<![CDATA[NBC New York - Local News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Wed, 27 May 2015 20:36:40 -0400 Wed, 27 May 2015 20:36:40 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Strong T-Storms Arriving Amid Historic May Heat]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:11:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP10092211661.jpg

Severe thunderstorms could douse the region Wednesday afternoon and evening amid a wave of hot, muggy conditions that have helped make this month one of the hottest Mays on record in New York City, Storm Team 4 says.

Track Severe Weather Alerts Here

Warnings were issued for parts of New York and New Jersey, and watches are in effect across the tri-state. 

The sizzling conditions that hit the tri-state Tuesday continued Wednesday in what is expected to be the third-hottest May on record in Central Park. Highs are expected to climb into the upper 80s before a cold front pushes through and sparks off a line of strong to severe thunderstorms.

The potentially severe weather should move into the five boroughs and northwestern suburbs just in time for the evening commute. The Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and the Catskills are likely to see the most intense storms, according to Storm Team 4. 

The strong storms have the potential to bring damaging wind gusts, small hailstones and lots of lightning to the area between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Parts of inland New Jersey and the Hudson Valley are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 7 p.m. There is the potential for some localized power outages and airport delays with these storms.

Wednesday night will be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and a few lingering thunderstorms. Temperatures will be in the low 70s.

More heat, haze, humidity and thunderstorms are again in store for the tri-state on Thursday. Highs will climb to the upper 80s amid scattered wet weather in the afternoon.

Conditions will be more tenable on Friday and Saturday, with highs in the low to mid 80s and partly to mostly sunny skies.

Much-needed rain looks likely on Sunday into Monday as another cold front slowly crosses the area with showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the upper 70s on Sunday before cooling down to the upper 60s on Monday and Tuesday.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Copper Thieves Caused A Train Suspension: MTA]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:47:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Subway-A-Train-Suspension-Copper-0527.jpg

The MTA says copper thieves were to blame for power problems that brought down the A line in part of Queens for hours and caused headaches for as many as 100,000 commuters throughout the city during the peak of the morning rush.

Service between Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel was suspended for several hours Tuesday night and Wednesday after thieves ripped out about 500 feet of cable from 12 locations along the tracks near the Howard Beach stop, the MTA said.

“This morning’s service disruption was directly caused by the theft of cable from along the subway right of way. This led to delays and crowding along all 31 miles of the A train, and forced thousands of Rockaways customers to use shuttle buses to get to work,” said Carmen Bianco, the MTA New York City Transit president . “We are working closely with the NYPD Transit Bureau to help them investigate this crime and identify the culprits responsible.”

The theft was discovered at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, when a Manhattan-bound train lost power near the Howard Beach station, the MTA says. About 150 straphangers were aboard the train when it lost power, and MTA workers brought in another train behind it, so they were able to get off the disabled cars.

The MTA says the stolen cable was likely sold for scrap.

The theft of the copper cables caused service disruptions that reverberated through the entire length of the A and C lines Wednesday, the MTA said.

Service was suspended between Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel through the morning rush, forcing thousands of commuters in the Rockaways to rely on shuttle buses or other forms of transportation.

And because A trains are stored in Rockaway Park -- on the Rockaway Peninsula -- the MTA said many trains that would otherwise be used for the morning rush were trapped, severely curtailing service on the line. Trains that were in service were terminating at the Euclid Avenue C stop, which reduced service on that line as well. 

Service was partially restored by late morning, but the MTA said trains would be replaced by shuttle buses again Wednesday night for repair work. Service on the A south of Broad Channel will be suspended after 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the MTA. 

As many as 100,000 commuters were affected by the outage. 40,000 of those commuters rely on the A train to get out of the Rockaways, including 3,700 who ride the train to Manhattan. 

"It's a big deal. You need it, it's the only way out," said one woman who lives in the Rockaways. 

Taiwann Frett, one of the drivers who manned the emergency shuttles, tried to keep everyone cool during the morning commute.

"It was a herd. It was outrageous," he said. "The people were aggravated, understandably. They're trying to get to work." 

The Rockaway Ferry, which started post-Sandy as an emergency route, could have been a backup plan for some of the stuck straphangers. That service was discontinued a couple of months ago.

