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NY Journalist Held in Ukraine: I Had It "Easy"


A Brooklyn-based journalist covering the crisis in Ukraine who was held in a dank cellar for four days by pro-Russia insurgents who accused him of spying for "enemy organizations" says that he had it easy -- because was released.

In a column Friday
, VICE News' Simon Ostrovsky writes that he was pulled out of a car at a checkpoint Monday night, then blindfolded, beaten, and left tied up in a cell for hours before he was led into a room where he was accused of working for U.S. intelligence and a Ukranian ultra-nationalist group.

Ostrovsky writes he was beaten again when he refused to give the password to his laptop, then kicked in the ribs by masked men who told him no one would miss him if he died.

"But as it turns out, I had it pretty easy, because I was let go," Ostrovsky writes.

Ostrovsky, who is fluent in Russian, had been working in the eastern city of Slovyansk.

Ostrovsky had been working in the eastern city of Slovyansk. Ostrovsky, who also holds an Israeli passport, was covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks.

He says in the four nights he was detained, he saw a dozen others like him being taken in and out of the cellar of the Ukraine state security building by the militants who had taken it over.

Unlike him, many of them had been there for up to two weeks and likely are still there now, he said.

After he was released, Ostrovsky says that he learned the leader of the pro-Russia insurgents in Slovyansk told journalists they were being held as "bargaining" chips.

"I don’t yet know what he got for my release, but I hope it wasn’t very much, because no one should be allowed to take hostages no matter what their political demands are," Ostrovsky writes.

He also calls for the immediate release of anyone being held in a building controlled by the pro-Russia militants.

Since November, Ukraine has been engulfed in its biggest political crisis since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. Months of anti-government protests in Kiev culminated in President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia in late February.

Ukraine's acting government has accused Russia of orchestrating the unrest in eastern Ukraine, which it fears Moscow could use as a pretext for an invasion. Last month, Russia annexed Crimea weeks after seizing control of the Black Sea peninsula.

Photo Credit: AP

Hundreds Line Up For Free Dental Clinic


Hundreds of people camped outside the XL Center in Hartford overnight for the chance to get free dental care through the Connecticut Mission of Mercy Project.

The 7th annual, two-day free clinic is expected to treat more than 2,200 people today and on Saturday.

The clinic, staffed by more than 1,500 volunteers, will provide a full range of dental services on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6 am on both days.

Many people waited in line for almost 24 hours to receive dental care.

Since the first Connecticut Mission of Mercy dental clinic in 2008, more than 11,000 patients have been treated and $6 million in free dental care has been provided.

Photo Credit: Seth Lemon

Firefighters Battled Factory Fire in Southbury


Firefighters have been battling a fire at Romatic Manufacturing Co. in Southbury and it appears to be out.

The facility is located at 1200 Main Street South and roads surrounding the fire scene were closed as crews responding.

Mutual aid was requested.

Man Admits to Killing Wife's Dog


A Sherman Oaks man is expected to be sentenced to more than a year in state prison after admitting to intentionally running over his estranged wife’s Chihuahua in January.

Michael David Parker, 45, pleaded no contest to one count of animal cruelty and told prosecutors that he used his car as a deadly weapon, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators arrested Parker in January on suspicion of killing the dog and placing it in a trash bag. Surveillance footage captured the sequence of events and became an important piece of evidence in the case.

Parker could be seen getting into a dark-colored car as the dog, named Cow Cow, made its way to the front of the vehicle. Parker then backs up in the car before speeding towards the 5-year-old Chihuahua.

Investigators charged Parker in March.

Parker is expected to be sentenced on April 28 in Los Angeles. He will likely be sentenced to 16 months in prison and have the remaining counts of animal cruelty and petty theft of a dog to be dropped, the statement said.

Photo Credit: Hawthorne Police Department

Students Mourn Loss of Classmate in Milford


Students in Milford spent Friday grieving and trying to make sense of the death of classmate Maren Sanchez.

The 16-year-old was attacked and stabbed in a hallway inside Jonathan Law High School Friday morning, hours before she was supposed to attend her junior prom.

