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    Middletown police are asking for help in finding the people who stole over $20,000 in landscaping equipment from the Remington Rand property at 180 Johnson Street.

    According to police, the suspects pulled up to the property in a pick-up truck around 9:40 p.m. the night of July 30.

    Security footage shows the driver, a heavyset man wearing a T-shirt and shorts, getting out of the truck and walking around the property. Later, he is seen towing a ten-foot trailer loaded with stolen machinery.

    Security cameras also show a passenger getting out of the truck, but the images aren’t clear enough to distinguish the suspect.

    The stolen equipment includes a Scag Zero Turn Tiger Cat, a Scag walk-behind 48-inch mower, three Echo string trimmers and a Premier TL 142 trailer.

    According to police, the suspects’ truck has fog lights in the center of the front bumper, lights on the mirrors and across the top of the roof, a single break light at the rear of the cab and chrome steps on the sides of the truck.

    Police are advising equipment dealers to be on the lookout for the stolen machinery.

    They are asking anyone with information to contact the Middletown Police Department at 860-638-4000 or the Major Investigations Unit at 860-638-4140.

     



    Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

    Middletown police are searching for the people who stole over $20,000 in landscaping equipment from the Remington Rand property last Tuesday.Middletown police are searching for the people who stole over $20,000 in landscaping equipment from the Remington Rand property last Tuesday.

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    Dozens of volunteers who helped clean up Hartford’s Keney Park Friday morning were on a special mission.

    From 9 a.m. to noon, sailors on the Groton-based Navy submarine, the USS Hartford, headed into the park's overgrown and litter-lined Leadership Hiking Trail.

    "It was a job that needed to be done, so that's part of what we do," said Caleb Hall, a submarine machinist.

    The city of Hartford's Livable & Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative (LSNI) and the Department of Public Works teamed up with the USS Hartford crew to perform the cleanup.  

    “There is some overgrown vegetation and some blight so we are trying to correct those issues,” said Ronnie Vazquez of the LSNI.

    One goal is to restore a once-popular trail for future generations.

    “Our kids beginning to know about the environment and what makes them work and what makes this whole park work,” said Henry Hester from the Friends of Keney Park.

    The USS Hartford crew says it is hoping the partnership between the sub and the city lasts beyond this park project.

    “It works well for us to put our faces out here and make that connection between the city of Hartford and the USS Hartford,” said Hall.

    “This is a starting point for us and we definitely want to work and build upon this relationship,” added Vazquez.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A crew from the Navy submarine USS Hartford helped Hartford city officials clean up Keney Park on Friday morning.A crew from the Navy submarine USS Hartford helped Hartford city officials clean up Keney Park on Friday morning.

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    A Southern California art teacher who was suspended for 11 days after writing a harsh letter to a student’s parents is firing back at the Los Angeles Unified School District, claiming he is the true victim of harsh behavior.

    Lorcan Kilroy is speaking out against the LAUSD, saying the district cheated him by giving him an unfair, unpaid suspension and ultimate transferal from his job as a Van Nuys High School art teacher after he fought back against a student he said abused him in class.

    "Abusive teachers, abusive students. It's abuse. Why are we tolerating that?" Kilroy said of incidents with a pupil that occurred more than a year ago.

    After the student used a homophobic slur toward the teacher and threatened to "slap the (expletive) out of him," Kilroy felt the administration let the incident slide, so he took matters into his own hands and wrote a letter to the student’s parents.

    "This senseless apathy is a malignant sore, a cancer on the energy and morale of the whole class," the letter stated. "This is dismal, pathetic, self-absorbed and destructive...Please do not respond to this letter by staging a conference to come dribble and whine like many do about you or your kid’s personal difficulties or your hard life."

    The letter -- written in January 2012 -- is what Kilroy said resulted in his 11-day unpaid suspension, which was issued Monday and will forbid him from entering the campus from Aug. 13 to Sept. 23. Adding fuel to the fire, Kilroy found out on Wednesday that he is being transferred to Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth.

