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Student Spanked, Principal Fired


The principal of a popular school in Maryland has been dismissed after parents filed complaints saying a teacher spanked students and the administrator took no action.

Principal Nasser Abi of the Dora Kennedy French Immersion School is no longer a Prince George's County Public Schools employee, the district confirmed Thursday evening.

Abi said by email he was filing an appeal of his dismissal and could not comment. 

Parents Xander and Alana Faber were stunned when their daughter told them more than a year ago a teacher had spanked her brother in front of their kindergarten class.

"He was struck by his teacher until he cried," Xander Faber told News4.

The Fabers said they filed a written report with Abi, and the teacher continued to work at the school. When they asked for a copy of the investigation into the teacher, they were told they were not entitled to it, Xander Faber said.

School officials initially said no wrongdoing was found, but Abi temporarily was removed in October after News4 reported allegations of abuse at the National Blue Ribbon school in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Other parents reported similar abuse by the teacher, who now teaches in Montgomery County, The Washington Post later reported.

There was no word Thursday evening on who will replace Abi.

Photo Credit: News4

Trump Continues to Embrace Putin


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump showered Russia's Vladimir Putin with compliments on Friday after the U.S. adversary praised him as "bright" and "talented." 

Trump said Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that, "sure" he's glad that Putin said nice things about him. After the program's hosts pointed out that Putin kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries, Trump continued to embrace the Russian leader.

"At least he's a leader unlike what we have in this country," Trump said.

After the hosts repeated that he kills journalists and political opponents, Trump still avoided criticizing Putin.

"Our country does a lot of killing also," Trump added.

Photo Credit: AP

Feds Reveal Details About Terror Plots Beyond San Bernardino


A criminal complaint filed against Enrique Marquez, the friend and former neighbor of one of the shooters who killed 14 people Dec. 2 at a health center holiday party in San Bernardino, details alleged earlier plans by the two to attack people using pipe bombs on a Southern California freeway and another plot targeting a community college.

The three-count criminal complaint filed Thursday by federal authorities documented an alleged history of 24-year-old Marquez conspiring to commit acts of terrorism with San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook, dating back to 2011. Federal prosecutors charged Marquez Thursday in plotting with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to commit terrorist crimes and unlawfully buying two assault rifles used in the mass shooting carried out by Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik at the Inland Regional Center, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Farook and Malik were both killed in a shootout with law enforcement agents hours after the shooting, making Marquez a critical source of information for investigators as they piece together the attackers' histories.

The criminal complaint filed against Marquez indicates that in 2011 he and Farook were planning to use firearms and explosives to carry out terrorist acts, attacks that Marquez allegedly told investigators were created to generate mass casualties, according to the news release from the  Department of Justice.

The criminal complaint mentions an interview with Marquez in which he allegedly admitted planning to attack the library or cafeteria at Riverside Community College, which they both attended. The plan was to throw pipe bombs into the cafeteria area from the second floor, and to shoot people as they fled, according to the DOJ news release.

Marquez and Farook also plotted an elaborate attack on the 91 Freeway during rush-hour traffic, the affidavit stated. Marquez allegedly told investigators they chose a specific section of the 91 Freeway because there were no exits and it would increase the number of targets, according to the news release.

The 91 Freeway plot would have involved Farook throwing pipe bombs onto the freeway to disable vehicles and stop traffic. Farook allegedly planned to move among stopped vehicles, shooting into them, while Marquez shot into vehicles from a position on a nearby hillside. Marquez allegedly said that he would watch for law enforcement and emergency vehicles, and his priority was to shoot law enforcement before shooting life-saving emergency personnel.

According to the affidavit, in late 2011 and 2012, Marquez allegedly bought two firearms and portrayed himself as the actual purchaser of the rifles, although he was buying the firearms for Farook as part of the planned attacks on RCC and the 91 Freeway, the news release said. According to the affidavit, Marquez told investigators that he agreed to purchase the weapons because "his appearance was Caucasian, while Farook looked Middle-Eastern."

