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  • 06/01/15--10:10: Arrest in Bounce House Crash

  • Police have arrested a Hollis, New Hampshire, man following an investigation into an inflatable bounce house accident that left two young boys injured in October of 2014.

    Police say the bounce house that the kids were playing inside, ages 2 and 3, lifted off the ground, flew over an eight-foot fence and came crashing down 50 feet away.

    The accident took place at Sullivan Farm in Nashua on October 12, 2014.

    Co-owner of the farm Gary C. Bergeron, 61, said the bounce house was inflated so it could dry and wasn't open at the time, The Associated Press reported. According to Bergeron, it wasn't scheduled to be open until Halloween.

    The father of one of the toddlers, however, said a farm volunteer led visitors to believe it was open.

    Bergeron was arrested and charged with the failure to register the bounce house as required by the Commissioner of Safety. Bergeron has also been charged with the failure to obtain an amusement ride decal and the failure to have the amusement ride properly inspected, both which are required by law. Each infraction is considered a class B misdemeanor.

    Bergeron posted bail and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance. He will next appear in court on June 24.

    State Fire Marshal William Degnan wishes to reiterate the importance of making sure all inflatable amusement devices are secured at all times. Thirty-one children have been injured in related accidents since 2008.



    Photo Credit: necn

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    Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to be arraigned Thursday morning in Chicago on federal charges.

    The Department of Justice and IRS allege Hastert, 73, withdrew $1.7 million from various banks between 2010 to 2014 and provided the funds to an unnamed person "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct."

    Hastert's arraignment is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Dirksen Federal Building Courthouse. The government will be represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block. No attorney was listed as of Monday for Hastert.

    A federal law enforcement official told NBC News on Friday that Hastert was making payments to a man in order to conceal a sexual relationship they had while the man was a student at Yorkville High School.

    Hastert was indicted Thursday with making regular withdrawals from his bank accounts below a limit that would require reporting and then lying to federal officials when asked about those withdrawals.

    The indictment accused Hastert of promising a total of $3.5 million to the unnamed person.

    The indictment did not specify the alleged misconduct or identify "Individual A" other than saying the person was someone from Yorkville, Illinois, where Hastert was employed as teacher and wrestling coach from 1965 to 1981.

    District officials on Friday said they had no knowledge of any alleged misconduct.

    Hastert's name was removed Thursday from the Washington, D.C. lobbying and law firm where he worked, and a spokesperson there said Hastert had resigned.

    If convicted of the charges against him, Hastert faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


    Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) speaks with reporters after delivering his farewell address to Congress November 15, 2007 in Washington, DC. Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history, and the first speaker since 1955 to remain in Congress after losing the speakership.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) speaks with reporters after delivering his farewell address to Congress November 15, 2007 in Washington, DC. Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history, and the first speaker since 1955 to remain in Congress after losing the speakership. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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    Enfield High School students were dismissed at 12:45 p.m. on Monday after a water main broke, according to the school’s web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    The Facebook post says construction workers broke a water main at the school at 11:30 a.m. and there was no water in the bathrooms or to the sprinkler system.

    This will not affect the last day of school or graduation and other schools in the district are operating on a regular schedule, according to a post from the school.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Enfield High School students were dismissed at 12:45 p.m. on Monday after a water main broke, according to the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.Enfield High School students were dismissed at 12:45 p.m. on Monday after a water main broke, according to the school’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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    Firefighters responded to a fire at Winter Bros. Waste Systems at 90 Oliver Terrace in Shelton to put out a small fire that appears to have started in a pile of garbage.

    No one was injured and more details will be provided once it becomes available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Crews put out a small fire in Shelton on Monday.Crews put out a small fire in Shelton on Monday.

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    Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner.

    The Olympic gold medalist and "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star, who first confirmed in April that she is transitioning into a woman, has made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz.

    Jenner is also profiled in the magazine's July issue, her first print interview and photo shoot since going public. In the article Jenner talks to "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger, who was given full access to Jenner and her family. These first images of Jenner as Caitlyn were taken in her Malibu home.

    "If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life,'" Jenner says in the far-ranging interview that touches on her surgeries to date (two nose adjustments, a tracheal shave, facial-feminization procedures and breast augmentation), family reaction to the revelation, and her upcoming E! network docu-series, which the four children from Jenner's first two marriages have refused to participate in.

