<![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-usThu, 20 Jul 2017 20:46:29 -0400Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:46:29 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[NY to DC in 29 Minutes: Musk Gets Go-Ahead for Hyperloop]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:19:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hyperloop+one+1.jpg

New York to Washington in 29 minutes? Elon Musk says it's possible and he has the government's approval to do it (though it's anyone's guess which government or how long it would take to build). 

"Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins," the billionaire inventor and entrepreneur tweeted Thursday afternoon.

"City center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city," he said in another tweet. The Boring Company is Musk's tunneling venture. 

It was not clear which government gave Musk an approval -- and Musk did not answer multiple tweets from people around the world asking him the same. 

"Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly," Musk said about an hour later. 

In a statement to News 4 New York, a Boring Company spokesperson said in a statement that the company has had a number of promising conversations with local, state and federal government officials. 

"With few exceptions, feedback has been very positive and we have received verbal support from key government decision-makers for tunneling plans, including a Hyperloop route from New York to Washington." 

The spokesperson added that the company hopes to "break ground later this year." 

Passengers traveling via Hyperloop would board magnetically levitating pods moved by electric propulsion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation referred inquiries about the project to the White House. The Trump administration acknowledged Musk's tweet while not getting into any specifics about a possible project.

"We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector," a White House spokesman said.

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Representatives for both the New York City and Washington, D.C. mayors said they were unaware of approvals for the project. 

"This is news to City Hall," tweeted Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"This is the first we’ve heard of it, but we can't wait to hear more," said LaToya Foster, spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. 

The D.C. Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to an inquiry. The Federal Transit Administration deferred to the Transportation Department.

In February, Musk tweeted photos from a tunnel in D.C., sparking a flurry of speculation. NBC Washington learned he toured the 2 1/2-mile-long Anacostia River Tunnel and saw the tunnel-boring machine that created it. A spokesman for Musk declined to speak at the time about the purpose of the tour.

SKEPTICS CHALLENGE

Skeptics wasted no time in challenging Musk on the details of his announcement Thursday, including the BBC's Silicon Valley reporter, who asked whether the CEO was announcing prematurely in a bid to drum up support.

"Support would be much appreciated!" he replied. 

In a later response to an inquisitive follower, Musk did say the work on the New York-to-Washington tunnel would run in parallel to an existing project to build tunnels in Los Angeles.

"Then prob LA-SF and a TX loop," he tweeted. He gave no estimate for how long any of these projects would take or what they might cost. 

Musk is best known for his electric car company Tesla and his space venture SpaceX, as well as co-founding PayPal.

The inventor first proposed the Hyperloop electromagnetic tube system in 2013. Earlier this year the California tech company Hyperloop One unveiled a plan for a NY-to-DC system.

Musk's system appeared to be different from theirs, though.

In April, former D.C. Department of Transportation head Gabe Klein said he thinks Hyperloop will happen.

"I think it's going to become a reality," he said. "I think it may take longer than people think to get through all the right-of-way clearances and the sort of government regulations. But I think we are in for a sea change in terms of long-haul transportation."

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<![CDATA[O.J. Simpson Has Been Granted Parole. What Happens Next?]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:16:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/OJParole.jpg

A Nevada parole board voted unanimously Thursday to grant O.J. Simpson’s request for an early release from prison, but this doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a free man.

"Parole is but one step out of the prison gate," Loyola Law School professor and longtime Simpson case commentator Laurie Levenson told NBC News.

Simpson is widely known for his 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. In 2008, the now 70-year-old was sentenced to a minimum nine years in prison for committing an armed heist at a Las Vegas hotel in a botched attempt to recover sports memorabilia from his days as a football star.

After his release from prison, which could be as soon as Oct. 1, Simpson will have to report monthly to a parole officer. He'll also be barred from drinking alcohol and subject to random drug searches and screenings until the terms of his parole end Sept. 29, 2022. 

If Simpson violates the terms of his release, he could be arrested and sent back to prison.



Photo Credit: Jason Bean-Pool / Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Man Is Shattering Storefronts in Midtown: Police]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:45:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BRICK+THROWN+SUSPECT+MN+-+00001920_WNBC_0000000171187581.jpg

Police are searching for the man who has been throwing bricks and other objects into Midtown storefronts.

Video released Thursday by the NYPD shows the man suspected of shattering glass windows or doors at eight or more locations in the neighborhood.

The video from Friday evening shows the man casually walking up to the front of McGee’s Pub at 240 W. 55th St. and chucking a brick through a window.

Police said the man is in his late 20s or early 30s.

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<![CDATA[Support for Sen. John McCain After Cancer Diagnosis]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:38:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Support_for_Sen._John_McCain_After_Cancer_Diagnosis.jpg

Lawmaker of all political stripes expressed support for U.S. Sen. John McCain after he was diagnosed with a potentially devastating form of brain cancer. Kerry Barrett reports.

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<![CDATA[3 Hurt When SUV Hits Woman, Crashes Into Storefront: FDNY]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:22:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SUV+JUMPS+CURP+3+HURT+UPPER+EAST+SIDE.jpg

Three people were injured, one critically, when an out-of-control SUV jumped a curb, hit a woman on the sidewalk and crashed into a storefront on the Upper East Side on Thursday evening, FDNY officials said.

It’s unclear what caused the driver of the SUV to lose control and veer onto a curb before hitting the 41-year-old woman shortly after 5 p.m.

After striking the woman, the SUV plowed into a storefront at Madison Avenue and East 64th Street, where it came to a stop. Vacheron Constantin, a Madison Avenue boutique selling luxury watches, appeared damaged in the crash. 

The woman was listed in critical condition at Cornell Medical Center. The 40-year-old man driving the SUV and a woman in the back of the SUV were also injured. Their conditions weren't immediately known. 

The SUV was crippled in the crash. One of its doors was missing and its hood was crunched in. An overturned mailbox, shatter glass and other debris was on the street nearby. 

An investigation into the crash is ongoing. Multiple witnesses said it looked like the driver was having a seizure during the crash. The SUV does not have NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission plates. 

There was a heavy police and emergency response in the area shortly after the crash. Madison Avenue was shut down at East 64th Street, and East 64th Street was closed between Park and Madison avenues.

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<![CDATA[Man, Woman Found Dead in NY Home: Police]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:29:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

A man and woman were found dead in a home in the Bronx Thursday, authorities said.

Police responded to a call of an unconscious man and woman inside an apartment on Crotona Avenue in Belmont. The 64-year-old man and 47-year-old woman were unresponsive and were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Their identities have not yet been announced.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

The investigation is ongoing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Mother of Four Facing Deportation Seeks Asylum in Conn. Church]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:53:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Nury+Chavarria.jpg

A Norwalk mother who has lived in the United States for 24 years is refusing deportation and won't board a plane back to Guatemala on Thursday. 

Nury Chavarria left her native Guatemala in 1993, when she was 19, and applied for asylum. Her application was denied, but she remained in the U.S., with nothing to go back to at home.

Chavarria is currently seeking asylum at the Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal church in New Haven.

