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    More than 150 students at Waterbury’s Wilby High School missed a day of class for violating the dress code, but now the school district is removing those suspensions from their records.

    “They decided to suspend everyone that was not in the dress code,” Wilby student Jessica Rivera said.

    Four of Rivera’s friends were suspended as part of the dress code enforcement sweep, she said.

    “They were surprised, some of them were mad, because there’s only two months left, so why would they worry about that now?” Rivera said.

    The 1,086 students were warned last week about the dress code crackdown.

    “We were left in the dark, we had no knowledge” said Robert Brenker, the Waterbury Public Schools’ interim chief operating officer.

    While the district officials support dress code enforcement, Brenker said Wilby administrators did not follow the proper protocol of progressively disciplining students.

    “Each one of those 156 should have had a review based on their individual record,” Brenker said.

    Some of the students should only have received a written warning or an afterschool detention. District police calls for a suspension only after a fourth dress code violation.

    “All the suspensions have been revoked for the 156,” Brenker said of the district’s decision after a parent notified them Monday about the mass suspension.

    The Waterbury schools dress code prohibits high school students from wearing hats, caps and hoodies.

    “It teaches them how to be professional to a degree,” parent Lygia Rinaldi said.

    But Rinaldi does not like how Wilby High School is trying to enforce the dress code.

    “I think suspension is a little much for dress code,” she said, “c’mon for clothes, what if people can’t afford it.”

    NBC Connecticut reached out to the Wilby High School Principal Michele Buerkle for comment, but she did not respond to our email.


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    The man accused of killing his wife and then fleeing the state with their 2-year-old daughter faced a judge on Wednesday. 

    Patrick Miles, 36, was arraigned on charges of murder, criminal possession of a firearm and criminal use of a weapon at New Britain Superior Court.

    Miles is being held on a $2.5 million bond.

    New Britain Police found his wife, Yasheeka Miles, dead with a gunshot wound to the head at their New Britain apartment on April 8.

    Police quickly realized the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Paisley was missing. An Amber Alert was issued and the search began, as police believed she was with her father Patrick.

    The child was found hours later unharmed at the home of relatives in Brooklyn, New York.

    Miles was found five days later in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

    After he was arraigned in court and ordered to be held on a $2.5 million dollar bond, Adriene Lauray, the victim’s mother, spoke with NBC Connecticut about her daughter.

    “Yasheeka had changed her life. And he just didn’t understand it. Yasheeka was in college, she was working. She was taking care of her kids,” Said Lauray. “When she changed. He didn’t want to change. And I know he’s responsible for her death there’s no question in my mind about that.”

    Yasheeka was 33 years old at the time of her death. She was also a student at Capital Community College and a mother of two.

    Lauray describes her daughter as sweet, charming and always smiling.

    “That’s her nickname, ‘Mouda.’ We called her ‘Mouda.’ We called her Ti-Ti. She was doing a good job—a fantastic job. I was very proud of Yasheeka and what she was doing.”

    Instead of being by her daughter’s side today, she has her daughter only in spirit.

    “My daughter is gone and all I can wait for is justice. That’s it,” said Lauray.

    Now the victim’s mother said she will be the caretaker of her daughter’s two children.

    Miles’ affidavit was not available after his arraignment today.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    Two members of the U.S. military were killed in an operation on an ISIS target in Afghanistan, NBC News reported. Another was wounded.

    More information on the soldiers, including what service they were in, wasn't immediately available, pending notification of their next of kin, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement Thursday.

    The operation took place in the Achin area, where the military dropped a massive, non-nuclear bomb called the "mother of all bombs" on an ISIS target in Afghanistan two weeks ago, the weapon's first-ever use in combat.

    Another American soldier died this month during an operation against ISIS in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and ISIS are fighting over territory, and with government and American coalition forces.



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File

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    The City of Hartford's budget crisis means deep cuts, but many groups say the cuts would have devastating consequences. 

    "What I'm putting forward is not the budget we want to put forward, but it's the budget we have to put forward," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. 

    Many groups facing proposed cuts for the 2018 fiscal year spoke during a public hearing at Bulkeley High School Wednesday night. 

    Dial-A-Ride and senior centers see reduced funding in the proposed budget, which Hartford activist Hyacinth Yennie and others said would hurt services that cater to some of the city's most vulnerable population. 

    "Dial-A-Ride is critical for seniors. They can't get out of the house if they don't have a ride," Yennie said. "We can stay at the level right now, but please do not cut seniors." 

    Other organizations find themselves facing a total cutoff in funds. 

    Hartford Public Access TV broadcasts public meetings, including Wednesday night's hearing, and the executive director said they're facing a nearly $50,000 slash, which is about 20 percent of their total budget, and that would greatly affect their ability to provide services for the city and its constituents. 

    The proposed budget would also do away with city funding of Journey Home, an organization that works to end chronic homelessness. 

    Journey Home would lose $85,000 and executive director Matthew Morgan said all the progress they've made would be in jeopardy. 

