<![CDATA[NBC New York - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Sat, 18 Apr 2015 11:31:45 -0400 Sat, 18 Apr 2015 11:31:45 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[15 Hospitalized at UConn Concert]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:46:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/uconn+campus+generic.jpg

Fifteen people were transported to area hospitals from Gampel Pavillion at University of Connecticut during a Schoolboy Q concert due to suspected alcohol poisoning, according to a UConn spokesperson.

Tolland County dispatch said they transported at least a dozen people from the concert at UConn to the hospital due to likely alcohol poisoning. The call came in about 8 p.m.

The individuals are all believed to be students because tickets were only available to students, according to UConn spokeperson Stephanie Reitz. She said they were transported due to intoxication "believed to be alcohol" and that they're waiting for the hospitals to officially confirm the cause.

The concert was organized by a student group and no alcohol was sold at Gampel Pavillion during the event. People are screened as they enter, so they likely consumed the alcohol before they got in, according to Reitz.

The people transported aren't believed to be in life-threatening danger, Reitz said.

About 4,000 people attended the concert.

<![CDATA[Clowns Brawl With Protesters ]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 08:40:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/186*120/4-18-2015-ClownBrawl.JPG

Clowns brawled with animal rights protesters under a circus big top in San Bernardino Friday night.

Hundreds of spectators watched the fight break out when workers allegedly tried to stop the activists from forcing their way inside after the Ramos Bros. Circus show began.

Two protestors were arrested following the melee, and Ringmaster Oliver Ramos claimed his lip was split after he was hit on the face with his megaphone after they tried to keep protestors outside.

"All of a sudden when I turned around one of them jumped on top of my uncle - he's over 68-years-old - and they started beating on him and I reacted," Ramos said. "When I pulled them off they hit me with a megaphone in the face and all these ladies started scratching me on the face."

However protester Nicholas Shaw-McMinn claimed they were protesting non-violently, and that they were the ones attacked by the circus workers.

"While we were on the property the employees locked us on the property and wouldn't let us leave. They assaulted... multiple protestors, some with weapons," Shaw-McMinn said.

He also claimed one of the workers had placed him in a choke hold during the clash.

The activists, who said they are members of the Direct Action Everywhere group, provided video which showed them protesting outside the big top before the melee.

The Ramos Bros. Circus website boasts the show features "animals from all over the world," and features images of lamas, camels and horses.

Ramos said he does not mind activists protesting on the street, but wants them to stay off the property where the circus is performing. He also believes something has to be done to prevent further clashes occurring

"These people are just crazy fanatics… it has to stop. These people are getting out of hand," Ramos said.

However it seems they will not be staying away, as more than 100 protesters are expected to show up for more demonstrations taking place Saturday.

On the Protest Ramos Bros. Circus Facebook page it says, "traveling animal acts perpetuate animal cruelty, inhumane care, public safety hazards and distorted images of wildlife.

"As compassionate animal lovers we must stop animal entertainment and extend our love to all animals. Animals are not our (sic) to use, they are not our property; they are beings that desire the same freedoms as us."

It also claims circus animals are trained using methods such as whipping, hitting, poking, and shocking with electrical prods.

<![CDATA[Pope Francis Mourns Cardinal George]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:53:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP780809372956.jpg

Pope Francis expressed his condolences on the passing of Cardinal Francis George in a telegram to Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich sent Saturday morning.

"Saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Francis E. George, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese," the pope wrote.

"With gratitude for Cardinal George's witness of consecrated life as an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, his service to the Church's educational apostolate and his years of episcopal ministry in the Churches of Yakima, Portland and Chicago, I join you in commending the soul of this wise and gentle pastor to the merciful love of God our heavenly Father. To all who mourn the late Cardinal in the sure hope of the Resurrection, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord."

Cardinal George passed away Friday at 78 years old following a long battle with cancer. The pope received word of the cardinal's death in Rome in the late evening.

Pope Francis said he had "great esteem" for Cardinal George and was very close to him during his suffering.

The pope appointed Archbishop Cupich to succeed Cardinal George after his retirement in 2012. Following the cardinal's death, Archbishop Cupich called the cardinal "a man of peace, tenacity and courage."

Three days of services have been planned for Cardinal George, beginning April 21 at Holy Name Cathedral.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Coach Arrested in Sex Assault Case]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:40:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/4-18-2015-FootballCoach.JPG

A volunteer high school football coach is being held on $450,000 bail on suspicion of sexually assaulting current and former students.

At least one of 46-year-old Jaime Jimenez's alleged victims is under the age of 14, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said. It has not been confirmed if the victims are boys or girls.

Jimenez has been a volunteer coach at Franklin High School since 1998, and investigators believe there may be victims that are former students who are now adults.

Students and parents were shocked to discover the trusted coach had been arrested.

"I think it's pretty frightening because this is a place where im supposed to feel safe, and to think that something like that could occur kind of scares me," student Cesar Velazquez said.

"I'm hoping the schools going to reach out to the parents as soon as they know more," parent Axel Velazquez said.

Guillermo Cuordova had received coaching from Jimenez in the past, and he said the school football team were shaken by the arrest.

"They're shocked, they're really shocked because he's a good guy," Cuordova said. "He helped me get my skills better and just be a better player and was always there for me."

Jimenez  was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. He has since been removed from his position on the school's coaching team. It is unclear if he has any legal representation at this time.

"It's really unfortunate when someone who's in that kind of position as a role model becomes close with the students to gain their trust and then victimizes them," LAPD Officer Jane Kim said.

A Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman said the organization is cooperating with the police investigation. 

