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Bristol Police Investigate Suspicious Fire


Police are investigating a fire that broke out last night at a Bristol home.

They're calling the fire suspicious and found remnants of a petroleum product where the flames broke out at 71 John Avenue.

It happened last night around 11:15 p.m. The front porch was most heavily damaged, police said. No one was injured, but two adults and three children were inside and had to escape from the burning building, police said.

Bristol police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police department at 860-584-3011.

Photo Credit: NBC Local Media

Murder Suspect Extradited to CT


Police extradited a 26-year-old man from a maximum-security prison Wednesday afternoon on charges of a 2011 murder and attempted murder in Norwich.

Daquan R. Holmes, of 185th Street, Queens, N.Y., was extradited on a governor’s warrant from Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, N.Y., where he was serving a sentence for an unrelated armed robbery.

Holmes was charged in the May 21, 2011 fatal shooting of Johnny Amy on Franklin Street, Norwalk, and the attempted murder of another victim, police said.

After the shooting, police conducted an unsuccessful multi-state search.

Holmes fled to Queens, N.Y. and was arrested shortly thereafter.

He is being held on a $1 million bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in Norwich Superior Court on June 20.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Pediatric Cancer Patients to Ride Snoopy Blimp


This Saturday, four children battling cancer will take to the skies for a once-in-a-lifetime ride in the MetLife Snoopy blimp.

The opportunity comes from a partnership between MetLife and the Believe In Tomorrow National Children’s Foundation, which provides housing services for seriously ill children and their families while young patients are undergoing treatment.

Believe In Tomorrow calls the blimp “the world’s most unique flying machine” and hopes the experience will help patients look forward to a brighter, healthier future. According to a foundation press release, the children will learn how to fly the blimp and will even be able to take the wheel.

The blimp rides will begin at 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday at the Hartford-Brainard Airport.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bristol Backs Hernandez


The basketball court is busy in Bristol's Rockwell Park, where Aaron Hernandez used to play as a boy. 

"He actually played more basketball and baseball than football," said Gregory Lamboy, a Bristol man who said he used to be close to Hernandez's older brother, DJ, who now coaches at Iowa.

"I remember Aaron when he had blueberry Slurpee on his face," Lamboy said. "He's a good kid. I don't think he means any harm to anybody.  Quite frankly, honestly, I think he doesn't have anything to do with it."

Hernandez has been implicated by reporters in a Massachusetts murder, where his mansion was searched Tuesday. The New England Patriots tight end also faces a lawsuit from a convicted East Hartford drug dealer who claims he lost an eye in Florida after Hernandez allegedly shot him in the face. Hernandez and his lawyer have no comment.

Lamboy, who's done time in jail himself, said Hernandez suffered a real blow when his father, Dennis Hernandez, died in 2006.

"His Dad was his idol," Lamboy said.  "I know his father's looking down on him right now, and I just pray for him and everybody in the city of Bristol to just leave it alone."


Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Double Shooting in New Haven Injures 2


New Haven police are responding to a double shooting that left one victim in critical condition and the other with minor injuries.

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. when two men, 25 and 28, were both shot in the thigh at the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Bassett Street in New Haven, according to police.

Police said the victims were able to drive together to St. Raphael's hospital. The more seriously injured victim was transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital.

Police are at the scene investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Leaking Water Main Closes Roads in New Haven


A leaking water main at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Amity Road in Westville, New Haven has closed the area to traffic as crews work to make repairs.

According to a press release from the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, the main was first installed in 1909. It began leaking Thursday afternoon.

The water company says it's bringing in special equipment to help with repairs. They hope the work will be finished by Friday evening.

In the meantime, traffic is being detoured to Amity, Bradley and Litchfield Turnpike. The intersection is closed in both directions, according to the release.

All customers should currently have water, but some may notice discoloration, the release says. The Regional Water Authority expects to send out another update around 10 a.m. Friday.


Photo Credit: AP

Police Investigate Deadly New Haven Crash


New Haven police are investigating a crash that killed two at a New Haven gas station Thursday morning in what they call one of the most tragic accidents they've seen in a long time.

Family members of possible victims have gathered at the scene of the accident and are waiting for the bodies to be identified.

