Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

ISIS Backers Target Internet CEOs


A propaganda video released this week by pro-ISIS hackers threatens the founders of Facebook and Twitter, which have been shutting down social media accounts affiliated with the terror group.

ISIS is known to use social media to recruit members and convey its message during attacks.

The video, posted Feb. 23 by the "Sons Caliphate Army," shows bullets riddling the photos of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Deep-web analysts from Vocativ first spotted the video on Telegram, a social media site reported to be popular with ISIS supporters.

The amateur video claims to have hacked more than 10,000 Facebook accounts, 150 Facebook groups and 5,000 Twitter profiles, saying ISIS supporters would take over many of those accounts.

At the end of the video, the narrator addresses Zuckerberg and Dorsey directly, taunting them and warning the CEOs that ISIS supporters will hack 10 accounts for every one that Twitter and Facebook close. The video also threatens to delete the sites altogether.

Similar threats have been made before over the past year.

Twitter, the terror group's main social media platform, suspended 125,000 accounts earlier this month that allegedly threatened or promoted terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” Twitter said in a statement in early February.

Ari Mason contributed to this report.

21-Ton Syria Food Aid Drop Lost or Damaged: UN


A 21-ton airdrop of food that was being delivered to starving Syrians in the besieged city of Deir el-Zour, was damaged, lost or fell into an area full of land mines, the U.N. World Food Programme said Thursday. 

The delivery, which was dropped from 23,000 feet, would have been enough to feed 2,500 people for a month, but 10 of the 21 pallets pallets "drifted away and are so far unaccounted for," the agency spokeswoman Abeer Etefa told NBC News.

"This plane had to fly at a high altitude to avoid rockets, missiles and gunfire," she added. "We are disappointed that people who were anxiously waiting to receive this food did not receive it."

Deir el-Zour is a city of some 200,000 in the country's east that is besieged by ISIS. The WFP said it has not been able to reach Deir el-Zour's civilians since March 2014.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Woman Gets Prison for Killing Mom


A Southern California woman who bludgeoned her mother to death with a meat tenderizer and stabbed her in the chest has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Lara Epstein, 51, of Carmel Valley, pleaded guilty earlier to voluntary manslaughter in the death of her 73-year-old mother.

Epstein's mother, Svetlana Gurinova, was found dead the night of June 16, 2015, inside her home on Carmel View Road. Officers and paramedics opened the door to find Epstein standing in the living room, authorities said. She directed them to her mother's lifeless body. 

Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello said authorities found plastic bags covering the woman's head and feet. There had apparently been an effort to clean up the scene. A large kitchen knife and metal meat tenderizer mallet were found in a trash bag next to Gurinova's body, prosecutors said.

Homicide investigators said Gurinova suffered lacerations and massive blunt force trauma to her body. She had apparently been hit over the head with the meat tenderizer and stabbed several times in the neck and chest, prosecutors said.

The motive of the killing was never clear, though family members reported a strained relationship between mother and daughter, according to prosecutors. They also said Epstein had a history of mental health issues.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Food and Safety Tips for When Your Power Is Out


The American Red Cross is helping families after severe weather overnight and the Red Cross, as well as the state, are offering tips to make sure you know how to keep food safe during power outages and assembling an emergency kits.

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible and first use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours.

Next, use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed, or 24 hours if it is half full.

Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.

If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.

For breast milk stored in your freezer, if you can see ice crystals, it is safe to re-freeze.

If the breast milk has defrosted, with no ice crystals, use it within 48 hours for healthy babies and within 24 hours for premature or sick babies.

Clean your refrigerator and freezer after a power outage.

When the power comes back on, clean out your refrigerator and freezer before you put new food in it.
Wash the inside of the refrigerator and freezer with soap and warm water. next, wipe the inside down with a mild solution of 1/2 tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of water. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors open to air dry.

Once dry, close the doors and let it get cold inside the freezer and refrigerator before you fill it with food.

Other tips Assemble an emergency preparedness kit:

Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing for each family member. Sand or non-clumping cat litter is good to have to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Also, make sure you have a first aid kit and a supply of essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage.

Use technology to prepare and stay safe.

Download Red Cross preparedness apps for your smartphone, which have tips and real-time information to help you prepare, as well as tools to help you keep in touch during and after a major storm.

