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  • 02/11/14--20:09: Kidnapping Scam in Fairfield

  • Police in Fairfield say at least seven people have fallen for a fake kidnapping scam, including Dean Reid, who recounted the call he got this past Saturday morning.

    He wants to tell his story so that no one else gets scammed

    "We have your father held hostage. He got into a car accident with my cousin. He's a wanted fugitive in Puerto Rico," part of the call that made Reid believe his father was in grave danger
    Reid continued. "He hit him with his gun. He basically pistol whipped him. He tied him up, put him in the car and took him to an undisclosed location."

    A man--who was calling from a Bridgeport--said the only way to rescue his dad was to wire money immediately.

    "First he asked me for $2000. I said I don't have that kind of money," Reid said. "He said $500 is not going to do. If I tell them 500 hundred I'm going to have to hang up this phone and he's going to kill your dad."

    Now police are saying this is all part of an elaborate hoax

    "They're very convincing. They will say anything they have to say to get you to believe they actually have this loved one or person of interest held hostage," said Detective Jason Takacs of Fairfield Police

    Reid says he wired $1000 to an address in Harrisburg, PA. It's all because he thought his father was in harm's way.

    "So then I called my father and my father picks up the phone and he says how's it going," Reid adding.

    It turns out his father was grocery shopping.

    Reid took to YouTube with his wife to warn others so that more people don't get duped

    "It seemed plausible to me. It really did," he said.

    Police say the latest victim came forward Tuesday night to say she wired $4000 in this kidnapping scam.

    Right now detectives don't have any suspects but think the calls are coming from Puerto Rico.


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    Team USA's Nordic combined skier Bill Demong has had a busy four years since he won gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010. He's gotten married, had a child and even taken a brief hiatus from the sport.

    Now he's back for his fifth Olympic games, in the hopes of winning another medal for Team USA in the Nordic combined, which combines ski jumping with cross-country skiing.

    The 33-year-old has been competing for 15 years on the World Cup Circuit, and in that time, he's been on seven World Championship teams and won eight U.S. titles. Most recently, his team secured bronze at last year's FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Italy.

    Here are five key things to know about Demong.

    Gold in Vancouver. Demong won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010 in the men's 10km individual large hill competition — becoming the American ever to win gold in a Nordic combined event. The achievement earned him a permanent place in U.S. Nordic history.

    ...and then some. But a gold medal win wasn't all he had to celebrate that day. After the medal ceremony, he proposed to his girlfriend, Katie Koczynski, at team headquarters while his teammates looked on. (She said yes.) If that string of victories weren't enough, just a few hours later he was named Team USA's closing ceremony flagbearer, one of the highest honors an Olympian can receive.

    Capturing the King's Cup. In 2009, Demong became just the third American ever to win the Holmenkollen Ski Festival Nordic Combined World Cup, the sport's most prestigious event and highly coveted prize, also known as the King's Cup. He began the event in seventh place but was able to catch up to the front of the pack — and finally to win one of the biggest races of his career.

    Overcoming head trauma. Demong suffered what could have been career-ending injury in 2002, just after the Salt Lake City Games — but it had nothing to do with skiing. He dove into a shallow pool and was left with a 7-inch fracture from his orbital bone to the crown of his skull. Doctors thought he'd never compete again, and it took him a full year to recover.

    Man or Aquaman? What better to motivate an Olympian than a bet with a teammate? Last fall, after he lost a bet to teammate Taylor Fletcher, Demong was forced to wear an Aquaman suit during training in Europe. His penance included wearing the suit everywhere — on the slopes, out at restaurants and through airport security — and not washing it for a full two weeks. (Maybe he'd had it coming: The year before, Fletcher had lost the bet and had to wear a Captain America suit.)

    Watch Demong compete in the men's Nordic combined individual normal hill event starting at 4:30 a.m. ET Wednesday on the NBC Sports Network, or watch online on NBC Olympics.

    Watch the ski jumping portion on NBC Olympics here starting at 4:30 a.m. ET Wednesday and the cross-country portion here at 7:30 a.m. ET.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Nordic combined athlete Billy Demong poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on September 29, 2013 in Park City, Utah.Nordic combined athlete Billy Demong poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on September 29, 2013 in Park City, Utah.

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  • 02/11/14--22:10: Sochi Day 5: What to Watch

  • The fifth day of Olympic competition was supposed to be star skier Lindsey Vonn's big day. She never made it to the Sochi slopes, though, after a knee injury forced her to pull out of competition. In her absence, teammate Julia Mancuso has proven herself an able contender for Wednesday's downhill gold.

    Don't miss her race or the women's snowboarding halfpipe competition, which comes on the heels of Shaun White's devastating night.

    Also tune in as two hockey powerhouses — the U.S. and Canadian women's team — go head-to-head in their first match-up of the Olympics. And for figure skating fans, check out the final pairs competition. 

