<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usTue, 28 Mar 2017 02:51:12 -0400Tue, 28 Mar 2017 02:51:12 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Homeless Woman Spits at Passersby on NYC Street: Neighbors]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:29:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/homeless+spitting+woman.jpg

Neighbors on the Upper East Side say they're being terrorized by a woman on the streets who screams and spits at them as they walk by. 

The woman, who's believed to be homeless and mentally disturbed, has been spitting at passersby for years. But Nick Goodman has gotten so fed up he's created a Facebook page called "Spitting Lady of the Upper East Side" to keep tabs on her and avoid her. 

"She's popped out of a Citi Bank or a side street and spat on us," said Goodman.  

His 7-year-old son Nickey says "it scares me a lot" when they encounter her.

"I take a cab like two blocks sometimes" to stay out of her way, the boy says.

They're not the only ones who are scared of the woman. Jill Grover says she's hidden behind cars to avoid her.

"She's scary," she said. 

Despite the coalition of 400-plus people on Facebook and a long Reddit thread detailing other similar encounters, there's still no resolution to the problem. Councilman Ben Kallos has launched a petition urging police to take action, but NYPD's 19th Precinct Captain Bill Gallagher said it's not that easy. 

"If it's a crime, we'll enforce the law -- but an individual who just needs help, we'll get them the help they need without arresting them," he said.

Even if police take the woman off the streets, the Department of Homeless Services says it can't necessarily hold her. 

The Department of Homeless Services said in a statement, "It can take anywhere from one dozen to more than 200 contacts to bring homeless New Yorkers indoors." 

In the meantime, neighbors are continuing to communicate with each other to avoid the woman as best they can. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Ferries on Epic Journey to NYC Ahead of Summer Launch]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:36:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/citywide+ferry+service+1.jpg

This weekend the first ferry in New York City’s new fleet began its journey north to the city, where an ambitious plan is underway to bring ferry service to residents across the five boroughs.

After the new ferry was built outside Mobile, Alabama, it traveled down to Fort Myers, Florida, and traversed part of the state via the swampy Caloosahatchee River.

But as the ferry was passing through Moore Haven, just ahead of Lake Okeechobee, it encountered a narrow channel and got stuck in shallow mud, said Anthony Hogrebe, a spokesman for New York City's Economic Development Corporation who was on board the vessel.

The captain had to turn the $4 million boat around as a curious alligator watched from the water. 

“I heard somebody say ‘gator’ and saw a head sticking up out of the water,” Hogrebe said. “It definitely reminded you we are in Florida and anything can happen.”

Despite the hitch, the ferry was soon on its way. 

“To see them assess the situation and get moving again without damaging the propellers gave me confidence we have the right people doing the job,” Hogrebe said.

Hogrebe and his team at the EDC are in charge of carrying out Mayor de Blasio’s vision of citywide ferry service. Announced last year, the ferry service will operate from 21 landings across the city, including in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, by the time it is fully operational in 2018. It will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year across six routes.

Hogrebe says the snag in Florida won’t have an effect on this summer’s launch of the ferry service and that the launch is on schedule.

On Friday, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told NBC 4 New York that citywide ferry service will cost taxpayers about $335 million, including $180 million for operating costs, $84 million for new boats, $59 million for new docks and landings, and $11 million to buy existing East River Ferry boats and routes.

Glen defended the price tag to taxpayers, saying it’s cheaper to run ferries than other forms of transportation and that routes will reach under-served communities.

“The per cost tax dollar for this form of transportation is less than the express buses we run in other parts of the city,” Glen said. “This is an absolutely cost reasonable approach.”

The city hasn’t announced an official opening date for the ferry service, but it’s expected to hit the first site, the Rockaways, in June and Astora in late summer.

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<![CDATA[Schiff Calls for Nunes' Recusal From Russia Probe]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:09:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-653548766.jpg

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called for its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from "any investigation" into President Donald Trump's campaign and transition team after news of the Republican's secret White House meeting on the issue emerged.

Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday that it's "not a recommendation I make lightly," NBC News reported.

"I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the President's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the Chairman," Schiff said in a statement.

The call comes amid news that Nunes went to the White House the day before he made the explosive claim that Trump and his associates may have been "incidentally" swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.



Photo Credit: Mark Wilson, Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[NY Comptroller Seeks Safeguards for Hazardous Rail Shipments]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:51:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/thomas+dinapoli.jpg

New York state's comptroller is urging the Trump administration to strengthen safeguards for trains carrying oil and other hazardous materials.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday that he's written to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking her to consider additional safety measures to protect residents and the environment.

DiNapoli's letter cites an incident earlier this month in which a freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Newburgh, spilling sulfuric acid.

