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    U.S. Park Police said clean-up efforts will continue Monday after an unknown person splattered green paint on the base and lap of the statue of Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial.

    Officials said crews put a cleaning solution on the statue Saturday afternoon and tried to power wash the statue. They were able to get some of the paint off the granite base, but are having a hard time removing the paint from the marble statue.

    The memorial was closed early Saturday while President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the nearby Korean War Veterans Memorial at 10 a.m.

    Police have surveillance video of the vandal, and are now seeking a person of interest, sources tell News4.

    A visitor saw the paint on the statue and on the floor around it just before 1:30 a.m. Friday. Jamie McDaniel, from Stafford, Va., told News 4 she and a friend called Park Police when they discovered the paint.

    McDaniel said there was also Mountain Dew bottles containing some paint as well as green footprints leading up to the statue.

    This is not the first time vandalism has been reported at the site of one of the National Mall's memorials.

    Back in 2007, an oily substance was found on the memorial wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Police determined the case to be an act of vandalism and not an accident, The Washington Post reported. The removal process took weeks to complete.

    Two additional incidents of vandalism have been reported at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the past. In 1993, the directory stands at the entrance of the memorial were burned, and a swastika and scratches were found etched in two of the memorials panels in 1988. Both panels were replaced.

    The Lincoln Memorial, which was dedicated in 1922, is open to the public 24 hours a day.

    U.S. Park Police Union President Ian Glick released the following statement:

    "This type of reprehensible act is unfortunate but it did not permanently damage the memorial and this incident further underscores the need for the National Park Service to provide more funding and more personnel so as to provide a higher level of deterrence through officer presence. We are fortunate that this deplorable act can be remedied but caution that we are lucky that this wasn't an act of terrorism."

    RELATED COVERAGE ON NBCWashington.com:\

    MORE ON NBCWashington.com:

     


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    A violent crowd raged through Huntington Beach on Sunday night after a surfing competition, clashing with police, toppling portable toilets, brawling in the streets and vandalizing and looting at least one business, according to police and witnesses.

    Read: Store Owner Saves $5,000 Bike | Caught on Video: Bike Shop Vandalism | Watch: Aftermath Aerial Video

    The violence erupted among a crowd of thousands gathered for the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, which includes surfing, skateboarding and BMX biking events, possibly after a fistfight in downtown Huntington Beach (map). City vehicles, newspaper racks and street signs also were damaged in the wave of violence on and near Main Street.

    Police made eight arrests on suspicion of failure to disperse, according to a Huntington Beach Police Department statement.

    People strapped bandanas across their faces and threw rocks and bottles at police officers. Police donned riot gear and fired back with pepper balls.

    Aerial footage showed about 18 overturned portable toilets on the streets of downtown Huntington Beach. It was unclear exactly when the riots began, but witnesses began mentioning the riots in social media posts earlier than 8 p.m.

    Witnesses said the violence stemmed from a fight and spread along the Main Street area.

    "A lot of little fights broke out from there," said witness Doug Cavender.

    A video posted to Facebook showed a group throwing a stop sign through a store window and making off with merchandise, including a bicycle. A stop sign post was sheared off and used to shatter the store window of the HB easyrider shop.

    Burt Etheredge, an employee, described watching the crowd's smash-and-grab from the store's front window.

    "We were all huddled inside the building and we had the lights off because all the people were up here mobbing around, and I was inside and I saw them tearing down the stop sign," he said. "As soon as that stop sign came down, I knew that stop sign was coming through the window. And sure enough, two seconds later, it did."

    One of the people made off with a bicycle before others in the crowd stepped in and defended the store, Etheredge said. Video showed an employee inside the store window involved in a tug-o-war-style fight for a bike.

    Boards covered the shop's window frame Monday morning.

    By about 9 p.m., the commotion appeared to have ended and the streets were mostly cleared, except for a heavy police presence.

    Police asked that anyone with information, photos or video of crimes related to the violence call the Huntington Beach Police Department Hotline at 714-375-5066.
     


