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    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has not been shy about his frustration with the federal roll out of the Affordable Care Act and he has decided to forgo President Barack Obama’s fix for the health care law.

    “Residents of my state are frustrated about this situation and so am I,” Malloy said in a statement. “The truth is that the solution offered last week won’t work for Connecticut. To those who think we should have a special session because there’s some magical way for us to fix the issue, I say you’re wrong. http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/14/21456667-obama-repairing-damaged-credibility-is-on-me?lite

    He said the president’s option would not affect 36 percent of individual policies that were carried over from before March 23, 2010. 

    “Second, of the remaining group that could be potentially impacted, insurers have told the state that they do not plan to continue those policies already slated to be replaced, even if given the option to do so.  Finally, even if they changed their minds and decided to renew them, we know that rates on those plans would increase significantly this year, and again next year,” Malloy said.

    The state’s has its own health insurance exchange.

    “Thankfully, here in Connecticut, our Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman, has spearheaded the effort to build an insurance exchange that is working for Connecticut citizens.  In the weeks ahead, staff from Access Health CT and the Connecticut Department of Insurance are going to continue working with private carriers to help anyone and everyone that is losing their plan.  This will include a new coordinated effort that will embed Access Health staff directly into private carriers to better coordinate these efforts.  In addition, I’ve asked Access Health to extend the deadline for new signups to our exchange for one week to December 22, giving consumers a little more time to explore their options."

    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he supports Malloy's decision.

    "Like many significant pieces of legislation, the Affordable Care Act will require tweaks and changes as it is implemented. I am pleased the President is exploring such changes to improve the law, even as they all do not necessarily fit every state,” Blumenthal said.

    How Republican Leader Larry Cafero released a statement this afternoon saying that while Connecticut has not experienced the "disastrous" website failures found elsewhere, the Affordable Care Act is not working here either. 

    “The numbers indicate that only 42 percent of those people with individual policies will be allowed to continue on them, leaving an estimated 70,000 without coverage Jan. 1," Cafero said. “By then, it is likely that fewer people will have coverage than when this process rolled out Oct. 1. The figures released today paint a far worse picture than the one originally described by state officials who initially stated that only 9,000 policies were affected.”  

    Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said no solution is perfect for every policyholder, but she believes that many people who received cancellation notices will be able to secure coverage at a reasonable price through the state exchange.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the error-plagued launch of the Affordable Care Act's online enrollment website in the Rose Garden of the White House October 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, the president was joined by 'consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists who have either benefitted from the health care law already or are helping consumers learn about what the law means for them and how they can get covered. 'Despite the new health care law's website problems, Obama urged Americans not to be deterred from registering for Obamacare because of the technological problems that have plagued its rollout.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the error-plagued launch of the Affordable Care Act's online enrollment website in the Rose Garden of the White House October 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, the president was joined by 'consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists who have either benefitted from the health care law already or are helping consumers learn about what the law means for them and how they can get covered. 'Despite the new health care law's website problems, Obama urged Americans not to be deterred from registering for Obamacare because of the technological problems that have plagued its rollout. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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    The Wolcott Police Department is investigating the cause of nearly 25 suspicious roadside fires, which have been growing in frequency since April.

    Of the 25 roadside brush fires that have occurred in town since April 27, Wolcott’s police and fire departments consider the majority of them to be suspicious, according to Police Chief Edward Stephens.

    “It’s not just thunder or lightening,” Stephens said.  “Something’s going on here.”

    According to Stephens, on any given night, about three of these small brush fires will pop up within minutes of each other and the fires typically occur within a one to three mile radius of one another.

    The fires became less frequent during the summer months, but started back up again at the end of October.

    There were eight of these fires on the night of November 12 alone, according to data from the town’s fire department.

    Stephens said that the fires are not specific to any one area of town, but have been happening all over, usually after 1 a.m.  He said that they are always located away from houses and on the edge of roadways.

    In a post on the police department’s Facebook page, Fire Marshall James Frageau asks all residents to report any suspicious activity regarding the fires to contact the Wolcott Police Department at 203-879-1414.

     


    The Wolcott Police Department is investigating the cause of nearly 25 suspicious roadside fires, which have been growing in frequency since April.The Wolcott Police Department is investigating the cause of nearly 25 suspicious roadside fires, which have been growing in frequency since April.

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  • 11/22/13--13:34: Blind Dog, Brother Adopted

  • The eight-month old puppies that have been melting hearts since a picture of them embracing (see below) was posted on the web a week ago are being adopted, just in time for the holidays.

