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Police ID Woman Found Dead in West Haven Surf


The woman found dead in the surf off Leonard Street in West Haven on Wednesday has been identified at a 35-year-old New Britain woman.

Police said the body of Lisa Marie Sokoloff, 35, of New Britain, was found off Leonard Street, near Ocean Avenue after residents saw her in the water. 

The West Shore Fire Department pulled her to shore. 

Police are investigating, but do not suspect foul play.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fire Breaks Out in Milford Home While Two Residents Are Inside


A fire broke out at a Milford home late Sunday night while a mother and son were inside, leaving the home uninhabitable. 

The residents discovered the fire in their 162 Fourth Avenue house and got out of the building safely before firefighters arrived. Milford firefighters received a 911 call at about 11:47 p.m. Sunday reporting a structure fire inside a single family home. 

Firefighters "made an aggressive interior attack" and knocked down the fire quickly, fire officials said. 

The home is now uninhabitable due to extensive fire, smoke and water damage. The bulk of the damage is on the first floor and there is heat damage on the second floor. 

Crews were still on scene Monday morning fighting the blaze. 

No one was injured. 

The cause of the fire is unknown. 

The weather did not pose an issue for firefighters battling the blaze. Crews were still on scene Monday morning, but have since cleared out.

Milford's fire marshal continues to investigate. 

The American Red Cross is working with the family. 

Photo Credit: Milford Fire Department

Cruise Ship Rocked by Stormy Seas


The massive Royal Caribbean cruise ship that left New Jersey over the weekend only to hit a tempestuous wintry storm at sea Sunday will double back and return to port, the cruise line announced.

The massive Anthem of the Seas is turning around and will head back to Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, according to Royal Caribbean. The more than 4,000 passengers aboard will receive a full refund for the cruise along with a voucher for 50 percent off a future voyage.

"#AnthemoftheSeas will turn around & sail back to Cape Liberty. This decision was made for guests' comfort due to weather forecasts," Royal Caribbean tweeted Monday.

The decision comes after the cruise liner sailed into a massive winter storm off the Carolina coast. The 1,183-foot ship was tossed about by massive, storm-swept waves amid blasting wind gusts. The ship sustained damage during the storm, and guests were ordered to take cover while crews attempted to ride out the rough weather. 

Video taken on board the ship shows big, blue waves tumbling alongside the vessel, along with overturned plant pots and chairs and other cosmetic damage.

Chris Carver, 43, of Salt Lake City, was on vacation with his family and mother aboard the ship during the storm.

The father of six said the captain told passengers around 11 a.m. the ship would try to "beat" a big storm out at sea. The captain later said in an update the storm got much worse than he had expected.

Conditions deteriorated quickly and the ship was forced to turn around and steer into the wind, Carver said.

"We were watching a musical put on by the crew in the theater and all the sudden they stopped the show. We went back to our rooms and then the cap came on and said, 'Stay in your rooms,'" Carver recalled.

"We listed way right. I was telling the kids we were fine, but I was scared," he explained. "Stuff was falling all over in the room and we had to sit. We were listed so far right that we couldn't stand."

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Lairson says she and her father, Sam, could feel the ship Anthem of the Seas begin to sway by 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The captain directed passengers to their cabins. There, the Lairsons heard glasses shatter in the bathroom, and they put their belongings in drawers and closets to prevent them from flying across the room. They ventured to the balcony, where Sam Lairson shot video of wave after wave rising below.

"The winds were so strong that I thought the phone would blow from my hands," Sam Lairson, of Ocean City, New Jersey, said in an email. "After that we had to keep the doors to the balconies sealed."

Royal Caribbean released a statement Monday morning saying the ship had "encountered some high winds and seas during its transit" and that "out of an abundance of caution, the Captain asked all guests to stay in their stateroom until the weather improved."

There were no reports of injuries or damage to the ship, according to Royal Caribbean, although some passengers were scared enough to call relatives on land.

The ship took off from New Jersey and was expected to make stops in Port Canaveral, Florida, and the Bahamas, a passenger said.

The ship attempted to continue to Port Canaveral, but the decision was made to turn around in part because the storm would have impacted the cruise's original itinerary.

The Anthem of the Seas is one of three of Royal Caribbean's Quantam class cruise ships and is the third-largest such vessel in the world. It would dwarf the RMS Titanic and is nearly 100 feet longer than the largest aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy. 

