<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York https://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usFri, 20 Apr 2018 01:06:26 -0400Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:06:26 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Pair Fill Coats With Ice Cream, Pull Knife on Clerks: NYPD]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:17:53 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Ice+Cream+Bandits.jpg

Police are searching for a pair of thieves who they said twice threatened store clerks with a knife as they pilfered the ice cream chests at two stores on the Upper East Side.

According to authorities, two individuals robbed a 7-Eleven on Third Avenue and a CVS Pharmacy on Lexington Avenue on Sunday, filling their jackets with pints of ice cream.

When a clerk tried to stop them at the 7-Eleven, the male suspect pulled out a knife before both suspects fled the building. He also brandished the knife in the CVS robbery.

Police have previously said thieves have taken to targeting pharmacy chains for high-end ice cream cartons. They then turn and resell the ice cream to bodegas and corner stores throughout the city.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

<![CDATA[Driver, 74, Slams Into One LI Store, Backs Up Into Another]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:59:24 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/driver-store-0419.jpg

A 74-year-old motorist witnesses said was driving with an oxygen mask crashed through the front of a Long Island grocery store Thursday afternoon, then backed up and slammed into a second store in the same shopping center.

Footage from the scene in Brentwood shows a gaping hole in the entryway of the Food Bazaar on Wicks Road. Just across the parking lot was a  similar scene at the Rainbow clothing; two other parked cars were also hit.

The driver, who witnesses said also had an oxygen tank, was alert after the twin crashes but was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported, but the incident shook up shoppers and store workers alike.

“It was loud, like a twister,” said the clerk at Rainbow. "It just blew all the windows out.....he could have killed anyone in the store."

Another witness added, "It was ridiculous. Everybody was screaming. They were shook. I was shook!"

The 74-year-old isn’t facing charges in the accident.

<![CDATA[Giuliani Joining Trump's Russia Probe Legal Team]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:21:34 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/giuliani3.jpg

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is joining President Donald Trump’s legal team, providing advice on how to deal with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, attorney Jay Sekulow confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

"Rudy is great," Trump said, according to a statement provided by Sekulow. "He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country."

Giuliani is a longtime Trump ally who served as a bombastic campaign surrogate — at times boasting of his ties to the FBI. He joins the team in the wake of an FBI raid on the office and hotel room of Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Giuliani formerly ran the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, the same office that conducted the raid of Cohen's office.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Choking Baby Saved During NYPD Graduation at MSG]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:45:04 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SANTIA+KID+CHOKES+AT+NYPD+GRADUATION+TEASE+AND+BROLL+-+00000228.jpg

There's been a lot of amazing moments at Madison Square Garden, but a close call involving a choking baby Wednesday was anything but a game. 

During the NYPD Police Academy graduation Wednesday -- before 448 new officers tossed their caps in the air -- a baby boy named Daniel, who was in the audience to watch his father become one of New York's finest, suddenly started choking on a baby snack. 

"He was sitting on my lap and suddenly I feel him shaking," said Daniel's mother, Lillian Escorcia. "After I turned him around to see, I saw that he was shaking profusely."

"His eyes were rolling back so I wasn't sure what was going on," she said. "I was just terrified. I didn't know what to do."

Escorcia started screaming for help, and a couple of sections away, veteran cops Det. Mark Reubins and Lt. Greg Besson heard the faint cries. 

"We looked to our right and you heard, 'Help, help,' and you saw them holding the baby," said Reubins.

Besson and Reubins -- who's also a paramedic -- ran to baby Daniel, whose lips were turning blue. 

"At that moment, I said to myself, 'Wow, game on. This is real,'" said Besson.

Reubins put the child across his lap and began CPR. The baby remained still for several back blows -- and suddenly, miraculously, began crying. Cheers and celebration rang out up on the third level of the Garden. 

"It was pretty amazing at that point," said Reubins. "All you saw was that little foam and the bubbles coming out and that faint whimper, and then once you picked him up, you saw the crying and the looking around." 

"Everybody in that section started clapping so that was actually pretty cool," he said. "It was a great moment." 

