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Police Arrest Robber Thwarted by Boy in Home Invasion


Police say they've arrested one of the two robbers who were thwarted by a 10-year-old boy when they tried to break into a Brooklyn family's home Monday.

Jayquan Straker, 24, was arrested on a robbery charge in the armed home invasion. Police said he and another man entered a Canarsie home on 80th Street at about 5:15 p.m., where nine people were inside, and demanded cash. 

When one of the suspects pointed a gun through a doorway, someone slammed the door on the suspect's arm, causing him to drop the gun.

The boy picked up the gun and fired a shot but did not hit anyone. The other suspect also fired a shot, according to police, which also did not strike anyone.

The suspects, one of whom was dressed in a FedEx uniform, then fled the home, police said.

It wasn't immediately clear if Straker had an attorney. The other suspect is still being sought by police. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Man Hired Hitman Over Abortion: Prosecutor


A 21-year-old woman who was four months pregnant was shot and killed in Hartford in April and police said her boyfriend is accused of hiring a hitman to kill her.

Authorities said Carlton "CJ" Bryan, 21, of Windsor, hired a hitman to kill his girlfriend, Shamari Jenkins. On Friday, the prosecutor said they believe it was over Jenkin's decision not to have an abortion.

Jenkins was shot in the back of the shoulder when she pulled over her Honda sedan at Magnolia and Mather streets on April 29.

The bullet traveled through her torso, said police. She was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Bryan was a passenger in the car at the time of the shooting and was not hurt in the shooting.

After investigating, police said they believed he was involved in planning Jenkin's murder.

"Any type of situation where a pregnant woman is killed, often the boyfriend or father becomes someone you would take a minimum look at," said Lt. Foley of the Hartford Major Crimes Division.

Bryan was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, carrying a pistol without a permit, and making a false statement in the second-degree. Bond for him has been set at $2.5 million.

"It was hard because he told us he didn't do it, he showed up at the funeral and he showed up at the vigil," Shakaria Matthews, the victim's cousin, said.

On Thursday, police charged Matthew Allen Hall-Davis, 28, of Vernon in connection to Jenkin's murder. Police said Hall-Davis used Bryan's gun  to kill Jenkins.

"We have information we believe that he owned the gun and made it operable and that gun was used to murder Shamari Jenkins," said Lt. Foley.

Police said Hall-Davis is currently in jail for a robbery that occurred in Manchester on May 23.

Hall-Davis is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, carrying a pistol without a permit, and criminal possession of a pistol.

He is being held on a $1.5 million bond. 




Top News Photos of the Week

China Fire: A family member of a worker cries near the accident site after a fire broke out at a poultry processing workshop on June 3 in Dehui City. The blaze killed at least 119 people in one of the country's worst industrial disasters in years. Click to see more photos from May 31 to June 7.

Obama Fundraises, Talks Obamacare in Silicon Valley


President Obama touched down in Air Force One at Moffett Field Thursday, marking the second time the leader of the free world has visited the Bay Area in as many months.

He trotted down the plane's stairs at 5:56 p.m. and greeted about 50 people invited to the landing, including Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri, Ames Research director Peter Worden, California National Guard Col. Steven Butow and Mountain View Mayor John Inks.

After shaking Obama's hand, Inks said, "He told me how much he likes Mountain View. He says when his term is over he's going to be enjoying California more."

"He looks very, very good for having a tough job. His face is bright. That is a job that wears on you," Inks said.

Prior to heading to a scheduled fundraising event in Palo Alto, Mr. Obama took a few minutes to greet some of the public that were waiting at Moffett Field.

While the president doesn't need the money for his own campaign, his fundraising efforts in affluent Silicon Valley will go to help the Democratic Party.

Obama's visit, which will last less than 12 hours, began at the home of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and his wife, Marci, in Palo Alto for an early evening reception.

Guests, who paid anywhere from $2,500 to $12,000 to attend the event, began lining up around 5 p.m. to get into the McCue's residence.

Marci McCue, who spoke outside of her home Thursday morning, admitted that she was both nervous and excited to host the president of the United States at her charming, seven-bedroom, multi-million, pale yellow home, fully decked out with red-white-and-blue banners.

