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Flicked Off: Frisbee Team Wants to Play Near White House


Frisbee teams say they are being forced off fields near the White House. The National Park Service says it's part of a beautification effort to restore the Ellipse. The teams are seeking the help of First Lady, Michelle Obama. News4's Mark Segraves reports.

Berlin High School Evacuated, Students Dismissed


Berlin High School was evacuated after a bomb threat on Friday, according to state police.

Officers responded to the school at 139 Patterson Way at 11:52 a.m. after someone found the threat scrawled on the wall of a girls' bathroom.

The state police bomb squad was called to the school to investigate, but found nothing, police said.

Students were dismissed early at 1 p.m.

Photo Credit: Vahe Hovhannisyan

Naked Woman Breaks in through Doggy Door, Police Say


It might be time for this Texas couple to seal up their doggy door. 

A 25-year-old woman was arrested after allegedly getting naked then breaking into a Weatherford family's home through the doggy door, The Ada News reported. Sara Elizabeth Soto told police she had done nothing wrong and was just trying to use the phone.

The couple living in the house heard a noise early Tuesday morning and called police around 1:45 a.m., according to the Ada News. The man told officers he doesn’t have a dog and assumed an animal entered after he found the doggy door damaged.

Arresting officers said they found Soto sitting inside the bathtub naked and reportedly discovered a black dress on the porch that Soto had been wearing before she entered the home, according to The Ada News.

Soto was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief and remained in the Parker County Jail on $4,000 bond.

She's not the only alleged naked doggy door trespasser. Earlier this month, a naked California man went through his neighbor's doggy door in an apparent attempt to have sex with the man's wife, according to The Weekly Vice.


Photo Credit: AP

Wallingford Postal Processing Center to Close in September


The U.S. Postal Service will close the Wallingford Processing Center in September, rather than in February 2014, according to a statement from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, and she is angry.

More than 360 employees will lose their jobs, DeLauro said. 

“I am outraged at USPS’s decision to consolidate one the region’s newest mail processing centers ahead of schedule. Our postal workers do an extraordinary service for the community and they should be treated with the respect and gratitude they have earned. That includes taking every opportunity to solve USPS’ financial problems without destroying these good middle class jobs,” DeLauro said in a statement.

“USPS has unilaterally sped up with closing process, ignoring the many members of Congress who have tried to engage with them. This will cost millions of Americans across the country their jobs, including many veterans.”

Carjack Victim Describes Ride with Bomb Suspects


The 90 minutes from hell started with a tap on the window. Danny, a 26-year-old Chinese engineer, was pulled over in his Mercedes-Benz ML 350 late last Thursday night when he heard the tap, according to the Boston Globe. He rolled down the window, and before he knew it, one of the most wanted men in the country — Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers — was sitting in the passenger seat, pointing a gun at him.

Danny gave an exclusive interview to the Boston Globe, detailing the riveting story of his car-jacking and escape. He agreed to the interview with the Globe on the condition that the paper use his American nickname and not reveal his Chinese name.

From the Globe:

The story of that night unfolds like a Tarantino movie, bursts of harrowing action laced with dark humor and dialogue absurd for its ordinariness, reminders of just how young the men in the car were. Girls, credit limits for students, the marvels of the Mercedes-Benz ML 350 and the iPhone­ 5, whether anyone still listens to CDs — all were discussed by the two 26-year-olds and the 19-year-old driving around on a Thursday night.

Danny eventually escaped at a gas station, when bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went inside to pay for gas, and Tamerlan put down the gun to use the car's navigation system.

"In that moment," Danny told the Globe, "I prayed."


Photo Credit: AP

FAA's Reprieve: "Devastating Indictment" of Washington


As expected, the House Friday passed a bill that will allow the FAA to end sequester-forced furloughs that have been causing flight delays around the country this week.

The bill, which will use money from an FAA infrastructure improvement account to pay the salaries of furloughed air traffic controllers, sailed through the House 361 to 41. The previous night it passed unopposed in the Senate, over objections from some Democrats who didn't see why the airline industry, over all the other industries affected by the federal sequester, should receive special treatment.

