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    There were several water main breaks in Enfield this morning, which caused problems for the morning commute.

    Police set up detours and were directing traffic around the areas near Route 5 by Franklin Street and Elm Street by Summer Street.

    Route 5 by Franklin has reopened and one lane of Elm Street is now open.

    Dispatchers said the water main breaks happened yesterday afternoon, but repair crews ran into major problems with the shut-off valves, so the repair took a while.

     


    View Larger Map



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Water main breaks are causing traffic problems in Enfield.Water main breaks are causing traffic problems in Enfield.

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    Taco Bell announced that an employee seen licking a stack of taco shells at a Southern California restaurant in an image posted on Facebook will be fired.

    The company announced on its web site Wednesday that the unidentified employee has been suspended, and the Ridgecrest Taco Bell franchisee is "in the process of terminating his employment." The co-worker photographer no longer works at the fast food location, according to the statement.

    "We do not believe these employees harmed, or intended to harm, anyone," Taco Bell said in the statement. "But we deplore the impressions this has caused to our customers, fans, franchisees, and team members.  The behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant."

    The photo, taken at a restaurant in Ridgecrest (map), about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, was posted Sunday. It generated a swift response from those who saw it on Facebook.

    The shells were "absolutely not" served to customers, according to Taco Bell's statement.

    The restaurant currently has an "A" rating from the Kern County Public Health Services Department, indicating "good food handling practices and overall food establishment maintenance and sanitation." They were intended to be used by employees as part of training in advance of a new product -- practice shells that were then discarded in the trash.

    As for the photo, it was part of an "internal" contest in which employees were encouraged to submit photos of themselves enjoying their first taste of the new product, according to the statement.

    "The contest had clear guidelines about what was acceptable and unacceptable," according to the Southern California-based company's statement. "This image was clearly unacceptable. It violated the rules and spirit of the contest, and the employees never submitted it.  But an employee posted it on a personal social media page in violation of the franchisee's policies, and it emerged online in social media."

    No details were provided regarding the new product. 

    More Southern California Stories:


    A photo posted to Facebook appears to show an employee licking a stack of taco shells at a Taco Bell. The caption said it was taken in Ridgecrest, Calif., 150 miles north of Los Angeles.A photo posted to Facebook appears to show an employee licking a stack of taco shells at a Taco Bell. The caption said it was taken in Ridgecrest, Calif., 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

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    Experts say that technology like Cara, a facial detection software program that turns any web cam into a face detection system, can scan dozens of faces up to 25 feet away, and determine gender and age with up to 93 percent accuracy.

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    The sole winner of the record-setting $590.5 million Powerball jackpot has claimed the prize, the Florida Lottery said Wednesday.

    The lottery will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. to give details about the winner.

    NBC News said the winner was an elderly woman from Zephyrhills. She came to the lottery offices with her son, who is an attorney from Jacksonville. The woman said she had watched the drawing and knew she had won but had been getting her affairs in order, NBC News said.

    The jackpot was won from the May 18 drawing.

    Come back to watch the press conference live in this article at 2 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

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    The man police said was behind two bank robberies in Hamden and two bomb scares on Tuesday referred to himself as the “polite bandit” in hold-up notes, according to court records. 

    Police began investigating just before 2:30 p.m., when a hold-up alarm went off at First Niagara Bank, at 1248 Dixwell Ave. in Hamden. While responding to that call, a man matching the robber’s description was seen walking toward Webster Bank, at 5 Helen Street. 

    Police soon learned that that bank too was robbed and identified Robert Raymond, 67, of Hamden, as a suspect and took him into custody.

    A bank teller at Webster Bank told police that “an older gentleman” walked up to the counter and handed her a note during the robbery.

    “This is what I want you to do,” the note said, according to police, and it referenced a bank robbery.
    It went on to say that the robber had a cell phone is in his pocket that controlled a bomb and told the teller not to activate alarms.

    “Please give me any money you can,” the note said. It was signed “the polite bandit.”

