Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Philly Teacher Caught Sleeping on the Job


Philadelphia high school junior Alyssa Bey says she's not getting an education and it's not because she doesn't want to, it's because she doesn't have a teacher to give her one.

"We don't have a teacher in my class, so students just roam the halls or sit in the auditorium and do nothing all day," Bey said. "It's frustrating because I really want to learn."

According to Bey, her 6th period health class at John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia has not had a permanent teacher since the first day of school. Instead, another teacher has been filling in, but Bey says that teacher has not been instructing the class at all. In fact, she took a photo of the teacher earlier this week, which appears to show him sleeping on the job.

Bey's mother, Ricarda Burrell said she was disappointed when she saw the photo.

"My daughter has been coming home every day saying she's not learning anything. It's disappointing because if you're fortunate enough to have a job, you shouldn't be sleeping on these kids," Burrell said. "My daughter was doing really, really well at this school, but this is just unacceptable."

Burrell said the same health class was run very differently last school year. She believes the changes are due to the districts funding crisis, which left most of Philadelphia's public schools with bigger class sizes and smaller staff resources.

"Last year she had a health class, and they had the classroom set up like an ER, and they had someone come and train them about health education, and just really trying to introduce them to the medical field. To go from that last year to this this year is so unacceptable," Burrell said. "I'm sure it’s because of the funding issues. It has to be."

On Thursday, Bey says no one showed up to teach the health class at all, so the students were instructed to go home early.

"It's supposed be like a two-hour class, but we didn’t have a teacher today, so we just walked out in the hallways. The security guards told us to find a classroom to go to, but when we told them we had nowhere to go because there was no teacher in our class, they told us to just go home," Bey said.

Burrell said she contacted the school about the incident and was instructed by a secretary to call the school district office. When she contacted the district, she says she was unable to reach anyone after waiting on hold for 46 minutes.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard confirmed that the picture does show a teacher sleeping, although the district will not identify him and doesn't plan to give out any additional information about the teacher.

Gallard said the district is investigating to determine whether the incident warrants disciplinary action.

Gallard said the previous teacher resigned at the start of the year, but says that resignation was not related to budget cuts or teacher reductions. Gallard said the teaching position for the Health Related Technologies Class requires a registered nursing degree and that it is difficult to find candidates for the job.

As a result of the picture, Bey's health class is being canceled for the semester and students will be reassigned. The school plans to offer the class again next year.

According to Gallard, as of last week, there were fewer than 40 vacancies out of an approximate 9,000 teaching positions in the entire district.

Photo Credit: Bey Burrell

Arson Suspect Accused of Witness Tampering


Norwich police have filed a witness tampering charge against a 19-year-old man suspected of setting two fires at vacant buildings in Norwich last year.

Police said Matthew Markham, 19, formerly of Norwich, is also accused of offering a “significant” amount of money to a witness in the arson case against him.

Markham has been State of Connecticut Department of Corrections custody since July 25, 2012, when he was arrested and charged with burning vacant apartment buildings at 7-9 Oak Street and 11 Lake Street.

According to court documents, he has been charged with first-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree burglary.

The fire at 7-9 Oak Street on March 26, 2012 caused major damage and the building was a total loss, police said, and three other apartment buildings that were occupied were also severely damaged.

Two dozen people were displaced and two Norwich firefighters sustained minor injuries while fighting the fire.

The fire on March 29, 2012 at 11 Lake Street also caused major damage to the vacant multi-family building.

Markham has been charged with tampering with a witness and was held on an additional $100,000 bond. He will be arraigned today at New London Superior Court.  No additional arrests are anticipated.

Police ask anyone with information about the fires to call the Norwich Police Department’s Tip Line at 860-886-5561, Extension 500, or the Connecticut Arson Hot Line at 800-84ARSON. 

Joe Biden's Niece Arrested, Accused of Taking Swing at Cop


Vice President Joe Biden's niece was arrested and accused of resisting arrest and other charges after a dispute with a roommate got heated and she allegedly took a swing at an NYPD officer. 

