<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:28:44 -0700 Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:28:44 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[100 Might Have Been Exposed to Ebola: Dallas Officials ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:26:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ebola2.jpg

About 100 people might have been come in contact with the first person diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the Unites States or his family's home, Dallas health officials said.

Officials are investigating Thomas Eric Duncan’s background and trip from Liberia to Dallas as they seek to identify and monitor people he might have come into contact with while showing symptoms of Ebola. County health officials have ordered four of his family members to stay home to prevent potential spread of the disease, according to a press release.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services said Thursday that officials expect the list of 100 "potential or possible contacts" to narrow as they "focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection."​

"Out of an abundance of caution, we're starting with this very wide net, including people who have had even brief encounters with the patient or the patient's home," Carrie Williams, spokeswoman with the Texas Department of State Health Services, said in a statement. "The number will drop as we focus in on those whose contact may represent a potential risk of infection."​

Hospital officials, meanwhile, said they’re optimistic that Duncan, a 42-year-old Liberian national, will recover. He is listed in serious condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Health officials confirmed Tuesday that Duncan tested positive for Ebola, less than two weeks after he arrived in the United States from Liberia. He initially sought care at a hospital Sept. 25, shortly after showing symptoms, but was released. He returned Sept. 28 and was flagged as a potential Ebola case.

The timing has raised questions about why Duncan wasn't treated as a possible Ebola patient sooner, given his recent travel. A relative said he reached out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because they "feared other people might also get infected if he wasn't taken care of." He urged doctors to give Duncan the same experimental drugs credited with saving the lives of American aid workers, including Dr. Kent Brantly of Forth Worth.

"He's doing all right. He's in our prayers. We are really rooting on him,"Josephus Weeks, Duncan's nephew, told NBC News. "I'm hoping that he can get the same kind of treatment that was given to the four other patients that survived, and that's my concern."

Up to 80 People in Contact With Patient

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson confirmed that up to 80 people came into contact with Duncan or Duncan's family. They previously confirmed that several school-age children came into contact with him.

Officials did not say whether Duncan was symptomatic during the interactions. Not all had close, physical contact.

Ten CDC officials are looking at Duncan's trip from Liberia to Dallas, which spanned more than 9,000 miles and included stops in Brussels and a major airport servicing the Washington, D.C. area. Officials said they'll determine whether fellow passengers need to be contacted.

Family Under Legal Order

After previously being told to stay home and isolated, Duncan's relatives could now face legal action if they don't comply.

Texas and Dallas County health officials issued a legal order requiring the four family members to stay home and not have any visitors until Oct. 19, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a press release.

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” Dr. David Lakey, Texas health commissioner, said in the release. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

The order also requires the family to provide blood samples, agree to any testing required and immediately report any symptoms. The family members do not have symptoms at this time.

Symptoms include fever above 100.5 degrees, headache, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Texas law allows the health officials to issue such control measures. If a person does not follow these orders, they can be enforced by the courts, and the person can face criminal charges.

Dallas ISD Children Being Monitored

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said five Dallas Independent School District children who attend had contact with Duncan and are being monitored at home.

According to DISD Superintendent Mike Miles, two students at Sam Tasby Middle School possibly came into contact with Duncan, and one student each at Dan D. Rogers Elementary, L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary and Emmett J. Conrad High School.

"The impacted students are currently not showing any symptoms and are under close observation by the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department," district said in a news release Wednesday.

"As a precautionary measure, the students have been advised to stay home from school. Since the students are not presenting any symptoms, there is nothing to suggest that the disease was spread to others including students and staff," the release stated.

Meanwhile, the district launched a recorded hotline to provide updates to parents of DISD students. The hotline number is 972-925-5810. Parents can also visit
www.dallasisd.org/healthupdates for information.

Nephew: Patient Not Properly Treated

Duncan's nephew said his uncle was not properly treated during his initial visit to a Dallas hospital.

Health officials acknowledged that Duncan was initially sent home from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital after complaining of fever and abdominal pain. He returned days later in an ambulance.

"I called CDC to get some actions taken, because I was concerned for his life and he wasn't getting the appropriate care," Weeks said. "I feared other people might also get infected if he wasn't taken care of."

Weeks said the CDC referred him to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, which took appropriate action. He added that he hoped "nobody else got infected because of a mistake that was made."

"I called the CDC and they instructed me of the process, and that got the ball rolling," Weeks said.

A CDC spokesman told NBC News the agency could not comment on Weeks' claim. The hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hospital officials said they'll review why Duncan was allowed to leave during his initial visit.

Neighbor Witnessed Patient Vomiting

Two days after initially being sent home from the hospital, neighbor Mesud Osmanovic said he saw Duncan vomiting on the ground outside an apartment complex in the 7200 block of Fair Oaks Avenue as he was loaded into an ambulance.

"His whole family was screaming," Osmanovic said. "He got outside and he was throwing up all over the place."

Three paramedics took Duncan to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital by ambulance. At the time, though, they had no idea they were dealing with a patient with the Ebola virus.

“What our paramedics saw was this could be a contagious person, not knowing what it would turn into,” said Lieutenant Joel Lavender with Dallas Fire-Rescue.

The three paramedics are currently at home being monitored for 21 days. Health officials are also keeping a close eye on anyone who they have confirmed has been in contact with Duncan after he showed symptoms of the disease about a week ago.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Teens Arrested in Foster Farms Chicken Massacre: Cops]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:06:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chicken-slaying.jpg

Four teenagers have been arrested for allegedly slaughtering 920 chickens at a Foster Farms facility in Caruthers, California, police said.

Fresno County police said the animals were killed with a golf club and another blunt object on Sept. 20 after the suspects entered a chicken shed by pulling back part of the facility's fence.

Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero, of Riverdale; two males, ages 15 and 17, from Caruthers; and a 17-year-old male from Lemoore.

Foster Farms said the chickens were worth about $5,000. The company called the killing an “unconscionable act of animal cruelty.” The nonprofit Animal Defense League had offered a $5,000 reward Wednesday for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. Foster Farms had also offered a reward.

Fresno County police said in a news release that local news coverage produced several tips that led to the arrests. Detectives also learned information on the attack and possible suspects from monitoring social media.

Evidence at a home in Caruthers linked the 15-year-old and a 17-year-old to the crime, Fresno County police said. Both were taken into custody without incident.

Another 17-year-old was taken into custody at a home near Lemoore.

