<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:01:17 -0500 Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:01:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Indiana Gov: We Intend to Fix "Perception" Problem of Law]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:36:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pence-presser-468206814.jpg

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday said a bill he signed into law week has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but said he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

"We've got a perception problem here ... and we intend to correct that," Pence told reporters during a morning press conference from Indianapolis.

The Republican reiterated earlier comments that the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was not to discriminate but to protect religious freedom. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law alleged it could provide some businesses the opportunity to refuse providing services or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

Pence said he found that claim "offensive," and called upon the state's General Assembly to address the issue.

"This law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone," he said. "The intent of the law was to give the courts in our state the highest level of scrutiny in cases where people feel that their religious liberty is being infringed upon by government action."

His comments Tuesday were a follow-up to an op-ed piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal that the law was not a "license to discriminate."

"I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The law sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."

Photo Credit: Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Escaped Prisoner Captured After 9-Hour Manhunt: Source ]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 11:00:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/Wassen+Assaye4.jpg

Police have captured the man who escaped custody at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Wossen Assaye was found on Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Washington, D.C., following a massive manhunt that lasted nearly nine hours, a high-ranking police source told News4. He was taken into custody without incident at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Assaye, who police say was in a hospital gown when he escaped, stole a 2002 Toyota Camry

on foot prior to stealing a 2008 gray Hyundai Elantra near Monterey Drive in Annandale, Virginia. Earlier Tuesday morning, Assaye, 42, was driving a stolen 2002 Toyota Camry with Virginia license plate XZP-8513. Police have located that vehicle.

Police spent part of the morning searching Annandale neighborhoods with helicopter and heavily armed officers. In one neighborhood, Spence Limbocker said he heard a helicopter, went outside and saw a massive police presence.

"They told me to get back in the house and lock all my doors... It was a little scary,'' Limbocker said.

Assaye was arrested by federal authorities last week for a series of bank robberies in Northern Virginia. Assaye allegedly committed the robberies while on a bike. While being held at the Alexandria City Jail, Assaye attempted to harm himself and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for medical treatment on Friday. Deputies with the Alexandria Sheriff's Office guarded Assaye for the first 24 hours of his hospital stay before he was turned over to security officers contracted by the U.S. Marshals Service.

At about 3 a.m. Tuesday, Assaye overpowered the guards, taking one of the security officer's weapon. Police say one shot was fired, but no one was injured. It's not clear who fired the shot. Assaye is considered armed and dangerous.

Fairfax County police spokesman Bud Walker says a woman was carjacked around 7 a.m. in the Annandale area, several miles from hospital. He said the woman who was carjacked identified Assaye as the carjacker and said he was alone and wearing a hospital gown.

Police also tweeted a photo of a woman, saying Assaye may be with his girlfriend.

According to a 2012 Virginia Parole Board document, Assaye has an "extensive criminal record" and "history of violence," indicating a "serious risk to the community," NBC News reports.

He has been charged with a variety of felonies — including breaking and entering in 1998 — with at least one conviction, for purse snatching in 1994, for which he was given a recommended maximum 12-month jail sentence.

The lockdown at the hospital, located in suburb just outside of Washington, D.C., has been lifted.

Staff members inside the hospital told News4's David Culver that during the lockdown, some employees hid in back rooms and hallways for safety. 

All entrances to the hospital are blocked, and several intersections have been closed, including: Route 50 between Prosperity Avenue and Gallows Road, Gallows Road between Arlington Boulevard and Woodburn Road, Woodburn Road between Gallows Road and Prosperity Avenue, and Prosperity Road between Woodburn Road and Arlington Boulevard.

Stay with News4 on-air and online for more on this developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[WATCH: Indiana Gov. Addresses Law Controversy]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:56:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mike-Pence-Indiana-Gov.jpg

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said in a Tuesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that a controversial bill he signed into law last week is not a "license to discriminate."

"I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore."

"As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it," he continued.

His published remarks are an attempt to quell the firestorm that's brewed since he affixed his signature to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last Thursday. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law maintain it could allow some businesses to refuse providing service or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

That's sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

Republican legislative leaders said they are working on adding language to the law to make it clear it does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Indiana's Religious Freedom Law: Who Opposes, Favors]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:49:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mike-Pence-Indiana-Gov.jpg

Indiana’s new religious freedom law provoked fierce reaction from both sides — critics who believe it provides a poorly disguised excuse to discriminate against gays and lesbians and supporters who say it protects religious beliefs.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the law last week and but the backlash was so widespread that on Tuesday he called for additional legislation this week to clarify that the law was not a license to discriminate.  He continued to insist that the bill had been mischaracterized and did not permit the denial of services to anyone, including gays and lesbians.

"Heavens no," he said, when he asked whether he expected the reaction.

The federal government and 20 other states have similar religious protection laws but some legal experts say the Indiana law broadened who could claim a religious burden and under what circumstances. Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws.

