<![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 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:47:04 -0500 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:47:04 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Commuters Urged to Leave Early or Work From Home]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 01:22:31 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/12415plowing.jpg

A paralyzing blizzard with white-out conditions is expected to dump more than two feet of snow on the Tri-State region, and Gov. Cuomo is urging commuters to stay home or leave work early on Monday.

Roads are expected to be treacherous, and residents are urged to avoid driving. No delays or cancellations were expected on mass transit for Monday morning, but the evening rush was expected to be more difficult for commuters. 

"Commuters should consider working from home on Monday if possible to avoid disruptions from likely road and public transportation closures," Cuomo said in an e-mail statement.

The MTA says normal rush hour service is expected for Monday morning, but reduced or cancelled service on the LIRR, Metro North and other services are possible for the evening rush. All MTA buses will be using chains or snow tires by Monday morning.

NJ Transit will have normal service for the Monday morning commute as well, but officials say cancellations are possible as the storm progresses. NJ Transit will offer full systemwide cross-honoring. PATH trains are also expected to run normally for the Monday morning commute.

Commuter rail service could stop across the MTA on Tuesday.

Pedestrians will face slippery conditions and city parks will be dangerous because of the possibility of falling tree limbs. Alternate side of the street parking was suspended for Monday and Tuesday.

Mayor de Blasio is also urging New Yorkers to "prepare for something worse than we have seen before."

The storm is expected to dump 24 to 36 inches of snow on New York City and its surrounding suburbs, beginning Monday and continuing through Tuesday night, according to Storm Team 4. That could easily break a record: Currently, the largest snowstorm recorded in the city was a February 2006 storm that dumped 26.9 inches on Central Park.

"This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city," Mayor de Blasio said at a Sunday news conference detailing storm preparations.

"Don't underestimate this storm," he said. "Prepare for the worst."

De Blasio said that city schools would be open Monday, with after-school activities canceled, and school would likely be closed Tuesday.

Snow was expected to fall 2 to 4 inches an hour beginning late Monday night, said the National Weather Service, which issued a blizzard warning for the region. Winds were expected to reach 30 to 40 mph, with gusts of 55 to 65 mph.

Sanitation workers were scheduled to work 12-hour shifts manning 500 salt spreaders and, later, 1,500 snow plows to clear the city's 6,000 miles of roads.

“We will ensure that all hands are on deck for this crisis," the mayor said.

Airlines were offering flexible rescheduling for travelers already booked on flights who wanted to depart earlier or later to avoid the storm.

The anticipated weather follows right on the heels of a wet, slushy Saturday that hit the region with a mix of snow and rain. Up to 9 inches of snow fell in areas north of New York City, with the largest snowfall recorded in Sussex County, New Jersey. Other areas in northern New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut saw between 6 and 9 inches of snow, while New York City received between 4 and 6 inches of snow, mixed with rain.

On Saturday, snowfall records for the day were set in Newark, Bridgeport, Islip and at JFK International Airport. In Newark, 5.1 inches of snowfall broke the record set on Jan. 24, 1948. 


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<![CDATA[Home Depot Worker Fatally Shoots Co-Worker, Self]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:48:08 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/221*120/12515depot.jpg

An employee at a Manhattan Home Depot argued with a co-worker and fatally shot him before killing himself Sunday afternoon, police said.

The shootings occurred at about 2:30 p.m. inside the crowded store on West 23rd Street.

Hundreds of store employees and customers scrambled for safety when the gunfire erupted, witnesses said.

A 31-year-old employee, whom police haven't identified, exchanged words with his co-worker, pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times, said NYPD Capt. Steven Wren. 

The gunman then shot himself in the head, he said. The co-worker was the shooter's supervisor, sources said.

"It sounded like fireworks, but more because it's enclosed, so you could hear the echoes," said Emilio Bantero, who was shopping inside the store.

Police haven't identified the victim, who was a 38-year-old man.

Investigators didn't disclose the nature of the argument that led to the shooting.

"We're deeply saddened by this tragedy," said Stephen Holmes, a spokesman for Home Depot. "We are fully cooperating with the authorities on their investigation of what appears to have been an isolated incident."

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<![CDATA[NJ College Freshman Shot in Drive-by at Off-Campus Party]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 15:18:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/202*120/Rowan+The+Crossings+Shooting.JPG

A gunman hanging out of the passenger side of a car shot a teenager outside of an off-campus party at a New Jersey apartment complex Sunday, authorities said.

Gunfire rang out outside the Campus Crossing Apartments in Glassboro in southern New Jersey at around 1 a.m. Sunday leaving a Rowan University freshman shot in both legs, said Glassboro police

The victim, identified by the university as Anayochukwu Logan Iloabanafor, was rushed to Cooper University Medical Center in stable condition. Doctors treated and released Iloabanafor, said police.

The freshman was expected to make a full recovery, said Rowan University spokesman Joe Cardona.

Witnesses at the same party as Iloabanafor told investigators that they saw someone fire multiple shots from a revolver while hanging out the side of a vehicle.

Police later spotted a vehicle matching witnesses' descriptions nearby and pulled it over. Investigators questioned one man in the car before later releasing him while they held the other man, a 23-year-old on outstanding warrants.

The shooting happened at a complex popular with college students.