Quintero was then arrested at an apartment in Fresno. He was booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals.

It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

The three other teenagers were taken to the Fresno Juvenile Justice Center and also booked for burglary and felony cruelty to animals charges.

Caruthers is about 17 miles southwest of Fresno.

Photo Credit: NBC/Fresno County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Woman Who Dismembered Boyfriend Gets 26-to-Life]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:27:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Carmen+Montenegro+in+court+June+2+2011.jpg

A Southern California woman found guilty of stabbing her longtime boyfriend to death, dismembering his body and burying some of the remains in potted plants was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Carmen Montenegro, a 54-year-old mother from Riverside, was convicted of first-degree murder last month in the 2011 killing of 62-year-old Samuel Wiggins. She was sentenced Monday, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office said.

In May 2011, detectives who were investigating Wiggins’s disappearance turned their attention to Montenegro, who had been living in his home and using his accounts, prosecutors said.

Montenegro was arrested after detectives caught her pushing a trash can down the street with his remains inside.

Prosecutors said Montenegro had dismembered Wiggins’ body and buried his head and arms in potted plants that were found in Bell Gardens. The legs and torso were discovered buried at a home in Ontario.

Investigators determined that Wiggins was stabbed twice in the chest and 22 times in the back in his Diamond Bar home. Prosecutors said the crime scene had been significantly cleaned, with the carpet and tile removed to hide the evidence.

“We are pleased that the jury saw the case for what it was — a heinous crime — and that justice was served for the victim and his family,” said Deputy District Attorney Erica Gallegos in a news release.

<![CDATA[Kidnap Suspect Eyed in '03 Attack]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:58:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP702814643380.jpg

Jesse Matthew, the man linked to the abduction of a University of Virginia student as well as the death of another young woman, was investigated for a campus sex assault years ago.

According to officials with Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, Matthew was a student there from January 2003 through Oct. 15, 2003. He was investigated in connection with a sexual assault on campus that occurred Sept. 7, 2003. 

Last month, Matthew, 32, was charged with the abduction of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who was last seen with him just after 1 a.m. Sept. 13 on Charlottesville's downtown mall. The search for Graham continues.

Since then, Matthew has been forensically linked to the death of Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student who disappeared after attending a concert in Charlottesville in 2009. Her body was found several months later.

In addition, police have said there is a link between Harrington's death and a 2005 Fairfax City sex assault, though they have not named Matthew as a suspect in that incident.

Matthew was also investigated in connection with an alleged sex assault at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2002 but charges were never filed.

Matthew is due in court Thursday for a reckless driving charge in Charlottesville that led to his arrest last week.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Slain SoCal Mayor's Brother Speaks]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:10:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/file-bell-gardens-mayor-daniel-crespo-wife-lyvette.jpg

The brother of the Bell Gardens mayor police said was shot dead by his wife said Wednesday he will always love his sister-in-law, though he wishes she hadn't taken "matters into her own hands."

Daniel Crespo, 45, was gunned down at his family home Tuesday afternoon after punching his 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face when the teen tried to intervene in a fight between his parents, investigators said. Police said Crespo's 43-year-old wife, Lyvette, then grabbed a gun and shot the mayor multiple times in his upper body.

The mayor died at a hospital. His brother, William Crespo, said he's conflicted about what happened.

"If it was that, she should've called 911. She shouldn't take matters into her own hands. She's not the cops," he said. "I love her; I still love her. She's still my sister-in-law; I'm always going to love her."

Neighbors told NBC4 they were in shock and never expected their friend would be shot and killed.

"I don't believe what happened in here, because he is my neighbor, and he was a very friendly person," Laura de la Cruz said. "I don't believe it."

Crespo's wife and son were questioned at the Bell Gardens police station. Several hours later, sheriff's detectives said the pair had been released and that no arrests had been made.

"He was working so much and helping the community so much, and I remember he would always give out gifts for the children," Cruz's daughter said. "I didn't believe it was Crespo, because he did so much for this community. He just helped so many people."

Sources told NBC4 the mayor lived at the two-story condominium with his wife, 19-year-old son and 26-year-old daughter, who was not present at the time of the shooting.

"I'd see them as a normal family," said Janet Morales, who said she's known the couple for 25 years. "Never have I seen violence before. That is the reason why I'm in shock."

Investigators have not released additional details about the shooting, and prosecutors will decide whether to press charges against Crespo's wife in his death.

"We don't know exactly what happened," said Alberto Bernal, who met Crespo during his campaign for City Council in 2001. "Only the people involved at the scenes know exactly what happened and to take images and information out of context, it's sad.

"It's just heart-breaking that my friend is no longer with us," Bernal said.

According to the city’s website, Crespo was a Brooklyn, New York, native who had been married to his high school sweetheart since 1986. After moving to Bell Gardens, he worked as a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer for 15 years. He was elected to the Bell Gardens City Council in 2001.

The city issued a statement Wednesday and said Tuesday's shooting "have stunned this very close-knit community."

"This is a tremendous loss for Bell Gardens," City Manager Philip Wagner said in the statement.

Grief counselors were staffed at City Hall on Wednesday to help city employees and will be made available to community members, the statement read.

Friends of Crespo plan to hold a vigil at City Hall Friday night.

Bell Gardens is a suburb of about 42,000 residents. It's located roughly 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Willian Avila and John Cádiz Klemack contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: William Crespo]]>
<![CDATA[101-Year-Old Man Killed in Hit-and-Run]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:04:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/file-101-year-old-man-hit-run-boyle-heights-jose-noriega.jpg

A 101-year-old man's life ended in a crosswalk when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver early Wednesday, Los Angeles police said.

The victim, Jose Noriega, was crossing the intersection of Lorena Street and Opal Street in Boyle Heights when a van hit him at about 6 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Police said witnesses followed the fleeing 1997 Chevrolet Astro van and blocked its path a short distance away. The witnesses detained the driver until police arrived and arrested him.

Noriega was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 8 a.m.

Friends of the victim told NBC4 that Noriega crossed that street every morning and went to a local bakery for sweet bread and coffee. 

Noriega was described as someone who was "full of life" and someone who "loved his community."

"At one hundred years of age he was on a ladder putting up his Christmas lights," a neighbor said.

According to friends, Noriega would stop by a church near the bakery every day, and even vacuum after mass.

"The minute he walked down the street, we would always look forward to his hellos," a principal at a neighborhood school said.