Here’s a look at who has been speaking out about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Those Speaking Out Against the Law

The head of the NCAA told NBC News on Monday that he is "deeply concerned" about an Indiana law that opponents say could be used to justify anti-gay discrimination.

The chief executives of nine major Indiana-based companies wrote to Pence on Monday saying they were worried about their own employees and the reputation of Indiana. Among the companies: Angie’s List, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Eli Lilly and Co. and Roche Diagnostics.

Hillary Clinton, widely expected to run for the Democratic 2016 presidential nomination, tweeted: "Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today."

Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut signed an executive order banning state-backed travel to Indiana. He called the move “disturbing, disgraceful, and outright discriminatory.” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also banned official travel to Indiana.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, told Fusion that Pence was on the wrong side of history.

AFSCME, the country’s largest public-employee union, said it would move a planned women's conference out of Indianapolis this year because of the law.

The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance.

"Parks and Recreation" star Nick Offerman canceled a comedy show in Indianapolis in May, citing the new law. But he said he would go forward with a show Wednesday at Indiana University and donate the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign.

In a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is gay, called the new wave of legislation dangerous.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce called the law unnecessary.

Supporting Indiana's Law

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said Pence was protecting religious liberty. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is weighing a run for the Republican nomination for the presidency, said on Fox News that he thought people should be allowed to live out their religious faith.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another likely Republican candidate, said the law would allow people of faith to express their beliefs. Speaking on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, he said that once the facts were established, he thought people would see that the law was not discriminatory.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["I'm Not Running": Warren Shuts Down 2016 Buzz Again]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:36:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP868875334282.jpg

Sorry, "Elizabeth Warren for President" holdouts.

The U.S. senator from Massachusetts on Tuesday dealt another blow to supporters — and rivals on the right — hoping she'll enter the 2016 race, repeating her intention to stay on the sidelines. 

"No, I am not running and I’m not going to run," she told NBC's Savannah Guthrie in an interview.

"I'm not running. I'm not running," she repeated when asked again whether there was any room to hedge.

Warren, who has gained a national profile as a vocal critic of Wall Street, has insisted for months that she does not plan to run against likely candidate and frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. On Tuesday, as she appeared on the "Today" show to promote her new memoir, she said serving in the U.S. Senate is the best platform for fighting for changes on financial regulation, student loans and more.

“I’m in Washington and I’ve got this really great job and a chance to try to make a difference on things that really matter," she said.

The senator's own words haven't stopped supporters on the left from continuing a draft-Warren effort to lay groundwork and generate support for a run. Republicans have also used the buzz surrounding a possible Warren bid to rally their base — citing the progressive Democrat in fundraising emails and other appeals for support.

Even as she rejected the speculation surrounding her own plans, Warren sidestepped a question about whether Clinton is the best messenger on issues embraced by the party's liberal wing.

“I think we need to give her a chance to decide if she’s going to run and declare and to lay out what she wants to run on," she said. "I think that's her opportunity to do that.”

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:53:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP827408520760_0_MidEast.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Police Chase]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:44:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/2015-03-31_0817.png

Three Fairfax County police officers were injured during a dramatic police chase that added to the chaos Tuesday morning in the suburb just outside of Washington, D.C .

Police say the chase began as a traffic stop near Little River Turnpike. The female driver refused to stop her silver pickup truck, leading police onto the Beltway and then Interstate 95. The woman made several u-turns before she crashed near the Fairfax County Parkway. Police were able to box her in and take her into custody.

The chase, which ended just before 8 a.m., is not related to the search for a prisoner who escaped custody at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The woman was wanted in Arlington County for credit card theft, forgery and other driving related offenses, a source told News4's David Culver.

All three officers were taken to an area hospital for injuries that are not life-threatening.

Watch the chase above. 

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<![CDATA[High School Students Arrested for Filming, Tweeting Sex Tape: Cops ]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:55:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_twitter_generic.jpg

Four southwest suburban Chicago high school students have been arrested on child pornography charges after filming themselves in a sex tape and posting it online, police said.

The teenagers, all students at Joliet Central High School, were taken into custody Friday from the school after a parent tipped off the police about the video, The Times Weekly reported.

The students, three males and one female, ranged from the ages of 14 to 16 years old, officials say.

Joliet Deputy Chief Al Roechner told the publication the sex was consensual but the teens crossed a “serious line” when they posted it to a Twitter account. Doing so is creating and distributing child pornography, which is a Class X felony.

The video has since been removed.

As of Monday evening, all four students remained in custody at the River Valley Juvenile Detention center, according to The Times Weekly.

<![CDATA[Woman, 70, Killed at Front Door]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:24:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/elderly+woman+shot+in+head.jpg

A 70-year-old woman was fatally shot in the head after answering her front door in Queens early Monday, according to police.

Police say someone either knocked on Leta Webb's door or rang the doorbell at her home on 119th Avenue in South Jamaica around 1:30 a.m.

