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    Vice President Joe Biden will make a trip to Danbury on Thursday, Feb. 21 to attend a conference on gun violence.

    The conference will be hosted by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

    Biden is scheduled to speak.



    Photo Credit: AP

    United States Vice President Joe BidenUnited States Vice President Joe Biden

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    New Haven Police have made an arrest in the January 22 murder of a store clerk.

    Police arrested Milton Daniels Jr., 20, of New Haven early Friday morning after using surveillance footage and eye witness accounts to gather evidence against him.

    On Jan. 22, police responded to a report of a shooting inside the Orchard Market, 778 Orchard St. When they arrived, officers discovered  Abdul Ghani El-Rawas with gunshot wounds to his back and arm.

    El-Rawas was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Around 10:50 a.m. on Feb. 15,  police  issued an arrest warrant for Daniels for an unrelated 2012 larceny charge. While searching his home, they found evidence linking Daniels to the murder.

    Daniels was arrested and charged with Felony murder and Murder. He is currently being held on a $2 million bond. He is due in court on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

     

     


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    New Haven police are investigating a double shooting that happened outside the Taurus Cafe on Winchester Avenue early Friday morning.

    The bar has been a problem spot for criminal activity in the past.

    The gunfire broke out just before closing time outside the bar, according to police. Two people were shot. They're not believed to be the intended targets, police said.

    "They did find about five different shell casings outside. They were all the same caliber," said Officer David Hartman, of the New Haven Police Department.

    This was not the first problem outside the bar.

    The facility has had a troubled criminal past with drug dealing inside and other shootings outside, according to police.

    The city successfully pushed to have the bar shut down in the past, only to see it regain its liquor license and reopen.

    "The Taurus Club is in a highly residential neighborhood, predominantly residential, and it would stand to reason if the club wasn't there the problems associated with what goes on outside probably wouldn't exist either," said Officer Hartman.

    The bar is owned by Larry Livingston. NBC Connecticut was unable to reach him for comment.

    State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield, who is also a candidate for mayor, lives right down the street from the bar and has been outspoken about the place in the past.

    "We live here. This is where we want peace and if you can work together with the neighbors and the police to make sure that happens then it's fine and if you can't do that then it becomes a problem for us," said Holder-Winfield.

    For now, the bar remains open as the search for the suspect goes on.

    The victims are expected to recover from their injuries.

     

     



    Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

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    On a day that had a lot of people talking about meteorites and asteroids, a fireball of some sort was seen streaking across the Bay Area skies.

    The fireball was seen around 7:45 p.m.

    Sightings of the fireball were reported across the Bay Area and large areas of the West Coast.

    It was bluish in color and appeared to be heading straight to the ground, according to one viewer in Santa Clara which is located in the center of Silicon Valley.

    Meteors are pieces of rock and metal from space that fall to Earth. They burn up as they go through Earth's atmosphere, which is what apparently  caused tonight's bright flash of light.

    "I saw that meteor/fireball over Solano County after spending the day reporting on asteroids and fireballs," said NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez.

    Candice Guruwaiya told NBC Bay Area on Facebook she saw it in San Jose, located in the south end of San Francisco Bay. "I was leaving Safeway on Branham and Snell when I saw it. It looked like it was headed for the Capital Auto Mall area. It was a bright green when it first appeared, then it went to a bright yellow. It was awesome!" Guruwaiya posted.

    Gina Johnson also saw it in San Jose. She also posted on NBC Bay Area Facebook page that she had just walked out of a food market. "It looked just like the one I saw back in October except it was a little smaller. It was greenish in color just like the one on October. Everyone in the parking lot stopped and looked at it," Johnson posted

    It comes on the same night a 150-foot-wide asteroid was due to come within 17,200 miles of Earth. It was not immediately clear if the fireball had any connection to the asteroid.

    Chabot astronomers in Oakland said the meteor was not related to the asteroid passing near Earth.

    Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, said he did not see it, but based on accounts he thinks it was a "sporadic meteor." Sporadic meteors bring as much as 15,000 tons of space debris to Earth each year, according to McKeegan. 

    He said it was likely smaller than another meteor that landed in the Bay Area in October, which caused a loud sonic boom as it fell.

    It also happened about 24 hours after a huge meteorite fell from the skies over Russia's Chelyabinsk region, resulting in a powerful blast that injured nearly 1,000 people and shattered windows across the area.

    Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva told the Russian news agency Interfax that 985 people in her city asked for medical help and 43 were hospitalized.

    Many of the injuries were reportedly from broken windows as a result of a sonic boom that followed the initial impact of the meteorite.

    Someone posted the following on YouTube within an hour of the fireball sighting.

    The video was titled "Shooting Star across San Francisco 2/15/2013 7:44PM."  The person who posted it said he was driving south on I-280 toward the peninsula.

     


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    Unfortunately for the security at Denver International Airport, furry troublemakers are invading their large parking lot.

    Officials with the U.S. Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services in the Denver area claim that rabbits are chewing wires under the hoods of cars, according to the Los Angeles Times. The animals are causing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in damage.

    Although officials have been removing 100 rabbits from the area every month, the damage continues. The persistent presence of rabbits can be attributed to the fact that the airport is surrounded by a prairie and the rabbits look to the vehicles for warmth and food.

    "They come to the recently driven cars for warmth, and once they're there, they find that many of the materials used for coating ignition cables are soy-based, and the rabbits find that quite tasty," Wiley Faris, a spokesman for the nearby Arapahoe Autotek repair center, said.

    Apparently nearby apartment buildings have also been complaining about the animals. "A lot of people have called us," Faris said. "They return to their cars and either they won't start or they don't run well because the wires are all chewed up."

    The perpetrators were identified by fur and pellets they left behind.
     
    The damage the rabbits cause can be very serious due to repair costs that can run into the thousands and are often not covered by insurance. Airport officials also say parking permits specify that they are not responsible for damages, putting the burden on the driver.

    "I see at least dozens every morning. They go hide under the cars, and the cars are warm," airport shuttle driver Michelle Anderson told CBS Denver.

    Although the rabbits have caused problems, officials have only received a handful of complaints according to Laura Coale, a spokeswoman for the airport.

    "We have 53 square miles of land," she said. "We had 4.3 million parking transactions in 2012, and we only received three claims. People are not coming to us. They go to the newspaper and say their damage happened here. Why here, versus any other place in Colorado?"

    Officials are exploring ways to help solve the problem, including fencing, perches for hawks and eagles, and even coating wires with coyote urine.

    "Predator urine is a good deterrent," Faris said. "Either coyotes or foxes. And you can pick it up at any professional hunting shop. That stuff can take care of the critter damage pretty quick."


    The rabbits are looking for food and warmth from cars in the lot.The rabbits are looking for food and warmth from cars in the lot.

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    One of three women hit by a car in Southington has died.

    Yan qiao "Joanne" Chen, 23, died on Friday, according to police.

    Chen and two other women were walking on Queen Street when a car hit them near the Outback Steakhouse around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.  The car fled the scene, police said.

    The two other victims,  Huai “Emily” Liu and Yang “Rita” Hong, 23-years-old and of Southington, suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries.  Liu remained hospitalized at St. Mary's Hospital in stable condition.  Hong was released from the hospital on Thursday.

    Police said the evading vehicle might have been an SUV, possibly white or red, and was last seen traveling north on Queen Street.

    Anyone with any information about the crash is asked to call Officer Timothy Wilk at (860) 621-0101, (860) 378-1600 x2352 or send an e-mail twilk@southingtonpolice.org.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    One woman is in critical condition and two others were injured in a hit-and-run.One woman is in critical condition and two others were injured in a hit-and-run.

