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Malloy to Discuss Connecticut's Health Care Success in D.C.


The Center for American Progress is welcoming Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to Washington D.C. Tuesday to speak as a distinguished guest about Connecticut's success with Affordable Care Act.

The organization regards Connecticut as a leader in implementing the federal health care act and getting residents enrolled. Center for Progress President and CEO Neera Tanden will moderate the discussion, called "Affordable Care Act Enrollment: Lessons from Connecticut."

"The state of Connecticut, led by Governor Dannel Malloy, has established itself as a leader on marketplace enrollment," the Center for American Progress stated on its website." Connecticut was not only the first state to meet its enrollment goals, but eventually doubled them. As we look forward to the beginning of the next open enrollment period in November, much can be learned from the example of Connecticut and the other top-performing states."

The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and the organization will live stream the discussion on its website.

Later in the afternoon, Malloy is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners annual International Insurance Forum at Park Hyatt Washington.

The agenda is available on the association's website.

Shelly Sterling: I'll Go "As Far as I Can Go" in Fight


The estranged wife of embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling pledged Tuesday to go "as far as I can go" to fight what she characterized as the NBA's sexist move to remove her as a co-owner of the team in response to her husband's racist remarks.

"Would an owner’s wife say the same thing and would the owner be asked to leave the NBA? Or would they just say, well, she’s only the wife," Rochelle Sterling said in an interview with "Today."

Sterling said while derogatory remarks about African Americans her husband made in a recording released last month, as well as new controversial comments he made in a CNN interview that aired Monday, make her sick, she said she doesn't think she should be targeted in the NBA's push to force a sale of the team. She recalled attending a game recently where she said fans were giving her high fives and saying" Go girl, don't give up."

“I’m very angry and I’m very hurt and I even cried listening to that because I just feel bad," she said. "And then I feel bad, why am I the victim when he’s the perpetrator. If somebody kills somebody, does the wife have to stand trial, too?”

The NBA has pledged to oust Donald Sterling, who has owned the team for 30-plus years, in light of audio recording published by TMZ last month. Sterling also faces a $2.5 million fine and a lifetime ban from the NBA.

In response to similar vows Rochelle Sterling made last week about keeping her share of the team, the NBA released a statement that said if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a three-fourths vote of the other league owners, "all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well. It doesn't matter whether the owners are related as is the case here.  These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team."

The statement cited the NBA constitution and bylaws, a more-than-90-page document that outlines the commissioner's broad powers when it comes to terminating ownership of a team.

At his first news conference as the team's interim CEO, Richard Parsons said Monday that he has not had any conversations with Sterling or his estranged wife. The NBA's hand-picked team supervisor said there is "not much" he can do about the team's ownership situation and will be focused on acting as a "conservator" for the franchise.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reiterated the league's intent to move quickly again this week after the 80-year-old billionaire team owner found himself under fire yet again for blasting Johnson during his first public interview since the scandal broke.

In addition to asking for forgiveness for his earlier remarks, Sterling slammed Johnson as a bad role model for children who does nothing for the black community. He told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Johnson, who is HIV positive, should be "ashamed of himself" for having sex with women given his diagnoses. Sterling could be heard in the original recording, which has not been authenticated by NBC News, chastising companion V. Stiviano for bringing black people to a game and posting an Instagram photo with Johnson.

Rochelle Sterling, who goes by Shelly, said the latest comments support her belief that her estranged husband is suffering from early stages of dementia.

“Why would he bring Magic Johnson into the issue about what’s happening now?" she said. "I mean that’s where I felt pity because he couldn't get all the dots together. He couldn’t connect the dots.”

Donald Sterling's comments about Lakers legend Johnson drew yet another response from Silver, who said in a statement, "I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper and while Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack. The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible."

As for Johnson, he tweeted Monday: "After this week, no more Sterling talk. Just the NBA Playoffs, my @Dodgers and my @LA_Sparks!"

NBCLA's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.


New Haven Police Investigate Basketball Court Shooting


New Haven police are investigating a shooting at basketball courts on Franklin Street early Tuesday morning.

New Haven resident Ocktable Jones, also known as Octable Tyrell Jones, 39, of New Haven, was transported to an area hospital for surgery due to a gunshot wound in his lower back.

