<![CDATA[NBC New York - holidays]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/feature/holidays http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Tue, 13 Oct 2015 22:20:41 -0400 Tue, 13 Oct 2015 22:20:41 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Top Fitness Apps for 2015]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 12:45:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_fitapps1231_700x394.jpg Mike Wendland reports about different apps you can use to help you stick to your weight-loss resolution.]]> <![CDATA[Top 10 Facebook Posts of 2014]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:15:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP475956911591.jpg

From the deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers to the viral email from a 9/11 survivor, you turned to Facebook to get news updates from NBC New York.

The most popular posts also included more lighthearted moments, such as the Rockefeller tree-lighting ceremony and how Derek Jeter stayed away from scandal during his career.

These are the Facebook posts you read, shared, and liked the most in 2014.

1. Rihanna Donates $25,000 to LAPD After Selfie Fail During Clippers Game: This post about how Rihanna accidentally dropped and cracked the LAPD Commissioner's phone and how she made up for it was our most clicked Facebook post of all time.

2. Beloved Comic, Actor Robin Williams Dead at 63: More than 46,000 people clicked on this post about beloved comic Robin Williams' death.

3. Comedic Legend Joan Rivers Dies at 81: Many Facebook followers flocked to this post after hearing that Joan Rivers passed away.

4. Parole Denied Yet Again for Lennon's Killer: Many people liked this post about John Lennon's killer being denied parole. 

5. Four Hours After Birth, "Bucket List" Baby Dies: After following #shanesbucketlist for months, Facebook followers continued to read about his story even after his death.

6. From the Archives: Survivor Recalls His Viral 9/11 Email: Although it was originally posted on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, people did not get tired of reading this inspiring viral email.  

7. Popular NYC-Based Cupcake Chain Shuts Down: Many people were upset after clicking on this story about the Crumbs Cupcake chain abruptly closing.

8. "Cake Boss" Admits to Driving While Impaired in NYC: More than 178,000 people clicked on this post about the Cake Boss getting arrested. 

9. Rockefeller Center Tree Illuminated at Star-Studded Ceremony: Your favorite post and ours, the Rockefeller tree lighting, was our most liked post ever, with over 112,000 likes.

10. Derek Jeter on His Spotless Image: "I Never Wanted to Embarrass My Parents": Derek Jeter managed to stay scandal-free for most of his career. His reasons why led to one of our most-clicked posts of the year.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Find the Perfect Present: Gift Guide 2014]]> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 08:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gift-guide-promo2.jpg
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<![CDATA[Top 10 Tweets of 2014 From NBC New York]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:15:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cake-Boss-NY-Covrette-Inset.jpg

From the explosion of a building in East Harlem to the death of Eric Garner and the protests that followed, you turned to Twitter to get news updates from NBC New York. 

The most popular tweets also included more lighthearted moments, such as a bear cub getting stuck in a cookie jar and a highway sign that warned of Godzilla. 

These are the tweets you read and retweeted the most in 2014. 

1. TLC's "Cake Boss" Arrested on DWI Charges in Manhattan: NYPD: This tweet about the Cake Boss getting arrested was retweeted more than 14,000 times, setting the record for the most retweeted post from @nbcnewyork this year. 

2. Medical Examiner Rules Eric Garner's Death a Homicide, Says He Was Killed By Chokehold: More than 1,000 people shared this tweet about Eric Garner's death with their own Twitter followers. 

3. NYC Explosion Death Toll at 8, With 3 Still Missing in the Smoldering Rubble: Many people retweeted the breaking news of a building explosion in East Harlem in March. 

4. Port Authority Workers Move Into Four World Trade Center, Become First Office Workers in Complex Since 9/11 Attacks: The return of workers to the World Trade Center was popular for retweets and favorites. 

5. Body Parts Found in East River Matched to Missing Teen Avonte Oquendo: The identification of the remains of Avonte Oquendo, an autistic teen who ran out of his school, was retweeted and read by many. 

6. Jason Collins Cheered in Home Debut As Nets Rout Bulls: Jason Collins made history as the first openly gay NBA player. His reception at Barclay Center was among our most-clicked tweets of the year. 


7. Tracy Morgan Remains in Critical Condition After Crash: Many Twitter readers were interested to learn about a crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan. 

8. Rockefeller Center Tree Illuminated at Star-Studded Ceremony: One of our most popular tweets of the year was also one of our favorites, the lighting of the Rockefeller tree!

