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Monroe Man Faces Child Porn, Voyeurism Charges


A Monroe man under investigation for child pornography also recorded young males around town without their knowledge, according to police.

"You could see him trying to attempt to position himself with a recording device that would actually record up-short shots," Lieutenant Keith White with the Monroe Police Department said. "His actions were deliberate and you could tell the types of photographs he was trying to obtain." 

Police began an investigation into Kenneth Raftery in October after being contacted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service concerning a child exploitation case with connections to Monroe.

Federal investigators traced transfers of child pornography to Raftery, police said.

Authorities executed a search and seizure warrant at Raftery's home at 8 Stonecraft Way and found evidence on a computer, iPhone and an iPad.

While looking for evidence of child pornography, investigators found videos of young teens on the iPad and iPhone recorded around Monroe, police said.

The videos included one recorded at a Masuk High School Football car wash on Route 25 and others from an area near Wolfe Park pool, according to police.

The videos are of young males and men in shorts and seem to attempt to record up the victims' shorts, police said. Raftery's face can be seen in some of the videos, making it clear he was the one who recorded them, according to police.

Federal authorities said they also found child porn on Raftery's electronic devices.

Raftery was arrested on Wednesday and charged with first-degree possession of child pornography and voyeurism.

Photo Credit: Monroe Police

Shooting in Hartford Amid Anti-Violence Vigil


Police are responding to a shooting on Burton Street, NBC Connecticut confirmed.

The unidentified male victim sustained non-threatening injuries, Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.

The shooting on Burton Street came during a anti-violence vigil being held at the Hartford City Hall Atrium. 

Mothers United Against Violence held the vigil in wake of Hartford's 29th homicide of the year. Earlier on Wednesday, a man was fatally stabbed in the city, marking this year's 30th murder.

Connecticut's capitol has the highest homicide rate in all of New England for 2015, following a spike of homicides in the summer. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ex-Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Selling Illegal Steroids


A former Newtown police sergeant arrested on federal charges for selling steroids and prescription drugs pleaded guilty, police said on Wednesday. 

Steven Santucci, 39, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, Newtown police said. 

In April, the ex-police sergeant, a civilian dispatcher and a shift supervisor were among eight people arrested as part of an "Operation Juice Box" investigation, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Federal prosecutors said Santucci had been receiving illegal shipments of the ingredients from China since 2011. 

Santucci used over $120,000 from selling the illegal drugs and wired payments to foreign sellers of ingredients to make the steroids and to buy packaging materials from companies in the U.S. 

The Newtown Police Department said Santucci was hired in 2000 as a probationary police officer and promoted to sergeant in January 2012.

Univ. Gun Group Allowed to Buy Ammo


The University of Delaware’s decision to give a student gun rights group money to buy ammunition has sparked controversy recently on the campus.

Tyler Yzaguirre is a student at the University and one of the founding members of the Students for the Second Amendment Club.

“We’re the first pro-constitution, pro-second amendment club at the University of Delaware,” Yzaguirre said.

The club regularly holds meetings on gun safety, brings in guest speakers, and visits the state gun range in New Castle. Due to these visits, the group asked if they could use part of their university-mandated funding to buy ammunition to practice at the range. Yzaguirre tells NBC10 they were met with resistance from the University at first.

“First I asked if we could do it and they said no,” he said.

The University finally granted the club’s wish after further requests and wrote a $500 check for the group.

Yzaguirre said they were going to buy rifle-calibre bullets. “You can use it for [an] AR-15," he said

In light of the national debate on gun control sparked by recent mass shootings, students at the school had mixed reactions to the University’s decision.

“I believe everyone has the right to the second amendment but I don’t think the school should be funding it necessarily,” Erin Dowd, a student, said.

Regarding their decision, the University sent NBC10 the following statement: 

The University of Delaware's Allocation Board maintains a procedure for funding its 350-plus registered student organizations.  

The Students for the Second Amendment group followed the proper procedure; the Allocation Board reviewed the request and determined it met the necessary criteria for funding. 

The University prohibits the possession, storage, or use of firearms or ammunition on University property. The ammunition purchased by the students will not be stored on campus.

