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Sailor, Girlfriend, Accused of Shooting from Balcony


A member of the U.S. Navy and his girlfriend are accused of firing guns from their New London balcony.

Police responded to Shaw and Hamilton streets at 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday and realized the shots were coming from a back porch on Hamilton Street, which led them to determine a man and woman were shooting what appeared to be a .22 caliber rifle and unknown caliber pellet gun from the back porch of 1 Hamilton Street, Unit #7.10, police said.

Robert Sanchez, 22, and his girlfriend Rachel Whittinghill, 22, were charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment in the second degree and breach of peace.

Sanchez, a three-year-member of the Navy, was released to the custody of the United States Navy on a $100,000 non-surety bond, police said.

Whittinghill was held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

No one was injured, but the siding of a barn behind the residence was damaged.

Police said they seized a Ruger .22 caliber rifle, refashioned and restocked to resemble an M-16 military-type rifle.

Photo Credit: New London Police

Dog Bites Officer During Drug Raid

Portrait Honors Nation's Oldest Living Veteran


An artist known for painting more than 300 portraits of fallen soldiers presented a portrait to the nation's oldest living veteran, Richard Overton of Austin, who turned 110 in May.

Photo Credit: KXAN

Arrest in Windsor Locks Sexual Assault Incident


A man accused of sexually assaulting a minor turned himself into Windsor Locks Police on Thursday.

Jose Rosario, 42 of Hartford has been charged with three counts of sexual assault - two first-degree and one fourth-degree - and three counts of risk of injury to a minor, police said. 

The arrest warrant stems from an investigation that began in late 2015. 

Rosario's bond was set at $100,000 and he is expected to appear in court on Aug. 26. 

Due to the nature of the crime and the victim's age, no other details were released by police.

Photo Credit: Windsor Locks Police

Cousins Charged in North Haven Car Break-In


Two cousins were charged in a North Haven car break in that occurred on Wednesday morning, police said. 

At 4 a.m., a resident on Peters Lane said they saw two people attempting to break into cars in a nearby driveway.

When police arrivd to the scene, 23-year-old Angel Cortez Jr. was riding his bike away from the scene, police said. 

The North Haven man was in possession of an electronic item stolen from a car, police said.

Later, police were able to locate the second suspect, Cortez's cousin, 25-year-old Wilfredo Cortez of New Haven.

The cousins were arrested and both charged with second-degree burglary and sixth-degree larceny. Each suspect was held on a $10,000 bond and expected to appear in Meriden Superior Court. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Rebels, Locals Reach Deal to Evacuate Damascus Suburb


A deal between rebels and Syria’s army was reached Thursday to evacuate all residents and insurgents from the Damascus suburb of Daraya, according to a rebel leader, NBC News reported. 

The country’s army has surrounded rebels and civilians, blocking food deliveries since 2012, and regularly bombing the area. 

It was one of the first places to see peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad’s rule, and fought off attempts to retake it by government fires as the conflict escalated into civil war. 

The evacuation would start Friday and last for two or three days, according to the head of the biggest rebel groups in Daraya. The deal would end one of the longest stand-offs in the five-year history.

Photo Credit: Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Worker Slips, Dangles From Quinnipiac Sports Complex in Hamden


A man who was employed to clean the roof of the Quinnipiac sports complex accidentally slipped and hung off the building while attached to a harness, fire officials said. 

Hamden Fire Department said they were dispatched to Quinnipiac University, York Hill campus to rescue the worker hanging from the edge of the arena around 2:30 p.m.

The 57-year-old man, employed by CSC Hood & Duct Company, was cleaning the roof of the complex when he slipped on his safety rope and slip around 20 feet and off the edge of the domed metal roof, officials said. 

After the slip, the man was suspended 35 feet over drainage rocks while being held by his harness. 

The victim told rescue crews that in his 14 years of employment, this was his first accident and he was glad to be wearing his harness at the time. 

Firefighters were able to complete the rescue just before 3 p.m. on Thursday. 

No injuries were reported and the victim did not require medical assistance on the scene. 

