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Couple Braves Blizzard for Stunning Engagement Shoot


This weekend’s blizzard packed a punch, but it couldn't keep one couple from celebrating their engagement in the capital region.

"When your clients are just as crazy as you are, they defy the blizzard warnings and show up for a shoot while it’s actually snowing," Washington-based photographer Dotun Ayodeji wrote on Instagram Saturday.

Felicia Sam and David Nartey, of Baltimore, braved the elements Friday afternoon to take their engagement photos in Fort Meade, Maryland, amid driving snow and blustery winds.

Sam said she texted Ayodeji after checking the weather Thursday night. They agreed the shoot would continue as planned despite the ominous forecast.

They headed to Fort Meade Friday afternoon and hoped to finish quickly before the storm set in. Its early arrival caught them off guard.

"We were exhausted as the winds and frigid temps came down on us like a ton of bricks but we made the shoot work," Ayodeji wrote in an Instagram post. "Kudos to my awesome clients!" 

Sam said cold was an "understatement" but the excitement of the moment made it bearable.

"You're having fun so you’re cold but you’re not concentrated on it," she explained.

They endured, and the result was a set of enchanting images that have won the praise of people around the country.

"I really overwhelmed. I don’t have any other words. That’s all I can say. It’s getting crazy," Sam said of the attention her photos have garnered. "I cannot believe it. It's like I’m dreaming."

The couple — a pharmacist and nurse who met while attending Johns Hopkins University — are set to marry this year.

Photo Credit: Dotun Ayodeji

East Hampton School Closed Monday Due to Heating Problem


Center School in East Hampton will be closed Monday due to a heating problem, the district posted on its website. 

You can find further information on school and business closings, delays and altered scheduled on the NBC Connecticut website

NJ Couple Escapes Dangerous Flood


In several feet of icy bay water, John Hicks clung to a window-jamb, half in and half out of his West Wildwood, New Jersey, apartment. The first floor home had become part of the Richardson Sound and the 31-year-old wondered if he and his 26-year-old fiancée, Carrie Ensle, would make it out alive.

"The water almost freezes you up when it hits you," he said.

With floodwaters continuing to rise and first responders struggling to get a military vehicle to them because of debris and a snagged boat, the couple jumped into the water. They waded through the chest-deep storm surge, clinging onto a piece of dock at one point, as rescuers pushed away other trash and sea grass swept up by the storm to get to the couple.

A walk around the two-story apartment house on the 700 block of West Glenwood Avenue that’s typically measured in seconds labored into minutes. The closer to safety the couple got, the deeper the water became.

"Right before we got to the truck [the water] went up to our shoulders," Hicks told NBC10 in an interview Sunday. "I almost didn’t think I was going to make it."

Luckily, they did.

Sopping wet, they were pulled into the back of the covered surplus truck and shivered on metal benches along with other rescued residents.

"I’m sore. My body’s sore," Ensle recalled. "We didn’t even get a blanket when we got to the truck."

Hicks and Ensle were among hundreds who fell victim to severe coastal flooding brought on by the Blizzard of 2016, which pounded the Jersey Shore with snow, rain and close-to hurricane-force winds for hours Saturday. Flooding in The Wildwoods and neighboring Stone Harbor broke records set during Superstorm Sandy. Flood gauges in the Great Channel at Stone Harbor recorded a historic surge of 10.52 feet — more than a foot over the previous record.

The strong storm, which dumped more than two feet of snow on parts of Pennsylvania, knocked out power to more than 38,000 customers in South Jersey at its height.

The couple thought their stormy Saturday would’ve been much different. They said city officials didn’t expect flooding from the Blizzard of 2016 to be so severe, so they opted to stay in their bayside apartment. The couple rode out Superstorm Sandy (in a different apartment on the island) without issue.

"Sandy didn’t even come close to this," Hicks said.

Hicks woke up around 6:30 that morning to check on the water level. There was nothing, he said. But within an hour, the tide began to rise, pushing salt water under their doors. They called 911 for help and spent the next hour collecting clothes, keepsakes and documents. The water had risen to their windows by the time rescuers got there.

Now, the couple is staying at a Wildwood motel, after being taken there by the rescuers, they said.

"We paid with wet money. The only money we have, we paid to stay here," Ensle said. They said they’ve been having trouble getting an answer about temporary housing assistance.