The same storm that damaged the ship is the same one that slammed the tri-state with coastal flooding and blizzard-like conditions on the eastern end of Long Island.

Photo Credit: Twitter/Jacob Ibrag, Leanna Petrone and flatgreg
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Crews Respond to Minor Electrical Fire in West Hartford


Crews responded to a minor electrical fire in West Hartford early Monday morning.

It happened in the area of 540 New Park Ave. just south of Oakwood Avenue. The call came in around 5:45 a.m.

No on was injured. 

The scene has cleared.

Suspect in U.S. Nanny Death Arrested at Refugee Center


Authorities arrested a suspect at a Swiss refugee center in connection with the death of an American nanny, officials told NBC News on Monday.

Lauren Mann, a 25-year-old originally from Colorado, was found half naked in apartment in the Austrian city of Vienna last month. She died from suffocation, an autopsy showed, and officials said a "considerable" amount of blood was found at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Ministry of Justice told NBC News that a man from the Gambia was arrested Thursday at a refugee center in Kreuzlingen, a town around 20 miles from the Austrian border. 

Neither Swiss nor the Austrian authorities would identify the suspect to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Lauren Mann Via Facebook

Sentencing in Gay-Bashing Case


A Bucks County, Pennsylvania, woman convicted of misdemeanor charges in a 2014 beating of a gay couple in Center City learned her fate on Monday.

Kathryn Knott, 25, was sentenced to five to ten months in jail for her role in the attack.

A jury in December acquitted Knott of felony aggravated assault charges, but found her guilty of charges including simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. She sobbed in court after the verdict was read.

Knott was one of 15 friends, some from the same Catholic high school, who were out celebrating a birthday the night of the attack in September 2014. The victims were walking to the city's popular "Gayborhood" to get pizza.

Witnesses identified Knott as having thrown a punch during the assault, which was partially captured on surveillance video. She denied punching anyone and told jurors she moved toward the victims to intervene.

Knott is the only defendant of three arrested in the assault who did not take a plea deal. Two men also arrested in the attack, Philip Williams and Kevin Harrigan, both pleaded guilty to assault and conspiracy charges and are serving probation and community service.

Photo Credit: AP

DMV Offices Closed on Friday and Saturday for Holiday


The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles' offices will be closes on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. and will remain closed on Friday and Saturday in observance of the holidays for President Lincoln's birthday and President Washington's birthday.

All AAA offices will be open to process driver's license renewals during this period of time.

DMV offices are normally closed on Sundays and Mondays and DMV's major customer service centers will have the following schedule:

  • Tuesday: 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: Closed

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Acela Express Train Hits, Kills Man on Tracks in Old Lyme


An Acela express train heading from New York to Boston struck and killed a person on the train tracks in Old Lyme on Monday morning. 

The train struck the man on the tracks near Buttonball Road in Old Lyme at 8:42 a.m.

State police said he was found dead at the scene.

Amtrak service from Union Station in New Haven to South Station in Boston has been suspended, the northeastern region Amtrak line tweeted, and service is temporarily disrupted in both directions. 

Mike Tolbert, a spokesperson for Amtrak, said the man was a "trespasser" on the tracks and he was struck around four miles from Old Saybrook. 

None of the train's crew or 246 passengers were injured. 

Amtrak Police are investigating. 

Photo Credit: AP

Somers House Fire Closes Route 83


Route 83 is closed in Somers due to a house fire. 

The road is closed in the area of Billings Road and is expected to remain shut down for at least two hours, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT). 

No further information was immediately available. 

Scattered Power Outages as Storm Brings Snow, Wind


Power was out for more than 1,500 houses and businesses that Eversource services, but the number of outages was down to less than 300 as of noon on Monday.

Eversource is reporting 277 power outages as of noon.

This comes after power company crews worked around the clock through the weekend to restore residual power outages from Friday's storm.

On Monday, high winds knocked down trees and wires, causing the scattered outages.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

'My Heart Died': A Sister Writes About Losing Her Brother to Heroin


No one starts with a needle in his or her arm.

Hidden within addiction is mental instability. We know that addicts do not just become users on a whim; there is a trigger caused by mental illness.

