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    Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign has pulled an attack ad against Marco Rubio after it was revealed that it featured a former softcore porn actress, NBC News reported.

    Cruz's campaign said in a statement Thursday that it was swapping the commercial with a new one after learning about actress Amy Lindsay's background. 

    "The actress responded to an open casting call," the campaign said. "She passed her audition and got the job. Unfortunately, she was not vetted by the casting company."

    Lindsay has said she's a supporter of Cruz's conservative Christian values.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the media at Morningstar Fellowship Church February 11, 2016 in Fort Mill, South Carolina.Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the media at Morningstar Fellowship Church February 11, 2016 in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

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    Tromley Road in East Windsor is shut down after a crash that took down a pole and wires, according to police.

    The crash is near the high school and the detour is Route 191, Phelps Road.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnectticut.com

    Tromley Road in East Windsor is closed after a crash.Tromley Road in East Windsor is closed after a crash.

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    A public overdose in South Jersey shows the raw reality of the heroin epidemic and the power of an antidote that's saving lives, even as people fail to take advantage of programs geared toward kicking the habit.

    "It's a problem in every neighborhood... from Winslow to Camden, from Haddonfield to Cherry Hill," said Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli.

    Cellphone video shows a woman unconscious and in the depths of a heroin overdose — dying on the side of Crowne Point Road in West Deptford. Her face is blurred to protect her identity.

    Bystanders rush to save her, with one woman performing chest compressions.

    "Her lips are blue," a person can be heard saying in the video.

    A woman says, "She needs Narcan."

    Officers from the West Deptford police station — just down the street — flocked to the scene and administered a dose of Narcan, a nasal spray used as an emergency treatment during an opioid overdose.

    "It's not the strength of what the doctors have or anything like that, but it's strong enough to reverse all the symptoms and bring you right back from death," said Chief Samuel DiSimone.

    That's what happened in this case. The woman still had to be taken to the hospital, but she survived.

    Cappelli co-chairs the Opiate and Heroin Addiction Awareness Task Force in Camden County. This year, the county initiated "Operation Sal," which provides intense counseling to patients who are given Narcan.

    So far, no one has joined the program.

    "Even after you're clinically dead — brought back to life by Narcan — folks aren't convinced that they should go get help," said Cappelli.

    Last year alone, Narcan saved 450 people in just Camden County. It's the antidote for heroin overdoses but not the solution to the growing problem.

    "The video is reality," said Cappelli. "That's what's out on the streets of all of our municipalities."

    The woman who overdosed declined NBC10’s request for an on-camera interview. She said she is fine and her biggest concern was for her young daughter, who has seen the video and has read the comments.


    Stay tuned: A Generation Addicted, an NBC10 digital exclusive report exploring the tragic world of heroin and opiate addiction in the Philadelphia area and beyond, is coming March 21.



    Photo Credit: Viewer Footage

    Cellphone video shows first responders in South Jersey administering Narcan, an opioid antidote, to a woman suffering a heroin overdose.Cellphone video shows first responders in South Jersey administering Narcan, an opioid antidote, to a woman suffering a heroin overdose.

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    A Hamden man has been arrested in connection with the crash that killed his passenger in New Haven in July when he swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle, according to police.

    Dean L. Williams, 36, of Hamden, was driving a three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot at Whalley Avenue and West Park Avenue just after 3 a.m. on Sunday, July 19 when he swerved so he didn’t hit another vehicle, police said.

    The vehicle wound up on the sidewalk and hit a cement wall, then a tree that grew from the wall.

    The motorcycle rolled over and the passenger in the front seat, Kevin Lee Lewis, died from injuries he sustained in the crash, police said.

    Williams has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and failure to drive in proper lane.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    The most popular and dangerous surfing contest in the world is named for a dog — specifically, for a white-haired German Shepherd named Maverick, whose personality must have embodied the unorthodox spirit of the fierce surfing competition.

