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Dodger Matt Kemp Pulled Into Sterling Controversy


Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has been dragged into the controversy over racist comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, according to an audio recording released Sunday by Deadspin.

In an extended version of the original audio clip obtained by TMZ Sports, a woman says she didn't remove a photo she took with Kemp from her Instagram account even after being asked to remove all African-Americans from her profile by the man in the conversation, identified by Deadspin as Sterling. NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio tapes.

When the man asks her why, the woman replied, "I thought Matt Kemp is mixed, and he was OK, just like me."

"He's lighter and whiter than me," the woman goes on to say.

TMZ Sports posted a photo on its website Sunday of Kemp with the woman, identified by TMZ as Sterling's girlfriend, V. Stiviano. There is also a photo of the woman with Magic Johnson.

In a report by ESPN, Kemp acknowledged taking a picture with Stiviano.

"I was shocked," Kemp said. "I haven't been to a basketball game since maybe last year, and I did take my mom. I met that young lady, I've known her through mutual people. We all sat in the same [area]."

Kemp said he could never play for a team owner like Sterling, according to ESPN.

"There is just no room for racism in any of our games," Kemp said.

During the Dodgers game against the Rockies on Sunday, Kemp changed his at-bat music to Michael Jackson's "Black or White."

The Dodgers lost the game, 6-1.

Nehoray Legal Group, who represents Stiviano, said in a news release Sunday that the audio tapes are legitimate and are part of a longer recording about one hour in length.

Clippers president Andy Roeser released a statement Saturday, which said in part: "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them."

In a news conference Saturday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said an investigation has been launched into the audio tapes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

WATCH: Baby and Mama Bear Caught on Camera


Davis Hoffnagle took some incredible video and photos of bears outside his New Hartford home over the weekend.

He said the images were taken on Saturday.

A mother bear was watching a cub in a tree directly out Hoffnagle’s window.

She paced around the house and hung around for about an hour until the cub came down and ran off with the mother.

There had been 3,326 bear sightings in the state from April 29, 2013 to April 7, 2014. Sixty-three of them were in New Hartford.

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, bears can detect the slightest aroma of food, which might lead them to campsites and near homes.

They warn not to attempt to feed or attract bears.  If you see a bear, report it  to the Wildlife Division, at (860) 675-8130 or online.

To avoid attracting bears, follow these tips from DEEP:

  • Remove bird feeders from late March through November.
  • Wait until the morning of collection before bringing out trash. Add a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors. Keep trash bags in a container with a tight lid and store in a garage or shed.
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight. Store livestock food in airtight containers.
  • Do not put meats or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in compost piles. Lime can be sprinkled on the compost pile to reduce the smell and discourage bears.
  • Thoroughly clean grills after use or store in a garage or shed.
  • Never intentionally feed bears. Bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous. This may lead to personal injury, property damage, and the need to destroy problem animals.
  • Encourage your neighbors to take similar precautions.

Photo Credit: Davis Hoffnagle

School Bus Involved in Crash on I-84 East


A school bus has been involved in a crash on I-84 East between exits 43 and 44.

Police said it is minor and the students are being evaluated.

The right and center lanes are blocked as emergency crews respond.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Kevin Johnson: Players Demand "Maximum" Sanction


Sacramento Mayor and special adviser to the National Basketball Player's Association Kevin Johnson said Monday that players are calling for the most "severe sanction possible" in the wake of racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Johnson's comments come a day before league officials are scheduled to discuss the investigation at a news conference before Game 5 of the Clippers playoff series with the Golden State Warriors. Details regarding what will be announced at the news conference were not immediately available.

The 13-year NBA veteran said he met Sunday with league commissioner Adam Silver about the response to audio tapes obtained by TMZ Sports on which a man who TMZ identifies as Sterling tells his girlfriend that he doesn't want her to be seen in public with black people. NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio tape and a similar recording released by Deadspin that Deadspin claims is an extended version of the conversation.

