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Mom Left Kids in Car, Went to Bar


A central Florida mother is accused of leaving her two young children alone in her running car while she drank in a nearby bar, authorities said.  

April Renee King, 35, faces child neglect charges after leaving her children, ages 2 and 4, alone in the car, NBC affiliate WESH reported.

Police said King, who has an Oklahoma driver's license, was seen drinking at Froggers Grill & Bar in Apopka just before 1 p.m. on Sunday by the general manager and four other people, WESH reported.

King denied that she was at Frogger's, and said she only left her kids in the car for a brief period of time to got to a nearby AT&T store. 

The children were not harmed, according to WESH.

King remained in the Orange County Jail on Tuesday. Jail records didn't list an attorney for her.

Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Office

Judge Orders Brady, NFL to Continue Settlement Talks


The judge who is hearing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's appeal is ordering Brady and the NFL to engage in "good faith settlement efforts" ahead of a scheduled hearing on Wednesday morning.

Judge Richard Berman filed an order on Tuesday morning requesting that both sides try to reach an agreement. The judge will meet with Brady, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and attorneys for both sides at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in New York City. Berman's motion said he will meet "briefly" with the parties for an "update" on their discussions. A second session is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Brady wants his 4-game suspension overturned for his alleged role in the Deflategate controversy. A report commissioned by the league found that he was "generally aware" that team employees deflated footballs before last season's AFC title game.

Brady and the Patriots open up their preseason schedule on Thursday against the Green Back Packers.

Necn's Justin Michaels will be in New York City covering Wednesday's appearance in federal court. His live reports begin Tuesday at 4 p.m. Follow him on Twitter at @JMichaelsNews.

Photo Credit: necn

Hillary Clinton Holds Town Hall Discussion


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is set to hold a town hall discussion Monday on her college affordability plan. 

Photo Credit: AP
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80-Year-Old Naugatuck Man Has Been Missing for Weeks


An 80-year-old Naugatuck park ranger has been missing for weeks and police are asking for help to find him.

John Zeneski had been working as a Park Ranger at the Shepaug Dam, but resigned about two weeks ago, according to police and his neighbors last saw him around July 20.

Family members said he has become noticeably more forgetful recently and also seemed confused.

Zeneski is around 6-feet tall, weighs 170 pounds and has blue eyes. Zeneski has gray hair and walks with a cane.

He was known to wear his tan park ranger uniform or a white T-shirt and jeans and drives a 2003 gray Toyota Highlander with Connecticut registration plate 133-MOU.

Anyone with information on where Zeneski is should call Naugatuck Police at (203) 729-5221.

Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

Armed Militia Group Patrols Ferguson During Protests


Heavily-armed members of a controversial patriot militia added an extra dose of unease to protests early Tuesday in Ferguson, Missouri, NBC News reported.

Protesters and police confirmed that a handful of Oath Keepers, who take a pledge to defend the Constitution, were seen early Tuesday on the streets of Ferguson, carrying assault rifles, bulletproof vests and camouflage gear. The city was under a state of emergency following demonstrations pegged to the anniversary of Michael Brown's death.

The Oath Keepers organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News. Members of the organization were in Ferguson late last year when protests reignited over a grand jury decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, who killed Brown.

Shawn McGuire, a spokesman for St. Louis County Police, said he did not believe officers had confronted the Oath Keepers or told to leave: "We do not know who sent them."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Storm Brings Soaking Rain


A storm system brought a hefty amount of rain this morning that flooded roads and brought down wires, and more rain is on the way this afternoon.

NBC Connecticut has declared a First Alert Weather Day in light of flooding concerns. While widespread severe weather is not expected, localized flooding and scattered thunderstorms are possible.

Heavy rain caused problems for the morning commute and flash flood watches are in effect for Fairfield and New Haven counties through this afternoon.

Eversource is reporting 1,815 power outages and 1,124 of them are in Southington.

A tree has fallen across part of Route 120, or Meriden Avenue, in Southington.

United Illuminating is reporting 721 power outages, including 414 in Stratford.

Electrical wires came down and landed on Main Street in Stratford. Main Street, also known as Route 113, is closed between Longbrook Avenue and Barnum Avenue, or Route 1.

