<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 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 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:29:04 -0500 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:29:04 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[USC Player Suspended For Rescue Lie]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:27:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/USC+Josh+Shaw.jpg

A USC football player and co-captain admitted on Wednesday that he lied when he said he hurt his ankles while jumping off a second-floor balcony to save his drowning nephew from a pool, university athletic department officials said.

Senior cornerback Josh Shaw told USC's Ripsit Blog that he jumped off the balcony on Aug. 23, landed on the concrete and crawled into the pool to rescue the child, suffering the sprains as a result of the jump.

But on Wednesday, Shaw admitted that the story was "a complete fabrication" and apologized for misleading his coach, team and the public, according to a USC athletics statement.

The blog has since deleted its initial story about the rescue. Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities, according to the statement.

"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in the statement."He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story."

Shaw's attorney released a response on his behalf.

"On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to tell the truth," the statement read. "I apologize to USC for this action on my part."

Sarkisian said earlier Wednesday that the campus was looking into phone calls that disputed Shaw's account of what happened.

"I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized," Sarkisian said in the statement Wednesday. "Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him."

On Tuesday, Sarkisian defended Shaw and said he had "no reason, no history to not believe Josh."

Los Angeles police said Tuesday they had not had any contact with Shaw, but they did take a burglary report Aug. 23, the same night of his fall, in which the victim named Shaw as her boyfriend.

"He is not listed as a suspect, and police had no contact with him," LAPD Officer Sara Faden told NBC4. "His name is just listed in the body of a police report."

Officers responded to the call about 11 p.m., Faden said. While officers were speaking with people outside, a resident returned and spoke to police.

They asked her about her roommates and "people in her life," and she mentioned Shaw as her boyfriend, Faden said.



Photo Credit: USC Athletics]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Rescue Suicidal Man From Train]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:20:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2014-08-27_1514.jpg

As a train barreled into a Washington Metro station toward a man who'd thrown himself onto the tracks, two police officers and stunned onlookers desperately worked to save him -- and they did, with no time to spare.

The terrifying situation unfolded at the Rhode Island Avenue station on Tuesday night as a 22-year-old D.C. man tried to take his own life, Metro said.

Metro Transit Police officers were called around 9:15 p.m. because the man was reportedly harassing others on the platform. When the officers approached, he jumped onto the track bed as the platform lights began to blink, indicating a Red Line train was pulling into the station.

The man said he wanted to die, Metro said.

While the officers radioed for help, trying to get the train to stop, others on the platform frantically waved their arms to signal to the train operator.

The operator saw what was happening and activated the train's emergency braking system, but there wasn't enough time to stop the train.

That's when the man changed his mind and desperately tried to lunge back onto the platform. The officers pulled him from the train's path just in time.

The man was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was not physically injured.

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<![CDATA[Napa Quake: $300M in Private Damage]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:21:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/0827-2014-napa.jpg

Sunday’s magnitude-6.0 earthquake caused an estimated $300 million in damages to homes and private buildings, according to Napa city leaders’ most recent assessment released Wednesday.

The dollar figure includes only private structures, and not the damage to public buildings or general economic loss, according to the city report.

City leaders also said 113 buildings have been added to the red-tag list of buildings deemed uninhabitable, and 83 water lines still need to be fixed.

In addition, 500 buildings were still on the yellow tag list of buildings that people could go inside, but at their own risk.

The numbers keep moving, and the city created a map to try to reflect the most current figures, showing where all the problems are, and when they're being fixed. As of Wednesday, PG&E reported all customers had their power back on, down from a peak of 70,000 customers who had no electricity.

And most all Napa students headed back to public school for the first time since the earthquake.

In terms of the human toll from the quake that struck at 3:20 a.m. Sunday, 209 patients were treated at Queen of the Valley Hospital, with 18 admitted for some period of time. Most injuries were orthopedic.

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Dillon was one of those patients was airlifted to UC Davis Children's Hospital, and despite a pelvic fracture, he was feeling lucky that things were not worse.

No one died during the quake, the largest one to hit the Bay Area in 25 years.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED: Napa is updating its numbers and providing phone numbers on who to call on the city website.



Photo Credit: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Quake Vic: "I Could Have Died"]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:37:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/nicholas-dillon1.jpg

Nicholas Dillon has a broken pelvis and won’t play soccer again for months.

But the bed-ridden 13-year-old Napa boy still counts himself lucky. He was one of the most seriously injured among the 208 people hospitalized after Sunday’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake rattled the Bay Area.

"That day I could have died” he said.

A fireplace fell on top of Dillon's lower body when the quake hit at 3:20 a.m. He believes if he hadn't moved, he could have been crushed to death by the bricks.

Instead, the freckle-faced teen was giving interviews from his hospital bed at the University of California at Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento Tuesday night, retelling the harrowing story of what happened when he first felt the earth move and the house shake.

"I started crawling trying to get to the door," he said, "and just as I was about to put my knee on the floor the chimney collapsed on my lower back."

Nicholas and his friend, Imanol Villanueva, were sleeping in the living room after a friend's birthday party Saturday night. Nicholas was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, directly under the brick fireplace. He had given Imanol the couch.

"He started yelling my name," Imanol said, still teary remembering what happened when the earth shook. "And then I yelled his and then I saw the bricks coming down on him."

The bricks ended up crushing Dillon's pelvis, but thankfully, his family says, not his spine.

"I didn't know what to think," Nicholas said. "For the first 30 seconds, I thought I was paralyzed. I didn't think I was going to be able to walk anymore. I was scared."

His mother called 911, but couldn't get an answer. His grandfather drove him to the nearest fire station, where he was taken to the hospital. He was airlifted to UC Davis, where he underwent a 10-hour surgery, his family said. Of the 208 patients first admitted to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, he was one of two critical cases.

Doctors say it will be at least four or five months before he can put pressure on his legs.

As a soccer player, that news is especially disappointing for the 9th grader at New Technology High.

"I'm hanging in there for the most part," he said.

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED:
Nicholas Dillon's family set up an account to help with medical costs. To help, contact Bank of America and reference an account in the name of Nicholas M. Dillon, No. 1641-0344-2511.
 

NBC News and NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Razors Found at SoCal Playground]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:04:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/08-27-14_Razorblades_Playground.JPG

Parents in Victor Valley are being warned about razor blades and other sharp objects investigators believe were intentionally placed on a playground to injure children.

Double-edged razor blades and bent forks were found buried in sand and hidden in playground equipment Tuesday at a community park at 3rd Street and Meyer Street in Oro Grande.

Park maintenance workers reported the blades, and no children have been injured. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department’s Victor Valley station issued a statement saying it believes the blades were an isolated incident and that no known threats have been made against children who play at the park.

"My thoughts are that's very dangerous and I'm very concerned for the children who play here every day at this park," said Stephanie Williams, a parent who was at the park Wednesday. "If it was purposely planned to purposely hurt somebody then we really got to worry about the motives of people."

Williams said parents will need to be extra vigilant when visiting the park.

"It's sad but it's true. Parents are going to have to do another job when they come to the park, when they bring their children here," she said.

The department has asked anyone who might have information about who may have placed the objects to come forward.