    The clerk handed over about $2,000 in cash and a dye pack. The robber took the bag and said “thank you,” the teller told police.

    When police took Raymond into custody outside of Webster Bank, he indicated that there was a bomb in the bag he dropped during the arrest, police said.

    Raymond also mentioned another device he planted at the Federal Courthouse on Orange Street in New Haven, according to police.  

    The bomb squad detonated the bomb and found a box marked “detonator” and “contains C4.”  Inside was a cell phone, fertilizer and money stolen during a bank robbery, police said.

    Raymond later told police that knew he was going to get caught, according to the incident report, and admitted to making a fake bomb in his basement.

    He told investigators that his girlfriend duped him out of a large sum of money and he committed the robberies because he was desperate, police said.

    During the investigation, police learned that Raymond and his girlfriend might have been staying at the America Best Value Inn in Branford. Branford Police, State Police and the F.B.I evacuated the inn, investigated and found no bomb-making materials.

    Raymond was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and first-degree breach of peace.  He was held on $500,000 bond and is due in court on June 18.

     

     
     


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    Refresh this page for updates.

    A building in downtown Philadelphia has collapsed crushing a nearby structure and killing one person. Authorities have rescued 13 people and are digging to see if anyone else remains trapped beneath the rubble.

    “I was parked on 21st just heading to Market Street, next thing you know it felt like an earthquake," said Bernie Ditomo, a truck driver with Belfi Brothers. "I said, 'What the hell is going on?' My truck is totaled. I am a little dusty and dirty, but I’m alright. I am one of the lucky ones.”

    The collapse at 2140 Market Street happened around 10:40 a.m. when a four-story building came down on top of a two-story building, which housed a Salvation Army Thrift Store. Early reports from Philadelphia Police indicate that the collapse may be the result of an industrial accident as construction crews were working on the nearby structure.

    "This is a delicate and dangerous operation," Mayor Michael Nutter said of the rescue and recovery effort during a press conference from the scene. "We did not know and do not know how many people were actually in that store when the wall collapsed."

    After the initial rescues, crews were communicating with at two people who remained trapped in the debris and were working to remove them. At one point, rescurers asked media outlets to pull back their helicopters to allow them to better detect sounds from beneath the rubble.

    "We have active movement in the walls," said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers earlier in the day.

    One of the two trapped victims was rescued around 1 p.m. and taken away on a gurney, waving and alert. Police said they are not ready to say whether the confirmed fatality is the second trapped person.

    Four hours into the rescue effort, Ayers said they were transitioning, bringing in new rescue members and even two search dogs. He expected the operation to continue for the next 12-24 hours.

    "This is still an active search and rescue scene," he said.

    Beyond the one person they know is still trapped, rescuers are not certain if more people remain buried beneath the rubble, but Nutter said the rescue efforts will continue until they are absolutely certain. "There were workers, and possibly even customers," at the time of the collapse, Nutter said.

    According to Ayers, 125 people were working to locate survivors and they were using 35 different pieces of equipment in the search.

    "There are firemen, police, construction guys digging out, because I believe people are down there," said Corey Vey who works nearby. "It's crazy right now."

    Thirteen of those rescued are being treated at local hospitals. Most of the injuries are minor and  minor injuries. All are awake and talking, according to Ayers.

    Rescue crews could be seen digging through the debris and have brought in at least two pieces of  heavy machinery to help move debris.

    "I've never encountered anything like this before anytime in my life, and I don't want to see it again,"  said Vey, who was driving down 22nd Street right before Market and saw the building come down. "I feel really lucky," Vey said. "That brick landed in my passenger seat. Lucky for the rainguard on my window that saved me from getting hit."

    Ordinary people took part in the rescue efforts as well. Roofers from a nearby building hustled over when after the collapse and started pulling people out of the basement.

    "They were pretty banged up," one of the roofers said.

    Market Street is closed from 18th to 30th Street right now.

