<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:59:32 -0500 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:59:32 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Gunman Was in "State of Crisis:" Police]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:57:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fsupresser13pm.jpg

Police said the gunman who opened fire inside a library at Florida State University early Thursday was in a "state of crisis" at the time of the shooting.

The gunman who was shot dead by police was identified by law enforcement officials as Myron May, a lawyer who graduated from the school.

Police said May injured three students before being shot dead at the Strozier Library. Two of the wounded students were admitted to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital and the third was treated and released at the scene, police and a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, police said May was struggling psychologically and emotionally. May feared government targeting and expressed these concerns in his journal, police said. Yet, police said it was unknown why May attacked or why he targeted Strozier library.

May, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Florida as a teenager, police said. He graduated from FSU in 2005 and later from Texas Tech Law School in 2009, police said. After practicing law in Texas and New Mexico, May moved back to Florida just three weeks ago, police said.

Police said May had two previous encounters with law enforcement. In 2002, he was suspected of using marijuana, and in 2003 he was the victim of a vehicle burglary, police said.

At a news conference Thursday morning, police called the shooting an "isolated incident" and said May had acted alone.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he hoped to visit the victims at the hospital later Thursday and said authorities were still investigating the shooting.

"We still have a lot of questions that are unanswered," Scott told reporters at a news conference.

Amid the chaos, students immediately took to social media with messages of concern and prayers.

“Please say a prayer for us. We’re stuck in a library with a shooter in the building,” tweeted a person whose profile says he’s a student at FSU.

Another tweet came from the father of a FSU student who took a screen shot of her text message to him, stating, “There’s a man with a gun in the library. I love you.”

Jason Derfuss, a 21-year-old humanities student at FSU told NBC News  his backpack full of books stopped a bullet from hitting him during the rampage. Derfuss only realized hours later the gunman had tried to shoot him after he discovered a bullet lodged in "The Oxford Context of Wyclif’s Thought."

"There is no way I should be alive," Derfuss told NBC News. "Literally, those books saved my life."

The campus scare began when police at Florida State University responded to a "dangerous situation" at the library around 12:30 a.m. ET Thursday, as a witness reported gunshots. A campus telephone alert urged people to take shelter in a nearby building and stay away from "doors and windows."

When officers arrived, they commanded May to drop his weapon, Tallahassee Police Department spokesman David Northway said. Police said May was using a .380 semi-automatic handgun and had additional ammunition in his pockets. May fired a round at police, who responded with shots, killing the suspect, police said.

Officers searched the area and found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds, police said.

According to officials, May never made it past library security and only shot from the library lobby. One victim was shot in the library lobby and the two others were shot outside the lobby area, police said.

All three victims were immediately given treatment, police said. Two victims were taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital. One was in critical condition and the other was in stable condition, officials said.

One of the victims was identified as Nathan Scott, according to a statement released by the hospital. Scott was shot in the leg and is recovering with the support of his family who has asked for privacy at this time, the hospital said.

Police said the library was packed with between 300 and 400 students at the time of the shooting.

Steven Dawson, 19, a freshman biology major said he was studying on the library's third floor at the time of the incident. Dawson told NBC News that shortly after 12:30 a.m. ET someone started shouting about a gunmen in the building. "Everyone just dropped everything and started running," Dawson said.

The university announced on Twitter early Thursday that the lockdown had been lifted and the area was secured. 

FSU President John Thrasher said there will be increased security measures and a greater law enforcement presence on campus Thursday.

"The Florida State University community is extremely saddened by the shootings that took place early this morning at Strozier Library, in the very heart of campus, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who have been affected," Thrasher said in a statement.

Classes were canceled for Thursday but the campus will be open, the university announced. Strozier Library will be closed until further notice. Meanwhile, students were gathering for prayer vigils on campus throughout the day.

Thrasher said counseling would be provided for students, faculty and staff.

"The three students who have been injured are our highest priority followed by the needs of our greater university community," Thrasher said. "We will do everything possible to assist with their recovery."

Photo Credit: NBC 6
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<![CDATA[Man Arrested Outside WH Claimed Appointment With Obama]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:46:09 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/RJ+Kapheim+Sketch.jpg

A man arrested with weapons in his car outside the White House Wednesday afternoon told the Secret Service the president called him directly and asked him to go to the White House, according to the police report.

R.J. Kapheim, 43, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to one count of unlawful possession of a rifle. The judge ordered him held until a hearing at 9 a.m. Friday.

Kapheim approached a Secret Service officer just before 1 p.m. Wednesday and said he had an appointment with President Barack Obama, authorities said. The officer checked his ID and determined he did not have an appointment.

Kapheim insisted President Obama had called him and began shaking his head, according to the police report. The officer called for backup to check on Kapheim's welfare. They asked him if they could check his car and he agreed.

As Secret Service walked Kapheim to his car at 16th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, he told them he had a weapon in the car, authorities said. The barrel could be seen sticking up from the backseat, a position from which it could be reached from the front seat.

Officers found the .30-30 rifle was loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Another 36 rounds and a 6-inch fixed blade also were found in the car, according to the police report.

There's no indication Kapheim made any threats.

Kapheim told police he drove to D.C. from Davenport, Iowa, where he reportedly works as an inventor.

Court records from Iowa show Kapheim was charged with several traffic violations over the years, and in 2012, he changed his name from "Rachael" to "R.J." to make it easier to get a job.

The arrest came just as Secret Service Acting Director Joseph Clancy was testifying in Congress about low morale he said has contributed to high-profile oversights by agents recently.