"We have been informed that Nury Chavarria has opted to seek refuge in a local church through sanctuary," Chavarria's former attorney, Sidd Sinha, said.

Sinha said he will continue to represent Chavarria on the Immigrations Custom Enforcement (ICE) portion of her case, however, she is retaining new counsel regarding sanctuary. 

Since 2011, she has had yearly check-ins with immigration officials. Each year she was given the approval to remain in the U.S.

Chavarria said she has no criminal record, works as a housekeeper, and pays taxes. She believed those factors would allow her to remain in the U.S., despite President Donald Trump's administration’s focus on deportations. All that changed at her June check-in, when ICE officials told her in five weeks she would have to pack up her life and leave.

“I told him I’m not a criminal. I’m a mother with four children. They are citizens. USA. I want to stay here to help them and keep my family together,” she said.

ICE issued Chavarria an ankle-monitor to track her movements ahead of her removal. Meanwhile, her 9-year-old daughter has a plea for President Trump.

“Please let my mom stay, because she has four children, and I’m one of themand I really want her to stay,” Hayley Chavarria said.

New Haven attorney Glenn Formica and volunteer activist group Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible have taken on Chavarria's case.

"The current policy doesn’t allow common sense adjudication…. Doesn’t allow them any discretion to say 'Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to force Nury to leave her four children here and become burdens on the state,'" Formica said.

“This is just inhumane. Things have to change. This is not who we are as a people. We have compassion, we care about people,” added Charla Nich of Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible.

NBC Connecticut reached out to ICE on the case, and they released the following statement Monday:

"Nury Chavarria was allowed to voluntarily depart by a federal immigration judge in 1998, and failed to comply, rendering her subject to final order of removal in 1999. In 2010, the agency deferred her removal for one year on humanitarian grounds.

As a current exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed her to remain free from custody while finalizing her timely departure plans. The agency will continue to closely monitor her case to ensure compliance."

Chavarria's request to stay was denied Tuesday.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Wailing Tot Freed From Sweltering Car: Police]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:37:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Heat-Generic-Photo.jpg

A New Jersey toddler was left inside a sweltering car for 20 minutes when her mother accidentally locked her keys inside the vehicle while dropping something off at a friend's home, police say.

The mother was "distraught" when officers arrived at the Nassau Square townhouse complex on Route 17 Thursday morning, South Brunswick police said. 

The mother told police she'd stopped in the complex to drop off something to a friend and thought she left the car running with the air conditioning on, according to police. She walked 10 feet to her friend's front door and returned minutes later. 

That's when she realized the car was turned off and she'd locked her keys inside. 

Her 18-month-old daughter was wailing in a child seat in the back, and by the time police arrived, the child had been inside for 20 minutes and the temperature inside had topped 90 degrees, police said. 

A sergeant broke the back window and immediately got the crying baby out. Officers took her inside the mother's friend's home and cooled her down with water. She was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated.

Police urged residents to be aware of how quickly the inside of a car can heat up in extreme heat. 

"In this heat it will only take minutes for someone left inside a vehicle to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke," South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said. "In this case officers were able to quickly intervene and rescue this child." 

The mother hasn't been charged in the case. 

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<![CDATA[Overheated Subway Rider Falls Onto Tracks in Queens: FDNY]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/subway+track+fall+queensboro+plaza+heat+wave.jpg

A man was seriously injured after he collapsed onto subway tracks in Long Island City amid Thursday’s sizzling temperatures, according to the FDNY.

The man said he was waiting on the platform at Queensboro Plaza when he felt dizzy and fell onto the tracks around 2:30 p.m.

He hit his head in the fall and was bandaged up by firefighters on the platform. 

The FDNY said he was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in serious but stable condition.

Temperatures were in the mid-90s on Thursday afternoon, the second day of the city’s third heat wave of 2017. The humidity was making it feel more like 100 degrees in parts of the tri-state, according to Storm Team 4.

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<![CDATA[Woman Linked to Missing 8-Year-Old Newark Girl Is Charged]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:03:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Rochelle+Baskins.jpg

A woman was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of an 8-year-old girl who went missing in Newark, authorities said.

On July 16, Nevaeh Blaine was reported missing from Bradley Court Housing Community in Newark. Later that night, the girl was found safe at Newark Penn Station with Rochelle Baskins, 51, by concerned citizens.

It wasn't immediately clear why Nevaeh was at Newark Penn Station, nor was it clear how she got there.

The investigation is active and ongoing.




Photo Credit: Essex County Prosecutor's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Wedding Caterer at Famed NYC Park Abruptly Shuts Down]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:30:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Prospect+Park+Boathouse.jpg

A wedding caterer at a famed New York City park has abruptly shut down without any answers, leaving couples scrambling as their weddings approach. 

The Moveable Feast, the exclusive caterer and event planner for Prospect Park Boathouse at the eponymous Brooklyn park, had been planning and collecting deposits on weddings this fall -- until couples started complaining they couldn't get in touch with the company.

Phone numbers listed for the company were disconnected and owner Jackson Berson's cellphone went straight to a full voicemail box, Gothamist reports.

A sign on the door of The Moveable Feast office in Windsor Terrace also reads, "Until further notice, The Moveable Feast is closed. Do not enter this building." 

Gothamist spoke with two couples who say they're each out $12,000 to $13,000 after putting down deposits on weddings in September and October. 

In a statement to News 4, the Prospect Park Alliance said, "We are currently attempting to clarify the status of Moveable Feast, which has successfully catered weddings at the Boathouse for over 20 years. In the meantime, we are working with existing clients of Moveable Feast to connect them with caterers that can accommodate their event."

The Prospect Park Alliance says 29 events that were booked from July 22 through November 11 are affected. 

One of the couples who spoke to Gothamist said they even drove to the caterer's Park Slope office, where a man who identified himself as Berson's father-in-law came told the couple that Berson was in the middle of a divorce and had left his wife and children weeks ago. 



Photo Credit: Prospect Park Alliance]]>
<![CDATA[17-Year-Old Girl Sexually Assaulted in Queens Park: NYPD]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:07:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GEORGE+TEEN+JOGGER+SEX+ASSAULT+QNS+RAW+ELEMENTS+-+16485309_WNBC.jpg

A teenage girl said she was sexually assaulted at a park in Flushing Wednesday, authorities said.

Police responded to a call made from a local hospital about a 17-year-old girl who said she was approached by a stranger while walking inside Colden Park at 10:30 p.m.

The man had a knife and forced her into a heavily wooded section of the park, away from potential witnesses or surveillance cameras, according to police. He then made her perform a sexual act, cops said.

The attacker fled on foot, while the victim walked to the local hospital.

Regular walkers say that many homeless people live in the woods of the park, but no evidence has been found connecting that to the assault.

The NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad is still investigating the incident.

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<![CDATA[Overbudget Amtrak Project Plagued by 'Gross Mismanagement']]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:16:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/amtrak+project.jpg

A plan to upgrade part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor in order to accommodate high speed rail travel was supposed to be completed last month -- but the I-Team has learned the railroad operator is now projecting a finish date of November 2018.

