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2 Charged in Wade Cousin Shooting


Two adult brothers have been charged with the murder of 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge, Chicago police announced Sunday morning. 

Aldridge, a mother of four and the cousin of Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was fatally shot while pushing a stroller on the city's South Side Friday afternoon.

Police identified the brothers as Derren Sorrells, 22, and Darwin Sorrells, 26. It wasn't immediately clear if they had an attorney.

Derren Sorrells, of the 6000 block of South Indiana Ave, is a documented gang member and was on parole for motor vehicle theft and for escaping custody, police said.

He had a total of six felony arrests in his background and was on his daily break from an electronic monitoring bracelet at the time of Friday's shooting, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a news conference Sunday. 

Derren Sorrells was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, both felonies, according to police.

Darwin Sorrells, of the 7500 block of South Wentworth Ave, was a co-conspirator in the crime, police said, and was also on parole for a gun charge. He was sentenced to six years in prison in January 2013 and released early in February 2016, according to police. 

The elder Sorrells brother was charged with one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of attempted murder, authorities said, as well as one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to land.

Aldridge was shot and killed after registering her children for school on Friday afternoon, walking in the 6300 block of South Calumet Ave in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, according to police.

"When Nykea Aldridge registered her child at school on Friday afternoon, she wasn’t aware she’d be the subject of national headlines just hours later. She wasn’t aware that her short life would stand as an example of the clear failure of the criminal justice system here in Chicago," Supt. Johnson said Sunday, addressing the case and the city's violence from police headquarters.

"She was just another mother who wanted her children to get an education just like any good parent would," he added.

Johnson said the Sorrells brothers approached another man nearby and opened fire, targeting an individual who "was driving females from a suburb to Chicago in a fair exchange program."

Johnson said the driver was cooperative throughout the investigation. 

Aldridge was not the intended target, but was struck in the arm and head. She was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

"She loved God, loved her family," family spokesperson Pastor Edward Jones said Friday. "Just like everyone else, just wanted a better life, to live a better life. This is tragic because now it struck home with us. Something has to be done. This has got to stop."

"She wasn't bothering anybody, just going to register her kids in school — and bullets that fly around and have no name decided to find its way to her head," said Aldridge's aunt Pastor Jolinda Wade, Dwyane Wade's mother, outside the hospital on Friday.

Dwyane Wade issued an impassioned plea for help in combating the city's violence following the shooting Saturday, tweeting, "The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!"

Aldridge's death also became politicized when Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, tweeted that her shooting is a reason why black people will vote for him, initially misspelling Dwyane Wade's first name. The tweet prompted a harsh backlash on Twitter, and Trump later tweeted his condolences for the family.

"This tragedy isn’t just noteworthy because Miss Aldridge has a famous family member," Johnson said Sunday. "It’s noteworthy because these two offenders are the prime example of the challenge we face here in Chicago with repeat gun offenders that don’t care who they shoot, don’t care whose life they take, and clearly, clearly don’t fear the consequences of their actions."

A special prayer vigil was held in Aldridge's honor at Jolinda Wade's New Creation Church in the city's West Pullman neighborhood on Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department
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Trump Could Win Big Even If He Loses Election


With recent polls showing Hillary Clinton maintaining a sizable lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, many Democrats are predicting a landslide win in November.

But if Trump does lose, he's unlikely to just go away, NBC News reports.

Instead, with his ever-tighter ties to former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes (who is now reportedly advising the Republican candidate) and his recent hiring of former Breitbart chairman Steven Bannon, there's a growing chorus, propelled by a recent report in Vanity Fair, saying that Trump's endgame is not the nation's highest office — but to have a right-wing media outlet of his own.

If Trump lost in November and then launched his own media operation — a plan his campaign has repeatedly denied — what would it be exactly? And would it be a success?

"Losing in November would be the best thing that could happen, from a business standpoint," said Jon Klein, former president of CNN's U.S. operations.

Photo Credit: AP, File
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Family, Friends Remember Hartford Teen Killed in Crash


At a vigil in Hartford on Saturday, the community mourned the death of a young teenager who the family says was killed in a fiery car crash.

