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Counterfeit $100 Bills Circulating in New London


Counterfeit $100 bills are being found in New London, police said. 

Police are asking businesses and citizens to be extra cautious when handling currency, especially the $100 bills. 

Thirteen fake $100 bills have been seized and police said they are investigating an incident that happened on May 24 involving counterfeit currency.

No arrests have been made.

The Secret Service has been notified and is assisting New London police with the investigation.

Anyone who has come in contact with fake money is urged to call police.

Here are tips on how to spot a fake bill, according to New London Police:

  • Color shifting ink on the dollar amount located on the face side in the bottom right corner.
  • Color-shifting ink can be found on $100, $50 and $20 dollar bills series 1996 and later, and on $10 dollar bills series 1999 and later.
  • $5 and lower bills do not yet have this feature. The color originally appeared to change from green to black, but it goes from copper to green in recent redesigns of the bills.
  • Security threads, which display the denomination of the currency imbedded in the bill.
  • The thread is embedded in (not printed on) the paper and runs vertically through the clear field to the left of the Federal Reserve Seal. On authentic bills, this should be easily visible against a light source.
  • Watermarks located on the face of the bill on the right side. Use natural light to see if the bill bears an image of the person whose portrait is on the bill.
  • Hold the bill up to a light to check for a watermark. A watermark bearing the image of the person whose portrait is on the bill can be found on all $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills series 1996 and later, and on $5 bills series 1999 and later.
  • The watermark is embedded in the paper to the right of the portrait and should be visible from both sides of the bill.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Republican Wins House Seat, Apologizes After Assault Charge


Republican Greg Gianforte won Montana's special congressional election late Thursday barely a day after he was charged with misdemeanor assault following accusations that he body-slammed a reporter, NBC News reported.

Gianforte, a technology entrepreneur, claimed about a 50- to 44-percent lead over Democrat Rob Quist. 

"Tonight Montanans are sending a message to the Washington, D.C., establishment," Gianforte told a cheering crowd in Boseman after the results were announced.

Gianforte also addressed his assault charge and clash with a Guardian reporter. "I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back," he said. "I should not have treated that reporter that way ... I am sorry."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File

Egypt Attack: Coptic Christians Killed on Bus to Monastery


Gunmen opened fire on a bus headed for a monastery carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt south of Cairo Friday, authorities said.

At least 24 people were killed and 27 wounded, a spokesman for Egypt's health ministry told NBC News. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Christians make up about 10 percent of the population of Muslim-majority Egypt, and the discrimination they have long been subjected to has recently turned violent, including deadly bombings on Palm Sunday.

Experts told NBC News in April that the anti-Christian violence was "the worst it has ever been."

Photo Credit: Nariman El Mofty/AP, File

Ben & Jerry's Bans Same-Flavored Scoops in Australia


Ice cream purveyor Ben & Jerry's has joined Australia's fight for marriage equality, banning customers in the country from ordering two scoops of the same flavor.

The ban is part of a campaign to push for parliamentary action on marriage equality and covers all 26 Ben & Jerry's stores across Australia.

"Imagine heading down to your local Scoop Shop to order your favourite two scoops of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone. But you find out you are not allowed – Ben & Jerry’s has banned two scoops of the same flavour. You’d be furious! the Vermont-based company said in a statement on its Australian website. "But this doesn’t even begin to compare to how furious you would be if you were told you were not allowed to marry the person you love."

The company hopes the ban will encourage customers to contact their local lawmakers and demand marriage equality.

In Australia, over 70 percent of the population supports marriage equality, according to national polls. A push to legalize same-sex marriage last year through a referendum was blocked by the Senate over fears that campaigns against the issue "could endanger the LGBTQI community and wouldn't even guarantee marriage equality."

"Before the next parliamentary sitting on June 13th, it is time to stand up for fair and equal rights for all by letting our leaders know that we demand Marriage Equality!" Ben & Jerry's statement said.

And until then, "no marriage equality, no same flavor scoops."

Photo Credit: Courtesy Ben & Jerry's
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Neighbor Caught Pulling Plug on Bounce House During Party


A Florida family was left with quite the deflated feeling after a neighbor was caught on video pulling the plug on a bounce house at a birthday party for a young child. 

Police released footage from outside a Port St. Lucie home on Sunday showing a man walk into the backyard, unplugging the attraction then walking back across the street.

Nearly a dozen kids between the ages of 2 and 3 were inside as the house started to fall on them. All were rescued by parents and adults.

"Chaos. Absolute chaos," the birthday girl's godfather, Glenn Hunt, told NBC’s "Today" show. "Some of the kids were crying. One of them actually was kind of traumatized by the incident. Another one when he was being removed, his leg got a little injured."

Police believe the man was trying to pull the plug to a DJ booth at the party instead of the bounce house. The man was identified, but police say he was uncooperative and has hired a lawyer.