    Here are other highlights:

    12 a.m. ET CURLING continues with the U.S. men's team attempting to reverse a two-game losing streak in their match-up against Denmark. (Watch it here.) The U.S. kicked off the round-robin phase of the event with a 7-4 loss to Norway followed by a 9-4 loss to China. Click here for a full listing of curling games and livestreams throughout the day.

    1 a.m. NBC PRIME TIME REPLAY: Tune in to NBC for replays of Shaun White's shocking loss, women's slopestyle skiing, women's ski jumping and pairs figure skating.

    2 a.m. DOWNHILL SKIING: Julie Mancuso notched a bronze medal for the U.S. Monday in super combined on the strength of her downhill performance. At Wednesday's downhill race, she'll face familiar competitors, including the super combined gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch — if the weather decides to cooperate. Organizers cancelled the final of five training runs Tuesday as temperatures crossed into the 40's. (Watch the race here.)

    5 a.m. CURLING AND HALFPIPE: The U.S. women's curling  team takes on China (here), while the ladies of the U.S. halfpipe snowboarding team take their first qualifying runs. Those who score high enough will head straight to the meal round (12:30 p.m. ET) while those who don't quite make it get one more chance at the semis (10 a.m. ET) Watch the halfpipe qualifier here.

    7:30 a.m. HOCKEY AND CROSS-COUNTRY: The two superpowers of women's hockey — the U.S. and Canada — face off for their first Sochi game after trouncing their early competition. (Tune in here) Consider this a preview of the gold medal game, which is expected to be played by these giants. Three other hockey games are on the schedule for the day, but this is one to watch. Catch it online on or the NBC Sports Network.

    Meanwhile, three Americans — Bill Demong, Bryan Taylor and Fletcher Taylor — compete for medals in the Nordic combined individual 10k final here.

    9 a.m. SPEED SKATING: If American speed skating star and four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis wins a medal in the 1000m race, he will tie a record for most career Olympic medals for an American athlete in the event. (Watch him go for it here.)

    10 a.m. HALFPIPE SEMI-FINALS: Can the ladies of the U.S. halfpipe team do what Shaun White and his teammates couldn't? Look out for veterans Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter, who have the chops to win the gold, as well as rising starts Arielle Gold and Kaitlyn Farrington. (Watch here.)

    10:45 a.m. FIGURE SKATING: The pairs competition, Russia's proud event, comes to a close with a free skate. (Tune in here.) Meanwhile, doubles luge begins.

    12:30 p.m. HALFPIPE FINAL: If you only have time for one women's snowboarding event today, this is it. A whittled-down field of competitors get two runs each under the Sochi spotlights for a shot at the medal podium. (Watch here.)

    3 p.m. RECAPS: NBC has replays of the men's Nordic combined individual final.

    8 p.m. RECAPS: If you missed the day's downhill skiing, speed skating, halfpipe snowboarding and pairs figure skating, head to NBC for replays.



    Photo Credit: AP Image

    United States' Julia Mancuso makes a turn during the downhill portion of the women's super combined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.United States' Julia Mancuso makes a turn during the downhill portion of the women's super combined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

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    Tom Brokaw has been diagnosed with cancer and is making progress in battling it, he told NBC News in a personal note released Tuesday.

    The veteran NBC News journalist was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects bone marrow blood cells, at the Mayo Clinic in August of last year, NBC News reported. His doctors are hopeful about the outcome of his treatment and encouraged by the progress he is making.

    His full statement released Tuesday is as follows:

    "With the exceptional support of my family, medical team and friends, I am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to come.

    I remain the luckiest guy I know.

    I am very grateful for the interest in my condition but I also hope everyone understands I wish to keep this a private matter."

    Brokaw, who has worked with NBC News since 1966, has continued to work on NBC projects during his treatment, among them a two-hour documentary on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and coverage of the Sochi Olympics for NBC Sports Network.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Veteran NBC News journalist Tom Brokaw has cancer, he said in a personal note released Tuesday.Veteran NBC News journalist Tom Brokaw has cancer, he said in a personal note released Tuesday.

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    A fugitive from justice wanted on felony charges in Massachusetts surrendered to authorities Tuesday evening after a police standoff in Enfield, according to police.

    Timothy Doyle, 34, barricaded himself inside his mother's home on Audrey Lane around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

    Doyle is wanted on felony firearm charges in Holyoke, Mass. The situation escalated after officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant, according to police.

    Doyle's girlfriend was also inside the home during the standoff. It's not clear if Doyle was armed, but police said no one was injured during the incident.

    Enfield police and the Capitol Region Emergency Services Team responded to the home.

    The intersection of Elm Street and Ganny Terrace was closed while police investigated.

    People living in the area were told to stay in their homes, according to the Enfield town manager. Residents were informed via a reverse 911 alert sent to their phones.

    Authorities are told residents to avoid the area.

    Doyle is in police custody.


    View Larger Map



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are responding to Audrey Lane in Enfield, where a fugitive from justice is reportedly barricade inside a home.Police are responding to Audrey Lane in Enfield, where a fugitive from justice is reportedly barricade inside a home.

