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Famous Filibusters


From "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to Rand Paul, Wendy Davis and Ted Cruz, check out famous examples of politicians taking about their cause 'til they drop.

Photo Credit: AP

Footage Shows Navy Yard Gunman Roaming Halls


Video footage from closed-circuit surveillance video cameras shows Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis on September 16, 2013. The footage includes Alexis driving his rental car, a blue Toyota Prius, through the Washington Navy Yard main gate. The video also shows Alexis moving through the hallways and a stairwell of Building #197 carrying a Remington 870 shotgun. Alexis had legitimate access to the Washington Navy Yard as a result of his work as a contractor and he used a valid pass to gain entry to the building. He was killed after exchanging gunfire with authorities.

Superheroes Wash Windows at Children's Hospital


It's not every day that 13-year-old Ivelise Feliciano gets a visit from Superman.

But today when she looked out her window at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, that's what she saw: Superman, Spiderman and Captain America washing windows.

“I'm going to see all of the superheroes,” said Feliciano.

They came to the hospital Wednesday morning for double duty, first to spend time inside with the children, giving them little gifts to use during their stay.

“The kids are what make the world go round, and it's a beautiful thing to help out kids and help them feel better, because they've got plenty of reasons not to feel good," said Mark Shannon, who played the part of Superman. "A smile on a kid's face warms their heart, warms our hearts too."

The superheroes then took on their second task of washing windows on the hospital building. After all, even superheroes need day jobs.

“We do this kind of work every day, and when you add all this gear, it created a couple of complications, but nothing compared to the complications these kids are dealing with every day," said Mike Garber, otherwise known as Batman. "So if we can do anything to brighten their day, we're happy to help.”

The superheroes were a hit, providing a little excitement on what would have otherwise been just another day at the hospital.

“For a child to be able to look out the window and actually see a superhero coming down the side of a building to clean a window is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Jeannette Hodge, who serves as the hospital's director of patient relations.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Images From the Navy Yard Mass Shooting Investigation


The FBI released these pictures from surveillance video and evidence collection in the investigation of the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard mass shooting.

Moose Shot and Killed in New Britain


A 500-pound moose roaming through New Britain was shot and killed on Wednesday morning, one day after another Connecticut moose was spotted about 45 miles away in New Milford.

Wednesday's moose showed up around 6 a.m. in the West Main Street area of New Britain, according to police.

Officers followed the animal for about a half hour, but things took a turn for the worse when the animal crossed Route 72, a major highway.

It happened at least twice and officials had no choice but to euthanize it, authorities said.

“It’s something we don’t like to have to do, but obviously we’re literally less than 100 feet from Route 72," said Col. Kyle Overturf of the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection. "With rush hour… we had to take the action we did."

New Britain police and state DEEP officials responded to the scene. State police arrived to direct traffic.

Overturf said the DEEP was trying to keep the public safe by preventing a collision on the highway.

“Vehicles will hit the legs of the moose, and the moose tends to come up through the windshield,” he said.

While many in New Britain were disappointed the moose couldn’t be saved, they were also grateful no one was hurt.

“We don’t want to see anything like that,” Joseph Tropea said.

With numerous moose sightings in recent days, DEEP issued a reminder that moose can be dangerous animals and are liable to charge at any moment.

"They're not aggressive animals as a general rule, but they can be unpredictable as any wild animal can," said Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division.

Officials said they have no idea where a moose will show up next.

Moose spotted by the roadway are especially dangerous and are difficult to see when driving at night. They pose a particular problem during mating season.

"They're just focused on what they're tyring to achieve, and anything else that gets in their way, can knock out of the way, kick aside," Jacobson said.

DEEP officials said that while there haven't been any recent human fatalities, the state has already reache dits yearly average of four moose vs. car collisions.

Connecticut’s moose population is estimated at 100 to 150 animals. Moose are most commonly found in the northeastern and northwestern wooded corners of the sate.

Thomas Mcclendon provided this photo of the moose in New Britain:

Photo Credit: Submitted

Woman Makes 300 Sandwiches for Engagement Ring, Stirs Controversy


A New York woman on a mission to make 300 sandwiches in exchange for an engagement ring is more than half way through her goal and her critics have not been kind.

Stephanie Smith on Tuesday detailed the inspiration behind the challenge in a piece in the New York Post where she is a senior reporter for Page Six.

