<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:55:39 -0500 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:55:39 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Families "Heartbroken" After 7 Bodies Found in Indiana]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:36:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Afrika-Hardy.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Batey’s boyfriend, Marvin Clinton, says she had been missing since January.

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

He said the two have a 2-year-old son together.

"Now I've got to sit here and figure out how to tell a 2-year-old that mommy's never coming home again," said Clinton.

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

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

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


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<![CDATA[CDC Unveils New Ebola Gear Guidelines]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:55:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP377346880200.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new guidelines include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Nurses Speak Out on Ebola]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:13:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cole-edmonson-presby-crop.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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<![CDATA[500 Lbs. of Meth Seized in Calif.-Mexican Cartel Bust: AG]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:48:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/N5P-FBI-CARTEL-RAID-PKG---00001611.jpg

A total of 22 people were arrested and 500 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $18 million was seized in a drug trafficking ring linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Federation drug cartel, law enforcement officials announced on Monday.

The takedown, named Operation Road Trip, represents the culmination of several related investigations that have resulted in 67 arrests and the seizure of 1,109 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $40 million, as well as $1.82 million in cash, over the past six years.

“We will do whatever is necessary with our federal and local partners to dismantle these violent, insidious organizations,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said at a news conference in Contra Costa County on Monday.

She was flanked by representatives from the FBI, the California Department of Justice and Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson, who said the bust was the "largest both in terms of drugs and the cash seized that we know of in the history of Contra Costa County."

Operation Road Trip is the merger of two long-term investigations led by the West Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team Task Force, the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force and other local, state, and federal partners.

During the Operation Road Trip investigation, the task forces discovered that methamphetamine from Mexico was being delivered to the Nitro gang, based in Southern California, Harris' office said. The Nitro gang would make regular “road trips” to Contra Costa County in order to distribute to other drug trafficking groups, including the Urtiz gang based in Northern California, authorities said.

In May of 2011, the state Department of Justice, the FBI and others announced the conclusion of the first of the two long-term investigations, named Operation Red Reach. This operation, a two-year coordinated sweep led by West-NET, shut down a network of local and transnational gangs, including a Nortenos gang in western Contra Costa County. The case resulted in the seizure of 135 pounds of methamphetamine, 26 illegal firearms, approximately $150,000 and federal and state convictions of 26 people. Information and intelligence gained from this operation led to the identification of the Urtiz gang.

West-NET’s subsequent investigation, named Operation Crystal Lens, revealed that the Urtiz gang's methamphetamine was being supplied by the Southern California-based Nitro gang, which was also separately under investigation by LA;s task force, Harris' office said.

Transnational criminal organizations have made California the single biggest point of entry for methamphetamine into the United States, with 70 percent entering through the San Diego Port of Entry.

Earlier this month, Harris announced that the California Department of Justice will create a new anti-methamphetamine team of Special Agents based in Los Angeles funded by a $1 million federal grant.
 

NBC Bay Area Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.


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<![CDATA[Matthews Charged in 2005 Assault]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:50:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP702814643380.jpg

As investigators wait to see if a body found Saturday is missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, the suspect in her disappearance is facing an attempted murder charge in another case.

Jesse L. Matthew, Jr. has already been charged with abduction with attempt to defile Graham, who disappeared more than a month ago.

On Monday, Matthew was indicted for attempted capital murder, abduction with attempt to defile, and sexual penetration with an object in a 2005 sexual assault in the city of Fairfax, Virginia. All three charges are felonies.

In that case, a 26-year-old woman was walking home from a grocery store in September 2005 when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he sexually assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Fairfax authorities were unable to comment on specific evidence in the case.

"You know, I've learned the hard way over the past 30 years that this is just the first step, and the crimninal justice system can be a long, tough row to hoe, but I have confidence... that we will be able to go forward and bring justice in this instance," said Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County Raymond F. Morrogh.

Morrogh said the victim in the 2005 case is grateful to the lead detective who stayed in touch with her over nine years, telling her he'd never give up.

"I think it's fair to say that she's grateful that the case will go forward to whatever resolution comes to it," he said.

He said Matthew will likely be brought to Northern Virginia to face the charges, but no court date has been set yet. On Thursday, Fairfax authorities will ask the court for a bench warrant to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia.

"It's possible to transport a defendant to and from various courthouses, and that's what we'll do," Morrogh said.

Morrogh declined to comment on Matthew's connection to other unsolved cases.

