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    Their causes differed, their goal was the same: get attention during President Baradck Obama's visit to Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday, if not attention from the president himself.

    "Obama, Obama, don't deport my mama," cried immigration activists, standing next to several blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags. 

    "SOS Venezuela," read another sign.

    Stan Heller, veteran of decades of protests in Connecticut, stood on a campus corner telling passersby about Medea Benjamin, a U.S. citizen manhandled when she tried to get to the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

    "The bigger issue is the collaboration of the Obama Administration with Egypt," Heller said. "We have given billions and billions to that country."

    Those who had the opportunity to see Obama speak in person were thrilled with what one woman called a life-changing event.

    "It was an amazing experience. I'll never forget it," said Kim von Paternos, a CCSU senior.

    For people without tickets, the university screened the speech in the student center.

    "It's a unique experience," said Eugene Emini, a freshman at CCSU. "Not too many people could say the President of the United States was at their school."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Alex Eugene Taylor, a 5-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, has been suspended without pay after he allegedly killed his girlfriend's puppy.

    According to police, Taylor had texted his girlfriend last month, saying their 7-month-old Jack Russell terrier named Rocko had defecated on the carpet of their Silver Spring home. Taylor then said he killed the dog, and sent a photo of its body to his girlfriend, police say.

    In a phone call, police say Taylor told his girlfriend he beat the dog with a mop because he was "tired of cleaning up the dog's defecation." According to police, he then threw the dog out in the trash, but his girlfriend asked him to retrieve Rocko so she could bury him.

    Two days later, she called police about the incident. Taylor was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and abuse or neglect of an animal.

    He has been suspended without pay from the Baltimore Police Department, which is conducting an investigation into the incident. 


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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating has slipped, but he remains popular and enjoys a comfortable advantage in his quest for re-election, according to a new poll.

    Cuomo, a Democrat, holds massive leads over each of three potential Republican challengers: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, conservative upstate businessman Carl Paladino and real estate mogul Donald Trump, the NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll shows. In head-to-head match-ups, the governor beat them all by at least 40 percentage points.

    The only challenger to formally launch a campaign against Cuomo is Astorino, who announced his candidacy Wednesday. The poll, taken in the days leading up to Astorino’s announcement, shows him with the support of 25 percent of registered voters, compared with Cuomo’s 65 percent. Another 10 percent are undecided.

    When asked their opinion of Astorino, nearly half of voters — 46 percent — said they were unsure, or hadn’t heard of him. That included 49 percent of members of his own party.

    “This is still someone who lacks definition and is still not very well known among voters,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “His to-do list is long and it is by all measures a very uphill fight for him.”

    The general election is Nov. 4.

    Cuomo, meanwhile, enjoys a cushy approval-rating advantage. But it is slowly shrinking.

    Asked to rate his job performance, 42 percent of voters responded positively, while 18 percent said the governor was doing poorly.

    The last time the poll asked the question, in November, the split was 52-13.

    That decline appears to be driven by New Yorkers’ lackluster views of the economy.

    The proportion of voters who said they thought New York was in a recession jumped to 65 percent, the highest level in two years, the poll shows. Of those voters, 37 percent said they approved of Cuomo’s performance.

    That effect was even more pronounced among blacks and Latinos, groups more likely to see the state economy as slumping. Among Latino voters, 41 percent approved of Cuomo’s job performance, down from 62 percent in November. Among blacks, the figure dropped from 57 percent to 42 percent.

    “Although he has a very wide lead, he still will need to convince voters that he’s turning the economy around,” Miringoff said.

    The poll, conducted from Friday to Monday, surveyed 658 registered voters, and the results carry a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

    Not surprisingly, Astorino is trying to exploit Cuomo’s economic vulnerabilities. He released a web video Wednesday that accused the governor of fiscal gimmickry and failing to create enough jobs.

    If the clip is any indication of what’s to come, there will be a lot more negative attacks against Cuomo.

    Equally unsurprising is Cuomo’s silent response, Miringoff said.

    “He doesn’t want to assist Astorino with one of his problems, which is low name recognition.”

    But as much as the economy bothers voters, Cuomo needn’t worry — at least not yet.

    His favorability rating remains high and largely unchanged, with 63 percent of voters saying they had a positive view of him and 33 percent saying they had a negative view of him.

    And the governor has amassed a campaign war chest that at last count totaled $33 million. Astorino has about $1 million.

