<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usTue, 21 Feb 2017 16:01:48 -0600Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:01:48 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA['Today' Anchor Hoda Kotb Adopts 'Valentine's Baby' Girl]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:01:43 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hoda-and-baby.jpg

Hoda Kotb has welcomed a baby girl to her family.

The "Today" anchor announced Tuesday that she's become a mom after adopting baby Haley Joy Kotb. 

"She is the love of my life," Kotb told her NBC colleagues by phone, her voice breaking with emotion several times. 

Kotb, 52, lives with boyfriend Joe Schiffman, who she has been dating since 2013, Today.com reported. Schiffman is a New York-based financial executive. 

Kotb was previously married for two years, having met and divorced her husband on Valentine's Day. 

Asked how old little Haley was, Kotb said on "Today" that her child was a "Valentine's baby."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hoda Kotb
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<![CDATA[Teen Faces Felony Charge After Alleged Middle School Beating]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:35:11 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/218*120/elgin+school+pic.png

A 14-year-old boy is facing a felony charge after an alleged beating inside a northwest suburban middle school earlier this month. 

The teen, appearing in court with his family Tuesday, was charged with felony aggravated battery and two counts of misdemeanor battery. He was ordered to remain on house arrest with electronic home monitoring and can only go to school and home. 

The charges stem from a severe beating that put a 12-year-old student at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin in a coma.  

Henry Sembdner, a seventh-grader at the school, suffered severe injuries and was taken to Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin before being transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he continues to recover, his family said. 

In a letter to parents, Kenyon Woods Middle School Principal Lisa Olsem said the young boy was “assaulted by another student” just before noon on Feb. 3.

“I spent time with the family of the injured student at the hospital this afternoon and will remain in close contact with them,” Olsem wrote. “The alleged attacker, [sic] was arrested and transported to South Elgin Police Department.”

A school official during a board meeting said the beating may have been sparked by a hallway incident. 

“The student was bumped, or somehow bumped into the other student, that student then became aggressive in a very short couple of seconds and injured the young man,” said John Heiderscheidt, the district’s director of safety.

Lawyers for the family of the boy who suffered the "nearly fatal" beating filed a petition in court soon after the incident seeking information about the attack they say was kept from them by the school district.

Attorneys for the boy's family released a statement saying the family holds no ill will toward the student who attacked the boy but noted they still struggle to find answers from school officials who kept them “in the dark” following the attack.

School District U-46 official Mary Fergus said the district's counsel has been in contact with the Sembdner's attorneys and will continue to do so.

"We have responded to requests for information pursuant to the rules of civil law procedure," she said in an email. "It's important to note the district already has policies in place to support our obligation as a government body to preserve records."

"This filing is not a lawsuit for damages," the Goldberg Weisman Cairo Law Firm said in the statement, "but rather a petition filed under Illinois Supreme Court rules that allows for civil discovery to take place to identify what, if any, claims may exist and who the responsible parties might be."

The law firm said it "intends to take all necessary steps to seek the truth about Henry’s attack and will hold District officials accountable in providing this information."

The attorneys said the boy was slammed headfirst onto the floor, which caused him to bleed profusely and become nauseous. They said school officials sent him to the nurse and called his parents to say he suffered a bloody nose and broken tooth.

The school called emergency crews only after the boy’s eye began to bulge, the attorneys said. At the hospital, the attorneys said, a school official told the family the school had not experienced behavior problems with the student who attacked the boy.

“Since that time, Henry’s parents have tried to sift through a maze of rumors and second-hand information as to whether that representation was in fact true and have struggled to understand why a child who allegedly had no behavioral issues would suddenly turn violent,” the attorneys said.

School officials said they are supporting both students following the incident. 

“Not only do we support Henry, but we also support the student who allegedly caused this—we support him through counseling,” district CEO Tony Sanders said.

Chief Jerry Krawczyk said the alleged suspect is also in middle school.

"This case makes me sad as a dad," he said. "I've never seen a case like this involving children resulting in such severe injuries."

Two GoFundMe pages were set up to help the Sembdner family with medical costs.

Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo took to Twitter days after the incident to lend Henry some support and make him an offer.

The family’s attorneys said the Sembdners are cooperating fully with the South Elgin Police Department and Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office conducting an ongoing investigation into the matter.

The next court appearance is scheduled for April 4. 

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<![CDATA[Mendoza Draws Heat for Buying Used SUV With State Money]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:21:15 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/susana+mendoza.png

Illinois Comptroller Susana Menodoza is catching heat for using taxpayer money to purchase a $32,000 used SUV for her department’s fleet.

This weekend, the Illinois Republican Party levied a series of attacks against Mendoza after the Chicago Sun-Times broke the story Friday. Those attacks include an online ad that attempted to link her purchase to a scandal involving former Illinois Comptroller Alexi Giannoulias, who used money from a state college savings program to purchase an SUV.

The group claimed Mendoza is prioritizing her “own comfort” as “social service providers continue to wait months to get paid.

“Even worse, the Comptroller’s office already had nine state vehicles,” a statement from the Illinois Republican Party said. “Apparently the vehicle fleet that was good enough for Comptroller Munger is not good enough for Comptroller Mendoza."

“All this comes after Mendoza pledged ‘shared sacrifice’ with social service providers, who Mendoza promised to put at the front of the line to revise state checks,” the group added.

The comptroller’s office responded, noting that Mendoza has downsized her department’s fleet of cars from nine to eight since taking office. Mendoza’s office also said the new vehicle was purchased with money from the Comptroller’s Administrative Fund, not the General Revenue Fund, which is dedicated to education, social services and other state programs.

Mendoza’s office faulted Rauner for focusing on the vehicle purchase instead of the state’s lingering budget impasse and ballooning bill backlog. The comptroller's office noted that various state government offices have purchased over $11 million in vehicles over the past two years.

“Where is the state GOP’s outrage about the governor failing for the third year in a row to fulfill his constitutional duty to propose a balanced budged,” the comptroller’s office asked. “His responsibility for the state’s backlog of bills doubling to $12 billion on his watch? His responsibility for the six downgrades from the bond agencies for his failure to propose a balanced budget?”

“His responsibility for the $700 million in late payment interest penalties the state owes?” the comptroller’s office continued.

The release claimed Comptroller Mendoza will “persist” through these types of “false controversies.”

Nevertheless, the Illinois Republican Party’s attacks continued Tuesday, releasing another online ad featuring news stories highlighting Mendoza’s purchase.

“Makes you wonder what else is going on in the comptroller’s office and how she’s prioritizing other spending,” Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider said in the ad.

“Putting herself first and her comfort first ahead of the taxpayers,” he added.

<![CDATA[Cubs Announce 2017 Promotional Giveaway Schedule]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:04:18 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-630588602.png

Tickets for Chicago Cubs games at Wrigley Field are going on sale this week, and on Tuesday the team announced what fans can expect in terms of souvenir giveaways for the coming year.

In total, the Cubs announced more than 40 giveaways throughout the season, including items for adults, kids, and fans of all ages. There are the usual assortment of bobbleheads (including bobbleheads featuring players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Jon Lester), hats, and t-shirts, and fans will have a wide variety of items to choose from when they pick out their ticket dates.

So which items are the coolest? You can find a full list of giveaways on the Cubs’ website, but here are our five favorites that the team will be giving away.

April 15 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Cubs Replica World Series Trophies

The opening week of the season at Wrigley Field is loaded with giveaways, including replica World Series banners and magnetic schedules, but the first 10,000 fans attending this game will receive a replica of the championship trophy. Make sure to get to Wrigley Field early for that one.

May 20 vs. Milwaukee Brewers: World Series Final Out Bobblehead

Bobbleheads are always tough to get at the Friendly Confines, but this one is going to be an even bigger challenge, as the final out of the 2016 World Series will be immortalized in this one-of-a-kind item.

June 20 vs. San Diego Padres: Confetti Globe

It isn’t often that a person can get a snow globe in the heart of the summer, but that isn’t going to stop the first 10,000 Cubs fans through the turnstiles for this game. The Confetti Globe features a model of the Cubs’ championship parade buses and a large amount of red and blue “confetti” to swirl around in the water, so this should be an awesome addition to any mantelpiece.

