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WATCH: Spacewalk to Troubleshoot Ammonia Leak


Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station began a spacewalk on Saturday to try to repair an ammonia leak in the cooling system for one of the International Space Station's massive solar arrays, just two days after the problem was detected, NBC News reported.

Saturday's operation ranks as one of the fastest turnarounds ever for a space station repair. The spacewalk began at 8:44 a.m. ET, about a half-hour later than originally planned, but the two veteran spacewalkers Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy made quick progress.

They went out to inspect a 260-pound pump box that's thought to be the source of the leak, and possibly replace it with a spare, according to NBC News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stocktrek Images

WATCH: Prince Harry Attends Warrior Games


England’s Prince Harry is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympic-style Warrior Games for wounded U.S. war veterans in Colorado Springs on Saturday. This livestream has concluded. Visit NBCNews.com for more coverage.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lead Singer of Columbia Fields Dies in Crash


Grayson Minney, lead singer for the Connecticut rock band Columbia Fields, died in a car crash early Saturday morning.

Police said at around 3:40 a.m., the 28-year-old from Amston lost control of his car, struck a guardrail, and crashed into a steep embankment off the highway.

Minney was driving on Route 85, just north of Route 94 in Hebron when the accident happened.

Columbia Fields, one of Connecticut's best local bands, had the honor of opening for Bon Jovi at the Mohegan Sun Arena after winning a 96.5TIC-FM contest in 2010.

The bandmembers, who all  went to RHAM High School in Hebron, have been playing together since 2002, mostly in Connecticut, New York, and throughout New England.

Columbia Fields has also shared the national stage with The Backstreet Boys and The Fray. They said they get their influences from Cold Play, Jason Miraz and Dave Matthews.

State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Theme Park Offering Free Admission to Moms


Lake Compounce Theme Park is celebrating Mother's Day and the opening of their 169th season by offering free admission to any Mom.

Moms are welcome to come to the park to enjoy the rides, water park and a special Relaxation Station designed for moms to kick back and relax.

Mom's Day specials include hand and chair massages from A Moment Away Day Spa and free head shots from Yolanda Christine Photography Studio in New Britain.

Guests hoping to take advantage of the free admission special must enter the park between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The park will close at 8 p.m. Moms must be accompanied by guest paying regular admission.

For more information, visit www.lakecompounce.com 

Cicadas: "The Shrimp of The Land"


Billions of bite-sized snacks are about to appear in your backyard.

After nearly two decades living under the earth, cicadas are about to shake off the dirt and invade our great outdoors. And they’ll be ripe for your feasting says Isa Betancourt, an entomologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

“It’s a delicacy that’s rare,” says Betancourt, who’s known to dine on a few bugs from time to time. She calls cicadas "the shrimp of the land.”

“They are arthropods, which means they have an exoskeleton,” she said. “We regularly eat the arthropods of the sea and those are the shrimp, lobsters and crabs. And so cicadas are arthropods too.”

The Magicicada, as this type of cicada is named, spend 17 years underground snacking on the roots of plants, trees and vegetables. Now they’re coming above ground to shed their skin and mate.

Like other edible insects, cicadas are nutritious, according to Betancourt. She says their bodies are high in protein, low in fat and feature a lot of muscle.

Betancourt suggests trying to grab the magicadas when they’re fresh from the ground and undergoing their molting stage, which consists of shedding their skin as they prepare to fly away to find a mate.

“That’s when they’re softest,” she said. “When they first emerge, they’ll be kind of a green color and after a few hours they’ll harden.”

The scientist says you’ll most likely find the soft cicadas in the morning hours. She says you can still eat them once they harden, but you should expect a little extra crunch. You’ll also want to pull off the wings, because, like corn kernels, they can get stuck in your teeth.

There are a couple dozen recipes for how to specifically prepare cicadas. Betancourt is planning on taking an old shrimp skewer dish, her grandmother has made for ages, and substitute in the insect. She also suggests boiling your insects first to quickly kill and clean them.

Online you can learn how to make Cicada-Portobello Quiche or a German Chocolate Cicada Cake – complete with a coconut-pecan frosting.

