Local - NYC / NJ / CT (260)
Both New York and New Jersey health departments are reporting widespread cases of the influenza virus.
The New Jersey Department of Health has published a bright red map, illustrating a state saturated with confirmed flu cases. As of the week ending on January 7, there have been 1,507 cases counted. Bergen County has seen the highest rate of flu this season, with 353 cases.
New York State’s Department of Health is reporting that the flu is spreading. As of the week ending on January 7, there have been 3,015 cases in New York. That number marks an eight percent jump over the last week’s count.
"There has been an increase in our office, Bergen County, New Jersey, even the east coast,” said Dr. David Namerow, the Director and Founder of Pediatric Care Associates.
The uptick in flu cases coincides with increased school absences and more visits to the emergency room, according to the N.J. Dept. of Health.
"My friend Judy’s son has the flu, and so does my other friends daughter,” said Jennifer Mass, as she sat in the doctor’s office with her daughter Sophia today. Sophia, 7, is sick with bronchitis. She dodged the flu because Mass got her vaccinated.
"I always immunize the children,” she said.
The Hudson County, NJ Prosecutor's Office is on the scene of a multiple shooting on Fulton Avenue in Jersey City.
The shootings were reported shortly after 10 p.m. in a home near Corcoran Street.
Witnesses said that two masked men barged out of a U-Haul truck and shot three people before taking off on foot – details that haven't been confirmed by police.
It's unclear if the people were shot inside of a home or somewhere outside. Their conditions remain unknown.
A tense scene is playing out in the neighborhood as more than a dozen people try to reach their family members.
"I just want to know if my child is alive," one woman cried to a police officer over the phone.
Multiple people are believed to be dead, including at least one woman. A man who identified himself to police as one of the victim's father was being held by his friends.
Additional information was not immediately available.
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A former mafia kingpin, who served as a Philadelphia mob boss while sitting atop his perch in Atlantic City, died Friday in federal prison at the age of 87, a person close to the family said on Sunday.
Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo was serving out a 55-year sentence on racketeering and murder charges at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C., when he died, Michael E. Riley, a Mt. Holly based attorney for Scarfo's son, Nicodemo S. "Nicky" Scarfo, said Sunday afternoon.
"He had been ill for a while," Riley said by phone. "He had some health difficulties."
Riley stopped short of saying exactly what those difficulties were. An attorney representing the elder Scarfo, Norris E. Gelman, told Philly.com that he died of cancer. Riley could not confirm that report.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in South Philadelphia, Scarfo was introduced to organized crime by three of his uncles. Scarfo started as a bookmaker but climbed the ranks of the Philly mob to serve as a boss during the bloody 1980s. He took over after a mob war that followed the 1980 assassination of longtime boss Angelo Bruno.
Scarfo ran the Philadelphia-South Jersey mob from Atlantic City and benefitted greatly when voters approved casino gambling in the seaside destination in 1976. He had a lucrative stake in the real estate expansion there through construction companies he and his associates ran. Scarfo also seized control of the city's largest labor union of hotel and restaurant employees.
Scarfo's reign of terror in Philadelphia came to a screeching halt in 1987 when he was arrested at the Atlantic City airport. Scarfo was sentenced to life in prison in 1989.
Scarfo was sentenced to life in prison in 1989, though it was later overturned.
But Scarfo's name popped up in federal documents as recent as 2011 when he was among 13 people named in an indictment charging him in connection with the alleged extortionate takeover of a Texas-based financial group. Also named in the indictment was the younger Scarfo, who authorities say had been admitted into the Lucchese crime family as a favor to his father.
Though the tenor of alleged mob activities had changed by the 2000s, a statement from the FBI assured the community organized crime was still alive and well.
"The demise of Organized Crime has been greatly exaggerated," Michael B. Ward, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Newark Field Office, said in a November 2011 statement announcing the indictment. "Criminal activities have evolved from the back alleys to the board rooms, but the same use of physical threats and intimidation to gain leverage and loot lucrative businesses for personal gain continues to this day. In response, the charges being brought against Nicky Scarfo Jr., Sal Pelullo and others represent law enforcement's commitment to aggressively target the illegal activity of Organized Crime in any commercial business or venue."
The younger Scarfo was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2015.
Firefighters were working to put out flames at a house on Arnold Avenue in West Babylon when the live electric power lines fell on their fire truck.
One of the firefighters went to the hospital for an injured knee. The second was hurt but not hospitalized.
The family whose home burned got out without injury.
Arnold Avenue was closed between Elwood and Arlington roads, police said.
Andrew Kuklis, 41, of Patchogue, was charged with several counts of criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana, after a traffic stop led New York State Troopers to a cache of weapons, including a AR 15, high capacity magazines and a dagger, officials say.
When troopers stopped Kuklis in his 2006 Subaru in Islip on Friday, they say they discovered marijuana, a loaded .45-caliber handgun, a dagger, and several high-capacity magazines.