"It's easier, it's faster," said Richard Cotter. 

To see the latest information on the line's status, visit mta.info.

Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: MTA]]>
<![CDATA[Auto Mechanic Shot Dead in Jersey City: Police]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:02:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Untitled-1171.jpg

An auto mechanic was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon as he worked on a car in Jersey City, police said.

It appears the man, who police confirmed was in his 50s, was hit by a stray bullet.

The shooting happened on Sackett Street between Bramhall Avenue and Atlantic Street as school was letting out at nearby Ollie Culbreth Jr. Elementary School. Kids were leaving the school and were immediately sent back inside, sources said.

A medical examiner was at the site of the shooting Wednesday evening as residents gathered around.

"Living in this neighborhood is getting ridiculous," one person said.

Police are investigating the shooting. No arrests have been made.

<![CDATA[Child Falls Out 3rd-Story Window in Brooklyn: FDNY]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:55:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

A 3-year-old child fell out of a third-story window in Brooklyn, the FDNY says. 

Emergency responders were called to 902 44th St. in Fort Hamilton at about 7 p.m., according to the FDNY. 

The child was taken to Lutheran Hospital and is listed in serious but stable condition. 

It's not clear how the child fell out of the window; police are investigating. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Carbon Monoxide Exposure Sends 17 to Hospitals]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:44:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_14588642.jpg

Seventeen people were taken to Long Island hospitals after they were exposed to carbon monoxide at a writing utensil production facility Wednesday afternoon, police said.

An employee at Liqui-Mark in Hauppauge began feeling nauseous and was suffering from a headache. Responders were called to the facility and used carbon monoxide detectors to determine that high levels of the poison were in the air, according to police.

The Hauppauge Fire Department tested 30 employees, of which 17 tested positive for carbon monoxide exposure.

The woman who felt ill was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. The other 16 employees felt no symptoms but were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, and St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown, for treatment.

The business is closed while an air conditioning unit is repaired. It's believed to be the cause of the high levels of carbon monoxide, although an investigation is ongoing.

Additional detectors are also being installed at the location, police said.

<![CDATA[Woman Thrown to Ground in Bronx Rape Attempt: NYPD]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:24:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bronx+rape+suspect+grand+concourse.jpg

A man is being sought by police in a rape attempt in which he allegedly threw the victim to the ground while she was walking on a Bronx street, according to police. 

The 24-year-old woman was walking on East 161st Street in the Concourse section of the Bronx at about 5 a.m. Tuesday when the suspect walked up behind her and threw her to the ground, police said. 

He lifted the victim's skirt and laid on top of her, but then fled westbound toward the Grand Concourse, according to police.

The suspect, described as about 6 feet tall with a medium build, was last seen wearing a red and white striped short sleeve shirt, a black watch on his left wrist, light blue jeans, white sneakers and a baseball cap, police said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

<![CDATA[Baby Dies After Losing Consciousness in Queens Park: Police]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:48:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/shutterstock-police-crime.jpg

A 10-week-old baby girl who lost consciousness while at a Queens park with her mother was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday, police said.

The baby girl, who has since been identified as Zoey Kaplan of Queens, was with her mother and her mother's friend at Hawthorne Park, located at Borage Place and Burns Street in Forest Hills, police said. When the mother went to check on Zoey in her stroller, she found the girl vomiting.

Police responded to a 911 call around 12:30 p.m. By the time they arrived at the park Zoey had lost consciousness. EMS transported the girl to North Shore Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival, according to police.

Police say an investigation is ongoing and that no charges will be filed until a medical examiner determines what killed her.

<![CDATA[Manhattanhenge to Be Seen This Weekend]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 18:23:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/211*120/manhattanhenge+july+11+2102.jpg

Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with the street grid in Manhattan, can be seen this weekend. 

Half the sun will align with the grid on Friday at 8:12 p.m., and the full-sun Manhattanhenge will happen the same time on Saturday, according to the Hayden Planetarium.

For the best view, go as far east in Manhattan as you can without losing view of New Jersey. Good spots are cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets.