    "It is an achievable goal to end chronic homelessness and we are closer than any other state, so these cuts could reverse that and put us on a road back toward increasing chronic homelessness in our region," Morgan said. 

    Mayor Bronin said he values the work Journey Home does and pointed out that the organization serves a large region but that Hartford is the only city that gives a significant amount of money to them. 

    "I hope you go with the same passion and same energy and same forcefulness to the West Hartford town council, East Hartford town council, Windsor, Wethersfield, Simsbury and Avon and say the same. And if everyone gives you five grand, we'll get you that $5,000 and make you whole," Bronin said. "The City of Hartford cannot continue to bear regional responsibility on our own. We need partnership." 

    The mayor said a big reason the city is in a fiscal pit is because so much of their property is non-taxable. 

    "Not only is half the property non-taxable, but the property that is taxable is much less than our peer cities like New Haven, Bridgeport. It's even less than West Hartford. We have less taxable property than a suburb that's half our size," Bronin said. 

    "We have made tough choices. We know how tough those are, and this budget has some more. But remember, at the end of the day, even with all of that, we cannot do this alone. That's why we have to show the state we have done everything we can because acting alone, there is no path to solvency for our city,” Bronin said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Milwaukee man was removed from a Delta Airlines flight in Atlanta last week after going to the bathroom during a delay on the flight, according to footage and witness accounts. 

    Video of the incident was posted to social media Friday, showing what appeared to be a flight attendant and a second employee asking the passenger to leave Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee just moments after he returned from what he said was an emergency bathroom run. 

    “I need more information sir. I haven’t done anything and I paid for this ticket and I actually have– I have to get home,” Kima Hamilton said to the first employee who asked him to leave the plane to discuss the matter.

    But when Hamilton asked the man if the plane was going to depart when he exited, the attendant replied with “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

    Multiple passengers are seen recording the conversation as it unfolds, some even asking the attendant if Hamilton would be able to return to the plane.

    In a second conversation with what appeared to be another employee, Hamilton was told that his bathroom break had forced the plane to return to the gate. 

    “Because we had to come back, that’s why we want to talk to you about that,” the employee is heard saying before telling Hamilton their conversation was “inconveniencing everyone.”

    Hamilton explained that he had tried to use the bathroom earlier but was told he needed to wait, otherwise the plane would lose its place in line for takeoff. After 30 more minutes, he said he could no longer hold it and it was an emergency. 

    Witnesses noted the plane did not move while Hamilton was in the bathroom. 

    Hamilton, who told Milwaukee NBC affiliate TMJ4 that he is an art teacher, continued to plea with officials, telling them he had a field trip with 94 students the next morning and needed to return home.

    Soon there was an announcement telling everyone they would need to leave the plane, passengers told TMJ4.

    "The whole thing was uncalled for,” Michael Rosalino, who was sitting across the aisle from Hamilton, told the station.

    One passenger who filmed the incident wrote in a blog post that she witnessed “the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer.”

    “Not only did your staff truly harm and humiliate one person who was forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a new same-day flight, but you forced the rest of us passengers to endure a 2 hour saga of watching a man being targeted for having a bathroom emergency,” Krista Rosolin wrote. “I am disappointed and horrified at how Delta Airlines staff treated their customers/passengers.”

    Rosolin told NBC News she felt the urge to record the incident "to have video of whatever transpired." 

    “What I couldn’t understand was, 'Okay, why is this being pursued against him when we didn’t move?'” she said. 

    Hamilton told TMJ4 that the rest of the passengers were able to re-board the flight and he was forced to stay back. Delta did refund him for part of his ticket, but his luggage remained on the plane and he ultimately purchased a flight home for three times the original price via another airline.

    "It all escalated so fast," he said.

    In a statement to NBC, Delta said its “flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers.”

    “It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at critical points of takeoff and landing,” the statement read.

    The incident comes as airlines face heightened scrutiny following incidents on United Express and American Airlines flights in recent weeks. 



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File
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    The state Capitol was evacuated after a fire alarm went off Thursday morning. 

    State Capitol Police said they do not know why the alarm went off.

    The Hartford Fire Department responded.

    People were allowed back into the building a short time later.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photo.File photo.

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    An Army veteran is accused of fatally shooting her service dog while her boyfriend, who's also a soldier, filmed it, a North Carolina prosecutor said.

    Cumberland County District Attorney Clark Reaves said 23-year-old Marinna Rollins and 25-year-old Jarren Heng tied the dog, Cumboui, to a tree and shot it multiple times with a rifle. In a video posted on Rollins' Facebook page, the two can be heard giggling and laughing as the gray and white male pit bull is being killed, The Associated Press reported.

    Both are charged with cruelty to animals. It wasn't immediately clear whether they have lawyers.

    Court documents show Rollins, who is originally from Portland, Maine, medically retired from the Army in January, according to the AP. Authorities said Rollins is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and Cumboui was her emotional support dog.

