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    A historic building in New Haven was demolished after chunks of brick fell to the street below, and a local historian says the city and developer failed to maintain the structure.

    NBC Connecticut has learned that the vacant building at the corner of Orange and Chapel streets went uninspected for years.

    City officials say it was essentially impossible to check them all. Inspectors learned the building's condition was much worse than they originally believed when bricks began crumbling Sunday afternoon.

    "The front cornice collapsed onto the sidewalk below and from there the remainder of the floors began to pancake onto the second and first floors," explained New Haven Fire Department Operations Chief Matthew Marcarelli.

    Throughout Sunday night and into Monday morning, construction crews razed the building, which was deemed unsafe.

    Vacant buildings must be inspected once per year, according to state law. New Haven’s fire chief told NBC Connecticut the last inspection of this building was in 2011 and that limited resources make it virtually impossible to inspect all vacant buildings every year.

    Demolitions were ordered in 2007, as well. The owner of the building restored only the floor, according to Marcarelli, and historian Robert Greenberg says its condition was unacceptable.

    "Just the mere fact that those bricks were allowed to let loose next to a bus stop is completely wrong," said Greenberg.

    Paul Denz, who bought the building in 2012, says the previous owner could not afford the city-ordered demolition. According to Denz, the city lifted the demolition order when he boarded up the windows and rooftop. He says he was in the process of getting approval for a new apartment building that would have replaced the existing structure.

    The city's building inspector and fire marshals plan to look at every vacant building immediately to ensure safety.

    The bus stop will be closed until Friday as the city cleans up.


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    Authorities are investigating after a man posed as an off-duty police officer in Old Lyme earlier this month, stopping a car and yelling at the woman behind the wheel about her driving, according to state police.

    State police spokesperson Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said the incident happened Aug. 2 on Hawks Nest Road and was reported to police the following day.

    Sade Vargas, 25, of Waterbury, told NBC Connecticut she was visiting the beach with a group of friends Aug. 2 and parked on a side street because all public lots were full. Other cars had parked along the road and no signs were posted indicating it was not allowed.

    As she was leaving the beach, Vargas, who was driving, noticed a man in a red pickup truck driving behind her and flagging her down.

    "I noticed the guy waving me down, like out his window, waving me down to pull over," she explained.

    She thought something was wrong with her car, so she pulled over and he approached. Vargas said the man accused her of rolling through stop signs, an allegation she denies.

    The man, clad in a gray T-shirt, identified himself as an off-duty Old Lyme officer and flashed what appeared to be a badge so quickly, Vargas could not make out what it said.

    She told the man she felt uncomfortable about their interaction and was going to record video for her own protection.

    "Everything that’s going on in the news right now with police officers and stuff like that, that’s what made me really nervous and that’s what made me pull out my camera," Vargas explained.

    The man balked when Vargas began recording and said, "There's nothing to video for" and "There's nothing to record for," according to the video. He walked back to his truck, the camera still rolling, but he didn't leave.

    "He followed my car from that street to the highway entrance, which was at least two miles," Vargas said.

    She caught his license plate on camera and brought the footage to the police department the next day. Vargas said police ran the plate and told her the man is not an officer.

    "We didn’t think he was going to say he was a cop pulling us over," Vargas said. "We thought he was going to say he was a resident concerned for our safety. But it turned out completely different."

    Police told Vargas she did the right thing by reporting the encounter and said she has the right to record video of both herself and police.

    State police are encouraging drivers to take the following actions if they feel uncomfortable during a traffic stop:

    • Put your hazard lights on and slow down but do not stop if you suspect you're being pulled over by someone who isn't an actual police officer.
    • Drive to a well-lit, populated area before pulling over.
    • Call 911 and give the dispatcher your location and a license plate number, if possible, of the person pulling you over.
    • If the person pulling you over is in plain clothes, you can ask for identification to verify he or she is a law enforcement officer.
    • You can also request that a second, uniformed officer be dispatched to the scene.

    Authorities continue to investigate. No charges have been filed.

    It's not the first time someone has posed as Old Lyme officer. The brother of a former Massachusetts senator pleaded guilty to impersonating an officer in Old Lyme last year.



    Photo Credit: See It Share It

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    Community members are mourning the sudden death of an incoming senior at Cheshire High School.

    Skylar Ardito died Aug. 12, according to a message posted on the Cheshire Public Schools website.

    Ardito's obituary says she was 17 years old and would have been a senior at Cheshire High School who aspired to study psychology in college. She leaves behind two younger siblings, MacKenzie and Beau.

