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    Scammers are targeting senior citizens, families and immigrant communities in Connecticut and state officials want to get the word out so more local residents do not become victims.

    This scam, known as the “grandparent scam,” starts with a phone call from someone who tells the victim that a family member has been involved in an accident and is being held hostage until the victim sends money.

    Earlier this month, police in Willimantic and Guilford issued warnings after several r residents reported being targeted in the scam.

    This afternoon, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Attorney General George Jepsen will hold a news conference today to raise awareness about the scam, which can lead to significant financial loss for victims.

    Murphy and Blumenthal said they will be calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to act and stop this scam.

    Earlier this year, Murphy wrote to FBI Director James Comey to ask the FBI to immediately alert the public about this scam.

    “Several Connecticut residents have fallen victim to this fraud, even though local police have been active in trying to protect the community from this type of crime.  In one instance, local police have alerted providers of money wiring services, like Western Union, to be on the lookout for this type of suspicious situation.  As reports of this telephone scam continue to come in from all over the state of Connecticut, I am requesting that your agency devote appropriate resources to helping Connecticut’s local law enforcement agencies alert their communities about this criminal activity and locate the perpetrators,” Murphy wrote in the letter to Comey.

    During the news conference, Jepsen will outline a list of steps people can take if scammers contact them. He will also describe warning signs constituents should be on the look-out for if they receive a suspicious call.

    Police warn residents to refrain from disclosing personal information and call police right away.

    “Under no circumstances should you send money anywhere or provide any personal information to the caller,” Willimantic Police Corporal Matthew Solak said in a statement earlier this month.

    Willimantic police said most of the calls have come from a number with a 717 area code and at least one was traced back to Puerto Rico.

    The caller is described as being an adult man with a Spanish accent, although one victim told police it sounded like the phone had been passed around among a group of teenagers.

    The news conference will begin at 12:30 p.m. in Room 1A of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
     


    Phone scams targetting elderly victims continue to be one of the most popular scams out there. Thousands of senior citizens are victimized every year, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.Phone scams targetting elderly victims continue to be one of the most popular scams out there. Thousands of senior citizens are victimized every year, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

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    The Internal Revenue Service and police have been warning residents across Connecticut about an IRS scam, but scammers who targeted a Watertown resident went so far as to make it look like police were coming for the victim.

    On Monday, scammers called a Watertown resident, claiming the person owes the IRS a lot of money and threatened arrest if the victim did not immediately pay up, according to police.

    The local resident refused to pay and the scammers threatened an arrest, police said.

    Then the scammers made a "swatting" call to 911, manipulating caller ID to show the victim’s phone number, posed as the victim and told the dispatcher that armed intruders were in the house, police said.

    The caller was difficult to understand, sounded hysterical, and said he was locked in his bedroom. It sounded like he said three people with masks and knives were trying to break into the house.

    Police responded to the house, believing there was an active home invasion.

    The dispatcher kept telling the caller to stop crying and to stay quiet and stayed on the phone until police arrived. 

    Watertown Police said this is the first time something like this has happened in town and urge residents to be cautious when dealing with people on the phone and avoid giving out personal information.

    They ask anyone who has been targeted by the scam to call the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint."

     

    WARNING ABOUT RECENT TAX SCAMS

    If you believe that you have been the victim of any scam, contact your local police department.

    The IRS offers the following tips:

    • If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
    • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to speak with IRS employees who can help you with a payment issue.
    • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

    If you’ve been targeted by this scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

    The Watertown Police Department urges the public to be wary when dealing with individuals via telephone and do not give out any personal information to them. If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam contact your local police department.


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    A fired state Department of Corrections employee was arrested on Monday night, accused of making threats after being let go from the department.

    Christopher Anello, 28, of Bridgeport, was arrested on Monday evening charged with threatening and breach of peach after threats were brought to the attention of the DOC officials, according to a news release from state police.

    The Connecticut Post reports that Anello was a probationary corrections worker and threatened to shoot Bridgeport Correctional Center up if he was walked out of the facility.

    The Post reports that Anello has seven registered guns and declined to comment on the arrest.
    He was released on a promise to appear, according to court records.
     
     



    Photo Credit: Getty

    The plan to transfer more than 1,000 female federal prisoners from Danbury to Alabama is on hold.The plan to transfer more than 1,000 female federal prisoners from Danbury to Alabama is on hold.

