<![CDATA[NBC Boston - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcboston.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcboston.com/designimages/clear.gif NBC Boston http://www.nbcboston.comen-usMon, 16 Oct 2017 22:08:14 -0400Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:08:14 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[2 in Custody After Hours-Long Standoff at Easton Home]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:36:27 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/208*120/Easton+barricaded+subjects+2.JPG

Two people are in police custody following a nearly 8-hour standoff at a home in Easton, Massachusetts on Monday morning.

Authorities began searching for 25-year-old Anthony Tatarouns around 1:30 a.m. in connection with a domestic altercation in North Attleboro. He was believed to be traveling to Easton with friends.

When his vehicle was spotted outside of 25 Old Foundry St. around 2 a.m., police were called to the scene and surrounded the home. A SWAT team and officers from neighboring communities were also called to scene because police believed Tatarouns and his friends were armed. At one point, flash bombs were used by authorities.

"I said, 'Wow that's a bomb going off.'" neighbor John Franciosa said. "I said to my wife, 'It's not a shotgun.'"

The eight people inside eventually came out around 11 a.m., including Tatarouns. Police said he was not armed.

Tatarouns has been charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and intimidation of a witness.

One of the occupants of the house, Jordan Creech, 22, of Boston was also taken into custody on an outstanding warrant out of Stoughton District Court on an unrelated charge.

Residents in the area had been asked to stay away, but police say there is no longer a public safety concern.

Police were still on scene on Monday afternoon continuing to search the house for weapons.

Photo Credit: Marc Vasconcellos‏/The Enterprise]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Dies After Being Left in Parked Vehicle on Hot Day]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:46:04 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/handcuffs-generic-on-black2.jpg

Two New York residents are facing cruelty to animal charges after a dog was found dead Sunday evening in a parked vehicle outside the commuter rail parking garage in Salem, Massachusetts.

MBTA Transit Police responded to the garage at 6:08 p.m. for a report of a possible injured dog inside a parked vehicle.

When police arrived, officers saw the body of a lifeless French Bulldog in the front passenger seat. There were also large amounts of vomit in the vehicle from the dog.

While officers were attempting to enter the vehicle with assistance from Salem Fire, the dog's owners, Brendan Bulfin, 38, and Courtney Casey, 28, both of New York, arrived on scene.

After gaining access to the vehicle, authorities confirmed that the 3-year-old dog named "Nigil" was dead.

Bulfin and Casey told authorities they left the dog unattended in the enclosed vehicle for over five hours on the 73 degree day.

The pair was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. They were scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Salem District Court.

<![CDATA[Skydiver Back in the Air Following Heart Transplant]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:51:29 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000009736678.JPG

A special meeting Monday in Vermont’s Addison County demonstrated the emotional power and life-saving potential of organ transplants. 

"As long as I’m breathing, as long as this heart’s ticking, I’m jumping," laughed Frank Hewitt, before he boarded a small plane to go skydiving. 

Not long ago, the 65-year old homebuilder, who lives in Woodstock, Vermont, wondered if he and his buddies would ever again share the kind of thrill they get from parachuting. 

Hewitt was dying—he was in end-stage heart failure. 

His team at Tufts Medical Center in Boston assured him a long and vibrant life was possible, including a return to skydiving. 

It would take a heart transplant surgery. 

"There aren’t enough organs for the number of people who are waiting," noted Dr. David DeNofrio, the director of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Center at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center. "These are life-saving gifts that can get patients back to living a very full life, and I think Frank is a great example of that." 

Dr. DeNofrio told NBC Boston he has witnessed heart transplant patients run marathons, hike mountains, and achieve other impressive physical accomplishments following their surgeries, but said Hewitt is the first avid skydiver he has personally treated who was able to return to the passion he’s enjoyed for nearly 40 years. 

Hewitt’s call about a donor match came in January, and within roughly six months, he was back in the sky. 

"I’ve got great stamina," Hewitt said, chuckling. "I’m an old Vermonter. We’re hard to kill!" 

Monday, for lifetime dive number 5,292, David Velardi of Hamden, Connecticut, was on the ground watching. 

"It’s moving," Velardi said of the experience watching Hewitt skydive. "It’s heartwarming." 

It’s Velardi’s goddaughter’s heart that’s now in Hewitt’s chest. 

"I gave [Frank] a hug the moment I saw him, just because you get so overwhelmed by the gift of life and seeing it doing good," Velardi said. 

Velardi’s goddaughter, Danielle Elliott, died at 25, from a heroin overdose. 

Her godfather said the hairdresser loved her son, loved beach trips and family vacations, and is really missed by friends and relatives. 

"I truly believe out of any tragedy, something good has to come out of it,"Velardi said of the family’s decision to donate some of Elliott’s organs. 

Velardi said he and others have found comfort in seeing Danielle’s legacy make such a difference in lives like Hewitt’s. 

Following Monday’s skydive, Velardi placed his hand on Hewitt’s chest, to feel his new heart pounding with excitement from the jump. 

"I can feel it now," Velardi said, as he held his hand to his new friend’s chest and sensed his heartbeat. "It’s invigorating. It’s very powerful." 

As for the parachuter, he said he is now encouraging others to consider becoming organ and tissue donors. In New England, more information on organ donation is available here. 

