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Ex-Sen. Spends Half Hour in Jail


A former Southern California state senator convicted of perjury and voter fraud served half an hour of a 90-day sentence behind bars.

Democrat Rod Wright appeared Friday at a Los Angeles County jail to begin serving his sentence. But the 62-year-old former lawmaker was released almost immediately after the paperwork was completed -- just 34 minutes after he was booked.

Wright was convicted earlier this year on eight felony counts, including perjury and voting fraud, for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.

He had said he moved into an Inglewood property he owned so he could run in 2008 to represent the 25th Senate District, but jurors found that Wright actually lived outside the district.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that Wright was released because of jail crowding. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials could not confirm the reason for his release.

Wright resigned his seat rather than face possible expulsion. In separate cases, two other Democratic state senators have been indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges.

Wright was also ordered in September to complete 1,500 hours of community service and will be on probation for three years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mummer Arrested in Bat, Gun Attack


Police arrested a well-known mummer and his daughter in connection with an Oct. 25 attack that included hitting a man with a bat and then shooting him in the leg on a South Philly street.

Carmen "Butchie" D'Amato, 62, and 36-year-old Rita D'Amato, both of the 900 block of South Front Street in Philadelphia, are facing aggravated assault and other charges.

The father, a member of the Mummers' South Philly Vikings group, and his daughter surrendered to police Friday night after their arrest warrants were issued and they were contacted by authorities, according to officials.

Carmen, who was inducted in the Mummers' Fancy Brigades Hall of Fame in 2006, was armed with a handgun on Oct. 25 -- when he and his bat-wielding daughter approached the unidentified 36-year-old victim near the intersection of 2nd and Carpenter streets in the Queens Village section of the city, investigators said.

Philadelphia Police released surveillance video of the attack earlier this week in the hopes of identifying the suspects, who can be seen talking to the man moments before Rita struck him with a bat, according to officials.

The victim started to run away from the pair, but Carmen chased him and began firing his gun, striking the man once in his left leg, authorities said.

The victim was treated for a broken leg at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. A source told Philly.com the suspects believed the man was breaking into their car.

Both father and daughter are due in court Nov. 18 for their preliminary hearings.

An attorney for the suspects, Frank Desimone, as well as several other mummers, declined to comment on the case.

Carmen previously spent four years behind bars on a tax fraud charge, according to Philly.com. He was indicted in 1988 after being accused of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine, as well as defrauding the IRS, Philly.com reported.  He was acquitted on the drug charge.

Photo Credit: Surveillance Image

Final Stretch in Race for Governor


This weekend is a busy one for the candidates in the Connecticut gubernatorial race.

Today NBC Connecticut caught up with both candidates to ask about the final push.

"We're touching a lot of people here in these last few days of the race," Republican candidate Tom Foley said.

Tomorrow President Barack Obama will stop in the state to support Democratic Governor Dan Malloy. The First Lady was here on Thursday.

"We're working very hard on what we call our ground game, our get out the vote," says Malloy.

Foley will also receive help with a fifth visit by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Monday.

For Foley and Malloy the themes of this campaign are well worn.

"Creation of 70,000 private section jobs, increased graduation rates, lowest crime in 45 years," Malloy said.

"Talking to people around the state, people are very disappointed with where Connecticut is right now. They're very upset about the taxes they have to pay," Foley said.

Also in this race is conservative petitioning candidate Joe Visconti.

This week's Quinnipiac University poll found Malloy and Foley tied at 43-percent, Visconti at seven.

"I think I already have the edge but I think we're pulling away," Foley explained.

"We're looking forward to a victory," says Malloy.

That Quinnipiac poll, which showed Foley and Malloy tied, has not changed that much from a previous poll about a week ago.

This race appears to be deadlocked until decision day on Tuesday.

Memorial for Lisa Joy White Unveiled


Forty years ago Lisa Joy White vanished without a trace. Today her friends, family, and law enforcement officials came together to dedicate a memorial in her honor.

The memorial, which includes an image of the missing 13-year-old girl etched into a rock, is in Talcott Park and is not far from where she was last seen.

“This memorial is going to be a permanent tribute to Lisa," says Lt. William Meier, Vernon Police.