    Jeffrey, who is blind, and his brother Jermaine will head to their new home together on Monday, according to Operation Ava, a no-kill rescue organization in Philadelphia.

    "The unconditional love and devotion these two dogs show is positively inspirational," wrote an SPCA spokesperson on the group's Facebook page.

    What's even more inspirational is the fact that Jermaine has dedicated his life to being his brother's seeing eye dog.

    "I think this is a little bit extraordinary in my experience because they're so careful with one another and play together so well," said Ray Little, Director of Life Saving at Operation Ava. "Jeffrey really does try to maintain contact with Jermaine, especially when he's in an unfamiliar environment. As soon as he gets familiar with a new place, then he becomes a little bit more independent. But it's amazing how they try to maintain contact with each other."

    The pups, believed to be lab-pit mixes, were found on a Philadelphia street in October and were taken in by Operation Ava.

    The rescue organization received more than 10,000 inquires and multiple applications after the photo of Jeffrey and Jermaine hugging while sleeping was posted by the Chester County SPCA on Friday, Nov. 15. They were able to place the dog brothers in the same home.

    Jeffrey and Jermaine reached celebrity status when the photo, and a video produced by Drexel Hill native Tom Hickey caught the attention of Ryan Seacrest who posted the heartwarming story on his website.

    For more information on the adoption requirements or to make a donation, visit the Operation Ava website.


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    The Bloomfield Fire Department has responded to Copaco Plaza, in the 300 block of Cottage Grove Road, for a gas leak.

    Dispatchers said the plaza was evacuated, but some people have allowed back inside.

    No injuries are reported.

    The gas leak was reported a little after 10 a.m. 


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    In the days that followed President John F. Kennedy's death, newspapers from across the nation printed what are now historic front pages.

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    Part of Route 17 is closed at Route 17A in Portland because of a garage fire.

    Firefighters believe the fire is at an abandoned house.

    A small section of the road is closed.

    The Middletown Press reports that the corner of Glastonbury Turnpike and Gospel Lane will be closed for hours.
     


    Firefighters are battling a fire in Portland.Firefighters are battling a fire in Portland.

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    Batkid was the recipient of a massive outpouring of love and support when the city of San Francisco turned into Gotham City last week and gave a 5-year-old boy battling leukemia a day to remember for the rest of his life.

    Now, Batkid's parents, Nick and Natlaie Scott of Tulelake in Siskyou County, have started the "Batkid Fund" through the San Francisco 49ers Foundation to help other families with sick children. Proceeds will be donated to three organizations that helped the family during their son's three-year battle with cancer.

    MORE: SF Morphs into Gotham City for Batkid Battling Leukemia

    Their son, Miles, warmed hearts across the globe as his wish to become Batman for a day came true thanks to the efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Nov. 15, and the volunteer efforts of about 12,000 people who rallied to support the boy. Miles has been in remission since the summer.

    In a statement, Miles' parents' explained their intentions in a statement saying it "seems only fitting that following a day when the world demonstrated caring and compassion for Batkid ... Batkid can now help others" 

    PHOTOS: Batkid Saves the City

    "We are eternally grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and compassion we’ve received since Miles had his wish to be Batkid," the statement reads. "We were honored to receive many offers of gifts or assistance, but now that Miles' leukemia is in remission, we want to use this moment to draw attention to other parents who are coping with serious illness." 

    MORE: "Batkid" Cost San Francisco $105,000

    Donations will be shared among these three groups:

    • Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
    • Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center focuses on ensuring that the people of northern California and southern Oregon receive high-quality healthcare services provided with compassion, dignity, honesty, and skill.


    Photo Credit: San Francisco Police Department

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  • 11/22/13--13:35: Trying to Shoot JFK

  • I met the man who tried to shoot John F. Kennedy.           

    His name was Biuku Gasa. He was a fisherman in the Solomon Islands who turned spy in the Battle of the Pacific during World War II. He tried to shoot Kennedy because Kennedy – appearing, from a distance, bleached and bone thin -- looked like the enemy: the Japanese. But the rifle – discarded in battle – was rotted. When he fired, it locked. 

    Gasa fled. Unaware, U.S. Navy Lt. Jack Kennedy headed back toward his shipwrecked crew.            
    I am of the generation whose first indelible television memory is watching the sweet and heart-wrenching innocence of a dead president’s son, about my age, saluting his father’s flag-draped coffin. In the intervening 50 years since JFK was assassinated, the Camelot facade has been tarred, the deep-seated flaws of the man fully exhumed. But what I learned in traveling to the Solomon Islands and meeting Biuku Gasa is this: The myth assuredly began with a basis in fact.
     