    Fire officials say the building next door to the collapse was under demolition. According to the demolition permit from Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections, that building was a four-story structure. The demolition contractor is Griffin-Campbell Construction.

    OSHA officials said they were aware of the incident and would be launching an investigation.

    The city's counter-terrorism task force is on the scene along with all the major utility companies.



    Photo Credit: Christopher Reid

    A building collapses on top of Salvation Army Thrift Store in Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 5, 2013.A building collapses on top of Salvation Army Thrift Store in Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 5, 2013.

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    Early this morning, Connecticut lawmakers approved a bill that will block photos and videos investigators took at the Sandy Hook school shooting crime scene from being released to the public.

    The bill, which the governor is expected to sign, has a wider effect in Connecticut and will block graphic images from all homicide cases in the state from being released.

    Families who lost loved ones in the school shooting had been fighting to convince lawmakers to keep the images private, fearing that they’d be published on the Internet and available for everyone to see.

    Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her 6-year-old daughter, Ana, in the school shooting and said she does not want the crime scene photos to be public.

    “We deserve the right as parents to remember Ana as we want to remember her, without those grizzly photos out there,” Marquez-Greene said.

    The legislation does allow 911 calls police received to be made public.

    The debate came down to freedom of information versus privacy rights and lawmakers in both the state House and Senate approved the legislation around 1 a.m.

    Lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill said it was the right thing to do for the families.  

    “We were able to take action and protect the privacy rights of parents and relatives who lost loved ones at that elementary school,” State Senate President Don Williams, a Democrat, said.

    “You could never have closure to such an incident. This went a long way to the families who were so concerned about being hurt further (to) have some peace tonight and that’s a good thing,”

    House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, said in a statement.

    Some Democrats voted against the bill, saying it violates the freedom of information law.

    There are also concerns about the secretive process. The bill did not go through the normal public hearing process.

    "I think everyone understands and sympathizes with the situation but there needs to be some public comment and debate," Colleen Murphy, the executive director of the FOI Commission, said.

    The state's FOI Commission said there are reasons why police records are made public.

    "We want to make sure police response was appropriate, and we can judge for ourselves what happened," Murphy said.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer sit at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., after 26 people were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Newtown officials and families of those killed have given away 63,790 stuffed animals and thousands of other gifts that poured into the town in the weeks following the massacre. The final boxes of toys and school supplies were shipped out of the warehouse on March 29, 2013.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer sit at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., after 26 people were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Newtown officials and families of those killed have given away 63,790 stuffed animals and thousands of other gifts that poured into the town in the weeks following the massacre. The final boxes of toys and school supplies were shipped out of the warehouse on March 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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    The day after a bear was struck in a tree in Danbury, another one turned up on a deck in Burlington.

    This one was spotted in a residential neighborhood near Lewis Mills High School around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Ashley Kraft.

    Residents think the bear was out with two or three cubs.

    The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tracks black bear sightings and there have been 237 in Burlington in the last year.

    The town ranks second for bear sightings, behind Farmington, which has had 282.

    In the past year, there have been 2,829 sightings in Connecticut.

    The DEEP posted a list of things to do and not to do when you see a bear.

    Environmental experts advise removing bird feeders and bird food between March and November and to walk slowly if your surprise a bear nearby.


     



    Photo Credit: Submitted

    This bear was spotted on a deck near Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington on Wednesday morning.This bear was spotted on a deck near Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington on Wednesday morning.

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    Chicago hospitals saw more homicides and victims of gun violence this year than car crash victims, an unusual proportion compared to previous years, new data shows.

    Over Memorial Day weekend, a historically busy day for accident trauma, Loyola University Medical Center officials say no one was killed in car accidents, but instead six people were killed and at least 17 others were wounded in gun violence.

    Last year, Chicago had 516 homicides, the most the city has seen since 2008.

    Data released Wednesday by Loyola shows trauma centers are filling up with more victims of gun violence across the city and the trauma is placing an extra burden on hospitals.