Caroline Biden was allegedly arguing with a roommate in her Tribeca apartment Tuesday morning, and when police responded, she resisted arrest and tried to take a swing at the officer, according to police.

Biden is also charged with obstructing governmental administration and harassment.

She was given a desk appearance ticket and released Tuesday afternoon. Information about her attorney was not immediately available.

More stories from NBC 4 New York: 






Lockdown Lifted at Tolland High


Tolland High School was placed on lockdown after the assistant principal received a "suspicious" phone call on Tuesday, according to state police.

Police did not release any additional information about the call.

The lockdown was lifted sometime around 2:15 p.m., according to school administrators.

NFL Offensive Linemen Endorse New Butt Wipes


Some of the unsung heroes in the NFL are getting their chance in the spotlight and it's pointed directly at their posteriors.

Dollar Shave Club, a monthly subscription service for men's razor blades, is enlisting the help of several offensive linemen in the NFL to endorse the company's new flushable wet wipes.

"Everybody's got their eye on the center's ass all season long," Dollar Shave CEO Mike Dubin told adage.com. "That's why we picked them. They have to keep that area clean, not just on the field but off the field."

Dubin said offensive linemen, who don't typically get many endorsement deals, determine the outcome of games, making them the perfect spokesmen for the brand that considers itself the "softest, manliest way to wipe your ass."

The billboard and radio ads for One Wipe Charlies will feature NFL centers Travis Frederick of the Dallas Cowboys; John Sullivan of the Minnesota Vikings; Eric Wood of the Buffalo Bills; and Nick Hardwick of the San Diego Chargers. And it comes with a witty tagline: "Every great play starts with a clean snap."

Dubin did not say how much the players are getting paid for the for the "Clean Snap" ad campaign.

"Let's say they're more affordable than the quarterback," he said.

Butt wipes and football players, however, is not be the strangest endorsement pairing in NFL history. NFL veterans DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews and Wes Welker starred in an adult diaper commercial in 2012.

Retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis introduced his own version of the Snuggie, a blanket with sleeves, in 2010.

NYPD: Man, 22, Stabs 2 Men He Thought Were Gay


A 22-year-old man is accused of stabbing two New York City men -- killing one -- in separate street attacks because he thought they were gay, police said.

Steven Torres, 22, was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in the killing of Ever Orozco on Monday, officials said.

Police said Torres is also charged with assault as a hate crime for stabbing a different man last Thursday on the Lower East Side.

Orozco was stabbed near Roosevelt Avenue and 90th Street in Elmhurst as he was feeding a parking meter, witnesses said.

Police said there was no indication that Orozco was gay, which was also true of the 47-year-old man Torres allegedly stabbed in Manhattan.

In the earlier stabbing the victim suffered several stab wounds to his arm and was treated at Bellevue Hospital.

In the second attack witnesses ran after Torres and held him for police until he was taken into custody.

"There was a lot of screaming, and all I could see was the guy was stabbing him -- stabbing him and stabbing him," said Eddie De Jesus, who was in his locksmith shop on 90th Street when he heard the commotion.

Information on a lawyer for Torres was not immediately available.

--Rob Schmitt contributed to this report. 

Feds Auction First Batch of Jesse Jackson Jr. Furs, Memorabilia


The first 13 items Jesse Jackson Jr. turned over to help fulfill the forfeiture order from the United States District Court are officially up for auction. They include nine items of Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson memorabilia, a mink cashmere cape, a mink reversible parka, a black and red cashmere cape and a black fox reversible jacket. They are being sold as part of the U.S. Marshals Service Online Collectibles Auction via Gaston & Sheehan.

Photo Credit: Gaston & Sheehan

Affordable Care Act Timeline

Boy Donates His Savings to Police


Two days after the 12th anniversary of 9/11, an 11-year-old Wisconsin boy walked into a Greenfield police station and handed the clerk $10.03 cents: his entire savings.

The boy did not give the clerk his name, but Greenfield police were so touched by the donation that they put surveillance footage on both their Facebook and YouTube pages in order to track down and thank local sixth grader Max Siepert, NBC's "Today" reported.

