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Connecticut Among States With Least Debt: Report


Every day, millions of Americans find themselves struggling with personal debt; state by state, city by city, financial woes associated with debt can be found virtually everywhere across the country.

But in the grand scheme of things, residents in Connecticut seem to be managing their debt very well. The Nutmeg State ranks among the lowest 10 states that are affected by personal debt, according to a new report conducted by the Urban Institute.

According to the report, 26.2 percent of households in Connecticut have their debt in collection – almost a full 9 percent lower than the national average, which sits at 35.1 percent.

Connecticut’s percentage is also a whopping 21 percent lower than Nevada, the nation’s leader in households with debt in collection, at 47 percent, the report says.

The lowest 10 include:

  • North Dakota, at 19.3 percent
  • Minnesota, at 19.8 percent
  • South Dakota, at 20.8 percent
  • Hawaii, at 22.7 percent
  • Massachusetts, at 23 percent
  • Vermont, at 23.7 percent
  • Connecticut, at 26.2 percent
  • Iowa, at 26.3 percent

In fact, New England as a whole faired very well in the Urban Institute’s debt research, with the entire region holding a debt-in-collection of 25.3 percent, nearly 10 percent below the national average, the report concludes.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Elderly Woman Struck By Car in Critical Condition


A woman in her 80s was airlifted to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, where she's listed in critical condition, after she was struck by a car on Middle Road in Ellington Tuesday evening, according to state police.

Police said the woman lives in the area of 87 Middle Road and was hit by a Ford Focus while getting her mail.

LifeStar was called to the scene to bring the woman to the hospital.

The offending driver, a man who is also in his 80s, was not injured. Police said it doesn't appear the Ford Focus was speeding, and authorities don't believe the driver was intoxicated or suffered a medical condition.

Police said it's possible that poor visiblity contributed to to the collision, since the scene of the crash is located around a curve on a hilltop.

Middle Road was closed in the area for several hours following the crash.

No charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

UCLA Students Deal With "Knee-Deep" Water on Campus


A carnivalesque atmosphere took place at UCLA on Tuesday afternoon as a 30-inch water main busted a 15-foot hole in a street, sending millions of gallons of water rushing onto campus and nearby roads and stranding hundreds of people whose cars were parked in water-damaged parking structures.

Photos on social media showed students sitting in chest-high water in a flooded stairwell as if it was a hot tub, playing in ankle-deep water and walking with their pants rolled up as crews worked to cap the 93-year-old water pipe.

"It was crazy, cars are flooded, people are stuck here," said one student, who left a campus book store to go skimboarding on a flooded field.

The rising water prevented some students from getting to their dorms, cars and classes. Firefighters provided escorts in some of the more heavily flooded areas.

"I was knee-deep in water, I had to take my shoes off even though they still got soaked," said another student, Aaliyah Ricks."I almost slipped a couple of times."

Firefighters performed five rescue operations, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. No injuries were reported.

"Trying to get the cars out was very hectic, it took a long time," said Doug Waters, a third-year economics student. "It was not like a flash flood and it rose immediately, it was more...slowly rising."

The ruptured water main released 9 million gallons of fresh water in the first two hours, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said.

UCLA student Natalie Bautista and her family were unable to get to their family minivan parked in Parking Structure 7 Tuesday night. Her mother Lidia drover from San Bernardino to see her daughter and normally parks in a different structure, but wanted to be close to Pauley Pavilion Tuesday.

"Oh my gosh I just want to go home now," Lidia said.

Bautista's family is staying with her in her Westwood apartment Tuesday night.

The water main was shut down slowly and gradually to prevent shock to the system and further damage.

The surrounding neighborhood was also affected.

"I have no water, and nor do my neighbors. I called a few of them to see what's going on," said Barbara Dobkin, who lives in a neighborhood just west of UCLA.

Water was restored to nearby residents by Tuesday evening.

Details about what caused the water main break were not immediately clear.