Daniel was rushed to the hospital. His father, Leonarduo Escoria, never had the chance to throw his cap into the air. But because of his two new colleagues, he now does have the chance to hold his son.

"I'm so happy that he's OK, and especially being my first son -- it was a scary moment," he said. 

Lillian Escoria told Reubins and Bessons, "I'm so happy you came. I was so terrified. I feel relieved that at least we had someone around to help us." 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Man Kidnapped in NYC as Lamborghini Deal Turns Bad]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:55:19 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NYPD+generic+NCB+USABELE1.jpg

Two men are facing charges for allegedly kidnapping a minor league baseball player in Manhattan over a Lamborghini deal gone bad, law enforcement sources familiar with the case tell News 4. 

Norberto Susini, 29, was with a friend who sells high-end cars on Wednesday and the two met up with two prospective buyers of a Lamborghini at a hotel on 45th and Broadway. 

Law enforcement sources initially told News 4 that Susini is the nephew of former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. A spokesman for Rodriguez later clarified that Susino is the son of a late girlfriend of Rodriguez's half-brother Joe. 

At some point during the meeting at the midtown hotel, the situation turned south: Money was exchanged for the Lamborghini, but there was a miscommunication in the business transaction, the law enforcement sources said.  

The buyers and Susini ended up in a car -- not the Lamborghini -- and the men refused to let Susini go, the sources said.

The men later walked Susini back to the same hotel where they met, and they encountered NYPD detectives in the lobby, sources said. The detectives took the men into custody. 

Susini was not hurt.

The men are facing a court appearance Thursday.

<![CDATA[Don't Eat the Lettuce: E. Coli Outbreak Booms to 53 Cases]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:41:54 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CDC-generic.jpg

An E. coli outbreak that health investigators believe is linked to chopped romaine lettuce has expanded, with 53 cases now reported in 16 states, and nearly three dozen hospitalized, at least five of whom suffered kidney failure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added 18 more cases to the total in its update Wednesday, a marked increase since the prior update less than a week earlier, and said five more states reported sick people: Alaska, Arizona, California, Louisiana and Montana.

Officials believe the contaminated lettuce was grown in Yuma, Arizona, though they have not identified a grower, supplier, distributor or brand.

Cases have been reported across the tri-state area, the most in New Jersey (7); New York and Connecticut have three cases each. Pennsylvania has the most (12) in this outbreak, followed by Idaho (10). Check the CDC's case count map.

The CDC added nine more hospitalizations to its count from last week, bringing the total in this outbreak to 31. Five of those cases involved a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells. No one has died.

Consumers who have bought romaine lettuce - including salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce - are advised to throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region. If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it.

Restaurants and retailers are advised to take similar precautions.

Health officials say the outbreak started in late March. Symptoms vary and can range from mild to severe diarrhea to nausea and vomiting. Usually, there is little or no fever present. E. coli can spread from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, the CDC says. It is very contagious and can spread quickly in places such as daycare centers and cruise ships.

“Individuals with this infection usually get better within about 5 to 7 days, however, some illnesses can be serious or even life-threatening,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement last week. “Anyone experiencing symptoms of this illness should see a healthcare provider.”

<![CDATA[Mailman Said He Was 'Overwhelmed,' Hoarded 17K Parcels: Feds]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:15:43 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Mail+truck+GettyImages-463789172.jpg

A Brooklyn Postal Service employee is facing charges after federal authorities found years of undelivered mail in his car and apartment, according to a complaint.

Aleksey Germash, an employee for USPS for 16 years, was charged with delaying or detaining mail. His arrest comes after a recent assignment to the Dyker Heights Post Office in Brooklyn.

Germash was brought in for questioning after USPS received a tip that there was a Nissan Pathfinder in the Dyker Heights area filled with more than 20 blue mails bags, according to the documents. 

Germash allegedly admitted that the car was his, and that he had been taking mail from work and keeping it in his apartment and work locker as well.

He allegedly told investigators he was 'overwhelmed by the amount of mail he had to deliver, but made sure to deliver the important mail'.

Law enforcement agents found approximately 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail in Germash's possession, with at least one being postmarked in 2005.

Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NYC On the Lookout for Boom Trucks Being Used Improperly]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:19:48 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NYC_On_Lookout_for_Boom_Trucks_Being_Used_Improperly.jpg

Most New Yorkers are familiar with boom trucks, with hundreds of the mechanical construction arms at construction sites throughout the city. But what they may not know is that those trucks are not supposed replacements for heavy construction cranes -- and when they are used that way, city officials say it can have disastrous results.

That’s why inspectors from the city Department of Buildings have been on the lookout for improper and illegal use of knuckle boom trucks. These trucks are popular at job sites because they can respond quickly and have a boom that can lift up to 100 feet.

But per city regulations, knuckle booms are only supposed to be used to load or unload a truck or a trailer. Anything more than that -- including construction or lifting of heavy equipment or construction vehicles -- requires a licensed crane operator and various certificates of approval and operation.

In January, a boom truck was placing a beam on top of a building in Queens when it flipped over, collapsed and the boom nearly struck a gas station. Last month, a boom truck was lifting supplies onto a roof in Brooklyn when it dropped its load and crushed a sidewalk shed and awning below.

“We are trying to avoid this, that could have been a lot worse. There could have been loss of life,” said Department of Buildings inspector Michael Linton.

Linton and other inspectors ride around the city looking for this type of activity. At a job site on Washington Avenue in Brooklyn, an inspector shot video and cited the company for illegally operating the boom truck as a crane.

A supervisor on the job told the I-team that they have corrected the violations and hired a crane company.

What’s more, officials believe there are about 1,000 knuckle boom trucks around the city, but they don’t know for sure.

“They don't need to register and it's very hard for us to find these and figure out which job sites they are working,” admitted Linton.

Pinchas Leitner is the owner of Lifting Solutions in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He has owned a boom truck business for 14 years and has been cited by the city for violations including “unlicensed work,” a violation he disputes because the city does not require a license to operate a knuckle boom. Still, the city’s enforcement is having an effect on his business.

“We are using it for deliveries we are cutting down a lot on the types of work we have been doing, we have lost a lot of business,” explained Leitner.

In the meantime, the crane industry is scrambling to get ahead of a growing problem. Two years ago, Local 14-14B International Union of Operating Engineers, the union for crane truck operators, started offering boom truck classes due to its popularity.

Thomas Gordon, a training director, says two years ago, they started offering boom truck classes due to its popularity.

“If you have someone who isn’t a licensed operator who is doing work like that, that’s very precise and dangerous,” said Thomas, “Worst case scenario, you can kill somebody”

<![CDATA[Video Shows Terrifying Moments After Southwest Explosion]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:39:35 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/southwest_1-152417857900200002.jpg

A new video shot by a passenger shows flight attendants calming passengers after a midair explosion on a Southwest flight.

<![CDATA[Student Films on Showcase at Tribeca Film Festival]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:17:20 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Student_Films_on_Showcase_at_Tribeca_Film_Festival.jpg

Student filmmakers are getting their chance to shine at the Tribeca Film Festival. John Chandler reports.

<![CDATA[Cuomo to Return to Puerto Rico as NY Sends Aid]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:53:59 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cuomo_to_Return_to_Puerto_Rico_as_NY_Sends_Aid.jpg

New York's governor is heading back to Puerto Rico with more help as the island continues to recover from last year's catastrophic hurricane. Rana Novini reports.

<![CDATA[Confusion Over Life Insurance Policy]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:02:52 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Life_Insurance_Policy_Causes_Confusion.jpg

After decades of paying for life insurance, a Westchester widow learns her husband's policy won't be paying the death benefit. Lynda Baquero investigates.

<![CDATA[NYC Hospital Makes Special Music for Grieving Parents]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:58:04 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/219*120/Guitar-Generic.jpg

St. Mary's Hospital in Queens is trying help parents dealing with the loss of a child by making music -- unique songs with a special beat. Erica Byfield reports.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Queens Neighborhood Blames Pavers for Flooding]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:57:06 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/flooding-street-0419.jpg

Residents in Bayside, Queens, says paving crews did such a poor job resurfacing roads that it now regularly floods when it rains. Roseanne Colletti reports.

