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Three Sex Assaults Reported Within Two Weeks at Trinity College


Three sex assaults were reported in a two-week time frame on a busy college campus in Hartford.

The Trinity College campus safety office maintains a daily crime log at its headquarters on Vernon Street. Late Tuesday morning, the Troubleshooters poured through Trinity's crime and fire logs daring back to Dec. 1, 2015.

According to those documents, three seperate sex assaults were reported at Trinity throughout the month of February.

The first sex assault labled "forcible rape" reportedly took place on Feb. 13 at an on-campus residence hall. However, this assault wasn't reported until three days later.

The second sex assault classified as "fondling" happened on Valentine's Day on Vernon Street.

The third assault, also deemed "fondling" happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 28 on campus.

It's unclear whether any of these three sex assualts are connected but the log books state each were handled with a "disciplinary referral."

Souces said the school did not notify the campus community of these assaults.

The Troubleshooters checked with the Hartford Police Department and their records division told NBC Connecticut they are not investigating any Trinity related incidents in recent weeks.

Trinity officials tell the Troubleshooters regarding reports of sexual misconduct that the college is guided by an interim policy.

The policy states, in part, that anyone can make a report and the school will respond promptly and equitably to all allegations of sexual misconduct, in addition to providing resource options for victims of alleged sexual assault. 

Kathy Andrews is the Interim Director of Communications at Trinity. Here is a statement she emailed Troubleshooter Jill Konopka:

We care about the safety of all members of our campus community and we care about their rights to privacy. In cases where the circumstances of an alleged incident of sexual misconduct suggest that the safety of the Trinity community is at risk, we work swiftly to notify the community. There are multiple factors involved in assessing whether or not a report of an incident calls for a timely warning or notification to the campus community. In the cases you asked about, as with any such reported incidents, we followed the federal Clery Act requirements to determine whether to notify the campus of a reported incident.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Tattoo Shop Owner Shot After Customer Missed Appointment: Police


A man shot his tattoo shop owner after showing up very late for a tattoo appointment, New Haven Police said. 

A New Haven officer was approached by the owner of Skin Art Studio on 117 Grand Avenue at 12:50 pm on Tuesday, police said.

The owner said he had been shot but it was only a "graze wound" and a second victim was in worse condition, according to the police release. The second victim was found and transported to Yale-New Haven for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his upper right leg, police said. 

Hector "Tito" Orellano, of New Haven, 25, later turned himself in to police. 

The shop owner said Orellano had missed his tattoo appointment but showed up unannounced to get the same work done, according to police. When the owner told Orellano he couldn't get his tattoo done, he became upset and pulled out his gun, police said. 

According to the shop owner, Orellano started firing his gun an unclear number of times and subsequently shot the owner and the other victim.

Orellano is a convicted felon and is being accused of first degree assault, first degree criminal attempt to commit assault, criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit. 

It is not clear if Orellano has an attorney. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Granted Ownership of 32 Seized Horses, Other Animals


The Department of Agriculture was granted ownership of 32 horses and a number of other animals seized last month as part of an animal cruelty investigation, the department said. 

The ruling was based on an agreement between the department and the horses' former owners.

The owners of the 32 horses, 78 chickens, several rabbits and two dogs seized from Fairy Tail Equine in East Hampton in February were charged with dozens of counts of animal cruelty. 

East Hampton police arrested Thomas Olajos, 36, and his wife, Melanie Olajos, 37, last Friday after an investigation by animal control officers from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.

The couple is accused of failing to provide proper food, water, veterinary care and shelter to the animals.

They were each charged with 35 counts of cruelty to animals – 32 counts for each of the horses seized and the other four counts stemming from the alleged mistreatment of two dogs, 19 rabbits and 78 chickens removed from Fairy Tail Equine on Feb. 2.

A veterinarian determined that the horses were neglected and underweight, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Many of the horses also had active lice infestation, had dermatitis and fecal material caked on their tails and legs. Officials said their manes and tails were matted and tangled.

The two dogs, both Great Danes, were so emaciated that their ribs, vertebrae and pelvic bones were visible, officials said.

One dog also had fleas, calluses on both elbows, excessive discharge in its ears, whipworms, profuse diarrhea and anemia.