Friends took to Twitter to express their grief. They used hashtags #RIPMaren, #Lawstrong and #MilfordStrong on tweets throughout the day on Friday.

Classmates gathered on school grounds late Friday and spray painted a large rock purple, Maren's favorite color. They added Maren's name and her date of birth. The students then gathered around the rock for a moment of silence.

 Across town, students at Foran High School posted a YouTube video offering their support to the Jonathan Law community.

"We just wanted to let you guys know that we're hurting right there with you," one student said in the video.

"You're in our thoughts and you're in our prayers, and we'll do this together guys. Stay strong," another student said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Report: DeAndre Daniels to Enter NBA Draft


DeAndre Daniels has apparently played his last game for the Huskies. According to several reports, the junior forward will enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

League sources tell Yahoo.com's Adrian Wojnarowski that Daniels will file the requisite paperwork with NBA offices and declare himself eligible for the June draft. (Daniels has been retweeting congratulatory tweets, too, further indicating that he's likely gone.)

The 22-year-old from California, averaged 13.1 points and 6 rebounds a game last season, and he showed range with his jumper, converting 42 percent of his 3s. He struggled with consistency for much of his career, but his 20-point, 10-rebound effort against Florida in the Final Four showcased his talents on college basketball's biggest stage, and also proved that he didn't shrink in huge moments.

"I just wanted to step up big time," Daniels said at the time, moments after UConn beat Florida, 63-53. "I talked to coach Jim Calhoun yesterday and he was like, 'Man, nobody's talking about you.' And I said, 'Don't worry about, everybody's gonna be talking about me after Saturday.' ...Everybody's always focused on our two guards penetrating and I stepped up huge tonight. We wanted to come out here and prove everybody wrong," Daniels added, "because nobody gave us a shot to win this game."

Last month, before the Huskies got hot in the postseason on their way to a fourth national title, the New Haven Register's David Borges spoke about Daniels' pro prospects with a couple NBA scouts.

“I think he has a great upside," one scout said. "He’s on our future list. He’s got to get stronger, tougher and more consistent. He has a ton of talent. I’ve seen him play very well at times, and I’ve seen him disappear for long periods of times, which I know people around UConn talk about."

Another scout added: "He’s got some ability. He’s very athletic, looks like he’s got skills. He can shoot the ball OK. You hear people saying how soft he is, that’s never good. You can be thin, but wiry strong. He doesn’t have to be a killer if he’s not toughest guy in world.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Milford Communty Holds Vigil for Maren Sanchez


Friends, family, and community members gathered at Walnut Beach in Milford Friday evening to remember Maren Sanchez.

Maren Sanchez, a Jonathan Law junior, died following an altercation in a school hallway that occurred just after 7 a.m. Friday.  A 16-year-old classmate has been charged with her murder.

Maren's family asked students attending the vigil to wear their prom dresses or tuxes. Friday night was would have been their  junior prom.

Family members describe Maren as a "bright light full of hopes and dreams."

Classmates gathered on school grounds Friday afternoon and spray painted a large rock purple, Maren's favorite color. They added Maren's name and her date of birth. The students then gathered around the rock for a moment of silence.

The First United Congregation of Christ in downtown Milford will also hold a vigil in honor of Maren. It will be held outside the sanctuary at 8:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Tx. Republican: Reform Bill for GOP


A North Texas Republican congressman says it's time for the GOP to offer a comprehensive immigration reform plan.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), tells NBC 5's Lone Star Politics that he will soon introduce a bill that will establish a path to citizenship for the minor children of illegal immigrants and a guest worker program.

"If the only illegal act they committed was coming into the country without proper documentation we'd put them on a path to legalization," Barton said.

He added that the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the acts of their parents.

"My little boy is eight years old," Barton said. "He's in public schools in Ennis, Texas. Half of his class is Hispanic. His two best friends are Hispanic. They start every day raising their hand, pledging allegiance to the American Flag and to the Texas flag. They're Americans and we need to acknowledge that and find a way to those that wish to be a part of the American dream for opportunity to make them legal."

