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    Getting to work could wait til after the Feb. 9 blizzard for most of us, but Heather O'Bright and Julio Ortiz say they could not wait.

    "We felt the obligation to do it," said Ortiz, a management major at Central Connecticut State.  "We needed to feed these residents and we needed to do this walking, just for them, so they cannot go hungry."

    He and his girlfriend, Heather O'Bright, an elementary education major at Central, work in the kitchen at Monsignor Bojnowski Manor, a nursing home in New Britain.  They were on the phone with each other and two other workers at 4 a.m. during the blizzard, and decided they had to walk to work through the waist-deep snow and punishing winds..

    "I made it," said O'Bright, who's had three knee operations after playing sports at New Britain High. "I slipped and I fell down in the snow a couple of times and just rested my legs because my knee was bruised.  It's still bruised."

    Ortiz made it too, and along with the other two workers they served hot maple cereal, omelettes and toast to the residents.  The four of them didn't leave til Sunday night.

    "Heather is really amazing," said Ortiz.  "I felt really bad at the beginning but I told her I was really proud of her for doing it."

    Besides the praise, he served up a Valentine's Day dinner and a dozen roses for her.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Doug Greene

    Heather O'Bright and Julio Ortiz walked to the nursing home where they work during the Blizzard of 2013.Heather O'Bright and Julio Ortiz walked to the nursing home where they work during the Blizzard of 2013.

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    Milton Daniels, Jr., 20, stood in front of a judge Tuesday shaking his head slightly as prosecutors outlined the case against him.  Police say Daniels shot and killed Abdul Ghani El-Rawas during a robbery last month at Orchard Market.

    "I can call him a lowlife.  To walk in for 60 or 70 bucks, take a life of someone who never did harm to the community," said Adib Chouiki, a friend of El-Rawas.

    Friends of El-Rawas say they're relieved his alleged killer is behind bars, but still can't believe that someone would take the life of a man who even detectives learned was so loved in the community.
     
    When they were doing their investigations, they were talking to the neighborhood, and everybody spoke very highly of him.  He never had a problem with anybody.  He was just a hardworking person, who works to make a living and serve the community," said Chouiki.
     
    Police say Daniels lived in the area and went to the store a few times that January day before robbing it.  They also say Daniels had a warrant out for his arrest for a previous larceny charge.
     
    "He was known to us.  Not to do robberies at the time.  We received information from a credible source that he may have been involved in the robbery, and as we did with all the information we received from sources regarding the incident, detectives ran down the information," said Assistant Police Chief Archie Generoso.
     
    Daniels was arrested Friday and charged with felony murder.  His family was in court for his arraignment.
     
    "As far as him being my son, this is surprising, it’s shocking that he did what he did.  I’m sorry to the family of the victim for what happened, from the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry.  We’re just going to pray for him right now," said his father, Milton Daniels, Sr.

    Daniels is being held on $2 million bond.  He'll be back in court next month.
     


    Milton Daniels, Jr., 20, shot and killed New Haven store clerk, Addul Ghani El-Rawas nearly a month ago.Milton Daniels, Jr., 20, shot and killed New Haven store clerk, Addul Ghani El-Rawas nearly a month ago.

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    Over 100 Bridgeport Citizens crammed into the City Council chambers Tuesday demanding explanations and even an apology from Mayor Bill Finch after his handling of the Blizzard of 2013. Some are even calling for his resignation.

    Finch called the special meeting to hear the community’s complaints and suggestions but many still did not get a chance to be heard, despite the extra hour of time added to the meeting.

    The large majority of the people in attendance spoke out about what they regarded as a slow and painful process of removing snow from Bridgeport streets.

    Some residents became tired of waiting and took to the streets themselves, shovels in hand.

    Bridgeport property appraiser, Maria Pires asked, “Do we get a refund on our taxes because we had to go out there and clean our own snow?”

    Although many who spoke were angry and disappointed with the Mayors response, some residents were more understanding.