The First Aid App has a special section devoted to severe winter weather with preparedness tips and information about coping during and after the storm. Get the apps for iPhones or Android phones at www.redcross.org/mobileapps.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

Keep your generator and grill outside and at least 20 feet away from a home.

Do not use portable generators inside your home, garage, carport, basement or other enclosed space, like a covered porch. Only use portable generators outside and at least 20 feet from you and your neighbors' homes. Keep your generator away from doors, windows or air intake vents.

Do not use charcoal grills, gas grills or camping stoves inside your home.

Do not use propane or kerosene heaters inside your home.

Do not use your gas oven or stove top to heat your home.

Check to make sure that you have CO detectors installed on each level of your home and outside sleeping areas.

Change the batteries every six months and replace your CO detector every five years.

The signs of CO poisoning are like the flu: headache, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or loss of consciousness. These signs might be your only warning because you cannot see or smell CO. If you or a family member has signs of CO poisoning, get outside and dial 911 from a mobile phone or from a neighbor’s home.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Severed Torso May Be Missing Woman


A human torso found in Fremont, California, may be linked to the disappearance of a 57-year-old Brisbane woman whose husband committed suicide after she vanished, police said.

Investigators from the Fremont and Brisbane police departments on Wednesday served a search warrant at the Brisbane home of Shelly Titchener, who was last seen in mid-February after telling her husband she was leaving to spend time with a friend.

A Facebook group dedicated to finding her said Titchener left her home Feb. 13 or 14 and was reported missing Feb. 15 — but neighbor Dee Dee Porter said she spoke with Titchener that day.

"We had a nice conversation last Monday about bamboo at the house and how the gardener was going to come work on that," Porter said.

Titchener's husband, Paul, who reported her missing, was named a person of interest in his wife's disappearance. He committed suicide by jumping from the Bay Bridge late Tuesday, police said.

The severed torso, which investigators said belong to a still-unidentified woman, was found Sunday night by a group of people fishing on a Fremont pier at the eastern foot of the Dumbarton Bridge, police said.

Authorities said the victim's head and limbs had apparently been cut off. The mangled body, wrapped in a plastic bag, spawned a suspicious death investigation.

Investigators found more human remains when they returned to the scene Tuesday night, along with evidence that linked the crime scene to the Titchener case, police said.

"While we cannot confirm the body found is that of Shelly Titchener, we also cannot rule it out," Fremont police said in a statement.

The coroner has not set a timeline for identifying the body.

The case shocked neighbors, who said the couple was very private and that Paul Titchener had recently knocked on doors to ask if anyone had seen his wife.

"He came to the door with his son looking for if I had seen anything," said Dave Burke, who lives across the street from the Titchener family.

Neighbors who asked not to be identified said the Titcheners had a strained relationship and that Shelly Titchener often seemed troubled.

The couple's son posted a statement on Facebook late Wednesday acknowledging that his parents had passed away. He thanked the public and asked for privacy.

Fremont police are asking that anyone who has information about the remains call their crimes against persons unit at 510-790-6900.

Photo Credit: Christie Smith/NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Trump Opens 16-Point Lead Over Rubio Among Fla. Republicans: Poll


Donald Trump leads South Florida native Sen. Marco Rubio 44-28 percent among likely Republican primary voters, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Men support Trump over Rubio 49-25 percent, while women support Trump 39-31 percent, the poll finds.

“Florida is the single biggest prize of the primary season because it is the largest state to allocate its delegates on a winner-take-all basis. If Sen. Rubio can’t win in his own home state, it is difficult to see how he can win elsewhere,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has 12 percent with Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 7 percent and Dr. Ben Carson at 4 percent.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 705 likely Republican primary voters in the state by land line and cell phone from Feb. 21 - 24. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

No Cases of Zika Virus in Connecticut


There have been no confirmed cases of Zika virus in the state of Connecticut, according to state health officials.

While the illness is usually mild, there is a possible link with birth defects and miscarriages, so health officials warn prevention of infection among pregnant women is essential and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering Zika virus testing to pregnant women who have travelled in countries where the disease is known to be transmitted.

The state Department of Public Health said 127 patients were approved for testing. They have sent 50 specimens to the CDC and received results from five and none tested for Zika virus.

“With no vaccine or antiviral drug currently available to prevent infection or protect a developing fetus, it is imperative that women in any trimester of pregnancy, women who are planning to become pregnant, and their male sexual partner follow recommendations for prevention,” Dr. Raul Pino, the commissioner of the state Department of Public Health said in a statement.

The virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites, but the CDC has suggested that sexual transmission might be more common than was known before the recent outbreak in the Americas.

Pregnant women are urged to postponing travel to areas where Zika virus is circulating among mosquitoes and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites if travel is necessary.

Men who travel to endemic areas should abstain from sexual activity with a pregnant partner, or use condoms, for the duration of the pregnancy.

“We are working with the CDC, obstetricians and physicians throughout the state to test any pregnant woman who has recently returned from countries where Zika is present, and I encourage any woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant and returning from one of those countries to consult with their physician to determine if testing is appropriate,” said Pino said. “While we have not had any positive Zika tests in Connecticut, we remain vigilant in our monitoring of this situation and will continue to keep the public informed.”

Dr. Philip Armstrong, a medical entomologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said the mosquito species that is primarily responsible for transmission of Zika virus to people is not found in Connecticut.

A closely related species is found in parts of the state, but it is present in low numbers and unlikely to present a risk of Zika virus infection to people, according to the Department of Public Health.

When the CAES traps mosquitoes between June and
October, they will be testing for Zika virus.

The most common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Router Failure Took Down Middletown 911 System


Middletown’s 911 phone system has been restored after being down for several hours on Thursday.

The city's 911 service was interrupted around 1 p.m. on Thursday, when a state-maintained router failed, and the phone company rerouted Middletown’s 911 calls to Cromwell.

Middletown sent dispatchers to Cromwell and they took 911 calls from Middletown and Portland there.

The router that failed connects the local 911 system to the wider 911 fiber-optic infrastructure.  The Connecticut Department of Public Safety’s Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications reprogrammed a new router in Hartford, which was delivered and installed.

The service was restored around 4:30 p.m., according to Mayor Daniel Drew's office.

Ex-Mexico President Fox Won't Pay for Trump Wall


Another former president of Mexico blasted GOP candidate Donald Trump's idea to build a border wall, using colorful language. 

"I declare, I'm not gonna pay for that f*****g wall," ex-president Vicente Fox told Univision's anchor Jorge Ramos, in a video clip posted on Twitter Thursday. "He should pay for it; he's got the money."

The billionaire real estate mogul has made immigration one of the centerpieces of his campaign, saying on the day he announced his candidacy that Mexico was sending "rapists" and "criminals" across the border. 

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderón also had harsh words for Trump earlier in February: "We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it's going to be completely useless." 

During his conversation with CNBC's Hadley Gamble, Calderon said it was "incredible" that quite an "admirable society" like the United States had candidates like Trump.

Trump reacted with outrage on Twitter Thursday afternoon, saying Fox "horribly used the F word" and "must apologize."

"If I did that there would be a uproar!" Trump tweeted. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment. 

Asked if he's "afraid" Trump will be America's next president, Fox, who led Mexico from 2000 to 2006, said: "Not at all, democracy cannot take us to crazy people that doesn't [sic] know what's going on in the world today."

But Fox admitted he was troubled by Trump's latest decisive victory over his rivals at the Nevada caucus on Tuesday.

Fox said the Hispanics who voted for Trump are "followers of a false prophet."

He said Trump is "going to take them to the desert. And if they think they will benefit with an administration led by Donald Trump, they're wrong. They must open their eyes."

Fox said the United States "will fail if it goes to the hands of a crazy guy" and added that Trump doesn't represent Republican principles. 

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Cleanup Underway After Deadly Twister Leaves Wasteland


Residents in more than a dozen states began cleaning up Thursday afternoon after a dangerous storm system swept across the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, NBC News reported.

At least eight people were killed, including four in Virginia, as some 60 tornadoes were reported on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the storm system threatened to topple more trees as a brutal line of winds plowed through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Utility companies reported that more than 138,200 customers in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia and Maine were without power as of noon ET.

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued for Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket and Providence, while parts of upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire were under flood warnings as the storm was poised to move offshore. 

Photo Credit: Jose de Jesus

Police Arrest Suspect in Glastonbury Convenience Store Burglary


A man who is in police custody after being charged in a Plymouth convenience store burglary is also suspected of burglarizing a Citgo gas station in Glastonbury in November.

Joe L. Ellison Jr., 57, of Hartford, is suspected of breaking into the front door of the Citgo gas station at 592 Hebron Avenue on Nov. 26 and stealing packets of cigarettes from behind the counter, according to police.

