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    A plan to have unarmed students patrolling the campus of Towson University in Maryland on foot has sparked accusations of racism. 

    The planned patrols are the brainchild of senior Mathew Heimbach, who also happens to head a group called the White Student Union.

    Heimbach has written on his blog that Towson is experiencing a “black crime wave” with “black predators” preying on the “white majority student body.”

    "Just like I wouldn't be offended if -- when you talk about serial killers, the average serial killer is a blue-collar, educated white male," Heimbach told News4's Jim Rosenfield.

    "It doesn't offend me to be able to talk about the facts," Heimbachsaid.

    Other students disagree. One black student told Rosenfield, "I thought [Heimbach's statements were] racist, but they have their freedom of speech."

    "Certain things are just ingrained in you by your cultural values and what you were taught as a kid," a white student said.

    Heimbach's group is not university-sanctioned, but it has attracted the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists the White Student Union on a so-called "hate map" of white supremacist groups.

    "I'm not a future leader of hate," Heimbach says. "What I want to do in my entire life is enter seminary and become an Orthodox priest."

    Heimbach hopes to begin the patrols early next week.


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    A male teacher and coach at the prestigious Miss Porter’s School for girls in Farmington has been arrested, and charged with three counts of sex assault and the charges state that the victim is a student.

    Joseph Prem Rajkumar, 42, of Farmington, was arrested on a warrant on Monday, according to a Farmington Police press arrest log.

    Rajkumar was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth degree sex assault. 

    The offense dates are listed as May 2010, December 2011 and February 2012 and all three charges state that the accused is a school employee and the other person is a "student enrolled in a school in which the actor works, or a school under the jurisdiction of the local or regional board of education which employs the actor."

    Miss Porter’s is an elite and internationally acclaimed boarding and day school for girls with some high-profile alumnae, including Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Gloria Vanderbilt.

    The status of Rajkumar’s current employment with the school is not clear, but an e-mail from Miss Porter’s said it is the school’s practice to only confirm employment dates of past employees.

    The dates of employment were not included in the e-mail.

    A post on Miss Porter’s Web site from August 2009 welcoming new faculty stated that Rajkumar works in the science department and joined the school from Conserve School in Wisconsin, where he served as a physics/mathematics instructor for eight years. He also coaches junior varsity soccer and track.

    He is being held on $500,000 bond and is next due in court on April 9, according to court records.
     


    A student at the prestigious Miss Porter School in Farmington has been accused of sexually assaulting at least one student.A student at the prestigious Miss Porter School in Farmington has been accused of sexually assaulting at least one student.

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    The Human Rights Campaign's logo supporting same-sex marriage, a pink equal sign inside a red square, went viral on Tuesday and turned into a meme by Wednesday morning.

    HRC originally posted the symbol, a riff on their regular logo, on Monday, asking people to use it as their profile pic on Facebook. It soon popped up all over the social media site, and within 24 hours had more than 15,000 likes and 55,000 shares.

    The release of the logo was timed to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing arguments this week in cases challenging California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    Like any virus, as the logo has spread, it's evolved, as artist, activists, and even giant corporations have given it their own spin.

    Bud Light made the equal symbol out of two beer cans, United Against Homophobia used wedding bands, and Martha Stewart served up a slice of red velvet wedding cake with the caption "Equality is truly sweet."

    Former "Star Trek" star George Takei, who has a huge Facebook following and has been in a same-sex marriage since 2008, has posted different takes: Yoda, vampire fangs, Edward James Olmos from "Battlestar Galactica" beneath the motto "So Say We All," and Paula Deen astride two sticks of butter.

    And then their were more organic versions, like a Passover-friendly one sporting two pieces of matzo, one featuring Grumpy Cat, one inspired by the work of Mark Rothko, a twist on the logo of punk legends Black Flag, and others featuring Divine, the Statue of Liberty kissing Justice, and the Impressive Clergyman from "The Princess Bride."

    And yes, there's a bacon version.


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    Dozens of firefighters responded to a a fire at 84 Barry Circle in Bloomfield Wednesday morning.

    Crews from Bloomfield, Blue Hills and Windsor were called to the Windsor Crossing Apartment Community around 9:45 a.m.

    The fire started in the kitchen and spread to the second floor of one of the apartment units, according to fire officials.