The three-count criminal complaint also charged Marquez with defrauding immigration authorities for a "sham marriage" with a member of Farook's family.

The criminal complaint in addition charged Marquez with conspiring with Farook to provide material support – including himself, a firearm and explosives – for crimes of terrorism, making a false statement in connection with acquisition of firearms, and immigration fraud, according to the news release.

Farook, a co-worker of those killed in the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center, introduced Marquez to radical Islamic ideology, according to the criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. The criminal complaint also stated that over the next few years, Farook provided Marquez with radical Islamic materials, and by 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook's residence listening to lectures and watching videos involving extremist content.

Marquez's public defender declined to comment on the charges filed this week. Friends and family have described him as a good person who was easygoing.

U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said, "While there currently is no evidence that Mr. Marquez participated in the December 2 attack or had advance knowledge of it, his prior purchase of the firearms and ongoing failure to warn authorities about Farook’s intent to commit mass murder had fatal consequences."

On Friday, President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit families of the 14 victim in San Bernardino on his way to a holiday vacation in Hawaii.

Photo Credit: Getty

Candidates Talk Heroin Scourge, But NH Effort Lags Neighbors


Three years ago, Dean LeMire thought he would die before getting treatment for heroin addiction in New Hampshire.

A University of New Hampshire graduate who grew up in in Exeter, LeMire, 29, began drinking as a teenager, progressed to prescription opiates after stealing pain medication from a relative then started using heroin. Before long he was suicidal.

"The heroin had stopped working," he said.

He finally secured a place at the only state-funded in-patient treatment center in his area — but only after calling every day for three weeks.

“I was one of those people who was definitely nearly a casualty of the heroin crisis,” he said.

More than 47,000 peple died in the U.S. from opioid drug overdoses, an all-time record in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

And as the presidential candidates criss-cross New Hampshire wooing voters for the country’s first primary in February, the state’s struggle to confront its own opioid epidemic is in the national spotlight — its relative lack of funds, too few beds and long waiting lists. Among 18- to 25-year-olds, New Hampshire ranked among the highest of all states for binge drinking and use of illicit drugs in the previous 30 days, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Politicians Confront Opioids 

Pressed by residents, the visiting candidates have added drug addition as a top talking point alongside the economy and terrorism. A video of New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie describing the care his mother, a longtime smoker addicted to nicotine, received for lung cancer got more than 3 million views. He also shared the story of a law school friend who became addicted to Percocet after injuring his back.

“And he couldn’t get help and he’s dead,” Christie told a New Hampshire audience as he advocated for treatment.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich described increasing prison drug rehabilitation and law enforcement in his state. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush talked about his daughter’s struggle with drug addiction, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina about the death of her step-daughter from a drug overdose.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton put forward a $10 billion plan for treatment. Sen. Bernie Sanders in neighboring Vermont advocates for the overdose antidote, naloxone, to be made more widely available.

Across the country, overdoses from heroin have soared in the last decade, with the rate of heroin-related deaths nearly quadrupling between 2002 and 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 8,200 people died in 2013.

New England officials have been outspoken about the epidemic. Last year, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his entire State of the State address to the state’s heroin problem and budgeted money for medication-assisted treatment. Connecticut improved prescription drug monitoring and Rhode Island school nurses pushed for supplies of naloxone. Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage earlier this month focused on enforcement and authorized hiring 10 new drug agents.

The Gloucester Revolution

But it was the police chief in Gloucester, Massachusetts, who sparked imitators eager for a new approach when he announced on Facebook at the beginning of the year that his department would assist addicts seeking help.

“Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged,” Chief Leonard Campanello wrote in May. “Instead we will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery. We will assign them an 'angel' who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot.”

In an update posted on Dec. 11, the chief wrote that 310 people had been placed in treatment — with 85 centers participating. Forty-five police agencies in more than 10 states are now helping addicts to find treatment and another 85 others are expected to develop programs based on Gloucester's.

“We treat all with this DISEASE as a valued member of our community and work to support their families with dignity and respect,” he wrote. “DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF YOUR ILLNESS. DO NOT HIDE IT.”