Cicada-Licious, a cicada cookbook (yes, this exists), has a number of other interesting ideas. The book was penned by University of Maryland entomology professor Mike Raupp and a group of students named the Cicadamaniacs. They put the book together when a brood, or group, of magicadas made their appearance around Maryland in 2004.

“I’ve had them several different ways and frankly, I’ve enjoyed them every way I’ve eaten them,” he said.

Raupp has been studying, teaching about, and feasting on cicadas for years. The insect ecologist is now working on a Discovery Channel special about the magicadas. He says as for how they taste, it really depends on how the insect is prepared.

“Boiled they’re going to taste a lot like shrimp. If you eat them au naturel, raw, they’ve got a delicate nutty flavor; a buttery texture,” he said. “I like the soft-shelled ones.”

Both entogastronomists -- what insect eaters are called -- warn those with food allergies, specifically those who are allergic to shellfish, should consult their doctor before eating cicadas. Betancourt says you should also avoid binging on cicadas that have been living in areas where a lot of pesticides have been used.

While eating insects is taboo in the United States and other Western cultures, that’s not the case for the rest of the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates 2.5 billion people, mostly in Africa, include insects in the regular diet. Raupp says in some parts of the world, bugs make up as much as 20-percent of some culture’s diets.

For the squeamish, Raupp says he has a land and sea analogy he likes to use.

“Have you ever eaten an oyster or a clam out of the bay? It lives on the bottom of the bay and filters, you know what (feces),” he said. “You’d eat this thing, but would not eat this delectable insect that’s been sucking on plant fat for 17 years? I think it’s weird.”

Betancourt is more pragmatic, offering this piece of advice for the cicada-eating virgins: “Close your eyes when you’re taking the bite.”

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Spokesperson for Cleveland Held Women Makes Statement

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 7: A police officer keeps the public away from the house where three women, who disappeared as teens about a decade ago, were found alive May 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Amanda Berry, who went missing in 2003, Gina DeJesus, who went missing in 2004, and Michelle Knight, who went missing in 2002, managed to escape their captors on May 6, 2013. Three suspects, all brothers, were taken into custody. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

W.C.S.U Graduating Class Includes 83 Year-Old Woman


Florence Pilkington was just cresting her golden years when she decided to take a computer course at Western Connecticut State University in 1999.

Today,  the 83-year-old Danbury woman will receive a bachelor's degree in studio art after more than a decade as a co-ed.

"I always loved school," said Pilkington in a release from the university. "Any time a flier came in the mail about an adult education course, I would take it."

Pilkington, a widow with two grown children, was raised in Long Island where she attended high school for a few years.

Then her father became ill and her mother asked Pilkington to leave school, take a few business courses and work to help support the family.

Pilkington took a bookkeeping job and helped her mother with the bills until she married at age 20. It was years later that Pilkington worked to earn her Graduate Equivalency Diploma.

Although she didn't return to school until 1999, Pilkington said she took as many adult education courses as she could find and eventually came across a mailing from Western that piqued her interest in learning more about computers.

Then she took a summer piano course for fun followed by the history of music.

"The professor said 'if you continue with music, you have to get up on that stage,'" she recalled. "Well, that's not for me." So, it was on to the art department, where Pilkington found a passion that she could stick with.

Going to college in her 70s and 80s has obviously kept Pilkington young and she says that going to school is her "playtime."

While she is not looking to start a career, Pilkington said she will continue painting in her spare time but what she's really looking forward to is returning to school in the fall.

"After 14 years of going to school, I'll still come back and take courses," she said. "It's knowledge and keeps your brain going."

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Man Charged With Grabbing Toddler


Authorities arrested a man who allegedly grabbed a toddler away from his mother Friday in Bristol.

John Brasseur, 50, approached a young mother who was walking with her two children on Prospect Street, according to police.

According to police, Brasseur asked the mother what she was doing with his baby, grabbed the 3-year-old boy by the arm and walked away.

The mother ran over, grabbed her son back from Brasseur and walked home with both of her children and called police, investigators said.

She told police a man was following her for some time before leaving the area.