Photo Credit: Hamden Fire Department

Police Investigate 911 Call Made When Delivery Woman Killed


Police said they are investigating the 911 call made when a Chinese food delivery woman was murdered in Waterbury

"Telecommunicator Nicole Scarino has been placed on administrative leave from her civilian position pending the outcome of a police internal affairs investigation regarding her conduct during a 911 call that involved a murder," Waterbury police said on Thursday.

Helena Vargas, who delivered food for a Chinese restaurant, was killed and her male coworker was injured during a robbery on Linden Street Tuesday night

Four people attacked and robbed the victims, leaving the 59-year-old woman with a gunshot wound in her neck, according to police.

Days after the murder, residents have been signing a petition to get the Waterbury "dispatcher" fired because of how she handled the 911 call with Vargas' coworker. 

The petition said that the Scarino , who police said is a complaint clerk, not a dispatcher, "grossly" misunderstood the caller's "linguistic inabilities while under the duress of a life and death matter." 

During the phone call, it appears that the caller is struggling to communicate in English to the Scarino.

The following is a portion of the recording:

Clerk: 70 Linden Street? Seven, zero Linden Street?

Driver: No, no, no 70. Number 70.

Clerk: 70 is seven, zero, that’s what 70 is, seven and a zero

Driver: Yeah, yeah, right away. They rob me and they shot the girl with me.

Clerk: What happened?

The call ends when officers arrive and Scarino is heard saying,

“I don’t care what you’re driving I want to know what the people who shot the lady are driving. Oh, they got behind the house. They came from behind the house? The officers are there. You might as well talk to them now. Thank you.”

Co-Pilot Arrested After Captain Suspects Him of Flying Drunk


A charter plane pilot was abruptly grounded Thursday at a Michigan airport after police discovered he was allegedly too drunk to fly, NBC News reported. 

The captain of the plane notified the Cherry Capital Airport tower in Traverse City that there was something wrong with his co-pilot as he prepared to land. 

When police arrived, the co-pilot was at the controls and preparing to take off for Bedford, Massachusetts, with a dozen passengers on board. 

The co-pilot, who was not named, was fired from Talon Air. Police said he was arrested after registering a blood alcohol content of .30 — four times the legal limit for driving a car.

West Haven Police Giving Out Free Steering Wheel Locks


West Haven Police arrested three men in their 20's for attempting to steal wheels from a Honda on Savin Avenue early Thursday morning.

"Hopefully, we’re putting a dent in the spree that took place," WHPD Sgt. Dave Tammaro said of a recent rash in car thefts and break-ins, specifically targeting cars made by Honda.

Home surveillance video obtained by police shows thieves taking advantage of unlocked cars, Tammaro said.

"If the doors are locked, they’re moving on to a different vehicle," he said. "If the doors are unlocked, they’re going to go right full through and see whatever they get."

Police stress that not leaving valuables in plain sight is another tip to become less of a target.

"I have an alarm system," said Mia Kendall, who drives a Honda. "But I make sure that it looks as uninteresting as possible. There’s nothing in any of the seat compartments, nothing, it’s all hidden."

West Haven Police are reactivating a program to help Honda owners take an extra step to protect their vehicles. The department has purchased steering wheel locks designed for Honda cars made between 1994 and 2006 to give out to residents for free.

"So basically the lock would go on like this on each arm of the steering wheel," Tammaro said, demonstrating how the locks work.

"If somebody was actually to start the car, they’re still going have to get this off to drive."

West Haven residents can stop by the police department during the day, with their vehicle registration, to pick one up.

"Any mechanical device can be defeated," Tammaro said. "It’s just another step they have to take to get it off and hopefully that buys enough time for the police officer to get there."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

University in Kabul Will Reopen After Attack


The nonprofit that supports the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul said the school would reopen following the attack that killed 14 people on Wednesday, NBC News reported. 

"AUAF is dedicated to its educational mission in service to Afghanistan and has no intention of giving into terror," the Friends of the American University in Afghanistan said in a statement, using an acronym for the learning institution. 

Militants detonated a car bomb outside the university's gate and stormed the complex with guns in a 10-hour attack that ended Thursday morning. 