City of Fairfax Police Chief Carl R. Pardiny said Fairfax authorities are continuing to work with authorities in Charlottesille, Albermarle County and Virginia State Police.

Authorities had previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009.

Harrington disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Her body was found a little more than five miles from where the body was found during Saturday's search for Graham. Harrington had been missing for 101 days.

No one has been charged in Harrington's murder. But Harrington's parents have been active in searching for Graham, noting the similarities between the two cases.

"I thought [Graham's disappearance] seemed very similar to Morgan's situation with sort of the question of her maybe being somewhat impaired, someone just picking her up and trying to take care of her," Dan Harrington said earlier this month.

"But it really came to light to me about two weeks ago when I saw a picture of the sketch as compared to Jesse," he said. "I thought, 'Oh my God, I think it's the same person'."

Virginia State Police said late last month that they believe they have found a link between Harrington's death and Graham's disappearance.

The news of the new charges against Matthew is another stunning development connected to Graham's month-long disappearance.

Volunteer searchers looking for Graham found human remains Saturday; Virginia's medical examiner is working to identify the body now.

Sunday, investigators interviewed residents in the area where the body was found, and forensic teams combed the sides of a road for several miles past the site.

It was not immediately known what they were looking for.

Volunteer searchers discovered the unidentified body at about noon Saturday in an "abandoned property" along Old Lynchburg Road in the Walnut Creek Park area of Albemarle County, authorities said at a Saturday evening news conference.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said Graham's parents had been notified of the discovery. He said volunteers working with Chesterfield County sheriff's deputies were searching the property on Old Lynchburg Road when they discovered the remains.

Albemarle County Police Chief Steve Sellers said, "This, sadly, is now a death investigation. We will not jump to any conclusions after today’s discovery."

In September, police charged Matthew in Graham's disappearance. His attorney, Jim Camblos, issued a statement late Saturday night, saying "I understand the search teams found remains on an abandoned farm in Albemarle County. We are waiting to see the results of the medical examiners autopsy. No further comment."

Albemarle County Police now are asking anyone who saw suspicious activity or suspicious vehicles near Old Lynchburg Road to contact them at 434-296-5807. Neighbors in the area said they had been smelling a foul odor a few days ago.

Emergency management officials, meanwhile, canceled Sunday's planned search for Graham. Hundreds of volunteers have joined Charlottesville, Albemarle County and state authorities for a series of searches since Graham disappeared.

Graham was reported missing after a night out with with friends Sept. 12. She was last seen on surveillance video in Charlottesville’s downtown mall in the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

The surveillance video shows a man police identified as Matthew wrapping his arm around Graham. He is also accused of buying the 18-year-old woman alcohol.

Two weeks after Graham's disappearance, Matthew -- a hospital worker and former taxi driver -- was arrested in Texas. He has been extradited to Virginia, where he is in custody.

Matthew is not due for a court appearance in the case until December. Investigators believe Matthew acted alone and did not know Graham before her disappearance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Police Detail NH Festival Chaos]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:11:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Keene+State+incident+1.jpg

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

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

Local police say they planned ahead, based off previous years riots, but say this year things were different when the rioters moved out onto public streets and neighborhoods.

"I think, unfortunately, we were caught by surprise when things started earlier than expected," said Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meola. "We thought we had it well in hand, to be quite honest, but we fell a little short."

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

The area was cleaned up by college students on Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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<![CDATA[How Is Ebola Spread?]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 23:30:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/456202288.jpg

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

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

"There is no risk to people who have been in contact with those who have been sick with Ebola and recovered, or people who have been exposed and have not yet shown symptoms," the CDC's director Dr. Thomas Frieden explained Tuesday, after confirming that a patient in Dallas had tested positive.

That patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, recently flew to the United States from Liberia, one of the West African countries now grappling with a deadly Ebola outbreak. Because he showed no signs of sickness until four days after landing in the U.S., however, officials are not worried about travelers who were on the plane with him. Duncan died on Oct. 8 in a Dallas hospital.

