<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usTue, 03 May 2016 17:10:39 -0500Tue, 03 May 2016 17:10:39 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mother Dies After 'Random' Shooting on Way Home From Dells]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 15:27:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/suburban+mom.png

An Illinois woman shot while headed home from a popular water park with her husband and two kids has died, two days after the apparently random attack on a Wisconsin interstate.

Tracy Czaczkowski, 44, was shot Sunday in what authorities said was a random drive-by shooting on Interstate 90/94 near mile post 95 in Sauk County.

A gunman fired three times into the car as Czaczkowski's family vehicle attempted to pass the shooter’s Chevy Blazer, according to NBC affiliate station in Madison WMTV.

Czaczkowski, of Buffalo Grove, was traveling with her husband, an employee with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and two kids at the time of the shooting. They were traveling home from Wisconsin Dells.

She was taken to at an area hospital Sunday where she was initially listed in very critical condition. No other injuries were reported. 

"We are sad to announce just days before Mother’s Day the passing of Tracy Czaczkowski," the DEA said in a statement. "Tracy passed away due to injuries received from a gunshot wound on May 01, 2016. While traveling on I-90, returning from a weekend family trip. Tracy is a loving wife of 15 years, mother of two tender age children, daughter and friend. The husband has been a DEA employee for 11 years in service to his community and country. The family is asking for privacy in this difficult time so that they can comfort each other. The family would like to say thank you for the prayers and out pouring of support for Tracy."

The alleged shooter was stopped on the interstate near DeForest using spike strips and was ultimately shot by two Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly refused to drop his gun, according to WMTV. His condition was not immediately known.

The gunman is also suspected in a West Allis, Wisconsin homicide that happened hours before the reported drive-by. 

According to the DEA, funeral arrangements for Czaczkowski have not yet been announced.

"Those wishing to assist the children with future needs such as education are asked to visit their go fund me page at www.gofundme.com under the Czaczkowski Family Fund," the agency said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 / Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Epstein's 'Hot Stove, Cool Music' Announces Headlining Act]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 11:05:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/82593007.jpg

Since he arrived in Chicago, Cubs President Theo Epstein has held an annual showcase called “Hot Stove, Cool Music,” and the event’s organizers have announced their headlining act.

That act will be Liz Phair, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka. Phair, who was nominated for a pair of Grammy’s and has won two ASCAP Awards, will join a slew of musicians performing at the event, which will take place on June 17 at Metro Chicago, just one block northwest of Wrigley Field.

“It’s been gratifying to see Hot Stove Cool Music take root in Chicago and this year’s line-up of talented musicians will ensure we continue the tradition with another great night of music, baseball and giving back,” Epstein said. “We’re humbled by the generosity of all the musicians, sponsors, fans, and volunteers who come together to help us raise funds to support Chicago youth and families.”

Cubs broadcast Len Kasper and MLB Analyst Peter Gammons will be among the musicians lending their talent to the event, which will raise money for Epstein’s “Foundation to be Named Later.” During the foundation’s existence, which began in 2005, it has donated over $8 million grants to 220 non-profit organizations in Chicago and Boston, according to a press release.

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, May 6 at noon, and will be available on the Metro’s website and at the box office. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Friends of The Parks Agrees to Halt Lucas Museum Lawsuit]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 10:21:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/lucas+museum+mccormick+site.png

Friends of the Parks agreed to halt their lawsuit against the City of Chicago’s proposed Lucas Museum. 

In a Tuesday morning new release, the non-profit group said the decision to suspend the suit will give “the opportunity to have a more direct and productive dialogue to reach a potential solution about a museum site.” 

On Monday the City of Chicago formally asked for a 30-day reprieve from an ongoing lawsuit, noting that they are actively seeking a new site for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Exploring an alternative plan would involve a portion of the site currently occupied the McCormick Place Lakeside Center. 

“The remaining land resulting from the demolition of Lakeside Center will be converted into twelve acres of new parkland, to be owned by the Park District for public use and enjoyment, with the new parkland maintained (by the Lucas museum) at its sole cost for 99 years,” that motion states, conceding that “various aspects of the proposed plan will require state approval through legislation enacted by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.” 

The total cost of the plan has been estimated at over $1 billion, with Lucas contributing over $700 million. Part of the plan would involve construction of new exhibition space. But the financing package also calls for restructuring certain taxes, and extension of McPier’s current borrowing authority .

The gambit appears to be a risky one, with even the City conceding that barring the necessary legislative action by the end of this session, the litigation should be allowed to resume.

Photo Credit: Sky 5]]>
<![CDATA[Lucas Museum 'Seriously Pursuing' Locations Outside of Chicago]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 17:03:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/219*120/mccormick+lucas+rendering.jpg

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art says it is now "seriously pursuing" locations outside of Chicago after Friends of the Parks announced Tuesday that it opposes any site on the city’s lakefront, including the recently announced McCormick Place Lakeside Center plan.

The move was a change in direction for Friends of the Park, which had earlier agreed to halt their lawsuit against the city's proposed plan. 

On Monday, the City of Chicago formally asked for a 30-day reprieve from an ongoing lawsuit, noting that they are actively seeking a new site for the museum. In a Tuesday morning news release, the non-profit group said the decision to suspend the suit would give “the opportunity to have a more direct and productive dialogue to reach a potential solution about a museum site.” 

Their lawsuit targets the museum’s original site, located between Soldier Field and McCormick Place.

But, Friends of the Parks made it clear Tuesday that it opposes any site on Chicago’s lakefront. The group said it will either amend the existing lawsuit to encompass the new McCormick Place Lakeside Center site or file a new suit, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We're disappointed and baffled at Friends of the Parks' comments, which are contradictory to the decision they made less than 24 hours ago to stay the lawsuit,” City Hall spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier said in a statement. “Friends of the Parks has taken inconsistent and incoherent positions, making it impossible to work with them.”

The city has now withdrawn their request to put the court proceedings on pause.

Mellody Hobson, the wife of George Lucas, claimed her and her husband’s efforts to build the museum have been “co-opted and hijacked” by Friends of the Parks.

“When the Friends of the Parks sued the city in order to preserve a parking lot, we were offered a different and feasible solution—the replacement of an underutilized and outdated convention space that would also add more than 12 acres of new parkland,” Hobson said in a statement. “Yet, even with this additional park space, an organization that claims to ‘preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of parks and open space' now opposes this as well.”

“While they claim to be a ‘strong steward of Chicago and a partner to its progress,’ their actions and decision rob our state of more than $2 billion in economic benefits, thousands of jobs and countless educational opportunities for children and adults alike,” Hobson added.

Photo Credit: George Lucas Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Artem Anisimov Undergoes Surgery on Right Wrist]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 16:04:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ARTEM+ANISIMOV1.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks got exactly what they wanted out of center Artem Anisimov this season, but the veteran forward is on the mend after undergoing surgery on his right wrist, the team announced Tuesday.

Anisimov, who scored 20 goals and dished out 22 assists in 77 games this season, found his niche as the center on the Blackhawks’ second line. Both Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane had remarkable seasons, with Panarin nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy and Kane a likely nominee for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player.

