<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:00:37 -0600 Sun, 07 Feb 2016 00:00:37 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Top Moments of Final GOP Debate Before New Hampshire]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:39:08 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/RubioBush-AP_458059838742.jpg

Donald Trump was back, Carly Fiorina was out, excluded by the rules of the ABC News debate, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was drawing attacks after his strong showing in Iowa.

The GOP presidential candidates were on stage Saturday night for the final debate before the New Hampshire primary, where some of the Republicans must do well if they are to continue. Trump, who finished second behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the Iowa caucuses, returned after skipping the previous debate. 

Here are some of the liveliest moments of the evening. 

GETTING ON STAGE

The debate got off to an awkward start as Dr. Ben Carson hesitated going onto the stage even as he was waved on. Trump lingered with Carson until they both entered, but then Kasich was left behind. A few minutes later Carson made a reference to expecting to be introduced second.

A STUMP SPEECH

Rubio tried to defend his relatively short time in the U.S. Senate by saying if years spent as a senator were the measure of a candidate everyone on the stage should be rallying around Vice President Joe Biden. Biden represented Delaware for 36 years.

But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quickly attacked Rubio for failing to make a single decision of consequence in the Senate for which he was held accountable and mocked him for giving his “30-second” prepared speech. Memorized speeches don’t get the snow plowed or help rebuild a state destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, he said. And he criticized Rubio for listing the Hezbollah Sanctions Act as an accomplishment but failing to show up for the vote.

“That’s not leadership," Christie said. "That’s truancy.”

Rubio rejoined by telling Christie he had to be shamed into returning to New Jersey from New Hampshire during the recent blizzard. And he brought up New Jersey’s credit rating, downgraded nine times since Christie became governor.

But Rubio also continued to repeat himself several times with the same comments criticizing President Barack Obama.

"WASHINGTON ETHICS"

Carson was asked about messages sent by Cruz’s campaign just before the Iowa caucuses, claiming falsely that Carson was leaving the race.

“I’m not going to use this opportunity to savage the reputation of Senator Cruz,” he said.

Carson said he owed it to his volunteers, one of whom died in a traffic accident in Iowa, to stay in the competition. And he added that he was disappointed in the display of what he called “Washington ethics” — doing what is needed to do to win, not what is right.

Cruz apologized, and blamed CNN for reporting that Carson was taking a break from his campaign.

Carson responded that CNN’s initial tweet was quickly followed by a second one saying he was still in the race. Voters can make their own judgement, he said.

At the end of the debate, Trump got a dig in, saying Cruz had received Carson's votes.

"TOUGH GUY"

Trump and Bush got into a sharp disagreement over eminent domain, the process by which the government can take private property for public good. Trump, who has benefited from it, defended it as a way to build roads and schools.

Bush countered with a jab at Trump's attempt to take a woman’s house in Atlantic City to use as a parking lot for limousines, next to one of his casinos.

"Jeb wants to be a tough guy,” Trump snapped.

The woman went to state court and ended up keeping her home.

TRUMP VERSUS THE CROWD

Trump at one point said his team was unable to get tickets for the audience because they had gone to “donors, special interests, the people who put up the money.”

As the audience booed, he added, “The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money.”

Trump makes a point of saying he is funding his campaign himself.

FEELING LEFT OUT

Carson showed his frustration at not getting as much time as the others.

"I’m not here just to add beauty to the stage," Carson said as he jumped into a discussion about the Middle East.

In his closing remarks he said the media had tried to ignore him

"I’m still here and I’m not going any place either," he said.

HEROIN EPIDEMIC

Cruz, asked about the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire, talked about the death of his half-sister, Miriam, from a drug overdose. He and his father, Rafael, tried to rescue her from a crack house, but failed, he said. After his sister’s death, he put her son, Joey, into a military school.

He joins Christie and Fiorina in discussing addictions from the vantage of their families. 

Christie talks about a law school friend who died after injuring his back and becoming addicted to Percocet.

Fiorina's step-daughter, Lori, died at age 35 after a struggle with alcohol and prescription pills.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[18 Dead After 6.4-Magnitude Quake Rattles Taiwan]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 19:16:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508652296.jpg

Rescuers on Sunday found signs of live within the remains of a high-rise residential building that collapsed in a powerful, shallow earthquake in southern Taiwan that killed at least 18 people and injured hundreds.

The emergency center in Tainan, the worst-hit city, estimated that 132 people were still missing more than 24 hours after the magnitude-6.4 quake struck at dawn Saturday.

Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te said in TV interviews from the site of the building collapse that life detecting equipment had found signs of life from at least 29 trapped people.

More than 340 people had already been rescued from the rubble in Tainan. About 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of the 17-floor residential building, which folded like an accordion onto its side after the quake struck.

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that 484 people had been injured, although most of these had been released from hospitals by Saturday night.

The operators of Taiwan's high speed rail announced Sunday that the service would resume full operation from noon. The earthquake had damaged power lines near Tainan Station and caused major disruption to the system at a busy time when many people are returning home to celebrate Chinese New Year.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson Waits in the Wings in Debate Introduction]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:35:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BenCarsonDebate-AP_47261554959.jpg

The Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, got off to a bit of an awkward start on Saturday.