The project price tag has also risen 14 percent, from $450 million to $514 million. 

The high speed rail upgrade was originally funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. It includes the installation of hundreds of catenary structures to support new overhead electrical wiring along a 23 mile stretch of the rails between Trenton and New Brunswick. 

A 2015 report from the Amtrak Office of the Inspector General found “the program’s cost and schedule problems are directly attributable to weaknesses in program management and oversight." 

The same report found "gross mismanagement of funds and resources" by a previous manager on the high speed rail project. 

"Clearly it did not get off to the great start that we would have preferred," said Scot Naparstek, Amtrak's chief operating officer. "The launch of the project would have been very different today."

Since the OIG report, Amtrak has made sweeping changes to the way it oversees capital construction projects, including hiring Sarina Arcari, an accomplished program manager who now monitors all major construction efforts and looks for ways to make them more efficient. 

“We took that OIG report on project management very seriously,” said Arcari. “Amtrak came after me hard. I was not looking for a job. They came after me because I am an award-winning Project Management Institute project management office leader.” 

Despite efforts to get the high speed rail project back on track, the delays raise concerns about Amtrak’s ability to complete other capital upgrades on time and on budget -- including the rebuilding of tracks in New York's Penn Station this summer. 

Martin Robins, Director emeritus of the Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center, said the Penn Station track renewal is too important a project to fail. But he did express concern about Amtrak’s overall track record on repairs. 

"If you look at the record of Amtrak on other projects, capital projects, it is really quite mixed,” said Robins. "There is obviously built-in worry at Amtrak that they have not built an engineering team that is up to what can be a massive task." 

Robins suggested Amtrak should cede some control of its capital and maintenance efforts and allow commuter railroads NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road to play a bigger role in carrying out big track projects. 

But Amtrak points to other capital projects that have played out more smoothly than the high speed rail upgrade. 

Last month, the rail operator successfully launched a second track between Albany and Schenectady -- on time and on budget. Amtrak says the building of another new track between Hartford, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts, is going according to plan. 

Charles “Wick” Moorman, co-CEO of Amtrak, said commuters should have complete confidence that the mismanagement that befell the high speed rail upgrade in New Jersey will not spread to the renewal of Penn this summer. 

"I don't think that what happened with New Jersey High Speed Rail has any correlation at all to what we're doing with Penn,” Moorman said.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Powerful Storms Develop Amid Sizzling Heat, Take Aim at NYC]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:55:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/storm+update.gif

A large complex of thunderstorms developed in central New York state Thursday afternoon as temperatures soared into the 90s for the second straight day, and they're heading for New York City and the surrounding suburbs, meteorologists say.

Forecasters had said earlier Thursday there was a slight chance for pop-up storms, but that risk increased dramatically by early afternoon. According to Storm Team 4, the line of strong storms could bring heavy downpours, damaging winds, large hail and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.


The storms moved into the suburbs north and west of the city Thursday evening and are expected to hit New York City shortly after 8 p.m. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for New York City, parts of the Hudson Valley and Nassau County until 10 p.m.

Storm Team 4 says the storms will weaken as they approach Long Island and the Jersey Shore later in the evening, but some could still be strong.

Any severe weather is not expected to be widespread, Storm Team 4 says. Get the latest severe alerts for your area here.

New York City is in the middle of its third heat wave of 2017, and forecasters had anticipated Thursday would be the most oppressive of the days-long stretch.

Temperatures had soared above 90 degrees across much of the region by early afternoon, with a sizzling 96 degrees recorded at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to the National Weather Service. LaGuardia and Kennedy had hit 94 by 2 p.m., while Central Park hit 93 degrees. The humidity made it feel even warmer; in Belmar and Toms River, New Jersey, it felt like 102 degrees.

Widespread heat advisories and air quality alerts are in effect, and authorities urge people vulnerable to the heat to stay indoors as much as possible.

Friday is expected to be the third and last consecutive day in the 90s, but the humidity will be a bit lower, especially in the afternoon hours.

Heavy thunderstorms are likely over parts of the weekend, especially Saturday afternoon and evening. Scattered storms are possible Sunday as well, but the weekend isn't expected to be a total washout. 

Another round of strong to potentially severe storms will pass through Monday afternoon with the cold front. The front will bring relief from the heat and humidity as we head into the rest of next week.


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<![CDATA[Live Cam: Dark Clouds Roll Over Top of the Rock]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:53:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/top+of+rock+cam+storms.jpg

Menacing clouds are moving over Top of the Rock ahead of an unpredictable round of pop-up storms that are expected to pummel the tri-state with heavy downpours, damaging winds, large hail and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning Thursday evening. Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings have been issued for a large swath of the tri-state. 

MORE:

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<![CDATA[Woman Steals From 'Hamilton' Fans in Months-long Spree: Cops]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:26:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/3-9-17-hamilton-musical-tickets-orpheum.jpg

A woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing from a half-dozen Hamilton fans as they waited outside the theater for a chance at seeing performers, authorities say.

Between May 2016 and November 2016, six victims had their property stolen while waiting for actors of the hit musical outside the Richard Rodgers Theater on West 46th Street, police said.

Lynn Vaughn, 52, allegedly used the victims' credit cards to buy $2,200 worth of merchandise from stores like Macy's, Junior's Restaurant, Rite Aid, Target, DSW, Burlington Coat Factory and Duane Reade, police said.

Vaughn was charged Wednesday with 18 counts of grand larceny and 14 counts of criminal possession of stolen property. It wasn't clear if she had retained an attorney.

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<![CDATA[Driver Indicted in Road Rage Crash That Killed Baby: DA]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:57:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/rockland+county+crash+inset+albert+gomez.jpg

The driver who hit a family on a Rockland County roadway last month, killing an infant in a stroller, has been indicted on manslaughter, homicide and other charges, prosecutors say. 

Albert Gomez, 62, is accused of driving recklessly in a road rage incident when he sped onto the shoulder of Route 59 in Spring Valley, slamming into a mother and her three children

The 3-month-old boy died days after being hit, according to the Rockland County district attorney. The 38-year-old woman and her two daughters, ages 13 and 9, were seriously hurt and are continuing to recover.

Prosecutors say Gomez was angry at a taxi driver and was speeding onto the shoulder near Robert Pitt Drive when he hit the family on June 26.  

Gomez, who faces up 15 years in prison if convicted, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. He remains jailed until then. Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately clear. 

Witness Joel Rabinowitz previously told News 4 that he was driving directly behind Gomez's Toyota, and that he believes road rage led to the crash. 

Rabinowitz said the Toyota was cut off by a white vehicle, and that the driver of the Toyota then tried to pass the white vehicle along the berm, crashing into the family as they walked. 

"The silver Corolla, the driver of the car, threw a cup out of the window, was driving pretty erratically," Rabinowitz said. 

Rabinowitz says he did not see the actual crash, and his account has not been confirmed by police. Nevertheless, he was resolute, telling News 4: "This was definitely road rage." 