Something triggered Derik, my younger brother, into the dark path of addiction. We never truly understood his trigger, which made the cycle of addiction worse for my family and me. Addiction took hold of Derik when he was just a young teen, trying the “small stuff” and loving the way it made him feel. It wasn’t until his adult years, when he was prescribed an opiate for pain management, that he got his first taste of a true high. The painkiller, a gateway drug, opened the door for Derik to try heroin – and boy, did it have its grip on him after he was introduced to it, the monster that would take control of his mind, body and soul.

As angry as I am, I now understand that Derik’s addiction was a mental illness, and he could not choose the sober path. His body and warped mind chose heroin over sobriety, chose heroin over his daughter, Scarlet, and over the rest of us whom he left behind, now mourning the loss of a soul too young to depart.

Derik suffered on a daily basis for two and a half years with his demon, heroin. He loved his family and his daughter, but did not love his life. Heroin helped Derik escape his reality; it put him into a daze that allowed him to forget. He truly tried with all his might to tell his body that the fixes were not worth it, but his body and mind outweighed his heart each time he took the needle. My brother did try to get help by entering rehabilitation facilities at least five times, yet nothing changed.

Rehabilitation facilities are just the initial stage of treatment. These facilities start with detoxification and medically managed withdrawal. But that alone does not address the psychological, social and behavioral problems associated with addiction and therefore, does not typically produce lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery.

My brother needed further behavioral treatment for full recovery; he thought of rehab as more of a vacation from his disease rather than treatment to help subdue the urges. These treatments include long- and short-term residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs, and individual and group counseling – all designed to help patients engage in the recovery process, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. There are programs that enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people stay in treatment longer, yet funding for them is limited, and insurance does not cover everything. So what hope was there for Derik?

I had already prepared my heart for the inevitable phone call, so when it came, I was ready. The nightmare began with a simple text in the morning: My brother had not come home last night, and some gullible girl had taken him to Philly. Derik said, “I will be 20 minutes,” but he never came back. I reassured my mom that he would be back; he always resurfaced. But I had a feeling deep down that this time was different. I braced myself for reality. Heroin had its grip on him.

Derik lost his battle with addiction on May 7, 2015. On that night, my brother was deceptively given fentanyl rather than his drug of choice. He slipped into a deep sleep, his body forgetting to breathe. For an entire day, he was lost, unclaimed, and thrown away like trash to rot in the elements of a wooded alley in Kensington. His body was not found until late on May 8. My insides ache to think that his body wasted away in the scorching heat for an entire day in that alley, alone, waiting for someone to claim him as Derik M. Lawley, a brother, a son, and father.

When the funeral home called and asked me to identify Derik’s body so that they could process him and make his body look like Derik again, I immediately said yes. Being who I am, I told myself that I could do it alone. I thought the image of his lifeless body should be the burden that only I carried.

I opened the door to the funeral home, remembering greeting the many visitors for my grandfather’s funeral two years prior in that very same spot. The funeral director asked, "Are you ready?” and I probably gave her a look of discontentment. Of course I am not ready. Up to this point, it was all a dream. It might not have been Derik. It could have been a mistake, and he could have been just walking the streets of Philly.

I walked with her and turned the corner to what would be one of the most heart-wrenching sights I would ever see: Derik lying dead. My hands trembled, my mouth let out a small whimper, and I felt like I could faint. I whispered, “That's him and I'm sorry,” the words running together. I was warned not to touch him due to the extensive autopsy injuries and his body not being embalmed, but all I wanted to do was hug him and slap him at the same time.

The next morning, my family made the decision of where Derik’s final resting place would be. Valley Forge Park is peaceful – trees, flowers, and the chirping of birds. A place safe from Derik’s demons, from himself, and from the judgment of others. Mom, Dad, and I picked the niche in the columbarium where he would be interred. It was almost like choosing a new house not only for Derik, but for my grandparents, my parents, and my husband and me. We chose for him to be in the middle so that he would not be alone. Our grandparents will join the niche next to him when God decides to take them into the light, and Mom and Dad will join him on the other side. A sandwich of love. I pondered to myself for a moment there; I thought I heard Derik’s laugh in the wind.

The peace I felt as we picked Derik’s niche was gone the moment I saw him in his cremation box waiting for the flames. He was dressed in the clothes I picked out for him: a gray button-down shirt he wore often and black pants. I could see more of Derik since the sheet laid at his waist. To me, it was not his face. There were no dimples, no smile, but the sleeping eyes and hair were Derik’s. I watched Mom and Dad say their final goodbyes, kissing Derik’s forehead and whispering sweet nothings. They placed pictures of Scarlet and Derik’s Disney trip to bring to the afterlife for comfort as God and our departed family embraced him. After, it was my turn. Our parents left the room so I could talk to him behind closed doors.