    Prior to the shooting, Rollins posted a photo of Cumboui on her Facebook page, writing she was "sad that her dog had to go to a happier place," according to court documents, NBC affiliate WCSH reported.

    A county animal control officer contacted Rollins after seeing the video on social media. The officer told the sheriff's office that Rollins gave "several excuses" as to why the dog was killed, according to WCSH.

    Heng was arrested Monday evening and Rollins was arrested Tuesday afternoon.

    Heng is an active-duty soldier from Nebraska assigned to a unit that reports to the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt said. Bockholt declined to give the exact unit. 



    Photo Credit: Cumberland County Sheriff's Office

    Jarren Heng, left, and Marinna Rollins were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after Rollins allegedly tied her service dog to a tree and shot it five times while Heng filmed it. Heng is also accused of shooting the dog.Jarren Heng, left, and Marinna Rollins were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after Rollins allegedly tied her service dog to a tree and shot it five times while Heng filmed it. Heng is also accused of shooting the dog.

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    Republican lawmaker Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz revealed medical fixtures that had been holding his foot together for the last 12 years on his Instagram account.

    Recently Chaffetz announced he would be taking a leave of absence and may not run for reelection in 2018. According to his Instagram post which reveals an x-ray of his foot, he said he would have the medical screws and plates removed from his foot after doctors advised him that the hardware could lead to a serious infection.

    In the post, Chaffetz wrote, "Yes, I wish I could say I was cliff diving in Mexico but the truth is I fell off a ladder while repairing something in my garage." 

    Chaffetz is chairman of the House Oversight Reform Committee and best known for his investigations of Hillary Clinton and alleged missteps by the Obama administration over the 2012 Benghazi attacks.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    In this file photo, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) heads for a House Republican caucus meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol October 9, 2015 in Washington, DC.In this file photo, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) heads for a House Republican caucus meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol October 9, 2015 in Washington, DC.

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    A motorcycle operator was killed in a crash in West Haven on Thursday afternoon.

    The scene happened at Campbell Avenue and Lamson Street.

    Campbell Avenue was closed between Terrace Avenue and Spring Street.

    The rider's identity is not being released until family is notified, police said.




    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    An 18-year-old Milford woman is accused of being somehow involved in restraining a person at a Motel 6 in Milford and robbing the victim.

    Police have arrested 18-year-old Jacqueline Steck, of Milford, after investigating what happened in a hotel room at Motel 6 at 111 Schoolhouse Road on April 12.

    The victim reported being attacked by four people, including one who had a handgun. The victim’s mouth was covered in duct tape and he or she was restrained with zip-ties, police said.

    Then a large sum of cash and clothing was taken.

    Steck was charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and first-degree larceny.

    She was held on a $250,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Milford Police

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    Someone could soon be moving into the home of former New England Patriot star Aaron Hernandez.

    The $1.2 million property in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, has a potential buyer, and attorneys for the Hernandez family moved quickly to secure it Thursday.

    During a hearing at Superior Court in New Bedford, a judge agreed to allow the home to be transferred from Hernandez's name to an estate that is controlled by his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez. The legal maneuvering enables Jenkins Hernandez to accept an offer on the house, which expires Friday. Details of the offer, however, were not made public at the request of attorneys.

    "I think that any speculation about the nature of the sale, who the buyers might be, is injurious," said George Leontire, an attorney for the Hernandez family.

    The move had support from attorneys who represent Hernandez's murder victim, Odin Lloyd. They currently have a pending wrongful death lawsuit, filed on behalf of Lloyd's mother, and hope to gain access to money from the sale.

    Hernandez lived in the home with his fiancee and their daughter until he was arrested for Lloyd's murder in 2013.

    According to court records, the property has federal and municipal liens and is currently uninsured.

    "This asset is in danger of being lost if it is not sold," the records state.

    The potential sale comes amidst other potential legal action by the Hernandez family against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections DOC in connection with Hernandez's suicide.

    Thursday, attorneys slammed investigators with the DOC and the Worcester County District Attorney's Office for apparent leaks to the media about the case.

    "Individuals within the government who are leaking such information are in violation of the policies and procedures of their respective agencies and should be immediately terminated," wrote Leontire in a letter addressed to both agencies.

    Leontire also stated that investigators had obtained copies of letters written by Hernandez to his legal team, which he argued is a violation of attorney-client privilege.

    "We hereby demand that the originals of such communications be provided to the defense team, and any and all copies of such writings within your custody or control be accounted for and destroyed."

    See the full letter below:



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A Bristol man is accused of violating a protective order and threatening a victim at New Britain Superior Court Wednesday.

    Police responded to the courthouse just after 11:30 a.m. and took 28-year-old Jeremy Sykes into custody.

    He was charged with first-degree harassment and violation of protective order.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    A Virginia woman who was trying to comfort her baby during a church service says she was escorted out of the sanctuary for breastfeeding.