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  • 02/15/13--14:55: Snow in Weekend Forecast
  • A strong cold front will cross the state early Saturday morning bringing snow showers a quick burst of snow.  An area of low pressure will form on this front and move up the eastern seaboard.

    All of Connecticut will see a fresh coating of snow by Saturday morning totalling 1-2 inches. 

    A second round of snow will begin to fall Saturday night and is forecast to last through Sunday morning.  The second round of snow could dump another few inches, bringing the two-day total to anywhere from 2 inches to 6 or 7 inches of snow by Sunday.  Eastern Connecticut has the biggest chance to see higher snow amounts. 

    This will create some slick and challenging travel on Saturday evening.  The snow amounts will depend on exactly where the low pressure system forms on Saturday night.   If the storm center forms 150 miles east of where it is forecasted right now, we get very little snow, if any.

    You can watch the interactive radar here.

    See closings and cancellations here.

    You can upload weather photos here.

     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Two rounds of snow will bring anywhere from 2Two rounds of snow will bring anywhere from 2" to 7" in Connecticut by Sunday.

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    New Haven police made an arrest in the shooting death of a store clerk.

    Investigators said Milton Daniels Jr., 20, of Harding Pl., is behind the robbery-turned-homicide that happened last month on Orchard St.

    Daniels is accused of walking into the Orchard Market, robbing it, then shooting Abdul Ghani El-Rawas, 55, twice. El-Rawas died from his injuries.
    "It's a senseless crime to take someones life for 40, 50 dollars," said Robert Durham.

    Police said surveillance photos and evidence obtained from Daniels' home linked the suspect to the crime.

    "I don't know if he did it or not, but it still has to be proven. But, if he did do it, I'm glad they caught him," said George Robinson.

    Satish Patel, a store clerk who works near the crime scene told NBC Connecticut he was also glad a suspect was caught, because the shooting had him on edge.

    "I had to minimize my hours...I had to watch every person who walked in...even if it's a good person or a bad person."

    Daniels has been charged with murder and felony murder. He's scheduled to be arraigned in court next week.
     


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    Thousands of dolphins spanning across 7 miles of ocean were sighted off the coast of San Diego on Thursday, a boat captain told NBC 7 San Diego.

    Capt. Joe Dutra of Hornblower Cruises said he saw a “super mega-pod” of common dolphins Thursday around noon while he was on his daily tour. He said the pod was more than 7 miles long and 5 miles wide.

    Dutra said the boat tour followed the pod for more than an hour and said he’s never seen anything like it.

    “When you see something that is honestly truly beyond belief,” the captain said.

    Guests aboard the boat started screaming and pointing when they first saw the school of adult and juvenile common dolphins. Dutra estimated there were about 100,000 dolphins swimming in the area.

    “They were coming from all directions, you could see them from as far as the eye can see,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff out here… but this is the biggest I’ve ever seen, ever.”

    Whale and dolphin watching tours have done particularly
    well this year, with dozens of animal sightings reported.

    Marine mammal expert Sarah Wilkin said the reason the large pod might be there is because there’s plenty of food in the area, including sardines, herring and squid.

    “They’re attracted to kind of the same thing, they might wind up in the same place,” she said.

    Though dolphins typically travel in groups of 200 or less, Wilkin said “super-pods” are not unheard of.

    “They’re definitely social animals, they stick together in small groups,” she said. “But sometimes, the schools come together.”

    Dutra, who’s been boating for decades, said he felt lucky to enjoy such a rare phenomenon.

    “You had to be there to experience it,” he said.  “It was truly spectacular.”



    Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Antonio Ramirez

    Antonio Ramirez who was aboard a Hornblower Cruise on Thursday snapped this photo of the dolphins swimming in a Antonio Ramirez who was aboard a Hornblower Cruise on Thursday snapped this photo of the dolphins swimming in a "super mega-pod."