A message on The Crossings website describes the complex: “The Crossings at Glassboro provides an affordable and private home away from home where students can live and study off-campus in Glassboro, NJ. Our apartments serve Rowan University, Gloucester County College and Camden County College, among others.“

Police asked anyone with information to contact Detective Jack Manning at 856-881-1500 or submit a tip online.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Armed Men Make Off With Thousands in Bronx Robbery: NYPD]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:25:49 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/219*120/12515robbed.jpg

Two armed men made off with thousands of dollars in an early morning robbery of two women inside the lobby of a Bronx apartment building, police said.

The two men entered the building at the corner of East 170th Street and Sheridan Avenue at about 4:50 a.m., approached the two victims, ages 28 and 31, and pushed them to the floor.

The suspects told the victims they were armed and took $6,000 and a cell phone from the 31-year-old woman, police said.

The two women were not injured.

The suspects, both about 20 years old and wearing jogging suits, fled on foot.

The NYPD asks that anyone with information about the robbery call Crime Stoppers at at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). 

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<![CDATA[Police Nab Coyote in Manhattan Housing Complex]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:43:23 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/11115coyote.jpg

Police captured a female coyote Sunday that was spotted roaming a Manhattan housing complex, authorities said.

The coyote was sedated and captured in the sprawling Stuyvesant Town complex and delivered to the city's Animal Care and Control, where it was fed and examined by veterinarians.

The animal was later released in a wilderness area in the Bronx.

Earlier this month, police captured a coyote in Riverside Park and released it into a Bronx wooded area.

"Although it's often called the concrete jungle, New York City has over 5,000 acres of forest land and is home to an abundance of wildlife," said city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

Most coyotes pose no danger to people, but New Yorkers shouldn't try to feed or approach them, Silver advised.
 

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<![CDATA[Manhole Fire Knocks Out Power in Queens Neighborhood]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 20:29:41 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/12515manhole.jpg

A fire in a manhole in Queens Sunday knocked out electric power to about 50 residents and businesses, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the scene at the corner of Jackson and 49th avenues at about 8:30 a.m. following reports of smoke billowing from a manhole.

No injuries were reported and investigators were unsure what caused the fire. 

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<![CDATA[Parking Deck Collapse Injures Snowplow Driver in NJ]]> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 18:33:50 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/12415collapse.jpg

A snowplow operator in New jersey suffered minor injuries Saturday when part of the top deck of a parking garage he was plowing collapsed, officials said.

No one else was injured, but a car on the second level of the garage in Secaucus was destroyed.

The name of the snowplow driver wasn't released and the extent of his injuries wasn't disclosed.

The deck serves the nearby Empire Hotel.

Hotel guest Bill Ferguson of Barrington, New Jersey, had parked yesterday right where the deck collapsed.

"I went out to dinner last night and moved," he told NBC 4 New York. "I got lucky."

Throughout the day, engineers escorted hotel guests to their cars so they could remove them from the garage.

The combined weight of the snow and the plow apparently was too much for the structure, which was roughly 50 feet long and nearly as wide.

Michael Seeve, of Mountain Development, which owns the garage, said engineers will determine what went wrong.

"We're going to make sure something like this never happens again," he said.

Town engineers have declared the entire structure as unsafe pending an analysis by a structural engineer, said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. 

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<![CDATA[Crime and Courts]]> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:40:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gavel.jpg

Photo Credit: Martin Poole /Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ASPCA Offers $20,000 Reward in Dog-In-Suitcase Abandonement]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 01:49:58 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pit+bull+found+suitcase.jpg

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case of a malnourished puppy found zipped inside a suitcase in the Bronx.

The abandoned dog is a male brown pit bull about three years old, the ASPCA said Saturday in a news release about the reward. He was immediately taken to the ASPCA where he's being treated for malnourishment.

A passerby at the Melrose Housing Development at 700 Morris Ave. in Morrisania alerted police officers on patrol after discovering the dog in the suitcase Thursday afternoon.

“This dog was deprived of food and water, then discarded on a city curb as if it were garbage,” said ASPCA President Matt Bershadker. “Such callous disregard for a living creature is unconscionable, and should not go unpunished."

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



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Christie Courts Iowa Conservatives]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 01:46:55 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/12415chris.jpg

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is trying to connect with Iowa conservatives by assuring them that "you'll always know who I am" if he runs for president.

While still undeclared, Christie left few doubts Saturday at the Iowa Freedom Summit that he is primed to enter the 2016 GOP race.

Christie told the Republican voters in the leadoff primary state in the nomination battle that they shouldn't let his blunt style turn them off. To those not enamored with all aspects of his record, Christie asserted "you'll always know what I believe and you'll always know where I stand."

He spoke at length about his anti-abortion views, which tends to resonate with Iowa's social conservative caucus-goers.

Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and many others turned the Iowa Freedom Forum into the unofficial launch of the next campaign for the Iowa caucuses. More than 1,000 religious conservatives met at a refurbished theater to hear their pitches.

The forum's sponsor, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, opened the event by asking the crowd, "Do you believe that the next president of the United States is going to be speaking to you today?"

The audience erupted in applause and King responded, "As do I."

Few would pick Christie, an abortion rights and gay marriage opponent better known for his union and budget battles, to emerge as the favorite among Iowa's evangelical voters. Yet his appearance could allow him to make inroads with a group focused as much on ideological purity as defeating the Democrat nominated to follow President Barack Obama.

"He has gusto that makes him an everyman. That appeals to me," 29-year-old Steve Friend of Sioux City said of Christie. "But I think he tanked the 2012 election by praising President Obama after (superstorm) Sandy."

Christie has defended his praise of the president for visiting storm-ravaged New Jersey in the weeks before Romney lost. But it's an image that sticks in the craw of Iowa's most right-wing conservatives.

