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Parent's Message to Middle Schoolers Perceived as Threat


The parent of a Southington Middle School student posted an anonymous comment online over the weekend warning students they would be "in for a surprise come Monday," and someone else followed up with a second message urging students to stay home, according to police.

Police said the mother posted the warning on the anonymous website ask.fm after reading comments posted to her child's page. She told investigators she intended only to bring attention to some of the things students were writing and had plans to report the comments to school officials.

Another person, who has not been identified, responded to the mom's post by writing, "Don't go to School Monday," according to police. It's not clear if that person knew anything about the mother or her motive.

Police said they notified the Southington Board of Education of their investigation.

AG Raises Concerns About Software on Lenovo Devices


Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is looking into Lenovo and the software company Superfish amid concerns that some personal computers come pre-installed with software that could potentially expose them to hackers.

Jepsen sent letters to executives at Lenovo Group Ltd. and Superfish, asking for information about software that tracks users' web searching and browsing activity to place ads on the sites they visit.

According to published reports, Superfish Visual Discovery is in the operating system of certain Lenovo personal computers sold from about September 2014 to January 2015, making it difficult for common antivirus products to detect or remove it. Many people don’t know it exists on their personal computer, Jepsen said, but yet the software allegedly facilitates the ability of hackers to access a user's computer.

"It's extremely concerning that, based on published reports, Lenovo installed this software – which appears to have no meaningful benefit to the consumer – on devices without the purchaser's knowledge," Jepsen said in a statement. "It is bad enough that the company sold consumers computers pre-loaded with software designed to track their browsing without alerting them. Even more alarming is that the software reportedly has a significant security vulnerability, putting computer users at risk of hacking. After consultation with technical experts, I have opened an investigation and asked both Lenovo and Superfish to provide information in order for me to determine if they have violated Connecticut's laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive trade practices."

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Lenovo personal computers with the pre-installed software contain “a critical vulnerability” through a compromised root CA certificate.

Lenovo has indicated in public reports that it has stopped preloading the Superfish software on its devices and has created a fix to purge the software and the certificate from computer systems.

"While I'm pleased that Lenovo has taken steps to remedy this problem, the fact remains that it intentionally sold an as yet unknown number of Connecticut consumers computers loaded with software to track their Web activity without telling them and, in the process, endangered their personal information," said Attorney General Jepsen.

Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan Blake and Matthew Fitzsimmons, chair of the Attorney General's Privacy Task Force, are assisting Jepsen.


Photo Credit: AP

Group Jumps Man at Norwalk Gas Station


Police are searching for three people who attacked a man at a Norwalk gas station early Wednesday morning.

According to police, the victim was targeted because he was carrying a large amount of cash.

The suspects confronted him at the Mobil gas station at 219 East Avenue in Norwalk around 4:45 a.m. Feb. 28. They hurt him but didn't take anything, according to police.

One suspect was wearing a black-and-white hooded jacket with black sleeves with white stars and some sort of graphic and strips across the front.

Another wore a white jacket with black stars on the sleeves, and the third was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans, according to police.

They got away in a newer-model gray four-door sedan, possibly a Honda Accord, according to police.

Anyone with information is urged to call Norwalk police Det. Justin Bisceglie at 203-854-3181 or send an email to jbisceglie@norwalkct.org.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Mechanic Dies in DFW Airport Mishap


A mechanic who had worked for American Airlines for 30 years died Monday after falling from a jet bridge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

NBC 5 has learned the mechanic was closing and locking the door on a Boeing 767 at about 10:30 a.m. when he somehow fell about 14 feet from the jet bridge to the ground below.

The plane had just been moved from a maintenance hangar to Terminal D, sources said.

Transport Workers Union Local 591 identified the mechanic as Dave Ostang and asked for thoughts and prayers for his family.

American Airlines has confirmed the employee's death, but did not confirm his name or specifics about the incident in a statement released to the media Monday.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to our co-worker's family and friends, and our hearts go out to our entire team of DFW airport and maintenance colleagues. Our focus is on taking care of his family and friends during this difficult time,” the airline said in a statement.