“We need to protect our children and we need anyone who has information regarding this serious crime to come forward,” Sgt. Jim Evans said in the statement. “We are thankful to park employees for doing a thorough inspection of their facilities and locating these dangerous items before a child was injured.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Deputy Brandon Kirkendall at 760-552-6800.

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<![CDATA[School Bus Driver Drunk: Cops]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:05:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tammy+Costello+1200.jpg

A school bus driver was drunk, with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit, when she dropped students off at the Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington on Wednesday morning, according to police.

M and J school bus driver Tammy Costello, 44, of Bristol, was arrested at school this morning after an officer driving behind her noticed the bus tires swerve off the pavement, according to police.

"He greeted students as they were getting off the bus, and a couple of them made reference to the potential that the driver may have hit a curb or two along the way," said Farmington police spokesman Lt. Colin Ryan.

The officer spoke with the driver and immediately suspected she was drunk.

Costello failed field sobriety tests and was brought to the Farmington Police Department, where breath tests came back at .139, then .134, more than three times the legal limit for the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, police said. 

She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, failure to drive right, and 20 counts of risk of injury to a minor – one for each of the students on board.

NBC Connecticut tried to contact Costello at her Bristol home, but there was no answer.

Farmington Supt. Kathleen Greider has sent a letter to parents saying every child who was on the bus was brought to the nurse to be checked for injuries and any other concerns. 

"All students returned to class after a thorough assessment and parents were contacted.  Please be assured that the safety of our students – your children – is our highest priority, and we take that responsibility very seriously," Greider said in the letter.

She also provided parents with a letter from the bus company. 

"The M and J Bus Company is appalled at the incident that occurred this morning involving one of our bus drivers. We are committed to working closely with the Farmington Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident. Please know that thorough background checks of all employees are conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles before employees are allowed to transport students," the statement  says.

The statement says M and J Bus Company conducts alcohol and drug testing when they hire employees, who are also subject to "rigorous random alcohol and drug testing." 

M and J has suspended Costello pending an investigation.

"We hold our employees to the highest expectations and safety is our number one priority. We apologize to the Farmington community for this incident as we are a long-standing Farmington company and we are deeply committed to the safety of ALL Farmington students," the statement from M and J says.

Costello was released on a $25,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court on Sept. 2.



Photo Credit: Farmington Police]]>
<![CDATA[Pilot Missing in Fighter Jet Crash]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:48:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/crashscene2.jpg

The pilot of a Massachusetts Air National Guard F-15C fighter that crashed Wednesday morning in Deerfield, Virginia, is still unaccounted for, a military official said Wednesday afternoon. It's still not known why the plane, which was en route from Massachusetts to New Orleans, went down.

"There is an ongoing rescue mission," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing commander. "At this time we have not had contact with our pilot. The rescue mission is ongoing. Until we know the status of the pilot, we can't release more information." 

The name of the pilot was not released, but Keefe said "he or she" is very experienced and is a full-time member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Virginia State Police say witnesses have shown authorities photos and videos of the crash, which is helping them focus their search efforts.

A woman who lives about two miles from the crash site said she heard it about 9 a.m. ET.

“I was laying in bed and I felt a jolt. It shook my house. I heard a big boom and a roar afterward,” Lisa Dula told NBC News. “You could see the smoke going up in the air."

The Augusta County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office said the plane crashed near Deerfield Valley Road in George Washington National Park. The pilot was the only person on board. 

No one on the ground was hurt, as the plane crashed in a remote area. But the pilot has not been accounted for.

Keefe said the crash site is in a remote, wooded, mountainous region, so cell phone use is extremely limited, making it difficult to communicate with the rescue officials on scene.

He said the Air National Guard is supporting the pilot's family, and sent people to talk with them earlier in the day.

"It's a traumatic event for everyone here," Keefe said. "We're thinking about the family."

He said the F-15C was a 1986 model and was slated to receive a radar upgrade. He said it is very unusual for these jets to crash, since they don't drop bombs and are typically used for air-to-air missions.

Garrett Beck, who works on a farm a mile from the crash site, said he heard two big booms and went outside, thinking a tractor-trailer had blown a tire.

"I turned around and there was a mushroom cloud," he said. "It looked like something you see in a movie after they dropped a bomb."

The fighter jet left Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning. The 104th Fighter Wing said it lost radio contact with the jet around 9:05 a.m. during its cross country mission over the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The pilot reported an inflight emergency prior to radio contact being lost. Subsequently, there were reports of dark smoke being seen around the jet's last known location.

Virginia State Police said earlier Wednesday that the crash site has been visually located due to heavy smoke coming from the side of a nearby mountain, but the exact site has not been identified. The terrain is described as "very rugged." The sheriff's office is setting up a command center in Deerfield, Virginia.



Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Freed American Hostage Speaks]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:40:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/curtis4.jpg

Freed American hostage Peter Theo Curtis said Wednesday he's "overwhelmed by emotion" after learning that hundreds of people worked to secure his release.

"In the days following my release on Sunday, I have learned bit by bit that there have been literally hundreds of people working for my release," Curtis said, speaking from outside his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "They've been working for two years on this. I had no idea when I was in prison that so much effort was being expended on my behalf."

The American writer, who was held hostage by an al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria for 22 months, was freed over the weekend and returned home to Massachusetts on Tuesday night, where he was reunited with his mother.

"I'm overwhelmed by emotion. I'm also overwhelmed by total strangers saying, 'We're just glad you're home. Welcome home,'" he said. "I suddenly remember how good the American people are and what good they have in their hearts. To those people, a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Curtis spoke for only about a minute or so on Wednesday. He did not take any questions or address the details of his captivity. He said needs time to bond with his mother and family and promised to speak with the media at a later date.

"I'm one of you and I know what you guys are going through," he said. "But I can't do it now."



Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Man Survives Being Stabbed, Robbed, Bound, Dumped in River: Police]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:45:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Schuylkill+River+Abduction+Police+Search.JPG

A soaking wet man, bound and suffering from stab wounds, crawled from Philadelphia's Schuylkill River after he and two other men were abducted, attacked, robbed and dumped into the water, police said.

The other two victims never made it out of the river.

Philadelphia Police rushed to the water along Kelly Drive near Hunting Park Avenue in Fairmount Park around 4 a.m. Wednesday after someone called 911 to report a partially-dressed injured man screaming along the roadway.

When authorities arrived on the scene, they found the man, identified by NBC10 sources as 20-year-old Thanh Voong, soaking wet and suffering from multiple stab wounds to his stomach and legs. His arms and legs were partially bound and he had duct tape on his face.

Police rushed Voong to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he underwent surgery for seven stab wounds while listed in stable condition, according to officials.

Investigators found two bodies submerged in the water -- both bound with tape and tied or tethered to some sort of anchor.

Police using flashlights taped off an area along the river and searched for clues about what happened. Police dive teams finally recovered the bodies, which could be seen in about 5 to 10 feet of water, around 8:30 a.m.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said the victim told investigators that four or five men abducted him near 62nd Street and Woodland Avenue in Southwest Philly and threw him into the back of van around 1 a.m.