The agency has been under scrutiny since a Texas Army veteran, Omar Gonzalez, leapt over a White House fence on Sept. 19 and charged into the White House. Gonzalez made it way all the way into the East Room before he was tackled, thanks to a string of Secret Service failures detailed in an internal review out last week.

Photo Credit: Bill Hennessy]]>
<![CDATA[More Dramatic Photos Emerge From Deadly NY Snowstorm]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:57:08 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/459243082.jpg

The Buffalo area in Western New York was bracing for 3 more feet of snow after being pounded by a severe weather system for a third day that may leave some areas with nearly 8 feet on the ground when it's all done.

The storm has been blamed for at least ten deaths, NBC News reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning that no more motorists were stranded on streets, but described a "massive problem" of hundreds of abandoned cars still on the roads.

The Buffalo Bills were scheduled to host an NFL game Sunday against the New York Jets, however 4 feet of snow fell on the team's stadium in Orchard Park. A league spokesman said Thursday that the match will be moved, though the NFL has yet to determine where the game will be played.

Cuomo had said it would be "impractical" to hold the game at the Bills' stadium.

More dramatic photos from the snowstorm have emerged:

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Extreme Weather Photos: Buffalo Area Snowfall]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:04:09 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP674770050814.jpg Take a look at some of the most extreme weather systems throughout the world.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Crazed Groundhog Torments NH Man]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:30:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/groundhog+hampton+new+hampshire.jpg

A crazed groundhog chased a New Hampshire man and tried to scratch and bite its way into his home, one day after another wild animal attacked a dog just miles away.

The groundhog that's been on Gary McGrath's Hampton property for more than a year, suddenly turned on him.

"He got so close I could give him a boot and I did," McGrath said.

He then chased McGrath into his garage, and then into his house.

"Thank goodness no one has a video of me being chased by a groundhog, that would have been very comical," McGrath said chuckling.

But no one was laughing when McGrath went back outside to finish his yard work, and the critter went crazy, again. McGrath ran back in through his front door, called police, and then snapped some photos of the animal trying to get into the house.

"His teeth were going a mile a minute, he was scratching and trying to bite through the siding," McGrath said.

When he and his wife went to go warn neighbors, they learned the groundhog had tormented another family earlier in the day.

"They told us their dog was attacked by the same animal just going crazy," McGrath explained.

The groundhog attacked the animal control officer when he showed up, forcing the ACO to kill the animal in the front yard.

This comes just one day after a coyote attacked a dog and his owner in Greenland, less than ten miles away.

"It's unusual to see animals this aggressive in this time frame," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Michael Eastman.

Wildlife officials believe both animals were sick, possibly rabid.

"It's a fatal virus and there is no known cure for it," Lt. Eastman said. "That's why we take it so seriously."

McGrath admits this is one groundhog day, he never wants to relive. Especially, when his three grandkids are visiting.

"It could have been a bad situation if they were out there at the time," McGrath said. "We're very fortunate."

Wildlife officials are taking this opportunity to warn families that no matter how cute wild animals may seem, don't approach them, certainly don't feed them, and if they act out of the ordinary call your local authorities. 

<![CDATA[2 Kids Killed in Shooting at New Jersey Home]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:48:44 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/burlington+shooting.jpg

A boy and a girl were killed and a woman and another boy were critically wounded in a shooting at a house in New Jersey where nine family members live together, police say.

Police found the four victims with gunshot wounds while responding to a call at the Holly Park Drive home in Tabernacle at about 9 a.m. Thursday. The shooting was called in by a family member.

The victims were found in the same room of the house, officials said.

Two of the children were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the children in the home range from middle school-age to early high school-age, but the ages of the killed victims were unknown.

The woman and boy who survived were taken to the hospital in critical condition; the woman, identified as 44-year-old Jeaninne LePage, had been shot in the head, according to police. 

Authorities declined to say if a weapon was recovered.

State police said they are not looking for a suspect. The children's father was not home at the time of the shooting and his whereabouts are under investigation.

The four other people who live in the home have been accounted for. 

Few neighbors seemed to know much about the families, but one suggested there may have been cause for concern.

"There were two instances over the summer, maybe a few more, where with the windows open I thought I heard some arguing," said Bob Langan. "Sounded like some sort of domestic dispute, I didn't know definitely what it was." 

Kim Kniffen said she was "shocked" to hear about the deadly shootings.

State police said first troopers and responders to arrive at the scene were going through psychological counseling. 

"We've dealth with a big tragedy here," said Captain Stephen Jones. "The whole community has been dealing with a huge tragedy." 

<![CDATA[PHOTO: Car Lands on Mercedes-Benz]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:05:29 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/11-20-2014-dealership-crash.jpg

A driver who crashed off a Southern California freeway Thursday morning and onto a car in the lot of a Mercedes-Benz dealership was arrested after running from the scene, according to authorities.

The crash occurred off the eastbound 101 Freeway in the Calabasas area. The driver crashed over the side of the freeway and into a row of cars at the dealership.

The driver ran from the site of the crash, but was later taken into custody near what appeared to be another car dealership. It was not immediately clear whether the driver of the black sedan was injured.

Aerial video showed the car on top of the heavily damaged hood of a Mercedes-Benz.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect Caught by Cop on Horseback]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:06:40 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mounted+cop+newark+chase.jpg

Authorities say an armed suspect was chased down by an officer on horseback after a shooting in downtown Newark.

The victim was being treated at University Hospital for "serious injuries" after being shot around 5 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Mulberry Street and Center Street, near the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, according to Newark police.

Authorities say the shooting suspect tried to flee on foot immediately after the shooting, but was quickly apprehended by the equestrian officer, Eric Schroeder, a 13-year veteran on the force.

A weapon was recovered at the scene. 