Community members told NBC4 they are outraged over Noriega's death at a crosswalk that many consider "dangerous."

The owners of the bakery told NBC4 that in the two and half years that they have been there, there have been five major accidents in the crosswalk, two of which were deadly.

The driver in Wednesday's accident, identified as 41-year-old Los Angeles resident Ricardo Avalos, was booked on a charge of vehicular manslaughter. He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the crash, police said.

Investigators are searching for additional witnesses.

Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Resurrection Church]]>
<![CDATA[Police Sent to Donald Sterling's Home by Wife Shelly]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:42:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/stivianosterling.jpg

Beverly Hills police were called to the home of Donald Sterling after his wife Shelly reported a burglary, but found no crime.

Instead, officers found Sterling hosting V. Stiviano — the woman whose recordings of him making racist remarks led to his removal as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and a lifetime ban from the NBA.

Lt. Lincoln Hoshino says officers were called to the home by Shelly Sterling at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday and were there for roughly 15 minutes.

Hoshino says they found "no criminal activity whatsoever" and Stiviano was her husband's invited guest.

In March, Shelly Sterling sued Stiviano, seeking the return of more than $2.5 million in gifts Stiviano allegedly received from her husband.

Shelly Sterling's attorney said he had no knowledge of the incident.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Mayor Blasts FAA]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:04:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/FAA_fire_1.jpg

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, pounding the podium as he urged the agency "work harder and better and smarter" to restore service and wondered how one man had managed to cripple the city's air travel for days.

"How can this happen? How can you have an airport that is so integral to the national and international system with no back-up capacity, that one individual can have this impact?" Emanuel said.

He weighed in on the city's transportation woes during an unrelated Q&A with reporters at the Chicago Cultural Center, after announcing a new scholarship program for Chicago Public Schools students.


Emanuel said the agency's primary local job is to get the area's radar facility, heavily damaged nearly a week ago by a saboteur, up and running at full capacity.

"It’s not where it needs to be, and they’ve got to work harder and better and smarter and get it there," he said, as he commended the agency for its efforts to restore service.

Federal officials on Monday set Oct. 13 as their target date for having operations 100 percent restored.

Prosecutors say Brian Howard, 36, of Naperville, entered the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora early Friday morning and caused incredible, strategic damage to the radar facility that handles high-altitude traffic above a large portion of the country's midsection.

They said Howard, who had worked at the facility for eight years and was involved with the facility's communications systems, was upset about recently being told he was being transferred to Hawaii.

Howard's alleged actions forced the cancellation of thousands of flights and cost an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

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<![CDATA[Ebola Patient Flew to Dallas Via DC]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:04:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Thomas-Eric-Duncan.jpg

The patient diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas has been identified as a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan, NBC News has confirmed.

He is believed to have flown to the United States via two United Airlines flights, first flying from Brussels to Washington, D.C., and then taking a connecting flight to Dallas-Fort Worth.

United said Wednesday that it believes the patient, whom it did not identify, flew from Brussels to Washington Dulles on Flight 951 on Sept. 20, and then, three hours later, from Washington Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth on Flight 822 that same day.

The airline, reiterating what health officials have said, said that there was "zero risk of transmission" on any flight Duncan flew, because he didn't begin to show symptons until several days later.

The New York Times reported that Duncan may have become infected in Liberia on Sept. 15, when he helped carry his landlord's gravely ill daughter to the hospital. She died the next day.

Earlier this month, Duncan was completing an employment contract with a shipping company in Liberia's capital city of Monrovia. When that contract expired, he used a visa to travel to Dallas to visit family, well within the virus' 21-day incubation period.

Duncan arrived in Dallas on Sept. 20 and began showing symptoms on Sept. 24, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said Wednesday that Duncan sought medical care after 10 p.m. Sept. 25 and had only a low-grade fever and abdominal pain.

"His condition did not warrant admission. He also was not exhibiting symptoms specific to Ebola," the hospital said in statement Wednesday. "The patient returned via ambulance on Sunday, Sept. 28, at which time EMS had already identified potential need for isolation. The hospital followed all suggested CDC protocols at that time."

A specimen sent to a state lab in Austin confirmed Tuesday that Duncan had contracted Ebola. Those test results were then confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

In the days since Duncan left Liberia, his landlord's son, who had helped them carry his sister to the hospital, also died after a short, severe illness, the Times reported. Two other people in Liberia who may have had contact with the woman have also reportedly died.

Meanwhile, health officials in Dallas are monitoring as many as 18 people, including five children and an ambulance crew of three, who have been in contact with Duncan.

The schoolchildren and firefighters are all being isolated at home and will be monitored for 21-days from their date of exposure.

The four schools attended by the five students — Dan D. Rogers Elementary School, L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School, Sam Tasby Middle School and Emmett J. Conrad High School — all remain open but will be thoroughly cleaned, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles said Wednesday.

None of those being monitored are currently showing any signs of Ebola, and state and federal health officials say no other suspected cases of Ebola exist in the United States.

NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Obama Surprises Diners at Chicago Steakhouse]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:09:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Obama_RPM_steak.jpg

President Barack Obama surprised diners at River North's RPM Steak Wednesday night during his Chicago visit, ahead of a planned speech and a campaign event for Gov. Pat Quinn.

The president is in the city for a closed-door fundraiser for Quinn at a downtown hotel and a speech on the economy at Northwestern University Thursday.

Obama's Wednesday night schedule was not released in advance, so diners were surprised when the president stopped in at the restaurant, located at 66 W. Kinzie St., for dinner.

He was joined by White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and longtime friend Marty Nesbitt, who is leading the search for Obama's post-presidential library.

The restaurant is owned by reality stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic.

Air Force One landed at 7:07 p.m. at Gary’s airport, instead of O'Hare International Airport. Obama was greeted by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, and after a few words with the pair, the president boarded a helicopter to Chicago.

The president is expected to spend the night at his Kenwood home and attend the campaign event for Quinn the next day.

Obama's speech at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management begins at 1:15 p.m. on the Evanston campus, according to a statement from the school.

The school notes his visit marks the first by a sitting president in 60 years. Obama received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwestern in 2006. 

“I am extremely pleased to announce that President Barack Obama will come to Northwestern’s campus in Evanston to make a major address about the economy and his plans to keep expanding opportunity for Americans,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said.

Obama is expected to leave the Chicago area on Thursday.

Michelle Obama will be in Chicago on Oct. 7 to support Quinn, and Hillary Clinton is expected on Oct. 8.