United Illuminating has been notified. It's not clear when the road will reopen. There are power outages in the area, according to police.

Surf Avenue in Stratford flooded this morning, trapping a car in the floodwaters.

There are issues in other towns as well.

A branch and wires came down on Church Street in East Haven and United Illuminating crews are at the scene.  

Darien police said there was some street flooding beneath the Metro-North tracks that cross Route 1. The road remained open, but police urged drivers to go slowly.

There were several crashes on the highways this morning, including one on Interstate 84 West in Waterbury, between exits 16 and 17, that caused heavy delays..

While the activity will become more scattered in nature tomorrow afternoon and evening, it will still be wet and the lulls won’t last long. As a cold front approaches, with just enough instability, there can be a gusty thunderstorm.

Temperatures will be stuck in the mid-70s with overcast skies, rain and high humidity.

Tuesday's rainfall will actually be beneficial, since both Bridgeport and Windsor Locks climate sites have a yearly rainfall deficit of more than 4 inches of rain, which works out to be roughly one month’s worth of precipitation.

This storm will take a sizable chunk out of that deficit and help with some of the lawns that are in need of liquid as summer enters its later stage.

Wednesday brings much-improved weather, but the day isn’t completely dry for everyone. An upper-level trough coupled with the heating of the day means there can be a stray shower, but any shower would be brief.

Temperatures on Wednesday will be near 80 degrees and the humidity will once again be absent.

Thursday and Friday feature sunshine as a sprawling area of high pressure builds in from the Mid-Atlantic states. The lack of humidity will continue with temperatures in the lower-80s.

An early glance at the weekend shows a decent forecast for outdoor activities. A cold front comes through on Saturday and results in scattered thunderstorms, but it looks like a fairly quick mover and that means Sunday should feature sunshine with temperatures in the mid-80s.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation
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Police ID Man Killed, Woman Injured in Hartford Shooting


A 40-year-old Hartford man is dead and a 40-year-old Coventry woman has been injured in a double shooting in Hartford early Tuesday morning.

Police said the shooting happened on Lenox Street, between Albany Avenue and Greenfield Street, at 4:15 a.m. Officers patrolling the area after a separate complaint heard several gunshots coming from Lenox Street and found two victims in front of 39 Lenox Street.

William King, 40, of Hartford, was shot several times and pronounced dead at Saint Francis Hospital at 4:46 a.m. He is the 21st homicide victim in the city this year.

The female victim, Jennifer Ryan, 40, of Coventry, was shot in the calf and is expected to survive.

The number of homicides in the city this year has already surpassed the total number last year. In all of 2014, 19 people were killed in Hartford.

"There seems to be a trend here that is very difficult for us to have control over," Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said after arriving at the crime scene. "The question always arises -- whether you can prevent these types of homicide."

Segarra has called for more resources for police, but said it's unclear whether political action can stop this type of  street violence.

He is focusing on the national gun control issue and said the problem might not rest on his administration’s shoulders because the city has had significantly more violent years in the past.

“We’ve had an increasing more number of homicides before my watch,” Segarra said. “The reality is that access to guns and the rate at which guns are finding their way into our community continues at a very alarming pace.”

Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Nursing Home Patient Abuse Posted on Snapchat


Two nursing home employees from Lowell, Massachusetts, are accused of abusing residents of the facility and posting videos of the incident on Snapchat.

Around 2 p.m. on July 31, Lowell Police were called to Wingate Nursing Home on Wentworth Avenue after relatives claimed that inappropriate videos of the nursing home residents had been posted on Snapchat by 23-year-old Sabrina Costa and 22-year-old Kala Shaniece Lopez.

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office says a video portrays one of the girls crawling into bed with a patient as the victim yelled for the defendant to get out. Another video depicted a patient being questioned about her personal life.

Lopez was charged with permitting abuse on an elderly or disabled person and Costa was charged with assault and battery on an elderly or disabled person and permitting abuse on an elderly or disabled person. They were arraigned Tuesday in Lowell District Court.

The defendants were released under the condition that they have no contact with the victims and do not work with the elderly in a health care capacity. Information on their attorney was not immediately available. They will appear in court on Sept. 22. 

A call to the nursing home was not immediately returned. 

