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Thousands of Coloradans Flee Boulder-Area Wildfire


A wildfire burned its way through Boulder Country Sunday morning, which officials said forced thousands of Coloradans from their homes, NBC News reported.

A man first reported seeing flames burning on the side of a mountain around 1:30 a.m. (MT), according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. Officials then began telling people to leave the area while firefighters battled the blaze.

Eight aircraft were used to fight the fire, dropping buckets of water and fire retardant around the flames' perimeter at 8:30 a.m.

The fire had at one point reached 62 acres, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management estimated. But firefighters had contained about 20 percent of it by the afternoon, at which point there were no reports of injuries or damaged property.

Photo Credit: Seth Frankel via AP

Concerns Grow for Tenn. Girl, 15, Who Vanished With Teacher


Investigators said they are continuing to search for a Tennessee high school freshman who they believe disappeared seven days ago with her former teacher, NBC News reported.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Elizabeth Thomas, 15, went missing on March 13. The bureau's Amber Alert indicated she may have been kidnapped by 50-year-old Tad Cummins, Elizabeth's former teacher at Culleoka Unit School in Maury County. Officials said they are concerned "about his intentions with her." 

Cummins, charged with aggrevated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor, is on the TBI's most wanted list. The bureau believes he is armed and dangerous.

Elizabeth is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings, investigators said. Cummins is 6-0 and about 200 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. He is believed to be driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tags.

Photo Credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Community Mourns 15-Year-Old Gunned Down in Hartford


About 100 people gathered for a vigil on Garden Street to comfort a grieving family after 15-year-old Keon Huff, Jr. was shot and killed in Hartford.

“Mother, we are sorry for your loss. But I’m going to tell you, God is still God,” Rev. Henry Brown, Mothers United Against Violence, said.

Many in the crowd were around the same age as Keon.

Not far away, police say for some reason the 15-year-old was shot in the head and killed in the hallway of an apartment building on Friday.

“Just stop all this violence. It’s not worth it. All these parents losing all their kids. It’s not worth it,” Danielle Rosa, Keon’s aunt, said.

The teen’s death marks the eighth homicide this year in the capitol city. His was the youngest in quite some time.

Hartford Police Chief James Rovella expressed his sadness and also his anger at the heroin problem here.

“It is ripping through the fabric of our families and we need everyone to help. We are complicit if we don’t stop this ourselves,” Chief James Rovella of the Hartford police said.

Many spoke about how the city and community need to work to prevent other kids from following in the same troubled path as Keon.

For his mother now is a time to mourn the loss of one of her five children. 

“He was greatly loved. I was overwhelmed with all the love,” Yolanda Ortiz, Keon’s mother, said. “I also want justice to be served. I want whoever did this to my child to get arrested.”

 Police have yet to identify a suspect or what might have led to the shooting.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

3 Taken to Hospital After Barn Fire in Wilton


Three people, including a firefighter, were taken to the hospital after a fire in the Georgetown section of Wilton Sunday night, according to fire officials.

A two-alarm blaze broke out around 7 p.m. at a barn on Church Street. Fire crews from multiple towns were called in to put out the fire.

“It's called surround and drown til we're able to put all of the fire out. And then we make an inspection on the inside, make sure it's safe for our firefighters to enter,” said Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Greg Zap.

Route 107 was closed while authorities investigated.

Photo Credit: News 12 Connecticut

Celebrate Spring with Free Frozen Treats


Monday is the first day of spring and what better way to celebrate than with a frozen treat?

Rita’s Italian Ice will offer one free Italian Ice per customer from noon until 9 p.m. Monday. But don’t just eat it – photograph your Rita’s and post it with the #ritasfirstdayofspring for a chance to win free Italian ice for a year and other cool prizes. Find a Rita’s near you. 

More of a cone person? Then head to Dairy Queen, which is celebrating free cone day. Customers can visit participating locations for a free some vanilla ice cream cone. Note that mall locations are not part of the promotion. Click here for more information. 

Leaders, Parents Want Funding for Public Schools of Choice


More than 50,000 children attend public charter and magnet schools in Connecticut and on Monday parents will be pushing the state to include those schools in the budget.

School leaders from the nearly 120 schools said they act as a critical education option for low-income children across the state. But officials said many of the schools are underfunded and have had to cut programs.