    “A number of resources are being taken up by people that have gunshot wounds,” said Dr. Tom Esposito, director of the division of trauma and surgical critical care and burn at Loyola University Medical Center. “It puts a greater strain on our ability to care for other patients that are having heart attacks or strokes or asthma attacks.”

    Esposito said the hospital staff is prepared to handle injuries of all sorts but that they are spending increasing amounts of time taking care of patients whose wounds could have been prevented.

    “All of these things are in fact preventable and controllable,” Esposito said.

    Esposito estimated that 80 percent of trauma victims arrive due to blunt trauma, which ranges from falls, car accidents and head injuries. He said the other 20 percent is made up of penetrating injuries like stabbings and gun shots, which he attributes to be mostly from violent incidents.

    Loyola is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Illinois verified by the American College of Surgeons, and Esposito notes the economic impact violent injuries have is growing.

    The hospital said the total costs for treating a gunshot victim can exceed $1 million, which includes charges for hospital services, supplies such as drugs, and hospital rooms and procedures.

    “We’d like to see no money spent on injury care,” the hospital said in a press release.

    “The cost of injury to an individual and their family is heartbreaking but the cost to public health is bank-breaking,” says Esposito, who has cared for trauma patients at Loyola for more than two decades.

    The Chicago area, where Esposito is a trauma surgeon, continues to lead the country in gun violence, the hospital said.  



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Trauma centers at Chicago hospitals say they are grappling with a surge as a result of spiking gun violence.Trauma centers at Chicago hospitals say they are grappling with a surge as a result of spiking gun violence.

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    A big victory came in federal court today for 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, a dying girl in need of a lung transplant.

    This afternoon, Judge Michael Baylson granted the Murnaghan family's request for a temporary restraining order, telling the Secretary of Health and Human Services to cease application of the "Under 12" rule when it comes to Sarah.

    The 10-year-old Newtown Square, Pa. girl has been hospitalized at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis.

    Video shows Sarah celebrating from her hospital bed, waving her hands in the air, after hearing the news about judge's decision.

    The temporary restraining order will last for 10 days. A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for June 14.

    "For us, this means that for the next 10 days, Sarah’s placement in the queue for adult lungs will be based on the severity of her illness, and she will not be penalized for her age," the Murnaghan family said in a statement. "We are experiencing many emotions: relief, happiness, gratitude and, for the first time in months: hope."

    Earlier today, Sarah's parents filed the emergency motion, in an effort to prevent Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius from enforcing a policy that prevents children under the age of 12 from getting a lung transplant from an adult donor until after adults in need.

    “We will not stand by and let Sarah die and we have filed in federal court for an immediate injunction to do what Secretary Sebelius will not: give Sarah and other children in her position a fair chance at life," said Janet Murnaghan, Sarah's mother.

    Yesterday, Secretary Sebelius spoke about Sarah's case before a congressional committee, saying she can't intervene in transplant decisions.

    Sebelius says those decisions should be made by medical experts and mentioned there are three other children at Children's Hospital who are just as sick.

    The judge said in court today that he would consider a temporary restraining order for any other child in similar circumstances in the same judicial district, who bring their case to court.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

    Sarah Murnaghan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 18-months-old.Sarah Murnaghan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 18-months-old.

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    Tropical Storm Andrea formed in the east-central Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and was producing heavy rain along Florida's west coast, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

    At 11 p.m., the center of the Atlantic season's first named storm was located about 270 miles west-southwest of Tampa and 270 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, the National Hurricane Center said.

    It was moving at about 6 mph with maximum sustained winds remaining near 40 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

    A tropical storm warning was in effect for the west coast of Florida from Boca Grande to Ochlocknee River. A tropical storm watch was in effect for Flagler Beach to Surf City, N.C.

    The hurricane center said a turn toward the northeast and an increase in forward speed are expected overnight and Thursday, and the storm was expected to speed up some more Thursday night and Friday.

