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Ledyard Police Search for Burglar


Ledyard police are investigating a burglary at Parkwood Drive in the Gales Ferry section of town.

It happened between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Monday, according to police.

Authorities said the residents returned home to find a broken rear window. Jewelry and a computer were stolen.

A police K-9 unit helped gather evidence and tried to track the suspect, according to police.

Police are still investigating and are asking for the public's help.

Anyone with information regarding the burglary is asked to contact the Ledyard Police Department at 860-464-6400.


600 Gallons of Fuel Spilled in Thames River


Crews are working to clean up about 600 gallons of fuel that spilled from the Cross Sound Ferry it was docked in New London on Tuesday.

It happened after a fuel company accidentally filled one of the ferry's tanks twice, causing it to overflow into the Thames River, according to officials from the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Authorities said the spill does not pose an environmental risk and that cleanup is expected to be done by 5 p.m.

Although most of the fuel has been absorbed and removed by cleanup equipment, a "non-recoverable sheen" will remain on a section of the river cordoned off by buoys, DEEP officials said. The sheen will evaporate over time without damaging the environment.

DEEP officials said the buoys will be removed Wednesday morning and ferry service will resume.

McCarthy Fuel of Waterford, the company DEEP said said is reponsible for the spill, funded the cleanup effort.

The owner of fuel company declined to comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fund Established to Pay for Bridgeport Girl’s Funeral


The Bridgeport school community is reaching out to the public to raise money to pay for he funeral for a 10-year-old girl from Bridgeport who died unexpectedly last week.

Dee Dee Rosa, a student at Luis Muñoz Marín School, died on Sept. 18. She was 10

“The Bridgeport Public Schools community suffered a tragic loss with the unexpected death last week of Dee Dee Rosa. Dee Dee was a fourth-grade student at Luis Muñoz Marín School and will be greatly missed by all. The thoughts and prayers of our entire school community are extended to her family and friends in this time of loss,” a statement from the schools said.

Donations to the Dee Dee Funeral Fund can be made out to the Luz de Paz Funeral Home and sent to:

Luz de Paz Funeral Home
426 E Washington Avenue
Bridgeport, CT  06607

For more information regarding donations, call the Luz de Paz Funeral Home at 203-330-8081.

Calling hours  will be held on Friday, Sept.  27, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Funeraria Luz de Paz (Peaceful Light Funeral Home), 426 E. Washington Ave., Bridgeport.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, beginning at 10 a.m. at St. Charles Barromeo Church, 391 Ogden Street in Bridgeport.

Interment will follow in Park Cemetery in Bridgeport.

 Instead of flowers, the family request that memorial donations be made directly to the funeral home.

Photo Credit: Funeraria Luz de Paz

Lamborghini Snaps in Half in Brooklyn Crash


A Lamborghini snapped in half after crashing into another car and then a fence in Brooklyn, and images of the smash-up have gone viral.

The collision on the Mill Basin street was unremarkable, but the end was eye-popping.

The $400,000 sports car clipped another vehicle before hitting the barrier, and when it came to a rest, its back end looked like it was sliced off with a knife. The Lamborghini driver walked away from the crash, and the other driver was injured, but survived.

Neighbors said they not only heard the crash, they felt it.

"The house shook," said Michael Yuryev, whose home security camera captured the collision.

Residents along 66th Street hope the attention from the images will help them protect the community. Many say speeding is a problem in the area.

"It's a tragedy waiting to happen," Yuryev said.

--Marc Santia contributed to this story



Stonington Fighting to Keep Trees


Some residents along Moss and Courtland Streets in Pawcatuck are fighting to keep their trees, but Connecticut Light & Power officials said that if they don't come down, the power lines might.

The house at 50 Moss Street has sheltered four generations and, as family roots grew, so did the trees out front.

Jim Pendergast and his husband live there now and worry that the power company will cut them down.

"I think it's a decision that definitely benefits the company, but has negative side effects for everyone in this town, on this street," said Pendergast.

