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    Five solid tips from people who told authorities that distinctive tattoos helped them recognize a woman seen in photos released Thursday as part of a child molestation investigation led to an arrest in the 11-year-old case involving "widely circulated" child pornography images.

    Letha Mae Montemayor, 52, was taken into custody Thursday night outside an apartment complex in North Hills.

    Authorities said they believe the woman is the individual -- identified as "Jane Doe" in a criminal complaint filed Monday -- who appears with an unidentified male in a series of photographs released Thursday afternoon as investigators hunted for leads in the child pornography case.

    "Just after ICE’s nationwide plea for public assistance, five separate community tips led to the arrest of Jane Doe," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. "This arrest would not have happened without the public’s help, and it demonstrates how much individual citizens can do to help law enforcement attack crime."

    An appearance in federal court for Montemayor, charged with one count of making child pornography, was scheduled for Monday.

    A neighbor of Montemayor's who did not want to be identified said the suspect was a "hoarder" who "did not take care of her body well" and was "rude to all the children."

    About 10 hours before her arrest, Morton and other law enforcement agents conducted a news conference regarding "Operation Sunflower," a recently concluded child sex crimes investigation that led to more than 240 arrests. During the news conference, authorities released images of a man and tattooed woman wanted in connection with a child molestation case authorities said occurred about 11 years ago, possibly in Los Angeles.

    "The (tipsters) said they recognized the face, the tattoos," said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Claude Arnold. "They were very confident that it was she. We expect that it would be more difficult because they were older images, but we were optimistic because they were good images."

    The woman's tattoos -- a sleeping cat, butterfly and other designs -- are visible in the photographs released Thursday.

    But other clues in the background of the images, discovered by Chicago Homeland Security agents in 2007 and passed along to LA agents, prompted investigators to focus on locations in the San Fernando Valley. Forensics analysis of the images, conducted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, revealed details in the pictures, such as close-ups of the tattoos, a calendar from a store and a phonebook.

    The criminal complaint alleges that "Jane Doe," now identified as Montemayor, was involved in the production of child pornography images that were "widely circulated" online. The images depict the sexual molestaion of a girl, who appears to be about age 13, according to ICE.

    Authorities have not identified the victim or male subject.

    "We still want the public’s help in identifying John Doe and the victim in the disturbing series of images that continue to be circulated on the Internet," said U.S. Attorney André Birotte.

    Call 866-347-2423 or visit this tips form to provide information. Click here to view the ICE wanted poster.



    Photo Credit: ICE

    In this photo issued by ICE, a woman accused in an 11-year-old child molestation case is taken into custody in North Hills.In this photo issued by ICE, a woman accused in an 11-year-old child molestation case is taken into custody in North Hills.

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    Staff at the York Correctional Institute in Niantic are searching for two female inmates who escaped  on Saturday night.
     
    Correctional staff noticed the inmates, Jessica Rivera, 34 of Waterbury and Melissa Riley, 30 of Willimantic, missing after a group of inmates returned from the gymnasium around 8:15 p.m. Saturday night,.
     
    Rivera is serving a four year sentence stemming from a charge of conspiracy on July 12, 2011. Riley entered the system on July 18, 2011 and is serving a three year and three month sentence for possession of narcotics.
     
    The facility was immediately placed in lock down. The escape is considered a walk away since the offenders were housed in a minimum security area of the facility.
     
    Residents in the area were alerted of the escape by the state's reverse 911 system. Anyone with any information is asked to call state police.

     


    Melissa Riley, left and Jessica Rivera walked away from York Correctional Institute Saturday night.Melissa Riley, left and Jessica Rivera walked away from York Correctional Institute Saturday night.

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    It looks like there will be a hockey season after all — shortened for sure, but perhaps back in business in a week or so.

    The NHL and the players' association reached a tentative agreement early Sunday to end a nearly four-month-old lockout that threatened to wipe out what was left of an already abbreviated season.

    A marathon negotiating session that lasted more than 16 hours, stretching from Saturday afternoon until just before dawn Sunday, produced a 10-year deal.

    "We've got to dot a lot of Is and cross a lot of Ts," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "There's still a lot of work to be done."

    All schedule issues, including the length of the season and the look of the schedule, still need to be worked out. The NHL has models for 50- and 48-game seasons.