<![CDATA[CT Town May Add Cameras to Catch Pooper Scooper Scofflaws]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:32:52 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Dog+poop+GettyImages-56931683.jpg

A Connecticut town is considering installing cameras at a park to catch dog owners who continually don't clean up after their pets. 

The New Canaan Parks and Recreation Commission has even created a "Dog Litter Committee" to brainstorm ideas on how to address irresponsible owners.

"It’s disrespectful it’s disgusting it’s just unnecessary," said Allyson Halm, a New Canaan Animal Control Officer.

The ideas range from putting flags by the piles that say "shame on you' to the more recent idea of installing motion activated cameras in the park.

"Treat the place like it’s yours because if we don’t pick up who will?" said one dog owner.

The camera idea is currently just that, and has not moved forward. Authorities will also be stepping up their presence in the park.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Charged in Killing of NJ Food Deliveryman: Official]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:31:23 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/deliveryman-shot-0419.jpg

A 17-year-old is facing charges in the death of a longtime food deliveryman and father of four who was gunned down while on the job in New Jersey earlier this month, authorities said. 

The teen, whose identity has not been revealed, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Karamoko Fatiga, who was shot to death while attempting to deliver Chinese food in East Orange on April 2. Sources told News 4 there is a possibility the teen could be charged as an adult, but the county prosecutor has yet to make the determination. 

Fatiga, 41, was driving his car on Shepard Avenue with an order from the Golden Garden when he was shot and killed in what sources said was a robbery. 

Fatigue's father-in-law said that the day that the 41-year-old Ivory Coast immigrant was killed he had gone to his mosque and made a donation. 

"Half an hour later he was dead," Fatigue's father-in-law said.

The father-in-law said the family still hasn't been able to tell Fatigue's children what happened to their dad more than two weeks later.

"They keep asking, 'when is my father coming back? where is my father?'" Fatigue's father-in-law said.

<![CDATA[NY Bar Has License Suspended For Drugs, Prostitution: SLA]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:45:55 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Police+Lights+Generic+NBC4_4.jpg

A Queens bar had its liquor license suspended after authorities allegedly uncovered prostitution, narcotics, illicit gambling and untaxed cigarettes.

The New York State Liquor Authority issued the emergency suspension of Huang Jia Inc in Maspeth Wednesday effective immediately, which prohibits alcohol to be sold or consumed on the premises.

According to the State Liquor Authority, SLA investigators and officers with the New York City Police Department’s Citywide Vice-Enforcement Division executed a search warrant of the bar on April 12. During the search warrant, investigators allegedly discovered 97 packs of counterfeit or untaxed cigarettes, jars and bags filled with the narcotic ketamine, records related to the sale of prostitution and illegal gambling devices.

The NYPD made nine arrests, including the bar’s owner, for criminal possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, a number of hazardous conditions were observed, including overcrowding, blocked exits and non-working emergency lighting, the State Liquor Authority says.

On April 14, the NYPD and SLA conducted a follow up inspection, making six arrests after allegedly discovering patrons with ketamine in three separate karaoke rooms inside the bar and finding patrons consuming alcohol after closing hours.

On April 16, the SLA charged the establishment with 22 violations of the ABC Law, including disorderly premises for permitting prostitution, gambling, trafficking of controlled substances, failure to supervise and for becoming a focal point for police attention.

Between March 15th and April 12th, the NYPD conducted three undercover operations where detectives posing as customers allegedly purchased narcotics, prostitution and gambling — all which formed the basis for the April 12 raid, officials say.

According to the NYPD, there was an alleged a pattern of criminal activity in and around the premises months prior to these incidents.

On Feb. 15, NYPD officers allegedly observed bar security escort an injured patron to his vehicle and leave him there without calling 911. Authorities say the officers conducted a car stop, allegedly recovered a vial of ketamine and discovered the patron required treatment following injuries sustained inside the premises.

