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Slain Runner's Family Wants Justice


The family of a runner whose body was found in a Queens marsh late Tuesday after she was reported missing had strong words for the 30-year-old's killer. 

"I’m here to remind you in case you don’t already know that now, it’s the whole entire world against you," said Cathie Vetrano, mother of Karina Vetrano. "The whole entire world knows what a pathetic, puny, weak, piece of filth that you are. The whole world knows that and soon I know they’re all going to know your face."

Cathie Vetrano said her daughter was a "force to be reckoned with," and that her killer "will be reckoning with that force not only for the rest of your pathetic life but for the rest of eternity as you f---ing burn in hell."

Phil Vetrano thanked the police for their work investigating the killing and sexual assault of his daughter.

"This press conference is all about thanks," Phil Vetrano said. "Myself and my family owe everything to the NYPD, and can only ever hope to bring justice for my daughter Karina through them and their hard work."

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Thursday that the department believes there is a "severe community threat" after the killing of Vetrano, who left her Howard Beach home to run near Gateway National Park Tuesday afternoon and never came home. The department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Boyce, who previously said the circumstances of the killing were "extraordinarily rare," confirmed that Vetrano had been sexually assaulted in the attack, but that she "put up a ferocious fight right until the end."

"She was beaten quite severely which suggests she put up a good fight," he said. 

On Friday afternoon, investigators found Vetrano's missing sneaker and earbud in the weeds near a running path, sources said, alongside a secluded, overgrown marsh at the edge of Jamaica Bay. 

Law enforcement sources say nothing in Vetrano's personal life raised a red flag. Investigators are questioning local sex offenders, a routine step. A public sex offender registry shows nine level-three offenders in the neighborhood.

The young woman worked as a caterer for RV Rooftop at Vetro, which said in an Instagram post it would be closed Wednesday to hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance. She was a world traveler and aspiring writer, and on her blog, she wrote about her life: "It's chaotic and unpredictable, but I do believe that on some days, it's quite beautiful, in all its poetic little tragedies." 

No arrests have been made in the case, and authorities are reviewing digital evidence from the park.

Anyone with information about Vetrano's death should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York / Instagram

Hartford Police Investigating City's 11th Homicide of 2016


Hartford police are investigating the city's 11th homicide of the year after a man was found gunned down in the city’s North end.

According to Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley, Hartford officers in the area of 1994 Main St. heard several gunshots just after 10 p.m. on Saturday night.

“We had some officers in the area that heard shots fired, said Deputy Chief Foley. “In fact they right across the street in that church parking lot heard some shots fired came over here and found a male victim shot multiple times.”

They located Steven Keaton, 42 of New Britain, in a shared common hallway of a multi-family home, shot multiple times. The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say they are searching for two suspects, one wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and another wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.

The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division is on scene.

Black Lives Matter Banner Repeatedly Vandalized in Hartford


It’s been a challenging time for an Episcopal Church in Hartford, targeted for taking a stand against social injustice. In 2014, Christ Church Cathedral put up a “Black Lives Matter,” banner on the fence of their property. The banner has been vandalized four times, most recently last Thursday.

The word “black” was cut off the banner leaving it to say “lives matter.”

The head of the church says she knew taking a stand would not be without controversy.

“You expect responses. You expect reactions,” said the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. “When we say black lives matter we are not negating that all lives matter. God created us all equal and black lives are not treated equal in this nation.”

Howell, who hails from the Dominican Republic said she is undeterred by the recent vandalism. She said the church will keep replacing the signs until the vandalism stops.

Pat Rice, an African-American member of the church, believes the Black Lives Matter movement is misunderstood by some, especially given the recent peaceful protest in Dallas that turned violent against police.

“People are frightened by the sign. It’s an emotionally charged sign,” said Rice.

In a separate incident, the original doors of the building were slashed. Howell says it will cost a fortune to have them replaced.

Christ Church Cathedral has stood on the corner of Main and Church streets for nearly 200 years, a witness to history, good and bad. Each week, it attracts all walks of life into its pews to pray.

"When I come here I know that it's a completely diverse in every single way community,” said parishioner Wendy West.

West, who is white, says she is completely comfortable with the message behind the “Black Lives Matter” sign, and says she believes the sign is appropriate in front of her church.

"I am imagining that that person (who vandalized the sign) maybe believes that they understand but hasn’t had the benefit of the types of conversations that I've been able to have,” added West.

West, who has participated in several peaceful protests for the Black Lives Matter cause, said conversations with fellow parishioners, like Rice, have opened her mind to see the inequality African-Americans face.

