<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:55:51 -0600 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:55:51 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Up To 3 Inches of Snow Possible in Suburbs]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:20:36 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/snow-forecast-112414-2.jpg

Your Monday is going to start with rain and may end with snow.

Counties to the west and northwest of Chicago -- Lake, DeKalb McHenry and Boone counties -- were under a Winter Weather Advisory by 5 a.m. Monday, with the front moving eastward.

Temperatures in the area were generally between 45 and 50 degrees at 5 a.m. but were expected to fall throughout the day. Snow accumulations between 1 inch and 3 inches are possible by the evening and nighttime hours, with the heaviest accumulations in areas north of Chicago, NBC 5 Storm Team meteorologist Andy Avalos said.

"The more concentrated snow bands will up to the north and west and then we'll get a piece of that energy to wrap around later this afternoon and early this evening," Avalos said.

Forecast models predicted 2.3 inches of snow in Rockford, 1.9 inches in Waukegan, 1.3 inches at O'Hare International Airport, and 0.4 inches in Gary, Indiana by 9 p.m.

The day started soggy and foggy, with temperatures in the upper 40s. By noon, the temperature will be about 36 degrees and even lower, into the 20s, by the evening.

On Tuesday, the mercury will struggle to rebound into the 30s with cold, windy conditions persisting.

Wednesday's high is expected to be about 35 degrees, with Thanksgiving Thursday offering temperatures in the mid-20s and windy conditions.

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<![CDATA[2 Hurt in Dan Ryan Hit-and-Run Crash]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:05:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Dan-Ryan-Crash-12.jpg

Two people were hurt in a hit-and-run crash that briefly shut down the northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway early Monday.

Four vehicles were involved in the crash that happened near 47th Street about 3:30 a.m., including a tractor-trailer that caused the accident and then drove off, according to Illinois State Police.

Two people were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with injuries that weren’t thought to be life-threatening, police said.

All inbound lanes of the expressway were briefly shut down but all traffic was moving as of 4:30 a.m.

The driver of the semitrailer had not been located by police as of 7 a.m. Monday.

Photo Credit: CapturedNews]]>
<![CDATA[Defensive Line Makes Statement in Win Over Bucs]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:38:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/459462040.jpg

The Chicago Bears haven’t made it easy for themselves the past couple of weeks, but what matters is that they have now won two consecutive games after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.

While a big share of the credit for the game has to go to the Bears’ defense as a whole, as they only gave up 13 points and forced four turnovers in the contest, their defensive line play was what really set them apart. They racked up five sacks on the afternoon, and their aggressive approach paid dividends as Josh McCown could never quite get settled into the passing game.

The Bears’ defensive line was also instrumental in holding the Buccaneers to just 66 yards of rushing on the day, with Doug Martin carrying the ball 11 times for just 27 yards.

The big plays of the day came on the turnovers that the line forced. There was the first quarter interception that McCown threw, forced by Stephen Paea’s penetration through the center of the line. McCown also fumbled the ball away in the third quarter, with David Bass outmuscling Tampa Bay right tackle Demar Dotson and slapping the ball out of the quarterback’s hands.

The biggest play of the game came on a Tampa possession late in the fourth quarter. With the Buccaneers facing a fourth-and-one play in Bears territory, McCown attempted to run a quarterback sneak up the middle of the field. Pushing forward, the Bears’ defensive tackles were able to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, and Jared Allen made the key stop as he wrapped up McCown’s legs and Ryan Mundy finished the job over the top as he grabbed McCown’s upper torso.

The play was a perfect encapsulation of everything that the line did correctly during the game. They got pressure around the edges with Allen, and Jeremiah Ratliff’s initial push allowed Mundy to jump over the top of the pile to keep McCown short of the first down marker and essentially seal the game for the Bears.

All season long the Bears have struggled to get pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback, the team could be starting to turn a corner with their results over the past few weeks. The real test will come as they face a Detroit Lions team on Thanksgiving, but if they can get the kind of play they got from their tackles and ends on Sunday, it could be a sad holiday for their NFC North rivals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[TODAY'S FORECAST: WINTER RETURNS!]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:10:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Andy+Avalos+Updated.jpg

Today: Overcast with early morning showers increasing to a steadier rain, but the rain will start to mix with snow in far western counties later this morning then become all snow by early this  afternoon in most areas, but take a little longer in NW Indiana.  Snow later this afternoon into early this evening with the steadier snow in far north and west areas where a Winter Weather Advisory is posted.  Early morning temps in the mid to upper 40s will fall through the day into the low 30s by late afternoon. Light SSW winds will shift W and increase with sustained speed between 20 to 25 and gusts to 40 mph.

Tonight: Snow showers ending, leaving 1 to 3 inches in far north and west counties, an inch or less from the city,  southwest, south and east into NW Indiana.  Cloudy, windy and colder overnight with only a few flurries. Lake Effect snow showers develop east in the MIchaina snow belts.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, breezy and colder with flurries. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Lake Effect snow showers in the Michiana snow belts.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, breezy and cold with a few flurries in the metro area, but light snow showers in far southwest counties as a system passes south of Chicago. Highs in the low  to mid 30s.

Thanksgiving Day: Mostly cloudy, windy and cold with light snow showers in the Michiana snow belts. Highs in the mid to upper 20s.

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy with a few flurries, becoming breezy and not quite as cold. Highs in the low 30s.

Saturday: Partly sunny, windy and warmer with a few flurries possible. Highs in the mid 40s.

Sunday: Partly sunny, windy and colder. Highs in the low to mid 30s.


<![CDATA[Will Quinn Accept His $136,000 Pension?]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:50:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Quinn+concedes+p1.jpg

When Gov. Pat Quinn leaves office in January, he's eligible to receive a comfortable yearly pension of $136,000. The question is: Will he accept it?

The Better Government Assocation reports that State Retirement Systems, which is funded by taxpayer money, has offered the six-figure pension to the 65-year-old Chicago Democrat, who cedes his post to Republican Bruce Rauner on Jan. 12. Writes the watchdog group:

The way the pension system works in Illinois: State employees contribute a small share of their paychecks (4 percent at a minimum) toward future payouts, and taxpayers and pension investments cover the rest.

Over the years, Quinn has contributed a total of $190,847 toward his state pension, according to interviews and public records.

That means Quinn could recoup his investment in less than two years. And if he lives another 20 years, an average life expectancy for a man his age, he would (absent pension reform) collect a total of more than $3.6 million, we found.

Quinn's yearly pension in 2035 could reach an estimated $238,476, thanks to generous cost-of-living raises that compound at an annual rate of 3 percent. (Again, this is assuming there's no pension reform.)

Illinois, meanwhile, is short $104.6 billion in promised payments to five state pensions, a debt created by years of fiscal irresponsibility and exacerbated by the annual cost-of-living hike. Last year, Quinn pushed a pension reform bill that would 1) freeze cost-of-living increases and 2) boost the retirement age in an attempt to 3) get the state out of the red within 30 years. On Friday, a Springfield judge declared the bill unconstitutional, punting it over to the Illinois Supreme Court for future deliberation.

