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Police Search for Missing East Haven Teen


East Haven police are searching for a 15-year-old boy last seen around 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the Foxon Boulevard area of East Haven.

Police said Jonathan Diaz Moore is around 5-feet-2, weighs around 160 pounds and is hair and eyes are brown.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 203-468-3820 or any police department.   

Amazing Shot Wins Trumbull Man a Car


A Trumbull man’s amazing half-court shot will win him a brand new car, even after some apparent controversy over whether his foot went a little over the line.

John Queenan, of Trumbull, went to the Fairfield University vs. Loyola basketball game on Monday and sunk the shot everyone is talking about when he took part in a Tri-State Chevy half-court shot contest for a new car. 

This Tesauro Productions video is the one people have been watching and talking about.

Local sports blogs, including the Hearst newspapers college sports blog, covered the story and reported that there was some question over whether Queenan would actually get the car because the insurance company had to verify it.

Queenan said the marketing company said the shot needed to be verified, but Chevy has come forward and said he will receive the car.

Queenan will get a new Chevy Cruz from Tri-State Chevy, a source close to Tri-State Chevy dealerships told NBC Connecticut.

"It was the right thing to do," Leo Karl, the president of Karl Chevrolet in New Canaan, told the Connecticut Post. "We decided to award him the car regardless of what the insurance company does," he said in reference to reports that an insurance company would have to verify the shot.

Queenan, who played high school basketball in Long Island and coaches in elementary school, said that the dealership has been great and he thinks he will be getting the new car in the next week.

This is the first time Queenan has done some something like this in 25 years, and he's never before taken the shot in front of a crowd of 19,000, so he was pleasantly surprised when he sunk it.

In the meantime, Queenan's phone has been ringing off the hook.

"It's a little surreal," he said.


Photo Credit: Tesauro Productions

Travel Pics, Happy Friends Spark Facebook Envy: Study


Those who feel bad after browsing their friends' vacation photos on Facebook are in good company.

A new joint study (pdf) by Berlin’s Humboldt University and Darmstadt's Technical University found that more than a third of the 600 participants felt frustration and envy after visiting the social network, citing “good news” like vacation photos and the profiles of successful friends as the source of their misery.

"Although respondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of 'others' on this platform – a clear indication that envy is a salient phenomenon in the Facebook context," said project manager and Humboldt University researcher Dr. Hanna Krasnova. "By and large, online social networks allow users unprecedented access to information on relevant others – insights that would be much more difficult to obtain offline."

The Facebook experience is especially painful for passive users who do not engage in interpersonal communication, but rather use the social network for information like friends’ postings and browsing photos, the study said. In fact, the researchers identified a link between passive users and personal happiness.

"Confirming full mediation, we demonstrate that passive following exacerbates envy feelings, which decrease life satisfaction," the report said.

To combat the negative feelings, some users tend to embellish their own Facebook profiles, which in turn provokes feelings of envy in other users in a phenomenon known as “envy spiral.” These instances that occur in the Facebook environment make up one fifth of the events that induce envy among the respondents.

The report also found that people in their mid-30s were more likely to envy family happiness and that women tended to envy physical attractiveness.

Some users avoid jealous feelings by unfriending, or avoiding friending, people who cause the negative experiences, according to the report. This strategy can result in social tension and should give Mark Zuckerberg a cause for concern.

"From a provider’s perspective, our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long-run, endanger platform sustainability," the report said.

Police Search for Bank Robber in New Haven


A man with a gun robbed a bank in New Haven Wednesday.

The suspect entered the First Niagara Bank branch at 36 Fountain Street around 10 a.m., passed a note to the teller and lifted his shirt, showing the teller a black handgun, according to police.

After the teller handed over cash, the man fled on foot, police said.

The suspect is described as 25 to 35 years old. He was approximately 6-feet 2-inches tall with a medium build. A police description said the man has a slight goatee and short brown hair, though he appears to be bald in a bank surveillance photo. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect should call New Haven Police at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Apple Tops Forecast, But Revenue Falls Short


Apple's profit surge halted in the latest quarter, as a flood of new products like the iPhone 5 meant high start-up costs for new production lines.

Apple posted net income for the October to December quarter that was flat with the year before. It was the first time in years that Apple didn't post a double-digit earnings increase. The report also made clear that Apple is no longer able to sustain the breakneck sales increases of the last three years, even with a fresh iPhone on store shelves.

Apple shares fell $31.70, or 6.2 percent, to $482.31, in extended trading, after the release of the results. Net income in the fiscal first quarter was $13.1 billion, or $13.81 per share. That still beat expectations, as analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of $13.48 per share. Revenue was $54.5 billion, up 18 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $55 billion.