Glastonbury police said the Plymouth burglary happened in December and Ellison has been in custody since.

He was not able to post the $20,000 bond in the Glastonbury case.

He has been charged with third-degree burglary, fifth-degree larceny and third-degree criminal mischief.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Rescued After Rising Waters Trap Him on River


A homeless man was rescued from the Naugatuck river after he was stranded on a small strip of land, firefighters said. 

A video taken by a Waterbury fire offical shows two firefighters traveling to the small island and helping the man with a few plastic bags into the inflatable boat. 

The man found himself surrounded by gushing water Thursday morning after he slept by the river overnight during heavy rain storms. The rising water and fast-moving current enclosed the man on the small strip of land with his belongings.

Waterbury and Beacon fire departments responded to Riverside Street in Waterbury late Thursday morning. The rescue happened just north of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, Waterbury firefighters said. 

Firefighters deployed a rescue boat upstream and the man was safely brought back to land unharmed, Beacon Hose company said. 

Photo Credit: Waterbury Fire Department

Burglar Stole $1,600 from Stratford Salon: Police


Someone broke into a Stratford salon overnight and stole $1,600, and police are asking for help to identify the burglar.

The burglary happened at Total Image Salon, 3645 Main Street, and police released images of the man suspected of being involved.

Anyone with information about the burglary or who can identify the man should call Detective Delauri at

Photo Credit: Stratford Police

Man Accused of Stealing Social Securities to Collect Benefits


A New Britain man is accused of collecting almost $70,000 in unemployment benefits by using other people's social security numbers, Connecticut's criminal justice division said. 

Guillermo Salazar, 38, faces one count of first degree larceny by defrauding a public community and unemployment compensation fraud. 

Between Oct. 2007 and September 2012, Salazar collected $69,384 using three different social security numbers. One number was invalid, one belonged to a Pennsylvania woman who died and one that belonged to a woman in Texas, according to a warrant.

Salazar was arraigned and held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Mar. 1. 

He could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for defrauding and a maximum of five years and a $5,000 fine for compensation fraud. 

Car Wedged Under Tractor Trailer in West Hartford


A car was wedged under a tractor trailer in West Hartford on Thursday. 

The collision happened on New Britain Ave. around 3:45 p.m., according to West Hartford's fire department.

A woman driving the car in the right lane struck the tractor trailer. After getting wedged under the truck, the woman was able to climb out of her window, West Hartford Fire Department said.

Both drivers did not sustain injuries.

Wreckers are on the scene to clear the accident.

It was not clear if arrests or tickets have been issued. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

State of Emergency for More Utility Crews to Restore Power


Gov. Dannel Malloy declared a limited State of Emergency to help accelerate power restoration following last night's storm.  

The assitance will bring in utility crews from out of the state to help with outages caused by last night's heavy rain and strong winds which knocked out power for thousands.

"This declaration is necessary to allow utility crews from Canada to enter the United States and help with power restoration in the state," Malloy said. "I am committed to do everything in my authority to help the residents of the state who are still without power and this declaration will help that effort."

The governor's office said the effort will help Eversource achieve its goal of 99 percent of power restoration by Thursday evening. Before Malloy's announcement, Eversource tweeted that it expects a majority of power to be restored by Friday evening.

Justice Breyer: Scalia's Death Won't Impact Most Votes


Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said Thursday he doesn't expect the death of Justice Antonin Scalia to drastically change the high court's output, noting that only a small number of cases turn on a tie-breaking vote, NBC News reported.

"We'll miss him, but we'll do our work," Breyer told NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams in a conversation at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

The court is left with only eight members until President Obama nominates Scalia's successor and the Senate approves that choice. During that time, in 4-4 rulings the lower court ruling remains in effect, with no precedent, legal experts say.

Breyer, speaking at an event to promote his latest book, pointed out that, historically, half of the high court's decisions are unanimous, and maybe 20 percent turn on a 5-4 vote.

Photo Credit: AP

DCF Workers Left Kids With Sex Offender: Report


A report revealed that several Department of Children and Families employees have been suspended after learning that two children in Willimantic, Connecticut, were left in the care of a couple who are on sex-offender and child-abuse registries. 

"I am very troubled by the decisions made in this matter, and we are now conducting a human resources investigation involving several staff from the Willimantic office," DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said.

