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Sterling Ready to "Move On"


As the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers was being finalized, Donald Sterling said he was ready to "move on" in an exclusive interview with NBC4's Fred Roggin at a charity event Tuesday night.

When asked how he felt after the NBA allowed his wife Shelly to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record-breaking $2 billion, Sterling said, "I feel fabulous, I feel very good. Everything is just the way it should be, really. It may have worked out differently, but it's good. It's all good."

"I'm OK, I'm OK," Sterling added. "Is the NBA OK? I'm not sure about that. Is (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver OK? I'm sure he's OK."

Smiling, Sterling said he was ready to "move on."

A vote by the NBA Board of Governors will be needed to make the sale final.

Sterling made the comments at a dinner in downtown Los Angeles held by nonprofit Shelter Partnerships, which helps the homeless in Los Angeles County. The billionaire real-estate mogul said he was there to support the organization.

On Friday, the league announced that it had canceled a hearing to oust Sterling, instead moving forward to vote on the deal negotiated by his wife to sell the team. The move came on the same day Sterling's attorneys filed suit in a Los Angeles federal court against the NBA and Silver, asking for damages in excess of $1 billion.

It was unclear whether Sterling was planning to drop the lawsuit.

Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and sought to ban him for life from the league after Sterling told an ex-girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games.

Sterling has been in the public eye in recent days. On Sunday, he attended a service at a predominantly black church in South Los Angeles after being invited by a pastor who said Sterling should be forgiven after making racist remarks.

Message of Hope Erected After Violence in New Haven


A non-profit organization in New Haven is hoping that the three simple words, “You Are Important,” will help to spread an anti-violence message to the city youth after four shootings in six days since last week.

Solar Youth, a nonprofit that helps young people become problem solvers instead of makers, created the message and the words adorn a banner strung across a fence in the Westville Manor section of the city.

“This came not necessarily from any kind of long-term strategy,” Joanne Sciulli, director of Solar Youth, said. “This was just a response from our hearts.”

Solar Youth decided that the corner of Springside and Level streets would be the best location for the banner since it is a high-visibility area.

“People need to hear that message all over,” said Fred James, a New Haven resident. “Not just here, everywhere.”

After putting up the banner, the organization invited neighborhood residents to write their own messages of hope and anti-violence. They said they hope will translate from the canvas to the streets.

“What's going on now lately is not where you want to feel comfortable and we wish it would come to a halt,” said Loretta Parker, of New Haven.

Twin Won't Graduate Without Sister


What was supposed to be a day of celebration for Marisol Serrato was another day of sadness as she chose not to walk at her high school graduation on Tuesday without her twin sister, Marisa, who died in a tragic Northern California tour bus crash two months ago.

"The pain was unbearable and unimaginable. I'd never think I'd feel the pain that strong," Marisol said. "And I still walk, I eat, and sometimes I smile, but I feel dead inside. I feel like I died with her."

Marisa was one of 10 people killed in horrific April 10 crash. The 17-year-old was traveling with a large group of Southern California high school students for a spring tour at Humboldt State University.

"The sun can't shine the same way," Marisol said. "Sometimes I feel like because of the pain, I feel in this world it's almost as if I've been living in hell, and inch by inch, we have to crawl out to the light. She just got ahead of us."

Marisol was on the same trip, but she took a different bus.

"As the days go by, the pain subsides a little because I feel like I'm getting closer to her," Marisol said. "I cry in the nights and I still call for her name."

Marisol still plays her guitar, something the two shared. But now she plays alone, her twin's guitar next to her.

"(Having a twin) is a bond that's almost unexplainable because it's a person that knows your every thought and understands you in a way that no other person can understand you perfectly," she said.

Both Marisol and Marisa were outstanding students at Norte Vista High School. And they were both accepted to several colleges. Since the crash, Marisol hasn't returned to school. But she will still get her diploma, as will her sister, posthumously.

"Me and my sister waited so long for this (graduation) day, and also for my birthday, which was three days ago, to turn 18," Marisol said. "I didn't even celebrate it. I was at the cemetery all day that day just hanging out with my sister. I can't...I've never blown candles out on my own."

Marisol has decided not to attend her high school graduation.

“I imagined and envisioned walking next to her, and I can't find the strength to walk there alone without her," Marisol said.

