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Baby Gets CPR on Side of Expressway


A motorist came to the rescue of a baby who started turning blue on the side of the Dolphin Expressway in Miami on Thursday, the Miami Herald reported.

Pamela Rauseo was stuck in traffic just east of 57th Avenue when her 5-month-old nephew, Sebastian de la Cruz, stopped breathing. Lucila Godoy happened to be stuck in the same traffic and was able to come to Sebastian's aid, performing CPR on the side of the road, the Herald reported.

Rauseo told reporters she was in panic and kept thinking she could not let anything happen to the baby while he was with her.

Rauseo, Godoy and a Sweetwater Police officer each performed CPR until Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived and rushed Sebastian to Jackson Memorial Hospital's pediatrics unit.

The baby was listed in critical but stable condition Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Photo Credit: Al Diaz/Miami Herald

Pedestrian Critically Injured in Bridgeport Crash


Bridgeport Police are investigating a crash that put a pedestrian in critical condition.

The pedestrian, Andres Nunez, 38, of Lewis Street, suffered a severe head injury in a crash just before 8:30 p.m. in the area of State Street and Iranistan Avenue.

Police said the driver of the BMW sport utility vehicle remained on the scene.

The SUV was traveling east on State Street. The pedestrian was in right lane when he was struck.

Nunez was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, and the crash is under investigation.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Boy Robs Ice Cream Man With Gun


A child used a gun to rob an ice cream truck Thursday, according to San Diego police.

The ice cream truck driver told police he was held up at the corner of Black Oak Road and Meadowbrook Drive Thursday just before 7 p.m.

San Diego police said a boy approached the truck on foot, displayed the handgun and demanded cash.

Once he got the money, the boy got away riding a skateboard.

San Diego’s robbery division is investigating the case. They are taking the crime very seriously.

"He believed it was a real weapon, and that's what we're going with," said Officer James Johnson. "Now, whether it turns out to be a pellet gun or an air soft, who knows, but at this point it's described as a very real handgun."

Officers said the boy was described as 10 to 12 years old and about 100 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt and red basketball shorts.

The ice cream truck driver was not injured.

Officials originally said several children were involved in the robbery. There were other children in the area, but officers say it now appears that those children were not involved.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Firefighter Injured During Fall Through Skylight


A firefighter suffered severe injuries after helping to rescue a person who jumped in the Connecticut River on Thursday.

East Hartford firefighter James Silver was badly hurt after falling off a rooftop while trying to rescue someone.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, a person who was crossing the bridge from East Hartford into Hartford jumped off the bridge into the Connecticut River, police said.

Police and fire departments from Hartford and East Hartford responded and authorities said the rescue operation was challenging.

In trying to determine the best rescue method, Silver, the fire department's chief training officer, was injured after stepping on a snow-covered skylight on the rooftop of an adjacent building on East River Drive.

East Hartford Fire Chief James Oats said Silver

fell 14 feet to a landing, then backward down a half flight of stairs to the landing below.

He was taken to Hartford Hospital to be treated for serious injuries to his lower leg.

Silver is not at home.


Photo Credit: Ginny Apple

Route 171 Closed in Union

Costas Gets "Red Eye" Treatment


If snarky comments on social media over an eye infection weren't hard enough on NBC's Bob Costas, "Today" show host Matt Lauer added to the barrage in person on Friday's show.

The prank started innocent enough. A stone-faced Lauer asked Costas, who took off five days from primetime Olympic coverage due to the ill-timed affliction, when he was leaving Sochi -- a perfect setup to the deed.

"I will leave on Monday," Costas, who was wearing sunglasses to conceal his healing eyes, replied.

"You are? Taking the red eye (flight) home?" Lauer quipped.

The laughter from the crew and subsequent off-camera high-five from Al Roker sealed the deal.

The long-time Olympics host started duty in Sochi with his left eye reddened from viral conjunctivitis that he hoped would clear up quickly. Instead, it spread quickly to his right eye. It made his vision blurry and sensitivity to light made working impossible. His red eyes were a popular topic on social media.

Lauer and Meredith Vieira filled in for him. Costas thanked the two, and viewers for expressing concern.

"My apologies to everyone for the unavoidable but uncomfortable circumstance of a broadcaster's ill-timed affliction getting in the way, even for just a moment, from what we all came here for," Costas said when he returned on Monday.

