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  • 05/19/16--15:43: 2 Charged in Family Massacre

  • Three months after a family of six was found butchered in a Gage Park home, Chicago police announced a relative of the family and his teenage girlfriend were charged with killing them after what police said was a robbery turned deadly.

    Police and the Cook County State's Attorney's office confirmed Thursday afternoon 22-year-old Diego Uribe Cruz, a relative of the family, and his 19-year-old girlfriend Jafeth Ramos were arrested. Each is charged with six counts of first-degree murder. 

    The family of six was found stabbed, beaten and shot on Feb. 4, their bodies scattered inside a bungalow on a quiet street in the 5700 block of South California. 

    "They were a family like any other who went to work, went to school, loved each other and abided by the law," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

    The victims were later identified as a couple, their son, their daughter and their daughter's two children: 62-year-old Noe Martinez Sr., 58-year-old Rosaura Martinez, 38-year-old Noe Martinez Jr., 32-year-old Maria Herminia Martinez, 13-year-old Leonardo Cruz and 10-year-old Alexis Cruz.

    Authorities say Uribe, a cousin of the Maria Herminia Martinez, attempted to rob the family inside the home and shot Martinez during a verbal argument. 

    "The offender first engaged in an argument with Maria. She was shot and killed and then as time went on, systematically, when he encountered the other subjects in the house, he proceeded to beat or stab them," Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Gene Roy said.

    Authorities claim Ramos was present and an accomplice to the killings, but would not specify how. 

    Since day one of the monthslong investigation, mourning relatives and community members have asked who would do this and why.

    Investigators found no signs of forced entry at the home and said all the doors were locked when they arrived. Former Interim Police Supt. John Escalante, however, said one theory — that of a murder-suicide — had been deemed implausible.

    Three types of knives or other bladed cutting instruments were used to carry out most of the killings, according to investigators, but those weapons were not at the crime scene. A rifle was found in the home but did not match the weapon used in the shooting death.

    Last month, police had indicated the family may have been slain by multiple killers

    But the break in the case came Wednesday, authorities said, when DNA evidence from Uribe was determined to have been inside the house and cell phone records put his location near the murders. Authorities said Uribe's blood was found outside the house and other biological evidence was located inside the home. 

    Police also said both suspects admitted to their roles in the murders.

    "In my 28 years, I haven’t seen a case that has hit so close to home for myself and so many others in this department than what was discovered on that cold Thursday afternoon in February," Johnson said.

    It was not immediately clear if Uribe or Ramos had an attorney.



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

    Crosses in honor of each family member killed in the horrific Gage Park, Chicago, slaying were placed outside their home as part of a memorial for the family.Crosses in honor of each family member killed in the horrific Gage Park, Chicago, slaying were placed outside their home as part of a memorial for the family.

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    When he wasn’t in New York City or traveling the globe during his more than five decades of reporting for CBS News, the small town of Chester was Morley Safer’s home.

    “The way you saw him on television is the way he was locally,” journalist Lary Bloom said, “He was easy to talk to, people liked him a lot, he was here.”

    Bloom knew Safer since the longtime 60 Minutes’ correspondent moved to Chester in the 1980s.

    “He literally planted roots in the community,” Bloom said, adding Safer enjoyed gardening work.

    Safer, 84, passed away Thursday just a week after the remarkable TV reporter retired, ending a 52-year run with CBS News.

    “This is what we should shoot for,” Bloom said, “I mean do the work you love as long as you can do it and he didn’t have any regrets in that regard.”

    Safer belonged to the synagogue Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.

    “This was more of their sanctuary,” Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg said. “Their place to escape.”

    Goldenberg recalled meeting Safer for the first time after she spoke out against the death penalty in a sermon on social justice.

    “He praised my courage for taking a stand on the issue,” she said. “It was really a humbling moment.”

    Safer will always be remembered for his ground breaking reporting from the front lines of the Vietnam War.

    “He saw, he witnessed the burning of a village and that was something, that was really breaking,” Bloom said. “Turned the war, that turned the American public on that.”

