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Mom, Dad, 6-Year-Old Son Found Dead


A mother, father and the couple's 6-year-old son died today in what investigators are calling a murder-suicide inside a South Jersey home.

Officials got a phone call and came to the home on Kenton Avenue in Pitman, N.J., Tuesday morning to check on the well-being of the family living there. When they arrived, they found the bodies of Francis Adolf, 49, his wife, Bonnie Lynn Adolf, 44 and their son, Frank Adolf, Jr., who was just shy of his 7th birthday.

Pitman Mayor, Russ Johnson III lives in the neighborhood and said people are surprised and upset.

"Shocked. Sad. This is my neighborhood. This is my town," said Johnson. "Just very sad for the family."

Weisenfeld said investigators determined it was a murder-suicide based on both handwritten and email messages written by the father. According to detectives, Francis Adolf indicated in the messages that he would harm himself, his wife and son.

Neighbors told NBC 10 Philadelphia's Doug Shimell that the son was about to enter the 2nd grade at Memorial Elementary School in Pitman.

Mayor Johnson said his son and the 6-year-old victim were classmates.

"I don't know how you explain to a 7-year-old what could possibly happen. You've got to do your best as parents but I don't know how I can possibly explain it to my kid -- to any of those kids in that school," Johnson said.

The school sent a statement out to parents, saying that Frankie Jr. died in a tragic incident.

"Everyone here in the distrct -- especially those within the Memorial School community -- is heartbroken about the loss of Frankie. We extend our sympathy to all of Frankie's family and friends, a nd to the wider community of Pitman, on this very sad day."

Investigators will talk about how the three died after their autopsies are done tomorrow. Meanwhile, neighbors are wondering if there were warning signs that they missed.

"It's such a shame that something wasn't seen or detected before it got to this," said Jeanne Ewe.

Pitman is a town of about 9,000 residents located in Gloucester County, about 15 miles south of Center City Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com

Member of Old Guard Charged in Child Sex Case


Police in Fairfax County, Va., charged a member of the U.S. Army’s prestigious Old Guard after he allegedly posted pictures of himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl online.

Spc. Matthew McKendrick, 30, of the Huntington area, met the Chesterfield, Va., girl online, picked her up in the Richmond area last month and took her 115 miles away to his home at Riverside Apartments off Route 1, where, over the course of a number of days, he had sex with her on multiple occasions, police said.

While investigating her disappearance, Chesterfield police were able to track her down and rescue her, police said.

Police charged McKendrick, who authorities say is married but estranged from his wife, with carnal knowledge of a child and possession of child pornography. He is being held without bond.

Warrants in Chesterfield charge McKendrick with statutory rape and contributing to a delinquency of a minor.

The Army said it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

The Old Guard is the traditional name for the Army's 3d U.S. Infantry, the Army's oldest active-duty infantry unit, serving since 1784. It serves as the official Army Honor Guard and escort to the president. It is the unit that maintains a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns and provides funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Police: Md. Teacher Sexually Abused 15 Minors


A music teacher at a Silver Spring, Md., elementary school has been charged with sexually abusing 15 minors over a multi-year span, police said Tuesday.

Montgomery County Police said 14 of the victims were kindergarten through second grade students in Lawrence Wesley Joynes' music class at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School.

Joynes, 54, of Dundalk, was charged Aug. 8 with multiple counts stemming from those cases and another that was discovered in the course of the investigation, police said.

The abuse in Joynes' classroom spanned from 2005 to earlier this year, police said.

Joynes was a Montgomery County Public School teacher for about 27 years and had taught at New Hampshire Estates for a decade. He has been in police custody since March, following in investigation that began when Homeland Security and Baltimore County Police discovered he had child pornography, authorities said.

A search warrant at Joynes' home and classroom turned up videos and images of children whom Montgomery County detectives have now identified as 14 of his students, they said.

Police say the material showed Joynes directing and assisting the victims in making sexually suggestive gestures, as well as inappropriate touching.