I walked up to Derik, nervous that he would not want me to say goodbye in this manner. But, dear brother, I had to. The image of him alone was causing an ache in my heart; nightmares replaced happy memories of him. I needed to see him safe, to make sure he was not alone as the flames engulfed him, to burn the images of his lifeless body in the wooded alley out of my mind. I placed a picture of the family happy at Christmas in those goofy poses I made everyone do, our pictures of all four siblings last Mother's Day, of Scarlet loving her daddy, and of Mom and Dad smiling. I whispered, ‘I am so sorry,’ over and over, feeling his hand on my shoulder. I stopped. I kissed Derik’s forehead and motioned to the director and henchman to put his lid back on. I pushed the box myself into the kiln, and the doors shut. I kissed my palm and spread my hand on the door and I said goodbye. He was free.

My heart died the moment Derik took his last breath. His body lies in ashes as mine dies slowly from within. The darkness lingers and the nightmares loom into the light. The pain of losing Derik is unbearable, and I am living in the ninth circle of hell, my treachery being called an addict’s sister. Siblings love each other regardless of their paths; they guide each other when they have fallen and are each other’s shoulder to lean on. But I distanced myself from Derik’s addiction; it made him a wicked man. I should have been there for Derik, to wipe the sweat of addiction off his brow when the wickedness came upon him time and time again. Or in the least, I should have called, wrote, or sent Derik love in a care package. But I ignored him, gave him the cold shoulder, and did not see the real person within his eyes. I practiced tough love when I should have just shown him compassion. That is my burden, my guilt, my pain to bear all the days of my life.

According to the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association report, there were at least 2,489 drug-related deaths in 2014 and 800 heroin-related overdoses in the state, with fentanyl poisoning also rising in numbers. My brother, Derik M. Lawley, is now part of the 2015 statistics, and the numbers are rising at an alarming rate.

But Derik wasn’t a statistic. He wasn’t just a number on a spreadsheet. He was a son, a father and a brother. The stigma of the stereotype is that addicts are deviants and don’t engage in society – that they’re unemployed, dropouts, victims of poor upbringings, users in dark, dirty alleyways, robbers of the innocent – and are without love and kindness in their lives, confined to poorer areas of the big city, those without morals. This could not be further from the truth. Heroin and other opioid overdose are now a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and addiction affects all walks of life across Pennsylvania: rich, poor, middle class, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and siblings. My brother suffered from a mental illness, not a moral failing. Addiction is a crisis that has hit hard in our local Bucks County and Montgomery County communities.

Derik's death was preventable. If funding for a new initiative to combat heroin and opioid addiction was available, our communities would not be suffering like this. My 3-year-old niece would not be asking, “When is daddy coming back from heaven?” My parents would not be mourning the loss of a son. And my sister, brother, and I would not be suffering the loss of a sibling. Parents across Pennsylvania would not be mourning the loss of their children who are fighting battles with addiction. Parents would not be searching for missing children who are living on the streets, fighting their own demons because insurance companies would not pay for additional, much-needed rehab treatment. Parents would not be planning funerals for their children who departed this world too soon.

Pennsylvania’s legislation needs to allocate funds to increase access to lifesaving therapies and give Pennsylvanians, like my brother, access to the treatment they need. Measures need to be in place to prevent these needless deaths. We need funding for new initiatives to combat the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic.

Many legislators have called for aggressive, community-based, non-punitive measures to combat the scourge of heroin in their communities, however they fail to pass a budget that would add additional funding four human services and mental-health treatment – funding that could have prevented the death of my brother and so many others. Derik’s Jedi Project, an organization named for him, is calling for a Pennsylvania budget that would include funds used to provide mental health and drug and alcohol treatment, funds that could help with the growing number of addicts who previously failed to get treatment due to budget cuts. Funds that could prevent deaths.

Until then, Derik's Jedi Project, created in honor of my brother, will continue to help the addicted living on the streets of Philadelphia who are waiting for someone to give them hope and compassion, by letting someone know they are alive, getting them the much-needed help, putting them in contact with those who can help. We travel weekly to Philadelphia and provide any and all people struggling with addiction we can find with a meal, water, hygiene supplies, a way to get help, and an ear to listen. Through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we are giving families of addicts and recovering addicts a way to voice their concerns and seek help when it’s needed. We are asking Pennsylvania citizens to open their eyes to the War on Drugs and consider new revenue streams for funds to provide mental health and drug and alcohol treatment.

