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Police ID Suspect in Good Friday Murder in East Hartford


Police have identified the suspect in a Good Friday murder in East Hartford and they are searching for him.

Police said they have warrants for James Burrill in connection with the murder of 33-year-old Jerome Mack Jr., who died after being shot in the chest at his East Hartford on Friday, March 25.

Police said someone called 911 around 6 p.m. on Good Friday and reported shots fired and someone running.

Burrill is wanted for murder, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and unlawful discharge.

Police said they are still investigating and said there is no evidence Burrill would commit another crime, but he should be considered dangerous.

Anyone with information should call the East Hartford Police tip line at 860-289-9134.

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police

5 Killed When Tour Helicopter Crashes in Tennessee


A tour helicopter crashed in the remote Tennessee woods Monday, killing all five people aboard, authorities told NBC News.

Smoke could be seen rising into the air from the scene near Sevierville in east Tennessee.

Few details were immediately available, but Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin said the helicopter "experienced a severe crash which resulted in a fire."

The FAA was notified that a Bell 206 sightseeing helicopter crashed at 3:30 p.m. local time and was told by local officials it was destroyed by fire, NBC affiliate WBIR reports.

Photo Credit: @Taylorleo13

Comcast-YES Dispute Angers Yankees Fans


For many New York Yankees fans, the ongoing blackout of the YES Network on Comcast cable TV services is much more disappointing than the team’s opening day rainout.

“Oh, it’s the worst man,” said Rob Mignosa, a lifelong Yankees fan and Comcast customer. “All of a sudden it’s the Yankees season starting and we don’t even have the channel now.”

Comcast, NBC Connecticut’s parent company, and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) are deadlocked in a dispute dating back to the fall.

YES Network wants to charge more, but Comcast argues the price is not right.

“It remains our hope to bring back YES to our customers,” said Laura Brubaker Crisco, a spokesperson for the Comcast – Western New England Region. "But, we can only do that if FOX becomes realistic with its price demands. This is the first cable network we have dropped. The excessiveness of FOX’s demands is confirmed by the fact that we are not the only distributor who has refused to agree to pay YES’ exorbitant fees. For example, Dish also does not carry YES.”

State lawmakers are stepping up to the plate and urging to the two sides to resolve the situation leaving more than 900,000 customers without a way to watch the Bronx Bombers.

“The average middle class fan here in Connecticut doesn’t care what point or finger waiving they’re doing,” Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford) said. “They just want to watch the Yankees games when they come home at night.”

Scanlon is calling on Comcast to partially refund customers who aren’t able to watch the start of the Yankees 2016 season.

“Opening Day should be a time of celebration for baseball fans everywhere but Comcast continues to deny close to a million of its subscribers access to New York Yankees telecasts on the YES Network,” a YES Network Spokesperson told NBC Connecticut. “Comcast should restore YES to its lineup and honor the deal which they agreed to last season so that Yankees telecasts, among the most popular sports programming in the U.S., are available to all Comcast viewers in the Tristate area.”

“FOX and YES are demanding more than a 30-percent increase for a network that has very low viewership among our customers and which is already the most expensive RSN in the country” Crisco said. “It is also 35-percent more expensive than the average cost of the next 10 most expensive regional sports networks in the U.S., according to SNL Kagan data.”

At the Regal Beagle Bar in New Haven, owner Michael Longley is paying for Direct TV in addition to Comcast in order to show the Yankees games.

“I’m a Red Sox fan,” Longley said, but he still feels bad for the Yankees fans who can’t watch their team’s games.

“Of course, cause I’d feel the same way if I couldn’t watch my Sox and plus being a business, we try to make it available for everybody, all of our customers,” Longley said.

YES Network broadcast about 130 Yankees games during the 2015 season. Crisco said 90 percent of the 900,000 plus customers who received YES didn’t watch even one fourth of those games.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have also contacted Comcast and YES Network on behalf of their constituents.

