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    Manchester police have determined that the drowning of a Manchester High School student at the school pool the day before Thanksgiving last year does not warrant criminal prosecution and they have closed the case.

    Malvrick Donkor, a 14-year-old freshman at the high school, drowned during a swimming class at the pool on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, a half-day of school before a long weekend for Thanksgiving, officials said. 

    “Malvrick Donkor’s death is tragic at best. However, based on my investigation, there is no probable cause to warrant criminal prosecution,” Manchester Police Detective Wayne Mora said in his summary of the case.  

    According to police reports, Donkor was underwater for 17 minutes before  being pulled from the bottom of the pool. His death was ruled an accidental drowning.

    A police report released on Tuesday says Malvrick had been in the shallow end of the pool during the physical education class, but climbed out, walked to the deep end and lowered himself into the pool.

    He held onto the edge of the pool and slipped underwater while the physical education was supervising students who were using the diving board, according to police.

    Students police interviewed said Malvrick normally stayed in the shallow end because he was not a strong  swimmer. They did not know why he climbed into the deep end and no one saw him go under, according to reports.

    About 20 students were in the pool that day and the combination of students diving, splashing in the pool and overhead lights apparently concealed him from other students’ view, according to police.

    When the class was ending, a student noticed Donkor at the bottom of the pool and alerted the teacher, who performed CPR and directed students to call in help, police said.

    Marcum Asiamah, a 15-year-old freshman at East Hartford High School, died of asphyxia due to submersion in January.  He drowned during a physical education class on Jan. 11.
     


    Malvrick Donkor, 14, died after a drowning at the pool at Manchester High School.Malvrick Donkor, 14, died after a drowning at the pool at Manchester High School.

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    AmeriCares a disaster relief organization based in Stamford, and the American Red Cross Connecticut branch are sending emergency response teams to Oklahoma to help tornado survivors.

    At least 24 people were killed when a tornado swept through and that number is expected to rise.

    AmeriCares will head to Oklahoma City to coordinate deliveries of relief supplies and medical aid. The group has reached out to health clinics, food banks and nonprofit organizations in the region with offers of assistance.

    The Americares team will assess the needs of the people and deliver disaster kits filled with
    basic hygiene products to families who are staying in shelters after losing everything.

    “We expect to have a team on the ground in Oklahoma in the morning, assessing needs and coordinating deliveries,” Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares vice president of emergency response, said in a statement on Monday.

    Americares has already sent gallons of bottled water to the local food banks in central Oklahoma.

    The Red Cross is sending more than 20 emergency response vehicles to support the Oklahoma City.
     
    For more information, or to donate to AmeriCares U.S. Disaster Relief Fund, go to americares.org. To make a donation, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    A child is carried from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)A child is carried from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2013. A tornado as much as a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide with winds up to 200 mph (320 kph) roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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    Nearly a year after his face was horribly maimed in a vicious attack on the MacArthur Causeway, Ronald Poppo spoke publicly for the first time in a video released by Jackson Memorial Hospital Tuesday.

    Wearing a Miami Heat hat and sitting on a hospital bed, Poppo is seen strumming a guitar before giving thanks to his doctors and the community.

    "Thanks for considering, helping out, people in my predicament need to be helped out and I'm sure there's other people also that have the same type of predicament," Poppo said in the brief video. "I thank the outpouring of people in the community, I will always be grateful for them."

    Miami Face-Mauling Victim Recalls Attack

    The video was released during a news conference at Jackson Medical Center, where the 66-year-old continues to recover from the injuries he suffered in the May 26, 2012 attack.

    New photos from Poppo's birthday celebration at the hospital were also released.

    Poppo remains completely blind following the attack and has undergone four surgeries since the attack but remains in good spirits, his doctors said.

    Face Mauler Allegedly Met Victim Before Attack: Report

    "He's had a long year but he's managed to cope quite well with what's happened to him," Dr. Wrood Kassira said. "I would say he's content with where he is right now."

    Kassira, one of Jackson's plastic surgeons, said Poppo had skin grafting surgery and all his wounds have closed.

    "He had extensive trauma to his face, it was bad," Kassira said.

    Poppo has been told of his options for more surgeries or prosthetics for his eyes and nose, but he hasn't been interested in them. He has undergone four surgeries and is unwilling to have further reconstruction.