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    Decorated American skier Julia Mancuso has a chance to add yet another Olympic medal to her list of career achievements at Wednesday's Alpine downhill competition.

    After notching a bronze medal at Monday's super combined — largely on the strength of her downhill performance, which she dominated with a first-place finish — Mancuso's prospects for Wednesday's race are looking good.

    While the Rosa Khutor course has been dogged by warm temperatures that forced the cancellation of the fifth and final downhill training session Tuesday, Mancuso, 29, managed just fine under similarly warm conditions during her medal run earlier this week.

    In that race Mancuso won bronze for her fourth career Olympic medal. After striking gold in Torino and winning a pair of silvers in the Vancouver Games, Mancuso became the first American Alpine skier to medal in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

    Still, she faces added pressure in this event, after American favorite Bode Miller was unable to crack the top three in the men's downhill race on Sunday. 

    Then there's the pressure of being the American favorite in place of Lindsey Vonn. The reigning downhill champion, and first-ever American woman to win gold in the event, was forced to sit out the Sochi Games because of a bad knee injury.

    And there's plenty of  tough competition on the course. The super combined gold medal winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch will be racing against Mancuso again, as will defending overall World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia and Lara Gut of Switzerland.

    Americans Jacqueline Wiles, Laurenne Ross and Stacey Cook are also among the 41 competitors competing against Mancuso in the downhill event.



    Photo Credit: AP

    United States' Julia Mancuso catches her breath after a women's downhill training run for the Sochi  2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.United States' Julia Mancuso catches her breath after a women's downhill training run for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

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    Authorities have raided at least two businesses in connection with a three-month investigation into internet sweepstakes cafes operating in the state, and one employee has been arrested.

    The raids come two weeks after an NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigation shed light on what police are calling illegal gambling operations in Enfield, Bloomfield and East Windsor.

    State police, local police, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Consumer Protection and Department or Revenue Services have been involved in the investigation, which began three months ago, according to state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.

    Vance said an anonymous tip sparked the investigation.

    The first raid began around 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Mouse Pad Business Center and Tech Solutions at 483 Enfield Street in Enfield.

    Investigators were at the scene for more than six hours and hauled out dozens of computers and boxes of financial records.

    "[Authorities] have seized over 200 pieces of evidence, which will become part and parcel of this criminal investigation," said Vance.

    The Mouse Pad was one of the businesses investigated by the Troubleshooters. The business offers a sweepstakes contest in which customers can purchase phone cards or internet time to play slot-style video games in hopes of winning cash.

    "I was on the computer and all of a sudden about 40 state police come in," said a customer who was inside the Mouse Pad when the raid began. "[They said], 'Hands up on the computers. Don't move.'"

    According to Enfield police, the State Police Organized Crime Investigative Task Force "uncovered evidence that this business appeared to be in violation of Connecticut General Statutes concerning professional gambling and possession of gambling devices."

    A second raid was conducted at the Bloomfield Business Center at 701 Park Avenue in Bloomfield, another location investigated by the Troubleshooters. Vance said the investigations in Bloomfield and Enfield were separate but connected.

    During that raid, a Bloomfield Business Center employee, 32-year-old Derieka Henry, of Manchester, was charged with breach of peace and interfering with police.

    Bloomfield Police Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said Henry was uncooperative with the officers executing the search warrant and did not follow orders from police.

    Henry was released on a $2,500 bond.

    It’s not clear if the Internet Connection in East Windsor location was also raided, but NBC Connecticut stopped by the store Tuesday to find the doors locked and the lights off.

    At this point no charges have been filed, but Vance said police expect to make arrests soon. Vance said he doesn't expect that any of the businesses' patrons will be charged, but the investigation is ongoing.

    State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo said late last month that internet sweepstakes cafes violate the state's compact with Indian tribes operating casinos, and submitted a bill that would make them illegal.

    Bartolomeo issued the following statement Tuesday:

    "The raids carried out today by the State Police send a clear message that these parasitic sweepstakes gambling dens are not welcome in Connecticut. I already submitted a bill, to clarify their illegality in our statutes, and I expect it to compliment and support the efforts of law enforcement. Every appeals court in the United States that has ruled on a case involving the activities of these sweepstakes cafes has found them to be a form of gaming, despite their claims to the contrary. I hope that legislative action taken alongside the work being done by state police will run the sweepstakes cafes out of Connecticut before they take root any further in our communities."

    Business operators told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that the sweepstakes games are legal and do not constitute gambling because entries are free and results are predetermined.

    The attorneys for the Mouse Pad sent the Troubleshooters a statement which reads, in part:

    "The Mouse Pad supports enlightened regulation of instant-win video sweepstakes. It's subject to abuse. If you say you're running a promotional free game of chance, but what you are 'promoting' in actuality is only thin air, you know, something without value at all, the courts look at it differently. If the customer is paying something but the "product" you are promoting is demonstrably of no value to consumers generally, then there can be nothing you are paying for, except for the game. That makes your spurious 'promotion' in actuality, illegal gambling. All of the courts of Connecticut's sister states have approached the question in this way."