"I don't trust him," said Mary Kay Hauser, another forum attendee. "I think he's disingenuous. I think he's part of the old New Jersey party."
 

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<![CDATA[The Death of Eric Garner]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:46:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/eric+garner+death+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Service Restored After Manhattan Water Main Break]]> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 10:52:12 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/generic+caution+tape+vg.jpg

Manhattan residents who lost water on the West Side following a water main break have had their service restored, officials said Saturday.

The break on 48th Street and 11th Avenue impacted buildings in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen Friday evening, according to the Office of Emergency Management. By 3:30 a.m., water service was restored, officials said.

The Department of Environmental Protection was still working to repair the break Saturday morning, the agency said.



Photo Credit: Valeria Gonzalez]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Warns New Yorkers: "Prepare for the Worst"]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:49:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/12415plowing.jpg

A paralyzing blizzard with white-out conditions is expected to dump more than two feet of snow on the Tri-State region, and Mayor de Blasio is urging New Yorkers to "prepare for something worse than we have seen before." 

The storm is expected to dump 24 to 36 inches of snow on New York City and its surrounding suburbs, beginning Monday and continuing through Tuesday night, according to Storm Team 4.

"This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city," Mayor de Blasio said at a Sunday news conference detailing storm preparations.

"Don't underestimate this storm," he said. "Prepare for the worst."

De Blasio urged New Yorkers to avoid the Monday evening rush hour, and get home early if possible. He said that city schools would be open Monday, with after-school activities canceled, and school would likely be closed Tuesday.

Roads were expected to be treacherous, and de Blasio advised residents to avoid driving and instead use mass transit beginning Monday morning. Pedestrians would face slippery conditions and city parks would be dangerous because of the possibility of falling tree limbs, he warned. Alternate side of the street parking was suspended for Monday and Tuesday.

No delays or cancellations were expected on mass transit for Monday morning, but the evening rush was expected to be more difficult for commuters. Commuters were urged to either stay home or leave work early.

The MTA says normal rush hour service is expected for Monday morning, but reduced or cancelled service on the LIRR, Metro North and other services are possible for the evening rush. All MTA buses will be using chains or snow tires by Monday morning.

NJ Transit will have normal service for the Monday morning commute as well, but officials say cancellations are possible as the storm progresses. NJ Transit will offer full systemwide cross-honoring. PATH trains are also expected to run normally for the Monday morning commute.

Commuter rail service could stop across the MTA on Tuesday.

The storm was expected to dump 24 to 36 inches of snow on New York City and the surrounding suburbs, according to Storm Team 4. That could easily break a record: Currently, the largest snowstorm recorded in the city was a February 2006 storm that dumped 26.9 inches on Central Park.

Snow was expected to fall 2 to 4 inches an hour beginning late Monday night, said the National Weather Service, which issued a blizzard warning for the region. Winds were expected to reach 30 to 40 mph, with gusts of 55 to 65 mph.

Sanitation workers were scheduled to work 12-hour shifts manning 500 salt spreaders and, later, 1,500 snow plows to clear the city's 6,000 miles of roads.

“We will ensure that all hands are on deck for this crisis," the mayor said.

Airlines were offering flexible rescheduling for travelers already booked on flights who wanted to depart earlier or later to avoid the storm.

The anticipated weather follows right on the heels of a wet, slushy Saturday that hit the region with a mix of snow and rain. Up to 9 inches of snow fell in areas north of New York City, with the largest snowfall recorded in Sussex County, New Jersey. Other areas in northern New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut saw between 6 and 9 inches of snow, while New York City received between 4 and 6 inches of snow, mixed with rain.

On Saturday, snowfall records for the day were set in Newark, Bridgeport, Islip and at JFK International Airport. In Newark, 5.1 inches of snowfall broke the record set on Jan. 24, 1948. 


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Neighbors Slowly Return After Edgewater Inferno]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:56:15 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/edgewater+fire+split.jpg

Just two days after quick-moving inferno decimated part of a luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, power has been restored, roads are reopened and some neighbors are being allowed back into their homes, officials announced Friday. 

"The good news is that we have started the process of allowing people to get their lives back together and turning toward normalcy," said county executive James Tedesco.

Tedesco said power has been restored to the entire area of Edgewater not affected by the fire at the Avalon on the Hudson complex. The nearly 90 residents of an affordable housing complex nearby and the 120 people who who live in other homes close to the complex will be allowed to return Friday, officials said, confirming what NBC 4 New York first reported.

It's not clear when residents of the 150 units at the complex not affected by the fire would be allowed to return. The fire scene and a building were still being secured, and fencing was being put up. Officials said no vehicles were damaged in the fire, and they have been taken out to be recovered by their owners.

Schools will also reopen Monday after two days of being closed under a state of emergency.  

Air quality tests by Bergen County health officials have shown no harmful results in the entire block, officials said. 

More than 250 units at the Avalon on the Hudson complex in Edgewater were destroyed by the Wednesday night blaze that took firefighters more than 15 hours to get under control, leaving about 500 people homeless. NBC 4 New York has learned AvalonBay will give $1,000 in cash to the tenants in those apartments to help them get through the transition.

Mayor Michael McPartland said the community has been "overwhelmed" with generosity from the public, and is asking that people no longer drop off physical donations and instead contribute to the official fundraising site at GoFundMe, which amassed tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of hours. 

