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Emanuel Set to Deliver Pivotal Speech on Chicago Violence


Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to deliver what could be one of the most important speeches of his career Thursday as he lays out his comprehensive plan for fighting Chicago’s ever-prominent crime.

After four people were killed and 12 others wounded Wednesday amid a spike in gun violence making national headlines, the mayor’s speech comes at a critical time in the city.

The plan is expected to include the addition of 970 sworn police positions within two years and the hiring of 500 new officers, a plan that could cost the city up to $50 million.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says more officers are necessary at a time like this in Chicago.

“There are more guns than ever before, the gangs have been split up and weakened, but in some ways that makes them less stable and predictable,” he said. “It seems like they’re younger and crazier than they’ve ever been.”

Emanuel’s speech will also hinge on other ways of fighting crime, focusing on mentorship and job creation. He is expected to announce new plans for teen mentoring programs, after school programs and summer job programs.

The mayor is also set to challenge fathers and other role models to play a bigger role in their children’s lives.

“There’s a significance, our kids have the right kind of role models and values in their lives, so they can make decisions today that will impact their lives,” Emanuel has said.

The speech will be delivered at Malcom X College and will include recent crime victim Rhymefest among the guest list.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dramatic Photos: Protests in Charlotte


Protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, began on Sept. 20, in response to the fatal police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. Police said they warned Scott to drop a gun he was allegedly holding. Neighborhood residents said he was holding a book as he waited to pick up his son from school. The North Carolina governor has declared a state of emergency and called the National Guard into the city after the unrest turned violent for a second straight night.

Photo Credit: Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Galifianakis video

Stamford Mayor Urges Residents to Conserve Water


A water company has issued a mandatory water ban for Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien customers and the mayor of Stamford is urging residents to adhere to the ban.

“Because Aquarion’s reservoirs are less than one-half full and significantly below historical averages, we are asking residents to stop the use of outdoor watering devices, including irrigation systems, sprinklers, and soaker hoses," Stamford Mayor David Martin said in a news release. "All City agencies and Departments are complying to do our part. We are asking residents and businesses to please help by turning off their irrigation system or sprinkler for the season. However, the use of a hand-held hose does not fall under this voluntary ban. Taking these steps now will help us conserve water to prevent an emergency in the future.”

Aquarion Water Company said they are working in cooperation with town officials in implementing the mandatory ban on outdoor watering devices, including irrigation systems, sprinklers and soaker hoses, the company said. 

“We are telling our customers to turn off their irrigation systems and sprinklers for the season,” Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion President and CEO, said earlier this month. “We are doing this to ensure that we have an adequate water supply for everyday use and fire protection.”

Most of Connecticut is experiencing a drought. 

NBC Connecticut commissioned aerial video to see how the banks of the Connecticut River look during the state's drought. The state's rain deficit has been hurting local farmers and threatening their crops, including Christmas tree and pumpkin farms. 

Photo Credit: Consumer Bob

Girl Beat Up By School Guard: Aunt


The aunt of a young girl is demanding answers after she says a security guard at the girl’s school restrained the 10-year-old and caused several injuries.

Treshawnda Junius is the legal guardian of Kayla, who attended Beacon Therapeutic School, which specializes in students with attention and emotional difficulties. Kayla has ADHD and is bipolar, Junius said.

Junius said when she arrived at the school she saw a security guard restraining Kayla.

“He threw her up against the blackboard and threw her against the carpet,” Treshawnda Junius said. “If I would have sent her to school looking like this I’d be in jail right now.”

Kayla had multiple bumps, cuts and bruises on her back and face.

“We heard Kayla screaming, we heard her tussling with the man, we heard him telling her to stop or it’ll get worse,” Junius said.

The school, Junius said, told her that Kayla had hurt herself and declined to comment to NBC 5.

Junius said she filed and a police report and is waiting for Kayla to be assigned to a new school.

“She won’t be back, because now at this point, I can’t trust you to take care of my child,” said Junius.

The Department of Children and Family Services confirmed to NBC 5 that it is investigating the incident.