The initial spread of the Ebola virus to humans is unknown, although researchers believe that "patient zero" in the recent West Africa outbreak became infected through contact with an infected animal, possibly a bat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How Ebola Is Spread:

Once a person is infected, the CDC said there are several ways Ebola can spread to other people:

  • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen. To become infected with the virus, you would need to get some of the ill person’s bodily fluids into your mouth, nose, or eyes, or into your body via a cut or a needle stick. Doctors say that there is no evidence anyone has ever been infected via sweat.
  • Touching objects contaminated with the virus, like syringes or other medical equipment
  • Touching infected animals, by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat
  • A cough from a sick patient could infect someone close enough to be sprayed with droplets of mucus or saliva. People dealing with anyone who may be ill are told to stand at least three feet away, preferably six. Being within three feet of a patient for a prolonged time, without wearing protective gear, is considered direct contact, according to Frieden.

Direct contact through broken skin or mucus membranes is key, as the CDC said Ebola cannot be spread through the air (the virus doesn't drift through the air like germs that cause measles or tuberculosis) or by water or food. However, that may not have been the case in some cases in Africa, where Ebola may have been spread through the handling of wild animals hunted for food and contact with infected bats, according to the CDC.

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola:

The following symptoms can appear from two to 21 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle pain

Generally, after 21 days, if an exposed person has not developed symptoms, he or she will not become sick, the CDC said.

However, the Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to three months after exposure, so those who have recovered from the virus are advised not to have sex, or else only to have sex using condoms, during that time, according to the CDC.

Are Patients Who Recover From Ebola Immune for Life?

Evidence shows that people who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, or longer, according to the CDC. But it's not known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola.

Can Ebola Mutate to Become Aiborne?

According to experts, it is very unlikely that the virus would mutate to become airborne. The Ebola virus has not previously mutated in this way, and experts say there is no other virus that has changed from non-airborne to airborne in humans.

Can Mosquitoes Spread Ebola?

There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit the virus, according to the CDC. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus.

How Long Does the Ebola Virus Live:

The virus can survive for a few hours on dry surfaces like doorknobs and countertops, according to the C.D.C. It can, however, survive for several days in puddles or collections of body fluid at room temperature. It is not clear how long it may survive in soiled linens and clothing.

A thorough cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach) will kill Ebola.

How Can Travelers Protect Themselves:

The CDC said travelers can do several things to protect themselves when visiting the area where the outbreak is occurring, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch the blood and body fluids of an ill person or the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5oF/ 38.6oC) and any of the other following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

There is no vaccine for the Ebola virus, but researchers are currently testing two.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[43 Removed From Ebola Watch List]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:45:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/judge-clay-jenkins.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But now one challenge is over and another one begins.

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

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

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

"The world is watching Dallas,” he said.

43 Removed from Ebola Contact List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

120 Possible Contacts Still Monitored

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

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

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

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Cops Chase Horse Through NYC Streets]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:23:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/runaway+horse+nyc.jpg

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

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

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

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

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<![CDATA[Murder Charge in Student's Death]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:12:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/209*120/10-20-14_Abdullah+Abdullatif+Alkadi.JPG

A man was charged with capital murder Monday after answering a Cal State Northridge student’s ad for a $36,500 Audi, stabbing the student and later dumping his body along a freeway, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Monday.

Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, a 23-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia, was found dead alongside the 10 Freeway near the Cook Street overpass in Palm Desert about 11:50 p.m. Oct. 16, police said. Before his disappearance, he was last seen Sept. 17 at his Northridge home.

The day of his disappearance, Alkadi met Agustin Rosendo Fernandez, 28, after posting his Audi for sale on Craigslist, Beck said, calling the death "a very sad case." Alkadi disappeared while showing the Audi to what he believed was a prospective buyer, Beck said.

Fernandez allegedly used a knife to kill Alkadi in an attempt to "keep both the Audi and the purchase price," and disposed of his body alongside the 10 Freeway in Palm Desert, Beck said. Alkadi's body had multiple stab wounds.

Jail records show Fernandez was arrested Oct. 16 at 10:15 a.m, more than 13 hours before police reported Alkadi's body was discovered.

Police did not say when during the last month Alkadi was killed.

"The message for the public here is that you have to beware when you're using online Internet sites when you're selling anything," Beck said. "Opportunities for sales are also opportunities to let unwanted people into your lives."

Alkadi's cousin Allison Alomair told NBC4 last month the Audi A6 was put up for sale at $36,500.

"There were several contacts, it took place over two or three days," Beck said, adding that the two met at Alkadi’s residence initially. Beck said he would not give any more details on the transaction.

LAPD Capt. William Hayes of the Robbery-Homicide Division said on Monday investigators spoke with Fernandez earlier in the investigation but did not arrest him right away.