The New Jersey Apartment Association has also organized a list of vacant apartments that are immediately available for displaced residents, many with discounted rates. 

"It's been a trying a couple of days. I'm just so proud of everyone," said McPartland. "In a terrible tragedy what I see coming out of it is the people of Edgewater coming together as a prideful town and everybody stepping up to the plate." 

Vijay Sankar, who lives across the street from the Avalon complex, was happy to return home Friday night, even as he found charred embers from the fire resting on his house. He had watched the entire block of apartments go up in flames. 

"I was super anxious, even though I'm covered with insurance," he said. "It's my whole life, my whole everything here." 

On Thursday, authorities announced that the fire had been ruled an accident, sparked when a plumbing repair made by maintenance workers ignited in the walls and consumed the building.

"There was nothing suspicious about it, and we have complete verification, and there's no doubt about it," said Edgewater Police Chief William Skidmore. "It's just a tragic accident."

Two sources involved in the response to the fire told NBC 4 New York the plumbers were not licensed. It is part of the ongoing investigation.  

Questions also linger over how the fire was able to spread so quickly and thoroughly as hundreds of displaced residents try to cope with the devastating loss of their homes and belongings.

Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson said he thought lightweight wood construction was a factor in how quickly the fire spread.

"If it was made out of concrete and cinderblock, we wouldn’t have this problem," he said. "But it’s lightweight construction with sprinklers, and this is the problem you face with this type of construction."

Michael Feigin, chief construction officer for AvalonBay, the owner of the building complex, confirmed in a statement the buildings were built using wood frame construction, which he said was "a standard, common and safe construction method for multifamily housing used throughout the United States."

"The community was built in accordance with the fire and safety codes applicable at the time," he added. "The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire."

"We are grateful that everyone at Avalon at Edgewater was able to leave the building and get to safety without serious injury," said Feigin.

Assemblyman John Wisnewski, chair of the New Jersey's Fire Safety Commission, said the building's sprinklers were working and appeared to be up to code, though some parts of the buildings didn't have sprinklers.

"This, I'm told, was a system designed to give people time to get out but not necessarily preserve the structure," he said. "We have to ask the question, should it have been a more robust system?"

Gov. Christie, who visited the site and met with displaced residents Thursday, said the state's Department of Community Affairs is conducting its own investigation into whether the building met all the safety codes, and if so, whether it would make sense to talk about updating and changing the codes.

Five hundred emergency responders from 35 towns responded to the call about the fire Wednesday. An initial fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. and the complex was quickly evacuated. Firefighters appeared to have the blaze under control for some time, but it escalated in a hard-to-access area in the back part of the complex, hampering firefighters' ability to effectively fight the flames.

Two firefighters and two civilians suffered minor injuries, which officials called miraculous considering the size of the fire. All residents and emergency personnel were accounted for.

"With a fire of this scope and size, to have no loss of life and so many people displaced, we actually feel fortunate," said Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland.

Some pets likely perished in the blaze, he said. 

The large Avalon on the Hudson apartment complex, located by the Hudson River across from Manhattan, is across the street from the Edgewater post office, and is located across a shopping complex that contains a Trader Joe's supermarket.

The same apartment complex burned to the ground while under constructed in 2000. It was rebuilt featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom units designed to appeal to New York City commuters.



Photo Credit: AP Images/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Off-Duty Cop Shot by Police in Yonkers]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:58:26 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police-tape-shutterstock_5628043313.jpg

An off-duty cop was shot and wounded by police in Yonkers Thursday, after officials say he displayed a handgun and disregarded commands from officers.

According to Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner, Ken Campion, an off-duty officer with the Pelham Manor Police Department, was spotted by uniformed officers sitting near a baseball field with a handgun.

Campion allegedly appeared distraught and after disregarding the officers commands made a movement, which Gardner said, "caused the officers to fear for their safety."

One of the officers, identified as seven-year veteran Remy Susini, then fired a single shot at Campion that grazed his chest and struck him in the arm. Campion was transported to a nearby hospital where he remains in stable condition and is expected to recover from his injuries, Gardner said.

A Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun was recovered from the scene.

"We believe that our officer acted within department guidelines and this was an appropriate use of force," Gardner said.

An investigation by Yonkers detectives and the Internal Affairs Division is ongoing.
 



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Ambulance Hits Pedestrian in Midtown: FDNY]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:00:42 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fdny+ambulance+hits+pedestrian.jpg

An ambulance hit and seriously injured a pedestrian in midtown Manhattan Friday evening, the FDNY said.

The FDNY EMS ambulance was headed to a 911 call with its lights and sirens on when it hit the pedestrian at near 35th Street and Broadway at about 5:45 p.m., the FDNY said. 

Another ambulance took the victim to Bellevue Hospital, where the victim was listed in serious but stable condition. 

Police are investigating. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter Rescues Disabled Neighbor from Burning Home]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:39:21 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/farmingville+fire+neighbor+rescue.jpg

A disabled Long Island woman who couldn't move from her bed when a fire broke out in her home was saved by a neighbor who happened to be stepping out for dinner.

Andy Carbone was leaving his Farmingville home when his wife spotted a fire in a nearby house. The former volunteer firefighter kicked in the burning front door and found 72-year-old Carolyn Prince bedridden in the back of the smoky house.

"I said, 'Your house is on fire,' and she said, 'OK, what are we going to do?'" said Carbone. "I said, 'You're coming with me one way or another.'"

Carbone, another neighbor and first responders carried Prince to safety, but not before the father of four used an old fire extinguisher that had been kicking around in his closet for years to douse the flames.