He says additional safeguards are needed to ensure the safe transport of petroleum and other materials by train, and that rail companies should be required to carry insurance sufficient to cover cleanup costs.

The Democratic comptroller sent a similar letter last year to President Obama's transportation secretary.



Photo Credit: (Mike Groll/AP File Photo)]]>
<![CDATA[Two Policemen Shot in 'Ambush-Style Attack' in Miami]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:36:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/215*120/032717+two+police+officers+shot.jpg

Two police officers were shot in an "ambush-style attack" in Northwest Miami-Dade Monday evening, the Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. near Northwest 62nd Street and 20th Avenue. Miami-Dade police said the two men were conducting an undercover gang investigation at the Andy Coleman Apartments when they were shot. 

NBC 6 cameras captured the two police officers being rushed into Jackson Memorial Hospital. The two men, who appeared alert, arrived in a pickup truck and were being aided by Miami-Dade police officers.

The injured officers are in stable condition and in good spirits, police said.

A search was underway for the suspect or suspects at the scene of the shooting. Several police helicopters scoured the area during the manhunt. Officials blocked off the area as they investigated the incident.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez arrived at the hospital where the officers were being treated. They spoke to reporters about the investigation and asked the public's help in finding the shooters.

Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates offered support to the injured officers on Twitter. He tweeted, "@MiamiDadePD prayers for our partners and ready to offer any needed support from @MiamiBeachPD."

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.



Photo Credit: NBC6
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<![CDATA[Pedestrian, 87, Killed on Foggy Road on LI: Cops]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 01:10:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MAN+KILLED+BY+CAR+ON+LI+web_WNBC_000000015620867.jpg

An elderly man was struck and killed on Long Island Monday night on a fog-covered roadway, police said.

Shortly before 9 p.m., a woman driving a 2001 Ford Focus hit the pedestrian who was standing on the side of Mark Tree Road, just north of Linda Drive in Centereach, according to police.

87-year-old Dominick Geraci of Selden was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The driver, who has not been charged, was not injured and remained on the scene, according to authorities.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and police say they continue to investigate. 

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<![CDATA[Petition: Melania Trump Must Move or Foot Security Bill]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:50:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/white+house+melania+donald+trump.jpg

A petition quickly amassing signatures online calls for members of the Senate to force First Lady Melania Trump to move into the White House or pay for the security required to protect her in New York City.

The petition says U.S. taxpayers are paying an “exorbitant amount of money” to protect the first lady and her 11-year-old son Barron in Trump Tower and that funding should be cut.

By 10 p.m. Monday the petition on change.org had garnered just over 80,000 signatures of its 150,000 goal. If the goal is reached, the petition will be delivered to senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

A proposed letter to senators Sanders and Warren reads: “Make Melania Trump stay in the White House or pay for the expenses herself.”

The NYPD estimates that it costs $127,000 to $146,000 a day to protect the first lady and her 10-year-old son Barron when President Trump is not in the city, the New York Times reported. When the president is in the city, it costs about $308,000 a day. That’s about $50 million a year to protect Melania and Barron, according to the Times.

While President Donald Trump moved into the White House after he was inaugurated in January, his wife and youngest son have stayed in Manhattan. The president has said the two of them will move to Washington, D.C. with him when Barron finishes his school year. 



Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Rat-Borne Disease Kills Dogs in New Jersey]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:01:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dog+disease.jpg

The same rat-borne disease that killed a man in the Bronx is killing dogs in New Jersey, and veterinarians are warning pet owners to be on alert.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection dogs can catch from wildlife like squirrels and rats. The disease passes through urine, which pets may lick up when drinking from puddles or other standing water.

River Edge resident Shawn Kucharski often takes his dog Hershey for a morning walk. He said he was taken aback by the number of dogs who have contracted the disease in recent months.

“It is concerning because they go around and sniff everything and touch everything,” Kucharski said.

Veterinarians at Blue Pearl in Paramus say they’ve seen a clear upsurge in cases.

"We’ve probably had five or six cases of leptospirosis over the course of the winter," Dr. Tara Fetzer of Blue Pearl said. "A much higher number than we normally see."

Veterinarians believe the rise in cases is likely due to a warm winter — people have taken their dogs outside more often than they normally would during the cold months.

Still, two dogs have died, and humans can get leptospirosis too. A man in the Bronx recently died after contracting the disease from a rat.

The New Jersey Dept. of Health doesn't track cases of leptospirosis in dogs, but it says there haven't been any human cases in the state in the last five years.

Pet owners should look for signs and symptoms of the disease in their dogs, such as fever lethargy, loss of appetite, increased urination and inability to urinate. It’s also a good idea to be careful at dog parks, where dogs congregate and can pass along illnesses.

