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    The Farmington Fire Department is saying a sad goodbye to Hunter, a search dog who served the department.

    Hunter died after suffering from muscle atrophy, according to the Hartford Courant.

    He was 11 years old.

    “Although Hunter did not work long for the fire department due to his medical condition he did perform a few searches for both the FD and PD. He also worked for a private investigation firm working a political cold case here in CT. Hunter taught me how to be a better K9 handler and trainer," his handler, Deb Monde, said in a post on the Farmington Fire Department’s Facebook page.


     



    Photo Credit: Farmington Fire Department

    Hunter died last weekend.Hunter died last weekend.

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  • 05/09/14--14:14: LA Clippers Get New CEO

  • A former top executive with Time Warner and Citicorp was appointed Friday by the NBA as interim chief executive officer to supervise the Los Angeles Clippers, after the league announced a move to ban owner Donald Sterling after he made racist comments during a recorded conversation.

    Richard Parsons will be hired as the new CEO, Clippers officials confirmed to NBC4. An official announcement followed with a statement from the NBA, indicating the Parson's supervision is effective immediately.

    "I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "Dick's credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility."

    Parsons, who played basketball at the University of Hawaii, is currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners. He sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates.

    At a mid-day practice, Clippers J.J. Redick and Darren Collison said they are not concerned with the front-office move as they are with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The teams are tied at a game apiece in their best-of-seven playoffs series.

    "It's a secondary issue for us," Redick said. "Our main focus is figuring out how to stop Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook."

    Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in Los Angeles.

    The league announced the transitional plan involving a CEO last weekend, just days after the Sterling recording was posted on TMZ.com. The supervisory position is "the best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation," league officials said in a statement.

    "Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers' team, fans and partners have endured," said Parsons in a statement released by the league. "A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending, and I completely support Adam's leadership in navigating the challenges facing the team and the league.

    "The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity. I am honored to be asked to work with them, build on their values and accomplishments, and help them open a new, inspiring era for their team." 

    Clippers co-owner Rochelle Sterling, Donald Sterling's estranged wife, said she supports the decision to install a CEO. Rochelle Sterling also said this week that she plans to fight for her part of the team.

    Silver banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million April 29 for making racist comments. Sterling, the NBA's longest-tenured owner, can have no association with the league or the team.

    The comments were part of a recorded conversation involving Sterling and companion V. Stiviano. On the recording, a man can be heard criticizing the woman for posting online about bringing black friends to games. The man is also heard chastising the woman for posting a photo on Instagram with Lakers great and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson.

    The recording, which an attorney for Stiviano said was leaked by a third party, led to public outcry across the country and the NBA. Some sponsors dropped the Clippers and others re-evaluated their relationship with the NBA.

    Parson's appointment marks the second major personnel move since Silver announced Sterling's ban. Clippers President Andy Roeser announced he will take a leave of absence.

    As for the process of ousting Sterling, a 10-member NBA finance/advisory committee has met twice to discuss the timeline and steps required to remove the 80-year-old Sterling, who has owned the team for three decades. The committee is scheduled to meet against next week as part of a process that might eventually come to a vote by other NBA team owners regarding Sterling's termination.

    Sterling has not commented publicly about the ban.


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    A serious crash has closed Route 8 in Colebrook.

    There are at least four vehicles involved in the accident, according to State Police.

    The road is closed at Colebrook River Road.  It is expected to be closed for several hours, police said.

    State Police called the accident "serious," but did not release any details on injuries.


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    Sometimes the best lessons are the ones we learn from kids like Oliver Ciparelli.

    The 4-year-old from Bethel suffers from Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, a genetic disorder that targets white matter in the brain.

    While his body is busy fighting the disease, Oliver is more worried about fighting villains.

    "Oliver is a super lover of superheroes,” said Denise Musser, Director of Student Activities at Bethel High School.

    Oliver has grown up with Bethel High. His father, Chris, is a social studies teacher and track coach, often bringing his son, super hero cape and all, to meets. It’s that bond that sparked the idea for “Superhero Day,” where staff and students across all five Bethel schools dress up like some of their favorites.