Police responded to the 183 Franklin St. courts at 2:30 a.m. after a 911 call reporting gunshots in the area.

Jones, a convicted felon, attempted to discard a gun holster on his waist while being taken to the ambulance, according to police. He has a criminal history of incidents including "assault with a firearm and drug offences," police said.

Jones was uncooperative with police and refused to speak to officers, police said.

Police have not identified a suspect or indicated how many people might be involved.

The New Haven Police Department's Major Crimes Division and Bureau of Investigation also responded to interview witnesses and gather evidence. 

Police ask witnesses or anyone with information on the "shootings" to contact the detective unit at 203-946-6304. Callers may remain anonymous.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Taft School Teacher Sentenced to 5 Years for Child Porn


A teacher at the exclusive Taft School in Watertown has been sentenced to five years in prison for child pornography possession and distribution.

The FBI took Richard Doyle, 65, went to his Litchfield home in December 2012 and took him into custody. He was sentenced on Tuesday and a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office says he had more than 4,000 images. 

A law enforcement agent logged into a public internet file sharing program on Oct. 24 and Oct. 27 and downloaded images depicting child pornography from shared directories maintained by Doyle, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

FBI agents seized computers, thumb drives, and other computer components from Doyle's home and from The Taft School.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Doyle admitted that he had been viewing child pornography since the 1970s and directed FBI agents to a plastic container hidden under his workbench that held thumb drives with child porn. 

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's office says Doyle had more than 4,000 images on computers and thumb drives in addition to magazines that were in the attic.

Doyle was placed on administrative leave from The Taft School Tuesday after state police contacted school administrators, according to a statement released by the school.

"There is no indication, at this time, that any of our students were involved or at risk at any time," the statement read.

Doyle is charged with receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography.

He was released on a $200,000 bond and was living with family members until he was ordered to report to prison on July 7.

Truck Rams into Maryland TV Station


A man armed with a golf club and believed to be mentally ill is in custody after police say he rammed a stolen truck into a Baltimore TV station and then, claiming he was God, forced his way into the building, according to witnesses.

The man was taken into custody shortly after 4:30 p.m. after crashing through the entrance of the ABC2 (WMAR-TV) station in Towson, prompting a heavy police response and five-hour search for the suspect.

The man was found in an edit booth watching news coverage of the standoff on television and armed with a golf club, though it is unclear if he took that into the building or found it there, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said. He was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

All employees have been accounted for, several station sources told News4. No injuries were reported.

Around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, the man began banging on the door of the station in Towson, Baltimore County. The man demanded to be let in, cursing and claiming that he was God, according to witnesses.

"I heard a loud sound, rattling," said Michael Marion, a commercial producer at the station who has an office just off the lobby. "It sounded like someone had dropped something metal. Then I heard someone yelling 'Let me in, let me in.'"

"The individual was ranting and raving incoherent statements," Chief Johnson said. "It was clear from the very beginning we were dealing with a mentally or emotionally disturbed subject."

When he was not allowed in, he got into a large truck — which was reportedly stolen from a Maryland landscaping company — and rammed it into the building at least three times, witnesses said. He hit a railing and the door, and then rammed his way into the building.

"And all of a sudden I see this truck, and I'm thinking, There is a truck trying to get through the front door," WMAR-TV anchor Jamie Costello said. "And that's when everybody started, 'Get out! Get out!'"

News Director Kelly Groft rushed through the newsroom and helped evacuate the staff.

"It was a controlled chaos," she said. "It was terrifying because someone was driving a truck through the vestibule, but everybody did exactly what they were supposed to do. We train for these things just like schools train for fire drills."

After the evacuation, the intruder made his way to the second floor of the building.

ABC2 meteorologist Mike Masco wrote on Twitter about 12:20 p.m. Tuesday that police found weapons in the vehicle.

Two people who work in the building told News4's Tisha Thompson that they heard the crash and ran out the back doors to the parking lot.

Marion described the man as a young black man with a light complexion, wearing a light blue oxford-style shirt and carrying a black satchel over his shoulder.

After the man was taken into custody, police said there was no threat to neighboring buildings, but during the standoff, a gas station directly across the street from the station was shut down, and the nearby St. Pius X School went on lockdown, with a large number of officers present. Students were released to parents this afternoon.