"The state of Illinois made a constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits," stated Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz. "Under established and uncontroverted Illinois law, the state of Illinois cannot break this promise."

Quinn said he response that he's "confident the Illinois Supreme Court will uphold this urgently needed law that squarely addresses the most pressing fiscal crisis of our time."

A rep for the governor did not immediately respond to Ward Room's request for comment on whether he'll deposit his own pension check after 20-some years of government service.

<![CDATA[Chicago Mayor Race: Fioretti and Garcia Are Officially in the Running]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:47:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bob_Fioretti_4-14.jpg

Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti collected enough signatures to submit nominating petitions on Monday—and officially enter the race to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel in February's municipal election.

Fioretti said he wrangled nearly 55,000 signatures while Garcia told supporters he'd collected 60,000-plus signatures, both well over the 12,500 required to get on the ballot.

Garcia, a progressive like Fioretti, was the last big name to throw his hat into the ring when he announced last month his intention to run for Emanuel's job.

He gained the endorsement of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who was considered a strong mayoral candidate until a brain tumor diagnosis forced her to remove her name from the running.

Last week, Emanuel—seeking a second term in office—dropped the first TV ad of his re-election campaign as well as a new slogan, "Chicago Together," which set the tone for a neighborhood-focused approach. 

<![CDATA[2 Women, Dog Rescued After Chicago Apartment Collapses ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:55:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/washington+park+building+collapse.jpg

Two women and a dog were rescued from the rubble of a three-story apartment building that collapsed Sunday night on Chicago's South Side.

About 1,000 power customers were left without power after the building, near East 58th Street and South Calumet Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood, came down at around 7 p.m. after what neighbors said was a series of booms.

"I saw the door literally burst out from out the building," said neighbor McKiley Jonkins. "I didn't see the building crash or anything. I just saw the door, like, literally come to the middle the street and it hit my mom's friend's car. It busted her car window out."

Responding officials pulled two women, said to be 51 and 78 years old, from the debris. They were taken in serious-to-critical condition to both John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Both were said to be in stable condition as of 5 a.m. Monday.

A dog named Tigger was also rescued from the rubble.

Officials later deemed the buildings that flanked the collapsed building as unsafe and ordered them evacuated.

The Chicago Police Department Bomb and Arson Unit was called to the site but there was no determination by early Monday as to what caused the blast and collapse.

Photo Credit: Chicago Fire Department
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<![CDATA[Three Hurt in Wrong-Way Crash on I-90]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:56:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/I-90-Ohio-crash.jpg

Three people were injured in a wrong way crash early Monday on Interstate 90, the Kennedy Expressway.

A car driving the wrong way on the West Ohio Street ramp collided with another vehicle in the southbound lanes just after 2 a.m., an Illinois State Police official said.

The three people were taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.

Further details were not immediately available.

<![CDATA[Third Quarter Surge Gives Bears Win Over Bucs]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:32:27 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/459459704.jpg

The Chicago Bears' offense only gained 68 yards in the first half, but the third quarter was a different story as Matt Forte rushed for two touchdowns and Alshon Jeffery hauled in a touchdown reception to give the team a 21-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Forte rushed for 89 yards on the day and hauled in five passes to complete his day. Jay Cutler was relatively quiet on offense, but he did throw for 130 yards and a touchdown as the Bears won their second consecutive game. 

The Bears started out the game with the football, but their first quarter offensive struggles continued as a Brandon Marshall false start penalty helped set up a three-and-out on the opening possession.

Defensively, the Bears didn’t look much better in the early going, as Josh McCown found Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson open for first down passes. The defensive line finally stepped up after that, with Cornelius Washington blowing up a second down run with an excellent swim move inside and Stephen Paea hitting McCown as he released a pass, allowing Chris Conte to intercept the floating ball.

It appeared that the Bears were going to go three-and-out once again on their second drive, but they were bailed out as the Buccaneers were flagged for roughing the kicker. Even that penalty wasn’t enough to kick start the Bears, as Cutler was blasted by Gerald McCoy thanks to some poor blocking from Brian de la Puente. The ball ended up coming loose, and the Buccaneers recovered in Bears’ territory.

As the second quarter got underway, the Buccaneers’ offense finally broke through, and it was their star wide receiver that was able to do it. Mike Evans juked Kyle Fuller at the line of scrimmage off the snap, and he cruised wide open into the end zone to catch a touchdown pass from McCown to make it 7-0 early in the frame.

The Bears and Buccaneers exchanged three and outs on their next two possessions, and when Chicago got the ball back about halfway through the second quarter, they moved it down the field a bit thanks to Marquess Wilson and Dante Rosario each making nice catches. An illegal block in the back by Alshon Jeffery halted the momentum however, and after Forte was stopped well short of a first down, Robbie Gould’s 54-yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright to keep the Buccaneers ahead by seven.

The offensive woes for both teams continued as the corner wound down, but on their final possession of the first half, the Bucs were able to penetrate deep into Chicago territory. Jackson hauled in a catch on third and 23 to extend the drive, and even though the Bears did stop them short of a first down, Patrick Murray booted through an easy field goal to make it a 10-0 game as the half came to an end.

After the Buccaneers were forced to punt the ball away to start the third quarter, the Bears’ offense finally came to life and was able to get on the board. Big completions to Marshall and Martellus Bennett set up a first and goal for Chicago, and on the third and goal play Jeffery got separation in the end zone and hauled in a bullet pass from Cutler to make it a 10-7 contest.

The Bears’ defense came to life after that touchdown, with Paea blasting McCown with a hit to force another punt. Unfortunately for them, the team’s offense wasn’t able to respond to the gift, and they too went three-and-out on their next possession to allow Tampa to hold onto their lead.

In spite of this setback, the defensive line once again came up big for the Bears and gave the offense prime field position. David Bass chased down McCown on a roll out to the left side and stripped the ball out, and Christian Jones fell on it. On the first play from scrimmage, Forte used a great block from Jeffery to find a seam and rush into the end zone, giving the Bears their first lead of the day at 14-10.

McCown continued his struggles on the first play of the next Tampa possession, throwing an interception into the waiting arms of Ryan Mundy. Four straight runs by Forte yielded positive results, and on third and goal he dove in over the goal line to give Chicago a 21-10 lead with just three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Buccaneers’ offense finally came back to life after the quick Chicago scores, with McCown completing three straight passes for first downs. He ended up finding Jackson for a fourth, but the receiver had the ball punched out of his arms by Demontre Hurst, and Tim Jennings recovered the fumble to give Chicago their fourth forced turnover of the game late in the third quarter.

Both teams exchanged unsuccessful drives as the fourth quarter got underway, but the Bears were able to finally start eating away some clock as they ran the ball effectively. On a third and six play they opted for a passing play however, and Cutler’s toss fell incomplete and forced Pat O’Donnell to come out and punt the ball away once again.

