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Bristol Community Devastated by Hernandez Arrest


On Wednesday, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was charged with a murder in Massachusetts and residents in his native hometown of Bristol, Connecticut said they are devastated by the allegations against the local 23-year-old.

Hernandez, who was born and raised in Bristol, played high school football at Bristol Central High School, where he was considered an incredible talent. He also spent a lot of time at the local Boys and Girls Club in town, where they said he was a hard worker who was dedicated to his athletics and his friends.

Yesterday, a Massachusetts judge ordered Hernandez held without bail on a murder charge in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd and five weapons counts.

The prosecutor said Lloyd was killed in an execution-style shooting.

It was a shock to the people who watched him grow up.

Bristol Mayor Art Ward said the news is shocking to the city, especially to all the local youth who look up to Hernandez. 

“I think everybody’s been a little bit devastated,” Ward said. ”Aaron and his whole family have been a part of the City of Bristol for many, many, many years.”

Photo Credit: AP

Texas Women Settle for $185K Over Roadside Cavity Searches


Two Irving women who sued the Texas Department of Public Safety after being subjected to a roadside cavity search have settled their lawsuit.

Charles Soechting, the attorney for both women, told NBC 5 Wednesday that his clients have settled for $185,000.

On July 13, while driving along state Highway 161, Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, were stopped for littering by State Trooper David Farrell.

In the dashcam video released by the women and their attorney, Farrell can be heard telling the women they would both be cited for littering for throwing cigarette butts out of the car.

Farrell then returned to his cruiser and, in the video, can be heard calling female Trooper Kelley Helleson to the scene to search both women, whom he said were acting weird.

While waiting for Helleson to arrive, Farrell asked Angel Dobbs to step out of the vehicle and began questioning her about marijuana use. In the video, the trooper is heard telling Dobbs he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle while asking her several times how much pot was in the car.

After Helleson arrived, she can be seen in the dashcam video putting on blue latex gloves to conduct a search of both women. According to the lawsuit, when Angel Dobbs asked about the gloves, Helleson "told her not to worry about that."

In the lawsuit, Dobbs said the trooper conducted the cavity search on the roadside, illuminated by the police car's headlights, in full view of any passing motorists. The lawsuit further alleged that Helleson performed searches on both women, touching both their anus and vaginas, without changing the latex gloves between searches.

After the story was published, the Department of Public Safety terminated Helleson and she was later indicted on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.

Trooper Farrell remains suspended with pay and has been indicted on a theft charge, according to the DPS.

After searching the entire car and finding no narcotics, Farrell then administered a DWI test that Dobbs passed, the lawsuit said. The women were then issued warnings for littering and released at the scene.

Man Protests President's Policies With Nazi Flag


Neighbors along Connors Lane in Stratford, Connecticut are upset over one man's decision to fly a Nazi flag outside his house.

Couple Scams $30,000 in Babies"R"Us


A Hialeah couple is being held for stealing more than $30,000 in merchandise from Babies"R"Us stores, all with the help of their 12-year-old son, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo has the story.

Gandolfini Eulogized Before Family and Friends

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Jamie Lynn-Sigler attends the funeral of actor James Gandolfini at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on June 27, 2013 in New York City. Gandolfini passed away on June 19, 2013 while vacationing in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Driver, Female Passenger Scuffle Aboard Metro Bus


A female passenger allegedly assaulted the driver when she boarded a Metro bus and then again as she exited police said. The bus driver in turn struck the woman in the face, witnesses said. Several people witnessed the assault in Northeast Washington, D.C.

1,000-Pound Propane Tank Falls Off Truck in Southington


The area of 1403 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Route 322, was briefly closed in Southington after a 1,000 pound propane tank fell off a truck on Thursday.

The tank did not explode or leak, officials said.  The road was closed while tank was loaded onto another truck.  


Obama's Africa Trip

President Barack Obama began his first extended tour of Africa in Senegal on Thursday. Obama will also be making stops in South Africa and Tanzania on his week-long trip, which is designed to deepen economic cooperation with the continent. Click to see more photos from Obama's Africa trip.

WATCH: Dallas Zoo Gorilla Gets Last Laugh


A gorilla at the Dallas Zoo got the last laugh scaring some kids who were taunting him.