State lawmakers, school leaders and parents plan to hold a press conference today at the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the issue.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Charged with Murder in Fatal Hartford Shooting


Hartford police have arrested a man on murder charges in connection with a fatal shooting in January.

Antron Gore is accused of shooting 37-year-old Jason Reddick in an incident on January 20. Reddick was found in the area of Albany Avenue and Garden Street around 1 p.m. and later pronounced dead at Saint Francis Hospital.

Police said they obtained an arrest warrant for Gore on Feb. 23 and arrested him Sunday. He is charged with murder, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a firearm. He’s currently held on a $1 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department/NBC Connecticut

Craziest March Madness Cinderella Teams


As March Madness sweeps across the country, take a look back to some of the greatest upsets in NCAA Men's Basketball history.

Photo Credit: Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Suspect Arrested in Theft of Car, Uniform at Military Center


A man has been arrested nearly two weeks after police say he broke into a military career center in Maryland and stole a car and a United States Army uniform.

The theft happened about 4 a.m. on Thursday, March 2 at the U.S. Army Career Center in the 5400 block of St. Barnabas Road in Oxon Hill, Prince George's County police said.

Kyle Pedigo, of Norwich, Connecticut, was arrested on Wednesday when he allegedly tried to break into a pool and spa company in the 4800 block of Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro, according to police.

Pedigo is facing numerous charges, incluidng burglary and felony theft. He also faces charges in Connecticut, police said.

Police did not say if the government-owned car or Army uniform have been recovered.

Photo Credit: Prince George's County Police Department

Putnam Police Seek Suspect in Jewelry Store Break-In


Putnam police are trying to find the suspect in a jewelry store burglary that occurred early Monday morning.

According to police, the suspect broke intoAbigail's Jewel Box on Main Street and caused property damage before stealing undisclosed items.

The suspect is described as male with glasses and a beard and appeared to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt at the time of the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Putnam police at 860-928-6565.

Photo Credit: Putnam Police Department

Latvian Town Frets About Trump's Stance on NATO, Russia


President Donald Trump’s stance on NATO has some in a Latvian town located 23 miles from the Russian border worried, NBC News reported.

Dozens of local residents were interviewed by NBC News during a visit to Rezekne with some speaking of the potential threat posed to their nation by Russia. Some pointed to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, which President Vladimir Putin said was to protect ethnic Russian’s from mistreatment by Ukraine’s government. In Rezekne, some said that they fear a similar situation unfolding. Ethnic Russians make up a quarter of the population in Latvia.

Others in the town, however, said they didn’t believe that Russia is an aggressor. One Russian resident told NBC News that Trump is "a great president." Others expressed feelings of safety, saying they didn’t believe that Russia was a threat.

Photo Credit: Birgit Püve for NBC News

Suspended WTNH Meteorologist Heads to Court Tomorrow


Justin Goldstein, a suspended WTNH meteorologist, is due in court Tuesday, eight months after police arrested him and said they found him sharing videos of young girls.

Police said the investigation began in June after officers used a peer-to-peer (P2P) network to download three videos of suspected child pornography from an account assigned to 33-year-old Goldstein, of Hamden.

The videos depicted young girls, one possibly as young as 4 years old, performing sex acts on adult men, according to the arrest affidavit.

When investigators executed a search warrant at Goldstein's home on Aspen Glen Drive, they seized several items, including a computer, a laptop, a cell phone and a PS3 game console. Those items have been sent to a computer forensic lab for examination, according to the court documents.

Goldstein was arrested July 14 and was released on a $200,000 surety bond. He has been suspended from work at WTNH-TV in New Haven.

"We are deeply concerned by the allegations," Mark Higgins, general manager of WTNH-TV said in a statement on the day of Goldstein's arrest. "Until the matter is resolved, Justin Goldstein is suspended from his duties at WTNH."

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

N. Korea Is World's Most Dangerous Problem: Ex-Defense Sec.


A former United States defense secretary says that North Korea is the world’s most dangerous problem, CNBC reported.

William Cohen, who served in the Clinton Administration, said that the world has exhausted all of its options for dealing with North Korea, and that there’s no sign of the situation being resolved until there’s some type of regime change.

