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    While Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump continues to publicly dismiss talk of a contested convention, he's been quietly assembling a team of seasoned operatives to manage the possible battle, NBC News has learned.

    The campaign's strategy is to convert delegates in the crucial 40 days between the end of the primaries and the convention — while girding for a floor fight in Cleveland if necessary. The outreach is already underway.

    "We are talking to tons of delegates," said Barry Bennett, a former Ben Carson campaign manager now leading the delegate strategy for Trump.

    Under Republican Party rules, a candidate who wins a majority of 1,237 delegates during the primaries clinches the presidential nomination. If no candidate wins that majority, delegates vote on the nominee at an open convention. Bennett said the campaign has planned two distinct phases for winning in an open convention.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at the Savannah Center, Sunday, March 13, 2016, in West Chester, Ohio.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at the Savannah Center, Sunday, March 13, 2016, in West Chester, Ohio.

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    An Indiana woman who had been missing since 1974 was found living in a South Texas town under an alias, according to police.

    Indiana State Police said Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller, then 28 years old, thought she was too young to be a mother and signed custody of her three children to her parents in 1974. She then left home.

    Detective Scott Jarvis took the case in 2014 after being contacted by the Doe Network, an organization that helps law enforcement close cold cases, according to police.

    Jarvis requested DNA analysis on an unidentified woman found in Richmond in 1975 — Gillespie-Miller had sent her family a letter from Richmond in 1975. He also obtained a DNA sample from Gillespie-Miller's biological daughter, Tammy Miller, for comparison.

    While awaiting the results of the DNA analysis, Jarvis began investigating a woman who lived in Tennessee in the 1980s and then later in Texas. Police said he tracked the woman to a small town in South Texas. The name of the town has not been released.

    Police said Jarvis contacted Texas Rangers in the area Thursday and asked them to go to the woman's home. The woman admitted to the Rangers that she was Lula Gillespie-Miller, now 69 years old, living under an alias, which was not released.

    Gillespie-Miller told Jarvis he could give her contact information to her daughter. Miller said she hopes to make contact with her mother.



    Photo Credit: Indiana State Police

    Lula Anne Gillespie-Miller, an Indiana woman who had been missing since 1974, was found living in a South Texas town under an alias Thursday, according to police.Lula Anne Gillespie-Miller, an Indiana woman who had been missing since 1974, was found living in a South Texas town under an alias Thursday, according to police.

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    A top leader for ISIS was killed during an operation this week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Friday. 

    Carter said Haji Iman, also known as Abu Alaa Afri, was a finance minister who oversaw all the funding for ISIS' operations. His killing will hamper the organization’s ability to conduct operations inside and outside Syria. Carter did not confirm where the efforts to kill him took place. Haji Iman has been described as a second-in-command leader, but Carter did not refer to him that way. 

    The news comes after officials told NBC News earlier this month that top ISIS commander Omar al-Shishani — also known by his nickname Omar the Chechen — was believed killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria.

    “We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet," Carter said Friday, using an acronym for the group.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State

    Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli also know as Haji Iman and Abu Alaa Afri.Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli also know as Haji Iman and Abu Alaa Afri.

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    Police investigating a report of someone trying to enter an abandoned house in Moosup found a woman with heroin and they said this is not the first time she was charged with possession of the drug this month.

    Police said they found Chelsea Conrad, 28, of Plainfield, with 15 bags of heroin when they responded to Roy Street in Moosup around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

    This is the second time police have arrested Conrad this month. On March 2, 2016, police stopped a vehicle and found her with around 130 bags of heroin, police said.

    She was charged with possession of narcotics in the recent case and she was released on a $5,000 bond.

    She is scheduled to appear at the Danielson Superior Court on April 4.



    Photo Credit: Plainfield Police

    Chelsea Conrad is accused of heroin possession.Chelsea Conrad is accused of heroin possession.

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    Police are investigating two fatal crashes in Hartford.

    Police were called to Asylum Avenue around 1 a.m. after an Infinity hit a curb at Woodside Circle. A male victim was pronounced dead at the scene and a female who was in the vehicle was taken to St. Francis Hospital.

    Part of Asylum Avenue is closed and police are asking people to avoid the area. Use Farmington Avenue or Route 44 instead.

