<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:56:41 -0400 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:56:41 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[White House Fence Jumper in Custody]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:24:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/172*120/456595274.jpg

A Maryland man is in custody after jumping the White House fence Wednesday, just weeks after a similar incident prompted the director of the Secret Service to resign.

Officials said around 7:15 p.m., 23-year-old Dominic Adesanya climbed the fence on the North Lawn and got about 20 yards past it when he was taken down by Secret Service officers and K-9 dogs.

The officers were heard yelling, "Stop moving!" in a grainy surveillance video. Adesanya is then heard screaming, "I'm not!" 

Adesanya, of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody and has been hospitalized for unknown injuries.

Secret Service officials say two dogs were taken to a veterinarian for injuries sustained during the incident after being kicked.

The White House was locked down until just before 9 p.m. Officials say Adesanya was not armed.

Law enforcement sources told News4 President Obama was at the White House at the time.

 

Just last month, 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez also jumped the fence, entered the White House and got to the East Room before he was arrested. The security breach prompted scrutiny of the Secret Service, which led to the resignation of director Julia Pierson Oct 1. 

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said the Secret Service K-9s made all the difference Wednesday.

"As the adage goes, 'Who let the dogs out?'" Holmes Norton said. "This time, the Secret Service let the dogs out. Had the dogs been out, Gonzalez would never have gotten into the White House."

This is a developing story. Stay with us for more.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nurse Amber Vinson No Longer Has Ebola: Family]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:53:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ambervinson.jpg

Dallas nurse Amber Vinson no longer has signs of Ebola in her blood, her family said Wednesday, one week after she was hospitalized at an Atlanta hospital with the potentially deadly virus.

Vinson will be transferred into a different unit at Emory University Hospital and is still being treated in the serious communicable diseases unit, the family said.

"Amber and our family are ecstatic to receive this latest report on her condition," her mother Debra Barry said, saying the news had "truly answered prayers and bring our family one step closer to reuniting with her at home."

Vinson, 29, was the second Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital nurse to fall ill with the virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Duncan died Oct. 8.

Her coworker Nina Pham, who also contracted the virus after treating Duncan, remains hospitalized in good condition at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

It is still unclear how exactly both nurses contracted the virus.

Vinson had worn protective gear including face shields, hazardous materials suits and protective footwear as she inserted catheters, drew blood and dealt with Duncan's body fluids. She worked on the three days in late September when Duncan was producing "extensive" diarrhea and vomit.

Vinson was hospitalized on Tuesday, Oct. 14, one day after she returned to Dallas from a trip to Ohio to plan her wedding and visit family. She was diagnosed with Ebola one day after she was hospitalized.

Vinson's family has defended her decision to fly home to Dallas the day before she fell ill with Ebola, saying that she made the decision in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with guidance from her own hospital.

She had been cleared by the CDC to fly just before she boarded the flight, the CDC said last week, hours after the CDC chief told reporters she should not have flown.



Photo Credit: Vinson Family / NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Suspected Serial Killer Charged in Second Death]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:29:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Darren+Deon+Vann+new.jpg

A second round of murder charges were filed Wednesday against a registered sex offender suspected in the deaths of at least seven women whose bodies were found over the last weekend.

Darren Deon Vann, 43, was charged in the death of Anith Jones, a 35-year-old Merrillville resident whose body was found late Saturday night. Her family had reported her missing on Oct. 8.


Vann was charged Monday in connection with the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy.

Earlier Wednesday, Vann was ordered held in contempt of court when he refused to utter a word to the judge during his initial court appearance in the Hardy case.

"He will stay in jail for the rest of his life until this hearing takes place," Magistrate Judge Kathleen Sullivanwas said before putting the case on hold until Oct. 29 and agreeing to a defense motion for a gag order.

"See you in a week," she said.

Vann was then taken back to his jail cell, which is away from the general population and where he is under 24-hour watch from personnel.

Authorities said Vann, of Gary, opened up about previous crimes once he was arrested in connection with the Hardy case and helped police find six other bodies. By Wednesday morning, just three of those six had been positively identified: Jones, 28-year-old Teairra Batey, and 36-year-old Kristine Williams.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey on Tuesday asked asking for the public's help in identifying two of the women who were recovered over the weekend. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Coroner’s Office at 219-755-3265.



Photo Credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Ebola Lessons Hit Close to Home for Texas Nursing School ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:14:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ebola_funerario_duncan.jpg

Just before Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, students in a microbiology class at Texas Christian University read the medical thriller "The Hot Zone."

The 1994 best-selling chronicle introduced them to virus hunters desperately battling outbreaks of Ebola and other deadly viral hemorrhagic fevers in Africa, the dangers the scientists faced and the stringent safety procedures they followed, from the biohazard clothing they wore to chemical showers and ultraviolet scans they used to keep from infecting themselves.

It was enthralling and far away.

And then Ebola arrived in Dallas — sickening a Texas Christian University graduate, Nina Pham, one of the two nurses who became ill after they cared for Duncan, the Liberian man who died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

When the Ebola scare began unfolding three weeks ago, 19-year-old nursing student Andrea Jumper thought about what she had read, particularly the protective steps the researchers took in "The Hot Zone.”

"It was all decontamination," the sophomore from Keller, Texas, said. "They had so much protection and they were just dealing with little samples of Ebola.”

She wondered why Duncan’s specimens were sent through the hospital’s tube delivery system during Duncan first visit to the hospital, when he arrived at the emergency room with a fever and complaining of nausea, abdominal pain and other symptoms. That changed when, after initially being sent home, he returned on Sept. 28 and was hospitalized.

“It was really mind-boggling to me that here they sent in the samples with all the other blood samples,” she said. “And they didn't have nearly as much of the protection as they use in the book.”

The hospital just did not know what to expect, she said.

It’s an assessment that Texas Health Presbyterian shares. It has acknowledged that its nurses had not received full training for such a deadly, contagious illness and that it made mistakes.

“On that visit to the Emergency Department, we did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola,” Barclay Berdan, the CEO of Texas Health Resources, the hospital’s parent company, wrote in a letter to the community. “For this, we are deeply sorry.”

At Texas Christian University's Fort Worth campus of yellow brick buildings, green quads and purple depictions of the school's mascot, a horned frog, the nursing students are keeping up with the latest developments on Ebola and here, their discussions have an added urgency. They will soon be on medicine's front lines, battling Ebola and other illnesses.