MORE: "We're Excited to Primp Up a Little Bit," Marci McCue

Protesters, angry about Obama's support for the Keystone pipeline project, also greeted him on street corners. The project is an oil pipeline that will stretch from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

After Obama left the McCues, he headed to the Portola Valley residence of Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla and his wife, Neera, for a $32,000 dinner, complete with Greek salad, Fulton Valley chicken and hand-craft chai chocolate creameux cups.

MORE: President Obama's Peninsula Dinner Menu

In Portola Valley, political signs were left on the side of the road for the president to see. One sign read "Reinstate Glass Steagall." Others featured the message: Take money out of politics.

People who lined up the street in Portola Valley waved welcome signs when the president passed by.

Lauren Work brought her daught to see the president drive by.

"I've never seen a president so why not be part of history," she said.

MORE: Obama Delivers Message of Optimism, Urges Supporters to Stay Engaged

The president left the Portola Valley event at 9:01 p.m. and arrived about a half-hour later at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.

In addition to the fundraising, Obama's visit will be marked by a more unusual occurrence -- a speech.

He'll spend Friday morning at a San Jose hotel talking about "Obamacare." He's expected to tout benefits of his Affordable Care Act by showing how it has created quality, affordable choices for Californians who plan to buy insurance this fall. California is the largest state with the biggest insurance market in the country, with nearly six million uninsured.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday shows that 49 percent of Americans think the signature health care reform law is a bad idea.

MORE: Health Care Law's Unpopularity Reaches New Highs

After his Friday morning talk, Obama will head to Los Angeles for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

Obama was in the Bay Area as recently as April for fundraisers in San Francisco.

A livestream of Obama's speech will be available Friday morning on NBCBayArea.com.

Bay City News and NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, George Kiriyama, Stephanie Chuang, Kristofer Noceda and Jean Elle contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Josh Keppel

Storm Tips


Tropical Storm Andrea is moving toward New England and there are some things to keep in mind as the storm moves north.

The storm will bring up to 4-and-a-half inches of rain to parts of the state, so clearing your gutters is one way to protect your home. 

Once the rain picks up, one of the biggest concerns for Connecticut is urban street flooding.

If you’re in your car and water comes up around you, get out and move to higher ground right away.

Cars can be swept away in just two feet of moving water, according to the Connecticut Guide to Emergency Preparedness.

More flooding safety tips are posted on the National Weather Service web site.

You can track Andrea online here.

Send your weather photos to us at photos@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Salesman Disinvited From Obama Fundraiser


An electric car advocate dug into his retirement fund to pay thousands of dollars for a chance to meet President Obama at a Santa Monica fundraiser Friday, only, he said, to be told he was not welcome.

Paul Scott sent a check for $32,400 to the Democratic National Committee a few months ago so he could attend the fundraiser, which will be held at a private Santa Monica home.

In an email, the DNC told Scott he would be allowed to take a photo with the president and talk to him about anything he wanted in an off-the-record conversation.

Scott makes $50,000 a year selling electric cars in Downtown Los Angeles. He said he needed to tap into his retirement fund for the chance to share his passion for electric energy with Obama.

"I decided it was a lot of money, but it was also an opportunity to get in front of the president, and it was worth it to me," Scott said.

But after Scott wrote an op-ed piece that was picked up by USA Today saying he planned to promote an anti-oil agenda during his conversation with the president, the car salesman said he received an email from the DNC disinviting him from the event.

"We wish to inform you we will be returning your donation," the e-mail read.

Scott believes he was well within his rights to tell the public what he planned to talk to the president about, and he's disappointed he won't get a face-to-face meeting.

"It was very disappointing," Scott said. "At the same time, I understand where they're coming from."

NBC4 reached out to the Democratic National Committee Thursday but did not get a response.

Scott now plans to join environmental activists for a protest outside Friday's fundraiser.

Zimmerman Hearing Resumes in Sanford Friday


Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the George Zimmerman case returned to a Sanford courtroom to continue a hearing Friday, three days before his trial is scheduled to begin.