<![CDATA[Young Siblings Killed in SoCal Fire]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:14:30 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/11-20-2014-fire-san-bernardino-fatal.jpg

A young sister and brother died Thursday after they hid behind a couch during a fire at what authorities described as a property with a history of code violations in San Bernardino.

Their father also was badly burned in the blaze, which started at around 3 a.m. at 267 West 14th Street, San Bernardinio City Fire Department Engineer Rodd Mascis said. Firefighters extinguished the two-alarm fire in about 20 minutes and pulled the three victims from the burned apartment.

"Fire was coming out of the windows, as well as heavy, heavy smoke," Mascis said. "They can hear somebody inside as soon as they made access up to that second story apartment."

After the father was rescued, firefighters went back inside and found the children huddled together behind a couch. Both were unresponsive as firefighters carried them from the home.

"They were not breathing, they were not moving," said neighbor Sunny Williams, who called 911.

The 6-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy were pronounced dead at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Neighbors said that earlier in the day that the father had taken his pregnant partner to the hospital.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Authorities told NBC4 the property has a history of code violations and police had last visited the apartment earlier this month.

The most recent violations included an unsafe heater and inadequate lighting, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. Property owners claimed they attempted to evict the tenants, but said they did not comply, police said.

A man who identified himself as the injured victim's nephew, who was visiting from Texas, told NBC4 the family often turned on an oven to stay warm.

"They say it could have been an electrical problem or a problem with the stove," said the man, who asked to be identified only as Josh.

Building code compliance officers were at the location Thursday morning.

"We have had ongoing code issues at that property since 2009," said San Bernardino Police Lt. Rich Lawhead. "We have two active cases with numerous violations. The property had basically been abandoned by the owner and the people just remain there not paying any rent."

Arlene Gonzales, whose boyfriend is the apartment block's property manager, went to the blaze after a worker at the property told them about the fire just after 3 a.m.

"The two kids were very good kids, very loving, very happy kids every day," Gonzales said. "Mother and father, very good parents. We always seen them every day (the) kids, every day they would meet us and greet us at the door. It's just a tragedy... what happened this morning."

And she was left in shock when she saw the children and the adult being pulled out of the building.

"It was terrible, a terrible thing to see." Gonzales said.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard, KNBC-TV
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<![CDATA[Bank Exec Found Dead in Tub: NYPD]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:55:16 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_tape_lights_generic1.jpg

Police are investigating the death of a Citigroup manager who was found in his Manhattan apartment bathtub with this throat cut.

Police say 42-year-old Shawn Miller was discovered Tuesday afternoon by his doorman at his Greenwich Village apartment after a friend asked to check on him. He was found with a slash wound on his neck in his bathtub.

Authorities say there was no sign of forced entry and no weapon found. The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death.

Miller was managing director of the environment and social risk management team at Citigroup, Inc.

A spokeswoman for the New York-based company said in a statement the company was deeply saddened and thoughts were with his family.

<![CDATA[City Council Race Ends in Tie]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:25:46 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Padilla-McCann-Chula-Vista2.jpg

The razor-thin race for a Chula Vista City Council seat has ended in a tie, two weeks after Election Day, San Diego County officials say.

John McCann and Steve Padilla each won 18,450 votes for the District 1 seat, according to Wednesday's last tally from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The registrar reports there aren't any other provisional ballots left to be counted that could break that tie.

Ultimately, it will be up to the city of Chula Vista to determine who takes the seat.

Padilla said his campaign is pleased with the results from the provisional ballots.

“We’re just focused on making sure every vote is counted,” Padilla said.

However, McCann told NBC 7 on Wednesday he believes what he called "dirty politics" played a role.

“We had over 900-point lead and every day it seems to continuously vanish. Obviously it raises some questions,” McCann told NBC 7.

The registrar's office will begin making sure all the votes are accurately counted ahead of the Dec. 2 deadline for certifying results.

While Chula Vista is be the second-largest city in San Diego County, the city council race came down to the narrowest of margins as the final 1,000 county-wide provisional ballots were counted Wednesday.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

<![CDATA["He's Creepy": Nurse Accused of Sex Abuse at Hospitals]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:55:48 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kline+mugshot.jpg

A Falls Church, Virginia, man is accused of sexually abusing female patients at D.C.-area hospitals while providing care for them as a nurse.

According to court documents obtained by News4, 37-year-old Jared Nathan Kline, a traveling nurse, is facing three sexual abuse charges stemming from incidents at D.C. hospitals, and is also accused of similar behavior at a Prince George’s County, Maryland, hospital.

All four victims reported they were disoriented from severe pain or semi-conscious when the abuse allegedly occurred.

A woman receiving treatment for asthma at United Medical Center in late August 2014 reported her nurse, later identified as Kline, intentionally rubbed her hands against his erect penis while he checked her vitals.

She says that later that day, the same nurse began massaging her underneath her hospital gown. She told police she was scared and pretended to be asleep during the incident. She told police the nurse went on to kiss her and touch her face until someone else entered the room.

When she was discharged from the hospital, she got a text message from the nurse saying she had left behind a makeup bag. She met the nurse outside the hospital for the bag, and he later texted her, "Anytime [sic] love, get better."

She told police she hadn't given her phone number to Kline, and was "upset" he had contacted her in the first place.

After the woman came forward, police realized Kline was a suspect in two other D.C. sex assaults -- one in May 2013, and another in December 2013.

In the May 2013 incident, a woman reported she was sexually assaulted by an emergency room nurse named Jared at the George Washington University Hospital when she was treated for a migraine headache. While receiving treatment, the woman said her nurse gave her a blanket, then "proceeded to pat and grope [her] buttocks."

