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Paralyzed Girl, 11, Hit by Bullet Sits Up for 1st Time

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An 11-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet as she walked out of her New York City home last month is slowly starting to show signs of recovery. 

Tayloni Mazcyk has been recovering at New York Presbyterian Hospital and with the help of her nurses, sat up for the first time Thursday, the first glimmer of hope the girl may not be permanently paralyzed.

Tayloni, lovingly called Tutu by her parents, still has the bullet lodged in her spine. The girl was waiting for her aunt outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant home in Brooklyn the evening of Friday, May 31, when a gunman walking down the street opened fire at two men standing outside of another residence, police said. 

A stray bullet pierced Tayloni's throat, ricocheting down her spine before lodging in her back.

Despite the pain, Tayloni is fighting to recover her mobility.

"It was very painful for her [to sit up] but she's trying so hard," said Priscilla Samuel, the girl's mother. 

Samuel travels daily from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Washington Heights to be at her daughter's bedside. She said the girl has constant nightmares about the shooting.

"She doesn't want to come back to where we live, and she doesn't want to come outside anymore," said Samuel. "Why should she be afraid to come outside?" 

The weekend Tayloni was shot was a violent one: 25 other people were also shot across the city. Bloomberg said at the time that despite the burst of violence, New York City has witnessed the least gun violence in a decade

It did little to console Tayloni's mother and father, who are praying she will walk again.

"My baby is laying up in the bed with a gunshot wound to her neck, but there's no gun violence going on over here? Be real," said Samuel. 

Tayloni, who had been scheduled to graduate from fifth grade at P.S. 44 this month, is soon expected to be moved to NYU Rusk Rehabilitation Center for long-term rehab. Tayloni's mother lost her job before her daughter was shot, and her father is struggling with a part-time job; both are worried about Tayloni's long-term care, given her prognosis. 

In the meantime, the parents are hoping to see an end to the gun violence and said they want the mayoral candidates to present a plan to curb it.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the shooting.

Top News Photos of the Week

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Colorado Fire: An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado on Thursday, June 13. More than 350 homes have been lost in what is now the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. Click through to see images from June 8 through June 14.

15-Year-Old Boy Set to Graduate from UCLA

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A 15-year-old boy can now add UCLA alum to a long list of descriptors that typically reflect the accomplishments of a high-achieving adult three times his age.

Moshe Kai Cavalin will graduate Sunday with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the Westwood university. He started his college career when he was 8 years old.

Before starting at UCLA, Moshe Kai graduated from East Los Angeles College at the tender age of 11.

"I consider myself a regular kid who works hard and does his best," Moshe Kai told NBC4 in 2009 after he graduated from the two-year college.

There, Moshe Kai was the youngest in his class, but often tutored his 19- and 20-year-old peers. He was one of three students to graduate from East LA College with a 4.0 GPA.

He went on to study at UCLA on a prestigious Regents Scholarship, which awards $2,000 a year for two years to about 100 students.

After he receives his bachelor's diploma from UCLA Sunday, Moshe Kai, pictured below, plans to take a year off to work on his bucket list.

Goals for the 15-year-old – who is already a best-selling author and accomplished martial artist – include finishing his latest book (this one about bullies), getting his pilot’s and driver’s licenses, learning French and playing classical piano.

He may go on to obtain a master's degree but says his future is completely open.

"It would be silly to point to one door when my future offers me many open doors," Kai said in a university news release published last year. "I have good choices ahead, and I have plenty of time to choose what to pursue."

Moshe Kai is a member of an elite group of the country's youngest college graduates. He's just four years older than the world record holder, Michael Kearney, who graduated with his bachelor's degree in 1994 at age 10.

Gordon Tokumatsu will have a full interview with the 15-year-old college graduate on the NBC4 News at 5.

More Southern California Stories:

 



Photo Credit: moshekai.com

Search For Missing Photographer Continues

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The search for a missing photographer from New Milford continued at Lake Lillinoah on Saturday. Crews returned to the water on Saturday and coordinated with volunteers in the search for Eric Langlois.

 
Langlois fell into Lake Lillinonah in Lovers Leap State Park earlier this week. The 33-year-old fell off the rocks while looking for his bike.
 
