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Crashed Jet's Black Box Recorder Works: Egypt Official


The voice recorder recovered from a Russian passenger jet that crashed last weekend in the Sinai Peninsula is working, an Egyptian official said Friday, which means it could offer some insight into what brought the plane down.

U.S. and British officials, including President Barack Obama, have indicated there's evidence that a bomb exploded on the plane, but Egypt has refused to speculate on the cause of the crash until they complete their official investigation, NBC News reported.

Mohamed Rahma, a spokesman for Egypt's ministry of aviation, said on Friday that the voice recorder on is functional.

All 224 people aboard Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 died. Also on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered all Russian flights to Egypt suspended.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Search in Farmington Tied to Case in Branford


Connecticut state police from the major crime unit and Farmington police spent the day searching an area of Batterson Park in Farmington on Friday.

Police would not say what they were looking for, but said Friday's search is connected to a search at Falcon Field in New Britain last Saturday.  Both searches are connected to an ongoing case in Branford, according to Branford police Capt. Geoffrey Morgan.

The entire investigation is being handled by the New Haven State's Attorney's Office.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Gene-Editing Technique Treats Baby's Leukemia


A dying baby's parents were so desperate to cure her leukemia that they turned to a team of doctors with a completely untried, highly experimental treatment.

And it worked – for now. One-year-old Layla Richards is better, NBC News reported, and while it's too soon to say the gene editing they performed on her – modifying the body's cells in a very precise way – will keep her cancer in remission for long, the experiment did not make her any worse, they reported late Thursday.

The team at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London wasn't sure if their approach would work at all, but Layla's leukemia was very aggressive. She was so ill that her parents, Ashleigh and Lisa Richards, were ready to try anything.

"We asked the doctors to try anything for our daughter, even if it hadn't been tried before," Lisa Richards said.

Now, the team is preparing to tell a meeting of the American Society of Hematology next month about what appears to be a very successful surgery.

Photo Credit: NBC News

FCC Can't Stop Google, Facebook From Tracking Online Usage


The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it can't force Internet companies like Google, Facebook and ad providers from tracking users online. The commission had been petitioned by the privacy advocacy group Consumer Watchdog to make the "Do Not Track" setting in many browsers illegal to ignore.

Though the FCC enacted strong Net Neutrality rules earlier this year, which also provide consumer protections, it explained in a written decision that enforcing "Do Not Track" falls outside its jurisdiction.

"The Commission has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers," reads the order. Edge providers are companies like Microsoft and Twitter that provide Internet-related services but not actual Internet connections. "We therefore find that the Consumer Watchdog Petition plainly does not warrant consideration by the Commission."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

SoCal Standoff Suspect: 'I Stand for a New World Order'


The man accused of terrorizing a San Diego neighborhood, bringing air traffic to a halt and shooting at police officers with a high-powered rifle, spurring a lengthy standoff, had his first court appearance Friday, but it didn't last long after he began yelling in the courtroom.

"May 1, 1776. May 1, 1776," the suspect, Titus Nathan Colbert, 33, repeated as a judge attempted to read him his rights. "I stand for new world order!"

"Benjamin Alex Franklin. New world order. So there will be no more mistakes in the world," he continued, interrupting the judge. "I will not be subject to criminal abuse!"

A judge asked Colbert to be quiet and asked if he wanted to see a psychiatrist. More outbursts followed, and the defendant was quickly removed from the courtroom.

Colbert's attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf. A judge said Colbert would be held in jail without bail, based on his bizarre behavior and attitude.

Colbert, a documented gang member from San Diego’s Skyline area who had most recently been living in Las Vegas, was arraigned Friday on multiple felony charges including three counts of attempted murder. If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of 105 years in prison.

On Wednesday morning, officers with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) were called to 2445 Brant Street in the Bankers Hill community to investigate a report of domestic violence involving Colbert.

That disturbance call escalated into a SWAT standoff between law enforcement and Colbert, who was armed with a long-range assault rifle. Holed up inside an apartment unit, Colbert began spraying bullets, narrowly missing SDPD officers.

