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  • 04/12/13--06:30: Late Night Pizzeria Brawl

  • This video, posted on YouTube March 24, shows a group fighting in the middle of Bacci Pizzeria in Wrigleyville in Chicago. Police said no arrests were made and the incident remains under investigation.

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    This is one of only two known habitats where beavers are calling home in the San Francisco Bay Area. There's a mother and two "yearlings" at the beaver lodge, which is very close to the city's downtown.

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    To any reasonable person, it took about 30 seconds of looking at Victor Cruz's options this offseason to know that there was never any fear that he would be doing anything but playing for the Giants in 2013. 

    As a restricted free agent tendered a contract at the highest level, a team trying to sign Cruz would have to surrender a first-round pick while also signing him to a long-term deal big enough that the Giants wouldn't match. Since that never ever happens in the NFL, most people would have just stopped there. 

    But they could have also continued on to realize that Cruz's desire to be more than just a football player -- see his fashion line and memoir written after one NFL season -- is best served by staying in the New York area. Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that Cruz told his agents (one of whom is now Jay-Z) as much. 

    This is not the behavior of a man trying to get out of town. This is the behavior of a man destroying his only leverage in a contract negotiation. 

    Cruz has been working out with Eli Manning and doing absolutely everything he can to get the message out that he wants to remain with the Giants. Which makes it pretty odd that the Giants are treating him like a greedy pariah. 

    Owner John Mara, who usually makes snide remarks about teams residing in New Jersey that do their business through the media, has made sure to let the media and fans know that Cruz has been offered a deal that Mara deems more than fair for Cruz's services. It's believed to be in the neighborhood of $7 million per year, which Mara has been careful to point out is a lot of money for a player who the Giants rescued from obscurity as an undrafted free agent. 

    It's also only slightly more over the next two years than Cruz can make by playing under this year's tender and then under the franchise tag in 2014, which explains why a player confident in his abilities would make a bet on himself rather than just sign whatever Mara deigns to slip under his nose. It isn't just the owner trying to make Cruz look bad, though. 

    His teammate Justin Tuck is doing the same thing, urging Cruz to "show good faith" and show up for the start of voluntary workouts next week even though he doesn't have a contract. That's pretty patronizing advice to give a guy who can still sign with another team through the end of next week and who would be tossed aside in a heartbeat by the Giants if he were to injure himself while showing good faith. 

    There has been nothing inappropriate about the way Cruz has handled himself this offseason. He's absolutely entitled to look for as much money as possible to do his job and has not missed one mandatory bit of work for a team that values him less than he values himself. 

    Such is life in the professional world and it's a bit sad to see the attempts to make it seem like anything else from Giants camp when their real concern has nothing to do with what Cruz does this offseason. It has to do with next offseason when they could possibly face losing both Cruz and Hakeem Nicks as unrestricted free agents. 

    You can only franchise one of them, which means it would be in the Giants' favor to sign Cruz to a below-market deal now so that they can either squeeze Nicks or use the tag on him. Hard to see the good faith and loyalty there, but, then, it has never been about those things. 

    It's just business and there's nothing remarkable about any of it. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Cruz is getting a lot of flak for wanting to stay a Giant.Cruz is getting a lot of flak for wanting to stay a Giant.

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    Tolland High School students were dismissed on Friday after a leak in cooking equipment in the cafeteria caused high levels of carbon monoxide.

    Ambulances rushed to the school around 10 a.m. and four cafeteria workers and one custodian were taken to the hospital as a precaution after suffering flu-like symptoms.

    “Three of the ladies in the kitchen were not feeling well. They had a few people coming in check if it was gas smell," said Gail Hannington, who works in the cafeteria. 

    Students walked to Tolland Middle School as firefighters investigated and were transported back to get their belongings and dismissed.

    The school has been vented and the levels have returned to normal.

    The fire chief said no carbon monoxide detector was installed the kitchen because it’s not required by building codes, but that will soon change.

    A carbon monoxide detector will be installed in the kitchen and more than likely in schools across the district after today’s incident. officials said.

    The school is closed for spring break next week and mechanics will be working on addressing the problem.
     