Trees devastated power lines in storms like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, knocking power out to many homes for days. CL&P hopes to avoid such a catastrophe in Pawcatuck.

All along Moss Street, branches and power lines run together.

Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek, who also lives on Moss Street, said CL&P wants to eliminate a good percentage of the trees.

"To just decimate all the trees on the streets, it just takes away from the character of the area down here," said Haberek.

Residents fear that the loss of trees will reduce property values, but CL&P said, if the trees aren't removed, financial responsibility from future storms damaging electrical equipment will belong to the town.

"We've talked with our town attorney and there's no way they can ask and just transfer liability of any type of situation to us," said Haberek.

A few trees have been marked to come down, but the town is resisting removing more. They're hoping to come to a compromise.

"There's a lot of ways that we feel we can still maintain the character, but still be able to take away any type of problem with wires," said Haberek.

A Board of Selectmen meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the police station to further discuss what will be done.

Representatives from CL&P will be present. Residents are encouraged to attend.

The town's tree warden makes the ultimate decision on whether a tree is taken down or not, though CL&P can appeal to state regulators.

Target Brands Recalled Over Listeria Worries


A recall of various salads, slaw and dips sold at Target over possible listeria contamination has been expanded.

Milwaukee-based Garden-Fresh Foods Inc. is expanding its voluntary recall of products sold under the Market Pantry, Archer Farms, D'Amico, Roundy's, Grandpa's, Maggie's and Finest Tradition, Chef's Kitchen, Garden-Fresh, Weis, Spartan and Portillo brands.

The company said the recalled ready-to-eat salads, slaw and dip sold may be contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. (Click here to see a full list of the recalled products.)

No illnesses or complaints have been reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeria infections primarily affect older adults, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever and muscle aches and are sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the CDC.

Infections in pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or a life-threatening infection in a newborn.

The recalled products were sold in 6-ounce to 18-ounce packages in Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Arizona and California.

Customers who have purchased any of the recalled products should return them to the store for a full refund. People with questions can call Garden-Fresh Foods at 1-800-645-3367 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

More: List of Recalled Products

Photo Credit: AP

Watch: Bono Does Awesome Bill Clinton Impersonation


Everyone knows Bono's ability to sing and make impassioned speeches about the causes he holds close to his heart, but who knew he was so good at impressions?

Bill Clinton certainly does now. 

In New York for the Clinton Global Initiative, the U2 frontman was set to take part in a scheduled panel with the former president, who arrived a few moments late.

Seizing the opportunity for a little light amusement, Bono moved from his chair into Clinton's empty seat and launched into an impersonation of the 42nd president of the United States. 

"When I first met Bono," the Irish singer began in a spot-on version of Clinton’s gravelly timbre, "he walked into the Oval Office and I actually thought it was a member of his own road crew, he wasn’t really dressed right. I actually, I felt like the rock star on that occasion." 

With still no sign of Clinton, and taking encouragement from the audience's laughter, the "Beautiful Day" singer continued. "But together, you know, we did this Drop the Debt thing and my God there’s 51 million children going to school in Africa ‘cause of the Drop the Debt and that’s pretty good, is that right?"

After almost two minutes of Bono-as-Bill, Clinton made his entrance at which point the singer, wearing a sheepish grin, and Bono jumped from his chair to declare, "It's David Letterman!" 

Clinton had appeared on Letterman's late night talk show the previous evening.

Taking the ribbing in his stride, Clinton said, "I must be really easy to make fun of."

Photo Credit: AP

Teen with Down Syndrome Models in Wet Seal Campaign


A teen model with Down Syndrome is making headlines after posing in a photo shoot for a popular clothing company.

Karrie Brown, a 17-year-old high school student from Collinsville, Ill., jumped into the spotlight after she made waves in the fashion world as a model for a photo campaign for the clothing company Wet Seal.