At Friday's arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said Colbert fired shots at three officers during the standoff, hence the three counts of attempted murder.

The SDPD said Friday that one of those officers, identified by the department as Officer Carlos Estrada, a four-year veteran, returned fire. A second officer who also exchanged gunfire with Colbert was identified by the SDPD as Matthew C. Hone, an eight-year vet of the department.

Throughout the standoff, Colbert also allegedly fired random shots into the approach path used by pilots landing aircraft at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field, which is less than two miles from Brant Street.

The threat to public safety was so great that police shut down traffic in the area, blocking off multiple streets, and ordered residents to shelter in place. At the same time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop for arrivals into Lindbergh Field, which ultimately caused 140 flights to be impacted or delayed.

At around 2:40 p.m., more than five hours into the dangerous standoff, Colbert was taken into police custody. Although the community was badly shaken, no one was hurt in the ordeal.

On Thursday, SDPD officers continued their investigation at the apartment in Bankers Hill where broken glass and shell casings where left behind.

Runyon said 17 shell casings had been recovered by SDPD investigators at the scene of the Bankers Hill shooting, though he did not know exactly how many total rounds were fired during the standoff, as the investigation is ongoing. Runyon said the suspect was in possession of three firearms.

Colbert is no stranger to the criminal justice system. Court documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show he is a documented gang member with an extensive criminal history dating back to his teenage years. His record includes arrests in San Diego, as well as arrests in San Bernardino, Calif., and Arizona.

Most recently, Colbert was charged with five felonies, including selling the party drug Ecstasy to an undercover officer in a drug deal outside a Black Angus restaurant on Friars Road. Colbert was also implicated in another drug deal at the drive-thru of an In-N-Out restaurant in Mission Valley.

In 2012, Colbert pleaded guilty to selling narcotics and served one year behind bars.

An NBC 7 source in the legal community says Colbert is the brother of convicted killer Tecumseh Colbert, a man currently on death row for two 2004 murders.

Runyon said he had no comment on Colbert's courtroom outburst. NBC 7 did not speak with with Colbert's court-appointed attorney following the quick arraignment.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Adorable Calf Has Identity Crisis, Thinks He's A Dog


In "utterly" adorable news of the day, a calf that was rescued by a Bay Area family in Danville is convinced that he's a dog.

The baby cow, named Goliath, was recently rescued from a dairy farm where he was going to be slaughtered, according to his new owner, Shaylee Hubbs, 17. She told Country Living that little Goliath was hardly "strong enough to suck on a milk bottle," and that "the journey to health wasn't an easy one."

Now, Goliath is doing better than ever, but he seems to be in the midst of an identity crisis: The bovine pet has been eating Kibble, dozing off on comfy couches and sitting on dog beds.

The family attributes the case of mistaken identity to the family dog, Leonidas, who took Goliath in when the baby calf came home. Apparently, the Great Dane became a bit of a mother figure to the tiny cow.

"Leonidas would lay down with the sick little cow for hours just to keep him company," Hubbs told Country Living. "They've become best friends."

The story of Leonidas and Goliath has been a hit on social media, where Hubbs first posted a picture of her pets. Since then, the story has garnerned national attention. People just can't seem to get enough.

Photo Credit: Getty/file
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Officials Discuss Fox Lake Suicide Conclusion


Days after the announcement that Fox Lake, Illinois  Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz staged his own suicide, investigators are detailing how they came to that conclusion.

Investigators struggled with the case partly because of Lt. Gliniewicz’s extensive training with the military and law enforcement.

“You have a 30-year police vet with unbelievable training he’s gone through himself and he’s been through,” Detective Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department said. “In fact he was in the military and went through military training. He has experience leading the Explorer Post and staging crime scenes for them. So this is an experienced police officer who knows what the investigators are going to be looking at.”

Covelli said the investigation was like “dumping a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on a table without a map on how to put it together, and putting it together piece by piece by piece."