    Touted as "the greatest show on earth," the Titans of Mavericks contest kicks off Friday morning. The 24 surfers from around the globe will be judged for their maverick spirit and must "possess fearless character and endless passion," the organization says on its website.

    The contest’s early beginnings stem back to the 1960s, when Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson and Dick Notmeyer started paddling out just inside the rocks off of Pillar Point, 20 minutes south of San Francisco, according to the Titans website.

    They were sometimes followed into the water by Matienzos' German Shepherd, named Maverick.

    The dog would try to swim out to them. But they shooed him back to the shore, and eventually began tying him to the bumper of their car out of concern for his safety, said Cassandra Clark, whose 58-year-old husband, Jeff Clark started what is now known as the Mavericks contest and owns Mavericks Surf Company.

    Since 1999, the annual competition has drawn surfers from around the world who drop everything they’re doing when the perfect wave conditions are called. They heed the call and must get to the Pacific Ocean in 48 hours.

    In its 17-year-history, the contest has been cancelled only four times, including last year, because the waves have not been high enough.

    Friday's forecast shows that ocean swells may reach up to 40 feet.

    Surf fans are encouraged to watch on Red Bull TV.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area chopper

    Surfers during the 2014 Mavericks surf contest in Half Moon Bay.Surfers during the 2014 Mavericks surf contest in Half Moon Bay.

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    During Thursday's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton appeared to try and douse the "Berning" passion of Bernie Sander' supporters with a cool dose of reality, according to NBC News. 

    All the while, Clinton adopted a new more measured tone to reflect her message, and honed her rhetoric.

    Instead of taking swings at her opponent as she has in previous debates, Clinton made it clear she agrees with Sanders' progressive principles. She let him throw the punches while she subtly undermined his competence and readiness to enact those principles.

    Clinton began -- and ended -- the night by saying she wants to "knock down all the barriers that are holding Americans back," not just the economic ones Sanders emphasizes. And she ended the evening with a devastating new line: "I am not a single issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single issue country."



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

    Democratic presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on February 11, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.Democratic presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on February 11, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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    World powers began work Friday on the details of a temporary truce in war-ravaged Syria, but rebels and aid groups on the ground were skeptical that the "ambitious" deal could be implemented, NBC News reported.

    The agreement, which followed talks between U.S., Russia and more than a dozen other countries, calls for a "cessation of hostilities" within one week and the immediate expansion of humanitarian supplies.

    Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the results but noted "the real test is whether or not all the parties honor those commitments and implement them in reality."

    Opposition groups welcomed the agreement with caution,  there must be a visible different on the ground before they could work towards a permanent peace deal in Geneva.

    "We have no faith in words any longer, it's only concrete action that will make a difference to Syrians' lives at this dark time," Issam al-Reis, spokesman for the Free Syrian Army's southern front said.



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks beside of US Secretary of States John Kerry during a news conference after the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, southern Germany, on February 12, 2016.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks beside of US Secretary of States John Kerry during a news conference after the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, southern Germany, on February 12, 2016.

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    With an icy blast of arctic air set to sweep the Northeast this Valentine's Day weekend, millions are bracing for what forecasters warned could be the coldest temperatures in over a decade.

    The polar vortex is expected to send temperatures plunging into single digits. Wind and other factors will translate to 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit lower then the actual temperatures at times, according Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist at Accuweather.com.

    The frosty air will be hazardous for those spending time outdoors. Prolonged exposure to freezing or cold temperatures may cause serious health problems such as trench foot, hypothermia and frostbite.

    Such low temperatures can also cause unprotected pipes in homes to burst and deadly black ice on roadways.

    Though taking preventive action is your best defense against extreme cold-weather conditions, knowing what to do in case of emergency is just as important.

    Below are 10 cold weather safety tips to help protect you and your family this winter season:

    Dress in Warm Layers: Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven — preferably wind resistant — to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.