A jet bridge is the elevated gangway used by passengers to walk from the terminal to an airplane.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Katy Blakey contributed to this report. We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.

WATCH: Truck Pursuit in SoCal


Police were pursuing a reportedly stolen rental truck on Southern California freeways.

The driver was wanted for stealing the truck from Sheldon Street and San Fernando Road in Sun Valley, police said.

Aerial footage showed a white Budget truck with its rear door open, showing a washing machine or dryer. A CHP patrol cruiser followed several hundred feet behind.

Police followed the truck which was headed east along the Foothill (210) Freeway at slow speeds.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Man in Critical Condition After Hartford Shooting


A 30-year-old man is in critical condition after being shot several times after an altercation in Hartford on Monday afternoon. 

The shooting happened at 150 Albany Avenue, near East Street, according to city officials, and the victim has been taken to Saint Francis Hospital.

The victim's injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

A lockdown at Saint Francis Hospital was also connected to the shooting.

The hospitalw as locked down at 12:44 p.m., but has since been lifted,

Patients were still admitted to the emergency department during the lockdown and ambulances were not diverted.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Raped After Meeting Man Through Dating App: Police


New Haven police have arrested a Waterbury man who’s accused of raping a woman he met through a dating app.

The victim, a 22-year-old Massachusetts woman, contacted police at 1:50 a.m. to report that she’d been raped at a multi-family home on Edgewood Avenue.

She told officers she’d met a man, later identified as Timothy, or "Timmy," Turner Jr., 26, of Waterbury, through an app called “Tagged,” and he invited her to the house, police said.

As Turner was leading the victim upstairs, he pulled out a gun and raped her on the second floor landing, police said.

The woman told police the attack happened a few minutes before she called and she believed Turner was still in the building.

Officers noticed spotted a man open a door on the third floor and close it when he saw police. He matched the description he victim provided, police said.

After a while, Turner opened the door and police took him into custody, police said.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, unlawful restraint in the first degree, threatening in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree and breach of peace in the second degree.

Turner was visiting a relative at the Edgewood Avenue home, according to police.

Authorities are warning residents of the potential dangers of using dating apps.

"One should never agree to meet a stranger at a private unfamiliar location. One should scrutinize any questionable dating app or on-line site. If you use such a dating app, arrange the meeting on your terms in a public place and make sure to tell a trusted friend your intentions and always have a plan to ensure your safety," New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman said in a statement Monday.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Talenti Recalls Sea Salt Caramel Gelato


Stop & Shop is pulling Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato from its shelves following a company recall over possible peanut traces, according to a news release from the supermarket chain.

The gelato may contain peanuts not listed on the label and is safe to eat for everyone who does not have a peanut allergy. Stop & Shop said the supermarket has not received reports of any allergic reactions.

The affected gelato comes in a 1-pint container with UPC 18685200024 and an expiration date of May 19, 2016, according to Stop & Shop.

Allergy symptoms can include hives, rash, itchy or tingling mouth, facial swelling, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal cramps, coughing or wheezing, dizziness, swelling of the threat, trouble breathing and even loss of consciousness.

Anyone who purchased the product is urged to throw it out and bring the receipt back to Stop & Shop for a refund.

More information is available by calling Talenti/Unilever customer service at 877-270-7393 or Stop & Shop customer service at 800-767-7772.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Lee LeBlanc

Hail Blankets SoCal Beach Shoreline


The white stuff blanketing Southern California’s Huntington Beach on Monday was not powdery sand.

It was hail.

People of all shapes and sizes flocked to the beach to snap images of the white stuff covering the Orange County shoreline.

But Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said despite the Twitter frenzy of photos, this is not all that unusual.

“Any time a thunderstorm moves over and there’s a little bit of ice,” this phenomenon happens, he said. “For once, we’re having a normal winter precipitation.” He also insisted that it was hail dotting the beach, not snow.

