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Jim Harbaugh's Meltdown Is Internet Gold


Miss a call, freak out -- meet the Internet.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reacted -- histrionically, perhaps; emotionally, most assuredly -- to a controversial referee's call late in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. And a GIF of his moves -- falling to the turf as if struck, while sporting a look of pure agony and slapping his headset off of his head with hand -- is now Internet gold.

See for yourself.

GIF: After losing a challenge, Jim Harbaugh had an absolutely... on Twitpic

Harbaugh, who will face his brother's Baltimore Ravens in the 49ers' first trip to the Super Bowl in 15 seasons in two weeks, is known for passionate outbursts. Some may call them theatrics, but there's no doubt something he's doing is working. On the Internet.

 See the Niners vs. the Falcons in images

Harbaugh's 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 to win a trip to the Super Bowl in Harbaugh's second season as head coach. Harbaugh was reacting to a referee's ruling that a ball that seemed to bounce incomplete was ruled a catch.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Obama Impersonator Draws Attention at Inauguration

A man who makes a lot of money as a President Barack Obama impersonator was in D.C. Monday for the real Commander in Chief's inauguration.

1 Critically Injured in Colchester Crash


A Norwich woman was critically injured in a crash on Route 2 West in Colchester on Tuesday morning.

Roue Taha, 27, was driving a 2004 Toyota Camry when it went off Route 2 in the area of exit 21 just before 8 a.m. and hit a tree, according to state police. 

Lifestar medical helicopter transported Taha from the scene to Hartford Hospital.


1 Killed in Waterbury Crash


One person was killed and two people were injured in crash just before midnight on Monday in the area of 389 Meadow Street in Waterbury.

Police said a 1992 Ford Explorer was traveling south on Meadow Street when it lost control, hit a utility pole and rolled over several times.

A male passenger in the back seat was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver and the front seat passenger were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The names of the victims have not been released because police are notifying the families.

Police are investigating, but said it appears that excessive speed was the primary contributing factor in the crash. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

$4 Million Raised for Hartford College Scholarship Program


During her annual state of the schools address, the superintendent of schools in Hartford revealed some details about a college scholarship for Hartford Public Schools students who maintain a B average during high school.

On Tuesday, Supt. Christina Kishimoto said the fundraising effort has brought in $4.1 million for Hartford Promise, a program that will provide financial aid for local public high school students who are college-bound.

This is a little more than a third of the $12 million the school department seeks to raise to fund the program through the Class of 2023, according to the Hartford Promise Web site.

Awards up to $5,000 per year, up to $20,000 total, will be awarded to students attending four-year schools.

The first class eligible is the class of 2016 and awards can be renewed for an additional year to support a master’s degree or education in teaching.

“It was important because one of the barriers is an economic barrier to college," Kishimoto said.

The college scholarship is $5,000 a year for students who are maintaining a B average in high school, have a good attendance record, and are residents of Hartford, according to Kishimoto. Students who go to two-year colleges will have a $2,500 scholarship per year.

Some local backers include the Travelers companies, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the former CEO of the Hartford.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crashes Reported After Coating of Snow


Most of the state received just a coating of snow, but that has caused issues on the roads on Tuesday morning.

Some crashes, one of which was fatal, and spin-outs have been reported.

One of those crashes in in West Hartford and Mountain Road is closed between High Wood Road and Forest Hills Drive because of a one- car crash. Use North Main Street as an alternative.

No injuries are reported, but wires are down.

Lifestar helicopter was called to a crash on Route 2 West in Colchester.

One serious crash was in Waterbury, where one person was killed in a two-car crash on Meadow Street just after midnight. Two other people were injured. No names have been released.

A crash was also reported on Interstate 91 in Rocky Hill just before 5 a.m. That crash scene has since cleared.

In Manchester, a car hit a tree on Jensen Street and one minor injury was reported.