    To read the full letter, click here.

    LAUSD denied the connection between the letter and his school transfer in a statement, but district officials would not comment further, citing personnel confidentiality.

    "Kilroy was displaced from Van Nuys High School due to instructional program changes," the statement noted.

    The disgruntled teacher said although the reasons behind the note were justified, he may have taken things too far.

    "Something's going to happen if you call a teacher (slur) or threaten to slap the (expletive) out of them," Kilroy said. "I'm not proud of the letter, the letter is overly harsh. I'm not asking for sympathy from the letter."

    Kilroy described an incident by another teacher during which the person made physical threats against a student, an action the LAUSD handled differently, he said.

    "(The teacher) didn’t get an 11-day suspension and reporting to the Credential Commission," he said. "I did."

    More Southern California Stories:


    Lorcan Kilroy, a Van Nuys High School teacher, wrote a letter to the parent's of a student he said abused him in class, and the LAUSD ultimately suspended and transferred him.Lorcan Kilroy, a Van Nuys High School teacher, wrote a letter to the parent's of a student he said abused him in class, and the LAUSD ultimately suspended and transferred him.

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    A Tarrant County, Texas, man who admitted to killing three puppies with a stick before setting their bodies on fire in a barrel has been given 30 days in jail and probation.

    Chris Apala, 33, told NBC 5 in June the puppies were suffering, so he did the "humane thing" and then "cremated them."

    Apala and his girlfriend, 38-year-old Melissa Woodard, and their eight dogs, were living at her sister's home on the 7300 block of Cottonwood Creek Road in northwest Tarrant County. Woodard's sister called 911 after finding three of those dogs burned in a barrel.

    Both Woodard and Apala were arrested and jailed on animal cruelty charges.

    The Tarrant County district attorney's office said that Woodard and Apala each reached plea bargain agreements on Tuesday. In exchange for guilty pleas, Woodard received three years of probation and Apala received five years.

    As a condition of Apala's probation, he was ordered to serve 30 days in jail.

    Both defendants were also ordered to undergo random drug testing, a drug evaluation and complete community service. If either violates the conditions of their probation, they face up to two years in state jail.

    The Tarrant County district attorney's office also said that the couple is not prevented from owning dogs as a condition of their probation.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Chris Apala (left) admits killing three puppies and setting them on fire, he claims he was being humane. While his girlfriend Melissa Woodard (right) says she had nothing to do with the dogs' deaths. Both face animal cruelty charges.Chris Apala (left) admits killing three puppies and setting them on fire, he claims he was being humane. While his girlfriend Melissa Woodard (right) says she had nothing to do with the dogs' deaths. Both face animal cruelty charges.

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    The city of Richmond is taking legal action against Chevron.

    The city filed a lawsuit in Contra Costa County Superior Court Friday morning over last year's refinery fire that sent a massive cloud of thick smoke up into the air.

    "We don't want to see another toxic plume traveling across Richmond and the Bay Area … or to have children experience the trauma of such an incident again," Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said at a news conference at City Hall Friday morning.

    The 39-page complaint accuses the oil company of "willful and conscious disregard of public safety." It alleges the explosion and blaze at the California Bay Area refinery on Aug. 6, 2012, resulted from "years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs."

    RAW VIDEO: Chevron Refinery Erupts in Fire

    The fire occurred after a leak in a corroded pipe in the refinery's crude oil unit created a large cloud of hydrocarbon vapor that ignited in a fireball at about 6:30 p.m. that day.

    The lawsuit, authorized by the City Council last week, seeks financial compensation for economic damage to the city, including the costs of emergency response, firefighting, environmental cleanup, alleviating harm to public health, and loss of value in city property.

    A jury would determine the amount of compensation at a trial.

    “The purpose of the lawsuit is to hold them accountable for the harm and the economic impact this community in Richmond has suffered,” said Frank Pitre, the attorney representing Richmond.

