<![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 Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:31:41 -0500 Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:31:41 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ex-Marine Confesses to Killing Wife]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:30:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/caleb-crew-andrea.jpg

A former Marine who pled guilty to strangling his wife and dumping her body in a river, confessed to the murder in a chilling recorded interview with two detectives. For the first time outside the courtroom, Caleb Crew's confession can be heard in the audio-taped police interview obtained by News4.

"You're going to feel better when you get this off your chest."
"It's obviously painful she's gone. Just walk us though it."
"Take a deep breath and walk us through it. I know you can do it."

Over and over, in calm, measured voices, Fairfax County, Virginia, detectives Chris Flanagan and Eric Deane turned to those phrases to try to get Caleb Crew to tell the truth. Their interview was conducted on Aug. 10, 2013 two days after the Marine veteran Crew called 911 to report his wife Andrea missing.

Crew pleaded guilty to murder just last month, the confession a powerful piece of evidence that would have been critical at trial.

In the taped interview, the detectives talk with Crew for nearly two hours, urging him to come clean. He finally gets emotional and begins to provide chilling details about why and how he killed his wife.

Crew tells detectives the couple had gone to court on Aug. 8, 2013 where a previous domestic violence charge against him was dropped. On the way home they argued, and Crew stopped his Jeep in a parking lot. Andrea then threatened to call 911.

Crew tells detectives what happened next:

"I took the phone. I grabbed her out of her chair. She only weights 112 pounds. I grabbed her throat and strangled her in the back seat."

A detective asked whether Crew spoke to his wife.

"First thing I said, 'Goodbye.' I knew once I went down that path I couldn't go back. She said, 'Please Caleb.' I started crying but I couldn't stop," said Crew.

He then tells detectives, though he wife lay lifeless in the SUV, he checked and found a pulse. So he took off the tie he'd worn to court and wrapped it around Andrea's neck.

"Tightly?" asks one detective.
Crew: "Yeah"
Detective: "Why?"
Crew: "To finish the job."

Later that night Crew strapped a backpack filled with weights to his wife's body and threw her in the Occoquon River.

"What was the purpose of the backpack?" asked detectives.
"To take her to the bottom," replied Crew.
"Did you think there was still hope you could get away with it," asked the detective.
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking at the time," said Crew.

Crew tells detectives his biggest immediate worry was the couple's two young daughters, one just 11 months old and still breastfeeding.

"I was thinking, I don't know how else I'll live life after this. I don't want to mess up the girls' lives, of course, I already had. And thinking I have to cover it up," said Crew.

The cover-up lasted just two days until the police interview and Crew's confession. Crew is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9. One of the most recent filings in his court file -- a certificate of completion for the anger management class at the jail.

<![CDATA[Woman Seeks Owner of Vintage Photo Found During Sandy]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:31:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/sandy+wedding+photo+copy.jpg

When Hurricane Sandy hit Massapequa two years ago, so much was lost but at least one special thing survived all the destruction.

Inside a pile of debris on her front lawn, homeowner Leah Welsh found a vintage black-and-white photo showing a woman in a dress pinning a flower onto a man's tuxedo.

"I called my husband over and I said, 'Can you believe that I just found a picture? And look at the condition of it, it's perfect,'" said Welsh.

The picture is from a different time. Welsh does not know who the two people pictured are, but it's clear the photo captured a special moment.

"I think this is a photo of daughter putting a boutonniere on her father on her wedding day," she said.

She noted how apparent it was the two were happy.

"Just the smiles on their faces and the love you can see between them," she said.

"It actually brought tears to my eyes because... I couldn't believe that I found it," she added.

Welsh tried her best to find the owners but had no luck. Two years later, she dug up the photo again in another effort to locate the owners.

"Sandy was a huge devastation for a lot of people, and you can replace materialistic items and personal belongings, but a picture is really special," she said.

There was a promising development after her interview with NBC 4 New York late Friday: Welsh said she got an email from someone saying they were related to the people in the photo. She's hoping this may finally be her chance to return the photo to its rightful owners.

<![CDATA[In Case You Missed It: Yesterday's Top Stories]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:47:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_mortal_balacera_en_tabernacle_st.jpg

Didn't have a chance to catch the news? Here are yesterday's top stories.

Burlington County Mom Shot 3 Kids, Killing 2, Before Turning Gun on Herself: Police
An 8-year-old girl and her 14-year-old brother died, and another brother, 11-year-old Alexander Harriman, remained in severely critical condition at a New Jersey hospital Friday.

Louie the Lose Dog Found
Owner JJ Pierce was reunited with her beloved black Lab mix more than seven weeks after the rescue dog and the woman's car were taken from a Home Depot on Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia.

Villanova Student Removed from Philly-Bound Flight
The local college senior was removed from a US Airways flight headed to Philadelphia Wednesday night after breaking out in hives and asking a flight attendant for a common allergy medicine.

Child Porn Suspect Enrolled as Sixth Grader: Police
The 17-year-old suspect was enrolled in an elementary school as a sixth grader to "recruit potential victims," according to Texas police.

Ebola Ruled Out for Philly Hospital Patient
The patient was in isolation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after returning from West Africa.

<![CDATA[Fire Spreads From Philly Bar to Vacant Buildings]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:27:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fire-Generic.jpg

A fire broke out in the back of a Philadelphia bar, which is under construction, and spread to two neighboring vacant properties early Saturday morning before firefighters were able to get it under control.