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticit.com

    Staff members at Tolland High School became sick from carbon monoxide this morning.Staff members at Tolland High School became sick from carbon monoxide this morning.

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  • 04/12/13--09:44: MLB Brawl Breaks Out
  • SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 11: Carlos Quentin #18 of the San Diego Padres slams into Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers as he charges the mound during the sixth inning at Petco Park on April 11, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

    SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 11: Carlos Quentin #18 of the San Diego Padres slams into Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers as he charges the mound during the sixth inning at Petco Park on April 11, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 11: Carlos Quentin #18 of the San Diego Padres slams into Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers as he charges the mound during the sixth inning at Petco Park on April 11, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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    The head of NYC Transit has been picked to be the chairman of the MTA, replacing Joe Lhota, who left last year to run for mayor.

    Tom Prendergast was named by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday to head the agency.

    He has served as the president of NYC Transit for more than three years.

    Previously, Prendergast has served as the president of the Long Island Rail Road and has held numerous positions in city transit.

    He has also worked in Vancouver, as the CEO of TransLink, its public transportation system, and in Chicago and Washington.

    In a statement, Prendergast promised to "improve the customer experience, operate more efficiently and build for the future." He also said transit damaged by Sandy would rebuild "smarter and better."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A “saggy pants” crackdown could begin any day now in a Louisiana city.

    The Terrebonne Parish Council passed an ordinance that prohibits people from wearing pants that hang below the waist in public, exposing underwear or skin, WGNO.com reported.

    Violators of the ordinance would face a $50 fine on the first offense, even community service for repeatedly letting their pants hang low.

    The council members voted Wednesday night 8-to-1, WWLTV.com reported. It now goes to Parish President Michel Claudet, who is expected to sign it into law.

    Terrebonne Parish Councilwoman Beryl Amedee was the only member who voted against the ordinance, claiming it violates Americans’ constitutional right to free expression.

    Similar "saggy pants" bans have been adopted in six Louisiana cities and parishes, as well as other cities, including Hawkinsville, Ga. and Cocoa, Fla.  



    Photo Credit: AP

    A “saggy pants” crackdown could begin any day now in a Louisiana city.A “saggy pants” crackdown could begin any day now in a Louisiana city.

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    The mother of a boy killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre will deliver the president's weekly address this week, the White House said.

    Francine Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son, Ben, was killed along with 19 other first-graders and six educators in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, will give the remarks, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday.

    Carney said it would be the first time anyone other than Obama or Biden has given the address during the administration.

    Carney said Obama has been in regular contact with many of the Newtown families this week and "believes their voices and resolve" have been critical to lobbying efforts for gun control in the Senate.

    The Senate rejected an effort by conservatives on Thursday to block debate on Democrats' gun control legislation, which is backed by Obama. Next week the Senate will consider a proposal to expand federal background checks to gun shows and online firearm sales.

    Wheeler said in a statement that she was "honored" for the opportunity.

    "We were grateful this week to be able to speak directly to senators about our children and our hopes that no other parent should have to experience our grief," she said. "I am equally grateful today to speak directly to the American people about the common sense solutions that are currently under debate."

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Benjamin WheelerBenjamin Wheeler

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    The mother of a Newtown shooting victim will deliver the weekly presidential radio and Internet address, according to the White House.

    President Barack Obama typically gives the talk and focuses on a topic that's in the news or a policy the White House is pushing and this is the first time in Obama’s administration that someone other than the president or vice president will give the address.

    This week, Obama has asked Francine Wheeler, mother of 6-year-old Ben, to deliver the address instead.

    Wheeler and her husband, David, lost their young son in the December schoolhouse shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

    A month after the shooting, the Wheelers spoke publicly with members of Sandy Hook Promise, asking for action to prevent more violence.

    “We are not done being the best possible parents we can be for Ben, not by a very long measure,” David Wheeler said at the time. “If there is something in our society that needs to be fixed, clearly healed or resolved, that resolution needs a point of origin. It needs parents.”

    Then, he posed the question to parents everywhere of what it is worth to them to keep their children safe.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama believes the voices of Newtown families have been critical to progress on gun control.

    When asked if this was the first time in history someone other than the President has delivered the weekly address, Carney said the only person other than President Obama to deliver the address in this administration was Vice President Joe Biden.

