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Person Stabbed at Boston Hotel


A person was stabbed at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on Thursday afternoon.

The hotel is located at 606 Congress St.

The victim was transported to Tufts Medical Center.

Stay with necn and necn.com for more information as it is made available.

Photo Credit: Josh Brogadir/necn

Police Seek Info in Fatal Bridgeport Hit-and-Run


Bridgeport police are asking for the public's help in identifying the driver of a car that struck and killed a 41-year-old city resident early Friday morning.

Police received calls at 1:08 a.m. Feb. 6 from drivers reporting an injured man lying in the intersection of Stratford Avenue and Pembroke Street.

Authorities identified the victim as Creighton S. Brevard, 41, of Bridgeport.

Medics were sent out and Brevard was transported to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:41 a.m., police said.

Police are investigating to recreate the timeline of Brevard's activities in the hours leading up to the crash.

Anyone who had contact with him or knows anything about the crash is urged to call Bridgeport police Officer Pedro Garcia at 203-576-8126 or Sgt. Thomas Minar at 203-576-8262.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in New Britain Home Invasion Arrested


A Middletown man has been charged in a home invasion in New Britain in October.

Police said two men, one of whom had a handgun, forced their way into home on Corbin Avenue in New Britain on Oct. 16 and assaulted the two people inside.

One of the victims had several facial fractures and the other was less seriously injured during the attack, police said.

One of the victims was somehow able to break free, run out of the house and call for help, but the two intruders fled with a small amount of cash, police said.

Police identified Eric Wright, 28, of Middletown, as one of the suspects.

He knew the victims and was wearing a ski mask during the home invasion, but it came off when he struggled with and assaulted the victims, according to police.

Police also found evidence at the scene that pointed to Wright as being involved, police said, and the Connecticut State Forensic Lab assisted with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the home invasion is asked to call Detective Nathan Soucy at 860-826-3137.

You can also leave an anonymous tip on the Community Tip Line at (860) 826-3199 or online at newbritainpolice.org.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Knifepoint Robber Holds Up 2 Naugatuck Liquor Stores


Police are working to identify the man who robbed two liquor stores on Rubber Avenue in Naugatuck and threatened store employees with a folding knife.

One of the robberies occurred Wednesday evening at Paiva's Liquors at 161 Rubber Avenue. Police said the store clerk refused to hand over cash, so the suspect ran off emptyhanded.

The other took place around noon Sunday at the Cork N Keg Liquor Store at 430 Rubber Avenue. The suspect was successful in his attempt and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

Police have described the suspect as a heavyset man between 30 and 40 years old. He wore a heavy ski jacket during both robberies with a hat or hooded sweatshirt over his head.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Naugatuck Police Department Detective Bureau at 203-729-7106 or dial 911 in the event of an emergency.

If you spot the suspect, call police right away and do not approach him.

Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police Department

Bus Aide Charged in Boy's Attack


A school bus matron was arrested for allegedly grabbing the throat of an 11-year-old Bronx boy, scratching him and pushing him into his seat, leaving him with scrapes on his arms and a red ring around his neck, according to court documents and authorities familiar with the case.

Melanie Evans, 35, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 15 attack on the boy aboard a moving bus near Webster and Tremont avenues after school.

Photos obtained by NBC 4 New York (above) show redness around the boy's neck and cuts on his arm.

According to a criminal complaint, Evans, who is not an employee with the city's Department of Education, allegedly told the boy loudly to sit down in his seat, then put her hand around his neck and squeezed, causing him to have trouble breathing. The boy told authorities he put his arm up in self-defense and the bus matron scratched him, the complaint says.

Evans was arraigned Wednesday on charges of criminal obstruction of breathing and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Information on an attorney for her wasn't immediately available and it wasn't clear if she entered a plea.

She will not be allowed to work with the education department in any capacity pending the outcome of the investigation.

"This alleged behavior is alarming. While Ms. Evans is not a DOE employee, she has been removed from her position and will no longer be a bus matron," DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye said. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

Awning Collapses at Meriden Condo Complex


Emergency crews are responding to a condo at 24 Nutmeg Drive in Meriden after an awning collapsed over an outside staircase Thursday evening, likely due to the weight of snow on the roof, according to the Meriden Fire Department.

