N.J. Father Allegedly Left Children Alone To Go To Outlet Mall On Black Friday

CENTRAL VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey father has been charged with endangering the welfare of children for allegedly leaving his young children alone to go to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets early Friday.

Investigators say Toru Sakaguchi, of Princeton, left his children at a Hampton Inn in Central Valley.

The hotel called police after a 4-year-old boy was found crying in the hallway, CBS2’s Lou Young reported.

The hotel called Sakaguchi via the number they had given the front desk around 4:30 a.m.

When police arrived and went to the child’s room, they say they found an 11-year-old girl who was handicapped and unable to open the door for her brother.

When the parents returned returned, police said Sakaguchi said it was all a misunderstanding.

“He tried to excuse it by saying, ‘My intention was to come right away, right back,’” Chief Richard Vasquez said.

But Vasquez said they had been left alone about an hour and a half.

“HIs explanation was that his wife was shopping and he was going to pick her up.  He said his wife made him wait for more than an hour and it took him longer than he thought,” Vasquez said.

Following the incident, Young reported the family checked out of the hotel and went back to the shopping center.

“I guess they figured they were down here, but they had the kids with them this time,” Vasquez said.

The father was given a desk appearance ticket and a court return date of December 10th at which time he’ll have to appear before a judge.

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Children Rescued From Snowbank In Newburgh Speak Out

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two boys who had been trapped for hours under a huge pile of snow in Newburgh are speaking out about their ordeal.

The boys – cousins Jason “J.J.” Rivera, 9, and Elijah “Papito” Martinez, 11 — had been building a snow fort Wednesday night when a plow came along and pushed snow up against it, trapping them for nearly four hours.

The boys said Friday that they did everything they could to break free.

“I was punching everything, I was moving my shoulders, banging my head, moving everything so I could get more space,” Martinez said.

“He had more space than me, I couldn’t really move,” Rivera said. “If I could’ve sat up, I could’ve got my legs out and we could’ve at least made more space, but there was a big block of ice on my chest so I couldn’t move.”

Martinez said he tried breaking up the ice by punching it.

“It was about to fall and he said it was going to land on his face, so I stopped punching it,” Martinez said.

The boys said they tried to encourage each other while they were trapped.

“We motivated each other to not go to sleep, keep yelling, keep moving our bodies, trying to break out,” Martinez said. “Cause I knew if we would’ve fallen asleep…we probably wouldn’t have woke up because we would be so cold, frozen probably.”

The boys families reported them missing around 10 p.m. Wednesday night after they didn’t return home from playing outside, which launched a frantic search, CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported.

Rivera said police officer Brandon Rola saw their shovel buried in the snow and started digging.

“I pulled the shovel out, and, not going to say I put two and two together, by no means, but I just felt led to dig,” he said.

Then one of Elijah’s boots appeared.

“When the boot moved it was just straight adrenaline to, ‘We’ve got to get these kids out as fast as possible,’” Rola said.

Dramatic cell phone video showed strangers and first responders frantically digging to save the two young boys.

“The cop saw our shovel got buried, he started digging twice and he hit my foot, and ‘I’m like Papito somebody hit my foot, so yell.’ We kept yelling, ‘Keep digging, keep digging. We’re in here.’ So he kept digging,” Rivera said.

Newburgh police Sgt. Aaron Weaver said the boys were buried in about five feet of snow.

“But how ever it fell, there was, like, a dome around their heads, so there was air in there, like space for them,” Weaver said.

And that’s what kept them alive, CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported.

Police said there’s no way the snow plow driver could have seen them, Rincon reported.

Witnesses said the police who pulled them out of the snowbank got a round of applause.

“They wouldn’t give up. They were sitting there out in the cold, and thank god they found them,” Aulix Martinez said.

The boys spent all of Thanksgiving recovering after being treated for hypothermia at Westchester Medical Center, where they remain at least one more night.

The boys also say they will not being building a snow fort again after the incident.

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UNC vs. Florida: Score and Twitter Reaction from Battle 4 Atlantis 2014

 The fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels knocked off their second Top-25 team in as many games, beating the No. 18 Florida Gators 75-64 to earn fifth place at the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis.