Yzaguirre, who is licensed to carry firearms in the state of Delaware, told NBC10 he and another member will store the ammunition in their off-campus apartments.

While Yzaguirre believes the University of Delaware would be safer if he and other responsible gun owners were allowed to carry on campus, he called the school’s decision to allow the group to buy ammo a "good first step."

Photo Credit: NBC10

Man in Iraq Wins $6.4 Million Oregon Lottery Jackpot


A man living in Iraq is the lucky winner of a $6.4 million jackpot, NBC News reported.

The man purchased the winning Megabucks lottery ticket from an international online lottery service, which was sold in Bend, Oregon, according to NBC affiliate KTVZ.

The lottery selling website, theLotter.com, sends people to buy lottery tickets for customers and charges a fee, lottery officials told KTVZ. They said it’s the first time this has ever happened in Oregon Lottery’s history.

The man chose to receive his jackpot over 20 years. His name is not being released to protect him in his homeland, KTVZ said.


Tempers and Fists Fly at Indiana Town Meeting


A town hall meeting in Hymera, Indiana, got out of hand earlier this week and turned into an all-out brawl during the vote for a new marshal, NBC News reported.

Several people attacked newly-elected town marshal, Daryl McCullough, when he got into an argument with the daughter of the former marshal.

McCullough was sworn in before Indiana State police were called in to investigate.

Hymera has a population of about 800 and is southwest of Indianpolis.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Lawmaker Aims to Remove Chi. Mayor


State Representative LaShawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, filed a bill on Wednesday in Springfield to allow for the recall of Emanuel.

House Bill 4356 would set up the mechanism to initiate a recall election. If passed by both House and Senate and signed by the Governor, a recall election could occur if supported by at least two alderman and the signatures of 85,000 registered voters.

Ford, who represents the Austin neighborhood, said Emanuel should be held accountable, if he doesn’t move the city forward as he has promised. He believes the bill will pass despite the mayor’s powerful Springfield allies, including Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“It’s about doing what the people have asked me to do,” Ford said.

The House is not due back in session until early January.

Emanuel’s administration has faced intensifying criticism over its handling of police misconduct from all sides. Protesters filled downtown streets and block traffic Wednesday with calls for the mayor to step down after he publicly apologized on Dec. 9 for the death of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014. and criticized what he called decades of police corruption in an address to Chicago's City Council.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department announced last week the launch of an investigation into the use of force by Chicago's police department. 

And protests intensified on Wednesday afternoon as hundreds flooded the downstown streets of Chcago, calling for Emanuel's resignation. 

Photo Credit: WireImage

GOP, Democrats Wrangle Over Spending Bill


Republicans and Democrats in Congress are still trying to work out a $1.1 trillion spending bill despite issues the two sides still need to resolve, NBC News reported.

Current government spending expires Friday at midnight. A short-term spending bill has been introduced, as lawmakers won’t be able to work through all their differences. The measure would ensure the government does not shut down and would fund the government until Dec. 16, according to NBC News.

"This short-term funding resolution will keep the lights on in government and maintain current operations for a few days so Congress can complete and pass an agreement," House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said Wednesday afternoon.

The House will vote on this stop-gap measure on Friday.

Photo Credit: AP

Fl. Teen Arrested in Rabbi Shooting


Miami-Dade Police have arrested a teen in connection with the August 2014 shooting death of Rabbi Joseph Raksin.

Deandre Charles, 15, has been arrested in connection with the murder, police confirmed in a press release early Wednesday morning.

Charles is charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, jail records showed. He was being held without bond and it was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

Charles was arrested in the area of 183rd Street and Northwest 6th Avenue, officials said.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney held a news conference with Raksin's daughter Wednesday.

"We as a family publicly want to be perfectly clear that we want this vicious dog to be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows," daughter Shuli Labkowski Raksin said.

"This fine team of lawyers went to the grand jury and indicted 15-year-old Deandre Edwin Charles as the gun man in this cold blooded murder," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said.