9. San Francisco Sign Hacked, Warns of "Godzilla Attack": This hacked sign got a lot of attention. 

10. Bear Cub Rescued After Head Gets Stuck in Cookie Jar: Sometimes life imitates Pooh Bear. This was one of our most retweeted post of the year. 

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<![CDATA[Best Apps of 2014]]> Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:40:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_pcmike1223_700x394.jpg NBC News tech guru PC Mike Wendland rounds up his favorite apps of 2014.]]> <![CDATA[2014: The Year in Photos]]> Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:15:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/2014-year-photos-promo.jpg

More from 2014 and looking ahead to 2015:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Odd Google Searches That Trended in 2014]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 12:21:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/453920462.jpg

Google has released its 2014 list of its most common search requests. Many popular searches weren't surprising, like The World Cup, Robin Williams, and Disney's “Frozen.”

However, the search engine also revealed other searches that were also, somehow, popular this past year. People of the web turned to Google for odd info about dogs, beauty, diets, memes, fashion and famous selfies.

Take a look at searches that also trended in 2014: 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Thief Returns Gifts to Family]]> Sat, 27 Dec 2014 13:28:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000058.jpg

A Kaufman County, Texas, family had their gifts stolen from their porch just two days before Christmas, but the alleged front porch bandit later had a change of heart.

The Carsons were at the supermarket Tuesday when Jordan Carson got a text message notifying him his packages had arrived to his Forney home. The packages were gifts for his 3-year-old daughter.

Then, about 10 minutes later he received a second notification from his surveillance system that someone else was on his porch. This time, they were taking the packages that had just been delivered.

"I was pretty upset, really upset," said Jordan Carson. "Everyone was just kind of shocked it happened."

Police were called, and, amazingly, the alleged thief came clean, Carson said.

"He actually handed them to my wife and he apologized," said Carson. "It actually happened to one other neighbor and they got theirs back, too."

In the same neighborhood, you can see a cartoon depiction of the Grinch on a front lawn, and now the Carsons felt like they dealt with a real-life Grinch, who had a change of heart just in time for Christmas.

The neighbor with whom the alleged thief was staying has since kicked the man out of their home and neighborhood.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Stores Filled With Shoppers Seeking Holiday Deals, Returns]]> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 21:17:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dutes+shopping.jpg After a Christmas day full of fun, food, and celebrations, many shoppers hit the malls Friday to return some less-than-desirable gifts and scoop up some day-after deals. Sheldon Dutes reports.]]> <![CDATA[Look: Celebrities Share Holiday Photos]]> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 12:07:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_beyonceokpng_bim.jpg

Celebrities took to Twitter and Instagram to share holiday photos showing them with their loved ones, pals, pets and gifts under the Christmas tree. Check out some of what they shared below:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Train Police Help Mom Deliver Baby ]]> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 16:18:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/191*120/SEPTA+El+Train+Market+Frankford+Subway+Baby+Born.JPG

UPDATE: The officers met with mom & the boy she named Chris the day after the Christmas delivery.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority officers jumped into action to help a mother deliver the ultimate Christmas gift Thursday evening — a baby boy.

The delivery happened around 6 p.m. on a Market Frankford Line subway train underground in Center City Philadelphia as an eastbound train approached the 15th Street stop.

"When she was on the train I guess the baby said, 'I'm ready to come out now," said witness Toney Harris-Saunders who was on his way to see family for Christmas.

Harris-Saunders, a 26-year-old Philadelphia resident, said he called 911 when he saw the woman having the baby in the seat in front of him — calling the entire experience a "phenomena."

"I helped relax her and a couple of other people helped her as well ... told her to relax, to take some breaths," said Harris-Saunders.

That's when the train stopped and SEPTA police officers stepped in.

After the delivery, mother and baby were taken to nearby Hahnemann Hospital in good condition.

"Officer, hey, somebody's having a baby," said SEPTA Officer Daniel Caban.

"Inside I was just praying for the medics to come in," said Caban.

"Everything just happened so quick but it was amazing, said SEPTA Officer Darrell James.

The officers delivered the baby, removed the umbilical cord from the boy's neck and then placed the boy in his mother's arms as the boy's father removed the shirt off his back to keep his son warm.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III tweeted his department’s excitement over the special delivery.

"It was wonderful," said witness Erek Cunningham. "They cuddled the baby, rushed it into the ambulance. Took very good care of him."

No word yet on what the boy's parents will name him.