Family members understand why Marisol is choosing not to go, but they also feel tremendous sadness because of how hard the twins worked to get good grades.

"That was my dream to see them graduating," Luis Miguel Serrato said.

"It was supposed to be a big day...to finally reap the rewards of those four years they struggled,"said the twins' sister, Cristina Serrato.

Although she won't be at her graduation ceremony, Marisol is planning to attend the first day of college at La Sierra University to carry on her and her sister's dream of getting a college degree.

“Mostly I could say our dreams, because we shared the same goals," Marisol said.

Va. Police to Return Stolen Sandy Hook Memorial Signs


Police in Herndon, Virginia, are making a special trip to Connecticut Wednesday to return two signs stolen from parks honoring victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Andrew David Truelove, 28, is accused of stealing a memorial sign for 7-year-old Grace McDonnell from a park in Mystic, Connecticut, and another for 7-year-old Chase Kowalski from a park in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Both signs were stolen about a month ago.

After stealing the sign from the park honoring McDonnell, he called the slain girl's mother to say her daughter "never existed" and that the shooting was a hoax, according to one of the playground's supporters.

He was arrested in Herndon last week.

New signs have since been installed at the parks, so officers will return the stolen signs to McDonnell and Kowalski's parents.

"We think about Sandy Hook, we are all affected by Sandy Hook all the time," Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said last week. "And when you think about that and all the kids who were affected by that it's hard not to get emotional. And one of the things that our investigators talked about was having the honor of being able to take these signs back and hand them over to the families and put them back where they belong. That's most important to us."

Truelove's father, Alan, maintains that his son didn't steal the signs.

"They're chasing the wrong fella," Alan Truelove told NBC Washington. "So police have this investigation completely wrong."

Police in Virginia said grand larceny charges in Connecticut and New Jersey are pending. Investigators may upgrade his charges to felonies.

Scene Clear After CO Detector Goes Off at Fermi High


Enrico Fermi High School in Enfield was evacuated after a carbon monoxide detector went off this morning, but the scene is now clear. 

All students and staff members were safely removed from the building as the fire department responded, according to Enfield School officials.


More Irregularities Found in Vet Organization Books


Police continue to investigate a bookkeeper accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from a national veterans organization after a VFW post she kept the books for noticed irregularities with their own finances.

Cynthia Tanner, 52, of Darien, was arrested on Monday, accused of embezzling from the National Veteran Services Fund.

On Wednesday, police said she also volunteered as the bookkeeper for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6933, at 209 Noroton Ave., in Darien, for several years and investigators discovered irregularities in that organization’s financial statements as well.  

The investigation is ongoing and Tanner is being held on $500,000 bond.

Earlier this week, police said Tanner is suspected of writing 135 unauthorized checks from the National Veteran Services Fund in 2013 for more $185,000, made payable to herself and her family members. 

However, investigators believe she embezzled more than $830,000 from the organization’s checking account alone over a five-year span.

Tanner turned herself in to police on the charged related to the National Veteran Services Fund on Monday. Police said any additional information about fund losses would be released pending more arrests.

During her last court appearance, Tanner's attorney did not comment on the allegations and said he needed more time to speak with his client. 


Photo Credit: Darien Police

Husband, Wife Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide in Bristol


A young husband and wife were found dead in their home at 73 Henderson Street in Bristol on Wednesday morning in an apparent murder-suicide, according to police.

Authorities said children discovered the bodies of 26-year-old Alexander Ryng and his wife, 27-year-old Kyla Ryng and alerted neighbors. The two were found with gunshot wounds, police said.

The couple has three kids – ages 4 years, 3 years and 20 months – all of whom were home at the time. Police said none of the children were harmed.

Police responded to the neighborhood around 7 a.m. when a neighbor called after a visit from one of the youngsters.

It's not clear who killed whom. In a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, Bristol police Chief Thomas Grimaldi said Ryng legally purchased the weapon used in the shooting and added that Ryng was a member of the Air National Guard stationed in Granby.

He did not identify Alexander and Kyla Ryng by name, but confirmed the shooting was a "domestic violence situation."

Authorities said the public was never in any danger.

A neighbor who did not want to appear on camera said the three children are with their grandmother. According to police, the Department of Chilidren and Families has been notified.

Residents of the quiet neighborhood said they were shocked.

