<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:08:21 -0400 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:08:21 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[WATCH: Cops Chase Horse Through Hell's Kitchen]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:45:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/runaway+horse+nyc.jpg

A runaway carriage horse is back at work after leading police on a chase through Hell's Kitchen over the weekend.

Stephen Malone, carriage driver and industry spokesperson, told NBC 4 New York the horse returned to work Monday after escaping from the stables on 37th Street Sunday morning.

NBC 4 New York obtained video that shows the horse cantering down 11th Avenue, opposite taxis and a bus, as police cars, lights flashing, follow behind.

Eventually, one of the squad cars pulls in front of the horse. The horse's owner, with the help of the NYPD, corralled the animal a few blocks away and brought it back to the stables.  

]]>
<![CDATA[Police Detail NH Festival Chaos]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:17:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Keene+State+incident+1.jpg

Eighty-four people were arrested during riots at a New Hampshire community's annual pumpkin festival that spilled over to a nearby college over the weekend, and authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying more rioters.

The violent parties in Keene led to the destruction of private and public property, resulting in the injuries of more than 30 people on Saturday.

The incident happened around Keene State College during the city's Pumpkin Festival, which is when the community tries to set a world record for the most carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place. Police responded to the violence with riot gear, tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to control the crowds.

The area was cleaned up by college students on Sunday.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan said the Granite State's higher education institutions must "take swift action to hold students involved accountable."

Keene State College President Anne Huot was a witness to Saturday's riot.

"I'm gravely concerned" about the unruly behavior, she said.

According Mayor Kendall Lane, between 55,000-60,000 people were attending the festival and were safe during the violent parties, adding that the future of the festival is uncertain at this time.

According to Keene city officials, the riots seem to have begun in several places, including Wilcox Terrace and Winchester Court, around 1 p.m. Saturday with more than 1,000 people in each location, with some throwing rocks, bottles, cans, even billard balls, injuring some.

Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meoloa said his department communicated with Keene State College students before the festival, adding that it was "outside forces" that was part of the "riotous behavior."

As police tried to disperse the crowds, the crowds turned their attention to law enforcement, according to the city; police say they used pepper spray, tear gas and fired "sponge rounds" at some of the rioters. The crowd then moved through the neighborhood to Butler Court, where the riots continued, the city said; another crowd moved from Winchester Street to Blake Street, where a fire was set in the middle of the road.

Keene officials say the riots continued for the next eight hours as the crowd moved to Keene State College property. Crowds damaged college, city and private property, including an overturned car, officials said.

Chief Meola said there was also riotous behavior last year, adding that this year the rioters entered public domain, but last year was an "organized party."

Click here to make an anonymous tip to the Keene Police Department regarding this incident.

]]>
<![CDATA[Rape Attempt Suspect Linked to 2nd Assault: NYPD]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:34:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/elevator+attempted+rape+stuy+town.jpg

A 26-year-old Manhattan man accused of trying to rape a 20-year-old woman inside a building elevator in Stuyvesant Town after following her home last week has been charged with attempting to rape another woman over the summer, police said.

Juan Scott was arrested Sunday on an attempted rape charge in Friday's 4 a.m. assault; he was later charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, stalking and other crimes in connection with a June 2 attack not far from the one reported last week. 

In the most recent attack, the suspect is allegedly seen on surveillance video following the woman into an elevator and trying to rape her. The victim yells and struggles with the suspect, who eventually runs away.

Police released surveillance video showing the suspect shimmy down a tree outside the building and run off down the sidewalk. 

It's not clear if Scott has an attorney.

]]>
<![CDATA["Heartbroken": Families Mourn After 7 Bodies Tied to Suspected Serial Killer ]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:47:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Afrika-Hardy.jpg

One of seven women whose bodies were discovered in Indiana over the weekend was remembered as a "fighter" Monday, as authorities continued to investigate a killing they now believe uncovered a string of slayings by a suspected serial killer.

 “She left this world fighting,” Lori Townsend said of her daughter, 19-year-old Afrika Hardy.

Officials said the bodies of seven women, including Hardy, were found in abandoned homes and in a motel in Northwest Indiana. Authorities believe they are the victims of a suspected serial killer, whose killings could go back as far as 20 years.

Darren Deon Vann, 43, of Gary, was charged with one count of murder, as well as murder in the perpetration of a robbery and robbery resulting in serious bodily harm, all related to the death of Hardy. Police said Vann, a registered sex offender in Texas, gave authorities information that led them to the other bodies after he was taken into custody in connection with Hardy's death.

Hardy was strangled to death Friday in a Motel 6 in Hammond, Indiana. She was found naked in a bathtub with what appeared to be a black piece of clothing covering her arms and around her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit.

“She didn’t bother nobody,” said Hardy’s grandmother Debra Allen. “Everyone loved her. She wasn’t a bad person and didn’t deserve this at all.”

Police said all seven women were sex workers, and Hardy is believed to be the youngest victim.

Hardy’s mother said she had no idea her daughter had fallen into prostitution.

“I’m not grasping this,” said Townsend. “It’s not real to me.”

Aside from Hardy, three of the victims were publicly identified by midday Monday: 35-year-old Anith Jones, 28-year-old Teairra Batey, and 36-year-old Christine Williams.

Batey’s boyfriend, Marvin Clinton, says she had been missing since January. He said the two have a 2-year-old son together.

“She was a good person,” said Clinton. “She would give you her last.”

Jones’ family reported her missing on Oct. 8. They say she left Chicago for Indiana about 10 years ago.

Family members of the victims said no matter what the women did to earn a living, they were still loved.

“My heart breaks for these girls and their families,” said Townsend. “Some of them were missing for months.”
 


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Ridgewood Police Investigate Possible Attempted Luring]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:43:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ridgewood+suspicious+van.jpg

Police in Ridgewood, New Jersey say they're investigating a possible attempted luring of a girl Monday afternoon.