"We ought not to be mitigating the sequester's effect on just one segment, when children, the sick, our military and many other groups who will be impacted by this irresponsible policy will be left unhealed," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, according to The Hill.

White House press secretary Jay Carney likened the $253 million money shift to a "band-aid" in a Thursday press conference, but still cast the bill as "good news for America's traveling public." FAA officials could not predict when staffing, and therefore service, would return to normal.

"But ultimately," Carney added, the bill "fails to address the overarching threat to our economy posed by the sequester's mindless across-the-board cuts."

So why did so many Democrats end up voting for bill? And how did cuts to the FAA inspire action from legislators in Washington when cuts to other agencies and programs, from Meals on Wheels to Head Start, have gone on unaddressed?

To some observers, it's all about the impact this particular agency has on the lives of lawmakers.

An Atlantic headline put it this way: "Politicians Will Only Roll Back Parts of the Sequester That Hurt Them, Naturally."

"Unlike previous sequester effects which mostly hurt the already economically, socially, or geographically marginalized in American society, these cuts were going to get serious, because they were hitting Northeast Corridor elites where it hurt: on the DCA-LGA shuttle," the article said, referring to delays at New York and Washington airports "frequented by politicians and the national media."

A Salon piece made the same point, arguing that the people who fly between Washington and New York are "people Congress listens to" and "people Congress is."

NBC News' First Read team echoed the point, boiling the lesson down to this: "Congress will act, but only if it and its friends are hurt or simply inconvenienced. That's a devastating indictment on how Washington works."

Others pointed out that airline delays were the most visible effect yet of the across-the-board spending cuts triggered last month after Congress failed to strike a deal on reducing the country's deficit.

On Sunday the FAA began furloughing all 47,000 of its employees, including 15,000 controllers who would have to stay home one extra day per week to save the administration salary money.

While the first day of furloughs appeared to go relatively smoothly, their effects were soon felt and seen in airports around the country. The agency attributed more than 850 flight delays Wednesday to staffing reductions and warned that if unaddressed the upcoming travel season could present big challenges to travelers.

The airlines too campaigned aggressively against the FAA cuts, encouraging passengers to voice their opposition to the agency's "unnecessary and reckless action."

An airline trade group, Airlines for America, filed a motion with the U.S. Appellate Court for the District of Columbia last week to stop the furloughs, citing safety concerns. Meanwhile, other business and travel groups argued that this furlough in particular could harm the economy, at a time when the country's just beginning to feel all the other sequester effects.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Teen Accused of Setting Mom's Home on Fire


An 18-year-old man was arrested for setting his mother's home on fire following an argument with family members in a Washington, D.C. suburb Friday morning, authorities said.

The local Fire and EMS Department is not releasing the suspect's name, but he is facing multiple charges.

After a dispute with family inside the home at in Oxon Hill, Md., the suspect removed his grandfather from the home, went back inside and lit a fire, according to authorities.

Police officers — who had been sent to the address on a domestic call — arrived to find the home in flames. They tried to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers from their cruisers while they waited for firefighters.

At one point, the suspect appeared on the roof and threw what authorities are calling "an unknown type of product" at the officers, causing them to retreat.

As the flames and smoke became more intense, the suspect jumped off the roof and was taken into custody.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in 15 to 20 minutes. Damage is estimated at $80,000, and the suspect's mother will be displaced.

The suspect has been charged with first-degree arson, first-degree malicious burning, first-degree destruction of property and 10 counts of first-degree assault on a police officer.

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Fire

Police Find Car Connected to Missing ECSU Student


State police have found the car they have been looking for in connection with the disappearance of Eastern Connecticut State University student Alyssiah Marie Wiley.

The black 2009 Nissan Altima with four doors and tinted windows, with Connecticut license plate 297-ZOY was found in Bridgeport, said Lt. Vance, spokesman for  the Connecticut State Police.

Wiley was reported missing Wednesday and a Silver Alert was issued Thursday morning. The 20-year-old was last heard from on April 20, the same day as the car was captured on surveillance.

On Wednesday night, state police brought in dogs to search the campus and other places Wiley was last seen, but nothing came of the search.