"This is a very quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Brenton Eckstrom. "I grew up here; I bought the house from my parents. That's the reason I bought it: it's always quiet."

Bristol Police Expect Arrests in Recent Bomb Threats


The city of Bristol is offer $1,000 rewards for anyone with information leading to the arrests of people who made bomb threats to five schools in the city.

Bristol police are reviewing surveillance at the schools and are expecting multiple arrests in the incidents, which Bristol Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi said appear to "be a little bit of copy catting."

"We are looking at charges that do involve terrorism," Grimaldi said.

Two Bristol schools received bomb threats on Wednesday, marking five in more than a week in the city. Bristol police, firefighters and EMS responded to a bomb threat at St. Paul Catholic High School at 1001 Stafford Avenue at 11:31 a.m. and another at 1:02 p.m. at Chippens Hill Middle School on Peacedale Street.

Police secured the school perimeters and investigated. State Police's bomb unit conducted searches and cleared the schools, police said in a news release.

Administrators at both schools were informed about the threats, evacuated students and staff members and closed the schools for the day. Parents were also notified and buses brought the students home early.

The Archdiocese of Hartford confirmed that there were bomb-sniffing dogs at St. Paul school, according to the diocese.

Bristol police, school board members and the mayor's office plan to hold a news conference at the Bristol Police Department at 5 p.m. "to discuss the recent bomb threats and the potential hazards created by such a hoax."

No injuries were reported at either school.

More information will be provided when it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Watch D.O.G.S., Bristol Dads, Help Out in the Classroom


Watch D.O.G.S. are roaming the halls of Greene-Hills Elementary School in Bristol. But they’re not of the four-legged variety – they’re Dads Of Great Students, and they’re bringing a positive male influence to the classroom.

The premise of the Watch D.O.G.S. program is to get dads involved in helping out at the school in addition to the mothers who have been doing so for years.

"Dads have been, I think, an untapped resource. A lot of times, we’ve got students that don’t have that consistent male role model in the home," Principal Scott Gaudet said.

For the kids, it’s an opportunity to have good guys to look up to.

“You see that your parents are here. You would like to impress them and to do your best,” Noah Mulcahy, a third grade student at the school, said.

Bristol father Fernando Alers said that “when my children see me here, it makes them feel that I’m more connected to them in what they’re doing here.”

His daughter Devon agrees.

“He works with me. He helps me spell words and stuff,” the first-grader said.

For this pack of D.O.G.S., it’s not just helping kids that makes the program worthwhile.

“It’s a great connection. I think it’s like we’ve been high school buddies for a long time,” said Alers.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Principal Comes Out at Pride Day


A Washington, D.C., principal was met with cheers as he came out to his students as gay during a Pride Day event that drew protest threats from Westboro Baptist Church.

"I turned 50. I'm tired of hiding," Principal Pete Cahall said before praising Wilson High School's students for the supportive environment they've created since Westboro Baptist Church made their plans known.

This is the first time Cahall, who has been the principal at Wilson for six years, has come out publicly. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was informed of his decision just moments before.

The school held its second annual Pride Day event Wednesday, bringing together over 20 organizations that support the needs of LGBTQ youth.

Westboro, known for its public crusade against gay people at military funerals, announced plans to protest the school's Pride celebration on June 9 and called the school's support of gay and lesbian students a "shame." That protest is just one of 12 the church has planned in the D.C. area over the next few days.

After Westboro made its intentions known, students at Wilson began planning a peaceful counter-protest, The Washington Post reported. Around 1,000 students volunteered to participate in the silent protest.

Cahall's announcement was also met with support from local politicians, like D.C. Councilmember David Catania, who is openly gay.  

Students Exposed to Pepper Spray


Two dozen students were taken to hospitals as a precaution after a substance believed to be pepper spray was released in a classroom at a New Jersey school Wednesday morning, officials say.

According to Maryann Dickar, chief of staff of Jersey City Public Schools, students in a classroom at PS 11 on Bergen Avenue noticed a smell around 9:45 a.m. and began coughing. The school was evacuated and fire and hazardous materials crews responded, along with police. 

Dickar said the investigation is ongoing, but at this time authorities believe pepper spray was released in the classroom. Hazmat crews checked out the building, determined the odor was isolated to that single classroom, and, within an hour, said it was safe for students to return to the building.