    My trip to the middle of the Pacific was the first of many Olympic producing collaborations with Tom Brokaw, in this case a story for NBC’s broadcast of the 2000 Sydney Games. During World War II, Gasa was part of an allied spy network headed by a later-to-be Sydney accountant Reginald Evans. Evans had a secret outpost in the jungle of a nearby island volcano, Kolombangara, which was occupied by an estimated 10,000 Japanese troops. If discovered, the typical result was execution by beheading.
     
    The Japanese also terrorized the local population, allowing Evans to swiftly recruit young islanders such as Biuku Gasa. In early August of 1943, a Navy lieutenant and future president was searching doggedly, desperately for someone exactly like Biuku to help him. But the Jack Kennedy that Gasa thought best to kill had become a pathetic sight, propelled by the last reserves of will: starving, dehydrated, dazed, his hands and feet minced bloody from wading in the razor-sharp reefs that front so many of the beaches in the Solomon Islands.   
     
    Six days earlier, the 26-year-old Kennedy had lost his P.T. boat during a nighttime mission when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. In that moment, Kennedy resolved to do something seemingly simple but truly heroic: he kept moving.
     
    Two were dead from the collision. Kennedy and 10 others found themselves alive, floating in the roiling, treacherous Blackett Strait -- in shock, amid flames, sickened from swallowing water spoiled by spreading gasoline.
     
    Kennedy – a swimmer at Harvard -- plucked men from the water, led them away from the wreck, swam to a nearby island tugging an older crew member, Pappy McMahon, whose hands were burned and useless. In subsequent days, Kennedy spurred his men to move to another island, fearing discovery by the Japanese. They subsisted on coconut milk. At night, Kennedy swam into the Strait, battling fitfully and mightily to make progress against the confluence of currents, waving a waterproof flashlight, daring someone to save him, or kill him. In his uncompromising determination to try everything was the lingering promise of rescue.
     
    Some 13 years ago, while producing that story, I dove into those same waters, with a snorkel and fins, to see a downed World War II American fighter plane resting in a shallow, reachable by a short dive. I remember being able to read clearly the insignia U.S. Air Force on the fuselage. For a moment, I felt uncomfortably transported back in time, when the Blackett Strait was a free-fire zone for warring navies, when the days and nights echoed with the sounds of lives being lost.
     
    But I also remember straining to maintain my position in the restless waters, legs furiously kicking, fighting nausea, fearing I’d be sucked backward in a southerly direction, away from the surrounding islands, out of the channel, into the Coral Sea.          
     
    After Gasa’s gun locked, he cautiously moved on and soon stumbled upon Kennedy’s crew, one of whom was blond and burly and clearly American. When Kennedy returned to the group, they were cozy around a campfire, being fed canned food by the man who – mistakenly -- tried to kill him.
     
    Gasa told us how he instructed Kennedy to cut a message into a coconut with a pen knife.
     
    “Jesus Christ,” Biuku remembered Kennedy saying to him, “how did you think of that?”
     
    Kennedy scratched: NATIV KNOWS POSIT/11 ALIVE/NEED SMALL BOAT.
     
    The coconut was delivered across enemy waters by paddle, via dugout canoe, to Reginald Evans, who radioed for a rescue, establishing a rendezvous point where Kennedy would be found floating in a secluded lagoon, hidden in a canoe, under palm fronds.
     
    Just before the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when we were about to edit the piece, Brokaw asked if we’d shot b-roll of the famous coconut. It didn’t occur to me that the coconut could have possibly been saved. Moreover, at the time I wondered if there was really a coconut at all. Brokaw told us we’d find it hiding in plain sight, on display at the Kennedy Library in Boston.
     
    Tom Brokaw’s latest documentary is airing on NBC Friday at 9pm ET: "Where Were You: The Day JFK Died." Like so many millions, I know the answer: glued to a television. But I never had the chance to fully understand why my parents, and much of the nation, were smitten by Jack Kennedy. Rather, I’ve largely witnessed the steady assault of his reputation.
     
