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Ill. Tornado Death Toll Rises to 7


A seventh person has died from injuries sustained during the Nov. 17 tornadoes that swept through central Illinois.

Rosamund Allison, 82, was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. Thursday, the Peoria County coroner confirmed. Allison sustained multiple injuries when an EF-4 tornado hit her Washington home as it raked the small town. 

Family members told NBC affiliate WEEK-TV the tornado's winds pulled the woman from her home and dropped debris on her.

The tornado traveled 46.2 miles on the ground, forecasters said, leveling countless homes. Steve Neubauer, 51, was also killed and at least 122 were injured. Tornadoes were blamed for the deaths of five others across the state.

The coroner said an autopsy will be done Saturday.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Obama Family's 2016 Move


Inquiring Chicagoans want to know: Where will the Obama family live after the president's term ends?

Turns out the decision to stay in Washington, return to Chicago or move elsewhere isn't primarily up to President Barack Obama. It lies with his 12-year-old daughter, Sasha.

"Sasha will have a big say in where we are," Obama told Barbara Walters in a "20/20" interview set to air Friday.

Obama said that while his oldest daughter, Malia, will be in college by the time his term ends, Sasha will still be a sophomore in high school. That could mean the family stays in Washington a couple more years.

"You know we gotta make sure that she's doing well," he said. "Until she goes off to college."

The president jokingly added that his family has made "a lot of sacrifices on behalf of my cockamamie ideas, the running for office and things."

Even if the Obamas don't return to their South Side Chicago home, his hometown could get a permanent piece of him.

The University of Illinois at Chicago last week announced its official bid to become the location to host Obama's presidential library.

"We are in and of Chicago," UIC chancellor Paula Allen-Meares said in a statement. "The focus of our research and public service echoes President Obama's signature achievements."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fight Prompts Panic at Danbury Fair Mall


A fight that broke out at the Danbury Fair Mall Friday evening caused quite a scare for holiday shoppers.

According to Danbury police, a person yelled out "gun" inside the mall, at the foot court and people panicked. There was no evacuation and the mall was not on lock down, authorities said.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said a fight involving several kids broke out inside the mall and police and state police had the situation under control. Boughton said on Twitter that there has been no evidence of a gun.

Police are actively investigating. There were no injuries.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Nick Doscher

Boy Run Over by Float During Parade


Holiday celebrations took a frightening turn Friday in a northwest Chicago suburb after a young boy was struck by a moving float in a Festival of Lights Parade.

Police were called to the scene just before 8 p.m at North Williams Street between East Woodstock and Brink Streets in Crystal Lake after a young child was struck by a moving float during the annual Festival of Lights Parade, officials said.

Crystal Lake Police said the injured 8-year-old boy was a participant in the parade and had been riding on a float, which was a flatbed trailer being towed by a truck, for a local Boy Scouts of America group when he attempted to get off the float and hand out candy.

“In the process he became entangled with a revolving wheel of the float,” according to a release from the Crystal Lake Police Department.

The boy fell into the street, and the wheel rolled over the lower half of his body, the release said.

The driver of the float stopped immediately after the incident and backed the float off of the child, police said.

Crystal Lake Fire Rescue transported the boy to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

No citations were issued in the incident.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

L&M Officials, Union Leaders Back to the Bargaining Table


Workers and hospital administration at Lawrence and Memorial hospital are back at the bargaining table Friday night.

The new bargaining session started at 8:00 p.m.

Over 800 nurses and technicians went on strike Wednesday after contract negotiations broke off.

The union accuses L&M of transferring work to non-union affiliates and says it's looking for job security as the hospital transfers out patient care to save money.

"We're hoping that we have a resolution of the big sticking point issue which is patient care delivery so that we can get our nurses and care givers back to work right away and end this strike," said union spokesman Matt O'Connor.

Earlier today several hundred striking nurses and their supporters rallied outside the New London facility.

A hospital executive said he wishes they could provide air tight job security, but is unable to from a financial standpoint.


Ferry Hits Pier on Hudson, 7 Hurt


Seven people on board a ferry were hurt when the boat struck a pier while attempting to dock in Jersey City Friday, authorities say. 

The ferry, owned by Goldman Sachs and operated by New York Waterway, was headed from the World Financial Center when it hit Owen Grundy Pier on the Hudson River at around 4:30 p.m., according to a company spokesman.

The pier is a few hundred yards from the ferry terminal where the boat usually lands.

Twenty-four passengers and three crew members were on board the ferry, the Coast Guard said. Five passengers and two crew members were evaluated at the scene; four of them, two passengers and two crew members, were taken to the hospital. All were treated and released or expected to be released by Friday night. 