Photo Credit: TODAY; NBC Olympics

Tolland Officials Urge Residents, Business Owners to Check Roofs for Snow


Officials in Tolland are urging residents and business owners in town to check roofs for snow to avoid problems with leaks.

“Current weather models are forecasting an active storm pattern, which is expected to continue for the next few weeks. For the next 4 days, temperatures will be above normal for this time of the year which will cause some limited melting of the deep snowpack. This will likely be offset by around ¼” – ½” of rain that may add some additional weight to existing roofs. However if any thunderstorms occur later this week, they may bring a quick inch of rainfall to parts of the state,” William P. Shea, deputy commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said in a statement.

Officials are urging people in town to check snow and ice accumulation on rooftops, canopies and other structures “now” and take immediate measures to reduce heavy loads.

They also urged residents to clear snow and ice from around building foundations to reduce the chance of basement flooding.

Roof collapses or other structural damages in Tolland should be reported to Tolland Emergency Management. 

E-mail information to btanner@tolland.org or call 860-871-3677 x 2142. Please include the owner's contact information, location, date, time and if possible, photographs. 

In an emergency dial 911.

Bode Miller: What's Next?


Bode Miller's Olympic career is over. The kid who came to the 2002 Salt Lake Games full of moxie and miraculous saves, left Torino with a bad attitude and nary a medal, only to rise from the ashes in Vancouver to become America's most decorated Olympic skier, has officially left the building.

As far as stories go, Sochi proved a fitting conclusion, the feel-good character arc to Miller's own myth. He might not have walked away with an Olympic gold in downhill (as his own lightening quick training runs portended) and fell short in the super-G, but seeing him — at 36 — satisfied with a bronze, smiling in the arms of his new beautiful bride Morgan, dedicating his skiing to his kids and shedding heartfelt tears for his late brother Chelone, was enough to satiate American fans. We'd seen the once brash kid from New Hampshire finally grow up just before he bowed out.

And isn't that all we ever wanted? Let's face it, in America, we're only fair-weather fans of Olympic sports, glued to the TV (or web or phone) every four years, equally enamored by the personality, the story, as we are the athlete.

Miller's story paid in spades. The son of off-the-grid hippies, he burst onto the Alpine scene with big results and an even bigger mouth, confounding traditionalists with his ragged, win big or crash out technique. Not only did Miller do it with speed, but he also did it with style, sitting back when you were supposed to dive forward, flailing his arms when you were supposed to remain composed. For Miller, there was never a middle ground, every run a high-wire act that kept spectators on the edge of their seats.

Often, Miller's chaotic skiing and candid comments eclipsed his consistent — as in, consistently brilliant — results. Beyond his storied Olympic career, Miller has won 33 Alpine World Cup races, the most of any American man, and collected the coveted overall title twice. On top of that, he's a four-time World Champion and ranks as one of only a handful of racers to have won a race in all five of Alpine's disparate disciplines. In the 2004-2005 season, then arguably at the height of his powers, Miller made history by winning a World Cup downhill, super-G, giant slalom and slalom in the record-setting span of 16 days (again, only a select few skiers have ever done this, and it took most an entire career to do so). By the time the World Championships rolled around that February, he lit up the races with two gold medals, but made an even bigger splash by losing a ski in the downhill portion of the combined and skiing the rest of the way down on one leg — a typically non-traditional move from the American that further endeared him to his already fawning fanbase (at the expense of royally ticking off his U.S. Ski Team coaches).

With all that behind him, Miller could have easily retired in 2012 as a legend. Instead he opted for knee surgery, sat out the 2013 season and returned this year a full 20 pounds lighter with a new wife and eyes on a final Olympics. Not even a controversial custody battle for his son could derail his focus, but critics wondered if he was past his prime in a sport that favors the quickness, agility and energy of far younger men.

True to form, Miller defied the odds. By the time the Alpine World Cup tour hit Beaver Creek, Colo., in December, the 36-year old rallied to his first podium, finishing just behind Sochi gold medalist Ted Ligety in a giant slalom. The result silenced doubters and ratcheted up expectations, but the big win never came. Just as he did in the downhill at these Sochi Games nearly two weeks ago, Miller often dazzled in World Cup training runs only to come up just short on race day. At Kitzbuhel, Austria's Hahnenkamm downhill (the most feared stop on the circuit and, some would argue, more important on a racer's resume than Olympic gold), he scorched the sole practice run by nearly a second before finishing third. The race remains one of the few Miller has failed to win.