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    New Haven police are increasing their presence in the city's East Shore neighborhood Wednesday night after an afternoon act of violence.

    Shots rang out in front of the J.P. Deli and Grocery on Farren Avenue around 2 p.m.

    According to police, four men were arguing inside the store, when one of the men walked out and across the street. When the other men followed, the man pulled out a gun and fired six or seven shots. No one was hit, police said.

    Police are now reviewing surveillance video from the store.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    New Haven police are increasing their presence in the city's East Shore neighborhood Wednesday night after a shooting outside a deli on Farren Avenue.New Haven police are increasing their presence in the city's East Shore neighborhood Wednesday night after a shooting outside a deli on Farren Avenue.

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    A missing 78-year-old woman from Glastonbury has been found by local firefighters, according to Glastonbury police. 

    Pierina Gulielmi went went missing Wednesday and was not wearing a coat when she disappeared, police said.

    According to authorities, firemen from an East Hartford fire house found her a few streets away from their station Wednesday night.

    Her condition is not known at this time.

     

     


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    The U.S. will not take military action in the Ukraine crisis, President Barack Obama told NBC 7 San Diego Wednesday.

    "We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine. What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international correlation that sends a clear message,” President Obama said.

    The president's statement on the possibility of military intervention was part of an interview Wednesday with NBC 7’s Mark Mullen, who traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk with the president about a range of topics, from military cuts to raising the minimum wage.

    Crisis in Ukraine

    Some foreign policy experts had said that limited military assistance was one of the items left in President Obama’s toolbox, along with tougher sanctions and other forms of economic pressure, when it comes to Russia.

    "You have three guideposts by which to conduct foreign policy: Economic, political and military," said Ron Bee with San Diego State University. "If you are weak in one of them, the other ones won't hack it."

    As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Obama said, "His strategic decisions are in no way based on whether he thought that we might go to war over this."

    "I think there’s a clear understanding that when it comes to our core interests or our NATO allies, we can protect ourselves," he said.

    Meanwhile, officials in Ukraine were preparing to withdraw troops and their families from the Russia-occupied region of Crimea Wednesday.

    The president said that Ukrainians "should control their own destiny."

    San Diego's Military

    President Obama also talked about proposed military cuts that coincide with the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.

    In a budget proposed by the Pentagon, the Army would take the hardest hit, dropping to its lowest troop levels since before World War II.

    “We will still have, by far, the largest military in the world, the best equipped military in the world, the most technologically advanced military in the world, and we will continue to be able to meet any challenges out there,” the president said.

    However, President Obama said his budget would have allotted an additional $25 billion for the military.

    “The truth of the matter is that if Congress prepared to do what I've asked them to do, which is to close some corporate tax loopholes that we don't need and really aren't adding to our economy, then we could make sure that we are using some additional dollars to enhance what is already an outstanding military,” he said.

    Local Republican congressmen were not able to provide NBC 7 with a statement about the president's comments, but the GOP has been fighting the proposed military cuts since they were introduced last month.

    "This is not the time for us to begin to retreat and certainly not the time to cut our military," Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) told Bloomberg News.

    NCAA Tournament

    In a lighthearted moment at the end of the conversation, Mullen asked the president about his March Madness bracket.

    “It's been a while since I've won at least the White House bracket. I need to be paying a little more attention than I have time to pay right now,” President Obama said.

    The president picked Michigan State to go all the way.


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    The San Jose Sharks helped make one 17-year-old fan's dreams come true Tuesday when it signed him to a one-day contract.

    Sam Tageson, who has suffered from a life-threatening heart condition since he was born, got to watch the warm-ups from the bench area and then got to skate out with the team during pregame introductions.

    The emotion Tageson expressed while being honored during the game on the Jumbotron was heartwarming, and apparently the team got a big lift from it, too: They scored after the very next face-off following the tribute.

    The Sharks aren’t the only team that has worked with Make-A-Wish Foundation recently. The Chicago Blackhawks welcomed Nicholas Skretkowski in late February for the team’s practice before their Stadium Series game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Skretkowski got to skate on the ice with team captain Jonathan Toews, had his own locker stall in the team’s dressing room, got a personalized jersey and even got another jersey autographed by the entire squad.


    The NHL, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the San Jose Sharks made Sam Tageson's wish come true on Tuesday, and his reaction was priceless.The NHL, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the San Jose Sharks made Sam Tageson's wish come true on Tuesday, and his reaction was priceless.