Crews responded to reports of smoke and flames on the 3000 block of Kensington Avenue in the city's Kensington neighborhood just after 3:30 a.m., officials said.

The blaze was under control just after 4:15 a.m., authorities said.

There were no reported injuries.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Man Stabbed in Back, Collapses on Philly Street]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:03:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/182*120/stabbed+oustide+rite+aid+kensington.JPG

A man crumpled to the ground outside a Philadelphia drug store early Saturday morning -- shortly after an armed robbery left him with two stab wounds.

Police said they responded to the Rite Aid at West Lehigh Avenue and North American Street in the city's Kensington neighborhood around 2:45 a.m. to find a man with a stab wound to his lower back and hand.

The victim was rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition, officials said.

A witness at the scene told police the man was hurt during an armed robbery, however investigators have not disclosed what, if anything, was taken, according to reports.

<![CDATA[Police Stop Abduction Suspect After Pursuit]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:28:21 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008723597_1200x675_362081859824.jpg Police stopped a work van along the tracks that run along Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia.]]> <![CDATA[Ferguson Protests Planned in Philadelphia]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:46:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP382838914497.jpg People are planning on protesting in Philadelphia once a grand jury decides whether or not to prosecute a police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[University's Approach to Veteran Needs ]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:00:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Like+and+Terregino.jpg

Members of the military lay their lives on the line for our country every day but once they come home, it's our job to take care of them. 

That's why First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s started the Joining Forces Initiative in 2012. The initiative seeks to educate medical students on how to tend to the specific needs of veterans and their families.

Schools like Rutgers University, that are associated with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, have been taking part in the program since its inception.

Doctors Robert Like and Carol Terregino were the champions who pushed to bring "Joining Forces" to Rutgers with the support of local hospitals and other academic units at the university.

Both serve as educators and course designers.

"Each year a cohort of well-prepared Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson graduates will leave the school with the skills to recognize the issues specific to veterans, to empathize with their challenges and to know how to access care for these individuals and their families," said Dr. Terregino.

Like -- a member of the medical school’s Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity -- sees the initiative as a chance to create physicians who effectively treat veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

More importantly, he sees it as a chance to create physicians who can work in the civilian and private sector where many health officials are not trained to recognize PTSD or know how to coax delicate information from a patient who has been involved in active warfare.

"We need to understand the stories and experiences of our veterans," said Like.

One of his most important goals is teaching his students to develop a bond of respect and trust with their patient.

Like describes the mandatory course as an "interprofessional learning program," an idea created by Terregino to bring colleagues together. That's why students studying psychology, nursing, social work, pharmacy, physical therapy, neuroscience, psychiatry, and physician assistance are also required to participate in the classes.  

"The whole idea is a collaborative team approach," Like said. "It’s dealing with the medical issues as well as the behavioral health and social issues."

The curriculum was adapted from the work of Like’s colleagues, Ronald Steptoe and Dr. Evelyn Lewis, retired army and navy veterans, who are both involved in Warrior-Centric Healthcare.

During intensive sessions, students learn about military culture, the epidemiology of PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, neurobiology, the diversity of the armed forces, and the reintegration of soldiers into normal society.

Role-playing and case study exercises with actual veterans are also a crucial part of the program during small group sessions.

Based on feedback, the university plans on restructuring the program by weaving it through all four years of medical school instead of an all-day, 8-hour session during the students’ fourth year.

"What I would like is support so that we can triangulate the veteran support at Rutgers University for undergraduates, the educational programming for all of the health professions schools of Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences (as well as other programs in social work, applied psychology) and the behavioral health support at University Behavioral Healthcare."

"Know a good granting agency?" she asked.

Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein/Harvard Studio ]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Package Stolen Right Off Front Step]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:53:56 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008721917_1200x675_361990723855.jpg Police are looking for a woman who was caught on camera stealing a package off someone's front step along Reed Street in South Philadelphia.]]> <![CDATA[Soccer Rivals Join Forces to Help Player With Special Needs]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:39:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/soccer-generic722.jpg

Two New Jersey high school soccer teams faced off in the first round of state playoffs at the beginning of the month, but what they did on the field was magic for one player with special needs.

With only 15 minutes left in the game Camden County's Eastern High School was up by five over Atlantic County's Absegani High. Jeff Domercant, an Absegami player with special needs, began dribbling the ball towards Eastern’s net. He stumbled a little, but quickly recovered the ball -- being cheered on all the while.

That's when Domercant, known by his teammates as “Jeff D,” kicked the ball and scored the only goal for his team in the playoff match which was also the final soccer game in his four-year career.

The crowd went crazy!

“He’s one of those kids you love having on your team,” said Absegami Coach Bill Rose.

Before the game, Rose talked to Eastern Coach Steve Kosyla, letting him know that he'd be putting Domercant in to give the senior some playing time in his last game.

"Everyone was all for it," Kosyla said when he told his team about the plan.

Later in the game, Rose signaled to Kosyla he was putting Domercant in.

"I had seen him warming up and thought let's do one better," said Kosyla.

That's when a new play was put into action by the coaches.

Absegami ran the play with Eastern playing less aggressively than usual, allowing Domercant to score, according to Rose.

Domercant’s goal was the silver lining to the playoff loss.

“At every level, he’s made a positive impression on his coaches and teammates and works as hard as he can,” said Rose.

Domercant was even given the game ball to commemorate the "play of year."