According to investigators, some of the most important evidence was gathered not at the crime scene, but from the trail of texts and electronic messages Gliniewicz believed he had destroyed.

“When pieces started being put together and things started to sway, it wasn't until last week we definitively said this was a staged suicide,” Det. Covelli said.

This week, investigators revealed after the months-long investigation, the officer had “carefully staged” his suicide to make it seem like a homicide committed by three suspects.

Officials said his death came after approximately seven years of stealing and laundering money from the Village of Fox Lake’s Police Explorer Post. Detectives later disclosed Gliniewicz also tried to hire a hit-man to kill the village administrator who was looking into the program’s finances.

Investigators are now using the evidence gathered in Gliniewicz’ suicide for the investigation surrounding his wife Melodie, and son D.J. Neither have been charged with any crime.

Convict Found 37 Years After Escape in Minn.


A convicted murderer who escaped from an Ohio prison in 1978 by cutting through cell bars and a fence was captured in Minnesota's capital, where he had a job delivering newspapers, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday. 

Oscar Juarez, 66, was among Ohio's most wanted fugitives and evaded being caught while on the run despite being arrested but let go at least seven times in the 1980s, NBC News reported.

He was taken into custody Thursday night in St. Paul, Minnesota, at an apartment building on a tree-lined street, said Pete Elliott, the U.S. marshal for northern Ohio. It wasn't clear how long he had been in Minnesota.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ex-Georgia Deputy to Serve One Month in Jail for Stun Gun Death


A Georgia ex-deputy was sentenced Friday to the equivalent of a month in jail and another former deputy and nurse got probation in the death of a mentally ill man who died after being shocked with a stun gun while restrained and then left unattended, NBC News reported. 

Chris Oladapo, Ajibade's cousin, did not attend Friday's sentencing in protest of what he called a "stillborn prosecution."

"There were more than a dozen people fired because they contributed to Mathew's death. Only three were charged with crimes," he said in a statement to be read at the sentencing.

Photo Credit: File--WSAV

Man Beat D.C. Bus Driver Who Asked for His Fare


D.C. Transit Police want your help identifying a man who beat a Metrobus driver in Northwest D.C. early Friday after the driver asked the man to pay his fare. 

A man boarded the bus at North Capitol and P streets NW and tried to ride without paying, police say. The driver asked for the man's fare and the man then punched the driver repeatedly, disturbing surveillance video footage shows. 

As the attacker pummeled the driver, a good Samaritan intervened. He grabbed the attacker, wrestled him away and pushed him off the bus, the video shows.

The attack left the driver with a black eye, and his glasses were broken. It occurred about 7:50 a.m. on a 90 bus headed westbound on Florida Avenue NW, a Metro spokesman said.

The incident is the 69th attack on a bus driver this year, Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said. 

"It's very alarming and this is something unfortunately our bus operators have to deal with," he said.

Anyone convicted of assaulting a bus driver can be hit with an enhanced penalty, under D.C. law. At least 170 Metrobus drivers were assaulted on the job between early 2011 and early 2014, the News4 I-Team reported.

All new buses purchased by Metro will be equipped with plastic shields to protect drivers. 

"The shields definitely protect our operators, this type of personal protective equipment, no different than a hard sole shoe, protective gloves," Pavlik said. "It's another type of equipment to protect our operators."

Anyone who is able to identify the attacker is asked to call Transit Police at 202-962-2121 and reference case no. 2015-58069. Tips also can be sent via text message to MyMTPD.

Officials: Sierra Leone Declared Free of Ebola Transmissions


There were celebrations in Sierra Leone Saturday as the World Health Organization declared the country free of Ebola transmissions - but it remains under heightened surveillance for a further 90 days.

Nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone in the worst Ebola outbreak in history, NBC News reported.

Weak leadership, shoddy supplies and infighting worsened the battle against this outbreak of the virus that has killed some 11,000 people mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and WHO has been criticized for its response.

The organization said that 42 days have passed — twice the maximum incubation period — since the last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged Sept. 25.

