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Crystal Vase Trophy Appears in Newington Park


A crystal vase trophy showed up at a park in Newington, police said.

The vase appears to be a golf trophy with "The Zwick Pro-Am Runner Up" etched onto it. 

The Zwick Pro-Am golf tournament held in Wallingford that benefits the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. 

Anyone with information regarding the trophy or who it may belong to is asked to call Sergeant Brendan Moon at (203) 594-6246.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

Firefighters Injured in Massive Triple-Decker Fire


Several firefighters sustained minor injuries battling a massive blaze Thursday in Providence, Rhode Island.

The fire engulfed a triple-decker at 39 Eaton St. in the Elmhurst section of the city, according to necn affiliate WJAR. Flames also spread to at least two neighboring buildings due to the windy conditions.

The number of firefighters hurt was not immediately known, nor was the nature of their injuries.

Providence College said its students do live in houses on either side, but the house where the fire started was not occupied by any students.

In a statement, the school said none of its students were injured, but that it would help any students find alternate housing if they are displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Sean Patrick/WJAR

Police Search for Haddam Bank Robbery Suspect


Police are searching for the man who robbed a bank in Haddam earlier this week.

Joshua Giddings, 27, is wanted for robbery and larceny after police said he robbed money from a bank, police said.

On Mar. 28, Giddings allegedly walked in the Liberty Bank on 116 Bridge Road and demanded money from one of the employees before fleeing on foot, police said. 

The Connecticut Bankers Reward Association (CBRA) will offer a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Giddings,

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Giddings is asked to call CDMC detectives at 860-399-2100 or text TIP711 with the information to 236748.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

1 Hospitalized After Crash on I-91 North


One person has been taken to the hospital after a crash on Interstate 91 Northbound on the Cromwell-Rocky Hill line this morning.

The crash happened between exits 22 and 23 and photos showed one vehicle down an embankment.

No information was immediately available on the extent of injuries.

No information was immediately available on whether anyone is injured.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Traffic Cameras

Marine Disguised as Doctor Surprises Mom During Chemo


A 59-year-old mother of seven was shocked to discover the "doctor" helping administer her first chemotherapy treatment was actually her own son — a Marine — home on leave, "Today" reported.

It was the first time in nearly two years Mary Glasure had seen her 24-year-old son, Corey Hoffmaster, who was stationed in Arizona. Hoffmaster has been a Marine for four years and kept his homecoming a surprise.

Glasure, who suffers from breast cancer that has spread to her spine and left lung, visited the Tony Teramana Cancer Center in Steubenville, Ohio, for her first chemotherapy treatment on March 16.

Disguised as a doctor, Hoffmaster entered the exam room in scrubs and a surgical mask. When he pulled down the mask to reveal his identity, Glaser leaped from her chair and covered her face, in an emotional moment captured on camera.

Photo Credit: Cody Glasure/YouTube
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Woman Accused of Fatally Hitting Boyfriend With Car Found Not Guilty


The Bridgeport woman accused fatally slamming her car into her boyfriend years ago was found not guilty of murder, the Fairfield Clerk's Office confirmed. 

Cherelle Baldwin, 21, of Ash Street, was arrested in 2013 and charged with murder. Baldwin maintained that she rammed her car into the man because he was being abusive. 

Baldwin was accused of driving her Pontiac at her boyfriend Jeffery Brown and crushing him against a cinder-block garage wall. Police called the incident a domestic homicide.

The 24-year-old said she was acting in self-defense because Brown had chocked her with a belt before she hit him with her car. 

Last year, a hung jury has forced a judge to declare a mistrial for the case.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Disney Declaring 'War' Against Christianity: Group


A conservative organization is calling out Disney and several other companies for allegedly going to “war” on Christianity, NBC News reports.

Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz said in a statement this week that corporations “declared war” on religious freedom after Georgia passed the Free Exercise Protection Act, which would allow local businesses to refuse services to anyone whose lifestyles offended their religious sensibilities.

"Will Disney now ban you from wearing a cross outside your shirt at their parks? Will a Catholic priest be forced to remove his white collar when he takes a picture with Mickey Mouse? This is how extreme the attacks now are on religious freedom, it's a zero tolerance policy for religious freedom,” Saenz said in his statement.