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    Parents in Torrington are outraged after the Superintendent said she wants to cut interscholastic sports at Torrington Middle School next year to save money.

    “I will fight it I definitely will,” said parent Melissa Lenczycki.  She said cutting the program would hurt a lot of students. “All the involvement and the interaction and the groups of friends being together,” Lenczycki explained.

    Her son was included and wants to join the soccer team. “If it's not available he loses out tremendously,” she said. If that wasn’t an option, there could be consequences. “There would be no way to play at the high school level because he wouldn't have the skills,” Lenczycki added.

    Money appears to be the issue.  The Superintendent gave her proposed budget to the Torrington Board of Education on Wednesday night.  She said getting rid of middle school sports would save the district nearly $100,000.

    “Travel, coaches, stipends, referees…you have to pay for the usage of facilities,” said Board Chair Ken Traub.  He told NBC Connecticut, Torrington Middle School would still have intramural sports where the students there would form teams and play against each other.  Youth leagues were an option too. He said those ideas might be more practical.

    “Traditionally over the last few years we've had a tough time finding enough middle schools for us to compete with on an interscholastic basis…they don't have the programs,” Traub explained. 

    Those were ideas a lot of parents didn’t agree with.  Saving their kids sports teams was now a top priority. “This is not acceptable and we don't accept it,“ said Melissa Lanczycki.

    Parents planned to sound off on this at a public hearing on Monday, March 24th.  The Torrington Board of Education will make the final decision on the budget next month.

     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Meriden firefighters responded to the report of a propane tank explosion at 194 Camp Street on Wednesday night.

    Roofers working on the commercial building were using propane tanks to heat materials on the roof when and uncontrolled release of gas ignited around 6 p.m., according to fire officials.

    The explosion caused a small fire, but it was quickly put out, fire officials said.

    The building is the former home of Rosie's Cafe.

    Fire officials said no one was injured, but the building did suffer some damage.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Meriden firefighters responded to a propane tank explosion at 194 Camp Street on Wednesday night.Meriden firefighters responded to a propane tank explosion at 194 Camp Street on Wednesday night.

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    The pastor of the Stratford Baptist Church has been arrested, charged with stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly parishioner.

    Robert Genevicz, 67, turned himself in to police on Tuesday.

    Police launched an investigation into Genevicz in May 2013 after more than $170,000 disappeared from the account of a parishioner. Genevicz had been appointed power of attorney and then conservator for the elderly woman.

    Attorney Joseph Mager, the victim's current conservator said the investigation started when a probate judge noticed inconsistencies in Genevicz's financial reporting. A forensic accountant studied the transactions.

    “After an evidentiary hearing, a probate judge had ordered that $103,000 was missing from the estate,” said Mager.

    Mager said Genevicz was ordered to repay that amount in 30 days. When he didn't, Mager filed a civil lawsuit against Genevicz to try to get the woman's money back.

    “It's just awful for this poor woman. Right now, she's in an assisted living facility and her money is dwindling very quickly,” said Mager.

    Mager says he's going to be investigating this new criminal case to see if there was even more money taken from the woman that he didn't know about. He says he’s also heard that police are investigating to see if there are other victims.

    Parishioners at Stratford Baptist Church were stunned by the allegations.

    “He's a great man. Very good. He helps people out,” said Jean Phiri. "I just don't believe this. I don't."

    NBC Connecticut attempted to reach Genevicz at the Stratford Baptist Church, but we were told he was not available.

    “No comments are being made about this at all, and the pastor's not available,” said Robert Yakoubian, a church trustee.



    Photo Credit: Stratford Police/NBC Connecticut

    Robert Genevicz, the pastor of the Stratford Baptist Church, has been arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly parishioner.Robert Genevicz, the pastor of the Stratford Baptist Church, has been arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly parishioner.

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  • 03/20/14--22:00: Teen Climbs to Top of WTC

  • A New Jersey teenager fascinated by the construction of 1 World Trade Center scrambled though a hole in a fence at ground zero in the middle of the night and made his way past several layers of security to the top of the tower, where he took pictures for hours.

    According to court papers, 16-year-old Justin Casquejo told authorities he first canvassed the construction site and figured out the best way to get to the roof.
     