    "There's still work that can be done, but he's more than happy with how he is now, he's quite grateful," Kassira said.

    Poppo has gained more than 50 pounds since he was brought to Ryder Trauma Center, and continues to work with an occupational therapist who has taught him how to dress himself, feed himself, shower and shave.

    Doctors gave Poppo a guitar to help with his therapy, and he practices with it every day. He played guitar 40 years ago when he was in a band and is trying to pick up chords but not being able to see makes it tough, they said.

    The incident unfolded when a naked, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene attacked Poppo and stripped him of his clothes on the causeway last May, police said.

    Only Marijuana Found in Face Chewer's System: Medical Examiner

    An officer eventually shot and killed Eugene after he refused to stop the attack, police said. By that point Eugene had gnawed away more than half of Poppo's face, gauged out his left eye, and severely damaged his right one.

    Authorities had initially speculated that bath salts may have been the cause of the attack, but the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner said tests showed only marijuana in Eugene's system.

    Doctors, meanwhile, say Poppo is adjusting to his new life.

    "I think he wants the world to know he's not traumatized by this," Dr. Urmen Desai said. "He's a simple guy and he's happy and grateful for being alive after such an incident."

    Click Here to Watch the YouTube Video


    Ronald Poppo, in a YouTube video released by Jackson Memorial Hospital.Ronald Poppo, in a YouTube video released by Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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    Between March and April 2013, more than 39,000 pounds of metal was stolen from a Southington tool company and police have arrested two suspects.

    Police said Gary M. Desrochers and Nicholas B. Marin, both of Bristol, are accused of stealing around $25,000 worth of tool-grade metal from C.V. Tool Company, at 44 Robert Porter Road, and selling it to a scrap yard.

    C.V. Tool makes hardware for the steam turbine, nuclear, space and aircraft industries and the theft was reported on April 8.

    Desrochers and Marin were arrested last week and charged with larceny in the first degree, conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree, conspiracy to commit criminal trespass in the third degree, criminal trespass in the third degree, conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the third degree and criminal mischief in the third degree.

    Both men were held on a court-set bond of $100.000 and appeared in court in Bristol on Thursday.
     


    Gary M. Desrochers, left, and Nicholas B. Marin, right, both of Bristol, are accused of stealing around $25,000 worth of tool-grade metal from C.V. Tool Company in Southington.Gary M. Desrochers, left, and Nicholas B. Marin, right, both of Bristol, are accused of stealing around $25,000 worth of tool-grade metal from C.V. Tool Company in Southington.

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    Three weeks have passed since a hit-and-run driver struck a 2-year-old boy in Bridgeport, leaving him in critical condition, and a new reward is being offered to help find the person responsible.

    The crash on April 30 put Corey Gordon in the intensive care unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital and  no one has come forward with information on the driver.  He is now out of intensive care, but will go through surgery on Wednesday and then head to therapy.

    Now, a $1,500 reward is being offered to find the person who injured him.

    A week after the crash, dozens of police officers canvassed the neighborhood where Corey was struck and handed out 1,500 flyers, but police are still looking for leads.

    On Tuesday, police were back in  the 600 block of Capitol Avenue, seeking information and handing out more flyers.

    "Hopefully these will work. Last time we didn't get anything," Corey's mother, Erica Parmlee, said.

    Corey is starting to act like himself again, she said.

    "I've been focusing on my son. Now that he's actually getting back to himself now, I feel that it's my duty find out who hit my child," Parmlee said. "It's very frustrating that no one came forward because I feel that if it was their child, they would have. They'd be doing the same thing I'm doing."

    Parmlee had just gotten Corey out of her car that night when he was hit and suffered a serious head injury.

    Bridgeport Police want to emphasize they need anyone to call them with information. You can remain anonymous.

    Parmlee said she is doing everything she can or at least something she hopes any mother would do.
     



    Photo Credit: Family Photo

    Police are continuing to search for the driver who left Corey Gordon in critical condition.Police are continuing to search for the driver who left Corey Gordon in critical condition.

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    After two years of campaigning bolstered by record contributions, the mayoral race between City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel comes to a close Tuesday as voters take to the polls.

