<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usTue, 17 Jan 2017 08:54:26 -0500Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:54:26 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Manhunt for BMW Driver Who Fled NJ Police, Crashed in SoHo]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:10:36 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/soho+crash+nj+pursuit.jpg

Police were searching for a man on the run Tuesday morning, hours after his vehicle fled police in New Jersey, sped through the Holland Tunnel and crashed into another car in SoHo, authorities said.

The two cars collided just minutes after a New Jersey State trooper tried to stop a cream-colored BMW X5 for speeding in Newark. The BMW was traveling on I-78 at about 1:53 a.m. and sped away eastbound as the trooper followed with lights and sirens on, according to police. 

The BMW dashed into the Holland Tunnel and the New Jersey trooper called off the pursuit. Police later said that the BMW was stolen from Long Hill Township, New Jersey. 

After exiting the Holland Tunnel in lower Manhattan, the BMW crashed into a white Corvette near Broome and Greene streets around 2 a.m. The force of the crash sent the BMW flying into 470 Broome Street, where it slammed into the front of an art museum. 

The BMW was left mutilated — its front completely mangled and its hood wrapped around a pillar. The Corvette was down the street, its top sheared off.

Police said the driver of the BMW broke the windshield and fled the area after the crash. He was last seen running westbound on Broome Street towards Wooster Street.

A task force is being assembled to search for the driver, who is believed to be injured, police said.

The 28-year-old driver of the Corvette was taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries.

There was a heavy police presence at the scene just before 5 a.m. as a search for the man and an investigation into the crash continued. 

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<![CDATA[Woman's Torso, Leg Found in Garbage at NYC Trash Outpost]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:28:40 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/body+found+transfer+station.jpg

Authorities are investigating the grisly discovery of a woman's torso and leg at a trash transfer station in the Bronx.

Workers found the remains of the unidentified woman at the Metropolitan Transfer Station on Halleck Street in Hunts Point shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday.

A worker at the company told NBC 4 New York all work was stopped at the transfer station to assist in the police investigation; the body parts were found in the garbage, the worker said.  

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine how the woman died. 

No arrests have been made. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Police Activity Causes Major PATH Train Delays]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:18:25 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/path+train+cuts.jpg

Police activity caused PATH train delays on the Newark-World Trade Center line Tuesday morning, leaving hundreds of commuters standing on packed platforms.

NJ Transit said it was cross-honoring PATH tickets at Newark and New York Penn stations. 

The nature of the police activity causing the delay wasn't immediately clear. 

Photos posted to social media showed packed trains and waiting areas. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Masked Gunmen Leap From U-Haul Truck, Kill 3 in NJ]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:57:27 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/JERSEY+CITY+SHOOTING_WNBC_000000014667520+copy.jpg

Three people were shot and killed by masked gunmen in a Jersey City neighborhood on Monday night in a possible drug robbery, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

Police would confirm few details about the shooting, but said that three people were shot and killed at a home on Fulton Avenue, near Ocean Avenue, just after 10 p.m. Officers found drugs and guns at the home, the source said.

Witnesses said that two masked men sprung out of a U-Haul rental truck and shot three people in the building before running away on foot.

The victims' identities have not been released. 

There was still a heavy police presence on Fulton Avenue early Tuesday as an investigation into the shooting continued. The source said the U-Haul truck the suspects used has been recovered, though the location wasn't clear. 

<![CDATA[GM to Invest $1B, Add 1,000 Jobs in US: Sources]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 06:57:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-450105236.jpg

General Motors, one of several automakers criticized for building vehicles in Mexico and shipping them to the U.S., plans to add more than a thousand jobs in the U.S., according to sources who shared the plans with CNBC.

The jobs are part of a $1 billion investment the automaker is making into GM facilities in the U.S. Sources told CNBC the plan for more jobs has been in the works for "some time."

"These are investments and decisions that are good for the business and have been in the works for some time," a GM spokesperson told NBC News, but the announcement shows the automaker is becoming more vocal in publicizing how many Americans it employs.

Despite employing more than 50,000 hourly workers in the U.S., the automaker has been criticized by President-elect Trump for importing Chevy Cruze hatchbacks from an assembly plant in Mexico.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Step up Fight Against Gang Violence in Brentwood]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:09:02 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BRENTWOOD+STILL_WNBC_000000014668327+copy.jpg

Suffolk County Police Lt. Thomas Zagajeski hits the streets with a clear mission: “We want to know everybody who’s a gang member in this community.”

It’s been nearly four months since the murders of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas, and Zagajeski, the commanding officer of the Suffolk County gang unit, is patrolling the streets.

“So right over here we see a marked car. They’re keeping an eye on this area. This is a known MS-13 hangout,” Zagajeski said.

Police believe the deaths of five teens are connected to the MS-13 gang. Along with Mickens and Cuevas, the bodies of Jose Pena-Hernandez , 18, Oscar Acosta, 19, and Miguel Garcia-Moran, 15, were also found throughout Brentwood over a six-week period in September and October of last year. 

Zagajeski says increased patrols around gang hot-spots have been crucial as police work to curb the gang's influence.

