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New Britain Substitute Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault


A substitute at New Britain High School, who was a former student-athlete, has been arrested.

Police said their investigation lasted several months and it centered on the substitute Terrance Lee who has now been accused of fourth-degree sexual assault for what he allegedly did with a student.

Lee attended the high school as a student there whop was a successful football and basketball player.

“He was hired through a temp agency to be an in-house or in-school moderator and it involved a female student at the school,” said Captain Thomas Steck with the New Britain Police.

Because of the nature of the allegations, police said there is little else they can release except that Lee oversaw in-school suspension and that the student was more than 16 years old.

The school district reported that the 30-year-old was a contracted substitute who had been assigned to the high school for the current school year.

In a statement, the superintendent wrote in part: “Upon being informed of the allegations back in January, we immediately reported it to New Britain Police and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Terrance was also immediately escorted off school property.”

The district said Lee worked for a company called Kelly Services, which said it cannot discuss specifics about the case.

In a statement, Kelly Services wrote, “We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously.”

Lee is out on a $100,000 bond. He’s due in court on April 14.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Famous Leaks Through the Ages


The Panama Papers were the biggest data leak in history, resulting in a massive information dump that exposed the dealings of billionaires, celebrities, sports stars and world leaders.

But history is littered with other leaks that have exposed corruption, governmental ineptitude and even brought down a U.S. president. NBC News has compiled a list of the best-known examples.

Watergate: Infamous leaker Deep Throat helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein connect the June 1972 break-in at the DNC headquarters and the White House, with stories leading to President Nixon's resignation.

Pentagon Papers: A former military analyst turned over a top secret, 7,000 page Pentagon history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times. The conflict between the press and the White House led to a Supreme Court ruling, allowing the papers to be published.

Click to read about other famous leaks.

Photo Credit: AP

Silver Alert Canceled for Elderly Newtown Man


A Silver Alert has been canceled for a missing 73-year-old man with a mental disability, police said

Martin Lee Allen, of Newtown, has been found safe on Wednesday night after he was last seen leaving his house on Hattertown Road by foot at 8:30 a.m.. 

Allen is unable to care for himself due to a mental disability, Newtown Police said. 

Photo Credit: Newtown Police

NC Sees Economic Backlash From Anti-Bias Law


The economic backlash continues to hit North Carolina after the state passed a controversial “anti-discrimination” law last month, NBC News reported.

A handful of companies — including PayPal and Google Ventures — have said in recent days they would pull, reconsider or avoid projects in the state.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said he wasn’t worried about employers following through on threats to leave, and lawmakers are showing no signs of backing down.  

Photo Credit: AP

Cruz Positioning Loyalists in Arizona for Convention


A potential second ballot in Arizona could swing in Ted Cruz’s favor if the GOP race heads to the convention floor, NBC News reported.

Arizona’s Republicans handed Donald Trump nearly all of the state’s 58 delegates on March 22, which means they are all required to vote for him in the first ballot. If neither Trump nor Cruz win the 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination, the 58 delegates become free to vote for whomever they choose.

Cruz’s campaign is planting loyalists into Arizona’s delegation.

"The delegate count [on a second ballot] will not be reflective of the vote count," said Chris Herring, a Republican chair for a legislative district in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria. "The way the vote went in the presidential preference is not reflective of the grassroots members of the party."  

Photo Credit: AP

Pedestrian Hit in Wethersfield on Silas Deane Highway


A pedestrian was hit in Wethersfield on Silas Deane Highway, police said. 

The accident happened at the intersection near Silas Deane Highway and Mill Street. The road is closed but should reopen shortly.

Police said the victim has been transported with serious injuries to a local hospital.

The crash is currently under investigation. No other details were provided. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Woman Shot 4 Times in Road Rage Incident


A Minneapolis woman was shot four times in what angry police officers called a road-rage incident like they’ve never seen, NBC News reported.