The 15th victim, who is now an adult, was discovered during the investigation. Joynes had unlawful sexual encounters with her during three years in the 1990s, authorities said.

Detectives are asking anyone else who may have been victimized to contact the Montgomery County Police-Child Exploitation Unit at 240-773-5400.

CT Based Orchestra Performs on America's Got Talent


When you listen to 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra, your first impression would be that this is a group of professional musicians who train relentlessly through the year striving for musical perfection.

Well, the training part is correct. The Connecticut based group practices their crafts as often as possible to maintain their impeccable harmony.

But before those nighttime practice sessions, the singers, drummers, violin players and more head off to their nine-to-five jobs.

The group is made up of volunteers who work as teachers, pastors and doctors with a love for all things music. They came together in 2012.

According to their website, they perform “classical music-with a twist.”

The orchestra displayed that “twist” during their acclaimed performances on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

During their first audition in July, the group took the stage clad in all black clutching their instruments, leading celebrity judge Howard Stern to quip that he “doesn’t like orchestral music” and that he found it boring.

Then they began to play Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2012 mega hit “Call Me Maybe.”

Their unique take on the score and monstrous vocals bellowed over the cheering crowd, bringing a smile to the judge’s faces. The group got a unanimous pass to the next round.

Calling on one of the most popular songs of this year for their performance during the live performance rounds at Radio City Music Hall, the group crooned Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

To liven up their performance, the group illuminated their instruments with white lights.

While their energy was way up and the performance got the crowd on their feet, the judge’s had mixed reactions.

Former Spice Girl Mel B thought the song “didn’t work as well as ‘Call Me Maybe.’”

But Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel praised the group, as Mandel said there was something special about the way they “juxtaposed orchestra music into pop.”

The group will need America’s help if they hope to continue on in the competition.

To vote for 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra call dial 1-866-602-4801. You can also vote online up to 10 times at http://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent/vote/ and on Twitter using ‪#‎voteAGT‬ withtheir name, 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra, along with why you are voting for the group.

To watch the group's first audition, visit http://tinyurl.com/pvy8xhm.

Also visit 3 Penny Orchestra on Facebook at www.facebook.com/3Pennyco for videos and photos of performances.



Woman Hit By Car Out of Hospital


It has been over a month since a car plowed into a Willimantic Chinese restaurant and struck Sarah Buskey and her son in the middle of lunch.

Buskey was just released from the hospital and shared her story.

“I was told there was a good chance that I might not make it,” Sarah Buskey said.

She did make it and after more than four weeks in the hospital, she is finally back at home in Willimantic.

“I’m glad I made it here and I’m so thankful my son is ok,” she added.

On July 3rd, Buskey and her 13 year old son Joe had just sat down for lunch at the Peking House on Main Street when a driver barreled through the restaurant and the car struck them out of nowhere.

The cause was still under investigation.

“Very loud. I heard glass shattering, it was very, very loud,” Buskey explained.

Police said Buskey was pinned under a table. She had to go through several stomach surgeries, and has to eat from a feeding tube.

“I have a long road ahead of me,” she explained.

Her son is still recovering too. Shattered glass did some major damage to his legs and he has the scars to prove it.

“I’m not allowed to do anything for 2 weeks,” Joe Buskey said.

His mother that for some reason she decided to switch seats with her son right before the crash and had she not done this he would have gotten the brunt of the impact.

“It’s mind-blowing,” Sarah Buskey explained.

I She was still in disbelief over what happened.

“I’m angry at the situation…but at the same time I’m just glad that I’m here,” Buskey said.


Big Mergers


The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to challenge the union of American Airlines and U.S. Airways, a business merger that would give birth to the world's largest airline. Check out these other big mergers from recent history.

Hannah Anderson: My Kidnapper "Deserved What He Got"

Previous Big Mergers

New information about Hannah Anderson’s kidnapping was released through social media Tuesday.

