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    The stepfather of Freddie Gray said the family is "satisfied" with prosecutors charging six police officers involved in Gray's arrest.

    "These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie," Richard Shipley said, speaking on behalf of the Gray family.

    Prosecutors said Gray died after suffering a critical spine injury in the back of a police wagon.

    Shipley also pleaded for peace in Baltimore, saying the last thing that Freddie would want is to see people of Baltimore lose their jobs and businesses because of his death.

    "We ask that whomever come to our city, a city that we love, a city that we live in, come in peace," Shipley said.

    An attorney for the Gray family said at the news conference that people must be mindful that the charges are a first step, not the last.

    State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby says Gray's death was a homicide, his arrest was illegal and his treatment amounted to murder and manslaughter.

    An attorney speaking on behalf of the officers said the charges are a rush to judgment.



    Photo Credit: NBC News
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Freddie Gray's stepfather talks at a news conference on Friday, May 1, 2015.Freddie Gray's stepfather talks at a news conference on Friday, May 1, 2015.

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    Passengers on a Holland America Cruise Ship returned to Port Everglades in Florida Friday morning after at least 60 people on-board became sick, officials say.

    The passengers on the MS Maasdam began experiencing gastrointestinal illness while on a 14-day sailing. Sick guests and crew were kept inside staterooms.

    In a statement, Holland America Line says the ship will undergo a thorough sanitizing.

    The ship is scheduled to depart at 5 p.m. on its next sailing, a 15-day Atlantic Coast Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal, Canada.

    This is a developing story and will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.


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    Crews responded to a large brush fire behind Rockwell Park in Bristol, according to the fire department.

    Officials said firefighters were still at the scene around 7:30 p.m.

    It's not clear how much land burned.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: Mike Orazzi/The Bristol Press

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    Sen. Chris Murphy said during a roundtable discussion that "it's unacceptable that 30,000 kids get restrained each year in schools" and wants to mandate training for use of seclusion rooms.

    The junior Senator referenced a study completed last year by the Office of the Child Advocate that estimated 2,500 students receive the bulk of the thousands of restraints and seclusions.

    "The fact is, there are some instances where kids are so violent, so much of a threat to other teachers or kids that they have to be restrained, but there shouldn’t be 30,000 episodes of restraint in this state every year" Murphy said.

    Some schools are equipped with padded "seclusion rooms" designed to keep students isolated when a teacher or staff member determines they are acting out. State law dictates that the rooms and measures are only supposed to used in certain "emergency situations."

    Brenetta Henry, the mother of a child with autism, spoke during the roundtable discussion Murphy moderated Friday. She said her son had to be restrained many times in the past and she has worried for his safety.

    "At that time, it was teachers, it was security guards, and a lot of them weren’t trained in doing restraint. There were a couple of times where I walked in and he was laid out on the floor: arms, legs and everything, so people just weren’t trained in the right way to do the restraints," she explained.

    Henry said she wants to see training mandated for teachers and staff because children could get hurt. According to the report, there have been more than 1,300 children injured during either seclusion or restraint.

    "When a child has sensory issues, just the least touch can affect that child so we really need to know how to deal with our children," she said.

    Murphy said the fact that many of the children who have to restrained are in fact living with disabilities is more reason to pass state and federal laws mandating training.

    "Good schools provide training but there are a lot of professionals and teachers who are falling through the cracks. We need to do more with training. We need to know what kind of restraint is right. What kind is wrong," he said.


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    Screaming fans greeted 29-year-old "American Idol" finalist Nick Fradiani as returned to his hometown of Guilford on Friday.

    The town declared "Nick Fradiani Day" in honor of the conestant, who has made it to the top four in the popular singing competiton.

    The day started with a homecoming at Guilford High School, Fradiani's alma mater. Fans and supporters flooded the high school gym, waving signs and wearing T-shirts bearing his name and picture.

    Students at Guilford High had a half day in light of Fradiani's arrival. The singer surprised them with a short concert.

    Fradiani, who previously competed with his band Beach Avenue on NBC's "America's Got Talent," said he never believed he would have made it this far on "Idol."