The girl was walking on East Ridgewood Avenue near Hope Street at about 3:15 p.m. when a black van slowed down and the driver asked her if she wanted some candy, according to police.

The victim ignored the driver and instead took a picture of the van, a black Ford Econoline with New Jersey plates. It may be from 2007 through 2013, with runnings boards and backup sensors on the rear bumper, police said. 

The driver appeared to be in his early 50s, about 5 feet 9 inches and 240 pounds. There was a passenger in the van, a younger man who did not say or do anything during the exchange, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ridgewood Police at 201-251-4536. 

]]>
<![CDATA[CDC Unveils New Ebola Gear Guidelines]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:38:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP377346880200.jpg

Health officials have released long-awaited new guidelines for how health workers should gear up to treat Ebola patients, calling for protective garb that covers their bodies entirely and for trained monitors to supervise them as they put on and remove it.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the long-anticipated updates Monday evening. Health workers have been pushing for new standards since two Dallas hospital nurses were diagnosed with the disease this month after treating an Ebola patient.

The guidelines call for face shields, hoods, boot covers and other garb that leave no part of the body exposed. They also call for a trained monitor to supervise the donning and doffing of protective wear. And they call for repeated training and practice.

The CDC guidance was expected as early as Saturday, but its release has been pushed back while it continues to go through review by experts and government officials.

Health workers had been pushing for the guidance since the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected. They had treated an Ebola-infected patient named Thomas Eric Duncan — the first person diagnosed with the virus in the U.S.

Exactly how the two nurses were infected is not clear, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden during a Monday night teleconference with reporters.

"We may never know exactly how that happened, but the bottom line is, the guidelines didn't work for that hospital," Frieden said.

The new guidelines include:

—Use of protective garments, hoods, face shields, double gloves, face masks or respirators and other protective equipment to cover every square inch of a health worker's body.

—A call for health workers who may be involved in an Ebola patient's care to practice repeatedly and demonstrate proficiency in donning and doffing gear before ever being allowed near a patient.

—Placement of a trained hospital employee to supervise all aspects of care in an Ebola patient's room and watch that all health workers put on and take off gear correctly.

Duncan's infection and subsequent death led to the monitoring of about 50 people who came in contact with him before he entered the hospital and dozens of health care workers who cared for him after his admission.

Some good news this week: The 50 in the initial contact group have passed a 21-day observation period and no longer are deemed at risk for coming down with the dreaded disease.

Youngor Jallah spent the past three weeks confined to her small apartment with her children and boyfriend, fearing they had contracted the deadly Ebola virus from her mother's fiance.

But with the household emerging symptom-free from the incubation period, Jallah's family members are now trying to resume their lives - replacing the personal belongings incinerated in a cleanup at her mother's home, and overcoming the stigma of the Ebola scare that has gripped Dallas.

On Monday, Jallah beamed as she sent her children back to school with clearance from the Dallas County health department tucked into their backpacks. Her mother emerged from her own confinement and started looking for a new place to live.

"We were sitting here traumatized," Jallah told The Associated Press on Monday. "We just thank God we never came down with the virus."

Jallah's mother's fiance, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He died Oct. 8.

Health officials said Monday about 50 people have passed the incubation period safely. Others who are still being monitored include health care workers who treated Duncan as well as those who cared for two nurses who had treated Duncan and also became infected.

There are now about 120 people in Texas being monitored for symptoms, with their wait period ending Nov. 7, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. He said the number may fluctuate.

There are also about 140 people being monitored in Ohio because of contact or potential contact with nurse Amber Vinson, Ohio officials said. Vinson, who cared for Duncan in Texas, flew from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and flew back Oct. 13.

An Ebola patient who was being treated in Atlanta since early September was released from Emory University Hospital on Sunday after he was determined to be free of the virus and no threat to the public. Hospital and health officials never released his name, in keeping with his family's wish for privacy.

Health officials said they were relieved as the monitoring period ended for many, and after a cruise ship scare ended with the boat returning to port in Texas and a lab worker on board testing negative for the virus.

After Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola, Troh, her 13-year-old son, Duncan's nephew and a family friend were ordered by a Dallas court to stay inside the apartment among Duncan's used linens. Five days later they were evacuated to a four-bedroom home in an isolated corner of a 13-acre gated property owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, southwest of downtown.

Except for a few plastic bins filled with personal documents, photographs, trophies and a Bible, the apartment was stripped down to the carpeting and the contents were incinerated.

The city of Dallas announced Monday it is coordinating with a local church and donors to provide Jallah's mother, Louise Troh, with funds to pay for six months of housing. Once she chooses a location, nonprofits will assist the family with furniture, linens and other household items, the city said.

"We want to restore what's lost but more than that, we want to give her a running start on her new life," said Troh's pastor, George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas.

While health workers cleared Jallah of having Ebola, the disease's stigma lingers — including among fellow Liberians, she said.

"If they see me at the store, they run away," she said.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Football Coaches Suspended as Hazing Details Emerge: Reports]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:39:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/sayreville+football.jpg

The coaches at the New Jersey high school that had its football season canceled amid hazing allegations that led to the arrests of seven players have been suspended, according to NJ.com.

The Sayreville High School coaches were not at school Friday and have been suspended with pay, a source familiar with the decision told the website. The decision comes weeks after the district moved to cancel the season amid a Middlesex County prosecutor’s investigation into alleged hazing at the school, which prosecutors said could be considered sexual assaults that were "pervasive."

Five of the suspended coaches, including head coach George Najjar, are tenured teachers, the source told NJ.com. Several others are substitutes. The Sayreville school board is expected discuss and possibly vote on the suspensions Tuesday at its regularly scheduled meeting.

The seven players who were arrested have also been suspended from school. They face charges ranging from hazing and conspiracy to sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault.

The coaches' suspensions come as more details of the alleged locker room abuses at the school surface. In a New York Times report Sunday, several of the players who either saw the alleged hazing attacks or say they were victims recalled in detail what happened.