The 21 second video posted under the user name lazeelong shows the gorilla named B'Wenzi sitting by the glass as children yell and make gorilla gestures at him.

After about 15 seconds B'Wenzi gives the kids a scare by putting his face and hands up on the glass.

The original video posted April 25 has more than 400,000 views, and has been copied and replayed all over the internet.

The Dallas Zoo addressed the video in a statement posted on the zoo's official Facebook page:

A video getting heavy views on social media shows one of the Dallas Zoo's male gorillas, B'Wenzi, reacting to a group of jeering children by throwing his hands up against the exhibit glass.

It’s important to note that B'Wenzi's actions aren't aggressive; they’re actually playful. Much like people, gorillas will mirror actions they see, and they enjoy a good prank now and then.

The Dallas Zoo's Jake L. Hamon Gorilla Conservation Research Center habitat is very large and the animals have ample opportunity to avoid the observation windows. Yet several of our gorillas will leave their grassy expanse to go to the windows, turn away and wait for guests to move closer. Then they’ll spin around and slap their hands on the glass. When the guests laugh and scream, the gorillas calmly stroll away. Our regular guests see this behavior often and recognize it as entertaining for the gorillas.

"This is normal, well-adjusted behavior for a teenager," said Dr. Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations for the Dallas Zoo. "They do this for one reason, and that’s to get a reaction." (B'Wenzi is 11 years old.)

The Dallas Zoo's world-class animal staff is committed to the welfare of our charges and monitors their physical and emotional health at all times.

Our staff and volunteers also monitor guest interactions with animals. However, as the largest zoo in Texas with more than 2,000 animals and nearly 1 million guest visits per year, we can't be with each one at all times. We constantly try to educate guests that the best way to enjoy the Dallas Zoo is by showing respect for the animals and not heckling, banging on the glass or feeding them human food. We hope this video helps us teach the proper way to approach animals at any zoological park.

Thank you for your support of the Dallas Zoo!

Photo Credit: YouTube via lazeelong

Suspects Sought in Hamden Home Invasion


Police are looking for the four people who invaded a Hamden home last night, bound a female resident with electrical tape while holding a gun to her head and hit a male resident in the head.

Police said they responded to an Augur Street residence around 11:30 p.m. to investigate a reported home invasion and found a 38 year-old man bleeding profusely from the head.

Police said the victim was uncooperative. Investigators said the invasion does not appear to be a random act and that the victim appears to have been targeted.

Hamden Fire Rescue provided medical treatment and transported the victim to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Police said four masked intruders forced their way into the house through a first-floor window.

A 34-year-old woman was home at the time of the home invasion. The intruders held a gun to her head and used electrical tape to cover her mouth and bind her hands and feet, police said.

About 20 minutes later, the male resident returned home and one intruder hit him in the head with a porcelain object.

The intruders stole electronic equipment and fled from the home.

Hamden Police Detective ask anyone with information is asked to call (203) 230-4040.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Middletown Police See Spike in Motorcycle Thefts


Middletown police are seeing an increase in motorcycle thefts for the second summer in a row.

Several motorcycles have been stolen from the Westlake Drive area.

“Saturday I brought [my motorcycle] here. It made it through Saturday night but didn’t make it through Sunday night,” said Jeff Robbins.

The following night, Robbins the crooks came back for his roommate’s motorcycle, according to Robbins. His roommate tied his motorcycle to a tree limb, and the thieves had to break the limb before they could take the bike.

Robbins says the police told him the thefts have almost become a daily occurrence.

Last year, several motorcycles were stolen from the same area. Police said the suspects cut the locks and hauled the motorcycles away in a van or box truck.

“My motorcycle was blocked by another motorcycle and a car and a tree on the other side. They must have just went around and just multiple people just picked it up,” said Robbins.

Even those living in the area without a motorcycle fear the trouble could easily escalate.

“Pretty much you have to be a lot more aware,” said Taurean Phillip. “You don’t know what else could be next.”

While Robbins has no doubt he’ll ride again, he plans to store his next bike far away.

Police are asking owners to store their bikes in a locked garage.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

One Dead in Beacon Falls Crash


State police said one person is dead after a crash on Beacon Valley Road in Beacon Falls on Thursday morning.

