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tv   News 4 New York at 530  NBC  August 13, 2015 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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cavanaugh said the cracked blacktop in brooklyn and sharp fences in queens were fixed within 30 days. the images the i-team took, he says, may be new problems. >> you can make repairs on fencing and come back a month later and have to make the same repair. when asphalt reaches a certain age and condition, there's not a lot you can do to restore it. >> there should be no trip hazards, there should be no hanging limbs, there should be no cracks in sidewalks. this stuff should be taken care of. >> jeffrey croft runs the nonprofit watchdog, nyc park advocates. he's concerned outer borough parks may be getting less attention than the city's marquise parks. central park is maintained by a nonprofit funded largely by wealthy donors. >> there's just a huge disparity. and the public, you know, for the most part, they put up with things.
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and it's the saddest thing to see, you know, grass growing up through concrete. >> a few hours ago, the parks department told us the hickman playground, the one we showed you with all of those cracked blacktops, essentially, that is a park that is scheduled for a full renovation starting next week. and city hall stresses 35 parks in low-income neighborhoods have been renovated in just the last year. but during his mayoral campaign, bill de blasio supported a more ambitious plan to force the private operators of central park, the highline, and other well-off parks to contribute 20% of their budgets to help fix up parks in poor areas. city hall is no longer expressing support for that idea. back to you. >> thank you very much, chris. and remember, if you have something you think the news 4 i-team should look into, call us at 1-866-news 244. this is new tonight, an update to a heartbreaking story we first brought you on tuesday. police in patterson say they've
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arrested the driver who hit and killed a teen on a bicycle. the passaic county prosecutor's office say james reinhart hit the 16-year-old on beach street monday night and then drove off. police say reinhart was driving with a suspended license. the family of a connecticut couple who vanished more than a week ago says there is no indication that money troubles played a role in their disappearance. no one has seen or heard from jeffrey or jeanette navins since last tuesday. a long island doctor is accused of taking illegal kickbacks from a new jersey blood lab. prosecutors say 50-year-old breath ostricher accepted cash bribes and tickets to justin bieber and katy perry concerts from biodiagnostic laboratory services in parsnipny. in return, he generated nearly $1 million in business for the lab by referring his patient samples to them.
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well, you know, usually people might try to break out of jail. coming up, we'll show you the woman who's actually caught on camera trying to break. we'll explain the reason why. and did age play a role in this ceiling collapse inside a packed nightclub? up next, when inspectors believe the ceiling was built. and lester has a look at what he's working on for 6:30. >> coming up on "nightly news" at 6:30, our ian williams is in china near the set of that enormous explosion. the pictures of the devastation out of there are stunning. is california being setting up for a vicious one-two punch as the western fire season ramps up to its highest alert, there are warning of mud slides to come down the road from powerful el nino-fueled rains. and we look at what's behind the rapid rise of prescription drug prices when we see you tonight for "nightly news."
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we have new information tonight on that partial ceiling collapse inside a famous
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minneapolis nightclub. officials say there's a structural engineer on site at the venue called first avenue where the rest of the ceiling will be removed. a huge chunk fell on to a crowd during a concert injuring three people last night. inspectors believe it is the original ceiling from 1936, when the venue was built. >> it's not uncommon for a building of this age to have a plaster and lath assembly for a ceiling. gypsum board was not really in existence when they built this building, or commonly used. >> officials say there has never been a problem with the building in the past. the landmark nightclub has posted acts like tina turner and prince, who actually filmed his 1984 movie, "purple rain," there. well, new tonight, police are offering a $2,500 reward for information in the death of queens rapper. lynell pickins was killed by an early morning shooting in may.
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two men pulled up along his porch before opening fire. if you have any information, please call police. are you sick and tired of standing on the subway platform, wondering when that next train is coming? >> uh, yes. and yes. >> aren't we all? up next, we'll break down which lines are the worst for leaving strap hangers waiting and tell you what's behind all of the delays. first, let's get to our social pic of the day. it comes to us from legzliediva on instagram. these cute little puppies are floating on a raft, soaking up the sun in the water. >> looks like a scene out of "bridesmaids." if you have an interesting pick you would like to share, send it into our website, or use #nbc4ny when posting to twitter or instagram. it may be selected as the social pic of the day.