The witnesses, who weren’t identified by name, described a boisterous locker room environment that took a dark turn over a 10-day period in September, when all four alleged hazing incidents occurred.

The freshmen who spoke to the Times said that during the attacks, older players would come into the locker room shouting “hootie hoo” before flicking the lights on and off and tripping one of the them over. In one case, two older players held a boy down by his arms while players punched, kicked and groped him, according to the report.

The three victims who spoke to the Times varied slightly on their accounts of the hazing. All three said they were wearing football pants, and accounts of the gropings ranged from poking or grabbing of the buttocks to penetration. Of the three victims, two said the hazing wasn't a big deal -- and that what happened was part of team bonding.

Several other freshmen who witnessed the attacks told the Times that they saw the hazing differently. Some said they rushed to change after practice or avoided showering to make it out of the locker room before the varsity team finished practice.

“They think they’re joking around, but I don’t think it was a joke,” a witness to the first attack told the newspaper. “I said, ‘This is nasty.' ”

Several of the freshmen also told the Times that they have become the targets of backlash on social media and in school from other students upset that the football season was canceled.

The backlash “made me want to shoot myself,” one player told the Times.

The case has put a spotlight on the town, known for its successful football program and for being the hometown of singer Jon Bon Jovi, and the way that school districts handle hazing and bullying allegations. 

Other schools have taken similar measures in the wake of the allegations in Sayreville. Last week, Wyandanch High School on Long Island suspended five players in a bullying investigation. That team continued its season.

Over the weekend, an Orange County, New York, school canceled its junior varsity football team's season over bullying allegations.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Nurses Speak Out on Ebola]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:13:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cole-edmonson-presby-crop.jpg

Top nurses at the Dallas hospital where two nurses fell ill treating the nation's first Ebola patient spoke out for the first time Monday, affirming their pride in their hospital amid scrutiny and vowing to reaffirm the public's trust.

"The reason we're here today is to make sure people know that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is still a great hospital, an excellent hospital," chief nursing officer Cole Edmonson said at a brief news conference in front of the hospital Monday afternoon, flanked by nurses he called part of a "proud family."

"We're proud to tell people that we work here," he added."We will reaffirm your trust in Presbyterian."

"We are experts in our field, and we don't want to be judged by this one incident," emergency department nurse Julie Boling said, overcome by emotion. "This could happen to any hospital."

The nurses gave their well-wishes to their two coworkers who remain hospitalized in isolation for Ebola, after they contracted the disease treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed in the U.S. He died Oct. 8.

Amber Vinson is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the same hospital where Fort Worth's Dr. Kent Brantly and American aid worker Nancy Writebol were successfully treated, and her coworker Nina Pham is being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

On Monday, health officials' efforts to contain Ebola's spread cleared a key hurdle when four dozen people were being cleared from the watch list.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sayreville Marching Band Wins Championship Amid Hazing Scandal]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:23:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SAYREVILLE_MARCHING_BAND.JPG

Even with the remainder of Sayreville War Memorial High School's football season canceled amid a hazing scandal, its marching band has been playing on and winning competitions. 

The band won the Tournament of Band New Jersey State Championship in its class in Toms River Saturday.

The competition featured 25 of the state's best marching bands, and Sayreville beat neighboring Metuchen High School by seven-tenths of a point to win the the title. 

Sayreville's football team has been mired in a hazing scandal this fall that's resulted in the arrests of seven players, the suspension of its coaches and the cancellation of the season.  

The case has put a spotlight on the town, known for its successful football program and for being the hometown of singer Jon Bon Jovi, and the way that school districts handle hazing and bullying allegations. 

]]>
<![CDATA[Another School Cancels Football Season Over Bullying]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:18:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/moroe+woodbury+hs.jpg

Another high school football team in the tri-state area has had its season canceled over allegations of bullying.

School leaders at Monroe-Woodbury High School have canceled the remainder of the season for the junior varsity team.

The decision comes after some players at the Orange County school came forward with complaints about verbal abuse between teammates.

The school district says it is investigating and has contacted the parents of the players allegedly involved.

Seven high school football players in Sayreville, New Jersey, were arrested on sexual assault charges amid allegations of locker-room hazing. Officials there decided to cancel that school's football season after the allegations surfaced.
 

]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Punched, Dragged in Brazen Robbery on NYC Street]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:07:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/crown+heights+robbery.jpg

Police are looking for three suspects who attacked a 21-year-old woman on a Brooklyn street earlier this month, breaking her nose and dragging her on the sidewalk before robbing her and running off.

Surveillance video shows three suspects walking on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights Oct. 2 as the victim comes into the camera view from the opposite direction. As she walks past them, one suspect turns his head while another appears to grab her around the neck and slam her against the wall of a building.

That suspect repeatedly punches the woman in the face and stomach, then the other two suspects sidle up and start pawing at the woman, possibly looking for more valuables, before dragging her on the cement by her feet, her hood, and finally, her purse.

Eventually, one of the suspects pulls the woman's purse away and the three run off, leaving her lying on the street. Police said her cellphone was also stolen.

The woman was taken to the hospital with a broken nose and facial lacerations.

Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call police. 

]]>
<![CDATA[Special-Needs Boy in Coma After Falling Off Bus: Report]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:54:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tlmd_school_bus_generic1.jpg

A Bronx special-needs student is in a coma after he opened his school bus’ emergency exit door and fell out of the moving vehicle, his family told the Daily News.

Ajene Pediford, 12, fell out of the moving bus as it was traveling on East 156th Street in the Melrose section of the Bronx on Friday afternoon, his grandmother Nyahali Pediford told the News.

The bus was heading from the boy’s school, Brooklyn Children’s Psychiatric Center, to his foster home in the Bronx.

According to Pediford’s grandmother, the bus driver was the only adult aboard the vehicle. She said she has asked for someone else to supervise the boy, who has a history of acting out on buses.

“I plead with them to get him a one-on-one para(professional) to be with him on the bus,” Pediford told the newspaper. “And they never did it.”