    Also revealed is the first time Caitlyn Jenner will appear at a public event. On July 15 she will be awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPN's ESPYs in Los Angeles. Past winners include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, and Billie Jean King. According to Vanity Fair, all 10 of Jenner's children and stepchildren are expected to be onstage when she accepts the honor.

    "By sharing her journey with the world, Caitlyn Jenner is accelerating acceptance of transgender people everywhere and reminds us all how important it is to live as your most authentic self," GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement in response to the Vanity Fair cover story.

    Jenner, 65, first publicly declared her decision to live as a woman in a frank interview with Diane Sawyer for ABC's "20/20" that aired April 24. She admits the televised interview–watched with Jenner's children and ex-wives–was tough viewing, but also exciting as she was finally able to get the hidden truth "off my chest."

    Bruce Jenner, she says in Vanity Fair, was "always telling lies." Caitlyn Jenner, she adds, "doesn't have any lies."

    Jenner says the day the website TMZ went public with news of her tracheal shave surgery in 2014–despite direct pleas not to–she contemplated suicide with a gun kept in her Malibu home. Deciding not to go through with it, Jenner explains it was then she realized it was time to go public with her transition.

    "The uncomfortableness of being me never leaves all day long," Jenner says in the article. "I'm not doing this to be interesting. I'm doing this to live."

    About the same time as the Vanity Fair cover appeared online, Caitlyn Jenner's verified Twitter account surfaced and has already garnered almost one million followers. Jenner's first tweet: "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me."

    Jenner's daughter Kendal and stepchildren Kim and Khloe Kardashian were quick to take to social media with messages of support following the reveal.



    Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of July 2015 Vanity Fair.Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of July 2015 Vanity Fair.

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    A Department of Corrections (DOC) employee is facing charges after she gave an inmate at a Somers prison a cell phone, state police said.

    The security division of the DOC told state police that they found a cell phone on inmate Anthony Hall, 39, at Osborn Correctional Institution in Somers and that they believe Emily McIntosh, 32, of Rockville, delivered it to him, state police said.

    State police obtained arrest warrants for both McIntosh and Hall on May 28 after a lengthy investigation. McIntosh turned herself into state police on Friday at 10:10 a.m.

    State police charged McIntosh with unauthorized conveyance of a wireless communication device into a prison and conspiracy to commit the crime. She was released on a $1,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Rockville Superior Court on June 16.

    The case remains active and Hall will be brought to court so that state police can serve a warrant for his arrest in connection to the incident.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Witnesses on Sunday recalled the tense moments when a Long Beach, California, police officer fatally shot a 20-year-old unarmed college student.

    Feras Morad had jumped through the glass of a second-story window Wednesday night when he was met by an officer, who Long Beach Police Department officials said tried to restrain the student before opening fire.

    "The boy was arms kind of up in the air, leaning, not aggressing, not attacking, just out of his mind. And the police officer did four shots really close range to his chest," said a witness, who did not want to be identified for fear of police retaliation.

    "The boy fell to the side and I watched him die because his eyes were gone and he was bleeding out," she added.

    Police and witnesses agree that Morad appeared intoxicated.

    Covered in blood, Morad allegedly acted violently and "irrationally," Long Beach police said. The officer used "verbal commands, an electronic control device, an impact weapon, and physical force" on Morad, but was unsuccessful in restraining him.

    "I did hear the officer tell him to 'Stop or I'll shoot,' and then a couple of minutes later the shots went off," said neighbor Brian Magpantay.

    What some witnesses don't agree on is whether the officer needed to use lethal force.

    "He (Morad) was like coming toward him like this all bloody from head to toe, it was quite a scene. He was acting very aggressive," said witness Bob Garner. "At that moment he (the officer) was solo and I think in his mind he had to make a decision, and his decision, I believe from what I saw, was two tasers and a fall from a second story did zero. 'I have no other choice,' that's what it appeared like to me."

    The woman who did not want to be identified held back tears as she recalled watching the young man die.

    "If that officer wasn't there, I guarantee you 10 people from this neighborhood could have gotten that intoxicated child down on the ground and into an ambulance for help," she said. "He needed help, he didn't need to die."

    Morad was described by his family as a national debate student soon to start classes at California State University, Long Beach.