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    Jeremy Evans didn’t win this year’s dunk contest, but he did manage to leave his mark on the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk contest at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

    In his first dunking attempt in the final round, the Utah Jazz power forward brought out an easel with a large picture covered in a black cloth, according to NBC Sports. He placed it inside of the restricted area and proceeded to run and perform a left handed dunk over it.

    Afterward, he removed the black cloth and revealed a painting depicting himself dunking in midair over the black cloth covered easel.

    He got the idea for his creative dunk from one of his coaches.

    “Actually, a player development coach helped me out with that,” he said. “He knew I was a painter, so why not do that?”

    Evans created the painting himself, taking a week and a half to finish. It wasn't completed until the night before the contest because he wanted to ensure the ball that appeared in the work was accurate.

    Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors was given the trophy for 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk champion, getting 58 percent of the vote from fans. But Evans' performance will not be forgotten.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz jumps over a painting of himself in the final round during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, a part of 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Toyota Center on February 16, 2013 in Houston, Texas.Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz jumps over a painting of himself in the final round during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, a part of 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Toyota Center on February 16, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

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    Candy Martin watched on television as her family's burned to the ground on Tuesday during what turned out to be the end of the Christopher Dorner manhunt. She took NBC4 on an exclusive tour. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2013.

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    San Diego held a party for a 25-foot tall couple along the eastern waterfront of the Port of San Francisco Saturday as the sculpture "Unconditional Surrender” was welcomed with a public dedication.

    A large crowd of people celebrated the giant sculpture many call the "Kissing Statue" or "The Kiss"  in downtown San Diego Saturday.

    “We are in San Diego, we have the greatest number of veterans and active duty of any community in the nation,” San Diego Mayor Bob Filner said. “This belongs here.”

    Filner and a number of public officials spoke, a military band played and many couples took their own pictures re-enacting "The Kiss" in front of the statue.

    The infamous embrace starring a sailor and a nurse is an iconic image of the end of World War II. 

    Port Commissioner Lou Smith said he’s always seeing young people whose parents weren’t even born before 1945 taking photos in front of the sculpture.

    “This is the most magical place of all,” Smith said. “Whoever sprinkled pixie dust on it did a great job.”

    It made its grand return on Wednesday morning – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    For the ceremony, the theme of renewing love continued when nearly a dozen couples renewed their vows at the foot of the statue.

    David Moore flew bombing runs over Germany in World War II.

    He said he and his wife, Claire, remember seeing the embrace on the news after the end of the war.

    They joined the couples in renewing their vows.

    “It’s very sentimental,” Moore said of the public sculpture.

    When he sees it, he thinks of how happy he was that they could get back to civilian life.

    David and Mary Flohr, engaged in 1947, also renewed their vows Saturday. The couple has three children 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren all living in San Diego.

    John Sax, who served in the South Pacific in World War II as well as in Korea, was very happy to see the statue return.

    He called it, “a perfect example of people showing their love of the serviceman."

    "Unconditional Surrender" left San Diego last May. That statue was owned by Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation and was on loan to the Port from 2007 to 2012.

    Since then, more than $1 million was raised through public donations to bring a permanent replica back to the bayfront.

    Bill Craddock is a member of San Diego’s Pearl Harbor Survivors. The chapter, one of the largest in the nation according to Craddock, has 42 members here in San Diego.

    As for the controversy over whether the statue is a worthy piece of public art, he has this to say.

    “Art lovers don’t love it but the people love it and that’s what counts,” he said.


    Couples renew their vows as the statue is officially welcomed back to San DiegoCouples renew their vows as the statue is officially welcomed back to San Diego

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    Both sides of I-95 were closed this morning  after State Troopers discovered that numerous vehicles had lost control on the untreated, snowy roadway. 

    Troop G responded to the area of Exits 41-43 in West Haven around 2:30 Sunday morning. There they discovered an excess of 12 collisions involving approximately 30 vehicles and 26 complaints of injuries.
     
    Fire departments from West Haven, Milford and Orange and police from West Haven and Milford assisted Troop G.
     