"It's kind of just devastating, because if this is my cousin... we just lost, actually we're preparing for this kid's mother's funeral tomorrow," said Monya Staggers of New Haven.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata was driving westbound on Whalley Avenue at 5:05 a.m. when it lost control at the spot where Whalley splits with Amity Road. According to police, the driver failed to negotiate a turn onto either road. The car hit a curb, went airborne, and crashed into the canopy and gas pumps at a Mobil gas station.

"I'm amazed that he was airborne and flew up and hit the roof," Meriden resident Duane Heady told NBC Connecticut. "Must have been going pretty fast, as far as I'd see."

Two men were killed in the crash. A third man was ejected from the vehicle, but was able to walk to a nearby parking lot. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

"The person who was injured was found actually walking in a parking lot, walking around with some facial injuries, but otherwise nothing life-threatening and not that serious," said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.

Right now, that person is in the hospital. An accident reconstruction team has spent the day looking at the crash site trying to figure out what happened.

Witnesses told investigators the car was traveling at a high rate of speed.

The crash did not spark a fire or explosion, but damage to the gas station's canopy and gas pumps is extensive. A New Haven building inspector is evaluating the damage to the gas station.

Amity Road (Route 63) remains closed while police investigate the crash.

Police have not identified any of the victims.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Holds Disaster Drill


First responders around the state held an emergency preparedness drill today to help improve response efforts after storms and other disasters.

The drill simulated an ice storm.

In Torrington, authorities responded to a simulated building collapse in the Kmart plaza on Main Street.

Firefighters, the Connecticut Urban Search and Rescue team and others set up their equipment in the parking lot similar to how they would if the situation were real.

"We're testing over all our emergency preparedness. We're checking to make sure that operationally we're ready to go," said Torrington Deputy Chief Chris Pepler.

While first responders drilled in the field, others gathered inside Torrington's Emergency Operations Center to communicate with local crews and with the state.

Gov. Dannel Malloy stopped by the scene.

Since he's been in office, five natural disasters have hit Connecticut, including the October snowstorm in 2011 that led to lengthy power outages and regular drills like this.

"Make sure that we are as well prepared as a state, as well as our municipalities and our utilities, to face these kind of things and then recover from them as rapidly as possible," said Gov. Malloy.

156 communities around the state participated in the drill, said Malloy.

The two-day drill continues on Saturday.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ban Proposed on Sale of Dogs, Cats in Pet Stores


If animal rights activists have their way, Branford could be the first town in Connecticut to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits.

“They’re not treated the way you and I would treat our pets,” said Annie Hornish from the Humane Society. “They’re kept in cages, many of them for their entire lives.”

Hornish is the director for Connecticut’s branch of the Humane Society. With help from the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Commission, they are fighting to implement the ban as a direct assault to puppy mills.

“The idea of proposing an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of dogs that are sourced from these kinds of operations is to help curb these business practices,” Hornish said.

And they’ve got legislative support.

“The local grassroots level is trying to do something to protect their own citizens and also make a statement about the treatment of these animals,” said Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield).

Kupchick, a dog lover who owns two beagle-mixes, helped bush a similar ban at the state level. Though the bill had wide support, Kupchick says companies like the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) fought back and only pieces of the bill were passed – not the actual ban..

In a statement from PIJAC, President and CEO Mike Canning said, “The proposal is being put forth by well-meaning but uninformed activists that are attempting to take the choice of where to buy a pet away from Connecticut residents. We encourage consumers to conduct due diligence…” He continued, “Consumers must understand that pet stores and the kennels that supply puppies to them are highly regulated at the federal and state levels of government. If pet store sales are banned, other, more unregulated channels for pets would abound.”

Pet owners like Timothy Sheehan from Bridgeport would disagree.

In a testimony before a house committee, Sheehan described his experience with All Pets Club, a pet store in Branford and three other locations in Connecticut. Sheehan bought a bloodhound puppy that turned ill the very next day, despite being assured by a store employee that the puppy was healthy. That puppy also infected his other dog.

Since then he says he has spent more than $5,000 in veterinarian bills and the store, which should reimburse him under the state’s Pet Lemon Law, has been no help.

It’s this conduct that has motivated legislators and activists to push for reform.

The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Commission previously accused All Pets Club of buying from puppy mills, including one in Kansas.

The Commission’s Chair, Lori Nicholson, told NBC Connecticut, "The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Commission wholeheartedly embraces this measure, in an effort to promote adoption, decrease euthanasia rates, and reward humane business models."

