not reached out to law enforcement, they said. The FBI told NBC10 that they were not investigating the issue and that it appeared to be an electrical issue.

Luckily no one was inside the building at the time and no one was hurt.

Photo Credit: Jason Ginsberg
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<![CDATA[Little Sleep Bad for Drivers: Study]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:30:57 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Blurry-cars-generic.jpg

Not getting enough sleep every night doubles the risk of crashes on the road, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study, released on Tuesday, states that drivers who get one to two hours less sleep than the recommended seven hours every night nearly double their risk of being involved in a crash.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel. Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35 percent of drivers sleep less than seven hours. Also, one in five fatal crashes every year involves drowsy driving, AAA said.

The research also reported that sleeping only four to five hours more than quadrupled the crash risk—getting less than four hours of sleep, the risk went up 11.5 times.

Signs of drowsy driving include drifting from lanes and having trouble keeping eyes open, AAA said.

AAA Foundation recommends giving yourself a break every two hours on long drives, not eating heavy foods, traveling with people and taking turns driving.

The data used by the study was taken from the NHTA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Filmmaker, Conn. Woman Killed in Oakland Inferno]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 15:00:26 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/2+from+tri+state+killed+in+oakland.jpg

A New Jersey filmmaker and a Connecticut woman were killed in a deadly fire that tore through a warehouse in Oakland, California, during a music festival there on Friday night. 

Filmmaker Alex Ghassan, 35, was on a coroner's list of 10 additional identified victims put out by the city of Oakland on Monday. 

Friends and family of Ghassan had been holding out hope but fearing for the worst on Sunday, less than two days after the blaze killed at least 36 people in what has since been deemed one of the country’s deadliest structure fires.

"We don't know anything. We're all prayerful. We're waiting for answers, we have no answers," his mother Emilie Grandchamps told NBC 4 New York Monday in Orange, New Jersey. 

"It's excruciating to wait for him," said Grandchamps, who was going to fly to California with some form of her son's DNA "so that they can tell me something."

“I’m heartbroken, but I’m trying to stay optimistic,” Richardine Bartee, a friend of Ghassan, said.

But Ghassan's aunt, Junie Moscova, got emotional on Monday — before news of his death broke — as she told NBC 4 New York that she fears it might be time to accept that he won't return.

“The fact that we've tried to call his phone a couple times and it's gone straight to voicemail, and we're not hearing anything specifically from him,” she said. “We're kind of bracing ourselves for whatever the news may be.”

Ghassan posted Instagram video that appears to be from inside the warehouse dance party just an hour before the deadly fire broke out.

Ghassan's fiancee Hannah also has not been seen or heard. A friend of the couple was able to make it out and spoke to Ghassan's family.

"He was really trying to make sure that Alex and Hannah got out, too, but unfortunately by the time he winded up getting out, the ceriling had caved in, and Alex and Hannah were still in the building," said Moscova. 

Ghassan was a director well known in Brooklyn for helping up and coming musicians. He was also a father of two young girls.

"He has so much to live for," she continued, adding Ghassan worked in the Supreme Court in California and had other up-and-coming businesses. "Alex had a lot to live for, not to die for."

Grandchamps called Ghassan a "bull," describing him as a fighter and a fast thinker. 

"My son is absolutely phenomenol," said Grandchamps. "He's an artist at heart, a wonderful dad, a wonderful son, a wonderful friend. And we're waiting. We're waiting. We're just waiting and we're doing our best." 

Dozens of other families are also still anxiously waiting for news about their loved ones. It’s not known how many people were at the warehouse when the fire broke out.

In Westport, Connecticut, the family of Feral Pines received a phone call from the coroner's office Sunday night saying that she had died, according to her father Bruce Fritz. Pines loved art and music and had just moved to Oakland a few months ago.

"She was an amazingly kind and beautiful person who had the strength to be her true self, even when she knew that was not going to be an easy path," sister Amanda Parry told News 12 Connecticut. 

Also missing is Gridden Madden from Morristown, New Jersey, who is an alumnus from UC Berkeley.

Meanwhile, the death toll continues to rise. The number of victims was nine on Saturday night — by Sunday it hit 33, and then 36 on Monday, with 33 of them identified. The sheriff's department in Alameda County says it doesn't believe the number of victims will grow drastically. Victims range in age from 17 years old to people in their 30s.

Firefighters are searching night and day through rubble and ash. They said Monday that they had searched about 75 percent of the building.

New concerns have been raised about the warehouse, known as the “Ghost Ship.”