    Safer did not tweet much, but Sunday night he posted, “It’s been a wonderful run and I want to thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our 60 Minutes broadcast. Thank you!”

    The tweet came right before CBS aired an hour long special looking back on Safer’s incredible career.

    “We loved having him,” Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister said, “He’ll surely be missed.”



    Photo Credit: FilmMagic

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    After almost four months of renovations, the House That Social Media Built in Old Saybrook hits the shoreline housing market this week.

    “It’s completely exceeded all of my expectations,” said Nicole White of William Raveis Real Estate, “but it’s also not at all what I had envisioned it to be.”

    White came up with the concept to market a home makeover by allowing Facebook users to vote on different options for redesigning the home.

    The color of the kitchen cabinets, the crystal door knobs and the lower level diamond pattern carpet are just some of the features the voters selected.

    “Everything flows together,” said Mike Riccio, owner of ReBuilt Homes, “The interesting part about it was we had to build on every step of the way.”

    Riccio and White didn’t always agree with the voters, especially when it came their kitchen appliance choice.

    “Obviously, the traditional is more of a stainless,” White said. “They went with this new slate and it doesn’t show finger prints.”

    White said one of her favorite features is the white washed bricks around the fire place.

    “I wanted to leave it natural red brick and she wanted to white wash so we had a little boxing match,” Riccio said. “The voters, they won.”

    Riccio rebuilds homes for a living.

    “I was little nervous in the beginning,” he said. “Because I don’t like to give up control, but it went smoothly.”

    Now that the transformation from a 1980s Dutch style colonial home into a trendy, modern home is complete, Riccio said the starting asking price will be $389,000.

    “I think what the people picked here will sell very nicely,” Riccio said.

    Next up for Riccio and White, they plan to do this all over again with a home in Branford.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Researchers say people are in charge of their own risk of cancer — with as many as half of cancer deaths related to things people could easily change, NBC News reported.

    Smoking, heavy drinking, being overweight and a lack of exercise were responsible for 20 to 40 percent of cancer cases and for half of cancer deaths, according to a team from Harvard Medical School. 

    The group examined data from health professional of 140,000 people and determined that heavy drinking raises colon, breast, liver, head and neck cancer rates. Obesity raises the risk of colon, pancreatic and other cancers. Smoking caused 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. The risk of cancer was lower in those who exercised, kept a health weight, didn’t smoke and didn’t drink excessively. 

    Researchers said health insurance companies should encourage doctors to help patients do what they can to prevent cancer, and that Americans need to believe that cancer can be a preventable disease.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    A July 17, 2015, file photo, of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. A team of researchers has found that half of cancer deaths are related to factors that can easily be controlled.A July 17, 2015, file photo, of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. A team of researchers has found that half of cancer deaths are related to factors that can easily be controlled.

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  • 05/19/16--18:08: SF Top Cop Resigns

  • Police Chief Greg Suhr has resigned from the San Francisco Police Department in the midst of the shooting of a black woman by SFPD officers and other racial tensions, Mayor Ed Lee announced at a news conference late Thursday afternoon.

    Lee said he had asked Suhr, who has served in the city's police department for more than 30 years, to resign.

    The mayor appointed Toney Chaplin, former SFPD deputy chief of the Professional Standards and Principled Policing Bureau, as the acting police chief.

    "The past several months have shaken and divided our City, and tensions between law enforcement and communities of color that have simmered for too many years have come into full view," Lee said.

    "Though the facts are still emerging, we know that, this morning, a young woman of color was killed in an officer-involved shooting in the Bayview. The community is grieving, and I join them in that grief."

    The resignation comes after police earlier in the day fatally shot a woman in the Bayview District. Earlier in the day, Suhr said the woman was driving a stolen car and refused officers' commands to stop the car. Officers approached her on foot and she drove away. She was then shot by police.

    The shooting comes at a politically difficult time for Suhr and Lee.

    The San Francisco Police Department is under intense scrutiny following the fatal shooting of Mario Woods in December and the fatal shooting of Luis Gongora in April, as well as two recent scandals involving racist text messages exchanged among officers.