Smith's boyfriend Eric kept asking her to make him sandwiches, a gesture that he sees as a sign of love. He told her that homemade sandwiches are extra special because "you can't get a sandwich with love from the deli."

When she finally acquiesced last summer, she made a sandwich so glorious that he promised her an engagement ring in return --- if she made 300 more. So she got to work.

Smith bought a DSLR and started a blog to document her sandwich-making journey. 300sandwiches.com includes recipes and photos of the sandwiches she made, details about her relationship with Eric and her travels.

Smith's culinary feat, however, is not without controversy. Gawker writer Caity Weaver is stoking the flames with an op-ed on the piece.

"The story is like something out of a fairytale, one of those weird old German ones you can't read to kids, where an peasant girl's stepmother forces her to make 300 sandwiches for the Devil, and then a series of horrible things happen to the girl, and at the end of the story she freezes to death," Weaver wrote.

New York Magazine's Maureen O'Connor jumped in the fray with her own snarky response.

"Now, before you get all upset about a modern woman living the punch line of a sexist joke, remember that Stephanie still has 124 sandwiches to go. She could still be radicalized, somewhere around sandwich 172. And then when she gets to sandwich 297, she reveals that she has been poisoning him, slowly and steadily, all this time," O'Connor wrote

Even Smith has pointed out that her friends were not supportive of her idea. She explained how one friend called her a Stepford Wife, while another friend reminded her that it's not 1950.

There is at least one person who loves the idea and that's her boyfriend Eric, who Smith said offered some advice to other women who want to make their man happy.

“You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he said. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.” 

Union Officials Charged With Embezzlement


The former president and treasurer of the Woodbridge chapter of a national trade union have been arrested for embezzlement after reportedly stealing $37,000 during their terms from 2004 to 2010, police said.

According to police, former AFSCME Local 478 chapter president Betty Dasher-Wood, 51, of Hamden, and former treasurer China Byrd, 40, of New Haven, used the union's bank checks and credit cards for personal expenses, including trips to salons, pharmacies and department stores, as well as car repairs.

Police said the women each racked up tens of thousands of dollars.

The investigation began in Nov. 2012 after union officials alerted the incoming president of numerous unauthorized expenditures. The new president, in turn, went to police.

Dasher-Wood and Byrd were arrested and charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.

They were released after each posting $75,000 bond, according to police.

Byrd is due in New Haven Superior Court on Oct. 3.

Dasher-Wood is due in court Oct. 7.

McAfee Plots Tech Return, Pledges to Make Internet Unhackable


John McAfee believes only one man can save the Internet.

That man is John McAfee.

The mercurial founder of anti-virus software, whose high-profile escape from Belize made international headlines in late 2012 and earlier this year, is now plotting a return to Silicon Valley and the computer industry he left decades ago, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

McAfee, 67, wants to launch a new cybersecurity company that will make the Internet "impossible to hack, impossible to penetrate," he told the newspaper.

VIDEO: Raj Mathai's One-on-One Interview with John McAfee

McAfee's escapades earlier this year were the stuff of novels: after a neighbor of his, another American expatriate, was found dead in Belize, McAfee eluded police by wearing disguises, faking a heart attack, and burying himself in the sand -- all of which was meticulously recorded on his blog and reported in the media.

McAfee founded the anti-virus software company that still bears his name in 1989 before selling it and moving to Colorado in 1994.

He's scheduled to speak Saturday at the first-ever C2SV "music festival and tech conference" at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, the newspaper reported.

A lot is brewing for McAfee: two movies, a book, a 90-minute TV documentary and comic books, the newspaper reported.

Police in Belize "still want" to interview him, too, the newspaper reported.

However, security is a "conservative" field and it's unclear how the hard-living, colorful individual will do in such a tepid environment.

For his part, McAfee will stay in his new home in Portland, Oreg., he told the newspaper. Silicon Valley is not weird enough -- and too darn crowded.

Photo Credit: CNBC

Chiefs' Pass Rush Will Be a Tough Test for Giants


Once a week throughout the 2013 season, we will focus upon on a player or matchup that could prove troublesome for the Giants in their upcoming game. This week’s spotlight is on the Chiefs’ ferocious pass rush.

The Kansas City Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks, and they will likely add to that total Sunday against the Giants.