    The poll also asked voters to choose between Cuomo and two other potential challengers who have yet to say if they’ll actually run.

    In a match-up with Paladino, whom Cuomo soundly defeated in 2010, the governor leads 68 percent to 25 percent. Cuomo leads Trump by an even larger margin: 70 percent to 26 percent.

    In short: whoever runs against Cuomo in the general election will have to overcome daunting odds.


    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, enjoys a comfortable lead over Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, enjoys a comfortable lead over Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

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    Police are investigating the crash that injured a driver and two water company contractors at a construction site in West Hartford on Tuesday.

    The crash happened while a crew from Flow Assessment Services, a contractor working with MDC, was performing roadwork on Trout Brook Drive near Farmington Avenue on Tuesday morning.

    Police said 37-year-old Ewa Pedzich, of New Britain, crossed the center line while driving northbound on Trout Brook Drive near Farmington Avenue yesterday and smashed head-on into the truck.

    Two Flow Assessment workers, Justin Chamberlin and Robert Marcel, were injured in the crash. Police said one was hanging by a pulley inside a manhole and the truck was pushed into the other.

    Chamberlin, Marcel and Pedzich were taken to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

    Police said Pedzich’s car and the Flow Assessment truck were heavily damaged.



    Photo Credit: Google Maps

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    A 29-year-old Bridgeport man is facing charges after officers found drugs and a stun gun in his car Tuesday, police said.

    Eugene Brown, a convicted felon, was arrested after someone reported suspicious activity on Stratford Avenue around 2 a.m. He drove off when officers approached him, according to police.

    When Brown pulled over several blocks away, the officer searched his car and found a bag containing PCP, a black electronic stun gun in the passenger seat, several pills and two off-white “chips” that tested positive for cocaine, according to police.

    Eugene Brown, a convicted felon, was charged with:

    • Failure to keep narcotics in their original container
    • Possession of narcotics
    • Possession of drug paraphernalia
    • Criminal possession of an electronic defense weapon
    • Using a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission
    • A motor vehicle offense


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    Animal Control is investigating after a malnourished dog was found dragging a 15-foot chain in the Huntington section of Shelton on Monday, according to the Shelton Animal Shelter.

    The dog, who has been named Hank, has cuts on his front legs from walking through ice and his snout is raw from eating crusty snow, the animal shelter said. He was taken to the vet for treatment.

    Hank has a sweet personality, is not neutered and is brindle in color, according to the animal shelter.

    Anyone with information about the dog is asked to contact the Shelton Animal Shelter at 203-924-3501 and ask for Officer Pat Dempsey.



    Photo Credit: Shelton Animal Shelter

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    West Hartford police have arrested the man who they say left his 5-year-old nephew in the car while he went to work out.

    Danny Ramos, 36, was charged with risk of injury to a child, interfering with an officer and second-degree reckless endangerment.

    Ramos is due in court Thursday. His bond was set at $5,000.



    Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

    Danny Ramos, 36, is accused of leaving his 5-year-old nephew in the car while going to work out, according to police.Danny Ramos, 36, is accused of leaving his 5-year-old nephew in the car while going to work out, according to police.

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    Police responded to a rollover crash involving a 72-year-old woman in Branford this afternoon.

    According to police, 59-year-old Luke Rodney, of Branford, drove through the intersection of Elm and Kirkham streets around 1:15 p.m. and collided with a car driven by 72-year-old Margaret Calamita, of North Branford, who was traveling north on Kirkham Street.

    Rodney's car flipped, crashing into a nearby fence.

    Police said no serious injuries were reported. Kirkham Street was shut down for about 45 minutes while authorities investigated.

    Rodney was cited for failure to obey a stop sign.


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    Was Batkid snubbed?

    The Academy Awards telecast on Sunday was supposed to feature a segment with Batkid -- 5-year-old Miles Scott, who captured San Francisco's hearts in such a memorable fashion last fall -- but the boy's Oscar moment was nixed just hours before the show began, according to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    A Make-A-Wish spokesperson confirmed the planned segment to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday. She said the segment was supposed to include Andrew Garfield, who is starring in the most-recent Hollywood iteration of Spider-Man.

    Garfield was supposed to introduce Miles as "the world's next superhero," Mashable reported.

    The segment was rehearsed on Saturday, but without warning, Garfield didn't appear at the Sunday awards show, and the segment never aired.

    Instead, Miles took a trip to Disneyland.