To avoid getting leptospirosis, people should practice good hand hygiene and avoid contact with pet urine.

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<![CDATA['Outerbridge Cowboy' Agrees to Give Up Horses in Plea Deal]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:36:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/man-on-horse-outerbridge.jpg

The 80-year-old man arrested last summer after riding his two horses across the Outerbridge Crossing, causing a traffic jam, has pleaded guilty to a violation of disorderly conduct.

Tod Mishler, who was arrested on charges of animal cruelty three days after riding over the bridge last June, is barred from having horses in New York state for the next two years under the terms of the plea agreement. 

He's also agreed to give up his two horses, Hope II and Charity. Police said last year the two horses -- one carrying bags -- suffered from dehydration and open bleeding saddle sores. 

The horses have since recovered and are being cared for and supervised by trained professionals at facilities, said Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon. 

Mishler gained fame riding horses around the country, saying he was a cowboy helping hungry children. 



Photo Credit: @calvs88 / Twitter
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<![CDATA[Brooklyn Prosecutor Forged Orders for Illegal Wiretaps: Govt]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:13:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/EX+PROSECUTOR+ILLEGAL+WIRETAP+BK+ARRAIGNMENT+-+15500628_WNBC_00.jpg

A supervising prosecutor from the Brooklyn district attorney's office forged judges' signatures in order to obtain illegal wiretaps and then used those wiretaps to illegally monitor cell phone calls and text messages, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment Monday. 

Tara Lenich, 41, who was an assistant district attorney with the Kings County District Attorney's Office, allegedly created those fake judicial orders for more than a year -- from June 2015 to November 2016 -- in order to get the wiretaps. 

She then, prosecutors allege, used equipment from the DA's office to "intercept, monitor and record the communications to and from the two cellular telephones."

Lenich didn't comment to reporters after she was arraigned Monday. Her attorney also declined to comment. 

She was initially arrested last November and fired from the DA's office once the allegations came to light.

Federal prosecutors subsequently took over the case, which was widely described as having to do with a romantic entanglement. 



Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Nunes Met Source for Trump Monitoring Claim at WH Grounds]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:07:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/656523922-devin-nunes-trump-intelligence.jpg

Before Rep. Devin Nunes claimed Trump Tower may have been caught up in United States surveillance efforts during the transition period, the House Intelligence Committee chairman was on White House grounds meeting with a source, Nunes' spokesman confirmed in a statement to NBC News. 

Nunes, a California Republican, hasn't revealed who his source was for the explosive claim, made Wednesday, that private communications of President Donald Trump and his presidential transition team may have been scooped up by American intelligence officials monitoring other targets and improperly distributed throughout spy agencies. Nunes later took the information directly to Trump before briefing other members of the committee, drawing a rebuke from other members.

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement Monday he believes Nunes "should recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russia investigation, as well as any involvement in oversight of matters pertaining to any incidental collection of the Trump transition, as he was also a key member of the transition team."

Schiff had declared Wednesday he had "profound doubt" about the integrity and independence of the committee's probe, and has pushed for an independent commission to look into alleged ties between Trump's team and Russia, which is suspected of interfering with the election. Schiff followed up Monday by saying that it is "very clear" that Nunes had "no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee."

Monday's revelation also prompted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to call for House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove Nunes as committee chairman for a "credible investigation."

Ryan's press secretary hours earlier said that a statement from last week expressing "full confidence" in Nunes still stood. 

Nunes, who served on Trump's transition, has apologized to members of the committee for briefing the president first. He also clarified that he can't be sure whether conversations among Trump or his aides were captured in the surveillance.

"Chairman Nunes met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source," his spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement. "The Chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of U.S. citizens, and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that Trump Tower had been wiretapped."

Classified information must be viewed in secure enclosures called sensitive compartmented information facilities, or SCIFs. However, as NBC News reports, Nunes' own committee has a secure room in the Capitol in which he and his aides regularly review secret documents — so it's unclear why Nunes would have had to seek a secure location to do so in the White House.

Langer responded that the circumstances required that Nunes go to the White House grounds, the Associated Press reports.

"Because of classification rules, the source could not simply put the documents in a backpack and walk them over to the House Intelligence Committee space," Langer said.

Ned Price, formerly the Special Assistant to President Obama, told NBC News that all visitors, even the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, must be cleared into White House grounds. "It's just not possible the White House was unaware or uninvolved," he said of Nunes' visit.

After the statement was released Monday, Nunes told Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake Monday that his source was an intelligence official, not a White House staffer, whom he met on White House grounds because it was the most convenient secure location with "networked access" to the reports he viewed.