Additionally, Hewitt promised to think of Danielle with each jump he takes. In that way, his future jumps will, in a sense, be tandem skydives. 

"God bless you buddy, I’m very happy for you," Velardi said, as he embraced Hewitt after his jump. 

The two said they would stay in touch following their first meeting Monday. 

"Without it, I wouldn’t be here," Hewitt said of his new heart. 

<![CDATA[A Tale of Two Toilets]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:05:54 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/A_Tale_of_Two_Toilets.jpg

The toilet is one of the most-used fixtures in your home. But are you just flushing money down it? Here are some cash-saving toilet tips.

<![CDATA[Bill to Mandate Recess Picks Up Steam in Mass.]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:28:10 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000009735024.JPG

A Massachusetts representative has introduced a bill that would mandate a 20-minute recess for Massachusetts schools, but some schools are already ahead of the game.

Eliot Elementary in Boston's North End implemented two 25-minute recesses for their students 11 years ago.

"Recess is important because it lets all the stuff out that you learned out of your brain, and then you can fit new things in your brain and think about it," said 6-year-old Maya Castro.

Principal Traci Walker-Griffith started at Eliot 11 years ago. When she came to the school, there was no recess. 

"Recess is one of the lost arts," said Griffith. 

Griffith said she's seen excellent results. The kids go outside, rain or shine, and she said they love the unstructured play time.

"It’s also building relationships and building respect and responsibility, but having fun — the bottom line is having fun," said Griffith.

The school teamed up with Playworks New England. They are currently helping 150 schools integrate play into their curriculum.

"It gives them a great opportunity to learn how to get along, learn how to problem solve, how to resolve their conflicts,” said Executive Director Jon Gay. "Learn how to cooperate, how to work together as a team. This is all social, emotional learning skills."

Rep. Marjorie Decker of Cambridge presented the bill in a hearing, and now they are waiting for a favorable recommendation so it can move through the process. 

"Everyone agrees that children need unstructured playtime. The pushback is from districts or teachers that want the control, and they say, 'we got this, we don't need regulation,'" said Decker. 

The Massachusetts Association of Superintendents said they don’t need a mandate, just flexibility to put unstructured time where they see fit and when. 

Parents at Eliot said recess has been their saving grace. 

"They would be bouncing off the walls when they get home at night," said parent Nolan Previte. "Recess gets all their energy out. I wouldn’t want to deal with them at night with no recess." 

<![CDATA['Brocktober' Fulfilling Halloween Wishes for Ill Child]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:25:45 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Young_Boy_Battling_Brain_Cancer_Gets_Halloween_Wish.jpg

People from around the world are helping a 7-year-old Maine boy battling brain cancer celebrate his favorite holiday.

Brock Chadwick of Biddeford has a simple wish: he is asking people to mail him Halloween cards.

"It's been 8 long months of continuous chemotherapy, extensive radiation and major surgeries," his family posted on Facebook about the request. "Little things like this can really uplift him."

The response has been overwhelming. Since the start of the month, Chadwick has received hundreds of packages and thousands of cards from people across the country and around the world.

"Tons of packages, toys, candy and cards -– he is loving every second of it," said Brittney Horton, the boy's mother.

Chadwick has an aggressive form of brain cancer that has spread to his spine. And even though he is exhausted from chemotherapy, his family says the kindness of strangers is helping him get into the holiday spirit.

"It motivates him, for sure," said Horton.

"He's been seeming a lot better than he was a few weeks ago," said William Chadwick, Brock's father.

They have nicknamed the month "Brocktober," and it has been a month full of surprises.

Last Saturday, a group of community members and the Biddeford Fire Department helped decorate Chadwick's front yard with donated Halloween decorations.

On Sunday, about 300 motorcyclists from across New England organized a ride for him. They dressed up in Halloween costumes and surprised him outside his Biddeford home.

"[The response] has been way bigger that I could have imagined," said Horton. She said Brock has received so many toys and donations that they plan on donating items to children's hospitals to spread the love to other children.

Chadwick said his favorite part of "Brocktober" has been receiving his favorite candy: Hershey Bars and Hershey kisses. He wants to dress up as either Captain America or the Incredible Hulk, but some say he doesn't need a costume to be a superhero.

Cards can be sent to:

Brock Chadwick
11 McKenny Drive
Biddeford, ME 04005

<![CDATA[Local 'Dreamer' Worries About DACA Repeal]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:10:59 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000009734315.JPG

The potential end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has slipped off the headlines in recent weeks, but the 800,000 “Dreamers” still worry daily about deportation.

Congressman Joe Kennedy and other young House members want “Dreamers” to know they're listening and trying hard to help, so they met with several of them over lunch on Monday.

Dreams have come true for Daishi Miguel Tanaka, a junior at Harvard University. Just migrating to the U.S. was living the dream - though the circumstances were not happy ones.

“Being half Filipino, half Japanese, my mom and I faced a lot of racial persecution in Japan,” said Tanaka.

And though he is undocumented, he has never felt anything but American since his first day of school at age 6.

“I saw kids of all shapes and sizes and all colors putting their hands over their hearts under a flag and that's when I knew that this country was for me,” he said.