Johnson told NBC's "Today" show Monday that player representatives asked him to communicate to Silver — who became NBA commissioner Feb. 1 — that they want to "make sure those tapes are legitimate" and that Sterling should face the most "severe sanction" possible.

Johnson was asked during the "Today" interview whether the league can strip Sterling of his team ownership.

"I think it's a good question," Johnson said. "From the players' standpoint, whatever the maximum that's allowable is what we want the commissioner to impose.

"It's very clear that all of our players in the league want to explore the option," he added. "What player exactly would want to play for this owner?"

Johnson called the investigation a "defining moment" for the NBA.

More details are expected Tuesday when the NBA is scheduled to make an announcement about its investigation involving Sterling, 80, who has owned the team since 1981.

The NBA constitution is not public, though it is understood the commissioner's powers are broad when it comes to dealing with matters deemed "prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball," according to The Associated Press. A fine, a suspension, a demand for sensitivity training and other options are likely at Silver's disposal.

Johnson said he told Silver that players are adamant that Sterling not be allowed to attend any playoff games. The Clippers take on Golden State Tuesday in the first game in Los Angeles since the release of the audio.

Johnson said Sterling would be an "enormous distraction" if he attended any NBA games during the playoffs. Sterling did not attend Sunday's game — a blowout loss at Golden State. His wife, who has filed suit against the woman alleged to be on the tape, was present. 

Attorneys for the woman, V. Stiviano, said in a news release Sunday that the audio tapes released by TMZ and Deadspin are legitimate and part of a longer recording about one hour in length. Stiviano’s attorney denied that his client leaked the recording to the news news media.

Andy Roeser, Clippers president, released the following statement:  "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life."

Photo Credit: AP

Man Charged With Murder at Manchester Inn


Manchester police have arrested a man in connection with a homicide at the Manchester Inn on March 25.

Benjamin Thibodeau, 39, whose last known address was in Manchester, was charged with the murder of Bienvenido Tosado.

Police said this is the second arrest.

Thibodeau was charged with felony murder, accessory to murder and burglary in the first degree.

He was held on a $2 million court-set bond and appeared in court this morning. 

Police charged Lorenzo Hernandez, 20, with first-degree assault and first-degree burglary. Authorities said he knew the victim and it was not a random assault.


Photo Credit: Manchester Police

Route 188 Closed in Oxford Due to Crash


Route 188 is closed near Edmunds Road in Oxford following a one-car crash, according to state police.

It's not clear if anyone has been injured or when the road will reopen.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates. 

Man Smashes Door of Berlin Liquor Store, Steals Cigarettes


Police are searching for the person who broke into a Berlin liquor store and stole cigarettes Sunday morning.

According to police, the suspect smashed his way into the Berlin Spirits Shop at 118 Mill Street just after 8 a.m. Sunday. He broke the glass front door, entered the store and sold cigarettes, police said.

Surveillance video captured images of the suspect and his car. He’s described as a white or possibly Hispanic man in his late 40s or 50s with a scruffy, graying beard. Surveillance footage shows him wearing a Boston Red Sox hat, a dark sweatshirt, light-colored pants, dark boots and gloves.

Police describe the suspect’s car as a dark gray or blue Buick Roadmaster station wagon manufactured between 1991 and 1996 with wood-grain sides and a roof rack. The car is registered in Connecticut, police said.

Authorities are investigating to determine whether the burglary might be connected to similar incidents in other towns, including Newington, Avon, Wethersfield, Farmington and Windsor.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Berlin police at 860-828-7080.

Photo Credit: Berlin Police Department

Clinton Woman Charged After Dogs Found "Living in Squalor"


A 25-year-old Clinton woman is facing animal cruelty charges after two adult Doberman Pinschers and three young puppies were found “living in squalor” at her home on River Road and were deprived of food and water for more than 24 hours, police said.

Investigators arrived at the house to find the two adult dogs crammed into a small cage, unable to lie down, outside on a porch that was covered with dog feces and urine, according to police.

Police said the dogs had rocked the cage back and forth and moved it across the porch in an effort to get out. The female was missing an ear flap.