The driver was identified as John Dagostino, 56, according to police.   He was alone in the car and the crash involved one vehicle, according to state police.

It is not clear if the Dagostino was killed in the crash or suffered a medical condition prior to the collision, police said.

The road was closed but has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Prostitution Raids in North Haven, East Haven: Cops


Police in North Haven and East Haven executed search warrants in connection with an investigation into alleged prostitution, according to East Haven police.

In North Haven, police raided Shiatsu Spa, at 444 Washington Avenue, a suspected front for prostitution Thursday morning, police said.

Officials said police and the FBI have been investigating the spa for months.

It was just one of four search warrants issued on Thursday in East Haven and North Haven in connection with a joint investigation into alleged prostitution, according to East Haven Police. 

The East Haven raids were conducted on a private residence, the Tokyo Leisure Club at 214 Main Street and the Zodiac Health Studio at 190 Main Street.

Officials in North Haven were happy to learn about the raids. 
“There’s been a wide variety of suspected nefarious activities going on here, and quite frankly, I’m disgusted with it and have been for quite some time,” Michael Freda, First Selectman of  North Haven, said.

Officials said arrests are pending.  

Neighboring businesses said the Shiatsu Spa has been there for years, operating behind boarded-up windows and locked doors.

Debi Ramsey, of Beauty Mark Hair Studio, said she has always known that there was something fishy going on next door to her hair salon.

When North Haven Police showed up this morning, they told her to get inside while they raided the spa next door.
“You kind of knew something was going on. You never really see the girls. You don’t see anyone except men going in there,” Ramsey said. “One Tuesday morning, I came in with my 6-year-old, and there was some activity going on in front of the store, and I got him in the car and left. I said to my husband, I don’t believe this.”
Dr. Maxwell Mitchell, of Advanced Physical Medicine, said the open sign was on pretty much all throughout the day, all night.  

“I know I’ve driven past here after the gym, things like that, and (the) open sign is on very late at night. Things shouldn’t be open 11 o’clock, midnight,” he said.

No arrests have been made, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Pomegranate Kernels Recalled Over Hepatitis Concerns


Bags of pomegranate kernels are being recalled over concerns they may be contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus.

According to the state Department of Consumer Protection, 8-ounce bags of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels are being removed from Connecticut store shelves Thursday after the company that makes them announced a voluntary recall.

Scenic Fruit Company issued the recall based on ongoing investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration. The investigation surrounds and outbreak of the illness, but no Hepatitis A illnesses have been connected to the kernels, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.

The organic pomegranates are imported from Turkey. The products were shipped from February through May to distribution centers in Connecticut, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington State.

The kernels are sold in 8-ounce resealable plastic pouches with UPC Code 0 42563 01628 9. The pouches with the following lot numbers are a part of the recall:

  • C 0129 (A, B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 2/4/2015
  • C 0388 (A, B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 3/28/2015
  • C 0490 (A, B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 4/19/2015

People who have these products are urged to throw them out and to keep the proof of purchase.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be mild and last for weeks, or in more serious cases, can last for months, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.  Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool.  People usually become sick 15 to 50 days after being exposed to Hepatitis A.

Photo Credit: Dept.of Consumer Protection

Second Arrest in Woodbridge Shooting Case


Woodbridge police have arrested a New Haven woman in connection with a shooting on Morris Road on Monday.

Maria Zambrano, 28, of New Haven, was charged with first-degree aiding and abetting assault and weapon in a motor vehicle.

Woodbridge Police detectives obtained a warrant for Zambrano’s arrest this morning and took her into custody just before noon, when she appeared in court on charges unrelated to Woodbridge incident, police said.

Zambrano is being held at the Woodbridge Police Department in lieu of a $300,000 bond and she is expected to be arraigned in New Haven Superior Court on June 28.

Police have charged Patrick Young, 20, a suspect in the shooting.

Police said Young shot one of the women in the hand and torso and he and the driver fled, according to police.


Photo Credit: Woodbridge Police

Davis Fires Back After Perry's Teen Mom Remark


Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis fired back Thursday afternoon at Gov. Rick Perry, after he took aim at her past a single teen mom and her marathon 11-hour filibuster to block new abortion restrictions.

"Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values.  Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test," Davis said in a statement released to the media.

Gov. Perry, in a speech at the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas, had taken aim at the woman behind the "mob tactic" that blocked the passage of Senate Bill 5's new abortion restrictions.

"What we witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the democratic process," Perry said, before aiming squarely at Davis.

"Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?" Perry asked the crowd.

"In fact, even the woman who filibustered in the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances as the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given the chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."

(Watch Perry's statement on Davis in the video to the right, or see his entire speech in the video at the top of the page. Those on mobile devices will need to access the full site to see all video.)

When questioned by a reporter, Perry continued to question Davis' history as the daughter of a single mother.

"I'm proud that she has been able to take advantage of her intellect and her hard work, but she didn't come from particularly good circumstances. What if her mom had said, 'I just can't do this?'" Perry responded. "At that point in time, it becomes very personal."

Perry has called a second special legislative session beginning July 1 to work on bills covering abortions, transportation, and juvenile setencing.

Feds: Immigration Officer Bribed With Egg Rolls


A Santa Ana, Calif.-based immigration officer took thousands of dollars in bribes — and 200 egg rolls — from applicants seeking citizenship and green cards, federal prosecutors said.

Mai Nhu Nguyen, 47, of Irvine, was arrested June 6 after accepting a $2,000 bribe from an immigrant who was seeking U.S. citizenship, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release Wednesday.

In 2011, Nguyen allegedly solicited and took a $1,100 bribe from an immigrant seeking a green card and 200 egg rolls from an immigrant seeking citizenship.

Nguyen had the power to approve or deny applications for immigration benefits, prosecutors said. She worked out of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Santa Ana for the last eight years.

Nguyen was free on $20,000 bond and will be arraigned July 1. Each count of bribery by a public official is punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison.

Flickr photo credit: 401(K) 2013

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Photo Credit: flickr/Robyn Lee

19-Year-Old Charged With DUI in Crash That Killed 2 Teens


A 19-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a crash that killed two teens last month and police said she is accused of driving under the influence. 

Sara Ballard, 19, of South Windsor, was driving 80 miles per hour when she lost control of a vehicle and hit a tree on Abbe Road on May 25, according to South Windsor Police.

Brooke Wormstedt, 15, of East Windsor, and Matthew Masse, 18, of Vernon, died as a result of the crash, police said last month. Both were in the back seat of the vehicle. Two other passengers were also injured in the crash.

Ballard was charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle, as well as driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless driving.

Ballard was released on $50,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on July 11.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

200 Layoffs at Sikorsky


Sikorsky Aircraft is laying off about 200 employees, about 1 percent of the company’s workforce, and the majority of jobs are in Connecticut, according to a statement from the company on Thursday.

“Sikorsky continues to look to a promising future, but today we face difficult challenges. U.S. and international government budgets are shrinking, our costs to compete are increasing, and many customers are delaying purchase decisions amid the economic uncertainty,” Paul Jackson, spokesman for the company, said.

Most of Sikorsky’s workforce is in Connecticut, with more than 8,600 employees, Jackson said.

How many people in Connecticut will be laid off is not known.

The 200 layoffs are spread across operations in eight other states. The company said the out-of-state layoffs affect a relatively small number of people in each, but they are not disclosing specific breakdowns.

“Given all this, we must do all we can to protect our competitiveness while continuing to invest in our future. As a result, today we took the very difficult but necessary step of implementing a workforce reduction throughout the enterprise to lower costs in line with business requirements and resources,” Jackson said. “As is our practice, we will support those who were affected by providing outplacement and other services and benefits.”


Photo Credit: Facebook

Police Arrest Dispatcher for Sick Calls


Police in Southington didn't have to look hard to investigate personnel records of a Plainville volunteer firefighter they charged with larceny for allegedly calling in sick to his regular job and going to fire calls.

The suspect, Stephen Chapman, is a dispatcher for Southington police. 

They charged him with second degree larceny for allegedly calling in sick six times since 2008 and going to eight fire calls in Plainville, which also compensated him for his service, according to police.

Asked at his home on Thursday whether this was a misunderstanding, Chapman said it was but had no further comment.

He's free on $500 bail. Police have put Chapman on paid leave.


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