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Vermont Police Arrest Bank Robbery Suspect in Connecticut


A 29-year-old woman charged in connection with a bank robbery in Vermont might also be behind five bank robberies in Connecticut, according to police.

Susan Braig has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery at Union Bank in Hardwick, Vermont  around 1 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2012.

Tellers told police that the robber had a note demanding cash, police said. The note also said the robber had a gun.

Police said they searched, but did not find anyone and leads in the case were unsuccessful until mid-January, when detectives from the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Unit called Aaron Cochran, the chief of police in Hardwick.

On Feb. 5, Vermont police traveled to Westbrook and police compared photographs and other evidence, comparing a suspect Connecticut was looking at for five bank robberies in Connecticut with the suspect in the Union Bank robbery, police said.

The next day, police met with Susan Braig, 29, and her attorney and said Vermont authorities received information about the bank robbery in Union and a warrant was issued charging her with assault and robbery for the robbery at Union Bank.


Zoo Babies

A white tiger cub growls at the Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina. The cub's mother, Cleo, a captive Bengal white tiger, gave birth to two females and two males. Click to see more adorable zoo babies.

Horse, Bike and Rafting on the Yosemite Chopping Block

Previous Zoo Babies

Yosemite National Park faces a huge overhaul that includes tearing down many family favorites. 

If the plan goes through, the ice rink and swimming pools will be destroyed and most rental options will be put out of business. 

It's all the work of the National Park Service. And it should be noted that the proposed changes are intended to protect the Merced River, which runs through the park, and come after decades of back-and-forth lawsuits filed by environmentalists. 

People on both sides of the debate say in many ways, the plan shows just how hard it is to balance public recreation while preserving the environment.

Here are specifics: Under the proposal, horse, bike and rafting rentals would no longer be allowed in the valley.  Swimming pools would be removed from both the Ahwahnee Hotel and the Yosemite Lodge. The Curry Village ice rink would be gone as would the Sugar Pine bridge. The iconic bridge, built in 1928, is located behind the Ahwahnee. 

The lawsuits helped form a $235-million "Merced River Plan" that has been in the works since the end of the 20th century. (Read the plan for yourself).

The plan will be discussed Thursday evening in San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center.

To understand why some of the most popular things to do at Yosemite would be removed, you have to got back to the 1980s and a developers idea to build hydroelectric dams on the river west of Yosemite. Environmentalist fought back and with the help of then-Sen. Pete Wilson got the river a special designation signed by then Pres. Ronald Reagan that blocked such dams.

Fast forward to 1997 when a flood destroyed 406 campsites. Environmentalist noted the special designation in a lawsuit aimed at stopping a plan to replace them.

That lawsuit lead to a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2008 that said restaurants, hotels and businesses contributed to the "degradation" of the river, when the special designation required proof that all new things "protected and enhanced" the river.

The policy director of Friends of the River group said the current plan goes too far.

Ron Stark told the San Jose Mercury News it leaves him "heartbroken." "We were trying to block the construction of dams near the park. We weren't trying to ban recreation," Stork told the Merc. 

NCAA Tourney Headlines a Bettor's Dream Weekend


It’s betting season in America — a time when even the least-engaged pop-culture consumers are at least vaguely aware of the NCAA tournament, the forthcoming Triple Crown and a Powerball jackpot that has swelled to $320 million overnight.

Athletics and spectacle aside, there are real money-making opportunities. Between now and Sunday, there are chances — slim as they may be — to multiply your wealth, many, many times over.

The pot, which was at a paltry $261 million Wednesday, has grown to $320 million. The next drawing is at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, and it only costs $2 to enter.

  • Chances of winning the whole prize: 1 in 175.2 million
  • Of winning $1 million: 1 in 5.2 million
  • Of winning $10,000: 1 in 648,975
  • Of winning something! Anything!: 1 in 31.9

The Powerball is in 42 states plus Washington D.C., but not California — Californians will have to drive to Arizona or Oregon to get in on Powerball fever.

There's a reason they call it March Madness: From Thursday to Sunday, there are 48 college basketball games you can put money on, assuming you haven't already filled out a traditional bracket in an office pool.

While chances of filling out a perfect bracket are woefully long (1 in 9.2 quintillion or a kinder 1 in 128 billion, according to DePaul math professor Jay Bergen, who explains his calculations in the videos below), you don’t need perfection to win. You just need to do better than everyone else in your pool, which requires knowledge of neither basketball nor betting.