New Hampshire, which hopes to put similar programs in place, spends less than any other state in New England on alcohol and drug services, $8.81 per person in state and federal funds compared to $14.32 in Rhode Island, the next lowest spender, or $48.35 in Connecticut at the high end, according to figures from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The average for New England is $25.70.

Getting Help in the 'Live Free or Die' State

Adding to its challenge are the people newly eligible for treatment under the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, the state’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, but for whom the states does not have enough programs or professionals. Between the beginning of September and the end of March, 1,800 people sought drug and alcohol treatment under the expansion, which must be reauthorized next year.

“We’re building infrastructure in the middle of a crisis,” said Melissa Silvey, the director for continuum of care for One Voice for Strafford County, a recovery coalition. 

New Hampshire has 1,200 beds in residential treatment programs, Silvey said. The waiting period is six to eight weeks and for some of the programs, addicts must call in three times a day. If they fail to, they are bumped to the end of the waiting list, a policy that discourages Silvey.

“Just picture it,” she said. “You’re an addict. You’re not quite thinking about, ‘Call that treatment facility.’ You’re dope sick.”

LeMire said he tried to stop drinking after college and when he no longer had access to opiates he turned to heroin instead.

He started seeking treatment on Mother’s Day in 2012, telling his mother he was addicted to shooting heroin. She helped him find a bed in a program run by Southeastern New Hampshire Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services.

“On June 2, I got in my last drunken car accident," he said in an email. "June 5 I took my last drink while withdrawing from opiates and June 6, I entered rehab."

Raiding New Hampshire's Treatment Fund
New Hampshire could have more money available to fund substance abuse treatment and prevention. Fifteen years ago, it created an Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund, which was supposed to get 5 percent of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission’s yearly gross profit, but which has been fully financed only once.

The Alcohol Fund will receive $6.656 million for the next two years, far short of the $19 million it would have gotten if fully funded. Legislators decided to set the amount awarded at 1.7 percent instead of 5 percent.

Had New Hampshire spent more money on prevention and treatment it might have avoided the severity of the epidemic, said Linda Paquette of New Futures, a non-profit group in Concord that works to prevent drug and alcohol problems.

In 2012, her organization issued a report, "We Need Treatment," that noted that 14 residential facilities had closed over the previous decade because they were not receiving adequate reimbursements for care they provided. They were not replaced, she said.

"So over the years, resources for our alcohol and drug services system have been strangled essentially," she said.

The epidemic is cutting a wide path of destuction. Three hundred and twenty-five people died in New Hampshire last year. That is more deaths from drugs than traffic accidents, a statistic true in 36 states and Washington D.C., according to “The Facts Hurt:  A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” a survey by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Heroin use has risen across the board — among men and women, most age groups and all income levels, the CDC reported. Some of the greatest increases have been among those with historically low rates of use, women and people with higher incomes.

One cause of the epidemic: abuse of prescription opioid painkillers. Forty-five percent of people who use heroin are also addicted to painkillers, according to the CDC. Heroin laced with the synthetic painkiller fentanyl is worsening the problem.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan created a task force last month to study an array of issues around the epidemic, including insurance coverage for treatment, drug courts, prescription drug monitoring and improving law enforcement. The task force this week recommended speeding up the review of some changes including removing prior authorization for first visits for drug treatment and aligning penalties for distributing and manufacturing fentanyl with those for heroin.

Balancing Budget Demands
The chairman of the state House of Representatives Finance Committee, Republican Rep. Neal Kurk, wants New Hampshire to better evaluate the programs that it is being asked to fund — both in terms of how well they work and how cost effective they are. Five percent of alcohol sales was an arbitrary figure, he said. 

New Hampshire, like other states, does not have unlimited funds, he said.

“Remember, a dollar that we spend on an opioid program can’t be spent on the developmentally disabled,” he said. “So we have to choose.”

Treatment advocates will continue to fight for a full 5 percent of alcohol sales, said Timothy Rourke, chairman of Gov. Maggie Hassan’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, which dispenses the funds.