Miami-Dade Police said 60-year-old Raksin was walking in the 800 block of Northeast 175th Street headed to his North Miami Beach temple when two young males approached him.

Raksin was shot during the altercation. He was airlifted to Jackson Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where he died.

"His murder at the hands of the thugs has caused an emptiness and a void that cannot be replaced. He was a good, kind and caring father, and a wonderful individual whose life was cut short by a violent act," Labkowski expressed.

The neighborhood is in a heavily-populated orthodox Jewish community with 11 synagogues in the area.

Many synagogues ramped up security efforts in the wake of the shooting.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections

Man Found Guilty of Text-Murder


A North Potomac man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for killing a man who texted his girlfriend.

Pavel Ivanov, 24, was found guilty June 5 of stabbing 22-year-old Bryan Hall 15 times the night of July 4, 2014.

Surveillance video showed Ivanov holding a white trash bag filled with bloody clothes moments after he stabbed Hall in a Gaithersburg Park, Montgomery County prosecutors said.

The night of the murder Ivanov was at a party in Rockville with his 20-year-old girlfriend, the state's attorney said. When the woman began receiving text messages from Hall, Ivanov flew into a rage. Ivanov didn't know the woman also was romantically involved with Hall, prosecutors said.

The men agreed to meet in Green Park in Gaithersburg. They got into an argument, and Ivanov allegedly punched Hall.

Hall tried to walk away, but Ivanov then repeatedly plunged a knife into him and left him to die, prosecutors said.

After the brutal killing, Ivanov drove to his mother's home, changed into a new outfit and placed his bloody clothes into a trash bag, prosecutors said.

NJ Fed. Building Evacuated


A federal building in Paterson, New Jersey was evacuated Wednesday afternoon when a toy aircraft was found on a deck, officials say. 

An off-duty sheriff at 100 Hamilton Plaza noticed the aircraft on the first-floor deck of the building, which houses federal, state and county offices, according to the Paterson police director. 

It wasn't a commercial drone, according to police. It didn't have the four propellers typically found on commercial drones -- so it wasn't capable of carrying anything, but it would have been able to record video. 

No one saw the device in the air. 

Federal officials, police, Office of Emergency Management and Passaic County Sheriff's Office are investigating the incident. 

Police patrols were increased in the area as a precautionary measure. 

Shoreline Community Comes Together to Help Hit-and-Run Victim


Police are no longer looking for a gold colored SUV after a person of interest came forward in their investigation of a Dec. 1 hit and run on Church Street.

A 36-year-old woman is recovering after she was struck by two separate cars, police said.

A week later, the shoreline community is coming together to collect donations for the victim.

“I’m very sad that it was a hit and run and so close to our store,” said Carol Harrington, the store manager of Ella Where She Shops.

Neither Harrington nor Dee Jacob, the co-owner of Marketplace at Guilford Food Center, know the hit and run victim.

“It doesn’t matter if you know her personally, this time of year you have to look out for those who are in need,” Jacob said.

A collection bag in Ella Where She Shops is where community members are dropping off items like Amazon and Walmart gift cards for the victim’s family.

“The woman has two children and she can’t work right now so we were happy to help and be a donation drop site,” Harrington said.

Marketplace is another drop off site. Jacob said her store is receiving cash donations to provide the victim’s family with food. The first meal was delivered last night.

“She was so happy this was happening because she’s the one that cooks at home and that’s one of the things she can’t do right now,” Jacob said, “It just took a real load off her mind.”

On November 3, Elizabeth Braun was struck and killed by a car on the same Guilford street. It was dark out during both collisions.

No word from police if the driver from last week’s hit and run will face any charges.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'White Girls Only': No Disciplinary Action For Yale Frat


Yale will not pursue disciplinary action against a fraternity that students say turned away people of color during a supposed "white girls only" party in October, according to a message sent by the university's dean.

"The investigation found no evidence of systematic discrimination against people of color," Dean Jonathan Holloway said in a Wednesday message to all Yale students about the Sigma Alpha Epsilon party. "Students inside the party reported that early in the evening, before the party became crowded, guests were granted admission on a first-come basis; men and women of color were among those admitted."