But since the Trump administration announced the end of DACA more than a month ago, the program that allows temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, being a "Dreamer" has turned into a nightmare where deportation is a daily fear.

“I don't know what's going to happen in my future, I don't know if I can't focus on my studies,” Tanaka said.

Still, Tanaka is doing what many "Dreamers" are afraid to do - speak openly - which he does often as co-director of a student run organization that helps immigrants.

Over the lunch with politicians Monday, his message reached an even wider, more influential audience, including Kennedy, who said, “Our politics are cheapening their effort, making our country weaker than it needs to be.”

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida, who escaped from communist Vietnam with her parents as a young child, said after the lunch, “You know that behind every single dreamer is a family and they have parents they love.”

She along with Kennedy and other members of Congress are traveling the country to share a meal with undocumented students and families to hear their stories and let them know what is being done to protect them.

<![CDATA[Man Suspected of Killing Muslim Teen May Face Death Penalty]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:12:24 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Nabra+Darwin.jpg

The man suspected of killing a Muslim teenage girl as she headed to a mosque in Virginia this summer may face the death penalty. 

Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh told News4 he will seek the death penalty against Darwin Martinez Torres. 

A grand jury indicted Torres on capital murder and rape charges on Monday in the killing of Nabra Hassanen. The 17-year-old high school student's death has rattled Muslim communities in northern Virginia and across the country.

Virginia state law allows prosecutors to pursue a death penalty under certain conditions, including premeditated murder during a rape.

The indictment is the first indication that authorities believe Nabra Hassanen was raped.

Police say Martinez Torres encountered Hassanen among a group of teenagers in Sterling, Virginia, as they walked from a mosque in June for a service. Authorities say Martinez Torres got into a confrontation with some of the teens, and chased them. Police say Martinez Torres caught Hassanen and bludgeoned her with a bat. A search warrant says he then dumped her body in a lake.

Torres was charged with murder but not a hate crime. Prosecutors say he lashed out in a case of road rage.

On Friday, Hassanen's devastated parents interrupted court proceedings

"You killed my daughter!" Nabra Hassanen's father shouted. He stood on a courtroom bench and lunged at the accused in a packed courtroom.

Hassanen's mother hurled a shoe at Torres from across the courtroom and screamed "I kill you!"

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[School Board Pulls 'To Kill a Mockingbird' From Reading List]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:17:47 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-469622398.jpg

The school board in Biloxi, Mississippi, has pulled "To Kill a Mockingbird" from an eighth-grade reading list after receiving complaints about wording in the book, NBC News reported. 

Last week, Kenny Holloway, the board's vice president, said there was language in the book that "makes people uncomfortable."

"We can teach the same lesson with other books," Holloway said, according to the The Sun Herald newspaper. "It's still in our library. But they're going to use another book in the eighth-grade course."

The Biloxi School District didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Ahead of White Nationalist Speech, Fla. Gov Declares Emergency]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:39:55 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-831454884.jpg

Ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader at the University of Florida, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency to direct resources to ensure Gainesville's safety.

Scott signed the Law Enforcement Coordination executive order following a request from Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell in anticipation of the Thursday event.

The order allows Darnell to quickly "coordinate resources from other state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies," Scott's office said in a statement, adding the governor will maintain in constant communication with security officials to ensure "every request to the state is quickly granted to keep the public safe."

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Spencer as: "one of the country’s most successful young white nationalist leaders – a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old, a kind of professional racist in khakis."

The SPLC points to a 2014 column Spencer wrote for the National Policy Institute — the white nationalist think tank he led at the time — in which he wrote that "immigration is a kind of proxy war — and maybe a last stand — for White Americans, who are undergoing a painful recognition that, unless dramatic action is taken, their grandchildren will live in a country that is alien and hostile."

UF officials reluctantly granted Spencer permission to speak.

However, UF President Kent Fuchs has urged his students to "avoid the event" and to "not let the message of hate and racism go unchallenged."

Protests challenging Spencer's rhetoric are scheduled for Thursday.

Scott said violence by any side will not be tolerated.

“We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion; however, we have zero tolerance for violence, and public safety is always our number one priority," Scott said in a statement.

"I have been in constant contact with Sheriff Darnell, who has requested this Executive Order to ensure that county and local law enforcement have every needed resource," he continued. "This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.”

Photo Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['Ex-Hurricane Ophelia' Makes Direct Hit on Ireland]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:44:20 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Ophelia+From+Space.png

Meteorologists in Ireland are calling it 'Ex-Hurricane Ophelia' that slammed ashore on the southwest coast of the Island early today, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The National Hurricane center in Miami called it 'Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia' with sustained wind of 86 mph in it's last advisory on the storm late Sunday night.

No matter what we name it, Ireland took a direct hit from a monstrous Atlantic Storm. Hundred's of thousands lost electricity. Roofs were torn off buildings. Storm surge flooding of several feet inundated coastal communities, especially in Cork and Kerry counties in the southwest.

A famous lighthouse off the south coast, Fastnet Rock Lighthouse manged to keep it's twitter feed live throughout the storm, sending out regular weather updates as wind gusted past 100 mph. The greatest wind speed we saw came from this tweet at about 5 a.m. New England time early Monday. 