    The lawsuit asks for an additional punitive financial award "to ensure that an example is made" of Chevron to deter similar alleged conduct in the future.

    The complaint also contends the refinery has had 14 incidents in which toxins were released into the air since 1989.

    “After those 14 incidents, Chevron has repeatedly said ‘I'm sorry, this won't happen again.’ The purpose of this lawsuit is to prevent the 15th time of this happening again,” Pitre said.

    Chevron calls the lawsuit meritless. Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie issued a statement Friday, saying, "The baseless allegations against Chevron USA are plainly intended to divert attention away from a dysfunctional city council.”

    The lawsuit accuses San Ramon-based Chevron of negligence in ignoring the danger of corrosion to carbon steel pipes from sulfur compounds in crude oil heated to high temperatures; using "woefully inadequate" inspection techniques; and failing to replace the pipes.

    It also faults the company for failing to shut down the crude oil unit as soon as the leak was noticed at 3:48 p.m. and instead trying to repair the pipe while the unit continued to operate.

    The unit was eventually shut down two hours and 40 minutes later, after the vapor cloud formed and several minutes before the explosion, according to the lawsuit.

    In addition to negligence, the lawsuit makes six other legal claims.

    One claim is for strict liability for an ultrahazardous activity, a legal doctrine under which a person who conducts an abnormally dangerous activity is responsible for harm it causes.

    PHOTOS: Chevron Refinery Catches Fire

    Tarnel Abbott said she suffered respiratory distress for days following the fire. She told NBC Bay Area that she and her neighbors are tired of living in fear and grateful the city is finally standing up to Chevron.

    “They're a bully,” Abbott said. “They're acting like a bully, they always have. They think they can do whatever they want in this town and people will just roll over and take it.”

     

    Bay City News contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Jodi Hernandez

    This image shows the Chevron refinery in Richmond three days after last year's massive fire.This image shows the Chevron refinery in Richmond three days after last year's massive fire.

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    Police have arrested two men in connection with the armed robbery of Mi Favorita Grocery on Liberty Street in New Haven.

    According to police, Simon Valentin-Quinones, 37, of Ferry Street in New Haven; and Alberto Romero, 28, of East 152nd Street in the Bronx, New York; entered the grocery store with guns Thursday night and took money and personal items from the store cash register.

    Police received the 911 call around 10:43 p.m.

    Witnesses told police that one suspect took employee Luis Castillo to the back of the store while the other suspect stole money, a phone, a wallet and personal ID.

    A second employee, Andre Rodriguez, was struck from behind and fell to the ground, police said.

    Police spotted Quinones running from the scene and pursued him on foot. Quinones eventually gave up and was handcuffed.

    Quinones was found in possession of a victim’s ID, phone and wallet, and said the items “belonged to someone who owed money to someone,” according to police.

    He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of a stolen gun, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and conspiracy, and was also served with an outstanding warrant.

    Quinones is a convicted felon, police said.

    While searching nearby on Carlisle Street, a police dog found the long-barreled pistol that officers believe Quinones used in the robbery. The gun, was reportedly stolen, police said.

    Romero also led police on a foot chase. He was apprehended and found with a .177-caliber BB gun in his waistband.

    Romero was charged with possession of a facsimile firearm, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and conspiracy.

    Police said the two men arrested matched witness descriptions of the suspects.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

    Simon Valentin-Quinones (left) and Alberto Romero (right) were arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a New Haven grocery store.Simon Valentin-Quinones (left) and Alberto Romero (right) were arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a New Haven grocery store.

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    Amelia Rose Earhart, who was named after the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, plans to complete her namesake's dream journey around the world.

    The modern Earhart, a weather and traffic co-anchor for NBC Denver affiliate KUSA, will attempt to circumvent the globe on June 2014 in a Pilatus PC-12NG with her co-pilot, Patrick Carter of Fayetteville, Ark.