Siepert said he started saving money in April with the intention to donate. It wasn't until a class discussion on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks that he realized he wanted to give his savings to the police.

"We started to talk about 9/11 and all the good deeds that we could do so I decided that I had all this money and I hadn't donated yet," he told Milwaukee NBC Affiliate WTMJ

Seipert's donation was also in memory of his grandfather, a police officer who died in the line of duty in 1974. 

Siepert encouraged everyone else to "make a difference" by donating.

"If every person would do that we would have such a great world," he said. "It would be awesome."

Siepert's mom has matched her son's $10.03 donation, which he plans on donating to a Wisconsin girl in need of a kidney transplant, according to "Today." 


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Must See: Panda Cub Weighs Almost 2 Pounds


The National Zoo's female panda cub underwent her first comprehensive vet exam Tuesday and now weighs almost two pounds, vets say.

Photo Credit: National Zoo

FBI: Gunman Acted Alone in Fatal Navy Yard Shootings


Police have identified all of the victims of Monday's shooting spree at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard, as they begin to piece together more about the man who killed 12 people and injured eight others in one of the deadliest single events ever in the nation's captial.

The gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, acted alone in killing 12 people and injuring eight others before he was also killed Monday, the FBI said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

They've also determined that Alexis entered the building armed with a shotgun, and sources close to the investigation have told News4 that he retrieved a handgun from one of his victims. And investigators have learned that Alexis said he heard voices, that he had trouble sleeping and that his family believed he suffered from PTSD.

Police have identified those killed as:

  • Arthur Daniels, 51
  • Mary Francis Knight, 51
  • Gerald L. Read, 58
  • Martin Bodrog, 54
  • Richard Michael Ridgell, 52
  • Michael Arnold, 59
  • Sylvia Frasier, 53
  • Kathy Gaarde, 62
  • John Roger Johnson, 73
  • Frank Kohler, 50
  • Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46
  • Vishnu Pandit, 61

Among the eight injured was a D.C. police officer, identified as Scott Williams, who was shot in the leg while responding to the shooting, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray reported late Monday. Doctors say they hope Williams will be able to walk again after undergoing hours of surgery.

None of the people killed is reported to be military personnel. The rest of the injured individuals suffered non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to recover.

Who was Aaron Alexis?

FBI and ATF agents searched a D.C. hotel Monday night where Alexis, who recently began work as a civilian contractor, was reportedly staying with five co-workers in town for business. 

Alexis, who served as a petty officer in the Navy between 2007 and 2011, had been previously arrested in gun-related incidents. He moved to the D.C. area about four months ago from Fort Worth and was working for The Experts, a subcontractor of Hewlett Packard that had been hired to work on computers at the Navy Yard.

Originally from New York City, Alexis has siblings who still live there.

"No one saw it coming," said Alexis' brother-in-law Anthony Little. "No one knew anything, so all of this, it's just shocking."

Alexis opened fire before 8:30 a.m. Monday in the lobby and on the third and fourth floors of Building 197 of the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters in southeast D.C. Survivors recalled sprinting from the sound of gunfire. Bullets hit walls, and people fell to the floor, bleeding.

Officials reported Alexis had "legitimate access" to enter the Navy Yard at the time as a civilian contractor, using a valid pass.

"I was in the cafeteria, just paid for my breakfast," Patricia Ward said. "I was waiting for my friend to pay for hers when we heard the gunshot. It was three gunshots straight in a row, pop pop pop. Three seconds later, it was pop pop pop pop pop, so it was like about a total of seven gunshots, and we just started running."

Alexis entered the building armed with a shotgun, FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director Valerie Parlave said at the Tuesday press conference. There is no evidence that he had an AR-15 assault rifle - the type of weapon first-responding D.C. police officers had - at any point during the shootings.

Sources confirmed to News4's Shomari Stone that Alexis did use a pistol acquired from a security officer he shot, though it is unclear if he hit anyone with shots fired from that pistol.

Alexis had purchased a shotgun lawfully in Lorton, Va., during the past week or so, NBC News correspondent Pete Williams reported.