Milford Clerk Shot in Leg Wrestles Pistol From Robber


The quick thinking of a clerk who was shot during an armed robbery Monday night in Milford may have spared him serious injury.

A clerk was shot during an armed robbery at Quick Food Mart in Milford on Monday night, but his quick thinking may have spared him serious injury.

Police said the robber walked into the Quick Food Mart at 305 New Haven Avenue around 11 p.m. Monday and shot an employee in the leg after demanding money

That employee, Jehan Zeb, recounted the harrowing encounter Tuesday night. He's sporting crutches but expected to be fine.

"I see the pistol and at that time, he came here inside the register area and tell me, 'Hands up and give me money," Zeb said.

The robber then fired two rounds, one of which hit him in the leg, he explained.

"And the third time, they target my forehead," Zeb said. He opened the register, then lunged at the robber and tussled with him for the gun.

Zeb said he wrenched the pistol from the suspect's grasp and the robber ran off. Only then did he realize blood was filling his shoes.

He said that at one point, he thought he might die. Zeb was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and was released early Tuesday morning.

Police took the gun as evidence and are still looking for the robber, who ran from the store and went south on Buckingham Avenue. Zeb said the suspect was covering his face with a black hooded sweatshirt.

Zeb said the suspect didn't manage to grab any money.

Shop owner Ashfaq Alam, Zeb's brother, said he's experienced small burglaries at his other stores in New Jersey and Atlantic City, but nothing like this. Alam said he never expected it to happen in Milford, where he's been for seven months now.

"The gas station is pretty popular," he explained. "It's very easy to rob, you know, but in this town, I wasn't expecting anything like this."

But Alam said that, while shaken up, he and Zeb are not deterred.

"We are tough people," he said. "We come from Pakistan."

Police are still searching for the robber. He's described as a black man standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and wearing black pants with a light-colored shirt.

Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call Milford police Det. Michael Moreno at 203-783-4729, send him an email or submit a tip online.

Photo Credit: Milford Police

UCLA Flooded After Water Main Break


Crews were expected to work through the night to repair a massive water main break that sent up to 10 million gallons of water gushing for nearly four hours onto Sunset Boulevard and the University of California, Los Angeles campus Tuesday afternoon.

A 93-year-old, 30-inch diameter water main ruptured and blew open a 15-foot sinkhole about 3:30 p.m. in the 10600 block of West Sunset Boulevard, officials said. The cause of the break was being investigated.

"Unfortunately, UCLA was the sink for this water source," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.

The gusher stranded cars, a bus and drivers in several feet of swiftly rising water and mud. While there were no injuries, a Los Angeles Fire Department swift-water team rescued five people who were stranded in the flooding, including one who was swept under his car.

"They were able to keep his head above water and be able get him out," LA Fire Capt. Jaime Moore said.

Officials said Sunset Boulevard near the campus would remain closed between Veteran and Beverly Glen all of Wednesday.

"There's almost no chance that any portion of Sunset Boulevard around UCLA will be open," said Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, during an evening news conference Tuesday. "Do what you can to avoid it. Find some other route."

Officials said 10 million gallons of water was lost in the gusher, equivalent to about 200,000 baths, according to the US Geological Survey. The utility serves more than 500 million gallons a day to its customers throughout LA.

Water flow through the pipe when it was in proper working order was about 75,000 gallons per minute, LADWP officials said.

The riveted-steel water main carries water to the area from the Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir.

Getting the water shut off completely took approximately three and half hours.

"We were just scrambling, we were trying to get our crews here. It's not the easiest place to get to at rush hour," LADWP Asst. GM Jim McDaniel said.

Most of the damages Tuesday occurred at UCLA.

Two parking structures and two buildings were damaged, including UCLA's recently renovated Pauley Pavilion, the site for UCLA men's and women's basketball, volleyball and women's gymnastics. Water covered the basketball court. The John Wooden recreation center was also damaged.

