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    A 23-year-old South Windsor man is in the hospital to be treated for hip, leg and facial injuries after a rollover crash that closed Route 30 in South Windsor at Pleasant Valley Road for hours.

    The crash happened at 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday and Lifestar transported Chad Dandridge, 23, of South Windsor, from the scene of the crash to Hartford Hospital, according to police. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

    Police said Dandridge was driving the Infiniti G35 4door sedan that flipped over and they believe speed was a factor.

    The road reopened just before 9 a.m. No charges have been filed.

    Police are continuing to investigate and ask that witnesses call 860-644-2551.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Route 30 in South Windsor is closed because of a serious crash.Route 30 in South Windsor is closed because of a serious crash.

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    The biker dressed as a giant, white Easter bunny and pulled over this past weekend in southern California has been unmasked.

    Ed Bell was found by an NBC 7 San Diego news crew at a BMW motorcycle shop Monday, hours after photos swept the Internet showing the bunny pulled over on a freeway for not wearing a helmet.

    The man behind the mask would only publicly admit that he may have an alter ego that involves that red bike.

    "I was kind of taken aback by the huge response it's gotten,” he said.

    Bell said the bunny was simply on the way to a charity event Saturday morning to cheer up a sick friend. He attached a bungee cord to the helmet so it could fit on the costume’s head.

    "If we felt it was an unsafe action, we wouldn't have done it in the first place,” he said. "Because the last thing anyone needed was a wounded Easter bunny the day before Easter."

    While Bell was riding down Interstate 8 he was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer. Fortunately for him, the CHP had some holiday spirit and gave him a written warning.

    "So, the Easter bunny pulled over, straightened his ears out so he could hear the officer,” Bell said. "They were all professional, polite, courteous. They got into the mood real quick. Gave him a stern warning.”

    Bell said the reason he donned the costume was purely comical.

    "There's a lot of bad stuff going on this was something people could point to and get a good laugh,” he said.

    As for whether this will become a holiday tradition, he says never lose faith in the Easter Bunny.

    “Never say never to the Easter Bunny,” he said. “If the Easter bunny does come back, they'll probably have a better helmet, or one more recognizable."



    Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda

    NBC 7 reporter Artie Ojeda captured this image of the bunny on Interstate 15 on Saturday.NBC 7 reporter Artie Ojeda captured this image of the bunny on Interstate 15 on Saturday.

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    Apple's CEO Tim Cook apologized to customers in China on Monday after an investigative report  slammed the company for the way it treated its customers.

    China's state-run media outlet China Central Television chastised Apple for giving customers a one year warranty on the iPhone when Chinese law requires two years, according to The New York Times.  The Communist Party newspaper The People's Daily and other state publications jumped in the fray with a series of articles, including one entitled "Defeat Apple's Incomaprable Arrogance," the Times reported.

    The government news broadcasts suggested that Apple does not treat its Chinese customers as equals to, say, iPhone users in Europe or the United States.

    Cook apologized for any such cavalier appearances towards China and promised to shore up warranty information and repair policies for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

    Apple stock has lost nearly 40 percent of its value since September, when the iPhone 5 was released and also when Cook was forced to apologize for replacing iPhones' Google Map with an Apple product deemed "inferior."

    Apple stock is down from $705.07 per share at its peak to $435.03 on Monday. Apple saw a 67 percent growth in sales in China in 2012.

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this March 28, 2012 photo provided by Apple, Inc., Apple CEO Tim Cook, center, visits the iPhone production line at the newly-built manufacturing facility Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, which employs 120,000 people.In this March 28, 2012 photo provided by Apple, Inc., Apple CEO Tim Cook, center, visits the iPhone production line at the newly-built manufacturing facility Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, which employs 120,000 people.

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    The oldest living person in the U.S. has died at the age of 113, just weeks before her 114th birthday.

    Elsie Thompson, who was from Beaver Falls, Pa., became the nation's oldest living person in January.

    "She was always happy," her longtime caretaker, Susie Harper, told the Beaver County Times. "She always had a very positive attitude."