    Most historians, however, seem to agree that JFK’s patient statesmanship during the Cuban Missile Crisis was truly exemplary. The question will remain unanswered about how he would have proceeded in Vietnam. But like many men who’ve witnessed the horror of war, he was deeply informed by its irretrievable cost and perhaps fundamentally inclined to struggle for peace. I do know this: by all accounts, the 26-year-old lieutenant who kept moving when all seemed lost possessed in battle a noble heart.
     
    Brian Brown is a writer and producer who has covered 12 Olympics.              

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Lt. John F. Kennedy, shown in 1943 in a wartime snapshot as PT 109 commander.Lt. John F. Kennedy, shown in 1943 in a wartime snapshot as PT 109 commander.

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    Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has a narrow 2-point edge over former Florida governor Jeb Bush in a hypothetical 2016 presidential election matchup in the Sunshine State, a new Quinnipiac University poll says.

    In a head-to-head contest, the Democrat gets the support of 47 percent of Florida voters while the Republican receives 45 percent, the poll out Friday shows.

    The poll also reveals that the two politicians are the early leaders in their parties’ potential presidential primaries in Florida – with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio lagging behind them.

    Bush, a former two-term governor, has 22 percent support in a hypothetical Republican Party primary, topping Rubio with 18 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 14 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 12 percent. No other candidate was in double figures.

    Clinton enjoys a large theoretical lead on the Democratic side, with 70 percent of Florida voters supporting her, compared to just 9 percent who are backing Vice President Joe Biden.

    Head to head, Clinton would beat Rubio 50 percent-43 percent. She would also defeat Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 51 percent-41 percent, Wisconsin Congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan 50 percent-42 percent, and Cruz 52 percent-36 percent.

    Clinton, who finished second to President Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential race, received the best score of any candidate when Florida voters were asked who would make a good president, the poll showed. Fifty-six percent of respondents said she would make a good president, and 39 percent said she would not.

    Christie received a favorable 45 percent-35 percent review on that score, while voters were split on Bush at 46 percent-44 percent. Rubio had a negative score, with 39 percent saying he would make a good president, and 47 percent saying he would not.

    “It’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton is well thought of by Florida voters, but when asked whether she would be a good president, more voters say yes than say they will vote for her," said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a news release.

    Quinnipiac surveyed 1,648 registered voters from Nov. 12-17, and the poll had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

    Just a year after Obama narrowly beat Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Florida, a large majority of the state’s voters disapprove of the job the Democratic incumbent is doing, the poll found.

    Fifty-seven percent of voters said they disapprove of the job Obama is doing, with only 40 percent approving. That tied his worst disapproval rating in Florida, from a Sept. 22, 2011 poll when 57 percent said they did not approve of the job he was doing, and just 39 percent said they did.

    Nearly all Republicans disapproved of Obama’s job performance, while an overwhelming number of Democrats still support him.

    Florida voters oppose the Affordable Care Act by 54 percent-39 percent, with partisan numbers roughly matching Obama’s approval rating, the poll found.

    More NBC6.com Stories:


    Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton (Photo composite from Getty Images)Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton (Photo composite from Getty Images)

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    Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald on an impulse, according to the rabbi who visited him regularly after the shooting.

    Special Section: JFK 50

    Now retired and living in San Diego, Rabbi Hillel Silverman said he was shocked and stunned to learn a member of his Dallas congregation had shot and killed President John F. Kennedy's assassin almost 50 years ago.

    Over the years, many believed Ruby was connected in some way to Oswald and may have been trying to silence him from talking about the assassination.

    On Friday, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, Silverman talked with NBC 7 San Diego about his memories of the man many say destroyed the chance for Americans to learn why Oswald did what he did.

    Silverman visited Ruby the day after he shot Oswald and remembers asking, "Jack, why did you do it?"

    Ruby answered that did it for the American people, Silverman said.

    The two men visited many times while Ruby was imprisoned. Silverman would bring Ruby religious prayer books and keeps a sketch of one of those meetings.

    "He was belligerent, strange, volatile, bad-tempered and thought he was doing the right thing," the rabbi recalls of Ruby.

    Silverman said he asked Ruby many times if there were any conspiracy involved, but Ruby always denied it.

    “'I was angry. It was a fit of passion. I thought I was doing the American people a great deed, and I did it,’” Silverman recalls Ruby answering.

    Read: "Ruby Thought He Was Going to Be a Hero," Niece Says

    To this day, a clear majority of Americans still believe that Oswald didn't act alone and that there was a conspiracy behind Kennedy's assassination, according to a survey taken this year.

    The Warren Commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, concluded that Oswald was solely responsible for the president's death.