The State Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection told NBC Connecticut they did not believe he was alive, and at this point they were trying to find his body.
 
Langlois' friends are staying optimistic.
 
"It’s frustrating just to be wanting to find him so badly," said Nichole Polyak.
 
She and dozens of others walked the edge of the lake Friday afternoon, looking for clues to Langlois' whereabouts.
 
"It's a lot of area to cover and it's just a lot to take in," explained Joe Howard.Police scoured the water earlier this week to no avail.
 
Friends were upset that police suspended the search on Thursday because of dangerous conditions with downpours.
 
"We won’t give up hope," said friend Mary Beth Morrissey. "One way or another we will find him."
 
Langlois' friends promised to keep searching Langlois is found.
 
"Especially with father’s day coming up we want to get Eric back to his family," Morrissey said.

Admitted Hitman Confesses to Slayings

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The killing in rural Alabama was apparently intended to avenge an insult to a woman. The suspected killer, an out-of-towner from California, initially professed his innocence.

But then he told investigators a jaw-dropping story.

Jose Manuel Martinez confessed not only to the Alabama homicide, but dozens more - 10 of them in California. He described himself as a drug cartel hitman.

"I'm the guy that comes and pays you a visit when you don't pay," the roughly 50-year-old suspect told one of the investigators who interviewed him in Lawrence County, which is north of Birmingham.

Martinez had made his home in California's Tulare County. The Tulare County Sheriff has sent detectives to Alabama to check out possible links to five unsolved homicides, according to Tulare Sgt. Chris Douglass.

The deadly shooting of a man named Jose Ruiz last March cast authorities' attention on two men, one of whom was Martinez, said Lawrence County Capt. Tim McWhorter. Martinez was in Alabama visiting his daughter.

But before authorities had enough of a case to arrest Martinez, he left the state, and traveled to Mexico. Last month, Lawrence County obtained a fugitive warrant and posted it in the national NCIC database.

McWhorter said the timing was fortunate - less than an hour after the warrant was posted, Martinez attempted to return to the United States and was arrested at the Yuma, Arizona border.

He was extradited to Alabama on June 3.

The second interview began much like the first, McWhorter said, with Martinez initially denying any involvement in the Ruiz homicide.

Then, about an hour in, McWhorter recalled, Martinez paused, looked at him, and thanked him for being respectful, before declaring: "I'm going to tell you the truth."

Martinez confessed to the Ruiz killing. But he was not done. He went on to confess to killing 30 men, McWhorter said. Of those, detectives so far have been able to identify 13 cases to be followed up.

Is Martinez credible?

Fabricted sensational confessions are not unheard of.  But in this case: "He's got specific information about the cases that no one would have unless they were involved in it," McWhorter said.

Meantime, authorities in Marion County, Florida contacted the Lawrence County Sheriff's department. Following up on a 2006 double homicide in the Ocala National Forest, detectives ran evidence that had not previously been analyzed for DNA. The result implicated Martinez, the Marion Sheriff's office said Wednesday.

Tulare county investigators have arleady questioned Martinez. Sgt. Douglass said the department may have more to say on Monday, and for now is declining to share specifics on the cases her department is pursuing.

"I do know he has confessed to crimes in their jurisdiction." said McWhorter, the Lawrence County Captain.

Martinez spoke at length about his role as a cartel enforcer, according to McWhorter. "He said he basically followed instructions. If it was to collect the money, he did that. If it was to collect the money and kill the person, he did that too."

But it's clear not all the killings in which he's implicated were motivated by drug dealings.

In Lawrence County, investigators believe Martinez killed Ruiz out of anger after Ruiz insulted an acquaintance's girlfriend, and Martinez's daughter.

Authorities in Lawrence County expect to seek indictments when a grand jury convenes in August. Martinez indicated he might plead guilty, McWhorter said, but that is not certain.  Martinez might also face prosecution in Florida.  Tulare County has yet to reveal its next step.

 



Photo Credit: Lawrence County, Al Sheriff

Newtown Pushes Technology Aimed at School Safety

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Their lives were stolen – 20 first-graders and six adults – at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., six months ago today.

But one group is pushing for every bit of good to come out of the tragedy: Sandy Hook Promise, a non-partisan non-profit that launched its Innovation Initiative three months ago in San Francisco.