If your friends and collegues are accepting late entries, check out these tips on picking winners. If they're not, don't despair. The folks at Yahoo! Sports and ESPN have generous gambling opportunities for you:

  • ESPN’s Streak for the Cash invites you to predict winners in upcoming NCAA matchups, as well as other sporting events. Whoever builds the biggest winning streak during tomorrow's Frantic Friday promotion will win $5,000.
  • Yahoo! Sports Second Chance: If you missed the boat on the round of 64, you can still make a bet on the 15 games played from the Sweet Sixteen onward. Entries are accepted through Thursday March 28 and the winner claims a $5,000 prize.

The Triple Crown, that trio of horse races that is paired with mint juleps and seersucker suits, is on the horizon, and stakes are rising at racetracks across the country. Here are two races this weekend to put your money on:

  • Spiral Stakes: On Saturday, 5:50 p.m. ET, Kentucky Derby wannabes compete for a $550,000 prize at Turfway Park in Florence, Ken. And you can compete for cash too. If you do, put your money on favorite Uncaptured, or go long for For Greater Glory, who lags as a 20:1 underdog.
  • Sunland Derby: There's $800,000 on the line for competitors in this New Mexico race, which you can catch on TVG at 8:40 p.m. ET. Bet on Shakin It Up, who won two big races since November.


Photo Credit: White House

Dramatic Photos: NCAA Tournament 2013

Butler forward Kameron Woods wrestles with Bucknell's Joe Willman, left, for a rebound during the second half of their second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Lexington, Ky. Butler won 68-56. Click to see more great photos from the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Gas Station Owners Fight Off Robbers in Hartford


The owners of a gas station in Hartford fought off two masked robbers with guns who tried to rob the station Thursday afternoon.

Shots were fired during the altercation at the Gulf station at 634 Wethersfield Avenue around 3 p.m., according to police. The men ran off, but it is unclear if they were able to steal anything from the gas station.

Police were using dogs to search for the two men in the area of Ledyard Street.

One of the two station owners received a cut during the incident, but was not seriously injured, police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Ilana Gold

Jennifer Capriati Faces Charges of Battery, Stalking in Fla.


Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati faces charges of battery and stalking for two incidents in Florida involving her ex-boyfriend, authorities said.

Capriati, 36, intentionally touched or struck Ivan Brannan Jr. on Feb. 14, 2013, Assistant State Attorney David Aronberg wrote in a court document filed Tuesday.

On Feb. 14 she allegedly punched Brannan, who is her ex-boyfriend, at a North Palm Beach gym, The Palm Beach Post reported.

She also willfully, maliciously and repeatedly stalked Brannan from Feb. 16-Feb. 18, 2012, according to Aronberg.

The couple broke up in February 2012, according to the Post.

Both charges are misdemeanors.

Capriati declined comment to the Post Thursday, and Brannan hung up on a reporter from the paper after she identified herself, the Post said. A Capriati spokeswoman has previously said that the allegations against her were an "overexaggeration" and denied them.

Stay with us for updates.

Photo Credit: AP

Miami Dolphins Legend Mark Duper Arrested


Miami Dolphins legend Mark Duper faces a felony child abuse charge after he was accused of beating up a minor, a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrest report said.

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday night the unidentified victim was playing video games. At some point an argument began about an ex-girlfriend, the report said.

During the verbal argument, Duper, 54, punched the person in the face once because "he wouldn't listen to him about picking up his hat," the report said.

After he punched the person, Duper grabbed him, picked him up several times and slammed him into the ground, making him lose consciousness for a while, the report said. After about 10 minutes of them fighting, Duper left the home but then went back to get a jacket, according to the report.

The two then began fighting again.

"This time both parties grabbed each in a fighting mode," the report said.

The wide receiver then threw the person on a bed, and at some point a friend of Duper's stepped in and realized the victim had lost consciousness once again. When the victim regained consciousness he was angry that he had been attacked and pushed his bike into Duper's car.

Duper then punched him in the face again, causing him to fall off his bike. When the person fell on the ground, Duper climbed on top of him, grabbed him by the neck and began choking him, the report said.

The person yelled for Duper's friend to help him, which he did. At some point Duper said he would kill him. That's when the person left the home.

Authorities saw that the person had a swollen, cut bottom lip, multiple scratches on his left elbow, a knot next to his left temple, a cut on his right bicep and an abrasion on the right ear lobe, the report sadid.

DCF was notified of the injuries. Duper, who was arrested Wednesday, told authorities that there was a fight, but all he did was either defend himself or restrain the person.

