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Three Waterbury Principals Face Disciplinary Action


Three Waterbury elementary school principals could face disciplinary action because of what they posted online.

District officials first received a complaint from the local teacher's union regarding Kingsbury Elementary Principal Eric Brown.

During the investigation, officials say they found inappropriate public posts on Brown's Facebook page.

One was a video showing elderly women smoking marijuana which had offensive language. Another was a picture saying "Tomorrow is National Slap Your Irritating CoWorker [sic] Day." The one that was considered the most offensive by officials was described as "sexual in nature where children are involved."

"It depicts an animated character in front of what appears to be a school with a soundtrack of children playing in a playground behind it, and at best, it's disgusting," said Waterbury Public Schools Director of Personnel for Education Robert Brenker.

Following the investigation into Brown, district officials began investigating the Facebook pages of other school administrators and found two others with what they deemed to be inappropriate content.

One picture of "Toy Story" characters had the captioning "Drunk teachers. Drunk teachers everywhere." Officials say that was posted by Wendell Cross Elementary Principal Joseph Amato.

Officials say one of the inappropriate posts Generali Elementary Principal Kathy Stamp shared was a picture of Morgan Freeman with the caption "Respect is taught at home. If your kid is a disrespectful [expletive] , it's your fault. Not society's or a video games [sic] fault. Yours."

Brown was placed on paid administrative leave. The other two principals are still working. Officials say they're working to determine what "corrective action" needs to be taken.

During the investigation, Brown told officials he thought the posts were private. He added that they're "jokes" and said "I don't see anything wrong with them" when asked if the posts were compliant with the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators.

This isn’t the first time Brown has been investigated by the district. Officials say while Brown was principal at Walsh Elementary School, the local teachers union raised concerns about the way Brown treated teachers. He was demoted to Assistant Principal at Kingsbury. Brown successfully appealed through arbitration and became principal of Kingsbury, just a short time before he was placed on paid leave for the social media postings.

For the social media investigation, it was determined Brown violated that code as well as the Waterbury Board of Education's policy regarding drug, tobacco, and alcohol, its policy for a drug-free workplace, as well as its guidelines for social media.

The investigation determined Amato violated the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators as well as the Waterbury BOE's social media and drug and alcohol policies.

The investigation determined Stamp violated the Connecticut Code of Professional Responsibility for School Administrators as well as the Waterbury BOE's social media guidelines.

"These people represent the school system in Waterbury. Their posts were public information. That's not how Waterbury intends its schools to be portrayed. We have an excellent school system. We have many good things in the school system. We don't need this as the face of our school system," said Brenker.

Brenker says at the beginning of the year, there is social media training. In response to the violations the school district says it's found, there are plans for another social media training class for principals and teachers soon.

17 Pups in 1 Litter


Now here’s some news to brighten up your day. A Napa, California sheepdog had 17 pups in one litter which her vet — Barney & Russum Animal Clinic of Fairfield — says might be the “biggest ever” in California.

John Costanzo of Napa Grass Farmer said in an email Monday that Stella, the farm's Maremma Sheepdog, just broke the California record for largest litter of puppies. Costanzo says Stella also broke the world record for largest Maremma sheep dog litter ever recorded.

“We had an excellent vet deliver them because it was way more than we thought,” Costanzo said. “They all made it and are healthy. The doctor said it was five more than he has ever seen in his years of practice as the biggest litter he had ever delivered was 12.”

The puppies — 11 boys and six girls — are all going to farms in California. “They are bred for livestock protection only – awesome breed,” Costanzo said.

Napa Grass Farmer raises chickens, turkeys and sheep in pastures to provide organic meat for about 200 families. “The dogs protect these animals in the pasture,” Costanzo said. “Our club members have been helping us with daily feedings.”

According to the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, Maremma is an American version of the Italian name "Maremmano-Abruzzese": "Mare" is pronounced exactky the way for a female horse, and "Emma" is pronounced like the name.

They are described as affectionate, and "some even want to hug you or nibble you."