A volunteer firefighter in Massapequa for a decade before moving to Farmingville, Carbone said his old training helped him during the rescue.

Prince was treated for smoke inhalation but escaped serious injury. The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical in nature.

Ironically, Carbone wasn't even supposed to be at home but when his jury duty finished earlier than expected, his wife told him to come home rather than meet her out for dinner.

"Thank God," said Prince's daughter Wendy Pabon. "Everything happens for a reason."

"It just brought tears to my eyes. It's so amazing that people could be like that," she said.

"He is a true hero," said Pabon.

Carbone, however, would prefer simply to be called a good neighbor.

"Just a neighbor doing the right thing when it meant the most," he said.

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<![CDATA[NJ Cop Charged in Alleged Excessive Force Arrest]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:03:51 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

A Bayonne police officer faces federal charges for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest.

The U.S. attorney's office announced an indictment against Domenico Lillo on Friday.

The 44-year-old Bayonne resident is charged with deprivation of civil rights under color of law and falsification of records.

Lillo made a court appearance Friday and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

Prosecutors allege Lillo struck a handcuffed suspect with a flashlight at a Bayonne apartment in December 2013. They allege he also falsified a police report about the incident.

The excessive force count carries a maximum 10-year sentence upon conviction, while the charge of falsifying records carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

Lillo's attorney didn't immediately return a phone message Friday.

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<![CDATA[Police Find Starving Pup Inside Suitcase: NYPD]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 20:44:37 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/pit+bull+found+suitcase.jpg

A malnourished puppy was found inside a suitcase in a Bronx housing development, and police are looking for the person who put him there. 

A passerby at the Melrose Housing Development at 700 Morris Ave. in Morrisania alerted police officers on patrol after discovering the dog in the suitcase Thursday afternoon.

The puppy is a male brown pit bull about a year old, according to police. He was immediately taken to the ASPCA where he's being treated for malnourishment. 

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



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Accused Strip Club Shooter Arrested After Chase: NYPD]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 22:06:51 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/114+Pct.+gun-drugs.jpg

An "unruly" customer at a Queens strip club was caught with crack cocaine, crystal meth, and more than 6,000 Xanax pills after he allegedly fired a gun at a bouncer, then tried to run away when police officers in the area chased after him, police said. 

Officers were on patrol by the Club Lit strip club on Steinway Street at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday when 29-year-old Aaron Dockery and a friend were kicked out for acting belligerently, according to police. 

Dockery allegedly asked to be let inside alone, and when the bouncers rejected him, he threatened to "shoot up the club," police said, citing witnesses. 

He ran across the street to a parking lot, took a 9-mm semi automatic handgun from his 2010 Dodge Charger and returned to the club, firing one round into the air, according to police. He then ran back toward his car, where two police officers who had heard the gunshots were waiting.

When he saw the officers, Dockery ran in the other direction, and one of the officers chasing him on foot saw him throw the gun away under a parked car, according to police. The other officer followed the suspect in a marked police car and Dockery was captured steps later.

He had a loaded gun on him, and police found a bag of crack cocaine and ammunition in plain view from outside his vehicle, police said. A search turned up more cocaine, crystal meth and 6,550 Xanax pills. 

Dockery was arrested on multiple drug and weapons charges, along with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, menacing and obstructing governmental administration.

Attorney information for Dockery wasn't immediately clear. 



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Teacher Accused of Sex Crimes Against 16-Year-Old Boy]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:13:50 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Teacher+Walk+Still0123.jpg

A Brooklyn teacher has been arrested for allegedly having oral sex with a 16-year-old boy on at least two occasions last year, authorities say.

Waris Grant, a 37-year-old teacher at P.S. 256 Benjamin Banneker in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was arraigned Friday on multiple counts of criminal sexual act and sexual misconduct, among other charges. Grant has worked at the school since 2003 and been a city teacher since 2001.

He initially had been arrested on a charge of promoting prostitution for allegedly paying the boy for sex but prosecutors did not proceed with that count.

According to the criminal complaint, Grant allegedly had oral sex with the boy once in November and once in December at a home in Brownsville. A man who answered at door at the location prosecutors listed in the complaint said he recently moved in and hadn't heard of the allegations; neighbors did not know Grant.

A neighbor of Grant's at his last known address in Crown Heights said she was shocked by the allegations and had trouble sleeping Thursday night after she learned of his arrest.

The boy is a public school student, though it's not clear if he attended Grant's school.

Parents at P.S. 256 were appalled when they learned of the allegations.

"Not Mr. Grant!" said parent Jessie Curry. "I mean, he's been a good teacher. He's been my child's teacher for two years." 

Sulidelna Esteves said, "It's horrible. It's not something you expect because you send your kids to school thinking that they are in the best hands when you leave them with the teachers." 

Grant was arrested after the boy told his parents about the alleged abuse and they contacted police, authorities said. Bail was set at $3,750. Information on his attorney wasn't immediately available.

The Department of Education said Grant was reassigned once it learned of the allegations.

"While the allegations against Mr. Grant are not school-related, they are deeply disturbing," DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye said in a statement. "DOE took swift action to immediately remove him from the classroom, and he will remain away from students." 