The News reached out to the school, Department of Education and the organization that placed Pediford in a foster home but didn’t immediately receive responses.

]]>
<![CDATA[Subway Punch Suspect Sought: NYPD]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:18:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/103pct+assault+photo.jpg

Police are looking for a man who allegedly punched a fellow subway rider in Queens, then sprayed some kind of substance in his face, they say. 

The assault happened on the J train platform at Parsons-Archer station in Jamaica the morning of Sunday, Sept. 14, according to police. The suspect punched the 23-year-old victim in the face, then sprayed the substance. 

The suspect fled on a southbound J train. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. 

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

]]>
<![CDATA[NJ City Official Arrested After Taking Boy to Motel: Pros.]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:46:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/10-19-14+Daniel+Vergara.jpg

A city official in Paterson, N.J. was arrested Sunday after he stayed at a local motel with a 12-year-old boy without the consent of the boy's guardian, police say. 

Daniel Vergara, 53, of Paterson, was stopped and questioned by South Hackensack Police after he stayed at a motel there with the boy, according to the Bergen County prosecutor's office.

Detectives from the Special Victims Unit at the prosecutor's office spoke to the boy, and the boy "provided specific details regarding his relationship with Vergara" that resulted in Vergara's arrest, authorities said. 

Airport Motel owner Ken Gandhi recalled Vergara checking in, though he didn't remember seeing the boy. 

"The guy came to me for the room and he asked me for the room, and I just gave him the room for one night," he said. "The next day, police came to us and they were looking for the guy." 

Vergara, a deputy chief inspector with the Paterson sanitation department, was charged with child endangerment and remanded to jail on $75,000 bail. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.

City officials say they are aware of the charges against Vergara and are tracking the criminal investigation against him. 

An official in the city of Paterson who asked not to be identified said Vergara is a well-known public servant who has previously served as a school board member and led the Paterson Puerto Rican Day Parade. 

He was heavily involved with the local Boy Scouts and created his own Boy Scouts troop, the official said. 

The prosecutor's office would not say whether Vergara is a person of interest in any other case. 

-- Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report. 

]]>
<![CDATA[43 Removed From Ebola Watch List]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:45:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/judge-clay-jenkins.jpg

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said four dozen people being cleared off the Ebola watch list Monday should be treated with "dignity and respect" and welcomed back into the community.

“There’s zero risk than any of those people on the list have Ebola,” Jenkins said. “We have to believe in science. It’s what separates us from other mammals."

At midnight, 43 people showing no sign of the Ebola virus fell off the list and another five are expected to fall off sometime Monday. All of them either had direct contact with index patient Thomas Eric Duncan, or the ambulance that carried him to the hospital. The additional 75 health care workers who cared for Duncan will clear their 21-day monitoring period on Oct. 29.

Jenkins singled out five children who are returning to school after missing about three weeks, and requested help from Dallas-area parents to ensure they are treated with respect. He said that Duncan's fiancee, Louise Troh, was worried about how her middle-school aged son would be treated, and he agreed with the concerns.

“Middle schoolers are some of the most ferocious and scariest animals on the planet,” Jenkins said.

For 21 days, Troh, her 13-year-old son and her two nephews were isolated from the world. They were ordered into quarantine at a property in Oak Cliff as health officials watched for any signs of them having the Ebola virus.

“You can imagine what it’s like for anybody living under that threat and the tension of everyday,” said Catholic Diocese of Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell.

Their temporary house at the Catholic Conference and Formation Center was a single story, four bedroom home that sits in a gated community owned by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

“They feel relieved and happy,” said Farrell. “But deep down they’re still worried.”

Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings personally asked Farrell if the church could help after the county had to move the family from The Ivy Apartments where Troh lived. The apartment contained many contaminated items from Duncan.

“Naturally, I had to think about the consequence of doing this,” said Farrell. “But it was in my heart all of the time that I was going to do something.”

It took the bishop 15 minutes to make a decision. The family was moved and remained out of sight from the world during their quarantine.

But now one challenge is over and another one begins.

“I would hope that the whole community would kind of understand and bring them back into the community and be kind and compassionate and accepting to these people who have suffered in this way,” said Farrell.

Troh lost most of her property at her apartment that had to be destroyed because they were contaminated. But over the next week she will be looking for a new home and will be able to purchase new belongings with the help of the City of Dallas and generous donations.

Jenkins added that the way people handle the reintegration process could show the city as a “beacon for how others can deal” with such adversity when “the next Ebola case happens to America.”

"The world is watching Dallas,” he said.

43 Removed from Ebola Contact List

The 43 people who were on the watch list after coming in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Oct. 8, before he was put in isolation have shown no signs of contracting the virus.

“Continuous vigilance in confronting this threat and the cooperation of those affected is what has brought us to this point, and we look forward to the day when the remaining individuals can also be removed from active monitoring,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.

The fight is not over, though. Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, two Dallas nurses who contracted the virus while caring for Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, remain hospitalized. Investigators said they don't know how or when they contracted the virus.

“They are blameless in this situation,” said Jenkins. “They are victims of Ebola. They are not at fault for contracting this disease in any way.”

All the other health care workers who cared for Duncan while in isolation are being monitored for 21 days. More than 70 of them will be closely watched until Oct. 29 as long as they continue to show no signs of having the virus.

“We cannot be relieved,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “We are still in a situation where we are cautious. We're cautiously optimistic, but we're still very cautious.”

Jenkins said with each day that passes, the chances of another health care worker contracting the virus from Duncan decreases. If no new cases of Ebola appear before Nov. 6, North Texas will no longer be monitored for the virus.

120 Possible Contacts Still Monitored

Around 120 possible contacts will remain on monitoring after the initial 48 are removed.

In addition to the health care workers, airline passengers have been notified of possible Ebola contact from nurse Amber Vinson before she was hospitalized while she traveled to and from Ohio.