    The winner of the run-off election to replace outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will give the city of Los Angeles either its first female or first Jewish mayor—a leader who will inherit a city still struggling to pull itself from an extended fiscal slump.

    In their sprint to the finish line, both Democratic contenders with similar voting records tried to differentiate themselves from each other in down-to-the-wire pitches to undecided voters.

    “If you want an independent mayor with proven results, somebody who’s delivered neighborhood turnaround, who’s balanced budgets, I’m your guy," said Garcetti, who was leading by 7 percentage points in the most recent USC Price/Los Angeles Time poll released Friday.

    Greuel, who has racked up endorsements from high profile figures, including former President Bill Clinton and Magic Johnson, emphasized her experience as the city government's top critic for the last three years.

    “My history has been one of stepping up to the plate and being that tough fiscal watchdog,” she said. “My history has been for standing up for the taxpayers of L.A. and that’s what I’m going to do as mayor.”

    The contest to succeed Villaraigosa, who leaves office at the end of June with high marks from his constituents, broke spending records Saturday as outside contributions topped $33 million.

    The candidates have received rival endorsements—Greuel from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, the Daily News and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer; Garcetti from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the L.A. Times and Newark Mayor Cory Booker—but the money and attention the race has garnered is not expected to be matched by voter turnout.

    When the two faced off in March for a primary contest, which failed to give either the majority needed for an outright victory, only 21 percent of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot in the race.

    Leading up to Tuesday's runoff election, both candidates have made more aggressive attempts to woo Latinos, which represent nearly half of the city's population and roughly a third of eligible voters.

    Garcetti, a Spanish-speaker who leads among the coveted demographic, according to recent polls, has talked about his paternal grandparents' emigration from Mexico. Greuel, who has endorsements from prominent Latino leaders, has stumped before Spanish-speaking crowds.

    "The candidates are reaching out to the Latino community because they know, with ... a few hundred votes, they can change the entire makeup of the city," Elisa Sequeira, the head of civic engagement for California's National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials told NBC 4 LA.

    Just 400,000 of the city's 1.8 million registered voters are expected to cast ballots in the election Tuesday. A smaller voter pool, however, does give some advantages to those who do participate.

    “These smaller elections, when you vote for city council, mayor, you have more say. Your vote counts more and as an individual, it affects us more,” web designer Mary Jane Zorick told NBC 4 LA.

    Voters will also select  a new city controller and city attorney Tuesday. Polls close at 8 p.m. and results can be monitored here.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Either City Controller Wendy Greuel or Councilman Eric Garcetti will make history as the next mayor of Los Angeles: Greuel would be the city's first female mayor, while Garcetti would be the city's first Jewish mayor.Either City Controller Wendy Greuel or Councilman Eric Garcetti will make history as the next mayor of Los Angeles: Greuel would be the city's first female mayor, while Garcetti would be the city's first Jewish mayor.

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    One of the most expensive homes to hit the market in the United States is now on sale—in Connecticut.

    The $190 million Greenwich estate includes two islands in the Long Island Sound, nearly a mile of shore front property, and a rich history dating back to the late 19th Century.

    The 12-bedroom home was built in 1898 and purchased just after the turn of the century by the daughter of George Lauder, a partner in Carnegie Steel. It was then purchased in the early 1980s by timber tycoon John Rudey, who has decided to sell the property, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    An 1,800-foot driveway with cobblestone gutters leads up to the so-called Copper Beech Farm, which boasts a pool, a spa, a grass tennis court, a greenhouse, a stone carriage house and cottage on more than 50 acres of land.

    Inside, the home has all the marks of old world luxury: a library with a fireplace, balconies, a staff wing, staff kitchen, dumb waiter, wine cellar, skylights and marble bathrooms.

    It's unclear whether the home will actually sell for its asking price. The Journal points out that in 2009 Candy Spelling made headlines when she listed her Los Angeles mansion at $150 million—the home sold for $85 million.

    The property is by far the most expensive currently listed on the site of David Ogilvy & Associates, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate. The next priciest available is another Greenwich estate selling for just $32 million.

    Christie's shows several properties hovering around the $100 million-mark, but none that touch the Copper Beech Farm's $190 price tag. A Beverly Hills home that appeared in "The Godfather" and "The Bodyguard" is on sale for $115 million, as is a $95 million Fifth Avenue residence overlooking Central Park.



