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Alleged Malia Obama Stalker Under Investigation: Sources


Authorities are investigating an alleged stalker who showed up at Malia Obama's workplace on three separate days earlier this month with a sign proposing marriage, law enforcement sources said. 

Jair Nilton Cardoso appeared at locations where the elder daughter of the 44th president was interning on April 10, 11 and 12, the sources said. Cardoso said he wanted to marry her so he can get to former President Barack Obama and ask for some kind of help for his country, according to the sources. 

The Secret Service detained Cardoso and took him to the NYPD's First Precinct, which in turn referred him to Kings County Hospital for evaluation, according to the sources. No charges were pending against him Wednesday evening, sources said. 

Malia Obama still qualifies for Secret Service protection under a recently signed executive order. 

It was not immediately clear where Cardoso was as of late afternoon Wednesday. The NYPD referred inquiries to the Secret Service, who said "we don't discuss our protective operations." 

The Manhattan district attorney's office declined comment.

There were media reports that Cardoso was known to the Secret Service from previous appearances at the White House during the Obama administration, though he has no record of arrests, according to court information, in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Facebook Is Working on Letting You Type With Your Brain


Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a research project that will allow people to type using their thoughts, or hear through their skin, NBC News reported.

Such a product could allow the deaf and blind to communicate more easily — or allow everyone else "to type five times faster than you can on a smartphone," according to Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook's Building 8 research.

These efforts raise hard questions related to patient privacy, as any brain-to-text system will essentially read a person's unspoken thoughts.

Dugan, speaking at the company's annual developer conference in San Jose, California, acknowledged some of these issues in her talk, which was laced with terms more akin to a science fiction movie or a conversation among physicists.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Noah Berger

Timeline: The Rise and Rapid Fall of Aaron Hernandez


Aaron Hernandez's death of apparent suicide in a Massachusetts prison cell brought to a close a remarkable but troubled life. 

The New England Patriots drafted the Connecticut native, a star at the University of Florida, but he only played in the NFL for three years before his arrest. He would spend the next four years in and out of court rooms.

In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of murdering semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. In March of 2017, he returned to court to answer to two more murder charges in the 2012 deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu. This time, he was acquitted, being found guilty only of a firearms charge.

But Hernandez's first conviction, of Lloyd's murder, was set to leave him behind bars for the rest of his life. He killed himself less than a week after his acquittal for murder.

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Photo Credit: AP
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UConn Professor Accidentally Sends Porn Link to Class: Student


A University of Connecticut (UConn) professor accidentally sent a porn link to students in their class, according to one of their students. 

In an email about homework assignments due next week, a UConn professor added, what they called, a "bad link" to a video on YouPorn.com

"Hi all, please ignore previous email, which seems to have been infected by a bad link. A new announcement about this week's exercises is now posted on our Husky site," the professor apparently sent in an email after the original message with the porn link. 

A screen shot of the email has been shared on various social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. 

A student in the class, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the email was sent Wednesday morning. 

The student said the professor usually sends out an assignment list to about 70 students and, "I guess there was something wrong with the link or something happened, I don't know."

"I didn't realize it was wrong until (they) sent out a correction," the student told NBC Connecticut. 

"There was nothing wrong with it. It could've happened to anyone," the student said. "This is just unlucky."

NBC Connecticut reached out to UConn and asked if they could confirm that a professor sent out a porn link to students via email. 

“The university has been made aware of this matter and is in the process of reviewing it. It would be premature to draw any conclusions about what occurred until the university completes that review. We of course take the matter very seriously," the university released in a statement to NBC Connecticut.

This isn't the first time a porn link was sent out to students. Last spring, a Drexel University teacher said she was "mortified" when she discovered she had inadvertently sent students a link to a porn site, rather than an article about writing legal briefs. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Free Pot to Be Distributed to Congress During 'JointSession'


When it comes to pot, the puns are endless.

Thursday’s official marijuana holiday, dubbed 420 by enthusiasts, is reaching new highs (get it?) this year. Cannabis advocates have vowed to pass marijuana cigarettes and voluntarily get arrested on the nation’s capital during their first annual "JointSession."

Advocacy group DCMJ, which spearheaded legalization of cannabis in D.C., will be leading the free giveaway. They will be offering joints to members of Congress, staffers, journalists, interns and Capitol Hill workers 21 years of age and older. Basically anyone with a valid congressional ID can get free weed.

The twist?