    Around 4 a.m. Sunday, Casquejo sneaked out of his home and headed to lower Manhattan. He crawled through a hole in the fence at the World Trade Center site, then got on an elevator, and, even though he had no identification on him, the operator took him to the 88th floor, the New York Post reported.

    The teen then climbed the stairs to the 104th floor, where the Post says he passed a sleeping guard assigned to cover the top of the tower, got out to the roof and made his way up to the antenna.
    Casquejo wasn't caught until he was coming back down from his two-hour photo excursion. A construction worker spotted him and alerted authorities. He was taken into custody by Port Authority police and charged with misdemeanor trespassing. His camera and cellphone were seized after authorities obtained a search warrant.  
     
    Officials believe the teenager may have donned a hard hat to try to disguise himself as a construction worker, the Post reports. He told the Post he wasn't allowed to talk about the case.

    He waved to an NBC 4 New York reporter outside his home Thursday morning but didn't answer questions. Casquejo is next due in court April 2. 
    His Facebook page is filled with photos of him posing near 1 World Trade Center and mentions a litany of past daredevil exploits. But the fact he was able to get by a security system designed to protect a terror target raises other concerns. 
     
    The Port Authority Police Department, the NYPD and a private security company all are responsible for securing the outside of the site. A private company patrols the interior.
     
    "New Yorkers should be very concerned," security expert Manny Gomez told NBC 4 New York. "That is the number one target for terrorism in the entire planet."
     
    "This isn't impregnable like they say it is," said Gomez, a former Marine and FBI special agent who now owns a New York City security firm. 
    Joe Dunne, chief security officer for the Port Authority, told the Associated Press that any security breaches are taken seriously and will be prosecuted.

    "We continue to reassess our security posture at the site and are constantly working to make this site as secure as possible," Dunne said.

    According to the Post, the guard who was sleeping at the top of the tower was fired. The elevator operator who took the teenager to the 88th floor has been re-assigned.

    Neither the NYPD nor the private companies responded to the Post's requests for comment.

    -- Andrew Siff contributed to this report 



    Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/AP Images

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    U.S. Border Patrol agents from the station in El Centro, Calif., helped rescue a pregnant woman from the perilous currents of the All-American Canal near the U.S.-Mexico border, officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.

    According to the CBP, a concerned citizen flagged down an agent Tuesday around 2:20 p.m. to report a woman in distress in the canal near Anza and Weed roads, just west of downtown Calexico, Calif.

    Agents saw the woman needed help and deployed a rescue throw-bag into the water for her to hold on to. She grabbed on, and agents pulled her to safety, the CBP said.

    Agents soon discovered the woman was pregnant.

    She told authorities she was experiencing numbness in her lower extremities, a possible early sign of hypothermia. Emergency medical crews transported the woman to El Centro Regional Hospital for further evaluation.

    CBP officials said the woman was an undocumented immigrant attempting to enter the U.S. illegally via the All-American Canal, an 80-mile-long waterway known as a deadly passage into America. Hundreds have drowned in this canal while trying to cross the border.

    After being released from the hospital, the woman was transported to the El Centro Sector Border Patrol station for processing on suspicion of illegal entry into the U.S. The woman’s name was not released.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Row after row of red buoys string across  the width of a newer section of the All American Canal near Gordons Well, Calif. where the US Border Patrol agent is parked Monday Dec. 27, 2010.  The buoys have been installed in hopes of saving illegal immigrants who fall into the canal while illegally crossing into the  United States where the border boundary is within 50 yards. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)Row after row of red buoys string across the width of a newer section of the All American Canal near Gordons Well, Calif. where the US Border Patrol agent is parked Monday Dec. 27, 2010. The buoys have been installed in hopes of saving illegal immigrants who fall into the canal while illegally crossing into the United States where the border boundary is within 50 yards. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

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    Hartford police have arrested two people in connection with a 2004 cold case.

    Edgardo Vasquez was murdered early on the morning of July ,, 2004, according to police. He had been shot several times.

    Police said the shooting was connected to a territorial dispute over drug sales in the Ellsworth street area.

    Ishmael Gomez, 28, of Manchester, has been charged with second-degree accessory to murder. Hartford police said Manchester police arrested him as he was driving a cab on Main Street.

    Police identified the second suspect as Carlos Rosario, 31, of Hartford. He is in prison on unrelated charges and will be charged with murder, police said.