    "He always wears this blue cape with a red 'O,' so we thought it would be cool if we could wear royal blue shirts like him," said Robert Bornn, a senior at Bethel High.

    Bethel High School Principal Christopher Troetti said the school has embraced the motto "Make Each Moment Count," the slogan for all those playing on Oliver’s Team.

    "We have had many events in honor of Oliver,” Troetti said. "They are just a loving family, wonderful people and we pride ourselves on supporting our community members."

    He says today’s super salute is just one more say they can celebrate their real hero.

    Click here for more information on Oliver and how to donate to his family.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Students and teachers in all Bethel Schools dressed as superheroes on Friday to support 4-year-old Oliver Ciparelli, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.Students and teachers in all Bethel Schools dressed as superheroes on Friday to support 4-year-old Oliver Ciparelli, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.

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    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's approval rating is 48 percent as we approach the next election and he is deadlocked with Republican challenger Tom Foley, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday morning

    The big hurdles for the governor include how he is handling the state budget and taxes, including his failed promise to offer $55 tax refunds, according to the poll.

    Voters who participated also said -- 48 to 44 percent – that Malloy does not deserve to be reelected.

    Looking ahead to the gubernatorial election, Malloy is deadlocked at 43 to 43 percent in a battle with Foley, the poll states.

    "It's deja-vu all over again as Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and 2010 Republican standard-bearer Tom Foley remain locked in a dead heat," Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said.

    Malloy edges State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, 44 to 40 percent, and tops Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, 44 to 39 percent, and he leads other little known challengers by margins of 8 to 10 percentage points.

    With one week to go before the Connecticut Republican Convention, Foley leads the GOP pack with 39 percent, followed by Boughton with 9 percent and McKinney with 8 percent. No other Republican has more than 5 percent and 28 percent are undecided.

    Malloy gets a divided 46 to 45 percent favorability rating. Foley's favorability is 36 to 23 percent, with 39 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

    For the other Republicans, anywhere from 71 percent to 84 percent don't know enough to form an opinion.

    "The good news for Gov. Malloy is that the negative headlines about his cancellation of the $55 per person tax refund does not seem to affect his overall approval rating or his standing in the governor's race. The bad news is that almost all the Republicans are within single digits of Malloy, with Foley tied and Boughton and McKinney on his heels," Schwartz said.

    Connecticut voters said -- 60 to 29 percent – that Malloy's planned tax refund was a “campaign gimmick” and never should have been offered, while most voters said it is "fair to return some share of state revenues to taxpayers" when the state finances are good.

    In an open-ended question, 18 percent of those who disapprove of the job Malloy is doing cite taxes as the main reason, while another 18 percent list the state budget or finances as 13 percent cite the economy or jobs.

    Only 21 percent of voters say they are personally better off than they were four years ago, while 30 percent say they are worse off and 48 percent say they are about the same.

    Looking at Malloy's character, Connecticut voters said, 59 to 36 percent, that he has strong leadership qualities, 57 to 33 percent said that he is honest and trustworthy and 49 to 45 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.

    "Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down," Schwartz said. "A bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy."
     


    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's approval rating is 48 percent as we approach the next election and he is deadlocked with Republican challenger Tom Foley, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday morning.Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's approval rating is 48 percent as we approach the next election and he is deadlocked with Republican challenger Tom Foley, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday morning.

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    Virginia State Police said a second body has been found by searchers, but one person remains missing after a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed Friday evening.

    The incident occurred near Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, just south of Fredericksburg around 8 p.m. The balloon was one of three attempting to land in a designated landing area.

    One of the balloons struck a live power line and caught fire. The pilot attempted to extinguish the fire and manage the situation when witnesses said there was an explosion. The balloon and the gondola separated after the explosion.

    Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said searchers worked through Friday night into Saturday morning and found one body. A second body was discovered around 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

    She said the remains were sent to the Chief Medical Officer for autopsy and positive identification.
    She did not release the identity of the victims.