    Activists for months have been calling for Suhr to be fired. A group of five protesters — dubbed "the Frisco 5" — went on a hunger strike outside of Mission Police Station on April 21, vowing not to eat until Suhr had tendered his resignation.

    On May 3, about 400 supporters marched with the strikers, who were pushed in wheelchairs, to the steps of city hall where they interrupted a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting and demanded his resignation. At the time, the board’s president London Breed said she would not “comment publicly” on whether she wanted Suhr to resign.

    On May 8, the hunger strikers were sent to the hospital and ended the strike for health reasons, leading to a violent protest involving their supporters and sheriff’s deputies at City Hall. At the time, Lee had still expressed support for Suhr.

    City supervisors Jane Kim, David Campos, Eric Mar and John Avalos joined those calls for Suhr's removal last week following the release of a critical report on the department by a blue-ribbon panel commissioned by District Attorney George Gascon.

    Edwin Lindo, one of the hunger strikers, told NBC Bay Area that Suhr’s resignation is a positive step for the city.

    “This shows the power of the people and the community,” he said. “When we come together with love justice, the power for justice is inevitable. This battle is a victory, but the fight for justice continues, making sure the next chief is one accountable to the community and that the necessary reforms are implemented. “

    The Frisco 5 released a statement following Lee's announcement, demanding that the officers involved in these shootings be fired and charged with murder.

    "We demand a meeting between the community and the interim police chief to discuss real reform created by the community," they said, calling for Lee to resign.

    They said that Lee "allowed rampant police misconduct, terrorized the homeless and forced out the middle and lower income residents of our community to serve the interest of big business over the people of San Francisco."

    Mayor Lee's full statement on Suhr's resignation:
    "The past several months have shaken and divided our City, and tensions between law enforcement and communities of color that have simmered for too many years have come into full view.

    Though the facts are still emerging, we know that, this morning, a young woman of color was killed in an officer-involved shooting in the Bayview.

    The community is grieving, and I join them in that grief.

    These officer-involved shootings, justified or not, have forced our City to open its eyes to questions of when and how police use lethal force.

    For the last many months, every day, I have asked myself, is the path to reform best advanced by our current Department leadership?

    Because my goal has always been, and remains, real reform and the restoration of trust.

    I have previously expressed confidence in Chief Suhr because I know he agrees with and understands the need for reform. He has demonstrated his commitment to instilling these reforms into the whole department, from the command staff to the cadets.

    But following this morning’s officer-involved shooting and my meeting with Chief Suhr this afternoon, today I have arrived at a different conclusion to the question of how best to move forward.

    For me, this has never been about personalities and politics, it’s been about performance.

    Because, in my three decades of public service, I’ve learned how important it is to measure progress along the way. Greg Suhr, a dedicated public servant who’s given more than three decades of his life to the Bayview and to this City.

    The progress we’ve made has been meaningful, but it hasn’t been fast enough. Not for me, not for Greg.

    That’s why I have asked Chief Suhr for his resignation. And in the best interest of the City he loves so much, he tendered his resignation earlier today. Despite the political rhetoric of the past few weeks, I have nothing but profound admiration for Greg. He’s a true public servant, and he will always have my respect.

    I’ve known him for years, and he’s a man of great character. He takes his job seriously, he’s loyal, he’s smart, and he understands that a Police officer is more than a public safety enforcer. A police officer is peace of mind, a social worker. He’s a model San Franciscan and a great man.

    To take Greg’s place, I am naming Toney Chaplin as Acting Chief of Police.

    Toney has served in the Police Department for 26 years. He’s established a record of commitment to the City’s diverse communities, serving at Mission and Taraval Stations, in the Gang Task Force, and running the Homicide division. Toney has most recently helped establish our new Professional Standards and Principled Policing bureau, the arm of the department that focuses on accountability and transparency.

    The men and women of the San Francisco Police Department put themselves in harms’ way daily, literally. We owe it to them to restore the community’s trust in their department. As we embark on a new chapter for the Police, we aim to restore this trust.