    The families who lost loved ones during the shooting have been in Washington lobbying members of Congress.

    The Senate cleared its first hurdle for gun control legislation on Thursday and will consider expanded background checks next week.

    The weekly address is posted on the White House Web site.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Francine Wheeler, right, will deliver President Barack Obama's weekly address.Francine Wheeler, right, will deliver President Barack Obama's weekly address.

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    Ten miles separate Quinnipiac University and Yale University and the pride is overwhelming as the men’s hockey teams prepare to compete in the finals of the NCAA tournament tomorrow night.

    Whether the Quinnipiac Bobcats or Yale Bulldogs win in the all-Connecticut national championship game, Connecticut comes out the winner and people across the state could not e prouder.

    Quinnipiac University’s Facebook page is peppered with photos of the men’s hockey team, as is Yale’s.

    “Both the Bobcats and the Bulldogs pulled off impressive wins on the ice last night, once again focusing the eyes of college sports on Connecticut.  There’s no doubt that these two teams have made Connecticut the center of the college hockey universe,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “Each team’s players and Coaches Pecknold and Allain must be commended for their impressive victories this season, and I wish them the best in Saturday night’s championship game.

     

     



    When the teams get on the ice on Saturday night, it will be the first time that two teams from the same state played each other in the NCAA hockey championship since 1978.

    New England had bragging rights to that game too. That was the year that Boston University beat Boston College in the championship was in Providence, Rhode Island.

    “The Bobcats and the Bulldogs hockey teams have created what is becoming a New Haven-area backyard rivalry the likes of which is becoming on par with the great battle of Sally’s versus Pepe’s. And seeing as it’s become tradition over the years for the governors of the two opposing states who make it to national championship games to make friendly wagers with each other, I’m going to have to make a unique arrangement in this circumstance. If Quinnipiac wins, I think I will treat myself to some pizza at Pepe’s, and if Yale wins, I’ll head on over to Sally’s – and if after regulation it’s tied, perhaps I’ll take myself to Modern.

    “Either way, it’s a win for Connecticut.  Congratulations to both teams!”

    A student from Quinnipiac said the school will not be running shuttle buses into New Haven and school officials have confirmed that this is the case and that there will be no Quinnipiac shuttle service into New Haven.  

     

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Jeremy Langlois #17 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats celebrates his first period goal against Ryan Faragher #29 of the St. Cloud State Huskies during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Jeremy Langlois #17 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats celebrates his first period goal against Ryan Faragher #29 of the St. Cloud State Huskies during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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    A Virginia man has been arrested and charged for allegedly groping a sleeping woman on a flight from Miami to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

    According to an affidavit by an investigating FBI agent, Saurabh Agarwal, of Sterling, Va., told the woman she seemed tired and asked if she had a long day as she took a seat next to him on American Airlines Flight 1142 to Ronald Reagan National Airport. She said she would probably fall asleep right after takeoff, which she did.

    When she woke, Agarwal was hugging her body with his hand inside her bra fondling her breast, according to the affidavit. In fear, she pretended she was still asleep, and Agarwal squeezed her body tighter. He took the victim’s hand and would squeeze it as he squeezed her nipple, the affidavit said.

    Agarwal stopped when the refreshment cart approached. He ordered two scotches and asked the victim if she’d like one, but she continued to pretend to sleep, according to the affidavit.

    When the flight attendant moved away, Agarwal allegedly began groping the woman again.

    At one point, the victim pretended to wake up and said nothing to Agarwal. She put on her headphones, and Agarwal talked to her as if nothing had happened, according to the affidavit.

    Agarwal leaned into the victim and pressed his legs against her, the affidavit said, and the woman left her seat saying she needed to use the bathroom, which is when she reported the incident to the flight crew.

    The woman sitting in the seat on the defendant’s other side witnessed the incident but said she thought the two were together. After the victim left her seat, Agarwal touched the other woman’s leg, saying he had dropped his drink, and she quickly left her seat and went to the back of the plane where she saw the victim crying and realized she wasn’t with the defendant, the affidavit said.

     

    A federal marshal took the defendant into custody. He is charged with abusive sexual contact.