Which leads to one last question: While Miller the Olympian is finished, is Miller the ski racer done, too? Unlike the ambivalence he showcased in Torino, Miller came into Sochi telling the press he wanted to win, but was forced to settle for bronze. Sure, he was happy, but just as the rest of his World Cup season suggested, there could have been so much more. Not exactly a note a competitor — even one with a bum knee and new family — wants to end on. 

Fortunately, redemption, as it were, could be right around the corner. With the 2015 Alpine World Championships taking place in Beaver Creek — a venue Miller has won a record three downhills in — next February, here's betting there's one more encore left in the Bode Miller Show.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Super Storm Sandy Intake Centers to Close Soon


Time is running out for homeowners impacted by Super Storm Sandy to receive in-person, one-on-one counseling on applying  for assistance at the state’s intake centers in East Haven, Milford, Norwalk and Groton. 

The centers will officially close March 1, but the last day applicants can receive assistance at these centers is Feb 28, according to Evonne Klein, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing.

The Fairfield intake center will remain open until April 1. 

Homeowners can still apply online by visiting https://sandyctapplication.com/Default.aspx.

Elderly or disabled residents who cannot travel will still have access to mobile units.

Schedule a mobile unit appointment by calling 866-272-1976.

Since the centers opened last fall, staff have met with more than 1,200 Connecticut residents and there have been 720 applications for assistance.

Intake centers are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:  

East Haven: 52 South End Road, Unit A
Milford: Parson Government Center, 70 West River Street
Norwalk: Old Fire Department, 100 Fairfield Avenue
Groton: Senior Center, 102 Newton Road
Fairfield: Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace

To learn more, visit www.ctrecovers.ct.gov.

Chicago Gays Can Wed Now: Judge


Same-sex couples don’t have to wait until June to get married in the Chicago area, thanks to a federal judge’s ruling issued Friday.

"There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry," said U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, in a ruling that appeared to affect only Illinois' Cook County, where Chicago is.

The ruling drew quick praise from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and from Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest gay rights organization.

"Chicago welcomes all couples to get married here to celebrate their love and to have the bonds of their family acknowledged under law," said Emanuel. "I look forward to the day where every American enjoys the same freedom to marry, and when our country can provide equal rights to every man or woman -- gay or straight."

Cook County Clerk David Orr said his office would remain open until 7 p.m. Friday for couples who wish to get their marriage licenses, which cost $60 and are valid for 60 days.

"This is a day that’s been a long time coming," he said.

Some -- like Charlie Gurion and David Wilk -- saw news of the judge's ruling on Facebook and became the first couple to get a marriage license.

"We were actually planning to have our marriage in September," said Gurion. "But things apparently are going to be pushed up a bit."

In December, Coleman ruled that a same-sex couple in which one or both partners has a life-threatening illness doesn't have to wait June to get married, when Illinois’ gay marriage law take effect statewide.

Friday’s ruling appears to technically affect only marriages in Cook County.

With Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, Illinois last November became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage, but the law was not to have taken effect until June 1.

Photo Credit: Mary Ann Ahern

Rain Moving in, Dense Fog Advisories Issued


Rain is moving in and dense fog advisories have been issued for parts of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued dense fog advisoriess for New Haven, Middlesex, New London and Fairfield counties until 5 p.m.   

Rain is moving in from the south and west and could be heavy at times. Thunder and lightning are possible as rain moves through this afternoon and early evening. 

On Saturday, the weather will be warmer and dry. It will be mostly sunny, with a high of 50.

On Sunday, the temperatures dip down to a high near 40 and there is a chance of afternoon or evening snow showers.

Our NBC Connecticut meteorologists are also keeping their eyes on a possible wintry mix on Wednesday.

Rain on top of snow, and more winter weather on the way have emergency officials concerned about the structural integrity of roofs, particularly flat roofs.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is urging people to clear snow from roofs before more winter weather hits the state next week.

"With several weeks of winter still remaining and substantial snow already on many roofs, it is imperative that residents, businesses and governments guard against potential collapses,” Malloy said in a statement. "Residents should be aggressive about protecting their structures. With forecasters predicting an active storm pattern to continue over the next few weeks, now is the time to start clearing snow from your roofs to prevent heavy buildup.”

Malloy also encouraged residents with elderly or disabled neighbors to offer assistance with roof clearing if appropriate.