Kristie Tinh, a 21-year-old junior, said she and classmates are following the news reports and trying to make sure they have the correct information.

"We understand why it's a big deal, but we really just want people to calm down and look at the facts," she said.

Tinh said she was inspired by her father, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s who volunteered at a clinic where the injured were cared for. His work was dangerous, she said.

“He would tell me stories of what he would do and it just seemed really fascinating to me,” she said. “And that's what really pushed me to go into a health profession.”

She and other students said they thought that they were being prepared to protect themselves and that, panic aside, the disease in the United States was being controlled.

“You just need to be smart about it and take the proper steps and just think about what you're going in to,” said Jumper, who plans to work in neonatal care after serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Clark A. Jones, Jumper’s microbiology professor, said that each year he began his course with “The Hot Zone,” reading an excerpt at the start of the first class. It provides an excellent description of epidemiology and shows how agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control Prevention in Atlanta and the U.S. Army work together in public health emergencies, he said.

“It’s been an amazing book to always use,” Jones said. “Did I ever foresee that we would see something like this? Well, we talk about it a lot, especially as the book ends with HIV …a major virus that has affected our world.”

His students have asked about droplet transmission — when a virus is transmitted through fluids as Ebola is — as opposed to airborne transmission, and they understand why the nurses were so much more at risk of infection than Duncan’s fiancee and her family, he said. After reading “The Hot Zone,” they knew the danger of a “Level 4 hot agent” like Ebola and questioned why the protection gear being worn by the Dallas health-care workers as recommended by the CDC in Atlanta seemed inadequate, he said.

“Our students were really surprised,” he said.

Since Pham and the other nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, became infected, the CDC has announced a series of measures to better protect health-care workers, the most recent change coming on Monday, when it issued stricter guidelines for protective equipment worn by the workers. The CDC is now calling for gear that covers the workers’ bodies completely, with face shields, hoods and boot covers, and for trained monitors to supervise them as they put it on and remove it.

Also, on Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that the state would create two new biocontainment facilities for treating patients with Ebola and other contagious diseases. Pham and Vinson are now hospitalized at two of the country’s four biocontainment hospitals specially equipped to handle infectious diseases, Pham at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, and Vinson at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Suzy Lockwood, the director of undergraduate nursing studies at Texas Christian University’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said the school’s students have always been made aware of the need to guard against infectious diseases.

She poined out that the Dallas nurses, in trying to better protect themselves, taped their gear closed, perhaps putting themselves at greater risk as they removed the tape. Some of the protective gear was too large for the nurses. Lockwood noted that Pham, whom she taught and described as very caring, thoughtful and smart, is also small. The CDC recommendation for monitors to watch health-care workers remove their gear is key, Lockwood said.

“We’re all in a living science experiment,” she said. “We’re learning so much. Unfortunately, Presbyterian, the hospital here, ended up being the hospital that got the patient. Any other hospital would have had the same, probably would have had the same experience — just a little bit different but would have had the same struggles that this hospital had. They wouldn’t have had any different equipment.”

Maddy Robinson, a 19-year-old who studied nursing before switching to education, said the Ebola cases at Texas Health Presbyterian showed the importance of nurses, something she had learned from her father, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta.

“We're not prepared for something like Ebola,” she said.

With Pham still hospitalized, students and staff at the Harris School of Nursing have started wearing purple and apricot ribbons as a show of support, purple for the university, apricot because it is the academic color for nursing. After homecoming this past weekend, alumni have been calling asking for them, Lockwood said.

“We’ve been sending ribbons all over the country,” she said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images / File Photo
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<![CDATA[Crowd Attacks Driver Who Struck Boy]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:55:50 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/216*120/icecreamtruck2.JPG

An angry crowd attacked an ice cream truck driver who fatally struck a 7-year-old boy riding a bicycle in South Los Angeles on Wednesday night, police said.

The boy was rushed to the hospital in grave condition after being hit about 7:15 p.m. in the 200 block of 97th Street (map), the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The ice cream truck driver suffered bruises and was treated at the scene. Police initially said the driver had been transported to the hospital.

Police said the crowd threw brick and stick at the ice cream truck driver, and someone may have pulled a knife on him.

No further information was immediately available.

Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.
 

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<![CDATA[Teacher Accused of Sex With Student on First Day Pleads Not Guilty]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:18:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/257*120/2014-10-22_1223_001.png

A substitute teacher in D.C. accused of having sex with a student on her first day at the school pleaded not guilty.

Symone Greene, 22, was working at Options Public Charter School in Northeast D.C. on Friday when she first met the victim, a 17-year-old football player, according to court documents.

The student told police he was working as an office assistant and helped Green twice that day in her English class. The student says he flirted with Greene during class, gave her his cell phone number, and later received a text message from her.

While the student did not recall the exact contents of their messages, he said he did ask if she was "kinky."

She allegedly responded, 'I don't tell[;] I show," court documents state.

Toward the end of the school's pep rally that day, the teen went to Greene's classroom, where she allegedly performed oral sex behind the teacher's desk. The victim recorded the sex act and later shared the video with his teammates and a childhood friend.

Greene allegedly sent the teen a text message over the weekend asking him not to tell anyone.

"When school administrators learned of the incident Monday morning, we immediately contacted the Child and Family Services Agency, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the parent of the student," Shannon Hodge, the school's executive director, said in a statement.

Greene has been charged with first-degree sexual assault against a minor in a significant relationship.

Although the age of consent in D.C. is 16, Greene was charged because she was the teen's teacher. According to D.C. law, age-of-consent rules are not in play in when it comes to "significant relationships," which include teachers and their students.

Greene had a court date Wednesday, where she pleaded not guilty and was ordered to stay away from the vicitm, minors and Options Public Charter School. 

Hodge said Greene was contracted through a company based in Delaware and had never worked at the school before.


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<![CDATA[How Is Ebola Spread?]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 00:30:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/456202288.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

How Ebola Is Spread:

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

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

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

What Are the Symptoms of Ebola:

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

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

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

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

Are Patients Who Recover From Ebola Immune for Life?

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

Can Ebola Mutate to Become Aiborne?

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

Can Mosquitoes Spread Ebola?

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

How Long Does the Ebola Virus Live:

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

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

How Can Travelers Protect Themselves:

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

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

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



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[SoCal Doc Accused of Taking Nude Pics of Patients: Suit ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:47:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Volunteers-in-Medicine-1021.jpg

An El Cajon doctor is accused of having more than a thousand images of naked female patients on his work cellphone, according to court documents in a lawsuit filed by a former patient.