Jamaire Smith was remembered for his big smile, being a caring brother, and a special student.

“These children are our babies and we love them,” said Dawn Renfrew, Smith’s physical education teacher.

Smith was set to start 8th grade at the Milner School on Tuesday.

Teachers from Milner joined the crowd gathered for a vigil for the 13-year-old.

“He just had that leadership quality about him. Ton of potential, when he wanted to work really hard he could do anything,” said Samantha O’Brien, Smith’s 5th and 6th grade teacher.

His family says he passed away after a fiery car crash on Thursday.

“I’m going to really, really miss my son. Really, really, really miss him,” Nakisha Green said.

Smith had been driving a car police say was stolen from Middletown.

He lost control, with a 15-year-old boy in the car, and crashed on Windsor Street in Hartford.

Smith was killed, burned beyond recognition.

“No one would want their child to go especially the way he left,” said Renea Syms, an aunt of Smith's.

The family calls Smith a good kid who hung out with the wrong group and made a mistake. The night of the crash he had been staying at a friend’s house.

His family is pleading for support and for others to hold back judgment.

“Take care of your kids and love them the way she did because anything can happen,” Syms said.

The second boy who was also in the car involved in the crash is still recovering in the hospital.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Driver in Fatal La. Bus Crash to be Charged: Police


Authorities plan to charge the man driving a charter bus carrying flood relief volunteers that crashed in Louisiana Sunday, NBC News reported.

Denis Yasmir Amaya Rodriguez, 37, will be charged with two counts of negligent homicide, reckless operation and other crimes, according to Matey. Additional charges were expected. She said Rodriguez was in the country illegally and driving without a license. 

Two people were killed and 41 were injured in the crash. Spencer Chauvin, 36, a fire chief from St. John the Baptist Parish, was among the fatally wounded, Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said.

The bus was headed to Baton Rouge Sunday morning to aid in flood relief effort when the crash occurred on Interstate 10 west of New Orleans, NBC affiliate WDSU reported.

Photo Credit: Louisiana State Police

Teenager Shot and Killed in Bridgeport


A 19-year-old has died after being shot in the head in Bridgeport Saturday afternoon.

According to police, Shane Slinksky, of Stamford, sustained two gunshot wounds to the head in front of 21 Wood Terrace at 4:37 p.m. Saturday.

Slinksky was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives say that Slinksky has no apparent ties to the city of Bridgeport. They are investigating to determine why he was in the city at the time of his death.

No suspects have been identified.

Anyone with information is asked to call 203-576-8477.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Shooting Victim Crashes


A shooting victim trying to drive himself to the hospital caused a car crash that left four others, including two children, wounded on Sunday, according to Chicago police.

Just after 12 p.m., authorities said a 37-year-old man was driving in the 10100 block of South State St in the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago's Far South Side when he struck another vehicle.

Two adults and two children were in the car, according to police.

A 5-year-old girl and a 1-month-old boy were taken to hospitals in serious condition, according to police. A 24-year-old woman and a 45-year-old woman were taken to area hospitals and listed in good condition, authorities said.

The shooting victim was also taken to a local hospital in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Police did not release any further information on the location or circumstances of the shooting, and the investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

NJ Transit Cop Pulls Man off Tracks


A New Jersey Transit Police officer is being hailed a hero after he pulled a man off the tracks seconds before a train arrived.

Surveillance video shows NJ Transit officer Victor Ortiz struggling to pull a man to safety at the Secaucus Junction station in Secaucus, New Jersey, Friday.

In the clip, the man is lying on the tracks and resists Ortiz’s efforts to pull him away. Ortiz finally gets the man off the tracks seconds before a speeding train arrives.

“Officer Ortiz’s selfless and heroic actions demonstrated a level of bravery and a true sense of compassion and purpose that often goes unrecognized but is ever present in our law enforcement community,” a New Jersey Transit spokesperson wrote in a released statement.