"There was something early on in the investigation, but again this is an investigative strategy, it doesn't fall into place immediately and they're all parts of a jigsaw puzzle," Hayes said. "As I used the example before, you can get the outside pieces together but until you get the rest for the middle, you don't know where it is."

Police on Sunday announced two arrests in the case, but the second person was released from custody.

"The evidence supported and continues to support the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Fernandez," Beck said. "At this point, we are not going forward with the other one."

Prosecutors on Monday charged Fernandez with one count of murder with special circumstances of murder during a robbery and murder during a carjacking, according to a statement by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

The special circumstance allegations make Fernandez eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek death or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. He is being held without bail and is due back in court Nov. 17.



Photo Credit: Facebook/Alkadi]]>
<![CDATA[Nurse Tries to Save Daughter After Hit-&-Run]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:40:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Mom-Nurse-Hit-and-Run.jpg

A South Jersey nurse tried in vain to save her own daughter after a hit-and-run crash over the weekend.

The scene played out in Pilesgrove, Salem County around 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to New Jersey State Police.

Police said two vehicles struck Chelsea Burns, of Woodstown, as the 25-year-old walked along Alloway-Woodstown Road near East Lake Road.

Chelsea, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, earlier in the night demanded her boyfriend let her out of the car after the two got into an argument, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The boyfriend drove off, but later called Chelsea’s mother Cathy to ask her to help him find Chelsea. According to her family, Chelsea, a waitress at a local pizza place, had a history of seizures. The argument stemmed from the boyfriend wanting to take her home after she suffered a minor seizure and Chelsea wanting to stay out, the family said.

As the unidentified boyfriend and Cathy Burns searched, they came upon stopped vehicles in the roadway. That's when they found Chelsea on the ground.

"I ran up to her," said Cathy, who is a registered nurse at the Inspira Health Network. "As I ran up to her I could hear a man crying, saying the Mustang in front of him never stopped and it just kept going like she wasn't even there."

Cathy used her nursing skills to administer CPR but it was too late -- Chelsea was already lifeless.

"I did everything I could," Cathy said while in tears. "There is no one who could have done CPR any harder or better than I did that night. But nothing." 

Police said that the first car that struck Chelsea killed her. Police tracked down and spoke to the second driver who has remained cooperative in the investigation and will not be charged. Investigators told NBC10 they don't have a make and model for the hit-and-run vehicle.

Cathy told NBC10 based on witness reports, she believes the vehicle was a Mustang. She also had a message for the person responsible for her daughter's death.

"You need to confess or you're going to have guilt for the rest of your life," she said. "I understand if you didn't see her and you hit her. We all make mistakes. But you just don't leave someone dead on the road."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (856) 769-0775.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA["You Can't Be Afraid": Dallas Takes Ebola in Stride]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:56:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP705583008842.jpg

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

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

Dallas is safe, he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Woman Rescued From Chimney]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:25:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*126/woman+rescued.JPG

A woman allegedly attempting to burglarize a two-story home in Thousand Oaks, California, had to be rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in a chimney Sunday morning.

Firefighters responded around 6 a.m. to the 1900 block of Woodside Drive to a report of a person stuck in a chimney, according to the Twitter account of Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Mike Lindbery.

The woman was about eight feet down the chimney, and rescuers had to dismantle the brick structure to get to her, officials said.

The woman was removed from the chimney around 8:15 a.m. and was conscious. She was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The woman, identified as 30-year-old Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, was arrested.

According to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, the homeowner knows the woman in the chimney. She was arrested on suspicion of illegal entry and giving false information to police after being evaluated at the hospital.



Photo Credit: Ventura County Fire Department/Mike Lindbery]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Serial Killer Is Sex Offender in Texas]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:33:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/indiana+house.jpg

The man who police say confessed to killing a woman then led police to the bodies of six others in northwestern Indiana is a registered sex offender in Texas.

Murder charges were filed Monday against Darren Deon Vann
after 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy was found strangled to death Friday night at a Motel 6 in Hammond.

Vann, 43, of Gary, was charged with one count of murder, as well as murder in the perpetration of a robbery and robbery resulting in serious bodily harm, all related to Hardy's death.

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Vann met Hardy last Friday in a room at a Motel 6 on the 3800 block of 179th Street after arranging a sexual encounter online. Hardy had been strangled, and Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda said Sunday that as part of the investigation into her death, police served a search warrant on a home on 49th Avenue in Gary, where Vann was taken into custody.