    A judge released Agarwal Friday, but the judge ordered a psychatric evaluation before his next court date, saying the details of the case scared him, NBC News4 Washington's Mark Segraves reported. Agarwal has a high-paying job, a wife and two children, the judge said, and this incident is completely out of character for him.

    Agarwal did not have to enter a plea at Friday’s hearing, but as a condition of his release, Agarwal’s wife turned over his passport to the court.

    The judge also said Agarwal makes too much money to continue using a court-appointed attorney, Segraves reported.


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    Police have issued an alert for Jennifer Gonzalez, a 14-year-old Hartford girl who has been missing since Sunday.

    She has black hair and brown eyes. She is 5-feet-1 and weighs 115 pounds, according to the Silver Alert.

    When Gonzalez was last seen, she was wearing blue pants, a black sweater and a gray shirt. She was carrying a pink and black Hello Kitty backpack. 

    Hartford police are investigating.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Silver Alert

    Jennifer Gonzalez, 14, of Hartford, has been missing since last weekend,Jennifer Gonzalez, 14, of Hartford, has been missing since last weekend,

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    Americans have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to file their taxes with the Internal Revenue Service or request an extension. While procastinators may be busy with last-minute scrambling, the vast majority of taxpayers have already filed their returns and have come to terms with their financial fate.

    Whatever that fate may be—a refund or bill—retailers and marketers are prepared to seize on the range of emotions Tax Day might evoke. Here's a roundup of where the recently (or soon-to-be) reimbursed can spend a chunk of their refund, or where those who owe can find solace in freebies.

    OFFICE DEPOT: The office supply store is offering five pounds of free document shredding as well as a free black and white copy of your tax return, good through May 1.

    HYDROMASSAGE:  Participating locations are offering free massages for the whole week.

    AMC THEATRES: Moviegoers can get a free popcorn with this coupon anytime between April 12 and April 15 at participating locations.

    GOOGLE PLAY: The music shop has a flash sale on dozens of albums. (Justin Timberlanke's "Justified" is going for $6,99; Drake's "Thank me Later" for $2.99.)

    GREAT AMERICAN COOKIES: The cookie chain is offering free Birthday Cake Cookies on Tax Day at participating locations.

    PANDA EXPRESS: On April 17, the Asian food chain is offering a free serving of Samurai Surf and Turf with this coupon.

    THE MELTING POT: Most locations have deals on fondue, salads and certain entrees. Check the site for details.

    SUBWAY: The sandwich chain is offering customers a buy-one-get-one deal on breakfast subs purchased before 9 a.m. through April 30.

    CINNABON: Participating locations are giving away free Cinnabon Bites on Tax Day only.

    ARBY'S: All day Monday, Arby's is giving away free curly fries or potato cakes.

    PINKBERRY: Though this one's not billed as a tax-related discount, it's happening tax week, and therefore relvant. The frozen yogurt chain is offering free full-size servings of Pinkberrygreek, a new Greek yogurt on the menu, every Wednesday in April from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    SONIC: These fast-food joints are offering half price drinks all day long Monday.

    SCHOLTZKY'S DELI:The deli chain is giving away free sandwiches with a 32 ounce drink and chips purchased Monday

    BOSTON MARKET: This chain's Tax Day "Rib-bate" is two rib meals for $10.40.



    Photo Credit: FILE Getty Images

    A number of fast-food chains, including Arby's, are offering freebies and discounts in honor of Tax Day.A number of fast-food chains, including Arby's, are offering freebies and discounts in honor of Tax Day.

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    Nine people are recovering after an SUV crashed right through the front of a Stratford nail salon.

    The incident happened just after 4:00 p.m.

    Emergency responders rushed nine people to the hospital including the driver and a child in the passenger seat.

    The salon is located at 411 Barnum Avenue Cutoff and police have charged the driver with operating under the influence. 

    Police said the injuries the victims suffered are not life-threatening.

    The driver of the vehicle, Dennis Leach, 46,  was taken into custody.

    "When the car came in I was just doing my job and I just heard pong," said Kai Tan, who was working at Pretty Nails this afternoon and in the middle of a manicure. "I turned around and saw a car over there and I just ran out."

