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GOP Leader Drugged, Raped Woman: DA


The former head of the Republican Party in Montgomery County, who resigned from his post earlier this month amid sexual assault accusations, has been charged with rape and assault.

Robert J. Kerns faces 19 charges including counts of rape of an unconscious victim, sexual assault, indecent assault and simple assault, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

Three of the charges are related to drugs -- possession of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to deliver and rape of a substantially impaired person.

The 66-year-old attorney allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old woman, who worked part-time at his law firm, following an after-work party on Oct. 25 at a restaurant in Blue Bell, Pa., according to court documents.

The woman was unable to drive home from the party, so Kerns offered to drop her off at the King of Prussia Mall, while he attended a political event, court documents state. He said he'd pick her back up afterwards and by then she should be sober enough to drive.

However, prosecutors say that plan was never carried out. According to court documents, Kerns bought a $68 bottle of Chardonnay before leaving the bar. The victim told officials she remembered drinking the wine in the car before passing out.

Kerns allegedly drove the woman to her home, brought her inside and then raped her, the criminal complaint says.

Prosecutors say he drugged the woman with the sleeping pill Ambien and then sexually assaulted her multiple times.

The woman also told investigators she had leg injuries from the attack and that she photographed the wounds. She quit her job the following Monday and reported the alleged assault several days later, officials said.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the woman went to the hospital the day after the attack and that "critical forensic evidence" was recovered. Kerns' DNA was also recovered on the woman's clothing, officials said.

"I don't think there's going to be any testimony in this case whatsoever that my client raped anybody or that he ever gave anybody any drugs," said Brian McMonicle, Kerns' attorney.

NBC10 was first to bring the allegations to light on Nov. 13 -- a day after the case went to a grand jury. That day, our crews witnessed several Montgomery County investigators visiting Kerns' Upper Gwynedd law office. Sources also said investigators visited the man's home.

Kerns formally resigned from his post as the head of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, one of the region's largest political organizations, on Nov. 14. He was involved in Montgomery County politics for more than 30 years, according to his former online profile on the party's website.

Kerns was arrested and arraigned on Tuesday. He is being held on $1 million bail, which he is expected to post. However, there are bail conditions.

He's ordered to stay away from the victim, not allowed to enter any establishment that serves alcohol, not consume alcohol and is subject to random alcohol screenings. Kerns will also be required to wear a GPS monitoring device.

Man Fearing He'll Hurt Children Calls Cops


Police have arrested a Connecticut man who reported himself to police and asked for help because he wanted to hurt Fairfield elementary school students, take them hostage and traumatize them, police said.

Police responded to a call for help at 80 Post Road at 11:39 p.m. on Oct 27 after Joseph Russo, 44, of 136 Longview Avenue Fairfield, called them, police said.  

Russo appeared to be distraught and provided officers disturbing details of his intent to harm students at Roger Sherman Elementary School, according to police. 

Russo told investigators he had thought about his plan for years, intended one day to carry out the actions and wanted immediate help so he would not hurt school children, according to police.

Fairfield, located about half an hour away Newtown, is one of the many Connecticut communities on high alert since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year.

Because Russo posed a significant and potential danger to others, police had an ambulance transport him to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for an emergency evaluation. 

From there, they worked with Fairfield School district and directed them to let personnel know about the threat and that the person was being evaluated. 

Police said Russo was in protective custody of St. Vincent’s Medical Center as police investigated, so he posed no direct threat to the public.

As police investigated, they also learned that Russo had previously made similar threats to others that he wanted to take students hostage to traumatize them. 

An arrest warrant for Russo was signed on Nov. 22. He was released from a medical facility at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, taken into custody and charged with threatening first degree and threatening an act of terrorism. 

Russo is being held on $75,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear in court today.

Police said they have maintained an open dialogue with the Fairfield School System and that will continue during the judicial process.


Photo Credit: Fairfield Police

Pedestrian Struck on I-84 East in Plainville


A pedestrian has been struck by a car on Interstate 84 East in Plainville and only one lane of the highway is open at exit 34, where the highway meets Route 72.

The pedestrian, identified only as a female, is alert and conscious and will be transported from the scene in an ambulance, according to state police.

No additional information is available.

Police do not know how long the highway will be closed.  

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Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT

Pedestrian Hit by Car in Wethersfield


Police are investigating after a pedestrian was struck by a car in Wethersfield on Tuesday evening.

It happened around 5:45 p.m. on Jordan Lane in the area of Buckland Street, according to police.