Depending on where the advocates are standing, this action could be completely legal because they will not be charging for the goods. D.C.’s Initiative 71 legalized possession of the plant but not its sale. People living in the District can grow up to six plants inside their home or purchase medical marijuana if they have a qualifying condition. Money cannot be exchanged for recreational cannabis.

Organizers of the JointSession are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency from using funds to interfere with D.C. and state medical marijuana laws. The measure is set to expire April 28.

DCMJ is also asking Congress to end the federal prohibition against marijuana and allow states to determine their own laws moving forward.

“Congressional inaction and leaving harmful laws on the books isn’t any way to run a government. It is irresponsible,” said Adam Eidinger, DCMJ cofounder. “If these members of Congress ask themselves who has the most to lose from ending the war on cannabis, it isn’t the American people.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed his opposition to legalized marijuana, saying "I'm not sure we're going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana sold at every corner grocery store."

The so-called JointSession will take place Thursday from noon to 4:20 p.m.

Philadelphia's 420 celebrations likely won't be as high profile. There are events planned at One Art Community Center in West Philadelphia, a pipe exhibit at Creep House Records in Northern Liberties and a High Times dance party at Coda in Center City. 

This isn't the first time DCMJ is giving away free marijuana. The organization handed out thousands of free joints in D.C. on Jan. 20 for President Donald Trump's inauguration day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

More State Layoffs Could Be on the Horizon


More state employee layoffs are on the horizon, according to government sources.

Notices have gone out to different state agencies, asking for them to have contingency plans ready for potential cuts as early as the end of the week. 

Multiple sources inside the General Assembly and in state government told NBC Connecticut the reason for this request could be part budgetary because the state faces a $3 billion deficit over the next two budget years.

However, the request could also be a  kind of bargaining technique coming from the Malloy administration, showing unions that he is serious about layoffs if budgets aren't minimized. 

During his state budget address two months ago, Gov. Dannel Malloy said that if the state did not come up with concessions from unions then the state would have to cut more jobs.

The governor has publicly identified a target of $700 million in union give backs over the next two years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2 Years Later: Murder Of New Haven Teen Still Unsolved


Who killed Jericho Scott?

As of Wednesday, that question had been asked for exactly two years.

Police have yet to make any arrests or identify potential suspects in the 2015 murder of the New Haven teenager, but family members of that young victim said, even now, they have full confidence that New Haven police detectives will track down the killer.

After two years, no one has come forward with the information that will lead police to the person responsible for the April 19, 2015 drive-by shooting that claimed the life of 16-year-old Scott.

“The 19th of the month is hard but every day is hard. Living without our son is not easy," Nicole Scott, Jericho’s mother said. "It is a pain that will never go away.”

Police said Jericho was shot while he was sitting in the passenger seat of a parked car near his home on Exchange Street in the Fair Haven neighborhood. The suspects may have fled in a dark-colored four-door sedan.

“We're not giving up," said Connie Taylor, Jericho’s aunt." We know that something today or tomorrow will be done.”

Jericho's mother said she receives regular updates from homicide detectives, but has yet to get the update she has been longing for.

“The smallest thing can solve this case. It's never going to bring ‘J’ back, but we just need some closure," she said.

To mark the anniversary of Jericho's death, family and friends held a simultaneous release of red balloons. Red, his father said, was Jericho's favorite color.

"We need closure as a family," said Leroy Scott, Jericho’s father. "We need closure as a community.”

The family is raising money to offer a reward for someone that comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information to help police solve this murder should call (203)589-6003. Tips can be made anonymously.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fire Breaks Out at Bloomfield Condo Complex


No one was injured in a fire at Wintonbury Place, a Bloomfield condominium complex, Thursday morning, according to officials. 

Crews from the Blue Hills Fire Department were alerted about heavy smoke in the basement, as well as first and second floors, at 5:34 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, residents of the affected units were out, but the crews had to evacuate the adjoining apartments.

Mutual aid was called in and the fire was under control in around 20 minutes, officials said.

No one was injured and the fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Route 178 in Bloomfield was closed near Blue Hills Avenue and School Street, but has reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Rolls Over Guardrail on I-84 East in Vernon


A car has gone over a guardrail on Interstate 84 East in Vernon and delays are building. 

The car went over the guardrail between exits 64 and 65. 

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Payroll Clerk Accused of Stealing $35,000 from Dentist’s Office


West Haven police have arrested a payroll clerk who is accused of stealing $35,000 from the dentist office he worked for.