The gun store issued a statement Tuesday: "In light of the many questions surrounding the event, it is not appropriate to provide any comment at this time, except to affirm that Sharpshooters fully complies with all requirements to conduct background checks on all potential purchasers as required by law, and to further affirm that all purchasers are required to comply with all laws concerning allowed purchases," read an emailed statement from Sharpshooters Small Arms Range of Lorton, which is cooperating with investigators.

The FBI said Alexis used a valid pass to enter the building along the Anacostia River, where 3,000 Navy employees go to work each day, many of them carrying authorized firearms.

His attack threw much of southeast D.C. into pandemonium, which continued after he was killed, as authorities for several hours investigated the possibility of more than one gunman. Eight nearby schools were put on lockdown before authorities gave the all-clear.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said Tuesday the decision to shelter-in-place was the best decision while they investigated that possibility.

Terrie Durham, a civilian employee in the Office of Naval Sea Systems Command, was looking for a way out and glimpsed the gunman down a hallway, about 40 feet away. He was wearing blue, a uniform, maybe, and held a rifle. He said nothing. Then he fired.

"He aimed high and missed," Durham said. "I saw where the shot missed. It was a few feet ahead of us and a foot or above where we would have been standing."

She took off into a stairwell, hollering, "There is a man shooting in the building, get out, get out!"

Rescuers Respond

MPD and several other law enforcement agencies responded with active shooter teams after a call at 8:23 a.m. reporting the sound of gunshots. Two nearby MPD units with AR-15s were at Navy Yard in two minutes, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said.

About five minutes after the report of shots fired, first responders were passing through the Navy Yard gates. At the time, police had conflicting reports about which building the shots were fired in, but seven minutes after the report, units outside Building 197 heard more shots fired, and entered.

“The response by uniformed police officers from both the Metropolitan Police Department and United States Park Police was absolutely nothing short of heroic,” Lanier said.

Investigators began trying to figure out if more than one suspect was involved, and distributed identifying information for two additional suspects. One was ruled out after watching video that tracked the man through the building and realizing that no harm resulted from his movements.

By late Monday evening, D.C. police canceled the lookout for the second possible suspect earlier described as armed with a "long gun," saying they felt comfortable they had the "single and sole person responsible."

Mayor Gray said suspected gunman Alexis' motive was unknown, though there were reports that he may have had a grudge against the Navy.

Obama: 'They're Patriots'

Flags will remain at half-staff until Friday at sunset in the wake of the devastating events at the Washington Navy Yard. President Obama made the order for all flags to fly at half-staff at military installations and public buildings Monday evening over what he called "yet another mass shooting."

“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital," Obama said from the White House early Monday. "It’s a shooting that targeted military and civilian personnel.

"These are men and women going to work, doing their job protecting all of us," Obama said. "They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home."

Treating the victims

MedStar Washington Hospital Center said MPD Officer Williams and two women who work for the Navy had been transported to that hospital. The officer was shot in the legs; one woman was shot in the shoulder and the other was shot in the head and hand.

Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the hospital, told the Today Show's Matt Lauer Tuesday morning that all three were doing well.

Officer Williams is listed in fair condition. Orlowski said Williams was "having pain around the lower legs" but was doing well.

Lanier said Tuesday that she knew the officer, and that she was optimistic about his prognosis.

The woman who was shot in the shoulder was also listed in fair condition.

Orlowski said the other did not require surgery as the bullet did not penetrate the skull. She was shot in the finger and right behind her right ear, Orlowski explained, but the bullet only penetrated her scalp. 

"She's doing well. She's anxious about her colleagues," Orlowski said. She is listed in good condition.

George Washington University Hospital said they had also received a victim, a man in his 60s who had been shot in the temple. Despite efforts at CPR, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," Orlowski said. "I have to say, I may see this every day, I may be the chief medical officer of a very large trauma center, but there's something wrong when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. There's something wrong. The only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it."