<![CDATA[Drone Tests to Start in New Jersey]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:38:29 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008721874_1200x675_361977923664.jpg NBC10's Ted Greenberg explains how drones could be used to examine hurricane damage.]]> <![CDATA[$1 Feeds Philly's Homeless]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:12:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/BigCheesePizza1.JPG

Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, is trying to help Philly's homeless with dollar slices and one simple question...

“...Can I get one off the wall?”

The interior of Rosa’s is covered in neon and even some pizza-shaped post-it notes. Those notes reflect prepaid slices that were purchased for people who can’t afford Rosa’s pizza despite the dollar deal.

The program started just seven months ago, but the idea was brewing long before Wartman opened Rosa’s on 11th Street between Market and Chestnut sts.

Wartman, a native of Plymouth Meeting liked the $1 slice concept -- popular in pizzerias in New York City where he spent three years working on Wall Street after graduating from Babson Business College in 2010.

In 2013, he left Wall Street behind and moved back to Philadelphia. That's when he decided to open Rosa's, named after his mother.

When he opened his shop last December, he found himself giving slices to people who came in without enough money. The pre-paid slice program was born when a customer came in to buy pizza and asked if he could buy a slice for the next homeless person that came in.

Since then, nearly forty slices have been given to the homeless daily.

One button on the register is pushed for every prepaid slice purchased and another button, labeled with a heart, is clicked for each slice that’s redeemed.

On Wednesday, Rosa’s gave away their 7,000th slice of pizza.

Wartman says the idea behind the pre-paid slice is similar to a practice in Italy called "caffe sospeso" when someone buys two cups of coffee, but leaves one behind the counter for someone else to enjoy.

As winter approaches, Rosa's will also start to sell sweatshirts in a similar way. Each sweatshirt will be paid for by Rosa customers and will be passed on to someone less fortunate. The sweatshirts will have inserts with a daily schedule of nearby homeless shelters offering free meals.

R. J. Mishler has been coming in every week for three months while he looks for a job. He often buys an entire pie for just $8.

“You can’t beat it. It’s my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

He’s bought a few of the prepaid slices before but has never got one from “off the wall” himself.

“Those are for the people who actually need it," said Mishler. "I still have a home.”

Wartman himself admitted he gave up on determining whether or not people were “deserving” of their "free" slice.

“We don’t ask questions.”

Since opening the shop, demolition has begun on the building just across the street from Rosa’s, forcing several retailers out of the area.

“When I signed the lease it was much more vibrant.”

Now Wartman describes the area as “dilapidated” -- at least until the larger construction for new retail space is completed.

As a result, the heaviest traffic comes not at lunch time like expected. Instead, the shop is flooded with students from Academy at Polumbo and Freire Charter School around 3 and 4 p.m.

That’s when Wartman and one of his cooks, Keith retire the smooth jazz and switch on Nicki Minaj and Ludacris.

Rosa’s has a unique blend of paying customers, customers who don’t pay anything and customers who open their wallets pay for others.

Photo Credit: Burger Beast]]>
<![CDATA[Weighing in on Obama's Immigration Plan]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:01:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008720954_1200x675_361942083551.jpg NBC10's Christine Maddela receives reactions to President Barack Obama's new immigration plan.]]> <![CDATA[Deadly Crash Near Popular Movie Theater]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:39:00 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Deadly+Crash+County+Line+Road+Easton+Road+Warrington.JPG

A crash along the county line between Bucks and Montgomery Counties left one person dead.

The two-vehicle wreck occurred around 7:30 p.m. Friday at Easton Road (Pennsylvania Route 611) and County Line Road in Warrington.

One person died and medics rushed four other people from the scene with undisclosed injuries.

Warrington Township Police kept the intersection closed for hours as they investigated the cause of the crash. It appeared an SUV and another vehicle collided causing the one vehicle to flip onto its side.

It wasn't clear how many people were in each vehicle.

The intersection sits right by a popular Regal Cinemas movie theater and a slew of eateries.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Pete Kane]]>
<![CDATA[Radon Warning in Pennsylvania]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:37:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008720611_1200x675_361924675669.jpg State officials are warning people who live in the Lehigh Valley to test their homes for radon.]]> <![CDATA[Police Look Into Deadly Fall at AC Casino]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:47:40 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/harrah%27s-pic.gif

A week after a New Jersey man died from a fall at an Atlantic City casino, prosecutors announced they would investigate the death.

The fall occurred around 1 a.m. on Nov. 1 at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino on the AC Marina.

Medics transported Thomas Walker from the scene with a head injury.

Walker died at AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center on Nov. 15. He was 27.

On Friday, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Atlantic City Police Department announced they would be looking into the death.

Investigators didn’t reveal how far Walker fell or where the fall occurred.

Anyone with information into Walker’s death is asked to call the Major Crimes Unit at (609) 909-7666.

<![CDATA[Chilly Temps Causes Broken Pipes Down the Shore]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:48:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/209*120/Frozen+Pipe+Generic+Broken+Pipe.JPG NBC10's Ted Greenberg explains how cold temperatures can cause pipe problems at vacated shore houses.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Corbett Signs Cop Killer's Execution Warrant]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:43:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008721899_1200x675_361988675904.jpg Christopher Roney will be put to death for killing Philadelphia Police Officer Lauretha Vaird on in 1996]]> <![CDATA[Piglets Saved From Under Truck]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:36:01 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008721869_1200x675_361968195705.jpg Hundred of piglets are saved after being trapped in a tractor-trailer.]]> <![CDATA[Louie the Lost Dog Found]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:12:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/louie_dog_jj_pierce_stolen_car.jpg

Louie the Lost Dog is lost no more.

