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University Renames School to Avoid Awkward Scalia Acronym


George Mason University announced last week that its law school will be renamed after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but the school had to revise the name after its acronym became the butt of jokes on social media, NBC News reported. 

The Antonin Scalia School of Law spawned the trending hashtag #ASSLaw, as well as another unsavory acronym. The Fairfax, Virginia-based law school said Tuesday the new moniker is now the Antonin Scalia Law School.

An official name change ceremony isn't expected until the fall. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Small Fire Prompts Evacuation of Bristol School

Rain, Heavy at Times Tomorrow


Showers will develop late tonight and it will be foggy ahead of heavy rain tomorrow.

Periods of rain will occur all day tomorrow, with the best chance for heavy rain occurring in the afternoon.

While the organized rain comes to an end tomorrow evening, a lingering shower is possible Friday.

Otherwise, Friday will be mostly cloudy with highs near 50. A gray but mostly dry end to the week.

The weekend will be on the cold side for the time of year.

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

Some snow is possible Saturday night as grazes southeast New England, but the threat remains low.

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

Early next week looks unsettled, though temperatures rise.

Showers are in the forecast come late Monday, and steady rain should move in by Tuesday.

Dry weather returns Wednesday with a mix of sunshine and clouds.

High temperatures will be in the upper 50s on both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is seasonable for the time of year.

Amanda-Knox's Ex-Boyfriend Gets Job as TV Crime Expert


Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend is now a TV crime expert, making his debut Saturday on a program about unsolved crimes that airs on Italy's 24-hour cable channel Tgcom24, NBC News reported.

Raffaele Sollecito was jailed for nearly four years in the slaying of his then-girlfriend's roommate. He and Knox were tried several times for the crime until their exoneration last March.

"I have been a victim of a miscarriage of justice, I know the faults of the justice system, what happens in jail and what happens when the media twists the truth," Sollecito told Britain's The Times newspaper. "The usual experts on these shows have seen these things through a window — I have lived them."

Photo Credit: AP

Student Gets Into 5 Ivies With College Essay About Love for Costco


An 18-year-old senior at Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware, was accepted into five Ivy League schools and another prestigious university after writing a "memorable essay" describing her admiration for America's largest wholesale warehouse, NBC News reported.

Brittany Stinson got into Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Cornell and Stanford. The straight-A student tells NBC News that writing about Costco felt natural to her.

"I had always gone to Costco while growing up. It was a constant part of my childhood. I looked forward to trips on the weekends, and I had always treated it as a Disneyland of sorts. I was always curious about the place. The same attitude carried over to everything I tried in life," Stinson said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bridgeport Man Killed in Fiery Crash on I-95


A 35-year-old Bridgeport man was killed in a crash on Interstate 95 in Darien on Tuesday evening.

State police said Jimmy Munoz, 35, of Bridgeport, was driving near exit 10 on I-95 South just after 5:30 p.m. when he lost control of his Honda Pilot, which went into the median, hit several trees and caught fire.

Munoz was trapped in the car and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Police said they identified him through his driver’s license.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hartford School Administrator Resigns Amid Investigation


An administrator from Hartford Public Schools has resigned amid a police investigation, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have learned.

Eduardo Genao resigned yesterday as executive director for compliance.

Sources said the investigation involves allegations of inappropriate text communication with a minor out of state.

"He began texting her. I guess she ignored it at first because she thought it was him being nice," the victim's mother told Jill Konopka with NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

The text messages soon became inappropriate, the mother said. 

"It became very graphic," she told NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters.

Police did not name Genao and said no charges have been filed and no one is in danger, but the school department did name him.

"It's important to know that -- one, no one's in danger, currently in danger, and we have no indication that any students or staff in the Hartford schools system were ever in danger," Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.

In a statement, a school spokesperson said they are fully cooperating with investigators and the investigation does not involve any other staff members or students in Hartford.

"The Hartford Police Department has informed Hartford Public Schools that Mr. Eduardo Genao is under investigation and the district is fully cooperating with this investigation. As of April 5th, Mr. Genao is no longer employed by Hartford Public Schools. Mr. Genao was employed by Hartford Public Schools since 2005, and his most recent position was Executive Director for Compliance. The alleged victim of this investigation is not a staff member or student of Hartford Public Schools. For further inquiries, please communicate with the Hartford Police Department," a statement from the school department says.