Inside the residence, investigators found three puppies, between six and seven weeks old. Police said the puppies were thin and had chunks of hair missing.

More urine and feces covered the floors and walls inside the home, which police said was full of garbage.

According to police, the dogs had gone at least a full day without food or water.

Police obtained an arrest warrant on April 25 following a joint investigation by Clinton police and animal control and the State Animal Control Department.

Blaine was arrested Monday. She was charged with five counts of animal cruelty and two counts of possessing an unlicensed dog.

She’s being held on a $15,000 bond and is due in Middletown Superior Court on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Clinton Police Department

2 Hospitalized After Crash on Route 82 in Haddam


Two men are hospitalized after a box truck and a pickup collided head-on early Monday morning on Route 82 in Haddam and burst into flames. One of the men was badly burned in the fire, according to state police.

Police said it appears that Ryan Graham, 29, of Killingworth, was traveling eastbound and crossed into the westbound lanesaround 3 a.m. and his vehicle went into the path of Salko Duric, 50, of Hartford.

Both vehicles flipped over and were engulfed in flames, according to state police.

Duric and Graham were both able to get out of their vehicles.

Duric was taken to Hartford Hospital to be treated for head and back injuries.

Graham suffered serious burns and lacerations, police said. LifeStar transported him to Bridgeport Hospital.

Police are asking anyone with information about the crash to call Troop F at 860-399-2100.


Paul Simon, Edie Brickell Charged With Disorderly Conduct


Singers Paul Simon and his wife Edie Brickell were arrested over the weekend in Connecticut after police investigated a "family dispute," the New Canaan Police Department said.

Police responded at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday after receiving a 911 hangup call, gathered information and found probable cause to arrest Simon, 72, and Brickell, 47. Both were both charged with disorderly conduct, according to a news release from New Canaan police, and released on a promise to appear in court.

The couple's attorney, Allan Cramer, said there was "a push" and it was minor. "On a scale of one to 10, it was a one," he said.

It was not clear who pushed whom, but the attorney said Brickell's mother was the one who called police. 

Simon and Brickell were holding hands when they arrived at court for their arraignment on Monday. They spoke briefly with the judge, who declined to issue protective orders at the request of Simon and Brickell.

"Both of us are fine together. We had an argument. It's atypical," Simon told the judge.

Simon told the judge that he and Brickell have no reason to fear each other.

"He's no threat to me at all," Brickell told the judge.

“We sent officers to investigate, determined that there was an altercation and dispute and we had probable cause,” New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski told NBC Connecticut. “In fact we're obligated to make an arrest under Connecticut general statutes for domestic violence, which this case is considered.”

The couple was not taken into custody.

Simon and Brickell were married in 1992, have three children together and live in New Canaan.

Staff at Simon's music company had no comment and a representative for Brickell referred NBC Connecticut to the couple's attorney.

Brickell is widely known for 1988's "Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars," the debut album by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, which went to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and featured the hit song "What I Am."

One of the most well-known musicians of his generation, Simon has won 12 Grammys. "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland" were all awarded albums of the year.

In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. He is a member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist.

This is Simon's third marriage. He was previously married to Peggy Harper, from 1969 to 1975, and to "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher, from 1983 to 1984.

The case has been continued to May 16.

Editor's Note: New Canaan Police initially told NBC Connecticut Simon was facing a domestic violence charge, but now say the singer was charged with disorderly conduct.


Sponsors Drop Clippers Over Racism


Some of the Los Angeles Clippers' largest sponsors are severing their ties with the team in efforts to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding its owner's alleged racist remarks.

Virgin America, Sprint, Red Bull, AQUAhydrate and used car retailer CarMax are among the growing list of companies to express their disappointment, all of them issuing statements decrying racism and upholding diversity.

San Francisco-based Virgin America said in a statement: "While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the LA Clippers."

Car manufacturer KIA called Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged comments about black people "reprehensible."

State Farm called them "offensive" in its own statement. "While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we'll continually assess our options," it said.