“NJ Transit could not be more proud of Victor Ortiz and of the New Jersey Transit Police Department and we hope this serves as a stark reminder of what these men and women do every single day to keep us safe throughout this state.”

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United Illuminating Makes Changes Five Years After Irene


Five years ago, on August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene made landfall in Connecticut.

The storm’s surge pushed flood waters a half mile inland. Now, “for sale” signs welcome you along the sandy stretch of Fairfield Beach Road.

“Some of the people moved out after that because of the experience,” explained resident Bob Frank.

“A lot of the people can’t afford to raise their homes, which is required,” added Ed Grella of the new insurance requirements for homes close to the Long Island Sound to be raised on stilts or higher ground.

The storm caused two deaths and $200-million in damage. It also put the focus on the response utility companies made during the storm.

“We did not necessarily have the technology and tools to streamline information from our field crews in through our control center, and out to our customer and that has been our focus the last three to four years,” said the Vice President of Electric Systems Operations for United Illuminating, Joe Thomas.

Thomas said half of UI’s customers lost power after Irene which took an average of eight days to restore. In total, 750-thousand homes and businesses lost power across Connecticut at the height of the storm.

“Ninety-percent of the outages that occur during these storms are caused by trees falling into the roads and taking down our wires,” said United Illuminating Director of Operations Maintenance Jim Cole.

Three of United Illuminating’s substations shut down during Tropical Storm Irene after taking on water.

“If the salt water managed to get into the infrastructure it would result in catastrophic damage,” explained Thomas.

Now, barriers are in place until the substations can be moved to higher ground. The $150-million project is expected to be completed in 2020.

UI says the storm was also a wake-up call about their customers’ expectations.

“What we found after Irene is that customers have a pretty low threshold for being out of service in today’s digital world,” explained United Illuminating’s Emergency Preparedness Manager, Mark Biron.

Back on Fairfield Beach new homes are being hoisted on stilts, but you don’t have to look hard to see the damage left behind by a one-two punch from Mother Nature. First Irene, then Sandy.

“Everyone thought you were immune to it. Then two came right after another,” explained Frank.

Those who live here know it’s not if but when another storm will come ashore, battering their beachfront properties, making them hard to sell.

"The value of the houses have gone down and people have invested a lot of money and maybe some people just don't want to take losses,” said Dr. Shashi Chaddha.

United Illuminating is now encouraging its customers to sign up for text alerts for real time information about power restoration, something that wasn’t available during Tropical Storm Irene.

By texting REG (734) to the number 839884, UI says customers will no longer be left in the dark about outages. That could be particularly important this year, as researchers predict an active hurricane season.

Vandals Strike Enfield Home With Pro-Marijuana Message


An Enfield homeowner must now deal with fixing the front of her home after someone spray painted it with graffiti.

Denise Deming says the vandalism happened early Sunday morning.

The longtime resident says she did not hear a thing and only realized the extent of the damage when she went outside.

“Devastated. It’s like who does this? Why would you do it?” Deming said.

The vandalism covered the garage doors, the home’s siding, and a side door. It appears someone also threw a so-called “paint bomb” on the recently-sealed driveway.

Most of the graffiti seems to be random scribbles and a pro-marijuana statement.

“We took off some of it only because it’s a family neighborhood and there’s no point in letting it all show. So we took off what we could for now,” Deming said.

Deming has no idea why her home was the only one targeted in this normally quiet neighborhood. She hopes someone who knows something contacts police.

“This is totally not acceptable. You just can’t go onto someone’s property and feel like you can do anything you want to with it. And people need to be aware that you know, make sure your lights are on at night and you’re aware of everything that goes on around you,” she said.

Deming also plans to beef up security measures, including more lighting.

She’s waiting for the insurance company to come this week to figure what needs to be done; whether the damage can be cleaned or items have to be replaced.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Britain Students Receive Warm Welcome Back to School


Thousands of students went back to school in New Britain on Monday and they were not only greeted by teachers and administrators, but also by community leaders and local organizations.

New Britain firefighters welcomed students at Gaffney Elementary School, giving them a big high five and a smile.