We can help prevent more deaths. We can show compassion and understanding of a disease that plagues thousands, and we can show the masses that the stigma attached to addiction is not true. I hope you consider empathizing with the countless number of people who are plagued with addiction, to look in their eyes and know that addiction is a disease, not a choice, and to lend a hand rather than push them further down the rabbit hole. It just might help save one life from being ended and another family from experiencing the despair mine has.


This is my brother, Derik. My brother is no different than you or yours. He had a disease that he did not ask to own. Please remember he was a human being, his addictive self an alter ego he so desperately wanted to be without. Derik was a beautiful soul lost at the tender young age of 25. He had a love of movies, dimples that would melt any heart, and a love for his family that shined brightly in the smile he gave each and every one of us. The look he gave to his daughter as she said, “Daddy,” was one of pure love. Addiction and deceitfulness might have taken him from me, but forgotten he will never be. We know that he is dancing in the sky, and we will not let him die in vain. His story will be known, our story will be heard, and there will be a change in the hearts who those who will listen.

Remember these words: “We are all addicted to something that takes away the pain.” I will not hide my brother’s struggle behind shame and disgrace. Hello, my name is Tara and you have met your match. I am the sister of an addict, and I will not rest until you have learned of the affliction.

Stay tuned: A Generation Addicted, an NBC10 digital exclusive report exploring the tragic world of heroin and opiate addiction in the Philadelphia area and beyond, is coming March 21.

Photo Credit: Tara Lawley
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Top Super Bowl 50 Social Media Moments


The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 to win Super Bowl 50 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, delivering star quarterback Peyton Manning his second championship ring. From Beyoncé's performance of her new song "Formation" at halftime to Betty White's dab before the game, here are the top social media moments on and off the field.

12. Eli Manning's not-so-pleased expression when his brother's team scored a critical touchdown in the fourth quarter lit up social media with hilarious memes.

Peyton Manning tied his younger brother for two Super Bowl rings apiece, leading many to wonder whether sibling rivalry had anything to do with Eli's emotionless face.

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11. A disappointed Cam Newton abruptly walked out of the post-Super Bowl press conference after the Panthers quarterback gave reporters short answers about his team's loss.

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Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski took to Twitter, scolding Newton for his behavior, but he quickly had to clarify his remarks. 

"You will never last in the NFL with that attitude,” Romanowski wrote. "The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy! #CamNewton

Romanowski deleted that tweet. Later, he tried to clarify his remarks tweeting, "Calm down everyone! I meant he needs to grow up!”

He eventually tweeted an apology: "I apologize for that remark 'boy.' It was not intentional or even trying to disrespect others. Peace everyone!"

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Meanwhile, some critics also slammed Newton for having failed to dive for the ball during a fumble, and called it a "business decision." 

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10. NBA superstar Kevin Durant shot photos from the sidelines.

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9. A stampede of adorable dachshunds dressed in hot dog buns ran toward ketchup and mustard bottles in a Heinz commercial, one of the many memorable Super Bowl ads. 

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8. FLOTUS and POTUS prepped for the Super Bowl with their dogs Sunny and Bo. 

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7. Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple Martin and Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy were seen holding hands in Paltrow's Instagram post before the Super Bowl. Apple's father Chris Martin and Beyonce performed together during the halftime show.

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6. Jonathan Stewart leapt into the end zone for the Panthers only touchdown.

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5. Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted an aerial view of the Super Bowl from space. Kelly is spending a year in space. 

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4. Beyonce slayed in her halftime performance of her new song "Formation." She announced she's embarking on a Formation World Tour during the game. The halftime festivities also boasted performances by Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

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3. Betty White dabbed, sending Newton a message prior to the start of the game.

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2. Denver Broncos starting quarterback Peyton Manning won his second Super Bowl. 

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1. Lady Gaga sported red eyeshadow and delivered a memorable rendition of the national anthem to kick off Super Bowl 50.

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Photo Credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
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Northeast Super Bowl Ad Showing 9/11 Footage Causes Stir


A Super Bowl ad for Colonial Williamsburg disturbed some viewers Sunday night because it featured footage from the Sept. 11 terror attacks, showing the World Trade Center's North Tower collapsing in reverse.