Barton added, "Republicans need to start talking about this. I'm part of a majority party in the largest state that's still majority Republican. And I want to keep it that way.".

Watch Lone Star Politics with NBC 5's Kevin Cokely and Gromer Jeffers from The Dallas Morning News Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Congressman to Face Federal Charges


Law enforcement sources say New York Rep. Michael Grimm is expected to face federal criminal charges as early as next week.  
The exact charges were not immediately clear, but are believed to be centered around a private business deal that took place before he was elected to Congress. 
Grimm's lawyer, William McGinley, confirmed in a statement that prosecutors have said they intend to file criminal charges.
"We are disappointed by the government's decision, but hardly surprised. From the beginning, the government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth," McGinley said. "Congressman Grimm asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing. When the dust settles, he will be vindicated." 
No one answered the door at Grimm's home Friday night. 
One of Grimm's fundraisers was arrested earlier this year by the FBI and is accused of using straw donors to funnel more than $10,000 into the Republican’s campaign.
Grimm, a former FBI agent and U.S. Marine, is serving his second term representing Staten Island. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing in that case, which is still under investigation.
In January, he erupted at a local TV reporter on camera and threatened that he would  "break you in half, like a boy" after the State of the Union address when he was asked about the federal investigation into his campaign finances.
He later apologized.

Photo Credit: AP

$1K Tip for Dog Surgery


A New Jersey bartender says she will never forget the compassion shown to her by a customer who left a $1,000 tip to help pay for her dog's emergency surgery.

Christina Summitt returned from work last Tuesday to find her 3-year-old Lab mix Tucker sick, vomiting and unable to eat. She took him to the vet, and a few days later, an X-ray showed an obstruction in his colon. The vet opened up Tucker and discovered he had swallowed a rubber ball. 

Summit was at work tending bar at a Holiday Inn in Clinton on Friday when the vet called and told her a $3,000 surgery would save Tucker's life. 

"I had no idea at this point how I was going to pay it," she said. "I prayed to the money gods, 'please, please, please.'"

During the shift, a couple Summit was serving spotted the dog paw tattooed on her arm and began talking about pets. The conversation turned to the animals Summit has rescued and to Tucker. She asked the couple to pray for her dog, and when they left, Summit discovered the man had settled the $80 tab and left a $1,000 tip. 

"I said, 'Joe, you know, what is this, you can't do this. Why would you do this?'" said Summit. "He said, 'You put it towards Tucker's bill.'"

"He didn't want any recognition. He actually messaged me today to say, 'Have fun with all this,' because I'm overwhelmed," she said of the attention she's gotten. "He said, 'Hopefully,  this inspires many, many other people to pay it forward."

The general manager at the Holiday Inn where Summit works says the customer's generosity has created a huge response. 

"I think why this has created so much of a stir is because everyone wants to believe it's in all of us to do it," said Michelle Satanik. 

Tucker was back frolicking outside in the sunshine Friday, playing with his toys again. 

Friends Pay Tribute to Slain Milford Student


Classmates of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez, stabbed to death in the hallway of a Connecticut high school Friday morning, paid tribute to the beloved teen by dressing up and bringing out the gown she would have worn to their junior prom.

Dressed in their best tuxedos and long gowns, Sanchez's friends released purple balloons in her memory at Walnut Beach, Conn. Her friends said Sanchez loved the color purple.

"Purple symbolizes royalty and to me Maren was royal," said Imani Langston, who called Sanchez her best friend. "For something tragic like this to happen it's just crazy."

She joined hundreds of students and parents on Friday night for a memorial. Langston says she spoke to Sanchez on Thursday.

"We talked about her prom dresses. We were talking about getting ready. I don't know. It's crazy that this happened so quick," Langston said.

Sanchez was stabbed to death at Jonathan Law High School early Friday morning. Police said a 16-year-old student stabbed her in a school hallway. A school nurse and other emergency responders did what they could but it was too late.

"I just can't deal with it. It makes no sense," Langston said.

The touching tribute at Walnut Beach was just one of many held for Sanchez. Hundreds gathered inside the First United Church of Christ in downtown Milford to pray for Sanchez.