Genao worked for Hartford schools since 2005.

Photo Credit: Hartford Public Schools Website

Pope Blesses Eyes of Ohio Girl Who Faces Blindness


A 5-year-old Ohio girl, who is suffering from a degenerative disease that will eventually leave her blind and deaf, met Pope Francis Wednesday as part of a "visual bucket list" tour her parents established, NBC News reported.

An airline offered Elizabeth "Lizzy" Myers and her parents free round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world and the family chose Rome. They were given special seats at Francis's general audience in St. Peter's Square, where the pontiff spoke to the family and blessed Lizzy's eyes.  

Lizzy is not aware that she is suffering from Usher's Syndrome and that she could be blind in about seven years. Her parents started a "visual bucket list" of sites and people they think she should see while she can. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Police Make Arrest in Violent West Hartford Home Invasion


Police have arrested a Hartford man who is accused of attacking a West Hartford man in his 70s after robbing his Bloomfield Avenue home last Thursday.

Tony Villegas, a 37-year-old Hartford man is accused of stealing jewelry and electronics from the victim's home, police said.

It appears he randomly chose the home, which is located in a row of large residences, and entered through an unlocked door.  

The 911 call reporting the attack came at 4:30 p.m., but police said Villegas hit the victim with a rock or brick, knocking him unconscious and the attack might have happened an hour or more earlier.

The victim told police he heard a noise on the second floor of his home, and thought his cats knocked something over, but when he went to go see what was happening, he saw a burglar going through the house. It was outside where the confrontation turned violent and escalated when the victim went to take a photo of Villegas' car, police said.

The victim was treated at a local hospital and released.

Officers found Villegas’ 2006 Saturn Vue with New York plates at his girlfriend’s house in East Hartford.

“At the time of the arrest they were about to use heroin when the detectives went in,” Lt. Ted Stoneburner. 

Police from West Hartford, East Hartford, Hartford and Waterbury worked together to search areas he’s known to frequent and located him at a friend’s apartment in Hartford.

Villegas has been charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault on a victim over the age of 60 and third-degree larceny.

Bond was originally set at $1 million, but it was lowered to $800,000 when he was arraigned. A court date of April 19 has been set. 

After the violent confrontation, police put out a warning to residents to call police instead of confronting burglars on their own.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and West Hartford Police

Natural Causes Ruled Out for Plainfield Mansion Fire, Reward Offered


An historic home in Plainfield was destroyed after a fire ripped through the house early on the Sunday morning of Dec. 13 and a reward is being offered for tips because investigators have ruled out natural causes and "known accidental sources of ignition."

According to the Plainfield fire department, 75 firefighters were called to Weston Mansion at 150 Weston Road around 7 a.m.  and it took two and a half hours and 18 tankers to get the fire out.

By the time the fire department got on scene, flames were shooting out of the house and the roof had collapsed.

Firefighters believe the fire started on the second floor. 

While no one was home at the time of the fire, there was a large Christmas party held at the residence the night before.  The home is used as a reception hall and formerly as a bed and breakfast.

Part of the home was under renovation at the time of the fire.

The Plainfield fire marshal’s office, Plainfield Police Department and the Fire and Explosives Investigation Unit of the Connecticut State Police have been investigating for the last four months and said the team has evaluated all possible causes for this devastating fire and ruled out all natural and known accidental sources of ignition. The investigation continues 

The Connecticut Arson Tip Award program offers up to $2,500 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of an arson case. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Plainfield fire marshal’s office at 860-230-3013 or the arson tip line at 1-800-84ARSON. 




March 2016 Ranked Sixth Warmest in Connecticut


Another warm month was logged in March, as the month will go on the top 10 list of warmest Marches in the Hartford area.

This past March went into the record books as sixth warmest, with 2012 topping the list with an average temperature of 47.1 degrees.

March 2016 had an average temperature of 43.9 degrees. So, it wasn't as warm, but it was still a noteworthy month.

The standard 30-year 1981-2010 average temperature for March is 37.8 degrees. That means March 2016 registered 6.1 degrees above average.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) does a more thorough calculation based on several sources of high quality weather observations.

NCEI classified March in Connecticut as being "much above average," along with much of the region.