That is sustained wind of 78 knots (90 mph), with gusts to 103 knots (119 mph) from the south. Indicating that the center of the storm was making it's closet pass just west of the Lighthouse. 

The most recent notable hurricane to hit Ireland is Debbie in 1961.

Ophelia now moves into Scotland as a slowly diminishing post tropical storm. 

Photo Credit: NBC Boston
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<![CDATA[Police: Suspect Brandishes Large Revolver in Store Robbery]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:38:52 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/217*120/Billerica+Armed+Robbery.JPG

Police in Billerica, Massachusetts have arrested a man they say brandished a large revolver during a robbery.

Authorities say 60-year-old Billerica resident Michael Girouard was arrested and charged with armed robbery around noon Monday.

He is accused of robbing Petrolex, a fuel service station on Chelmsford Road, on Sunday around 3:20 a.m.

He first asked the clerk for cigarettes before pulling out a large framed silver revolver and demanding money, finally fleeing on foot, according to police. 

Police are investigating if Girouard was involved in similar robberies that took place over the next day in the area.

Officers responded to the Variety Plus store on Nashua Road around 7 p.m. Sunday for a report of an armed robbery that also involved a man brandishing a large revolver.

Around 4:40 a.m. Monday, another robbery with a man who had a revolver occurred at the Mobil gas station on the Lowell line in Tewksbury.

No injuries were reported during any of the robberies.

It is not clear when Girouard will appear in court or if he has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Billerica Police]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez Lawyers Sue NFL, Helmet Manufacturer]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:50:43 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/aaron-ap.jpg

Lawyers for Aaron Hernandez's family have re-filed their lawsuit against the NFL, but the New England Patriots are no longer named in the complaint.

The family's lawyers filed the complaint Monday in Norfolk County Superior Court. They said the Patriots have been removed as a defendant, but a separate action involving the team will be filed at a later date.

Named in the suit are the NFL and several of its subsidiaries, as well as Riddell, the company that manufactured the official NFL helmet from 1989 to 2013. Hernandez played in the NFL from 2010 to 2012.

The suit claims the defendants knew of CTE dating back to the 1960s but intentionally kept that information from Hernandez and other players. The suit accuses them of a "long-running conspiracy" aimed at insulating themselves from litigation and financial responsibility.

"(Aaron's) decisions with respect to football would have been different had there been no intentional concealment for football-exposure risk," the complaint reads. "Defendants' multi-decade-long efforts to justify ignoring these warnings created a time-bomb in Aaron. Defendants did so to perpetuate the industry of football."

Attorneys for the Hernandez family initially filed suit last month in federal court after a brain study showed he suffered from a "severe case" of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Experts said it was the most severe case of CTE they had ever seen in someone his age.

The suit claimed the team and the league deprived 4-year-old Avielle Hernandez of the companionship of her father.

That suit was dropped on Friday because the lawyers said the issues involved belonged in state and not federal court.

The NFL has said it will "vigorously" contest the lawsuit, saying it would face "significant legal issues from the start."

Hernandez had Stage 3 CTE, the second-most severe out of four stages. That level of degeneration is usually found in players with a median death age of 67. Boston University officials who examined his brain said he also had early brain atrophy and perforations in a central membrane. CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma and leads to symptoms like violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive difficulties.

The 27-year-old former star tight end killed himself on April 19 in the prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. He hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to his cell windows.

Hernandez blocked access to his cell from the inside by jamming cardboard into the door tracks, investigators said. They also said there were no signs of a struggle and Hernandez was alone at the time of the hanging.

His Bible was found marked with blood at John 3:16, a verse that describes eternal life for those who believe in God. The verse name was also written in blood on the wall and in pen on his forehead.

His death came just hours before the Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory.

Soon after his suicide, Hernandez's family decided they wanted his brain to be studied by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center.

State officials originally refused to release the brain because it was part of the ongoing investigation into Hernandez's death, but later agreed to release it after his lawyer accused them of holding the brain illegally.

A star for the University of Florida when it won the 2008 title, Hernandez dropped to the fourth round of the NFL draft because of trouble in college that included a failed drug test and a bar fight. His name had also come up in an investigation into a shooting.

In three seasons with the Patriots, Hernandez joined Rob Gronkowski to form one of the most potent tight end duos in NFL history. In 2011, his second season, Hernandez caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns to help the team reach the Super Bowl, and he was rewarded with a $40 million contract.

But the Patriots released him in 2013, shortly after he was arrested in the killing of Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison; the conviction was voided because he died before his appeals were exhausted, though that decision is itself being appealed.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Obama Aides: Trump's Fallen Soldiers Claim Is a Lie]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:34:28 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/120767608-Obama-Dover-Families-of-Fallen.jpg

President Donald Trump insisted without evidence on Monday that Barack Obama didn't call the families of fallen soldiers when he was president, then promptly walked the claim back when fact-checked by a reporter.

Some of Obama's former aides reacted angrily on Twitter, calling Trump's statement a lie. Obama has in the past also talked about spending "countless hours" grieving with Gold Star families. 

"President Trump’s claim is wrong," a former Obama administration official told NBC News. "President Obama engaged families of the fallen and wounded warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to Section 60 at Arlington, visits to Walter Reed, visits to Dover, and regular meetings with Gold Star Families at the White House and across the country."