On November 1st, 1974, Lisa left a friend's home on Prospect Street walking toward Elm Street. She was never seen again.

Her sister, Aprille Falletti, says she has spent every day since then wondering what happened.

“I know somebody is out there who knows something and just, even if we don’t find out who did it, can we bring Lisa home to lay at rest. That’s all,” Falletti said. 

The search for answers is far from over. In October, State Police announced the formation of a new cold case squad. They will try to figure out what happened to Lisa and three other females and figure out if some of the disappearances are connected.

Police ask anyone with information, even if you already came forward years ago, to contact them. There is an up to $150,000 reward.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Seek Missing Naugatuck Teen


Naugatuck police are asking for the public’s help searching for a missing teen.

Cody Gallagher, 15, was last seen Friday around 12 p.m. at Naugatuck High School. Police say Cody is suspected to have cut class and never made it home from school. He is known to hang out on Salem Avenue, Rubber Avenue, and in Linden Park.

Gallagher is described as 5’10” with brown hair, brown eyes, and braces. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, skinny jeans, and black and teal Nike skate sneakers.

Anyone who may have seen Gallagher is asked to call police at 203 729 5221.

Two Killed in Fiery Crash in Berlin


A man and a woman died in a fiery car crash on Kensington Road in Berlin on Saturday morning.

Berlin police received a call at 3:44 a.m. reporting a car fire near the 1400 block of Kensington Road. A Mercedes was traveling southbound around a curve at about 3:30 a.m. when it lost control and hit a tree and burst into flames, police said.

Crews put out the fire and found a man and a woman inside who did not survive.

Police have not released their names pending notification of their family members, but investigators said that they believe the two people killed were in their 30s.

Police and South Kensington and Berlin volunteer firefighters responded.

The Berlin Police Traffic Bureau and the Mid-State Accident Reconstruction Squad are investigating the fatal crash.

Kensington Road was closed for several hours as police investigated, but the road has since reopened, police said at 1 p.m.

Two tow trucks removed the charred car from the scene.

The speed limit in the area is 25 miles an hour, but drivers sometimes speed around the curve, a neighbor told NBC Connecticut. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time, but officials are looking into the possibility that speed was a factor.

Police ask witnesses and anyone with information to contact the police department at 860-828-7080.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Wet and Windy Weather Statewide


High wind gusts and possible showers are in the forecast, according to NBC Connecticut First Alert Meteorologist Monica Cryan.

The rain moved in Saturday and spread across the state throughout the day.

WInd gusts picked up Saturday evening.  There are wind advisories in effect from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Wind gusts could reach as high as 40 miles per hour, which raises concerns about possible fallen branches or trees that could affect the power lines, Cryan said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Seymour Student Dies of Cancer


The Seymour community is mourning the death of a 17-year-old student who lost her battle with cancer Nov. 1.

Seymour High School student Nina Poeta died overnight, according to Seymour Public Schools Security Director Rich Kearns.

Grief counseling is available to students in the Seymour High School cafeteria from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and during the school day Monday in the school media center, Kearns said.

"It is very important that we assist each other as we come to terms with this loss," Kearns wrote in a letter to school community members on Sunday.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Parking Bans in Effect in Bridgeport for Obama Visit


Parking bans are in effect on streets near Central High School in Bridgeport as police prepare for President Barack Obama's arrival.

The president is visiting the state to attend a campaign event for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to rally support for him days before the election.

There are parking bans in effect on Capitol Avenue, Lincoln Boulevard and Taft Avenue.

The parking bans started at 8 a.m. and will last until 6 p.m. Any cars parked on the restricted streets will be towed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Firefighter on Leave After Accidental Shooting: Officials


Authorities are investigating after a Hartford firefighter accidentally shot a friend who was "mishandling a gun," sources within the Hartford Police Department told NBC Connecticut.

A Hartford firefighter accused of accidentally shooting his friend has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate, according to the fire department.

Hartford police said 25-year-old Justin Wood, of East Hartford, accidentally shot 28-year-old Jose Medina, of Hartford, in the jaw and neck at an apartment on Webster Street shortly after midnight Sunday.

Wood has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the police investigation, according to Hartford Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Helene Lynch. Wood has been a member of Engine Company 5 on Sigourney Street since Dec. 2, 2012.

