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LAPD Reopens Investigation into Dorner's Firing


The Los Angeles Police Department is reopening the case surrounding Christopher Dorner's termination from the force, Cmdr. Andrew Smith announced Saturday during a news conference.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck "is not opening it because of the accusations or because of the musings of someone who is a multiple murderer now," Smith said. "He’s doing it because he wants to ensure that the public knows that the Los Angeles Police Department is fair and transparent."

Smith said witnesses will be re-interviewed and the investigation into Dorner's firing will get a "fresh set of eyes." He also issued a plea for Dorner to come forward.

"He can turn himself in and he can be able to get his side of the story out," Smith said.

Dorner is accused of killing an LAPD chief's daughter, her fiancé, and a Riverside police officer in an alleged revenge-motivated shooting rampage.

In a chilling manifesto, Dorner outlined plans to kill law enforcement officers and their families. He said the violence will end when LAPD clears his name.

"The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence, PUBLICLY!!! I will not accept any type of currency/goods in exchange for the attacks to stop, nor do i want it. I want my name back, period," he wrote in the document published on his Facebook page. "There is no negotiation."

Dorner used the manifesto to recount his firing and declare his innocence. He was fired from the LAPD in 2008, after reporting another officer for alleged brutality – an accusation that investigators later said was false.

Smith repeatedly said the move to reopen the case was not to appease Dorner. Still, the tone of Saturday's announcement was starkly different from Beck's comments earlier this week in which he dismissed Dorner's manifesto as "the rantings of a killer."

The alleged shooting spree, which began on Feb. 3 with the slayings of Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence, spurred the creation of a joint task force dedicated to the Dorner case, officials announced Saturday.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, and Irvine, Riverside and Los Angeles police departments comprise the newly created task force.

"This is an extraordinary, unprecedented effort," said Irvine Police Chief David Maggard.

The search for Dorner turned to the Big Bear area Thursday and continued through the weekend after the discovery of the Dorner's burned-out Nissan Titan pickup in the woods south of Big Bear Lake.

As the agency leading the mountain search, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was noticeably absent when authorities announced the creation of the task force.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Video Shows Ex-LAPD Cop Murder Suspect in Calif.


Newly released surveillance video showed a wanted homicide suspect tossing several items into a dumpster behind a store in National City, Calif., 48 hours before the alleged crime spree that prompted a manhunt throughout the Southwest.

Former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner is suspected in a series of attacks over the past week that left three people dead, including a Riverside, California, police officer.

Authorities say Dorner has vowed revenge against several former LAPD colleagues whom he blames for ending his career.

NBC 7 San Diego has obtained surveillance video through sources close to the investigation. The video was taken outside an auto parts store on Main Street in National City at 9:07 a.m. Monday. The store is located directly across the street from the National City police station.

On the video, a Nissan Titan truck pulls up to a dumpster and stops. For four minutes, someone unloads items from the back.

Majid Yahyai is an employee at Platinum Auto Sports.

"He was right on the tape, I mean he went, came back, made a U-turn, stopped," Yahyai said.

A man matching Dorner’s description stops near a second dumpster closer to the discreetly mounted security camera.

Wearing jeans and a jacket the man walks over to the passenger door and begins searching through more belongings.

"He was for three, four minutes inside his car looking for things," Yahyai said.

This time he throws away what we now know was a magazine full of bullets with their tips carefully sawed off, a green military belt strap, and a brown camouflage helmet.

The items were discovered within a half hour by an employee.

Police aren't disclosing specifics about the items found in the first dumpster, but it was all a huge find for detectives, who were equally elated to find it was all captured on video.

For those at this shop who were there working as it happened - the encounter is a little too close to home.

"So he missed him by 20 - 30 minutes at most, if he'd of gone 20 minutes earlier probably he would've seen him back here. Scary," Yahyai said.

Yahyai said he and the employee took the items across the street to a police station. They told NBC 7 San Diego they were just happy to help in the investigation.

Saturday was the third full day of a massive multi-agency hunt for Dorner in the San Bernardino mountains, about 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, where Dorner's burned-out pickup truck was discovered Thursday.