The plaintiff in the San Diego lawsuit claims she was seen by Dr. Jeffrey Abrams on January 4 at the Volunteers in Medicine Free Medical Clinic on East Madison Avenue.

The uninsured woman, who went to the free clinic with belly button pain, claims Abrams told her take off all her clothes then inserted his gloved finger into her vagina and asked "You have pain?"

Then, she claims he had her stand in front of him, pushed her hair away from her exposed breasts, pulled out a cellphone and took five pictures of her.

Attorney Jessica Pride says her client reported the incident to authorities because she didn’t want any other patient to go through the same experience. A subsequent search of his clinic uncovered more that 1,300 additional photos on his work cellphone, according to court documents.

“We were both surprised to hear that she was not the only one,” Pride said.

Many of the 1,300 explicit photos showed women’s vaginas, breasts and buttocks, documents alleged.

There was one explicit photo of a very young girl and video of a patient touching herself in the exam room with Abrams, the documents allege.

NBC 7 has attempted to reach Abrams for comment but has not received a response.

When NBC 7 called to see if the San Diego County District Attorney's Office was investigating potential criminal charges, a spokesperson for the DA declined to comment on pending investigations.

Maureen Hartin, CEO of Volunteers in Medicine, issued a statement Wednesday calling the allegations “very troubling.”

Hartin said one of the center's volunteer medical providers has been put on an immediate leave of absence while the California Medical Board investigates.

She added that the allegations “certainly are not a reflection” on the staff at the health care facility, the only free medical clinic in the East County.

The nonprofit center cared for 3,000 patients last year, providing them with medical visits, imaging and lab tests according to the organization’s statement.

Abrams is currently licensed to practice medicine in the state of California and is an Internal Medicine and Endocrinology specialist.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, Abrams has held a medical license since 1974 and has no disciplinary actions or malpractice judgments filed with the state.

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<![CDATA[War of the Words: Battle Heats Up Between SF, KC Librarians]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:07:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Juan+Marichal+and+Dan+by+Jim+Hart.jpg

The war of words is heating up between two public libraries 1,500 miles apart, as dueling librarians do their part to boost their hometown baseball team's quest to win the World Series crown.

Sounding a bit Shakespearean, Liesl Christman, the Twitter czar for the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted on Wednesday morning, hours after the San Francisco Giants crushed the Royals in Game 1 on Tuesday, 7-1: "'Tis but a flesh wound - @Royals will rally! Tonight, #LetsThrowFire!"

If the Giants win it all, Christman promised Wednesday her library will buy and shelve San Rafael author Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

If the Royals win, Christman hopes the San Francisco Public Library will be forced to stock George Brett's "From Here to Cooperstown," which is about the Royals, on its shelves.

Michelle Jeffers, the digital guru at the library in San Francisco, said she'd consider the request, but from what's she's heard, that book is out of print.

"Even better!" Jeffers joked, adding that under different circumstances she and Christman might be very good friends.

Then Jeffers tweeted: "Guess we'll see what happens tonight when the Giants shhhhhhh-ut you down in Game 2."

No one is happier about the librarian smack talk than Fost, a former San Francisco Chronicle reporter who is now a full-time author and freelance writer. Each time the Giants make it to the World Series – this is third time in five seasons – he is asked to write a new edition. "This is a mutually symbiotic relationship," he said on Wednesday.

As for the baseball book bet, Fost is also genuinely enthralled Kansas City readers may be flipping through pages he wrote.

"What a great idea to promote reading," he said. "I'm so moved."



Photo Credit: Jim Hart
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<![CDATA[Ebola Patient Nina Pham's Dog Tests Negative for Virus]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:57:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bentley-Thumb-102214.jpg

The test results are in and Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, has tested negative for the virus.

A team of specially-trained veterinarians started testing the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the virus Monday, sending samples from his waste to a lab.

Dallas Animal Services has been carrying for Bentley in isolation. To date, he has been healthy and still shows no symptoms of the virus.

The city of Dallas tweeted new pictures Wednesday and said they'll run one more test before the end of a 21-day quarantine period. Bentley will remain in isolation until Nov. 1.

Pham is one of two nurses who fell ill with the potentially deadly virus after caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at a Dallas hospital. She is currently recieving treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. On Tuesday, doctors there said her condition has been upgraded from fair to good. There is no word on when she will be released.

The city of Dallas said Pham gets daily updates on her dog.

In response to the outpouring of support around the world for Bentley, the city of Dallas partnered with Dallas Companion Animal Project to establish the Dallas Pet Emergency Transition Services (PETS) fund. The donations will help Bentley and other pets in similar emergency situations in the future.

To donate visit DallasAnimals.org and click "You Can Help" or CLICK HERE to donate to the Dallas PETS (Pet Emergency Transition Services) Fund.



Photo Credit: City of Dallas via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Suspected Serial Killer in Court]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:20:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Darren+Deon+Vann+new.jpg

A man charged with killing a sex worker and suspected in the deaths of at least six other women was held in contempt of court Wednesday when he refused to utter a word to the judge during his initial court appearance.

Darren Deon Vann, 43, sat silently as Magistrate Judge Kathleen Sullivan attempted to put Vann under oath during a hearing at the Lake County (Indiana) Jail.

"He will stay in jail for the rest of his life until this hearing takes place," Sullivan was heard saying before putting the case on hold until Oct. 29 and agreeing to a defense motion for a gag order.

"See you in a week," she said.

Vann, of Gary, was charged with murder and robbery in connection with the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy in Hammond. Once arrested, officials said Vann opened up about other crimes and told them where six more bodies could be found.

Wednesday's hearing was in connection to the Hardy case. Vann has not been charged with the other homicides, and Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Vann can't be arraigned on any other crimes because of the judge's contempt of court order.


Buncich added that Vann had previously been cooperative during questioning but was apparently upset about the number of media personnel present and about the fact that his first appearance was in the jail and not a regular courtroom.

"His demeanor today changed," Buncich said.

Investigators from the Gary Police Department were to get an opportunity to speak with Vann alone after the court appearance but the judge's order now means they can't approach him for questioning.

By Wednesday morning, just three of the six bodies Vann helped police find in Gary had been positively identified: 35-year-old Anith Jones, 28-year-old Teairra Batey, and 36-year-old Kristine Williams.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey on Tuesday asked asking for the public's help in identifying two of the women who were recovered over the weekend. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Coroner’s Office at 219-755-3265.