    She died March 21, according to a spokeswoman from her church in Clearwater, Fla.

    A memorial service for Thompson was held at Skycrest United Methodist Church on March 26.

    Thompson was born on April 5, 1899.

    Her husband, Ronald Thompson, was a Republican state senator in Pennsylvania and in 1971, the couple moved to Clearwater, Fla.

    Mr. Thompson died in 1986.

    Mrs. Thompson is survived by her son, who is in California, and four grandchildren.

    She said that the secret to her longevity was the fact that she loved people and greeted each new day with a smile.

    "I know everyone that knew her will have her happy spirit in their hearts forever," Harper said.



    Photo Credit: Beaver County Times

    Elsie Thompson died just eight days short of her 114th birthday.Elsie Thompson died just eight days short of her 114th birthday.

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    One of the four Torrington High School football players arrested in connection with a sexual assault case appeared in Litchfield Superior Court on Tuesday and he is due bcak in court on Friday. 

    Edgar Gonzalez, 18, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in January.

    He is in the process of hiring a new attorney out of Bridgeport, according to court officials. He was unable to post a $65,000 bond in the case.

    His family and friends left the court on Tuesday without commenting on the case.

    Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, also 18, were charged in the case.

    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.

    Another 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.

    The most recent arrest is of another a 17-year-old football player.

    This case has rocked the community and one victim has been threatened through social media, which forced school administrators to send out a letter to parents warning that students could be suspended, or even expelled, for cyber bullying.
     
    “This problem is a serious problem, but it’s a community-based problem,” Kenneth Traub, of the Torrington Board of Education, said.

    "Where's the safety in our town?" Debbie Sliwa, a parent asked. "Where's the upbringing in our parents? Where's the respect?"

    . The paperwork in the case remains sealed. His mother and other family and friends left court without comment.

    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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    A prominent Democratic New York state senator and a Republican city councilman were arrested Tuesday in an alleged plot to get the senator onto the New York City mayoral ballot by paying off GOP county chairmen, authorities said.

    Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others were arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning.

    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Smith "tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion."

    Bharara said Smith conceived the plot to get Smith onto the GOP primary ballot, and Halloran "quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes." The charges include conspiracy to bribe, wire fraud and extortion.

    NBC 4 New York's calls and emails to offices and attorneys of those arrested were not immediately returned. 

    The Democratic field in this year's mayoral race is crowded with several candidates, and getting on the GOP ballot would be a way to sidestep that battle in heavily Democratic New York City. Smith has indicated his interest in running in the Republican primary, but because he is a registered Democrat, he would need to be approved by three of the five county chairmen to get on the primary ballot.

    Two Republican county chairmen — Joseph Savino, of the Bronx, and Vincent Tabone, of Queens — were among those arrested Tuesday.

    Court papers say Smith arranged for a wealthy real estate developer, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, to fund the bribes, and Halloran negotiated the payments to be $40,000, plus promises for $40,000 more.

    In one discussion, according to court papers, Smith is accused of saying "Look, talk to me before you close it. But it's worth it. Because you know how big a deal it is."

    Prosecutors say as part of the bribery scheme, Smith also agreed to use his influence to help get state funds for a road construction project that would benefit the fake real estate developer.

    FBI New York Director George Venizelos said in a statement that "public service is not supposed to be a shortcut to self-enrichment. .... As alleged, these defendants did not obey the law; they broke the law and the public trust."

    Smith was elected to the State Senate in 2000 in a special election. He was elected minority leader in 2007, succeeding David Paterson. He served as leader of the Senate Democrats until 2009, when he was forced out amid an Albany coup.
     
     
    Last year, Smith joined with several Republicans to form a "bipartisan governing coalition."

    Halloran assumed office in 2010 and represents the 19th district in Queens, succeeding Tony Avella.
     
    Halloran is also accused, in the same court papers, of accepting several cash payments totaling more than $35,000, plus $6,500 in campaign contributions, in return for steering a $20,000 grant from the City Council to an FBI witness.