A scaled-back search party took advantage of a break from stormy weather to search for Dorner using heat-sensing helicopters as vacationing families and weekend skiers frolicked nearby.

A law enforcement officer told The Associated Press authorities found weapons in the truck. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing.

Investigators have been examining the truck to determine if it broke down or was set ablaze as a diversion. Police say the truck had a broken axle.

Investigators are trying to determine whether it was already broken when they found it, or whether it was damaged when it was towed away.

Governor Warns of Roof Collapse Threats


Gov. Dannel Malloy is warning residents of the threat of roof collapses and asking residents to try to clear the roof of their houses if possible.

The blizzard dumped more than 2 feet of snow on parts of the state.

A vacant warehouse at 30 Old Post Road, a former Unilever building, collapsed on Saturday morning. 

Simsbury officials are also recommending that residents clear their roofs if possible because rain is expected on Monday.

The state Department of Consumer Protection issued some tips on hiring someone to clear snow from the roof of your home.

Don’t hire contractors who go door-to-door, who call, who post notices on bulletin boards, utility poles, or online before you check them out thoroughly. Get references and call them.  Get written estimates before you hire someone.

While a home improvement registration is not required to remove snow from a roof, it is a good idea to have a reputable registered home improvement contractor who specializes in roofing in order to evaluate the situation.

Although workers who remove snow are not required to have a home improvement registration, you should take additional precautions when workers are on your property.  The company or individual performing the work should carry their own liability insurance and must be able to produce an insurance certificate as proof.  The certificate should carry the name of the insurance company, and you are urged to call the insurance agency on the certificate to confirm that coverage. If a company is having employees doing the snow removal work, the company should provide evidence that they have worker’s compensation insurance, which the employer is required to carry.   

To verify if an insurance agent or agency is licensed in Connecticut, visit the Connecticut Insurance Department web page.

Prices for roof clearing may vary depending upon the nature of the roof. However, there should be a reasonable basis between the size of the roof, the time involved in removing the snow and a comparable, ascertainable hourly rate – such as that for home improvement work – that would normally be charged for similar labor under normal circumstances. Every situation will be different, but the test of whether price gouging occurs will be whether the contractor can justify the price using an objective standard.

Anyone removing snow from a roof, homeowner or contractor, should be extremely careful of any kind of above-ground wiring and keep all tools away from power lines.




Photo Credit: Viewer Image

$1M Reward for Ex-Cop Wanted in Revenge Shootings


Authorities in Los Angeles have offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of a fired LA police officer sought in connection with a series of killings and threats against his former colleagues and their families.

The reward was announced even as investigators continued to comb the snowy mountains around Big Bear Lake, where Christopher Dorner's burned out truck was found on Feb. 7, and hundreds of officers patrolled the neighborhoods where people live who were threatened by Dorner in an online screed. 

Timeline: Revenge-Plot Slayings | Read: Full Manifesto | Map: Search Locations

Every day that Dorner is loose, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, is another day when the likelihood of an attack on police officers or their families increases.

"We are asking the public, 'Please help us to protect you,' " Beck said at a news conference. "Please help us to find Dorner before he is able to kill again."

Dorner is wanted in the slayings of three people and the ambush-style shooting of two others, all part of a revenge-style rampage that began last Sunday, when he allegedly shot the daughter of a police union lawyer and her fiancé in an Irvine parking garage.

The heart of the search continued to be the San Bernardino mountains where Dorner was last seen, Beck said on Sunday. Officers will also look for him near where some 50 LAPD families live who were threatened by the former policeman.

"You fish where the fish are," Beck said. "And Mr. Dorner has made his intentions very clear."

Also on Sunday, the Riverside Police Department released the name of one of Dorner's alleged victims.

Michael Crain, 34, was ambushed by a man police believe was Dorner early Thursday, as he sat with his partner at a stoplight in his patrol car.

Crain, who was born in Anaheim, was an 11-year veteran of the Riverside police force. He leaves behind a wife and two small children.

A second reward, worth $100,000, could also be on the way, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said Sunday.

Tony Bell said that Antonovich and fellow supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas planned to ask colleagues on the Board of Supervisors to approve that reward for information leading to Dorner's capture at their meeting on Tuesday.