"I'm the mother of a grandson who's a young black male. He may be stopped and he may be looking at the end of the gun. So, we have that conversation all the time, just be careful don't make sudden moves,” explained Rice.

Leaders say they hope this is the last time the sign is vandalized but won’t be surprised if it happens again.

“I have to admit it’s discouraging,” said Rev. Jay Cooke. My courage comes out of the discouragement actually, to continue to witness to our faith.”

Parishioners hope the message of acceptance and equality rooted in their teachings will grow outside their church's walls as well.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

East Haven Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspects


East Haven police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that occurred Saturday morning.

Police said around 10:40 a.m. they responded to a 911 call from the AT&T located at 7 Foxon Blvd. When they arrived, witnesses reported two males entered the store with a gun. According to police, the suspects ordered an employee and a customer to the ground in a back room, then stole cash and iPhones.

While the victims were in the back room another customer walked in. Police said surveillance video showed one of the suspects pointing the gun at her.

The suspects fled in a Silver Nissan Maxima with Massachusetts plates toward New Haven, police said. The vehicle was later recovered in New Haven.

The suspects are described as males, approximately five-foot-ten. One was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with dark jeans, the other was wearing a blue Champion hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans and possessed the gun.

Anyone with information or who thinks they recognize the suspects pictured above is asked to contact East Haven police at (203) 468-3827, by email at crimetips@easthavenpolice.com, or online through their Facebook or Twitter pages.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police Department

2 Injured After Motor Scooter Collides with Bicycle in Fairfield


Two people were injured when a motor scooter collided with a bicycle in Fairfield Sunday.

Fairfield police said they responded around 9:12 a.m. to the intersection of Commerce Drive and Black Rock Turnpike for reports of the crash. When they arrived they found the motor scooter operator and the biker suffering injuries. Both were transported to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for treatment. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

According to police, a 49-year-old man from Bridgeport was driving an electric motor scooter west in the eastbound lanes when he collided with the cyclist. Neither victim has been identified.

The Fairfield Police Crash Reconstruction Unit is investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Macedonian Flash Floods Leave At Least 22 Dead, 4 Missing


Nearly two dozen people were killed and dozens more were injured when torrential rains triggered flash floods in the Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, NBC News reported on Sunday, citing the Red Cross.

Government spokesman Aleksandar Gjorgiev told The Associated Press a state of emergency had been declared for two weeks in the most affected areas, which included the capital of Skopje, the city of Tetovo and surrounding suburbs.

The Red Cross reported that 22 people were killed, more than 60 people were injured and four were still missing after the floods destroyed hundreds of homes and wiped out electricity. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their houses, according to the Red Cross.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Gov. Scott on Trump's Tax Returns: 'Every Candidate's Different'


Within the context of Donald Trump refusing to release his tax returns, Florida Governor Rick Scott was asked in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" why he chose to release his tax returns when he ran for governor.

"I figured my view is: give everybody all the information and let them make good decisions. As you know, every candidate does things differently. Not everybody releases their tax returns."

Scott is heading up a pro-Trump super PAC, targeting Hillary Clinton on her wealth.

While Scott's super PAC goes after Clinton on issues of transparency, there is a question of whether Trump cedes the high ground here by not releasing his own tax returns.

"Every candidate's going to do something different," Scott repeated.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Handball Team Rescues Tennis Star From Olympic Elevator


The biggest moment so far for the Argentinian handball team at the 2016 Rio Olympics may not have occurred on the court.

No, it may have happened in an Olympic Village elevator.

That's where Argentinian tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro found himself stuck in the dark, without cell phone service, for 40 minutes on Sunday, according to his publicist, Jorge Viale.

Viale said it was the handball team that came to the rescue. It was a good thing they did, as Del Potro -- who is best known for downing Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open -- was scheduled to take on Novak Djokovic in a first-round match just hours later.

Handballer Fede Pizarro tweeted out the following proof of the rescue by the “Gladiators” — a photo with the tennis star.

Pizarro made more news of his own with a nifty goal in his team’s match Sunday against Denmark when he added a little fade to his penalty shot attempt.

Unfortunately, the shot didn’t end as well as the rescue, as the officials disallowed it because his foot crossed the nine-meter threshold.

Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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Retired State Supreme Court Justice David Borden Dies


Retired Connecticut State Supreme Court Justice David Borden died Sunday morning, according to the state judicial branch.

Borden was appointed to the Connecticut Supreme Court by Governor William A. O’Neill in 1990 and served until his retirement in 2007. Prior to that he served on the Connecticut Appellate Court, as a Superior Court judge, and as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas.