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<![CDATA[Man Stabbed to Death While Eating Breakfast on NYC Street]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:01:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/brighton+beach+stab.jpg

A 31-year-old man died after being stabbed in the chest as he was eating breakfast on a street corner in Brighton Beach early Thursday, according to police and video from the scene. 

Surveillance video from a nearby store shows the 36-year-old suspect walk up to the victim as the victim sits on a crate, eating, near Neptune Avenue and Brighton Fourth Street around 6:15 a.m. The suspect stabs him. 

The victim sits still for a moment as if in shock, then gets up, clutching his chest. He backs away toward the intersection then starts to run into the crosswalk, the suspect walking calmly after him. 

The victim gets to the other side of the street, then runs across the intersection on the other side and appears to try to stop a green cab. There's some other interaction between the suspect and the victim in distant view of the camera and then the victim collapses in the crosswalk. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. 

The suspect was taken into custody at the scene. 

It's not clear what prompted the altercation, nor is it known if the men knew each other. Police say the suspect appears to be from Brooklyn; they have not released his name. 

Neighbors tell News 4 they've seen both men in the area lately, but the victim had only been spotted for the last two weeks or so. He appears to be from Pennsylvania, though his latest address wasn't immediately clear. His name has not been released either. 

The investigation is ongoing.



Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Renee Hall Makes History as Dallas' First Female Police Chief]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:29:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/RH-DPD.jpg

The City of Dallas named U. Renee Hall the next chief of the Dallas Police Department Wednesday. Hall, the daughter of a murdered Detroit police officer, is the first woman to hold the position in the department's 136-year history.

"I am honored to be chosen to lead the Dallas Police Department at this critical time in its history,” Hall said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to building on the successes of the past, preserving community trust and ensuring the safety of our officers and the entire Dallas community."

Her appointment means women of color now hold the top three law enforcement positions in Dallas County. Hall joins Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the first openly gay Latina to be elected Dallas County sheriff, and District Attorney Faith Johnson, the first black woman appointed to the position.


Before coming to Dallas, Hall spent more than two decades with the Detroit Police Department, most recently as deputy chief. Under Hall's leadership in Michigan, the city of Detroit experienced a 40-year low in homicides and double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years.

She is expected to begin work in Dallas on Sept. 5.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said Wednesday Hall is a proven leader with a stellar background and a passion for public service.

"My belief is Renee Hall will be a dynamic chief and do great things in this community," Broadnax said. "She's going to have a great impact, not just on the police department, but the entire city."

City officials said that while Hall was in Detroit she "developed and implemented comprehensive community policing and mentor programs, forged partnerships and established trust within minority communities while also building strong relationships between officers of all ranks and community stakeholders." 

In an exclusive interview with NBC 5 Investigative reporter Scott Friedman, Hall said she will work to implement these same types of programs in Dallas. Among her objectives, she said, is having officers more involved in the community, doing service projects, feeding the homeless and working with teens, because "officers can't police a community they don't understand."

"What I've learned from being in the city of Detroit, as you know the city of Detroit went through bankruptcy, we went through pension reform, pay cuts for the officers — they even had holidays taken away, and morale was very low. We did have mass exodus, much like Dallas had, but when we got down to talking to the officers, officers don't necessarily leave just about money. It's not always monetary. They just need to have an environment where they have unwavering support from their leaders, creating an environment of excitement," Hall said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings welcomed Hall to the city in a series of tweets where he said, "I knew we would get many great candidates, and we did because of the great opportunity. We needed an excellent leader and we got a proven one. I'm pleased with our choice."

"We’ve done our homework on her. We were told that she was very strong in the community that even as a chief level officer in the city of Detroit she gets out and engages the community and actually gets involved in police incidents and maintains a presence in the community,” said Thomas Glover, president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas.

The city launched a nationwide search for a new police chief last fall after Chief David O. Brown abruptly announced his retirement. Brown, who grew up in Dallas and attended UT, had led the department for six years, but had spent decades on the force. His departure came only a few months after five law enforcement officers were ambushed and gunned down in downtown Dallas near the end of a peaceful protest.

Since Brown's departure on Oct. 22, the department has been led by interim Chief of Police David Pughes who said early on that he was not seeking to fill the position permanently.

During an event earlier this month in Dallas, Hall joined seven other finalists at City Hall to meet with stakeholders and greet the public. She said then she recognized the city's need to heal after the ambush attack last summer and that she could help do that.

"This job is about skill. It's about the ability to lead, boost morale and fight crime," Hall said. "To bring a city that needs to heal together as a whole. I bring that."

Hall, who was promoted to deputy chief in Detroit in May 2014, was one of two black women among the eight finalists for the job. She edged out five local finalists, four from within the Dallas Police Department, including Dallas Assistant Chief of Police Gary Tittle; Dallas Deputy Chief Malik Aziz; Dallas Deputy Chief Rick Watson and Grand Prairie Chief of Police Steve Dye.

Both Johnson and Valdez released statements of support following Wednesday's announcement.

“I want to welcome our new Chief of Police, Ulysha Renee Hall to Dallas ... it’s exciting that she will serve as the first female chief at the Dallas Police Department. I am proud that she is joining me and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez on the growing list of females in top law enforcement positions in Dallas County," Johnson said. "There is much work to be done building bridges between law enforcement and our communities, and I am looking forward to all of us working together to ensure success."

"The Sheriff’s Department congratulates Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax on the selection of Dallas Police’s new chief.  It was a tough decision because any one of the seven candidates would have made an excellent chief. We welcome Chief U. Renee Hall and look forward to working with her. I am personally aware of the challenges that the first female chief will face. My staff and I stand ready to help in any way that we can," said Valdez.

Hall has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling State University and Master’s degrees in Security Administration and Intelligence Analysis from the University of Detroit Mercy. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, she also completed the Police Executive Leadership Institute and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Hall was 6 months old when her 27-year-old father was gunned down while working a prostitution and gambling case. After failing to report in for 12 hours, his body was discovered only after a man reported finding a person had been shot in the chest. To date, his murder remains unsolved.

"I know what it's like to grow up without a parent who died at the hands of a violent crime. And I know what the citizens feel when their loved one has been taken away from them," she told NBC 5. "So it's important for me to make sure that those individual are brought to justice so there's closure in their lives. Because I never received that closure," she said.

She told The Dallas Morning News that closure was important to her family and that she believed she was finishing what her father started.

During a lighter moment with the media, Hall was asked Wednesday if she'd continue to support the Detroit Lions after moving to Dallas. She said though she was a lifelong Lions fan, she'd be wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat on Sundays -- except for when the Cowboys play the Lions. There will be no conflict this year unless the team's meet in the postseason -- the Cowboys and Lions are not scheduled to play in the 2017 season.

Hall is expected to begin work in Dallas on Sept. 5.