He also revealed that the reports were sent to executive branch agencies including the Obama White House, Lake reported.

Nunes' committee is looking into a claim made without evidence by the president that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower. Nunes and other officials, including FBI Director James Comey, have said there is no evidence the administration did so, but Trump said he felt "somewhat" vindicated by the briefing Nunes gave him.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NYPD Cop Who Fatally Shot Ramarley Graham Quits]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:51:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/richard+haste+ramarley+graham.jpg

UPDATE: Ramarley Graham's Mom Demands Answers After NYPD Cop Quits

The NYPD officer who fatally shot an unarmed Bronx teen in 2012 has quit the force to avoid being fired after he was found guilty in a disciplinary trial of botching department tactics after the shooting.

Richard Haste was brought on departmental charges for demonstrating "poor judgment" by not taking obvious steps to defuse a fatal standoff with Ramarley Graham.

After the departmental trial wrapped up in January, the NYPD says the trial commissioner on Friday found Haste guilty on all counts and recommended he be fired. Police Commissioner James O'Neill agreed with the findings and recommendations.

Haste quit Sunday, the NYPD said. His attorney Stuart London says his client should not have been forced to resign. Haste will not receive a pension or medical benefits from the police department, nor will he be allowed to carry a concealed weapon like other NYPD retirees, police said.

Haste, who had been investigating a drug case on the day Graham died, testified during the trial that he followed the young man into his Bronx apartment building on suspicion that he may have had a gun. After Haste and his partner broke down the door of Graham's home, the officer said he saw Graham sidestep into a bathroom, and he leaned inside to face him.

Haste, who is white, testified that he yelled, "Show me your hands!" but Graham instead reached deeper into his pants and yelled obscenities. 

"I thought I was about to be shot," Haste said. "I expected to be dead."

The officer's attorneys said he had good reason to think Graham was drawing a gun when he fired at the teen. No weapon was recovered.

The teen's mother, Constance Malcolm, says her 6-year-old son witnessed his brother getting shot. She has repeatedly called for Haste's and other responding officers' firings.

Haste initially faced a criminal manslaughter charge in the death, which became another flashpoint for outrage over police use of deadly force against minorities. But the criminal case was dismissed because of a procedural error, and a new grand jury declined to indict. Federal prosecutors also declined to bring charges.

Malcolm said in January she wanted to set the record straight about her son: he's not a monster, he wasn't selling drugs, he didn't have a gun and he never ran from police, she claimed.

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<![CDATA[Happening Today: United Airlines, Kushner, Allergies, Cheryl]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:59:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cms751.jpg

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Internet Erupts After United Airlines Boots Girls for Wearing Leggings

United Airlines is facing backlash from customers after two girls wearing leggings were denied entry onto a flight because a gate agent deemed their attire improper, NBC News reported. One passenger said she was waiting to board a plane to Mexico for vacation when she overheard a female gate agent deny entry to a young girl wearing gray leggings and saying "I don't make the rules, I just enforce them." The girl, who the passenger said was about 10 or 11 years old, had a dress in her backpack to put over the leggings and was eventually allowed onto the flight. Two other female passengers who did not have a change of clothes were also denied entry, she said. The airline defended the decision on Twitter.

Police Search for Suspects in Deadly Nightclub Shooting, Authorities Say

Cincinnati police searched for suspects in a nightclub shooting that left one man dead and 15 other people injured and sent club patrons diving to the ground to dodge bullets in what they described as a chaotic and terrifying scene. A gunfight broke out inside the crowded Cameo club after a dispute among several patrons escalated into a shootout, authorities said. Some 200 people were inside the club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati at the time. O'Bryan Spikes, 27, was killed and 15 other people were injured. At least five victims remained hospitalized. A University of Cincinnati Medical Center spokeswoman said two were in critical condition and three were in stable. No suspects were in custody in the shooting at the club, which police said has a history of gun violence.

Trump Son-in-Law to Lead New Office for Federal Overhaul

President Trump plans to debut a new office to streamline and overhaul the federal government, and he intends to name his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner as its head, the White House told NBC News. Plans for the new structure, to be called the White House Office of American Innovation, were first reported by The Washington Post. The Post reported Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a highly controversial figure, would have no formal role in the operation. Kushner, 36, is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka. He was an influential figure in the presidential campaign and was appointed as a senior advisor to the new president in January. Before his White House appointment in January, Kushner was a successful real estate developer in New York City and owner of The New York Observer, a weekly newspaper.

