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The World Celebrates International Women's Day

A deaf Palestinian woman embroids a piece of cloth as a part of the deaf adult education program at the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza City, on March 7, 2013 on the eve of International Women's Day. Click to see what other women around the world are up to as some prepare for this international event.

Suspect in Dunkin’ Donuts Ax Attack Being Held on Bond


The New Britain man accused of going on a violent rampage at a Dunkin’ Donuts was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Thursday and is being held on a $200,000 bond.

Wilfred Levine, 63, is accused of using his ax to smash the windows and equipment at the Dunkin’ Donuts on East Main St., in New Britain on Thursday afternoon.

“He jumped over the counter with a full-size ax. He proceeded to destroy the inside of the store and then he started attacking the outside windows,” Sgt. Jeanette Saccente, of the New Britain Police Department, said.

Police said Levine was loitering and became furious when store employees told him to leave.

“There was an exchange of words. The gentleman left upset [and] returned with an ax, looking for the employees who had initially asked him to leave,” Saccente said.

While Levine was destroying windows and other equipment, store employees were forced to hide in the bathroom to protect themselves, police said, and no one was hurt.

“The employees did the right thing. They immediately saw the threat and hid behind a closed door. They called police immediately and didn’t come out until everything was all set,” Saccente said. 

When police arrived, they saw Levine outside with the ax, approached him at gunpoint and ordered him to put down the ax, but he refused, Saccente said. 

Police said they used a stun gun to subdue Levine and he was arrested at the scene.

Levine now faces attempted assault and reckless endangerment charges.

He has no criminal record. A relative of his told NBC Connecticut is battling mental health issues.

Photo Credit: Stephanie O'Connell, NBC Connecticut

Woman Struck by Car, Killed in Norwich


A woman is dead after being struck by a car on Meadow Lane in Norwich on Thursday afternoon.

Deputy Fire Chief Keith Milton said the fire department responded to Meadow Lane, a dead end residential street, at 2:51 p.m. after receiving a report that a pedestrian was struck.

She was pronounced dead at the scene, Milton said. Her name has not been released, Officials only said she is over the age of 40. 

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Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/George Colli

Michael Jordan Files for Marriage License in West Palm


His Airness has found a new queen.

The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that basketball legend Michael Jordan filed for a marriage license at the downtown West Palm Beach courthouse.

Jordan's fiancee is Yvette Prieto, a 34-year-old Cuban-American model. The New York Daily News reported that they were engaged in December 2011.

Jordan has made South Florida his home after living in the Chicago area for years. A recent profile of Jordan in Sports Illustrated chronicled his decision to leave the town where he played in the NBA for over a decade.

MJ Asks Court to Drop Paternity Case

Jordan has settled in an enormous mansion located at The Bear's Club, an exclusive community developed by golfing great Jack Nicklaus, in Jupiter. The Post reported that Jordan's home cost $12 million to build.

This will be Jordan's second marraige. He married Juanita Vanoy in 1989, and the two were divorced in 2006. They have three children together.

LeBron: 'I'm Not MJ, I'm LJ'

Photo Credit: Getty Images

FTC Takes on Text Spam


If you've ever received a text message from an unknown contact announcing you've won a gift card, don't expect a prize in the mail. It's likely a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday announced action against 29 defendants for sending the text spam that winds up costing users millions of dollars in cell phone text charges and other fees.

"We believe that the defendants in these cases are collectively responsible for at least 180 million spam text messages," Steve Baker, the FTC's Director for the Midwest Region.

Those who click on the links included in the texts are sent to websites presenting a series of questions requiring personal information, applications for credit and requests for money for subscriptions for the supposed "free" gift cards.

FTC officials say they've received about 20,000 complaints from consumers. The agency is seeking retraining orders to stop the companies and the individuals from sending the texts. The FTC has also filed complaints against companies that own the websites being advertised.

"There are eight cases so far. Courts have entered orders in five of these cases and hearings are scheduled in the others over the next few days. So we think we're going to make a real dent in the spam text problem," said Baker.

Concrete Blocks Causing Problems In Federal Plaza


Robert Orr's building at 839 Chapel Street overlooks the Federal Plaza next door and is four stories high. So you can imagine his surprise when Orr saw teenagers on top of his building.

"It's really like watching a Spiderman movie. They're able to jump up full stories, four stories, our building is four stories tall, they've been up on top of it," said Orr.

Alfredo Garcia owns an apartment building at 831-833 Chapel Street and has also seen the unexpected visitors. He even called the cops, but says they weren't able to do anything.