    Some of the reforms underway might have prevented or clarified today’s incident.

    We need to turn these plans into actions.

    I will hold the Acting Chief and the Department to a high standard of urgency to implement the reforms we’ve already announced in the past several months.

    And we will keep pressing forward with new accountability measures, and stronger oversight over police use-of-force.

    My fellow San Franciscans, we must push forward, harder than ever before, to reform the Police Department and restore trust with every community and keep our City safe.

    In this solemn moment, we must put aside politics and begin to heal the City.”

    Gillian Edevane contributed to this report.

    Bay City News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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  • 05/19/16--17:52: SFPDNewChief



  • Photo Credit: SFPD

    SFPD new acting chief is Toney Chaplin.SFPD new acting chief is Toney Chaplin.

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    If you're traveling Memorial Day weekend, experts said you're far from alone.

    The American Automobile Association projects 1,720,000 New Englanders will travel over the holiday weekend and more than a million and a half of those travelers will be driving to their destinations.

    "It will be a little more stressful dealing with the traffic," said commuter John Furmenek.

    The reason for the increased travel AAA said is because of low gas prices. With the average price in Connecticut around $2.39 almost $.50 less than last year.

    Tourist destinations around the state, like Hartford's Mark Twain House and Museum, are expecting big crowds.

    "This past year we put 68,000 people through the house. This year we have our eyes set on 75,000," said Executive Director at The Mark Twain House & Museum Dr. Cindy Lovell.

    If you're thinking about flying to escape the extra company on the road AAA said you're not in the clear yet. They're projecting a 1.6 percent increase nationwide compared to last year’s figure.

    AAA said they expect to respond to more than 350,000 motorist during the holiday weekend. With the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    An emotional commencement ceremony was held Thursday at Cal State Long Beach, where the parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, the student who was killed during a terrorist attack in Paris last year, accepted her diploma.

    Greeted with rousing applause and a standing ovation, her parents took in the bittersweet moment to celebrate the 23-year-old's life and accomplishments.

    "When I came to this country, I was only 21 and I had dreams," said her mother, Beatriz Gonzalez. "I wanted a better life for my family. And we did it, we did it. And Nohemi is the first one who has a diploma."

    Nohemi Gonzalez's older brother, her boyfriend and her closest classmates gathered around her family members at the ceremony.

    At a recent CSULB alumni event, Noehmi Gonzalez was named the outstanding graduate for the College of the Arts. The department's design shop will be renamed in her honor.

    Nohemi Gonzalez, of El Monte, was one of 17 CSULB students studying abroad at the Strate College of Design in Paris at the time of the attacks. She was killed Nov. 13 while out with friends at a bistro.

    The attacks killed 130 people at Paris restaurants, a noted music hall and a sports stadium outside the city. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the carnage.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    The parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the Paris terror attacks, accepted her degree on Thursday, May 19, 2016.The parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the Paris terror attacks, accepted her degree on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

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    A Boston woman is accused of attacking a 97-year-old woman in a wheelchair while they were at a Vernon supermarket, police said.

    On Thursday, police were called to the Aldi Supermarket on Talcottville Road just before 5 p.m.

    Witnesses told police they saw Kirsten Laundry, 42, of East Boston, Massachusetts, shove an elderly woman in a wheelchair violently in the face. 

    Laundry allegedly threatened to withhold food from the elderly victim, Vernon Police said.

    The victim was not injured. 

    Police found Laundry in possession of drug paraphernalia in the form of cut straws that may be used for snorting drugs.

    Laundry is accused of cruelty to persons, second-degree breach of peace and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

    She is currently being held on a $10,000 bond. 



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

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    An EgyptAir flight carrying 66 people crashed while en route from Paris to Cairo on Thursday, and Egyptian officials said it was more likely the jet was downed by a terror attack than a technical malfunction, NBC News reported. 

    EgyptAir retracted its announcement that debris from Flight MS804 was found during search operations in the Mediterranean near the Greek island of Karpathos. "We stand corrected on that," the airline told CNN, saying initial information from "official channels" was incorrect.