The other dog, a 1-year-old old female, was underweight and also had fleas, conjunctivitis, and excessive discharge from both ears. The condition of the teeth suggested that the dog might have been chewing on rocks and dirt, officials said.

The chickens were underweight and malnourished when seized and most had little or no access to water.

Necropsies on three that were found dead during the seizure showed little content in their stomachs, minimal fat, skin lesions and intestinal perforation consistent with aggression and cannibalism.

Officials said 10 chickens also in poor condition were found in a cage in the Olajos’ house. Rabbits, found in cages throughout the house did have water and food available, but the animals and the cages were dirty, officials said.

Both Olajos were released on $10,000 non-surety bonds and are scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on March 15.

Officials said state police also arrested Thomas Olajos, who is accused of issuing a bad check to a farm in Woodbury. He was released on a $1,000 non-surety bond in that case.

Anyone who wants to donate to the care and feeding of the animals should make a contribution to the department’s Animal Abuse Cost Recovery Account.

You can make online donations by credit card here.

Photo Credit: Dept. of Agriculture

North Koreans Risk Imprisonment For Calling Loved Ones Abroad


North Korea has a high price of calling loved ones outside of the country. People there risk imprisonment for treason if they try to call those who escaped to the outside world, a human rights group said Tuesday.

The country remains one of the most isolated nations on the planet, and its phone and internet networks do not reach beyond its borders, except for visiting foreigners.

However, according to a report by Amnesty International published Tuesday, some North Koreans have been able to use illegally imported cell phones to call their friends and relatives who have escaped the country.

Most of these phones come from China but all are referred to as "Chinese cell phones" regardless of their origin. North Koreans are able to use these phones near the border, where they can connect to Chinese cell phone networks, according to the report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Loretta Lynch Doesn't Want 'To Be Considered' for Supreme Court


U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch doesn't want to be considered for nomination to the Supreme Court to take the spot formerly occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Administration insiders had concluded more than a week ago that Lynch's nomination would create an opening for Senate Republicans to demand Justice Department documents on pending investigations, and it was therefore considered a non-starter.

Lynch had been among the names floated by observers as potential nominees. Scalia, the influential conservative, died in Texas on Feb. 13.

Senate Republicans have vowed to block anyone President Obama chooses, saying the next president should choose the next Supreme Court justice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump Rolls Over Rubio as Decisive Contests Near


Donald Trump continues to deflect a steady stream of attacks from his rivals, damaging stories in the press, and regular confusion over his own policy platform to end the week as the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Meanwhile Senator Marco Rubio, the establishment candidate, appears to be on his last leg, NBC News reported. His rapid decline leaves Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a hardline conservative loathed by many party insiders, as the GOP'S last best alternative to Trump.

But while Cruz won Idaho, Trump easily won Michigan and Mississippi — the two biggest delegate prizes of Tuesday's contests — and was projected to win the Hawaii caucus. In doing so he once again dashed rivals' hopes that their efforts to drag down his campaign might finally be yielding fruit.

"I don't think I've ever had so many horrible things said about me," Trump stated in a press conference on Tuesday night.

Photo Credit: AP

Canadian PM Trudeau to Visit US


Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting the U.S. in the first such appearance by a Canadian prime minister in 19 years.

The trip to the White House on Thursday is attracting attention to Trudeau's looks, which a senior Obama administration official called "dreamy," Politico reported.

Trudeau, 44, is married to a former model and is considered a progressive warrior in Canada, where his father Pierre served as prime minister for most of the period from 1968 until 1984.

His popularity is not unlike that of Obama during his first term. In fact, Obama joked about it during their November meeting in the Philippines at APEC, a gathering which promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Man Saves Woman From Fire


A good Samaritan walking near a Fallbrook home as a fire broke out heard an elderly woman screaming and ran inside to save her, fire officials told NBC 7 San Diego. 

Firefighters responded to a call for a significant house fire around 3:15 p.m. on the 2900 block of Rainbow Valley Boulevard in San Diego County's Fallbrook neighborhood, said John Buchanan, with North County Fire. 

When crews pulled up on scene, they heard a woman screaming from inside the house as flames burst from the roof. 