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    Winter storm watches are in effect statewide from Thursday morning through Friday morning as a the state braces for a Nor'easter moving in from the south.

    The NBC Connecticut weather team is predicting 4-8 inches of snow in most of Central Connecticut along the Interstate 84 corridor.

    Heavier snow totals are likely in the northwest corner of the state and could reach up to a foot of accumulation. The southeast will receive less snow, with 2-4 inches predicted.

    Snow will begin falling after midnight Thursday and will intensify as the day wears on.

    It will likely be accompanied by some sleet northwest of I-84. We could see a change over to a wintry mix south of the interstate and along the shoreline, according to Chief Meteorologist Brad Field.

    Rain is also possible in the evening.

    Driving conditions will deteriorate throughout the day and the Thursday evening commute will be messy.

    The roads are not expected to improve until after the storm moves out Friday morning.


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  • 02/12/14--08:46: U.S. vs. Canada

  • When it comes to women's ice hockey, this is what it's all about. The United States against Canada -- the world's superpowers in the women's game -- will face off for the first (and probably not last) time in Sochi on Wednesday. The game can be seen live at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT on the NBC Sports Network.

    Let's prep for this on-ice showdown with a hat trick of things to watch while you're sipping that morning coffee and enjoying the game.

    1. Style vs. Substance

    The game plans of the two teams couldn't be more different. Team USA wants to go go go the entire game. The coaches want to see speed -- all of it -- and want quick transitions from offense to defense to catch the opposing team off-guard and out of position.

    Canada, on the other hand, wants to grind it out more. The Canadians play strong positional hockey and take their chances when they arise. They're not particular flashy, but can score. And while there is no checking in the women's game, you better keep your head up on the ice or the last thing you'll see is a bright red maple leaf before being rubbed out along the boards.

    Of these two styles, the American game is much better suited for the larger Olympic ice surface.  That will be something to keep an eye on early in the contest.

    2. Canada's Response vs. U.S. Confidence

    The Canadians survived a big scare in their win Monday against Finland, no doubt about it. They won by a score of 3-0, but for the first time in a long, long time the outcome of a game against a team other than the United States was in question.

    Finnish goalie Noora Raty shut down the Canadians for two and a half periods, only to finally surrender a power-play goal on a tremendous shot from the high slot. That gust of wind we all felt in the U.S. at about the same time came from Team Canada fans unleashing a collective sigh of relief. The Canadians knew Finland didn't offer much in the way of a challenge offensively, but until they could get one past Raty, they had to realize that one bad bounce that led to a goal in their end could cost them the game.

    How will that scare affect the Canadians against the United States? Hard to say. They'll either be much more aware of their own weaknesses and learn from them, or they'll hold those sticks just a little bit tighter knowing their next opponent is even better than the Finns.

    The United States, meanwhile, is coming off of an offensive explosion against the Swiss. They scored nine, gave up none and dominated in all aspects of the game. But the Swiss aren't even close to the Canadians in talent.

    The Americans must keep a level head and avoid overconfidence headed into the tilt with Canada. Get too full of yourself and you're bound to suffer a letdown. That's exactly what the Canadians are hoping for.

    Staying in control of emotions could play a big factor in who comes out on top in this one.  Look for leadership from veterans like Julie Chu to help settle down an excitable U.S. squad.

    3. Goalie Fight!

    In a combined four games so far in Sochi, these two teams have combined to let in just one goal. ONE. Suffice it to say that the goaltenders for both teams have had tougher times in practice than in actual game action.

    But while the everyone else has been garnering all the highlights so far in the Olympics, attention now turns to the women between the pipes.

    Team USA coach Katey Stone wasn't giving out much information on who her starter will be against Canada. Molly Schaus delivered the shutout against the Swiss. Jessie Vetter won the first game against Finland. Brianne McLaughlin is also an option.

    UPDATE: Vetter get the start for Team USA.

    Team Canada also has three quality netminders to choose from, but it appears that Shannon Szabados, who got the shutout against Finland, will be called upon against the U.S. If her name sounds familiar, she shut out Team USA in the gold-medal game in Vancouver.

    Throw in a 5-0 shutout in the 2010 semifinals against Sweden and that's three shutouts in a row for Szabados in Olympic play. But with the firepower that has been on display from the United States in these Games, odds aren't in her favor to continue that streak to four.

    UPDATE: In a surprise move, it's Charline Labonte in net for the Canadians  despite Szabados's past success.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Kelli Stack of the Untied States celebrates her goal with teammate Hilary Knight during the second period of the 2014 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey game against Finland at Shayba Arena, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )Kelli Stack of the Untied States celebrates her goal with teammate Hilary Knight during the second period of the 2014 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey game against Finland at Shayba Arena, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

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    The man who was knocked over by a wave of snow kicked up by a plow truck on a Brooklyn street last week was surprised Tuesday to learn that video of the blast has gone viral. 

