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Bacterial Meningitis in Calif.


A staff member at the University of California Riverside has an active case of bacterial meningitis, the school announced Monday.

“Although the risk of transmission is low, it is best to take precautions,” UCR said in a statement.

“The university will notify any students, staff and faculty who could have had repeated contact with the individual. The campus is offering resources at the campus health center for any student who is concerned.”

The diagnosed employee is off campus and anyone who may have come into contact with them will be contacted individually, the school said.

Further details about the sickened staffer were not immediately available and it isn't clear whether they came down with a similar strain of meningitis that has sickened students at UC Santa Barbara and Princeton University.

Bacterial meningitis can be spread through kissing, coughing or prolonged contact. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.

It is vital that treatment be started as soon as possible and appropriate antibiotic treatment of the most common types of bacterial meningitis should reduce the risk of dying from the disease to below 15 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monday’s revelation out of Riverside comes one week after an 18-year-old student at UC Santa Barbara had both of his feet amputated after he contracted meningitis in an outbreak that sickened three other students at his university.

More than 500 students on the Santa Barbara campus were provided with antibiotics to prevent the potentially deadly sickness from spreading, the school said.

Across the country, another university continues to grapple with bacterial meningitis. Last month, Princeton University reported its eighth confirmed case of meningitis this year.

The outbreak on the New Jersey campus forced the Ivy League school to offer an emergency vaccine that has not been approved by the FDA and is aimed at halting the strain’s spread.

Nearly 2,000 Princeton students lined up on campus Monday to receive the shots, NBC News reports.

In a statement, UC Riverside said it is “following standard protocols mandated by public health laws and by general practice” in light of the case on its campus.

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Photo Credit: UC Riverside

Police Identify Person of Interest in Yale Threat


New Haven police say they have a person of interest in custody in connection with the phoned-in threat that forced a lockdown at Yale University last month.

Police identified the person of interest on Friday, according to authorities. The individual is in custody on two outstanding warrants unrelated to the Yale investigation, police said. Authorities did not release the identity of the person of interest.

On November 25, an anonymous caller reported his roommate was headed to the Yale campus to shoot people. Police tracked the call to a phone booth in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue.

The call triggered a lockdown of the Yale campus and law enforcement from several agencies swarmed the area, performing a room-by-room search of the campus.

"The ramifications of this phoned in threat were significant to both the Yale and New Haven communities," New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman said in a release on Monday.

After several hours, the lockdown was lifted and police said it appeared the call was a hoax.

According to police, investigators followed hundreds of leads and eventually zeroed in on one person of interest.

Investigators released surveillance pictures of a witness they believe may be able to provide them with valuable information in the case. The woman in the photos is not a suspect, but was in the area of 300 Columbus Avenue. They want the woman to contact New Haven detectives at 203-946-6304.

Lawrence and Memorial Negotiations Postponed


Eight days after unionized nurses and techs ended their strike at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, plans to negotiate are unraveling and nearly 800 workers remain locked out.

The next scheduled meeting was set to take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and while hospital negotiators hoped to talk behind closed doors, union representatives said the meeting should be open to the public.

In light of the disagreement, hospital officials said Monday night they will not attend.

Instead, the hospital will file an unfair labor practice against the union "for its failure to negotiate in good faith," Lawrence and Memorial spokesman Michael O'Farrell said in a statement Monday night.

"By taking this position, the union is showing it is more focused on theatrics and grandstanding than it is on negotiating," O'Farrell said. "Given the seriousness of this situation, we are deeply disappointed by this development."

Union representative Matt O'Connor said locked out workers are frustrated.

"We cannot agree to further disenfranchising our members and allowing the corporation's record of false claims and mischaracterizations of the issues being discussed to continue," O'Connor said.

The hospital denied workers’ request to return to work after the strike came to a close last Saturday night. Contract issues remain unsolved, as neither side has budged in negotiations.

Tomorrow's meeting, scheduled to take place at the Best Western Olympic Inn in Groton, would be the 16th discussion. Union representatives have said they still plan to show up, but hospital negotiatiors say that unless the union changes its position, they will not be in attendance.

In the meantime, locked out workers are filing for unemployment compensation, according to O'Connor.

The New London Day reports that about 300 striking workers have filed complaints with the State Dept. of Labor after their health insurance coverage was canceled Nov. 30, the first day of the lock out.

Hospital spokesman Mike O'Farrell told the New London Day those employees became eligible for COBRA coverage on Dec. 1, which allows them to maintain their coverage if they pay the full premium.