For Connecticut as a whole, NCEI's analysis matched what the point data from the Hartford area showed – March 2016 was sixth warmest.

Here's a recap of the last 12 months in the Hartford area when it comes to notable temperature records. Data goes back to 1905.

Top 10 finishes are bold and colored in either red (warm) or blue (cold).

  • April 2015 – 42nd warmest
  • May 2015 – first warmest
  • June 2015 – 39th coldest
  • July 2015 – 42nd warmest
  • August 2015 – 11th warmest
  • September 2015 – third warmest
  • October 2015 – 48th coldest
  • November 2015 – sixth warmest
  • December 2015 – first warmest
  • January 2016 – 27th warmest
  • February 2016 – 21st warmest
  • March 2016 – sixth warmest

In the last year, five months have notched a top-10 finish on the list of warmest respective months.

Only two months were in the top-50 percent coldest – June and October 2015.

Police Investigating After Woman’s Thumb Bitten Off in New Haven


New Haven police are investigating after part of a woman’s thumb was bitten off.

Police responded to Warren Street at 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving the report and found a 44-year-old woman who appeared to be drunk and missing part of her left thumb, police said.

Police obtained the detached portion of her thumb and the woman was taken to the hospital.

Police said it’s not clear who bit off the finger and the woman is not cooperating with police.

Hamden Man Caught Watching Child Porn at Library: Police


A Hamden man accused of possessing thousands of files of child pornography was arrested after he was seen watching the content at a library, police said.

Police say Philip DeMayo Jr., 67, was charged with first-degree possession of child pornography after investigators found more than 1,800 files of child porn on his personal computer, police said. 

In Sept. 2014, an investigation was sparked after Miller Memorial Library reported observing DeMayo watching scantily clad juveniles on a computer, Hamden Police said. 

Police were able to seize DeMayo's  computer and discovered 1,819 still images and movie files that are suspected to contain child porn, according to police. The information was forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for analysis.

The discovery allowed detectives to apply for an arrest warrant for DeMayo and they nabbed him in his car on Wednesday. 

DeMayo's bond was set to $5,000 and he is expected to appear in court on April 19.

It was not clear if he had an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Addition to FBI's 'Most Wanted'


A North Texas woman accused of orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot that left a Dallas dentist dead last year is now one of the most wanted people in the country.

Brenda Delgado, 33, was added to the FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" Wednesday and is shown in the No. 2 spot. A law enforcement source confirmed the addition to NBC 5 on Tuesday.

Delgado was indicted for capital murder last fall in the death of Dr. Kendra Hatcher, a 35-year-old dentist found dead in the parking garage of her apartment complex. 

Investigators believe Delgado, who allegedly dated Hatcher's boyfriend, planned Hatcher's murder and hired people to carry it out. Crystal Cortes and Kristopher Love are in prison for their involvement in Hatcher's murder.

"It is believed she was jealous because the victim was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend and had recently been introduced to his parents," the FBI wrote on its wanted poster for Delgado.

Delgado, a Mexican citizen, has ties to Mexico and investigators believe she may be living there. A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for any information leading directly to Delgado's arrest. 

"Brenda Delgado was able to effectively manipulate everyone she involved in her calculated scheme," said Thomas M. Class Sr., special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas Field Office, in a statement. "Although she didn’t pull the trigger herself, she is still responsible for the murder of Dr. Kendra Hatcher, and through international publicity and a significant reward offering, we intend to find her and to bring her to justice."

Delgado, born Brenda Berenice Delgado Reynaga, stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 145 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair, according to the FBI. She has a butterfly tattoo on the small of her back.

Anyone with information should not approach Delgado but should call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Tips can also be submitted online.

For possible sightings outside the U.S., contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The FBI Dallas Field Office can be reached at 972-559-5000.

Delgado is the second North Texan on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list. Yaser Abdel Said of Irving has been on the run since 2008, after being accused of murdering his two teenage daughters. He was added to the list in 2014.

Online: Wanted by the FBI - Brenda Delgado

Photo Credit: FBI, Dallas County Sheriff's Department, NBC 5 News
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Woman Hit in Rocky Hill Plaza Sustains Serious Injuries


A woman who was hit by a car at Town Line Plaza in Rocky Hill sustained serious injuries and has been brought to Hartford Hospital.