No one was injured during the incident, which occurred around 4:45 p.m. Thursday, firefighters said. Crews responding to the scene took down the rest of the awning to avoid further collapse.

No additional information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bristol Liquor Store Held Up for Second Time


After the first break-in Jan. 30 at Pine Street Package Store, the owner decided his loss was bad luck. Then two nights ago, after a second break-in, he was so upset he wanted to cry.

Police said that in less that a minute's time, the suspect drove his vehicle into the store and left with loot and the cash register, just as he did the first time.

"It appears to be the same person using the same vehicle, a dark-colored SUV, possibly a GMC," said Lt. Richard Guerrera. "We don't have any suspects or leads on the vehicle, or the suspects, so if anybody knows or possibly can give us a lead, we're asking him to call the PD."

The owner said he was too agitated to share any information. But he got hold of a concrete barrier and it now stands in front of the door, which has been replaced a second time.

He said he knows it's ugly, but permanent poles have to wait until softer ground in the spring. Police are hoping the public can help catch the thief before then.

Anyone with information is urged to call Bristol police at 860-584-4800.

Snow Creates Obstacles for Mail Carriers


Sebby DiDomenico has been delivering the U.S. mail for more than 16 years and said when snow piles up like it has in New Britain, the obstacles to letter carriers pile up too.

DiDomenico said the public can help.

"If they could pretty much just shovel their walkways, right to where the mailbox is, then there's routes that have mounted routes, if they could just shovel it out, get some space for us, then it's easier for us," he said.

He wants to be clear: often, he'll just plod through everything anyway, because he has a commitment.

"We gotta make sure they get their mail, and that's the bottom line," he said. "On behalf of me and my co-workers – these guys are the best group of people I work with – we just ask kindly everybody, just shovel. We're going to get your mail. As long as we've got a path to go to, we're going to be there."

Little League Team Champs: Lawyer


Officials with the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars said Thursday the team is still Little League World Series national champions, despite the league's decision to strip them of their title over allegations of residency violations.

The team’s attorney, Victor Henderson, said he advised the boys and the team not to relinquish their title, as Little League International has not provided the team with anything in writing informing them of their decision or the circumstances surrounding the investigation.

"I'm taking the position, and I think they should take the position, that they are still champions,” he said.

Henderson said the players, parents and the team’s leaders were unaware of the league’s decision Wednesday until they saw it in the media.

Little League spokesman Brian McClintock announced the news of the vacated title Wednesday morning, saying an investigation revealed that coach Darold Butler and Illinois District 4 Administrator Michael Kelly knowingly violated rules by using a falsified boundary map for their 2014 tournament and used players who didn't qualify because they lived outside the team's actual boundaries.

Henderson acknowledged Thursday that the team did have some boundary changes, but said he couldn’t comment on the circumstances surrounding those changes.

"Until we know that the process for attacking the title was fair, was transparent, the story's not over yet,” he said. "We're going to give the league the benefit of doubt, and simultaneously we're going to ask you to give the team the benefit of the doubt."

Officials said the players did not play together at the beginning of the season, instead coming together at the end to be a part of a so-called “all-star” team.

"Any suggestion or belief that this was a team put together solely to win a championship just doesn't hold water,” Henderson said. “There was no intent on anybody’s part to put together some master human race team."

While team officials say they don’t have any immediate plans to file a lawsuit, Henderson said they do plan to ensure the rules applied to JRW are applied to other teams in the league.

“We’re not raising the race card. We’re not raising claims of unfairness,” Henderson said. “I want to make sure any rules or regulations that are applied to Jackie Robinson West are applied to every other team."

Following in the steps of arguments from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders, officials maintained the boys shouldn’t be punished for the alleged actions of adults or parents.

"As long as we stay focused on the young men, that part of the story shouldn't change,” Henderson said.

The team’s director Bill Haley also spoke Thursday asking supporters to stand by the team as they have “one battle to face.”