Photo Credit: SEPTA]]>
<![CDATA[Top Tri-State Stories of 2014]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 17:12:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/top+ny+stories.jpg From solemn events to celebrity stunts, political ploys, sports events, parties, concerts, crimes and corruption, see the photos from across the tri-state in 2014.

Photo Credit: AP Images/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Heartwarming Holiday Stories From Across the U.S.]]> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 18:57:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/man-visit-family-dfw.jpg

The Christmas spirit was alive and well this year from coast to coast, with a stranger paying off the layaway accounts of struggling families and police and firefighters stepping in with replacement gifts after a fire and burglary. Here are some of the holiday season's most heartwarming stories. 

A 64-year-old homeless man who had been living under a bridge in Hawaii reunited with his family in Texas after being separated from them for 20 years.

Police in Manchester, Connecticut delivered toys to needy children using an armored Bearcat vehicle as a sleigh.

In New Hampshire it was "elves" who were doing the delivering. Members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) dressed up as Santa's helpers to deliver pet kittens to families.

After a fire destroyed a Virginia family's home, including all the Christmas presents inside, firefighters who responded to the fire brought replacement gifts to the family.

A father was brought to tears in North Miami Beach when police officers replaced hundreds of dollars' worth of gifts for his children after his family's home was burglarized.

Southern Pennsylvania Transit officers jumped into action to help a mother deliver the ultimate Christmas gift onboard a subway car — a baby boy.

A Marine helped a Southern California woman dig her home out from under a 6-foot-tall pile of mud and rocks. The homeowner had been sending the Marine care packages through the Adopt A Soldier program, so the latter wanted to return the favor. 

Firefighters and police officers in West Covina, California, played Santa Claus to restore a family's holiday spirit by replacing gifts that were inside their car when it was stolen on Christmas Eve.

A 12-year-old Texas boy who has been suffering from cancer since the age of three only wanted cards for Christmas. He's gotten that ten times over. So far he has received more than 7,000 cards from all over the world. 

An anonymous "layaway angel" paid the layaway accounts of about 150 people at a Toys "R" Us in Bellingham, Massachusetts, covering about $20,000 in holiday merchandise.

A YouTube star with more than 711,000 subscribers gave a homeless man $100 to see what he would do with the money. To his surprise, the man came out of a liquor store with food for his fellow homeless.

Santa brought good news to a child born prematurely on Christmas last year and who has been in the hospital ever since. After a year in the hospital, the one-year-old boy finally gets to go home. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Bittersweet Christmas for Churches Facing Closure]]> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:30:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gingras+churches.jpg Christmas mass took a different, more somber tone at many parishes in New York City slated to close next year. Brynn Gingras reports.]]> <![CDATA[Holidays Meals Delivered Straight to Those in Need]]> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:29:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/creag+city+meals+christmas.jpg Volunteers for city-meals doubled as Santa's helpers to deliver warm meals to people who otherwise would be alone on Christmas. Katherine Creag reports.]]> <![CDATA[Christmas in the City: Praying and Skating]]> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:27:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/vigliotti+christmas+in+nyc.jpg It wasn't a white Christmas but tourists and residents were still in the holiday spirit. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.]]> <![CDATA[Toys "R" Us Stays Open All Night]]> Wed, 24 Dec 2014 09:56:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Toys+R+Us.jpg

In the mad dash to finish Christmas shopping, you'll have more time to buy toys for the kids as Toys "R" Us will remain open for 39 continuous hours at every store nationwide. 

The toy store opened at 6 a.m. this morning and will remain open until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, extending its hours in the final stretch of holiday shopping.

Are you a last-minute shopper? There might be a payoff as retailers offer deep discounts from buy one, get one free deals to half off the entire store.

If your list doesn't include toys, several other stores have extended hours, including Kohls, JC Penney, Macy's, Best Buy and Target. Some, like Kohls, are open 24 hours up to the holidays.

For those who can't make it to the store and want to make final orders online, Amazon is offering one-day delivery on Tuesday and same-day delivery on certain items on Christmas Eve.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Stuffed Santa Clawed by Black Bear]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:38:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/179*120/12-18-2014-SantaClawed.JPG

A California photographer captured an unusual animal attack in the Angeles National Forest: a black bear beating up Santa Claus.

Glendora native Robert Martinez has 10 cameras set up to watch wildlife, and put a Father Christmas doll in front of one of them in the hope of attracting the attention of a mountain lion.