Quinn's campaign released a new radio ad Wednesday featuring the first lady lauding the governor's work on behalf of veterans and support for raising the minimum wage.

The big-name appearances may provide a welcome distraction for the Quinn campaign next week, when a state legislative committee is scheduled to hold hearings looking into the governor's troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

Early voting begins Oct. 20.

Photo Credit: Paige Anderson]]>
<![CDATA[Baby sitter Staged Invasion: Cops]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:02:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/plainfield+home+invasion+1.jpg

Twenty-four hours after a Plainfield, Connecticut, home was ransacked and a bedroom window broken, police said it was all a hoax – and the toddler's baby sitter is to blame.

The baby sitter is accused of looting the home on Juniper Lane in the Moosup Village of Plainfield while the 2-year-old was home sleeping Tuesday night.

Homeowner Ellen Demaio said the sitter stole prescription drugs and money.

Police said the baby sitter was home with the 2-year-old when authorities arrived and told them she had been the victim of a targeted attack.

It turns out she was the attacker, according to police. The sitter, whose name has not been disclosed, broke a bedroom window and pillaged the home while the toddler was asleep.

Demaio said she was at a fair in Maine when police called and told her someone had broken in. It wasn't until later that she learned the baby sitter was allegedly at fault.

Demaio said she trusted the sitter to watch her granddaughter, but instead, the woman damaged her property, stole money and prescription drugs and terrified the toddler.

"Everything was torn apart. Everything was pulled out of drawers," Demaio said, explaining the scene she arrived home to find. "The baby was screaming bloody murder, scared to death because she was awoken out of a sound sleep."

Medicine cabinets had been emptied and the toddler's belongings were strewed across the floor, according to Demaio.

"She heard glass crunching and she heard scuffling in the back of the house and voices," Demaio said, of her granddaughter.

She said she has spent the past 24 hours afraid the intruder might return, not knowing she had been deceived.

"I am absolutely furious. One part of me is so mad I can't even speak about it," Demaio said.

Police said the baby sitter will face charges.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Man Shoots Down Drone: Police]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:10:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drone+generic.jpg

A man with a shotgun took matters into his own hands to bring down a drone flying over his neighbor’s home, according to police along the Jersey Shore.

Lower Township Police said they received a call Friday around 5:30 p.m. from the drone’s owner, who said he was flying the device over his friend’s home along the 1000 block of Seashore Drive in Lower Township, Cape May County, to gather some aerial photographs of construction being done at the home when the drone suddenly went down.

Right before the man lost control of his drone, he heard what sounded like several gunshot blasts, said investigators.

When he recovered the drone, the owner found several holes in the device, police said.

When police arrived, the victim pointed them in the direction of where he heard the blasts. Police then went to 32-year-old Russell Percenti’s home.

There, officers found the shotgun used to shoot down the drone, police said. Police didn’t say why Percenti, a waiter at a local eatery, allegedly pulled the trigger.

Percenti posted $250 in bail after being arraigned on criminal mischief and weapons charges.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Huge Portrait on National Mall]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:57:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/20141001+Mall+Portrait.jpg

The National Portrait Gallery is unveiling a giant portrait of a young man created in the landscape of the National Mall.
Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada says he created the portrait as a compilation of American faces after photographing 30 young men in Washington. It's entitled  "Out of Many, One.''
The six-acre portrait is made of sand and topsoil and can be viewed from the Washington Monument or from space.
The artist used GPS technology to mark 10,000 points onto an empty field and then linked them with twine to help create precise lines for the portrait made of dirt. Beginning Saturday, visitors will be able to walk along the portrait's features.

The soil and sand eventually will be reused to improve the National Mall's turf.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

<![CDATA[Facebook Apologizes to Drag Queens]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:40:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/drag-city-hall.jpg

Less than two weeks after a group of Bay Area drag queens met with Facebook to protest how the social networking giant had suspended their accounts for not using "real names," Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox apologized for their ordeal, promising change.

And Mark Zuckerberg "liked" it.

“I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we've put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” Cox said Wednesday in a post on his own Facebook page.

“In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we've had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it,” he added. “We've also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we're going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.”

Mark Snyder, a spokesperson for the Transgender Law Center who met with Facebook Wednesday over the real names policy dispute, called the meeting productive. "We are excited to continue working with them on solutions so we can all be our authentic selves online," he said. Local drag queens have turned a protest rally initially scheduled for San Francsico City Hall Thursday into a victory celebration.

Bay Area queer performance art group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and its supporters first met with Facebook on Sept. 19 after some users received messages saying their account had been “temporarily suspended” because it looks like “you’re not using your real name.”

Facebook's stance is that the "real names" policy is designed to "keep the community safe."

But Bay Area drag queens called the policy discriminatory, saying that by requiring performers to use their legal names, Facebook may be compromising their safety and making them vulnerable to attack.

The group said it would mobilize against Facebook if the social networking giant didn’t address its concerns.

“Facebook is discriminating by basically not allowing a large part of the community access to a public forum because of this policy,” said Lil Miss Hot Mess, who reluctantly had to identify herself as Harris Davis on her Facebook page.

Heklina, a 47-year-old drag queen from San Francisco, said she would boycott Facebook if she could, but “it’s too ingrained in our everyday lives.”

A growing coalition of people who support the Bay Area drag queens — including artists, immigrants, domestic violence survivors, activists and members of the transgender community — delivered a letter to Facebook at Wednesday's meeting, requesting that Facebook update its policy to allow everyone to be their "authentic selves online," end the requirement to show ID and make it easier for users to appeal account suspension.

“Many people need to use a chosen name in order to feel safe or to be able to express their authentic identity online,” the letter said. “While drag queens have experienced a rash of reports of being in violation of the 'real name' policy, many others remain at risk of being reported.”

In his post, Cox explained that it all started when an individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. The reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports Facebook processes every week, 99 percent of whom he said are "bad actors doing bad things," including impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams and hate speech.

"So we didn't notice the pattern,” Cox wrote.

Cox wrote that Facebook's "authentic name" policy was put in place to act as a safeguard against impersonators: “Everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.”

“For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess," he added. "Part of what's been so difficult about this conversation is that we support both of these individuals, and so many others affected by this, completely and utterly in how they use Facebook."

