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'Cuse Student Found Dead in Hotel


A member of the Syracuse University Women's Track and Field team was found dead Saturday in a Times Square hotel, police and university officials said.

Sabrina Cammock, a 21-year-old senior from Queens, was discovered unconscious at about 9:20 a.m. in a bed at the Edison Hotel on West 47th Street, police said.

Emergency Medical Services responders pronounced her dead at the scene.

There were no signs of trauma and the Medical Examiner's Office would be determining the cause of death, investigators said.

Cammock was a sprinter on the track team and majoring in public health, said university Dean of Student Affairs Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz.

"It is a painful time for our entire campus community whenever we are faced with a tragedy such as this," she wrote in a letter to students, faculty and staff. "We mourn as a campus community with all those whose lives Sabrina touched."

Spring break at the university officially begins Sunday. Class sessions resume on March 16.  

Mass to Remember Fallen Officer


Veteran actor David Morse fought back the tears Sunday as he remembered Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III.

"We're just here, just a part of this community and here to say thanks," said the 61-year-old actor who starred in the TV series "St. Elsewhere," "House" and "Treme" as well as several movies, including "The Negotiator," and "The Green Mile."

Morse, who now lives in the Philadelphia area, was among the hundreds of community members, officers and loved ones who gathered for a Sunday mass at the St. Martin De Porres Church on Lehigh Avenue to honor Officer Wilson. Wilson was shot and killed Thursday during a robbery at a GameStop nearby.

Rev. Stephen Thorne gave a heartfelt eulogy praising Officer Wilson and urged his community to come together and stop the violence. 

Thorne said even though he didn't know Wilson, his murder impacts everyone.

"So caring, so nice of a person," said Wilson's neighbor Nicole Armstrong. "A wonderful father who always had his kids. Always, always. He's really going to be truly missed."

Hundreds, including police officers, donated money during the offering. A total of $5500 was collected during the service, $500 of which came from the Archbishop. The money will be sent to the fund for Wilson's sons.

The 30-year-old father of two was killed during a robbery at a GameStop at Hope Plaza Shopping Center last Thursday.

Wilson was in full uniform when brothers Carlton Hipps, 30, and Ramone Williams, 26, entered the store and announced the robbery, subsequently sparking a "fierce and violent" gun battle that ended with the officer being shot in the head and killed, said Homicide Captain Darrell Clark.

"They were both firing at him," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "He was actually being hit during the exchange of gunfire but he continued to fight, continued to shoot until the fatal wound was fired and it brought him down."

Wilson is being hailed a hero and is credited with saving the lives of customers and store employees, according to Ramsey.

"Everyone in the GameStop family will always remember Officer Wilson for his sacrifice while defending our staff and customers in the North Philadelphia GameStop store. The Company is thankful that due to the brave actions of Officer Wilson and the Philadelphia Police Department, all of our employees and customers are safe and unharmed," the store said in a news release Sunday.

Williams and Hipps are charged with his murder.

A peace rally was also held Sunday at noon at 22nd St. and Lehigh Ave., the same location where Wilson was murdered.

Ministers from surrounding churches in the city also gathered at 22nd District Police headquarters on 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue around 3 p.m. to pray with the officers from Wilson's district.

Crash on Route 9 on Cromwell/Berlin Line


State police responded to a crash on Route 9 south near exit 21 on Saturday night near the Cromwell/Berlin line.

The state highway was closed as state police investigated, but it has since reopened.

Nor further details were immediately available.

Rollover Crash in Somers


There was a rollover crash in Somers on Route 83 on Saturday night.

The driver of the car was conscious when police arrived and police didn't release further information on whether there were injuries.

The road was closed as police investigated the accident after receiving a call reporting it at about 9:20 p.m. It has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Driver Airlifted to Hospital After Bolton Crash


A driver was airlifted to the hospital after crashing into a utility pole in Bolton early Sunday morning.

The motorist lost control of a pickup truck and collided with the pole at about 2 a.m. near the intersection of Routes 6 and 384, state police said.