The hearing before Circuit Judge Debra Nelson began shortly before 9:30 a.m. with prosecutors calling voice recognition expert Tom Owen to testify at the hearing, which will determine whether Owen and other voice experts can testify at the trial.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense. His trial is set to begin Monday.

FBI voice expert Hirotaka Nakasone testified during Thursday's hearing. Nelson hasn’t ruled yet whether she’ll accept his testimony.

Earlier Thursday, Nelson denied a defense request to let some witnesses testify confidentially at the trial.
The judge also heard testimony after defense attorneys asked her to sanction prosecutors for alleged delays in turning over evidence from Martin’s phone. But she decided to suspend the hearing on that matter until after the trial, saying she was concerned that if it continued, the trial wouldn’t start on time.

George Zimmerman has sued NBCUniversal, the parent company of this site, for defamation. The company has strongly denied his allegations.

Hundreds Line Up in Advance of Free Dental Clinic


Hours before the doors for the 6th Annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy in Bridgeport opened at 6 a.m., hundreds of people waited in line at the Webster Bank Arena for free dental care, despite the rain.

The crowd was so large that the doors will close for the day at 1:15 p.m., because they are at capacity.

The free dental clinic is being held on Friday and Saturday. When patients arrive, they register, then head to the triage, where a doctor assesses their needs before they go to the clinic itself.

More than 110 dental chairs are available and more than 1,500 people are donating their time to provide a full range of dental services, including general health screenings, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery and prosthetics.

Foundations, organizations, businesses and individuals have donated more than $216,070 to run the clinic.

"This remarkably generous outpouring from the community will enable us to service more than 2,000 people in need of dental care this June in Bridgeport, and we cannot thank our donors enough for helping to make CTMOM possible again this year," Dr. Bruce Tandy, co-chair of the CTMOM, said in a statement.
In addition to the $216,070 raised so far, the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services has provided a $178,000 grant to purchase equipment.

The two-day clinic operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Falls 30 Feet at Portland Quarry


A man was transported to a local hospital after falling about 30 feet down an embankment at the south quarry area in Portland just after 2 a.m. on Friday, according to town officials.

The Portland Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Middletown Fire Department responded to a report of a fall victim at the quarry between Willow Street and Brownstone Avenue and found that a homeless man who was camping fell down a steep embankment, police said. 

The man had broken his ankle and the fire department extricated him, according to officials. 

The man was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Pressure Cooker Prompts Evacuation in New Britain


Four stores at New Brite Plaza, on East Main Street in New Britain, were evacuated on Friday morning because a pressure cooker was left in a shopping cart in front of a grocery store. 

The Dunkin’ Donuts, Ocean State Job Lot, Save-a-Lot  and Marshalls were evacuated around 7:45 a.m. after a Save-a-Lot employee noticed something suspicious.

A pressure cooker, which was out of the package, had been left in a shopping cart, according to police. 

Police examined the package in the New Britain Plaza and determined it was not dangerous.

New Britain is one of several cities where buildings or shopping centers have been evacuated over abandoned pressure cookers since the bombings at the Boston Marathon in April.

Three people were killed in the bombings and more than 260 others were injured when two pressure cooker bombs filled with shrapnel went off at the finish line of the marathon. 

The pressure cooker left in the New Britain plaza was empty, according to police, and the plaza reopened around 9:45 a.m.

Investigators will be looking at surveillance from surrounding businesses to see how the pressure cooker got there.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stole Lobsters, Crab to Impress Date: Cops


A 38-year-old Middletown, Conn., man wanted to impress his date so badly that he stole lobsters and crab legs from a local supermarket, according to police.

Abdul Gonzalez ordered a bag of lobsters and a bag of snow crab legs at Stop & Shop on East Main Street in Middletown on Thursday afternoon, according to police.

After picking up some additional items, he went to a self-scan register.

When he rang up the bags of seafood, they appeared as “yesterday’s sweets” for a grand total of $1.25, when they should have come up to $22.88, according to police.

Gonzalez paid $5.08 for his whole order and left the store, police said. 