"They come from the back, and they jump from building to building," said Garcia.

The teens are using the concrete blocks piled on the side of Federal Plaza to hoist themselves up on the rooftops. Alderman Doug Hausladen says it's creating all types of problems for the businesses and the people living along lower Chapel Street.

"Disturbing tenants and my residents on Chapel Street by peering in through skylights, as well as messing with some mechanical equipment on rooftops," said Hausladen, who represents Ward 7.

He’s calling for a meeting with the U.S. General Services Administration, which runs Federal Plaza. He's already been in contact with a point person in New Haven and says he would like to see the concrete blocks removed or at least not stacked as high. They're part of a larger renovation project at the Plaza, which Hausladen says will also be a topic of discussion.

"I think the best way to move forward is for the GSA and the community to work together and find a plan that works for everyone, so we can reactivate the Federal Plaza into making it a wonderful public space that it is," he said.

The U.S. General Services Administration issued a statement saying the barriers, which weigh over 2,000 pounds each and cannot be moved easily, were brought in for a construction project.

"Patrick Sclafani, of the U.S. General Services Administration, said that the agency will rearrange the stacked barriers to address the concerns expressed by adjacent property owners. "We are committed to being good neighbors and will continue to work with local officials and property owners," said Sclafani."

Hausladen says when he meets with the GSA, he’ll also bring up the issue of people parking on the plaza.

Coroner: Lion That Killed Intern May Have Escaped Cage


A lion that killed a 24-year-old female volunteer intern may have escaped its cage before the attack, the Fresno County Coroner said on Thursday.

Dianna Hanson began a six-month internship in January at Project Survival’s Cat Haven sanctuary in Dunlap, Calif. She died Wednesday after an adult male African lion attacked her.

An autopsy showed Hanson died instantly of a broken neck, likely from a swipe of the lion's paw. The coroner said other injuries to Hanson's body happened after she died.

Before the coroner's report on Thursday, it was unclear why Hanson was so close to the big cat. The lion escaping from its cage while Hanson cleaned the main enclosure could explain that, though officials said the investigation is still ongoing.

More: Father: Lion Attack Victim Had "Her Dream Job" at Sanctuary

Hanson -- who celebrated her 24th birthday in February -- was remembered by her colleagues as "vivacious."

"Her passion for working with these animals was contagious. Dianna performed her regular scheduled duties, which included cleaning enclosures," Cat Haven founder Dale Anderson said, reading from a prepared statement Thursday.

Authorities said the 24-year-old's body was found inside the African lion enclosure.

The lion – named Cous Cous – may have broken free from his cage to kill Hanson inside a cleaning enclosure, NBC affiliate KSEE 24 News reports, citing the coroner.

The animal was shot and killed after the attack, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department.

Before her internship at the sanctuary, Hanson had previous zoo keeper experience, including with big cats. Her family said it was Hanson's dream to one day with the animals, and the victim's colleagues said that passion shined through her work.

"She was doing what she loved and she did it with joy everyday she worked here," Wendy Dabbas, president of Cat Haven, said through tears Thursday.

"She’s going to be missed. I’m so sorry this has happened."

Cous Cous lived at the sanctuary since he was a cub and shared a habitat with Pely, a female lion who could be heard making deep, bark-like noises inside her enclosure on Thursday.

Anderson said the animal was nearby at the time of the attack, and is likely making those sounds because she is stressed.

Cat Haven was closed for its regular winter hours at the time of the attack, authorities said. The Sheriff's Department and state wildlife officials will both investigate the incident.

Man Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter in NYC Crash that Killed Couple, Baby


A man arrested in connection with a car crash in New York City that killed a rabbinical college student, his pregnant wife and their baby faced a charge of vehicular manslaughter Thursday, police said.

Julio Acevedo was to appear in front of a judge Thursday night in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

He had arrived in New York earlier Thursday after agreeing to be returned from Pennsylvania, where he had surrendered to police in the parking lot of a Bethlehem convenience store a day earlier.

Acevedo was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident but had been expected to face more serious charges. The New York Police Department said the charges would include three counts each of criminally negligent homicide of leaving the scene of an accident.

Acevedo was accused of barreling down a Brooklyn street at 60 mph early Sunday and crashing into a hired car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, who were on their way to a hospital.

The Glaubers, both 21, died Sunday. Their son, delivered by cesarean section, died Monday of extreme prematurity due to blunt-force injuries to his mother, who was seven months pregnant and was thrown from the hired car, the city medical examiner's office said.