    “It's nature,” Joseph Sabo stated. “You have to deal with it and overall the mayor did a good job.”

    Connecticut’s second largest city was hit with some of the largest recorded snow fall during the blizzard.

    "You're my boss,” said Finch.  “I listen to you and I will listen as long as you're polite and when you're not polite I won't listen anymore. This was the largest snowfall ever recorded since 1888 and it overwhelmed our mechanical and human systems.”

    Finch plans to take all of the feedback, both positive and negative, to help review the City’s snow removal process to see where improvements can be made.

    But for residents like Clyde Nicholson, who lost business because of the botched snow removal process, apologies just won’t cut it.

    "If he had the nerve to do this to us, he should have the ability to say I quit. I cannot do this job.”

     

     


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    On Tuesday, NBC Connecticut got a first look at a deadly police raid that killed an unarmed man in Easton nearly five years ago.  The family of the man who died just settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit.  It said police were completely unreasonable with their response that day, and there was no need for deadly force.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters obtained police video that showed officers drive up to a home on Dogwood Drive in Easton in March 2008.  The SWAT team could be heard throwing several flash bangs” through the windows.  Then there was the sound of multiple gunshots.  Gonzalo Guizan was killed after he was shot multiple times.

    Neighbors told NBC Connecticut police went way too far. “This was overkill,” said Drew Clark.

    Guizan’s family just settled a lawsuit with five towns police responded from.  It said he was at his friends home that afternoon, and someone called police because they were supposedly smoking crack cocaine inside. 

    A SWAT team was sent to search the place, even though there was no history of violent crime there.  “It looked like the Russian army had approached,” Clark described.

    The suit claimed police never announced they were there.  They supposedly threw in explosives with no warning, and broke down the door. 

    This allegedly happened while Gonzalo Guizan and his friend Rob Terebesi watched television.  Documents showed the two crouched down so they did not get hit with glass. That’s when an officer apparently stormed in and opened fire. 

    Guizan was shot at least six times, but the suit said he and Terebesi had no weapons.  Neighbors questioned if excessive force was used.  “Based on what I saw...yeah,” Clark added.

    Investigators ruled the shooting was justified, but it was a raid that cost five towns more than $3,000,000.

    None of those towns would comment on the lawsuit.  Rob Terebesi is also suing, but he would not comment either, his lawyer said it was still in litigation.
     


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    Marine Gen. John Allen, the former top American commander in Afghanistan and President Barack Obama's nominee to lead U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, announced Tuesday that he will retire from the U.S. military after 38 years of service, citing personal reasons.

    "While I won't go into the details, my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who has sacrificed so much for so long," he said in a statement. "For more than 35 years, my beloved Kathy has devotedly stood beside me and enabled me to serve my country."

    He added that it was "profoundly sobering" to consider the amount of time he has spent away from his two daughters over the course of his career.

    His decision comes just weeks after his name was cleared in an investigation into his conduct with Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite who was linked to scandal that ended David Petraeus' career at the CIA.

    President Barack Obama said he accepted the request, calling Allen one of the nation's finest military leaders and a true patriot.

    For full politics coverage, visit NBCNews.com.

    Last week, NBC News cited three U.S. officials in reporting that Allen had been likely to withdraw his name for the nomination to be the next NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

    Allen did not want to put his family through a nomination process that would bring up the Kelley emails, several military officials also told NBC News.

    In an interview with the Washington Post Monday evening, Allen said that the probe, which examined his relationship with Kelley and had investigators combing through batches of his emails for signs of inappropriate behavior, had taken a toll on his wife, who suffers from chronic health problems including an autoimmune disorder.

    "For a long time, I told her, 'When you can't bear this anymore, just tell me and I'll drop my [resignation] letter right away," Allen told the Post. "Now I need to be the one who takes this out of her hands."

    A four-star general, Allen was a key player in the development of Afghan troops and transitioning of power from international forces to local security forces as the U.S. began its drawdown.

    Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who worked closely with Allen during his tenure, said that "his leadership over the last 19 months will long be remembered as pivotal to this campaign" in Afghanistan. "The strategy he developed and implemented has put us on the right path towards completing this mission, with Afghan forces now on track to step into the lead for security nationwide this spring and to assume full security responsibility by the end of next year."

    Here is President Obama's statement on Tuesday:

    Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family. I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Allen presided over the significant growth in the size and capability of Afghan National Security Forces, the further degradation of al Qaeda and their extremist allies, and the ongoing transition to Afghan security responsibility across the country. He worked tirelessly to strengthen our coalition through his leadership of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and to improve our relations with the Afghan government. Above all, he cares deeply for the men and women in uniform who serve our nation - as well as their families - and I am grateful for the sacrifices made by his family in supporting him during his service. John Allen is one of America's finest military leaders, a true patriot, and a man I have come to respect greatly. I wish him and his family the very best as they begin this new chapter, and we will carry forward the extraordinary work that General Allen led in Afghanistan.

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - This July 22, 2012, file photo shows U.S.  Gen. John Allen, top commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, during an interview with The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan.FILE - This July 22, 2012, file photo shows U.S. Gen. John Allen, top commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, during an interview with The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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    The owner of a store in Bridgeport was rushed to the hospital after being shot during a robbery attempt.

    The shooting occurred inside East Side Sport at 959 East Main Street, according to police.

    The victim has been identified as Felix Reyes, 65, the owner of the store, according to Felipe Reyes, the victim's son.

    A  masked man walked into the store around 10:10 a.m., pulled a gun, and in Spanish, told Felix Reyes that he was robbing the store.  Reyes was not willing to hand over the money and was shot once in the waist, according to Felipe Reyes.

    Felix Reyes was rushed to the hospital.

    "My father's in stable condition.  Thank God they shot him in the waist," Felipe Reyes said.

    Police continue to search for the gunman.


    Police responded to East Side Sport at 959 East Main Street in Bridgeport after the store's owner was shot during a robbery attempt Tuesday morning.Police responded to East Side Sport at 959 East Main Street in Bridgeport after the store's owner was shot during a robbery attempt Tuesday morning.

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    Old Saybrook police are looking for a man in connection with an assault on a 7-month-old baby.

    Keith Loftus, 31, is accused of shaking the baby violently, causing the child to suffer life-threatening injuries, according to police.

    Authorities began an investigation in September, after the baby was taken to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital with injuries consistent with abuse, police said. Hospital staff alerted Old Saybrook police, because the baby's mother, Crystal Dorothy, lives in Old Saybrook.

    According to police, Loftus was Dorothy's boyfriend, and cared for the infant while Dorothy was at work. The alleged abuse happened over several days in September while the child was in the care of Loftus, according to police.

    Loftus and Dorothy made up a story about how the child was injured, police said.

    After a lengthy investigation, police arrested Crystal Dorothy, 26, Tuesday. She is charged with risk of injury to a minor, providing a false statement and interfering with an officer. A judge set Dorothy's bond at $100,000.

    Police continue to search for Loftus. He is wanted on charges of first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, interfering with an officer and conspiracy to commit a false statement.

    Anyone who has information on Loftus' whereabouts should call Old Saybrook police at 860-395-3142.

     

    The child recovered from the injuries and is currently in foster care, police said.


    Keith Loftus (right) is accused of assaulting a 7-month old baby in Old Saybrook.  The baby's mother, Crystal Dorothy (left), is accused of lying to police about how her child was injured.  Police arrested Dorothy but were still looking for Loftus on Tuesday.Keith Loftus (right) is accused of assaulting a 7-month old baby in Old Saybrook. The baby's mother, Crystal Dorothy (left), is accused of lying to police about how her child was injured. Police arrested Dorothy but were still looking for Loftus on Tuesday.

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    Middletown Police are investigating a stabbing at 56 Summer Hill around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday that sent one person to the hospital.