NBC Connecticut reached out to the owner, Jerry Pleban, for comment at multiple store locations, but employees would only say he was unavailable.

“We can’t control the mills out of the state of Connecticut. We can’t control how they treat their animals,” said Rep. Kupchick. “That’s a federal issue. But we can control them being sold here.”

The state bill sponsored by Kupchik (No. 5027) was not passed with its original language. Instead legislators agreed to create a task force to look into the issue.

Despite that, activists are hopeful Branford’s Representative Town Meeting will adopt the local measure.

Rep. Kupchick says she is inspired by Branford residents’ movement on the issue and plans to continue her fight for the rights of these animals at the state level.

Panhandlers Charged in Fatal Hollywood Stabbing


Three transients were charged Thursday in the murder of a woman who prosecutors say was stabbed to death near a busy Hollywood intersection because she refused to give them $1 after taking their picture.

Prosecutors charged Dustin James Kinnear, 26, with one count of murder with personal use of a knife, while 33-year-old Jason Wolstone and 34-year-old Brian Joseph Widdows each received charges of accessory after the fact.

The victim, identified Wednesday as 23-year-old Lynwood, Calif., resident Christine Calderon, was attacked about 8 p.m. Tuesday after she and a friend took pictures of the three panhandlers holding signs near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Calderon, pictured below, was stabbed in the torso after she and the men began to argue because she refused to give them money, police said. She died later that night during surgery at a hospital.

However, the victim’s mother, Yolanda Tassin, said she believes Calderon was targeted because of her appearance and sexual orientation.

“I believe Christine lost her life because of that, because she was gay,” Tassin said.

The LAPD said it is not investigating the incident as a hate crime.

“There is no evidence outside of the murder that it was motivated by any hate,” LAPD Sgt. Rudy Lopez said.

Tassin said Calderon had recently enrolled in college and hoped to one day become an engineer and a mother. She was getting her life back on track after a rough couple of years.

“As a matter of fact, Christine told me at one time, at her lowest, she was panhandling,” Tassin said.

The men were set to be arraigned Friday morning.

More Southern California Stories:

Ex-Marines Sentenced in Murders of Marine Sgt. and Wife


Three former Marines found guilty by jurors of torturing and killing a fellow Marine and his wife in a 2008 execution-style slaying in Southern California were sentenced Thursday.

Former Lance Cpl. Emrys John, 23, and former Lance Cpl. Tyron Miller, 25, were each sentenced to the death penalty. Former private Kevin Cox, 25, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Their sentences were read at the Hall of Justice in Riverside, Calif.

The sentences are linked to the murders of newlyweds Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and his wife Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak. The couple was found gagged, tied and shot in the head in their Riverside County home in October 2008.

Sgt. Pietrzak, a helicopter airframe mechanic at MCAS Miramar near San Diego, was found bloody and beaten. His wife's body was discovered naked. Officials say she had been sexually assaulted.

On June 5, two separate juries convicted Cox, John and Miller of murder. John was convicted of pulling the trigger. Miller was found guilty of murder and sexually assaulting Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak.

A fourth suspect, former Lance Cpl. Kesaun Sykes of Fallbrook, had his case severed and is awaiting trial. Sykes was known as "Psycho" by fellow Marines. He's set to be tried sometime later this summer.

Earlier this month, prosecutors said robbery was the motive for the crime. Jewelry, including the couple's wedding rings, and Pietrzak's dress uniform were found at the suspects' homes, authorities said.

Racial slurs were spray-painted in the house, and fires had been set in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence.

All three men worked with Sgt. Pietrzak at one time while stationed at Camp Pendleton.

"He was not the actual killer, he was not in my opinion a major participant obviously the jury disagreed with that assessment," Cox's attorney Ryan Markson said on June 5.

At that time, Markson hoped jurors would consider Cox's rank at the time of the murders when deliberating his punishment.

"Because it was three armed Marines, two of whom outranked him and telling him we need to knock on these people's door," he said earlier this month.

Pietrzak, 24, who was born in Poland and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., joined the Marines in 2003 and served in Iraq from July 2005 to February 2006.

Relatives of the victims said Quiana, 26, was from San Bernardino and a 2005 graduate of San Diego State University.