    A couple hours later, police responded to a crash at Wawarme Avenue and Colt Park and said one man is dead after a car jumped a ravine.

    Police said it appears that the car went down Ledyard Street, jumped a ravine and went 15 to 20 feet before landing in the park.

    One person is dead and two others were taken to the hospital, police said. The two male passengers who survived were brought to Hartford Hospital.

    Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said those victims were alert and conscious and cooperating with investigators.

    The crime scene division and major crimes detectives are investigating
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A crash on Asylum Avenue in Hartford is one of two fatal crashes early this morning.A crash on Asylum Avenue in Hartford is one of two fatal crashes early this morning.

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    Police responded to eight crashes in Hamden overnight, including three that took down poles.

    One crash was a rollover on Pine Rock Avenue, near Blacy Street. The road was closed between Gilbert Avenue and Brook Street, but it has since reopened. Minor injuries are reported in the crash.

    Police said there were also crashes in the area of 715 Tuttle Avenue and Dixwell Avenue and Church Street.

    No serious injuries are reported.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Police responded to eight crashes overnight, including a rollover. This is on Pine Rock Avenue.Police responded to eight crashes overnight, including a rollover. This is on Pine Rock Avenue.

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    If you need to go to a Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles office, you will have to wait until Saturday or go to a AAA office.

    The DMV offices are closed today because it’s Good Friday and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

    All AAA offices will be open to process renewals for driver licenses and non-driver ID cards during their normal business hours on Friday, and Saturday, March 26.

    You can visit the DMV website for a list of offices and hours or call 860-263-5700 if you are in the Greater Hartford area or 800-842-8222 for the rest of the state.

    Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill are also closed today in observance of Good Friday, but regularly scheduled lottery drawings will occur.

    If you won a prize up to $599, you can go to any lottery retailer, but only high-tier claim centers can cash prizes between $600 and $5,000.

    C & A Market is West Haven is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Crossroads Card & Gift in Norwalk is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. DADA Grocery in Waterbury is open from 6 am.. to 9 p.m. Sully’s Mobil in New London will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A man robbed an XpressMart in Ansonia on Thursday night and police are trying to determine if the same man tried to rob a Shell gas station in town two nights earlier.

    Police responded to the XpressMart, at 180 Wakelee Avenue, at 10:34 p.m. to investigate a robbery and learned that a man had robbed the store at gunpoint.

    He had a dark colored handgun and stole around $2000 in cash and several packs of cigarettes, police said.

    No one was injured during the robbery.

    Police are looking for a man with dark curly hair and a clean shaven face. He is around 5-feet-6 and was wearing dark color clothing during the robbery.

    Police do not have any photos.

    On Tuesday night, a man with a similar description robbed the Shell Gas Station at 696 Main St.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Ansonia Police at 203-735-1885.


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

    File photoFile photo

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    Someone spilled latex paint in a canal that leads into the Naugatuck River in Ansonia and crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have responded to contain the spill.

    DEEP said they put absorbent boom on part of the canal, but much of the paint has spilled or will spill into the river.

    The boom will remain in place until Monday.

    The 40-mile long river runs from Torrington and through 11 towns in New Haven and Litchfield counties and is the largest river within the state’s boundary lines, according to the Naugatuck River Watershed Association. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Environmental crews have responded to Ansonia after someone spilled latex paint into canal leading to Naugatuck River.Environmental crews have responded to Ansonia after someone spilled latex paint into canal leading to Naugatuck River.

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    A machete attack in New Haven appears to have started as two women getting into a dispute over a man, according to police.

    Police said they responded to Yale–New Haven Hospital just before 3 a.m. on Friday after a 33-year-old New Haven man with two cuts on his head arrived in a private vehicle.

    The man said he’d been involved in a fight at 54 Eastern St. and one person used pepper spray and another swung a machete at him.

    Officers who went to the Eastern Street scene found a trail of blood from the front yard into the building and kicked in the back door when no one answered the door.

    Three people who were inside described the fight and police believe it started as a dispute two women were having over a man.

    Police charged five people with breach of peace, including the victim and the woman he went to the hospital with.