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    A bike is pulled from a storefront window at the HB easyrider shop in Huntington Beach during an evening of violence.A bike is pulled from a storefront window at the HB easyrider shop in Huntington Beach during an evening of violence.

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    Police have arrested two people accused of robbing a CVS in Willimantic on Sunday.

    A clerk at the CVS Pharmacy located at 1200 Main Street called 911 around 5 p.m. to report a robbery in progress, police said.

    The first Willimantic officer to arrive saw a man running from the store and chased him for 100 yards, until the man tried to get into the passenger side of the vehicle. 

    More officers arrived, converged on the vehicle and detained Samuel Weldon, 20, of Willimantic.

    During a search, police said they found a BB gun.

    Police also detained the woman who was in the driver’s seat. 

    Maria Nieves Rodriguez, 22, of Willimantic, was later identified as a suspect in the robbery, police said.

    Weldon was charged with breach of peace, second-degree robbery, carrying and sale of dangerous weapons, interfering with an officer and conspiracy. He was held on a $75,000 surety bond.

    Rodriguez was charged conspiracy and second-degree robbery. She was held on a $25,000 surety bond.

    Both are due in Danielson Superior Court this morning.

     


    Police arrested two suspects in a robbery at CVS in Willimantic.Police arrested two suspects in a robbery at CVS in Willimantic.

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    Work to remove a misquote on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial got underway Monday.

    The sound of a grinder could be heard coming from underneath the tarp covering the paraphrased quote on the memorial's "Stone of Hope". Close observers could even see Sculptor Master Lei Yixin and his team in silhouette hard at work.

    The team is carving horizontal grooves over the lettering of the quote to match existing marks in the sculpture.

    Many people, including poet Maya Angelou, complained after the memorial opened in 2011 that the paraphrased quotation took King's words out of context and made him sound arrogant.

    The paraphrased quote on the monument reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

    The full quotation was taken from a 1968 sermon King delivered at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church about two months before King was assassinated. He was speaking about what he would want in his own eulogy. It reads:

    "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

    Angelou said the paraphrase "makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit," the Washington Post reported in August 2011. "He was anything but that.... He had no arrogance at all. He had a humility that comes from deep inside. The 'if' clause that is left out is salient. Leaving it out changes the meaning completely."

    The quote was paraphrased so that it would fit on the north side of the statue.

    In December, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he reached an agreement with King's family, the group that built the memorial and the National Park Service to remove the paraphrase.

    Ed Jackson Jr., the memorial's executive architect, told the Associated Press that the lettering will be replaced with horizontal "movement lines" that are already part of the design to show the movement of the central Stone of Hope out of a Mountain of Despair behind it.

    "So what they're going to do is make more of those striations where the words are, and then they're also going to make striations on the other side... so it all matches up," said Carol Johnson of the NPS.

    The sculptor, Lei, had recommended removing the inscription that way to avoid compromising the monument's structural integrity, rather than cutting into the granite to replace it with a fuller quotation.

    Cutting granite out of the sculpture and replacing it to make way for a longer quotation would have also looked like a "patch job" forever, Jackson said.

    Removing the inscription retains the integrity of the artwork, he said.

    That design was inspired by a line from King's "I Have a Dream" speech: "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." That message is inscribed on the other side of the sculpture and will remain.

    Visitors to the memorial were disappointed by the partially obstructed view Monday.

    "I would've loved to see it without the scaffolding and all, see the grandness of it, but it serves the point anyway. I'm coming in from out-of-town, and I get to see it no matter what," one visitor said.

    The work is expected to be finished before the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this Aug. 28, according to the NPS. The memorial will remain open during the work, though access to some areas will be affected.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Two men are hospitalized after an SUV hit a tree and a stone wall in Plainfield on Sunday evening.

    The crash happened on Sterling Hill Road in the area of New Road in the Moosup section of Plainfield at 7:09 p.m. and emergency workers said they found Sean Simmons, 26, of Jewett City, and Timothy Cote, 43, of Sterling, trapped in the vehicle.