"You were not wrong for sticking with our boys then, and you are not wrong for sticking with our boys now,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago

State Hasn't Helped Low-Performing Schools: Report


A new report released by a New Haven-based education advocacy group concludes that the Department of Education hasn’t done enough to improve some of the state’s lowest performing schools.

ConnCAN examined the Commissioner’s Network of 16 schools in mainly poor, urban areas that serve primarily minority students. The network has been in the works since 2012.

“If we’re truly serious about turning around failing schools, we have to give them the tools needed to succeed,” said Jennifer Alexander, CEO of ConnCAN.

Alexander admitted there is limited data detailing the issues at schools in cities like Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk and Bridgeport.

However, she contends that the report is thorough and provides adequate and achievable solutions to get the schools on the right track.

The report provides examples of ways to meet the needs of students in their communities, like new flexibility measures for scheduling, staffing and curriculum. Alexander said state funds are only part of the solution.

“I think regardless of the amount of money we see put into the commissioner’s network, that needs to be paired with changes to the law so that schools actually have the conditions that they need to succeed and that the commissioner’s network lives up to its promise,” Alexander said.

The state allocated $35 million to the Commissioner’s Network schools.

Kelly Donnelly, a spokesperson for the Department of Education, released the following statement defending the program from premature criticism:

"Each of the sixteen schools volunteered to be in this innovative network, extraordinary model of support, and unique work, which is the marker not of a failing school, but one on the rise. There is always room to get better and grow and we remain committed to improving our work until every child is on a path for success."

Donnelly added that the network is a partnership between the state and local education departments to get the schools on better paths.

Alexander said she wants the proposals for the schools to come from local stakeholders but added that eventually the state will have the final say on the future of the schools.

“State law sets the context for all of those schools to operate and what we’re talking about is changes to state policy that would allow those decisions to be made appropriately to fit the needs of the students at that particular school,” she said.

State Senator Proposes Scrapping Metro-North


In light of service concerns over Metro-North Railroad, Republican State Sen. Toni Boucher is seeking to scrap Metro-North as proprietor of the nation's busiest commuter line and bring in new management.

Metro-North Railroad has a contract with the State of Connecticut that goes back 30 years, and was signed back then as a 60-year commitment.

Periodically, during the life of the agreement, the contract can be renegotiated and that's exactly what Boucher wants the General Assembly to authorize.

"Do you think that things have changed in 30 years?" Boucher, who represents Norwalk, asked during an interview at the South Norwalk Metro-North station on Thursday. "They certainly have. The contract is very disadvantaged toward Connecticut.”

Boucher said she's heard from constituents who complain about poor service on Metro-North, like delays during the morning commute.

Officials with Connecticut's Department of Transportation said those who want to put the rail system management out to bid don't have a clear idea of how the line operates.

"It's probably the most complex commuter rail system in the United States," Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said in a statement Thursday. "We have to be very careful."

Boucher said it makes sense for the legislature to at least consider the prospect of finding a replacement for Metro-North to show that the state is serious about seeking improvements.

“For some reason, our DOT has some fear in regards to tampering with it right now, saying that it’s too big or too complex, saying that no one else can do as good a job. How do you know that?" Boucher said. "We have nothing to lose." 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

$5,000 Reward for Arrest in Middletown Bank Robbery


The masked man who held up a Middletown bank and threatened the tellers with a handgun Friday evening may be connected to half a dozen other robberies across the state, and a $5,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

According to police, the robber, who covered his face with a black ski mask and spoke with a thick European accent, entered the Liberty Bank at 827 Washington Street just prior to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

Authorities said he crouched down as he entered the bank and advanced toward the counter with an outstretched black handgun – possibly a 9mm.

The man demanded money from all three tellers who were working at the time and threatened to hurt anyone who gave him a dye pack. "He pointed and waved the handgun at the tellers randomly" while gathering piles of cash, according to police.

