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Search Warrant Served at Home of Mom Who Disappeared at Sea


A search warrant has been executed at the Middletown, Connecticut, home of a woman who is presumed dead after disappearing during a fishing trip with her son, a source close to the investigation said. 

NBC Connecticut was at the home on Thursday night when police were at the scene for about an hour and officers took items in brown paper bags from the house.

There is a joint investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 54-year-old Linda Carman, according to police in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and it includes federal law enforcement agencies, as well as state law enforcement in Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts.

Linda Carman has not been seen since she and her 22-year-old son, Nathan, went fishing on Sept. 17.

The mother and son failed to return from a fishing trip in their boat, the Chicken Pox, from the waters off Point Judith in Rhode Island.

For the next six days, the Coast Guard searched a span of 62,000 miles, from Block Island to New Jersey, but called off the search when nothing turned up.

Two days later, the crew on the Chinese freighter spotted a life raft 100 miles from Martha's Vineyard and discovered Nathan Carman in it. He had a supply of emergency food and water, but there was no sign of his mother.

Nathan later told the Coast Guard that he heard a "funny noise" coming from the boat's engine compartment when they were at sea. When he went to go look, it was filling up with water. Then he got into the life raft and called for his mother, but could not find her.

"I got to the life raft after I got my bearings and I was whistling and calling and looking around and I didn't see (my mom)," Carman told the Coast Guard.

Nathan Carman now lives in Vermont and officials have searched his home there as part of the investigation. The search warrant affidavit says police "believe that evidence relating to the crime of RIGL 46-22-9.3 {Operating so as to endanger, resulting in the death} will be located inside Nathan's residence located at 3034 Fort Bridgemon Road in Vernon, Vermont."

A friend of the family told investigators that Linda Carman said the pair was going fishing at Striper Rock, which is located approximately 20 miles off of the Block Island shoreline, according to the affidavit.

However, another witness told police that Nathan Carman said they were going fishing at the Canyons, which is approximately 100 miles off the Block Island shore, the affidavit reads.

When Carman was rescued about 100 miles off shore of Martha's Vineyard, he told investigators he and his mother were fishing on the Block Canyon for tuna, the affidavit said.

Sources close to the investigation also said that Nathan Carman is a person of interest into his wealthy grandfather's homicide in 2013.

The 22-year old told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had nothing to do with his grandfather's unsolved slaying and didn't harm his missing mother.

While the investigation into what happened to Linda Carman is ongoing, Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll said during a news conference on Monday that the chances of Linda Carman's survival are minimal. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

14 Rescued When Ride at Big E Gets Stuck


More than a dozen people were stuck on a ride at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts for around an hour and a half last night and had to be rescued. 

Officials from the Big E said the “Wipeout,” which spins on the ground then lifts up, got stuck around 7:30 p.m. It was upright, at a 45 degree angle, and the highest point of the ride was around 18 to 20 feet in the air. 

The West Springfield Fire Department responded and used a ladder truck to take the 14 riders off, one at a time. 

No one was injured and no other information was available.

The ride will be closed on Friday.

Photo Credit: WWLP

Hundreds of Cell Phones Stolen from West Hartford in Large Theft Ring: Police


Two Connecticut men as well as a Florida man were arrested in a multi-state theft ring and one of the suspects is a UPS driver. 

Police said the men stole the identities of more than 100 West Hartford residents, along with residents of New Jersey and Florida, to buy iPhones and sell them overseas, where they’re worth more money. 

Police have arrested David Bagot, a 52-year-old UPS driver from Hartford; Ramone Sooman, 27, of West Hartford; and Andre Duffus, 26, of Plantation, Florida. 

West Hartford Police said 216 iPhones were missing and believed stolen and 122 of them were shipped to West Hartford. They are worth nearly $178,000 combined. 

Bagot reported that some of the packages were delivered when they were not and other phone were stolen by people following the UPS truck, according to police. 

The victims all lived in the center of town, on Farmington Avenue, Trout Brook Drive, Asylum Avenue or Prospect Street, according to police. 

Authorities believe the ring originated in Florida. 

According to authorities, the cell phones were purchased through one major carrier, though police won’t identify which one, saying it could compromise the investigation. 

West Hartford police said they were initially notified by that carrier and worked with UPS to nab one of the suspects in the case. 

“We set up a surveillance and we did watch the UPS driver truck pull up and then pull away. Shortly thereafter he made a stop with a civilian vehicle and a transaction was made at the civilian vehicle. We stopped them and determined a crime had occurred," said Lt. Eric Rocheleau, of the West Hartford Police Department. 