McCown’s struggles were nowhere to be found as Tampa started out their next possession, and he made some key throws to move them down the field. None were bigger than a long pass on third down that Jackson was able to haul in for a first down, and even though Washington and Paea each picked up sacks on the next two plays, the Bucs still got a field goal for their troubles as Murray booted it through the uprights to make it a 21-13 game with just under five minutes left in the game.

The Bears went three-and-out on their next drive, but to make things worse they committed a false start penalty on the ensuing punt and then O’Donnell shanked the kick, putting it out of bounds at the 45-yard line. Their defense stood tall once again however, as Will Sutton made a huge stop on a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak attempt by McCown to stop the drive.

With just 20 seconds left, the Bears did have to punt the ball back to the Buccaneers one more time, but the visitors couldn’t muster a comeback as they dropped to 2-9 and gave the Bears their second consecutive win.

The Bears won’t have much time to savor this victory as they will have to prepare for a Thanksgiving showdown with the Detroit Lions on Thursday morning.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks Fall to Canucks]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:05:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/190*120/453537993.jpg

Playing their third game in four days, the Chicago Blackhawks’ piping hot offense was doused in cold water as the Vancouver Canucks used a Jannik Hansen hat trick to score a 4-1 victory on Sunday night.

Radim Vrbata scored a crucial insurance goal for the Canucks as they picked up the win. Kris Versteeg scored the lone Blackhawks goal on a second period power play tally.

As the game got started, Vancouver came out with speed that the Blackhawks had trouble matching, but fortunately they were able to keep the Canucks off the board. Nick Bonino looked especially lethal, picking up two quick shots on goal that forced Corey Crawford to make saves early on.

A little bit later in the frame, Luca Sbisa drilled Patrick Kane into the corner boards, and when Kris Versteeg took exception to the hit he was whistled for a two-minute minor. Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad both had quality scoring chances short-handed, but it was Vancouver that ended up capitalizing as Hansen received a pass from Derek Dorsett and flipped it past Crawford to put Vancouver up by a 1-0 margin.

The Blackhawks got a power play of their own late in the period as Brad Richardson was sent off for cross-checking, but they couldn’t generate any shot attempts as they continued to struggle in that department. Vancouver ultimately outshot the Hawks by a 13-11 margin in that first period and held a one-goal edge through 20 minutes.

When the second period got started, the Blackhawks got another power play as Alex Edler was sent off for high-sticking, but the power play looked even more lethargic on their second opportunity. Passes connected around the perimeter for Chicago, but no shot attempts could find their way through the aggressive Canucks’ point forwards as the Hawks continued to trail.

A little less than eight minutes into the period, the Blackhawks went on the man-advantage for the third time in the game, but this time their puck movement was accompanied by shots from the point, and they scored to tie things up. The puck eventually found its way to Duncan Keith at the point, and when he fired in a shot toward Ryan Miller, Versteeg got his stick blade on the shot in midair and deflected it into the goal to tie things up at 1-1.

An Adam Clendening penalty had the potential to give Vancouver the momentum right back, but Crawford had other ideas. First it was Kevin Bieksa feeling wronged, as his shot from the point found traffic in front and had to be fought off by the Hawks’ goaltender. Henrik Sedin then had a golden opportunity from in the blue paint as he received a pass from Radim Vrbata, but Crawford was somehow able to kick across the crease and slam the door with his leg pad.

The Canucks opened the third period aggressively once again, with Chris Higgins missing the net on a 2-on-1 rush early on. Bonino got another chance from in close off a rebound, but he was forced to rush the shot because of an impending stick check by Brent Seabrook, and he ended up firing it off the post to keep the game tied.

With 13.5 minutes remaining though, the Canucks’ pressure finally yielded results, and they took the lead. Dorsett collected the puck along the boards in the offensive zone, and when he feathered a shot toward the middle of the ice, Hansen got a stick blade on it and deflected it just inside the top right corner of the net to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead.

The Blackhawks got a power play of their own a short time later, but once again their inability to get shots on target came back to haunt them. The best chance came on a Saad shot from the slot, but it ended up deflecting off of Bryan Bickell and skipping wide of the cage as Vancouver retained their advantage.

That lack of ability to finish ended up costing the Hawks with about 2.5 minutes to go as Vancouver scored a critical insurance goal. Daniel Sedin got into the offensive zone on the rush, and he tapped a pass back to Chris Tanev. Tanev’s shot was saved by Crawford, but a rebound trickled loose and Vrbata pounced on the rebound and fired it home to make it 3-1.

The Canucks put the final nail in the coffin with about 42 seconds to go as Hansen got in behind the defense, picked up the loose puck and tapped a shot into the empty net to give himself his first career hat trick and his team a 4-1 victory.

The Blackhawks will take a few days off before taking on the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Game Photos: Bears vs. Buccaneers]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:33:30 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/459462954.jpg The Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-13 at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Death of Man in NYPD Stairwell Shooting Ruled Homicide: ME]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:02:27 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/gurley+stairwell+shooting.jpg

The death of the unarmed man shot by a probationary NYPD officer in a Brooklyn stairwell last week has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said Monday.

Akai Gurley was shot and killed in a stairwell at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York late Thursday by officer Peter Liang, who was assigned to the public housing complex as part of a violence reduction overtime detail. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has called the shooting an accident.

Liang and his partner, both of whom have less than 18 months on the force, were conducting a floor-by-floor sweep of the building and had gone to the roof when they noticed there were no lights in the stairwell leading up to it. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, police have said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise and turned to look up at the two officers a floor above him, a law enforcement source said. Then Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and his flashlight in his right, fired accidentally, hitting Gurley 11 feet below him, according to Bratton.

Gurley was shot in the chest. He stumbled down to his girlfriend, who was by that point on the fifth floor, and she tried to administer first aid, authorities said. Liang and his partner found the couple on the fifth floor; 911 had already been called. Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The medical examiner's ruling came shortly after Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced he would launch an investigation into Gurley's death. Thompson met with community leaders on Sunday, a day after more than 250 people marched in protest outside Liang's 75th Precinct, chanting and holding signs calling for justice.

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating along with the district attorney's office. Liang has been placed on modified duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

The police union has called for a thorough investigation. Neither the union nor the NYPD could immediately be reached for comment on the medical examiner's ruling. 

Photo Credit: AP/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Hawks Look to Win Third Straight Road Game]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:39:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/458233150.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are two-for-two so far on their circus trip after a 7-1 shellacking of the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, and they’ll look to go three-for-Canada as they take on the Vancouver Canucks Sunday.

That Saturday game was the antithesis of their effort on Thursday against Calgary, and it was exactly what the doctor ordered, unlike the game against the Flames, which saw the Hawks commit six penalties and a slew of defensive errors. Fortunately, they were able to persevere through that one, but a more consistent effort was needed against Edmonton, and that’s what they got.