    But according to an Associated Press-GfK survey conducted in mid-April, 59 percent of Americans think multiple people were involved, 24 percent think Oswald acted alone and 16 percent are unsure.

    That's down from the 75 percent of Americans who believed in a conspiracy in 2003, according to a Gallup poll taken that year.


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    Despite efforts of doctors to revive a severely wounded TSA shot at LAX earlier this month, the 39-year-old man was shot 12 times and died minutes after being shot, an autopsy report released Friday said.

    More: Full Coverage of LAX Shooting | Timeline | Gunman ID'd | Autopsy Report

    Gerardo Ismael Hernandez was killed on Nov. 1 when a gunman with a grudge against the TSA fired bullets from an assault rifle in LAX’s Terminal 3.

    He arrived in the hospital in full cardiac arrest, the autopsy said.

    Despite desperately trying to save his life, doctors pronounced Hernandez dead at 11 a.m., two hours after the shooting.

    The report comes a week after the head of the TSA union was critical of resucers not getting to Hernandez for 30 minutes and called for a “serious reexamination” of TSA’s screening area security policies to “stop the next tragedy before it happens.”

    The coroner announced Wednesday that Hernandez died within two to five minutes of being shot.

    Hernandez was working at a lower-level passenger check-in station when an alleged gunman, Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, pulled a semi-automatic weapon out of a duffel bag and began shooting.

    Trauma surgeon David Plurad said Hernandez had no signs of life when he arrived at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Doctors worked for about an hour to revive him despite significant blood loss.

    For all but five of those minutes, there was no threat from the suspected gunman — he had been shot and was in custody, they said.

    While it’s not known when Hernandez died or if immediate medical attention could have saved his life, officials are examining what conversations took place between police and fire commanders to determine when it was safe enough to enter and whether paramedics could have gone into the terminal earlier, one of the officials said.

    More Southern California Stories:

     



    Photo Credit: Facebook

    A neighbor confirms to NBC4 that the smiling man in this Facebook photo is Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, of Porter Ranch, who was shot and killed Nov. 1, 2013, while working as a TSA security officer at Los Angeles International Airport.A neighbor confirms to NBC4 that the smiling man in this Facebook photo is Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, of Porter Ranch, who was shot and killed Nov. 1, 2013, while working as a TSA security officer at Los Angeles International Airport.

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    A good Samaritan and two Suffolk police officers helped rescue a Long Island woman trapped in a burning car Thursday, dramatic cell phone video shows. 

    Three cars collided at an intersection in Lake Grove, and one of them burst into flames.  

    "Everyone was screaming, just trying to help," said Keisha Grant, a passerby who shot video of the scene.

    Cries of "Oh, my God" and "Pull her out" could be heard on Grant's video as the car burned.

    David Ayala, a father of two who was heading to his Centerach home, and Suffolk police officers David Vlacich and Bryan Boudreaux answered those calls for help. 

    "It's a life. I'd expect someone to do it for me," said Ayala. 

    Ayala smashed the passenger side window and climbed into the burning car. At first, he was unable to free the driver, 23-year-old Stephanie McNamee. The Holbrook woman was slumped over the steering wheel and her legs were entangled in the wreckage.

    "When I looked up and saw fire above my head, that’s when I knew it was getting serious and we had to do something fast," Ayala said.

    The police officers then provided the extra hands needed to complete the rescue.

    "The driver’s door was kinked and wedged shut, and the window was broken so I just reached in, put her in a bear hug and pulled up," said Vlacich.

    "The flames were intense, but I just kept my back to the flames and shoved her as they pulled," added Boudreaux.

    McNamee was rushed to the hospital with head injuries and was listed in serious condition. Drivers from the other two cars escaped serious injury.

    The cause of both the accident and the fire are unclear, police said. Investigators are now working to reconstruct the scene to provide answers.


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    One person is dead and two others have been seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash on Route 16 in East Hampton.

    A Ford Explorer traveling west on Route 16 crossed the center line of the road near the Cedar Ridge Road intersection and hit a stone wall and trees just after 1 a.m., police said.

    The driver of the SUV was killed and two passengers were seriously injured.

    Investigators have not released the names of the victims.

    Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call East Hampton Police at 860-267-9922.

     


    View Larger Map



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    One person was killed and two others were injured in a crash in East Hampton this morning.One person was killed and two others were injured in a crash in East Hampton this morning.

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    On Monday, prosecutors will release a long-awaited report on the investigation into the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown last Dec. 14.