    The original estimate was regular-season games could begin about eight days after a deal was reached. It is believed that all games will be played within the two respective conferences, but that also hasn't been decided.

    The collective bargaining agreement still must be ratified by a majority of the league's 30 owners and the union's membership of approximately 740 players.

    "Hopefully within a very few days the fans can get back to watching people who are skating, not the two of us," players' association executive director Donald Fehr said of himself and Bettman.

    The players have been locked out since Sept. 16, the day after the previous agreement expired.

    "Any process like this is difficult. It can be long," Fehr said.

    Under the negotiated CBA, free-agent contracts will have a maximum length of seven years, but clubs can go to eight years to re-sign their own players. Each side can opt out of the deal after eight years.

    The pension plan was "the centerpiece of the deal for the players," said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, who took part in negotiations throughout the process.

    The actual language of the pension plan still has to be written, but Hainsey said there is nothing substantial that needs to be fixed.

    "I want to thank Don Fehr," Bettman said. "We went through a tough period, but it's good to be at this point."

    The players' share of hockey-related income, that reached a record $3.3 billion last season, will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split. The salary cap for the upcoming season will be $70.2 million and will then drop to $64.3 million in the 2013-14 season. All clubs will have to have a minimum payroll of $44 million.

    The league had wanted next season's cap to drop to $60 million, but agreed to the same amount of last season's upper limit.

    Inside individual player contracts, the salary can't vary more than 35 percent year to year, and the final year can't be more than 50 percent of the highest year.

    A decision on whether NHL players will participate in the 2014 Olympics will be made outside the confines of the collective bargaining agreement. While it's expected that players will take part, the IOC and the International Ice Hockey Federation will have discussions with the league and the union before the matter is settled.

    After the sides stayed mostly apart for two days, following late-night talks that turned sour, federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh worked virtually around the clock to get everyone back to the bargaining table.

    This time it worked — early on the 113th day of the work stoppage.

    George Cohen, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service director, called the deal "the successful culmination of a long and difficult road."

    "Of course, the agreement will pave the way for the professional players to return to the ice and for the owners to resume their business operations," he said in a statement. "But the good news extends beyond the parties directly involved; fans throughout North America will have the opportunity to return to a favorite pastime and thousands of working men and women and small businesses will no longer be deprived of their livelihoods."

    Time was clearly a factor, with the sides facing a deadline of Thursday or Friday to reach a deal that would allow for a 48-game season to start a week later. Bettman had said the league could not allow a season of fewer than 48 games per team.

    All games through Jan. 14, along with the All-Star game and the New Year's Day Winter Classic had already been canceled, claiming more than 50 percent of the original schedule.

    Without an agreement, the NHL faced the embarrassment of losing two seasons due to a labor dispute, something that has never happened in another North American sports league. The 2004-05 season was wiped out while the sides negotiated hockey's first salary cap.



    Photo Credit: AP

    It looks like the lockout is finally over. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)It looks like the lockout is finally over. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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    The Sandy Hook School Support Fund has received more than $6 million as of Jan. 3, according to the United Way of Western Connecticut, and the fund will be managed by members of the Newtown community.

    The United Way and Newtown Savings Bank established the fund to support the Newtown community following the Sandy Hook School shooting tragedy.

    “We continue to be so gratified by the outpouring of support that the Sandy Hook School Support Fund has received,” Kim Morgan, CEO of UWWC, said in a statement.  “The needs facing Newtown will be many, diverse and ongoing.  We hope that people will continue to support the Sandy Hook School Support Fund so that it can be a resource to help the community grieve, heal and rebuild.” 
     
    Morgan said the United Way believes “ it is critical that the needs and priorities of the fund be determined locally.”

    Neither UWWC, nor Newtown Savings Bank, will take any percentage of the fund for administrative or any other purposes, according to the United Way, so that  100 percent of contributions will go to meet the needs of the Newtown community. 

    The Sandy Hook School Support Fund Transition Team has been created to create a charitable vehicle to
    disburse the funds, which are intended to address short as well as long-term needs of individuals and of the Newtown community and reflect the input received from the Newtown community.  