Harold Lee Abrams, 67, of New Haven, is accused of stealing the money from a dentist office on Campbell Avenue in West Haven while working there as a payroll clerk in 2013 and 2014, according to West Haven police.

Police arrested Abrams after a two-and-a-half year investigation.

They said he was working at another dentist office when they found him and has been charged with larceny in the first degree and 45 counts of forgery in the second degree.

Police are still investigating and said they expect to make more arrests.

Editor's Note: West Haven police originally said the amount allegedly stolen was $80,000, but court documents put the amount at $35,000.

Photo Credit: West Haven Police

Burglars Strike at Several Dunkin' Donuts


Police are investigating burglaries at five Dunkin’ Donuts in Connecticut in six days and they are trying to determine if they are all connected.

Burglaries were reported at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 38 Windsor Ave. in Vernon and 3516 Main St. in Coventry this morning and one was reported at 77 Main St. North in Southbury yesterday.

A burglary was also reported to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 2751 Main St. in Glastonbury on Friday and one was reported at 601 John Fitch Boulevard in South Windsor Thursday.

The burglary in Vernon was reported at 2 a.m. and police said a man in a dark hoodie forced his way into the back of the store and stole cash.

Jessica Ludden, the manager of the Dunkin' Donuts in Coventry, said her employees discovered $600 to $700 is missing this morning and the crime was caught on camera.

"The office was in complete shambles, pretty much," she said. "Everything was everywhere."

She said the burglar was not alone.

"There definitely was a second person. They came in through the back door as well. The person couldn’t get into the safe and had a hard time with the safe, so they came back to the back door and called for help and that’s when it appears a female was assisting the male. She came in the back door with him and they tried to get in the safe, but they were not successful,” Ludden said.

Southbury police said the burglary in Southbury happened at 5:24 a.m. Wednesday.

A man in his 20s took $182.47 from three cash registers and left through the back door, according to Southbury police, who said there have been a similar burglary in South Windsor recently, as well as one in Glastonbury last week.

Police also responded to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 2751 Main St. in Glastonbury, at 1:55 a.m. Friday after a burglar took cash.

The burglar was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and was in a late 1990s gold Honda Civic, according to police. They are working with local law enforcement to see if the other cases are related.

The burglary in South Windsor was reported at 5:30 a.m. Thursday at 601 John Fitch Boulevard.

The employee who opened the store reported the burglary to police. Police have not said how much the burglar took.

Police said video showed a person with a masked face and head entered through a back office and the person appeared to be wearing gloves.

The burglar who struck in Southbury was wearing a black hoodie pulled tightly around his face, jeans, Nike sneakers and gloves and he was carrying a yellow pry bar, according to Southbury police.

He might be driving an older light colored four-door Toyota or a similar vehicle, according to Southbury police.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Dunkin' Donuts and they said they are aware of the Southbury burglary.

"The franchise is cooperating fully with the local police investigating this incident," the statement says. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Painful Memories for Surviving Branch Davidians 24 Years After Siege


Painful memories remain vivid for those who lived through the 51-day Branch Davidian standoff near Waco.

“I just, first of all, think of the children that were lost,” said Sheila Martin, a Branch Davidian who lost her husband and four oldest children in the fire that engulfed the building on April 19, 1993 – when federal agents used force to end the long standoff.

“Every time you remember them, holding each other and fire coming, it’s just, just too much,” said Martin.

In all, 88 people died over the course of the standoff, which started when federal agents arrived looking for weapons.

Four federal agents were among 10 who died the first day and 78 Branch Davidians died on the last, including 27 children.

“Twenty-four years later you can still feel the pain. If you sit long enough, you don’t see anything but the ugliness of it,” said Martin.

Three of Martin's children were able to leave the building three weeks after the siege began; she left the compound a short time later before the siege came to its fiery end.

“Now, thankfully, we’re able to go to that greater peace and not only feel the hate and all the hurt that we had before,” said Martin.

“The biggest regret, obviously, is the loss of life -- on both sides,” said Byron Sage, the FBI’s chief negotiator on scene who spoke with David Koresh and his followers while looking for a peaceful end to the 51-day standoff.

“The greatest lesson learned, from our standpoint, from law enforcement's standpoint, is the absolute need for coordination and cooperation within your agency, particularly between the negotiators and the tactical teams,” said Sage.