Get latest after hour numbers at this link.

"The revenue number is dismal as far as what the expectations were,'' said Jeff Sica president and chief investment officer of SICA Wealth Management. But he added that while it's an "incredible number'' on its own, Apple has "fallen victim to the curse of high expectations.''

Apple shipped 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, about 1 million less than analysts were expecting, and 22.9 million iPads, also about 1 million short. Looking ahead, Apple said it expects sales of between $41 billion and $43 billion in the current quarter, which ends in March.

Apple routinely lowballs its forecasts, but the outlook will likely prompt analysts to lower their own expectations, which were at $45.6 billion. Apple's report comes as investors show concern that the company's rocket-like growth may stall as consumers purchase a growing number of cheaper smartphones from competitors such as Samsung. Apple's stock has plunged 27 percent from its all-time high in September.

Last week, the stock fell below $500 for the first time in 11 months. There's speculation that the company will produce a cheaper iPhone, but that would cut into its stunning profits, which are the whole reason it's become the world's most valuable company.

Apple had warned that the holiday quarter's profits would be lower than Wall Street was initially expecting, because it had so many new products coming out, including the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. New production lines are more expensive to run and yield more defective products that need to be redone or thrown out rather than sold.


Photo Credit: AP

Bullet Found Inside Enfield School


Police were called to Hazardville Memorial School in Enfield on Tuesday after a bullet was found inside.

The 22-caliber bullet was found in a hallway just before 3 p.m., according to Supt. Jeffrey Schumann, who sent a recorded phone message to parents on Tuesday afternoon.

Listen to the superintendent's message here.

Police were called to the school at 68 N. Maple Street and arrived within four minutes, Schumann said.

School staff searched the backpacks of all students and no other bullets were found. No weapons were found or reported as well, Schumann said.

Police will have extra officers at the school on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Friends Remember Murdered Store Manager


New Haven Police released surveillance video Wednesday in their search for the man who shot and killed a store manager.

Abdul Rawas, 55, was killed during a robbery at Orchard Market on Orchard Street in New Haven Tuesday morning.

“He my best friend, 20 years, best friend for 20 years and he was a very good man,” said Nedel Masalmeh, who owns Orchard Market.

Nedel Masalmeh said there was no reason for this robber to shoot Rawas.

“He got like five or six robberies.  He always give the money.  I don't know what happened,” he said.

Police are following up on leads and searching for the man who shot Rawas.  They released new surveillance video showing the suspect first walking into the store, dressed in a two-toned hooded sweatshirt, then walking through the store by the soda case.  They're asking everyone to take a good look at the video and see if they know the man.

“I really hope they find who killed that man, because it was wrong.  That was a good man,” said Johnny Tobin, who knew Rawas from the store.

Many people in the community are still reeling from the store manager's death. 

“You don't need to kill someone to rob ‘em.  Just take the money and leave,” said Tobin.

“He didn't deserve that.  Who would think to do this to this guy?” asked John Valentino, another store customer. “He would help people out.  Even if, he would just help you out, if you didn't have money and you were hungry, he would give you food.  If you needed a good word he'd give it to you.  He was that real."

Police are asking anyone with information to give the New Haven Police Department a call.  You can reach Detective Michael Wuchek  at 203-668-3022, or call Sgt. Tony Reyes at 203-687-0544.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/New Haven Police

Store Owner Fights Back During Robbery Attempt


The owner of a New Haven jewelry store fought back when a would-be robber came into his Chapel Street store on Monday. 

Surveillance video shows Jaesuk Lee fighting off a man who came in to Nim's to rob the store. The two men struggled for minutes, beating one another until Lee pinned down the suspect and held him there until police arrived.  Officers arrested 21-year-old Daren Cogswell.

“I came out of my own business around quarter of five and there were police cars all up and down the street,” said Carol Orr, who owns English Market just down the street and spoke on behalf of Mr. Lee. 

She says this is just one instance of the crime plaguing this section of Chapel Street.

“We have theft one or two times a week in our store,” said Orr.

Lee has been robbed three times in the past few years.  Both owners say something needs to be done to prevent the crime.

“It's kind of the left over portion of New Haven that is not well-tended.  We don't have a lot of police presence here.  We have a lot of vagrancy, a lot of homelessness, passing out on the street,” said Orr.

They're hoping to get more officers on Chapel Street and to get the area cleaned up.  Because, that's the only way the crime will stop and the customers will come in.

