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Who Is David French and is He Running for President?


Conservative "Never Trump" activist Bill Kristol has been courting someone to mount a third-party candidacy for president this year — and this week that potential candidate's name emerged: David French.

French is a constitutional lawyer and National Review writer, and several sources have confirmed to NBC News that he is interested in a bid. He has not, however, committed to running.

French is a conservative thinker, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a co-author of a best-selling book that bills itself as the "definitive book on ISIS."

Perhaps the bigger question is can a relatively unknown private citizen mount a presidential bid in five months against two people who are much better-known: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump?

One thing that seems clear is he is no fan of Trump being the GOP nominee.

"When I look at Trump, I see a catastrophe in the making," French wrote in a recent column. "And for that reason — among many others — I cannot in good conscience vote for the instrument of national crisis."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Murder-Suicide on UCLA Campus


Two people are dead in a murder-suicide Wednesday that led to a lockdown and campus-wide search involving hundreds of officers at UCLA, Los Angeles police said. 

The shootings occurred in a small office inside Boelter Hall on the Westwood campus. Students and colleagues identified the slaying victim as Professor William Klug. His attacker was a student who was not identified. Their bodies were found together in an office.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said a gun and note were found near the bodies.

"There is a note," Beck said. "I don't know if it's a suicide note. I don't know if it's a confession. I don't know what it is."

Klug was an aerospace and mechanical engineering professor. He was a husband and the father of two young children, friends said.

Students said they were in shock.

"I’m just outraged," said Renjie Li, a student who knew Klug. "I’m mad that someone would do that to a young professor who just started his career at UCLA. It’s just a shame."

Li took a computer science class from Klug. Li said he was one of the most approachable professors on campus.

"He was always there for us. I just really appreciate him being that type of person there when I’m in trouble doing my project or having trouble figuring out a problem," Li said. "He’s definitely one of my favorite professors here at UCLA."

The department earlier received a report of a possible active shooter on the campus, setting off the SWAT search and lockdown on the campus of 43,000 undergraduate students. SWAT officers continued the search into early Wednesday afternoon, when robbery-homicide division detectives took over the investigation and the campus was cleared.

Campus police said they received a report of two shots fired, and there were no additional reports of gunfire as of midday. The response included hundreds of officers from UCLA, the Los Angeles Police Department and Santa Monica College, said UCLA Police Chief James Herren.

No other injuries were reported, Herren said. The lockdown was lifted about 12:30 p.m., but classes were canceled for the remainder of the day. Scott Waugh, UCLA vice chancellor and provost, said campus operations would return to normal Thursday, and next week's finals would not be disrupted.

"We want to resume normal operations as quickly as possible so we will resume scheduled classes tomorrow morning," Waugh said. "Faculty, staff and students should show up tomorrow and go through their regular routines and complete the quarter as planned. We will go ahead with commencement and final examinations over the next few weeks and hope to return our campus to normal and return the Bruin community to its normal operations. This is a tragic event but it does show that with adequate preparation and good cooperation with all our law enforcement agencies, we can bring it to a successful close.

"I want to say that our hearts go out to the victims."

The emergency response to the engineering lab included a campus-wide alert system notification that asked students to go to a secure location. Students, many of whom are preparing for final exams, described a large police response with officers shouting for people to find shelter.

"At first we weren't really sure it was real," said student Landen Baldwin from his apartment a few blocks from campus. "It was s very quick turnaround time between the alert about police activity and the confirmation that there was a shooting. This one was very definitive within a couple minutes that the situation was as drastic as it was."

The LAPD was on city-wide tactical alert, meaning all personnel were to remain on duty until the situation is resolved.

Aerial video showed several ambulances on the campus, located in Los Angeles' Westwood area. A nurse at nearby Ronald Reagan Medical Center told NBC News the hospital also was locked down.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said agents responded, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Obama was briefed aboard Air Force One about the shooting.

The campus, located on 19 acres at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, has an enrollment of 43,200 undergraduate students. The majority of undergraduates are from California, but the campus population includes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

GoFundMe account has been set up here to help Klug's family. 

NBC4's Whitney Irick contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP
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Obama Defends Policies, Calls Trump's Proposals 'Crazy'


President Obama blasted Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday, calling one of the billionaire’s proposals “crazy” during a visit to Elkhart, Indiana, NBC News reported. 