Residents who cannot clear their own roofs and need to pay for services to do so should contact the Better Business Bureau to ensure the quality of the vendor, according to Malloy.

Emergency crews in some towns, including Tolland, are urging residents and business owners to check their structures to avoid the possibility or leaks.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sochi Day 14: A Tough Hockey Loss


Another day, another heartbreaking U.S. loss to Canada in hockey.

This time it was the men who let their chances at gold slip away.

That was the biggest story line out of Sochi on Friday, day 14 of the Winter Olympics.

But the day wasn't totally depressing, thanks to an 18-year-old skier who won slalom gold. Her commanding performance helped keep the Americans on top of the medal board.

D'oh! Canada wins again

One of the Olympics’ most anticipated showdowns, between the U.S. and Canadian men’s hockey teams, ended Friday with another American disappointment.

A day after the U.S. women’s team lost to Canada in the gold-medal final, the men fell 1-0 in the semifinals, losing their shot at gold.

The game was seen as a rematch of the 2010 gold medal final in Vancouver, in which the Canadian men beat the Americans in overtime.

Friday’s loss means that the U.S. men will end another Winter Games without a gold medal, which they haven’t won since 1980, the year of the “Miracle on Ice.”

A bronze is still within reach, though. The U.S. will play Finland for that medal on Saturday.

Canada, meanwhile, will take on Sweden in the gold medal match on Sunday.

Gold for the kid

The brightest moment for the U.S. on Friday came courtesy of a teenaged skier.

Mikaela Shiffrin, 18, became the youngest woman ever to win slalom gold, beating defending champion Mari Hoefl-Riesch of Germany by half a second.

The victory brought the U.S. its second gold medal in Alpine skiing, after Ted Ligety won the giant slalom earlier in the week.

The U.S. has won five total Alpine medals in Sochi, down from its seven in Vancouver four years ago but still a bright spot given disappointing performances from some of America’s highly touted stars.

Shiffrin came within inches of losing the race. In her second of two runs, she briefly lost control on a turn, lifting a leg up to catch her balance. She recovered and still finished faster than her closest rivals.

Exit Bode

With Shiffrin representing the future of American ski racing, its aging champion ended his Olympic career.

Bode Miller decided to sit out Saturday’s men’s slalom competition and returned home to nurse a bum knee. He said he wants to finish out the current World Cup season.

But Sochi seemed a fitting conclusion.

Brash and unpredictable, Miller, 36, sat out the 2013 season with a knee injury but roared back this year. He showed flashes of brilliance in his downhill training runs in Sochi but failed to make the podium.

He held it together in the super-G, winning bronze, his sixth career medal, a finish that brought him to tears and made him America’s most decorated Olympic skier.

Now his fans have to wait to see if he’s got anything left to give.

The speedskating debacle is complete

It’s time for American speedskaters to do some serious soul-searching.

They were by far the U.S. team’s biggest disappointment in Sochi, getting shut out of the podium in long-track events for the first time 30 years.

Two final defeats came Friday in the men’s and women’s team pursuit events.

“Worst Olympics ever,” said American star Shani Davis, according to the Associated Press.

The lone consolation happened Friday on the short track, where the U.S. men’s 5000m relay team won a silver medal.

Speedskating had traditionally been one of the U.S.’s strongest sports at the Winter Games. But no longer.

They have been totally eclipsed by the Dutch, who have won a whopping 22 long-track speedskating medals in Sochi.

U.S. leads medal count

Shiffrin's gold and the short-track silver raised America's total medal count to 27, tops in Sochi.

The U.S. has nine golds, which leaves it in a three-way tie with Russia and Canada behind Norway's 10.

That slim overall lead could still evaporate in the final weekend, with the culmination of 10 more medal events.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Car Plunges Headfirst Into Sinkhole


A car plunged headfirst into a 10-foot-wide sinkhole on Long Island Friday as a woman was parking in her driveway after returning from an acupuncture appointment.

Authorities said the woman had just arrived at her Rockville Centre home when the ground opened up, swallowing her four-door Subaru.

The driver, 65-year-old Gayle Sorrentino, said she was in shock but managed to call 911 after the car toppled into the hole.

"I was only afraid -- the sand around started to come down a little bit, and I just didn't know if it was going to stay stationary or going to collapse," said Sorrentino. 

A friend, Howard Osborne, said he was inside the home and came up the stairs to see the car sticking up in the air.