“Let's increase the presence on Chapel Street.  Let's work together with the shop owners, and show everyone what we really do have in New Haven.  And there's only one way you can really do that: let's fix this problem,” said Ed Bartlett, who runs CTOutandAbout.com.

Until then, Lee isn’t taking any chances.  He’s closing up early at 4:30 every evening just to be safe.

Police Charge Teen With New Haven Homicide


New Haven Police arrested a 17-year-old boy early Thursday morning and charged him with the murder of a 29-year-old man on Wednesday, as well as possession of multiple weapons. 

Investigators said Lonni Star, 29, of New Haven, was shot once inside his car at the intersection of Level and Lodge streets.

His friend was in the passenger seat, got behind the wheel, drove to get help and ended up at the Dunkin Donuts at 295 Blake St., where she called 911, according to police.

Star was being taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died of the way to the hospital.

“I was like geez,  I just saw him this morning entering his house,” said his neighbor Janet Boyd. 

She and the other neighbors said they never saw anything suspicious at his place.

“He was nice, a real outgoing guy. I’ve never seen him in a bad mood,” said Ivan Cortez.

New Haven Police said they brought in 50 to 60 extra local and state police, as well as federal task force officers to work on the case through the night. Several tips led police to the teen's home, where detectives found a handgun believed to have been used in the crime.

Around 5 a.m., detectives arrested the teen at his home near the crime scene, police said. 

The teen's name is not being released because he is a juvenile. Police have not released any information about a possible motive.

Star's family chose not to speak during the news conference, but Police Chief Dean Esserman expressed the family's grief and relief that a suspect is in custody.

“A loss for any family is a loss for all of us in this family and the New Haven Police Department feels that loss,” Esserman said.

Star is the second homicide victim of the year in New Haven.

Abdul Rawas, 55, was killed during a robbery at Orchard Market on Orchard Street in New Haven the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 22. Police do not have any suspects.


Woman Killed Crossing Busy North Haven Street


North Have police are investigating a fatal crash that killed a 47-year-old woman on Wednesday evening.

The woman was crossing Middletown Avenue near Quinnipiac Avenue at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday when she was struck by a car, according to police..

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police said this is not a criminal act and the driver will not face charges. 

The victim's name has not been released.

North Haven police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call 203-239-5321.

WATCH: Huge Pod of Gray Whales Spotted Off SoCal


Local whale-watchers have reported what they believe was possibly the largest pod of gray whales seen in Southern California waters in at least three decades.

The pod of 23 gray whales was spotted Sunday afternoon off the coast of Palos Verdes by whale-watchers stations at Point Vicente, then confirmed by a whale researcher aboard a crowded vessel off San Pedro.

"ONCE IN A LIFETIME ENCOUNTER!" exclaimed local American Cetacean Society board member Alisa Schulman-Janiger on Facebook.

Schulman-Janiger said in an interview with NBC4 that the pod was first spotted by amateur scientists with the ACS-Los Angeles chapter's annual gray whale census. The volunteers called a local whale-watching boat, which reported the animals were sperm whales, a truly rare sight.

Hearing about the sperm whales, Schulman-Janiger raced from home to board the whale-watching vessel Christopher as it departed Long Beach harbor for its afternoon cruise.

As the boat got closer to the whales, which were now about 7 miles off San Pedro's Point Fermin, she saw with disappointment that they were gray whales, not sperm whales. Then she began counting.

And counting.

"Just when you though that it was over, MORE whales came up," she wrote in an email. "Over 30 years of watching and studying whales, and I was awestruck! I will NEVER forget this day!"

With Catalina Island as a backdrop, jostled by shouting tourists and excited children, Schulman-Janiger and a friend counted 23 flukes – the powerful tail of the whale. They took pictures and shot video, too.

"It was mindboggling how many there were," Schulman-Janiger said. "The sun was getting very low in the sky, and the blows were coming up pink, like pink cotton candy blows."

In 30 years of overseeing the ACS-LA's Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, Schulman-Janiger said she has never seen a pod larger than about 16 whales.

Aboard the boat, she tried to stay calm.

"I was trying to count and stay very dispassionate. My friend and I were trying to count," she recalled. "We knew this was like once in a lifetime."

The news of the sighting spread rapidly among the tight-knit whale-watching community. When Schulman-Janiger returned to shore, she alerted a friend in San Diego who spotted a pod of about 20 whales on Monday morning.

"This is the largest sighting all in one group of gray whales that we’ve ever seen from shore and that I've ever seen in my life and I've heard of in Southern California," Schulman-Janiger said of the pod she saw.