Police said officers canvassed the neighborhood and residents were able to identify Brasseur by name.

Officials learned Brasseur is on parole in Waterbury. Police later found him in Wolcott.

Brasseur is charged with risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint in the second-degree and breach of peace in the second-degree.


Photo Credit: Bristol Police

Family Dollar Store in Hartford Robbed


Hartford police are investigating a robbery at the Family Dollar Store overnight.

Police said two men robbed the store at 1200 Park Street.

There is on description of the robbers.

Pizza Delivery Man Robbed in Bristol


Police are looking for the two men who stole pizzas and cash from a Domino’s Pizza delivery man in Bristol on Sunday night.

The employee was delivering pizzas on Rollinson Road in Bristol at 10:39 p.m. when he was robbed, according to Bristol police.

When the delivery man got out of his car, two men got out of a car parked behind his. One of them said he had a gun and ordered him to "Give me everything," the delivery man told police.

Then, around eight other men got out of two other vehicles parked in the area and ran west on Rollinson Road, the victim told police.

The robbers stole two pizzas and a small amount of cash, according to police.

No gun was shown and the victim was not injured in the robbery.

Police are investigating and have not identified any suspects.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Charged in West Haven Burglary


West Haven Police made three arrests in connection with a burglary on Friday.

On Friday, police began investigating a burglary at 26 Coleman Street in which a flat-screen TV and an Xbox gaming system were stolen. 

Detectives assigned to the burglary case were at a New Haven pawn shop, investigating other incidents, when man walked in, carrying items that police recognized as items reported stolen earlier, according to Sgt. David Tammaro, of West Haven police.

After a brief interview, police arrested Keith L. Thomas, 23, of 89 Coleman St. in West Haven. He has been charged with burglary and larceny.

After investigating, police also arrested  Robert Wardsworth, 21, of 26 Coleman St. and Bianca Santiago, 22, of 89 Coleman St.

They were both charged with larceny and conspiracy.

All three are due in court on May 21.

Suspicious Vest Bought by NJ Thrift Shop Was Movie Prop


A suspicious vest with wires and a switch that was found earlier this week among items a northern New Jersey thrift shop purchased from a California storage locker originally belonged to a movie production crew, police confirmed.

Authorities said they were able to track down the original owner of the vest, who informed them that it had been sold to a freelance soundman who worked for movie- and music-related productions. Police said the man had died and his belongings wound up in a storage facility and were eventually auctioned off.

The husband and wife who own New 4 U Thrift and Vintage Shop on Lakeview Avenue said they buy the contents of unclaimed storage units and sell those items in their shop. 

When they opened a recently purchased package Thursday, they said they found what looked like a "bomb vest" with wires and a hand switch attached.

"I really thought it was a prop," Renee Dimitros said. As her husband was holding it, Dimitros said she started to think it looked more like a vest. Then he appeared to trigger something.

"All of a sudden I see lights going off on it," Dimitros said. "I said, 'Wait a minute, wait a minute.' I look a little closer. I said, 'Oh my God, this is a bomb, holy crow.'"

The couple then called police, who responded to the store and took the vest outside. A four-block area was evacuated as bomb squad members detonated the vest, and witnesses said the explosion could be heard from miles away.

No one was injured. 


Photo Credit: NBCNewYork

16-Year-Old Niantic Girl Missing


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a 16-year-old Niantic girl who has been missing since Saturday.

Jocelyn Rose Bernstein was last seen with a friend on East Pattagansett Road in East Lyme, according to police.

When Jocelyn was last seen, she was wearing a blue checkered shirt, blue jeans and boat shoes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call State Police Troop E in Montville at 860-848-6500.

Photo Credit: State Police Silver Alert

WATCH: Departing Space Station Astronaut Covers "Space Oddity"


Commander Chris Hadfield gave new meaning to the song "Space Oddity" when he bid farewell to the International Space Station with his own music video rendition of the David Bowie classic.

The Canadian astronaut ended his five-month stint on the I.S.S. by tweeting his over 821,000 followers the YouTube video on Sunday. He is seen "floating in a most peculiar way" through the space station with guitar in hand, as spectacular views of Earth loom in the background.