August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jim Beam Ice Molds

Have you ever poured yourself a glass of your favorite adult beverage and wished that you could let memories of the Cubs’ championship wash over you? Thanks to Jim Beam, you can, as the first 10,000 adults to enter Wrigley for this game will get ice molds that feature the Cubs’ championship logo.

August 31 vs. Atlanta Braves: Anthony Rizzo Emoji Cap

Rizzo is one of the most popular Cubs players without question, and this should be a very interesting item to be sure. A picture of the Rizzo cap isn’t available yet, but we’d imagine that he’ll have a big grin on his face.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lawmaker Says State Seal Gets Illinois’ Birthday Wrong]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:51:16 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/illinois+state+seal.png

Republican state Rep. Tim Butler wants to update Illinois’ official seal to reflect the date the state joined the union, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The state’s seal currently features the date August 26, 1818, which is when Illinois passed its first constitution. Butler reportedly wants to change the date to December 3, 1818, when Illinois entered the union as the 21st state.

“In my mind, the December 3rd date is the beginning of our state,” Butler told the Tribune. “It is when President Monroe signed the congressional resolution authorizing us to join the other states as the 21st state in the union."

The measure passed the Illinois House and now awaits approval from the Illinois Senate and Gov. Bruce Rauner, according to the Tribune.

Butler’s measure wouldn’t require the state to replace old state seals, which can be found throughout the Capitol. Instead, the legislation would require changes to plates on machines in the secretary of state’s office that emboss documents. A spokesman for Butler wouldn’t provide a cost estimate, but said the process wouldn’t be expensive.

Republican state Rep. David Harris reportedly scrutinized the changes, pointing to the fact that August 26 is still an important date in Illinois’ history. However, Butler claimed it’s important to reflect when Illinois joined the union as the state gears up for its bicentennial in 2018, the Tribune reports.

“Looking forward to the bicentennial year, I think these are things that we need to take a look at,” he said.

Photo Credit: Illinois.gov]]>
<![CDATA[Condo With 180-Degree View of Chicago Sells for $2.3M]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:54:23 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/lake+point+1.jpg A 3,650-square-foot condo at Chicago's iconic Lake Point Tower sold this month for $2.345 million. See inside.

Photo Credit: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff/VHT]]>
<![CDATA[Funeral Services Held for Suburban Family Killed in Crash]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:30:41 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/funeral2.png

It was an emotional scene for a suburban Chicago community as funeral services were held Tuesday for a mother, father, and daughter killed in a high-speed car crash. NBC 5’s Susan Carlson reports from St. John Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect.

<![CDATA[Wisconsin Family Builds Backyard Roller Coaster]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:12:42 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/roller+coaster.png

When you're hours away from the nearest amusement park, what else can you do but build your own roller coaster? JT Nejedlo and Aidan Deavon of Delafield, Wisconsin were normal bored teenagers one summer when they came up with the idea. "We decided to build a roller coaster because it would be fun," said Nejedlo. As you can imagine, it was easier said than done, but with a dad who used to be a physics professor, they were given the green light to try. Deavon's dad came home to find the boys cutting a hole in the old tree house and putting together a track.

<![CDATA[Drew Peterson Transferred to Federal Custody]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:38:06 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Drew-Peterson-AP_16141442975290.jpg

Convicted murderer Drew Peterson is no longer an Illinois inmate. 

The former Bolingbrook police sergeant serving time for killing his third wife has been transferred to federal custody. 

The Stateville Northern Reception and Classification Center confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Peterson had moved to its facility in Joliet. Soon after, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to NBC 5 Investigates that Peterson was being housed at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana -- the same institution which once housed former Gov. George Ryan and the site where Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh was put to death. 

An Illinois Department of Corrections spokesperson said Peterson had been "transferred out of IDOC custody." His status on the facility's website was listed as "out of custody." 

It remains unclear why Peterson was suddenly transferred. Both the Chicago office of the FBI and the United State's Attorney's office said they had nothing to do with taking him into federal custody. 