Owner JJ Pierce was reunited with her beloved black lab mix more than seven weeks after the rescue dog and JJ’s car were taken from a Home Depot on Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia.

In the weeks that followed, photos of JJ’s beloved rescued dog began popping up on utility poles, fliers and even on the jumbotron at an Eagles game.

A Facebook page “Help Louie Get Home” tracked JJ’s search and raised support for the cause including raising $5,000 on a YouCaring account.

The hope all along was that Louie would return home.

That dream became reality Friday.

"Louie is home!!!!" posted the Help Louie Get home account Friday evening.

Photos of the reunion were posted to the New Leash on Life USA Facebook page.

Details of the reunion remained unclear and JJ didn’t say where Louie was all this time.

Ironically, JJ made a quick run inside to get a set of keys for a dog sitter when Louie was taken on Oct. 9. She left Louie in the car, and, approximately seven minutes later, she came out to find that her red Honda CRV and the dog inside were no longer where she had left them.

While he is microchipped, Louie couldn't be tracked unless he was found and scanned by a vet who knows to do so.

<![CDATA[Lost Kitten Wanders 2,300 Miles]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:32:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Maine+Kitten+Thumb.jpg

How did a kitten travel all the way from New Mexico to Maine? It's a mystery to her owner and the shelter where she's been staying.

According to the Animal Refuge League in Westbrook, "Spice" was put inside a duffel bag and someone dropped her off at a thrift shop in Portland. A shopper found the bag and brought Spice home for a few days before bringing her to the shelter.

At the shelter, they scanned for a microchip and discovered not only did Spice have an owner, but her home was over 2,000 miles away in New Mexico!

According to Jeana Roth at the Animal Refuge League, "We were in disbelief when we called the microchip company and they told us. They were in disbelief too to see a cat from New Mexico came to Maine in just five days."

Spice apparently escaped from her house on Halloween when her owner was opening
the door to trick or treaters. How she managed to get from there to Maine, no one has any idea.

The kitten's owner doesn't have the money to pay for Spice to return to New Mexico, but another pet owner is stepping up to help.

Jon Ayers is the CEO of Idexx. The company makes pet testing kits and Ayers has several shelter cats at home. He has offered to pay to send Spice back home and as soon as she recovers from a small cold she will travel with a shelter employee back to New Mexico to be reunited with her owner.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Del. Leaders Weigh in on Immigration Reform]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:29:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Tom-Carper.jpg NBC10's Tim Furlong asks for reactions from Delaware's Gov. Jack Markell and the state's congressional delegation on President Barack Obama's new immigration plan.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Shot Kids, Killing 2, Before Turning Gun on Self: Police]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:35:13 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Tabernacle+NJ+shooting-3.jpg

A Burlington County mother shot her three kids in her bedroom before shooting herself, New Jersey State Police revealed Friday afternoon.

"We believe with fair confidence that we know who committed the shootings," Capt. Stephen Jones.

"The victims were the children of the mother that was shot," said Capt. Geoff Noble.

Noble characterized Jeaninne LePage as a suspect in the double homicide, attempted suicide inside a home on Holly Park Drive in Tabernacle, New Jersey Thursday morning.

"Jeaninne LePage is believed to have shot her three children then turned the gun on herself," said Noble.

LePage and her children were all found in her bed around 9:15 a.m. Thursday. Police found the weapon — which has been in the family for a long time — close to LePage.

Eight-year-old Nadia Harriman and her 14-year-old brother, Nicholas Harriman, died, according to New Jersey State Police.

Alexander Harriman, 11, remained in severely critical condition at Cooper University Hospital Friday, officials said. LePage, 44, also remained hospitalized at Cooper.

Neighbors identified the victims Thursday, but authorities waited to confirm their names until they family members, including the children's father who was located in Maryland, were informed of the deaths.

Another relative who lives in the house found the victims around 9 a.m. and called for help.

"When police got there, they found a really horrific scene,’ said Jones. The victims were found in the same room and police believe they were shot with the same handgun, which was found at the scene."

Neighbors said that LePage shared the bed with her children and was in financial troubles.

Investigators believe the shootings occurred sometime between 5 and 9 a.m.

Nine people live in the house. They have all been accounted for and were interviewed by police, who assured neighbors early in the investigation that there was no manhunt and no reason for anyone to feel threatened or alarmed.

LePage tried to hide the shootings, according to police.

"A pillow was used to muffle the gunshot sounds, which we believe is why the other members of the house didn't hear the gunshots," said Noble.

Investigators said they will determine what charges LePage will face if she survives.

The shootings shock the quiet community.

Members of the community organized a candlelight vigil Thursday night at Tabernacle's Town Hall, located at 163 Carranza Rd. At the vigil, children remembered their classmates.

Students and staff at Seneca High School — where Nicholas attended — had a moment of silence for the family Friday morning. Grief counselors were also on hand at local schools Friday to talk with grieving students and staff.

A trust fund was set up at PNC Bank under LePage-Harriman Memorial Fund.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia Marathon Road Closures]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:27:39 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/Philadelphia-Marathon.jpg

Thousands of runners and many more spectators will descend on Philadelphia this weekend for the Philadelphia Marathon.

The 21st-Annual Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon will be held Sunday but events and road closures already got underway Friday.

For those of you who prefer driving over running in The City of Brotherly Love, here are the road closures you can expect along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where the race is centered.