While not using Trump’s name, Obama referred to the “Republican nominee,” calling the proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants a “fantasy,” and dismissed Trump’s view that immigrants are taking jobs away from native-born Americans. 

Obama defended his policies and rebutted rhetoric that trade agreements are costing the U.S. jobs. 

"America's economy is not just better than it was eight years ago. It is the strongest and most durable economy in the world," he said at Concord High School in Elkhart.         

The northern Indiana town of 50,000 was the first city Obama visited in 2009 as president. Back then, he highlighted the area’s rapidly increasing jobless rate, which eventually reached almost 20 percent.

Photo Credit: AP

Portland Students Get Bottled Water After Lead Found in 2 Schools


Portland, Oregon, is among the growing list of cities where parents have learned that their children were drinking lead-tainted water in school, NBC News reported. 

The city notified parents last week that fixtures in two schools tested in March showed toxins above federally-regulated levels. 

Portland Public Schools is putting 49,000 students on bottled water until it can test all 78 schools over the summer. An external investigator will come in to answer questions about prior testing, results and response.

School districts across the country have been testing water fountains and sinks since the Flint water crisis. Many cities have reported high levels of lead in the water of some educational buildings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Much Work Left at Dunkin' Donuts Park


There's still a lot of work left on a ballpark that was described as up to 97 percent complete.

The substantial completion date laid out by the developer DoNo Hartford LLC and the construction company Centerplan was May 17.

With the park now two weeks past due, Hartford Yard Goats' owner said he felt obligated to show Hartford taxpayers what their baseball stadium looks like.

Solomon showed NBC Connecticut numerous areas that required work. Bar areas in the VIP section and in centerfield have not been completed, with either exposed metal or wood.

An indoor-outdoor seating area with a fireplace is mainly covered by scaffolding behind homeplate and luxury suites.

In the VIP area, the ceiling ends about a foot before the wall does heading into an outdoor area and there are sprinklers below installed light fixtures.

Bathrooms in right field and in the luxury suites have tile installed but still lack toilets and sinks.

There are sections of seats that were supposed to be installed in the outfield that instead have had concrete poured over them.

The area where Bear's BBQ will eventually be located is mainly an empty construction site with some equipment scattered.

Dunkin Donuts' Park is supposed to have a concourse that connects the entire stadium all the way around but there is currently a five foot section of concrete missing in the outfield, leaving a gap in the concourse.

Developer Jason Rudnick with DoNo Hartford LLC told NBC Connecticut what Solomon put on display is not a fair representation of the baseball stadium.

Rudnick, who has described the progress as between 95 percent and 97 percent over the past several weeks, said much of the main concourse below is finished, in addition to kitchens, most seating, and bathrooms in that section of the stadium.

Solomon said he wanted to show the stadium to the city paying for it, and to show the 300 eventual employees that their workplace isn't yet ready even for training.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

I-95 Southbound in Milford Reopens Following Crash

5 Cases of Whooping Cough Confirmed at Winsted School


There are five confirmed cases of whooping cough at the Gilbert School in Winsted and school officials have sent a letter warning parents.

School officials said they have notified the state Department of Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and can cause uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe.

Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but it can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old, according to the CDC.

Gilbert School students who are found to be coughing are sent to the school nurse, who will notify the parents and urge them to take their child to the doctor.

If whooping cough is confirmed, the students are not allowed back in school until after taking antibiotics for five days.

If the test comes back negative for pertussis, the student will need a doctor’s note indicating that.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Former CoCo Key Resort Liquidation Sale in Waterbury


The former CoCo Key Resort in Waterbury announced it will be liquidating the hotel and waterpark. 

Hotel Content Liquidators LLC will handle the sale of the entire contents of both hotel and water park, including the bar, restaurant, commercial laundry and commercial kitchen.

The liquidation tag sale will be open to the public on Saturday, June 4 starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. The same sale will be going for the next 45 days Monday through Saturday at the same time, Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

The business that was open for eight years offered an indoor water park, more than 280-hotel rooms and event space, according to the Waterbury Regional Chamber and employed close to 300 people during peak season.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

'Fraudulent': Former Employees Describe Trump U. in Court Docs


Two former employees of Trump University called the courses offered by the for-profit real estate school “fraudulent schemes,” saying they focused on making money instead of educating students, according to court testimony, NBC News reported.