A number of companies converged to put pressure on Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bill, which he did on Monday.  

Photo Credit: AP

Governor Bans State-Funded Travel to North Carolina


Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed an executive order banning state-funded travel to North Carolina in response to a controversial bill that some say discriminates against the LGBT community.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed a law on March 23 preventing local governments from protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when they use public accommodations.

That bill bans transgender individuals from using public restrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.

Malloy said the North Carolina “law is not just wrong, it poses a public safety risk to Connecticut residents traveling through North Carolina” and endangers the welfare “of all people visiting that state.”

“Nearly two decades ago, Connecticut was among the first states to pass a comprehensive anti-discrimination law concerning sexual orientation, and three years ago I proudly signed a law adding gender identity and expression to those statutes. We need to do what we can to stand up and act against laws that encourage – as a matter of public policy – discrimination and endangerment of our citizenry. It’s unacceptable, and Connecticut is acting,” Malloy said in a statement.

Malloy is also urging North Carolina businesses to move to Connecticut. 

Photo Credit: AP

82-Year-Old Man's Roommate Slashes Him in Face: Police


An 82-year-old man was slashed in the face by his roommate in New Haven, police said. 

On Mar. 29, police were dispatched to a home on Rosette Street after the victim called and said he had been stabbed in the face. 

Police found the elderly man holding a bloody towel over the lacerations on his nose and cheek. He was transported to the hospital.

An argument escalated after the victim asked his roommate Michael Gordon, 54, to move his wet towel from the dining room table because it could ruin the finish, police said. 

Gordon picked up a kitchen fight during the dispute and slashed the victim's face before taking off in his car towards Lamberton Street, the victim told police.

Gordon turned himself in on Thursday and is accused of second degree assault of an elderly person and second degree breach of peace. 

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Trump's Poll Numbers Drop as Election Looms


New polls show Donald Trump’s national position is hitting new lows, including with groups that are supposed to form his base, NBC News reports.

A collection of recent surveys by Real Clear Politics finds 63 percent of respondents hold a negative view of Trump, compared to the 30 percent who view him favorably. Another poll from Marquette University shows 70 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Trump.

Other polls show unfavorable views from women, white men and non-college whites.

Trump’s waning support isn’t just limited to the general public. Support from Republican party leaders is weak, indicating he may be unlikely to win a contested convention. 

Photo Credit: AP

Cruise Ship Crashes Into Pier


A Hornblower harbor cruise ship smashed into the Broadway Pier along San Diego's Embarcadero while docking on Thursday afternoon, jolting tourists on board and sending three people to the hospital.

A photo taken by a witness shows the ship crushing the walkway of the Embarcadero. The incident happened just before 1 p.m. in the area of North Harbor Drive and Broadway.

San Diego fire officials said seven people suffered minor injuries in the incident; four people were able to leave the boat on their own and another three were taken to the hospital.

All those injured are believed to have minor injuries, such as bumps, bruises and some pain, officials said.

Passengers on board the Adventure Hornblower, a 150-foot-long yacht, waited for two hours to get off the ship, as a tugboat worked to pull the vessel away from the pier.

Dozens were allowed off the boat just before 4 p.m., many of whom appeared stunned from the accident.

A tourist from Wisconsin said he was standing on the walkway, waiting to get on the Hornblower, when suddenly he realized something was wrong when the boat didn't slow as it was docking.

“We realized that it was coming in really hard and really fast," said Pete Sinsky of Kenosha, Wisconsin. "And the next thing we know, we are all just scrambling because the boat just crashes into the pier.”

Sinsky said his family then decided not to take the cruise ship tour on Thursday.

Fire officials said an apparent mechanical malfunction prevented the ship from stopping in time.

Attempts to reach Hornblower Cruises on Thursday afternoon were not immediately successful.

According to the Hornblower's website, the Adventure Hornblower seats 300 passengers and is certified for bay tours surrounding San Diego's skyline and for dolphin and whale watching.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Former Stamford Student Awarded $750K in Sexual Misconduct Case


A former Stamford High School student who had an inappropriate sexual relationship with an English teacher for almost nine months has reached a settlement with the city, Stamford Corporation Counsel Kathrine Emmett confirmed. 

