Happening Today: Elizabeth Smart, Florence, Opioids, Nicki Minaj, Nick Carter - NBC New York

Happening Today: Elizabeth Smart, Florence, Opioids, Nicki Minaj, Nick Carter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Forecast for Wednesday, Sept. 12

    Storm Team 4 meteorologist Chris Cimino has your forecast for Wednesday, Sept. 12. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002 from her Utah bedroom will be freed from prison

    • Research shows about one-third of doctors who prescribed opioids in the buildup to the opioid overdose epidemic gave no reason for doing so

    • Nicki Minaj said being involved in an altercation with Cardi B at a fashion week party was 'so mortifying and so humiliating'

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    Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper to Be Released From Prison

    A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart as a teenager in 2002 from her Salt Lake City bedroom and hold her captive will be freed from prison in a surprise move announced by state authorities. Wanda Barzee, 72, will be released Sept. 19 after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determined it had miscalculated the time she previously served in federal custody, board spokesman Greg Johnson said in a news release. She will be under federal supervision for five years. Barzee pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart and helping keep her captive for nine months before Smart was found and rescued. Smart, now 30, says it is "incomprehensible" that a woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap her will be released from prison next week.

    'Monster' Hurricane Florence Nears Carolina Coast

    Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 140 mph winds and drenching rain that could last for days. While some said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many weren't taking any chances. A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone to flee. Forecasters said Florence was expected to blow ashore later this week, then slow down and dump 1 to 2½ of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

    Doctors Gave No Reason for 1/3 of Opioid Prescriptions, Study Shows

    New research shows about one-third of doctors who prescribed opioids in the buildup to the opioid overdose epidemic gave no reason for doing so, according to NBC News. In 29 percent of cases between 2006 and 2015, doctors's opioid prescriptions had no explanation for why they were written, a team from Harvard Medical School and the Rand Corp. reported Monday. "Whatever the reasons, lack of robust documentation undermines our efforts to understand physician prescribing patterns and curtails our ability to stem overprescribing," said Dr. Tisamarie Sherry, who worked on the study, in a statement. Federal agencies have said that inappropriate prescribing practices contributed to the crisis that saw 42,000 people die in 2016 alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been encouraging doctors to prescribe opioids only when necessary.

    Nicki Minaj Calls Dustup With Cardi B ‘Mortifying,' 'Humiliating'

    Nicki Minaj said being involved in an altercation with Cardi B at a fashion week party was "so mortifying and so humiliating." Cardi B tried to attack Minaj at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party in New York. Video circulated on social media showing Cardi B lunging toward Minaj and throwing her shoe at the rapper. In an Instagram post, Cardi B — who recently had a child — didn't call out Minaj by name but alluded to the fight and said she was sparked because her mothering skills were being disparaged. The rappers have been rivals since Cardi B began achieving huge success over the last year. Cardi B recently became the first female rapper to have two songs hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and her debut album, "Invasion of Privacy," is one of the best-selling albums of the year. Minaj continues to find success but has been displaced as rap's top female act.

    Nick Carter Will Not Face Charges After Rape Allegation

    Prosecutors in Los Angeles have declined to file charges against Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys after a singer reported last year that he had raped her in his apartment in 2003. Prosecutors said because the woman, Melissa Schuman from the group Dream, was 18 at the time, the statute of limitations expired in 2013. They did not evaluate the merits of Schuman's accusations. Carter's lawyer Michael Holtz said Carter denied the allegations from the start, was confident prosecutors would find no basis for charges and now feels vindicated.

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