It began on a high note, when ABC moderator David Muir introduced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Ben Carson's name, drowned out by applause, was called second. But instead of making his way onto the stage, he stood off to the side as the moderators continued on down the candidate list. 

Carson then started to make his way out, but suddenly stopped short when the moderators called out Ted Cruz’s name. 

Someone from backstage, who popped his head out from behind the curtain, tried shooing Carson to walk out, but to no avail. 

Donald Trump appeared in the wings after his name was called, but instead of coming to the stage, he stood back with Carson. Marco Rubio barreled past the two other candidates, smiling as he walked past them. Next came former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who gave the two a quizzical look before leaving Carson and Trump behind.

Social media lit up with reaction to Carson’s late entry onto the stage.

Others were more sympathetic to the GOP candidate and laid the blame elsewhere. 

But it didn't end there. Muir could faintly be heard calling out Ohio Gov. John Kasich's name, but that too, was drowned out by applause. Both Muir and fellow moderator, Martha Raddatz, who had their backs to the stage, then realized they were missing and gave Carson and Trump another call to the stage.

“Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage, he’s standing there as well,” Muir said.

“And Donald Trump,” Raddatz said.

As the moderators took their seats, Kasich was still missing.

“Where’s Kasich?” someone could be heard saying.

“Yes, yes, we’re going to introduce Ohio Gov. John Kasich.” 



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Poisoned Water: Flint's Contamination Crisis in Photos]]> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 14:53:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-506974772_master-flint.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Madeleine Albright Slams Sanders on Foreign Policy]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:28:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Madeleine+Albright+Sanders.png

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright slammed Bernie Sanders on Saturday, expressing concerns over the Democratic presidential contender's "lack of knowledge" about foreign policy.

"I've been very concerned about his lack of knowledge," Albright said, citing his answer to a question about which country poses the biggest threat to the U.S. right now.

"We have to have a president that is ready on Day 1 to deal with problems," she told NBC News in an exclusive interview. "I have never seen such a complicated international situation, and we can't afford learning on the job."



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Lawyer Offers $1M in Kids' Tuition]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:14:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/02-06-2016-martin-burbank.JPG

Awe-struck parents of kindergartners at a Southern California elementary school were stunned to learn a stranger planned to pay for their children's college tuition. 

Fullerton lawyer Marty Burbank and his wife offered to pay the college tuition of 26 kindergarten students at Rio Vista Elementary School. Parents of students at the Anaheim school said they could not believe their children had been given the gift of a lifetime.

"I just can't believe it. I can't" said Maria Rodriguez, the mother of a student. "I don't believe someone would be this interested in paying the tuition of this many kids."

Burbank said he had considered buying himself a boat. He then decided there was more value in removing the financial burden that could have kept these children from attending college.

So, he decided to give them the guarantee of an education instead.

"Buying a boat was a very selfish thing for me, and I can do so much more to impact the lives of these kids," he said.

Burbank promised to pay each child's tuition, starting in 2032. He told the Orange County Register the tuition will probably amount to about $1 million, factoring in inflation rates. 

Virdiana Ortiz, another mother, was one of the many overwhelmed with gratitude toward Burbank for his generosity.

"I had never heard of him," she said. "For someone to do something like that..."

So, what's the catch? It's simple, if not beneficiary. Each year, the students must submit an essay or photo explaining what they would like to do when they grow up.

Some, like Rio Vista's Jonathan Juarez, seem to already have a plan.

Said Juarez: "I want to be a firefighter."



Photo Credit: KVEA]]>
<![CDATA[What to Know: Zika Virus Spreads in Americas]]> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:11:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_670850476149-zika.jpg The spreading of the Zika virus has caused worldwide concern. Health officials think Zika might be connected to the rise in birth defects in the Americas, though it has not yet been proven. WHO has declared the crisis a global emergency.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bond Set for $1M for Brittany Harper of Crime-Spree Duo]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 16:48:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CRIME_AP_155495423602.jpg

The girlfriend in the “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” duo is being held on a bond worth more than $1 million, NBC News reported.

Brittany Nicole Harper was taken into custody early Friday in Escambia County, Florida, after a confrontation with police. She is charged with robbery, home invasion robbery, false imprisonment and grand theft auto.

Officers shot and killed her boyfriend, Blake Edward Fitzgerald, in the shootout, after he used her as a human shield when police opened fire, according to officials.

Authorities say the two went on a multi-state crime spree that may have started a week ago. They are suspected of multiple kidnappings and robberies.  



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[FBI: Michigan Man Planned Attack on Church in Support of ISIS]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:51:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/khalil+abu+rayyan+twitter.jpeg

Federal authorities have arrested a Michigan man they say is an ISIS supporter who wanted to carry out an attack on a 6,000-member Detroit church, NBC News reported.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, of Dearborn Heights, allegedly had guns and a large knife and told an undercover FBI agent that he "tried to shoot up a church one day."