17 Puppies and all of them made it! See how we raise our other animals and join the farm: WWW.NAPAGRASSFARMER.COM

Posted by Napa Grass Farmer on Monday, February 1, 2016

KKK Said Police Offered No Security


A Ku Klux Klan leader who was injured when his small group of demonstrators got into a bloody melee with counter-protesters in a Southern California park this weekend said Monday that he called police beforehand asking for security and was told, "We don't do that."

Will Quigg said in an interview with The Associated Press that he contacted the Anaheim Police Department but that the agency denied his requests for a police presence. The KKK then told officers that the group would hire an outside security company.

"They said, 'No, you can't do that either,'" Quigg said.

The confrontation escalated to a brawl in the street. Three people were stabbed by a KKK member, who told officers he was acting in self-defense Saturday when his group was attacked by counter-protesters during an afternoon rally near Anaheim's Pearson Park.

Five KKK members who were arrested after the brawl were released from police custody, and seven counter-protesters were facing charges. Police were searching Monday for a protester who they say was caught on video attacking a KKK member and celebrating.

"We were jumped by a mob," Quigg told NBC4, describing injuries to his wrist from being shoved to the ground. "I'm black and blue all over from getting kicked, hit with fists, lead pipes, two-by-fours."

Quigg says his group was targeted for their beliefs.

"Why is everybody against people who say, 'Hey, I'm white and proud to be white,'" Quigg said. "You're called a racist if you're proud to be white, and that is not right."

The Anaheim Police Department is facing scrutiny for its response. The department notified the public that the KKK planned to hold an anti-immigration protest at a park about 3 miles from Disneyland, but at least one witness said he saw no uniformed officers when the attack began.

Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said officers were present, but he has declined to say how many. He acknowledged that Quigg had contacted the department but believed that the group leader was asking for police to act as personal security guards.

According to Quigg, Today's Loyal White Knights are a charted church, not a lynch mob. But members of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development see it differently. They say the klan's message underscores a growing anti-immigrant sentiment.

On Monday night, they expect hundreds to gather at Pearson Park to deliver another message.

"Hatred should not be tolerated," said Ada Briceno of the OCCORD. "Anaheim is a city of kindness and we don't think that that type of hatred and decisiveness and racism not belongs in the city."

Quigg claims his group is not against any one race, but believe that all races should exist separately.

"When you put a bunch of different cultures and heritages together there are going to be problems," he said.

A coalition of community and faith leaders planned to gather Monday night to draw attention to what they call racist rhetoric.

Photo Credit: Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, CSU San Bernardino

Crisis Team at Shelton High After Student Killed in Crash


Crisis counselors were on hand to greet students at Shelton High School Monday morning, just a day after the death of a classmate.

Edmund Conklin, a 17-year-old senior and member of the basketball team, was killed in a crash on Bridgeport Avenue early Sunday morning, according to police.

Conklin was driving on Bridgeport Avenue between the Crown Point Plaza and Long Hill Cross Road at 4:45 a.m. when the accident occurred. When police arrived they found Conklin’s vehicle rolled over and Conklin outside the vehicle. He was transported to the hospital for treatment but he did not survive his injuries.

Some students came to the school Sunday night to talk with the school's crisis team, others will be offered counseling Monday morning.

"The students are hurt and bewildered and looking for support and we're there for them," Chris Clouet, superintendent of schools said outside Shelton High on Monday.

The school's crisis team is made up of specially trained psychologists and teachers who know the students, Clouet said.  A special room was made available for any students who were having trouble going to their regular classes, he said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Shelton High School

Woman Charged With Threatening Limo Driver Over Bill


A Connecticut woman celebrating her 50th birthday in style has been charged with robbing her own limousine driver and threatening to shoot up the limo in a Willimantic parking lot.

Police arrested Melanie Roberts, 50, of Willimantic shortly after midnight on Monday. They said Roberts had just returned from a birthday bash in New York City when she got into a dispute with her limo driver over the amount due for the ride.