Honoring Those We Lost

As the nation takes a breath and the reality of Monday's mass shooting starts to settle in, several events around the area are planned to honor the victims.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel laid a wreath at the Navy Memorial to honor the victims.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl and the Archbishop of Washington held a Mass of Consolation Tuesday afternoon at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle on Rhode Island Avenue in Northwest with the Archbishop of Washington giving the main homily and Cardinal Wuerl leading the mass. The church welcomed anyone who needed any kind of support.

Monday night, the National Cathedral held a service to remember the victims. The Cathedral offered a special prayer for their families and special responders. Cathedral officials say the cathedral will make ministries available to anyone who needs consolation and refuge.

Tuesday evening, the floor of the House of Representatives will fall silent in remembrance of those who died Monday. D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will lead a moment of silence at 7 p.m.

Call 1-800-CALL-FBI

Anyone with information about this incident should call 1-800-CALL-FBI. The FBI wants to talk to anyone who knew Alexis. No piece of information regarding his recent movements, contacts and associates is too small.

The Navy created a family support center to assist personnel or family members affected by the shootings. Call 1-855-677-1755. Family members also can log into NAVY Accountability and Assessment System to muster and fill out a needs assessment and a fleet and family support center emergency case manager will call and offer assistance.

Stay with NBCWashington on-air and online for more on this developing story. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Inset: Fort Worth Police

6 Juveniles Charged in Moosup Barn Fire


Six juveniles suspected of being involved in a fire at an abandoned farm in Moosup on Aug. 21 have been arrested and charged with arson, among other charges.

Witnesses told investigators that several youths were spotted walking from the property about half an hour before the fire. 

Police said they arrested youths between 12 and 17 years olf and they admitted to setting multiple fires in the area, which subsequently led to the barn fire, police said said.

Crews received a report of fire on Barber Hill Road around 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 and members of the Moosup, Central Village, Atwood Hose, Oneco and Plainfield fire departments, as well as American Legion Ambulance, responded and found the barn engulfed in flames.

The Plainfield fire marshal determined that the cause of the fire was arson.

The juveniles were charged with third-degree arson and criminal trespass in the third degree. 

All juveniles are scheduled to appear at the Willimantic Juvenile Court on Oct. 1. 

No one was injured in the fire, which was contained to the abandoned structure and did not spread to the fields or other abandoned structures on the property. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hospital Therapy Dog Stolen in Milford


Delilah, a poodle that works as a therapy dog at a Connecticut hospital, was stolen from a car parked at the mall in Milford on Saturday and police are asking for help to find her.

The dog’s owner left the poodle in the car, which was parked in the north side of the Westfield Connecticut Post mall with a bowl of water and the windows partially rolled down on Sept. 14, according to police.

The dog’s owner parked the car at 6 p.m. and returned at 7:15 p.m. to find that Delilah was gone, according to police.

Delilah is a 5-year-old white poodle with a pink spot on her nose. She weighs 12 pounds and is around 1 foot tall.

She was wearing a pink collar with rhinestones.

If you know where she is, call Officer Magnan, of Milford Police at (203) 878-6551, email kmagnan@ci.milford.ct.us or submit a tip online. http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/Public_Documents/MilfordCT_Police/Crime%20Tip%20Line

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Dad Accused of Abandoning Injured Son in Court


The mother of a 4-year-old boy who was fatally injured in a crash and abandoned at the site of the wreckage while in the care of his father took the stand in a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

On the night of Sunday, Jun. 2, Nancy Snyder said she rushed to the hospital to be with her young son, Valentino, after learning he had been gravely injured in a car accident involving her ex-boyfriend.

When she saw the critically injured boy at the hospital, she was completely shocked.

“I saw the state of my son, and I was in disbelief over what had happened,” she recalled on the stand.

Snyder said she knew nothing of the accident until that very moment.

That weekend, she said her son had been in the custody of his father, Angelo Fabiani Arroyo, 40, who is accused of crashing his pickup truck and leaving the critically injured boy behind at scene of the wreckage.

On the night of Jun. 2 officials say Arroyo crashed his truck off Interstate 5 near Old Town San Diego and the Midway area, rolling the vehicle off the roadway.

Arroyo’s vehicle wound up landing on its side on an embankment along Jefferson Street. Upon impact, little Valentino was partially ejected from his car seat and the truck.