    The center of the storm is expected to reach Florida's Big Bend on Thursday evening. It will then move from southeastern Georgia across southeastern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina on Thursday night and Friday.

    The storm was not expected to directly impact South Florida, but scattered showers and occasional thunderstorms were possible.

    There is a 70 percent chance of rain in South Florida on Thursday, when the high temperature will be 85.

    Andrea is expected to deliver between 3 and 6 inches of rain over much of the Florida peninsula, eastern parts of the Florida Panhandle and southeastern Georgia, with up to 8 inches possible in some spots, the National Hurricane Center said.

    More South Florida Weather Content:

     



    Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center

    Tropical Storm Andrea at 11p.m. Wednesday.Tropical Storm Andrea at 11p.m. Wednesday.

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    The National Guard flew 120 soldiers back to Connecticut Wednesday afternoon after nearly a year of duty in Afghanistan.

    Members of the 143rd Military Police Company were happy to be home after a long deployment.

     "It's been since last August," said Jason Houle, whose wife brought his bulldog, Gunner, to the base in East Granby. "It's nice to have the color green.  Color green has been absent for a long time," he said.

    While many of the soldiers got warm hugs and kisses from their loved ones, Jocquel Johnson had something to give his girlfriend, Kate Thompson - an engagement ring.

     He dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him.  She said, "Yes!"

     Amanda Gagnon brought her son Ethan to meet someone important in his life, his father.

     What's it like for Eric Gagnon to hold his son for the first time?  "It's great," he said.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Soldiers from the 143rd Military Police Company returned home to Connecticut on Wednesday, after nearly a year in Afghanistan.Soldiers from the 143rd Military Police Company returned home to Connecticut on Wednesday, after nearly a year in Afghanistan.

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    Three former Marines tortured and killed a fellow Marine and his wife for money in a 2008 execution-style slaying in Southern California, jurors found Wednesday.

    Newlyweds Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak were found gagged, tied and shot in the head in their Riverside County home in October 2008.

    Sgt. Pietrzak, a helicopter airframe mechanic at MCAS Miramar near San Diego, was found bloody and beaten. His wife's body was discovered naked. Officials say she had been sexually assaulted.

    On Wednesday, two separate juries convicted three defendants of murder. Former private Kevin Cox, 25, was first to learn his fate, followed by the verdict read by a second jury convicting former Lance Cpl. Emrys John, 23, and former Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 25.

    John was convicted of pulling the trigger. Miller was found guilty of murder and sexually-assaulting Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak

    A fourth suspect, former Lance Cpl. Kesaun Sykes of Fallbrook, had his case severed and is awaiting trial. Sykes was known as "Psycho" by fellow Marines.

    Prosecutors said robbery was the motive for the crime. Jewelry, including the couple's wedding rings, and Pietrzak's dress uniform were found at the suspects' homes, authorities said.

    Racial slurs were spray-painted in the house, and fires had been set in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence.

    All three men worked with Sgt. Pietrzak at one time while stationed at Camp Pendleton.

    "He was not the actual killer, he was not in my opinion a major participant obviously the jury disagreed with that assessment," Cox's attorney Ryan Markson said.

    Markson hopes jurors will consider Cox's rank at the time of the murders when deliberating his punishment.

    "Because it was three armed Marines, two of whom outranked him and telling him we need to knock on these people's door," he said.

    Pietrzak, 24, who was born in Poland and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., joined the Marines in 2003 and served in Iraq from July 2005 to February 2006.

    Relatives of the victims said Quiana, 26, was from San Bernardino and a 2005 graduate of San Diego State University.

    Family members of the victims hugged outside the Riverside County courthouse moments after the verdicts were read. They declined to make statements until after the sentencing phase begins Monday.

    The couple met in San Diego through a mutual friend who also attended SDSU. She was studying to become a doctor.

    Pietrzak served in Iraq and returned to San Diego in 2006. 