If police see a young teen out during the school day and suspect he has gang ties based on clothing or tattoos, they will interview him to see who he associates with and to gather any intelligence.

The increased presence is most visible outside Brentwood High School, where Zagajeski says gang members prey on students.

“There’s a lot of MS-13 that try to weave their way into the mix of dismissal, to try to approach kids and try to recruit them,” Zagajeski said.

One woman who was nearly roped into a gang talked about the violence she witnessed.

"The worst thing is probably when they have a problem with someone and they automatically don’t even think of much,” she said. “(They) just go for their weapons and go shoot the closest place they could find to where this person can be.”

Zagajeski said his team has been focused on individual gang members. Officers are assigned to a few members to track. Each day, they see where they are and who they’re talking with.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said 90 MS-13 gang members have been arrested since the death of Mickens and Cuevas. Seven of them are facing federal RICO charges. There’s been no announcement of murder charges yet.

Sini said that the investigation into the teens’ deaths is still very active and that he’s optimistic that police will be successful in finding those responsible.

“It would be impossible for them not to feel the pressure, we have so much on them right now,” he said.

<![CDATA[Hairstylist Faints Outside Midtown Shop, Hit by Fleeing Van]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:32:26 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/VILLEDA+HIT+AND+RUN+MN+BROLL+SOUND+-+15135623_WNBC_000000014664+copy.jpg

A hairstylist on a cigarette break fainted and fell into traffic outside the midtown hair salon where he works Monday morning, and was hit by a van that fled the scene, police say.

The 51-year-old hairstylist, Luis Melendez, had stepped out of the salon on West 35th Street near 7th Avenue at about 11:30 a.m., co-workers told NBC 4 New York. He was having a cigarette with a customer when he got dizzy and passed out. 

A black van hit the man and took off, police said. Witnesses described a bloody scene.

"When I saw the guy on the ground, he looked like he smashed his face on the ground," said Jimmy King. "He looked like he was in bad shape. There was a lot of blood." 

Melendez was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition.

King said the victim apparently stumbled into the street as he fainted, and it's possible the van driver didn't realize what happened: "Maybe he doesn't even know he hit him." 

Melendez's co-workers described him as bubbly and an energetic, hard worker, and say he had been working there for less than a year. 

His ex-wife, who was visiting him at the hospital Monday night, told NBC 4 New York in Spanish that Melendez will have to undergo reconstructive surgery, having broken every bone in his face.

Police are looking for the driver of the van, described as a black Ford Econoline conversion van. 

<![CDATA[Why Trump's Attack on John Lewis Resonated]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:22:03 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/John-Lewis-Book-Award.png

The timing was particularly unfortunate: As Americans prepared to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., President-elect Donald Trump tore into one of the civil rights movement's most iconic figures.

Trump — who drew only 8 percent of the black vote in the general election last November — appeared to hit a new low in his already fraught relationship with the black community, NBC News reported.

"Trump's attack on John Lewis is particularly infuriating because it shows an ignorance of history, and an utter disdain for a man who risked his life for the greater good, to make America better," said writer and commentator David A. Love. "Like Dr. [Martin Luther King, Jr.,] this man is one of our role models."

On Monday, Trump met Martin Luther King III to commemorate the holiday honoring the man's father. But following a political career that began with a discredited crusade to question the first African-American president's citizenship, a presidential campaign where he broadly depicting black communities as imperiled and hopeless, and a presidential transition which has featured only one African-American cabinet nominee (Dr. Ben Carson), Trump may have a lot more work to do to find common ground with the black community.

Photo Credit: National Book Foundation ]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Takes Aim at Automakers in Germany, Canada]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:23:55 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP926802310772.jpg

Already taking aim at Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump is now warning he might enact a 35 percent "border tax" on Canadian and German automobile imports, NBC News reported.

"You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax," Trump told the German newspaper Bild, in an interview published Monday.

"In the long term, the United States would be shooting itself in the foot by imposing tariffs or other trade barriers," said Matthias Wissmann, president of the German automotive industry association VDA.

Trump specifically focused on BMW, noting that it is building a plant in Mexico that would produce vehicles for the U.S. market. But BMW would not be alone among German automakers. Audi last year opened a Mexican plant that is now the sole global source for the newly redesigned Q5 sport-utility vehicle. And Mercedes-Benz is preparing to set up a joint venture with Nissan's Infiniti brand in the Mexican city of Aguascalientes, where it will produce some of its new entry-luxury models.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[$52M Refund for Those Who Bought Milk in 15 States, DC]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:50:12 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/88162528-Milk-cow-generic.jpg

Anyone who purchased milk from a grocery store in 15 states or the District of Columbia in the last 14 years can claim part of a more-than $50 million legal settlement from the National Milk Producers Federation.

An antitrust lawsuit alleged that members of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) prematurely slaughtered cows to limit production of milk and drive up prices. Created by the federation in 2003, the CWT is a group of American dairy farmers, including Dairy Farmers of American, Land O' Lakes, Dairylea Cooperative and Agri-Mark.

According to a settlement posted on the website Bought Milk, the CWT has denied all allegations. 

However, the $52 million settlement allows any individual or entity who resides in 15 states and Washington, D.C., who bought milk or milk products since 2003 to apply to be a class member until Jan. 31. The Bought Milk site says individuals who are eligible may receive a payment of between $10 to $20.