The video has gone viral with over a million views as of Monday morning.

Hadfield has been tweeting a series of YouTube videos from the space station to drum up awareness and excitement for space travel. He's demonstrated how to open a can of soda, clip your nails and make a peanut butter sandwich in space  -- and what crying looks like in zero gravity.

The 53-year-old space traveler is scheduled to return to earth on Monday.

Man Charged With Child Sex Assault in West Haven


West Haven police have arrested a 42-year-old local man accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

Police began investigating Gary Gray on Sept. 9, 2012, when the girl’s mother reported that her daughter confided that she believed she had sex with a family friend, police said.

Forensic examinations and medical evaluations revealed that the child had injuries consistent with a sexual assault, police said.

When police interviewed Gray, he said “Last time I admitted it, this time I’m not admitting it,’’ according to a news release from Sgt. David Tammaro, of West Haven police.

Detectives discovered that Gray has previous arrests for accusations of sexual assault and risk of injury to a child. 

New Haven police are also investigating Gary in connection with a sexual assault that might have taken place in the city, police said. 

Gray was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child. 

He was held on $100,000 bond.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Beer Week Underway


The craft beer industry has been booming over the last decade.  Nowhere is that more apparent than right here in Connecticut, where new craft breweries are opening up seemingly every year.  Now, the state has a new plan to highlight all the efforts of local brewers.

Beginning next week, they will launch the "Brew & Buy Local" campaign.  And to do it, get ready for CT Beer Week

From May 11 to 18, there will be a series of events to celebrate Connecticut's beer industry.  The message is simple: highlight breweries and restaurants and ask people to support Connecticut companies.

Restaurants, bars and package stores will have specials throughout the week featuring some of the state's best brews. 

There are 18 brewers in the state, 1,000 distributors and 10,850 retailers, according to the CT Beer Wholesalers.

But one of the biggest events was Saturday May 11 at Rentschler field in East Hartford.  The Rising Pint Brewfest featured 250 craft beer varieties from more than 60 breweries.  There was also live music throughout the event.

Also during CT Beer Week, the state will unveil a new "Beerdog" app. 

The app combines social media, image recognition and location services to connect beer fans with their favorite beers. It will also help support the Connecticut Beer Trail. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF

Gosnell Jury: "We're Hung on 2 Counts"


The jury deliberating in the capital murder trial against former Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell says they're hung on two counts.

The jury of seven women and five men are weighing more than 250 charges against the Gosnell with the most serious being four counts of first-degree murder.

It is currently unclear on which charges the jury is deadlocked, but the group told the court it has reached unanimous decisions on all other counts.

Around 10:00 a.m. Monday, the jury passed a note to Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart explaining their situation. The admission came on the 10th day of deliberations.

By law, according to attorneys for both sides, Judge Minehart is required to re-instruct the jury to deliberate on the two charges a second time and attempt to reach a verdict.

Judge Minehart brought the jury into the courtroom on the third-floor of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center around 11:15 a.m.

Over a five minute meeting, he reminded the jury they must be unanimous on all counts and asked the group to return to the jury room and discuss the charges further. The group was grim-faced as they were led from the court.

Judge Minehart called the jury sincere, considerate and serious. The judge also said he wanted to make sure the group was not confused over the charges.

The jury now has three options: return to court with a question, request to re-examine evidence to try and break the deadlock or re-iterate they'll be unable to reach a consensus on the charges.

Gosnell faces four counts of first-degree murder for his alleged role in the deaths of four babies. Prosecutors allege Gosnell delivered the babies alive during abortion procedures and then snipped their spinal cords with scissors to end their life.

The 72-year-old is also charged with third-degree murder in the of former patient Karnamaya Mongar.

Mongar, 41, died after she was given a lethal dose of pain killers and anesthesia during a 2009 abortion procedure at Gosnell's West Philadelphia clinic, the Women's Medical Society.

The former doctor's defense attorney has argued Gosnell would inject a drug into his patients' uterus to stop the fetuses' hearts before they were delivered.