Cox said Facebook is working on building better tools for “authenticating the Sister Romas of the world."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

Photo Credit: Scott Budman]]>
<![CDATA["Contact Tracing" Explained: How to Stop Ebola From Spreading]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:10:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*147/contact-tracing-550.gif

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

Contact tracing is the process health workers use to find everyone who comes into direct contact with a sick Ebola patient. If the contact develops a fever or other Ebola symptoms within 21 days of the last day they came into contact with the Ebola patient, the person is isolated and provided care. All of the new patient’s contacts are then found and watched for 21 days.

The CDC warns that even one contact can keep the outbreak going.

Check out below a graphic the CDC prepared to explain how contact tracing works.

(Info: CDC)

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

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<![CDATA[Marine Airman Missing from San Diego-Based Ship]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:23:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/uss-makin-island-0725.jpg

A search is underway for a Marine airman missing in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy confirmed.

On Wednesday, an MV-22 Osprey lost power when taking off from USS Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship homeported at Naval Base San Diego. Two crew members bailed out into the water. One of those Marines was rescued safely, but the other is still missing, according to the Navy.

The pilot managed to gain control of the plane and return to the ship, the Navy said. The MV-22 Osprey can carry two dozen troops, though it appears only three were on board at the time of the incident.

The aircraft is part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) based at Camp Pendleton in northern San Diego County. 

Planes from aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and smaller Navy boats have joined the search. The missing Marine's name has not been released.

The Navy and Marine Corps are investigating what went wrong and why the crew members jumped out of the plane.

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and the 11th MEU deployed last July to support operations in the Middle East.

Refresh this article for the latest on this developing story.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

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<![CDATA[How Is Ebola Spread?]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:29:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/456202288.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen
  • Objects contaminated with the virus, like syringes or other medical equipment
  • Infected animals, by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 7 San Diego

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jailed Marine's Release Could Be Weeks Away: Mom]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:52:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Jill-Tahmooressi-Marine-Mom.jpg

A dismissal or acquittal may be close for a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico on weapons charges his mother said Wednesday.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's attorney expects action after psychiatric evaluations from both defense and prosecutors were filed in court late Tuesday.

"I believe we are just several weeks away. We are very hopeful," Jill Tahmooressi said.

Many have been following the case of the 26-year-old inactive reservist who served two tours of Afghanistan and was seeking treatment for his PTSD in San Diego when he was arrested in Mexico six months ago.

As she testified before a congressional hearing, Tahmooressi revealed she has not been contacted by President Barack Obama and does not know if the president has intervened on her son's behalf.

She also shared several conversations she has had with her son since he was jailed on charges of weapons trafficking.

On April 14, she said her son told her, “Mom. I tried to kill myself because the guards and the inmates were going to rape, torture and eventually execute me for information.”

Mexican officials report that Tahmooressi crossed the San Ysidro Port of Entry south of San Diego on March 31 with a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, a 5.56-caliber rifle loaded with a 30-round clip and with two additional clips, a .45-caliber loaded pistol, loaded with 10 .45-caliber rounds and with two additional clips.

Supporters have said the Marine accidentally entered Mexico after making a wrong turn.

Mexican officials say the weapons constitute a federal crime. They also claim Tahmooressi made the same crossing three previous times and would not have gotten lost.

On Wednesday, Jill Tahmooressi was one of several who pleaded with Congress to help the Marine who has been diagnosed with PTSD return to the U.S. to seek treatment.

Lieutenant Commander Montel B. Williams, USN, Retired and former talk show host who now works as a veterans advocate testified that he spoke with Tahmooressi two days ago.

In that conversation, Williams recalled hearing the Marine say, “I have a hard time keeping the bad thoughts out.”

He called the delay in getting Tahmooressi home "an abomination" and said the Marine has been treated like a POW, not a person incarcerated for making a mistake.

Several times they noted that the incarceration in Mexico can be detrimental to someone with Tahmooressi's medical condition.

Sergeant Robert Buchanan, USMC, Retired served with Tahmooressi in Afghanistan.

“Isolation is the last thing anyone needs,” Buchanan said of those living with PTSD. “Please help us get him home and the treatment he direly needs.”

Attorney Fernando Benitez filed a motion earlier this month on behalf of Tahmooressi arguing that the Mexican government does not have the resources to treat his client's PTSD.

Since the purpose of Mexican sentencing laws is to rehabilitate prisoners, Benitez argues his client’s case should be thrown out and he should go free.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[W. Africa Travelers Warned on Ebola]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:05:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP645337997349.jpg

All people traveling to the United States from countries with Ebola are being warned as of Wednesday about the potentially deadly virus' symptoms, and how it is spread.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will hand out a flyer with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to all U.S.-bound travelers from those countries. 

That flyer also contains a card that any passenger who starts showing symptoms in the following days can hand their doctors, to alert them of the risk.

The first case of Ebola in the United States has been diagnosed in Dallas, in a patient who had arrived days earlier from Liberia, one of the West African nations at the center of a massive outbreak.

The announcement Tuesday by officials sparked immediate concerns about who may have been exposed and helped shed light on how the potentially deadly virus is, and isn't, spread.

Ebola can only be spread by infected people who have a fever and other Ebola symptoms, the CDC says.

Symptoms appear between two and 21 days of exposure to the virus. If an exposed person does not develop symptoms within 21 days of exposure, the person will not become sick with Ebola, according to the CDC. 

The virus can be spread to other people through direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, contaminated objects or infected animals, including by eating infected meat.

See the flyer that customs officials are giving travelers below.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Madam Sentenced to Jail]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:43:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/219*120/040309+Madam+Kristin+Davis.jpg

Kristin Davis, the former madam and candidate for governor and New York City comptroller, was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail after she pleaded guilty to illegally distributing prescription pills, the U.S. Attorney said.

Davis was arrested in August 2013 for selling hundreds of powerful painkillers and other prescription pills to a drug dealer wearing a wire, federal authorities said.

According to the United States Attorney's Office, Davis sold drugs on several occasions to an FBI cooperating witness between January and March.

Davis, 38, pleaded guilty in March to one count of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, specifically alprazolam, zolpidem and carisoprodol.

Davis was one of several people charged as part of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the NYPD and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The once long-shot Libertarian candidate is perhaps best known for claiming to have gotten call girls for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer before a prostitution scandal forced him from office. But the claims have never been proven.

