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Samantha Tata is a digital journalist at PIX 11. Before joining WPIX in March 2014, she was a web producer and internship coordinator at NBC4 Southern California, where she was part of the team that won the station’s first-ever national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for breaking news coverage.


Recent Articles
  • Incense sparked fire in Queens where FDNY firefighter William Tolley died: fire marshal

    RIDGEWOOD, Queens — Incense left burning unattended are being blamed for starting a fire inside a Queens apartment building where a firefighter fell to his death, the fire marshal determined Friday. FDNY firefighter William Tolley was responding to the blaze in Ridgewood on Thursday when he fell from the top of the five-story apartment building at 1615 Putnam Ave. A fire had broken out on the second floor of the building, sparked by incense that were left burning “in observance […]

  • Funeral plans announced for FDNY firefighter William Tolley who died in line of duty

    NEW YORK — Details about how family, friends, colleagues and the public can pay their final respects to FDNY firefighter William Tolley, who fell to his death while responding to a blaze in Queens, were announced Friday. A wake will be held on Tuesday, April 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Wednesday, April 26, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Chapey and Sons Funeral Home at 20 Hicksville Road […]

  • Subway service nightmare: Power outage cause systemwide delays but evening rush looks better

    MANHATTAN — A power outage at a Manhattan train station caused systemwide delays Friday, creating a morning commute nightmare for riders that lasted well past rush hour. The problems began about 7:30 a.m. Temporary generators were brought in and crews were on the scene working to fix the issue. Shortly before 1 p.m., the MTA said service had resumed on all lines. Still, residual problems are lingering. Trains are bypassing the Seventh Av-53rd St station on the B, D and E […]

  • Watch the last hours of the giraffe cam starring April and her new baby

    HARPURSVILLE, N.Y. — April the giraffe became an internet sensation as the world watched for her to give birth, live on camera, at an upstate New York zoo, but after months of peering into her stall, viewers will have to say goodbye to her. The giraffe cam at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville will go dark at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday. The zoo had long planned to end the livestream — which garnered easily hundreds of thousands of simultaneous views […]

  • Fugitive ex-teacher, kidnapped teen found in California month after disappearance: officials

    COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A fugitive former teacher and the teenage student he abducted have been found in northern California after a six-week-long nationwide manhunt, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Thursday. Tad Cummins has been arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas is safe, the agency said. Cummins, 50, fled with Thomas from their small town of Culleoka, Tenn., on March 13. Authorities released surveillance video from March 15 that showed the pair at a Walmart in Oklahoma City but after that, […]

  • Police share ‘beautiful’ painting of Robert Godwin Sr., and an ‘extremely important’ message

    PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Robert Godwin Sr., the beloved father and grandfather gunned down at random on Easter Sunday, was memorialized by a police department which used a digital painting of the 74-year-old to delivery “an extremely important message.” “YOU – the public – are the best weapon we have in the fight against crime. Sure, that’s a cliche – but some cliches become cliches for a reason. FACT: Mr. Godwin’s killer is no longer a threat because a citizen picked […]

  • Phony architect named Newman busted in ‘Operation Vandelay Industries’: AG

    NEW YORK — A phony architect who worked on more than 100 properties in upstate New York, including a senior living community and townhouses, was arrested this week in a years-long scheme, authorities said. It was dubbed “Operation Vandelay Industries” in a reference to “Seinfield,” blending the phony import-export business George Costanza makes up with his self-proclaimed desire to have been an architect. The defendant’s surname won’t be lost on Seinfeld fans, either. Still, investigators said what Paul J. Newman […]

  • Boy, 7, allegedly kicked by principal: ‘He told me that he knocks kids out’

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The principal at a Brooklyn elementary school is accused of pulling a 7-year-old student into a stairwell then kicking and hitting him because the child allegedly hit a school aide trying to block the boy from running, authorities and sources said. Machael Spencer-Edwards, 42, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Far Rockaway, police said. He is the principal at P.S. 202 in East New York, and was not home Wednesday to answer PIX11 News’ questions about […]

  • Tennis great Serena Williams is pregnant

    NEW YORK — Tennis great Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she is pregnant. Williams, 35, dropped the news on her Snapchat channel with a side-profile bathing suit selfie captioned with the words, “20 weeks.” In December, Williams revealed that she was engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The pair had been dating since the fall of 2015 but kept their romance mostly out of the spotlight save the occaisional photo on Instagram. Williams has been playing professionally since 1995 and […]

  • McDonald’s workers spotted Steve Stephens, stalled him at drive-thru before chase

    ERIE, Penn. — A days-long, nationwide manhunt for the suspect in the random slaying of an Ohio grandfather that was posted to Facebook ended Tuesday, thanks to vigilant workers at a McDonald’s drive-thru. Pennsylvania State Police received a tip just after 11 a.m. Tuesday that Steve Stephens’ car was spotted in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Erie, Penn., about 100 miles away from Cleveland, Ohio, where Robert Godwin Sr. was killed on Easter Sunday. Shortly before a police […]