Spearheading the effort was Marian Hossa, who had gone nine consecutive games without a goal before Saturday’s tilt. He finally broke that streak with a power play tally in the second period, and for good measure he threw in three assists to pace the rout. Jonathan Toews also had another outstanding game, winning 65 percent of his face-offs and scoring twice to continue his recent successes.

The offensive explosion was welcome (as was the fact that they largely stayed out of the penalty box), and they’ll be looking to continue it against the Canucks Sunday. As a team, Vancouver is allowing more than three goals per game so far this season, but they will likely have Ryan Miller in net for them against Chicago. The Hawks had plenty of success against Miller in the postseason when they ousted the St. Louis Blues, but so far this season the veteran netminder has a sparkling 12-3-0 record and a 2.74 GAA.

Another player to keep an eye on in the game will be forward Radim Vrbata. After joining the Canucks from the Phoenix Coyotes in the offseason, he’s quickly found his offensive touch, and lately he’s been unstoppable as he has three goals and seven shots on goal in the team’s last two games.

Of course, the Canucks wouldn’t be the Canucks without the exploits of the Sedin twins, and both of them look fantastic so far this year. Daniel and Henrik have combined for nine goals and 31 assists so far this season, and they’ve been lethal on the power play as they have eight power play points apiece for Vancouver.

In order to win this game, the Blackhawks will have to do two things. The first and most important is to play solid defense against that Sedin line. In the early days of this rivalry, it was Dave Bolland that was looked at as the Sedin-stopper, but now, the onus will likely fall on several lines. Toews will probably get some assignments against the group, as will Marcus Kruger’s line. The latter will likely be a matchup that the Canucks will seek out, but considering their penalty killing prowess, the Hawks could end up on the positive side of that battle.

The other key to victory for the Hawks will be to continue their efficient passing and shooting strategy from the past two games. The second line of Brad Richards, Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg has been especially good, and they should get some favorable matchups as the Canucks look to slow down the Toews line on defense. Look for that group to get some solid scoring chances, and if they can get a couple of goals it should really help the Hawks as they look for another road victory.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Archbishop Cupich Makes Bold Statement with Mass at St. Agatha's]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:38:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Blase+Cupich+St+Agatha.jpg

In his first Sunday as Chicago's Roman Catholic Archbishop Blase Cupich signaled his priorities, saying Mass at Chicago's West Side St. Agatha's parish.

Cupich told the predominantly African-American parishioners, "I welcome you to my heart."

The crowd  -- standing room only -- started arriving more than an hour before the service. No one has missed the significance of Cupich's first visit. From  the large choir swaying to the music  "the Lord hears the cry of the poor"  to the small children dressed in their school uniforms who were part of the procession.

Just eight years ago, the former pastor Daniel McCormack, now defrocked, was first accused of abusing children at St. Agatha's. He pled guilty and served jail time and remains at a mental health facility as even more accusations have surfaced even this year. The Archdiocese has paid more than $20 million in civil suit claims.  

Today's gospel preached, "You were hungry and you gave me food ... in prison you visited me."   Cupich used his homily to say, "We've all experienced what it's like to lose someone." He noted that "disrespect can tie us up like a knot."

Cupich singled out Bible study programs, food pantries, classes for parents and outreach at Christmas to say, "there is a bigger picture."

"I said I wanted to be a witness to the risen Lord, where the Lord is rising," Cupich said. When he said, "You are teaching me how to be the archbishop of Chicago," he received applause from the congregation.

Cupich recognized former pastor Matt Foley and current pastor Larry Dowling for their good work. He never mentioned McCormack by name but said, "My heart breaks for all of the things one of your pastors did -- that's not the way a leader should act. But also my heart aches for the good priests who are suffering, too." 

As Cupich assumes his new role, Chicagoans are quickly recognizing his signature style -- telling a few jokes. Cupich said he enjoyed the upbeat music, telling them, "I have an idea for a new TV show, 'St. Agatha's Got Talent.'" 

Cupich chose St. Agatha's as the first of three ethnic parishes he will visit the first three Sundays. Next week he will say Mass in Little Village at the largest Hispanic parish. The following week he will be at a Polish church on the city's Northwest Side.

Photo Credit: Mary Ann Ahern]]>
<![CDATA[Buccaneers vs. Bears: Three Matchups to Watch ]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:47:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cutler+mccown+getty.jpg

On what is likely to be a rainy day at Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears will look to win their second straight game as they take on former head coach Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Before the two teams take the field, there are three matchups that Bears fans should keep an eye on as the team tries to get only its second set of back-to-back wins this season.

Jay Cutler vs. Josh McCown

It’s the battle that a lot of Bears fans have been waiting for ever since he signed with the Buccaneers in the off-season. Josh McCown will return to Soldier Field on Sunday and look to best the man that he was forced to replace on several occasions due to injury last year.

While last season was a revelation for McCown, with 13 touchdowns and just one interception, this season has been more of a struggle. Dealing with injury concerns from the word go, the quarterback has finally begun to turn things around, throwing four touchdowns in his past two outings since re-taking the starter’s role from Mike Glennon.

As for Cutler, he too is coming off a solid performance, throwing for 330 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings last week. He has talked all week about how he looks to McCown as a mentor, but surely he would like nothing more than to stick it to his critics and those who think that the Bears made the wrong decision this off-season (however misguided that notion is).

Kyle Long vs. Gerald McCoy

For the Buccaneers, a lot of what they do on defense is predicated around the ferocious power and speed that McCoy brings to the table on a weekly basis. Armed with a huge contract extension he signed last month, McCoy has been dominant ever since, racking up four and a half sacks and a stuff even as his team has struggled a bit to lend him support.

On Sunday McCoy will look to make life difficult not only for Cutler, but also for the Bears’ running game. The Bucs aren’t a stout defense by any stretch, currently ranking as the third-worst passing defense in the league and just 22nd overall in rushing defense, but having a weapon like McCoy in the middle means that numbers don’t necessarily tell the full story.

It’s going to be up to Long on Sunday to make sure that McCoy doesn’t have an easy time of things. With his strength and ability to gain leverage off the snap, Long has already been selected to one Pro Bowl in his young career, and it’s not hard to imagine that he’ll get a few more invitations to the event before all is said and done.

Kyle Fuller vs. Mike Evans

This matchup is one worth getting excited about. One of the league’s leading contenders for defensive rookie of the year will be going up against a player that is on an epic tear at the moment and could wind up winning the award on the offensive side of the ball.

Evans, the Texas A&M product who blends size with surprising speed, started out the season slowly but has turned up his game considerably in the last three weeks. In those games, he’s hauled in 21 passes for 458 yards and five touchdowns, and he’s almost single-handedly kept the Buccaneers in games during those contests.