    "Skylar was a friendly, kind, and caring girl with many close friends and a loving family. She had played softball on several community teams including a Wallingford team this summer and she was a part-time employee at Rite-Aid in Cheshire," a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her family says. "Skylar was a talented and bright student whose loss will be deeply felt and she will be missed by the staff and students at Humiston School and Cheshire High School."

    Counseling is available to members of the school community. Students are encouraged to call the Cheshire High School Guidance Office at 203-250-2556 or Cheshire Social Services at 203-271-6690 to schedule an appointment.

    The GoFundMe page for Ardito's family has collected nearly $6,000.

    Donations can also be made out to:

    The MacKenzie Ardito and Beau Ford Education Fund
    c/o Webster Bank
    Maplecroft Plaza
    145 Highland Avenue
    Cheshire, CT 06410
     



    Photo Credit: GoFundMe

    Skylar Ardito, 17, of Cheshire, died suddenly last week.Skylar Ardito, 17, of Cheshire, died suddenly last week.

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    Community members came together Monday to pray for the safe return of a 23-year-old who disappeared from Hartford last week and vowed to search the capital city for the young mother who vanished.

    Tashauna Jackson, of Hartford, was last seen getting into a car the night of Tuesday, Aug. 11. Police said a man was behind the wheel and Jackson seemed to go willingly. She was reported missing the next day.

    "There are some very unusual circumstances here," said Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. "The mother of a 5-year-old that has no history of disappearance or gone missing, or who always comes home. It's very suspicious to us."

    Investigators have questioned the man Jackson was with but have not elaborated on their relationship. The man's car was seized as evidence.

    Police said they are "extremely concerned" for Jackson's safety, although her case does not meet the criteria for a Silver or Amber Alert. No charges have been filed.

    Those who know Jackson are holding out hope. Friends and family gathered at the intersection of Barbour Street and Cleveland Avenue on Monday evening to pray for her safe return.

    Community members are launching a search of their own, set begin Tuesday morning at Hartford's Keney Park, which police have also scoured.

    "We've searched different parts of the park just on hunches, or areas that are easily accessible," Rovella said.

    Jackson has black hair and brown eyes, stands 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. Police said Jackson has a tattoo on her right wrist that says "Tasha," and rose tattoos on her right breast and right leg.

    "We hope and pray for the best," Rovella said, "but we prepare for the worst."

    Hartford police ask anyone with information on Jackson's whereabouts to call the department as soon as possible at 860-757-4214 and ask for Sgt. Andrew Weaver. You can also leave anonymous tips online on the Hartford Police Department's website.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Hartford Police Department

    Community members came together Monday night to hold a prayer vigil for Tashauna Jackson, 23, who disappeared from Hartford last week.Community members came together Monday night to hold a prayer vigil for Tashauna Jackson, 23, who disappeared from Hartford last week.

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    A car crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 south in Stratford Tuesday morning.

    The crash happened near exit 29.

    The left lane is open.

    Tow trucks were called to tow the tractor-trailer and car.

    There is no word on injuries.



    Photo Credit: DOT

    A car crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 south in Stratford Tuesday morning.A car crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 south in Stratford Tuesday morning.

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    The mystery behind a tombstone that was found earlier this month at an NJ Transit bus terminal has been solved.

    The headstone, which appeared to belong to an 8-year-old child, actually belonged to a Newark Rottweiler named Max Ferreira, according to the Nutley police department.

    Detectives were able to track down animal hospital records that show an animal matching the name and dates inscribed on the headstone.

    The tombstone was found by a maintenance worker in the NJ Transit bus depot in Nutley on Aug. 4. Authorities were looking into which cemetery may have been missing a headstone, which read “Max Ferreira, born June 16, 1990, died Sept. 29, 1998.”

    Nutley detectives called local cemeteries to ask them about the tombstone and a police alert was sent to surrounding agencies before they found the animal records.

    It still wasn’t clear how the tombstone ended up at the bus terminal.



    Photo Credit: Handout

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    A car crashed into a bus in Ansonia early Tuesday morning.

    There were no injuries.

    The scene has been cleared.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Baker Road has reopened after a car fire in Vernon Tuesday morning.

    Officials said a car veered off Baker Road near Reservoir Road and stopped around 20 feet off the roadway.

    When firefighters arrived, an occupant was already out of the car and walking. The car then caught fire, but it is out now.

    LifeStar was called, but then canceled and put on standby, according to protocol.