    A senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the U.S. capabilities in the region told NBC News the cause of the crash remains unclear, but infrared and multispectral imagers indicate strongly there was an explosion on the flight. 

    EgyptAir said Flight MS804 left Charles de Gaulle Airport at 11:09 p.m. Paris time (5:09 p.m. ET). The jet was about 10 miles into Egyptian airspace at an altitude of nearly 37,000 feet when it vanished at around 2:45 a.m. local time (8:45 p.m. ET), according to officials and radar trackers.

    [[238427591, C]]

    French President Francois Hollande said earlier the plane had crashed, but that it was too soon to speculate as to the cause. Greece's defense minister Panos Kammenos said the jet made abrupt turns and suddenly lost altitude just before vanishing, the AP reported. 

    Most of the flight's passengers were Egyptian or French. Three children, seven crew and three "security personnel" were also among those on board. No Americans were believed on the plane. Their identities have not yet been released.

    Search teams have spotted what could be debris from crashed jet 230 miles south-southeast of the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. It was not immediately clear what suggested the items might be from the missing jet.

    [[380097951, C]]

    EgyptAir confirmed the names of the crew to NBC News Thursday evening. The captain of the flight was Mohamed Said Aly Aly Shakeer, according to EgyptAir, and his co-pilot was Mohamed Ahmed Mamdouh Ahmed Assem. The names of the air hostess crew were reported to NBC News as: Mervat Zaki Zakri Mohamed, Atef Lutfy Abdel Lateef Amin, Samir Ezzedin Safwat Youssef, Haitham Mostafa Azz al Hameed Al Azzizi and Yara Hani Farag Tawfiq.



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

    Relatives of passengers on a vanished EgyptAir flight grieve as they leave the in-flight service building where they were held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Egyptian aviation officials say an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board has crashed. The officials say the search is now underway for the debris.Relatives of passengers on a vanished EgyptAir flight grieve as they leave the in-flight service building where they were held at Cairo International Airport, Egypt, Thursday, May 19, 2016. Egyptian aviation officials say an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board has crashed. The officials say the search is now underway for the debris.

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    Wright's Mill Farm, a popular wedding venue in Canterbury, was badly damaged by fire overnight and will have to rebuild.

    Events, including weddings, at Wright's Mill Farm are booked two years in advance and staff members are reaching out to customers, including a couple who planned to hold there wedding there this weekend. 

    Carolann Donahue, of Canterbury, helped her best friend, Jackie, plan a wedding there and it was supposed to happen on Oct. 8

    "Its absolutely devastating and it's a really hard hit to the community because it's such an amazing place. It's really sad," Donahue said. 

    The owners of Wright's Mill Farm said in a Facebook post that it might take time, but they will rebuild.

    Seven fire departments responded to Wright's Mill Farm, at 65 Creasey Road, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and firefighters remained at the scene until around midnight.

    The fire destroyed the farm's kitchen and damaged the lodge area.

    “They are doing everything they can to accommodate their customers. They’re very well respected in the community. All people that have functions here are very, very happy with the situation and with their service. The owners right now are primarily concerned about all of their customers and their friends that have booked events here,” Canterbury Fire Marshal Paul Yellen said.

    As the owners deal with what comes next, they are thankful that no one was hurt. 

    "This evening Wright's Mills Farm encountered our worst nightmare," a post on the venue's Facebook page says. "While this is a tragedy beyond our imagination, we are thankful that no one was seriously injured."

    Officials said on Wednesday night that two people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, but the fire marshal said on Thursday morning that one person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhallation.

    Now the fire marshal is looking into what caused the fire. 

    "Because of the size of the fire, because of the dollar loss, we don't want to take any chances. We don't want to miss anything at all, so it's always better to get a second set of eyes to look at things," Yellen said.



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

    A large fire at Wright's Mill Farm, a popular wedding venue, in Canterbury, sent two people to the hospital and caused heavily damaged.A large fire at Wright's Mill Farm, a popular wedding venue, in Canterbury, sent two people to the hospital and caused heavily damaged.