"I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced reloading and unloading," he said in an online conversation, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Investigators did not specify which church Abu-Rayyan allegedly was eyeing but the FBI had been monitoring him for months because of his "increasingly violent threats" about committing acts of terror and martyrdom against churchgoers and police officers on behalf of ISIS.



Photo Credit: @khalilray21]]>
<![CDATA[Fiorina Uses Debate Exclusion As Fuel to Fight On]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:43:28 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CarlyFiorina-AP_707918705720.jpg

Carly Fiorina told a crowd of supporters on Saturday morning that "the game is rigged," assailing ABC News for not inviting her onto Saturday's GOP debate stage because of her low polling numbers nationally, NBC News reported.

"Sorry, I thought votes counted in elections. Sorry, I thought delegates counted in elections," Fiorina said during a campaign town hall in Goffstown, adding that she "will go all the way to Cleveland," referencing the site of the Republican National Convention this summer.

ABC News announced on Thursday that Fiorina - who is garnering roughly two percent of support, nationally, in polling averages - was not invited to participate in the final debate before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO called ABC the "Anybody But Carly" network.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[6 Family Members Found Dead Identified ]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 20:13:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/crosses2.jpg

The six family members whose bodies were found inside a Southwest Side Chicago home Thursday were identified Saturday by the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The victims are 62-year-old Noe Martinez Sr., 58-year-old Rosaura Martinez, 38-year-old Noe Martinez Jr., 32-year-old Maria Herminia Martinez, 13-year-old Leonardo Cruz, and 10-year-old Alexis Cruz. The cause of death for all six victims was ruled a homicide.

According to the autopsy report, the victims died of multiple sharp and blunt force injuries due to assault, except for Maria Martinez, who died of multiple gunshot wounds. 

Family members said the people who lived in the home were a couple, their son, their daughter, and their daughter's two children. Crosses bearing each name were placed outside the home as a memorial Friday.

"They were a normal family. Everything was fine," Noemi Martinez, 29, said from Dallas during a phone interview in Spanish. She said her husband was a nephew and cousin of the home's residents.

Investigators Friday would not say whether the crime was targeted, but did say the community was not facing an active threat.

"I would understand that people would have a heightened sense of concern but really there is nothing at this point that leads us to believe that this was a random act that this was somebody that broke into the house," Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said.

Officers conducting a welfare check discovered the bodies around 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the 5700 block of South California. A concerned co-worker called police after one of the men found in the home had not showed up to work for two days.

Authorities continue to investigate what exactly happened inside the small brick home tucked away in a typically quiet neighborhood near 57th Street and California Avenue. Although police originally considered murder-suicide a possiblity, all six deaths have now been ruled as homicides. 

Police said in a Friday morning news conference there had been no sign of forced entry and all the doors had been locked when officers arrived.

"It's a rather complex scene," Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy said Friday. 

Friends told NBC5 the victims were a "good family" from Mexico with no known problems.

Martinez said the father worked at a factory in Chicago and the mother was a housewife. They were originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato and had lived in Chicago for about a decade, Martinez said.

"Right now, we just want to know who did this," she said. "They didn't deserve this. We don't understand what happened."

Azcucena Martinez, who goes by Susy and is the niece of the couple, created a GoFundMe page to help the family send the bodies back to Mexico. As of Saturday, the page had received more than $22,000. 

"There was never any problems so we couldn't even think something happened to them," said neighbor Mayra Diego. "They were very nice quiet people."

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<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:49:22 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_274948826459-protest.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lead Test Results Confirm Worst Fears for Flint Family]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:40:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-506974772_master-flint.jpg

Water Defense, the anti-fracking and safe-water activist group headed by actor Mark Ruffalo, collected samples from Oscar and Elizabeth Brown's Flint, Michigan, home last weekend and brought them to an independent lab in Cincinnati for analysis.

The results, which the group shared with NBC News, show that the water coming out of the kitchen faucet, where a filter was installed after state officials finally confirmed the lead crisis this fall, didn't contain any of the heavy metal.

But a sample of the water from the bathtub, which is unfiltered, contained 16 parts per billion, higher than the threshold of 15 ppb that federal regulators say is the point at which a water system must take action to protect public health.

"I'm over it. I really just want to leave," said Denettra Brown, who is Oscar and Elizabeth's great-granddaughter and lives in the house with her 3-year-old son, Dana, who is suffering from unexplained health problems.



Photo Credit: File/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pranksters Hijack Train's PA System]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 13:43:30 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/r+train+sandy+tunnel+subway.jpg

Police say they're searching for two pranksters who allegedly broke into a conductor's booth aboard an R train in Manhattan and announced over the public address system the train had been hijacked by ISIS, according to MTA sources. 

The incident happened on the Brooklyn-bound train between the 23rd Street and Union Square stations late Thursday night.

"This is ISIS and we're hijacking the train," the suspects said over the loudspeaker, then fled laughing at the next stop, the sources said. 

Police said they're searching for the suspects, believed to be in their 20s. 