It all started in August when the teen’s mom, Sue Brown, posted a picture of Karrie in her favorite Wet Seal gear on a Facebook page she titled “Karrie Brown- Modeling the Future.”

“We recently found out that Wet Seal has started carrying plus size clothing, which happens to be a great fit and fashion for girls with Down Syndrome,” the page read. “Every day we are going to post a picture of Karrie in a different fashion to show she CAN do this. So many movements have been started by using Facebook, so why not a future wet seal model who has special needs?”

And Facebook fans took notice.

"The next day, people started texting and tweeting at Wet Seal, and leaving voicemails for them that they should check out Karrie, that she wants to be a model," Brown told TODAY.com. "On their website, they say they believe in diversity and inclusion, and it was just a perfect fit."

Soon after, the clothing company reportedly contacted Brown with a deal.

If the page had 10,000 Facebook ‘likes’ by that Friday at noon, the company would have a surprise, the Facebook page reported.

On Aug. 15, Wet Seal posted a photo of Karrie welcoming her to the Wet Seal family and announced they would fly her out to their California headquarters for an all-inclusive photo shoot.

And Karrie reportedly took everyone, including her mom, by surprise.

"She was hilarious. They had her in the first outfit and she's standing there with the white screen behind her and everybody's looking at her, and I thought she was going to get upset because she didn't know what to do, she'd never had a professional photo shoot before," Brown told the website. "All she said was, 'Can I have some Justin Bieber music, please?' So they played some Justin Bieber and she just took off."

In addition to the shoot, Karrie also got to go on a Wet Seal shopping spree.

Her next goal? To be on, and dance on, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Photo Credit: Wet Seal

Fan Gets Detailed Dodger Stadium Tattoo on His Head


A die-hard Dodger fan's tweet last week simply saying he was "ready for the playoffs" may have gone unnoticed if it weren't for the photo attached to it.

Jose Romero, who apparently holds no reservations about displaying his Dodger pride, shared a photo of the Dodger Stadium image he got tattooed in detail on the side of his shaved head.

"I got the Dodger tattoo at the beginning of the season, but I tweeted it out because I’m so proud of how well they're doing," Romero told NBC4.

Romero, a dedicated Dodger fan since the Fernando Valenzuela era, said it took seven hours to complete the stadium artwork and about three weeks to heal.

The stadium is sharing prime tattoo real estate with artwork of his two other favorite teams: a diamond-encrusted Lakers championship ring tattoo on the back of his head and a Raiders logo tattoo on the top of his head.

"A lot of people think it hurts when you get a tattoo on the head, but it doesn't," he said. "It kind of feels good."

Romero said he has more than 30 tattoos on his body to go with the stadium tattoo - and his girlfriend doesn't mind.

"She's a Dodger fan, too," he said.

More Southern California Stories:

Photo Credit: Jose Romero via Twitter @ELCHYVOX3

P.F. Chang's Frozen Dumpling Recall


P.F. Chang's is recalling some frozen food sold under its brand name in stores over concerns about exposure to shellfish.

The recall does not affect any offerings at P.F. Chang's restaurant chains, just the frozen food brand in grocery stores.

The company is recalling its Home Menu Pork and Leek Dumping frozen appetizers because the package contains no warning that the dish may contain shellfish.

Some people could have fatal allergic reactions to shellfish.

Use by dates on the packages that are being recalled state either MAY082014 or MAY092014. For more identifying information, click here for the FDA site.

Transgender Professor Fights to Keep Job


A professor who has taught theology for 15 years at a Christian college in Southern California is fighting to keep his job after coming out as transgender to university officials.

Azusa Pacific University Professor Heather Ann Clements started referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley at the beginning of the semester to go along with his slowly evolving masculine appearance.

When the professor formally asked the private school in Azusa, 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, to recognize his name and gender change, the university immediately asked him to step down from his position. Ackley's lawyer said he did not violate any school policies.

"He has not broken any university code," attorney Paul Southwick said. "There are no rules that prohibit gender transition. The only code they have is homosexual conduct, but Adam has not conducted in homosexual conduct."