“If you have that, you have the greatest potential of success,” said Sage. “If you don't have it, you're creating a crisis within the crisis.”

“It was an answer to a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Sage. “His ministry was focused on preparing for and engaging the government, basically to initiate the battle of Armageddon, and we played right into it.”

“The bottom line is, I don't think the FBI or anyone else was ever in control of how the situation was gonna end except for David Koresh,” said Sage.

Clive Doyle, another Branch Davidian survivor who escaped the fire on that last day, lost his 18-year-old daughter to the flames.

“I believe God allowed this to happen to us for the benefit of everybody else, that our government is so quick to use heavy-handed methods,” said Doyle. “I consider that God permitted this to happen to us [so] that other churches, other groups could learn a lesson from it.”

“The Branch Davidians tended to speak to people who had been socially left behind, both economically and culturally,” said Gordon Melton, at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies in Religion.

“They thought that violence would come to them,” said Melton. “And thus, when this happened, it had a tendency to verify their prophesies for them.”

“They’re absolutely a religion,” said Catherine Wessinger, with the Department of Religious Studies at Loyola University. "I mean, they had their own unique interpretation but they were deriving all off their beliefs from the Bible. You know, the same source that other Christians do?"

“We were seeing it through what the Bible said was going to happen to God’s people one time, and one day, one year in the future,” said Martin. “So we said, 'Maybe this is it.'"

“For those of us who study religion, I don’t know if there is a big lesson to come out of this,” said Melton. “It’s a singular case and, because of that, the big lessons are hard to come by.”

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Students Planned Shooting at Illinois Middle School: Police


Two students planned to commit a school shooting "in the near future" at a middle school in north suburban Skokie, Illinois, police announced Wednesday.

Officials from McCracken Middle School contacted Skokie police Wednesday morning at about 10:30 a.m. to inform them of the plan, police said in a news release.

The two students, who are both juveniles, were taken into custody, according to authorities. Three other students suspected of knowing about the alleged plan were interviewed and released to their parents.

School district officials are working with the Skokie Police Department in the investigation.

Police say the threat is “no longer viable” and no details would be released at this time.

McCracken was closed briefly in 2014 after threats were made toward students on Instagram.

Anyone with information or details related to the plan is encouraged to contact Skokie police by calling 847-933-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Chris Hush

Student Injured With Box Cutter at Capital Prep in Hartford


A student at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford is in custody after cutting another student’s leg with a box cutter this morning, according to police.

Police said the cut is minor, but the victim might need stitches and all students are safe.

Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Frustrations Pour Over Groton School Budget Cut Concerns


Frustration poured out as the Groton Board of Education (BOE) and Groton Town Council faced off in a budget meeting where upset parents and teachers filled the room to capacity.

"These cuts are so severe," said one parent Meghan Horan. "We're just trying to figure out how it's going to affect our kids, how it's going to affect our taxes, whether we put our house on the market and move to another town or we stay here."

The council cut $5.2 million from the BOE's budget and on Wednesday night, superintendent Dr. Michael Graner presented a bleak picture of what that number means.

"This is going to take a generation to get over. The word is out throughout the state that Groton is dismantling its school system, and it just breaks my heart," said Graner.

Pleasant Valley Elementary School would close, which means 70 people, including 10 paraprofessionals and 41 teachers, would lose their jobs. Middle school interscholastic sports would be gone and high school sports would go to a pay-to-play system.

Even with all those changes, an additional $700,000 would need to be chopped elsewhere.

The town council said even with that cut to education, the town would need a 6 percent increase in taxes.

At Wednesday's budget meeting, only those councilors who voted for the budget could vote to reconsider the $5.2 million cut. The superintendent urged the eligible council members multiple times to do that, but they did not.

The superintendent said that if taxes were raised another 2 percent to a total of 8 percent, it would slash the amount the school district needs to cut in half, to $2.6 million.

"For every single one of you who is angry at me right now, I have received an equal number of people who called me and said, 'Thank God somebody had the backbone to stand up for those of us who cannot afford to be hit with another tax increase,'" said Councilor Karen Morton.

While addressing the audience, Morton also said, "It has been suggested by a lot of residents, what are the teachers doing to sacrifice?"

When asked about that comment, Stacey Noreika, a Fitch HS teacher who has three children in the school district said, "I would love for any of these people to come into our classrooms and see what we're doing right now because we are making sacrifices, and we are working just as hard as they are."