The issue came up at a wide-ranging news conference Monday, when Trump was asked why he hasn't discussed the Green Berets who died in an ambush in Niger in early October. Trump explained that he's written their families personal letters that have either gone out or will by Monday night, and added that he will "at some point" call their families.

"The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed," Trump said. "It gets to a point where you make four or five of them in one day, [it] is a very, very tough day."

Trump went on to say that Obama and other prior presidents "didn't make calls," and that he likes to do it "when it's appropriate, when I'm able to do it."

When pressed by NBC News' Peter Alexander, Trump walked his statement back.

"I don't know if he did," Trump said. "I was told that he didn't often, and a lot of presidents don't."

He added that he does a combination of phone calls and letter writing.

Late Monday afternoon, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump "wasn't criticizing predecessors, but stating a fact."

"When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, Presidents pay their respects," she said in a prepared statement. "Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person. This President, like his predecessors, has done each of these. Individuals claiming former Presidents, such as their bosses, called each family of the fallen, are mistaken.”

Alyssa Mastromonaco, a deputy chief of staff for Obama, used an expletive to call Trump's first statement a lie.

"To say President Obama (or past presidents) didn't call the family members of soldiers KIA - he's a deranged animal," Mastromonaco tweeted, using the acronym for "killed in action."

Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted, "This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards. Also: Obama never attacked a Gold Star family."

Rhodes was referring to the feud between Trump, then running for president, and the family of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in combat in Iraq. 

“No one — no one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families,” Obama said at the time. “Michelle and I have spent countless hours with them. We have grieved with them.”

Photo Credit: Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['Krack' Security Flaw Puts Every Wi-Fi Connection at Risk]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:28:48 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/551984311-Hacker.jpg

A newly discovered Wi-Fi security flaw reveals that your home network is hackable, giving outsiders access to everything from private chats to baby monitors, NBC News reports.

The attack, called Krack, takes advantage of the longstanding connection between devices and routers that is supposed to deliver a fresh, encrypted session every time you connect.

"When I woke up this morning and saw this one, I was taken aback," said Bob Rudis, chief data scientist at threat intelligence company Rapid7.

The gaping hole in the Wi-Fi protocol is fixable, and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has been reaching out to the many vendors who are affected. Rudis recommends checking with your internet service provider for the latest information on updates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Cultura RF]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says He Understands Bannon's War on GOP Establishment]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:05:06 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/AP_17289583762038.jpg

President Donald Trump said Monday he can "understand fully" why his "friend" and former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon has declared war on the Republican establishment.

"I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from," Trump said. Praising his former adviser's commitment "to getting things done," he added, "I know how he feels," NBC News reported.

Trump's comments came just an hour before the president was scheduled to have lunch with McConnell.

But after their lunch, Trump said that while Bannon is doing what he "thinks is the right thing," he will try to talk Bannon out of seeking primaries against some Senate Republicans.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]]>
<![CDATA[Unlicensed Teen Charged in Hit-and-Run; Woman Still in Coma]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 19:13:20 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/rosa21.jpg

A Massachusetts teen who doesn't have a driver's license has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident that critically injured a woman who is now in a medically-induced coma, according to police.

The 17-year-old male, who is not in custody, will be issued a summons to juvenile court on charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The incident happened shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday near the intersection of Lawrence and Amesbury streets in Lawrence.

Janet Rosa, 45, of Lawrence, was initially transported to a local hospital and later airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Her family told NBC Boston she is suffering from bleeding in her brain and has multiple broken bones.

However, her family says she is making some progress and is able to move her hands and feet a little.

A witness told police the driver was speeding at the time of the crash.

At the time of the accident, Rosa was crossing the street to buy scratch tickets, something her son Christian Sabater said she did routinely. 

"She's a very caring person," Sabater said. "Even when she's going through her own problems, she would go out of her way to take care of you." 

Rosa's family returned to her bedside Monday.

"It's not fair, not fair at all," said one family member.

Her family plans to hold a private vigil for her on Monday night.

It is not clear when the teen will appear in court.

<![CDATA[Celtics Searching For Team Identity at Season's Start]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:29:17 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-856826950.jpg

The Boston Celtics will begin their journey for banner 18 on Tuesday night in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. With only four returning players and the departure of notable starters Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder, the team doesn’t have a clear-cut identity to start the season.

Gone is the lockdown defense from Bradley, the versatility of Crowder, and the toughness of Thomas. Here now is the immediate scoring of Kyrie Irving and team-first mentality of Gordon Hayward. What the team is getting from individual players is set, but what they are as a cohesive unit is a question mark.

During the pre-season, the main players didn’t play much, but did showcase a willingness to share the ball when they were on the court, as the team averaged 22.8 assists per game through four games. Last season the team had the fourth best assist average in the league with 25.2 per game.

From the small sample size in preseason, it looks like Al Horford may have a bigger role in the offense this season as a playmaker. Last season he averaged a career-high five assists per game. This season that number could increase, as he’s showcased the ability to bring the ball up the court and create more opportunities for others. Last season he averaged 67.3 touches and 51 passes per game, according to NBA.com/stats.

The team was second just a season ago in passes made (325.3) and received (323.8) per game, per NBA.com/stats. This was along with making the extra pass, where they were second to the Golden State Warriors in secondary assists with 6.8 per game.