The majority of the 268 charges levied against Gosnell are related to alleged Pennsylvania abortion-law violations. Prosecutors say Gosnell regularly performed late-term abortions on babies older than 24 weeks -- the cutoff age in Pennsylvania.

Jurors are also deliberating a handful of crimes against Gosnell's co-defendant Eileen O'Neill. Prosecutors say O'Neill deceived patients and insurance companies by pretending to be a licensed physician and billing for those services.

Her defense has said while O'Neill was not licensed, she did have a medical degree and would always have Gosnell sign off on her recommendations and prescriptions. O'Neill's attorney also said there is no evidence of the 56-year-old charging for her services.

The trial, which began on March 18, stretched on for nearly two months before being handed off to the jury.

The alleged crimes came to light on February 10, 2010 after investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency raided the inner-city clinic at 3801 Lancaster Avenue following a tip that a prescription pill mill was operating inside.

Agents were met, not with an illegal narcotics drug operation, but rather, unsanitary conditions. Investigators testified they found blood-stained rooms, filthy and old equipment and untrained staff. Aborted fetuses were stored in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to employee lunches. Severed feet from aborted babies were found preserved in jars around the clinic.

The conditions found inside the clinic led Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to call the clinic a "house of horrors" in a 2011 grand jury report.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Gosnell faces the death penalty.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Jane Rosenberg

Olympian Visits Connecticut


Jordyn Wieber, the 17-year-old Olympic gold medal gymnast, is in Connecticut today and will be visiting hospital patients.

On Sunday, she visited Vasi’s International Gymnastics, she Tweeted on Sunday afternoon, and two little girls gave her bracelets to support Sandy Hook. One is green and says “We are Newtown.”  The other is white and says “Sandy Hook.”

Wieber, a member of the fierce five during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, is on tour to promote the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, which will be held at the XL Center in August.

She also visited American Gymnastics Training Center in Southington, where about 200 children went for a chance to meet the Olympian, according to the Record Journal.

On Monday afternoon, Jordyn will visit with patients at Hartford Hospital, where she will sign autographs for them.

During the U.S. Championships, Wieber, and the rest of the 2012 women’s gymnastics Olympic team will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame as of the Class of 2013. This will be the fifth team to be inducted into the hall of fame.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Wallingford Man in Critical Condition After Crash


A 25-year-old Wallingford man is in critical condition after a one-car crash on Sunday night.

Police said Scott Scialabba, 25, of Wallingford, was driving a 2007 Scion when the crash happened on Durham Road, just east of its intersection with Barnes Road in Wallingford, at 10:55 p.m., police said.

Scialabba was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he is in critical condition.

The road was closed for several hours as accident reconstruction . 

Anyone who saw the vehicle in the area before the crash is asked to call Officer Christian Evans at 203-294-2819.

OPI Launches “Sandy Hook Green” Nail Polish


The nail polish company OPI and Sandy Hook Promise have launched a new, limited edition nail color called “Sandy Hook Green” to raise money for Sandy Hook Promise. www.sandyhookpromise.org.

The nail polish will be launched at the first Sandy Hook Green Salon-a-Thon event at Ricci’s Salon & Spa and Academy of Cosmetology on Sunday, May 19,  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

OPI has pledged to donate 10,000 bottles of Sandy Hook Green to Sandy Hook Promise to support efforts to keep communities safer.

Ricci’s Salon & Spa and Academy of Cosmetology in Newtown is accepting appointments and walk-ins for a variety salon services, including manicures, haircuts, shampoo and blow-out, shampoo with conditioning, blow-out and flat iron, men's shave, and children's braids and up-dos, which each include a free bottle of Sandy Hook Green.

Appointments are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome, according to Sandy Hook Promise.

If you are unable to stay for a salon service, Sandy Hook Green will also be available at the event with a $10 donation to Sandy Hook Promise.

Ricci’s Salon & Spa is located at 99 South Main Street in Newtown.

Sandy Hook Promise works to support those affected by the Sandy Hook School tragedy and help the community heal as well as support solutions to make our country safer from similar acts of violence.


Photo Credit: Sandy Hook Promise
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