Three games in three days can be exhausting. Both teams entered Friday having played a lot of basketball recently. Former North Carolina star Sean May commented on how fatigue can often affect shooters, thus changing a team’s game plan:

The Tar Heels didn’t show any ill effects from all the time on the court. They shot an impressive 23-of-54 from the floor and 6-of-13 from three-point range. Kennedy Meeks finished with a double-double, scoring 18 points and collecting 14 rebounds. Marcus Paige also played well with 16 points and four assists.

Meanwhile, this loss compounds what’s been a slow start to 2014 for Florida. The Gators are now 3-3, with the two other defeats coming to Miami (FL) and Georgetown.

Head coach Billy Donovan is counting on short-term frustration to provide long-term gains.

“Before December 1st, we’re going to know a lot about our team,” he said before Friday’s game, per Antonya English of the Tampa Bay Times. “Of course, we’ve had to deal with some injuries and some suspensions, but I still think we’re finding out things about our team, which is good.”

Kasey Hill and Michael Frazier II combined to score 37 points, but they received little support to speak of. Dorian Finney-Smith really struggled, missing eight of his shots and scoring four points.

One of the problems Florida’s encountered over the last few years is a dearth of scoring. The Gators offense has really sputtered to start the 2014 season, averaging 63.4 points (255th) on 40.1 percent shooting (259th).

The Gators defense is more times than not enough to compensate for whatever issues are plaguing the team offensively. In the first half against the Tar Heels, Florida’s scoring troubles were impossible to ignore.

Florida’s first points didn’t come until 6:45 into the game, with Kasey Hill getting the Gators to within 10 points, 12-2. It’s hard to score when you miss 10 shots to start, via Chris Harry of GatorZone.com:

The Tar Heels’ lead continued to grow, with UNC eventually getting on top 25-8 with 7:05 until halftime.

ESPN’s Andy Katz noted that having a healthy Eli Carter would’ve helped Florida but that there are clear issues Donovan needs to resolve:

North Carolina continued applying pressure throughout the first half, carrying a 39-23 lead into the locker room. As a team, the Tar Heels shot 15-of-26 from the floor, with J.P. Tokoto, Meeks and Justin Jackson scoring eight points apiece. Marcus Paige added seven points and three assists.

On the other side, Florida shot 9-of-31, including 1-of-15 from behind the arc in the first half. The Gators also turned the ball over nine times, compared to four for North Carolina. Frazier and Finney-Smith combined to go 4-of-14, scoring 12 points.

Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun spoke with ESPN’s Jay Bilas, who commented that Florida’s failure to establish a post offense created problems away from the basket:

After that shaky first half, Florida started out the second well, closing the gap to eight points, 43-35, 4:33 in after making four of its first five shots. Sports Illustrated‘s Seth Davis felt that the Gators were benefiting from UNC’s sloppy play on the offensive end:

However, the Tar Heels righted the ship and found their groove, slowly earning a 15-point lead, 58-43, with 8:13 left to play. Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer highlighted how well North Carolina’s defense has performed through the team’s first six games:

While Florida didn’t capitulate as time ticked away in the second half, the Gators couldn’t get to within striking distance. Every time they strung together a couple of buckets, somebody from North Carolina would stop the momentum, helping the Heels maintain a comfortable advantage.

Frazier nailed a three-pointer with two minutes to go that got Florida to within seven points, 67-60, but Brockway wondered whether a comeback was truly in the offing:

North Carolina made its free throws down the stretch to ice the game away.

Things don’t get much easier for Florida. The Gators meet the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks a week from tonight. Injuries have hit them hard already, so it will be interesting to see how good this team is at full strength. Like Donovan said, playing all a bunch of tough games early in the season can provide big dividends by the end of the season.

North Carolina plays Iowa in its next game, with the date against the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats looming on Dec. 13. With the college basketball season being so long, it’s hard to add too much emphasis to a game in December, but beating the Wildcats would be a major statement from UNC.

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