Firefighters geared up and went inside, but before they could find the woman, Buchanan said, a man came out of the house with the homeowner. 

The woman, in her 80s, believed to be the only occupant of the home, was taken to the burn center with life-threatening injuries. 

When officials spoke with the man who helped her out, they learned he had just been walking by the home when he heard the woman screaming. He ran into the house to save her, fire officials said, and left shortly after saving her. He was not injured by the fire. 

The raging blaze took crews one hour to put out, Buchanan said. 

The house's damages totaled about $250,000.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: John Buchanan, North County Fire Protection District

Boy Who Inspired '#D-Strong' Movement Dies


 Dorian Murray, the "D" in "D-Strong", who gained attention around the world with his wish to become famous, has died.

The 8-year-old boy from Westerly, Rhode Island had been battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer, since he was 4. His family made the difficult decision late last year to stop chemotherapy after cancer cells spread into his spinal fluid.

Late last night, a close friend of the family posted on the Praying for Dorian Facebook page " It is with a very heavy heart that I share this news. Dorian J. Murray (‪#‎dstrong‬) has gained his beautiful angel wings tonight and is now pain free. He was surrounded by people who love him and his transition to heaven was very peaceful. He was embraced by both mom and dad."

His family has created a foundation in his name.

Photo Credit: Praying for Dorian/Facebook

'Massive' Seattle Explosion Injures 9 Firefighters


An explosion in Seattle injured nine firefighters early on Wednesday and leveled several buildings in the area, NBC News reported.

The Seattle Fire Department said eight firefighters and a battalion chief were transported to the hospital following the "massive explosion" in the northern suburb of Greenwood.

At least 17 fire vehicles were at the scene after one resident described as "an extremely loud boom."

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion or how the firefighters were injured. NBC News was unable to immediately reach fire officials for more information.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File

Mich. Win Rescues Sanders Campaign Ahead of Key Primaries


Bernie Sanders' victory in Michigan's Democratic primary on Tuesday was a big upset for front-runner Hillary Clinton in a state where polls had showed him far behind, and proving once again that he is a competitor when most had counted him out.

The Vermont senator is still far from catching up to Clinton, who won a commanding victory in Mississippi's primary Tuesday night and holds a significant delegate lead. Sanders headed into Tuesday's contests about 200 delegates behind Clinton, not including so-called superdelegates, and desperately needed a win to remain a legitimate contender in the race.

The Michigan victory, Sanders' first in a big and relatively diverse state, buys his campaign a lifeline and puts him back on a path that could at least conceivably end in him accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in July. And it underscores still lingering weaknesses with Clinton's candidacy.

Just as Clinton and her allies began moving to ease Sanders aside and prepare for the general election, the results in Michigan suddenly make next Tuesday's contests here in Ohio, and in Missouri and Illinois, seem more competitive.

Photo Credit: AP
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Hartford May Ask State for Financial Help: Sources


The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned Hartford city leaders are looking into the possibility of asking the state for help dealing with their troubled finances.

Multiple sources familiar with the Hartford's financial situation tell the Troubleshooters, legislation could be finalized as soon as tomorrow that would open the door for state oversight.

Those sources tell the Troubleshooters, a meeting is set for tomorrow night in the mayor's office to review a draft oversight board statute that would then be submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly.

Over the past couple of weeks, Mayor Luke Bronin has said that every option is on the table when it comes to getting Hartford's finances in line and balancing the budget.

Waterbury was the last Connecticut municipality to seek state oversight when the legislature established a financial review board in March of 2001.

The specific goal in that case was balancing the city's budget for five straight years, And that review board maintained control of Waterbury's finances until 2007.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2 Injured in Bethel Bus Crash


A bus for an organization that provides services for people with disabilities collided with a Dodge Durango on Route 6 in Bethel and the drivers of both vehicles were injured.

Police said the crash, involving a bus for Ability Beyond, happened on Route 6, at Garella Road and the driver of the bus complained of a minor head injury.

Three passengers on the bus did not complain of injuries, but were all transported to the hospital as a precaution.

The driver of the Dodge Durango complained of chest pain and was also transported to the hospital.

