Channel: Local – NBC10 Philadelphia

Find It on 10: Today's Links

When Will You Be Able to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine? Determine Your Spot in Line


As the federal government rolls out coronavirus vaccines to states and cities in a phased vaccination programs, many people are wondering when they will be able to get the vaccine. Use this calculator to get an idea of when you might get a vaccination.

When Could I Get the Vaccine?

Answer the questions to calculate your risk profile and see where you fall in your county’s and state’s vaccine lineup. This estimate is based on a combination of vaccine rollout recommendations from the CDC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group, see this methodology.
Source: the Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19 by Ariadne Labs and the Surgo Foundation
Interactive by Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Introducing The Lineup, a New Newscast on Roku and Apple TV from NBC10


We’re proud to introduce The Lineup, NBC10’s new newscast on Roku and Apple TV!

Hosted by NBC10’s Erin Coleman and Keith Jones, The Lineup is a quick way to catch up on the news you need – and the news you’ll be talking about – all day long.

New episodes of The Lineup will premiere on the NBC10 Roku or Apple TV app at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, but you can watch any time that you need to get up to speed.

To watch The Lineup, search “NBC10” on in the app store on your Roku or Apple TV. Download our app, and you’ll see The Lineup.

man and woman in studio
Keith Jones and Erin Coleman

On The Lineup, Keith and Erin give you a quick summary of the most important local news and the national news that affects you. They get a chance to discuss and reflect. And you can join the conversation too, by following Keith and Erin on Facebook and Instagram.

And while you are in our Roku and Apple TV apps, make sure to check out the always-updated weather forecast and local news – plus NBC10’s special reports.

When Can I Get the Coronavirus Vaccine?


We plan to update this post as more information is released on the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.

Demand for coronavirus vaccines is high, but supply is still relatively low, leaving millions of Americans wondering when they can get their dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer products.

At the same time, logistical challenges and the holidays have led to a slow rollout and multiple states with doses in supply, not yet administering them to people. States and counties expect to increase their volume of doses administered in the coming weeks, and some have boosted their output already.

Still, after national leaders made promises of “warp speed,” many are anxious to get their shots, or at least prepare. But officials across our region say the average citizen will likely have to wait a few months.

“We know it’s difficult, I get many many emails a day, people really begging to get the vaccine, and I don’t blame them…,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Monday. “Everybody will get vaccinated, we will have enough, it’s just a matter of time.”

Guiding the three states in our region – Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware – is the approach of the federal CDC, which breaks vaccination down into subgroups depending on their risk of spreading the virus, or of having serious illness or death. State and local governments are generally following the CDC’s suggested rollout, with some tweaks (bumping teachers further ahead in line, for example).

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have all focused on their highest-risk groups first, and officials in all three states say they’re still working their way through Phase 1A.

We’ve received several questions on our Facebook page and at our email address where we take questions, vaccine@nbcphiladelphia.com. We’re answering some of the most common questions for you, and will refine this further as officials release more information on the rollout.

What’s my phase, and when is my turn?

As Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley pointed out last week, the CDC’s phases “are based on how we can maximize the number of lives we save.”

Across the country, health care workers are getting vaccinated first because of the high risk that comes from treating infected patients, and potentially spreading the virus to others. Nursing home patients are also in the first phase – because elderly people are at higher risk of death or serious illness.

Phase 1B includes frontline essential workers like first responders, who can contract the virus while out on a 911 call. Small groups of frontline essential workers are getting their vaccines now, but expect a larger push to vaccinate that group (which includes educators, U.S. Postal Service workers, grocery store workers, and more) in the coming weeks.

Leaders in our region say most people in Phase 1B will not receive a vaccine dose before late January or early February. Phase 1B includes people over 65 along with frontline essential workers, making it a large group. Depending on supply of doses, it will take longer to finish vaccinating this group. According to Delaware’s projected timeline for the vaccine distribution, phase 1B may not conclude until May.

Officials say they are able to start a next phase before another is finished.

Right now, it’s too early to give a specific date for when the general population will be vaccinated. Local officials are working with, in some cases, limited information from the federal government, limited doses, and difficulty projecting how many doses they’ll have at future dates.

“We have no idea how many doses we will receive on a weekly basis after January,” Farley said. “That uncertainty makes it very difficult for us to plan. Many people reasonably want to know when the vaccine will be available for them; it’s impossible for us to know when we don’t know how many doses we’re going to be getting.”

The size of the groups in your region varies by population. Check here to see your spot in line with our tool.

How do I make an appointment?

New Jersey already has a site for the general population to preregister, which you can access here. More than 1 million people in the Garden State have preregistered, Persichilli said Monday.

People who preregister will be notified when it’s time for them to make an appointment. The state asks for patience as the supply is still limited and priority is given to health care workers and first responders.

New Jersey health care workers and first responders can make an appointment right now at the facilities listed here.

Pennsylvania leaders are encouraging health care workers unaffiliated with hospitals to check for a vaccine provider here and make an appointment. The state’s map lists which providers have received dose shipments and which have not.

The group Philly Fighting COVID, which runs a mass vaccination site with the city health department, allows city residents to pre-register and get notified when it’s their turn for the vaccine.

Philadelphia residents can also sign up for a vaccination through the Black Doctors Consortium website or by calling 484-270-6200.

Delaware is reaching out to all health care workers who have not been vaccinated yet and will provide them with a link to reserve a spot. State officials said to expect more information in the coming weeks as they get ready to vaccinate wider populations.

“We do plan to make this super clear for people in the very near future,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the state’s Division of Public Health. “It’s not time yet for people over 65, but we promise that we will have instructions around those options.”

She suggested checking in with your primary care provider, who may be scheduled to receive vaccine doses.

What’s taking so long?

Health departments across our region have made similar statements regarding the number of vaccine doses they’ve received from the federal government so far. All have said in some form that their efforts will focus on health care workers and first responders until supply ramps up.

“We are excited that 1 million individuals have pre-registered for vaccination, and we don’t want to discourage anyone. But right now we have a situation where the demand is much greater than the supply,” New Jersey’s Persichilli said.

Officials have said there was lag time in getting vaccine facilities set up at first, and pauses due to the holidays. More facilities have come online in the new year, particularly as pharmacies working directly with the federal government established clinics at nursing homes.

Last month, we saw hospitals begin vaccinating their health care workers. Now the push is to finish out 1A and move more fully to 1B. Some states have been vaccinating first responders who are technically in 1B. But states in our region has moved onto the other key component of 1B: people over the age of 65.

Where will I be able to get a vaccine?

Many people are interested in mass vaccination sites, but officials have mentioned a wide variety of places where the vaccine will be offered. Pharmacies, general practitioners, even dentists may be able to provide the vaccine in the future, though their distribution of Pfizer doses will be limited if they don’t have access to ultracold storage.

New Jersey is distributing the vaccine at six mass vaccination sites, which are still for health care workers only. Here are the three in our area:

  • Atlantic County: Atlantic City Convention Center
  • Burlington County: Moorestown Mall
  • Gloucester County: Rowan College of South Jersey, Sewell

Delaware has held vaccination clinics for health care workers and first responders only at its DMVs, and plans more on some weekends this month.

In Philly, a mass vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center is capable of vaccinating 1,200 people in one day. (The vaccine site is run by the health department and Philly Fighting COVID, and you can preregister for here or other sites to be announced at their website phillyfightingcovid.com.)

What’s the cost?

When it’s your turn to get the vaccine, you likely won’t pay anything.

The CDC says all doses paid for with taxpayer dollars are being given to Americans at no cost.

Some locations may ask for an administration fee to cover their costs of running a facility. Insurance may cover this payment.

How many people have been vaccinated?

As of Tuesday, Jan. 12:

  • In Pennsylvania, 281,305 first doses have been administered, and 30,172 people have received a second dose.
    • In Philadelphia, a total of 50,529 people have received their first dose, and about 9,600 people have received their second dose.
  • In Delaware, the state’s tracker shows 26,739 doses have been administered. Officials said this number was lower than the actual because several health care providers had issues sending numbers to the state’s DelVAX system. Rattay said the actual number could be 10,000 higher than what the tracker shows.
  • According to Monday data from New Jersey, 199,293 people have received their first dose, and 14,984 people have received their second dose.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Guard to Defend Pennsylvania Capitol, City to Close Streets


A few hundred members of the Pennsylvania National Guard will be brought in to protect the state Capitol and other potential targets of unrest and violence in the week ahead, authorities said Thursday.

Law enforcement leaders said plans to handle any potential violence toward the Capitol include blocking off streets in Harrisburg and using helicopters, drones and horse-mounted officers.

“The Pennsylvania Capitol Police has the full support of Pennsylvania State Police and access to the significant resources we bring to bear,” state police Lt. Col. Scott Price said during an online briefing.

The focus of their plans is on Sunday, when armed marches to statehouses around the country by supporters of President Donald Trump could occur. Police said they know of no specific threat to the Pennsylvania Capitol but are taking precautions because of what they called generalized intelligence.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday ordered the Pennsylvania Capitol closed for two days next week around the swearing-in of three statewide officials and the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The complex is already closed to the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic, and most Capitol employees under Wolf’s jurisdiction currently work remotely. But the new order advises employees who report to work in person to take off Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday is a holiday.

“While we are not aware of any specific threats at this time, we want to act with an abundance of caution to keep employees safe,” Wolf’s Office of Administration said on its website.

Tuesday will be the swearing-in of three statewide elected officials: Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Auditor General-elect Tim DeFoor and Treasurer-elect Stacy Garrity. Biden is being inaugurated Wednesday in Washington.

Meanwhile, the state Senate said its offices will close for five days, Saturday through Wednesday, a decision made in consultation with law enforcement.

In recent days, Capitol Police have tried to become more visible inside and outside of the building, and have erected orange plastic barriers, in light of last week’s violent siege of the U.S. Capitol.

State capitols around the United States have heightened security after the attack in Washington. The FBI has warned there are calls for armed protests at statehouses and in Washington on Sunday and ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

The thigh-high orange plastic barriers are keeping pedestrians away from walkways and side doors. Two heavily armed officers were stationed outside Thursday, and another was patrolling hallways in the largely vacant Main Capitol.

Shapiro said his agents and prosecutors were working with federal authorities on the investigation into the U.S. Capitol riot.

“We know the difference between protests and violence,” Shapiro said Thursday. “Anyone who attempts to be violent, break or destroy state property, or bring harm or destruction to the Harrisburg community — or any community across Pennsylvania — will be held accountable.”

In Philadelphia, officials added security personnel to protect historical and city-owned buildings, and the district attorney warned that those who intend to target the Capitol would expose themselves to state charges beyond the reach of any presidential pardon.

“We ain’t having Nazis in Philly. Its not happening. I don’t care what flavor of Nazi you think you are,” Krasner said.


Associated Press writers Marc Levy in Harrisburg and Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

Men Who Came to Philly Vote Count in Hummer With Weapons Remain Free on Bail


What to Know

  • A Philadelphia judge has denied a request to revoke bail for two Virginia men who traveled to the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes were being counted and were arrested originally on weapons charges, despite prosecutors’ objections that they attended a rally last week that turned into a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol building.
  • A judge Thursday ordered the two men, 42-year-old Joshua Macias and 61-year-old Antonio LaMotta, to stand trial on elections fraud-related charges.
  • LaMotta also still faces weapons charges for carrying an unlicensed firearm as he walked toward the Convention Center on Nov. 5.

