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DC Guard Charged After Confronting Transgender Woman in Bathroom

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D.C. police have charged a security guard at a Giant grocery store with simple assault after a transgender woman said the guard forced her out of the women's restroom.

Ebony Belcher, 32, said she went to the Giant in northeast D.C. with a friend to pick up a delivery from the Western Union.

While at the Giant, she asked a store employee to point her to the restroom and passed a female security officer standing in the hallway.

The officer came into the restroom and told her to get out, according to Belcher.

"She opened the door and came in and started calling me derogatory names," Belcher said.

She said the officer put her hand on her shoulder and arm, grabbed her and pushed her out of the store.

Belcher said the guard told her, "You guys cannot keep coming in here and using our women's restroom. They did not pass the law yet."

She said she called police and reported the incident after she left the store. According to a police report, officers arrested the guard at the Giant after the confrontation.

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Belcher said she suffers from Parkinson's disease and almost fell while the officer was shoving her.

The guard, who has not been identified, is a special police officer at a Giant store near Third and H streets in northeast D.C.

Giant issued a statement, which read: "As this matter involves a third party that provides security services for Giant and there's an ongoing criminal investigation, all inquiries related to the incident at the H Street Giant should be directed to the local police for a comment at this time."

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President Obama recently issued a directive to public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.

A controversial law in North Carolina has also brought the issue to the forefront. The law says transgender people must use public bathrooms, showers and changing rooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. The Justice Department has sued North Carolina, saying the law violates civil rights laws.



Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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Abundant Sunshine Tomorrow, Weekend Showers

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A beautiful close to the workweek is in store for tomorrow.

High pressure will sponsor temperatures closing in on 80 degrees inland, but lower 70s along the shore.

A coastal storm will threaten this weekend, but mostly miss.

Both Saturday and Sunday will be mostly cloudy with the chance for afternoon and evening showers.

High temperatures will be near 70 this weekend.

A stubborn upper-level low means unsettled weather sticks around early next week, with on-and-off showers and lots of cloudiness during the heating of the day.

Still, though, temperatures will flirt with 70 degrees, with 80 degrees possible by Thursday.

Ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell Apologizes for 'Ugly Women' Comment

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Ed Rendell has apologized for "incredibly dumb and selfish" comments he made referring to "ugly women in America" while criticizing Donald Trump.

The former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor felt the heat almost immediately after a quote attributed to him appeared in a Washington Post story about Donald Trump's appeal to voters.

"For every one he’ll lose 1½ , two Republican women. Trump’s comments like ‘You can’t be a 10 if you’re flat-chested,’ that’ll come back to haunt him," Rendell had said. "There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally.”

His opinion about the attractiveness of American women was met with swift backlash.

"I was totally taken off guard, because he’s more diplomatic and really has a very good vocabulary most of the time," said Gwendolyn Collins, president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women. "He might not have taken his medicine, or someone slipped him a mickey. It’s not like him to say something like that."

And on Twitter:

Rendell told the AP he was sorry about his "incredibly dumb" comments and that he meant to make light of his his own appearance and argue "there's more of us than there are of them."

Here's part of his apology

 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Pennsylvania Co
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Woman Found With 907 Bags of Heroin: Police

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Connecticut State Police went to help a woman after receiving reports that she was passed out in a car in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Putnam and said they found more than 900 bags of heroin.

When police went to check on Melissa M. Wagner, 27, of Putnam, at 3:06 p.m. on Thursday, she was outside her car and admitted to having a large amount of heroin, according to state police.

Troopers found and seized 907 bags of heroin, .7 grams of crack cocaine, seven sublingual suboxone strips, one suboxone 8 milligram pill, used hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia, police said.

Wagner has been charged with possession with intent to sell, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond was set at $50,000 and she is due in court on May 19.



Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Attempted Armed Robbery Led to Secure Mode at Southington Schools

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Several Southington schools were placed in secure mode after an attempted armed robbery at a Citgo gas station on Thursday morning.