    They said Omar Ryan, 50, of New Haven, confessed to cutting the victim with the machete and he was also charged with assault in the first degree and carrying a dangerous weapon.


    File photoFile photo

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    Ted Cruz called a tabloid story of alleged extramarital affairs "utter lies" and blamed Donald Trump's ally Roger Stone for placing the story in the publication, NBC News reported. 

    "This National Enquirer story is garbage," Cruz told reporters while campaigning in Wisconsin. "It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear. And it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen."

    A National Enquirer story claimed Cruz had five affairs. Two of the women mentioned in the reported affairs have publicly denied the claims.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks during an appearance in New York on March 23, 2016, in New York City.Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks during an appearance in New York on March 23, 2016, in New York City.

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    A Wisconsin professor wants to use the memory of her sister to start a dialogue about mental health and depression.

    Eleni Pinnow wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post, “the most alone I have ever felt was standing on my front porch on a chilly February evening.”

    A note from her sister Aletha taped to the front door read, “Eleni, if you’re the first one here don’t go in the basement. Just call 911. I don’t want you to see me like this. I love you! Love, Aletha.”

    An identical sign was on the back door, Eleni wrote, adding that “even in the midst of consuming depression, Aletha tried to protect me from the full horror of her suicide.”

    Eleni wrote that she felt like she “was in a vacuum in the middle of space with everything I knew being pulled away from me.” After police told Eleni plainly, “Aletha is dead,” she wrote that she decided to tell the truth about her sister in an obituary, which has gained national attention. 

    "Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31, of Duluth, formerly of Oswego and Chicago, Ill., died from depression and suicide on Feb. 20, 2016," her obituary in the Duluth New Tribune began.

    Aletha was a Northern Illinois University alum and loved working with people with disabilities, especially people on the autism spectrum, Eleni wrote in the obituary. She worked as a special education teacher for over a decade, seeing potential in all her students and “loved them with a ferocity that would make a rabid mother bear quiver.”

    “She loved animals, theater, Halloween, Star Wars, cartoons, preparing food for loved ones, and cuddling with aforementioned animals. She did not love France (they know why) and William Shatner (who also presumably knew why). Aletha was fond of making her mom laugh until she literally cried and helping her dad do anything and everything,” Eleni wrote in the obituary.

    “Aletha was her family's whole entire world. She enriched the lives of countless colleagues and students. Unfortunately, a battle with depression made her innate glow invisible to her and she could not see how desperately loved and valued she was,” Eleni wrote about her sister.

    Eleni said in her Washington Post op-ed her sister’s depression "fed on her desire to keep it secret and hidden from everyone. I could not save my sister. I could not reach my sister through her depression."

    "I know only two things for sure: Depression lies. I will tell the truth," Eleni said in the op-ed.

    “If the family were to have a big pie in the sky dream, we would ask for a community-wide discussion about mental health and to pull the suffocating demon of depression and suicide into the bright light of day,” Eleni wrote in the obituary. “Please help us break the destructive silence and stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.”

    If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
     



    Photo Credit: Eleni Pinnow

    Eleni Pinnow (R) and her sister, Aletha, at a friend’s wedding.Eleni Pinnow (R) and her sister, Aletha, at a friend’s wedding.

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    Getting kielbasa from Martin Rosol’s in New Britain is an Easter tradition all over Connecticut and the lines started before dawn on Good Friday.

    “I like it. It’s a tradition. I like the way it tastes,” said Denis Roy, of Bristol, who has been going to Rosol’s for 29 years.

    Despite the rainy start to this year’s Good Friday, people were lined up at 5:30 a.m. for kielbasa.

    Patrons said the sometimes hours-long line at the Polish market for the sausage that people throughout the northeast flock to get is worth the wait.

    “I’m the only Italian in a Polish market … to buy my Easter kielbasa,” Donny DiLoreto, of Rocky Hill, said.

    He waited in line near Teresa Gasztold, a Polish native now living in New Britain.

    “I love it, this meat!” she said.

    The plant manager, Ted Rosol, is the fourth generation of Rosols to run the business his great-grandfather started in 1928.

    He said his staff begins prepping for the Easter rush six weeks in advance.

    By the time the Easter season is over, they’ll sell about 125,000 pounds of fresh and smoked kielbasa.