Police said the victim, a 39-year-old woman, honked at a Jeep when it cut in front of her on Tuesday. The passenger in the Jeep pulled out a handgun and fired four rounds into the woman’s car.

All four rounds struck her, but she survived and managed to drive herself to a safe location where someone called 911.

"My message would be: Stop the violence," Minneapolis Police Inspector Todd Loining said at a briefing on Wednesday. "Put the guns down. Put the knives down, and let's find a way to communicate to resolve our differences."  

Photo Credit: KARE-TV

41 Cases of E-Coli Linked to Lebanon Goat Farm


The number of cases of E. coli linked to Oak Leaf Dairy Farm, a goat farm in Lebanon, has increased to 41, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The Department of Health and other agencies began to investigate Oak Leaf Dairy Farm on March 24, when six or seven people who were in contact with the goats contracted E. coli. Investigators and the number of cases has grown. 

The people who have gotten sick are between 9 months old and 45 years old and include seven adults and 34 children under 18 years old. Twenty-two of the children are 5 years old or under.

Ten patients have been hospitalized and one is still in the hospital, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Three of the hospitalized patients were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system. Two have recovered and were discharged from the hospital.

The Department of Public Health said there is no evidence that the milk, cheeses, caramels, lip balms, soaps, and salves Oak Leaf Dairy sells caused the E. coli outbreak.  

The farm's milk and cheese products were pasteurized.  

The farm iis closed and the owners are cooperating with the investigation.

Mark Reynolds, the farm's owner, recently said he had never had E. coli linked to his farm before.

Officials from the Department of Public Health said they have determined that the exposures happened between March 6 and March 20 and the symptoms began between March 7 and March 24.  

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1st Syrian Family Headed to US for Resettlement


The first Syrian family to be resettled in the United States departed for Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Ahmad al-Abboud and his family fled Syria’s civil war three years ago and found refuge in Jordan. But al-Abboud was unable to find work. His wife, family and five children are among the 1,000 Syrians who have been permitted to enter the U.S. from Jordan since last October.

"I'm happy. America is the country of freedom and democracy, there are jobs opportunities, there is good education, and we are looking forward to having a good life over there," al-Abboud told The Associated Press on Wednesday from the international airport in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Missouri’s state leaders have not tried to bar Syrian refugees, although Gov. Jay Nixon called on the federal government to use safeguards to protect Americans. Gov. Sam Brownback signed an executive order in November saying neighboring Kansas would not accept refugees.

Photo Credit: AP

Teacher Found With Gun at Newtown Middle School Arrested


A Newtown Middle School teacher was found with a concealed gun at the Connecticut school Wednesday morning and has been arrested and placed on administrative leave, according to police.

Police officers responded to the school at 11 Queen St. around 9 a.m. after school staff called and said security staff were detaining a teacher who was seen in the school carrying a firearm, police said. The school is in the same town as Sandy Hook Elementary, where a deadly mass shooting in 2012 prompted strict gun laws statewide.

Police identified the teacher as Jason M. Adams, 46, of Newtown, and said he was found with a concealed firearm.

“We really don’t know the motive and why he was carrying it in school," Chief James Viadero with the Newtown Police said.

After he was detained briefly, police charged Adams with possession of a weapon on school grounds.

He was released on his own recognizance and is due in court in Danbury on April 20. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

"This matter is very serious and troubling, both the Newtown Public School system and the Newtown Police Department took immediate steps to address the matter," the Newtown School System said in a statement that police released. "The teacher was immediately detained by security personnel. The teacher has additionally been placed on administrative leave pending an administrative investigation. Both agencies have been working closely together to investigate the incident and are taking precautions to ensure the continued safety of our students, staff and community members."

The state of Connecticut enacted some of the strictest gun laws in the nation after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where 20 first graders and six educators were killed.    

One parent described Adams as "kind, helpful, considerate."

“I’m shocked," Liz O'Connell, a student's parent, told NBC Connecticut. "I think it’s horrible, obviously I don’t know the reason why but it was a stupid mistake."