    Police said Simmons was driving a 1993 Ford Ranger, crossed into the opposing lane, went off the shoulder of the road into an area near a private residential drive and hit a tree and stone wall, police said. 

    Members of the Moosup and Central Village Fire Departments were able to extricate both men and Lifestar transported them to Hartford Hospital.

    Simmons listed in stable condition and Cote is in guarded condition.

    The State Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Squad is investigating. 
     


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    A quick-thinking couple who saw flames shooting from a Connecticut house as they drove by kicked in the door to save those sleeping inside.

    Firefighters responded to a fire at 56 Laurel Street in Southington on Sunday. Officials said the fire appeared to have started in the garage of the house before quickly extending to the home, as well as the house next door.

    By the time first responders arrived, those inside the home had already been rescued.

    "We came around the corner and saw the garage had been inflamed and it was already going into the house, so we parked the car and ran up to the door, kicked the door in and started pulling the husband out," Jaclyn Piccirillo, one of the rescuers, said.

    Richard Piccirillo, a firefighter himself, and Jaclyn said their first reaction when they drove by was to immediately run inside and make sure everyone was out. 

    The Southington Fire Department said it appears the homeowners did not even realize anything was wrong until their door was kicked down by the Piccirillos.

    "I think the husband thought we were robbing them because he was swinging at us," Jaclyn said.

    But that didn't stop the rescue. Without hesitation, the Piccirillos rushed to the home next door.

    "As soon as we got him out we went next door because the guy's house was on fire and we went straight in and pulled him out as well," she said.

    Without these two good Samaritans coming to the rescue, the situation could have ended a lot worse.

    "I feel glad that I was here, did my job to get them out. "

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: Donna Voisine

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    Paying for diapers can be a struggle for low-income families and a new study by Yale and the Connecticut-based National Diaper Bank Network has found that some moms have been so cash-strapped at times that they have not been able to afford diapers.

    Others said they have tried to make diapers last longer by reusing them at times.

    “Some were taking off their kids’ diapers and scraping off the contents and then putting them back on the child,” Megan Smith, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine  told NBC News. “While that has an incredible impact on the health of the child in terms of urinary tract infections and rashes, it also impacts the self-esteem of the mom.”

    Smith is the main author of the study, “Diaper Need and Its Impact on Child Health,’ which has been published in the journal “Pediatrics.

    Of the women interviewed, 30 percent said they'd experienced a time when they could not afford to buy diapers and 8 percent said they've tried to make diapers last longer by reusing them at times.

    Mothers who cannot afford diapers are more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to an article Yale News posted online about the research.

    Smith told Yale that the stresses can affect a child’s development.

    “High levels of stress and depression in a parent can be associated with low achievement in school and mental health problems that can follow a child for a lifetime,” Smith told Yale News. 

    The need is so big, Yury Maciel-Andrews of the Diaper Bank, said that they received calls every day.

    “It's really heartbreaking," she said. "Agencies come and pick them up and we deliver to them and then they give to the families."

    The diaper bank distributes not only diapers, but also formula and diaper bags.

    "So when the community organizations come to pick up diapers, they can choose the items and they give them to these families," Maciel-Andrews said.

    The Yale and Diaper Bank study recommends that pediatricians ask parents about their need for diapers and refer families to a local diaper distribution service to reduce parenting stress.

    Mary-Kathryn Petrone works at local hospital and donates bags of diapers to the bank every month.

    "Anything that we can do to help," Mary-Kathryn Petrone said.
     


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    Willimantic police are looking for the man who robbed the Cumberland Farms on Jackson Street this morning after struggling with the clerk.

    Police responded to the store at 1:45 a.m. and said the robber struggled briefly with the clerk, grabbed cash from the register and ran south on Jackson Street

    The robber is described as between 5-feet-6 and 5-feet-8 with a medium build. He has facial hair and was wearing a tan shirt, jeans and a tan beret.