Long Island City in Queens should also get a spectacular view -- so much so that the nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy will host "LICHenge" Thursday night at LIC Landing in the park. According to the group, there's a day-and-a-half window around the Manhattanhenge dates where viewing will still be optimal, DNAInfo reports. 

Manhattanhenge happens twice a year; in addition to the May dates, it will happen again July 12 and 13. 

On a clear day, the typical resulting effect of Manhattanhenge is a "radiant glow of light" across the skyscrapers and buildings, "simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid," according to Hayden Planetarium. 

Show us your Manhattanhenge photos by uploading them here or uploading them on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #NBC4NY!

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Train Delayed After Hitting Pedestrian]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 18:51:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/metro+north+pedestrian+struck+fairfield.jpg

The Metro-North New Haven Line is delayed after a train from Grand Central Terminal to New Haven struck and killed a man on the tracks just east of the Fairfield Metro station, according to police and the railroad.

Railroad officials said the collision happened around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday. The train had departed New York City at 2:04 p.m. and was due to arrive in New Haven at 4:06 p.m.

According to Fairfield police spokesman Lt. James Perez, a Metro-North conductor or engineer said the train had just departed the Fairfield Metro station when he spotted a person standing on the side of the tracks east of Black Rock Turnpike. The man jumped in front of the train and was struck.

A passenger on the train told NBC Connecticut he didn't feel or hear anything at the time of the crash.

Police have not identified the man but said he appears to be middle aged. Metro-North is handling the investigation into the crash.

Train service was temporarily suspended between Southport and Bridgeport as a result. Trains are back up and running, but the railroad is warning commuters to expect delays of up to 30 minutes.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Fred Shepard]]>
<![CDATA["The Who" Frontman Helps Local Teens Battling Cancer]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:46:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/the+who+documentary.jpg The frontman of legendary band "The Who" is rocking against cancer. Roger Daltrey is using star power and charity funds to help teens battling the disease in our area. Roseanne Colletti reports.]]> <![CDATA[Below-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season Likely: NOAA]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:43:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000007303225_1200x675_452598851925.jpg A below-normal Atlantic Hurricane season with between three to six hurricanes is likely for 2015, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But Jersey Shore residents and businesses aren't taking anything for granted. Brian Thompson reports]]> <![CDATA[Police Kill Man Holding 17-Month-Old Son Hostage: Authorities]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 11:57:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Middletown-Hostages-New.jpg

A SWAT team member shot and killed a 39-year-old man allegedly holding his 17-month-old son hostage at a home in central New Jersey overnight, authorities say.

Scott McAllister was fatally shot after a five-hour standoff at his home on Bayside Avenue in the East Keansburg section of Middletown, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office said. 

McAllister was killed hours after were called to the home after getting a 911 call about a domestic dispute inside the home, the attorney general's office said. 

The mother of McAllister's son was outside the home when officers arrived, and told them that the man was drunk and had beaten her. She added that the man, who was still inside the home, had a knife and was threatening to hurt the boy. 

A SWAT team and a hostage negotiator responded to the home and tried to get McAllister to surrender peacefully and turn over the child. 

When the negotiations failed, the SWAT team forced their way into the house. That's when authorities say one of the officers shot McAllister.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The infant, who was near his father, was not hurt in the standoff.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes during the standoff. One neighbor told NBC 4 New York the suspect worked on a fishing boat.

<![CDATA[More Former Students Report Sexual Abuse at Horace Mann]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 10:50:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/horace+mann+sex+abuse+allegations.jpg

A new investigation into alleged sexual abuse at an elite New York City private school has found that the abuse was more widespread than previously reported.

The Wall Street Journal reports the investigation into the Horace Mann School identified more than 60 former students who say they were abused from the 1960s through the 1990s. The report was compiled by a nonprofit group founded by alumni to address the scandal.

The new number of alleged victims is more than double the 25 cited in a 2013 report by the Bronx district attorney's office.

Horace Mann said in a statement Tuesday it would review the report to determine whether it contains any suggestions that would further strengthen child safety. The school previously announced a number of settlements with former students.

<![CDATA[NY Homeowners Fear Property Reassessment Will Hit Pockets Hard]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 19:50:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nassau+reassessment.jpg

Joseph Caffera pays more than $10,000 dollars a year in property taxes on his Bellmore home, and he wasn't happy to hear that Nassau now plans to reassess all county properties by 2018.