Photo Credit: News12]]>
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE: Dramatic Rescue in Edgewater Fire]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 22:01:24 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000005889530_1200x675_388486211962.jpg In this exclusive new video, firefighters are seen breaking windows to rescue a resident at the Avalon on the Hudson apartment complex in Edgewater, New Jersey, as desperate calls are heard. ]]> <![CDATA[Construction, History Scrutinized After NJ Inferno]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:41:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP59552738839_0.jpg

Officials and experts are questioning whether a certain type of home construction helped fuel the massive blaze that ripped through the luxury apartment complex in New Jersey, displacing hundreds of residents.

The fire at Avalon on the Hudson in Edgewater spread stunningly quickly, despite the buildings being up to code and having working sprinklers. Edgewater Fire Chief Thomas Jacobson said he thought the lightweight wood construction of the complex fueled the blaze.

"If it were cinderblock and cement, we wouldn’t have this problem," he said Thursday.

Lightweight material is often made of engineered and not solid wood, causing it to burn fast, according to Glenn Corbett, who teaches fire science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Despite its hazards, the materials are very common, he said.

"This is a very prevalent type of construction all over the country," Corbett said. "Fire can burn unimpeded through these spaces very, very quickly.”

Corbett said it's likely investigators will ask whether there were draft-stopping materials or barriers in the walls and roof spaces that could have slowed the fire down.

Gov. Christie said Thursday the state's Department of Community Affairs is conducting its own investigation into whether the building met all the safety codes, and if so, whether a change in code is necessary.

NBC 4 New York's I-Team found that the parent company of Avalon on the Hudson, AvalonBay Communities, has a checkered history with fire safety.

In 2000, while the same Edgewater complex was under construction, a fire burned everything to the ground and destroyed nine nearby homes. Later, six people who lost homes in the fire won settlements from AvalonBay.

In July 2011, fire destroyed an AvalonBay apartment complex in Quincy, Massachusetts. Faulty construction and a lack of fire barriers were found to have contributed to the damage.

Fire also destroyed a building at an AvalonBay complex under construction in Garden City, New York in April 2012.

And in October 2012, the New York City Department of Buildings cited the company for having inadequate fire extinguishers at a complex on Manhattan’s West Side.

The I-Team emailed the CEO of AvalonBay with specific questions regarding its safety history and received the following statement in response.

“We continue to cooperate with the Fire Department as they complete their investigation into the cause of the fire," said CEO Sean Breslin.

The company sent an additional statement from AvalonBay’s Chief Construction Officer Michael Feigin saying that "the community was built in accordance with the fire and safety codes applicable at the time."

Feigin added, "The purpose of those codes is not to prevent the building from burning down, but rather to ensure that there is sufficient time and opportunity for all occupants to exit safely in the event of a fire."

Edgewater’s Police Chief said Thursday evening that the cause of the fire was accidental, started by maintenance workers making plumbing repairs.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Madoff Defends Late Sons in Email to NBC News]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:16:37 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_bernard_madoff_st.jpg

In an email sent to NBC News Friday, Bernie Madoff, the man behind one of the most infamous Ponzi schemes in American history, discussed the pain of losing his two sons and refuted claims that they knowingly participated in the scam.

"As difficult as it is for me to live with the pain I have inflicted on so many, there is nothing to compare with the degree of pain I endure with the loss of my son's Mark and Andy," Madoff said.

His son Andrew died in September at age 48 after a long battle with cancer. His son Mark committed suicide in 2010 at age 46 on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee seeking to recover money for bilked investors filed an updated lawsuit last summer accusing Madoff's sons of having full knowledge of their father's scheme and using it as their "personal cookie jar" that they tapped through sham loans, fictitious trades and deferred compensation.

"What is still my most important goal is to do everything in my power to protect their legacy," Madoff said of his sons. "Although neither of my son's were ever charged with anything. They were subjected to the completely false and slanderous claims and remarks of the Trustee and the media."

Madoff said his sons were compensated at the same rate as the traders that they managed, disputing Picard's claim that his sons should have known their compensation was unrealistic.

Madoff also defended his sons against several other claims Picard made, including an alleged incriminating email Andrew sent to Mark and loans linking his sons to the scam. Click here to see Madoff's full email.

In a statement to CNBC, Amanda Remus, a spokeswoman for Picard's office, said Madoff's credibility was "highly suspect."

"We stand by our filings, which speak for themselves, and we intend to pursue recoveries against both estates," she said.

Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009.



Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[20 IDNYC Benefits You May Not Have Heard About]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:27:40 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/snow+leopard+cubs+thumb.jpg

While you probably heard that signing up for New York City's new municipal identification card IDNYC can get you free memberships to cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, there are many lesser-known benefits you may not be aware of. Here are 20 of them:

1. New York Botanical Garden
Individual or family memberships (two adults and up to two children under 12) provide year-round admission to the 250-acre garden, which includes the Bronx River and a 50-acre remnant of the forest that once covered New York City.

2. Wildlife Conservation Society
Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium,
Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo, and discounts on education programs and courses, and at zoo gift shops.

3. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
A membership card good for free admission for one adult for one year (children under 12 are always free), two guest passes, admission with one guest to all members-only summer events, discounts at the garden's shops and cafe, and discounts on adult classes, trips and tours.

4. Brooklyn Museum
A personalized membership card includes unlimited free admission, invitations to exhibition openings and members-only viewing hours, discounts at the museum's shop, cafe, restaurant and on tours, plus free tickets to performances, films and other events.

5. Brooklyn Children's Museum
Free general admission for one adult and one child, express entry on weekends and school holidays, access to members-only events, and discounts on event tickets.

6. Carnegie Hall
Four complimentary rehearsal passes, half-price ticket offers on select presentations, invitations to cocktail parties, discussions and member-appreciation events, and discounts at nearby restaurants, parking, shops, hotels and more.