A passenger told The New York Post that the riders first heard some low singing over the broadcast system.

"Then we heard, 'All hail ISIS! Jihad, Jihad, Jihad!" Lauren Crozier of Sunset Park told the paper. 

"Everyone took their earbuds out and stared at each other," she said. "I'm not sure any of us thought it was a credible threat. Not after the first moment, anyway." 

When the train pulled into Union Square, the "whole train emptied out," Crozier told the Post. 

The train was taken out of service and brought to the Jamaica Yards in Queens, where an investigation was conducted, the Post reported, citing sources who called it a "hoax." 

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<![CDATA[Illinois Dems Move to Make Obama’s Birthday a State Holiday]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:23:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/obama4.png

Illinois State Rep. Andre Thapedi introduced a new bill this week that could make President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday.

 

The proposed legislation, House Bill 4654, would close schools and state offices on Aug. 4, Obama’s birthday. If the date falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed instead.

The bill is co-sponsored by representatives Thaddeus Jones, Rita Mayfield and Arthur Turner.

"As President Obama serves his final year in office, the timing to make his birthday a state holiday is critical to recognizing his accomplishment and the legacy that he will leave behind for future presidents, Illinois officials and young people who aspire to serve their community," Jones said in a statement.

Before becoming a U.S. Senator and subsequently the country’s Commander-In-Chief, Obama served as an Illinois senator from 1997-2004.

The president will address the state’s General Assembly next week in Springfield amid the state’s historic budget impasse and pension crisis.

Obama became the first black president in the nation’s history when he was sworn into office in January of 2009.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Shot, Drives Self to Hospital]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:05:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bridgeport+police+generic.jpg

 

A 31-year-old woman drove herself to to the hospital Saturday morning after suffering a gunshot would to the face.

 

The woman, identified as Linda Mitchell of Marina Village, arrived at Bridgeport Hospital at about 2:43 a.m. on Saturday.

Officers found a slug on the seat of her car, which was parked at the hospital garage.

Police have not identified a suspect at this time. The shooting remains under investigation.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Sues Kennel After Toy Poodle Is Killed]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:31:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Toy+Poodle+Peanut+2.JPG

A Maryland couple is suing a kennel after one of their toy poodles was killed by a much larger dog.

The Klionskys of Bethesda boarded their toy poodle puppies Pumpkin and his apricot-colored sister Peanut at Life of Riley in Rockville in November to take a trip to Paris. They returned two days later when they learned their 5-pound Peanut was dead.

“I was totally devastated,” Yumi Klionsky said. “I couldn't eat for a week. I cried every single day.”

“She still cries,” said her husband, Mark.

The couple was told their little dogs would be kept separate from big dogs, Mark Klionsky said.

“They let the small dogs out into the same area as the large dogs to relieve themselves,” he said. “During that time, our puppy Peanut was attacked and killed by a hundred-pound bull mastiff.”

Life of Riley owner Paul Abbott said they dedicate their lives to taking care of animals but had an incident and want to make it right.

The Klionskys are suing the kennel for $17,600 in damages -- the money from their lost trip and previous medical bills for Peanut. They said they are suing for negligence; the money isn't important.

They want all dog owners who send their dogs to the facility to know about the tragedy.

At first, Yumi Klionsky couldn't think about replacing Peanut, but then the breeder heard about the loss of Peanut and allowed the Klionskys to adopt her sister from the same litter, Pinot.

“She's a small version of Peanut,” Yumi Klionsky said. “She has her own character, and I would like to respect and take proper care and give lots of love.”



Photo Credit: The Klionskys]]>
<![CDATA[What Feng Shui Experts Predict for Year of the Monkey]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05:59:36 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/China-Year-of-the-Monkey-GettyImages-508536254.jpg

Chinese around the world will ring in the Year of the Monkey Monday, and with it will come countless questions about what lies in store for the lunar 2016, NBC News reported.

Enter Chen Shuaifu, a noted feng shui master and longtime chairman of the China Fengshui Association, which has more than 50,000 members.

Over the years he has given his predictions to NBC News, most notably declaring that marriages and relationships would suffer in 2013 during the "Year of the Widow" and that Russian President Vladimir Putin, born in the Year of the Dragon, would do well in 2015 — the Year of the Sheep.

For the superstitious in China, the astrological divinations of a local feng shui master can be important guidance in making decisions for the coming year. For many others, the annual predictions are just for fun.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sweden Sees Shift Away From Cash]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 05:43:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/203*120/20101211t161331z01btre6ba0zdf00rtroptp3germany.jpg

No cash? No problem — in Sweden at least, where cellphone and credit-card payments are quickly eclipsing coins and bills, NBC News reported.

When Robin Teigland left her wallet at home, the man in line behind her agreed to pay for her groceries. His gesture as much out of convenience as kindness — Teigland paid him back immediately via Swish, a mobile-banking app gaining traction throughout Scandinavia.

"Sweden has always been at the forefront of financial innovation," said Teigland, a professor of business at the Stockholm School of Economics. "I never use cash. My kids laugh at me, because I only carry the five-crown coins I use to get a shopping cart at the store."