    The road was closed earlier in the morning, but has since reopened.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Baker Road has reopened after a car fire in Vernon Tuesday morning.Baker Road has reopened after a car fire in Vernon Tuesday morning.

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    Someone shot a cab driver with a BB gun outside Union Station in New Haven Tuesday morning.

    The cabbie told NBC Connecticut that he and other taxi drivers were outside Union Station when they heard what sounded like glass breaking. That was when he realized he had been shot. It turned out to be from a BB gun.

    He sustained a minor injury.

    It's unknown who shot him. The cab driver said there were people walking across the street from the station at the time but that the shots also could have come from the windows of the apartment across the street.

    No arrests have been made at this time.


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    A 48-year-old Manchester man is in critical condition after a car hit him in Manchester on Monday night and the woman who was behind the wheel has been arrested on drunken driving charges.

    Police said Tashima Carr, 35, of Manchester, was driving a black 2007 Toyota Camry southbound on Main Street, near Oak Street around 10:57 p.m. when she hit Francis Yesonis, 48, of Manchester, who was on foot.

    Yesonis was seriously injured.

    Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was initially transported to Manchester Memorial Hospital, but LifeStar then flew him to Hartford Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.

    Police charged Carr with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and released her on a $250 bond.

    A passenger was in the car with her and police said neither she nor the other occupant were injured in the collision.

    The Metro Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team also responded and is helping the Manchester Police Department Traffic Unit investigate.

    Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash or who has information to call Officer Augusto of the traffic unit at 860-645-5560.


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    Pope Francis’s trip to the United States in September will include a visit to a New York City school whose leaders are among those trying to save Catholic education with charter school innovations and other education reforms.

    Our Lady Queen of Angels School is one of six run by the Partnership for Inner-City Education, which launched two years ago and pledged then to invest $9 million in scholarships, academic programs and capital repairs over three to five years.

    With Catholic schools struggling to halt falling enrollments, Our Lady Queen of Angels and others are being released from the oversight of dioceses to try new ways to compete. They are tapping into the reforms created to turn around failing public schools. Among them: organizing into networks to raise money and manage finances, offering new professional development opportunities for staff, and raising academic standards for students.

    One goal of the Partnership for Inner-City Education? "Putting Catholic schools back on the map and thinking of a way to create a next generation of Catholic schools," said the group's executive director, Jill Kafka.

    'Coming Full Circle'

    Charter schools have made steady gains in popularity since the first one opened 23 years ago in Minneapolis. Catholic education meanwhile has languished, as enrollments plunged and schools were closed.

    The first charter schools reproduced Catholic school traditions to provide an alternative to ordinary public schools, Catholic educators say. The attention to character building, family participation, high expectations, a no-excuse culture and discipline, down to uniforms and lines of students in the hallways, was typical of Catholic schools.

    “And now it’s coming full circle and Catholic schools are learning a lot from charter schools about how to operate and how to better serve low-income students,” said Michael Q. McShane, a research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

    Charter schools, privately run but publicly funded, appealed to some of those students by offering much of the same school culture without the tuition.

    A 2012 study published by the Albany Law School in New York found that for every charter school that opened in New York state over the previous decade a parochial school closed. The study's author, Abe Lackman, argued that charter schools were a fundamental threat to parochial schools.

    Changing Neighborhoods

    The parochial schools faced other problems, as evidenced by their decades-long slide. Their labor force became more expensive as the number of nuns and brothers shrunk and they had to turn to secular teachers and administrators, McShane said. The neighborhoods around them changed from the older Irish and Italian immigrants to African-American families, many of them not Catholic, and new immigrants from Latin America where Catholic schools were attended by the affluent.

    Our Lady Queen of Angels opened in 1892 in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood. Today about two-thirds of its students are Hispanic, a quarter African-American and 71 percent are Catholic. A little more than two-thirds receive scholarships.

    Before the Partnership for Inner-City Education took over its operation from the Archdiocese of New York, everything necessary to keep the school going landed on the desk of the principal, Joanne Walsh. She jokes that she became a master plumber maintaining the boiler. Educating students was just one of her jobs. By contrast, charter schools do a good job at separating academics and operations, Kafka said.

    The partnership drew directly from charter networks. It visited some of the best-known, among them Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, Success Academies and KIPP public charter schools. It hired staff with backgrounds at charter schools, including the superintendent and chief academic officer, who had been at Achievement First, and the chief operations officer, who came from Victory Education Partners, a charter-school management company.