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact detectives on (323) 344-5742.

<![CDATA[5 Kids Sickened by Pain Pills at NYC School: Parents]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:17:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ps+360+bronx.jpg

Five elementary school children were sickened after consuming over-the-counter pain pills given to them by a classmate during lunch, officials and parents said.

The FDNY said emergency responders were called to PS 360 in Kingsbridge Terrace at about 11:30 a.m. Friday, and took five students to the hospital. 

A second-grader at the school told NBC 4 New York she saw another student offer her friend a pill -- which she described as "candy" -- during lunch.

"She ate it, and later we got to class, she was doing her work and then all of a sudden, she passed out,"  the girl told NBC 4 New York in an interview conducted with the permission of her mother. 

That pill, according to another parent who contacted NBC 4 New York, was Excedrin, an over-the-counter pain medication not intended for children under the age of 12. 

It's not clear how the child was able to get her hand on the pills or how much the sickened children consumed. But doctors say as few as two Excedrin pills, which are stimulants, could cause a negative reaction in young children, causing them to perspire, have palpitations or even have seizures and faint. 

Parents and guardians at the school were outraged.

"I think it's crazy. What are the parents doing?" said Lydia Fields, a grandmother of a student who attends the school. "The kids are bringing pills to school and giving it to their peers. You would never think something like that could happen in elementary school." 

There was no official word on the treatment of the children at the hospital, but a parent of a student who attends the school said she was told by a school safety officer that they were treated and released earlier in the day.

About 500 children attend the school. School district officials said they're investigating and had no other immediate statement. 

<![CDATA[Love Triangle Leads to Severed Leg]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 00:05:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/N+17th+Street+Hit+and+Run+Fire+Nicetown.JPG

Beatrice Spence's life changed forever Friday afternoon after a romantic rival ran her down, severing her leg, moments before her house caught fire and was destroyed, her family and police tell NBC10.

The intentional hit-and-run took place at 2:19 p.m. outside Spence's home along the 4400 block of N. 17th Street in the Nicetown section of the city, police said.

The violent act left the 24-year-old, nicknamed De-De, with at least one leg tore off, according to police. She was rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition.

"I heard a car rev up, and then I heard a bunch of people screaming," said neighbor Jayson Massey. "Honestly, I thought she was dead. She was not responsive."

After striking Spence, surveillance video shows the white Dodge Durango fled eastbound on Wingohocking Street, police said.

The driver of the Durango, who lives a few blocks away, knew the victim, investigators said.

The victim's family told NBC10 that the driver and victim were in an ongoing fight over a man — recently throwing bricks at each other's windows.

"She came back — the driver came back and she ran her over. She ran her over," exclaimed relative Ruby Fields.

Immediately after the crash, the victim's mother rushed to the hospital leaving something cooking on the stove. The house then caught fire, said the family.

No one was injured in blaze, but the home was left unliveable.

Investigators tell NBC10 they know the woman they're looking for, but have not made an arrest in the case.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Murder Charges in Panama Killing]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:48:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/yvonne+baldelli.jpg

A retired marine accused of killing his girlfriend in Panama, dismembering her body and dumping her remains in the jungle before undergoing an elaborate scheme to cover it up, pleaded not guilty to federal charges. 

A federal grand jury in San Diego indicted Brian Karl Brimager, 37, on first degree murder charges Friday for the killed Los Angeles woman Yvonne Baldelli, the U.S. Attorney's Souther District of California's Office said. 

Brimager pleaded not guilty to one count of foreign murder of a U.S. national, obstruction of justice and false statement to a federal officer. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Mark Conover wrote earlier in April that his office would pursue charges against Brian Brimager for foreign murder of a U.S. national, according to a status report filed.

Brimager is suspected of killing Baldelli, 42, who went missing while they were on a 2011 vacation in Central America.

The U.S. Assistant Attorney General in Washington D.C. recently gave the local office written approval to prosecute Brimager. Conover said they plan to seek an indictment against him before April 17 and arraign him on that day.

According to the court document, prosecutors are still waiting on the results of a DNA test and tool mark comparison examination in the case, which they should have next month.

In September 2011, Brimager, a former Camp Pendleton Marine, and Baldelli traveled to Panama to stay on Isla Carenera, an island off the coast accessible only by boat. Baldelli was last seen with Brimager at a Panamanian restaurant on Nov. 26, 2011.

Prosecutors say Brimager killed Baldelli and later disposed of a bloody mattress at their hostel. According to another indictment, Brimager had used Baldelli’s laptop to search how to get blood stains out of a mattress.

The suspect is accused of then packing up Baldelli’s belongings into garbage bags and leaving them on the dock outside their hostel.

Throughout this time, prosecutors allege Brimager posed as Baldelli and sent emails to her friends and family to make it seem as though she was alive. The emails said she met another man and was going to Costa Rica with him. Brimager then allegedly used her ATM card in Costa Rica and San Jose.

When investigators questioned the suspect about Baldelli’s disappearance, they said Brimager lied to them and claimed she took her laptop to travel. That same laptop was found in his possession in 2012, at which point he changed his story and said the device never went to Panama and he never sent emails from it.

Nearly two years after she vanished, Baldelli’s body was found on a small island off the Isla Carenero coastline. Scientists used DNA analysis on her skull and bones to identify her.

Brimager is back in the U.S., though charges are pending against him in Panama.

NBC 7 is attempting to reach out to Brimager’s defense attorney for a comment on this story.

<![CDATA["Gigante" Ending After 53 Years]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:15:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Sabado+Gigante.jpg

After 53 years, Univision's popular "Sabado Gigante" (Giant Saturday) will be ending on Sept. 19, the network announced on Friday.