Photo Credit: File--AP

Police: Texas State Judge Shot in Austin


A Texas state judge was in the hospital late Friday after being shot and wounded in the driveway of her home in Austin, according to police, NBC News reported. 

District Judge Julie Kocurek suffered an "extremely serious" injury but her condition is stable and not life threatening, Austin Police Department Commander Mark Spangler, told reporters.

Witnesses were being questioned but there was no information immediately available about the suspect, he said.

The department received a 911 call at 10:16 p.m. local time (11:16 p.m. ET) and officers found the victim at the scene.

"It is early in the investigation, however it appears that Julie had driven up into her driveway when the shooting took place," Spangler said, adding that other people were with her at the time.

Photo Credit: Travis County.

Louisiana Cops Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Boy, 6


Two Louisiana law enforcement officers were arrested Friday in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy with autism, NBC News reported.

Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, were charged with second-degree murder in Tuesday’s shooting death of Jeremy Mardis and attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of his father, Chris Few, Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson said.

The two officers were working side jobs as city marshals when the shooting occurred. The boy was killed by shots fired into his father's vehicle at around 9:30 p.m. in the central Louisiana town of Marksville Tuesday after what officials described as a pursuit.

It's still unclear what led police to pursue Few and what triggered the shooting.

Photo Credit: Louisiana State Police

Live Wires Fall on Car in Crash, Injuring Driver


A woman was injured after veering off the highway early Saturday morning and hitting a telephone pole on a Route 72 ramp in Plainville, shutting down the ramp for several hours and causing power outages.

The Hooker Street on-ramp to the highway was shut down at 2 a.m. after a woman lost control getting onto the ramp and crashed, police said. She struck a pole, which brought down live wires, causing them to fall on her car, police said.

The driver escaped her vehicle. She had minor injuries from the crash and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The power to the wires was shut off as crews responded to the scene. The ramp was closed throughout the morning, but has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

'Serial' Podcast Subject to Get New Hearing


Adnan Syed, whose case gained notoriety as the subject of the popular "Serial" podcast, has been granted a new chance to clear his name in the 1999 murder of his former high school girlfriend hae Min Lee.

A Baltimore judge granted a motion Friday to reopen Syed's case and allow new evidence to be presented, including allowing a jury to hear testimony from possible alibi witness Asia McClain, a high school friend whose account of seeing Syed in a library at the time of the suspected murder was documented on the podcast.

Syed's current attorney has argued that trial lawyer Cristina Gutierrez failed to contact McClain as an alibi witness. Gutierrez was later disbarred.

Phones Service Working Again at DMV Phone Centers


A Verizon service outage caused the DMV Phone Center to close Saturday because the outage prevented calls from being made from the center or received, according to DMV spokesperson William Seymour.

Anyone who called the DMV's phone center Saturday during the service outage got a busy signal, but the problem was resolved by 10:30 a.m., Seymour said. Verizon told the DMV that a circuit issue caused the problem and is "being impacted by a higher level outage," Seymour said.

"We understand the impact this outage has on your business and are working to restore your service as quickly as possible," Verizon told the DMV Saturday morning. "Please know that this outage is being worked at the highest level of escalation."

Service has been restored, so calls can be received at the DMV phone center.

During the outage, customers were directed to ct.gov/dmv as a resource for information.

The DMV remained open Saturday as per usual until 12:30 p.m.

Incumbent Clinton First Selectman Ousted By 1 Vote in Recount


Clinton's incumbent first selectman was ousted by his challenger by one vote after a historic recount Saturday due to a tie on Election Day.

This is the first time the town experienced a tie in an election.

"Never a tie, especially for the first position," Clinton Registrar of Voters June Hansen (D).

Republican challenger Bruce Farmer ousted incumbent Democrat William Fritz, who has held the job for five terms, by a mere vote.

“From the very beginning this has been about the town, not me. I’m not a politician. I don’t want to be a politician. I just want to give back to the town," Farmer said.

After leading the town council for a decade, Fritz says his political future is uncertain.