"That would be the most difficult issue to resolve. I think that's the most dangerous issue we have facing us today. Kim Jong Un seems dedicated to being even more provocative, more aggressive," Cohen said.

He added that he thinks President Donald Trump has put together a good national security team. Cohen also commented on U.S.-Russia relations, saying the situation would not improve until Trump’s companies’ financial ties with Russia are clarified.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP, File

Police Shortage Hits Cities and Small Towns Nationwide


A shortage of officers in police departments around the country could be a potential risk for public safety, NBC News reported.

From large metropolitan areas to rural towns, diminishing pay, high risks and a bad rap are causing people to become less interested in joining police forces—a trend that policing experts say could lead to less effective policing, and therefore more disorder and crime. With the economy experiencing an uptick in jobs in recent years, people are moving away from law enforcement and choosing different career paths.

There’s no national, centralized data on the number of police recruits or officers, but experts say that law enforcement fatalities, lower salaries and a negative narrative around policing are all driving factors in the shrinking numbers.

"With everything happening around policing from salary to criticism, the question many people are asking is 'is it worth it?'" said Jim Burch, vice president of the Police Foundation.

Photo Credit: File, Getty Images/Spencer Platt

President Trump's Defense Proposal Could Help Connecticut


Connecticut's manufacturing sector depends greatly on aerospace giants Sikorsky and Pratt and Whitney, as well as Electric Boat. 

Since all three are so entrenched with the military, any boost to defense spending could be felt statewide. 

President Donald Trump's budget includes $52 billion in new spending for defense, which drew praise from Mark Labbe, the president and CEO of Cambridge Specialty, a top 100 supplier for Sikorsky. 

Cambridge provides components for the Blackhawk line of helicopters, as well as components for Pratt & Whitney and Bell Helicopters. 

Labbe said the boost in defense spending would be a nice supplement for his company and others that have already secured five years’ worth of work from defense contractors.

“We have a supply base that we use. They’ll benefit from this and see an increase in business, so it’s not just Cambridge. It’s the suppliers that we also do business with right here in Connecticut,” Labbe said.

Those boosts, however, come at the expense of other federal programs the state relies on. For instance, cuts to meal programs for the poor, traditional public schools and environmental programs, opponents said, will do more harm for the state than any boosts to defense spending.

“We support strengthened defense funding, but this budget ultimately will kill way more jobs in Connecticut and across the country than it will gain," said Sen. Chris Murphy, (D-CT).

Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed that sentiment and said he supports making sure the state's major employers are held harmless, but added the president's budget doesn't have a vision that helps the entire state.

“This budget is an atrocious failure of leadership," Blumenthal said. “We can support building our national defense, better training our troops, environment, education, roads rail, bridges and other infrastructure, and our.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recall Issued Over Hormone Levels


One major dog food company voluntarily is recalling one product over potentially high levels of a beef thyroid hormone.

Blue Buffalo issued the recall for its BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs. The affected products have the UPC code number 840243101153 and best buy date of June 7, 2019 located on the can’s bottom.

Dogs that ingest the high levels of the hormone can have issues including increased thirst and urination, weight loss along with an increased heart rate. While symptoms sometimes go away when they stop eating the food, prolonged eating can cause problems that include vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing. Owners are instructed to take their animal to a veterinarian immediately if those symptoms are seen.

Blue Buffalo says it has not received reports of any dogs exhibiting those symptoms, however the FDA advised the company of one report about a dog who is said to have recovered.

Anyone with questions can contact the company at the number and email listed on their website.

Photo Credit: Blue Buffalo Company

Bridgeport Man Charged with Kidnapping Arrested in Hamden


A Bridgeport man has been charged with kidnapping after police said he was found in Hamden with a victim in his car Saturday night.

Perry Deschazo, 26, of Bridgeport, faces charges including kidnapping, home invasion, stalking, threatening, and criminal violation of a protective order.

Hamden police said that around 11:30 p.m. they responded to an apartment on Goodrich Street after being contacted by the Bridgeport Police Department about a possible abduction. Bridgeport cautioned that Deschazo was known to carry firearms and was reported to be armed with a knife. He and the victim were last seen in a maroon Nissan Altima.