Striking workers are concerned the hospital is transferring work to non-union affiliates, thereby threatening their job security, but hospital officials say the union making unreasonable demands.

“Our position has been consistent and in keeping with contract negotiations over the past two decades for our local unions at the hospital; a transparent process requires that it be open to all the nurses and techs,” said union spokesman Matt O’Connor in a release on Thursday.

Michael O’Farrell said a Dec. 6 meeting involving the federal mediator, hospital lawyer and lead union negotiation will “solidify plans for the next session.”

Negotiations will resume Dec. 10, according to O’Connor.

Woman Dies in Stonington School Bus Crash


A 26-year-old Rhode Island woman has died after crashing into a school bus in Stonington, police said.

It happened just before 7:30 a.m. Monday, police said. According to police, Sarah Delano of Westerly, R.I., was driving westbound on Pequot Trail in Stonington when her car crossed the center line and collided with a school bus driving in the opposite direction. Delano died at the scene.

Police said no passengers were aboard the bus at the time of the crash. It’s not clear if the driver, 69-year-old Jane Toth of Pawcatuck, was injured.

Stonington police and the Dept. of Motor Vehicles Commercial Inspection Unit are investigating the crash.

Man Seriously Injured in Middletown Crash


A 34-year-old Middletown man suffered serious injuries when he hit a telephone pole early this morning.

Police said Jairo Solis was driving a white 1996 BMW 328i and crashed on Ballfall Road around a quarter mile north of Sisk Street at 3:04 a.m.

Police believe he crossed the center line, went off the road and hit a telephone pole.

Solis was transported to Hartford Hospital to be treated for apparent serious injuries.
The Middletown police traffic accident reconstruction team is investigating.

Police are asking witnesses to call Officer Michael Inglis at 860-638 4063.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

Man Threatens to Blow Up City Hall: Cops


Police arrested a 51-year-old Connecticut man who they said threatened to blow up the city hall in Bristol yesterday afternoon.

Robert Daprile, of Stamford, was on the phone with city hall at 3:20 p.m. when he threatened to blow up city hall because he was upset about a lien that had been placed on property he owns, according to police.

Daprile owns property on Rockwell Avenue in Bristol and a lien had been placed on it because of blight issues, police said. 

When police went to Daprile’s Stamford home, he admitted making the threat, police said.

Daprile was arrested and brought to Bristol police department, where he was charged with first-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace. 

He was held on a $40,000 bond.  

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

Skating Champ: "My Road to Sochi Ends Here"


American Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek will not be competing in the Sochi Games because of a hip injury, he said in a interview on Tuesday's "Today" show.

"It's very difficult for me to say that now, but my road to Sochi ends here," said Lysacek, who appeared emotional during his interview with "Today" host Matt Lauer.

Lysacek, a 28-year-old native of Naperville, Ill., outside Chicago, has not competed since he took home the gold in Vancouver in 2010. He said that he has "unmanageable pain" from a labral tear in his left hip and a muscle tear in his abdomen resulting from an accident in August.

Lysacek has stayed busy since Vancouver with endorsement deals and charity work. He finished second as a celebrity contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2010.

"It's a difficult decision, for sure," Lysacek said of not competing in Sochi.

With the help of his doctors, Lycasek fast-tracked his rehabilitation so he could return to the ice in October to train for a December event that would qualify him for Sochi.  But the pain intensified as he resumed training and Lysacek said  knew he would never fully recover if he kept skating.

"My doctor warned me that if I continued to train, with 100 percent certainty the injury would get worse, the pain would get worse every single day," he told Lauer. "I could be doing permanent and severe damage."

Lysacek sidestepped questions about his retirement, saying his focus right now is to get healthy.

"I love to represent my country and I'm determined to be healthy and skate again and really be the one who decides when it's over," he said.



Photo Credit: AP

Man Masturbated on CT Transit Bus: Cops


West Hartford police have arrested a man accused of exposing himself to a woman and masturbating on a CT Transit bus earlier this month.

Police said Robert Jamell Roundtree, 43, of Huyshope Avenue in Hartford, was masturbating on the public transit bus and showed his penis to a woman.

When she moved to the front of the bus to get away from the man, Roundtree followed her, police said.

Roundtree was arrested in the area of 1500 New Britain Avenue, Westfarms mall, on Dec. 2 and charged with public indecency and second-degree breach of peace.