    "That's politics, that's politics, it's all about how much," Halloran is accused of saying in a meeting with the witness. "Not about whether or will, it's about how much, and that's our politicians in New York, they're all like that, all like that."

    At a later meeting with the witness, Halloran is accused of telling the witness to get him a tax identification number, name and address of an organization and an application for funding "so that there's no questions, it raises no flags, and everybody's got it the way it's gotta be."

    Halloran garnered widespread attention after New York City's Christmas 2010 blizzard, when he said five municipal employees told him that workers had engaged in a deliberate slowdown in clearing snow.
     
    The Department of Investigation said later that an exhaustive probe found no evidence of such a slowdown.
     
    Federal officials announced other arrests Tuesday; those expected to be charged are Democrat Noramie Jasmin, mayor of Spring Valley in Rockland County, and her deputy mayor, Joseph Desmaret. 

    State Sen. Malcolm Smith is accused of a plot to bribe his way onto a New York City mayoral ballot.State Sen. Malcolm Smith is accused of a plot to bribe his way onto a New York City mayoral ballot.

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    Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial for a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's family against the concert promoter behind the pop star's concert tour that claims the company is liable for his June 2009 death.

    The civil trial in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom comes more than one year after the King of Pop's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the case's criminal trial. Jackson's death from acute Propofol -- a surgical anesthetic -- intoxication at his rented home in Holmby Hills occurred hours after a rehearsal for the 50-year-old entertainer's 50-show tour called "This Is It."

    Katherine Jackson, the singer's 82-year-old mother, filed the lawsuit in September 2010 on behalf of herself and her son's three children. The lawsuit claims AEG Live was responsible for choosing Dr. Murray to be Jackson's personal physician -- a decision that ultimately led to Jackson's death, according to the lawsuit.

    "People are going to feel like this is a re-run because we lived through the Conrad Murray trial," said NBC4 legal analyst Royal Oakes. "The question then was, 'Who killed Michael Jackson.' The jury said it was Dr. Murray.

    "Now, it's essentially the same question, but the focus since it's a civil case -- not a criminal case -- is on whether AEG was pushing Dr. Murray to make it unsafe for Michael."

    Jackson family members are seeking millions of dollars they say the superstar would have earned.

    The trial could require several months of testimony, including statements from Jackson's children about their father's final days. Jackson's two oldest children were present when emergency teams responded to 911 calls June 25, 2009 from the Holmby Hills mansion at which prosecutors said Murray delivered the fatal Propofol dose.

    Some of the testimony might involve Jackson's prescription drug use and the child molestation case in which he was acquitted as attorneys for AEG Live attempt to show Jackson created the conditions for his own demise. AEG Live attorneys have maintained the company never hired Murray, but that he had been one of several doctors treating the entertainer long before he agreed to the 50-concert tour.

    Murray, serving four years in Los Angeles County men's jail for the November 2011 involuntary manslaughter conviction, provided Jackson with the drug Propofol to help him sleep. Katherine Jackson's attorneys allege that the concert promoter should have considered red flags regarding Murray.

    Murray did not testify at the criminal trial. It is unlikely he will testify in the civil matter with an appeal pending for the criminal case conviction.

    AEG Live is owned by Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz. AEG Inc.'s former president and chief executive officer, and that company -- which has a significant Southern California presence -- were dismissed as defendants. AEG, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns the NHL's LA Kings, Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy and Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

    AEG is behind plans to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles in an effort to attract a professional football franchise.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Michael Jackson at a press conference to announce plans for a summer residency of concerts at the O2 Arena, Grenwich on March 5, 2009 in London, England.Michael Jackson at a press conference to announce plans for a summer residency of concerts at the O2 Arena, Grenwich on March 5, 2009 in London, England.

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    Southington police are investigating two residential burglaries and an attempted burglary near Southington Country Club on Monday night in which a loaded handgun, a digital camera, cash, jewelry and military medals were taken.

    Police responded to a residence on Charles Street around 6 p.m. for a report of a residential burglary and learned that a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun was stolen from a night stand in the master bedroom, police said. 