    Photo Credit: David Ogilvy & Associates

    Tucked into a wooded area, the Copper Beech Farm includes a 75-foot heated pool and waterfront views.Tucked into a wooded area, the Copper Beech Farm includes a 75-foot heated pool and waterfront views.

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    A gay couple was attacked early Tuesday in SoHo and a man was beaten in the East Village, hours after thousands marched to protest the killing of a gay man and several other bias attacks that have shaken the community, officials said.

    Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Tuesday that "New York City has zero tolerance for intolerance."

    "We are a place that celebrates diversity ... hate crimes like these are an offense against all we stand for as a city, and we will do everything possible to stop them," Bloomberg added.

    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the two men in the SoHo attack were walking on Broadway between Prince and Houston streets at about 5 a.m. when two men started yelling anti-gay remarks in English and Spanish. The victims, 41 and 42, are Hispanic.

    The men were both punched, and one suffered an eye injury, sources said.

    Police said two suspects, 32 and 33, were arrested and face a charge of assault as a hate crime.

    In the East Village beating, Kelly said two men who had known each other for about a month were out together in Manhattan on Monday. At some point they began fighting about the victim being gay.

    The other man then became "enraged," Kelly said, and hurled anti-gay slurs before he beat him unconscious. In that case, the 39-year-old suspect, who is homeless, was arrested and charged with felony assault and aggravated harassment as hate crimes, among other offenses.

    Dan Contarino, the victim, told NBC 4 New York he thought the recent spate of attacks have to do with "society changing quickly" as gay marriage becomes legal in more states, causing people with "repressed anger" to lash out. 

    "I'm very lucky," said Contarino. "I could be 6 feet under right now."

    The Empire State Pride Agenda said in a statement Tuesday that "enough is enough."

    "No more violence. We won't stand for it as a community or as a city," said Nathan Schaefer, executive director.

    On Monday evening, gay activists and supporters marched to condemn the death of 32-year-old Mark Carson in Greenwich Village, and several other attacks on gays in recent weeks.

    Carson was killed Saturday as he walked with a companion through the Village. Police say a man charged with murder as a hate crime shot Carson in the head.

    Officials said Monday that police would increase their presence there and in nearby neighborhoods through the end of June, Gay Pride Month.

    Police say there has been a rise in anti-gay crimes overall so far this year, to 24 from 14 during the same period last year. 

    Kelly said police believe bias crimes are actually underreported, but said there is one theory that the NYPD gets more reports of them after a high-profile case is in the news.


    Dan Contarino, the victim in the East Village attack, said he feels lucky to be alive.Dan Contarino, the victim in the East Village attack, said he feels lucky to be alive.

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  • 05/22/13--04:07: More Storms Move Through

  • On Tuesday, strong storms dropped hail and caused minor damage in northern Connecticut.

    Storms are moving through again on Wednesday, bringing thunder and lightning, and there is a chance for an afternoon thunderstorm in some towns.

    The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Litchfield County from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday as a storm showing rotation moved through Copake, New York just before 5 p.m.

    It headed southeast through Massachusetts and along the extreme northwest corner of Connecticut. 

    Storms brought down trees and power lines in Falls Village yesterday.

    One tree came down on cars parked in the high school parking lot., including the superintendent's.

    "It's just a car. We're just here to make sure all the kids were safe," Supt. Patricia Chamberlain said.

    Thunder, lightning, high winds and hail were reported in several towns, including Salisbury, Canaan, South Windsor and Manchester. Lightning strikes came very close to homes in Cornwall.

    Watch the interactive radar here.

    Download our brand new weather app here.

    If you take photos of severe weather, send them to photos@nbcconnecticut.com.

     


    Tuesday's storms rolled into South Windsor, bringing high winds and dropping hail.Tuesday's storms rolled into South Windsor, bringing high winds and dropping hail.

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    Bridgeport Police are back at it cavassing the neighborhood and asking for the public's help to find the driver who critically injured a toddler in a hit and run accident last month.


    "Hopefully these will work. Last time we didn't get anything," said Erica Parmlee, mother of Corey Gordon, who tells was critically injured.
     