    A family of six, including four children live in the apartment.  No one was home when the fire broke out.  Nadine Perne,  who lives there,  returned home from dropping her children off at school when she saw the flames.

    The apartment was significantly damaged and the family will not be able to return tonight, fire officials said.

    The Red Cross is assisting the family.

    Four other families were displaced from their apartments, according to fire officials.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Firefighters responded to a fire at the Windsor Crossing complex on Barry Circle in Bloomfield Wednesday morning.Firefighters responded to a fire at the Windsor Crossing complex on Barry Circle in Bloomfield Wednesday morning.

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    A U.S. Senator is getting involved in a dispute a Connecticut nutritionist has with Monster Energy Drinks.

    Dr. Deborah Kennedy, of Guilford, runs Build Healthy Kids and recently received a cease-and-desist letter from Monster in response to her newsletter cautioning parents against the drinks.

    “Dr. Deb,” as she's known, has also appeared on the Dr. Oz show, where she has touted the potential health risks of energy drinks for children.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he wants to know why Monster would target Dr. Deb and he will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at his office in Hartford.

    Blumenthal said the news conference will be to “discuss recent actions Monster Beverage Corp has taken against Dr. Deb in retaliation against a newsletter she drafted for elementary school students and their parents cautioning against energy drinks and sugary beverages.”

    The New York Times reported last week that Monster is objecting to statements Kennedy made in her newsletter, calling them defamatory and materially damaging to the Monster brand.
     
    Kennedy told the Times that she never mentioned the Monster brand and was stunned by the threat to sue.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of adverse health effects, including  illness, injury or death, of people who took products marketed as “energy drinks” or “energy shots.”

    The FDA Web site includes a report of voluntary and mandatory reports on 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy Drink from January 1, 2004, through October 23, 2012. You can view the report here. 



     



    Photo Credit: NBC 5

    Monster Energy is taking on a local nutritionist and Sen. Blumenthal is supporting the nutritionist.Monster Energy is taking on a local nutritionist and Sen. Blumenthal is supporting the nutritionist.

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    A Connecticut Roman Catholic priest accused of taking selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine will plead guilty to one charge against him.

    Msg. Kevin Wallin, the 61-year-old former pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport, is accused of receiving shipments of crystal meth from a California distributor and selling it to an undercover officer six times between September 2012 and January 2013.

    He resigned in 2011 citing health and personal issues and was suspended from public ministry last May by the Diocese of Bridgeport.

    According to court documents, Wallin had a crystal meth addiction and sold the drug out of his Waterbury apartment as well as the parking lot of Land of Oz in North Haven, an adult specialty store and smoke shop, that he bought in the fall.

    He pleaded not guilty in December. According to a court filing, Wallin is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to sell methamphetamines.

    He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Hartford next week.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A former Bridgeport priest has been arrested, accused of selling drugs.A former Bridgeport priest has been arrested, accused of selling drugs.

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    On Tuesday night, Honda revealed that its new Odyssey would feature a vacuum cleaner built into the vehicle. No longer will you have to struggle with dust busters, cigarette lighter adapters, extension cords or coin-operated vacuums to clean up after the kiddies.

    "I thought it was a joke at first," concedes Peter De Lorenzo, founder of Autoextremist.com. "And then I thought about it, and I guess for some people it might float their boat, but I think it's kind of ridiculous. But people with vans do different things… maybe it will be a miracle invention for them."



    With the long overdue advent of the built-in vacuum cleaner, one might reasonably ask what other wonders the future of automobiles holds for us. While De Lorenzo would prefer that the focus of car technology be on driving, he foresees a number of decidedly non-driving features that could be on the horizon:

    Coffee Maker: "We’ve gone from cup holders that cool drinks and warm drinks, and compartments in vehicles that cool things. So I would think it's the next logical step for the espresso fueled nation we live in now." 

    Solar-Powered Food Warmer: The Odyssey already has an in-dash cooler that runs off the car's air conditioner. De Lorenzo has heard rumblings of something that runs off the sun to "keep your Happy Meal" hot.

    Mini-Microwave: But what if you need a little more horsepower? What if you need to make food hot instead of keep it hot? De Lorenzo fears that rumors of an in-car microwave oven will become a reality.