    Searchers are continuing to canvass the area for the third person as well as the basket and balloon. Geller said they would continue overnight if necessary, but they are searching in a heavily wooded, overgrown area.

    Geller said searchers have found debris and specialized teams will be spreading out from that area. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are also on scene.

    The Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival was taking place in the area this weekend. A "Friday Flights Happy Hour" was scheduled for three hours beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

    As of 11 p.m. Friday, festival planners announced on Facebook the rest of the weekend's events are canceled.



    Photo Credit: Carrie Hager Bradley, via Facebook

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    A patient who was battling the first confirmed U.S. case of a deadly new respiratory illness has been released from the hospital, officials said Friday.

    “The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community,” said Dr. Alan Kumar, chief medical information officer, Community Hospital in Munster. “Community Hospital finalized its discharge plan with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indiana State Department of Health, and the patient was discharged from the hospital. We are proud of our medical staff for recognizing and responding quickly to this incident, and we wish to thank the CDC and the ISDH for their assistance and collaboration.”

    The hospital and state confirmed that the patient, who lives in Saudi Arabia and came to the United States on a planned trip to visit family, was the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus in the United States.

    The first tests on those who came in close contact with the patient, including his family members and about 50 hospital employees, have yielded no new cases. Indiana Health Commissioner William VanNess attributed that fact to the swift response by hospital staff and the cooperation of local, state and federal authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "At this point, it appears that MERS picked the wrong hospital, the wrong state and the wrong country to try to get a foothold," VanNess said at a Monday morning press briefing.

    The patient checked himself into Community Hospital on April 28 after feeling ill. Dr. Daniel Feikin, an epidemiologist with the CDC, said the patient works in a hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Ariabia. He flew from Riyadh through London to Chicago on April 24 before boarding a bus to Indiana.

    The man's symptoms appeared after he was in the United States, Feikin said.

    "Although we didn't know where it would happen, we're not surprised that MERS-CoV has come to the United States," said Feikin. "We know that infectious diseases do not respect international boundaries. In this day and age of global travel and trade, infectious diseases can spread almost anywhere."

    Feikin said CDC officials were using the flight manifest to contact about 100 other passengers who were on the plane with the patient. About 75 of them had been reached by Monday morning and none were exhibiting symptoms, he said. Additionally, none of the "about 10" people who were on the bus were symptomic.

    MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused some 800 deaths globally in 2003. Saudi Arabia has been at the center of a Middle East outbreak of MERS that began two years ago. The virus has spread among health care workers, most notably at four facilities in that county last spring.

    Officials said Monday the patient did not recall working directly with a MERS patient in Riyadh but said the hospital where he worked did have some MERS cases.

    Overall, at least 400 people have had the respiratory illness, and more than 100 people have died. All had ties to the Middle East region or to people who traveled there.

    Officials said the disease isn't highly contagious, but there is no cure.
    The MERS virus has been found in camels, but officials don't know how it is spreading to humans. It can spread from person to person, but officials believe that happens only after close contact. Not all those exposed to the virus become ill.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    MERS, a virus that sprang up in the Mideast, has now been reported in the United States.MERS, a virus that sprang up in the Mideast, has now been reported in the United States.

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    For Isaiah McLaughlin, 10, the ramp outside his Bridgeport home was his little bit of freedom. 

    “I use to get into the house and out of the house with it,” said Isaiah.

    Isaiah has Arthrogryposis.  He can't move his hands or legs, but with a motorized wheelchair that he moves with his chin, he can get around.  So when his ramp was stolen last month, Isaiah was stuck at home for days.  He finally was able to get out with some help and go to school.  But it's been tough.

    “I know he can't move, he's wheelchair-bound, but it gave him that freedom that he could go anywhere he wanted,” said Gloria Ramirez, Isaiah’s mom.

    Now, the community is pitching in to help get Isaiah a new ramp.  A fund was set up for Isaiah, and in two days a hundred people raised more than $4700, surpassing the goal of $1500!  NBC Connecticut viewers have also been pitching in.  Some are offering to donate their own ramps to Isaiah. 