    Stratford police tell us one of the 9 had a serious injury.

    A woman at the hair salon next door described the noise as like glass dominoes falling down. The crash knocked some of their products off the shelf but structurally their place is fine.

    Some of the victims shoes were all that remained as some Stratford residents stopped by the scene to watch the cleanup.

    "This is horrific. This is terrible," said Sonja Smallwood, who was running late to her appointment. "Yes thank god. Usually I like to come a few minutes early."

    The Stratford Police Department is investigating. The victims were taken to St. Vincent's and Bridgeport Hospitals.

    Inspectors said the nail salon is structurally sound, but there is no word and when it could reopen.

    If anyone has information concerning the crash, call the Stratford Police Department at 203-385-4158/4159.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    One person is in critical condition and seven others were hurt when a van crashed into a Stratford nail salon.One person is in critical condition and seven others were hurt when a van crashed into a Stratford nail salon.

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    When NCAA college championships come around, governors tend to place friendly wagers, betting local fare that the home team will win.

    That's tough this time around because the victors in the Frozen Four are both from Connecticut, so two local teams -- the Quinnipiac Bobcats and the Yale Bulldogs -- will battle it out in the men's college hockey championship game on Saturday night.

    “Both the Bobcats and the Bulldogs pulled off impressive wins on the ice last night, once again focusing the eyes of college sports on Connecticut. There’s no doubt that these two teams have made Connecticut the center of the college hockey universe,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “Each team’s players and Coaches Pecknold and Allain must be commended for their impressive victories this season, and I wish them the best in Saturday night’s championship game."

    So, Malloy is betting against himself, and he cannot lose either way.

    “The Bobcats and the Bulldogs hockey teams have created what is becoming a New Haven-area backyard rivalry the likes of which is becoming on par with the great battle of Sally’s versus Pepe’s. And seeing as it’s become tradition over the years for the governors of the two opposing states who make it to national championship games to make friendly wagers with each other, I’m going to have to make a unique arrangement in this circumstance. If Quinnipiac wins, I think I will treat myself to some pizza at Pepe’s, and if Yale wins, I’ll head on over to Sally’s – and if after regulation it’s tied, perhaps I’ll take myself to Modern."

    For anyone unitiated, the governor is referring to the great New Haven pizza debate, and everyone has a favorite.

    For now, the focus is on hockey, not pizza.

    “Either way, it’s a win for Connecticut. Congratulations to both teams!” Malloy's statement says.



     

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Jeremy Langlois #17 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats celebrates his first period goal against Ryan Faragher #29 of the St. Cloud State Huskies during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 11: Jeremy Langlois #17 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats celebrates his first period goal against Ryan Faragher #29 of the St. Cloud State Huskies during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 11, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released their federal income tax returns for 2012 (.pdf) on Friday, and the First Wallet took a bit of a hit: the Obama's adjusted gross income was about 23 percent less than what it was in 2011. Their federal income tax rate was 18.4 percent, down from 20.5 percent the prior year.

    The Obamas donated about a quarter of their income to 33 different charities, with the Fisher House Foundation — which provides housing to veterans being treated at military hospitals — receiving the bulk of that money. They received $103,871 in donations from the Obamas.

    Vice President Joe Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden also released their federal income tax returns (.pdf), as well as their income tax returns for Delaware and Virginia.

    Here is how they stacked up:

    The Obamas 2012 2011
    Adjusted Gross Income $608,611 $789,674
    Total Federal Tax Paid $112,214 $162,074
    Donations $150,034 $172,130
    Donations as a Percentage of AGI 24.6% 22%
    Federal Income Tax Rate  18.4% 20.5%

     

    The Bidens 2012 2011
    Adjusted Gross Income $385,072 $379,035
    Total Federal Tax Paid $87,851 $87,900
    Delaware $13,531 $13,843
    Virginia $3,593 $3,614
    Donations $7,190 $5,540
    Federal Income Tax Rate 22.8% 23.2%

    Source: U.S. Gov.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The Obamas and the Bidens released their 2012 tax returns.The Obamas and the Bidens released their 2012 tax returns.