The goal is to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to create technology and tools that will improve three major areas: mental health, school safety, and gun safety.

That’s what Georgia-based company SafeGun Technology, Inc. has been working on for the last decade. It already has various versions of a prototype biometric device that can read fingerprints and ensure only those who are supposed to be shooting the firearm are pulling the trigger.

“Children will not be able to use the firearm,” Charlie Miller, chairman of the board, told NBC Bay Area via Skype Friday. “If the criminal breaks in and takes it, they won’t be able to use it. If the criminal tries to remove our device, it will destroy the weapon.”

Miller added it wasn’t until Sandy Hook Promise that there was a real buzz about getting this kind of technology to market. His company just submitted an application to Sandy Hook Promise asking for $3.5 million. He said an investment like that would bring his company to another level – so far, it’s been a part-time gig. Miller works full-time as an attorney.

“If we save the life of one child – it will be a miracle to that child and anyone that child touches,” Miller said. “And if we were in this for the money, we would have been out of it a long time ago. We are about safety. Our goal is to save lives and that is what we intend to do.”

Hemant Taneja, a managing director at the Palo Alto office of venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, said his company is one of the dozens that is involved with Sandy Hook Promise. In the six months since the tragedy, Taneja said, there have been so many ideas and meetings between Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs.

“If either regulation or consumer sentiment forces it to be that everyone wants to purchase guns that are highly secure, want biometrics, think about how many guns are being sold,” said Taneja. “For a company like SafeGu, that’s enormous opportunity. So, I think the market is shifting towards that and technologies are accelerating that shift.”

Silicon Valley is where the focus is now, both on the entrepreneurial side as well as the money that can turn ideas into real business.

As for Sandy Hook Promise, one representative said the effort to raise at least $15 million to put into start-ups is still going strong. The group will announce who is getting the investments, how much they’re getting, as well as those who’ve won an incentive prize for brand new ideas in September.



Photo Credit: AP

Police: Teens Use Lost Credit Card for Photo Booth

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A group of teens who used a woman's missing credit card to buy movie tickets and pictures at a photo booth left a telling trail of evidence, according to police.

A woman reported her credit card missing June 6 in the Crofton area of Anne Arundel County in Maryland.

Records showed the card was used the day before at a Regal Movie Theater. Surveillance video shows a group of teens buying tickets for a movie with the card.

They then paid for a photo booth using the card as well. One can be seen holding up a credit card in one of the photos.

The group left the photos and the credit card behind, News4's Darcy Spencer reported.

If you know who the teens are or have any other information related to this incident, contact Anne Arundel County Police at 410-222-6155.

6,000 Shooting Victims' Names Read at Newtown Remembrance

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Six months ago today, 20 elementary school students and six educators were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in the close-knit Sandy Hook community in Newtown, Conn.

Victims’ families and community members paused for a moment of silence just after 9:30 a.m. then spoke of remembrance and change.

"We know all of the sudden these kids where learning in their classroom and their lives were taken within minutes," said Jillian Soto, the sister of Newtown shooting victim Victoria Soto.  "I wish that I can be half the woman that she was because she was amazing."

Victoria’s sister Carlee Soto said they are not forgetting loved ones and don't want anyone else to either.

Throughout the day, the names of more than 6,000 people killed by a firearm in the United States since the tragedy at Sandy Hook will be read outside of town hall in Newtown.

Gilles Rousseau, the father of Lauren Rousseau, said the remembrance was more emotional than he thought it was going to be.

“Driving here today, I almost turned around, but I did not. I came,” he said.  “It’s very emotional and I am glad I am here for Lauren and the 25 other victims.”

Between the reading of the names, some are renewing calls to pass legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases, including Gilles Rousseau, who called upon Congress to pass stricter gun control legislation.

Steven Barton, a Southbury resident who was shot in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., was among those speaking at the ceremony.

"Newtown has seen unspeakable tragedy, but just looking out on you, it's clear that you're stronger than ever before," Barton said.

In addition to the ceremony, Mayors Against Illegal Guns will launch a multi-state tour from Newtown on Friday called No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence.

The tour will stop in 25 states over 100 days to rally for similar gun violence prevention efforts to representatives in Washington.