The couple met in San Diego through a mutual friend who also attended SDSU. Jenkins-Pietrzak was studying to become a doctor. Pietrzak served in Iraq and returned to San Diego in 2006.

Attorneys for all three defendants have already asked for a new trial.

More San Diego-Area Stories:

Tourist's Death in Water Tank Was Accident


The death of a Canadian tourist whose body was found in a rooftop water tank at a downtown Los Angeles hotel was ruled accidental due to drowning, according to the Los Angeles County coroner.

The report released Thursday in the death of Elisa Lam also lists "bipolar disorder" under other significant conditions. The 21-year-old's body was discovered when a maintenance worker was inspecting the tanks Feb. 19 atop the Cecil Hotel (map).

Lam, of Vancouver, was visiting Los Angeles and staying at the hotel on Main Street in late January when she was reported missing. Her parents called police after they had not heard from her for a few days.

Surveillance video from the hotel's elevator captured images of Lam on Feb. 1. The video shows Lam pressing several elevator buttons before stepping in and out of the elevator.

Her body was discovered in one of four 4-foot-by-8-foot tanks on the roof Feb. 19 when a worker inspected the tank after reports of water pressure problems at the 15-story hotel.

The tank was about three-quarters full when the body was discovered. The tank has a metal latch that can be opened, but authorities said access to the roof is secured with an alarm and lock.

The single-room-occupancy hotel has an unusual history. "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, who was found guilty of 14 slayings in the 1980s, lived on the 14th floor for several months in 1985. And international serial killer Jack Unterweger is suspected of murdering three prostitutes during the time he lived there in 1991. He killed himself in jail in 1994.

In 1962, a female occupant jumped out of one the hotel's windows, killing herself and a pedestrian on whom she landed.

More Southern California Stories:

Scare in the Air: 2 Planes in Near-Miss Above NYC


Two planes came dangerously close to each other in the air over New York City, NBC 4 New York has learned.

The near-miss at 3:45 p.m. on June 13 is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A Delta Airlines Boeing 747 arriving at Kennedy Airport missed an approach, and ended up in the same direction as a Shuttle America Embraer 170 regional jet leaving LaGuardia's Runway 13, according to the FAA.

"The two aircraft were turning away from each other at the point where they lost the required amount of separation," the FAA said in a statement.

The planes came within 200 feet of each other, according to a federal official.

It's not clear why the Delta pilot made the decision not to complete the landing at Kennedy Airport, but the standard procedure, called a missed approach, is regulated by specific procedures for both pilots and controllers.

In this case, air traffic controllers had attempted to vector the Delta 747 away from other air traffic, and the 747 lost required amount of separation with the Embraer leaving LaGuardia, aviation officials said.

Both planes landed safely. Flyers at LaGuardia Airport were startled to hear of the near-miss. Gary Margolis recalled a similar experience in which "we had to land and take off again because we were a little too close to a plane on the runway."

"That's a scary thing to be on a plane when that happens," he said.

Bob Brown of Danbury said passengers deserve stricter measures to make sure planes stay far apart.

"What is the corrective action?" he questioned. "You never hear about how they make sure it's never going to happen again."

--Jay Blackman contributed to this story

New London Can't Afford K-9's Medication


A New London police K-9 is being forced to retire because the city can't afford to pay for his arthritis medication.

Buck has been a member of the New London Police Department's K-9 team since 2008, but recently developed arthritis, which has hindered his ability to work. Without medication, the department has been forced to retire Buck.

“The city must balance law enforcement needs with financial and physical realities. If a K-9 is having significant health issues a retirement is a proper way to ensure the dog gets the rest, care, and lifestyle it has earned and deserved,” said Mayor Justin Finizio in a statement Thursday.

With Buck’s retirement and another K-9, Bessie, being donated to another law enforcement agency, New London now has just one police dog in the force. New London residents have banded together to help raise money to pay for Buck's medication, which costs $180 per month.

As soon as City Councilor Marie Friess-McSparran realized Bessie was also leaving the force, she and Goldy’s Restaurant owner Anita Miller decided to begin a fundraiser for to cover the cost of Buck's medication in an effort to keep him on duty.

“We don’t want to lose the dogs one by one for various reasons and then have no K-9 unit," Miller said. "It's a city that needs a K-9 unit."