She said he returned to her room several times later that evening, and rubbed the back of her hand against his erect penis as he was checking her IV.

When interviewed by police, he said her hand touched him "in places that it should not have," that he’s a "pretty lucky white guy," and that because he’s "well-endowed, it is possible her hand could have touched his penis and may have mistakenly believed he was aroused."

The woman texted her boyfriend about the incident, saying she wanted to leave the exam room, calling her nurse's behavior "creepy."

Seven months later, another woman accused Kline of rubbing his penis against her hand at least three times while she was receiving treatment for intoxication at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

In addition to the three incidents at D.C. hospitals, Kline is also accused conducting an inappropriate chest examination of a 22-year-old patient at Bowie Health Center in Maryland last January. 

D.C. police said Kline likely had more victims.

"We do believe that it's possible he had sexually abused other patients," George Kucik with D.C. police said. "They may not have been aware of it or understood what was going on."

Kline was released on bond Wednesday, and is required to stay away from his alleged victims. His lawyer hasn't released a statement, but told News4 several times he has no comment.

Kline's neighbor Karen Parelhoff told News4, "I'm a nurse myself. It's a huge breach of the trust that people place in your hands when you take care of them."

GW Hospital officials said they're committed to the well-being of their patients.

"In matters such as this, our practice is to act swiftly and responsibly in collaboration with law enforcement and regulatory agencies," Lyndsay Meyer with GW Hospital said Wednesday.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center officials said they're aware of Kline's arrest but unable to comment at this time, though they said they're fully cooperating with local police.

<![CDATA[Wrong Dog Impounded for Mauling Kid]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:06:24 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/202*120/11-19-14-Dexter+the+Dog+Riverside+County.JPG

A 6-year-old dog named Dexter thought to have mauled a toddler in Southern California was returned to his owners on Wednesday after an investigation revealed Dexter was not responsible for the attack, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Kaidyn Sutton, a 1-year-old boy, suffered a large gash over his eyes when a dog bit him while he was playing at a park Nov. 14 in the Inland Empire's French Valley, near Murrieta.

The dog that attacked Kaidyn was initially described as a large dog, possibly a Rottweiler. But an investigator spoke with the boy's family and a friend, who identified a Labrador mix as the dog that attacked Kaidyn, officials said in a statement.

The boy's grandfather led authorities to the Labrador owner's home, where they found Dexter.

But after a second interview with a witness, the investigator said the woman "could not say with certainty that Dexter was, indeed, the dog."

Based on that interview and an "assessment of Dexter's behavior," Dexter was released to his owners Wednesday.

Now, county animal officials are asking for the public's help to find the correct dog.

"A large dog caused severe injuries to this little boy and someone might have valuable information to share," Animal Services Director Robert Miller said in a statement. "It’s important that we receive that information as soon as possible. We do not want anyone else to be injured if this dog is still in that community."

The boy's mother, Michaela Sutton, said her son may have long-term damage due to the attack. She said the child was at home playing while recovering days later.

"He did great, he looks great. There may be some nerve damage in his forehead and they fixed one tendon that works one eyebrow but couldn't exactly pinpoint the other but (because) he's so little they hope it will grow back," Sutton said in a Facebook update.

<![CDATA[Horse Owner Charged With Cruelty]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:44:00 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sad-horse.jpg

More than two dozen horses in the South Bay are in need of some human help after allegedly being abused for years.

Humberto Uribe, 51, is accused of starving several of his horses at two locations, in Morgan Hill and Gilroy. He is charged with animal cruelty, which is a felony.

The animals were found "emaciated and neglected," authorities said. Three horses were taken in by a rescue organization Wednesday. More than two dozen more still need a permanent home.

“One bay colt died in September from complications due to intestinal parasites a day after Uribe sold it to the Equine Rescue Center and Sanctuary,” according to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office.

In all, 38 horses were seized, according to the county. Authorities said there wasn't enough food and the property was filled with dangerous objects.

Trina Hineser, who lives across the street from Uribe, took pictures of emaciated horses and says she reported the problem to Animal Control for two years. She claims no action was taken until a district attorney investigator took over the case.

“Somehow or another, Animal Control needs to be held accountable,” Hineser said.

Attempts to reach Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control for comment were not successful Wednesday.

As for the horses, adoptions are only open to experts who know how to rehab sick animals. Anyone who would like to help is asked to donate to the Pregnant Mare Rescue Foundation.

Uribe was being held in San Mateo County on unrelated charges, authorities said. If convicted, he could face jail time.

Photo Credit: Morgan Hill Horses In Need / Facebook
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<![CDATA[FB Shuttle Drivers “Like” Union Bid]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:24:33 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fb16.jpg

Shuttle bus drivers who take Facebook employees to and from Silicon Valley overwhelmingly gave the "thumbs up" to forming a union on Wednesday, after they had complained publicly for months about their low pay, split shifts and health insurance benefits.

Rome Aloise, secretary for the Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, said the vote was 43 in favor of unionizing and 28 opposed. A total of 16 of the 87 drivers who work for Loop Transportation - the shuttle company contracted to drive Facebook employees, did not vote.

"This will now give these drivers at Facebook, and most probably the drivers for all of the companies that use this type of service a chance at a piece of the pie," Aloise said. "This makes it possible for those that make Facebook successful to get to work comfortably, safely and in a timely fashion.  Hopefully the tech companies will step up and pay the "freight" so to speak"

The National Labor Board still needs to certify the election, and then bargaining can begin with Loop for a first-time contract.

In a statement, Loop CEO Jeff Leonoudakis said that the company didn't feel "our drivers' interests are best served by union representation."

But, he added: "Our drivers have spoken and we will now begin the negotiation process."