The pedestrian has not been identified. It's not clear how badly injured the victim may be, but police said they're treating it as a serious accident.

Jordan Lane was closed between the Silas Deane Highway and Wolcott Hill Road for several hours while authorities investigated and worked to clear the scene.

Police said they expect to release additional details in the morning.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Nurses to Strike at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Wednesday


Nurses and technicians at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London plan to strike Wednesday morning after their unions and the hospital failed to reach an agreement on Tuesday.

The unions notified the hospital that the workers will begin the strike at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, according to officials at Lawrence and Memorial.

"Negotiators for the hospital have worked as hard as possible and have been as flexible as possible in the hopes of avoiding a strike," said Bruce Cummings, president and CEO of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. "As negotiations continued in recent days, it became increasingly apparent that union representatives were not prepared to negotiate in good faith."

Union officials said the hospital has been laying off union workers and shifting work from Lawrence and Memorial to shell corporations that operate clinic outside of the hospital setting.

"It's scary," said Barbara Sadowski, a nurse at Lawrence and Memorial. "I don't even have the words for how bad this is."

Hospital officials said the disagreement stems from the union's "unyielding demand for 100 percent assured job security."

The unions represent nearly 800 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and health care technicians at the hospital.

"The issue we're fighting for is not wages or benefits," said Lisa D'Abrosca, president of the local union chapter. "It's not economic in nature whatsoever. It has to do with our patient care."

Hospital officials, on the other hand, said the union was making unreasonable demands.

"Our proposal that was on the table guaranteed job security to more than 90 percent of the nurses and more than 50 percent of the techs for the length of the proposed contract, which was three years, "said hospital spokesman Michael O'Farrell.

Union representatives said they did not want to strike and attempted to reach a resolution. The strike is expected to last four days. Union officials said nurses and technicians plan to return to work on Saturday, but hospital administrators plan on locking out striking workers and will not allow them to return to work until a new contract agreement has been reached.

O'Farrell explained that despite the strike, Lawrence and Memorial will continue to operate in the morning and will work to keep things running smoothly.

"The hospital has staff in place ready to go to the job at 6 a.m. tomorrow to take care of our patients," O'Farrell said. "Will there be some adjustments? Of course there will. This is a historic thing."

Drones Are Watching


Military and law enforcement drones are the source of much controversy, but what about their use by private citizens or companies?

What was once thought to be Sci-Fi is now reality. And the Federal Aviation Administration estimates nearly 30,000 unmanned aerial vehicles could be filling our skies by the year 2020.

Mark Pires, a New Canaan Realtor, is a self-declared drone hobbyist. He’s found a way to mix business with his pleasure. Using the three-to-four pound quad copter, with camera attached, to help market his luxury properties with video and pictures.

The $5000 quad copter sounds like a swarm of bees. With red and green lights, and not much bigger than a small pizza box, it resembles something a child can buy at the local mall, but slap on a camera and all of a sudden, this remote-controlled toy transforms into something much more.

But there’s a twist. Even though they look like toys – the use of drones is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The only operators who don’t need FAA approval are model aircraft hobbyists.

The regulations state they must fly them lower than 400 feet, not in populated areas or anywhere that can impede on air traffic, and they cannot be used for any commercial use.

Pires argues that because he’s not charging his clients, it’s not commercial use.

Despite his assertion he’s within the FAA rules, the California Association of Realtors recently warned their members to hold off on using photography drones.

The FAA could impose up to a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison for anyone in violation.

Still, Pires is confident he’s in the right.

“It’s pretty loud, people really hear it when it’s out there but the biggest concern that I’ve had from people is that the FAA has anything to say about it at all,” said Pires.

From the military, police departments, private businesses to just hobbyists – the discussion over the uses of drones revolves around how and when, not if, they’ll be more prevalent in the future.

Right now the FAA is working on updating all the rules on who can operate drones and for what purposes. Those are expected to be released in 2015.

“It’s an issue that 10 years ago would have been unthinkable,” said David McGuire, a staff attorney at the Connecticut ACLU chapter. “It’s the kind of thing where people need to realize a lot of their life is going to be captured by these aerial cameras.”

What happens to the data collected by these cameras, especially by the government, has the ACLU paying close attention.

“It’s been an active year for drone legislation across the country,” said McGuire. “Forty-three states have put in place some kind of bill discussing regulating drones and most of those bills require probable cause warrant before a drone is used by the government to monitor someone.”

But Connecticut is not one of them… yet.