“She was the happiest most genuine person I've ever known,” said one of her friends.

Many at the prayer vigil were her close friends; others were complete strangers.

“I've been crying all afternoon... it just rocked our community totally,” said Christine Hoyt.

Sanchez's death has shaken up parents as well.

“I feel like I want to throw up all day I was very sad,” said Lumy Giantomidis, whose son was Sanchez’s classmate and knows the suspect.

“You take your kids to school and you don't know if you're going to see them back,” Giantomidis explained.

Sanchez had a love for theater and singing.  Many of her videos are posted online, including one of her performing a cover of the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

The musician posted about Sanchez's death on his Twitter and Facebook accounts and called her a "very talented" singer.

The dance was postponed, but Sanchez was named prom queen and "Home" was selected as the prom song.

You can watch Sanchez's version of "Home" here.

Photo Credit: Izzy Cortez

NBA Investigates LA Clippers Owner


The NBA is investigating a TMZ report alleging that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made racists remarks about African Americans during a phone call with his girlfriend.

In a news conference Saturday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling will be afforded due process and that the league will consider "a range" of possible sanctions.

"The audio recording posted by TMZ is truly offensive and disturbing and we intend to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible," Silver said.

The commissioner said Sterling agreed not to attend the Clippers playoff game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

Silver said he hopes the investigation will be "wrapped up in the next few days."

In the audio, a man TMZ alleges is Sterling tells a woman that he doesn’t want her to “broadcast” that she is associating with black people. The comments were made after Sterling’s girlfriend posted a photo with Magic Johnson on her Instagram, TMZ reported.

“Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” the man says in the recording.

“You can do anything, but don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see,” he adds. “And don’t bring him to my games.”

On Saturday morning, Johnson took to Twitter to voice his disapproval.

“LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA,” Johnson tweeted.

“I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner,” he tweeted to his wife, Cookie Johnson.

Andy Roeser, president of the Clippers, said in a statement that the woman who is believed to have released the tapes to TMZ is currently involved in a lawsuit with Sterling.

"We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape -- who we believe released it to TMZ -- is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would 'get even,'" Roeser said.

The woman, V. Stiviano, is challenging the case.

NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio-tapes.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement condemning the comments attributed to the Clippers' owner.

"These statements are offensive and despicable and have no place in Los Angeles," Garcetti said. "I urge the NBA to act swiftly. L.A. fans deserve and demand better."

During a press conference in Malaysia, President Barack Obama responded to questions about the incident.

"The owner is reported to have said some incredibly offensive, racist statements that were published,” Obama explained to the audience. “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything. You just let them talk, and that’s what happened here."

The NAACP also issued a response to the allegations made against Sterling.

"If these allegations are proven true, we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Sterling," said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP California State Conference. "Recent remarks like these, and those of Cliven Bundy, remind us that racism is not a footnote of our past, but a reality of our present that we must confront head on."

The statement went on to say that Sterling feels "terrible" about the allegations made against him.

"He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him--both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved," the statement read.

The Clippers organization is also conducting an investigation into the allegations.

Huffman also called on the Los Angeles branch of the organization to remove Sterling from an honoree list for next month's 100th anniversary gala. A post for the event on the chapter's website noted that Sterling will be honored with a lifetime achievement award on May 15.

"If true, these are very hurtful remarks and Mr. Sterling, whose team talents and fan base is majority minority, should offer an apology to Californians," Huffman said.

It’s not the first time Sterling is being accused of racially insensitive behavior. In 2009 he agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations that he discriminated against blacks, Hispanics and families with children at apartment buildings he controls in Los Angeles.

Sterling admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. The U.S. Department of Justice said at the time it was the largest settlement of its kind.

Photo Credit: AP

Controversy Over Victorian Remodel


A Santa Clara, Calif., neighborhood is up in arms over a neighbor's decision to renovate an old Victorian to resemble the home in the animated movie "Up."

Hosam Haggog and Fatima Rahman spent more than two years on the renovations of their home in the highly sought-after Old Quad neighborhood.