A handful of people who sat within three feet of Vinson have been told to stay at home during the 21 day monitoring period.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[6 Cops Hurt in Rooftop Chase After Break-in: Officials]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:48:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black.jpg

Six police officers were injured on a rooftop-to-rooftop foot chase in pursuit of two men who allegedly broke into a Yonkers sneaker store early Monday, authorities say.

Two men, ages 19 and 43, were arrested. Police on patrol spotted the two men hanging a ladder through the roof of Sneaker World on New Main Street at about 1 a.m. while responding to the sound of the store’s alarm, according to the Yonkers Police Department.

The responding officers set up a perimeter, called in backup and then went up to the roof to detain the suspects.

When the men ran away, the officers chased them from roof to roof on the row of connected buildings, police say. They caught them on top of a building on the corner of Palisades Avenue and New Main Street.

The men allegedly assaulted the officers while they were being arrested, police say.

Authorities later used a fire truck ladder to get the suspects and officers down. The officers were taken to a hospital and are expected to be OK.

Nothing was taken from the store, but police say someone tried to get into the store's cash register. Investigators are looking into whether other people were involved in the burglary.

The two men, both of whom work in construction, are charged with burglary, assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.

One of the suspects has several priors, including a felony.
 

]]>
<![CDATA[Monica Lewinsky Joins Twitter]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:58:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/451542370.jpg

Monica Lewisnky joined Twitter on Monday, posting the hashtag: #HereWeGo under the Twitter handle @MonicaLewinsky.


Almost an hour later, the 41-year-old tweeted that she was “excited (and nervous)” to speak at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia on Monday.

Lewinsky's Twitter bio describes her as a social activist, public speaker, Vanity Fair contributor, and "knitter of things without sleeves."

Vanity Fair retweeted her and welcomed her to the social networking site.

This year, Lewinsky has been making a slow return to the public eye after a decade away from the spotlight. 

In May, Lewinsky penned an article for Vanity Fair reflecting on her affair as a White House intern with then President Bill Clinton, saying “it was time to "burn the beret and bury the blue dress."

Lewinsky also talked to "Today" in July about the day details about the affair were revealed by a report from prosecutor Kenneth Starr, saying, “I was the most humiliated woman in the world.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Marie Curie
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Hero, Nero, Zero in Giants-Cowboys Game]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:27:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/457509642.jpg

Welcome to Hero, Nero, Zero for Week 7 as we honor people for their accomplishments, insanity and ineptitude.

Hero: DeMarco Murray.

I’m tempted to hand this honor to Cowboys backup running back Joseph Randle, who was arrested for shoplifting underwear last week and then parlayed that into a sponsorship deal with an underwear company. What does this say about our country and the way that people’s minds work?

But no, we won’t go that route.

Murray just became the first running back to surpass 100 yards rushing in the first seven games of a season, and he rolled over the Giants with 128 yards and 1 touchdown on 28 carries. He deserves the Hero award, so here you go, DeMarco – but wait, who is that?!? OMG, Joseph Randle has stolen the award from Murray and is making a getaway!

Nero: Jerry Jones.

Whenever the Giants play the Cowboys, there’s no shortage of craziness. This week was no different, with Tony Romo saying Jason Witten is the greatest Cowboy of all time and Randle getting arrested for stealing underwear and cologne. Both those were game week distractions, not mid-game distractions, i.e., the sun pouring through the open shutters on the western end of AT&T Stadium as the sun set in the late afternoon, blinding players, fans, cameramen, concessionaires and basically anyone facing west.

Mind you, AT&T Stadium is technically an indoor stadium, but some genius (who also doubles as the Cowboys owner and general manager) signed off on an architectural plan that has the stadium oriented east-west. This wouldn’t be a problem if the stadium didn’t have windows that some genius (ibid) decided to leave open during Sunday's game.

As the announcers made clear, it was Jerry Jones’ call whether the windows were shuttered or not. He chose to leave them open, and while it didn’t lead directly to any blindness-induced turnovers on the field, fans paying several hundred dollars couldn’t have been happy to take in the Texas sunset in lieu of seeing the actual game.

Zero: Giants playing this week.

Yup, the Giants are on a bye next Sunday, so that means it’s time for the players and coaches to make some mid-season adjustments. One week after getting trounced by the Eagles, the Giants played much better against Dallas, but simply couldn’t find a way to stop the Cowboys’ offense late in the game. Here are some things players can work on during their bye week:

Odell Beckham Jr. and his touchdown dance: Beckham now has three touchdown receptions in his first three games, and has celebrated each time by apparently jumping into the driver’s seat of his parents’ car while they ran into the convenience store and then hopping back out before they caught him play-driving.

Larry Donnell and his penchant for fumbling the ball: Donnell led the Giants in receiving yesterday with seven catches for 90 yards, but he had two fumbles – including one with just over 11 minutes left in the game, with the Giants only trailing by seven points. Four plays later, Murray punched it in and the Cowboys were up 14. The Giants later closed it to 7, but they never again had the ball with an opportunity to tie the game.

Eli Manning and his penchant for not throwing interceptions: That was the third straight game in which Eli has not thrown an interception, two of them losses, and Giants fans are confused because they’re not sure who to blame. It was much easier when the team lost and Manning threw some godawful picks, but now he’s being smarter with the ball and demanding that fans be more sophisticated in their criticism. This will not stand!
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[38-Year-Old Woman Stabbed to Death in Brooklyn]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:37:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/woman-shot-death-ny.jpg

A 38-year-old woman died after she was stabbed several times in Brooklyn Sunday evening, police said.

Officers responded to a home on East 43rd Street in Flatlands just before 6:30 p.m. and found Iman Thomas with multiple stab wounds to her torso in the backyard, officials said.

She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. 

One person was taken into custody at the scene, and charges are pending, police said. Authorities would not confirm that person's relationship to Thomas.

Thomas' grief-stricken family gathered outside the home Sunday night.

"She was a good girl," said Thomas' cousin, Alice Williams. "I'm hurt that she's gone right now."
 