6-Year-Old Boy Offers Home to Syrian Refugee in Letter to Obama


The world was horrified by images of a wounded Syrian child sitting dazed and bloodied in an ambulance after an airstrike in Aleppo last month, and now a 6-year-old from New York is offering the boy a home. 

The White House posted a copy Wednesday night of the handwritten letter from "Alex" to President Barack Obama. Alex asks the president to bring the boy, identified as Omran Daqneesh, "who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria" to his home in Scarsdale.

"Can you please go get him and bring him," he wrote. "We'll be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother."

The administration also released a video of Alex reading his letter, along with footage of Obama sharing it at a United Nations refugee summit in New York City this week. Obama told world leaders that the letter was from a child "who hasn't learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness."

"We can all learn from Alex," the president noted.

As of Thursday morning, the video had been viewed more than 4 million times and shared more than 82,000 times on Facebook. 

The Syrian boy's three siblings and parents were also rescued from the rubble after their building in Aleppo was bombed. His 10-year-old brother died as a result of injuries. One of the cameramen who filmed him said he had never seen such a look of shock on a child's face. 

The image of the stunned and weary looking boy, sitting in an orange chair inside an ambulance covered in dust and with blood on his face, encapsulated the horrors inflicted on the war-ravaged northern city and was widely shared on social media.

Photo Credit: The White House
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Poll: Clinton Leads Trump Ahead of First Debate


Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by 6 points among likely voters heading into the first presidential debate on Monday, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The survey, conducted after Clinton's return to the campaign trail following her bout with pneumonia, shows a bigger advantage for the secretary of state than did polls taken during the heightened scrutiny of her health.

"Despite arguably the worst few weeks of her candidacy, the fundamentals still point toward a Hillary Clinton victory," says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

In a four-way horse race, Clinton gets support from 43 percent of likely voters and Trump gets 37 percent, while Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is at 9 percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein is at 3 percent.

Photo Credit: Getty/NBC Universal

Man Killed in Overnight Shooting


Police in New Haven, Connecticut, are investigating a homicide after a 31-year-old man was killed in an overnight shooting. 

Officers responded to 38 Dorman St. around 10 p.m. for a report of a person shot and found the victim, 31-year-old Levern Bellamy, of 38 Dorman St., in the back yard.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police do not have a suspect in the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6-Year-Old Girl Killed in Plainfield House Fire


A 6-year old girl has died in a house fire at 10 Windsor Ave. in Plainfield.

Officials received a 911 call just before 11 p.m. Wednesday from inside the home and were told people were trapped inside. 

When police officers arrived, they were able to rescue a woman and an 18-month-old boy from a window of the burning house, but they were unable to reach the 6-year-old girl.

The woman who lives in the home, 18-month-old boy and a male resident of the house were rushed to Backus Hospital, but the woman has been transferred to a Rhode Island Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition.

The man and baby have been treated and released, according to fire officials. 

Two police officers were also taken to Backus Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire officials said this is a difficult call for the members of the department who went back into the building to look for the missing child.

"Firefighters just kept going back into the building, doing a secondary search and an additional follow up search and it was the firefighters who found the deceased in the house,” Plainfield Fire Marshal Paul Yellen said. 

Some of the firefighters who responded have young children and this struck home for the entire department.

“It’s very challenging. Imagine a room you don’t know anything about. You don’t know the layout of the furniture, it’s pitch dark and you can’t see anything," Yellen said. "You’re searching for anything that could be a victim, a child, an adult. Maybe you pick up a doll, a toy and think you might have found something when in fact you haven’t."

"It’s very difficult because a small child can hide anywhere, anywhere in the house," Yellen said. "The crews that did eventually find the young girl. They all have young children of their own, so they’re having a very tough time this morning.”

Habitat for Humanity built the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home and the family has only lived there a few months. They moved in in July.

The Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit, the Plainfield Fire Marshal and the Plainfield Police Department investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut,com

Police Investigate Shooting and Robbery in West Haven


West Haven police are investigating after a man was shot in the hand and his scooter was stolen on Wednesday night.

Officers were stopping a car on Elm Street, near Savin Avenue, at 6:45 p.m. when a man approached them. He said he was shot in the hand during a robbery at 711 Savin Ave. his scooter was stolen.