    Miles’ mother, Natalie Scott, told the International Business Times that Miles had his tuxedo ready to go.

    "He was most excited about his new tuxedo, the fitting and having his own tux," Make-A-Wish spokesperson Jen Wilson said.

    Wilson said the tuxedo was paid for by a Make-A-Wish sponsor.

    "We just don't know what happened," Wilson said when asked why the segment never made air.

    According to Make-A-Wish, the Scott family found out the segment was canceled around 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.

    “I don’t know if they ran out of time, of if there was something about the segment they didn’t like,” Natalie Scott told IBT.

    Wilson told NBC Bay Area that Make-A-Wish's involvement in the planned segment was limited to getting the show's producers in touch with the Scott family.

    The Academy Awards did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Natalie Scott reportedly said her child hero was "disappointed."

    It took between 11,000 and 12,000 volunteers to pull off the November 2013 event.


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    Connecticut voters support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released today finds.

    "Public support for allowing assisted dying in Connecticut is a very personal issue, crossing partisan, gender and age lines," Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said in a statement.

    The poll found support to be 61 percent to 32 percent.

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE POLL

    Quinnipiac also found voters to be closely divided on whether they would ask a doctor to help them take their own life. Thirty-nine percent said no in all cases, while 33 percent said they would if they were terminally ill and another 12 percent would if they were terminally ill and in pain.

    On another emotional issue, Connecticut voters favor the death penalty 57 percent to 34 percent when asked a simple "favor or oppose" question.

    However, voters are divided 47 percent to 47 percent on whether they approve or disapprove of a 2012 law that replaces the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole.

    Women approve the new law 50 to 43 percent, while men disapprove 52 - 43 percent.

    "Support for the death penalty has dropped 10 points in three years, from a high of 67 percent to a low of 57 percent. Perhaps this is a case of opinion following policy, as Connecticut abolished the death penalty in 2012," Schwartz said. "As we've seen in our past polls on the death penalty, when voters are given the choice of the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole, support for the death penalty drops. When asked the question this way, voters are evenly divided."

     


    Connecticut voters support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released today finds.Connecticut voters support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released today finds.

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    In January, Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposed using the state’s $155 million surplus to mail tax refund checks of up to $110 per household.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning found that voters, 63 percent to 23 percent, consider the plan a political gimmick, not good public policy.

    Republicans called the idea a gimmick, 83 percent to 9 percent, while independent voters, 71 - 19 percent, agreed.

    Democrats are divided, with 41 percent calling it a gimmick and 39 percent say it's good public policy.

    When faced with open-ended questions about, 36 percent of voters said the economy and jobs should be the top priority for Malloy and the State Legislature, with 14 percent saying taxes, 11 percent for education and 8 percent saying budget/government spending.

    The poll also asked about how the state has handled snowstorms.

    Voters approved, 86 percent to 10 percent, of the way Malloy is handling this winter's snowstorms.
    However, he received failing grades on other issues, including handling of the economy and jobs, taxes, education and the budget.

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE POLL

    "Gov. Dannel Malloy gets great marks for his handling of the snowstorms, but low marks for voter priorities, the economy and jobs, taxes, education and the budget," Schwartz said.
     


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    If you want to get away to Washington, D.C. this summer, you might want to check out JetBlue’s today-only sale on flights from Bradley.

    The airline is adding service between Bradley Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, beginning June 19, and they are offering $30 one-way fares, including taxes and fees.

    The deal is only good for midweek travel between June 24 and July 30 and you have to buy your tickets today.

    "We are delighted to be expanding in our nation's capital, on our way to 30 departures per day at Reagan National, with intro fares as low as $30(a) one-way," Robin Hayes, JetBlue's president, said in a statement. "Despite our relatively small presence at DCA, JetBlue has truly disrupted the market with fair fares and a better experience for travelers. We look forward to bringing the positive benefits of nonstop JetBlue service from Washington to Charleston, Hartford, and Nassau, with more new destinations to come later this year."

    There will be two flights per day from Bradley to Reagan.

    One will leave Bradley at 6:35 a.m. and arrive at Reagan at 7:59 a.m. The other leaves Bradley at 6:30 p.m. and arrives at 7:54 p.m.

    One flight leaves DC at 09:25 a.m. and arrives at Bradley at 10:46 a.m., while the later flight leaves DC at 7:25 p.m. and arrives at 08:50 p.m.    