]]>
<![CDATA[Toddler's Death Investigated as Possible Homicide: Prosecutor]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:59:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ambulance_generic_2.jpg

Authorities are investigating the death of a toddler from Newark as a possible homicide, officials said Sunday.

According to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, the 2-year-old child was transported from a home on Halstead Street to University Hospital Saturday afternoon and was pronounced dead soon after.

The county's homicide task force is investigating the death, a spokesman from the prosecutor's office said. 

The child's identity has not been released and the cause of death will be determined after an autopsy, the spokesman said.

]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Ambulance Sparks Pursuit]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:54:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/141019-stolen-lafd-ambulance.jpg

A patient stole a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday night and led officers in a pursuit that ended in a crash a few miles away, police said.

Two paramedics were in the back of their ambulance about 7:40 p.m. treating the patient in the 200 block of N. San Pedro Street, LAFD officials said.  The patient refused medical attention and left the vehicle, but later came back charging at the paramedics, who took cover in the back of the ambulance and locked the doors, police said.

That's when the patient got into the cab of the ambulance and drove off with paramedics leaping out of the back, officials said.

A fire engine followed the ambulance until Los Angeles Police Department officers took over the pursuit, police said.

The short chase ended when the driver lost control of the ambulance and collided with a minivan at Beverly Boulevard and Union Avenue in the Westlake District, police said.

The driver of the ambulance was taken into custody.

Two people who were in the minivan were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said. They were expected to be OK.

No one else was hurt.



Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBCLA via Instagram)]]>
<![CDATA[4 Teenagers Open Fire on Brooklyn Street, Injuring 4: Police]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:05:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/1019144shot.jpg

Four teenagers opened fire on a Brooklyn street, spraying bullets that hit four different men, police said Sunday.

The four attackers, all believed to be between the ages of 14 and 16, were wearing black hoodies when they began shooting Saturday at around 10:30 p.m., police said.

Police said their bullets injured four men on Lenox Road in Prospect Lefferts Gardens: a 50-year-old who was shot in the chest; a 46-year-old who was shot in the leg; a 19-year-old who was shot in the foot; and a 19-year-old who was shot in the leg.

All four were hospitalized in stable condition and were expected to survive, police said.

]]>
<![CDATA["You Can't Be Afraid": Dallas Takes Ebola in Stride]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:56:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP705583008842.jpg

Nearly three weeks after Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with Ebola, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was standing at the hospital’s entrance taping a promotion video for the city’s convention and visitors bureau.

"I want to tell you this – Dallas is open for business like never before," he assured would-be visitors. "Now look, you've got to make some decisions but make them based on fact." 

Dallas is safe, he said.

As the city of about 1.3 million people goes about its business, with thousands pouring into the Texas State Fair for its final weekend and fans looking forward to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday football game against the New York Giants, the mayor has his supporters. Ebola is a deadly disease, but the threat of infection for the majority of people is small, residents and visitors said. Still, fears emerge even as they're fast tamped down.

Edward Nash, 40, a cook serving Vietnamese specialties at the Nammi Food Truck parked in downtown Dallas, agreed that the city was ill-prepared for its first Ebola patient. But he thought that since the crisis has unfolded residents have been kept well-informed. Most people never really believed the disease would come to this city – despite the epidemic raging in West Africa, he said. If anywhere, he thought the first case would be recorded in New York City or Los Angeles, a larger metropolis along one of the coasts where more people are entering the country.

"You don’t expect it," he said. "When it happened, it was like, 'Oh, this is not a drill. This is happening for real.' And that's with anything you do, any line of work."

But now that the disease has arrived, he expects health officials to keep it well in hand. Too many things would have to go wrong for a widespread epidemic to take hold as it has in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, he said.

"To happen here in Dallas someone truly has to drop the ball," he said.

Duncan, a Liberian man who traveled to Dallas to see his fiancee, died on Oct. 8. He first went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 25 — and was sent home despite a fever — then returned in an ambulance three days later and was admitted with Ebola.

Two of the nurses treating him have also been diagnosed with the virus: Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson. Both have been transferred to one of the country’s centers specializing in treating contagious diseases, Pham to the National Institutes of Health Clincial Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and Vinson to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Before Vinson was diagnosed, she flew to Cleveland, Ohio, to plan her wedding and back to Dallas.

A second hospital worker who may have handled Duncan’s fluid samples also traveled, boarding a cruise on Carnival ship.  Mexican authorities turned the ship away in Cozumel and the worker went into voluntary isolation. A helicopter was sent to get a blood sample from her on Saturday. Authorities have stressed she has shown no symptoms. 

Health officials have been monitoring 145 people for symptoms of Ebola as a result of direct or indirect contact with Duncan or the nurses. As of Saturday, 14 had completed their surveillance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nash was not surprised that the workers had left Dallas. He blames a lack of knowledge about Ebola.

"If they honestly thought that they were a carrier, that they weren’t safe, I believe they wouldn't have traveled," he said. "They wouldn't have put themselves around people. They would have quarantined themselves at the hospital."

Nearby, Faye Hooper was eating ice cream from another of the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park. The 57-year-old geometry teacher from Tennessee was visiting her daughter in Dallas and though Ebola had crossed her mind, she said she did not feel unsafe in Dallas. She had read up on the disease, partly to calm her ninth- and tenth-grade students, and knew that passengers not showing symptoms were not contagious, she said.

"I guess I was concerned about it enough to read about it a little bit," she said.

Dallas had the means to protect people properly, she said. More worrisome would be flying with passengers from West Africa, where countries have not been able to control the spread of the virus, she said.

“That would concern me, but no, not just coming to Dallas,” she said.

Even as other communities have closed schools and quarantined teachers, the Dallas schools have remained open. Five students who had contact with Duncan were quarantined quickly. Based on information from the Dallas County Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the district determined there was no need to close any schools, said Andre Riley, the director of news and information for the Dallas Independent School District.