    “She's not using it, so of course if there's any way she can help, she's not using it,” said Tiffany Orgill, whose mom, Donna, is willing to donate a ramp she has.

    The plan now is to build a wooden ramp outside his home that can't be stolen.

    “I feel happy because they're going to build a ramp for me and the van,” said Isaiah.

    Isaiah's mom, Gloria, says she's also filled with gratitude. 

    “It puts a smile on my face.  I would do that to the next person, and now I know that someone would do it for me, and it's touching,” said Gloria Ramirez.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A portable wheelchair ramp disappeared from West Haven just before 5 a.m. on Wednesday.A portable wheelchair ramp disappeared from West Haven just before 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

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    Officials are investigating after more than a dozen semi-automatic assault rifles were stolen from a freight train container at a rail yard on Chicago's South Side.

    Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Thomas Ahern said Friday that 13 semi-automatic rifles were stolen from the rail yard near 61st Street and Lafayette Avenue in Englewood sometime between the Sunday morning and Tuesday morning.

    "Hopefully they're not used in a crime and we can recover them before something happens," Ahern said.

    The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport rifles, equipped with 30-round magazines, were being shipped to a licensed federal firearms dealer in Minnesota and were stolen as they were coming through Chicago, according to authorities.

    Community activist Andrew Holmes said he too is concerned about what might happen with the stolen weapons and is demanding the security firm at the scene be removed until the case is resolved.

    "I'm totally upset because if that gun is on the street, that assault rifle, with a 30-round magazine, that can do some damage within less than a minute," he said. "At any given moment, even tonight, 30 to 40 people can lose their life in one spot. I’m holding this railroad yard and the company accountable "

    Ahern said the ATF is working with the Chicago Police Department and Norfolk Southern Corp. on the investigation, but no suspects had been identified as of late Friday afternoon.

    "They're in the wrong hands if they're in the hands of thieves, but we want to prevent guns from moving into more dangerous hands," Ahern said.

    Officials have denounced the use of semi-automatic rifles with high capacity magazines in Chicago most notably after a military grade weapon was used in an attack at a Chicago park in September of last year.

    The news comes after a particularly violent night in Chicago where 15 people were shot within 12 hours.


    The 13 semi-automatic rifles were stolen from the rail yard near 61st Street and Lafayette Avenue in Englewood.The 13 semi-automatic rifles were stolen from the rail yard near 61st Street and Lafayette Avenue in Englewood.

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    Residents who live along a stretch of railroad are demanding action after several close calls with trains.

    NBC Connecticut was first called to the Greenwood Avenue crossing in February, but residents say the problem hasn’t been resolved.

    “I basically pulled up to [this] crossing sign and the sign started to come down on my, on my car,” says David Harvey of Danbury, “I kind of veered into oncoming traffic to get out of the way.”

    Bethel Police Captain David Bruckenthal is aware of the situation.

    “They’ve already done some work on one of our crossings and they are currently working in Danbury on one of their crossings to correct the problem,” says Bruckenthal.

    Those who often travel along Greenwood Avenue, wish the work would move a little faster.

    “What if someone gets killed, than what happens?” says Harvey.

    According to Bethel Police, the situation is being monitored.

    “Metro North has enacted a fairly safe plan, I don't think there's any danger to the public obviously that's our concern our number one concern,” says Bruckenthal.  “Trains stop before the crossing to make sure the gates go down. If they don’t, somebody on the train will get off to make sure traffic is stopped prior to the train proceeding.”

    NBC Connecticut did reach out to Metro North. They referred us to the Connecticut Department of Transportation which is yet to comment.



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    For most of her life, Estelle Sherry has known only that her 22-year-old brother died in Italy during World War II. But thanks to the work of one man she's never met, she now knows what happened to her brother.

    It all started with a letter from Italy and a stranger holding answers for a family who has lived in the dark for 70 years.

    "It's like going through a death all over again," said Estelle Sherry.

    In 1942 Estelle's older brother joined the United States Army Air Forces to fight in World War II. First Lieutenant Herschel Howard Mattes nicknamed his kid sister Steloola, and that's what he decided to name the plane he flew.