According to police, Roberts took the keys from the limo, ran into her house and got a loaded 9mm pistol, then went back outside, threatening to shoot out the tires of the car. She stole a GPS device and a clipboard containing money and her contract from inside the limo, police said.

Roberts took off and the driver called 911. Police found her in the same parking lot off Jackson Street a few minutes later.

Roberts was charged with first-degree robbery, larceny, breach of peace, second-degree threatening and carrying a firearm under the influence.

She was held on $35,000 bond after facing a judge on Monday. Prosecutors said Roberts has struggled with mental health issues, so the judge placed her on a medical and mental health watch.

Information on an attorney for Roberts was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police

1 Dead After App Sends Israeli Soldiers Into Refugee Camp


A Palestinian was shot dead during a riot sparked when two Israeli soldiers got lost using a cellphone navigation app and strayed into refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, officials said Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

The soldiers were not familiar with the area and the app took them the shortest possible route, which was directly through the refugee camp, said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

Clashes broke out after the two soldiers accidentally entered the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, on Monday night

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said one Palestinian was shot and killed and four others were wounded by live ammunition. Another 12 were injured by rubber bullets, according to the ministry.

Photo Credit: AP

Black Candidate's Office Shot in Apparent Racial Attack


Five people were taken into custody and questioned late Monday in connection with the apparent racially motivated shooting at a Texas campaign office, police said. 

Zena Stephens, an African-American woman and university police chief at Prairieview A&M, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Jefferson County sheriff position. Her campaign office in Beaumont, Texas, was shot at by a white male who drove up in his vehicle and yelled racial slurs before opening fire, Stephens, who was standing outside her campaign headquarters at the time of the incident, told NBC News.

Stephens' father, mother, and niece were in the building along with roughly 22 other people and a handful outside. No one was injured in the shooting.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
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Rain Tonight, Clearing Tomorrow


Showers are expected after 10 p.m., and steady rain will move in after midnight.

While there can be some pockets of heavy rain, there will also be breaks in the action. By the morning commute, the rain should be fairly light.

On average, a half inch of rain is expected.

Tomorrow turns out to be quite sunny by the afternoon hours, but it will be cold.

Temperatures plunge during the day, falling into the 30s by lunchtime! It will be windy, too.

Lots of sunshine is expected Thursday, with high temperatures barely reaching freezing.

It will be cold again on Friday with highs near freezing. Snow showers are expected as a large ocean storm passes by New England. Snow accumulation is unlikely.

The weekend should start dry on Saturday with highs near 40 degrees, but more snow showers are possible on Sunday with highs near 40 again.

A major warm-up is expected next week. Click here for more.

Natural Snow Expected Tonight in Ski Country


Though Connecticut will see rain, snow will finally fall in northern New England tonight.

Nearly a half foot of new snow is expected on the spine of the Green Mountains north of Stowe.

Jay Peak should be in the jackpot, as is typically the case, with over a half foot of new snow.

According to data from the University of Vermont, the snow depth at the Mt. Mansfield snow stake is 34 inches.

Snow data on Mt. Mansfield dates back to 1954-1955. The long-term average depth peaks on March 22 at 75 inches, so this season will likely fall well under that.

Any amount of natural snow is desperately needed.

Recently, the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers or VAST, posted on Facebook explaining to snowmobiliers "Well, this winter stinks! There is just no way around it."

Many ski and snowmobile trails remain closed due to the lack of natural snow.

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Stocks Gain After Manufacturing Report


U.S. stocks were up Tuesday after a better-than-expected report on U.S. manufacturers, CNBC reported.

February ISM manufacturing came in at 49.6, about 1 point higher than expected and better than 48.2 from the prior month. But anything under 50 percent shows that companies are cutting back instead of expanding and the index has still been under that threshold for five straight months, Marketwatch reported.

Still, the Dow was up 200 points in mid-morning trading, led by Goldman Sachs and IBM. IT and financials led other sectors on the S&P 500.

