<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-usMon, 15 Oct 2018 13:04:17 -0400Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:04:17 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mega Millions Jackpot Swells to $654 Million]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:45:29 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Mega+Millions+Sign.jpg

The Mega Millions jackpot has surged to record territory after no ticket matched all six numbers in Friday's drawing. 

Tuesday's estimated $654 million jackpot would be the second-largest prize in Mega Millions history, lottery officials said. The record prize for Mega Millions was $656 million for the March 30, 2012, drawing.

"It’s so exciting for our players, and all of us, to see the Mega Millions jackpot getting so close to an all-time record level," said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Consortium and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. "With a little luck, we may still break that record by Tuesday."

The jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of California office workers won $543 million.

Three other Mega Millions jackpots have been won this year – $451 million on January 5 (Florida), $533 million on March 30 (New Jersey), and $142 million on May 4 (Ohio).

It costs $2 to play the game, but the odds of instant wealth aren't good. The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the jackpot is one in 302.5 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot won in January 2016 by players in three states. That would make the estimated jackpot for Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing the fourth largest overall. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Man Gunned Down at Birthday Party in 'Speakeasy']]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:29:08 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Birthday+Party+Shooting+D+Street.JPG

A birthday party inside a makeshift bar ended with a man executed and police searching for three suspects that appeared to target their victim.

The killing happened around 11 p.m. Sunday in what Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small called a “speakeasy” along North D Street in the city’s Feltonville neighborhood.

“It appears that it was an execution-type shooting,” Small said.

Police found Roberto Hernandez bleeding heavily next to a pool table and rushed him to the hospital where Hernandez died a short time later from two gunshot wounds, Small said.

About 20 people were gathered in the makeshift bar at the time when three men walked in, investigators said.

“They walked right up to the victim, one of them pulled a gun and handed it to another male and that other male then fired at least two shots,” Small said.

The three men then fled in a car, Small said.

By the time police arrived, most of the witnesses were gone, police said.

Police said they might know the identities of all three men involved. The names were not released as of Monday morning.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Divers Carve Pumpkins Underwater in Florida Keys]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 05:44:34 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/220*120/101418+pumpkins.jpg

A creative group of scuba divers submerged 30 feet beneath the surface in the Florida Keys to carve pumpkins.

The event took place at the annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest that took place Sunday near Key Largo.

Underwater artists of all ages used dive knives and carving tools to transform their orange gourds into sea creatures. Participants were also challenged to keep the hollow, naturally buoyant pumpkins from floating off while the artists worked their magic.

Sebastian Gimeno, 16, and his brother Gabriel, from Weston, impressed the judges with their dolphin and half-moon cutout to win a dive trip.

Other pump-kin entries included sharks, a sea horse, an eel, sea turtle and a skeleton fish.

Photo Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Salvation Army Brings Emotional Support to Florida]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:05:47 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Salvation_Army_Brings_Support_and_Fellowship_to_Florida.jpg

Crews for the Salvation Army in Philadelphia are getting ready to drive to Florida to give support and fellowship to those hit hard by Hurricane Michael.

<![CDATA[Mother's Plea: Who Left My Daughter Dead Along Rte. 202?]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:24:46 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/20181013+Jannie+Lee+Smallwood.jpg

A mother, left caring for her 5-year-old granddaughter, is pleading for any information about who left her daughter for dead along busy Route 202 south of Philadelphia.

"It's not fair to her daughter. It's not fair at all," said Lita Camper.

Her daughter, 28-year-old Jannie Lee Smallwood, was struck and killed Oct. 3 around 9:50 p.m. as she walked along the shoulder of northbound U.S. Route 202 in Concord Township, Delaware County.

Police believe a 2007 to 2011 white Ford Edge, most likely SEL or Limited Class, struck the Wilmington woman.

The driver did a U-turn and then fled the scene on I-95, police say.

"We are looking for anyone who has any information about a white-colored Ford Edge with front-end damage, hood damage and a missing passenger-side mirror," said Corp. Danea Durham of Pennsylvania State Police on Saturday. Police don't know the car's license plate.

Camper said her daughter was in a car with friends when she suddently got out of the car. She doesn't know why Smallwood got out of the car.

And that's not the only mystery: Camper said money and ID cards were missing from her daughter's fanny pack when her body was found.

Camper has a message for the hit and run driver.