News of the rewards came as the LAPD announced it would re-open its investigation into Dorner’s firing from the department in 2008.

In a 11,400 word manifesto published on line, the ex-officer blamed his killing spree on his termination, saying that he would only stop when his name was cleared.

Re-opening the investigation seems to have two purposes: to communicate to members of the public who have responded to Dorner’s complaints that the LAPD treated him unfairly, and to send a message to the ex-officer himself.

The department "is not opening it because of the accusations or because of the musings of someone who is a multiple murderer now," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Saturday. Chief Charlie Beck is "wants to ensure that the public knows that the Los Angeles Police Department is fair and transparent, " Smith said.

Witnesses will be re-interviewed and the investigation into Dorner's firing will get a "fresh set of eyes," Smith said. He also issued a plea for Dorner to come forward.

"He can turn himself in and he can be able to get his side of the story out," Smith said.

Deputies have been combing the ski resort area of Big Bear, where authorities found former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner’s burned-out truck, since Thursday afternoon.

Investigators found weapons inside the truck, suggesting Dorner may have abandoned the truck in an unplanned hurry.

Former LAPD Chief William Bratton told the "Today Show" on Saturday that evidence suggests Dorner's truck may have become stuck in the mud. Previously, it was speculated that the truck may have been intentionally set ablaze as a distraction.

Investigators on Saturday were also trying to determine whether the truck's axle was broken when they found it, or if it was fractured while being towed from the forestry road.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, interviewed outside a prayer breakfast downtown, urged Dorner to turn himself in.

"We will find you," Villaraigosa said. "You’ve disgraced the public safety -- the police profession -- turn yourself in."

As the search in Big Bear was winding down for the night on Saturday, LAPD announced the department is reopening the case into Dorner's 2008 firing from the force.

In an 11,400-word document published online, Dorner laid out plans to kill law enforcement officers and their families, vowing to stop the attacks when LAPD "states the truth about my innocence."

Jamie Foxx Joins Trayvon Martin's Parents at "Peace Walk"


Actor Jamie Foxx joined the parents of slain teenager Trayvon Martin on Saturday for a community event in South Florida that drew throngs of people.

The event, called the ""I am Trayvon, Day of Remembrance Peace Walk," was led by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, at Ives Estates Park in Miami. 

Martin's parents, who wore green shirts with their son’s image that read "I am Trayvon," held up a large banner with their son's face on it as they led hundreds of supporters in a march for peace.

"It's just a beautiful feeling just to know that all of these people are out here and honoring, in remembrance of Trayvon," Tracy Martin said.

Foxx, who took the stage to address everyone who attended, said he felt it was necessary to show his support.  "When I first saw this story, I couldn't get over it," Foxx said.

Foxx, who has an 18-year-old daughter, said he was especially touched by the tragedy.

"I'm absolutely committed to all you out there who have young kids," he said. "I hope you never have to go through anything like this."

The star said he hopes to use his voice to keep Trayvon Martin's memory and message alive.

"The thing is with press, and you know how press goes, it will be a hot story at one point. It will be the thing to go to and, all of a sudden, they try to forget about it," Foxx said. "And I said I don't want anybody to forget about this, because they can't forget about the fact that they lost their son."

Foxx added, "And the thing is, we're not asking for anything out of the ordinary. We're asking for justice."

Judge Denies Zimmerman's Motion to Delay Trial

It has been nearly a year since Trayvon Martin, 17, of Miami Gardens, was killed. He was fatally shot in Sanford in February last year during a confrontation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, 28, authorities say. 

Zimmerman, who says the shooting was self-defense, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Martin's death.

Prosecutor Against Delaying Trial for Martin Shooting

Saturday, Martin's family was thankful Foxx attended the event.

"We really appreciate you here, and you always got a family here in Miami," Tracy Martin told him.

Foxx closed out the rally by singing a song dedicated to Trayvon Martin.

Judge Allows Subpoenas for Martin's Records

Photo Credit: Betty Yu, NBC 6

National Guard Helps Clear Streets in New Haven


In New Haven, the big dig-out continued Sunday after the massive storm dumped 34 inches of snow, paralyzing the city.