Noreika said her biggest concern is about an increase in class size.

The town council blamed the budget woes straight on the shoulders of the state, but parents say the council is balancing the budget on the backs of their kids.

"I think that's exactly what the town council is doing, at least five members of the town council: balancing the budget on the backs of our children," said Thomas Frickmen, a parent and member of the RTM Education Committee, which could technically override the budget with a 2-3 vote at their next meeting.

"This community is going to rise up in protest and it's going to be on your shoulders," Graner told the town council.

At the end of Wednesday night's meeting, the town council decided to continue the budget meeting to Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

NY Bishop Accused of Impersonating Cop, Reckless Driving


A volunteer bishop with the New York Police Department is accused of impersonating a police officer and driving recklessly on Interstate 95 North in Greenwich Wednesday evening.

Connecticut State police said they received several 911 calls about a Nissan SUV with New York license plates that had emergency lights on near exit 3 in Greenwich just after 6:45 p.m., police said.

The vehicle passed other drivers, tailgated and weaved back and forth between lanes on the highway, state police said.

The driver, identified as 47-year-old Popeye Whittingham, of Harlem, then passed state troopers who were dealing with separate crashes on I-95 North at exit 17, state police said.

State police stopped Wittingham and found the car's registration was expired.

Whittingham led state police to believe he was a New York City police officer and showed a detective badge, according to a news release from state police.

When police investigated further, they said they learned that Whittingham is a volunteer bishop with the 32nd precinct and has no police powers.

They said he also has several aliases and an arrest history, which includes criminal attempt to commit murder and weapons violations charges in New York State.

He posted $2,500 bond and is due in court in Norwalk on May 3.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

MasterCard Rolls Out Cards With Fingerprint Sensor


MasterCard is testing payment cards with fingerprint sensors in South Africa and hopes to roll it out to the rest of the world by the end of the year, the company said Thursday. 

The technology works in the same way as it does with mobile phone payments: users must have their finger over the sensor when making a purchase. Upon cardholders' registration, their fingerprint is converted to an encrypted digital template. 

Tech experts have said that while using fingerprints is not foolproof, it is a "sensible" use of biometric technology, the BBC reported.

"Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security," Ajay Bhalla, president ofenterprise risk and security, said in a press release. "It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected."

The biometric verification can only be used for in-store purchases. Online and other so-called "card not present" transactions will still require further security measures, according to the BBC. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy MasterCard

Police Investigating Death at Bridgeport Park as Homicide


A 33-year-old man was shot in Bridgeport early Thursday morning and collapsed and died in a city park. 

Police said the shooting was reported the area of 202 State St., between Main Street and Broad Street, just after 12:30 a.m. 

The victim, 33-year-old Max Antoine was shot in the torso, collapsed in the middle of McLevy Park and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. 

Police are investigating the case as a homicide and detectives have been interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence recovered from the area. 

Anyone with information should call police at 203-576-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ivanka Trump's Chinese Fan Club Worships 'Goddess Ivanka'


The White House's first daughter Ivanka Trump is a star among the young Chinese population, news agencies such as China's official news agency Xinhua has described Trump as "capable and stylish," and the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, The People's Daily, called her "elegant and sociable," NBC News reported.

An online fan club that has thousands of followers is called "Goddess Ivanka."

But her fame and fandom has meant that hundreds of copycat Chinese companies have tried to cash in on her brand. 

Trump's company has 16 registered trademarks in China and more than 30 pending applications, according to China's Trademark Office database, The Associated Press reported. Those are in addition to at least five trademarks given preliminary approval since the presidential inauguration.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Woman Injured, 4 Families Displaced By Seymour Fire


One woman suffered minor burns and four families have been displaced after a multi-family house at 165 West St. in Seymour caught fire Thursday morning. Firefighters also rescued two cats from the burning building.

The fire marshal said a woman was cooking in the second-floor back apartment and the fire started on the stovetop. That woman was taken to the hospital.

All five adults who live in the building were out when firefighters arrived, but they have been displaced.

The balloon frame construction of the building allowed the fire to spread from one corner to the other side of the house, officials said. The second and third floors have heavy fire damage, while the first floor sustained smoke and water damage. 

Tenants of the second floor said their apartment was destroyed, but they were able to salvage some personal belongings.

American Red Cross is assisting three of the residents. 

Fire Chief Michael Lombardi said the crews attacked the fire aggressively and none were injured. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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