Leonoudakis reiterated that the company's drivers earn between $17 and $25 an hour and get full medical benefits valued at up to $714 per month per employee. One of the drivers' complaints is over their split shifts. They pick up Facebook employees about 6 a.m. and have to take them home sometimes 14 or 15 hours later - and are only getting paid for an eight-hour shift.

Leonoudakis said that the drivers can sleep at the Loop Transportation yard, or eat for free at Facebook's campus.

Facebook officials has not formally commented on the labor strife, indicating that the fight is not with their tech company, but with a third party contractor.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Graco Recalls 4.7 Million Strollers]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:06:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/graco+stroller.jpg

Graco has recalled about 4.7 million strollers in the United States due to a fingertip amputation risk, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday.

Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries, including fingertip and partial-fingertip amputations. The recalled also affects over 212,000 strollers in Canada and Mexico.

Eleven models of Graco and Century-branded strollers are being recalled. The models named in the recall are: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate.

The affected models were sold at Target, Toys 'R' Us, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from August 2000 through November 2014 for about $40 to $70 for the stroller and about $140 to $170 for the travel system. The strollers were also sold online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers during that time period.

All of the models are single-occupant strollers with an external sliding fold-lock hinge on each side and a one-hand fold release on the handle.

Model numbers and the date of manufacture are printed on a white label on the bottom of the stroller's rear leg.

Click here to see a list of affected model numbers.

If you have one of the recalled strollers, contact Graco at 800-345-4109 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to receive a free repair kit.

Photo Credit: U.S. CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[Man Answers Online Sex Ad, Stabbed]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:31:51 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/brandonhinckmugad.jpg

A 19-year-old Kansas man was arrested by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida after allegedly stabbing a man who answered a Craigslist ad for a tryst.

According to the police, Brandon Hinck, 19, posted a shirtless photo of himself on Craigslist seeking a sexual encounter. Dave Sero, 46, was vacationing in South Florida from Washington and answered the ad and the two agreed to meet at a gas station in Boca Raton.

The two had lunch and then went to a hotel in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the BSO said. They went to the suspect’s room and agreed to have sex. At some point, while the victim was nude on the bed, Hinck started stabbing him.

Police say, the two men began fighting and the weapon was dropped in the room. The victim ran to an elevator where he collapsed and was found by hotel employees who called for help. The suspect ran into the lobby and told the front desk employee that he had just stabbed a man.

Sero was taken to Broward Health North suffering from multiple stab wounds. BSO said Hinck is believed to have arrived in South Florida a few weeks ago and stayed briefly in a halfway home and at a local rehab.

BSO said anyone else who had a violent encounter with Hinck should call their office or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: BSO]]>
<![CDATA[Rifle, Blade Found in Man's Car Near White House]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:08:36 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/1119-white-house.jpg

A man who approached Secret Service outside the White House was arrested after officers found a rifle, 6-inch blade and ammunition in his car Wednesday afternoon.

R.J. Kapheim, 41, approached a Secret Service officer just before 1 p.m. and said "someone in Iowa told me to drive to the White House."

Officers found a .30-30 rifle, a 6-inch fixed blade and ammunition in Kapheim's parked car at 16th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

Kapheim was arrested for having an unregistered firearm, and additional charges are pending.

His arrest came just as the Secret Service's acting director Joseph Clancy was testifying in Congress about low morale he said has contributed to high-profile oversights by agents recently.

The agency has been under scrutiny since a Texas Army veteran, Omar Gonzalez, leapt over a White House fence on Sept. 19 and charged into the White House.

Gonzalez made it way all the way into the East Room before he was tackled, thanks to a string of Secret Service failures detailed in an internal review out last week.

<![CDATA["Monster" Dad Beat, Killed Baby: PD]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:48:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kenosha+infant.jpg

An 11-month-old Kenosha, Wisconsin, girl suffered fatal injuries Tuesday evening at the hands of her father, police said, in what the town's police chief described as "the most violent child death that I have ever seen."

"This is Serenity Rose who was killed by her father," Chief John Morrissey said during a media briefing, holding a photo of the girl.

An autopsy performed Wednesday revealed the child died from multiple blunt force injuries including several skull fractures. Charges against the father, identified as 34-year-old Russell Lamar Rose, are pending.

"The words that I would like to say about this individual are probably not fit for the media," Morrissey said, "so I'm simply going to refer to him as a monster."

Morrissey said officers responded to a domestic violence call just before 7 p.m. Tuesday from a 27-year-old woman screaming that someone killed her baby. Witnesses told police they heard screams for help and a baby crying outside a triplex in the 5000 block of 21st Avenue.

Morrissey said the witnesses told police they saw Rose hold Serenity over his head and drop her to the ground.

Rose then ran into the apartment, Morrissey said, and officers who surrounded the apartment saw the man setting fire to the curtains. Rose, who police said has an extensive criminal record, later was arrested without incident.

The child was found lifeless, badly bruised and bloody, Morrissey said. Her face was partially disfigured. Serenity's mother, who was not named by police, suffered a swollen face and lacerations.

Serenity and her mother were transported to Kenosha Hospital and Medical Center where the mother was treated for her injuries and the child was pronounced dead.

Morrissey said the incident began because Rose wanted the mother to move out of their home.

"The death of any child is traumatic," Morrissey said, "but for a child to be killed in such a violent nature is unthinkable."

On Wednesday the Kenosha Police Department changed its Facebook cover photo to "reflect on the tragic incident" involving the "death of an 11-month-old baby as a result of Child Abuse."

"The toll this has taken on our officers who were on scene, along with the Fire Department personnel, hospital personnel, etc has been gut wrenching and extremely sad," the department wrote on Facebook, adding, "In memory of the 11 month old victim, this will be our last FB posting for today."