And while one did stop to stare at the doll before padding away, it was a carnivore of a different kind that made his efforts worthwhile.

The black bear decided to have some fun with the Santa doll on Monday, knocking it over and smacking it around with it until he got bored.

Amazingly, Martinez said he had not seen a bear in the area for the past 2 months.

<![CDATA[Thousands of 911 Calls Traced Back to Mentally Disabled Man Seeking Music; Dispatchers Give Him Song]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:16:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_911elves1218_700x394.jpg After thousands of 911 calls are traced to mentally disabled man simply hoping to find music on the telephone, dispatchers offer a heartwarming solution. Nadine Wimmer reports from Salt Lake City. ]]> <![CDATA[Military Dad Surprises Son, 6, at School in Santa Outfit]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:20:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_santasurprise1217_700x394.jpg A father returning from military service in South Korea surprised his 6-year-old son by showing up to the boy's Tennessee school in a Santa costume.]]> <![CDATA[Top Christmas Apps Designed for Kids]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:38:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_pcmike1216_700x394.jpg Tech guru PC Mike Wendland takes a look at Christmas apps designed for kids.]]> <![CDATA[Last-Minute Holiday Shipping Tips]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:21:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_holidayshipping1215_700x394.jpg How can you ensure your holiday packages arrive on time? Kurt Gregory reports.]]> <![CDATA[Cops Help Man Shoplifting Formula for Baby Buy Supplies Instead of Arresting Him]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_formulashoplifter1216_700x394.jpg Police responding to a report of a New Mexico man shoplifting formula to feed his baby help the man buy supplies instead of arresting him. Lauren Hansard reports.]]> <![CDATA[Top 21 I-Team Stories of 2014]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:18:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/I-Team+Photo+720x406+REVISED.jpg

NBC 4 New York's I-Team led the way with exclusive, critical reporting in 2014 on issues ranging from abuse of power and chemical danger zones to health care, hacking, hidden natural gas leaks and how cash-strapped publicly funded places are spending taxpayer dollars.

Revisit the Top 21 I-Team stories of the year below.

Sign up for our newsletter here to get the latest I-Team stories delivered to your inbox or phone.

Women Panhandling With Babies on NYC Streets Swap Kids, Refuse City Handouts in Possible Coordinated Scheme (originally aired 11/11/14)

A group of women is using infants and toddlers to panhandle on the streets and subway platforms of Manhattan in what appears to be a coordinated effort, and they consistently refuse city services that could help them, an NBC 4 New York I-Team investigation has found. After Melissa Russo's initial report, the city said it would take steps to address the situation.

New Jersey Hospital Charges Man Nearly $9,000 to Bandage Cut Finger (originally aired 8/5/14)

A New Jersey hospital charged a teacher nearly $9,000 to put a bandage on his middle finger, an NBC 4 New York I-Team investigation has found. Chris Glorioso reports.



Lifeguards Distracted on the Stand (originally aired 7/31/14)

Jonathan Vigliotti went undercover to see which lifeguards were keeping an eye out on safety, and which ones were distracted by their phones or friends.



3,000 Tri-State Bridges Deemed "Structurally Deficient" (originally aired 8/14/14)

Hundreds of bridges in the tri-state area are “structurally deficient” and need repair, an I-Team review of inspection records has found. Those records show that structural conditions at numerous bridges in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are deteriorating fast. Engineering experts say none of the spans is on the verge of collapse, but warn some bridges need work to help avoid the kind of disaster that struck in Minneapolis seven years ago when the collapse of the Interstate 35 West bridge killed 13 people. Jonathan Dienst reports.



Urgent Care Centers Are Booming, But Some Say Regulatory Standards Aren't Keeping Up (originally aired 11/18/14)

Urgent care centers, where speedy service is promised and walk-ins are welcome, are becoming an increasingly popular recourse for sick or hurt people across the tri-state area looking for quick remedies to everyday health concerns. But are industry standards keeping up with the industry boom? Pei-Sze Cheng reports.



NYC District Attorneys Can't Get Meeting With Mayor (originally aired 10/7/14)

New York City's five district attorneys have tried for months to get a group meeting with Mayor de Blasio to discuss crucial budget and public safety issues, as they have with past mayors, but their requests have been ignored, NBC 4 New York has learned. After Melissa Russo's reporting, a meeting with the district attorneys and the mayor was scheduled.