Trying to stop him is going to be a tall (all puns intended) order, but Fuller is going to give it a good shot on Sunday. Drafted because of his ability to get physical at the line of scrimmage, Fuller will need to pull out all the stops as he looks to keep Evans contained, but that will certainly be easier said than done as the cornerback has to deal with a player possessing a six-inch and 40-pound size advantage over him.

<![CDATA[Rapper Who Shot Cop to Be Executed]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:00:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cool-C.jpg

A Philadelphia hip hop artist convicted of shooting and killing a female police officer will be executed next year.

Christopher Roney was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Philadelphia Police Officer Lauretha Vaird Jan. 2, 1996. Governor Tom Corbett signed an execution warrant for Roney on Friday. He is scheduled to be executed Jan. 8, 2015. Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out by lethal injection.

Roney, 44, was found guilty of first-degree murder and other offenses Oct. 30, 1996. The jury also returned a death verdict Nov. 1, 1996 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

On Jan. 2, 1996, around 8:20 a.m., Roney, Ernest Canty and Warren McGlone tried to rob a PNC Bank at 4710 Rising Sun Avenue in Philadelphia. As the assistant manager arrived at the bank, Canty grabbed her as well as the bank manager and forced them inside at gunpoint. Roney then grabbed the head bank teller as she arrived.

A nearby business contacted police. Officer Lauretha Vaird, a nine-year veteran with the 25th District, was the first officer to arrive at the scene. As she entered the bank, Roney opened fire, striking her in the abdomen, according to officials. He and the other two men then fled the scene as other officers arrived.

Vaird, a 43-year-old single mother of two boys, died from her injuries. She was the first Philadelphia female police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Roney and his two accomplices were arrested after police received statements from eyewitnesses.

Prior to his arrest, Roney was a hip hop artist who released two solo albums under the stage name “Cool C” in 1989 and 1990 as well as an album with the hip hop group C.E.B. in 1993.

Roney was recording a comeback EP at the time of Vaird's death. McGlone, who performed under the stage name "Steady B" was another member of C.E.B. while Canty was also a local hip hop artist.

Aside from Roney, Governor Corbett also signed execution warrants for Mark Duane Edwards, who was convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of a husband, wife and their pregnant teen daughter in 2002 as well as Dennis Reed, who was convicted in the shooting death of his girlfriend and mother of his son in 2001.

The three execution warrants signed Friday were Corbett’s 41st, 42nd and 43rd warrants signed since he took office.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 30 Hurt in Calif. Bus Crash]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:22:46 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/141123-norcal-bus-crash.jpg

California Highway Patrol officials have identified the driver of a charter bus that rolled off the 5 Freeway in Northern California on Sunday, killing a passenger and sending 30 more to hospitals.

The bus was traveling from Los Angeles to Pasco, Washington when it ran off the highway in northern Shasta County about 7:40 a.m. and overturned on an embankment, landing wheels up on a side street, CHP officials said.

The driver was identified as 67-year-old Jose Victor Garcilazo Palencia of Los Angeles. He voluntarily went into CHP headquarters for questioning, according to NBC affiliate KNVN. CHP officers say the driver showed signs of fatigue.

All but one of the other 32 people aboard were taken to hospitals in Redding and Mount Shasta, investigators said.

Most had minor injuries and were treated and released. Two patients were in critical condition and three more were in serious condition at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, where most of the patients were taken, hospital spokeswoman Heather Nichols told the Associated Press.

The 33-year-old man who died has not been identified. Investigators said he was a resident of Parlier, a small community in Fresno County.

Earlier Sunday morning during the same trip, the bus had been involved in a minor crash when it struck a Denny's in Red Bluff, CHP officials said. No injuries were reported in the collision, but the building's roof was damaged.

Photos of the all-white bus, a 1996 Vanhool, showed no large logos, but a sign on the door said the bus belonged to a company called Transporters Yellow Arrow.

The bus departed from Huntington Park on Saturday night.

The bus operator, Yellow Arrow LLC, is based in Othello, Washington. It has a current license and before Sunday had no reported accidents in the past two years, according to federal records. It appears to be related to a Mexican bus line.

Families of victims in the crash said they had never heard of Yellow Arrow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Alayna Shulman/Redding Record Searchlight]]>
<![CDATA[Man Steals Airport Vehicle: Police]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:05:30 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Zaragoza.jpg

San Jose police are investigating a security breach at San Jose airport Sunday - the third since April at this airport - and have arrested a suspect on charges of trespassing and stealing a maintenance worker's vehicle.

San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said Miguel Zaragoza, 39, breached the airport on Sunday about 10:15 a.m. along the Coleman Avenue side of the airport. Employees of Atlantic Aviation captured him as he entered the property, escorted him to a lobby, and alerted police.

While waiting for police to arrive, he ran from the company's lobby to the public side of the airport and asked an employee driving a maintenance truck for a ride, police said. When the airport worker said no, the suspect stole it, according to police.

Police caught up with  Zaragoza, and arrested him at Terminal B. He never made it to the runway area, Randol said.

He will be booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and trespassing, Randol said.

No one was injured in the incident and no further details were immediately available. And no flights were affected because of the incident.

Still, the breach had some passengers concerned.

"If a guy can come in and steal a maintenance vehicle, who knows what else they could do? " asked Sky Windsor of Santa Clara.

"It just makes you wonder about security," added Regina King.

And U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell commended San Jose police in this case for stopping the suspect so quickly, but overall, he said that security should be notified immediately after a breach occurs.

In August, Marilyn Hartman, 62, was arrested for taking a Southwest Airlines flight from the San Jose airport to Los Angeles, sneaking by a security screener without a ticket. She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of willfully and unlawfully entering Los Angeles as a stowaway.

In April, a 15-year-old Santa Clara boy hopped the fence at the San Jose wheel well before hiding in the wheel well of a plane  and flying to Hawaii, miraculously landing safe in Maui.

Photo Credit: San Jose Police]]>
<![CDATA[Man Robbed at Gunpoint Near Buckingham Fountain]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:26:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/buckingham+fountain+night.jpg

A 36-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint near Buckingham Fountain Friday night, police said. The Chicago Tribune reported the victim is a tourist from New York.

The robbery occurred around 10 p.m. Friday night when the man was approached by two offenders who produced a handgun. The offenders then robbed the man and fled on foot with his belongings, police said.

There were no injuries during the incident, police said.

Nobody is in custody, and Area Central detectives are investigating the robbery.

<![CDATA[Marion Barry Remembered]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:27:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/marion+barry+flag+half+staff.jpg

Friends and colleagues remembered former four-time D.C. Mayor Marion Barry who died early Sunday morning at age 78.

President Barack Obama added his thoughts to the many reactions on the passing of Barry.

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Marion Barry. Marion was born a sharecropper's son, came of age during the Civil Rights movement, and became a fixture in D.C. politics for decades. As a leader with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Marion helped advanced the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in D.C., he put in place historic programs to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule. Through a storied, at times tumultuous life and career, he earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians, and Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathies to Marion's family, friends and constituents today."

