<![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 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:35:26 -0600 Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:35:26 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: NFL Commissioner Holds News Conference]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:31:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/455733462.jpg

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is giving his annual news conference at the Super Bowl media center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Craft Brewers Tackle Super Bowl, Beer's Marquee Event ]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:59:13 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/beer+bottles+generic+edit.jpg

New Yorkers packing the Roebling Sporting Club on Super Bowl Sunday will be watching the Brooklyn bar’s eight TVs to see whether the Patriots or Seahawks reign supreme.

Ryan McLaughlin, the bar’s manager, will follow a different contest — one played out at the beer taps.

“Bud Light will outsell any other beer that day, except maybe Budweiser,” said McLaughlin, who has worked the taps there for about a year and a half. But he’s “absolutely” seeing more people ordering craft beers like Great Divide’s Nomad or Coney Island’s Mermaid Pilsner, even during the Super Bowl, he said.

Craft beers — defined as beers from independently-owned, traditionally styled brewers making less than 6 million barrels a year — are more popular than ever across the U.S. But Super Bowl Sunday has traditionally been home turf for big American brewers like Anheuser-Busch and Miller-Coors, which can compound their worldwide cultural status with titanic advertising budgets.

Rather than try to compete on the grand scale, craft brewers say they’ll celebrate in their own small ways — unveiling a specialty beer, hosting a brewpub game-watch or simply posting a timely reminder on Facebook.

“We prefer word-of-mouth, social media and more organic advertising,” said Hilary Coalis, the director of marketing for San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, which is growing rapidly and now distributes on both coasts. “We know it’s a big beer-drinking holiday, and we rely on our fans to make their choices.”

Stone Brewing Co., one of America’s largest independent craft brewers, has sworn off advertising altogether, said Nickie Peña. The brewery in Escondido, California, instead hosts what Peña calls "anti-Super Bowl" events. On the morning of the game, Stone invites its fans — national sales director Jason Armstrong calls them “true beer geeks” — to sample vintage or archived beers.

In 2013, American craft brewers collectively dethroned America’s biggest brand, Budweiser, shipping 16.1 million barrels to Budweiser’s 16 million, according to industry analyst Beer Insights. Craft beers have steadily grown by 10.9 percent over the past decade, said Julia Herz of the Craft Brewers Association, even as overall domestic beer sales have fallen.

“[Our fans] understand that instead of spending money on ads, we’re spending money on the product that we’re pushing out,” Peña said. “We’d rather create a product that’s locally made with high-quality ingredients, that isn’t watered-down, and put our money in that place, rather than putting our money on ads.”

At Top Hops Beer Co., a beer shop and tasting bar in New York specializing in craft beers, patrons said they prefer craft beers for the Super Bowl but are also picking up familiar brands for their friends.

“I like craft beers, Ommegang especially, but I think the general population is drinking Bud Light, Coors Light, and the other light stuff,” said Jonathan Spinner, a builder and designer. His friend Mike Warshaw, a plumber who was hosting his own Super Bowl party, said, “I’m probably going to buy a case of Corona, and Newcastle, but I’m into different-flavored beers.”

Ted Kenny, the owner of Top Hops, says he expects Budweiser and Stella Artois to sell well on the fourth Super Bowl he’s been in business. But he also expects to sell more craft beers than any other day of the year.

“I expect to sell more New England beers for people who want more themed parties — Sam Adams, Smuttynose,” Kenny said.

This year’s game has also provoked some friendly bets between brewers in Seahawks and Patriots country. Harpoon Brewery, with plants in Boston and Windsor, Vermont, and Elysian Brewing Company of Seattle (although recently acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev) have each staked three kegs on the outcome. The loser will serve the winner’s beer.

That’s another trend lifting small brewers: Drinking local. Small, independent brewers celebrate their hometowns, they say, and local fans respond by celebrating with their beer.

“More people are looking to buy local products and support businesses that are made or grown closer to home,” said Eugene Simor, the president of San Antonio’s Alamo Brewing Company. “That’s what’s driving craft, and the big guys can’t compete with it. It’s not an advertising or marketing thing. It’s people going back to the roots of what the beer industry used to be about.”

Simor has leaned heavily on local support to drum up Super Bowl business. Alamo partnered with Texas Public Radio, local academics and several local businesses to host a panel discussion of Super Bowl advertising and marketing. The panel will be hosted at the beer hall in Alamo’s newly-opened brewery in in downtown San Antonio. Simor expects a capacity crowd: 125 people.

Tim Miller, a craft brewer from Maryland, is hoping a sense of local pride can also restore some luster to old brands. In 2011, Miller resurrected National Premium Beer, an old Baltimore brand, with an eye on Baby Boomers nostalgic for a local favorite.

