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Hope, Healing at Vigils for San Bernardino School Shooting Victims


A community is looking to heal in the face of a tragic school shooting that claimed the lives of a dedicated teacher and a young boy.

Photo Credit: AP

New Flyer Claims United Threatened Him With Arrest


A week before a man being dragged from his seat on a United Airlines flight sparked an international uproar, another United flyer was threatened with the use of force for refusing to give up his seat, he claims.

Businessman Geoff Fearms was sitting in a first class seat, ready to fly home from Hawaii to Los Angeles International Airport on April 1, when he says he was told to get off the plane to make room for a higher-priority passenger from a different flight because of a sudden change in aircraft.

"If you are not willing to voluntarily de-plane, then we will call security and have you physically escorted off the plane," Fearns recalled being told.

The Irvine resident was eventually able to take an open middle seat in coach on the six-hour flight, he said, but he lost working time and respect for the airline.

"At that point, it was either, comply or we'll summon security and physically evict you," Fearns said.

Fearns was put between a married couple who had refused to sit next to each other and "argued the whole way back," he told The Los Angeles Times.

Fearns was only able to get a refund for the difference between his first-class ticket and economy ticket, along with a credit for a future trip, a week later, after emailing with a service representative, according to the Times, which first reported the story.

United didn't return requests for comment from NBC Los Angeles or the Times.

Fearns' experience comes to light as United deals with the fallout of the physical removal of Kentucky doctor David Dao, who was bloodied as airport security hauled him from a flight in Chicago Sunday, to make room for employees from a partner airline, over the objections of fellow passengers. Disturbing video of the incident went viral, generating an uproar that hit United's stock price Tuesday.

United CEO Oscar Munoz said later that day that the airline is conducting a full review of its boarding procedures.

"No one should ever be mistreated this way," he said in a statement, apologizing to Dao.

Munoz has drawn criticism across social media after his first responses fell short of a specific apology to Dao for his experience. In a letter to employees he described the passenger as "disruptive and belligerent." 

But Munoz said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Wednesday that he felt "shame" over the video of Dao's removal and "my initial words fell short of truly expressing the shame."

"This will never happen again," he said. 

Fearns says he's consulted his attorney over how he was treated — "like in a cattle car" — and his wife joked about how his trip could have turned into a scene like the one in the viral video.

Both cases have highlighted how travelers are largely at the mercy of airlines when flights get overbooked. 

"If it happened to me in first class, it can happen to anyone," Fearns said.

Photo Credit: NBCLA

Woman Hit by Car at Busy West Hartford Intersection


A 44-year-old woman walking with her family was injured when she was hit by a car at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and Trout Brook Drive Tuesday afternoon.

Police said that the West Hartford woman as crossing the street with her husband and two children when she was struck, around 2:30 p.m.

According to police, the traffic lights were red and the pedestrian signals were lit when an 86-year-old man driving west on Farmington Avenue drove through the intersection and hit the victim. Her children and husband were not hurt, police said.

On officer was on patrol at the Shell gas station when the accident happened and immediately rushed to the victim's aid. The victim was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment. Her condition was not released.

The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump Decries Gas Use, But Says 'We're Not Going Into Syria'


President Donald Trump addressed his missile strike on Syria and America's involvement in the country's six-year civil war in an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that aired Wednesday morning, NBC News reported.

"We're not going into Syria," the president said, adding that "what I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it."

Trump went on to say that "even some of the worst tyrants in the world didn't use the kind of gases that [Syria] used."

He said seeing the chemical attack prompted him to say, "we have to do something."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Trump Downplays Bannon's Influence: Report


President Donald Trump refused to give a ringing endorsement for chief strategist Steve Bannon amid reports of discord in the White House's inner circle.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told The New York Post when asked if he still had confidence in Bannon.

Trump added that he was his "own strategist" and had "beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve."

Bannon has reportedly been in a power struggle with Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and senior economic adviser Gary Cohn.

“Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will,” Trump told the Post.