A Philadelphia judge has denied a request to revoke bail for two Virginia men who traveled to the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes were being counted and were arrested originally on weapons charges, despite prosecutors’ objections that they attended a rally last week that turned into a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Prosecutors had argued that Joshua Macias, 42, and Antonio LaMotta, 61, each violated the conditions of his $750,000 bail by participating in the riot-turned-insurrection. A judge declined to revoke bail, but added conditions that the two men may not use social media or attend political rallies while they are free on bail.

The judge also ordered the two to stand trial on a series of election fraud charges added by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office Thursday, including attempted interference with primaries and elections and conspiracy.

In November, as Philadelphia elections workers counted ballots over multiple days at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Macias and LaMotta drove to Philadelphia in a Hummer adorned with a QAnon sticker and packed with an AR-15-style rifle, ammunition and other weapons. Both men were charged with weapons violations for guns they were carrying as they walked to the Convention Center in the early morning hours of Nov. 5.

The weapons charges against Macias were dropped Thursday because he was licensed to carry the gun in Virginia. But LaMotta is still charged with weapons violations, including carrying a firearm without a license.

Prosecutors showed social media posts and videos of the rally, saying the two had violated the terms of their bail.

LaMotta’s attorney Jennifer Wimmer supported the judge’s decision, saying he had complied with all conditions of his bail.

Macias’ attorney Bill Brennan said he feels so strongly about the siege on the Capitol that if he were to find out his client had participated, he would remove himself from the case.

“They presented absolutely zero evidence that Josh Macias was inside the Capitol building and that is the distinction between two groups of people who were at the Capitol that day,” Brennan said. “Macias was one of thousands of people who gathered to exercise their First Amendment rights. Then there were the lunatic insurgents who invaded the Capitol building.”

NJ Cop Who Wrongly Pepper Sprayed Teens Pleads Guilty, Resigns


A southern New Jersey police officer accused of improperly using pepper spray on two teenagers last year pleaded guilty Thursday to simple assault charges and agreed to forfeit his job.

Ryan Dubiel, 32, a Wenonah resident who served with the Woodlynne police force, was sentenced to a year of probation as part of a plea deal with the Camden County Prosecutor’s office. He also was barred from having contact with the victims.

The charges stem from a June 4 incident at a home in Woodlynne where officers were investigating a trespassing report. Prosecutors said Dubiel used the spray in a manner that “was not consistent” with the state’s use-of-force policy and was not justified.

Dubiel was charged six days late after authorities reviews evidence that included poloice body camera footage of the incident.

Look Inside the New $700 Million Live! Casino & Hotel Philly


The long-anticipated $700 million Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia is putting the final touches on the 510,000-square-foot development in preparation for its grand opening on Feb. 11.

The Philadelphia Business Journal and members of the media got a sneak peek at the 900 Packer Ave. entertainment hub on a tour with Rob Norton, president of Cordish Gaming Group. The project is being developed by Stadium Casino RE LLC, an affiliate of Baltimore-based The Cordish Cos., which also built neighboring Xfinity Live!. It’s been roughly eight years since the company first answered Philadelphia’s request for proposals for the new venue, Norton noted. The project sits on the site of former Holiday Inn Stadium Hotel.

LOOK: The Philadelphia Business Journal has a gallery that gives you a complete look at Philadelphia’s newest casino.

Guests walking into the main entrance of the South Philadelphia venue pass under a sprawling 150-foot LED outdoor ceiling that depicts rotating digital art displays, such as flowers or the Live! Casino logo. Then it’s time to choose your own adventure: turn left and ascend an escalator to 15,000 square feet of customizable meeting space able to accommodate 12 to 1,000 guests post-Covid; walk straight through to the gaming floor with 2,100 slot machines; or veer right to reach the lobby of the 208-room, 12-story luxury hotel. 

PBJ.com has so many more details of what Live! gamblers and guests can expect when they step inside the new South Philly casino. Just check out this gambling feature:

Stay in the know on all things business with the Philadelphia Business Journal

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Why So Many More White People Than Black People Have Been Vaccinated


On Philadelphia’s dataset of coronavirus vaccinations, a racial disparity is apparent: about five times more white people than Black people have been vaccinated so far.

And according to Pennsylvania data, nearly 120,000 white people have been vaccinated compared to fewer than 4,000 African Americans, though there are nearly 60,000 vaccinations where the race was listed as unknown.

A wide majority of the shots administered so far have gone to health care workers, who have been first in line to get the vaccine

“It appears that minority staff, particularly African American staff, are less likely to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine, and to accept the vaccine if it’s offered to them,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a Jan. 5 news conference.

The city’s data on Thursday showed 51.4% of women vaccinated dose are white, and 10.4% are Black. Those numbers compare to about 45% of men vaccinated listed as white, and 9.8% Black. Race data was listed as “unknown” for almost a fifth of the vaccinations.

Asked about the disparities seen on the chart Thursday, Farley’s spokesman mentioned the racial makeup of the city’s medical field, which numbers anywhere from 120,000 to 140,000. Exact numbers of the racial breakdown in that field locally were not available.

“Philadelphia has a sizable health care workforce, and it is a majority white workforce,” Farley’s spokesman, James Garrow, told NBC10 Thursday.

Another factor driving the disparity is reluctancy in some Black communities to place trust the government when it comes to their health, an attitude rooted in history.

“We tell people that we understand that these things have happened in the past, but we don’t want the past to predict our future and our present,” Dr. Delana Wardlaw said in NBC10’s Race in Philly special this week. She practices at Temple Health Physicians in North Philly’s Nicetown section.

Multiple Black leaders and doctors who’ve spoken to NBC10 in the pandemic have mentioned the Tuskegee Experiment that dates back to the 1930s.

In the experiment, the federal government tested ineffective, and sometimes fatal treatments on Black men infected with syphilis, or withheld treatment to track how the disease destroyed their bodies. The experiment and other moments in history, and likely a barrage of disinformation on social media as well, play a part in skepticism about getting vaccinated, despite trials that show widespread effectiveness, and few with severe side effects.

“We know that as of Dec. 23, there were nearly 2 million doses of the vaccines administered, and there were only 21 cases of severe allergic reactions reported at that time,” Penn State Dr. Cynthia Chuang said in the Pennsylvania health department’s coronavirus update this week.

Farley said he tasked the chief medical officers at local hospitals and health networks to talk to their staffs, listen to concerns, and promote role models who have been vaccinated, to show that it’s safe for an overwhelming majority of folks.

The local Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has run testing sites for months. Now, its leader is serving as a vaccination role model too.

The consortium’s Dr. Ala Stanford received her second and final dose of a vaccine last week, and said it was important to tell colleagues about her experience, and that “seeing people that look like them” getting vaccinated will help.

“People that maybe didn’t want to get it… now are changing their mind. [That] is having an impact,” she told NBC10’s Jacqueline London.

Farley said he hopes the numbers will improve as the workers see others getting vaccinated and largely doing well.

“I don’t think that anybody feels it would be right to have a population that already has many other problems, and many chronic diseases, to then also be under-vaccinated,” he said in a news conference this week.

Addressing disparities

The city also says its vaccine rollout plan differs from the CDC’s plan in a way that could address racial equity concerns.

People under 75 with health conditions like heart disease and diabetes were bumped to 1B, the next phase that could start as soon as Jan. 25. The CDC had suggested putting these people in 1C, which may not start for months, depending on supply.

“These medical conditions are common in low-income populations and minority populations. We have higher rates of them here in Philadelphia than elsewhere, it’s a more important risk factor here. And this is one way for us to address the racial disparity in COVID mortality here,” Farley said.

Essential workers are another big group within Phase 1B.

Black people hold frontline essential jobs at higher rates, Garrow said, and make up more than 40% of the city. So getting shots into the arms of frontline essential workers should also boost the proportion of Black Philadelphians getting vaccinated.

“I do think this will improve over time, but it does take time for people to have multiple conversations and really understand the risks and benefits, and see what happens to others,” Farley said.

Prolific Actor Peter Mark Richman, Who Had Roles on ‘Three's Company' and ‘Beverly Hills 90210,' Dies at 93


What to Know

  • Noted character actor Peter Mark Richman had roles in hundreds of TV shows.
  • The pharmacist-turned-actor had recurring roles on ‘Three’s Company’ and ‘Beverly Hills 90210.’
  • He died Thursday of natural causes at his Woodland Hills residence, his publicist said. He was 93.

Peter Mark Richman, a character actor who appeared in hundreds of television episodes and had recurring roles on “Three’s Company” and “Beverly Hills 90210,” has died.

He was 93.

Richman died Thursday at his home in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles of natural causes, publicist Harlan Boll announced.

Born in Philadelphia, Richman was a pharmacist but turned to acting. He joined the Actors Studio and in 1953 he starred on stage in the play “End as a Man.” He appeared on Broadway in “A Hatful of Rain” and “Masquerade.” He also portrayed Jerry in more than 400 New York performances of Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story,” Boll said.

His movies included 1958′s “The Black Orchid” with Sophia Loren, “The Strange One,” “The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear” and “Friday the 13th, Part 8.”

Bu he was best known for his TV work, appearing in more than 500 episodes of various shows over a decades-long career, from “Bonanza” and “The Fugitive” to ”Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

He starred as lawyer Nick Cain in the short-lived 1960s NBC series “Cain’s Hundred” and had recurring roles as an attorney on the 1980s hit “Dynasty” and the 1970′s show “Longstreet.”

In the 1970s and 1980s he was Suzanne Somers’ father, the Rev. Luther Snow, on ”Three’s Company;” appeared as Lawrence Carson in a few episodes of “Beverly Hills, 90210” and was C.C. Capwell for nearly 30 episodes of “Santa Barbara.”

Richman also wrote plays, including the acclaimed “4 Faces,” a novel, short stories and an autobiography.

In 1990, he received the Silver Medallion from the Motion Picture & Television Fund for outstanding humanitarian achievement.

Richman is survived by his wife, Helen, five children and six grandchildren.

Worker Rescued After Medical Emergency at Center City High-Rise Construction Site


Crews rushed to the construction site of a Center City Philadelphia high-rise building Friday after a worker suffered a medical emergency dozens of stories high.

The rescue effort started around 10:25 a.m. on the 41st floor at the site where Arthaus Philadelphia is being built along South Broad Street near Spruce Street, Philadelphia Deputy Fire Chief Gerald Boyle said at the scene.

The 60-year-old construction worker was in stable condition as he was being lowered down to an ambulance after being stabilized, Boyle said.

A short time later, a person on a stretcher could be seen being loaded into an ambulance. He was then transported to the hospital.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the medical emergency.

Licenses and Inspections was called in to investigate, Boyle said.

Tri-State Ramps Up State Capitol Security Amid Threat of Unrest Over Weekend


New Jersey Homeland Security is asking individuals to report any threats seen or heard as state capitals around the country are on high alert for potential protests and unrest leading up to Inauguration Day.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent attacks like the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The police chief for Washington D.C. has increased the number of National Guard troops protecting the nation’s capital to 20,000 members, many of whom are from the tri-state. The NYPD was also sending officers.