The man was brought to a hospital to be treated and officers found evidence of a shooting, as well as possibly drug sales before the shooting.

Police are looking for two men who were in dark clothing and said the victim might know them.

Clinton Takes On Zach Galifianakis on 'Between Two Ferns'


On “Between Two Ferns,” Zach Galifianakis asked Hillary Clinton who made her infamous pantsuits. Halloween’s coming up, and he’s thinking of going as a librarian from outer space.

“I think that would be a good look on you,” Clinton said, smiling.

The episode, released today on "Funny or Die," was filmed on the same day the Democratic nominee was diagnosed with pneumonia several weeks ago, according to NBC News. Despite the illness, Clinton received no sympathy from Galifianakis, who brought his comedic A-game to the interview on his fake talk show. She met Galifianakis' awkward questions with deadpan responses and an impressive death stare. 

“Critics have questioned some of your decision making recently, and by you doing this show I hope it finally lays that to rest,” Galifianakis said.

“Oh, I think it absolutely proves their case, don’t you?” Clinton countered.

The "Hangover" actor ignored the barb. “Are you excited to be the first girl president?” he asked.

“For a younger, younger generation, you will also become their first white president, and that’s pretty neat, too,” he added, to which Clinton responded with a frown.

Galifianakis also made sexist remarks about Clinton’s stint as secretary of state, questioning her typing skills and wondering how President Barack Obama likes his coffee.

“What happens if you become pregnant?" he said. "Are we going to be stuck with Tim Kaine for nine months? How does this work?”

“You know Zach, those are really out-of-date questions,” Clinton said. “You need to get out more.”

Like most interviews on "Between Two Ferns," this one was tense, and it became combative when the comedian started putting words in her mouth.

“Don’t tell me what to say,” she retorted. 

Galifianakis then transitioned to another topic: the Republican nominee. 

“When you see how well it works for Donald Trump, do you ever think to yourself, ‘Oh, maybe I should be more racist?’” he asked. Clinton, who has often defended minorities, and whose platform emphasizes racial equality, returned to her silent judgment.

Then, Galifianakis proposed a government where Trump won the presidency and Kid Rock served as secretary of state. Would Clinton move to Canada, like some of her supporters plan to do in the face of a Trump administration? She said instead, she would fight to save America from demise. Galifianakis took her statement literally, envisioning her as the leader of a second civil war.

“No, I wouldn’t take up arms,” she said. “I think that might be a little extreme." 

“Oh right, because you were saying before we were rolling that you wanted to take away everyone’s guns,” Galifianakis said. “Very cool. Cool, cool, cool.”

Finally, he asked a real question: What would Clinton’s priority be if elected president?

“Oh Zach, it has to be the economy,” said Clinton, taking a page from her husband’s years in the White House. “We need more good jobs with rising incomes. We’ve got to make the economy work for everybody, not just those on top.”

Photo Credit: Funny or Die
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Police Search for Man Suspected in Meriden Child Sex Assault


Meriden police are trying to identify a man who might have inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl in July. 

Police said they received a complaint on July 20 that a man with a heavy accent spoke with the teen, then grabbed her and inappropriately touched her in front of a barber shop at 29 West Main St. around 8:30 p.m. that night. 

Police have investigated and are now reaching out to the community with a photo of the man they are looking for. 

Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call Detective Shane Phillips at (203) 630-6295.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police

Woman Accused of Hindering Investigation Into Fatal East Haven Crash


East Haven police have arrested a woman accused of lying to police who are investigating a fatal crash on Frontage Road in East Haven on Sept. 14 and helping the suspected driver hide from police. 

Gaitana Girgenti, 27, died after a tan Toyota sedan crashed into a pole near Home Depot on Frontage Road, She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and another person was transported to the hospital for serious injuries. 

Police have identified the suspected driver as 23-year-old Johnassis Melendez and said this weekend that he is in custody. On Thursday, police said Sara Montano, 28, drove him to northern Connecticut, but denied having any information about where he was.