"They love the movie 'Up' and we just thought we'd give them something fun to be proud of and actually all the kids in the neighborhood really love the colors," Haggog said of his daughters.

But several adults in the neighborhood are not in favor of the bright colors.

Harrison Street is the oldest street in Santa Clara with homes more than 100 years old. Many residents take pride in preserving the original look and style of their Victorians.

"I don't think it fits in," neighbor Lou Faria said of the renovated Victorian.

Faria, who also is a member of the Old Quad Residents Association, said the Haggog and Rahman should have kept to the historic theme of the neighborhood.

"It really, in my opinion, is atrocious that this Victorian is a gracious old lady and it's being painted up to look like a clown," Faria said.

Longtime residents feel the city didn't review the renovations plans carefully enough to prevent structural changes. But some now feel it's time to move on.

"I like historical houses to be historical," neighbor Chuck Petersen said. "On the other hand, it's his home and I feel that sometime down the line it's going to be repainted again anyway."

Rahman said there was no intention to spark drama over the renovation.

"We're not trying to create controversy," Rahman said. "We're trying to build a home for our daughters and our family. And that's what our intention was."

Photo Credit: Nannette Miranda

Secret Service Saves Tourist's Life


Quick-thinking Secret Service officers saved the life of a tourist from Texas, who collapsed while walking near the White House Thursday.

In the past nine months, Secret Service officers around the White House have responded to about 100 calls for medical assistance. Thursday’s was a life-or-death situation.

“I noticed a female collapse to the ground at the corner of the sidewalk,” Officer William Grimmer said. “When I responded over, she was unresponsive, barely breathing.”

The severity of her condition prompted him to call another officer who is also a certified EMT.

“She was foaming at the mouth,” Officer Thomas Hammond said. “Her husband was there with her.”

The officers knew the woman didn’t have much time.

“At this point we shocked her, and Officer Hammond continued CPR, and she began breathing again,” Grimmer said.

Her husband said the couple had just arrived in Washington from their home near Dallas and were doing typical tourist things. His wife underwent emergency surgery Thursday night a George Washington Hospital and is going to be alright. He’s looking forward to thanking the Secret Service officers personally.

“She’s obviously not out of the woods yet, but it feels great that we were able to be there and recognize the signs of what needed to be done and get it done in a timely fashion to get her off to the hospital,” Hammond said.

Gang Took "Murder Selfies"


Court complaints against 55 alleged gang members and associates describe an increasingly sophisticated and violent criminal operation operated throughout San Diego that included revenge killings, student drug mules and even selfies at a murder site.

Nineteen suspects were arraigned Friday in federal court on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and carrying a firearm during drug trafficking crime.

They were the first of many suspects charged for their involvement in the West Coast Crips street gang, according to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

At a press conference Thursday, Duffy outlined the hierarchy of the criminal organization that spanned from Logan Heights to El Cajon.

At the top sit the Original Gangsters – or OGs -- who are the leaders. One alleged OG, Randy Alton Graves, was arrested Thursday evening in Las Vegas as part of a multi-agency crackdown on the gang.

In the second tier are the “homies,” the slightly senior members who have earned the trust of fellow gang members.

And the so-called “babies” are the newest gang members and often the most violent, since they deal directly with street drug users and distributors, Duffy said.

One clique of “babies” centered in San Diego refer to themselves as “3-Babiez.” According to a complaint, three members of the clique -- Marcus “Missle” Foreman, Wilbert “Coy Blue” Ross and Terry “Caby” Carry Hollins – carried out a revenge killing on a Hispanic gang member in retribution for a carjacking.

One Crip member allegedly asked the victim, Andres Caldera, for a cigarette. When Caldera asked where he was from, the member yelled, “I am from West Coast,” pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and shot Caldera point-blank in the face.

The complaint also details the shootings of West Coast Crip members for disloyalty or suspected cooperation with law enforcement.

Crips member Meashal Fairley was shot to death in front of a San Diego nightclub in April 2013 during a fight over his supposed involvement with police, the complaint said.