Duper declined to comment Thursday, but directed NBC 6 South Florida to speak with former teammate Hugh Green about the incident. Green, who is a close friend of Duper's, said he was there and tried to break up the altercation.

He said that Duper was defending himself.

"There was never an exchange of punches," Green said, adding that he never saw the victim lose consciousness.

Stay with NBC6.com and NBC 6 South Florida for updates.

Photo Credit: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Bill Would Prevent "Redskins" Being Trademarked


A new bill introduced on Capitol Hill Wednesday takes aim at the name “Redskins” and could have a dramatic effect on the football team.

The bill would stop the term "Redskins" from being trademarked.

While the bill does not mandate a name change specifically, it would no longer make business sense for an NFL team to continue using the name. Without a trademark, other businesses could sell products using the name without repercussion.

USA Today reports: "The bill by Del. Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa, would amend existing law and cancel the federal registrations of trademarks that use the term 'redskin' in reference to Native Americans. It would also prevent the registration of future trademarks that use the word."

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is a co-sponsor of the bill. Norton has been outspoken about her belief the team needs to change its name.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Light Snow Falling Again


Spring is here, but the wintery weather continues to linger, bringing some light snow on Thursday with some more later today.

Expect snow flurries on and off today.

While the snow won’t stick in most of the state, some light accumulation is possible in eastern Connecticut late this afternoon and this evening.


This weekend will be quiet, with temperatures in the 40s.

On Monday, there will be a big storm to the south. All indications at this point are that it will be a miss, but we will continue to monitor it.  

Powerball Jackpot Jumps to $320 Million


The bad news this morning is that you did not win the Powerball jackpot last night. The good news is that no one did and a $2-dollar ticket will give you a chance at $320 million.   

If you were one of the thousands of people who bought tickets in the state for the Wednesday night drawing, be sure to check them because there were more than 23,000 small prize winners in the state. 

The winning numbers are 13-14-17-43-54 and the Powerball is 15.

There were 71 $100 winners and 20 $200 winners and thousands of smaller prizes.

With that drawing over, focus has shifted focus to the next drawing, which happens on Saturday night.

If you are lucky enough to pick the correct five numbers, plus the Powerball, the cash equivalent is estimated at $198.3 million.

However, past experience has shown that the jackpot tends to grow quickly when the prize gets this high.

The last winning Powerball ticket in the multistate game was sold on Feb. 6 in Virginia. The winner took the $217.2 million prize.

Here in Connecticut, we have also had some big winners.

There was one Powerball winner in Connecticut last year, but the one that made national headlines was on Nov. 2, 2011, when a group of financial executives from Greenwich, called the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, won $254.2 million.

If you won the big prize this weekend, what would you do with the cash? Comment on our Facebook page.

Bracket Picks From Coach Pitino's Horse


NBC Los Angeles reporter Sean Murphy heads to the stables to learn the art of selecting the perfect March Madness bracket from a horse owned by Louisville coach Rick Pitino. See the horse's picks.

Crash Closes I-84 West in Southbury


A tractor trailer crash closed I-84 West near Exit 15 in Southbury Thursday.

Two tractor trailers and another vehicle were involved in the crash at 6:17 p.m., according to State Police.

Minor injuries were reported at the accident scene, police said.

According to State Police, thehighway reopened just after 10pm.

You Are Here: NASA Releases "Best Map Ever of the Universe"


Thanks to what scientists have dubbed the "best map ever of the universe," NASA now believes the universe is expanding slower than previously thought and is nearly 100 million years older than previous estimates.

The new map — charting the oldest light in the universe — was released Thursday thanks to the Planck space mission, part of European Space Agency. NASA assisted in the effort with technology and analysis.

"Planck is like the Ferrari of cosmic microwave background missions," said Krzysztof Gorski, a U.S. Planck scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

"You fine tune the technology to get more precise results. For a car, that can mean an increase in speed and winning races. For Planck, it results in giving astronomers a treasure trove of spectacular data, and bringing forth a deeper understanding of the properties and history of the universe," Gorski said.

Thanks to Planck's data, scientists now believe the universe is 13.8 billion years old — 100 million years older than previous estimates.

Also, the universe's rate of expansion — 67.15 plus or minus 1.2 kilometers/second/megaparsec — is less than prior estimates.

The map is based on the oldest light in our universe, imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old, according to NASA.

"As that ancient light travels to us, matter acts like an obstacle course getting in its way and changing the patterns slightly," said Charles Lawrence, the U.S. project scientist for Planck at JPL. "The Planck map reveals not only the very young universe, but also matter, including dark matter, everywhere in the universe."