  • Inner drives - closed 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • West bound lane/ Open at 6:30 p.m.
  • Inner lane -  Closed 6:30 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.


  • 18th Street to 25th Street - No Parking
  • Martin Luther King Drive - No Parking

There is also the Rothman Institute 8K starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday followed by a Kids Fun Run at 10:30. Both begin at 22nd Street and the Parkway.

On Sunday, the race spreads out around the city going through Center City, Old, City, West Philadelphia, University City, Fairmount Park and Manayunk. The half and full marathon races both begin and end at 22nd and the Parkway.


  • 18th Street, from Arch to Callowhill streets
  • 19th Street, from Arch to Callowhill streets
  • 20th Street, from Arch to Callowhill streets
  • 21st Street, from Spring Garden to Arch streets
  • 22nd Street, from Spring Garden to Arch streets
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 22nd to 16th streets
  • Arch Street between 16th to 4th streets
  • 4th Street Arch to Vine streets
  • Race Street, from 4th Street to Columbus Boulevard
  • Columbus Boulevard (Southbound lanes), Vine Street to Washington Avenue
  • Southbound off-ramp, from I-95 at Washington Avenue
  • Washington Avenue, from Columbus Boulevard to Front Street
  • Front Street, from Washington Avenue to South Street
  • South Street, Front to 6th Street
  • 6th Street, Bainbridge to Market streets
  • Chestnut Street, 6th to 34th streets
  • 34th Street, Chestnut Street to Girard Avenue
  • Lansdowne Drive, Girard Avenue to South Concourse Drive
  • South Concourse Drive, Lansdowne Drive to West Memorial Hall Drive
  • West Memorial Hall Drive, South Concourse to Avenue of the Republic
  • Avenue of the Republic, West Memorial Hall Drive to Centennial Circle
  • Black Road
  • Martin Luther King Drive
  • Kelly Drive
  • The Falls Bridge
  • Ridge Avenue, Schoolhouse Lane to Manayunk Avenue
  • Main Street, from Ridge Avenue to Green Lane

Note: Parking at the Philadelphia Art Museum area will be very limited on Sunday. Motorists and pedestrians can expect significant delays when trying to cross roads or streets adjacent to the course. All streets are scheduled to reopen by 6 p.m.Sunday.

Also expect some extra volume around the Convention Center where the marathon expo will be held Friday and Saturday.

Mayor Michael Nutter plans to take part in the festivities even if he isn't running.

“The Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Nutter. “From our historic sites along the course, to the enthusiastic fans that line the sidewalks, this race showcases some of the best elements of our great City. I’m looking forward to being out there at the Start/Finish line again this weekend to experience all the excitement of Race Weekend 2014.”

For more information click here.

Photo Credit: G. Widman]]>
<![CDATA[Officers Shoot Suspect Who Jumped in Cab: Prosecutors]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:26:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/police-tape-shutterstock_5628043312.jpg

Police investigating gun crimes in New Jersey shot and critically wounded a man they say jumped in a cab to avoid being interviewed and then later struggled with officers when they tracked him down, prosecutors say.

Essex County prosecutors say the suspect was shot at about 10 p.m. Thursday after the escape attempt and alleged struggle with police in Newark. The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Ibn Coates of Newark, was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition.

Prosecutors say Coates jumped in a taxi when officers tried to interview him at South Ninth Street and South Orange Avenue. The officers used a patrol car to pull the taxi over and Coates then bolted from the vehicle.

Officers chased him down on South Sixth Street, prosecutors say. The suspect allegedly struggled with an officer and was shot.

The officer was taken to the hospital for observation after the shooting and was later released.

Newark Police Director Eugene Veneable said the case was turned over to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office but didn't have any further comment.

No charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Several Hurt in Blast at Industrial Building: Officials]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:34:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/generic+caution+tape+vg.jpg

Two or three people were hurt in a minor blast at an industrial building in New Jersey Friday morning, officials say.

Something caused an explosion in the back of the Technick Products building on St. Nicholas Avenue in South Plainfield, according to the office of the town's mayor.

The cause of the blast is unknown.

Roads by the building are closed while fire and police crews work to bring the situation under control.

Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[Buffalo Bills Hitch Rides Aboard Snowmobiles]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:53:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/KRAIG+URBIK1.JPG

Up to seven feet of snow wasn't going to stop the Buffalo Bills from flying out to Detroit for Monday’s game against the Jets — even if some players needed a novel way to get to the Bills’ stadium and a bus to the airport.

“Just texted with a Bills player who was picked up on a snowmobile to head to his game,” tweeted Albert Breer, national reporter for the NFL Network. “So in 10 years of covering the NFL, that’s a first.”

The game was supposed to have been played in Buffalo on Sunday, but was moved to Detroit because of the deadly storm.

The blizzard dropped 85 inches of snow on Buffalo, enough to bury Snookie, Jim Kelly and even Yao Ming.

On The MMQB, Peter King describes the planning that went into the "snowmobile rescues."

"I have covered the NFL for 30 years, and I must say I have never heard an NFL executive say he hoped a snowmobile would come up big for his team in advance of a game with big playoff implications," he wrote.

Photo Credit: EMILY URBIK
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<![CDATA[Officer Shot Up His Own Patrol Car: Police]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:32:16 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/229*120/180031_168058876574427_654284_n+%281%29.jpg

A South Jersey police officer who claimed someone opened fire on him is now accused of lying and shooting up his own patrol car.