    Pedro Plaza, a 33-year-old married father of two, says he's the person in the video seen being knocked over on the sidewalk in front of a car dealership on Coney Island Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. last Wednesday.

    "The video I don't see, but my friends say, 'I saw your video, very funny!'" said Plaza. "Very painful to me." 

    Plaza said he wasn't paying attention to the oncoming plow until it knocked him down in a torrent of ice and snow. Even his wife didn't believe him until she saw the video on TV.

    "She asked, 'What happened, you fight with somebody?'" he said. "No, the one truck came to the street and put the ice in my face."

    "'No, I don't believe it,'" Plaza says his wife told him.

    Plaza only thought to call 311 to report the incident later.

    Plaza returned to the scene of the mishap Tuesday, where the employees inside the dealership who had put the surveillance video online greeted him. 

    "We're excited that he came back, we're excited that he's in one piece," said Steven Sasson, co-owner of JM Legend Auto Group. 

    The dealership's front door had also shattered when the wall of snow went up. The Department of Sanitation says it has apologized to the dealership owners.

    The workers who were operating the sanitation truck are facing disciplinary action, according to a department spokeswoman. 


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    Add wrestling a coyote to the list of things residents have done to save their pets.

    A suburban Chicago man was taking his garbage out when he said he heard “ferocious sounds” over his shoulder and realized his 8-year-old Wheaten Terrier, Bailey, had followed him outside and was about to fight a coyote.

    "I hear this fearsome roaring going on and there was Bailey standing toe to toe with this coyote," said Bob, who wishes to remain anonymous for privacy concerns.

    Bob attempted to intervene, kicking and nudging the coyote away, but Bailey kept returning to fight the animal.

    Not knowing what else to do, Bob grabbed the coyote by the scruff and lower back, spun around and threw it about 15 feet away into a snow bank.

    "I grabbed the coyote here and here, by the scruff and the back, and gave him one of these Olympic tosses," he said. "Then he went head over tail into the snow drift...I didn't even think about it at the time."

    Bob was then able to get his dog inside before he began a "stare down" with the animal that ended when he made a loud noise, scaring the coyote away.

    "He immediately got up gave me a look, he looked confused," Bob said. "He had enough, I had had enough, it was time to have the bell ring for the round."

    Bailey suffered two small bites in the fight, but is up to date on his rabies shots and will be OK, Bob said.

    Earlier, in November, a Chicago boy was bit in the face by a coyote in the city’s Austin neighborhood.

    Four coyotes were trapped and euthanized in a nearby park shortly afterward.

    The stomach contents of the euthanized coyotes showed human food, including a pork chop and bologna. Experts say that's evidence they're adapting to a more populated environment, and relying more on gathering food and being fed instead of their natural hunting skills.

    Some residents want all coyotes removed, but experts say the residents need to do a better job of coexisting with the animals.

    Cook County Animal Care administrator Donna Alexander says it's important to not leave food out, and to not interact with the animals so they'll have to rely on their natural food sources -- small rodents, deer, geese, birds and fruit.

    "They're coyotes ... stamp your feet, be angry, yell at them. Keep being humans," Alexander said.

    Bob said he has been extra cautious since the incident, even bringing a machete with him to get the mail.

    "Hopefully there's not a next round, hopefully there's not," he said.


    Bob and his dog Bailey stand outside their west suburban home.Bob and his dog Bailey stand outside their west suburban home.

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    South Windsor police have arrested a 64-year-old woman accused of stabbing another woman with a steak knife.

    Police said Edna Bolden, 64, of 33 Newmarker Road in South Windsor, argued with a woman at a Newmarker Road home in November 2013 and stabbed the woman in the hand with a steak knife. 

    Bolden surrendered the knife when officers arrived and she was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. 

    Police later obtained an arrest warrant for Bolden and served it on Tuesday. 

    Bolden has been charged with assault in the second degree and disorderly conduct.  

    Bolden was later released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on Thursday. 

    The victim declined medical attention at the scene.



    Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

    Edna Bolden is accused of stabbing another woman.Edna Bolden is accused of stabbing another woman.

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    The day after authorities raided at least two businesses in connection with a three-month investigation into Internet sweepstakes cafes operating in the state, state police have arrested the manager of an Enfield facility.

    The raids came two weeks after an NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigation shed light on what police are calling illegal gambling operations in Enfield, Bloomfield and East Windsor.

    State police, local police, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Consumer Protection and Department or Revenue Services have been involved in the investigation, which began three months ago, according to state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.

    Vance said an anonymous tip sparked the investigation.

    The first raid began around 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Mouse Pad Business Center and Tech Solutions, at 483 Enfield Street in Enfield.

    Police said they obtained an arrest warrant for the manager, Stephen Scott, 49, of Granby, Mass., charging him with possession of gambling devices and maintaining a gambling premises.

    He turned himself in on Wednesday and was released on a $5,000 bond.

    Investigators were at the scene for more than six hours on Tuesday and hauled out dozens of computers and boxes of financial records.