Hannah, 16, was kidnapped last week by 40-year-old James DiMaggio and taken to a rural part of Idaho. Officials said DiMaggio also killed Christina Anderson and her 8-year-old son Ethan in a house fire.  After a widespread manhunt for DiMaggio, authorities fatally shot him and returned Hannah home safe to her father.

Timeline: Searching for Hannah Anderson

The teenager has been responding to questions from subscribers and friends on an ask.fm site, but continues to deny interview requests. The comments have been mostly positive and the questions respectful.

Hannah’s ask.fm site was established before she was kidnapped. A 17-year-old friend from Hannah's elementary school told NBC 7 that she's convinced it is Hannah responding. She offered the victim encouraging words, and Hannah responded with a “Thank you.”

The comments range from “You’re beautiful” to “I miss you” and “Your mother and brother are in heaven.”

The questions range from how her family died to whether she was sexually assaulted. The responses include few details when it comes to such intimate questions.

When asked whether she was raped, she responded with, “I'm not supposed to talk about that.”

The San Diego County Sheriff's department, which spearheaded the investigation of Hannah’s disappearance, is aware of the internet communication.

Spokesperson Jan Caldwell would not verify who was responding to these questions, but did reach out to the victim and her family. She said the department is doing its best to protect Hannah.

Jesse, Sandi Jackson Face Sentencing Wednesday


Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, will learn Wednesday how long -- if at all -- they'll spend in prison.

The former congressman in February pleaded guilty to charges he spent $750,000 of campaign cash on personal items, as well to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements.

In his words, "I lived off my campaign."

Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty on the same day to tax fraud.

One of the greatest ironies of the case is that Jackson's behavior was likely discovered in an investigation where he faced no charges:  the allegation that he attempted to buy the Barack Obama Senate seat from then-governor Rod Blagojevich.

"(Former US Attorney) Patrick Fitzgerald looked over that with a fine toothed comb and declined," said Brand, noting that it almost certainly during that investigation, that Jackson's campaign finances began undergoing scrutiny by the FBI.

"Had Blagojevich not been present, had he not had an interaction with him, I doubt that anyone would have discovered this," he said, calling Jackson's troubles "collateral damage" from the Blagojevich scandal.

But even with Jackson's fall from grace, and as extreme as his behavior apparently was, it does not represent the norm on Capitol Hill, according to Stanley Brand, former House Counsel.

"It's by a magnitude much larger than anything we've seen recently," he said Tuesday. "It's an outlier. ... It's on the edge. It's far afield from what I think the conventional behavior of most members is."

Still, prosecutors allege, and Jackson admitted, that the wholesale theft from his campaign fund went undetected for at least seven years.

"The FEC never caught this stuff," said Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington watchdog group. He faults a system where the Federal Election Commission, the very agency charged with enforcing election law, has no authority to do spot checks of political funds.

"As long as you're a confident criminal, as long as you submit campaign reports with the Ts crossed and the Is dotted, you're not likely to be caught by the FEC," he said. "Mr. Jackson covered his tracks well enough to get away with this lawbreaking year after year after year."

Ryan argues the FEC should be given the authority to perform random audits of campaign funds, much as convicted felons and even professional athletes are subjected to random drug tests.

"That would deter some of this activity, if a committee knew there was a chance they would get caught," he said.

It is likely that Jackson's medical history will become a focal point of his sentencing hearing.  On Tuesday, the government agreed to leave many details of the former congressman's medical records out of public court filings.  But at the same time, prosecutors said his mental health arguments would likely be one of the central disputes at sentencing.

Separately on Tuesday, Martha's Table, a Washington, D.C. food pantry, sent a letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, saying they would welcome Sandi Jackson as a volunteer if she is sentenced to perform community service.

The agency says it often uses ex-offenders as volunteers, and has no prior relationship with Mrs. Jackson.

Photo Credit: AP

Tornado Touchdown Confirmed in New Jersey


The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down in southern Ocean County, N.J., amid a series of powerful storms that battered the Jersey Shore as far north as Bergen County Tuesday morning. 