Barry collapsed early Sunday morning and was taken to United Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 1:45 a.m. ET.

"He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement that expressed "deep sadness" and promised "official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia."

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” said Gray. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Gray ordered flags at all D.C. buildings to be flown at half-staff beginning Sunday in Barry's honor.

In a statement released Sunday, incoming D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "Mayor Marion Barry gave a voice to those who need it most. I – along with all Washingtonians – am shocked and deeply saddened by his passing, and we send out condolences to Cora Masters Barry, Chris Barry and the entire Barry family. He has been a part of my family for decades, and he will continue to be an example to me and so many others.”

While speaking on News4, Ward 1 DC Councilmember Jim Graham lamented Barry's passing and its impact on the city he loved.

"The city has lost a huge chunk of its soul today with the passing of Marion Barry," Graham said.

Radio station host Donnie Simpson added his thoughts as well.

"Marion Barry was always about the people of DC from day one, long before he got that Mayor's seat."

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton offered condolences to Barry's family.

“From my earliest encounter with Marion Barry, when he was the first chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee until I came back home and found him mayor of my home town, I have seen Marion take hold and write his signature boldly on his own life and times and on the life of the nation’s capital. Many took his struggle to personify in some way their own, endearing him and making him a larger-than-life figure as he became a creator of post-home-rule D.C.”

Councilmember David Grosso issued the following statement on the passing of Mayor Marion Barry:

"I was saddened to learn of the passing of my D.C. Council colleague. Marion Barry was a strong advocate for Ward 8 and devoted his life to the residents of Washington, D.C. His strong passion for making our city a great city was only surpassed in effort by his incredible commitment to ensuring that the poorest of our residents were never forgotten. It has been an honor for me to sit next to Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry on the dais and serve with him on the education committee for the past two years. I learned a lot about my beloved city from him and a lot about him. I will forever respect what he has done for this city in spite of his many challenges over a 40-year career."

Barry's annual turkey giveaway will go on despite his death.

Barry's spokeswoman LaToya Foster said Sunday at an early morning press conference at United Medical Center, where Barry died, that the annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway for needy residents would continue because ``that's what he would have wanted.''

The giveaway is scheduled for Tuesday at Union Temple Baptist Church in southeast Washington.

<![CDATA[Marion Barry Dies at 78]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:46:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP070613024655.jpg

Marion Barry, an icon of D.C. politics good and bad for more than 40 years, has died at age 78.

"It is with deep regret that the family of former four-time D.C. Mayor, and Ward 8 City Councilman, Marion S. Barry, Jr., announces that he has passed," read a statement early Sunday from Barry's family.

Barry had been hospitalized at Howard University Hospital Thursday after complaining of a urinary tract infection. He was released Saturday, and family members said he seemed to feel well. "In his own words, he was 'fantabulous' -- his words, not mine," said Barry spokeswoman LaToya Foster at an early-morning press conference at United Medical Center.

After he was released from the hospital, Barry visited with his son, Christopher, and then stopped to eat. On his way back into his home from the car, Barry collapsed. His driver brought him inside the home, unresponsive.

Barry was taken to United Medical Center at about 12:15 a.m. Sunday, and was pronounced dead at about 1:45 a.m. The District of Columbia's medical examiner said Sunday that Barry died of natural causes due to heart problems. A contributing factor was chronic kidney disease that complicated Barry's diabetes.

Reaction poured in as news of Barry's death spread early Sunday morning. "He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him," D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said in a statement that expressed "deep sadness" and promised "official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia."

Gray ordered flags at all D.C. buildings to be flown at half-staff beginning Sunday in Barry's honor.

In a statement released Sunday, incoming D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, "Mayor Marion Barry gave a voice to those who need it most."

Barry had recently taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey for her show, "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" The Barry family statement indicated that the interview — which featured his new book, "Mayor For Life: the Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr." — still would air Sunday at 9 p.m.

Barry served four terms as mayor and had a lock on the D.C. Council’s Ward 8 seat. But along with that huge political success, many personal failures marked his turbulent life.

Early on in his career, the Washington City Paper dubbed him “Mayor for Life.” He confounded critics who railed against his melodramatic life, even as he basked in the admiration of forgiving citizens who looked to him as their champion.

The son of a Mississippi sharecropper, Barry emerged from the student and civil rights activism of the 1960s to serve on the elected D.C. school board and D.C. Council.

In 1979, Barry began serving the first of three consecutive terms as D.C.’s second elected mayor. His pro-business policies helped spur economic development. He built civic programs for youth and senior citizens, and opened the city government to many African-American professionals, who previously had been shut out.

But lackluster city services, like slow snow removal and lost city ambulances, dogged Barry's administration. He battled a soaring homicide rate among the worst in the nation, and vowed a war on illegal drugs even as rumors about his own drug addiction swirled around Washington.

Barry's stature crumbled spectacularly in 1990, when an FBI sting videotaped Barry smoking crack cocaine in Washington’s Vista Hotel.

Barry famously complained that he had been set up by former girlfriend Rasheeda Moore, an FBI informant.

Barry’s federal trial turned into a drama of prosecution charges and persecution complaints. Out of 14 drug charges, a jury convicted Barry of a single misdemeanor possession charge. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson sentenced him to six months in prison, the maximum punishment.

Many thought the scandal would finish Barry's political career.

But in 1992, Barry emerged from prison and began his comeback right at the prison gate. Just months later he won the Ward 8 council seat from longtime ally and four-term incumbent Wilhelmina Rolark.

In 1994, he swept back into the mayor’s office for a fourth term, trouncing failed reform Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. Congress reacted sharply to concerns over another term for Barry and Kelly’s massive debt by creating a five-member federal control board to run the city over Barry.

Barry appointed then-obscure Anthony Williams as his chief financial officer. Acerbic and shy compared to Barry, Williams won the mayor’s office in 1998 when Barry chose not to seek re-election.

Barry returned to the political limelight in 2004, winning Ward 8 over another former ally, Sandy Allen. Waving off criticism of disloyalty, Barry said it wasn’t personal — it was politics.

In recent years, Barry easily won re-election in Ward 8. But he suffered from declining health, and received a kidney transplant.

Other controversies endured: failing to file income taxes, being censured for steering a city contract to a girlfriend, and making insensitive remarks about Asian storeowners and Filipina nurses, to whom he later apologized after stinging public criticism.

In August, Barry was involved in a wrong-way accident on Pennsylvania Avenue. Barry blamed low blood sugar that had made him disoriented.

But of the six mayors who’ve served the city since home rule began in the 1970s, it was Barry’s Mayor for Life personality and rollercoaster career that helped define D.C. politics for decades.

Barry first came to D.C. with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He later helped establish and run Pride, an inner-city help group. When Congress granted limited home rule to D.C., Barry won a first seat on the D.C. Council in 1974.