Later that year, Crips associate Chyrene Borgen was killed at a Halloween party after she criticized the “3-Babiez” for their suspected part in Fairley’s death.

The complaint alleges after her shooting death, several defendants posted selfies on Facebook from the crime scene. One suspect is shown wearing a T-shirt that reads “3 BABIEZ, YELLOW TAPE GANG, ANYBODY KILLA.”

Around the same time, the complaint said Jermaine “Tre-O” Gerald Cook was recorded on cell phone video with other 3-Babiez members, boasting about how they are willing to kill anyone – even women.

In another incident, Crips member Paris Hill was allegedly killed by fellow Crips for giving a statement to police.

Finally, the complaint describes how a pregnant Crips associate was shot by a 3-Babiez member because she also criticized the group. She and her baby survived, but gang members were accused of looking for ways to kill her in the hospital.

A separate operation was detailed in a second court complaint. In it, some students at El Cajon Valley High School are accused of smuggling meth from Mexico into the United State for the Crips.

The idea has many parents concerned.

“Kids smuggling drugs? I mean, you think of adults doing that and smuggling across in cars and stuff. You don’t imagine kids doing that,” said Cheryl Eutsey, the parent of an ECVHS student.

ECVHS Principal Erin Richisin said she has reached out to law enforcement but has not been able to confirm if any current students are involved in the investigation.

The school sent out an email Friday, warning parents that media stories about the gang bust mentioned their school.

Man Dies After Crash in Guilford


Police are investigating the crash that killed a man in Guilford on Thursday night.

The victim, who has not been identified, died after being ejected from a pickup truck that drove off Durham Road into the woods around 10 p.m. Thursday, police said.

He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and pronounced dead, according to police.

Guilford police are investigating to determine the cause of the crash. 

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Man Charged With Attempted Murder in Stabbing of Girlfriend


A man from Deep River is facing attempted murder charges after stabbing and critically injuring his 23-year-old girlfriend, according to Old Saybrook police.

Andrew T. Craig, Jr., 25, is accused of stabbing a woman at the Super 8 Motel at 37 Spencer Plains Road in Old Saybrook on Friday morning. Authorities responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call around 6:30 a.m., police said.

Emergency responders arrived to find the victim suffering from life-threatening injuries. She was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she’s listed in “extremely critical condition,” according to police. The victim has not been identified.

Police called the stabbing an isolated domestic incident and said Craig and the victim are in a relationship.

They searched the hotel room and seized evidence, along with 178 bags of heroin and more than $2,600 cash, police said.

Craig is charged with first-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics within tent to sell, possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana.

He’s being held on a $1 million bond and is due in Middletown Superior Court on Monday.

Police are continuing to investigate and said they expect to make additional arrests.

Photo Credit: Old Saybrook Police Department

Bolton Man Stabs, Slashes Domestic Partner and Dog: Police


A 51-year-old Bolton man is charged with attempted murder after reportedly stabbing and slashing his domestic partner with a knife when she tried to end their relationship, police said.

The woman’s dog, a pug, was also injured in the stabbing and was missing, according to police.

Police said the victim had just flown back from California when she began to argue with her partner, John Corver, about ending their relationship.

Corver was driving her back to his home on Boston Turnpike in Bolton when the dispute escalated and he pulled out a knife. It happened around 11 p.m. April 23. Police said Corver threw the victim’s phone from the car when she tried to call for help.

According to police, Corver continued driving and brought the victim to Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, where he continued to slash and stab her. He then headed to Andover, where his car crashed in the area of 96 Skinner Road.

State police arrived on scene to find the victim bleeding in the passenger seat. She was taken by LifeStar to Hartford Hospital, where she’s listed in serious but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit, police said.

Corver’s right arm was fractured and his forehead cut in the crash. He was also found with self-inflicted knife wounds to the abdomen that turned out to be superficial. He was taken by ambulance to Hartford Hospital and was turned over to state police on Friday.

During the assault, the victim was holding a pug, which was also stabbed and ran from the car near Nathan Hale Homestead. A $1,000 reward was been issued for the dog, which was later found in Coventry and returned to its owners, police said.