When officers responded they spotted the suspect vehicle driving away from the building and pursued. The vehicle was eventually stopped on Cherry Ann Street, where police found a victim with Deshazo in the vehicle. The victim was not harmed, police said.

Deschazo was arrested and held on a $2.5 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Tom Brady's Stolen Super Bowl Jersey Recovered in Mexico


The mystery of Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey has been cracked.

According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the FBI and NFL security teams said they had recovered Brady's stolen Super Bowl LI jersey and it will be returned. 

Houston police said Monday that the jersey was recovered in Mexico along with Brady's jersey from his Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks. It was taken by the same person, and that person is expected to face federal charges, including but not limited to transporting stolen goods across state lines and outside the country.

The NFL said the items were "found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media." Houston police would say only that the suspect had legitimate access to the Super Bowl but was not a ticket holder. No further information on the suspect has been released.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said the jerseys are now in the hands of the NFL and the FBI in Boston, and efforts are being made to authenticate them.

"We're highly confident that these are the jerseys," Acevedo said. "They're going to end up where they belong, which is in the hands of Mr. Brady and his family and his colleagues."

Houston police had previously reported that the theft would be considered a felony since the jersey was estimated to be worth $500,000. No value has been given for Brady's Super Bowl XLIX jersey.

"It's kind of like a piece of art," Acevedo said. "It can have great value in terms of monetary gain."

He said recovering the jersey was not his department's top priority, but it was important that what was otherwise a successful Super Bowl not be marred by such a theft.

"He came to the wrong state, you know what I'm saying?" Acevedo said. "You don't come to Texas and you don't steal when the eyes of the world are on our state.

"It's a blemish on our Super Bowl," he added. "You don't come to Texas and embarrass us here on our home turf."

The FBI would not comment on the investigation Monday.

The New England Patriots star previously said he was optimistic about the jersey's return.

Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Man Accused of Assaulting Store Clerk Over a Cigarette


A Stratford man is accused of attacking two people over a dispute that started over a cigarette, according to Westport police.

Police said around 4:30 a.m. Sunday the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Allens Verdier, went into the Exxon Gas Station at 1510 Post Road East and asked for a single cigarette. When the clerk told Verdier that the store could not sell a single cigarette, Verdier attacked the clerk. According to police, Verdier then assaulted an elderly man who was trying to call 911 for help.

Police said that when officers arrived they observed that Verdier appeared to under the influence of something, and they found PCP on him. He was take to Norwalk Hospital for evaluation and will be released into police custody.

Verdier is charged with third-degree assault, third-degree assault on an elderly person, possession of a hallucinogen, interfering with a 911 call and second-degree breach of peace.

Photo Credit: NBC10

WATCH LIVE: Key Witness in Aaron Hernandez Trial Takes Stand


A former friend of ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has taken the stand in Hernandez’s double murder trial this week. 

Alexander Bradley described the moments leading up to the deadly shooting at a Boston stoplight in July 2012 as the prosecution's star witness against Hernandez Monday. 

Prosecutors accuse Hernandez of fatally shooting Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado as he rode in a silver Toyota 4Runner after one of the victims bumped into the defendant at Club Cure, spilling his drink. Bradley was allegedly inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

When they saw de Abreu and Furtado drive away from the club in a BMW, Hernandez and Bradley got into the Toyota and followed them, the witness testified Monday.

Hernandez had him roll down the window and told him to watch out before he "said 'What's up now (expletive) and started firing shots into the car," Bradley said.

After the murders, Hernandez and Bradley when to the home of Bradley's daughter in Connecticut, and Hernandez's cousin Tanya Singleton arrived, Bradley testified. Singleton and Hernandez allegedly had a hushed conversation, and took the SUV with her when she left.

"He told her to take it to clean it up and put the car in a garage," Bradley said on the stand.

As police investigated the 2012 shooting, Bradley said Hernandez began showing signs of paranoia around iPhones and helicopters and "just assumed everyone was a detective." Hernandez was also allegedly having nightmares about the shooting.

"We kind of just kept our distance from one another a little bit after the murder," Bradley said.

Hernandez also faces witness intimidation charges for allegedly shooting Bradley in the face in 2013. Bradley settled a lawsuit with Hernandez in court. 

Hernandez is serving a life term for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Photo Credit: NBC Boston
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