Authorities say that, on Feb. 9, the NYPD arrested a 19-year-old patron for a DWI directly behind the premises who allegedly said he was drinking inside the bar. On Feb. 17 and 18, two patrons leaving on separate days were also arrested by NYPD officers for possession of a controlled substance. Both allegedly said they were given the ketamine inside the bar.

A few days later, on Feb. 22, an NYPD officer allegedly observed an individual exiting the bar with a bag enter his vehicle and make an illegal U-turn. After pulling over the vehicle narcotics residue, two large boxes of empty glass vials used to package ketamine and over $105,000 inside a “Hello Kitty” bookbag were allegedly discovered. The driver and two occupants of the vehicle were arrested for money laundering and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Huang Jia Inc did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

It is unknown if the establishment retained an attorney that could comment on the suspension and allegations.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Citi Bike Is Offering Free Rides for Earth Day]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:19:54 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Citi+Bike+419.jpg

Citi Bike will be offering free day passes to New Yorkers on Saturday as part of Earth DAy.

The free day pass will be available to anyone who downloads the Citi Bike app as part of a promotion with the Department of Transportation, who will also be making 30-blocks of Broadway, from Times Square to Union Square, car free from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Day passes for Citi Bike are normally $12 and allow riders an unlimited number of 30-minute rides during a 24-hour period. Citi Bike's annual membership is $169.

Citi Bike will have a tent set up at the Broadway and East 22nd Street Citi Bike station where they'll be offering $25 off annual membership discount for new members.

Current members will also be able to recycle their bike key fob in exchange for using the Citi Bike app.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Red-Haired Robber, Cohort Laugh as They Flee Elderly Victim]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:20:45 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/951-18+Grand+Larcney+19+Sqd+04-19-18+Final1.png

Police are looking for two women in their 20s -- one with flaming-red hair -- who were captured on surveillance video running down a street, laughing, after allegedly robbing an elderly woman waiting for a taxi on the Upper East Side, police say. 

The 77-year-old victim was waiting on the corner of First Avenue and East 77th Street when the two suspects grabbed her pocketbook and ran off at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said. 

The purse contained a cellphone, credit cards and $465. The victim wasn't hurt, according to police. 

One of the suspects, who had her dark hair in a ponytail, was wearing black fingerless gloves, ripped jeans and a black peacoat; the other had her red hair in a bun and was wearing a black hoodie, black jeans, and a maroon jacket. 

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

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[School Administrators Arrested Over Failure to Report 'Fight Club']]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:01:54 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Montville+fight+clubs+arrests.jpg

A Connecticut school superintendent, principal and assistant principal were arrested on charges of failing to tell authorities about an alleged student "fight club," according to state police.

Montville Superintendent Brian Levesque, 45, of Brooklyn, Principal Jeffrey Theodoss, 64, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and 59-year-old assistant principal Tatiana Patten, of Niantic, are all charged with failing to report abuse.

The three administrators have been placed on leave pending the outcome of the police investigation and an internal school probe, Assistant Superintendent Laurie Pallin said.

The former substitute teacher, Ryan Fish, was arrested last week and charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child, four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and breach of peace. The 23-year-old from Bozrah, who was accused of overseeing the "fight club," was fired from the school in October after videos of fighting in his math classroom surfaced, state police said. He pleaded not guilty to charges.

"The incident that occurred in a high school classroom was unacceptable but it is an exception to how Montville Public Schools operate — it does not illustrate the priority we place on student safety," Pallin said in a prepared statement.

The arrests stem from an investigation that began in December after a social worker said a 15-year-old student with signs of having been traumatized said three other students at Montville High School had robbed and beaten him at school, according to police and arrest paperwork.

Patten told investigators in January that a guidance counselor told her on Oct. 6 a parent had reported a "slap boxing" incident and that Fish might be involved, but at the time there was no evidence that anything happened. Two days later, Theodoss forwarded Patten an email with video that he had received from Levesque reportedly showing two boys fighting in a classroom. The superintendent asked Theodoss if it was recorded at the school, and Patten confirmed that it had.

The assistant principal had initially told investigators that she wasn't aware of a "fight club" at the school until Oct. 10, according to state police. 