Teigland isn't alone — cash now makes up just 2 percent of the Swedish economy, compared to 9.7 percent throughout the euro zone, according to the Bank for International Settlements.



Photo Credit: REUTERS]]>
<![CDATA[Hawaii's 'Most Wanted' Fugitive Killed by Police]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 02:13:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Police+Tape4.jpg

A man who police had identified as one of Hawaii's "most wanted" fugitives was shot and killed by officers early Friday, according to Hawaii Island police, NBC News reported.

Police spotted Ronald Barawis in a vehicle outside a fast food restaurant in Hilo, Hawaii, just after midnight on Friday. When officers ordered the 38-year-old out of the car, "he instead drove over barriers within the drive-thru and accelerated his vehicle," driving directly at an officer and ramming police cars, according to a statement from police.

Barawis was profiled in an episode of local public access show "Hawaii Island's Most Wanted" that was scheduled to air Friday, the day he was killed in the shooting. In a previous announcement about the show, he was listed as "considered armed and dangerous."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Slain Teacher's Class Sings 'Lean on Me' at Vigil]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 08:24:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/020516+neshante+davis+students+lean+on+me+vigil.jpg

The beloved teacher shot and killed this week along with her 2-year-old daughter was remembered Friday at a heartbreaking ceremony, where her second-graders sang "Lean on Me" and her sister called for an end to domestic violence. 

Loved ones, students, parents and total strangers mourned the deaths of NeShante Davis and Chloe Davis-Green at a vigil held Friday evening outside Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

The mother and daughter were shot outside their townhouse about 7 a.m. Tuesday in Fort Washington, Maryland, Prince George's County police said. Little Chloe's father, Daron Boswell-Johnson, 25, confessed to waiting for Davis and Chloe outside their home and then shooting them each multiple times, court documents show. He was angry over being ordered to pay $600 per month in child support, sources told News4.

Boswell-Johnson, of Forestville, Maryland, faces two counts of both first- and second-degree murder and is being held without bond.

Davis was in the middle of her first year teaching after she recently graduated from Bowie State University.

On Friday, members of the Bradbury Heights Elementary community wore pink to honor the teacher and her daughter. Davis' class sang, and members of the community paid tribute to her. 

"Your life was taken, but your legacy of patience, love and kindness has profoundly touched all who have been blessed to know you," one mourner said. 

One of Davis' sisters spoke about domestic violence and the need to get help if you're being abused.

"In honor of NeShante and Chloe's memory, let's not allow something like this to happen to anyone else," she said.

Davis was a natural teacher who doted on her students, teacher Alisha Rowden said.

"Because she was a mother, she has that mothering spirit, so her students are under her wings just like baby birds," she said. "She treated them as if they were her own children."

She and other staff members said they will never forget Tuesday.

"It was the most difficult day of my professional career, and I've been doing this over 20 years," Walker said.

Before Davis' fellow second-grade teachers knew Davis and her daughter had been killed, they knew something was wrong when she didn't show up for work.

"I felt like my heart was in my stomach," Rowden said. "We hadn't heard from her."

The school system and principal, Dr. Lynnette Walker, quickly developed a plan for informing staff and students. It was especially difficult for Walker, who hired her, she said.

"When her resume came across my desk, I contacted a colleague at Bowie State and said 'Tell me about NeShante Davis.' And she said, 'If you can get her, get her. She's good," she said.

Davis' students, just 7 and 8 years old, are dealing with the loss of their teacher.

"They're getting there. Each day I think is a struggle," second-grade teacher Hannah Greene said. "It hits them more and more that this is the way things are going to be now."

Services for Davis and Chloe will be held Saturday, Feb. 13 at Ark of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro.

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<![CDATA[Aid Cut Off to Thousands in Syria]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:43:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AleppoSyria-GettyImages-508601178.jpg

Humanitarian aid has been cut off to thousands of people as the city of Aleppo, Syria, has fallen under government siege, NBC News reported.

Russian airstrikes, which have increased in recent days, have also killed an estimated 150 civilians, according to U.S. officials on Friday.

The bombardment has also interrupted U.N.-led peace talks scheduled in Geneva this week. Officials said Russia and Syrian President Bashar Assad were not in compliance with a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for access for aid workers and to end bombing of civilians. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tattoo Artists Make 'Feeling the Bern' Permanent]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:30:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/193*120/AP_576595660443-%281%29.jpg

A Vermont tattoo shop is giving away free tattoos of Senator Bernie Sanders, whose White House ambitions have energized many across the country, especially in his home state.

Aartistic Inc of Winooski and Montpelier is providing the small, simple line-drawing tattoos free of charge to Sanders supporters who want to "feel the Bern" permanently. The tattoos show a likeness of the glasses and sometimes-mussed hair many associate with the candidate seeking the Democratic party’s nomination.

"If he wins, I'll have all the compensation I need," said tattoo artist Tyre DuVernay, the owner of Aartistic Inc. "He's the only candidate we have who'll give us a chance of getting what we the people actually want out of a president."