Photos show the artist compound cluttered with wood furniture and art pieces. There were no smoke alarms or sprinklers, and there were only two exits in the building and no easy way to get downstairs from the second floor, where many of the bodies were found.

A criminal investigation was launched Sunday and Oakland officials said something more should have been done.

<![CDATA[Oakland Mayor Shouted Down at Vigil for Fire Victims]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:26:51 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_16341216327258.jpg

A vigil in honor of victims of the deadly Oakland, California, warehouse fire briefly turned into a political confrontation Monday night as saddened, angry participants shouted down the city's mayor with obscenities and boos, NBC News reported.

Several hundred people showed up at the Oakland Pergola and Colonnade at Lake Merritt for speeches and remembrances three days after at least 36 people were killed as flames engulfed the converted warehouse during a concert and party.

Amid an emotional outpouring from people who knew the victims, some speakers urged the city to protect "nontraditional warehouse residences" and "fringe places" where some Oaklanders have sought shelter as the city's housing costs skyrocket.

Boos and calls to resign greeted Mayor Libby Schaaf, whom some have criticized as emphasizing the warehouse's code violations in the hours immediately after the fire, instead of the shortage of affordable housing.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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<![CDATA[10 at 7: What You Need to Know Today]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:06:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Clock_Wht.jpg

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


NJ State Trooper, Man Killed in Head-On Crash: A New Jersey State Trooper and another man were killed in a head-on crash in Millville, Cumberland County Monday night. Trooper Frankie Williams, 31, was responding to a call for service around 7 p.m. and traveling northbound on State Highway 55 at milepost 22.2. As he was driving, a man traveling southbound in a Toyota Corolla crossed the grass median and entered the northbound lanes, according to investigators. The Corolla struck Williams' vehicle head-on. The driver of the Corolla, who has not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. Trooper Williams was flown to Cooper University Hospital where he later died from his injuries. Williams, of Atlantic City, was assigned to the Port Norris Station. He was a member of the 156th State Police Class which graduated on January 29, 2016.

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It's a cold start to Tuesday morning but a warm up is expected as clouds roll in later in the day. Rain is expected by the afternoon with some downpours at times in the evening. The rain is expected to move out by Wednesday when the sun returns. Temperatures could begin to dip by Thursday with partly sunny skies. Friday and the weekend is expected to be windy and cold with temperatures in the 30s. High Temp: 47 Degrees  Get your full NBC10 First Alert forecast here.

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Armed Robber Shoots Teen Boy in Head in Philly Park: A teenager is fighting for his life after he was shot by an armed robber in the Germantown section of Philadelphia Monday night. The 17-year-old boy was sitting in the pavilion area of Fernhill Park on the 300 block of Apsley Street at 8:18 p.m. when he was approached by an unidentified gunman. Police say the gunman stole the teen’s cellphone and wallet before opening fire. The teen was shot in the head and hip. The gunman then fled and jumped in a van which traveled south on Morris Street. The teen managed to run across the street and a witness called police. The teen was taken to Temple University Hospital where he is currently in critical condition.


10 More Victims ID'd in Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire: The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau positively identified 10 more victims of the Oakland warehouse fire late Monday night. The fire's death toll stood at 36 on Monday, with about 75 percent of the building searched. Officials say they've identified a total of 22 victims and notified their families. They've released 17 names. The death toll in the warehouse fire may rise in the coming days, officials said.


Prosecutors Can Use Cosby's Deposition at Trail, Judge Says: Damaging testimony that Bill Cosby gave in an accuser's lawsuit, including admissions that he gave young women drugs and alcohol before sex, can be used at his criminal sex assault trial, a judge ruled Monday. The defense had insisted that Cosby only testified after being promised he wouldn't be charged over his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. But his lawyers at the time never had an immunity agreement or put anything in writing. "This court concludes that there was neither an agreement nor a promise not to prosecute, only an exercise of prosecutorial discretion," Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill wrote in his ruling. Cosby, 79, acknowledged in the 2006 deposition that he had a string of extramarital relationships with young women. He called them consensual, but many of the women say they were drugged and molested.


Sixers Lose to Nuggets: The Sixers lost 98 to 106 against the Denver Nuggets. Get your full sports news at CSNPhilly.

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See more Top News Photos here.


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@nathansz captured this cool photo of a Fishtown street.

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


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Check out this Google pop up shop. Watch more here.


Dazzling Holiday Display in Ambler: A family in Montgomery County is taking the holiday spirit to a whole new level. Take a look at this Ambler family's elaborate display. Read more.


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

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