The audio recording posted on the TMZ website is of a male voice criticizing a woman for posting online about bringing black friends to the games. The man is also heard chastising the woman for posting a photo on Instagram with Magic Johnson.

NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio tapes posted on TMZSports.com or the extended clips posted by Deadspin. The TMZ report alleges the male voice is that of Sterling.

Clippers president Andy Roeser released a statement, saying: "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life."

The NBA is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday on its investigation involving Sterling's alleged remarks.

The TMZ report sparked a firestorm on Friday, with NBA players and others, including President Barack Obama and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, issuing statements. Basketball fans are calling on the NBA to take action against Sterling.

When asked about his players' mental state, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said Saturday that the playoffs, and his players, must go on.

"They've been pulled in a million directions in the last 24 hours," Rivers said. "I feel like we let them down, my job is to get them up and get them ready."

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who himself played in the NBA for 12 years, addressed the racism allegations against Sterling on behalf of the NBA Players Association at a press conference Sunday.

"The comments are unacceptable – if what has been alleged was actually stated, there should be sanctions ... The NBA family will have zero tolerance for such conduct – today, tomorrow and forever," he said.

Johnson said that the players did not want Sterling present during the rest of the playoffs until the issue was resolved.

"The players are outraged, due process has to take place," he said. "This is a defining moment for all the players in the League."

On Sunday, the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced that Sterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from its Los Angeles branch.

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Route 15 North Reopens in Wallingford


Route 15/Wilbur Cross Parkway has reopened in Wallingford following a multiple-car accident, according to state police.

The highway was temporarily shut down near exit 64 while authorities worked to clear the scene.

Police said the initial report came through as a four-car crash and that injuries are minor.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Bears' Josh Morgan Denies Punching Parking Valet


New Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Morgan faces assault charges after a valet at a popular Washington, D.C. nightclub says Morgan punched him in the face. Morgan denies the accusation.

Kenneth Johnson told NBC Washington he was working as a valet driver around 1 a.m. Sunday when a large SUV pulled up to Cities Restaurant and Lounge just off K Street in downtown Washington.

Josh Morgan, who signed with the Bears last week, got out with two women. Johnson said he looked at the women, which he says apparently upset Morgan.

"I was just standing there and I looked up, and in the blink of an eye he just punched me right in the mouth," Johnson said. "Instantly my mouth is bleeding profusely, just blood coming out all over my jacket and stuff. I was scared. I didn't know what to do."

Police took Morgan into custody inside Cities and charged him with simple assault, NBC Washington reported. Morgan was released on a police citation promising to appear in court at a later date.

Johnson told NBC Washington he didn't do anything to provoke Morgan.

"It's not fair for anybody to go around punching people just doing their job," Johnson said. "I didn't say anything disrespectful to the lady. I didn't look at her or sexualize her in any way. I just looked in the direction, and I got hit."

Morgan denied the accusation. “I know I didn’t do anything wrong," he told NBC Washington in a phone interview.

He said he thinks Johnson didn't want to show his face on camera because he was not injured. "Because nothing happened to him," Morgan said. "Not a scratch on his face. I didn’t touch him."

"We are aware of Josh Morgan’s presence at a weekend incident in Washington, D.C.," read a statement from the Chicago Bears. "We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the event."

Johnson said he didn’t know who Morgan was and had to Google his name afterward to find out.

"When I Googled his name, it hurt me even more, because I'm a Redskins fan," he said. "Not only that, but I found out we went to the same high school, we graduated from the same high school, and you are a football player. Somebody like that coming from my community do something like that, I would normally look up to a person like that."

Morgan, 28, graduated from Washington's H.D. Woodson High School and played college football at Virginia Tech. He played for the San Francisco 49ers for four years before spending the past two seasons with the Redskins. He caught 68 passes for 724 yards and two touchdowns over two years for the Skins, starting 22 of the 30 regular season games in which he played.

He said he is not worried about his reputation.