The Illinois Department of Corrections said Peterson was transferred under provisions of a law called the Interstate Compact Agreement, which allows state and federal government to send and receive offenders. 

"For safety and security purposes, the IDOC does not discuss the details concerning the placement of offenders who are transferred," the spoksperson told NBC 5. 

Peterson, who was convicted of killing his third wife Kathleen Savio, and is suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy Peterson, had been serving a 38-year sentence. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant was recently sentenced to another 40 years in prison after being convicted of a murder-for-hire scheme that involved trying to have the prosecutor who first put him in jail killed.

Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007, and that set in motion the events that led to his 2012 conviction for Savio’s murder.

No one has ever been charged in connection with Stacy Peterson’s disappearance. However, Peterson, 63, remains the prime suspect, and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told reporters last May “we never stop reviewing that case.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[CPD Expanding New Crime Prevention Plan]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:31:26 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cpd13.png

Chicago police say a plan to use new technology and intelligence is preventing crime, and now the program will expand to other neighborhoods. NBC 5's Kye Martin reports.

<![CDATA[10-Year-Old Girl Asks Police Department for Help on Homework]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:15:19 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/16640810_10109124209283375_6508236704912685509_n.jpg

When a 10-year-old girl needed help with her math homework, she sought assistance from an unlikely source – her local police department.

“I’m having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?” Lena Draper wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.

To the surprise of many, the department responded.

The first equation: (8+29)x15.

“Do the numbers in the parenthesis first so in essence it would be 37 x 15,” the department replied.

Then a second problem: (90+27) + (29+15)x2

“Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer times two,” the department wrote. “Work left to right doing the work inside the parenthesis first.”

The young student’s mother, Molly Draper, posted screenshots of the exchange on Facebook soon after learning what her daughter had done.

“My daughter. Cause… she’s my daughter,” Draper wrote. “Thank you, Marion, Ohio Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community.”

As some were quick to note, however, the department solved the second equation inaccurately.

The problem actually would be solved by adding the numbers in the second parentheses first and multiplying that times two. Then that number would be added to the total in the first parentheses.

“Hoping it is truly the thought that counts since apparently I cannot! Especially since the answer was wrong, it was very nice for Molly to acknowledge our attempt to help her daughter with some math homework,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “We do aim to be a full service police department after all. Have to say this is the first time we have been asked by a young Facebook follower to help with homework through messenger but hey, we SERVE and protect. Maybe should have mentioned that History was my favorite subject before answering. Well, we know now!”

The department said it had wondered what made the child call on them for help with her homework, saying it wasn’t unheard of “but still pretty rare.”

“The fact that this particular problem (third grade math) was over our head was not the important part,” the department wrote. “What's important is that an environment has been created in this community, quite deliberately that nurtures a sense of connection and belonging and trust. Because those things exist, this rather popular Facebook post was able to happen.”

Photo Credit: Marion, Ohio Police Department/ Facebook
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<![CDATA[Montero, Maddon Grab Drinks After Offseason Controversy]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:02:48 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/maddon+montero.png

In a clubhouse marked by cohesiveness and fun, the tension between Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and catcher Miguel Montero presented an odd situation during the offseason, but it appears that all is well in Cubdom as spring training begins.

Montero, who was critical of Maddon’s handling of his playing time during the postseason, posted a picture on his Instagram feed on Monday night of the duo hanging out at an Arizona nightspot, and they were all smiles as they shared a drink: [[414376483, C]]

The controversy started just a few days after the Cubs won the World Series last November, as Montero went on a Chicago-area radio show and complained about his lack of playing time and the lack of communication that he had with Maddon over the decision.

“I think the toughest part for me is they never communicated with me,” he said. “I’m a veteran guy. I expected to be treated a little better. I was expected to get communication. I never understood what my role was going to be.”

Maddon responded a few days later to the comments, saying that he “didn’t realize I hurt his feelings” and that he wished Montero had approached him directly instead of discussing the issue in the public sphere.