Corver was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, first-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree threatening and cruelty to animals.

He’s being held on a $2 million bond and is due in court Monday.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Bloody Night Across Chicago


At least four people were killed and 27 others wounded within 16 hours across Chicago.

The number of shootings from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning is more than half the total number shot over a violent Easter weekend.

The weekend’s latest fatality took place just after 2 a.m. Saturday in the 5500 block of West North Avenue.

A 17-year-old boy was standing on the block when a man dressed in all black approached him from behind and fired, striking him in the head, police said. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Less than an hour earlier, a 22-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest in the 5400 block of South Winchester Avenue in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Police said the man was pronounced dead at the scene and a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the leg was taken in stable condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

The two were shot when someone fired into a home from outside, striking them both.

Police are conducting a homicide investigation.

On Friday, officers said they heard shots fired around 10:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of West 116th Street.

Officers responded to the scene where they found a woman sitting in a parked vehicle with gunshot wounds.

The 32-year-old woman, later identified as Leonore Draper, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center with wounds to arm and chest. She was later pronounced dead, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada.

Earlier Friday, an off-duty police officer shot his neighbors, one of them fatally, after one neighbor shot and injured the officer’s wife in an argument that stemmed from a long-running feud between the two couples.

At least 24 others have been shot since Friday.

  • Around 5:25 a.m. police said a 19-year-old man was shot while riding in a vehicle on South Lake Shore Drive. The teen was in a vehicle traveling southbound in the 1200 block of South Lake Shore Drive when a white minivan pulled alongside and an occupant fired at the victim’s car, Estrada said. The victim was driven to Jackson Park hospital with wounds to his buttocks.
  • At 2:35 a.m., police said a 17-year-old woman was sitting in parked minivan with other passengers in the 1300 block of South California Avenue after leaving a party in the area. An armed male offender on the sidewalk began firing at a group of men across the street, who returned fire, officials said. The van was struck multiple times during the shootout but only the 17-year-old woman was struck by a bullet. She was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital with a wound to the head, according to authorities.
  • A 41-year-old man was shot around 2:20 a.m. while approaching a group of people arguing across the street from his home in the 1500 block of East Marquette Road. Police said the man was sitting on his porch when he heard a group arguing across the street and attempted to approach them. The man said he heard a gunshot and felt pain in his upper right leg. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in stable condition.
  • Also at 2:20 a.m., a man in his 20s walked into Roseland Hospital with gunshot wounds to his right leg and right testicle. Police said the victim and his companions would not give hospital staff or officers their names or any details surrounding the shooting. Officials said the wounds may have been self-inflicted.
  • Around 1:30 a.m., a 27-year-old man was shot while driving in the 4300 block of South Prairie Avenue, police said. Someone in a green minivan opened fire at the victim’s vehicle, police said, and the victim suffered a graze wound to the chest. He was driven by a friend to Provident Hospital and later transported to John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County in stable condition.
  • Two people were shot around 12:40 a.m. in the 5100 block of South Wood Street. Two teens were standing on a sidewalk when two offenders opened fire from an alley, police said. A 14-year-old boy was shot in the left leg and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital and a 19-year-old man, who was also shot in the leg, was taken to Holy Cross Hospital. Both were listed in stable condition.
  • At the same time, four people were shot while standing in the 2700 block of West 42nd Street. Police said a 20-year-old was shot in the head and taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital. Three others, ages 22, 23 and 27, were taken to Stroger Hospital, two in stable condition and one in critical.
  • About 15 minutes earlier two men were shot in the 5000 block of West Erie Street. A 21-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were sitting on a front porch with a group of people when an armed man fired at the group and fled on foot. The man was shot in the right buttocks, left ankle and left forearm and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in stable condition. The woman suffered wounds to her right cheek and was transported to West Suburban Medical Center.

Eleven others were shot Friday afternoon and evening.

Dramatic Scene of House Explosion


A witness used his drone to capture dramatic aerial footage of the scene after a Long Grove home exploded Friday night. The explosion leveled one home and damaged at least 50 others. (Video courtesy of Bill Stockwell)
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