"I said, 'Don't tell me they're gonna start this again,' and I guess they are," he said.

Like many, Caffera worries that if the county determines his home is worth more, his taxes will increase. Former board of assessors member Jeffrey Gold says that concern is warranted.

"I would venture to say everyone will see their assessment go up," said Gold. "It's gonna be a real mess. Even with a perfect reassessment, there's going to be a lot of unhappy people."

The problem, Gold says, is that in recent years, home values fell and a record number of homeowners challenged their assessments and won tax reductions. Now, with values rising again, those homeowners could get hit hard.

"We could go up and that wouldn't bode well for me or for the fact that I am trying to sell my home," said Pat Arcoro, who fought her tax bill and won a $10,000 reduction.

In some cases, Gold said homeowners have slashed their tax bills by 50 percent.. The reassessment, he said, could reverse a lot of that

"Usually when they reassess, it's not to send taxes back down," he said.

The county executive's office declined comment on its plan.

<![CDATA[Storm Team 4]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:04:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/StormTeam4_1B.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Crime and Courts]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:40:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gavel.jpg

Photo Credit: Martin Poole /Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Long Island Man Turns Over Nearly 6-Foot-Long Gator]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 16:01:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/alligator+long+island1.jpg

An American alligator that's nearly 6 feet long was turned over to animal caretakers on Long Island on Tuesday by its owner, the Suffolk County SPCA said.

"Rocky" the alligator was given to the SPCA by Andre Ricaud, who said that the reptile had grown too big for him to handle. Ricaud is licensed to possess the animal and used it to teach children as part of Party Pets of New York, which he founded in 1989.

Ricaud owned Rocky for 17 years and said he got the gator when he was about a foot long. But over time Rocky got bigger and bigger.

"I just felt it was time for him to go," Ricaud said in a YouTube video. "American alligators do not make good pets." 

The SPCA turned Rocky over to Michael Ralbovsky of the Rainforest Reptile Sanctuary in Massachusetts.

This isn't the first time an alligator showed up on Long Island. Sightings are pretty common, especially in the summertime. They're usually turned in by their owners or found roaming around near water.

A 3-foot-long pet alligator living in a home on Long Island was turned over to the SPCA in March. More than a dozen of the creatures were found on Long Island in 2013.

It is illegal to own an alligator in New York state without a license and people who keep the animals as pets could be fined.

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<![CDATA[The Death of Eric Garner]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:48:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/eric+garner+death+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Found Critically Injured at AC Casino]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 07:27:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Baby-Ballys-Casino-Injured.jpg

A police investigation is underway after a newborn baby was found critically injured at an Atlantic City casino on Memorial Day.

An EMS dispatch reporting a 2-month-old child in respiratory distress was made shortly after 7:30 p.m. Monday night for the Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

When crews arrived they found an injured infant who had been born prematurely, according to investigators. The baby was first taken to the Atlanticare Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The child was listed in critical condition Tuesday night.

Police, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency are all investigating the incident.

No arrests have been made.

<![CDATA[Pair Charged with Arson and Hate Crime]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 12:15:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/522458741.jpg

A homeless man and a teenager have been charged with a hate crime for allegedly torching a New York home.

The Journal News says 29-year-old Anner Grijalva-Esquival and a 16-year-old boy face arson charges after allegedly torching an abandoned home in Spring Valley on May 13.

Police say the two set fire to the home because of a dispute they had with several individuals. Investigators say they thought the individuals were squatting in the house when they torched it.

The home had been boarded up for years. Authorities say a man's decomposing body was later found there under a blanket and was unrelated to the arson. Investigators are still working on identifying him and determining his cause of death.

Authorities wouldn't say how the fire started.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Author of "To Die For" Appeals for Pamela Smart's Release]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 15:56:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SmartAndCamerasCropped.jpg

The author of “To Die For,” a novel inspired by Pamela Smart and the murder of her husband by her teenage lover, is asking the governor of New Hampshire to consider parole for the former school media coordinator.