Sam Green, an employee of the media services department of Castleton University, traveled to Winooski Friday to get a free Sanders tattoo on her calf.

"It's part of Vermont pride," Green told necn. "Bernie's one of the proudest things. Maple syrup is great and everything, but Bernie is a pretty excellent part of Vermont. I might put him a little bit above [maple syrup]. I don't know about Ben & Jerry's, though. No comment on that!"

Green was one of several dozen Vermonters this week alone who have come to Aartistic Inc for a free Sanders tattoo. DuVernay said he has many more bookings still to schedule.

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Bob Holmes of Seabrook, New Hampshire, told necn's Alison King last month that he, too, would give away free political tattoos, as long as they displayed Donald Trump's name, face, or "make America great again" slogan.

Holmes said he is eager to cast a vote in the New Hampshire primary February 9 for the billionaire business mogul to receive the GOP nomination for president.

"He's not a politician," Holmes said, describing one reason he admires Trump. "He says every single thing that every person is thinking, but doesn't have the guts to say it. As a business owner, I like the fact that he's a business owner and that this country has to start to run like that."

DuVernay said many takers of his Bernie Sanders freebies are drawn to Sanders for his passion in decrying income and wealth inequality.

"Bernie's our man," DuVernay said. "There's a lot of money behind the other candidates. And as soon as the money starts to flow into their pockets, they're already compromised."

As for Sam Green, her support of Bernie Sanders is now indelible.

"I had a good time," Green beamed, leaving the tattoo parlor with a bandage on her calf.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Writes Post on Same-Sex Union]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:30:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bill+Metzger.jpg

Late Friday afternoon, the Dallas County Democratic Party called on a Mesquite Justice of the Peace to resign immediately.

County Chair Carol Donovan is asking Bill Metzger to step down after he recently announced on his Facebook page that he would refuse to officiate issue a same-sex marriage if asked.

Metzger wrote that as a devout Catholic, “my sincerely-held religious beliefs keeps me from being forced to conduct anything but a traditional wedding as a Judge per our Attorney General."

"It is clear that any Justice of the Peace in Texas can refuse to perform a non-traditional wedding when that wedding can be performed by others," he wrote.

The Dallas County Democrats said in a statement that “he certainly has the right to his opinion, but he cannot hold office and continue to break the law.”

"By refusing to officiate same-sex marriages, Judge Bill Metzger is not only violating federal law, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, but he is also violating his Oath of Office. Therefore, he must resign," Donovan wrote.

Local LGBT advocates say they’re disappointed by the comments.

"If you’re a public official, and you’re in a job where you’re serving the public, that means the entire public. The entire public. You can’t make exceptions based on your personal, outside beliefs that must not impact on how you do your job," said Rafael McDonnell, a manager with the Resource Center.

Hundreds of same-sex marriages have been performed in Dallas since last summer, although County Clerk John Warren said an official number is not known because his office doesn't track by it gender.

NBC 5 left several messages for Bill Metzger, but he did not respond. 

In response to a question about why he posted in the first place, Metzger's Chief of Staff Dwayne Horner said in an e-mail: "The Judge is out a lot in the community helping with charities (including recently helping the victims of the December 26 tornado that affected his precinct) and was asked recently. He is a regular user of Facebook and uses that tool to communicate." 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA['Affluenza' Teen to Adult Jail]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:26:43 -0600

Right: Ethan Couch mugshot taken at the Tarrant County Corrections Center, Feb. 5, 2016.]]>

Right: Ethan Couch mugshot taken at the Tarrant County Corrections Center, Feb. 5, 2016.]]> http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ethan-couch-composite.jpg

Ethan Couch, the Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving crash, was moved Friday afternoon from a juvenile detention center to the Tarrant County Correction Center in Downtown Fort Worth.

Couch, 19, is currently being held for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, pending a hearing Feb. 19 to determine whether his case will be moved from juvenile court to adult court.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said during a news conference Friday afternoon that a juvenile court judge signed a revised order of detention that allowed for Couch's housing change.

Anderson said the sheriff's department was notified of the housing change once Couch was under way Friday afternoon and that he arrived at the downtown corrections center at about 1:30 p.m.

Couch is still under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and his case is still continuing under the original judge's order, Anderson said. The move to the adult jail doesn't change his juvenile standing.

A continuation hearing related to Friday's housing move will be held on Feb. 12, Anderson said.

Anderson added Couch is considered a high-profile inmate and is being held in a single cell, away from the general population, for his safety and not because he's considered a threat. Couch, Anderson said, has been soft-spoken, very respectful and has asked for no special treatment or accommodations.

Before the move Friday, Couch had been detained at the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center in North Fort Worth since he was extradited back to the U.S. last month. Couch had fled to Mexico, along with his mother Tonya Couch, after missing a meeting with his probation officer.

Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled Texas in her pickup truck after an online video appeared to show Ethan Couch at a party where people were drinking. Couch had been sentenced to 10 years' probation in juvenile court for the 2013 drunken-driving crash, and the terms prohibit him from drinking or leaving Tarrant County, Texas.