Theodoss told police that he had asked Levesque if police should be notified and the superintendent said "no." Patten said she received a text message from Theodoss instructing her not to say anything to anyone, according to a police warrant.

In an interview with police, Levesque said he did not think about contacting police because he felt the issue was resolved after he fired Fish and the students involved in the fight were disciplined, he told police.

"Levesque stated that he did not think it was criminal and thought it was a one-time incident and thought that it was maybe a mistake," the officer wrote.

No one reported it to the Department of Children and Families or police, as is required by law.

"The law is very important to ensure child safety. Most mandated reporters take their responsibility very seriously. We get about 50,000 reports a year and 80 percent of those are from mandated reporters. They do a good job. It is vitally important that we have strong and effective mandated reporter system in place in,” Gary Kleeblatt, a DCF spokesman said in a statement.

The board of education in Montville held a special meeting Thursday at the Montville High School library at 5 p.m. to discuss a "personnel matter related to the incident at the high school." The meeting went into executive session and officials declined to make any public comments on what was discussed.

Levesque, Theodoss and Patten are due in court on May 3.

Levesque and Patten did not immediately return messages left at their homes. NBC Connecticut was unable to immediately reach Theodoss.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-EPA Chief Warns Against Environmental Complacency]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:11:37 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/696312872-sustain-2.jpg

Christine Todd Whitman was at the first Earth Day 48 years ago, long before she became governor of New Jersy and head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Her generation was inspired by "Silent Spring," a book about the dangers of the pesticide DDT, she said. Soon after that day in 1970, DDT was banned — one of many green-friendly policy moves the U.S. has made since, as the country gained a greater environmental consciousness and researchers revealed the dangers of climate change.

On Earth Day this Sunday, thousands will travel to the National Mall for the second-annual March for Science, many of them millennials, the generation whose youngest members are now graduating from college. They'll aim their signs and speeches at President Donald Trump, who last year pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement and wants to revitalize the coal industry even as renewable energy is finally becoming profitable.

Whitman believes millennials have stepped up to the plate to advocate for sustainability, lately more than her own generation — she's seen some complacency on the issue. But if millenials want change to stick, she said that young advocates will need to learn to work with the Trump administration and Congress.

"They are turned off by it, understandably. But if they want these changes they need to work with the government," Whitman said.

Some millennials have other things in mind.

Emily True, a 25-year-old graduate student studying environmental management at Duke University, has seen companies lead the charge on climate change and thinks legislation won't get the country where it needs to be. She's looking to the private sector, where she hopes to land a job where she can still fulfill her passion for advocacy.

"Part of who I am is an environmentalist, and in a job I want to do the same thing," she said. "It makes me feel good and gives me a sense of purpose."

True is among the millennials at U.S. universities working to make up for what they see as a lack of focus by the generation they are succeeding. She's a member of Duke's United Nations Global Compact team and a brand impact analyst for sustainable development nonprofit Fair Trade USA.

"Now a lot [millennials] want to have more out of their jobs to do social good, and that can come through positive work on the environment," True said.

She also thinks she feels a stronger responsibility to advocate for sustainability than her parents did at her age, saying they were probably too focused on climbing up the career ladder while she's had a chance to watch these issues unfold.

There may be something to that feeling, according to Paul Shrivastava, chief sustainability officer and director of the Sustainability Institute at Pennsylvania State University.

The millennial generation feels a keen sense of responsibility, he said — certainly a keener sense of responsibility than his own Baby Boom generation.

"They have been brought up in an era of climate change and ecosystem destruction, which are reported on almost daily in the press. So they know more about these environmental problems," Shrivastava said in an email.

"Sustainability has always been about the coming generations, and millennials and youth in general will bear the biggest risk and responsibility, so their engagement and leadership is most necessary," he added.

Today, millennials are the generation most likely to see "solid evidence" of global warming, according to a Pew Research Center study from March 1.

About three quarters of millennials are concerned about climate change — a larger share than are concerned about gun violence or undocumented immigration — and think it should be stopped or slowed, according to the 2018 Millennial Report, released in February by the Alliance for Marketing Solution, a conservative policy group that advocates for market-based environmental change.