According to Southwick, the professor and university are in confidential negotiations to allow Ackley to stay at least through the remainder of the semester.

"University leadership is engaged in thoughtful conversations with our faculty member in order to honor the contribution and treat all parties with dignity and respect while upholding the values of the university," the university said in a statement to NBC4. "It is an ongoing conversation, and therefore, a confidential matter."

Ackley, who was once the school's chair of theology and philosophy, said he has received an "overwhelming amount of support" from students and colleagues, as well as on social media, since his story came to light.

"It's really the higher-level administrators motivated by more conservative-minded donors, parents of students and churches affiliated with the university," Southwick said.

Southwick said he hopes both parties will resolve the matter without heading to court.

More Southern California Stories:


Photo Credit: Facebook/H. Adam Ackley

Officials Detail Costs of Health Insurance on Exchanges


New information released by the Obama administration details how much some some of the health insurance plans offered through the new online exchanges will cost. The report reveals a range of plans offered at different prices in 36 states where the federal government will run the online exchanges. 

$11 a month? Obamacare super-cheap for some, feds find (NBC News)

  • A cheap health insurance plan could cost $11 a month for a family of four in Indianapolis on the federal government's new health exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. For a family in New Orleans, a similar plan could cost $23 a month, but would have to pay $282 more for the better "silver" plan, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates.
  • On average, consumers will have over 50 plans to choose from if they live in states where the federal government will run the exchanges.
  • The premiums charged by insurers will be based on where people live and what kind of coverage they ultimately choose. The least expensive plans like the Bronze plan will cover less and patients will have to pay more out of pocket every time they see a doctor, visit a hospital or fill a prescription. Gold and platinum plans will cost more monthly, but will cover much more of the price of a service.
  • All the plans offered on the exchanges have to meet minimum requirements imposed by the federal government. Insurers will also no longer drop patients who cost too much or charge women more than men, and they must cover anyone who can pay for the coverage.

Officials Details Premium Costs of Health Plan (NY Times)

  • The Obama administration provided details Tuesday of health insurance costs in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act, where the federal government will run new insurance markets starting Oct. 1.
  • For a benchmark plan – the second-lowest costing "silver plan" covering 70 percent of projected medical costs – the average premium will be $328 month for individuals, the administration said in the new report.
  • But the data provided did not identify the insurance companies offering policies in the new exchanges nor did it provide information for policies that will cost more than the amounts highlighted in the report.
  • In the 36 states where the federal government has primary control over the exchanges, consumers will be able to choose from 53 health plans. And in most states, two or more insurance companies will offer health plans.


Photo Credit: AP

Former NFL Player Accused of Assaulting Girlfriend


A former pro-football player and recently fired ESPN analyst accused of attacking his girlfriend at a Hartford, Conn., hotel appeared in Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday.

Hugh Douglas, 42, of Bryn  Mawr, Pennsylvania, who also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets, was arrested in downtown Hartford on Sunday after police said he aggressively attacked a woman at the Marriot Hotel at Adriaen’s Landing.

Court documents say Douglas “grabbed her by the neck,” picked her up, carried her down the hall toward the room and “slammed her into the walls several times.” The victim told police she blacked out because she could not breathe. 

Douglas claims the victim’s injuries happened during rough sex.

The victim had red marks on both sides of her neck and a bump on the back of her head, according to police.

Douglas was arraigned on Tuesday and was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree strangulation. His next court appearance is October 21.

Douglas was a host of the television show Numbers Never Lie and hired by ESPN in 2011 to work as a football analyst.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

"Bat Dad" Talks Viral Vine Videos: "I'm Just a Normal Dad"


Move over Ben Affleck and Christian Bale. There is a new Batman in Gotham.

Blake Wilson is fighting bad manners dressed as the Dark Knight and the Vine videos he made to capture his superhero lessons have gone viral.