The hired car that had been carrying them had a stop sign, though it's unclear whether the driver stopped. The driver was knocked unconscious.

At an appearance in Pennsylvania, Acevedo, 44, told Judge Kelly Banach that he had finished the 11th grade, was unemployed and lives in Brooklyn with his mother. He wore an orange jumpsuit and was shackled at the ankles and wrists.

His surrender was brokered by a friend who had been in touch with police earlier Wednesday. The friend met officers at New York's Grand Central Terminal and led them to Acevedo in Bethlehem, about 80 miles away, police said. The friend had told police that Acevedo would surrender after consulting an attorney, but there wasn't one with him when he turned himself in, police said.

Acevedo told the Daily News that he was fleeing a gunman who was trying to shoot at him when his borrowed BMW slammed into the Glaubers' hired car. He told the newspaper he fled because he was worried he would be killed. But police said there were no reports of shots fired in the area at the time of the wreck.

The couple belonged to a close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, which is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect.

Nachman Glauber, whose family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews, was studying at a rabbinical college. Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family.

The couple's son was buried Monday near their graves, a community spokesman said. About a thousand community members turned out for the couple's funeral a day earlier.


Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam in Bethlehem, Pa., and photographer Mary Altaffer contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP

Interstate 95 Northbound in Clinton Reopens


Interstate 95 Northbound has reopened in Clinton between exits 63 and 64 after being closed for almost three hours.

It was closed from around 3:50 a.m. to around 6:30 a.m. because of a jackknifed tractor-trailer that was across the road.

Cars remained stuck on the road behind the truck until it was moved. 

There are several other crashes and spinouts on roads across the state.



23 Philly Schools Slated to Close


The Philadelphia School Reform Commission voted Thursday night to save four public schools and close more than two dozen in an effort to save the cash-strapped district about $24 million per year.

School officials say many of the buildings have too many empty seats and are in poor condition. Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite tweeted shortly after the vote.

"The decision to close schools is always difficult but now we must come together to ensure all students are safe and successful," Hite tweeted.

Opponents say the closures will hurt struggling neighborhoods, disrupt students' education and lead to blight.

Hundreds attended the School Reform Commission meeting immediately after a rally. Nineteen people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges after they tried to stop the school closure vote from taking place by blocking the doors to the auditorium. All 19 were issued a citation and later released, police said.

"These terrible attacks on our teachers, attacks on our students, we have to stand up and fight back, and that's what we were doing tonight," said retired teacher Tom Whitehorn.

Among those arrested, was Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Jerry Jordan, the current president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, released a statement shortly after the vote.

“The SRC's vote to close 24 neighborhood schools is a stark illustration of how out of touch the School Reform Commission is with the parents, students, educators and communities that depend on these institutions.

School closings disrupt students' lives and disenfranchise our poorest communities. It is a misguided, poorly planned and ultimately ineffective action that will do nothing to improve education in Philadelphia.

The entire school closing process wastes time and money that would be better spent exploring what it really takes to ensure that all of our schoolchildren get what they need. Instead of starving our schools, then shutting them down, we should be fighting for adequate education funding so that every school can provide students with the materials, programs, services and extracurricular activities that define a quality public education.

The thousands of people who attended the rally at the school district building today remind us that the fight to save public education in Philadelphia is only beginning. The PFT will continue to stand with the community and demand that the SRC, school district, mayor and governor reset their priorities from cutbacks and concessions to reinvestment in our public schools. “



Proposed School Closings & Consolidations

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Shelton Police Investigate Bomb Threat


Shelton police are investigating a bomb threat against Shelton High School that was called in on Thursday afternoon and they are looking for the person responsible.

Police said the threat was specific and the school district received the call just before school dismissal time.     

Police, fire and school officials investigated and nothing threatening was found during the search, police said. 

Students were allowed to leave school at the regular time and police and fire officials monitored the dismissal. 

Police are working with school officials to identify the person who made the threat.

Bomb Threat at Waterbury Superior Court


The Waterbury Superior Court was evacuated because of a bomb threat, according to Waterbury police.

The courthouse is located on Grand Street.

State police said the call was made to a local news organization and also included threats against Hartford and New Haven courts. 

Lt. Paul Vance, of Connecticut State Police, said investigators swept courthouses and did not find anything.

Criminal charges will be filed against the person found to be responsible for the threats.

The courts have not yet opened for the day, so those courts have not been evacuated.

No further information is available.