    Annie Peguero, of Dumfries, says in a Facebook Live video that she was questioned twice as she breastfed Sunday in Summit Church in Springfield: first as she sat near the church's "baby room" without a nursing cover over her breast and a second time as she nursed openly in the sanctuary during the sermon.

    Peguero, a military wife and mother of two, said a church official told her it went against church policy to nurse openly.

    "We don't want to make a man uncomfortable in church, and we also don't want to make a new churchgoer feel uncomfortable," Peguero said she was told.

    Church officials did not immediately respond to inquiries. Peguero declined an interview Wednesday evening, after a wave of negative comments were posted online.

    Since 2015, Virginia law has given mothers the right to breastfeed anywhere they are legally allowed to be. There is no exemption for religious institutions.

    Peguero is a personal trainer whose tagline is "finding sunshine and strength in struggle." She said she breastfeeds openly because it fulfills her daughter's basic needs. She advised other mothers to ignore stares. 

    "Don't change your behavior because you're worried about what someone else thinks or does," she said. "Breastfeeding is normal." 

    Peguero said she had been enjoying the service at the nondenominational church, where she had attended services several times.

    "I'll never set foot in that church again, and it makes me really sad," she said, starting to cry.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Annie Peguero
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    Annie Peguero said in a Facebook Live video that she was questioned twice as she breastfed.Annie Peguero said in a Facebook Live video that she was questioned twice as she breastfed.

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    A New Britain man charged in the murder of his 33-year-old wife had made prior threats, deleted text messages indicating that he planned the murder and told a friend he “snapped” and didn’t know what happened after that, according to court documents.

    Patrick Miles, 36, of New Britain has been charged with the murder of 33-year-old Yasheeka Miles. Police arrested him days after they say he shot and killed her and fled with their 2-year-old daughter, sparking an Amber Alert.

    The investigation began with a 911 just before 10 p.m. Friday, April 7 from someone who said it sounded like someone being thrown around at a neighbor’s apartment.

    When police responded to 48 North Mountain Road, they found Yasheeka Miles bleeding profusely. She’d been shot in the head and police found two shell casings on the floor next to her.

    They then realized that Patrick Miles and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter were gone.

    Police later found the little girl in Brooklyn, New York with one of Patrick Miles’ family members, but there was still no sign of her father until authorities located him days later in West Springfield, Massachusetts, police said.

    As police investigated the death, the medical examiner ruled Yasheeka’s death a homicide.

    During the course of the investigation, police spoke with people who knew the victim and learned that she was no longer living with Patrick Miles but planned to go to a club that night and had gone to his home to retrieve some items. Then, court documents say, they got into a fight and Patrick Miles is accused of shooting his wife.

    One of Yasheeka’s family members would tell investigators that Patrick Miles had had been abusive and threatened to kill his wife the month before, but it was not reported to police, according to court records .

    Court documents also state that police found a conversation on Yasheeka Miles’ cellphone in which she was talking about ending the relationship with Patrick and he had deleted text messages indicated that he planned the killing several days before it happened.

    Before the located Patrick Miles, police spoke with one of his “known associates,” who told them he had a conversation with Miles about the fact that he was considered a potential suspect and he asked Miles what happened.

    “I don’t want to tell you. I don’t know. I snapped. I don’t know what happened after that. I took the sucka (sic) way out,” he said, according to court documents, then added that he was probably never going to see his daughter again.

    When police located Patrick Miles, they found him with two cell phones and said he was removing the battery and swapping the SIM card from one to another to avoid being located.

    His bond was set at $2.5 million and he is due back in court on May 30.




    Photo Credit: New Britain Police

    Patrick Miles, who is a potential suspect in the homicide tied to an Amber Alert in New Britain, was taken into custody in Massachusetts on Wednesday.Patrick Miles, who is a potential suspect in the homicide tied to an Amber Alert in New Britain, was taken into custody in Massachusetts on Wednesday.

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    Students reported minor injuries after a school bus suddenly stopped in West Haven to avoid a collision. 

    West Haven police and firefighters responded to the scene on Medford and Jaffrey Streets around 3 p.m.

    Approximately 10 to 12 students had minor complaints of injury after the bus stopped abruptly, West Haven Police said.

    No other information was available on the incident. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Delaware State Police are investigating a school bus crash on Route 40 at Route one in Bear, Del.Delaware State Police are investigating a school bus crash on Route 40 at Route one in Bear, Del.

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    Police believe they have found the body of a man who jumped off a bridge in Middletown. 

    On April 11, police said they were looking for the body after a man reportedly jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge. 

    The body found on Thursday in the Connecticut River is believed to be the body of the person who jumped off the bridge.

    Police said they are waiting for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to confirm the identity of the person found. 

    A man jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge on Tuesday and has not been found. 



    Photo Credit: Submitted

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    A North Texas man is planning his wife's funeral, just 39 days after they were married.