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[SoCal Home Explosion Kills 1]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 03:40:32 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/141119-home-gas-explosion-muscoy.jpg

Investigators sifting through the rubble of an explosion that leveled a Southern California home Wednesday, killing one person and leaving two others critically injured, determined the blast was related to illegal drug activity.

Investigators said they discovered butane and marijuana on the property. The explosion, reported in a small home behind a larger one in the 3300 block of Gray Street in Muscoy, was so large that it caused a portion of newly paved road to buckle, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"It was like a big boom and the whole house just shook," said one neighbor. "It was really crazy."

Three people were pulled form the rubble. One of them died and two others were hospitalized.

A neighbor who lives a few homes away said he ran to help after feeling the blast and found one man who had escaped and was able to walk. He said a woman was hurt and another man did not survive.

"Everything was destroyed," he said.

Natural gas has been ruled out as the cause of the blast, according to investigators with the fire department and the Southern California Gas Company. Authorities said the explosion was likely because of an illegal drug manufacturing operation in the home that involved honey oil extraction.

The highly-potent drug is made using THC from marijuana. Manufacturing honey oil is considered high value and low risk until butane vapors are ignited and explode.

Muscoy is a community of nearly 11,000 north of Rialto in San Bernardino County.

Photo Credit: San Bernardino County Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Rescues 2 From Fiery Crash]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:41:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/durham+car+fire+rescue.JPG

A Wallingford, Connecticut, mom sprang into action after watching a fiery crash play out in front of her on Route 68 in Durham, pulling the two drivers from their cars before one burst into flames.

Police said Louise Gasparini, 43, of Middletown, was driving eastbound on Route 68 near the intersection of Route 157 when she collided with a car turning left in front of her Wednesday afternoon.

Wallingford mother and business owner Christine Mansfield said she watched the whole thing unfold.

"I was driving down the street and heard a crash and saw two cars going out of control," she explained. "When I stopped the car, there was smoke coming out, one was resting against a light pole and the other against each other."

Mansfield said she threw her car into park and instinctively ran to the scene.

"My heart was pounding. I could see smoke coming out from both cars, so immediately, I was frightened," she recalled. "I was surprised to see the women were not getting out of their cars quickly."

She said one driver "started half-stumbling out of her car" and the other one was motionless in shock, the engine still running.

"I asked one woman, 'Are you OK?' And she said she was in shock, crying and clearly out of her element," Mansfield said. "I sad, 'Can you walk?' and she said yes."

After helping the first driver to safety, Mansfield turned her attention to the other woman, who Mansfield said was dazed and screaming in pain.

"Oil was dripping and the oil was catching fire, dripping out of that car. Again, heart pounding, I started screaming, 'We have to move these people! We have to get them out! The cars are going to blow up!'" she said.

Heart pounding and adrenaline pumping, Mansfield said she pulled out the second driver and led her away from the sedan, which was beginning to ignite.

"I don't think she understood what was going on. I said, 'The cars are on fire; you have to move,'" Mansfield explained.

Gasparini's car, which was totaled, burst into flames.

"To smell fire that close, the acrid smell, I've never been so close to something like that," Mansfield said.

Although both drivers were hospitalized, without Mansfield's help, the outcome could have been much worse.

"I would like to say thank you to that woman," said Gasparini's husband, Marc. "There are a lot of people who figure it's not their problem, but I really appreciate what she did and if she's out there, thank you very much."

Gasparini was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of neck, back and shoulder pain, police said. The other driver, Maryann Booss, 69, of Bethany, was also hospitalized for treatment of neck and back pain, according to police.

Gasparini was cited for driving too fast, and Booss was cited for failure to grant the right of way.

Photo Credit: Christine Mansfield
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<![CDATA[4 in Critical From CO Poisoning]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 07:03:02 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Roseland-CO-poisoning.jpg

Four people were in critical condition Wednesdsay night after they were exposed to what officials say was a "lethal level" of carbon monoxide.

Fire officials responded to the scene in the 300 block of West 107th Street on Chicago’s South Side where they say carbon monoxide levels were at readings of 1,000 parts per million.

"The furnace was malfunctioning and they had all burner of the stove on for heat," said Battalion Chief Tom Sutkus.

Fire Media Affairs said the home was a single family home.

Officials said three people were visiting the elderly homeowner who had just returned from the hospital.

Sutkus said the victims were in "various stages of consciousness."

The victims were taken to an area hospital in critical condition.

"[The homeowner] just came home today and then the next thing you know they was laying on the ground and they was all passed out," said neighbor Greg Collins.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is known as a silent killer: an odorless, colorless gas that can be generated by any appliance that burns fossil fuel, including any appliance in your house that burns coal, wood, charcoal, gasoline, or propane, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness.

At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.

<![CDATA[Blind Woman Says Uber Stranded Her]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:39:05 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/uber+blind+woman.jpg

A blind Connecticut woman says an Uber taxi driver refused to pick her up because of her seeing-eye dog, leaving her stranded. 

Amy Dixon said she called up an Uber car on her app in Darien Tuesday night, and a driver confirmed the pickup. 

"I can see a little bit out of my right eye, I've got 1 percent left of my vision. So I'm standing there with my guide dog on the curb and a car pulls up, and it's him," she said. 

As she put her hand on the door, the driver suddenly revved the engine and took off, stranding her, she said. 

"I couldn't believe it. I was flabbergasted," said Dixon. "He took off, and I'm screaming at him, waving at him, waving my arms like crazy thinking maybe he made a mistake, because I was hoping it wasn't what I thought it was."