Shot in the chest by Hanafi Muslims when they overran at the Wilson Building in 1977, Barry used the publicity to help launch his 1978 campaign for mayor. He was a brash reformer, equally eloquent on the streets and in boardrooms. He narrowly won a three-way battle after The Washington Post editorial page heavily and repeatedly endorsed him.

But his terms in office were marred by investigations into cronyism, those drug abuse allegations and his image as a self-professed night owl.

Despite his faults, Barry is also credited with creating a massive summer jobs program that, while wasteful in many cases, offered a job or paid internship to any city youth who wanted one; and for treating senior citizens as a top priority with homes and programs for those in the twilight of life.

He completed the city’s first convention center on time and on budget. In his last term as mayor, Barry landed the deal to get the MCI Center (now the Verizon Center) built downtown.

Still, his national reputation is one of a promising politician undone or diminished by his personal failings; a politician who rose against seemingly hopeless odds to win and stay in the life of politics, often in spite of himself.

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<![CDATA[Bombing Victim Out of Hospital]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:27:26 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/218*120/141109-rebekah-gregory-boston-marathon-245p_dcc82314c6be1ae7336460e9b55c0ca7.nbcnews-fp-1360-600.jpg

A woman injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing who had several surgeries before having part of her leg amputated recently was discharged from a rehab facility Saturday and has vowed to run the race next year.

Rebekah DiMartino said she looks forward to getting her stitches out in early December and being fitted for a prosthetic left leg.

"The prognosis is great. I chopped off what was holding me back," DiMartino said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as she packed up to leave. "The prognosis, is you'll see me running the Boston Marathon next year."

DiMartino had more than a dozen operations but still dealt with lingering pain. She had surgery Nov. 10 at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital to remove her left leg below the knee. She entered rehab Nov. 14 and was going home Saturday to nearby Richmond.

Rebekah Gregory was watching last year's Boston Marathon when bombs exploded. Her son, now 7, and her then-boyfriend, Peter DiMartino, were also hurt. The couple wed last spring in Asheville, North Carolina.

Their Houston-area home still needs some modifications for accessibility, she said.

"I have been wheelchair bound for the last 18 months basically, so when we built our house we built it with wider doors," said DiMartino, 27.

She does not expect her loss of a limb to adversely affect the rest of her life.

"This is about to be Rebekah unleashed. They haven't seen anything yet. This is the good part of the story," DiMartino said. "Not only am I moving on, I am trying to do my part in changing the world while doing it."

A suspect charged in the bombing, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, awaits trial. His older brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police after the bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Who Killed Kids, Dies: Police]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 21:28:02 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/Tabernacle+NJ+shooting-2.jpg

A Burlington County, New Jersey, mother accused of shooting her three kids in her bedroom before turning the gun on herself has died, according to New Jersey State Police.

Jeaninne LePage, 44, died at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, Sunday morning, police confirmed to NBC10.

LePage, who was hospitalized since she and her three children were found shot in her bed last Thursday, is the responsible for killing two of her kids before turning the gun on herself inside their Holly Park Drive home in Tabernacle, said New Jersey State Police.

Police found the weapon — which has been in the family for a long time — close to LePage.

Eight-year-old Nadia Harriman and her 14-year-old brother, Nicholas Harriman, died, according to New Jersey State Police.

Alexander Harriman, 11, remained in severely critical condition at Cooper University Hospital Sunday, officials said.

Neighbors identified the victims Thursday, but authorities waited to confirm their names until they family members, including the children's father who was located in Maryland, were informed of the deaths.

Another relative who lives in the house found the victims around 9 a.m. and called for help.

"When police got there, they found a really horrific scene,’ said Jones. The victims were found in the same room and police believe they were shot with the same handgun, which was found at the scene."

Neighbors said that LePage shared the bed with her children and was in financial troubles.

Investigators believe the shootings occurred sometime between 5 and 9 a.m.

Nine people live in the house. They have all been accounted for and were interviewed by police, who assured neighbors early in the investigation that there was no manhunt and no reason for anyone to feel threatened or alarmed.

LePage tried to hide the shootings, according to police.

"A pillow was used to muffle the gunshot sounds, which we believe is why the other members of the house didn't hear the gunshots," said Noble.

The shootings shock the quiet community.

Members of the community organized a candlelight vigil Thursday night at Tabernacle's Town Hall, located at 163 Carranza Rd. At the vigil, children remembered their classmates.

Students and staff at Seneca High School — where Nicholas attended — had a moment of silence for the family Friday morning. Grief counselors were also on hand at local schools Friday to talk with grieving students and staff.

A trust fund was set up at PNC Bank under LePage-Harriman Memorial Fund.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Awakens From Coma After Fall]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:40:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-11-23+at+11.37.01+AM.jpg

After nearly 10 days, a 4-year-old boy who fell off a cliff in Bodega Bay, Northern California, has woken up from his coma Friday.

Sebastion Johnson fell more than 200 feet down a seaside cliff nearly two weeks ago, as he was throwing rocks into the ocean with his family when he slipped over the edge.

"I wanted to jump off and and grab him and make sure he's alive," Sebastion's father, Daryl Johnson, told NBC's "Today" show of the ordeal.

Rescuers rappelled down the cliff to save him. They slowly lifted him to safety. Sebastion ended up with a broken leg, arm and jaw.

But, on Friday morning, Johnson's father said his son was breathing on his own and had his neck brace removed.

"We're amazed he's pulled through," Sebastion's mom Jamie Guglielmino told "Today." "We've given him a nickname,'miracle monkey.' Everyone in our family has a monkey nickname."

Sebastion was still recovering on Sunday and a GoFundMe Hope Fund has been set up for him.

Photo Credit: NBC's "Today" show]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Line The Street For Mag Mile Lights Festival]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 10:04:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009814547_1200x675_362326083797.jpg It was a magical night along the Magnificent Mile. Thousands line Michigan Avenue for the annual Light's Festival parade. NBC5’s Trina Orlando reports.]]> <![CDATA[Danault to Make NHL Debut as Blackhawks Take on Oilers ]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:03:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/117271798.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will go for their second win in a row to open their annual circus trip on Saturday night when they take on the Edmonton Oilers, but they will once again be doing so short-handed, as Andrew Shaw will miss his second straight game.

Skating in Shaw’s place for the game will be new call-up Phillip Danault, who will make his NHL debut for the Hawks. During the team’s morning skate Saturday, he was on the third line with Bryan Bickell and Daniel Carcillo, with Ben Smith resuming his normal spot on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom.

The Blackhawks will also have a different goaltender in net, as Antti Raanta will make his first start since Oct. 25. In that game, he gave up three goals on 31 shots to the St. Louis Blues, and Scott Darling ended up making three straight starts before Corey Crawford returned from injury. Raanta was sent down last week briefly to get a start for the Rockford IceHogs, and he captured a win in that game.

To wrap up the roster decisions being made going into the game, Adam Clendening will also likely make his second straight appearance for the Blackhawks, with David Rundblad looking to be a healthy scratch again for Chicago.