When she opened the door, Webb was shot once in the head and once in the left arm, police say.

A relative said he heard a loud knocking and was on his way downstairs when he heard the gunshots.

"Me and her son come downstairs and she's laying in a pool of blood, a gunshot to the head and one to her hand," said son-in-law Kevin McDowell.

Webb was taken to Jamaica Hospital in serious condition; she later died there. 

There was no information on the suspect. 

<![CDATA["Nobody Listened": Professor Says He Warned LA Metro of Crossing Danger Before Crash]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:19:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/252*120/03-28-15+Train+Crash+LA+Times+Photo+%281%29.JPG

A University of Southern California professor who has studied Los Angeles' Metro system for the last 25 years says he warned the agency of dangers at a crossing where a student was critically injured in a car crash with a train over the weekend.

"This was not the first one and unfortunately will not be the last one," said USC researcher and engineering professor Dr. Najmedin Meshkati.

On Saturday, investigators say 31-year-old USC film student Jacob Fadley illegally made a left-hand turn, when the train slammed into his car and derailed.

"Our report was almost like 400 pages long - nobody listened," Meshkati said. "I think it's a function of lack of leadership and good oversight."

Meshkati wrote a paper about the safety of the then proposed Expo Line in 2007, and worked for free as a consultant for community groups that wanted more safety measures in place.

Back in 2012 he said Rodeo Road and Exposition Boulevard was particularly problematic, and that it was in his opinion  one of the most confusing and dangerous intersections in L.A. County. He said it had to be be redesigned and simplified for safety reasons.

Mehkati points to design flaws in every rail line of the city.

"The light train right of way was there, they put a track over there, they put some arms and gates and said OK, you guys work with it. This is not a good way," Meshkati said.

For Metro's part, it leans on the California Public Utilities Commission for compliance and tout a strong safety record that continues to make improvements. But they admit much of that rides on the public doing its part to stay safe.

"Those train cars weigh a 100,000 pounds apiece," said Metro's Marc Littman. "Even going at slow speeds they can't stop on a dime."

Littman said Metro train crashes are rare.

"We average on the light rail system about one motor vehicle accident for every 200,000 miles we travel," he said.

Metro said it is looking through onboard surveillance video in its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Saturday's crash.

Photo Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times]]>
<![CDATA[Plane Crash in French Alps: By the Numbers]]> Sun, 29 Mar 2015 06:38:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/germanwings-crash-467413136.jpg

A Germanwings co-pilot is believed to have deliberately crashed his plane into a mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people, including a woman and her mother from northern Virginia and an American man reportedly living in Barcelona.

Germanwings flight 4U 9525 was less than an hour into its route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, alone in the cockpit, locked the pilot out of the cockpit and crashed it, officials said Thursday. He apparently wanted to “destroy the plane,” a prosecutor said.

Yvonne Selke, a government contractor, and her daughter Emily, a recent Drexel University graduate, were both killed, their family said. So was Robert Oliver Calvo, a 37-year-old American man reportedly living in Barcelona, his father said.

The captain of the plane was Patrick Sonderheimer, sources confirmed to NBC News on Saturday.

Here is a brief look at the crash by the numbers.

27: The age of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot authorities say intentionally crashed the Germanwings plane after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

630: Number of flight hours co-pilot Lubitz had logged with Germanwings before the crash.

1: Number of crew members in the cockpit when the Germanwings jet crashed.

2: Number of crew members required in the cockpit at all times on United States airlines' flights. When one pilot uses the restroom, a flight attendant takes the pilot's place in the cockpit temporarily. Many international carriers, Lufthansa's Germanwings among them, have no such protocol.

1: Number of black boxes so far recovered. Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice recordings from it that led them to believe the co-pilot had deliberately crashed the plane.

150: Number of people aboard the jet — 144 passengers and six crew members, including Lubitz. All are dead.

3: Number of Americans on board — Yvonne and Emily Selke, and Robert Oliver Calvo.

2: Number of babies included in the passenger count.

16: Number of 10th-graders from a German high school who were on the plane, along with their two teachers.

38,000: The altitude at which the plane was cruising just before it began its descent and crashed.

8: The number of minutes the plane descended steadily before crashing.

6,550: The approximate altitude of the Alpine site where the plane crashed, near the town of Digne in the French Alps.

More than 6,000: The number of hours the plane's captain had logged on the plane.

24: The age of the plane in years.

46,700: The number of flights the plane had made before its crash.

About 58,300: The number of flight hours the aircraft accumulated since it was delivered to Lufthansa in 1991.

1953: The year an Air France plane crashed near the site of the Germanwings crash, near the town of Barcelonette, killing 49 people.

50,000: The number of euros Lufthansa will pay, as a preliminary payment, to the relatives of each deceased passenger to help cover immediate costs, a company spokesperson told NBC News. The money will not have to be paid back, Lufthansa said.