One security guard was treated at the scene and released. 

Parents were informed of the evacuation at the school, which serves children in kindergarten through eighth grade. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

USS San Juan Commanding Officer Relieved of Duty


The commanding officer of the USS San Juan, a Los-Angeles class attack submarine that returned to the Groton base just last month, has been relieved of duty due to “loss of confidence in his ability to serve effectively as commanding officer,” according to a press release from the U.S. Navy.

According to the release, Capt. Vernon Parks, the commander of Submarine Development Squadron 12 at Naval Submarine Base New London, relieved Cmdr. Joseph Biondi of command as a result of “shortfalls in professional performance.” The details of those alleged shortfalls are unclear.

Biondi began commanding the USS San Juan in April 2012. He has been “administratively reassigned” to the staff of Commander, Submarine Group 2, the release says.

Cmdr. Sam Geiger will serve as commander of the USS San Juan while officials work to find a permanent replacement, according to the Navy.

Geiger has been deputy commander at Submarine Squadron 4 and finished a three-year tour as commanding officer of the USS Toledo last month.

Photo Credit: AP

Wallingford Police Arrest Knife-Point Robbery Suspect


A 30-year-old Wallingford man has been charged in connection with an armed robbery in town after police pulled him over for driving an unregistered car, according to the Wallingford Police Department.

Jason R. Piascik is accused of displaying a knife and stealing cash from the register of Nisa’s Variety store at 824 East Center Street early Monday morning. Police said no one was hurt during the robbery.

According to police, “the robber made no attempt to disguise his appearance and was captured on the business’ surveillance camera system.”

Authorities identified Piascik as the suspect and charged him in the robbery while at the police station after he was arrested on motor vehicle charges, police said. He was pulled over Wednesday morning and charged with operating an unregistered car and driving without insurance.

Piascik was additionally charged with first-degree robbery and sixth-degree larceny.

He’s being held on a $100,000 bond and is due in court tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Wallingford Police Department

Pot Found in Cop's Storage Unit: PD


A 20-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department has been arrested after a large amount of marijuana was found inside a storage unit he was renting, police say.

Police say the manager of the Public Storage facility at 475 Tully Road in San Jose contacted authorities on Tuesday about a strong marijuana odor emanating from the storage unit of a customer who wasn’t paying rent.

The storage facility manager called police, who discovered the weed, then found out the storage unit belonged to one of their own, 42-year-old San Jose Police Officer Son Vu. One source tells NBC Bay Area that officers found about 20 pounds of marijuana inside the storage unit.

“That’s a lot of dope,” said Bob Cooke, former South Bay special agent in charge of the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.

Vu was arrested for felony charges related to the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail, according to San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol. Vu has been placed on paid administrative leave.

"We will not tolerate such conduct, especially criminal conduct, and we will hold those responsible for their actions," San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel said in a statement. "We are working closely with the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office to ensure this investigation is thorough and complete."

The Public Storage facility manager had no comment.

Vu is the second San Jose police officer arrested this year.

Geoffrey Graves, 38, is accused of raping a woman he had placed in a motel room to remove her from a domestic violence situation while on duty last year.

Graves pleaded not guilty to the charges in April. Prosecutors last month added charges that he assaulted an ex-girlfriend at least twice prior to the alleged rape.


Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Damian Trujillo

What Is Slender Man? Meme's Possible Role in Stabbing


For years, a tall, faceless being in a black suit has lurked in dark corners of the Internet. 

The story of Slender Man, a fictional character notorious for stalking and terrorizing children, has provided spooks and thrills for legions of online readers, inspiring a series of videos and once earning the moniker of "the Internet's monster."

But this week, that meme was thrust tragically into the spotlight, as reports surfaced that two 12-year-olds who authorities say lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her more than a dozen times may have been inspired to commit the brutal crime by the modern-day ghost story. 

The alleged attackers, who have been charged as adults, had encountered the tale of Slender Man online and "wanted to prove the skeptics wrong," according to details of a criminal complaint reported by The Associated Press. Possibly under the belief that they had to "physically kill someone" to become a "proxy of Slender," the girls plotted for months to kill their friend, according to the complaint. The victim survived the attack and is in the hospital in stable condition. 