    Police aid they obtained new information in the case in August 2013  when Rosario, who was in prison iunrelated charges, confessed to the murder.

    Detective reopened the case and warrants were signed on March 17.

    Police said bond for both suspects was set at $1 million
     



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police

    Police said Ishmael Gomez and Carlos Rosario have been charged in connection with a 2004 Hartford murder.Police said Ishmael Gomez and Carlos Rosario have been charged in connection with a 2004 Hartford murder.

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    Roads in Hartford are reopening and residents are being allowed to return home after a suspicious device was found near 330 Laurel Street this morning.

    A state employee was serving an eviction notice to someone on Laurel Street when the device was found around 8:44 a.m. and police were called to investigate, Deputy Chief Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department, said.

    The area was evacuated and the bomb squad responded.

    Authorities have not yet said the device was, but that it was made to look like a time bomb.

    "It could be a novelty item. It could be real, but that's where we are right now," Foley said during a news conference before crews gave the "all clear."  

    Roads in the area were closed, but are reopening.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 03/20/14--11:09: Ridiculous Bracket Rip-Offs

  • There's no denying that Warren Buffetts’s offer of $1 billion for a perfect NCAA men’s basketball bracket is a genius marketing stunt for Quicken Loans, even though the odds of someone winning it are 9.2 quintillion-to-1.

    The White House used March-Madness hype to tout Obamacare in its own GIF-friendly Affordable Care Act bracket called “The 16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered."

    Others have also piggy-backed on the pop culture frenzy surrounding the tournament. Here are some of the most ridiculous March Madness-style brackets:

    Bodega Cat Bracket

    WNYC is holding a tournament of champions for felines whose job is to catch mice in New York City delis. The radio station is asking people to submit pictures via Instagram and Twitter (#bodegacatbracket) of their favorite neighborhood bodega cat along with details about why that cat is best. The station will choose the “Sweet 16” and open up to the public the vote for top cat.

    Lent Madness Bracket

    A bracket created by Father Tim Schenck of St. John the Evangelist Church in Hingham, Mass., pits 32 saints against each other. The idea is to introduce the holy men and women to Episcopalians in a fun way during the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter, according to Schenck.

    "Well, it's the saintly smackdown,” Schenck told NECN. “We put 32 saints in a bracket and we have them go at it.”

    The draw will get whittled down to a Saintly 16, a Faithful Four, then one Golden Halo winner.

    The Saddest NCAA Pool in America

    The bracket is an office pool contest for “all of America’s unemployed” from RiseSmart, a California- based company providing career management solutions. The Associated Press called the bracket the "saddest NCAA pool in America."

    "The contest gives unemployed people a well-earned break from their job searches and a chance to win popular prizes," RiseSmart said in a release plugging the marketing stunt. "It also gives participants an opportunity to interact with one another and feel re-engaged in the workforce."

    Prizes include: iPad Air, Kindle Fire and Apple TV.

    Jezebel's Drugs vs. Alcohol

    The popular gossip site's bracket pits 32 legal and illegal drugs against 32 types of alcoholic drinks (hard alcohol and "soft stuff" included). In the illegal drugs department, weed received most of the votes, and caffeine was the legal drug favorite.

    On the beverage side of the bracket, margaritas were the hard alcohol favorite. Champagne took most of the votes in the "soft stuff" category.

    Last year, Jezebel's bracket was the '80s vs. the '90s.

    Public Radio Bracket Nastiness

    Southern California radio station KPCC's bracket is decidedly less outrageous and more nerdy than the previous brackets, as it's asking listeners to vote for their favorite public radio shows, including NPR's "Wait...Wait Don't Tell Me,"  "Live Wire!", "99% Invisible" and "The Afternoon Shift."

    The first round of voting, with 32 of the best shows in public radio, closed Wednesday afternoon. The championship voting begins April 5 before coming to a close on Sunday, April 8. The results of the championship bout will be announced April 9.

    Judging by comments on Twitter, the friendly competition has led to an all-out Twitter war.

    "It. Is. On." tweeted NPR's "Fresh Air."

    "I think our new strategy is to lull @NPRFreshAir to sleep, then stab them where they lay. We may not be able to win a fair fight," said Jesse Thorn of "Bullseye," which is distributed nationally by NPR.