    “The recipe we use is still my great grandfather’s. We keep the recipe in a binder in the safe,” he said of the combination of meats and spices that make this kielbasa unique.

    Rosol’s kielbasas have also made a name for themselves outside of Connecticut.

    The market gets a boost in online orders from out-of-state customers during the Easter rush.

    One customer at the store on Friday has been coming to Rosol’s from Long Island for three decades.

    “My mom had stumbled across this place 30 years ago,” Kevin Davis, of Jamesport, New York, said.

    Davis and friends together loaded a trailer with about 2,000 pounds of kielbasa to take back to friends and family in New York.

    “Everybody loves it. It’s the best recipe around,” he said.

    Linda Sanborn, of Southington, was another customer in line on Good Friday and said she and her ex-husband and their children come together to celebrate Easter each year, and Rosol’s kielbasa is always a part of their family tradition.

    “We have the holidays together with our kids and everything. If I didn’t come, I’d have to hear, ‘Where’s the Easter kielbasa?’” she said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Rosol's is part of an Eastern tradition in Connecticut and beyond.Rosol's is part of an Eastern tradition in Connecticut and beyond.

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    Advocacy groups are calling for community unity following the terrorist attacks in Belgium and Turkey earlier this week, according to NBC News.

    An open letter, published by Muslim Advocates and Media Matters for America, criticizes anti-Muslim rhetoric from politicians and pundits, calling their comments “inflammatory.”

    "After the Brussels attacks, like clockwork, many media figures and politicians immediately cast Muslims globally as the problem and called for increased targeting and surveillance of Muslim communities throughout the U.S.," the letter reads. "Others chose to politicize the tragedy by suggesting an expansion on the use of torture and a ban on all Muslims and refugees from entering the country."

    The letter was signed by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Japanese American Citizens League, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Police officers stand guard around the Maalbeek Metro station following a blast at the station in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016.Police officers stand guard around the Maalbeek Metro station following a blast at the station in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016.

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    One of the suicide attackers who blew himself up at the Brussels airport with a suitcase bomb was the suspected bomb-maker involved in November's terrorist attacks in Paris, Belgian officials confirmed on Friday, NBC News reported.

    Najim Laachraoui, 24, was the bomber pictured on the left of a surveillance camera image captured before two blasts rocked the departures area on Tuesday, Belgium's federal prosecutor confirmed.

    Laachraoui's DNA was found on a suicide belt at the Bataclan music venue in Paris that was targeted by the terrorists along with an explosive device at the Stade du France, the prosecutor said.

    His DNA was also recovered at several safe houses in Belgium used by the cell.



    Photo Credit: Belgian Police

    Najim Laachraoui (left) is seen in footage from a security camera at Brussels airport on Tuesday.Najim Laachraoui (left) is seen in footage from a security camera at Brussels airport on Tuesday.

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    Rain will continue into this afternoon, and some thunder is possible, too.

    Temperatures will climb into the middle 60s, albeit slowly, especially in the Connecticut River Valley.

    In fact, as of 11 a.m., the warm front went stationary in eastern Southern New England.

    That means valley locations in central Connecticut remain in the 40s until the final push from the approaching cold front spikes temperatures into the lower 60s.

    This will not be the enjoyable type of 60-degree weather, however, because it won't last very long at all.

    Clearing sets in this evening, so those with evening plans shouldn't worry about rain.

    Easter Weekend looks delightful.

    Saturday will be sunny with temperatures in the lower 50s.

    Easter Sunday also looks very bright, with mostly sunshine skies, and highs in the upper 50s.

    The nice weather doesn't last beyond the weekend, though. Another storm brings rain on Monday, with highs near 50s.

    Behind the storm on Tuesday, the wind will be gusty and clouds will mix with sunshine. Temperatures will struggle to hit 50 degrees.

    High pressure returns Wednesday and sponsors unlimited sunshine, with highs in the lower 50s.

    It looks like the sunshine will stick around Thursday with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s.


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    Animal lovers have come together to save dogs that were in danger of being euthanized if they did not find homes by Saturday because the Hartford Animal Shelter was completely full.

    On Thursday, animal control officer Sherry Degenova said the shelter was completely full and they were desperate to find homes for two dozen dogs.