"They could say hi to kids on the first day of school and like a lot of kids like firefighters and they could get excited," Jade Benitez, a fourth grader, said.

Students arriving at DiLoreta Magnet School saw Lorena Bunker wearing a shirt that said “Love Wins” and she greeted them on behalf of The Ana Grace Project of Klingberg Family Centers

“What I'm looking for are really big smiles, excitement, laughter, and just them with a ready-to-go attitude," said Bunker, an outpatient therapist at Klingberg Family Centers. 

Administrators said they were happy welcoming students back to school and students were excited to start the new year.

"I'm actually really excited because I get to meet new people and new teachers," Aiden Diaz, a fifth grader at DiLoreta Magnet School, said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Therapy Dog Takes the Stand With Witness in SC


A therapy dog named Roma became the first dog in South Carolina to take the stand with a witness during the trial of Robert Joe Frost, who is accused of killing his stepfather. The Labrador-golden retriever mix sat hidden beneath the stand next to the witness. "Roma helped me out a lot yesterday, the witness said afterward. "I never had to do something like that before."

Pokemon Players Find Possible Murder Victim in Cemetery


"Pokemon Go" players stumble upon a man's body in a historic Texas cemetery. WOAI's Andrew Lofholm reports.

Hartford Barber Treats Students to Free Haircuts


Hundreds of children from the Hartford area received free haircuts Monday, just in time for the first day of school, thanks to a barber who offers the service each year.

Lebert “Gee” Lester II and his team at “It’s a Gee Thang Barbershop” in the north end of Hartford, have been giving free back-to-school haircuts for 21 years.

“You see them smile and now they’re eager to get to school tomorrow because they want to show off the haircut,” Lester said.

Lester said he keeps providing the free cuts year after year as a way of reinvesting in his community.

“It’s necessary,” he said. “These young men, they need to see something different. They need to see a different side of what we can become. “

Students were excited about the new haircuts.

“I feel like I look good,” 9-year-old Tamar Cochran, a fifth grader, said.

“I’ll feel good to look fresh in front of my friends when I go to school tomorrow,” 11-year-old Shaun Graham, a sixth grader at Sage Park Middle School, said.

Parents who brought their children to the Wilson Gray YMCA for the cuts say they’re a huge help.

“They’re doing it right before school so they’ll be fresh,” Darlene Cooper, of Hartford, said.

10,000th Syrian Refugee to Arrive in US Monday


The 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive in the U.S. on Monday — meeting a humanitarian goal the Obama administration set last year.

"On behalf of the President and his Administration, I extend the warmest of welcomes to each and every one of our Syrian arrivals, as well as the many other refugees resettled this year from all over the world," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement.

Rice did not announce the name of the refugee or where in the U.S. that person will be resettled. But she said the feds reached President Obama's goal to admit 10,000 Syrians this fiscal year — a month ahead of deadline.

More than 4.8 million Syrians have fled since a civil war began tearing their homeland apart — but less than two percent of them have landed in the U.S., according to the State Department, NBC News reported.

Almost half of the new Americans are 14 and under and 62 percent are under age 20, the feds said. The top two destinations in the U.S. for the Syrians are Michigan, which has long been a destination for Syrian immigrants, and California.

Photo Credit: AP

Driver Fled After Badly Injuring Pedestrian in Milford: Police


Police are searching for the driver who hit a pedestrian in Milford on Sunday night, causing serious injuries, and left the scene without reporting what happened, according to police. 

Police said the driver of a dark colored sedan hit the pedestrian and the vehicle the person was trying to get into at Bridgeport Avenue and Woodland Avenue around 10:45 p.m. Sunday.

The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital with injuries that might be life-threatening, police said. 

A witness said the driver continued east after hitting the person.

The car police are looking for is missing its passenger side right mirror and would have damage to its right front headlight, bumper and right fender.

Anyone with information should call the Milford Police Department, Traffic Division (203) 878-5244 and reference case 4833-16.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cleanup of Southington Chemical Spill in 'Final Phases'


Southington fire officials said they are in the "final phases" of cleanup efforts for a 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company last week.