This game will be an interesting test for the Blackhawks, especially considering where they are at in the circus trip. They just played a game Thursday against a Calgary Flames team that gave them everything they could handle, but the Blackhawks were also uncharacteristically sloppy in the game, committing six minor penalties. They also gave up two power play goals, and they’ll certainly have to clean both areas up moving forward.

In spite of those struggles, the Hawks did end up getting the victory, and they will be heavily favored in this game. The Oilers are in the Pacific Division basement, and they are in the bottom 10 teams in the league in both goals for (23rd) and goals allowed (27th) this season. Their special teams aren’t much better, as they rank 25th on the power play and 18th on the penalty kill.

Those numbers aren't anything to be scared of, but the Hawks can’t afford to get complacent. The results of the Calgary game speak for themselves, and with players like Taylor Hall (who has eight goals and 11 assists in 13 games against the Hawks) facing them, Chicago has to make sure that they focus on cleaning up the undisciplined penalties and sloppy defensive play that plagued them on Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3 Arrested in Suburban Drug House Investigation]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:21:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/beach+park+drug+arrests.jpg

Three suspects were arrested on drug and weapon charges following an investigation into a suspected drug house in suburban Beach Park.

Damon D. Duffie, 30, Dwayne D. Gordon, 28, and Aaron Swopes, 31, were arrested at the conclusion of the Lake County Sheriff's Special Investigations Unit's two-week investigation. The house in question is located on Waldo Avenue in Beach Park.

Detectives from the Lake County Sheriff's Office recovered nearly 540 grams of cannabis, 88 grams of heroin, 61 grams of powdered cocaine, 15 grams of crack cocaine, 11 fluid ounces of promethazine (an anti-histamine/sedative), assorted paraphernalia, two handguns and more than $5,000 in cash.

The investigation, which ended Thursday, included two traffic stops and the execution of a search warrant.

Duffie, of Beach Park, was charged with felonies for intent to deliver heroin and promethazine and with posession of drug paraphernalia. He was also wanted for an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court for writing bad checks out of DeKalb County.

Gordon, of Waukegan, was charged with possession of crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated possession of a firearm, armed violence and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Swopes, of Waukegan, was charged with possession of heroin as well as the traffic charges.

Both Duffie and Gordon are being held on $1 million bond and are expected to appear in court Dec. 15. Swopes is being held on $100,000 bond and is expected to appear in court Nov. 25.

Photo Credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Accidentally Shot by Dad]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:12:04 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/112214babyshot.jpg


The parents of a 9-month-old girl who was accidentally shot in her Brooklyn home are being criminally charged, investigators said Sunday.


The baby's father, Pedro Rosales, 47, faces a slate of charges, including second-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a court document.

Rosales was cleaning an illegally owned Colt .45 handgun at their home in East New York at about 4 p.m. Saturday when it discharged, police said. His daughter Jessica was hit in the hip. She underwent surgery at the Bellevue Hospital and was recovering in stable condition.

Rosales and Jessica Aguilar, the baby's mother, flagged down a police car outside their home on Sutter Avenue after the shooting and officers escorted parents and child to the hospital.

Police charged Aguilar with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree reckless endangerment.

Rosales is being held on $100,000 bond or $50,000 bail. Aguilar is being held on $10,000 bond or $5,000 bail.

<![CDATA[Jogging Mom Was Stabbed: Official]]> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 08:08:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Melissa+Millan+Iron+Horse+Boulevard+in+Simsbury+daylight.jpg

Police have increased patrols near Iron Horse Boulevard in the center of Simsbury after the death of a woman found injured on the side of the road Thursday was ruled a homicide.

The state's medical examiner ruled the cause of death of Melissa Millan, 54, as "stab wound of chest," an employee in the medical examiner's office told NBC Connecticut on Saturday.

Millan, a Simsbury mother who was a senior vice president at MassMutual and who was also active in the community, was found lying on Iron Horse Boulevard between Phelps Lane and Pent Road around 8 p.m. Thursday. An ambulance rushed her to Saint Francis Hospital, where she died a short time later.

She was jogging on the boulevard at the time of the incident, according to Simsbury Police Capt. Nick Boulter. It's unclear if the homicide was random, he said.

Iron Horse Boulevard is in the center of Simsbury near a highly frequented bike trail, numerous restaurants and the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows.

Police initially considered the possibility that Millan was injured in a hit-and-run, but found no evidence to prove that theory.

Simsbury police have leads they are following and continue to investigate. No weapon has been found at this time and no suspect has been identified.

The Simsbury Police Department will increase patrols and police presence on the road "for an undetermined amount of time."

Police ask anyone with information to call detectives at 860-658-3145.

The last homicide in Simsbury was a murder-suicide in 2012.

There will be a vigil for Millan on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. near the area where she was found injured on Iron Horse Boulevard.

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<![CDATA[Man Killed While Hunting ]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 22:47:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/West-Windsor-Hunting-Accide.jpg

A man was shot and killed during a hunting trip with his father in West Windsor, New Jersey, according to police.

The accidental shooting occurred Saturday afternoon on the 1200 block of Old Trenton Road. Officials have released little information on the incident so far but said a man in his 70's and his 45-year-old son were hunting Canada geese on a large property they owned. The father and son were properly licensed to hunt the birds, according to investigators.

Police initially told NBC10 the elderly man accidentally shot his son in the back of the head. However, they later told NBC10 the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head and neck from his own firearm.

Responding police officers and medics found the victim in a patch of woods on the property. After several life saving attempts were made he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The initial call was for a hunting accident out here at the farm," said West Windsor Township Police lieutenant Matthew Kemp. "Medics and police officers were immediately dispatched and came across a person who was obviously deceased. Everything appears to be an accident. We're just dotting the "I's" and crossing the "T's" to be sure that's what it is." 

Police also said the father and son were the only two people in the hunting party.

West Windsor Police and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the incident. They have not yet released the victim’s identity. An autopsy is scheduled for next week.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Sheep Escapes Zoo, Hit by Driver]]> Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:37:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/141122-escaped-bighorn-sheep-los-feliz.jpg

A bighorn sheep that escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in a Los Feliz neighborhood Saturday, police said.

The adult female sheep went missing from an exhibit about noon and  traversed the Santa Monica Mountains from the area in Griffith Park where the zoo is located, zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock said.

It was struck by a car near the Greek Theatre about two hours later.

Los Angeles park rangers and police found the sheep on a home driveway in the 2200 block of North Commonwealth Avenue.

When zoo personnel and veterinarians got to the sheep, they tranquilized the animal with a dart to bring it back to its habitat but it died at the scene about 3 p.m., Spurlock said.

The sheep is believed to have died from its injuries, but the official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, Spurlock said.

The sheep was one of five bighorns at the zoo. Officials are trying to figure out how it escaped.

The desert bighorn sheep has been listed as endangered since 1998 due to loss of habitat, disease brought by domestic sheep and cattle and predation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.