After he retired, he served as a judge trial referee on the Connecticut Appellate Court.

Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers released a statement on Borden’s passing, which read in part:

“It is difficult to find the right words to describe the incredible legacy of Justice David Borden. First of all, he was a brilliant scholar whose body of work will have a lasting impact upon the law in Connecticut. Justice Borden believed deeply in the rule of law, open and transparent courts, and access to justice for all.

To that end, he left indelible prints wherever he served during his remarkable judicial career. No legal issue was too challenging for him, and he never lost sight of the importance of a case to an individual party. Moreover, Justice Borden was an extraordinary mentor to his law clerks over the years; they not only thrived under his leadership but also viewed him as a family member. Judges too viewed Justice Borden as a mentor, and many sought his wise counsel over the years, including myself.”

Rogers went on to say that Borden was a family man that loved life and had a great perspective on what was important.

Photo Credit: State of Connecticut

Boy Killed in Accident on World's Tallest Waterslide at Kansas Park


A boy was killed Sunday in an accident at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kan., NBC News reported, citing police and the park.

Winter Prosapio, a spokeswoman for the park, said the boy died on the Verrückt, which is billed as the world's tallest waterslide. The park was closed pending an investigation, she said.

Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler confirmed that officers were conducting an accidental death investigation. Cameron Morgan, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press that the victim was 12 years old. Both said no further details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: AP

New Haven Man Killed in Stabbing


A 50-year-old New Haven man was killed in a stabbing Sunday morning.

Police said James Edward Foley, of State Street, died at Yale-New Haven Hospital after he was stabbed in an apartment on Saltonstall Avenue.

The incident occurred around 5:36 a.m. Police believe the victim was likely targeted. Police said there is no threat to the public. The investigation is ongoing.

Police have not released any further details at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cyclist Involved in Horrific Crash During Women's Road Race


A cyclist from the Netherlands was involved in a horrific crash Sunday afternoon during the women’s road race final in Rio.

Annemiek van Vleuten, 33, was leading the race for gold at the time of the crash.

She was on a downhill decline in a light rain when she attempted to turn right around a bend in the course and her tires appeared to skid out from under her.

She attempted to stop the slide, but instead flew headfirst over the handlebars and slammed into the roadside curb. She lay motionless on the side of the road as other riders eventually passed her. At least one medic could be seen running to the scene right after the crash.

The Dutch cycling federation tweeted that she suffered three small vertebrae fractures and a severe concussion. Officials said she will spend 24 hours in intensive care.  They said that she was conscious when she was transported from the course to a local hospital.

Yesterday van Vleuten tweeted a selfie and said she was ready for the race to begin:

Sunday's race eventually was won during a dramatic sprint to the finish by van Vleuten's teammate, Anna Van Der Breggen.

The crash by van Vleuten was similar to one that occurred the day before during a men's race. Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali was leading that race when he crashed and broke his collarbone.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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Person Struck by Vehicle in New Haven

Teen Dies After Being Pulled From Water at Bigelow Hollow


A 17-year-old has died after being pulled from the water at Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

DEEP officials said the victim, who was not identified, was pulled from the water around 4 p.m. Sunday and first responders administered CPR until the victim was transported to Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, Mass.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

State Environmental Conservation police and the Tolland County Dive Team, among others, responded to the incident.

According to DEEP, the ponds at Bigelow Hollow are not designated state swimming areas and are never staffed by lifeguards.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Budweiser Truck Overturns on BQE

Delta Power Outage Affected Flights at Bradley


A power outage in Atlanta grounded hundreds of Delta Airlines flights around the world on Monday morning, leaving several travelers stranded at Bradley. 

“I did try to check in at the curb and he said the computers were down. I said, ‘Oh boy, wow, look at the line inside,’" Willie Mae Watkins, of Springfield, Massachusetts, said. 

Delta’s computer system went down around 2:30 a.m. after a power outage at its headquarters in Atlanta, which led to long lines at ticket counters.  As of 1:30 p.m., Delta canceled around 450 flights.

"We're sorry for what customers are experiencing as we work to get our operation back on track," Delta COO, Gil West, said in a statement. 

Passengers at Bradley International Airport said they waited 30 to 45 minutes to check in for flights and to check a bag. 

“Been in line probably about a half an hour. I got a text from my wife to tell me there were some delays at the airport,” Christopher Dadak, of Middlefield, Massachusetts, said. 

Travelers were optimistic their flights would leave on time, but their concerns grew as time went on.

Delays are continuing and customers should expect delays.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal released a statement about the Delta issues. 