    Now, there is a $1500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Parmlee and the Bridgeport Police went car by car on Madison and Capitol Avenues looking for evidence and at another intersection near the site of the April 30th that critically injured Corey.
     
    "I've been focusing on my son. Now that he's actually getting back to himself I feel that it's my duty find out who hit my child," Parmlee added.
     
    Police handed out 1500 fliers as they did two weeks ago. At this point, they're trying to move the investigation forward and still don't know the identity of the driver that ran Corey over and took off.

    "It's very frustrating that no one came forward because I feel that if it was their child, they would have. They'd be doing the same thing I'm doing," Parmlee said.
     
    Aline Lacerda took a flier as did others who drove through the traffic stop and have been following this incident.
     
    "I haven't seen anything like that before. Hopefully they'll catch whoever is responsible for that,” said Lacerda.
     
    In the meantime, Parmlee is doing everything she can or at least something she hopes any mother would do.
     
     
    "I'm just doing what I think I should do (which) is be here for my child," she said.
     
    Corey is out of intensive care and having surgery again Wednesday. After that he's headed to therapy.
    His mom and Bridgeport police are now hoping the fliers they handed out will help.

     

     



    Photo Credit: Family Photo

    Police are continuing to search for the driver who left Corey Gordon in critical condition.Police are continuing to search for the driver who left Corey Gordon in critical condition.

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    Amtrak will resume service between New York and New Haven later today, the company said in a statement on Twitter.

    Amtrak service between New Haven and New York was suspended indefinitely after a train derailment and crash involving Metro-North Railroad trains near Bridgeport on Friday, May 17.

    Rail service in the area has been affected since a train derailment and crash on Friday.

    The regularly scheduled operations will start with the departure of Acela Express train 2171, leaving Boston at 3:15 p.m. and the Acela Express train 2166 departing New York at 4 p.m.

    “Amtrak applauds the tireless efforts of Metro-North Railroad to quickly repair the tracks and other pieces of critical infrastructure, providing a vital transportation service to the region,” the company said in a statement.

    Reservations for the restored trains will be available on Tuesday, May 21.

    Passengers who received a cancellation notice for a previously canceled train will have their reservation restored and do not need to contact customer service.

    If your reservation was restored and you are not traveling, please call customer service at 800-USA-RAIL to cancel your reservation.
     


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    Anthony Weiner has announced his candidacy for New York City mayor with a campaign video posted to YouTube, days after NBC 4 New York exclusively spotted the former congressman shooting part of the video on the stoop of his childhood home in Brooklyn.

    "Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons," Weiner says in the two-minute, 16-second video posted late Tuesday night, acknowledging the sexting scandal that forced him to resign his congressional seat two years ago.

    "I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life," he continues. "And I hope I get a second chance to work for you." 

    A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that if Weiner jumped into the race, he would get 15 percent of Democratic votes, putting him in second place behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, with 25 percent. Neither comes close to the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The survey of 701 Democrats was taken May 14 through Monday and has a plus or minus 3.7 percentage point margin of error.

    The video, which opens with a shot of Weiner, his wife, Huma Abedin, and their toddler son in their home, highlights Weiner's upbringing in Brooklyn and his parents' backgrounds as a public school teacher and lawyer.

    Timeline: Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal

    Weiner lists rent, job security, education, public safety and business regulations as citywide problems he wants to tackle. He ticks off congressional victories like securing money to put more police on the streets, getting sick 9/11 responders financial help, and leading the campaign for health reform. 

    In the closing shots of the video, captured by NBC 4 New York in Park Slope last Thursday, Weiner, sitting alongside Abedin, says "New York City should be the middle class capital of the world."

    Abedin, who was pregnant with their son when the sexting scandal broke in May 2011, adds, "We love this city, and no one will work harder to make it better than Anthony." 

    Photos: Anthony Weiner Twitter Scandal

    The Park Slope home is where Weiner launched his bid for mayor in 2005, and where he later announced that fall he was stepping aside in order to avoid a divisive primary runoff.

    Weiner first revealed he was weighing a 2013 run for mayor last month in a New York Times Magazine story that detailed his efforts to repair his marriage. He has also hired a campaign manager, according to Politico, and has released a policy booklet

    Weiner ran for mayor in 2005, and nearly forced a runoff against Fernando Ferrer, but conceded in the name of party solidarity. He planned to run again in 2009, and was considered a leading contender, but dropped out after Mayor Bloomberg chose to run for a third term.