7. Museo del Barrio
Free admission for one adult and a guest, invitations to all exhibition openings, priority seating at select special performances, and discounts at the museum's shop and cafe.

8. Museum of Jewish Heritage
Free general admission to the museum and special exhibitions, two guest passes, invitations to members-only events, free admission for two to select public programs, and discounts at the museum's shop and cafe.

9. Museum of the City of New York
A membership card offering free unlimited admission for one, plus discounts on events and tours, and at the museum's shop and cafe.

10. New York City Ballet
Access to company rehearsals, complimentary tickets to seminars, an invitation to a private members-only reception, invitations to special dress rehearsals, and discounts at the ballet's gift shop.

11. Public Theater
For one year members get one ticket at a special member price for each production, a 15 percent discount for an additional ticket to each production, no service charges on ticket orders, and discounts on food and drinks.

12. Flushing Town Hall
Discounted member prices for two on all events, free admission to exhibitions, monthly jazz jams and interactive arts workshops, and invitations to members-only events.

13. Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
A 30 percent discount on tickets for any event, invitations to members-only special events and gallery opening receptions, and a discount on parking.

14. Museum of the Moving Image
Unlimited complimentary admission to the museum's galleries, invitations to members-only exhibition openings, and discounts on parking and at the museum's store and cafe.

15. New York Hall of Science
Free admission for two adults and four children for one year, and discounts on parking and special attractions at the museum.

16. MOMA P.S. 1
Unlimited free admission, exhibition opening invitations, discounts on special events and at the museum's book store.

17. Queens Museum
Free admission for two adults and up to four children, invitations to special events and openings, and discounts at the museum's summer camp, shop and cafe.

18. Staten Island Children's Museum
Free admission for one person per visit, invitations to members-only events, and discounts on parties, summer camp and at the gift shop.

19. Staten Island Museum
Free admission year-round, and discounts on events and at the museum's store.

20. Staten Island Zoo
Free admission for one year, invitations to members-only events, and discounts at the zoo's shop and cafe.

For a full list of participating institutions and all the benefits click here.



Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher]]>
<![CDATA[Fruit Vendor Killed in Ambush on Bronx Street]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 06:50:34 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hunts+point+market+murder.jpg

Police are investigating after they say a fruit vendor was ambushed and fatally shot on a Bronx street Thursday morning. 

Faustino Hernandez, 61, was setting up his fruit truck near Hunts Point Market when two men walked toward him and shot him, police said.

Surveillance video captured the persons of interest -- a driver and a backseat passenger -- walk toward the victim, and in the immediate aftermath, sprint back toward their car and drive off the wrong way.

Andy Katehis works in the neighborhood and often stops by the fruit stands.

"I drive into the market every day and I see him every day," he said.

With the shooter still on the loose, Katehis said he's nervous.

"It's not good, it's scary," he said. "I work here around the clock." 

Rosario Guzman, a former roommate of Hernandez, said he's a loving father who sent back money to his family in Mexico and was always working. 

Police do not believe robbery was a motive. Faustino still had his belongings when he was found. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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<![CDATA[8 Hurt in Fire at Manhattan Apartment Building: FDNY]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 09:45:56 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hamilton+heights+fire2.jpg

Eight people were injured, including three firefighters, in a blaze at a six-story apartment building in Manhattan early Friday, authorities say.

Sixty firefighters responded to the 3:15 a.m. call at the West 144th Street building in Hamilton Heights after flames erupted in a fourth-floor apartment, officials said.

Authorities said first responders encountered heavy fire when they arrived, but the flames were contained within an hour.

The three injured firefighters and five hurt civilians were taken to hospitals and are expected to be OK. The Red Cross said it was helping about a dozen people displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Police Arrest Suspect in Yonkers Teen Muggings]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:31:47 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/02242011+generic-handcuffs.jpg

Police in Yonkers say they've arrested a man suspected of targeting teenage students in a series of muggings since November. 

The 20-year-old Yonkers resident is charged in two of the four robberies police were investigating. 

The victims, students between the ages of 12 and 18, were each robbed while walking in the area of 150 Rockland Ave., between 7:20 a.m. and 8 a.m. police said. He was believed to be armed with a knife in each case. 

Police said it's possible the suspect will be charged with the other two robberies. He's not being identified because of the ongoing investigation. 

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<![CDATA[Purported Match.com Profile of Ex-Cop in Cannibal Case Removed]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:05:52 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gil+valle+facebook.jpg

Match.com says it has removed a dating profile purporting to be that of the former NYPD officer acquitted in the "cannibal cop" case after a series of complaints.

“We received a number of complaints about this profile, alerting us to its existence, and have removed it," the dating site said in a statement Thursday.

The profile featuring several photos of Gilberto Valle, the officer who was dubbed the “cannibal cop” by tabloids after his arrest in 2012, said the 30-year-old is looking to get a cup of coffee with a woman who “can make the best out of a situation that is less than ideal.”

It said he is looking for a "non-judgmental" woman with "a positive outlook on life."
Valle was convicted in 2013 of conspiring to kidnap his wife and former college classmates, cook them and dine on their “girl meat.” Valle was released from jail in July after an appeals judge overturned the verdict and said prosecutors failed to prove he had entered into genuine agreements to kidnap the women or taken concrete steps to carry out the alleged plot.