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images

Southington Dentist Defrauded Medicaid Out of Thousands: DCJ


A Southington dentist is accused of defrauding Medicaid out of thousands of dollars.

Thomas L. DeRienzo, 58, of Southbury, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, second-degree vendor fraud and insurance fraud.

DeRienzo owns Plantsville Family Dental in the Plantsville section of Southington.

According to the state Department of Criminal Justice, DeRienzo improperly coded dental services when filing claims, billed Medicaid for services he never performed and performed other services that were deemed medically unneccessary.

The number of false or incorrect claims is in the hundreds and the total value is $7,213.92, according to the DCJ.

DeRienzo was released on bond and is due in court Aug. 13. He could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Both Plantsville Family Dental and DeRienzo's attorney, Robert Kappes, declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Suspect in Murder of Hartford Dad Tears Up in Court


The man accused of shooting and killing a father of seven in Hartford bowed his head and appeared to cry in court Tuesday.

Raphael Concepcion, 34, of Hartford, was arrested Monday and charged with murder, criminal attempt at murder and first-degree assault.

He's accused of shooting Jonathan Whaley, 34, and Bruce Banks, 22, at 13 Elliott Street in Hartford during an apparent drug dispute on July 18. Whaley, a father of seven, died of his injuries. Banks survived.

Concepcion, a convicted felon with 18 prior convictions, faced a judge at Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday. He lowered his head and shook it "no" during the arraignment and appeared to be crying.

He was held on $3 million bond and is due back in court Sept 1.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Family Challenges Suicide Ruling in Case of Woman Struck by Train


The family of a Stamford woman struck and killed by a train in Greenwich is challenging the medical examiner's ruling that she committed suicide, according to an attorney representing them.

Tamar Louis died Friday morning at the Cos Cob station in Greenwich. Officials with the Metropolitan Transit Authority said Louis dropped her wallet or purse on the tracks and was trying to pick it up when she was struck.

The chief medical examiner's office said Louis died of a blunt impact to her head and torso. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Louis' family is contesting that ruling and plans to conduct its own review of the incident, according to attorney Mark Sherman.

The collision remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Elderly Greenwich Woman Swindled in Charity Scam


A New Jersey man is facing charges after allegedly persuading a 92-year-old Greenwich woman to give him more than $1 million under the guise that he would donate the money to a Christian charity.

Sonny Y. Lee, 59, of Old Tappan, New Jersey, was arrested Aug. 8 and charged with theft by deception and money laundering.

Authorities began investigating after Bank of America noticed suspicious activity involving Lee and the elderly victim, according to the Bergen County prosecutor's office.

Prosecutors said Lee convinced the victim to "donate" more than $1 million earlier this year, then pocketed the money.

He appeared in court the afternoon of Aug. 10. It's not clear if Lee has an attorney.

Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office

Wal-Mart Employee Stabbed During Fight With Coworker, Husband


A Wal-Mart employee was stabbed in the chest during a fight with a coworker and her husband while at the Hamden store Tuesday, according to police.

Police said the victim, a 27-year-old New Haven resident, got into an argument with the married couple while inside the store early Tuesday morning.

The coworker and her husband attacked the victim as he was leaving the store, stabbing him in the chest, according to police.

Police said the victim drove himself to the Saint Raphael's Campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital. His condition is unknown.

No charges have been filed. Authorities continue to investigate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

American Apparel Says It's Running Out of Cash


American Apparel Inc. said Tuesday it does not expect to have enough funds to run the company for the next 12 months and warned it may not be able to raise additional capital, Reuters reported.

The company, which is being sued by founder and former CEO Dov Charney, said it could breach covenants related to a credit facility.

American Apparel said it was in talks with the lender -- Capital One Business Credit Corp -- to waive the non-compliance, but said there could be no guarantee of a waiver.

Failure to obtain a waiver could have an "adverse effect" on its financial condition, the company said.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Hartford Apartments Evacuated Over Lack of Fire Escapes


An apartment complex on Spring Street in Hartford was evacuated Tuesday night over a lack of working fire escapes.

According to a Hartford city official, the buildings at 87-101 Spring Street were deemed unsafe and residents were required to leave. Tenants said the city building inspector and fire department ushered them out.