West Wildwood police told NBC10 a shelter at Wildwood High School has been closed and some residents have returned to their homes.

Hicks and Ensle said they haven’t been able to get to their home yet, but are bracing for the worst.

"At this point, we’re trying to figure out how much damage was done," Hicks said. Ensle believes it’s a total loss.

"Now, we don’t have a home," she said.

Photo Credit: Carrie Ensle
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Snowstorm Paralyzes East Coast


The massive storm that paralyzed the East Coast this weekend left behind mounds of snow, happy sledders and frustrating travel delays. Here's a look at what's moving and what isn't.

Airports in New York and New Jersey — LaGuardia, John J. Kennedy and Newark Liberty — were open, but only a limited number of fights were expected Sunday, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. LaGuardia had 693 cancellations, while Newark Liberty had 597.

AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark were both temporarily suspended, replaced with bus service.

Flights throughout the country continue to be canceled. More than 3,500 were scrapped Sunday, with another 1,154 delayed, according to online flight tracking service FlightAware. Additional cancellations were expected for Monday.

In all, more than 12,000 flights were canceled after the storm began Friday, as states from North Carolina to New England struggled to clear the snow.

A ban on driving was lifted Sunday as expected for New York City and Long Island, and bridges and tunnels to New York City reopened. Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses resumed their routes, while service on subways and commuter railroads — New Jersey Transit, Metro-North Railroad in New York and Connecticut and Long Island Rail Road — was being restored throughout the day. Alternate side of the street parking regulations were suspended for the week.

The Long Island Rail Road was especially hard hit, with many of its yards buried under more than 2 feet of snow and stalled trains blocking tracks. Seven of its 12 branches would be fully operational by 5 a.m. Monday, the Port Authority said.

Officials at the Washington, D.C., Metro plan to restore limited service Monday. Meanwhile, the Metro extended free parking at its garages until Tuesday. Buses were resuming service as conditions on the roads improved.

In Maryland, where some western parts of the state received up to 3 feet of snow, Gov. Larry Hogan warned residents that driving was still treacherous and he urged anyone who could stay home to keep off the roads. Digging out will several days at least, he cautioned.

Runways at Reagan National and Dulles International airports near Washington, D.C., were closed Sunday for snow removal. Baltimore-Washington International Airport was expecting to resume service gradually over the next 24 hours, officials tweeted on Sunday. 

In Philadelphia, all of SEPTA Regional Rail service remained suspended on Sunday. Service was expected to resume with delays Monday morning.

The city's trolleys were operational and bus service was returning on a route-to-route basis.

Philadelphia International Airport was expected to resume its operations gradually on Sunday, it said in a statement. A number of airlines were planning to reduce their schedule of arrivals and departures.

A section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike were hundreds of vehicles were stranded during the storm reopened on Sunday, state officials said.

Amtrak was running a modified service along the Northeast Corridor.

At Boston's Logan Airport, most of the flights affected on Sunday — nearly 150 flights canceled and another 76 delayed — were to and from airports in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, the AP reported, citing Massport, the state's port authority. 

Photo Credit: AP

Handcuffed Woman Steals Cop's SUV


A woman in eastern Indiana allegedly stole a deputy’s squad vehicle after being handcuffed and placed in the backseat.

At approximately 11 p.m. Friday, Indiana State Police responded to a call to assist the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department with a report of a stolen vehicle, according to state police.

Officers pulled over the vehicle after it entered a McDonald's near Pendleton, located about 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The driver along with two passengers were handcuffed and placed into police vehicles, according to ISP.

One of the passengers, identified as 21-year-old Tori Schadene Hostetler, was placed into the backseat of a Hamilton County Sheriff's Department patrol SUV, according to investigators.

Authorities say while the deputy was speaking with officers on the scene, Hostetler somehow slipped the handcuffs off of her wrists and fled in the deputy's Chevrolet Tahoe. Officers were then led on a high-speed chase.

The woman eventually jumped out of the moving SUV before it rolled and crashed, according to The Star Press. She then fled on foot, leading investigators in an all-night search, partly because the cold temperatures posed a risk to the woman’s life.

Hostetler was found Saturday at about 10:30 a.m. after a homeowner reported that she was at another residence, according to ISP.