    Two years later, after his deployment to Europe, his family was simply told he wouldn't be coming home.

    "He was listed as killed in action. That's all we knew," said Estelle. "We knew it was in Italy. Nothing else."

    That is until Estelle's son, Stephen, received that letter. It revealed what happened to the uncle he's only heard stories about.

    "It's difficult knowing that there are people you have never met and have very little knowledge of and that are lost," said Stephen Sherry.

    The letter came from Dr. Vincenzo Lucherini. He lives in Manziana, Italy, the place he says Mattes died.

    During the war Americans liberated the city from German occupation.

    "He felt any of the Americans who were killed or went down in that town should be honored and back to their families," said Estelle.

    Through correspondence the family discovered that during a mission targeting railway cars the 22-year-old's plane was shot down. It's believed his remains are buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy.

    For most of her life Estelle has wondered what happened, and now a complete stranger has brought her hope her brother may finally come home.

    "In any day and age to have someone who is that kind and concerned I think is amazing. Just amazing," said Estelle.

    Estelle says those with the Department of Defense do believe her brother has been located. The next step is to do DNA testing.

    On Saturday Estelle and her family will meet Dr. Lucherini for the first time.
     



    Photo Credit: Estelle Sherry

    In 1942, First Lieutenant Herschel Howard Mattes joined the United States Army Air Forces to Fight in World War II.In 1942, First Lieutenant Herschel Howard Mattes joined the United States Army Air Forces to Fight in World War II.

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    A relief fund has been set up for the victims shot and killed in Oxford on Wednesday.

    Police said Scott Gellatly, 46, is accused of killing Lori Gellatly, 32, and shooting his mother-in-law,  Merry Jackson, 64.

    The crime at the home on Sioux Drive in Oxford has had a devastating impact on their loved ones, and it has taken a toll on first responders. 

    “It’s been real tough,” said Colin Nash.  The paramedic with Oxford Ambulance was inside the home on Wednesday, minutes after police say Scott Gellatly opened fire.  Nash was desperately trying to save the victims. “These patients needed emergent care and the suspect hadn't been located yet the scene wasn't safe,” Nash explained.

    Gellatly’s estranged wife Lori did not survive.  Her mother Merry Jackson is in stable condition at the hospital, recovering from gunshot wounds.  Court records show both victims had applied for restraining orders against the suspect.  In fact, he and Lori were supposed to be in court the next day for a hearing.

    While the town tries to understand how this could have happened, crews from Oxford Ambulance are stepping in to show their support. “What can we do to help them recover,” Nash said.

    So they just set up a fundraising page to help the Jackson Family. Funeral costs and medical bills could be extensive.  In less than 24 hours, people across the state have donated nearly $2,000.  “We started advertising it on Facebook just yesterday and it has had a great response,” Nash explained.

    For Oxford Ambulance getting involved is also a way for the paramedics to heal. “It's obviously helping us getting over a tragedy like that,” Nash added.

    If you want to donate here is a link from Oxford Ambulance: http://www.gofundme.com/90vlkg.

    Scott Gellatly is charged with murder and attempted murder.  He is being held on bond.
     


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    An 18-year-old has died and two other people are in the hospital after the car they were riding in slammed into a cluster of trees and bushes in Bolton early Saturday morning, according to police.

    According to state police, three young men, two of them teenagers, were inside a Nissan 240SX heading southbound on West Street/Route 85 near Loomis Road in Bolton around 1 a.m. Saturday.

    Police say the car left the road and traveled about 200 feet across a lawn before slamming into trees and bushes.

    Front-seat passenger Cody Morra, 18, of Bolton, was killed in the crash, police said.

    The two other occupants, driver Kyle Christensen, 20, of Bolton and Andrew Leardi, 16, of Columbia were taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment, according to police. Christensen's injuries are described as "incapacitating."

    Authorities are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.


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    A Bridgeport teen is in the hospital after he was shot just before midnight, according to police.

    Police said it happened in the area of Connecticut Avenue and Fifth Street.