NBC 5's Ashleigh Barry, Ken Kalthoff, Scott Friedman and Eva Parks contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Detroit PD/NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Man Charged With Attempted Murder of NY Taxi Driver]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:27:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hakeemcamry.jpg

A man was arrested and charged with attempted murder after shooting a taxi driver in Rockland, authorities said.

On July 17, Hakeem Gentles, 22, shot Rem Louis, 23, while Louis was operating a taxi on West Eckerson Road in Ramapo, police said.

An investigation detemerined that this was not a random shooting. There was another pasenger in the taxi that may have been the intended target, police said.

Local police are seeking a white 2004 Toyota Camry with New York state plates said to be linked to the shooting.

Louis was taken to Westchester Medical Center where he is still in critical condition, police said.

Gentles was charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault.

He was arraigned at the Town of Ramapo Justice Court and remanded to the Rockland County Jail on $1 million bail.




Photo Credit: Town of Ramapo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Woman Found Dead Under Blanket With Head Trauma]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:51:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/foto+generica+de+police+line+tape+2.jpg

A missing woman has been found dead with head trauma inside a Bronx building, police say. Law enforcement sources say a blanket was over her body. 

The 55-year-old woman, Djamila Requieghmuda, of Brooklyn, was reported missing by her daughter Wednesday evening. 

Requieghmuda was found at around 4 a.m. Thursday inside a Bronx building that shares an address with her ex-husband's business, according to police. Law enforcement sources say he also lives at the location. 

She had trauma to the head, and was declared dead at the scene. The medical examiner will determine a cause of death. 

Police are searching for her ex-husband for questioning. His name hasn't been released by police, but law enforcement sources say he has no history of domestic violence arrests in the city. He has one prior arrest and that matter is sealed.

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<![CDATA[Handcuffed Parolee in T-Shirt, Underwear on the Run in NYC]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:44:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hector+calo+inset.jpg

A 41-year-old parolee was still on the run -- in his underwear -- Thursday night, hours after he escaped from parole officers on Staten Island, authorities say. 

Police say state parole officers were conducting a visit with Hector Calo on Van Duzer Street in Tompkinsville around 7 a.m. Thursday, noticed a violation and put him in handcuffs. NYPD was at the scene to assist. 

Calo, still cuffed and wearing only a T-shirt and underwear, managed to flee the scene. He ran towards the woods. 

The nature of the parole violation wasn't immediately clear.

Cops have swarmed the Staten Island neighborhood as they search for Calo. Residents were being alerted by police, who were going door to door. 

"The police said, 'Did you see someone running?'" said resident Alex Cabrerro. "One of the cops came to my roof to see if he was hiding there." 

Calo served nearly two and a half years in Fishkill for second-degree burglary. He was released on parole in August 2015. 



Photo Credit: NYPD/NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Teens Post Car-Jumping Antics on Instagram; Cops Now Want Em]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:15:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CARS+DAMAGED+IN+JUMPING+RAMPAGE+with+courtesy+-+01000604_WNBC_0.jpg

A group of young people's car-jumping rampage outside a New Jersey movie theater has gotten law enforcement's attention after the teens posted their antics on Instagram. 

The video shows a group of young men leaping onto the hoods and windshields of cars parked outside the AMC Aviation movie theater in Linden just after midnight Wednesday, denting or cracking many of them.

Police were called to the parking lot after patrons leaving the theater on Stiles Street realized their cars were damaged.

Investigators were soon alerted to an Instagram video showing the vandalism in action, described as the "#thrashcarchallenge" in the caption. 

Linden police say there may be more cars that were damaged, and are asking anyone who hasn't reported their vandalized car to speak to police. 

Anyone with information is also asked to contact 908-474-8536. 



Photo Credit: @slim_libra]]>
<![CDATA[Accused Killer in Pa. Slayings Was Banned From His High School, College]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:43:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cosmo-DiNardo-Mugshot.jpg

When Cosmo DiNardo showed up to an open house at Holy Ghost Preparatory School, his alma mater, last October, school administrators noticed he was acting odd.

The event, designed to attract potential new students, did not include the 2015 graduate as part of the program.

School spokesman William Doherty wouldn't elaborate on what exactly transpired that Sunday other than saying, "the behavior was enough for us to be concerned."

When he was asked to leave, DiNardo became disruptive and police were called.

Doherty said the school filed a police report and called DiNardo's parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, to let them know Cosmo was banned from the prep school's Bucks County campus.

The incident at Holy Ghost Prep coincides with a separate episode at a Montgomery County college that resulted in his banning from that institution.

The new information about DiNardo's past continues to paint a picture of a troubled young man who graduated to the murders of four men he admitted to shooting and burying on his family's sprawling rural estate in Solebury Township, according to authorities. Three of the bodies were doused in gasoline and lit on fire inside what was described in court documents as a "pig roaster."

DiNardo, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was involuntarily committed to a mental institution in the past. The circumstances surrounding that committal remain unclear. He was barred from having a firearm.

Last fall, the 20-year-old was banned from Arcadia University in Glenside, Montgomery County. He spent a semester at the school in the fall 2015 and tried to return the following fall, but school officials said he was not welcome.

A university spokesperson said DiNardo had verbal incidents with members of the university community and made some people uncomfortable. They added that the matter was considered a public safety issue.

DiNardo was informed he would be trespassing if he stepped foot on school grounds, a university spokesperson said. DiNardo and his parents were notified of his banning via a certified letter that was also sent to Cheltenham police.

About half a year after DiNardo was banned, he killed Jimi Taro Patrick, 19; Dean Finocchiaro, 19; Mark Sturgis, 22; and Tom Meo, 21, prosecutors said. DiNardo allegedly admitted to the killings in a confession last Thursday to avoid the death penalty.

Prosecutors said DiNardo's 20-year-old cousin, Sean Kratz, also participated in the murders. Both have been charged in the case. Kratz's attorney, Abby Leeds, told NBC10 Tuesday that her client is "presumed innocent."

Both remain jailed in Bucks County.



Photo Credit: Bucks County District Attorney's Office
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<![CDATA[NYC Ice Cream Shop Serves $12 Sundae Topped With Insects]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:23:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_17124010068337.jpg

Manhattan ice cream shop La Newyorkina has introduced what may be the most unique sundae the city has to offer.

The Greenwich Village Mexican ice cream and paleta shop tops its new Happy-Hoppy Sundae with chili-coated, crunchy grasshoppers.

The interesting insect topping is paired with Mexican vanilla ice cream that has a hint of chili, mezcal infused caramel sauce and a candied orange slice.

The spicy, sweet and salty flavors seem like they would be palatable, if you can get past the fact that you are eating a dead bug.

Mike Chau, a blogger based in New York, tried the sundae and described the flavors as unexpected.

“The ice cream was great, as always at La Newyorkina. The chapulines [grasshoppers] were very crunchy and salty, and also had a really strong tangy flavor,” Chau said. 

Chau also said he wouldn’t order the sundae again, but felt like it was worth it and fun to try.

If you are interested in trying the sundae for yourself, the one of a kind treat will cost you $12.

The sundae is available through the end of July, but the shop has added the chili grasshoppers as a permanent topping because it has become so popular.