“After this catastrophic, system-wide implosion, Delta owes every passenger a full refund -- no questions asked – or rescheduled flights without costs or time limits. Its failure to promptly and clearly guarantee flight fairness to every passenger is as troubling as the technology failure," Blumenhal said in a statement. "Delta must answer to the public and be held accountable by the Department of Transportation, providing an explanation of this incident."  

The Detroit flight that was scheduled to leave at 5:47 a.m. left at 8:40 a.m. The 6 a.m. flight to Atlanta left at 8:32 a.m. and the 6: 11 a.m. Minneapolis flight left at 9:02 a.m. 

“I think we’ve got an hour and a half layover in Atlanta, so half an hour I can deal with.” Matt Derosier, of East Haddam, said. “I’m hoping they get it resolved and we can get out of here.”

A passenger whose flight was changed or rebooked can use the original boarding pass and customers can check the status of flights on Delta's website or on the app. 

Passengers whose flights were cancelled or significantly delayed are entitled to a refund, according to Delta

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Man Exposed Himself to 2 Women in 5 Days: Police


A 29-year-old Hamden man is accused of exposing himself to two women in their 60s in a five-day span. 

A 68-year-old woman was standing by her vehicle around 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1 at Circular Avenue and Church Street when a man exposed himself to her. 

Police identified the suspect as Tyrone Harris, 29, of Hamden, arrested him at his Bank Street home and charged him with public indecency, breach of peace and simple trespass. 

Police responded to Chester Street at noon on Friday to investigate public indecency and learned that Harris had gone into a backyard, walked onto the back deck and exposed himself to a 66-year-old woman who lives there. Police again arrested Harris at his Bank Street home and charged him with public indecency, breach of peace and simple trespass. 

He was held on a $5,000.00 bond for the first incident, and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Aug. 17. 

He was detained on a $5,000 bond for the second charges and he’s scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Aug. 19.

Photo Credit: hamden Police

Crash on East Main Street in Waterbury


There was a large police presence on East Main Street in Waterbury due to an accident Monday morning.

Police said the crash happened in area of 2810 East Main Street Monday morning for a crash. Waterbury police and State police both responded. Details were not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dry Through Tuesday, Storms Possible Late Week


High pressure will sponsor dry weather through Tuesday, before a slow-moving front brings challenges to the forecast later in the week.

High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees each day through Wednesday.

While sunshine will dominate through Tuesday, an abundance of clouds moves in Wednesday, when there will be only a few breaks of sun.

A few storms are also possible Wednesday.

The approaching cold front will stall at times to the north and west of Connecticut, meaning a southwesterly flow will pump in humidity mid- and late-week.

That humidity, coupled with temperatures in the 80s to near 90 degrees, will provide fuel for scattered storms on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It will not rain the whole time on those days.

Dutch Cyclist Who Crashed Still in Hospital, Thanks Fans


A Dutch cyclist thanked her fans for their support after she suffered a frightening crash during the women’s road race final in Rio on Sunday. 

Annemiek van Vleuten was leading the race for gold when her tires appeared to skid out from underneath her. She tried to stop the slide, but flew headfirst over the handlebars of her bike and hit the curb. Her teammate, Anna Van Der Breggen, went on to win the race. 

“Thanks for all the messages! Congrats to @AnnavdBreggen! We were a super strong team today with @ellenvdijk and @marianne_vos,” she tweeted Sunday. 

People who watched her lie motionless after the horrific crash tweeted their well wishes to the athlete. 

Van Vleuten was still in the hospital Monday morning, waiting for news of her release. 

“Still in the hospital. Waiting for some research&hope I can leave today. Knowing that this chance is 1 in 4 years, doesn't make it easy.” 

On Sunday, the Dutch cycing federation tweeted that she suffered three small fractures in her spine as well as a severe concussion. 

The 33-year-old tweeted Sunday night that she was “super disappointed” but assured fans she was on the road to recovery: "I am now in the hospital with some injuries and fractures, but will be fine. Most of all super disappointed after best race of my career." 

The first two days of the Games have been rough for several athletes.

Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali, who was leading the men's race on Saturday, and Columbia's Sergio Henao both crashed. Nibali broke his collarbone and Henao fractured the upper part of his pelvis in a wreck.

French gymnast Samir Ait Said snapped his leg on Saturday, fracturing his tibia during the vault at the men's qualifying rounds. 

And Great Britain gymnast Ellie Downie suffered a scary fall onto her neck during floor exercise. She was led off the floor by medical staff but returned for vault and qualified for the all-around final. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: AP
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