A man who lives in the complex said the fire escapes were torn down several months ago and were never fully rebuilt. He said the residents will be staying in hotels tonight.

No one answered the phone Tuesday night when NBC Connecticut called a number listed for the complex.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Alleged Purse Theft Sparks Kidnapping, Violent Attack


Four people are facing charges after accusing a man and woman of stealing a purse at a Waterbury bar, then taking the woman's car keys, breaking into the man's home and beating him violently, according to police.

Anthony Carroll, Caiyle Mckenzie, Marnie Sbordone and Matthew Shea were arrested.

Police said the incident unfolded overnight Saturday, Aug. 1 into Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Thirsty Goat bar on Scovill Street in Waterbury.

The two victims were accused of stealing a purse before they left. According to police, the woman returned to the bar to see surveillance footage, at which point a group of people took her car keys while others broke into the man's house in Watertown.

Police said at least five people forced their way into the male victim's home and "forced him to return to the bar against his will."

Once there, he was brutally attacked and suffered multiple fractures during the assault. The woman was allowed to leave, according to police.

Carroll, 26, was charged with home invasion, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and second-degree larceny.

Mckenzie, 26, has been charged with home invasion, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary.

Sbordone, 28, and Shea, 33, were each charged with home invasion, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault.

Bond was set at $75,000 each. All four suspects are due in court Aug. 18. It's not clear if they have attorneys.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department

Fire Breaks Out in Barn at Cheshire Academy


Firefighters were called to Cheshire Academy after flames broke out in a barn on school property Tuesday night, according to the fire department.

Officials said the fire was still burning but under control by about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday. It's not clear what caused the blaze.

Cheshire Academy is located at 10 Main Street in Cheshire.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske

Norwich Man Killed in Montville Motorcycle Crash


A Norwich man was killed Tuesday night when he lost control of the motorcycle he was driving and hit a curb in Montville, according to state police.

Police said Brendan George Thomas, 27, was driving on Route 32 just south of New London Turnpike when his motorcycle veered to the side of the road and struck a curb on the right-hand side.

Thomas was rushed to Backus Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are asking anyone with information or who witnessed the crash to call Officer Bruce Rockwell of the Montville Police Department at 860-848-7510.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

After Losing Parents, 6-Year-Old Sets Out on Smile Mission


Two years ago, 6-year-old Jaden Hayes lost his father. Last month, his mother died in her sleep after tucking him into bed.

But the Georgia first grader is not letting the tragedy define him. He wanted people to know him for his smile, instead, so in July he set out on a mission, dubbed #TheSmileExperiment, to share his smile and hopefully get one in return. 

"After attending a funeral and a viewing, and seeing all these grownups walking around and nobody was smiling, he just got tired of people with sad, frowny faces," Barbara DiCola, his mother's sister, told Today.com. "He really wanted to make people smile and so asked me, how we could make people do that."

In July, DiCola took Jaden to downtown Savannah, Georgia, looking for friendly faces. Jaden approached at least 275 people during their two outings, giving out trinkets in exchange for a grin.

DiCola's daughter, Tasha Compton, has been keeping track of Jaden's "smile giveaways" on her Instagram. The experiment took off when others started sharing photos of themselves using  #thesmileexperiment. By Wednesday morning there were 1,339 posts tagged with the hashtag. 

"He's just a ray of sunshine. He's always been like that. It exudes from him," DiCola's told Today.com

Photo Credit: Instagram
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ISIS Group Claims to Have Hacked Information on U.S. Military Personnel


A Twitter account claiming to be the “Hacking Division” for the terror organization ISIS has published what it claims to be the personal information of hundreds of members of the U.S. military and government personnel, and urged supporters to carry out attacks, NBC News reported.

The Islamic state hacker group claimed the information contained names, emails, passwords, credit card and phone numbers of personnel that included individuals from the Air Force, the Marines, NASA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and NBC News consultant, said it could not authenticate the claim or the accuracy of the information.

There is also no indication as to how old the information is, or whether the email addresses and passwords are still valid.

"We are aware of the report but cannot confirm credibility at this time," a spokesperson for the Department of Defense said in an email. "The safety of our service members is always a primary concern."

Photo Credit: AP
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