The student was awarded $750,000 from the city after filing a claim of sexual misconduct.

The former English teacher involved, Danielle Watkins, 32, was sentenced last year on charges of sexual assault after having an intimate relationship with an 18-year-old student for months and threatening to fail him if he broke it off.

In 2013, Watkins was arrested after allegedly confronting another student at a local coffee shop. Police said she had given him marijuana while he was in her English class.

"[You and your friend] have taken everything from my: my family, my kids, my job," Watkins told the second teen, according to the victim's attorney. "I will not rest until you are both dead."

This year in Jan., the Stamford School Board voted to terminate the principal who failed to report the suspicions about Watkins to state officials or police. Last Oct., the principal, Donna Valentine, plead not guilty to criminal charges of failing to alert authorities. 

New Haven Mansion Being Repurposed into Sober House


 A 23,000 square foot mansion on Prospect Street in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood once housed artifacts explorer Hiram Bingham III brought back from South America.

“The heiress to the Tiffany jewelry family was somehow related here as well,” said David Vieau, the CEO and Founder of CT Clinical Services.

Now, the single family house is under renovation to become a home for young women from across the country seeking treatment for addiction.

“There’s a heroin epidemic going on in this country,” Vieau said, as he set up one of the bedrooms.

CT Clinical Services, also known at Turning Point, runs several similar sober houses for men in greater New Haven.

"So we’ve learned an awful lot about what property works,” Vieau said.

The new sober home is situated in a perfect location on Prospect Street, Vieau said.

“It’s right on a bus line so that the girls are able to get downtown to find jobs or to get to gateway college or university or school or what have you,” he said.

CT Clinical Service’s programs provide more than just a safe space to overcome an addiction.

“We have individuals that help with life skills training, that’s anywhere from helping them how to ride a bus, to cooking, cleaning, day to day life skills stuff, resume building,” Vieau said.

Purchased earlier this month for about $2 million, crews are already hard at work remodeling everything from the basement to the attic, replacing both the heating and air conditioning.

“I’m told it was one of the first air condition systems available in the United States and it was made by General Electric,” Vieau said.

Vieau said the City of New Haven has been supportive of his mission to provide addiction recovery programs.

“Their desire to help people with recovery issues is unprecedented,” he said.

It is an ambitious goal, but Vieau said he hopes to have the new sober house ready to open in June.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Las Vegas K-9 Officer Shot & Killed on Duty


A Las Vegas police K-9 officer was shot and killed Thursday in the line of duty, three weeks after returning to duty following a machete attack, NBC News reports.

Nicky, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, was killed when his human partner, Sgt. Eric Kerns, was involved in a confrontation Thursday afternoon, Las Vegas police said.

The suspect was shot as well, but police did not provide any other information.

Nicky returned to duty March 8, after being severely injured by a suspect wielding a machete, police said.

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
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Miami Cop to Lead Ferguson PD


A South Florida law enforcement officer is headed to Ferguson, Missouri, as the new top cop, officials said Thursday.

Maj. Delrish Moss of Miami Police is heading to Ferguson to serve as the city's Chief of Police. He will head up a mostly white department that serves a town where two-thirds of the residents are African-American. 

Ferguson has been rocked with street violence following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black teenager, by a police officer.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice declined to indict Wilson, who resigned from the force in November 2014.

Moss will have a lot of work ahead of him in the scandal-plagued department, which saw several resignations last year following a DOJ report which found a culture of racism, NBC News reported.

Interim Police Chief Andre Anderson was suspended last August after it was discovered he had been suspended three times in one year, the news website Vocativ found out through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Ferguson city officials said they received more than 50 applications from around the country. 

On Twitter, Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes called the hiring a "bittersweet moment." 

Moss, who joined the Miami police department in 1984, was scheduled to retire in September. 

Photo Credit: NBC6.com
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Alabama Gov. Won't Resign Despite Calls for Impeachment


Alabama’s governor has defended himself again amid allegations that he had an affair with an aide, as some in his own party threaten impeachment, NBC News reported.

Republican state Rep. Ed Henry said he will begin an impeachment process against Gov. Robert Bentley this week. The state auditor filed an ethics report last week and an ethics commission investigation is pending.