    The interstate was closed for approximately two hours before reopening around 4:30 a.m.

     

     



    Photo Credit: Conn DOT

    I-95 in West Haven was shut down for hours Sunday morning after dozens of cars were involved in accidents.I-95 in West Haven was shut down for hours Sunday morning after dozens of cars were involved in accidents.

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    State Sen. Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the contest to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress Sunday and threw her support behind former Rep. Robin Kelly.

    The move comes just nine days before the Feb. 26 election and intends to advance Kelly in the 2nd District Special Democratic election race after the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political action committee reportedly spent nearly $2 million on ads for Kelly.

    "I have said from day one that this campaign is not about me or any one person; it’s about moving America forward and standing with President Obama to create new jobs and safer communities," Hutchinson said in a statement. "Robin is a friend, and has captured momentum in pulling our community together."

    Hutchinson's announcement comes in light of a recent news report detailing Hutchinson's alleged payments to her mother as a campaign consultant. 

    Joyce Washington, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 2nd, said the campaign payments bear too many similarities to former scandals from Illinois politicians.

    “We hear the same tired, stale explanations from Ms. Hutchinson that we heard from the other professional politicians,” Corey Dabney, Washington's campaign manager, said in a statement. “’It’s all perfectly legal,’ they say. Isn’t that what they all say?”

    After a funding scandal brought down Jesse Jackson Jr., Washington said Illinois voters are ready for a change.

    "The only way to break the never-ending cycle of scandals and to bring honest and integrity back to government is to elect a reformer, an outsider, and someone from outside the corrupt system," Washington said in a statement.

    Hutchinson was also in the line of fire along with former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson for past support from the National Rifle Association after Chicago became a center figure in the debate on gun control.

    "While Senator Hutchinson and I haven’t agreed on everything, we have a strong mutual respect, share a passion for public service and dedication to the people in Chicago and the Southland," Kelly said in a statement. "In Congress, I will work with Senator Hutchinson, President Preckwinkle and other leaders throughout our district to get guns off our streets and bring jobs to our neighborhoods.”

    Kelly announced via Twitter that she'd raised more than $200,000 from 500-plus individual donors.
     
    Other supporters of Kelly hope to work hard against gun violence and applaud Hutchinson's move.
     
    “This election is too important for our party to remain divided," Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky said in a statement. "I’m thrilled that Senator Hutchinson has joined me today in supporting Robin Kelly’s campaign for Congress. I applaud her for doing what is best for the Democratic Party today and joining the Kelly campaign so Robin can go to Washington to work with me and President Obama for common sense gun safety laws.”
     
    Hutchinson's move also puts supporter Cook County Board Preisdent Toni Preckwinkle behind Kelly.
     
    "I’m proud of Toi for agreeing to put voters before her own ambitions," Prekwinkle said. "Robin is a strong leader and will thrive in Congress. I wish her all the luck in the world and I know we will work closely together on issues of mutual importance to our Southland constituents.”
     
    Of the now 21 candidates, five are Republican: Lenny McAllister, Beverly Reid, Paul McKinley, James H. Taylor Sr., and Eric Wallace.
     
    A complete list of the candidates is posted on the State Board of Elections web site.
     
    A special primary will be held on February 26 and the general election is scheduled for April 9.

     



    Photo Credit: Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund

    State Sen. Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the contest to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress Sunday and threw her support behind former Rep. Robin Kelly.State Sen. Toi Hutchinson dropped out of the contest to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress Sunday and threw her support behind former Rep. Robin Kelly.

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    Police arrested a man after he forced his way into a first-floor apartment Sunday in New London.
     
    Police arrived at at 49 Garfield Ave. and learned that a struggle had ensued between the suspect, Hector Ortega, 30, and one of the residents after Ortega foreced his way inside their apartment.
     
    The resident suffered minor injuries.
     
    Ortega carried a piece of metal rebar and wore a hat pulled over his face to conceal his identity. He was arrested without incident after leaving the apartment.
     