The 1-minute ad narrated by NBC News' Tom Brokaw depicts iconic moments from American history, like the first flight and the civil rights movement. It also includes scenes of war and, to the shock of some, the World Trade Center being destroyed.

All of the footage in the ad plays in reverse, ultimately leading up to Colonial Williamsburg’s tagline: “It started here.” The north tower of the WTC is shown reforming upwards from a ball of smoke and debris. 

Colonial Williamsburg is a non-profit foundation in Virginia that operates what it calls the largest living history museum in the U.S.

It didn’t take long before viewers of the ad -- which only aired in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. -- took to social media to express their disapproval.

“Colonial Williamsburg ad evoking 9/11 has been biggest display of offense this whole Super Bowl,” Ethan Sacks tweeted.

“Using 9/11 for commercial purposes is as uncool as using Auschwitz,” Alex Polkhovsky said.

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Taran Killam also took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the ad. He received a couple of responses from Colonial Williamsburg’s official Twitter account. 

“Did Colonial Williamsburg just show 9/11 footage in reverse? Seems a bit unearned,” Killam tweeted.

Colonial Williamsburg responded to Killam: “It is painful. Without question. But what’s worse? Remembering, or forgetting?”

Killam tweeted back: “’Undoing it feels like a form of forgetting. I think that’s my issue. I don’t see the correlation with your establishment.”

To which Colonial Williamsburg tweeted: “Forgetting is not an option! Every generation has a defining moment. For us: 9/11. Knowledge of history = civic responsibility.”

Some tweeted in support of Colonial Williamsburg, saying they got the pro-history message that the tourist destination was trying to evoke. 

Others said that the ad didn't offend them but simply confused them. 

Either way, the ad is shaping up to be the talked-about ad of the year, following in the footsteps of Nationwide’s “dead kid” ad last year.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation said in a statement to the Washington Post that when the ad was released on social media in the days leading up to the Super Bowl it "garnered thousands of likes and shares alongside hundreds of positive comments within the hour."

"We understand and respect that some of the images depicted in the ad are jarring," the statement said. "However, the small data point of people who objected to some of the imagery in the ad does not represent the total viewership. Not even close."

The statement went on to say that the ad's message was "all that is past is prologue."

"We cannot forget our sacrifices or our tragedies even as we celebrate our accomplishments," the statement added. "Colonial Williamsburg does not shy away from these difficult moments in our history because they have made us who we are just as surely as our many triumphs."

Photo Credit: AP
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Parachutist Gets Stuck on Power Lines in Florida


A parachutist who became entangled in power lines near a municipal airport in Central Florida was safely rescued Monday morning.

NBC affiliate WESH in Orlando reported that the parachutist became stuck in power lines near the DeLand Municipal Airport around 9 a.m.

Both DeLand and Volusia County Fire Crews responded to the scene. Power was cut off to the area, and the parachutist was safely taken down from the lines.

The parachutist was not injured, WESH reported.

DeLand is roughly 42 miles north of Orlando and roughly 25 miles west of Daytona Beach.

Photo Credit: FILE/Getty Images

Leopard Prowls Around India School, Eludes Capture for 10 Hrs


Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers. 

A leopard was caught on camera tangling with a man beside a swimming pool as it prowled around an area near the capital of Karnataka state in southern India.

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Bank Robbery Prompts East Granby Schools Lock-In


East Granby Public Schools were in lock-in after a bank robbery in the area on Monday.

Officials from the school said all the exterior doors were secured and police were handling the matter.

Connecticut State Police are asking people to be on the lookout for a man who is around 5-feet-10, in his 40s or 50s and fled in a black Chevy Tahoe, state police said.

The schools were supposed to dismiss early.

Anyone who sees a man matching the description of the bank robber should call 911.

Photo Credit: Newsworks

Snow and Wind Cause Crashes and Road Closures


There have been several spinouts on the roads as snow falls and winds are gusting.

Trooper Kelly Grant, of Connecticut State Police, said there have been several issues in Stonington and Norwich and she is urging drivers to reduce their speed, increase the distance between your vehicle in front on you and be sure to clear snow and ice off your vehicle before hitting the road. 

There have been spinouts on Route 9 and Route 2 in Bozrah as conditions deteriorate.

Part of Route 146 in Guilford is flooding, so drivers should avoid the area for now.