Photo Credit: Lake County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Photos Show Alleged Abuse of Wife]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:58:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/10-21-14-Lyvette+Crespo+Photo+Injuries.JPG

Photos and a voice mail recording obtained by NBC4 on Tuesday paint a dark picture in the marriage of Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, who was fatally shot by his wife during a confrontation last month.

Exclusive photos, given to NBC4 by Lyvette Crespo's attorney Eber Bayona, show Lyvette with a bruised right eye with cuts to her lip about two years ago -- injuries Bayona claimed are the result of longtime abuse by Daniel Crespo.

"From the time she was pregnant with Crystal at the age of 15, she endured his abuse," Bayona said.

Authorities say Lyvette, 43, shot her 45-year-old husband multiple times after he punched their 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr., in the face while inside the family's condominium on Sept. 30.

Bayona told NBC4 on Tuesday that Daniel Crespo hit his wife with his fists and belts, and once snapped when his wife was looking at a photo of an elected official on the computer.

"He took her face, smashed it into the computer and asked her if she found him attractive," Bayona said.

Bayona said he released the photos in a response to allegations made by Daniel Crespo's brother, William, at a news conference on Monday when announcing a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Lyvette Crespo.

The suit, filed on behalf of Crespo's mother, alleges that Lyvette Crespo threatened to kill her husband many times and used an unwarranted amount of force to kill him, concluding that she "is a cold blooded killer."

"She said she was going to divorce my brother when the kids turned 18," William Crespo said Monday. "The kids turned 18. My brother went and he got himself another girlfriend, and she got jealous and she was holding it all inside. I guess she just let it all out and killed him."

NBC4 on Tuesday separately obtained a voice mail allegedly left by a girlfriend of Daniel Crespo to his wife within the last year. The recording was confirmed by Lyvette Crespo through her attorney.

"Ly, answer me please. I know you don't want to talk because you said I was psycho whatever, but this is ridiculous," the woman can be heard saying in the recording.

"You act like he is an innocent man, and you know all the f------ s--- that he has done," the voice mail continues. "And I'm not asking you to feel sorry for me. I'm asking you to wake the f--- up."

NBC4 is not identifying the woman in the recording.

The night of the shooting, Daniel Jr. called 911 and told the dispatcher his mother "was defending herself" when she fatally shot her husband, according to a recording of the call obtained by NBC4.

Daniel Jr. and Lyvette Crespo were questioned by police for several hours, but both were released that night. Lyvette Crespo remains free as authorities investigate the shooting.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has not filed any charges as of Tuesday and declined to comment on the recording.



Photo Credit: Lyvette Crespo/Eber Bayona]]>
<![CDATA[Man Guilty of Killing Teacher ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:58:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Allen+Prue.jpg

A Waterford, Vermont, man was convicted Wednesday in the brutal March, 2012 killing of a beloved St. Johnsbury Academy Science teacher. A jury of six men and six women found Allen Prue guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted kidnapping. The decision followed a 10-day trial and roughly six hours of deliberations.

Allen Prue turned his head from news cameras and gently cried as the jury's foreperson delivered the verdict. There were also tears—of relief—from the family and friends of Melissa Jenkins who had gathered in the courtroom.

"It took a lot of weight off our shoulders," said Linda Gadapee, the aunt of Melissa Jenkins. "It's been a hard two years and I think justice is going to be served."

Gadapee and other relatives and close friends have been remembering Jenkins as a good mom to a toddler son, and as a smart and motivated science teacher who wanted to continue her education. Loved ones have traveled from across the state to attend the proceedings in Burlington.

While the crime was committed in Caledonia County, the trial took place in Chittenden County, where attorneys believed they'd have an easier time finding potential jurors who had not been exposed to pre-trial news coverage of Jenkins' disappearance, memorial services, and details of the case.

Prosecutors told the jury Prue and his wife Patricia developed an obsession with Jenkins, starting when the snowplow driver did work for Jenkins. That turned to a sexual fascination, Caledonia County State's Attorney Lisa Warren argued, that exploded with a plot to trick the mother into leaving her home to help the Prues through a roadside emergency with their car.

After having lured her, the couple launched a blitz attack, Warren said, stun-gunning, beating, and strangling Jenkins to death. They then dumped Jenkins' naked body in the Connecticut River, weighed down with cinder blocks, Warren told the jury. They also tried covering the crime by disposing of evidence, Warren said.

"On behalf of the state police, we're very, very grateful to this jury for their verdict," said Capt. J.P. Sinclair of the Vermont State Police. "This was the culmination of a lot of hard work. And I'm very grateful that these 12 jurors saw this case the way we did."

The decision will bring an automatic appeal.

Prosecutors are turning their attention now to Patricia Prue, who plans to use an insanity defense at her trial. "It's going to be the same evidence and then some," Warren told reporters after the verdict in Allen Prue's trial was announced. "It's a different defendant so there are different fact patterns that have to be addressed with Ms. Prue."

Warren said she believes the conviction of Allen Prue can be "very helpful" in assisting the state seek a conviction of Patricia Prue. She is expected to go on trial in early 2015, Warren told reporters Wednesday.

No sentencing date has been set for Allen Prue. The most serious conviction, first-degree murder, carries a minimum 35-year sentence in Vermont, with a maximum of life in prison.



Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Catholic School Teacher Charged ]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:52:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/teacher+accused+rape1.jpg

A former Catholic school teacher and basketball coach has been accused of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old student dozens of times over a one-month period, according to a criminal complaint.

Megan Mahoney, 24, is charged with 30 counts of statutory rape, four counts of engaging in a criminal sexual and one count of endangering the welfare of a child after she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a male student between Oct. 31, 2013 and Jan. 9.

The student, now 17, told prosecutors that he and Mahoney had some sort of sexual contact roughly twice a week over that period, according to the complaint.

The Staten Island Advance reports that Mahoney was a gym teacher and assistant basketball coach at Moore Catholic High School in Graniteville. She resigned from the school in January.

She was arrested over the weekend and released, the Advance reports. Her attorney declined comment.

The school and Archdiocese of New York both told the newspaper it was cooperating with investigators.



