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Toddler Wanders from Daycare: Mom


A New Jersey toddler wandered out of his daycare center and walked home without employees noticing, his astonished mother complained Friday.

Yomara Ortiz said she dropped off her 3-year-old son Dariell at KinderWorld EduCare Center in Hamilton, New Jersey, as she does every day. Not long after arriving at her job, a family member called to say that Dariell suddenly appeared at the front door of his home.

"I couldn't believe it," Ortiz said. "I thought she was playing a joke on me."

Ortiz lives only two blocks from the daycare center, but the toddler had to cross a busy street to get home.

Daycare staff had no idea that the 3-year-old had wandered off, Ortiz told NBC 4 New York.

"She didn't know where he was," Ortiz said of the staff member's response. "She had nothing to say. She just apologized and said it wouldn't happen again."

It won't, Ortiz said, adding that she will no longer leave her son at KinderWorld.

The daycare center was open Friday and taking care of children. Employees decline to speak to NBC 4.

Ortiz filed a formal complaint against KinderWorld and a state inspector visited the site Friday. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Donald Trump Holds Fundraiser


Donald Trump spoke Friday evening during a fundraiser at the home of a famed New England car dealer.

Ernie Boch Jr. hosted the Republican frontrunner in Norwood, Massachusetts. More than 1,000 guests were charged $100 to attend, but the candidate insists this isn't about raising money.

"This is not a fundraiser tonight," he said.

In fact, Boch says the party is not an endorsement, either — he says he's curious about the candidate and wants to know more. He said he hopes his guests have fun and come away with a better understanding of Trump.

"Whether they like him, fine, if they hate him, fine. I'm not going to try to convince anybody to vote for him or not to vote for him," said Boch. "I just want to have him over here and up close and personal."

Outside the iron gates of the sprawling mega mansion, dozens of protesters gathered, hoping to point out that Trump is pro-life.

"We're going to hold him accountable," said protester Christian Miron. "Donald Trump opposes a woman's right to safe, legal abortion care."

But some women told necn they don't just vote based on reproductive rights.

"There's so many other issues out there that are important," said one attendee. "I'm concerned about kids in the inner city getting better education, and I'm going to ask Mr. Trump about that today."

Boch added that he thinks Trump "could tone down on some of the stuff he says about women."

"I'm pro-choice. I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative," he said.

And Trump did soften his tone when asked about female voters.

"I cherish women," he said. "My daughter and my wife said, 'You have to talk about that,' because they know how I feel."

He used the issue to fire a shot at fellow Republican candidate Jeb Bush.

"Bush said he didn't want to fund women's health issues, and then he came back a few hours later and said he misspoke," said Trump.

Asked why he often attacks Bush, Trump got another jab in.

"I would say Jeb Bush is a frequent target because when this whole thing started, I thought he was going to be the primary competition," said Trump. "He's drifted very much to the middle of the pack and he's rapidly disappearing, so we're going to have to start looking at somebody else."

He also addressed recent gun violence.

"We have a problem with mental health in this country," said Trump. "Whave to take care of people and we have to find out who these people are."

With his feud with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh fresh in everyone's memory, Trump was asked his thoughts on the local leader.

"Honestly, I don't know him. I don't know him. He said something nasty about me and then I said, 'You failed on the Olympics.' And he failed," said Trump. "I hope he does a great job as mayor, but I really don't know him."

From there, he segued less than seamlessly into something sure to gain the favor of Patriots fans.

"I do know Tom Brady, who's great, Bob Kraft, who's great, and Coach [Bill] Belichick, who's great. Those people I know, but those are real winners," said Trump. "Leave Tom Brady alone, right? We love Tom Brady!"

Brady's former teammate, offensive tackle Matt Light loves the Donald, too.

"I think that what most people want in this country is somebody that's going to be honest, they're going to be open, and they're going to say it the way they see it," said Light. "And I can't see anybody else but Donald Trump fitting that bill."

Photo Credit: necn

Victoria Soto School Opens in Stratford


A Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher who died trying to protect her students during the December 2012 shooting was honored Friday with the opening of an elementary school that bears her name.

Victoria Soto was among six staff members and 20 children killed the morning of Dec. 14, 2012. She is remembered as a hero.

The Victoria Soto School marked its grand opening Friday in Stratford, where Soto attended high school.

"From something ugly, something beautiful has come," said her father, Carlos Soto.