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    Two people are dead after a wrong-way crash on Route 8 in Shelton.

    Police said Fernando J. Moreno-Rivas, 30, of Stratford, and Kelly M. Wootten, 29, of Seymour, crashed on Route 8 South near the exit 13 off-ramp. The crash was reported at 1:11 a.m. and both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

    According to a news release from state police, Wootten was going north on the southbound side of the road.

    Family members said Moreno-Rivas was a U.S. Army medic on his way from from his military base in upstate New York when the crash happened. 

    "Fernando was very positive. He had an amazing outlook on life and was always ready for any new adventures. He loved his family, most of all his mother Loli and his daughter Arianna," a statement from the family says. "He was a great friend, always there when you needed him and willing to give the shirt off his back to anyone. He served for one year in Afghanistan as a combat medic and currently was still on active duty. Our family will never be the same without him."

    State police shut down the southbound side of Route 8 between exits 15 and 13, but they have reopened the road.

    “Not a month goes by where you don’t see something horrible happen on route 8 and that’s why it needs to be addressed," State Representative Jason Perillo said.

    An accident reconstruction team is on scene trying to determine the cause of the crash.

    (Trooper Kelly Grant/Connecticut State Police)
    08:40 That’s going to take a little bit of time because unfortunately the two people involved in the accident are deceased//09:00 They’re going to look at all those factors: Alcohol, drugs, medical, a reaction to medication, difficult street signs. 

    "That’s going to take a little bit of time because, unfortunately, the two people involved in the accident are deceased," Trooper Kelly Grant, of Connecticut State Police, said and investigators will be looking into any possible contributing factors. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Home Depot employees spent their day giving back to a 92 year old World War II veteran, updating his home at no cost to him.

    "I said what are all the cars doing here he said they're at you're house I couldn't believe it," said John Dysenchuk a World War II Veteran

    More than 30 Home Depot employees volunteered their time on their day off today in Glastonbury.

    "It's part of our culture,” said Chris Piccoli, the Home Depot district manager. “We're fortunate to work for a great company that allows us to do it, encourages us to do it, and it continues to get bigger and bigger."

    The employees replaced John's roof, built an entirely new shed, installed new doors, in addition to updating his landscaping.

    “We always say we come with a scope and we always end up doing so much more," said Piccoli. “We’re like go get ten bags of mulch, go get a flower, go get this and it just never ends. We talked about planting new grass…it’s just good to give back.”

    "I'm very very thankful,” said Dysenchuk. “Sometimes you get down and down and out and then something like this happens and it's just mind boggling."

    Helping veterans is something the Home Depot employees are more than happy to do. Since 2011, Team Depot has helped repair and update more than 25,000 homes for veterans across the country.

    "The sense of the feeling of being able to give back to someone who gave to the country is amazing," added Piccoli.


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    A new program launched today raising awareness that Farmers Markets in the Hartford area are giving extra value for SNAP recipients. Oh Snap encourages people to eat , shop, and have fun in their own backyard.

    “These are locally grown produce so it’s going to be fresher, it’s going to last you longer its more nutritious and you get a chance to talk to the farmers and vendors and know where you’re food is coming from,” said Farmers’ Market Outreach Project Coordinator, Jeniffer Perez Caraballo.

    Vendors like Maple Knoll Farm in Somersville.

    “A lot times people feel like they can’t go to farmers markets because they don’t have enough money because everything is kind of more expensive with local product,” said Jessica Cannon-Pinney, the Maple Knoll Farm vendor. “I definitely think it’s a step in the right direction with making people feel like they can do what anybody else can.”

    Oh Snap is a USDA funded program that allows certain Farmers Markets to double what you spend on your SNAP Card, something that the 40 percent of Hartford residents using SNAP can all benefit from.

    “Our hopes and goals are really to get attendance up at the Farmers Markets of folks who do use SNAP,” said Caraballo. “We really do think this is a great program providing access to food that’s healthy, nutritious, and local and so we’d really love to see more people from Hartford or just snap customers in general.”

    And for SNAP recipients, there’s no better way to get more bang for your buck.