Photo Credit: Silive.com/ Staten Island Advance/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pet Bobcat Escapes Again]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:25:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rocky+the+Bobcat.JPG

A pet bobcat escaped from its Jersey Shore home for at least the third time this year, a little more than a month after a judge told its owner the feline would be removed from her home permanently if it got out again.

Authorities were notified around 9 a.m. Tuesday that the bobcat, named Rocky, escaped from Ginny Fine's home. Stafford Police said Wednesday the 38-pound cat was found in a humane trap Wednesday morning. It is currently being held at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey.

Fine was issued another summons after the cat escaped, and she could lose custody of the animal because of its previous escapes.

It's the third time authorities have had to round up the elusive cat this year. In one escape, the partially-declawed feline was missing for days, leaving neighbors concerned.

A judge ordered Rocky to undergo DNA testing to determine if he was a full-blooded bobcat, which are illegal to have as pets in the Garden State. Fine said he is a hybrid. The test came back inconclusive. 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA["Game of Thrones" Debate Moment]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:41:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/NECN_102114_winteriscomingNHdebate_10p_1200x675_346016835790.jpg

A University of New Hampshire political science professor's three word pop culture reference in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race debate Tuesday night in Concord had the audience laughing and the Internet buzzing.

"Winter is coming," Dante Scala said in kicking off a question on rising energy costs directed at Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, who was moderating the debate, quickly said it wasn't in reference to HBO's hit show "Game of Thrones." 

The light moment in an otherwise testy debate came as Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown face a close race.

A recent WMUR Granite State poll showed Shaheen leading her GOP challenger 44 percent to 38 percent among likely voters at the start of the month. Seventeen percent remained undecided.

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<![CDATA[1st Dallas Ebola Nurse Upgraded]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:49:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nina-pham-nih.jpg

Dallas nurse and Ebola patient Nina Pham's condition was upgraded from fair to good Tuesday at the National Instites of Health in Maryland, where she has been in isolation with the potentially deadly virus since Thursday.

She had been in fair condition since Friday, a day after her transfer to the taxpayer-funded Bethesda hospital -- home to one of the nation's top-level biocontainment facilities -- from Dallas.

Pham contracted Ebola after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus in the United States, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Pham had been listed in good condition in Dallas before her transfer, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Immunoregulation, had said the change to fair shouldn't be understood as meaning that her condition had worsened.

"She's not deteriorating," he had said Friday. "She is quite stable now and resting comfortably."

Last week Fauci said they fully intend to have Pham walk out of their hospital and will do everything they can to make sure that happens.



Photo Credit: AP / Texas Christian University
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<![CDATA[Editor Ben Bradlee Dies at 93]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:40:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/137613147.jpg

One of the great figures in American journalism has died.

Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post, passed away at the age of 93.

The family says he had been in hospice care suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

His death was reported by The Washington Post Tuesday.

Bradlee skyrocketed to fame in the early 1970s when he allowed the Post to look deeper into the burglary at the Watergate Hotel. His collaboration with young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein eventually brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency and established the Washington Post as one of the world's top newspapers.

"He had the courage of an army," Woodward and Bernstein said in a statement Tuesday evening. "Ben had an intuitive understanding of the history of our profession, its formative impact on him and all of us. We loved him deeply, and he will never be forgotten or replaced in our lives."

Bradlee's Watergate fame was sealed with the movie "All the President's Men," in which he was portrayed by actor Jason Robards.

Bradlee lived a life as rich as his family name. Born into privilege in Boston, he graduated from Harvard. As a young man he lived in Paris for a time, working for the American embassy. He then joined Newsweek and eventually the Washington Post, where he served as the executive editor from 1968 until his retirement in 1991.

A prominent figure in the glamorous days of the Kennedy Administration, he was a close friend of both John and Jackie Kennedy.

Bradlee was a major player in those heady days when Georgetown dinner parties probably shaped government policy more than Congress.

He added to his stature in 1978 when he married the young style section reporter, Sally Quinn, who was 20 years his junior.

Since retiring, Bradlee wrote a memoir entitled "A Good Life" in 1995 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama last year.

"A true newspaperman, he transformed the Washington Post into one of the country's finest newspapers, and with him at the helm, a growing army of reporters published the Pentagon Papers, exposed Watergate, and told stories that needed to be told - stories that helped us understand our world and one another a little bit better," President Obama said in a statement Tuesday. "The standard he set - a standard for honest, objective, meticulous reporting - encouraged so many others to enter the profession."

As for journalism, Bradlee once said, "I don't mean to sound arrogant, but we are in a holy profession.”



Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rivals Debate in NH Senate Race]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:06:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2014-10-21-21h11m54s10.jpg

Scott Brown continued to hammer away at Democrat Jeanne Shaheen's record in Washington as the incumbent repeatedly accused her Republican opponent of fear mongering during a debate in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race Tuesday.

Brown accused Shaheen of "outsourcing independence" by voting for policies backed by President Barack Obama. Shaheen, meanwhile, sought to distance herself from the president, who has low approval ratings in New Hampshire.

"In some ways I approve, in some ways I don't approve," of the president's decisions, Shaheen said when asked to answer "yes or no" if she approves of Obama's job in office.

The latest efforts to contain and prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the United States also became a hot topic, as Brown pushed for a travel ban from West Africa. Shaheen reiterated a comment from a day earlier that she would consider one if it would make a difference. That position was a reversal from last week, when she said she didn't think the idea "makes sense." 

The Democratic incumbent accused her rival of fear mongering on the Ebola virus, border security and the threat of terrorism posed by ISIS.

The two rivals remain locked in a close race as they headed into Tuesday's televised debate, which was hosted by New England Cable News, the Concord Monitor and the University of New Hampshire. A recent WMUR Granite State poll showed Shaheen leading her GOP challenger 44 percent to 38 percent among likely voters at the start of the month. Seventeen percent remained undecided.

The competitive race has attracted campaign cash and headlines from across the country, as one of several competitive seats Republicans are targeting in their bid to win control of the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

Chuck Todd, NBC's "Meet the Press" host, moderated the debate from the Capitol Center for the arts in Concord.

Shaheen said she was proud of her vote for the Obama's landmark heath care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act, while Brown insisted Granite Staters wanted to repeal Obamacare.

Sparks also flew on the topics of immigration and border security.

"The border is secure when people don't come across it," Brown said to the applause of supporters after Todd asked him to define a secure border.

Shaheen attacked Brown's record on abortion rights, which he says he supports; Brown, while senator for Massachusetts, supported the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer with moral objections to opt out of requiring to cover birth control in 2012.