Da'Shaun Carr, 23, an officer with the Winslow Police Department, was charged Wednesday with third-degree False Public Alarms.

Carr activated an emergency button inside his patrol car on October 3 at New Brooklyn Park and called out on his police radio that someone was shooting at him, according to Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo.

Other officers scrambled to the scene but never recovered a weapon and did not have any leads.

One bullet hole was found in the windshield of the car. When investigators processed the cruiser, they found bullet fragments inside. Ballistic testing is underway to see if the bullet can be matched to a personal handgun investigators believe Carr used to fire at the windshield.

The accused officer has been with the department for about a year. Carr was suspended without pay.

<![CDATA[Window Washer Survives 11-Story Fall From SF Building]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:38:04 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SF-WINDOW-WASHER-CHOPPER-RAW-SD---14451915.jpg

A window washer fell screaming about 11 stories from the top of the Sterling Bank and Trust building in San Francisco Friday, landing on a car in the middle of a busy street, police and witnesses said.

The man suffered critical injuries, but he was conscious, and the driver was not injured, police said.

San Francisco Police Lt. Ed Del Carlo said the worker was getting ready to work when he "fell off the apparatus" and landed on a car about 10 a.m. after falling from the building at 400 Montgomery Street, near the intersection with California Street. The roof of the car, a green Toyota Camry, was smashed in, and the rear windshield shattered.

"The driver didn't know what happened," Del Carlo said.

The driver, Mohammad Alcozai, at first thought it was a bicyclist who accidently hit his car. But when he got out of his car, Alcozai said he couldn't believe what he saw.

"Somebody said they fell off the roof and I look and said, 'Oh my God,'" he said. "And when I see my car it was flat -- only my spot was OK."

Alcozai quickly ran to the man's aid.

"He was shaking pretty bad. He was shaking and wasn't able to talk," Alcozai said. "He was breathing hard."

The window washer, who has not been identified by police, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he remained in critical condition late Friday afternoon. Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Julia Bernstein said the man suffered a broken arm and injuries to his side. He was with a partner, who was not hurt. Bernstein said a safety engineer was on scene, trying to determine what happened.

The intersection of Montgomery and California was closed to traffic for several hours as police investigated.

Sam Hartwell, who was on his way to a meeting, saw some of what happened: "I saw a blue streak out of the corner of my eye," and then that "streak" hit a car with a great "thud." Soon afterward, Hartwell realized that "streak" was a person.

Hartwell and about 20 other people ran to the man, who was on his back. The man was lucid, though he was bleeding.

"He understood we were with him,'' Hartwell said.

The fire department says a paramedic was at the scene within five minutes of the first 911 call, but it took 10 minutes from the time of the call for an ambulance to arrive.

The bystanders, who included a nurse, put clothing on the man as they waited for the ambulance.

Hartwell said of his reaction, "It was utter, immediate shock. How do you react to something like that?''

The window washer worked for Century Window Cleaners of Concord, which has been fined for safety violations in the past. A complaint from 2008 resulted in a $2,700 settlement. The state ordered the company to train and “supervise the use of equipment and safety devices to insure that safe working practices are observed.”

NBC Bay Area contacted the company for comment, but the man who answered the phone declined. The company's website states it carries a $5 million worker compensation insurance policy and a $5 million general liability insurance policy.

The fall comes about two weeks after two window washers were stranded on top of the World Trade Center in New York City. On Nov. 12, two workers were rescued in dramatic fashion after scaffolding collapsed.

Last month in Irvine, California, two window washers stuck for hours near the top of a 19-story high-rise were pulled to safety by members of a search-and-rescue team.

Window cleaning is one of the safer industries, according to Stefan Bright, the safety director for the International Window Cleaners Association based in Zanesville, Ohio.

Among the 15,000 to 20,000 professional cleaners working on high-rises each year, there are typically fewer than three fatalities a year, he said.

While figures for window washers specifically were not available, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that seven workers in the janitorial or cleaning professions died as a result of on-the-job injuries sustained while working with scaffolding from 2011 to 2013.

The Associated Press and NBC Universal's Noreen O'Donnell and Torey Van Oot contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper
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<![CDATA[2 Women Hurt in S. Jersey House Fire]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:46:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/gloucester+city+house+fire1.jpg

A grandmother and her granddaughter were hurt in a Gloucester City house fire Friday.

White smoke could be seen for miles as SkyForce10 approached the house in Gloucester City, New Jersey just before noon.

The 67-year-old grandmother was in critical condition at Cooper Hospital and her 27-year-old granddaughter in critical but stable conditions.

Fire officials believe the blaze at their corner house in the 700 block of Highland Avenue was accidental.

Identities of the women have not been released.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[This Week's Wednesday's Child]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 17:34:19 -0500 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[$139M Settlement in Sex Abuse Case]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:41:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/miramonte112912.jpg

A settlement in the long-fought Miramonte sex abuse civil case has officially been accepted by both sides, with Los Angeles Unified School District paying a record $139 million to more than 70 victims of sexual abuse.

Each child will receive about $1.7 million, according to counsel for the plaintiffs. The total will be $139,250,000, according to the district.

The case was to be the first trial of lawsuits stemming from the sex abuse scandal at Miramonte Elementary School.

Attorneys for LAUSD and former students of teacher Mark Berndt have been meeting all week in an effort to reach a settlement.

Berndt was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading no contest to 23 counts of lewd conduct with a child between 2005 and 2010.