"Since Newtown, 5,000 people have been murdered with guns. Just that alone is disgusting and we want Congress to realize that this I a huge problem that needs to be addressed," Carlee Soto said.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty released a statement on Friday, saying her thoughts are with the Newtown families.

“As we mourn the 26 innocent lives lost on that darkest of days, we also celebrate the strength, courage, and resilience of the Newtown community. These families and this town, who have been through so much, have inspired the country,” Esty said. “The country is inspired by the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who, through immeasurable tragedy and adversity, have never given up their mission to save other families and other communities from experiencing the same loss. The country is inspired by a small town with tremendous courage – a community that has stepped up to advocate for gun violence prevention.”

The remembrance event will continue until 9:30 p.m.

Tonight, the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association will hold a community-wide gathering for healing and hope building at 7:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Hills soccer fields off Trades Lane, according to the Newtown Bee.


 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticuut.com

Crews Search for Woman in Farmington River

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Crews were searching the Farmington River on Saturday morning for a 33-year-old New Hartford woman who fell from a raft overnight.

The DEEP said homeowners living in a condominium complex near the water notified them that they heard people on the Farmington River at around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
 
State police, EnCon police and the New Hartford and Canton Fire departments responded to the scene and began searching for the woman. They were aided by two DEEP vessels, a Coast Guard helicopter, and State Police aircraft. Rescue dogs and personnel on ATV’s also searched the area.

EnCon police said the incident involved two rafts that entered the water at around 2:30 a.m. on Route 44, one mile west of Satan’s Kingdom in New Hartford. One raft held two men, the other held a man and a woman. Police said that after floating down the river only a short distance, the raft carrying the man and woman hit a rock and overturned.

The man was able to swim to shore but the woman remained missing.

Emergency crews set up a command post at the corner of Route 44 and Satans Kingdom Road but said that the woman could be further down the river.
 
"With the current as its going right now, and the depth and everything like that, she could be currently where she is ... or she could have floated down into Canton," said Mark Worsman, New Hartford Fire Chief.
 
No further information was available.



 

Firefighters Respond to Serious Accident

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Three people were injured in a serious crash in Danbury Saturday night.

The incident happened around 9:45 p.m., on Memorial Drive.

According to police, two cars were racing when they pulled up behind a pick -up truck. One of the racing cars hit the other, pushing it under the truck in front of them.

The victims were taken to Danbury hospital. The driver of the pick-up did not suffer any injuries.

 

 



Photo Credit: Volunteer Fire Chief Rongetti

Family of Missing New Milford Photographer Speaks Out

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It’s been four days and still no signs of missing New Milford photographer Eric Langlois.

The 33-year old disappeared on Tuesday after attempting to locate his bicycle, which fell in Lake Lillinonah the day before.

Commercial dive teams joined the State DEEP and dozens of volunteers in searching the land and water near Lover’s Leap.

“The search continues,” said Amber Langlois, Eric’s wife. “ We remain hopeful and positive that he will be found.”

Standing at the Lover’s Leap Bridge, she thanks the local, state and private rescue crews and the dozens of volunteers who have been organizing search crews around the clock. A large number of those working on site have been from the wedding and photography community.

“I think too often we don’t recognize the importance of our friendships with people,” said Tom Westlake, Amber’s father. “Obviously Eric touched a lot of people.”

Amber said her husband had two passions in life – his children and his pictures.

"He is an amazing father to our children and by far the funniest person i ever met,” she said. “Eric is a gifted photographer who loved teaching and bringing joy to people through his pictures.”

Heading into a fifth night without answers, they hang onto faith.

“Please continue to keep Eric, our children and family in your thoughts and prayers,” Amber concluded. “It is providing us all with great comfort.”

The state DEEP will be focusing their search to specific parts of Lake Lillinonah and the Housatonic River on Sunday, according to organizers.

A Facebook page ‘Help Eric Langlois’ has given hourly updates on the search to thousands of followers.

A fund in the name of Eric’s children has already raised for than $13,000.

 

CT Man Win's Mount Washington Race

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Mountain runner Eric Blake of New Britain, Conn., has reclaimed the champion's title in a race up the road of Northeast's highest peak.