“Our market is male, 50-plus, from the mid-Atlantic, really loves the beer, loves the story, remembers it fondly,” Miller said. “Our plan is that during, say, the Super Bowl or Father’s Day, a father will tell his son about this beer he used to drink, their special beer.”

Craft brewers still face an uphill battle against the entrenched American heavyweights, however, especially during the Super Bowl.

“Over the course of 2014, 30 percent of the case volume sold nationwide was premium light beers: Coors Light, Miller Lite,” said MillerCoors spokeswoman Cat Corrigan, citing a Nielsen statistic. “We know that those beers will be the prominent choice for sports fans who are sitting down to watch the Super Bowl.”

Bartenders at sports bars know it, too.

“I predict Bud Light, Miller Light, and Coors Light,” said Pete Fecht, a manager at St. Mark’s Ale House, a Manhattan sports bar. “A football crowd always drinks the cheapest beer in the biggest quantity.”

Big brewers are paying handsomely for that attention. Anheuser-Bush is the Super Bowl’s exclusive beer advertiser, ensuring that spectators will get their fix of the brand’s iconic Clydesdales (and, now, golden retriever puppies). MillerCoors, on the other hand, is promoting its brands through live events likely to drum up outside media coverage. Coors Light is sponsoring ESPN’s Super Bowl party, Corrigan said. Miller Lite is sponsoring a Super Bowl party co-hosted by Rolling Stone magazine and featuring Aerosmith.

Back at the bar at Roebling Sporting Club, McLaughlin will have Bud Light on hand. But craft beers will be on tap.

“People ask for what’s local,” he said. “I’m a staunch craft beer supporter. It’s the beer renaissance here in the United States.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dramatic Images: Blizzard of 2015]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:48:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/462349900_Blizzard.jpg A storm packing blizzard conditions spun up the East Coast early Tuesday, pounding parts of coastal New Jersey northward through Maine with high winds and heavy snow.

Photo Credit: Boston Globe/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Footballers Stay Fit With Yoga]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:26:01 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NC_nflyoga001.jpg This weekend, millions of people will sit around eating nachos and wings while watching some of the best athletes in professional football. Those athletes stay fit with something you and I can do, too: yoga.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Twins Celebrate 90th Birthday]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:20:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NC_twinsturn900130001.jpg Since twin sisters Helen and Lucille's first birthday in Detroit 90 years ago, the world may have changed a lot, but the twins still wear the same outfits and are still inseparable. Their first job was side-by-side as operators for the phone company back in the early 1940s.]]> <![CDATA[Dave Matthew Raises 12th Man Seahawks Flag]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:17:35 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NC_seahawksflag0130001.jpg The Seattle Seahawks 12th man flag is flying high above the Emerald City. Ahead of the Super Bowl, musician and Seattle transplant Dave Matthews hoisted the giant flag above the Space Needle. Matthews, a Grammy award winning artist, has lived in Seattle for 15 years. ]]> <![CDATA[New Orangutan Baby Expected At Zoo]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:11:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NC_apeexpecting0129001.jpg The El Paso Zoo's Sumatran orangutans, Ibu and Butch, are expecting their first baby this spring. This will be the first offspring for both 23-year-old Ibu and 29-year-old Butch. Ibu is one of only 12 female orangutans included in the current breeding recommendation of the Association of Zoo and Aquariums's Species Survival Plan. Butch came to El Paso Zoo to breed with Ibu in March of 2011, as part of a breeding recommendation AZA. The pair have bonded well over the last three years and it was evident that someday they'd be pregnant.]]> <![CDATA[Silicone Injections Given at Party Blamed in Transgender Woman’s Death]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:31:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Kaiser+Permanente+silicone+transgender.JPG

A transgender woman who attended a body-modification party in Orange County died as a result of an off-the-books procedure she received there, investigators said.

Santa Ana police say the woman checked herself into an Irvine hospital on Jan. 1 becuase she was having trouble breathing. Three weeks later, the 40-year-old was dead, and authorities believe the cause of death was an embolism from a silicone injection.

She "had been to a silicone injection party somewhere in Santa Ana. She had injections in her buttocks for cosmetic reasons," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, of the Santa Ana Police Department.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department identified the victim Friday as Katya De La Riva. It's unclear what type of injections she received or how many, and police are still trying to notify her family.

Tony Viramontes, who works with transgender men and women at the LGBT Center OC, said cosmetic surgery can help people feel comfortable in their bodies as part of the transition process. 

"They found happiness in seeing their body takes shape. They have hips and a full buttocks and they feel feminine," Viramontes said.

People in transition can sometimes go to great lengths to feel complete, Viramontes said. Parties like this one offer discounts and instant gratificiation.

"People are taking advantage of people looking to change their looks and it can lead to death," said Viramontes, who noted that there is a program to ensure medical procedures are done by licensed doctors.

The parties do come with a tremendous risk.