    Modular Carpeting: It seems that car companies are focused on two things: keeping us fed, and protecting our cars from children. "You could easily remove bits of carpet and replace them," says De Lorenzo. "If the vacuum doesn’t work you can really make a change right away, if something terrible happens, some sort of episode."

    Tweet-Mobile: De Lorenzo recognizes that cars are going to become progressively more web-enabled, but he says there should be limits. "There are some who are investigating speaking into the car's microphone and tweeting, translating your words into tweets," he said. "Some people are saying, well it's just the same as having a phone conversation — no, it isn’t. I think that crosses the line. I don't think people should be investigating their social media space while driving."

    This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. If Google Glass is a hit, can the Google Windshield be too far behind?


    Flux capacitor? Check! Vacuum cleaner? Check!Flux capacitor? Check! Vacuum cleaner? Check!

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    A New York City restaurant that serves burgers, sliders and steaks made with kangaroo meat says the marsupial meat is a hit with customers, DNAinfo.com reports.

    The Thirsty Koala co-owner and chef Katherine Fuchs tells the website the kangaroo meat sells better than regular beef.

    "There's a lot of other meat out there. People are eating elk, they’re eating emu, they’re eating ostrich," Fuchs told DNAinfo. "So why not kangaroo?"

    The kangaroo burgers weigh about 8 ounces and come with beet root slaw, caramelized onions, grilled pineapple, bacon, a fried egg and house-made goat cheese.

    Co-owner Alex Styponisas describes the marsupial meat as "really yummy."

    "I would say it tastes like a filet mignon. It's really sweet and tender, and it's not as gamey as one would think," he told DNAInfo.com.

    The meat travels from a ranch in Queensland, Australia to Bronx Hunts Point Market, according to the website.

    Other dishes that feature the unique meat include kangaroo sliders and kangaroo filet. According to Fuchs, the Australian meat also has nutritional value.

    "It's a very good meat and it's very good for you," Fuchs said. "It's much leaner than beef, and it's got omega-three fatty acids."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Red Kangaroo, Macropus rufusRed Kangaroo, Macropus rufus

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    A group of mayors united to keep illegal guns out of dangerous hands has proclaimed Thursday a “National Day to Demand Action,” and it is urging residence to call on Congress to vote on legislation to curb gun violence across the nation.

    The national debate heated up after the school shooting in Newtown, where 20 Sandy Hook Elementary students and six educators were killed. 

    The Newtown Action Alliance will be holding a demonstration on Thursday outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown.

    “We are entering the most critical period for legislative action to curb gun violence nationally, and in Connecticut. At the same time, the gun lobby is pulling out all of the stops to fight any change from the status quo. They won’t even support universal background checks, something that the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners support. This includes the National Sports Shooting Foundation, the second largest gun lobby, headquartered here in Newtown,” the Newtown Action Alliance said in a news release.

    The National Sports Shooting Foundation said it conducted its own online survey of 640 federally licensed firearms retailers and 85.7 percent opposed universal background checks.

    “The concept of universal background checks sounds appealing on the surface, but the details involved in what actually would be required on the part of firearms retailers to make it work are quite another matter,” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel said, according to the foundation’s Web site. “In fact, the obligations and burdens that would be put in place could be overwhelming for many of those who would be called upon to carry them out. It is unfair to call upon private companies, many of them quite small and with limited personnel, to conduct what essentially would be a function of government.”

    The alliance will be demonstrating in front of the headquarters at 4:30 p.m.

    Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will be holding a rally at City Hall at 9 p.m.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

    The national debate heated up after the school shooting in Newtown, where 20 Sandy Hook Elementary students and six educators were killed.The national debate heated up after the school shooting in Newtown, where 20 Sandy Hook Elementary students and six educators were killed.

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    The New England Patriots are coming to Connecticut in May to honor Newtown and hold a one-day free youth clinic on May 18.

    "Our hearts broke for the Newtown community and their families as we learned of the tragedy this past December," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "We admire the Newtown community for their strength and look forward to continuing our support."

    Current and former Patriots players will be here to instruct youth in Newtown, between the ages of 6 and 14.

    During the clinic, current and former Patriots players will gather at the Newtown High School football field to share their football expertise with Newtown youth in skill stations including blocking, receiving and punting. The day will also include an ongoing Patriots-themed activity zone that will feature food, games and prizes for the Newtown community to enjoy.