    The clerk was not injured, police said.

    Anyone with information about the robbery can call Detective Miller or Detective Glode at 860-465-3135, extension 242.  
     



    Photo Credit: Willimantic police

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    A Seymour woman was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on Route 34 in Derby this morning.

    Police said Nicole McDonald, 25, of Seymour, was driving a 2013 Toyota Rav4 westbound and Luis Ambioris Garcia, 29, of Syracuse, New York, was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound when the crash happened at 7:44 a.m. 

    McDonald was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Roosevelt Drive, or Route 34, was closed between Lakeview Terrace and Buckingham Road for more than an hour as police investigated. The road has since reopened.

    Police continue to investigate.


     


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    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Emergency crews closed a mile-long stretch of Route 34 in Derby after a two-vehicle crash on Monday morning.Emergency crews closed a mile-long stretch of Route 34 in Derby after a two-vehicle crash on Monday morning.

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    A South Philadelphia row home exploded and collapsed Monday, sending eight people to the hospital and shifting the routine of the day into a panic-stricken morning for neighbors.

    "I thought somebody dropped a bomb in the middle of my block! It went boom! And then you just seen glass fly from over the roof," said Danielle James. She was leaning out a second-floor window and talking to a neighbor on the sidewalk below at the moment of the blast.

    "I went through every room and took my kids and just said, 'Get out now!'"

    The explosion came from inside the basement of a home at 428 Daly Street around 11 a.m. The home is being rehabbed and a contractor was working on a water heater, according to Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer. That man was critically injured, suffering severe burns to his shoulder and arms.

    The explosion destroyed at least three homes along Daly Street. From the air, debris of wood, brick and glass can be seen strewn in all directions.

    In addition to the contractor, police say, seven others were hurt -- four other adults, a 15-year-old and two infants. The infants are one month and three months old, and their injuries are not serious.

    Laura McColgan lives around the corner. "I'm still shaking," she said, recounting her experience.

    "I was upstairs brushing my teeth. I heard a very loud noise. Not being sure what it was, I came downstairs and went out my back door," McColgan said. "I went outside and saw everyone running around the corner. I saw the building down, saw the smoke and smelled the horrible smell of gas as well."

    Iman Sedaris was eating breakfast with his family when the earth shook. Sedaris grabbed his wife, daughter, a friend and as they ran out the front door, his neighbor yelled for help.

    "My friend, oh my God, he has a small baby. He ran outside, I saw him and he said, 'Please, take my baby and I took him."

    Daly Street sits in a residential area of South Philadelphia, populated by row homes. Emergency crews shut off traffic in the immediate area and went door-to-door to get people out of their homes, as a precaution. At the height of the evacuation 70 homes on Daly Street and Wolf Street, which is just South of Daly Street, were evacuated.

    "It definitely was an explosion," McColgan said.

    Fire officials confirmed that it was indeed a gas explosion. They talked to the contractor on the way to the hospital, according to Sawyer, and he told them he'd been working on the water heater because there had been some issues with the heater. Philadelphia Gas Works was on location to stop the leak, according to Sawyer.

    "The main thing that's important right now is that we have nobody that died," Sawyer said.

    The contractor is critically injured with burns over 22-percent of his body. He will be transferred to Temple University Hospital's burn unit. The other victims suffered minor injuries, according to Sawyer. At least one of the babies and the teenager lived in the homes on either side of the house that exploded. 

    According to Rebecca Swanson with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, four permits were issued for work on the home at 428 Daly. Three of the permits were for mechanical work that included the installation of a heating and air-conditioning system, interior alterations and plumbing.

    During the three months of work, L&I inspectors came through 14 times to check the work and found no violations. Those permits were "finaled" on Friday. That means the work was completed, inspected and approved. The outstanding permit is for electrical work, which includes rewiring and installation of new outlets.

    Philadelphia Police Officer Michael Duffy posted this Vine of Daly Street after the blast:

    By mid-afternoon, people on Wolf Street were allowed back in their homes as well as residents on the odd-numbered side of Daly Street.