Before she was arrested, Davis was running for New York City comptroller against Spitzer and former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who went on to win the election. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuated ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:56:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bomb+threat+at+Sandy+Hook+in+Monroe+1200.jpg

Students are returning to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, Connecticut, today, a day after the school was evacuated and children were sent home after a bomb threat was called in.

Supt. Dr. Joseph Erardi said during a public meeting on Wednesday evening that a secretary took the call shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Due to the "uniqueness of the call," the school was evacuated to the Jockey Hollow building on campus around 10:45 a.m. and parents were notified through reverse 911 calls, Erardi said.

Teachers told students they were practicing an evacuation drill. The children were sent home at noon and parents were urged to disclose only the necessary details to their kids.

Police said the building in Monroe has been cleared for students to return at the start of the school day today. No students are in danger, Erardi said.

Erardi said teachers will acknowledge the early dismissal in school this morning and will "make sure kids feel safe" but will not go into detail about the incident.

Officials did not elaborate on the phone call or the timing of the evacuation and dismissal.

Town officials said in a statement Wednesday that the incident was considered "no threat-low threat," but the superintendent acted out of an abundance of caution. 

"All students and staff are safe," First Selectman Patricia Llodra said in the statement.

Students were brought to the neighboring Jockey Hollow school to await dismissal. The building and grounds were checked, and authorities found no evidence of an actual threat.

"Although there was little to no danger at any time with the alleged threat the decision was made to make sure that every precautionary step had been taken for the safety of the Sandy Hook staff members and students," Erardi said in a statement Wednesday. "This same decision would have been made for all other Newtown school."

Students from the Sandy Hook School have been going to classes in the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe since January 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six staff members during a rampage in their Newtown school.

The Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team will provide counselors to parents and students who "experience emotional reactions and concerns" starting today between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 28 Trades Lane. Call 203-270-4612 for information on after-hours appointments.

Architects have designed plans to build a new school on the Newtown site, but construction has not started. It is expected to begin in spring 2015.

The investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Wife Released in Mayor Shooting]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:36:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/file-bell-gardens-mayor-daniel-crespo-wife-lyvette.jpg

The wife of a Southern California mayor walked free out of a police station Tuesday night after being questioned about the shooting death of her husband of 28 years, sheriff’s officials said.

Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, 45, was gunned down during a domestic dispute at their home in the 6300 block of East Gage Avenue in Bell Gardens (map), according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The mayor punched the couple's 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face when the teen tried to intervene in the fight between his parents, investigators said. Crespo's 43-year-old wife, Lyvette, then allegedly grabbed a gun and shot the mayor multiple times in his upper body.

The shooting was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Crespo was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he was pronounced dead. Sources told the NBC4 I-Team a handgun was used to fire three rounds at the mayor, striking him in the torso.

Both the wife and son were questioned at the Bell Gardens police station. Several hours later, sheriff's detectives said the pair had been released and that no arrests had been made.

No further details were released and NBC4 is working to confirm details regarding events that led to the argument and shooting.

Investigators said they planned to present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, which will determine whether criminal charges will be filed. That process could take weeks, sources told the NBC4 I-Team.

Sources told NBC4 the mayor resided at the two-story condominium with his wife, 19-year-old son and 26-year-old daughter, who was not present at the time of the shooting.

"I couldn't believe it - I still can't believe it. I have a sick mom and now my brother is gone," said the mayor's brother, William Crespo. "He loved (his family) more than life. He loved his wife a lot, he always loved his wife."

His killing also stunned neighbors.

“I know him (from) when my kids were little, when they were in trouble all the time and he helped me with them because they don’t have a dad,” said neighbor Margarita Rios.

According to the city’s website, Crespo was a Brooklyn, New York, native who had been married to his high school sweetheart since 1986. After moving to Bell Gardens, he worked as a Los Angeles County deputy probation officer for 15 years. He was elected to the Bell Gardens City Council in 2001.

Bell Gardens is a suburb of about 42,000 residents. It's located roughly 18 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

California state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) called Crespo's death "shocking" and said their "hearts are heavy with grief."

Here is their joint statement:

"As representatives and residents of Bell Gardens, today's tragic news about the passing of our dear friend, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, is shocking and a tremendous loss for our close knit community. Mayor Crespo was a respected public servant who dedicated his life to protecting and helping others in Southeast Los Angeles and throughout the region. Our hearts are heavy with grief today; and our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We ask that the public respect the privacy of his family during the impending investigation."

NBC4's Tena Ezzeddine contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: William Crespo]]>
<![CDATA[Infant Hit by Hunter's Stray Bullet Will Be Blind: Family]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:48:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/baby-finger-generic.jpg

The family of a 6-day-old Pennsylvania boy who was wounded by a hunter's stray bullet says the infant is expected to survive, but will be blind.

Stefanie Iverson says her son Shayne's life was spared when the bullet exited through the orbital area -- or eye socket -- of his skull rather than hitting his brain.

The boy's father, Jeremie, was holding the baby on Sept. 25 when the bullet came through a window of the family's home near Saltsburg, about 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, and struck the baby's skull.

Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty says the hunter had an agricultural deer control permit when he fired the shot that wounded the boy about 7 p.m. that day.

The shooting was likely accidental, but questions remain about whether the hunter followed state regulations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taxi Drivers Strip Down for Charity]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:28:44 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cab+calendar.jpg

The FDNY's annual calendar of firefighters has long been ogled over, but now there's a new pin-up in town -- and it features taxi drivers.

Now in its second year, the 2015 NYC Taxi Drivers Calendar features three returning "all-stars" and 10 new drivers, and debuts its first husband and wife driving duo. The drivers are depicted in a playful mix of work and leisure that includes puppy playdates and delectable cookie consumption.

Some of the photos from the 2015 calendar are featured in the gallery above.

A portion of the proceeds from each calendar sale go to University Settlement on the Lower East Side, which provides more than 30,000 immigrants and working individuals and families each year with key services like housing, quality education and literacy programs.

Sales from last year's calendar generated more than $40,000 for University Settlement.

This year's calendar is created by freelance creative director Phil Kirkman and his fiancee, photographer Shannon McLaughlin.

Calendars can be purchased here.

Photo Credit: nyctaxicalendar.com]]>
<![CDATA[Cops: Work Issue Led to Md. Deaths]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:04:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/2014-10-01_0659_001.jpg

Police believe a man who had been accused of stealing from his job at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation may have killed the wife of a foundation executive -- before killing himself.

The stunning events unfolded Tuesday afternoon in Potomac, Maryland, not far from the foundation's headquarters in Bethesda.