There have been threats of armed protests throughout the U.S. to take place over the weekend and leading up to the inauguration, targeting state capitals — including the statehouse in Trenton. New Jersey Homeland Security Director Jared Maples said that they were taking “proactive steps to halt possible attempts at violence” ahead of the calls for the march on Jan. 17.

“There is a very real concern out there that violence could pop up, so we’re all doing everything we can to coordinate those areas … certainly in New Jersey,” Maples said, adding that the “extremist threat endures.”

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday said the situation “continues to be a general threat, but not a specific threat.” But the governor, alongside NJSP Superintendent Pat Callahan, reassured that local and federal agencies are prepared “for the worst” should problems arise.

Callahan and Maples both said there is no specific threat to the statehouse in Trenton, but added officials want to be prepared in case something happens. Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said that police have been asked “to be all hands on deck, we’re taking as many precautions as possible.”

“We’re really not seeing any real intelligence or actual threats as it related to New Jersey,” said FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge George Crouch Jr.

New Jersey’s state offices will turn remote on Wednesday, Jan. 20 — Murphy made the announcement in the final moments of his briefing. We “felt that that was the right thing to do given the level of tension,” the governor said. Callahan also said that because of the pandemic, most state workers are working remotely anyway.

New Jersey has activated approximately 100 additional National Guard soldiers to provide additional security at the capitol, NBC New York has learned. The activated unit is out of the 113th Infantry headquartered in Riverdale. There were also added police in the area, in addition to mounted units — visibly sending a message to potential rioters.

The added support comes as some merchants — as far as a mile from the capitol — have already begun boarding up storefronts on State Street which runs from the federal courthouse approximately one mile to the state capitol complex. First floor windows of the federal courthouse there were also boarded up, after word spread that those buildings could be targeted across the county.

It’s not just Trenton that has been increasing their security ahead of the inauguration. In Albany, barricades lined State Street starting Friday, and officers could be seen patrolling the area with long guns. Extra police were called in to help with the security, and the mayor there similarly said that those who work in the downtown area should plan on working remotely through Inauguration Day.

“Anyone who comes to the capital, with the intention of causing violence or damage to public property, will be arrested. We have zero tolerance for anyone who incites or causes any violence,” said Major Chris West, of the New York State Police.

Authorities are also keeping an eye out for the potential for explosive devices that pose a risk, with Sunday and Wednesday being called “hot days” where risk for unlawful and violent behavior is greatest.

Police in Hartford, Connecticut, were working with the FBI to up security, as metal fencing was built along the perimeter of the capitol building. All signs that show no area are taking any chances, even though there haven’t been any credible threats to the tri-state.

The National Mall there will be closed to the public in D.C. Inside the Capitol Building, many members of the National Guard were staying overnight — a show of force that comes on the heels of an attempted insurrection.

“Certainly this time last year, we didn’t expect to be in this situation — even last week we didn’t expect to be starting this early,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Earlier in the week, the FBI sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting Jan. 16. The memo also says an armed group has threatened to travel to Washington, D.C., the same day and stage an uprising if Congress removes President Donald Trump from office, according to a senior law enforcement official.

There have also been online flyers going around, promising (or warning) of armed marches throughout the state capitals, as well as D.C.

“We are taking this seriously, I know I speak for New Jersey and I believe that’s the case around the country,” Gov. Murphy said Friday.

While online actors have discussed possible threats for Jan. 16 through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, it doesn’t mean that law enforcement agencies expect violent mass protests or confrontations in every state, NBC News reported.

There have already been more than 70 arrests stemming from last week’s violent protests, and federal prosecutors have opened more than 170 cases — a number that was expected to grow to 300 by the end of Friday. The FBI said it has received more than 140,000 videos and photos as tips, as agents have told rioters that “even your friends and family are tipping us off.” A few of the arrests of those involved in the siege on the Capitol have occurred in the tri-state.

An MTA worker from New York was charged with with trespassing on federal government property and with impeding the orderly function of government for his role in the Capitol riot. Will Pepe, who worked at a railyard in Brewster, was suspended by the agency after taking a sick day to attend the violent protest. He was released on bond, and has been ordered to stay away from D.C.

The son of a Brooklyn judge was arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning for his fur-clad participation in the Capitol Hill riots. Aaron Mostofsky, 34, faces four charges, including felony theft of government property and unlawful entry. He could receive penalties up to 10 years in prison.

A New Jersey man who says he was standing next to a woman when she was fatally shot during the U.S. Capitol building riots is now charged in connection with last week’s breach. Thomas Baranyi, 28, was arrested Tuesday night by the FBI and charged with disorderly or disruptive conduct

The FBI raided the Queens home of Eduard Florea earlier in the week, saying the Proud Boys supporter posted threats about wanting to get a caravan “full of armed patriots” to again target the Capitol. He was arrested when agents found military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his Middle Village home.

As for those involved in storming the Capitol last week, FBI officials in New York and New Jersey said they are investigating numerous individuals. More arrests, and more federal charges, are still expected.

President Donald Trump released a statement Wednesday urging no violence at any possible inauguration protests. Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen also issued a stern warning, saying there will be “no tolerance whatsoever for any attempts to disrupt the peaceful transition of power on January 20th that our Constitution calls for.”

President-elect Joe Biden will no longer be taking an Amtrak train to Washington, something he became known for during his days as a senator, for his inauguration because of security concerns. The inauguration rehearsal, which was scheduled for Sunday, was postponed to Monday due to security concerns as well.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Gov. Murphy Calls for More Coronavirus Vaccines, Defends Vaccinating Smokers


After expanding the people eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine as the deadly virus continues to spread in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy is defending the addition of smokers in the eligible millions while calling on more doses to become available.

“Our job is to focus on vaccinating vulnerable residents first,” Murphy said at his Friday news briefing.

Starting Thursday, everyone over the age of 65, about 2 million smokers and people ages 16 to 64 with certain medical conditions became eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine doses. Previously, doses were only being given to health care workers, first responders and people at long-term care facilities.

On Friday, Murphy said the state is getting around 100,000 doses of the vaccine each week from the federal government. Vaccinating vulnerable residents first, especially those more prone to respiratory illness — even smokers, is the priority.

“I must push back on the false narrative that we’re vaccinating smokers while not vaccinating another group,” Murphy said.

“Our first priority must be to vaccinate those at higher risk due to age or other health factors that put them at a greater vulnerability for severe COVID,” he said. “Our goal is to save every life possible through facts and science. Smoking puts someone at a higher risk of a more severe case of COVID. In this, we are in agreement with CDC guidance.”

Murphy’s administration is aiming to have nearly 5 million people, or about 70% of the adult population, vaccinated in six months.

There isn’t enough supply to meet the demand right now. More people are requesting vaccinations than doses are available, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. She asked for patience as people clamor to get vaccinated.

Click here to get registered for the vaccine in New Jersey.

To date, more than 273,000 people in the state had received first doses of vaccines. Another 37,000-plus had gotten a second shot.

Once more supply is available, Murphy wants to open up vaccines to teachers and essential workers.

Murphy expressed hope that more doses will be released after President-elect Joe Biden takes office next week.

“What we need to end this divisive and unproductive debate is an increase in our vaccine supply,” Murphy said. “For that, we need a federal administration that will unleash the process to meet demand.”

The call for more vaccines comes as the virus spreads rapidly through the state.

New Jersey has reported thousands of daily cases everyday for weeks now. With more than 5,000 more confirmed PCR tests reported Friday, more than 555,000 cases have been reported since the start of the pandemic. There have been nearly 61,000 positive antigen tests reported.

More than 3,500 people were hospitalized going into Friday, with more than 600 in intensive care.

The Rate of transmission was at 1.11 as of Wednesday. The positivity rate as of Monday had dropped to 9.65%, with more than 70,000 tests administered that day, Murphy said.

At least 18,229 people have died from coronavirus-related complications, with another nearly 2,100 deaths suspected to be attributed to the virus.

Murphy also noted Friday a heightened worry heading into Inauguration Day, but that no specific threats exist. He said state workers will be working remotely Wednesday because of the “level of tension in the country.” 

Philadelphia Commits to Carbon Neutrality By 2050


Philadelphia will attempt to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 in the face of worsening effects of climate change, including hotter temperatures and more frequent and severe storms, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Friday.

The goal comes as an advanced timeline to the one set out when President Donald Trump announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. At that time, the city had committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, but scientific consensus indicates “that we have to go further if we are truly to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” Kenney said.

“Every day, we see new evidence that climate change is real and that it is hurting our residents, particularly people of color and low-income and working-class resident. We must do our part to achieve climate justice and ensure all Philadelphians benefit from a healthy environment now and for generations to come,” the mayor said.

The steps the city is taking to achieve its new carbon neutrality goal will be outlined in a “Climate Action Playbook,” which brings together existing sustainability plans and programs. The playbook is currently in draft form, and the city is asking residents to take a survey to provide feedback “to help inform future climate action in Philadelphia.”

The city also announced Saleem Chapman as its Chief Resilience Officer. Chapman’s role will be to help prepare the city for the effects of climate change in the coming years.

Chapman noted that last summer, while the city continued to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, it was also dealing with sweltering heat disproportionally hurting people in lower-income neighborhoods.

A new Environmental Justice Commission – composed of people with lived experiences and an interest in the effects of climate change on Philadelphia – will seek to remedy some of the “racial and class disparities in exposure to environmental harm,” according to a city press release.

“It is clear that climate change will bring more unprecedented tests, and as it further amplifies many of the city’s existing struggles – such as poverty, health inequity and aging infrastructure – it makes it all so important that as we take action today to ensure that as we rebound from these disruptions, we don’t simply return to the same inequitable systems,” Chapman said. “Instead we use those events to advance toward a more healthy, more just and more prosperous future for all.”

Charges Dropped Against Philly Cop Shown Hitting Temple Student


Charges against a Philadelphia police commander shown hitting a Temple University student with a baton during racial justice protests last year have been dropped.

Misdemeanor charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment and possession of an instrument of crime against Joseph Bologna Jr., 55, were dismissed Friday during a preliminary hearing, court records indicate.

District Attorney Larry Krasner had filed the charges after cellphone video showed Bologna repeatedly hitting Temple student Evan Gorski during protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died handcuffed as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Bologna’s actions caused Gorski to sustain “serious bodily injury, including a large head wound that required treatment in a hospital while under arrest, including approximately 10 staples and approximately 10 sutures,” Krasner said at the time.

Gorski was initially arrested but later released, and charges against him were dropped after the video of his beating went viral.

John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, which represents law enforcement officers in the city, called charges against Bologna a “rush to judgment” on the part of Krasner.

“Our union and police officers will not stand-by and watch Inspector Bologna get railroaded by a politically, opportunistic DA, who has turned his back on Philadelphia police and the city,” McNesby said at the time.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also said at the time that the Philadelphia Police Department was launching an internal investigation into Bologna.

Over 760,000 Pounds of Hot Pockets Recalled, May Contain ‘Pieces of Glass and Plastic'


Nestlé Prepared Foods is recalling about 762,615 pounds of select batches of Hot Pockets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Friday.