News Director Kelly Groft said on Twitter around 12:15 p.m. that the truck remains lodged in the lobby, and employees are being kept away from the building. She thanked Baltimore County officers for keeping them safe.

The truck driven into the building was stolen from a job site on Interstate 695 near the Towson area, according to a statement from Ashton Manor Environmental, a landscaping company. Jeff Schwartz, president of the company, said Ashton Manor is cooperating with police.

ABC2, an ABC affiliate, is located in Towson, Maryland, and covers Baltimore news. The station's call letters are WMAR.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more on this breaking story.

Photo Credit: Christian Keller

Mom, Daughter Accused of Letting Dog & Puppies Starve


A mother and daughter from Trumbull have been arrested after an emaciated pit bull and her eight starving puppies were found in an abandoned home, police said.

An United Illuminated Company employee went to 2542 Main Street in October 2013, weeks after the electricity had been turned off, and saw an emaciated dog come to the front door of what appeared to be an abandoned home, police said.

Animal Control Officer Lynn Dellabianca then went to the home, where she found the starving female pit bull and eight undernourished puppies, according to police.

The arrest warrant application says the adult dog was friendly, but emaciated to the point that her ribs and backbone were showing. As officers were putting a leash on her, they heard whimpering from another room. When they went to check on the source, they found the eight extremely emaciated puppies.

The house was in shambles, with no dog food or water in sight, according to police.

The dogs were rescued and hospitalized for several days, where doctors determined that they had eaten a necklace, a pushpin, plastic and some sort of filling material. They have since been adopted.

Police arrested Charlotte Mines on March 13 and Deidra Mines on May 12. Both were charged with nine counts of cruelty to animals.

On Oct. 12, police called Charlotte about the dogs.

“Oh yeah, they all died, huh?” she asked, according to warrant application. When police informed her that the dogs were alive, but near death, she said the dogs belonged to her mother.

She told police that she had gone back to the house a couple times after the electricity was turned off to fee the dogs, but stopped because she did not have any money, the arrest warrant application says.

When police spoke with Deidre Mines, she said she left the dogs in the care of a friend, but then said it was not a good time to talk when police asked which friend was taking care of the dogs, according to police.

In the days that followed, Deidre Mines failed to return messages, according to police.

Had the women reached out to animal control, a shelter or a veterinarains' office. help would have been available.

A hearing was set for today for Charlotte.  Deidre is due in court on June 10.



Photo Credit: Trumbull Police

Man, 86, Fires Fake Gun at Construction Site: Police


A Greenwich man living on Byram Shore Rd. told police he was frustrated with the construction clatter next door. So he fired a starter pistol to annoy the workers, police said.

Greenwich police arrested Robert Claude Mock, 86, of 185 Byram Shore Rd., the day of the May 7 incident on charges including illegal use of a facsimile firearm.

Mock aimed a weapon resembling a hand gun at the construction site from outside his home and an individual at the construction site heard what sounded like a gunshot. Then Mock walked west on his property, fired what turned out to be a starter's pistol twice and went back inside his home.

The witness reported the incident to police at about 5:24 p.m. that evening and officers responded. Police heard a fourth shot coming from the back of Mock's home while officers were interviewing the complainant and called more units to the scene.

Officers cleared the outside of the building. Mock exited his residence when police instructed him to do so. He told police that he didn't intend to threaten or harm the construction workers but that "he did intend to make a lot of noise to annoy the workers," according to the police report. 

Police determined that the firearm was a starter pistol "incapable of firing projectiles," the report states.

Officers released Mock at the scene after charging him with the illegal use of a facsimile firearm, second-degree breach of peace, threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment.

Mock is scheduled to appear in Stamford Superior Court on May 14.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Evacuation of Chicago-Area FAA Building Affects Bradley Flight


Smoke inside a Federal Aviation Administration building in Chicago is affecting flights in Connecticut.

NBC Chicago reports that there are ground stops at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports because FAA employees were evacuated from a radar facility.

Officials at Bradley International Airport said five flights from Bradley to O’Hare and Midway have been canceled.

There is one delay and three flights from Chicago to Bradley have also been affected.
When the situation will be resolved is not known.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

75-Year-Old Bicyclist Injured in South Windsor Crash


A 75-year-old South Windsor man was injured when his bicycle and a car crashed on Buckland Road in South Windsor this morning.