It was not clear if he would face any charges. 

Burger From Ted's Makes 100 Best Burgers in U.S. List


A burger from Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden ranks as one of the best 100 burgers in the United States.

Thrillist.com has released its list of the 100 best burgers, just as grilling season gets into full swing here in Connecticut, and "The Everything" ranks 74th on the list.

It comes with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, salt and pepper, ketchup, mustard and mayo. 

“On its face, a steamed cheeseburger kind of seems like a bad idea. You can't get a sear, you cook all the meat the same temperature, it sounds weird when you say it, etc. But sitting on a barstool at the counter of this tiny joint in a little pocket of central Connecticut and biting into the glory of Ted's cheeseburger made me a true believer,” the review says.

Ted's has been serving the famous burgers up for more than 50 years. The original location is in Meriden, but there is also a location in Cromwell.

This was the only burger in Connecticut that made the list, but we know there are several places to get a truly good burger in Connecticut. 

Here are some of them:

Louis' Lunch

Louis' Lunch in New Haven is the birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich. Get the original burger and a side of potato salad or potato chips. Just don't ask for anything on your burger other than cheese, tomato and onion.


GoldBurgers in Newington is another favorite in Connecticut, with more than 20 specialty burgers. Enjoy the classic or one of many others. Try the original GoldBurger, which is two patties, American cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions and the signature GoldBurger sauce.  The restaurant's fries and hot dogs are also delicious.

Plan b burger

Plan b burger will be celebrating National Burger Month by hosting a “Burger and Beer Community Combo-tition.”

You can find b restaurants in West Hartford, Glastonbury, Milford, Simsbury, Stamford, and Fairfield.

The restaurants have created burger and beer pairings that will be rated on their performance in total sales, highest percentage of celebrity burger to total burgers sold, social media engagement, and a “no purchase necessary” vote. The winning burger and beer pair will be announced on May 8.

Shady Glen

At Shady Glen in Manchester, you can grab a Big Cheese Burger.

Max Burger

Max Burger in West Hartford offers a wide selection of burgers, such as the Sgt. Peppercorn, an 8-ounce peppercorn crusted, Applewood smoked bacon, mushroom, blue cheese-gruyere fondue, buffalo ranch aioli, arugula, and artisan roll burger. You can also get non-beef options like a turkey or tuna burger.


Try the special Jalapeno Burger at Wood’N’Tap — a steak burger topped with Pepper Jack cheese, fried sliced jalapenos, pickled red onion and Mexi-cali aioli.

Five Guys

You cannot go wrong at Five Guys and there are more than two dozen locations in Connecticut to get one of the handcrafted burgers and fries.

Photo Credit: Ted's Restaurant

Danbury Police Have Located Mother of Abandoned Baby


Danbury police said they have located the mother of a newborn baby boy who was found abandoned behind a grocery story on Sunday.

Officers received a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. Sunday from someone who found the child wrapped in women's clothes behind the grocery store at 397 Main St.

The newborn was taken to the hospital and police said they were looking for the mother, who they feared might need medical attention or could be the victim of a crime herself.

To help find her, authorities released photos of some of the articles of clothing found with the baby.

By disseminating that information, police said they were able to identify the mother around 12:40 a.m. Friday and she is being treated at a local hospital.

Police have not released any additional information on the mother.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Two People Tried to Steal ATM from Newington Store: Police


Police are investigating an attempted burglary at Your Store in Newington Friday morning. 

Officers responded to the store at 137 Kelsey St. at 12:55 a.m. Friday after a burglar alarm went off and officers saw the front door had been forced open, but no one was inside. 

When police reviewed security video, they saw a light colored Ford Expedition pull into the parking lot and two people force their way through the front door, police said. 

The two people tried to remove an ATM and fled after the burglar alarm, went off, police said. 

The pickup was last seen going east on Kelsey Street and the two people police are looking for were wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, gloves and jeans. 

Anyone with information should call Newington Police Officer Ralph Chater at (860) 666-8445.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

All State Swimming Areas Open for Holiday Weekend


All swimming areas that the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tests for water quality are open for holiday weekend.

DEEP collects samples weekly for testing.

All the following swim areas will be open:

  • Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison
  • Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic
  • Sherwood Island State Park in Westport
  • Silver Sands State Park in Milford
  • Black Rock State Park in Watertown
  • Burr Pond State Park in Torrington
  • Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth
  • Day Pond State Park in Colchester
  • Gay City State Park in Hebron
  • Hopeville Pond State Park in Griswold
  • Indian Well State Park in Shelton
  • Kettletown State Park in Southbury
  • Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent
  • Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret
  • Mount Tom State Park in Litchfield
  • Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown
  • Quaddick State Park in Thompson
  • Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield
  • Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park in Middlefield
  • Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford

Photo Credit: LeAnne Gendreau

Truck Rolls Over on I-84 Ramp in Southington


A tractor-trailer has rolled over on an Interstate 84 Eastbound ramp in Southington.