“The general public thinks we have an opiate epidemic and while that is true, it is the tip of an iceberg,” Rourke said. “New Hampshire has had some of the highest rates of substance abuse of any state in the United States since at least the late '90s if not longer.”

LeMire, now a substance misuse prevention coordinator for One Voice for Strafford County, recently traveled to Scarborough, Maine, with members of the Dover, New Hampshire, police department, to study a program that began there in September. Modeled on the one in Gloucester, it pairs the police department and a recovery center, with volunteers walking addicts through the steps of getting help.

"The waiting lists at our local state-funded rehabs are three to four weeks," he said. "People just die. They don't get into treatment."

New Hampshire, like other states, is facing what were once big city problems in its small towns and needs the services that cities have implemented: needle exchanges, access to naloxone and teams to reach out to people who are battling homelessness, substance abuse problems, and mental illness, he said.

"All the energy, passion and expertise, it's right there," he said. "It's really obvious to us, at least to me, that we can't wait for the state to act on this. So we don't."

LeMire said that his recovery from heroin addiction was possible because of the love and guidance from others who had dealt with their own drug addiction.

"So I feel like the same principals apply to a community that needs to recover from an opiate epidemic or from addiction on whole, which is it takes a lot of us, setting aside of old ideas that don't work and welcoming of new ideas, and especially from people who have done this thing before."

Photo Credit: AP
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Santa Welcomes USS Hartford's Return From Deployment


Santa Claus helped welcome home the submarine USS Hartford from its deployment just in time for the holidays. 

"Just in time for Christmas which is awesome," said Christa Ramsey, minutes before welcoming her husband home with the biggest of hugs.

The USS Hartford is returning from the European Command Areas of Responsibility where the crew supported national security interests and security operations. 

During deployment, the submarine steams approximately 40,000 nautical miles in Faslane, Scotland, and Rota, Spain. 

"This last ride has been sweet," said Robert Ramsey. "We got our orders for Charleston, South Carolina so we're leaving this crappy weather."

Jasmine Wanier of Gales Ferry explained the struggles of having her husband deployed: "He's been gone since June so it's been pretty intense. We had a five and a half month old when he left and now he's almost a year."

Wanier's husband, Lt. Grant Wanier, said his son was the size of a meatloaf when he last saw him.

"There's nothing as amazing as pulling into port and seeing everybody on the pier screaming and it's awesome to be home," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Conn College Student Hit and Killed Near Campus


Police have identified the car that may have hit a Connecticut College student before fleeing in the early morning on Friday.

A cop on his way home from the midnight shift spotted a 2015 Chrysler 200 with "debris" on it parked in Waterford, New London's police chief Peter Reichard said. The driver is being cooperative so far. 

Friday morning police received a 911 call about a body on the side of the road of Route 32 just after 2 a.m. The driver had fled the scene.

Officers found the student, identified as Anique Ashraf, unresponsive on the northbound side of the road.  He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Ashraf, who was from Lahore, Pakistan, was a member of the class of 2017 at Conn College, according Katherine Bergeron, the school's president.

"He was a person with deeply held convictions who lived life to its fullest. We mourn the loss of this gifted young life, and send our deepest condolences to Anique’s family and to his many close friends in our community," Bergeron said in an email to the Conn College community.

Police are now looking for the driver who hit Ashraf. The vehicle involved should have heavy front end damage, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Suspect Arrested For Stealing From Church Volunteers


Police have arrested a man accused of stealing from church volunteers while they set up for a breakfast with Santa event on Thursday. 

Edward Eaton, 56, of Hartford, is wanted for stealing purses of two volunteers that were setting up for a holiday breakfast party at ST. Bernard's Church in Vernon. Eaton allegedly made purchases at a liquor store afterward. 

After the story first broke out, police got tips that Eaton had cut his hair and shaved in order to change his appearance and evade police. Eaton, who is on parole, is currently being held by the Vernon police department. 

It is not clear if Eaton has a lawyer. 