The variety show is hosted by Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco.

Univision says Francisco will continue to contribute to the network with new projects and specials.

“Mario is one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world and has been an innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career," said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision.

Francisco is expected to discuss the show's departure on April 18. He thanked Univision in a statement.

"There is no doubt that they have been fundamental in my professional development and in my personal and family life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Católica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our ‘Sábado Gigante’ into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week," the statement said.

The show received a Guinness World Record in 2012 for longest-running variety show on television, broadcasting since 1962.

NBC 6 South Florida's Jackie Nespral began her TV career as a spokesmodel on "Sabado Gigante" in 1987.

Photo Credit: 'Sabado Gigante'/ Univision]]>
<![CDATA[Brawl Breaks Out in Zara]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:04:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Zara+Brawl.jpg

Several women got into an all out brawl in the middle of a popular clothing store in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood Friday afternoon.

At least five women slapped, threw punches and pulled hair while toppling over store displays and sending clothes flying around 3:20 p.m. inside Zara at 1715 Walnut Street. One woman climbed on top of a display table and jumped onto another woman during the fight.

Some shoppers stood and watched in disbelief while others recorded the scene and posted videos to social media sites.

A store security guard worked to break up the battle as employees called 911. 

A Zara employee confirmed the fight happened, but would not comment further. It's unclear what spurred the brawl.

The women were gone by the time police arrived. No arrests have been made and the incident remains under investigation, police said.

WARNING: Videos contain explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Photo Credit: @jubyrr/Twitter
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<![CDATA[White House Fence Jumper: Guilty]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:22:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Dominic+Adesanya+courtroom+sketch.jpg

A Maryland man pleaded guilty after climbing the White House fence in October, 2014 and running through the North Lawn.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, formerly of Bel Air, Maryland, was taken down by Secret Service officers and K-9 units after he got over the fence on Oct. 24. He was briefly hospitalized after suffering dog bites to his arms, back, chest and knee.

His guilty plea to entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds carries a statutory maximum of a year in prison and a potential fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 2, 2015.

Adesanya could have been released on person recognizance, but he is being held in two other cases, including one that charged him with jumping a security barrier at the White House in July, 2014.

President Barack Obama was at the White House during the October incident.

Photo Credit: Art Lien/Background AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cops Hope Sketch of Baby Found Headless in Trash 5 Months Ago Will Lead to Killer]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:20:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/infant+clothes+inset.jpg

Authorities are hoping a new composite sketch of the newborn found dead, headless among blood-stained clothing that investigators say may have belonged to her mother, in the trash at a New Jersey recycling plant five months ago will help lead to the child's killer.

The remains of the full-term infant girl were found in November at the ReCommunity Recycling facility on Railroad Avenue in Farmingdale. A worker moving trash made the grisly discovery.

Detectives conducted an exhaustive search of the garbage near where the child was found and recovered her head, two blood-stained shirts and a bag from a retail store in Orange, far from the Monmouth County town where the baby's remains were located. The blouses had no tags, but could be characterized as petite to medium, and authorities believe they and the bag were the mother's.

The baby, who was named Emma Grace by the Ardena Baptist Church in Howell, was 21.5 inches, 7 pounds and 5 ounces when she was discovered. Her remains have been released to the church, which will hold a funeral for her on Saturday.

The medical examiner's office was not able to determine the child's cause and manner of death from an autopsy, but said it was certain she was not a stillborn. Evidence suggests the newborn girl breathed before she died, authorities have said.

State Police have consulted with an FBI profiling expert who believes if the mother was responsible for dumping the baby's body, she may have been trying to conceal her pregnancy before giving birth. She may have been living a different lifestyle than she was accustomed to as a result of the pregnancy, and the profile said she may have resumed more of her normal routines since it ended.

Authorities say has been no evidence to indicate the mother was a victim of foul play, though the possibility has not been ruled out.

Detectives hope someone may recognize the infant based on the composite sketch or be able to help identify the mother based on the clothing found near the child.

Anyone who has information is asked to call the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit at (609) 882-2000 ext. 2538 or the Monmouth County prosecutor's office at 1-800-533-7443. Anonymous tips can also be left online here.  

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[School CEO Leaves Amid Fed. Probe]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:13:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/tlmd_brightcove_2067658930001_4175786487001_cps_barbara_byrd_bennett_investigacion_federal_escuelas_publicas_chicago_conflicto_interes.jpg

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a leave of absence amid a federal investigation into a no-bid contract awarded to one of her former employers, and Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz has been named interim CEO, President David Vitale announced Friday.

Ruiz said he was "ready and eager to take on the responsibility" of the position. 

Both men at an afternoon press conference defended the district and the process by which the 2013 contract to a Wilmette-based professional development agency was handed out. 

Vitale acknowledged he knew Byrd-Bennett was a former employee of the firm and said that fact gave him no pause.

"Many of us have prior lives in which we've engaged with organizations .. that still might provide quality service to CPS," he said. 

Asked of his own affirmative vote on the contract, Vitale said SUPES offered a "unique" program for principal training and that discussions were "extensive and well thought-out." And he pressed that he'd done nothing wrong.

"I have no intention of stepping down," he said. 

In a statement, Mayor Rahm Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said that while there have been no formal allegations, the mayor "has zero tolerance for any type of misconduct from public officials."

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told NBC Chicago that Byrd-Bennett's leave of absence could be a good move for her. 

"I think, if she were out trying to do work, there's this cloud," Lewis said. "It's a distraction. This is a good opportunity for her."