Fifty-two-year-old UPS driver David Bagot of Hartford was arrested and charged with larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. Twenty-seven-year-old Ramone Sooman of West Hartford was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. Twenty-six-year-old Andrew Duffus of Plantation, Florida was arrested and charged with larceny and conspiracy to commit identity theft. 

Rocheleau said there are still cell phones out there and more arrests are expected, including in Connecticut. 

Police suggest that if you live in the central part of West Hartford that you monitor your credit report to make sure a cell phone account wasn't opened up in your name.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

Suspect in Viral Purse-Snatching Video Arrested


A man suspected of stealing a purse from a Florida woman's car in a viral video has been arrested, authorities said. He is also accused of stealing an SUV with a baby inside in North Lauderdale days later, according to an arrest warrant.

When a local television station aired surveillance footage of a woman jumping on the hood of a car driven by a man who stole her purse, several people called Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives to identify him, county officials said.

Three people told officers that they "were certain" the bald man seen in the Mobil Gas Station video grabbing a purse and driving off was Frederick Mordon Jr., a convicted felon, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday.

Mordon’s parole officer also said the suspect "appeared to be his client," a detective wrote in the warrant.

The 35-year-old was arrested Thursday in connection to the Sept. 17 incident. Cameras captured Mordon pulling up to the gas station in a light-colored car, opening a woman's driver side door while she pumped gas, and then taking her purse. The victim jumped on his car, falling off when he sped away.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, he was released from prison June 18 after an 11-year jail sentence for grand theft, burglary of a dwelling and reckless driving. Acquaintances who recognized Mordon in the viral video had advised him to turn himself in, but he refused, saying he was scared and "didn't want to go back to prison," the warrant said.

Authorities said that Mordon was also connected to a car theft at a shopping plaza in North Lauderdale on Sept. 24. A two-month-old infant was inside the Nissan Murano was stolen as the baby's mother spoke to a store manager nearby.

The SUV was later found abandoned nearby, with the unharmed baby still inside.

Mordon was booked into jail Thursday evening and was being held without bond on charges charges including burglary, strong arm robbery, kidnapping, child neglect, grand theft auto, and violation of parole, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

'Great Man': Obama, Clinton Pay Tribute to Shimon Peres


Former Israeli president Shimon Peres was remembered as a "great man" as scores of world leaders attended his funeral Friday, NBC News reported.

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton were among 90 delegations from 70 countries paying their respects to Peres, who died Tuesday while hospitalized for a major stroke. He was 93.

"Even in the face of terrorist attacks, even after repeated disappointments at the negotiation table, he insisted that as human beings, Palestinians must be seen as equal in dignity to Jews and must therefore be equal in self-determination," Obama said.

Clinton said Peres was Israel's "biggest dreamer" and called him a "wise champion of our common humanity."

After the ceremony, the casket was led to the gravesite carried by eight members of an honor guard and led by soldiers carrying wreaths. Netanyahu and Obama chatted along the way, also talking with Peres' family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Gloomy With Showers This Weekend


An upper-level low will bring showers to Connecticut Friday through the weekend.

Friday will feature the most numerous showers, especially by afternoon. As a result, highs will only be in the 60s.

More showers are expected Saturday, when temperatures will again only be in the lower 60s.

Sunday will be the least wet of the next few days, but a shower is still possible. It will be warmer, with temperatures reaching the upper 60s.

While there could still be a shower on Monday, dry weather finally returns Tuesday and lasts into the middle part of next week.

High temperatures will be near 70 degrees next week.

First Alert meteorologists continue to monitor the tropics, as Matthew will be somewhere off the East Coast by late next week.

‘Paintball Gun War’ Has to Stop Before Serious Injuries: Police


New Haven police have received a dozen reports of gun violence in the last week alone and have determined that people embroiled in turf or gang conflicts are using fake weapons that appear to be real, and causing panic and significant injuries. 

Police are calling it a “paintball gun war” and they are trying to stop it before it escalates to retaliation with a real weapon or someone who mistakes a fake gun for a real one kills someone. 

The victims include a 10-year-old girl who was shot in the head with a BB in Newhallville last night and a person who was shot this morning with a BB gun in Fair Haven. 

Days ago, police received a frantic call from a woman who thought groups were shooting each other with “assault weapons” or “A K-47s.” When police took the guns from the teens, they determined that the weapons were air guns, but they looked real. 

Police have made some arrests, but they are working on identifying others who are involved. 

This investigation comes after police noticed a rise in gun complaints in which the assailants used paint-ball guns, facsimile guns and BB guns. 