"Just turn yourself in, because my granddaughter needs to know why she needs to know why she has to grow up at 5 years old without a mom. That's not fair," Camper said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact state police in Media at 484-840-1000. There is a reward offered in the case.

<![CDATA['Ride For Rell,' Dirt Bike, ATV Riders Swarm Philly Streets]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:35:57 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Ride+For+Rell.jpg

Hundreds of dirt bike and ATV riders took to the streets of Philadelphia Sunday as a planned memorial for a popular dirt bike rider who was shot and killed four years ago.

Large groups of young riders drove all over the city, weaving through traffic, popping wheelies and causing a scene as police followed behind, monitoring the ride.

Riders participating in the event told NBC10 it was meant as a way to remember Kyrell Tyler, known as 'Dirt Bike Rell,' a stunt rider who gained popularity on social media. Tyler was found inside a car shot several times in the head four years ago Sunday in Southwest Philadelphia. He later died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He was 23.

It is illegal to ride dirt bikes and ATVs on Philadelphia streets and police routinely target illegal rides, confiscating and impounding the vehicles.

Twenty people involved in Sunday's ride were arrested and thirty bikes were confiscated, police said. Two guns were recovered. 

Photo Credit: Wes Mailhiot/ provided]]>
<![CDATA[Wires, Tree Down in Montco Crash]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 06:43:53 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/219*120/Crash+Belmont+Tree+Wires.JPG

A car, a toppled tree and downed wires littered the roadway near Belmont Avenue and Rock Creek Road, near Interstate 76, in Lower Merion, Montgomery County Monday morning. Expect delays in the area and use alternate routes.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA['Sassy Massey' Toy Drive Carries on After Girl Dies]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:37:54 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/A_Little_Girl_s_Christmas_Gift_Given_After_Her_Death.jpg

Jillian Massey died of brain cancer last December, she was just 5 years old. She spent the majority of her short life at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and during her time she created a massive Christmas toy drive. This year, her loved ones are forging ahead with the Sassy Massey toy drive in her memory.

<![CDATA[Most Americans Would Fail US Citizenship Test, Survey Says]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:56:35 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/flagGettyImages-488745228.jpg

A new poll shows that little more than a third of Americans would pass a basic multiple choice U.S. citizenship test, NBC News reported.

The survey, released this month by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, sampled 1,000 American adults and was modeled after the test taken by immigrants in the process of naturalization.

Respondents 65 and older scored the best (74 percent), while only 19 percent of test-takers 45 and younger passed. The survey asks about everything from important dates to historical figures and current events.

How would you do on a U.S. citizenship exam? You can take a practice test on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Orca's Death, Mother's Grief Call State to Action]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:49:15 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_17143736857220-Orca-Puget-Sound.jpg

The deaths of two young orcas in the Pacific Northwest have galvanized Washington state to do more to protect the whales' dwindling population, NBC News reported.

First, a mother orca known as J35 carried her stillborn calf for 17 days. Then a rambunctious young killer whale known for breaching went missing and was soon declared dead.

The orcas that spend their summers near Seattle have been listed as endangered as their population has fallen from near 200 to 74 due to falling salmon counts, pollution in the water and intrusions from whale watchers.

"This is not a time for compromise and for moving slowly," said state Sen. Kevin Ranker. "This is a time for bold actions."

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Tears Through New Jersey Apartments]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 08:44:23 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/East+Windsor+Commons+Apartment+Fire.JPG

Flames ripped through the Windsor Commons in East Windsor, Mercer County, overnight, forcing dozens of people out into the cold and rain. No people were injured but a cat died in the fire, which impacted around 20 units.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tries to Carjack TV News Crew, Steals Houston Police Car]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:46:36 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kprc-van-crash-hdp.jpg

Police in Houston are searching for a man who crashed a car into a television news van then tried to carjack the crew before stealing a police car instead, officers say.

Houston NBC affiliate KPRC reported on the incident involving two of their journalists early Monday in the city's central business district.

According to the report, a reporter and her photographer were on their way to cover a story about the Houston Astros and were stopped at a red light when a car sideswiped the van.

"He tried to take our live truck. He tried to carjack us," reporter Sofia Ojeda said in a Facebook Live video, visibly shaken by what had happened moments before. "Two Houston police officers were nearby and they tried to help us, but he then attacked them and jumped in their Houston police vehicle and took off."

Nearby police officers saw what happened and confronted the man. He argued with one of the officers and dragged her out of her patrol car before driving off with it, the report said.