    He left students with this message:

    "High school, college... it flies by so, really, just cherish every moment. Cherish your friends and these experiences that you have because they’re really special," Fradiani said. "I’ve never forgotten mine and it’s a great thing, but honestly, thank you all so very much. I love you guys."

    Meanwhile, in downtown Guilford, signs of support were plastered along storefronts as thousands of residents waited for Fradiani to parade through the streets.

    Daniel Kerowski said Fradiani’s journey is an inspiring one.

    "It’s really great to see that people starting as small as us can go on to do great things," said Kerowski.

    After the parade, Fradiani held a live concert in Guilford's town green.


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    Eversource is addressing problems with its online payment system and working with customers who are having trouble paying their bills, according the company's Twitter account.

    "We are aware of the issue with our online payment system and are working on a fix," Eversource tweeted Friday afternoon.

    The company also said anyone who had trouble reaching a call center representative Friday can call 800-286-2000 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Part of Main Street in South Windsor will be closed until at least Saturday afternoon as crews work to repair a giant sinkhole that opened up in the middle of the road Thursday.

    Police said a driver called them just after noon Thursday to report feeling something unusual on the road while driving by.

    When public works crews arrived, they found a large sinkhole in the southbound lane of Main Street. The hole is about 10 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep.

    Crews will have to widen the hole in order to fix the problem, because they believe the source of the sinkhole is about 20 feet down below the pavement, according to officials. They're using heavy machinery to excavate the area.

    "What we believe happened is, there is a box culvert that goes underneath the road here, connects the stream on either side of Main Street here, and we believe there might have been some separation between sections of the box culvert," explained South Windsor Public Works Director Michael Gantick.

    Main Street is closed between Oxbow Lane and Sullivan Avenue.

    Officials said it's a fortunate situation, all things considered, because no other pipes seem to be affected and no one else traveled across the unstable pavement as it gave way.



    Photo Credit: South Windsor Police
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    A sinkhole has closed part of Main Street in South Windsor.A sinkhole has closed part of Main Street in South Windsor.

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    West Haven police have arrested a West Haven grandmother who is accused of using her 15-year-old granddaughter’s identity to steal thousands of dollars worth of electricity over a year and a half-long span.

    Police started investigating when the power company, United Illuminating, reported that Judy Williams, 63, had fraudulently obtained electricity, police said.

    A two-month investigation revealed that she had put the utility service for her apartment in her teenage granddaughter's name and used her identity to steal more than $5,000 in service between April 2013 and September 2014, police said.

    Williams was arrested and charged with identity theft in the second degree and larceny in the third degree.



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police

    West Haven police arrested a West Haven grandmother who is accused of using her granddaughter’s  identity to steal electricity  over a year and a half-long span.West Haven police arrested a West Haven grandmother who is accused of using her granddaughter’s identity to steal electricity over a year and a half-long span.

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    A 25-year-old woman has been charged with negligent homicide in connection with the crash that killed a Southington dad and football coach and left his wife in critical condition.

    Alyssa Marin, of Hartford, turned herself in Tuesday. Police said Marin struck and killed Garett Costello, a well-known football coach at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, while he was helping his wife with car trouble on Laning Street the afternoon of Jan. 3.

    Cindy Costello's Dodge Caliber had gotten stuck on the ice at the top of a hill less than a mile from the couple's home, according to police.

    "Mom called and he ran, and unfortunately, in helping, he died," the couple's son, Garrett Costello, Jr., recounted after the deadly crash. "He was a guy who didn't care what the storm looked like. 'I'm going out to help.'"

    Police said Marin "failed to maintain safe tires on her vehicle" and lost control of the car, crossing over the center line and hitting Garett Costello and the Dodge before colliding with a Ford Fusion driving westbound.

    Garett Costello died at Hartford Hospital, while Cindy Costello suffered a serious leg injury, according to police. The couple's son said they were together for 35 years.

    Police said Marin was not hurt, and neither was the driver of the Ford.

    Marin was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, unsafe tires and failure to drive right. She was released on $5,000 bond and is due in court May 11.