    “We’re borrowing from a lot of folks out there,” Kafka said. “It’s a great environment for doing that right now.”

    Over the summer the partnership has been spending $1 million renovating classrooms — and adding modern teaching tools such as white boards. From a low of 226 students, Our Lady Queen of Angels, is close to its capacity of 300. With the introduction of a new reading program, Core Knowledge Language Arts, all but three of its kindergartners are reading at a first-grade level.

    Raesha Cartagena is a single mother whose daughter is entering the sixth grade at another of the partnership’s schools, St. Athanasius School in the Bronx. At one time, she held two jobs to be able to afford to keep her daughter in the school.

    “I feel like it’s a place where I belong,” said Cartagena, 45, a development manager at the Hispanic Federation. “I feel they give me the support that I need. My daughter is still being taught good values that she is learning at home.”

    Catholic schools like St. Athanasius can provide a sense of community, instill moral values and encourage children, she said.

    Since the partnership took over the management of the schools, more money has been available for new books, tutoring and scholarships, she said. She applied for aid herself after she lost a job.

    “Scholarships make such a tremendous difference,” she said. "It made a difference in my life last year in the middle of the school year and now that things are better I really am grateful."

    Catholic schools across the United States are experimenting with changes, not all from the education reform movement, said Brother Robert Bimonte, the president of the National Catholic Educational Association. Often they involve the way the schools are organized.

    “I wouldn’t say that they were taken from charter schools, public schools or any other schools," he said. "This has been an organic outgrowth in a variety of dioceses as they have sought creative ways to address the challenges of Catholic education.”

    In Brooklyn for example, management of the schools will be assumed by a board of directors rather than the parish priest. A separate board of clergy will ensure that the schools, which are being renamed academies, will retain their Catholic character.

    But like The Partnership for Inner City Education, other networks of schools say they were inspired by education reform movement.

    The Independence Mission Schools in Philadelphia were formed to save a group of schools that the archdiocese could no longer support but which it thought still had an important mission in the city. It opened with 15 schools in 2013, maintaining the schools as Catholic schools but operating under an independent body.

    “What we’re doing here in Philadelphia is we’re taking this really strong foundation of Catholic schools and then we’re going outside to the other sectors to see what’s working in urban education and we’re bringing that to bear in our schools,” said Anne McGoldrick, the schools’ president.

    On the business side, the partnership marketed the schools, making sure the neighborhood knew they were for children of all faiths. Each partnership school has a set of books, unlike a traditional Catholic school, which was part of the finances of a parish or diocese. It introduced an online application process that gathered financial aid from everybody so that parents would know exactly how much they would have to pay. For the average family the cost is just under $2,000 on a tuition of $4,500 a child.

    To improve academics, it added a summer reading program and what is called blending learning, in which students use online media, and other education technology.

    Stressing Their Values

    In cities with large numbers of charter schools, non-Catholic families might not enroll their children in Catholic schools as they once did, McShane said. If Catholic schools are to thrive they must stress what they can offer that charter schools cannot: their Catholic values.

    “If they try to beat charter schools at their own game, they're are competing against something that's free,” he said.

    The five schools that form the Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden, New Jersey, have an enrollment of about 1,000, a number that has remained steady despite alternatives in the area, said Sister Karen Dietrich, the executive director.

    “What that says to us is that there is definitely a place for Catholic schools on the landscape of education in our cities,” she said. “So that despite the other choices, our families are choosing a faith-based school.”

    As the partnership researched ways to operate, the chairwoman of its board of directors, Christine Healey, said that it was obvious that Catholic schools could no longer simply keep children safe while performing a bit better than public schools.

    “If Catholic schools in inner cities were to survive, they really needed to hit it out of the park academically,” she said.

    Academic excellence did not originate with charter schools, nor the idea that Catholic schools should have some independence from the dioceses, she said. What did influence the Catholic Partnership Schools was raising money from the same hedge fund managers and others who were investing in charter schools. The rigor that is being asked of the charter world is now being asked of the urban Catholic school world as well, she said.

    That means using data to measure a school’s success and being transparent about finances, she said.

    “They are investing in both sectors,” she said. “They are investing in the charter sector and getting lots of data and lots of rigor in terms of what the return on investment is. So they’re asking the same kind of thing from the Catholic schools.”