If Couch's case is transferred to the adult system and if he violates his probation again, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each person killed in the 2013 crash, a total of 40 years.



Photo Credit: El Instituto Nacional de Migración, Tarrant County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: John Kasich's Snow Day in N.H.]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:53:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/john-kasich-snowball-fight-new-hampshire.jpg

Considering how much time he has spent campaigning in New Hampshire, it's perhaps no surprise that Republican John Kasich took some time Friday to have a snowball fight.

The governor of Ohio, whose disappointing finish in Monday's Iowa caucus leaves him a long shot for his party's nomination, took part in "an impromptu snowball fight with members of the media and volunteers," according to his campaign.

The video showed him ducking snowballs and launching some of his own in front of a snowy red barn.

According to the latest NBC News poll, Kasich has 10 percent of support among likely primary voters in New Hampshire, trailing only Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Kasich has campaigned heavily in the Granite – the snowball fight took part between his 99th and 100th town hall events in the state.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rescue Workers Find Cat Seen in Boiling Water Video]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 13:35:02 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cat+scalded.jpg

Rescue workers Friday night found the cat scalded with scorching water in a disturbing video that have prompted one arrest.

The cat was discovered behind the Chicago home where the alleged abuse took place, according to rescue workers. They trapped the cat and transported it to animal control. Rescue workers said they hope to take the cat to Felines & Canines animal shelter.

The video sparked nationwide outrage after it spread across social media.

Leon Teague, of the 6900 block of South Martin Luther King Drive, has been charged with one felony count of animal torture and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty after a video was uncovered allegedly showing the 18-year-old luring a cat on a porch and dousing it with boiling water, according to police. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

In the video, a white cat with black spots can be seen near a blue litter box and a feeding tray on the rear porch of a home with someone behind the camera holding a black pot with hot water. The person in the video can be heard making noises to get the cat to come in his direction and then, once it comes close enough, burning the animal.

Hit with the scorching water, the cat in the video immediately begins howling loudly before running for safety away from the porch.

The video was quickly shared across social media, outraging animal rights groups across the nation and prompting the police investigation.

Bail for Teague was set at $10,000, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Department. He's expected to return to court Feb. 11.

]]>
<![CDATA[Motive Unclear in Slaying of Gage Park Family]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:37:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CROSSES+NIGHT.jpg

The deaths of six family members whose bodies were found inside a Southwest Side Chicago home Thursday have been declared homicides, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The medical examiner's office has not officially released the identities of the bodies, but autopsy results showed the cause of death for the victims, all of which have been ruled a homicide.  

According to the autopsy report, the victims died of multiple sharp and blunt force injuries due to assault, except for a middle-aged female, who died of multiple gunshot wounds. 

Family members said the people who lived in the home were a couple, their son, their daughter, and their daughter's two children. 

They identified the deceased as Rosa Hernandez, Noe Martinez, Noe Martinez Jr., Herminia Martinez and her two children, Alexis and Leonardo. Crosses bearing each name were placed outside the home as a memorial Friday.

The two children were 10 and 13 years old, police said.

"They were a normal family. Everything was fine," Noemi Martinez, 29, said from Dallas during a phone interview in Spanish. She said her husband was a nephew and cousin of the home's residents.

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy said Friday that all of the victims suffered blunt trauma.

Investigators Friday would not say whether the crime was targeted, but did say the community was not facing an active threat.

"I would understand that people would have a heightened sense of concern but really there is nothing at this point that leads us to believe that this was a random act that this was somebody that broke into the house," Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said.

Officers conducting a welfare check discovered the bodies of two women, two men and two children around 1:30 p.m. Thursday on the 5700 block of South California. A concerned co-worker called police after one of the men found in the home had not showed up to work for two days.

Investigators were working Friday to piece together what exactly happened inside the small brick home tucked away in a typically quiet neighborhood near 57th Street and California Avenue. Asked whether it could have been a murder-suicide, Escalante told reporters it was "a possibility."

Police said in a Friday morning news conference there had been no sign of forced entry and all the doors had been locked when officers arrived.

"It's a rather complex scene," Roy said. 

Police have revealed few details on a potential motive in the case, but said there is no threat to the community.

Friends told NBC5 the victims were a "good family" from Mexico with no known problems.

Martinez said the father worked at a factory in Chicago and the mother was a housewife. They were originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato and had lived in Chicago for about a decade, Martinez said.

"Right now, we just want to know who did this," she said. "They didn't deserve this. We don't understand what happened."

Azcucena Martinez, who goes by Susy and is the niece of the couple, created a GoFundMe page to help the family send the bodies back to Mexico. As of Friday, the page had received more than $17,000. 

"There was never any problems so we couldn't even think something happened to them," said neighbor Mayra Diego. "They were very nice quiet people."



Photo Credit: NBC5 ]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Weds Amid NYC Crane Chaos]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:42:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/couple+marries+after+crane+collapse.jpg

An FDNY chaplain escorted a bride caught in the chaos that followed Friday morning's deadly crane collapse to a historic New York City courthouse, then performed an impromptu wedding ceremony for the woman and her husband-to-be.