April Brown shared with NBC4 her story of getting butt injections three years ago, after she had her limbs amputated in emergency surgery to save her life.

The Los Angeles hair dresser suffered septic shock from industrial silicone injections, the kind sold in hardware stores.

Police are urging anyone who attended the December party with De La Riva received her injections to call them and explain what happened.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dahlgren]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Law Firm Participated in Rap Video About Killing Cops: Report ]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:58:05 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/generic+police+car+2+vg.jpg

A city-funded legal aid organization knowingly participated in a music video where artists rapped that it was “time to start killing these coppers” and pointed guns at a man dressed as an NYPD officer, the city’s Department of Investigation has found.

The Bronx Defenders, a criminal defense firm that receives about $20 million every year in public funding, let rappers Uncle Murda and Maino shoot portions of their “Hands Up” music video in their offices near Yankee Stadium and then tried to cover up its involvement, according to a DOI report.

The video, which was posted on YouTube by World Star Hip Hop in December after grand juries on Staten Island and in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to charge officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, shows several shots inside The Bronx Defenders offices and features two of the legal firm’s attorneys, the report says.

The video also includes shots of the two rappers pointing guns at actors dressed as NYPD officers and includes the lyrics “For Mike Brown and Sean Bell a cop got to get killed.” Credits at the end of the video list The Bronx Defenders as its sponsor.

“Advocating the killing of police officers is unacceptable and offensive,” said DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters.”

According to the agency's report, the production company shooting the video contacted the firm in early September about shooting the video. One of the two staffers later shown in the clip wrote in an email Sept. 13, “I love the song!” and asked to have a curse word cut from the lyrics. The email made no mention of the lines about killing police, despite the staffer's awareness of them, DOI said.

After the video came out, the DOI report says, Bronx Defenders Executive Director Robin Steinberg failed to discipline the two attorneys seen in the video and later tried to mislead city officials looking into the firm’s involvement in the video.

The DOI obtained at least seven email communications about the video between The Bronx Defenders and members of the NYPD, Bronx County District Attorney's office, Bronx judges and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and found none mentioned staffers had been aware of the lyrics for months prior to its release.

The DOI report said neither Steinberg nor anyone else at Bronx Defenders asked to review the video when they knew its release was imminent. Steinberg also apparently did not ask her staff to research the singers the group was agreeing to be involved with; such research would have unveiled multiple earlier songs by Uncle Murder about killing police officers, the report found. None of the emails mentioned those circumstances either, according to the DOI.

"Instead, the emails provided a selective and misleading recitation of the circumstances surrounding The Bronx Defenders' involvement in the video," the report said.

One email between Steinberg and a Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice staffer indicated The Bronx Defenders saw a version of the video prior to its release that was different than the one that came out, though Steinberg told DOI investigators she had never seen the video prior to its release. Steinberg also neglected to mention that the two attorneys who participated in the video had her permission to do so, and she did not address the lyrics -- or the attorneys' awareness of them, according to the DOI.

"As such, Steinberg's statements, while perhaps not legally perjurious, were clearly misleading," the DOI report found.

DOI did not recommend any punitive actions for Steinberg or The Bronx Defenders in its report, referring questions to City Hall.

Mayor de Blasio called the DOI's findings "deeply disturbing" and said his administration demanded the group take "immediate action" in response to the report.

"Unless those actions are fully responsive to the serious issues raised here, the City will take all legal and contractual actions available to it,” the mayor said in a statement.

"Any endorsement of violence against police officers is completely unacceptable and will absolutely not be tolerated," the statement continued. "Keeping New York the safest big city in the country requires that we are vigilant about the security of the nation’s finest police force and the communities they are sworn to protect. Today’s report signals a serious failure to take this role seriously."

In a statement, The Bronx Defenders said it never approved the music video and never saw it before it went online. The group said it "deeply regrets" any involvement with the production.

"The Bronx Defenders abhors the use of violence against the police under any circumstance," the statement said. "We have always been an organization that is committed to preserving life, dignity and respect for all people."  

Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Seahawks Coach on What Richard Sherman Should Name His Baby]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:57:12 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000005961142_1200x675_391459395811.jpg Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll joked that cornerback Richard Sherman should name his baby "Petey." Carroll was asked about the possibility of Sherman's pregnant girlfriend going into labor before the Super Bowl. The lighthearted moment came during a press conference with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Friday, Jan. 30. ]]> <![CDATA[Belichick, Carroll Coach Super Bowl From Different Angles]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:42:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Super-Bowl-Coaches.jpg

Put Bill Belichick behind a microphone and he's C-SPAN — minus the information.

Pete Carroll is more like a Lifetime movie. Or, as defensive lineman Michael Bennett puts it, "He has that Benjamin Button effect on everyone."