Byrd-Bennett's contract with CPS matures in June. She has the option to extend it for another year but Vitale said she so far has not exercised that option. 

Byrd-Bennett's longevity with the district was questioned this week when it was confirmed that federal authorities were looking into whether she received any kickbacks from the SUPES agreement. 

The principal of a North Side school on Thursday described the training SUPES provided as a "colossal waste of time." 

The Board of Education’s Inspector General has been looking into the SUPES agreement for months. While nothing official has been released, there was a cryptic reference in the IG’s year-end report which spoke of an investigation which may have been the inquiry into the controversial deal.

Byrd-Bennett, hand-picked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, came on board and within six months helped to shutter dozens of public schools in an effort to address the district's financial problems. She said at the time that closing the schools was an urgent matter, and that delaying the decision would be "criminal."

She had previously served as the Chief Education Advisor for CPS before stepping into the top spot of the nation's third largest school system in 2012 following the resignation of Jean-Claude Brizard.

She came to Chicago from Cleveland, where she spent seven years as CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Prior to that, she was the Chief Academic and Accountability manager for Detroit Public Schools and had jobs jobs as a teacher, principal and superintendent in her native New York City. 

<![CDATA[ #IWishMyTeacherKnew: Students' Heartbreaking Messages Go Viral]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:34:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/classroom-generic-1200.jpg

A third-grade teacher's effort to connect with her students returned touching and revealing results. 

Kyle Schwartz, who teaches at Denver's Doull Elementary, tasked her students to write an anonymous note starting with the phrase "I Wish My Teacher Knew," NBC affiliate KUSA reported. At the end of the class activity, Schwartz wound up learning more than she expected. She was touched by the raw feelings the students, many of whom are from low-income families, expressed.

Schwartz, who called the assignment a "reality check,"  has been tweeting about her lesson plan with the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew. Now, some of the heartbreaking confessions are going viral. 

Here are some of the messages the teacher says she got from her students: 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Chicago's Cardinal Francis George Dies at 78]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:36:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_tlmd_cardinal_francis_george1.jpg

Cardinal Francis George, the sixth cardinal to lead Chicago's 2.3 million Catholics, has died after years of battling cancer. He was 78.

"A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord," Archbishop Blase Cupich said Friday, remembering the Cardinal as a respected leader and proud life-long Chicagoan.

George passed away at 10:45 a.m. at his residence, Cupich confirmed.

"He pursued an over-full schedule, always choosing the church over his own comfort and the people over his own needs," Cupich said. "Let us heed his example and be a little more brave, a little more steadfast and a lot more loving. This is the surest way to honor his life and celebrate his return to the presence of God."

A group of Chicago Catholic priests received a text message just after noon about his passing.

"Please add Cardinal George to your prayers today," St. Giles Parish in Oak Park wrote in a post online. "May he rest in eternal peace."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said George "led a remarkable life of faith and service."

“He lent his counsel to those in distress, his comfort to those in despair and he inspired us all with his courage in his final days," Emanuel said. "He could always be counted on to provide those granite qualities to the countless people who relied on them when it mattered the most."

A Chicago native, George was born on the city's West Side to parents Julia and Francis. He attended St. Pascal before leaving the city to attend seminary in high school and pursue his dream of becoming a priest.

"I'd like to think it was a call from God," George recalled to NBC 5. "I started to think about it when I received First Holy Communion."

He was known for his endurance. George contracted polio at age 13, and Chicago's Quigley Seminary rejected him. Instead he joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Despite a leg brace, he was determined to enjoy life.

With the Oblates, George rose through the ranks and was based in Rome for 12 years, traveling the world as their Vicar General.

He returned to Chicago by way of Portland, where he was archbishop, and Yakima, Washington, where he was bishop for five years.

A year after his Chicago appointment, Pope John Paul II elevated George to the College of Cardinals, and in 2007, he became the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"It's a symbolic post," George said in November 2007.

As a cardinal, he played a role in the selection of two popes, Benedict the 16th and Francis, and was known as the go-to American church leader.

"It was necessary to make some changes," he told NBC 5 in March 2013. "The style is the substance."

Difficult church finances forced George to close Catholic schools and lay off staffers. His handling of the priest sex abuse crisis, he told reporters, was a low point, and he admitted he did not fully accept how grave the situation was.

"Things came a little unraveled," he said. "Then you're not quite sure whom can you trust."

He didn't back away from social controversies, though. He opposed Obamacare, met privately with Catholic politicians like Gov. Pat Quinn and spoke out against same-sex marriage.

"Over the years he tangled with Father Michael Pfleger's outspoken style but eventually asked him to be the archdiocese's voice against violence.

"I always had a good relationship with Father Pfleger, but sometimes he says things I can't agree with," George said in 2012.

The cardinal's first bout with cancer came in 2006, in his bladder. The cancer then returned in his kidney and liver in 2012. In early March, he wrote to parishioners that he would begin a more aggressive round of chemotherapy and said, "it will probably eventually be the cause of my death."

Just weeks before celebrating his 50th anniversary as a priest, the cardinal spoke of one day meeting the next archbishop of Chicago.

"I would hope that I would meet my successor," George said at the time.

On Sept. 20, he did just that, meeting Spokane's Bishop Blase Cupich, Pope Francis' pick to succeed Cardinal George.

An apartment steps away from Holy Name was ready for the cardinal's retirement, but he never moved in. In his final months, George tried a new clinical trial to fight his cancer.

He will be remembered for enduring a rigorous schedule to the end. Chicago is known as the flagship American diocese, and the changes the Church has witnessed here have often shaped it worldwide.