Sources close to Bannon told NBC News on Saturday that he "ain't going anywhere."

Photo Credit: AP

Standing Room Tickets Go on Sale for Yard Goats Home Opener


The Hartford Yard Goats will be making a limited number of standing room tickets available for tomorrow night's sold-out home opener for fans who previously missed out on tickets but want to be there for the team’s first home game.

The standing room tickets will go on sale at 2 p.m. today and they will sell for $8.

Fans can purchase the remaining standing room tickets online, over the phone at 860-246-4628, or in-person at the Click It or Ticket Box Office.

The Yard Goats’ home opener is Thursday, April 13 at 7:05 p.m. against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Toronto Blue Jays affiliate. All seats are sold out.

The Hartford Yard Goats are the Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies and they will be playing at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, a brand new baseball stadium built for the team in downtown Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Investigators Determine Where Manchester M&R Fire Started


Investigators determined a large two-alarm fire that destroyed M&R Liquors in Manchester started in the attic. 

Drivers passing by the building on 120 Tolland Turnpike noticed heavy smoke and called 911 around 3:55 a.m., according to the fire department. 

When firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring out from all windows, as well as the door and the roof. Within five minutes, part of the roof collapsed and the fire was fully involved. The fire caused bottles of alcohol to exploded, which added more fuel to the fire. 

A investigation found that the fire started near the center of the building's attic space above the drop ceiling. The department is examining electrical wiring in the attic space further, but the cause of the fire has not be determined, Manchester Fire said.  


It was not safe for crews to go inside, so firefighters started attacking the blaze from outside the building and the firefighting operation became even more extensive as more of the building continued to collapse.

"The fire was very hot, very intense and this is what's called a 'trust construction' roof, metal construction, so it fails very quickly in a hot fire," Manchester Fire Chief David Billings said.  "That's why we did have the building collapse within the first five or 10 minutes of our arrival."

The store had closed around 9 p.m. Tuesday, so no one was inside the building when the fire broke out.

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M&R Liquors has been open since 1952 and in the current building was built in 1980 and did not have a sprinkler system, Billings said.

The Manchester Fire Department, the Eighth Utilities District, and East Hartford Fire Department all responded to the scene. Glastonbury fire and Bolton fire were also called in to provide station coverage.

Crews have been demolishing the building and the owner, Gary Rounsville, says he plans to rebuild and reopen.

"More than likely, we're going to have to pay out of pocket for some of it, but insurance will take care of a good piece of it," he said.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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Carson Gets Trapped in Elevator During Miami Housing Tour


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and his wife were trapped in an elevator during a visit to a Miami affordable housing complex Wednesday.

The incident occurred while Carson was touring the Courtside Apartments, an affordable housing complex in the city's Overtown neighborhood.

The couple and several others were on their way to meet residents when their elevator became stuck, grounding the group for about 15 minutes before firefighters freed them just before 9 a.m.

"Well, we got all of our questions answered," Carson joked as he stepped out of the elevator.   

Waiting in the lobby was former NBA star Alonzo Mourning. Mourning, whose nonprofit AM Affordable Housing helped develop the complex.

Residents said they were glad to see Carson and hope the secretary will defend against the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts to low income housing programs.

The famed surgeon and former GOP presidential candidate is in town for two days of meetings with both political officials, including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, as well as community leaders such as developer Jorge Perez and former Heat star Mourning.

After the elevator incident, Carson visited the Liberty Square community, Miami-Dade's oldest public housing community that's set for a major redevelopment project.

Carson delivered the paperwork to start the demolition of the housing to make way for the new Liberty Square Rising project, which is expected to take more than four years to complete.

"It is about developing our people, it is not just about putting a roof over their head but it is about creating a nurturing community," Carson said.

A small group of demonstrators gathered outside the Liberty Square community center to protest cuts to HUD and voice their concerns over losing their homes with the new development.

"We are not against the revitalization of Liberty Square, what we are against is what is going to happen after," former resident Trenise Bryant said.