Photo Credit: AP

Boy Left in Trash-Filled Hallway


A New York City mother is angry after watching a video she says shows her son being left inside a trash-filled stairwell as an apparent means of discipline at his pre-kindergarten school. 

The video, recorded about a week ago by a school worker, was sent anonymously to community advocate Tony Herbert, who spoke to reporters Monday alongside the boy's mother, Fatima Scipio. 

In the footage, the 4-year-old boy is seen throwing and kicking around trash bags in an isolated stairwell used to hold trash at PS 198 in East Harlem, Scipio said. He was sent there after he began acting out in the classroom.

Scipio said her son had been getting into trouble at school but didn't know what prompted the change in his behavior.

"I get numerous call from the school each and every day that my son has spit, kicked and did all of these things," she said. "I have asked the school, 'What are you guys doing to my child while he is in the school? What is the reason for him to behave in this manner? What is going on with my child at school?' And no one can answer me."

When she saw the video of her son lashing out while being left alone in the trash-filled stairwell, Scipio realized what was happening. 

"When he starts to to have his tantrums, that's where they place him," she said. 

"I knew about the behavior issues. I didn't know he was being left in a stairwell," she added. 

Scipio said the school's manner of dealing with her son's behavior is inappropriate.

"My child is a human being. For them to treat my child in this manner, I'm flabbergasted and floored," said the mother.

Scipio said her son was the "sweetest" child while attending day care last year.

"He started this school in September — why all of a sudden has he turned from the sweetest kid to mean and angry and upset?" said Scipio. 

She said she attributes the change in her son's behavior to the people around him and she wants her son placed in a different school.

The Department of Education did not return multiple calls for comment Monday evening.

The video was sent to Herbert's office, who in turn alerted the mother. She said she doesn't know who recorded the video but is grateful it came to light. 

Bill Gates Tops Forbes' 2016 World's Billionaire List


Bill Gates remains the world's richest person with a current net worth of $75 billion, down from $79.2 billion a year ago, according to Forbes' annual ranking of billionaires in the Mar. 21, 2016 issue. 

The Microsoft co-founder has taken the top spot for 17 of the last 22 years. Right behind Gates was Amancio Ortega with $67 billion, followed by Warren Buffet with $60.8 billion. Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helú was at number four after dropping two spots, and his net worth decreased to $50 billion from $77.1 billion last year. Meanwhile, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, moved up to the fifth spot from number 15 last year with a net worth of $45.2 billion.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest gainer on the list at number six. He broke into the top 10 on the list for the first time, adding $11.2 billion to his fortune for a total net worth $44.6 of billion.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump made the list at number 34 with his fortune valued at 4.5 billion. The real estate mogul spent only $18 million of his vast fortune on his White House bid so far, Forbes noted. 

But the total number of billionaires was slightly down this year to 1,810 from 1,826 in 2015. The total net worth for this year’s billionaires was $6.48 trillion, down from $7.05 trillion last year.

The U.S. has the most billionaires on the list with 540 total, followed by China with 251, Germany with 120, India with 84, and Russia with 77. A wealth of billionaires is concentrated in California where there are 131, including 9 newcomers.

The U.S. also boasts the most women on the list with 65, although the overall number of women is down on the list to 190 from 197 in 2015. The list includes thirty-three women who are self-made billionaires. Hong Kong newcomer Zhou Qunfei, whose Her Lens Technology went public in 2015, is the richest woman on Forbes' list. 

This year, 198 billionaires were new to the list, with China adding 70, the most of any country. The U.S. followed with 33.

Sixty-six of the billionaires are under 40 this year, including Norway's Alexandra Andresen, 19, and her 20-year-old sister Katharina Andresen. The sisters, heiresses to a family fortune built on tobacco, are the world’s youngest billionaires. 

A few people are missing from the list this year, including American fashion designer Tory Burch. Forbes attributed the change to the decreasing value of luxury fashion brands. 

