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Woman Accused in 3 Family Deaths


A Vermont woman allegedly murdered her aunt, two cousins and a social worker after losing custody of her daughter, authorities believe.

Officials say 40-year-old Jody Herring fatally shot Vermont Department of Children and Families worker Lara Sobel outside an office building that housed the child-welfare agency in Barre Friday. Herring was detained by people in and around the building after the shooting, police said.

Saturday, in nearby Berlin, three bodies - believed to have been Herring's relatives, were found dead in a home - although Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said an autopsy will confirm their identities.

"Lara's life was taken from her when she left work yesterday," said Shumlin. "It is our belief that Julie Anne Folzorano, who was the aunt of the accused murderer, and her cousins, Regina [Herring] and Rhonda [Herring], also had their lives taken from them."

Folzorano was in her 70s, Shumlin says, and her daughters were in their 40s.

Shumlin said Jody Herring is thought to have gone to the home on Airport Road first, fatally shooting her three family members, before heading to Barre to kill Sobel.

The public is not believed to be in any danger Gov. Shumlin said.

"There's no reason at all to believe that anyone's safety is threatened right now," he said.

As Sobel was involved in the custody battle over Herring's 9-year-old daughter, the incident is believed to have been isolated and not a threat to other state workers.

"I think that all Vermonters are as shocked, dismayed, horrified and grief-stricken as all of us are," said Shumlin. "I cannot remember in my lifetime four people being murdered in Vermont by the same alleged perpetrator."

The DCF has dealt with recent criticisms over its handling of cases, which prompted a new law.

A special legislative committee was set up to investigate the state child welfare system after the deaths last year of two toddlers who had been involved with DCF, 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon, of Poultney, and 15-month-old Peighton Geraw, of Winooski. Murder charges are pending against Dezirae's stepfather and Peighton's mother, who have pleaded not guilty.

The new child safety law shifts the state's priority in protecting children, focusing on their well-being instead of on an imperative to reunite them with their families.

Herring is expected to be arraigned Monday.

Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Photo Credit: Vermont State Police

Five Hospitalized After Norwich Boat Crash


Five people were hospitalized with injuries after a boat they were in crashed in Norwich on the Thames River early Saturday morning.

The accident happened on the Thames River near 495 Laurel Hill Road.

Six people were in the boat when it hit rocks. The victims were removed near Coolage Avenue.

The boat has since been removed from the water.

Five of the people were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Norwich police, firefighters, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials and the Coast Guard investigated.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Grandma Becomes Bridesmaid


An 89-year-old grandma shows that you are never too old to stand in the spotlight.

Betty Govern did not have a front row seat for her granddaughter’s May 2 wedding like most family members. Instead, she had the chance to stand right beside the bride as she said “I do.”

Philly bride Christine Quinn asked her grandmother “Nana Betty” to be her bridesmaid for her lavish wedding at the Please Touch Museum. Quinn said her grandmother is her best friend, so the decision to name her as a bridesmaid was a no-brainer.

Even though the decision may have come easy for Quinn, “Nana Betty” needed a little convincing when her granddaughter popped the question. In fact, Quinn said she was “shocked.”

“She asked me about 10 times, ‘Are you sure you want me? I’m an old lady and all of your bridesmaids are so young and pretty,'" Quinn said. “So I reassured her that we all wanted her to be in it. Everyone loves hanging out with Nana Betty."

In addition to having “Nana Betty” by her side, Quinn had other non-traditional elements that made her wedding stand out, such as marrying a man with the same last name and riding on a carousel during the reception.

Quinn said her grandmother played a role in the planning process prior to the wedding. The bride and the rest of the wedding party would “bounce ideas off of her.”

During the reception, "Nana Betty" participated as any young bridesmaid would: dancing the night away. Quinn said she spent the night mingling with the guests and dancing with the bridesmaids and even the groom’s grandmother.

Quinn also noted that having her grandmother stand beside her during the ceremony made the wedding more special than she could have ever imagined.

“My favorite moment was before the ceremony when she asked me, ‘Christine, are you happy?,” Quinn said. “I obviously said yes, and she said, ‘Okay, that’s all I ever wanted.'"

You can check out Christine, “Nana Betty” and the rest of the wedding party in photos taken by Sweetwater Portraits.

Photo Credit: Sweetwater Portraits

Police Identify Driver Killed in Coventry Crash


Police have identified a driver who died in a fatal crash on a notorious stretch of Route 6 in Coventry late Friday afternoon.