"We've captured all that we'll be able to capture," Chief Harold Clark of the Southington Fire Department said in a press conference on Monday. 

Officials have been investigating since last Wednesday morning, when hexavalent chromium discharged from the roof vents of the Light Metals Coloring company on Spring Street and said they have recovered all material that they can recover. 

Southington fire officials said the spill might have happened because of a crack in a heating water jacket and an overfilled boiler, which forced a pressure release. 

Clark said the fire department is about ready to turn over the rest of the cleanup and inspection to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

As of Monday, all tests for pollutants in the Quinnipiac River have come up negative or "non-detected", Clark said. The chief noted that Connecticut's dry summer could've contributed to chemicals not getting into the river. 

"(The dryness) stopped the flow of water in the storm drains," Clark said. "We didn't have a lot of flow into the Quinnnipaic River."

However, roads in the area that were excavated when the spill first happened have come up positive for pollutants. Clark said crews will continue to test and dig up any area that still has traces of the chemicals. 


Since the spill, the roof of the company has been replaced and the inside of the storm drain system has been power washed, Clark said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Existing Drugs Might Stop Zika Infection


A drug already on the market to treat worm infections and another being tested against liver diseases may also help treat Zika virus infections, researchers reported Monday.

The findings are a rare bit of good news about Zika, which has caused epidemics across Latin America and the Caribbean, and smaller outbreaks in Florida, the Pacific and southeast Asia, NBC News reported.

Zika has caused smaller epidemics of birth defects, notably brain damage that can cause miscarriages or profound developmental injuries in babies.

The team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Johns Hopkins University and Florida State University looked first in a library of existing drug compounds for products that might act to stop Zika from killing brain cells and perhaps stop it from replicating itself.

One of the drugs is Nicosamide used to treat worm infections, and the other is Emricasan to treat hepatitis C.

Photo Credit: AP

Workers Trapped in Bucket Rescued After Hanging From Bridge


Two workers, who became trapped in a bucket hanging from Rhode Island's Sakonnet River Bridge after a boom truck tipped over Monday, have been rescued, authorities say.

Little Compton Fire Chief Richard Petrin confirmed on Twitter that a crane overturned, leaving the bucket and the people inside it dangling over the water.

Petrin tweeted shortly before 3 p.m. that the workers had been freed.

According to necn affiliate WJAR, the bridge was closed in both directions.

U.S. Coast Guard officials responded alongside law enforcement and fire crews.

It is not yet known whether anyone was injured, according to Tiverton Fire.

WJAR reports that the truck was being used to check the bridge's underside.

The bridge connects Tiverton to Portsmouth.

Photo Credit: Little Compton Fire

Woman Stabbed in Arm at New Haven House Party


A woman was stabbed during a house party in New Haven on Sunday morning and police are trying to identify the woman who stabbed her. 

Police were called to a 143 Blatchley Ave. at 1 a.m. to investigate the stabbing and found around 100 people at the party and a 31-year-old woman bleeding from the arm. 

Police called EMTs in to treat the victim. 

She said she spotted “Champagne” at the party and suspects the woman is having an affair with her boyfriend, police said. The women exchanged glances, but did not speak, and started fighting. The victim said “Champagne” started stabbing and cutting her. 

When she noticed she was bleeding, she backed away and collapsed, the woman told police. 

Police said “Champagne” is in her late 20s, around 5-feet-3 and weighs about 170 pounds. 

She has long straight black hair, parted in the middle and was last seen wearing white shorts and a white top. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Shot in Stomach in New Haven


Police are investigating a shooting in New Haven on Sunday morning. 

Police responded to Columbus Avenue just before 1:56 a.m. to investigate and found a 33-year-old man who had been shot in the stomach. 

He was alert and told police he was walking through the complex when he was shot and didn’t see the shooter. The victim’s injury isn’t life-threatening. 

Police said two residents heard the shot too, but neither saw the gunman. 

Officers found one bullet casing and they are testing it.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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