    Will Rodgers, a Newtown Selectman, will serve as the chairman of the transition team and Patrick Kinney, a communications consultant to the United Way, will work with town residents MaryAnn Murtha and Robert Geckle.

    In addition to the fund, the Newtown Volunteer Task Force has set up a toll-free number – 855-364-6600 –for people to call with offers of help to the community of Newtown.  The phone line will be staffed by local Newtown volunteers and supported by United Way of Connecticut’s 2-1-1 Infoline. 

    To make a monetary contribution to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, visit http://www.uwwesternct.org/.  

    You can also support the Sandy Hook School Support Fund with a $10 donation by texting NEWTOWN to 80888. 
     
    Donations can also be mailed to:
     
    Sandy Hook School Support Fund
    c/o Newtown Savings Bank
    39 Main Street, Newtown CT, 06470
     
    In addition to making donations at any Newtown Savings Bank branch, four banks have also announced that customers can donate to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund at their branches, with 100 percent of the contribution going directly to the fund.  The banks are:

    • Bank of America
    • Wells Fargo
    • ChelseaGroton Bank
    • Union Savings Bank
       

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    Lawmakers across the state are taking on gun control issues in the aftermath of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14.

    State Rep. Stephen Dargen, a Democratic legislator from West Haven, wants the names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in the state to be made public.

    Names of gun owners are now confidential, but Dargen believes if people know how many guns are spread across communities, they’ll be safer.

    State Senator Martin Looney, of New Haven, is proposing ammunition control legislation, which would prohibit anyone barred from owning a gun from owning bullets or any other kind of ammunition.

    “A gun without ammunition is only a club. We really need to restrict access to ammunition,” Looney said.

    Some gun owners and advocates feel that the federal law that bans the sale of ammunition to felons is enough and enacting it on the state level won’t be effective.

    Rich Burgess, president of Connecticut Carry, a gun rights lobbying group, said he  is dumbfounded by this bill.

    “Don’t penalize hundreds of millions of gun owners for the actions of a mad man for reasons that can’t be explained,” Burgess said.

    Looney says he hopes to have this passed by February or March.

    He will introduce the bill during the new session, which begins on Jan 9.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    State Rep. Stephen Dargen, of West Haven, wants the names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in the state to be made public.State Rep. Stephen Dargen, of West Haven, wants the names and addresses of about 170,000 handgun permit holders in the state to be made public.

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  • 01/06/13--14:17: Water Main Break in Seymour
  •  

    A large water main break will leave residents in Seymour without water for up to 12 hours according to police.
     
    As a result of the break, Main St. has been closed and will remain so until the repairs are made. Part of Route 67 is also closed but expected to open shortly.
     
    The break happened around 2:30 a.m. in the area of 165 Main St., according to police.

     


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    A man with a knife stole money from a Subway restaurant in Hartford on Saturday.
     
    According to police, John Thomas, 48, went into the Main St. Subway around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. He ordered a sandwich and they asked an employee if he could use the bathroom.
     
    Instead, he opened a door marked for employee use and revealed that he had a knife. He forced the employee to open the cash register. Thomas took $220 and took off on foot. The employee was not injured.
     
    Police were able to arrest Thomas shortly after.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Forget about 3D or tablets or ultra-books, the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show will be a leap into the future with uber high definition and wearable technology.

    Tim Alessi, product manager for LG, proudly decries the birth of the 4K.

    "It's the clearest, crispest picture you will see on a large screen display," he said.

    The set was unveiled to the press at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Sunday.

    4K is four times the resolution of any high definition TV on the market today.

    The resolution on the 84-inch set displayed was 3840x2160.

    Yes, you could nearly see pores on people's faces.

    The 4K technology also for not only intense resolution, but a 240 Hz refresh rate which makes the images have almost a 3D effect.

    It’s also a “smart” TV with built-in WiFi and apps and is outfitted with a three-way, 10 speaker audio system.

    LG, along with most of the big TV makers, will unveil a version of 4K or OLED, which is a similar super high definition TV, at the event this year.

    Another emerging trend is wearable technology, first pioneered by BodyMedia at CES a few years ago.

    The technology allows you to connect your smart phone to another piece of technology like an ear piece or headset to expand its capabilities.

    Vuzix is one of the technologies.

    It's new lightweight set of smart glasses that is less augmented reality, more a wearable smart screen that pairs to your tablet or smartphone.