    "Snap shall feast on the bones of our vanquished!," tweeted "Snap Judgement."
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    PERU - CIRCA 2002:  St Francis Xavier surrounded by roses, 18th century, by an artist of the Cuzco school. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Cuzco, Museo Del Convento De Santa Catalina (Art Museum). (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)PERU - CIRCA 2002: St Francis Xavier surrounded by roses, 18th century, by an artist of the Cuzco school. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images); Cuzco, Museo Del Convento De Santa Catalina (Art Museum). (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

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    The discovery of two objects spotted in the southern Indian Ocean that could be related to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has a North Texas family "hopeful," but looking for closure.

    North Texas native Philip Wood was one of the 239 passengers on board Flight 370. His family, who lives in Keller, posted the following message on their Facebook page following the announcement by Austalian search officials:

    “Please keep all the passengers and loved ones of MH370 in your positive thoughts and prayers as this latest news report unfolds. Thank you.”

    The Facebook post indicated that the Wood family was aware of the new developments off the coast of Australia overnight and was following along in real time.

    The area being searched in Australia is about 12 hours away from Central Time, and search officials have announced they have stopped the search for the night.

    NBC 5's Jeff Smith spoke to members of Wood family Thursday morning, following the updates from Australian search officials.

    "We’re not going to believe anything until we hear it from an official. So we’re hopeful, we remain hopeful. Of course, this is another new twist," Philip's mother Sondra Wood said.

    Nick Wood, one of Philip's sons, had a similar sentiment. "Nothing has been found, they've stopped searching for the night and they haven't located anything. There's been so many false leads, so many false sightings, that we don't know what to think until they actually confirm something," Nick Wood said.

    Even if the debris lead to the discovery of a tragic end to Flight 370, Sondra Wood said any clear information would be welcome.

    "I want to know. One way or the other, I want to know." Sondra Wood said. "As a mother I want closure. And if indeed this is something that’s happening, we’ll be grateful to know that they found this plane. We’re hopeful. Still hopeful that Philip could be found."

    Philip Wood’s brother, Dan, told NBC 5 over the weekend that he was growing more optimistic that his brother was still alive.

    Wood's girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, also spoke to NBC's "Today" show from Beijing about the new developments, but expressed concern for the families of other passengers.

    “My heart just goes out to a lot of these families because I have a strong support network around me. I have exposure to what all these things mean and I get ample access to good information – and I’m in high stress,” Bajc told "Today."

    “We just finally settled into got into a normal routine of waiting, unhappy waiting but at least we were going back to normal sleeping cycles and getting in and I've continued to teach and work and now this just throws it all, you know, all up in,” she said.

    Bajc also criticized the Chinese media, saying that while she has access to other international news outlets, she understands why some families in China who have state-run media are upset. Bajc said the state-run media was "filtered" just before the satellite feed from her to Beijing was interrupted.

    Wood was in Keller to visit with his two sons, brothers, and parents just one week he boarded Flight 370 nearly two weeks ago. His family says that visit was a blessing.

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: Wood Family Photo

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    A high school senior was groped on her way to Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport this morning and school officials are warning students to stay in "safe corridor" routes. 

    Police said the student was walking behind Luis Munoz Marin School, on the way to the high school between 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. when a man in a car approached her, according to school officials.

    He got out of his car and groped the girl, who was able to free herself from the man’s grip, school officials said.

    The girl was not harmed and ran to school to report the incident.

    School officials said the vehicle was captured on camera, so they are confident they will catch the person responsible.

    The actual incident was not captured on camera because the girl was not walking in a “safe corridor” route.

    School officials plan to warn students to stay to these marked and heavily traveled routes for their own safety.

    They are lined with security cameras, according to school officials.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police said a student was walking behind this school, on the way to Harding High School in Bridgeport, when she was groped.Police said a student was walking behind this school, on the way to Harding High School in Bridgeport, when she was groped.

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  • 03/20/14--10:13: Mystery Tech Tenant

  • Who’s the mystery tenant moving into San Jose's biggest-ever office park? That’s the million-dollar question everyone in Silicon Valley is scrambling to answer.

    Speculation started flying as soon as San Jose city officials approved the 2-million square-foot office project on North First Street and Brokaw Road in North San Jose on Wednesday.

    The list of potential occupants includes everybody from Seattle-based Microsoft and Amazon, to locals Apple, Google and Facebook.

    So far, the only person at City Hall who reportedly knows the name of the company is San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, and he’s not talking.