Investigators believe that Andrew Racca, 42, of Chevy Chase, killed 57-year-old Carolyn Mattingly in her home, according to a statement from Montgomery County police.

Mattingly's body had been set on fire, and was discovered when rescuers responded to a report of a fire in the home's garage.

That wasn't the first time police had been to Mattingly's home that day: Earlier in the afternoon, Mattingly reported that someone had slashed the tires on a car at her home.

And just one hour previously, police had found Racca, dead, in a car that had crashed nearby, on Piney Meetinghouse Road. A gun was also found in the car.

The cause of Racca's death has not been determined, but police said they are investigating the case as a murder-suicide.

There was no known relationship between Mattingly and Racca, police said -- other than the fact that Racca worked at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where Mattingly's husband, C. Richard Mattingly, is the executive vice president and chief operating officer.

On Monday, management of the foundation had met with Racca, "regarding allegations that Racca was involved in workplace theft," the police statement said. Management also told Racca that they would have to report the allegations to police.

"We are devastated by the tragic death of Carolyn Mattingly," the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation said in a statement Wednesday afternoon, adding that the foundation was cooperating fully with the police investigation.

"Our greatest concern is for the welfare of the Mattingly family, and we share our deepest sympathies with them during this extraordinarily difficult time," the statement read.

As they work to unravel the cases, Montgomery County Police revealed the suspected timeline of events.

At 1:15 p.m. Tuesday -- slightly more than an hour before the deaths -- police were called to the Mattingly house on Great Elm Drive for a report of vandalism. Carolyn Mattingly told police that all four tires of a car in her driveway had been flattened. She spoke with police, telling them her husband was at work. The police then left the home.

At 2:23 p.m., authorities got a call about a crash. Racca's body was found in a Mercedes sedan that had crashed into a tree at the intersection of River Road and Piney Meetinghouse Road. There was a pistol on the seat next to him, sources told News4.

Just one minute later, another emergency call came in, this one about a fire at a nearby house on Great Elm Drive. Authorities found the body of a woman in the garage after they extinguished a small fire there.

Investigators soon suspected a connection between the deaths because of the timing and proximity of the scenes.

"It's a tragedy out here," said neighbor David Andrukitis. "We've never had anything like this."

Authorities said Wednesday they weren't sure whether Racca was associated with the vandalism case, but they're working to determine more.

Autopsies will be performed to determine the cause and manner of the deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Coyote Pup Burned in Poinsettia Fire Runs Free]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:07:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/burned+coyote+edited.jpg

One of the smallest victims of the 2014 San Diego wildfires is back on her feet.

On Tuesday, wildlife workers released a female coyote into the wild after spending the last five months with her.

The pup, known only as Coyote 1732, came to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona in May. The 10-week-old coyote had been severely burned in the Poinsettia Fire.

“Literally her paws were dripping blood after the first bandage change. She just had no top layer of skin on all four of her paw pads,” said Gina Taylor, registered veterinary technician at the wildlife center.

“Her entire coat was just crunchy, singed hair,” she said.

Taylor’s eyes welled up with tears as the coyote bolted from her carrier and into the wild. She described the bittersweet feeling as a mother of a teenager leaving for college.

“I do rehab not for them to be pets, not for them to be put into an exhibit of any sort," she said.

Although it was sad to see her go, Taylor said this coyote belongs in the wild.

“We do not feel like she has any inclination to be around humans,” Taylor said. “The fact that we every day, every other day, every third day had to capture her up to change her bandages, she still never liked it, never liked us, never sought us out for any attention.”

Coyote 1732 was released in Oceanside at an undisclosed location approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Taylor said the coyote will eat squirrels, rabbits, lizards and other small animals now that she’s back in the wild.

“She abruptly got separated from her family unit, and now instinct has to kick in for her,” she said.

A few days after the coyote came to the rehabilitation center, her brother arrived also. Taylor said his burns were so severe, she was surprised he survived the night.

Taylor said the boy, Coyote 1736, will never be healthy enough to go back to the wild. Instead, he will be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary in Texas.

The Poinsettia Fire burned 600 acres and destroyed 23 homes and apartments in Carlsbad last May.

<![CDATA[Bankrupt NJ Casino Sells at Auction]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:42:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_revel.jpg

The defunct Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City will reopen as another casino, a spokesman for Brookfield Property Partners parent company said Wednesday, hours after the firm was declared the winning bidder.

"Our expertise is running casino, hotel properties," said Andrew Willis of Brookfield Asset Management, which operates the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas.

Revel officials declared Brookfield Property Partners the winning bidder Tuesday after the Toronto-based company upped their offer to $110 million late Tuesday.

Willis declined to discuss specifics about Brookfield's plan for the property, but did share its expectation for "synergies" between its future Atlantic City casino, Las Vegas' Hard Rock and the Atlantis.

The casino, which cost $2.4 billion to build, opened in 2012 and closed Sept. 2 after filing for its second bankruptcy in June.

"[Revel] and its advisors determined that Brookfield's bid was the highest and the best bid received," a Revel spokeswoman said in a statement. "The company intends to move forward promptly ... to seek approval of the sale."

The sale hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Revel selected Polo North Country Club Inc. as the backup based on its $95.4 million offer, the statement said.

Brookfield first pledged $94 million and then $98 million as it competed with other bidders, like Polo and a real estate developer -- Glenn Straub, for ownership of the bankrupt casino.

Initially Straub appeared to be the only party interested in acquiring Revel, offering $90 million before the bankruptcy auction was even scheduled.

Ahead of the auction, Straub spoke about his ambitious plan to turn the closed casino into a university that would serve ideally "white and over 21" students  -- apparently Straub's way of describing someone with no financial obligations, Reuters reported.

The auction, which began last Wednesday, was suspended that afternoon due to the approaching Rosh Hashanah holiday. It resumed Tuesday.

The bidding process frustrated Straub, who said he waited around for six hours on Sept. 24, "but nothing happened."

He asked the judge to delay the auction, claiming Revel's attorneys failed to keep a promise to share information about other bids they received. A Revel spokeswoman declined to comment on Straub's complaint.

The court refused to suspend the auction, but a hearing was scheduled on Straub's objection for Oct. 20.