    Police said this appears to be domestic incident.

    The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

    No arrests have been made.
     



    Photo Credit: Steve Miller, NBC Connecticut

    Police are investigating a stabbing in Middletown that sent one person to the hospital.Police are investigating a stabbing in Middletown that sent one person to the hospital.

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  • 02/20/13--10:07: Armed Robbery in Somers
  • State Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Extra Mart at Routes 190 and 186 in Somers.

    Two men in their early 20s robbed the store around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, according to state police. An employee called police at 11:36 p.m. to report that an armed robbery just happened.

    One man had a knife, placed it to the clerk's throat and demanded the combination to the safe, according to police.

    When clerk told the robber he did not know the combination, the robber ordered the clerk to open the cash register and demanded money while the other man acted as a lookout, police said.

    The robbers grabbed an unknown amount of cash and ran toward Hall Hill Road.

    Police said they seized video surveillance that shows a man with the knife who was wearing blue jeans, a blue hooded sweatshirt and white sneakers.

    The other man was wearing blue jeans, a dark coat and a red, black plaid winter hat.

    No injuries are reported.

    State Police ask anyone with information about the robbery to call State Police at 860-896-3200.
     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Police released this surveillance photo from the the Xtra-Mart at 169 Main St. in Somers.Police released this surveillance photo from the the Xtra-Mart at 169 Main St. in Somers.

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    Carlos and Barbara Landeros only wanted a little Valentine's Day romance.

    So last Thursday, the Bay Area couple decided to drive to San Francisco for a swanky romantic dinner. And of course no romantic outing would be complete without a pre-dinner trip to the Golden Gate Bridge. But as soon as the Landeroses pulled neared the bridge, Barbara spotted a black camera bag without an owner in sight.

    With tourists running to and fro, she and Carlos stood guard over the bag in hopes the owner would soon return.

    "We wait about 45 minutes before we picked up the bag," said Barbara Landeros at her Vallejo home. "Because we didn't know who it belongs to."

    With no one returning for the bag, Barbara eventually decided to take a peek inside. At first she saw a camera lens, then credit cards, then an envelope of cash — lots of cash.

    "I got nervous at first, it could be drug money," she said. "I was scared."

    The Landeroses finally decided the thing to do was take the bag to San Francisco's Hall of Justice to turn it in to the police.

    "He said 'good for you guys,'" she recalled of the policeman who took the report. "'I'm proud of you.'"

    It turns out that wad of cash inside the bag was no small sum.

    It totaled $11,060.42. Police used the credit cards to trace the bag to a visiting Chinese tourist in San Francisco.

    Mark, who didn't want his last name used, said he was excited to get the call from police. "When the officer give me everything, and he said happy Valentine's Day," said Mark, who was in the last day of vacation before returning to China.

    He said he was carrying the cash for several families who were traveling together and that he forgot the bag after posing for family photos on the bridge.

    "I think somebody who pick it up and return," he said, "it really is someone very, very kind in heart."

    Mark said he tried to call the Landeros family to thank them but had the wrong phone number.

    So he piled his family into a rental car and drove out to their Vallejo home to thank them personally. Only they weren't home.

    He said he finally reached them by phone and was able to thank them. He also put a check in the mail with a reward.

    It seems Mark's Valentine's Day ended a lot better than Barbara and Carlos'. After spending hours making a police report, they hit rush hour traffic heading back to their home in Vallejo. Valentine's Day dinner ended up being a snack at McDonald's next to the police station.

    Still, Barbara said she believes in karma and was happy not to invoke any of the negative kind — and she figured she and Carlos at least got a few photos and a story out of their day.

    "So my heart is rested now because the people got their money and their bag," she said.


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    The Joint Committee on Transportation will be meeting on Wednesday and one of the bills up for discussion would require drivers to be certified in CPR.

    The goal behind the proposed bill, number 6054, is "to increase cardiac arrest save rates by requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation training prior to the issuance of a motor vehicle operator's license.”