    Detectives responded to the scene following the report of a fight and arrived to find the 16-year-old victim bleeding from the head inside a house at 472 Connecticut Avenue, according to police.

    Police said the victim was conscious and told detectives he heard people fighting outside. He looked out the window to see what was going on and was struck by a bullet that pierced the glass, police said.

    The victim was taken to the Bridgeport Hospital and transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital in critical but stable condition.

    Police reportedly found a handgun and shell casings in the yard at 463 Connecticut Avenue.

    Authorities are investigating the shooting. Anyone with information is urged to contact Bridgeport police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police said a man stabbed his coworker in the neck over a dispute about potato chips.Police said a man stabbed his coworker in the neck over a dispute about potato chips.

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    A 23-year-old Winsted man is accused of stabbing a friend repeatedly in his apartment on Friday.

    Police said Louis Colon, 22, and two other friends were at Weston Parent’s home at the Gilbert Clock Shop Apartments on Wallens Street when Parent grew violent.

    Colon told police Parent attacked him “for no reason” and began punching him in the head and face, then retrieved a kitchen knife and stabbed him multiple times. He and the other two guests ran out of the apartment and a neighbor called 911, police said.

    Parent was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. He’s being held on a $100,000 bail and is due in court May 12.

    Police said Parent is on probation for a 2012 robbery conviction.



    Photo Credit: Winchester Police Department

    Weston Parent, 23, is accused of stabbing Louis Colon, 22, at his Winsted apartment on Friday.Weston Parent, 23, is accused of stabbing Louis Colon, 22, at his Winsted apartment on Friday.

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    Just as the Old and New Testaments are distinct yet complementary, such are the past and the future at Somers Congregational Church, opening to the public for the first time since a devastating fire New Year’s morning 2012.

    “It took my breath away when I walked through the door,” said Michelle Young, who lives near the church. “A lot of that has to do with watching it from the ground up.”

    Deacon Pat Jones said the architects “utilized the space so much more efficiently,” combining the trends and technologies of today with the charm of older times.

    “We’ve always had the horseshoe balcony. The spindles on the top of that are now code enforced,” explained pastor Rev. Barry Cass, pointing out the upgrades to one of the church’s distinctive features. “The windows are actually replicas of the old windows. The glass came from the same source.”

    The cross itself also underwent a resurrection of sorts.

    “The cross was made by one of our members, John Johnson, out of a piece of timber from the old building,” Cass said.

    But according to the congregation, the greatest blessing of all is that the rebuilding process brought them together, proving fire couldn’t tear apart a sprit this strong.

    “I just saw how everyone was just pulling together, you know, and our sorrow over it,” said Jones. “It was just heartwarming.”

    Parishioners celebrated Easter Sunday in the brand new sanctuary last month, gathering together for a sunrise ceremony. The new church held its open house today and will host a dedication ceremony next weekend.


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    A former Ledyard school employee was arrested Friday on child pornography charges.

    Webster Holland worked as a technology paraprofessional for Ledyard Public Schools for more than a year. He was let go from his job on December 6, 2013 for reasons unrelated to his arrest, according to a letter from the Board of Education sent to parents on Friday.

    Police began and investigation a week after Holland left the school system after IT personnel discovered what police called "questionable" pictures on a computer at the school.

    The computer was turned over to the Connecticut State Police Forensic Laboratory to be examined. Police secured an arrest warrant for Holland and took him into custody on Friday.

    In the letter to parents, the school board said it is cooperating with the investigation.

    "We share the concern that parents and the public at large will have in receiving this news. As a school district, Ledyard upholds high standards of our staff and anyone working with children," the letter stated.

    Holland is charged with first-degree possession of child pornography and is being held on $50,000 bond.


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    A student-organized vigil was held Saturday evening at Bolton High School to remember 16-year Cody Morra who was killed, and two others who were injured, in a Saturday morning crash.