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    A Chicago teen pleaded guilty Friday to the 2011 shoving death of a 68-year-old church deacon at a "L" train stop and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

    Prince Watson, 17, was charged with murder and robbery for pushing Sally Katona-King down a flight of stairs at the Chicago Transit Authority's Fullerton station on the city's North Side. He later was denied bail by a judge who called the teen "a dangerous individual."

    The teen pleaded guilty to stealing an iPhone from Katona-King and pushing her as he ran away. King, a Lutheran deacon known for her work with the homeless, died from the fall.

    Prosecutors said King suffered a fractured collar bone, skull, nose and ribs, as well as bleeding in her brain. They initially said Watson gave a videotaped confession and told police he heard screams but never turned around because he didn't want anyone to see his face.

    Investigators said Watson committed two virtually identical crimes after the woman's death, stealing iPhones from commuters at the Sedgwick station on the CTA's Brown Line on April 17, 2011, and again at the Red Line's Clark and Division stop on May 15, 2011.

    "That's how we became aware of him," said Area 3 detective Michele Wood. "We also became aware of him because an officer who saw one of the videos we had of the offender, thought it might be Prince Watson."

    About 200 mourners gathered to remember Katona-King. Her daughter, Eileen Katona, said her mother was devoted to her community. She praised her art of baking and lamented that so many of the plans her mother had made for the year would not happen.


    Prince Watson pleaded guilty Friday to pushing Sally Katona-King down a flight of CTA stairs after stealing her iPhone. Katona-King died in the fall.Prince Watson pleaded guilty Friday to pushing Sally Katona-King down a flight of CTA stairs after stealing her iPhone. Katona-King died in the fall.

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    The home of a former Kaufman County, Texas, judge who says he was questioned by agents just hours after the district attorney and his wife were shot to death last month was searched Friday afternoon.

    Local, state and federal agents are at Eric Williams' home in Kaufman executing a search warrant.

    The FBI, Texas Rangers and Kaufman County investigators are gathering evidence related to the murders of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife and the murder of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse back in January, according to Kaufman County public information officer Lt. Justin Lewis.

    Williams has never been named as a suspect, and no arrest warrant has been issued for him.

    In an interview April 3, Williams told NBC 5 DFW he had nothing to do with the McLellands' murders and doesn't even own a gun.

    "If I was in their shoes, I would want to talk to me," Eric Williams had said in an interview at his house. "In the investigators' minds, they want to check with me to do their process of elimination."

    Williams, a former Kaufman County justice of the peace, was charged with theft and later convicted in a high-profile trial. He was kicked out of office, and his law license was suspended. He was sentenced to two years' probation and is appealing his conviction.

    But he said he is not bitter and wouldn't want to harm anyone.

    "I've cooperated with law enforcement," Williams told NBC 5 DFW on April 3. "I certainly wish them the best in bringing justice to this incredibly egregious act."

    Williams' name has swirled around the courthouse because his trial was sensational news in this small community, and it included testimony of death threats.

    William said he was contacted by investigators on March 30 — only about three hours after McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found dead inside their Forney home.

    He said he met the agents at a nearby restaurant, where he allowed them to swab his hands for gunpowder residue. He also gave them his and his wife's cellphones, which they returned the next day.

    "I know I didn't do anything," he said. "I know where I was."

    Williams said he was at home with his wife or up the street at his in-laws late Friday and Saturday.

    He expressed shock at the crime and sympathy for the victims' families.

    "I want to say my deepest condolences go out to the McLelland family and all the people at the courthouse," he said.

    Asked if he is angry at prosecutors, he said, "No, I'm not. Obviously that was also a part of them doing their jobs."



    Photo Credit: Chopper 5

    Local, state and federal agents search home of Eric Williams in Kaufman Friday afternoon.Local, state and federal agents search home of Eric Williams in Kaufman Friday afternoon.

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    Mourners held a wake Friday for a 6-year-old New Jersey boy who was shot in the head by his 4-year-old neighbor.

    Family and friends also held a candlelight vigil Friday night for Brandon Holt and will hold another vigil Saturday after his funeral.

    They recalled the energetic boy who loved the Jersey Shore boardwalk, and wore buttons that featured his picture with ribbons in green — his favorite color.