It wasn't a mistake, it turned out, because within about 10 seconds, Dixon said she received a message on her phone from the driver saying the driver had canceled the pickup. 

Dixon was able to get another Uber car to take her home, but she believes the first driver wouldn't pick her up because of her service dog Elvis. 

Since Dixon lost her vision seven years ago, she's relied on two things to get around: her service dog Elvis and taxis, including recently, Uber cars. 

"My dog is how I get from point A to point B, and a car is what enables us to get where we need to go," she said. 

Uber said in a statement it had fired the driver, adding, "The Uber app is built to expand access to transportation options for all, including users with visual impairments and other disabilities. It is Uber's policy that any driver partner that refuses to transport a service animal will be deactivated from the Uber platform, which has been done in this case." 

Dixon said she's glad Uber took her complaint seriously, but she thinks the company needs to do more to educate drivers about service dogs. 

"It breaks my heart that people aren't educated on the ADA law," she said.

"As soon as they sign a contract to be an Uber driver, they have to obey the law, plain and simple," she said.

Uber said its drivers are informed of ADA regulations, and added that drivers who cannot accommodate animals due to issues like allergies, safety or religious beliefs are advised to wait with the rider until another Uber arrives. 

<![CDATA[Police: Married Cops Ran Drug Ring]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 02:19:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bryce+jennifer+charpentier.jpg

Two married San Diego Police officers have pleaded guilty to all drug charges against them, including burglarizing homes while on duty and running a hydrocodone distribution network in the county.

Bryce Charpentier, 32, and Jennifer Charpentier, 41, admitted Wednesday to selling and furnishing a narcotic substance, possession of a firearm by an addict, conspiracy to commit a burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime: possession and sale of a controlled substance.

As a result, the two resigned from the SDPD, effective Wednesday.

"Both of these individuals will have to face the consequences of their actions, which have diminished the great work our officers do every day to serve our City," said SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman in a statement.

They are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, and they each face up to seven years and eight months in prison.

In addition to pleading guilty, they have waived their 4th Amendment search and seizure rights, which means law enforcement can search them at any time.

The officers' change of plea comes two days after new charges were filed against the couple, accusing them of stealing prescription medication from their parent, burglarizing a home while on the clock as officers and leading a distribution chain.

Bryce, a six-year veteran of the SDPD, and Jennifer, an 18-year veteran, were arrested in June during a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigation.

Suspected of being addicted to opiates, both officers were initially charged with selling and furnishing a controlled narcotic substance and possession of a firearm by an addict.

Search warrants say Jennifer got seven different drugs in 71 prescriptions from seven separate doctors and then traveled to 17 pharmacies to fill them. Bryce is accused of going as far as Oakhurst near Yosemite to fill 79 prescriptions from six different doctors.

Then this week, a new complaint shed more light on the accusations against them.

In it, investigators quote text conversations between the married couple that outline their search for drugs they refer to as “V.”

One alleged victim was Jennifer’s mother. During her visit to their home, Bryce texted his wife he was coming back and pulling into the driveway. At that point, Jennifer texted she was taking her mother into the backyard, presumably to distract her while Bryce took prescription medication from her.

The final text from the conversation is from Bryce, telling Jennifer that he placed “V” for her in a candle, the complaint says.

Less than a month later, Bryce texted his wife that he got “a decent amount” during a visit to his mother-in-law’s, according to investigators.

A separate incident described in the complaint involves a victim identified as “M.B.”

According to the complaint, M.B. locked himself in his own bedroom on Jessica’s request, while Bryce and another officer came into his home to use the restroom. The given excuse was that the officer did not want M.B. to see him in his undercover clothes, the complaint says.

M.B. later found out that his legally prescribed medication was stolen.

The complaint says in January 2014, Bryce and Jennifer had offered to take over an existing hydrocodone distribution network in the county. They are accused of making deliveries while their child was with them.

According to prosecutors, the couple was found with a substantial amount of hydrocodone in their possession and was seen completing at least two transactions within a matter of hours.

Photo Credit: San Diego Police Dept. Yearbook]]>
<![CDATA[2 Dead, Cars Pinned Against Sign]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:53:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Route+22+Crash+Berks+Crash+Steven+Bernier.jpg

A drowsy truck driver plowed his out-of-control tractor-trailer into nine vehicles, pinning some against a Dunkin' Donuts sign, in a "horrifying" crash that claimed the lives of two people and injured several others in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The driver of the big rig -- identified by Berks County District Attorney John Adams as 50-year-old Steven Bernier -- was charged Wednesday with two counts of homicide by vehicle, nine counts of aggravated assault, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, speeding and driving violations.

"This accident today was caused by a tractor-trailer driver who dozed off and traveled into the opposing direction of traffic and caused the horrific accident you all saw today," Adams said. "This tractor-trailer basically plowed through and caused this." 

Rescuers continued to work to free trapped passengers more than three hours after the crash occurred on the 8000 block of Allentown Pike (U.S. Route 222) in Maidencreek Township, Pennsylvania, not far from Route 73, officials said.

Jeremy Augustine, 23, of Emmaus, Pennsylvania and Jane Harakel, 32, of Topton, Pennsylvania died in the crash, according to the Berks County Coroner's Office.

"It just seemed like it didn't stop," said Jake Gast, who along with his two co-workers, 50-year-old Roger Hiler and 26-year-old Nick Bowker, were inside one of the cars that was struck. "When it was over I was sitting there not knowing whether I was dead or alive." 

Gast, 35, Hiler and Bowker are engineers from Michigan who were in Berks County on business. Gast told NBC10 they were leaving the Dunkin' Donuts moments before the accident and spotted Jane Harakel pulling her vehicle out of the store. Gast said they were both driving out at the same time but he ultimately allowed Harakel to go ahead of them.