Coventry police received multiple calls reporting a serious crash on Route 6 near South Street at about 4:19 p.m. on Friday. An eastbound car Brandon Loura, 31, of Glastonbury, was driving struck an oncoming light dump truck between that area and the Steels Crossing intersection.

Loura was airlifted to Hartford Hospital via LifeStar but was later pronounced dead.

The truck driver, Allen Gaudet Jr., 59, of Broad Brook, was taken to an area hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are not releasing the names of the people involved in the crash at this time pending the notification of their families.

Neighbors say crashes on this windy stretch of Route 6 are almost routine and that has garnered the road a grim nickname.

“They do call it Suicide 6 and just this little stretch in front of where I live going into Coventry it’s a nightmare with motorcycles racing, crotch rockets passing cars, cars passing cars," Steve Rozell, of Bolton, said.

The road was closed for at least four hours near the South Street intersection. During the afternoon rush, traffic was at a standstill from the area near the Coventry/Bolton line to Interstate 384.

The collision brought traffic to a stop and jolted neighbors who were inside their homes.

"I heard a good sized thump outside,” Rozell said.

Rozell walked out of his home on Route 6 to see what had happened.

The state Department of Transportation has worked to improve the road.

The town of Coventry says that has meant a drastic reduction in serious crashes in the past decade.

Town leaders and neighbors say while the road itself might be safer… drivers still need to do their part.

"Be patient, be patient. The older I get not necessarily the slower I drive but the more cautious I am,” Rozell said.

Metro Traffic Services is helping Coventry police in the investigation. Police advise drivers to seek alternate routes and avoid the area.

Police ask anyone with information about the fatal crash to contact the Coventry Police Department at 860-742-7331 or Officer LaPorte of the Metro Traffic Services Crash Reconstruction Team, overseen by the South Windsor Police Department, at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump, Top Strategist Split After Megyn Kelly Remarks


Donald Trump's competitors on Saturday seized upon an inflammatory remark the Republican presidential hopeful made about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, while internally, his campaign appeared to be in disarray.

Backlash over the comments have also apparently cost Trump his top political operative, Roger Stone, according to Stone.

It was unclear whether Trump fired Stone or if Stone resigned; the campaign said in a statement that the veteran strategist was fired after he "wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity."

But Stone passed along an email to NBC News which purportedly showed him submitting a letter of resignation.

"With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign," it said.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dad Gets Cochlear Implant Tattoo to Support Daughter


A New Zealand father went under the needle in support of his daughter by getting a tattoo of a cochlear implant to match the second one his daughter received.

Alistair Campbell told the New Zealand Herald Thursday that he wanted to show 6-year-old Charlotte that he could share in her pain.

"My love for her really," he told the newspaper.

A photo on Facebook that shows Campbell with his daughter has since gone viral.

Charlotte reportedly had her first implant put in two years ago at age 4.

Campbell told the New Zealand Herald that he plans to grow his hair back but may shave his head again for "special occasions" or if his daughter wanted to see the tattoo.

"Hey my hair can grow back," he said.

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Photo Credit: Today Screenshot
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Oldest African Elephant in North America Dies: Utah Zoo


A Utah zoo and its remaining elephants are in mourning Saturday, when a very long-lived elephant was put down at 55-and-a-half years old, the zoo said.

Dari was the oldest African elephant in North America, far out-living the average life expectancy of her wild cousins, which is 42 years, according to Hogle Zoo, in Salt Lake City. She suffered from arthritis and her health began to decline in the last few months.

"She was starting to have more bad days than good and didn't have that fighting spirit. These are always difficult decisions," senior veterinarian Dr. Nancy Carpenter said in a news release.

Dari was euthenized after she was unable to get up on her own for a second day in the last few months, the zoo said.

Two other elephants remain at the zoo - 26 year-old Christie, and Zuri, nearly 6 – and they were allowed to grieve with Dari and are expected to continue mourning for some time, the zoo said.

Dari came to America in 1967, 48 years ago, according to the zoo. A zoo employer who took care of her credited her longevity to the great attention to care the zoo provided.

"That's what's so neat - it's generations of keepers and veterinarians that loved and took care of her. She touched a lot of lives," said elephant manager Eric Peterson, who worked with Dari for nearly 20 years, in the news release.

Dari, whose full name is Hy-Dari, could be a sassy but always graceful ambassador for Hogle Zoo, according to the release.

She was tough to train, Peterson said, but opened up once her trainers gained her trust: "She was the only elephant I've ever worked with that would seek out affection for no reason."