“I have reached out to officials at Comcast and YES to personally urge them to find a way to bring programming back to Yankees fans, but sadly it appears there is no end to the impasse in sight,” Blumenthal said. “I share the frustration with the thousands of Yankees fans who are blacked out from watching their team play. With rain postponing today’s Opening Day game, Comcast and YES should use this extra day to put consumers first and return to the negotiating table. For companies of this size – and profitability – to be putting consumers in this position does a disservice to the men and women who faithfully paid their cable bills.”

Comcast is the parent company of NBC Connecticut.

Photo Credit: AP

Committee Approves Sugar Drink Ban at Child Care Centers


Lawmakers in the State Capitol took a major step Monday toward banning sugary drinks for infants in child care centers across Connecticut.

The Education Committee approved such a ban, sending the measure to the House floor for debate. The proposal would take effect in October of this year.

The Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs has been pushing for such a ban this year, as several other states have made similar moves, and the number of obese children in the state has come into focus.

"We feel that by teaching as little as, as young as three or four years old that this will carry on with them for the rest of their life, to eat healthy and exercise, and be more physically active,” said John Catellan, Executive Director of the Connecticut YMCA Alliance.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care non-profit, about 29% of all Connecticut children between the ages of 10 and 17. That’s an issue Catellan says has to be addressed.

He said "This is not a problem, this is an epidemic and the state needs to play some type of role in working with organizations such as ours in dealing with the childhood obesity issue."

The bill found both Republican and Democratic support, as both reconciled with the idea that this may be a place where government could play a helpful role in regulating the beverages available to children in child care centers.

Democratic Sen. Gary Winfield, (D – New Haven), said, "I'm always a little bit lukewarm about whether we should legislate how much sugar should be consumed or not consumed but if you're asking me if I'm going to vote for the bill, the answer would be, yes."

Sen. Toni Boucher said she normally wouldn’t support proposals that have the government reach into an industry or sector, but said this issue is different because of the potential for long reaching effects.

"The best predictor of really good fiscal health is really what we eat, what we drink” Sen. Boucher said. “Water, fresh fruits and vegetables more so than ever and too often now, like I said the quicker fix is processed food. Things later on that can lead to really bad health outcomes."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Tangled Web of the Panama Papers


The web of hidden money and offshore shell companies documented in the Panama Papers reveals an alternate financial universe that links a single law firm with a rogue's gallery of politicians, moguls and criminal, NBC News reports.

The cases have little in common other than the involvement of the law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The connections are sometimes tangential, and the firm insists it did nothing illegal.

Ramon Fonseca, a co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, said the people connected to the companies were not the law firm's clients.

"They are clients of bank intermediaries, that bought one of our incorporated companies, sold it, and those people used it for who knows what," Fonseca told Panamanian television.

But the documents illustrate the breadth of the underground economic network exploited by the extravagantly wealthy. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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Large Fire Destroys Home in East Granby


A huge fire has caused extensive damage to a 4,600-square-foot house in East Granby and the roof has collapsed.

The fire at 111 South Main St. was reported at 10:39 a.m. on Monday and video from the scene shows heavy flames shooting out of the home. 

Access to water posed a problem for the firefighters and tankers were brought in from as far away as Norfolk, located 30 miles away. 

Crews from several departments, including Bloomfield, Suffield and Windsor Locks, also responded to help with the efforts.

They were trying to put the fire out from the inside, but had to move the attack outside when the roof collapsed.  

Route 187 has been closed as firefighters worked to battle the blaze and firefighters are still working on putting out hot spots as of 3 p.m.   

No injuries are reported.

According to assessor's records, this is a 4,600 square foot ranch-style house built in 2010.  

Photo Credit: Bob Parks

Mom Left Kids Home Alone to Shop: Police


A 5-year-old and a 1-year-old were found wondering the streets of a Connecticut town while their mother was shopping, police said.

The two kids were found unattended at separate Westport stores at about 8 p.m., authorities said.

The 1-year-old was spotted by a group of adults near the Toyota  of Westport on Post Road East and the 5-year-old was found at a Walgreen's also on Post Road East, police said.