Police are investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

'Virgin' Daughter Ad Draws Backlash


A Christian magazine has apologized for running an ad that offered up a suburban Chicago father’s virgin bride to potential suitors.

Published in the jobs section of Christianity Today's March print edition, the ad titled “Son-In-Law” was posted by a self-described Wheaton church elder and Chicagoland chief financial officer.

“Her: godly, gorgeous, athletic, educated, careered, humorous, traveled, bilingual, 26-year-old virgin,” the ad wrote. “You: unworthy, though becoming less so daily.”

Those interested in the position were given his email address to “apply.” A website, said to be his daughter's personal blog, has since been deleted, but a cached version identified the woman as Rachel Stewart, The Daily Beast reported.

The ad gained attention when Rachel wrote in a now-deleted post that she was "impressed" with her dad's bold move.

“At least it's appropriate they placed it in the Employment Opportunities section,” she wrote. “Putting up with this father-in-law's shenanigans is a full time job, without any paid vacation.”

Although she poked fun at the listing, others weren't amused. Once it started making the rounds on social media with a flurry of backlash, the online version was quickly removed.

The Carol Stream-based magazine's editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, told the Chicago Tribune that he agrees the ad should have never been printed. 

"It's a man who is trying to market his daughter," he said. "It's demeaning in this day and age."

In an apology posted to Twitter, Christianity Today vowed it would be taking a “hard look” at its ad review process to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

Rachel Stewart, though, still finds amusement in the ad, even going so far as to call it "remarkable" in another blog post, The Daily Beast uncovered.

At one point her father had even told her in person that he was planning on "investing financially" into finding her a husband, according to The Daily Beast. To which, she was "impressed, but not surprised."

“I’m just nervous if this doesn’t work out, next I’ll find my face plastered on a billboard,” she wrote. “Oh gosh, now I’m giving him ideas.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Branford Man Arrest on Child Porn Charge


A Branford man who was accused of sexually assaulting a boy for three years has now been arrested on a child pornography charge.

Police said they started investigating Frank Cole, 67, of Branford, in late 2014 and found around 1,700 images of child pornography on his computer.

Detectives worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to determine who approximately 50 children depicted were and said many were located in other countries.

“As far as we can determine, none of the photos have been connected to any children in Branford.” Detective Arthur Ferris said in a statement.

Cole was charged with possession of child pornography and was released on a $100,000 bond.

He is scheduled to appear in New Haven Court on March 15 in connection with this case.

Branford police arrested Cole in July after an 18-year-old man contacted authorities in 2014 and said Cole sexually assaulted him from June 2011 to January 2014. The arrest report listed him as a retired bus driver.

Cole in due in court tomorrow on the initial charges, which include first-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a child and second-degree sexual assault.

Photo Credit: Branford Police

Teacher Investigated for Possible Inappropriate Touching


Police are investigating a possible inappropriate touching incident involving a teacher at Joseph Melillo Middle School in East Haven.

Police said they started investigating on March 4 but did not release any additional information because of the nature of the incident and the ongoing investigation.

Officials from the superintendent’s office said the individual is a teacher who was removed from the building and placed on paid administrative leave.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

US Captured ISIS' Chemical Weapons Specialist: Official


An ISIS official captured by U.S. Special Operations Forces is a chemical weapons specialist and a "key operator" in terrorist and military operations, a senior defense official told NBC News

The detainee was identified as Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, an expert in chemical and biological weapons who formerly worked for Saddam Hussein's regime.

"He's a bad guy," according to one US official.

Under interrogation by the U.S. military, al-Afari has reportedly provided valuable information regarding ISIS chemical weapons and operations. The Americans are expected to turn al-Afari over to Kurdish forces by the end of this week.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

3 Hurt in Crash on Berlin Turnpike


Three people were injured in a two-car crash on Route.5/15 in Berlin at Route 9.

The injuries are not life-threatening and the highway is open, but police are asking people to avoid the area.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Moving to Canada? Experts Say It's All Talk So Far


Internet searches for "move to Canada" have hit an all-time high as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rack up primary election wins, but are many Americans actually preparing to jump ship?

Not that we could find.

Government records show the number of Americans applying to live in Canada has remained relatively stable through December, and a handful of immigration lawyers interviewed in both countries say they aren't fielding any more requests than usual.