400: Number of French officers mobilized for the plane crash, according to the French National Gendarmerie.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Retired NYPD Detective Dies Saving Boy From Drowning: Report]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:31:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ocean_waves_generic_wavesgeneric.jpg

A retired NYPD officer reportedly died over the weekend as he saved a young boy from drowning during a family trip in Puerto Rico.

The body of Jose Rosario, 47, washed ashore Monday after he was swept away by choppy waters two days earlier when he jumped into the water at Playa de Jobos to rescue a 12-year-old boy who was struggling to stay afloat, according to the New York Post.

Rosario was able to get the boy to safety onto a rock, but the former Manhattan detective of more than 20 years was pulled away by a wave as his wife and children watched, according to the Post. 

<![CDATA[Missing Student Killed by Car]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:50:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/knbc-eloi-vasquez.jpg

Friends and teammates were grieving Monday after learning that a beloved UC Berkeley student athlete who went missing in Los Angeles over the weekend was fatally struck by a car as he ran across freeway lanes.

Eloi Vasquez, 19, was hit on the eastbound 10 Freeway east of Vermont Avenue (map) about an hour after friends said they last saw him leaving a party near the USC campus, officials with the Los Angeles Police Department said.

It was unclear why Vasquez was on the freeway. The 45-year-old driver of the Chevrolet Impala stopped and told California Highway Patrol officers the man was running across lanes and she could not avoid him. The car was going about 60 mph, the CHP said.

Vasquez was declared dead at the scene. The driver was not arrested.

"We're heartbroken, we're devastated," said Wesley Mallette, a Cal associate athletics director.

Vasquez's family did not immediately comment on his death. Police said the family was "very distraught" and asked for privacy.

Vasquez didn't have ID or money on him when he left the fraternity house party in the 600 block of West 28th Street about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

However, he did have a cellphone and had told friends over the phone that he was "going to the beach."

He was also on the phone with a friend in Northern California about 2:18 a.m. He told her he was "screwed," scared and lost.

CHP officials said Vasquez was struck by the car about 2:25 a.m. The coroner's office confirmed that the victim was Vasquez.

Vasquez was a freshman midfielder on the UC Berkeley soccer team. Friends said they made the trip to Los Angeles for spring break.

"Eloi was a wonderful teammate, he was very close to all of his players and our guys are grieving pretty hard" said Cal soccer coach Kevin Grimes. "I really loved Eloi and I know our teammates did, too."

The news of his death came as family members announced a $100,000 reward for his safe return and also said they hired a private investigator to help locate the teen from Novato.

The Cal Athletics website described Vasquez as "a wonderful young man who has excelled both academically and athletically here at Cal."

"Eloi always had a way of making you laugh and he brought energy to the room," said Vasquez's teammate, Alex Mangels, as he fought back tears.

A toxicology report was expected to be complete in a few weeks.



NBC4's Irene Moore contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Nanny Accused of Burning Child]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:32:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Lidia+Quilligana+1200.jpg

Bond for a nanny accused of deliberately burning a 3-year-old girl she was supposed to be caring for has been set at $1 million.

When the mother returned to her Danbury, Connecticut, home after work on Friday, the nanny explained the second-degree burns on the little girl’s hands and leg by saying she was tending to the other children when the little girl accidentally touched the hot stove, police said.

After taking her daughter to the doctor, the mother watched footage from the hidden nanny camera she had recently installed and saw that the nanny intentionally inflicted the child’s injuries, police said.

Police responded to the home around 9:30 p.m. on Friday after the mother called police, then went to the Danbury home of the nanny, Lidia Quilligana, 31, and arrested her.

Quilligana was charged with first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor and third-degree criminal mischief and held on a $100,000 bond. 

When she appeared in court on Monday, Quilligana's attorney said her client is a mother of two with no criminal record and there had been no prior complaints in the year she has watched the child.

She then asked that bond remain at $10,000, but the prosecution argued that the child's mother was suspicious enough at some point to install a hidden camera and the judge increased bond to $1 million

It was continued on Monday and Quilligana is due back in court on April 22.

If Quilligana is able to post bond, she will have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and surrender her passport.

The case has been referred to the special victims unit to follow up.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police]]>
<![CDATA[Drunken Mother Abandons Child in Trash Bin: Police]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:05:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/alicia-carroll.jpg

A mother has been charged with endangering her 7-year-old daughter after getting drunk and leaving her "hiding" in a trash bin overnight in a "high crime" area, Dallas police say.

Dallas police said 28-year-old Alicia Carroll called them Sunday morning alleging the person she left her daughter with Saturday night refused to return her.

Carroll told police she left the King Spa and Sauna on Royal Lane to clear her head at about 10 p.m., leaving her child inside with an acquaintance. A spa employee told NBC 5 that Carroll was drunk when she, along with her daughter, left a party at the spa Saturday night.

After the call Sunday morning, Dallas police began searching for Carroll's daughter by air and ground. The young girl wasn't found until about 11:15 a.m. when two passers-by flagged down an officer and asked if they were looking for a small black girl in a yellow shirt and shorts.