She said she's checking with other researchers in the region to find out if they've ever spotted a larger pod.

Gray whales, which can grow up to 50 feet long, migrate from Arctic waters to Baja Mexico in fall, passing by Southern California beginning in December. They return to their Alaskan feeding grounds throughout the spring.

This year, the northern waters began freezing sooner than normal, so the migration began early – just as it did last year, Schulman-Janiger said.

So far this year, the whale-watchers at Point Vicente have spotted 488 southbound whales as of Jan. 22. For the same date last year, there were 476 whales – a fairly similar number, she said.

For more recent years, however, the volunteers had only counted between 150 and 300 as of Jan. 22.

There are about 21,000 gray whales in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, Schulman-Janiger said. It's not clear why more have been spotted off Southern California in the past two years, she said.

Her whale census project is the longest-running such shore-based project in the world, she said. They're always looking for volunteers.

Next week should mark the peak of the southbound migration. So if you’re an amateur scientist or just a lover of wildlife, get yourself to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes during daylight hours and see the gray whales for yourself.

"All you need are binoculars and patience," Schulman-Janiger said.

Photo Credit: Alisa Schulman-Janiger, ACS/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project

Two Bodies Found Inside Southington Home


Police are trying to identify the two bodies found inside a home on Cedar Drive in Southington on Wednesday afternoon. 

Officers went to 27 Cedar Drive at 2:57 p.m. for a welfare check when a delivery man called and said he saw several newspapers accumulating outside of the home and no one answered the door.

Once police were inside, they found the bodies of a man and woman.  Police said they have not yet positively identified the two deceased individuals.  There is also no word on how the pair may have died.

Southington firefighters tested the air inside the home, but did not detect carbon monoxide or other hazardous gases, according to police.

Police plan to remain at the house while they await more information from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 




Teens Hurt in Avon Crash


Three teenagers were injured, two of them critically, when the car they were in hit a utility pole and split in half in Avon late Wednesday night.

A 16-year old driver and a passenger were critically injured in the crash on Lovely Street and LifeStar rushed them to Hartford Hospital, according to Avon police. 

An ambulance brought a third teen who in the car to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The names of the teens have not been released, but their ages range from 16 to 19 years-old, police said, and all three are from the area.

The crash initially caused about 100 power outages in the area, but Connecticut Light & Power restored power to all but one home by 2 a.m.

Lovely Street was also closed between Blueberry Road and Helena Drive for several hours, but reopened just after 3 a.m..

The Avon Police Department and the North Central Municipal Accident Reconstruction Squad are investigating the crash.


Driver in Avon Crash Didn't Have License: DMV


Three teenagers were injured, two of them critically, when the car they were in hit a utility pole and split in half in Avon late Wednesday night.

Lifestar transported Gary Wright, 16, of Canton, Michael Follert, 19, Avon, from the scene of the crash on Lovely Street, officials said. Wright is in critical condition

Officials have identified Wright as the driver. He remains in critical condition to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Follert is listed in stable condition at Hartford Hospital.

An ambulance brought the other passenger, Frank O'Connor, 18, of Avon,  to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He was discharged this morning.

According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, Wright does not have a license. He was operating with a learner's permit that was issued in March 2012.

During the first six months with a learner's permit, drivers with a learner's permit are not allowed to have passengers in the car other than a licensed driving instructor, parents or legal guardians, or someone 20 years or older who has a good driving record.

During the second six months, the only additional passengers allowed in the car are members of the driver's immediate family. 

The crash initially caused about 100 power outages in the area, but Connecticut Light & Power restored power to all but one home by 2 a.m.

Lovely Street was also closed between Blueberry Road and Helena Drive for several hours, but reopened just after 3 a.m..

The Avon Police Department and the North Central Municipal Accident Reconstruction Squad are investigating the crash.



Vernon Man Charged With Child Sex Assault


A 26-year-old Vernon man accused of forcing an 11-year-old to perform a sex act on him at a Rockville address last year was arrested on Wednesday.

Police began investigating Eliga Bray in October 2012 when Enfield Police contacted Vernon Police about alleged sexual assaults that occurred in Vernon and Enfield, police said.

Bray was arrested on Nov. 9 for the Enfield charges and was out on bond when Vernon police arrested him on a warrant on Wednesday.

Bray was charged with sex assault in the first degree, unlawful restraint in the second degree and risk of injury.

Bond was set at $500,000 and Bray is being held at the Vernon Police Department.


"What an Exciting Day for Women in the Military"

A retired U.S. Air Force pilot is praising the military's decision to lift the ban on women in combat.

