<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:36:17 -0500 Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:36:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Rain Changing Over to Snow Overnight]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:22:25 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philadelphia-Snow-New-Lead.jpg

A snow emergency has been declared for Philadelphia as the final part of a three-part storm moves into the area. As rain continues to change to snow throughout the region, many people could wake up to see the most significant snow of the season.

"Things are going to change pretty rapidly while a lot of you are asleep... rain changing to snow," said NBC10 First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz.

Possibly more than half a foot of snow could fall on a large part of the region.

The NBC10 Weather Team issued a First Alert and the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of the region until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Rain is already starting to turn into snow in the Poconos, Lehigh Valley, Upper Montgomery and Upper Bucks counties. That changeover will be widespread overnight as colder air moves in. The snow will become widespread during the Thursday morning rush as temps drop.

The longest period of snowfall is expected for Philadelphia, the immediate suburbs, South Jersey and northern Delaware.

Estimated Changeover Timeline

  • 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. — Changeover in Philadelphia, immediate suburbs & central New Jersey
  • 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. — Changeover to snow in northern Delaware & South Jersey
  • 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.— Changeover to snow in southern Delaware & extreme South Jersey

Expect plenty of snow during the Thursday morning rush and lasting through the morning and afternoon(outside of points to the north). The snow is expected to clear out around 5 p.m. and should be gone before the PM rush.

Estimated Thursday Snow Totals

  • Lehigh Valley/Poconos — 2 to 4 inches
  • Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor/northern Delaware/central New Jersey — 4 to 7 inches or more
  • Central Delaware/South Jersey — 6 to 9 inches
  • Extreme South Jersey/southern Delaware — 4 to 7 inches
  • Coastal Delaware — 3 to 5 inches

Some weather service models call for far less snow while others call for one foot of snow or more in Philadelphia and nearby areas caught in the bull's eye of the storm.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced a snow emergency will be declared for Philadelphia starting at 6 a.m. Thursday. All parked cars must be moved off snow emergency routes for plowing. Drivers are advised to park as far from the corner of the street as possible when relocating their cars.

More snow emergency information and a map of snow emergency routes can be found HERE.

The city's Streets Department also announced all Thursday trash collections are canceled.

Officials also announced speeds on all Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) bridges are reduced to 35 mph due to weather conditions.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency across the entire Garden State in anticipation of the snow. Some local municipalities, including Abington Township, also declared snow emergencies and the Philadelphia Zoo will be closed Thursday.

The State of New Jersey also authorized a delayed opening of 11 a.m. for all non-essential state employees Thursday. Essential employees should still report to work on their normal schedule.

The snow should move out by Thursday night then we're in for a dry and cold Friday with temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s. Things will warm up again over the weekend with highs in the 40s. We'll also spring forward Sunday at 2 a.m. for Daylight Saving Time.

The timeline and snow total estimates for Thursday’s snow are subject to change so stay with NBC10 for the latest updates.

Photo Credit: renegadeenlight/Instagram
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<![CDATA[Man Dies After Being Shot and Run Over]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:57:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_line33.jpg

A man died from his injuries after he was shot several times and then run over by a car. 

The victim, who police say is in his 30’s, was on the 400 block of East Courtland Street at 6:43 p.m. Wednesday when unidentified gunmen inside a black Dodge Challenger opened fire.

The man was struck several times in the chest and legs. The driver of the Challenger then ran the man over with the vehicle before fleeing the scene.

The man was taken to Temple University Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

No arrests have been made. Police have not yet released a description of the suspects.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.

<![CDATA[Mom Indicted for Attempted Murder of Infant After Jumping from Jetty]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:49:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_patricia_shurig.jpg

A mother has been indicted in the attempted murder of her infant daughter after jumping into ocean from a jetty with the young girl, prosecutors in Atlantic County, New Jersey said.

Patricia Shurig, 24, was indicted on Tuesday in the incident that happened in Atlantic City on the evening of Oct. 26, 2014. Authorities said she leapt off a rock jetty on the Atlantic City Inlet holding her one-month-old daughter, Krishna.