    "The company name is not something that I can divulge." Reed told NBC Bay Area. "They’ve asked me to keep it confidential and I will, but it’s obviously a pretty big deal for 2-million square-feet, it’s an awfully large space."

    Reed added that it was a Fortune 500 company and people will recognize the name when they finally hear it.

    "It’s a Silicon Valley tech company," he said. "There’s no doubt that there’s plenty of companies growing and we want to keep them here."

    The project’s developers, Palo-Alto-based Peery-Arrillaga who are also behind Stanford's new stadium and the HP and Apple campuses, are not talking either. The firm did not immediately return requests for comment.

    Reed underlined the importance of developing the North San Jose area in a September 2013 traffic impact fee incentive recommendation for large-scale offices and R&D campuses, including Peery-Arrillaga’s proposed project.

    “With its superior urban design features and proposed high densities [the proposed project] is an excellent example of how we can achieve the objectives of the North San Jose Development policy,” the mayor said.

    He added that he was committed to supporting developments such as the Peery-Arrillaga project, which, "when constructed and occupied" will bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to the city.

    Peery-Arrillaga was able to secure permits for the project in just six months and got the city to forgo $4 million in transportation impact fees.

    The scale of the proposed project itself -- it's twice the size of Facebook's Menlo Park campus and more than two-third the size of Apple's planned "spaceship" campus in Cupertino -- has sparked quite a bit of interest. The site, located near Highway 101, where the Bay 101 Casino is located, is expected to house 8,000 to 10,000 employees in 10 seven-story buildings. There are also plans for an activity center with soccer fields and courts for basketball, raquetball and squash.

    Reed says that he doesn't expect the tech pushback San Francisco and Mountain View are currently experiencing, in part because not a whole lot of people live in that area of San Jose.

    "It's going to be a very iconic development for the city and for Silicon Valley," said Steve Piasecki, the city's interim planning official. "...You are going to know where the heart of Silicon Valley is in the not too distant future."

    Although Piasecki said that there was enough infrastructure in place to handle the traffic impact caused by the proposed project, the city has already heared from concerned residents.

    The proposed project is expected to break ground sometime in 2014.



    Photo Credit: Peery-Arrillaga

    A mystery technology company will be occupying 20.05 acres of prime land at First Street and Brokaw Road near the Mineta San Jose International Airport. An artist's rendering is seen here.A mystery technology company will be occupying 20.05 acres of prime land at First Street and Brokaw Road near the Mineta San Jose International Airport. An artist's rendering is seen here.

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    Southington police did not have to go too far to arrest two teens who are accused of robbing and threatening a victim in the parking lot of the police station.

    Southington Police dispatchers were monitoring the video surveillance in the police station’s front parking lot at 6:11 p.m. on Wednesday when they noticed an altercation and asked police to investigate.

    As one car left the scene, dispatchers noted the license plate number and alerted officers, who stopped the vehicle at Lazy Lane and Curtiss Street.

    Police said the victim had been walking through the parking lot of the police station and two teen followed him, police said.

    As the victim got into a car, the robbers approached him, demanded money and threatened to shoot if necessary and kill the victim's family if they were caught.

    They tried to go through the victim's pockets, looking for money, but the wallet was in his backpack. When the victim took it out, a juvenile “snatched” the $20 from his hand and the robbers went to a friend’s vehicle in the parking lot, then left the area, police said.

    Police said the suspects had been in the parking lot, waiting for their friends to finish with some sort of business inside the police station, when they robbed the victim.

    The two other people who were in the car when police stopped it had been at the police station for a different matter and were not aware of the robbery, according to authorities

    The victim identified Corey Maerz, 18, of Southington, and a 17-year-old Southington boy as the suspects.

    Maerz and the juvenile were arrested, brought to Southington Police headquarters and charged.

    The 17-year-old was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree threatening, second-degree breach of peace and sixth-degree larceny. He was transferred to a juvenile detention facility on Wednesday.

    Maerz was charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree threatening, second-degree breach of peace  and sixth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny. Bond was set at $25,000. He is due in court on March 20.
     


    Police said teens robbed someone in the parking lot of the Southington police station.Police said teens robbed someone in the parking lot of the Southington police station.

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    Fire broke out at 88 Prospect Street in Coventry this afternoon.

    The two-family duplex was built in 1886, according to online assessor records.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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