Holloway said that two students provided "credible accounts" that up to two SAE members said "white girls only" but members of the fraternity denied the statements. 

The incident was one of recent complaints of racial tensions at the prestigious Ivy League school. A teacher from the university resigned after backlash about an offensive Halloween email she sent to students in October.

Thousands of Yale students and faculty members protested in New Haven in a "march of resistance" in November, calling for justice amid racial concerns on campus. 

Marchers chanted, "We out here, we've been here, we ain't leaving, we are loved," along with, "We are unstoppable, another Yale is possible." Students carried signs bearing messages such as,"I Stand With My Sisters" and "United We Stand."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Very Warm Weekend on Tap


The warm weather continues across the region as El Niño dominates the weather pattern this month.

Tomorrow is the brightest day of the weekend, with a good amount of sunshine mixing with a few clouds. Temperatures again soar to highs between 55-60.

Sunday will be cloudy. A backdoor cold front will slice the state in two, meaning northern and eastern areas will be close to 50 degrees, while Fairfield County will be in the middle 50s.

Travelers headed north to Worcester or Boston on Sunday should be aware of the much cooler air that will be in place to the north and east. It's not of of the question that some locations in Massachusetts will be stuck in the 40s Sunday.

The next weather-maker is all rain.

It starts as patchy drizzle Monday morning, then turns into a steady rain by Monday evening. Temperatures will range from 55-60 degrees.

Tuesday will be dry, but the wind will be gusty. And, there's no cold air in the wake of the storm. That means highs will again skyrocket to 55-60 degrees.

Record warmth is possible inland and along the shoreline on Monday, and Tuesday could even deliver a record high temperature on the shoreline.

Wednesday and Thursday look dry before more rain on Friday. A surge of colder air arrives late week, but even then the high temperature on Friday could be close to 40 degrees!

Malloy to Ban Gun Sales to Government Watch List Subjects


Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy plans to sign the first executive order in the nation to ban the sales of guns to people on federal government watch lists.

"We intend to prevent, by executive order through my powers as governor, those on government watch lists from obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm in Connecticut," the Democratic governor said in a news conference Thursday.

Anyone who wishes to buy a gun in Connecticut must first apply for a permit from a public safety agency, then a thorough background check is conducted, Malloy said.

"The executive order would add an additional level of protection and require those who apply for a permit to be screened against government watch lists," Malloy said during the news conference.

It's not clear how many people this executive order would cover, but the governor said he has reason to believe people living in the state are on watch lists and the state should be in a position to deny permits to those individuals.

The state created some of the strictest gun laws in the country after 20 students and six educators were killed in a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Those laws banned assault weapons in Connecticut.

The governor is seeking access to some federal watch lists and his executive order would prevent anyone on them from buying a handgun, shotgun, rifle or ammunition in the state.

People who are denied would have the option to appeal.

"I have been in touch with the White House directly on this matter and we are working with federal authorities to gain access to their lists for this purpose," Malloy said.

He said his administration is working with the federal government to determine the appropriate lists to be included — from the no-fly list to a combination of those who should not have weapons. 

The governor said the executive order will take effect as soon as he receives federal approval to obtain the lists.

"If approved, we will sign an executive order. We will take action. Like all Americans, I've been horrified by the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris. This should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is a moment to seize here in America, and today, I am here to say in Connecticut, we are seizing this moment," Malloy said.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is opposed to the plan.

"Governor Malloy is planning to take what is in our view unconstitutional executive action that would prohibit firearms purchases and seize firearms of individuals who have not been indicted or convicted for any crime. While we are all concerned about terrorism, this approach is very un-American and shameful,” CCDL President Scott Wilson said in a statement.

"Governor Malloy has gone even further into the deep end than ever before. His planning on denying purchases and likely seizing firearms of individuals are on a list that have not been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing is antithetical to every value that this country was founded on. There are millions of people on these lists, many who are not criminals or terrorists, and do not belong on it," Wilson added.      

Malloy also bashed federal Republican lawmakers over gun policies and urged Congress to act and follow the state's example.