Hundreds gathered Friday morning outside the main entrance of the elementary school, which will serve students in pre-kindergarten through second grade.

"It’s a sound legacy. And I hope that that legacy will include these children realizing that there’s resilience, regardless of what might come their way," Stratford superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson said at the grand opening Friday.

Inside the school are bright colors and reminders to be kind – along with signs of flamingos, Victoria Soto's favorite animal.

"There are flamingos on the bulletin boards, there are flamingo books in the classrooms in each class," explained Victoria Soto's sister, Jillian Soto, adding that every teacher has a pink chair. "She would be in awe over that because it’s absolutely a flamingo theme inside that school for her."

The $18-million school replaced the Honeyspot House as part of the Stratford Academy complex. It's set to open Sept. 3.

"I know that she’s up there right now with her kids in heaven," said Carlos Soto.

South Windsor Church Fire Was Set: Police


Someone set fire to a South Windsor church earlier this month and a reward is being offered for information as police search for the person who set it.

Police said they were notified of a fire at St. Peters Episcopal Church, located at 109 Sand Hill Road, around 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.

After investigating, the South Windsor fire marshal’s office and South Windsor Police fire investigators ruled this as an arson case and police said it could be connected to an incident a few days earlier at a nearby home when someone poured gas and damaged a tractor.

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Anyone with information about the case should call South Windsor Police Agent Mike Thompson at 860-644-2551, the confidential Tipline line at 860-648-NABM (6226) or the Connecticut Arson Tip Award Program, 1-800-84ARSON.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police ID Driver Killed in Crash on Route 9 in Haddam


A 56-year-old East Hampton man was killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving went down an embankment on Route 9 North in Haddam on Friday morning and hit a tree, according to state police. 

Police identified the driver as David Canfield, 56, of East Hampton.

He was traveling northbound near exit 8 just after 6:15 a.m. when the truck traveled into the left shoulder, hit a guardrail and went off the road.

Canfield was alone in the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The highway was shut down between exits 8 and 9 after the crash, but has reopened.

Police are investigating.

Driver in Gas Station Crash Says Other Car Struck Hers


The driver who plowed into a set of gas pumps in East Hartford, causing an explosion, told investigators another vehicle struck her car and caused her to lose control, according to police.

Police said Sindie Thomas, 69, of East Hartford, was behind the wheel Thursday when her car slammed into the Phillips 66 gas station at 302 Main Street.

Witnesses said they saw Thomas speed through the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant across the street, shoot over the grass and cross the busy road before crashing into the gas station.

Thomas told police another car struck her vehicle, causing her to lose control. Police said Friday they have not identified a second car involved in the incident, nor do they have a description of one.

Joseph Christensen, who works down the street at Dave’s Service Center, arrived moments after the crash.

"I thought the whole gas station was going to explode," he said.

Police said Thomas walked away moments before her SUV burst into flames, escaping only with minor injuries. Thomas' son said she is resting and doing well.

"There were other people in the gas station at the same time and they could have been hurt as well," said East Hartford police Lt. Tim Juergens.

Six gas pumps were destroyed in the crash. Crime tape remained wrapped around the gas station Friday.

Stamford Suspect Linked to Burglaries in Berlin: Cops


The man suspected of breaking into a Stamford home Monday may have also been responsible for a burglary spree in Berlin, according to police.

Berlin police said surveillance video released Thursday by authorities in Stamford appears to show the car involved in a string of burglaries on Spruce Brook Road, Savage Hill Road and Stony Mill Lane in Berlin.

Authorities believe the driver broke into a home on Cummings Point Road in Stamford around 11:20 a.m. Monday and made a quick getaway when residents confronted him and chased him out of the house.

Hours later, on Thursday afternoon, the same man is believed to have entered homes on Savage Hill Road and Spruce Brook Road in Berlin. One of the victims said the burglar apologized and claimed to think he was in a rooming house.

He took nothing and asked for a hug, according to the victim.

Berlin police said the perpetrator stands about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds. He was wearing a light blue or gray suit and was driving a gray car with rear-end damage.

Stamford police described the getaway car as a pale green Nissan Sentra or similar model sedan missing its rear bumper. Video shows two indentations in the driver's side front quarter panel and a small white sticker on the driver's window.

The vehicle may have a temporary cardboard license plate, according to Stamford police.

Police alerted Berlin residents of the incidents through the town's reverse 911 system and are warning against confronting an intruder.