    Photo Credit: Independence Mission Schools/Maria Poushnikova
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    Teacher Kristine Lemongelli in front of a class of first graders at St. Malachy School, an Independence Mission School in Philadelphia. Some Catholic schools are drawing on the lessons from charter schools in an effort to stem falling enrollment.Teacher Kristine Lemongelli in front of a class of first graders at St. Malachy School, an Independence Mission School in Philadelphia. Some Catholic schools are drawing on the lessons from charter schools in an effort to stem falling enrollment.

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    Police are looking for a woman they believe was involved in a hit-and-run in Wolcott on Saturday morning.

    Police said in a Facebook post that the woman was driving a gray Dodge Caravan and was involved in a crash in the Cumberland Farms parking lot on Meriden Road around 7:15 a.m. on Saturday.

    Anyone who knows who the woman is should call the Wolcott Police Dept. at 203-879-1414.
     



    Photo Credit: Wolcott Police

    Wolcott police are looking for a woman wanted in connection with a hit-and-run.Wolcott police are looking for a woman wanted in connection with a hit-and-run.

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    Hillary Clinton was pressed on her record on racial issues during a 15-minute meeting last week in New Hampshire with Black Lives Matter activists, video released by the the group shows.

    Activists asked Clinton about mass incarceration, racial tensions and crime legislation passed under her husband's administration.

    "I don't believe you change hearts," Clinton said when asked what she would do to change hearts and minds. "I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You're not going to change every heart. You're not."

    Activist Daunasia Yancey told MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, "What we were looking for from Secretary Clinton was a personal reflection on her responsibility for being part of the cause of this problem that we have today in mass incarceration, and so her response really targeting on policy wasn't sufficient for us."



    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    This file image shows Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a campaign stop at Florida International University in Miami on Friday, July 31, 2015.This file image shows Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a campaign stop at Florida International University in Miami on Friday, July 31, 2015.

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    Firefighters responded to Island View Condominiums on Baypath Way in Branford on Tuesday morning after a crew working there struck a gas line.

    The contractors were digging a hole to set a footer when they hit a line and called 911 at 9:35 a.m., according to the fire department.

    Eight units were evacuated and residents were allowed back inside after utility crews capped the gas leak. 



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Two Los Angeles police officers took time out from fighting crime to help a 14-year-old boy look his best on his first day of high school.

    Officers Jonathan Maldonado and Alberto Ladesma were patrolling in the Boyle Heights neighborhood on Aug. 13 when a female driver and her son flagged them down.

    "I saw the kid waving at me and the mother asked if I could help with his tie through her car window," said Maldonado, a 10-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollenbeck Division.

    The officers pulled their patrol car over to help the boy who was rushing to get to Bishop Mora Salesian High School for orientation.

    "[The mother] was almost embarrassed and said she had been looking at YouTube videos to learn how to tie a tie," said Maldonado.

    The officer described the short exchange as a blessing, saying there is more to cops than dealing with criminal issues.

    "We're here to help the community we serve," Maldonado said. "Sometimes people are just scared to ask."

    Although he didn't catch the boy's name, Maldonado said the teen was very thankful for the gesture and enthusiastic about starting high school.

    "I thank God I had the opportunity to help someone and make an impact in their lives," he said.



    Photo Credit: LAPD Hollenbeck on Twitter

    An LAPD officer pulled over to help a boy tie his necktie on his way to school on Thursday, August 13, 2015.An LAPD officer pulled over to help a boy tie his necktie on his way to school on Thursday, August 13, 2015.

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    A man robbed the Liberty Bank, at 151 Main Street, in Deep River on Monday afternoon, according to state police, and the Connecticut Bankers Reward Association is offering a reward to help find him.

    The man, described as thin, clean-shaven, 6-feet-tall and in his early- to mid-30s, robbed the bank around 4 p.m. and ran away, according to police. He was wearing a tan baseball cap, a light-colored T-shirt and tan pants.

    State troopers responded, searched the area and started investigating, but they have not yet located a suspect.

    The Connecticut Bankers Reward Association is offering a reward of up $1,000 for information leading to police apprehending the robber.

    Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call Troop F in Westbrook (860-399-2100) or Detective Patrick Dwyer (860-250-6817). All calls will be kept confidential.



    Photo Credit: Connectict State Police

    Connecticut state police are looking for the man who robbed a bank in Deep River.Connecticut state police are looking for the man who robbed a bank in Deep River.

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    A Michigan woman thought to be the nation's oldest veteran died Sunday at age 100, about a month after she met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, The Associated Press reported.

    Emma Didlake, of West Bloomfield, joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943 at age 38. She served about seven months stateside during the war as a private and a driver, according to the AP.