    Know Signs of Hypothermia: Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion are all signs of hypothermia. If your body temperature is below 95 degrees, get medical attention immediately. The CDC advises to warm the center of the body first — chest, neck, head, and groin — using an electric blanket, if available. Or, use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets. Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give a victim of hyporthermia alcoholic beverages, the CDC warns.

    Guard From Frostbite: The National Weather service says you should cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Place hands under your armpits and get indoors as quickly as possible. Once indoors, don't walk on a frostbitten feet as you could cause more damage. Get in a warm, not hot, bath and wrap your face and ears in a moist, warm, not hot, towel. Drink plenty of warn liquids.

    Avoid Exertion: Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, the American Heart Association says consult with your doctor about shoveling snow or performing other strenuous work in the cold. If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.

    Fire Safety: If you're using a space heater, place it on a level surface and keep it at least three feet from anything flammable, including furniture, draperies, rugs and papers.

    Freezing and Bursting Pipes: Let faucets drip to prevent freezing water from causing pipes to burst. Leave cabinet doors open around pipes to ensure they receive warmth from the air flowing through your home. The Department of Homeland Security advised homeowners to learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts. Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves, according to the Insurance Information Institute. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.

    Fill 'Er Up: Keep your gas tank near full to prevent ice from forming in the fuel lines.

    Black Ice: Black ice forms when the temperature is 32 degrees or colder outside and since cars can't gain traction on ice, AAA says it's even more dangerous than snow. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary and pack essentials listed on the CDC's car emergency checklist. on hand an emergency . If you must drive, travel during the day preferable with a passenger. Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. Do not slam on the breaks. And never slam on the breaks. 

    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and there are more than 20,000 visits to the emergency room with more than 4,000 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep these devices at least outdoors, in a well ventilated area, at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide, Ready.gov says.

    Man's Best Friend: Bring pets inside. If it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pet. Exposure to winter's dry, cold air can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. The ASPCA advices to massage petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going for a walk to help protect it from salt and other chemical agents. Thoroughly clean your pups paw and belly after the walk. Chemicals from ice-melting agents is a lethal poison for dogs and may be licked off of paw paws.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    File photo: Large icicles have formed on the fountain at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan after a recent cold spell on Jan. 5, 2016 in New York City.File photo: Large icicles have formed on the fountain at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan after a recent cold spell on Jan. 5, 2016 in New York City.

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    A Bridgeport man who was shot several times on Thursday night is dead and police are investigating his death as a homicide.

    Police said they responded to Stratford and Connecticut avenues just after 8:36 p.m. to investigate a shooting and found Javoni Patton, 28, of Bridgeport, lying in the middle of the intersection.

    He had been shot several times, including once in his chest, according to police.

    Investigators found his car a short distance away. The driver’s door open and Patton's personal items were strewn about, police said.

    Patton was brought to Bridgeport Hospital, but died shortly after he arrived.

    This was the first homicide of the year in the state’s largest city.

    Anyone with information should call Detective Winkler at 203-581-5224.



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

    Javoni PattonJavoni Patton

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    Two men lost legs in an explosion at a fire extinguisher company in New York's Hudson Valley on Friday morning, state police said.

    One man lost both legs and a second lost one leg in the blast on Brookline Avenue in Walkill, just outside the borders of Middletown, shortly after 9:30 a.m., authorities said. 

    Both victims were taken to area hospitals by helicopter, according to the police.

    Firefighters, medics and police all responded to the scene.

    Authorities said the company fills fire extinguishers.

    The cause of the blast is under investigation. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

    A fire extinguisher is pictured in this file photo.A fire extinguisher is pictured in this file photo.

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    A Willington man accused of being involved in shipping marijuana through the mail between Oregon and Connecticut has been arrested on several charges, including operating a drug factory.

    The arrest comes after an investigation that several agencies have been conducting for months into the distribution of marijuana and THC concentrate, which is also known as marijuana wax or honey oil.

    Police said Matthew Spinella, 23, of Willington, was involved in the shipping of THC concentrate and marijuana from Oregon to Connecticut through the U.S, mail and U.S. postal inspectors intercepted a package containing 13 ounces of THC Concentrate, worth around $25,000 in street value.