“I’ve always been a stand-up guy in the community. I’ve always been a stand-up guy, period,” Morgan said. “Everybody knows me. Everybody knows how I am. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. What a coincidence that now I signed with the Chicago Bears, now all of a sudden it happened.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

High School Drama Club Remembers Slain Student


The drama club returned to rehearse at Jonathan Law High School Monday afternoon for the first time since the murder of Maren Sanchez inside the school Friday morning.

"We thought long and hard about canceling," said the school's drama director, Michael Mele. "We spoke to the kids about it. They want to do it for her."

Students will perform the musical "Little Shop of Horrors," which opens Friday. Sanchez had a key role, operating the pivotal puppet, Audrey II.

"Maren tried it one day and she just naturally had the moves. It fit her; she was really good at it," Mele said. "She worked really hard to get better and make it her own thing."

He decided no other student could take over the part after the tragedy, so he is welcoming the help of a professional puppeteer, just part of the overwhelming support the club has been offered from the local dramatic community.

He spoke near a rock in front of the school that's been painted purple in tribute to Maren Sanchez.

"Maren was a great kid. She's just what I would consider the epitome of a good student and a good kid, very respectful and well-liked," said Mele. "She had an infectious smile. You wanted to be around her."

Classes at Jonathan Law were canceled today but will resume tomorrow. A vigil for Sanchez is slated for tonight.

New Metro-North Schedule Means Shorter Morning Commute


A big change is coming for commuters who have been frustrated with delayed trains.

Metro-North said Monday that 96 percent of its inbound customers will have a shorter morning commute come May 11.

That's when the new schedule will go into effect.

New Haven Line customers will be impacted.

For example, Metro-North is extending a morning train, which right now only runs from New Haven to Stamford.

After May 11, that train will leave Union Station at 6:02 a.m., stop in Stamford at 7:00 a.m. and now continue to Grand Central Terminal, arriving at 7:50 a.m.

"I think they're making a good incremental step to rebuild their credibility," said Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.

Metro-North said the new schedule will allow for more maintenance to occur during off-peak times like midday, nights and weekends.

The railroad has been under intense pressure to make changes following two recent derailments, the death of a track worker and numerous service disruptions.

“While a step in the right direction, the new schedule falls short on delivering commitments to increase the frequency of trains and minimize travel time," said Gov. Dannel Malloy. "It's been almost a full year since the derailment in Bridgeport and since then, New Haven Line customers have been enduring longer, less reliable train service."

For the first time in four years, all four tracks on the eight-mile stretch between Bridgeport and Southport will be in service.

"This train schedule supports our ongoing efforts to serve our customers while providing our maintenance forces the time they need to inspect, maintain and repair the system," said Joseph Giulietti, president of Metro-North.

Lawmakers will be keeping a close watch.

"Their credibility will rise and fall as to the accuracy of this new schedule," said Steinberg.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Who Is Chris Plaskon?


The lawyer representing 16-year-old Chris Plaskon, accused of fatally stabbing Maren Sanchez in the stairwell of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, says his client will be tried as an adult.

Classmates said Plaskon was well known among students and a former member of the track and football teams.

Sean Chester, who sat next to Plaskon in class, called the suspect an “all-right guy” and explained what allegedly happened Friday morning, when Sanchez was killed.

“Chris had asked Maren out to prom,” Chester said. “She already had a boyfriend, though, so she said ‘no’ to him, and I guess he got angry from that.”

The big question is how – and why – Plakson’s anger brought him to breaking point.

“I graduated here in '84 and nothing like that ever happened,” said former Jonathan Law High School student Ann Marie Pomawski, of Milford.

Plaskon did not appear at his arraignment Monday. He underwent an emergency commitment to a medical facility, where he's under psychological evaulation, according to his attorney, Richard Meehan.

A vigil for Sanchez was held tonight at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Furniture Store Owner Shot During Robbery Attempt


Authorities are investigating after a would-be robber shot a New Haven furniture store owner in the leg when the owner refused to pay up, police said.

Police said that just before 5 p.m. Monday, a robbery suspect walked into New Haven Furniture Plus at 296 Whalley Avenue and demanded money.

The store owner refused and the suspect shot at him, according to police.

Police said he was shot once in the leg. His injuries are not life threatening.