Ojeda's video showed the crew's live truck with damage along the passenger's side.

"This is definitely something that we never imagined would happen, traumatizing and scary, but again, thank God that two Houston police officers were nearby and they jumped right into action to help us," Ojeda said.

Ojeda said a juvenile riding in the back of the cruiser at the time it was stolen was later found.

The patrol car was found abandoned nearby.

Ojeda, her photographer and the responding officer had injuries not considered life threatening, police said.

Photo Credit: Houston PD]]>
<![CDATA[NBC10, Telemundo62 Win 11 Mid-Atlantic Emmys]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 23:55:49 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/20181013+Emmys+Generic.jpg

NBC10 and Telemundo62 were honored with 11 awards at the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards Saturday, including awards for news excellence, best evening newscast, best news anchor and best weather anchor.

The stations' 11 awards tied for the most given to any news organization at the Saturday night event. WQED, the public television station in Pittsburgh, also received 11 awards.

NBC10 was awarded the news excellence award, which is given to recognize the entire news organization. NBC10 Chief Meteorologist Tammie Souza also won the award for best weather anchor.

Keith Jones won the Emmy for best reporter on a special assignment for his reporting from the 2018 Winter Olympics. NBC10 also took home the Emmys for best single health story, for "Jude's Journey," about a man undergoing gender-affirmation surgery.

Mike Hurst won for news editing, and the NBC10 series "Breaking the Silence," about suicide prevention, won the interactivity Emmy.

"Growing Greater Philadelphia," which focuses on the region's economic growth, won for education reporting for an episode on 21st-century education.

Telemundo62 won the Emmy for best evening newscast for its 6 p.m. news. Anchor Iris Delgado won the Emmy for best news anchor.

Telemundo also won the Emmy for sports special, for the Eagles show "Camino A La Victoria." And Telemundo won best magazine program for the holiday special "Unidos En Tradicion."

The awards honor excellence in television news, programming and individual achievement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Ohio and West Virginia.

Student awards were also presented. Temple University's TUTV won five awards, including outstanding student production and talent.

<![CDATA[Driver Dies After Crashing Into Century-Old New Jersey Monument]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:06:11 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/siren-generic-2-cc.PNG

A car crashed into the Cresskill Monument early Saturday, killing the driver, police said. 

The 2016 white Infinity Q50 crashed into the monument at Knickerbocker Road and Madison Avenue just before 4:30 a.m., Cresskill police said. 

The driver was the only person in the car, police said. No other vehicles were involved. 

The cause of the crash was under investigation. 

The 56-foot-tall monument was dedicated to victims of the 1918 flu epidemic while stationed at Camp Merritt, according to the city's website. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York ]]>
<![CDATA[Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 23:58:17 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Light_the_Night_Walk_for_Blood_Cancer_Awareness.jpg

Lanterns lit the sky in Wayne Saturday night to bring attention to cancer treatment and research at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk. Walkers were there to honor those who lost their battles -- and those who won them -- and to help raise much needed money.

<![CDATA[Wagner Pushes Property Tax Elimination, But Not How to Do It]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:08:23 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/211*120/Property+Tax+Drop+Box.jpg

Scott Wagner, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, had a message for Victoria Clark when she told him that she is downsizing from her four-story home, partly because of the mortgage.

"Under my plan, your school property taxes will go away," Wagner told Clark during a stop at her driveway sale while canvassing in her suburban Harrisburg neighborhood earlier this month.

Ending the ability of school boards to raise billions of dollars in property taxes is one of Wagner's most prominent campaign planks, one that he consistently advocates as a salve for overburdened taxpayers and fixed-income elderly struggling to keep their homes.

Eliminating more than $13 billion in school property taxes collected statewide has been a cause for some lawmakers in Pennsylvania for well over a decade. And while Wagner criticizes the man he's challenging, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, for failing to deliver on it, Wagner avoids saying how exactly he would accomplish it.

"Here's the bottom line: everybody has the ability to go to the poll on Nov. 6 and vote for me for governor and it will get it done," Wagner told a forum on school property taxes in Wilkes-Barre last month.

For years, lawmakers sympathetic to the cause have tried, and failed. Unresolved fights include how to raise the money to replace school property taxes. Opponents include prominent organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry — which endorsed Wagner for governor — and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Property taxes play an outsize role in paying for Pennsylvania's public schools because Pennsylvania plays one of the smallest proportional roles of any state in helping to foot the bill.