With the tip, officers quickly found the missing girl, describing her condition as hungry and thirsty, filthy, wearing no shoes and suffering from several cuts and scrapes to her arms and legs.

The girl told police she and her mother left the spa and were walking down the street when her mother started running. The girl said her mother told her they were being followed by the police and that they would have to hide.

Police said Carroll helped her child into the trash bin and then left her there alone in a "high crime area ... by a creek and wooded area." The child eventually fell asleep in the trash bin and woke up about 10 hours later. After exiting the bin, she began walking down Royal Lane toward the spa.

Carroll later admitted to police that she became intoxicated after having two vodka drinks in the parking lot and didn't remember much after that until the next morning when she couldn't locate her daughter. Police said Carroll also eventually remembered leaving the spa with her child and that they had been talking about the day, but then couldn't remember anything else.

The child was taken to a nearby hospital for an evaluation and then released to a family member, according to police. Child Protective Services was notified.

Police said they arrested Carroll Sunday afternoon and charged her with endangering a child. She is being held on $25,000 bond.

Carroll works as a daycare teacher, according to Dallas police.

Carroll's sister and neighbor both tell NBC 5 she is a good mother who loves her daughter very much. The family had no explanation for what occurred Saturday night. They would also not go on camera.

As of Monday evening, there was no attorney information listed for Carroll.

NBC 5's Todd L. Davis and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[School Assistant Feared Demons: DA]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:30:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/linda+lira+arraignment+court.jpg

A school employee who barricaded children in a San Diego-area classroom last week thought there were demons outside and wanted to protect the children, Deputy District Attorney Jessica Paugh said Monday.

Linda Lira, 31, of San Diego, is in custody facing three felony charges of false imprisonment of a minor and one misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest after what her attorney characterized as a breakdown at the Lemon Grove Academy where she works as an after-care assistant.

“Miss Lira suffers from emotional issues,” Defense attorney Corey Wlodarczyk said after his client's arraignment Monday.

Lira was taken to the hospital Wednesday evening after some strange behavior at the school.

Paugh said Lira was working as an after-care assistant when she started acting strangely at around 4 p.m.

Paugh said at the time, Lira said there were demons outside and that she wanted to protect the children ranging in age from nine to 11 years old. She locked herself in the room with the children and then moved to barricade the door. 

As children tried to leave the room, they were injured according to the prosecutor.

Two minors suffered minor injuries, she said, when one child was slapped on the hand and two were pushed to the ground.

When staff intervened, Lira fought them, undressed and dressed again, upended desks and threw things around the room, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO).

Lira was arrested and accused of 28 counts of felony child endangerment and false imprisonment initially. She was held at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility, where bail was set at $2.1 million.

However, at her arraignment Monday, prosecutors filed just four charges against her saying any other allegations were still under investigation.

There were no charges filed regarding child endangerment, which lead the judge to order a reduction in bail.

Lira was now being held on $500,000 bail as requested by the prosecution.

Defense attorneys said they are still trying to piece together what happened that day in the classroom.

Wlodarczyk called the incident "uncharacteristic" for her and said he believed she had a breakdown triggered by something in her past.

According to some accounts, they said, Lira took off only her shoes in front of the children and later removed other pieces of clothing once she was with law enforcement. The SDSO told NBC 7 Lira undressed when staff intervened. 

When asked how his client was handling the incident, Wlodarcyzk said, “She’s scared. She’s never been in the criminal justice system before.”

“She wants to take it one day at a time,” he said.

Attorneys from both sides said Lira did not have drugs in her system at the time of the incident.

Her maximum exposure if convicted would be more than four years. 

Twenty-five family members attended the arraignment but did not want to address the media. 

The suspect’s sister, Cathy Lira, previously told NBC 7 that she had never seen that kind of behavior from Lira before, though she had been making some strange comments recently about Lucifer and warriors protecting her.

Lira has declined an interview request from NBC 7.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Staff]]>
<![CDATA[Carter on Enlistment Standards]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:06:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP493464879669.jpg

Saying the military needs to do more to compete with corporate America for quality recruits, Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened the door Monday to relaxing some enlistment standards — particularly for high-tech or cybersecurity jobs.

Speaking to students at his former suburban Philadelphia high school, Carter said the military could ease age requirements and bring in older people who are mid-career, or provide student loan repayments to attract students who have finished college.

There are few details so far, but Carter said the military needs to be more flexible in order to recruit and retain quality people.

The idea, largely in line with the civilian approach to recruitment, upends the military's more rigid mindset, which puts a high value on certain standards. It reignites a persistent debate about how the services approve waivers for recruits who have committed lesser crimes, behaved badly, are older than current regulations allow or have other physical issues that prevent them from joining the military.

Carter sees recruitment and retention as major challenges to a military coming out of two wars and facing turmoil around the world.