A New Twist on Nut Allergies, Research Shows

New research suggests people with a single tree nut or peanut allergy may not need to avoid all nuts in their diet. The research from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology examined 109 people known to be allergic to a specific nut, like walnuts, almonds or cashews. Despite blood or skin prick tests that showed a sensitivity to other nuts, 50 percent of those patients had no reaction when doctors had the patients actually eat the other nuts, and very few of those diagnosed with a peanut allergy in the study ended up clinically allergic to tree nuts. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said most children by age 6 months should have a little taste of peanut butter or another food with peanut in it. Research shows babies exposed to peanut by then are 80-percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy. 

Actress, Producer-Writer of Popular Netflix Show Marry

An actress and producer-writer from "Orange Is The New Black" have married. Actress Samira Wiley, who plays the character Poussey Washington on the Netflix show, and Lauren Morelli wed in Palm Springs, where they were engaged. Publicist Scott Boute says both women wore gowns designed by Christian Siriano. Wiley, 29, will also appear in the upcoming series "The Handmaid's Tale," based on the 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that depicts New England under a totalitarian theocracy. Morelli, 34, has worked as a writer, story editor and producer of "Orange Is the New Black," which depicts life inside a women's prison, since 2014. 

'SNL' Star Says He’s Not Backing Away From Boston Racism Comment

"Saturday Night Live" star Michael Che is not backing away from comments he made about Boston, which he called the "most racist city" he has ever visited. The Boston Globe reports that the co-anchor of "Weekend Update" told a Boston University crowd about how he received angry messages on social media after he made the comment on "SNL" the night before the Super Bowl. He responded to one woman by urging her to "talk to your closest black friend and ask them to explain it to you." He says the woman responded by answering, "Touché." Che, who often jokes about President Donald Trump on the NBC show, told the audience he never apologizes for language or controversial statements because he's "just trying to be more presidential." 

Cheryl and Partner Liam Payne Have First Son, Couple Says

Former Girls Aloud star Cheryl and her partner Liam Payne of One Direction fame have announced the birth of their first child. Cheryl, 33, said on Instagram that their son was born last week and has not been named. She says "although he still doesn't have a name he is already stealing hearts. We are all madly in love and overwhelmingly happy with our little arrival." Payne, 23, who is now also a solo artist, said he was "incredibly happy" and posted a photo of himself with the baby. Cheryl was known as Cheryl Cole when she was in Girls Aloud. She has also been a judge on the "The X Factor," the show that Payne competed on before he was placed into One Direction.

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<![CDATA[American Shot in Istanbul ID'd]]> Tue, 03 Jan 2017 01:20:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/William+Jacob+Raak_21997574.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raak later calmly spoke from the hospital.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctors removed the bullet, Raak said. 

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[82-Year-Old Man Robbed In Queens]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:21:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ALIYU+ELEVATOR+ROBBERY+ASTORIA+PKG+5PM+-+00000000_WNBC_00000001.jpg

Police are looking for two men who robbed an 82-year-old man in Astoria, Queens, Saturday night. Police say it happened in a building near 21st Street and 36th Avenue. Wale Aliyu reports. 

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<![CDATA[Flint and Michigan Settle Water Suit for Almost $100M]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:24:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/water-tower1.jpg

The state of Michigan will pay $87 million to replace water lines to thousands of homes in lead-contaminated Flint under a settlement agreement submitted Monday, NBC News reported.

A hearing to approve the settlement agreement was scheduled for 1 p.m. ET Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

If Judge David Lawson OKs the deal, the Flint and Michigan governments would be obligated to dig up, inspect and replace lead or galvanized-steel water lines leading to at least 18,000 homes by Jan. 1, 2020.

The state agreed to set aside an additional $10 million for unexpected extra expenses. That's a total of $97 million the state is committing — equal to almost all of the $100 million in funds set aside for Flint earlier this month by the Environmental Protection Agency under legislation signed in December by President Barack Obama.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Police: Teen Planned Shooting at Her Maryland High School]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:57:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/032717+frederick+weapons.jpg

A female high school student had immediate plans to bomb her school in Frederick County, Maryland, and shoot students and teachers, police say.

Nichole Cevario, 18, stockpiled bomb-making materials and had a shotgun to attack Catoctin High School on April 5, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office said Monday. She wrote about her plans in detail in a diary her father found. 

Police believe the diary entries were not empty threats, Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins said at a news conference.  

"We felt this was going to be carried out. There is no doubt in our minds that we diverted a disaster up there," he said. 

Cevario "had the means and equipment to have caused a significant life safety event” at the school, police said in a statement. 

Police learned of Cevario's plot after her father read her diary and called the school. Within hours, the honor student was pulled out of a classroom and involuntarily taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. 