They later searched his home and said they found the following: a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver, a Sig Sauer .45-caliber handgun, a PWS model MK1 AR 15, high capacity magazines, and a lot of ammunition.
It wasn't clear if Kuklis had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Just two weeks into the new year, the city of Hoboken dealt with a second water main break.
Hoboken resident Dave Lohmann documented the break on his Twitter account early Sunday morning as workers tried to contain the steady stream of water near Second Street and Clinton Avenue.
"Woke up to a water main break at 2nd and Clinton. Hoboken water delivery infrastructure off to a great start in 2017!" he tweeted, ending the tweet with a sarcastic eye roll emoji.
The city alerted residents early Saturday of the water main break and said it affected pressure throughout much of Hoboken.
The city also said on its website that it was working to find and fix a leaking service line near Bloomfield Street, which was closed between 10th and 11th streets.
Both were repaired by Saturday evening, the city said.
Lohmann called the issue a "never-ending story" in a tweet on Jan. 4, when a previous water main decimated water pressure near Observer Highway and Park Avenue.
Residents in the nearby area were left without water at around 7:00 a.m. as the stream of water reduced to a "steady gurgle."
Hoboken residents have long been weary of the main breaks in the square-mile New Jersey city: In 2016 alone, they dealt with 20 of them.
Last Wednesday, a water main broke on Observer Highway, leaving people living in a 300-unit apartment building nearby waterless.
Suez Water's contract to run the system pays the city just a third of a million dollars a year, while Hoboken must use that money to repair pipes, since it owns them, city officials have said.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer is trying to renegotiate.
"I want to make sure that we have an agreement that's fair to the people of Hoboken and offers the most investments each year as possible," she told NBC 4 New York.
Meanwhile, $17 million will be spent this year on a new water main and repaving of busy Washington Street. Another $5 million will be bonded to replace the miles of 100-year-old pipes, but that will take time, officials said.
Suez describes year-long negotiations as active. Zimmer agreed, but also said they were frustrating. Nonetheless, she hopes a deal can be worked out by the end of 2017 so that more money could be used to fix more pipes.
A trucker driving erratically on the Sunrise Highway on Long Island flipped over a guardrail and crashed into at least two parked cars off the highway Friday night, sparking a huge fire that killed him, police and witnesses say.
The crash off Sunrise Highway at Seaford Avenue in Wantagh at about 7:30 p.m. closed westbound lanes between Oakland and Seaford avenues for hours.
Witnesses say they saw a box truck driver weaving in and out of traffic with his hazard lights on.
Christine Walz said she was driving on the highway when she saw the truck driver swerving between cars.
"All of a sudden as we were going, he was a half-mile away from us, and all of a sudden a big cloud of smoke, it was unbelievable," she said.
Passenger Debbie Dorney recounted: "He thought he was a race car driver, driving crazy, up everyone's rear, beeping. We just turned around and said, 'Oh, my God, he's going to kill somebody.' And then all of a sudden, boom, it was a big burst of flames."
Bystander Allie Krill said she heard two explosions when the truck crashed. She said she tried to get to the truck after the first explosion and heard the driver scream, "Help me, help me," but it was too dangerous.
"We couldn't get to him, it was too hot. And when the [second] explosion went on, it was too late," she said, shaken.
Dorney said it was a "pure miracle" no one else but the driver was hurt in the crash because the road was packed.
The driver has not been identified.
Nine people were rescued from a burning home in Dover, New Jersey, fire officials say.
One of the people taken from the home on South Morris Avenue is in serious condition with burns to the arm, the Dover Fire Department says.
Fifteen people in all are displaced as a result of the fire, which started sometime before 8 p.m., authorities say.
Red Cross is assisting.
The owner of a New Jersey truck company was arrested at Newark Airport as he was about to board a flight to Aruba Thursday, accused of racking up more than $1 million in unpaid E-ZPass tolls and fees, authorities say.
Lester Morales, 34, of Little Ferry, owns EAB Transport LLC/Do It Right Trucking in Jersey City, and had about 100 trucks going through tolls more than 100 times a day with a delinquent E-ZPass account for 13 months, according to New Jersey State Police.
After the two-month investigation, troopers learned that Morales was about to fly to Aruba on Thursday, and they alerted Port Authority police, who arrested him at Newark Airport, police said.
Morales was charged with theft of services and remanded to Middlesex County Jail without bail. Attorney information for him was not immediately available.
Traffic deaths in New York City have declined for the third straight year, dropping to a record low 229 in 2016.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that the downward trend in traffic deaths shows his Vision Zero traffic-safety campaign is working.
The 229 traffic fatalities in 2016 included pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and people in cars. The number fell from 234 in 2015.
City officials say 229 is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded.
Pedestrian deaths increased slightly to 144, up from 139 in 2015.
The first few days of 2017 have already seen several traffic deaths.
The latest was 88-year-old Feliks Dadiomov, who was hit by a car at about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Police say Dadiomov was trying to cross Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn against the light.