Hostetler faces several charges, including auto theft and resisting law enforcement, according to the report.

Bystanders Rescue Man Who Fell Through Ice in Branford


Two bystanders rescued a hiker after he fell through ice in Branford Sunday afternoon.

Branford fire officials say they responded to Supply Pond Park around 3:30 p.m. for reports of a man who had fallen through ice into the pond. The victim was about six feet from shore and fell in up to his neck.

By the time firefighters arrived two bystanders, including an off-duty Connecticut State Police trooper, had pulled the man from the icy water. Paramedics checked all three people for signs of hypothermia or other injury. Everyone is expected to be fine and all three refused further treatment.

Fire officials remind residents that ice in many areas still isn’t thick enough to support the weight of a person and advise against trying to walk across it.

Injured Dog Found in Zipped Bag


A woman has been arrested after a dog with a serious head injury was found abandoned and left in a zipped up camping bag in southern Wisconsin, according to a report.

In a Facebook post shared Friday, the Columbia County Humane Society explained that the dog was found Thursday in the bag near hunting grounds in Fort Winnebago, located approximately 100 miles northwest from Milwaukee.

The dog appeared to have suffered some kind of head injury and was left in the bag, according to the post. She needed 19 staples to close her head wound.

A veterinarian also discovered a large mammary tumor, according to the organization’s post. The veterinarian scored the dog’s overall condition as a “1 out of 9.”

“We are furious this dog suffered whatever trauma she suffered and was discarded like trash,” wrote the Columbia County Humane Society. 


Last night (1/21/16), we were called by the Sheriff's Department to come and pick up a dog. This dog was found by...

Posted by Columbia County Humane Society on Friday, January 22, 2016

The black lab’s owner, identified as 56-year-old Terri Lynn Benson, was arrested Friday, according to NBC affiliate WMTV. She is facing charges of mistreating animals as well as abandoning animals.

The dog, named Misty, has gained 1.7 pounds since being in the care of the Columbia County Humane Society, according to the organization.

In an update posted to Facebook on Sunday, the group wrote that Misty was doing well.

“She seems to be strong willed about where she wants to go and she loves to take charge and pull ahead on the leash,” the post read.


Update on Misty: We are happy to say that Misty is doing well in our care. She has gained 1.7 pounds since her arrival...

Posted by Columbia County Humane Society on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Benson is due back in court on Monday. It was unclear whether she had an attorney.

Photo Credit: WMTV

Boston Globe Endorses Hillary Clinton


The Boston Globe said Sunday it was throwing its support behind Hillary Clinton for the upcoming primary in New Hampshire.

The newspaper said it “enthusiastically endorses” Clinton, calling her “seasoned” and “more grounded.”

“The best reason to support Clinton isn’t the weaknesses of her opponents; it’s her demonstrated strengths and experience,” the newspaper wrote.

Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have been running a tight race, with former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley trailing in third place for the Democratic nomination.

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published on Jan. 7, Sanders was leading in New Hampshire with 50 percent support, just four points ahead of Clinton, who had 46 percent. O'Malley had only gained 1 percent in the poll 

Sanders’ place in the race, though, isn’t a problem for Clinton, according to the newspaper’s editorial board. Sanders' emphasis on income inequality in this year’s race, it said, gives Clinton a chance “to champion for working people who are struggling in a changing economy.”

The newspaper also referenced attacks over her e-mails, Benghazi and Bill Clinton’s sex life made by her Republican rivals.

“Even after 25 years in the limelight, her opponents still don’t seem to understand how much stronger those attacks make her,” it said.

This is the second newspaper backing Clinton in the last two days.

On Saturday, the Des Moines Register endorsed the former secretary of state for the Democratic nomination. Iowa's largest newspaper called her an “outstanding candidate” who “has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad.”

The newspaper also endorsed Maro Rubio as the Republican candidate. 

The New Hampshire primary takes place on Feb. 9. The polls close at 8 p.m. ET.  

Photo Credit: AP

Melting Snow, Refreezing Could Cause Black Ice


Possible refreezing of melting snow on the roadways could make for a slick commute come Monday morning. 

Sunday was mostly sunny and breezy as residents and business owners worked to clean up from the season's first big winter storm. Drivers are reminded to clear snow completely from their vehicles before hitting the streets.