Route 68 in Prospect was closed between Carmar Avenue after a one-car crash early Tuesday morning, but the scene has since cleared.

Snow ended overnight in most areas, but a snow squall came through on Tuesday morning. It came through Naugatuck and Derby around 6:30 a.m.

Track the snow on our interactive radar here.

There are not many closings and delays, but you can see them here.

Sign up for snow closing alerts here.

$25,000 in Jewelry Stolen from Wilton Residence


Jewelry believed to be worth more than $25,000 was stolen from a house in Wilton and police are looking for the thief.

The residential burglary happened on Spruce Meadow Court, a residential street with several homes worth more than $1 million.

Residents came home on Saturday and found that someone forced his or her way into their house, went through drawers and jewelry boxes and stole jewelry, according to police.

Police are investigating and said more details will be released when they are available. 

Photo Credit: NBCSanDiego

Man Accused of Stealing Identity


Glastonbury police have arrested an East Hartford man accused of using another man’s Social Security number for a job at a local restaurant.

Police arrested Ezequiel Coronado, 22, around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Police said the victim was trying to get state aid when he learned that Coronado was using his Social Security number for employment at a restaurant in Glastonbury, police said.

Police found Coronado at work, took him into custody and charged him with identity theft and two counts of forgery.

He is being held on $100,000 bond and is due in Manchester Court on Jan. 22.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Store Owner Killed in New Haven Shooting: Police


The owner of a New Haven market was killed in a shooting this morning, according to New Haven police.

Police identified the victim as Abdul L. Rawas, 55, and said he was shot in the back and arm during what was likely a robbery.

An ambulance took him to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Rawas was apparently the owner of Orchard Market, which is located at 738 Orchard St., according to police.

Police have not identified a suspect and hope to soon review surveillance footage,

More information will be posted once it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Chris Podosek, NBC Connecticut

Woman Punches Baby in Vernon: Report


Vernon police have arrested a local woman accused of punching a baby, according to reports.

The Hartford Courant reports that Jessica Diaz, 31, was trying to hit a woman when she hit the baby instead.  

Police said Diaz was drunk when she was arrested around 8:30 p.m. on Ward Street.

She was charged with assault in the third degree, disorderly conduct, interfering/resisting arrest, risk of injury to child surety and threatening in the second degree.

While she was in jail, she destroyed two cell blankets and was charged with criminal mischief, police said.

Diaz is due in court on Jan. 29.

"Confusing Scenario" for Face of Te'o Fake Girlfriend


A Los Angeles marketing executive whose images were used in an elaborate hoax involving a Notre Dame football star said in an interview broadcast on the TODAY Show that she did not know who Manti Te'o was until last week.

That's when a Deadspin.com report revealed the linebacker's story of a girlfriend who died within days of his grandmother's death was a hoax. Te'o's grandmother died before Notre Dame defeated Michigan State Sept. 15, and the tale of the girlfriend's death seemed to add to an inspirational backstory that would be repeated throughout a college football season in which the Fighting Irish went undefeated before losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship game.

"It's very bizarre, and it’s a very twisted and confusing scenario," Diane O'Meara, 23, told NBC. "I've never met Manti Te'o in my entire life. I've never spoken with him. I've never exchanged words, tweets (with him)."

O'Meara's images became the face of Lennay Kekua — Te'o's fake girlfriend whose supposed death from leukemia became the subject of several interviews conducted with the Heisman trophy finalist. Te'o repeatedly spoke of Kekua's death during the season.

He informed Notre Dame officials Dec. 26 that he was the victim of a hoax. The school, which conducted an investigation, also maintains that he was the victim — not a perpetrator — of the elaborate prank.

Te'o claims an acquaintance — the nature of the relationship remains unclear — identified as Ronaiah Tuiasosopo is behind the prank. Tuiasosopo, a former Antelope Valley High School football player, is accused of using online pictures of O'Meara to provide a face for the fictional Lennay Kekua. O'Meara, who works at a marketing and event planning company in Torrance, and Tuiasosopo were high school classmates.