"While in the back of the van he was blindfold, he was stabbed numerous times, he was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money," said Small. "He says that while in the back of the van he then realized that there were two other males in the back of the van... they were duct taped and they appeared to have been stabbed numerous times."

Voong was unsure whether the two men with him in the vehicle were alive or dead, according to investigators.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video that captured the area near where the abduction took place in hopes of finding the van and the suspects.

Voong somehow climbed out of the water, said Small.

An initial investigation showed that the men were dragged across the concrete and grass before being dumped in the river, according to police on the scene.

Small said that robbery was the motive.

Police responded to the victim's Northern Liberties home where they found blood. Investigators planned to get a search warrant for the home.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[ "A Gift and a Curse": New Dad Cares for Premature Newborn After Death of Mother]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:59:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1408-miracle-baby-derek-ellison.jpg

Holding his firstborn child in his arms should be the happiest time of Derek Ellison’s life. But seeing the baby’s mother in his son’s face brings a mix of emotions – a feeling he describes as "a gift and a curse."

Ellison's girlfriend, Kayla Katler, was more than 6 months pregnant when she went to the doctor for a severe headache. A few days later, she died from a blood clot in her brain.

Doctors were able to save her baby, who weighed only 3 pounds, 6 ounces when he was born.

"I have my moments of, ‘Why me? Why would we be brought together just to be ripped apart?’” Ellison said. "I went into this looking forward to raising a son with Kayla and in one minute I became a single father."

This single father now visits his son every day in the neonatal intensive care unit at Tarzana Providence Medical Center in Tarzana, where a picture of Katler is on display next to their sleeping baby.

Ellison says the overwhelming support he's receiving from the Simi Valley community is helping him through this difficult time. Donations of diapers, clothing, car seats and baby furniture have been pouring in, all in response to a Facebook page set up by friends called Support Baby Brayden Ellison.

“You got strangers from all across California reaching out to me offering anything they can," Ellison said.

Friends are also trying to raise money for Brayden's college fund on GoFundMe.com. Providing for Brayden's future is something Ellison says he and Katler talked about.

"We had plans for Brayden 20 years from now," the father said.

They are now years in which Brayden will hear stories about his mother, about the many ways a community rallied around his father and about the other lives saved by his mother's gift of organ donation.

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<![CDATA[Naked Man Tossed Chair From W Hotel Room: Authorities]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:38:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/082714+austin+ragans.jpg

A Texas man arrested after tossing a chair and beer bottles from the 16th floor balcony at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale was found naked in his room with a bag of cocaine, authorities said.

Austin Ragans, 33, was arrested at the hotel Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, possession of cocaine and criminal mischief, according to Broward County jail and court records.

Ragans, from Woodlands, Texas, was released on $28,600 bond Tuesday after appearing in court before Judge John Hurley. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to the arrest report read by Hurley, the chair Ragans threw hit hotel employee Rodney Moore, who happened to be walking on the driveway below when he was struck.

Moore was taken to a nearby hospital. Fort Lauderdale Police said the injuries weren't serious.

"These are unusual alleged facts here," Hurley told Ragans, the owner of a medical device distributing company who said he was visiting Fort Lauderdale for a couple days.

According to Hurley, Ragans, who was staying in room 1620, had been asked to leave the hotel's bar area earlier in the night. After the beer bottles and chair were thrown, hotel staff went to his room and knocked on the door.

When Ragans opened the door, he was completely naked and alone, and his room's chair was missing, Hurley said. There was glass on the bathroom floor and a baggie containing a white powdery substance was in plain view on a counter, Hurley said.

The powder later tested positive for cocaine, Hurley said.

Hurley estimated the chair had traveled about 160 feet from the balcony to the ground.

"You're fortunate that Mr. Moore's neck wasn't snapped and you weren't here on a manslaughter charge," Hurley said.

Ragans, who has previous arrests in Florida, Texas and Arizona, including two DUI convictions, was ordered by Hurley not to drink while his case is active.

Hurley also allowed Ragans to return to the hotel after his release to get his belongings but ordered him not to return.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[LA Producer on Mistaken ID Arrest]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:56:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/140826-producer-charles-belk.jpg

A Los Angeles film and television producer said he was on the “brink of tears” during a six-hour ordeal locked in a Beverly Hills jail cell in a case of mistaken identity.

Charles Belk was held after police said he matched the description of a man — tall, bald, and black — who was an accomplice to the “Purse Packing Bandit” bank robber who had just struck on Wilshire Boulevard.

Belk had been out to dinner when he went out to feed the meter on La Cienega Boulevard when an officer detained him and he was cuffed on the curb.

The arrest kept him from attending an Emmy pre-party set for later that evening, he wrote on Facebook

"I'm starting to get really embarrassed," Belk told NBC4 of the moment of his arrest. "Keeping my head down, because you know, I knew I was innocent but they wouldn’t know I was innocent."

Belk was next taken to the Beverly Hills Police station to be fingerprinted and booked into a cell.

“I had no idea why I was locked up,” Belk said in an interview with NBC4. “I had no idea what I was being charged for. I had no idea if anyone knew I was at this Beverly Hills Police station. I didn’t know anything.”

Belk said he believes he would have remained locked up if it hadn’t been for friends who called a lawyer.

"If I did not have a friend there that saw me and that friend wouldn’t have called my friend who works at the NAACP and she wouldn’t have called an attorney, I am convinced that I would be still be locked up," Belk said.

Belk questioned the police process that he said didn’t allow him to call for his attorney, didn’t read him his Miranda rights, and delayed an attorney who he found out later had been trying to see him for an hour that day.

He said he almost broke down during questioning when he found out none of the detectives had checked the surveillance video.

"I put my head down. I'm like, 'I'm not gonna cry in front of these people.' But I was on the brink of tears," Belk said. "It was because I couldn’t believe that they had taken six hours of my time for something I felt was readily accessible an easily verifiable."

In a press release, Beverly Hills police said they properly detained him after they said a witness positively identified him as the accomplice and he was near the bank when he was detained.

But after following up, police said he had nothing to do with the robbery and he was released from custody.

“The Beverly Hills Police Department deeply regrets the inconvenience to Mr. Belk and has reached out to him to express those regrets and further explain the circumstances,” Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Max Subin, a department spokesman, said in a statement.

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<![CDATA[American ISIS Fighter Was Employed as Care Worker]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:51:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/184*120/Douglas-McCain-ISIS-fighter.jpg

The former San Diegan who was killed while fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) once helped care for people with disabilities, his patient exclusively told NBC 7.

NBC News reported 33-year-old Douglas McCain died in a battle this weekend in Syria, according to the Free Syrian Army.

But that's not the Douglas San Diego resident Justin Filley, 38, knew.

"He was a genuine, funny, laid back person," said Filley of the man he describes as a really close friend.

For two years, McCain was employed to help take care of Filley who suffers from William’s Syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities.

“He was good at helping to make sure my bills were being paid and make sure I was safe,” Filley said.

NBC 7 has confirmed McCain attended San Diego City College. From his social media posts, it is hard to tell when he moved to the area, but it appears he has family in the area.

While in the city, he spent time in the Somali Community, though he was African American.