With Irving likely being the main ball-handler, his 79 touches per game are expected to increase. The only question is by how much? Thomas, for comparison sake, averaged 84.7 touches per game last season. Irving’s tally could be around that margin, as the primary handler, with Hayward and Horford being two and three in that category.

The trio of Irving, Hayward and Horford will be the main lineup for the Celtics this season. After that troika, it looks like Jaylen Brown will start at shooting guard after doing so for all of the pre-season games. Brown being at the two-guard position gives the team a bigger, more versatile and athletic presence over Bradley from last season. The only downfall with Brown starting is his three-point shot.

Brown went 2-for-11 (18.2%) from deep during the pre-season. In his rookie year he averaged 1.7 three-point attempts per game, in comparison to Bradley’s five per outing. Despite his current lack of a consistent shot, Brown’s relentlessness to the basket is a desire for possible playmaking and free-throw opportunities.

With the back-court being solidified with Irving and Brown to start the season, who joins Hayward and Horford in the front-court becomes an intriguing question. The team ended their pre-season with Jayson Tatum in the starting lineup, and head coach Brad Stevens recently suggested the rookie could possibly remain in that role to at least start the season. As the team announced on Sunday they’ll be without Marcus Morris for “at least a week or so” due to knee soreness.

Morris’ ability to space the floor has been a hallmark for his career, with last season with the Detroit Pistons being an anomaly for him as he posted the second worst shooting percentages of his career – 41.8% from the floor, and 33.1% from the three-point line.

A lineup including Morris seems imminent upon his return, and dependent on how Tatum produces through the season. The rookie starting or at least ending games at the four spot could become a possibility throughout the season. As Tatum being alongside Irving, Brown, Hayward and Horford brings added versatility, length, athleticism and scoring to that unit. Something that has become a trend in the league the past view seasons in wing heavy lineups.

The league itself currently has penchant for forwards that fit the pace and space mold. Tatum, during the preseason, has shown his ability to fit the description, along with scoring in a multitude of ways. Whether it be isolation, post-up or off a screen. One way or another, he’ll find a way to produce. His 6-foot-11 wingspan adds to the fascination of what he could become on not only the offensive side of the court, but also on the defensive end.

Another big question for the team will be their reliance on screens. Last season the team averaged 7.1 possessions off a screen, which was 6.6% of their plays, according to NBA.com/stats. The screens were mainly set for Thomas and Bradley, who combined for a 21.8% frequency off those type of plays. With both players being small guards, the screens played a role in helping them get the ball.

The only Celtic who might be screen heavy this season is Hayward, as he was more effective coming off a pick for his shot. In his final season in Utah, he had an 11.2% screen frequency which led to him scoring on 48.8% of those type of plays and shooting 48.2% from the floor when doing so.

Irving, who only came off screens 4.1% of the time last season, will likely have to adjust to a more set offense. Instead of his 5.1 isolation plays per night. In his limited playing time during the preseason, he showed an openness to coming off screens, which mainly involved Horford in pick-and-pop situations.

Boston’s offense has a lot of potential, and it’s just a matter of when they’ll be able to capitalize off of each other to become one of the more efficient teams in the league. If the team is able to gel accordingly, along with both Irving and Hayward making a seamless transition, then Brad Stevens receiving some attention as a Coach of the Year candidate shouldn’t come as a surprise. Especially if the team has another 50-win season.

Time will tell as to how the team will develop through the good and bad of another optimistic season in Boston.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Barricaded Himself Inside Burning Home Found Dead]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:38:45 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000009727087.JPG

A man police say barricaded himself inside a burning home Monday in Leominster, Massachusetts, has been found dead.

Police went to 8 Eden Glen Rd. to serve the man with a civil commitment warrant, Massachusetts State Police said. He refused to surrender and barricaded himself in the house.

"When I got here, it was coming through the roof," said neighbor Maria Richardson.

Hours earlier, police were trying to serve a warrant to have a man committed for concern over alcohol or drug use.

"They realized right away, when the door got slammed in their face and the door was barricaded," said Leominster Police Chief Michael Goldman.

Goldman says he doesn't know if the suspect had a weapon or if shots were fired, but his officers were sprayed with glass.

"Something came out of the window and a door my officers were trying to get into," Goldman said. "We don't know what it was."

State police negotiators tried to talk to the man barricaded on the first floor.

Richardson says she knows the suspect and his mother well.

"He has a mental illness and she's been away, so he's just not right," she said. "I feel so bad for her because she's in the hospital and can do nothing."

Witnesses said as police closed in and the fire continued to rage, the situation became increasingly tense.

"They were shooting out the windows to vent out the house," witness Jeff Greco said. "The pressure in the house built up so bad they backed everybody off. They were afraid it was going to explode."

"Everybody was in danger of that house blowing up," said witness John Egan.

After nearly three hours, the special ops team went inside and found the suspect dead on the first floor, police confirmed around 2:40 p.m.

"Somebody cared enough to take a section 35 out and try and get him some help, and it didn't end well for him," Goldman said.

Leominster High School on Granite Street was temporarily in "shelter in place" mode due to the police activity in the area, but that has since been lifted.