    Ortega was charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, carrying a dangerous weapon, second-degree reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
     
    He is held on $100,000 bond pending arraignment on Tuesday.

     


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    Japanese Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area prepare to commemorate the incarceration of thousands during World War II during a Day of Remembrance this Sunday in San Francisco's Japantown.

    The Day of Remembrance, an annual event to be held in memory of the internment camps that held around 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent, features the words and memories of survivors, but organizers said it is as much about the present as the past. They say it is important to realize the same thing could happen today.

    In Los Angeles, Day of Remembrance events were held on Saturday, at the Japanese American National Museum.

    Rev. Michael Yoshii, pastor of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, said many in the Japanese community see parallels between the internment camps of World War II and the treatment of those in the South Asian and Arab communities in the years since 9/11. "Our story is connected to the stories of other communities as well," said Yoshii, who has worked to build alliances with the Muslim community.

    "We need to be vigilant about protecting civil liberties." While Japanese Americans felt deep sympathy for the victims of those terrorist attacks, they also felt the need to speak up for those who were vulnerable, said Yoshii, who will receive the 2013 Dr. Clifford I. Uyeda Peace and Humanitarian Award at Sunday's event.

    "For us, there was another narrative," Yoshii said. "We had seen something different because of what happened to our families in World War II."

    Several of those who will speak at Sunday's event at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco also testified 25 years ago before the Commission on Wartime Relations in favor of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

    The law, signed by President Ronald Reagan, provided redress and reparation payments for survivors of the camps and their families.

    Some, however, were excluded. Grace Shimizu, the daughter of Japanese Peruvians who were kidnapped by U.S. forces and brought to the United States during World War II, said that around 2,200 Japanese Latin Americans were brought to the United States in similar circumstances as part of a hostage exchange program.

    However, they were not granted redress, and their survivors are still fighting for recognition.

    Shimizu drew a parallel between the kidnappings, which also affected Germans and Italians in Latin America, and recent reports of "renditions" of terrorism suspects to military prisons and to other countries. She noted that the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act allows the indefinite detention without trial of both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism.

    "The government is taking liberties," Shimizu said. Sunday's event will be dedicated to the memory of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a key player in the fight for redress and reparations. A decorated veteran and the longest-serving Japanese American in Congress, Inouye was also the longest serving Japanese American in Congress until his passing in December of 2012. Congressman Mark Takano, D-Riverside, the first openly gay person of color to serve in Congress, will also attend and pay tribute to Inouye on Sunday.

    Sunday's event is free, and will take place at 2 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco's Japantown. A reception will follow at 1840 Sutter St.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grace Morizawa

    This is an history photo from Grace Morizawa.This is an history photo from Grace Morizawa.

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    South Floridians who happened to be looking in the right place at the right time Sunday night saw one spectacular light show – possibly a sporadic meteor.

    The Coast Guard began getting flooded with phone calls about 7:30 p.m., with reports of folks seeing flare-like objects from Jacksonville to Key West, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Laberdesque.

    People called in, describing the flares “as orange or red fireballs in the sky,” Laberdesque said. The display was limited to the sky: No injuries were reported, Laberdesque said.

    Watch Video: Streak Lights Up Night Sky Across Fla.


    A sporadic meteor is basically a rocky object that comes from the asteroid belt, said Mike Hankey, operations manager for the American Meteor Society, based in Genesee, N.Y. The group logged 27 reports within about the first two hours of the event, he said.

    "This is a lot of reports to come in quickly," Hankey said. 

    Gauging by the reports, it happened somewhere over the ocean.

    "These fireballs are common," Hankey said. "It’s rare for any one person to see one more than once or twice in their lifetime. But on any given night, it might happen somewhere in the globe a few times in a day."

    Hankey added: "People should not be scared of the sky falling or anything at all."