Witnesses describe the robber as a slender, light-skinned man standing about 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was wearing a long black coat with a black baseball cap and a gray-colored hood pulled over his head. Gray sweatshirt sleeves protruded from underneath his coat and over his palms, which were covered with purple latex gloves and possibly stained red, police said.

Tellers told police the suspect wore heavy cologne and spoke with a heavy accident that may have been Russian, Slavic, Albanian or Polish.

He ran westbound through the parking lot toward a nearby Taco Bell restaurant. Police K-9s tried to track him but lost the scent just to the west of the bank, authorities said.

Police have linked the suspect to the robbery of a Liberty Bank in Durham two weeks ago. Authorities said a man held up the bank at 357 Main Street just before it closed for the night and got away with about $6,000. He left that scene in a silver Volkswagen Passat with a stolen license plate.

Durham police said at the time of the robbery that were investigating a possible link between the Jan. 23 case and a similar robbery in Cromwell that occurred Jan. 8. The suspect in both robberies is described as having a thick European accent.

Those robberies have been linked to holdups in Rocky Hill, Plainville, Southington, Bristol and Wallingford, according to the Connecticut Intelligence Center.

The Connecticut Bankers Reward Association initially offered a $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Police said Thursday the reward has been increased to $5,000.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Middletown Police Department Major Investigations Unit at 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police Department

Dog Food Recalled Over Possible Salmonella Contamination


Nutrisca Chicken & Chick Pea Dog Food is being recalled over possible salmonella contamination, according to a news release from Stop & Shop, which is pulling the line from its stores.

Stop & Shop said Thursday that Tuffy's Pet Foods, Inc., the company that manufactures the food, has recalled 4-pound bags.

Affected items at Stop & Shop are marked as follows:

  • UPC 88424412495
  • Lot codes starting with 4G29P, 4G31P, 4H01P, 4H04P, 4H05P and 4H06P
  • "Best by" dates of July 28, 2016; July 30, 2016; July 31 2016; Aug. 3, 2016; Aug. 4, 2016 and Aug. 5, 2016

There have been no reports of illnesses in humans or pets from dog food sold at Stop & Shop, but the food could be harmful to dogs who eat it, according to a spokesperson for the supermarket.

Pet owners are urged to wash hands and clean any surfaces exposed to affected bags of food.

Anyone who purchased the dog food in question should throw it out and bring back the receipt, if saved, for a full refund.

For more information, call Nutrisca at 888-559-8833 or Stop & Shop Customer Service at 800-767-7772. Customers can also learn more by visiting Stop & Shop online.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Releases Draft Report


The draft of the final Sandy Hook Advisory Commission report was released to the public Thursday morning.

The commission will vote on the 256-page report, which addresses school safety, comprehensive gun reform and mental health policies in the state, among other recommendations.

The commission's mission has been to change policies and laws in an effort to prevent another violent massacre like the one on Dec. 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that took the lives of 20 first graders and six staff members.

In addressing school safety, the commission said Connecticut schools should be as safe as possible without feeling like prisons and pointed out that several of the commission's 22 recommendations have already been implemented by law.

The second part of the report examines law enforcement, honing in on firearms, including gun and ammunition control.  

The third part of the report focuses on mental health and notes that 3 to 5 percent of all violence committed in the United States is attributable to people with mental illness.

The report reviews the current system, addresses access to quality mental health care and suggests steps schools and communities can take to properly equip residents who are dealing with trauma and loss.

It also addresses ways to remove the stigma of mental health and encourage those affected to seek proper care.

Following are some of the recommendations included in the report:

School Safety

  • Schools are urged to adopt a safety plan and put together a safety committee including police, first responders, teachers, administrators and custodians.
  • Doors should be equipped with locks from the inside. There is no documented case of an active shooter breaching a locked classroom door.
  • Exterior doors in K-12 schools should be equipped with hardware capable of full perimeter lockdown.
  • Custodians should be included as members of school security and safety committees because they have a wealth of knowledge about the building and grounds.
  • Local committees are urged to report to the state on school security status once per year.
  • Safety and security training should be implemented for all faculty and staff.
  • Classrooms and other spaces of denser occupancy should be located away from building entry points.