Huindreds of people were stranded Tuesday night, unable to access their cars trapped in the damaged parking structures. Firefighters searched 200 cars and deployed two swift water rescue teams looking for trapped motorists. Cars on the lower level of Parking Lot 7 were submerged in three-and-a-half feet of water.

Mud and water also covered the university's Drake Stadium -- a track-and-field facility -- along with the nearby intramural athletic field.

UCLA officials were expected to assess the total damages after they finish pumping water out of the buildings, Block said.

"We have a lot of damage assessment to do in the next couple of days but, we’ll do it, and we're bruins and we’ll get back on our feet," UCLA representative Tod Tamberg said.

Even as firefighters urged people to stay away from the area on Tuesday, the spectacle drew students, attending fall orientation, to the water. Some skimboarded and swam in it. Two students sat in water up to their chests on a stairwell as if it was a hot tub.

Water cascaded down steps into an underground parking structure and pooled as high as five feet.

Students trudged through knee-deep water as they walked across campus.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is out of state on vacation, said he was "closely monitoring the situation" and in contact with DWP, police and fire officials, along with UCLA, "to make sure we are leading a closely coordinated response."

Water service was briefly interrupted for some residents near the break, but it was restored quickly, DWP officials said.

The flood comes in the wake of a statewide ban on public water waste as California officials approved fines of up to $500 a day for violators earlier this month.

Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Gadi Schwartz

Mom Charged in Crash That Killed RHAM Teacher


The Hebron mom whose car struck and killed a RHAM Middle School teacher in the school parking lot earlier this year is facing charges that could land her behind bars for up to five years.

Earlier this week, authorities obtained an arrest warrant charging 50-year-old Elizabeth Everett with misconduct with a motor vehicle – a felony – and unsafe backing.

She's accused of backing over 65-year-old Dawn Mallory-Bushor, a seventh-grade math teacher, in March after accidentally driving into the bus lane at RHAM while dropping off her child.

Mallory was walking into the building when she was struck. She was rushed to the hospital in criticla condition, where she later died.

Everett turned herself in at State Police Troop K barracks Tuesday afternoon, police said. She was released after posting $100,000 bond and is due in Rockville Superior Court on Aug. 12.

Following the deadly collision, the town of Hebron added speed bumps and modified traffic patterns in the school parking lot in an effort to improve safety.

Just a couple weeks ago, the town received a notice on behalf of Mallory’s estate detailing plans to sue on account of “a dangerous or defective roadway” that led to the teacher's death.

Hebron's town manager declined to comment on the arrest Tuesday.

Michael Skakel to Appear in Court in State's Appeal of Prison Release


Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel will appear in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday to make his case for a new trial in the case of the 1975 murder of Greenwich neighbor Martha Moxley. As he and his attorneys fight to keep him a free man, the state has appealed a judge's ruling that allowed him to be released from prison nearly a year ago.

Last October, after serving 11-and-a-half years in jail for his 2002 conviction in Moxley's murder, Judge Thomas Bishop ruled that Skakel's former trial attorney failed to adequately represent him in 2002. After posting bail, he walked free from prison last November.

The state is hoping a judge will reverse that decision, but if the judge doesn't rule in their favor,  Skakel will be granted a new trial.

The Connecticut Post reported that Skakel's defense is also filing a motion today to bar the government from using audio tapes Skakel made for a memoir in the court proceedings.

Skakel's criminal defense attorney, Stephan Seeger told NBC's Ronn Mott that he's ready to prove his client is Innocent.

"And that's something that the public needs to know. And I think that if the public learns more about the evidence we have especially more approximate evidence that people will start to change their mind about what happened in this case," he told NBC.

The full interview with Skakel's attorney will air on The Today Show this morning.

Skakel's hearing at Stamford Superior Court hearing is expected to start at 2 p.m.

Woman Accused of Stabbing Elderly Man in Waterford


Waterford police have arrested a 40-year-old New London woman who is accused of stabbing an elderly man in the head in Waterford.
Wendy Lynch was arrested and charged with assault of an elderly person in the second degree and robbery in the first degree.