UConn Health Center Warns Patients of Privacy Breach


The University of Connecticut Health Center is notifying patients about a privacy breach that could affect around 1,400 patient records.

UConn Health Center issued a news release on Friday morning saying that a former employee, while employed for the center, inappropriately accessed approximately 1,400 patient records that were beyond the scope of the employee’s responsibilities.

The health center became aware of the breach on January 7 and said the records included names, addresses, birthdates and, in some cases, Social Security numbers, and other health information.

There is no evidence that any patient’s personal information was retained or used for any purpose, according to the health center.

The health center is requiring employees to go through training about patient privacy when they are brought onboard, and there will be ongoing training as well.

The health center’s release said it is evaluating all education and monitoring efforts to ensure ongoing compliance.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience and concern this may cause our patients,” Iris Mauriello, the Health Center’s privacy officer, said in a news release. “The actions of one person do not define the integrity of our entire workforce and all of our collective efforts to ensure the privacy of health records. Our patients rely on each of us to ensure safe and responsible use of the information with which we have been entrusted. We take that very seriously.”

Starting today, all patients who were the subjects of the privacy breach will be receiving instructions on protecting themselves against potential identity theft.

The health center is also offering the patients a free two-year subscription to a credit monitoring service, along with insurance coverage to assist with any possible identity theft related to the breach. 

Patients are instructed to call 1-877-313-1398, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The University of Connecticut Health Center includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fans Revolt After Delay in Taco Bell's Cool Ranch Doritos Launch


Taco Bell fans have lost their cool about Cool Ranch Doritos Locos tacos.

The fast food chain announced on Facebook this week that it would launch its Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos on Wednesday, a day earlier than expected. But fans have taken to Taco Bell's Facebook page to lob complaints that employees at their local restaurants said it will not be available until Thursday.

"The Taco Bell in Greenville, IL was not selling them," one Facebook fan wrote. "Drove out there to be disappointed."

Some had lofty lunch plans at Taco Bell only to be let down.

"After inviting about 50 colleagues to join me for lunch today," Andrew Parks wrote. "We were told we would have to wait until tomorrow."

The California-based company officially launched the item on Thursday after fans revolted and issued an apology.

“We apologize to those fans who couldn’t buy it a day early,” the company said.

The highly-anticipated taco was inspired by the success of its predecessor the Nacho Cheese taco, which was Taco Bell's most successful product in its 51-year history. 

The new offering boasts a shell made out of Doritos Cool Ranch chips on the outside with beef, lettuce and cheese on the inside.

Taco Bell hyped up the Cool Ranch debute with social media and exclusive previews for fans in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Taco Bell is owned by Yum! Brands Inc. which also owns PIzza Hut and KFC.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bumble Bee Foods Recalls Certain Tuna Products


San Diego-based company Bumble Bee Foods has issued a voluntary recall on specific codes of five-ounce tuna products recently sold to consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirms.

The recall includes specific codes of Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna cans sold to consumers nationwide between Jan. 17 and Feb. 28, 2013.

The FDA says the company is recalling the products due to loose seals on the cans. Loose seals and seams on food products could result in contamination by organisms or pathogens, and could lead to illness if consumed.

To check which products and codes are included in this recall click here.

Consumers who have purchased any of the recalled products are advised to discard the product immediately. So far, Bumble Bee Food representatives say there have been no consumer reports of illnesses attributed to these products.

Consumers with questions about this voluntary tuna recall or reimbursements can contact Buble Bee Consumers Affairs at (800) 800-8572.

Photo Credit: FDA

Congestion on I-84 East, Vernon Cleared


Interstate 84 Eastbound in Vernon was at a standstill just before noon because of several crashes and spin-outs, according to police, but  the area is now clear.

Lt. Paul  Vance, of Connecticut State Police, said roads are slick and several crashes, spinouts and stuck trucks were reported.

Use caution if you are traveling in the area.

Nearly Two Feet of Snow in Some Towns


While residents of some Connecticut towns woke up to find a few inches of snow outside, residents of Tolland, Manchester, Coventry, Staffordville, Bolton and some other towns had nearly two feet of snow, according to unofficial totals. 

Staffordville saw about 23 inches of snow as of 2:30 p.m. Friday.

“There was a lot more snow than I thought,” Luke Piotrowicz, of Tolland, said.

Residents usually don’t sweat about the snow because they are used to it, but many weren’t prepared for the slippery road conditions that came with this storm.

“It usually takes me about five minutes to get here where I am, and it took me about 20,” Aaron Krueger, of the next town over in Willington, said.