One crew member's family told NBC 4 New York that he had been thrown several feet from the impact of the crash and was experiencing swelling in his legs and his abdomen. 

Goldman Sachs is headquartered at the World Financial Center and has offices in Jersey City, but the boat — named York — is operated by Waterway and available for public use. The York and another ferry owned by Goldman Sachs, Jersey, began commuter service in February.

The pier is closed while officials investigate.  No cause has been determined for the accident, but the city said an investigation by the Jersey City Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard and NYPD Harbor Unit is ongoing.

No pollution had been reported as a result of the accident, said Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi.

Pei-Sze Cheng contributed to this report. 

Police Ticket Illegally Parked Cars


"If you don't belong here don't park here," Bogdan said.

That message was heard loud and clear Friday as police made sure holiday shoppers weren't taking advantage of parking spots designated for the disabled.

One parking violator was seen leaving his wife's car with her disabled placard in the window, but she wasn't with him, as required by law.

When police ticketed the vehicle, they discovered the placard in the window actually expired three years ago.

"I got bad knees too," the driver said. "[My wife] was supposed to be with me, but she's in pain so I had to do the shopping for her. So its not that I'm trying to take advantage of the spot."

As for why the man was using an expired placard, he said the updated sign was recently lost.

Police were on the lookout for parking violators as part of a weekend long crackdown on people abusing disabled parking laws this holiday shopping season. The enforcement blitz had local and Secretary of State police patrolling several malls and parking areas near the Water Tower.

"As a person with a disability and father of three small children it's very frustrating when I need to use these accessible parking spaces and they've been taken by someone who doesn't belong parking in those spots," said Disability Liaison to Governor Pat Quinn Bill Bogdan.

Violating the Illinois law could lead to fines of up to $500 and suspended driving privileges for up to 6 months.

"I'm sorry," said one ticketed driver.

Photo Credit: NBCDFW.com

Stores Hope Longer Hours Spur Sales


Some of the large retailers that opened their doors — and cut prices online — early on Thanksgiving weekend reported signs of promising sales, as discount-hungry shoppers led a frenetic start to the holiday buying season.

Detailed analysis are still days away, but Walmart and Target touted what they described as encouraging signs, thanks to the sale of expensive electronics, such as flat-screen TVs, iPads and video game systems. Executives from Toys R Us and Macy's also said they benefited from their decisions to open earlier on Thanksgiving Day.

Much of that activity came not from the hordes of people who surged into stores, however. Online sales jumped by more than 20 percent on Thursday, and by 7 percent on Friday, according to IBM Digital Analytics. More than a third of those sales were made on mobile devices.

But because much of those sales were of deeply discounted items, retailers' revenues may not jump so high.

The National Retail Federation expects sale to jump by about 4 percent for the holiday season. Whether Thanksgiving weekend's activity is an effective gauge of how things will go is a matter of dispute.

On Wall Street, investors follow Black Friday sales trends as a glimpse to the health of retailers and the overall economy. Stocks were up overall at mid-day. But retail performances were mixed.

EBay, Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Coach and Tiffany's all saw their stock rise. Wal-Mart was flat. Target, Macy's, JC Penney and Lowe's fell.

Wal-Mart said in a mid-day statement that it was enjoying the "most successful Black Friday" in its history.

Target announced a "very successful start" to the weekend.

Both said they experienced much heavier Thanksgiving Day activity on its websites.

Terry Lundgren, Macy's CEO, told the Associated Press that the 15,000 people who showed up for the opening of the flagship store was the most ever, up from 11,000 last year.

"Clearly people are in the shopping mood," he said.


Suspicious Incident Reported Near Windsor School


Windsor police are investigating what they are calling a "suspicious activity incident" at Poquonock Elementary School on Friday.

According to police, a witness initially reported a possible abduction of a young girl from the playground at the school, but investigators say they have not found any other information or evidence to corroborate the incident.

The caller reported seeing a man around 20-30 years old carrying a child toward a car parked at the school just before 1 p.m. The man was wearing a black beanie hat and a black coat. The child appeared to be 5-6 years old, wearing a pink hat and a pink or purple coat.

The car was described as being an older model blue Toyota sedan.

An officer at the scene told NBC Connecticut that they have no reason to believe an abduction took place.

Anyone who may witnessed anything or may have seen the people described above is asked to call Windsor police at 860-688-5273.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Armed Men Rob Prospect Bank


Police are investigating an armed bank robbery.

Two men with guns robbed the Wells Fargo branch at 66 Waterbury Road around 10:30 a.m., according to state police.

The men fled in a Mercury Sable, police said.