    Fireball Streaks Across Bay Area Sky

    Amanda Mayer, of West Palm Beach, said she saw something in the sky and said she thought it was somebody flashing a light. She said she hit record on her camera.

    "I was like, 'Wow! That's weird," Mayer said. "I just started videotaping, and that's when it happened."

    It turned out to be good timing: The ball of light appeared as she recorded, she said.

    "I was pretty sure it was a meteor because of everything else that's been happening," Mayer said.

    The Coast Guard said it had suspected Sunday's sighting was a meteor shower, but Hankey disagreed. "Meteor showers usually are much dimmer and faster moving," Hankey said. 

    WATCH: Explosion Lights Up Russian Sky

    After a meteor exploded overhead near Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Friday, reportedly injuring more than 1,000 people, many people elsewhere in the world have wrongly thought that streaks they've seen in the sky, including planes, are meteors, Hankey said.

    "We’re getting a lot more false reports," Hankey said.

    But with false reports, the group tends to receive only one report describing an incident, Hankey said. If the same event is reported over and over in five or 10 minutes, then that’s more likely to be "a legitimate event,” or sporadic meteor, Hankey said. 

    In South Florida Sunday night, the Coast Guard found that the light streak vanished in an instant. The Coast Guard sent out a helicopter to check out a report of a flare near the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, but found nothing there, Laberdesque said.

    South Floridians React to Russia Incident

    If you captured an image or video of Sunday's ball of light, send it to isee@nbc6.com


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    Ex-LAPD officer-turned-fugitive Christopher Dorner, who went on a deadly shooting rampage and then died after a shootout and fire last week, first tried to charm fishermen in San Diego into giving him a ride to Mexico, sources told NBC 7 San Diego.

    Dorner, 33, led authorities on a massive manhunt after allegedly killing an Irvine, Calif., couple and a Riverside police officer in a crime spree across Southern California that began on Feb. 3.

    Dorner's deadly crimes were allegedly part of a revenge-filled plot he outlined in an online manifesto targeting law enforcement officers and their families.

    Timeline: Revenge-Plot Slayings | Map: LAPD Manhunt

    Authorities searched for Dorner all over Southern California — from Irvine to National City — and led extensive checkpoints at the San Ysidro border, believing Dorner was trying to flee into Mexico.

    Fishermen at Driscoll Wharf told NBC 7 San Diego exclusively that Dorner was on the pier near Nimitz and Harbor Island Drive on Feb. 5 trying to charm his way into a boat ride to Mexico.

    "He kept saying he wanted to go fishing off Mexico. I said 'Mexico? That’s kinda weird. You could go fishing on the bay,'" said Jeremy Smith, a local commercial fisherman.

    Smith spoke exclusively with NBC 7 San Diego on Saturday night.

    Smith and others at the dock said Dorner was willing to pay $200 to $400 for someone to take him out to sea. He told the fishermen he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan and just wanted to go fishing in Mexico first.

    But at this pier, far away from popular fishing charters, most people were making repairs on their boats, not ready to go to sea.

    Smith offered to show him around a luxury yacht that was for sale docked at the pier. But he asked him to remove the military style boots Dorner was wearing to keep the white carpeting clean. Dorner declined.

    "Maybe he had a gun," Smith guessed. "Usually people want to see inside."

    Dorner's request for a ride surprised some local fishermen, including Roy Sherman.

    "I’ve been down here for 40 years and he’s the first guy that came down here and asked for a ride," said Sherman.

    San Diego Police Lt. Andra Brown said she was not aware of this particular Dorner sighting in San Diego.

    "We’re not going to discuss details of an ongoing investigation," Brown said, and referred questions about the incident to the Irvine Police Department.

    Several other law enforcement sources — not in the San Diego Police Department — confirmed the man described by local fishermen was likely Dorner.

    Dorner did spend time in San Diego between Feb. 4 and Feb. 6.