There were 40 trucks and 15 payloaders working to clear the streets, the City of New Haven said in a storm status update on Sunday afternoon. The National Guard was brought in to help city crews with snow removal, according to the city's statement.

All main arterial roads in New Haven are now passable and plows are now working on clearing secondary streets, according to the update.

“Passable means that they are clearing enough snow to allow for emergency vehicle passage, usually a one lane path. Once all roads are passable, all streets will be revisited for more extensive removal,” Anna Marioitti, Director of Communications for the city, said in a press release.

New Haven’s travel ban remained in effect throughout Sunday to prevent cars from getting stuck and to allow snow plowing crews to continue their work more effectively.

Residents were asked not to throw snow into the street so as not to prolong the cleanup process.

Instead, they were asked to pile snow on the tree strip—the area of grass or pavement between the sidewalk and the curb—and other areas in the front of their homes.

Officials warned that any cars parked in the street and obstructing street passage will be tagged and towed.

The city also announced Sunday that all senior centers and New Haven Public Schools will be closed Monday.

Due to an increase in carbon monoxide incidents the city urged residents to check their home’s exterior fuel vents and to clear any snow to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.


Photo Credit: AP

Obama Headed to Chicago to Address Gun Violence


President Barack Obama will visit Chicago Friday to talk about the ongoing issue of gun violence in the city.

The President is expected to address gun violence as well as strengthening the economy for the middle class in Tuesday evening's State of the Union address, which he will continue to discuss Friday at an event in the city.

The visit comes shortly after First Lady Michelle Obama attended a funeral for slain teen Hadiya Pendleton. 

The President sent a letter to the girl's family saying that he would work as hard as possible to "end this senseless violence."

The visit also follows the President's recent proposals to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.

After State of the Union address, the President will travel to three different communities to discuss "policy proposals included in the State of the Union that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and the Americans striving to get there," the White House told NBC News on Sunday. 

"He'll, of course, also talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country."

On Wednesday, February 13th, the President will travel to the Asheville, North Carolina area. On Thursday, February 14th, the President will travel to the Atlanta, Georgia area for an event, with Chicago being the final stop.


Photo Credit: AP

Pair Charged in Hadiya Pendleton Murder


After being held and questioned for more than a day, two men on Monday evening were charged in connection with the shooting of a Chicago teen whose death captured headlines around the country.

Michaeil Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were both charged with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the honors student who attended President Barack Obama's second inaugural just days before her death.

In addition, Ward, of the 300 block of W. 59th St., and Williams, of the 3900 block of S. Lake Park Ave., were each charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery and discharge of a firearm.

Pendleton's parents, in Washington, D.C., to attend the president's State of the Union address Tuesday, said they were "ecstatic" with the charges and promised to follow the case every step of the way.

"Look at what they've done to me and my family. We put so much work into raising my daughter. We had hopes. My son no longer has a big sister. They deserve to feel something that is remotely comparable," Pendleton's mother, Cleopatra Cowley, told NBC News. "But my daughter is dead, and even if they are rotting in jail, they will still be alive."

Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Ward confessed to being the shooter, telling police that Pendleton was not his intended target.

"In fact, the offenders had it all wrong," said McCarthy. "They thought the group they shot into included members of a rival gang. Instead, it was a group of upstanding and determined kids, who, like Hadiya, were repulsed by the gang lifestyle."

The superintendent said the shooting was in retaliation for a shooting last July that left Williams injured.

Their arrests late Saturday, near 67th Street and South Chicago Avenue, came just hours after First Lady Michelle Obama attended Pendleton's funeral. It also followed the announcement of President Obama's visit to Chicago to address gun violence in the city. 

Pendleton was killed at Kenwood Park on the city's South Side days after she performed at some of President Barack Obama's recent inauguration festivities. She was shot to death blocks from her school and about a mile from the president's and first lady's Chicago home.

McCarthy lamented that the Williams' and Ward's arrest came not as a result of tips from witnesses and the community but rather of good police work.

"I'm sad to point out that we did not get our target audience to step up. The community provided a lot of tips. None of them panned out nor did they lead to closure in this particular case," he said.