    Police believe the burglary happened between 4 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

    A witness reported seeing a thin clean-shaven man between 20 and 30 years old, of average height, with short hair. He was wearing khaki pants and going door to door, claiming that he was selling roofing services.

    Police said a witness saw the man in the back yard of several houses in the area and said he might have been taking photographs of some of the homes in the neighborhood.  Another witness reported seeing a black pickup in the area.

    Police also received reports of a residential burglary and an attempted burglary on Lynn Avenue and Zwicks Farm Road where a digital camera, cash, jewelry and military medals were taken, according to police.

    Southington Police detectives and a Southington Police K-9 unit responded to the scene.

    Police believe that the burglar cut screens on back windows of the houses and got in that way.

    Anyone who saw a man matching this description or a black pickup in the neighborhood or who has additional information should call the Southington Police Department Detective Division at (860) 621-0101.
     


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    Photo Credit: Google Maps

    A loaded handgun,  a digital camera, cash, jewelry and military medals were taken.A loaded handgun, a digital camera, cash, jewelry and military medals were taken.

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    A 52-year-old man broke into a New Haven home after a night of drinking and fell asleep in a closet, according to police.

    Officers responded to the home on Ivy Street around 12:10 a.m. on Easter Sunday after the homeowner called 911.

    The 43-year-old man told police he came home and noticed a broken window in his kitchen and blood on the floor.  He searched the house and found Robert Mero passed out drunk in his bedroom closet.

    Officers woke Mero and asked him why he was in the victim's home.  Mero told them he broke in, according to police.

    He was taken to Yale-New Haven hospital for treatment of his injuries and then charged with second-degree burglary and criminal mischief.
     



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police

    Robert Mero was arrested after police said he was drunk and hiding in a closet.Robert Mero was arrested after police said he was drunk and hiding in a closet.

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    A week after someone broke into a house in Ledyard, police have a description of a potential getaway vehicle, a description given them by people reporting suspicious activity.

    "What's helped us out tremendously in this case," said Lt. Michael Finkelstein of Ledyard Police, "is reporting of people coming to your house, walking around to the front, knocking on the door, but saying 'I'm lost.'"

    Finkelstein said many times people doing this are trying to find out if somebody's in the house. 

    Two people who were in their homes told police they saw a man in a blue pickup with out of state plates was apparently trying to see if anyone was inside.

    That was shortly before a burglary on Avery Hill Road in Ledyard. Detectives are working with police in other area towns, trying to develop a pattern. 

    Finkelstein said providing details to the online community forum has generated more reports of suspicious activity from the public.



    Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

    Ledyard police are investigating burglaries.Ledyard police are investigating burglaries.

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    Police found a marijuana factory in the back of a pickup late Sunday night in Bridgeport as they were investigating a driver suspected of being drunk.

    Police noticed Fernando Alves, 29, revving the engine of his idling vehicle in a police parking lot near police headquarters, so Officer Stacey Lyons pulled up behind the truck and put on her sirens, police said.

    Alves began backing up, stopped about six inches from the front of Lyons’ cruiser and shouted out of his window, “I see you and I wasn’t going to hit you,” according to police.

    Officer Lyons and Officer Michael Novia said they smelled alcohol on Alves’ breath when they approached the truck to speak with him and he was unable to give officers a driver’s license as he claimed to not have one.

    Alves failed more than one field sobriety test and was charged with driving under the influence and motor vehicle offenses, according to the police report.

    While taking inventory of the vehicle’s contents before  towing it, Officer Joaquim DeBarros discovered a marijuana plant in a large ceramic pot and a large reflective lamp in the bed of the truck. 

    Alves has also been charged with operating a drug factory, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Alves’ bond is set at $4,500.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCMiami.com

    Police found marijuana growing in the back of a pickup when they stopped a man who almost backed into a cruiser.Police found marijuana growing in the back of a pickup when they stopped a man who almost backed into a cruiser.

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    A 21-year-old Ellington man was arrested on Monday after an April Fools’ Day prank on his girlfriend prompted the evacuation of a Friendly’s restaurant in South Windsor and the Buffalo Wild Wings next door. 