    Photo Credit: Tony Shin

    Kevin Cox appears in the Riverside County courtroom after Wednesday's verdict.Kevin Cox appears in the Riverside County courtroom after Wednesday's verdict.

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    Bradley International Airport officials hope a new program of incentives will convince the airlines to add seats and reverse a trend that's cut into passenger levels.

    "In some cases we can give airlines two years' free use of the facility in return for some strategic service enhancements," said Kevin Dillon, director at the airport authority since last July.

    As a result, American Airlines is starting nonstop  flights to Los Angeles August 27, JetBlue is adding nonstops to Tampa, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida in October, and Southwest will start running three nonstops to Atlanta in November.

    "It's all a matter of trying to get additional seats to sell," said Dillon.  "Right now the flights at Bradley are relatively full so we want to increase the available seats that we have to sell."

    He said local businesses interested in international travel tell him they spend $40 million a year on it, a market Dillon hopes airlines will want a piece of by restoring transatlantic flights to Bradley.

    Also, when the "deteriorated" terminal closed for years is demolished beginning August 2014, work might also begin on a new parking garage.  All the car rental companies would be in the new garage, connected to the terminal, Dillon said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Southwest is one of three airlines adding nonstop flights in an out of Bradley International Airport this year, thanks to incentives being offered by the airport.Southwest is one of three airlines adding nonstop flights in an out of Bradley International Airport this year, thanks to incentives being offered by the airport.

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    Fairfield parents are accusing the school district of changing an algebra textbook for eighth and ninth graders without proper approval.

    It's one change at Fairfield's middle and high schools that has parents up in arms.

    “The Fairfield Superintendent and his staff, implemented a text book, Algebra I textbook across all classes and impacted about 800 students without properly vetting the textbook.  They've since actually vetted the textbook and have not recommended its use,” said Fairfield parent Kelly Crisp.

    But not before parents say that book has been detrimental to their children.

    “You've had kids who absolutely loved math, hate math. You have kids who are absolutely failing tests,” said Crisp.

    Parents want to know how the Algebra I textbook even got into the schools.  They say the Fairfield school district didn't go through the proper approvals.  The parents traveled all the way up to the Capitol to make sure the State Board of Education heard their concerns.

    “We tried multiple times, multiple avenues to get answers. We requested an open forum with all the parents and the administration, they denied it,” said Fairfield parent Tricia Donovan.

    The state Board of Education has now decided to do an inquiry into this textbook to see if the Fairfield school district brought it into the classroom the right way.

    “Now I'm hoping that they will find that the educational interests of that state were not upheld and that the students have suffered damages,” said Donovan.

    Fairfield School Superintendent Dr. David Title issued this statement,

    “In August, 2012 the Fairfield Public Schools entered into an agreement with a publisher to pilot an Algebra I textbook for the 2012-2013 school year after a committee of teachers reviewed a number of textbooks aligned to the new Common Core State Standards.  The agreement allowed the Fairfield Public Schools to return the books at no charge if the book was not adopted by the Board of Education.  The results of the pilot were shared with the Board and the public and showed that student achievement in Algebra I was similar to or better than student achievement in the same course in previous years.  We believe this pilot conforms to the spirit and intent of state law and Board of Education policies.  On May 7, 2013 the Fairfield Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a different textbook for use in Algebra I effective with the 2013-2014 school year as recommended by the teachers and administration.  We will work with the CSDE to resolve this procedural matter.”
     


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    Disciplinary action has been taken against three of four Danbury police officers involved in an incident with a motorist during a traffic stop.

    One of the police officers is accused of abusing a driver.

    According to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, three of the officers will begin serving suspensions on Sunday.  It is not clear for how long the officers will be suspended.

    The suspensions were part of an agreement worked out at a hearing on Thursday.

    Boughton is still deciding the fate of the fourth officer, Chris Belaire.

    A lawyer for the officers told NBC Connecticut they did nothing wrong, and the allegations were unfounded.

    "An attack did not happen," attorney Eric Brown said.