    You can see a 16:9 aspect ration horizontal screen displayed across your right eye.

    The screen can display text messages, emails and social networks. The device can use its 1080i camera to view items that might be in different languages and translate them for you on the screen.

    It's being released to developers this year who can create applications and software for the technology.

    Lastly, CES gave the media a sneak peek at smart cars.

    Google has led the way with testing of self driving cars, but Toyota and Ford are plugging away with turning economy style cars into smart hubs, connection your smart phone to the car to runs apps for navigation, music and social networks.


    NBC4's Mekahlo Medina shows off the latest NBC4's Mekahlo Medina shows off the latest "wearable" tech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.

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    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa strongly defended his decision to pose for a photograph with Charlie Sheen, saying he is in the “picture taking business” and that he had simply bumped into the actor while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

    “I had a three minute conversation with him, I took a picture… I take a picture every single day, 50 times, and I took a picture with him. I have never said no to anyone who wanted to take a picture,” Villaraigosa said.

    The comments were made during an exclusive interview on NBC4LA’s “News Conference” program Sunday.

    Sheen posted the photograph on his Twitter account, and it was picked up by news organizations around the country.

    Along with the photo, Sheen wrote: “From Boyle Heights 2 Mayor of LA! Antonio Villaraigosa knows how to party.”

    It made news just before the new year, as Congress and the White house were closing in on the so-called “fiscal cliff” in Washington. Failure to reach a deal could have cost Los Angeles over $100 million dollar in revenue sharing funds, officials have said.

    Villaraigosa expressed frustration with news media coverage of the tweeted photograph of him with Sheen.

    “You're in that business of making people look bad, of creating some kind of caricature” he said in the interview. “I’m not in that business.

    "I was on vacation," the mayor continued. "I deserve a vacation.”

    Villaraigosa has six months left in office and has been rumored to be in line for the position of Secretary of Transportation in the second Obama administration.

    Asked if he had been in contact about such an appointment Villaraigosa refused to say.

    “I’m not going to tell you what conversations I’ve had with them," he said. "I want to finish the job I have.”

    Villaraigosa went on to criticize the Los Angeles Times for focusing on his private life, rather than his accomplishments. In particular, he complained that the newspaper wrote about personal issues instead of concentrating on his work on the “America Fast Forward” legislation in Washington, which was designed to fast track transit projects.

    “The day they talked about a break-up I had with an ex-girlfriend was the day I helped spearhead and pass ‘America Fast Forward,’ " Villaraigosa said. "Do you think they covered that in the LA Times? No.”

    Villaraigosa refused to say if he thought the breakup of his marriage was the turning point in his press coverage. “My divorce was obviously not pretty, but other than that this stuff is silliness.”

    MORE: See the interview with Villaraigosa


     


    Actor Charlie Sheen used the messaging service Twitter to send out this picture of himself with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last month. Sheen later deleted the tweet.Actor Charlie Sheen used the messaging service Twitter to send out this picture of himself with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last month. Sheen later deleted the tweet.

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    On Monday, school groups will be meeting for a security symposium in Southington. 

    The symposium is free to superintendents, district leaders, principals and municipal officers and will focus on how to implement school security best practices, how to enhance building security and what policy changes are necessary to improve safety in our schools.

    It will also include resources for talking with parents and cover drills and exercise, vulnerability assessments, integrating planning for special needs individuals and helping youth recover.

    The symposium is happening around three weeks after 20 first graders and six staff members were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

    The symposium takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aqua Turf in Southington.


     


    A school security symposium will be held on Monday.A school security symposium will be held on Monday.

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    Three weeks ago,  Becky and Stephen Kowalski experienced the worst thing parents can deal with when their 7-year-old son, Chase, was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

    Through their mourning, they are showing remarkable strength and doing everything they can to keep his memory alive through a fund they set up that will help many others.

    The family has set up the Chase Kowalski Memorial Fund.

    Becky said one plan is to build a community center for the town of Newtown, but the family does not want to stop there. 

    "If I can get enough funding, I'd love to see one in every town in the United States,” Becky said. “This isn't solely for Chase. He is not the only person that perished. He is one of 26.  In any way we can honor my son, and all of those teachers and aides, we'll do it.”