Friess-McSparran agreed. "We live in a city where we have the highest crime around, and to ask mutual aid from other cities that may not be able to respond in time is unsatisfactory,” she said.

This city has been dealing with serious financial difficulties. Mayor Finizio has said the police department cut could begin to take effect next December.

“We’ve had police officers that are leaving the city for fear of being laid off,” said Friess-McSparran.

But the city councilor said there’s enough money and that it’s a lot bigger than just Buck.

“The mayor and police chief have wanted to eliminate this component of the police department for some time,” said Friess-McSparran.

Organizers hope to raise enough money to make sure Buck’s needs are taken care of for the rest of his life as well as the needs of any other New London K-9s.

The fundraiser will take place Sunday night at Goldy’s Restaurant in New London from 5 to 8 p.m.

400 Students Tested for Tuberculosis at Va. School


More than 400 people will be tested starting Friday for tuberculosis after being in contact with a person carrying the disease at Lee High School in Fairfax County, Va.

The Fairfax County Health Department says two recent cases of TB have been confirmed at the high school this month. A third case, discovered in December 2012, is also under investigation, according to officials.

On June 17, letters were mailed to students and faculty members, notifying them of the Health Department's investigation. A second letter was sent to 400 students and 30 staff members recommending they be tested for the disease after it was determined they were at risk for exposure.

Fairfax County Health Director Gloria Addo-Ayensu said those requiring testing were identified as having 24 hours or more of contact with the three infected individuals. Addo-Ayensu said the specific strains of TB in those individuals have not been identified.

TB is spread through the air and can attack any part of the body, including lungs, the kidney, spine and brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Skin tests and blood tests are usually used to determine whether a person is infected with TB. Tests will be given at the school starting Friday morning.

"Even one fatality  is a shame because TB is so treatable and the medications are so cheap," Addo-Ayensu said. 

TB symptoms include a bad cough lasting for more than three weeks, weight loss, fever, chills, weakness, coughing up blood and chest pain.

If not treated correctly, the disease can be deadly.

Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more on this developing story.

Anthony Weiner Apologizes After Voter Uses Gay Slur


New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is apologizing after a voter used a gay slur to refer to his opponent, Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian.

In the encounter observed by the Washington Post, Weiner was campaigning and asked a woman if she was a registered Democrat.

"I am," she said. "And I'm not voting for uh, what's her name? The dyke."

Weiner said, "OK. I just need you to sign the petition to get me on the ballot."

According to the Post, Weiner then noticed a reporter's incredulous reaction and added "and really, you shouldn't talk that way about people."

After she apologized, according to the Post, he said "that's OK. It's not your fault."

Weiner's campaign spokeswoman tweeted an apologetic statement from him Thursday, saying "homophobia is vile and destructive."

"I admonished the woman amid a large crowd on a street corner and by no means believe that anything about her comment was appropriate," he said. "If the impression is that I did, I apologize because behavior like this will absolutely not be tolerated in my administration."

Quinn told reporters Friday that Weiner had called her and "clarified the interaction."

"I think it is incredibly important for all New Yorkers, but particularly those in public life, to make very clear that in this city -- the most diverse city in the world, the city where the LGBT civil rights movement was born -- that that type of language cannot be tolerated," she said. "And I was grateful for him to call and clarify that."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Miami Heat Championship Parade, Rally Planned for Monday


For the second year in a row, the Heat and the City of Miami are preparing to celebrate the 2013 NBA Championship with a downtown parade and rally at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat Championship parade is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. The parade will begin at Southwest 8th Street and 2nd Avenue heading west on 8th Street to Brickell Avenue. It'll head north on Brickell then left on Biscayne Boulevard to the arena.

Southwest 8th Street will close to cars at 9 a.m. and will reopen as soon as the tail of the parade passes.

Heat Celebrate Win at Miami Beach Club

Miami Heat officials are cooperating with local, state and federal law enforcement as well as other service agencies to make sure the parade goes smoothly. Miami Police said no backpacks will be allowed during the celebration this year as a safety measure.

Following the parade, there will be a private, ticketed rally inside the arena with the team. Only season ticket holders will be allowed inside.

The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 Thursday night to win back-to-back NBA Championships. Fans and the team celebrated into Friday morning, and now they'll get another chance to celebrate Monday.