    Photo Credit: Facebook

    Feras Morad in an undated photo posted on his Facebook page.Feras Morad in an undated photo posted on his Facebook page.

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    Willington's Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Monday night to oppose a proposed state police gun range that drew major criticism from residents.

    Expecting a larger turnout than usual because the proposed State Police gun range is on the agenda, Willington's Board of Selectmen had to move its 6:30 p.m. meeting Monday night from the town library to Hall Memorial School.

    The board voted to send a setter to the state opposing the gun rage. Willington's response to the proposal is due by June 4.

    The owner of the Eldredge Mills Road property also backed otu of selling the lot for the purpose of the proposed gun range, laving only one possible location for one in Willington.

    Last Thursday more than a hundred people heard State Police make a presentation about their proposal for a new gun range in Willington.

    Their current one on Nod Road in Simsbury consistently floods. Trying to keep it above water has cost the state government hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to state police.

    "The range in Simsbury isn't fitting the bill," said Sgt Shane Hassett. "We've had a lot of historical water problems there, and it's the state that has decided it's time to move."

    The Department of Administrative services and state police had three sites in mind, including two in Willington, one in East Windsor. But the vast majority of the Willington people at the meeting said they have no home for the range.

    "No Gun Range in Willington" reads one sign along Route 74 promoting the selectmen's meeting and it's not the only one.

    "This is a pristine part of Connecticut. It's a green belt, and I just hate to see it be ruined by a gun range," Doug Benton, of Willington, said.

    Sam Wheeler has less of a problem with having a gun range in town.

    "They have to have it somewhere - better improve security in town to have cops coming in and out all the time but that's about it," Wheeler said.

    It is still early in the process. There will have to be a study of the environmental impact needs to be done over the next six months. The next meeting might not be until the survey is completed in the fall.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Willington's Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Monday night to oppose a proposed state police gun range that drew major criticism from residents.Willington's Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 Monday night to oppose a proposed state police gun range that drew major criticism from residents.

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  • 06/01/15--13:33: Warmest May on Record

  • Connecticut experienced the warmest May in 110 years of record-keeping in the Hartford area.

    The average monthly temperature was 66.0 degrees. That number is calculated by averaging the high and low temperatures for all 31 days of the month.

    It was only a few months ago that the coldest February, and coldest month, was logged at the Hartford area climate site, which currently uses the weather station at Bradley International.

    February 2015 came in with an average temperature of only 16.1 degrees.
    So, what’s behind these recent extremes? It’s not clear-cut, but there are some possible explanations.

    This spring was very dry across the region. In fact, Islip, New York, Kennedy Airport, New York and Worcester, Massachusetts experienced Mays that ranked the driest on record.

    “Without water at the surface, all of the sun’s energy, the solar radiation, goes to warming up the soil (the ground) and the air just above it, rather than going into evaporating water,” according to Dr. Michael Rawlins, manager of the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst.

    As for the record cold in February, another theory exists. Rawlins says some climate scientists are investigating the idea that a rapidly warming Arctic could be contributing to a weaker jet stream, leading to bigger dips in the atmospheric flow during the winter.

    “One wonders, are there any links between warming in the Arctic and what’s happened over our winter,” Rawlins says.

    The cold pattern back in February, and the warmth of the last several weeks, certainly had persistence. During May 2015 in the Hartford area, not one daily record high temperature was set. Yet, most of the days were above average. That’s how the record warmest May was achieved.

    Rawlins notes “it seems like these patterns are staying stuck more.” Though it may make sense at first glance, it’s a controversial area of research and hypotheses continue to be tested.

    As for a link between the warmest May in history and the upcoming summer, Rawlins isn’t aware of a strong correlation between a warm May and a warm summer. It’s important to note that seasonal outlooks are a different beast that the typical seven-day forecast.


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    A driver accidentally drove into the water at Wethersfield Cove on Monday evening.

    An older driver put his foot on the gas pedal instead of the brake, thrusting the car into the water, according to Wethersfield police.

    The driver made it out of the water unharmed and crews were still pulling the car out of the cove as of 4:28 p.m.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run is the law enforcement community’s way to pay homage to our heroes.

    More than 1,500 police officers from departments across the state will volunteer as torchbearers June 3 to 5, running the Special Olympics "Flame of Hope" through their towns to pass from department to department on different legs of the journey, ultimately ending in Hartford.