    Lana Canada was shot and killed Monday morning by a co-worker at a North Dallas office building.

    "I'm having a hard time with it. They pulled the love of my life away from me in just an instant," Dennis Canada told NBC 5 from the Sulphur Springs home he shared with his wife.

    Everything in the backyard of their home reminds Canada of Lana, including a rose garden they worked on together just two days before she was killed.

    "That's hard for me to look at," Canada said.

    Lana was a mother of eight – seven daughters and one son – and a grandmother of seven. Together they had a blended family and were the picture of wedded bliss.

    "The greatest marriage. The greatest relationship I'd ever been in," Canada said.

    He recalled kissing his wife goodbye Monday morning before she left for work. Lana was a supervisor at Dignity Team Health, a Texas-based provider of in-home Hospice Care.

    Hours later, she was killed in a conference room by a disgruntled employee who Canada says was "pretty mad" about Lana recently being named a co-partner. The shooter, 60-year-old Matthew Kempf, then turned the gun on himself.

    Canada said he received a text about the shooting from one of his wife's co-workers.

    He rushed to the north Dallas office building with Lana's 16-year-old daughter.

    "When the detectives came out and they told me that Lana did not make it," Canada said through tears. "My world had been taken from me." 

    Lana's funeral will be held Friday afternoon in Alba, Texas.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Dennis Canada's wife, Lana, was shot and killed at her workplace just 39 days after the two were married.Dennis Canada's wife, Lana, was shot and killed at her workplace just 39 days after the two were married.

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    Warmer air is working into the state and some areas could hit 80 degrees tomorrow as well as Saturday.

    High temperatures tomorrow are expected to reach the upper 70s to near 80 degrees. Here's a look at tomorrow's town by town high temperatures 

    The warmer weather also brings with it the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. Showers are possible tomorrow morning and again on Saturday.

    Here's a look at 'Future Radar' Saturday morning which shows a line of thunderstorms moving through the state. Sunshine and warm air will return by the afternoon hours. 

    Unfortunately for the warm weather fans the temperatures become much more seasonable by Sunday. High temperatures on Sunday are expected to reach the middle to upper 60s. The average high temperature for this time of year is 65 degrees. 


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    Party Animal has issued a nationwide recall of its Cocolicious dog food after lab tests of some products showed traces of the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

    According to the Food and Drug Administration, a retailer in Texas alerted Party Animal of the contamination after a customer presented two cans of dog food that tested positive for pentobarbital, a drug used for euthanasia mostly of dogs, cats, and horses.

    The affected products include 13-ounce-cans of Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04) with a best by date of July 2019, and 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13) with a best by date August 2019. The company said the food had been manufactured and distributed in 2015.

    Party Animal contacted two retailers that may have sold the customer the food and asked them to remove all remaining cans from these lots from shelves. Pet owners who have cans with the recalled lot numbers to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

    The company said there was one report of a pet who experienced discomfort, but there have been no deaths reported.

    "The safety of pets is and always will be our first priority. We sincerely regret the reports of the discomfort experienced by the pet who consumed this food," the company said in a statement.



    Photo Credit: FDA

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    Reports of space aliens and UFOs have flooded the telephone lines at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's newly launched VOICE hotline, established Wednesday through an executive order, which aims to provide public information and resources to the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, NBC news reported.

    The calls are part of a protest campaign started on Twitter by Alex McCoy, 28, who encouraged others online to call the hotline and report encounters with extraterrestrial beings.

    "I thought this was a chance to push back on how Trump has demonized the immigrant community. [The idea] really took off," McCoy told NBC News.

    ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed to NBC News that the office received alien-related prank calls. He said additional operators will be added if future data reveals long wait times.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly arrives to for a news conference at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to announce the opening of new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly arrives to for a news conference at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to announce the opening of new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).

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    One man accused of burning a Norwich apartment building has been arrested for arson. 

    Daniel G. Elliot-Villarreal, 28, has been charged with first-degree arson and criminal mischief. 

    Residents were taken to the hospital after fire broke out on the first floor of a home on McKinley Avenue in Norwich and 10 people have been displaced on April 20. 

    The fire cased $50,000 in damages in the four-family residence. Nine adults and a child were displaced. 

    Eight people were in the building at the time of the fire and three suffered smoke inhalation and transported to the William W. Backus Hospital for treatment. Two dogs and one cat died in the fire.

    Two Norwich firefighters required medical attention for minor injuries. 

    Elliot-Villarreal was one of the people transported to the hospital after being rescued from his burning apartment. He was later transported from Backus to Bridgeport Hospital for a higher level of care.

    An investigation found that the fire ad started in Elliot-Villarreal's apartment and ruled it incendiary. 

    Elliot-Villarreal's bond was set at $100,000. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Hollywood man beat his wife to death with a pipe wrench while their four children were home after learning she was pregnant with another man's baby, police said.

    Claude Sejour, 48, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of premeditated homicide in the killing of 40-year-old Marie Carmel Joseph, Hollywood Police said.