Steve Smith, of Tolland, had to get his car winter-ready before heading out for the morning.

“It’s pretty bad out. I had trouble getting out of my driveway today. That’s why i had to put the chains on my car,” said Smith, who drives a plow truck.

This March storm comes weeks after the Blizzard of 2013, which dumped more than two feet of snow across Connecticut and Krueger said he hopes this snowstorm is this last one before next winter.

Trained weather spotters reports 17.2 inches of snow in Stafford Springs, 20.5 inches in Coventry and 18.5 inches in Manchester.

New Canaan Officer Placed on Leave After Dispute


A New Canaan police officer accused in a physical altercation at Tequila Mockingbird Restaurant in New Canaan while off-duty on Feb. 23 has been placed on administrative leave, according to a news release from the New Canaan police department.

The person who issued the complaint went to the New Canaan police department at 11:45 p.m. and reported that being involved in a physical altercation with an off-duty New Canaan Police Officer at the restaurant, which is located at 6 Forest St.

Police have not released the officer’s name.
The complainants also told police that someone in the group with the officer used racially offensive language. 

The police department reached out to the Stamford State’s Attorney’s office and a criminal investigation has begun.

Police said the officer has been placed on leave, pending the criminal investigation.

Police said more information will be released when the investigation is complete.

Anyone with information about the altercation inside or outside of the Tequila Mockingbird Restaurant on Feb. 23 after 11 p.m. should call Captain Leon Krolikowski at 203-594-3517 or e-mail leon.krolikowski@newcanaanct.gov.

Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia

Man Arrested For Stealing 5,000 Boxes of Thin Mints


A monster thief nearly made off with a big bite of one state’s Girl Scout cookie supply.

On Thursday, a South Carolina man was charged with stealing more than 5,000 boxes of Thin Mints and Shortbreads, The Associated Press reported.

Police fingered 37-year old Christopher Maurice Morton as the alleged cookie culprit who took $19,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies from a Spartanburg, S.C., warehouse.

The owner of Carey Moving and Storage reported more than 450 cases missing after an inventory was conducted on Feb. 26.

There wasn’t a trail of crumbs, but authorities were led to Morton, a truck driver at the warehouse.

Master Deputy Kevin Bobo said Morton has since been fired and charged with "breach of trust more than $10,000."

The plan behind the cookie heist still remains a mystery. But, Bobo said Greenville County sheriff deputies recovered 352 cases from behind an abandoned business.

It’s unclear what happened to the nearly 100 other cases of cookie loot.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

European Union Mulls Porn Ban


Sunbathing topless or nude is widely accepted in Europe, but the same type of nudity may become illegal in Europe, if its found on the Internet.

The European Parliament on Tuesday will vote on a proposal that could lay the groundwork for banning pornography across all media - including the Internet, The International Herald Tribune reported.

If the European Parliament passes the measure, the proposal could influence Europe’s law-making body, the European Commission, which could then decide whether or not to draft actual legislation that would ban Internet pornography, the Tribune noted.

Free speech critics fear that if adopted, such a law could restrict civil liberties and freedom of expression in the 27-member state bloc. They are also concerned with the report's vague language.

Called the “report on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU,” the proposal states that there is an "increasingly noticeable tendency...to show provocatively dressed women, in sexual poses." It also notes that pornography is becoming ubiquitous and is "slipping into our everyday lives as an evermore universally accepted, often idealized, cultural element," according to CNET. It was introduced by left-leaning parliamentarian Kartika Liotard of the Netherlands.

Christian Engström, member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Sweden's Pirate Party, said the wording of the proposal is very similar to an older resolution which was passed in 1997 and called for “statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising and for a ban on advertising for pornographic products and sex tourism."

The problem with the new one though, Engström said, is that it adds stricter language and the inclusion of Internet-based traffic, which wasn’t a big issue back in 1997, according to the Tribune. Now online porn is pervasive.

Since the bill includes ban of porn in "any media," Engström said it could include the Web, social networks, emails, and even the photos that European citizens upload, CNET reported.

It also calls for the establishment of regulatory agencies with "a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualization of girls," according to The Huffington Post.

"To a certain extent, the exact meaning on this proposed ban on pornography is unclear, since neither the 1997 resolution nor the text we will be voting on next week contains any definition of what is meant by 'in the media,'" Engström pointed out.

Wired U.K. argues that the ban ultimately won't become law, but still hedges its bet.



Photo Credit: AP
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