The 29-year-old dad from Roswell, Ga., puts on a Batman mask, a cape and his best Christian Bale-turned-Dark Knight voice to teach his kids lessons about potty training, saying please and chewing with their mouths closed. But unlike the brooding and dark Bruce Wayne, Wilson says his lessons are in good fun.

"I'm just a normal dad with four kids and a wife, having fun with them," he said on the Today show. "I like to think that I can be a fun dad."

Wilson, who goes by the handle "Bat Dad" on Vine, bought the Batman mask three weeks ago and the videos he posted now have over 4 million views.

Check out a compilation of his Vine videos below:


State Considers Banning “Puppy Mills”


Some state lawmakers are considering a ban that would prevent Connecticut pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits that come from breeders who have raised them in sub-par conditions. 

Activists argue that pets from "puppy mills" aren't well cared for, and a bipartisan task force met for the first time Wednesday morning to discuss the issue.

The task force will examine the "inhumane treatment of dogs and cats in breeding facilities that sell to Connecticut pet shops," according to State Rep. Brenda Kupchick, co-chair of the task force.

Members plan to hold at least two public hearings. 

Proponents of a ban on "puppy mills" claim they sell sick animals to pet shops around the state, leaving pet owners with hefty veterinary bills.

"What we would like to see is these stores adopt a humane business model where they get their animals from shelters, municipal pounds, rescue organizations and not puppy mills," said Amy Harrell, who is with the organization Connecticut Votes For Animals and is a member of the task force.

The task force includes a representative from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, but there are no pet store owners on the panel.

The state has 130 pet stores, 18 of which sell puppies and kittens, and the pet industry is against the bill, saying it hurts small business and doesn't really protect animals.

Jennifer DeAngelis, who works at the All Pets Club pet store in Wallingford, attended the hearing.

She says her store has strict standards and does not by animals from breeders who have been cited by the U.S.D.A. for violations.  She says they also follow up with customers to make sure there are no problems.

"Taking puppies out of a pet store and taking the rights away from a consumer to make the choice where they want to get a dog is not the solution," said DeAngelis.  "If you want to take care of the bad breeders, which there are bad breeders that we do not use, that's where you need to clean it up."

According to the Humane Society, federal legislation outlaws the import of puppies from foreign puppy mills, and Virginia, Louisiana, Oregon and Washington limit the number of dogs that can be kept in commercial breeding facilities.

“With the creation of this task force I’m hopeful all pets Connecticut residents include in their families come from humane sources,” Kupchick said in a statement.

In June, the town of Branford was considering an ordinance to ban the sale of dogs from puppy mills and the Humane Society was working with the animal shelter commission to implement the ban.

Lawmakers hope to craft a bill by early next year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Facebook Page Helps Sandy Victims Find Photos Lost in Storm


A New York lawmaker who organized crews to help clean up in Sandy's aftermath has launched a Facebook page to reconnect victims with hundreds of photographs her group recovered from destroyed beachfront homes and debris that piled up on shorelines.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, said volunteers collected nearly 700 photos from New Dorp Beach after the storm tore through. 
She held a public viewing at New Dorp High School to give storm victims a chance to reconnect with their treasured photographs, but hundreds of photos -- old black-and-white pictures of families and soldiers, color snapshots of newborn babies, birthday parties and sentimental moments -- went unclaimed.
Malliotakis teamed up with a graphic designer in the Staten Island borough president's office to scan the photographs and this month launched her "Sandy Photo Reclamation Project," a Facebook page where Sandy victims can view the pictures in hopes of reclaiming memories they thought had been whisked away by Sandy for good. 
“These families are still fighting their way back toward full recovery," Malliotakis said. "I’m hopeful that these photos can bring back some happiness and inspire them to keep going.”
All images are available for download and anyone who wishes to obtain an original photograph can connect Malliotakis' district office at 718-987-0197.


Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/FindSandyPhotos

Fishing Tournament for Wounded Veterans Underway


Several groups worked together this morning to help some of our wounded warriors.

