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Pastor's Pregnant Wife Killed in Indianapolis Home Invasion


The pregnant wife of a pastor died after being shot during a home invasion in Indianapolis, police and church officials said Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Amanda Blackburn, who was also mother to a 1-year-old toddler, was found by first responders "unresponsive, and suffering from apparent signs of trauma" on Tuesday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

The 28-year-old was taken to the Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in critical condition where she died from a gunshot wound, according to a statement from the Resonate Church, where her husband Davey Blackburn is pastor.

Pastor Blackburn's statement added: "I hold firm to the belief that God is still good, that he takes our tragedy and turns it into triumph."

Photo Credit: Davey Blackburn

16 ISIS-Linked Suspects Held in Europe-Wide Sweep


Sixteen ISIS-linked suspects have been arrested in a coordinated operation by police across Europe, officials said Thursday, NBC News reported.

They are suspected of being part of an international terrorist network that allegedly planned an attack targeting Norwegian and British diplomats in the Middle East.

They also are accused of recruiting at least five people in Europe who traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS, authorities told a press conference in Rome.

The suspects included 16 Kurds and one person from Kosovo. The alleged terror network was founded by one of the suspects arrested in Norway, Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj, who also goes by the alias Mullah Krekar, the officials said.

Photo Credit: AP

Donald Trump Calls Mizzou Protests 'Disgusting'


Donald Trump called the protests following racially-charged incidents on the University of Missouri campus "disgusting" and "disgraceful." 

On Thursday, he suggested that two university administrators should not have resigned in wake of the incidents and protests. 

"I think the two people that resigned are weak, ineffective people," Trump said of University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe and chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, who both announced on Monday that they would step aside under pressure. "I think that when they resigned, they set something in motion that's gonna be a disaster for the next long period of time."

Photo Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP

South Carolina Boy, 13, Fatally Shoots Burglar: Police


A 13-year-old South Carolina boy fatally shot one burglary suspect and scared off a second with his mother's gun, police said, NBC News reported.

The unidentified teenager told the Charleston County Sheriff's Office that he was alone on Tuesday afternoon when someone tried to break into his family's home in North Charleston, according to NBC affiliate WCBD.

The boy grabbed his mother's gun and fired repeatedly through the home's back door, prompting someone outside to shoot back.

The suspect, identified as 31-year-old felon Lamar Brown, was hit three times, and a getaway driver rushed him to a hospital in Charleston, where he died of his gunshot wounds, according to an affidavit.

His alleged partner, Ira Bennett, also 31, was apprehended and charged with first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Photo Credit: Charleston County Sheriff's Office

Officer Who Shot Fla. Drummer Fired


The Florida police officer who shot and killed local drummer Corey Jones has lost his job, Palm Beach Gardens city officials said Thursday.

Officer Nouman Raja, who had been on paid administrative leave since the deadly confrontation Oct. 18, was terminated Wednesday, city officials said in a statement.

"The City of Palm Beach Gardens has been cautiously and methodically considering the employment status of Officer Nouman Raja. Therefore, Officer Raja, a probationary employee with the City, has been terminated from employment effective Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM," the statement read.

The attorney representing Raja declined to comment Thursday.

"I'm disappointed in the chief and his decision to terminate Raja," John Kazanjian, president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, said Thursday. "Nothing prompted this, we're surprised just like everybody else."

The family of Jones released a statement following the announcement:

"While we are pleased that the city of Palm Beach Gardens has terminated the employment of the officer who gunned down Corey Jones, we maintain that the officer in question also must be held criminally liable for his reckless actions that night. Our family remains hopeful that the outside agencies brought in to investigate Corey's killing will soon begin to yield factual information about how and why this officer acted so callously. Through all of the sorrow and pain that accompanied Corey's death, our family is encouraged by the multitude of well-wishers who have reached out to us during this difficult time. It is obvious that Corey touched many lives and for that we will be forever grateful."

Jones, 31, was driving on Interstate 95 when his vehicle broke down. Police said Raja was not in uniform and was driving an unmarked van when he stopped to investigate around 3:15 a.m.

According to the Palm Beach Gardens police chief, Jones, who was armed, suddenly confronted Raja. The officer fired six shots, striking Jones three times.

Jones' registered gun, purchased just a few days before the deadly confrontation, was never fired, according to the law firm representing his family.

"The only thing that remains unanswered is why this plainclothes cop in an unmarked van would have this encounter with Corey, who was waiting on the tow truck, and he ends up dead with three bullets in his body," attorney Benjamin Crump said in the days after Jones' death.