    Mark Foreman was working at the Friendly’s at 240 Buckland Street at 11:30 p.m. when he sent a text to his girlfriend, who was working next door at Buffalo Wild Wings, police said.

    It said Friendly's was being robbed, the robbers were still in the restaurant and employees were being held against their will, police said.

    The girlfriend called 911.

    Listen to the 911 call here.

    Manchester police showed up, with guns drawn, thinking there was a threat inside Friendly's. They evacuated the employees at gunpoint while they tried to verify information.

    Buffalo Wild Wings was also evacuated.

    When police realized  that the text was a hoax, Foreman was arrested and charged with falsely reporting an incident and breach of peace.

    NBC Connecticut went to Foreman's house, but no one answered the door. He is due in court on April 12.

    The status of Foreman's employment with Friendly's is not clear.


    Mark Foreman was accused of sending an April Fools' Day prank to his girlfriend that brought the police.Mark Foreman was accused of sending an April Fools' Day prank to his girlfriend that brought the police.

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    An 80-year-old Milford woman is recovering after being stabbed multiple times early Tuesday morning.

    Police responded to 19 Christine Terrace just after 2:30 a.m. after the woman called 911 herself and said she'd been stabbed.

    Officers found the 80-year-old victim, who was rushed to the hospital to be treated for several stab wounds to the chest. She was listed in stable condition on Tuesday afternoon.

    According to investigators, the victim was at home with her son, Dana Forgette, and Forgette's companion, Kimberly Daniel, 44. The victim was watching television when Daniel walked into the room, placed a plastic bag over the woman's head and stabbed her in the chest, police said.

    Officers found Daniel, of Alfred Station, New York, a short distance from the home, and placed her under arrest. She is charged with first-degree assault and strangulation. Daniel is being held on $200,000 bond, must surrender all firearms, have no contact with the victim and stay at least 100 feet away from her in public.

    Police said Daniel has prior convictions, including for four-degree larceny in 2004 She is due back in court on April 24.

    Police arrested Forgette and accused him of tampering with a pair of scissors and the plastic bag allegedly used by Daniel in the attack. They said he also misled investigators about where Daniel was after the incident.

    Forgette is charged with tampering with evidence, hindering prosecution and interfering with police. He is being held on $20,000 bond. He appeared in court on Tuesday and was referred to anger management classes. He is also ordered to have no contact with Daniel. He is due back in court on April 16.

    Both Daniel and Forgette are scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police were called to this home at 19 Christine Terrace in Milford after an 80-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times.  Police have arrested two people, including the victim's 46-year-old son in connection with the crime.Police were called to this home at 19 Christine Terrace in Milford after an 80-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times. Police have arrested two people, including the victim's 46-year-old son in connection with the crime.

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    An Easter morning fight over how to cook potatoes for Easter Dinner ended in the arrest of two brothers at a relative’s home in Bridgeport.

    William Downey, 53, of Stratford, was making potatoes on Sunday afternoon when his brother, John Downey, 57, of Milford, entered the kitchen to tell him he was making too many potatoes, police said.

    The Connecticut Post reports that the brothers were at a relative’s home and preparing the holiday meal.

    John punched William, who then pulled out a cooking pot and tried hitting John with it, according to police.

    The Downeys admitted to police that they attempted to harm one another during the argument, police said.

    They were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct and released on promises to appear in court.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Two brothers fighting over potatoes for Easter Dinner end up with a visit from police.Two brothers fighting over potatoes for Easter Dinner end up with a visit from police.

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    Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk became the second Republican senator to endorse same-sex marriage.

    It appears his brush with death — when he suffered a debilitating stroke in January 2012 — served as the final push. On Tuesday, Kirk issued this statement from his Senate office:

    When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others.
     
    Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this Earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle.
     
    Kirk follows Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) as a same-sex marriage supporter in his caucus. Portman changed his position after his son came out as gay.
     