McCarthy also expressed sad frustration that Pendleton's death could have been prevented if the state had mandatory minimum sentencing for gun violations. Ward, explained McCarthy, was arrested in 2011 and charged with unlawful use of a firearm. He was sentenced to two years probation.

"When we talk about mandatory minimums, we're talking about saving lives," he said.

Earlier in the day, McCarthy had joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in calling for longer sentences for illegal gun possession. The mayor called the state's current justice system a "turnstile and a revolving door."

Two Dead from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Two people were found dead inside a car in a back driveway on Webster Street in Meriden on Sunday morning, said police.

Investigators said a 20-year-old man and an 18- year-old woman, neighbors from Meriden, had last been seen around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday when they went into the car to listen to music.

Police have identified the people as Carlos Rodriguez, 20, of 11 Webster St., and Zhane Brown, 18, of 13 Webster St.

Police responded to the Webster Street address at 11 a.m. on Sunday and said paths were shoveled, leading to the car doors, but the rest of the car was covered with snow and the windows were up.

Police believe Rodriguez and Brown appear to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, but the medical examiner has not yet released an official ruling.



Travel Affected by Historic Blizzard


People are beginning to travel again after a historic blizzard blew through Connecticut.

The governor lifted a statewide ban on travel on Saturday afternoon, but is urging people to take necessary precaution when traveling. Safety measures include making carpool plans, cleaning snow off roofs and buildings and making sure drainage areas are clear.

Truck drivers should delay their travel until evening hours so crews can continue to clear the roads.

The governor’s office urges the public to not call 211 for plowing information. 211 does not have information on when streets will be plowed. To find a location of a local warming shelter, you can call 211.


Metro-North will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Monday between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal. There will be limited peak service from stations between New Haven and Stamford. Regular Danbury Service will resume with the exception of the 6:18 a.m., which is canceled.

The Waterbury branch will remain suspended until further notice. There will be no substitute buses provided to travelers.


Amtrak will resume normal operations on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 12, including the resumption of full Acela Express, Northeast Regional and Springfield Shuttle service following this weekend’s severe winter storm. Amtrak crews have been working around the clock to clear affected track of large amounts of snow, in excess of several feet in some cases.  In addition, crews have removed downed trees and made all necessary repairs to allow for full restoration of service.

Passengers who have paid but choose not to travel due to this service disruption can receive a refund or a voucher for future travel. Some reservations booked online can be modified or canceled on Amtrak.com or by using the free Amtrak mobile app.

Bradley Airport:

Flights are coming and going on schedule. Check with your airline for status of your flights Monday.


Customers should anticipate delays and detours and plan accordingly. Due to several narrowed and closed roads, buses may not be able to operate on the full route.

Here is the latest update, as of 8:50 a.m. on Monday:

  • 30 Bradley Flyer Normal Service
  • 31/33 Park Street No service to Park Terrace.
  • 32/34/36 Windsor Avenue Normal Service
  • 35 Westfarms Flyer Normal Service
  • 37/39 New Britain Avenue No service to Chandler, Dart, Brookfield or Flatbush. Buses operating to/from Walmart via New Britain & Newfield.
  • 38 Weston Street Bypassing Hartford Police Dept facility.
  • 40/42 North Main/Barbour Streets No service on Barbour north of Westland Street.
  • 41 New Britain Limited Service
  • 43 Campfield Avenue SERVICE SUSPENDED
  • 44 Garden Street No service on Garden north of Westland Street.
  • 45 Berlin Turnpike Flyer  Normal Service
  • 46 Vine Street No service to Coventry Street. Buses operating via Tower Avenue, Blue Hills, Holcomb Street.
  • 47 Franklin Avenue Normal Service
  • 50/52/54 Blue Hills Avenue Met Life closed, buses terminating a CIGNA.
  • 53/55 Wethersfield Avenue/Silas Deane Highway Bypassing Wethersfield Shopping Center, buses operating via Silas Deane. Middletown buses terminating at downtown Middletown, no service to CVH.
  • 56/58 Albany/Bloomfield Avenues Normal Service
  • 59 Locust Street Normal Service
  • 60/62/64/66 Farmington Avenue Normal Service
  • 61 Broad Street Normal Service
  • 63 Hillside Avenue Normal Service
  • 69 Capitol Avenue Bypassing CCSU.
  • 72 Asylum Avenue Met Life closed, buses terminating a CIGNA.
  • 74 Granby Street Normal Service
  • 76 Ashley Street No service to Cornwall, Palm, Burham Streets. Buses operating via Blue Hills, Tower Avenue, Granby Street.
  • 80 Buckland Flyer Normal Service
  • 82/84 Tolland Street Normal Service
  • 83 Silver Lane Bypassing MCC.
  • 86/88 Burnside Avenue Normal Service
  • 87 Brewer Street Normal Service
  • 91 Forbes Street Crosstown Normal Service
  • 92 Tower Avenue Crosstown Normal Service
  • 94/96 Park Avenue/John Fitch Boulevard Normal Service
  • 95 Glastonbury Bypassing Hubbard Street; Millbrook Park Snow Route in effect.
  • Star Shuttle No service to Union, Allen or Ann. Buses operating via Spruce to Church.