Ronald Schnackenberg, a Trump University sales manager from 2006-2007 said in his testimony that “it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.” 

Jason Nicholas, a sales executive from May to October of 2007, said he felt the courses "did not provide a legitimate real-estate education" and Trump University was "just selling false hopes and lies."

New documents unsealed by a court order issued last weekend, include testimony from a former executive about high satisfaction rates from its students. Mark Covais, Director of Operations for the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, collected data, showing “97 percent of TU students” rating the programs “4.85 or higher on a scale of 1-5.”

Photo Credit: AP

State Insurance Commissioner Attends Foundations Meeting


People showed up a meeting in South Windsor to learn what's being done about crumbling home foundations.

A state investigation has concluded the problems are all linked to a mineral in the concrete called pyrrhotite.

“We’re talking about something that is devastating people’s lives, destroying the value of their homes, and their property,” said South Windsor's mayor Tom Delnicki.

Wednesday included the first time State Insurance Commissioner Katherine Wade met with homeowners at one of these events.

Her department handles people who are fighting their insurance companies.

“We have only received a handful of complaints,” said Wade.

Wednesday’s meeting sent a message far beyond the room.

Leaders urged people who suspect their foundation is in trouble to file a complaint with the state Department of Consumer Protection.

As of Wednesday night, 223 people have done that.

State leaders said the more people who are registered will help with the investigation into the problem and a possible solution.

“Not knowing if this is a ten million dollar problem or 100 million dollar problem, it’s hard. But I think we should do something at the state level,” said State Sen. Timothy Larson, the majority whip.

A state investigation is trying to figure out, besides the mineral, what else might possibly be causing this issue.

The results are expected in the fall.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

DEEP Braces For Less Funding to Operate State Parks


Camping at Hammonasset Beach State Park has been a summer tradition for Larry Hart for more than five decades.

“We never had electricity when I first came,” he said. “They had outhouses.”

The Waterbury resident has been monitoring the state’s budget crisis.

“It’s a shame the way they are laying people off,” Hart said.

Hart is among the many visitors worried how funding cuts will affect Connecticut’s state parks.

“I am concerned that they do maintain them and don’t cut too much,” Hart said. “Because if they do we’ll be hurting here.”

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) operates and maintains more than a hundred state parks. The new state budget slashes DEEP funding by 11 percent or about $8 million.

“After July 4th we’re likely to need to make some changes to live with the reduced resources we have,” DEEP Spokesperson Dennis Schain said.

The funding cuts could mean reduced hours for seasonal park employees or fewer hires, Schain said.

“It’s going to be tough for the kids, college kids, high school kids that work here, a lot of them depend on doing this year after year,” said Dennis Leghorn while spending the afternoon at the Hammonasset Beach.

There may be even fewer lifeguards on duty at the beaches and not as many ticket takers at park entrances.

“That’s definitely an issue if I want to bring my kids, we would definitely come back here,” said Esther Rosenkranz from Queens, New York, during a visit to the Connecticut beach.

“If they eliminate some of the lines on the weekend you’ve got people will probably be way outside the highway just to get in,” Hart said.

On a perfect Wednesday to be outside on the shoreline, visitors had no complaints.

“The question is what will it be like at the end of the summer,” Leghorn said.

None of the state parks are in jeopardy of being shut down, Schain said, but some smaller campgrounds may need to close to stay within budget.

Tasmanian Devil Gets Pacemaker


After undergoing surgery to implant a pacemaker, Tasmanian devil "Nick” is back in his habitat at San Diego Zoo's Australian Outback section.

Nick was closely monitored by zoo veterinarians at an off-exhibit area for two weeks after his surgery – only the second to ever be performed on a Tasmanian devil.

During a routine health exam in January zoo veterinarians discovered Nick had an abnormal heart rhythm, cardiac conduction disorder, which causes his heart to beat very slowly.

Zoo veterinarians consulted with cardiologist Joao Orvalho, DVM —a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, from the University of California, Davis—and determined the best way to improve the quality of Nick’s life was to surgically implant a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat.

"Now the pacemaker is basically going to take over his heart and is going to determine when to play the pace fast or slow depending on his activity," Dr. Orvalho said. 

Cora Singleton, DVM, San Diego Zoo associate veterinarian, and her staff worked collaboratively with veterinary surgeon Fred Pike, DVM, a Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons on May 11 to perform the surgery.