Witnesses called 911 and rushed to pull them from the water. Krishna was not breathing, but was revived after the good Samaritans performed CPR.

Shurig's sister, Amanda Husta, told NBC10 last year Shurig was suffering from postpartum depression but did not indicate she planned to harm the child.

"I don't want people to think poorly of her because of her mental illness," said Husta. "I definitely want them to be understanding of the situation."

Police previously charged the mother with Aggravated Assault. She is out on $100,000 full cash bail.

If convicted, Shurig could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

<![CDATA[Police Officers Protect Chester Students]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:58:44 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chester-Anti-Bullying1.jpg A new grant allows middle and high schools in Chester, PA to have officers protect students from bullying and patrol school grounds. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez has one young bullying victim's story. ]]> <![CDATA[Person Hurt in 3-Car Crash in NJ]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:10:25 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Paulsboro-3-Car-Crash.jpg

At least one person was hurt in a multi-vehicle crash in Gloucester County Wednesday night.

Officials say three cars were involved in an accident on West Buck and Pine streets in Paulsboro.

One driver was trapped inside a vehicle before officials were able to get him or her out.

The victim was taken to the hospital. Officials have not yet revealed the victim's condition or if the other drivers were hurt.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.

<![CDATA[Man Found Dead in Home, Suspect Arrested]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:51:06 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_line_generic722.jpg

A man was killed inside a Montgomery County home Wednesday.

Police responded to a home on the 200 block of Newington Drive in the Hatboro section of Upper Moreland Township for a reported stabbing. When they arrived they found the body of an unidentified man inside. His death was ruled a homicide though officials have not yet revealed his identity.

A male suspect was also taken into custody at the scene.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.

<![CDATA[Residents Prepare for More Snow]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:48:16 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Residents-Prepare-for-Snow.jpg PennDOT and local residents are ready for this next winter storm. But as NBC10's George Spencer tells us, this storm is different than others this season.]]> <![CDATA[Man Dies From Injuries After Apt. Fire]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:24:00 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Generic+Fire+Generic.jpg

A man died from his injuries a day after an apartment fire in Bristol Township.

The fire started at the Stonebridge Run Apartment complex on the 1700 block of Bath Road Tuesday night. The fire was confined to one floor and firefighters were able to place it under control.

A man in his late 50’s and another person both suffered smoke inhalation in the blaze and were taken to the hospital.

The man in his 50’s died from his injuries Wednesday. Officials have not yet revealed his identity. The second victim is in stable condition.

Photo Credit: File Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Beagle Puppy Saved From Home Blaze]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:06:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Duke-Dog-Rescued-Fire-St-Albans.jpg

A 1-year-old beagle mix is recovering at a New York City animal clinic after being rescued from a burning apartment in Queens, officials say.

The dog, named Duke, was taken to BluePearl Veterinary Partners after the fire at his home in St. Albans Tuesday, the clinic said.

The dog’s fur was matted with soot, but he wasn’t burned. Firefighters were initially not able to find the pup's owner, but later located the owner in the hospital.

“When we saw the dog, he was covered with soot and he was shaking,” said Det. Tara Cuccias. “It was clear that he was in distress.”

The NYPD took the dog over to BluePearl, where it is being treated for exposure to carbon monoxide. Veterinarians are using a special mask to pump oxygen into Duke’s lungs.

The pet charity Frankie’s Friends is paying for Duke’s care, which BluePearl estimates at about $6,000. Donations can be made at the group’s website.

<![CDATA[CT Responders Shovel Victim's Roof]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:01:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/manchester+scott+drive+shoveling.jpg

Emergency responders in Manchester made every effort to save a man who suffered a heart attack while shoveling Tuesday morning. He didn't make it, so they did the only thing left to do and finished the job.

Miroslaw Dabrowski, 57, collapsed while shoveling his roof on Scott Drive around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Manchester Fire Chief David Billings said.

Police arrived first and climbed onto the roof to perform CPR. Firefighters took over, using an automatic CPR device to administer chest compressions while they put Dabrowski on a back board and lowered him to the ground, Billings said.