    "Emma Didlake served her country with distinction and honor, a true trailblazer for generations of Americans who have sacrificed so much for their country," Obama said Monday. "I was humbled and grateful to welcome Emma to the White House last month, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Emma's family, friends, and everyone she inspired over her long and quintessentially American life."



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this July 17, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Emma Didlake, 110, of Detroit, the oldest known World War II veteran, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The Michigan woman who was believed to be the nation's oldest veteran has died a month after meeting the president. The Oakland County medical examiner's office says Didlake died Sunday, Aug. 16 in West Bloomfield, northwest of Detroit.FILE - In this July 17, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Emma Didlake, 110, of Detroit, the oldest known World War II veteran, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The Michigan woman who was believed to be the nation's oldest veteran has died a month after meeting the president. The Oakland County medical examiner's office says Didlake died Sunday, Aug. 16 in West Bloomfield, northwest of Detroit.

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    Musician/actor Harry Connick Jr.'s daughter is accused of providing alcohol to underage guests at a party she hosted this past weekend at her family's New Canaan home while her parents were away, according to New Canaan police.

    Georgia Connick, 19, faces charges of permitting minors to possess alcohol and procuring alcohol for minors, according to New Canaan police.

    Someone called police just after 1 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 to report underage drinking was going on at a party at the Connick family's West Road house in New Canaan. When police arrived, they discovered a lot of young people running from the home and trying to escape through the woods near the home, police said.

    The "American Idol" judge's daughter told police that swarms of young people showed up at her house during what was initially intended to be a small gathering, according to New Canaan police.

    There were several empty and partially empty beer cans at the home, police said they discovered.

    Officers contacted the parents of 15 party guests between 18 and 20 years old who stayed at the house while police were on scene, New Canaan police said.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to Harry Connick Jr.'s publicist for comment and left messages, but she couldn't be immediately reached. No contact information for the family was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Production

    Harry Connick Jr.'s daughter Georgia Connick attends the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City.Harry Connick Jr.'s daughter Georgia Connick attends the 2015 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2015 in New York City.

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    Tashauna Jackson, a 23-year-old mother from Hartford, has been missing since last week and many of her family and friends gathered at a Hartford park to search for her on Tuesday.

    On Monday, community members came together to pray for Tashauna's safe return. Then, early Tuesday morning, dozens of Jackson's loved ones convened upon Keney Park in Hartford to search for her, with help from more than a dozen K9 units from across the state.

    Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra was also at the park on Tuesday morning for the search.

    "This is about us being together and helping to find Tashauna," Mayor Segarra said.

    Jackson was last seen as she was getting into a car the night of Tuesday, Aug. 11. Police said a man was behind the wheel and Jackson seemed to go willingly.

    Jackson, who has never before disappeared, was reported missing the next day.

    "All I want is my daughter to come home, safe, sound and breathing," Tashuana's mother, Tasha Fitch, said. 

    Investigators have questioned the man Jackson was with but have not elaborated on their relationship. The man's car was seized as evidence. He is not in custody.

    Police said they are "extremely concerned" for Jackson's safety, although her case does not meet the criteria for a Silver or Amber Alert. No charges have been filed.

    "There's indicators that lead our investigators and command staff all to believe that there is a probability that Tashauna's here in the park," Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said. "At this point, what do we have? A missing persons case. As investigators with a lot of experience here in the city, we have pretty good cause to believe it's much more than that."   

    Jackson has black hair and brown eyes, stands 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. Police said Jackson has a tattoo on her right wrist that says "Tasha," and rose tattoos on her right breast and right leg.

    Family and friends are asking for help to find Jackson and have begun handing out fliers about her disappearance.

    Hartford police ask anyone with information on Jackson's whereabouts to call the department as soon as possible at 860-757-4214 and ask for Sgt. Andrew Weaver. You can also leave anonymous tips online on the Hartford Police Department's website.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A man was found dead in a church parking lot in New London early Tuesday morning.

    Police identified the man as Douglas St. George, 38, and said he is "of no certain address."

    New London firefighters responded to 325 Huntington Street in New London at about 6:42 a.m. after receiving a report of a man who was unresponsive in the parking lot at the church, which is located next to the Homeless Hospitality Center, police said.

    An L&M paramedic pronounced the man dead at the scene. New London police officers and an investigator from the Office of the State Medical Examiner also responded.

    Police don't suspect foul play was involved.

    New London police ask anyone with information to call 860-447-5269.

    People can submit anonymous tips online through the New London Tips 411 system.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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