Local and express routes in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford that are able to operate safely will resume regular trips starting Monday.

For more closings, check our website nbcconnecticut.com

Malloy says the recovery effort will take some time, but the state and city public works personnel are working very hard to get the roads clear.


Photo Credit: AP Images

Lowe's Locked Down on Report of Dorner Sighting


Police searched car-to-car on Sunday night near the Northridge Fashion Center on a report of a sighting of an ex-LAPD officer suspected in an alleged revenge plot in a case of mistaken identity.

Police responded to two separate calls about 3:30 p.m. from people reporting seeing someone who possibly resembled Christopher Dorner inside of a Lowe's home improvement store and in the parking lot near Corbin Avenue and Nordhoff Street, police said.

Police evacuated the store and conducted a search. Authorities also ran vehicle license plates on the white sedan believed to be connected to the man who was mistaken for Dorner.

Complete Revenge Plot Coverage: Special NBCLA.com Section | Timeline | Map | Dorner's Manifesto

Officers called the man and determined he had left with another person. The man did not know there was a search, let alone for him, police said.

Police were taking every precaution as they receive reports of people seeing Dorner, the subject of a multi-state manhunt, wanted in connection the fatal shootings of three people, including a police officer.

"When it comes to this case we leave no stone unturned," said LAPD Lt. Ahmad Zarekami.

Police cordoned off neighborhoods and briefly locked down the store, not letting anyone out nor anyone in, police said.

The lockdown and search was seen mostly as precautionary as officials are receiving many reports from people claiming they've seen someone who looks like Dorner, a 270-pound, 6-foot former Navy officer.

More than a dozen officers remained at the scene as of 8 p.m.

Thornburgh on Paterno Report

FULL INTERVIEW: Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh sits down with News4's Jim Rosenfield to discuss his conclusions in the report commissioned by former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's family.

Bacon Festival Holds Pageant, Extravagant Bacon Dishes


Thousands of people came together in Urbandale, Iowa for the popular Blue Ribbon BaconFestival celebrating all things connected with the meat, according to the Associated Press. People arrived dressed in creative costumes like Viking hats and makeshift snouts.

The annual event saw more than 10,000 pounds of bacon cooked in every way possible. Visitors could enjoy bacon gumbo, chocolate bacon bourbon tarts, and even Icelandic bacon dishes. Some pieces of bacon were made into deserts by being dipped in chocolate or baked into cupcakes. There was even bacon gelato.
"I love bacon more than I love my job," said Katie Nordquist, who wore a tuxedo T-shirt that resembled bacon for her first visit to the festival. 
The event has attracted a lot of attention having sold about 8,000 tickets to the event in a little over three minutes. The festival also included lectures about bacon eating as well as a bacon queen pageant. A pig was even pardoned by Governor Terry Branstad.
Resident Mike Vogel made his fourth appearance to the festival wearing a complete bacon costume. "I think it's the right time of year when everybody's been cooped up," said the 39-year-old videographer. "It's a good time to get out, have some fun, try some new stuff, have a few beers and enjoy yourselves with everybody else."