    Everyone on Daly Street has been accounted for, according to city officials.

    The Fire Marshall, L&I and PGW are all investigating the cause of the gas leak.



    Photo Credit: SkyForce10, NBC10.com

    Three homes were damaged after an explosion inside a home along the 400 block of Daly Street in South Philadelphia Monday morning.Three homes were damaged after an explosion inside a home along the 400 block of Daly Street in South Philadelphia Monday morning.

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    Investigators cracking down on child sex trafficking said they saved 105 children in raids across the country this weekend, including five juveniles in Connecticut.

    Over the last 72 hours, the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and local law enforcement agencies conducted Operation Cross Country VII in 76 cities to address commercial child sex trafficking throughout the country.

    Of the 150 suspected pimps arrested, one was in Connecticut.

    According to the FBI, they had help from State Police as well as police in towns including Berlin, West Hartford, Norwich, Milford and New Haven.

    Police worked late into the night and investigated at local hotels where they suspected underage prostitution might be taking place.

    "The truly sad thing about underage prostitution is not only that it exists, but that child prostitutes are frequently forced into this lifestyle," Special Agent in Charge, Kimberly Mertz, of the New Haven FBI, said in a statement.

    "It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of how they came to be involved in prostitution and their inability to get out," Mertz said. "What is gratifying, however, is the true dedication of the agents and officers who work on these matters."

    John Ryan, CEO of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America’s children are being sold for sex every day and many are on the Internet.

    Last month, the state passed legislation to crackdown on sexual exploitation, allowing authorities to go after money and property obtained through sexual exploitation and people trafficking. 

    Operation Cross Country is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division established in 2003 to address the growing problem of child prostitution.

    No additional information was available about the New Haven operation.
     



    Photo Credit: AP Image

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    An arraignment was delayed Monday for Saudi princess Meshael Alayban, who is charged with human trafficking for allegedly enslaving a domestic servant from Kenya in her Irvine, Calif., condo.

    Alayban, 42, did not appear in court and Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston judge was concerned.

    "I have a question to ask here," Johnston said. "In all cases in which a felony is charged, the accused shall be present at the arraignment ... Why is she not here?"

    Attorneys Paul S. Meyer and Jennifer L. Keller said that Alayban did not appear in court as authorized and she has complied with all court orders.

    "The nannies traveled to the U.S. on $10,000 first-class tickets, along with the family," they said in  a statement. "These women had cell phones, Internet, Facebook, and the family even bought cable in their native language for them. They enjoyed full use of the spa, gym and pool and were often dropped off to shop alone at neighborhood malls, all paid for by the family."

    Her arraignment was postponed to Sept. 20.

    The case broke July 9, when the maid from Kenya managed to escape the condo and flagged down a bus driver who alerted authorities. Police arrested Alayban in connection with the case and opened an investigation into the discovery of four more women from the Philippines found unharmed in the condo.

    Alayban was charged with human trafficking, the first case of its kind to be prosecuted in Orange County under Proposition 35, California's anti-human trafficking law.

    If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.

    Alayban, who made her first court appearance July 11, was allowed to post the $5 million bail and was being monitored by a GPS tracking device. She was also ordered to stay in the county and she had to surrender her passport.

    The Kenyan maid told police she agreed to work for Alayban for two years, prosecutors said. She was paid $220 a month for 16-hour days, seven days a week, with no time off. Among her duties -- cooking, cleaning and caring for at least eight people in the condo complex.

    Alayban is one of six wives to a grandson of the king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. She came to the U.S. with her three children on a vacation visa and has been in Irvine since at least May, officials said.

    NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this story.

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    Meshael Alayban, a Saudi princess, left, appears in a Santa Ana courtroom Thursday, July 11, 2013, to face human trafficking charges. Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston asked her attorneys why she wasn't in court for her arraignment on Monday, July 28, 2013.Meshael Alayban, a Saudi princess, left, appears in a Santa Ana courtroom Thursday, July 11, 2013, to face human trafficking charges. Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston asked her attorneys why she wasn't in court for her arraignment on Monday, July 28, 2013.