Officials said the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting is ongoing.

Meanwhile, a concert that was planned weeks ago to celebrate Jones' life took place Thursday night at the Faith Center in Sunrise. One of the artists participating was Jones' cousin, Tye Tribbett. Thousands of people attended.

"[Raja's firing] adds a whole new energy. When I woke up this morning I got the news, I was like what," Tribbett said. "It's just a sign that there is light at the end of the tunnel."

"If he got fired from his job, that's nice. But he should be behind bars," said Jones' grandfather, Sylvester Banks, Sr. "We want answers and we want the truth."

Photo Credit: Palm Beach County Police Department/Facebook

Clergy Wants Prosecutor in Tamir Rice Case to Step Down


A group of Cleveland clergyman want the prosecutor involved in the case of Tamir Rice death—the 12-year-old killed by two police officers in the park nearly one year ago— to "step aside."

Surveillance footage shows Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback shooting Rice to death after the boy was wielding a toy pellet gun missing an orange safety tip. 

"Why in God's name does it take an entire year to get justice for this child?" the Rev. William Myers, of the New Mount Zion Baptist Church, asked Thursday.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty was sent a letter asking him to step down and appoint an independent prosecutor to Rice's case. 

This week, when McGinty was informed that Rice's mother, Samaria Rice, wants a special prosecutor to oversee the case, told NBC affiliate WKYC that the family members are "interesting people" and "they have their own economic motives."

Photo Credit: AP

Percentage of U.S. Smokers Down 20 Percent: CDC


The number of smokers has gone down nearly 20 percent in the past decade and dropped a full percentage point in the last year alone, federal health officials said on Thursday.

Anti-smoking campaigns, better insurance coverage to help people quit and tougher laws making it harder to smoke in places have helped but officials are not sure of the exact reason, according to NBC News. 

People covered by Medicaid and those not covered by health insurance are far more likely to smoke than people with good health insurance.

"The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2014," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team wrote in their report.

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images

Extended Range Forecast: Warmth Surges North Next Week


Strong indications are for another much above average stretch of weather next week. High temperatures will be well into the 60s by the middle and late part of next week.

Fearless Forecast

  • Time period: Monday through Sunday, Nov. 16-22, 2015
  • Forecast: Average temperature (highs and lows) for the period 10 or more degrees above average

The average high temperatures next week are near 50 degrees, while average low temperatures are near freezing.

Record high temperatures for the period range from 70 to 73 degrees. It's possible a record high is broken late next week. It's also possible that a record warm low temperature is set, given that many of those records are in the 50s during the period.

Uterus Transplant Trials Underway For Infertile Women


A health clinic is spearheading a trial of uterus transplants for women with an infertility disorder.

"There are women who won't adopt or have surrogates, for reasons that are personal, cultural or religious," Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis, the director of solid organ transplant surgery at a Cleveland Clinic hospital in Weston, Florida told the New York Times.

The transplant, unlike a heart or liver transplants, will be temporary. After the women give birth to one or two children, the uterus will be removed so the candidate does not have to continue taking anti-rejection drugs after having children. 

Candidates for the trail are women between the ages of 21 and 45 who were either born without an uterus or had their uterus removed, according to the Cleveland Clinic's website.

Approximately 1 in 4,500 newborn girls are born without a uterus or an underdeveloped reproductive system, a condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome.

As an experiment, the clinic will preform the procedure 10 times and track the number of successful live births from the transplant before deciding to continue, the New York Times reported.

The transplant will be the first of its kind in the United States, however, Sweden is the only known country to successfully preform the surgery, the University of Gothenburg notes on its website. The babies were delivered premature but overall healthy, according to reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 8 Reopens After Crash


A crash closed the northbound lanes of Route 8 in Naugatuck on Thursday evening.

The crash happened between Exits 27 and 28, according to state police.

There is no word on injuries.

The highway reopened around 6:30 p.m.

Suspects Drink OJ During Burglary


Police on Thursday released home surveillance video of three young gloved men inside a San Jose, California, home - checking out food in the fridge and even drinking from a carton of orange juice - during a burglary where they also allegedly ransacked the place and stole an undisclosed amount of property.

In a department statement, San Jose police said that the burglary took place about 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, in the 4000 block of Mia Circle just north of Branham Lane. The three-minute video released that was taken inside the home shows the young men calmly entering a spotless kitchen, rummaging through the refrigerator. At one point, one of the suspects chugs down OJ from the carton. The suspects are wearing white T-shirts, blue shorts and blue caps. They laugh with each other and appear very calm as they open cabinets and walk back-and-forth between the kitchen and the living room or den.