High-resolution version of Planck's map:

Photo Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Fire Breaks Out in Condo Complex


Three units were damaged by a fire at a condominium building Thursday evening.

East Haven firefighters responded to  330 Short Beach Road at around 7 p.m.

According to fire officials, there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Flight Attendants Protest TSA's New Small-Knife Policy


Flight attendants at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday sought to enlist airline passengers in their effort to stop the federal government from allowing small knives and other items they called "pre-9/11 weapons" on planes.

The event at LAX was part of the launch of a campaign at airports across the country in which flight attendants are seeking support for the reversal of a controversial TSA decision announced March 6.

"Can you help us keep knives off airplanes?" flight attendants asked as they handed out leaflets to travelers.

The Transportation Security Administration's plan to begin allowing pocket knives – as well as sports equipment such as golf clubs and hockey sticks – is set to go into effect April 25.

Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing 90,000 airline employees, on Thursday held leafleting events at Los Angeles International Airport, Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C., and Norfolk International Airport in southern Virginia.

Flight attendants handed out leaflets that read, in part: "The new rule does not make sense for combating potential terrorist attacks nor the daily disturbances we handle by de-escalating conflicts or asking passengers to help us contain problems. Aircraft cabins are fuller than ever and Flight Attendant staffing has been cut. Introducing knives and other weapons into these situations makes our job harder and everyone in the cabin less safe."

The coalition said in a statement that the events are intended to encourage passengers to call members of Congress to favor legislation stopping the "abrupt policy change."

At LAX, several dozen flight attendants spoke to passengers waiting in line.

"I think the idea of having knives on planes is absolutely ridiculous. There's no benefit to the public," said Dante Harris of the union coalition. "It's obvious that we can't introduce another variable into security by creating a rule that allows knives on board."

Flight attendants said golf clubs, souvenir baseball bats and the other tems that will soon be allowed on board "can be used as weapons."

"We just want to be able to protect ourselves and protect our passengers, " one flight attendant said.

Knives will be permitted unless they're longer than 2.36 inches in length and no more than a half inch at their widest point, according to the planned TSA rule (image embedded below).

"Now that they have to measure it's going to take more time for the flying public to get through security," Harris said.

Box cutters and knives with locking blades will continue to remain banned.

Passengers at LAX on Thursday questioned why they would soon be allowed to bring pocketknives on planes, but still cannot bring more and few fluid ounces of personal care products such as shampoo or saline for contact lenses.

A TSA spokeswoman, Lorie Dankers, said in an email that some of those products could be more dangerous than a small knife.

"Liquids can be used as the ingredients for an explosive, which could be catastrophic to an airplane," Dankers wrote. "Limiting the quantity of liquids limits the likelihood an explosive could be missed on board a flight."

Flight attendants, meanwhile, are pointing their supporters toward a website – noknivesonplanes.com – that sends people to a petition in opposition to the TSA policy change on what the site calls "pre-9/11 weapons."

More than 37,000 people had signed the petition by Thursday afternoon; the goal was 100,000 signatures.

More information:

Sexual Assault Case in Torrington Prompts New Concerns


New concerns about one of the alleged victims in a Torrington sexual assault case. One of the girls is getting bullied online and advocates are worried about repercussions for her and other victims.

Two football players at Torrington High school have been accused of sexually assaulting 13 year old girls.  One of them has been bullied online for speaking out, and it has made national headlines.  This had sexual assault advocates speaking up.

“It’s horrible because the message can spread, it's viral,” said Barbara Spiegel with the Susan B. Anthony House, a Torrington sexual assault crisis center. 

She said the fact that people across the country have learned a 13 girl from Torrington Middle School has been bullied on Twitter for reporting a sexual assault, would have repercussions for other victims.

“It sends a message if you report a sexual assault this could be you,” Spiegel added.

The girl started getting harassed after Torrington High School football stars 18 -year -old Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting her and another 13 -year- old girl off campus.  

Even though police said the sexual activity was consensual, it was still considered a crime under state law.  Barbara Spiegel said word of the online taunting could make young girls in this position think twice about speaking up.  

“It’s important for people to report sexual assaults and it’s important to hold perpetrators accountable,” said Spiegel.

Torrington Police investigated the allegation of online bullying, but said they talked to the victim’s family, and that part of the case was now closed.

Still, popularity of social media sites is growing, and sexual assault advocated worried online harassment would only get worse.  They said it was critical for victims to report the perpetrator regardless.  

“If they’re not arrested how many more victims will there be?” Spiegel questioned.

Police told NBC Connecticut they could make two more arrests in connection with these cases during the next few weeks.