This is not a knock on the Giants’ offensive line, which will be closely scrutinized Sunday after Eli Manning was sacked seven times in the 38-0 loss to Carolina on Sunday. Instead, it’s a nod to the Chiefs’ ability to rush and cover. It’s also a nod to the Giants’ need to attack in the passing game on Sunday.

Make no mistake — the Giants have a tough matchup in Kansas City’s defense. The Chiefs, who have notched 15 sacks, can counter the Giants’ top offensive skill — their passing  — like few teams can.

However, the Giants can’t change who they are on offense. They have above-average passing game talent. They have to play to their strength.

Of course, to show this strength, they need to protect quarterback Eli Manning. However, slowing the Chiefs’ pass rush cannot completely fall on the shoulders of the Giants’ offensive line.

The Giants’ receivers will need to pick up their play, too. They need to win their matchups against a skilled Kansas City secondary. The Chiefs’ coverage aids the pass rush in a material way.

The Giants’ play-calling also needs to help the pass protection. Shorter, quicker throws would help. An early screen pass or two would make sense, too. Screens can be effective against defenses that charge up the field after the quarterback.

The Giants also need to get something out of their running game. The Chiefs surrendered 264 yards to the Eagles’ excellent rushing attack in Week Three, so perhaps there’s hope for the Giants to get something going in this facet of the game. A productive running game can open up passing game opportunities and wear down a defense.

The Chiefs’ pass rush has been one of the NFL’s most formidable in September. 

Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali will provide a tough test for the Giants’ offensive tackles on Sunday. Houston, who has notched an NFL-high 7.5 sacks through three games, can play with speed and with power. He was dominant against the Eagles, recording 4.5 sacks. Hali, who’s had five seasons with eight sacks or more, is a tough matchup on the other side, too.

The Giants also have to deal with nose tackle Dontari Poe, who has become a force along the interior of the Chiefs’ line. The 6-foot-3, 346-pound Poe is strong and moves well. He has 3.5 sacks through three games — an exceptional total for a nose tackle.

The Giants have their work cut out for them on Sunday. Let’s see what they’ve learned. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Search for Groton Bank Robber


Groton police are searching for the man who robbed a Citizen's Bank on Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, the suspect walked into the bank at 816 Poquonnock Road around 3 p.m. Wednesday and took an unidentified amount of money. He fled on foot.

Police said no one was injured during the robbery.

The suspect is described as a black man standing about six feet tall and weighing 230 pounds. He was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat and a blue shirt with a design on the front, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Groton Police Department at 860-441-6712.

Photo Credit: Groton Police Department

Man Arrested for Shooting Neighbor: Police


A Bridgeport man is accused of opening fire in a Clarence Street home and shooting his neighbor in the left cheek.

Ernest Morales, 22, of 42 Clarence Street, allegedly fired several shots inside neighbor's home Sunday night. One bullet struck 31-year-old Joseph Vernon in the left cheek, police said.

The victim was taken to Bridgeport Hospital and transferred to Yale-New Haven. His condition is unknown.

Morales was arrested in a traffic stop Monday when officers recognized him as the shooting suspect, police said.

He was cooperative and told officers, "I was just going to turn myself in," according to police.

Morales was charged with first-degree assault and criminal attempt at first-degree assault.

He was held on a $500,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

Dad of NJ Boy Who Fatally Shot Pal, 6, Is Indicted


The father of a young New Jersey boy who fatally shot his 6-year-old playmate has been indicted on six counts of child endangerment.

An Ocean County grand jury returned the indictment against Anthony Senatore of Toms River on Wednesday.

Authorities say the 33-year-old Senatore had multiple unsecured weapons in his home. They say his 4-year-old son got a .22 caliber rifle and fired a single shot that struck his 6-year-old neighbor, Brandon Holt, in the head, on April 8.

Holt died the next day.

Senatore was arrested several weeks after the shooting, following a lengthy investigation, and was later freed on $100,000 bail.

His lawyer, Robert Ebberup, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday afternoon but has said in the past that his client is a devoted husband and father with strong roots in the community and that he's deeply sorrowed by Holt's death. 

Senatore faces five counts of second-degree child endangerment — one for each of the five unsecured firearms investigators say they found accessible to his own children, ages 12, 8 and 4. He also was charged with a third-degree count of child endangerment for endangering Holt, for keeping the loaded .22 caliber rifle unsecured in a bedroom where his 4-year-old son was able to access and fire the weapon.