Other parts of California saw weird weather over the weekend as well. In the Bay Area, it hailed in San Jose on Sunday, and even snowed a bit on the hillsides.

Boldt said that weather conditions should warm up by Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Sam Archaga, @SamArchaga
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Tsarnaev's 4th Venue Change Motion


The United States District Court denied the fourth change of venue motion filed Monday by lawyers for the surviving accused Boston Marathon bomber, just days before opening statements are slated to begin in the trial.

In addition, the court denied the defense motion to dismiss Tsarnaev's indictment. 

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers argue in this motion and earlier motions have argued it isn't possible for their client to receive a fair trial in Boston. In this latest filing, they say that the voir dire of prospective jurors hasn't cured any presumptive prejudice in the case.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to planting two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shooting between authorities days later in nearby Watertown.

Opening statements are slated to begin Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

Photo Credit: Art Lien

Company Fined $89K for Chemical Spill in Wallingford


A nationwide shipping company is facing up to $89,000 in fines after failing to protect its workers from a dangerous chemical spill and potential explosion in Wallingford last October, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Authorities said employees of R+L Carriers Shared Services LLC were using a forklift to move barrels of highly flammable tetrahydrofuran on Oct. 6, 2014 when a 55-gallon drum was punctured. The barrel began leaking through a truck bed and onto the floor, according to OSHA.

Employees roped off the area and tried to mop up the spill but had no guidance, no training and no equipment to protect them, OSHA said, asserting that the spill exposed them to chemical, fire and explosion hazards.

OSHA also said the forklift was not being used properly.

R+L Carriers was cited for two repeat violations and four serious violations, indicating employees faced potentially life-threatening situations that could have been prevented by proper oversight. The repeat violations stem from prior incidents at the company’s Chicago terminal.

The company employees 9,000 workers, 45 of whom are based in Wallingford, and is headquartered in Ohio. R+L Carriers has 15 days to meet with OSHA or contest the findings.

Norwich Parish Mourns Priest Killed in Norwich Crash


The Greek Orthodox community in Norwich is mourning the death of its recently installed priest, who died in a crash on Route 2 over the weekend.

Rv. Father Matthew Baker was supposed to have led Monday’s service at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, but instead it became a memorial to him.

“We’ve only known him five weeks but the man just loved Christ and it just exuded from him. He was just a wonderful, wonderful priest,” said Bozrah resident Kay Booth.

According to police, the 37-year-old priest drove off Route 2 and into the median just west of Norwich during Sunday's snowstorm.

Baker was thrown from the minivan and died. His six children, who were also in the van, suffered minor injuries but are expected to be fine.

“He had a lovely family, just angelic, beautiful children,” said Booth.

A GoFundMe page has now raised more than a quarter-million dollars for Baker's widow and children. His wife posted an update Monday night, thanking community members for their support.

“We have everything we need right now... mostly I need prayers and I need your outpouring to still be there down the road a bit... it's overwhelming right now... we may need to spread it out over time,” she wrote.

The family did not attend Monday’s service, which was emotionally charged and difficult for the priest who is now temporarily filling in for Baker.

After years of studying, Baker was ordained about a year ago.

“It’s a brotherhood and when a brother dies it affects all of us especially one who was so young,” said Father Dean Panagos, of St. Sophia Church in New London.
The wake is set for Friday, March 6 from 5-9 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Norwich. A funeral will be held the next morning at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Cranston, Rhode Island. Viewing will take place beforehand.

A friend of the family says Baker’s wife is searching for 10 icons that went missing from the van and were likely lost in the snow during the crash. If someone finds them, the family would like them returned to the church.

Photo Credit: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston/NBCConnecticut.com

Final Jury Chosen in Boston Bombing Trial


There was palpable relief Tuesday for dozens of jurors excused from serving on the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

"Because I can go back and do my job and not worry about my job," dismissed juror Nancy Cederholm said.