Doughty did not rule out the possibility that the ongoing investigation would reveal more victims.

"It could go back as far as 20 years, based on some statements we have," Doughty said.

Court records show Vann was convicted in September 2009 of Aggravated Sexual Assault -- a 1st Degree Felony -- stemming from a December 2007 incident in Austin, Texas.

According to court records, Vann met a suspected sex worker near his apartment in Travis County, Texas. He initially told her his name was Dean and brought the woman up to his second-floor apartment, where he then attacked her.

Court records show that he tripped her and strangled her. The victim later told police she felt her body go limp and thought he was going to kill her. That’s when he threatened her, struck her several times in the head and then forced her to have sex.

“I don’t have a specific reason why he does this,” said Hammond Police Chief John Doughty.

Just three years prior, in another state, Vann was arrested for threatening his ex-girlfriend. According to court records, Vann poured gasoline on himself and the house of his estranged ex-girlfriend in Lake County, Indiana. Police said he then put her in a headlock and dragged her down an alley.

Vann took a plea deal and served 90 days in jail, received probation and community service.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said authorities weren't sure how long Vann had been in northwestern Indiana, although he does have a conviction for residential entry in the area. The mayor said she doesn't know whether more bodies might be found.

"There are court records indicating that he was here back in 2004 [and] 2005, but there are also records that he was in Austin, Texas, and so he appears to be a person who has moved back and forth between a number of states," Freeman-Wilson told reporters early Monday.

Court records in Cook County show no criminal history for Vann, but traffic records do show that he had some encounter with Calumet City police on December 16, 1993, when he would have been 22 years old. In that case he was found guilty of "aggravated fleeing police" and, according to records, jailed for that offense the following August.

Several other traffic charges related to that same encounter, including speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit, running red lights, and improper lane usage, were dismissed.

Regarding the most recent cases, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said Vann is "what I would label a serial killer."

Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said Vann was arrested shortly after Hardy's body was discovered inside the room at the Motel 6. Doughty said Vann confessed to killing the woman and then provided information that led to the discovery of six other victims.



Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com
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<![CDATA[Monica Lewinsky Joins Twitter]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:58:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/451542370.jpg

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Marie Curie
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<![CDATA[Festival Head Takes Reporter's Mic]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:14:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NECN_101914_pumpkinfestcoordinator_1200x675_344942147824.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Cheshire TV]]>
<![CDATA[Ebola Nurse "In No Way Careless"]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:39:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Amber-Vinson-1200x675.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Students Home Amid Ebola Concerns]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:11:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Howard-R-Yocum.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huff also said he was relieved by their decision.

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE for more information on Ebola.


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<![CDATA[Stolen Ambulance Sparks Pursuit]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:54:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/141019-stolen-lafd-ambulance.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

The driver of the ambulance was taken into custody.

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

No one else was hurt.



Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBCLA via Instagram)]]>
<![CDATA[2 Arrested in SoCal Student's Death]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 22:19:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Abdullah+Abdullatif+Alkadi+blue+bg.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story

Christina Cocca contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Los Angeles Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Man Tried to Dig Into Verizon: PD]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:43:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/juan+cardoso+mug.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

Area resident Kayla Weiss said she witnessed the arrest.

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

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

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

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

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



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Keene Cleans Up After Riots]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:54:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Keene+Riot+Cleanup.jpg

Keene State College students are trying to clean up their campus after the annual pumpkin festival in the New Hampshire city turned into mayhem Saturday.

Several students who were outside the school Sunday morning told NECN they feel terribly about the distrubances at the Keene Pumpkin Festival.

"We're out here trying to fix the Keene State name," said senior Lauren Faulkner.

"I think it's gone a little too far, and a lot of people are really upset with us this year," said junior Tyler Bissaillon.

The clash between crowds and law enforcement flared up twice Saturday. At least 30 people were injured and around 12 people were arrested in the afternoon, when a party near the college got out of control.

Just before 10 p.m., the riots rekindled when fires were lit and police unloaded tear gas into another crowd that gathered.

"Like most New Hampshire citizens, I am outraged by the irresponsible, terrible actions that marred a New Hampshire tradition," said Gov. Maggie Hassan in a statement Sunday. "I am very grateful that there weren't more injuries, and we must be vigilant as a state to review and learn from the sad destruction that escalated in Keene."

Cheshire Medical Center confirmed Sunday that it saw 26 patients after the riots on Saturday. Twenty-one of the patients were seen after the afternoon incident while five others were seen in the evening.