"Ronny has called and not only confessed, but he has also apologized," O'Meara told NBC. "I don’t think there’s anything he could say to me that would fix this."

In an interview with ESPN, Te'o also said Tuiasosopo confessed and apologized.

Tuiasosopo, of Lancaster, has yet to speak publicly about the case. O'Meara found out about the use of her images after receiving a phone call from Deadspin.com reporters working on the Te'o story.

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: TODAY Show

Arrest Made in 2011 New Haven Manslaughter Case


Police have charged a convicted felon in the shooting death of 23-year-old New Haven man on Oct. 28, 2011.

Police have charged Brandon Sessions, 22, of New Haven, with manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of Kahson Douglas.

When police responded to Edwards Street, between Orange and Livingston streets at 3:40 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2011, they found Douglas suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

He was taken to Yale-New Haven hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Police said investigators learned that the shooting came after an ongoing dispute between the two men that led to the shooting.

A judge signed a warrant for Sessions on Monday and police arrested him at his residence on
Dayton Street.

Police said Sessions is a felon who has been convicted for narcotics sales.

On June 13, 2011, Sessions was the victim of a shooting and was uncooperative with Police after he'd been shot.

He has been charged with manslaughter in the first degree, criminal use of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.


Lawmaker Wants Panic Buttons in Public Schools


A local lawmaker has filed legislation for all public elementary and middle schools to have panic systems in schools.

State Rep. Christie Carpino, a Republican who represents Cromwell and Portland, has filed legislation that would require every public elementary and secondary school in Connecticut to install a panic system to protect against threats in the school.

"If the Newtown tragedy has taught us anything, it is that we need to protect our precious children," Carpino said in a statement on Tuesday. "We need to talk action."

On Dec. 14, 20 first graders and six staff members were killed in a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Carpino is member of the Education Committee and the bill, which calls for panic buttons in all schools, has been referred to the Education Committee.

Her office said she has received requests from parents and educators advocating for this legislation.
"Right now, across the state, there are many schools where kids and their teachers are sitting in fear. We need to be pro-active and make schools safe for our children," said Carpino.


Public Hearings Planned in Wake of Newtown School Shooting


Members of the bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety will be conducting public hearings on issues related to the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, including one hearing at Newtown High School.

During the hearings, residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on topics relating to each of the three newly formed subcommittees on school safety, gun control and mental health.

The following public hearings are scheduled:

  • Friday, Jan. 25: School Safety Public Hearing, Legislative Office Building, Hartford, 9:30 a.m. in Room 2C
  • Monday, Jan. 28: Gun Violence Prevention Public Hearing, Legislative Office Building, Hartford, 10 a.m. in Room 2C
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29: Mental Health Public Hearing, Legislative Office Building, Hartford, 10 a.m. in Room 2C
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30: Full Bipartisan Task Force Public Hearing, Newtown High School, 6 p.m.

The parameters for public testimony will be released in the coming days.

Those unable to attend the public hearings are encouraged to watch proceedings live on the Connecticut Public Affairs television network, CT-N, or stream them online.

The purpose of the group is to conduct a review of current law and make recommendations on a range of potential legislation to prevent gun violence, enhance school security and ensure proper mental health services in Connecticut. The Task Force will provide recommendations for a bipartisan emergency certified bill in March.

Photo Credit: AP

3 People Shot at Texas College, Person in Custody


Three people have been shot at a Houston-area community college, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. One person of interest is in custody, and a second suspect may be on the loose.

Witnesses said they saw two men get into an argument in the college's library, and both pulled out guns and began firing on each other, NBC affiliate KPRC Local 2 reported. Several law enforcement officials said the incident may have been gang-related, NBC News reported.

The shooting at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College near Houston began shortly after noon. The college tweeted that three people had been shot, and a law enforcement official told NBC News that another may have suffered a heart attack. A local hospitals said it had received two patients.