<![CDATA[Sperm Bank Mistakenly Sent White Woman Black Donor's Sperm: Suit]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:20:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sperm_Donor_Mixup.jpg

A Downer's Grove, Illinois, sperm bank is reportedly being sued by a white Ohio woman after she was impregnated from vials she says the company mistakenly sent her from a black donor.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Uniontown, Ohio, woman gave birth to a mixed-race baby two years ago. The suit claims it's difficult for her and her same-sex partner to raise the girl in a small all-white community she describes as "intolerant."

"I was more mad at the sperm bank for being negligent," Jennifer Cramblett told NBC News. "I was upset at them for not caring about my feelings and my emotions and just kind of pushing me away and saying we can't talk to you anymore. No sorry, no accountability."

Cramblett's lawsuit against Midwest Sperm Bank claims wrongful birth and breach of warranty, and claims she suffered emotional and economic losses, according to the newspaper.

"Jennifer bonded with Payton easily and she and Amanda love her very much. Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton's future," the Tribune quotes the lawsuit as stating.

The suit claims the error was made because the sperm bank keeps handwritten records, which led to a misread number.

Cramblett said she took legal action because she doesn't want anyone else going through what her family experienced and because the company just didn't care. She said she loves her daughter who's "made us the people that we are."

"You can't just do that and say, well, you got a baby so you should be happy. A lesbian couple can't get a baby anyways, you should be happy you have a healthy child," Cramblett told NBC News.

Phone calls to Midwest Sperm Bank and Cramblett's attorney were not immediately returned.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[920 Chickens Killed in Break-In at Foster Farms: Police]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:44:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/AP500744556968.jpg

Hundreds of chickens were killed after burglars broke into a Foster Farms facility in Caruthers, California, investigators said.

Fresno County police said the unknown suspects in the Sept. 20 break-in pulled back part of the facility's fence, entered a chicken shed, then slaughtered the animals with a golf club or other blunt object.

Foster Farms said the 920 chickens killed were worth about $5,000. Foster Farms is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

"The perpetrator committed an unconscionable act of animal cruelty,'' the company said in a statement. "This appears to be a random act of violence. It is the express policy of Foster Farms to treat its birds humanely and with compassion. Any intentional act to the contrary is unacceptable.''

Nothing was stolen from the facility, police said. Caruthers is about 17 miles southwest of Fresno.

The nonprofit Animal Defense League offered a $5,000 reward Wednesday for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

"While the chickens were slated for eventual slaughter at the factory farming facility, animal cruelty in the state of California is a serious criminal offense," ADL said in a statement.

Caruthers is about 17 miles southwest of Fresno. Anyone with any information relating to the massacre of the chickens should contact Deputy Chris Curtice at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-3111.

Photo Credit: FILE-AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jeter on His Career: Never Wanted to Embarrass Parents]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:25:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Derek_Jeter209740927409.jpg

Newly retired New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter said he avoided scandal and controversy during his storied career because he did not want to humiliate his parents.

“I’ve always had tried to treat people with respect, the way I wanted to be treated,” the 14-time All Star said in a “Today” show interview that aired Wednesday. “I’ve always been very cautious with what I do. I started at a young age and I’ve always had the mentality that I never wanted to embarrass my parents. That fear is still there.”

The final player to wear a single-digit number for the Yankees, Jeter spoke with "Today's" Matt Lauer less than 24 hours after he played his last game at the stadium, which he won with a walk-off single.

“Fifty thousand people. I’ve never been an actor on Broadway, but it feels like you’re on a stage when you play at Yankee stadium,” Jeter said. “And that’s the feeling I’ve always had. To have everyone there standing up, cheering for you and saying thank you, just never want to play another game out there.”

The 40-year-old star shortstop, who received gifts from other ballclubs on his way out, said he was most surprised at the send-off he got from the Yankees' arch rivals at Fenway Park on the last day of his career.

A pregame ceremony honoring the retiring captain produced numerous standing ovations from the Boston crowd. Jeter told Lauer that there were plenty of times when Red Sox fans would “stand and say some things" during his 20-season career. "But it was never an ovation.”

Jeter hit an RBI single at his last at bat at Fenway. The final hit left him with a .310 career batting average, raising it from .30945 to .30951.

The baseball star already has some post-retirement plans. He has launched Jeter Publishing, his imprint with Simon & Schuster and The Players' Tribune, a publishing portal where athletes will be able to share their stories without having to deal with reporters.

"I realize I’ve been guarded. I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer," Jeter said in a statement on the site that posted Wednesday. "I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions."

Jeter told Lauer it feels good so far to be retired.

“It’s funny, because someone had mentioned to me I went from an old man in baseball to a young man in life. And I liked how that sounded. So, I consider myself young again," he said.

One thing he rules out is coming out of retirement.

“I played my last game. That’s one hundred percent,” he assured Lauer.



Photo Credit: Today]]>
<![CDATA[Adorable Zoo Babies: Cute Red Panda]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:10:34 -0700 Read more about the adorable cub here.]]> Read more about the adorable cub here.]]> http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/red-panda-necn.jpg See all the newest arrivals at zoos around the world. Baby lions, tigers and bears step into the spotlight.

Photo Credit: Zoo New England]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Injured Outside Six Flags]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:47:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/six+flags+america+traffic.jpg News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief learned that social media may have played a role in the violence outside Six Flags Saturday night.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Liberians in Dallas on Ebola News]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:22:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DFW+Liberian+Church.jpg

Confirmation that a patient at a Dallas hospital is being treated for Ebola after arriving in North Texas from West Africa has alarmed the local Liberian community.

For weeks, NBC 5 has tracked the progress of a local group's efforts to raise money and supplies to help Ebola patients in their native Liberia.

On Tuesday, they learned the virus is now in Dallas.

"We have people going and coming every day, so like I said, this is shocking, because they take all the necessary precautions over there at the airport and even when they get here," said Carolyn Woahloe, head of the local Liberian Nurses Association.

According to the president of the Liberian Community Association of DFW, there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Liberians in North Texas.

Many of them travel back and forth from their home country often.

The president of the LCADFW told NBC 5 he does not personally know the Dallas Ebola patient, but the group is planning an informative meeting to let the public know of the need to seek medical help if anyone had contact with the patient.

"Whoever came in contact with this family of ours, they just don't need to be afraid. They just need to go to the hospital, [and] say, 'Hey, I was there. I greeted him.' Just go get checked out, the family and friends and everyone else who came in contact with him," said Woahloe.

Nine Liberian churches operate in Dallas and Fort Worth, according to LCADFW.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>