    The bill would prohibit the commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing or renewing a driver’s license if an applicant has not received a civilian certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    State Rep. Diana Urban, of North Stonington and Stonington proposed the legislation, which has generated hundreds of comments on the NBC Connecticut Facebook page.

    Some question whether the state will pay for the certification.

    Others said the state should not be able to force people to learn CPR, it should be a choice or left to the professionals.

    Some people feared the diseases performing CPR could lead to.

    Some also brought up the liability for lawsuits.

    “I see lawsuits claiming that bystander drivers had a duty to act and try to save people in accidents. It could make some feel obligated to put themselves in dangerous positions in an attempt to help.” one person posted.




     


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    A Texas woman who was arrested after calling 911 to ask for cigarettes now admits it was a frivolous request and says she regrets it.

    Linda White, 48, of Granbury, Texas, called 911 at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 11 and asked deputies to make a delivery.

    "I need some cigarettes," she said in a recording of the call.

    On Tuesday, she apologized and tried to explain.

    "We were just kicking it in the back yard — a few beers too many," she said. "Next thing you know, we're out of cigarettes. Well, I didn't want to drive to town. ... I was drunk, you know, but in my back yard.

    "Who's the safest person to call?" she asked. "Your police department, I thought."

    Drunk or not, the sheriff's office said 911 is reserved for emergencies.

    "A call for deputies to bring cigarettes to the resident is not an emergency call," Hood County Chief Deputy Biff Temple said.

    Two deputies responded and found White and her boyfriend, Gary Roberts.

    "I just saw bright lights and knew," White said.

    Roberts said he knew White was in trouble.

    "I knew, because I told her, 'Somebody is fixing to go to jail,'" he said.

    White was booked on a charge of abusing 911, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

    She was released on bond about six hours later, she said.

    "I am deeply sorry for what I did," she said in an interview outside her home. "I'm embarrassed. It's not me.

    "It is kind of funny," she said laughing.

    White added that she learned the hard way not to call 911 with a frivolous request.

    "They don't deliver — they pick up," she said.

    Listen to the 911 call (Warning: explicit language):



    Photo Credit: NBC 5

    Linda White, 48, of Granbury, Texas, has apologized for calling 911 and asking for cigarettes.Linda White, 48, of Granbury, Texas, has apologized for calling 911 and asking for cigarettes.

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    If you are planning on driving through Missouri City, Texas, be cautious.

    The Houston suburb has implemented a "crash tax" that requires drivers to pay a fee for their wrecks, according to KHOU 11 News in Texas.

    The fee is meant to cover the cost of first responders who handle auto accidents. The charge can cost drivers a couple thousand dollars.

    Missouri City's Fire Department will begin charging for traffic accident service on March 1.

    All drivers involved with the incident will be charged, even if they didn't phone for help.

    The amount of the charge depends on how severe the accident is, ranging from $500 to $2,000, according to KHOU 11 News. The fees target drivers responsible for accidents, but not everyone feels the fee will be effective.

    Fire Chief Russell Sander told KHOU the new fee will help cover the city's budget deficit. When asked to address concern over the charge, he said bills will be sent to insurance and shouldn't concern drivers.

    A third party company handles the billing for the new fee and estimates say that the city will gain an extra $50,000 a year with the new measure, according to KHOU.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Design Pics RF

    Missouri City, Texas, will charge a fee of up to $2,000 for service for first responders.Missouri City, Texas, will charge a fee of up to $2,000 for service for first responders.

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    A Chinese businessman agitated by a polluted river devised a plan to address the problem. He is offering an environmental official $32,000 to swim in the dirty water, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

    Jin Zengmin, chief executive of a eyeglasses retailer, will reward the official if he remains in the water for 20 minutes. His plan is to bring attention to the environmental concerns in China's eastern province.

    He announced the dare on Sina Weibo, a China microblogging site similar to Twitter.