Wiley is described as 5-feet 6, weighs 150 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on Alyssiah or on the car should call State Police Troop K at 860-537-7500.

Photo Credit: State Police

LivingSocial Says Customer Accounts Hacked


LivingSocial, the D.C.-based daily deals site, says more than 50 million customer accounts may have been compromised by a cyberattack.

Customers' names, email addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords stored on the company's servers may have been accessed, a company spokesman confirmed in an email to NBCWashington.

The first news of the hacking was reported by All Things Digital.

Credit card information was not accessed or affected, according to the company. Nor was merchants' financial or banking information.

LivingSocial suggests all customers change their passwords on their accounts. The company is in the process of emailing the customers who were affected to help them reset their passwords.

They are also working with law enforcement to investigate the breach.

"The security of our customer and merchant information is our priority," said LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy in the email to customers. "We always strive to ensure the security of our customer information, and we are redoubling efforts to prevent any issues in the future."

Here is the email that LivingSocial is sending to affected customers:

Subject: An important update on your LivingSocial.com account

LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue.

The information accessed includes names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and encrypted passwords -- technically ‘hashed’ and ‘salted’ passwords. We never store passwords in plain text.

The database that stores customer credit card information was not affected or accessed.

Although your LivingSocial password would be difficult to decode, we want to take every precaution to ensure that your account is secure, so we are expiring your old password and requesting that you create a new one.

For your security, please create a new password for your <<email_address>> account by following the instructions below.
1. Visit LivingSocial.com
2. Click on the "Create a New Password" button (top right corner of the homepage)
3. Follow the steps to finish
We also encourage you, for your own personal data security, to consider changing password(s) on any other sites on which you use the same or similar password(s).

The security of your information is our priority. We always strive to ensure the security of our customer information, and we are redoubling efforts to prevent any issues in the future.

Please note that LivingSocial will never ask you directly for personal or account information in an email. We will always direct you to the LivingSocial website – and require you to login – before making any changes to your account. Please disregard any emails claiming to be from LivingSocial that request such information or direct you to a different website that asks for such information.

If you have additional questions about this process, the "Create a New Password" button on LivingSocial.com will direct you to a page that has instructions on creating a new password and answers to frequently asked questions.

We are sorry this incident occurred, and we look forward to continuing to introduce you to new and exciting things to do in your community.

Tim O'Shaughnessy
CEO, LivingSocial


Letter With Chemical Smell Investigated in Montville


Hazmat crews responded to a house in Montville Friday afternoon to investigate a letter giving off a strange smell.

According to fire officials, an envelope or at 1307 Route 163 had a very strong chemical odor coming from it.

Montville firefighters, a hazmat team from Sub Base Groton and crews from the Department of Energy and Environmental protection all responded to the scene.

The homeowner suffered a slight eye irritation, but was otherwise not injured, according to the DEEP.

The letter was sent to a lab for testing, but field tests showed no unusual readings, officials said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Calmer Spring Weekend Returns


It's Spring Weekend at UConn but this year the celebration is a much different than in the past.

The university debuted on-campus activities including a festival of food trucks outside the student union. Students lined up for the free food Friday night.

"This is cool, free food, love clam chowder. I kind of miss the old days but when someone dies you got to do something right?" said David Henriques, a UConn senior.

The traditional party weekend, known for heavy drinking and arrests, is a thing of the past. This is the first Spring Weekend at the university since 2010 when Jafar Karzoun, a UConn student, died after being assaulted off-campus.

Now, there's a heavy police presence aimed at catching drunk drivers and limiting the amount of non-students who are taking part in the festivities.

UConn police are stopping cars as they enter campus.

State police have set up checkpoints near campus and they're also conducting roving patrols in the area. They issued more than 850 tickets for speeding, seat belt violations, and other offenses since their increased enforcement began on Monday, which is on par with their enforcement efforts for a typical holiday weekend.

"So far, no D.U.I. arrests which is a good thing. Also, no serious injury accidents, no pedestrian injury accidents," said Sgt. John Netkovick of the Connecticut State Police.

Some students say the increased police presence on and off-campus is too much.

"I think it's a little excessive, but so far they haven't been too bad," said Bill Conley, a UConn senior.