Slender Man first surfaced in 2009, when a user on an online forum called Something Awful posted a doctored photo and fictional article in response to a call for fake supernatural images, according to the site KnowYourMeme.com and an expert who has studied the evolution of the Slender Man myth. While such creations aren't uncommon, Slender Man struck a nerve. Soon, users were contributing their own visions of the monster and versions of the terror he'd inflict on unsuspecting school children and others. 

“That particular forum just went wild with it," said Shira Chess, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication who has written about Slender Man. "They thought it was a compelling villain and so everybody just jumped on and started defining it in different ways."

In variations of the legend, Slender Man was said to "cause memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits," according to Know Your Meme. His narrow frame was accented by tentacles or arms that could stretch and retract in some accounts.

Eric Knudsen, the man who takes credit for creating Slender Man and has reportedly since copyrighted the concept, said in an interview earlier this year that he sees the character as a creature whose "body can morph."

"I like the concept of a monster, a creature that causes general unease and terror," he said on a podcast for the program "On the Media." "Its methods are strange, its motives are completely inscrutable. So what is it doing? Why is it here? Is it taking people?"

The story spread, inspiring a spin off online video series, video games and threads on various message boards and sites dedicated to scary folklore. It has since become a popular topic on the site Creepypasta, where the two girls charged with the attack reportedly told authorities they encountered the tale. 

It's not clear what could have made the alleged attackers believe they needed to kill in name of the Slender Man. An attorney for one of the girls charged in the case says his client showed signs of mental illness. Both suspects have reportedly expressed remorse for their actions. 

Chess, the assistant professor of mass media arts, said she has not come across any iterations of the Slender Man story that invoked violence on the part of believers. She said the tragic case may highlight the need to teach youth media literacy skills that can help them sort out fact from fiction online.  

“It’s been out there for five years. They’re just looking at the fact that they see Slender Man everywhere on the Internet," she said. "If you do a search for Slender Man on the Internet, you’ll see content everywhere and it looks like it exists. There’s no disclaimer on the Internet.”

A self-described administrator of Creepypasta published a lengthy post defending the site and its signature genre, saying "placing blame solely on an interest in reading/writing about horror, paranormal, myths, urban legends, etc. for a tragedy would be off the mark." The site, the user wrote, has tried to keep mentions of Slender Man limited as that story is not its only focus. Creepypasta, the admin added, was created to cater to users in high school and older. 

"[For] the really young kids… while I don’t believe that creepy stories will cause them to become evil or sick, I do think it could scare them and/or make them very anxious!" the administrator wrote. "And if your child has issues with violent or destructive or depressive issues, it’s really important to make sure that they’re not interacting with things that will exacerbate that."

Knudsen issued a statement Wednesday saying he is "deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act." In the podcast posted earlier this year, Knudsen said he was surprised to see how far his creation had traveled online. The transformative nature of the Internet, he said, has caused him to feel less like the creator of Slender Man and more like the manager of the essence of the character. Some fans, he said, don't even believe he was the man behind the myth. 

"It's kind of a double-edged sword, the fact that as an urban legend, we seek to obscure its own past to make it seem more real. But that also makes it seem like it's something that's always been there, rather than something that's fairly recently created," he said.

"Certain people just don't want to believe that it's fiction," he added, "because it's obviously much scarier that way." 


Photo Credit: Flickr: mdl70

Rock Cats Are Moving to Hartford: Mayor Segarra


The Rock Cats minor league baseball team has been playing at their stadium in New Britain since 1996, but Hartford city officials say the Rock Cats are moving to Hartford.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and the city council held a news conference on the front steps of City Hall on Wednesday to announce that the city will build a new 220,000 square foot, 10,000-seat stadium at 1214 Main Street by April 1, 2016.

The area where the stadium would go has not been developed for a long time, said Segarra, who called this an economic opportunity the city could not pass up.

He said this would expand the central business district and reconnect with North Hartford, which needs an infusion of jobs.

Segarra said the "team transfer" from New Britain was to prevent the team from leaving the state of Connecticut.

"Today I am very proud that we are bringing professional baseball back to the city of Hartford and that baseball is coming back to the capital city," Segarra said.

Talks started about a year and a half ago, when Hartford officials became aware that the team was looking for another venue, Segarra said.

Segarra called the site a "great location," close to Interstates 84 and 91.

The mayor was asked about traffic congestion during the news conference and he did not expect there to be a problem.