Law Enforcement

  • Mandatory background checks should be run prior to the sale or transfer of any firearm, including long guns, in private sales and gun shows. (This recommendation has already been adopted.)
  • Registration should be required, including a certificate of registration, for every firearm, and should be issued after completion of a background check. This is separate from a permit to carry a firearm. (This has not been adopted.)
  • Firearms permits must be renewed on a regular basis. The renewal process should include a firearms handling test as well as a test on applicable laws and regulations. (This has not been adopted.)
  • Ammunition purchases should be allowed only for registered firearms. (This has not been adopted because there is no gun registration law yet.)
  • Limit the amount of ammunition that can be purchased at any given time. The commission does not spell out the recommended amount. (This has not been adopted.)
  • Limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. (This has been adopted.) 

Mental Health

  • Expand and increase availability of early intervention community treatment programs.
  • Implement multidisciplinary risk assessment teams in schools.
  • Build systems of care that go beyond treating mental illness and foster healthy individuals.
  • Identify risk factors and reinforce protective factors.
  • Schools should play a crucial role in fostering healthy children.
  • Social-emotional learning in schools should help childen identify and name feelings, including frustration, anger and loneliness, that can contribute to disruptive and self-destructive behavior.
  • Implement a social development curriculum that includes anti-bullying strategies.
  • Develop state and federal Department of Education programs to supplement the state Department of Children and Families.  
  • Implement higher reimbursement rates for care.
  • Increase the behavioral health care workforce.

Part of the report that reviews the events of Dec. 14, 2012 and the moments leading up to it explains that the shooter's mother, Nancy Lanza, took a trip to New Hampshire from Dec. 11-13, in part to have a break from the challenges of parenting Adam Lanza and to experiment with leaving her son along for long periods of time.

The next morning, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother with a rifle, left it by her bed, then carried out the elementary school massacre before shooting and killing himself.

A statement from Gov. Dannel Malloy's office said the commission will make modifications before voting to approve change at its final working meeting Friday.

The commission will present the final report to the governor and its last ever meeting, the date of which has not been set, according to the governor's office.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty released the following statement in response to the report Thursday:

"Two years ago, after the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, families across the nation stood united in demanding action so that not one more community would have to suffer such senseless heartache, fear, and loss. Since then, there have been more than 100 additional school shootings, and Congress has yet to act on commonsense measures, supported by the vast majority of Americans that would help stem this national crisis. We will continue to fight for these commonsense measures that would deprive murderers of the key means of massacre, provide law enforcement the additional tools they have sought to enforce the laws on the books, strengthen school security, and fix our broken mental health system. We thank Governor Malloy and the legislature for steps already taken to save lives in our state and thank the Commission for its diligent and dedicated service—a difficult, and heart-wrenching task that should give Congress a roadmap for tackling public safety reforms that a majority of Americans and Connecticut residents need and demand."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

DNC a Boon to Philly's Stature; Money Impact Likely Mixed


When the Democratic National Convention descends on Philadelphia next year, it will bring with it thousands of delegates, press from around the globe and possibly the next leader of the free world.

The quadrennial political gathering could also bring a bigger boost for one of the country's most formative cities: a multi-million dollar injection of cash into the region and its local businesses.

“Our hospitality community is on fire," Mayor Michael Nutter said Thursday, shortly after the pick was announced. "We do have this opportunity literally to make history again with hosting this convention."

Organizers and party officials estimate that the July 2016 convention will generate an overall economic impact of between $170 and $250 million in direct and indirect spending. That includes everything from hotel room rates and restaurant tabs to security details, infrastructure upgrades and construction jobs.

And while economists and others caution that figure won't necessarily translate fully to cash in the coffers of the city and its businesses, local backers say the lasting economic impact could extend beyond the dollars spent heading into and during the political production.

“First and foremost, landing the DNC for us is huge, huge visibility for the city," said Julie Cocker Graham, executive vice president of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in an interview Thursday. "It puts us on an international and national stage in terms of visitors and convention attendees coming to Philadelphia, and it really does prove what we’ve always known — that we are the city that offers the complete package."