They tried to resuscitate Dabrowski on the way to the hospital, but he couldn't be saved.

Billings said emergency responders can feel helpless when a life is lost, so they went back to Scott Drive and did the only thing they could: finished shoveling Dabrowski's roof while his family was at the hospital.

They felt compelled to help and knew it would be the last thing on the family's mind when they returned home, according to Billings.

He said Dabrowski leaves behind a wife and large family.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Hurt in Skid Row Scuffle: LAPD]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:58:15 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/210*120/siren3.jpg

Two police officers were hurt in a struggle with a homeless man after he attacked a TV cameraman on Los Angeles’ Skid Row Wednesday, authorities said.

A television cameraman was filming outside the Midnight Mission around noon when the homeless man assaulted him, according to an officer with LAPD’s media relations section.

Officers tried to subdue the man, and during the confrontation, the man reached for an officer's holstered gun, according to police spokesman Officer Jack Richter.

Two officers received minor injuries in the scuffle, but police were able to subdue the man with a Taser, the LAPD said.

<![CDATA[New Info on Driver in Fiery NJ Truck Crash]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:02:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tanker+fire+ground+shot.jpg

As the investigation of a fiery tanker truck explosion in New Jersey continues, new details have been revealed regarding what the truck driver may have been doing moments before the accident.

The truck was involved in a fiery crash in South Jersey Feb. 23. The TK Transport truck was carrying approximately 8,000 gallons of fuel when it ignited on the Route 90 eastbound on-ramp to US 130 north in Pennsauken, just east of the Betsy Ross Bridge.

Pennsauken Police Captain Michael Probasco told NBC10 the truck overturned around 11 a.m. while its driver navigated the ramp. The driver somehow lost control sending the truck into a guardrail before landing on Delaware River Port Authority land. The impact ruptured the tractor-trailer's tank and the gasoline began to burn.

The driver was rescued from the burning vehicle by police arriving on scene. He was taken to Cooper Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. No one else was hurt.

Flaming fuel poured out of the truck, running across the ramp, down an embankment and perilously close to the backyards of homes. A second fire started in a small wooded area behind homes.

Thirty homes near the crash were evacuated as a safety precaution. The residents were later allowed back inside after the area was deemed safe

Law enforcement sources close to the investigation told NBC10 officials subpoenaed the driver’s cell phone records to find out if he was talking or texting moments before the crash. The sources also said that in the moments after the accident, the driver ran from the burning truck and allegedly told police, “I think I was going too fast.”

The Delaware River Port Authority says TK Transport’s insurance company will absorb the initial $115,000 in temporary repairs to the road surface, embankment and electrical restoration.

Officials with TK told NBC10 the driver has not returned to his position but has not been fired either. The company also confirmed that while they are not allowed to transport gasoline, they contract to a larger company called Penn Tank Lines which is authorized to carry gas. TK normally leases their tankers and drivers to Penn Tank Lines though the company did not confirm whether the driver in the recent crash was leased.

The DRPA is currently reviewing video of the aftermath of the accident and have to decide within 30 days whether or not they should file any charges.

Meanwhile, Pennsauken Township officials mailed letters to affected residents offering health, property damage and environmental resources if they need it.

“Kudos to Pennsauken because they’re right on top of things,” said Pennsauken resident Joyce Brocchi. “I really appreciate that.”

Sources told NBC10 there’s upclose police dashcam video of the moments after the tanker exploded. NBC10 asked the DRPA for the video but we have not yet heard back from them.

Photo Credit: NBC10 - Viewer Submission]]>
<![CDATA[Snow Problematic for Local Stores]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:07:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009659846_1200x675_408236099888.jpg NBC10's Doug Shimell reports how this March storm is posing a dilemma for local store owners.]]> <![CDATA[Schools Running Out of Snow Days]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:23:29 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009659534_1200x675_408201283930.jpg While some children may celebrate a possible coming snow day, others should be careful what they wish for. NBC10's Tim Furlong has the story from Elsmere, Delaware.]]> <![CDATA[Another Teen Robbery Suspect Surrenders]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:49:04 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Philly-Teen-Robbery-Suspect.jpg

A third teenager allegedly involved in a string of robberies in Philadelphia turned himself in to police Wednesday. NBC10 was there as the teen along with his mother and lawyer walked into Central Detectives early Wednesday evening.