The billionaire list is determined by a snapshot of wealth taken on Feb. 12, 2016 when stock prices and exchange rates are locked in from around the world. Individuals on the list must be worth a minimum of $1 billion apiece to make the list.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has a net worth of $2.9 billion, graced the Forbes cover this year, which marks the magazine's 30th edition of the billionaire list.


Photo Credit: AP
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Alexion Celebrates Opening of New Global Headquarters in New Haven


Alexion Pharmaceutical leaders and elected government officials held a ribbon-cutting for the brand new global headquarters at 100 College Street in New Haven Monday morning.

Ten-year-old Cannon Sittig and his family attended the ceremony, which coincided with Rare Diseases Day, a global effort increasing awareness for improved diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases.

"Cannon has been on a fantastic treatment that Alexion makes since he was 5-years-old," his mother Deborah Sittig told NBC Connecticut. "He’s thriving and we’re really blessed."

Deborah’s son has a rare metabolic bone disease called Hypophosphatasia.

"His body doesn’t make enough of the enzymes that helps bones mineralize properly," she said, "So he’s got, in essence, soft bones”

Cannon went through Alexion’s clinical trials for a drug the FDA approved this past October. He requires three weekly injections that are making a world of a difference in his childhood.

"When I was four I couldn’t walk at all," Cannon said, "And now I can play lacrosse, basketball and golf."

Founded in New Haven’s Science Park in 1992 by former CEO Leonard Bell, Alexion’s return to the Elm City after 16 years of being based in Cheshire is a homecoming.

"A lot of failure led to a lot of success and now we come back here to be the catalyst of a growing life sciences industry right here in New Haven," Alexion CEO David Hallal said.

In the new 14-story office and research facility, Alexion hopes to develop more treatments that give hope to families like the Sittigs.

"To find a company that’s committed to rare diseases and transforming the lives, literally changing the lives of children and adults around the world is an amazing feat," Sittig said.

About a thousand Alexion employees will work out of the new building, Hallal said, which is part of downtown New Haven’s urban revitalization.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Court Documents Describe Sexual Assault by Fake Uber Driver


Ahmad Bahjat was arraigned Monday in Meriden Superior Court for charges stemming from a sexual assault Hamden Police say occurred while he masqueraded as Uber driver.

Bahjat, an Iraqi refugee, is charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and unlawful restraint.

The arrest warrant obtained by NBC Connecticut describes a horrific experience for a Quinnipiac University student who got into Bahjat’s car on Jan. 31 because she believed he was an Uber driver.

According to the warrant, Bahjat, 29,  raped the woman in the backseat of his Nissan Sentra in an unknown apartment parking lot in Hamden.

The victim told detectives “She attempted to get out from under him, but he overpowered her” and “she told him “No”, “Stop” and “Get off” numerous times, but he did not.”

The QU student left her phone in the car after Bahjat eventually dropped her off near QU’s main campus. Police used an I-Phone locator app to track down and seize his dark gray colored car.

The court papers state police were able to identify Bahjat as their suspect because of a parking decal in the car from Southern Connecticut State University.

While at Yale-New Haven Hospital, the victim logged in to her Gmail account to see if she purchased an Uber ride and “She did not observe any transactions or receipts for payment emailed to her,” according to the warrant.

Another QU student Breanna Hegarty told NBC Connecticut she has seen people pose as Uber drivers trying to pick up passengers near Toad’s Place, the New Haven nightclub where police say the victim got into Bahjat’s car.

“I took it off my phone just because it’s not necessary there are shuttles,” Hegarty said, explaining why she no longer uses Uber. “The shuttles are safer in my opinion and you can find friends who can drive you.”

Uber reminds riders to always check to make sure the license plate on your phone app matches the one on the car picking you up for a ride.

Bahjat is being held on a $500,000 bond. His case is being transferred to New Haven court, where he is scheduled to appear on March 8.

Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images

Flo Rida Teaches Fitness Routine in Southington


Flo Rida was helping Connecticut residents fit into their "apple bottom jeans" in Southington on Tuesday. 

The hip-hop artist brought his Flo Fit workout to AM Fitness in Southington and performed along with his DVD. 