The EF-0 tornado flooded roads, knocked down trees and damaged homes in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township when it ripped through the region at around 10:30 a.m. 


"I could not believe just how fast everything went down," said Gale Vanwaalwijk, who witnessed the destruction in Manahawkin.  "All I heard was whistling, snaps of trees, lightning going through, heavy heavy rains and it was very, very scary."

The tornado touched down near the intersection of Route 9 and Oak Avenue, then lifted near the intersection of Hilliard Boulevard and Beach Avenue, according to the National Weather Service.

In the tornado's path of destruction, the Lighthouse Christian Academy suffered a damaged roof and three classrooms were water-logged. A tree also fell on a garage.

An EF-0 tornado is characterized by maximum wind speeds of 75 to 85 mph, a path width of up to 50 to 100 yards and a path length of up to 2 miles. 

Heavy winds and rain were reported along the Jersey Coast as far north as Bergen County. In Long Branch in Monmouth County, firefighters rescued a mother and her 7-month-old son as her station become stranded on a flooded road. 

Dozens of emergency vehicles and crews were spotted across the tri-state area as torrential, wind-swept rains produced floods and caused power outages, primarily in southern New Jersey, where at least 2 inches of rain fell in a relatively short time and 65 mph wind gusts felled dozens of trees.

The weather improves significantly by Wednesday, with temperatures expected to reach the high 70s under sunny skies. Forecasters expect much of the same for the rest of the week, and the early part of the weekend looks good


Student Uses "Stand Your Ground" To Get Conviction Tossed


With school about to start, thousands of kids in South Florida will soon be on school buses headed back to class.

Now, it turns out Florida's controversial “Stand Your Ground” law can be used by kids on those buses.

A Broward middle school student just used the ‘Stand Your Ground” law to get his conviction tossed out.

Florida House Speaker Calls for Hearing on "Stand Your Ground" Law

The student who got into a fight on his bus with a girl initially was adjudicated or found guilty – but he appealed that and won. The youngster, who was charged with battery, has convinced an appellate court that he should have the right to claim he was standing his ground.

The 4th District Court of Appeals ruling said, "The defense argued the Stand Your Ground law, applied and that T.P. (the middle school student) was lawfully entitled to defend himself, because, according to the bus driver, A.F. (the female student) had used force against T.P. when she grabbed him by his jacket, punched him, and pulled him down into his seat."

The female student testified the boy was the aggressor.

Broward defense attorney Richard Della Fera says, "Even on a school bus where a child has a lawful right to be, this law might apply."

"Stand Your Ground" Opponents Rally for Changes to Law

With so much controversy over the Florida law and some protesters calling for the law to be repealed, Della Fera says what happened on the school bus and the court's response to it indicates that “Stand Your Ground” is pretty much everywhere even when no weapons are involved.

"I think it shows us that Stand Your Ground does have broad application throughout many, many instances of everyday life,” he said.

In siding with the male student the appellate court stated, "In this case, T.P. had the right to assert a defense under Stand Your Ground. He was not engaged in an unlawful activity, and he had the right to be on the bus going home from school. He had no duty to retreat and, despite the trial court’s misgivings, had the right to ‘meet force with force.’"

Sharpton Speaks Against "Stand Your Ground"

Said Della Fera, "Regardless of the age of the participants, regardless of the environment, that the persons are in, if it indeed is a situation where that person has a lawful right to be such as a child on a school bus, that child has the right to defend him or herself.”

Broward prosecutors said at this point they do not plan on dropping the case.

When it goes back to court, there's no guarantee the student would win using “Stand Your Ground.” The judge would have to take a look at the facts and see if the immunity applies, but the student now gets to put that on the table – which wasn't the case before. That’s something for every parent to think about right before school starts.

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Teacher Accused of Attempted Scrap Metal Theft


A Manchester school teacher has been arrested, accused of being involved in a plan to scrap metal theft in Union last week.

State police said Natalie Dix, 41, of Wales, Massachusetts, was behind the wheel on Wednesday, Aug. 7, waiting on Old Browns Road as her “partner” was trying to steal scrap metal.