Ninety-six African elephants are killed every day for their ivory, the zoo said, asking that people hearing about Dari's death show their support by signing an anti-poaching petition at 96elephants.org.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Eric Peterson/Hogle Zoo
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Windsor Locks Police Commission Chair Arrested in Florida


The Windsor Locks Police Commission chair was arrested in Florida after police say he tried to cash in a stolen lottery ticket.

Leon County Jail in Florida confirms that Michael Royston, 49, was arrested Thursday at the Florida Lottery headquarters when he tried to cash in a lottery ticket worth $520,000. Police say Royston stole that ticket from his niece.

Royston is charged with intent to defraud, grand theft over $100,000, and filing a false claim. He is out on bond.

Windsor Locks First Selectmen Steven Wawruck Jr. decline to comment on the arrest.

Photo Credit: File

'Black Lives Matter' Activists Disrupt Bernie Sanders Speech


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders left a campaign event in Seattle without giving his speech Saturday after "Black Lives Matter" activists took over the podium, NBC News reported.

Two women approached the podium just as Sanders began addressing the crowd of several thousand, and demanded the microphone. Sanders stepped aside, and one woman got into an argument with an organizer, shouting "We are angry!"

After being given the microphone, and after the crowd booed, one of the women said, "I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is ... but you already did it for me."

It is the second time in a month that activists protesting racial inequality have interrupted an event featuring the progressive candidate.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
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Man Dies After Sedation, Taser Deployment


A man, 26, died after a Hartford police officer used a Taser on him and EMS personnel sedated him when he grew combative during a medical disturbance at his home on Kelsey Street Friday night, state police said.

Matthew Russo, 26, resisted when Hartford's Mobile Crisis team, Hartford police and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to his home at 38 Kelsey Street at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. A Hartford police officer deployed a Taser on him when he continued to be combative, state police said. The Taser was assigned to the officer, according to state police.

Then, medical personnel gave him a sedative, state police said.

When Russo began having trouble breathing, EMS officials administered medical aid. He was transported to Hartford Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

State police from the Western District Major Crime squad responded to the scene at 12:30 a.m. and have taken over the investigation.

Neighbors noticed the police presence Friday night.

“My dog you know activity, he’s like a guard dog," Sylvia Price, of Hartford, said. "I heard barking and that made me come and look out and that’s when I saw the car, the flashing lights of the cop car.”

Neighbors who talked to NBC Connecticut said they didn't see the Taser incident or what led to it. They said big police investigations are rare in the area, “but when there is things going on we do you know it’s noticeable you know because it’s so quiet sometimes.”

On Saturday afternoon, there was no sign of police on the street.

Officials from the office of the chief medical examiner in Farmington responded, as well, and will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The family living at 38 Kelsey Street declined to comment.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Veteran Reaches CT in Cross-Country PTSD Walk


Fresh off of five years in Afghanistan working with American soldiers for the U.S. Department of Defense, Scotsman Neil Davis, a 24-year veteran of the British army, wanted to give back and is calling for more to be done to give mental health support to veterans.

After a year of planning, he is starting that journey quite literally on his own. On Aug. 1, a mere two months since returning from Afghanistan, the 49-year-old Glasgow native stepped off from Provincetown, Massachusetts, a far point east in the U.S., to begin a several-month, cross-country walking tour to Huntington California to raise awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans in person and through his Facebook page sharing photos and stories from his travels. Davis, who lives in  of Pitlochry, Scotland now, is calling it the Not Broken, Just Damaged Walk Across America 2015.

He is raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project and UK-based non-profit Combat Stress benefiting soldiers and veterans through social media. So far his initiative has raised about $11,000 to $12,000 for Combat Stress and about $1,020 for the Wounded Warrior project.

Davis crossed into Killingly on Friday night and was in Chaplin along Route 6 by about 5:45 p.m. Saturday. He had already walked 22 miles Saturday by that time, understandably telling NBC Connecticut, "I'm tired." But the 25 to 30 miles he's been walking a day are well worth it to him.

He set out from Provincetown by himself with a stroller decorated with large American and British flags, but he certainly hasn't been alone. He's encountered many strangers along the way who have helped him and surprised him with their kindness.

“The generosity, hospitality and kindness of complete strangers have blown me away," Davis said.

There's an elderly couple affiliated with the Route 6 Association in Massachusetts that has been following him on his journey, traveling ahead of him scouting out places he can stay. He calls them his "guardian angels."

Then there's the police agencies that have driven as a convoy with him along the way, as well as state police planning to escort him into West Virginia.