The Blackhawks do anticipate that Anisimov will be back in the fold in time for not only training camp with the Hawks, but also should be fully healed up by the time the Russian World Cup squad begins gearing up for the tournament in Toronto this fall.

“Artem Anisimov underwent surgery today to repair an injury on his right wrist,” team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement. “The surgery went well. We anticipate his return to full hockey activities in approximately six to eight weeks.” 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[White Sox Designate John Danks for Assignment]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 15:59:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/danks+sox+v+orioles.JPG

The Chicago White Sox have had outstanding starting pitching this season, but the one weak link in their rotation is headed out of town.

That pitcher is lefty John Danks, who was designated for assignment by the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon. Danks has had an atrocious start to the season, sporting an 0-4 record with a 7.25 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP in just four starts this season. The last straw came in a Thursday start against the Baltimore Orioles, when he gave up six runs in five innings of work at Camden Yards.

The White Sox have several options in the system to call up to replace Danks, but haven’t made the official decision yet. Miguel Gonzalez would seem to be the most likely option, but he's nursing an injury, opening the door for a player like Erik Johnson to make the jump. 

Danks was originally slated to start for the White Sox on Wednesday as they welcome the Boston Red Sox to U.S. Cellular Field. 

The move means the White Sox are on the hook for the remaining $15.75 million on Danks' contract. The veteran pitcher, who would have been a free agent at the end of the season, is now free to sign with another team.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[From Cruz Conspiracies to Cheering Muslims: Trump's Wild Claims ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 15:59:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trumpImages-527466972.jpg

In the latest in a string of incendiary and often conspiratorial comments, Donald Trump on Tuesday linked Ted Cruz’s father to President John F. Kennedy’s assassin.

Trump, on the day Indiana went to the polls, repeated assertions made by the National Enquirer that the Cuban-born Raphael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Cuba pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963.

"I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?" Trump asked in an interview with Fox News. "It’s horrible."

Cruz’s campaign called the article “garbage.”

From Muslims celebrating en masse after the World Trade Center fell to disparaging the qualifications of his rivals for the presidency, here are some of Trump’s most provocative statements.

"Thousands of people were cheering"
Trump claimed to have seen thousands of Muslims rejoicing in Jersey City when the Twin Towers fell during the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down," he said at a rally in Alabama in November. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down."

"So something’s going on," he said. "We’ve got to find out what it is."

There were no verified reports of mass jubilation on Sept. 11 — though NJ.com found some residents and a police officer who said they saw small groups of people celebrating.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop tweeted that Trump’s statement was "absurd."

Cruz’s Canadian birth

Before the Iowa caucuses, Trump speculated that Cruz was not eligible to run for president because he was born in Calgary, Canada, and had held both American and Canadian citizenship.

According to the Constitution, the president must be a "natural born citizen" though it does not specify what that term means.

The Texas Republican is a U.S. citizen because his mother is one — and some scholars say the Constitutional issue is not settled.

In February, angry over ads, Trump threatened to sue Cruz.

And what about Rubio?
In another tweet in February, Trump raised questions about whether Marco Rubio could run for the White House. But the Florida senator, who has since dropped out of the race, was born in Miami, though to parents who had immigrated from Cuba.

Trump claimed simply to have retweeted an argument that neither Rubio nor Cruz were eligible.

"I've never looked at it, George," Trump told George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s "This Week." "I honestly have never looked at it. As somebody said, he's not. And I retweeted it. I have 14 million people between Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, and I retweet things and we start dialogue and it's very interesting."

Born in Kenya?
Trump’s birther claims began with President Barack Obama in 2012, when the New York businessman repeatedly questioned whether Obama was indeed born in the United States. At one of his campaign events, he allowed a false claim that Obama is Muslim to go unchallenged.

Pigs blood
Another discredited story that Trump repeats: Gen. John Pershing shot Muslim extremists in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pigs' blood. 

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[ Cubs Place Matt Szczur on 15-Day Disabled List]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 15:17:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/163*120/GettyImages-527173750.jpg

The Chicago Cubs are dealing with yet another injury on their roster, as outfielder Matt Szczur has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Szczur, who was filling in for the injured Jason Heyward in right field for the Cubs, sustained a hamstring injury while running the bases in Monday’s victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Szczur underwent an MRI on the injury on Tuesday morning, and the team elected to place him on the disabled list after the examination.

The Cubs made a corresponding roster move as they shift Szczur to the DL, with outfielder Ryan Kalish coming up to the big league team from triple-A Iowa. Kalish last made an appearance in a big league game in 2014 with the Cubs, when he drove in five RBI and stole three bases in 130 plate appearances with the north siders.

This season, Kalish has already scored 15 runs and driven in four RBI in 70 plate appearances with the Iowa Cubs. He is also sporting a .368 batting average and an excellent .471 on-base percentage in the limited sample size.

With both Heyward and Szczur out of the mix, the Cubs will turn to Kris Bryant for the start in right field on Tuesday night. Bryant is still dealing with some lingering effects from an injury himself, having suffered a sprained ankle last week. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NTSB Slams DC Metro Safety]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 14:26:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/0112-lenfant-Metro-smoke-dianne-wallace.jpg

The Washington, D.C. Metro often used trains filled with passengers to look for sources of smoke or fire, according to a revelation at a federal safety hearing Tuesday on a 2015 incident that killed an Alexandria woman.

It's a claim that Metro is now disputing — but earlier Tuesday, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the practice is no longer in place.

Wiedefeld said he didn't know whether such an action was performed Jan. 12, 2015, the day that 61-year-old Carol Glover died and scores of others were sickened when smoke filled a Metro tunnel and trains near L'Enfant Plaza.

Wiedefeld said trains with passengers aboard are no longer sent to check out smoke or fire, but an empty train may be sent. Wiedefeld, who took over Metro in November, said he didn't know when the practice had changed.

Later, Metro disputed the finding from the National Transportation Safety Board. But the NTSB said it was a common practice at Metro — an action the agency called "reprehensible."

"[The] investigation found that it was common practice to use trains with passengers to investigate reports of fire or smoke instead of stopping all trains and using a qualified person to follow up on a report," the NTSB said during Tuesday's hearing.

A Metro source said the Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) tells the train operator to perform a "track inspection," usually with passengers on board. With that process, if the train happens to come across a fire, or other hazard in the tunnel, it's too late to perform a reverse.

On Jan. 12, 2015, an electrical malfunction caused a Metro tunnel to fill with thick, black smoke and stranded many riders, including Glover, when their Yellow Line train stopped in the tunnel.

Glover died of acute respiratory failure due to smoke exposure.

During Tuesday's hearing, the NTSB also released the probable cause of the deadly incident: "a prolonged short circuit that consumed power system components resulting from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) ineffective inspection and maintenance practices." The hearing comes with a familiar line from the NTSB: that safety is not a big enough priority at Metro.

The NTSB said Tuesday that whatever could have gone wrong that afternoon did go wrong.

If Metro had followed the proper procedures to stop all trains at the first report of smoke, the NTSB said, the train never would have gotten stuck in the tunnel. Instead, 15 minutes elapsed from time that Metro initially reported smoke until the time a call for emergency assistance was made. As time went on, power failed.