Police searched Cevario's home in Thurmont, Maryland, and found weapons and the diary. In the home, police say they found a 12-gauge shotgun with ammunition and bomb-making materials including pipes with end caps, shrapnel, fireworks, magnesium tape and fuse material. The gun and other items were purchased legally, police said. 

In the diary, police say Cevario "spelled out a detailed shooting event that she planned to execute on a specific date in April," police said. 

Officials later said that date was April 5. It was not immediately clear whether that date had any significance. 

The diary showed the high schooler, who had been taking college classes in criminal justice, had been planning the attack for some time, police said. She compiled information on the school's emergency procedures and the school resource deputy on duty. 

"The journal was very detailed, including a time line that revealed how she was going to execute the plot, and her expectations at each stage of the event," police said. 

Officials say Cevario acted alone and never took a weapon or explosive device to the school. It was clear she had mental health issues, the sheriff's office said. 

"Obviously, this was a student who needed some intervention and some help, and I think the silver lining is she's going to get the help she needs now," Frederick County Public Schools spokesman Michael Doerrer said.  

The tip police received from Cevario's father may have saved lives, officials said.

"The Sheriff’s Office is extremely appreciative of the parent’s actions in bringing this potentially deadly incident to the proper authority’s attention, promptly, so that a positive conclusion could be achieved," the statement said. 

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Maryand State Fire Marshal's bomb squad assisted the sheriff's office.

The school's principal assured parents that students are secure there.

"We keep our school safe, and we will continue to work together as a community to keep it safe," Principal Bernie Quesada said in a letter sent Monday.

Counselors were available at the school.

Once Cevario is released from the hospital, she will be charged with possession of explosive and incendiary material with intent to create a destructive device. 

Law enforcement and school officials said they had no sign Cevario had any problem.

Anyone with information for police is asked to call 301-600-2583. 

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.



Photo Credit: Frederick County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Trump Childhood Home Flipped for 50 Percent Profit]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:28:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/preview+image+trump+house.jpg

The buyer of President Donald Trump's boyhood home in New York City appears to have perfected the art of the deal, flipping the property to make more than $740,000 in just over two months.

The 1940 Tudor-style house, in a leafy part of Queens, was offered to bidders last fall, but that auction date was canceled after publicity sparked a burst of last-minute interest and requests for more time.

City records show an investor, Michael Davis, ultimately bought the home for nearly $1.4 million in December.

The house went to auction again in January, with bids closing mid-month.

On Monday, auction house Paramount Realty USA announced the house had sold for $2,140,000. The sale price represented a more-than 50 percent profit for the seller. 

"This property is so much more than real estate; it's the childhood home of the 45th president of the United States," Misha Haghani, principal of Paramount Realty said.

“That intangible value makes it a perfect example of why special properties are appropriately sold by auction, just like art is."As they say, beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder."

The president-elect's father, developer Fred Trump, built the five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom, brick-and-stucco home in Jamaica Estates, an upper-middle-class enclave about 10 miles east of midtown Manhattan. The house features arched doorways, a fireplace and a sun room.

The president-elect lived there until he was about 4, when his family moved to another home his father had built nearby.

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<![CDATA[Kushner to Appear Before Senate Intel Committee on Russia]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/633191576-Jared-Kushner-advisor-Donald-Trump.jpg

The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to question Jared Kushner, a key adviser to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, two sources confirmed to NBC News Monday.

Kushner will be interviewed as part of an ongoing Senate inquiry into possible ties between associates of Trump and Russian operatives.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told NBC that Kushner, who is married to Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka, volunteered to talk to the Senate committee.

"He doesn't have anything to hide," she said.

During the presidential transition, Kushner acted as a liaison between foreign governments and Trump officials. It is not unusual for presidential transitions to meet with foreign officials.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Drug Lab: Pooch Shipped to NYC With $1M of Heroin, DA Says]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:44:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/drug+Dog+jfk.jpg

A dog was used as a drug mule for two New York men sending more than $1 million worth of heroin to John F. Kennedy Airport, the Queens District Attorney says.

The dog, a mixed-breed Shepherd-type, was employed to help the men hide ten bricks of heroin in the false bottom of a crate sent from Puerto Rico to JFK on March 24, district attorney Richard Brown says.

“It’s alleged that man’s best friend was used in an attempt to smuggle drugs into the city," he said.

"But great police work led to the seizure of more than 10 kilograms of heroin concealed within a dog crate."

He said the men, Samuel Seabrooks, 35, of the Bronx, and Carlos Betancourt-Morales, 27, of Putnam County, were charged with drug possession and conspiracy.

The pair are accused of meeting up at a Bronx diner on Friday before taking separate cars to American Airlines Priority Parcel Services at JFK Airport.

Betancourt-Morales then went to sign for the dog -- and the heroin -- before he was stopped by police, officials say.