He rushed outside and Sorrentino told him she had already called 911. Rescuers arrived and were able to pull her out the driver's side window, Osborne said.

Sorrentino was not hurt.

Osborne said he believed that the sinkhole opened up over a dry well from the 1920s, while authorities described it as a cesspool.

Top Olympic stories:

For Shiffrin, Youth Doesn't Hurt


With a clutch performance down a choppy course, 18-year old Mikaela Shiffrin skied to a gold medal under the lights in Friday's night slalom, becoming the youngest ever Olympic champion in the event. She beat Austrian slalom legend Marlies Schild, the skier she grew up idolizing.

After setting the fastest first run with a smooth, near-flawless performance down the soft, soggy snow, Shiffrin — running 30th in the evening leg — stood atop the course looking incredibly relaxed, even as she watched the world's best female slalom skiers get rocked by ruts resembling a bobsled run.

Shiffrin was so cool and calm, in fact, that even a near race-ending bobble in the second run couldn't derail her destiny. On the upper section of the course's pitch, she got thrown wide around a gate and almost came off course.

"There I was, I'm like, 'Great. I'm just going to go win my first medal.' And then in the middle of the run, I'm like, 'Guess not.'" Schiffrin told reporters. "So like, 'No. Don't do that. Do not give up. You see this through.' My whole goal was to just keep my skis moving."

Aside from the mistake and impressive recovery, everything else went according to plan.

Shiffrin is that rare skier who doesn't let nerves disrupt fast turns, no easy task in a sport that leaves little room for error. It's this ability to keep her composure no matter how high the stakes (or slim her experience) that's allowed Shiffrin to quickly become the world's best slalom skier in a span of only two years.

In 2011, the then 16-year old high school student burst onto the U.S. Ski Team by winning a national title in slalom. Nine months later, she landed on her first World Cup podium in the same discipline, and last year she broke through with four World Cup wins en route to winning the overall slalom title, plus a World Championship gold in the same event.

This season, Shiffrin — still a two-event skier who focuses on the technical disciplines — added giant slalom to her repertoire, netting two podium finishes in addition to her three slalom wins.

All this success added up to one thing: Pressure. The teenager came into Sochi as a threat in giant slalom (she'd go on to finish a respectable fifth in that event) and the favorite in slalom. So rather than merely soak up the experience of her first Olympics, Shiffrin had to deal with an intense media spotlight firmly trained on her as news outlets scrambled to find an American replacement for the injury-sidelined Lindsey Vonn.

Vonn comparisons have been inevitable during the young skier's career. But despite making her World Cup debut at 16, Vonn went four years before scoring her first win on the circuit, and another six before she claimed gold in Vancouver.

With seven World Cup wins to her credit and now an Olympic gold medal dangling around her neck, Shiffrin is on the accelerated program. And with her skill set rapidly expanding, the Colorado native is poised for many more Olympic medals, not to mention a potentially record-setting career.

For now, however, the youngster is just enjoying her moment.

"Today was one of the most special days of my life," said Shiffrin, clutching an American flag, beaming in the damp Russian night air and finally letting herself soak up the experience.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Monkey-Shaped Teething Toy Recall


A squeaking teething toy sold at a popular big-box retail store is being recalled because the monkey-shaped teether may pose a choking hazard to young children, the company announced.

Made of soft orange rubber, the Squeeze & Teethe Monkey was sold at Target stores nationwide from December 2012 to January 2014, the manufacturer, Infantino, said in a recall alert. It cost about $12.99 and was marketed for ages newborn and up.

There have been at least seven reports of infants choking or gagging on the toy’s tail, according to the Associated Press. No injuries have been reported.

"Infantino" is marked on the back of the toy toward the rear and model number 206-647 is marked on the inside of the rear left leg.

About 191,000 Squeeze & Teethe Monkey teethers are included in the recall, the AP reported. A similar toy with the model number 206-949 is not affected, the company said.

Customers who have the recalled toy should stop using it immediately and call Infantino for a free replacement product. The company can be reached weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT by calling 888-808-3111, or customers can request a new item by clicking on this link.

Photo Credit: Infantino

Garage Collapses in West Haven


A one-car garage collapsed in West Haven under the weight of rain-soaked snow early Friday morning.

This is one of several structures to collapse in the last few days and officials warn that buildings with a flat roof are more susceptible to caving in.