The NTSB said Tuesday the problems that led to the deadly incident were caused by senior management's failure to proactively deal with "foreseeable safety risks," as well as the "inadequate oversight" of the Tri-State Oversight Committee and the Federal Transit Administration.

The NTSB said a strong oversight group is needed to force Metro to make safety its top priority. NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said Metro focuses on safety after an incident, but then takes its eye off the ball.

Hart has confidence in the new leadership at Metro, he said Tuesday.

During the hours-long hearing, the NTSB issued a list of 43 findings that it says led to the the deadly L'Enfant Plaza incident — including improperly secured and covered power cables, water problems, poor training and lack of procedures and proper maintenance.

The NTSB said both the tunnel fans during the L'Enfant incident were in "pull" mode, therefore drawing smoke toward the station and over the train.

The NTSB also found fault with the distance between smoke detectors during the L'Enfant incident: 2,000 feet, or more than half a football field. Metro needs more smoke detectors, the NTSB said.

Glover's family has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Metro, accusing the transit agency of negligence.

Patrick Reagan, an attorney representing Glover's family, said in everything he's studied about the accident, Metro simply wasn't taking care of its system.

"That's absolutely at the top of the list to see just what preventive maintenance they've been doing," Reagan said. "Apparently from what we've been told by our experts, they were just ignoring it. They weren't doing any preventative maintenance."

"Carol was the heart of that whole entire family," Reagan said. "She was a mother, a daughter, a grandmother and a sibling."

The lawsuit in federal court was unable to move forward until a cause of the incident was determined, which the NTSB released during Tuesday's hearing.

This is the 13th NTSB investigation of a safety incident on Metro and the ninth since 2004.

Photo Credit: Dianne Wallace
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<![CDATA[CPS Announced New Guidelines in Support of Transgender Students]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 13:51:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/restroom.jpg

Chicago Public Schools announced new guidelines Tuesday to support transgender students and employees. 

Among the changes, providing students access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. Schools will also be required to provide accommodations and support for anyone questioning their identity. 

“The guidelines released today will help ensure every student and adult in the CPS family can participate in an environment of complete tolerance and respect,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “CPS, like much of the country, has become far more aware of the needs and experiences of the transgender community, and it’s crucial for CPS guidelines to reflect our commitment to promoting safe and inclusive schools.” 

Also included in the reform, if at any time students request more privacy or alternate options, schools will provide with an alternative arrangement that provides them the comfort needed.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Indiana Voters Head to Polls for Primary]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 13:12:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000017630293_1200x675_678534211895.jpg Tuesday's primary election in Indiana could be make-or-break for candidates. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.]]> <![CDATA[Ex-NFL Star Refutes Rape Charges]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 14:39:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/49ER+PRESSER+-+10454427.jpg

Attorneys for former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield fired back Tuesday against allegations that the NFL star raped a disabled woman, calling the charges "absolutely ridiculous" and saying Stubblefield's accuser was motivated by money.

Stubblefield, 45, joined his legal team at his church, Jubilee Christian Center, for a news conference in San Jose the day after charges were filed. He faces five felony counts of rape, oral copulation and false imprisonment in connection with the April 9, 2015 encounter, which unfolded at his then-home in Morgan Hill. Two of the charges allege he engaged in activity with a victim incapable of giving consent.

The alleged victim had visited the property to interview for a babysitting job.  Prosecutors have called the woman developmentally disabled, but Stubblefield's attorneys insisted she is of sound mind.

"I am completely innocent," Stubblefield said, surrounded by a bank of attorneys, adding that he would take no questions. "I am not a perfect man but the allegations against that come a year after a consensual encounter with another woman are totally false."

The retired defensive tackle said the allegations are especially hurtful because he has focused much of his charity work on the Special Olympics.

"That was one of his primary charities," said defense attorney Gary Winuk, "and he spent countless hours with people with special needs. That's why this is so deeply offensive."

Winuk said Stubblefield and his defense team had gathered Tuesday to "firmly refute the charges" and question why it took so long — 13 months — for police and prosecutors to charge the case.

Prosecutors have said the woman, who was 31 at the time, interviewed with Stubblefield for 20 minutes that day, but left, the police report said. He allegedly texted her shortly afterward, saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day, the report said. When she returned, that's when prosecutors allege he raped her and forced her to "orally copulate him," the report stated. He then gave her $80 and let her go. She went immediately to the Morgan Hill Police Department after the encounter to report that she had been raped.

Winuk took aim at the alleged victim, calling into question her criminal past. He said the woman had been convicted of assault and resisting arrest from an unknown location in 2013 and had also been charged in connection with a hit-and-run.

He also said she filed two unknown civil lawsuits and pleaded guilty to an unknown assault charge. Winuk claimed the woman asked Stubblefield for money — texting him 22 times — after they had what he described as consensual sex. Attorneys claimed she was asking him for money.

"This is nothing but a money grab, and an attempt to get money and take advantage of his celebrity status," Winuk said, adding that prosecutors sought "to sensationalize this case" and "arrest someone of notoriety."

He said the woman in question has enough mental capacity to plead guilty, apply for a job and have sexual relations, saying the DA's claim that she is developmentally disabled is "absolute nonsense."

Why the two would have had sex immediately after a job interview was not explained. "The purpose of this news conference was not to flesh out everything that happened," Winuk said. "That's what a jury trial is for."

Aside from the rape charges, Winuk questioned why Morgan Hill police would have arrested Stubblefield outside his childrens' school. He said the former player had been cooperative and would have turned himself in.

Stubblefield also provided the district attorney's office results from an independent lie detector test that clearly showed the encounter was consensual, according to Winuk.

But prosecutors, who were not at the news conference, said on Monday there was enough evidence to charge Stubblefield with rape after a prolonged investigation.

"This was a crime of violence against a vulnerable victim," Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny said in a statement. "She was looking for a job and she was unconscionably assaulted."

Stubblefield posted $250,000 bail Monday night and was released. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 3 at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

The football player has encountered legal trouble in the past.

In 2010, a federal judge sentenced the former 49ers star to 90 days in jail for stealing his former girlfriend's mail. Also that year, Stubblefield admitted to submitting a change of address form so his former girlfriend's mail, including her unemployment checks, would be delivered to his residence.

Stubblefield was placed on probation in 2009 after pleading guilty to lying to investigators about his steroid use during his days on the field.

He played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. Stubblefield later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and '02 before finishing his career with the Oakland Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers' in 1993, recorded 10.5 sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997, and signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.

He also served as assistant coach at San Jose's Valley Christian High School.

CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and NBC Bay Area's Steve Ellison, Raj Mathai, Cheryl Hurd and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs Players Model Unique Fashion Choices]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 12:49:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/215*120/cubs+outfits.jpg The Chicago Cubs’ quest to “stay loose” on their road trip to Pittsburgh has turned out to be a retail home run for the Amsterdam company selling these loud ensembles.]]> <![CDATA[Sanders Within Striking Distance of Clinton for Ind. Primary]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 10:50:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/sanders-clinton-split.jpg

In Indiana, where the latest poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's primary, Kristen Callihan will not even contemplate a general election without the Vermont senator as the Democratic candidate.