Two other teens surrendered to authorities Friday in connection to the incidents, which police say took place in the Fairmount and Spring Garden sections of the city.

One robbery occurred at Benjamin Franklin High School on North Broad Street on Feb. 11 at 12:09 p.m.

The 18-year-old victim told police he was in the stairwell area when he noticed five teenagers. One of the teens said something but the victim could not understand him due to a language barrier.

Two of the teens then approached the victim from behind, grabbed his book bag and pulled it off of him along with his jacket, police said. Two other teens then stood in front of the victim. One teen grabbed the collar of his shirt and punched him in the chest while another grabbed his wrist and the two started struggling, according to investigators.

One of the teens then reached into the victim's pocket, took his cellphone and threw it to the floor, police said. They then allegedly went through the victim's pockets again, pushed him against the wall and fled out the door after another student entered the stairwell.

The 18-year-old suffered a bruised wrist.

On Feb. 20 at 3:45 p.m., a 13-year-old boy was walking north on the 700 block of North 22nd Street from Fairmount Avenue when he was approached from behind by four teenagers, police said.

One of the suspects wrapped his arms around the boy’s neck and wrestled him to the ground. The teens then stole the boy’s iPhone and fled the area. The boy suffered injuries to his lip and cuts to his left hand due to the attack.

The two 15-year-old boys who surrendered Friday night may also have been involved in another robbery at Benjamin Franklin High, police said.

Investigators also said the teens may have also been involved in three other Philadelphia robberies, including one in which a woman was sprayed with mace.

Police said all four suspects are between the ages of 14 and 16. They continue to investigate.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police]]>
<![CDATA[Mayoral Candidates Answer Questions]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:58:21 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009659934_1200x675_408245827515.jpg Some of Philadelphia's mayoral candidates were on the hot seat answering questions about what it will take to bring more jobs to the city as a part of the latest Roadmap for Growth forum. NBC10's Jim Rosenfield served as moderator.]]> <![CDATA[PennDOT Low on Salt, Creates New Solution]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:24:07 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PennDOT-Preps-for-Storm.jpg PennDOT says its running low on salt. NBC10's Doug Shimell spoke with them about how that could affect their response to the coming winter storm and what they will start to use as a backup.]]> <![CDATA[Kids Can't Sled on Capitol Hill]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:28:01 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/20150304+Sledding.jpg

Despite a request from D.C.'s congresswoman, there will be no sledding on Capitol Hill during the snowstorm expected to sock the D.C. area tomorrow.

The Capitol Police Board issued a statement late Wednesday that said it would not grant Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton's request to allow sledding.

In a statement, Frank Larkin, chairman of the Capitol Police Board, said, "for security reasons, the Capitol grounds are not your typical neighborhood hill or playground."

The statement also said it was the job of Capitol Police to protect the Capitol grounds from being damaged. And, read the statement, sledding isn't that safe, anyway.

"According to recent media reports, at least 20,000 sledding injuries occur in the U.S. each year," Larkin's statement read.

Wednesday, Norton had asked for a one-time waiver of the ban.

"This could be the last snowstorm the D.C. area gets this winter, and may be one of the best for sledding in years," Norton said in a statement. "Children and their parents should able to enjoy sledding on one of the best hills in the city.

"Have a heart, Mr. Larkin," Norton wrote, "a kid’s heart, that is.”

Playing on Capitol Hill in the snow is a goal of many kids in the District. During a late February snow, News4's Tom Sherwood got tweets from a skier who managed to hang on the Hill long enough to capture a video. That same skier later tweeted Tom that a "sad boy" had just been turned away from the tempting, pristine powder.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Homeless Man Stole Bridge Light: PD]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:39:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Zakim+Bridge+Light.jpg

A homeless man stole aircraft warning lights from Boston's Zakim Bridge and left them at historical sites around the city, state police said Wednesday.