A helicopter transported the driver to the hospital, but state police did not release information on how badly the person was injured. No one else was in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

The road has reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Killed in Plainville Crash


A woman was killed in a head-on collision on New Britain Avenue in Plainville Saturday night.

Plainville firefighters extricated Roxanne Marie Dias, 30, of Plantsville from her Mazda sedan after she and an oncoming car collided near 414 New Britain Avenue, in front of Manafort Brothers Inc., just west of the New Britain town line, police said.

A Life Star helicopter airlifted Dias to Hartford Hospital, but she later died at the hospital.

Marlena Wcislo, 25, was driving the other car in the crash, a Nissan SUV, and had one passenger in the car with her, Peter Wcislo, 26. American Medical Response transported the two New Britain residents to The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

New Britain Avenue was closed from Crooked Street to the New Britain line late Saturday night as police investigated.

Police are not releasing further details at this time, as the crash remains under investigation. The Plainville Police Department asks anyone with information to contact accident reconstruction investigators Officer Mark Kominske or Officer Jamie Fenn at 860-747-1616.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Snow, Ice Causes Ledyard Roof Collapse


The roof at a Ledyard home partially collapsed Sunday afternoon due to the weight of snow and ice piled on top, according to fire officials.

A person living at 89 Meeting House Lane was home when the tin-style roof over the sun room toward the back of his house collapsed. He wasn't injured, according to Ledyard firefighters who responded at about 1:30 p.m.

Firefighters remained there for about 10 to 15 minutes and determined there were no utility issues, so they turned the scene over to building officials.

The rest of the home wasn't structurally compromised, so the residents weren't displaced, according to building officials.

"The Today Show" Features Mayor's Playful Snow Day Tweets


As snow has been all over the national headlines on the East coast this winter, a funny flurry of tweets from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton also got some national attention in a spot on "The Today Show."

Known as @MayorMark on Twitter for his knack at humorous tweeting, the mayor created a playful Twitterstorm about whether or not Danbury Public Schools would be delayed or canceled amid a string of snowstorms.

It all started when he tweeted on Tuesday, March 3, "BTW Danbury Public Schools are..." Talk about a cliff hanger. Then, "Attention: Danbury Public Schools will #whoopthereitis" and "Danbury students be like:" and a photo of a pouting baby.

As students and parents waited eagerly to find out if Danbury Public Schools would have delayed openings due to the weather, they took notice of his taunting tweets and wrote back to him.  And so did "The Today Show," which featured the humorous Twitter exchanges between the mayor and the kids Saturday on a segment about what's trending on social media.

"@MayorMark our lord and savior mayor mark please save the students from having to traverse the harsh icy roads," @BearzUnlimited tweeted with a meme of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" Sistine Chapel fresco with "Sorry We're Closed" written across it and a picture of the mayor's face.

So, naturally, the mayor tweeted that some schools would be closed. Well, West Beverly Hills High School, which he hashtagged #90210, and Dillon High School, hashtagged #FridayNightLights. And he also tweeted that Sunnydale High School was on a two-hour delay, hashtagged #buffy.

After that, he faced them with the truth Frank Underwood style, tweeting "School is on..#sorrybeliebers #nostayingathomeandlisteningonedirectionallday" and a photo of Kevin Spacey in "House of Cards" beneath that.

Or not. Because his next tweet was "Alright, alright enough!! Schools ar," prompting @_haleeyycoless to tweet "@MayorMark why do u hurt me."

Then, the next day, on Wednesday, March 4, he tweeted that Danbury schools will have a two-hour delay.

One student's response? A photo with a kid's hand on his head saying "I can't."

Click here to read the full exchange on Mayor Mark's Twitter page.

CT Company Releasing Hillary Clinton Email Action Figure


A Connecticut company is releasing a Hillary Clinton action figure after she recently made headlines while under scrutiny for using her personal email to communicate when she served as secretary of state.

Oxford-based Herobuilders, known for making dolls based on the latest trending news and events, has developed a "Blackberry toting" Hillary Clinton doll, the company announced through its mailing list.