Hiler was sitting in the backseat of the car when he spotted the tractor trailer strike Harakel's vehicle along with Augustine's.

"The crunching and the screeching and the metal and the glass and everything," said Hiler, who just recently had a fifth grandson. "It just wouldn't stop."

The crash, which was caught on surveillance video, ended with the big rig's cab pinning multiple vehicles, including Gast's red sedan and Harakel's silver SUV, against a sign outside a Dunkin' Donuts coffee shop just after 6:30 a.m.

"In reviewing the video, this should not have happened," Adams said. "This tractor-trailer just never stopped, resulting in a horrific accident."

Bernier, a registered sex offender out on parole, was driving the truck for Harrisburg-based Cougle's Recycling. Bernier began his shift at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, Adams said.

"When he woke up he laid on the brakes but needless to say the tractor-trailer careened across his lane of traffic, impacting two vehicles waiting to leave this scene at the Dunkin' Donuts,"  Adams said.

A police officer, who happened to be inside the Dunkin' Donuts coffee shop at the time, rushed outside to assist the victims. Gast's red sedan was underneath Harakel's SUV. Miraculously, Gast and his co-workers survived.

"The sound is something that I'll never get out of my head," Gast said. "And I just don't know how I'm going to deal with that honestly."

Gast suffered a contusion and whiplash, Hiler suffered three broken ribs and Bowker suffered bruising and soreness. The other six injured victims suffered what Adams said appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Gast also told NBC10 he approached Bernier moments after the crash, asking him what happened.

"He was beside himself," Gast said. "He just said, 'You know what? I dozed off. Man I just dozed off. Man I just dozed off.'"

Police took Bernier into custody at the hospital after he submitted to a blood test.

"We do not have any reason to believe that he was under influence of alcohol but we will be testing his blood to determine," Adams said.

It appeared Bernier was driving too fast for the conditions at the time of the crash, Adams said.

Bernier was convicted in 2006 for a 2004 sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, according to Pennsylvania's Megan's Law website. He was also issued a traffic ticket in September for operating unsafe equipment, according to court records.

Cougle's Recycling was inspected four times over the past two years and was cited last year for a seatbelt infraction.

"We are praying for all those involved in today's terrible accident," said Cougle's Recycling's chief operating officer Matthew Cougle. "We cannot sufficiently express our deepest condolences to all who have been impacted by this tragic event. We will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation as the facts continue to unfold."

Photo Credit: Pa. Megan's Law Website / NBC10 - Randy Gyllenhaal]]>
<![CDATA[Coach's New Twist on Football Jersey Tradition Brings Team, School Together ]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:25:38 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fremont+football+jerseys+4.jpg

A San Francisco Bay Area coach is promoting a new twist on an old high school football tradition of players giving their girlfriends their jerseys to wear on game days.

This year, before home games, Fremont High School Coach Jake Messina has been asking his players to instead give their away jerseys to a teacher, one who has had made a difference in that player's life.

"I had no idea it would take off like it did," Messina, who first tinkered with the idea as a coach in Merced, said.

Longtime Fremont teachers say Messina's new jersey tradition is just one way in which he has brought the football program, once isolated from the rest of the student body, closer to the entire school.

"I was touched," Fremont teacher Beth Villa says of when Afa Prescott, a senior, asked her to wear his number 64. "I thought, 'Oh, wow, maybe he didn't hate me as much as I thought he did," she adds with a smile.

While wearing Afa's jersey, Villa went to her first Fremont football game in her 13 years of teaching there.

"I really reflected on how much she helped me," Afa says of giving Villa his jersey. "It was one of my best memories I have here at Fremont." 

"It's just mind-boggling as a teacher," says Tanya Misfeldt who has been given jerseys twice this year to wear.

"To get that feedback of, "You made a difference in my life," is just huge!" says Misfeldt. 

It hasn't hurt the team's image around the school that they have upped their performance on the field as well. Staff members commented this week that they've never seen so much school spirit, both around campus and at the football games.

They began the season winning nine straight games, the best start in the history of the school. Their only regular season loss came in the final game of the season to rival Sunnyvale school, Homestead.

‎While disappointed by the loss, Messina is adamant that helping his players succeed off the field is his number one goal.

"What I feel has started to happen is that we're going to produce some guys who will be able to go out and give back to the community," Messina says."That's the goal in doing this job."

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<![CDATA[9/11 Firefighter's Daughter in FDNY]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:04:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/josephine+smith+fdny.jpg

A New York woman who lost her father on Sept. 11 took the final step in carrying out his legacy when she graduated from the FDNY Academy Tuesday. 

Josephine Smith, 34, of Mastic, is one of four women in this year's FDNY class of 280, and the first-ever daughter of a firefighter killed in the World Trade Center attacks to join the FDNY. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Smith said she felt "proud, happy, excited... sad that my father couldn't be here." 

Kevin Smith, 53, lost his life when the north tower fell. Josephine was 21 at the time, and she first heard it on the radio -- but her desire to be a firefighter like her father started years before.

She recalled "going to work with my dad, playing on fire trucks, even telling my dad how I was going to work with him one day."

Her mother, Angelina Clay, now remarried, said she never doubted.

"I bought her a bottle of champagne before she even started the academy because I knew she'd make it," she said. 

Smith's first assignment is Engine 39 on Manhattan's East Side. Her father was with Haz-Mat Company 1. 

She carries a picture of him under her uniform hat, and wears his bracelet, too. She said she'll go to work with him every day. 

"There's not a second that goes by that I don't think about my father," she said. "There's so much that reminds me of him, there's so much I wish I can tell him about, to come home and tell him what I learned that day."