    After the clinic, participants and members of the Newtown community will join Patriots representatives to honor the community of Newtown and those affected by the tragedy.

    Each child will receive a T-shirt and Patriots gift bag.

    Participating in the clinic is free and same-day registrations are welcome. Registration will open on April 22 at www.patriots.com/community.

    The Newtown High School football field is located at 12 Berkshire Road in Newtown.

    The Kraft family, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the New England Patriots Alumni Club are the sponsors of the clinic, which will be held in Newtown, Conn. on May 18.

    The clinic kicks off the first of seven clinics that will take place throughout New England this summer and it’s the first time the clinic will visit Connecticut.

    For nearly 20 years, the Kraft family has been connected to the Newtown community because they own Rand-Whitney Newtown, a manufacturer of corrugated boxes, located two miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School that has several long-standing employees who are Newtown residents.

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

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    Fairfield police have arrested a 55-year-old local man accused of throwing a sandwich at a McDonald’s employee because he did not like how it was made.

    Police received a 911 call at 9:47 p.m. to respond to McDonald's, 1835 Black Rock Turnpike because a man was out of control at the drive-through window, police said.

    Police said Geoffrey Weglarz, of Fairfield, placed an order at the drive-up window, drove away, then returned and banged on the front door, which was locked, police said.

    When an employee told Weglarz he could not enter the restaurant, he walked back to the drive-through window, screamed and swore at the pregnant female manager and then threw the bag of food through the drive-up window, hitting the manager in her chest, police said.

    Then Weglarz continued to yell and bang on the drive-up windows until the manager yelled to her staff to call the police, at which point Weglarz fled the scene in his white BMW, police said. 

    Employees had jotted down the registration plate and officers went to Weglarz’s home, where he was immediately belligerent to officers and hey took him into custody, police said.

    Weglarz had a loaded Glock pistol in his waistband and was able to produce a valid Connecticut pistol permit, police said.

    Police took Weglarz to the police station, released him and seized weapons and ammunition from his house, as well as a pistol permit, which will be sent to the state firearms review board.

    Weglarz was charged with breach of peace, released on a written promise to appear in court and has a court date of April 9.

    Weglarz was featured in a Bloomberg Businessweek slideshow online called the Rebounders.

    More Local News:

     


    Geoffrey Weglarz was arrested in Fairfield.Geoffrey Weglarz was arrested in Fairfield.

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    When a Florida Atlantic University professor ordered students to stomp on a piece of paper with the word "Jesus" written on it, he joined a growing list of classroom  instructors with unconventional teaching methods.

    The fallout from the FAU incident prompted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to sound off on Tuesday and issue a letter to the school to express disapproval over the lesson, which was intended to teach students about the power of words. One student was also suspended for refusing to participate.

    Chalk it up to school budget cuts or the short attention span of students in the classroom, but educators have been reaching for teaching methods that are attention-grabbing, yet they left some parents, students and schools scratching their heads.

    Here are some of those "What were they thinking?" moments in recent classroom history.

    • Stripping Professor - A quantum mechanics professor attracted widespread attention last month when he stripped down to his underwear during a lecture at Columbia University in front of a classroom full of confused students, NBC New York reported. Prof. Emlyn Hughes was accompanied by two ninjas who helped him execute blindfolded stuffed animals by impaling them with their swords. So what was the lesson? "In order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain and start over again,” Hughes said.
    • Classroom Kink - Students at Northwestern University witnessed a live sex act involving a woman and a sex toy during a human sexuality class taught by Prof. John Michael Bailey, according to NBC Chicago. It was a lesson on kinks and fetishes, the professor said, and he wanted to prevent students from surrendering to what he called "sex negativity and fear." "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but watching naked people on stage doing pleasurable things will never hurt you," Bailey told his class in the wake of the 2011 controversy. Bailey has since issued an apology and promised the demo will not be repeated.
    • Classroom Klan - In a surprise twist, students, parents and teachers rallied behind a U.S. history teacher at Las Vegas Academy who faced backlash for allowing two juniors to dress up as Ku Klux Klan members for a class presentation in January. A photograph of one of the students circulated on social media leading to an uproar in the community. But some students weren't buying it. "The infamous KKK is discussed for several pages in the school's history textbook, it is in the curriculum, and it is a big part of the history of this nation … (one) that cannot be changed," said Karina Foster, a junior at the school. "As a U.S. history instructor, this teacher was simply doing his job. He had no intent to offend or disturb the public." The year before, the school was slammed for allowing theater students to use the N-word during a production of "Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
    • Morbid Math - A third grade teacher in Washington D.C. was fired last March when students went home with some some very complicated math problems. One asked students to figure out how many criminals a SWAT team member killed on an average day after killing "163 terrorists, 296 murderers and 206 arsonists." Another math problem alluded to cooking people in ovens and one cast blood thirsty aliens into the equation.
    • "Cone of Shame" - Science teacher Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp was suspended without pay last May when parents discovered photos of students wearing a dog cone in class, NBC Miami reported. Bailey-Cutkomp, 47, used the cone to punish students for texting, talking or eating in class and dubbed the object the "Cone of Shame." Students insisted that it was a joke, but parents were not laughing. "I don't care if it's a joke or not, it's unacceptable," parent Dawn Davis told WPTV.
       