    Prior to his unraveling, Weiner had begun to plan for a 2013 campaign. He still has more than $4 million in his campaign account.

    Full Coverage: Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal



    Photo Credit: YouTube.com/AnthonyWeiner4Mayor

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    The race to become LA’s next mayor was tight Tuesday night with City Councilman Eric Garcetti leading by a slim but swelling margin.

    With 44 percent of the precincts reporting as of 12:55 a.m., Garcetti had garnered 54 percent of the vote. His opponent City Controller Wendy Greuel had netted 46 percent of the vote.

    The winner of the run-off election to replace outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will give the city of Los Angeles either its first female or first Jewish mayor—a leader who will inherit a city still struggling to pull itself from an extended fiscal slump.

    The contest to succeed Villaraigosa, who leaves office at the end of June with high marks from his constituents, broke spending records Saturday as outside contributions topped $33 million.

    Although the race was too close to call, Garcetti was optimistic as he addressed his supporters Tuesday night.

    "If this (lead) holds, and it looks like it will, on July 1, we will assume the responsibility of creating jobs, of balancing the budget, of keeping the streets safe, and of improving the quality of life for all Angelenos," he said.

    Refresh this page for updates and watch Today in LA for the very latest on the election results.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric GarcettiCity Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti

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    Los Angeles Councilman Eric Garcetti defeated City Controller Wendy Greuel in a mayoral election that set spending records and saw both candidates rack up high-profile endorsements on the way to Tuesday's runoff.

    With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Garcetti garnered 54 percent of the vote and Greuel 46 percent.

    "Thank you Los Angeles--the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years. Let's make this a great city again," Garcetti, 42, wrote on Twitter early Wednesday.

    Decision 2013: Election Results | Full Coverage

    Garcetti becomes the first Jewish candidate to be elected to the mayor's office. In 1878, Bernard Cohn was a member of the city's council when he was appointed acting mayor to fill a vacancy. He served for less than one month.

    Garcetti will inherit a city still struggling to pull itself from an extended fiscal slump.

    The contest to succeed outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who leaves office at the end of June with high marks from his constituents, broke spending records as outside contributions topped $33 million.

    "We're talking a whole lot of money and very few votes," said NBC4 political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. "It's not only the money, but how that money was used.

    "It shows the increasing dominance of independent expenditure groups. Those groups can't be controlled by the candidate. Garcetti had greated control over the message. Even though he had far less in contributions from the independent groups, he came out ahead."

    Greuel would have become the city's first female mayor, if elected. She called Garcetti early Wednesday to concede, The Los Angeles Times reported, citing a Greuel campaign source.

    In their sprint to the finish line after two years of campaigning, both Democratic contenders with similar voting records tried to differentiate themselves from each other in down-to-the-wire pitches to undecided voters.

    Greuel had racked up endorsements from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, the Daily News and high profile figures including former President Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson, and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

    Garcetti had the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the L.A. Times and Newark Mayor Cory Booker in his corner. The fluent Spanish-speaker had talked during the campaign about his paternal grandparents' emigration from Mexico.

    Although the race was too close to call Tuesday night, Garcetti was optimistic as he addressed his supporters.

    "If this (lead) holds, and it looks like it will, on July 1, we will assume the responsibility of creating jobs, of balancing the budget, of keeping the streets safe, and of improving the quality of life for all Angelenos," he said.

    Refresh this page for updates and watch Today in LA for the very latest on the election results.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Eric Garcetti speaks during a election night rally on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Hollywood.Eric Garcetti speaks during a election night rally on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Hollywood.

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    The decades-old mystery of female body parts that washed up on South Florida's beaches has been solved. Nilsa Padilla was murdered, her body dismembered and then tossed into the waters off Key Biscayne. Read the full story here.

    Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

    Body parts washed ashore in South Florida for about two weeks in April 1985.Body parts washed ashore in South Florida for about two weeks in April 1985.

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    A bear wandered through a neighborhood north of Los Angeles for more than an hour Wednesday morning with squad cars and a helicopter on its tail as it scaled fences and surprised several horses in their corrals.