"It was awesome," said Jackie Grier. "It was the best day of my life. I'm like a kid in a candy store."

According to his fitness website, Flo Fit was created specifically for Flo Rida and keeps him "ripped and lean."

"You only got four minutes left, four minutes left!" Flo Rida told the Southington group, leading them into push-ups that he did double time.

"Now they can understand why I give tons of energy on stage because I make sure that my cardio's up," the hip-hop artist said.

The owner of AM Fitness hasn't had a celebrity lead a class like this before.

"This is the first time," said Mike Harland. "I think It was madness in here."

Several radio stations sponsored the appearance. Flo Rida currently is Number 12 on the Billboard Artist 100.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Pleads Guilty to Bizarre Fake Bomb Bank Robbery


A Maine man plead guilty to the home invasion and botched robbery that ended with a fake bomb strapped to an executive at a New Britain, Connecticut, bank.

Brian Witham plead guilty to the attempted robbery of Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain before a judge in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Tuesday.

Whitman was accused of other attempted bank robbers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He pleaded guilty to most charges in the indictment but his attorney said some charges out of North Carolina may be dismissed. 

Whitman's attorney did not give any other comment. 

Last year in February, two masked men broke into a credit union manager's home in Bristol, strapped a fake explosive device to Matthew Yussman, a 46-year-old bank manager, and tied his mom to a bed, authorities said.

Yussman had been under investigation since he was found outside the Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain on Feb. 23, 2015 strapped with what appeared to be an explosive device.

"For the whole year, they treated my son more as a suspect than as a victim," Yussman's mother, Valerie Yussman told NBC Connecticut in an exclusive interview. "I no longer believe what they say, 'you're innocent until proven guilty', you are guilty until proven innocent."

Yussman's 70-year-old mother described finding her son face down in the garage at their Bristol home with his hands tied. She allegedly overheard two assailants saying they owed money and would kill Yussman and his mother if they didn't pay up.

"I heard them talk about exposives and I heard them taping it to my son," Valerie Yussman recalled about the night of the invasion. "I worried that, you know, would my son feel the bomb if it went off?"

Police said the intruders demanded Yussman drive them to Achieve Financial Credit Union in New Britain and empty the vault, but eventually the suspects fled with nothing.

Shortly after the incident, FBI started to investigate the case. 

"I'm very happy that (Yussman) is no longer a suspect," Valerie said. "Very relieved they caught the fellas."

Tennessee investigators said 45-year-old Brian Witham and 43-year-old Michael Benanti committed similar crimes in their state: multiple attempts to extort money from federal credit union employees by taking family members hostage.

The CEO of Achieve Financial Credit Union, Andrew J. Klimkoski, said he was "pleased that closure will now come" to the event that involved its CFO, Yussman and his family.

"The public will now know the truth that we have known all along, that Mr. Yussman had no involvement in the attempted robbery and he will be vindicated by having his reputation restored in the court of public opinion," Klimkoski said. 

Charges Over 'Jailhouse Fight Club'


Three current and former San Francisco sheriff's deputies are accused of forcing jail inmates to fight each other in what authorities described as a "jailhouse fight club."

District Attorney George Gascón and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Johnson announced the charges Tuesday against deputy sheriffs Eugene Jones and Clifford Chiba and former Deputy Sheriff Scott Neu.

The three face felony and misdemeanor charges including "cruel and unusual punishment."

"These are serious crimes that damage the moral authority of law enforcment," Gascón said.

According to court documents, Neu forced county jail inmates Ricardo Palakiko-Garcia and Stanley Harris to fight each other March 5 on the seventh floor of the county jail at 850 Bryant Street.

Neu allegedly told Garcia and Harris that if they did not fight, he would handcuff them, use Mace or a Taser on them, beat them and send them to a different jail with fewer privileges, documents show. 

The two inmates fought each other because they felt they had no choice, according to Gascón.