Westport officers determined where the children lived and arrested their mother, Natalie Bonny, 33, authorities said.

Bonny allegedly told officers she left her children home alone to go shopping, police said.

She was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor and held on $20,000 bond.

Attorney information for Bonny was not immediately available.    

Photo Credit: Westport Police Department

Dad Sues After Autistic Son Punched


A Brooklyn parent says he will sue the city after his 11-year-old son with autism was punched in the head by a school worker in 2014.

Anatoly Veltman Sr. appeared with attorney Sanford Rubenstein on Monday to announce plans to sue for $5 million in damages. The move comes after Veltman and Rubenstein said they saw surveillance video of the brutal punch at a cafeteria table, which took over a year to obtain by court order. 

Veltman is also pushing for a change in the way paraprofessionals who work with special needs children are hired and trained.

Veltman said his son, also named Anatoly, suffered a concussion from the blow during summer school on Aug. 7, 2014. When the father arrived at the emergency room, he saw a "big blue bruise above his eye and it was clear... that he was punched with force," he said.

He was shocked to learn a paraprofessional had allegedly assaulted his son, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old.

"I wouldn't believe it. It was an impossibility," said Veltman.

"From the moment that the children are taken off the school bus and put back on the school bus, they are protected by these paraprofessionals one-on-one. That's the type of attention my son needs," he added. 

The boy's own paraprofessional is not the one accused of punching him, but Rubenstein said the woman assigned to work with Anatoly also lied about the incident, saying she didn't see the punch, even though video indicates otherwise. 

The worker, Milton Parker, was arrested and suspended without pay. He was indicted on a felony assault charge, but pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor assault. Parker attended anger management and served probation, then retired shortly thereafter and is collecting pension, according to Rubenstein. 

The Brooklyn district attorney's office said the boy's parents had agreed to the plea deal. The Department of Education said Parker — who retired in September 2014 while his criminal case was still pending — is not eligible for future employment with the school system. 

In the video, the younger Anatoly is seen reaching up to swing at Parker inside PS 225 in Brighton Beach during summer school, and the man immediately punches the boy in the head.

Parker — who is black — allegedly scolded the boy for spilling ice and throwing a napkin on the floor, to which Anatoly replied, "This table is for whites only," The Daily News reports, citing school records and an interview with Parker. The boy apologized for the comment, then punched the paraprofessional, according to the report. That's when Parker swung back.

"The kid punched me in the eye first and as a reflex, he got hit back," Parker, now 59, told The Daily News. 

"I knew it was on camera," he told the newspaper. "If it was intentional, I would have taken him to another room and beaten the snot out of him."

Rubenstein said of Parker's comments, "How can someone work for the Department of Education with that kind of mentality? Clearly the DOE needs to review their hiring procedures." 

NBC 4 New York was not able to immediately reach Parker for comment Monday. 

The trauma made Anatoly afraid of all school buildings, according to Veltman, who said he feared his son would run away from school if he were forced back. He referred to the case of Avonte Oquendo, a boy with autism boy who ran away from his Queens school and was later found dead. 

Anatoly has doubled up on his medication and is now undergoing homeschooling, but the situation isn't ideal, Veltman said. 

"The education is not the same," he said, adding, "It's bad because school was his institution. They need structure, they need routines, and that was taken away from him."

The father is now pleading for paraprofessionals and other workers to be kind and gentle with children who have special needs.

"To people working with special-needs children, be compassionate. Figure out non-confrontational ways of dealing with them. These children don't think the way we think, their perception is different, their reality is somewhere within them. You've got to understand that and do everything for their safety and hopefully their education," Veltman urged.

Photo Credit: Anatoly Veltman Sr.

Andy Warhol's First NYC Studio Selling for $10M


Andy Warhol’s first New York City studio is on the market.

The two-story firehouse, at 159 E. 87th St., is being sold by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield for $9.975 million.