    They will start in Oakland, Calif., fly to Miami, Brazil, Africa, India and Australia, then pass over Howland Island where the late Earhart and her co-pilot were supposed to land before they vanished over the South Pacific in 1937.

    With 14 stops and an estimated 48,000 miles, Amelia Rose Earhart, 30, hopes to become the youngest woman to fly around the world by the time she returns to Oakland.

    She started taking flight lessons in 2004 because she was sick of seeing the disappointed expressions on people's faces when she confessed that was not a pilot despite her connection to the original aviatrix. The original Earhart did not have children, but Amelia Rose Earhart claims to have a "very distant" relation to her that traces back to the 1700s. Earhart's parents wanted to give her "an inspirational namesake," she said on NBC's "Today" show.

    "There's not a lot of things we're entitled to, but we're entitled to developing our own adventure. This is my version of adventure and best way to keep Amelia's spirit alive," Earhart added.

    Since first learning how to fly, Earhart has traveled from Oakland to Miami.

    Unlike the late Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot, the new pair will be more prepared for their flight around the world next June. The current Earhart will have GPS, for one. She'll also have a sponsoring team assembled by Jeppesen, a company specializing in navigational information, that will "flight-follow the airplane". The pair also just completed training in a simulator for everything that could possibly for wrong in-flight, USA Today reported.

    Another difference with Earhart and Carter's flight is their plan to livestream their experience. They want to be the first ones to record their flights through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, they told USA Today.

    Earhart hopes to encourage people, especially younger girls, to learn how to fly. The founder of Fly With Amelia Foundation, she plans to raise additional funds for the organization during her flight, according to KUSA.

     

     


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    Police are looking for the group of people who assaulted and tried to rob a 30-year-old man near the Saint Raphael campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital shortly after midnight on Thursday.

    The victim told police he was approached by 7 or 8 men on bicycles in the area of Dixwell Avenue and Dudley Street in Hamden around midnight Aug. 1.

    According to police, the men asked the victim for money and attacked him when he refused to cooperate.

    Police said the victim received a "large, deep laceration to his hand and wrist area." Family members brought him to the hospital for treatment.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Hamden police at 203-230-4040 or 203-230-4000.


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    Three local activists leading the effort to recall embattled Mayor Bob Filner are now joining forces.

    Land use consultant Michael Pallamary and activist Elisa Brent joined LGBT Weekly publisher Stampp Corbin in the Civic Center Plaza to announce they will work together to recall the mayor.

    "The whole endeavor is unifying to just get the city back to work, and get rid of this reprehensible individual," Pallamary told NBC 7.

    Separate notices of intent to launch recalls of the mayor were published after allegations of sexual harassment were made. The group will move forward with the petition filed by Brent and Pallamary.

    “We are all united to let the citizens decide,” Corbin said.

    Mayor Filner has apologized for disrepecting and even intimidating women in the past. On July 26, he announced he would enter a two-week clinic in order to work on the inappropriate behavior alleged by a former employee, constituents and high-profile female leaders in San Diego including a retired Navy admiral, a staff member for a local university and an official with the San Diego Port Tenants Association.

    Timeline: Mayor Under Fire

    They don’t plan on spending a lot of money on the effort. They’re asking businesses, industries and activists to mobilize their followers to get the petitions and circulate them.

    “If you believe you want the mayor to resign then engage all the people who helped elect you,” Corbin said to the elected officials who have called on Filner to resign.

    However, they will accept donations to hire paid signature gatherers.

    “Everyone out there, send us some money, send us a check,” Pallamary said. The recall effort has posted a link on its Facebook page for people to donate.

    The group also suggested citizens visit the website of the San Diego City Clerk's office to educate themselves on the recall process.

    Special Section: Mayor Under Fire

    Not everyone wants to see the mayor resign or recalled.

    South Bay resident Myra Arfaro told NBC 7 she's more concerned about what Filner is doing for communities than the ongoing scandal. She said she wants him to stay in office.