Joyce Maynard, whose book was later turned into a movie starring Nicole Kidman, sent a letter to Gov. Maggie Hassan saying that she did not intend her work of fiction to shape the public perception of Smart.

Smart, portrayed during her trial as a 22-year-old femme fatale, was convicted in 1991 of conspiring in her husband’s killing and sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole.


If the film adaption of the book contributed to a public perception of Smart as a ruthlessly ambitious killer, that was not her intent, Maynard wrote.

“To whatever extent the existence of that film affected attitudes towards Pamela Smart over the years, I can only reiterate: Nicole Kidman did not play Pamela Smart in ‘To Die For,’” Maynard wrote. “That character was a creation of my imagination.”

Smart admitted to having an affair to then-15-year-old Billy Flynn when she was director of media services at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire. But she continues to deny that she lured him into a plot to kill her husband.

She is imprisoned at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York.

A recent HBO documentary, "Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart," raised doubts about whether her trial, the first to be televised from start to finish, was fair.

Hassan's spokesman, William Hinkle, said in a statement that there was no outstanding petition for a pardon or commutation of sentence for Pamela Smart.

“Governor Hassan does not believe jury verdicts should be overturned without clear evidence of a miscarriage of justice, and at this time, the governor has not been presented any new information that would warrant consideration of a pardon even if such a petition existed,” he said.

Four men admitted to participating in the plot to kill Gregg Smart.

Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified that he shot Smart after Pamela Smart threatened to break up with him if he did not.

Flynn and Patrick Randall, who held a knife to Gregg Smart’s throat, were paroled this year. Two other men were released after serving sentences.

Maynard, whose March letter to Hassan was just released to the media, noted that Smart had earned two advanced degrees while in prison and had helped other inmates. She appealed to Hassan to be compassionate.

“And to whatever extent Pamela Smart’s chances for a fair parole hearing may have been affected by my novel, I trust you will do what you can to rectify that situation by giving her the same second chance granted the others involved in that case,” she wrote.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Prosecutors Oppose Moving Menendez Case to D.C.]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 11:23:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TLMD-bob-menendez-a-corte.jpg

Federal prosecutors are opposed to moving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption case from New Jersey to Washington.

Attorneys for Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen had filed the request this month, arguing virtually none of the 22 counts they're charged with occurred in the state.

In court documents filed Tuesday, prosecutors said Menendez ignores allegations he accepted numerous things of value in New Jersey. They also said his lawyers are based in New York, less than 15 miles from the federal courthouse in Newark, and not in the District of Columbia.

The New Jersey Democrat is charged with accepting gifts and donations totaling about $1 million from the Florida ophthalmologist in exchange for political favors. The gifts included flights aboard a luxury jet and a Paris vacation.

Menendez has said he accepted gifts from Melgen because the two have been close friends for years.

Defense lawyers argued the government began the investigation and grand jury presentation in Florida before moving the case to the state.

The basis for trying the case in New Jersey "appears to be radio communications from the pilot of a plane in New Jersey airspace on which Senator Menendez was a passenger," the defense brief states. "Needless to say, the pilot's cabin and the airport control tower were not the 'nerve center' of the conspiracy alleged in the indictment."

The brief claims the location of the defendants and possible witnesses, the expense to the parties and the location of attorneys and the fact that events at issue took place in Washington are compelling reasons to move the case from New Jersey.

Prosecutors said New Jersey is just as accessible to Florida as it is to D.C.

Melgen has been charged in a separate 76-count indictment in Florida alleging he made false diagnoses and performed unnecessary surgeries that he then billed to Medicare.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Emergency Management Official Fined for Abusing Power During Sandy]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 11:54:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/steven-kuhr-sized1.jpg

A former state emergency management official has been fined $4,000 for diverting crisis recovery workers to remove a fallen tree from his driveway during the response to widespread Sandy devastation.

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics announced the fine Tuesday against Steven Kuhr, former deputy commissioner of the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, which encompasses the Office of Emergency Management.

The ethics commission says Kuhr admitted in a settlement that he violated state ethics law prohibiting the use of his official position to secure unwarranted privileges for himself. Kuhr was dismissed from state service after the October 2012 incident.