Police said Wood was showing Medina a handgun when the weapon accidentally discharged. The weapon is legal and Wood is licensed to carry it. Wood is cooperating with investigators.

Medina was alert at the scene and was taken to Hartford Hospital in critical condition. Police said the bullet struck his left cheek, broke his jaw and became lodged in the back of his neck. He is receiving treatment in the hospital's intensive care unit.

It's the second accidental shooting in Hartford in as many days. Police said "all public safety command staff have been notified" of the incident and no charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigate Fatal Accidental Shooting in Hartford


Police are investigating after a 22-year-old man who accidentally shot himself in the chest died overnight in Hartford.

According to Deputy Chief Brian Foley, the man apparently shot himself while showing off a gun to friends at 27 Barnard Street. Police were called to the scene around 1:45 a.m. Saturday.

The victim's friends and Hartford officers performed CPR until medics arrived and rushed him to Hartford Hospital. Police said the victim was pronounced dead around 2:25 a.m.

He has not been identified.

Detectives with the Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division are investigating and interviewing witnesses.

Drunk Driver Slams Into SoCal Home


A vehicle slammed into a Lancaster home early Sunday morning and burst into the living room that residents had just left, they told NBC4.

No one was hurt in the 1:40 a.m. high-speed crash that left a smoldering wreck in the 27th Street home of April Chamberlain, according to an LA County Fire captain. But the car did cause significant damage to the room and the car.

"I came into the kitchen and said, 'Oh my God, a car is literally in my house,'" said Janice Chamberlain, who lives in the home.

She said she, her daughter and 2-year-old granddaughter were sitting in the living room minutes before the crash, and usually other grandchildren sleep on a couch in the living room.

"Thank God they weren't here," Chamberlain said.

Ernesto Carbajal, 21, was arrested and charged in LA County Superior Court with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.

April Chamberlain and a neighbor said Carbajal tried to run from the scene, but was stopped by a neighbor.

"I had three other friends with me," said neighbor Heather Lopez. "They grabbed him, patted him down and grabbed his wallet and said 'You're going to stay here 'till the cops get here."

The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, officials said.


5 Arrests in Halloween Hit-and-Run


Santa Ana police on Sunday announced multiple arrests were made in the hit-and-run that killed three trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.

The names of the suspects have not been released. Police planned to hold a news conference Monday morning. Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido said Sunday evening that five people were arrested but he did not know their names.

Twins Lexi and Lexandra Perez and their childhood friend Andrea Gonzalez, all 13, died Friday night when an SUV struck them in a crosswalk about a block away from their home in Santa Ana.

The driver ditched the Honda CR-V about three blocks away before running off, police said.

"We've done a very strong effort, 24 hours nonstop, in order to find individuals that are associated, and we believe that one of them was the driver," Pulido said. "This is a street where cars can go fast, it's just the nature of the street. So we're going to see what we can do to make it safer."

Andrea's mother and brother spoke out for the first time Sunday night after news of the arrests.

"They're happy that the people who did this, who left them there as if they were nothing, they're finally in custody and they have to answer to justice," said Andrea's brother, Josafat Gonzalez. "That brings such a sigh of relief not just to my parents, not just to the twins' family but to the whole community.

"If I could ask one question to the people who did this, it would be that whoever they were, trying to get to or whatever they needed to do, if it was more important than the lives of three little angels."

Mourners left candles, flowers, stuffed animals and notes on Saturday at Old Grand and Fairhaven avenues, near where the girls were hit.

"She was my whole entire life, my little girl," Andrea's mother Maria Gonzalez said.

GoFundMe accounts for the girls' funerals totaled more than $37,000 in donations as of Sunday night. Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the following links: 

1st Employees Move Into 1 WTC


In a symbolic moment of New York City's recovery since 9/11, the first employees at One World Trade Center will begin moving in Monday.

The city's tallest building will be opening its doors for the first time to Condé Nast's 2,300 employees. According to the publisher, about 175 employees are expected to move in Monday, in what will be the first of a series of moves which will not be completed until February 2015.

"Condé Nast is proud to be a part of this important moment of renewal for the city of New York," the company said in a statement. "As the first major media company to commit to relocating downtown and as the first tenants of One World Trade Center, we are excited about contributing to the vitality of this community for years to come."