So if vanilla chili ice cream isn't your thing, you can still try the insects on a different flavor of ice cream. 

Though the cricket topping might seem weird, it is actually a popular snack in Mexico, eaten like nuts. The crickets are high-quality and also sustainably sourced, according to the eatery.




Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Machete-Swinging MTA Security Guard Fights Man on Street: PD]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:26:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/machete+fight1.JPG

An MTA security guard was arrested after he swung a machete and threatened a man with a gun as he fought with him on an Upper West Side street, authorities say.

It's unclear what sparked the early morning mêlée at the intersection of Broadway and West 94th Street shortly before 7 a.m., but the confrontation spilled onto the sidewalk, where the MTA security guard — identified by the NYPD as Luis Roman — battled with the other man, who was defending himself with a trash can, police said. 

A witness captured the fight with his cellphone as the two men clashed with fists and plastic bottles. 

Police said the NYPD officers who located and arrested Roman recovered a gun and the machete. An NBC intern at the scene said the man was taken into custody near the 94th Street entrance of the downtown subway platform. The suspect had been sitting on a bench when nearly a half-dozen cops showed up and questioned him about where he had just been. The suspect told them he had just been meeting with a client. Officers put him in handcuffs.

Roman faces charges of assault, criminal mischief, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. It's unclear if he has an attorney who can comment on the charges against him. 

The witness who shot the video said he captured the last couple minutes of the fight and that the two men had been arguing for some time before things got physical.

Roman, who police said is the man seen in a white shirt in the video, tried to drive away during the argument, when the other man, seen in a red hat, threw a trash can at his car, according to the witness. That’s when Roman allegedly pulled out the machete, according to the witness.

The video starts with the two men taunting each other. The man in white is gripping the machete and the man in red is dragging the trash can. A woman who was in the car with the man in white is seen standing between the two men while on her cellphone.

The man in white suddenly charges at the other man with the machete, but then backs off. The woman gets into the car and closes the passenger-side door, but the man in red reopens the door. That’s when the man in white dashes around the back of the car and swings the machete at him. The machete goes airborne and lands in the street. 

After that, the video shows the man in red lifting the trash can over his head and tossing it at the other man, who pushes it aside and runs for the driver’s seat. The man in red stops him from closing the door and the two men begin punching each other in the middle of Broadway. They eventually start throwing plastic bottles and cups at one another.

From there, the fight begins to fizzle out. When the video ends, the man in red is standing on the sidewalk on his cellphone and the man in white is getting into his car and beginning to drive away.

In the video, the man in white appears to have blood on his shirt as he leaves the scene. Police said the man in red hurt his hand, but that no serious injuries were reported.

The MTA had no comment on the incident. 



Photo Credit: Paul Tena]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Doctor Among More Than a Dozen Nabbed in Painkiller Bust]]> Wed, 19 Jul 2017 19:16:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/operation+oxy+highway.jpg

A New Jersey doctor was among 16 people busted for allegedly distributing tens of thousands of opiates as part of a multi-million dollar scheme prosecutors dubbed the “Oxy Highway.”

Dr. Craig Gialanella, of North Caldwell, has a medical practice in an office complex in Belleville, but he allegedly sold opiate prescriptions for cash to a ring of drug dealers in Atlantic County more than 100 miles away.

“Between January of ’14 and 2017, the defendant issued scripts for 250,000 Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets,” New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.

A note on the door of Gialanella’s office Wednesday read: “Dr. will not be seeing patients this week due to an unexpected emergency.”

The 53-year-old internist is the sixth New Jersey physician in the past three years to be charged with illegally distributing opiates.

The leaders of the drug ring were identified by authorities as 53-year-old Doug Patterson, of Egg Harbor, Patterson’s ex-wife, 54-year-old Mary Connolly, and Connolly’s 28-year-old daughter, Lauren Connolly. Authorities allege that Gialanella supplied the drugs and that Patterson used multiple birth dates on prescriptions to avoid detection.

A medical assistant to another doctor in Gialanella’s office building said she was disturbed but not surprised.

“It’s not right,” she said. “Painkillers can kill you and it’s not right. These doctors are just looking for another dollar.”

Attorney General Porrino credits an Atlantic County pharmacist with reporting the suspicious prescriptions. The bust netted 18 defendants overall.

Gialanella’s license has been suspended. If convicted as charged, he and most of the other defendants face up to 10 years in prison.

State figures for New Jersey show drug-related deaths during the first half of 2016 numbered more than 1,000 statewide. That’s a 46 percent jump from the same period in 2015.

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<![CDATA[Horror: Feet Interrupt Woman's Joy Over Empty JetBlue Seats]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/feet3.jpg

A California woman thought she had hit the jackpot when she boarded a JetBlue plane for a short flight this week: she had an entire row to herself. 

"I left the armrests up so I could bask in the comfort of my private airplane bench," Jessie Char, who was flying from Long Beach, California, home to San Francisco, told NBC 4 New York. "It was a short flight, but I wasn't about to let this go to waste." 

Char says she heard a small thud a few minutes after takeoff and noticed one of the armrests had fallen. Then the unthinkable happened. 

"At first I assumed it was just a loose hinge, but as I stared at the armrest I noticed a set of toes creeping outwards," Char said. "By the time I pulled out my phone, a second foot had appeared." 

Char says the toes started wiggling and then the situation deteriorated even further. 

"I watched as one of the feet slowly lifted the window shade up and down again," she says. 

The now highly disturbed traveler made eye contact with a flight attendant, but the feet retracted — Wicked Witch of the West-style — as the crew member approached, Char says. 

Char says she caught a glimpse of the feet's owners after the flight; the woman was about 5 feet 3 inches tall — or shorter — and was seated in a row with extra leg room, she says. 

Char's tweet, captioned, "Today, I flew on the set of a nightmare," has gotten more than 4,100 retweets and 20,800 likes since she posted it early Wednesday. And as one might imagine, the memes are extra special.



Photo Credit: @jessiechar/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Broken NJT Ticket App Gets Pregnant Woman Kicked Off Bus]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:23:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NJ_Transit_Bus_Crash.jpg

A pregnant New Jersey Transit commuter says she was kicked off a bus Thursday morning because the ticket app wasn't working and the driver refused to let her board.

NJ Transit first alerted its riders that the MyTix app was broken at around 10 a.m., tweeting that its team was aware of the problem and addressing it.

But NJ Transit employees apparently didn't get the message, and some riders said they were forced to pay the fare on board, along with the supplemental $5 on-board fee.

One pregnant woman was rejected altogether from riding a bus. She tweeted around 9 a.m. -- before NJ Transit alerted its riders on Twitter that the ticket app was broken -- "I am 7 months pregnant and the bus driver took me off the bus bc the app didn't work and I only had $3 on me instead of the $4.50." 

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The agency replied to the woman, asking for the bus stop and bus number.

A spokeswoman for NJ Transit later told News 4 it was "totally unacceptable" of the driver to refuse to let the woman on and that the driver is being retrained. 