    "[Authorities] have seized over 200 pieces of evidence, which will become part and parcel of this criminal investigation," said Vance.

    The Mouse Pad was one of the businesses investigated by the Troubleshooters. The business offers a sweepstakes contest in which customers can purchase phone cards or internet time to play slot-style video games in hopes of winning cash.

    "I was on the computer and all of a sudden about 40 state police come in," said a customer who was inside the Mouse Pad when the raid began. "[They said], 'Hands up on the computers. Don't move.'"

    According to Enfield police, the State Police Organized Crime Investigative Task Force "uncovered evidence that this business appeared to be in violation of Connecticut General Statutes concerning professional gambling and possession of gambling devices."

    Scott is due to appear at Superior Court in Enfield on Feb. 25.

    A second raid was conducted at the Bloomfield Business Center at 701 Park Avenue in Bloomfield, another location investigated by the Troubleshooters. Vance said the investigations in Bloomfield and Enfield were separate but connected.

    During that raid, a Bloomfield Business Center employee, 32-year-old Derieka Henry, of Manchester, was charged with breach of peace and interfering with police.

    Bloomfield Police Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said Henry was uncooperative with the officers executing the search warrant and did not follow orders from police.

    Henry was released on a $2,500 bond.

    It’s not clear if the Internet Connection in East Windsor location was also raided, but NBC Connecticut stopped by the store Tuesday to find the doors locked and the lights off.

    At this point no charges have been filed, but Vance said police expect to make arrests soon. Vance said he doesn't expect that any of the businesses' patrons will be charged, but the investigation is ongoing.

    State Sen. Dante Bartolomeo said late last month that internet sweepstakes cafes violate the state's compact with Indian tribes operating casinos, and submitted a bill that would make them illegal.

    Bartolomeo issued the following statement Tuesday:

    "The raids carried out today by the State Police send a clear message that these parasitic sweepstakes gambling dens are not welcome in Connecticut. I already submitted a bill, to clarify their illegality in our statutes, and I expect it to compliment and support the efforts of law enforcement. Every appeals court in the United States that has ruled on a case involving the activities of these sweepstakes cafes has found them to be a form of gaming, despite their claims to the contrary. I hope that legislative action taken alongside the work being done by state police will run the sweepstakes cafes out of Connecticut before they take root any further in our communities."

    Business operators told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that the sweepstakes games are legal and do not constitute gambling because entries are free and results are predetermined.

    The attorneys for the Mouse Pad sent the Troubleshooters a statement which reads, in part:

    "The Mouse Pad supports enlightened regulation of instant-win video sweepstakes. It's subject to abuse. If you say you're running a promotional free game of chance, but what you are 'promoting' in actuality is only thin air, you know, something without value at all, the courts look at it differently. If the customer is paying something but the "product" you are promoting is demonstrably of no value to consumers generally, then there can be nothing you are paying for, except for the game. That makes your spurious 'promotion' in actuality, illegal gambling. All of the courts of Connecticut's sister states have approached the question in this way."


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    Firefighters responded to a fire at a turbine at Kleen Energy plant in Middletown this morning and residents who live near the plant said they should have been notified earlier than they were.

    Some homeowners on Bow Lane still have damage from the explosion at the plant four years ago and said alerts about what was going on there this morning didn’t come fast enough.

    Kim Inglis said she did not find out about the fire until relatives started calling them if they were OK.
    Inglis said she called five different departments before the text alert from Kleen Energy was sent out an hour and half later.

    “Whether or not they had the fire contained, they should have immediately notified the people closest to the power plant because of what we’ve been through -- stress, damage to our properties,” she said.

    Robert Ross, fire chief of Middletown’s South Fire District, said this fire was contained to an isolated area and the plant was not shut down.

    "There would be no need to evacuate. There would be no need to notify anybody. The impact of this is isolated to the turbine itself," Ross said.  
     


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    Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he will retire after this season, ending one of the greatest careers in the history of baseball's most storied franchise.

    The 39-year-old captain posted a long letter on his Facebook page Wednesday saying that 2014 will be his final year.

    A 13-time All-Star who has led the Yankees to five World Series championships, Jeter was limited to 17 games last season while trying to recover from a broken left ankle sustained in the 2012 playoffs.

    "I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," he wrote.

    Jeter was the last link to the powerful Yankees teams that won three straight World Series crowns from 1998-2000. Longtime teammates Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte retired after last year.

    "Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle," Jeter wrote. "The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward."

    "So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100 percent sure," he wrote.

    "And the thing is, I could not be more sure," he wrote.

    His agent, Casey Close, said Jeter wanted to declare his intentions before the Yankees start spring training later this week so that his future status wouldn't be a distraction.

    Jeter is the Yankees' career hits leader with 3,316. He is a lifetime .312 hitter in 19 seasons, with 256 home runs and 1,261 RBIs.

    Jeter has scored 1,876 runs and stolen 348 bases. He also is a five-time Gold Glove winner.

    Last season, Jeter hit just .190 with one homer and seven RBIs.