State Representatives Matthew Ritter and James Albis are planning on sponsoring legislation in the next legislative session. This year being the last chance to do so before the skies are expected open up to more of these vehicles in 2015.

“It’s a putting the genie back in the bottle issue,” said McGuire. “It’s very difficult to regulate, after the fact, when this technology has been in use."

Right now, the University of Connecticut is the only known licensed entity that has FAA approval to work with drone here in the state. However, some city police departments, like Hartford, are looking into how drones can be used in the future.

With a team of about a dozen masters and doctorate students, UConn Professor Chengyu Cao is leading the research into how to make aerial and underwater unmanned vehicles more autonomous. He says drones are nothing to fear.

“It’s a technology still in primitive stage and could benefit people in easier ways,” said Cao.

Benefits could include everything from the use of drones by utility companies for check poles and wires to farmers protecting their land or animals.

“The technology is limited only by the creativity of the instrument you attach to the drone,” says Eric Brown, of the Connecticut Business and Industries Association. “There’s an infinite number of things other than visual monitors.”

CBIA expects drones to play a vital role in the future of Connecticut businesses.

“We want to make sure is that as the FAA is taking action, we want to make sure they’re considering the prospective of the private sector,” says Brown.

The FAA estimates there could be 30 thousand drones in the air by 2020.

Body, Guns, Grenades Found in East Windsor House


Police are investigating a suspicious death after the discovery of a badly decomposed body in and East Windsor home.

A neighbor of the house at 35 Stoughton Road called police around 9:35 a.m. Tuesday to report a smell coming from the first floor. The caller said he or she hadn't seen the neighbor in almost a month, according to police.

The victim has been identified as 57-year-old Russell Bickford, the homeowner, and has been dead for at least three weeks, police said. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will work to determine the cause of death.

Officers entered the home and found Bickford's body, as well as several firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, grenades, and black powder.  The home was rigged with PVC piping and the grenades, according to police.

A State Police Bomb Squad was called in to remove the explosives from the home.

Police said convicted felons ahad access to Bickford's home, but it's unclear if they were involved in the situation.

Authorities are actively investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Heavy Rains Will Make Travel Tricky


Flood watches were posted for all of Connecticut, and wind advisories for coastal Connecticut as well as all of New London, Middlesex, Windham, Tolland and Hartford Counties as a coastal storm moved into the state.

The flood watches are expected to last through Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service also issued a winter weather advisory for Litchfield County Tuesday night.

Snow, sleet and rain began to fall across the state Tuesday afternoon, but the heaviest rain will fall after midnight and during the Wednesday morning commute. It could make travel tricky for Thanksgiving travelers hitting the roads on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Some parts of the state could see three inches of rain, according to Chief Meteorologist Brad Field. That is more than a month's worth of rain in less than 24 hours.

Bradley airport tweeted Tuesday night that flights were delayed due to weather. Passengers were urged to contact their airlines for flight information.

See the full forecast here.

Download the NBC Connecticut Weather App here.

If you have photos of weather in Connecticut, email them to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut

Catholic Church Settles Sex Case


The Roman Catholic Church has settled a case involving a priest accused of sexually abusing a young boy at a Chicago parish.

The archdiocese has agreed to pay the now 20-year-old man $2.3 million in the case involving former priest Daniel McCormack, which was scheduled to go to trial in the spring.

The church also agreed to release their records in the case, along with the records of 30 other cases involving Catholic priests.

"There is no closure for this community and the safety of the kids until all the secrets of the past are revealed," attorney Jeff Anderson said.

McCormack is currently behind bars and listed as a sexually violent predator after pleading guilty in 2007 to sexually abusing boys at St. Agatha Parish where he was the pastor.

A year later the archdiocese reached a $12.6 million settlement with 16 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, two of whom claim to have been molested by McCormack.

In 2011, the archdiocese agreed to pay $3.2 million to another man, who was abused by McCormack between the ages of 10 and 12.

More victims could still come forward.

"He, and all the other men and woman who have broken the silence and have the courage to take on the Archdiocese, expose their offenders and do something to protect other kids in the community," attorney Jeff Freeman said.

When the records in the cases against McCormack and the others are released, attorneys say it's possible that criminal cases could be brought against those who knowingly hid abusive priests within the Catholic Church.

"We are going to do everything in our power to honor these survivors in these settlements, that the Archdiocese has pledged when we made these settlements. If not, we will sue them again," Freeman said.