When Brown said Shaheen was anti-nuclear as the subject of rising energy costs came up, she countered, "No, I'm not!"

Brown suggested repeatedly that Shaheen backs a new national energy tax, an assertion PolitiFact has deemed "mostly false."

In a final lightning round, Shaheen said her priority after being re-elected would be to refinance student loans; Brown said he would push the U.S. Senate to come up with a budget. Both declined to say they'd back their respective party heads in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for another term in leadership. 

Barbs were also thrown after Brown defended his decision to run in New Hampshire this year instead of seeking to win back the Massachusetts seat he lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012 by saying he didn't run "because I live here." 

"I don't think New Hampshire is a consolation prize," Shaheen said.

 


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<![CDATA[Va. Business Sues Google for $8.4M]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:04:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008254468_1200x675_345955907616.jpg

A Northern Virginia businessman is suing Google, Yellowbook, and Ziplocal, for $8.4 million in damages, claiming he has lost significant business in the past 7 years.

"We're fighting for every service call we get, and my job is to make the phone ring, and it's not ringing," Baldino's Lock & Key owner Mark Baldino said.

Baldino said the search engines knowingly list pages of fraudulent and unlicensed locksmiths in search results.

"I believe it's just plain old greed," he said.

The phone numbers sometimes lead to dispatchers in other states farming out calls to people who are not locksmiths, don't really have businesses, but respond to calls and overcharge, according to Baldino.

"Who are these guys coming out? What's their background? I know in Virginia and Maryland, you have to have a background check in order to be a licensed locksmith,” said Baldino.

Yellowbook filed a lawsuit against Baldino last year for unpaid advertising costs. Baldino lost the lawsuit and is now appealing.

"I will not pay them as long as they have 5,000 fake listings in their directory,” said Baldino.

Baldino’s veteran locksmith Billy Coy says he hears from customers who have been burned several times a week.

"They basically destroy the lock, and they're calling us to say, 'Is there something you can do to fix what they've done?'" said Coy.

Google declined to comment on the lawsuit. Yellowbook plans to fight it. Ziplocal has not responded to News4's request for comment.

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<![CDATA[No Lawyer in U.Va Suspect 2005 Case]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:01:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP702814643380.jpg

Jesse Matthew's lawyer Jim Camblos confirmed he won't be representing his client in Fairfax, Virginia, where Matthew is facing attempted murder charges in a 2005 assault.

Matthew was charged Monday with attempted murder, abduction with attempt to defile and sexual penetration with an object in a Northern Virginia incident. Police say a 26-year-old woman was walking home from a grocery store when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he sexually assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

Matthew was arrested with the abduction of U.Va. student Hannah Graham last month. Police say she was last seen Sept. 13 on surveillance video in Charlottesville, accompanied by Matthew. Albemarle County Police located human remains last weekend during the search for Graham, but have not yet made a positive identification.

Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County Raymond F. Morrogh said Matthew will likely be brought to Northern Virginia to face the charges, but no court date has been set. Thursday, Fairfax authorities will ask the court for a bench warrant to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia.

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

Morrogh declined to comment on Matthew's connection to other unsolved cases. Authorities had previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Drug Suspect Leads Cops to House]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:27:18 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/175*120/NYPD+MARIJUANA+ARREST.jpg

A Queens man caught with marijuana when he was pulled over asked the officers arresting him to check on his 8-year-old son at home, leading them directly to evidence of an alleged marijuana operation in his apartment, police say. 

Officers pulled over 30-year-old Nuquan Stewart in Queens Village at about 10:45 p.m. last Tuesday when they noticed a brake light was out on his 2004 Volkswagen, according to police. 

They noticed a strong smell of marijuana during the traffic stop, and asked Stewart to step out of the car.

That's when the officers spotted six plastic bags of the drug sticking out of the pocket of his hoodie, and a gravity knife in the cupholder of the center console, police said. 

As officers arrested Stewart, he asked them to make sure his son, who was alone at home, was OK, according to police. He gave them his home address and apartment keys. 

The officers went to Stewart's apartment about a half-mile away on 222nd Street and smelled marijuana as they entered the building's first-floor hallway, according to police. Inside the apartment, officers saw bags of marijuana in plain view in the kitchen and living room, along with stacks of cash, police said. 

Stewart's son was found sleeping in his bedroom. He was transferred into the care of the city's Administration for Children's Services and then to another family member, according to police.

A search warrant was executed the next morning, and police seized 30 pounds of marijuana in 58 bags, about $17,500 in cash, and several loaded guns and assault rifles, police said. 

Stewart was charged with drug and weapons crimes, and for failure to exercise control of a minor. He has multiple prior arrests, police said.

He remains on Rikers Island awaiting his next court date on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Bail was set at $25,000. 

Attorney information was not immediately available. 



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Owner of Dog Kept Alive for Blood Transfusions Slams Vet's Penalty as Too Soft]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:04:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/doc-tierce-and-sid.jpeg

A Fort Worth veterinarian who admitted to keeping a family's dog alive to use it for blood transfusions instead of euthanizing it has been barred from practicing for five years -- a decision the family says isn't tough enough and could put other pets in danger.

"What does it take for the state of Texas to revoke a vet's license?" wondered Marian Harris, whose rescue of her dog Sid from a clinic this year touched off the monthslong investigation and triggered animal cruelty charges against the veterinarian.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners suspended Dr. Millard Lucien "Lou" Tierce's license on Tuesday for five years, after he admitted he had kept alive at least four dogs that should have been euthanized, including his own, at Camp Bowie Animal Clinic.

The board found he had failed to provide a professional standard of care, had behaved dishonestly and had not kept his clinic sanitary, along with a handful of other rule violations.

Harris told NBC 5 those violations should have resulted in an outright revocation of his license, not just a five-year suspension.

"We were really hoping for a revocation, because a suspension allows him to own a practice. And that gives him proximity to animals, and that's what we were trying to prevent," Marian Harris said. "If he's got proximity to animals, then he can harm other animals."

"I'm just upset that he can still go to the clinic now," she added, becoming emotional as she spoke. "That's what we were kind of hoping to stop."

The board had temporarily suspended Tierce's license back in May while they investigated animal cruelty allegations that emerged in April, when Marian Harris and her husband Jaime rescued Sid after being tipped off by a veterinary technician there that he was still alive and caged there -- even though he was supposed to have been euthanized.