According to DNAinfo.com, Warhol leased the 5,000-square-foot space in 1962 for $150 a month. At the time, the studio was close to where he was living with his mother on Lexington Avenue between East 89th and East 90th streets.

Many of Warhol’s early works, including his famous "Disaster" series, were created in this studio, according to BlouinArtInfo.com, which first reported the real estate listing.

The website reports that Warhol was already looking for possible locations in Midtown for the first iteration of what would become the Factory studios when he moved into the Upper East Side space.

Warhol ended his lease in 1963, according to DNAinfo.com. The studio, originally designed as a firehouse in 1910, is currently owned by art dealer Wildenstein & Co.

Cushman & Wakefield describes the building as “a blank canvas to create boutique condominiums, a mixed-use rental or a luxury townhouse.”

NBC 4 New York has reached out to the Pittsburgh-based Andy Warhol Museum for comment on the significance of the building to the pop artist.

Warhol died in Manhattan on Feb. 22, 1987, following complications from gallbladder surgery. He was 58.

Photo Credit: Cushman & Wakefield

1 Killed When Steel Beam Falls


A worker was killed and three others were injured when a 45-ton beam fell during construction on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway in suburban Des Plaines early Tuesday morning.

Workers were on the I-90 construction site at Touhy Avenue around 3 a.m. when the massive beam came crashing down during construction, injuring four people below.

One worker was taken to Lutheran General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was identified by authorities as Vincente Santoyo, 47, of Berwyn.

The steel beam, used to support the bridge, was being moved by two cranes across the roadway at the time when the weight load shifted, causing it to fall, according to Des Plaines police Chief Bull Kushner.

The toppled beam weighs 45 tons of steel and is 187 feet long, Kushner said. Crews were on the job overnight working to remove and replace the beams.

One person was transported to Lutheran General Hospital in critical condition and was soon pronounced dead, police said. Three others were being treated for minor injuries at area hospitals and were reported to be in good condition.

It is still unknown what exactly happened to cause the huge bridge support to collapse.

Touhy between Wolf and Lee Street was closed to traffic after the accident, causing miles of backup for drivers ahead of the morning commute. Authorities gave a "very conservative estimate" of 12 hours for Touhy to reopen.

Two lanes remained closed Tuesday morning on I-90 as the investigation continued. Midday commuters were expected to see a slow I-90 from Schaumburg to O'Hare Airport.

East-west alternatives include Oakton Road, Golf Road and Algonquin Road, which runs diagonally along the tollway.

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One Car Crash Shut Down Route 4 from Torrington to Goshen


Route 4 was closed between Pothier Road in Torrington and East Street South in Goshen after a car hit a pole this morning, but it has reopened.

No injuries were reported, but the road was closed for a few hours.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Several Schools Opened Late as Cleanup Continues


More than 125 schools and districts opened late today after April snow covered the state yesterday and dumped up to 7 inches in some parts. As the cleanup continues, many residents are hoping that winter weather is finally over.

"I think that it’s a cruel April Fool’s joke," Helene Melchionne, of Waterbury, said. "Mother Nature can take it and bring it to somebody else. ... I’m waiting to see what the rest of the year is going to bring us."

The spring snow has some residents dreaming of moving away to warmer states.

"I hate it. We’re in Connecticut. I lived in Florida for 10 years and I don’t even know why I even moved back," Peter Pinho, of Naugatuck, said.

He and his co-worker Chris Brancato, of Torrington, wer getting gas in Naugatuck and both said they are sick of winter weather.

"Right now I’m looking to move to Virginia in about a year and a half and that is one of the biggest reasons why. I’m tired of shoveling," Brancato said.
There were also several issues on the roads because of some slick spots this morning.

The sunshine returns today and will last into Wednesday, but rain showers will begin Thursday morning and turn into a steady rain by afternoon and temperatures will rise well into the 50s.-

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Record Cold Possible Tonight


High pressure will sponsor dry weather through tomorrow, but unsettled weather makes a quick return Thursday.