    Authorities said an officer responded to the couple's home on the 5900 block of Thomas Street Wednesday night after Sejour called 911 and said he killed his wife and was waiting outside for police.

    An officer found Sejour outside the home with blood on his hands and cheek, according to a police report. Sejour told the officer that his wife had called her boyfriend, put the phone on speaker and the boyfriend revealed she was carrying his child, the report said.

    "I did it. I finished her and called the police and went outside. I'm not crazy," Sejour told the officer, according to the report.

    Inside the home officers found Joseph's body. She had severe trauma to her face and head, police said. Sejour told investigators that he hit her with a pipe wrench during an altercation.

    The couple's four children, who range in age from 17 to 4, were also inside the home. The children are staying with a family member, the report said.

    Sejour was being held without bond Thursday, Broward jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.



    Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

    Claude SejourClaude Sejour

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    Police have arrested a 49-year-old man after a large amount of explosives was found in a home in New Haven.

    Emergency crews found hundreds of pounds of commercial-grade explosives in a home in New Haven that included the same types of explosive material used during the Boston Marathon bombing.

    Police responded to 35 Westminster St. around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a domestic incident and responding officers found so many explosives that local officials said they could have leveled all the houses in the area had they gone off.

    Pasquale Criscio was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with illegal manufacturing of explosives and bombs, illegal possession of explosives, illegal possession and storage of fireworks and risk of injury to a minor.

    The risk of injury to a minor charge stemmed from the fact that there were a 15-year-old and a 6-year-old children in the house along with the explosive materials, police said.

    Criscio lives in the house, but is not the homeowner, according to police.

    "We're talking several hundreds of pounds of black powder that you can obtain legally, but with all the other chemicals that were there, rightfully so, they elevated it to an explosive manufacturing factory," said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston Jr., who gave credit to the officer who noticed the substantial amount of explosives and acted quickly. 

    On Wednesday evening, the New Haven Police bomb squad, as well as state police, were called in and authorities determined there was no imminent public hazard and the house was secured overnight until crews obtained a search warrant Thursday.

    During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, officials said the explosives were found throughout the home, as well as in storage outside.  

    "This was not stored in any organized way. There are piles and piles in virtually every room of this home. This was a tinderbox waiting to go," Officer David Hartman said.

    Alston said they had concerns about heat, friction and shock impact that could cause the materials to explode.

    "It's very close to other residences, so you could have had a major catastrophe had that officer not given the heads up right away," he said.

    The investigation is still ongoing.

    "There's a lot in that house. There's a lot for investigators to go through, so this is going to take some time," Hartman said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Connecticut couple is in a dispute with a tree removal contractor who they said didn’t finish the job.

    Ted and Edie Sowa were excited to start building their retirement home; a tranquil log cabin by the lake. Before starting construction, all they needed were some trees cleared from the lot.

    The Sowa’s solicited bids through a community forum and in January and signed a contract with the owner of one tree service, who said he could get started right away and finish in two weeks.

    “It sounded perfect. I was so happy,” Ted Sowa told NBC Connecticut Responds he was initially delighted with the contractor’s timeline.

    They accepted the contractor’s $3,500 bid for the job and agreed to pay half of that upfront as a deposit. However, the completion date listed on the bid passed, they said, with no communication from the contractor. Worried when they couldn’t reach him and unable to check on the lot earlier, the Sowa’s visited their property three weeks later.

    With progress weeks behind deadline, the Sowa’s were dismayed to find some trees felled on top of other trees and brush and, they said, it didn’t appear any trees or brush had been cut and stacked for fuel as the bid specified.

    “My stomach sunk- sunk to the ground. How could he do that?” Ted Sowa recounted.

    When the Sowa’s demanded a refund, the contractor told the couple they owed him more money for the work he said he completed. Both sides are threatening legal action to recoup money they believe they’re owed.

    There are few standards and guidelines specific to cutting trees or tree service businesses in Connecticut. Contractors do not need a state license to cut trees, and permitting rules vary from town to town.

    The state Department of Consumer Protection has some tips to help residents make sure they get the work they expect:


    • Request quotes from multiple companies to help hone in on what to expect in terms of pricing, and what may be considered standard services.
    • Contact local, established businesses with reviews and references residents can check out on their own.
    • Make sure the contractor has a valid certificate of insurance and is clear about who will pay for any damage, whether it’s to their equipment, their property, or their neighbor’s property.


    “Read your contract, get references, make sure you know what you’re signing before you sign it. Ask all your questions that you have so you don’t end up in a place where you’re unsatisfied with the work someone does,” Lora Rae Anderson, the director of communications for the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), told NBC Connecticut.

    The Sowa’s have filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office. In the meantime, they’re looking for a different service to continue the work and clean up the mess.

    “So far, it’s got a little snag going, that’s all. We’ll get through it,” Ted Sowa said.