This recall includes 54-ounce boxes of the 12-count Premium Pepperoni Made With Pork, Chicken & Beef Pizza with a Garlic Buttery Crust. They have lot codes of 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614 and 0321544614, and a “best before” date of February 2022. The boxes also have the establishment number “EST. 7721A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The frozen, not-ready-to-eat products were shipped nationwide in November 2020 and were produced from Nov. 13 through Nov. 16. The products is being recalled due to the potential contamination with “extraneous materials, specifically pieces of glass and hard plastic.”

The Hot Pockets affected by the recall are the Premium Pepperoni Pizzas that are made with pork, chicken and beef and have a garlic and buttery crush.

Nestlé revealed that these products could “pose a choking or laceration risk and should be not be consumed.”

The USDA classified this as a “Class I” recall, which is defined as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Nestlé became aware of the problem after receiving four customer complaints of “extraneous material in the pepperoni hot pocket product.” They have received one report of a minor oral injury associated with consumption of the affected product. FSIS has not received any additional reports of injury or illness stemming from this batch of products.

“The quality, safety and integrity of Nestlé USA and Hot Pockets products remain our number one priority,” Nestlé said in a press release. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this action represents to both our consumers and retail customers.”

Last month, Nestlé recalled approximately 92,206 pounds of Lean Cuisine Baked Chicken entrees due to possible contamination with “extraneous materials, specifically pieces of white hard plastic.” There were no reports of injury or illness at the time, according to FSIS.

Any consumers who purchased the affected batches of Hot Pockets should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase. Customers who are concerned about possible injury or illness should contact their health care provider.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

NJ Teen, 14, to Face Upgraded Charges After Death of Man, 95


A 14-year-old youth will face upgraded charges following the death of a 95-year-old man after an alleged assault in the lobby of his New Jersey apartment building a week earlier, authorities said.

Police were called to the Collingswood building on Jan. 7 and the victim was taken to a hospital, where his condition worsened and he died Thursday, Camden County prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said surveillance footage shows the victim, 95-year-old Anthony Donofrio, in the midst of a group of teens playing in the lobby. They says the video shows him walking away, and one of the teens running toward him, punching him in the side of the head and shoving him to the ground.

A medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma and the manner of death to be homicide, prosecutors said. The teen was charged with second-degree aggravated assault and endangerment, and prosecutors said he will now face upgraded charges which they didn’t specify.

The teenager, whose name wasn’t released because of his age, is being held in a juvenile facility, prosecutors said.

Officials at the Parkview at Collingswood called the case “a horrible tragedy.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our residents, and our thoughts are with his family at this time,” the property’s manager, Jacqueline DeRita, said in a statement Friday. She said officials provided video footage to authorities “and will continue to assist however we can,” the Burlington County Times reported.

Philly Cops Arrest Suspects in Temple Grad's Killing


Philadelphia Police say they’ve made arrests in the Wednesday night killing of a Temple University graduate out walking his dog.

Milan Loncar, 25, was walking his dog near 31st and Jefferson streets in Brewerytown when two people approached him. Surveillance video released by police showed two people reaching into Loncar’s pockets.

Then one of the suspects fired a shot at Loncar’s chest.

The suspects’ identities weren’t immediately available Saturday night and they haven’t been formally charged.

“The suspects wanted for the murder of Milan Loncar have been apprehended,” Officer Tanya Little wrote in a short statement.

Loncar graduated from Temple with an engineering degree in December 2019 and worked for construction firm Whiting-Turner.

Loncar’s mother, Amy Lounsberry, spoke with NBC10 earlier this week.

“There’s no reason to it. No reason to it,” Lounsberry said. “He didn’t have any money on him. He didn’t fight back. He didn’t say anything wrong. It’s just too much. It’s just not right.”

Lounsberry said her son’s girlfriend was about to move in with him.

“They had already started bringing stuff over,” she said. “They were excited. Everything was coming together for him and it’s just not fair.”

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

Pa. State Senator Dies of Brain Cancer 1 Year After Winning Election


A Pennsylvania state senator stricken with brain cancer died Sunday, his family said.

Sen. David Arnold, R-Lebanon, died peacefully at home with his wife and daughter by his side, his family and staff said in a statement distributed by the Senate Republican press office.

“It is with heavy hearts that the family and staff of Senator David J. Arnold Jr., announce the end of his battle with brain cancer,” they wrote.

Arnold was 49.

After serving 14 years as Lebanon County’s district attorney, Arnold ran for and won the state Senate seat in a special election in January 2020. In early November 2019, during the campaign, he announced that he had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and had undergone surgery to remove it.

Arnold had also served on the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission and as president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. Closer to home, he had coached youth basketball and softball.

“Dave Arnold leaves us with a legacy of a life well-lived,” the PDAA said in a statement. “For those of us who had the pleasure of working with Dave, we will have many fond memories: his warm smile, his common-sense approach to issues, his relentless pursuit of justice, and his advocacy for victims of crime and safe communities.”

In a statement, Senate Republican leaders called Arnold “a good man and committed leader.”

Arnold is survived by his wife Alicia and daughter Reese.

After 151 Years, Philly Board of Trusts Elects First Black President


The agency that oversees charitable trusts for Philadelphia has appointed its first Black president since its founding 151 years ago.

Attorney Bernard W. Smalley becomes president of the Board of Directors of City Trusts after being unanimously elected to his position, the agency announced Sunday. He will lead the group which oversees 119 public charitable trusts.

“The Board is uniquely positioned to change lives for the better, and I look forward to working in partnership with my fellow Board members to expand our ability to serve people from all walks of life in Philadelphia,” Smalley said in a statement.

Smalley has worked at the board since 2001 and held the vice presidency beginning in 2012. He takes over as president following the death of former president Ronald M. Donatucci in November of last year.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney congratulated Smalley for his latest achievement, calling him “a good man and a great Philadelphian.”

“He and I worked together on the Octavius Catto Monument project at City Hall several years ago, and I look forward to working with him and the entire Board in the effort to improve the lives of our fellow citizens,” Kenney said.

Smalley is the son of a West Philadelphia barber and grew up in the 1960s around “some of the city’s greatest legal minds,” who frequented his father’s barbershop, the BDCT said.

He attended Temple University and then Widener University Law School, graduating in 1980 and going on to become a trial attorney on behalf of victims of corporate or professional negligence. He has frequently been designated as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” by the Super Lawyer ratings service, which recognizes attorneys who have “attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.”

Teen, 14, Charged in Fatal Stabbing of NJ Man: Police


A New Jersey teen has been charged in the stabbing death of a 38-year-old man, authorities announced Sunday.

The 14-year-old juvenile, not identified by police, was arrested and charged in Ocean County following the fatal attack that occurred Saturday afternoon.

Police responded to a 911 call at a Brick Township residence around 2:45 p.m. for a reported stabbing. Authorities say the victim was found with a stab wound to his abdomen and rushed to Jersey Shore Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Authorities identified the victim as 38-year-old Mohammed Khater.

Officials have not released what connection may exist between the victim and suspect or what led up to the stabbing.

The teen suspect faces charges of murder as well as unlawful possession of a weapon, prosecutors say.

Feared Armed Protests Don't Materialize in Pa., NJ, Del.


Authorities on high alert for potential armed protests by extremist groups in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware did not need to use their heightened security, after all, as the demonstrations failed to materialize Sunday.

All three states had an increased police presence, as well as National Guard members, stationed at their capitols after the FBI sent an internal memo earlier in the week, warning that armed groups planned protests across all 50 statehouses in the country in the leadup to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Yet, the weekend saw no violence and riots like the one seen at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That deadly storming by a mob of President Donald Trump supporters raised security fears across the country as ardent supporters of the president continue to peddle the unfounded claim that the election was stolen by Democrats.

But unlike the storming of the Capitol, where people entered the premises and outnumbered police for hours, law enforcement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware appeared prepared for what was to potentially come as authorities closed off streets and officers stood guard in front of their respective state capitols.

However, only a few scattered Trump supporters and counter-protesters showed up.

“There’s more skateboarders than protesters. So that is really good,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said.

Nearly a dozen New Jersey law enforcement partners planned for days, securing the state capitol perimeter.

“We blocked off some key streets to the capitol and also key streets to city hall,” Grady Griffin, Trenton’s Office Emergency Management Coordinator, told NBC10.

“It’s time for the country to come back together. It’s time for us to unite again. We are the United States of America. We need to remember that.”

Reporting from the Associated Press contributed to this story.

Sixers-Thunder Game Postponed


The Sixers’ scheduled game Sunday night against the Thunder has been postponed, the NBA announced.

According to the league, the Sixers don’t have the required eight players because of ongoing contact tracing.

NBC10 spoke to a Sixers team source who said there are no new positive cases to report at this time. The contact tracing is due to a COVID related issue involving a recent opponent.

Leading into Sunday’s scheduled game in Oklahoma City, Seth Curry and Vincent Poirier had been listed out on the NBA’s 5:30 p.m. injury report because of the league’s health and safety protocols. Joel Embiid (right knee pain) and Mike Scott (right knee swelling) did not travel with the team for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.

The Sixers learned of Curry testing positive for COVID-19 during the team’s Jan. 7 game against the Nets. He’s since been away from the team. Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Terrance Ferguson returned Thursday after being sidelined for health and safety reasons. 

It appears the Sixers had been warming up in Oklahoma City and expecting to play a game.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the postponement is due to contact tracing connected with the Sixers’ game Saturday night against the Grizzlies. The 9-5 Sixers are next scheduled to play the Celtics on Wednesday and Friday in Philadelphia.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Rev. Paul ‘Earthquake' Moore, Longtime Philly Activist and Boxer, Dies at 62


What to Know

  • Paul “Earthquake” Moore, a prominent community activist, reverend and former boxer in Philadelphia died Friday at the age of 62, his brother confirmed with NBC10.
  • Moore coordinated numerous community events, including the 24 Hour Food-A-Thon, the Celebrity Turkey Run & Giveaway, the Community Claus, MLK Day of Service and the Weekend of Peace. 
  • Moore was also an anti-violence advocate and regularly attended vigils for victims of gun violence, even those he didn’t know. 

Friends, family, officials, police and the entire Philadelphia community are mourning longtime activist, reverend and former boxer Paul “Earthquake” Moore. 

Moore died on Friday at the age of 62, his brother confirmed with NBC10.

Moore, an alumni of John Bartram High School, was a prominent activist who worked primarily in the Southwest Philadelphia community. He coordinated numerous community events, including the 24 Hour Food-A-Thon, the Celebrity Turkey Run & Giveaway, the Community Claus, MLK Day of Service and the Weekend of Peace. 

Moore was also an anti-violence advocate and regularly attended vigils for victims of gun violence, even those he didn’t know. 

For his efforts, Moore won the Wrice-Campbell Award for Neighborhood Safety. He was also elected as chair of the Southwest Community Development Corporation (SWCDC) in October 2011. SWCDC was founded in 1986 and serves the economic needs of residents in the area.

In addition to his work as a community activist, Moore formerly served as an Associate Minister at New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Southwest Philadelphia. 

He was also a junior welterweight professional boxer and appeared in small movie roles in films, including “Philadelphia” and “Beloved.” 