"In 2012, the school district shared in the shock and disgust upon learning of the misconduct committed by one of its teachers at Miramonte Elementary School," a statement issued by the district reads. "Even though the school district didn’t know about Mr. Berndt’s behavior, we have an obligation to protect the students we serve. We are truly sorry that these students had their trust violated by this sick individual."

Read the full statement and fact sheet here.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley had been urging the attorneys to try to resolve the case without a trial. But with no settlement in place, jury selection began Monday.

The lawsuit involves former Miramonte students, with dozens of other cases still pending.

The district has already settled more than 60 claims for about $30 million over the abuse. This settlement will mostly end all current litigation stemming from the Berndt case, the district said in its statement.

Earlier in the week, attorney Luis Carrillo, who represents some of the Miramonte students and their families, said he wanted to take the case to trial.

"We're anxious. We want to get in front of a jury, a representative jury so that the community can see 30 years of abuse," he said.

Attorneys contended the district should be held responsible for Berndt's actions. They allege district officials were aware of complaints about his behavior for years.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines said in a statement the settlement struck a balance between sparing the students the pain of a trial and the financial burden to the district.

"Throughout this case, we have shared in the pain felt by these children, their families and the community," he said. "Each day, we are responsible for the safety of more than 600,000 students. There is a sacred trust put in us to protect the children we serve."

Cortines said Berndt went to "extreme lengths to hide his conduct" and "the only way we can have the safest schools is through partnerships with parents and the community."

Read Cortines' full statement here.

Since the Miramonte scandal broke with the arrest of Berndt, the district has been putting aside a reserve fund in anticipation of any pay out.

The district hopes to recoup the settlement through its insurance company.

Sheriff's officials said the investigation of Berndt began when a film processor turned over more than 40 photographs of children in a classroom, with their eyes blindfolded and mouths covered in tape.

Some of the pictures showed Berndt with his arm around the children or with his hand over their mouths, according to the Sheriff's Department.

A sheriff's sergeant said some of the photographs "depicted girls with what appeared to be a blue plastic spoon, filled with an unknown clear/white liquid substance, up to their mouths as if they were going to ingest the substance."

Some photos also showed children with a large roach on their faces, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff's officials said detectives found a blue plastic spoon and an empty container in the trash in Berndt's classroom.

Both items tested positive for semen, officials said. DNA testing matched it to Berndt, according to the Sheriff's Department.

It took an arsenal of attorneys to represent the 82 children benefiting from the latest settlement.

Despite the settlement, there are still lingering doubts and resentment.

Plaintiff attorney John Manly blasted LAUSD's Office of General Counsel and said "every dirty trick" the attorneys representing them used was approved by the office.

He said the expert witnesses the district hired for the case were prepared to make arguments that the case was not "sexual" in nature, using examples of a parent using semen as nourishment for a starving family.

"Board members should hang their heads in shame," Manly said. "They never even showed up to a mediation, never met with a client, never asked to meet them. They don't know a single child's name."

School board members Monica Ratliff and Tamar Galatzan declined to comment. Other board members did not return calls seeking comment.

"If you don't care enough about children to step up and say what's happening, you ought not be there," Manly said.

At least two board members are up for re-election next year.

Brian Claypool, who also represented some of the students, pointed to what he called the years of neglect by the school district.

"He should've been fired in 1983," he said, discussing a handwritten letter Berndt sent to the Miramonte principal at the time after an incident in which he allegedly flashed his genitals to students.

The note read: "I did learn one thing for sure! Not to take the kids to the museum while wearing baggy shorts! Thanks again, Mark."

"How in the world can LAUSD tell the community they didn't know about Mark Berndt?" Claypool said. "They flat out knew."

Claypool said what attorneys for the plaintiffs have done over the last two and a half years is their own investigation into the way LAUSD handles child abuse perpetrators and victims.

But Manly said what might be water under the bridge now that there's a settlement, is more reason for the public to press the district to make changes from the top.

"The public needs to make sure that the truth gets to these people," Manly said.

Plaintiffs Attorney Andrew Zeytuntsyan said the children and the parents can "start the healing process by putting this mess behind them."

"More than anything, it's for the good of the children," said the parent of one of the victims in Spanish outside Miramonte Friday. "No money in the world can clean that stain."

Patrick Healy and Kelly Goff contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed Man in Stairwell: NYPD]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:30:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pink-Houses-Accidental-Shooting-NY-Gurley-Inset.jpg

A probationary NYPD officer is being placed on modified duty after he apparently accidentally shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a dimly lit stairwell while on foot patrol at a Brooklyn housing project late Thursday, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday.

The officer, Peter Liang, and another officer, both with less than 18 months on the force, were part of a violence reduction overtime detail on vertical patrol, which is when police conduct floor-by-floor sweeps of a building, at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York around 11 p.m.

They had gone to the eighth floor, the top floor, via elevator to check the roof when they noticed that there were no lights in the stairwell leading to the roof, Bratton said. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, Bratton said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Akai Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise and turned square to look up at the two officers a floor above him, a law enforcement source said. That's when Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and his flashlight in his right, fired accidentally, hitting Gurley 11 feet below him.

Bratton said no words were exchanged.

"All indications are this was an accidental discharge," Bratton said, calling the shooting "an unfortunate tragedy."

Bratton said Gurley and his girlfriend apparently had opted to take the stairs because they didn't want to wait for the elevator, and law enforcement officials say the girlfriend was a flight of stairs or so ahead of him at the time of the shooting. She didn't see the officer's gun fire.