"They're dangerous situations, when you find someone in your home who's not supposed to be there," explained Berlin police Lt. Chris Ciuci. "They should try to make themselves safe first, so if they can get out of that situation, they should do that."

Anyone with information should call Stamford police at 203-977-4407 or Berlin police at 860-828-7080.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

Silver Alert Issued for Infant Missing From West Haven


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a 2-month-old girl who has been missing from West Haven since Wednesday.

Kaylei Caesar, born June 15, was last seen with her mother, Kadena Robinson, on Aug. 26, according to the Silver Alert.

Police did not release a photo of Kaylei but said she has black hair and brown eyes, stands 20 inches tall and weighs 10 pounds.

Robinson also has black hair and brown eyes, according to the Silver Alert.

Anyone with information on Kaylei's whereabouts is asked to call West Haven police at 203-933-1616.

Rock Cats Game Delayed After Truck Sinks Into Field


Friday night marked the start the New Britain Rock Cats' final weekend series in the Brass City, but it didn't go off without a hitch.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said the team brought a truck onto the field before the first pitch. The vehicle sank and tore a hole in the grass.

The visiting team, the Portland Sea Dogs, tweeted that "a fire engine dug up left field."

The game got underway around 8:25 p.m., after about an hour delay.

It's the Rock Cats' last weekend series in New Britain. The team will move to Hartford next year and play as the Yard Goats.

Rock Cats to Play Final Weekend Series in New Britain


It's a bittersweet moment as the Rock Cats start their final weekend series at New Britain Stadium.

"It’s like when you read a book and you start a new one," said Rock Cats General Manager Tim Restall. "And we have some great weather to close out the season in New Britain."

The team will play as the Yard Goats next year in a new stadium in downtown Hartford. The team announced it was leaving New Britain last summer, which came as a surprise to city officials.

The wound is still fresh in New Britain.

"There’s not a lot of excitement of them moving out. It’s not even bittersweet. A lot of disappointment," said Bill Carroll, New Britain's director of economic development.

He said as long as he could remember, New Britain was a regional hub for baseball.

"We were Baseball Town USA, as far as I’m concerned," Carroll said. "The golden era of high school baseball from the '70s through the lower '80s, we had probably more state championships than most other communities in the state of Connecticut."

He said the city is in talks with the Atlantic League, another Minor League Baseball organization, to land a team in New Britain once the Rock Cats' departure is final.

"There will be ongoing conversations, and we hope once that ink gets on paper that it dries real quick and we keep moving forward," he said.

Restall said he's optimistic that the support the team has received in New Britain will carry over into the capital city.

"It’s been great. When you walk through the ballpark, you see people that say hi and you catch up with their families. You know, they’re out enjoying life at the ballpark," he said. "Especially with us only going 12 miles away, it’s something we’re going to continue when we’re up in Hartford."

Photo Credit: New Britain Rock Cats

Segarra Campaign Questions Motives of Bronin's Wife


Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra supported Sara Bronin many times in the past, but now he's questioning her intentions as the race for mayor intensifies between Segarra and Bronin's husband.

Segarra supported Sara Bronin's service on the city's charter revision commission and her service with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

The two discussed several times her interest in being appointed to the Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission, and eventually Segarra appointed her to the board and now she serves as its chair.

"Yes, we actually shared a lot of the same visions for the city in terms of where the city might go and the possibilities," Sara Bronin said during an interview Friday.

Back then, it didn't seem to matter to the mayor who Sara Bronin was married to.

Now, Segarra and his campaign say there are unanswered questions about whether Luke and Sara Bronin were plotting a mayoral run two years ago, and tried to use her appointment to the planning and zoning commission as a way to prepare for the race.

"Was Sara Bronin being transparent? That’s the question that needs to be asked," said Segarra's campaign manager, Michael Bland.

While the campaign and the mayor don't accuse the Bronins of any kind of conspiracy, they do wonder what was discussed behind closed doors. Luke Bronin worked for Gov. Dan Malloy at the time of his wife's appointment.

"This just wasn’t something that Luke or maybe Sara woke up and the morning of and said, 'We’re going to run for mayor.' This is something that was thought out and the fact of the matter is that she knew what she knew," Bland said.

Luke Bronin said any such theory has no merit considering Segarra's record of supporting his wife in the past.

"My wife is a national expert on land-use and zoning. She volunteers an unbelievable amount of time," he said. "She’s deeply passionate about the issue of planning and zoning."

Sara Bronin said she thinks there may be a deeper tone of frustration coming from Segarra.