"If Congress will not act, we in the states will," he said.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat who represents District 5 of Connecticut is a cosponsor of H.R. 1076, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which Republican U.S. Rep Peter King, of New York, sponsored. That legislation has been blocked from a vote six times in the House of Representatives, according to Malloy.

Esty sais she applauded Malloy's decision to take action.

“Governor Malloy is taking a commonsense step to help keep Connecticut families safe from suspected terrorists and potential terrorist attacks,” Esty said in a statement. “While in the House, we have been denied a vote on a bipartisan bill to close this dangerous loophole, I am proud to see our state take action into its own hands. We must close this loophole as a country so that terrorists cannot just walk into a gun store and use our laws against us.”

U.S. Rep. John Larson, a Democrat representing the state's First District, commended Malloy for his plan.

“I commend Governor Malloy for taking executive action where Congress has failed to do the same. Keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists is just common sense, and it is crucial to keeping our communities safe,” Larson said in an e-mailed statement.

He also as used the news conference as a vehicle for bashing the GOP on refusing to allow refugees who are fleeing war-torn countries to seek asylum in the United States.

"Many Republicans nationally seem to be in favor of allowing those on watch lists to purchase guns, but they are equally willing to deny women, children and families fleeing a war-torn country entry into the United States because of a perceived danger," he said.

As governors in several states announced they would not accept refugees in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, Malloy publicly said Connecticut would accept them, then welcomed a Syrian family of three diverted from Indiana after Gov. Mike Pence said his state would halt resettlement activities.

"The danger of having people on watch lists buying guns in our country is far greater than any of the risks that they're talking about," Malloy said.

He went on to bash the NRA and its supporters, saying they have stood in the way of "sensible gun violence prevention" measures that will save lives because of "advocacy rooted in twisted, irrational and backward logic."

Photo Credit: AP

Man Shot and Killed in New London


A 29-year-old New London man who was shot on a porch in New London late Thursday night is dead and police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Police were responding to Connecticut Avenue, near Grand Street, at 10:56 p.m. after receiving a report of several gunshots when 911 calls started coming into report a man was down in the same area.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Gilberto Olivencia, 29, on a porch on Grand Street and said he appeared to have been shot.

His last known address was in New London.

An ambulance took the man to the hospital and he was pronounced dead at 12:43 a.m. on Friday.

Detectives from the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, inspectors from the New London County States Attorney's Office and detectives from the New London Police Department are investigating.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the New London Police Detective Division at (860)447-1481 or by submitting an anonymous tip to the Tip411 text a tip hotline.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stole Cigarettes and Cigars During Smash-and-Grab Burglary in East Granby


State Police are trying to identify the man who broke into an East Granby store early Friday morning, smashed the glass in the front door and stole cigarettes, cigars and disposable lighters.

Police arrived at the Airport 66 gas station/ Grab N Go Food Court at 150 Rainbow Road at 3:30 a.m. after someone called 911 to report a burglary.

An employee heard glass break and hid, according to police.

When investigators watched surveillance video, they saw a man break the glass. He had a rectangular clothes basket and stole Newport and Camel cigarettes, cigars and disposable lighters, police said.

The burglar was wearing a blue knit watch cap, a black leather jacket that might have had a hood, blue jeans and black shoes or boots. The basket he was holding was white with four green handles.

The man left in a white four-door Nissan Quest or similar type vehicle and went toward the airport connector.

The windows were tapered, front to back, and wrapped around the back of the car. Police said the side mirrors were white with black plastic ends. It did not have a sunroof.

State police ask anyone with information about the burglar or police departments that are investigating similar burglaries to contact Troop H Constable Keith Loveland or TFC Sean Mahar at Sean.Mahar@ct.gov or 860-534-1000.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Parents Arrested After Baby Dies


Two parents face first-degree murder charges after their 8-month-old son died from numerous broken bones and head injuries at a Delaware hospital.

Delaware State Police arrested Doyle Hundley Jr., 37, and Casey Layton, 28, in their Harbeson home Thursday, more than two months after their son Aiden died at A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital.