And there's the American woman who learned of his mission from his wife at the deli she works at back in Scotland and sought him out through Facebook offering to pay for his stay at the Barnstable Inn. Then there's the inn keeper who reimbursed that woman and instead donated money equal to the value of the room to the Wounded Warrior project.

Just a day into his passage through Connecticut, he already has some stories and has made some friends.

When he passed into Killingly Friday night, a friend from Worchester, Massachusetts had already called offering to come meet him in Connecticut. He stopped at an abandoned inn only to find a stranger sitting in the trunk of his car, playing guitar. The man, a Brooklyn, Connecticut veteran, had been following his Facebook page and went there to meet him and had offered to let him stay at his house. Two police cars were called in to ride with him. The caretaker of the inn also stopped at the parking lot to see why there were people there and Davis told him about what he is doing, gaining another friend.

Then in Danielson, a wheel snapped on the stroller Davis has with him. So, he called his new-found Brooklyn friend. While he waited for him to take him to a garage to get it fixed, a young disabled veteran named Ally came out of George's Galley Diner and bought him a sandwich. The Brooklyn veteran gave him a ride to a garage in Brooklyn, calling James Sorel in on his day off, according to Davis's Facebook page. He fixed his wheel for free.

The only issue Davis said he's run into along the way is people mistaking the British flag for the Confederate flag. Otherwise, he's had a mostly positive experience so far.

Davis expects to pass through the Hartford area by Monday and to cross the state line into New York on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Given the suicide rate in the U.S. alone for veterans battling PTSD, he said that's just a problem that simply can't continue. "The system's not perfect," Davis said, and nor would he expect it to be, but he said there "needs to be a vast improvement" in mental health care for soldiers and veterans.

“I’m passionate about this," Davis said.

You can find out more about his Not Broken - Just Damaged Walk Across America 2015 on his Facebook page or follow his Twitter handle, @neillydavis.You can also donate to Combat Stress through his JustGiving webpage or to the Wounded Warrior Project through his online page.

Photo Credit: Neil Davis/ Not Broken - Just Damaged Walk Across America 2015

Truck Runs Over Postal Worker in Wallingford


A postal worker is in the hospital with serious injuries after a box truck backed into him in a Wallingford post office parking lot early Saturday evening.

Wallingford police and firefighters responded to the 24 Research Parkway U.S. postal facility in Wallingford at 5 p.m. on Saturday after receiving a report about the accident.

Joseph Gallo, 46, of West Haven, was backing up a 2007 International 4000 series box truck in the westbound direction on the east side of the post office when he struck postal employee Glenn Ford, 52, of Wallingford, when he was walking in the parking lot, police said. The truck is registered to FMP Transport LLC in East Haven, which is a contractor for the postal service.

Ford fell to the ground upon impact and the back tires of the truck ran across his midsection, police said. He was not pinned under the vehicle, but police found him lying next to it when they got to the scene.

An ambulance transported Ford to Yale-New Haven hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

Wallingford Police Department's patrol and traffic divisions are investigating the accident. The state police truck squad also responded.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration representative responded and is also investigating.

No charges have been filed against the driver at this time.

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images

7 Injured in in Hollywood Crash


Police were searching for a man who fled the scene of a two-car crash that critically injured seven people, including three children, in Hollywood on Saturday night, officials said.

The crash took place in the 1000 block of North Orange Drive, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department tweet.

The injured included a 1-month-old boy, a 2-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, a 19-year-old man, a 20-year-old woman, a 50-year-old man and another man whose age was not immediately known, firefighters said.

Police were searching for a man in his early to mid 20s who was last seen heading eastbound on Santa Monica Boulevard.

No further details were immediately available.


Photo Credit: OnScene TV/KNBC

'Bulletproof': Female Trump Staffer Dismisses Critics


The female co-chair of Donald Trump's Iowa campaign slammed those who have criticized the real estate mogul's remarks about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly as sexist and inappropriate.

Trump sparked outrage when he said Kelly, who moderated Thursday's GOP debate, had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." The remarks also cost him an appearance at the conservative gathering RedState.

Tana Goertz, Trump's Iowa co-chair, said she did not interpret the comment in the same way critics have, and was not offended. "I've always been treated with dignity and respect," she said.

Trump has said the questions at the debate were unfair, and he bristled at Kelly's questions about remarks he has made about women.

Goertz dismissed the critics and said Trump "is bulletproof" and that he is projecting his strength during the campaign.