    Spinella accepted the package at his house and troopers seized 548 grams of marijuana, worth around $8,000; two tabs of LSD; a small amount of cocaine; four amphetamine pills; $1280 in cash; scales; and drug packaging.

    Spinella was charges with illegal sale of controlled substance, operating a drug factory, possession of narcotics; possession of controlled substance: hallucinogenic and possession of a hallucinogen.

    Bond was set at $500,000 and he is due in Rockville Superior Court on Feb. 16.

    The Troop C Narcotics Enforcement Team , Statewide Narcotics Task Force, DEA Hartford Resident Office, United States Postal Inspection Service in Hartford and Troopers from Troop C were all involved in the investigation.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Matthew Spinella has been arrested in connection with shipping drugs through the mail.Matthew Spinella has been arrested in connection with shipping drugs through the mail.

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    One person was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood on Friday morning, authorities said.

    Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said a suspect who refused to drop a gun was shot and killed by police at Laredo and Stanwood streets around 10:30 a.m. Evans said it came after two other people were hurt in a shooting inside a house on Devon Street that injured two others.

    "All of us were holding our breath, as we do all the time when we hear over police radio - 'Drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun,'" Evans said.

    According to Evans, the initial call came in at 10:25 a.m. for an individual shot at 107 Devon Street. Boston police responded and spotted two individuals on Laredo Street, one carrying another who appeared to have been shot in the leg.

    The first person had a gun and ignored police commands to drop it, at which point police shot and killed him, authorities said.

    "The worst decision we ever make is taking a life," Evans said. "But if you're gonna shoot at an officer, unfortunately you're going to leave us no choice."

    Authorities have not publicly identified the person killed, but Evans said he was well known to police, having several past firearms offenses. 

    "Not too many people didn't know who he was," he said.

    Boston EMS said four officers were taken to local hospitals. Evans said they were transported as a precaution due to the stress involved.

    Prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office are responding to the scene.



    Photo Credit: Elysia Rodriguez/necn

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    People who work outdoors are bracing themselves for bitterly cold temperatures this weekend, including Connecticut’s United States Postal Service letter carriers.

    Paul Crooks said he stays protected from the biting cold New England winter temperatures by layering his clothes every day.

    He typically wears four layers on top and two on the bottom, along with special boots.

    “Once it gets to a certain point of coldness, you don’t really feel the difference,” Crooks said.

    With a wind chill that could feel like 20 or 30 degrees below zero this Saturday, Crooks will be packing extra gear.

    “The wind is the worst part. Trying to protect yourself from the wind and all the layering that you have to do. I have extra layers in the back just in case,” he said.

    Another key to not being overwhelmed by the cold is to keep moving as long as it’s safe to do so, only taking breaks when absolutely necessary.

    “Once you’re warm, you feel the cold. So once I’m cold, I like to stay cold,” Crooks said.

    The veteran mailman said his hot tub is one of the things he looks forward to once his cold day of work winds down.

    “The winter drains you. So when you come home you’re tired. Sometimes I go in there and gear up for the next day” he said.
     


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    A former Hartford, Connecticut resident has been sentenced to ten and a half years in prison for recruiting five children for sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Wellington “Jamal” Brown, 26, a Jamaican citizen who lived in Hartford, is accused of luring five children into prostitution between June 2013 and February 2014, according to the release.

    Police said Brown and Sheena Dume were involved in the scheme together. '

    Brown drove expensive vehicles, showed  the victims jewelry and cash and lured them with the idea of making a lot of money, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He also recruited some of the victims with the fake prospect of a modeling career.

    Brown took pictures of the children and used them to advertise prostitution services on websites such as backpage.com, officials said.

    He rented hotel rooms, provided transportation and condoms, bought food for the victims and sometimes gave them marijuana.

    The victims engaged in prostitution at various hotels in Stratford and Milford and gave.Brown tens of thousands of dollars, receiving only a small portion of the money people paid them, officials said.