Adams has a valid State of Connecticut pistol permit, according to police. They have contacted the State's Licensing and Permit Unit and made them aware of the arrest.

Police said school policy strictly forbids the possession of firearms on school property.

Dan Corcoran contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Newtown Police

Bristol Police Buy Toys for Unemployed Man's Daughter


Two Bristol police officers decided to help a man when they saw him taking a stuffed animal out of a garbage can on Tuesday night. 

When Officer Mark McGrane and Officer Conor Hogan asked the man what he was doing, he told them he would clean the toy to give to his daughter. Both officers have been with Bristol for more than four years. 

"Little cleaner than a garbage can you know?" McGrane told NBC Connecticut. "We’re like 'you’re in bad shape if you’re digging through the garbage can and saying look at this stuffed animal I can wash up and give to my child.' Nobody’s got to have to do that."

McGrane told NBC Connecticut that both he and Hogan have children at home and felt for the man.

"So we just figured as a small thing to do for somebody that would probably make a big impact," Hogan said.

The officers bought the 4-year-old a stuffed animal and a squirt gun from Ocean State Job Lot on Farmington Avenue. The employees kept the store opened after closing for the group.

Hogan asked the man to make him a promise that he would throw out the toy from the garbage. 

"I would hope that somebody would pick me up, help me out," Hogan said

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fire at 'Richest Apartment' in NYC


Items placed too close to a sauna caused a small fire Wednesday at the Park Avenue building that has been dubbed "the world's richest apartment building," according to fire officials in New York City.

Fire marshals also said the fire at 740 Park Avenue, near East 72nd Street, was accidental. 

FNDY crews were called to the small blaze about 3 p.m. Wednesday and quickly snuffed out the flames. The building sustained minor damage and no injuries were reported. 

The Manhattan building has been dubbed "the world's richest apartment building," according to a book chronicling the history of the building and its wealthy residents over the years, including families of and connected to the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers and the Chryslers. 

Jackie Onassis' childhood apartment was also in the building, on the sixth and seventh floors, according to the New York Post. It was last listed for $44 million in 2014. 

Photo Credit: G. Baron

Skies of Lettuce: Rooftop Greenhouses Sprout in Big Cities


Viraj Puri didn’t have much of a green thumb seven years ago. Now he runs a company that produces 20 million heads of lettuce a year.

Puri is the co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens, a company that grows basil, bok choy, arugula, kale and other leafy greens in its rooftop greenhouses in New York City and Chicago.

"I came from an environmental engineering background, not a farming or food background," Puri told NBC. 

He realized his Gotham Greens concept was a viable idea after working in a greenhouse. Winning the New York City Green Business Competition in 2011 cemented his vision. Growing food in greenhouses on rooftops was not only feasible on a commercial scale, it was also an adaptive use of urban space that’s environmentally friendly, he explained. 

City farming itself is nothing new. Roughly 800 million people worldwide practice urban agriculture, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. But growing interest in locally-grown produce in recent years has fueled creative city farming techniques, like vertical farms and community gardens, as well as the relatively new method of rooftop greenhouses. 

Puri co-founded Gotham Greens in 2009 with partner Eric Hailey in response to “this growing trend in the market place in local, transparent, and sustainably produced food.” The company claims it is the largest urban agriculture company in the world and that it has experienced 400 percent growth in the past year with the opening of its Chicago greenhouse in October 2015.

His greenhouse in Chicago's South Side, which sits atop a soap factory and measures 75,000 square feet, churns out nearly 25 crops of leafy greens per year, Puri said in an interview with The Associated Press. In comparison, a conventional farm in the region produces two to four crops, he said. 

Gotham Greens uses alternative farming methods, like hydroponics, which means the leafy greens are grown without soil. Instead, mineral solution and water, which recirculates throughout the greenhouse, nourish the plants. The greenhouses also rely on sunlight and are fully powered by renewable electricity, which allows the company to grow their greens year-round.