"We have not done one of these before," Dr. Singleton said. "This type of heart disease has been documented in Tasmanian devils as they get older, but most facilities don't place a pacemaker, so we are the second in the United States to perform this procedure." 

Veterinarians usually place pacemakers in the neck, but because of the Tasmanian devil's neck shape vets placed it in the animal's abdomen and sutured the electrode to the heart, a slightly more complicated procedure. 

The surgery was successful with no complications and Nick was released the same day to recuperate at the zoo hospital.

“We are optimistic that this procedure will give Nick an additional one to two years of a happy and healthy life,” Dr. Singleton explained. “He will have a recheck exam to evaluate his pacemaker in three to six months, then annually thereafter.”

Tasmanian devils are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They are native to the island state of Tasmania, which is part of Australia, and they can live up to seven years. 

Tasmanian devils face extinction in the wild due to devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a rare, contagious cancer found only in devils. It is transmitted from one animal to another through biting, a common behavior among devils when mating and feeding.

The disease kills all infected devils within six to 12 months, and there is no known cure or vaccine.

All four Tasmanian devils at the San Diego Zoo are healthy, and the zoo is a partner of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, based in Tasmania.

The program collaborates with research institutes and zoos around the world to save the Tasmanian devil.

Top Pentagon Official Charged With Stealing License Plates


Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon's top public affairs official, has entered an agreement with prosecutors to keep him out of jail after he was charged with stealing license plates from a neighborhood car, according to court documents.

Whitman, 58 — who as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs is one of the highest-ranking civilians in the Pentagon — remains on the job, deputy Pentagon press secretary Gordon Trowbridge told NBC News on Wednesday.

Records filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court show that Whitman and Washington, D.C., prosecutors have agreed to defer his prosecution on three counts of first- and second-degree theft, which were filed May 5.

The charges will be dismissed next year if Whitman pays restitution, completes about a week of community service and doesn't run afoul of the law in any other way, according to the agreement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

More Americans Are OK With Same-Sex Experiences: Poll


A new study finds that Americans are more accepting than ever before of same-sex canoodling. And not only do they think it's okay — they're trying it for themselves.

Nearly half — 49 percent — said "sexual relations between two adults of the same sex" was "not wrong at all" in 2014, a team of researchers from Florida Atlantic University, San Diego State University and Widener University found.

They did not conduct the survey themselves, the team looked at the results of the General Social Survey, a large ongoing survey of around 30,000 U.S. adults conducted by the University of Chicago since 1972.

In 1973, just 11 percent of Americans said they thought homosexual sex was "not wrong." By 1990 that percentage had risen just slightly, to 13 percent, the team wrote in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Close Race Between Clinton and Sanders in California: Poll


Hillary Clinton has a narrow two-point lead over rival Bernie Sanders in California ahead of the state’s June 7 primary, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. 

Clinton gets the support of 49 percent of like Democratic primary voters, while Sanders gets 47 percent. 

Among a wider electorate of all potential Democratic voters in California, Sanders is ahead by one point, 48 percent to 47 percent. 

Clinton and Sanders running even in California wouldn't affect the overall delegate math in the Democratic race, where Clinton leads Sanders by some 270 pledged delegates and 770 overall delegates.

But a Sanders victory in California could give him justification to stay in the race, even though he trails in the delegate math.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

CT $1M Powerball Winner's Time Running Out


There's a winning lottery ticket from Fairfield County worth a million dollars and it’s going to expire tomorrow.

The winning numbers are:

13 - 27 - 33 - 47 - 68 and the Powerball is 13.

Lotto officials said the ticket was sold December 5, 2015 and the winner is still out there.

"I'm sitting here looking through drawers and everything else trying to find out if maybe I got it!" said Jerald Pitko of Hartford.

The winner has until midnight Thursday to claim the prize. Lotto officials said the winner can visit any lotto retailer to cash in. If the prize is not claimed, the $1,000,000 will go to the state.

"If that was my million, I'd be mad if I didn't had it!" said Daniel Patrick of Hartford.

Instructions on how to claim a lotto prize can be found here

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'The Purge' Inspires Killing Spree


alJohnathan Cruz, of Indianapolis, faces 17 charges including felony murder, robbery, intimidation and a criminal gang enhancement, Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry said Wednesday.