The Chicago Archdiocese released a statement Tuesday confirming that is has reached multiple victims of sexual abuse over the past two years. Officials say most of the cases discussed Tuesday are several decades old, and that no priest with even one credible allegation of abuse is in active ministry.

Church officials say they are cooperating with the attorneys on preparing the records for not only the 30 agreed-upon cases, but also another 30 cases as well.

The records are expected to be released in January.

Police Saves Man From Burning Truck


Cape May Police Officer Scott Krissinger admits that he had “a million things going” through his head Monday night when he pulled up next to a burning truck on Sunset Boulevard in West Cape May. But fortunately for the man trapped inside the vehicle, Krissinger didn’t dwell on those thoughts and acted immediately.

“I just remember the smoke coming out,” Krissinger said. “I couldn’t see anything.’ 

Krissinger sprinted towards the vehicle, pulled the unconscious driver out to safety and then ran back to check if there were any other passengers inside.

“When I went to the passenger seat, again, I couldn’t see anything,” Krissinger said.

The incredible rescue was captured on the dashboard cam of Krissinger’s patrol vehicle.

“He didn’t hesitate,” said Cape May Police Captain Rob Sheehan. “He’s a hero in every sense of the word and we’re very happy to have him as a member of our department.”

Krissinger, a seven-year veteran, insists however that he was merely doing his job.

“I think any of the officers at the Cape May Police Department would’ve done the same thing,” Krissinger said. “I truly do. It just happened to me.”

The driver, identified as 61-year-old Gerald Ferrill of Mays Landing, was taken to the hospital where he is in critical, but stable condition. Witnesses told police that he was driving his truck with a flat tire and strange sounds were coming from the engine area prior to the fire.

“I would have to think the driver didn’t have much longer to stay in that situation without facing serious bodily injury,” Captain Sheehan said. “We’re very proud of him, obviously. He’s a credit to law enforcement as a whole.”

Despite being hailed a hero, Krissinger remains humble.

“I think there are heroes every day,” he said. “I just happened to be caught on camera doing it.”

Photo Credit: NBC40.net

Exit 25A Onramp to I-84 West Closed

Banana Peel Fraud Charge


A man is facing fraud charges after police say he staged a fall on a banana peel he placed on the ground of a D.C. Metro station.

Investigators say Maurice Owens filed a $15,000 lawsuit against WMATA, claiming he injured his left leg and hip after slipping on a banana peel left inside an elevator at the Potomac Avenue Metro station back in August.

But a surveillance camera mounted inside the elevator told a different story. 

The video show Owens as he enters the empty elevator at 8:45 p.m. on Aug. 8, investigators said. The man in the video pivots and looks directly into the camera as he drops what "was later identified as a banana peel" by the door of the elevator. The man looks into the camera two more times before slipping on the peel on his way out.

He reported his injury and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

During an interview held after the incident, Owens reportedly asked why a station custodian had not cleaned up the banana peel and requested $15,000 to settle his claim.

Owens was arrested and charged earlier this month with second degree fraud, a felony. His lawsuit was also dismissed.

Owens is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Vonn on Sochi: "I Still Have Time"


Reigning Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn said Wednesday she is “feeling good” about her rehabilitation progress since suffering a knee injury during a training mishap last week.

She still hopes to compete in the Sochi Winter Games less than three months away and left the door open to a return to the slopes next week.

"The fall caused my knee to give out,'' Vonn told Matt Lauer on Wednesday's “Today” show. "If I hadn't had my brace on, I definitely would not have had anything left in my knee. It was one of those fluke-y things that sometimes happens. Unfortunately, it was really bad timing for me, but I'm still confident. I still feel like I have a lot left to achieve this season. I just have to kind of take it day by day right now, but I still have time before Sochi."

The 29-year-old fell during a training run at Copper Mountain in Colorado, partially tearing one of her reconstructed ligaments in her surgically-repaired right knee. She also bruised her right shoulder blade and sustained minor abrasions on her face.

"I was training downhill, (and) it was kind of a tricky course,'' said Vonn, who was supposed to make her return this week from a serious right knee injury she suffered in a crash last February. "There was a compression turn. It was breaking up because there was a lot of guys training on the course with me, and my ski just kind of tracked out. I caught my edge and flipped over my skis and went headfirst into the fence."

In the earlier accident at the Alpine skiing world championships in Schlamding, Austria, on Feb. 5, Vonn tore her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and fractured her tibia.

The latest crash kept Vonn from competing at this week’s World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colo. But there’s a chance she’ll be at the starting gate at the World Cup event at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 6, she said.