Clear skies, calm winds and fresh snow pack will provide an opportunity for record cold tonight.

The forecast low temperature in the Hartford area tonight is 17, which would tie the record set back in 1982.

It will be tougher to tie the record along the shoreline, as the forecast calls for a low of 21 while the record is 19.

Tomorrow afternoon should be a tad warmer than today with highs in the lower 40s as skies start out mostly sunny but turn cloudy in the afternoon.

An area of low pressure rides west of the region on Thursday.

Showers will begin Thursday morning and turn into a steady rain by afternoon. Thunder is possible. Temperatures will rise into the middle 50s.

A lingering rain shower is possible Friday, but more importantly, Friday serves as a transition day.

The weekend will be exceptionally cold for the time of year.

High temperatures only be in the upper 40s Saturday and lower 40s Sunday.

A few flurries are possible Saturday as a storm misses out to sea.

Sunday should be the brighter of the two days with mostly sunny skies.

Early next week looks unsettled with moderating temperatures.

Showers are in the forecast on Monday and Tuesday, and highs will return to the 60s on Tuesday.

Hartford Teacher Resigns After Arrest


A Hartford school teacher has resigned months after his assault arrest on Cape Cod.

An attorney for Travis Marks told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that Marks stepped down from his job as a teacher at the Martin Luther King School in Hartford.

Marks was charged with assault and battery, strangulation or suffocation and indecent assault in Barnstable, Massachusetts in September.

The Hartford school district placed Marks on paid administrative leave a week after his arrest, and sources within the school district confirm Marks later resigned.

Marks is awaiting a jury trial on the charges later this month, according to court officials in Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Newsworks

Boston Pride Marshal Controversy


A Massachusetts police officer set to serve as the 2016 Boston Pride parade marshal has found his invitation revoked after he allegedly posted "offensive comments" on Facebook, according to the organization.

In a statement, Boston Pride said it rescinded the offer to Anthony Imperioso after finding the comments on his Facebook page. Imperioso, of the Woburn Police Department, was selected to serve as parade marshal through a community-wide vote. This year's parade, which celebrates tolerance and diversity, will take place June 11.

"As an inclusive organization, Boston Pride does not condone any language that is intolerant of racial, ethnic, or religious differences. Additionally, we reject language that promotes violence towards any individuals who are exercising their First Amendment rights," the organization said in a statement on its website Monday.

Boston Pride did not specify which comments led to the withdrawal of Imperioso's offer. The officer's Facebook page could not be found through a public search.

"Boston Pride cannot condone those comments. After a discussion between Mr. Imperioso and Boston Pride, his marshalship has been withdrawn, and Mr. Imperioso will not be a marshal in the 2016 parade," Boston Pride said.

The group apologized for a "lack of vetting" and said it will review its marshal nominating process to ensure the selection is "both fair and robust to all members of the community" in the future.

Imperioso serves as president of the New England Gay Officers Action League, according to the group's website. Neither Imperioso nor New England GOAL had responded to requests for comment at the time of publication. The Woburn Police Department also did not return a request for comment early Tuesday afternoon.

This year's Boston Pride Week runs from June 3-12 and includes a parade, festival, concert and block parties in the city's Back Bay and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. More information on the festival is available online.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crying Jordan: Michael Jordan Meme Goes Viral


Monday's historic game-winning shot by Villanova's Kris Jenkins in the final seconds of the NCAA National Championship game isn't the only thing people are talking about.

Moments after the University of North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wildcats, 77-74, on Jenkins' clutch three-pointer, the internet began buzzing with "Crying Jordan" memes.

Michael Jordan, who played at UNC, was at the championship game to support his alma mater. But the team's loss prompted Twitter users to repurpose a photo of him crying.

The photo, from Jordan's emotional acceptance speech during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, appeared in photos and videos for a comedic take on the UNC loss.

Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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College Student Killed in NH Crash


A Colby-Sawyer College student from Connecticut was killed in a single-car crash on Interstate 89 in Sutton, New Hampshire, on Monday.