Since then, the two have publicly said that they’ve worked things out and that there are no issues going forward, but Montero is going to have to get used to diminished playing time, as Maddon has said that Willson Contreras will be the team’s primary catcher for the 2017 season.  

Photo Credit: Jon Durr/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[4 Americans Killed as Plane Crashes Into Australian Mall]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:12:13 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_17052006872002.jpg

Four Americans were among five people killed when a light plane crashed into the roof of a shopping mall in Melbourne, Australia, the U.S. State Department has confirmed. 

NBC News reported that the twin-turboprop Beechcraft King Air plane suffered engine failure and crashed into the mall near the end of the runway at Essendon Airport around 5 p.m. ET Monday (9 a.m. Tuesday local time). 

The assistant police commissioner for Victoria state said there were no fatalities other than those five people on board the aircraft. NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reports that two of the victims were from Texas.

[[238427591, C]]

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died in today's tragic crash," a State Department official told NBC News. "The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Melbourne are working closely with local authorities. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families of the victims," the official added, without identifying the victims.

Photo Credit: Joe Castro/AAP Image via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Video Captures Dramatic Central Park Ice Plunge]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:43:17 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/central+park+ice+rescue+watermark.jpg

Dramatic video captured by a woman and her daughter shows the moments before and after a group of seven young people plunged through the ice on a pond in Central Park Monday. 

Lourdes Cuevas and her daughter Maia Ramirez, tourists from Paraguay who say they had never seen so much ice, were taking a selfie as the group of kids, ranging in age from about 10 into the teens, climbed onto the ice-covered water on an unseasonably warm February holiday. Their photo shows the kids huddled on the ice behind them. 

"At the beginning, they were throwing rocks, testing the ice, and then decided to step on it," said Cuevas. 

"They just go, 'Come guys, let's take a selfie. The ice is solid,'" said Ramirez. "But the moment that they step on the spot, the ice starts breaking down, and they fell in the water." 

Footage exclusively obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the group floundering about, some struggling madly to grip the crumbling edges of ice, others screaming, as they tried desperately to escape. 

Cuevas said one of the kids completely disappeared under water. 

Two skateboarders who happened to be nearby raced to their rescue, and by the time firefighters arrived at the park by 59th Street and Central Park South, the kids had been pulled out of the water, witnesses and officials said. Some of the children and teens were recovering from hypothermia-related injuries at Bellevue and two other area hospitals on Tuesday morning, officials said. 

The good Samaritans, Bennett Jonas and Ethan Turnbull, told reporters they saw the kids dancing on top of the ice, then suddenly plunging into the water. 

"I look over, I saw six heads just trying to get to the shore," said Jonas. "The back one was probably a good 20 yards from dry land." 

Jonas dived in as Turnbull stood by to grab them. 

"The last two at the end, the kid at the end was unconscious," said Turnbull. "[Jonas] got him out, he was kind of out of breath, and [Jonas] threw him to me. I just kind of minded him until he came to." 

Jonas, of San Clemente, California, who now lives in midtown, and Turnbull, of Sydney, Australia, say they happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

"I was in the park for a reason tonight," he said. "I could have been anywhere right now, but I was 100 yards away, from kids who were drowning." 

Photo Credit: Lourdes Cuevas and Maia Ramirez]]>
<![CDATA[CTA Passenger Shoots Video of Bag Found Infested With Bugs]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:05:59 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CTA+bag.png

A video surfaced from Friday afternoon showing bugs crawling through a bag of clothing on a CTA train. Chicago Transit Authority officials said the bag belonged to a homeless person. Once the passenger who filmed the video reported it, the car was immediately pulled from service to be disinfected, transit officials said.

Photo Credit: Michael Moore]]>
<![CDATA[Out-of-Service Commuter Trains Collide Outside Philadelphia]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:19:18 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/236*120/Upper+Darby+69th+Street+SEPTA+Crash+MFL+4.JPG

An out-of-service SEPTA Market Frankford Line subway train crashed into two other trains at the 69th Street Terminal just outside Philadelphia Tuesday morning, injuring four people and knocking seven cars off the track during the busy rush-hour commute. 