    Jeter has said he's fully ready for spring training this year and set to play.

    Jeter worked out at the Yankees' spring training complex on Wednesday and left around noon, giving no hint that he was about to announce his plans.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Bridgeport police are asking for help from the public to find a man suspected of stealing a security camera from an animal hospital and they have released footage of the theft.

    On Jan. 6, a security camera was stolen from Black Rock Animal Hospital in Bridgeport and police are trying to identify the man seen in the footage.

    The video shows a man walking into a hallway, climbing onto a railing and stealing one of the animal hospital’s security cameras.

    There is a clear shot of the man’s face before the camera was disabled. Then, another shot shows a man walking away.

    Anyone with information about the man should call Detective Dave DeFeo at 203-581-5185.
     


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    All 16 riders have been safely removed from a Busch Gardens roller coaster after they were trapped on it Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

    Tampa Fire Rescue firefighters brought down the people from the Cheetah Hunt ride, the agency said on its Twitter account.

    The park said on Twitter just after 6 p.m. that the riders had been safely evacuated.

    Personnel on a Tampa Fire Rescue ladder truck and a Busch Gardens bucket truck were working together to bring the riders down from the roller coaster, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny told NBC 6 South Florida earlier Wednesday afternoon.

    “There’s been no indication that anybody is in any sort of distress or anything, other than having to sit there,” Penny said.

    There have been no injures reported.

    The ride malfunctioned near the loading station, Busch Gardens spokesperson Travis Claytor told NBC News.

    The Cheetah Hunt is a triple-launch roller coaster that has a length of 4,400 feet, making it Busch Gardens’ longest thrill ride attraction, Busch Gardens’ website says.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy Tampa Fire Rescue

    Tampa Fire Rescue had a ladder truck on the scene as firefighters worked to retrieve riders stuck on a Busch Gardens roller coaster Wednesday afternoon.Tampa Fire Rescue had a ladder truck on the scene as firefighters worked to retrieve riders stuck on a Busch Gardens roller coaster Wednesday afternoon.

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    The two-alarm fire that broke out in a turbine at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown this morning is mostly out, but the fire chief expects crews to remain at the scene for most of the day as they carry out what he said is a labor intensive process. 

    Firefighters responded to 1349 River Road at 7:06 a.m. on Wednesday and found an oil fire on the floor of the turbine house that spread to the turbine housing and insulation, according to Robert Ross, chief of Middletown South Fire District. He said that has to be removed from the turbine area, taken out of the building and extinguished.

    At 7:24 a.m., a second alrm was requested and more help came in from Middletown, Westfield, Cromwell, Durham and Middlefield fire departments.

    New Haven Fire department responded with a regional foam trailer and manpower. 

    The Middletown Emergency Management, Building Office, Health Department and Mayor’s office are assisting at the scene. 

    The State Fire Marshal’s office, Fire and Explosion Investigations Unit of the CT State Police, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and Department of Energy and Environmental were also at the scene, assisting with managing and mitigating the clean up.

    Ross said the turbine is in a concealed room and it appears that there was a malfunction with the cooling oil.

    "The fire, for the most part, has been extinguished," Ross said during a news conference at 9:45 a.m., but there is a lot of cooling oil on the floor and it will be a labor intensive procedure to "fully extinguish what went on within the turbine area."

    The fire was under control at 8:15 a.m.

    "It's going to be very labor intensive. It's a confined space, so we have to have our personnel on air packs. We have to have rescue teams standing by," Ross said.  "We expect that we're probably going to be here the remainder of the day until we have it fully extinguished, but at this point, the major event within the turbine is under control."   

    Around 50 firefighters responded this morning.

    No injuries are reported and the plant remains open, officials said.

    Mayor Daniel Drew said there was a quick, professional response and firefighters put the fire out quickly.

    On the morning of Feb. 7, 2010, Super Bowl Sunday, there was an explosion at the plant. Six people were killed and several others were injured.

    Officials said this fire was nothing in comparison to this fire.

    "There's no similarity whatsoever," Ross said. "This is a relatively small fire. The plant is not closed. The other turbine is operating, is producing electricity. When you compare the tragic events of four years ago, this is nothing compared to that."

    The impact was isolated to the turbine and no evacuations were necessary.

    "There would be no need to evacuate. There would be no need to notify anybody. The impact of this is isolated to the turbine itself," Ross said. 

    At the time of the explosion in 2010, the plant was under construction and workers were using natural gas to purge the pipes.

    Just eight days before the tragedy, workers used the same procedure without triggering an explosion.

    After that fatal explosion, the National Fire Protection Association released a new standard advising against the use of flammable gas in cleaning pipes at gas-fueled power plants.

    The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board also released recommendations.

    Kleen Energy now uses nitrogen to clean its piping.
     


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    Spring is coming, even if it does not feel like it, and the home improvement giant, Home Depot, said it is preparing by hiring 900 people in the Hartford area.

    This is part of the company’s plan to hire 80,000 people nationwide in advance of the company’s busiest selling season.