The day after Duncan's diagnosis became public there was about a 10 percent drop-off at the schools the five students' schools, he said. Attendance was back to normal by the beginning of the following week.

"It's a great thing that folks are being monitored," he said. "It shows that there's a heightened level of awareness and our community is taking this seriously."

Two musicians in downtown Dallas, Adontis Barber, 25, and 24-year-old Che Sealy, said journalists were exaggerating the danger.

“They’re blowing it way out of proportion without dispensing the proper knowledge of it,” Barber said. “Why do you have to push it so hard, so fast, so quick all the time?”

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital will have to work hard to repair its reputation after turning Duncan away, he said. Now people are asking whether that occurred because he was a black man, he said.

“That’s the question that’s been itching on everyone’s ears,” he said.

The hospital has denied discriminating against Duncan because of his nationality or lack of health care, and it has undertaken a public relations campaign to restore the city's confidence in the care it provides. It has begun a social media effort using the hashtag #presbyproud, and as the weekend started, nurses and others held a brief rally in support of the hospital. Barclay Berdan, the CEO of the hospital's parent company, Texas Health Resources, has written an open letter to the community acknowledging mistakes and the hospital's lack of preparation an describing changes.

"We have acted aggressively to improve our response and protect the health and safety of our workers and community," the letter reads.

Nonetheless there are signs the city is on edge. Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, acknowledged to The Dallas Morning News that some patients have cancelled appointments. Then on Saturday, a woman fell ill on a Dallas DART train and a station was closed for a time. 

At the State Fair, where cowboy burritos were on sale this year and steers and lambs and goats were on display, some among the throngs admitted to being worried. 

Alana Etheridge, a Dallas resident who works on health-care contracts, said she had given some thought to whether she should attend.

"Should we go, should we not go?" she said.

"Basically you can't be afraid," she said. "I think the best thing is just to be knowledgeable and educate yourself on how it's actually spread. But we have to go to work and we have to go to other public places."

Brenda Willis, there with her husband and two children, said she thought that Dallas had done its best.

"The best they can with what they have, yes," said Willis, 39, an Austin resident works in pharmaceutical research. "Are they equipped with what they need? No."

Few hospitals in the United States are outfitted to treat Ebola successfully, she said. 

Taking a break in the shade, Jacque and Kayla Talley, Arlington residents and mother and daughter who work with mental-health counselors, said they were not afraid. 

Kayla Talley, 19, said she did not think officials were handling the Ebola scare as well as they could. 

"People worry about it because now it's here," she said. "It's affecting us."

Her mother praised the nurses who took care of Duncan, even at their own risk. She refused to stay away from the State Fair, just as she hadn't stayed away after the September 11th terrorist attacks when people were warned against mingling in large crowds, she said.

"I wasn't going to let someone ruin our family tradition," she said. "So no, it doesn't scare me."



Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Students Home Amid Ebola Concerns]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:11:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Howard-R-Yocum.jpg

Two students from Africa who were scheduled to start classes at a New Jersey school Monday will instead stay home past a 21-day waiting period due to Ebola concerns, despite the fact that they are symptom-free and are not from an area affected by the virus.

A nurse at the Howard Yocum School in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey sent a letter to staff members informing them that two new students from Rwanda, Africa would be arriving at the school on Monday.

“This is not an area identified as a country with an Ebola outbreak, however l am taking precautions as per the health guidelines of the Burlington County Health Department,” the nurse wrote.  “I will be taking the students' temperature three times a day for 21 days.”

In the letter, the nurse cites a Centers for Disease Control recommendation that all healthy people who arrive in the United States from an Ebola affected area be checked for fever daily for 21 days. She also acknowledges in the same letter however that Rwanda is not an area affected by Ebola.

The nurse informed the school staff she would check the students before they start school, at lunch time and at the end of the day.

“They may continue their usual activities during this time," the nurse wrote. "If they remain healthy during the 21 days, they are not at risk for Ebola. If they get sick the 21 days after returning from an Ebola affected area, they are not at risk for Ebola. This means that they are ill from another source. If there is a fever of 100 or greater, the student will be sent home.”

Bryan Huff, a custodian at Yocum Elementary, told NBC10 the letter caused a panic among parents of children at the school as well as staff.

"A lot of people were going to pull their kids out of school," Huff said. "A lot of people weren't going to go to work."

Gina Mulherin, a parent of a student at Howard Yocum, told NBC10 she sympathized with the parents of the new students but ultimately agreed with the school nurse's decision.

"It's a little unsettling to think that your child would be getting their temperature taken three times a day," she said. "But again, it's better to be safe than sorry."

Anxiety from parents turned to relief Saturday however when Maple Shade School District Superintendent Beth Nocia announced the parents of the new students chose to keep them home past the 21-day waiting period.

“The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously,” Nocia wrote. “As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday.  This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus.  Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21-day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week.“

Nickiesha Samuels, another parent at the school, told NBC10 she's happy with the choice the parents made.

"Them taking an extra week beyond the 21 days before coming to school is more than appreciated," she said.

Huff also said he was relieved by their decision.

"Now we don't have to worry about anything," Huff said. "We actually know that they're going to be fine when they come to school. So we have no worries on our shoulders."

NBC10 reached out to the school nurse as well as Nocia. We have not yet heard from either of them.

The first confirmed case of Ebola in the United States sparked immediate concerns about who may have been exposed and helped shed light on how the potentially deadly virus is, and isn’t, spread.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who show symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, according to the CDC.

CLICK HERE for more information on Ebola.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[2 Arrested in SoCal Student's Death]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:19:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Abdullah+Abdullatif+Alkadi+blue+bg.jpg

Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Cal State Northridge student whose remains were found alongside a freeway in Riverside County one month after he went missing, police said Sunday.

No further information was released. The Los Angeles Police Department planned on holding a press conference Monday.

Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, a 23-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia, was last seen on Sept. 17 at his home in Northridge. His remains were found about 11:50 p.m. Thursday alongside the 10 Freeway near the Cook Street overpass in Palm Desert, police said.