The investigation has been turned over to the Worcester County District Attorney's Office. The deceased person has not yet been identified.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston]]>
<![CDATA[Man Shot by Officer Threatened to Kill Police]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:46:42 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Everett+Police+Shooting.JPG

A 48-year-old man injured in an officer-involved shooting late Sunday night in Everett, Massachusetts, had threatened to kill police, according to investigators.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said an Everett police officer was sitting in his cruiser just before midnight in the area of Broadway and Second Street when he was approached by some people who said there was a man walking up the street stating that he wanted to kill a police officer.

The officer stepped out of his cruiser and was approached by the man, and investigators said there was an encounter between the two.

The man, whose name has not been released, was shot by the officer as a result. He was transported to a Boston area hospital, but officials said his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The district attorney said two knives were recovered at the scene.

The police officer was not injured but was transported to an area hospital as a precaution.

So far, no charges have been filed in connection with the incident.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts State Police and Everett police are investigating.

<![CDATA[2 Arrested for Passing Fake Dough for Fried Dough]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:14:25 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/FFF_FriedCookieDough.jpg

A man and woman from New Hampshire are facing charges after Laconia police said they used a fake $100 bill to buy fried dough at the town's annual Pumpkin Fest over the weekend.

Christopher Greene, 24, and Holly Solans, 23, were taken into custody Saturday and charged with forgery and resisting arrest.

Authorities said after they allegedly used the fake bill with a red Chinese symbol, Greene took off on foot when officers approached them.

He was apprehended in a back yard off Lyford Street.

Both were scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Laconia District Court.

It wasn't immediately clear if either of them had attorneys.

Photo Credit: Jeff Herrera/ NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Cold Front Passes Through, Drags Some Sprinkles]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:09:55 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/MondayLKN_NEXT_WEEK_JET_ACTIVE.png

A cold front finishes its pass through New England today, dragging the last of sprinkles and light showers offshore with it and delivering cool fall air that will make the evening noticeably cooler than the morning was!

This fall air leads to pockets of interior frost in Southern New England tonight and a few patches of freeze for deeper northern valleys, where frost will be widespread.

Meanwhile, across the pond, former Hurricane Ophelia technically isn’t tropical anymore, but is packing a wallop as she races across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Through our exclusive Weather Underground partnership at NBC Boston and necn, we were able to follow the storm — along with live cameras and weather data — as Ophelia has been moving into Europe today with wind gusts of 119 miles per hour at Fastnet Lighthouse off the southwest coast of Cork, causing lots of wind damage in Ireland.

Meanwhile, here in America, the jet stream is shifting to carry warm and dry weather out of wildfire ravaged California and bring an extended stretch of fair weather to the east.

A cool day of sunshine is expected tomorrow in New England before warmer temperatures — and an incredible stretch of sun — settle in through the upcoming weekend until the start of next week!

<![CDATA[Teacher Sick Calls Close 3 Schools]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:38:02 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/empty+classroom+schools.jpg

Three public elementary schools in Warwick, Rhode Island, were closed on Monday.

Secretary to the Superintendent of the Schools, Catherine Bonang told WJAR-TV that the number of faculty absences has risen to a level in which the staff cannot safely open the schools.

"This decision was based on staff requirements, student needs and programs in the buildings," Bonang said in a statement.

The schools that will be closed are Oakland Beach Elementary School, Park Elementary School, and E.G. Robertson School.

School officials told WJAR-TV that teacher sick calls closed Pilgrim High School Oct. 6 and Warwick Veterans Junior Hig Oct. 11.

The teachers' union says previous sick calls were due to flu season and stress, but superintendent Philip Thornton told WJAR-TV that the calls were a labor action.

Teachers have been working without a contract since 2015.

<![CDATA['She Can't Hear Us': Hit-and-Run Victim Remains in Coma]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:06:21 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/rosa21.jpg

Janet Rosa is fighting to stay alive at Brigham and Women's Hospital where she is in a medically-induced coma.

Rosa, 45, is the victim of a hit-and-run in Lawrence, Massachusetts that happened on Lawrence Street shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Rosa hasn't woken up. Her body broken after being hit by a car in Lawrence. The impact threw her in the air, and the driver left her in the road.

"There was never a day where you can't be around Janet and you can't leave laughing and feeling good about life," Janet's sister, Brenda Rosa, said.

Rosa's family tells us she is battling a brain bleed in the intensive care unit. She has broken bones, including her jaw.

"Right now she is in critical condition. She can't hear us. We tried to talk to her," said Elizabeth Rosa, Janet's sister.

Rosa was crossing Amesbury Street Saturday night to buy scratch tickets. It's something she would do all the time.

Christian Sabater is her son.

"She's a very caring person. Even when she's going through her own problems, she would go out of her way to take care of you."

Police said Monday morning that they identified the driver but did not release further details.

To the driver who did this, "You hurt a lot of people."

They want you to look at their family, look at their pain.

"Put yourself in our shoes. Put yourself how we are feeling right now and if you have any heart, please, please come forward. Because you wouldn't want this to happen to someone you love."

A witness had told police that the driver was speeding at the time of the crash.

Police are investigating the circumstances of the incident and are reviewing surveillance cameras in the area.

Rosa's family plans to hold a vigil for her on Monday night. 