It is unclear whether the West Haven garage can be repaired or if it'll need to be torn down.

There was another garage collapse in Meriden on Thursday and part of an old storage facility on Water Street in West Haven also collapsed this week.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is urging people to clear snow from roofs before more winter weather hits the state next week.

"With several weeks of winter still remaining and substantial snow already on many roofs, it is imperative that residents, businesses and governments guard against potential collapses,” Malloy said in a statement. "Residents should be aggressive about protecting their structures. With forecasters predicting an active storm pattern to continue over the next few weeks, now is the time to start clearing snow from your roofs to prevent heavy buildup.”

Malloy also encouraged residents with elderly or disabled neighbors to offer assistance with roof clearing if appropriate.

Residents who cannot clear their own roofs and need to pay for services to do so should contact the Better Business Bureau to ensure the quality of the vendor, according to Malloy.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Whale Rarely Seen Washes Ashore Off Connecticut Coast


A whale never seen before off the Connecticut shores washed up on a beach on Fishers Island.

Researchers at Mystic Aquarium said they were notified about the whale carcass yesterday. Pictures today confirmed it as a Cuvier's beaked whale.

The Cuvier's beaked whale is seen in waters around the globe, but usually stays in open waters and does not usually come near land, according to Janelle Schuh, stranding coordinator for Mystic Aquarium's animal rescue program. It is the first whale of this species the aquarium has seen wash ashore in this area.

The whale appears badly decomposed and researches say its not clear if it somehow beached itself, or if it died out to sea and then drifted ashore.

Mystic Aquarium is planning to send a research team to Fishers Island on Sunday to inspect the whale.

Fishers Island is in New York waters, but sits just about two miles of the coast of Groton.

Photo Credit: Brian Faulkner

Sikorsky to Lay Off 600


Sikorsky Aircraft notified employees today that they will be laying off around 600 employees, mostly in Connecticut, because of “challenging and unstable economic conditions.”

The company employs around 8,200 people in Connecticut and 16,500 total globally, according to a statement from spokesman Paul Jackson. 

Many of  the layoffs will be in Stratford, according to State Senator Kevin Kelly, who issued a statement saying he is "extremely disappointed."

“I am extremely disappointed that Sikorsky will be eliminating so many jobs here in Connecticut. Hundreds of families will be negatively impacted by this decision, and my heart goes out to these individuals. Our community will suffer greatly from this loss," Kelly said in a statement. “Right now my top concern is to help the displaced workers. But we also must look at the bigger issues at play. Connecticut’s economy is suffering and our job market is shrinking. When a layoff of this scale occurs, it becomes clear that Connecticut is in trouble. If our employers cannot prosper, neither can our people.”

About half of the people being laid off are salaried positions while the other half hold hourly positions.

“Today we notified employees that the company will undertake further restructuring amid the challenging and unstable economic conditions that continue to affect our industry. This workforce reduction will occur over the next several weeks and follow significant cost reduction actions that the company has already taken. These decisions are always difficult to make but necessary to protect the company’s competitiveness and future.  As is our practice, we will provide transition assistance for those employees who are affected,” Jackson said in a statement.

Cuts to hourly employees will be staggered throughout the year.

Kelly said he will be sending a letter to the state Department of Labor Commissioner Glen Marshall to express his concerns and ask that the department’s Rapid Response Team be dispatched to educate the workers about training opportunities, job search assistance and unemployment benefits.

Video Shows Principal Allegedly Dragging Students


A Bridgeport, Conn. schools administrator said Friday that a video showing a principal dragging two young students down a hallway should have led to the principal's firing.


The videos, made public this week, show Tisdale School principal Carmen Perez Dickson dragging two kindergartners through the halls on different occasions, according to Sandra Kase, chief administrative officer for Bridgeport Schools.



The incidents took place in the spring of 2012.

The Board of Education investigated the incidents, and in October 2013 it voted to suspend Dickson for six months, rather than to fire her, something Kase had recommended.

"The Board did not exactly agree with us, so the action that was taken was not what we recommended. If I saw the same evidence and saw the same video today, we'd support the same recommendation we made at the time," Kase said.

Video of the incidents was provided to NBC Connecticut by the mothers of each of the children involved.

Board members were divided on the punishment for Dickson. Leticia Colon voted to have her fired.

"Children go to school to learn and to be respected and we are an example. And if we start to bully, then we can't expect much from these children. They will learn to bully others," Colon said.