The collision left the operator of the No. 57 train critically injured, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said. Another operator and two passengers were also injured in the crash but the injuries did not appear life-threatening.

It was not clear why the passengers were on the train since it wasn't in service, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch. Busch didn't have details on their injuries but said they have been described as non-life threatening. The second train operator was treated and released, he said.

Upper Darby police asked commuters in a tweet to avoid the busy terminal after the three-train wreck on looping turnaround tracks, where trains turn around at the end of the line.

Investigators said the No. 57 train slammed into the back of the No. 67 train -- both trains were waiting to make the return trip to Philadelphia -- and the wreck then sideswiped the No. 51 train traveling in the opposite direction on another track. The trains were out of service at the time of the crash, SEPTA said. 

SEPTA said seven cars were derailed. SkyForce10 footage showed one car tipped over at a 45-degree angle -- its wheels dislodged from the body of the train -- and six other cars partially off the track as crews responded.

A man who lives near the scene told NBC10 Philadelphia's Pamela Osborne he heard a loud noise followed by the sound of fire engine sirens. 

"I heard a big bang...I knew something big happened but I didn't know what until I got here and saw this mess," William Stamm said.

The wreck left the 69th Street stop out of service for hours as state officials and National Transportation Safety Board investigators investigate the crash, SEPTA said.

SEPTA used shuttle buses to get passengers from 69th Street to 63rd Street. Passengers could be seen boarding the buses around 9 a.m. The agency said delays of up to 10 minutes are expected on the line that runs from Upper Darby to the Frankford section of Northeast Philadelphia.

The crash impacted West Chester Pike, Market Street and Victory Avenue at one point, police said.

SEPTA got trains moving again early Tuesday afternoon. The trains would operate out and back into the terminal as the loop remained closed so investigators could sort through the scene. SEPTA warned riders to expect delays and crowded conditions during the evening rush.

The Market-Frankford Line is equipped with advanced signaling technology called Automatic Train Control, or ATC, which should prevent two moving trains from the same section of tracks, former SEPTA spokesman, and current NBC10 employee, Manny Smith said. A SEPTA headquarters dispatcher would also be controlling the line and giving permission to engineers to move into and out of the loop.

The systems in place ensure optimal turnaround times at the terminal since trains at peak hours arrive at least every four minutes, Smith said.

The max speed on the curve is 10 mph, SEPTA said.

The MFL Line has been operating with limited cars due to under-body crack concerns.

This crash comes nearly two years after a deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia's Frankford neighborhood.

Photo Credit: SkyForce10
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<![CDATA[Woman Uses Etch-A-Sketch to Create Chicago-Inspired Art]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:18:30 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cubs+etch.png

A Logan Square artist is making a name for herself by using an Etch-A-Sketch to create her works of art. 

<![CDATA[Dangerous Pollutant Detected on Chicago’s Southeast Side]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:09:41 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pollutant.png

Removing a toxic air pollutant has unearthed a new health danger on Chicago’s Southeast Side. Federal and city officials discovered high levels of a type of heavy metal, known as manganese, while investigating piles of black dust known as petcoke. Officials say it was detected a few years ago and that the substance has since been removed. The Chicago Tribune reports officials believe S.H.Bell, a company along the Calumet River, is behind the manganese, but the company has denied that. Manganese can cause permanent damage to the nervous system and is linked to learning disabilities, memory loss, and anxiety.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Bodies of 74 Migrants Wash Ashore in Libya]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 06:52:35 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/migrants-wash-ashore-libya.jpg

Dozens of migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea, the latest victims of the perilous route, NBC News reported.

Seventy-four bodies washed ashore in Libya, seen in photographs posted to Twitter by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Tuesday.

Migrants generally attempt crossing from Libya to Italy in flimsy inflatable boats loaded with small amounts of fuel, intended to get within reach of European rescue vessels in international waters. Last year, a record 181,000 migrants made the crossing.

Libyan coast guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said more than 500 migrants were rescued at sea on Friday and Saturday. He said smugglers are starting to use larger rubber boats to pack in more migrants.

"This is going to be even more disastrous to the migrants," Gassim added.