Last year, a 1-year-old and an infant were left with a father who is a registered sex offender and a mother who is on a child-abuse registry despite a child-abuse hotline complaint, the Hartford Courant reported

In Aug. 2015, the DCF office director learned of the family's arrangement and the children were immediately removed from the home, Katz said in a statement. The Courant reported that action was taken four months after the complaint was filed.

The children were not harmed.

An investigation is underway at the agency and it will be decided what disciplinary action will be taken, Katz told NBC Connecticut. 

"We must and will hold ourselves accountable," Katz said in an email. "We will impose discipline up to and including termination as warranted by the facts identified in our investigation process."

Katz told the Courant on Wednesday that she is aware of serious mistakes and human errors that have occurred within the agency. She defended the DCF by saying maltreatment of children since her appointment in 2011 is 0.2 percent of foster families in Connecticut. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Illustration

Mom Fled After Toddler Ejected From Car in Crash: Police


An Albuquerque woman is accused of driving away after her child was ejected from her vehicle in a freeway crash and has been booked into jail on suspicion of abandonment or abuse of a child.

Albuquerque police say Georgette Vigil, 36, lost control of her SUV, slammed it into a concrete wall on Interstate 40 on Monday evening and then fled the scene of the crash. Vigil's 18-month-old daughter was ejected from the car while strapped in a car seat and left behind on the roadside.

Vigil was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque on Wednesday after being treated for injuries stemming from the crash, police said.

The child sustained cuts but did not suffer any life-threatening injuries and is expected to survive, said Officer Tanner Tixier, a police spokesman.

It was not known Tuesday if Vigil had an attorney, and the public defenders office did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A retired state police officer who saw the crash tracked Vigil to a Southeast Albuquerque apartment complex, police said. On Thursday, the Albuquerque Police Department released body camera footage of officers interviewing Vigil at the complex on Monday following the crash.

The video shows officers asking the mother of two what happened to her head as she approaches the door with a bloodied face. Another child, who police say was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, comes to the door crying.

"Where is your baby at?" an officer asks Vigil.

"I think it flew out," Vigil says. "I didn't know what to do."

The officer asks Vigil if the toddler was OK, but the mother says she doesn't know. "I just want to go to sleep," Vigil wails.

Vigil admits to police that she had "a pint" to drink about "an hour, 30 minutes" before the accident, repeatedly telling officers "I did wrong."

In 911 recordings released Tuesday, callers reported the vehicle crossed several lanes of traffic before wrecking, and the driver left the scene.

"There's been an accident, and a baby's injured," one caller said. "The SUV was going really fast on the freeway."

She said a number of people had pulled over at the scene before officers and paramedics arrived.

Another caller who told a 911 operator he saw the wreck and was following the vehicle reported it had a rear flat tire and other signs of damage. Another child remained in the vehicle with no seatbelt, he told the operator.

Police later said that child, age 4, suffered minor injuries.

Police are also seeking a man who was in Vigil's vehicle when it crashed and who allegedly ran from the scene. They identified him Tuesday afternoon as James Moquino, 34.

"Officers are continuing to investigate this complicated and heartbreaking case and are still gathering information," Tixier said.

Police have not said how long the child was on the highway before help arrived.

The Children, Youth and Families Department confirmed to NBC affiliate KOB that the 18-month-old child is currently in state custody. The other child is in the custody of a family member, KOB reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

Photo Credit: Albuquerque Police Dept.

CT STEM Academy Building Condemned From Storm Damage


Storm damage in Wallingford is forcing an afterschool enrichment academy to find a new location where students can learn.

Strong winds from the overnight storm knocked down a 40 foot antenna and ripped a hole in the roof, allowing torrential rain to leak into the building on Washington Street.

"The entire building got soaked right down to the first floor," said Chris Stone, the director of CT STEM Academy.

Thursday night’s class on natural disasters was cancelled after town officials roped off and condemned the building.

“It almost sounded like hurricane strength force winds,” Stone said.

While he woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of wind gusts whipping through Wallingford, Stone said did not expect to discover a classroom in the morning with chunks of the ceiling scattered across the floor.

“From what I understand the building is not usable and I’ve heard the words condemned used,” he said.

Stone spent the afternoon recovering what he could, including expensive robotics equipment. Some boxes he carried out of the building are more soaked than others.

“We’re really trying to salvage as many materials as we can so we can continue to offer those programs to kids,” Stone said.

Nearby facilities have already offered space to house CT STEM programs in the spring, Stone said.

CT STEM offers after school and summer programs for 4th through 8th graders interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live