The next day a search warrant was executed on the crate, where the packages of heroin were discovered. The NYPD's Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad was also part of the bust.

Both defendants were arraigned Sunday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris.

Judge Morris set bail at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash for each defendant. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.

The dog was given to the ASPCA, the district attorney's office said.

The DA's office initially said the dog was an Avi Labrador; it now says it appears to be a male Shepherd-type. 



Photo Credit: Queens District Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA[1,000 Bags of Heroin Seized in New Jersey Sting]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:28:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Crowe+Reed+heroin+bust.jpg

A Bergen County sting netted 1,000 bags of heroin and the arrest of two alleged drug dealers who were purportedly running narcotics out of Paterson. 

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said authorities arrested Tony Crowe, 24, and Makia Reed, 22, last Thursday after an undercover operation.

They were allegedly carrying the heroin to distribute to what turned out to be an undercover officer. 

They each face one count of possession with the intent to distribute. Information on lawyers for the two was not immediately available. 



Photo Credit: BCPO]]>
<![CDATA[Dow Posts 8-Day Slide, Longest Since 2011 ]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:08:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/wallstreetGettyImages-521353416.jpg

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Monday as investors reassessed the prospects of key White House proposals, including tax reform, coming to fruition, CNBC reported.

"When you look at some of the areas that have helped the market, they are waning a bit here," said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "I think you're also seeing some valuation concerns as well.

The Nasdaq composite closed 0.2 percent higher after briefly falling 1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended about 45 points lower — after falling nearly 200 points earlier, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Rogue East Cleveland Cops Framed Dozens of Drug Suspects]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:44:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/170327-east-cleveland-cr-0502-new_56331a14ff2820e78090270bd8aba5ba.nbcnews-fp-1200-800.jpg

Three police officers are in prison after robbing and framing drug suspects in East Cleveland, Ohio, but authorities are still unwinding the damage this rogue street-crimes unit brought, NBC News reported.

They were busted after raiding the home of a Cleveland drug dealer and saying in a search warrant that an informant had recently bought crack cocaine there. But the man had surveillance cameras that proved the officers were lying, which the FBI used to uncover a scandal that has led to 22 drug cases being dismissed — so far.

"I always took it on the chin when I got arrested for something I know I did. But when a cop lies to get you in prison, that's a different story," said Kenneth Blackshaw, one of the people who had a conviction overturned.

The Cleveland-area victims are among thousands of people cleared in group exonerations involving police graft in the last three decades nationwide, from California to Texas to New Jersey.



Photo Credit: Cuyahoga County Sheriff; East Cleveland Police; FBI]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for DWI After Fatal GWB Truck Crash: Sources]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:24:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gwb+FOR+GEORGE+BYFIELD+PKG+-+00005021_WNBC_000000015593689.jpg

A truck driver has been charged with DWI after a young man was killed in a hit-and-run on the George Washington Bridge Monday morning, police sources say.

The 25-year-old man was killed and two young women were left in a critical condition after a truck rear-ended their car on the bridge early Monday morning and then drove away.

Police sources told NBC 4 New York that a 25-year-old man, and two women, age 28 and 39, were driving in a car on the westbound lower level of the George Washington Bridge when they were rear-ended by the truck.

Port Authority Police sources said the driver of the truck they believed had hit the car continued on without stopping for about eight miles before police caught up with him at the Vincent Lombardi rest stop near the New Jersey Turnpike.

The 23-year-old truck driver, Simranjeet Singh Sandhu, was arrested at the rest stop after failing a breathalyzer test and was taken into custody in Fort Lee charged with DWI. Sandhu, a resident of Durham, North Carolina, did not immediately face any other charges, though more charges are likely when he is extradited back to New York. 

The driver worked for Markhai Transport, which has had no crashes or violations over the past two years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administation said. 

Markhai Transport owner Yadwinder Gill said he was sorry to hear about the fatal incident. He said the driver had been with the company since 2016 with no issues. 

“I apologize to the families. Right now I’m trying to find out what happened in the crash," he said.

The deadly crash happened at about 2:20 a.m. Monday near the outbound, lower level entrance of the bridge. It shut down parts of the bridge for more than six hours, with officials undertaking a full accident investigation well into Monday morning.

By 7:30 a.m. police had begun a full search of area highways for a truck with front-end damage. Police say Sandhu blew a .06 during a breathalyzer after he was located at the Vincent Lombardi rest stop. The legal limit for commercial vehicle operators is .04.

The ugly crash had destroyed the car the young victims were traveling in, to the point the Port Authority issued an alert that rubbernecking was causing delays of more than 90 minutes on the bridge as late as 9:30 a.m.