    After the story aired, there was amazing response from people who saw it and the shelter placed seven or eight dogs on Thursday night and 10 more dogs have been spoken for.

    Degenova said employees are usually off on Good Friday, but would be there today to help "save a life."
    Degenova said on Friday that the shelter will be able to take new strays and no dog has to be euthanized, which would be animal control's worst nightmare.

    Adopters can look the dogs over online at Hartford Animal Shelter's Facebook page then make an appointment at the shelter.



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

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     An imminent ruling from a Connecticut Appeals Court could determine whether someone has the right to record you during intimate moments without you knowing it.

    The case at issue involves a Wilton man who is accused of using his iPhone to film three women he was having sex with, at separate times. The sex was consensual, but the women had no idea they were being filmed. The defendant won at trial.

    The main issue is how the state defines voyeurism. Right now, the statute says: “A person is guilty of voyeurism when, (1) with malice, such person knowingly photographs, films, videotapes or otherwise records the image of another person (a) without the knowledge and consent of such other person, (b) while such person is not in plain view, and (c) under circumstances where such other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy…”

    Based on that language, the attorney for defendant John Panek, William Westcott, argued that if someone is in “plain view” of the person filming them, then no crime is committed.

    “People know that if they are engaged in intimate conduct, there's no law in our state that prohibits that from being filmed by someone else who was actually present. And that's the key,” Westcott said.

    The state disagreed, saying that “plain view” meant openly or in public.

    Attorney Dan Klau didn’t work on the case, but explained the prosecution’s side.

    “In the voyeurism statute, it's just really not clear. And, I think that one of the arguments that the prosecution has which is better in my opinion than the defendant, is that the term ‘in plain view’ is ambiguous. The public policy argument from the prosecution side is that a man and a woman ought to be able to have sexual relations within the privacy of their own bedroom without worrying about some recording being made and eventually, perhaps, ending up on the Internet,” he said.

    The trial court agreed with Westcott and dismissed the charges against the defendant.

    Westcott said the decision is correct under the law and consistent with today’s picture-happy society.

    “Anyone who’s not aware of how easy and simply they could be recorded is probably not up to speed with just the frank reality of the times,” Westcott said.


    File photo.File photo.

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    Three men robbed a Bridgeport liquor store at gunpoint on Thursday night and police are looking for them.

    Police said three men who were wearing masks and gloves robbed King Discount Liquors, at 1818 Barnum Ave., around 8:45 p.m.

    One pulled a gun and told the store clerk to “get back,” while another took cash from the register and the other stole bottles of liquor, police said.

    The robbers went east on Barnum Avenue toward Stratford.

    Anyone with information on the robbery should call Detective Delbouno at 203-581-5234.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    One man was found dead and another two people shot in a Bethel home on Friday.

    Someone called 911 from a home on Governor's Lane and hung up around 2:20 p.m. on Friday which prompted officers to respond, according to Bethel Police.

    Officers went to the home at 11 Governor's Lane and discovered one woman who had been shot in the kitchen. The police immediately called ambulance to the scene.

    Police then found one man fatally shot and one man with a gunshot wound in two separate bedrooms.

    “We’re assuming all three people lived in the house, were just not certain as to their relationships,” Lt. Mike Libertini of the Bethel Police Department said.

    Neighbors told NBC Connecticut a man lived in the home with his wife and another family member.

    “He was a very good-natured man,” neighbor Victoria Bortolot said. “I never could imagine anything going on like that.”

    There was evidence of a domestic disturbance, First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said.

    The two surviving people were transported to Danbury Hospital and their conditions are currently unknown.

    On Saturday, police identified the victim who was fatally shot as Charles Cristofalo, 76. Online records indicate he owned the home at 11 Governor’s Lane. The other two victims have been identified as Ahn Cristofalo, 68, and Thai Pham, 56. Police could not confirm the relationship between the victims Saturday.

    It is not known who the shooter is at this time. There was no signs of forced entry and police say they do not believe there is any threat to the public.

    Police want to interview the two victims in the hospital, but say one is in surgery and the other has a language barrier. They obtained a search warrant to enter the home around 8 p.m. Friday night. State Police are also assisting with the investigation.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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