    The Office of the State’s Attorney plans to publish the report around 3 p.m. on the State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice website.

    The report on the shooting that took the lives of 20 first graders and six staff members was supposed to be released in June, then was pushed back to the fall.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy said he agrees that the information should be made public and is glad the information will be released.

    Last month, he called
    upon the Chief State’s Attorney to release the final report.

    "I'm frustrated by the amount of time that it's taken and I think the longer it takes, the more things come out as opposed to being in an official report," Malloy said last month. "And I think the people of Newtown and families of those injured deserve it."

    Malloy said today that he has not been briefed on the report but is glad that the victims' families were last week.

    In advance of the report being issued, the interim superintendent of schools in Newtown has reached out to parents and sent a letter to ensure they’re prepared.

    "We all understand that for the children who were directly affected by this tragedy the release of the report and the upcoming anniversary can carry a very personal meaning," the letter reads.

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    A bus traveling from Newtown, Conn., to Monroe stops in front of 26 angels along the roadside on what was the first day of classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students since the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting. On Monday, the report on the investigation will be released.A bus traveling from Newtown, Conn., to Monroe stops in front of 26 angels along the roadside on what was the first day of classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students since the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting. On Monday, the report on the investigation will be released.

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    Exactly 50 years to the day of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, was moved to a prison in San Diego County.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed Friday that Sirhan was moved from Corcoran State Prison in central California to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County’s South Bay area.

    “As a routine matter of housing allotments, Sirhan Sirhan was moved from Corcoran State Prison to the RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County today,” said Luis Patino, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections.

    “The date of the move is simply an unfortunate coincidence. Any number of inmates are moved from institution to institution on any given day as necessary,” Patino added.

    Sirhan – now 69 years old – shot Robert F. Kennedy on Jun. 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after Kennedy won the California Democratic presidential primary. Kennedy had just finished addressing supporters in the hotel’s ballroom when he was fatally shot multiple times by Sirhan.

    RFK died from wounds sustained in the shooting.

    Sirhan was originally sentenced to death for the assassination of RFK, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty law in effect at the time, in 1972, as unconstitutional.

    In 2011, Sirhan was denied parole for the 13th time.



    Photo Credit: California Department of Corrections

    Sirhan Sirhan's booking photo on Nov. 22, 2013, as he was moved to the Richard J. Donovan facility in San Diego County.Sirhan Sirhan's booking photo on Nov. 22, 2013, as he was moved to the Richard J. Donovan facility in San Diego County.

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  • 11/22/13--18:26: Adoption Day for Two Sisters

  • For Olivia and Frankie, National Adoption Day was really their day, as their foster mother legally became their mother.

    "She's awesome," said 10-year-old Olivia, "She's cared for us for a very, very long time."

    At Judge Bernadette Conway's invitation, she and her sister said their new names as they sat at a table in a Middletown courtroom - Olivia Mercedes Lopez and Francesca Nicole Lopez.  Their new mother, Daisy Lopez, took them in in June 2011.

    "I am adopting the girls because I fell in love with them and they have become part of my life and there was no way I was gonna let them go," she said.

    She adopted them, on the day state officials arranged for 43 children to be adopted, joining 384 children adopted in Connecticut in 2013.

    "This is just a dream becoming a reality for these girls, this beautiful foster mother and her family," said Madelyn Guzman, the DCF social worker who originally placed them with Daisy Lopez, "and me".

    Another DCF official gave the girls necklaces as gifts.  To 9-year-old Francesca, known as Frankie, "I think it means together forever!"

     


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    It's been a tough year for police in Newtown and to help give back in this season of Thanksgiving, a grassroots group has launched a fundraising campaign for a new police headquarters.

    The Newtown Police Building Fund is trying to raise $18 million during the campaign.

    The town's police department has been at its current Main Street location, a converted tractor barn, since 1980.  The cramped building served as home base for police efforts during the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, where 20 first graders and six educators lost their lives.

    "The building that they're in right now 15 years ago was determined to be inadequate," said Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs, who is the group's spokesman.

    In the past, the town has planned to renovate the space but town funds have always been too tight, said Fuchs.

    "It's time for this community, the community of the state of Connecticut, and the community of the United States to give something back to individuals who really have gone through so much for all of us," said Fuchs.

    Space is so tight, the department's 45 officers use one room for training, writing reports, processing evidence, and eating lunch.

    In the sergeant's room, a fan is duct taped next to an open window to keep the room from overheating.