Photo Credit: IFRC MENA]]>
<![CDATA[See All the Records Broken During Chicago's Warm February]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:12:09 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chicago+skyline+0408.jpg Chicago has broken a number of decades-old records with spring and summer-like temperatures hitting the area this February. Here's a look at the records broken so far.]]> <![CDATA[College QB Charged With Rape]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:01:29 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kevinolsenbookingphoto.gif

A college football quarterback, the brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, has been arrested on rape charges.

Kevin Olsen, 22, of Wayne, New Jersey, was taken into custody Sunday in North Carolina and charged with three counts of second-degree forcible rape, as well as cyberstalking, second-degree force sex offense and assault on a female.

Olsen is a quarterback for the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

“The allegations in this incident, which took place off campus, appear to involve sexual assault within an existing relationship,” a UNC-Charlotte spokesperson wrote. “This incident occurred a week after a separate, unrelated case of alleged on-campus sexual assault involving acquaintances.”

Olsen was suspended from the team and the university is reviewing the case while remaining in communication with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to the spokesperson.

Olsen was a top-ranked high school quarterback at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, New Jersey. He joined the University of Miami but left the school after “an accumulation of reported legal entanglements,” according to NBC Charlotte.

NBC Charlotte also reports Olsen transferred to Towson University in Maryland but left less than a year later after breaking team rules. He joined UNC-Charlotte in December 2015. 

Photo Credit: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead After SWAT Response on Chicago's West Side]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:29:14 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/223*120/hbt+little+village.png

One man is dead and another is in custody after SWAT teams responded to an incident on Chicago’s West Side Monday morning.

Chicago police said the incident was reported around 7:45 a.m. in the 3400 block of West 23rd Street in the city's Little Village neighborhood.

Officers responded to a domestic disturbance involving two men, according to police, who specified that no off-duty Chicago police officers were involved in the incident. 

University Park Chief of Police John Pate said the subject was never affiliated with the south suburban department, despite reports that identified one of the people involved as a University Park police officer. 

He worked as a security guard for AASI Security Services at the Maple Leaf Apartment complex in the town, Pate said in a statement, but was fired from the company two years ago and was employed by another security company.

The incident ended around 12:24 p.m., authorities said. A 68-year-old man was found dead inside the residence with a gunshot wound to the head, according to police. 

A 37-year-old man was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered from the scene, police said. It was not immediately clear to which person the University Park police were referring in their statement. 

Charges are pending and the investigation is ongoing. 

<![CDATA[Parental Controls on Devices Aren't Fool-Proof]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:00:40 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/parentalcontrols0220.png

Cynthia Phelan, a mom of three grade schoolers, could not believe what she was seeing in her home computer’s browsing history.

“Some of it was just music videos, but I was also finding things that were pornographic in nature,” Phelan said.

Phelan sets strict parental controls on her Mac computer, allowing her 8-year-old, 12-year-old and 14-year-old to access only pre-approved websites. YouTube is strictly forbidden, according to Phelan.

But the Chicago mom said she found her kids were able to circumvent her parental controls by using their school-issued Google accounts. Phelan’s kids, like students across Chicagoland, do much of their homework and classwork online through Google Classroom. Phelan said the program has great educational benefits but what she didn’t realize was the whole host of applications and sites students can also access with those accounts.

“I think it would have been very important for (the schools) to tell parents up front that your children have access to these particular sites, and there may not be parental controls in place,” Phelan said. “Or that your kids will have access to these sites and these are how you can implement parental controls.”

CPS did not answer if the district notified parents of all the applications students have access to through their Google accounts. However, the district said online activity is monitored and restricted to protect students from accessing inappropriate content.

“CPS uses a range of protections and content filters on its network to help create a secure learning environment that allows district students to safely engage with 21st century education resources,” said CPS spokesman Michael Passman.

But content filtering only applies when students are on the district network.

That’s why it’s up to parents to monitor kids’ online activity, said Rich Wistocki, a veteran police detective in high technology crimes.