Police said the attack happened at a home on Vivian Street, but they were dispatched to a home on Boston Post Road to investigate the stabbing.

The attack was not random, according to police who said Lynch and the victim know each other. No additional information was available on how they are connected.

Waterford Ambulance transported the man to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Police said Lynch was living at 17 Redden Avenue in New London and officers took her into custody.

She was held on a $10,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Maryland Woman to Become U.S. Citizen on Her 100th Birthday


Four generations of family joined Donatila Leticia Munoz Orantes at the Baltimore office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Wednesday, celebrating not only her citizenship, but also her 100th birthday.

“I can’t have a better blessing than having my mother live a hundred years,” her daughter Maria Ward told News4's Kristin Wright Tuesday.

Munoz became the oldest Maryland resident to naturalize since the former Immigration and Naturalization’s immigration services were placed with USCIS in 2003. Why now, after almost three decades in the United States? Munoz told Wright she wants to vote.

The seamstress was born in Nicaragua in 1914 and spent most of her life in El Salvador before joining her daughter in the U.S. in 1987, Wright reported. She helped care for the grandchildren and made clothes for family, including for occasions like first communion, weddings and graduations.

In 1987, naturalization wasn’t an option for Munoz because she doesn’t speak English, a requirement that drops at age 80.

Now, the Germantown resident looks forward to casting her first ballot in November.

Crash Causes Lane Closure on I-84 in Danbury


The right lane is closed on Interstate 84 East in Danbury at Exit 8 for Newtown Road due to a crash Wednesday morning.

There was a possible rollover crash in that area, according to State Police.

The lane closure is causing traffic delays.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Shootout Cop to Leave Hospital


The NYPD detective who went into a Greenwich Village smoke shop on a tip that an accused child molester on the run for two years was working there and was shot, along with two U.S. Marshals, when gunfire erupted as the officers tried to apprehend the suspect, was released from the hospital Wednesday.

Flanked by uniformed officers, detective Mario Muniz left Bellevue Hospital in a wheelchair around noon, about a day after the two marshals injured in the gunfight were released.

Muniz had the most severe injuries of the three agents: one bullet hit his stomach, crossing from the left side to the right side of the abdomen, according to doctors. A second and a third bullet fired toward his chest were stopped by a vest. 

"No question that vest was life-saving gear," said Dr. Spiros Frangos. 

Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, speaking outside Bellevue, said that once Muniz goes home to recuperate, "The reality of what could have happened will set in."

Palladino added, "I'm going to renew my message to all the criminals in this city: It's not open season on these detectives ... because our mission is to get the job done."

The fugitive suspect, Charles Mozdir, was killed in the Monday afternoon shootout in Smoking Culture on West Fourth Street. Muniz went in to visually confirm the suspect was there and alone, and when he returned with the marshals to make an arrest, Mozdir opened fire with a .32-caliber revolver, police say.  

Muniz was shot twice in the stomach below his bulletproof vest. One marshal was shot in the leg and the other was hit in the elbow.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Muniz's vest may have saved his life.

Mozdir had been accused of sexually assaulting a boy he babysat in Coronado, California, near San Diego. The 32-year-old was recently profiled on "The Hunt with John Walsh," a CNN show similar to "America's Most Wanted."

Mozdir was wanted on a $1 million warrant. He was charged with multiple counts of committing forcible lewd acts on a child and attempting to dissuade a witness. He skipped an April court appearance in California and his car was found in Georgia two months later.

The trail went cold after that until officers got a phone call from a woman in Florida who is part owner of Mozdir's black Labrador retriever, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York. 

His weapon was recovered at the scene. Mozdir had 20 more rounds in his pockets, police said.

A neighbor in the Alphabet City area where Mozdir resided said she sometimes ran into him while walking her dogs with her daughter.