    In the detective division, desks are crowded together to make room for a new state-mandated interrogation room at the back. 

    The department only has two holding cells when most departments of a similar size have more, said Fuchs.

    Another problem, officers have to walk the prisoners out of the secure holding area, and through a hallway, to process them in a neighboring room.

    "It's just something that's not really acceptable. They don't have enough space in this building to fix it," said Fuchs.

    To reach their goal, the group is collecting donations on its website: www.NewtownPolice.org.  They have not set a deadline for raising the funds.

    "They would never ask for it themselves. They haven't asked for it themselves, but we're asking for it for them," said Fuchs.  "

    We know there are a lot of people out there who are still seeking to make a difference and we're hoping this is one way they can do that."
     


    0 0
  • 11/23/13--00:41: False Gun Report at LAX

  • At the same time the sound of a car crash scared passengers into thinking shots were fired at Los Angeles International Airport Friday, travelers in another terminal were evacuated after a false report of a man with a weapon, airport officials said.

    Police received a call about 7:30 p.m. of possible shots fired, but upon investigation realized the loud noise of a multiple-car crash outside a parking structure between Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 incited a panic, LAX Police Sgt. Ortiz told NBC4.

    After hearing the crash, travelers began to evacuate the airport on their own, Ortiz said. No shots were fired at the airport, he said. 

    "Part of that (reaction), we believe, is some hypersensitivity to what occurred on Nov. 1, three weeks ago," said LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon during a news conference outside the airport.

    Friday's incidents come in the wake of the Nov. 1 shooting when a lone gunman opened fire near Terminal 3, killing a TSA officer and wounding four others.

    Aerial video showed officials investigating what appeared to be a wrecked SUV or van on the curb near a parking structure.

    About 8:20 p.m., crowds could be seen gathered outside as police evacuated Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 after an anonymous caller reported a man with a weapon was at Gate 45, airport officials said.

    At least 2,000 passengers either left the airport on their own or were evacuated by airport police, LAX officials said.

    About 4,600 arriving and departing travelers were impacted by the incidents, officials said. Delta Airlines (Terminal 5) and American Airlines (Terminal 4) reported a total of 60 delayed flights but no cancellations.

    Police found no weapon and cleared both terminals for people to return inside just before 9 p.m.

    Flight operations in Terminal 4 were disrupted as police cleared the airport, and slowly resumed as passengers were screened by security and returned to their gates, officials said.

    Ambulances could be seen lining the roadway in the pick-up and drop-off area of the airport.


    Newschopper4 captures a crowd gathered outside of Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.Newschopper4 captures a crowd gathered outside of Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.

    0 0
  • 11/22/13--21:06: World Chess Champ Crowned

  • The world of chess has a new king, and it's a 22-year-old who is as much at home posing for fashion shoots as he is pushing pawns.

    Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the chess world championship Friday, becoming the first Western player since Bobby Fischer to hold the title.

    Carlsen, a former child prodigy who has already been on a list of the world's sexiest men and has moonlighted as a model, defeated defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India in a title match that was the game's most highly anticipated in decades.

    A draw in Game 10 gave Carlsen the necessary 6½ points to clinch the win, having won three of the previous games with no losses.

    The victory fulfilled the lofty expectations that have been placed on Carlsen since he became a grandmaster at 13 — the second youngest in history at the time.

    What remains to be seen is whether the Norwegian — who has been referred to as the "Justin Bieber of chess" — can fulfill an even bigger hope among fans: to bring the cerebral game back into the mainstream.

    "I really hope that this can have some positive effect for chess, both in Norway and worldwide," Carlsen said after clinching the title. "The match was shown on television and I know a lot of people who don't play chess found it very interesting to follow. And that's absolutely wonderful."

    Since the days of Fischer's title match against Boris Spassky during the height of the Cold War in 1972, chess has lost much of its appeal to a general audience — especially in the era of video games.

    Carlsen's good looks and youthful personality make him the game's best opportunity by far to reverse that trend. He has already done some modeling for a major clothing brand — together with actress Liv Tyler — and was named one of the sexiest men of 2013 by Cosmopolitan magazine in Britain.

    Carlsen becomes the youngest world champion since Garry Kasparov, who was also 22 when he won the title in 1985. Kasparov trained Carlsen for most of 2009, and has long been touting the Norwegian as the future of chess.

    "He continues to shatter the highest expectations with his skill and tenacity," Kasparov said on Twitter after the match ended.