None of those patients were admitted to the hospital.

Sunday, Keene State College President Anne Huot reiterated that the students involved would be held responsible, as she said Saturday night.

"Regretfuly, Keene endured a great deal over this weekend. We care deeply about the citizens of Keene and our students, and we lament the impact of inexcusable behaviors on our city," said Huot in a statement. "We are actively working to identify the individuals who participated in unlawful behavior."

Huot added that the damage is being repaired and officials are working to "find long-term solutions."

Witnesses described the scene as a war zone, saying people flipped cars, tore down lamp posts, lit fires, threw bottles and cans, smashed windows, ripped traffic signs out of the ground and clashed with police in full riot gear.

Those police used tear gas, K-9's and tasers to try and control the crowds.

State police said that troopers and citizens were struck by objects, but that none of the injuries were serious.

The Keene Pumpkin Festival is said to draw more than 60,000 people annually. Participants in the event try to set a world record for the largest number of carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place.

Bud Windsor, the head of the grounds crew at Keene State College, says he is disappointed to see the longstanding tradition turn into such mayhem.

"This does not represent what Keene State is all about," said Windsor.

Keene City Manager John MacLean said that 42 people were arrested at the festival Friday night, but he was not sure how many arrests were made Saturday. In past years, MacLean said, approximately 100-125 people were arrested.

MacLean does not believe anyone had to stay in a hospital overnight.

One person was burned by a firecracker, according to MacLean. That person's condition was unknown.

Windsor, who says he has never seen anything like this in 21 years, explained that it could take up to a week to clean up. He added that his priority is the blue emergency poles on campus that kids ripped out of the ground.

"People were getting, just, absolutely beaten down on the ground, dragged apart," said visitor Jeremiah Wilton. "Everybody was just out of control on both ends. Everyone was furious, and then it just kept escalating and escalating and escalating."

MacLean tells NECN that police showed "tremendous restraint" and never became a part of the problem.

Nashua Police was called in to assist Keene Police Saturday night. Their Special Response Team has been activated.

Most of the injuries during the day were caused by people getting hit by objects, including bottles.

Huot said the outcome of the event "was predetermined a year ago," and she expects that promotion of Keene and the Pumpkin Festival as a destination for "raucous behavior" will only increase unless meaningful changes are made.

“It’s just like a rush," 18-year-old Steven French told the Keene Sentinel on Saturday night. "You’re revolting from the cops. It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”

The city, which already had four times the ordinary number of first responders on for the event, had to call in even more reinforcements.

"We have several resources here, but yes, it was well beyond a normal response," said Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard.

Bystanders describe the chaos as police tried to control the unruly crowd.

"They just started walking on the street, with, like, mace, tear gas and these rubber bullets," said one witness.

"I think this year, it was not as bad as last year, but I think the police are being much more aggressive," said another. "I think the pepper spray was a little much - rubber bullets were a little much.

Howard says officials are looking out for the safety of the community and will remain in the area all night.

According to the school, the large number of visitors to the Pumpkin Festival contributed to the incident.

"One large assembly on Winchester Street drew multiple responses from Keene Police on Saturday afternoon. The college is not able to report on injuries or arrests," said Keene State College in a statement. "These incidents do involve Keene State students, and also visitors to Keene."

The school added that it is communicating with current students and their parents.

Lillian Savage brought her kids to the Pumpkin Festival on Saturday.

"All you could see was smoke, lots of screaming, lots of drunken rage really," she said. "I have been coming here since I was a kid and I loved it and now this. I will never come back - ever."

At this point, there are no official reports of any serious injuries in Saturday's riots.

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<![CDATA[Gunfire Outside Chuck E. Cheese’s]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:50:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/141018-chuck-e-cheese-shooting-carson.jpg

Gunfire broke out between two groups arguing outside a Southern California Chuck E. Cheese’s on Saturday night, sheriff’s officials said.

The shooting took place about 7:30 p.m. at the restaurant at 20700 S. Avalon Blvd. in Carson (map), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

A door and window were hit by gunfire, investigators said, but there were no reports of anyone hurt.

Three people were detained in connection with the shooting, officials said.

No further information was immediately available.


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<![CDATA[Duncan's Fiancee Releases Statement]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:11:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/141001-thomas-eric-duncan-cropped-02_38940a433d65a2b3f4b944bdd2a083bf.nbcnews-fp-320-240.jpg

The first group of people exposed to Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the United States, will no longer be considered at risk for the Ebola virus at midnight on Sunday.