Temperatures rose above freezing in many spots, aiding in the melting of some snow.

Melting and refreezing will be the theme of this week. Use caution and watch for black ice in the mornings!

Monday features sun and high clouds with temperatures in the middle and upper 30s.

Mostly cloudy skies arrive Tuesday ahead of a cold front. Afternoon and evening rain and snow showers are possible with temperatures peaking near 40.

Cold air moves in, at least aloft, on Wednesday, and that could yield a flurry in the hills. Temperatures will reach the low 40s, probably earlier in the day.

Mostly sunny skies make another appearance Thursday before clouds move in Friday.

An offshore storm needs to be watched as the work week comes to a close.

Temperatures, especially the highs, remain above average throughout the week.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 7 in New Milford Closed After Serious Crash


Route 7 in New Milford is closed in the 400 block, near Tory’s Cave, after a serious crash.

The detour is Squash Hollow Road.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Coventry High School Dismissing Early Due to Water Problems


Coventry High School is dismissing early Monday due to a busted pipe that has left the school without water. 

The school will send students home at 10:50 a.m. because of the water problems, according to the district's website. All after-school activities have been canceled. 

The high school currently doesn't have water because of a damaged pipe. It's unclear whether the pipe is inside or outside the school. 

It's unclear if Coventry High School will reopen on Tuesday. 

Photo Credit: Newsworks

Men Who Fled Police Later Needed Rescue From Snow


Two men who attempted to flee from California police Friday needed to be rescued from the snow Saturday morning.

3 Charged in Middletown Car Break-Ins


Middletown police arrested three people suspected of breaking into cars at a public housing complex on Broad Street in Middletown early Saturday morning and one of them claimed to be a mechanic who was just out for a walk, police said.

Police responded to Sbona Towers, at 40 Broad Street, around 3:40 a.m. on Saturday to investigate reports of car break-ins and found two men walking away from parked cars, police said.

As police investigated, they noticed damage to two vehicles, including a shattered window and a popped out door lock. They also found a screwdriver next to one of the damaged cars.

A witness also told police that one of the vehicles was started during the incident.

Police identified Luis Villega-Medina, 32, of Waterbury, Esquiel Villegas, 19, of Middletown, and Miguel Romero, 37, of Waterbury, as the suspects.

Police said they found Villegas in a green Honda that had been stolen out of Danbury. His seat was all the way back and he appeared to be hiding from police.

He told police that he drove the other suspects and knew they were going to be stealing cars, according to police.

Villegas also admitted that the Honda was stolen, but denied stealing it, police said.

He was charged with conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree, conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and third-degree larceny. He was held on a $150,000 surety bond and is due in court on Monday.

Villega-Medina was charged with criminal attempt to commit larceny in the third degree, criminal attempt to commit larceny in the sixth degree, two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and third-degree larceny.

He was held on a $150,000 surety bond and is due in court today.

Police said Romero pretended to speak in his cell phone when police spotted him. When officers detained him, they found two screwdrivers in his pants’ pockets, police said, and he claimed he was a mechanic who had just gotten a new job and was just out taking a walk.

He then gave police a fake name and incorrect birth dates, but police were able to identify him, according to the arraignment report.

Romero was charged with criminal attempt to commit third-degree larceny, criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny, two counts of third-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, third-degree larceny and criminal impersonation.

Bond was set at $150,000 and he is due in court on Monday.

Hartford Police Search for Suspect in Fatal Stabbing


Police are seeking the public's help in finding a murder suspect in a fatal stabbing in Hartford from December.

Brock Davis, 41, is wanted for the murder of Joseph Lindsey, 45, of Hartford, and police are searching for him. 

Police received 911 reports from Hartford residents about a person shot in the area of Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street on Dec. 9 at 12:02 p.m. 

A private vehicle transported Lindsey to Saint Francis Hospital a short time later to be treated for multiple stab wounds to his upper body and hospital staff pronounced him dead at 12:33 p.m.

Hartford police major crimes and crime scene detectives are overseeing the investigation, interviewed several witnesses and secured physical evidence that helped them identify Davis as the suspect in the fatal stabbing. 

Police obtained a warrant on Friday that charges Davis with murder and sets his bond at $1 million.