    "He was just so strong of a person, and to not have him and to not have him here is like losing everything," said Laura Decker, an aunt of the boy.

    "Brandon loved to swim," she added later. "He loved his family, he loved his cousins, he idolized his older brother. He was a wonderful, wonderful child."

    "The kid was -- he was life," said Randel Holt, an uncle of Holt. "I have never seen him not smile, even when he got punished."

    Neighbors have also placed purple ribbons on trees and mailboxes along his street, in his honor.

    Family friend Bernadette Harney said she was devastated for the boy's mother.

    "Everything she talked about was Brandon, all the time," she said. "This has got to be crushing her." 

    Holt died at a hospital Tuesday night, about 24 hours after he was shot with a rifle outside the 4-year-old's home in Toms River.

    The two boys had been playing outside when Holt was shot from about 15 yards away. It's not clear if the 4-year-old pulled the trigger or if the rifle accidentally discharged. 

    Holt's grandmother, Donna Elefante, told NBC 4 New York that the parents of the younger boy initially told Holt's family that the gun used in the shooting was a pellet gun and that their son had gotten the gun from under the bed in the master bedroom. 

    The tragedy is raising more questions about gun control, but mourners were trying to stayed focused on comforting the family.

    "We've got to do something to keep our children safe, because this is ridiculous," said family friend Fred Maicas. 

    Meanwhile, Holt's parents have donated his organs and are proud to know he will be saving another life.

    "Knowing that a couple kids survived because of Ron and Christine's generosity, they prevented what we are going through right now," said Randel Holt. 

    Police are continuing to investigate how the younger child obtained the rifle from his family's home on McCormick Drive. The boy's father was known to be an avid hunter, and his three children have names associated with hunting terms, according to neighbors and law enforcement sources. 


    Mourners remember Brandon Holt, 6.Mourners remember Brandon Holt, 6.

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    The 14-year-old from China isn't going anywhere in a hurry. And this Masters is still a long way from taking shape.

    Despite being the first player at Augusta National to get hit with a one-shot penalty for slow play, teen sensation Guan Tianlang still made history Friday as the youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

    And it came down to the last shot of a wild and windy day.

    Jason Day could have sent the kid home early with a birdie from just off the front of the green on the 18th hole. But the Australian was wide left and tapped in for par, giving him a 4-under 68 and a one-shot lead over fellow Aussie Marc Leishman and the ageless Fred Couples.

    The par meant that Guan, who had one shot added to his score on the 17th hole for his second bad time of the round — made the cut under the 10-shot rule.

    "If I can make it, I would be really happy for it," Guan said some five hours earlier. "But if I didn't make it, it's still a great week."

    He's now part of a weekend at Augusta that should be as dynamic as ever.

    Day was at 6-under 138, and 18 players were within four shots of the lead, including Tiger Woods.

    Woods moved into a share of the lead with a two-putt birdie on the eighth hole, and his game looked to be as sharp as ever — perhaps too sharp. Right when it looked like he might take the outright lead, Woods hit a lob wedge that was so perfect it hit the flag on the par-5 15th and caromed backward off the green and into the water. Instead of having a short birdie putt, he had to scramble to save bogey.

    Woods posed over another shot on the 18th and was stunned to see it hop onto the upper shelf, leading to his second three-putt bogey of the week. He had to settle for a 71, though he was still only three shots out of the lead.

    "My score doesn't quite indicate how well I played today," Woods said.

    Day, a runner-up at the Masters two years ago, can be one of the most exciting players in golf when his game is on, and he was firing at flags from everywhere Friday. Even from the pine straw under the trees on the dangerous 11th, the Aussie took dead aim at the pin and set up a rare birdie to join the leaders.

    His only blunder was hitting into the water short of the 12th, though he still managed to escape with bogey, and then he fired a 4-wood low enough to stay below the trees and avoid the wind on the 13th, setting up a two-putt birdie.

    He was cognizant of the guys behind him — Woods included — though just as much pressure comes from trying to be the first Australian in a green jacket.

    "The moment I start worrying about other players is the moment I start losing focus on what I need to do, and when I do that, I'll start making bogeys," Day said. "It's obviously great to have the lead. I'm very exciting for the challenge over the next two days. It really is exciting to have the opportunity to win the Masters. I'm very, very happy where I am right now."