Police said the woman, who is in her 50s or 60s, was outside the Stop & Shop in the plaza at 80 Town Line Road when a pickup hit her and pinned her under the rear tire.

Firefighters extricated the woman and she was transported to the hospital.

The driver is cooperating with police.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

UConn Huskies Return to Connecticut With Another Trophy


The UConn women’s basketball team made history last night by winning their fourth title in a row, and their 11th overall, and today is a day of celebration in Connecticut.

Dunkin' Donuts is celebrating by offering a free medium coffee today with any purchase through the mobile app. 

In Storrs, the 2016 NCAA national champions were welcomed back into their home state from Indiana. 

The team would have taken a victory lap around campus to celebrate their 82-51 win over Syracuse last night, then head to a championship rally at Gampel Pavilion, but the victory lap has been canceled because of cold weather. 

For the rally, the doors to Gampel Pavilion opened at 4:30 p.m., with the UConn band and cheerleaders performing. The rally began around 5:30 p.m. 

Follow the UConn Women's Hoops Twitter account for updates.

Photo Credit: AP
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Smuggler Speaks Out on ISIS' Operation to Sell Artifacts


ISIS has been busy selling off cultural treasures looted from one of the centers of the ancient world, even as Syrian forces celebrated the recapture of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site.

An ISIS smuggler, who asked to be identified only as Abu Mustafa, spoke to NBC News in detail about the antiquities trade in which he was involved. In a scheme set up by senior members of ISIS, the man was smuggling artifacts into Turkey, where he was selling them on the black market for the terror group.

According to Abu Mustafa, the buyers were German, French and even Americans, who paid as much as $6,000 per piece. He said only a few artifacts have hit the marketplace, but warned that more will follow. NBC News could not verify any of those claims.

The damage to an archaeological site in Palmyra during the 10-month ISIS occupation is extensive, with some areas having been blown up, damaged or destroyed, according to an expert.

Photo Credit: AP

9-Year-Old Girl, 'Mad About Madeline', Succumbs to Cancer Battle


Madeline Guarraria, who was only nine years old, died on Wednesday after a nearly 5 year battle with cancer, her Facebook page created by her family said. 

"In bed with her mommy, holding hands and listening to nature sounds, she passed away ever so peacefully in her sleep with a slight smile on her face," it said on the Mad About Madeline Facebook page.

On Tuesday, a post read that Madeline seemed more "peaceful" and that there were "more signs that her body is getting tired."

Madeline was an honory member the of Waterford Police department. She lived in East Lyme but since her parents are Waterford teachers, the department arranged a special day after learning she loved police officers and police dogs. 

In March, Madeline helped the Waterford Police Department patrol the streets

"After 5 years of fighting, she is now forever cured," the post read.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Cybercriminals Work Harder, Longer Hours: Study


There are new trends in the world of computer hacking, from longer working hours to an increase in self-promotion, according to a new study, NBC News reported.

The third annual Dell SecureWorks Underground Hacker Markets Report compiles months of data from teams that tracked hackers on various forums across the world. Russian cybercriminals are working 24/7, and many others are advertising themselves as "hardworking" professionals.

Hackers remain focused on identity theft, selling Social Security card scans, driver’s licenses and matching utility bills. Hacking into a corporate gmail account is $500 per mailbox, and only $129 for a private account such as gmail, Hotmail or even Facebook. The market for credit card hacking is still “bustling.” 

The report also offers tips to ward against criminal activity, educating employees on spotting security threats such as phishing emails.  

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images

TSA Beefs Up Security Efforts at US Airports


The Transportation Security Administration is increasing its efforts to secure the nation’s travelers, NBC News reports.

The increased focus on security comes weeks after the twin bombings in Brussels, and just before the busy summer travel season. 

The TSA has opened a new academy in Georgia to train 4,800 officers this year. The agency also has a Law Enforcement Officer Reimbursement Program that provides about $45 million every year to agencies that increase their presence to patrol public areas.

The agency’s administrator, Peter Neffenger, who said he witnessed the devastation of the Brussels bombings, has stepped up criminal history checks on airport employees who have access to facilities and infrastructure. Congress also wants more dog teams and more armed tactical units in airports and railway stations nationally.

Photo Credit: AP
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