    The match in Chennai, India, which began Nov. 9, has been shown live on TV in both Norway and India, with millions more watching online.

    Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg called Carlsen on Skype to congratulate him on the victory and thank him for "a fantastic experience."

    "You've brought an incredible amount of young people to chess in the last few weeks," Solberg said. "But that also means you'll have an incredible amount of competitors from now on, because everyone wants to play chess."

    In India, organizers said up to 100 million people a day watched the games on TV and online — and the official website for the match estimated that another 100 million unique viewers around the world had tuned in at some point.

    Since Fischer refused to defend his title against Anatoly Karpov and retired from the game, the chess world has been dominated by the former Soviet bloc, although Anand became the first Asian world champion in 2007.

    The Indian, who at 43 is nearly twice Carlsen's age, failed to seriously test the challenger, making several big mistakes that led to his three losses.

    "It's clear he dominated," Anand said. "My mistakes didn't happen by themselves, clearly he provoked them, and all credit to him."

    With the title, Carlsen gets about $800,000 in prize money, while Anand receives about $540,000.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Norway's Magnus Carlsen, left, wrested the title of reigning world chess champion from India's Viswanathan Anand, right, during the Chess World Championship match in Chennai, India, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.Norway's Magnus Carlsen, left, wrested the title of reigning world chess champion from India's Viswanathan Anand, right, during the Chess World Championship match in Chennai, India, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.

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  • 11/22/13--22:28: Remains of McStay Kids ID'd

  • Officials have confirmed the remains of two children found in the desert in Victorville, Calif., are, in fact, the missing McStay children of San Diego County.

    At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the California Department of Justice DNA Lab notified the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Coroner Division that the remains have been positively identified as 4-year-old Gianni McStay and 3-year-old Joseph Mateo McStay.

    Last week, the remains of the children’s parents, Joseph and Summer McStay, were positively identified through dental records.

    The remains of the family of four were found on Nov. 11 in and around two shallow graves in the high desert outside of Victorville. A motorcyclist reported finding the skeletal remains in a very remote location approximately 50 yards from the nearest road.

    Officials said it appeared the remains had been there for “an extended period of time.”

    The family, who lived in San Diego County’s Fallbrook community, had been missing since Feb. 4, 2010, leaving few clues behind in a case that baffled San Diego law enforcement and captured international attention.

    TIMELINE: The McStay Family Mystery

    A group of four people resembling the McStays was captured on grainy surveillance video crossing into Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing on Feb. 8, 2010. This was the same day a white Isuzu Trooper belonging to the family was found illegally parked at a nearby strip mall.

    At the time, detectives felt it was “a very high probability” that the footage was of the missing family.

    When officials showed the video to relatives of the McStay family, some recognized the white jacket the woman in the video was wearing. However, other relatives said they weren’t sure it was the McStays due to the poor quality of the video.

    Since the family’s sudden disappearance, the McStays hadn't used their bank accounts, credit cards or cell phones, investigators have repeatedly said.

    In April 2013, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced they were transferring the case of the McStay family to the FBI.

    The sheriff’s department said they had “conducted an exhaustive missing person investigation in an attempt to locate the family” and hundreds of tips had been investigated without success. At that point, the sheriff’s department said they had reached a consensus that the family went to Mexico of their free will.

    Until last week, there had been no major breaks in the mysterious case.

    Now, the investigation has turned from finding the McStay family to figuring out what exactly happened to them.

    At a press conference last week, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said investigators had not yet determined the cause or motive behind the victims’ deaths, including if the family may have fallen prey to Mexican cartels.

    “It’s too early to tell if it’s cartel-related or any other suspects,” said McMahon.

    Earlier this week, friends, family and strangers gathered at the desert site where the family’s remains were found and planted four crosses in remembrance of the McStays.

    Over the years, Joseph McStay’s brother, Michael McStay, has managed and updated a website documenting the case and search for his relatives.

    On Tuesday he posted a message titled “Broken and Grieving,” in which he discussed the shock his family has been experiencing, and upcoming funeral arrangements.

    On Friday, minutes before San Bernardino officials confirmed the ID of the McStay children’s remains, Michael McStay posted the following message on his Facebook page:

    “Coroner office called. It was confirmed. It’s the boys.”

    At last week’s press conference Michael McStay vowed to find the person who caused his relatives' deaths.

    “We’re going to find this individual, or individuals. I know the sheriff’s department, the FBI, everybody wants to bring this to justice. And, if it’s the last thing I do – I just want to know when it’s over,” he said.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

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