Chiba was allegedly present and failed to stop the fight, neglecting to protect Garcia and Harris from harm, records indicate. Chiba also gave advice to one of the inmates later about how to proceed in a subsequent round, according to the documents.
The next day, Neu and Jones forced the inmates to fight a second time, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also said that between Oct. 3, 2014 and March 25, 2015, Neu ordered Harris to perform push-ups and dips and gamble in exchange for food and clothing. 

Neu is charged with 17 counts, including issuing criminal threats against inmates, inflicting cruel and unusual punishment and "inhumanity" against the inmates in his care. If convicted of all counts, Neu could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Jones is charged with similar allegations, including "willfully failing to perform an official duty." He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Chiba, the only one not charged with a felony, faces a misdemeanor charge of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment. He could face a year and six months in county jail.

Harry Stern, an attorney for the San Francisco Deputy Sheriff's Association, the deputies' union, has called the allegations "exaggerated'' and the fighting "little more than horseplay."

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the the pending charges Monday, citing sources familiar with the investigation.

The deputies’ conduct had been under investigation by both local and federal authorities since the allegations emerged in March 2015, when San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi described "gladiator style" fights under former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

Mirkarimi was later voted out of office.

It's the second recent high-profile case involving jail guards charged with crimes against inmates.

Three Santa Clara County jail guards are currently in the midst of a preliminary hearing after they were accused of beating inmate Michael Tyree to death in August. The guards have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Ran Craigslist Puppy and Kitten Scam: Police


Hartford police have arrested a man they say was running a Craigslist scam offering to sell puppies and kittens.

Quincy Wilson, 22, of East Suffield was arrested on Groton Street Monday.

According to police, Wilson would advertise the animals on Craigslist and then would meet up with potential buyers.  When money was exchanged, Wilson would take off without turning over a puppy or kitten, police said.

Detectives have been investigating the alleged scam for two months.

"We were able to catch the suspect as he was taking the money there was obviously no cat or puppy for sale," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

The latest ad on Craigslist read "re-homing Persian cat small re-homing fee." The ad called it "urgent" because the seller said he was joining the army. according to police.

"He’s targeting people that are essentially going to be suckered into this thing, who are ripe to be victims," said Foley.

Wilson is charged with criminal attempt to commit larceny and criminal trespass.

Police are also investigating fraudulent concert ticket sales in the same area.  They expect to make additional arrests.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Lawmakers Hear Testimony on 'Yes Means Yes' Sex Assault Bill


State lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on a bill to establish "affirmative consent" as the threshold in campus investigations of sexual assault.

The bill would create an understanding that consent would be and "active, clear and voluntary agreement" by a person to engage in sexual activity.

All public and private state universities would be subject to the law if it were to pass.

A similar bill passed the State Senate last year, but was never voted on in the State House of Representatives before the end of the legislative session.

Sen. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) and State Rep. Gregory Haddad (D-Mansfield) introduced the bill this year.

Among those who spoke at Tuesday's hearing was Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. In a statement, he said:

“When it comes to the safety and well-being of our students we simply cannot be overly diligent. We are united at CSCU to improve prevention, education, response, and support services. Further still, we are committed to not just providing a safe campus, but in fostering a campus culture that actively acknowledges and confronts the realities of rape, sexual assault and intimate partner violence on our campuses and in our communities. I strongly urge the support of this bill, which brings a standard definition of affirmative consent to higher education institutions across our state.”

Baby Sitter Sentenced to 20 Years in Child's Death


The baby sitter found guilty of manslaughter in the death of a 19-month-old New Haven boy was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.

The sentence for Kinjal Patel will be suspended after 14 years.

Patel was baby sitting the boy when he suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital in January 2014. The child later died. Police said the toddler had a severely fractured skull, bruises on his chin and cuts on the inside of his mouth and tongue.

After Patel was arrested, she admitted to becoming angry with the toddler and forcing him to the floor, where he hit his head and started to cry and convulse, police said.

Patel plead guilty under the Alford Doctrine, which means she maintains her innocence, but agreed to plead to the manslaughter charge.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department
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