     


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    In a state where the Miami Heat seem unbeatable and both the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators are in the Sweet Sixteen, the hottest basketball team around is one most people hadn't heard of a week ago: the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.


    The NCAA tournament resumes Thursday, and all eyes are on the state of Florida. The Hurricanes face Marquette at 7:15 p.m., and on Friday, Dunk City — the nickname for FGCU that has swept the nation — resumes its surprise show, facing cross-state rival Florida at 9:57 p.m. ET.

    Led by Coach Andy Enfield, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles stunned the basketball world by becoming only the seventh 15 seed to advance to the second round of March Madness with a victory over Georgetown. They cemented their Cinderella status with a win over San Diego State, becoming the first 15 seed ever to advance to the Sweet 16.

    "It's a party," said Justin Kane, a sophomore journalism major at FGCU and sports editor of the school paper, from his office at the Eagle News. "Last night there were pictures posted of people dancing in the dorms, across campus — it's just a big party. I'm actually looking at a (campus) tour right now that's three times the size of any tour I've seen on campus before."

    The team's run is "easily" the biggest thing ever to happen on the Fort Myers campus, Kane said. But that's not saying that much: The school only started offering classes in 1996.

    Which makes this Cinderella run all the more remarkable. FGCU's basketball program achieved Division I status in 2011, going 10-20 in their inaugural season under coach Dave Balza. Enfield replaced Balza the following year, and the team improved to 15-17. In October, Kane boldly predicted that the 2012-13 Eagles would be the first team in school history to make it to the dance. But not even he saw this coming.

    "I thought they were gonna win the conference and go to the tournament, but I didn’t think they were gonna be this good," Kane said. "I had them beating Georgetown, but losing to San Diego State."

    FGCU features four players that played under Balza, including starters Sherwood Brown and Chase Fieler, but Kane says this is Enfield's team, one that he's pulled together with transfers like Eric McKnight and foreign-born players like Croat Filip Cvjeticanin.

    "He told those kids, you're gonna build this program," Kane said. "Last year was our first year of eligibility, this is Year One, he told them, it's your program to build. I think that was a great recruiting angle. We have players from Germany and Croatia. He's really getting out there."

    After graduating from Johns Hopkins, Enfield enjoyed a successful career as a tech entrepreneur and shooting coach for the Boston Celtics. He isn't a yeller, says Kane, preferring to keep things light, joking with his players and running contests at practice, and he's as popular with students as he is with players, eating many of his meals on campus and taking the time to talk with kids.

    This tourney run has made Enfield a beacon of hope to gym rats everywhere. The gap-tooth coach is the NCAA's all-time free throw champ — he hit 92.5% of his free throws as a player at Johns Hopkins. And a decade ago he found the courage to hit on supermodel Amanda Marcum, initially wooing her with a Taco Bell burrito before sealing the deal with an engagement ring tucked between two Krispy Kremes.

    "We knew she was a model," said Kane. "We didn't know she was a Maxim lingerie model. We were kinda surprised when that story got uncovered."

    The team has earned the nickname Dunk City for its high-flying style of play, which has inspired a video and rap song of the same name. On Sunday, as the FGCU men's and women's tennis teams were awaiting a  flight home from Atlanta, they convinced the gate attendant to announce, "Now departing to Dunk City, Fla."