    Get more details here.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    An 18-year-old Torrington woman is facing charges after reportedly making verbal threats of violence against Danbury and Stratford schools, police said.

    Natalie A. Carpenter, of Main Street in Torrington, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after making “verbal threats concerning acts of violence at schools in Danbury and Stratford,” according to Torrington police.

    Torrington school officials said Carpenter had a manifesto in her home describing her intentions and tried to buy guns days before the threats were made.

    Officials in Danbury and Stratford were notified of the threats on Monday, police said. No threats were made against Torrington schools.

    Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said Danbury High School and Stratford's Bunnell High School received threats. No specific students were targeted. The towns have stepped up security at both high schools and parents have been notified.

    Dianne Rockwell-Harris, whose daughter attends Danbury High School, said she received a call from the superintendent's office explaining that the school had been a possible target and that an arrest had been made.

    "There are a lot of strange people out there that want to hurt our children. It's not right," Rockwell-Harris said. "I'm glad they got a handle on things before something got out of hand."

    Danbury Supt. Sal Pascarella said he's taking the threat seriously and is passing around Carpenter's picture so students and staff are aware.

    Carpenter was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault.

    She was held on a $300,000 bond and appeared in court on Wednesday morning.

    Police said the investigation is ongoing.



    Photo Credit: Torrington Police Department

    Natalie Carpenter, 18, of Torrington, is facing charges after making verbal threats against Danbury and Stratford schools, police said.Natalie Carpenter, 18, of Torrington, is facing charges after making verbal threats against Danbury and Stratford schools, police said.

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    Police have charged a father with manslaughter in the death of his 8-week-old daughter.

    Reushawn Foster, 18, was arraigned in Middletown Superior Court on Thursday.

    Clinton police began an investigation in March 2013 after they were called to the house for an infant who wasn't breathing. The baby was rushed to the hospital, but died a few days later of injuries consistent with "Shaken Baby Syndrome," according to police.

    An autopsy showed the 8-week-old died of blunt force trauma and her death was ruled a homicide.

    The baby's parents were a 16-year-old female and Foster, who was 17 at the time of the incident. Foster was identified as the only suspect and police secured a warrant for his arrest.

    Investigators learned Foster had left the state and was living with family in Columbia, South Carolina. In February, South Carolina authorities arrested Foster on fugitive from justice charges.

    Clinton police traveled to South Carolina and brought Foster back to Connecticut on Tuesday to face first-degree manslaughter charges.

    He is being held on $750,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Clinton Police

    Clinton police have charged Reushawn Foster, 18, with manslaughter in connection with the death of his 8-week-old daughter.Clinton police have charged Reushawn Foster, 18, with manslaughter in connection with the death of his 8-week-old daughter.

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  • 03/06/14--08:41: Shoplifting Family Arrested

  • Three members of a suburban Chicago family are accused of stealing millions of dollars in merchandise during a decade-long “shopping odyssey” and later selling the items on eBay.

    Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, were arrested by Secret Service agents Tuesday afternoon at a home on Weller Lane in suburban Northbrook, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

    The trio is accused in a recent string of thefts that began on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, continued two days later at malls in Texas and wound through Louisiana Feb. 20. But officials allege the three are connected to similar instances that have occurred over the last 10 years, and have sold stolen property on eBay for a combined total of $4.2 million.

    According to the complaint, loss prevention executives at Barnes and Noble, Inc. and Toys R Us, Inc. recently told Secret Service agents that their stores were experiencing a huge loss in merchandise, including American Girl dolls, Furby robotic toys, Lego blocks, baby monitors and baby carriers.

    The retail executives worked with eBay and found that a particular account sold large quantities of the stolen items, matching the quantities reported missing from the stores. Officials traced the account to a person living in a Chicago suburb.

    The owner of the account, who then cooperated with law enforcement, had sold $3.4 million in merchandise according to the complaint, with an estimated retail value of $6 million, which he claims to have purchased from a man named “Franko Kalath” over the last 10 years.

    Officials learned that “Franko Kalath” was an alias for Branko Bogdanov and learned that the members of the Bogdanov family shared a single PayPal account.

    The complaint shows thefts occurred between October and December 2012 at Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us and other retailers in Pikesville, Md., Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Murfreesboro, Tenn., where either telephone records, video surveillance or both allegedly show the Bogdanovs at or near at the time and date of specific retail thefts.