    The Kowalskis said they are convinced that Chase is guiding them to move forward and Becky believes her young son  told her what to do within hours after the shooting on Friday, Dec. 14.

    “Friday was horrible. It was a nightmare. Because a friend told me she thought she saw Chase, I was able to deal with that and give the information needed, so that he was identified.  I took a pill that night to sleep.  Saturday was a blur.  I said, ‘I can do this without a pill.’ So I was clearheaded.  I went to bed and he came to me, in the middle of the night and he explained to me what we would experience,” Becky said. “And then he showed me the little fish from finding Nemo, and how they have to work together to make a big fish -- to change to make something happen. And I saw the fish coming together as a whole.  And then he just filled my heart with peace, and I was changed.”

     


    “We're getting through it.  It's hard.  Every day, I go around and look.  Definitely hard,” Stephen Kowalkski said.








     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Chase Kowalski, aged six, one of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, who was shot by Adam Lanza, 20, and died in hospital. Lanza used three weapons to shoot 26 people dead, 20 of them schoolchildren aged 5 to 10, and then shot himself dead on Friday. His mother Nancy was also found deadChase Kowalski, aged six, one of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, who was shot by Adam Lanza, 20, and died in hospital. Lanza used three weapons to shoot 26 people dead, 20 of them schoolchildren aged 5 to 10, and then shot himself dead on Friday. His mother Nancy was also found dead

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    Residents were forced from an East Hartford apartment building Monday after someone set several fires inside the building.

    Firefighters responded to the building at 231 Ellington Road just before 9 a.m.

    According to investigators, someone set about a dozen small fires. Many of the fires were directly in front of apartment doors.

    It is the fifth time firefighters have been called to the building to douse small fires since last summer, according to officials.

    "It is very troubling because it's getting worse," said Fire Chief John Oates. "It's not getting any better, which means we're going to continue to work even harder to make sure that we put a stop to it. When we find out who it is and what they're doing, they're going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

    Arson dogs were brought into the apartment building to search for evidence and authorities offered at $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the arsons.

    Adding to the danger Monday, resident said they pulled fire alarms to alert other residents, but the alarms did not work. Firefighters are looking into why the alarms malfunctioned and would remain on scene until the alarms are operating properly, according to Oates.


    Firefighters responded to an apartment building at 231 Ellington Road in East Hartford on Monday where someone set a dozen small fires inside.Firefighters responded to an apartment building at 231 Ellington Road in East Hartford on Monday where someone set a dozen small fires inside.

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    Police have issued an alert for a 17-year-old Pomfret teen missing since Sunday night.

    Amelia Trafton was last seen around 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Hyde boarding school in Woodstock, according to police.

    She has brown hair, hazel eyes and wears glasses. She is 5-feet-5 and weighs 130 pounds.

    Half of her head is shaved and the hair on the other half is neck length.

    She was carrying a black backpack and wearing black boots, blue jeans, a black jacket, a gray long-sleeve shirt and a black beanie cap when she was last seen.

    Anyone with information about Amelia's location is asked to call state police at troop D at 860-779-4900.

     


    State police have issued a silver alert for Amelia Trafton and released this photo.State police have issued a silver alert for Amelia Trafton and released this photo.

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    Aki Anastasiou stands in front of a LG Electronics Inc. Ultra HD Cinema 3D television during a press event prior to the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2012. The 2013 CES trade show, which runs until Jan. 11, is the world's largest annual innovation event that offers an array of entrepreneur focused exhibits, events and conference sessions for technology entrepreneurs. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Aki Anastasiou stands in front of a LG Electronics Inc. Ultra HD Cinema 3D television during a press event prior to the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2012. The 2013 CES trade show, which runs until Jan. 11, is the world's largest annual innovation event that offers an array of entrepreneur focused exhibits, events and conference sessions for technology entrepreneurs. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesAki Anastasiou stands in front of a LG Electronics Inc. Ultra HD Cinema 3D television during a press event prior to the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2012. The 2013 CES trade show, which runs until Jan. 11, is the world's largest annual innovation event that offers an array of entrepreneur focused exhibits, events and conference sessions for technology entrepreneurs. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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    A Guilford native is bringing some of the biggest names in soccer today to bring smiles to faces in a town devastated by the tragic Sandy Hook shooting.