Claims can be filed here

Along with the District of Columbia, the states included in the settlement are:

New Hampshire
South Dakota
West Virginia

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Brother Killed in Newark Shooting, Sister in Hospital: Pros.]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:57:46 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police+tape.PNG

A man and his sister were shot while walking in Newark Monday afternoon, and the brother was killed on the scene, authorities say. 

The 25-year-old man, Tony Branch, and his 23-year-old sister were walking on the 100 block of Seymour Avenue when they were shot at about 4 p.m., Essex County prosecutors say. 

Branch was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. His sister, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital where she was admitted in stable condition.

Prosecutors and Newark police detectives are investigating. 

<![CDATA[Thief Targeting NYC Gym-Locker Users: NYPD]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:26:18 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nysc+gym+locker+thefts.jpg

Police are looking for a man who's been breaking into gym lockers at New York Sports Club locations across Manhattan since last fall. 

The suspect has stolen valuables in the 15 times he broke into the gym lockers, including three times at an NYSC gym on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, according to police. He went twice to the gym on West 14th Street, making off with an iPad, MacBook and credit card.

Police say it's not clear if the suspect is a member of the gym. 

In some cases, police believe the thief has used a tool to cut through metal locks. In other cases, it's still a mystery how he's managed to break in.

But police say in a small number of cases, he doesn't have to work very hard -- he grabs shoes and credit cards from lockers left unlocked. 

In a statement, the company said, "The safety and security of our members and guests is our top priority, and NYSC stands ready to assist authorities in every way possible in any investigation." 

Police say the following thefts at NYSC locations have been linked to the suspect:


  • Friday, Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at 1221 Sixth Ave.
  • Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. at 113 East 23rd St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8 at 12:45 p.m. at 225 Varick St.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m., at 1372 Broadway
  • Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at 200 Park Ave.
  • Friday, Nov. 18 at 6:15 p.m. at 128 8th Ave.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. at 128 8th Ave. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. at 34 West 14th St.
  • Monday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m at 225 Varick St.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 12:30 p.m. at 230 West 41st St.
  • Friday, Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m. at 34A West 14th St.
  • Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at 230 West 41st St. 
  • Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. at 34 West 14th St.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. at 1221 Avenue of the Americas
  • Thursday, Jan. 5 at 6:15 p.m. at 128 8th Ave.


Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stopper at nypdcrimestoppers.com. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4/NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[American Shot in Istanbul ID'd]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:20:01 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/William+Jacob+Raak_21997574.jpg

A Delaware business owner celebrating New Year's Eve in Istanbul said he survived a massacre at a nightclub there by playing dead after being shot in the leg. 

"I was shot on the ground," William Jacob Raak told NBC News. "He was walking on a bench above my head." 

Raak, who goes by the name Jake, said that he didn't move after being wounded. 

"I just let him shoot me," Raak said. "You just have to stay as calm as you can ... I took a bullet." 

The Islamic State group on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack at the Reina club which killed 39 people and wounded nearly 70. The group described Turkey as "the servant of the cross" and also suggested it was in retaliation for Turkish military offensives against ISIS, The Associated Press reported. 

Raak, who lives in Greenville and is originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was visiting Istanbul with his friends, his brother Michael told NBC10 Philadelphia. Raak is the only U.S. citizen confirmed to be injured in the shooting so far, according to the State Department. 

He was one of the estimated 600 people celebrating New Year’s at the popular nightclub around 1:15 a.m. Sunday -- getting bottle service in the VIP section -- when a man armed with a long-barreled weapon shot and killed a civilian and policeman, then entered the club and opened fire. 

"I was shot in the f****** leg man," Raak said while being carted off into an ambulance in a video obtained by NBC News. "These crazy people came in shooting everything!" 

Raak later calmly spoke from the hospital.

"Somebody said that there were shots fired and I initially did not believe it until I saw the gunman and he started shooting up the whole place," Raak told NBC News. 

Raak’s brother, Michael Raak, who lives in South Philadelphia, told NBC10 his brother had just celebrated his 35th birthday in Istanbul four days prior to the shooting. Michael received a phone call from his brother around 7:30 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve after the attack took place. 

"We were setting up for New Year’s and then I got the phone call," Michael Raak said. 

Michael Raak told NBC10 his brother’s cellphone likely saved him from a more serious injury.

"When he got shot the bullet hit his phone," Michael told NBC10. "It went from his hip to his knee but the bullet didn’t hit any major arteries." 

Raak called himself "the luckiest person in the whole thing" considering he was surrounded by dying people.

Doctors removed the bullet, Raak said. 

Jake Raak was discharged from the hospital and returned home Monday evening.

"Everyone’s just happy he’s alive and getting home pretty quickly," Michael said. 

Raak’s friend, who is from Dubai, was also shot in the shoulder during the attack but is expected to recover.

Turkish police detained eight people in connection with the attack but continued to search for the gunman on Monday, the AP reported.  

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Cops Look for Person Who Shattered NYPD Patrol Car Window]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:14:56 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/188-17+75+SQd+Crim+Mis+1-16-17+photo+3+copy.jpg

Police are looking for whoever shattered the window of a marked NYPD patrol car in Brooklyn Monday. 