The publisher will occupy over a million square feet, about a third of the 104-story skyscraper, the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, the New York Times reports.

Photo Credit: AP

Dog Found Alive After Mudslide


A Dachshund thought to have been lost during a mudslide that left her owners trapped inside their Camarillo Springs home Saturday was found by a neighbor the next day and returned to its owners in what firefighters called an "emotional reunion."

"Ventura, the animal has been extracted," said Captain Pete Jensen of the Ventura County Fire Department. Those words ignited cheers inside the Ventura County Fire Communications Center, according to a post on their Facebook Page.

Tinkerbell was sitting in a window of her owners’ home, which had been inundated by 2 feet of mud on Saturday, leaving the husband and wife unable to escape.

"You could hear, 'Help! Help! Oh, help me!" said Dorothy Rosenfeld, of the female voice coming from across the street.

The woman made her way out with the help of her son. However, firefighters used a chainsaw to remove the door to free her husband, said Tom Kruschke, a spokesman with the Ventura County Fire Department. The man refused medical treatment.

The neighbor said to have found the dog contacted the Ventura County Fire Department. Firefighters responded and carried out the rescue.

One of the Tinkerbell’s owners was contacted and arrived on the scene for an emotional reunion with his beloved pet.

Photo Credit: Ventura County Sheriff's Office

Six Hospitalized in Norwalk Crash


Six people were hospitalized after an accident involving a dump truck and three other vehicles.

Norwalk firefighters and police responded to Fairfield Avenue and Flax Hill Road in the South Norwalk section of the city after receiving reports of a crash at about 2:21 p.m.

Police and fire crews found a small box truck overturned on its side, pinning a Chevy Malibu against a telephone pole, dump truck and Norwalk taxi cab, Deputy Fire Chief Chris King said.

Firefighters extricated a man from the Malibu and removed the roof so that medical personnel on scene could reach the driver.

Ambulances took six people to Norwalk Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries and all four vehicles were towed from the scene.

The back of the taxi was damaged and the dump truck was damaged on the front side.

Norwalk police are investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department

Crash Closes Route 263 in Winsted


Route 263 (Winchester Road) in Winsted remains closed after a car crashed into a utility pole late Sunday evening.

The accident happened just after 10 p.m.

Connecticut Light & Power responded to the scene at about 4 a.m. Monday morning to repair the pole.

There's no word on any injuries.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Obama Rallies Supports for Malloy in Bridgeport


Applause and cheers roared as President Barack Obama entered the gym at Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut Sunday afternoon to throw his support behind Gov. Dan Malloy at a campaign rally days before the election.

Obama noted that there are two more days until the public will take to the polls and have the chance to vote for the governor to represent them for the next term and he implored the crowd there to vote and encourage others to vote to re-elect Malloy.

"He won four years ago because of about four votes per precinct," Obama said. "Your vote matters and don't let anyone tell you it doesn't."

Protesters supporting immigration reform interrupted the president several times throughout his speech, but the crowd drowned them out by yelling "four more years." Police escorted several protesters from the event.

Despite having to stop a few times Obama, remarking "this is a rowdy crowd today, he pulled the focus back to Malloy. He touched on issues from equal pay in the work place to job creation. The president told the crowd that despite a sagging economy, Malloy has helped to shepherd the state to better times.

"I can't vote in Connecticut, but I'll tell you who I'll vote for. That's Dan Malloy," he said.

The presidential motorcade got to Joint Base Andrews airport in Maryland at 1:13 p.m. Sunday and Air Force One landed at Tweed New Haven Airport at 2:11 p.m. Malloy was there to greet him at the airport.

Helicopters took off shortly thereafter, followed by the presidential motorcade, to take the president and his travel crew to Bridgeport. The motorcade arrived at the school at about 3 p.m. and Obama spoke close to 4 p.m., greeting people in the crowd afterward. Several people in the crowd snapped photos of the president with cell phones and iPads as he exited to head back to Tweed New Haven Airport to fly out.

Police began ramping up security Sunday morning in the area in anticipation of Obama's arrival.

Parking bans on Capitol Avenue, Lincoln Boulevard and Taft Avenue near the high school went into effect at 8 a.m. and will last until 6 p.m. Sunday night.