Gonzalez is accused of stealing $44.87 and later admitted to police that he stole the seafood because he had a date on Thursday night and wanted to impress the woman, according to the arraignment report.

The idea apparently came from one of Gonzalez’s friends who told him to buy something inexpensive, use that bar code on a more expensive item and then use the self-checkout register, according to police.

Gonzalez was issued a misdemeanor summons for sixth-degree larceny, signed a summons and is due in court on June 19.

Photo Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com

Calif. Utility to Close Troubled Nuclear Plant


A leak led to an investigation and then a shutdown. Now, more than a year later, two reactors inside the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in California will be retired.

The announcement that Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactors will retire was made by Southern California Edison early Friday.

The company cited “continuing uncertainty about when or if SONGS might return to service” as the cause for their decision.

Edison International CEO Ted Craver said the company concluded that questions over when or if the plant might return to service was not good for customers or investors.

It will take years to retire the units. The company said it's "top priority will be to ensure a safe, orderly, and compliant retirement" of these two reactors.

The seaside plant between Los Angeles and San Diego has been shut down since January 2012.

Timeline: Shutdown of San Onofre

Local activist Donna Gilmore has been working with local groups in San Diego and Los Angeles to educate others on what she considered the dangers of the whole nuclear industry.

When contacted early Friday, Gilmore called the news unbelievable.

“Finally! This is amazing,” Gilmore said. “Didn’t expect this quite this way. This is great news.”

She said the issues at San Onofre have “kind of woke up the community in California and it’s growing. This is just the beginning as far as I’m concerned.”

In a statement Friday, California Public Utility Commision (CPUC) President Michael R. Peevey called the decision “understandable.”

He said the closure of the nuclear power generating station “will require even greater emphasis on energy efficiency and demand response programs.” Utility companies will also need to add transmission upgrade and find new generation resources.

Solana Beach resident Torgen Johnson who has worked with SanOnofreSafety.org said Craver has made the right decision.

“He did the right thing for the people of Southern California and the right thing financially for Southern California Edison,” Johnson said.

He said he hopes the utility can invest in safer energy technologies.

“Let’s do the right thing and turn this Cold War-era relic mistake into a really progressive, clean energy-based solution,” he said.

Who pays for the shutdown? The CPUC urged a meeting of ratepayers, community activists and SoCal Edison to determine how the costs will be borne.

The shutdown will also mean job loss. Staff at SONGS will be reduced from approximately 1,500 to approximately 400 employees before the end of the year.

Before it was closed, San Onofre produced enough power for 1.4 million homes. It is owned by SoCal Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and the city of Riverside. 

Earlier this year, SoCal Edison had asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission if it could change the plant's federal operating rules to permit the Unit 2 reactor to run at no more than 70 percent power, which company engineers and consultants believe will limit unusual tube wear. 

Just last month, Senator Barbara Boxer wanted the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Southern California Edison and its statements to federal regulators about swapping out generators.

Sen. Boxer, Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said Friday she was relieved by the news.

“This nuclear plant had a defective redesign and could no longer operate as intended. Modifications to the San Onofre nuclear plant were unsafe and posed a danger to the eight million people living within 50 miles of the plant,” Sen. Boxer said in a written statement.

She stressed that the nuclear plant be safely decommissioned so that it doesn’t become a continuing liability for nearby residents.

Earlier this week, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan visited San Diego to share his perspective on nuclear power. Kan was in office when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear catastrophe, that persists to this day.

The panel included San Diego County Supervisors and the former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko.The purpose of the Southern California discussion was to help settle the San Onofre power plant controversy.

More California Stories:


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bridgeport Homicide Victim Identified


Police have identified the man killed in a shooting in Bridgeport early Tuesday morning.

Ramon Bueno-Andujar, 48, was found on Oakleaf Street around 1 a.m. on Tuesday suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. He was identified through fingerprint analysis.

A security guard at Trumbull Gardens, a Bridgeport Housing Authority property in the North End, called police and reported hearing nine gunshots.

A short time later, police received a report that a man was in the middle of the street in front of 86 Oakleaf Street, a residential street near the Trumbull town line.

Bueno-Andujar was found next to his vehicle, a 2002 Land Rover Freelander, according to police. It had New York plates, police previously said.