The Rev. Ann Kansfield said in a Facebook post that she saw bride Nesh Pillay leave a salon wearing a white strapless dress while the firefighter was responding to the collapse at Worth and Church streets in Tribeca.

Pillay was planning on taking a cab up to Tweed Courthouse so she could marry longtime boyfriend Aaron Vanderhoff in what she tweeted was supposed to be a "secret" ceremony. But because of the collapse, she couldn't find a cab.

Kansfield said in the post she offered Pillay her coat when she saw her shivering as she was hit with sleet, then offered to walk her the six blocks to the courthouse so she could get married.

Pillay's planned officiant wasn't there when they arrived, Kansfield said, so she offered do the ceremony on the steps outside.

Video of the ceremony was posted to YouTube and shows Kansfield still wearing her fire hat and coat as she officiated the wedding. Before kicking things off, she referred to the weather and the tragedy just blocks away.

"Witnesses, do you promise to support Nesh and Aaron in their marriage?" Kansfield says, snow pelting the couple on the steps. "Through crane collapses and snowstorms? Through to sandy beaches and sunny days?" 

The witnesses all shout "Yes!" to the pastor's queries.

As Vanderhoff and Pillay exchange tearful vows, sirens can be heard in the background. Afterward, Kansfield pronounces them husband and wife, again touching on the unexpected events of the morning.

"By the power vested in me, on behalf of the church and the FDNY, I very joyfully now pronounce you married!"

The Daily News first reported on the wedding. Pillay told the newspaper that she felt lucky that Kansfield, who is also a pastor at a church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was there.

"I feel so lucky she was there. There was a lot of fear over what was happening, and she was just incredible, leading us through everything. She made it seamless, even though it wasn't her job," Pillay told the newspaper.

Pillay didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC New York.

Vanderhoff, meanwhile, recounted being grateful his new wife wasn't hurt and how surprising it was to see her walk up the stairs wearing a firefighter's jacket.

"Sometimes you have the first look (at your bride) programmed, and you have it planned out. But this was totally unplanned with the FDNY jacket (over her dress), and it made it really special, though in the shadow of something so terrible," he told the News.


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<![CDATA[Twitter Locks Down 125,000 Accounts]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:04:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/twitterGettyImages-494325030.jpg

Twitter announced Friday it will shut down more than 125,000 accounts as part of an effort to crack down on extremist content.

In a news release, the company said it was committed to weeding out content that advocates for terrorism and violence. It said there is no "magic algorithm" for targeting such content, but it will continue to "engage with authorities and other relevant organizations to find solutions to this critical issue."

Since late last year, Twitter has been using "proprietary spam fighting tools" in order to identify accounts that violate their terms of service policy. It also has assigned a dedicated team to examine the accounts. 

The moves come as the White House has been putting more pressure on social media companies to proactively identify potentially dangerous accounts and content.

The Obama administration has sent high-level personnel including F.B.I Director James Comey to California to discuss how the tech giants and government can work together more effectively. 

Twitter said the nature of its product, which it called "an open forum for expression," makes it vulnerable to becoming a communications tool for social media savvy terrorist organizations like ISIS, as NBC News reported. 

Last month, a woman whose husband was killed in Jordan in a terrorist attack sued Twitter in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit claimed Twitter was partially responsible because the ISIS attack was coordinated via the social media platform.

The suit is not expected to get far, as Twitter is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but it does raise questions about the level of responsibility that social media companies should have regarding the content on their platforms.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 6, Dies After Being Hit by Falling Tree Limb: Family]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:33:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CafItn-UcAAnWx1.jpg

A 6-year-old girl has died after being pinned under a tree limb Friday afternoon in Canton, Massachusetts, the child's family tells necn.

Canton Police confirm the child was hit by the limb in the yard of her family's Indian Lane home.

Family members confirmed to necn around 7:30 p.m. that young Kaleigh Kenyon had passed away.

"It's a fluke situation for our lovely little girl, who was at the prime of her life," said the girl's aunt, Lauri Moore. "She loves snow and she loves playing in it, and it's just awful."

"She was like, 'Oh, Daddy, let's go make a snowman,'" her brother, Nicholas Kenyon, said. "The next thing I know, a tree broke, fell on her. Him and I just ran at it, trying to lift her out of there."

Police responded around 2 p.m. A neighbor had gotten the girl out from under the tree and administered CPR.

Kaleigh Kenyon was transported in critical condition to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton. She was later transported to Boston Children's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her family describes her as a high-spirited little girl. Her brother says their father was shaken as she was rushed to the hospital.

"The last thing he said to me was 'I'm sorry,'" Nicholas Kenyon said. "I was like, 'It's not your fault.'"

Fire officials said in a press conference that the weight of the snow caused the tree limb to fall from between 30 and 35 feet above the girl.

Police warned of collapsing trees and branches in Canton Friday. In the same community, a downed power line caused flames to burst out through the snow.

Stay with necn as this story develops.



Photo Credit: necn]]>