Gurley stumbled down to his girlfriend on the fifth floor after being shot, and she ran to a fourth-floor apartment to ask for help and called 911, a law enforcement source said. She was given a towel to put pressure on Gurley's chest as she waited for paramedics to arrive. 

Liang and the other officer, who initially walked out of the staircase onto the eighth floor, soon realized someone had been shot, and went down to the fifth floor to attempt to render aid, the source said. 

Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital. Gurley, who has multiple previous arrests on robbery and other charges, was not armed when he was shot, authorities said. He lives in Red Hook and has a 2-year-old daughter, though it's not clear where the child lives. Gurley's mother lives in Florida.

Mayor de Blasio called his death a "tragic mistake."

The Brooklyn district attorney's office and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating. The New York City Housing Authority said it was cooperating. 

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson called the shooting "deeply troubling."

"Many questions must be answered, including whether, as reported, the lights in the hallway were out for a number of days, and how this tragedy actually occurred," Thompson said in a statement.

Authorities have interviewed the second officer and Gurley's girlfriend, but have not yet spoken to Liang. The district attorney's office will determine whether it will file criminal charges after interviewing Liang. Then internal affairs officers can question him, a standard policy. 

Both officers were taken to the hospital for ringing in their ears, according to the NYPD. The housing project they were assigned to patrol has seen several serious crimes over the last month, including two robberies and two assaults. Two people were killed there this year, Bratton said.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the Pink Houses are among the city's most dangerous projects.

"Dimly lit stairways and dilapidated conditions create fertile ground for violent crime while the constant presence of illegal firearms creates a dangerous and highly volatile environment for police officers and residents alike," Lynch said. "Only time and a thorough investigation will tell us what transpired in this case."

Community leaders blasted the NYPD and called for immediate reform. 

"We should not have rookies, inexperienced police officers who are frightened of us, doing vertical patrols," said former councilman and incoming assemblyman Charles Barron. 

Councilman Jumaane Williams called the shooting an example of a "an overly zealous ethos for excessive force" within the NYPD. 

He added in a statement: "Why were two probationary officers put on patrol in a 'high crime' area with no veteran officer to assist? Why was the officer's gun drawn with no safety before entering a vertical patrol? And most importantly, why is another unarmed black man dead at the hands of a police officer?"

Neighbors echoed the concerns during a candlelight vigil held for Gurley Friday night, chanting "Bratton must go."

Seventh-floor resident Dashwan Lopez said the lights in the hallway had been out for days before they were finally repaired Friday, prompting questions over whether Liang would have even drawn his gun if the lights had been on. 

In Lopez's mind, "it could be better managed by housing, but it's still not an excuse to discharge your weapon without knowing what's going on," he said. 

The shooting comes as the department is changing how rookie cops are used fresh out of the academy to give them more training and time with more senior officers.

Bratton is implementing a program that pairs less experienced officers with veteran officers on vertical and other patrol, but the program has had to be a roll-out process rather than an immediate overhaul due to staffing constraints, law enforcement officials said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is planning a community protest alongside Gurley's family on Saturday. Sharpton runs the National Action Network and is a talk-show host on MSNBC, which is owned by WNBC's parent company, NBCUniversal.

Lori Bordonaro and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.  

<![CDATA[Caught on Cam: Woman Takes Packages]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:25:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/woman+takes+package.jpg Philadelphia police want the public's help to find the woman in this video.]]> <![CDATA[Reading to Replace 'Charlie Brown' Christmas Tree]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:01:16 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Reading+Christmas+Tree.jpg

Ugly, pitiful, horrible, sad -- those are just a few of the words Reading officials have used to describe the city's Christmas tree.

"It's a tree that doesn't belong to a city downtown," said Francis Acosta, Reading City Council president. "You can actually see through the tree. It's horrible."

The 50-foot Norway spruce, topped with a giant pretzel, stands at the corner of 5th and Penn streets.   But the tree, which was taken from the city's Egelman Park, will be replaced Monday.

"The tree was already located," Acosta said Friday morning. "Our public works department is working on it as we speak."

The new -- and fuller-looking -- tree was donated, but the city is raising money to deck it out with lights, and ornaments, he said.

"We are raising at least 3,000 to 5,000 to decorate the tree," said Acosta, who added no taxpayer money is being used on this project.

A decorating party will take place on Black Friday.

This story was first reported by the Reading Eagle.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Reading Eagle / Photographer Ben Hasty]]>
<![CDATA[Burned Cat Released From Vet Hospital]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:03:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/mr+biscuits+16.jpg

The small orange cat that survived a drive while trapped in an engine has left the veterinary hospital four weeks later.

"Mr. Biscuits has left the building!!!” wrote Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and Emergency Services on the kitty's Facebook page. “This afternoon, he was healthy enough to go to his foster home with The Grannie Project.”

The Facebook page was made to keep fans and well-wisher up to date on his recovery. It has received a ton of attention with animal lovers throughout the area posting pictures of their own pets and offering support for the recovering Mr. Biscuits.

The cat, who had to have his tail and ear amputated, is now in foster care while he continues to recover from severe burns he received while trapped under the hood of a car in the East Falls section of Philadelphia.

“Most cats that seek shelter in engines and are unfortunate enough to still be there when the car is turned on aren't as lucky as Mr. Biscuits," said a representative from the local vet hospital where Mr. Biscuits was treated. "Most of them are killed.”