    A surveillance video taken behind an auto parts store in National City on Feb. 4 shows Dorner tossing bullets, a uniform and other items that linked him to the Irvine double-homicide into a dumpster.

    After spending an hour at the pier the next day, the fishermen said Dorner left, but returned with fish tacos for Smith, hoping that would convince the fisherman to help him find a charter.

    The witnesses reported Dorner was very friendly, always with a smile on his face, calling himself "Mike."

    The man who called himself "Mike" told Smith a story about a friend who was having problems with the police and said his friend had been fired.

    "I think he was talking about himself, now that I think about it," added Smith.

    Dorner eventually left peacefully without his ride to Mexico, the group of fisherman said.

    Driscoll Wharf is adjacent to Naval Base San Diego on North Harbor drive.

    Smith said Dorner returned to the wharf on Feb. 6 but still couldn't find anyone to take him to Mexican waters.

    That same day, a man fitting Dorner’s description tried to steal a boat from a San Diego marina, according to officials. An 81-year-old man on the boat was tied up but uninjured. The would-be boat thief was unable to steal the boat and fled.

    Later that night, police issued Dorner's description, and the fishermen said they notified authorities of their encounter.

    Today, fishermen on Pier 6 at Driscoll Wharf are amazed the kind man who brought them fish tacos on Feb. 5 was the dangerous fugitive accused of fatally shooting four people, including a police officer and a sheriff’s deputy.

    The 10-day manhunt for Dorner ended on Feb. 12.

    After barricading himself in a Big Bear-area cabin, he died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said. That cabin went up in flames during a shootout between Dorner and officers, and the fugitive's charred remains were later found inside.


    NBC 7's Chris Chan reportsNBC 7's Chris Chan reports

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    Connecticut's second-highest court will hear arguments in the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez who's appealing his five corruption convictions.

    The hearing before the state Appellate Court is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Perez's arguments include insufficient evidence and mistakes made by the trial court judge.

    Perez, Hartford's first Hispanic mayor, was convicted in 2010 of receiving a bribe from a city contractor in the form of home improvements and trying to extort a $100,000 payment from a developer.

    Authorities said Perez paid $20,000 for $40,000 worth of home improvements, but only after he was questioned by a grand jury.

    The Democrat was sentenced to three years in prison but has remained free on an appeal bond.
     


    The dealings of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez could become public depending on a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court.The dealings of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez could become public depending on a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

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    U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is in Toulouse, France for the beginning of this week to lead an aerospace business development trade mission.

    The three-day mission takes place from Monday, Feb. 18 to Wednesday, Feb. 20 and will connect nine Connecticut precision manufacturers to senior procurement officials at Airbus, Goodrich Aerostructures, Aircelle, Liebherr, and DGA Techniques Aéronautiques, according to a news release from Blumenthal’s office.

    The senior Senator from Connecticut is joining the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Connecticut District Export Council in leading the mission to Toulouse, which is considered the aerospace hub of Europe.

    AdChem Manufacturing Technologies, AeroCision, Alpha Q Inc., Capewell Components, Jonal Laboratories, Microtech, Pegasus Manufacturing and SPX Precision Components are participating and this will be the first introduction many of the companies have to Airbus and their top tier suppliers.

    “I am proud to join these nine manufacturers in showing the European aerospace market the ingenuity, quality and value that Connecticut precision manufacturers can provide. It is my hope that this visit will help these outstanding companies expand their work internationally and add jobs here in Connecticut,” Blumenthal said.

    The trip is part of the National Export Initiative that President Barack Obama announced in January 2010 to double exports over five years.

    The cost of Blumenthal’s attendance is being sponsored by the non-profit Connecticut District Export Council.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: (L-R)  Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) participate in a news conference about preserving Medicaid funding during the WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) participate in a news conference about preserving Medicaid funding during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill December 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. The legislators were joined by representatives from major unions and policy organizations in calling on the White House and Congressional negotiators to protect funding for Medicaid, a health program for people and families with low incomes and resources. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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