"For him to insinuate that I as a tenured professor at UConn that specializes in land-use issues, had originally joined the planning and zoning commission just to advance my husband’s political career was really offensive," she said.

Segarra's campaign won't stop questioning Luke or his wife's motives. They say in this case, a family member isn't off limits.

"If Luke were to be elected, would Sara resign from the planning and zoning board? I think that's something voters want to know," Bland asked.

Haddam Rallies Around Young Cancer Patient


Lots of 10-year-olds started fourth grade this week, but as one girl from Haddam began the school year, she also began another week of chemotherapy.

Residents want to make sure Emma Becker knows they care. Community members supporting Emma in her battle with neurofibramatosis threw her a party outside Haddam-Killingworth High School on Friday evening.

Audrey Roberts, a friend of Emma's mother, has lived in the Higganum section of Haddam her whole life and said she can't remember a town-wide party for a little girl such as this.

"What we're trying to do is, we're trying to show her that we care, that the whole community cares about her, wants her to get well, and we are working toward that," she said. "She's a sweetheart of a girl, and let me tell you, she has got the strength like you wouldn't believe. She's amazing, an amazing child."

The party featured cupcakes, a Bounce House, and a movie to be screened on a wall of the high school.

Shelton Police Seek Car Involved in Serious Hit-and-Run


Police are searching for the driver who struck a 49-year-old bicyclist in Shelton in a hit-and-run crash earlier this month, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries.

Shelton police said the bicyclist was struck around 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14 at the intersection of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street.

The victim, a Milford resident, is still at the hospital receiving treatment.

Witnesses told police the offending vehicle was black and traveling southbound on Howe Avenue. The car continued over the Derby-Shelton Bridge.

Police are conducting a checkpoint Friday night in the area of the crash, hoping to speak with drivers who may have been there when it happened.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Shelton Police Department Traffic Division at 203-924-1544 ext. 4417.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

Legionnaires Disease Confirmed at San Quentin Prison


San Quentin Prison officials on Friday confirmed at least one case of Legionnaires' disease on prison premises, located on the shore of San Francisco Bay just east of Larkspur.

Officials said one prisoner had undergone tests at a hospital outside the prison facility after falling sick The tests confirmed that he had the potentially life threatening disease. He is currently in stable condition, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Two more inmates were hospitalized after displaying symptoms and were transported to an outside hospital for pneumonia-like symptoms, but no officials diagnosis has been made.

San Quentin has temporarily halted inmate intake as the investigation continues.

Prison officials had shut off all water to the prison Thursday, including to showers, toilets, sinks and the kitchen. Prisoners could be seen lining up with jars to receive water on the prison grounds Friday from the NBC Bay Area chopper. Water stations and a line of porta potties were also spotted.

According to a statement from CDCR Friday afternoon, the prison will resume the use of plumbed toilets inside the facility’s housing units and monitored use of water for cooking after consulting with health experts. Water sources such as bottled water and water tanks will continue to be consumed until it is deemed safe to resume normal water use.

Currently around 30 inmates are ill and have symptoms associated with Legionnaires' disease. The inmates have not been confirmed to have Legionnaires disease and were only being treated as a precaution, Dana Simas from CDCR said. All unconfirmed cases are being treated at San Quentin’s on-site medical unit, Simas said.

The CDCR is working with Marin County Public Health to identify the source of the problem. The prison will keep bringing in water until the problem has been fixed, Simas said.

Most cases of legionellosis or Legionnaires’ disease are caused by Legionella pneumophila, but all species of Legionella can cause the disease, according to the CDC. People contract Legionnaires' disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria, which grows in warm freshwater environments.

Person-to-person transmisison does not occur with Legionnaires’ disease, the CDC says.

A recent Legionnaires' disease outbreak in the south Bronx sickened more than 120 people, killing 12 of them. Officials in New York identified a cooling tower at the Opera House Hotel as the source of that outbreak.

The largest outbreak — 449 cases — ever reported was traced to a cooling tower on the roof of a city hospital in Murcia, Spain in 2001. The bacterium is named after a 1976 outbreak, when people who attended the American Legion convention in Philadelphia caught the disease.

An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease each year in the U.S.

John Zuchelli and Torey Van Oot contributed reporting.

Sarah Palin Lobs Softballs at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush


Sarah Palin hosted Republican candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz on her show, "On Point with Sarah Palin," for a friendly interview Friday that steered clear of the tough questions they faced duing their first debate earlier this month.