After three weeks of isolation or self-monitoring, 43 people — including Duncan's fiancee Louise Troh, her 13-year-old son and two nephews --- will be cleared and allowed to go on with their lives.

Troh released a statement through Wilshire Baptist Church Pastor Mark Wingfield on Sunday, just hours before she and her family are set to complete their 21-day quarantine.

"Our happiness is mixed with sadness at the same time. My beloved fiancé, Thomas Eric Duncan, who was also the father of my son, Karsiah Eric Duncan, did not survive with us. We continue to mourn his loss and grieve the circumstances that led to his death, just at the time we thought we were facing a happy future together," Troh said.

Wingfield said they've heard people blame Duncan's family for the Ebola situation in Dallas, but say Duncan would never have knowingly come to the U.S. from Liberia risking the spread of infection or knowing he was infected.

"They got caught in this situation unbeknownst to them and it's not that they've done anything wrong and it's very hard to understand when you're in their shoes, why anyone out there would try to place blame on them or on Eric, who they firmly believe did not know he was infected," said Wingfield.

Two nurses who treated Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital before his death on Oct. 8 are now being treated for Ebola.

"Our hearts also go out to the two brave women who have been infected by this terrible disease as they were trying to help him," Troh said.

"We are also aware of how much this has affected many other people of my city, Dallas, and my country, the United States of America, even as it has in the country of my birth, Liberia. We also know that many people who work in Presbyterian Hospital are hurting because of this tragedy. We pray that God will bring healing to all in our community soon," she wrote.

Troh said she and her family are asking for privacy once they're released from the quarantine.

Here's Troh's full statement:

Tomorrow, my family and I will complete the 21-day quarantine period we were required to undergo because of the Ebola virus in Dallas. We are so happy this is coming to an end, and we are so grateful that none of us has shown any sign of illness.

Our happiness is mixed with sadness at the same time. My beloved fiancé, Thomas Eric Duncan, who was also the father of my son, Karsiah Eric Duncan, did not survive with us. We continue to mourn his loss and grieve the circumstances that led to his death, just at the time we thought we were facing a happy future together. Our hearts also go out to the two brave women who have been infected by this terrible disease as they were trying to help him. We are also aware of how much this has affected many other people of my city, Dallas, and my country, the United States of America, even as it has in the country of my birth, Liberia. We also know that many people who work in Presbyterian Hospital are hurting because of this tragedy. We pray that God will bring healing to all in our community soon.

We thank all people of kindness who have prayed for us during this time, and we join your prayers now for others who are suffering too. We have lost so much, but we have our lives and we have our faith in God, which always gives us hope.

Even though the quarantine is over, our time of mourning is not over. Because of that, we ask to be given privacy as we seek to rebuild our home, our family and our daily living. We will not give any interviews at this time. I do have a story to tell, and I look forward to telling it in my own way at the right time.

At this time, I would like to give my thanks to Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins for all the help and kindness they have shown me in the last three weeks. These two men have cared about me as a person. The many people who work with and for them, and also the state health workers who have cared for us, have been angels from God who have kept our spirits up through all of this. And of course I want to thank all my family, the Liberian community, and my friends at Wilshire Baptist Church. I look forward to seeing you all soon.

All glory be to God.

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<![CDATA[Pumpkin Festival Organizer Takes Reporter's Mic]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:15:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/caught+on+camera.jpg Reporter Jared Goodell of Cheshire TV and Keene Pumpkin Festival organizer Ruth Sterling had a confrontation on television Saturday night in the city.]]> <![CDATA[Owner Sold Heroin out of Store: PD]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:06:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Stop-and-Save-Heroin-Bust.jpg

A New Jersey grocery store owner was arrested for allegedly selling heroin out of his business.

State Police raided the Stop and Save Market on Main Street in Pleasantville, New Jersey Friday afternoon. Authorities told NBC10 they began investigating the store about three weeks ago. Using drug-sniffing dogs, police found 400 bags of heroin and a large amount of cash, according to investigators.

“It was an open-air narcotic market going on from inside the store,” said Pleasantville Police Captain Rocky Melendez. “He wasn’t really concealing the fact that it was right over the counter.”

The store’s owner, 29-year-old Kamran Khalid, was arrested and charged with possession and distribution within a school zone and other related offenses, according to police.