Projections for how much Philly could take in during the convention are comparable to figures reported by other recent host cities, including 2012 convention host sites Tampa, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa injected $214 million directly into the local economy, with the bulk of that going to infrastructure upgrades and security reinforcements, according to local reports on a study commissioned by the host committee. Taxable sales in the region increased by $363 million year over year in the month it was held, even though organizers shortened the convention by one day because of a storm.

In 2008, when Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention, the convention translated to a regional economic impact of $266.1 million in the city's metro area, its host committee estimated. Visitors spent more than $42 million during the convention, according to a report released by the committee, including $15.6 million on lodging and $19 million on food and drink.

But Dr. Dan Murrey, who was executive director of Charlotte's host committee in 2012, said the effect there went far beyond the roughly $170 million in economic impact they estimated that the event generated.

“Before the convention, we had people who had asked where in South Carolina Charlotte was, when we were in North Carolina," he said. "So that was a big plus for us. Since then, there is a sense that people get more of what Charlotte’s about.”

Murrey said the city sought to make the effects of the convention bump last, dispatching volunteers to work on projects like community gardens and installing new recycling baskets to benefit residents long after the delegates had gone. They also used the convention to make a pitch to businesses, foreign representatives and others who might make return visits or investments.

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Morgan said that while a convention might not necessarily transform a city's economy, it's still significant. His city, he said, was able to treat the 2012 convention "like a debut" for national and international audiences.

"It was an opportunity to spiff things up, to tell the story of Charlotte as a New South kind of city that’s on the rise, and we had just unprecedented opportunity to do things," he said.

It paid off, he and Murrey said, with business deals and roughly 25 ambassador visits coming out of conversations and connections made during the event.

Philadelphia, already a major convention hub, is hoping to see its profile rise even higher with the Democratic convention and a visit by Pope Francis this fall. One major winner of the convention will likely be the region's hospitality industry, which Cocker Graham of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau said employs 120,000 workers.

In 2000, when Republicans flocked to Philly to nominate George W. Bush, attendees spent $24.9 million on hotels, according to a tourism report cited in local media. This time around, a top Democratic National Committee official cited "proximity of their arena and venue to the hotel rooms" as a major factor in the decision to award the contract to Philly over rival cities Brooklyn, New York, and Columbus, Ohio.

"The fact that there are 18,500 hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk of the arena, the Wells Fargo arena, the fact that you would have an opportunity for delegates to be coming back and forth and interacting very cohesively in Philadelphia was a big strength of theirs," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters in a conference call.

Still, economists and veterans of conventions caution that even with the major investment, the actual impact can be mixed for local businesses and residents. The economic impact on Tampa varied, its committee report found, with some businesses near the convention site taking a hit because of too few workers at local offices and increased security.

Murrey, who headed Charlotte's host committee in 2012, said his city's convention wasn't a boon for all, either. "Some restaurants won, and some didn't," he said. "I wouldn’t say that every restaurant and every venue would say it was a home run."

The events also come with significant price tags — an estimated $85 million in Philadelphia's case — and economic impact projections don't always reflect the full picture.

Marc Stehr, a professor of economics at Drexel University, said that while Philadelphia "probably going to make some money on this," the actual revenue that is both generated and kept at the local level is "nowhere close to the full amount that would be spent."

“When people are tallying up sort of the benefits of bringing up a big convention like this they tend to count benefits, but not cost, and they tend to ignore things like substitutions," he said.

For example, workers from the suburbs might decide to stay home instead of brave traffic to go to a favorite restaurant, even if it's off the beaten path of the convention crowd. Or a family might decide to change their summer plans once they learn about the convention.

Still, local boosters say they still believe the city will come out ahead in what would otherwise be a slow month for convention business, especially given the lasting impression the city will be able to leave for an international audience.

"You’re at the center stage for three nights for the world," Nick DeBenedictis, a former Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce president who helped work on the 2000 convention, said. "It basically puts you in the big leagues."