Dickson's attorney said her client's actions were within Board of Education policy guidelines in using reasonable force.

Dickson will return from her six-month suspension next month, but she will not return as principal at Tisdale School, according to Kase.

Bribery Charges for Calif. Lawmaker


The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles announced a slew of federal charges, including bribery and influence peddling, against California State Sen. Ron Calderon on Friday.

A Democrat serving Montebello, Calderon took about $100,000 in cash bribes plus plane trips, golf trips and gourmet meals, according to prosecutors. The alleged scheme involved working for or against certain state legislation.

“When public officials choose to callously betray the trust of the people that they serve and selfishly line their pockets with money for the privilege of holding the office they serve," U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte said in a Friday press conference, "then it’s up to us to take the steps responsible to make sure we hold these individuals accountable."

The indictment charges Calderon with mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

The 56-year-old lawmaker has agreed to surrender next week, the FBI said. If convicted, Calderon faces a statutory maximum sentence of 396 years in federal prison.

Tom Calderon, 59, the senator's brother, also is charged in connection with the alleged scheme. He is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and seven counts of money laundering for allegedly funneling bribe money through a non-profit group and consulting company he operates, prosecutors said. Tom Calderon pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday afternoon.

The charges -- in the form of a 24-count indictment -- come nearly four months after Al Jazeera America published a sealed 125-page FBI affidavit, which explained the FBI’s alleged "probable cause to believe" Ron Calderon was involved in a handful of bribery schemes including an offer to:

  • halt workers' compensation laws to benefit a Long Beach hospital executive
  • an undercover agent for a state-funded job in the state Senate
  • support legislation that would help independent film studios receive tax credits

The lawmaker’s attorney, Mark Geragos, called the allegations in the affidavit “false and defamatory,” and Ron Calderon alleged that his office was raided in 2013 after he refused to “secretly record conversations with Senator [Darrell] Steinberg and Senator [Kevin] de Leon.”

In the wake of the FBI raid on Ron Calderon’s office, the senator filed a complaint in Sacramento in 2013 accusing Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Miller of involvement in “a string of illegal leaks” that date back to 2010.

Federal prosecutors allege that Ron Calderon accepted $28,000 in bribes from Michael D. Drobot, former owner of the now-closed Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, in exchange for supporting legislation that “delay or limit changes in California’s workers’ compensation laws relating to the amount of medical care providers are reimbursed for performing spinal surgeries.”

In another case announced by the U.S. Attorney’s office Friday, prosecutors said Drobot has agreed to plead guilty regarding a major health care fraud scheme.

The charges against the hospital executive involve tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks in exchange for a glut of patient referrals who received spinal surgeries. The referrals, according to prosecutors, led to more than $500 million in bills, which were fraudulently submitted and, in large part, paid by the California worker’s compensation system.

Law-enforcement sources described the allegations as what could be one of the largest health care fraud cases in state history.

Drobot is suspected of having had a heavy hand for some 15 years in the alleged kick-back scheme, which was financed by inflated prices on medical devices implanted in state workers’ compensation patients.

The scheme exploited the spinal pass-through law, which Ron Calderon allegedly kept on the books after receiving bribes from Drobot, authorities said.

Drobot was not indicted in the Calderons’ corruption case, but admitted to paying bribes to the senator, the FBI said. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 31.

As part of a plea agreement, Drobot has agreed to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation of the health care fraud scheme, as well as the government’s prosecution of the Calderon brothers.

In addition to accepting bribes from Drobot, Ron Calderon allegedly also accepted $60,000 from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio head, authorities said.

After Calderons’ indictment was made public Friday, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia said she hopes “the days where special interests have the ability to unduly influence elected officials” are coming to a close.

“Much of this corruption has occurred in my own backyard, where I have fought for ethical behavior and public accountability at all levels of government,” Garcia, who is the co-chair of the Assembly Ethics Committee, said in a statement. Friday’s charges “are a setback and damaging to our political system.”

Ron Calderon will be arraigned Feb. 24. Tom Calderon self-surrendered Friday morning, prosecutors said, and will be arraigned Friday afternoon.

“Corruption victimizes each and every one of us,” Bill Lewis, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said Friday. “Perhaps more than robbing us of money, corruption robs of us trust in government.”

Steinberg, the California Senate leader, is calling on Calderon to resign his Senate seat.

NBC News' Andrew Blankstein contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncell
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