Senatore also faces a disorderly person offense for enabling access by minors to a loaded weapon.

Authorities say that besides the rifle used to fire the fatal shot, two 12-gauge shotguns and two other shotguns were all found unsecured, in close proximity to ammunition and accessible to Senatore's children.

Holt's grandmother told NBC 4 New York after the shooting she was angry the family failed to take adequate care to lock up their guns.

The Holt family has since filed a lawsuit against the Senatores

Although the shooting occurred in Ocean County, Atlantic County is handling the matter because Senatore has relatives who have worked in law enforcement in Ocean County.

Doctors Unveil 1st Thought-Controlled Bionic Leg


Zac Vawter walks so naturally it takes a moment to realize he's using an artificial leg.

That's because this is the world's first thought-controlled bionic leg, an amazing experiment the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says "represents a significant milestone in the rapidly-growing field of bionics."

After Vawter lost his limb in a motorcycle accident, the Seattle father of two began using a regular prosthesis, the one he still uses every day. The most basic movements, he said, were unnatural, which makes this new technology such a giant step forward.

“The bionic leg responds quickly and more appropriately," Vawter said, "allowing me to interact with my environment in a way that is similar to how I moved before my amputation. For the first time since my injury, the bionic leg allows me to seamlessly walk up and down stairs and even reposition the prosthetic by thinking about the movement I want to perform."

Dozens of pioneering experts teamed up to make it happen. Dr. Levi Hargrove, lead scientist of this research at RIC’s Center for Bionic Medicine, said he developed a system to use neural signals to safely improve limb control of a bionic leg.

Hargrove said an incredibly smart, tiny computer on the leg listens to the electricity in Vawter's muscles, allowing him to move like everyone else.

“This new bionic leg features incredibly intelligent engineering,” Hargrove said. “It learns and performs activities unprecedented for any leg amputee, including seamless transitions between sitting, walking, ascending and descending stairs and ramps and repositioning the leg while seated.”

Dr. Hargrove said they essentially rewired the nerves Vawter would have used if he still had his real leg, attaching them to a different set of muscles. When he thinks "walk up the stairs," the leg instantly responds.

"This is a huge milestone for me and for all leg amputees,” Vawter said.

Right now this is a first, but there's hope that the bionic technology could be commercially available in three to five years.

1st Thought-Controlled Bionic Leg


Zac Vawter is using the world's first thought-controlled bionic leg, an amazing experiment the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says "represents a significant milestone in the rapidly-growing field of bionics."

Man Sells Drugs From Motel Room: Police


A guest of the Central Village Motel in Plainfield is behind bars after reportedly selling drugs from his motel room.

Forty-nine-year-old Jeffrey S. Cote was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Central Village Motel, also known as the Knights Inn Motel, after police executed a search warrant there, authorities said.

The motel is located in Plainfield’s Central Village section.

Cote was charged with the possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, intent to sell both drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to police.

He was held on a $25,000 bail and is due in court tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Plainfield Police Department

Plane Crashes in Ill. Parking Lot


Bolingbrook police have confirmed that a woman is dead and a man hospitalized following a small plane crash Wednesday.

It happened at about 5:15 p.m. in the parking lot of a Chase Bank at 262 S. Weber Rd.

Police say the plane crashed into a tree, light pole and several vehicles.

Witnesses described hearing a loud noise and explosion when the plane struck the ground, followed by several smaller explosions.

"I heard a loud boom and I thought the sky was burning," Rivera said. "I thought one of the cars blew up, but witnesses told me it was actually a plane."

According to Mike Grohard, who works at a store next to the bank, the survivor of the crash was the pilot.

"The pilot was getting out of the plane and was on fire and went down to the ground and two gentleman came over and put him out with their jackets and we got him to roll away from the plane, and as he was rolling away, asked us if we could find his wife, that his wife was still in there," Grohard said. "He was pretty bad but he was talking before the paramedics got there, we kept talking to him and tried to keep him coherent."

The pilot was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital in critical condition and later transported via helicopter to Loyola Hospital in Chicago. His passenger was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:45 p.m.

The accident scene is located a few blocks from Clow International Airport, and police say it was attempting to land when the accident occurred.