Six days afterward, Santa Clara police arrested one of the three suspects, 21-year-old Everth Amador of San Jose, on suspicion of the burglary and other alleged crimes, San Jose police. Amador is the one in the video who is wearing glasses. He can be seen opening a box on the kitchen counter.

The other two suspects who remain at large are as described as Latino men between 18 and 22 years old. One of the two suspects has a tattoo on his right forearm.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Sgt. Montonye at (408) 277-4401. Anonymous tips can be made to Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.

Photo Credit: San Jose police department

7-Eleven Will Add Lockers for Shipped Package Pickup


The convenience store franchise, 7-Eleven, announced that it would add storage lockers to more than 200 locations in North America for customers to pick up delivered packages.

Anyone who shops online with a retailer who uses UPS or FedEx has the option of having their package sent directly to the nearest 7-Eleven for pick up and avoid "sorry we missed you" notices on their door. 

Customers will receive a barcode on their smartphones and scan it at the lockers in order to pick up their items. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Launches Syria Airstrike Targeting ISIS' 'Jihadi John'


A U.S. forces airstrike targeting Mohamed Emwazi, the ISIS terrorist known as "Jihadi John" seen in propaganda videos executing American hostages, was launched Thursday night in Syria, the Defense Department said, according to NBC News.

The masked Emwazi, a Kuwait-born British citizen, has participated in numerous videos showing the killings of Westerners, including American journalists, American and British aid workers and a Japanese journalist, officials said.

Military officials said they were still assessing the operation on Raqqa, Syria, and provided no further details.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Trader Joe's Recalls Butternut Squash Pasta


Trader Joe's is voluntarily recalling Trader Giotto's Butternut Squash Triangoli, because it may contain undeclared tree nuts.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to tree nuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The Trader Giotto's Butternut Squash Triangoli is packaged in an 8.8 oz. package.

The product is sold in the refrigerated deli section and has a "Use or Freeze by" codes 04 16 15 through 01 15 16. The code is printed on the upper-right corner of the front of the package.

Trader Joe's decided to recall the product and remove it from store shelves after customers reported having an allergic reaction after consuming the product. The customers are allergic to tree nuts, which are not an intended ingredient in this product.

If you have any questions, please call Trader Joe's Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Central Time, or CLICK HERE to send the company an email.

Photo Credit: Trader Joe's

Men Fired Shots From Car on I-95: Police


State police arrested two men early Thursday they say were firing a gun out of their car on I-85 in Darien.

Troopers responded an area near Exit 10 in the northbound lanes of I-95 around 4 a.m. to search for a car after drivers reported someone fired shots from it.

They stopped the car in Stamford, searched it, and found a gun inside.

State police arrested Horace Wright, 31, and Anta Tummings, 26, both of Stamford. Each is charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm, breach of peace and reckless endangerment.

No one was injured in the incident.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Family of Kevin Bell Files Wrongful Death Suit


The estate of Kevin Bell, a Hartford firefighter who died while battling a fire in October 2014, has filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the city of Hartford, citing problems with fire department equipment and a lack of training, along with other complaints.

The 48-year-old Bell was battling a house fire on Blue Hills Avenue on Oct. 7, 2014 when he got trapped in the burning building and died of asphyxiation.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday morning at Superior Court in Hartford and Bell's family members held a news conference with their attorney, Paul Levin, and said Bell should not have died in that fire.

The lawsuit mentions problems with firefighting equipment and says Bell went into the fire with a lieutenant, but the lieutenant left him behind when their air pack alarms started going off.

It also says a "mayday" call that the lieutenant lost contact with Bell was ignored and more than eight minutes passed before a rescue team went into the building to find him. By the time, the team found Bell, he was out of air and in apparent cardiac arrest.

"I don't know why my husband was left alone," Bell's wife, Wayatte Bell, said. "He always said to me, 'It's two in, it's two out." 

She said that morning had started as any other.

When their daughter delivered coffee to her father, Bell called his wife to say he was happy she had visited, then pledged to call again at dinnertime. He never had the chance to make that call.

Instead, Wayatte Bell, received a call to go to Saint Francis Hospital because Kevin was in a fire.

"That was it. My husband's gone," she said. "Our world crashed that day. Our lives have never been the same. Kevin loved his job as a Hartford firefighter. He felt he made it -- he felt his community made it -- when he got that job."