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    A Danbury letter carrier who was charged with possession and distribution of child porn in August 2012  has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for trading child pornography online.

    According to the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut, an investigation into Paul D'Ambrosio, 49, began Aug. 8 2012 when a detective assigned to the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force logged into a publicly available file sharing program and downloaded 50 images and 10 videos depicting child pornography from directories maintained by D'Ambrosio.

    Agents arrested Paul D'Ambrosio, 49, of Waterbury, at a U.S. Postal Service facility in Danbury where he worked as a mail carrier and authorities also seized a computer and other components from D'Ambrosio's home in Waterbury.

    According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, investigators found more than 600 images and videos of child pornography, including images of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct and images of children engaging in sadistic or masochistic conduct.

    D'Ambrosio pleaded guilty on March 11 to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography.

    After spending 30 months in prison, D'Ambrosio will be under supervised release for six years.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A Chinese blog has leaked what is reportedly the packaging for the rumored budget iPhone.

    The photo, posted on the blog WeiPhone, features what appears to be plastic packaging with the words "iPhone 5C" printed its side. The "C" could mean "color" for its multicolor offerings or "cheaper" to describe its lower price tag, according to PC Magazine.

    The alleged new low-cost iPhone will look like a cross between the iPhone 5, iPod Touch and iPod Classic, according to Mashable. It will be made of plastic and targeted at developing markets like China in hopes of nabbing a share of the growing Android market.


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    Police arrested a woman in the green paint vandalism case at National Cathedral.

    The cathedral is one of three Washington landmarks vandalized with green paint in recent days, News4 Washington has learned. Just three days after paint was found splattered at the Lincoln Memorial, a similar substance was discovered Monday at the National Cathedral and on a statue memorializing Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

    National Cathedral officials confirmed green paint was found on an organ inside the historic Bethlehem Chapel. The paint was still wet Monday.

    The entire lower level of the cathedral is closed while police search the building.

    Paint was also found on the front and back of the Joseph Henry statue's pedestal. The statue is located outside the Smithsonian castle, near the merry-go-round on the National Mall.

    While the paint at the Lincoln was splattered on, the paint on the Henry statue resembles finger painting, reported News4's Mark Segraves.

    It's unclear when the statue was vandalized. U.S. Park Police were alerted Monday morning to that incident.

    U.S. Park Police are investigating whether the case at the Henry statue is linked to the incident at the Lincoln Memorial, Linda St. Thomas of the Smithsonian told News4.

    "It is [the] Smithsonian's job to remove the paint -- from [the] granite base and bronze statue," she said. "We have to find a product that will not damage the protective coating."

    St. Thomas said they should be able to remove the paint within a couple of days.

    Stay with us for more.

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE:


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    Dozens of children forced into prostitution were rescued in a three-day sweep of sex-trafficking rings, federal law enforcement authorities announced Monday.

    The 105 victims, mostly girls, were rescued as the result of a coordinated effort that spanned 76 cities. The crackdown also netted 150 pimps, authorities said.

    The largest roundups occurred in San Francisco (12 children and 17 pimps), Detroit (10 children and 18 pimps), Milwaukee (10 children), Denver (nine children and six pimps) and New Orleans (six children and six pimps).

    A total of 21 victims were freed in California, and another five in both Texas and Connecticut, authorities said.

    "This operation targeted venues where girls and adults are operated for commercial sex, including streets 'tracks,' truck stops, motels, casinos, internet sites and social media platforms and the like," Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, said at a news conference.

    The ages of the victims ranged from 13 to 17, he added.

    One of them was a 14-year-old Sacramento, Calif. girl who was found in Reno, Nev. during an investigation of an online posting for prostitution, the Associated Press reported.