He was known at a mosque in El Cajon and reportedly converted to Islam in 2004.

"Sometimes he would get on the floor and pray," remembered Filley.

Posting under the name “Duale ThaSlaveofAllah,” McCain's social media posts turned from talk of basketball to telling a suspected ISIS member "I will be joining you guys soon."

Despite that transformation Filley, as well as McCain’s employer, says they didn’t notice his views become extreme, though they didn’t talk about religion.

Filley told NBC 7 McCain had a wife and daughter, and his manager said he unexpectedly left the area around March. Around that time, he reportedly left the U.S. for Turkey.

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<![CDATA[Fugitive Shoots at U.S. Marshals in Queens: Sources]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:46:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Queens-Shootout-NY.jpg

A fugitive who had been on the run for decades and is a suspect in a violent stabbing in Brooklyn shot at U.S. Marshals in Queens early Wednesday, law enforcement sources say.

The marshals were working with NYPD officers when they tracked the man down at an apartment in Springfield Gardens, near John F. Kennedy airport, sources say.

With a warrant in hand, they went inside the apartment, which sources say was dark with the only light coming from a flickering TV. The suspect, who was hidden, then suddenly began firing at the officers with two guns. 

The officers returned fire, hitting the man in the hand and arm.

No marshals or police officers were hit by gunfire. The suspect was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

Sources identify the suspect as Oswald Lewis and say he had been on the run since 1991. He was wanted on a charge of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in Virginia. He's also a suspect in a stabbing in Brooklyn.

It’s the second time fugitives have shot at U.S. Marshals in the city this summer. Last month, two marshals and an NYPD officer were shot in a gun battle with an accused child molester in a Greenwich Village smoke shop.

The marshals and police officer were both taken to the hospital after that shootout. The suspect, Charles Mozdir, was killed.



Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[Serial Stowaway Arrested in Phoenix]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:43:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/140826-marilyn-hartman-serial-stowaway-phoenix.jpg

The serial stowaway who got through airport security and boarded an LA-bound flight earlier this month was arrested in Arizona on Tuesday, less than two weeks after being released from jail early since violating her probation at LAX.

Marilyn Hartman, 62, was arrested at Sky Harbor Airport after being spotted loitering in the baggage claim area, Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said.

Hartman was spotted in the same airport Aug. 20 trying to enter a security checkpoint, Crump said.

Police first said Hartman was seen in the airport Aug. 14, but they corrected the date to Aug. 20. Officers gave her a trespass warning and removed her from the airport, police said.

A judge earlier this month ordered Hartman to serve 177 days in jail for wandering through LAX terminals on Aug. 7 after being told the previous day to "stay away from LAX" and placed on 24 months probation.

She was released Aug. 16 -- three days after being sentenced -- because of jail overcrowding, LA County sheriff's officials said.

Hartman was first arrested Aug. 4 at Los Angeles International Airport after Los Angeles police say she got through security at Mineta San Jose International Airport and boarded an LA-bound flight.

Hartman has previously breached security at San Francisco International Airport and has a history of trying to get on flights without a ticket, officials said. She had at least seven encounters with police at SFO and was arrested four times, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Details about how Hartmen traveled to Arizona were not immediately clear.



Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]]>
<![CDATA["Serial Killer" in SoCal Charged With Murder in Series of Shootings]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:49:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/140821-pacoima-fatal-shooting.jpg

A suspected "serial killer" from the San Fernando Valley was charged with murder and attempted murder Tuesday after randomly gunning down four people and wounding three others over five days, authorities said.

Alexander Hernandez, 34, was charged in the fatal shooting of a man in Pacoima on Thursday and the shooting of a couple in West Hollywood on Friday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Hernandez is not charged in the other attacks. Investigators said they were building a case to bring more charges against Hernandez.

"This man was and is a serial killer," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Chief of Detectives Bill McSweeney.

Investigators said Hernandez was the sole suspect in a string of shootings that started Wednesday morning when a 42-year-old employee of the city of Glendale was struck by gunfire as she was getting off the 5 Freeway in Atwater Village. She suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

The next morning, Hernandez allegedly shot and killed Gildardo Morales, 48, as the victim was driving his pickup truck to work in Pacoima.

On Friday night, Hernandez opened fire on a husband and wife who were in their pickup truck in West Hollywood, prosecutors said. The couple was able to flee uninjured.

The following day, Hernandez allegedly shot three dogs in Pacoima, killing two and injuring one.

On Sunday, three people, including two women waiting to go to church, were killed and several others were wounded in separate shootings that happened in a span of 55 minutes and within a 5-mile radius in the San Fernando Valley. The victims included a family of five who were all struck by gunfire as they drove to morning mass.

Hernandez was taken into custody later that night on an animal cruelty charge after an hours-long standoff with SWAT. Police said he was in possession of a pistol-grip shotgun that they believe was used in the attacks.

The gunman's tan or gold SUV was tied to the shootings, investigators said.

"This is an individual that was out randomly shooting people," said Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese of the Los Angeles Police Department. "As crazy as that sounds, that's what happened. I don’t know what his motive may have been."

Prosecutors said Hernandez, a documented gang member from Sylmar, is charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance of shooting at an occupied vehicle, two counts of attempted murder, one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle and three counts of animal cruelty.

He also is charged with two counts of discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition.

The special circumstance of a drive-by shooting could make Hernandez eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said.

Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. He was jailed on a no-bail hold.

Albanese said more charges were expected against Hernandez as soon as the next several days.

It was not immediately clear if Hernandez had a lawyer.

]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Sue Day Care Accused of Duct Taping Child]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:08:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/galbraith-duct-tape-082614.jpg

A Parker County, Texas, day care accused of using duct tape to restrain two young boys in June is now being sued by one of the boys' parents.

"I feel like this should never happen to any child," said the boy's mother Kristi Galbraith.

"I was angry. I was shocked. I felt an extreme amount of guilt about how I could have chosen a place that would do this to my child," she said.

Galbraith also claims in her lawsuit that one other child was left alone at Heart 2 Heart Montessori Academy in Willow Park, and that water was withheld from other children in an effort to reduce diaper changes.

"It's about sending a message to day care centers that this conduct, this behavior, will not be tolerated," said the Galbraith's Dallas attorney Jeff Rasansky.

Heart 2 Heart Montessori Academy remains open but with fewer children in its care, after many parents moved their children to other day care centerss.

Now, Willow Park police are close to wrapping up their investigation and expect to pursue criminal charges in the next week to 10 days.

"It will be presented to the grand jury, and we will let them make a decision on whether or not there's sufficient grounds for a criminal case to be continued," said Willow Park Police Chief Brad Johnson.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing Division also expects to complete its investigation soon, perhaps even this week, according to spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales.

The Galbraiths say they have not yet been interviewed by state investigators.

"We feel like it's our time to stand up and get some justice," said Kristi Galbraith.

The Heart 2 Heart Montessori Academy issued a statement after the incident promising to "cooperate fully with any investigation," but has not commented yet on these latest developments.

The mother of the second child who she claims was also restrained with duct tape told NBC 5 late Tuesday that she will meet with her attorney this week to go over her legal options.