The settlement follows an investigation into Kuhr's actions by the Office of the New York State Inspector General.

<![CDATA[4 Men Sought in Violent Bronx Robbery: Police]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 04:26:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bx+apt+building+robbery.jpg

Police are looking for four men in a violent robbery at a Bronx building last week.

Police say three men entered an apartment building in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx on May 18 at about 8:20 p.m. and approached a man and a woman, police said. They allegedly struck the 37-year-old man in the head with a gun and grabbed the woman, also 37, in an attempt to muffle her screams.

The suspects took the man’s money and cell phone and fled the scene in a dark blue Dodge Caravan with a fourth male suspect who had been acting as a lookout, police said.

Police released surveillance video of one of the suspects and another man who was inside the building hours before the robbery and is wanted for questioning. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Gunman's Twisted Texts After Alleged Ex-GF Slay]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 18:48:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Brooklyn-East-New-York-Shooting-Casino-0526.jpg

Officers shot and killed a man in the parking lot of a Brooklyn elementary school Tuesday morning, hours after police say he allegedly killed an ex-girlfriend in a casino parking lot and then sent taunting messages to her family where he called himself "The Grim Reaper."

Three officers traded fire with the man in a parking lot off of Pennsylvania and Stanley avenues in East New York at about 6 a.m., according to the NYPD.

The man, identified by police as 51-year-old Dalton Branch, was eventually hit and taken to Brookdale Hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, police say. Authorities recovered a .380-caliber handgun, which was cocked, an extra magazine and an empty ammo box.

Authorities say Branch was killed about three hours after he shot and killed 55-year-old Patricia Mohammed and fired on another man in the parking lot of the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

Police say that the woman and the man, 51, were in the parking lot when the suspect pulled up in a sedan and opened fire. The woman was hit several times in the body, while the man was uninjured. The suspect left in his car, which was traced to the lot in East New York.

Police say that after the shooting, Branch sent taunting messages to the man who survived the shooting where he called himself the "grim reaper."

He also sent similar messages to Mohammed's aunt and added that he wasn't going to go quietly, police say.

"He told me that I should prepare myself to bury my niece," the aunt, Rosemary Guilford, told NBC 4 New York. 

And in another twisted text message after the attack, he said, according to Guilford: "'I gave it to her good. She's dead. Prepare yourself, I could come blow your house down.'" 

Police say the woman who was killed worked at the casino. Branch may have worked there in the past as well. 

Guilford said Branch couldn't move on after he and Mohammed broke up: "A broken relationship, and one person can't deal with it and he decided this is how it's going to play out." 

Mohammed was a "beautiful human being" and "everybody loved her," her aunt said. 

"She loved people," said Guilford. "She's generous. She's kind. She's everything." 

<![CDATA[Car Flies into NYC Supermarket, 5 Hurt: Officials]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 06:15:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CF90vToXIAAz04j.jpg

A car barreled into a supermarket in the Flushing section of Queens Tuesday evening, injuring five people, one of them seriously, authorities say.

Authorities say an out-of-control white Mercedes SUV driven by a 72-year-old woman flew out of the parking lot and into the packed Pathmark supermarket on Farrington Street just before 6:30 p.m., right into the produce section.

Witnesses said they heard what sounded like an explosion before they realized a car had crashed into the store.

"Sounded nothing like a car,"  said shopper Albert Graziosa. "I thought it was over, thought the whole place was going to explode."

Another witness said, "I saw it, then I heard it. Windows came out."

She said she narrowly missed being hit by the car. 

"If I hadn't stopped to talked to someone I knew, I would have been walking the car came through," she said.

Juan Maldonado of the city's Office of Emergency Management said at the scene that the injured people were taken to the hospital.

The city has issued a vacate order for the building as a precaution, but OEM officials said the supermarket is in no apparent risk of further damage or collapse. 

The driver was taken to Booth Memorial Hospital for treatment, but showed no signs of injuries.

A cause of the crash wasn't immediately clear. 

-- Gus Rosendale and Tracie Strahan contributed to this report

Photo Credit: @NYPD109Pct/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Woman Fatally Stabbed Mom's Boyfriend in Head: Police]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 08:09:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg+20+may.jpg

A woman is facing murder charges after police say her boyfriend was fatally stabbed in the head Sunday in Brooklyn.