    Another 14-year-old victim was saved in Memphis after undercover officers found her through the website backpage.com. She named two men and a woman who she said forced her into prostitution, according to the Commercial Appeal.

    Among three children recovered in Oklahoma City was a girl who'd previous been rescued during a raid last year in the Pacific Northwest, an FBI agent told the AP.

    The Detroit cases included several underrage girls held against their wills in various hotels, the Free Press reported.

    In Chicago, the FBI said it worked with city and suburban police to rescue two teenagers. A pimp and 96 johns were also taken into custody.

    The nationwide sweep, dubbed Operation Cross Country, was the largest in the FBI's decade-old Innocence Lost initiative to combat child prostitution, the agency said. Its main partner in that effort is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    Operation Cross Country's last major bust came in June 2012, when 79 children were rescued.

    With the most recent crackdown, the initiative has pulled more than 2,700 children out of prostitution, the FBI said.

    Typically, cases start locally, with initial arrests leading to deeper investigations, led by federal authorities, of criminal networks that transport children and adults across state lines.

    Some perpetrators are serving life terms in prison.

    "Operation Cross Country demonstrates just how many of America's children are being sold for sex every day, many on the internet," NCMEC CEO John Ryan said in a statement.

    Wendy Jolley-Kabi, executive director of the Association of Missing and Exploited Children's Associations, said her group, and the families they represent, reacted to Monday's announcement with a combination of sadness and excitement—sadness for the large number of children involved, and excitement that the issue of child sex trafficking is getting so much attention.

    Many sex-trafficking victims go missing from the foster or child-welfare system, where there often aren't parents or advocates clamoring on their behalf, she said. Some of these kids are never formally reported missing, reflecting gaps in state laws.

    Jolley-Kabi said she expects that in the next few days several active missing-child cases will be closed as a result of the recent sweep. But far too many cases will remain unsolved.



    Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, announced the results of Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, announced the results of "Operation Cross Country," a child sex-trafficking crackdown.

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    Police said a Silver Alert for a 15-year-old Enfield girl has been resolved.

    Jasmine Epps was reported missing early Monday morning after disappearing from the Brainard Road area, according to an alert.

    The case has been resolved, police said around 1:30 p.m.

     



    Photo Credit: Silver Alert

    Jasmine Epps, 15, of Enfield, has been found.Jasmine Epps, 15, of Enfield, has been found.

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    Waterford police are looking to identify a man who allegedly exposed himself inside the Crystal Mall.

    The man exposed himself to a woman near Buffalo Wild Wings in the mall on July 23, according to police. It is possibly the same man who exposed himself in the mall on June 27, police said.

    Investigators posted surveillance photos of the man on the Waterford Police Facebook page on Monday with the hope that someone will recognize him.

    Anyone with information on the man's identity should contact Officer Winters at the Waterford Police Department at 860-442-9451 Ext. 281, or by email at rwinters@waterfordct.org.



    Photo Credit: Waterford Police

    Waterford police said this man exposed himself inside the Crystal Mall.Waterford police said this man exposed himself inside the Crystal Mall.

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    An American Airlines plane blew two tires as it landed at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Monday afternoon, aviation officials said.

    Flight 810, a Boeing 737-800, was coming in from Reno, Nevada, fire department spokesman Larry Langford told NBC Chicago.

    The plane's two left main landing gear tires blew after landing at 12:30 p.m., the airline said.

    The 137 passengers on board were deplaned on the taxiway via a portable staircase. Buses transported the passengers to the terminal.

    No injuries were reported among the passengers or five crew members.

    American Airlines personnel changed the tires and the aircraft was taken to a hangar, the airline said in a statement.
     


    Photo: Judy Okazaki

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    Part of Route 68 is closed in Durham because of a tractor-trailer crash.

    The road is closed between Route 157 and Tuttle Road according to the state Department of Transportation.

    If you are traveling eastbound, take Route 157 to Route 147 to Route 17, DOT recommends.

    If you are traveling west, take Tuttle Road to Parmelee Hill Road to Tri Mountain Road.


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