    Anyone experiencing a problem with or have any concerns about the health of trees on your property can consult an arborist. The state’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection does license arborists, who have knowledge pertaining to different species of trees and insects. To find a DEEP licensed arborist, click here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Mitchell College student was hospitalized after he was hit in the head with a crowbar-like object, but the person responsible is still at large, according to New London Police.

    About ten people, students and non-students, were involved in the brawl on the New London college campus on April 7 just before 1 a.m., said Acting New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.

    “I heard screaming, which coming from a college, I thought it would be normal. It would be some sort of party or people being loud and obnoxious. But it sounded kinda more like a devious scream. Like a higher pitch, I would say. It just sounded odd, it sounded different,” described Christian Kai-Nielsen, a junior at Mitchell College.

    Kai-Nielsen heard people scurrying and then looked out his window to find police cars filling the road. 

    “Obviously the first thing I think of is, ‘Wow, something dangerous happened.’ But I didn't think to that extent,” Kai-Nielsen said. “Because normally we have police here for like, minor things.”

    The group of people, who were mostly under 21 years old, were involved in a fight on campus, said Reichard. That’s where a 20-year-old male seemed to be beaten in the head with a crowbar-type object. An email sent later that day to the college community confirmed it was outside the residence halls on upper campus.

    Officers are reviewing surveillance video, conducting interviews and still looking for the person responsible for the violent attack.

    “A local nightclub that was hosting an under 21 party,” Reichard said. “Something transpired at that party, which was not too far from the campus. And after that, the assault. They confronted each other back on the campus of the school.”

    Mitchell College freshman Breanna Gagnon said she was at that club that night, but saw nothing there. She did hear yelling when she got home and said she alerted her resident assistant (RA), who called campus safety.

    “There was a lot of yelling so I told the RA and she went outside and told us to ‘just stay inside.’ And I was worried about my friends,” she said.

    Mitchell College released a statement that reads, in part, “The College has a strong security presence in place and responded very quickly to the incident. The College will also continue its ongoing commitment to implementing security measures and will respond vigorously at times of heightened risk.”


    The school said Campus Life saw the group enter Mitchell College and immediately alerted Campus Safety, who responded within 63 seconds. According to call logs, New London Police were on scene within two minutes.

    The school also sent out emails to students and staff about the incident, hosted informational meetings and increased security. New London Police, Connecticut State Police and campus safety officers monitored the entrances to campus in the days following the assault.

    “They definitely stepped up what they’re doing to protect us,” Gagnon said.

    A spokesperson for Mitchell College said the school has maintained close contact with the victim and his family. The school will continue to provide support as he begins to return to classes.

    Safety records reviewed back to 2010 show no similar instances, according to school representatives, who call the incident “a rare occurrence,” in a statement.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    If you don’t need to fill up your gas tank immediately, you might want to wait until Monday to go to the gas station because that’s the day the prices are lowest in Connecticut, according to a new study.

    Gasoline prices are the most expensive they’ve been in more than 19 months and will continue to increase with summer driving season approaching, according to GasBuddy, which analyzed three years-worth of fuel price data

    They found that average prices are lowest on Monday in Connecticut, as least this year. 

    GasBuddy.com lists the average price of gas in Connecticut as $2.51. Check the gas map to check the differences in prices at gas stations near you.

    Thursday is the worst day to buy gas in some states, but the worst day to fill up in Connecticut is Saturday. 

    “The rise in average prices towards the weekend could be to blame on an influential report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued weekly on Wednesdays, which could push prices higher the day after, depending on if data in its report is as expected or a surprise,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, said in a statement. “Since commodities trading isn’t active over the weekend, it typically allows stations to ‘let it ride’ over the weekend, culminating in lower prices by the start of the work week.”

    They said, should every driver in the United States buy gasoline on Thursday for an entire year, they’d collectively spend an extra $1.1 billion versus filling up on Monday.

    In 2017 so far, Monday is the best day of the week in 23 states.



    Photo Credit: GasBuddy.com

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    A Groton man who was making sexual advances towards a woman who came back to is home is accused of threatening her with a shotgun, police said.

    A woman reported that she had met Alexander Pickett at a bar in New London just after midnight on March 9. The two went back to Pickett's residence on Buddington Road. 

    The woman said while she was at Pickett's home, he pulled out a shot gun but put it away after she asked him to do so.

    Quickly after putting the gun away, he began to make sexual advances towards the victim. When this, the woman said she hit Pickett in the face with a drinking glass which resulted in cuts to their hand, according to Groton Police. 

    Pickett then grabbed his shotgun again and started to point it at the woman, saying he would shoot her. The victim begged for him not to kill her and eventually convinced him to go to the gas station to get her cigarettes, police said. 

    At the gas station, the victim called a taxi to come pick her up. 

    On March 10, police located Pickett at home and executed a search warrant at the residence. Groton Police found an AR-15 lower receiver.

    Pickett turned himself into police on Thursday. He is charged with threatening, reckless endangerment, possession of an assault weapon and carrying a firearm while under the influence.