"I love Chicago, I love being here, but sometimes I don't love everything that happens, nobody does," he said.

<![CDATA[Ex-NFL Player Strangled Cellmate: Coroner]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:38:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lawrence-phillips-2005.jpg

Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips killed his cellmate by strangling him, authorities said Thursday.

The Kern County Coroner released the new details in the homicide of Damion Soward, 37, at the Kern Valley State Prison. The coroner’s report states that Soward died of neck compression asphyxia.

Phillips, 39, is charged with Soward’s murder and is currently being held in a segregation unit at the prison.

Phillips is already serving a 31-year sentence for multiple charges, including spousal abuse and auto theft, officials said.

Phillips was once one of the nation's top college football players at Nebraska. He was drafted 6th overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1996 NFL Draft.

He only played in 25 games and scored 12 touchdowns for the Rams, but also had short stints with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

In 2005, jurors convicted Phillips of choking a former girlfriend twice in San Diego, once into unconsciousness. He was also convicted of hitting three teenagers with his car in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Archives]]>
<![CDATA[Beyond Plastic: 3-D Printing Goes Green]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:35:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tree-in-printer-186073134.jpg

As 3-D printing revolutionizes manufacturing, companies are developing greener ways to 3-D print, creating new technologies to cut back on plastic waste and reduce manufacturers' carbon footprints.

Dr. Joshua Pearce, a professor at Michigan Technological University, has worked to develop eco-friendly techniques. He's optimistic about the future environmental impact of 3-D printing, which has already helped build Barcelona's towering cathedral La Sagrada Familia and “robohands” for children.

In a study last year, he created a “Recyclebot” to create plastic filament — the material 3-D printers use to create structures from digital designs — from recycled milk jugs, and found that using recycled materials at home to create filament used one fortieth the amount of energy it would take to create it commercially.

Meanwhile, more companies are taking that same effort commercial. Traditionally, two types of filament are used for 3-D printing: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). Generally, ABS, a petroleum-based polymer, is less environmentally friendly than PLA, a biodegradable corn-based plastic, but now, some new, greener kinds of ABS filament are being made.

Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am is behind one of those. The rapper turned tech guru said that after a concert in Costa Rica in 2007, he noticed a lot of waste left behind in the stands and was determined to do something about it. He's a strong believer in 3-D printing's potential. “Eventually 3D printing will print people," he told Dezeen Magazine.

He's now the chief creative officer of 3-D printing company 3D Systems Inc., and he partnered with Coca-Cola on a project called EKOCYCLE in 2012 to create branded products made of recycled plastic waste like Coke bottles. His new 3-D printer, the $1,199 EKOCYCLE Cube, takes after Pearce’s Recyclebot and transforms cartridges of filament, each containing at least three plastic Coke bottles, into whatever a consumer designs. 

Three-D printer reseller 3D Printlife presented the first environmentally friendly ABS filament in January. Its material breaks down into carbon dioxide and methane when consumed by bacteria in landfills, making it biodegradable like PLA filament, but just as durable as ABS plastic.

The company's vice-president of marketing Joel Rush said the company wanted to encourage companies to consider their carbon footprints. Every $59.99 spool it manufactures is made out of cardboard and comes with soil paper with seeds, so that consumers can sprout plants.

Another 3-D printing filament maker is sourcing its ABS recycled plastic mostly from landfills. Chicago-based Dimension Polymers, which raised more than $20,000 on Kickstarter, was launching its $30 spools at the New York 3-D design show from April 13 to 17. Co-founder Gerald Galazin says the products could reduce toxins from petroleum-based production by 66 percent.

But new 3-D printing technology might wipe out any need for recycled filament, especially if it succeeds.

Carbon3D's CEO Joseph DeSimone debuted his new technology at a TED conference in Vancouver in March, and told Re/code the company expects to be commercializing in a year.

His technology — known as CLIP, or Continuous Liquid Interface Production — is inspired by a scene in “Terminator 2": Like the T-1000 that comes up from metallic liquid in the movie, a 3-D printed object grows out of a pool of resin by using light and oxygen. The CLIP technology can work 25 to 100 times faster than traditional 3-D printers and can use a variety of materials. 

At the rate 3-D printing technology is growing, experts say its will become faster and greener. Siemens predicts that 3-D printing will be 50 percent cheaper and 400 percent faster in the next five years. And Pearce points out that even now, 3-D printing has a crucial advantage over traditional manufacturing techniques: its relative lack of waste.

In 2013 he conducted a life-cycle analysis that found 3-D printers used 41 to 64 percent less energy than traditional manufacturing machines — mostly, he said, because they created less waste than mass manufacturing. The more waste left over, the more energy is needed to melt it, he explained, whereas 3-D printing uses only the amount of material required to finish the product.

“Even though your 3-D printer will use more energy per product, you are making a better product with less material,” he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[4-Year-Old Boy's Wheelchair Stolen]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:33:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/4-year-olds+wheelchair+stolen+surveillance+video.jpg

Someone took a 4-year-old boy's wheelchair from the lobby of a Langley Park, Maryland, apartment building this week, according to Prince George's County Police.

The boy's mother typically carries him to their second-floor apartment on Merrimac Drive because it's easier. She did so again Sunday night, but when she returned for the wheelchair Monday morning, it was gone.

"This family already faces challenges and shouldn’t be burdened with the emotional and financial stress of the theft of this wheelchair," Capt. Ken Humbel said. "The suspect we’re looking for has no heart.”

Surveillance video shows the thief pushing the wheelchair through a parking lot.

Anyone with information about the theft should call police at 301-699-2601 or Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS.