Fourteen people — seven students, one professor, three police and two security officers — were killed. One attacker died in the car bomb blast and two militants were killed by police, authorities and a hospital official said. Forty-eight people were injured and taken to hospitals, according to a medical official.

The university in Afghanistan is not affiliated with American University in Washington, D.C. 

Photo Credit: AP

Nearly 100 Yale Students Clean Up New Haven Trash


Nearly 100 Yale students volunteered their day cleaning up an area of New Haven that was once plagued with trash.

The eastern side of Beaver Pond alongside Sherman Parkway is notorious for garbage. Organizers said it was once a dump decades ago.

"It used to look atrocious actually. There used to be trash and a whole bunch of gutter stuff," said New Haven resident Daishawn Crudop.

Along with the Neighborhood Housing Service of New Haven students are shoveling, planting and cleaning up the park that spans nearly on mile.

"It does feel good to see the results of action. I'm weeding a patch and that patch will now be weeded. I can actually see the results of my work and it does feel good." said Student Anthony Hejduk.

Organizers are calling the new and improved stretch the Urban Oasis. With new trails, trees, and an overall cleaner look, Volunteer are hoping this area will get a new reputation.

"The street looks way better than it did a few months ago and a few years ago," said Crudop.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Britain Pastor's Wife Speaks About Being Shot


The wife of a New Britain pastor is speaking out exclusively to NBC Connecticut after she was shot last week outside of her church.

New Britain Police said around 8 p.m. last Friday, shots were fired behind Angela Semidey's husband's Arch Street Church: Iglesia Cristiana El Sigue Siendo Dios.

At that time, Semidey was conducting a bible study class in the back of the church.

"I had all the children outside, trying to push them inside so that none of them would be hurt… putting them inside. I was the last one that went inside and so I felt something that hit me in the area above my hips," said Semidey, in Spanish to NBC Connecticut.

Semidey took the bullet for her husband and it went through the back of her right hip and out through her thigh.

But her quick thinking also saved a little boy standing in front of her.

“The power from the bullet... if it were a little boy he wouldn’t have made it. Definitely not,” she said in tears.

Angela said she did not realize she had been shot because of the adrenaline rush of getting the children to safety.

She noticed the bullet when she sat on the church pew.

Her fellow church members and husband, Pastor Arthur Semidey helped her stop the bleeding and called police for help.

Semidey was taken to the hospital Friday and was released Saturday. She has since been recovering at home with her loved-ones.

Now, walking has become an issue. She has to use a cane and a walker to get by. Even walking from the living room to the kitchen - second of a walk - takes several minutes and is strenuous for Angela.

Since the shooting, police have been searching for at least one armed male suspect.

Police believe the shooting was between two groups that know each other. If you have any information, call New Britain Police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

US Navy Ship Fires Shots at Iranian 'Fast Boat'


A U.S. Navy ship fired several warning shots near an Iranian “fast boat” on Wednesday, according to a senior Department of Defense official, NBC News reported. 

The USS Squall and the USS Tempest were operating in close formation with a Kuwaiti Navy ship when the Iranian boat came dangerously close. The Iranian vessel passed between the two American ships at one point, coming within a couple hundred yards of the two ships. 

The U.S. fired flares and attempted radio communication, but both were unsuccessful. The Squall fired a few shots into the water as a deterrent. The U.S. rarely fires warning shots, according to the defense official. 

On Thursday, Iran's defense minister said those Iranian vessels were just doing their job and that the American ships crossed into Iran’s maritime region. The U.S. asserts that the ships were in international waters at the time.

Photo Credit: AP, File,

Crews Put Out Second-Alarm Fire in Hartford


The Hartford Fire Department responded to a house ablaze on Thursday night. 

Capt. Raul Ortiz said crews were called to the second-alarm fire around 5:23 p.m.

Firefighters had some issues gaining entry into the house because the home was remodeled and the unusual layout made it difficult to navigate or breach walls, Ortiz said. 

Ortiz said everyone in the house was accounted for.

One firefighter sustained a small burn on his face, the fire captain said. 