The rollover is at the exit 28 onramp and minor injuries are reported, according to police. It is not blocking travel.

State police ask drivers to reduce speed when approaching the area.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Busy Travel for Memorial Day Weekend Begins


Many expected to travel for holiday weekend, beginning today.

Man Beat 77-Year-Old Mom to Make Her Stop Talking: Police


A Hartford man accused of severely beating his 77-year-old mother “to make her stop talking” has been arrested and is being held on half-a-million dollars bond.

Richard Skenderian, 53, of Hartford, is accused of kicking his mother 20 times, breaking her nose and jaw.

Farmington officers responded to Sunset Terrace around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday after Richard Skenderian called 911.

Police said he was visibly upset, covered in blood and admitted to punching the woman to make her stop talking.

Officers detained Skenderian and found the 77-year-old woman lying on a mattress in the basement, police said.

She was taken to St. Francis Hospital with critical injuries and Skenderian was transported to the Farmington Police Department.

Police did not say the victim is Skenderian's mother, but he is the victim's only child, according to statements made in court.

Skenderian has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree assault of an elderly victim and first degree abuse of persons.

Bond was set at $500,000. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

Police continue to investigate.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police

Fresh Start Turns Pallets Into Furniture


Fresh Start turns wooden pallets into furniture and creates opportunities for people in need.

Man Critically Injured in Shooting Outside New Haven McDonald’s


Police are searching for the person who shot and critically injured a man in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in New Haven Thursday night. 

Police said they responded to McDonald’s at 10:11 p.m. and found 33-year-old Starling Robert Cordero-Mackenzi, of New Haven. He’d been shot in the back and was unconscious at the back of the lot. 

EMTs rushed him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he went through surgery and is in critical, but stable, condition, according to police. 

Police are asking for the public’s help and said the shooter fled the area in a champagne-colored or gray Jeep with yellow and black New York license plates. 

Anyone with information should call detectives at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Food Truck Friday: Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale


This week's Food Truck Friday is Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale.

Chinese Fighter Jets Intercept US Navy Plane Over Pacific


Chinese fighter aircraft intercepted a U.S. Navy plane a couple of hundred miles southeast of Hong Kong this week, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

A Chinese J-10 aircraft flew about 200 yards in front of the P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, making quick and erratic turns, restricting the plane's ability to maneuver, one official said. The Navy deemed the actions "unsafe."

A third US defense official said the intercept took place Thursday over the South China Sea. There were two J-10 jets, the official said, and one came within 100 feet of the American plane.

The U.S. has in the past objected to China's expansion into the South China Sea, which sits between China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump Budget Cuts Funding for Calif. Quake Warning System


Plans for a West Coast earthquake early warning system, designed to one day give notice of an imminent temblor, would likely be killed under President Donald Trump's proposed federal budget.

If approved, the White House plan for the fiscal year ending in September 2018 would eliminate funds needed to develop the system, which already has components in place in California. The system still needs an array of sensors before it can trigger early warning alerts a few seconds or minutes before the shaking.

The proposed budget calls for the elimination of $8.2 million to $10 million to end the USGS ShakeAlert early warning system. Funding would be cut to Caltech and other research institutions on the West Coast working with the USGS to develop the system. 

"We cannot stop now, just as monitoring stations are being built out and the system is expanding its reach," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California). "Support for the early warning system in Congress is sustained, growing and bipartisan, and we will not accept this attempt by the president to cut a vital funding stream for a program that will protect life, property and critical infrastructure."

Early warning systems like ShakeAlert are designed to detect the first shockwaves produced by seismic activity by using hundreds of ground motion sensors. In the case of a large jolt, the system would trigger an alert ahead of the larger, more damaging seismic waves.

The advance warning would allow office workers and schoolchildren, for example, time to duck and cover under desks. Just a few seconds of warning would allow train operators to apply brakes and doctors to prepare for shaking during surgeries. 

Automated systems mated to the early alert system could shut off gas lines, possibly limiting post-quake fire damage.

"I am deeply disappointed to see that President Trump's budget proposes to eliminate funding for earthquake early warning in the western U.S.," said Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist who worked for three decades with the U.S. Geological Survey at Southern California's Caltech. "Eliminating the $10 million per year that the government has been spending would stop the program and waste the $23 million that has already been invested.

"The talented scientists and technicians that are working on the project now will go to other jobs, so their experience and expertise would be lost. Many life- and money-saving measures would not be available when the next earthquake strikes." 

The Department of the Interior defended the cuts in a statement, saying the $922 million USGS budget "highlights the Administration’s commitment to increasing efficiency across the federal government." It said the agency will be able to monitor earthquakes using the existing Advanced National Seismic System, according to the statement.