Hacker Posts Private Live Streams of Hundreds in Tri-State (originally aired 11/20/14)

Wireless surveillance cameras, webcams and baby monitors allow users to stream video on the web anytime from anywhere so they can always keep tabs on their valuables. Their blinking lights signal security, but NBC 4 New York's I-Team has found thousands of seemingly secure feeds -- on everything from cribs to a pet’s litter box -- are making their way online for all to see. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.



Many Communities in Chemical-Risk Zones Are Unaware of the Dangers (originally aired 11/25/14)

When a poisonous gas leak killed four workers near Houston, Texas, earlier this month, Amy Rafano felt worried. The New Jersey PTA mom lives near several chemical plants, and sends her son to school nearby – including the Ashland plant in Parlin which houses 1.2 million pounds of the flammable chemical ethylene oxide. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.



Some HIV-Positive NYers Purposely Get Sicker for Housing Benefits (originally aired 12/1/14)

Advocates believe HIV patients in New York City are purposefully skipping medication and making themselves sicker to qualify for the city's housing assistance program. Chris Glorioso reports.



Many Tri-State Schools Use Football Helmets That Don't Protect Well Against Concussions (originally aired 11/3/14)

Over a period of two months, the I-Team asked about 200 schools in the tri-state area what kind of helmets they use and found many use helmets that received low marks in a Virginia Tech study that evaluates the likeliness of football helmets to reduce concussion risk. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.



Lax Criminal and Sex Offender Checks on Camp Staff May Put Kids at Risk (originally aired 7/15/14)

When Michelle Fusaro was choosing a camp for her 4-year-old daughter, she assumed that the staff had been screened for criminal records. So she was shocked when she learned that many camps in New Jersey, where she lives, were cited last year for failing to do background checks -- and that many camps in the tri-state area are not required to do them at all. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.



Cash-Strapped School District Spends Thousands on Takeout (originally aired 7/8/14)

Budget cuts and tight resources plague Newark public schools, but even in these tough economic times, the Newark Public Schools District has approved tens of thousands of dollars a month in spending on takeout food and catering. Chris Glorioso reports.



President Obama Rejected From Top NY Golf Courses Over Labor Day Weekend: Sources (originally aired 9/8/14)

President Obama was turned down at several top golf courses in Westchester while he was visiting the area over Labor Day weekend, sources tell NBC 4 New York. Jonathan Dienst reports.



Utilities Keep Secret the Locations of Gas Leaks (originally aired 4/28/14)

Consolidated Edison urges the public to call authorities if they smell gas, but the utility -- and many others in our area -- decline to detail the locations of known, active gas leaks. A lawmaker drafted a bill in response to Chris Glorioso's report to require utilities to reveal the locations of the gas leaks and submit information on repairs. The day this Top 21 piece was posted, Con Edison released a map detailing the locations of its active leaks.



FDNY Firefighter Sues Staten Island Homeowner for Alleged Injuries Suffered on Call (originally aired 9/23/14)

Dozens of firefighters in the tri-state area have sued property owners for injuries they got on the job. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.



NJ Lawmakers Have Staffers Cast Their Votes (originally aired 9/29/14)

When lawmakers vote on bills, you might expect that they are physically in the state house chamber listening to debate and pushing the "yea" or "nay" button. That is not always the case. Chris Glorioso reports.



Parents Demand Transparency From College Study Abroad Programs After Sons' Deaths (originally aired 9/19/14)

Two families whose sons died while studying abroad have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the universities running the programs, and they're working with a U.S. congressman on a bill to require more transparency for college study abroad programs, which they say are poorly regulated given the number of students who participate in them each year. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.



Identity Thieves Thrive on the "Dark Web" (originally aired 11/17/14)

Days after a federal crackdown shuttered hundreds of websites used by cyber criminals, the I-Team logged on to several anonymous Internet marketplaces and found hundreds of credit card and social security numbers up for sale again. Chris Glorioso reports.



Hoboken Security Cameras Have Been Inoperative for Years (originally aired 4/3/14)

Hoboken has failed to keep a network of city-owned surveillance cameras working since 2010, including at least two cameras positioned on the waterfront where a jogger went missing, the I-Team has learned. Chris Glorioso reports.



Feds Knew of Severe Repair Needs at Building Where Akai Gurley Was Shot (originally aired 12/12/14)

Lighting problems at the Pink Houses in Brooklyn made headlines after police shot an innocent, unarmed man in a dark stairwell. But long before police said Akai Gurley was accidentally killed by a rookie cop, federal regulators knew about severe repair problems at the public housing complex. Chris Glorioso reports.