“Bruce did a better job of getting the people out than I did, and that’s what happens," Fritz said.

On Election Day, both candidates were recorded as receiving 1,632 votes in the election. The recount Saturday, which started at 9 a.m. and went until nearly 12:45 p.m., revealed that Farmer had 1,634 votes and Fritz had 1,633.

The public was invited to come to the basement of Clinton Town Hall to observe the recount and see  history in the making for themselves.

Dozens of people filled a small room in the town hall to watch the recount.

"I just wanted to see what the process was," Pat Anthony, of Clinton, said. "How it happens."

Although one spectator likened it to watching grass grow, most people said it was interesting to see the process in person.
"I voted, and it was a tie, and I thought your vote really does count," Kim Prario, of Clinton, said.

Fritz told NBC Connecticut earlier in the week that he didn't' do enough campaigning this time around. Farmer serves on the Board of Finance.

The town registrars tabulated the votes one by one. Once the count with the machines was done, they tallied them and hand-counted rejected ballots and absentee ballots.

In the event of a tie, there was to be a special election Nov. 24, but the one-vote margin was enough to secure Farmer the win.

 Republicans have now taken over control of the five-member Board of Selectmen from Democrats for the first time since 2005.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police: Student Had Gun, Variety of Drugs in Dorm


Safety officers discovered a firearm, ammunition and drugs in the dorm of a Massachusetts college student Friday, officials announced Saturday.

Darius Boodoosingh, 18, was arrested after the discovery at Curry College in Milton. Campus police responded to his dorm following the report of a theft.

In addition to finding a gun, police say they found a variety of different drugs Boodoosingh intended to sell.

"It's terrifying, really," said junior Ryan Hathaway. "The gun, especially. Drugs - I mean, drugs are going to be on a college campus, but I mean, this kid had a gun."

Boodoosingh faces charges of firearm and ammunition possession and carrying a firearm on school grounds. He also faces one count each of possession of Class C, D and E substances with intent to distribute, as well as three counts of possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute.

School officials say Boodoosingh has been put on interim suspension.

"At this time, no immediate or ongoing threat to our community is deemed present," Frances Jackson, the school's director of communication, said in a statement.

The school says it had emailed students about a rash of thefts on campus and investigators were looking for tips. Information that students
provided brought security to Boodoosingh's dorm.

"That's a great thing," said Hathaway. "It obviously takes a lot of bravery to come forward with something like that when you know that somebody on campus is dangerous."

It was not immediately clear whether Boodoosingh had an attorney. He is expected to be arraigned at some point  next week.

Photo Credit: Milton Police

Apparent Murder-Suicide of Mom, 5-Year-Old at Arizona Hospital


Police believe a mother killed her 5-year-old son before committing suicide early Saturday inside a Mesa, Arizona, hospital where the child was being treated.

The bodies of Lola Griffith, 27, and her son, Helious, were discovered in his room by hospital staff at Cardon Children's Medical Center at 2 a.m. local time, Mesa Police Department Det. Steve Berry told NBC News.

Mesa police are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide, Berry said. "We don't have any reason to believe that it is not," he added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Santa Display at NY Mall Criticized


A Santa Claus display at a mall on Long Island, New York, is prompting some shoppers to accuse the managers of being Grinch-like in their holiday decorations.

The Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City rolled out what it calls a "uniquely modern and interactive Santa experience featuring cutting edge artistic design."

The design places Santa in an "enchanted glacier," where children can play games within an artificial snow bank before hopping on the bearded fellow's lap for the traditional holiday photo op.

However, shoppers complained that the display lacked traditional decorations, namely a Christmas tree.

Simon Properties, owner of the mall, quickly responded to the complaints.

"Key elements are still being added to the Glacier experience at Roosevelt Field over the coming week – and after hearing early customer feedback, one of those elements will be a traditional Christmas tree alongside the Glacier experience," mall management said.

Simon Properties installed the display in seven of its malls nationwide. 

Photo Credit: Simon Properties
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