    Photo Credit: Southington Police Department/Family Photo

    A Hartford woman has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in connection with the crash that killed a Southington dad and football coach in January.A Hartford woman has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in connection with the crash that killed a Southington dad and football coach in January.

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    Bones found in the woods near a cemetery in Norfolk earlier this week are those of an East Hartford man reported missing more than a year ago.

    Police said the remains of Joseph Pappalardo, 61, of East Hartford, were in a wooded area near St. Mary's Cemetery on North Road the afternoon of April 26. Pappalardo was reported missing last March.

    The chief medical examiner's office identified the remains and began investigating to determine Pappalardo's cause of death.

    Police said the cause and manner of death are "pending further information."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Hartford high school student is being hailed a hero after jumping into action to save the life of a man who had stopped breathing.

    Jovany Roman, a 16-year-old junior at Weaver High School's Culinary Arts Academy, had only practiced CPR once in gym class. But when a panicked woman rushed into the Wendy's restaurant on Airport Road last Sunday, Roman didn't hesitate to help.

    The woman called out for anyone who knew CPR, frantically explaining that a man had passed out in a car in the parking lot.

    "I volunteered. I said, 'Yes, I do,' even though I'm not CPR certified," said Roman. "But one day of training, well, it was enough to save a life."

    Roman ran outside to help the unconscious man. He began CPR, and after three or four minutes, the man – Michael – started breathing again.

    "He woke up, but after he woke up, he was coughing, he was making noises, then he just went right back to sleep and he started breathing on his own again," Roman recalled.

    Now school officials, and even the mayor, are commending Roman for his quick thinking.

    "Monday morning, after we found out, we announced it to the entire student body, and it was really cool to see all the students give him an ovation without even being asked," said Weaver High School principal Tim Goodwin. "It was just a really cool thing to know one of our students saved someone else's life."

    Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he met Roman on Friday to commend him for a job well done.

    "Jovany sprang into action without giving it a second thought and because of that a man's life was saved," Segarra said in a statement Friday afternoon. "He made a quick decision that took courage and it says a lot about this young man's character. We are extremely proud and grateful for his bravery."

    Although honored by the praise, Roman said anyone would have done the same in his situation.

    "It means a lot to me, a lot of people are calling me a hero," Roman said. "I wouldn't recommend myself as a hero. I was just the person who was there at the right time doing the right thing."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Weaver High School junior Jovany Roman is credited with saving the life of a man who stopped breathing.Weaver High School junior Jovany Roman is credited with saving the life of a man who stopped breathing.

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    Police have arrested a second New London High School student in connection with the pellet gun incident that prompted a lockdown Friday afternoon.

    The second student has been identified only as a 14-year-old boy. Police said his arrest came as part of a follow-up investigation after they arrested a 17-year-old earlier in the day.

    Both teens were charged with second-degree breach of peace and carrying a dangerous weapon.

    Police said they were alerted to the incident at 11:10 a.m. Friday when someone called 911 to report a student had a firearm at school.

    Officers, school security and staff members searched the facility and found the 17-year-old with a black-and-pink pellet gun outside near an athletic field, according to police.

    Police said the 14-year-old was also in possession of the pellet gun at some point.

    It's the second scare at a New London school in a week. On Wednesday, an 11-year-old brought a gun to Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School on Wednesday and firing a shot, according to police.


    New London High School is on lockdown and police are at the scene, according to school officials.New London High School is on lockdown and police are at the scene, according to school officials.

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    A swarm of firefighters and emergency personnel hoisted a worker out of a trench after he fell in and got trapped at a Brooklyn construction site Friday.

    The worker, who emerged strapped to an orange stretcher in a green sweatshirt and work boots as firefighters hoisted him from the bit, was taken to a hospital in serious condition. 

    Chopper 4 captured an extensive emergency presence at the construction site on Dean Street in Crown Heights after the emergency call around 9 a.m. About two dozen firefighters crowded around the trench, maneuvering stretchers, ropes and other pieces of equipment.