Bentley was asked Thursday about the affair and denied any physical relationship existed with Rebekah Caldwell Mason, who resigned Wednesday. He said no laws were broken and he will not resign.

"The only thing that we know is true is that everything that the governor is saying is not true," Rep. Craig Ford, Democratic minority leader in the state House, said Thursday. "The governor needs to resign immediately. If he doesn't resign, the governor needs to be impeached as soon as we go back in session next week." 

Photo Credit: AP

FBI iPhone Technique Unlikely to Help Nation's Police


The method used by the FBI to open the iPhone of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook is unlikely to help police open hundreds of other iPhones that may contain evidence of a crime, NBC News reported Thursday.

On Monday, the Justice Department said it "successfully accessed the data stored on Farook's iPhone," using a method devised by an outside third party.

"We are now able to unlock that iPhone without compromising any information on the phone," said Eileen Decker, the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.

But for both technical and legal reasons, the FBI is unlikely to use the same method to unlock other electronic devices sitting unopened in state and local crime labs around the nation.

On Wednesday, for example, prosecutors in Arkansas said they asked the FBI to help open an iPhone 6 and an iPod belonging to defendants in a murder case.  

Photo Credit: AP, File

Wild Start to April Includes Wind, Rain, Thunder and Snow


March will go out like a lion and the first few days of April look more like winter than they do spring.

Strong winds, especially in northeast Connecticut, brought down trees today.

The sky turns overcast this evening and a few showers are expected overnight.

It won't rain the whole time tomorrow, but it will be gloomy and wet. Temperatures should once again rise into the middle 60s.

A bit of instability means thunder cannot be ruled out in the afternoon.

The weekend forecast features rapidly changing weather.

While temperatures will peak in the 50s on Saturday, it will be cloudy with a few showers.

A stray rain shower is possible, but the more impactful weather holds off until Sunday morning.

That's when an Arctic cold front will sweep through the state and bring gusty winds and snow squalls.

Wind gusts could surpass 50 mph Sunday morning, which would result in isolated damage across the state.

Tree limbs would come down and power would be knocked out in spots.

High temperatures will be stuck in the 30s with wind chills in the teens!

Snow squalls could whiten up the ground in the hill towns, but wind is the greatest concern.

Early next week, there will be a short reprieve from the disruptive weather on Monday morning.

Rain and snow moves in Monday afternoon and lasts into the night.

Little if any snow accumulation is expected, but a change in storm track would make all the difference.

Tuesday turns out dry with highs once again stuck in the 30s for most.

Abundant sunshine should return Wednesday along with rebounding temperatures. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

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Middletown Police Search for Hit-and-Run Driver


Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 61-year-old woman in Middetown on Thursday afternoon. 

Barbara Eddinger was hit as she was putting a letter in her mailbox at 298 Chamberlain Road around 2:15 p.m., according to police.

Eddinger was transported by LifeStar to the hospital where she later died.

The vehicle is described as a dark blue SUV and  was driving eastbound on the wrong side of the road when it struck the victim, police said.  The SUV should have substantial damage to the front left of the vehicle, according to police. 

It was being driven by a male with dark hair or wearing a dark hat.

Police said they are looking for the public's help in identifying the car and operator involved in the crash and are asking auto body shops to report any vehicles fitting the description that are brought in for repairs.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Traffic Division at Middletown Police at 860-638-4060.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Belgium Charges Third Suspect in Foiled Paris Attack Plot


A third suspect has been been charged in connection with the foiled French terror attack, the Belgian federal prosecutor said Saturday, NBC News reported.

A Belgian national, identified only as Y.A. by the prosecutor, was arrested as part of the investigation into Reda Kriket, a French terror suspect officials nabbed two days after bombers attacked Brussels' airport and a subway station on March 22.

Kriket's apartment in the French suburb of Argenteuil had an arsenal of weapons, including assault rifles and explosives, the Paris prosecutor said earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the head of the Brussels Airport said Saturday that some passenger flights will resume Sunday for the first time since twin blasts devastated the departure hall last month.

The airport has been closed since the March 22 suicide bombings that killed 16 victims at the airport and another 16 in the Brussels subway and wounded 270 people.

Photo Credit: AP/Francois Mori
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