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New York City records fewest murders, lowest crime rate in decades

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New York City ended the year with the fewest murders and the lowest crime figures in decades, the mayor and the NYPD said Friday.

There were 290 murders in the nation’s largest city in 2017, compared to 335 killings the previous year, said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a news conference.

“No one believed it was possible to get under 300 murders,” de Blasio said. “The NYPD reached the goal that no one thought possible.”

The murder rate is a far cry from 1990, when 2,245 people were killed in the city.

“New York is not the violent nightmare that we once read about in the press, watched on TV and saw in the movies,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

The drop in murders results in the lowest per-capita murder rate in nearly 70 years. The dramatic dip comes as other big cities — Baltimore had 343 murders and in Chicago there 650 — saw spikes.

“Crime in New York City has reached a new low,” O’Neill said. “The murder rate hasn’t been lower since the Korean War.”

The numbers of other crimes -– shootings, robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies auto –- also dropped, officials said.

“To see crime levels as low as we have today, you’d have to go back to 1951, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and a slice was 15 cents,” de Blasio added.

O’Neill said “2017 will go down in history as the safest year in decades,” yet a nagging trouble spot remains. The number of rapes in the city increased 0.3 percent, as well as an uptick in crimes in the subway.

“We will not rest until we push that farther down,” said Dermot Shea, the NYPD’s chief of crime control strategies, of the rapes. “It is a stubborn crime and we have work to do on that front.”

Overall, 2017 was the fourth straight year of declines in crime in New York City. According to NYPD records there were 96,517 crimes reported last year, compared with 102,052 in 2016, a drop of 5.4 percent.

Commissioner O’Neill credited enhanced training, upgraded equipment and an initiative known as neighborhood policing, which divides precincts into several sectors that the same officers work on the same shift. It’s meant to build ties between the communities and the officers that serve them.

“We’re restoring the role of patrol cop as problem solver,” O’Neill said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Murder suspect flips SUV during Virginia police chase

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Virginia State Police(FREDERICKSBURG, Va.) — Dramatic dashcam video shows a murder suspect flip his car while trying to evade police on a Virginia interstate Dec. 28.

According to Virginia State Police, they were looking for a man driving an SUV who was wanted in connection to a murder. Police said the man allegedly shot and killed a woman in Stafford County, Virginia, before fleeing the scene in the SUV.

A state trooper and a local deputy noticed the SUV on Interstate 95 and tried to pull the man over, ABC affiliate WJLA-TV said. However, when the man pulled over, authorities say he got out of the SUV and shot at them. Virginia State Police say one of the bullets hit the trooper’s car windshield. No officers were injured during the incident.

Officials said the man got back into the SUV and drove off. Authorities were able to pursue him and caught the moment the man crashed the SUV on dashcam.

The SUV overturned, and the suspect suffered serious injuries. The suspect was flown to a nearby hospital for treatment. It’s unclear what condition the man is in now.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Brutal frigid blast slices across East Coast; record low temperatures possible Sunday

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By Leighton Schneider

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A major cold blast is moving in behind the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm that battered the East Coast this week, shuttering schools and halting travel.

The brutal freeze might bring record low daily temperatures on Sunday.

Cold blast

Now, with the storm gone and arctic air moving in, wind chills Friday morning were in the negative teens in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., and in the 20s even in Tampa.

On Friday afternoon, the wind chill was minus 2 degrees in New York City, minus 10 degrees in Boston, 20 degrees in Raleigh, 26 degrees in Atlanta, minus 5 degrees in Chicago, minus 19 degrees in Syracuse and minus 14 degrees in Detroit.

On Saturday subzero wind chills are expected for millions from Maine to North Carolina.

The wind chill forecasts for Saturday afternoon call for: 20 degrees in Atlanta; 12 in Nashville; minus 1 in Chicago; minus 13 in Minneapolis; minus 20 in Boston; and minus 13 in New York City.

Temperatures are expected to be the lowest on Sunday.

Daily record low actual temperatures are possible on Sunday in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Boston’s daily record is minus 2 degrees, and the forecast calls for minus 6 degrees.

And if Philadelphia reaches below zero Sunday morning it would be the first subzero temperature for the city since 1994.

Warmer air is coming

But there is some good news: Warmer air is coming next week.

And as we move into the middle and second half of the month, there is a trend showing a prolonged January thaw.

In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that most of the country will have above-normal temperatures from Jan. 13 to Jan. 26.

Shoveling out after the ‘bomb cyclone’

The storm tore through the Northeast on Thursday, with blowing snow and gale-force winds.

The strongest wind Thursday was 76 mph on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, saw a gust of 71 mph.

Thursday’s storm brought serious coastal damage and flooding to southern New England with massive high-tide levels in the Boston area.

Boston broke its record for its highest tide on Thursday, beating an old record from 1978, the National Weather Service said.

The biggest snowfall was in Bangor, Maine, which got 18.3 inches.

Staffordville, Connecticut, saw 16 inches.

New York City’s Central Park had 9.8 inches of snow, while Boston was blanketed with 13.4 inches.

Public schools in New York City, Boston and in many other districts around the region were closed Thursday.

Before the storm reached the Northeast, it ripped through the Southeast on Wednesday, bringing more snow to parts of the South than in nearly 30 years.

Rockyhock, North Carolina, had a full foot of snow.

Charleston, South Carolina, saw 5.3 inches — the most snow since 1989, when the city had 6 inches.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Roy Moore accuser's home catches fire, arson suspected

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Obtained by ABC News(GADSDEN, Ala.) — Officials are investigating after Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson’s home caught fire this week in what appears to be arson.

In a statement, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office said it does not believe the fire is “in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him.”

Investigators are currently speaking with a person of interest, according to the sheriff’s office.

Moore, the former Alabama Senate candidate, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including Johnson. He has denied all the allegations.

The allegations against Moore began with the publication of a Washington Post report on Nov. 9, in which it was claimed he made sexual advances on a 14-year-old girl in the late 1970s.

Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones, was sworn in Wednesday as the next senator of Alabama.

Jones is the first Democrat in 25 years to win a Senate seat in Alabama when he defeated Moore in the Dec. 12 special election to fill the seat vacated nearly a year ago by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


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