"Crews on both the bus and rail were instructed to honor whatever was shown to them" during the app outage, spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said, emphasizing that conductors and operators were proactively instructed to do so through an internal communication system. 

Still, one rider tweeted, "I told the conductor and he said it's not his problem. What?" 

Snyder says that any rider who had to pay on board because of the broken app can request a refund by calling 973-491-8810. 

The app was functioning again by 11 a.m.

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NJ Transit riders have already been dealing with sporadic train cancellations due to a crew shortage as major repair work at Penn Station entered its second week. 

A new NBC 4 New York/Marist poll found about a quarter of New Jersey households have been impacted by the work at Penn Station, which has cut schedules on some NJ Transit trains. Among those impacted, nearly 7 in 10 have had to budget more travel time to get to their destination, and about 4 in 10 have gotten significantly delayed or been late for work or an appointment; about 3 in 10 have had to change plans entirely.

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Forty-one percent of New Jersey households impacted by the work say NJ Transit has done an excellent or good job keeping people informed of changes and delays. But fewer than 1 in 4 household affected by the work give NJ Transit above-average grades to the way it's handled compensation and accommodations for inconvenienced riders.

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Overall, about 31 percent of New Jersey residents give NJ Transit a C-grade for the way they've handled the service disruption. A quarter of them give NJ Transit a B, and 9 percent give an A. Ten percent say NJ Transit deserves a D, and 8 percent give an F. 



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Murphy Dominates Guadagno as Most See NJ on Wrong Track]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:36:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Phil-Murphy-Kim-Guadagno.jpg

Democrat Phil Murphy has a 21-point lead on Republican Kim Guadagno in the race to be the next governor in New Jersey, as an overwhelming majority of residents say the state is on the wrong track, according to a new NBC 4 New York / Marist Poll.

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, polls 54 percent versus 33 percent for Guadagno, the lieutenant governor for the last eight years. 

It is at least the third poll this summer to find Murphy with a 20-plus point lead on Guadagno, who has been hurt by her association with the deeply unpopular incumbent, Chris Christie.

"Guadagno faces a dilemma in that she must find a way to recapture the Christie vote from 2013 while also being a candidate for change in 2017," said Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in a statement. "As Christie’s lieutenant governor, this represents a tough challenge."

The poll found only 16 percent of New Jerseyans approve of the job Christie is doing as governor, and only 20 percent view him in a favorable light. 

Christie is so unpopular that 71 percent of adults say the state is on the wrong track and 81 percent say the state needs a governor who will move in a different direction. (The percentage of those saying the state is on the wrong track more than doubled from the last election.)

The English-language phone poll of 895 adults was conducted July 13-18 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's First 6 Months: His Wins, Losses and Stalemates]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:32:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-816483790.jpg

President Donald Trump took office promising a pivot for the country on everything from health care to immigration, a transfer of power not from one administration to another but from Washington, D.C., to the American people.

In his inaugural address, Trump said the United States must protect against other countries stealing companies and jobs, and vowed prosperity and strength.

"From this day forward, it’s going to be America first -- America first," he said. "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."

Anne Norton, the chairwoman of the political science department at the University of Pennsylvania, said that, symbolically, Trump has met the expectations of his supporters and those who voted for him as a protest.

"They believe he is 'sticking it to the man' both in Washington and abroad," Norton said. "When he tweets things his critics regard as offensive or ridiculous or outright falsehoods -- that's all to the good for them. The more provocative he is, even the more he profits from his office, the better they like it."


But for those looking for policy changes, he has not met expectations, Norton said.

"He hasn't displaced the elites, he hasn't built the wall, he hasn't done a whole series of things that they want him to do and most importantly, he hasn't found them jobs," she said. 

Trump and the Congressional Republicans had a significant and very public failure this week when the U.S. Senate failed to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an alternate health care bill. Plus, Trump's administration has been rocked by revelations of contacts with Russian officials and clashes in the federal courts. His $4.1 trillion spending plan, with deep domestic spending cuts, has little chance in Congress.

His promises of tax cuts and infrastructure projects are still to come. Observers are saying that Trump needs a win in tax reform to show a legislative success.


Though the legislative scorecard is lacking, Trump has had other victories, particularly on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here's a look at his progress so far.

HEALTH CARE

Repeal and Replace, or Just Repeal?
Republicans failed to come through on their promise, and Trump’s, to repeal and replace "Obamacare" when the U.S. Senate version for a replacement bill collapsed on Tuesday. Two senators — Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas — announced they would not support the new health care bill, a vote on which had been delayed while Sen. John McCain recovered from surgery, which led to a brain tumor diagnosis for the senator.

Two other senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine — had already come out against the bill — which would have allowed insurers to sell low-cost, bare bones plans but included deep cuts Medicaid. Only one additional defection was needed to doom it because Senate Democrats all opposed it. The House bill, narrowly approved in May, would leave 23 million more people without insurance than under the Affordable Care Act. 

A fallback plan to pass a straight repeal also fell apart. 


FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ISIS' Shrinking State
Trump saw the defeat of ISIS in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and one of ISIS's strongholds, last week after a nine-month battle. But the terrorist group still holds significant territory in Syria and in Iraq, particularly the Syrian city of Raqqa, which it declared its capital.

During the campaign, Trump once said he would "bomb the hell" out of ISIS and ordered his generals to submit a plan for defeating ISIS within 30 days. The Pentagon sent him a preliminary one on Feb. 27.


Iran's Nuclear Deal
During the campaign, Trump criticized the nuclear agreement with Iran as "the worst deal ever." But since taking office, he has twice certified its compliance with the deal.

He continues to say that his administration wants to strengthen the deal. His administration is preparing new economic sanctions against Iran because of its ballistic missile program and its adding to regional tensions.


ECONOMY

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Trump got good news on one of his main campaign pledges when the government reported that 222,000 jobs had been added in June, though some manufacturers will continue to send jobs overseas. Ford Motors, for example, announced it would produce its Focus model in China. And though the jobless rate rose slightly, that was because job seekers who had given up returned.


Other Economic Measures
Put the stock market in the positive column for the Trump team, as it's hit record levels several times during his presidency, including last week. And a report from the Federal Reserve at the beginning of July found that the U.S. economy was growing steadily, though still faces problems: Investment levels remain low, productivity is growing slowly, and pay is rising slowly.

The Associated Press disputed Trump's contention that "no matter where you look, the economy is blazing." "At best, it's a controlled burn," an AP fact check said. The economy grew at a sluggish annual rate of 1.4 percent during the first three months of the year and Federal Reserve officials are predicting the economy will grow by 2.2 percent this year, leaving the 4 percent annual growth Trump has predicted elusive.

THE COURTS

Tilting Right on the Supreme Court
One of Trump’s clear victories has been the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump had promised to nominate federal judges “in the mold of Justice (Antonin) Scalia.”  Gorsuch, who voted to allow an Arkansas inmate to be put to death and was in favor of allowing all of Trump’s travel ban to take effect while the court considers it, has already been one of the most conservative justices on the high court.