Callihan, a 44-year-old freelance writer from Michigan City, likes Sanders' honesty and integrity, that he is not a flip-flopper, and that he fought for civil rights in the 1960s. Callihan says she is no fan of Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, nor of Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

"[Sanders] is going to win," she said. "That’s all I’m thinking about."

But can Indiana provide enough of a boost to Sanders, badly behind in the delegate count as he is? If he were to lose, would his supporters back Clinton?

Going into Tuesday’s primary, Clinton leads Sanders by 4 percentage points, 50 percent to 46 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. The poll's margin of error was 4.6 percentage points. As in past contests, Clinton leads with those 45 and older, while Sanders is ahead among younger voters.

Clinton and Sanders likely will divide the Democrats’ 83 delegates in Indiana, and that will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side, said Lee M. Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Sanders trails significantly in the overall delegate count, with 1,367 of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, while Clinton has 1,663, according to a count by The Associated Press. Clinton also has 520 superdelegates, who are free to support any candidate, to Sanders' 39.

Among likely Republican primary voters in Indiana, Trump is ahead by 15 points and is positioned to take of all the state’s 57 Republican delegates, a big step toward winning the nomination outright. Trump has 956 of the 1,237 delegates needed to win, after a landslide victory in the New York primary two weeks ago and wins in the five Northeastern states that held contests last week — the so-called "Acela primary," after Amtrak’s Acela Express. That compares to 546 for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and 153 for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

"After the Acela primary, there is an aura of inevitability surrounding the Trump and Clinton candidacies," Miringoff said in a statement.

Sanders has acknowledged how difficult it would be to win the 64 percent of remaining delegates he needs to secure the nomination, but he insists he is still in the race, fighting for every vote and delegate, and says the convention will be contested. He held three rallies Monday, the last day before voting.

"It is admittedly a tough hill to climb, but not an impossible one," Sanders told supporters.

But his fundraising has plummeted, off by more than 40 percent in April over March, and he has had to lay off campaign staffers. As Clinton turns her attention increasingly toward the general election, Sanders told a crowd in Evansville, Indiana, on Monday: "Our ideas, the political revolution transforming America, are the ideas for the future of this country and the future of the Democratic Party."

On Sunday night in Detroit, Clinton focused her comments on Trump, not Sanders, in a preview of the general election.

"We cannot let Barack Obama's legacy fall into Donald Trump's hands," she said. "We can't let all the hard work and progress we have achieved over the last seven and a half years be torn away."

Kelly Jay, a musician from South Bend, Indiana, said a debate is raging on Facebook over whether to vote for Clinton should Sanders withdraw. The Clinton campaign has done too much to alienate Sanders supporters, he said.

"I think they’re confident that they can win the general election without the progressive faction of the party," Jay said.

The young people who swarm to the Sanders rallies and favor him over Clinton care about the issues Sanders is addressing: curbing global warming, taking on the enormous inequities between rich and poor, and massive student loans.

"They owe no loyalty to the Democratic Party," Jay said. "And they've said over and over again, 'We don't want Hillary Clinton, we're not going to vote for her.'"

Heath Hensley, a union electrician who lives in Muncie, Indiana, says he was captivated by Sanders the first time he heard him speak and immediately began working to get him on the state’s ballot. A longtime admirer of Eugene Debs, who was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a presidential candidate for the Socialist party, Hensley, 38, said he was surprised that someone as progressive as Sanders was running for president.

"I’ve just been nuts about him," Hensley said.

Whether or not Sanders wins the nomination, Hensley said he would continue talking about the issues Sanders has raised — including international trade agreements that have harmed American workers — and support progressive candidates for political office. The Democratic Party is abandoning working-class people in favor of college-educated professionals, while the Republicans have nothing to offer labor, he said.

"I don’t want to see Trump get the nomination, but at the same time I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008 because I didn’t like her and I didn’t trust her then and I do not plan on voting for her now," Hensley said.

In New York, 23-year-old Carla Cruz was planning to work a phone bank for Sanders in advance of the Indiana primary. She remained hopeful despite Sanders' loss in New York, though she was disturbed by reports of voters dropped from the rolls and being turned away.

She said she also would not vote for Clinton.

"I don't think she's any better than Trump," she said. 

If Sanders fails to win the nomination, Carla Cruz will continue to work to limit the influence of corporations and special interests in elections. 

A suggestion from Trump's campaign manager recently that Sanders' supporters embrace the New York businessman was not met with much enthusiasm. 

"Bernie Sanders has large crowds — not as large as Mr. Trump's, but large crowds — and so there is a level of excitement there for people about his messaging and we will bring those people in," Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN.

Miringoff said how much support Sanders' backers give Clinton will depend on the senator.

"This is all premature," he said. "He will be important in signaling whether it's up to the individual supporters to decide what they want to do or the key thing is to defeat Donald Trump."

Clinton was magnanimous when she lost to President Barack Obama in 2008, he said. But, as an independent, Sanders' ties to the Democratic Party are not as strong.

"We'll just have to see how it all plays out," Miringoff said. "But I suspect he will not be as gracious as she was to Obama in '08."

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Hot Doug’s Returns: 'Dog Dayz of Summer' Festival Tickets on Sale]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 07:20:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hot+Dougs.png

Hot Doug's will be back for one weekend only this summer in the form of a beer and music festival.

The owner of the ever-popular hot dog shop, Doug Sohn, teamed up with Goose Island Beer Company again this year to present the 2nd annual “Dog Dayz of Summer” being held on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25.

For $74.84, ticket holders will get an exclusive and unlimited tasting of the “best hits from Hot Doug’s” paired with beer and live music. Cost of admission includes eating as many sausages as your heart desires. There will be 10 dog varieties, but the event urges festival-goers to "eat freely."

For attendees over 21, tickets include three regular beer tickets plus a special token for a specialty tapping of a rare Goose Island beer (while supplies last).

The event will be hosted at Goose Island Barrel Warehouse at 605 N Sacramento. There are three separate sessions to choose from for the festival weekend: Friday 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday 12 to 3 p.m. or Saturday 5 to 8 p.m.

Spots are limited and can be purchased by visiting dogdayzofsummer.com, with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting the Intonation Music Workshop.

Musical Lineup:

Friday, June 24, 6:00 PM Session - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah 

Saturday, June 25, Noon Session - The Waco Brothers 

Saturday, June 25, 5:00 PM Session - The Tossers

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Man Cleared of Crime After 10 Yrs]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 18:09:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Gatling-AP_16123738951308.jpg

A Virginia man who spent a decade in prison after pleading guilty to a New York City slaying over 50 years ago was cleared of the crime Monday.

At the request of a prosecutor, a judge vacated the conviction of 81-year-old Paul Gatling for the 1963 shooting death of Lawrence Rothbort. In doing so, the judge apologized and Gatling hugged his crying ex-wife and a friend.

"There's a lot of water gone under the bridge, but the bridge is still standing," Gatling said after the court proceeding.