    Brown said the the problem started at 1 a.m., during a March snowstorm when a driver went through a stop sign at White Street and National Place and almost hit a cruiser. 

    That officer pulled him over and, minutes later, three other police officers showed up.  Now Internal Affairs is investigating all of them.

    According to the department, the officer berated the driver and physically struck him. The other officers allegedly recorded this and did nothing to stop it.

    “There’s no indication from the recording that there was an attack,” Brown said.

    Brown also watched the dash-cam video from the police cruiser and said the city claimed that video caught everything, but that was something he strongly disputed.

    “Despite the seriousness of the charges, there’s not evidence to prove those charges,” Brown added.

    According to Brown, the driver never reported the supposed attack and said the department started to look into those officers when someone made an anonymous tip about this months later.

    “When a claim comes in like this, it needs to be investigated. We support that,” Brown said. It was an investigation he and the officers planned to fight.

    “When this investigation comes to an end and there’s been an opportunity to speak, these nasty allegations that have been raised won't be proved,” Brown said.

    State Police were also investigating to see if any criminal charges should be filed.
     

     


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    Tropical Storm Andrea was expected to make landfall on Thursday afternoon in the Big Bend region, as tornado threats remained for much of Florida, said the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

    As of 5 p.m., Andrea had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as it moved northeast at 17 mph about 35 miles north-northwest of Cedar Key and 80 miles southeast of Tallahassee.

    Meanwhile, a tornado watch was extended for South Florida and other parts of the state until 10 p.m.

    The National Weather Service said three tornadoes touched down in South Florida on Thursday. At 3:20 a.m. a tornado damaged powerlines in Belle Glade. At 6:45 a.m. another in the Acreage injured one person and damaged homes and powerlines. The final one at 8:10 in Broward County, northwest of State Road 27, didn't cause any damage.

    A team is going to survey the aftermath of the storm in the Acreage, which caused the most damage.

    The weather service said the rain in South Florida, which is at 70 percent chance of rain for the next few days, is from a rain band extending out from Andrea.

    Andrea isn't expected to strengthen before its center reaches the Florida coast Thursday, the hurricane center said. An increase in forward speed and a turn toward the northeast are expected.

    Andrea will reach the coast of the Florida Big Bend area, then move across southeastern Georgia, southeastern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina by Friday, the hurricane center said.

    A tropical storm warning was in effect for the west coast of Florida from Boca Grande to Ochlockonee River; Flagler Beach to Cape Charles Light Viriginia; Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds; Lower Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

    Andrea is expected to deliver between 3 and 6 inches of rain over much of the Florida peninsula, eastern parts of the Florida Panhandle and southeastern Georgia, with up to 8 inches possible in some spots.

    Andrea, which became the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season Wednesday, was not expected to directly impact South Florida, though scattered showers and occasional thunderstorms were possible throughout Thursday.

    As the storms track northeast, the weather in South Florida will steadily improve.

    More Weather Content:


    Tropical Storm Andrea as of 5 p.m. Thursday.Tropical Storm Andrea as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

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    Firefighters responded to a house fire at 367 Boswell Avenue in Norwich Wednesday.

    Fire broke out in the garage area of the single-family home around 5:15, according to Norwich fire officials.

    Crews from the Greenville and Taftville Fire Departments were called to help Norwich firefighters.

    There is no word on injuries.



    Photo Credit: kcee1969

    Flames broke out inside the garage of a home at 367 Boswell Avenue in Norwich Wednesday evening.Flames broke out inside the garage of a home at 367 Boswell Avenue in Norwich Wednesday evening.

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    As rescue crews continue to search underneath the rubble of a collapsed building in downtown Philadelphia that killed six people and injured more than a dozen others, new details are emerging about the contractor and crane operator who were hired to demolish the building.

    The 4-story building, located on 2136-2138 Market Street, is owned by the STB Investments Corporation. STB paid $385,894 for the nearly 4,200-square-foot property in 1994. The company Griffin-Campbell Construction was doing demolition work on the property.