A man with a knife demanded money from the clerk at the Citgo station at 202 Main St. at 9:43 a.m., but the clerk picked up a stool to defend himself and the would-be robber left without getting anything, police said.

As police searched the area, Plantsville Elementary, Derynoski Elementary, Alta, Strong and Kennedy Middle School have all been place in Secure School mode as a precaution, school officials said. The school district sent notices to parents about the secure mode.

During the incident, classes continue as scheduled, according to the schools, but no one was allowed to enter or leave the buildings.

The secure mode was lifted around 11 a.m.

Police said they are looking for a thin man who appeared to be around 21 years old. He was wearing a black hat, dark glasses, a black and white bandana,  black hoodie sweatshirt, black sweatpants and white sneakers. 



Photo Credit: Southington Police

Yard Goats to Play in Norwich Into June

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The Hartford Yard Goats will be playing home games in Norwich through at least the beginning of June instead of in Hartford because of construction delays at Dunkin’ Donuts Park and some games that were supposed to be at home will now be on the road. 

The chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority said on Wednesday that the team might not play in Hartford until July.

The Hartford Yard Goats Baseball Club has now released schedule changes between May 31 and June 16, including moving the three-game series against the Reading Fightin Phils from June 14 to 16 to Reading, Pennsylvania.

The Yard Goats vs. Trenton Thunder series will now take place at Dodd Stadium in Norwich with a double-header on June 1, starting at 4:05 p.m. and a single game on June 2 at 1:05 p.m.

May 31 will now become an off day.

The Yard Goats will also play the four-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs at Dodd Stadium on June 3 at 6 p.m., a double-header on June 5 at 4:05 p.m. and a game on June 6 at 1:05 p.m.

June 4 will now become an off day.

This is the new Yard Goats Schedule:

 

  • Monday, May 23 vs. Bowie at Dodd Stadium: 6:05 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 24 vs Bowie at Dodd Stadium: 4:05 p.m.
  • May 31 is an off day
  • June 1 vs. Trenton at Dodd Stadium: double-header starting at 4:05 p.m.
  • June 2 vs. Trenton at Dodd Stadium: 1:05 p.m.
  • June 3 vs. Portland at Dodd Stadium: 6:05 p.m.
  • June 4 is an off day
  • June 5 vs. Portland Dodd Stadium: double-header starting at 4:05 p.m.
  • June 6 vs. Portland at Dodd Stadium: 1:05 p.m.
  • The series against the Reading Fightin Phils has been moved to Pennsylvania:
  • June 14 vs. Reading, in Reading, Pennsylvania at 6:35 p.m.
  • June 15 vs. Reading, in Reading, Pennsylvania at 6:35 p.m.
  • June 16 vs. Reading, in Reading, Pennsylvania at 1:05 p.m. 

 

Yard Goats season ticket holders will be allowed to attend all of the games in Norwich with complementary tickets, courtesy of the Yard Goats and all other ticket sales will be handed by the Dodd Stadium box office.



Photo Credit: Hartford Yard Goats

Driver Seriously Injured in Crash on Route 8

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Police, firefighters and EMS responded to Route 8 South in Seymour after a truck crashed into a Department of Transportation "crash truck," which is a vehicle holding barrels designed to protect the crew. 

The DOT crew was there to fix potholes, according to the Department of Transportation. The DOT driver was shaken up,  but is OK, according to DOT. 

The front of the truck that hit the DOT vehicle is smashed in and an EMS crews removed the person from the vehicle.  The driver suffered life-threatening injuries, according to state police.

The crash happened between exits 22 and 20 and the southbound side of the road was closed, but reopened around 4 p.m.   

This was the second crash on Route 8 South on Thursday. Two people were killed in a wrong-way crash near exit 13 in Shelton early this morning.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

NYC Man Who Joined ISIS: 'Worst Decision I've Ever Made'

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A New York City man who traveled to Syria to join ISIS before escaping months later called the experience "the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life." 