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Cat, Kittens Found in Box on Side of Road in Wolcott


Three people hiking on the blue trail off of Spindle Hill Road found a box on the side of the road with a mother cat and her kittens, Wolcott Dog Pound said. 

The adults removed the cat with her five kittens and fed them before contacting Wolcott Dog Pound.

The pound said the kittens appear to be four weeks old.

While the mom needs a little "TLC", the animals are in overall good health and appear unharmed, the pound said. 

Photo Credit: Wolcott Dog Pound

NBC Connecticut School Supply Drive 2016

Manhole Cover Explodes, Leaving Mall Without Power


A manhole cover exploded Thursday night in Providence, Rhode Island, leaving most of the city's mall and surrounding areas without power, according to necn affiliate WJAR.

Providence Fire responded around 8:15 p.m. to reports of the explosion.

An employee told WJAR that Macy's and Nordstrom were the only stores at the Providence Place Mall with power.

Fire officials say four people were freed after being trapped in elevators. Authorities said everyone was able to make it out of the mall safely.

While the mall has a backup generator, authorities say it did not kick in.

National Grid told WJAR around 10 p.m. that power had been restored to all but 300 of its customers.

Photo Credit: WJAR

Donald Trump Sign Swiped From Canton Lawn


A political sign swiper is on the loose in Canton.

The suspect was caught on a security camera stealing a Donald Trump sign off a homeowner's front lawn.

Campaign officials said it's a recent trend with the presidential candidates.

"I do feel violated, actually," homeowner, Chris Mastroianni tells NBC Connecticut.

Mastroianni is happy he installed surveillance cameras at his Canton home, he said.

"I could see the black Prius going up and down the street several times.  He looks like he's casing out my house or waiting for the opportunity to move in.  Then you can see the Prius back into the driveway," Mastroianni said.

Then, the mysterious man makes his move.

"Grabs the sign, shuffles back int the car and takes off," Mastroianni said. "(It's) Kind of humorous, but also disturbing that someone is creeping around the property that late at night."

Last week, Mastroianni said a woman paid a visit to his home after he replaced his original Trump sign.

"There's a female that walked in my driveway at 2:40 in the morning, pulls out a stapler and staples a Bernie picture to the sign," he added.

Mastroianni  called Canton Police and they said they are on the case.

Chief Chris Arciero said so far, this is their only stolen campaign sign, but they're working to find those responsible.

"It's inappropriate and we'll take the appropriate enforcement action if we find out who did it," Arciero told NBC Connecticut. "Anywhere from an infraction to an arrest depends on circumstances and why person stole the sign."

Over in Watertown, the chair of the Republican Town Committee said they're warning residents they've had 80 Trump signs stolen since April.

Chris said he'll keep replacing them if need be.

"I am offended because society is preaching a lot of tolerance, tolerance of everyone and of everything and i can't have my own political view on my front yard?" he added.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Glimpsing the Colonel's KFC REcipe


The Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe is famous for two things: being "finger lickin' good," and being incredibly secret. 

It's so secret, in fact, that KFC sued the last person who claimed to have found it. But now, the cat may be out of the bag, thanks to a reporter at the Chicago Tribune who traveled to Corbin, Kentucky, to interview the nephew of Colonel Sanders himself.

Joe Ledington flipped through a family photo album with the reporter, stopping to pull out the last will and testament of his aunt Claudia, Sanders' second wife. 

On the back of the document, the Tribune reports, was the top secret 11 herbs and spices that were notoriously transported via armed guard to a secure location in 2008. 

The full recipe as shown is: 

11 spices — mix with 2 cups white flour


  • 2/3 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon basil
  • 1/3 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons white pepper
After revealing the possible recipe, however, Ledington walked back the claim in a phone interview, saying he did not "know for sure" if it was authentic. 
A KFC spokesperson later told the Tribune via email, "We go to great lengths to protect such a sacred blend of herbs and spices. In fact, the recipe ranks among America's most valuable trade secrets."


"Lots of people through the years have claimed to discover or figure out the secret recipe, but no one's ever been right," the spokesperson added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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