The three victims were taken to Harlem Hospital, where the man from Middlesex County died and the two women were in critical condition.

The fatal crash caused major traffic delays on multiple lanes throughout Monday morning.

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<![CDATA[Man Opens Fire During Scuffle Inside NY Restaurant: Cops]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 04:22:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/DELI+SHOOTING+SUBJECT+BK++-+01000107_WNBC_000000015606083.jpg

A man with a gun opened fire inside a Brooklyn restaurant over the weekend following an argument that eventually turned violent, according to the NYPD.

On Saturday shortly before 3 p.m., three people were involved in a fight at BK Deli and Grill in Bed-Stuy, police said.

During the scuffle, an armed man fired a shot, which hit a man inside the deli, authorities said.

The victim was hit in the stomach and was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition, according to police.

After the shot rang out, the 30-something-year-old suspect, pictured above, ran away, police said.

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<![CDATA[Man, 78, Fights Back Against Two Robbers in NY Deli: Cops]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:26:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MAN+FIGHTS+BACK+ROBBERS+IN+BK+DELI+web+-+00003326_WNBC_00000001.jpg

A 78-year-old man fought back before he was beaten and robbed by two men last week at a Brooklyn deli, according to the NYPD.

On Wednesday at around 12 p.m., a male suspect punched the man several times in his face and body at Shorty’s Deli in Bed-Stuy while a second suspect acted as a lookout, police said.

During the assault, the second man stole the victim’s wallet and phone, according to authorities.

The two suspects then fled the area, police said.

The victim was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition, according to police. He suffered cuts and bruises to his face. 

The first suspect is described as being in his late 20s while the second suspect is described as being in his late 30s, police said. 

Surveillance video from the scene shows the man attemping to fight back while one of the suspects pushes and punches him.

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<![CDATA[Trump's Son-in-Law to Lead New Office for Federal Overhaul]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:30:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_17023542554197.jpg

President Donald Trump plans to debut a new office Monday to streamline and overhaul the federal government, and he intends to name his son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner as its head, the White House told NBC News Sunday night.

"All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays," Trump said in a statement.

"I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my 'ahead of schedule, under budget' mentality to the government," he said.

The office was announced a day before a Kushner representative confirmed he volunteered to be interviewed by a Senate inquiry into possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia.

Plans for the office, to be named the White House Office of American Innovation, were first reported Sunday by the Washington Post.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]]>
<![CDATA[Rape Attempt Suspect's Troubling Past]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:40:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/RAPE+ATTEMPT+TEASE+-+00000600_WNBC_000000015604285.jpg

Police arrest a man in an attempted rape on the Lower East Side. Police say the suspect has a history of violence. Rana Novini reports.

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<![CDATA[April's Behavior ‘Interesting’ After 'Quiet' Spell, Zoo Says]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:37:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

April the giraffe’s pregnancy is approaching its inevitable conclusion as her namesake month nears, with the upstate New York zoo monitoring her noticing “interesting” behavior lately and a lot of tail-raising.

“April had us watching the monitors close last night,” the Animal Adventure Park said in its Monday morning update, noting her “interesting” behavior.

A keeper reported that the baby’s activity has increased following a recent “quiet” spell, leading April’s caretakers to wonder if it was the calm before the storm.

April was “very relaxed” but clearly active Monday, with plenty of tail-raising and “a significant mammary change” to the wax caps on April’s teats. The caps protect vital milk for the baby and will fall off prior to or during delivery, the zoo has said.

Watch the live stream below.

April was very active Monday afternoon as she took strolls around her pen and gazed into Oliver's, neck stretched high. Around 135,000 people were watching the zoo's live stream at 5 p.m. as she took a moment to lick her undeniably large belly. 

The zoo released a video Monday about April’s relationship with Allysa, the park’s lead giraffe keeper. The two have formed a special bond since the giraffe arrived in September 2015.

“We’re just about inseparable,” Allysa says in the video.

Allysa also revealed an interesting factoid about giraffes: they only sleep about 20 minutes a day, taking cat naps here and there. Unsurprisingly, they're also big eaters, taking in about 50 pounds of carrots a piece each day.

Allysa’s job is a lot of work, despite the comments of April fans envious of the dream job. 

“Yes, I love on her, yes we get to spend a lot of great moments together, but the majority of my day is spent shoveling poop and feeding animals, working closely with our vet,” Allysa says in the video.

The zoo said the staff will spend time Monday trying to expedite the thaw in the yard so animals can get outside.

When April goes into labor, the baby's front hooves will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says on its YouTube page.

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. Her younger, 5-year-old mate Oliver, however, is about to welcome his very first. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
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