Alkadi sold his Audi to a man he met through Craigslist when we went missing, but police said they contacted the buyer and cleared that person from any involvement in the disappearance.

Cellphone records traced him to Beaumont, a city in which he has no contacts, shortly after he disappeared, Alkadi's cousin Allison Alomair told NBC4 last month.

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story

Christina Cocca contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tried to Dig Into Verizon: PD]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:43:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/juan+cardoso+mug.jpg

An attempted burglary suspect is in custody after leading police on a chase through two Broward cities early Sunday morning.

Police say 41-year-old Juan Carlos Cardoso tried to dig a hole into a Verizon store from an adjacent Enterprice Rental Car store at 2222 University Drive in Coral Springs.

"It appears the suspect was most likely trying to make entrance into Verizon, most likely to steal cell phones or commit some type of theft while inside," Coral Springs Police Lt. Brad McKeone said.

The store's alarm went off, prompting Cardoso to flee in a silver SUV. Police arrived as Cardoso was leaving the parking lot and chased him nearly five miles. The chase ended in a residential community near Southgate Blvd. and Sanibel Drive in Tamarac.

Cardoso was arrested after crashing into a police cruiser and two parked cars. Gavin Gordon is one of the owners of the damaged cars, and said it was a shock to see this happen so close to home.

"Something like this doesn't usually happen in this neighborhood," Gordon said. "It's very secluded."

Area resident Kayla Weiss said she witnessed the arrest.

"The cops took him out of the car and he was resisting, he was trying to fight the cops," Weiss said. "So they tazed him. It was insane."

McKeone said one officer injured his leg while arresting Cardoso, and was taken to Coral Springs Medical Center. He is expected to be okay.

Cardoso was transported to Broward Health Medical Center for minor injuries. He was then booked into the Broward County Main Jail.

Cardoso faces seven charges, including aggravated battery on an officer, leaving the scene of a crash, and aggravated fleeing and eluding. Police say he may face more charges from prosecutors. He is being held on more than $21,000 bond. It is unclear if Cardoso has an attorney.

Police believe there may have been other people involved in the attempted burglary. They are asking anyone with information to call the Coral Springs Police at (954) 344-1800.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Ebola Nurse "In No Way Careless"]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:39:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Amber-Vinson-1200x675.jpg

The family of Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson released a statement Sunday, indicating the Dallas nurse had not been careless in the days preceding her diagnosis.

The 29-year-old nurse had cared for Ebola victim Thomas Eric Dunan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas in late September. According to previous reports, Vinson had worn protective gear while handling Duncan's bodily fluids before his death.

Vinson flew from Dallas to Cleveland Oct. 10, two days after Duncan died, to visit her mother and fiancé and to plan her upcoming wedding, a health official said.

According to her family, she had been in contact with Dallas County Health Department officials, who asked her to report her temperature twice a day after fellow nurse Nina Pham was diagnosed with Ebola. Vinson's family said she asked officials if she could fly back to Dallas a day early and place herself in a 21-day quarantine at the hospital.

"She was told that this was the first request of its kind, but that the agency would consider the option," her family said in a statement. "Once again, Amber was assured that she should not be alarmed and prompted to continue self-monitoring."

She flew back to Dallas Monday, Oct. 13, reported a 100.3 degree fever the following morning and checked herself into Presbyterian Hospital, according to the family. Vinson was flown to Atlanta's Emory Hospital to receive more specialized care following her Ebola diagnosis on Oct. 15.

"Suggestions that she ignored any of the physician and government-provided protocols recommended to her are patently untrue and hurtful," the family statement reads. "Although the majority of the correspondences we have received since her diagnosis have been positive, we are troubled by some of the negative public comments and media coverage that mischaracterize Amber and her actions. To be clear, in no way was Amber careless before or after her exposure to Mr. Thomas Eric Duncan. She has not and would not knowingly expose herself or anyone else."

Vinson's family also said they have retained a lawyer from Washington, D.C., and have asked for privacy.

"The past several days have been the most trying our family has collectively ever faced," they wrote. "We remain intensely prayerful and optimistic about Amber’s condition and of the treatment she is currently receiving. Our prayers and thoughts also go out to Amber’s colleague, Nina Pham, and the Dallas and Ohio communities impacted by this tragedy."



Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Festival Head Takes Reporter's Mic]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:14:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NECN_101914_pumpkinfestcoordinator_1200x675_344942147824.jpg

While confrontations between police and crowds were taking place during the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire, a reporter and the festival's organizer had a tense moment captured on television.

Coordinator Ruth Sterling ripped a microphone from Cheshire TV reporter Jared Goodell during a liveshot.

"She's not letting me do my job and to report to you, she would not like me to tell you what's going on at Keene State College," Goodell said.

"This is a family-friendly event. The footprint of Keene Pumpkin Festival is 100 percent safe. We have a bigger crowd than we've ever had. I want them to have a wonderful evening and not be disturbed by people who aren't even at the pumpkin festival," said Sterling after reaching for the microphone. "So if you think that inciting these people is a good idea, I am going to pull the plug on you. Because you are here as a guest of Keene Pumpkin Festival and I assigned you this spot."

Sterling posted the following statement on the Pumpkin Festival's website:

"Yesterday gave us many lessons; sorting them out and learning will take time. There is some thing each of us can to do help. And there is some comfort in remembering Mr. Rogers' wisdom, 'look for the helpers.' In the helpers, there is hope."



Photo Credit: Cheshire TV]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash on Long Island]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:14:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Generic-Ambulance-Cropped.jpg

A 40-year-old woman has been killed in a hit-and-run crash on Long Island, police said Sunday.

Tracy Mangino, of Miller Place, was walking on North Country Road shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday when she was hit by a truck that then fled the scene, according to Suffolk County police. She died at a hospital.

Police say they're working to find the driver who fled. They're asking anyone with information to call 800-220-TIPS.



Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>