Clifford W. Beckford, 34, who was arrested Tuesday evening, has been charged with breaking and entering, larceny, receiving stolen property, malicious destruction of property, committing injury to a bridge and defacement of property.

Massachusetts State Policesay they began investigating after Beckford stole a red beacon — measuring 18 inches in diameter and 3 feet tall and weighing at least 60 pounds — around 9 p.m. on Feb. 3.

Beckford allegedly walked up a ramp to reach the Zakim Bridge, broke into the bridge's south tower, climbed a ladder to the top and took the beacon. Police say he then came down the ladder and left the beacon in the snow bank on the side of I-93, went to his car parked nearby, drove to the side, put it in his car and drove away.

Beckford, who police say lives out of his car, was arrested near a relative's Melrose home, but police still had to find the beacon.

Authorities say their investigation led them to the Warren Tavern in Charlestown, the state's oldest tavern, which counts famous figures such as George Washington and Paul Revere as past customers.

State troopers went to the tavern and, after speaking with the manager, found the beacon in the establishment's cellar. Beckford had left the beacon outside the tavern recently, and an employee took it inside without knowing what it was, authorities said.

This wasn't Beckford's first time stealing a Zakim Bridge airplane warning beacon, state police say their investigation showed.

He stole another beacon sometime in the early 2000s during the bridge's construction, when the beacon was property of an electrical contractor and was never reported stolen, police said.

As state police investigated further, they found that the beacon stolen in the 2000s was recently left at the office of The Bostonian Society, which currently operates out of the Old State House Museum in Boston, another historical site in the city.

Police say neither the Warren Tavern, The Bostonian Society nor the Old State House Museum knew where the beacons had come from and were not involved in the thefts.

Information on a lawyer for Beckford was not immediately available.

Beckford was arraigned Wednesday and was ordered to undergo a 20-day mental health evaluation. 

Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Nutter Seeking 9% Property Tax Hike to Fund Schools]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:20:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/nutter+sawyer+firefighter+woman+dies.jpg

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is proposing a more than 9 percent property tax hike as part of his final budget, administration officials tell NBC10. The money generated from the increase would infuse cash into the severely underfunded city schools.

Nutter will ask for a 9.34 percent jump in property taxes during his budget presentation to Philadelphia City Council on Thursday. That would increase the property tax rate to 1.465 percent from 1.34 percent starting in the Fiscal Year 2016 which begins on July 1, 2015.

A Nutter Administration official said education is a paramount issue and the increase it will help fund the School District of Philadelphia appropriately.

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite said Tuesday the district needs $300 million to have a balanced budget. He's hoping $103 million of that comes from the city.

Despite an increase in the tax rate, officials say homeowners could still see a drop in their property tax bill in 2017 if a plan from Gov. Tom Wolf to reduce taxes statewide passes. Under the governor's Homestead proposal, the median property tax bill for Philadelphians would be $300 less than what they will pay this year, officials said.

The budget will also include increases in funding for the Departments of Licenses & Inspections, Parks & Recreation and Philadelphia Police, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Fattah, Jr.'s Fraud Trial Delayed]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:16:08 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Chaka-Fattah.jpg

The scheduled fraud trial of a congressman's son won't start as scheduled next week after a federal appeals court agreed to consider his pretrial appeal.

Federal prosecutors this week have also filed a revised indictment against Chaka Fattah Jr.

The 32-year-old Fattah is accused of lying to obtain more than $200,000 in business loans.

He is also charged with misusing some of the $930,000 in federal educational contracts he received.
Fattah Jr. in court Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the new charges. He remains free on bail.

His father, Chaka Fattah, is a Democratic congressman from Philadelphia who is also the subject of an ongoing federal investigation. It's unclear if the cases are related.

The Fattahs suggest they are politically motivated.

The son in his appeal accuses the Justice Department of prosecutorial misconduct.