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

Quinnipiac Students Raise Money For 'Dine and Dash' Victim


An employee at the TGI Friday’s in Hamden called out six college students for dining and dashing without paying their server last weekend.

It is unconfirmed if they go to QU, but many of the comments on a Facebook post were critical of the university  

“My first instinct was to help the woman because that’s just my character and second I wanted to improve QU’s image,” Quinnipiac University junior Katie Benedito said.

Benedito's friend Sara Dickinson set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the server.

"We honestly made it just in the hopes of covering the tab," Benedito said, "which we don’t even know what it was."

"I was thinking if we broke $50 that would be incredible," Dickinson said, "but then we hit 250 within an hour of posting it."

The donations that poured in, a majority from QU students, reached $950. After the website deduction, Benedito and Dickinson will give the waitress checks for nearly $850.

"Just the opportunity to give somebody and make their experience and Christmas that much better, it means just the world," Dickinson said.

Benedito and Dickinson will finally meet the waitress named Lulu Gamble Friday evening when they present her the money, Christmas cards and gifts for her daughter. They've heard from the waitress who posted on Facebook that Gamble is overwhelmed by their generosity.

"Very happy that this kindness is coming from Quinnipiac and after students walked out on her, so she wasn’t expecting it at all," Benedito said.

Blasting Test in Plainfield Prompts Calls to Police


Numerous phone calls were made to police over a blasting test taking place in Plainfield.

Police said people were concerns the blasts could have been possible earthquakes.

The Connecticut Explosives Company Incorporated Blasting and Drilling Supplies had permits to conduct blasting test on its property located across from the Riverview restaurant on North Main Street. 

For future testing, police requested the company give Plainfield Police Department a courtesy call in order to inform residents. 

Last January, Plainfield was hit with nine earthquakes.

'Scum', Other Profanities Spray Painted on Cars in Enfield


Several cars and one boat were tagged overnight in Enfield which is costing residents a hefty fee to remove.

Reports of eight vandalized vehicles were made, including a boat between 12:45 am and 8 am Friday.

Words like 'scum' and profanity words were written on some of the vehicles.

"Makes no sense. I don’t think I pissed of anybody, but from what I’m hearing from a couple cops it’s been done quite a few times," said Alex who chose not to give his last name. Alex's boat and van were tagged and the damage on the boat will cost him approximately $3,000.

The vandals mainly targeted cars parked at homes including those on Post Road, Douglas Drive and Bridge Lane.

"There wasn’t any one location. Just different parts of town and at this point it looks like kids fooling around, criminal mischief type of thing," said Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza.

If caught, the vandals could be charged. If you have any information, call police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

City of Hartford Buys Back Guns on Saturday


As part of Hartford's buy back program, the city is looking for residents to hand over their guns in exchange for a gift this weekend. 

On Saturday, resident can drop off their guns at the Community Renewal Team on 555 Windsor Street in Hartford Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.

For every gun turned in the team will give a Stop & Shop gift card.

- $200 dollar gift card for every assault rifle
- $100 dollar gift card for a handgun or revolver
- $25 dollar gift card for a shotgun or rifle

"We’ll test those guns to make sure they haven’t been used anywhere else and there’s no criminal implications to those turning in the guns," said Hartford Police Chief, James Rovella.

The guns can also be accepted anonymously.

Guns should be unloaded and placed in a clear bag inside a paper bag or box.

Fired Sanders Campaign Staffer Denies Wrongdoing


A staffer at the center of a data breach that has Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign sparring with the Democratic Party says he was simply trying to expose a bug while logging into private files for Hillary Clinton's camp.

Josh Uretsky was fired as the national data director for the Sanders campaign on Friday.

Speaking with NBC10 in Philadelphia Friday night, he acknowledged accessing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) database containing voter information belonging to the Clinton campaign. But the 39-year-old said he did it to make a record of a software glitch that gave all campaigns access to each other's records.

"I deliberately left all of the data that I was accessing, all the voter file data that I was accessing, in the DNC's systems so that once the bug was reported, discovered and closed down, they had access to those files. They could use it to see the scope of the issue," Uretsky said at Philadelphia International Airport after returning home from New Hampshire.