The bicyclist was wearing a helmet and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Several of the man's ribs were broken in the crash and he also has facial lacerations, according to police. 

The crash was reported at 9:20 a.m. and a stretch of Buckland Street was closed as police responded.

The driver of the car is cooperating with the investigation, police said.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should call Agent Mark Halibozek at 860-644-2551. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

CL&P Spoofing Scam Costs Victims Thousands of Dollars


A caller tells you that your Connecticut Light & Power account is delinquent and that you must pay immediately or your power will be shut down.

But hold off on rushing that payment. The call might be part of the same spoofing scam targeting East Windsor businesses.

East Windsor police received many complaints over the past several weeks about fraudulent calls aiming to steal money from victims. Many East Windsor residents and businesses have lost thousands of dollars in the scams.

In the scams, the caller tells the business owner to buy a Green Dot Money Pack Card and load money on it to pay the bill, East Windsor police said. The scammer calls back asking for the pin number or to meet the person to retrieve the card.

Spoofing scammers disguise their name and phone number on caller ID to appear as a business name and phone number, in this case CL&P.

Many residents have also received fraudulent calls demanding wire transfers via Western Union to save family member supposedly kidnapped,  injured in an accident or suffering medical problems. 

East Windsor police said that if you receive a call like this, verify the request by calling CL&P's listed business number in the phone book, online or through dialing 411 information. Police also said that Green Dot Money and Western Union are not usual payment methods used by legitimate businesses.

If you get a call wanting money to help a kidnapped family member, police said to contact that family member first to check in.

East Windsor police also urge people affected to report the scams and suspicious phone calls to the department at 860-292-8240.



Vinal Tech Lockdown Ends After Threat


State Police arrested a Guilford teen they believe authored the threatening message that led to a brief lockdown at a Middletown technical school Tuesday afternoon.

Police charged Mark Andrade, 18, with first-degree threatening and breach of peace after identifying him as the author of the note at Vinal Technical High School.

After school officials found the threatening note in the school around 12:48 p.m., the administration called State Police and put the school in lockdown for about an hour as they waited for troopers to arrive.

State Police arrested Andrade and are holding him at Troop F barracks in Westbrook on a $10,000 bond until he appears in Middletown Superior Court on Wednesday.

Students were dismissed at the usual time and no one was injured, State Police said.

Police have no released information at this time of the charges.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Accused of Killing Wife Cannot Contact His Children


A Connecticut man accused of killing his estranged wife the day before they were due in court for a hearing on a restraining order has been ordered to stay away from his young twins.

Scott Gellatly, 46, is accused of killing Lori Gellatly, 32, and shooting his mother-in-law, Merry Jackson, 64. He is being held on $2 million bond. Gellatly appeared in court on Tuesday and the case was continued to June 3.

Jackson remains hospitalized.

Gellatly has been charged with murder, attempted murder, larceny of a motor vehicle, first-degree assault on an elderly person, two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

State police said they received phone calls reporting a break-in on Sioux Drive in Oxford around 5:45 a.m. on May 7, as well as one from a woman reporting that her estranged husband was trying to break into her house.

Soon after the call was made, it was disconnected. Then, police received a 911 call from a neighbor who reported hearing gunshots and seeing Scott Gellatly running from the house and driving away, according to the police investigation report. 

When officers arrived at the house, they found two women had been shot. One victim was Gellatly's estranged wife, Lori Gellatly, and the other was her mother, Merry Jackson. Both had been shot several times and were transported to the hospital, where Lori Gellatly was pronounced dead at 6:55 a.m.

Scott Gellatly was found late that morning in Winsted following a statewide manhunt. Police said he was inside a car at a former KFC at the end of Route 8, about 45 minutes from the scene of the shooting.

He was alone in the vehicle and had run a green garden hose from the tailpipe into the vehicle in an apparent suicide attempt, according to police.

Emergency responders revived Scott Gellatly and took him to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, where he is in stable condition and under state police guard, authorities said.

When police interviewed Gellatly, he told police he had no knowledge of any weapons and could not remember if he was at his wife's home earlier in the morning. He also said that he woke up on Wednesday morning and wanted to commit suicide.

Lori and Scott Gellatly were scheduled to be in court on Thursday for a hearing on an application for a restraining order Lori Gellatly had filed against him.