The Super Bowl coaches approach their obligations to the public and media from opposite ends. Belichick, coaching for his fourth championship in New England, is dry, offers little to no insight and rarely makes anyone laugh. Carroll, looking for his second straight title, is a high-fiving, fist-bumping extrovert who started one of his news conferences this week with a welcoming, "What's up?!?"

Different styles have produced similar results, though.

Belichick is making his sixth Super Bowl appearance as a head coach and his Patriots are as close as there is to a dynasty in the current NFL. Carroll's team is being mentioned as a possible dynasty, as well, and that notion will only gain steam if the Seahawks win Sunday and become the first back-to-back champions since, who else?, New England in 2003-04.

Dissimilar as they are, they have both built their teams on a foundation of unflinching candor inside their locker and meeting rooms — a quality Carroll brings to some of his public speaking, but one that Belichick eschews.

"What you see on TV is what you get, pretty much, from the two," said Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner, who previously played for Carroll in Seattle. "They have similarities too, though. Their football IQ is way up there. They are so different, but at the same time they're the same. That's why they both have succeeded at this level."

Over his 15 years in New England, Belichick has made it increasingly difficult for anyone outside of Patriots Nation to love him. Nobody likes a boring cheater, and that is how he's sometimes portrayed. It's all summed up in his handling of the controversy of Super Bowl week — Deflategate — a subject he has refused to talk about since Saturday, when he held a news conference to deny wrongdoing and announce he was moving on. "We're just focused on Seattle this week," he's said, repeating some version of that time and again.

A much fuller picture of the coach was painted in the 2013 NFL Network production "A Football Life," which gave an inside and genuinely absorbing look at the coach — miked up and behind the scenes during what turned out to be a disappointing 2009 season.

"Hard not to get choked up about it," Belichick said, barely controlling the tears as he toured his old stomping grounds, the old Giants Stadium, where he won his first two Super Bowl rings as New York's defensive coordinator. "I spent a lot of hours in that room."

One trait his old boss, Bill Parcells, turned into an art was figuring out how to get the most from each of his players by treating them individually.

It's not a trait Belichick shares, at least in the sense that no one seems to get the Superstar Treatment in New England: High-priced cornerback Darrelle Revis got sent home one day for being late for a meeting. Jonas Gray ran for 201 yards in a win against Indianapolis but has barely been heard from again after showing up late for a meeting.

"He's done a good job of treating everybody fairly, treating everybody the same," said Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich. "If something goes wrong, he makes sure we know about it. It's all about knowing how to get the best out of everybody."

Carroll does the same thing — just differently.

Quirky as they come, he once said a book that guided many of his core philosophies was, "The Inner Game of Tennis," a 1974 self-help manuscript by W. Timothy Callwey that is about finding "the state of 'relaxed concentration' that helps you play your best."

It's also about tennis, but "the stuff really resonated," Carroll said in an interview while he was coaching Southern California.

In keeping with the touchy-feely theme, he has repeatedly made it clear this week that he respects the individuality of his players — from Richard Sherman, who is willing to speak on just about everything, to Marshawn Lynch, who doesn't want to talk about anything.

The coach's willingness to bend, however, does not mean he deviates from the consistent routine he established when he came to Seattle after nine years at USC. Wednesdays are "Competition Wednesdays." Thursdays are "Turnover Thursdays." And so on.

"He's got a philosophy he stays true to," said offensive line coach Tom Cable. "For a lot of us who've coached a long time, we've been around a lot of great teachers, but their philosophies can go up and down. For him, he's the way he is every day."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who hired Carroll back in 1997, then Belichick in 2000, called his former coach, "pretty special to be around. A lot of fun."

He feels he set Carroll back by not giving him the full control he wanted, and the owner adjusted his style when he made the next hire.

Everyone benefited: Belichick and the Patriots — and Carroll and Seattle.

There's no big mystery to all this coaching success, Belichick insists.

"It's about players making the plays that your team needs to win," he said. "I think as a coach, you want to make sure you don't screw that up."

Photo Credit: The Associated Press
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<![CDATA[FW Zoo Croc Predicts Super Bowl Winner]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:00:51 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sb-chickens.jpg

The Seattle Seahawks will win the Super Bowl this Sunday. At least, that's the prediction made by Salty, the 1,500-pound saltwater crocodile at the Fort Worth Zoo.

Zoo officials decorated two raw chickens with the colors and logo of the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots and let Salty decide her favorite on Thursday.

Salty leapt a few feet out of the water and grabbed the green-colored Seahawks chicken.

The folks at the zoo say allowing Salty to participate in some Super Bowl fun was business as usual.

"That is part of his regular diet,” Fort Worth Zoo director of animal collections Ron Surratt said. “We feed him all the time in this manor, where he actually reaches out of the water and will grab the chicken."