About 15 disabled veterans boarded boats and took to the Connecticut River this morning to fish for the fifth annual Tournament of Champions River Fishing event.

Jose Kowalski, of the Fishing Outreach Program, said the event was aimed at teaching disabled veterans to fish and take part in a friendly competition.

“There’s nothing in the world like 19.5 feet of carpet on water and a fishing rod in your hand. It’s probably the best therapy that I know of,” he said.

As part of the competition, each veteran will catch five fish. The participant with the heaviest fish will get a special prize on Wednesday afternoon.

The event was organized by the Riverfront Recapture, Gaylord Sports Association and the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Nation.


President Obama Praises Dante de Blasio's Afro


President Barack Obama praised the teenage son of Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio for his notorious hairstyle at a New York City fundraiser, recalling he had once sported the same look.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about 250 people at the Waldorf-Astoria event Tuesday night to raise money for the Democratic National Committee.

He introduced the elder de Blasio and pointed out the mayoral candidate's son, Dante, saying he has "the same hairdo I had back in 1978."

The crowd laughed and applauded, and the president went on.

"Although I have to confess, my Afro was never that good," Obama said. "It was a little unbalanced."

Dante de Blasio's hair has become an element of his father's campaign, and even has its own hashtag, #GoWithTheFro.

Obama endorsed de Blasio earlier this week.

Photo Credit: AP

Fugitive Sex Offender Arrested in Bloomfield


Bloomfield police said a man wanted as a fugitive sexual offender surrendered to Bloomfield Police this morning after an intensive search for him.

Bloomfield police arrested Robert Hopkins, 46, of Bloomfield, on July 11, 2011 after investigating allegations that he abused an 11 year-old child, police said.

Hopkins was charged with two counts of sexual assault in the first degree and one count of illegal sexual contact with a victim under 16 years of age.

According to the warrant for Hopkins' arrest, an investigator with the Department of Children and Families told police that the victim accused Hopkins of raping her and doing "other sexual things" since she was 9 years old, the Hartford Courant reported last year.

Hopkins denied he ever had sexual contact with the girl, but told police he has masturbated in front of her, according to the warrant.

Police said Hopkins failed to return to court earlier this month while on trial and an arrest warrant charging him with failure to appear in the first degree was issued.  

Bond was set at $5 million.

Photo Credit: Bloomfielf Police

D.C. Officer Saved by Bulletproof Vest at Navy Yard


A bulletproof vest saved the life of a second Metropolitan Police Department officer who was struck by gunfire while responding to last week’s mass shooting at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard.

Chief Cathy Lanier said the officer took two rounds to the chest. Another officer, identified as Scott Williams, was shot in the legs and treated at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

"In terms of the heroism that was displayed by the officers, we now know that not only was one of our officers shot in the building but another one of our officers actually took two rounds to the chest. It was stopped by his vest,'' Lanier said, adding, "We are extremely lucky that we didn't lose a police officer in there as well.''

Lanier said she hopes Williams will be released from the hospital this week.

The chief did not identify the officer who was shot in the chest or reveal whether he sustained any injuries.

The FBI is continuing to investigate why Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old former Navy reservist and IT contractor with past mental health problems, gunned down 12 workers inside a building on the sprawling Navy Yard grounds. He used a valid badge to gain access to the property and opened fire with a shotgun before being killed by a police officer during a shootout. No motive has been revealed.

Funerals for four of the victims were being held Tuesday.

Lanier said she was satisfied with the police department's response to the shooting, especially since the building where it took place - the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command and home to about 3,000 employees - presented a logistical nightmare, encompassing nearly one million square feet of office space and thousands of high-wall cubicles.

"It's an absolute worst-case scenario for law enforcement to confront a gunman in that environment,'' she said.

Department of Defense officials have acknowledged that a lot of red flags were missed in Alexis' background, allowing him to maintain a secret-level security clearance and have access to a secure Navy facility despite a string of behavioral problems and brushes with the law.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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