Dix is a teacher at Elisabeth M. Bennet Academy, school officials have confirmed. The school Web site lists her as a math teacher. http://bennet.townofmanchester.org/email.htm

A state trooper noticed her during a routine patrol and discovered the crime in process when a resident reported that a man was stealing scrap metal, police said.

A week before the attempted theft, a neighbor interrupted Dix and a man as they tried to steal scrap metal in the same area, according to state police.

On Saturday, police arrested Dix just before 4 p.m. as she was driving the wrong way on an exit ramp to Interstate 84 West in Union.

She has been charged with sixth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, accessory and interfering with an officer. Bond was set at $1,500 and she was released on a surety bond. 

The man is still at large and police are looking to identify him.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Investigate Home Invasion in Newtown


Newtown police responded to a report of a home invasion on Berkshire Road Tuesday.

Officers arrived at the home just before 9 a.m. It was not clear who reported the home invasion or if anyone at the house was injured.

According to police, a dark-colored sedan with four doors was seen in the area traveling at a high rate of speed.

Investigators are looking for witnesses who may have been near Berkshire Road and Exit 11 of Interstate 84 between the times of 8:45 a.m. and 8:53 a.m. on Tuesday.

Connecticut State Police are assisting Newtown Police with the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Newtown Police at 203-426-5841.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Mayor Boughton Considering Run for Governor


Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has his eyes on the governorship. 

He held a news conference this morning about his plans for the 2014 election and said he will form an exploratory committee for governor,

Before the announcement, there was already wide speculation that the Republican local official might have announced that he would run for governor.

Boughton has been mayor of Danbury since 2001and was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

Last month, State Senator John McKinney threw his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination and businessman Tom Foley might do the same.

Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has not said if he'll run for reelection.

Boughton will make his announcement at Danbury High School at 10:30 a.m.

Bodega Owner Accused of Running Drug Factory Due in Court


A Hartford bodega owner accused of running a prescription drug factory out of his store will appear in court.

Hartford police executed a search warrant at the Los Cubanitos Market at 206 Park Street around 11 a.m. on Wednesday August 7 and seized a large quantity of illegal prescription drugs, including oxycodone, suboxone and Viagra, as well as $4,000 police said.

Officers have been dispatched to the market more than 150 times in the past five years and this is the fourth time in five years police have conducted a drug search at the bodega, police said.

The owner of the bodega, Henry Depena, 46, was charged with possession of narcotics with intent to sell and operating a drug factory.

He is being held on a $200,000 bond.






Fire Damages House in Monroe


Officials are investigating a house fire that broke out around midnight at 69 Downs Road in Monroe. 

Three people were inside at the time, but everybody got out safely.

The fire caused serious damage to the home and the victims are now staying with family.

There is no word on the cause of the fire right now.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 66 Closed in Portland


Route 66 West is closed by Gospel Lane in Portland because of an overturned tractor-trailer, according to the state Department of Transportation.

No additional information was immediately available.

New Officers Graduate in New Haven


New Haven has 26 new police officers on the force, including Jennifer Mancini.

"I'm just very excited and we've had the greatest training," she said as her four proud kids looked on. "It means so much that they're here and that they made it here and they were able to see me walk across the stage."

Mancini and other graduates are getting to work after a violent weekend in New Haven. On Sunday morning police investigated a fatal shooting at an East Street club along with three other non fatal incidents.

"All these cases were unrelated," said Assistant Chief Achilles Generoso. "A number of them were domestic related which are sometimes out of our control. But today's a good day for the New Haven Police Department."

It's a department that also dealt with a violent home invasion and assault at a Yale owned apartment building along with one attempted and successful robbery Monday night. Still Mayor John DeStefano touted the decreasing crime statistics.

"These officers and what they do is really important," DeStefano said.

"It also reinvigorates the department because now we know the cavalry has started arriving," said Sergeant Anthony Campbell, director of the New Haven Police Department.