In addition to the spinouts, several roads are closed because trees, poles and wires are down.

Follow Heidi Voight on Twitter for rapidly changing information. 

Peterson Road in Pomfret is closed at North Road because of a downed tree and fallen wires.

Quaddick Road in Thompson is closed at Taylor Road because trees and wires are down.

Cedar Swamp Road in Hampton is closed because trees and wires are down.

Route 66, or Long Hill Road, is shut down in East Hampton because three utility poles appear to be compromised and wires are down. Eversource has been notified, officials said.

Police hope to at least open a shoulder on the major artery through because there's no simple detour. Expect heavy delays if this persists into the morning rush.

Edmond Road is closed in Griswold because wires are down and drivers can detour onto Bitgood Road.

Trees and poles are down near 29 Gallup Street in Plainfield and a transformer is leaking oil, so the street is closed, according to dispatchers and police.

Slater Hill Road is closed at Burlingame Road in East Killingly because a tree, wires and a pole are down.

The State Department of Transportation has about 77 percent of their fleet, including 487 plow trucks, out on the roads as of 7:52 a.m.

Highway conditions are good for most of the state, but there are some visibility issues on Interstate 95 in Groton and New London.

A crash from earlier near exit 88 in Groton has been cleared.

There was also a spinout crash on Route 9 south near exit 22 in the left lane.

DOT crews were not able to pretreat the roads over the weekend.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

FAA Tracks Four Airspace Violations During SB50


There were four airspace violations by private planes during Sunday's Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the Federal Aviation Administration said. 

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told NBC Bay Area on Monday that the he knew of four "temporary flight restrictions" during the game, one more than was originally reported on Sunday.

In general, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said, pilots could face sanctions ranging from warning letters to license suspensions or revocations.

The FAA declared the air space above the stadium a "no fly zone" during the Super Bowl game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers. That meant drones and other aircraft were not allowed to fly within 32 miles of the stadium between 2 p.m. and midnight on game day.

Major Katrina Andrews, a spokeswoman for the air component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the violators were not drones. Instead, she said they were pilots of  private planes, such as small Cessnas, who didn't read their notices telling aircraft to stay away from the stadium during the big game. The FAA said these four planes violated the airspace: a Cessna 150, a Cessna 172, a Vans RV 6 and a Beechcraft BE35.

She said the pilots received an alert that they were violating the air space and were escorted or diverted to the Livermore Municipal Airport or Palo Robles, where they were headed anyway.

"It appears they had not read their notice to airmen (NOTAMS), which explains the parameters of the restricted area," she said.

NORAD is the agency charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.

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5 Things to Watch on the Eve of N.H. Primary


One day away from Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, there are five storylines worth watching, particularly after an eventful weekend on the ground in the Granite State, according to NBC's First Read team analysis.

Every poll in the past few days shows Donald Trump leading the GOP field by double digits, including some by 20-plus points, but can Trump hold on to his double-digit lead?

It's not clear how Marco Rubio's lackluster debate performance Saturday will play out, but at the very least, it seems to have blunted any momentum he had going into Tuesday. No matter who finishes second, third or fourth in New Hampshire, don't expect anyone to drop out, especially after Rubio's debate gaffe, according to First Read. 

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the race in New Hampshire has polling that seems all over the place with Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by 16 percent, according to one poll and by seven percent, according to another. If Clinton brings back women and unregistered voters, she has a more than realistic chance of making New Hampshire a single-digit race, according to First Read. 

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US Athletes Worried About Zika Told to Skip Rio: Report


UPDATE: The United States Olympic Committee strongly denied that it has advised athletes and staff to consider skipping Rio, calling the earlier Reuters report "not accurate."

The earlier report:

The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations on a January conference call that athletes and staff worried about contracting the Zika virus should consider not going to the 2016 Rio Olympics in August, two people on the call told Reuters.

Federations were told that no one should go to Brazil "if they don't feel comfortable going. Bottom line," said Donald Anthony, president and board chairman of USA Fencing.

Anthony added that, "One of the things that they immediately said was, especially for women that may be pregnant or even thinking of getting pregnant, that whether you are scheduled to go to Rio or no, that you shouldn't go."

Alan Ashley, chief of sport performance for the USOC, did not respond to email or phone calls requesting comment.

The USOC has not officially issued its own set of recommendations for athletes and staff beyond what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have issued.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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