He had been shot several times, police said, and medics confirmed that he was dead.

This is the fifth homicide of the year in Bridgeport. No motive has yet been established.

Police ask anyone with information to cal Lt. Chris Lamaine at 203-581-5206.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

ID Released on Man Found Dead in Burnt Bridgeport Home


The man who was found dead after a fire in a Bridgeport home on Wednesday, May 1 has been identified as Ricardo James, 55.

It took more than a month to identify him because dental records were used and James used an alias, Garfield Morgan, according to police.

James’ body was found under some debris after a fire 1488-1490 Park Ave. in Bridgeport, police said, and there were signs of trauma to the body.

Police are investigating James’ death as a probable homicide, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to determine the cause and manner of death, according to police.

Investigators are also trying to determine if there is any possible link between James’ death and a shooting on the night of April 30.

The fire was reported shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, according to police.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. that night, police responded to a report of a shooting victim on Linen Avenue, where they found Robson Santos, 38, suffering a gunshot wound to the area of his mouth. He was in serious but stable condition, according to police.

Later, police located evidence on Worth Street, near the fire scene, that suggested the shooting might have occurred there. That investigation is still underway.

After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters turned over the scene to the fire marshal's office, which sought and secured an administrative warrant to enter the building to conduct an investigation into the cause.

During the course of the investigation, James’ body was found under some debris.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Orchestra's Pop-Up Airplane Performance


What does a world-class orchestra do while stuck in a plane and on the tarmac for hours?

Play classical music, of course.

Stuck for three hours waiting for their flight from Beijing to Macao to depart, some of the musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra took out their instruments and played a pop-up performance of Antonin Dvorak’s String Quartet “American” Movement Finale right in the middle of the plane – the cellist Yumi Kendall resting her instrument right in the aisle as violinists Juliette King and Daniel Han and violist Che-Hung Chen stand up in their seats.

The Orchestra, which is touring China in commemoration of its historic 1973 visit, posted amazing video of the performance to its YouTube page.

The video begins with passengers gathering as announcements are made in both English and Chinese that the group is about to perform. The strings then take over as at least a dozen interested onlookers are seen taking photos and video with their cell phones.

Even on planes it seems that ringing phones can’t be escaped. At the 1:56 mark of the video you can see people smiling after a phone rings on the plane. But the orchestra played on to the amusement of fellow passengers.

At the end of the performance the whole plane erupts in applause as the musicians smile.

Photo Credit: YouTube

"Night Stalker" Death Closes Dark Chapter


Serial killer Richard Ramirez, dubbed the "Night Stalker" during a series of Southern California slayings in the mid-1980s, has died of natural causes after more than two decades on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Ramirez, 53, died of Friday morning of natural causes at Marin General Hospital, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Ramirez was sent to death row at the prison north of San Francisco after he was convicted of 13 murders in 1989. The slayings and sexual assaults terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985 with reports of Satanic symbols at bloody crime scenes and a killer who entered through unlocked windows and doors -- a method that led to his original nickname, the "Walk-In Killer."

Some of the victims were shot to death, others were strangled or had their throats slashed.

"The death of Richard  Ramirez in prison today closes a dark chapter in the history of  Los Angeles," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. "Let's not forget the victims who suffered at his hands and the victims families who are still suffering with the memories of their lost loved ones."

When he was captured in August 1985, angry residents surrounded Ramirez and beat him in East Los Angeles after his attempted carjacking. His capture brought to an end serial slayings began in March 1985 and continued through several tense months before two major breaks in the case.

In August 1985, Ramirez shot and killed a man and beat the victim's wife in San Francisco, but the woman survived and provided investigators with a description of the attacker that matched police sketches.

About one week later, Ramirez was back in Southern California, where he broke into a Mission Viejo apartment. He shot and killed a resident before attacking the man's fiancee.

The woman provided investigators with a description of her attacker's vehicle. Police located the vehicle and found a fingerprint belonging to Ramirez.