Photo Credit: NBC10.com - Dan Stamm

22 Hurt on SoCal Marine Base


Twenty-two Marines were injured in a training exercise on the base in Twentynine Palms on Thursday.

Marines and sailors of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, were participating in Integrated Training Exercise 2-15 when a fire extinguisher system in their assault amphibious vehicle inadvertently discharged, officials said in a news release.

Base hospital officials said the service members suffered from "inhalation exposure" during a large-scale, combined arms exercise.

Those requiring medical treatment are receiving care at local medical facilities and are currently in stable condition.

On Jan. 24, a helicopter crashed during a training exercise on the base, killing two Marine Corps officers.

All-Clear After Bomb Threat at Boston College


Police have issued the all-clear after a bomb threat was reported at Boston College Thursday evening.

Boston police said a bomb squad was called to the campus around 7:20 p.m. after the college received a threat against the Lower Campus Dining Hall.

The Boston College Police Department has ordered students and staff to shelter in place on the main campus and avoid all dining halls, according to the department Twitter account.

Boston College police issued the all-clear around 10 p.m. and encouraged members of the campus community to resume normal operations.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Boston College Police

WATCH: Obama Lands in San Francisco


Air Force One touched down at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday evening, so that President Barack Obama can raise cash for the Democrats and deliver the keynote address at Stanford University regarding cyber security.

The president arrived aboard Air Force One, which touched down about 5:15 p.m. at San Francisco International Airport.

On Friday, his entourage heads to Palo Alto, where Obama will address the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. President Obama is expected to announce an executive order to encourage information-sharing between the private sector and the government, NBC News reported Thursday.

It's the first time a sitting president will speak at Stanford  since 1975, according to Stanford. That's when then-President Gerald Ford dedicated the Crown Quadrangle at the Stanford Law School.

President Herbert Hoover addressed students at Stanford in 1932, according to Stanford Report, and President Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the elite private university in 1903.  President Bill Clinton was a visitor to campus during his presidency, but in his private capacity as a Stanford parent to daughter Chelsea Clinton.

"We are honored to host this White House summit at Stanford University and are excited to play a pivotal role in convening experts from government, industry and academia," Amy Zegart, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution said in a statement. The summit will be livestreamed here.

The White House said the summit will help shape "public and private sector efforts to protect American consumers and companies from growing cyber threats." Afterward, Obama will host a roundtable with Silicon Valley business leaders. Friday evening, he will speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in San Francisco.

The president is then departing from SFO on Saturday and flying to Palm Springs in Southern California.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Masked Man Robs Vernon Bank


Police are searching for the masked man who robbed a Vernon bank at gunpoint on Thursday evening.

According to police, a suspect entered the First New England Federal Credit Union at 62 Hyde Avenue/Route 30 around 5:45 p.m. and pulled out a black handgun.

He demanded money and the tellers handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police said the suspect fled the scene on foot. A K-9 from East Hartford was called in to help track the robber but couldn't find him.

The suspect is slim and stands between 5 feet 7 and 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was wearing a black ski mask, baseball cap, dark-colored puffer vest with a dark hooded sweatshirt underneath and black cargo pants, police said.

Police believe the robbery is not connected to the holdup of the People's United Bank in town earlier this week.

Anyone with information is urged to call Vernon police Det. Charles Hicking at 860-872-9126 ext. 224.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

"Inappropriate Conduct" Between Danbury Student and Teacher


Authorities are investigating allegations of "inappropriate conduct" between a student and teacher at Danbury High School, according to Supt. Sal Pascarella.

Pascarella said the school system reported the allegations to the Department of Children and Families on Feb. 10.

"This report is currently being investigated by all appropriate authorities, and the District is cooperating fully with the investigation," Pascarella said in a statement Thursday. "At this time, while we are unable to provide any further details, we reiterate that the Danbury Board of Education takes all allegations of misconduct very seriously, and will at all times work to maintain an exceptional learning environment for all of Danbury’s children."

Pascarella said the teacher, who has not been publicly identified, has been placed on paid leave while officials investigate. He emphasized that this is standard procedure.

Authorities have not elaborated on the allegations.

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