    “This defendant recruited and manipulated vulnerable young girls luring them into the cruel world of sex trafficking,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said in a statement. “He exploited these girls for months, having them commit sex acts for money, and keeping most all of the profits for himself.”

    Brown and Dume were arrested in Maryland on July 30, 2014. 

    On March 26, 2015, Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and five counts of sex trafficking of a minor.  He has been detained since his arrest and was sentenced to 126 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

    He also faces immigration proceedings after he serves his prison term.

    On Feb. 18, 2015, Dume pleaded guilty to the same six offenses. She had not yet been sentenced.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

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    Investigators are looking into whether the machete-wielding man who slashed four people in a Columbus, Ohio, restaurant attacked the eatery in the mistaken belief that the owner was Jewish, sources told NBC News on Friday.

    The attacker — identified by several law enforcement sources as Mohamed Barry — had asked a worker at the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli where owner Hany Baransi was from, investigators said. Baransi is an Arab Christian from Haifa, Israel.  

    In a 911 call released by police, the dispatcher makes reference to "a male Muslim in a head scarf and blue shirt." It was not immediately clear if she was referring to the suspect.

    Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner told NBC affiliate WCMH the suspect began swinging the machete at customers and employees with "no rhyme or reason" upon entering the restaurant, leading officials to believe this is "just a random attack."

    Barry was shot dead by officers after leading police on a five-mile car chase through the city.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC News
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    The Connecticut family members of a missing airman from Dover Air Force Base who was last seen on Super Bowl Sunday are appealing for help to find him.

    Senior airman Keifer Huhman, a member of the 436th Communications Squadron, was last seen between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday when he was leaving his Dover, Delaware apartment, according to police in Dover, Delaware.

    Huhman never reported for duty on Monday and he was reported missing on Wednesday, according to Dover Police.

    It's been a difficult week for the family and Huhman's cousin, Renee Schwarzkopf, said she learned on Monday that her cousin was missing while attending the funeral for her grandmother, who was Huhman's great-grandmother.

    Schwarzkopf said Huhman's mother grew up in Connecticut and he has several aunts, an uncle and several cousins here. They are hoping that someone will have some information that will help them find him.

    According to police, Huhman was driving a blue 1997 Ford Ranger with Florida license plates and an aerial search of the area he was last seen in revealed that Delaware State Police towed his truck from the shoulder of a bridge around 10 p.m. on Sunday.

    Police are now searching the truck for evidence and are treating this as a missing person's case. A spokesperson for the Dover Police Department said on Friday afternoon that there were no additional updates on the case.

    The U.S. Air Force has sent out Huhman’s photo in the hopes of finding him.

    “The safety of Team Dover personnel is vitally important, and Dover Air Force Base considers itself a tight-knit family,” said the Air Force in a news release. “Base and local authorities are taking every possible step to locate Airman Huhman.”

    The Air Force asked anyone with information on Huhman to call 302-677-6664 and Dover police are asking people to call 302-736-7130.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force

    Airman Keifer Huhman was last seen on Super Bowl Sunday.Airman Keifer Huhman was last seen on Super Bowl Sunday.

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    Syrian President Bashar Assad says he supports peace talks in his country and will not stop taking control from rebel forces, according to NBC News.

    Speaking exclusively to news agency AFP, Assad promised to regain control of his country, and that he “fully believed in negotiations and in political action since the beginning of the crisis.” But he warned that peace will take “a long time and will incur a heavy price.”

    He said he felt there was a risk that Turkey and Saudi Arabia, both backers of the opposition, may decide to bring military forces to Syria.

    Marathon discussions in Munich with Russia and a dozen other countries led to calls for a “cessation of hostilities in Syria,” which will start in a week.  



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures during an exclusive interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on February 11, 2016.Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures during an exclusive interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on February 11, 2016.

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    Anne Marie Hochhalter's life was forever altered when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire at Columbine High School in 1999.