Detectives with the Criminal Intelligence Division have determined that most of the calls involved groups from several New Haven areas who are embroiled in turf or gang conflicts, according to police. 

“These groups are targeting rivals in neighborhoods, such as the Hill and Newhallville,” Intel Division supervisor Karl Jacobson said in a statement. “This has got to stop before someone is seriously hurt or worse.” 

Police said they fear retaliation and said targeted groups have made threats with real weapons, and carried some of them out. 

Local police have also consulted state prosecutors on appropriate charges for those caught with paint-ball guns, facsimile firearms and BB-guns. 

“We’re trying to avert a tragedy,” Assistant Chief Achilles “Archie” Generoso said. “The effort to stop this is a top priority for our department.” 

As they investigate, police are urging parents to pay close attention to their teenagers’ activity, especially if you know they are involved in these types of rivalries. 

Police are also asking anyone with information to report criminal activity when you see it by calling police at 203-946-6316 or 911. If you’d like to speak with detectives, call 203-0946-6304.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

White Helmets Video Shows Despair


The volunteer group known as the White Helmets are not immune to the tragedies they face while trying to save civilians in Syria, NBC News reported.

Aleppo has been the target of airstrikes and bombs, transforming the city into a rubble-filled battleground. The video, which was filmed Thursday in the Idlib province, shows emotional volunteers after the hours-long rescue of a baby.

Doctors Without Borders reported that from Sept. 21 through Sept. 26, more than 278 people, including 96 children, have been killed from the attacks. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power has condemned the Syrian government and Russia for “unleashing a savagery” against people they’re labeling terrorists.

“Children are not terrorists,” she said. “Rescue workers are not terrorists. Hospital workers are not terrorists.”

Photo Credit: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP
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Safest Place to Sit on a Train, What to Do If It Crashes


Paul Worley from the North Carolina Department of Transportation shared with the "Today" show's Jeff Rossen a handful of suggestions on how to minimize the danger if you're involved in a train crash.

Among the tips: sit in the middle of your train because the worst damage in a derailment is likely to be in the front and back cars; sit facing backwards so that if the train stops short or crashes you'll be pushed back instead of thrown forward; and the best way out in a emergency could come from removing an emergency window or popping out a door manually.

Photo Credit: Today.com

Community Honors Police Through ‘Southington Blue’


Community members in Southington came together on Friday to show support for the Southington Police Department. 

They wore blue clothes and blue ribbons and hung large signs on buildings and blue ribbons on light poles throughout the downtown area. 

They called the movement “Southington Blue.”  

“It’s a great day for our community. A day that we can recognize, appreciate and say thanks to our men and women in blue,” John Myers, the executive director of the YMCA, said. “Every day they’re out there serving us, protecting us and they’re just true community partners.” 

The school district joined in to show support by passing out blue ribbons to the staff members at every school. They even decorated their office doors and put coffee and donuts out for officers who stopped by. 

“It just brings everybody together and we all kind of make fun. We have a little competition and we are here just to support the Southington Police Department, who support us every single day throughout the school district,”

Michelle Passamano, the executive director to the assistant superintendent of schools, said. 

Passamano said supporting police is a message she also wants to relay to her own children. 

“They do so much. They are there all the time. As a parent, I think showing your child right from wrong and being able to show them what you can do when a community pulls together, I think it helps them become a better person,” said Passamano. 

Webster Bank on Main Street even had pizza, donuts and cookies for the officers. 

“The officers here, they come to work and do their job because it’s their job. They don’t look for it, they don’t expect anything,” Southington Police Lt. Michael Baribault said. “It really makes us feel good and makes us feel appreciated.” 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Supreme Court Takes on Case of Portland Band 'The Slants'


Asian American boy band "The Slants" is headed to the nation's highest court and the fate of the Washington Redskins' name could hang in the balance, too.  

The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear the case involving The Slants' controversial name choice in the question of whether the group should be allowed to trademark it. The case could have implications for the Washington Redskins’ trademark status by setting a precedent on the matter of free speech in trademarks, according to The New York Times.

In 2011, band founder Simon Tam filed for a protected trademark for The Slants with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) but the office denied it. The band is still allowed to use the name, but without the trademark they are not able to prevent others from using the same name, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The band saw a major victory last year when a federal appeals court backed the band, calling the PTO’s rejection of an offensive trademark a violation of the right to free speech. The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling.

In February the appeals court categorized the band’s name as “private speech” and called the rejection of the trademark a result of the government’s own disapproval of the message. The First Amendment can protect even hurtful speech. Lawyers for Tam have said that the PTO has been inconsistent on when it deemed names “offensive,” citing the 1980s hip-hop group N.W.A. as an example. That group was allowed to trademark their name. 