    Paramedics tended to the man as soon as he was pulled from the trench; an assembly line of firefighters passed the stretcher over the lip of the trench and over a series of cement blockades at the construction site to get the man to an ambulance.

    An inspector with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was sent to the site.


     



    Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

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    It was the start of a new era for an old theater in the heart of New Haven on Friday, which nearly sold out on opening night after more than a decade on vacancy.

    Music blared up into the rafters for the first time in years as the theater, which seats nearly 2,000, officially opened for business. The College Street Music Hall aims to be a premiere entertainment destination in downtown New Haven.

    "It's exactly what New Haven needs," said Ian Akers, a New Haven resident attending Friday's show.

    His reviews after opening night – of both the band and the venue – were great.

    "My wife and I were able to come downtown, had dinner at Prime 16," he said. "Just a great dinner downtown."

    The theater has history, but not everyone even knew the venue existed.

    "I remember walking by this place all the time and never even knowing this was a theater," said New Haven resident Katie Maciejko.

    The music hall was built in 1926 and operated as the Palace Theater until it closed down 12 years ago. The theater sat empty until four months ago, when teams of subcontractors started working around the clock to renovate the venue.

    The initiative was a public-private partnership that the mayor of New Haven says will pay off.

    "It will create economic synergies for the restaurants and other venues in town," said Mayor Toni Harp. "It just makes people want to come here for entertainment. We've got everything here."

    A Pink Floyd cover band called the Machine shared the stage with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra during the inaugural performance.

    "It was kind of exciting to see there's something going on and that it's open," said New Haven resident Adrienne Nelson.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A 36-year-old father accused of throwing his 3-month-old daughter against a wall because she was crying is facing new charges.

    Robert Tarkowski, of South Main Street in Moosup, was first arrested March 28 after his infant daughter suffered six skull fractures and a broken wrist. The baby's grandmother identified Tarkowsky as the father.

    He was charged with first-degre assault, risk of injury to a minor and first-degree reckless endangerment.

    Tarkowski was due in court Friday, but police said he never showed. Officers re-arrested him Friday evening and charged him with failure to appear.

    The baby has since been released from the hospital to the custody of other family members, and a protective order was issued to keep Tarkowski away from her.


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    Police have arrested a man accused of masturbating and exposing his genitals to a woman in the parking lot of the Highland Park Market in Suffield.

    According to police, Justin Oliver, 34, of Enfield, parked outside the supermarket on Bridge Street around 5:45 p.m. and began masturbating in his car.

    When the woman parked next to him left the store and walked back out to her car, Oliver "arched his back" to expose himself to her, according to police.

    The woman called police immediately. Officers found Oliver driving eastbound on Route 190 in Enfield and pulled him over. He was arrestd and charged with public indecency, breach of peace, insufficient insurance on his vehicle, driving without a license and improper use of license plates.

    Oliver was held on $15,000 bond and is due in court May 4.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Police in Pennslyvannia shot a dog after they say the animal mauled a 16-year-old boy Friday night.

    Philadelphia police arrived to an alley behind the 200 block of Higbee Street, near Newtown Avenue, in the city’s Lawncrest section after receiving a 911 report of a person screaming around 7:30 p.m., said police.

    Officers from the 2nd District found a pit bull mauling the boy's face and arms. The officers used a stun gun twice on the dog but the attack continued. One of the officers then opened fire, grazing the dog one time, said investigators.

    The incident left the teen in critical condition. Medics rushed him to Einstein Medical Center where his condition was upgraded to stable, said police.

    After the shooting police contained the dog but didn’t reveal the animal’s condition.

    No officers were hurt.

    "All I heard was somebody screaming and so me and my mom, we ran to the window to see what was happening," said witness Omar.

    The 11-year-old captured video of the dog continuing to fight even after being corralled by officers.

    No word yet on who owns the dog.



    Photo Credit: Viewer Video

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    Daly City is considered Manny Pacquiao territory, with Filipinos making up more than one-third of its population.

    It is a Filipino tradition to serve up a feast at gatherings, and many turn to restaurants to help with the cooking. But Tselog's in Daly City has stopped taking orders because the demand is too high.