NBC 5's Bianca Castro contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Galbraith Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Begs For Son Missing in Israel]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:16:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/198*120/Aaron+Sofer+parents.jpg

In a voice that trembles, then breaks, Chulda Sofer pleads for help finding her son, Aaron, who went missing during a hike in the Jerusalem Forest – a long way from the home he shares with nine siblings in Lakewood, New Jersey.

“I want to thank everyone for all their help, but I ask you please, please, please — I beg of you, I beg you, please — if anyone sees any whereabouts of Aaron, please call the police immediately,” Chulda says, holding up a “missing” poster that shows her 23-year-old son, smiling in his traditional Orthodox Jewish clothing and black hat.

Aaron Sofer is an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student pursuing his religious studies in Israel. He disappeared while hiking Friday in the Jerusalem Forest. He was there with a friend, and the two became separated while navigating a steep incline, the friend told police when he reported Aaron missing six hours later.

Sofer’s parents flew from New Jersey to Israel over the weekend to join the ongoing search, which has included hundreds of volunteers, K9s on the ground and helicopters overhead. Jerusalem Post reporter Daniel K. Eisenbud videotaped the emotional pleas from Sofer’s parents at Mount Herzl, which is the site of Israel’s national cemetery and also adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest.

Sofer's family fears he may have been kidnapped or attacked by Palestinian militants.The area where he disappeared is the same forest where Israeli extremists are accused of killing a Palestinian teenager in retaliation for the murders of three Israeli teens in June.

In the videotaped message, Aaron’s father, Moshe, thanks law enforcement agencies in both countries, including the FBI and Israeli police, for their help. “The police are working tirelessly on all fronts and all options are being strongly investigated," he says.

Back home in the Ocean County, New Jersey, town where Aaron grew up, two of his younger brothers made brief appeals today before attending a community prayer service.

“Just please bring back our brother. I’m talking on behalf of the whole family that’s in America. He’s my brother right over me. I just have one message: Please bring back my brother,” said Yaakov Sofer.

Aaron’s brother-in-law Yehuda Wicentowsky described the missing man as a very kind and nice person and asked the public to keep pressure on the governments involved in his search. The sentiment from a seasoned New York politician was not as diplomatic.

“There’s a sense that not enough was done from the very, very beginning,” said Dov Hikind, a New York City assemblyman. He called for the Israeli government to ramp up their efforts and treat the search for Sofer the same as they would for an Israeli soldier.

“Because we know what the Israeli government does when an Israeli soldier goes missing. Every resource in the world is put into it. And Aaron is a soldier," he said.

The Sofer family is offering 100,000 shekels, which is equivalent to about $28,000, for information that leads to Aaron’s whereabouts. They’ve launched a website – Search for Sofer – to help fund the search and reward.



Photo Credit: Daniel K. Eisenbud | Jerusalem Post]]>
<![CDATA[Surfer Dies After Being Pulled From Water in Malibu]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:43:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/surfpic.JPG

A surfer died after being pulled from the water unconscious near Surfrider Beach in Malibu as Hurricane Marie kicked up 7-foot waves and a high-surf advisory was in effect Tuesday, officials said.

The incident happened at 11:20 a.m. near the Malibu Pier. The man, who was in his 50s, was unconscious when he was rescued from the water near the legendary pointbreak of Surfrider Beach.

"He was found unconscious," said Los Angeles County Lifeguard Capt. Tim McNulty. "I don't know if he suffered some sort of trauma or had some kind of medical issue."

Following the incident, Malibu Pier was closed. It remained closed Wednesday and it is possible that it could be closed through Friday. 

Earlier Tuesday, lifeguards responded to a swimmer-in-distress call in Palos Verdes. Rescuers pulled the swimmer out of the water and he was walking.

A big south swell coming from Baja California and stirred up from Hurricane Marie had been picking up through the day Tuesday, sending waves up to 2 feet overhead along some south-facing beaches in Southern California, forecasters said.

The big waves raised fears of flooding and powerful rip currents through Friday and created "extremely dangerous" conditions for swimmers and surfers, forecasters said.

The surf was expected to peak Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, then slowly diminish but remain strong enough to meet high surf advisory criteria through Friday, the National Weather Service reported.

An NWS high surf advisory was posted from 10 a.m. today to 6 p.m. Friday in L.A. County.

McNulty said he hasn't seen an uptick in rescues on Tuesday, mostly because the beach crowds have thinned out due to school being back in session.

The news comes as several beaches along the Palos Verdes Peninsula, about 30 miles south of downtown LA, were expected to be closed until Friday because of big waves.

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<![CDATA[6 Celebrity Burger Recipes for Labor Day]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:06:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/burger-466024983.jpg

Labor Day weekend, also known as the last long weekend of summer, is a great excuse to grill as many burgers as you can. Check out these six recipes from celebrity chefs.

Burger: A Simple Tradition
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Secret Weapon: Fresh Ingredients

French chef and international restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, may hold the key to a “perfect” burger. The all-star chef’s technique is simple: keep it simple. “The most important, of course, is meat. Have a good percentage of fat in your burger but not too much, I would say an ideal is 15-20 percent,” Boulud said.

With no tricks up his sleeves, Boulud buys all fresh ingredients for his burger and only uses salt, pepper and oil to season his meat. While his one-inch thick burgers cook on the grill, the chef preps his lettuce, tomato, onions and bun before assembling the perfect hamburger.

Burger: The Piggy Special
Chef: Gordon Ramsay
Secret Weapon: Bacon

When the "Hell’s Kitchen" host isn’t starting kitchen drama with his contestants, the British chef likes to make some good American sliders — calmly. "I travel all over the world, and I spend a lot of time in the States,” he said. “They know how to make a great slider." 

His trick for making his barbecue pork sliders stand out: mixing cooked and chopped pieces of back bacon into the ground pork before grilling. Every bite is guaranteed to be packed with savory pork flavor.

Burger: Classic with a New Crunch
Chef: Bobby Flay
Secret Weapon: Potato Chips

It may be a privilege to “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” but it’s certainly a challenge to beat his burgers.

Flay suggests making a small indentation in the center of the patties so they don't swell up as they cook, "I just make a little well with my thumb in the middle of the burger and then when the burger cooks it actually comes back to shape, otherwise you're going to have this big sort of hump on the burger," Flay said. He cautions at-home chefs to never press down the burgers on the grill. "That’s when you lose all the juiciness," he said.

Flay likes to add a little crunch to his burger by adding potato chips. He even had the word "Crunchified" copyrighted for his restaurant chain, Bobby's Burger Palace.

Burger: Gourmet Salmon
Chef: Martha Stewart
Secret Weapon: Toasted Brioche Bun

 

It’s no shock Martha Stewart can cook about anything, even gourmet-style salmon burgers. These salmon burgers are an ideal substitute for meat or for people without a grill on the holiday. Stewart is generous with her seasoning, telling her audience, “Fish is bland, the salmon has a lovely taste, but it is a mild fish, so dressing it up with a little horseradish and lemon zest helps.”

A toasted brioche roll complements the high-scale restaurant tasting salmon patty.