"We have heat curtains as part of the greenhouse and we pull them at night and that reduces the volume of air we're heating and that is really a low energy demand for us us, surprisingly," Chief Agriculture Officer Jennifer Nelkin Frymark told the AP.

A major tenant of Gotham Greens business model is its focus on local delivery. Produce is traditionally shipped to stores from California's Central Valley and from Mexico, and arrives in the Midwest and East Coast after several days. Gotham Greens' lettuce arrives in local stores and restaurants just hours after being picked. This not only extends the shelf life of the product, but also minimizes the carbon emissions, Puri told NBC.

"How often do you go to a restaurant and talk about their lettuce?" John Damas, general manager of Chicago restaurant LUXBAR told the AP. "It's kind of strange, but to be able to cut down lettuce and harvest it by hand and have it delivered and on the plate within hours is a huge deal."

Gotham Greens also reduces waste by giving any produce that does not meet grocery store standards to food banks, where it is then distributed to shelters and nonprofits.

In New York, Gotham Greens operates three greenhouses, including one that sits atop Whole Foods in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood. The store's spokesperson Michael Sinatra said the partnership has been a “winning relationship” since both companies focus on reducing the carbon monoxide foot print in food deliveries and turning “food miles into food steps.”

Puri said his company is the only one successfully using the rooftop greenhouse model on a commercial scale. But, he said, “it’s becoming more popular and you are seeing more urban farming start up concepts overall.”

One place greenhouses are also popping up is in schools. New York Sun Works, a nonprofit, is teaching urban agriculture and has installed two rooftop greenhouses on city schools. 

“It really is a new way of teaching science through the lens of urban agriculture,” said Sidsel Robards, director of development and events for Sun Works. “If we all grow the food right here in the city, what would that do to traffic patterns, population, contamination?"

Sun Works has a total of 30 sites in schools to teach urban farming to students and teachers, but the schools often opt to turn a classroom into a “classroom farm” rather than the rooftop greenhouse because of the high cost, according to Robards. A school has to get a permit and build the greenhouse, a process that can take two to four years and cost upwards of $1 million.

While greenhouses serve a vital option in urban farming, Puri is the first to note this method has its limits. 

“I think Gotham Greens' climate controlled green houses can play a role in the future of farming, but I don’t think on its own it's the future of urban farming because it can only produce certain kinds of crops," he said. "It can't do grains, it can't do dairy, or protein."

Photo Credit: Mark Weinberg for Gotham Greens

Hastert Faces Sex Abuse Claims


A new investigation by the Chicago Tribune indicates there may be more sexual abuse claims against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

According to the publication, unnamed law enforcement sources said at least four people made credible allegations of sexual abuse against Hastert. Three of those allegations, the Tribune reports, are believed to have been made by men who say the abuse happened when they were teenagers and Hastert was their coach. The fourth person is reportedly dead.

NBC 5 Investigates reported last month that a man who claims Hastert sexually abused him was cleared to testify in Hastert's upcoming sentencing hearing, along with the sister of another alleged victim, according to statements made during a confidential hearing in the case in late March.

The statements made in court confirmed for the first time what had only been hinted at for months: that Hastert’s case stemmed from allegations of sexual misconduct.

One of the witnesses is believed to Jolene Burdge, who has said in several media interviews her brother, Stephen Reinboldt, recounted sexual abuse at the hands of Hastert when Reinboldt was a student and Hastert the wrestling coach at Yorkville High School. Reinboldt died in 1995 of complications from AIDS.

Hastert pleaded guilty to a crime known as "structuring," an effort to mask payments to an unnamed individual whom he had reportedly wronged decades ago when he was a wrestling coach.

On Wednesday, attorneys for Hastert submitted a nine-page plea for mercy, saying Hastert has been punished enough through failing health and his own guilt and humiliation. They asked that Hastert be spared time behind bars, and instead receive probation when he is sentenced later this month.