The bank closed after the robbery and will stay closed the rest of the day. No one was injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call State Police Troop I at 203-393-4200.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Two Robbed at Gunpoint in Bristol Park


Police are searching for the people who robbed a man and a woman at gunpoint in Bristol around 10 p.m. Friday night.

According to police, the victims were sitting in their car parked at Page Park near Woodland Street when two men armed with handguns approached. One suspect shined a flashlight into the passenger’s side window and the suspects opened both car doors, police said.

The second suspect demanded the victims’ keys, wallets and cellphones, which the victims handed over. Neither victim was injured during the incident, according to police.

Police said the suspects fled on foot toward Woodland Street. The victims got a ride to the McDonald’s on Farmington Avenue and called police.

One suspect was about 6’0” tall with a heavy build, police said. The other was described as being slightly smaller.

Bristol police officers, detectives and a K-9 unit responded to the scene. Authorities are investigating to identify the suspects.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Bristol police at 860-584-3011.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

WATCH: Walmart Shopping Frenzy


A customer shopping at a Saginaw, Tex., Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving recorded video of commotion inside the store from shoppers seeking deep discounts.

Joseph Solis, 21, went to the store Thursday night to purchase a television with his aunt and his cousin, when he noticed a commotion as an 8 p.m. sale began on DVD/Blu-Ray combo players, speakers and GPS units.

"And something just told me take out your phone and record this, because most of the time when people gather around like this something is bound to happen," Solis said.

Solis, and other shoppers, witnessed was a scrimmage as shoppers tried to grab merchandise.

As a result, at least one man was injured.

"It was kind of like 'The Hunger Games.' It was just like everyone just rushed towards the middle and that was it," Solis said.

Shoppers are seen pushing, shoving and knocking over store displays on video for more than three minutes.

The video shows more than 10 Wal-Mart associates and four uniformed, off-duty Saginaw police officers trying to control the situation.

Please be advised that the YouTube video does contain graphic language. 

At about the 2:24 point in Solis' video, you can see one of those officers, and who appears to be a customer, help an injured man out of the crowd. The man is limping and appears to be favoring his right arm.

A Wal-Mart spokesperson described a scene captured at a Saginaw store Thanksgiving night in thevideo as an "isolated incident."

In a statement to NBC 5 in response to the incident, Wal-Mart spokesperson Kayla Whaling said:

"This was an isolated incident at this store and was not a representation of the experience the vast majority of our stores had last night."

Solis, a sociology major at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, said he did not expect to witness what he did.

"None of it had to happen. This was out of control," Solis said. "Humans shouldn't act like this."


Photo Credit: YouTube

Shoppers Head Out for Black Friday Rush


Thousands of shoppers packed into stores across Connecticut on this Black Friday.

NBC Connecticut spent the day at Kohl’s in Plainville, and the manager said this was the busiest Black Friday he had ever seen there.

Workers at Kohl’s could barely keep up. Long lines were a constant because of the big discounts being offered.

Carmela Nocera showed up around 2 o’clock for her first Black Friday shopping experience.

“I braved it,” Nocera said. She bought gifts for her grandchildren and saved hundreds of dollars. “Got great deals."

The deals were so good, some shoppers actually headed to the store twice yesterday.

“We were here this morning and I came back with my mom,” explained Lynn Desorbo.

But for others, dealing with the crowds was just too much.

“The commotion definitely isn't worth it." said Kasia Filipowski. "It's tough trying to get through everybody."

David Wozneicki, the manager at the Plainville Kohl’s, said the crowds were especially intense at 8 p.m. Thursday when the store opened. At least 1,500 were waiting at the door, Wozneicki said.

“It has been very busy,” he added.

Many customers said being at this store had become tradition. “Always, always. I’m always at Kohl’s on black Friday. They were hoping for even better deals next year.

Several stores planned to offer more discounts on Friday night and Saturday morning, and expected another big rush of shoppers.

Photo Credit: Kendra & Karen

Accused Serial Killer Dies in Jail


A former Marine accused of stabbing four homeless men to death in Orange County has died while in custody, authorities said.

Itzcoatl Ocampo was found sick in his cell Wednesday evening and transported to a hospital in Santa Ana, according to Lt. Jeff Hallock with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Ocampo died Thursday afternoon around 1:30 p.m.

Authorities said Friday in a press release that Ocampo was shaking and vomitting in his single-man cell.

A cause of death has not yet been determined, but his autopsy is tentatively scheduled for early next week. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks, officials said.

UPDATE: Ajax Killed Suspect in Homeless Slayings, Lawyer Says

Ocampo was behind bars accused of killing four homeless men and a mother and son in a serial “thrill-kill” spree that set a community on edge for months.