    His bond was set at $100,000. 




    Photo Credit: Groton Police

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    Republicans in the General Assembly's House and Senate provided their vision on what spending should like for the next two years.

    Their spending plan is a two $40 billion plan that spends $300 million less than Gov. Dannel Malloy's budget that proposed back in February and it removes some of the most controversial elements that the governor had proposed.

    The budget includes no tax increases, maintains the state's payments for teacher pensions without shifting costs to cities and towns, changes the way local education is funded which is aimed at sending more money to cities and towns.

    Republicans say their budget should be the starting point for negotiations with Democrats, which they claim weren't serious over the past two months.

    “We can be a better state than what we have but we got to get real with the consequences facing our state," said Sen. Len Fasano, the Republican President Pro Tem. "We have to get real with what we have and what we see and not turn a blind eye and get to business. It starts now.”

    There are some cutbacks, however, in the GOP plan. Even though it spends less than the Malloy proposal, it withholds more than $300 million that had been reserved for cities and towns, meaning operating budgets would need to be adjusted. It also cut property tax breaks for middle class families without children, saving $80 million in the budget, but taking $200 away from hundreds of families that claimed the break.

    The GOP budget was unveiled on the same day news circulated that income tax receipts are down by a combined $1.1 billion over the next two fiscal years. The update could prove to be devastating to already fragile state finances facing a $3.5 billion budget over the next two-year cycle.

    Malloy's spokesperson Kelly Donnelly said in a statement that the GOP plan, "appears to be an earnest effort to balance our state budget."

    Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said he wants to put partisanship aside and come up with a bipartisan solution.

    "Let’s just stop, no political stuff, no reelection stuff, let’s just get into a room and do what’s right for the state of Connecticut.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo entered the 2017 governor's race Thursday, becoming the third Democrat vying to replace Gov. Dannel Malloy.

    Lembo announced that he would for an exploratory committee, aimed at raising enough money through small contributions to qualify for public financing.

    The focus for Lembo on his first official campaign day was to showcase what could look like a campaign aimed at middle class workers and building the state's economy.

    He said the state's strategy for both crafting a budget and recruiting business has been problematic due to revenue issues that have led to difficult decisions.

    “It’s really hard to grow when you don’t what the rules are going to be and you don’t know what the path forward really looks like," Lembo said.

    Lembo, who is in charge of the state's checkbook, has also taken a stand against initiatives of the Malloy administration. He voted against a package of bond projects that included $22 million for Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund, based in Westport.

    “I don’t think it’s a really good idea to take money and shovel it over to hedge funds, the really wealthy hedge funds in the world, when we’re not focusing on middle class job growth.”

    The same week Lembo announced his candidacy, Democrat Chris Mattei unveiled an a pledge to not take any lobbyist money. He asked all candidates to sign on.

    During an interview, Mattei said of the pledge, “This, to me, should be an easy thing, right?" Mattei asked. "It shouldn’t be hard to say that as people who are considering public office, the only people we want to represent are the average people who are voting for us.”

    Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican who has also formed a statewide exploratory committe criticized Mattei for not prosecuting more Democrats when he worked in the Office of the US Attorney, and also asked him to sign on to a different pledge to not raise taxes if elected, and to look out for the rights of law-abiding gun owners.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that the U.S. could be headed toward a "major, major conflict" with North Korea over the country's nuclear and missile programs, NBC News reported.

    The president spoke in an interview with Reuters, adding, "We'd love to solve things diplomatically, but it's very difficult."

    Trump also said he hoped the North's 33-year-old leader, Kim Jong-Un, is "rational." The president said taking over a regime at a young age is "a very hard thing to do."

    The interview comes just hours after a North Korean propaganda outlet released a video simulating an attack on America, with the White House and aircraft carriers superimposed with targets.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images, Files

    Files photos of President Donald Trump, left, and North leader Kim Jong-Un, right.Files photos of President Donald Trump, left, and North leader Kim Jong-Un, right.

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    The death of an infant found in a Bridgeport apartment building has been ruled a homicide, police said. 

    Bridgeport Police said they responded to a report of an unresponsive baby boy on April 24 at 11:15 a.m.

    The baby was transported to Bridgeport Hospital before being transferred to Yale-New Haven hospital for advanced care. He passed away the following day. 

    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy and classified the infant's death as a homicide on April 26.

    The investigation is ongoing as detetives continue to process evidence and interview witnesses. 

    The victims identity will not be released due to his age.

    Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Bridgeport Police at 203-576-TIPS (8477).


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    Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim is taking a chance at a statewide office, sources tell NBC Connecticut.

    The one-time federal convict will announce plans on Friday for a campaign exploratory committee with his eyes on the highest state office: governor.

    Ganim won the Bridgeport mayor's race in 2015. He held the job from 1991 until 2003. 

    The mayor spent seven years in a federal prison on corruption charges until his release  in 2010. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut