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2 Arrested in Plot to Use X-Ray Weapon


Two upstate New York men, one who prosecutors say is a member of the Ku Klux Klan, are accused of conspiring to develop a portable X-ray machine capable of emitting lethal doses of radiation that they intended to use against Muslims and "enemies of Israel."
Eric Feight, 54, and Glendon Crawford, 49, were arrested in the FBI sting operation. 
Prosecutors said the two men wanted the device to be used on unwitting victims who were anti-Israel, and that they had scouted potential targets. The men allegedly said they wanted to cause harm to people who would not realize they had been targeted until days after exposure.
Crawford allegedly sought financing from the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina, and approached two Jewish organizations saying he wanted help targeting Muslims. The two Jewish groups both called the FBI and the investigation began.
“This case demonstrates how we must remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists, who so often harbor hatred toward people they deem undesirable," said U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian.
Investigators said the two men developed a device that could activate an X-ray machine from nearly a half-mile away. They were allegedly trying to obtain more equipment at the time of their arrest. Officials stress the device used in the sting was not real and never any danger to the public. 
The head of the New York State Police referred to the case as one that revealed “unthinkable plotting and planning.”
Feight and Crawford are charged with material support for terrorism, which carries up to 15 years in prison. Crawford is from Galway, N.Y., and Feight is from Hudson.    
Information on their attorneys was not immediately available.


Man Robs Rite Aid, Steals $300 in Breathe Right Strips


Police are looking for a man who stole $300 worth of Breathe Right strips from a Rite Aid in Watertown Monday afternoon.

The man entered the Rite Aid on 1271 Main Street at 4:01 p.m., took the strips and left. He fled in a tan four-door 1995 Acura Legend with a black hood, cracked windshield and writing on the driver’s window. The car was driven by a Hispanic male in his 20s, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ferrucci of the Watertown Police Department at 860-945-5200.

Tiger Woods to Miss Own Tournament With Elbow Strain


Tiger Woods will miss next week's AT&T National at Bethesda's Congressional Country Club -- a tournament that he hosts and which benefits his own foundation -- with an elbow injury.

"I was examined after I returned home from the U.S. Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain," Woods said in a statement. "I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment. I'll be ready to go for the British Open, and I'm looking forward to playing at Muirfield. I would like to extend my regrets to AT&T, our sponsors and the fans in the Washington, D.C., area. The AT&T National means a lot to me and my foundation. It's especially difficult not defending at my own tournament. It's going to be a great event, and I look forward to being there to provide my support."

Woods admitted during last week's U.S. Open that he has been suffering from a left elbow strain since The Players Championship in early May. He finished 13-over, his worst score in an Open since 1996.

For those still interested in attending, professional play begins next Thursday, June 27, and runs through June 30.

Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Search for Knife-Point Robbery Suspects


Police are searching for two men and two women who assaulted and robbed a man at knife point early Wednesday morning after offering him a ride home from the East Norwalk Train Station.

According to police, the victim got off a train around 1:15 a.m. and walked to the Mobil station at East Avenue and Winfield Street in Norwalk, in search of a ride.

Two men agreed to drive him home for $10, at which point the victim got into their car. Police said two women were also sitting in the backseat.

The suspects drove through an unfamiliar section of town, pulled over and forced the victim out of the car. The driver held him at knife point and took his wallet before making the victim get back inside, according to police.

The victim was asked to provide his debit card PIN number. He initially refused and was struck across the face. The two women and male passenger got out, leaving the victim alone with the driver, who was still wielding the knife. The driver threatened to kill the victim if he provided the wrong PIN numbers for all the cards in his wallet, police said.

Police said the man was released somewhere in the area of Wright Street and King's Highway North. The victim described the car as being a dark-colored sedan with a cloth interior.

Police are searching for the suspects, all believed to be in their mid-20s and white. The driver is described as a thin male about 5'10" tall, with a long face, short beard and mustache and short light hair pushed up in the front. Police said he was wearing round metal-framed glasses, a white T-shirt and jeans.

The other male suspect is described as being thin, about 5'7" tall and clean shaven, wearing a white T-shirt, red gym shorts with a stripe running down the leg and black sneakers.

One female suspect had blond hair pulled into a ponytail. The other had straight dark-blond hair.

Anyone with information is asked contact the Westport Police Detective Bureau at 203-341-6080.

Ramp to I-84 Eastbound Partially Open After Crash


The ramp from Route 2 eastbound to I-84 eastbound has partially reopened after a serious crash closed part of the highway, police said.

The one-car accident occurred at 2:19 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when a car attempting to exit Route 2 misjudged and hit a guardrail. The car went airborne and landed below the highway on Darlin Street in East Hartford, police said.

Five passengers were injured. Two are in serious condition, one is critical and two have minor injuries, police said. One person managed to climb out of the car and call for help.

Right now the ramp to I-84 eastbound is partially open and traffic is moving slowly. Police expect road closures to last another 45 minutes.

Photo Credit: Meredith Trask Olints

"Violent" Sports Gambling Ring Busted by FBI


FBI agents in Southern California served search and arrest warrants Wednesday morning as part of an ongoing investigation involving an international sports gambling ring, according to officials.

Eighteen members of a group working mainly in California and Peru were arrested and charged with operating "Macho Sports" — an illegal Internet and telephone gambling business, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Four people were arrested abroad and 14 were arrested in Southern California. One arrest was made at a La Jolla home at 5848 Soledad Rd. owned by Amir Mokayef, confirmed FBI spokesperson Darrell Foxworth.

The investigation has been going on since 2011 and employed wiretaps and undercover agents.

Officials called the gambling ring "violent," because the group allegedly used intimidation and threats when it interacted with delinquent customers. The investigation also found that participants took millions of dollars in illegal sports wagers throughout the last decade in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

According to the indictment, brothers Jan and Erik Potocarrero ran Macho Sports from Lima, Peru, using the Internet and toll-free telephone lines to accept bets from customers in California. They then utilized bookies in Southern California to assist with operations.

Officials claim Mokayef was a bookie responsible for recruiting customers and collecting on bets. They also believe the La Jolla home was purchased with illegal funding.

Other locals arrested today were Michael Iaco, 30; Howard Blum, 51; Michael Massey, 44; and Salvatore Groppo, 37. Mokayef allegedly served as the booking manager for the men and worked with them to pay and collect bets.

Check back for updates on this story.

New Haven Looks to Revitalize Mill River District


What once stood as a vacant building at 26 Mill Street in New Haven is now ready for businesses to start moving in.

“It’s about 25,000 square feet. It can be portioned into four separate areas if someone needed us to, but right now we’re looking for tenants to rent this space,” said Julia Bernblum, co-owner of 26 Mill Street.

Julia Bernblum’s father purchased the property decades ago, but he decided now was the time to offer to rent it. Right now, the Mill River district employs about 3,000 people, many of whom live in New Haven.

“The Mill River area is the focus for three types of businesses: precision engineering, food production and home improvement types of items,” said Mayor John DeStefano.

However, there is also room for growth, especially in some of the vacant buildings.

“We’re an older city, so it’s a little more challenging and expensive to develop these sites, but we have great property owners willing to invest and some great businesses here,” said Kelly Murphy, the City’s Director of Economic Development.

The City wants to make the Mill River District attractive to the kinds of businesses that are already here, so it’s making improvements to bring in investments.

“The public sector, if you think about it, doesn’t really create jobs. What it can do is help the private sector grow with a set of smart zoning improvements, smart infrastructure improvements, and working with the private sector is what we aim to do,” said Mayor DeStefano.

Bernblum says the city has already stepped in to help fill the Mill Street space.

“The city has actually been working with us and showing people the space, and they’ve been a big help with linking us and helping us network,” said Bernblum.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Hosts 18th Annual Pizza Fest


Hungry for pizza and a free concert?

Stop by the 18th annual Greater New Haven Pizza Fest to benefit The Connection, a statewide human service and community development agency.

Pizza Fest is part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas free lunchtime concert taking place on the New Haven Green on Thursdays and Fridays on June 20, 21, 27 and 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

More than 400 pizzas will be donated by 24 area pizzerias including Modern Apizza, Pepe’s Pizza and Primo Pizza.

Beverages and pizza will range from $1 to $3 each, with proceeds benefitting The Connection.

For more information, contact Claire Bien, Associate Director of Communications for The Connection, at 203-733-8109 or cbien@theconnectioninc.org.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Suspect Shot Dead by Police After Fire in Salem


The man shot by police outside a burning house in Salem has died, police said.

Robert Bergeson died after being shot by an officer outside 28 Witter Road Tuesday night. Police were called to the scene when firefighters responding to a house fire noticed that Bergeson, who was in the woods behind the house, appeared to be holding a weapon.

According to state police, when troopers tried to approach Bergeson, he acted irrationally and began to charge at them while waving a large, blunt object that resembled a club.

He refused to drop the object after police asked him to stop and was shot by one of the troopers, police said.

Bergeson was rushed to Backus Hospital in Norwich and then transferred to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, where he was pronounced dead.

Salem firefighters responded to the home around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Upon arrival, fire crews found the house and a detached garage on fire.

A number of cars blocked the driveway leading up to the home, preventing firefighters from getting there quickly, according to state police. Firefighters said the cars appeared to be set up as a barricade, and were concerned the house would be booby trapped.

The State Police Major Crimes Division is investigating the incident.


Man Killed by Police in Salem Had Troubled Past


The Salem man who was killed in a police shooting after his house caught on fire apparently had a troubled past.

Robert Bergeson, 59, of 28 Witter Road, was recently divorced and was also recently convicted of assaulting ex-wife Gale Bergeson, according to court records.

Bergeson was shot by State Police Trooper Patrick Hawes after acting in a threatening way when officials responded to the flames engulfing his garage and home. Hawes has been assigned to administrative duty for the time being, police said.

Firefighters arrived at Bergeson's Witter Road home in Salem Tuesday night to find the house and detached garage engulfed in flames. The driveway was blocked with vehicles, including a farm tractor, according to state police.

Police said firefighters "discovered evidence to suggest that the fire may have been intentionally set" and proceeded with caution.

"We denied entry to anybody going into the structure last night because we didn't know if there were any booby traps or anything like that," said Savalle.

As they fought the flames, Bergeson was shot and killed by state police, according to Savalle. Police have said the man was acting irrationally, charging them and waving a large blunt object that looked like a club.

Court records show Bergeson had a rocky past with his ex-wife Gale Bergeson.

Their divorce was finalized in May, and Gale was entitled to 60 percent of the value of the home that is now charred, according to court records.

Earlier this month, Bergeson was convicted of kicking and beating Gale with a lamp in September 2012, leaving her with head injuries and broken ribs, according to court records.

She told police he threatened to kill her.

Robert Bergeson received a suspended sentence and was ordered to stay away from Gale through 2018, according to court records.

Bergeson was also convicted of threatening to kill a man he suspected of having an affair with Gale. That man told police an affair never took place, according to court records.

Relatives who stopped by the charred home declined to comment.

Robert Bergeson was a customer at Salem Auto, which is just up the street from his home.

"Never seen it coming," said Anthony Lewis, the owner of Salem Auto. "He stopped down a couple of times, asked more questions than anything. We helped him pick his bike up one day when he dropped it in the yard. He seemed like a nice guy."

Authorities say their investigation into Tuesday's incident is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Joe Torre's Daughter's Life-Saving Catch


The daughter of Yankee legend Joe Torre made the catch of a lifetime in Brooklyn on Wednesday, saving a baby who got out of a window and then fell off a fire escape and into her arms.

Cristina Torre caught the 1-year-old baby after he fell from the fire escape on Third Avenue and 91st Street in Bay Ridge. She described the stunning chain of events to NBC 4 New York, recalling the moment when a man ran to the cupcake shop where she was having coffee, asking someone to call 911. 

"I quickly got up and looked, and there was a baby kind of straddling the fire escape between the second and the third floor," she said. 

Torre called 911 as she watched the infant, instinctively placing herself where she thought the baby could fall.

"All of a sudden it slipped, and it was dangling and holding on with its hands," she said.

Then the baby fell, slightly hitting an awning on the way down before landing in Torre's arms. 

"I was still talking to 911 and I just put out my arms, and literally, it was effortless," she said. "It was meant to be. He landed in my arms." 

Witnesses were in awe.

"I went over to her and I gave her a hug, and I said, 'You're a hero,'" said Kirsten Bramsen. "'If you hadn't caught the baby -- I don't even want to imagine.'" 

Her proud father told NBC 4 New York at Yankee Stadium he "got goosebumps" when he learned of his daughter's heroic feat.

"The kids are our future and when you get a situation where the good Lord puts you in a position where you're there, and a child's life is in your hands, literally, it feels good to me. I know it did to her," said Joe Torre, now Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations. 

Cristina Torre, a Montessori school teacher, said she was still in shock but was "thrilled" more than anything that the baby was alive and well. 

"I hope parents learn from this," she said. "There have to be safety measures put in place to protect the children, because so quick that all this can happen."

Already, changes have been made. Wally Davis, the family pastor to the baby and his parents, has installed window guards. 

"We're thankful that God put her here at the right second," he said. "We thank God for her." 

Cristina Torre deflected praise from the bystanders who witnessed her courageous catch. 

"It just came naturally as a teacher, to protect a child that was in danger," she said. "I work with kids every day, and I love them and I want to see them safe." 

The baby was crying when he landed in Torre's arms but appeared only to be in pain from hitting his mouth on the way down, she said. Police say the child is in stable condition. 

Police said the baby's parents -- Sam Miller, 23, and Tiffany Demitro, 24 -- were asleep when the toddler wandered to the window. They were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and acting in a manner injurious to a child less than 17, police said.

The parents were in custody and unavailable for comment Wednesday. It was not immediately known if they had an attorney.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/Family Handout

3 Parachute Off Trump Tower After Break-In: Police


Three people broke into Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower overnight and jumped from the top of the building with parachutes, police said.

The trio of BASE jumpers used "a cutting device to gain entry" at 401 N. Wabash Ave. and then jumped from the building's highest point at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, police News Affairs confirmed.

Police said there were no injuries. Trump Tower stands 1,389 feet on the Chicago River.

It's not known how long the trio was in the building before the jump, and according to an initial investigation, nothing appeared to be stolen.

Surveillance images released Thursday showed three white men in a stairwell of the building.

The incident remains under investigation and police are looking for the jumpers, who could face trespassing charges if arrested.

Joe Torre's Daughter Makes Life-Saving Catch


The daughter of Yankee legend Joe Torre made the catch of a lifetime in Brooklyn on Wednesday, saving a baby who got out of a window and then fell off a fire escape and into her arms. Ida Siegal reports.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/Family Handout

Priest Targets Drug Dealers, Gets "Watch Your Back" Note


A Manhattan priest who was tired of neighborhood drug dealers and urged his parishioners during a sermon to take action got a threatening letter in the mail days later.
"Watch your back," read the letter to the Rev. Boniface Ramsey, at St. Joseph's of Yorkville on the Upper East Side.
The priest showed the letter to the NYPD, and police have added patrols near his 87th Street and First Avenue location, which is not far from Gracie Mansion, the historical mayoral residence.
"I feel really safe," Ramsey told NBC 4 New York. "I feel really protected by God. I feel that the parishioners are behind me."
Ramsey's battle against criminal activity in the neighborhood got immediate attention from his congregation. He gathered 600 signatures from locals, aimed at getting more police to combat loitering, drunkenness and suspected drug activity on the corner of the intersection just yards from the church.
"I've seen the people that use the drugs," said Allen Rogers, a retired police officer who has lived down the block for more than 40 years."Why should anybody make a threatening letter against a person that's trying to do what's right?"
Since Ramsey received the letter, an NYPD community affairs officer has been in touch with either the priest or the principal at St. Joseph's "on a daily basis," said Sgt. Brendan Ryan. 


Fire Destroys Madison Wine Shop and Pizza Place


Years of history were destoryed when bright orange flames shot toward the sky from inside the Madison Wine Shop and neighboring Village Pizza Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded to the store at 734 Boston Post Road just after 3:30 a.m. and found flames shooting through the roof of the building. The flames endured for more than two hours, leaving behind charred remains, according to fire officials.

Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to a nearby bank.

"We went to a defensive operation," said Madison Fire Chief Robert Kyttle. "We protected exposures on both sides of the building with six different departments responding."

Neighbors mourn the loss of Madison's finest but say they are grateful for the fire department's quick response and hard work.

"We're really going to miss them," said Madison First Selectman Fillmore McPherson. "They made great pizza and it was a great wine shop."

"This is very, very sad for all of us, but the fire department did such an amazing job with keeping it in the one building and it didn't spread any further," said Madison resident Joan Davis Clark.

No one was injured.

Madison Wine Shop's owner said he is in shock and doesn't know what his next step will be.

Officials are investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Facebook's Instagram Unveils "Cinema" Video Sharing


Facebook's Instagram announced a new 15-second video capability with editing features called "Cinema."

At a news conference at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park on Thursday, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom unveiled the new feature, promising it would still adhere to his company's three goals of  "speed, simplicity and beauty."

The videos will be 15-seconds, and appear to be very similar to Twitter's Vine app, just a little more than twice as long.

Instagram has 100 million users, up from 20 million when Facebook bought the company more than a year ago. Vine, which launched in January, has 13 million users.

RAW VIDEO: Introducing Instagram Video Sharing

The big draws? There's a "delete" button to allow for editing, a function that Vine doesn't have, and there is a way to stabilize the video with the iPhone to prevent shaky camera syndrome. There are also 13 custom filters, so that users can add contrast or different hues and a cover frame.

For now, it's available only for Apple's iOS.

"Our mission is to capture and share the world's moments," Systrom said, adding that 16 billion photos have been shared in the last 2 1/2 years.

At first, Systrom said his company didn't focus on video because Instagram wanted to keep true to its core of  "speed, simplicity and beauty." But now, he said, the company has achieved all that with video, he said.

Facebook bought Instagram last year for $1 billion.

"We're really just getting started here, with this product, " said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who kicked off the event.

The "Cinema" announcement comes after another recent Facebook rollout, when the company unveiled a  new hashtag feature on June 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 See example of Instagram video by @trevortraynor

 See example of Instagram Video


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Seven Hurt in Stampede When David Beckham Visits China


David Beckham may be retired, but the soccer star still makes quite an impact on his Chinese fans.

Seven people were injured during Beckham's visit to Tongji University in northeastern Shanghai on Thursday, Business Insider reported.

According to the Xinmin Evening News, 1,000 fans and spectators stampeded past gates, police and guards in order to see Beckham.

Three police officers, two university security guards and two students, including a Japanese exchange student, were injured with cuts and bruises, according to reports.

Beckham had visited the Chinese university as an ambassador to the Chinese Super League, an organization for professional football in China. He was expected to visit the university's soccer team, but canceled the event after the stampede, Business Insider said.

"I had an incredible response from everyone at Shanghai Tongji University today. Sorry I couldn't get out on the pitch to see the teams. It was impossible to get through the massive crowds," Beckham said on his account on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Family of Man Shot by Police Files Lawsuit


The family of a man shot and killed by Norwich Police is looking to sue the city and its police department. They're questioning why officers opened fire on Michael Dugas in February at a park steps from his home.

"I just remember him stumbling forward and just like firecrackers went off," said Paul Johnson of Norwich, who last saw his friend the night he was killed during an encounter with police. "I never saw him raise his hands or witnesses never saw him take his hands out of his pocket. I just never saw him raise his hands."

Johnson is one of several witnesses interviewed by police as well as Robert Reardon, lawyer for Dugas' family. They want to sue the the city for damages.

"The eyewitnesses said they didn't see a gun the ones I spoke with and I spoke to 3 people. All three people said they did not see a gun," said Reardon.

Police were called to the neighborhood park that February night for a report of a man with a gun. Police initially said Dugas pulled a weapon on officers after they tried to communicate with him. That's when they opened fire.

"We're awaiting the police version of this. We'd like to hear from the police as to what their version was. As to why the 41 shots were necessary," Reardon added.

NBC Connecticut tried reaching out to Norwich Police several times but we never heard back. Reardon says all seven officers that were put on administrative leave after the shooting were reinstated within weeks.

"It was clear they intended to kill him and it was also clear from 20 minutes of negotiating with him that he was emotionally upset. Michael Dugas was very well thought of in the neighborhood. He was very helpful and kind to his neighbors."

Neighbors like Paul Johnson said he was upset over the 10th anniversary of his wife's death.
"It's still hard because I saw the shooting. I saw him get shot. We all still miss him," said Johnson.

As far as we know Dugas had no criminal past. The family's lawyer says they'll be suing for punitive damages as well as the pain and suffering Dugas went through when he was shot.

Photo Credit: Audrey Washington, NBC Connecticut

New Haven Police Investigate Stabbing


Police are investigating a late-night New Haven stabbing that left a 22-year-old man in critical condition.

Officers arrived at 300 Ferry Street shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday to find Marvin Dominguez, of New Haven, with multiple stab wounds. Dominguez had been stabbed in the neck, arm, back and abdomen, and was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital, police said.

Video surveillance has allowed officers to identify the suspect. They are actively investigating.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sandy Hook Firefighters Lend a Hand to Oklahoma


Firefighters with Sandy Hook ties are "paying it forward" to Oklahoma tornado victims this week, united by the bond of devastating tragedy.

John DiCostanzo of Harwinton, is collecting donations with fellow active and retired firefighters today and tomorrow. One participating firefighter has a first-grade son at Sandy Hook Elementary School who survived the December massacre, according to a release from the Connecticut General Assembly.

Last month, the firefighters personally transported supplies to Oklahoma, but they're looking for more. Tools for cleaning up and rebuilding homes, such as shovels, rakes and work gloves are in high demand.

Firefighters are also looking to collect personal hygiene items, gift cards to places like Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart and Target, children's toys and baby supplies. They're donating American flags to show patriotism and support.

Firefighters will be collecting instruments for a junior high school’s marching band trip to New York City, which will take place in about three weeks.

The Harwinton Oklahoma Relief Drive takes place at Nexus Consulting, 200 Birge Park Road, Suite 4 in Harwinton. Donations will be accepted until 7 p.m. today and noon tomorrow.

For more information, contact John DiCostanza at 203-648-0598 or 860-605-9111.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press
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