Moore also worked as a radio personality for the Primetime Power Show which debuted in September 2014.

Several Philly officials and law enforcement members paid tribute to Moore on social media.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Philadelphia's Top Cop Says Deadly 1st Year Related to COVID-19 Pandemic


What to Know

  • Danielle Outlaw became Philadelphia’s first Black female police commissioner in February 2020, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the city.
  • Recent studies in Philadelphia and nationally have linked the coronavirus to significant increases in gun violence and homicides.
  • Outlaw, who spent her entire career previously on the West Coast, says she still is “treated like an outsider.”

In her first year on the job as top cop in Philadelphia, Danielle Outlaw oversaw responses to a pandemic, civil unrest not seen in decades, a reckoning for American policing and some of the worst gun violence in the city’s history.

It would have been a tough year for any police commissioner, nevermind one relocating from a career on the West Coast.

Outlaw, in an interview with NBC10, said she is still trying to fit in as a commissioner brought in from another part of the country.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t feel like an outsider when I got here. I was treated like an outsider,” she said. “And I’m still treated like an outsider.”

Outlaw made history when she became the first Black female commissioner last year. She took the job in February, slightly more than a month before the COVID-19 pandemic changed American life.

If overseeing law enforcement during the coronavirus wasn’t enough for the first-year commissioner, Outlaw then had to deal with protests across the city following the death of George Floyd. The Black man died at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May, sparking nationwide protests.

The police response in Philadelphia included teargassing protesters on the Vine Street Expressway in Center City and shooting rubber bullets and more tear gas into crowds in West Philadelphia.

Outlaw and Kenney, after weeks of criticism, apologized for the city’s response to the civil unrest sparked by Floyd’s death. While they held onto their jobs, Kenney’s top official, the city’s managing director, Brian Abernathy, lost his. Abernathy was one of Outlaw’s biggest supporters when her hiring was announced.

Amid the tumultous year in Philadelphia, homicides and aggravated assaults reached historic levels. The city finished with 499 homicides, the second highest total of the last 60 years, according to police department records. (There were 500 slayings in 1990.)

Outlaw, in the interview with NBC10, blamed the pandemic for the rise in gun violence. Other recent studies, including one by PennMedicine medical researchers, lend support to her argument.

“The numbers for sure aren’t helping me out,” she said. “But they’re not helping anyone out. And I would really, really, really be even more concerned if it was specific to Philadelphia. There are so many other cities, major, mid-size, smaller cities, that are experiencing this same thing.”

A study by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that homicides in dozens of cities across the United States saw homicides and other gun violence-related crimes increase significantly in 2020.

“That tells me there is a commonality, a common theme there, right? And it’s this pandemic,” Outlaw said.

Still, experts believe the pandemic played a part in a larger issue that includes police officers’ morale, motivations and strategies following the protests against police brutality this summer.

“‘Why would I engage in pro-active work when people are looking for me to make a mistake?'” Temple University criminologist Jerry Ratcliffe said in November of thoughts cops may be having. “‘Why do a stop and have 10 cameras come out looking for me to get fired?'”

“A whole range of signals, some more significant than others, that officers are receiving, says that we don’t want the police to engage in as much pro-active work,” Ratcliffe added.

Meanwhile, the rise in gun violence has occurred in hand with a decrease in arrests for those crimes. An NBC10 Investigators analysis published in November found that police solved just 16% of non-fatal shootings and just 30% of gun homicides.

Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Ben Naish, who oversees investigations, including gun crimes, told NBC10 that police were overwhelmed with the surge in shootings. He blamed COVID-19 and the summer’s civil unrest.

“I think it’s fair to say there became this sense of lawlessness,” Naish said. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Yuengling's Westward Push Starting With Brewing Beers in Texas


Well-known Pennsylvania brand D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. is taking the first step in its recently announced westward expansion by preparing to unleash its popular beers in Texas later this year, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The 192-year-old Pottsville-based brewery anticipates rolling out its brews in Texas retail locations in the fall, PBJ.com reports. The expansion comes under the umbrella of The Yuengling Co., a joint venture established last September between D.G. Yuengling & Son and the Molson Coors Beverage Co. (NYSE: TAP). 

Headquartered in Fort Worth, The Yuengling Co. entity is responsible for overseeing the Pennsylvania brewery’s expansion outside of its existing 22-state footprint. Gavin Hattersley, CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Co., previously said the 50-50 joint venture was eyeing 25 states for potential expansion, with particular emphasis placed on the western part of the United States and throughout New England. 

For Yuengling’s debut in the Lone Star State, the beers will be brewed locally by Texans at the Molson Coors brewery in Fort Worth. 

PBJ.com has information on the beer partnership and quotes from Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer at D.G. Yuengling & Son and sixth-generation Yuengling family member, about how the company is trying to keep its brewing standards up to what is traditionally expected.

Stay in the know on all things business with the Philadelphia Business Journal

Police Arrest Man at Campsite for Making Online Threats Against Biden, Other Dems


Pennsylvania State Police arrested a man accused of making Facebook threats against President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and other prominent Democratic political figures at a Bucks County campsite.

Troopers went to the wooded area off Sunday Road in Durham Township Friday morning to serve an arrest warrant on Kris Kinsey for terroristic threats, state police said Monday. The Elyria Police Department in Ohio had alerted Pennsylvania police to the alleged threats.

Images, messages and videos posted on Kinsey’s Facebook page threatened violence and death toward Biden, Harris, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, police said. The posts also allegedly threatened supporters of the Democratic leaders.

At the 61-year-old’s campsite, police found a semiautomatic handgun, a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, investigators said. Kinsey is prohibited from having a gun.

Kinsey was charged Monday with terroristic threats, weapons and drug charges. Online court records don’t list an attorney who could comment on Kinsey’s behalf.

Capitol Rioter Accused of Plotting to Sell Stolen Pelosi Laptop to Russian Intelligence


FBI authorities are seeking a Pennsylvania woman in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month after an accusation from a former “romantic partner” that she took a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the intention to sell it to Russian intelligence.

The FBI said in an arrest warrant Sunday, however, that Riley June Williams hasn’t been charged with theft but only with illegally entering the Capitol and with disorderly conduct.

FBI officials said a caller claiming to be an ex of Williams said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office. The caller alleged that she “intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service.” But the plan fell through “for unknown reasons” and she either has the device or destroyed it. The FBI says the matter remains under investigation.

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed Jan. 8 that a laptop was taken from a conference room but said “it was a laptop that was only used for presentations.”

Williams’ mother, who lives with her in Harrisburg, told ITV reporters that her daughter had taken a sudden interest in President Donald Trump’s politics and “far-right message boards.” Her father, who lives in Camp Hill, told local law enforcement that he and his daughter went to Washington on the day of the protest but didn’t stay together, meeting up later to return to Harrisburg, the FBI said.

FBI officials said they believe Williams “has fled.” Her mother told local law enforcement that she packed a bag and left, saying she would be gone for a couple of weeks. She also changed her phone number and deleted a number of social media accounts, the FBI said. Court documents don’t list an attorney for her.

Grounded Due to a COVID Test: What You Need to Know Before You Fly


Heading to the airport and going through checking in, waiting in line at security and finding your gate can be stressful as it is. Now, throw COVID-19 into the mix.

As you start to plan a much-deserved vacation, make sure you’re paying attention to testing requirements set by your airline — or the result could be a huge bill or canceled trip.

Joy Moore had booked a trip overseas to visit family in Nigeria. The Philly-area resident planned to fly with her 13-year-old daughter out of JFK Airport.

Moore saw that her airline required PCR COVID tests prior to the flight, but she didn’t notice the rules about how close to the travel date the specimen must be collected.

“It didn’t occur to me that it has to be three days with the time the test was taking the specimen,” Moore told NBC10 Responds.

The airline would not accept her or her daughter’s tests, which were taken six days prior to the flight. Instead they directed her to a testing facility inside of JFK Airport.

Moore says she went to the kiosk for Adams Health Services and told them she needed two PCR tests. The cost: $798. 

“It wasn’t easy for me to count the money I gave them because I know this is what I had on me to get me through the trip and come back,” Moore said.

She reluctantly handed over the cash, and got swabbed. Then she waited for the results. Even though Moore and her daughter got quick-turnaround tests at the airport, it took more time than they planned for, and they missed their flight.

Not All Tests are Created Equal

When you go for a COVID-19 test, you may be presented with several options, including PCR tests and antigen tests. So what’s the difference? And how do you know which one to get?

All tests are not created equal. There are definitely ones better than the others,” said Dr. Seth Rosenbaum, an infectious disease expert and Chief Medical Officer at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton.

The PCR test “has upwards of ninety eight percent sensitivity, meaning that it’s a two percent possibility of you having a false negative. More often than not, it will give you the correct diagnosis.” Rosenbaum said. “The antigen test has upwards of a 20 percent false negative rate.”

That means even if you test negative, you still have a 20 percent probability of having the virus.

Some airlines only accept PCR test results, something Adams Health Services says it can provide within an hour.

“We always tell the clients, our customers, to keep in touch with the airline. … Maybe you need antigen. Maybe you need to take PCR,” said Janine Aranya of Adams Health Services.

The test costs range from $179 for an antigen test, to the expedited PCR test which costs $399, according to the company.

No Cap on Testing Costs

Joy Moore and her daughter received PCR tests for free when they went to a community health center. They were charged $798 for two PCR tests at the airport. So why the drastic difference in the costs?

The CARES Act did not set a cap for COVID-19 testing prices. “That’s why you may well see such a broad range of amounts being charged,” said Dr. Abbie Leibowitz of the consumer group the Health Advocate.

Speaking of FDA approved tests, he said, “under the CARES Act individuals have no financial responsibility out of pocket to pay for COVID testing.” That is, if you have health insurance.

How to Get Reimbursed

If you’re in a situation like Joy Moore and her daughter and shell out hundreds of dollars for COVID testing, Dr. Leibowitz says you may ask your health insurance company to reimburse you. Visit the website of your health plan and download a member reimbursement form.

“You would attach copies of your receipt, and you would attach a copy of the printed result of the test form that you got that shows that there was a test that was done,” says Dr. Leibowitz.

What If I Don’t Have Health Insurance?

If you don’t have health insurance, you cannot be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket testing costs. This means you’ll have to do some research and planning on the front end.

Dr. Leibowitz suggests searching for state supported clinics in your area. Many of them provide tests for free. You can find the websites for testing sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware here.

Before Heading to the Airport

Make sure you’ve researched your airline’s COVID-19 testing requirements before you head to the airport. If you are flying internationally, you will almost certainly need a test. Make sure the test was taken within the timespan required by the airline.

And if you plan to get tested at the airport, map out where the nearest testing site is to your terminal, and give yourself extra time — so you don’t miss a flight, as Moore and her daughter did.

Suspect Was Released on Reduced Bail 2 Weeks Before Temple Grad's Murder


As loved ones mourn a Temple University grad who was gunned down while walking his dog, many are questioning why the murder suspect’s bail amounts for previous offenses were reduced, allowing him to be released from jail two weeks before the shooting. 

Davis Josephus, 20, was arrested and charged with the murder of Milan Loncar.

Davis Josephus is charged with murder and other related offenses.