The Harrises said that they had given the OK six months earlier for the clinic to euthanize Sid after Tierce told them he was suffering from a spinal defect from which he would never recover -- a condition the Harrises say they later learned their pet did not have.

That rescue triggered a board investigation that found unsanitary conditions in the clinic, as well as uncovered four other dogs that it says also should have been euthanized, including one that Tierce said had been living at the clinic for years after its owner had chosen to euthanize it.

It also led to Tierce's arrest on April 30. He was charged with cruelty to animals, before being released on $10,000 bond after he surrendered to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.

Police and animal control officers said they found a border collie, which Tierce admitted was his pet, lying in a box on the floor of an exam room. The dog was twitching in pain with one leg missing, another leg dislocated and two shoulders dislocated, police said.

The suspension of Tierce's veterinary license Tuesday capped a monthslong investigation by the state board, which launched its own investigation at the time and detailed some of its findings in its ruling Tuesday.

"Animal organs were kept in jars throughout the clinic. Bugs were visible in exam rooms. Stacks of drugs, trash, laundry, paperwork and other miscellaneous items were strewn about the examinations rooms, hallways, stairwells, operating room, laboratories and offices of the clinic,” the board said.

Sid has since recovered from the ordeal, the Harrises say. The family has sued Tierce for $1 million for Sid's medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.

As for Sid, the 5-year-old Leonberger that prompted the state investigation, his condition is improving.

Sid is undergoing physical rehabilitation two days a week at PetsWest Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning in Aledo.

Just last week, the staff outfitted the dog with braces for his hind legs, to assist him with his walking.

Without the braces, Sid's hind legs visibly wobble due to muscle atrophy when he walks, according to Laura Johnson, of PetsWest.

"Oh, boy, I mean he literally looked like a little child running through the house with swim flippers on [when he is] trying to walk. That's how dramatic his walk is," Johnson said.

"Now, will it ever be better? Well, we hope that it is. But is he more than likely gonna always have to wear these shoes? Probably so," Johnson added.

NBC 5's Ben Russell and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Man Extradited on Terror Charge]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:12:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/terror+suspect+extradite.jpg

Haroon Rashid Aswat, a British man charged with conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon, is being flown to New York from London Tuesday by U.S. officials after nine years of fighting extradition, law enforcement officials tell NBC New York.

Aswat faces federal charges of conspiring with radical cleric Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, to establish a terrorist training camp in Bly 15 years ago.

Mustafa was convicted in New York in May of being involved in the Oregon terror plan. He was also convicted of helping to plot the 1998 kidnappings of tourists, including 16 Americans, in Yemem. Mustafa told the jury that he lost both hands and an eye in an accident in Pakistan while working with explosives.

A third man, James Ujaama, pleaded guilty in 2007 to being the American contact for Mustafa and Aswat in their alleged bid to build a terror camp in the United States. The fourth man to be named in the plot, Oussama Abdullah Kassir, a Swede born in Lebanon, was convicted of terror charges in 2009.

Aswat, who is being treated for paranoid schizophrenia, has been fighting extradition to America since his 2005 arrest in London on a U.S. warrant. Last month, Britain’s high court ruled Aswat could be extradited after receiving assurances from U.S. authorities that his mental illness would still be treated.

Media reports in London Tuesday say the Metropolitan Police confirm that Aswat was taken from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and escorted onto a plane by U.S. officials.

Officials from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office in New York declined to comment.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Vets Test Nina Pham's Dog for Ebola Virus]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:37:36 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Bentley-Thumb-102114.jpg

A team of specially-trained veterinarians started testing Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, for the virus.

Dallas Animal Services has been carrying for Bentley in isolation. To date he has been healthy and still shows no symptoms of the virus.

The City of Dallas tweeted new pictures Tuesday of Bentley playing with the vet.

The veterinarians started testing Bentley's waste for signs of Ebola virus Monday.

Bentley will remain in isolation until Nov. 1. He's being monitored for a full 21-day period, similar to humans who've been exposed.

No word on when Pham will be released from the National Institutes of Health in Maryland.

In response to the outpouring of support around the world for Bentley, the City of Dallas partnered with Dallas Companion Animal Project to establish the Dallas Pet Emergency Transition Services (PETS) fund. The donations will help Bentley and other pets in similar emergency situations in the future.

To donate visit DallasAnimals.org and click "You Can Help" or CLICK HERE to donate to the Dallas PETS (Pet Emergency Transition Services) Fund.



Photo Credit: City of Dallas via Twitter
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<![CDATA[Nina Pham Remains in Fair Condition]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:53:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pham-dog.jpg

Dallas nurse and Ebola patient Nina Pham is still in fair condition at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, officials there said Monday.

Her condition has not changed since Friday, they said.

Pham, who contracted Ebola after caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was flown to Maryland on Thursday to be treated at the taxpayer-funded hospital.

Pham was listed in fair condition Friday after NIH staff assessed her following her transfer Thursday night from Dallas, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Immunoregulation.

She had been listed in good condition in Dallas before her transfer, but Fauci said the change in status shouldn't be understood as Pham's condition worsening.

"She's not deteriorating. I cannot tell you at this particular time why we have said fair, because of patient confidentiality, but she is quite stable now and resting comfortably," said Fauci.

Last week Fauci said they fully intend to have Pham walk out of their hospital and will do everything they can to make sure that happens.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA["Don't Touch My Girlfriend" ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:54:13 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/obama-vote-girlfriend-1.jpg

While taking part in Early Voting in Chicago on Monday, President Barack Obama was interrupted at his electronic polling station by a man with a lighthearted word-of-caution.

"Mr. President, don't touch my girlfriend," the man, later identified as Mike, quipped as he crossed the room.

Standing beside Obama at her own polling station was Mike's clearly embarrassed girlfriend, Aia Cooper.

"You know, I really wasn't really planning on it," Obama replied with a chuckle. "There's an example of a brother just embarrassing me for no reason."

Obama added: "Now you'll be going back home and talking to your friends about this. ... I can't believe Mike, he is such a fool."

After a moment the pair finished with their ballots and the president went toward Cooper for a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

"Now you're really jealous," Obama said, smiling and pointing at Mike.

The president was in Chicago on Sunday and Monday attending fundraisers and offering support to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is in a challenging campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner.