In an exclusive interview set to air Thursday on "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" ahead of a longer feature on "Dateline: On Assignment" Sunday evening, the man identified as Mo told NBC News' Richard Engel about how he went from being a student at one of the nation’s top colleges to the ranks of the violent terrorist organization in Syria.

"At one point towards the end as things were getting more and more serious, I did see severed heads placed on spiked poles," he told Engel.

Mo, who traveled to Turkey to join ISIS before he eventually escaped, was detained by federal authorities and is in custody and cooperating with counterterrorism efforts. He told Engel that he agreed to take the interview to combat the organization’s propaganda machine.

"The Islamic State is not bringing Islam to the world, and people need to know that," he said. "And I'll say that…till the day I die."



Photo Credit: NBC News

Southington Man Charged With Inappropriate Contact With Child

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A 32-year-old Southington man accused of inappropriate contact with a child on several occasions has been arrested. 

Few details were released, but a Southington police news release says Gary Allard Jr., 32, of Southington, is accused of inappropriate contact with a child under the age of 16 on Aug. 1, 2015, Feb. 2 and April 24. 

He was arrested on May 13 on a warrant and charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child, two counts of breach of peace in the second degree and fourth-degree sexual assault. 

He posted a $2,500 bond. 

The warrant is sealed and police have not released any additional information. 

It’s not clear if he has an attorney. He is due back in court on June 15.



Photo Credit: Southington Police

3 Air Marshals Among Passengers on EgyptAir Jet

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Three air marshals were flying on EgyptAir Flight MS804, which crashed over the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday, according to authorities.

EgyptAir confirmed the names of the security team to NBC News Thursday as Mohamed Ahmed Abd al Razak Abd al Kareem, Ahmed Mohamed Magdy Ahmad and Mohamed Abdel Monim Al Ghoneimy al Kyal.

A former NTSB investigator told MSNBC that Egypt recently boosted security, which could explain for the number of officers on board. But France’s transport chief Alain Vidalies said having that many security forces on board such a flight was “the usual practice.”

Sixty-six passengers were on board the plance, which was able to carry up to 189 passengers. The flight was not transporting any freight, Vidalies said. 

Egyptian security has been under scrutiny since a Russian Metrojet plane crashed after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh airport on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board.



Photo Credit: AP, File

Woman Charged With Killing Boyfriend With Scissors

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Police have charged a woman with the murder of her boyfriend at an East Hartford hotel in February.

Police said Samantha Wheeler, 27, stabbed her boyfriend, Myron Sanborn, with scissors during an argument at the Madison Inn on Feb. 11 and Sanborn later died at Hartford Hospital.

Wheeler was arrested on a warrant on Thursday while appearing at Manchester Superior Court on other charges.

She is being held on $1 million bond.



Photo Credit: East Hartford Police

No Injuries Reported in West Haven School Bus Crash

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A bus heading to Carrigan Intermediate School in West Haven was involved in a crash on Thursday morning.

A statement on the school department’s Facebook page says Bus H was involved in a crash around 7:50 a.m. while it was stopped at a traffic light on Saw Mill Road.

No injuries are reported, but a medical team from Yale and school nurses checked the students as a precaution.

By 8:40 a.m., all students were again on their way to school, where they were given breakfast and made their way to class around 9 a.m.

9 Arrests Linked to Statewide Opioid Crackdown: DOJ

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State, local and federal officials held a news conference in New Britain today following a statewide fentanyl and other opioids crackdown.

This month, Nine people were arrested on various federal charges related to fentanyl, other drugs and intent to distribute following a months-long investigation.

John Casadei, 45, of Morris, Jared Mcbriarty, 31, of Bristol, Kyle Petersen, 30, of New Britain, Carlos Enriquez, 27, of Enfield, Jesus Correa, 41, of New Britain, Isaac Ortiz, 35, of Newington, Tomasz Ziobron, 30, of New Britain and Dominique Greco, 29, of Cromwell are all in custody, while Charles Orcutt, 27, of Windsor, was released on a $10,000 bond, the U.S. attorney Deidre M. Daly said.