On Wednesday, Loncar, 25, was walking his dog near 31st and Jefferson streets in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood when two people approached him. Surveillance video released by police showed the suspects reaching into Loncar’s pockets.

That same night, Josephus was arrested in connection to an unrelated carjacking. He was later identified by police as the man who killed Loncar. A second person of interest was also identified in connection to Loncar’s death. 

Josephus had an extensive criminal record prior to the shooting.

He was jailed for a robbery in 2019, according to court records. In January 2020, he took a plea deal that came with two years of supervised release. While Josephus was in jail, he was charged with two other crimes, an old carjacking and kidnapping from 2019 and an assault while he was in prison and serving his sentence. 

For the kidnapping case, Josephus was held on $100,000 bail. Court records show that on more than a half dozen occasions, Josephus was scheduled for a preliminary hearing but they were all continued. Some were postponed due to the pandemic while another was delayed because Josephus hadn’t been taken from jail. Another was continued because the District Attorney’s Office didn’t have a witness needed for the case. 

In October, Josephus’ $200,000 bail for the prison assault was lowered to $12,000. In December, his $100,000 bail for the kidnapping case was lowered to $20,000. 

Josephus was able to post bail and was released on Dec. 29, two weeks before Loncar’s murder. 

“It would seem to me that if he’s allegedly committing crimes on the streets and in the prisons, he would be the poster boy for an appeal of reduced bail,” local defense attorney William Brennan said. “So I don’t know if a detainer was filed. Apparently, dockets say it wasn’t.” 

Brennan is not affiliated with Josephus’ case but told NBC10 he had detainers filed on his clients for offenses that were far less severe.

NBC10 asked the District Attorney’s Office if it filed a detainer and any appeals on the bail decision. We were told to go to the Philadelphia courts for paperwork and transcripts. The courts were closed on Monday due to the MLK holiday. 

The bail reduction was questioned by some in the Philadelphia Police Department.

“This male was on the street with two open felony cases because his bail was reduced from 200K to 12K,” Philadelphia Police Inspector Derrick Wood tweeted. “This is ridiculous and another example of bail decisions that are being made without considering the safety of the community. Consequences matter.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office had argued last year for Josephus to be held on higher bail, but that the judiciary sets bail, not the District Attorney’s Office.

“The Philadelphia DAO argued in two separate cases last year that Davis Josephus be held in jail, yet bail was lowered by judges over our objections,” Krasner said in a written statement.

“This violent act robbed a young man of his life and future, and inflicted additional violence on the family and community that grieves him,” Krasner said.

Josephus is currently being held without bail on the murder charge.

NJ Man With Naval Base Security Clearance, Munitions Access Charged in Riot: Feds


Federal officials charged a man in New Jersey with security clearance at Naval Weapons Station Earle for his alleged participation in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Court documents say Timothy Louis Hale-Cusanelli works as a contractor with “secret” security clearance and access to “a variety of munitions” at the Naval base in Colts Neck. Hale-Cusanelli is also enlisted in the Army Reserves, feds say.

In the criminal complaint, federal officials say Hale-Cusanelli confessed to a confidential informant that he was present at the riot at the U.S. Capitol and showed video of himself inside the building.

The informant describes Hale-Cusanelli as an “avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer who posts video opinion statements on YouTube proffering extreme political opinions and viewpoints,” the complaint say.

On Jan. 14, the informant worked with the Navy Criminal Investigative Service to record a conversation with Hale-Cusanelli where he confessed to entering the Capitol and detailed his actions inside.

In the recorded conversation, officials say Hale-Cusanelli admitted to “encouraging other members of the mob to ‘advance’ – giving directions via both voice and hand signals.”

Hale-Cusanelli was arrested Friday by agents of the Newark FBI Joint Terrorist Force and the NCIS, a spokesperson for the FBI in New Jersey said.

The 30-year-old lives on the Navel base, according to address records obtained by NBC New York. It was not immediately clear if Hale-Cusanelli had legal representation.

The base holds munitions for resupplying the Navy’s fleet in the Atlantic and Persian Gulf. Tomahawk ship-launched missiles and naval shells are known to be stored at the base.

President-Elect Biden Volunteers at Philabundance for MLK Day of Service


With his inauguration just days away, President-Elect Joe Biden spent the MLK Day of Service volunteering near home.

Biden and his wife, future First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, volunteered at Philabundance in South Philadelphia Monday.

They joined an assembly line in Philabundance’s parking lot and helped fill about 150 boxes with fresh fruit and non-perishables.

Philabundance provides more than 24 million pounds of food each year to those in need, including providing food to smaller community food banks.

The Bidens were joined in their service project by their daughter, Ashley Biden, their granddaughter Finnegan Biden, and Peter Neal, who is dating another Biden granddaughter.

Meanwhile, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, took part in a National Day of Service event, filling bags with produce and dry goods at Martha’s Table, a food bank in Southeast Washington, D.C.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Carl Icahn Nixes Charity Bid to Blow Up Former Trump Casino


What to Know

  • An auction house seeking bids to blow up a former casino once owned by President Donald Trump has canceled the effort after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from billionaire Carl Icahn
  • Icahn told The Associated Press his philanthropic arm will donate $175,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City to replace money that would have been raised by a charity auction of the right to press the button to demolish the former Trump Plaza casino.
  • Icahn’s decision came shortly after Bodnar’s Auction canceled its solicitation of bids.

An auction house trying to raise money for a youth charity by soliciting bids to blow up a former casino once owned by President Donald Trump called off the effort Monday after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from conservative billionaire Carl Icahn.

Icahn told The Associated Press his philanthropic arm will donate $175,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City to replace money that would have been raised by a charity auction of the right to press the button to demolish the former Trump Plaza casino.

He owns the former casino, which has been in the process of demolition for months.

Icahn’s decision came shortly after Bodnar’s Auction canceled its solicitation of bids, citing a letter from Icahn’s company instructing it not to proceed with the auction because it considered the public “spectacle” to be a safety risk, with the possibility of flying debris injuring the person pressing the demolition button, or others gathered nearby.

“From the beginning, we thought the auction and any other related spectacle presented a safety risk, and we were always clear that we would not participate in any way,” a spokesman for Icahn said in a statement.

Last month, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced the auction as a fundraising mechanism he hoped would raise in excess of $1 million for the organization.

Opened in 1984, Trump’s former casino was closed in 2014 and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that demolition work began last year. The remainder of the structure was to have been dynamited on Jan. 29, but that date has been pushed back.

Small said he will announce the new demolition date on Thursday.

The auction house said Monday it had no choice but to cancel the auction after hearing from Icahn’s company.

“After exhausting every avenue to bring the parties together to make this exciting event happen, we received the final decision from (Icahn) that we must cease and desist,” Bodnar Auctions wrote in a post on its website.

Company owner Joseph Bodnar told The Associated Press Monday he is working with Small to come up with a future auction “if possible.”

Small acknowledged the auction’s cancellation and praised Icahn for replacing the money it would have raised.

“We agree with Mr. Icahn that public safety is paramount,” he said. “It is very important that we maintain a positive relationship with Mr. Icahn because the next conversation we need to have is what should be developed there.”

Trump, then a real-estate developer, opened the casino in a prime spot at the center of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk where the Atlantic City Expressway deposited cars entering the resort. It was the site of many high-profile boxing matches, which Trump would regularly attend.

Trump cut most ties with Atlantic City in 2009 aside from a 10% fee for the use of his name on what were then three casinos in the city. That stake was extinguished when Icahn took ownership of the company out of bankruptcy court in February 2016.


Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Gunman Shoots and Kills Teen Boy in North Philadelphia


A gunman shot and killed a teen boy in North Philadelphia on Monday night. 

The 17-year-old boy was on the 2100 block of Jefferson Street at 9:08 p.m. when a gunman opened fire. 

The teen was shot once in the face and pronounced dead at the scene at 9:18 p.m. No arrests have been made and a weapon has not been recovered. 

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

Series of Shootings Reported in Monroe County, Pennsylvania


An investigation is underway after several shootings were reported in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, Monday night. 

Rapid gunfire was reported at the Dollar General store on Route 196 in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, according to Mount Pocono Borough Mayor Michael Penn. 

The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management also tweeted that there were several “shooting incidents” in the area.

Police are asking those on the 196 Corridor between Pocono Country Place and Pocono Farms East to shelter in place, according to Monroe County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Penn said there were at least four victims at four different crime scenes and the situation is being considered a “developing community safety danger.” He also said there were “shooting suspects at large.”

Officials have not yet revealed further details on the shootings. 

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for the latest updates. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Man Found Shot to Death in Car in South Philadelphia


An investigation is underway after a man was found shot to death inside a car in South Philadelphia Monday night. 

Police responded to a report of shots fired shortly before 9.p.m. at Broad Street and Packer Avenue. When they arrived they found a 29-year-old man slumped behind the driver’s seat of a blue Honda sedan that was resting against a pole. 

The man was unresponsive and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his left side. He was taken to Jefferson University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:31 p.m. 

Investigators said at least 16 shots were fired from a semi-automatic weapon during the incident. Witnesses said they saw a gunman exit from a vehicle that was stopped at an intersection and open fire at the victim’s car. 

No arrests have been made and police have not released a description of the suspect. 

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Suspect in Deadly Stabbing and Beating in New Jersey Arrested in Bensalem


A man who was charged with stabbing and beating another man to death at a southern New Jersey campsite was arrested in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, police said.

Shawn Massey, 38, of Gibbsboro, was taken into custody around 4 p.m. A Bensalem police officer was driving in Bensalem Township when he recognized Massey, according to investigators. Massey was taken into custody without incident.

Massey, 38, of Gibbsboro, is accused of killing Joseph Bottino, 54, of Gloucester Township, in Pine Hill on Dec. 23. Family members told police Bottino was known to hunt in the area.

A medical examiner determined Bottino had died of multiple stab wounds and blunt force injuries.

When detectives went to speak to Massey, his relatives reported him missing and said they had not heard from him since Dec. 23.

Massey was formally charged with first-degree murder on Saturday. He is currently being held in the Bucks County Correctional Facility and awaiting extradition to New Jersey.

Biden Picks Pa.'s Levine for Asst. Health Secretary, Setting Up Historic Nomination


What to Know

  • President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Levine is a pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general and was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017.
  • Levine is one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, positioning her to become the first transgender federal official confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

A pediatrician and former Pennsylvania physician general, Levine was appointed to her current post by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, making her one of the few transgender people serving in elected or appointed positions nationwide. She won past confirmation by the Republican-majority Pennsylvania Senate and has emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”

A graduate of Harvard and of Tulane Medical School, Levine is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She’s written in the past on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine.

Biden and his transition team have already begun negotiating with members of Congress, promoting speedy passage of the president-elect’s $1.9 trillion plan to bring the coronavirus, which has killed more than 400,000 people in the United States, under control. It seeks to enlist federal emergency personnel to run mass vaccination centers and provide 100 immunization shots in his administration’s first 100 days while using government spending to stimulate the pandemic-hammered economy,

Biden also says that, in one of his first acts as president, he’ll ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days to slow the virus’ spread.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris called Levine “a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people.”

Levine joins Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary nominee Xavier Becerra, a Latino politician who rose from humble beginnings to serve in Congress and as California’s attorney general.