    Surveillance footage of the most recent thefts shows the family at several stores at malls in Woodlands, Tex. Surveillance footage also captured the family the following day in Louisiana, where additional merchandise was stolen at stores in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

    The complaint describes repeated instances of Lela Bogdanov wearing a long black skirt that appeared larger and fuller when she exited various retail stores than when she entered. The dress, which was seized shortly after she was arrested, has a blue lining capable of containing multiple rectangular objects, and was allegedly used to cart hidden merchandise from stores, officials said.

    At times, surveillance footage showed items protruding from the skirt when she exited stores, often accompanied by various diversions instigated by one of more of the family members, according to the complaint.

    The trio arrived back in Northbrook Feb. 21. A few days later, the criminal informant received messages from “Franko Kalath” with photos showing an array of merchandise that was available for sale, officials said.

    They were each charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and are expected to appear in bond court Wednesday.

    Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory.


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    A 23-year-old Danbury man was arrested when $20,000 worth of marijuana was shipped to his home on Wednesday, police said.

    Postal inspectors contacted Danbury police yesterday after they noticed a package they were processing smelled like marijuana, police said.

    When they inspected it, police determined that it contained six pounds of marijuana.

    The package was supposed to be delivered to a unit at 23 Stevens Street.

    Danbury police and U.S. Postal Inspectors went there with a search warrant and arrested the resident, Orlando Ellis, at 5:15 p.m. after learning the package was shipped to him, police said.

    Inside Ellis’ home, police found 180 tablets of Oxycodone worth $3.600, a scale, packaging materials and several thousands of dollars worth of suspected drug profits.

    Ellis was charged with several counts of drug possession and held on $100,000 bond.
     



    Photo Credit: Danbury Police

    Police said Orlando Ellis, of Danbury, was receiving thousands of dollars worth of marijuana in the mail.Police said Orlando Ellis, of Danbury, was receiving thousands of dollars worth of marijuana in the mail.

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  • 03/07/14--04:21: Drunken Gambler Sues Casino

  • A few drinks at the airport and more on the way to a Las Vegas casino during Super Bowl weekend cost a Southern California man $500,000. Now he's suing the casino to try to get it back.

    An attorney for Ventura resident Mark Johnston said the Downtown Grand Casino took advantage of his client by loaning him money and allowing him to play pai gow and blackjack while he was visibly intoxicated. A court fight is in the cards after Johnston filed a lawsuit last week to get his money back.

    Johnston said he feels like they picked his pockets.

    "It's like a drunk guy is walking down the street and you just go ahead and reach in his pocket and steal all his money," he said. "They should have cut me off. The bottom line is the casinos are not supposed to gamble to you and over-serve you in alcohol."

    Johnston told NBC4 that the lawsuit isn't about the money. He has wealth from his ownership of Ventur County car dealerships and he himself drives a $200,000 Mercedes SLS sportscar. The lawsuit is about personal responsibility.

    "I don't even remember being put to bed, I could have fallen asleep and died in my sleep. Choked, threw up, who knows,” Johnston said. "Let’s say i wasn't staying at the grand hotel and they allowed me to walk out the door and get in a car and I ended up killing somebody, then what would we be talking about?"

    Johnston claims the Downtown Grand Casino violated Nevada gambling regulations by giving him up to 20 drinks in 17 hours and doubling his casino credit, even though he said an employee later told him he was too drunk to continue.

    "It's not just for me, a gambler that gambles with larger amounts of money. How about the guy with a 1,000, how about a guy with 2,000, how about a guy a 5,000, 10,000, that's drunk leaning on the table, can't see the color of his chips, can't read his cards, do you think they should have taken his money?" Johnsto

    Nevada law bars casinos from allowing visibly drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.

    "You certainly aren't supposed to issue half a million dollars in markers to someone who is obviously intoxicated," said Johnston's attorney, Sean Lyttle.

    The costly night started after a Thursday arrival with drinks at the aiport and more drinks during a limousine ride. The drinking continued during dinner at Triple George Grill on 3rd Street next to the casino in downtown Las Vegas.

    "I don't remember anything until Super Bowl night," Johnston said.

    The casino is countersuing Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts, according to The Associated Press. Johnston put a stop-payment order on the markers, or casino credits, the Grand issued. He is also seeking damages from the Grand for sullying his name, the AP reported.

    Johnson told NBC4 that he only owes $400,000 because the casino gave him a 20 percent discount on any debt. The Nevada Gaming Control Board is investigating.