He "never made eye contact," said Natasha Callapally, and was "really creepy, really weird."

-- Marc Santia contributed to this report

Photo Credit: NYPD/Facebook

Comatose Md. Man Dies in Liberia


The family of a comatose Maryland man who passed away in Liberia during the ongoing Ebola quarantine is now trying to get his body back to the U.S. for a proper burial.

Nathaniel Dennis, 24, was visiting family in Monrovia, Liberia this month when he suffered multiple seizures July 24. He was hospitalized and had been comatose until his death Wednesday, despite the efforts of his family to bring him to home for treatment.

In an effort to control the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, Liberia's president has closed the majority of the country's borders, meaning Dennis' family was unable to transport him to a hospital in Ghana via medical evacuation -- although he had tested negative for Ebola, his family said. 

"At the same time, I'm relieved because I know my brother is no longer suffering," Dennis' brother Norwood Dennis said.

According to a GoFundMe site his family set up, Dennis grew sicker and began to need dialysis and a ventilator -- but the equipment wasn't available at the facility where he was.

"We're all devastated," Dennis' cousin Vannette Tolbert said. "We don't feel like we've been defeated because we tried as hard as we could."

A fundraiser was held in Dennis' honor Wednesday night at Lima Lounge on K Street NW in D.C. His family hopes to raise enough money to help transport his body back to the U.S. for a proper burial -- as of Wednesday night, the family had raised nearly $11,000.

Dennis' mother had traveled to Liberia to be with her son, but was unable to see him due to the quarantine. A medical examiner in Liberia will conduct an autopsy which should shed light on what exactly led to his death.

Dennis graduated from Howard High School and studied at Howard Community College.

6 Narcotics Officers Stole Half a Million Dollars From Suspects: Feds


Federal agents arrested six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers as part of an ongoing corruption probe and accused the group of swiping more than half a million dollars' worth of money, drugs and other items over a period of years.

“Unfortunately, a very small percentage of police officers continue to toss their oath aside and act like the very criminals they have sworn to bring to justice,” said U.S Attorney Zane David Memeger.

The U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed the 26-count indictment Wednesday of the two-year joint investigation between the police department, FBI and U.S. Attorney's office. The officers, who have served anywhere from five to 13 years in the narcotics unit, face allegations of multiple acts of robbery, extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing from February 2006 to November 2012.

The officers under arrest are Perry Betts, 46; Thomas Liciardello, 38; Linwood Norman, 46; Brian Reynolds, 43; John Speiser, 42; and Michael Spicer, 46. The officers were taken into custody without incident early Wednesday morning. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that each officer will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

"Conduct like this is simply unacceptable, cannot be tolerated and is inexcusable," said Ramsey who noted the shame these allegations bring the officers and entire department.

Prosecutors say that the defendants would routinely rob the occupants of suspected dealers' cars or homes.

"The defendants used their positions of authority to target suspected drug dealers for purposes of stealing cash, personal property and drugs," said Memeger.

The indictment details about 22 separate incidents where the officers broke the law.  In total, prosecutors estimate the officers took more than $500,000 worth of cash, drugs and goods including fancy watches.

Some of the incidents outlined in the indictment includes one where Liciardello, Reynolds and Walker allegedly took $30,000 from an illegally detained suspect then took another $80,000 from the suspect’s home; an incident where Norman allegedly held a man over an 18-story balcony; an incident where Spicer allegedly dangled a man off a 35th-floor balcony in an attempt to swipe $79,000 and a designer suit; and an incident where Norman and Walker allegedly stole and distributed multi-kilogram quantity of cocaine.

Other incidents weren't as violent.

"They literally filed false police reports," Memeger said.

The allegations include declaring they collected less money than they would report.

Ramsey said that the officers tarnished their badges and that the badge numbers will be destroyed.

"I have been a police officer for more than 40 years and this is one of the worst cases of corruption that I have ever heard," Ramsey said.