In fact the department says it needs the boost they got since they're operating at a deficit. Sergeant Campbell helped present degrees to the 26 New Haven recruits in addition to 15 other officers who are off to other departments.

"All day I've been crying. All day," said Omar Thomas, who was crying because his mom was in the audience after just getting out of the hospital Tuesday. "I told her to stay home but she knew how much this meant to me."

Sergeant Campbell says this is truly the beginning of the rebuilding of New Haven's Department. They'll walk the beat with a veteran officer for the next three months before they're on their own.

Firefighters Injured in New Haven Blaze


Two firefighters were injured and several people have been evacuated from a senior living community in New Haven after an electrical fire broke out around 4 a.m.

Sixty firefighters responded to Bella Vista Apartment complex on Eastern Street. Officials at the scene said two suffered flash burns to their face, likely during an explosion that happened during the fire.

Later in the morning, fire officials said one firefighter is out of the emergency room.

Fire officials said the fire broke out in the electrical closet on the 13th floor and spread down to the 9th floor.

Several elderly and disabled residents needed help getting out of their homes. People who were away from the utility closets sheltered in place.

Jeff Trottman was home when the fire started and saw smoke filling the hallway right outside his apartment.

“I was watching a movie, and I heard a big bang. And I said, ‘Wait a minute. That wasn’t a part of the movie,’” Trottman said.

The fire was heavy but it was contained to the utility closets, officials said.

New Haven Fire Chief Michael Grant commended his crews for keeping the fire under control.

His crews were hiking up the stairs, lugging heavy equipment through heavy smoke and heat.

“So the members did a good job in stopping the fire from spreading further,” he said.

Trottman said that in a building that’s home to several with limited mobility and other needs, this should be a wake-up call.

“They had a problem because many people had wheelchairs, and some of them couldn’t get down, like me,” Trottman said.

The building manager said the situation is manageable and efforts are focused on getting elevators back into service and getting residents upstairs and into their homes.

One resident was also transported to the hospital because of shortness of breath.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Local Communities Make Best Small Towns List


Connecticut has three of the best small towns in the country, according to Money Magazine.

The magazine has ranked the 50 best small towns across the country and Simsbury came in 50th.

The magazine pointed out the historical houses and parks, as well as the vast amount of open space, farmers markets and five-star restaurants.

Local entertainment venues, including the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows and International Skating Center of Connecticut, were mentioned as places the whole family can enjoy.

Cheshire came in 39th.

“This former farming community still feels like a quintessential New England village, filled with horse barns, gardens, and towering trees,” the magazine said.

The magazine also highlighted plans to develop The Outlets at Cheshire, an outlet shopping center.

Brookfield came out on top among Connecticut towns.

“Surrounded by the largest lakes in Connecticut, Brookfield is a great spot for water recreation -- not to mention exploring lots of wooded hiking trails and open space,” Money Magazine wrote.

The top small town, according to Money, is Sharon, Massachusetts, located between Providence and Boston.

Do you agree? What do you think the best small town to live in is?

18-Year-Old Shot & Killed in New Haven


Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that killed a high school student in New Haven on Thursday night.

Devaante Jackson, 18, of West Haven, was shot while he was standing on the sidewalk at Rosette and Hurlburt streets just after 8 p.m., .according to authorities.

Jackson was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before midnight.

"I don't understand who would do this to him -- what happened," said Dominique Aiken, a friend of Jackson's. "He's real good. I never knew he had any problems with anybody because he always (got) along with everybody."

Jackson's friends said he went Wilbur Cross High School and insist that he was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A small memorial now marks the site of the fatal shooting.

Police are looking for the vehicle involved in the shooting and said it is possible the shooter was in a white Chrysler 300 with chrome wheel rims, tinted windows and a sunroof.

Police said detectives are following strong leads, but ask anyone with information or anyone who witnessed the shooting is urged to call New Haven Police at 203-946-6304 or 203-946-6316. Calls can be made anonymously.

This was the 12th homicide of the year in New Haven.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and Submitted
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