At Fort Drum, New York, Carter told 10th Mountain Division soldiers that he knows they have many choices as they consider future jobs.

"Are we able to compete, are we able to keep up?" he asked the division soldiers, some of whom are preparing to deploy to southern Afghanistan. He also announced for the first time that some of division soldiers will deploy to Iraq later this summer. About 1,250 will go.

Carter added that the Defense Department needs to be innovative and "to think outside the five-sided box" of the Pentagon.

Specifically, he pointed to cyber jobs as an area where standards could be relaxed. Military leaders have long complained that it is difficult to attract and keep cyber professionals in the services because they can make far more money in private industry.

This is not the first time, however, that the services have looked to reduced restrictions as a way to entice more recruits.

During 2006-07, the military steadily increased the number of bad behavior waivers as the services — particularly the Army and Marine Corps — struggled to meet deployment demands in Iraq and Afghanistan. The services let in more recruits with criminal records, including some with felony convictions, in order to meet recruiting quotas.

And in some cases, the services relaxed age restrictions, allowing older people to enlist or rejoin the military.

But as the wars dragged on and suicides, sexual assaults and other bad behavior by service members spiked, military leaders began to question whether there was a link to the relaxed enlistment standards.

Carter also is considering other changes to help ensure the military attracts the best and brightest, including programs to pay off student debt, improvements to the retirement, promotion and evaluation systems and doing more to allow sabbaticals for service members.

There has been much discussion lately about allowing service members to participate in 401(k)-type programs, because as much as 80 percent of the people who enlist don't stay in service long enough to earn retirement benefits. Carter told the Fort Drum soldiers he is "looking very hard" at that type of program for those who leave before they hit the 20-year retirement mark.

In his speech to more than 1,000 students at Abington Senior High outside Philadelphia, Carter said the military has to work harder to compete with corporate America for highly skilled graduates.

"Because we too often talk about sacrifice alone, which is no small thing, we probably don't spend enough time highlighting the opportunities that exist and the fulfillment one has from achieving excellence and doing it in service to your country," said Carter, a member of Abington's class of 1972. "No one should gloss over the hardships or the dangers of military life, but I do want you to understand how fulfilling and rewarding military life can be also."

Carter also alluded to his lack of military service, telling students, "You don't have to join the military service to serve your country, I didn't."

But he said "the military, and public service as a whole is worthy of your respect, worthy of your support and worth of your consideration."

After visiting his former high school, Carter flew to Fort Drum.

Brigades from the 10th Mountain Division served as anchor units in eastern Afghanistan for much of the war, particularly during the early years when the U.S. had only a smaller force there. For many years they rotated with brigades from the 82nd Airborne Division.

On Tuesday, he will visit Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

The Defense Department has launched a partnership with the institute and the Schultz Family Foundation for a program called Onward to Opportunity, which will provide industry-specific training and job placement assistance for service members and spouses as the troops leave the military.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Plaskon to Use Insanity Defense]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:12:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MilfordStabbingCourtPIC00000000.jpg

A teen accused of stabbing and killing a classmate in a Connecticut high school stairwell on prom day last spring is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity at a pretrial hearing on Tuesday, according to his attorney.

Christopher Plaskon, 17, has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of Maren Sanchez at Milford's Jonathan Law High School hours before the school prom last April. He could face as many as 60 years in prison.

Although authorities have been tight lipped about a potential motive, classmates speculated that Plaskon might have been angry that Sanchez turned down his invitation to go to prom together and that she was instead going to go with her new boyfriend.

Plaskon, who is being tried as an adult, pleaded not guilty last June despite allegedly telling police, "I did it. Just arrest me." He underwent a psychological evaluation that wrapped up in January.

According to documents released by defense attorney Richard Meehan, Plaskon will "rely on the affirmative defense that at the time of the alleged commission of the offense, he was suffering from a mental disease or defect and/or extreme emotional disturbance."

Plaskon waived a trial by jury and will instead go before a three-judge panel.

A motion filed in court ahead of Tuesday's status proceedings says the defense team plans to "introduce expert testimony relating to the affirmative defense of mental disease or defect and/or extreme emotional disturbance and/or another condition bearing on the issue of whether he had the requisite mental state for the offense charged."

Plaskon is being held on a $3 million bond at the Manson Youth Institute in Cheshire, a correctional facility for boys and young men ages 12 to 19. He is currently taking both anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medication, according to his attorney.

If he's found not guilty by reason of insanity, Plaskon could be held in a Connecticut mental facility for 60 years, but he could also be released much eawrlier if it's determined he poses no threat to himself or the public.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[331 Chinchillas Found at Wisc. Home]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:54:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chinchilla+home.jpg

A Wisconsin home was deemed uninhabitable after police say more than 330 chinchillas were found living inside. 

Police responded to the home in the 2200 block of Melody Lane in Waukesha Sunday morning for a well-being check when they said they saw “obvious living condition issues” at the residence.