Police are also in contact with a foundation that may help find a replacement wheelchair.

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<![CDATA[NY Man Who Doesn't Like Doctors Wraps Wounded Hand in Duct Tape]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:06:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/duct-tape21.jpg

Authorities are investigating an apparent accidental shooting that left an upstate New York man with a hand wound that he wrapped in duct tape because he has an aversion to doctors.

Police in Glens Falls say 56-year-old Carl Critelli was drinking with friends late at night this week when one of them started passing around his .32-caliber handgun.

The gun went off, sending a bullet tore through Critelli's left hand and causing serious damage to two fingers. Critelli told The Post-Star of Glens Falls that he didn't seek medical help because he doesn't like doctors.

Instead, he put bandages on the wound and wrapped it with duct tape.

The 45-year-old man who owned the gun was charged Wednesday after telling police what happened.

Police convinced Critelli to go to a hospital for treatment.

<![CDATA[Guardsmen Remain Jailed on Gun Sale]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:09:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CasillasReyesGunsLGcurves.jpg

Two members of the California Army National Guard pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday to charges that they sold firearms to a purported Mexican drug cartel member.

The drug cartel member was actually an undercover ATF agent who engaged in a fourth-month sting leading to Wednesday’s arrest of the men, officials said.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Reyes, who enlisted with the California Army National Guard in 2008 after serving in the Marine Corps, appeared in court along with 22-year-old Specialist Jaime Casillas, who enlisted in 2011.

A federal judge ordered the two men be held in custody without bail, as prosecutors had argued the two frequently travel to Mexico and should be considered flight risks. The judge will address bail on April 20.

Reyes was taken into custody at his La Mesa home and Casillas was arrested during a traffic stop in El Cajon.

Court documents reveal that Reyes and Casillas sold dozens of firearms stolen from the military, including an AR-15 style rifle with a mounted scope. More than 4,000 rounds of military ammunition in sealed crates and 24 military body armor vests also were allegedly stolen, according to court documents.

The undercover agent purchasing the products told the men – who were in their uniforms for at least part of the sales process - that their weapons would be shipped to drug cartels in Mexico, the complaint said. During one transaction, the men allegedly showed up in their uniforms and collected $2,150 from the agent for an AR-15 rifle.

The California National Guard, which was not aware of the investigation until the men’s arrest on Wednesday, said it is cooperating with the federal probe.

Agents are trying to determine if any other guardsmen from the El Cajon Armory were involved.

Prosecutors called the allegations an ultimate betrayal.

“I think it’s shocking to every American sensibility,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Hayden said. “Men and women committed to wearing the uniform in charge of defense would turn around and do this.”

Photo Credit: Krentz Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Leaves Girl, 4, Alone All Day]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:54:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/150415-girl-left-home-alone-rancho-cucamonga.jpg

A Southern California woman was arrested for willful cruelty to a child after she allegedly left her 4-year-old daughter at home and went on a trip to San Diego, sheriff's officials said.

On Monday, neighbors of 28-year-old Bing Chen reported hearing a child crying about 3 p.m. in the apartment complex in the 10900 block of Terra Vista Parkway in Rancho Cucamonga, a town about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department officials said.

Tanner Kurete, a 9-year-old neighbor, heard the girl's screams while he was playing outside with his friends.

"We knocked on the door and she came to the front door and answered, 'Mommy, mommy,' jumping and screaming, 'Mommy, mommy. I want my mommy,'" Tanner said. "I went and told my mom."

When the night manager checked the location, he found the girl in one of the apartments with no adult. The child told deputies that her mother was at work, then later said she thought her mother was sick and went home.

When deputies called the child's father, who was overseas in Taiwan on a business trip, he told them the mother was supposed to be there, taking care of the child.

Two hours later, Chen arrived back at the house.

Through an interpreter, she allegedly told deputies she went to San Diego with her friends and said it was okay to leave the child at home alone because she left food for the child and instructions on when to eat and go to bed.

Officials said the mother had not arranged for someone to care for the child.

"I can't imagine how anybody would ever do that. I wouldn't leave my kids home alone for an hour - 10 years old - let alone 4 years old," said Tanner's mother, Amy Kurete.

The mother was taken to West Valley Detention Center for willful cruelty to a child, a felony. The child is with Child Protection Services.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department (909) 477-2800. Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Inmate Dies, Family Not Told]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:02:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/inmate+death.jpg

As a South Florida family walked into a courhouse expecting to see their daughter appear for a hearing, they recieved a phone call from an inmate informing them that the inmate had died in custody, family attorney Sabino Jauregui told NBC 6.

The family says they were told their daughter was screaming for help inside the jail when she had a medical emergency but no one came to her aid.

And the attorney for Nairobis Alvarez Cruz, said he wasn't notified of her death until the hearing had started.

The corrections department issued a statement about the woman's death, saying there was a "medical emergency."

"The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (MDCR) would like to extend our condolences to the Cruz Family," the statement read. "MDCR Corrections Officers responded appropriately and timely to a medical emergency to include emergency room transportation. Due to an on-going Miami-Dade Police Department investigation, no further comment can be made at this time."

Cruz was arrested for robbery with a weapon last month.

Jauregui said he saw her last weekend to prepare for Thursday's arraignment and he told us her family had spoken to her since that, but it was on the courthouse steps about 9:30 a.m., just before they went inside, when they got a call from an inmate at the Pre-trial detention Center about what allegedly happened to Cruz overnight.

"Its alleged she was screaming for help for hours... that she was ignored. Until she finally passed away," Jauregui said.