Burnette Singleton, 34, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Russell Holdip, who police say is Singleton's mother's boyfriend.

Holdip was stabbed at about 1:30 p.m. inside an apartment on Grant Avenue in East New York, police said. Holdip lived in the building.

He was taken to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

It was not immediately clear if Singleton had an attorney.  

<![CDATA[Retailers Scheme to Cash in on Lottery Tickets]]> Wed, 27 May 2015 12:31:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lottery+cheats+retailers.jpg

How does someone win the lottery 16 times? How about 200 times? It's happening in the tri-state, but a review of records from all three states reveals that some of the biggest repeat lottery winners were not customers, but lottery retailers -- many who schemed to pocket winnings at the public's expense, authorities say.

Since 2012, 126 retailers in New York, 81 retailers in New Jersey and 163 retailers in Connecticut have been charged with lottery offenses, NBC 4 New York's I-Team has found.

On Long Island, deli owner Nabil Jaghab and his son Karim pleaded guilty to stealing a $1 million dollar ticket from a customer. Police said they lied to the lottery player by telling him his ticket was only worth $1,000, and they planned to pocket the rest. The Nassau County District Attorney's Office pressed for up to three years three years in jail for the duo, but a judge ultimately sentenced Nabil Jaghab to five years probation, while his son Karim received 90 days in jail.

At SDK Stationary in Morris County, New Jersey, lottery officials also accused the owner of tampering with scratch-off tickets. As a result, the owner was fined $7,500, although he has denied any wrongdoing to NBC 4 New York.

In Connecticut, investigators say they catch two or three stores every week trying to cheat the public.

“If they do something wrong, we’re going to enforce the law and come after them,” said Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris.

Those enforcement efforts include actions taken against Weston Hardware & Houseware in Weston. Records show the owner was caught pre-checking tickets and selling the losing ones, according to Consumer Protection. The Weston store’s lottery license was suspended for six months.

“We monitor the system on a daily basis. We take a look at the marketplace, and we look around for irregularities,” Harris said.

In Connecticut, records show that the owner of a deli in Fairfield County won lottery games 215 times, collecting more than $107,000. In New York, one retailer cashed in 16 tickets purchased at their store, worth more than $600,000.

When contacted, the owners declined to comment on their many wins. They remain unnamed because they have not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Officials say that a pattern of winning alone is not enough of a reason to launch an investigation.

“They’re not precluded from playing the lottery, so that can happen, but again we have inspectors that are around the state, they know red flags when they come up,” Harris said.

Officials say that common retail scams include lying to customers about their winnings, and a technique called pinning, where retailers pre-check scratches with the swipe of a pin and sell off the losers.

Richard Lustig of Florida became a millionaire off multiple lottery wins and wrote a book on hitting the jackpot.

After being shown stats about how some retailers are winning over and over again by cashing in on tickets from their stores, Lustig said, “It’s gotten out of hand, it’s ridiculous.”

Lottery officials in New York declined to comment on camera, however in a statement, told NBC 4 New York they "investigate all claims for prizes to ensure that the claimants are the rightful owners of tickets: technology has advanced so much so that lottery players do not have to just trust the retailer anymore."

New Jersey lottery officials also declined to be interviewed, saying in a statement that it "upholds the integrity of the Lottery and enforces safeguards in place at all levels of play at more than 7,500 Lottery retailers across the state."

It added that it promptly investigates all customers complaints of retailer fraud, and has a team of security investigators to ensure that retailers are in compliance. 

Harris, the Connecticut lottery official, said, “We want things to be fair. If people are going to be putting their money down then they deserve a fair product." 

<![CDATA[Man Chokes, Robs Sleeping Women in Brooklyn: NYPD]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 23:31:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/212*120/robber+sleeping+woman.JPG

Police have arrested a man they believe broke into at least one sleeping woman's home in Brooklyn to steal valuables and officials say he may be connected to three other similar robberies.

The four reported robberies in Bedford-Stuyvesant happened over the past month, beginning Wednesday, May 6, when a suspect got in through an unlocked door just after 4:30 a.m. and grabbed a 27-year-old woman's neck as she slept, according to police. When she woke up, he fled with $100.