Menendez, Clinton State Dept. Helped Secure Visa for Fugitive Banker's Daughter (originally aired 12/16/14)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez interceded on behalf of an Ecuadorian woman who was banned from traveling to the U.S. because of allegations she had engaged in visa fraud. The woman, Estafania Isaias, is the daughter of a fugitive from Ecuador convicted in absentia for bank fraud and whose relatives in Florida made significant campaign donations to the New Jersey Democrat's 2012 campaign and the Democratic Party. Jonathan Dienst reports.

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<![CDATA["Layaway Angel" Helps 150 People]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:45:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Toys+R+Us.jpg

An anonymous person paid the layaway accounts of about 150 people at a Toys "R" Us store in Bellingham, Massachusetts, in an act of holiday cheer that covered $20,000 in merchandise.

Emily Burlingame told NECN that she was not expecting such a random act of kindness when she she went to pay her layaway balance.

"I just went to go pay, and [the cashier] said that the 'layaway angel' took care of the balance," she said.

The mystery woman had visited the store Wednesday, Toys "R" Us said. She asked to pay off every outstanding account.

"It's a very nice surprise," Burlingame said. "Thank you to the 'layaway angel.' Very nice."

Other shoppers at the store were overjoyed when they learned what happened.

"I know the feeling of gratefulness when you get the phone call saying, 'somebody paid off your layaway,'" said Christine Roberts, who was on the receiving end of a similar gesture last year.

"It's a really, really nice thing that was done, so a big thank you, very much," Burlingame said.

Toys "R" Us told NECN the act was an incredible display of what the season is all about.

The identity of the "layaway angel" remains a mystery.

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Best Gifts for Foodies]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:09:42 -0400 handrail BBQ to someone itching to host a city-style barbecue. ]]> handrail BBQ to someone itching to host a city-style barbecue. ]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/balconybbq.png From a sriracha key chain to an on-the-go barware set, this gallery has the perfect gifts for all food lovers. ]]> <![CDATA[Haunted Christmas House Disturbs Some Parents]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:00:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/haunted+christmas+house.jpg Christmas is a special time for many families, especially those with children. It's a time of innocence, when kids can let their imaginations run wild, immersing themselves in the magical journey of Santa Claus. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.]]> <![CDATA[Holiday 2014: Gifts That Give Back]]> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:10:10 -0400 Cookies and Starbucks Coffee Gift Box for just $29.99? The gift box will include all-natural homemade individually wrapped chocolate chunk, white chocolate macadamia, double chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin cookies, with Starbucks house blend regular coffee, and fair trade café estima blend. The “That’s Caring” gift box will supply a weekend food bag, which is given to a child living in a food-insecure environment. Check out more “That’s Caring” gifts you can give to your employees, clients, and your boss here . ]]> Cookies and Starbucks Coffee Gift Box for just $29.99? The gift box will include all-natural homemade individually wrapped chocolate chunk, white chocolate macadamia, double chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin cookies, with Starbucks house blend regular coffee, and fair trade café estima blend. The “That’s Caring” gift box will supply a weekend food bag, which is given to a child living in a food-insecure environment. Check out more “That’s Caring” gifts you can give to your employees, clients, and your boss here . ]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Starbucks10.jpg A better feeling than getting presents during the holidays is the feeling of giving back. This season shop for gifts that not only will make your friends and family happy, but will also help someone in need.

Photo Credit: thatscaring.com]]>
<![CDATA[Santa Brings 3-Year-Old Girl's Dad Home From Afghanistan]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:11:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_santasoldiersurprise1210_700x394.jpg When a 3-year-old girl asked Santa to bring her daddy home from Afghanistan for Christmas, he delivered. Elizabeth Matthews reports.]]> <![CDATA[#SantaPhotoFail: Pics of No Good Santa Encounters]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 03:42:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/01-santafailthumb.jpg It's Christmastime and it's that time of year when you head out with the family and get those beloved pics of the kids with Santa. Except the photos don't always turn out as you hoped.]]> <![CDATA[Woman Honors Late Husband by Giving Wedding Rings to Salvation Army]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:50:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Note.jpg

An anonymous woman celebrated her late husband's memory by dropping her diamond engagement ring and wedding band into a Red Kettle outside Boston's North Station.

The donation, made on Dec. 3, was accompanied by a note saying the woman wanted to commemorate her husband's "joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need" by donating the ring to help fund toys for needy children. 