Scott Gellatly's mother-in-law and former wife had also applied for restraining orders, according to court records. One said he was not taking his medication and sent the women and his children away because he thought he could get out of control and was doing this for their safety.

In her application for protection, Lori Gellatly said that she felt threatened during an incident on April 1 and feared for herself and her twin toddlers.

"Scott yelled in my face on 4/1/14 and got very angry. I felt threatened and told him I didn't feel safe and was going to leave with the twins," she wrote. 

The application states that Lori Gellatly obtained a temporary restraining order on April 3 but could not serve it in time for it to be permanent. A hearing was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday in Milford.

One of the conditions of the restraining order was that Scott Gellatly was not supposed to possess firearms, ammunition or any electronic defense weapons.

It appears that Lori Gellatly was a state employee. On her application for a restraining order, she listed her place of employment as 79 Elm Street in Hartford, which is the headquarters for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

State police have identified the other shooting victim as Scott Gellatly's mother-in-law, Mary Jackson. She's in serious but stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital, according to state police.

Twin toddlers who were in the home at the time of the shooting were not harmed and are with family members, according to state police. The judge issue an order for Scott Gellatly to not contact his toddlers.

The state Department of Children and Families has also been notified.

Earlier Wednesday, police had issued a Silver Alert for Lori Gellatly, saying they believed Scott Gellatly had abducted her and taken her hostage. The police report sheds some light on why the alert was issued. When police asked Jackson who shot them, she said "Scott," then added that he had taken someone and was going to kill her. 

A little over an hour later, police canceled the Silver Alert and said there had been no hostage situation.

Police also arrested Scott Gellatly on a previous warrant for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. The charges are connected to a case the Oxford resident state trooper investigated, Vance said.

As Gellatly left the courtroom on Tuesday, a family member or friend yelled, "We love you, Scott."

Lori Gellatly's family did not make any comments before leaving the courtroom.

Photo Credit: State Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Couple Dropped from ACA Plan


A Sharon couple says they are running out of options after being dropped from their Obamacare insurance plan.

John and Dawn DiMarco signed up for an Affordable Care Act plan through the state health insurance exchange during open enrollment. They received their insurance card and were covered but their bill was thousands of dollars more than advertised.

They spent weeks going back and forth with various state agencies and the insurance company to try and get answers. Then, this month, their carrier, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, sent them a cancellation notice.

The DiMarcos have been so frustrated with trying to get answers that they posted a sign outside their home that reads: 'We have no insurance because Access Health has a computer glitch.'

"It's stressful," said John DiMarco. "It's overwhelming."

So why did this happen?

NBC Connecticut contacted Access Health CT on Tuesday and they told us it has to do with a computer issue with their vendor.

When DiMarco went back to change information during the enrollment process a new form was sent to the insurance company. That form omitted the couple's $1100 subsidy.

"The reason why we were going to lose our insurance is because our tax credit was never loaded into our account," said DiMarco.

Access Health confirmed that other consumers have experienced this issue. They have asked insurance companies not to drop customers while they try and fix it.

"We sympathize with any consumer that is dealing with this," said Kathleen Tallarita, a spokesperson for Access Health CT. "We are working diligently to fix the problem."

The DiMarcos say for now they are left with hundreds of dollars of unpaid medical bills.

"In the meantime we have no coverage, no insurance, we can't get our medication, my wife can't get her medication," said DiMarco.

Access Health CT's customer service line is 1-855-805-HEALTH.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Magic: I'll Pray for Sterling


Magic Johnson will pray for Donald Sterling, he said Tuesday, a day after the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner made derogatory remarks about him in a televised interview, saying the NBA legend "should be ashamed of himself."

"I'm not a guy who holds grudges and all that. Yes, am I upset? Of course!" Johnson told CNN's Anderson Cooper, in an interview set to air Tuesday night. "But at the same time, I'm a God-fearing man, and I'm going to pray for him and hope things work out for him.”

Sterling had told Cooper on Monday, in his first interview since the NBA banned him for his taped racist comments, that Johnson is not a good role model and has done nothing for black people.

"What kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?" Sterling asked. "I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."

Sterling also blamed Johnson for his own delayed apology for the racist remarks he was recorded making in a conversation with his girlfriend, saying he held off because the legendary NBA player told him to remain silent.