The prosecutor asked that the conviction be vacated after Gatling, a retired landscaper, asked the prosecutor's Conviction Review Unit to look into his case.

"Paul Gatling repeatedly proclaimed his innocence even as he faced the death penalty back in the 60s," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said. "He was pressured to plead guilty and, sadly, did not receive a fair trial."

Gatling, who walked with a cane as he entered the court, said he came from a civic-minded family and "this has stopped me from voting on every level."

Rothbort was shot in his Brooklyn home. His wife told police that a man with a shotgun had entered the apartment and demanded money, shooting her husband when he refused. She provided a description, but no suspect was found.

Thompson said Gatling, 29 at the time, was questioned after another man said he saw him in the area. That man was a witness in other cases and was known to have committed perjury, Thompson said, adding that other circumstances also led to Gatling not receiving a fair trial.

Rothbort's wife, nine-months pregnant at the time of the trial, said Gatling was the man who had killed her husband, despite not being able to identify him in a line up previously. No physical evidence tied him to the crime. Defense attorneys were never given some police reports, including a description of the suspect as several years younger than Gatling.

Gatling's attorney and family pressed him to plead guilty to second-degree murder, afraid that he would otherwise face the death penalty if convicted. He agreed, and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison in October 1964. His sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller at the behest of the Legal Aid Society and he was released in January 1974.

His exoneration marks the 20th time in two years that the prosecutor's Conviction Review Unit has helped clear defendants found guilty in Brooklyn of crimes they did not commit, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Questions Linger 15 Years After Chandra Levy Slaying]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 11:26:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Chandra-AP_146851304930.jpg

Fifteen years after Washington intern Chandra Levy was killed and her body dumped in the woods, the pain is still fresh.

"He's got tremendous anger. I have tremendous sadness," said Levy's mother, Susan, who joined her husband for an interview with NBC's "Today" show. "The anger and sadness is really the same."

Levy, 24, a California native, disappeared May 1, 2001 while interning for the federal government in Washington, D.C. Her body was found a year later in a densely wooded area of Rock Creek Park.

The case captivated the nation amid allegations of an affair between Levy and her hometown congressman, Gary Condit. Even her father speculated about the relationship and Condit's possible involvement in the case.

"Girls have their own minds, especially if they're seduced by someone who is older and wiser," Robert Levy said in an interview at the time.

Condit was quickly ruled out, but his career suffered a fatal blow. The congressman sought re-election but lost his seat in 2002.

Attention later turned to Ingmar Guandique, an immigrant from El Salvador who, according to his one-time cellmate, confessed while in prison to killing Chandra Levy. Guandique was serving 10 years for attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park.

He was charged with Chandra Levy's murder in 2009 and convicted in 2010 in a case based largely on circumstantial evidence. Although sentenced to 60 years in prison, questions about the validity of his cellmate's claims earned Guandique a retrial, set to begin this October.

"As far as I can see, it's just some defense attorneys trying to make themselves a name and make more money," Robert Levy told the "Today" show. "You know, he's guilty."

Regardless of what happens when the case goes back to court, Chandra Levy's parents will continue to grieve.

"No matter what, we don't get our daughter back," Susan Levy said.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Detroit Grapples With Teacher Sickouts, Water Shutoffs]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 10:48:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_16123644065118.jpg

Nearly all of Detroit's schools were closed Tuesday as hundreds of teachers called out sick for a second day over concerns that many may not get paid amid a funding crisis, NBC News reported. 

Dozens of teachers gathered outside district headquarters with signs with messages like "No pay no work" and "DPS better have my money" and "This is teacher abuse."

The city was also dealing with a second crisis — this one related to the solvency of the city's water system. The city's Department of Water and Sewerage was preparing to start shutting off water to thousands of commercial and residential customers who have defaulted on their payments.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Suburban Woman Shot While Returning From Dells With Family]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 22:41:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/wis+dells+shooting.png

An Illinois woman on her way home from the Wisconsin Dells with her family was shot in what is believed to have been a random drive-by shooting on a Wisconsin interstate, authorities said Monday. 

The 44-year-old was a passenger in a vehicle driving on Interstate 90/94 near mile post 95 in Sauk County when a gunman fired three times into the car as it attempted to pass the shooter’s Chevy Blazer, according to NBC affiliate station in Madison WMTV.

The woman, identified by family as Tracy Czaczkowski of Buffalo Grove, was traveling with her husband and two kids at the time of the shooting. She was taken to at an area hospital Sunday where she was listed in very critical condition. No other injuries were reported. 

The alleged shooter was stopped on the interstate near DeForest using spike strips and was ultimately shot by two Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies after he allegedly refused to drop his gun, according to WMTV. His condition was not immediately known.

The gunman is also suspected in a West Allis, Wisconsin homicide that happened hours before the reported drive-by. 

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story reported the woman had been pronounced dead. The woman, however, was listed in critical condition. 

Photo Credit: WMTV]]>
<![CDATA[Construction to Begin for Chicago's 3rd-Tallest Building]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 10:37:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/340*120/20150413_Wanda+Vista_Courtesy+of+Studio+Gang2.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that construction will soon begin on a 95-story skyscraper that will become the city’s third-tallest building.

The Vista Tower along the Chicago River will house a 5-star hotel with approximately 200 hotel rooms, more than 400 condominiums and approximately 9,000-square feet of retail space, according to a press release from the mayor's office. 

The building will stand at nearly 1,200 feet tall on Wacker Drive near Lake Michigan, making it the third-tallest. The Willis Tower still takes the city's top spot, reaching 1,729 feet tall to the tip, followed by Trump International Hotel and Tower spanning up to 1,362 feet.

Vista Tower is designed by award-winning architect and Chicago native Jeanne Gang at Studio Gang Architects. The building could also reportedly become the world’s tallest building designed by a woman-owned firm.

The project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs, city officials said.

At a cost of $900 million, the project is China's largest-ever real estate investment in Chicago and one of the largest in the U.S. 

Photo Credit: Studio Gang Architects
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<![CDATA[CPS Teachers Lean Against May Strike]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 14:25:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CTU+Strike.png

Parents in Chicago may not have to worry about a teachers strike this school year. 

The Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey confirmed to NBC 5 Monday that a strike is unlikely to happen this month, but he's not ruling out the possibility of a strike in September. 

State law allowed teachers to walk off the job as early as mid-May, but the union decided against it because it would result in the loss of their salary and health insurance heading into the summer months.

Teachers were also concerned about losing the support of parents who would be forced to find last-minute child care during a disruption to the end of the school year. 

A more likely strike date would be in September, after teachers get their first paychecks of the new school year, Sharkey said. 

Summer months would give both CTU and Chicago Public Schools additional time to come to terms on a new contract. It also gives state legislators time to consider additional school funding proposals. 

The union bargaining committee plan to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible strike date.

The union said in a statement released Monday, however, that members have yet to make an official decision.