Police say the patrol car was parked on the side of 215 Wortman Ave. in East New York when someone threw an object at the front passenger window, shattering it, at about 3 a.m.

No one was inside the car, police said. 

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

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[4th Pedestrian Killed on NJ Roadway in 5 Months]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:32:00 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MAXFIELD+FATAL+PEDESTRIAN+STRUCK+NJ+5P+PKG+-+16361902_WNBC_0000.jpg

A young man was struck and killed while crossing Route 22 in Bridgewater, New Jersey Sunday night, police say, marking the fourth pedestrian death on the stretch of road in the last five months.

The victim in Sunday's incident has not been identified, but police say he was between 20 and 30 years old. He was in the center lane of traffic when he was struck, police said. The driver in the crash has not been charged. 

The three other young people recently killed on the same roadway were also struck while walking on a one-mile stretch of Route 22 West. 

"It's a horrible road," said Dylan Ahlert, who frequently drives there. He noted the speed limit says 55 mph, but he knows people are going faster than that, especially when they've just exited I-287, a larger highway with a 65 mph speed limit. 

"I own a business in town, we go down here constantly, the traffic is horrible," he said. 

Making matters worse, there are restaurants, car dealers and gas stations on both sides of the highway, people complain. On the three-lane highway, drivers are constantly merging and exiting on the left and right. 

"It's a lot of traffic, and people aren't paying attention," said Mike Anastasi, the owner of Bridgewater Diner, near where three of the people were killed. "It's been happening, and it's going to happen again if they don't do anything about it." 

Despite the string of pedestrian deaths, the owner of a nearby gas station says he still sees people continue to walk across the highway. 

"It's very dangerous," said Bakshish Kumar of Valero gas station. "It takes 20 to 30 minutes to cross the highway. You have to cross three lanes of busy traffic. And they run."

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has promised to make the section of Route 22 safer for both drivers and pedestrians, with better lighting and wider shoulders for cars getting on and off the highway. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Vandals Target Home of Pastor Who Opposes Mosque in NJ]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 06:59:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/THOMPSON+PASTOR+HOME+VANDALIZED+NJ+PKG+500+-+00001605_WNBC_0000.jpg Some speculate the vandalism may have stemmed from Pastor John Brasile's opposition to a proposed mosque. Brian Thompson reports]]> <![CDATA[Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band Ditches Trump Inauguration ]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:46:01 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/Bruce_Springsteen1.jpg

The B Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band from New Jersey, has announced it is withdrawing from performing at Donald Trump's inauguration gala.

The band announced its withdrawal from the event on its Facebook page Monday afternoon, citing its respect for Bruce himself.

"With deepest apologies to our fans and the New Jersey Inaugural Ball committee, the B Street Band is withdrawing from performing at this year's inauguration Gala," it said.

"Our decision is based solely on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band."

"The Boss" is a high profile Democrat who appeared with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

In a recent interview he questioned whether the president-elect was ready to take office.

During the interview on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast, Springsteen said he questioned whether Trump "is simply competent enough to do this particular job."

The B Street Band said it would not exist without the talents of Springsteen and his primary backing band the E Street Band, and it looked forward to performing their music for years to come.

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Masked Gunman Attacks Woman Waiting in Car: Police]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:48:22 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ALIYU+WOMEN+ATTCKED+WC++-+15263209_WNBC_000000014663395.jpg

A masked gunman entered a woman's car as she was waiting for a friend in Westchester, and pulled her into the backseat before her friend showed up and scared him off, police say. 

Police say it happened Thursday night outside a home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Yonkers. The 19-year-old victim told police a man wearing all black and a ski mask hopped into her car, pulled out a gun and pulled her into the back, authorities say.

"The girl, 19 years old, was screaming and yelling, the other girl as well," said Gloria Aramayo, who lives with the victim and ran out when she heard the commotion. "He tried to rape her and [said] to 'pull out your pants.'"

People living in nearby Scarsdale fear the attacker may be the same man who tried to rob a woman in her driveway just 30 minutes earlier on the same night. The victim in that case told NBC 4 New York the attacker tried to rip off her wedding ring. She yelled to her husband inside the home, and the attacker took off. 

Neighbor Nan Winson said, "My neighbor called me to tell me I should be careful, that something happened and there are police all over the place nad a helicopter." 

Wendy Majdanski was still worried Monday.

"We are so close to the traion, we are close to the parkway, so things like that worry me, that people could just zoom off -- do something and is back off on the parkway," she said. "But it's a quiet neighborhood, nothing like this has happened, and I lived here over 20 years. It's shocking, really." 

Police are looking into the similarities of the attacks but have not yet linked the two. In the meantime, police have increased patrols in both Yonkers and Scarsdale. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Transport Workers Union and MTA Reach 11th Hour Deal]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:21:54 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-578053016_edited-1.jpg

The MTA has reached a "tentative" deal with the Transport Workers Union after the deadline for contract negotiations expired overnight. 

Sources told NBC 4 New York that negotiations for the contracts of the employees who work on the MTA trains and subway lines went until 3 a.m. Monday.