Trump criticized the current tax code, calling it "a joke," and slammed the "horrible" treatment of the country's middle class and veterans, vowing to improve their lives. "If I win … believe me, the vets will be taken care of," he said. Palin did not prompt him to explain what he would change.

She invited Cruz and Bush to sound off on the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton's email server scandal and the proposed Iran nuclear deal, which Cruz called "profoundly dangerous to our country."

Photo Credit: AP

Obama Appoints First Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs


President Barack Obama appointed the country's first special envoy for hostage affairs following a review of the government's current hostage policies, the White House announced on Friday.

Former State Department official Jim O'Brien will be tasked with "one overriding goal," according to Secretary of State John Kerry, to whom O'Brien will report: "using diplomacy to secure the safe return of Americans held hostage overseas." 

O'Brien will also communicate directly with the families of hostages—a response to criticism from families of American hostages who complained that the U.S. government left them in the dark.

O'Brien will be part of a "fusion cell" made up of officials from the FBI, the State Department, the Pentagon and CIA.

He previously worked as a presidential envoy to the Balkans during the 1990s and a senior adviser to former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Photo Credit: AP

Egypt Sentences Al-Jazeera Reporters to Prison


An Egyptian court sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists to three years in prison in a long-running trial criticized by press freedom advocates worldwide.
Judge Hassan Farid said he issued his verdict in the retrial because the three journalists were not registered with the country's journalist syndicate, brought reporting equipment into the country without permission and were spreading "false news," Reuters reported.
The case against Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed was opened in the wake of the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Greste, who was deported in February and sentenced in absentia, wrote on Twitter that he was shocked, outraged, angry and upset. 
Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Qatar-based Al Jazeera, said that the "verdict defies logic and common sense." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Thai Police Arrest Suspect in Bangkok Tourist Shrine Bombing


Police in Thailand arrested a suspect in the deadly Bankok bombing that killed 20 people at a crowded Shrine earlier this month.

National police spokesman Prawut Thavornsiri told Reuters that the suspect fit the description of a man seen on a surveillance video leaving a backpack at the scene.

Thavornsiri added that police raided an apartment used by the suspect in northern Bangkok and discovered possible bomb-making materials.

The bomb detonated at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok's commercial center on Aug. 17, killing 20 and wounding dozens more.

Photo Credit: Deputy Police Chief, Royal Thai Police

Texas Sheriff's Deputy Gunned Down at Gas Station


A Texas Sheriff's deputy was fatally shot from behind Friday night, while pumping gas into his police vehicle at a Houston-area Chevron station, police said.

The Harris County Sheriff's office identified the slain deputy as Darren H. Goforth, 47, a 10-year veteran on the force and father of two, who was in uniform when he was shot multiple times "execution-style."

The shooting occured at about 8:30 p.m. local time at a Chevron station in Harris County, Texas. The duputy had just finished responding to a routine call and was alone when the shooter approached him and opened fire, the Sheriff's office said. 

Witnesses called 911 and multiple units arrived on the scene, but were unable to save the deputy, according to the Sheriff's office.

Police described the suspect as a dark complexioned man in his early 20s wearing a white t-shirt and red shorts. He was reportedly driving a dark red or maroon extended cab Ford Ranger. Police were questioning a person of interest early Saturday morning, KPRC reported.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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5 City of Hartford Email Accounts Used on Ashley Madison


A week after hackers revealed the potential identities of millions of people with accounts on the Ashley Madison adultery site, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned five of those leaked accounts appear to be linked to the email addresses of Hartford city and public school employees.

The revelation may prompt some city policy changes. Hartford auditors told the Troubleshooters that next month, they will recommend that the city government and school system block city server access to Ashley Madison, along with dating sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.

Hartford's internal audit department has identified five email addresses from the city and public school system used to sign up for Ashley Madison, mostly during 2011 and 2012.

The five include two email addresses from the Hartford Police Department, two from Hartford Public Schools and one linked to the Hartford Public Works Department.

Auditors said about 600 emails from Ashley Madison were sent to those email addresses.

It's not clear if anyone read the Ashley Madison messages or for how long. Auditors also have not asked the employees if they personally created the Ashley Madison accounts or if someone else may have used their email addresses.

Auditors also pointed out that city policies permit employees to use their government email accounts for "brief and infrequent" personal matters, so the people identified who still work for the city likely will not be disciplined.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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