Stephen Petkis, UConn's student body president, says the extra enforcement is necessary to ensure student safety.

"It the police need to issue tickets to make sure people are okay then that's what they need to do," said Petkis.

Spring Weekend continues through Saturday.

Waterford Wife Seeks Help in Finding her Husband's Killer


Kate Seidel is hoping police can find her husband's killer and asks for the public's help in finding whoever is responsible for his death.

On December 21, 2012 Kyle Seidel went to pick up Chinese food and never came home. Later that night Waterford police found him shot to death

Kate Seidel says Waterford Police have been working non-stop on Kyle's case. They've come to her home every other week to give her updates.

"Someone has to know something," said Seidel, a woman who lost her devoted husband and father of their three kids.

Friday would have been Kyle and Kate's 10th wedding anniversary. "He was the type of guy who would help you if you had a flat tire or if your boat died in the middle of the river he'd tow you in," she said.

Yet someone had it in for this all American guy Kate described. This past December police said he left their home to pick up food from the Lucky Inn Chinese Restaurant on Boston Post Road. Just a short time later he was found dead in the Family Bowl parking lot.

"We'll get answers I'm sure we will so that's what we keep going for. I want to know," said Kate.

She's trying to get those answers from her community. She has started a website and raised more than $1700 so they can pass out fliers telling her Waterford neighbors about the case.

"We're not going to leave any stone uncovered," said Kate. She insists keeping her three children distracted and the mood upbeat is important.

"Jessie my son doesn't understand…daddy heaven? He wants him to come home."

Kate now has a reminder of Kyle around her neck. It's a fingerprint of him that a friend gave her. She has it so she'll always remember the hardworking man, the man who loved everything about the water and a man whose name she won't let go without justice

"I think anyone would if someone they loved was killed, murdered," Kate said.

She says that as far as she knows her husband didn't have any enemies.

If anyone has information, you are urged to contact Waterford Police at 860-945-5200.


Marine Colonel Dismissed in Quantico Murder-Suicide Fallout


A commander who oversaw the school that employed three Marines killed in a murder-suicide in Virginia has been relieved of his job, the Marine Corps Times reported.

Col. Kris J. Stillings will no longer lead the Officer Candidates School (OCS) at the Quantico Base, due to the deaths of Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, Cpl. Jacob Wooley and Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata.

Lopez, 25, shot and killed Wooley and Castromata in March before taking his own life in the barracks. All three were assigned to the OCS.

A general who spoke to the Marine Corps Times about Stillings’ dismissal called the decision “painful” but said it came down to a matter of accountability.

 Read more on the story and Stillings’ response at the Marine Corps Times.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hartford Police Investigate Woman’s Death


Investigators want answers after a 21-year-old Hartford woman collapsed and died after getting into a fight on Thursday night.

Police have identified the woman as Kellie McCaskall-Cupe. Neighbors said she leaves a child behind.

“It’s sad. She’s young. She has a 5-month-old baby. I wouldn’t wish that on nobody,” said Pam Matthews, a neighbor.

McCaskall-Cupe was found lying on the ground, unconscious, at the intersection of Auburn and Westland streets.

Witnesses told investigators McCaskall-Cupe was fighting with another woman when she suddenly pulled away and collapsed.

Officers performed CPR on McCaskall-Cupe, but couldn’t revive her. She was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital shortly before midnight.

“According to the medical staff at St. Francis, she had no obvious signs of trauma, so we can’t call it a homicide. That will be determined by the chief medical examiner,” said Lt. Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department.

Police are in contact with the other female involved, police said.

“The female and the combatant were known to each other,” Foley said.

Major crimes is investigating.

No arrests have been made.

Investigators don’t believe any weapons were used in the fight.

As of Friday morning, this case was labeled a death investigation.

Malloy Supports a $9 Minimum Wage


Gov. Dannel Malloy said he is supporting increasing the minimum wage to ( per hour over the next two years.

The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.25 and CT News Junkie reports that Malloy will support increasing it to $9 per hour, but does not support tying it to the rate of inflation.
The General Assembly is debating the minimum wage bill. When the Labor and Public Employees Committee voted on the bill, seven voted in favor, while four voted against.  You can read the testimony on the General Assembly’s Web site.