 
Organizers say Blake, who had won the 7.6 mile race up the auto road of Mount Washington in 2006 and 2008, had his fastest time ever on Saturday at 59 minutes, 57 seconds.
 
On the women's side, Laura Haefeli of Del Norte, Colo, won the event. The 45-year-old finished in 1 hour, 18 minutes, and 5 seconds.
 
About 1,300 runners from 34 states and two Canadian provinces participated.
 
The summit of Mount Washington is 6,288 above sea level.


Photo Credit: Rich Moffitt/Flickr

Thousands Run in Father's Day Road Race

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They’re little, but they’re pretty fast and cute, too.
Thousands of children and parents joined the 33rd Annual Branford Father’s Day Road Race. The mile-long fun run, which kicked off at the Branford Green Sunday morning, was a chance for some to run with dad from some and run to dad for others.

“Every day is Father’s Day,” said Paul Wirtz.
 
Wirtz waited at the finish line to congratulated his children Andrew and Bridgette. They finished their mile in just about seven minutes. Bridgette’s time was nearly 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
 
“These guys are great, and I just love having them,” said Wirtz before helping his posterity re-hydrate with a drink of water.
 
“It makes me feel really great. It makes me feel real good,” said Ray Figlewski.
 
Figlewski has been the founder and director of the race for its entire 33 years of existence. He and a friend, who has since moved, started it as a way for the community to show how close they are.
 
“I want [them] to take away that they had a great day – a great Father’s Day and a great finish,” Figlewski said. “Branford’s a great town. And [they should] remember that everybody should be together.”
 
From start to finish this race is all about the community. The funds raised will support local charities. They include the Branford Counseling Center Basic Needs Program, Branford Education Foundation, The Community Dining Room, Lisa Pelosi- American Heart Association, Nicole DeFilippo Scholarship Fund, Sandra Ciccone Scholarship and New Haven Home Recovery.
 
“It’s unbelievable. It makes you fall in love with him all over again,” said Ally Adinolfi about her husband Ryan.
 
Ryan sported a royal blue shirt with large, capital letters that read, “LEVI’S DAD.”
 
The mom and dad walked the mile pushing Levi, who had fallen asleep, the whole way. Levi was most likely the littlest race participant.
 
“It’s my first Father’s Day,” said Ryan. “We’re blessed to have this guy. And we’re excited to be out here for a great day.”
 
Organizers estimate nearly 3,000 people participated in the races – the one-mile fun run, two-mile health walk and five-mile race, which also served as the state championship. Live music was played at seven stops along the five-mile race to encourage and keep the runners pumped up.
 
In all it was a great day for fathers who deserve all the love their children can give.
 

 

 

Greenwich to Patrol L.I. Sound for Drunken Boaters

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The Greenwich Police Department will soon patrol Long Island Sound checking for drunken boaters.

The Greenwich Time reports that Operation Dry Water, a national three-day campaign against boating under the influence, is scheduled for June 28-30 and corresponds with the peak of the summer boating season.

Boaters can expect extra police patrols. Greenwich police will make stops on the water and at checkpoints from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

Since last year, Greenwich police have increased its ability to enforce boating under the influence laws. It acquired a new public safety boat, outfitted its Marine Division with breathalyzers and boosted training.

As with motor vehicles, state and federal laws prohibit operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent.
 

Associated Press/NBC Connecticut

East Haven Officer Wins Bid to End House Arrest

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An East Haven police officer charged with harassing Latinos is returning home, ending a five-month house arrest at his mother's house.

The New Haven Register reports that David Cari, who is retired, must post a $100,000 bond. The U.S. District Court in Bridgeport accepted his motion to return home.

Cari was one of four officers arrested in January 2012 after an FBI and U.S. Department of Justice investigation into alleged racial profiling of Latinos. He was arrested again earlier this year for alleged illegal deer hunting and criminal trespassing.

He awaits trial in the federal case in which he is charged with unreasonable searches and seizures, deprivation of rights for making arrests without probable cause and other charges.

Moving back to his home allows Cari to care for his police dog.
 

Associated Press/NBC Connecticut

Missing Toddler Found Safe Following Silver Alert

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State Police in Montville canceled a Silver Alert for a 1-year-old boy who went missing with his grandmother, Tonya Douchette.

Deiondre and his grandmother were last seen in Montville on Saturday. Police said both were found safe.