    “It makes people more apt to come and spend their money and get more for what they have,” adds Cannon-Pinney.

    The Farmer’s Market at Billings Forge, the North End Farmers Market, the Homestead Farmers Market, and the West End Farmers Market all participate in Oh Snap and offer above-face value for SNAP Recipients.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Assorted set of frozen vegetables can be used as backgroundAssorted set of frozen vegetables can be used as background

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    Preston held a special town meeting on Thursday and approved a proposal to redevelop the former Norwich Hospital.

    Mohegan Tribe officials announced additional details on Monday about plans to turn the former Norwich Hospital site in southeastern Connecticut into a family destination.

    The 393-acre property that developers are calling the Preston Riverwalk sits along the Thames River across from Mohegan Sun.

    Last week, Preston’s town selectman announced they were entering a partnership with the tribe to redevelop the land and provided some details on what types of businesses they hope to attract.

    “Possibly some outdoor adventure park development is a play, maybe a synthetic ski slope that you wont’t have to go to Dubai for, but you could come to southeastern Connecticut and ski year-round on a synthetic ski slope. Those kinds of things,” Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said.

    Brown said he hopes the new development will set them apart from other casinos in the northeast, attract more people to visit southeastern Connecticut and get them to stay longer.

    “There’s increased competition throughout the northeast and this absolutely will be a distinguishing characteristic,” Brown said.

    Other possibilities for the land include senior housing, restaurants and even shopping.

    “It just brings great enthusiasm to the table, lots of people are interested in what’s going on and what’s going to happen and I think it’s a great turning point for eastern Connecticut,” Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, said.

    The town of Preston will agree not to sell it to anyone else for 180 days while the tribe tries to attract potential businesses and entertainment.

    Cogdon said the town is looking for public input now and especially after the 180 days when the tribe has a better idea of what businesses will go onto the property. After the 180 days, the town will vote to approve the development.

    The property will be taxable.

    Brown said this wound not be a third casino, but it will bring several businesses and jobs to the area.

    “For so long, there has been this reliance on gaming, which now really has been broadened to include economic development and a strategic vision for the future. So that’s a hope and expectation that I find very exciting,” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    This is the former Norwich Hospital.This is the former Norwich Hospital.

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  • 05/20/16--03:54: Woman Sacrificed Chickens

  • A Northern Virginia woman has been accused of sacrificing as many as 12 to 15 chickens each week in her townhome in suburban Sterling, Virginia.

    Mercy Carrion was arrested May 5 after a confidential informant working with Animal Control officers witnessed her slaughtering the chickens, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, which first reported the charges.

    Carrion was charged with three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, the Times-Mirror reported.

    Authorities believe the sacrifice was part of a religious offering.

    "It's one of our more interesting cases,” said Officer Patrick Breslin of Loudoun County Animal Control.

    “Any time we see any sort of violence with any animals it’s alarming for the community," Breslin said. "But this one in particular is a little more alarming.”

    The details of the case are disturbing. The informant told Breslin that Carrion would carry out the sacrifices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week at her home in the 100 block of Sherwood Court.

    In some instances - while the chickens were still alive, Carrion would bury the chickens in the back yard, or burn them.

    Breslin said authorities seized two cauldrons from the home, as well as instruments that he described as "various animal torturing devices."

    The Times-Mirror reported that Animal Control officers saw blood spatter on the walls of Carrion's living room.

    Neighbors described hearing the chickens frequently. "Every morning," said neighbor Aurora Gutierrez.

    "The fact that these animals were killed in an inhumane manner -- that's what we’re focusing on here," Breslin said.

    But there was one piece of good news: As police searched the home, they found one rooster still alive. The rooster is now at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter until a court decides what’s next for him.



    Photo Credit: NBC Washington

    Animal Control officers were able to rescue this rooster from the home. The rooster is now in an animal shelter until a court decides what's next for him.Animal Control officers were able to rescue this rooster from the home. The rooster is now in an animal shelter until a court decides what's next for him.