"The Union’s members have yet to decide when or if we will go on strike in the coming days or during the next school year. State law requires a 10-day notice to our employer if we intend to do so," CTU spokeswoman Stephanie Gadlin said in a statement. “Until such notice is given, the CTU is asking all of its members to continue to show solidarity in CPS buildings by wearing red on Fridays, using lunch breaks to talk about long-term revenue solutions and continuing to work with parents and students as this school year creeps to a close. If CPS ends the school year now, it is because its broke-on-purpose budgeting schemes could not afford to keep the doors open in the first place.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tupac's Mother Dies]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 13:53:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/afeni-GettyImages-71836885.jpg

The mother of the late rapper Tupac Shakur has died in Sausalito, California, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. She was 69.

Deputies responded to the home of Afeni Shakur Davis around 9:30 p.m. Monday, after receiving the report of a person possibly in cardiac arrest, according to Lt. Doug Pittman.

Davis was taken to the hospital, where she died about an hour later, Pittman said. The coroner’s office will lead the investigation into her death.

Pittman called her a "well-loved and well-respected" woman in the community who served as a leader and activist, especially in southern Marin County. "This is a tragic loss to this community," he said.

Pittman held a news conference Tuesday to assure the public that no foul play was suspected at this point. Davis was in the company of her friend when she started experiencing discomfort, he said. At that point, her friend called 911.

Born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, North Carolina, Davis was a reformed drug addict and member of the Black Panther Party, according to biographer Jasmine Guy.

Davis served nearly a year in prison for allegedly conspiring to bomb police stations and department stories in New York City just before giving birth to Tupac in 1971.

She served as her own defense attorney and was acquitted multiple times, according to an account of her trial in a book called The Briar Patch by former attorney Murray Kempton.

Davis was the subject of Tupac's Billboard hit "Dear Mama," released in 1995. Her fans on social media referenced that song in their tweets and posts.

A year later, she founded the now-defunct Tupac Amaru Shakur Center of Art Center in Stone Mountain, Georgia, to preserve her son's legacy.

Tupac, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. The hip-hop legend's best-selling albums include "All Eyez on Me" and "Greatest Hits."

Shakur attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley and lived in public housing in Marin County. He started his career in the early '90s with Digital underground, an alternative hip hop group from Oakland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ISIS Attack Kills US Navy SEAL in Iraq]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 16:30:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/carter-AP_16119550975525-%281%29.jpg

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in an ISIS attack in Iraq, officials said Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the U.S. serviceman was advising and assisting Kurdish Peshmerga forces north of Mosul when ISIS launched an attack. 

Earlier, U.S. military officials told NBC News the American was killed by direct fire about 2 to 3 miles behind the Peshmerga's forward line during a large-scale attack by ISIS. The U.S. launched 20 airstrikes in response to that assault, military officials said. 

"It is a combat death," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday. 

Tuesday's was the third U.S. combat death in Iraq in the past seven months.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Chemical Found in NY Drinking Water]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 13:01:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/newburgh+water+plant.jpg

Update: The state of emergency has been rescinded by City Manager Michael Ciaravino. Our coverage is here

A city in New York's Hudson Valley has declared a state of emergency after potentially harmful chemicals were found in one of its drinking water sources. 

Newburgh City Manager Michael G. Ciaravino says perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, was found in Silver Stream and Washington Lake.

The Newburgh water department is implementing emergency measures to reduce or eliminate PFOS, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation is working to track down and shut down the source, officials say. 

In the meantime, the city is no longer using Lake Washington as its source of drinking water until further notice. Newburgh will be getting its water supply from Brown's Pond and the Catskills Aqueduct in the interim. 

Because the city is using alternative water, residents are being asked to conserve water. Restrictions in place include: no serving water at restaurants except upon request, no watering lawns, no washing cars and no filling up swimming pools. The full list of restrictions can be found here. 

PFOS is classified as an emerging contaminant of concern -- emerging, the EPA says, because a new source or new pathway to humans has been discovered or a new detection method or treatment technology has been developed. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says some studies have raised concerns about potential developmental, reproductive and other systemic effects of PFOS -- including possible links to the grown of cancerous tumors -- but the agency cautions the studies were limited in scope and some were done only on rodents, so they didn't offer a conclusion for possible effects on humans. 

PFOS is a human-made substance used as a surface-active agent in a variety of products, like firefighting foams, coating additives and cleaning products. PFOS compounds resist typical environmental degradation, and migrate readily from soil to groundwater, where they can be transported long distances, according to EPA. The compounds can grow and accumulate in wildlife. 

PFOS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the U.S., but the EPA allows them in a "few, limited, highly technical applications" where no known alternatives are available. 

PFOS is readily absorbed after oral exposure, the EPA says. Potential pathways include consuming food -- like fish -- and water, use of commercial products or inhalation during long-range air transport. 

The EPA's guideline for health advisories on PFOS is 0.2 micrograms per liter. Ciaravino said the PFOS levels found in Silver Stream and Washington Lake were lower than that, the state DEC and Department of Health are still recommending that it be eliminated or reduced below that threshhold.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Brothers Charged in Torture Killing]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 09:59:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mostrong-brothers_Crop.jpg

Two brothers accused of torturing and killing a homeless man found in a riverbed in Santee, California, pleaded not guilty to murder, torture and kidnapping charges in court Monday.

George Lowery, 50, was beaten with "fists and feet" in an assault that homicide investigators describe as "a very horrific event." He was hospitalized with head injuries after his wife found him unconscious April 24, face down under a piece of plywood near Chubb Lane and N. Magnolia Avenue. Lowery died five days later.

Brothers Preston Mostrong, 19, and Austin Mostrong, 20, are accused in the killing, facing criminal charges including robbery, kidnapping, torture and murder. They pleaded not guilty through their attorney Monday and denied all charges. The two were held on $3 million bond.

Lowery's family and other witnesses said the attack was in retaliation after Lowery tried to stop the brothers from bullying homeless people. Lowery and his wife lived in a homeless encampment in the area.

An altercation unfolded between Austin Mostrong and another resident of the river bottom on April 20, deputies said. Lowery did not fight with Austin Mostrong but may have been involved, according to investigators. He was found beaten four days later.

"We don’t believe this is a random act," said Lt. Kenneth Nelson, of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail. "We believe he was targeted."

Physical evidence at the scene and witness statements led investigators to the brothers, Nelson said.

No motive was given in court, but the prosecutor said both defendants admitted to taking part in the beating.

At the time of the arraignment, the Mostrong brothers were out on probation, one for theft and the other for misdemeanor assault. 

Family members of the victim and those of the defendants were present for the emotionally charged hearing. At one point, the defendants' family sobbed. Lowery's wife also appeared distraught as the arraignment unfolded.

Defense attorneys asked the judge to prevent the public from seeing their clients in court. Prosecutor George Modlin fought the request, arguing the brothers made statements that placed them at the scene.

"This was a brutal, heinous, just cold-hearted case, and as the evidence comes out, I’d say the murder charges and the torture charges are very much warranted in this case," said Modlin.

In a post on an online fundraising site, Lowery's family described him as someone who didn't have much but still managed to help others.

"If someone was in need he would do what he could to help, no matter how hard the task. If he came across good fortune, he shared it," they wrote.