    The bear was first seen in the Shadow Hills area, about 20 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

    The black bear surprised two horses as it emerged from a backyard, then walked through another corral with three horses a few blocks away. The bear scaled a fence around the second corral and walked along the top of it until leaping back to the ground and trotting under a tree.

    Police in squad cars and an airship followed the bear, which was first spotted along Clybourn Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. Officers and at least one California Department of Fish and Wildlife agent -- armed with a tranquilizer gun -- cornered the bear under trees along Wentworth Street.

    Aerial video showed agents loading the tranquilized bear into the bed of a pickup. The bear will likely be transported to a wildlife area.

    The bear appeared to have a tracking tag attached to its right ear, indicating that wildlife officials might have been in contact before with the bear.


    A bear surprises two horses Wednesday May 22, 2013 in the Shadow Hills area north of Los Angeles.A bear surprises two horses Wednesday May 22, 2013 in the Shadow Hills area north of Los Angeles.

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    State police made a drug bust in Hartford on Tuesday and said they found 1,700 bags of heroin bagged for sale, as well as some cocaine.

    After obtaining four court-ordered arrest warrants for Jose Guzman, 44. and his apartment at 1912 Broad Street, apt. 1N, in Hartford, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force conducted a search on Tuesday.

    During the investigation, police developed a lead on a second major distribution point of 755 Wethersfield Ave. Apt. A12, police said.

    Between the two locations, police said they seized around 2 grams of cocaine, more than $600 in U.S. currency and around 1,700 bags of heroin packaged for street sales. 

    Guzman was arrested around 7 p.m. charged with four counts sale of narcotics, four counts of possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

    He is being held on a $1 million bond and is due in court on May 22. 
     



    Photo Credit: State police

    State police made a drug bust in Hartford and found 1,700 bags of heroin.State police made a drug bust in Hartford and found 1,700 bags of heroin.

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    There’s growing outrage in Manchester, after nine gravestones at Hillstown Veterans Cemetery off Hillstown Road were vandalized.

    “It’s something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” said Charlotte Varner.

    Dozens of servicemen who fought in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars are buried at Hillstown Veterans Cemetery and someone apparently used a permanent black marker to scribble phrases on the tombstones.

    Maintenance workers with the public works department made the discovery this week, just before Memorial Day.

    “It’s completely awful,” said Brenda Gagliardi. “This is a place of peace and beauty, so people need to take respect.”

    Public works crews have been trying to remove the marks, but the gravestones are made of marble, which is porous.

    Town officials are worried they won’t be able to have them cleaned up in time for Memorial Day.

    Varner said even if they can’t, the veterans should still be honored on Monday.

    “They still deserve a good Memorial Day,” she said.

    It’s unknown who was behind the vandalism. Manchester police are investigating.


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    Brian Urlacher will not play for another team in the 2013 season.

    The sure-bet hall of fame middle linebacker released a post on the social media site WhoSay.com letting fans know that he will be ending his career as a Bear.

    "After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a desicion," he wrote.

    Urlacher, 34, played 13 seasons for Chicago, earning numerous honors including Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000. Urlacher was selected to 8 Pro Bowls.

    The defensive stalwart parted ways with the team shortly after the free agency period began. Bears General Manager Phil Emery offered Urlacher a deal that amounted to just over the veteran minimum to stay with the club, Urlacher declined the offer and moved on.

    See the statement below.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears watches the action.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears watches the action. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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    Police in Madison are investigating after someone stole two bronze statues worth almost $20,000 from a display known as "sculpture mile."
     
    Between May 15 and May 16, the two statues were stolen from outside the Madison Stop & Shop on Samson Rock Road, according to police.

    Both sculptures are by Dana Stewart, a California native and New Jersey-based artist. One of Stewart’s pieces, called Oliver and another called a small nondescript beast, were stolen.

    They are part of an outdoor art exhibit sponsored by the Hollycroft Foundation, a non-profit that exhibits the works and sells them on behalf of the artists who created them.

    Works by 23 artists are on display in the Madison exhibit,

    Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Neal Mulhern at (203)318-3040 or Det. Chris Sudock (203)318-3041.



    Photo Credit: Madison Police

    Two sculptures by Dana Stewart were stolen from Madison.Two sculptures by Dana Stewart were stolen from Madison.

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