Bond was set at $10,000 and Roundtree is due in court on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

Homes Evacuated After Kerosene Truck Flips in Lebanon


A truck carrying 2,000 gallons of kerosene flipped over in Lebanon as steady snowfall made the roads slick Tuesday.

The driver was taken to a medical facility after crashing in the area of 331 Lebanon Avenue. It's not clear how serious his or her injuries may have been.

Kerosene leaked from the overturned truck and homes in the area were evacuated.

Part of the road was shut down while officials worked to clear the scene. A hazardous materials company arrived on scene to pump out fuel. The process was expected to take hours.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also responded.


Photo Credit: Chase Lewis

Truck Crashes Into Milford Home


A pickup crashed into an occupied home on Sentinel Hill Road in Milford this morning and caused a lot of damage, but fortunately no injuries.

Police are still investigating, but said it appears that the truck was traveling on Minute Man Drive, crossed Sentinel Hill Road and hit 85 Sentinel Hill Road at 9:47 a.m.

As you can see from the photos, the crash caused structural damage to the house. The truck also his the homeowner's BMW.

People were home when the truck crashed into it, but police said there are no reports of injuries.


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Photo Credit: Milford Police

Police Work to Identify Pedestrian Killed on I-95 South


State police are still asking for help to identify the pedestrian who was struck and killed on Interstate 95 southbound in Stamford on Saturday, Nov. 23.

According to police, the man was hit while walking on the shoulder near exit 7 around 3 a.m.

Police have not been able to identify the victim.

He is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with dark brown hair and was wearing MR & Company dark blue jeans, a black Timberland belt with a silver buckle, a blue-and-white striped J.Crew button-down shirt and a gray or blue zip-up Victoria brand sweatshirt.

He was wearing size 11 gray and blue Nike Airs, white ankle socks, Tarra'O red boxer briefs and might have been wearing brown rosary beads of a wooden necklace. No cross was attached.

Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police Troop G at 203-696-2599 so police can notify the man's family.

Photo Credit: State Police

Obama Takes "Selfie" at Funeral


President Barack Obama on Tuesday snapped a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa, proving once and for all that the portraits are not just for self-obsessed millennials.

An Agence France-Presse photographer captured the president posing for the photo alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. First Lady Michelle Obama, by contrast, looks straight ahead at the memorial service.

The moment caught the attention of news sites across the web, and the three leaders' smiles appears to reflect the jovial mood of Mandela's raucous memorial.

The self-portrait has prompted the mastermind behind "Selfies at Funerals" to post one last picture before officially calling it quits. The last post on the viral Tumblr site was originally supposed to have been one posted on Nov. 13.

"I'd intended for the post below to be the final one here, but then this just happened at Nelson Mandela's memorial service -- not exactly a funeral, to be fair, but I'll go ahead and take credit for the whole thing," wrote Jason Feifer, the Fast Company editor who created the Tumblr in late October.

Selfies were so popular in 2013 that Oxford University Press named it the word of the year in November.

While the three world leaders' selfie moment may be going viral, they broke Kim Kardashian's cardinal rule of selfie-taking.

"You always need it to be a little bit higher," Kardashian said, referring to the position of the phone, in a YouTube video on selfie-taking in November. Obama appears to have the smartphone positioned below the eye level.

The move helps picture-takers capture their best angles, said Kardashian, who herself appeared in a viral selfie in October that showed off her post-baby body.

Other famous selfies this year include one that First Lady Michelle Obama took with first dog Bo. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton snapped one with daughter Chelsea in June.

Obama's selfie was not the first to be taken at a serious event.

In October, a Florida teenager found Internet fame after he took a self-portrait while his teacher appeared in the background swooning from labor pains.

Just last week the New York Post shamed a woman on the tabloid's cover for taking a selfie as crowds watched a suicidal man on the Brooklyn Bridge.


Photo Credit: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Wells Fargo in Shelton Robbed


Police are investigating a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Shelton this morning.

Police said two men robbed the branch at 320 Coram Avenue around 9:30 a.m. They showed a gun, but no shots were fired.

Police believe the two men ran from the bank after the robbery.  

Detectives are investigating and ask anyone with any information about the bank robbery to call the Shelton Police Detective Bureau at 203-924-1544 ext. 330.


Drunken Man Gets Lost in Police Parking Lot: Cops


Police in Glastonbury, Conn., had to look no further than their own parking lot to find an alleged drunken driver on Saturday morning.

Chibuikem S. Onyebuchi, 23, of Newington, could not figure out how to get out of the lot, according to police.