Anyone with information about the incident can call the homicide detail at 858-974-2321 or after hours at 858-565-5200.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Tech-Savvy Gang Members]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 06:45:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/0502-2016-Smartphone.jpg

The FBI in its latest national gang report says the use of technology among gang members is creating "unique challenges for law enforcement."

Tech-savvy gang members staying a step ahead of police is also a concern for law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area. Members of San Jose Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force are not surprised gangs are increasingly using technology and war-time tactics to carry out their crimes.

A former gang member in San Jose also says he is not surprised gang members are using social media and other technology to communicate with each other.

"They think ahead. They're innovators. They are inventors," said Pastor Sonny Lara, who runs the Firehouse Community Development Center in San Jose.

Lara, a former gang member, works to get kids off the streets and provides program to get them back in school.

Gang members are also using old-school, Trojan horse-like methods to attack their enemies, including dressing like them.

"This new trend of wearing the opposing colors and getting closer to the enemy, being able to get to another area, another turf, another barrio without being seen as a red going into a blue territory, or a blue going into red," said Mario Maciel, who directs the San Jose Mayor's Gang Task Force.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Foster Farms Recalls Chicken Nuggets]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 07:26:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Screen-Shot-2016-05-03-at-8.24.49-AM.jpg

Foster Farms is recalling more than 220,000 pounds of frozen cooked chicken breast nuggets after the company received numerous complaints from customers who said that rubber fragments and plastic were found in the product.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, no one has reported getting sick from eating the nuggets. The recall was enacted on April 29 and limited to the company’s two chicken breast nugget products in Costco stores across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington and wholesale stores in California and Arizona.

The products subject to recall include 5-pound bags of Foster Farms' "Breast Nuggets -- Nugget Shaped Breaded Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat." The bags exhibit "best by" dates of Feb. 21, 2017, and March 8, 2017. Ten-pound bulk boxes of Foster Farms' "Breast Nuggets -- Nugget Shaped Breaded Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat” are also part of the recall. The boxes contain package codes 6053 and 6068.

The poultry company isolated the problem to their home-base farm in Farmerville, Louisiana, the recall notice said. 

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Foster Farms Recall hotline at, 1-800-338-8051.

<![CDATA[Report: Emanuel Picks Zopp for Deputy Mayor]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 10:51:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Andrea+Zopp+CC.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked former Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp to be the city’s deputy mayor, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

Zopp, who recently lost the March Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate to Rep. Tammy Duckworth, would be in charge of overseeing major city projects if she takes the job.

According to the Sun-Times, Zopp accepted Emanuel’s proposal, although a weekend announcement was postponed. Details from the mayor's office remain scarce and City Hall officials have yet to confirm the appointment.

"As he has done for the past five years, the mayor frequently engages a wide variety of community leaders to gather feedback and hear their thoughts on policies, strategies and the path forward for our city," Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins told Ward Room. "Andrea Zopp has long been among those he has turned to as he values her insights on everything from education, which led to her service on the Board of Education, to economic development, where she worked closely with the mayor to ensure the Red Line South Project created jobs for south side residents."

"If and when there is some personnel news to make we won't be shy about making it," Collins added.

If the reports are correct, Zopp would be the mayor's second pick for the role. Steve Koch, who was appointed in 2012, currently serves as deputy mayor and handles overseas finances.

The former Urban League chief is a prominent figure in Chicago’s African-American community. She was appointed to the Chicago School Board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and to the Cook County Health and Hospital System Board by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Zopp is also a Harvard Law graduate who served in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and in the United State’s Attorney’s Office.

Additionally, she held executive positions at a variety of Fortune 500 companies including Sara Lee, Sears Holdings and Exelon.

<![CDATA[Emanuel Backs Plan on Airbnb Surcharge for Homeless]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 22:38:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479908976.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is backing a proposal by Chicago aldermen that looks to use a 4 percent surcharge from house-sharing businesses, like Airbnb, to fund services for the city’s homeless.

The surcharge would create a dedicated source of revenue to combat homelessness in Chicago. The plan would make Chicago the first city in the nation to use money from house-sharing businesses to improve conditions for its homeless population.

“The Mayor supports the proposed legislation because it will create the city’s first revenue source dedicated solely to supporting homeless services, which will allow us to expand our existing efforts to provide homeless individuals and families with critical services and housing opportunities that they need to get back on their feet,” Emanuel spokeswoman Lauren Huffman said in a statement.

The program could create an estimated $2 million in revenue, according to officials from Emanuel’s office. The money would aid in assisting another 300 residents with housing and “wraparound services.”

The legislation builds on recent initiatives by Emanuel’s administration to improve opportunities and service delivery for the city’s homeless population. These include the mayor’s task force to reduce homelessness and a pilot program dedicated to finding the chronically homeless permanent housing.

Emanuel originally proposed a 2 percent surcharge in January before aldermen amended the ordinance. The latest ordinance was introduced last month. A vote is expecected at this month's City Council meeting.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Know as Lawmakers Return to Springfield]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 22:36:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cullerton_Quinn.jpg

Following a weeklong break for the observance of Passover, the Illinois General Assembly will reconvene Tuesday. The Senate is scheduled to be in session from Tuesday through Friday and the House will meet Tuesday through Thursday.

May is a pivotal period for the state legislature, as lawmakers are scheduled to be in session twenty-one of the month’s twenty-nine remaining days. At the end May, legislation will become more difficult to pass. At that point, a three-fifths supermajority will be required to pass bills.

Below is a preview of some of the week’s pending legislation.



The House Judiciary - Criminal Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday for a House Resolution that looks to keep low level drug offenders out of county jail and the Department of Corrections.

The measure looks to discourage prosecutors from recommending such sentences and judges from assigning them.

The legislation also looks to urge the Governor and Director of Corrections to commute sentences for such offenders serving time in county jails and the Department of Corrections to home confinement.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. La Shawn Ford.


A Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2019 will receive a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Executive Committee.

If the measure passes both chambers with a three-fifths vote, the decision to abolish the office will then go to voters.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. David McSweeney Sen. William Brady. It passed in the House last month, receiving 95 yeas and 10 nays.



The House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to address a proposal to create a Heroin Addiction Awareness Day in Illinois.

The measure looks to address addiction to the drug and implement new protocols to combat usage. The measure would designate November 4, 2016 as Heroin Addiction Awareness Day.

The state is currently facing a heroin epidemic. According to a 2015 report by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosvelt University, the state of Illinois ranks as the third worst in providing treatment for users.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dwight Kay


The measure, which looks to amend the Illinois Vehicle Code by allowing vehicle owners a 30-day grace period to file an application for registration renewal if the Secretary of State does not provide notice that the vehicle’s registration is set to expire, will receive a hearing in the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Jaime Andrade and Senate President John Cullerton.

The House passed the measure last month with a vote of 114 yeas and 0 nays.



The House Revenue & Finance Committee and the House Finance Subcommittee will hold hearings for a resolution which looks to modernize the state tax code and pass a budget for the Fiscal Year 2016.

The state has been without an official budget since July of last year.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Christian Mitchell.


The Senate Appropriations II Committee will hold a a hearing to address a large appropriations bill that would allocate funding for the state’s social and human services and public colleges and universities, among other things.