"I think we as millennials just know so much more because of iPhones, globalization and we see things when they're happening and not afraid to take a stand," True said. "The information piece is huge."

Izaiah Bokunewicz, a sophomore agricultural plant science student at Penn State, invests much of his time into the school's one-acre student-run farm, where he oversees the production of vegetables and advocates for decreasing waste on the farm and around campus.

"At Penn State, that's been my huge activity of involvement, with food and how we can really try and decrease food waste. That's an enormous problem, [along with] increasing student access to fresh local produce and telling them how food is produced," Bokunewicz said.

An internship with a Pennsylvania company that makes LED lights taught him the importance of the emerging sustainability sector that he hadn't known much about. He said he applies what he learned there to other areas of sustainability at the school's farm.

Leslie Pillen, Penn State's sustainable student farm design coordinator and associate director of farm and food systems, said that she thinks there is a sense of urgency, and that it is increasing. She added that she hopes the younger generation draws greater connections between issues of social justice and environmental sustainability.

"Those are deeply interrelated, and within the alternative agrifood movement, I see people making those connections more explicitly," Pillen said.

On the other side of the country, the University of California, Berkeley has multiple zero-waste initiatives that are driven by students, according to Director of Sustainability Kira Stoll, with 30 to 50 students working in paid positions on campus to help reach the goal of zero waste.

They focus on issues like how to turn plastic into raw materials and how Berkeley's offices can get vendors to deliver materials with less packaging. At the campus store, students "give away clothing and are working now on an outlet to save furniture and have it available for students," Stoll said.

She said that in an institutional setting like college, there is a chance to make a real difference: "We need all hands on board."

Whitman had a similar message: more need to commit to this work, regardless of which generation might be more actively tackling global challenges.

Having watched the environmental movement for decades, Whitman, now 71 and running her own energy consultancy business, said there was a lot of support in the early years, but she sees complacency now. When people "look up to blue skies" and don't see a problem right in front of them, they lose any sense of urgency, she said.

Things are in fact better in the U.S., she said, but more work needs to be done around the world: "We haven't really recognized the importance of the rest of the Earth."

We are all part of a huge ecosystem, Whitman said, and we must all take care of it together. She referred to a Native American saying: "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

Photo Credit: Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inspector General Urges Criminal Investigation of McCabe ]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:12:09 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mccAP_17131535384954+copy.jpg

The Justice Department's inspector general has recommended a criminal investigation into whether former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lied to federal officials about a leak to a newspaper reporter, NBC News reported.

McCabe was fired in March, and last week a report from the inspector general concluded that he repeatedly lied when asked about the leak of information regarding the FBI's efforts to look into the finances of the Clinton Foundation in 2016.

Legal sources familiar with the matter revealed Thursday that Inspector General Michael Horowitz recommended in January that McCabe be investigated on suspicion of lying.

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bowie-Branded MetroCards Have New Yorkers Lining the Subway]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 02:36:08 -0400 https://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bowie+MetroCards+418.jpg

Hundreds of New Yorkers crowded a lower Manhattan subway station on Wednesday for a chance to get limited edition David Bowie inspired MetroCards.

Commuters at the Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker Street station waited for their chance to get one of the 250,000 cards in lines that wrapped around the entrance to the station and continued up onto the sidewalk outside. According to the MTA, the cards will be dispensed randomly.

When asked why they were waiting in line, commuters answers ranged from being huge fans of the iconic singer to taking them home to friends in different countries.

"My girlfriend has been a Bowie fan for decades, and then my husband was the original Warhol videographer of Bowie," said one of the commuters waiting in line.

The MetroCards, called a “Tickets to Mars,” display one of five Bowie personas including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and Thin White Duke. The cards will be available. 

The MetroCards are part of an immersive David Bowie exhibition that has taken over the Broadway-Lafayette subway station until May 13.

The station is lined with wall-size images of Bowie inspired art, quotes from the late singer, and lyrics on the stairs in the station.

It comes a little more than a year after straphangers flocked to subway stations around the city for Supreme-branded MetroCards