Police barricades were put up in the area and any cars left on the restricted roads will be towed.

The rally was a ticket-only event and was a rare campaign visit for the president. While candidates across the country have looked to distance themselves from his policies and Washington in general, Democratic sources said that Obama's appearance in Connecticut could make a difference come Election Day.

Air Force One departed Tweed New Haven Airport at about 4:55 p.m. to head to Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti endorsed Republican Tom Foley for governor at a Brookfield Republican Town Committee event.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Visconti Suspends Campaign, Endorses Foley for Governor


Two days before the polls open, unaffiliated candidate for governor Joe Visconti has suspended his campaign and endorsed Republican candidate Tom Foley in a ceremonious display of party unity.

NBC Connecticut cameras were the only ones rolling when Visconti appeared alongside Foley in Brookfield on Sunday, surprising a crowded room of Foley campaign volunteers.

"I called Tom yesterday. I took a look at the polls," Visconti explained. "I was very concerned that Tom is in the fight for his life. Connecticut is in the fight of its life."

Visconti, a conservative who failed to secure the Republican nomination, previously said he'd ride out the race until the end, but threw his support to Foley on Sunday and asked his followers to do the same.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows Foley in a dead heat with Democratic incumbent Gov. Dan Malloy at 43 percent, with Visconti pulling 7 percent of support from likely voters.

While polling shows support for Visconti draws equally from Foley and Malloy, many believe Visconti's position in the race would negatively affect Foley on Election Day. Visconti will still appear on the ballot Tuesday, but the unaffiliated candidate hopes now to swing the vote in Foley's favor.

"He's a great man and I know he's going to be the next governor. I told him that last night," Visconti said. "We know we have over 100,000 people that are supporting me. We do know that. I need every one of them to not vote for me. I need them to vote for Tom. We need every vote we can get. We will take the state back. We will end the liberal agenda that's across America."

The announcement surprised politicians and voters alike. Visconti said none of his supporters knew it was coming and would hear it for the first time livestreaming on NBC Connecticut, the only television station present for the endorsement.

"It was just one of those things where I had to make the judgment call for the state of Connecticut. Tom will bring the jobs and the policies in," Visconti explained. "We're going to turn this around. We're going to win this and the Democrats can't stop us."

He said his role as an unaffiliated candidate has allowed him to send a message to voters that wouldn't have come across otherwise.

"I could do what other candidates that are major party candidates can't do, you can get out into the little details that I think need to be said, and so we did that, put the message out that we wanted and my people hopefully will come over because we have a lot of them," he said.

Visconti said he made the endorsement with the state's best interest in mind and was not seeking any personal gain.

"I made no deals for anything, I've asked for nothing. I didn't do this for money or the position," Visconti explained. "I've done this for the people. I love Connecticut."

“I don’t feel this is a concession of loss. We proved you don’t need taxpayers' money to make a difference," Visconti said. "But my supporters, all of them, please vote for Tom."

Foley and Visconti embraced and shook hands before Foley took the podium to express his gratitude.

"I want to thank Joe, first of all, for being a candidate and having the interest in running for office and offering change for Connecticut, the same thing I'm offering," Foley said. "He was always a gentleman on the campaign trail, has become a friend and I'm a great admirer of what he's done."

Foley added that Visconti made one small request when the two met Saturday night.

"He did ask one thing of me. And he said, 'Tom, will you invite my mom to the inauguration?' and I said, 'Joe, that's a deal,'" Foley told the room, to laughter and applause. "Anyway, thank you so much Joe. We're going to win this election on Tuesday, we're going to bring change to Connecticut, and I really, really appreciate your support."

The announcement came just hours before President Barack Obama was set to arrive in Bridgeport to rally support for Malloy, of which Visconti made mention.

"I had to wait for President Obama to be in the air to do this," Visconti joked. "I've held off for a couple days."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Have Fatal Stabbing Suspect in Custody


Hartford police are investigating a deadly stabbing at 36 Bedford Street.

Investigators say a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the neck by his 28-year old cousin.

The teen and rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but he later died.

Police have ruled the incident as a homicide.

The cousin is in police custody and an arrest is pending, according to police.

Bedford St. remains closed as police continue to investigate.

Police have not released the names of the cousins or what may have led to the stabbing.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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