Critics say the measure will stall economic growth and hurt small business.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.19. Minimum wage in Oregon is $8.95 and it is $8.60 in Vermont. http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

Connecticut, DC, Illinois and Nevada all have a current minimum wage of $8.25.


Shoreline Fire Departments Holding Food Drive


Nine shoreline area volunteer fire departments are hosting a food drive today to collect much needed food items for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

Fire stations in Old Saybrook, Clinton, Essex, Killngworth, Niantic, Old Lyme, East Lyme and Westbrook will be collecting non-perishable food items from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Among the critical items needed are soups, tuna, juice, canned fruit, rice, pasta, cereal, peanut butter and Spam.

For more information, visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org.


House Fire in Farmington


A house fire broke out just  before 11 a.m. on Case St. in Farmington today.

Fire crews were on the scene for over an hour trying to contain the blaze.

The street remains closed as the fire department assesses the scene.

Details are limited at this time. We will bring you more information as it comes into the newsroom.

One Person Killed in Waterbury House Fire


One person has died after a fire in Waterbury Saturday afternoon, according to fire officials.

The fire broke out at a multi-family home at 9 Sudbury Street  just after 3 p.m., and spread to an adjacent house. Smoke could be seen from the corner of Sudbury and Tremont Streets from miles on I-84.

Deputy Chief Rick Hart said the victim was living in the third floor apartment of the Sudbury Street home.

According to Waterbury Police, the victim is 47-year-old Victor Rivera.

Mayor Neil O'Leary along with other first responders ran inside the burning home. A fireman broke down one of the doors and found the victim unconscious.

The two  multi-family apartments were fully engulfed with flames.

"I mean I never felt fire this hot in my life. We tried banging on doors making sure people got out," said Mayor Neil O'Leary.  He was around the corner when he saw the blaze and rushed in to help.

Mayor O'Leary said the fire spread from one house to the other very quickly.

"Obviously it got inside the walls and it just took over the whole house," O'Leary said.

Paul Leone lives on the second floor of the home on Tremont. He and his friend were out of the house at the time. They were overwhelmed with grief as they arrived.

"Got to the top of the hill here and saw flames coming out of the top of the house and started freaking out," Leone said.

Despite the shock, Leone was reunited with his dog Rosie. She made it out of the house safely.

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital. Out of the three firefighters injured in the blaze, one was transported with chest pains, the other two suffered smoke inhalation. Their conditions are not known at this time. 





Man Killed After Driver Sneezes, Crashes into Him


A Homestead man was struck and killed by a passing driver after the driver reportedly sneezed and crashed into him, police said.

Victor Aguiar, 56, was pushing a disabled car on the side of Haverhill Road in Lake Worth early Saturday morning, when another car, driven by Shawn Gruber, 27, crashed into him, said a report from the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.

Aguiar was pushing the disabled car north on Haverhill Road with Oscar Cristo Gomez, 28, while Michael Gomez Rodriguez, 16, helped steer it. The car did not have lights or reflective markers, according to the report.

Gruber told police he sneezed as he was driving, and when he opened his eyes, he saw the disabled car. He swerved to the left, but hit the disabled car from behind, pinning Aguiar and Gomez between the two cars, police said.

Aguiar was pronounced dead on the scene, while Gomez was transported to Delray Medical Center where he remains in critical condition, the report said.

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Conn. Warrants to Seize Weapons Increasing


Warrants to temporarily seize weapons from individuals who are a threat to themselves or others have been rising in Connecticut, even before the killings last December of 20 school children and six administrators in Newtown.

The New Haven Register reports that more than 2,000 weapons were seized in the 10 years since October 1999 when state law took effect following the killings of five people at the Connecticut State Lottery headquarters in 1998.

The courts approved 274 warrants through the end of 2008. Another 373 were approved through 2012.

Michael Lawlor, the state's undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning, requested an update showing that 256 warrants are projected for 2013.

He attributes the increase to the Newtown killings and a growing awareness of the law among police.

Associated Press/NBC Connecticut


Photo Credit: Getty Images
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