Police said Montano did know about the fatal crash, that Melendez was driving and that police wanted to question him. 

Montano later admitted to being the person to drive Melendez to northern Connecticut, according to police, who said they had video from an officer's body camera.

Montano has been charged with third-degree hindering prosecution and is being held on $25,000. She is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 5. 

Police are still investigating Melendez and said they are working with the state's attorney to obtain a second arrest warrant for him on additional charges.   

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Kaepernick Graces Time Magazine


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick graces the cover of Time magazine next month, at the same time a new poll shows he’s the most disliked player in the National Football League.

This dichotomy of pride and disdain mirrors the country's reaction to Kaepernick’s controversial decision to not stand during the National Anthem at football games this summer.

Some support his stance, which he said is meant to highlight the issues of police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in the United States.

"He's shedding light on a situation that is heinous, it shouldn't happen in this country," 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said. 

In his most detailed comments on the issue to date, Kelly on Thursday said he stands behind Kaepernick's ongoing protest.

"You look at what's going on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights — it's an issue that's in the forefront of our country," Kelly said. "It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because it's not right."

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is also following the quarterback's lead. When her colleagues stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at Tuesday's council meeting, she sat down.

"Part of my motivation for sitting in solidarity with him is to say, 'What you're doing is good. Don't worry about the haters because we need to stand up for justice,'" Kaplan said.

A kneeling Kaepernick is the featured Oct. 26 cover of the prestigious magazine. And the piece gives the quarterback credit for inspiring a national conversation “beyond the world of sports.”

However, Kaepernick has faced plenty of criticism with some even making death threats in response to a civil protest they deem unpatriotic.

A poll last week of Americans by E-Poll Marketing Research revealed that Kaepernick was "disliked a lot" by 29 percent of the 1,110 people polled, more than any of the more than 350 players asked about in the survey.

In the dislike category, Kaepernick finished ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (22 percent), Miami Dolphins defensive end Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (13 percent) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent). In August 2014, the last time the poll was taken, Kaepernick was only "disliked a lot" by 6 percent of the population.

However, among African-Americans, Kaepernick has never been more popular.

The poll shows 42 percent of African-Americans now say they like the 49ers quarterback "a lot," while only 2 percent dislike him "a lot." Two years ago, only 16 percent of African-Americans said they liked Kaepernick "a lot," while 3 percent disliked him "a lot."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Teacher Accused of Inappropriate Relationship with Student


A former New Britain math teacher accused of having inappropriate contact with a high school student is due in court in October.

Kelsey Cabral, 33, of Kerin Drive in New Britain, was arrested Tuesday, July 20 and charged with risk of injury to children by sexual contact, fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to children by impairing morals, tampering with a witness and criminal attempt to tamper with evidence, according to police.

Police said Cabral taught math at Slade Middle School.

Carbal was suspended immediately after another student reported an alleged inappropriate relationship to school administrators in May, according to police.

During the suspension, Carbal, who had worked for the district for ten years, resigned, police said. 

“Our criminal investigation began immediately it involves collecting some data the serving of search warrants evidence collected during those processes linked the suspect to our victim,” New Britain police Capt. Thomas Steck said.

Consolidated School District of New Britain Superintendent Nancy Sarra released a statement which read in part:

"The truth along with the safety of our children are our top priorities within the Consolidated School District of New Britain."

Police said there is no indication that any other students were involved. Cabral was released on a $250,000 bond and has case has been continued to Oct. 26.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department

Trump Says Stop-and-Frisk Comment Meant for Chicago


After calling for the use of the controversial "stop-and-frisk" police practice to combat crime on Wednesday, Donald Trump clarified his comments to say he really only meant in Chicago.

"Look, we had tremendous shootings, numbers of shootings. Now, Chicago is out of control and I was really referring to Chicago with stop-and-frisk," the Republican presidential nominee said in a phone interview with Fox & Friends Thursday morning. "They asked me about Chicago and I was talking about stop-and-frisk for Chicago," he added.

Trump intended to clarify comments made in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that was broadcast Wednesday evening. In that interview, an audience member asked the nominee about addressing "violence in the black community," to which he proposed expanding the policy in which officers may stop and question individuals, possibly searching those they find suspicious. Critics of the practice say it can lead to racial profiling.