Witnesses at the time told NBC 7 San Diego they could see they boy hanging out of the window of the wreckage.

According to California Highway Patrol officials, Arroyo took off running immediately after the crash, leaving Valentino behind.

CHP officials say Arroyo returned to the scene a moment later to unbuckle the boy from his car seat, but then got scared and took off running again.

Unstrapped, Valentino fell on his back and hit the concrete curb, falling approximately 10 feet from the truck to the ground, CHP Officer Juan Escobar said at the time of the crash.

Good Samaritans tended to the boy at the scene and pulled him away from wreck. He was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital, but was badly injured and died at the hospital about a week later.

Arroyo was arrested two days later – on Jun. 4 – in Imperial Beach and charged with a hit and run and child endangerment. The father was arraigned on Jun. 6 and pleaded not guilty to both charges.

During his emotionally-charged court appearance back in June, Arroyo’s loved ones defended him, saying he panicked following the crash and was possibly disoriented.

One family friend called Arroyo a “beautiful, loving father” who suffered utter shock following the crash, adding, “He went crazy. He went crazy.”

A prosecutor revealed Arroyo was on probation at the time of the collision in connection with a DUI case from two years ago.

At Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Snyder – who, in the past, had dated Arroyo and lived with him – said she and Arroyo shared custody of Valentino. She took care of the boy during the week, while Arroyo typically had custody on the weekends.

On the weekend of the crash, Snyder said Arroyo was supposed to bring Valentino home to her on Sunday evening after they had spent the day at Mission Bay.

Snyder said she texted back and forth with Arroyo around 4 p.m. At that point, he told her he'd have Valentino home soon. However, as the hours passed, Valentino never came home and Snyder said Arroyo failed to call or text her.

Later that night, Snyder said she received a phone call from her brother and authorities, who explained that her son had been critically injured in a crash.

Snyder said she immediately rushed to the hospital, where she continuously stayed by Valentino’s side until the boy’s death on Jun. 10.

Snyder said she didn’t hear from Arroyo the day after the crash either.

By Tuesday, Jun. 4, officials told her they had arrested Arroyo in Imperial Beach in connection with the hit and run crash.

If convicted, Arroyo faces seven years in prison.

Meanwhile, Valentino would’ve turned 5 years old next month. On the stand, his mother said the boy was born on October 20, 2008.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Porn Actors Must Test for HIV More Often


Adult film actors will have to test more often for sexually transmitted infections when production resumes this week, an industry trade group announced Tuesday.

Porn production was halted Sept. 7 after three performers tested positive for HIV. Filming can resume on Friday, two weeks after the third case was reported, the Free Speech Coalition said.

Before the moratorium, adult film actors were required to test monthly for sexually transmitted infections. Now, they’ll have to get tested every 14 days.

“While the increased testing will further ensure safer sets, it is important that we remain vigilant,” said Diane Duke, CEO of the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition.

“Going forward, we need to constantly look to both performers, producers and health care professionals to find ways to improve our protocols.”

The test used industry-wide can detect the presence of HIV within 10 days of infection. Industry officials say more frequent testing will catch acute – or recent – infections.

An actress who works under the name Cameron Bay, her off-screen boyfriend Rod Daily, and a third unidentified performer have tested positive for HIV.

Bay’s diagnosis prompted a separate moratorium on porn production. It was lifted after all performers who worked with Bay were medically cleared.

A week later, 32-year-old Daily announced his results on Twitter.

No additional incidents of HIV have surfaced in the weeks since production was stopped, the Free Speech Coalition said, adding that the virus did not originate and was not transmitted on set.

Still, the multiple cases of HIV drew criticism from health care groups saying the industry was not doing enough to protect their actors.

"If you have unprotected sex, essentially you're going to get something, whether it's HIV or chlamydia or gonorrhea, simply by the law of odds," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told NBC4 last week.

Weinstein said performing in adult films is as risky as a game of “Russian roulette.”