“Mr. Hastert’s fall from grace has been swift and devastating,” they wrote. “[He] knows that the days of him being welcomed in the small towns he served all his life are gone forever.”

Hastert’s attorneys noted that soon after his guilty pleas last October, the former speaker’s health declined with a series of medical problems including sepsis and a small stroke. He was hospitalized for more than two months, and even now, needs assistance “getting out of bed, toileting, bathing, and dressing himself.”

Hastert relies on a caregiver 24 hours a day to meet his basic needs, they said, and largely travels in a wheelchair, although he can walk short distances with a walker and an assistant.

“Mr. Hastert feels deep regret and remorse for his actions a decade ago,” they wrote, “and is prepared to face the consequences.”

Prosecutors declined to comment on the Tribune article.

"We will file our memorandum by the Court-ordered deadline tomorrow," Joseph Fitzpatrick, assistant U.S. Attorney with the Northern District of Illinois said in a statement. "As with all sentencings, we intend to provide the Court with relevant information about the defendant’s background and the charged offenses. The Court can consider all relevant factors in the case to determine an appropriate sentence."

NBC Chicago has reached out to Hastert's lawyers for comment on the Tribune report.

Hastert is scheduled for sentencing April 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Quinnipiac Hosting Frozen Four Watch Party Tonight


The Quinnipiac University men’s hockey team is playing in the Frozen Four tonight and their colleagues in Hamden will be cheering them on during a watch party.

The Bobcats are taking on Boston College in Tampa, Florida and the watch party for the semifinal game begins at 5 p.m. on Lender Court at TD Bank Sports Center.

The sports center will open at 4 p.m. and the party is free and open to the public.

Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate, is expected to attend before speaking with political science honors students, according to a statement from the school.

The winner of the Quinnipiac vs. Boston College game will take on the winner of the Denver vs. North Dakota game in the national championship game at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

If the Bobcats advance, there will be another watch game on Saturday at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Photo Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

ISIS Doubles Number of Fighters in Libya


The number of ISIS fighters in Libya has doubled in the past 12 to 18 months, according to the outgoing commanding general of AFRICOM, NBC News reported.

Gen. David Rodriguez said there are 4,000 to 6,000 fighters in the country, mainly in Sirte.

Rodriguez said the U.S. is closely watching the development of a new government in Libya, and will conduct airstrikes against ISIS in the country once that government is developed.  

U.S. officials have warned about the rise of ISIS in Libya, fearing the terrorist group could seize the country’s oil reserves and wealth.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bridgeport Sub Accused of Inappropriate Contact With Student


A male substitute teacher at Harding High School in Bridgeport has been suspended and is under investigation after allegations surfaced of inappropriate contact with a male student.

Av Harris, a spokesperson for the city of Bridgeport, said it is a criminal investigation and the substitute teacher was suspended.

The school's principal, Carmen McPherson, was also placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure when a teacher is subject of an investigation, according to Harris. 

Interim Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz notified parents of McPherson's situation in a letter sent on Tuesday.

"I wish to inform you that Ms. Carmen McPherson, Principal of Harding High School, is on administrative leave.  This leave is without prejudice pending review of certain matters, and no factual determinations have yet been made," Rabinowitz said in the letter.

The substitute is employed by Source4Teachers and the company said the teacher has been suspended from all jobs during the course of the investigation.

“The school district has made Source4Teachers aware that a substitute was removed from a position in Bridgeport Public Schools on March 31, 2016. Given the nature of the allegations and our policy for dealing with such matters, Source4Teachers has indefinitely suspended the substitute from all jobs in all of our partner districts pending a thorough investigation,” the statement says. “The safety of students is always Source4Teachers’ top priority. We are actively working to gather all of the details and are working with the District and law enforcement to provide any necessary information or assistance they need to resolve this matter.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Las Vegas K-9s Bark Goodbye to Fallen Comrade


Las Vegas police dogs barked their goodbyes Wednesday to a comrade killed while nabbing a double-murder suspect.