They resumed later in the morning, and by midday the two had found enough common ground to announce a deal.

President of the Transport Worker's Union John Samuelsen said the tentative contract covered 36,000 workers, and sources tell NBC 4 New York raises are 2.5 percent.

The raises were a point of contention with the MTA not wanting to budge above the 2 percent pay rise mark.

Samuelsen said it was a two-and-a-half year deal that included cash bonuses for some, bigger raises for drivers of articulated buses and new protections for the 5,000 female employees of the company.

The protections include new changing rooms and breastfeeding stations.

The contract is set to go to the executive board meeting Tuesday morning. Employees would then vote on the contract within two weeks. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Black Vietnam Veterans Reflect on MLK's Anti-War Stance]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:17:35 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/IMG_06491.JPG

Martin Luther King, Jr. will be honored as one of the fathers of the civil rights movement on Monday. Many will focus on Selma or the Montgomery bus boycott, and not his opposition to the Vietnam War, as they celebrate his legacy. But for him, it was all part of the same battle.

Milton McIntyre sat in a room at the ACES Museum in Philadelphia before the holiday, surrounded by vintage wartime memorabilia that commemorated the service of black soldiers. When he talked about the friends he lost in Vietnam, his voice cracked and his eyes welled with tears. The 79-year-old remembered a time when human rights were being challenged both abroad and at home.

Asked about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s unpopular view opposing the Vietnam War, he said that when King branched out beyond civil rights to address other movements, he believed that placed a target on King’s back that led to his assassination.

“I think he was becoming more and more aware that the problem was more than that of a civil issue,” McIntyre said. “It was sort of a global issue. The wars that they were sending us off to were being fought against people who looked like us.”

Near the end of King's life, the civil rights leader drew connections between inequality and factors other than race, like economics. He noticed how poor Americans, many of whom were minorities, were disproportionately affected by the Vietnam War.

Nearly 50 years ago, on April 4, 1967, 3,000 people gathered at Riverside Church in upper Manhattan to hear King speak at a Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam event. His words would go down in history as some of his most powerful when he decried the government throwing resources into the Vietnam War while ignoring poverty at home. 

“We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem,” King said. “And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools.”


The now acclaimed 1967 speech was one of many times King spoke out against American involvement in Vietnam, both publicly and privately. Harvey Cox, a former professor at Harvard Divinity School and a friend of King’s, remembered when at a meeting of the board of advisers for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King suggested that he might take a page from Mahatma Gandhi’s book and fast to protest the bombings in North Vietnam.

“He was thinking of fasting until they stopped the bombing, which might have meant a long time,” Cox said.

Even many of King's allies did not support a shift in priority from civil rights to the peace movement, and could not appreciate their nexus. Lyndon B. Johnson was distraught over King's opposition to a war he was determined to win, and the media criticized King for merging domestic and international matters. 

“There are no simple or easy answers to the war in Vietnam or to racial injustice in this country," wrote the editors of The New York Times. "Linking these hard, complex problems will lead not to solutions but to deeper confusion.”

But American intervention in Vietnam was a civil rights issue. Between October 1966 and June 1969, 41 percent of draftees were black, though only 11 percent of Americans were of African descent. Twenty-two percent of the 58,000 soldiers who died over the course of the war were African American.

At the then predominately black Edison High School in Philadelphia, 54 alumni died in Vietnam, the highest casualty rate nationwide at a high school. Reverend Sharon McClan was a teenager then, and she remembered how shocked everyone was as Edison students returned in body bags, including her friends’ older brothers.

“It really hit me really strong because… some of the brothers I knew,” she said. “And then (in) ’70 and ’71, they were dead. And that’s when I said, ‘Boy, this is a war.’ They were calling it a conflict. I said, ‘This is no conflict. It’s a war. It’s a war. People are dying.'”

When Cox traveled to Europe as part of the Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam to visit soldiers who had gone AWOL, he met a 19-year-old black man who had chosen exile over combat.

“He said that his father was a veteran of World War II, and this guy I think was in the Army,” Cox recalled. “He talked to his father, and with his father he decided that he simply wasn’t going to go to Vietnam. It was an unjust war. It was killing people of color.

“He told his unit he was not going to show up,” Cox continued. “He received a telegram that said that he should report to a certain place, I think a port in Los Angeles, and he would be transported in irons as a prisoner to Vietnam and forced to join his unit. His father looked at the telegram and said ‘no, the white people have kept us in chains too long. They’re not going to keep my son in chains.’”

Cox’s example was not the norm. Most black men did not resist the draft, and many actively chose to defend their country. Herbert Sweat thought that key to his manhood would be earning his wings after five jumps at Fort Benning, Georgia. His father, uncles, brothers, grandfather, and great uncles had all served in the military, and a paratrooper uniform was part of the family wardrobe. But when he enlisted out of high school in the 1960s, it was about more than continuing a tradition.

“Going in the war wasn’t only a legacy then, or a passage of rights, but again it was to prove myself to be equal and even Americanized,” Sweat said. “Like any other man, you’re supposed to fight for your country.”