"President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that's exactly what this budget does," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke,  in a statement issued about the USGS budget. "Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands. The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places.

"Being from the West, I've seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities. The President's budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines."

Similar systems are already operating in other countries. In Mexico City, an early warning system in place since 1991 detects large quakes and determines locations and magnitude. The sprawling metropolis is several hundred miles from the main plate boundary, which means it can receive warnings more than a minute before shaking. 

The system was praised by experts, who said it provided the densely populated city with more than a minute of warning during a magnitude-7.2 earthquake in April 2014.

Japan has the most advanced early warning system. Initially developed to stop or slow the country's high-speed trains during shaking, the system was deployed nationwide. It features on- and off-shore sensors. 

Japan has issued public warnings through the system since 2007.

Photo Credit: ShakeAlert/USGS
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Detective Accused Taking Drug Evidence from Fairfield PD


Fairfield police detective Stephen Rilling, the son of the mayor of Norwalk, is accused of taking drug evidence from the Fairfiield police department and the mayor released a statement saying his son has a substance abuse problem brought on by a prescription for pain medication.

Detective Stephen Rilling, 40, was arrested after an investigation into the misappropriation of drug evidence between June 2016 and February of 2017. The investigation has been going on for several weeks, according to the Fairfield Police department. 

Police said the allegations of inappropriate actions came to the department’s attention on April 12 and Detective Rilling was placed on administrative leave pending the results of an ongoing internal investigation. Then, police launched a criminal investigation with the state’s attorney’s office.

“Like too many other families in Connecticut, my son and our family are facing the effects of the opoid epidemic that is sweeping our state,” Mayor Harry Rilling said in a statement. 

“In the past few weeks I learned that my son has a substance abuse problem brought on by prescription pain medication. He has accepted responsibility for his situation and is in therapy. We are proud of the way he is facing this problem and will continue to stand by him as he works toward recovery. 

“We are a family who believes in the power of prayer. With prayer and hard work, Steve will get healthy and will move on with his life. This is a personal matter for our family and I will have no further comment,” the statement from the mayor says. 

Stephen Rilling has been charged with third-degree computer crime, larceny in the second degree, forgery in the second degree, possession of narcotics, false entry by an officer or agent of a public community and tampering with evidence.

He was processed and released after posting a $5,000 court-imposed bond.

Police said the chief ordered an audit of the evidence room and revealed that, with the exception of these cases, all other evidence was accounted for and no money or other items of value were ever removed.

Photo Credit: Fairfield Police

Students in Deep River Honor World War II Veterans for Memorial Day


This Memorial Day, the students at Valley Regional High School decided to honor lost veterans from very close to home.

The school celebrated the 14 members of their community who died in World War II in a special assembly and invited the families of the lost military men to attend.

Deep River native Althea Robida lost her brother, Eugene Post, decades ago. He was one of the Americans from the Greatest Generation who died in World War II and who Memorial Day is all about.

“It’s a terrible thing, but it’s also a great honor to know that he was fighting for us when all of this happened,” Robida said of her brother who was only 21 when he died on the USS Growler.

This Memorial Day, Althea’s brother is being celebrated by members of the millennial generation from the community he never got to come home to. Students at Valley Regional High School dedicated this year’s Memorial Day assembly to the 14 young men from Deep River who perished in the 1940s conflict.

For decades, 14 trees planted along with a stone bearing the names of the young men who died in World War II lined the driveway to the school, but little more about them was ever said. This year, school leaders wanted to make sure that changed.

“It’s a moment in which we can let our students realize that their hopes and dreams of those soldiers who died in battle live on in our students,” said Donald Perreault, the social studies teacher who coordinated the program.

Suspect in New Fairfield Woman's Death Charged With Murder


A man previously identified as a person of interest in the suspicious death of a New Fairfield woman earlier this month has now been charged with murder and sexual assault.

Authorities previously identified 32-year-old Steven Flood as a person of interest in the death of a 55-year-old woman found in the home on Candlewood Road on May 2 and said he lived at the same address. He has now been charged with felony murder, third-degree larceny, first-degree murder of victim sex assault, first-degree aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault in a spousal or co-habitational relationship. 

State troopers responded to the home for a well-being check on May 2. After forcing their way inside, they found the woman’s body and deemed her death suspicious, state police said. Police have not released the woman's name, but said she died of blunt-force trauma to the head and her death was ruled a homicide. 

While checking the home, police identified Flood as a person of interest and searched several addresses for him.

Police found him camping in the woods in Union. Authorities said he was driving a stolen car and obtained a warrant charging him with third-degree larceny. 

The warrant in that case was is sealed, but state police said Flood had a 21-year-old New Fairfield man’s car and that was the reason for the charge. 

Bond has now been set at $1 million.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
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