The campus is on lockdown, and students are advised to shelter in place. Four nearby schools were also placed on lockdown.

Constables told KPRC that one person has been detained, though they have not said if that person was a shooter.

A search for a second person is underway, KPRC reports, and armed police officers were searching the campus. Investigators described the second suspect an 18- to 20-year-old black male wearing a red shirt and an Atlanta Falcons cap who fled campus to a nearby subdivision. A perimeter was established north of campus in that direction.

According to its website, the Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher learning in Houston and the fastest growing community college system in Texas. The school has approximately 90,000 students spread over more than a dozen campuses.

Check back and refresh this page for more information on this developing story.

Robber in Monkey Mask Strikes Again


Windsor police are looking for the armed man in a monkey mask who ordered a clerk at a Mobile Gas Station to the floor and stole several packs of cigarettes late Friday.

The mask appears to be the same one that a man wore when he robbed a Subway sandwich shop in Windsor Locks on Tuesday, January 15 and police said they believe the robberies are connected.

At 11:56 p.m. on Friday, a 6-foot-tall man wearing what appears to be the same mask entered the Mobil Gas Station at 680 Poquonock Ave., showed a handgun and directed the clerk back behind the counter, according to police.

The man then ordered the clerk to open the cash register, took money out of the register and ordered the clerk to the floor, police said. 

He took several packs of cigarettes before he calmly left the store and ran south on Poquonock Avenue, according to police, who tracked him to the area of Allstate Insurance at 697 Poquonock Ave. before losing the scent. 

The robber was wearing dark clothing, new or newer work gloves, light-colored sneakers, a jacket that might have been inside out and a full animal mask.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Windsor Police Department at 860-688-5273 ext. 521.

Woman Jailed in Florida Over 22-Year-Old Warrant


A Connecticut native’s vacation cruise came to an abrupt and unexpected end when she was put in jail over $85 in unpaid court fines from shoplifting charges more than two decades ago.

In 1991, Robin Hall shoplifted cigarettes from a Wal-Mart. She was 18 at the time. In the 22 years since, Hall has put herself through college and now helps design jet engines for Pratt & Whitney.

When Hall, her husband and two children returned from a Disney Dream cruise on Thursday, police from Brevard County in Florida were waiting for her as she got off the boat in Port Canaveral.

Police said Hall failed to pay the $85 in court costs when she was 18, and when they checked the ship’s passenger list for terrorists, they found a warrant for her.

“I take full responsibility for what I did, but I do not believe I deserve this,” Hall said.

Hall, who has spent the last four days in a Florida jail, insists it’s not her fault.

“I just want it to be all over so I can go home,” Hall said from jail in Brevard County. “I was pulled to the side and told that I had a warrant.”

The Brevard County Jail won’t let her post bail because the charge is from a different county and she has to be transferred there. Yet with the long holiday weekend, that might not be until Thursday.

Children's Bodies Found in Putnam House After Fire


The bodies of two children who were unaccounted for during a house fire in Putnam early Tuesday morning have been found, according to police.

Officials said on Tuesday morning that the children were feared dead when fire spread through a multifamily Victorian-style house on Prospect Street. Their bodied were found inside the house.

The fire started just before 1 a.m., as five families were asleep inside. Officials believe it started on the third floor.

Four people were taken to Day Kimball Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, including the parents of the missing children.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting through the roof of the three-story building.

Officials said the assistant chief made his best effort to get to the third floor, but firefighters could proceed no further because of the heavy smoke.

"We did have a problem throughout the night. We had to tally our loses and prevent our people from getting too far into the building, so we maintained them at a certain level and that caused the building to burn a little bit,"  Normand Perron said.

The state fire marshal has been called to the scene to investigate.

WINY Radio, based in Putnam, has worked with Putnam Bank to set up a fund to assist the families affected by the fire.