Even though her knee feels stable during rehab "squat" exercises, the real test will come when she starts getting on snow, Vonn told Lauer.

"It's one thing to feel stable while you're doing squats, it's another thing to feel stable while you're actually racing at 90 miles an hour,” Vonn explained. “There definitely is a long ways to go there, but I'm confident that it's going to be okay. At this point, that's all I can do — is stay positive. I'm kind of out of options at this point. I'm hoping that it's going to be stable and I'm hoping that I continue racing."

Vonn, the most accomplished female skier in U.S. history, is three wins shy of tying the women's record of 62 World Cup race victories set by Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proell.

"I'm working as hard as I can, so I'm just fingers crossed that I can be racing next week because I've worked so hard all summer to get back to this point," Vonn told Lauer. "I just want to get back in the starting gate."


Photo Credit: AP

I-395 South Closed in Norwich


Interstate 395 South is closed between exits 81 and 82 in Norwich after a two-car crash.

There is no indication of injuries.

Weather Causes Some Delays, Cancelations at Bradley


The weather conditions not only causing a problem on the roads, but there are also travel delays at Bradley Airport on this busy travel day.

AAA estimates that around 200,000 New Englanders will be flying for Thanksgiving and wintry weather in other parts of the country is causing some flight delays and cancelations here.

“We’re a little bit nervous with all the weather. When we were driving up here it was pretty pouring, but it was good,” Jennifer Granger, of Bristol, said.  

Some travelers are being proactive.

“I was supposed to fly out at 11 a.m. this morning, but I bumped up my flight,” Jenna Grzeslo, of Springfield, Massachusetts, said.
Some travelers, like Caroline Demario, of South Hadley, Massachusetts, are preparing for the worst. Her flight to Detroit doesn’t take off for another nine hours.

“My parents actually booked me a room at the Sheraton just in case. We are hoping we don’t have to use it,” she said.
Airport officials said weather delays can easily trickle down as the day goes on.

“It is a domino effect. Everything may be fine here or we have a little bit of rain, but if there’s problems elsewhere, that could impact us here,” John Wallace, of the Connecticut Airport Authority, said.

To check on your flight, call the airline you are traveling with.

You can also check arrivals and departures on the airport’s Web site.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

WATCH: Turkey Grave Trot


It's a rough time of year for turkeys.

Not all gobblers are as lucky as those pardoned by presidents before Thanksgiving. 

One turkey caught on tape circling a grave at a cemetery in Cape Cod, Mass., seems to speak to the dismal fate the birds suffer everywhere before becoming a holiday spread's pièce de résistance.

NBCConnecticut viewer Bob Devaney said he captured the moment over the summer, but this was the perfect time to share it.

Last year, much more aggressive turkeys made headlines with a preemptive strike just before Thanksgiving. Marcos Carreras, of Farmington, Conn., was driving to work when wild turkeys attacked his car.

Staten Island, NY, residents have been putting up with a noisy, mess-making population of roving gobblers for at least a decade. No one seems to agree on how to best deal with them.

One frustrated resident was arrested when he set off fireworks to try to disperse them from his block in 2007. The U.S. Department of Agriculture tried to reduce turkey-tensions on Staten Island by rounding up dozens of birds for slaughter. Many residents denounced that approach, so the turkeys continue to roam the neighborhood.

Two Accused of Stealing Guns in Southington


Southington police have arrested two residents who are accused of stealing guns from a safe at a local business over the summer.

In August, four handguns were stolen from a safe in the office of JATH Manufacturing on Mount Vernon Road in Southington, police said.

After a three-month investigation, police have arrested two of the owner’s acquaintances and said they had access to the office when the guns were taken. 

Police arrested Gary York, 38, and Joanne Delfino, 37, both of Southington, on Nov. 22.

York was arrested at the Bristol Court while he was appearing on an unrelated charge. According to court records, he was arrested on a fifth-degree larceny charge in Bristol on Nov. 7 and was sentenced on Nov. 22 to six months in jail.

Delfino was taken into custody during a traffic stop.

York and Delfino were charged with theft of a firearm, conspiracy to commit theft of a firearm, and illegal possession of a pistol/revolver.  Both were held on a court set $75,000 bond. 

Police said they have not found the stolen guns and the investigation is active.

Anyone with information regarding the case is  asked to e-mail Officer John Marenholz at jmarenholz@southingtonpolice.org.

Photo Credit: Southington Police

Man Found Shot in Neck in Enfield


Enfield police have charged a man with attempted murder after finding a victim who had been shot in the neck.