Under the username AmicableOne14, the person purporting to be Valle wrote he finds it difficult to talk about himself but is loyal, determined, generous and has “the ability to see humor in most situations.” The profile featured several photos of Valle's bulldog and listed his interests as alumni connections, cooking, dining out, coffee and conversations, museums and art and exploring new areas. The profile also said he is “rebounding” from past mistakes but didn’t elaborate further.

“In the short term, I am spending my energy rebounding from the errors I made in my past and am rebuilding my life,” the profile said. “Things are progressing very well on that front and I am just beginning a new career.”

The New York Post reports that Valle claimed to have to have no knowledge about the profile Tuesday.

“A what? A dating profile? No, I’m sorry. I don’t know anything about it,” he told the Post.

When a reporter attempted to show him a screenshot from the profile he said “I don’t want to see it, thanks.” 

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<![CDATA[Man, 27, Arrested in Attack on Cop Outside Pathmark]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:54:11 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

A 27-year-old Queens man has been arrested in connection with the attack on an off-duty officer outside a Pathmark in the borough earlier this week.

The officer was shopping in the Pathmark Monday when his cart bumped a woman and the woman's boyfriend, who authorities say is suspect Tommie Davis, got angry, police said.

The officer apologized, but Davis allegedly waited for him outside and attacked him, police said. Davis then went to his car and the officer tried to take a photo or video of him with his cellphone, at which point he got out of the car and allegedly attacked the officer again, officials said.

He and his girlfriend then drove off.

The officer's jaw and an eye socket were broken in the attack; he underwent surgery at a hospital Wednesday.

Davis faces multiple counts of assault as well as reckless endangerment and harassment charges. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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<![CDATA[Clippers Ride Big 1st Half to 123-84 Blowout Win Over Nets]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 01:35:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/461992126.jpg

Blake Griffin scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half, when the Clippers led by 33 points, and Los Angeles went on to its largest victory ever over the Brooklyn Nets, 123-84 Thursday night.

J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford added 17 points each, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Chris Paul had a season-high 17 assists for the Clippers, who have won nine of their last 12 and three in a row.

With Kevin Garnett resting, the Nets were led by Mason Plumlee with 16 points. Darius Morris and Jerome Jordan had 11 points each, and Jordan had 11 rebounds. They have lost nine of 11.

The Clippers put the game away in the first half, when they shot 66 percent and Jordan had already secured his double-double.



Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MTA Passes Fare Hike, Cost to Ride Subway Goes Up in March]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:06:17 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/metrocard+swipe.jpg

The MTA approved a round of price hikes Thursday that will affect subway and commuter train riders and drivers who use the agency's bridges and tunnels starting in March.

The board voted to hike base subway fares 10 percent -- from $2.50 to $2.75. Riders who load $5.50 or more onto their MetroCards will get an 11 percent bonus, double the bonus under the previous plan.

The MTA said the larger bonus offsets a bit of the base fare increase and makes it an effective hike of 4.1 percent, or 10 cents -- rather than 10 percent and 25 cents -- for customers who take advantage of it. 

The cost of monthly MetroCards will rise nearly $5 to $116.50 a month and the price of weekly cards will increase from $30 to $31. The $1 fee for purchasing a new MetroCard remains unchanged.

The MTA also had considered keeping base prices the same and doing away with bonuses before voting at its meeting Thursday. The last time the subway fare went up was 2013 when the cost of a single ride rose from $2.25 to $2.50.

The board also voted to raise tolls on its bridges and tunnels -- by 4 percent for E-ZPass customers and 6 percent to 10 percent for cash customers, depending on the crossing they use. Most LIRR and Metro-North riders will see fares increase by 4.25 percent or less, the MTA said. 

The approved fare hikes take effect March 22.

Asked what riders will get in return for the price increase, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said dependability, reliability and "good repair." 

The MTA says it has cut over $1 billion from its annual spending and plans to do more. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Renew Search for Brooklyn Boy Who Vanished 5 Years Ago]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 20:59:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/alford+new+search.jpg

Authorities are renewing their search for a missing Brooklyn boy who vanished five years ago after being placed with a foster family.

Patrick Alford was 7 when he disappeared Jan. 22, 2010 from his foster home in the Starrett City housing development in Spring Creek.

Officials said at the time they believed Alford, who had been handed over to child services after his biological mother Jennifer Rodriguez was arrested on a shoplifting charge and admitted using drugs, may have run off in search of Rodriguez.

Authorities questioned relatives locally and as far away as Maryland and Florida but came up with no leads. Police said they received their last tip in 2014 but declined to say what it was or where it came from.

On Thursday, five years to the day since he disappeared, NYPD officers posted new signs in Starrett City that showed what Alford might look like now, as a 12-year-old. Officers also drove a police van around with a loudspeaker, informing the public about the circumstances of the boy's disappearance and giving out the number for Crime Stoppers. They announced a $12,000 reward for information.

Residents were seen pausing to look at the signs throughout the day. Some remembered the little boy, including one man who said he recalled seeing him around the complex and that he was a good kid.

A person who answered the door at the address where Alford's foster mother lived when he went missing said she doesn't live there anymore.

An attorney for the child's biological father said his client remains hopeful his son will come home and thanked the officers for their renewed efforts to find him. Neither Alford's biological mother nor her attorney responded to messages from NBC 4 New York. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Abandoned Home Demolished on Long Island]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 20:24:26 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/abandoned+home+demolished.jpg A home in Brookhaven literally on the edge of falling of a bluff has finally been demolished. Storm erosion made the house unlivable. Greg Cergol reports.]]>