    On Tuesday, City Councilmember Marti Emerald said she wanted to see Filner take time to undergo therapy.  She said she wanted Filner to decide what he needed to do to end the scandal but would not call for his resignation. Watch the video

    That same day, Filner's Chief of Staff Lee Burdick appeared on national television and said Filner can still lead the city because he's surrounded by "sophisticated advisors." 

    On July 18, community activist Enrique Morones led a public gathering in support of Filner and argued that the mayor deserves due process in court.

    Pallamary and Corbin will also appear on NBC 7's Politically Speaking with Gene Cubbison this Sunday August 4 at 9 a.m. on NBC 7.


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    Anthony Weiner tells NBC 4 New York he is "100 percent not" having any type of online relationships with anyone now, and says for the first time he has not kept any records of his past lewd affairs.

    "I don't have any of the records," Weiner said in an interview Friday. "I deleted everything."

    A woman came forward last month with explicit photos of Weiner and messages from him, revealing that the married mayoral candidate's affairs had continued long after he resigned from Congress in 2011. Since then, the embattled Democrat has sought to turn the conversation back to the day-to-day issues of campaigning.

    He has been trailed at every appearance by reporters and photographers, and gave a series of interviews Friday in what appeared to be an attempt to close the door on the conversation. 

    During his 15 minutes with NBC 4 New York, he grew weary of the topic, insisting at one point that the details of his illicit affairs, which he says ended about a year ago, didn't matter.

    "The behavior that people know about, I did, over an extended period of time, with more than one person," Weiner said. "I just think at a certain point, OK, I think people know these embarrassing things about me. I think at a certain point now we have to have a conversation that goes to, alright, what else should people know?"

    Timeline of Weiner's scandal

    Weiner also dismissed the idea that Hillary Rodham Clinton, his wife's longtime boss, might be displeased with him.

    He said he had not spoken with either of the Clintons recently.

    "I have no reason to believe she's annoyed," he said.

    As he has before, Weiner acknowledged that not all the details about his past affairs are known. When asked whether more women will come forward between now and the Sept. 10 primary, he said:

    "I don't know, I hope not. I certainly don't like talking about this stuff," he said.

    He went on to say he did not even like engaging in the relationships when he was in the midst of it.

    "I didn't like when I was doing it, it was wrong to do, it was wrong to my wife, wrong period," he said.

     

     

     


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    Hartford police have arrested seven women on prostitution charges as part of a citywide "Quality of Live" operation. Many of the women had been arrested before. All seven have been referred to Hartford Community Court and are eligible to receive social services, police said.

    Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

    Cynthia James, 54, has been previously arrested five times.Cynthia James, 54, has been previously arrested five times.

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    Hard rocker Rob Zombie does not seem like the suburban homeowner who wants the kids in the neighborhood to keep the noise down.  

    That’s why his family’s request at the annual town meeting in Woodbury, Conn., is getting some widespread attention.

    Rob Zombie, also known for movies like “House of the 1000 Corpses,” lives in the small Litchfield County town in antique row and the skate park right nearby is apparently too noisy.

    When the town held the annual budget meeting last month, Zombie’s wife, Sheri, attended on behalf of her neighbors and asked if the skate park could be moved because it has “is proved to be a significant noise pollutant.” she said, according to the minutes.

    She told town leaders this has reduced the quality of life for the three families nearby.

    “There are only three of four homes affected by it, but now that summer’s here and the windows are open, I hear it inside my house, which is the further point away from the park and there’s something that has got to be done,” she said, according to the minutes.

    Some blogs picked up the story, noting the irony of the noise complaint coming from the family of the man who is headlining the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.

    This prompted Zombie to respond, insisting that he and his wife do not hate skaters or children.

    “It seems nuts to even have to address this but I guess I will. Some really crazy articles have popped up making claims about "hating skaters" and "hating children." None of this is true and it makes me sick that someone would print such lies.

    “There is a simple matter going on in which we are trying to find a solution that will make EVERYBODY happy. Unfortunately someone decided to turn it into a whole ugly event. What a bummer," Zombie posted on his Facebook page.