Illinois’ social and human services and institutions of higher education have been adversely affected by the state’s lingering budget impasse.

The bill is sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

The bill passed in the House in March with a vote of 70 yeas and 40 nays.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Accuses Doctor of Performing Wrong Surgery]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 05:54:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/217*120/investigates+plastic+surgery+2.png

A doctor who promised his patients flat stomachs and curvaceous backsides has been accused of disfiguring and severely injuring patients, NBC 5 Investigates found.

Complaints allege Miami Dr. Osaka Omulepu has perforated patients’ organs, used the wrong amount of anesthesia and discharged patients to facilities not capable of providing medical care.

Crystal Heath, 32, from Chicago, told NBC 5 Investigates she paid $4,400 for Dr. Omulepu to perform a buttock augmentation, but instead received a tummy tuck that resulted in an 11-day hospital stay and a seven-inch gaping wound.

“At that moment when everything went wrong, I felt like I was going to die,” Heath said.

Months before, Heath had worked hard to transform her body, dropping 110 pounds and working out religiously. She was proud of the transformation and proud of her new body, but one thing bothered her.

“I had lost a lot of weight. And in the process I lost my butt as well,” Heath said.

She started researching doctors that performed buttock augmentation and started squirreling away money for her dream surgery. After two months, she saved enough and decided on Dr. Omulepu.

The doctor had plenty of flashy promotional videos on YouTube, where he said things like: “My specialty that I love to do is the Brazilian butt lift. I’m known to be very aggressive when it comes to liposuction.”

In another clip he could be heard saying “I think it’s important to have a plan going into surgery.”

But according to Heath, Dr. Omulepu changed the plan mid-surgery.

“He told me I didn’t have enough fat to transfer. After he did my lipo on my sides he told me he woke me up from surgery to tell me I didn’t have enough fat. So that’s how he ended up performing a tummy tuck.”

University of Chicago Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. David Song says that waking a patient from anesthesia to get consent would be highly unusual.

“That’s just a plain tragedy,” said Song. “When you wake a patient up, the lingering effects of anesthesia can last several hours. So in able to get informed consent don’t know how a physician would do that in good conscience and be accurate about providing informed consent to a patient in the waking hours of anesthesia.”

Heath recalled being in a lot of pain when she was finally woken up from surgery.

“I was like, ‘What is wrong? Why am I in so much pain?’ And when I looked down there was like a binder across my stomach and they were like, ‘He gave you a tummy tuck.’ I was like, ‘A tummy tuck? I didn’t need a tummy tuck. I paid for a Brazilian butt lift!’”

Confused and in pain, Crystal was discharged to a motel. 

“I started throwing up instantly. I was throwing up all night. I was throwing up so bad it felt like everything was busting in my stomach.”

Twice she went back to this clinic to see the doctor. But she says, he never showed. 

That’s when she flew home to Chicago and went to the emergency room. Chicago doctors performed emergency surgery, treating her for an infection and acute kidney failure. She was hospitalized for 11 days. 

Crystal filed a complaint with the Florida Health Department and the Attorney General. And she’s not the only one. NBC 5 Investigates found Dr. Omulepu is also accused of other botched beauty treatments, resulting in at least four other patients going to the ER after liposuction and Brazilian butt procedures in May 2015.

We repeatedly called and e-mailed Dr. Omulepu, his attorney and the three clinics where he works, but we got no response. The Florida state medical board finished its investigation and recommended his license be revoked. He has appealed this, and the next step will be a hearing. No date has been set. 

We also discovered Dr. Omulepu is not a board-certified plastic surgeon. Industry experts recommend plastic surgeons be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

“People have to understand that surgery, plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery is real surgery and there are real complications,” said Song, who is also the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

More than 70 percent of Song’s surgeries are revising botched surgeries.

“We see it too common,” he said. “A patient or two a month coming to the emergency room after having had surgery from a non-plastic surgeon. … They come in with infections, with dehiscence, which means incisions falling apart.” 

As for Crystal’s incision, “I was open from hip to hip,” she said.

More than two months after the surgery, Crystal still has a seven-inch gaping wound. Crystal has months of healing ahead of her and mounting medical bills, she says. 

“I’m angry that this man has done this to so many people way before me and they’re still allowing him to practice. That shouldn’t happen. That’s terrible.”

The Florida State Attorney General is now investigating Vanity Cosmetic Surgery - -one of the two Miami clinics where Dr. O practiced medicine. NBC 5 Investigates reached out to the clinic for comment but did not get a response. 

Click the links below to find out if your plastic surgeon is board certified:

American Board of Plastic Surgery

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Board of Medical Specialties

<![CDATA[Nurse, Mother of 2 Killed in Hit-and-Run Near Midway Airport]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 23:10:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chavez+hit+and+run.png

A 42-year-old nurse and mother of two was killed in a hit-and-run over the weekend near Midway Airport. 

Guadalupe Chavez was traveling through an intersection on the 5500 block of South Archer Avenue near the airport Saturday night when family members say a red Jeep went around traffic and smashed into her vehicle. 

“I tried to save her, but he hit me so hard that I mean I flew,” said Leo Leal, who was in the car with Chavez at the time of the crash.

The driver fled the scene but witnesses tracked down the vehicle and reported it to police.

“I knew something really dreadful had happened,” said witness John Dodaro. “You just don’t know what to do in a situation like that.” 

Chavez was killed in the crash and Leal suffered a shattered ankle.

The 27-year-old driver, identified as Patrick Brazel, was taken into custody and charged with two felony counts of leaving the scene of accident resulting in death, one felony count of reckless homicide and one felony count of aggravated DUI. 

“I just want him to know what he did,” said her sister Martha Chavez. “He hit her and ran. He didn’t know who he hit. He hit a wonderful person. He hit a person that dedicated her life to helping people.” 

Chavez’s family said they are devastated by the loss, saying she was studying to be a licensed nurse practitioner and had just become a grandmother six months ago. 

“I want to see him pay for what he did,” said Leal. “He had no mercy, you know. He knows what he did and he just kept going… didn’t stop.”

<![CDATA[16-Year-Old Girl Seriously Hurt by Falling Light Pole in Hyde Park]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 08:46:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Light+Pole.png

A 16-year-old girl was leg was broken by a falling light pole Monday morning in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood.

Three students were walking in the 5200 block of South Lake Park Avenue at about 11 a.m. when the city light police suddenly collapsed onto them, according to Chicago Police. 

A Chicago Police sergeant and a group of bystanders witnessed the incident and were able to pull the pole off the 16-year-old, police said. She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition. 

Two other students were taken to University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital as a precaution, police said. Neither had visible injuries.

A 16-year-old girl was seriously injured by a falling light pole Monday morning in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood.

The city light pole fell on three students in the 5200 block of South Lake Park Avenue about 11 a.m., according to Chicago Police.

A Chicago Police sergeant and a group of bystanders pulled the pole off the 16-year-old, police said. She was taken in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with a leg fracture.

Two other students were taken to University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital as a precaution, police said. Neither had visible injuries.

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>