His mug shot was broadcast on television and printed in newspapers, and Ramirez was tracked down in East Los Angeles just days after the Mission Viejo killing and attack. Video showed Ramirez with his head bandaged -- because of injuries suffered when residents captured him -- as police took him into custody and placed him in the back of a squad car.

He was admitted to the prison in November 1989. 

Ramirez is the 59th condemned inmate to die from natural causes on death row since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.

Twenty-two inmates have committed suicide on death row, 13 have been executed in California and one inmate was executed in Missouri, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Six have died from other causes, according to the department.

There are now 735 offenders on California's death row.

More Southern California Stories:

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Backhoe Operator to Face Charges in Collapse


The man who operated a backhoe at the site of Wednesday's deadly building collapse in downtown Philadelphia will be charged with the deaths of six people, sources tell NBC10 Philadelphia.

Sean Benschop, 42, will face six counts of involuntary manslaughter as well as counts of risking a catastrophe and reckless endangerment for his role in the collapse, sources say.

Sources also say Benschop had marijuana and prescription painkillers in his blood two hours after the outer wall of 2136 Market Street tumbled down onto the Salvation Army Thrift Shop Wednesday morning.

Philadelphia Police detectives raided Benschop's home along the 4900 block of North 7th Street in the Olney section of Philadelphia around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

NBC10 was there as detectives removed boxes filled with documents and a yellow safety vest, notebook and desktop computers and a hard drive from the home.

Benschop's whereabouts are currently unknown. Neighbors tell NBC10 that investigators were asking them if they had seen the man. Neighbors replied they hadn't seen him in some time.

NBC10 was able to reach Benschop by phone but he offered no comment and referred us to his attorney. When asked whether he was on drugs when the collapse happed Wednesday, Benschop hung up the phone.

Neighbors said Benschop would regulary drive the backhoe from his home in Olney to work sites around the city.

The Center City collapse buried nearly two dozen people under brick, cement and wood. Six people were killed and 13 hurt in the collapse. One woman was buried for 13 hours under rubble before being rescued.

Sources say Benschop was taken to a nearby hospital after the four-story building came down to take a blood and urine test. Those tests were expedited for quick results.

Benschop is a convicted felon and lists himself as self-employed, sources say.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office's Homicide Unit was at the collapse scene Thursday. The DA Office's spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said at the time it was too early to comment further on criminal charges.

Benschop was operating the backhoe for demolition contractor Griffin Campbell Construction. City officials stopped work at two other Griffin Campbell sites in the city's Midtown Village section on Thursday.

Construction company owner Griffin Campbell had a valid contractor license, issued this January, but owed thousands of dollars in unpaid city, state and federal business taxes.

Campbell, 49, also has a criminal history — having pleaded guilty to theft and insurance fraud charges in 2009.

Construction workers and everyday citizens called Griffin Campbell Construction's demolition practices at the site into question prior to and following the collapse.

A month before the collapse, Stephen Field told the City of Philadelphia's Philly311 customer service center about a lack of safety gear being used by workers as they hacked away at the brick building. He also voiced his concern that pedestrians could be hit by falling debris or that a complete collapse could happen.

City officials said they sent out a building inspector to an adjacent work site at 2134 Market Street after being provided with that site's address. They say the inspector found no violations. Officials also said demolition work had not begun at the site of Wednesday's collapse and so that demolition project was never inspected.

Field disputed that claim, saying there was "no doubt" both building were being demolished at the same time. City officials have not responded to Field's dispute.

A lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of two of the victims — one shopper and one employee.

Crews had been working to clear the collapse site since Wednesday, but work will be halted Saturday as attorneys involved in the suit will be allowed to inspect the site and remove evidence.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.

State Conducting Investigation Into Wallingford Preschool


The state Department of Public Health is conducting an investigation into Sonshine Preschool in Wallingford after the child day care program filed a report on May 31.

Parents said they were told at a meeting last night that the state is looking into allegations of abuse by a former employee, who hasn't been at the school since mid-April.
Officials from Sonshine Preschool had no comment on the investigation.
State officials have not confirmed details of the investigation.