Congressman Chaka Fattah is married to NBC10 anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Retired Doctor Stole Disabled Son's Benefits: DA]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:07:17 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/52182315.jpg

Federal prosecutors say a retired plastic surgeon stole more than $80,000 in social security benefits from his severely disabled son.

Richard McShane faces one count of theft of government funds and four counts of wire fraud. The 78-year-old Chatham resident was arrested Wednesday and is due to make his initial court appearance later in the day.

Prosecutors say McShane's son suffered severe brain injury after a 2004 car accident that killed his mother, McShane's wife. The child also suffered other permanent and life-threatening injuries, including partial paralysis in his upper and lower extremities.

Between 2005 and 2012, prosecutors say McShane falsely represented to the Social Security Administration that his son lived with him in the United States.

Officials say the child actually lived with his maternal grandparents in Ukraine.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Student Arrested While Recording Cop Goes to Trial]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:10:32 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/rittenhouse-square-park-philadelphia.jpg

A college student arrested as he photographed a Philadelphia police encounter with a homeless woman said Wednesday he tried to be "a fly on the wall" until he was put in handcuffs.

However, a city attorney described then-photojournalism student Coulter Loeb as "a meddlesome 24-year-old" with "very high-minded ideas about government" and the role of media.

Federal jurors must decide who started the confrontation in Rittenhouse Square in July 2011 and whether Officer George Gaspar Jr. had cause to handcuff Loeb and charge him with disorderly conduct.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Loeb, argue that Philadelphia police routinely harassed or arrested people trying to photograph or videotape them. Yet a judge ruled before trial that the federal appeals court in Philadelphia had not "clearly established" a First Amendment right to photograph police as of 2011.

"Whether the Third Circuit will eventually decide to follow what appears to be a growing trend in other circuits to recognize a First Amendment right to observe and record police activity is, of course, not for this court to decide, even if there are good policy reasons (that) adopt that change," U.S. District William H. Yohn Jr. wrote in a January pretrial order that covered two similar cases.

He therefore threw out Loeb's free-speech claim, leaving a jury to weigh the Fourth Amendment issues of false arrest and malicious prosecution. The jury is expected to get the case Friday after a weather-related day off.

Loeb was a photojournalism student at the University of Cincinnati at the time of his arrest. He spent an hour at a police station in handcuffs; the citation was later dismissed.

"I don't think he's a bad guy. I think he might have made a mistake," Loeb, now 27, of Cincinnati, testified as his civil rights trial began Wednesday. "But we're both part of a system that's much larger than us."

Assistant City Solicitor John C. Coyle told jurors that Loeb was interfering with Gaspar's work as he tried to remove an overnight camper from tony Rittenhouse Square.

"Like many other college students, he has some very high-minded ideas about government, the role of government in interactions with its citizenry and the role of the media in observing those interactions," Coyle said in his opening statements.

Gaspar has been patrolling the park for seven years. The work mostly involves nuisance-type violations such as littering or urinating in the fountain. He said he tries to de-escalate situations and usher petty offenders out of the park rather than arrest them. But Loeb, he said, got between him and the woman, put his hand on her shoulder and refused his orders to move away.

"He looked me up and down, and then took one step back. That to me was being a wise guy," said Gaspar, who said he refrained from charging him with more than a summary offense.

"He was a young man. Didn't look like he needed the electric chair to be punished here," the officer said.

<![CDATA[Proposal to Change Pa. Charter School System Advances]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 13:45:15 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_school_generic.jpg

Pennsylvania lawmakers are moving ahead with a proposal to change the rules under which Pennsylvania's charter and cyber-charter schools operate.

The House voted 118 to 78 on Wednesday in favor of a Republican-backed bill that would provide funding for the schools directly from the state Department of Education rather than passing through school districts.

It would save districts an estimated $27 million in what they pay cyber charters, partly by letting them deduct food service costs.

The measure also includes provisions designed to improve accountability, ethics and governance.

Democratic opponents argue it would weaken the state charter appeals board by adding two members from charter schools. They say there's a need for mandatory audits to determine how much the schools spend on education.

The bill was sent to the Senate.