This was Salty's first time making a Super Bowl prediction, but the Fort Worth Zoo has let animals pick the winner since 1998. Last year, Pancakes the potbellied pig, correctly predicted the Seahawks' victory over the Denver Broncos.

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

Photo Credit: Josh Ault, NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[U.S. Doctor Who Beat Ebola: "Hard to Come to Terms" With Disparities in Care]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:49:17 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/craig+spencer+hospital.jpg

The first and only person to be diagnosed with Ebola in New York City said in his first public comments since his recovery that he is grateful for the care he received and wants to bring attention to the frail health systems of countries still grappling with the deadly disease.

Dr. Craig Spencer, who was diagnosed in October and declared free of the virus in November, told WNYC he has considered a return to West Africa, where he treated Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders, but going back wouldn’t be easy.

“Being unable to provide the type of care that I received would be very heavy, hard to come to terms with,” Spencer told WNYC.

Spencer recalled the close attention he received at Bellevue Hospital Center, where nurses brought him homemade food and he was given a banjo to pass the time. Lead physician Laura Evans set aside time to talk through his condition with him and provided an exercise bike so his muscles wouldn’t deteriorate while he was in isolation, he told WNYC.

“I felt a little unfair to receive all this attention – a bunch of other people trying to work so hard for my care when I didn’t feel that’s what the people I took care of had received,” Spencer said. “I’m incredibly thankful for that, but at the same time I feel like that’s unfair.”

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed thousands of people, but not many have been treated in the United States. Besides Spencer, those treated here include American health and aid workers and a journalist who fell ill in West Africa, a Liberian man diagnosed with the virus during a visit to Texas and two nurses who contracted it from him. The Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, died; the rest have recovered.

The 33-year-old Spencer said he knew his doctors were taking on the same risk that he had taken in treating patients in Guinea, so he tried to help them as much as he could throughout his treatment by cleaning up after himself or putting monitoring equipment on himself.

About 100 Bellevue staff members were involved in Spencer’s treatment. None were infected with the virus.

While the doctor says he now feels physically well, he knows life will never go back to normal.

“I know for the rest of my life people are going to ask me questions about my experience as a patient and my experience as a provider,” he said. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[BP Seizes $430K of Meth]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:11:18 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/1-29-15-Border+Patrol+Agents+Foil+Meth+Smuggling+Attempt+at+I-8+Checkpoint_photo+4.jpg

A Mexican national was busted at a San Diego border checkpoint with more than $430,000 of methamphetamine hidden in his car.

Just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a 43-year-old man driving a 2007 Kia Sorrento at the Pine Valley checkpoint on Interstate 8 after a K9 alerted them, officials said.

The vehicle was then sent to secondary inspection where agents found 34 cellophane-wrapped bundles of methamphetamine inside an aftermarket compartment tucked under the SUV's back seat, according to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Officials said they found 48.15 pounds of meth worth an estimated street value of $433,350.

The man was subsequently arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Border Patrol seized the SUV.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Pharmacy Robbed of Pills]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:43:50 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Generic-police-tape.jpg

A Southern California pharmacy was robbed Thursday when a thief hopped the counter and stole prescription drugs, San Diego Police confirm.

Officers responded to the CVS on Westview Parkway in Mira Mesa just after 7 p.m. following a robbery of the pharmacy counter involving one or more suspects.

Police were investigating the incident as grand theft but have not said whether it is connected to a recent string of robberies targeting pharmacies.

San Diego Crime Stoppers has offered $1,000 reward to information leading to an arrest in a recent robbery at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Navajo Road.

In that incident, someone walked into the Walgreens just before noon on Jan. 21 and handed a demand note to the pharmacist. 

The note said the man had a gun and wanted oxycodone. The employee handed the man the pills and the male left the store in an unknown direction.

Officials believe the man also robbed a San Diego CVS Pharmacy on Eads Avenue in La Jolla on January 13 with a demand note asking for Roxicodone, a generic name for oxycodone.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the San Diego Police Department’s Robbery Unit at (619) 531-2299 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 News]]>
<![CDATA["Ugh! That Newsweek Cover": Silicon Valley Women Respond]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:22:14 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/newsweekmain.jpg

Newsweek's latest cover on "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" sparked a firestorm Thursday —  on Twitter and in Silicon Valley — with some accusing the magazine of taking on sexism with a sexist cover.

The clip-art cover shows a woman in red heels holding a laptop, while a cursor lifts up her red dress.

“It's going to take a revolution to change the sordid and systemic sexism in Silicon Valley,” was how Newsweek tweeted out its cover story, which delves into scandals and controversies that have rocked the valley — from tech entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal who was accused of attacking his girlfriend to the sexual harassment lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins to startup “bro culture.”

"Well, Newsweek, the revolution's not going to start like this," feminist site Jezebel fired off on Twitter.