    The junior senator from Illinois has long had a liberal voting record on gay rights. As a congressman, he voted against a constitutional amendment to make marriage between one man and one woman and was one of the few Republicans endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay lobbying group. As a senator, he voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
     
    Earlier this year Kirk stepped in to help save the job of Illinois Republican party leader Pat Brady after he said he accepted gay marriage. Illinois party leaders wanted him gone. 
     
    Kirk’s announcement is especially significant because he is the 50th senator to announce his support for same-sex marriage.
     
    With the vote of Vice President Joe Biden, that position now has a majority in the chamber.

    Mark Kirk issued a statement in favor of gay marriage on April 2, 2013.Mark Kirk issued a statement in favor of gay marriage on April 2, 2013.

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    New Haven police are investigating a sex assault early Monday morning.  

    A 41-year-old New Haven woman was walking on Columbus Avenue near Salem Street, on her way to the train station, at 4:41 a.m. to go to work when a man grabbed her from behind, police said.

    She struggled and tried to run, but the man said he had a knife and threatened to kill her.

    The victim said she was sexually assaulted several times and showed police where the it had happened before she was taken to the hospital.

    The assailant is described as in his late thirties. He is slim and about 5-feet, 6-inches tall, has black hair in a crew cut and is clean shaven, according to police.

    At the time of the attack, he was wearing blue jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt over a white striped t-shirt and Timberland boots.

    Someone who called police reported seeing a man with a similar description and said his clothing might have had a New England Patriots emblem on the back.

    Police said this was a random crime and the victim did not know the man who attacked her.

    Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call detectives with the New Haven Police Department at 203-946-6304.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A 41-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while walking along Columbus Avenue in New Haven on her way to the train station Monday morning.A 41-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while walking along Columbus Avenue in New Haven on her way to the train station Monday morning.

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    Hundreds of followers have flocked to a Buddhist temple in Southern California to view what is claimed to be a still-growing, 2-inch-long molar with healing powers that belonged to Buddha himself.

    Thousands of years after Buddha’s death, the tooth, already about four times the length of the average human tooth, is continuing to grow because of what are believed to be its special powers, said Thomas Meier, a monk at the Lu Mountain Temple whose monk name is Xian Jie.

    The tooth, which Meier says is 2,500 years old, is on display alongside other relics including a hair said to be from the Buddha that reportedly moves on its own and 10,000 color crystals said to have been extracted from the cremated remains of Buddha’s body.  

    Meier said an 80-year-old resident at the temple in who has experienced leg pain since she was a child was healed when the tooth and other relics arrived.

    The tooth, which went on display on Sunday at the temple in Rosemead near East Los Angeles, is thought to be the only Buddha tooth currently in the United States and one of only a few existing sacred teeth from Buddha himself, according to a press release issued by the temple.

    “It’s a matter of faith,” Meier said. “If these things are real, people have responses to them -- like people get healed in its presence."

    The tooth was donated to the temple by a Buddhist in Vietnam who has collected thousands of Buddhist relics over the years, and wanted to share the relics with Buddhists in Southern California, Meier said.

    The authenticity of the tooth has not been verified by an outside source. The longest human tooth on record was 1.26 inches long, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.

    But Sonya Lee, an expert in Buddhist relic worship at USC, said fact-checking in Buddhist worship is not the most important factor in discerning whether a relic is really from the body of the sacred Buddha -- it’s what the believers witness while in its presence.

    “It doesn’t matter if it’s genuinely from Buddha’s body,” Lee said. “It’s really the legend that makes it meaningful.”

    How authentic the tooth and other relics may be is a common question, Meier said.

    “How people react to them -- that’s where real test of it is,” Meier said.

    Baby sparrows tried to peck their way into the room where the tooth was stored prior to its unveiling to the public, Meier said, because they "sensed something."

    Other supernatural occurrences noted in relation to Buddhist relics include radiant lights or strong odors, Lee said.

    “Relics can give off a great fragrance if responding favorably to prayer,” Lee said. “Or it can give off a great stink if it’s not.”

    More than 200 people have visited the tooth and other relics over the course of the two days they have been on display, Meier said. Normally the temple sees 10 visitors on any given weekend.