Hartford police are searching for Davis and said that they will continue to do so "until he is located and brought to justice."

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call Sgt. Reggie Early at 860-757-4248 or to submit anonymous tips through the Hartford Police Department website

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Water Main Break Affects Research Parkway in Meriden


A water main break has closed Research Parkway in Meriden on Monday morning and is affecting service to a hotel and area businesses.  

Research Parkway is shut down between Pomeroy and Murdock avenues, near the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at 275 Research Parkway. 

There are no water problems at the Sheraton and no information was available about other businesses experiencing water service disruption. 

Crews are at the scene working to fix the issue. 

It's unclear how long it will take to resolve the problem. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Residents Invited to Baseball Stadium Meeting Tonight


Hartford residents will have the opportunity to weigh in and ask questions Monday night on the baseball stadium, which is delayed and will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will host a Town Hall meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday at the Hartford Public Library.

He will be taking questions on the baseball stadium for the Yard Goats.

Last week, Bronin announced that he came up with a plan to close the $10 million hole in construction costs with $5.5 million of taxpayer money, $2.3 million from the developer and $2 million from the Yard Goats.

Despite the extra money, the stadium construction will be finished two months late and force the team to play many of the first home games on the road.

Opening day is scheduled for May 31.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Metro-North Warns of Possible Delays and Crowded Conditions


Metro-North riders are able to commute by train on Monday , but the MTA is warning to expect some delays and crowded conditions.

Service was largely restored on Sunday after the storm and Metro-North is operating on a regular weekday schedule, but some trains might be canceled, while others are combined trains, and customers might experience delays and crowded conditions, MTA warned on Monday morning.

Commuters in Connecticut on Monday morning did not seem too concerned and said they are taking the train because they had no other choice. They are, however, concerned about the conditions they will encounter in New York.

" I’m not concerned about the ride at all.  It’s simply walking and what’s the condition of the sidewalks," Cheryl Raab, of Hamden, said.

Amtrak is running on a modified schedule and some trains have been canceled or rescheduled.

Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services between Boston and Washington D.C., and Keystone Service, between Harrisburg, Pa., and New York, will operate on a modified schedule today.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Few Showers Tomorrow, Late Week Storm Could Miss


High pressure is in command of our weather through tonight and above average temperatures will dominate this week.

Temperatures will fall into the 20s tonight, so any melted snow will freeze up. A few icy spots on the roads are possible.

A cold front brings rain and snow showers tomorrow evening, with temperatures in the lower and middle 40s.

A blend of more clouds than sunshine will be the story Wednesday, with highs still near 40 degrees. There can be a flurry in the hills.

Thursday should shape up to be a very nice day though it will be the coldest one of the week. Highs will be in the 30s.

A coastal storm is on the maps for Friday, and of course the track is uncertain. Most indications keep the storm offshore, perhaps only glancing eastern New England.

The shear amount of time before the storm (four days) means that uncertainty is high and the storm needs to be watched.

After that, the weekend features an abundance of clouds with temperatures in the 40s.

The average high and low temperatures are now rising in the Hartford area. Sunset reaches 5 p.m. on Thursday!

Several Injuries Reported in Crash on Route 202 in New Milford


Emergency crews have responded to Route 202 in New Milford after a crash with several injuries.

Police said the call was reported around 11:45 a.m. and they expect to close the Route 202, or Park Lane, in the area of near 44 Park Lane

No additional information was immediately available.

Banksy Artwork Criticizes Treatment of Refugees


A new interactive mural by cult graffiti artist Banksy appeared in London Monday morning, but it's already been covered up, NBC News reported. 

The piece, painted on the wall of a building site opposite the French Embassy, is the latest in a series from the artist criticizing the way refugees and migrants are treated at the Calais "Jungle" camp in northern France.

The mural, based on the iconic poster for the hit musical "Les Miserables," shows a young girl with tears in her eyes, and the French national flag in the background. A QR code next to them image links to a video showing French police using tear gas to disperse crowds in the Calais Jungle earlier this month.

In December, the artist created a work depicting Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, with a bag over his shoulder and an early model of an Apple computer in his hand. Banksy explained that he painted Steve Jobs in Calais because he was the son of a Syrian migrant from Homs.

Photo Credit: AP
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