K-9 Nicky was honored at a private funeral service in the city April 6. Video posted on the police department's Facebook page shows other K-9s barking in chorus in a touching tribute to their slain colleague.

"Nicky was a loyal and dedicated partner who was always happiest being in the truck on patrol with his partner," Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said in a statement Wednesday.

The police dog was killed March 31 while wrestling with a man accused of killing two neighbors. Police responding to the scene late that morning found 31-year-old James Simpson with a gun in his hand. He dropped the gun but refused to heed officers' commands, so they sent Nicky after him, according to police.

The K-9 chased Simpson as he grabbed the gun and fled, firing a shot in the officers' direction. Nicky latched onto Simpson's arm and wrestled him to the ground as police closed in, authorities said.

Simpson opened fire and officers shot back. One of their rounds struck Nicky, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Simpson, who was shot several times and taken to a trauma center, was charged with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, three counts of shooting into an occupied structure and kidnapping. It's not clear if he's hired an attorney.

Police credited Nicky with helping apprehend Simpson and "de-escalate a tense and dangerous encounter."

According to police, Nicky had survived a stabbing just two months prior.

Police called his death a blow to the department and community and vowed to "explore options to improve the safety of our canine partners."

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Police Department
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1 Dead, 1 Hurt in Office Shooting


One man is dead and another is injured after a workplace shooting at a health insurance office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to police.

Authorities responded to a parking lot behind 58 Charles St. shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday.

Kermit Hooks, a 70-year-old former employee of Senior Whole Health, shot himself in an apparent suicide after opening fire on another employee, who was involved in the suspect's termination, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Hooks, a Framingham resident, waited in his car for 58-year-old Charles Obeid to arrive, authorities said.

Officials said Obeid used a briefcase as a shield as bullets rained down. He was treated and released from a hospital.

He says his former co-worker was waiting for him.

"I came early to work, before 8, and I didn't realize there was somebody behind me," Obeid said. "I turned around, I heard a voice, and I heard a shotgun ready to fire."

It all happened in a split second - his quick reaction spared him.

Obeid only sustained shrapnel wounds.

"Physically I'm good," he said. "I have a couple spots on my face. Mentally, it may take a while."

The Norwood man, who did not want his entire face on camera, remembers the haunting words from the shooter as he was about to fire his weapon.

"He said, 'I blame you,'" recalled Obeid. "'You deserve it,' that's what his own words."

Necn went to speak with neighbors Thursday at Hooks' Framingham apartment complex and found a group of Massachusetts State Police leaving his apartment, most likely executing a search warrant.

They walked out with a camera and two brown paper bags.

No one necn found at the apartment complex knew Hooks directly. A light was left on in his apartment, and a mailman says his mail has been piling up in his mailbox.

Another neighbor says he received an abnormal phone call from the main office in late March asking how everything was going, and if he'd seen any recent problems or police around.

It's unclear if that phone call had anything to do with Hooks.

"One of our employees was the victim of workplace violence outside our headquarters," Senior Whole Health said in a statement. "Our immediate thoughts are with that employee. While there is no current threat to our employees, the event was traumatic for everyone in our organization, and we are offering support and counseling to any of our employees who need or want it."

The company describes itself online as "a national leader in providing affordable, innovative healthcare for 'dual-eligibles' — individuals over 65 who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid."

Photo Credit: necn

3 Women Arrested After Argument Turns Violent in Mansfield


 Three people were arrested in Mansfield after an argument ended in one of the women being shot, state police said. 

On Wednesday, Willimantic police responded to a disturbance on Spring Hill Road at approximately 8 p.m. Officers found "several" women arguing and were told someone had been injured, Connecticut State Police said. 

Doctors were able to confirm that the injury was a gunshot wound. Police did not report any information on the fugitive.

Charges for the three women include unlawful discharge of a firearm, assault and breach of peace. 

The case is still under investigation. 

There were no other details immediately available. 

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