    Special Olympics athletes will be running with them, as well. The run leads up to the start of the Special Olympic summer games.

    The torch run starts Wednesday, passing through East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington and Waterford for Leg 1 on Wednesday and Griswold, Killingly, Ledyard, Lisbon, Montville, Norwich, Plainfield, Preston and Putnam for Leg 2. It will end in Hartford on June 5 after passing through several other Connecticut towns.

    The annual torch run is a way to raise awareness and money for Special Olympics and "inspire communities to accept and respect people of all abilities," according to a news release from Special Olympics Connecticut.

    The Torch Run will take place from June 3-5. It will cover over 530 miles and pass through more than 100 cities and towns.

    Click here to find when the flame of hope will be passing you!


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    It’s never to early to acquaint infants with water safety, even children who are barely old enough to walk.

    A program called Infant Self Rescue in Iowa teaches young children as young as 6 months what to do if they find themselves alone in water, such as how to spin onto their backs to breathe, reports NBC affiliate KTVB.

    If babies and toddlers can save themselves, the likelihood of drowning goes down. But just because a kid has these skills doesn’t mean parents and guardians can rest easy, said an instructor from the class, Ann Moore. 

    “No one is ever drown-proof, so that’s why supervision is critical,” said Moore.  

    Along with keeping a close eye on children near water, make sure to have covers and fences around pools; empty out buckets of water and keep toilet seats down; and learn CPR, notes SafeKids.org.

    Here's a to a fun — and safe — summer.


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    Giants punter Steve Weatherford says he's thankful his newborn daughter still has a father after he totaled a rental car on the New Jersey Turnpike amid raging thunderstorms while returning home for practice from visiting his little girl in California. 

    Weatherford posted a picture on Instagram of the mangled car on after the 3:30 a.m. crash Monday, saying it wrecked as he hit "a massive body of water" going about 65 mph to 70 mph.

    "I hydroplane, slam into the median, get blasted in the face by the air bags," said Weatherford, whose face was bruised in the crash. "My rental is totaled and I walked out without a scratch."

    Less than 2 minutes after he left the car, another car slid out of control in the same spot and hit his rental, Weatherford told radio station WFAN.

    "I thought the guy was dead," Weatherford said, adding that he ripped open the back passenger door to try to awaken the unconscious driver. "I'm trying to gently hit this guy's shoulder and trying to wake him up, because a third car could easily come and hit us."

    Weatherford called 911, and New Jersey state troopers helped him and drove him 45 miles home to Hoboken.

    "Now I'm home shaking like a leaf, trying to pack my bag to go to practice," Weatherford said on Instagram. "I'm so thankful to even be walking right now."

    New Jersey State Police wrote on Facebook: "Two words about Steve: Class act. Also, congratulations! Best of luck with your family's new addition!"

    The punter was driving back to New Jersey from Washington because his San Diego-Newark flight was diverted due to thunderstorms. Weatherford said he arrived in Washington too late to take a train or bus back home.

    "Not only has God given my family and I a beautiful, healthy 10-pound baby girl," Weatherford said. "He sent his guardian angels to keep my car from flipping and (me from) possibly dying."



    Photo Credit: @weatherford5/Instagram

    Steve Weatherford posted this photo on Instagram after the crash.Steve Weatherford posted this photo on Instagram after the crash.

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    A man is facing charges after police said he used an ice pick to puncture tires, bit someone and threatened people during an incident in a parking lot on Broadway in Milford Sunday.

    Police arrested Michael Amatrudo, 57, of Milford, on multiple charges including assault and threatening after receiving a complaint Sunday that a man stabbed car tires in the parking lot.

    Amatrudo is accused of stabbing tires on two vehicles with an ice pick, biting an individual and threatening to hut people at the scene. It's unclear what sparked the incident.

    Police found a sword in Amatrudo's car.

    Police charged him with third-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, breach of peace and criminal attempt at second-degree assault.

    Amatrudo was held in custody in lieu of a $100,000 bond. No information was provided on his court date.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 06/01/15--20:04: Stay-at-Home Mom Missing

  • A family's worry continues to grow as a stay-at-home mother from the Antelope Valley area of Southern California has yet to be found after vanishing nearly two weeks ago.

    Monique Figueroa, 28, left her hometown of Littlerock on May 19 after telling friends she was going to visit some other friends in the Los Angeles area, her father Jeff Figueroa told NBC4 on Monday.