"In all seasons, my husband was a giver. I especially remember his joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need. To honor his memory, I donate this ring," the note read. "I'm hoping there's someone out there who made lots of money this year and will buy the ring for ten times its worth. After all, there's no price on love or the sentimental value of this ring."

An appraisal, included with the donation, values the diamond ring at $1,850.

"We're so moved and incredibly grateful to the generous individual who made such a loving and kind donation," says Major David B. Davis, divisional commander of the Massachusetts Salvation Army. "This heartwarming gift boosts all of our staff, bell-ringers, and volunteers who are working tirelessly during the Red Kettle Campaign to encourage donations that help those in need."

Salvation Army's Drew Forster says he hasn't seen anything such as this before.

"Jewelry comes into our kettles from time to time, but it's generally by accident," he said. "Someone will drop a ring or an earring that they might happen to have in their purse."

Bell ringer Robert Barr, who is working with the Salvation Army as part of his court-ordered community service, said the donor was a small woman, probably in her 50s, who stopped for just a moment to talk.

"I remember the lady because she said she has two checks available and they were in envelopes and she put them in the kettle," he said.

Those giving what they could on Monday were amazed by one woman's charitable sense of purpose.

"What a nice thing to do to honor his memory. The goal of giving and sacrificing her jewelry to his memory," donor Patty Cyr said.

For more information on the Salvation Army or to donate online, please visit: www.salvationarmyma.org.

Photo Credit: Salvation Army]]>
<![CDATA[Best Last-Minute Holiday Travel Deals]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:09:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_travelsavings1208_700x394.jpg It's not too late to find holiday travel deals. Kurt Gregory reports.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Awesome Rock Tree Time-lapse]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:18:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tree+timelapse+tree.jpg See time-lapse video of the 2014 Rockefeller Center tree being put up and illuminated.]]> <![CDATA[Unique Holiday Gifts for Pets]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:56:50 -0400 Push Pushi Raincoat . ]]> Push Pushi Raincoat . ]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/220*120/pet+toys+3.jpg Dogs, cats and even fish can celebrate the holidays with unique toys and treats. ]]> <![CDATA[Boys Try to Call Santa, Dial 911 Instead]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:54:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NC_santa9111204_700x394.jpg Two little Wisconsin boys ended up on the naughty list when they tried to call Santa but got 911 instead. Lacey Crisp reports.]]> <![CDATA[Apps to Help You Save During the Holidays]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:19:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/holiday+savings+apps.jpg Tech guru PC Mike Wendland takes a look at apps designed to help you save during the holidays.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Rockefeller Center Tree Lights Up]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:26:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000005464811_1200x675_366994499653.jpg The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is lit on the plaza Wednesday. Video courtesy NBC Universal Inc. ]]> <![CDATA[Rockefeller Tree Set to Sparkle]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 07:09:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NUP_159342_0849.JPG

Packed with celebrities, performances and seasonal cheer, the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center is one of New York City's greatest holiday traditions.

To celebrate the 2014 lighting, NBC is bringing the sparkle to viewers across the country with "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," airing live on Wednesday, December 3 (8-9 p.m. ET).

Mariah Carey will kick things off with a rendition of her number one smash hit "All I Want for Christmas is You," before hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales ("Today") introduce a lineup that includes Darius Rucker, Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Prince Royce, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane, Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood.

The 82nd annual celebration will culminate in the lighting of the 85-foot tall Norway spruce from Hemlock Township, Penn. It is approximately 90 years old and weighs approximately 13 tons.

Prior to this year's primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special (7-8 p.m. ET) will be broadcast by select NBC stations. Check local listings.

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC
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<![CDATA[2014 Rockefeller Tree Lighting]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:47:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP304775363894.jpg The star-studded Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting ceremony lit up the heart of Manhattan Wednesday as tens of thousands attended the annual event while millions tuned in from home.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Christopher Walken Hooks "Peter Pan"]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:19:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NUP_166283_0992.JPG

Steven Spielberg's underrated 1991 fantasy film "Hook" lifted the Peter Pan story to new heights, starting with the revisionist title. Sure, we're fascinated by flying boys who won't grow up – but seafaring villains with development issues of their own wield an even sharper lure.