    But Florida Gator fans will tell you there's basketball in their state beyond Dunk City. While the Eagles have grabbed the headlines, some experts believe the Gators are the best team in the country right now, and they're 13-point favorites over FGCU in Friday night's game.

    Kane is trying to remain realistic about FGCU's chances, but he can't help but think that after what he's seen so far, there's hope the Eagles' stunning run can continue.

    "Match up-wise, (Florida's) a much better team," Kane said. "They're a lot stronger, more physical, they're just better athletes. But if we keep it close... If we hang in there with them... this team believes." 




    Photo Credit: AP

    Florida Gulf Coast's Sherwood Brown, center, celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)Florida Gulf Coast's Sherwood Brown, center, celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

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    A family who ate at Olive Garden over the weekend received a sweet surprise at the end of their meal that would put a slice of tiramisu to shame.

    The popular chain restaurant gave a man and his family a free meal after his 3-year-old daughter told the manager that her grandfather's house burned down. The man posted a photo of the receipt on Reddit on Tuesday night and news of the good deed went viral.

    The receipt was billed as a public relations ploy at first, but a representative from Olive Garden quickly debunked that rumor.

    “The receipt is real and was posted by the guests, not by anyone at Olive Garden or Darden,” an Olive Garden rep told Consumerist. “We are always looking for ways to surprise and delight our guests, and this was one of the ways the Olive Garden team in Vernon Hills, Ill., did that last weekend.”

    Earlier this year, a manager at the burger chain Red Robin cheered up a pregnant mom when she received her bill and saw that her burger was comped with a line item that read MOM 2 BEE GOOD LUC.



    Photo Credit: Reddit

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    Sen. Ashley Judd? Not anytime soon.

    The actress has passed on a much-rumored run for Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell's Senate seat, she confirmed Wednesday.

    Judd, a long-time Democrat and outspoken women's rights advocate, said she won't challenge the Senate Minority Leader in 2014.

    "After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family," she tweeted Wednesday.

    Even before she had spoken publicly about any plans to run, the GOP had begun gearing up its campaign against her in recent months. An ad by Karl Rove's American Crossroads group painted her as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal with a thin claim on Kentucky ties.

    "I have spoken to so many Kentuckians over these last few months, who expressed their desire for a fighter for the people & new leader," she said on her Twitter account.

    "While that won't be me at this time, I will continue to work as hard as I can to ensure the needs of Kentucky families are met by returning this Senate seat to whom it rightfully belongs: the people & their needs, dreams, and great potential. Thanks for even considering me as that person & know how much I love our Commonwealth," she continued.

    Judd, the daughter of country singer Naomi Judd and sister of singer Wynonna, grew up in Kentucky and California before launching her successful acting career.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Actress Ashley Judd, pictured here at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, won't run for Senate, she said Wednesday on Twitter.Actress Ashley Judd, pictured here at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, won't run for Senate, she said Wednesday on Twitter.

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    Newtown will once again confront that horrible December day on Thursday as search warrants are released. They could provide a glimpse into the world of 20 year old Adam Lanza.

    "I don't know if it really helps," said Katja Pieragostini, who not only has daughter at another elementary school in town but knows some of the affected families. "For people that want to find out the information it's good that they have it; for me personally it really doesn't matter either way."

    Yet it might matter to the parents and relatives who lost loved ones in Sandy Hook. The search warrants are expected to provide information into the life of the 20 year old Lanza--particularly the Newtown home where he killed his mother, Nancy.

    State police and local officials briefed the Newtown families on how to handle the release of these search warrants at the Newtown Municipal Center Wednesday night.

    "I think it reopens...it causes them to revisit the pain they felt 3 months ago," said Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson.

    She insists it'll be an emotional day for parents, students and teachers. "It's really too bad when we go on this path of healing to have these things that come back to us and remind us and take us back to the events again. It's hard."

    "More information about what happened is helpful," said Jeff Capeci, chairman of Newtown's Town Council.

    Yet that information won't include the name of a witness, telephone numbers and a few paragraphs of the affidavit. A judge agreed with prosecutors to black out those details.

    Families of the Sandy Hook victims met at the municipal center for more than two hours with state and local police on Wednesday to talk about the warrants and how to handle the news.

    "Obviously the people who are effected need to get it before the general public," Capeci added.

    The investigation into the mass shooting is not expected to be complete until June.



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

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    First the pope, now Phil Jackson.