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<![CDATA[UTSW to Staff Ebola Treatment Facility in Richardson]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:40:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/perry-utsw-presser.jpg

Texas is creating two new biocontainment facilities for treating possible future Ebola patients, one in Richardson and the other in Galveston, Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday, as two Dallas nurses remain hospitalized out of state with the potentially deadly virus.

The Methodist Campus for Continuing Care in Richardson will host the new facility on a floor of its hospital, as well as in a wing of its ICU best-suited for treating infectious patients.

Doctors and nurses from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas will staff the new unit there, with nurses, lab technicians and other health care workers from Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas working alongside them.

Perry stressed the need for better Ebola preparedness at a news conference Tuesday at UTSW to unveil the new Ebola-ready facilities, weeks after the first U.S. Ebola patient sought treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and days after two nurses who treated him became infected.

"The past three weeks have taught us that treating an infectious disease like Ebola is not just a theoretical problem," Perry said.

He acknowledged the burden Presbyterian had shouldered in becoming the first U.S. hospital to diagnose a patient with Ebola, when Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted with the disease weeks before he died.

"Presbyterian has played an important role," Perry said. "With that said, that hospital has been on the front line. They have paid a heavy price."

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, officials with Presbyterian said they look forward to sharing what they've learned and that they plan to remain active participants in the shared goal of defeating Ebola.

"As the first U.S. hospital to face the challenge of both diagnosing and treating Ebola patients, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas will continue to share our learnings with health officials at all levels of government, our fellow hospitals and the broader health care community. A coordinated response is in all our best interests, and we remain active participants in discussions to advance the shared goal of defeating this insidious disease,"

Dr. Brett Giroir, the Texas A&M Health Science Center chief whom Perry tapped this month to head the state's Ebola task force, said the new facilities should prevent such problems in the future, should new patients be diagnosed.

"What we are trying to do with the new protocol," Giroir said, "is to learn from our current experience."

In addition to the facility in Richardson, an Ebola treatment biocontainment facility is being established at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Previously, officials had eyed sending Ebola patients to one of four top-level biocontainment facilities in the U.S.: Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland, Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha or St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.

Dallas nurse Nina Pham is currently being treated in isolation at NIH, while her coworker Amber Vinson is being treated at Emory, the same hospital where Dr. Kent Brantly of Fort Worth recovered from the virus. Officials have still not determined exactly how Pham and Vinson contracted the disease.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for how health care workers should gear up to treat Ebola patients after Pham and Vinson, were diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease after treating Thomas Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S.

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


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<![CDATA[20 Texas Students Stung by Bees]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:51:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ambulance-kids-bees.jpg

School officials confirm 22 students were stung by a swarm of bees outside Saginaw's Highland Middle School Tuesday morning during PE class.

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District spokeswoman Kristin Courtney said a group of sixth-grade students, 21 boys and four girls, were outside the school in the 1000 block of Bailey Boswell Road in Fort Worth when they were attacked while playing soccer.

Courtney said the bees had built a hive inside an underground irrigation valve box, which was disturbed when one of the students stepped on the box cover.

Officials told NBC 5 the 22 children were stung at least once, some as many as 12 times. MedStar officials said they transported four children to Cook Children's Medical Center, including one who had a severe reaction to the sting.

All of those hospitalized were released Tuesday night.

One student, Isaac Armendariz, was stung on the ear and his arm.

"It was pretty weird.  Just a whole bunch of people started running, chasing, the coaches were like, super calm and everything. They were trying to get us all situated and trying to get us away from the bee hive," Armendariz said.

According to Courtney, the district's integrated pest management coordinator euthanized the remainder of the hive. Officials will continue to monitor the area for bees before declaring it safe for students.

Animal control officers are awaiting tests on the bees to see if they were Africanized killer bees, but the pest management coordinator said that based on the bee's behavior they do not appear to be killer bees.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA["Heartbroken": 7 Bodies Found]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:30:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Afrika-Hardy.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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<![CDATA[Lawsuit Against Slain Mayor's Wife]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 07:53:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/210*120/Capture8.JPG

The brother of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo has filed a wrongful death suit seeking $50 million in punitive damages against Crespo's wife, who allegedly shot her husband during an argument.

The 45-year-old mayor was shot Sept. 30 at the family's condominium in the small Los Angeles County city. Authorities say Crespo's wife, Lyvette, 43, shot him multiple times after he punched their 19-year-old son, Daniel Jr.

Crespo's brother, William Crespo, filed the lawsuit on behalf of his mother, and said at a news conference Monday he thought the killing was planned.

He claimed Lyvette Crespo would frequently provoke her husband and threaten to kill him, because she was jealous that he was unfaithful.

"She said she was going to divorce my brother when the kids turned 18," William Crespo said. "The kids turned 18. My brother went and he got himself another girlfriend, and she got jealous and she was holding it all inside. I guess she just let it all out and killed him."

The night of the shooting, Daniel Jr. called 911 and told the dispatcher his mother "was defending herself" when she fatally shot her husband, according to a recording of the call obtained by NBC4.

"My parents got in an argument, and there were shots fired," he tells the dispatcher, later saying "It wasn't my mom's fault...She was defending herself."

The suit, filed on behalf of Crespo's mother in LA County Superior Court, alleges that Lyvette Crespo had threatened to kill her husband many times and used an unwarranted amount of force to kill her husband, concluding that she "is a cold blooded killer."

Lyvette Crespo should have called 911 before shooting her husband, and breached her fiduciary duty to him by killing him, the suit alleges.

William Crespo's attorney, James Devitt, called the mayor's relationship "turbulent," showing a text message at the news conference that supposedly showed the Bell Gardens mayor demanding his wife stop threatening to "shoot me in d head!!!"

"Daniel was no angel…obviously he had a bit of a zipper problem," Devitt said at the news conference, held in front of Bell Gardens City Hall.

He continued: "In California, you cannot use deadly force against non-deadly force. You can’t just shoot people five times because they’re having a bad day."

After the shooting, Daniel Jr. and Lyvette Crespo were questioned by police for several hours, but both were released that night. Lyvette Crespo remains free as authorities investigate the shooting.

Lyvette Crespo's lawyer told NBC4 he would respond to the new allegations made in the lawsuit Tuesday morning. He has described Lyvette Crespo as a longtime victim of domestic violence, but her brother-in-law says the allegations shocked him and he feels conflicted about what happened.

"He loved (his family) more than life. He loved his wife a lot, he always loved his wife," William Crespo told NBC4 earlier this month.

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



Photo Credit: Sean Browning]]>