"Personally I'm relieved because I don't have to be here for the next four months," said Hazel Grenham, another dismissed juror.

Twelve jurors and six alternates were seated after two months of jury selection; among them are are eight men and 10 women. It's a jury that will not only decide whether accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty, since if he's convicted, they will have to vote on whether he should be put to death.

"I wouldn't want to pass judgment on somebody else, so I'm glad I didn't have to do that," dismissed juror Jim Frias said.

During initial questioning, three jurors seated said they believed 21-year-old Tsarnaev was guilty, while a fourth juror said "obviously he was involved in something" and a fifth juror said "my impression was he was certainly present that day, was part and parcel of it."

However, all have said they will keep an open mind.

Two jurors said they lean toward the death penalty, while two said they lean toward a life sentence, but all said they are open to either sentence.

Jurors who were excused weighed in on whether they thought Tsarnaev would be able to get a fair trial here in Boston.

"I don't know that a fair trial could have been held anywhere, perhaps the fairest trial would be here," Grenham said.

Opening statements are scheduled to start Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges against him. He's accused of planting two bombs near the finish line in April 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260. He's also charged in the killing of MIT police officer Sean Collier days after the attack.

Photo Credit: AP
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Fuel Spills in South Windsor Truck Crash


Fuel spilled on the roadway after a tractor trailer truck collided with a pickup truck in South Windsor.

The South Windsor Fire Department responded to the crash at the Ellington Road (Route 30) and Chapel Road intersection.

There were minor injuries.

The crash has since been cleared.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Fire Department

Chimney Fire in Barkhamsted


A minor chimney fire broke out at 110 Reservoir Road in Barkhamsted early Tuesday morning.

Seven fire departments responded.

There is no word on whether there were any injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teacher Suspended Over Teaching Beat Poem


An English teacher at South Windsor High School has been placed on leave after directing students to read what school officials are calling a "highly inappropriate" poem.

The superintendent's office sent a letter to teacher David Olio on Monday notifying him of his suspension. According to his website, Olio graduated from Trinity College and has taught English at South Windsor High School since 1996.

"As we discussed at our meeting, you have been placed on paid administrative leave while we investigate the concerns that have been brought to our attention," Asst. Supt. Colin J. McNamara wrote in the letter.

McNamara said Olio is not allowed to contact students or enter school property during his suspension. While the South Windsor Board of Education is investigating, police said they are not taking part. Olio is not facing any charges.

The controversy stems from an assignment during which Olio allegedly asked students to read a sexually charged poem in class. The poem has been identified as "Pledge Master" by Allen Ginsberg and depicts sex between men.

Allen Ginsberg, an icon of the 50s and 60s known for his sexually explicit writings, is described by the Poetry Foundation as one of the most acclaimed poets of his generation.

In an email to parents, Supt. Kate Carter said both students and parents expressed concern on social media following the assignment. Carter said parents were notified immediately.

“I do wish to emphasize that we take seriously the trust that parents place in teachers and administrators,” Carter wrote, “and we do not tolerate the use of inappropriate materials in classroom settings.”

Olio could not be reached for comment Monday. An email sent to his school account received an automatic reply saying, "I'm sorry, but I'm not available for contact at this time."

Snow Piles Up Public Works Costs in Seymour


Large and frequent accumulations of snow this winter are not only weighing on people's nerves, but also the budgets of Connecticut municipalities like Seymour.

The Seymour Board of Selectman has called a special town meeting Tuesday night, asking residents to authorize the town to move more than $100,000 in the town's budget to cover the high costs of snow removal this winter. Any money transfers greater than $50,000 require the approval of Seymour citizens.

A big part of the expenses to the town with all the snow has been labor and overtime because many of the winter storms have fallen on the weekend. Seymour has already exceeded its projected labor budget by more than $20,000. Costs for road treatment like sand and salt have exceeded the current budget by more than $100,000.

If approved, the money the selectmen are requesting will be moved from the town's general fund to the public works fund.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. at Seymour Town Hall.