Just after 1 a.m., an officer saw a car involved in an apparent crash on Route 5 near the Massachusetts state line and pulled over to investigate, police said.

Fernando Tolentino, 24, of the Thompsonville section on Enfield, was in the passenger’s seat, and a man in his 20s in the backseat had a gunshot wound to the throat, police said.

Police said they believe Tolentino was the shooter and have charged him with attempted murder, possession of drugs with the intent to sell and additional offenses.

The shooting victim told authorities Tolentino was on PCP at the time of the incident, according to the Enfield police chief.

Police searched Tolentino and discovered 39 bags of heroin and more than $300 in cash. A pistol was also discovered inside the car, authorities said.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was transported to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

Police said the driver of the car was a woman from Windsor who claimed to have been pistol-whipped by Tolentino. The woman has not been identified.

Police have not released a motive for the crime.

Photo Credit: Enfield Police Department

NH Sears Closes on Turkey Day


Major retailers are opening on Thanksgiving, but one Sears in New Hampshire is defying the trend.

Sears franchise owner Holly Cassiano in Plymouth said she got very angry when the Sears corporate office told her she had to be open on Thursday.

"We are not going to let corporate retailers rule over our family values and take this away from us," she told WMUR.

Unlike Sears stores across the country, which are set to open Thursday at 8 p.m., Cassiano’s store will open its doors at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Customers will get the same deals, she assured.

"I value my employees enough that I wouldn't have them have to work on a day that's meant to be spent with family,"  Cassiano said.

She sent a letter to Sears stating her reasons for not opening, but she hasn't heard back, she told WMUR. Sears told NBC News in a statement, “We have encouraged all of our dealers and franchisees to be open on Thanksgiving evening because we believe that is what many consumers want.”

Leading fashion retailer Nordstrom will also stay closed on Thursday evening.  Signs posted in Nordstrom stores read, “HAPPY THANKSGIVING. We won't be decking our halls until Friday, November 29. Why? We just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time."

But other retailers are foregoing tradition and betting to increase holiday sales by opening early on Turkey Day.

Breaking a 155-year-old practice, Macy’s announced in October that it would open on Thursday at 8 p.m., joining Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Kmart, Old Navy and Toys”R”Us.

Police Investigate Sudden Death of Yale Professor


New Haven detectives are investigating the sudden death of a Yale professor who was being held in a cell at the Union Avenue Detention Facility.

Police said Samuel See, 34, of New Haven.  was arrested on Saturday night. On Sunday, he was found unresponsive in his cell and later pronounced deceased.

Police went to See's home after receiving a complaint of a domestic dispute at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

According to police, See's husband, Saunder Ganglani, 32, of New Haven, had gone to See's home to retrieve his belongings despite a protective order that was in place.

Ganglani told officers that he’d spent about two and a half hours at the house on Saturday before police responded.

Officers charged Ganglani with violating the protective order and spoke with See, who told police to remove Ganglani from the home, police said.

As officers were speaking with See, they mentioned there is also a protective order filed for See to stay away from Ganglani and See “became enraged," police said.

He yelled that it was his house, said he shouldn't be arrested and fought with the officers when they tried handcuffing him.

As he was being brought to the cruiser, he yelled "I will kill you. … I will destroy you" to one of the officers, police said.

See had suffered a cut over his eye and police called for EMS to evaluate him, police said.

An ambulance transported See to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was treated.

After being released, he was placed in police custody, taken to the detention facility and charged with violating a protective order, interfering with Police and threatening in the second degree.

Detectives from the New Haven Police Department are investigating the death.

"Mr. Samuel See was delivered to the detention center on Nov. 23 at approximately 9:10 p.m. by New Haven Police and was alert and communicating with Judicial Marshals throughout  his detainment until Marshals assigned to the detention center found him non-responsive in his cell at approximately 6 a.m. on Nov. 24. Marshals  immediately provided CPR and other lifesaving efforts, until relieved by New Haven Fire and Rescue," Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, program manager of communications for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, said in an e-mailed statement. 

See was an assistant professor of English and American Studies who was on leave this semester.

"The University community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Samuel See. Our condolences go out to his family, faculty colleagues, and students, and his friends at Yale and elsewhere," a statement from Yale says.

The school is encouraging anyone at Yale who needs support to reach out to friends in the community or to use university resources that are available for consultation and counseling, including the university chaplain.

Students can seek help from Yale Mental Health and Counseling . Staff can seek help from Magellan Health Services.

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