Gas Leak Forces Evacuation of 2 Waterbury Schools


Students from Wilby High School and North End Middle Schools in Waterbury are being allowed back into school after being evacuated on Thursday morning.

Schools were evacuated when the odor of gas was detected.

The students were placed on school buses and moved to Bucks Hill Elementary School while the odor was investigated. 

Yankee Gas fixed the leak and Waterbury firefighters aired out the buildings. Normal school activities are resuming.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Alleged Te'o Hoaxster Faked Woman's Voice on Phone Calls: Lawyer


A lawyer for Manti Te'o's alleged hoaxster has added a new wrinkle to the already thorny mystery of the Notre Dame football star's fake dead girlfriend, saying that his client disguised his voice to sound like a woman's. The reveal comes just as Te'o's interview with ABC's Katie Couric is set to air Thursday.

The man allegedly behind the hoax, an acquaintance named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, posed as the fictional Lennay Kekua not just online but in a number of all-night phone conversations with Te'o, Tuiasosopo's lawyer Milton Grimes told The New York Daily News.

Te'o thought he was speaking with his supposed girlfriend when in fact, Grimes said, "It was Ronaiah as Lennay" — faking a woman's voice with a falsetto.

"Come on, Hollywood does it all the time," Grimes told the Daily News. "People can do that."

Tuiasosopo — a musician and singer who has auditioned for NBC's "The Voice" and performs with a Christian band — has had voice and dramatic training, the Daily News reported.

"This wasn't a prank to make fun," Grimes told the Daily News, terming the hoax "a person with a troubled existence trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship." He declined to characterize the specifics of how his client might be troubled.

Last week, an anonymous friend of Tuiasosopo told ESPN that he had tearfully called her and confessed to the hoax. She said he told her it was not the first time he had created a fake persona online to dupe somebody into a relationship.

ESPN also interviewed two other people who said their relatives had been duped by Tuiasosopo in a similar scam.

Tuiasosopo himself has not spoken publicly about his alleged involvement in the hoax.

Te'o for his part has denied any involvement in the hoax, saying he was simply a victim.

He did admit to Katie Couric in an interview set to air on Couric's ABC show Thursday that he had lied about his supposed girlfriend's death of leukemia more than once, even after he had discovered the hoax.

"Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12," Te'o said. "Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?"

Photo Credit: Getty Images

At Avon High, Teens Learn Sign Language


Susan Steers’ language class differs from almost every other one in Connecticut in at least one way. It's silent.

She teaches American Sign Language for three periods a week at Avon High School.

Marc Hilyard, a senior at the high school, is hearing impaired, but is just now delving into the study of ASL.

"The first class was so interesting. We thought she was messing with us, ‘cause she didn't talk to us," Hilyard said.

The class was introduced last year and is offered as enrichment on a non-credit basis, meaning students sacrifice their free period to learn the language.

Nicole Rynne, 15m took the class last year and wants to pursue a career as an ASL translator.

She even takes extra lessons at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford.

"It's harder for a hearing person to learn sign language because we're so used to talking in full sentences, and with sign language you don't talk in full sentences. You don't use all of the words," Rynne said.

The program is funded by the family of Mellissa Andrew, a student an Avon High who died in crash in a 2010, the summer before her senior year. Sign language was a passion of Melissa's and the district wanted to introduce it in the high school as a tribute to her.

None of the students in the class is deaf, but the teacher is and the students think that makes the class truly special.

"Facial expressions are really important," Hilyard said. "People think sign language is just with your hands doing whatever. It's more with your whole body, your emotion put behind words. If you change your tone of voice or inflection, it's the meaning you put on the word."

What's speaks the loudest in the classroom is the passion Steers instills in the teens every day.

"I'm walking in here like, ‘What am I gonna learn today? It's gonna be a new experience. What's she gonna show us today? Every time I walk into that classroom, I know I'm going to come out with something better than I had before,"  Hilyard said.

The superintendent of schools said he hopes to offer ASL as a for-credit class next school year.

Shelton City Hall Employee Arrested


A Shelton City Hall worker was arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing city funds for 10 years.

Sharon Scanlon, 48, of Shelton, turned herself in to State Police around 1:30 p.m. She is employed as an assistant finance director for Shelton.

According to police, Scanlon wrote checks to herself from the Shelton City Hall account and then deposited the checks into her personal checking account using ATMs at several locations. Scanlon drafted the fraudulent checks for more than 10 years, police said.

The total amount Scanlon is accused of stealing was not released.

Scanlon is charged with larceny and 56 counts of forgery. She was released on $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 5.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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