Sources say agents were led to the officers after they nabbed former narcotics unit veteran Jeffrey Walker in a sting last May.

In that sting, authorities said Walker, while in uniform, planted cocaine in an alleged drug dealer's car, pulled over the man and stole his house keys. He then went to the man's home and stole $15,000, officials said.

Following that investigation, Walker was arrested and six other narcotics officers were pulled from the street. They were eventually moved into different roles in the department as the investigation continued.

Walker pleaded guilty to federal robbery charges and weapons offenses in February.

Memeger wouldn't divulge how much Walker helped in the investigation against his fellow former officers.

The probe has resulted in the overturning of more than 80 drug convictions and the dismissal of hundreds of open cases.

Ramsey said in no way are all narcotic officers dirty but he said the investigation continues into other alleged acts of corruption.

"It was a malignancy that's there and if you don't cut it out it won't go away on its own," said Ramsey.

The indicted officers, who have all pleaded not guilty, will each pay for their own defense.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

10 Incredible Images of the UCLA Flood


UCLA's campus became a swimming pool Tuesday after a water main break spilled up to 10 million gallons of water into roads, buildings and parking garages in the area.

Students posted photos and video to social media sites showing chest-high water, flooded cars and water cascading down stairs.

"I was knee-deep in water, I had to take my shoes off even though they still got soaked," student Aaliyah Ricks told NBCLA. "I almost slipped a couple of times."

Check out the most incredible photos of the gyser that punched a 15-foot hole into a street and caused subsequent flooding.


Photo Credit: AP

Crash Clears on I-91 North in New Haven


A crash on Interstate 91 North in New Haven has cleared.

Little information was immediately available, but state police said four cars might be involved and there might be injuries.

The right lane was closed, but traffic is moving again.

An alert from the state Department of Transportation says the crash is between exits 5 and 6 and the highway is congested between exits 2 and 6.

An NBC Connecticut crew is on the way to the scene.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Department of Transportation

Mom Impersonates Daughter During Attempted Shoplifting: Cops


A 38-year-old Bristol mother identified herself as her own daughter when she was questioned about am attempted shoplifting at a Glastonbury supermarket, according to police.

Police said Sonia Matthews tried to leave Stop & Shop on Glastonbury Boulevard with $197 worth of merchandise and a Glastonbury police officer witnessed it.
Matthews gave investigators her own daughter’s name and information as her own, police said.

She could not post bond and will appear in Manchester Superior Court on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

Teen Accused in Fatal School Stabbing Appears in Court


A Connecticut teen accused of stabbing his classmate to death at a Milford high school hours before the prom appeared briefly in court on Wednesday.

Christopher Plaskon, 17, is accused of stabbing and killing Maren Sanchez, also 16, inside Jonathan Law High School in April in an attack some students said might have been motivated by anger that she would not go to the prom with him. He pleaded not guilty in June.

Plaskon, who has been charged as an adult with murder, waived a trial by jury and his case will instead go before a three-judge panel.

Members of his defense team said has they're considering a mental health defense and believe that a three-judge panel might handle that better.

Plaskon is being held at Manson Youth Training Institute, a correctional facility in Cheshire for boys and young men between the ages of 12 and 19.

Police have said Plaskon was spotted just moments after the April 25 stabbing with blood on his hands and clothing.

"I did it. Just arrest me," he told authorities, according to police paperwork released. Police said they recovered a knife in the hallway, not far from where Sanchez was attacked.

The medical examiner concluded that Sanchez died of stab wounds to the torso and neck. Her death was ruled a homicide.

"You can imagine, when a father loses a daughter, especially under such egregious circumstances, it's extremely difficult," said attorney Anthony Bonadies, who is representing Sanchez's father in court.

Defense attorney Richard Meehan said in an e-mail that Plaskon would appear in court with his uncle, who has been appointed his guardian. He said did not offer further comment on the defense efforts.

"They're doing everything they can to try to keep it together," Meehan said, of Plaskon's family, "but it's a very difficult process."