Cruz is accused of gunning down Billy Boyd and Jay Higgenbotham on May 12 and Jose Ruiz on May 16 after choosing his victims "100 percent at random," Curry said.

Prosecutors said Cruz bragged about going on a "purge" before the killings, in reference to the 2013 movie about a fictional 12-hour time period in which all crimes committed are legal.

"Just when you think you can't experience anything more inexplicable and shocking as we frequently do, you are then confronted with circumstances that almost leave you at a loss for words," Curry said in a news conference Wednesday.

Three pages of exhibits filed in court documents show social media posts and text messages from Cruz’s alias, "Sav Hunna," that include numerous racial slurs and photos in which he is seen flashing gang signs, according to NBC News.

In one of the text messages uncovered by NBC News, Cruz allegedly wrote to his girlfriend: "U Better go on Face book and watch da videos of me shootin people I Purge every night now Since im dieing someone else Has to Alot Of people [expletive] dat."

Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department found the first victim, Boyd, lying on a sidewalk May 12 with two gunshot wounds to the head, the Indianapolis Star reports. The next victim, Higgenbotham, was found dead on a sidewalk hours later. He had also been shot multiple times.

The body of the final victim, Jose Ruiz, was discovered May 15 in the driver's seat of a Pontiac, according to police.

The morning of the first two killings, Cruz’s mother texted him to ask what he was doing, The Indianapolis Star reports. Cruz allegedly responded by sending a screenshot of a news article covering his first two killings.

"Delete those after u read it," Cruz told his mother, according to the newspaper.

On May 14, Cruz met up with a teenage girl to whom he had been selling drugs, the Indy Star reports. The two got into an argument and Cruz pulled out a gun, threatening to kill her if she left. He later tried to make her watch a video that showed him shooting Higgenbotham, according to the newspaper.

Cruz was already was in jail on charges of criminal confinement, kidnapping and battery in connection with an alleged drug deal gone bad. The case is unrelated to the killings.

A message seeking comment was left for his public defender in that case.

Photo Credit: WTHR/Marion County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

Police Investigate Serious Crash on Route 164 in Griswold


Part of Route 164 in Griswold was closed early this morning for a serious crash, but it has since reopened.

Route 164, or Preston Road, was closed between Brewster and Terry roads.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Battled 2-Alarm Fire in Hartford


Firefighters battled a two-alarm fire in the 600 block of Maple Avenue in Hartford and the road is shut down. 

Officials said it started in a bodega at the corner of Maple and Campfield avenues and spread to the back of the building. 

Darren Hudson, interim assistant chief of the Hartford Fire Department, said the fire was reported at 7:45 a.m. and firefighters found fire on the first floor of the bodega. 

Two employees were inside when the fire started and a resident of the second floor woke up and got out of the building before firefighters responded. No one was injured. 

"Companies immediately went to work and put lines into play and started attacking the fire," he said. 

Then, fire started coming from the back of the building. 

The second alarm was called at 8:16 a.m. 

“Attempts were made to put it under control, but for safety purposes and the fact that all individuals were out of the building, the chief decided to go to a defensive operation and protect the exposures,” Hudson said. 

The fire continued burning as firefighters struggled to extinguish the blaze from above. 

“The fire is burning up in the crevices of that peak and you can’t really get a good shot with the streams up there through the windows. So sometimes you have to wait for the fire to show itself before you put it out,” said Hudson.  

The fire continued burning as firefighters struggled to extinguish the blaze from above. 

“The fire is burning up in the crevices of that peak and you can’t really get a good shot with the streams up there through the windows. So sometimes you have to wait for the fire to show itself before you put it out,” Hudson said. 

To get around the area, use Broad Street, Wethersfield Avenue and Fairfield Avenue as alternates. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Isolated Shower Expected Friday


A split weekend of weather is ahead.

Low clouds, mist and fog will move in tonight ahead of a cold front.

While it will be mainly dry tomorrow, it will also be mostly cloudy. An isolated shower is possible.

Saturday is the pick of the weekend with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 80s inland, upper 70s along the shoreline.

Rain is likely Sunday into Sunday night, so temperatures will be lower, near 70. It will be a cool day.

Unsettled weather sticks around through early next week as an upper-level low moves overhead.

That means more clouds than sunshine, with the potential for an isolated thunderstorm. Temperatures will be near 80 degrees.

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