His group bankrolled an initiative to expand a Los Angeles city mandate that all adult-film actors wear condoms on set during on-screen vaginal or anal intercourse to include all porn sets in LA count. Voters last year approved.

The requirement was challenged by the adult film industry, but was upheld last month by a federal judge who ruled the health risks of not using condoms trumped porn producers' argument that it violated First Amendment rights.

In June, a male adult film star was jailed after he was convicted of knowingly exposing two female costars to syphilis.

More Southern California Stories:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

National Zoo's Panda Cub Receives First Veterinary Exam


She still hasn't opened her eyes yet, but the National Zoo's celebrated new panda cub is starting to look more like, well, a panda.

The cub -- who, according to Chinese custom, will be named on her 100th day -- got her first full veterinary exam Monday, and vets deemed her hale and healthy.

Plus, panda fans got new pictures of the little cub, which is starting to show the signature black and white markings of a panda.

The cub, whose gender was revealed with great fanfare two weeks ago, has more than doubled her weight since her preliminary health check Aug. 15. She weighs slightly less than two pounds, is 10.6 inches long from her nose to tail and is 9.8 inches wide around her belly.

The veterinarian team was able to complete the exam when her doting mom, Mei Xiang, finally left her cub’s side after more than three weeks to eat bamboo and drink water in the nearby enclosure.

“It’s amazing to see how much she has grown in less than one month,” Senior Curator and Curator of Giant Pandas Brandie Smith said. “Mei Xiang continues to be a great mom, as she was with her first cub, Tai Shan, and it shows.”

After the exam was completed at 4:31 p.m., Mei Xiang returned to her den and immediately began to groom the cub.

The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat remains closed to the public until further notice to provide quiet for Mei Xiang and her cub. Both can be viewed online by the panda cams.

Jets Return to Work Following Long Weekend


The Jets got back to work on Monday, following a rare three-day break. One of the first orders of business was releasing one punter, Robert Malone, and replacing him with another, Ryan Quigley.

“I think with Robert, it’s just the consistency,” coach Rex Ryan said Monday after practice. “That’s the thing that bothered us. Let’s face it, he had one of the best punts in Jets history in Week 1 and then he had some others where the hang time wasn’t where we wanted to be. With Quigley, it was a tight competition before, but we did think he gives a little more consistency.”

The addition of Quigley marks the return of a familiar face, as he had been beaten out for the job by Malone during the preseason.

New York is hoping Quigley isn’t the only one coming back for their Week 3 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Injured wide receiver Jeremy Kerley missed last week’s game against the New England Patriots with a concussion but is making strides in his recovery and could play on Sunday.

“Hopefully Jeremy is playing because he’s a weapon for us as a slot receiver primarily,” Ryan said.  “It gives you some matchup issues because he has quickness and change-of-direction skills. The other thing is he’s an excellent punt returner, so I think that helps also.”

The Jets, who suffer from depth issues at receiver, sorely missed Kerley last week and his presence alone would fill a huge void.

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson had to be carted off the field with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s loss but practiced on Monday and should play against the Bills.

“I’m fine, just a little soreness,” Wilkerson told the Daily News. “Just a sprain.”

The team avoided another huge loss as the league decided to hand down fines rather than suspensions for Nick Mangold, Willie Colon and D'Brickashaw Ferguson, three offensive linemen facing discipline after Thursday’s loss.

A fight broke out after Mangold was fouled for a hit below the waist. Colon and Ferguson were both ejected in the ensuing brawl. Colon made contact with an official while Ferguson was seen throwing punches.

Rookie cornerback Dee Milliner’s status remains up in the air after being benched due to poor play. Ryan wouldn’t say whether Milliner would start in Week 3.

“I just want to let this week play out and then we’ll put the guy in there that we think will give us the best chance to play well,” Ryan said.

Lastly, because a day can’t go by without questions regarding the team’s quarterback situation, the Jets head coach danced around questions about whether rookie Geno Smith is their guy for the foreseeable future.

“Everything we do, every bit of our focus is on the present, on our situation right now which is playing Buffalo and preparing for Buffalo,” Ryan said. “That’s where it is. Anything beyond that, we’re not looking at.”