You can drop off donations for the Prospect Street Fire Fund at any office of Putnam Bank or at WINY, 45 Pomfret Street in Putnam.

Make checks payable to Prospect Street Fire Fund, c/o Putnam Bank.




Photo Credit: Steve Miller, NBC Connecticut

Gas Leak in Naugatuck


A gas leak closed Rubber Avenue in Naugatuck Tuesday afternoon.

The road was closed between Neumann Street and Woodruff Street, according to police.

The leak was discovered in the road in front of the Naugatuck Elks Club.  The area is not residential, and there were no evacuations, police said.

Yankee gas crews are working to repair the leak, but police said Rubber Avenue might be closed until 10 p.m.

The Jets, Giants and Red Flags in the Draft


A large number of draft hopefuls have gathered in Mobile, Alabama this week for the Senior Bowl and that means a large number of football coaches and executives are in town as well. 

Giants G.M. Jerry Reese is one of those executives and he spoke to reporters on Tuesday. Given the fact that he was scouting college talent, it's no surprise that one of the questions had to do with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.

Reese said it is too early in the process to know whether Te'o's draft status will be affected by the revelation of the fake girlfriend hoax Te'o and the media used as inspiration for Notre Dame's undefeated regular season. It seems hard to believe that it would reflect well on Te'o regardless of his involvement, but there's little doubt that someone's going to take him come the draft. 

The same is likely true of Tyrann Mathieu, the former LSU cornerback/kick returner known as the Honey Badger. Marijuana use led to Mathieu's dismissal from the school before the start of last season, but Mathieu was a Heisman runner-up in 2011 and his talent is obvious to anyone who has ever seen him play. 

The Post reports that the Jets have spoken to Mathieu in Mobile, where he's trying to meet with teams since he's barred from taking part in the Senior Bowl. In Mathieu and Te'o, the Jets and Giants (and 30 other teams) have two players of obvious talent with risk that's a bit larger than the one you're taking any time you decide to commit to a kid just out of college. 

The big question for the Jets is whether or not talent is going to be enough to override other concerns given everything else floating around the organization right now. There's always been a place for guys with checkered pasts on Rex Ryan's teams, but the Jets have to be cognizant of the way they're viewed by the general public right now. 

If they have the confidence of their convictions, they'll ignore the circus commentary that they know is coming and pick any player they believe will help their team without getting into trouble that keeps him from being on the field. That's a big if, given owner Woody Johnson's preposterous claim this week that he was "forced" into the Tim Tebow trade. 

For a team with as little talent as the Jets have right now, though, it's hard to argue in favor of taking risky players with a top pick. Missing on a top 10 pick would be disastrous unless the Jets want to pick even higher than ninth in the coming years. 

A bit later in the draft, though? That's a very different computation and one that the Jets should think about long and hard as the draft gets closer. 

The shortest route back to respectability for the Jets is an immediate infusion of talent and that's something that would be aided greatly by landing an contributor who became available unexpectedly. Any team would be silly not to consider grabbing players who fall to them under such circumstances and the Jets can't let a potential backlash get in their way. 

The same is true for the Giants. They're always quick to point out the ways that they are a model franchise and rarely wind up with anything close to a scandal involving their players, but they've never shied away from character risks in the past. 

Ahmad Bradshaw, Mario Manningham and Marvin Austin all came to the team despite red flags on their resumes from the college ranks while David Diehl, Will Hill and others have been welcomed back to the team after running afoul of the law or the league. 

The chance to get a premium talent at less than a premium draft spot is a good way for the Giants to put themselves back into the playoff mix, especially when we're talking about players who play spots of need for the team like Mathieu and Te'o. That's not to say that they should draft them come hell or high water, but it's not something that should be dismissed out of hand. 

We're three months away from finding out whether either team takes the plunge. You can bet that plenty of people will share their thoughts on the topic between now and then, but we won't know how much the Jets and Giants are willing to risk until its their turn to make a selection. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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