Heat Fans Buy Up Championship Merchandise

Last year, tens of thousands of fans lined the streets of Miami for the victory parade, lining up the day before to get a look at their Heat heroes. Players, coaches and other team employees rode double-decker buses on their way to the arena.

Complete Miami Heat Championship Coverage

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Look Up! “Supermoon” to Light Up Skies Sunday


Up in the sky this Sunday morning, there will be birds, planes and the "supermoon."

A lunar event that occurs when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth, this weekend's "supermoon" will also occur during a full moon. That means the celestial body will appear much larger and brighter than usual.

At 7:32 a.m. EDT Sunday, the moon will be at its closest point to Earth for the month, approximately 221, 824 miles away. It's still entirely too far for Ralph Kramden, star of iconic TV show "The Honeymooners" to send his wife to, but more than close enough to enjoy some fantastic visuals. The occurrence, referred to by astronomers as the "perigee full moon” or the “supermoon" by casual observers, will last for roughly 12 hours. During that time, the moon will appear about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the average full moon, Live Science reported.

Typical supermoons aren't anything to howl about. They often happen once, sometimes twice a month. But with the moon full for this weekend's occasion, a similar size and fullness isn’t expected to occur until August 10, 2014.

If weather doesn't permit you from seeing the supermoon for yourself, Space.com will host a livestream.

The Desert Southwest and lower Ohio Valley, as well as southern New England are expected to be the best places to view the lunar event, while rain is expected in the Upper Midwest and Northwest will create few opportunities to see the moon, AccuWeather.com reported.

The rest of the country should experience enough periods of clear skies to sneak a peek.

For full coverage of the "supermoon," visit NBCNews.com



Photo Credit: Getty Images/DeAgostini

Principal Investigated After Allegations of Bullying


Walsh Elementary in Waterbury has made headlines again.  Allegations of bullying prompted the Waterbury School District to investigate the school principal.

Principal Erik Brown is on paid leave and under investigation for shocking allegations by the staff.

“It is concerning,” said parent Ena Park. 

The Superintendent demanded the investigation from a private law firm, and provided NBC Connecticut with the results.  In the report, dozens of teachers claimed he yelled at students and staff in group settings.  They described it as humiliating and embarrassing. 

During the mandatory morning meetings for the entire school, Brown was accused of singling people out, and chastising them in front of the group if they weren’t participating in an activity.  It was something parents at Walsh Elementary did not want to hear.

“You don’t know what’s going on when your child's at school,” Ena Park explained.

That morning meeting in the school’s gymnasium was a big focus of the investigation.  The paperwork showed almost 600 people were attending this daily.  The Fire Marshall put the maximum capacity at 400. 

The school recently stopped the meetings after a 5 -year -old student walked out of one a couple weeks ago and no one noticed.  The boy left the main entrance and showed up at home a few blocks away.

Brown was already on leave when this happened, he was gone for several months at that time.   “We can’t comment on the contents of the report,” said Paul Guidone, the Chief of Staff of Waterbury Schools.

In the report, Brown discounts all the accusations, and said he was misunderstood.  Also many parents at the school told NBC Connecticut they supported him and he was good to their children.

District officials were looking at that report, and they will decide Brown’s fate with the school.  The Vice Principal was also on leave and under investigation in connection with some of the allegations.

NBC Connecticut could not reach either of them for a comment.

Photo Credit: Waterbury Republican-American

Quinnipiac Settles in Title IX Suit


A court settlement agreed upon yesterday put an end to four years of litigation pitting Quinnipiac University against five women’s volleyball players and their coach.

When the university announced its decision to disband the women’s volleyball team in 2009, team members and their coach pushed back, suing the school for violating Title IX. The U.S. District Court for Connecticut and U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the university in five separate decisions.

As part of the settlement, Quinnipiac will keep its volleyball team and increase funding and resources for all its varsity women’s programs. The university has already added women’s golf and rugby and expanded women’s track, according to a release from the plaintiff's attorneys.

Quinnipiac will provide more scholarships for female athletes and hire more women’s coaches. The university has agreed to designate at least $5 million to improving facilities for female athletes, such as building new locker rooms, the release says.

According to the release, the settlement requires Quinnipiac to hire a court-confirmed mutually agreed-upon “referee” to track the university’s progress.

NBC Connecticut has reached out to Quinnipiac for comment.

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