That's why the inspired casting of Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" Thursday (December 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT) offers a draw well beyond the ambitious airing of a Broadway-level high-wire act without a net, from a pirate ship or otherwise. Walken arrives with the promise of chewing up the scenery with the voraciousness of the crocodile than chomped off Hook's left hand. You should never smile at a crocodile, but it’s okay to laugh at Christopher Walken.

Walken, at first glance, doesn’t scream out as a song and dance man. But as he’s shown on “Saturday Night Live,” he can carry a tune and pull off a credible soft shoe, most memorably performing “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” a couple decades back. The star of “The Deerhunter” also emerged as an unlikely TV comedian with his cries for “more cowbell.” His live stints, even in the name of humor, land with an air of, if not danger, then a portent of the odd and unexpected.

The Walken of “SNL” appears made for Neverland. Judging from his Hook get-up, the 71-year-old actor wouldn’t be out of place with Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at a Sparrow family reunion, whether in the Caribbean or on a Hollywood lot. But unlike the movies, there are no second takes when mounting a live TV musical.

That’s a challenge for the whole “Peter Pan Live!” cast, especially Allison Williams, who is setting out to prove she’s more than the one-note wannabe singer Marnie on "Girls." Her performance as the airborne title character will be measured against Mary Martin’s legendary 1960 TV turn in the role. Williams’ bigger test, though, might be standing out amid Walken and other more seasoned cast mates.

Big-stage musical neophyte Carrie Underwood found that out last year in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” when working hard to hold her own against veteran Broadway talent like Christian Borle and Laura Benanti. Borle, who played proto-Hook Black Stache on stage in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” is back Thursday as Hook’s left-hand man, Smee.

Peter Pan might have top billing, but it’s Hook’s show for the grabbing – a sign of a classic that’s as only as good as its villain is bad. Check out a preview as Williams, Walken and the “Peter Pan Live!” creative team prepare to take flight.


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Patrick Randak/NBC
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<![CDATA[NYPD Announces Street Closures for Rockefeller Tree Lighting]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:13:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/30-Rock-Christmas-Tree-2012.jpg

Several streets in midtown will be closed Wednesday afternoon as organizers prepare for the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony, police say.

Police will set up barricades closing roadways between 48th and 51st streets from Fifth Avenue to Avenue of the Americas from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., the NYPD says.

Police say that because of heavy traffic, drivers should also avoid the areas around Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.

Pedestrians and spectators are urged to use mass transit to get to Rockefeller Center for the tree lighting festivities.

Police say that large backpacks and bags are prohibited from the event, which attracts tens of thousands of people every year.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and will air on NBC 4 New York.

Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[NORAD Tracks Santa Delivering Gifts]]> Thu, 25 Dec 2014 08:36:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/sb10069274b-004.jpg

No need to trek to the North Pole to find Santa Claus today. A quick trip online will let you track Saint Nick and his sleigh as he makes his annual journey across the globe to deliver presents.

The Santa tracker website and mobile app launched by The North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, is up and running again this year. It went live early Wednesday.

Santa, Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer were spotted over Sydney, Australia, Wednesday morning and by shortly before 11 a.m. Eastern Time, had traversed the continent and were heading up Southeast Asia.

By early afternoon, the team had crossed over India and then Pakistan, where most people are Muslim but some parts of society are embracing Christmas, and was traveling north through Russia.

Just before 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Santa was on his way to Minsk, Belarus, and had delivered more than 2.5 million gifts, according to NORAD. By 5:20 p.m., he was over Germany and had given out more than 3 million presents.

At 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Santa had made his way to Reykjavik, Iceland. St. Nick had delivered over 4 million presents.

Santa was zigzagging back and forth between the U.S. and Canada at 11 PM ET. He had delivered over 5 million presents.

Alaska was the first U.S. state that Santa hit around 4 AM ET.  He then made his way to Hawaii where the first family is vacationing, having already delivered over 7 million gifts. 

He wrapped up with a final stop in Midway Atoll before heading home to the North Pole.

According to NORAD, Santa usually starts his journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west.

Historically, he visits the South Pacific first, next New Zealand and Australia, then to Asia, across to Africa and on to Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.

“Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable,” NORAD writes. “NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!”

The latest version of the NORAD Tracks Santa effort, which has been around since 1958, features new games and daily activities, including the opportunity to help name a new elf in the North Pole Village.

Santa and his sleigh will have a hard time staying under the radar thanks to the site, which is accessible in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.

In addition to watching Santa's progress on the tracker, users can find out Santa's current location by dialing 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by emailing noradtrackssanta@outlook.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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