"It's a good little line at cocktail parties, but there's no one acting on it," Washington, D.C.-based immigration lawyer David M. Morris said.

Morris, who has shepherded Americans through moves abroad for 25 years, said he hasn't seen talk about moves to Canada result in a spike in inquiries to his office. Attorneys Charles W. Pley in Oakville, Ontario, and Amy R. Novick in Washington also said they hadn't seen any recent boost in plans to move to the Great White North.

Dozens of news outlets published essays and blog posts about Americans threatening to flee after Google shared data that showed a spike in searches for "move to Canada" on Super Tuesday.

Clinton and Trump each piled up seven wins then across the country, and Trump picked up three more states -- Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii -- last night, while Clinton won Mississippi and Bernie Sanders won Michigan.

The travel website Kayak ran a sweepstakes giving away 10 one-way tickets to Canada "for those who are debating a move," and a resident of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, launched a website encouraging Americans to relocate there if Trump wins.

But Pley, the Ontario-based attorney, said the talk hadn't resulted in any visa applications.

"It's definitely kind of the chatter, but in reality I'm not seeing it," he said.

In Toronto, immigration lawyer Heather N. Segal said Americans in Canada on vacation or for business are testing the waters for staying on a longer-term basis. Other clients already considering moves to Canada said a Trump presidency would be the last straw.

"When people call me to come to Canada or get a work permit, they say, 'Hey, how hard is it?' or 'I may be calling you in a few months,'" Segal said. “I have this conversation a few times a week."

Still, none of her clients agitated by the presidential race have decided to take the plunge.

Statistics provided by the Canadian immigration office show relatively steady numbers of permanent residence applications by Americans from January through December 2015, the most recent month for which data is available. Between 370 and 630 Americans applied each month, with no clear trends from month to month.

Americans similarly threatened to move to Canada when George W. Bush was re-elected president.

Data shows Canada did see a 20 percent influx in the number of permanent residents from the U.S. between 2004 and 2005. That figure continued to climb during Bush's second term -- hitting 10,187 people in 2008. The number of Americans in the country had not been so high since 1981.

A Canada resident who moved from New York City in 2005 after she "lost hope" in the country she saw plagued by "endless wars" told The Guardian she breathes a sigh of relief when she returns from the U.S. to her adopted home.

"God, I’m so glad to be out of that crazy country," she said.

The number of Americans registered as permanent residents of Canada began to fall in 2009, when President Barack Obama began his first term, dropping 11 percent to 8,995 people.

As of Dec. 2015, about 7,519 Americans were registered as permanent residents of Canada. Data on why they emigrated was not available.

While data doesn't show a boost in attempts to move to Canada, Americans may be visiting the country more. 

The travel company Kayak saw a 9 percent increase in searches for flights from the U.S. to Canada between Jan. 1 to March 3, Super Tuesday, 2015 and the same period this year. But the company can't say what's driving the trend.

Americans who do want to explore moving north may find the process is more involved than they expected.

Applicants are assessed using a point system that favors people who are younger than 48, healthy and have job offers or will start a business, Segal, the Toronto-based lawyer said.

"It's not a slam dunk. You still have to go through the process," she said.

The Canadian government establishes a number of immigrants to be admitted each year. The 2016 level is expected to be discussed in the coming weeks, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada spokeswoman Nancy Caron said.

Though the latest data shows no mass exodus toward Canada, Segal said she wonders if the country will see a wave of immigration applications by Americans once presidential candidates win their parties' nominations, or after the general election in November.

"It will be interesting to see what will happen," she said.

Photo Credit: AP
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Conflicting Information Surrounds Stolen AR-15


There is conflicting information surrounding an AR-15 rifle stolen from a state police cruiser.

Initial information from authorities was that the rifle had been recovered, but authorities are no longer saying that.

It was discovered on Tuesday that the rifle and a bulletproof vest were taken from the locked trunk of a police cruiser on Rutland Road in Milford, according to state police.

According to Milford police, there were 12 car break-ins on West Rutland Road, Plains Road and Haystack Road on Tuesday morning and a green 2015 Ford Fusion with Vermont plates GHK528 was stolen at the end of the crime spree.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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