Investigators had been to the couple’s Harbeson home before after a 911 call was made to report Aiden — then only 3 months old — was unresponsive and suffering a seizure. The child was eventually admitted to A.I. DuPont with multiple broken bones and a serious head injury, according to police.

Aiden died from his injuries in late September, after five months on life support, police said.

Police investigated the source of Aiden's injuries and said his parents, the boy’s sole caregivers, had no explanation.

Hundley and Layton face charges of first-degree murder, child endangerment and related offenses and were sent to county jail, unable to post $106,000 cash bail each.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Hundley and Layton had hired attorneys who could comment on the charges.

The couple's 2-year-old son, who didn’t appear to be harmed, was placed in the care of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, according to police.

Photo Credit: Delaware State Police

Women Accused of Arson, Kidnapping


A mother of four and her cousin are accused of trying to burn down a South Jersey home with her children inside before attempting kidnap one daughter amid a bitter custody dispute.

Lynette McGuire, 32, and Denise Coyle, 33, cousins who both live in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, are charged with aggravated arson, attempted kidnapping and burglary.

The women set fire to McGuire's parent's home on Lafayette Court in Washington Township, New Jersey on Thursday night, according to police.

Bryan McGuire, Lynette's father, said his daughter banged on his front door demanding to see her children, who range in age from 3 to 14 years old. He didn't oblige, however, telling NBC10 "she didn't look too good."

The grandparents were granted foster rights two days before the dispute.

"I open up my shade and I looked out and it was my daughter saying 'Get my kids out of the house. I want my kids out of the house,'" he recalled.

Frightened, the children hid in the basement. Within minutes, as Bryan called police, Lynette told him the house was on fire.

The grandparents and children were able to escape the house without harm, but police said in the commotion, Coyle grabbed the 3-year-old and put her in a car.

The women tried to drive away, but police were able to stop them about a mile away and place the duo under arrest. The child was returned to the grandparents without harm.

"If not for the timely response of the Washington Township Police Department and the Washington Township Fire Department, this incident may have ended quite differently,” said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton.

The McGuire's home suffered significant damage. They do not have insurance and are relying on the kindness of friends, neighbors and strangers.

A GoFundMe account has been set up. The Washington Township Fire Department said donations are being accepted at Bunker Hill Middle School and the Grenloch Terrace Early Childhood Center.

"It's not about the mother, I mean obviously that's a problem, but it's more you want these kids to have a good holiday and hopefully the grandparents can rebuild their home," neighbor Kevin Cox said.

This isn't the first tragedy the McGuire family has faced. Bryan and his wife, Jeanette, lost three of their children at very young ages.

Two decades ago, the couple lost a baby at birth. A few years later, their 5-year-old daughter died of a staph infection. In May 2014, their 14-year-old son died suddenly of a heart attack. Lynette is their only surviving child.

Lynette McGuire and Coyle are being held on $100,000 bail each. Additional charges are pending.

It wasn't immediately known whether either woman has hired an attorney.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Mormon Temple Under Construction in Farmington Reaches Milestone


A Mormon temple that has been under construction for two years along Farmington Avenue in Farmington hit a big milestone on Friday when construction crews erected a sculpture of a prophet named Angel Moroni.

There are fewer than 150 Mormon temples in the world and this temple will be the second in New England, available to Mormons and eliminating the need to drive to Boston or Manhattan.

The placing the statue, which is more than 13 feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds and is wrapped in 22-karate gold leaf, demonstrates that crews are getting closer to the end of construction. It also shows the public that this is a temple with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

"A temple is the most sacred building we have in our faith. We believe it is the house of the Lord and, as a consequence, it carries with it a spirit and a feeling to our members that is heavenly," Neil McMurdie, director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said.

The outside of the temple is also covered in 13,000 pieces of hand-carved granite.

"We are just excited. There is a lot of excitement in the community about the temple. The neighbors close by have a real interest in what is taking place and they are excited for the beauty that will be here," Elder Kent Holbrook, of the temple construction missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said.

Holbrook said drivers will continue to see more of the beauty as they near completion in 2016.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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