Burger: Turkey with a spicy kick
Chef: Guy Fieri
Secret Weapon: Garlic butter

The "Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives" star is a professional when it comes to burgers. After tasting a countless number of beef burgers across the country, Fieri knows a good substitute when he sees it.

"Little turkey burger, some pablano pepper, now some caramelized onions and peppers right on top that's what I'm talking about, and talk about healthy-- it's a burger!" Fieri said about his spicy turkey burger.

While this turkey burger has a long list of all-star ingredients, a little garlic butter on the buns subtly ties all the flavors together.

Burger: Welsch Wildcard
Chef: Richard Blais
Secret Weapon: Homemade Rarebit

After taking a trip to London, "Top Chef: All-Star" Richard Blais, makes a crazy and complicated burger remix: the Cheese Fondue Welsch Rarebit Burger. Blais makes his patties square because they are served on toast, like traditional rarebit, instead of buns.

 The namesake ingredient, rarebit, is made with a flour base, Dijon mustard, English dried mustard and Guinness beer. “Guinness beer is going to have a lot of malty flavor to it, going to give it a lot of sweetness, a little bit of bitter on the back pallet—that’s the thing about British food it’s really adult, it puts hair on your chest.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[New Dad Cares for Premie, Gets Help]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:25:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/N5PPKGSIMIMIRACLEBABYforweb_1200x675_322334275836.jpg A newly single father is finding support from the community he lives in after his pregnant girlfriend died suddenly forcing doctors to deliver their premature son. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Simi Valley Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Fake Police Officers Steal $100K]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:51:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/Philadelphia+Police+Car+Fishtown+Food+Distribution+Theft.JPG

Two armed men pretending to be police officers made off with $100,000 from a Philadelphia food distribution center and police believe the heist could be an inside job.

The whole theft at Kawa Foods along N Delaware Avenue in the city’s Fishtown neighborhood went down in just a matter of minutes.

Investigators said it began with a knock at the door around 2 a.m. The two men at the door identified themselves as police and wore police hats – one even carried a police badge.

"We can assure you these were not police officers," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Three workers, including a male and a female business owner, were inside at the time. The owners opened the door and that’s when the attack began.

The armed men -- wearing surgical gloves and surgical masks --  put guns to each owner’s head and demanded, “the money,” according to investigators.

"They threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate," said Small.

The suspects appeared to know where that “money” was kept because they went about 25 feet into the safe room and stole two bags of cash worth around $100,000, investigators said.

One of the men held the owners at gunpoint while the other stole the cash, Small said.

The men quickly left, but not before trying to cover their tracks.

“They then tried to tear some of the recording video equipment off the wall, which they did -- threw it to the ground – then they exited through the same door that they entered,” said Small.

The men then jumped into a dark-colored mid-2000s Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV and drove off west on Susquehanna Avenue.

Police said no one at the food warehouse, which distributes emergency food supplies and specialty foods, was hurt.

Investigators said despite the attempts to destroy video evidence that some surveillance video survived. Police hope that video will help them track down the suspects.

Investigators worked on the assumption that the robbers knew what they were looking for.

""It's dark, it's very convoluted back here," said Small. "There's always a possibility that somebody knew where they were going and knew where the money was inside this property."



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Raw: White Lion Cubs Make Debut in Johannesburg]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:15:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/0827-safrica-cubs-vox_1200x675_322461251742.jpg Three white lion cubs made their public debut at the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa on Wednesday.]]> <![CDATA[More Quakes, Aftershocks Rock Napa]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:05:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/454081604_10.jpg

Five small quakes and aftershocks rumbled through wine country early Tuesday, days after the biggest earthquake in 25 years hit the Bay Area.

The shaking in the wee hours of the morning startled and concerned residents 75 miles away in Mountain View and in nearby Vallejo. Anna Solberg of Vallejo, five miles from the epicenters, said she felt her house shake "from left to right."

But that shaking was much gentler than what she felt in her home on Sunday, when a 6.0-magnitude quake rocked the same area around 3:20 a.m. That was the largest earthquake to impact the Bay Area since the 1989 magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake.

"My first thought was 'Oh my gosh, another earthquake,''' she told NBC Bay Area by phone, adding that she had been in bed awake just as the quakes hit. "But I just heard felt one thud."

Still, she acknowledged she felt about "half as much" shaking Tuesday as she had felt Sunday.

The U.S. Geological Survey clocked a magnitude-3.9 temblor and three aftershocks striking between 5:30 a.m and 6 a.m. just a few miles from  American Canyon.

The aftershocks were reported at 2.7, 2.8 and 3.0 magnitudes. A fifth magnitude-2.5 aftershock hit four miles south of Napa at 10:56 a.m. An aftershock is a smaller earthquake following a large earthquake in the same region.

Despite the number of temblors – four in 90 minutes – there didn't seem any damage reports, according to Barry Martin, community outreach coordinator for Napa. He said crews would be going out again to check for any water line breaks and power outages.

The four aftershocks hit in the same general region where the South Napa earthquake struck Sunday, requiring hundreds of buildings to be red- and yellow-tagged, mostly in the heart of historic downtown Napa. A post office, library and a 141-room hotel were among more than 160 homes and buildings either deemed unsafe to occupy or enter.

Aftershocks are quite common, even expected.

"Anytime you have an earthquake, the probability of another earthquake goes up," Cecily Wolfe of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program told NBC News.

Earthquakes tend to come in clusters. NBC News reported there is currently a 29 percent chance that a magnitude-5 or higher quake will hit in the next seven days, according to Northern California Seismic System (NCSS) probability report.

In fact, experts say that there is a 5 to 10 percent chance of something bigger than a 6.0-magnitude quake coming in the next week, according to the NCSS report.

NBC's Joe Fryer was staying in a hotel in Vallejo and awoke when he felt the first earthquake Tuesday.

"It was the strongest aftershock since the main earthquake hit," he said.

Sunday's South Napa earthquake hit along the West Napa Fault, the most seismically active of the faults, according to the USGS.

But as for John King, a Napa resident who was busy on Tuesday morning carting his damaged water heater to one of the city dumping spots, earthquakes are the price you pay for living in the Bay Area.

"It's a beautiful place to live," King said. "This is what goes with it. You get it together, and you move on."

 NBC Bay Area's Shelby Hansen and Bob Redell contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies After Becoming Trapped Underneath Boulder]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:00:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Raymond+Police.jpg

A New Hampshire man was crushed to death as he tried to free a large boulder in his yard Monday night, according to Raymond police.

Police responded to the residence at Roy Street at 7:19 after the victim was discovered by his wife, who called 911.

The victim, Paul Comeau Jr., 47, had been working on removing the boulder from his yard over the past several months. He dug around the boulder in an attempt to free it.

Police say at one point the boulder became dislodged and pinned Comeau to the wall of the ditch.

The boulder was estimated to weigh around 6,000 pounds, and a tow truck was required to lift it off Comeau’s body. First responders to the scene said he was not conscious and not breathing. He was pronounced dead on the scene.



Photo Credit: Raymond Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[American Held in Syria Back in U.S.]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:19:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Theo+Curtis+Pic.jpg

An American writer who was held hostage by an al Qaeda affiliated group in Syria for 22 months and then freed over the weekend has been reunited with his mother in Boston, his family said.