At about 7 a.m. the same morning, a suspect entered another home through an unlocked front door, and a 25-year-old woman woke up in time to see the suspect running off with $270 and a debit card, police said.

On Wednesday, May 13, at about 2:30 a.m., a suspect went into a home through an open window, and when the 28-year-old victim woke up while he was taking her purse, the suspect grabbed her throat and told her to be quiet, police said. He dropped the purse and ran away.

On Sunday, May 24, at about 9 p.m., a 23-year-old woman returned to her apartment to find the suspect inside. He ran out through a back window with the victim's electronics and property totaling about $2,500.

Jeffrey Robinson, 39, was arrested Tuesday in connection with a May 24th robbery, police said. Police were investigating whether he is connected to the three previous robberies.

Robinson was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, assault and criminal mischief. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Surveillance video from the May 13 incident has been released by police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

<![CDATA[More Witnesses Testify in SUV-Biker Road Rage Trial]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 19:42:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/suv+biker+road+rage+5+26.jpg A terrified mother told a judge that she and her daughter are still terrified by what they saw in a 2013 melee on the West Side Highway. Jen Maxfield has more.]]> <![CDATA[Trump Links Golf Course Opens in Bronx]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 20:48:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/trump+golf+links+2.jpg

Once considered a long shot, a former landfill in the East Bronx is now a championship course boasting design by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and development by Donald Trump. 

"We knew we could get it done," Trump said Tuesday.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said the site was "literally a dump" before it was made over. Now there are rolling green hills that boast views of the Whitestone Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. 

"They'll have fun on it, they'll enjoy it," said Nicklaus.

But neighbors wondered who, exactly, would be enjoying the brand-new course. At the Throgs Neck Houses, a public housing project just a half-mile away, residents said the neighborhood needs help and wanted to know where the job opportunities were. 

"If' you've gonna have a golf course, you should have residents nearby working," said Ezekiel Ospiina.

And others in the area would like a lower price than the nearly $200 to play. Eric Rivera said he understands the course has just opened and wants to be patient, but is hopeful that "once it starts bringing in money, maybe he'll drop the price." 

Darrell Wilder lived nearby for 35 years. 

"I would hope that was in the plan when they built this thing, that it would serve the community," he said.

Trump and Diaz promised more opportunities. 

"We want to hire people from the area, we have some 60 percent of the people who work here come from our borough," they said. 

<![CDATA[Westchester Hospital Testing Patient for Ebola]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 23:48:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/generic+ebola+virus.jpg

A hospital in Westchester says it's treating a patient who's showing signs of Ebola after the patient recently returned from a trip to West Africa.

The patient is being tested for the virus at St. Joseph Medical Center in Yonkers, officials say. The patient is currently quarantined in a special unit at the hospital. 

The Westchester County Department of Health said it's working with the hospital and doctors to ensure all infection control measures are in place.

The most common diagnosis in travelers with fever who have recently returned from Ebola-affected countries has been malaria, the health department said. 

It's not clear where exactly in West Africa the patient had traveled. According to the Centers for Disease Control, portions of Sierra Leone and Guinea still have cases of Ebola, while Liberia has been declared Ebola-free. 

Despite sporadic scares of possible Ebola cases in the tri-state since last year, only one person has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus here: Dr. Craig Spencer of Hamilton Heights, Manhattan. Spencer was successfully treated at Bellevue Hospital in early November after returning from Guinea while working with Doctors Without Borders.

A New Jersey man who recently returned from Liberia died Monday evening after he was diagnosed with Lassa fever -- another infectious disease from West Africa that is rarely seen in the U.S. but is not spread through casual contact. 

<![CDATA[Man Wanted in String of Purse Thefts in Coney Island]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 19:50:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CONEY+ISLAND+COASTER+THIEF.jpg

Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who has been stealing purses out of a storage area at Luna Park in Coney Island.

The suspect waits until the women are on one of the park's roller coaster rides and then snatches their purses from a storage area, police said.

Six incidents spanning across the month of May have been reported to the police so far. All of the thefts have taken place in the late afternoon or early evening.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.