“When our kids get Chrome Books in school, parents think it’s safe because the school is giving it to them. It’s not safe,” said Wistocki, who runs consulting firms “Be Sure” Consulting and Juvenile Justice Online. “It’s safe while they’re in school, but it’s not safe when they’re at home.”

Wistocki said most parents can’t keep up with their kids’ technology and underestimate what they’re accessing online and through their devices.

“(Parental controls) are just not enough to understand exactly what your kids are doing on their devices,” said Wistocki. “Whatever app they’re using frequently, you need to be in it and sit with them.”

Wistocki said there are third-party applications, such as TeenSafe or KidGuard, that parents can download to remotely see what kids are posting, sharing and texting.

“It’s not spying. It’s your responsibility,” Wistocki said. “Parents need to know that there is no such thing as privacy for their children until they are 18.”

NBC5 Investigates found parental control restrictions on devices are not 100 percent accurate. We contacted Google and Apple, asking what content is restricted when parental controls are enabled, if their products contain enough parental restrictions and their advice for parents who are interested in making sure inappropriate content is blocked.

A Google spokesperson said device level restrictions on Apple’s iOS is designed primarily for Apple’s web browser, Safari, and do not extend to other browsers, like Google’s Chrome.

“If parents choose to let their kids use Chrome, we recommend enabling restrictions for websites using iOS and enabling SafeSearch manually in Chrome, which helps block explicit images, videos and websites from Google Search results,” said a Google spokesperson. “We’re always looking into ways to improve our services and hope to provide more options to our users in the future.”

An Apple spokeswoman touted Family Sharing, which allows parents to create Apple IDs for their children that are subject to parental supervision to share purchases, photos, and more. Apple also sent us links to parental controls on its operating system and Macs.

<![CDATA[Police Warn of Indiana Gas Station Skimming Scheme]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:18:34 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BPGAS0220.png

Hobart police are warning travelers of a skimming scheme in Indiana that multiple drivers have fallen victim to at a gas station.

Three victims who came to the BP in Lake Station near I-80/84 on Ripley all swiped their cards there and it appears one man is getting valuable information—and spending their cash, police say.

The man suspected in the case is on surveillance video, police say, using one card after the other until one works.

Police say criminals can encode new cards with the information they steal via the skimmer to have a functioning card in hand when they make their illegal purchases.

It’s believed the man goes through self-checkouts to avoid contact with store employees.

Customers at the BP Monday night say they had heard of skimming schemes before but were surprised it happened there.

Police say the man may be responsible for thousands in fraudulent purchases.

Authorities advise that customers pull on the housing of a card reader before swiping to see if it comes loose. They also say to make sure there’s not something placed on top of the factory installed reader.

<![CDATA[$6K Reward Offered a Year After South Suburban Murder]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 21:10:07 -0600 //media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dearrea+haymond.jpg

The mayor of a south suburb is offering $6,000 for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the fatal shooting of a teenage mother last year.

DeArrea Haymond, 19, was killed and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Brendan Hudson was shot three times, with bullets hitting the side of his head, stomach and knee in Dolton last year in January.

"Dolton police have a person of interest but they are hoping that tomorrow's press conference will lead to more evidence," said Haymon's mother, Dalena Ingram.

The couple was sitting in a car last year in the driveway of Hudson's family home on Irving Avenue, across from Thornridge High School. Hudson's mother Colleen Hudson was home at the time, and says the doorbell rang. When she went outside, she found her son with multiple gunshot wounds.

“Mom, I’ve been shot,” he said.

Mayor Riley Rogers says he wants people to come forward if they have any information on the fatal shooting.

In an effort to help solve the crime, the village has teamed up with community activist Andrew Holmes to offer the reward money.

The mayor says they have a person of interest in Haymond’s death but police need the public’s help to close the case.

“This is a case that the mother is still grieving,” Rogers said. “She asked us to try and bring more attention to try and get it solved.”

Holmes said he hopes residents will help the police—and so did Haymond’s family.

“I think about her and wish she was here,” Ingram said. “Me and my grandbaby talk about her every day and every night—I pray someone will call in and give some kind of information.”

The village of Dolton will make a formal announcement about the reward Tuesday.

If anyone has information about the case they should call Dolton police.