<![CDATA[Framingham State University Promises Action on Racial Slurs]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:22:18 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/Second_Racial_Slur_Found_at_Framingham_State.jpg

A second racial slur was discovered Sunday morning at Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts. This second slur was found in the same location as the first incident on Friday.

"The N-word was written on our door, right outside our room, and I don't feel safe."

Eunice Bwambok and Nicole Harvey are still working out their feelings and emotions after finding the phrase "N's live here" written on their door at Larned Hall Sunday morning.

"This is a problem and not something that can just be pushed off."

This comes after another racist incident on Friday. Someone wrote "N-word club" on a flyer for the Black Student Association. It happened nearby on the same floor.

"Police are already investigating that these two incidents were connected.

School Spokesperson Dan Magazu says authorities are looking into this as a possible hate crime, but they have no suspects or leads at this time.

School leaders called an impromptu listening session on campus Sunday night so students could share the hurt caused by these incidents and ask all kinds of questions.

Bwambok and Harvey are juniors and say they've never experienced racism on campus.

"They made me feel welcome, like I'm part of the community."

But after the past few days, "that has changed a little bit."

School leaders say the listening sessions are just the beginning. There will be a campus-wide get together Monday afternoon to heal and unite this community. 

President Cevallos released the following statement:

"This behavior is unacceptable and we are going to do everything within our power to determine who is responsible and hold them accountable. It is our highest priority for students to feel welcome, respected and safe on campus.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we come together as a community to condemn this behavior, address your questions and concerns, and show our support for one another. I have instructed that Monday’s All-University Meeting, which was originally scheduled to discuss our 5-Year Strategic Plan in the McCarthy Center, instead be moved to the Dwight Hall Performing Arts Center and used as an open forum to discuss this issue. I strongly encourage everyone to attend the forum, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. As a community, we will work to prevent these incidents and the divisiveness they breed, so we can move forward and heal.

Framingham State University draws strength from its diversity. We are an institution where individuals of differing cultures, perspectives, and experiences are welcomed, respected, valued and supported. We must not allow those with hate in their hearts to divide us. The best way to stand up to this type of vile behavior is by uniting as a community against it.

To those students who feel targeted by these actions, we are here for you. I encourage you to take advantage of the many resources we have on campus if you need someone to speak with, including the Center for Inclusive Excellence, the Counseling Center, Campus Police, Human Resources, the Campus Clergy and the Dean of Students Office."

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is urged to contact campus police at 508-626-4911, or you can send in an anonymous tip by texting 67283 with “FSUTIP” in the body of the message.

<![CDATA[As Trump Deregulates, Chicken Lobby Would Speed Inspections]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:03:15 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/213*120/chickenfarm_1200x675.jpg

While President Donald Trump unravels many of the policies put in place during the Obama administration, the poultry industry has been lobbying hard to speed up poultry inspection lines, NBC News reported.

The Obama administration rejected the idea to speed up the process, capping it at 140 birds per minute, after warnings that doing so could increase food contamination and endanger workers.

Most poultry plant employees use sharp tools to eviscerate animals with foreceful, repetitive motions at high speeds, becoming exposed to toxic chemicals used to kill bacteria. "Even at existing line speeds, it's extremely unsafe," said Debbie Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the research and advocacy group National Employment Law Project.

One congressional Republican pushing to change the rules, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., asked the secretary of agriculture for the increase, citing a wish to be competitive with other countries.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Involved in Standoff With Armed Subjects in Easton]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:07:17 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/189*120/swat110.jpg

Photo Credit: The Enterprise]]>
<![CDATA[Team Effort Helps Family Get 103-Year-Old Puerto Rican to Mainland]]> Sun, 15 Oct 2017 21:51:09 -0400 http://media.nbcboston.com/images/215*120/101517+103+yr+old+woman.JPG

With thousands still living in dangerous conditions in Puerto Rico, many have escaped the disaster, including a 103-year-old woman.

Angela Parrilla arrived in Miami for the first time ever Sunday afternoon. Her grandniece tells NBC 6 she loves Puerto Rico and does not leave the island often.

Relatives knew they had to get Parrilla and her special needs granddaughter out of Puerto Rico. Parrilla has a visual impairment, a blood disorder and a heart condition.

Parrilla lives in Vieques and had been living without power or running water for weeks. It took a team effort to get her out of Puerto Rico, starting with a nurse on a humanitarian mission from Texas, who found out about the 103-year-old through a Facebook message.

Parrilla’s grandniece said Sen. Marco Rubio’s office helped organize a helicopter ride from Vieques to San Juan, and then Parrilla made it to the mainland on a plane chartered by Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Fund.

“How many 103-year-olds can be on an island? We found her and when I found her, I couldn’t believe it,” said Debora Ybarra, a nurse. “So the issue was, she looks quite good, but the issue was as the disaster continues and limited medications and there is a problem, she can’t pick up the phone and call 911.”

“I needed to get them off the island. It was totally impossible to get a flight out. I called and pleaded,” said Zandra Velez, Parrilla’s grandniece.

Angela’s trip didn’t end in Miami. Her family lives in Orlando, and will be spending time with them.

Velez told NBC 6 she has two more elderly relatives in Puerto Rico and is concerned about them.