Sterling said he respects and admires Johnson, and that the Hall of Famer's role in the scandal is "irrelevant."

In the recorded phone conversation that first sparked the Sterling scandal, published last month by TMZ Sports, Sterling can be heard criticizing girlfriend V. Stiviano for posting online about bringing black friends to Clippers games. He is also heard chastising her for posting a photo on Instagram with Johnson.

"I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview," Johnson tweeted Monday night. "After this week, no more Sterling talk. Just the NBA Playoffs, my @Dodgers and my @LA_Sparks!" he added.

In response to Sterling's interview, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement reiterating that the league was moving swiftly to remove Sterling as owner of the Clippers.

"While Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack," Silver's statement said in part.

Reacting to the recording in the immediate aftermath, Johnson had said Sterling's comments about black people were damaging to the NBA.

"I'm disappointed, I'm hurt, I'm outraged, I'm everything," Johnson said. "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."

Silver banned Sterling, fined him $2.5 million and urged owners to force him to sell the team.

--Additional reporting by Will Avila and Marcus Riley

Robber Targeted Manchester Doctor, Dentist Offices


Manchester police are seeking the public's help in identifying a burglar who targeted two doctor offices and a dentist office over the weekend, stealing almost $3,000 from one of them.

Surveillance photos show the suspect, who appears to be a white male with a mustache in his 20s, wearing a Jansen backpack and Jordan sneakers.

According to a time stamp on the surveillance video at Columbia Dental in Manchester, the office was burglarized around 10:15 p.m. Saturday night, about an hour after the office closed for the day.

Jeffery Smith, the manager of the dental office at 483 West Middle Turnpike, said the thief jimmied a locked drawer and stole more than $2,800 in cash. The suspect rummaged through the  office but did not take laptops or any other items.

"We felt abused. We felt violated," Smith said.

Police are also investigating an attempted burglary at Kids Station Pediatrics at 191 Main St. Nothing appears to have been taken from the doctors’ office targeted at 200 Main St.

Manchester police ask anyone who recognizes the suspect in the surveillance footage to contact the department at (860) 645-5510.

Connecticut Mom Who Prompted Amber Alert Arrested in Maine


A Vernon, Connecticut mother has been arrested after prompting a mult-state Amber Alert for her three young sons this morning.

Police issued an alert early on Tuesday as they searched for Ryan Lewis, age 9; and 7-year-old twins, Brandon Lewis and Dylan Lewis, after their mom failed to return them to their biological father following a scheduled weekend visit, police said.

The mother, Jackie Ann Morris, 32, has visitation rights, but concerns arose when disappeared after checking out of a Vernon motel on Mother's Day and the boys did not show up for school on Monday or Tuesday.

The boys' father reached out to police on Monday night and the alert -- focused on Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine -- was issued, asking people to be on the lookout for a Red 2004 Jetta with a Connecticut license plate.

By late Tuesday morning, Morris and the boys were found, safe, at a Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, Maine and Morris was taken into custody on a Connecticut warrant that charged her as a fugitive from justice.

"We do know that the three children are with her. They are in good condition. We are working with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, who will be working with the Maine Department of Children and Families to coordinate the return of the kids," Lt. James Grady, of Vernon, Connecticut police, said in a news conference just before noon.

Morris was charged with three counts of custodial interference in the first degree and three counts of risk of injury to a minor, according to police. She is in Bangor Police custody and bond was set at $250,000.

When Morris is brought back to Connecticut, she will be arraigned at Rockville Superior Court.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services took temporary custody of the boys until their father arrives to pick them up, which is expected to happen this evening.

Before issuing an Amber Alert, police issued a Silver Alert. It was upgraded to the Amber Alert because of the mother's mental health, police said, without elaborating on the mental health conditions.

A news release from Maine State Police said Morris has likely been living in her car in Maine.



Photo Credit: Vernon Police

24-Year-Old Man Accused of Assaulting Elderly Woman


Stratford police have arrested a 24-year-old Bridgeport man accused of attacking, choking and restraining an 89-year-old woman and trying to sexually assault her.   

Police took Jose Enrique Correa into custody this morning as he was walking on Granfield Avenue in Bridgeport.

He is accused of assaulting the victim just before 7:30 p.m. last Thursday on Canaan Road. The victim was taken to the hospital and has since been released.