    The legendary coach has taken to Twitter, and following an introduction to the Twitterverse by his fiancee (and Lakers executive vice president) Jeanie Buss, he's now 60,000 followers richer and counting.

    But that's just the first step. The next may be for the retired coach — né of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls — to learn how to type.

    His first tweet:

    That likely meant 11 championship rings — the number pictured on his Twitter feed's page, one for each of the NBA titles he has won as a coach. (Not coincidentally, Jackson's book "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success" is out in May.)

    But the Twitterverse was split over whether the mysterious tweet were evidence that Jackson could use some typing lessons or, as ESPN LA's Lakers writer Dave McMenamin theorized, testament to a wry sense of humor.

    Other fans weren't so sure and instead chalked up the garbled tweet to the fact that Jackson may not yet have his Twitter sea legs.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coaching legend Phil Jackson has taken to Twitter... sort of.Former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coaching legend Phil Jackson has taken to Twitter... sort of.

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    A total of 4 players on the Torrington High School football team have now been arrested and linked to a sexual assault case.  The most recent arrest came Wednesday morning, and police said the suspect is a 17 year old.

    The Chair of the Board of Education told NBC Connecticut the most recent teen charged with sexual assault was a student football player.

    Two Torrington football players and an unnamed juvenile are already facing sexual assault charges. Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, both 18, were charged last week with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Police said the alleged incident took place in January. Toribio also faces sex assault charges involving a second 13-year-old girl.  

    Both victims are Torrington Middle School students.

    Gonzalez's lawyer, J. Patten Brown III, said the allegations against his client appear to involve consensual, but statutorily illegal, sex.  A message was left for Toribio's attorney.

    The 17-year-old suspect is a Torrington High School student, according to Ken Traub, chairman of the Board of Education. The teen, who was not identified because of his age, is charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

    Police said they continue to work closely with Torrington's Superintendent of Schools regarding the case and more arrests could happen.

    In the wake of the arrests last week, there were allegations of cyber-bullying aimed at a victim. The superintendent warned that inappropriate comments made against a student or staff member could lead to punishment, including possible expulsion.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Ryan Hanrahan

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    Big Tex, the towering statue and an iconic symbol of the State Fair of Texas, is getting a new voice.

    The State Fair of Texas said that it decided Tuesday to not renew the contract of Bill Bragg, who has been the voice of the of the cowboy figure for 11 years.

    "I'm not bitter but, boy, am I brokenhearted," Bragg said.

    Bragg says there there had been signs of trouble in the past, but nothing that would have led to this. The primary concern had been over his title, Bragg said.

    Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said the State Fair intended to bring Bragg back at the end of last year's fair. She declined to discuss the reasons why the contract was not renewed.

    Bragg said the end was spelled out long ago.

    "You know, today ain't Christmas, but Santa Claus is still around up at the North Pole, and it seems that did not apply at the State Fair," he said.

    Bragg said he believes that his decision to do interviews about the electrical fire that destroyed Big Tex in the fall may have been the final straw.

    "And everybody lost in this situation," he said. "I lost; the State Fair lost. And the biggest loss is to the people who come to the State Fair, especially the children. For 11 years, they've been used to one voice, and I was prepared to do it until I couldn't do it any long. But, apparently that's not the case."

    Big Tex will not switch to prerecorded greetings, Gooding said.

    The voicing contract is for a paid position for the 24 days of the fair, Gooding said. A new voice has not yet been selected, she said.

    The voice won't be the only change coming for Big Tex after the the official fair greeter burned down last fall. The redesigned version will stand 55 feet tall, three feet taller than the original.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Studio Outside

    The State Fair of Texas said that it decided Tuesday to not renew the contract of Bill Bragg, who has been the voice of the fair icon for 11 years.The State Fair of Texas said that it decided Tuesday to not renew the contract of Bill Bragg, who has been the voice of the fair icon for 11 years.

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    A burned body was found in West Haven on Wednesday afternoon and police are investigating.

    People who were walking near the West River canoe launch off of Boston Post Road found the body around 3:15 p.m. and officials said the body was burned beyond recognition, accoring to police.

    Police don't know whether the body is of a man or woman or whether foul play was involved.

    No additional information is available.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating after a burned body was found in West Haven.Police are investigating after a burned body was found in West Haven.

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