There are 630 families living in Liberty Square now, but the new development will offer 640 new public housing units, plus 815 non-public housing units and homes. County officials said no one will lose their homes and everyone will be accommodated.

"At some point there are going to be honest people working, and I believe that point is here, at least from the HUD point of view," Carson said.

Carson was expected to visit Florida Memorial University later Wednesday. He will also deliver the keynote address at the NAACP Fair Housing Month Conference at Miami Dade College’s North Campus.

Photo Credit: @juliaNBC6/Getty
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Man Charged in Newington T-Mobile Armed Robbery


Two men with guns tied up employees of a T-Mobile store on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington and forced them to open a safe at gunpoint in November 2016, according to police, and they have arrested one of the suspects.

Demetrius Wilkes, 26, was arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with an armed robbery on Nov. 3, 2016.

Police said the two robbers approached staff at the T- Mobile at 3111 Berlin Turnpike just after 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, as they were locking up the store,  forced them back into the building and committed the robbery. 

The robbers stole cash and store merchandise, police said. 

Wilkes has been charged with:

  • Two counts of first-degree robbery
  • Two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree
  • Three counts of kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm
  • Three counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm
  • Three counts of unlawful restraint in the first degree
  • Three counts of conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint in the first degree
  • Three counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree
  • Three counts of conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment in the first degree
  • Three counts of threatening in the first degree
  • Three counts of conspiracy to commit threatening in the first degree
  • Larceny in the third degree
  • Conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree
  • Larceny in the sixth degree
  • Conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree.  
Wilkes was held on a $750,000 court-set bond and he will appear in New Britain Superior Court today.  


Photo Credit: Newington Policr

Man Arrested After Sleeping in Strangers' Homes: Police


Connecticut State Police have arrested a man accused of breaking into residences in Killingly after multiple residents reported finding a man sleeping in their homes.

Ian Emerson Gervais, 42, of Killingly, was charged with risk of injury to a child, first-degree burglary, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

Police said that on Saturday around 1:40 a.m. they received a call from a resident on Robinwood Boulevard claiming a strange man was in her house. According to police, the suspect climbed through a window to access the house.

The woman was alerted to the man’s presence by her children, who said the man woke them up by lying down on their legs and going to sleep. The mother found the man in the living room and screamed – waking the suspect and scaring him off.

Troopers searched the area and attempted a K9 track but did not find any suspects.

Two hours later police received another call from a resident on Williamsville Road who said they found a man sleeping in their bay window. When police arrived the suspect was still asleep.

He was arrested and taken to Troop D. He is next scheduled to appear in court on April 20.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Local Radio DJ Charged in Newington Gas Station Assault


A local radio DJ has been arrested by Newington police in connection with a violent assault at a Newington gas station in March.

Joseph Aguiar, 41, of Wethersfield, turned himself in to police on Tuesday.

Aguiar is accused of lunging toward an unsuspecting victim who was sitting in a car outside the Mobil Gas Station at 50 Fenn Road around 10:30 p.m. on March 8, grabbing the man and throwing him to the ground, causing the man to hit his head on the pavement, according to police.

The victim was unconscious for two minutes after the attack, police said.

Aguiar works as a radio personality for River 105.9, according to a representative of iHeartMedia, the company that owns the station. According to his biography on the station’s website, Aguiar has been in radio since 1997 and with River 105.9 since 2005.

NBC Connecticut has requested comment from the company on Aguiar's arrest and they provided the following statement:

"We take matters of this kind very seriously. The employee is on temporary leave from his job until we can further review the situation and the we will take the appropriate action." - Steve Honeycomb, Connecticut Regional Market manager for iHeartMedia.

In the police report, Aguiar said believed he was being robbed when he assaulted the other man. Aguiar told police he mistook the victim’s car for his own, and confronted the man when he got in the vehicle.

He claimed he thought the man was trying to steal his phone and credit cards so he got in the car and checked the center console, but realized his phone wasn't in it. When he got out and looked around he spotted his own car and took off.