    The LA County Sheriff's Department identified Monique Figueroa as 27 years old, but her father said she turned 28 on May 11.

    Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies found her Mercedes SUV in a rural area in Palmdale over the weekend, said Lt. Steve Jauch, of the LASD Homicide Bureau.

    Jauch said Monique Figueroa's boyfriend was arrested on murder charges earlier this year, but said she was not involved in the case.

    The day after Monique Figueroa left, her father said he got a text message from his daughter that read, "Had to leave, be home soon."

    He reported her missing several days later, on May 24, when her phone kept going to voice mail.

    "My daughter is a very outgoing person, loving. She's always helping people," father Jeff Figueroa said. "She's a good mom."

    Monique Figueroa has a 2-year-old daughter, her father said, adding that the little girl has been asking for her mother every day.

    "She's lived in Littlerock all her life, went to kindergarten right here locally in town," Jeff Figueroa said. "Her time here seems to be cut off short. We miss her and want her home ... Let my daughter go, let her come home to her daughter."

    Anyone with information should call the LASD's Homicide Bureau, Detective Shonka or Detective Holston at 323-890-5500.

    To remain anonymous, call "Crime Stoppers" at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). You can also use report tips at http://lacrimestoppers.org.



    Photo Credit: Figueroa Family

    Monique Figueroa, 28, left her hometown of Littlerock on May 19, her father told NBC4.Monique Figueroa, 28, left her hometown of Littlerock on May 19, her father told NBC4.

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    Four accused teenaged criminals were so proud of their stealing ways, that their bragging got them busted.

    The Broward Sheriff's Office said Machel Stevens, 18, and three juveniles used a camcorder they had stolen to make a nearly three-minute long video showing themselves counting stolen cash, wearing stolen jewelry and sitting in a stolen car from recent burglaries.

    "I think if we split it we all come out with a stack," one was heard saying in the video, bragging about fists full of cash and possibly stolen jewelry. "Show them the rings."

    Detectives said they ended up leaving the stolen items, including the camcorder, in the stolen vehicle after getting into an accident in Fort Lauderdale.

    The three juveniles and the 18-year-old were arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft, among other charges.

    BSO detectives believe they teens have been active in the tri-county area, committing dozens of residential burglaries in Oakland Park.

    "They're good at it, they're prolific," said BSO's Dani Moschella. "They burglarized at least 25 homes in Oakland Park recently. They've stolen cars, they've burglarized cars."

    One of those Oakland Park homes belongs to Bruce Brown. The burglars broke a side window and let themselves in.

    "When I came home I realized my front door was unlocked and when I opened I realized someone had been inside," Brown said.

    They got away with $250 in cash, $1,200 in jewelry, including several rings, and a digital camera with telephoto lens.

    "I felt just unbelievable that someone would come into my house, uninvited," said Brown.

    None of the goods in the video belonged to Brown. But one of the suspects points out one of their biggest hauls in the back seat of a stolen car.

    "Big safe in the back. That's how we do it, man."

    The safe, taken from a home, contained more than $3,000 in cash. In the video, the brazen bunch proudly fans out the bills as they mug for the camera.

    A short time after this video was shot, one of the teens took the stolen car for a joyride, crashed it in Fort Lauderdale, and took off on foot, leaving behind the stolen items, including the the camcorder.

    "They basically handed detectives everything they needed. Here's the video showing what we did, what we stole and who we are," Moschella said.

    Officers from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department recovered the items and traced them to residential burglaries in Boca Raton and Oakland Park.

    When BSO detectives in Oakland Park saw the video, they recognized each one of the bragging burglars.

    Anyone with information about these burglaries or any other crimes is asked to call Broward County Crimes Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.



    Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

    Boastful burglars' videoBoastful burglars' video

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    Berlin High School dismissed students for the day after the roof leaked and some ceiling tiles came down, according to the Berlin Public School superintendent’s office.

    Berlin received more than five inches of rain during the storm on Sunday and Supt. David Erwin said the water is affecting the old section of the high school, which has not been renovated yet.

    Water pooled on the roof, leaked in and brought down some ceiling tiles, he said.

    The first bell rings at 7:25 a.m. and school officials decided within five minutes to dismiss for the day.