Pope Benedict XVI's Statement Announcing He's Stepping Down


Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church.

After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.

I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.

With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ice, Flooding, Bring New Problems


Connecticut faced a new set of problems on Monday while the state continues to try and dig out from the historic weekend blizzard.

Freezing rain made an already difficult driving situation even more treacherous on Monday.

State police closed a 14-mile stretch of Interstate 91 from Windsor to the Massachusetts Line because of icing.

Meanwhile, flooding is an issue in other parts of the state.

Lt. Paul Vance, of Connecticut state police, said there is flooding at exit 56 to CT 146 in Branford and at Exit 30, Lordship Boulevard in Bridgeport and advised drivers to drive cautiously, or stay off the roads if possible. 

There were several crashes and spinouts on the highways on Monday morning as the freezing rain came down on roads that were snow covered.

An ambulance flipped on its side and landed in a snowbank on Interstate 95 near the New Haven-East Haven town line on Monday. 

People inside the ambulance were taken to the hospital but were expected to be alright, according to police.  It was not clear if the ambulance was transporting a patient when it crashed.

There have been many, many other incidents, including the following.

Interstate 84 Eastbound was closed at exit 8 in Danbury because of a vehicle fire.

The left and center lanes of Interstate 95 Southbound in Orange were closed between exits 42 and 41 because of a rollover.

The left lane of Interstate 91 Northbound in Wallingford was closed between exits 13 and 14 because of tractor-trailer.

There were also delays on Interstate 91 North between exits 8 and 9 and on I-91 in Rocky Hill.

Freezing rain and winter advisories were in effect on Monday morning as many streets around the state remain covered in snow after the weekend blizzard.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Amanda Raus

Pope Benedict XVI's Papacy in Photos

Pope Benedict XVI, who began his papacy in April 2005, will resign on Feb. 28. Take a look back at his time as pontiff in photos.

Prospect Woman Killed While Snow Blowing


State police have released the name of a 79-year-old Prospect woman who died after being hit while snow blowing her driveway.

Mary McCormack, 79, of Prospect, was snow blowing her driveway on Straitsville Road around 8:30 p.m.  on Friday when a vehicle struck her and fled, police said.

McCormack was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Her roommate notified family members, according to state police.

Police are investigating and ask anyone with information to call Troop I in Bethany at 23-393-4200. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Baby Born in Hospital Parking Lot During Blizzard


The newest member of one Colchester family refused to let the Blizzard of 2013 cramp her big entrance into the world.

Elizabeth Judy was born at 7 pounds, 4  ounces on Friday evening to her parents, James and Donna Ambrosia.

The couple’s first child together was scheduled to come on Feb. 23. The delivery was supposed to take place at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, but when Donna went into labor during the peak of the blizzard, they were forced to head to Backus Hospital in Norwich.

With the roads impassable, the Ambrosias called for an ambulance. It arrived at their Crestview Drive home within 10 minutes, escorted by a plow. James said that helped them get to Route 2, but from there, they were on their own.

“Route 2 was something else. Over a foot of snow,. We couldn’t see 10 feet in front of us,” said James, who works for the Navy in Groton. “We had been trying to follow the guy's tracks in front of us and then we decided that’s not a good idea cause the guy had gone off the road.”

The 14-mile trip took more than 45 minutes. Once they arrived at Backus Hospital, Lizzie decided her time was now. The emergency room doctor climbed into the ambulance in the parking lot and within minutes, the baby was born.

Donna said several people told her the baby, the sixth child in this blended family, should be named Nemo, after the blizzard. She stuck with the original plan.

“Instead of calling her Lizzie for short you can call her “Blizzie” for short,” said Donna. “So she is “Blizzie Lizzie.”

Baby Lizzie’s siblings, aged 9 to 14, are excited by the arrival of their new sister and already have plans on what they want to teach her first.

“I kinda wanna teach her how to sing,” said 12 year old Cathering. “Cause I like to sing.”

Amtrak Train Stranded East of New Haven


An Amtrak train carrying more than 400 passengers is stranded four miles east of New Haven due to mechanical  issues.