The medical examiner's office indicates Cruz died at 12:19 a.m. Jauregui had no idea Cruz was dead and the state attorney had no idea either until they were inside the courtroom about to begin, and Judge Stacy Glick told them about Cruz, her family downstairs in shock.

"They are hysterical. They are crying. They are in very bad emotional state," Jauregui said. "They can't believe that their daughter is gone that she is passed away... vibrant full of life... 20 something."

One source told NBC 6 Cruz was being held on a floor for women with mental health issues and until two months ago corrections officers were inside the open bay cell with the women, but that was changed and the officers are now outside the unit.

"Corrections holds a duty to everyone in the jail to not be negligent to take care of them to make sure their medical needs are met," Jauregui said.

Corrections told us it has a full investigation underway so it can't say anything about what happened.

When it comes to how this family discovered their loved one was deceased, their lawyer certainly indicated the family first and all of the parties should have been given notice about this woman's death and not be surprised here at the courthouse.

<![CDATA[New Details Revealed in Torture of Girl, 3, Caught on Nanny Cam]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:55:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Lidia+Quilligana+1200.jpg

Video from a nanny cam shows a babysitter beating a 3-year-old Connecticut girl and forcing her hands onto a hot stovetop, the "absolute fear and pain from the trauma" evident in the little girl's eyes as she screams in an effort to escape, according to an arrest report obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media Group earlier this week.

Lidia Quilligana, 31, was arrested March 27, the same day the child's mother came home from work and discovered her child had been burned. The nanny made an excuse for the second-degree burns and went home for the day. The mother took her daughter to a doctor, then reviewed footage from a new nanny cam and called authorities, who arrested Quilligana at her Danbury home.

Initial reports indicated the video had captured the nanny abusing the child, but details of the footage were not available until now. According to Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Danbury police officer Thomas Geanuracos wrote in an arrest report that the video shows the nanny "repeatedly" taking the child by the wrist and forcing the girl's hands onto "what appeared to be hot stove burners."

Geanuracos wrote he watched the sitter at one point jump on the child as she lay on the ground "and it appeared Quilligana applied all of her weight onto her and then pulled her pants and underwear down and spanked her," the Hearst Connecticut Media Group reported. Another time, he saw the nanny pick the child up by the throat with two hands and throw her to the ground, he wrote.

The officer also said the nanny cam appeared to show the sitter force-feeding the child something too hot to eat, causing her mouth to blister; when the child tried to avoid the scalding food, the nanny beat her, the report said. According to Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the video described in Geanuracos' report only accounts for part of the hidden camera footage.

A prosecutor said the child could be heard screaming as she tried to get away.

Quilligana has been in custody on a first-degree assault charge that carries a 20-year prison sentence. Bail was set at $1 million after a prosecutor who saw the video argued for an increase from the $100,000 that was initially set. She has not entered a plea and is due in court later this month. 

Hearst Connecticut Media Group said her lawyer, Jennifer Tunnard, was not available for comment Wednesday. She did not immediately return a call early Thursday.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police
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<![CDATA[Son of Seamstress Accepted Into All 8 Ivy Colleges]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:18:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/182*120/4-16-2015-IvyBoy.JPG

A son of a seamstress has been accepted to all eight Ivy League schools due to his stellar academic performance.

Fernando Rojas, 17, has yet to decide which of the prestigious colleges he will attend once he graduates Fullerton High School. The Southern California student's achievement comes hot-on-the-heels of two other students, one from New York and another in Minnesota, being admitted to each of the historic educational institutions.

The Orange County teenager credits the upbringing he received from his seamstress mother and machine operator father, who both never made it beyond elementary school, for his work ethic.

"They still took the time to instill in us these morals and these values of having to work hard and having to be resilient," Rojas said of his Mexican-born parents, "Knowing that I have these opportunities that my parents didn't have and knowing I have to appreciate that, that's what got me through the struggles, the obstacles and stuff."

Rojas, who has won national awards for his speeches and has a grade point average above 4.8, cast a wide net when it came to applying for college.

One by one, the acceptance letters started arriving, and from Harvard to the University of Pennsylvania, all eight Ivy League schools offered him a space.

"They all came at the same time, I felt so bad for the mailman," Rojas said.

So far he has visited Princeton and Yale is next. He hopes to pursue Latin American studies and law.

The principal of Fullerton High School said the school's diverse population— half the students are considered low income and more than 60 percent are Hispanic — is central to its success.

"We have a student body that is very diverse, very representative of our country," Principal Rani Goyal said. "Maybe people don't realize and that that diversity actually makes us that much better,"

<![CDATA[Auto Repair Shop: Guns OK, Same-Sex PDA is Not]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:01:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gay+rights+stock+men+couple+hold+hands.jpg

The owner of a Michigan auto repair shop said Thursday he's received threats of violence after making a social media post indicating he'd refuse service to "openly gay" people, and he refuted claims that his message was intended to drum up attention and secure funding through donations.

"Listen up folks, If you have an opposing view to mine that IS OK, what is NOT OK is threats to kill me, my family, and friends," Brian Klawiter wrote in a Thursday morning post on Facebook.

The drama for Klawiter, the owner of Dieseltec, in Grandville, near Grand Rapids, began early Tuesday when he wrote that he welcomed guns in his shop, but would refuse service to "an openly gay person or persons"

"Enough is enough," Klawiter wrote. "Homosexuality is wrong, period. If you want to argue this fact with me then I will put your vehicle together with all bolts and no nuts and you can see how that works."

Conversely, discounts would be given to customers who bring in a gun, he said. That applies to off-duty officers, as well. 

"On duty" cops are excluded because thats not their gun, thats my gun bought with my money," he clarified.