<![CDATA[Philadelphia Business Leaders Want Next Mayor to Focus on Jobs]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:51:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/jobs+employment+generic+newspaper.jpg In the latest Roadmap for Growth, Philadelphia business leaders discussed what the next mayor needs to do to create more jobs. NBC10's Monique Braxton reports candidates got the chance to ask the experts how they can best help Philadelphia grow.]]> <![CDATA[New Video of North Philadelphia Burglary]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:45:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009657836_1200x675_408036931965.jpg The man shown in this video broke into a home on N 7th Street on Feb. 24 and stole a Macbook Pro and its charger, Philadelphia Police said.]]> <![CDATA[Protesters Few, Crush of Media as Trial Begins]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:36:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-03-04+at+10.09.41+AM.jpg

The trial of the Boston bombing suspect got underway Wednesday morning with a crush of media and a lone protester outside the Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston.

Joe Kebartas stood before the proceedings began with a sign reading “Death penalty is murder.”

“The government should not be in the business of putting people to death,” he said before slipping away.

Security was tight with a blockade on Northern Avenue and a bomb-sniffing police dog along the barricade holding back journalists from as far as Russia and France. The U.S. Coast Guard was patrolling Boston Harbor behind the courthouse.

Survivors of the April 2013 bombings arrived by Massport buses, normally used to shuttle travelers to Logan International Airport, and were taken into the courthouse through the back.

The federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, begins nearly two years after two bombs exploded seconds apart at the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260 others. He is accused of detonating them with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed afterward in a shoot-out with police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later found hiding in a boat.

The courtroom was crowded with relatives of victims and of Tsarnaev and others. When Tsarnaev walked across the courtroom shortly after 9 a.m. some of the survivors stared intently.

Jury selection took nearly two months, with Tsarnaev’s legal team arguing repeatedly that it would be impossible for their client to receive a fair trial in Boston.

In opening statements, his lawyers are expected to portray him as an impressionable 21-year-old in the sway of his older, radicalized brother. He followed the 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s lead, the lawyers hope to show.

The prosecution counters that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was as much a participant as his brother.

Alysha Palumbo contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Kaitlin Flanigan
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<![CDATA[New Action Plan for Philly Schools]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:37:10 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PHI-superintendent-hite.jpg

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite addressed issues facing his school district at a news conference Thursday morning.

Called Action Plan Version 3.1, the new directive will organize schools by neighborhood and expertise, offer job development activities and will secure funds that prioritize student needs, according to Hite.

All of this works toward the district's goals of getting students ready for college and careers and improving reading skills.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Alarm Goes Off at City Hall]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:37:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/188*120/Philadelphia+Mayor+Michael+Nutter+City+Hall.JPG

A fire alarm evacuated people from Philadelphia’s City Hall Wednesday morning.

NBC10 crews on the scene said the alarm went off around 9:45.

People could see seen streaming out of the building and NBC10 cameras captured Mayor Michael Nutter outside the historic building as firefighters responded to the scene.

After a little more than 30 minutes, people began to re-enter the building.

Firefighters didn’t reveal the cause of the alarm.

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[Woman Faces Arraignment in Revenge Arson]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:42:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009655914_1200x675_407976515898.jpg Donna Krupp, who is accused of setting the fire that burned down her neighbor's home in Limerick, Pennsylvania back in December, will be arraigned Wednesday. Investigators say Krupp set the fire to the police detective's house because she blamed him for the arrest of her son.]]> <![CDATA[Philly Mayoral Candidates Field Questions on Job Creation]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:41:11 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WEB+Philly+City+Hall.jpg Philadelphia mayoral candidates will field questions from local groups and organizations about job creation and growing the city of Philadelphia for the Roadmap of Growth Forum held at the University of Pennsylvania.]]> <![CDATA[Garage Fire Spreads to Adjacent Home, Car]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:33:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000009655999_1200x675_407968835844.jpg Firefighters from several departments were called to a property in Lower Moreland for reports of a garage fire that then spread to the adjacent home. Everyone made it out of the Manor Road house safely and crews put out the fire as well as a vehicle that was in flames just outside of the home.]]>