    Mia Hamm, LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan, Alexi Lalas, Christie Rampone, Eric Wynalda,  and dozens of others will be in Connecticut on Monday night for Soccer Night in Newtown, an event exclusively for residents of Newtown.

    Chris Canetti, a Guilford native and president of the Houston Dynamo, put the event together with help from Eric Da Costa, head coach of the Quinnipiac University soccer men's soccer team, according to MLS Soccer.com.

    It was born of a desire to do something to help and players representing Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps will attend.

    Children and families will have the opportunity to meet with members of Major League Soccer and the U.S. National team between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Canetti told Sports Illustrated that the original idea was to hold a clinic, but it has grown so far beyond that and around 1,200 people are expected to attend. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130105/soccer-night-in-newtown-canetti/
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan celebrates his goal as Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, left, walks away during the second half of the MLS Cup championship soccer match, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy won 1-0. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan celebrates his goal as Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, left, walks away during the second half of the MLS Cup championship soccer match, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy won 1-0. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)

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    Scientists have discovered that orange-colored cups makes hot chocolate taste better, proving once again that color influences taste buds.

    Researchers at Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and Oxford University studied 57 participants, each of whom tasted four samples of hot chocolate from cups of the same size but different colors -- white, cream, red and orange. The results showed that subjects thought the beverage tasted better in the orange and cream-colored cups, LiveScience reported.

    “These results are relevant to sensory scientists interested in how the brain integrates visual input (such as color), not only from the food itself, but also from the container, packaging or plateware from which it is being consumed,” the report said.

    The study, published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, adds to the body of research that says people’s perception of taste is influenced by many factors that are unrelated to the actual food. For example, fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Subway are decorated in yellow because the color stimulates the appetite. Also, food tastes better when served on a white plate, while food served on a blue plate suppresses the appetite.

    Researchers are hoping the results are helpful to marketers in the food industry.

    "These results should hopefully help stimulate chefs, restaurateurs and those working in the food and beverage packaging sectors to think more carefully about the color of their plateware/packaging and its potential effects on their customers' perception of the taste/flavor of the products that they happen to be serving/delivering to market."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF

    Scientists say hot chocolate sipped from an orange cup tastes better.Scientists say hot chocolate sipped from an orange cup tastes better.

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    Franklin Resident, George King III is on his way to Washington for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

    King's 1916 Model T Ford World War I ambulance was one of 63 vehicles selected to be a part of the procession in the inauguration parade on Jan. 21.

    "This is the most accurate and most interesting project I’ve ever been a part of," King said.

    King spent years building and researching the historical recreation of the ambulance.

    "We constructed the body out of the exact same materials that were used by the Kellner carriage works, including importing $4,000 worth of mahogany from the Ivory Coast of Africa," King said. "It's important to do the job right. This is the only ambulance of its kind in the country."

    King said he hoped the ambulance recreation would send a message about the importance of volunteerism and American volunteer ambulance drivers around the country; a mission that caught the attention of First Lady, Michelle Obama.

    "Michelle Obama gave a number of commencement addresses stressing volunteerism and at that time we were building the ambulance, so I wrote her a letter applauding her and she wrote me back," King said. "So, last week I was able to write her that we had been selected and we'd be there."

    George King will leave for D.C. on Jan. 20 to prepare for the parade.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to workers during a visit to the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to workers during a visit to the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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    If you were hoping to snag tickets to the Inaugural Ball, you're already too late.

    Due to a Ticketmaster goof, some users received the link to buy tickets 12 hours before they were supposed to go on sale Monday morning.

    A spokesperson from the Presidential Inaugural Committee confirmed to NBC Washington that tickets are sold out, but wasn't certain whether that happened Sunday night or Monday morning.

    "I was one of the ones who was literally watching my cell phone the entire time for that message saying how and when to buy tickets," Fran Hill told NBC Washington. "I was very disappointed ... It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

    The Presidential Inaugural Committee had promised to make a limited number of tickets available online for $60.

    Those who wanted the chance to buy tickets signed up at www.2013pic.org. The email containing the link to buy tickets should have gone out Monday morning.