    A casino spokeswoman told the AP the company does not comment on pending litigation. 

    Johnston, a retiree, owned Ojai Ford before selling it in 2006, according to the Ventura County Star.


    Mark Johnston is suing a Las Vegas casino after a Super Bowl weekend in which he lost $500,000.Mark Johnston is suing a Las Vegas casino after a Super Bowl weekend in which he lost $500,000.

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    The artist behind the "normal" Barbie is one step closer to making the prototype a reality.

    Nickolay Lamm announced on Wednesday a crowdfunding campaign to create Lammily, a plastic doll that embodies real human proportions.

    Lamm's photos of the prototype went viral last summer and left fans wondering where to get a doll like it. The renderings featured a blonde Barbie lookalike that is shorter in stature and more in line with the proportions of an average 19-year-old American woman.

    Lammily is brunette and outfitted with plain clothes and minimal makeup. She is also made with articulated joints so kids can pretend she's running and moving instead of just posing.

    As of Thursday afternoon, the project received nearly $133,000 in contributions. The doll is expected to ship in November.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    From her extraordinarily long legs to her unrealistically tiny waist, the world's most famous doll has often come under scrutiny from women's groups who say it promotes an unhealthy idea of body image in girls.From her extraordinarily long legs to her unrealistically tiny waist, the world's most famous doll has often come under scrutiny from women's groups who say it promotes an unhealthy idea of body image in girls.

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    Milford Public Library is closed today due to a burst heating coil that causes flooding in part of the building.

    The water soaked the carpets books from the “friends book sale” were lost, but there was no damage to the library’s collection or computers. 

    The library is located at 57 New Haven Avenue in Milford.
     


    Milford Public Library is closed today due to a burst heating coil that causes flooding in part of the building.Milford Public Library is closed today due to a burst heating coil that causes flooding in part of the building.

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    A long-running dispute involving the mother of a Southern California man who was killed as he crossed a street and an atheist rights group appeared to head to a conclusion Thursday with the planned removal of roadside crosses she placed in his memory.

    The removal comes after an organization that promotes the rights of atheists and other nonreligious people called the cross on city-owned property a "serious constitutional violation" in a letter to city council of Lake Elsinore, a western Riverside County community.

    "It's like I'm losing my son again, pretty much," said Ann Marie Devaney, through tears, as she removed two crosses. "It hurts when you lose a child."

    But just as she removed the crosses, a group of people put up six more.

    "It just really got to me," Emily Johnson, . "I have kids. I just can't believe how insensitive people are."

    Devaney had placed the white crosses on the side of Lake Street near a freeway exit ramp after her 19-year-old son was killed in May 2012. Anthony Devaney was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle driver as he crossed the street near the 15 Freeway.

    Nearly two years later, she removed the crosses after a Lake Elsinore resident and the American Humanist Association pursued the symbol's removal with the city.

    Ann Marie Devaney arrived at the site early Thursday to mourn her son, hours before she removed the tribute.

    "It's so petty and sad that they have to complain over removing a cross," she said. "It's his personal preference that he was Christian. What's wrong with having a cross up?"

    The mother of the teen driver who struck and killed Anthony Devaney was among the cross visitors Thursday morning. She told NBC4 Southern California she opposes the cross removal.

    "That's their memorial, that's where they go to grieve," said Laurie Howanec.

    The American Humanist Association also successfully fought Lake Elsinore's plan for a veterans monument that depicted a service member kneeling next to a cross at a grave site. In a February ruling, a U.S. District Court judge ruled the planned memorial -- which must be redesigned -- at a minor league baseball stadium was unconstitutional.

    In its letter to the City Council, the group cites complaints about Devaney's cross memorial from a Lake Elsinore resident. The city removed the cross in December 2013 after requests from the resident, but Devaney returned the cross to the property.

    The resident contacted the city again last month and was told the cross would be removed by mid-March, according to the letter.

    "The city's selective enforcement of its signage ordinance and its display of the Christian cross on government property violates the state and federal Constitutions, and must therefore be removed immediately," the letter states.


    Ann Marie Devaney stands next to a cross n Thursday March 6, 2014 that she placed on a Lake Elsinore roadside near where her son was struck and killed.Ann Marie Devaney stands next to a cross n Thursday March 6, 2014 that she placed on a Lake Elsinore roadside near where her son was struck and killed.

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