    While contractor Griffin Campbell, 49, had a valid license, court records also show that he has a criminal record and pleaded guilty to theft and insurance fraud back in 2009. 

    Records also show that Campbell filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection back in March and owes thousands in unpaid city business taxes as well as state and federal taxes.

    The crane operator who was onsite Wednesday morning before the collapse has a criminal record as well, sources close to the investigation, who did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case, told NBC10’s Nefertiti Jaquez.

    The address listed for Campbell's construction company was a North Philadelphia home. When NBC10 asked to speak with Campbell an unidentified woman offered a no comment response.

    “He’s got no comment. He’s sorry for everything that happened, but no comment,” she said.

    According to the sources, the operator, Sean Benschop, is a convicted felon who reports himself as “self-employed” and is currently being questioned by police about what happened prior to the deadly collapse.

    No one has been charged in connection to Wednesday's collapse as the investigation continues.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    South Pasadena, Calif., police are looking Wednesday for several young skaters, including one who assaulted a janitor at a middle school during a confrontation between the pair that was documented in a video posted to YouTube.

    Parents were advised of the incident in an email from the South Pasadena Unified School District on Wednesday.

    The school said custodian Lupe Garcia was hospitalized overnight with a broken nose and fractured cheek bone after the Tuesday assault, which came after he pushed one of the skaters.

    “Three teen-age boys, who appeared to be of high school age, were skateboarding on the Oak Street side of the middle school campus,” the email to parents states. “Words were exchanged; a physical altercation occurred.”

    One of the skaters posted video on YouTube of the incident, which shows Garcia talking heatedly with a skater who later pushes him into some bushes and then hits him. The video had been made private and then public again repeatedly on Wednesday.

    Garcia had been telling the young men not to skate on campus, the district said. The video shows him speaking into a walkie-talkie as at least five skateboarders appear on campus.

    "Get out of here, man," Garcia can be heard to say.

    With one hand, Garcia then pushes one of the young men, who appears to get confrontational. The person recording video warns Garcia that he's being filmed and states "you pushed him first."

    Then Garcia and the skater, clad in a gray and blue shirt, begin to push each other after Garcia chest-bumps him.

    "Come on," Garcia said, appearing to initiate the fight.

    The young skater pushes Garcia into a row of hedges then onto the concrete ground, where he appears to be punching the custodian off-camera.

    The trespassing skaters then run off and the video ends.

    "It appears the custodian was the aggressor," South Pasadena police Cpl. Matthew Ronnie told NBC4.

    "We haven't had an opportunity to interview the juveniles to get their side of the story," Ronnie said. "We haven't re-interviewed the custodian. It's an ongoing investigation and we want to be fair and impartial."

    "We're continuing to investigate, and need to talk to the teenager involved, but what we're seeing on the video is different than initial reports,'' Det. Sgt. Robert Bartl told the Patch.

    The school district's email to parents said Garcia was released from the hospital Wednesday.

    "Mr. Garcia suffered injuries to his head, face and other parts of the body. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he spent the night," and the email stated. "He is in good spirits, hoping to return to work soon."

    Additional police officers were placed at the campus of South Pasadena Middle School, where the altercation occurred, according to district spokesman Joel Shapiro.

    The district is working with police to find the skaters, Shapiro told NBC4.

    School Principal David Kubela said the young men do not seem to be from South Pasadena, a largely affluent city of about 26,000

    "We would recognized them. We're a small town," Kubela said.

    The district is building a fence around the perimeter of South Pasadena Middle School this summer, the email to parents states.


    A still image from a YouTube video showing the skater in blue and gray assaulting a custodian at South Pasadena Middle School after the campus employee pushes him in a June 4, 2013, altercation.A still image from a YouTube video showing the skater in blue and gray assaulting a custodian at South Pasadena Middle School after the campus employee pushes him in a June 4, 2013, altercation.

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