It is 45th out of 50, supplying less than 38 percent of total revenue, according to federal data from 2016. It is a dynamic that critics blame for driving inequities between funding levels in poorer and wealthier school districts.

Existing proposals to replace the lost money revolve around increasing state taxes on income and sales, money that the state would then distribute along with billions in aid it already sends to school districts.

Business organizations worry about small businesses picking up a disproportionately large share of the shifting tax burden. School boards worry about losing financial control to the state, giving up a recession-proof revenue source and being stuck with a state government unwilling to adequately underwrite district costs.

Then there's the massive wealth transfer — from average taxpayers to wealthier school districts — if school property taxes are replaced with higher state taxes on income and sales.

An Associated Press analysis of state data found that 75 percent of school property taxes were collected by school districts in the top half of average household income in 2016-17, the latest data available. Half of all school property taxes were collected by the wealthiest quarter of school districts.

"So consequently, it almost institutionalizes the inequities that are out there," said Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

For his part, Wolf floated a $3.2 billion plan in 2015, his first year as governor, and said last month that he had not seen a better plan.

Under Wolf's plan, most of the money — just over $2 billion — goes to districts in the bottom half of average income, but the proposal went nowhere in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Wolf has, at times, said he supports eliminating school property taxes, but he also said last month that he wants districts to maintain authority over school finances while making the state "a better partner than they are now."

Eliminating school property taxes would put Pennsylvania in a small group of states — including Arkansas, Vermont and Hawaii — in which there is little local funding role.

It's not clear that eliminating school property taxes would necessarily threaten the quality of schools.

Rutgers University education professor Bruce Baker, who studies inequality in public school finance, said school quality is less about the source of the funding and more about the cumulative amount of state and local funding.

Back at the driveway sale, Wagner didn't explain to Clark how his plan would eliminate property taxes, Clark didn't ask and the conversation moved on to another topic.

Wagner left, saying an aide would call Clark to discuss his property tax plan.

But, Clark said, nobody ever called.

Photo Credit: FILE]]>
<![CDATA[Trump: Mockery of Kavanaugh Accuser Got Him Confirmed]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 05:40:02 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tru10AP_18283855482649.jpg

President Donald Trump defended his widely criticized mocking of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, in an interview on "60 Minutes" Sunday, NBC News reported.

"If I had not made that speech, we would not have won," he said.

The Senate narrowly confirmed Kavanaugh to the court last week after an extraordinarily bitter battle. Ford testified that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were in high school during the 1980s, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that she thought she would "accidentally be killed." Kavanaugh strenuously denied the allegation.

"I was just saying she didn't seem to know anything," Trump said in the CBS interview, having described at a rally how she didn't remember key details of the decades-old allegation.

The interview, in which Trump discussed a slew of things from climate change to the economy, aired Sunday night on CBS' "60 Minutes."

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Racist Flyers Found on Cherry Hill Lawns]]> Sat, 13 Oct 2018 23:59:46 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Racist_Flyers_Found_on_Cherry_Hill_Lawns.jpg

Someone is throwing racist flyers onto lawns in Cherry Hill -- and neighbors, who value their community's diversity, are concerned.

<![CDATA[Search for Suspect Who Sexually Assaulted Woman]]> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 00:23:39 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Search_for_Suspect_Who_Sexually_Assaulted_Woman.jpg

The search is on for a man police say attacked and sexually assaulted a woman in Center City Saturday night.

<![CDATA[Rubio: 'Moral Credibility' at Stake Over Missing Writer Case]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:21:52 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_18287659713747.jpg

Sen. Marco Rubio warned Sunday that America's "moral credibility" is at risk if it fails in its response to suspected Saudi involvement in the disappearance and possible killing of a Washington Post columnist in Turkey.

Appearing on "Meet the Press" Sunday, the Florida Republican, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that if Saudi involvement is proven, the response must be strong and swift to ensure America's moral standing.

"Our ability to call Putin a murderer — because he is; our ability to call Assad a murderer — because he is; our ability to confront Maduro in Venezuela or any of these other human rights atrocities like what we see in China, all of that is undermined and compromised if we somehow decide that because an ally who was important did that, we are not going to call it out," Rubio said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

And John Brennan, the former CIA director who previously served as a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, said Sunday that it would be "inconceivable that such an operation would be run by the Saudis without the knowledge of the day-to-day decision-maker of Saudi Arabia, that's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
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