    “If the environmental protection bureau chief dares to swim in [Ruian's] river for 20 minutes, I will pay  200,000 yuan [$32,062],” Jin wrote.

    Jin also posted three photos of a river in Ruian, a small town in the east coast of China. In the photos, trash can be seen blocking the river's flow. Jin claims a rubber overshoe factory is to blame for refuse and industrial waste. 

    Villagers used to use the river to wash vegetables and clothes during his childhood, Jin said to Chinanews.com.

    When asked for a comment, Ruian’s environmental protection bureau chief, Bao Zhenmin, reportedly said that there was in fact a problem with pollution with the river, however he placed blame on the villagers, not the factories.

    “Overpopulation of this region is the main reason behind the pollution…[The population] has largely exceeded the local environment’s capacity,” Bao told Chinanews.com.

    Apparently there will be a new water recycling system put in place within three years that includes proper facilities for trash disposal, Bao said.


    [FILE] Entrepreneur Jin Zengmin wants to bring attention to environmental concerns in China's eastern province.[FILE] Entrepreneur Jin Zengmin wants to bring attention to environmental concerns in China's eastern province.

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    West Haven police have arrested a 25-year-old local man suspected of vandalizing several buildings, bridge abutments, highway underpasses, railroad cars and facilities throughout the city and as far away as Boston and New York.

    Police said Christopher R. Loso, 25, of Tuthill Street in West Haven, is suspected of causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage and several other police departments are looking into whether he is responsible for property damage in their communities.

    Loso was arrested after a lengthy investigation and charged with five counts of criminal trespass and 14 counts of criminal mischief.

    He is due in court in Milford on Feb. 26.

    Police said several other arrests warrants on other individuals associated with Loso are pending with more arrests are expected.

    In May, police released this photo and asked people with information about the tagger to call police.


     


    Christopher R. Loso is suspected of graffiti in Connecticut and beyond.Christopher R. Loso is suspected of graffiti in Connecticut and beyond.

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    Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on Wednesday pleaded guilty in federal court to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds, while his wife pleaded guilty to a tax offense.

    It was Jackson's first public appearance since taking medical leave last summer for treatment of bipolar disorder.

    Jackson acknowledged in court that he spent $750,000 of campaign cash on personal items — like a $4,600 Michael Jackson fedora and a $1,500 black-and-red cashmere cape, according to the charges against him — and pleaded guilty to several charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements.

    "I love everybody back home," Jackson told NBC 5 Chicago after he entered his plea. "I'm sorry I let them down."

    Jackson told Judge Robert Wilkins the charges are an "accurate statement" of what he did, and when asked how he wishes to plead, answered "Guilty, your honor."

    "For years I have lived off my campaign and used money that should have gone for my campaign," Jackson told Wilkins.

    The charges require a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and an order of restitution. Because Jackson accepted responsibility, he is eligible for a lesser sentence of between 46 to 57 months and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000. The final decision, though, will be with the judge.

    "I'm not bound by the sentencing guidelines," Judge Wilkins said, noting he cannot go beyond the maximum of five years. "The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and they are something I am bound to consider."

    "I don't know what sentence you're going to get," Judge Wilkins said. "You don't know what sentence you're going to get."

    Prosecutors said Jackson knew the unlawful nature of a "shared or unlawful plan" that he willfully joined. When asked if he committed the offenses described by the prosecution, Jackson acknowledged he did.

    Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Jackson acknowledged that by pleading guilty, he waived his right to a jury and trial. "I am freely aware of the fact that I am giving up my right to trial," he said.

    He was ordered to surrender his passport and report to pretrial services weekly. He can travel outside of the Washington, D.C., area but can only live at either his D.C. or Chicago address pending sentencing.

    When asked by the judge whether Jackson's hospitalization for bipolar disorder affected his ability to understand the charges, he responded, "I fully understand the consequences of my actions."

    After the hearing, Jackson attorney Reid Weingarten told reporters "there will be another chapter in Jesse Jackson Jr.'s life."