In response to the appeals court, the Justice Department said that a trademark is in fact a government benefit, not private speech, and therefore could be seen as an endorsement. In a dissent on The Slants’ name, the Justice Department argued that granting a trademark “would convey that the United States regards racial slurs as appropriate,” Los Angeles Times reported. 

The Slants, originally from Portland, Oregon, was formed in 2006. The self-proclaimed “Chinatown dance rock” group has released four albums under an independent label.

The Supreme Court has so far declined to hear the Washington Redskins case. The team has had a history of controversy over its name. In 2014, the PTO canceled the team’s six trademarks, including the team’s logo, following the years-long complaints from Native American groups. The team name has been called offensive, as the term “redskin” is a derogatory term for Native Americans. President Obama has called on numerous occasions for the D.C. team to change its name, citing a need to “break stereotypes.”

Tam, for his part, has called the Redskins a racial slur against Native Americans. He has said that the difference lies in the fact that The Slants does not intend to offend anyone and is not an inherent racial slur.

The court is not expected to rule on the issue for several months.

The Slants has not returned NBC’s request for comment.

Photo Credit: AP

Yard Goats File Motion to Fight Delay on Hartford Ballpark Construction


The day after the developer that was fired from building the new Hartford baseball team filed a court motion asking a judge to stop all construction at the ballpark, the owner of the baseball team the park is being built for has responded and is asking a judge to deny the motion that would further delay work on the park. 

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters broke the story yesterday about how the former developer, Centerplan Construction, is asking a judge to allow the company to “preserve” evidence in its lawsuit against the city by not allowing work to resume at Dunkin Donuts Park. 

The park was supposed to be completed this past Spring, in time for the Hartford Yard Goats to play their inaugural season at a new ballpark, but there were several delays and the park is still not finished.

Centerplan was fired from the project and Arch Insurance, the surety that guarantees completion of the project, hired Whiting-Turner Construction as the new general contractor. 

The goal is for the park to be completed by next spring, in time for the Yard Goats to play in Hartford next season, and officials from Arch told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters that work at the ballpark is scheduled to begin next week. 

In a filing today, the Yard Goats say Centerplan has had more than sufficient time to document the quality of work and state of completion since getting fired from the project in June. 

They went on to call Centerplan's motion an attempt to get a “settlement of their bogus claims and to obscure” and said “the plaintiffs are and were incompetent or worse.” 

Hartford mayor Luke Bronin responded on Thursady night about Centerplan's motion to delay construction sand said Centerplan’s latest lawsuit has no legal basis and is a non-issue. 

“We look forward to working with the new contractor, Whiting-Turner,” Bronin said. “A responsible company with a great reputation and extensive experience building stadiums." 

In July, Centerplan filed a lawsuit against the City of Hartford and the owner of the Yard Goats. They said they are looking for an injunction against the city because it did not use the proper dispute resolution channels laid out in their joint agreement before the city fired them.

Experts Looked Inside Mylan's Upgraded EpiPen


With Congress trying to figure out Mylan's business model for the EpiPen, a medical technologies expert and a Seattle doctor have been physically taking apart the auto-injectors to find out exactly how the device has changed since Mylan acquired it, NBC News reported.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch testified last week that it invested more than $1 billion enhancing the product, which is one of the reason the Epipen's price has risen from $100 to $600.

After a Seattle doctor cut open EpiPens from before and after Mylan's upgrades, NBC News sent versions of the epinephrine auto-injectors to a medical technology consulting firm. Despite seeing safety and graphics upgrades, both found the devices shared a similar "core."

After NBC News sent the firm's results to Mylan, a spokesman for the drugmaker said it was "not familiar with the research referenced in your email" but contended that "anyone who has used the product knows, the epinephrine auto-injector we have in the market today is substantially different than the one we acquired."

Photo Credit: James Cheng / for NBC News

Mom Thwarts Attempted Kidnapping


One Albuquerque, New Mexico mother got the shock of a lifetime when she turned around just in time to see a complete stranger running away with one of her children.

Quick thinking and protective, the mother was able to chase down 29-year-old Dustin Sherman and wrestle her child from his arms.

"He was carrying her like he was carrying his own child," the mother said. "He was holding her close you know trying to hold her really close to him and that bothered me really bad."

Sherman was arrested, and authorities say he has a criminal history that includes battery on a peace officer as well as domestic violence charges.Read more from KOB here.