"Clickbait, designed to piss off women while pretending to investigate sexism in tech. Fail--but you know it," tweeted Jennifer Pozner, executive director of Women in Media and News.

“It’s kind of like doing a story about rape and having the cover image be a cartoon with a victim handcuffed to a bed,” tweeted Carmel DeAmicis, a reporter for Gigaom.

But it wasn’t just social media pundits and journalists lashing out.

The cover also got a lot of buzz at the Tech Superwoman Summit in San Francisco Thursday.

"Yikes," "What the heck," "This is the actual cover?" ... "Well interesting" — female software engineers and excecutives chimed in.

“I don’t know if I would have gone with that graphic,” said Cathryn Posey, founder of Tech Superwoman.

“It’s unfortunate, parents will tell their girls ‘don’t go into the tech industry,' when that’s only part of the story,” said Julie Elberfeld, an MVP at Capital One.

The Newsweek article itself points out that despite running tech giants such as Yahoo and HP, women are still under-represented in tech, something conference attendees didn't disagree with. Google, Facebook and Apple recently released gender breakdowns for its employees, and the numbers don’t look too good for women.

“I also think it’s our biggest opportunity — with this data, now that we know what’s going on, we can all partner to solve it, so I think it’s a transcendental moment for the industry if we can come together on it,” Posey said.

“We are actively hiring and recruiting right now, and we are looking to bring in a good balance of men and women,” said Julie Giannini of New Relic.

Newsweek’s editor James Impoco responded to the backlash, telling The Daily Beast: “We came up with an image that we felt represented what that story said about Silicon Valley. If people get angry, they should be angry.”

<![CDATA[$6M for Man Wrongly Jailed 21 Years]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:33:06 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kenneth+ireland+edit.jpg

A Wallingford, Connecticut, man cleared of rape and murder charges and freed after 21 years behind bars will receive $6 million from the state for the ordeal he endured, officials said Thursday.

Kenneth Ireland was freed in 2009 when DNA evidence exonerated him of the rape and murder of Barbara Pelkey in 1989. Ireland was convicted of the crime more than two decades earlier on circumstantial evidence.

His $6 million award includes $2.5 million for "loss of liberty and enjoyment of life," $1.5 million for lost earnings," $300,000 for lost reputation, $1.5 million for physical and mental injuries and $200,000 for his expenses, according to a memorandum of decision from the Office of the Claims Commissioner.

"This is truly the last step in probably one of the most tortured, lengthy, difficult, painful legal proceedings ever in the state of Connecticut," said Ireland's attorney, William Bloss, who originally asked the state for up to $8 million.

Ireland was imprisoned from the age of 18 to 39, serving out nearly half a 50-year prison sentence, despite a lack of physical evidence connecting him to the crime.

He spent five years behind bars at Somers Prison, a maximum security facility, where he was exposed to "gang violence and administrative segregation," the memorandum said.

In 2000, Ireland was transferred to Wallens Ridge State Prison in Virginia, another maximum security facility "notorious for its poor treatment of inmates," according to the memorandum.

He was later moved to the Macdougall-Walker correctional facility in Suffield, where Ireland spent 21 hours per day in his cell, the document says. He was considered a "high security risk" and was targeted by other inmates.

"Mr. Ireland was wrongfully convicted and was labeled a murderer and sex offender and was forced to spend a long portion of his life in maximum security prisons, where he experienced twenty one years of violence, sleepless nights and the constant fear and hopelessness that he would die in prison as an innocent man," the state memo explained.

The Connecticut Innocence Project began probing the case in 2007. Ireland was freed two years later, and the real criminal was convicted in March 2012, according to the memorandum.

After his release, Ireland detailed the suffering he endured for more than two decades in prison serving time for a crime he didn't commit.

"Not one moment in my entire 21 years did I not have fear," Ireland explained. "You'd look up and there'd be 30 inmates, and everyone would have a sharpened piece of steel and they would just start stabbing other inmates."

Gov. Dannel Malloy called Ireland "a man of extraordinary character who endured the unimaginable pain of two decades of wrongful incarceration, and yet is not only without bitterness, but is incredibly thoughtful, insightful and committed to public safety and service."

"Nothing could ever replace the two decades of life as a free man that were wrongfully taken away from him, separated from his family and friends," Malloy said in a statement Thursday.

After spending half his life behind bars, Ireland has opted to become a professional adventurer. He has already checked skydiving and bungee jumping off the list but said he wants to explore the world he watched pass him by.

"All the different places I've read about, I would love to visit and see and experience them first hand," Ireland said."Twenty-one years is a long time, and I did every day of it. I can't go back, I can't change it, I don't want to relive it, so I'm all about moving onto the future."