“I was over there last week getting some items for dinner and I had no idea that that was going on,” said James Owens of Pleasantville.

Pleasantville is in the process of revitalizing and cleaning up its downtown area. Officials told NBC10 they conducted the heroin bust in the middle of the day in order to send a message.

“This is about show and tell,” said Pleasantville Mayor Jesse Tweedle, Sr. “We show better than we tell. Now they see that we’re for real.”

The Stop and Save Market was shut down and the city plans to revoke its business license.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Killed by Flying Tow Hook]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:20:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/farm_generic.jpg

A Delaware man is dead after he was impaled by a tow hook that crashed through the windshield of a tractor trailer.

On Saturday around 8:45 a.m., George Lynam Jr., 66, of Middletown, Delaware was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer fully loaded with corn that was stuck in a muddy field on the north side of Marl Pit Road in Middletown.

Robert Baker, 64, of Odessa, tried to tow the tractor-trailer out of the mud by using a farm tractor attached to a grain hopper.

As the tractor trailer was being pulled from the muddy field, the tow hook broke loose off the back of the grain hopper and was propelled through the driver’s side window, striking Lynam in the upper torso.

Lynam was taken to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Baker wasn’t hurt during the incident.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brooklyn 9/11 Memorial Vandalized]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:09:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/101814sept11.JPG

A man was arrested Saturday in connection with the vandalism of a 9/11 memorial in Brooklyn, police said.

The 58-year-old homeless man was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief, police said. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

The arrest came after police released surveillance video they say recorded the man walking near the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance at the MCU Park stadium in Coney Island early Friday. The video was taken shortly after the man smeared white paint on the memorial, according to the NYPD. Police initially identified the suspect in the video as a woman.  

The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance is made up of three granite slabs bearing the laser-engraved images of first responders who died in the 9/11 attacks.

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<![CDATA[30 Injured in Chaos at Pumpkin Fest]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:35:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Keene+Riot+Aftermath.jpg

Riot crews were out in full force twice Saturday during a pumpkin festival near Keene State College in New Hampshire after an afternoon party got out of control and raucous crowds returned at night.

In the afternoon incident, at least 30 people were injured near Keene State College. Twenty people were transported to hospitals, according to Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard, who said that injuries appeared to be minor at this time.

At that same time, there had been about 12 arrests.

Just before 10 p.m., fires were lit and police unloaded tear gas into another crowd that gathered.

Nashua Police was called in to assist Keene Police. Their Special Response Team has been activated.

Most of the injuries during the day were caused by people getting hit by objects, including bottles.

The incident took place around 2:30 p.m. at a party near the intersection of Winchester Court and Winchester Street, adjacent to the school's campus.

A large police and fire presence remained at the scene through the afternoon. The city, which already had four times the ordinary number of first responders on for the event, had to call in even more reinforcements.

"We have several resources here, but yes, it was well beyond a normal response," said Howard.

Bystanders describe the chaos as police tried to control the unruly crowd.

"They just started walking on the street, with, like, mace, tear gas and these rubber bullets," said one witness.

"I think this year, it was not as bad as last year, but I think the police are being much more aggressive," said another. "I think the pepper spray was a little much - rubber bullets were a little much.

Howard says officials are looking out for the safety of the community and will remain in the area all night.

"I was in Keene this afternoon and met with our public safety officials and visited the medical tent and other volunteers," wrote Gov. Maggie Hassan in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation and provide any assistance necessary to Keene."

According to the school, the large number of visitors to the Pumpkin Festival contributed to the incident.

"One large assembly on Winchester Street drew multiple responses from Keene Police on Saturday afternoon. The college is not able to report on injuries or arrests," said Keene State College in a statement. "These incidents do involve Keene State students, and also visitors to Keene."

The school added that it is communicating with current students and their parents.

"I am saddened and disheartened at the events surrounding this year's Keene Pumpkin Festival," said Keene State College President Anne Huot in a statement Saturday night. "Despite the concerted efforts of organizers, city officials, police, and Keene State College, there continued to be disruptive behavior at parties in multiple locations around the city, injuries, and property damage."

Huot said that the school intends to hold the students who "played a part in this behavior."

"This is an issue that we can only solve together and we, at Keene State College, are eager to renew in earnest the conversation that leads to meaningful change," she said.

According to Keene State College, off-campus incidents occurred Friday but subsided overnight.

NECN will have more as this story develops.


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