The state's attorney is still in the process of turning over evidence to the defense. Plaskon's attorneys said they have not yet decided what kind of defense to present and may not know for some time.

"Normally these cases take at least a year, if not two," said State's Attorney Kevin Lawlor, of Milford.

Plaskon is expected back in court Oct. 16.

Driver Head-Butted Man Over Parking Space: Cops


Police arrested a Wethersfield man accused of head butting a man over a parking space at a Farmington soccer facility on Tuesday night and shouting racial slurs at him.

Police responded to the Farmington Sports Arena at 11 Executive Drive just before 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday after two men got into a dispute over a parking space, police said.

Curt Andrew Jensen, 48, of Wethersfield, had been driving under the influence and is accused of head butting the other man and shouting profanities at him, which included racial slurs, according to the arrest log on the Farmington Police Web site.

Jensen was charged with intimidation, bigotry or bias; operation while under the influence; second-degree breach of peace; one-half ounce of marijuana, first offense; and possession of drug paraphernalia with less than half an ounce of marijuana.

Bond was set at $2,500.

Photo Credit: Farmington Police

UCLA's Pauley Pavilion Court May Have to Be Replaced: Officials


The court of the historic Pauley Pavilion at the University of California, Los Angeles may have to be replaced as a result of flooding to the campus, athletic department officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

When asked about replacing the court, Guerrero said, "that's the course of action that we're looking for. No questions about it."

Guerrero said the upcoming Bruin basketball season will not be affected by the recent damage.

Ten million gallons of water gushed onto Sunset Boulevard and the UCLA campus Tuesday afternoon, causing the wood floor to buckle - just two years after the indoor arena underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.

"The court is showing signs of buckling and expansion," Kelly Schmader, assistant vice chancellor for UCLA, said Wednesday morning. "Whether we'll be able to get that saved, I don't know."

The break occurred at the Y-shaped meeting point of a 30-inch pipe installed in 1921 and a 36-inch pipe installed in 1956. Both pipes ruptured and blew open a 20-foot wide, 10-foot deep sinkhole in the 10600 block of West Sunset Boulevard, officials said.

Water gushed at a rate of 75,000 gallons a minute, damaging UCLA parking structures, buildings and flooding parts of campus. About eight inches of water covered the famed Pauley Pavilion court at one point, but crews had removed most of the water by Wednesday morning.

Ankle-deep water could be seen covering the court’s wooden floorboards Tuesday night. Crews were drying the court Wednesday morning and officials planned to have a better damage estimate later in the day.

"Unfortunately, Pauley Pavilion took quite a bit of water," Chancellor Gene Block said. "It's painful."

The locker rooms also sustained significant flooding, according to the school's athletic department. Water also entered Wooden Center, which houses recreation facilities, and the J.D. Morgan Center, which houses athletic staff and administration offices and UCLA's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Pauley Pavilion opened 49 years ago and is home to many of UCLA’s athletic teams, including the men’s and women’s basketball teams, men’s and women’s volleyball teams and women’s gymnastics. The arena recently underwent a two-year, $136-million dollar renovation and opened the renovated facility in November 2012.

"I'm just wondering how UCLA is going to pay for it, I mean, Pauley looked in really bad shape and they just remodeled it," UCLA student Peter Nauka said.

It is unclear how the flooding will affect the upcoming schedule. The Teen Choice Awards are scheduled for Aug. 10 and the US Volleyball Cup Aug. 16.

Pauley Pavilion can seat approximately 13,800 people.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd and Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: FirstIn

Rocky Neck Beach Reopened


The east end of Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme was closed due to the results of a water quality test, but has reopened, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

DEEP staff members collect water samples to ensure municipal swimming areas are safe and the Department of Public Health Lab analyze the samples.

Officials from DEEP said on Wednesday afternoon that they received water samples sooner than usual and are able to reopen. 


Photo Credit: NBC 5
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