The police department surveillance camera captured images of Onyebuchi driving around the back employee parking lot of the police department for several minutes just before 5:30 a.m., then park in front of the back entrance.

He told police that he was on the way home from a friend’s house but could not find his way out of the parking lot, according to police.

Onyebuchi’s license was under suspension at the time because of two previous DUI arrests, police said.

He was charged with operation of motor vehicle under influence of alcohol or drugs and operation of a motor vehicle under a suspended license.

Bond was set at $25,000 for Onyebuchi, who is due in court in Manchester on Dec. 16.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

Wallingford Bank Robbed for 2nd Time in 2 Months


Wallingford police are investigating after a bank on Main Street was robbed this morning and say the suspect could be a repeat offender.

According to police, a man wearing a hood and surgical mask walked into the First Niagara bank at 316 Main Street in Wallingford just before 10 a.m. Tuesday. The robber cleaned out three cash register drawers and made off with an unknown amount of money. Police said he was last seen running south on Main Street.

The bank was also robbed Oct. 17 and a $2,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest. Surveillance footage shows that the suspects appear to be one and the same.

The robber is described as a tall black man standing between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall. Police said he was wearing a hospital mask and gray sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight around his head. He did not display a weapon and no one was injured.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wallingford police at 203-294-2805.

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police Department

British Nationals Plead Guilty to Supporting Terrorists


Two British nationals have pleaded guilty to supporting terrorists through Web sites hosted in Trumbull, Connecticut.  

Babar Ahmad, 39, and Syed Talha Ahsan, 34, pled guilty in New Haven Federal Court today to raising money, recruiting fighters and gathering military equipment for the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

Federal authorities said Ahmad and Ahsan were involved in the operation of, “Azzam Publications,” an entity in London that ran a series of Web sites that provided support to the Chechen mujahideen, the Taliban and associated terrorist groups. 

Authorities said Ahmad also tried to secure GPS devices, Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles, ballistic vests and camouflage combat suits and both suspects recruited and arranged for individuals to travel to Afghanistan to train for violent jihad.

“Today, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan admitted that they supported terrorists,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daly.  “They acknowledged that they solicited funds, recruited personnel and provided additional support for acts of terror, including efforts based out of the United States and solicitations for support that were specifically targeted at U.S. residents.”

Ahmad admitted that he ran the websites and “the purpose of Azzam Publications [was] to ‘Incite the believers’ and also secondly to raise some money for the brothers,” according to federal authorities.

Authorities said Ahsan also did not dispute that he traveled to Afghanistan, with Ahmad's help, fought there and attended terrorist training camps Al Quaeda ran, according to federal authorities.

John Sandweg, acting director of ICE, said these guilty pleas deal a significant blow to the financial infrastructure that supports terrorism.

The two men had fought extradition from Great Britain for several years after being indicted by two separate grand juries in the United States.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 4.


WestJet Makes Wishes Come True


Christmas wishes came true for some lucky travelers, thanks to the Canadian budget airline WestJet.

Passengers on a flight from Toronto and Hamilton showed up in Calgary in November and found items from their Christmas wish list waiting for them at the luggage carousel.

WestJet employees set up 19 hidden cameras at the Toronto and Hamilton airports to capture passengers telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas, according to The Toronto Star's news site thestar.com.

While the two flights took off for its four-hour trips to Calgary, 150 WestJet employees headed to Best Buy and CrossIron Mills to gather the gifts so it's ready and waiting for the arriving passengers.

The whole event was captured in a video that was posted last week on WestJet's YouTube page. Click on the video above to see how it all played out.

Photo Credit: YouTube Screen Shot

Thousands Pay Tribute to Mandela


U.S. President Barack Obama implored thousands gathered in a cold, rainy stadium and millions watching around the world on Tuesday to carry forward Nelson Mandela's mission of erasing injustice and inequality.

In a speech that received thunderous applause at FNB stadium and a standing ovation, Obama called on people to apply the lessons of Mandela, a "giant of history" who emerged from 27 years in prison under a racist regime, embraced his enemies when he finally walked to freedom and ushered in a new era of forgiveness and reconciliation in South Africa.

He called Mandela "the last great liberator of the 20th century," comparing him to Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace," said Obama, who like Mandela became the first black president of his country. Obama said that when he was a student, Mandela "woke me up to my responsibilities — to others, and to myself — and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today."

"And while I will always fall short of Madiba's example, he makes me want to be a better man," Obama said of Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95. "He speaks to what is best inside us."