With the loss to the Patriots and possibly a few injuries and roster moves behind the Jets, the focus has clearly shifted to Sunday’s matchup with the Bills. A winnable home game against a division foe can be just what the doctor ordered in getting the season back on track. 

Photo Credit: AP

Jury Finds Gerard Lopes Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder


A jury found a South Florida man guilty of second-degree murder on Tuesday in the killing of his adoptive mother.

Gerard A. Lopes, 23, faced a charge of premeditated murder in the death of 43-year-old Natalie Belmonte. Authorities said he raped her, and her bludgeoned body was found in a marsh near their Pembroke Pines home in July 2011.

The Belmonte family held hands waiting for the verdict. After it was read, the defense said it will file a motion for a new trial.

Prosecutors had claimed Lopes, who pleaded not guilty, sexually assaulted his adoptive mother before killing her. An autopsy showed that semen found in Belmonte matched Lopes’ DNA, but Lopes’ attorneys argued it was not relevant because the sexual relationship was consensual.

Police said security video from a neighbor’s house showed Belmonte and Lopes, who was 21 at the time of his 2011 arrest, leaving in the same car and stopping at a Walgreens before heading to a party.

The car returned with both individuals around 2:48 a.m. A short time later, Lopes is seen dragging a bag across the driveway and loading bags into the trunk. Belmonte's body would be found three days later near their Pembroke Pines home. Lopes' clothing was found in a dumpster with Belmonte's blood on it.

Belmonte's sister Michaela Teixeira had said: "There's absolutely no way she had a consensual sexual relationship with her son."

Defense attorney Jose Reyes said, "There is no evidence of ill will."

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office/Pembroke Pines Police

High School Student Shot Tuesday Morning in New Haven


A 17-year-old Hillhouse High School student was shot during an attempted robbery while he was walking on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to police.

Police received a 911 call reporting a shooting at 8:36 a.m. at Dixwell Avenue and West Gibbs Street, responded and found a teen who had been shot in the hip.

Emergency medical technicians treated the victim at the scene, located about half a mile away from the high school, and an ambulance brought him to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The teen is in guarded but stable condition, according to police.

Police Chief Dean Esserman, Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina, Supt. Garth Harries and the victim's mother have all gone to the hospital, police said. 

“I am deeply saddened and troubled that an act of gun violence has touched one of our students, and therefore our school community. As a school system and a city, we owe it to every one of our students to support and engage them in a way that sets them on a positive path and prevents tragic outcomes," Harries said in a statement.

This morning, Harries spoke with the victim's mother ans said the schools are offering support.

"We have mobilized to support the family during his recovery and we will continue working with the community to address the roots of gun violence and to seek a shift in culture that benefits students and families and strengthens our city,” Harries said.

Dixwell Avenue and Gibbs Street were closed off as police investigate.

Police are searching for two men who they said shot the teen.

One is thought to be between 17 and 19 years old. He has a thin build, is clean shaven and has his hair in corn rows or braids, police said. He wore black pants and a black and white plaid jacket.

The other is thought to be between 17 and 19 years old. He has a medium build and is clean shaven. He wore all black clothing including a hooded sweatshirt and had a black handgun.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call detectives at 203-946-6304. You can remain anonymous, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

29 Take Oath of U.S. Citizenship


Lives changed this afternoon in Hartford, where 29 immigrants took the oath of US citizenship.

"You honor us," U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez told the new Americans who assembled in the atrium of city hall.

"It's like I'm in the air -- that's what I feel like right now,” said Leyla Aslanova, who came here from Russia.

"I love Jamaica, so I'll still visit there," said Selvin Clayton, but explained he's American now.

From Poland to Peru, the 29 came from countries all over the world -- as far away as Thailand and Afghanistan.

The Latifi family left Kabul in 1996, forced out by the Mujahadeen,  Abdul Wahab Latifi said.

"It was very dangerous," he said, recalling his flight to India with his wife, then their arrival here, where their daughter was born.

"Today I'm happy," he said. "I hope this is the end of my journey and I hope I will get a nice life here in the United States."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live