New Haven police are investigating the incident. It’s not clear if they have identified a suspect or are following leads.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dad Kicks Son, 6, Off Halfpipe


Cell phone video of a dad kicking his 6-year-old son off a halfpipe at a Florida skate park has provoked public outrage, and now child protection officials say they are investigating.

The incident at Kona Skate Park in Jacksonville sparked an outcry among witnesses, too, even before the video was first posted to Instagram on Friday.

Martin Ramos, the owner of the park, said that the child is a prodigy skateboarder and that he and his dad often skate together there. Ramos said the child seemed to be okay after the incident and that he told the father not to return to the skate park anytime soon.

"He said he was just caught up in the moment. He seemed very remorseful," Ramos said. "He certainly understands the gravity of the situation, and it seems like he's going to be answering to this thing for quite some time to come."

The Department of Children and Families is investigating, a spokesman told First Coast News, saying the agency doesn't consider the behavior caught on video appropriate.

The viral video was first posted to Instagram by Ryan Stephens, 13, who said his friend shot it when the pair was at the skate park together.

The teen said he confronted the man after he saw the video to ask him why he had pushed the child.

"He said, 'Because he needs to learn.' I was like, 'Pushing him down is not teaching him how to drop in.' And then he said, 'Do you think you can raise him better than me?' and I said 'Yes,'" he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Magic: "I'm Disappointed... Hurt... Outraged"


NBA Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson addressed Donald Sterling's alleged racist remarks Monday at an event in Gary, Ind.

Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is alleged to be the voice on an audio recording posted on TMZ Sports criticizing a woman for posting online about bringing black friends to games. The man is also heard chastising the woman for posting a photo on Instagram with Johnson.

"I'm disappointed, I'm hurt, I'm outraged, I'm everything," Johnson said at a news conference. "First, my name being associated, he singled me out personally. Then he singled out African-Americans. Again, I'm always gonna fight for myself as well as my people."

Johnson reiterated his statements that Sterling should not be allowed to continue as an owner. The NBA is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday on its investigation involving Sterling's alleged remarks.

"It was a sad day for all owners, of every sports team, but especially in the NBA, and hopefully our commissioner Silver will act quickly and resolve this situation," Johnson said. "I think that there's no room, so he has to lose the team, hopefully, and if that doesn't happen, then the commissioners and his partners have to decide his fate."

Johnson said he agrees with the Clippers players' decision to continue playing in the playoffs. The players held a silent protest before Sunday's game, wearing their warmup outfits inside-out with black socks.

"If nothing happens, then you can boycott in the off season, and not just the Clippers, the whole league has to, because if he's not thrown out, then you have to do something," Johnson said.

Johnson said emphatically that he has no interest in buying the Clippers himself, despite rumors to the contrary.

"When he came out against us and he said those things, and said about me personally that he didn't want me to come to his games, then everyone says that if he sells it, then Magic should buy it. I never said that, so that's not the case," Johnson said.

NBC News has not been able to authenticate the audio tapes posted on TMZSports.com or extended clips posted by Deadspin.

Clippers president Andy Roeser released a statement, saying: "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life."

Malloy Scraps Plan to Issue $55 Tax Refunds


Gov. Dannel Malloy has scrapped plans to issue $55 rebate checks.

He first presented the idea as part of his State of the State Address in February.

The governor wanted to use a portion of the anticipated $500 million surplus. On Monday, there was a change of plans.

"We're just not going to have enough money as we thought because of one particular tax," said Malloy, referring to the capital gains tax. 

The amount of money the state collected so far this year is millions below expectations.

Not only are the rebates gone, but so too is the plan to put $100 million into the state pension fund.

Malloy said Monday that there is still a surplus and he expects that money will be put into the rainy day fund.

All along, Republicans have argued that the rebate plan was all about politics.

"This was obviously an election year ploy," said Sen. Rob Kane. "He was trying to win back votes from people who were certainly upset with this governor."

The governor denied that charge.

He said he wants to focus efforts on the issues of education reform and job creation.

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