Stratford Police Detectives put out a news release, saying they were looking for a thin man who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Correa has been charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal attempt to commit aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, assault in the first degree of an elderly person, unlawful restraint in the first degree and strangulation in the first degree.

Anyone with information on the attack should call the Stratford Police Investigative Unit at at (203) 385-4119 or the Stratford Police tips line (203) 375-TIPS (8477).

You can leave an anonymous tip on the Stratford Crime Tip Hotline at 203-375-TIPS (8477) or through the iWatch application available at www.iWatchStratford.com.

Photo Credit: Startford Police

Fast-Spreading Fire Scorches SoCal


San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has declared a local state of emergency after a rapidly spreading brush fire, fueled by dry conditions and high winds, ripped through the city's North County and prompted evacuations Tuesday.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen over the exclusive community of Santaluz and as far west as Interstate 5 after the Bernardo Fire sparked around 11 a.m. near Black Mountain Road west of Interstate 15.

As of 10 p.m., the fire had scorched 850 acres and sent thousands of families either heading to safer ground or preparing their homes for the possibility of evacuation.

No homes have burned, and fire crews estimate about 5 percent containment.

The borders of the Bernardo Fire stretch from Via de la Valle to the east, Dove Canyon Road to the west, Carmel Valley Road to the north and Camino Del Sur to the south. See map of fire area


Flames jumped over Camino del Sur at the same time school buses were carrying students from nearby elementary schools out of the area.

Around 2 p.m., flames estimated to be 7 to 8 feet high were marching west, burning heavy brush in canyon areas just east of San Dieguito Road.

Residents watched as fire crews from all across the county organized an attack on the brush fire from the ground and the air.

Santaluz resident Chuck Dawson said he watched as flames threaten his home.

“The heat is ferocious as you get close to it. In fact, it probably came within 25 feet of our house. Luckily we had about 30 firemen who barricaded it and it burned all the way around, but we’re safe," he said.

San Diego police officers closed roads and helped San Diego County sheriff's deputies perform evacuations. 

New mandatory evacuations were announced for Fairbanks Ranch, Fairbanks Country Club and part of  Rancho Santa Fe from Paseo Delicias to Zamaque Street, officials said.

Areas under evacuation included portions of:

  • Torrey Highlands
  • Rancho Penasqutios
  • Black Mountain Ranch
  • Santa Luz
  • Fairbanks Ranch
  • Outer portions of Rancho Santa Fe
  • Camino Del Sur

Officials described the following communities as "areas of concern:"

  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Fairbanks Ranch
  • San Diego
  • Black Mountain Ranch
  • Del Mar
  • Solana Beach
  • Areas surrounding the SDG&E 230 KV Power Lines

About 22,000 phone numbers were contacted for evacuations -- 5,000 in the county and 17,000 in the city of San Diego. That includes home, business and cell phone numbers, sheriff's officials say.

At 7:20 p.m., all residents within the city of San Diego were told they could return home. By 8:15 p.m., the rest of the evacuations were lifted. 

Evacuation centers were established at Torrey Pines High School, Poway High School and Rancho Bernardo High School. Officials shut down Torrey Pines HS due to excess smoke and sent many of  those evacuated to RB High School. The point was fully shut down at 7 p.m.

The San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross reports 30 residents were at the evacuation centers. The organization said it will head to RBHS to prepare for overnighters.

Officials established a command post at Del Norte High School then moved it to Rancho Bernardo Community Park.

SDPD held over its first shift indefinitely and second shift started early to help with fire response.

A reverse 911 notification was sent to 1,000 homes from the 4S Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Ranch Penasquitos area as a warning, not a call to evacuate according to San Diego County sheriff's deputies.

An NBC 7 News crew reports that high tension wires are preventing aircraft from making drops close to the ground on the west side of Camino Del Sur.

The fire started around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at Nighthawk Lane and Camino San Bernardo, near Del Norte High School.

Lee Swanson, spokesperson for San Diego-Fire Rescue, said the fire started in an area cleared for new construction.

Residents were lined up along fences, watching as fire crews hosed down the brush close to their backyards.

“It is unusual in May to have wind-driven fires like this that prove to be such a challenge to contain,” said San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar.