Three other Sanders campaign employees also accessed the files, the Sanders campaign acknowledged. Campaign officials haven't yet decided if they'll be disciplined.

The database, run by technology firm NGP VAN for the DNC, houses voter data for the presidential hopefuls.

NGP VAN audit documents obtained by NBC News showed four Sanders staffers spent about 40 minutes searching through lists of Clinton supporters in 10 early voting states. Sanders documents were also accessed. The files were saved to personal folders, the documents showed.

Uretsky said he looked at files to make "sure it was not our data" and the way he did that could be "misconstrued as a download."

"I tried to do what I did in a very transparent manner," he said. "I was trying very deliberately to leave a trail of what I was doing and what had happened and what was exposed."

Clinton's campaign maintained their data was stolen. In response, the DNC revoked the Sanders camp's access to the database until an investigation is conducted.

"The Sanders campaign staff chose to view and download data that did not belong to them," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schutlz said on MSNBC Friday night.

She also said that the campaign had yet to provide the DNC with evidence it no longer had any of the Clinton campaign's data.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign director, called the staffers' actions inappropriate, but said shutting them out from the database was unjust. "We are running a clean campaign," he said.

The Sanders campaign filed a federal lawsuit against the DNC on Friday demanding access to the database. The suit maintains the lockout could cost them $600,000 a day in lost donations.

Photo Credit: NBC10

Community Mourns Young Girls Killed in Crash


People came together to remember two young girls lost in a horrible car crash in Bristol last weekend.

They were also there to support the girls’ family during this difficult time.

Dozens of people came together to remember seven-year-old Veronica Martinez and her four-year-old sister Yvette.

“I wanted to help because we just lost our mom in September so we know the feeling of loss and you feel alone so we just wanted to reach out to the family and just let them know we’re all thinking of them,” says Sabrina Stewart, one of the vigil’s organizers.

The vigil at Casey Field follows the deadly two car crash on Middle Street last Sunday, which hurt four people and took the lives of the girls.

The message of support reached the girls’ mother, Kayla Torres, who is recovering from the crash and had been driving the girls that night.

“It’s a great loss,” says Carmen Dubowsky-Melendez, the girls’ grandmother. “They had this lovable, fun energy. Anybody that met them loved them and they bring life to whoever met them.”

The family thanked the community for their support.

On the family’s GoFundMe page, more than $11,000 in donations has been raised for the funeral expenses.

“My only thing I want to say to everybody and the world: Hug your kids daily and love them unconditionally,” says Miguel Melendez, a family member.

The girls’ funeral service is planned for Monday.

Police are still investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Willington Man, 68, Arrested For Sexual Assault to a Child


A 68-year-old man was arrested on Friday for sexual assault of a child, according to police records.

Albert Deschene of Willington is being charged with four counts of first degree sexual assault to a victim under the age of 10, six counts of risk of injury to a child and two counts of fourth degree sexual assault. 

Police believe the crimes took place between 2001 and 2006.

Deschene's bond is set at $350,000 and he will appear in court on Dec. 21. 

It is not clear if he has a lawyer. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Prisoner's Lawsuit Over PB&J Dismissed


A federal judge in Kalamazoo dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man jailed for killing his brother with a butcher knife. However, his lawsuit has nothing to do with that case; it has to do with food.

Iatonda Taylor filed the suit against Aramark Correctional Services, the Michigan Department of Corrections former food-service provider, because peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were served after breakfast waffles ran out, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The 44-year-old alleged in his lawsuit that the sandwiches may start a riot at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, putting him at risk of harm greater than poor nutrition, according to the report. He also alleged that prisoners were served leftover peach cobbler rather than bread pudding

However, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said Taylor didn't show his constitutional rights were violated, according to the report.