Officers called the home a “hoarder home” and said it was filled with stacks of clothing and various belongings.

Police said 331 living chinchillas were housed in the living room and dining room of the rental property and 25 deceased chinchillas were found in the garage and a chest freezer in the basement.

Three children-- a 7-year-old, a 9-year-old and a 17-year-old – also lived in the home, according to authorities.

“The smell of ammonia was so overwhelming that officers contacted the Fire Department, who were able to test the environment with specialized equipment,” a release from the Waukesha Police Department said. “They deemed the air unsafe to breath and the residence uninhabitable.”

The Humane Animal Welfare Society plans to take custody of the chinchillas and evaluate their health but will conduct "further examinations" before doing so as the owners refused to surrender custody of the animals.

The Department of Health and Human Services also responded to the scene and said child neglect charges will be referred for each parent. Officials also planned to explore charges for poor treatment of animals, but it was not immediately clear what those charges would be. 

Police did not release the identities of the animals' owners. 

Photo Credit: Waukesha Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's to Test All-Day Breakfast in San Diego]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:02:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mcdonalds+sign+new+1.jpg

Could you soon get an Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich after 10:30 a.m.?

A McDonald's spokesperson told NBC Chicago the company plans to begin testing all-day breakfast next month at select restaurants in the San Diego area. 

"We know our customers love McDonald’s breakfast and they tell us they’d like to enjoy it beyond the morning hours," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to learning from this test, and it’s premature to speculate on any outcomes. We’re excited to serve our customers in this area some of McDonald’s great-tasting breakfast sandwiches, hash browns and other favorites all day long."

The move comes as the fast food giant based in Oak Brook, Illinois, fights to maintain its slot at the top of the fast food breakfast chain.

The president of McDonald's USA, Jeff Stratton, told the Associated Press last year that the chain was in the early stages of looking at whether it can extend its breakfast hours.

According to the company’s website, the reason breakfast isn’t served all day is because of the size of their kitchen grills.

“They simply don’t have the room for all of our menu options at one time — especially considering we use our grill to prepare many items on our breakfast menu,” the website reads.

McDonald's has continuously entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day. The company offers an "After Midnight" menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations wouldn't be overwhelmed.

McDonald's has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales. But the chain has faced stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.

McDonald's, which has more than 14,000 U.S. locations, has also said it plans to step up its marketing of breakfast as it faces intensifying competition.

As for extending its breakfast hours, the world's largest hamburger chain is known for treading extremely carefully when discussing any tests or potential changes. Such matters are considered sensitive in large part because they would require the support of the company's network of franchisees.

<![CDATA[Apple's Tim Cook: "Religious Objection" Laws Are "Very Dangerous"]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:22:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tim-cook-apple-fortuna.jpg

Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed Indiana's new "religious objection" legislation over the weekend, penning a Washington Post piece warning that “there’s something very dangerous happening in America.”

The piece, which was posted late Sunday night, said the openly gay executive, who was raised in a Baptist home in the South, was "deeply disappointed" in the recently passed "Religious Freedom Restoration" law in Indiana that shields business owners who turn away customers for religious reasons.

"This isn’t a political issue," he wrote. "It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous."

Cook called this new wave of legislation "very dangerous," noting there are about 100 similar bills under consideration in two dozen states. And he added that they "go against the very principles our nation was founded on" and "have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."

“America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business,” he wrote. “At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers' lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That's why, on behalf of Apple, I'm standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I'm writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement.”

Cook, who was baptized in a Baptist church and grew up in the South in the 1960s and 1970s.  He publicly disclosed that he is gay in October. Last week, Cook announced that he will give his fortune away.

Photo Credit: NBC NEWS]]>
<![CDATA[8 Killed, 10 Hurt in Florida Van Crash]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:35:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/swflavancrash.jpg

Eight people were killed and 10 injured when the van they were in crashed into a canal early Monday in southwest Florida, NBC affiliate WBBH reports.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a preliminary investigation showed that a vehicle carrying 18 people and heading eastbound on SR-78 passed through a stop sign in the town of Moore Haven after midnight.

The van then traveled across all lanes of US-27 and crashed into a steep, partially-filled water canal.

The van is said to be from a church out of the Fort Pierce area, which is north of West Palm Beach, and was headed back after a weekend convention in Fort Meyers, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to NBC 6 South Florida teams on the scene, a smashed van was loaded onto the back of a flatbed truck at the crash site. That van belongs to the Independent Haitian Assembly of God, with a listed address of 1914 Orange Ave in Fort Pierce

The driver of the van and seven passengers died. Ten other passengers were transported to local hospitals.

The ten passengers were taken to four area hospitals, according to FHP.  One patient, a 4-year-old child, was in stable condition at a Fort Meyers hospital. At least two patients were classified as trauma alerts. The other passengers conditions range from serious to stable. The injury status of the other patients it not immediately known.