    Crews have spent the morning cleaning up the water and resolved the issue, but school officials decided to dismiss students for the day.

    The senior class was the only class not dismissed because they are on an outing, rather than in school.

    School officials believe classes will resume on Tuesday, but a decision will be made later. Parents will be notified by 5 a.m. on Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: Daniel Paszkowski, @danpaszkowski
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Berlin High School has dismissed students for the day because of flooding at the high school.Berlin High School has dismissed students for the day because of flooding at the high school.

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    The day after a lifeguard reported someone disappeared after going underwater off Dawson Avenue beach, police and firefighters have ended their search and said no one has been reported missing.

    The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating and will request help from agencies as necessary.

    Authorities said they received a call around 3 p.m. on Sunday reporting that a person who was swimming alone had been missing for at least a half an hour.

    "The lifeguard saw a swimmer approximately 800 feet offshore. They monitored their swimming because of the distance they were away with binoculars and they saw the swimmer go under and they didn’t them come up," Deputy Chief Steve Scarfariello, of the West Shore Fire Department, said.

    Officials from the Coast Guard said on Monday that they searched extensively and found some pink balloons, but no person.

    The West Shore Fire District urged residents to check on their loved ones on Sunday in an effort to identify who the missing swimmer could be.

    As of 9:30 a.m., firefighters and the West Haven Police Department ended the search.

    As of Monday morning, police said they received no reports of missing people, abandoned vehicles or discarded items that would lead them to believe someone is missing.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.come

    Crews have to determine whether to continue the search for a missing swimmer.Crews have to determine whether to continue the search for a missing swimmer.

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    Hartford's mayor and city officials are inviting the school community and the general public to come together in a rally for peace.

    Spearheaded by Mayor Pedro Segarra and the City Council, residents are invited to join parents, Hartford schools, Hartford Communities That Care, Mothers United Against Gun Violence, Urban League Greater Hartford, Community Solutions, Peacebuilders, Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, Hartford2000, Spanish American Merchants Association, Hartford Police Department, Hartford Fire Department, Members of Hartford Clergy and other community members at "The Capital City's Rally for Peace & Progress" on Wednesday.

    People are encouraged to wear orange. Pins will also be given to attendees on a first come, first serve basis.

    It will be held at the John C. Clark Elementary School playground at the corner of Barbour Street and Elmer Street in Hartford from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on June 3.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Hartford pastor shot outside his church the day before Memorial Day and his family are holding onto hope as he continues to recover.

    Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy, 54, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was outside the First Church of the Nazarene at 932 Capital Ave. on his fifth anniversary with the church Sunday, May 24 when he was shot just before 6:30 a.m., police said. The pastor was putting out flags for Memorial Day services at the time, according to police. Sealy is still recovering from being shot twice in the right leg and once in the left shoulder.

    His family was at the church on Sunday and remains hopeful.

    "We had church yesterday and everyone is in good spirits," his wife, Sharon told NBC Connecticut. "We continue to pray for his recovery. The family is trying to go on with some normalcy even though difficult at times."

    Over the weekend, Hartford police obtained an arrest warrant for his suspected shooter, Aaron J. Taylor, 25, of Windsor, who is also accused of shooting Robert Jones, 27, of Hartford at least six times at 402 Garden Street 14 minutes later on May 24.

    Jones was last listed in serious but stable condition at St. Francis Hospital.

    Taylor is wanted on attempted murder and assault charges in connection to both shootings. They said to "use caution when dealing with Taylor as the firearm in this incident has not been recovered."

    Taylor was last seen driving a black Nissan Maxima and the marker plate is unknown, police said. He is also suspected in other crimes, but police did not release information on those other incidents. 

    Surveillance video of Taylor buying a Red Bull at a Hartford convenience store helped police identify him as a suspect.

    Police said the motive for both crimes is unclear. Investigators said earlier this week that they are looking into whether the shooting of the pastor might have been a hate crime.

    "I can tell you we do hear from residents that the church is very accepting and open to the LGBT community," Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley previously said. "So there were some statements made at the scene that certainly keep the idea of it being a hate crime open to our investigators."

    The warrant for Taylor carries charges of criminal attempt to commit murder and first-degree assault, as well as a $1.2 million court-set bond. He has a long criminal record, including carrying a pistol without a permit, escape and resisting arrest. 

    The department asks anyone with information on the suspect to contact police.



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

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