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coming up on news 4 at 6:00, some are calling ing ing it a victory, but others are saying it's robbing real victims of true justice. connecticut's highest court overturns the death penalty. we have reaction from both sides. plus, the mta's reaction to make the subways run faster by saving a few seconds at every stop. >> reporter: is there a faster way to announce the next stop on your train? and if there is, meet the person who might get left behind. i'm andrew siff and i'll have that story. those stories and much more all new tonight when chuck and i see you at 6:00. new information on that toxic waste cleanup in a colorado river. we now know that tests completed in the hours after last week's mine spill show lead levels more than 3,500 times the normal exposure limit for humans.
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epa stresses those levels have dropped. in fact, in an effort to prove that the water is back to normal, colorado governor john hickenlooper drank from the river, but he cautioned others not to try it themselves. don't do that yourself. the governor says that he put an iodine tablet in the water to kill bacteria before taking a sip, and more than a day later, so far, he says he's doing fine. >> so far. okay. there have been quite a few high-profile prison break stories this year, but one alabama woman is making headlines for trying to break into jail. surveillance cameras caught 42-year-old tolesha mccain using box cutters to get through the franklin county jail's barbed wire fence. the sheriff says she was also carrying a cell phone, drugs, and tobacco. mccann, who was released two weeks ago, is now facing jail time again. new technology could change the way new yorkers reach out for help during an emergency. today the city council introduced a bill that sets a course to develop a way to text for 911 services.
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the bill gives the city department of information and telecommunications one way to come up with a way to create that technology. texting 911 would also allow videos and photos to be sent from the scene. if you ride the subway, i know, this is definitely happened to you, you're waiting for the train in a hot subway station, most likely, for what seems like hours, even though we know it's just a few minutes. well, according to a new report, subway delays are happening more often. news 4's katherine craig breaks down which lines are the best and which lines are the worst. >> reporter: the "l" train gets a lot of love in this new audit by the state comptroller's office. but riders not exactly agree with it. >> reporter: the "l" train ranks number one for being on-time. this morning, though, a voice announced there was an incident. >> l trains are running with delays. >> it's been sitting there the whole time. it's been six minutes for about the last five minutes, so it
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doesn't change. >> i'm not sure that's very accurate. >> reporter: the new york state comptroller's office compiled data on the subway system between march 2013 to march 2014. the worst on-time performance goes to the 4 train. it's on-time less than half the time. the 5 train on-time only 51% of the time. same percentage with the 2 train. the "l" train line ranks at the top, and the audit shows it's on time 94% of the time. the "j" and "z" lines tied at 82%. for those that ride the often-delayed 4 and 5 trains -- >> the other day someone pulled an emergency break, another time i saw someone get sick on the train. it's always something. >> reporter: what cause ds delays according to the audit, signal failures. work on tracks, more than 107,000 incidents. overcrowding, more than 80,000 incidents during that one-year span. the mta criticized the audit, saying the numbers don't accurately measure how the entire system is doing. the mta says that it sometimes
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holds a train from going to the next stop, so it staggers the trains, making for more regular service. on our website,, we have more information for you, to find out if your subway line ranks the best or the worst. in union square, catherine prep news 4 new york. well, we've still got a few more weeks of summer, and if you're planning a vacation, we've got something you need to know about. if you rent a car and refill the tank yourself, make sure you save that receipt or it could cost you. >> reporter: it's the last thing you do before turning in the rental. gas up or you'll get charged. but surprise, you might get charged anyway. >> i think it's messed up. i think it's a rip-off, in a way. i don't think it's fair. >> reporter: kelsey paige and her family are headed to florida. she was surprised to learn about a new fee. >> if there's less than 75 miles on a car and the gas gauge even looks full, they're going to require you to give the gas receipt to them, so you can prove that you filled up the car. >> reporter: can't find that