One of the five patients taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Meyers has been released, according to the hospital's administrative supervisor. Two patients there were in critical condition and two others were in stable condition Monday morning, he said.

FHP says it was not foggy in the area of the crash scene in Glades County, west of Lake Okeechobee. The T-intersection is said to be surrounded by farmland.

Photo Credit: Julia Bagg/NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[$100K Reward for Missing College Student in LA: Family]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:53:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/3-29-15+Missing+UC+Berkeley+student.JPG

A $100,000 reward was being offered for the safe return of a UC Berkeley student who went missing after leaving a party near the University of Southern California campus early Saturday morning, family members said.

Eloi Vasquez, a 19-year-old freshman who plays on the school's soccer team, walked out of a fraternity house in the 600 block of West 28th Street about 1:30 a.m. with only his cellphone in hand.

His friends tried to get him to come back to the party, but he told them over the phone he "was going to the beach."

Vasquez then called a friend, Aurora Cardena, in Northern California at 2:18 a.m. and told her he was "screwed" and got lost, his mother Wendy Margolin said.

"He pretty much said, 'I need you to come over here, I need help.' I asked him 'Where are you?' and he told me that he was in LA and that he didn’t know where he was at and that he was lost," Aurora Cardenas told NBC Bay Area. "The second time he called it just clicked. I didn’t know if his phone died, or if he hung up."

When Vasquez left the party he didn't have his wallet, money or ID with him. The phone he used to call his friend has since died.

"Everyone knows how responsible he is, how dedicated to school he is and he hasn't contacted anyone since," Margolin said. "Something is going on with him."

Vasquez's parents drove to LA from Northern California on Saturday hoping to find their son. The home where Vasquez was last seen has since been littered with fliers by friends also in hopes of his return.

A $50,000 reward was offered for Vasquez's safe return Sunday. The amount was doubled Monday. 

"All his friends are out scouring for him... looking around for him," Margolin said. They've gone to lifeguard towers in the Santa Monica and Venice area, hoping someone has seen him.

His mother planned to visit candy and doughnut shops that stayed open late night near where the party was.

Vasquez's friends said they had been drinking at the party on spring break.

"It's definitely unlike him and we're very concerned," said Vasquez's friend, Marko Helfrich.

Vasquez is described as 6 feet tall, weighing about 175 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a baseball T-shirt with red sleeves, gray pants and white tennis shoes.

"Eloi is a wonderful young man who has excelled both academically and athletically here at Cal. Our entire Cal Athletics family is very concerned for Eloi’s safety and our first priority is to help in any way we can to locate him," the Berkeley athletics department said in a statement.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 213-486-8582.

<![CDATA[JetBlue Computers Back Online After Outage]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:01:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Jetblue+System+Down+2.jpg

A computer outage that caused delays for thousands of JetBlue Airways passengers early Monday morning has been resolved, the company said.

JetBlue Airways said it had fixed a systemwide computer problem by 6:15 a.m. Eastern that has caused delays because the airline had to manually check in passengers.

NBC News reported that the airline had to issue handwritten boarding passes to passengers at many airports.


The company said in an email that passengers might experience delays throughout the day. It did not specify how long it would take to work through delays and get operations back to normal.

The airline did not immediately respond to inquiries on how many flights were affected, but passengers at airports in Boston; Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C., took to social media to report long lines and delays. 

Photo Credit: Charlie Field
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<![CDATA[Robin Williams' Children Battle Widow Over Estate ]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:08:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP741201775385.jpg

Seven months after Robin Williams' tragic suicide, his family is taking their battle over his estate to the courtroom.

According to court documents, Williams’ three children will dispute with the late actor's widow, Susan Schneider, Monday morning over the rights to Williams' Marin County home and the belongings inside.

In her filing, Schnieder alleges the comedian's children from two previous marriages took items without her permission from the Tiburon, California, home she shared with Williams.

Williams' trust granted his children his memorabilia and awards in the entertainment industry and some other specific personal items, but also called for the creation of provisions to benefit his wife, who has two teenage sons of her own. This included the couple's home in Tiburon, California and "the contents thereof,” according to the actors will, The New York Times reported.

Schneider is asking the court to exclude the contents of the Tiburon home from items Williams wanted the children to have.

The case over the details of Williams’ trust is expected to go beyond Monday’s initial hearing.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Thrown From Moving Car]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:39:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/212*120/3-29-15+Woman+Thrown+From+Car+2.JPG

A Southern California woman was allegedly thrown out of a moving car in downtown Los Angeles after getting into an argument with her boyfriend Sunday, officials from the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The domestic dispute happened near the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street at 12:20 a.m.

Officials who responded to the scene found the injured 19-year-old on the ground and her unharmed dog by her side. The dog was not thrown from the car, officials said.

It was unclear how fast the car was moving when the woman was shoved out of it.

She was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

A driver of a BMW was detained in connection with the incident.

Photo Credit: OnSceneTV]]>