In southeastern Rancho Santa Fe near Zumaque Street, north of the fire, residents remembered the 2007 Firestorm when seven or eight homes burned.

While they have not yet been evacuated, residents say they will be ready to go if ordered to do so.

Resident of 4S Ranch Yvonne Leijen said she heard the alarms, saw the firefighters and immediately recalled a devastating brush fire that threatened the area years ago.

“It reminded me so much of the big fire in 2007,” Leijen told NBC 7.

She said she went to the gas station and filled up her car, checked on her son’s school and then returned to see how fire crews were handling the flames

“I thought, should I be smart? What should I do?” she said. “I hope the winds will die down soon.”

Crews from the San Diego Fire Department, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District, the Poway Fire Department and the San Pasqual Fire Department responded to the fire.

Two helicopters were dropping water from Santaluz Golf Club onto the flames. Earlier in the day, air tankers were using fire retardant to try and direct the flames into the open space and away from the multi-million dollar homes in the gated communities to the west.

No injuries have been reported. There is no word yet what caused the fire.

Around 900 students at Willow Grove Elementary have been evacuated - some to Torrey Pines and others to Westview High School. Students at Stone Ranch Elementary were sent to Ranch Bernardo High School, according to the Poway Unified School District. There were 700 students evacuated from Del Sur Elementary School. Oak Valley Middle School and Del Norte High School were not evacuated.

Once evacuations of the school affected were completed, the buses were used to transport students not near the fire threat. Because delays could be hours, district officials suggested parents pick their children up from school.

The Poway Unified School District announced Tuesday evening that school will be back in session Wednesday. All San Diego Unified School District schools will be open as well. 

As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, temperatures in Rancho Bernardo area were 88 degrees with  9 percent relative humidity and wind gusts averaging 15 mph from the east-northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

Air support was critical since some of the terrain is inaccessible, NBC 7's Whitney Southwick said.

Also, keep in mind that flames typically gain momentum as they race uphill.

As one firefighter told NBC 7, "The wind is taking it, and it's gonna make it a couple a day project here."

The Helen Woodward Animal Center evacuated a total of 400 animals to SeaWorld, Petco and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Of the 23 horses at the animal shelter near Rancho Santa Fe, 17 were evacuated Tuesday afternoon, as well as a number of dogs, cats, parrots, turtles, iguanas and other birds.

Fire crews will stay on scene overnight and through Wednesday morning, when officials say they expect winds to kick up again. Helicopters that can operate at night will be on standby.

The Bernardo Fire is the biggest blaze they've seen in the county since 2007, officials say.

Refresh this link for updates.

If you have breaking news pictures, send them to isee@nbcsandiego.com or tag with #nbc7breaking on Instagram.

Zuckerberg Sued By Real Estate Developer


The developer didn't build it -- and help from Mark Zuckerberg never came.

That's what one Palo Alto real estate developer claims.

So the developer, Mircea Voskerician, is suing the Facebook CEO, claiming that Zuckerberg reneged on a promise to send Voskerician business after Voskerician agreed to sell the tech titan a key piece of property, according to reports.

It all began when Zuckerberg set about buying $43 million worth of real estate in a preservation-minded spending spree, the San Jose Mercury News reported

Zuckerberg was troubled by the idea of new homes near his Crescent Park spread in 2012 and 2013, and wanted to buy up the empty lots to keep them empty.

Voskerician agreed to sell to Zuckerberg a Hamilton Avenue property for $1.7 million, agreeing that Zuckerberg would in exchange help steer other real estate business Voskerician's way, according to the lawsuit.

Voskerician says that the $1.7 million bill was a "discount," the newspaper reported, and that Zuckerberg "blew him off'" after the sale was done.

An attorney for the tech mogul says that Zuckerberg had no such deal in place and that the lawsuit is "just meritless."

Photo Credit: AP

Two People Found Safely After Search at Lake


Two people who were thought to have been in Bolton lake after their raft overturned are safe according to the Bolton fire chief.

According to State Police and the fire chief, there were a few reports of two people getting into a raft and heading out onto the lake.

A short time later, emergency officials got a report that the raft had overturned.

State police, along with the local fire department and the Department of Environment Protection searched for nearly two hours before getting word that the two people who were in the water walked out on their own and are safe.

The search is now over and emergency crews have cleared the scene.


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