    Mrs. Zombie said she and the other neighbors were never notified that the skate park would be built near their houses and affects to mitigate the noise have not worked.

    Town officials said this was the first they’d heard of the problem and it would be referred to the selectmen and parks and recreation.  
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie arrives at the 5th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show  at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02: Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie arrives at the 5th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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    Lifestar is heading to Interstate 395 in Waterford after a worker cutting trees along the highway was injured in the neck by a chainsaw, state police said.

    Judd Everhart, of the state Department of Transportation, said the worker is not with DOT, but was contracted to do tree work. His condition is not known.

    The incident happened on the northbound side of the highway between exits 77 and 79.

    State police received the call at 10:56 a.m. and troopers, along with emergency medical crews, are at the scene.

    Lt. Paul Vance, of Connecticut State Police, said the highway is open, but travel is being affected.

    Lifestar will be landing nearby, but not on the highway.

    No additional information was available.


    A worker was injured on the highway.A worker was injured on the highway.

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    The New London Police Department is facing questions over the handling of a rape investigation.

    City leaders and the public are asking why they didn't know about this crime sooner.

    "I was shocked," said New London resident Miranda Hansen. "I hadn't heard anything about it."
     
    While the reported rape took place in an alleyway off of Bank Street around 1:30 am on July 20th. New London Police released a description to local media six days later. NBC Connecticut received the description 13 days later.
     
    "That's disturbing because they should let people know so they can be on the lookout," said Hansen.
     
    Authorities describe the suspect as a bald, extremely heavy-set male in his 40s. He's said to be about 5'10" and was wearing a white shirt and dark-colored sweatpants. He's also reported to have had a very foul body odor.
     
    "There appears to have been a complete breakdown in information coming from the police department to the administration," said New London Council President and Chair Michael Passero.

    Passero said the crime should have immediately been reported to the administration. He was informed three days later.
     
    The mayor said an internal investigation is taking place in the police department regarding the delay.
     
    The deputy police chief said information wasn't immediately released to the public because it was an active investigation they didn't want compromised. After ruling out two suspects, the department released a description statewide to other law enforcement agencies.
     
    "There'll be some better practices that'll come out of this, and I don't think the citizens of New London have anything to fear safety-wise," said Passero.
     
    Officials are unsure just how long the internal investigation will take. The mayor said he has full confidence in the police administration to conduct it.
     
    The Council will have to decide if they want to carry out an investigation of their own as well.
     


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    Road work is causing more than traffic concerns on some Southington Roads. More than a dozen drivers are complaining about construction damaging their tires.

    A sign on Pleasant Street warns of raised structures on a road where construction continues to make travel difficult.

    "Because if you hit that on your tire you could feel it rip," said Deidre Benitez of Southington.

    But things were a lot worse in the neighborhood last week on Hobart Street when drivers say it flattened more than a dozen tires.

    "It was pretty ripped up so you had to be cautious when you drove," Benitez added.

    Though the road is smoother now, it's a street Southington drivers had tire troubles on and they're blaming it on road construction.

    Now some, like Tom DiPietro, want the town to foot the bill for their flats.

    "My dashboard light came on to tell me I had low tire pressure," said DiPietro, who described his experience on Hobart Street about two weeks ago. Little did he know, "I was actually riding on the rubber."

    He had to get his front right tire fixed; the dealership told him road hazards could be to blame.

    "I had just come up Hobart Street and they're doing road repairs there and he said that was probably it," said DiPietro. "But anyway I had to replace it to the tune of $180."

    Now he wants the town to pay for it. Workers told him to talk to the town clerk

    "They told me to send the letter in and what happened and where and what day it was and send in a copy of the receipt," DiPietro said.

    So far he hasn't heard anything. Other drivers weren't bothered by the repairs.

    "When they dug it up, of course it was going to be bumpy but if you got smarts and brains," said Paul Faryniarz, a maintenance worker for the stables on Pleasant Street.