The comments by the self-proclaimed conservative Christian, the first public ones made on the Facebook page since before Christmas, drew the wide range of responses one would expect. There were words of support: "let him run his business how he wants to," others of condemnation: "Why dont you keep your bigoted thoughts to yourself," and still others intended only to provoke.

Klawiter denied his post was an effort to generate publicity for his business. 

"We are a successful business and are blessed to be able to feed our families. If there is any money raised it will be redistributed to people with greater needs than ours," Klawiter wrote.

The Huffington Post pointed out that an account established on the fundraising website GoFundMe.com was removed after it was created.

An Indiana restaurant owner last month said it would deny a gay couple's request to cater a wedding. A subsequent GoFundMe account had collected more than $800,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

Liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan called for a boycott of Klawiter's shop.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation has not been outlawed in Michigan, though several municipalities have local ordinances on the matter. While Grandville is not one of them, the city's mayor said he's open to discussing that option with citizens.

"There are many people who have deeply held, sincerely held, very conservative religious and political beliefs. But on the other hand, that same group of people is a very kind group of people that does not tolerate bigotry and intolerance, so it would be very interesting to see that debate," Mayor Steve Maas told NBC station WOOD-TV.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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<![CDATA[Search For Gunman After LA Shooting]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 02:57:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/205*120/4-16-15-palms+shooting+lapd+tactical.JPG

A series of shootings at three locations Thursday within a span of 10 minutes in the Palms area of Los Angeles left one man dead and four others wounded, one critically, and police are at the hospital trying to figure out who shot whom.

Updated Article: Coroner IDs Palms Shooting Victim

The shootings prompted two schools to go on lockdown and the LAPD to go on a citywide tactical alert, which allows the department to have extra officers on duty or reassigned to help where needed.

Shots were heard around 3 p.m. near Woodbine Park, at Woodbine Street and Vinton Avenue where dozens of people, including children, were playing. A woman was heard screaming and a vehicle sped off, police said.

When police arrived, they found a man dead and another wounded, according to LAPD Lt. John Jenal.

A second shooting was reported a few blocks away in front of a Verizon Wireless store where a man was taken to the hospital.

A third shooting happened in a 7-Eleven parking lot nearby, where two more shooting victims were struck, Jenal said.

Police were trying to piece together whether the shootings were related. They didn't say whether it was gang related.

Witnesses, who gave police conflicting descriptions of vehicles, were terrified.

"I felt those bullets just flying over my head," said Ralph Rocha. "A whistling sound, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop! After that, boom, boom, boom, boom!"

Nyree Arabian, Conan Nolan and Rosa Ordaz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NewsChopper4]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Booted From Flight for Jabbing Snoring Seatmate With Pen ]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:50:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/CCwAShhUgAATA-81.jpg

A passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight leaving Chicago was removed from the plane Thursday after officials said she poked her seatmate with a pen to stop him from snoring.

The woman was aboard Flight 577 scheduled to depart from Midway International Airport at 3:04 p.m. heading to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport when the incident occurred, airline officials said.

The plane was still at the gate when the woman tried to silence her snoozing seatmate by poking him with a pen, Southwest spokesperson Brandy King told NBC Chicago.

“The flight departed shortly after the passenger was removed,” King said. “The passenger in question will be accommodated on a later flight.”

King said no arrests were made and there were no injuries reported.

Photo Credit: Twitter/MNS1974
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<![CDATA[Office Manager Accused of Posing as Dentist, Performing Root Canals]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:34:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dental-office-crop.jpg.jpg

A 45-year-old dental office manager has been arrested for allegedly performing procedures on unsuspecting, uninsured patients for a cash discount while the dentist was away, and purposely scheduling procedures for them when she knew the doctor would be out of the office.

Authorities said Valbona Yzeiraj, of White Plains, was arrested Thursday following a grand jury indictment earlier this month. The Albanian-born woman pleaded not guilty to charges of assault, unauthorized practice of a profession and reckless endangerment at her arraignment later in the day.

Prosecutors allege the woman acted as a dentist at Ultimate Dental Care of Riverdale in the Bronx, one of three offices within the practice, while the licensed dentist was on vacation or out of the office and offered patients procedures at a discount for cash payments.

Yzeiraj was employed as an office manager at the facility; she is not licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New York.

Authorities allege Yzeiraj performed complex procedures, including root canals, on patients. She also pulled teeth. The alleged fraud came to light when at least four patients complained about complications they suffered after being treated by her, officials say.

Yzeiraj was fired from Ultimate Dental Care when the company found out she had been posing as a dentist from late 2012 to summer 2013, prosecutors said.

She is also accused of stealing $20,000 from her employer.

Neither the company nor Yzeiraj's attorney have returned messages seeking comment on her arrest. 

<![CDATA[WATCH: Senator's "Frozen" Ringtone Interrupts Hearing]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:01:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/57648215.jpg

U.S. senators are "Frozen" fans, too.

A Senate Finance Committee meeting got an unexpected interruption from a “Let it Go” ringtone on Thursday.

Pat Roberts got a call during a meeting on U.S. Tariff Policy, and the song made popular by Disney’s hit animated feature film began playing on his cellphone.

“Aw, come on,” the senior senator from Kansas said. 

After some laughs from people in the room, the 78-year-old said, “Just let it go."

Roberts' office released a statement about the incident.

"Senator Roberts' 'Let it Go' ringtone is for his grandkids. He balances it with Johnny Cash's ‘I Walk the Line’. He changes depending on the day,” his spokeswoman Sarah Little said in a statement.

Watch the interruption above.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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