Forty-five-year-old Peter Theo Curtis arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport late Tuesday afternoon, and then was reunited his with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan after a connecting flight that evening.

Curtis' family is asking the media for privacy as he readjusts to life back in the United States.

In a statement, Curtis said he's thankful for government officials in the U.S. and Qatar for working to get him back home.

"I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the family who have come up to me today - strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home," the statement said.

His mother said while she's relieved by her son's release, she's also grieving with the family of Jim Foley, the American Journalist beheaded by ISIS in a gruesome video that surfaced last week.

"It was a great relief to know that he (Theo) was safe finally after such a long time, but the events of the past week have left me really numb, so it's hard to feel elation when you are also feeling terrible pain," Nancy Curtis said.




Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Slain on Philly Basketball Court During Cookout]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:34:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Robert-Reid.jpg

A teenage boy was shot and killed on a basketball court during a neighborhood cookout in North Philadelphia Tuesday night.

Investigators say the victim, identified by loved ones as 17-year-old Robert Reid, was playing basketball at the Hartranft Rec Center on the 2400 block of North 9th Street around 8:40 p.m. A cookout with around 100 people was also taking place next to the court.

Suddenly, police say, an unidentified gunman fired ten shots. Reid was struck several times in the chest and head. Responding medics tried to revive the teen but were unable to. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Witnesses told police they spotted another 17-year-old boy wearing a baseball cap and dark t-shirt, running down 8th Street moments after the shooting. Police suspect the fleeing teen was the shooter and that Reid was his intended target.

"We know that the shooter was in pretty close proximity to the victim," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

No one else was hurt during the shooting. Police are currently interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video.

A referee during the game told NBC10 that Reid was a basketball player. He described Reid as a "great kid" who played at the Rec Center every day. The referee also said the goal of the rec center's basketball league is to get children and teens away from the violence in their neighborhood.

A family friend also told NBC10 Reid lived with his mother about two blocks away from the court.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Oldest Library in Danger of Closing]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:51:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Darby-Free-Library.jpg

For more than two centuries, the Darby Free Library has remained both a vital part of its community as well as a historical landmark. Built in 1743 by Quakers, it remains the oldest public library in the nation. But a financial crisis has left it in danger of shutting down by the end of the year.

Currently 60 percent of Darby residents and 1,500 people a month regularly use the library’s services.

“I use the computer,” said Kiarra Powell. “If I need any books, they help me find my books.”

Yet despite the community support, the library is in the midst of a financial crisis. Recent state cuts wiped out $50,000 in the library’s operating budget.

“Money is scarce here,” said Darby library board president Jay McCalla. “We’ve been able to stay afloat and keep our doors open by doing things we didn’t want to do: cutting back on the benefits to our employees, and cutting back on books that we were ordering.”

While the budget cuts keep coming, the bills continue to add up, including a $7,000 electric bill employees at the library say they’re unable to pay. Many local families who rely on the library for resources are concerned about the possible closure.

“I grew up here, to be honest,” Powell said. “This is kind of like family. Hearing that it could be getting shut down, it really affects me and my son.”

McCalla is hoping that doesn’t happen.

“It would be a crime to lose this unique resource that’s not just unique to Darby,” McCalla said. “No other community in America has this library, the oldest in the nation.”

McCalla says they may have to make a decision on whether or not to close the library sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to McCalla, state and federal officials can’t give them money to keep the library open. Instead, the money must come from the Darby Borough or those willing to lend a helping hand.

If you would like to donate or volunteer, visit the Darby Free Library website.
 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-HHS Official Guilty of Kid Porn]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:09:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_gavel_shutterstock_120159574.jpg

A former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official was convicted Tuesday on child pornography charges, and could face up to life in prison when sentenced.

A jury found Timothy DeFoggi, 56, formerly of Germantown, Maryland, and the former acting director of cyber security for HHS, guilty on three counts, after a four-day trial in Nebraska federal court.

The most serious of those charges, of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, alone carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison, DeFoggi's lawyer John S. Berry Jr. said.

According to prosecutors, trial evidence showed that DeFoggi accessed and exchanged child porn from a specific website between March 2, 2012, and Dec. 8, 2012, when the FBI shut the website down.

Prosecutors said that he also exchanged messages with other members of the site to express his interest in rape and murder fantasies involving children, and that evidence showed that he suggested meeting another member in person to fulfill those fantasies.

DeFoggi is set to be sentenced Nov. 7.

Berry said he and his client were still deciding whether to move for a new trial.

The case, Berry said, raised "many interesting and complex issues," as well as questions about his client's Fourth Amendment rights with regard to searches of his home and computer.

"There was quite a bit of searching by the government, and one of the issues is whether those searches were in fact legal," Berry said. He said there were also questions as to whether evidence were admissible and whether it was sufficient to convict his client.

DeFoggi's conviction was part of an investigation by the Justice Department into three websites containing exploitative material involving children.

The administrator of all three sites was also convicted for engaging in a child pornography enterprise. DeFoggi's conviction is the sixth in the investigation.

--Additional reporting by Sam Schulz

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<![CDATA[HP Recalls Computer Power Cords for Burn Hazard]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:31:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/20140826+PowerCord.jpg

Hewlett-Packard is recalling almost 5.6 million power cords in the U.S. for notebook computers because they can overheat and catch fire.

Two people have reported they suffered burns and 13 people have experienced minor property damage as a result of the overheating cords, HP said. HP has had 29 reports of the cords heating up or catching fire.

The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and docking stations. The power cords are black and have an “LS-15” molded mark on the AC adapter end.

Customers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. Consumers can continue to use the computer on battery power.

The recall also covers almost 500,000 cords in Canada.

For more information on the recall, click here.

]]>
<![CDATA[Wanted Rapper Vows to Stop NYPD Twitter Taunts]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:13:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wanted+rapper+twitter.jpg A rap and reality television star who launched a social media rant against the NYPD after the department sent out an advisory looking for him for allegedly roughing up his ex-girlfriend and stealing her cellphone says he won't taunt police on Twitter anymore and is willing to turn himself in. Marc Santia reports.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Parents Demanding Answers From SJPD]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:50:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/0826-2014-DianaShowman.jpg

The parents of a San Jose woman killed by police after she allegedly threatened to kill her family are demanding answers and a full investigation by the district attorney's office.

Diana Showman, 19, was fatally shot by an officer outsider her home after coming out holding a black power drill. Police were responding to reports of a woman holding an "uzi-type weapon" in the Blossom Hill Road neighborhood.

"She liked movies, you know?" Jim Showman said of his daughter. "And I think a lot of times she would fantasize of something, and I almost think that's probably what occurred."

Police said Diana ignored demands from officers to put down the weapon. The woman was shot and killed when police said she pointed the weapon, later identified as a power drill, at officers. The incident was captured on cell phone video and both police and her parents are calling for a thorough investigation.

Family said Diana struggled with mental health issues. Her parents said trained officers should take that into consideration and not resort to lethal force.

"She was a good girl -- she had challenges, we loved her," said Vickie Showman, Diana's mother. I want the police to be more careful. I want them to be more compassionate."