    DiPietro just wants answers.  "It's not easy every day I can throw $180  to get a tire fixed when there's nothing wrong with a tire."

    He says he has only put about 4,000 miles on the car and that the tires were as good as new.

    NBC Connecticut also reached out to the town clerk and we're waiting for comment as to whether or not their insurance company will foot the bill for all these blown tires.


     


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    A longtime community activist in Hartford is recovering after getting beaten and robbed on his way home from work.

    Carl Hardrick, 72, says about five or six young men attacked him on Canterbury Street near Westbourne Parkway around 10:30 Monday night.

    "I was crossing here and they snuck up behind me right about here and that's when they hit me, bam," said Hardrick, who was walking home from his job at the Y.M.C.A. at the time.

    "I turned around and I got hit again, and then I got hit again, and that's when I staggered over this way, trying to get away and trying to fight," said Hardrick.

    He says they repeatedly beat and kicked him, fracturing his jaw in three places.

    "They were trying to go in my pockets and then one of the kids said, 'Well, let's shoot him.' I'm trying to get up and I could feel it but I'm dazed and I'm struggling and just trying to see who I can see, can't call anybody, but also trying to survive," said Hardrick.

    The suspects stole his prescription glasses, but didn't get anything else, he said.  So far, police have made no arrests in the case.

    Known as "Brother Carl," Hardrick has often walked the streets of Hartford as a community activist and has been nationally recognized for his work preventing youth and gang violence.

    He says he's never feared for his safety.

    "Always got the respect, people understood what I did, what I stood for," he said.

    The attack is the latest in a string of similar crimes in the area.  The suspects are targeting people who are walking alone at night, police said.

    "We're asking citizens to be aware and keep their eye out for this group of guys that are operating in this area," said Lt. Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department.

    Hardrick was treated at St. Francis Hospital and was released Tuesday night. He says he may need surgery on his jaw.

    As he continues to heal, he sees the crime as another opportunity to spur change.

    "Yes, I'm disappointed that kids take that kind of stand but also I have to be conscious of what are we as a community going to do about it?" said Hardrick.

    To make sure something good comes of the attack, Hardrick and other community activists plan to gather on the steps of Hartford City Hall Saturday morning to once again call for an end to violence. The rally begins at 11:00 am.


    Carl Hardrick, a longtime community activist in Hartford, is recovering after getting beaten and robbed on his way home from work.Carl Hardrick, a longtime community activist in Hartford, is recovering after getting beaten and robbed on his way home from work.

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    New court records were unsealed Friday in connection with the case against former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez and state police were told the former New England Patriot stored the gun allegedly used to kill Odin Lloyd in a box in his basement.

    Hernandez is being held without bond in a Massachusetts prison, charged with the murder of the 27-year-old semi-professional football player whose body was found in an industrial part not far from Hernandez’s Massachusetts house.

    He has pleaded not guilty.

    Warrants state that Lloyd was with Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace early on the morning of June 17, before he was found shot to death.

    Prosecutors allege that Hernandez orchestrated an execution-style killing because Lloyd talked to the wrong people at a nightclub.

    Ortiz is being held on a weapons charged and Wallace was charged with accessory after the fact.

    According to the newly unsealed records, Ortiz told police that Hernandez placed the gun allegedly used to kill Lloyd in a black plastic box in his basement. Officials located the box, but the weapon was not inside.

    The court documents also state that Ortiz and Wallace spoke with Hernandez’ cousin, Tanya Singleton, about the murder when the two returned from North Attleboro to her Lake Avenue home in Bristol.

    Singleton’s husband, Thaddeus, was killed in a car crash in Farmington in June, just hours after police towed an SUV from their home that was sought in connection to a double murder in Boston in July 2012, authorities said.

    For the past five days, authorities have been investigating in Bristol, where state police divers have searched the murky waters of Pine Lake in Bristol for evidence connected to the murder case.

    That search has not revealed any weapon.