    Weingarten said Jackson has "serious health issues" that have been discussed with the courts.

    "Those health issues are directly related to his present predicament," he said. "That's not an excuse, it's just a fact. Jesse has turned a corner there as well and there's reason for optimism."

    Weingarten said they expect fairness in the sentencing process, noting Jackson should get credit for contributing much to his community.

    At this point, Jackson's biggest concern, Weingarten said, are his kids.

    "Jesse's many things, including being a terrific father: He has two small children, and we are hopeful that in short order or at least in reasonably short order, Jesse again will be a full-time, wonderful, caring, devoted dad."

    Hours later, his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty before the same judge to falsifying a tax return and reporting less income than she made. That charge carries a maximum prison sentence of three years, but her lawyer said the plea agreement calls for significantly less time.

    Jackson resigned last month from her elected position as Chicago's 7th Ward alderman. For years, she received a $5,000 a month check from her husband as his political consultant.

    She entered the courtroom earlier in the day holding hands with Jesse Jackson Jr. when he entered his plea.


    Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson arrive at federal court.Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson arrive at federal court.

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    An elderly woman died in a fire at an apartment complex in Thompson Wednesday.


    The fire at 500 Riverside Drive, in the Pineview Court apartment complex, was reported just after 7 a.m. and it was contained to one apartment.

    The complex is home to senior citizens.

    Firefighters searching for victims found Anita Jarvais, 92, dead in the apartment

    The State Fire Marshall is investigating the fire.
     


    Anita Jarvais, 92, (inset) died in a fire at the Pineview Court apartment complext in Thompson on Wednesday.Anita Jarvais, 92, (inset) died in a fire at the Pineview Court apartment complext in Thompson on Wednesday.

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    A New Haven man who was in court to support a murder suspect was arrested when the victim of an unrelated shooting pointed him out as the shooter. 

    Shamont Wright, who also goes by Gordon, was in court on Tuesday morning to support Milton Daniels Jr., 20,  who is accused of  shooting and killing Abdul Ghani El-Rawas during a robbery last month at Orchard Market, according to police.

    At 10:30 AM, the victim of a home invasion and shooting on Elm Street in New Haven on Jan. 11 pointed Wright out to a state marshal and identified him as the man who shot him in the calf during the home invasion and pistol-whipping him in the forehead, according to police.

    Police apprehended Wright, 21.
     


    Sharmont Wright was arrested in court on Tuesday.Sharmont Wright was arrested in court on Tuesday.

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    A new year, a new 'do — and a new official portrait.



    Michelle Obama's new official White House portrait was unveiled Wednesday, replete with the bangs she has called her own take on a "mid-life crisis."



    In the more intimate new photo by Chuck Kennedy, the first lady is seated in a relaxed pose against a green upholstered chair and a green wall.



    Compare the new shot with the official portrait taken in 2009, and the new one is much softer. Her hair is a softer black, she is lit by softer light and her famously toned arms are contained in a long-sleeved seamed black top.



    The 2009 photo, taken by Joyce Boghosian, showed the first lady standing somewhat stiffly at a table. In it, she was wearing a two-strand pearl necklace and a watch.



    This time around, she is wearing a single strand of pearls, and her engagement and wedding rings are visible.

    Below are the new portrait and the 2009 one:


    Official White House Portrait by Chuck Kennedy

     

    Official White House Portrait by Joyce N. Boghosian



    Photo Credit: Office White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy/Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

    First Lady Michelle Obama's official White House portrait in 2013, left, with her official portrait from 2009, right.First Lady Michelle Obama's official White House portrait in 2013, left, with her official portrait from 2009, right.

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    Black ice is causing problems for the morning commute on Wednesday.

    There are freezing patches on roads after rainfall yesterday and some flurries on Wednesday morning.

    Several spinouts have been reported.

    The state Department of Motor Vehicles reports major road incidents online here.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Cameras

    This spin-out was on Route 9 in Cromwell.This spin-out was on Route 9 in Cromwell.

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