Taylor is serving a life sentence for the murder of his brother Moise in May 2006, according to the paper. He reportedly stabbed him with an 8-inch butter knife 25 times because he believed his family was attempting to poison his food.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/StockFood RR

Suspect in Meriden Mosque Shooting Charged With Hate Crime


The FBI has arrested a man accused of firing shots at a mosque with a high-powered rifle in Meriden and charged him with a hate crime.

The shooting at the Baitul Aman Mosque was reported on Nov. 15, just two days after the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

FBI agents arrested Ted Hakey Jr., 48, on Thursday. Hakey, a former U.S. Marine, lives at 380 Main Street, next door to the mosque. He appeared in federal court on Friday and was ordered held until a detention hearing on Monday.

No one was inside the mosque at the time of the shooting and no one was hurt.  Members of the mosque discovered the damage and a bullet inside the building and called police.

The FBI began an investigation and found shell casings in Hakey's yard, according to the arrest affidavit.

During an interview, Hakey told investigators that he had fired his gun on his property in the early morning of Nov. 14 after returning home from a night of drinking at a bar in Wallingford.  It was about six hours after the Paris attacks.

He said he was shooting at a wood pile and did not intend to hit the mosque, federal agents said in the affidavit.

FBI investigators examined Hakey's phone and found several texts and Facebook messages disparaging Islam and Muslims, according to the affidavit.

"Is Muslim season open yet? I'm in a target rich environment," one Facebook message from July read.

Federal prosecutors praised the work of the FBI, ATF, Connecticut State Police and Meriden Police that led to the arrest.

"This arrest should serve as a clear message that crimes of hate against individuals of any race, creed, gender or religious background will not be tolerated," FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia Ferrick.

Hakey is charged with intentionally damaging religious property through use of a dangerous weapon.  He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

German Museums Are Helping to Battle Refugees' Culture Shock


An initiative in Germany is giving newly arrived refugees a chance to take guided tours of Berlin museums in their native languages. 

The project, called Multaka, or “meeting point” in Arabic, is intended to help integrate the newcomers and ease the sense of foreigness many feel upon arrival.
The tours include stops at Berlin’s Museum of Islamic Art, which highlights centuries of cross-cultural exchange between Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It also introduces refugees to German history, which has given some Syrian refugees a sense of hope. “When [they] saw how badly this now-flourishing country was destroyed after World War II it gave them hope for their own country," Zoya Masoud, a Syrian tour guide told NBC News.

Photo Credit: AP

ISIS Takes to Airwaves, Transmits Fatwas in Afghan City


ISIS is broadcasting hours of extremist propaganda in one of Afghanistan's biggest cities for the first time, officials and local residents told NBC News.
Since earlier this week, the so-called "Voice of that Caliphate" has been transmitting "lots of revolutionary propaganda and fatwas" on the radio in Jalalabad, calling for followers to kill anyone who stands in the way of ISIS,  Achin district Governor Haji Ghalib told NBC News.
Afghan officials said the transmissions were coming from the Pakistani side of the border, a claim officials there rejected.
News of the emerging radio station follows a Pentagon warning that the ISIS offshoot in Afghanistan has moved beyond the "initial exploratory phase ... and are becoming more operationally active."

Photo Credit: AP

Two Stabbed in Norwalk


Two people were stabbed in separate incidents in Norwalk early Saturday morning.

Police on patrol noticed a large fight in the parking lot of the 507 Cafe at 75 Main Avenue around 1:30 a.m.

While breaking up the fight, police were told about a stabbing victim who left the scene shortly before officers arrived.

At the same time, police got word of a second fight at the intersection of Main Street and Hoyt Street. Officers there found a man who had been stabbed. Police said his wounds were not life-threatening and he was taken to Norwalk Hospital to be treated.

Police the received a call from Norwalk Hospital to report the first stabbing victim, who arrived at the hospital to be treated. That victim suffered non life-threatening wounds as well, police said.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed either incident to call them at 203-854-3011.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Head on Crash Shuts Down Rt. 83 in Vernon


Vernon Police are responding to a head on, two vehicle crash on Route 83.

Route 83 is shut down from Dobson Rd. to Allan Dr.

No further information was immediately available.

Be sure to check back here for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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