The city is estimating that the stadium would bring around 2,500 cars, with an average of 3.3 people apiece, and there is sufficient parking in the area, so no additional parking would be necessary.

He also said city officials have spoken with venues about scheduling events.

The announcement about the Hartford stadium came after 17 months of analysis, according to the mayor.

The funding would come from the city, not the state, and the maximum bond amount would be $60 million, according to Segarra.

"We're committed to building this stadium with our local resources. That means the resources of the city of Hartford," Segarra said.

The $60 million price tag would not include cost of land acquisition. The city owns most of the land required for the deal, but there would be an extra cost of $1.7 million for a parcel, Segarra said during the news conference.

He mentioned the possibility of tax incremental financing and a some special fees with the parking.

The city expects to make $2 million in annual tax revenue, as well as $8 million annually for hotels, food and beverages.

Segarra expects 900 jobs to be created during the construction phase, and 600 new full-time permanent jobs.

Hartford has identified at least two developers capable of doing this work, according to Segarra.

The AA team, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, is expected to sign a 25-year lease if the city of Hartford agrees to build a baseball stadium, Hartford Councilman Ken Kennedy said on Tuesday.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart denied a report on Monday that the Rock Cats are in talks to move the Minor League Baseball team to Hartford.

"We have a very open and honest relationship," Stewart said. "The city of New Britain really goes above and beyond to accommodate the Rock Cats. They're part of our city. We love them."

New Britain's mayor did not respond to NBC Connecticut's follow-up requests for comment on Tuesday night, but has said she's confident the team will stay in her city.

She tweeted the following Wednesday afternoon:

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty released a statement about the plan after the news conference.

“For twenty years, families have come to New Britain Stadium to watch the Rock Cats. We are proud of our team and what it brings to our community. The Rock Cats should stay at home in New Britain,” Esty said.

"We've had a great relationship with the city of New Britain. We have been there for 20 years. We've satisfied all obligations of the lease, and in the lease coming up at the end of 2015, we explored our opportunities and the ability to bring baseball to the capital city was just a tremendous opportunity that we could not pass on the ability to provide our fans with a state of the art facility," Josh Solomon, owner of the New Britain Rock Cats, said. 

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) released a statement Wednesday on the announcement advocating for the Rock Cats to stay in New Britain.

"For twenty years, families have come to New Britain Stadium to watch the Rock Cats. We are proud of our team and what it brings to our community. The Rock Cats should stay at home in New Britain," she said.

Mayor Segarra, the city's development director and other officials briefed the City Council on the plan on Tuesday.

The Rock Cats approached the city about the idea due to concerns about revenue, otherwise planning to move out of Connecticut, Kennedy said. The City Council and zoning officials would have to approve the stadium first.

"I understand there will be, initially, some people that will be angry, but again this wasn't a Hartford driven project," said Kennedy.

Hartford City Council Minority Leader Larry Deutsch said before a briefing with the mayor Tuesday that he has many concerns about moving the Rock Cats to Hartford, including a possible negative impact to the surrounding neighborhoods, cost, facility maintenance and unused space in the off-season as opposed to bringing in year-round businesses.

"We would have real reservations about locating a sports facility like that in a downtown area," he said.

Rock Cats General Manager Tim Restall told NBC Connecticut on Tuesday that reports of a move to Hartford were a surprise to him and he did not return further requests for comment.

Hartford's City Council, which must approve any stadium deal, is expected to take up the issue very soon.

Segarra said the city's planning and development services departments have been working on this, a lot of the red tape once needed has been eliminated and Development Services is compiling a checklist of approvals needed.

"We're very confident and I have the assurances of our attorneys and Development Services that we can meet that schedule," Segarra said.

Segarra said he hopes to have a ceremony celebrating the new stadium on April 7, 2016.

Photo Credit: City of Hartford

Two Dead in Milford Shooting


Two men, ages 46 and 56, died after a double shooting in Milford on Wednesday.

Police have not released the identities of the men or information on their relationship but said that they knew each other and have different last names.

Milford police originally got a call reporting a shooting at 31 Hollywood and found a 56-year-old man shot in the chest outside, police said. He died at Bridgeport Hospital.