He replaced Scalia after Republicans in the U.S. Senate refused to consider President Barack Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland. Trump has the chance to fill more than 120 openings on the federal courts — a result of the slow pace with which Republicans took up Obama’s nominees.


IMMIGRATION

Walling off Mexico
Throughout the campaign, Trump promised a wall along the more than 1,900-mile U.S.-Mexico border that Mexico would pay for. That wall recently shrunk to 700 to 900 miles after Trump told reporters on July 13 that natural barriers and other factors make a longer one unnecessary. There is already a fence along nearly 700 miles of the border. The wall, for which House Republicans have budgeted $1.6 billion to begin construction, could include solar panels and would need to be transparent so drugs couldn’t be thrown over it, Trump said. So far, Mexico is refusing to pay.


Banning Travel from Mostly Muslim Countries
Trump’s campaign call for barring all Muslims from entering the United States has been scaled back and the administration would now ban people from certain predominantly Muslim countries. But even that has run afoul of the federal courts, which blocked implementation of the initial ban and a subsequent revised version.

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed some parts to go forward until it could hear arguments on the policy but left the details to the Trump administration. On July 13, a federal judge in Hawaii expanded categories to allow in grandparents and other close relatives, a decision the U.S. Supreme Court upheld on Wednesday. The case pits the president’s authority to limit immigration against protection from discrimination based on religious beliefs or national origin.


Arresting Undocumented Immigrants
Arrests of immigrants jumped 40 percent, according to a government report released in May, with the largest arrest spike in immigrants with no criminal offense other than being undocumented.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have arrested more than 41,000 people since January — at an average of 400 arrests a day, according to a report by ICE.

The increase came though Trump had said that his immigration crackdown would focus heavily on criminals, "bad hombres" and public safety. 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Methane Regulation
The Trump administration’s efforts to roll back dozens of environmental regulations put in place by President Barack Obama hit a legal setback at the beginning of July when a federal appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency could not suspend a rule to restrict methane emissions from new oil and gas wells. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had imposed a two-year moratorium on parts of the regulation, but the court ruled that his decision was unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious. The EPA must instead go through a new, exhaustive rule-making process.

Paris Agreement
Trump made good on his campaign pledge to cancel the Paris climate accord last month when he announced the United States would withdraw from the agreement. And though he said he wanted a better deal for the United States, the leaders of France, German and Italy responded that the 2015 pact was not open for renegotiation.

Trump described the agreement, adopted by 195 countries, as “draconian” and said it imposed unfair standards on the U.S. businesses. The United States was to have cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. It also would have committed up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020.


Keystone XL Pipeline
Trump approved the Keystone XL Pipeline in March, reversing a decision by President Barack Obama on the controversial project opposed by environmentalists and some Native Americans.

Trump said the pipeline's construction would bring new jobs, lower energy costs and reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil.




Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[More Major Problems on PATH, Subway, AirTrain, Rails]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:46:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/subway+crowding+wednesday+credit+kiera+twitter.jpg

It turns out that Penn Station is the least of commuters' problems in this transit Summer of Hell.

Thursday brought suspensions and delays on the PATH and Newark AirTrain, more cancellations on NJ Transit due to manpower issues, ticketing problems and a rash of subway delays due to sick customers and signal failures. 

After earlier delays, PATH service was suspended around 11:15 a.m. between World Trade Center and Newark in both directions because of a signal problem, authorities said. Service had resumed, again with delays, after an hour.

It was the fourth day in a row that the region's transit system saw widespread problems, though none of them had anything to do with the long-feared rehab work at New York Penn.

NJ Transit's MyTix app, which lets people pay their fares on their phones, went down Thursday morning. The rail service urged people to tell their conductors the app was down, but social media was still full of outraged customers who were forced to pay a penalty cash fare nonetheless. 

In Newark, 70 people were pulled off an AirTrain after power issues. There were no injuries, but service was suspended and passengers had to take buses instead. The airport tweeted service had been partially restored shortly after 11 a.m., but said customers should use buses "until we are fully operational." 

In Manhattan the B and C subway lines had delays due to signal problems at 81st Street, while in Queens a sick customer at Kew Gardens caused problems on the F line.

NJ Transit cancelled one train early Thursday due to an engineer shortage; that same issue caused nearly 30 cancellations the last three days. 

'EVERYBODY'S SWEATING, CAN'T BREATHE'

Thursday morning's rush-hour delays followed a rash of problems during Wednesday night's commute home. In both cases a heat wave only made the misery that much worse -- one subway rider waiting for the train in Queens even fell onto the tracks after he was overcome by heat. He's expected to be OK. 

Straphangers were confronted with signal and power problems on six lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Wednesday evening as Metro-North riders were stuck on a disabled train. 

In Manhattan, signal problems at 72nd Street caused service changes for 2 and 3 trains. Regular service resumed by 5:15 p.m. In Brooklyn, loss of Con Edison power caused signal problems at 59th Street, leading to service changes to D, N and R trains. Regular service resumed by 5:20 p.m.

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Photos posted to Twitter at the start of the evening rush showed packed crowds at the Barclays Center subway station, which serves the D, N and R lines.

Some commuters told News 4 New York that they had to wait for N and R trains at the 59th Street station in Manhattan for more than an hour and a half. Danny Sierra said he had to get off a train and go upstairs to get some fresh air. 

"It was like an hour wait on the train, it's crazy," Sierra said. "Everybody's sweating, can't breathe, got a diabetic, got all type of people on the train. There's something wrong with the MTA." 

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Meanwhile, Hudson Line commuters were stuck on a Metro-North train for nearly 90 minutes shortly before 4 p.m. after the train they were on became disabled at 101st Street.

Metro-North spokesman Aaron Donovan said it's unclear why the train was unable to receive power. The train was towed to 125th Street, where the passengers disembarked shortly after 5 p.m. Donovan said lights and air conditioning were on in the train the entire time. 

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MORNING SNARLED TOO

Earlier on Wednesday, more sporadic disruptions struck NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road, the third straight day of problems moving commuters around the region. 

NJ Transit cancelled at least 19 buses Wednesday morning due to what it described on its bus Twitter feed as an "operational issue," which a spokeswoman explained was the reallocation of buses to accommodate new summer schedules. 

NJT also suspended the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail between 2nd Street and Port Imperial Wednesday due to a reported chemical leak in Hoboken. The multibillion-dollar line is a key artery bringing New Jersey commuters to and from Hoboken. Service was restored after about 70 minutes. 

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Separate from all of those issues, a mechanical problem forced the cancellation of a rush-hour train out of Newark Penn Station Wednesday morning. 

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But it wasn't just New Jersey; the LIRR continued to have its own difficulties early Wednesday. At least three trains were late due to single tracking, mechanical issues or late-arriving connections, and a fourth was cancelled.

That followed Tuesday's twin crises; in the morning an empty train derailed and shut down Long Beach branch service, and in the evening, signal problems near Jamaica snarled rush hour. 

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Photo Credit: @kiera/Twitter
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