The city of Hartford released a statement in response to the suit.

"This is an extremely sensitive situation. We’re talking about the tragic death of one of our own firefighters; a member of the Hartford community who grew up here and many people knew and loved. Our hearts go out to Kevin’s family who has suffered an enormous loss.  We have not reviewed the lawsuit entirely and cannot comment on pending litigation.  Given our close working relationship with the Fire Department we may consider bringing in independent counsel," the statement says.

Wayatte Statham-Bell said so much happened in the last year that her husband has not been there to experience with her, including the pregnancy of their daughter, who is expecting a baby boy.

It would have been Kevin Bell's first grandson.

"It's not right. ... Kevin should not not be here right now. ... We should be ready for our grandson," Wayatte Bell said.

After the fire, the low-air alarm on Bells breathing tank failed a test, but Hartford officials said the alarm activated during the fire.A federal investigation found that Bell was running low on oxygen.

"You don't send firefighters into a building that is burning, smoke filled, with faulty equipment," Levin said.

Bell served the Hartford Fire Department from his days as a recruit in 2008 and worked at companies 11, 14 and 16, according to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation.

Photo Credit: Hartford Fire Department

7 Displaced After Fire Burns Vernon Home


Seven people have been displaced two weeks before Thanksgiving after a raging fire tore through an apartment house on High Street, in the Rockville section of Vernon, on Thursday morning.

Four people, including an infant, were home when the fire started and were able to escape, police said. 

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they went into the burning home to extinguish the flames and continued the interior fight until the smoke built up and there were signs the floor might collapse.

Then, they moved the attack outside.

Fire spread to the roof because of the balloon frame construction and officials said the road is expected to be closed for hours between McClean and Hammon streets.

The American Red Cross is assisting the seven displaced residents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Shoplifter Hid Shrimp in Pants, Under Sweatshirt: Police


A shoplifter tried to steal several bags of shrimp from a Bridgeport supermarket by hiding them in his sweatpants and under a sweatshirt, according to police.

Police said they responded to Food Bazaar, at 500 Sylvan Ave., on Monday after the supermarket staff reported that a man had tried to steal several bags of the shellfish.

When police arrived, the suspected shoplifter, Carlos Muniz, 36, was sitting on the floor next to the store manager and police handcuffed him.

Then, officers watched the video surveillance, which they said showed Muniz try and walk out of the store while hiding five bags of shrimp under his sweatshirt and sweatpants.

As police were investigating, they also determined that there was an active warrant for Mr. Muniz.

He has been charged with sixth-degree larceny and bond was set at $500.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Issue Warning About Realistic Toy Guns


Police are warning parents about toy guns being made to look like real guns.  The latest incident happened in Willimantic Thursday morning.

"Around 9 a.m., we received a call from the school resource officer saying he had been looking at some online posts with a young female with a firearm pointed to her head," said Willimantic police Capt. Stanley Parizo.

After an investigation into the photo, police found the child and the gun. The gun looked identical to a revolver, but it turned out to be and airsoft pistol.

"There's no reason for our children to be in possession of this. This is inherently dangerous not only for law enforcement, but also for our children as a whole," said Parizo.

Parizo said the colorful markings on the airsoft pistol had been removed. In addition, the cartridges that can be bought at some big box stores made it look even more realistic, according to Parizo.

Investigators in Willimantic said the fake guns have spread beyond the city.
The Hartford Police Department recently recovered another fake gun late October.

Hartford Dep. Chief Brian Foley said the fake guns are being used in crimes, such as bank robberies.

"While it's not a real gun, it's sure as heck used as a real gun out in our streets at night. So we'd like to have them off the street," Foley said.

Police warn parents should be leery if they are considering one of the guns as a holiday gift.

"Please, if you're going to get your child an airsoft weapon system please do not have it with this realistic nature. Get one with an orange tip on it, something that is painted, something that does not look like a real firearm. This looks just like a real firearm,"Parizo said.

Parizo told NBC Connecticut that the gun never left the house.

The parents could have faced charges, if it left the home, depending on how the weapon was used or displayed and to where it was taken.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Surprised Homeowner Finds Pot in the Mail in East Windsor


An East Windsor homeowner was surprised to receive a package containing six pounds of pot on Thursday.

The person called police to say they had received the package from Florida from an unknown sender. The homeowner opened it and found the packaged marijuana inside.

The pot has a street value of approximately $6,000, according to police.

Authorities are investigating.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police
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