No further details were immediately available.
 

 

 

Santa Monica Residents Call for Peace

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After back-to-back, deadly shootings in Santa Monica, community members have taken to the streets to call for peace.

More than 100 people walked through the streets of Santa Monica on Sunday. In the evening, they lit candles and prayed. Many cried as names of victims were read.

On June 7, John Zawahri, a 23-year-old who suffered from mental illness, went on a shooting rampage through Santa Monica with a semiautomatic assault rifle. He killed his father and brother, and three other people apparently at random, before police fatally shot him in the Santa Monica College library.

Just days later, on June 11, two men were shot less than a mile from the college. One died. That incident was believed to be gang-related and was not linked to the earlier rampage.

Two other shootings were also reported in the area.

A town hall meeting to address violence in the community was planned for Thursday.

Police Seek Teacher in Wife's Deadly Stabbing

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Police were seeking a Los Angeles elementary school teacher accused of stabbing his wife to death in the street after she obtained a domestic violence restraining order against him.

The suspect, Michael Rodney Kane, 46, a teacher at Nestle Avenue Charter Elementary School in Tarzana, remained at large on Sunday night. His wife, Michelle Kane, 43, died at the scene of the stabbing outside of her friend's home in West Hills on Saturday morning.

Kane was still listed on the elementary school's staff directory. He has had his multiple-subject teaching credential since 1998, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

He and Michelle Kane had been married for 10 years and had two young children, who were inside the home where the attack began before it spilled out onto the street.

"We're asking for Mr. Kane to turn himself in and bring this tragedy to closure,"  Los Angeles police Capt. Joel Justice said at a news conference Saturday.

The pair had a history of domestic violence and was in the process of getting a divorce. Michelle Kane filed a police report on Friday reporting that Michael Kane had violated his restraining order, Justice said.

She and her children then went to stay with a friend in West Hills.

The stabbing happened the next morning - about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday in the 7100 block of Deveron Ridge Road. 

Witness Roy Bernard described the violence, saying a neighbor fought with another man.

"They wrestled around for a while. The owner of the house got a nice wound on his wrist," Bernard said. "The woman took off running. The (other man) catches (the woman) and finishes killing her in the middle of the street."

When Bernard went out to the street she appeared to be dead, he said.

"She had very deep wounds in her abdomen and back," Bernard said.

Less than a mile away, at the apartment complex where Michael Kane has lived for the last few months, neighbors reportedly found blood near his apartment door. Police taped off the area as a crime scene.

Tim Liedel, a neighbor of Michael Kane's, said he and other neighbors heard or saw Kane screaming at the top of his lungs recently.

Police believe Michael Kane may be driving a 1999 Chrysler 300M, silver-gray or mint-green in color, with California license plate No. 4HGP487.

Two Rescued After Canoe Capsizes in Naugatuck River

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Firefighters rescued two people from the Naugatuck River Sunday evening.

A man and woman were canoeing near Platts Mill Road and Bristol Street when their canoe capsized.

Emergency Crews were dispatched at 6:34 p.m., after police received a call from a man who heard two people screaming for help.

"It was an intricate rescue. We had to cut a bunch of trees and used a latter truck like a crane to lower one of our firefighters to get them, " said Waterbury Fire Chief David Martin.

The man declined medical attention. An ambulance transported the woman to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

 

Jury Selection Continues in Zimmerman Trial

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Jury selection for the George Zimmerman trial continued Monday morning as prosecutors and defense attorneys continued to question potential jurors.

Three men and one woman were interviewed Monday morning. As of Friday, at least 28 potential jurors had gone through the initial round of questioning, which was focused solely on pre-trial publicity.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense.

Attorneys are working to build a pool of 40 potential jurors, out of the 500 summoned, before additional questioning.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Debra Nelson told several groups of potential jurors to come back this week for more questioning. She told them not to discuss or research the case before they return to the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford.

"You are not to read or listen to any radio, television or newspaper reports about this case," Judge Nelson said Friday.

 She also told them to stay away from reading about the case on the Internet, or discussing it through social media sites or text messages.

 Nelson said Thursday that the jury that will eventually be selected to hear the Zimmerman case will be sequestered for the duration of the trial.

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