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    Four pro-Bernie Sanders rallies, with estimated attendance of 38,000 activists, have been approved for public demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in July, the city said Thursday.

    The four rallies, given permits Wednesday night, bring the total to five for approved rallies and marches during what is expected to be a bustling week of political activity in Center City and South Philadelphia. The convention officially runs July 25-28, but two of the five approved rallies and marches of more than 7,000 activists will be held July 24 -- the day more than 4,000 delegates arrive from across the country.

    NBC10 first reported Wednesday that an anti-fracking, clean energy group called Food & Water Watch was the first to receive a city permit for public demonstration. A group organizer said more than 5,000 activists are expected July 24 at a march from City Hall to Independence Mall.

    For the largest of the four pro-Sanders rallies approved, more than 30,000 people are expected to attend weeklong demonstrations called “March for Bernie at DNC,” which will be held at FDR Park in South Philadelphia. It’s within earshot of where conventioneers will gather at the Wells Fargo Center to nominate their party’s presidential nominee.

    The rally has been approved for five straight days, starting July 24 and ending July 28. The permit from the city also allows activists to gather each day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The “public assemblage,” as the city technically describes demonstrations, could evolve from rally into protest depending on what happens during delegate voting inside the convention.

    Unlike the Food & Water Watch rally, which has a "sponsoring organization" identified by the city, three of the four pro-Sanders demonstrations have no group named, including the FDR Park demonstration..

    Their permits were submitted by individuals, and the city would not identify them, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney said.

    She cited personal privacy concerns for the applicants.

    The fourth pro-Sanders demonstration approved Wednesday has a sponsoring organization identified.

    A group called Black Men for Bernie has been approved to hold a “We the People Restoration Rally” at Thomas Paine Plaza across from City Hall on July 27-28. They will be allowed to gather from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    The purpose of the rally is “to address economic inequality, human rights, poverty, criminal justice reform and lack of ownership,” according to the city’s permit approval document.

    A message left for the group was not returned.



    Photo Credit: FilmMagic

    Rappers of hip hop group EPMD, Erick Sermon and PMD perform during, Rappers of hip hop group EPMD, Erick Sermon and PMD perform during, "A Future To Believe In" GOTV rally concert at Prospect Park on April 17, 2016 in New York City. Four pro-Bernie Sanders rallies have been approved for public demonstrations during the Democratic National Convention in July, the city said Thursday.

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    The observatory at One World Trade Center will celebrate its one-year anniversary this month by hosting a free open house.

    Ticket-holders will get to travel up the tower’s 104 stories and experience sweeping views of the city from the One World Observatory. 

    The observatory opened on May 29, 2015. It sits a top the tallest building in the western hemisphere. 

    “We look forward to opening our doors to the community, to not only commemorate our first year of operation, but express our sincere gratitude to those who have embraced our experience and supported us throughout our inaugural year,” the observatory’s general manager, John Urban, said.

    The observatory will continue anniversary celebrations through Memorial Day weekend with on-site celebrations for guests.

    The open house is on Tuesday, May 24 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Tickets are only available online, on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last. The offer is valid for two complimentary tickets. 



    Photo Credit: AP

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    Route 2 West is closed in the area of exit 16 on the Marlborough-Colchester line after a rollover.

    State police are diverting traffic off at exit 16, so drivers will have to use Old Hartford Road, which runs parallel, and get back on the highway at exit 13.

    Traffic was already slow because of an ongoing paving project set up in the area, so expect delays.

    No additional information is immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    It won't be a washout this weekend, but there will be plenty of showers.

    Saturday will start with some sunshine before clouds take over. Showers are likely by evening. Highs will be near 70 inland, but middle 60s along the shoreline.

    Mostly cloudy skies are expected Sunday, with scattered showers. Temperatures will peak in the lower and middle 60s.

    A stubborn upper-level low means unsettled weather sticks around early next week, with on-and-off showers and lots of cloudiness during the heating of the day.

    Wednesday will mark a return of dry weather, and temperatures skyrocket towards the end of next week.

    Middle 80s are likely inland on Thursday and Friday!


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