While police were at the Hollywood scene, they saw a 46-year-old man flee into a house at 16 Midway Avenue. He climbed on the roof and fired a shot. As officers took cover, unclear about where he was firing, the man shot himself, police said.

"They surrounded the house. They spotted a man up on the roof holding a hand gun. He pointed it at the officers, at which time the officers took cover. The man fired a shot, we don’t know where that shot went," Chief Keith Mello said. "Shortly thereafter he fired a second shot, and the male shot himself in the head and died there on the roof."

As of 4:09 p.m., the body was still on the roof covered in a tarp as police waited for a search warrant. Police have since secured search warrants to search the Midway Avenue house.

People in the area of Midway Avenue heard gunshots around 12:45 p.m. 

"When we pulled over we heard distinct popping sounds that you recognize what you're listening for," said Doreen Harker, of Milford, who was with her mother at the time. "She saw somebody running, an officer or someone in dark clothes running, and we scooted off after the police came down."

It was an isolated incident and everyone involved is accounted for, according to police. 

There was a brief lockdown at Jonathan Law High School because of the proximity to the shooting.

"My girlfriend has kids that are at the high school, and the high school is in lockdown, but I didn't even know what was going on," Bob Maguire, of Milford, said.

Bus traffic was diverted from the area.

Meadows End Road was closed between Lansdale Avenue and Meadowside Road, but has since reopened.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Sterling Agrees to Sell Clippers


Donald Sterling officially announced Wednesday that he, the NBA and his estranged wife Shelly have agreed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion and various additional benefits, Sterling's lawyer told NBC News.

All disputes and outstanding issues have been resolved, and the $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA Sterling filed last week has been dropped, Sterling's lawyer Bobby Samini told NBC News.

Sterling told NBC4 in an exclusive interview on Tuesday he was ready to "move on" from the team.

"I feel fabulous, I feel very good. Everything is just the way it should be, really. It may have worked out differently, but it's good. It's all good," Sterling said.

A vote by the NBA Board of Governors will be needed to finalize the sale.

Last week, the league announced that it had canceled a hearing to oust Sterling, instead moving forward to vote on the deal negotiated by his wife to sell the team. The move came on the same day Sterling's attorneys filed suit in a Los Angeles federal court against the NBA and Silver, asking for damages in excess of $1 billion.

Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him for life from the league after an audio recording surfaced in which Sterling told companion V. Stiviano not to bring black people to Clippers games.


Manhole Cover Blast Kills NY Driver


A truck driver was killed Wednesday morning after a manhole cover exploded on the Cross Bronx Expressway and flew through the truck's windshield, hitting the driver in the head, police say.

The 35-year-old tractor-trailer driver was going westbound in the middle lane of the Cross Bronx Expressway near Jerome Avenue at about 5:30 a.m., according to police. A manhole cover went through the front windshield and hit him in the head. 

The truck collided with another tractor-trailer in the lane to its left, police said. The driver of that truck was not hurt. 

The driver struck by the manhole cover, identified as Jose Duran of Springfield, Massachusetts, was pinned inside and removed by NYPD's Emergency Service Unit. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he later died, police said.

It's not clear what caused the manhole cover to explode. A message has been left with the Department of Transportation. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Bridgeport Man Charged With Trying to Assault Officers


A 35-year-old Bridgeport man is facing charges after leading officers on a car chase on Interstate 95 in Westport and nearly crashing into two police cruisers, according to police.

It started near the parking lots of the Saugatuck train station just off I-95 in Westport. Police said an officer in the area noticed a suspicious car and ran the plates to find that they did not match the vehicle.

The officer followed the car onto I-95 northbound and tried to pull it over near exit 18.

According to police, the driver, 35-year-old Nelson Rivera, of East Main Street in Bridgeport, accelerated instead of stopping. The officer contacted Fairfield and Connecticut State Police and followed Rivera toward exit 19.

Police said Rivera sped off the exit and narrowly missed colliding with Westport and Fairfield police cars. Rivera continued onto Route 1 eastbound and stopped near Sasco Hill Road in Fairfield.

He was taken into custody and brought to Westport Police Headquarters, where he was charged with criminal attempt at assaulting an officer, interfering with an officer, possession of narcotics and possession of narcotics not in the original container, along with a string of motor vehicle violations.

Rivera’s bond was set at $10,000 and he’s due in court June 11.

Photo Credit: Westport Police Department
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