Police in response said officers are sympathetic and point out many cops, including the one who shot Diana have training in dealing with the mentally ill.

But police said officers in this case had seconds to respond to Diana's actions.

"The events unfolded very quickly and very rapidly," San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said. "And the officer had to react to a threat."

Diana's parents and their attorney, Steven Clark, are also upset that after the shooting they were taken away, isolated, and interviewed for hours.

"I finally got angry and opened the door and said, 'What your guys are doing is cruel. We didn't know if our daughter is alive. What has happened? You've told us nothing.'" Jim Showman said.

Vickie Showman said the police interviews felt like they were being treated as criminals.

"We were kept apart," she said. "We weren't taken to the hospital where my baby died alone."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[11 Dogs Die in NJ Fire: Sources]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:29:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/elizabeth+nj+house+fire.jpg

A large fire ripped through a New Jersey home containing several animals, sending up a ball of fire and heavy black smoke before part of it collapsed under the heat, killing 11 dogs inside, officials say. 

It's not clear what sparked the devastating fire in Clifton Monday afternoon, though authorities don't consider it suspicious. 

"It seemed to progress pretty quickly, seemed to be happening in the back of the house," said neighbor Jenna Ricciardi. 

It appeared to start as smoke coming from an annex to the house, but the fire quickly took over, officials said. The roof later collapsed under the heat.

No people were inside at the time, but there were numerous animals in the house, which was operating as a pet day care, though health officials say there was no registered listing for a business at the address. 

The operators of Your Family Pet Sitters, Tom and Laura Kieffer, promote daily and long-term care for pets from Laura Kieffer's mother's home. 

"It's really hard because we care so much about those animals," said homeowner Joan Maso. 

Tom Kieffer said he loved the animals he watched as if they were his own, but neighbors wondered if the outcome could have been different had the business been properly registered and vetted.

"It bothers me to know there were 11 dogs in there, and if you're sitting for the dogs, then you have to have some kind of backup plan for an emergency," said Justine Paitchell.

Officials say the bodies of the 11 dogs were recovered from the fire, and two are still missing but presumed dead. Two cats are still missing and also believed dead. 

Two dogs made it out of the home safely. 

Fire investigators, the ASPCA and police were on the scene. Three firefighters were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, mainly heat exhaustion, officials said. 

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<![CDATA[Marine Wife Murder Not Guilty Plea]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:25:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Christopher_Lee_Musgot_0816.JPG

A former Marine accused of having an affair with the 19-year-old wife of a fellow Marine pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in her death, officials said.

Former Marine Cpl. Christopher Lee, 24, was extradited from Alaska to Southern California and entered the not guilty plea in Joshua Tree Superior Court, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

Lee is accused of murdering Erin Corwin, 19, his then-neighbor in Twentynine Palms, and disposing of her body in a 14-story abandoned mine shaft in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park, officials said.

The cause of Corwin's death has not been released, but an arrest warrant released last week said .22-caliber "fired cartridge casings and pieces of rebar" were found at the scene. They are similar to casings found in Lee's vehicle and residence, according to the warrant.

Lee was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska, a day after Corwin's body was found, ending a nearly eight-week search for the woman in 300 acres of desert.

Corwin and Lee, who is married, may have been having an affair that began February, and she may have been three months pregnant with his child when she disappeared on June 28, both Corwin's friend and Lee's neighbor told investigators, according to a search warrant.

Corwin told her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, she was going to Joshua Tree National Park to look for hiking trails. He reported her missing the next day.

Two days after she disappeared, her car was found in Twentynine Palms.
 

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<![CDATA[Burning Man Converges on Wal-Mart]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:47:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/burning-man-AP139188049693.jpg

Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics.

Except when it rains.

That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart.

Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a muddy quagmire, hundreds of "Burners'' were forced to overnight on the Wal-Mart blacktop. Nearly a hundred other RVs pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort casino, across the street.

"We're just trying to stay positive," said a woman from Oakland, California, who identified herself only as "Driftwood," and was hanging out with some first-timers from Texas. "Positivity can raise everything up."

Organizers announced after midnight that they could roll onto the lake. By midmorning Tuesday all but a few dozen of the RVs were back on the road again, and by most accounts, no worse for the wear.

"We'll make the best of things," said Aviva Mohilner, a former public relations specialist from Los Angeles making her third trip. "It always works out. Burners make it good."

One New York City man loading coolers into a U-Haul on his first voyage to the desert wilderness said he was in too much of a hurry to make it to the desert Tuesday to talk. But another New Yorker, Ben Zion, asked a reporter to take a picture of him and his eight friends from Israel, all anxious first-timers. The rain delay was actually good for them, he said: "We got to get some rest and a shower."

Cuong Huynh, a four-time Burner and IT specialist from San Diego, California, said he's usually more concerned about dusty wind storms than rain, which is why he keeps his cellphone in a plastic bag.

Last year, it rained just before the festival, packing all the dirt and keeping the dust down, he said.

"Rain is really good for us, just not while you're out there," he said.

Destin Gerek, an 11-year veteran, thinks the delay will add a spark to the gathering.

"All this pent-up energy," said Gerek, 36, who teaches Burning Man workshops on the "intersection of sexuality and pirituality."

Gerek grew up in New York City, lives in California and has toured 25 different countries. "In all my travels, Burning Man is utterly unique," he said. "Absolutely nothing compares."

That was the general consensus among Burners Monday night as many of the RVs, VW buses and truck's pulling trailers gathered at a makeshift staging area under the blinking pink casino lights twinkling through the night.

It wasn't entirely unlike the contraptions that light up the weeklong desert gathering, which began at San Francisco's Baker Beach in 1986 and now culminates in the Black Rock with the burning of a towering wooden effigy Labor Day weekend. A record 68,000 people attended last year.

Still, the Wal-Mart wasn't exactly what seekers of "paradise on the playa" had in mind while driving hundreds of miles to the counter-culture festival, which offers theme camps, art exhibits, all-night music and guerrilla theater, along with a decent dose of nudity and a bunch of other stuff that's just plain weird.

One camp this year is "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust," where participants are invited to be photographed as they "strip naked, cover in Playa dust, paint cracks on the body and finalize with red hands to simulate a connection between oneself and the desert environment."

The journey's final hours, across a dry, perfectly flat lake bed that seems to stretch on forever, is usually part of the fun.

Unless, again, it rains, covering the clay-like surface with standing water that turns to mush under the wheels of a well-equipped "Burner" crew.

Barbara Quintanilla and Bill Sanchez, who drove up from Houston in an RV, said the delay was the least of their worries.

"We made a 2,000-mile trip and none of us had ever driven an RV before. It would only go 35 mph up hills,'' Sanchez said.

Jeff Cross of Orange County, California, said the brief detour hadn't deterred his group's enthusiasm.

"It's the best festival in the world," he said. "There's no cellphones, no internet, no money or corporate sponsors."

True enough, once they reach the desert.

But while they were stuck in Reno, the rain delay provided for one last consumer capitalist opportunity.

"We have a list of 27 things we need to get at Wal-Mart," Quintanilla said.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>