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receipt? that will be 14 bucks. >> reporter: avis and budget have the charge. hertz rolled it o out this month. that's why it's important to find out details before you sign on the dotted line, but that's not easy to do. >> when the car rental agent is going 90 miles an hour, blowing through all the stuff, because he says it 75 times a day, slowing down and saying, wait a minute, do you mean this or that? don't be afraid to assert yourself and clarify. >> reporter: paige says she has no idea whether her rental car company charges the fee. >> i think we just signed up, because we're in a hurry, and that's what everyone else is doing, you're in a line, so they probably put a lot of stuff on and you go wit. >> reporter: next time, they'll keep that receipt handy. >> it's something that people need to be aware of, especially with whaen companies, always, always, always keep your receipt. >> if you don't pre-pay for fuel and allow the rental car company charge you for that, watch out bicep saw the cost as high as
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$10 per yllon. >> and probably take a picture of the gas gauge as well. >> that helps, yeah. >> the more documents, the better. >> never can have too many. it was almost like fall this morning, you guys, if you were up early. most of us weren't, but some of us were up early and it was jacket and sweater weather, with temperatures down in the 50s this morning. 52 in monticello. even down towards morristown, ridge water, even west hampton in the upper 50s. it will be cool again tonight. enjoy it. because temperatures are going to heat up over the weekend. today, not bad. pretty perfect with readingses in the 70s to the low 80s. but we'll be in the mid- to upper 80s starting tomorrow. right now, midtown is at 82. out across long island, 80. 79 in farmingville. across connecticut, westport is at 84. 76 in stanford and danberry. point pleasant, 77 degrees. long branch and surf city, in the low 80s as well. washington and princeton in the low 80s. 82 in chester.
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72 in hunter. 73 in high point and near 80 in madison. humidity levels, the key. it's low still, in the 30% range. this is extremely comfortable, but that change is starting tomorrow into the weekend, as it starts to go up as well as the temperatures. still pretty stifling, coming up. another nice night, down the 67 in midtown. tomorrow, a west wind comes in across the land. so we're up to 87 in midtown. so we jump about 4 or 5 degrees tomorrow. but it jumps even higher, starting this weekend. the heat and the humidity starts to build into the 90s, right around 90 on saturday. you may get a shower or storm north and west over the weekend, but generally, most areas will stay dry, including the beaches, and they'll be hot as well. this evening, starting at 7:00, we drop through into the 70s. and we'll stay in the 70s in the city until about 11:00 or 12:00. and then things will start to drop into the 60s, but you'll be cooler north and west. tomorrow, still a nice day. it's just warming up.
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87 for friday. 89 on saturday. 93 on sunday and monday. so here comes the heat, guys. back to you. >> oh, boy. it's coming. coming up next, targeting their breeding grounds. >> reporter: a stepped up push to battle mosquitos, as concerns grow about west nile virus in new jersey. >> we're already above what we had last year. >> i'm ted greenberg. why experts say the insects could soon start biting, even more.
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tonight in new jersey, growing concerns about the west nile virus. you see, this year, more mosquitos are testing positive for the disease. >> well, new tonight, news 4's ted greenberg finds out why it may only get worse. >> they're just full of water. >> water full of baby mosquitos, just days away from becoming airborne.