Daly believes this was the state's largest fentanyl bust to date. 

“We believe that this groundbreaking investigation has identified a major supplier of fentanyl in our state,” said Daly. “Fentanyl is a highly dangerous synthetic opioid which can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin. In the wrong hands, it’s deadly.

DEA's Hartford Task Force and New Britain Police were informed that Peterson was selling fentanyl powder, prescription pills and marijuana. 

Officials set up multiple controlled purchases of fentanyl from Peterson and wiretaps found that McBriarty was supplying Peterson with the drugs. 

Wiretaps also revealed McBriarty's supplier, Casadei, who used the darknet to purchase large quantities of fentanyl from China. 

Special agent in charge of the DEA of New England, Michael J. Ferguson, said often substances to create fentanyl is purchased from China and produced in Mexico but fentanyl can also be ordered from China over the internet. 

Police found that in addition to fentanyl, Casadei possessed Xanex and oxycodone pills. 

Peterson allegedly sold fentanyl and other drugs to Orcutt, Enriquez, Correra, Ortiz, Ziobron and Greco, who in turn, sold the substances throughout central Connecticut. 

In total, officials seized $500,000 in cash, firearms, 2.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 2.5 kilograms of MDMA or 'Molly', 50,000 counterfeit Xanex pills, 40 pounds of marijuana, steroids and butane hash oil, the Department of Justice said. 

Last month, officials created the statewide heroin and opioid law enforcement initiative to target heroin, fentanyl or opioids dealers. 

“Connecticut, just like many other states in this nation, are suffering from this terrible epidemic. These tragic deaths have occurred in every corner of our state, from the smallest towns to the largest  cities,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said during a news conference. “No one has been spared.”  

Casadei, McBriarty and Peterson are all accused of conspiracy to distribute, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Peterson is also accused of possession with intent to distribute at least 400 grams of fentanyl.

Orcutt, Enriquez, Correa, Ortiz, Ziobron and Greco are accused of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute, controlled substances.

Car Hits Woman in Windham Hospital Parking Lot

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A car hit a woman in the parking lot of Windham Hospital on Thursday morning and the driver who struck her also hit part of the hospital building and a tree, police said.

The woman was struck in the parking lot around 10:05 a.m. and the woman was brought into the Windham Hospital emergency room with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Police are investigating the crash and said the driver was not hurt.

No charges have been filed and police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call police.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cromwell High School Student Appears in Court

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A Cromwell High School student charged in an attempted armed robbery and home invasion at the University of Hartford appeared in court on Thursday and he is due back in court next month.

Police said Mayze James, 18, of Hartford, was masked and carrying a gun when he broke into a dorm room on April 28, for marijuana and money.

(DERON FREEMAN / DEFFENSE ATTORNEY)
"I can’t tell you that Mayze is a kid who has no prior criminal history and who is a very very good student and a scholar athlete,"
"I can tell you that Mayze is a kid who has no prior criminal history and who is a very very good student and a scholar athlete," James’ attorney, Deron Freeman, said.

The victim told police James was wearing a mask and carrying a gun when he broke into the dorm room in B Complex April. The victim fended off the suspect, who fled from the scene.

Freeman said his client is now expelled and had future plans as a football player.

"He played three years and was looking forward to a scholarship and at this point all of his aspirations have been derailed," Freeman said.

The victim told police that his 19-year-old roommate sold marijuana and said the intruder was wearing a mask, so he could not identify him, but he had very distinctive footwear, police said -- a pair of Lebron 11 Christmas shoes.

After reviewing surveillance footage, investigators determined that the descriptions of the robber and James matched.

"The evidence is very light that Mr. James is involved at all. I think, in the long run, that

we will prove he is not the person they are looking for," Freeman said. 

James was charging him first-degree robbery and second-degree assault, according to the Hartford Police logs.

James is due back in court on June 9.