Separately, the Department of Public Health said in an e-mail that the last full, unannounced inspection was conducted on Dec. 17 and there were violations “relative to lack of a current local health inspection, menus not prepared one week in advance, and potentially hazardous substances not locked were cited.”
The state accepted the corrective action plan and no formal discipline was taken against the school.
On May 31, a report was filed by the child day care program and the investigation is pending. 
Sonshine Preschool will be closing at the end of the school year.  A letter sent to parents said a staffing shortage and other concerns were the reasons it would no longer operate in the fall.
Parents said on Friday that they are upset about the allegations, but have had no problem with any of the staff members.

Amy Gallagher, a parent, said this is upsetting and parents don’t have many answers.
“Those teachers are really good people in there, and they love our kids, and they’ve done really good by them,” Gallagher said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Prosecutors Want 4 Years for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.


Federal prosecutors are recommending former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. get four years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.

In a sentencing memo filed Friday, federal prosecutors asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence former Jackson Jr. to 48 months in prison and to order him to pay $750,000 in restitution to his campaign fund, as well as a forfeiture money judgment of $750,000.

"When one views the Defendant's history and characteristics, his financial condition at the time of the conspiracy, the nature and circumstances of the offense, the seriousness of the offense, and the need for avoiding unwarranted sentencing disparities, there can be little doubt that a sentence of 48 months is appropriate," prosecutors wrote.

They suggested Jackson's wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, get 18 months for filing false joint federal income tax returns and restitution of $168,550.01.

"[Sandi Jackson] was not simply a beneficiary of her husband's theft. [She] stole," prosecutors said. "In fact, she stole a lot."

Prosecutors want the couple to serve staggered sentences for the sake of their children with Sandi Jackson serving first.

Jesse and Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty in February and were warned they could be sentenced to nearly five years and two years, respectively.

Jackson's lawyers say he accepted full responsibility for his actions. "He is remorseful and has agreed to repay all the funds he misappropriated and to forfeit items he purchased with them."

They only ask for a "below guidelines sentence." They do not ask that he be spared prison time, but  do note that "his mental health may well worsen under the stress of incarceration."

Jackson's father wrote to the judge appeal "for mercy."

"I am not sure at what point Jesse Jr. began to foil his own ambitions," Jesse Jackson wrote, "whether the depression began to set in, whether the duodenal bariatric surgery, which requires strict medical discipline, or where the bipolar disorder fit into the trajectory. But I do know that when we as a family realized this, he has been under substantial medical treatment for recovery and in honoring his doctor's prescription."

Prosecutors noted that at the time of the offenses, Jackson's salary as a United States congressman put him in the top 10 percent of household incomes in the country. 

On top of that, he was paying his wife $5,000 per month as a campaign consultant, a total of $340,500 during the 84 months prosecutors say the conspiracy lasted. The government notes that starting in 2008, she also was drawing a Chicago aldermanic salary which grew to $114,913 last year.

"Before defendant and his wife stole a dime, they received substantial incomes," the prosecutors noted. "In 2011, their combined income from their salaries and her consulting fees was $344,556.  In 2011, that household income would put the Jacksons within the top four percent of household incomes in the country."

The government notes that the recommended sentence amounts to .64 months per $10,000 stolen. It says Jackson was "contrite throughout the process" and that his cooperation in the investigation saved the government not only the expense of a trial but also saved them time.

Prosecutors said Jackson spent thousands of campaign dollars on fan memorabilia, including $4,000 on a Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen guitar. Other charges included more than $4,000 for a cruise, $2,300 at Walt Disney World and $5,600 at a spa on Martha's Vineyard.

Court documents show Sandi Jackson failed to claim about $600,000 on her income tax returns between 2005 in 2011.

They are scheduled to be sentenced July 1.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Milford Burger King Robbed


Milford police are looking for the men who held up a Burger King restaurant Wednesday night.

Three suspects, all wearing masks and dark clothing, entered the 1292 Boston Post Road restaurant around 9:21 p.m. They took an undisclosed amount of money and fled. One suspect had a handgun.

Police are actively investigating. Anyone with information should contact Detective Sergeant Youd of the Milford Police Department at 203-783-4728 or dyoud@ci.milford.ct.us.

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