Aguiar told police he considered reporting the incident to police that night but decided not to.

Aguiar was identified in images captured by surveillance cameras. Police said they had identified a suspect last month, but did not release his name at the time. They did say he was cooperating with police.

Surveillance video from the gas station shows Aguiar pulling the victim out of the victim’s own vehicle and throwing him on the ground. Aguiar then got in the driver’s seat, closed the door, then exited the car and went to his own vehicle, according to the police report.

Aguiar has been charged with third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Aguiar posted bond and is due in court on April 25.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

Huge Fire Destroys Manchester Liquor Store


Photo Credit: Manchester Fire Department

Frank Pepe Makes National List for Best Pizza in Connecticut


We are serious about our pizza in Connecticut and the "Daily Meal" has weighed in on where they think the best pizza in the state comes from.

They have given the honor to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Naploletana and called it a “checklist destination” to “discuss the topic of America's best pizza with any authority.” 

They also put the spotlight on the clam pizza.

The ranking looked at pizza places across the country with a menu that is either made entirely of pizza or has at least a section dedicated it. The list included more than 800 pizzerias nationwide, which were then narrowed down by a “panel of culinary authorities” who voted for their favorite.

There are nine Pepe’s locations; New Haven, Manchester, West Hartford, Danbury, Waterbury, Fairfield and at Mohegan Sun, in Connecticut; Yonkers, New York; and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Santarpio’s Pizza in Boston is the best pizza in Massachusetts, according to The Daily Meal and Di Fara in Brooklyn won the top spot in New York. 

Daily Mail gives Al Forno in Providence the honor of the best pizza in Rhode Island. 

What’s your favorite pizza?

Photo Credit: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Calif. Woman Sues City After Fall Allegedly Ruptured Breast Implants


The wife of former San Diego mayor and conservative radio talk-show host Roger Hedgecock is suing the city after she tripped on a "poorly maintained" public sidewalk and allegedly ruptured her breast implants. 

According to the suit, Cynthia Hedgecock was walking down Morrell Street, near Grand Avenue, in San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood on July 31, 2015, when she tripped over a raised crack in the sidewalk and "came crashing to the ground." 

Hedgecock went to a Scripps Clinic facility a few weeks later on Aug. 17, 2015, with complaints of chest pain and breast deformities.  The implants, according to the suit, were "irreparably damaged."

In early September she learned her breast implants had ruptured and "silicone had been leaking into her bloodstream." Hedgecock was forced to undergo "necessary" surgery to remove and replace both implants and took several weeks to recover from the operation, according to the suit.

Roger Hedgecock is also named as a defendant in the suit. He alleges that he "suffered loss of support, service, love, companionship, society affection, relations and solace from his wife" due her injuries.

The Hedgecocks claim the City of San Diego did not maintain the sidewalk and fix needed repairs, which led to Cynthia's fall. They are suing for $25,000 in damages. 

NBC 7 has reached out to the city attorney's office for comment, but was told they do not have a statement in response to the suit. 

A spokesman said the suit will probably go to trial later this year.

You can read the full lawsuit here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

California Newlyweds Contract Brain-Infecting Parasite in Hawaii


A Bay Area couple's idyllic honeymoon took a horrific turn when they contracted a brain-infecting parasite in Hawaii. 

Newlyweds Ben Manilla, a journalism professor at UC Berkeley, and Eliza Lape were both diagnosed with rat lungworm disease, according to Hawaii News Now.

Manilla, 64, and Lape, 57, traveled to Maui for their wedding in January. After the ceremony, they spent a fortnight in the area of Hana, Hawaii News Now reported.

Lape began presenting symptoms even before the duo’s return to San Francisco.

"My symptoms started growing to feeling like somebody was taking a hot knife and just stabbing me in different parts of my body," she told Hawaii News Now.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by a parasite that impacts rats that then excrete worm larvae. Slugs and snails consume the larvae, which can be passed on to humans via raw produce, freshwater shrimp and land crabs, according to Hawaii News Now. The parasitic worms trigger a rare meningitis that affects the brain and spinal cord.