    Ticketmaster is attributing the issue to a testing error. The company sent a second email to users Sunday night that reads in part:

    Public tickets to these events were originally scheduled to go on sale [Monday] morning -- you received the email tonight in error, and Ticketmaster takes responsibility for this mistake.

    However, a significant number of public tickets were purchased this evening, despite the early email. Ticketmaster will be in touch with any additional information.

    However, some users received neither email.

    Would-be ticket buyer Sarah Ward-Dahl received both messages from Ticketmaster, but missed the opportunity, she told NBC Washington.

    "Unfortunately I am not glued to my devices unless I need to be (say the morning of January 7th to buy inauguration tickets) so by the time I logged in everything was sold out," she wrote.

    The Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center is the only official ball also open to the public. The other official ball, the Commander-in-Chief's Ball is open to military servicemembers.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV's Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV's Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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    Last week, as former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was coming to Newtown to lend her support to families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a state representative posted on Facebook for Giffords to stay away.

    "Gabby Giffords stay out of my towns," the post on the Facebook page for State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican who represents Newtown and Monroe, said.
     
    Giffords survived a shooting in Tuscon, Arizona in 2011 that killed six people, including a judge and a young girl. She and her husband have been advocates for stricter gun laws.

    NBC Connecticut tried to reach Hovey, about the comment, but she was unavailable. In the days after, there were several blogs and opinion pieces criticizing Hovey.

    On Monday, she issued an apology for the comments she posted online.

    "The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize," Rep. Hovey said in a statement.  "My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes.  This is what I wish to avoid."

    Hovey was in Florida last week to attend a board meeting of the Women in Government national organization when Giffords visited.

    "The events of December 14th affected all of us deeply and like many others I am still working through my grief and trying to come to terms with what happened, how we as a community and a state move forward and how we can prevent horrific events like this from occurring in the future," Hovey said in a statement.  "My deepest condolences continue to go out to the families, the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown and Connecticut."

    Hovey’s office said she has been a strong advocate for her district and has called for a dialogue on mental health issues, improving school safety and gun control.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, center, holds hands with her husband, Mark Kelly, while exiting Town Hall at Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown, Conn. after meeting with Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and other officials on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. At far left is Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman; behind Giffords to the left is U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Giffords also met with families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that left 26 people dead. (AP Photo/The News-Times, Jason Rearick) MANDATORY CREDITFormer U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, center, holds hands with her husband, Mark Kelly, while exiting Town Hall at Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown, Conn. after meeting with Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and other officials on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. At far left is Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman; behind Giffords to the left is U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Giffords also met with families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that left 26 people dead. (AP Photo/The News-Times, Jason Rearick) MANDATORY CREDIT

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    One Connecticut town is considering its own ban on assault weapons, as well as additional weapons restrictions, and a guns right group is fighting it, saying the town is exceeding its constitutional rights.

    Weston is located about 20 miles away from Newtown and 20 days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, selectmen embarked on a discussion about assault weapons ordinances.

    Selectman Dennis Tracey told NPR that the proposed ordinance bans assault weapons and automatic weapons, “as well as high-capacity magazines, which are not appropriate in our town for sporting purposes."

    "Second, it requires safe and secure storage of weapons when they're not being used. And third, it requires the registration of all firearms in town," he told the radio network. 

    The ordinance would require that guns be stored in a box made of steel or a similar material and the penalty would be $500 per violation.

    The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is speaking against the proposal, complaining that it would give the chief of police sole discretion to deny any person a “Permit for Ownership” without cause. 

    "The town of Weston is claiming to have powers that far exceed the constitution's (sic) of both the state of Connecticut, and the U.S. Constitution. Law abiding citizens that choose to exercise their rights are now being disenfranchised from owning firearms and other shooting devices. This is but another knee jerk and opportunistic excuse for law makers to punish Law Abiding citizens, and impose more gun control. An ordinance of this type, that becomes municipal code, will more than likely be met by lawsuits. Hopefully the town of Weston will drop this proposal altogether and avoid unnecessary litigation," CCDL president Scott Wilson said in a statement. 

    The Daily Voice reports that the selectman would revise the ordinance based on response from the public and they will hold a public hearing.  

     


    Officials in Weston are considering a town ban on certain weapons and requiring town gun permits.Officials in Weston are considering a town ban on certain weapons and requiring town gun permits.

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