Silky Strands Fall from Texas Skies


North Texans called and emailed NBC 5 puzzled over what they saw in the skies Wednesday, but it turns out it was just Mother Nature at work.

"I noticed this 8 to 10 foot cobweb strand stringing and dancing across the sky," said Dallas resident Ginger Reid. "I thought ‘Is that real? I don't know if that's real.’”

Long silky strands falling across North Texas actually signal the migration of a cluster of spiders.

"Most likely what it is is a thing called ballooning, which baby spiders do," said the Dallas Zoo’s Tim Brys. "So after they hatch, they spread a little silk line from their abdomen, the wind catches that and spreads them into the air like a balloon."

The silk acts similar to a parachute, allowing them to move their home from one spot to another.

An Extension Program Specialist with Texas A&M said typically, it's done by young spiders, but some adult spiders also use the process to move from location to location.

"Once it's rolled up and it starts to get caught in the branches, it's a pretty big mass," said Brys.

How far they travel depends on the air current.

Reid and more than a dozen other NBC 5 viewers sent photos and videos of the "ballooning" to isee@nbcdfw.com from all over North Texas.

For those with arachnophobia, take heart. Most of these spiders are harmless and eat only other insects.

"It's not anything to be worried about," said Brys. "It may seem scary to people who are afraid of spiders, but really they're harmless."

Experts recommend just leaving the eight-legged creatures alone.

Reid says she sees it as an opportunity. "I might try and capture some of them and put them on my house or the outside, for Halloween decoration," said Reid.

NBC 5's Greg Janda, Kendra Lyn and Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Sara Ferrara

South Windsor CVS Robbed at Gunpoint


Police are looking for the man who robbed a CVS Pharmacy in South Windsor and took an unknown number of pills Wednesday night.

The robber, identified as a white male, flashed a handgun as he approached the pharmacy counter at the Buckland Road location, police said.

He left with the pills without injuring anyone, according to police.

Police are actively investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call South Windsor police at 860-640-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Renovated Service Plaza Opens in Branford


New service plazas are popping up all over Connecticut, including one in Branford just off Interstate 95 northbound.

The rest stop opened today.

“Our highways are congested, and sometimes we need a place to stop and take a break,” said Paul Landino, president of Project Service LLC, the company contracted to renovate 23 of Connecticut’s rest stops. “We think that they’re an important showplace for Connecticut drivers that are going between Boston and New York.”

The brand new Branford Northbound Service Plaza offers everything from Subway to McDonald’s to Dunkin Donuts. It's the 11th rest stop to be renovated.

Drivers are already taking advantage of the new facilities and began stopping by minutes after construction workers pulled bright orange cones away from the entrance.

“We just needed a break, and this looked very appealing," said Dawn Spitz. She and her husband, Eric, said the plaza was a convenient place to stop on their drive from Westchester to Cape Cod.

Another customer, Lucia Silicir, wasn’t traveling, but stopped by so her daughter Donna could check out the McDonald’s.

Travelers will also be happy to learn that the restrooms at the Branford Plaza are brand new and spotless.

The plazas even have offices for state police, as well as diesel generators to power up gas pumps and restaurants during bad weather.

But how long until all 23 stops are completely renovated and reopened?

Paul Landino said they hope to finish construction by early 2015.

Six more stops are slated to open by January of next year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

World's Biggest Twerking Party: Hundreds Twerk in NYC


The world's biggest twerking party hit New York on Wednesday, as hundreds of avid twerkers danced their way into the record books.

More than 250 people in Herald Square twerked their way to a Guinness World Record of dizzying proportions: Most People Twerking Simultaneously.

Participants bounced and gyrated non-stop for two straight minutes as representatives from Guinness World Records walked around to ensure dancers adhered to the guidelines for “proper form.”

The rules: Use your hips only, and use your hands on your knees or hips for support.

Big Freedia — the self-professed "Queen of Bounce," a New Orleans rap subgenre — hosted the event along with music outlet Fuse.

Freedia attracted some media attention last month after criticizing Miley Cyrus after her VMA performance, saying she has been given undue credit for a dance that has been around for decades.

The dance phenomenon known as twerking gained mainstream attention earlier this year after Cyrus’ video of her dancing in a unicorn onesie went viral.

Twerking originated in New Orleans' bounce music scene back in 1993, with DJ Jubilee’s song "Do the Jubilee All."

Photo Credit: NBC News
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