"I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well," he said. "You understand, you have to have, in my opinion, I see what’s going on here, I see what’s going on in Chicago, I think stop-and-frisk. In New York City it was so incredible, the way it worked. Now, we had a very good mayor, but New York City was incredible, the way that worked, so I think that could be one step you could do."

"I think Chicago needs stop-and-frisk," Trump said Thursday. "Now, people can criticize me for that or people can say whatever they want. But they asked me about Chicago and I think stop-and-frisk with good strong, you know, good strong law and order. But you have to do something. It can’t continue the way it’s going," he added.

The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

This is not the first time the nominee has mentioned Chicago's violence, drawing harsh criticism for tweeting in August that the murder of Dwyane Wade's cousin is an example of why black voters will support him. 

Just days earlier he also said that he met with a "top" Chicago officer who believed the city's violence could be stopped within a week using "tough police tactics," a claim that the Chicago Police Department refuted

"No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign," a CPD spokesperson said in a statement.

Photo Credit: AP

WATCH: Great White Shark Breaches Behind California Surfers


Sharks breach. That’s what they do.

But few people actually get to see it, let alone, capture the magical moment on camera.

The folks at Surfline did on Sept. 14 in San Francisco, when what appeared to be an eight-foot juvenile Great White shark flipped out of the water at Ocean Beach and backflipped back into the Pacific Ocean.

“I saw it straight on,” surfer Nick Masturzo told Surfline. “And when I saw that white belly go up and the super defined white of pectoral fins I knew what it was."

There’s never been a documented shark attack at Ocean Beach, Surfline reported, although a surfer was reportedly bumped in 2005.

Photo Credit: Surfline

White House Staffer's Email Hacked, Documents Leaked


The hacking group that leaked former Secretary of State Colin Powell's emails has purported to have breached the email account of a White House contractor, posting a scan of Michelle Obama's passport and a trove of messages online, NBC News reported.

The emails were sent from the Gmail account of Ian Mellul, a contractor employed as an advance associate at the White House, and includes sensitive information about the first lady and vice president — such as detailed schedules intended for their Secret Service protection.

The Secret Service Thursday told NBC News it's "aware of the alleged email hacking" and would not, as a matter of policy, provide information about an investigation.

The group, DC Leaks, is believed to have ties to Russian intelligence services, a federal law official told NBC News.

NBC News has not yet authenticated the documents.

Photo Credit: Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Black Cops at Odds With FOP Over Trump Endorsement


The endorsement of Donald Trump by the Fraternal Order of Police appears to have driven a wedge between many black cops and their white brothers in blue.

And nowhere is the split more visible than in Philadelphia, where the local FOP chapter has fallen in line and also endorsed the Republican presidential candidate — over the objections of a group that represents some 2,500 African-American officers in the city and which has branded Trump an "outrageous bigot."

"Our Local FOP is saying that our people have to follow the national lead," Rochelle Bilal, head of the Philadelphia Guardian Civic League, told NBC News. "We are saying you don't have to vote for Donald Trump and the national FOP should have stayed out of this election."

Bilal, a former Philadelphia cop who retired after 27 years on the force, said "those of us in law enforcement who are people of color are constantly trying to build bridges to the community, we're trying to build trust in law enforcement."

But "the Trump campaign is racist, sexist, anti-gay. It's a divisive campaign that's now dividing law enforcement," she said.

Photo Credit: AP

Extra Police Presence at Maloney High School in Meriden on Friday


There will be extra police presence at Maloney High School in Meriden on Friday after someone found a note today in the boy’s gym locker room referencing a school shooting.

Police said they learned of the threatening note at 12:15 p.m. and it referenced a “school shooting tomorrow.” 

Investigators do not know how long the note had been in the locker room, but the police department will be taking precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff during tomorrow’s school day, according to a news release from the Meriden Police Department.

Police do not consider the threat credible, but will have personnel at school throughout the school day tomorrow and will work with the Meriden Board of Education to ensure the safety of all.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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