Photo Credit: ap

Person Shot in Legs in Hartford


Police responded to an overnight shooting in Hartford that left one injured.

Hartford police received a call at 12:26 a.m. on Sunday reporting a person shot at 96 Russ Street in the capital city.

When officers arrived, they found a person with gunshot wounds to both legs.

The victim told police two masked men shot him when he was on his way to a party.

Police are still looking for the men involved in the shooting.

The victim has not been publicly identified at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trooper-Involved Crash Closes Route 72 East


Route 72 east is closed on the Plainville/New Britain line due to a crash involving state police.

No injuries have been reported.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Substation Fire Causes Outages


A substation fire in Harwinton caused a few outages in the region.

The fire happened at the substation on Wildcat Hill Road.

Firefighters responded, but the scene was cleared as of 3:35 a.m. and the scene was turned over to Eversource.

Woman Attacked by Alligator in Fla.


A woman in central Florida lost part of her arm Saturday afternoon when an alligator attacked her in a river.

The attack happened in the Wekiva River north of Orlando around 3:30 p.m., at a time when many people were swimming nearby, NBC News reported.

Seminole County Fire Rescue said 37-year-old Rachael Lilienthal was swimming upstream away from a crowded beach area when she felt something grab her arm and pull her under the water. Her right arm was severed above the elbow, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Karen Parker said.

Kayakers nearby heard the woman call for help. One kayaker struck the alligator with a paddle, causing the animal to release Lilienthal, Parker said. The two kayakers then brought her to shore.

"It was very scary," a witness told NBC affiliate WESH. "Her arm was gone and there was blood everywhere.

Paramedics rushed the woman to the trauma center at Orlando Regional Medical Center where she underwent surgery, WESH reported.

FWC officials searched throughout the evening for the alligator responsible for the attack. It was captured and killed just after midnight.

Alligator attacks have happened in the Wekiva River before, according to FWC officials.

Photo Credit: WESH

Rifle-Wielding Man Opens Fire


Police on Sunday morning were still searching for a gunman shown on surveillance video running out of a Kensington, Philadelphia, barbershop armed with a rifle and opening fire.

One man was killed in the shooting, police said, and two others were injured.

In surveillance video obtained by NBC10, the gunman, wearing a white T-shirt, can be seen running on E Street just north of Allegheny Avenue firing a black rifle.

A witness told NBC10 the unidentified suspect walked into a barbershop on the block Saturday afternoon carrying a large box. The man sat down as if he was going to get a haircut but pulled out a rifle from the box minutes later, according to the witness. The man then allegedly started an argument, ran outside the barbershop and opened fire.

A 46-year-old man, 59-year-old man and 33-year-old man were all struck in the shooting.

The 46-year-old was struck once in the chest. He was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:48 p.m.

The 59-year-old was struck once in the left arm and twice in the left side of the chest. He was taken to Temple where he is currently in stable condition.

The 33-year-old man was struck once in the back. He was taken to Temple where he is currently in critical condition.

No arrests have been made. The suspect wore a white t-shirt and blue shorts. Police continue to investigate.

Youth Team Disqualified Over Girl


A youth basketball team in Virginia was one step away from playing in a national championship -- but they were disqualified because one player is a girl.

The Charlottesville Cavaliers had won five games in a row at the National Travel Basketball Association’s annual tournament last weekend and were poised to advance when an official disqualified the team just hours before the tip.

According to tournament organizers, a new rule this season prohibits girls from playing with boys in the championships. League officials told the Cavaliers' coaches the presence of 10-year-old Kymora Johnson on the otherwise-all-boys' team disqualified them from the playoffs.

Kymora, who had played with the Cavaliers for four years and has played at the tournament before, was devastated. 

"What are we saying by saying that she can't play with the boys? Why not?" her mother, Jessica Thomas-Johnson, said.

Kymora wanted to be on a basketball team when she was just 5 years old, The Washington Post reported. Her family signed her up for an all-boys' team then because there were no girls' teams for her age group, according to the Post.

The Cavaliers may have been disqualified from the playoffs, but they still showed up -- wearing pink uniforms in silent protest of the no-girls-allowed policy.

The organizers of the tournament said in a statement they are "committed to offering equal competition opportunities to boys and girl" and will re-examine the association's policies to "ensure nothing similar happens in the future."

"I think the kids grounded the adults in this situation," said Thomas-Johnson. "I think the kids showed us, we're going to do what we know to be right."

Asked what's next, Kymora said she will keep playing on the team and go to the championships next year.

"We're going to make them change the rules," she said.

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