After joining up, black troops found themselves in daunting situations on southern bases. Originally from Philadelphia, McIntyre traveled down to Fort Jackson in South Carolina to get his equipment, then loaded onto a military bus to Fort Benning with other recruits.

“We were going down through a pine forest out of which a highway had been cut, and when we reached the border between South Carolina and Georgia there was a big sign board that said ‘Welcome to Georgia, Knights of the KKK,’” McIntyre remembered. “I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m in the Army and I’m on my way to fight for freedom and justice for people I don’t know. And I’ve been welcomed to Georgia by the knights of the KKK.’”

While soldiers waited for deployment to Vietnam and its surroundings, civil rights activists were staging sit-ins, bus rides, and other peaceful protests. But black G.I.s were urged to think hard before exercising their First Amendment rights.

“As soldiers, sometimes you got punished doubly… if you got in trouble with the law in the town because you protested against segregation and second class treatment,” McIntyre said. “When they released you from jail, you got punished at the Army post as well because you brought dishonor."

"Racism —it was just part of life, it was just part of the culture," he added. "It was no big deal.”

“But when you go into the war, you got to protect each other’s back,” interjected Monroe Handy, another Philadelphian who was stationed in Hawaii and deployed to Laos between 1962 and 1963. “And no matter how much racism you got, you tried not to look at it.”

Overseas, black soldiers were assigned to more dangerous positions than their white, upper-class counterparts. “You thought about that, but you didn’t speak of it,” Handy said. “More or less you had a place and you stayed in it.”

"People of color were still being used as the forebrothers into the worst of job sites," Sweat said. "You would think, ‘I would love to have been a secretary, or an administrative worker,’ where we were on some kind of fire support base, or some kind of rear echelon base." 

As a veteran service officer and a board member at Black Veterans for Social Justice in New York, Sweat often speaks to other minority veterans who served in more recent conflicts, like Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They will tell you that even to this day it’s still what’s going on out here in our world,” he said. “There’s still a lot of racism. There’s still a lot of discrimination. There’s still a lot of oppressing the people of color.”

Sweat says he’s keeping a cautious eye on the Black Lives Matter movement to further the work of civil rights advocates like King. 

“When I see a Black Lives movement, these are my children, I feel,” he said. “Do I support them? Of course I do.”

Photo Credit: Alexandra Villarreal
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<![CDATA[Wife of Orlando Mass Shooting Gunman Arrested in California]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 06:51:35 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/noor_blurred.jpg

The wife of Orlando mass shooting gunman Omar Mateen was arrested on Monday in the San Francisco Bay Area in connection to helping her now-dead husband, thought to be behind the country's deadliest gun massacre this summer.

The New York Times first reported, citing a law enforcement official, that 30-year-old Noor Salman was arrested at her family's home outside San Francisco in connection with the June 2016 attack at at the Pulse nightclub.

Orlando police later clarified that she was arrested on charges of aiding and abetting by providing material support to a terrorist organization and obstruction of justice. In June, a source close to the family told NBC News that Mateen sent his wife a text message during the rampage, asking her, "Do you see what's happening?" After swapping texts, she tried to call him.

NBC Bay Area obtained exclusive surveillance footage taken in the neighborhood of the moments before her arrest. The black-and-white video shot at 7:36 a.m. Monday shows two Alameda County sheriff's deputies standing on the sidewalk as at least three men in plain clothes walk by quickly on the sidewalk.

The case is being handled by the U.S. Central District Court in Florida. Neither charging documents nor federal affidavits were online on Monday.

Alameda County jail records, however, show Salman was being held on a witness tampering "etc." charge. Online records indicate she was arrested Monday at 8:13 a.m. and was being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.

Before heading to Florida, Salman is expected to appear in federal court in Oakland on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

"I am glad to see that Omar Mateen's wife has been charged with aiding her husband in the commission of the brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a tweet. "Federal authorities have been working tirelessly on this case for more than seven months and we are grateful that they have seen to it that some measure of justice will be served in this act of terror that has affected our community so deeply."

Salman's relative declined through a screen door to comment when a reporter knocked on her home in Rodeo, California, on Monday morning. Neighbors told NBC Bay Area that the family didn't appear to be at home on Sunday, and there was no sign of police presence on Monday morning.

"I'm not really surprised because I felt like something might transpire," neighbor Catherine Lawrence said. "If she was connected with this guy, then she may have known more than what she was saying."

Forty nine people were killed and 53 wounded in the June 12 attack at the Orlando gay nightclub. Mateen, who pledged allegiance to ISIS during the attack, was killed in a firefight with police.  

Salman told the Times in an interview in November that she was "unaware of everything."

“I don’t condone what he has done," she said then. "I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people.”

Since the massacre, Salman was said to have been cooperating with the FBI.

Salman's parents live in Rodeo, California, and the FBI has previously visited that location to interview her, NBC News reported. Rodeo is a small city, with a population of 8,600, in Contra Costa County near the San Pablo Bay — about 45 minutes from San Francisco.

Her mother’s neighbors in Rodeo have told NBC Bay Area that Salman was the daughter of Ekbal Zahi and Bassam Abdallah Salman, who died of a heart attack several years ago. The couple has three other daughters — the youngest is 14. Salman's mother still lives at the home with her youngest but has not spoken out publicly about the shooting.

According to neighbors, Salman attended John Swett High School in nearby Crockett, California.

Salman married Mateen, neighbors said, and moved to Florida about five years ago.

Salman has a 4-year-old child and has filed court documents to change the boy's name. A hearing is scheduled for February. 

NBC News' Andrew Blankstein and NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez, Pete Suratos and Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Meets King's Son on MLK Day ]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:16:48 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TRUMP+TOWER+MONDAY+FEED+PT5+-+13541928_WNBC_000000014662364.jpg

The son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says he had a "very constructive" meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on the holiday marking King's life.

Martin Luther King III played down Trump's recent claim that Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, was "all talk." He told reporters at Trump Tower on Monday that in the heat of emotion, "a lot of things get said on both sides."

King says the focus of his meeting with Trump was to improve voter participation and stress the need to bring America together.

He says Trump assured him it's his intent to reach out to all Americans, even those who did not support him.

Trump briefly appeared with King after their nearly hour-long meeting but ignored reporters' questions.

<![CDATA[Pulse Gunman's Wife Arrested]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:52:14 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PulseWife0116_MP4-148460422262600001.jpg The FBI has arrested the wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen. Noor Salman was taken into custody in San Francisco. Salman is charged with aiding and abetting by providing material support to a terrorist organization and obstruction of justice, Orlando police said.]]> <![CDATA[Massive Gator Spotted in Nature Preserve in Florida]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:26:00 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/011617+massive+gator+lakeland.jpg

Footage of an alligator that looks almost too massive to be real was posted to the Lakeland Police's Facebook page Monday.

According to the post, Kim Joiner was taking an afternoon stroll Sunday in the Circle B Bar Reserve when the gator was spotted.

The big gator is seen lumbering across a grassy path as a group of spectators take photos.

Lakeland Police told NBC 6 that the gator is real.

Photo Credit: Lakeland Police Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Crowd Sings 'We Shall Overcome' at MLK Memorial]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:51:36 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017418217_1200x675_855830083795.jpg Thousands of people across the country paid homage Monday to Martin Luther King Jr. At a wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the crowd sang "We Shall Overcome" after walking the wreath to an area in front of the statue. ]]> <![CDATA[Child Suffers Broken Leg in School Bus v. NJT Bus Crash]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:43:45 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CHOPPER+FEED+930A+bus+accident+nj+-+09453423_WNBC_0000000146579.jpg

A school bus rear-ended a NJ Transit bus in East Brunswick Monday morning, injuring a child on the school bus and four passengers on the NJ Transit bus, officials say. 

The NJ Transit commuter bus was stopped on Route 18 near Eggers Street, picking up passengers just before 9 a.m., when the Kensington Company school bus hit it, East Brunswick police say. 

A child on the school bus suffered a broken leg and cuts as a result of the crash, police said. Four passengers on the NJ Transit bus were treated for minor injuries and pain.

Police are investigating. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police at 732-390-6969.

<![CDATA[Rep. John Lewis Speaks at Miami Event Amid Trump Controversy]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:35:17 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-157149351.jpg

Congressman John Lewis, speaking in South Florida Monday, recalled his civil rights struggles alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., and called for Americans of all backgrounds to "look out for each other."

Lewis, who has served in Congress for three decades after working for years to end racial segregation, delivered the keynote speech for the city of Miami's MLK Day breakfast.

"We all must become participate in the democratic process," he said. "When you get old enough to register to vote go and register to vote. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent instrument or tool in a democratic society and we must use it."

Lewis was one of the organizers of 1963’s March on Washington, where King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He was involved in working closely with leaders such as King, Rosa Parks and James Farmer among others.

The Miami appearance came days after a firestorm erupted over comments he made regarding President-elect Donald Trump. On Friday, Lewis sat down with NBC’s Chuck Todd and questioned Trump’s legitimacy as president, adding that he plans to join with other Democrats in boycotting Trump’s inauguration.

The president-elect responded to the comments on Twitter, saying in part that Lewis should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to Mention crime infested)."

Trump's comments, which also dismissed the civil rights icon as a man of "all talk" and "no action," have been condemned by some members of both parties.

Lewis did not address Trump by name on Monday.

Instead he talked about his experience growing up poor in rural Alabama and learning how to preach by talking to chickens on his family's farm.

"They tended to listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me in the Congress," he joked.

Lewis also talked about his experiences fighting for civil rights alongside King and of being beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

He described meeting with one of his attackers years later, who came to apologize with his son.

"I said, 'Sir I accept your apology. I forgive you," Lewis recalled of the former Klan member. "His son started crying. He started crying. They hugged me. I hugged them back."

Lewis referenced King in saying that he has learned that "hate is too heavy a burden to bear."

"We must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way," he said.

But Lewis added that people have a "moral obligation to do something" about injustice and "not be quiet."

At the breakfast, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he wished Lewis would reconsider his boycott of Trump's inauguration and attend. But he was also critical of Trump's response.

"I don't agree with him (Rep. Lewis) that it's an illegitimate result, but I do believe, as I said in the middle of the campaign in October, that foreign intelligence agencies and a foreign government wanted to influence public opinion in America and create chaos and instability in our electoral process. Of that I have no doubt," Rubio said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Smithsonian Mag]]>
<![CDATA[5 Killed in Nightclub Shooting at Mexican Resort: Police]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:44:40 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_17016534667693.jpg

A shooting attack at an electronic music festival in Mexico's Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen on Monday left five people dead, including two Canadians, an Italian and a Colombian, authorities said.

The attorney general of Quintana Roo state said that several of the dead appear to have been part of the security detail at the 10-day BPM electronic music festival.

Miguel Angel Pech said the shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m. at the Blue Parrot nightclub, one of the BPM Festival's venues in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun.

Pech said a lone gunman apparently entered the nightclub and began to exchange fire with another person inside. Festival security personnel tried to stop the shooting and came under fire.

Pech said it was not any kind of terrorist attack.

But the shooting apparently caused a rush of people heading for the exits at the beach-side club, and the lone female victim was apparently killed during the stampede.

Pech said 15 people were injured, one seriously. He said five of the injured had been treated for less serious injuries at local hospitals and released.

He said three people had been detained nearby, but it was unclear if they had been involved in the shooting.

Rodolfo Del Angel, director of police in the state of Quintana Roo, told the Milenio TV station that he shooting was the result of "a disagreement between people inside" the nightclub and said security guards had come under fire when they tried to contain the dispute.

The BPM Festival posted a statement saying four people had been killed and 12 injured in an attack that involved "a lone shooter."

BPM wrote that "the violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue."

Playa del Carmen has largely been spared the violence that has hit other parts of Mexico.

Canadian officials could not immediately confirm if any of their citizens were among the victims in the shooting.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Honors Victorious Cubs: 'Took You Long Enough']]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:09:52 -0500 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631831536.jpg

Coming from a Chicago White Sox fan, it may have seemed like President Barack Obama's comments at the White House Monday were proof he has been converted to North Side fandom -- and the Cubs certainly thought so.

"Do know, that among Sox fans, I am the Cubs' number one fan," Obama said as he honored the World Series Champions. 

The visit marked the last event to be held at the White House during Obama's preidency, he said. 

"I will say to the Cubs it took you long enough," Obama said. "I've only got four days left."

Though he may pledge allegiance to the team's longtime rivals, even Obama had to admit he was swept away by the Cubs' 2016 season.

"Even I was not crazy enough to suggest that during these eight years we would see the Cubs win the World Series, but I did say that there has never been anything false about hope," Obama said. "Hope -- the audacity of hope. Yes we can."

In a speech that was saturated with funny anecdotes and sincere appreciation, Obama noted that this World Series win may have meant more to fans than ever before.

"The truth is there was a reason not just that people felt good about the Cubs winning, there was something about this particular Cubs team winning that people felt good about," he said before honoring each player for their achievements in the historic season that ended a 108-year drought. 

In describing what was "widely considered one of the greatest Game 7's of all time," Obama ran through a play-by-play of the gut-wrenching moments that had Cubs fans on the edge of their seats that fateful November night. 
"Suddenly everything has changed," Obama said. "No more black cats, billy goats, ghosts, flubbed grounders – the Chicago Cubs are the champs."

Even though he made sure to honor the World Series champs themselves, he also noted the baseball legends who have made history with the team over the last century. Some of those players were also in attendance Monday, including Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins and Jose Cardenal. 
Monday's visit was slightly unusual, as the reigning World Series champions normally make the traditional White House visit during the following MLB season. The Cubs were hoping to get to Washington, D.C., before Obama left office. Though the president is a White Sox fan, he calls Chicago home and rooted for the North Siders since his team didn't make the playoffs.
"I was in my hometown of Chicago on Tuesday for my farewell address and I said sometimes it’s not enough just to change laws, you’ve got to change hearts and sports has a way of sometimes changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t," Obama noted. 
During the event, Cubs president Theo Epstein first pardoned Obama "for all your indiscretions as a baseball fan" and welcomed him "with open arms today to the Cubs' family." The moment marked what he called a "terrific conversion," celebrated with a series of gifts from the champions to the president himself. 
Among the gifts were two jerseys with the no. 44, shared by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. One jersey read "Chicago Cubs," but the second just read "Chicago," in case the president wasn't yet comfortable with displaying full Cubs pride. 
In addition, the president was given a tile from Wrigley Field's historic center field scoreboard, a W flag signed by the team, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field.  
"We also wanted you to know that as a new fan you have some catching up to do," Epstein said. 

The president invited the Cubs to the White House in a phone call to Joe Maddon following the team's victory, and with the club all assembled in Chicago for this weekend's Cubs Convention, arranging travel to Washington D.C. was a solution that worked out well for the team to see the president.

While the Cubs' visit to the White House comes just days before President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the team will still have a connection to the new administration. Trump has nominated Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary. Ricketts joined his sister, co-owner Laura Ricketts, brother and co-owner Tom Ricketts, and the team at the presidential reception.

The Cubs are the second Chicago team to visit the Obama's White House. The president also hosted the Chicago Blackhawks after their three Stanley Cup championships since 2010. 

After the ceremony, the Cubs were expected to visit patients at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., before returning to Chicago, according to MLB officials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>