Lape has recovered, but Manilla has spent a month in the ICU and needs to undergo rehabilitation, the TV station said.

"I've had several operations, two pneumonias, a blood clot. Right now, I'm dealing with a kidney issue, all of which was spurred by the ratlung," Manilla said to Hawaii News Now.

The couple is speaking about the experience to help other people take appropriate precautions.

"Had we known we were walking into this kind of environment, we would have had a completely different attitude," Lape told Hawaii News Now. "It really does disrupt and destroy people's lives."

Officials have noted an upswing in rat lungworm disease – at least nine cases recently – on the Big Island and on Maui, Hawaii News Now reported. But health experts believe that number may not include people who went to private clinics, not hospitals. The Department of Health is investigating.

Photo Credit: Hawaii News Now

Search Underway for Windham Man Missing Since March 3


A Windham man has been missing since March 3 and state police are asking anyone with information on where he is to call police. 

Family members reported 51-year-old David Manley missing around 5 p.m. on March 7.

State police said he was last seen around 2:40 p.m. on Friday, March 3 near Bank Street in New London.

Manley is around 6 feet tall and weighs 130 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a black jacket, possibly jeans, and tennis shoes. Manley walks with a cane and has a limp.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Troop K at 860-465-5469.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Pursuit Driver Rams, Sideswipes CHP Vehicles Before Spinout


The driver of a white SUV rammed and sideswiped California Highway Patrol vehicles during a high-speed pursuit Wednesday near downtown Los Angeles that ended with a spinout on a freeway exit.

The driver struck several cars in addition to the CHP vehicles during the chase on freeways and streets from the San Gabriel Valley to southeast Los Angeles County. In a freeway carpool lane near downtown Los Angeles, the driver sideswiped a CHP sport utility vehicle before accelerating away with other officers in pursuit.

The driver reached speeds of up to an estimated 115 mph on freeways, but also rampaged the wrong way on streets, swerved through stopped traffic and ignored stop signs and lights.

The pusuit might have started after a road rage confrontation involving San Gabriel police, according to the CHP. It ended when the driver lost control of the SUV on a freeway exit in Cerritos. The SUV fishtailed when the driver made a last-second exit, then came to a stop on an embankment off the freeway exit ramp.

The driver remained in the vehicle for several minutes as officers with guns drawn blocked the exit. After he ran from the SUV, a police dog tracked him into thick brush, where he was taken into custody.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates and watch live on TV on NBC4.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Police Clear Scene After Finding Box With Wires in Front of New Haven Post Office


Emergency crews responded to the New Haven Post Office to inspect wires and batteries found in a box front of the building, the U.S. Postal Service said. 

New Haven police and the bomb squad were called to the scene on Brewery Street on Wednesday to conduct an investigation. The package was determined to not be suspicious by officials.

 There were concerns about some wires coming out of the bottom of the box, but the suspicious device unit determined those wires were part of the newspaper box, New Haven Police said. 

The road is open and everything is clear. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Shooting With Injuries Reported in North Stonington


State troopers responded to a shooting that resulted in injuries in North Stonington on Wednesday.

Connecticut State Police's are on the scene of the shooting on Lantern Hill Road. 

Life-threatening injuries were reported and the victim is in critical condition.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area as troopers investigate. 

No other details were immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Seasonable Air Moves into Connecticut


After experiencing temperatures in the 70s and 80s to start the week temperatures will be much more seasonable to close out the week. 

Average high temperatuers this time of year should be around 60 degrees and that's exactly what we're forecasting.

High temperatures Thursday will range from the upper 50s along the shoreline to the low 60s for inland areas of the state.

The 60 degree temperatures will stick around through Friday and Saturday.

Then a brief warm-up arrives by Sunday. A warm front will push through the region Sunday morning. Behind the warm front are some abnormally warm temperatures. We're forecasting high temperatures near 80 degrees for inland areas of the state. Coastal areas of the state can expect high temperatures near 70. 

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