    Flowers now rest to the side of West Street in Bolton as friends mourn  Morra and pray for 20-year-old Kyle Christensen and 16-year-old Andrew Leardi. Morra was a senior at Bolton High School. Christensen is a former Bolton student, and Leardi is a Bolton High Junior.
     
    "Got right in my car and came out here. It's pretty upsetting," said William Davis, who is friends with all three victims.
     
    "You almost couldn't believe it. It's very surreal. Like even now you still can't believe it," said Austin Bernesoni, who knew them.
     
    Early Saturday morning Bolton Police say the Nissan carrying the three young men traveled off West Street and slammed into several trees.
     
    Police say Morra died at the scene, and Christensen and Leardi were taken to Hartford Hospital. Authorities identified Christensen as the driver.
     
    In a letter informing parents of what happened, the superintendent said district personnel and grief counselors are available.

    "There will be district personnel and grief counselors available to students who need special attention and support... If you feel that your child or family needs some assistance, please contact us, and we will do everything we can to help you,"  said Superintendent Kristin B. Heckt.

    Saturday evening parents and classmates gathered at the high school to offer their thoughts and prayers for the three young men.

    "It's really hard seeing these three guys who grew up in this town, grew up with us, and it's so surreal to see that something happened to them," said Davis.
     
    Friends say Morra was going to Plymouth State University in New Hampshire to play lacrosse.
     
    Just a few weeks earlier he tweeted, "I'm glad I'll be able to look back when I'm older and say high school was awesome."
     
    "He was just so accepting towards everyone, and he just had a huge heart," said Alyssa Cleary, a Bolton High Senior.
     
    "He could have done some big things with his life, and he's going to be greatly missed," said Davis.
     
    The cause of the crash remains under investigation

     


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    Murphy police are investigating a double homicide after two people were found shot to death inside a home on Saturday. Police believe a woman who committed suicide in Dallas hours after the killings was a former romantic partner of the male victim.

    Police said they discovered the bodies of a man and woman inside a single-family home on the 100 block of Sherwood Drive while conducting a welfare check Saturday at 8:30 a.m.  

    Late Saturday, Murphy police identified the victims: Jonathon Masin, 40, who lived at the home and Amy R. Picchioti, 38, who lived in Dallas. 

    "Found in two separate parts of the home, they were partially clothed and barefooted," said a news release by the city of Murphy. Neighbors believe they heard gunshots around 6:30 a.m.

    In a news conference Saturday afternoon the Murphy City Manager revealed that the person of interest, Michele Boyer, 45, was found dead of an apparent suicide in the 100 block of Leda in Dallas.

    The exact motive of the double killing is not known.

    "However, it has been confirmed that Boyer is the ex-girlfriend of Masin and it is the breakup that led to this murder-suicide," said the news release.

    The person who requested the welfare check is the father of one of the victims.

    Maj. Max Geron, with the Dallas Police Department, said Dallas detectives were conferring with Murphy detectives and more details would be released later.

    NBC 5's Christine Lee contributed to this story.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Citizens on patrol helped seal off a crime scene. Two people were found dead in a home.Citizens on patrol helped seal off a crime scene. Two people were found dead in a home.

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    The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded 1,327 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated wholesale value of $20 million Saturday in Miami Beach.

    The drugs were discovered on April 21, when an aircrew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station in Miami spotted a go-fast vessel southwest of the Dominican Republic with suspicious packages on board. The Coast Guard Cutter Spencer sent an armed helicopter and boat crew to intercept the vessel.

    Coast Guard crews found 25 packages on board that later tested positive for cocaine.

    Two suspected smugglers were taken into custody and transferred to law enforcement officials in Miami.

    On Friday, the Coast Guard offloaded $3 million in marijuana and cocaine at the base in Miami Beach. The estimated 2,100 pounds of marijuana and 35 kilograms of cocaine were seized in two operations earlier this month in the Caribbean Sea and near the Bahamas.

    Last week, the Coast Guard offloaded $1.9 million of marijuana in Miami Beach. About $110 million in cocaine was offloaded in April.

    Officials said $22 million in marijuana and $1.8 billion in cocaine were recovered throughout the Caribbean in 2013.


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