    As for the authenticity of the tooth, Lee said: ”What’s sacred is in the eye of the beholder.”


    Hundred flocked to a Buddhist temple in Rosemead to view a 2,500-year-old still-growing tooth believed to have belonged to Buddha himself, a monk at the Lu Mountain Temple said.Hundred flocked to a Buddhist temple in Rosemead to view a 2,500-year-old still-growing tooth believed to have belonged to Buddha himself, a monk at the Lu Mountain Temple said.

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    References to the school shooting in Newtown, swastikas and anti-Obama comments were found spray painted on South Windsor High School on Friday morning, and police have arrested a 29-year-old local man accused of committing the crime.

    Jason Rivera was arrested Tuesday morning, the ay after police said he admitted to painting the messages on the wall. He was charged with desecration of property and criminal mischief in the second degree.

    He has no connection to the high school, Police Chief Matthew Reed said through Twitter.


    “The South Windsor Human Relations Commission condemns this blatant act of hate,” Charles Margolis, chairman of the town human relations commission, said in a statement released on Monday morning. “There is no place for this kind of behavior in our town. The acts of a few misguided individuals do not represent the attitudes or actions of the majority of our community members.”

    Margolis said this does reflect poorly on our town and he is calling on residents to identify the perpetrators and “help them understand the gravity of their actions.” 

    “While academic learning is a basic component of education, no less important are the lessons of appreciation, empathy and responsibility,” Margolis said in a statement. “Apparently, some of our students failed when it came to respecting persons and property. The HRC has sponsored programs on various contemporary issues, such as bullying. We will continue to address the needs of the community through educational activities which promote interpersonal understanding and appreciation.”
     

     


    Jason Rivera is accused of spray painting references to the school shooting in Newtown, swastikas and anti-Obama comments on South Windsor High School.Jason Rivera is accused of spray painting references to the school shooting in Newtown, swastikas and anti-Obama comments on South Windsor High School.

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    West Haven police have arrested a New Haven man accused of shooting a gun in his girlfriend’s apartment, sending a bullet through the floor and into the grocery store below, and leading police on a pursuit.

    On Monday, police picked Stephen Jenkins, 26, up on two outstanding warrants.

    He is accused of discharging a firearm into the floor of his girlfriend’s second-floor apartment on March 19 or 20, police said.

    The apartment is above a store at 80 Gilbert St. and the bullet appeared to have been shot through the hardwood floor and into the ceiling of the grocery store below, then into the cement in the basement area below the store, police said. No one was injured.

    Police said they also learned that on March 21 Jenkins was getting into a vehicle seen near Gilbert Street that led police on a short pursuit into New Haven, where he crashed into a vehicle and fled.

    Jenkins was not found at that time.

    One warrant charges him with for criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and risk of injury to a child.

    A second warrant is for reckless endangerment first-degree, criminal possession of a weapon, improper use of a marker plate, operating without insurance, failure to renew registration, disobeying signal of officer, engaging police in pursuit and reckless driving. Both warrants held a $75,000 bond each.

    Jenkins will be extradited to Colonial Heights Virginia for a felony probation violation.

     

     



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police

    Stephen Jenkins was picked up on two warrants.Stephen Jenkins was picked up on two warrants.

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    Imagine waking up and being homeless.

    Yvonne Rogers of Birmingham, England awoke from a 14-month coma to discover she no longer owned her home and her family had sold her belongings.

    The Birmingham Mail reported that the wheelchair-bound patient suffered from hydrocephalus, meaning water on the brain. She fell into a coma after complications during surgery.

    The Birmingham City Council reclaimed her home, saying that it had been unoccupied for too long. As a result, her family had to sell all her furniture, keeping only small items of memorabilia, because there was no storage space, according to the Birmingham Mail.

    “I lost two years of my life in the hospital, and I lost my home too,” Rogers told the paper.



    Photo Credit: FILE-Getty Images

    A hospital bed like this one served as Rogers' home while her real one was reclaimed by the government.A hospital bed like this one served as Rogers' home while her real one was reclaimed by the government.

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