Amtrak spokesperson Cliff Cole said there are 445 passengers on Amtrak Train 171, which has been heading from Boston to New York, and on to Washington, DC.

There is heat and electricity on the train and passengers will not be moved to another train, Cole said.

Equipment is heading to move the train south. Don’t know exactly how long it will take.

Amtrak said via Twitter that the train is running around 1 hour and 30 minutes late.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fugitive Fired LAPD Officer Charged with Murder


Murder charges have been filed against Christopher Dorner, the fugitive fired Los Angeles police officer wanted for three slayings in a deadly revenge plot targeting law enforcement agents and their families. If apprehended and convicted, he could face the death penalty.

The Riverside County District Attorney's office on Monday announced that it has filed a murder charge against Dorner in the shooting death of Riverside police officer Michael Crain. Dorner is also wanted in connection with, but has not yet been charged with, the daughter of a former police department captain and her fiancé.

The murder charge includes two special-circumstance allegations — the murder of a peace officer and the discharge of a firearm from a vehicle — that make Dorner eligible for the death penalty. Dorner was also charged with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer.

"Mr. Dorner has committed one of the most horrific crimes imaginable," Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said as he announced the charges Monday.

Crain, 34, was shot Thursday while he and his 27-year-old trainee partner — with less than a year on the job — were sitting at a traffic light near the Riverside Freeway in an ambush. The trainee was also injured in what police described as an ambush-style shooting.

Timeline: Revenge-Plot Slayings | Read: Full Manifesto | Map: Search Locations | Tips: 213-486-6860

Earlier Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department said law enforcement agencies involved in the search for Dorner are following up on more 600 tips from the public in an investigation that includes a $1 million reward.

That massive reward, to be given for information leading to Dorner's capture, was announced Sunday, even as investigators were still combing the snowy mountains around Big Bear Lake, where Dorner's burned out truck was found last week.

At a Monday morning news conference, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman said the clues were related to possible sightings and other information regarding the location of 33-year-old Dorner, accused of killing daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiancé Feb. 3 before Thursday's shooting death of a Riverside police officer.

Dorner outlined his plans for a revenge plot targeting law enforcement agents and their families in an 11,400-word document posted online, according to investigators.

"We will follow up on every clue we receive," Neiman said. "We have to prioritize. Obviously, 600 clues is a lot to sort through. Those will be followed up on immediately, others maybe not quite as readily."

Neiman was asked whether he thought the leads were generated by the $1 million reward announced Sunday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Dorner, a former Navy reservist who was fired from the LAPD in 2008.

"It's my hope the public would do everything they can," Neiman said. "If the million dollar reward is stimulating additional clues, all the better."

A second LAPD briefing on the case is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.

Every day that Dorner is loose, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Sunday as he announced the huge reward, is another day when the likelihood of an attack on police officers or their families increases.

"We are asking the public, 'Please help us to protect you,'" Beck said at a news conference. "Please help us to find Dorner before he is able to kill again."

As for search locations, teams on the ground and in the air continued the manhunt Monday in the Big Bear area. Dorner's burned-out Nissan Titan pickup was found south of Big Bear Lake Thursday, just hours after the "ambush-style" shooting death of Riverside Officer Michael Crain.

There have been no reported sightings of Dorner in the Big Bear area, but authorities still consider the San Bernardino Mountain resort community a "critical" location in the investigation. Agents are searching vacation homes and government lease cabins in remote areas.

The mountain area has been one of the primary locations in the manhunt, which has included San Diego and Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.

Dorner was identified Wednesday as a suspect in the Feb. 3 shooting deaths of Monica Quan, 28, and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, 27. Dorner repeatedly refers to Quan's father as being involved in his 2008 firing from the LAPD.

Hours after the announcement, LAPD officers providing a security detail for one of the subjects mentioned in Dorner's manifesto encountered him early Thursday in Corona. About 20 minutes later, Crain and his partner were "ambushed" by Dorner in Riverside, authorities said.

Chief Charlie Beck said Sunday that the LAPD plans to reopen the case involving Dorner's firing after he reported another officer for alleged brutality. Investigators later said Dorner's accusation was false.

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