Expanded Role for Trump Aide Paul Manafort

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Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s top aide, will be taking on a bigger role in the presumptive nominee’s campaign, NBC News reported.

Manafort will become campaign chairman and chief strategist, signaling a sign of future changes as Trump focuses on the general election.

Manafort joined Trump’s campaign in late March to lead the delegate effort when Trump’s rivals were pushing for a convention fight.

The campaign stressed that Corey Lewandowski will maintain his title as campaign manager and will “continue overseeing day to day operation” and will work with Manafort on political strategy and communications, according to Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Vote on LGBT Rights Fails, Causes Chaos on House Floor

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An amendment to help protect LGBT people from discrimination failed by just one vote Thursday, creating chaos on the House floor, NBC News reported. 

During the vote, Republicans allowed a few members of their party to switch their votes to ensure the measure wouldn’t pass. The vote was originally scheduled for two minutes, but was held open for eight minutes.

The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-New York, would have prevented contractors from securing government work if they discriminate against members of the LGBT community. 

House Democrats chanted “shame, shame, shame” on the floor as the measure went from 217 votes down to just 212 when the vote was gaveled.



Photo Credit: AP
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Md. Trump Delegate Indicted on Child Porn, Weapons Charges

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A man slated to be a delegate for Donald Trump has been indicted on child pornography and other charges, according to officials, NBC News reported. 

The Department of Justice announced Thursday that Caleb Andrew Bailey of Waldorf, Maryland, was indicted by a federal grand jury. Bailey is charged with using a minor to produce child pornography as well as possessing child pornography. 

Officials also charged him with illegal possession of a machine gun and illegal transportation of explosives. 

A spokesman for the Maryland Republican Party told NBC News the person named in the DOJ report was the same person slated to be a Trump delegate. Bailey won the slot by being directly elected on Maryland's ballot last month. 

"We strongly condemn these allegations and leave it in the capable hands of law enforcement," spokesman Hope Hicks said Thursday. "He will be replaced immediately."



Photo Credit: AP

Blast School Trains Law Enforcement On Latest In Explosives

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They’re on the front lines of the war on terror and on Wednesday, they were in Preston to prepare.

Dozens of local, state, and federal law enforcement from Connecticut and beyond came to the old Norwich State Hospital grounds as part of a week-long Blast School, an intensive course taught by expert bomb technicians and federal prosecutors.

The goals are to prevent a bomb from going off, catch the bad guys when one does, and make sure there’s enough evidence to put those responsible away for a long time.

According to Sam DiPasquale, an FBI Master Bomb Technician, an explosion can tell you a lot about what and who is behind it, from the color and smell of the smoke to the traces of chemicals left behind in the rubble.

“These students will actually go through and forensically collect evidence. They'll present it to the federal prosecutors. They will guide them into other avenues if they're not there yet on how to gather more information,” he said.

More than a dozen easily obtainable explosive materials and detonators were tested, with students analyzing the damage the different materials cause and gathering evidence the feds will need to prosecute.

It’s not surprising that almost all the investigators who processed the Boston Marathon Bombing scene had previously trained in this class. “What we are trying to do is take these investigators that are here to the next level,” explained DiPasquale.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

NFL to Reimburse Taxpayers $720K for 'Paid Patriotism'

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The NFL is reimbursing U.S. taxpayers more than $720,000 in so-called "paid patriotism" money that the teams took from the military to allow things like color guard displays at football games, NBC News reports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a letter to two U.S. senators, said an audit uncovered that, over four years, $723,734 "may have been mistakenly applied to appreciation activities rather than recruitment efforts."

"This amount will be promptly returned in full to the taxpayers," he wrote Wednesday to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who have led the charge against the practice.

"These recruitment efforts are intended to be separate and apart from the NFL's longstanding support of the service members and families who have dedicated their lives to serving this great country," Goodell wrote.

Flake and McCain, both Republicans, revealed in November that up to $6.8 million had been paid "inappropriately" to professional and college sports teams to allow patriotic displays at games.



Photo Credit: AP, File
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