Photo Credit: Torrington Police

Restaurant Reopens After Surviving Irene and Sandy


Nearly a year ago to the day, Guilford Mooring opened its doors after coming back from Tropical Storm Irene. Yet on Thursday, they're doing the same, but this time the comeback is from Superstorm Sandy.

"It's a big change from the old one. Big change," said Nick Ciofalo, of Guilford, who's been coming here for years. "I'm very glad they're back. This is their first day."

Pictures hanging on the wall show when Irene ripped through the restaurant, then Superstorm Sandy put Whitfield Street and the restaurant under water.

"It took a toll on us," said Ralph Damato, the general manager, who dealt with the insurance companies, FEMA and contractors after Sandy.

He also had to lay off nearly 70 people.

"The place was a mess. Upside down," Damato said.

"There was a lot of water in here. Afterwards this place was destroyed. Ice machines were on the ceiling," former sous chef Michael Touranjoe said.

The tile floor is the only thing that survived Superstorm Sandy. All the furniture and bar tops are brand new.

"I think it's an anchor in Guilford and people look forward to coming here," Damato said.

The restaurant owner said that after Irene, they took the opportunity to give the restaurant a facelift.

They also did great business before Sandy came. Yet after 12 years and a lot of encouragement from patrons, he'd rebuild again if he had to a third time

"That kind of gives you energy to keep you going also," said Mike Romei, the managing partner.

Many of the restaurants along the water in Guilford are still closed but the one next door hopes to reopen again in May.

Pilot Impersonator Arrested at Philly Int'l Airport: FBI


A French man impersonating a pilot was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday night after boarding a US Airways flight scheduled to fly to West Palm Beach, Fla.

Philippe Jernnard, 61, talked his way into a cockpit, saying he wanted to sit in one of its jump seats, according to the FBI. He told the captain and first officer that he was a pilot with Air France and knew how to fly 747, but they grew suspicious when he couldn't figure out how to open the jump seat.

He was arrested and and charged with criminal trespass, tampering with records, impersonating a person privately employed and presenting a false ID to law enforcement.

NBC10's Rosemary Connors talked with airport police Capt. Michael Murphy who says that Jernnard was wearing an Air France shirt, had an Air France bag and presented a ticket to the gate agent and walked onto the plane.

The gate agent told authorities that Jernnard had asked if there was any room in first class and was told "no."

According to the arrest report, Jernnard became irate after being told "no" and told her that he hated Americans and began to argue with her.

When the gate agent finished boarding the flight and went to close the plane's doors for takeoff, the arrest report states that she saw Jernnard sitting in the jump seat behind the captain's seat and his carry-on bag was stowed in the cockpit.

“She just assumes he takes his seat in coach and when she goes in to inform co-captain of the number of passengers on the flight that’s when she kind of recognizes he’s out of place,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker.

According to that arrest report, the agent told Jernnard that he couldn't sit there unless he filled out paperwork and the captain told him to return to his assigned seat.

Police say Jernnard started arguing and that's when they notified authorities.

After Jernnard was taken off the plane, police found an Air France ID card that had been changed to match his name.

He was set to be charged federally Friday morning.

In a statement released to NBC News, Air France denied that one of its employees attempted to board the flight and that Jernnard had a certified crew badge.

"This person was not wearing an Air France uniform, badge (Crew Member Certificate) or carrying an Air France crew baggage, the statement said. " Regarding the badge, it was a very poor fake badge, which in no way resembled the Air France Crew Member Certificate (CMC)."

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police

Lottery, Shops Giving Out Free Powerball Tickets Today


The Powerball jackpot for Saturday’s drawing is up to $320 million and you can get a free Powerball ticket at the headquarters of the Connecticut lottery commission today.

The giveaway starts at noon, according to a news release from the state lottery commission.

The first 320 people in line at the main entrance of the lottery headquarters at 777 Brook St., in Rocky Hill will receive one Powerball quick pick ticket, which is worth $2, for Saturday’s drawing.

To be eligible to play, you must be 18 years old or older and present a valid photo ID.  The limit is one ticket per person. 

The lobby closes at 4:30 p.m.

Two retailers are also handing out free tickets.

Your Store, at 972 W Main St., in New Britain, will give away one free Powerball quick pick to the first 100 players at their store, starting at noon.
A & S Quik-Pik, at 692 E Main Street, in Meriden, will also give a free Powerball quik-pick to the first 100 players at the shop, starting at 4 p.m.


Photo Credit: Connecticut Lottery Commission
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