Family members said Melissa Molin, 21, of West Hartford, was on her way to Colby-Sawyer College when her car crashed at 3:41 p.m. on I-89 north. The college is located in New London, about five miles from where the crash occurred.

She was trapped in the vehicle but emergency crews were eventually able to extricate her and she was taken to Concord Hospital, where she later died of her injuries. Molin was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Due to the location of the crash in the median and the icy road conditions, state police temporarily shut down the highway so that fire and emergency crews could remove Molin from the vehicle.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call New Hampshire State Police Trooper Michael Catalfamo at 603-223-4381.

Case Continued for Man Arrested on Weapons Charges After Teen’s Death


A 21-year-old Hartford man who was arrested on weapons charges after an 18-year-old Cromwell woman was shot and killed in his Broad Street home appeared in court on Tuesday and the case was continued.

Torrick Maragh has been charged with two counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun. On Tuesday, his case was continued to May 3.

Hartford police began investigating when they received a frantic 911 call on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

When they rushed to the basement of 1688 Broad St. in Hartford at 11:15 p.m. that night, they found Nasashalie Hoy, 18, of Cromwell, lying on the ground bleeding from the throat.

According to arrest papers, Maragh told detectives Hoy shot herself with a shotgun after the two had an argument.

He said they were initially “tussling” over a shotgun shell and that Hoy had a knife in her hand, but he was able to confiscate it from Hoy before she ran out of the room, according to the arrest warrant. 

When she came back, Hoy straddled Maragh, who was sitting on a bed, and she had a shotgun pointed at her neck when it went off, he said, according to the warrant.

The teenager’s family has said that she did not shot herself.

"She didn't kill herself. My daughter is beautiful. Beautiful daughter, she’s gone my baby girl is gone," Felix Hoy, Nasashalie’s father, said.

Police initially referred to Hoy’s death as "untimely," then the medical examiner’s office classified Hoy's death as a homicide. According to the medical examiner, Hoy died from a bullet to the neck, but it's unclear whether she was the one to pull the trigger.

Police have not arrested anyone in connection with Hoy’s death

According to arrest papers, Maragh owns the gun that took Hoy's life and admitted he hid a second gun in the ceiling before police got to the scene.

He was charged with two counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

Restaurant Had to Throw Out Food After Violent Crab Legs Dispute


The Manchester, Connecticut restaurant where an argument about crab legs got out of hand on Saturday night had to throw out all its food after it was contaminated by pepper spray.

Manchester police responded to 410 West Middle Turnpike after an argument over crab legs at the buffet table escalated into a physical confrontation, police said.

During the scuffle, a 21-year-old man was punched in the face and lost a tooth. His mother jumped in and used pepper spray on her son's attackers. Her actions were in self-defense and she is not facing any charges, according to police.

Police arrested a Windsor couple -- Clifford Knight, 45, and Latoya Knight. Clifford Knight was charged with third-degree assault and disorder conduct. Latoya Knight is charged with disorderly conduct and threatening.

The manager said on Tuesday that he had to send a full house home and throw away all the food.

On Tuesday, customers at Royal Buffet said that should someone empty the crab legs tray, you wait for more because there will be more.

Clifford Knight was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond and Lataya Knight was released on a $2,500 non-surety bond. They are both expected in court on April 14.

The Manchester Fire Department responded to vent out the restaurant after the pepper spray was deployed.

The restaurant was closed until Sunday as the health department assessed the air quality.

Photo Credit: Viewer Submission

April 2016 Already One of the Snowiest on Record


Only five days into the month of April, and weather history is already being made.

The month has notched a top-five position on the snowiest April list.

Snowfall records have been kept in the Hartford area since 1905, and only four other Aprils have seen more snow.

So far, 6.9 inches of snow have been logged at Bradley International, where the measurements are currently taken.

The snowiest April occurred in 1982 when 14.3 inches of snow fell.

If the snow wasn't enough, multiple opportunities for record low temperatures exist in the forecast.

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