<![CDATA[Calif. Snowpack "Dismally Meager"]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:14:25 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/202*120/01-29-2015-drought-snowpack.JPG

California appears to be facing a fourth consecutive dry year, with water reservoirs already at critically low levels, the results of the state's second snowpack survey suggest.

Snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where spring water runoff produces a vital source of water for more than 25 million Californians, are "dismally meager," according to the Department of Water Resources. The agency conducted its second manual snowpack survey of the season Thursday, confirming the below-normal levels reported by electronic sensors.

At Echo Summit, about 90 miles east of Sacramento, snowpack was at 12 percent of normal for this time of year. Statewide, levels are 25 percent of historical average, according to the water agency.

The numbers are even lower than the previous manual survey conducted in late December. January is typically one of California's wettest months of the year, but precipitation has been well below normal after a few storms brought rain and snow to the state in December.

"Unfortunately, today’s manual snow survey makes it likely that California’s drought will run through a fourth consecutive year," DWR officials said in a statement.

Heavy precipitation and cooler temperatures would be required over the next three months to provide any reason for optimism around California's water supply, according to the agency.

The snowpack measurement is an important factor in the drought forecast because spring runoff from the Sierras flows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which then feeds California's major water reservoirs. Without adequate spring runoff, those reservoirs will remain at critically low levels into the dry, hot summer months.

For example, the State Water Project's principal reservoir, Lake Oroville in Butte County, contains just 41 percent of its capacity.

State climatologists estimate the state would need at least 150 percent of normal precipitation by the end of the water year, which is Sept. 30, if California has any chance of significant drought improvement.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January 2014 and asked Californians to reduce water use by 20 percent. State records show its a figure residents have had difficulty meeting.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Cabbie Added to Terrorist List]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:50:47 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Liban-Haji-Mohamed.jpg

A former D.C.-area cab driver has been added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.

Liban Haji Mohamed, 28, lived in Alexandria before leaving the United States in 2012. The FBI said he's a known supporter of Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. He is wanted in connection with providing material support to those terrorist groups.

Mohamed is believed to have left the United States on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa, according to the FBI. He should be considered armed and dangerous, the FBI said.

According to the FBI, Mohamed was a close associate of Zachary Chesser of Bristow, Virginia. Chesser was sentenced in 2011 to 25 years in prison for attempted material support to Al-Shabaab and for posting online threats against the creators of "South Park" over a 2010 episode he found insulting to the prophet Muhammad.

A federal warrant for Liban Haji Mohamed's arrest was unsealed Thursday in Virginia.

Mohamed, who was born in Somalia, speaks English, Somali and Arabic. He is six feet tall and weighs 194 pounds. He could be using aliases of Abu Ayrow, Shirwa or Shirwac, Qatiluhum and Qatil. The FBI said he is traveling with a U.S. passport that expires in May 2018.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Photo Credit: FBI]]>
<![CDATA[Man Charged With Fox Exec's Murder]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:37:31 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/gavin1.jpg

A convicted drug dealer has been charged with murder in the death of Fox executive Gavin Smith, whose remains were found more than a year ago in the desert north of Los Angeles.

John Creech, a 42-year-old convicted drug dealer, has been charged in the case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office confirmed Thursday. Arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Investigators determined that Smith, 57, had "a relationship" with Creech's wife, who he met during drug rehab, but have not provided details. Creech had been identified as a "person of interest" in the case and has been in custody on a drug charge.

Smith was last seen leaving a friend's house May 1, 2012, in the Oak Park area in a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz. His family sensed something was wrong when he did not pick up his teenage son from school.

Authorities have said they believe Smith was killed on the night of his disappearance. His remains were found by hikers in October 2013 in a remote area of Palmdale near Acton.

The investigation led to a search of Creech's West Hills home in July 2013 and a major break in the case occurred in February 2014 when authorities discovered Smith's black Mercedes-Benz at a storage building in Simi Valley. Investigators said Creech was linked to the storage unit.

Creech is serving an eight-year jail sentence after pleading no contest to a count of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance in September 2012, according to the district attorney's office.

Smith played basketball at UCLA and was part of the 1975 Bruins' championship team. He became an actor and later a film executive at 20th Century Fox.

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<![CDATA[Plane Makes Emergency Hwy. Landing]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:15:09 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/plane+landing.jpg

No one was hurt when a single-engine plane made an emergency landing on a New Jersey highway Thursday after experiencing mechanical problems, authorities and the pilot said.

The pilot, identified as 51-year-old Christopher Okechukwu of Paramus, safely landed the Cessna C150 on Route 23 near Paradise and Doremus roads in West Milford around 1 p.m., police and federal officials said. Okechukwu was the only person on the plane.

No vehicles were hit during the emergency landing. Chopper 4 captured an extensive emergency presence at the scene as traffic slowed to a crawl behind the aircraft.