    The company is encouraging students, retirees, veterans and reservists to apply.
     
    For veterans and reservists interested in employment, The Home Depot’s online military skills translator can help match unique military skills to positions within the company. More information is available online at www.homedepotmilitary.com.
     
    You can apply online at http://careers.homedepot.com. Select “In-Store Hourly,” enter your market name and click “Search.”
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Spring is coming, even if it does not feel like it, and the home improvement giant, Home Depot, said it is preparing by hiring 900 people in the Hartford area.Spring is coming, even if it does not feel like it, and the home improvement giant, Home Depot, said it is preparing by hiring 900 people in the Hartford area.

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    Since Babe Ruth first donned pinstripes in 1920, the Yankees have provided each generation with the privilege of watching an iconic player in their lineup on a daily basis.

    With Derek Jeter’s announcement that he will retire after the 2014 season, the current era of fans will get one last chance to see a player who helped transform a franchise.

    It’s easy to look at the Yankees now and consider anything but a playoff appearance a lost season -- 17 trips to the postseason and five World Series championships in the last 19 years have a way of spoiling a fan base.

    But Jeter came to the Yankees in 1995, when the team was going through a championship drought like it hadn’t experienced since it changed its named from the Highlanders to the Yankees in 1913.

    A baby-faced Jeter had just 12 hits in 51 plate appearances in 1995, and though he wasn’t on the postseason roster, the Yankees made the playoffs for the first time since 1981.

    Entering the 1996 season, impatient owner George Steinbrenner wasn’t convinced Jeter was the answer and nearly traded away a young pitcher by the name of Mariano Rivera to the Seattle Mariners for a more experienced player at shortstop. New manager Joe Torre and the rest of the front office talked Steinbrenner into holding onto Jeter and gave him the starting job.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    Jeter would lead the team in hits in 1996 and capture the American League Rookie of the Year trophy, en route to the Yankees’ first World Series ring since 1978. Winning four World Series over the next five seasons -- sporting an unbelievable 16-3 record in the Fall Classic -- the Yankees erupted as the most dominant team in baseball.

    The success of the Yankees led to Jeter becoming the face not just of the franchise but of the entire city.

    From a cameo on the hit show "Seinfeld" to a hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live," Jeter transcended the game and became a mainstream celebrity. Like Michael Jordan before him, he was signed by Nike and Gatorade to lucrative endorsement deals.

    In the tabloids, Jeter was rumored to be romantically linked to the hottest names in modeling, music and Hollywood -- and still is to this day.

    Through all the off-the-field headlines, Jeter continued to produce like no other Yankee before him.

    Jeter is the franchise’s all-time leader in hits -- surpassing Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra along the way. With more doubles than Joe DiMaggio and Don Mattingly, he is just nine doubles shy of tying Gehrig for the most in team history.

    A 13-time AL All-Star and two-time World Series Most Valuable Player, Jeter was always one of the best players in the game -- yet he seemed magically to take his game to the next level when it mattered most.

    No player in MLB history has more hits, doubles, triples or runs scored in the playoffs than Jeter, and his five World Series rings are the sixth-most all-time.

    From his miraculous flip to home plate in throwing out Jeremy Giambi in the 2001 AL Division Series to recklessly running into the stands to make a diving catch against the Boston Red Sox in 2004, Jeter's tremendous sense of the moment allowed him to make more than a few defensive plays he had no business making.

    With New York grieving in the days after 9/11, Jeter and the Yankees provided a much-needed distraction when they clinched a berth in the 2001 World Series. The tragedy forced the season to be delayed and marked the first time the World Series would ever be played in November.

    And though the team would end up losing in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jeter’s game-winning home run in Game Four, just after the clock struck midnight and turned the calendar over to November, sent the town into a frenzy and gave birth to the nickname “Mr. November.”

    In a clubhouse with longtime teammates Rivera, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettite, Jeter’s grit and cool demeanor made him the undeniable leader. He wasn’t just given the title of team captain. He earned it.

    Whenever the Yankees decide to hold the ceremony, Jeter’s number is a lock to be retired along with all the other legendary single-digit immortals that line the wall in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. And at a time when so many greats are being kept out of Cooperstown due to steroid allegations, Jeter’s clean reputation and more than 3,000 hits throughout his career make him a likely rare first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    After 19 years, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees without Jeter in the everyday lineup. An injury-plagued 2013 made the transition seem a little more inevitable, though his announcement has a sense of reality attached to it more striking than anyone could’ve imagined.

    It’s not hyperbole to say it will be a long time before we see anyone like Jeter in a Yankee uniform again. With Robinson Cano’s departure and no standout prospects in the pipeline, there’s no telling when the next time is we’ll see a player homegrown by the team who can cement their name into the Yankees’ storied record books.

    The Yankees can spend however much they want on free agents, but there’s only one Jeter -- and his contributions to the team, as well as to the game of baseball, have been priceless.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Fans have one last season to say goodbye to Derek Jeter.Fans have one last season to say goodbye to Derek Jeter.

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