He was arrested Jan. 13, 2012. A friend of Ocampo’s, Eder Herrera, was initially arrested in connection with the slayings, but released when DNA evidence linked Ocampo to the crimes, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty against Ocampo, who they described as “intelligent and calculating” in planning the slayings, stalking out his victims and carrying out “these vicious executions with no plans of stopping.”

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Ocampo preyed on homeless men because of their vulnerability.

The first victim, James McGillivray, 53, was attacked as he slept outside a Placentia shopping center on Dec. 20, 2011.

The body of 53-year-old Lloyd Middaugh was found on a Santa Ana river trail on Dec. 27, 2011; on Dec. 30, Paulus Cornelius Smit was found dead behind a Yorba Linda library.

The last slaying happened Jan. 13, 2012, when John Berry was stabbed outside an Anaheim Carl’s Jr.

Witnesses saw the slaying, chased Ocampo away and notified police who caught him after a search though a mobile home park in Yorba Linda, police said.

Ocampo also faced charges in the Oct. 25 stabbing deaths of the mother and brother of a childhood friend -- Raquel Estrada, 53, and Juan Herrera, 34.

More Southern California Stories:

Flight Attendant Hurt


A United flight attendant was injured when a plane was forced to brake suddenly to avoid a collision at Dulles International Airport Saturday morning.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson said United Flight 379 to Orlando, FL, had pushed back from the terminal and started to taxi to the runway when the pilot made an abrupt stop to avoid a ground vehicle. A flight attendant who was standing was hurt during the stop.

The spokesperson said the flight attendant was likely giving safety instructions when the stop occurred.

The spokesperson said there was no collision with the ground vehicle and the flight returned to the gate. The flight attendant was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the ground vehicle was issued a notice of violation. He will be taken off airfield and go through retraining before being allowed to drive again.

The flight to Orlando was originally scheduled to depart at 8:14 a.m. FlightAware, a live flight tracking website, reports the plane was rescheduled for departure at 9:16 a.m.

Photo Credit: Getty

1 Injured in Crash on I-84 East in East Hartford


One person was injured in a crash that shut down part of Interstate 84 east in East Hartford on Saturday morning, police said.

The crash happened around 7 a.m. Saturday. The two right lanes were closed between exits 58 and 59 while police worked to clear the scene. Traffic passed through the area via the HOV lane, police according to police.

It's not clear how many cars were involved in the crash or how serious the victim's injuries might be. The victim has not been identified.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates.

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Photo Credit: Proper Designs

Police Arrest Suspect in Groton Bank Robbery


Groton police have arrested the man accused of robbing a Citizen's Bank on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Shelden Schuler, 39, is accused of walking into the bank at 816 Long Hill Road around 3 p.m., threatened the teller and took an unknown amount of money. Police said he fled on foot.

A weapon was involved in the robbery but no one was injured, police said.

He was arrested Nov. 25 after witnesses and community members helped police to identify him, authorites said.

Police initially described the suspect as a black man standing about six feet tall and weighing 230 pounds. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat and a blue shirt with a design on the front, according to police.

Schuler was arrested at the Walker Correctional Center in Suffield, where he was being held on unrelated charges.

He's charged with second-degree robbery and third-degree larceny and was returned to the custody of the state Dept. of Corrections.

Photo Credit: Groton Police Department

West Haven Liquor Store Robbed at Gunpoint


West Haven police are investigating after a liquor store was robbed at gunpoint on Friday.

According to police, two black men walked into the Wine Press liquor store at 191 Campbell Avenue around 7:30 p.m. One had a handgun and the other had a shotgun, police said.

The robbers demanded money and fled on William Street with an unknown amount of cash. Police said the suspects likely got away in a red Ford Explorer Sport pick-up truck.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Haven police at 203-937-3900.

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Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

Car and Motorcycle Collide in Vernon


Vernon police are responding to the area of Route 30/Hartford Turnpike and Dobson Road, where a car and a motorcycle have collided.

The crash happened around noon on Saturday. Police said traffic is backed up in the area.

Police are en route to the scene and said it's too soon to tell how serious the injuries might be.

No additional information is available.

Check back for updates.


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Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

WATCH: Grandma Skydives on 90th


The big 9-0 is a major milestone in anyone’s life. Wanita Zimmerman decided to mark the occasion by going skydiving.

Zimmerman, who lives in Elk Grove, Calif., celebrated her 90th birthday Friday by jumping out of a plane that took off from the Jump Center at the Lodi Airport.

She also jumped on her 85th birthday.

Zimmerman took the plunge along with her doctor, her doctor’s daughter, and her 69-year-old son, Gary, who’s from Baltimore.

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