Okechukwu, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, told NBC 4 New York he believes his carburetor iced up, triggering mechanical problems that made the engine run rough.

"I did what I was trained to do -- head for the nearest highway," Okechukwu said.

The doctor from Bergen County said he dodged a few overhead wires on the highway as he glided toward a potential landing place and eventually spotted an open stretch of the highway, behind a truck and car. He landed behind those vehicles, going with the flow of traffic, and caused minimal disruptions.

Okechukwu said Thursday was the first time he experienced such a problem in-flight and he was "a little shaken up." But the emergency landing wouldn't deter him from hitting the skies again, he said.

"I'll be back off. I love to fly," Okechukwu said.

The FAA is investigating.  

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Imprisoned Hit Man Gives LA Speech]]> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:07:59 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/150128-lapd-mafia-hit-man-meeting.jpg

The president of the LA Police Commission called for an investigation into the use of LAPD resources to arrange a secretive meeting among an imprisoned ex-Mexican Mafia hit man, top law enforcement officials and wealthy business leaders, calling it "embarrassing."

Rene Enriquez, who is known as "Boxer," was given a police escort to a secured downtown LA location on Spring Street, where sources said he was to give a crowd of about 125 firsthand insight about the inner-workings of the criminal enterprise.

"A whole lot of city resources were wasted here when they shouldn't have been," Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said.

Enriquez's appearance required a "multi-hour SWAT and LAPD presence," Soboroff said.

The cost of the operation, which included crossing county lines, was not immediately known. It was unclear how many other agencies were involved in Enriquez's appearance.

Enriquez, who is the subject of the book "The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of 'Boxer' Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer," worked his way up from enforcer to shot caller for the organization known as La Eme before his arrest and conviction. He is serving two 20-to-life sentences for murder.

The meeting was meant to offer LA-area law enforcement chiefs a chance to learn how a "transnational criminal enterprise was built, branded and marketed," the LAPD said in a statement to NBC News that acknowledged an LAPD group met with a convicted criminial.

"This individual talked with the sophistication and knowledge of a corporate CEO," said LAPD deputy chief Michael Downing, who didn't confirm Enriquez was the speaker.

The cost of the event was relatively small, with about 23 officers guarding the perimeter, while police chiefs from cities like Long Beach and Fullerton attended the talk. The event was secure, Downing said.

"In retrospect, we probably could have picked a better location that didn't have such an impact on downtown Los Angeles," Downing said.

Downing added that the speaker was is a deceptive, manipulative individual "in jail for horrific crimes," and that "even though he's providing this information for us, (we) don't lose sight of who he is as an individual."


A source who attended the session said Enriquez had the air of a corporate leader, providing "a rare look into life of a criminal corporate executive." The source, who asked not to be named, said Enriquez discussed "gang franchising, marketing, sales, merchandising and branding."

“We live in a dangerous city,” said another man who attended the session.

A spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which is responsible for Enriquez, had no immediate comment on the appearance, and was checking late Wednesday to see whether it had been approved.

"People make mistakes and it's our responsibility to find out exactly what happened," Soboroff said. "We need to find out how exactly much that cost and see how much money we can recover. "

NBC4's Toni Guinyard and Willian Avila contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Keeping the Super Bowl Safe]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:57:58 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SuperBowlSecurity.jpg The party is in full swing at Super Bowl Central in Phoenix, Arizona, with a careful balance of celebration and security.]]> <![CDATA[Plane Makes "Roller Coaster" Emergency Landing]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:51:48 -0600 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/ontario+plane+emergency+landing1.jpg

A United plane that may have caught fire over California made a quick "roller coaster" descent into Ontario International Airport at about 9 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration and a passenger's account.

United flight 1181 turned back to Southern California from its original flight path to Washington Dulles International Airport from Los Angeles International Airport, according to the FAA.

"The flight landed safely after diverting to Ontario, California, due to reports of a burning smell," according to a statement released by United.

All 199 passengers and seven crew members who were on board the Boeing 757 are safe, the airline said. Maintenance crews are working to review the aircraft and "working as quickly as possible to get our customers to Washington, D.C."

A passenger tweeted from the airplane when it landed, describing light smoke in the cabin and a flurry of firefighter activity around the plane once it stopped on the Tarmac.

"25,000 feet to 0 in 5 minutes. A roller coaster!" said Mitchell Hashimoto, who tweets under the handle @mitchellh. The tweet has now been deleted.

The airplane caught fire mid-flight, saying the landing was "not comfortable," Hashimoto said in another since-deleted tweet.

Another person tweeted that they were being evacuated from the plane in Ontario after smoke was seen on the flight. "This is crazy," said William Mayer, who tweets at @cigarash.

The plane's flight path, posted on a flight-tracking website, shows it circled back to the LA area soon after taking off from LAX , making it no further than about Palm Springs.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV
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