    The 53-year-old Couples, who shared the 36-hole lead last year at the Masters, birdied the 18th hole for a 71 and will play in the final group.

    "I did tee off Thursday with the idea of playing well, and now it's Friday afternoon late. I'm surprised, but I'm not going to freak out over it," Couples said.

    Former Masters champion Angel Cabrera birdied five of his last six holes for a 69 and was in the group two shots behind, along with former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk (71) and Brandt Snedeker (70). Woods was at 3-under 141 with six others, including Adam Scott (72), Lee Westwood (71) and Justin Rose (71).

    And still in the mix was Rory McIlroy, who turned his fortunes around with a 5-wood from about 275 yards that set up a short eagle putt. He added three more birdies on the back nine and had a 70, leaving him only four shots out of the lead going into the weekend.

    "Anything under par today was going to be a good score," McIlroy said.

    The hole locations were severe in spots, with one pin tucked on top of a mound toward the front of the fifth green. The par 5s played into an opposite wind on the back nine, and they were not easy to reach. Furyk got home in two on the 15th hole Thursday with a hybrid. He used that same club to lay up on Friday.

    Such tough conditions made the performance of Guan that much more impressive. He had a respectable 75, which included the one-shot penalty.

    And for the longest time, it looked as though it might be costly.

    Guan, playing with Matteo Manassero and Ben Crenshaw, was informed his group was out of position as it left the 10th green. They were on the clock on the 12th hole, meaning players would be timed to make sure they hit their shots within the 40-second limit. The teen got his first bad time with his second shot on the 13th hole, and it was clear he was in trouble after his shot into the 17th when John Paramor, chief referee in Europe, walked out to speak to him.

    "You give him the news, the best you can," Paramor said.

    Fred Ridley, the head of competition at the Masters, did not say how long Guan took to hit his second shot on the 17th, only that it was a "considerable margin" over his time. Guan still managed to make par on the 17th, and if he was shaken by the news so late in the round, it didn't show. He made one last par and was at 4-over 148.

    His game is well beyond his years, and so was his attitude over the first slow-play penalty in a major since Gregory Bourdy in the 2010 PGA Championship.

    "I respect the decision they make," said Guan, who spent nearly 90 minutes talking with officials after the round. "They should do it because it's fair to everybody."

    The penalty looked ominous because Dustin Johnson was running off birdies every way imaginable, the only player to reach 7-under par in nasty conditions. His round imploded, however, when he played the final five holes in 6-over par. That included a double bogey on the 15th when he hit his third shot into the water. He had a 76 and plunged down the leaderboard, though he was still only five shots behind.

    Furyk also hit into the water on the 15th with a wedge he chunked so badly that it didn't make it halfway across the pond. Scott made his third straight bogey at No. 5, but that was the last mistake he made. He answered with three birdies the rest of the way.

    Day's 68 was the lowest score of the round, with conditions so tricky that only five players broke 70.

    "It just feels like every shot is the biggest shot you've ever hit in your life out there," Day said. "It's really, really difficult. I'm just glad to be in the clubhouse right now."

    One player who didn't recover was Sergio Garcia, who opened with a 66. One day after six birdies and no bogeys, he had four bogeys and no birdies. One day after he saw so many shots go where he was aiming, he couldn't cope with the wind.

    "I hit the ball better today and was I was 10 shots worse," Garcia said after a 76 that put him in the group at 2-under with McIlroy, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and 55-year-old Bernhard Langer. "But even with everything that happened today, we still are in a decent position to hopefully do something on the weekend."

    That weekend will include defending champion Bubba Watson, who will play with a marker in the first group Saturday morning, and Phil Mickelson, who shot 40 on the back nine and had a 76 that left him nine shots out of the lead.

    And it will include an eighth-grader who is assured of winning the sterling silver cup as the low amateur. He was the only amateur to make the cut, penalty shot and all.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Sergio Garcia, of Spain, hits off the first fairway during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 12, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Sergio Garcia, of Spain, hits off the first fairway during the second round of the Masters golf tournament Friday, April 12, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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