Photo Credit: AP

Crash Closes Silas Deane Highway in Southbound Direction


The southbound side of the Silas Deane Highway in Rocky Hill is closed due at Parsonage Street due to a minor crash.

Emergency crews have responded to the accident involving an oil truck and a sedan. 

The collision didn't cause any fuel spills.

5 Hospitalized After Blaze, Including 2 Firefighers


A man was taken to the burn unit in Bridgeport after firefighters pulled him from a blaze that tore through a New Haven home overnight, hospitalizing him, two other occupants and two firefighters.

The fire broke out just before midnight at 66 Dickerman St. Firefighters struggled to get there on a tight one-way road due to the snow, but when they arrived they found flames coming from the second and third floors. 

Two people who lived in the first floor got out safely and told firefighters that a person was trapped upstairs.  Firefighters found  a man in his 60s unconscious on the second floor landing after likely trying to escape. He was initially taken to a New Haven hospital and transferred to the Connecticut Burn Center in Bridgeport in critical condition.

The two people from the first floor are being treated for smoke inhalation at a hospital in New Haven.

New Haven firefighter Jason Rivera, one of the first firefighters to enter the building, was taken to Yale-New Haven hospital and then transferred to the Bridgeport Burn Center to be treated for second-degree burns to both legs, according to Lt. Jimmy Kottage, president of the New Haven firefighters union. He was bringing a hose line into the house when he was burned by the fast-moving fire. Rivera has since been released and is "doing well," Kottage said.

Another firefighter, whose name hasn't been released, was also transported to the hospital after the fire to be treated for frostbite, Kottage said.

Firefighters faced several other obstacles fighting the fire, including encountering a hoarding situation in the building.

"There was a lot of debris upstairs and we're looking to see how long it's been going here with him and stuff like that," said Robert Doyle, New Haven Fire Marshal. " It's still under investigation."

Investigaters have thrown much of the debris out the window as they sort through it all to figure out how the fire started.

The man's neighbor and friend, Charles Macri, who watched crews battle the house fire, said he wish he would have gotten here sooner.

"If I realized that he was in the house I would have went right in," Macri said. "I would have known, I would have known where the fire was. I probably would have brought him out."

The man lived alone in the house with his dog, who firefighters also rescued from the blaze.

"I cried a lot last night when I was watching the whole nine yards. I was out here with the firemen, God Bless 'em," the man's friend, Charles Macri said. "I'll tell ya, it wasn't pretty, but knowing he was a friend of mine wasn't even prettier."

Macri told firefighters that just two days ago, his friend complained that the extension cord connected to his space heater overheated.

The fire marshal confirmed that though nothing has been ruled out. A space heater next to the bed is a primary focus of this investigation.

The identities of the three occupants and firefighter with frostbite hospitalized have not been released.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Middletown Man Charged in Glastonbury Burglaries


Glastonbury police have arrested a Middletown man suspected of committing several commercial burglaries in December.

On Dec. 15, Glastonbury Police responded to two separate reports of burglaries at Salon Dellera and Ming Bao restaurant. Then, while investigating at Salon Dellera, police discovered that there had been another burglary at the Second Chance Shop.

On Dec. 16, police investigated yet another theft when the Depersia Corp. reported one of its fleet trucks had been stolen, police said.

The truck was found later that day and police said property from Ming Bao restaurant was inside.

Using security footage and assistance from other agencies where there had been similar thefts, police identified Jamie Guitard, 36, of Middletown, as a suspect.

Wethersfield police arrested him a few days later and found him with property from Ming Bao on him, police said.

Glastonbury police applied for four warrants for Guitard and obtained them. Those warrants were served on Feb. 27, as he was in court for another unrelated incident.

Guitard was charged with three counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of second-degree criminal mischief, sixth-degree larceny, third-degree larceny, third-degree criminal trespass, taking a motor vehicle without permission and theft of a credit card.

Bond was set at $35,000.

Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police
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