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>> we have to stay on top of areas like this throughout the summer to keep the numbers down. >> reporter: cape may county mosquito control inspector joe len lenvennich dunked these with mosquito control. he and his colleagues have stepped up efforts to target mosquito breeding grounds like this because of a spike in mosquitos testing positive for west nile virus. >> we're already above what we had last year. >> reporter: and all of these new jersey counties are also up from the same time in 2014, with the mosquito season far from over. experts say this summer's hot and often stifling weather has helped the biting insects flourish. >> i wouldn't be surprised if we saw double, just because of the pace that we're at right now. the population is going to be exposed to mosquitos that are more likely carrying west nile virus. >> reporter: so far this year, the state has had two human cases of west nile, one in
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camden county, the other in burlington. but with the mosquito population expected to stay strong until at least mid-to-late october, officials are urging people to be vigilant about getting rid of standing water on their property. >> this is particularly a problem, and somewhat dangerous because these mosquitos hang out around people's homes. >> right now, most of the infected mosquitos are feeding on birds, but experts say a lot of evidence shows the insects will switch to other animals and humans later in the season. to keep lots of bug spray handy. i'm ted greenberg, news 4, new york. >> lawmakering. well, thanks so much for watching. >> stay right here. the news continues at 6:00. >> reporter: live from studio 3c in rockefeller center, this is news 4 new york. now at 6:00, controversy in connecticut, as the state supreme court rules the death penalty unconstitutional. the reaction for and against. plus, our exclusive interview with the man tourists
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helped save when they saw him on fire and running from this explosive wreck on the new jersey turnpike. and a warning about your commute during the pope's visit to our area. get ready to walk. good morning. i'm chuck scarborough. >> and i'm sibila vargas. connecticut's highest court has overturned the death penalty in the state, ruling it unconstitutional. >> today's ruling means that the 11 men on the state's death row cannot be executed. and those inmates include joshua komisarjevsky and steven hayes, who are sentenced to die for the brutal murder of a mother and his two daughters in a 2007 prult brutal home invasion. >> reporter: to be clear, this ruling doesn't apply to future would-be death penalty cases. the death penalty was abolished here in connecticut years ago. the ruling applies to men already on death row, who as of today, no longer are. when the death penalty was repealed in connecticut three years ago, it was done with a
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caveat. that it would only apply to future cases. and the 11 men currently on death row would stay there and would still be put to death. today, the connecticut supreme court ruled that was unconstitutional. saying in its ruling, execution of those offenders who committed capital felonies prior to april 25th, 2012, would violate the state constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. >> we have to keep in our minds how difficult this is for victims and victims' families. >> reporter: today, governor malloy, who is against the death penalty, said it was too early to give an opinion about the court's decision. he did say connecticut has executed only two men in 54 years, both of whom did not fight the execution. this death penalty challenge came from death row inmate eduardo santiago, convicted of murder in west hartford in 2000. he will now spend the rest of his life in prison. and so will the men convicted of murdering a mother and two
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daughters during a home invasion in cheshire in 2007. they had been sentenced to death. >> i don't think it's right. an eye for an eye. >> but opinions about the supreme court ruling were mixed here in greenwich today. >> it doesn't really make sense. it's not fair that you'd say, well, it's inhumane or unfair for these people, but for these it's okay. >> i think they're going to suffer more with life in prison as opposed to giving them the death penalty. >> i'm not really sure that our courts are really thinking everything through. i think what they're doing is politically pc comments that are going to keep them where they are. >> reporter: and some of the folks we spoke to said they were angry that taxpayers would now be paying for these men to live in prison. however, the governor points out that the lengthy appeals process is actually for a more expensive. nationally, on average, $2 million per prisoner and likely more expensive here in connecticut. reporting live from greenwich, ida siegal, news 4, new york. >> and turning now to the
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legionnaires' outbreak. city officials today stopped short of calling it over. but they are considering it contained at this point. so far, the death toll stands at 12. there has been 121 cases, but no new onset cases since august 3rd, and no new contaminated buildings or cooling towers. at a press conference today, the centers for disease control call the city's response to the outbreak swift, diligent, and robust. for the first time tonight, we're hearing from the truck driver set on fire during that new jersey turnpike inferno. rescuers say the drivers of the two trucks that collided, the wreck shut down parts of the turnpike for hours last night. many of you might have gotten stuck in the backup there. news 4's brynn gingras is live in east brunswick with her exclusive interview. brynn? >> reporter: i spoke to the 62-year-old driver who is right now recovering in the hospital, st. barnabas hospital's burn unit. he said he was carrying medical


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