Businessman Jeff Zients is Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, while Biden picked infectious-disease specialist Rochelle Walensky to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vivek Murthy as surgeon general and Yale epidemiologist Marcella Nunez-Smith to head a working group to ensure fair and equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments.

The government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, will also work closely with the Biden administration.

A transition spokesperson also said Tuesday that Dawn O’Connell will serve as senior counselor for coronavirus response to the health and human services secretary. O’Connell most recently served as director of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and was the senior counselor and deputy chief of staff to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell during the Obama administration.

Pa. Expands Vaccine to Residents 65 and Older, and Those with High-Risk Conditions


Pennsylvania health officials announced Tuesday that anyone 65 and older or in high-risk health categories is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, following similar moves in states like New Jersey.

“Effective today, we’re expanding our #COVID19 #vaccination efforts in Phase 1A to include anyone over 65 and people ages 16-64 with serious medical conditions that make them more at risk for severe illness,” the state Department of Public Health said in a Facebook post at noon.

The announcement opens up the vaccine to hundreds of thousands more Pennsylvanians than had been previously eligible.

It also comes as the state continues to struggle with the vaccine rollout.

Just a week ago, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said “we have to get better” in distributing the doses across Pennsylvania, acknowledging that the effort both nationally and locally has struggled to meet demand.

“I think we need to do better to get vaccines in arms,” said Levine, who on Tuesday was nominated by President-elect Joe Biden for assistant health secretary in the new White House administration.

Philadelphia, which operates its own distribution system, was expected to announce Tuesday that it is moving to Phase 1B of the CDC rollout process.

In New Jersey, where the vaccine was opened last week to anyone 65 and older, applications flooded in from residents following the announcement.

The United States has recorded more than 400,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally by NBC News.

The nation reached the grim milestone just after 12 a.m. ET on Tuesday. In the past two weeks, an average of 3,286 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus each day.

For more information about the expanded vaccine rollout and where to find a vaccine provider, click HERE.

Wilmington to Washington: Delaware Takes Center Stage at Biden's Inauguration


Joe Biden is shining a light on Delaware like the tiny state has never had before.

The inauguration of President-elect Biden is putting the second-smallest state (by size) — and the sixth-least populated — into the spotlight on Jan. 20 when Delaware’s best-known resident becomes the most famous person on Earth.

Alas, Delaware will remain without the distinction of having a president born there. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, so Delaware’s bigger neighbor to the north will get that credit.

That won’t stop Delaware from representing bigtime at the Inauguration.

One of the religious officiants for the inaugural ceremony will be the Rev. Silvester S. Beaman, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington. Beamon will give the benediction, which is the closing blessing at the end of the event. Members of the University of Delaware’s marching band are also scheduled to perform during Biden’s walk to the White House.

It will be a pared-down event compared to previous inaugurations because of the coronavirus pandemic and extra security precautions because of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

Here’s a look at the ties of those who have been helping plan and manage, and will partake in the quadrennial event.

Notable Wilmington Figures at Biden’s Inauguration

When Joe Biden is sworn-in and becomes the 46th President of the United States, he will be accompanied by other public figures from Wilmington, Delaware. Click on each figure to learn more.

Brian X. McCrone, Nina Lin / NBC

In previous inaugurations, as many as 200,000 ticketed attendees gathered outside the U.S. Capitol and on the Washington Mall. But like most gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the inauguration will be mostly virtual.

Biden, however, will still take the oath of office in person outside the Capitol. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath at 12 p.m. Biden will raise his right hand while his left is placed on the Biden family Bible, a massive relic that he has used for every swearing-in since he entered public life nearly 40 years ago.

Vice President-elect Joseph Biden is sworn in during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, Biden's wife, Jill, holds the Bible.
Vice President-elect Joseph Biden is sworn in during the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, Biden’s wife, Jill, holds the family Bible.

The ceremony will take an hour, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. roughly, depending on how long Biden’s speech is. One of the highlights will be Lady Gaga singing the National Anthem.

Here is a complete rundown for the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including how to watch, what’s happening, and security measures in place. The entire day’s events will be livestreamed on NBC10.com and broadcast on NBC10.

At 3:30 p.m., the inaugural parade will begin as Biden heads to the White House for the first time as president. That’s when Delaware will represent once again.

Thirty-five members of the University of Delaware marching band’s drumline will be one of only two groups to perform in person during the parade from 15th Street to the White. They were first informed of the invitation earlier this month, band director Heidi Sarver said.

“Members of the UD marching band have experienced many emotions since we received our invitation to be part of the Presidential escort. It’s not just an honor; it’s also quite humbling,” Sarver said. “Being able to participate in this American tradition first-hand is incredibly meaningful for our students. This particular Inauguration is very personal to our Blue Hens as we celebrate our alum, President-elect Joe Biden, as the new leader of the free world. What an amazing moment for the UD community, and for our country!”

The Tiger Marching Band from A.I. DuPont High School in Wilmington is also expected to be part of the virtual presentation for viewers online and on television.

Only about 1,500-2,000 people will attend in person, as all members of Congress have been invited and are allowed to bring one guest.

“The inauguration is going to be consistent with how Joe Biden ran his campaign, which was responsively, creatively and really making sure that we follow the science,” U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester told Delaware Public Radio in December.

Tony Allen, the president of Delaware State University who was CEO of Presidential Inauguration Committee, said those taking part in the inauguration would highlight the diversity of American life, and set the tone for the incoming Biden administration.

“They represent one clear picture of the grand diversity of our great nation and will help honor and celebrate the time-honored traditions of the presidential inauguration,” Allen said. “They are also committed to the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect’s steadfast vision of a new chapter in our American story in which we are an America united in overcoming the deep divisions and challenges facing our people, unifying the country, and restoring the soul of our nation.”

After Prosecutor Uses ‘The Shining' Photo in Court, Accused Bank Robber Gets New Trial


A man previously convicted of bank robbery in New Jersey will get a new trial after the state’s highest court objected to a bit of Hollywood flair that appeared during the first trial.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Camden County prosecutor erred by including a photo of Jack Nicholson from the 1980 classic “The Shining,” in her closing argument.

In the iconic scene in the film adapted from a Stephen King novel, the crazed Jack (also the name of his character Nicholson plays) wields an axe as his wife and child hide in a bathroom. He breaks down a piece of the bathroom door with the axe, and sticks his head through the opening, saying “here’s Johnny!”

At Damon Williams’ trial for an alleged 2014 robbery, the prosecutor showed a frame from the axe scene in her closing argument.

A summary from the Supreme Court’s clerk explains the prosecutor was arguing “actions speak louder than words” and that Williams put a Bank of America teller in fear of harm when he handed her a note demanding cash. That was key to the case: if the jury found the teller was at risk of harm, they could find Williams guilty of second-degree robbery by threat of force, instead of a lower charge of third-degree theft.

According to the evidence summarized by the court, Williams’ note to the teller read: “Please, all the money, 100, 50, 20, 10. Thank you.”

Court records said Williams never showed a weapon or threatened to use one.

The teller handed Williams more than $4,600, and tried to include a pack of $20 bills that include a GPS tracker and a device that would trigger a silent alarm. Williams told her not to include that pack of bills, the court said.

The photo of Nicholson did not come up prior to the closing arguments in the trial. The jury found Williams guilty of robbery and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

“The prosecutor here nevertheless asked the jury to infer from the photograph and the words ‘Here’s Johnny!’ that defendant’s words and ‘actions’ purposefully put [the teller] in fear of immediate bodily injury,” Supreme Court Justice Lee Solomon wrote in the court’s opinion.

“The prosecutor here went far beyond the evidence to draw a parallel between defendant’s conduct and that of a horror-movie villain,” Solomon added later.

You can read the court’s full opinion here.

Delaware Begins Phase 1B of Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout


What to Know

  • Phase 1B of Delaware’s coronavirus vaccination plan includes Delawareans who are 65 and up as well as frontline essential workers, including firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, teachers and education staff, U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture transportation and grocery store workers. 
  • More than 200,000 Delaware residents qualify for the vaccination under the latest phase and multiple options for Delawareans to be vaccinated will be available this week. 
  • For more information on Delaware’s vaccination options, how to register and how to request an appointment, click here. 

Delaware has begun phase 1B of its coronavirus vaccine rollout plan, Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday. 

The latest phase will focus on Delawareans who are 65 and up as well as frontline essential workers, including firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, teachers and education staff, U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture transportation and grocery store workers. 

More than 200,000 Delaware residents qualify for the vaccination under the latest phase and multiple options for Delawareans to be vaccinated will be available this week. 

Vaccinations will remain available to those who fell under Phase 1A, which includes health care personnel, nursing home residents and nursing home staff who haven’t been vaccinated yet. 

Five drive-through vaccination events will open in Delaware in the coming weeks. The locations include the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles on Jan. 22 and at the Delaware City and Georgetown DMV locations on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24. Those vaccination events will be by appointment only and Delaware residents who are 65 or older can register starting Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. 

Officials warn that it could take weeks or months for all 200,000 Phase 1B residents to be vaccinated due to limited vaccination doses available from the federal government. For more information on Delaware’s vaccination options, how to register and how to request an appointment, click here. 

Girl, 1, Found Safe, Father Still Sought After North Philly Shooting Leads to Amber Alert


A 1-year-old girl was found safe after police say the child’s father shot another man in the leg in North Philadelphia Tuesday morning and then drove off with her, leading to an Amber Alert being issued.

Ronald White, 32, was driving with his daughter along the 1200 block of North 10th Street around 8 a.m. Police said White was supposed to drop the girl off at the home of her mother, whom he shares custody with.

Ronald White

Officials told NBC10 there was some sort of altercation between White and a man inside another car. White allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire at the car, striking the man in the leg.

The man drove himself to the hospital for treatment while White drove off with his daughter, police said.

An Amber Alert was then issued. Police later announced the girl was found safe with a relative around 2:25 p.m. She was taken to the hospital and then reunited with her family.

Police continue to search for White however. He was last seen driving a green 1998 Toyota.

Police said White was driving a 1998 Green Toyota.

A neighbor told NBC10 she heard the shots being fired Tuesday morning.

“It’s sad that people use the baby as a pawn in this day and time,” she said. “It’s not fair. That baby is an innocent bystander.”

If you have any information on White’s whereabouts, please call Philadelphia police.

‘All We Are Missing Are Vaccine Doses,' NJ Gov. Murphy Says


What to Know

  • New Jersey has the infrastructure set up to start vaccinating more people against COVID-19 but doesn’t have the supply of shots to meet demand, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.
  • Murphy, a Democrat, said the state has opened two-thirds of the mass vaccination sites across the state, with more set up at CVS and Walgreens under a federal partnership, but the number of vaccines coming in each week is just over 100,000.
  • So far, New Jersey has administered about 388,000 doses of the vaccine. That amounts to about 3.9% of the state’s population.

New Jersey has the infrastructure set up to start vaccinating more people against COVID-19 but doesn’t have the supply of shots to meet demand, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

Murphy, a Democrat, said the state has opened two-thirds of the mass vaccination sites across the state, with more set up at CVS and Walgreens under a federal partnership, but the number of vaccines coming in each week is just over 100,000.