    She was paralyzed in the shooting and has had a long, difficult road to recovery. But her message now is one of forgiveness.

    "I have forgiven you and wish you only the best," Hochhalter wrote in a Facebook post directed to Klebold's mother, Sue, who sent Hochhalter a letter while she was recovering in the hospital.

    It comes the day before Sue Klebold's first television interview since the shooting and the release of her new book, "A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy." 

    CorrectionAn earlier version of this story misidentified Harris’s first name.



    Photo Credit: KUSA Denver
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    Columbine High School shooting victim Anne Marie Hochhalter reads a card written to her by the mother of one of the shooters.Columbine High School shooting victim Anne Marie Hochhalter reads a card written to her by the mother of one of the shooters.

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    A car crashed into the Ocean State Job Lot in Groton on Friday afternoon and two people who were inside the store when it happened suffered some minor injuries.

    A Ford Focus crashed into the store in the Groton Shopper’s Mart, at 995 Poquonnock Road, at 11:45 a.m., drove through the front doors and went inside the store, police said.

    Town of Groton Police, the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Department and Groton Ambulance Corps responded.

    One person who was injured refused treatment and the other was transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and the injuries are not life-threatening.

    The driver was not injured.

    Officials from the building inspector’s office responded and determined there was no apparent structural damage.

    The patrol division of the Groton town Police Department is investigating the crash.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A car crashed into an Ocean State Job Lot in Groton late Friday morning.A car crashed into an Ocean State Job Lot in Groton late Friday morning.

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    The New Jersey escort whose 2010 disappearance led to the discovery of 11 butchered bodies on a Long Island beach may have been strangled, a newly released autopsy report found.

    sets of human remains believed to be butchered by a serial killer, then dumped on a Long Island beach had signs of homicidal strangulation, a newly released autopsy report found.

    The family of Shannan Gilbert announced that an autopsy performed by famed forensic pathologist Michael Baden didn't conclude how the 24-year-old escort died, but noted that she had been the victim of some violence.

    "Michael Baden comes to disturbing conclusions," family attorney John Ray said.

    Family members said the findings — which showed no evidence Gilbert died of natural causes, a drug overdose or by drowning — should spur authorities to open a murder investigation into Gilbert's death, which has never been ruled a homicide. 

    "We're demanding they activate a homicide investigation for Shannan Gilbert," Ray said.

    The findings' release comes years after Suffolk County medical examiners said the autopsy was inconclusive. Police had suggested Gilbert possibly drowned or succumbed to the elements not long after she vanished in May 2010. 

    Gilbert was on a call on Long Island and was last seen screaming and running from a home in the Oak Beach complex, where she met her client. Before she disappeared, she called 911 from a client's home and told an operator someone was trying to kill her.

    It was during the massive search for Gilbert that authorities discovered 11 sets of human remains believed to be linked to at least one serial killer. The first of those remains was found by a K-9 unit in December 2010.

    Nine sets of remains — eight women and a man — belonged to prostitutes, authorities said. Another set of remains belonged to a baby girl. Five of them, including the infant, have not been identified. 

    Gilbert's remains were found 18 months later, in December 2011, in a marshy area near Gilgo Beach, on the island’s south central shore. The client she was with the night of her disappearance has been ruled out as a suspect in her death. 

    Gilbert’s family is involved in a civil suit with a doctor who lives on Gilgo Beach. They believe he may know more about her disappearance. 

    No one has been charged or named as a suspect in the killings. Police don’t believe Gilbert's death is connected to the deaths of the others. 

    Last month, it was announced that two FBI agents would assist Suffolk County police in their 5-year-old investigation into the human remains found along Gilgo Beach and Ocean Parkway.



    Photo Credit: File / NBC 4 New York

    Twenty-four-year-old escort Shannan Gilbert went missing in May 2010. Her remains were discovered in Dec. 2011.Twenty-four-year-old escort Shannan Gilbert went missing in May 2010. Her remains were discovered in Dec. 2011.

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