    So if you had planned on ordering out for traditional Filipino fare for your Floyd Mayweather vs. Pacquiao watch party, you might be out of luck.

    "There are some orders we refused because we cannot accommodate any more," said Elmer Ademdido, a cook at Tselog's.

    Fil-Am BBQ has also stopped taking pre-fight orders. The restaurant was so busy Friday workers were unable to answer phone calls or emails.

    In the Philippines, a Pacquiao fight is treated like a national holiday. Both Tselog's and Fil-Am BBQ are planning to close early Saturday so workers can also catch the fight.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Customers line up to get inside Fil-Am BBQ in Daly City. (May 1, 2015)Customers line up to get inside Fil-Am BBQ in Daly City. (May 1, 2015)

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    A South Florida graduate student is getting a helping hand, thanks to a fellow classmate and some innovative technology.

    Chad Coarsey was born without a left hand — but after a little ingenuity with a 3-D printer, he now has one.

    Like many other 25 year olds, Coarsey loves to stay active and play sports.

     

    "As I was wrestling in high school I got kind of the nickname, 'The Nub,'" said the Florida Atlantic University graduate student. "It's a big part of my personality, so it's a big part of how people identify who I am," Coarsey said.

    Although his parents had offered to buy him a prosthesis many times, Coarsey was okay without one. Then he met his classmate and fellow graduate student, Charles Weinthal.

    "I noticed he didn't have a hand," said Weinthal. "So I asked him, 'Chad would you like a hand?' And he looked at me for a moment and just smiled brightly and said 'Yes, I would,'" said Weinthal.

    So why now?

    "Well probably my curiosity and openness to science and seeing what I can actually make," Coarsey said.

    The collaboration for their FAU class project then quickly began. They used FAU High School's high-tech lab and a 3-D printer to make Coarsey's hand.

    Here's how 3-D printing works: Guided by a computer model, a plastic filament melts to create the object layer by layer. The 3-D printed prosthetic hand takes less than 24 hours to print.

    "This device costs less than $100 to make," Weinthal said.

    "When I put it on and started grabbing things and picking up things... for me it was just very surreal," Coarsey said.

    It's no surprise these two passed their intro to bioengineering class with flying colors. The next step for "the Hulk hand," as Coarsey jokingly calls it, is for the plastic fingers to move individually.

    "I can get another hand and be up to par... but why not push it further and get a hand that's better than what two handed people can do?"

    Since this prosthesis has made a difference in Coarsey's life, both men now plan to give a hand to hundreds of amputees in need. They hope this quick and affordable alternative can extend far beyond the walls of their lab.

    "It's important that everyone has a hand and that's part of giving. Because you give and get," Weinthal said.

    "Despite having a limitation... if there's the motivation you can overcome it yourself," added Coarsey.

    The students don't intend on making a business out of the creation. At this time, a foundation is in the works so that they can help thousands of people who may be in need of 3-D printed prosthetics.



    Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com

    FAU grad student gets 3-D printed handFAU grad student gets 3-D printed hand

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    Four children were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries after their school bus collided with a Honda Civic on Route 156 in Old Lyme Friday afternoon, according to police.

    Police said the crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. at the intersection of Route 156 and Mile Creek Road. Six children were riding the bus at the time.

    Medical personnel treated all six at the scene. Three children were subsequently taken to the Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook with minor injuries, while a fourth was admitted to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, state police said.

    None of the injuries were deemed life threatening, and a spokesperson for the Shoreline Medical Center said all three of the clinic's patients were discharged Friday evening.

    The school bus driver, a 49-year-old woman, suffered a possible injury, according to state police. The driver of the Honda, a 27-year-old man, was not hurt.

    An emergency personnel source in Old Lyme previously said nine ambulances were called to the scene, along with up to four paramedics.

    According to state police, medical personnel from Old Lyme, East Lyme and Essex responded, and school officials said the superintendent also went to the scene.

    Police are working to figure out what led up to the crash.

    State police said both vehicles were towed from the scene. No charges have been filed in connection with the crash.


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