That’s short of the 470,000 needed to meet demand, according to Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

So far, New Jersey has administered about 388,000 doses of the vaccine. That amounts to about 3.9% of the state’s population. Overall, the country has seen about 10.6 million vaccinations, or 3.2% of the population, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“All we are missing are the vaccine doses we need,” Murphy said.

Murphy predicted that supply would be short “for some time,” and didn’t specify when or how it would increase.

Persichilli said Monday that a state hotline to answer questions about the vaccine and help people with appointments was operational, though with automated responses. Beginning next week, callers will be able to talk to a person for help when they call, she said. The number is 855-568-0545.

New Jersey has cleared millions to begin receiving the vaccine. Among them are health care workers, first-responders, those 65 and older and people 16-64 years old with medical conditions ( including smoking, which is a risk factor for the virus).

New Jersey’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks from 4,787 new cases a day on Jan. 4 to 5,844 new cases per day Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths has declined over the last two weeks, from about 85 a day to 75, according to the university.

On Tuesday, Murphy reported an additional 54 deaths overnight, putting the total toll at 18,421.

Coronavirus Vaccine: Philly Moving to Phase 1B


Philly is planning to shift its vaccination efforts toward frontline workers and people with high-risk health conditions this week, as the bulk of high priority health care workers have received their shots.

The city previously said it would move to Phase 1B of the coronavirus vaccine rollout on Jan. 25. That move will now start this week, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told reporters Tuesday.

“Effective today, we are asking hospitals and federally qualified health centers that have vaccine to start offering vaccine to their patients with the highest risk of the conditions that meet our definition of Phase 1B,” Farley said.

Those conditions include age above 75, cancer, chronic kidney disease, patients who have had an organ transplant, and diabetes.

“This is not all the high-risk medical conditions that are listed on our priority scheme. We’re going to recommend expanding to more later, but we’re just beginning now.”

In the city, 93,000 people are over the age of 75, and over 130,000 people have diabetes.

“Even if only some of those people want vaccine, it’s going to take many weeks to get through that list,” Farley said.

The hospitals and federal health centers will invite patients in to receive their shot.

As the hospitals work through vaccinating people at the highest risk, the city will begin vaccinating frontline workers. The city is starting with corrections officers, firefighters, police officers, service providers for vulnerable populations, and public transit workers.

“It’s going to take us a few weeks to get through those groups,” Farley said.

Farley said the city cannot get to food service workers, educators or child care workers yet, but those groups will be notified when it’s time. Educators will be contacted through their employer.

In Philly, Phase 1B includes people in congregate settings, over age 75, or with high risk medical conditions under age 75. Also included are frontline essential workers, defined as:

  • First responders
  • Transit workers
  • Food prep, service and distribution
  • Teachers and education workers
  • “High-volume essential retail” workers – auto shops, pharmacies, hardware stores, big box stores and gas stations are listed as examples in city plans.
  • Manufacturing essential goods

A vaccination plan released on the city’s website says “there will be overlap between Phases 1A and 1B as efforts are still underway to vaccinate unaffiliated healthcare workers.”

It also cautions that “there is currently a limited supply of vaccine, so early vaccination efforts are focusing on healthcare workers, frontline and essential personnel, and persons at highest risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.”

As the first doses of Pfizer and Moderna came in, hospitals and health systems set up clinics to vaccinate their staffs. At the same time, Philly’s health department gave doses to local pharmacies as part of a federal plan to get nursing home workers and residents vaccinated.

So far, pharmacists visited 35 of 46 skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), the city says. Later this month, the pharmacy group will begin trips to 53 assisted living facilities. The groups will visit multiple times, as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two shots to be most effective.

2 Women, Man Critically Hurt as Suspect Fires Into Their Car With a Shotgun


Two women and a man were in critical condition after getting shot multiple times throughout the body, including with a shotgun, as they sat in a car in West Philadelphia Tuesday night.

The victims sustained gunshot wounds to their chest, torso, arms and legs after another car pulled up beside them and someone opened fire around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of 38th and Wallace streets in the Mantua neighborhood, Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The victims include a 32-year-old woman who was shot in the torso and leg; a woman in her 30s who was shot in the chest, torso, arms and legs; and a 30-year-old man shot in the chest and torso, Small said.

All three were rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, with police transporting two people and paramedics transporting the third, Small said.

Police counted at least 10 bullet holes on the driver’s side of the sedan they were in when the gunfire broke out. Detectives found seven spent shell casings, including five rifle rounds and two from a semiautomatic handgun, the chief inspector said.

Police did not immediately have a suspect description or a motive, but witnesses told officers the shots were fired from a silver or light-colored vehicle, possibly a Jeep, last seen driving east down the 3700 block of Wallace Street.

Detectives were working to get their hands on surveillance video from nearby businesses and homes.

Philly Kids Will Get a Taste of Esports in Tournaments, After-School Programs


Philly kids will get an inside look into a big and growing industry – and a chance to show off their skills – after the city’s Parks and Recreation department teamed up with a local esports company.

Nerd Street Gamers is adding esports programming to the Parks department’s summer camps and eventually after-school sessions, the company said in a news statement Wednesday.

Before those programs kick off, Nerd Street will open a six-week NBA 2K21 tournament for 256 Philly kids ages 13 and up. Kids who join will get three free months of a Nerd Street + Digital subscription, where they can sign up for other esports tournaments or find others to game with.

For the first planned game tournament, kids will be in teams of 2. The matches will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Xbox One on Tuesdays and PlayStation 4 on Thursdays. Registration for the tournament is on Nerd Street’s site and closes Feb. 15.

Most contestants will be competing at home, but there are options for kids without consoles or without internet access to play at the city’s access centers, a Parks and Recreation spokesperson said.

Future tournaments are planned for Rocket League, Madden 21 and FIFA 21.

Contestants can sign up to be affiliated with their neighborhood rec center or independently. The department is inviting some young people who already participate in programs, but other young residents are also welcome.

“As esports continues to become more popular amongst different demographics, it is more important than ever to provide access to gamers of all skill levels who might not be able to afford the quality equipment necessary to succeed in the industry,” John Fazio, Nerd Street Gamers’ CEO, said in a statement.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said in a statement the arrangement will “level the playing field for kids and families who deserve access to positive recreational opportunities, new technology, and booming industries.”

What’s next

Later this year, there will be a summer camp at a Localhost, a Nerd Street esports training center. Localhosts have consoles and high-tier gaming PCs available for guests, streaming equipment, and can host events. The Localhost at 9th and Poplar streets in Philly is currently closed in the coronavirus pandemic.

Teens working as esports coaches will coach 6-12 year olds about the tech behind gaming and could prime them for a future in esports or in STEM. After that, the company could move into the after-school programming, where kids 6-12 can learn from professional coaches and meet other gamers.

Nerd Street Gamers has facilities in Philly and four other cities. And it’s building a 40,000 square foot headquarters on North Broad Street that will hold the company’s headquarters, broadcast and content creation studios, 20,000 square feet of esports training space, and practice centers for local and school-affiliated teams.

Beyond Nerd Street, there’s a good deal of movement toward Philly becoming an esports hub in the region. The Philadelphia Fusion, which competes in the 20-team Overwatch League, is building a 3,500-seat arena near Xfinity Live! that can host esports matches and live entertainment when completed. Overwatch is a competitive shooter released in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment, where teams composed of players’ choice of 32 characters vie for dominance in different game modes.

Other popular games played in esports include DOTA 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Fortnite.

Nerd Street Gamers has received funds from Comcast, NBC10’s parent company.

‘Fentanyl Is in Everything': Philadelphia Says Overdose Deaths Skyrocketing


Philadelphia health officials are warning that, as overdose deaths again increased in 2020, that one of the deadliest components of the overdose epidemic, fentanyl, is being infused with illicit drugs more than ever.

“In 2020, testing of persons who died of drug overdose increasingly found fentanyl mixed with other drug types, including stimulants, hallucinogens, and synthetic cannabinoids,” the city said in a statement released Wednesday.

Overdose deaths among methamphetamine users involving fentanyl increased 350% during the first nine months of 2020, the city said. As of Sept. 30, the latest available data, 950 people died from accidental overdoses, and 8 out of every 10 of those deaths involved fentanyl, officials said.

“Fentanyl is also being pressed into pills that resemble prescription opioids or benzodiazepines,” health officials said. “While fentanyl has been in Philadelphia’s heroin supply for several years, its presence in non-opioid drugs and counterfeit pills is especially concerning as individuals who prefer these drugs may have had little exposure to such a potent opioid and may be at an even greater risk for overdose.”

2020 was the deadliest year ever for overdoses in Philadelphia. The surge is being fueled by deaths among methamphetamine and PCP users.

The city’s top substance abuse official said fentanyl is now prevalent in illegal drug sales in many neighborhoods.

“Until recently…most drug sales involving fentanyl were occurring in Kensington and South Philadelphia. We focused most of our outreach efforts on a subpopulation of drug users in two specific geographic regions,” Dr. Kendra Viner, director of the Health Department’s Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction division said. “Now fentanyl is in everything and everyone who obtains drugs from an illicit source is potentially at risk.”

The Philadelphia Health Department will begin a public awareness campaign in early 2021 that utilizes mass media outlets to get the word out about the high risk of fentanyl in illegal drugs, and the city will continue to distribute naloxone.

The Key Moments in Joe Biden's Rise to the Presidency


The trajectory of any person’s life is made up of key moments that lead down a path. These are some of the key moments in Joe Biden’s life that led him to the White House.

First Election Win

In 1970 Biden won his first election to the New Castle City Council.

Joins the Senate

In 1972 Biden defeated incumbent J. Caleb Boggs in a race for the U.S. Senate.

Family Tragedy

During his first term in office Biden’s wife Neilia and daughter Amy were killed in a car crash leaving him alone to care for his two sons Hunter and Beau.

Marriage to Jill Biden

In 1977 Biden finds new love and marries Jill Biden

First White House Bid

In 1987 Biden announces his plans to run for the White House in 1988, but later withdraws from the race.

A Man of Service

Biden goes on to serve in the Senate for 36 years. He attempts another White House run in 2008 that comes up short, but is tapped by Barack Obama as a running mate.

The Death of Beau Biden

In 2015 Biden loses his son Beau to brain cancer.

A Final White House Bid

In 2019 Biden announces he’ll run for president for a third time. Later that year he announces Kamala Harris as his running mate and after a hotly contested election the pair take the White House.

Girl, 9, Dies After Accidentally Shooting Self in Head


A 9-year-old girl died after accidentally shooting herself in the head shortly before noon Wednesday in North Philadelphia, authorities said.

The girl suffered a gunshot to the right temple and was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children around 11 a.m., where she was pronounced dead around 1:50 p.m., police said. She and another child had ben left alone in the home on the 2300 block of N. Bouvier Street, Philadelphia Police Department Cpl. Jasmine Reilly said.

When police responded, it was the second child who met them at the door and told officers the girl had been shot, Reilly said.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said several weapons were found inside and called the shooting “unacceptable.”

“It is part of a bigger situation. We’ve got too many guns. They are not secured safely in many situations, even when they’re out there, and we’ve had enough,” Krasner said.

No arrests were immediately reported.