Photo Credit: KOB

NoCal Nudist Retreat Opens Doors to Loma Fire Evacuees


A nudist retreat nestled below the Santa Cruz Mountains is opening its door to all Loma Fire refugees and their animals "until the fire’s out.”

Lupin Lodge CEO Lori Stout told NBC Bay Area on Friday that many shelters aren’t allowing displaced Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county residents to bring their animals, like horses, to stay with them as Cal Fire crews battle the fire, which as of Friday, had scorched 4,300 acres and destroyed eight homes.

So, Stout decided to invite the evacuees and their pets – including farm animals - to her Los Gatos retreat on Aldercroft Heights Road, which boasts to have been “freeing the nipple for 82 years.”

And the offer gets better: The stay is open to any of the cabins, yurts, dormitories and 100 campsites, for free. Prices vary, but a typical yurt costs $125 a night.

“Hey, we got lots of room,” she said.

Stout said she came up with the idea on Thursday, but has not yet received occupants. 

But if history is any indication, the guests, clothed and not, will come.

During the 2015 Lake County Valley Fire, Stout invited the staff at the Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, Calif., to stay at the lodge. During the Corralitos Fire near Watsonville last year, the lodge also opened its doors to evacuees, some of whom decided to try the nudist colony out. And in the 1980s, she said more than 1,000 firefighters stayed on the 112-acre property during the Lexington Fire and 1989 earthquake. Her retreat has been open since 1935.

Stout and her late husband, Glyn Stout, was accused last year of diverting water from a nearby waterfall during the drought; a topic she didn't want to discuss on Friday. She pleaded no contest to trespassing charges, and was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service, along with a fine of $9,800 to the Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District, the Mercury News reported.

Stout told NBC Bay Area that she plead no contest because her husband had died unexpectedly, but that she never actually trespassed.

As for making sure she doesn’t get duped or taken advantage of, Stout said that all guests have to undergo screening, including a database check through the Megan’s Law sex offenders list. They also have to provide a license plate number and driver’s license, which will show where they live. Only local residents will be approved, she said, and determining when it’s time for a guest to leave will be on a case by case basis.

“They can stay until the fire’s out,” she said.

Stout said evacuees looking for help should call the retreat at 408-353-9200 or email relax@lupinlodge.org.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

New London Woman Attacks Group With Spray in New London: Police


A New London woman is accused of attacking several people in New London, including child, which a spray that caused a burning sensation in their eyes, caused them to cough and made their skin red. 

Police said they responded to an undisclosed residence just before 7 p.m. to investigate a domestic violence incident after someone used some type of citrus-type spray on several people. 

Officers said they determined that Destinie Seales, 38, of New London, went to the house and caused a disturbance about a family matter and sprayed several bursts of the spray through the screen door. 

The spray hit one person in the face and four other people, including a 3-year-old child, sustained residual effects. 

The victims complained of a burning sensation to eyes, skin redness and coughing and they were treated. 

Seales was charged with five counts of assault in the third degree, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree breach of peace. 

She was held and brought to court.

Photo Credit: New London Police

Man Driving SUV Approaching Children at Middletown Bus Stop


A man driving an SUV is approaching children children waiting for the bus in Middletown, police said. 

On Thursday and Friday morning, a man driving a small gray SUV was lurking near the bus stop on East Street in the Westfield section of Middletown, police said.

The man offered children candy during one of the incidents. Another time, he drove by the children, then slowly turned around and drove away. 

Police are asking anyone witnessing similar types of occurrence to contact them. 

Middletown Police are investigating the incidents. Anyone with information is asked to call (860) 638-4000.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Christopher Boswe

Cop Smashes Car Windshield With Man's Head


Police in Lorain, Ohio, are defending themselves against brutality claims raised by a man whose head was slammed into a cruiser with enough force to shatter the windshield. The incident took place in September of 2014 and the video was recently obtained.

Returning Marine Meets Son For First Time


A Tennessee Marine returning from deployment met his newborn son for the first time Thursday.

Video of Trump Deposition Released


Video of Donald Trump giving a deposition in a case involving one of his hotels was released Friday. The case is part of Trump’s ongoing legal feud with celebrity chef and restauranteur Geoffrey Zakarian.

Zakarian and another chef pulled out of deals to open restaurants at a new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., NBC News reports, after Trump’s 2015 speech in which he referred to “rapists” crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, “bringing crime” to the United States.

“All I’m doing is bringing up a statement that is very real about illegal immigration, and I think most people think I’m right,” Trump testified under oath.

He further defended his speech on-camera and objected to the chefs being “politically correct” and “grandstanding.”

Photo Credit: NBC News
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