    Law enforcement sources told NBC Connecticut that a tip led investigators to Pine Lake, but would not say who the tip was from.

    Before the divers left on Friday, they said authorities in Attleboro planned to meet this afternoon and plan the next steps in this search.

    Local law enforcement sources said no decision has been made yet, but it is likely that the search will continue in the lake on Monday.



    Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Court documents state Carlos Ortiz told police that Aaron Hernandez hid a gun,  allegedly used to kill Odin Lloyd, in a box in his basement.  Ortiz is charge as an accessory in the crime.Court documents state Carlos Ortiz told police that Aaron Hernandez hid a gun, allegedly used to kill Odin Lloyd, in a box in his basement. Ortiz is charge as an accessory in the crime.

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    Route 2 westbound has reopened in East Hartford after a fatal accident caused lane closures Saturday morning.

    One person is dead and three are seriously injured after a car drove off the road between exits 5A and 5C, police said.

    The crash happened shortly after 6 this morning.

    According to witness Juan Velez, who was driving to work at the time of the crash, the car swerved from the far left lane to the the right lane, then went off the road and into a ditch.

    "The whole back window was blown out, the passenger rear window was blown out," Velez said. "The car looked like an accordion the way it was wrapped around the tree."

    According to Velez, the man and woman in the back seat were ejected, and the female driver and male front-seat passenger were pinned behind the dashboard.

    Velez said the driver was conscious and alert, the two backseat passengers were conscious but unresponsive and that the male front-seat passenger did not appear to have a pulse.

    "It's one of the worst things I've seen," Velez said.

    It was not immediately clear which passenger had died.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A serious crash caused closures on Route 2 westbound when a car drove off the road and into a ditch Saturday morning.A serious crash caused closures on Route 2 westbound when a car drove off the road and into a ditch Saturday morning.

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    An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy is facing jail time after being accused of pepper spraying a teen's pizza without his knowledge during a traffic stop last year, prosecutors said.

    Juan Tavera, a six-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at the time of the alleged crime, faces one year in jail if convicted of spraying the pizza and ultimately sickening five people who ate it, according to a release by the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

    Tavera, 30, allegedly pulled over a 19-year-old named as John Doe for a traffic violation on Sept. 8, 2012, when he noticed a pizza in the back seat and pepper sprayed it without the teen noticing, the release stated.

    The teen returned home to share the pizza with four friends, and all five people became sick as a result of ingesting the pepper spray-contaminated pie. He became suspicious and notified the sheriff’s department of his interaction with the deputy, the DA's office said.

    Tavera is charged with misdemeanor assault or battery by a public officer and is set to be arraigned Monday in Newport Beach.

    He is currently on paid administrative leave.

    More Southern California Stories:

     



    Photo Credit: NBC10 - Dan Stamm

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    Los Angeles left fielder J.B. Shuck might have made the catch of the year Friday night against Toronto Blue Jays when he dove into the stands to catch what would have been a sure home run.

    In the fourth inning, Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista hit the ball to the shortest part of the ballpark, prompting Shuck to jump at the fence. Shuck briefly teetered on the ledge after making the catch and then fell backward into the stands. He swiftly emerged with the ball still in his glove.

    He scaled the wall again on his way out, getting his cleat caught on the shirt of an Angels fan.

    "When it started coming down, I just tried to go get it," Shuck said of this jaw-dropping play, according to The Associated Press. "I don't know what really happened after that. ... I watched (the replay). It looks pretty unathletic, but it's pretty cool to see. I think that's the first one I've ever brought back."

    Angles went on to beat Blue Jays, 7-5.

    Check out Shuck’s spectacular catch.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Los Angeles Angels' J.B. Shuck, right, is congratulated after scoring against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning of a baseball game on Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Shuck scored on a single by Angels' Albert Pujols.Los Angeles Angels' J.B. Shuck, right, is congratulated after scoring against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning of a baseball game on Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Shuck scored on a single by Angels' Albert Pujols.

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