Obama pointed out that "around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love."

Among the nearly 100 heads of state and government were some from countries like Cuba that don't hold fully democratic elections. On the way to the podium, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, underscoring a recent warming of relations between Cuba and the U.S. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also attended the ceremony.

In contrast to the wild applause given to Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma was booed. Many South Africans are unhappy with Zuma because of state corruption scandals, though his ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, remains the front-runner ahead of elections next year.

The weather and public transportation problems kept many people away. The 95,000-capacity stadium was only two-thirds full.

Some of the dozens of trains reserved to ferry people to the stadium were delayed due to a power failure. A Metrorail services spokeswoman, Lilian Mofokeng, said more than 30,000 mourners were successfully transported by train.

The mood was celebratory. A dazzling mix of royalty, statesmen and celebrities was in attendance.

Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president who succeeded Mandela, got a rousing cheer as he entered the stands. French President Francois Hollande and his predecessor and rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, arrived together. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon waved and bowed to spectators who sang praise for Mandela, seen by many South Africans as the father of the nation.

"I would not have the life I have today if it was not for him," said Matlhogonolo Mothoagae, a postgraduate marketing student who arrived hours before the stadium gates opened. "He was jailed so we could have our freedom."

Rohan Laird, the 54-year-old CEO of a health insurance company, said in the stadium that he grew up during white rule in a "privileged position" as a white South African and that Mandela helped whites work through a burden of guilt.

"His reconciliation allowed whites to be released themselves," Lair said. "I honestly don't think the world will see another leader like Nelson Mandela."

Workers were still welding at a VIP area as the first spectators arrived amid an enormous logistical challenge of organizing the memorial for Mandela, who died Dec. 5 in his Johannesburg home at the age of 95.

Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, and former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela were at the stadium, and gave each other a long hug before the ceremonies began. So were actress Charlize Theron, model Naomi Campbell and singer Bono.

Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the day when Mandela and South Africa's last apartheid-era president, F.W. de Klerk, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to their country. De Klerk, a political rival who became friends with Mandela, was also in the stadium.

Mandela said in his Nobel acceptance speech at the time: "We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born."

The sounds of horns and cheering filled the stadium. The rain, seen as a blessing among South Africa's majority black population, enthused the crowd.

"In our culture the rain is a blessing," said Harry Tshabalala, a driver for the justice ministry. "Only great, great people are memorialized with it. Rain is life. This is perfect weather for us on this occasion."

People blew on vuvuzelas, the plastic horn that was widely used during the World Cup soccer tournament in 2010, and sang songs from the era of the anti-apartheid struggle decades ago.

"It is a moment of sadness celebrated by song and dance, which is what we South Africans do," said Xolisa Madywabe, CEO of a South African investment firm.

The soccer venue was also the spot where Mandela made his last public appearance at the closing ceremony of the World Cup. After the memorial, his body will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, once the seat of white power, before burial Sunday in his rural childhood village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.

Police promised tight security, locking down roads kilometers (miles) around the stadium. However, the first crowds entered the stadium without being searched.

John Allen, a 48-year-old pastor from the U.S. state of Arkansas, said he once met Mandela at a shopping center in South Africa with his sons.

"He joked with my youngest and asked if he had voted for Bill Clinton," Allen said. "He just zeroed in on my 8-year-old for the three to five minutes we talked."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Police Issue Alert for Missing South Windsor Teen


South Windsor police are looking for a missing 15-year-old girl.

Amy White, of South Windsor, was last seen on Saturday, December 7, at Buckland Hills Mall.

Police believe she ran away and might be in Manchester or Windsor.

Amy is 5-feet-4 and weighs 145 pounds. She was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, denim vest, blue leggings and a blue shirt.

She has red hair with dyed black tips and one side of her head is shaved.

Anyone with information on Amy’s whereabouts is asked to call South Windsor Police at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windor Police

Windsor Bank Robbed, Weapon Implied: Police


Police are searching for the man who robbed a Windsor bank and threatened a clerk Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, the Windsor Federal Savings bank at 695 Poquonock Avenue was robbed around 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Police said the robber walked in and handed the teller a note implying that he had a weapon.

He took an unknown amount of money and fled in a car with a Massachusetts plate. Police said the getaway car resembled an older-model Crown Victoria or Dodge Charger.

The robber is described as a white man with shaggy brown hair and a scruffy beard. Police said he’s about 35 years old and was wearing a dark coat and black backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Windsor police at 860-688-5273.

Photo Credit: Windsor Police Department
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