The "all new Hillary email action figure," which "comes complete with her very own Blackberry," will be available for purchase exclusive on the company's website for $39.95 each, according to the mailing list email.

Herobuilders has also made dolls based on other headline-making people, including Maine nurse Kaci Hickox, who became a topic of national discussion when she successfully fought a quarantine order after  returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa; a skeet-shooting President Barack Obama doll; Patricia Krentcil, the New Jersey mom accused of putting her 5-year-old in a tanning bed long enough to get burned; Herman Cain; Anthony Weiner; a Jimmy McMillian Rent is Too Damn High guy action figure; and Richard Heene, the father of "Balloon Boy."

Photo Credit: Herobuilders

2 Coast Guard Cadets Killed in NJ Crash Identified


Two U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets were killed and another cadet driving was injured in a fatal two-car crash in New Jersey early Saturday morning, according to academy officials.

First Class Cadet Soso Makaridze and Third Class Cadet Bersarian Gorjoladze, who were both international cadets from the Republic of Georgia, died in the accident, according to David Santos, of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

First Class Cadet Joel MacArthur was driving the car they were in during the crash, which happened  just after midnight early Saturday morning on Route 31 in New Jersey, Santos said. MacArthur was hospitalized with injuries and has since been treated and released.

"The Academy community is grieving the loss of two of our cadets," Academy Superintendent RADM Sandra Stosz said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by their passing and are fully committed to helping the Corps of Cadets cope with this tragedy."

NBC 10 Philadelphia reported that MacArthur, 21, collided with an oncoming car on Route 31 in Hopewell Township in New Jersey. His front-seat passenger died on-scene and a person riding in the back seat died later at the hospital, according to the news station.

The two people in the other car, Devon Tomb, 28, and Christine Thompson, 28, of Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, were also transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.

The academy is currently on spring break, so memorial services have not been scheduled at this time.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Baby of Fatal Fire Victim Goes Home to Mom


The prematurely born baby of a young Enfield woman who lost her fiance to a deadly house fire in December was finally healthy enough to go home Sunday after spending months in an incubator at Hartford Hospital.

Hollie Ories was born early January after an ambulance rushed her mother, Krissy Willis to the hospital for an emergency Caesarean section. Hollie, who weighed a mere 1 pound, 13 ounces, when she was born is what doctors are calling “micro-premature.” She was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and now weighs 4 pounds, 1.2 ounces.

"It feels amazing to finally have her coming home," Willis said.

The baby wasn’t due until March but Willis’ cousin, Lisa Stone, said doctors had no choice but to deliver early due to Willis’ health problems, which were exacerbated by the trauma she has endured while coping with the death of her fiance, Josh Johnson after an Enfield house fire killed him, his mother, brother and a friend.

Willis said that Hollie looks just like her late fiance and the family is calling Hollie a "miracle."

“Josh is going live through that baby. She looks just like him,” Stone previously said.

Hollie is off oxygen, able to eat and her body heat is stable, according to her family. She is now able to sleep in a crib, the family said. 

Willis and her daughter are currently staying with family.

A GoFundMe page that family members created to raise money for Willis and Hollie and has gotten a lot of response from the community.

Photo Credit: Willis Family

11-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Shot in Monroe


An 11-year-old boy was hospitalized after a gun was accidentally fired in Monroe on Sunday.

Monroe police responded at 3:34 p.m. Sunday to a report that a firearm was accidentally discharged on Partridge Drive in Monroe.

A resident securing his handgun accidentally fired it, shooting a bullet through a wall that then struck the child in the cheek.

An ambulance transported the boy to Bridgeport Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The relationship between the boy and the gun owner is unknown.

Detectives are investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ex-Jets RB Chris Johnson Hurt in Drive-By Shooting


Former New York Jets running back Chris Johnson was wounded in a drive-by shooting while sitting in a jeep at an Orlando intersection early Sunday, authorities said.

The driver of the jeep was killed in the shooting and another passenger was wounded.

Johnson, 29, and passenger Reggie Johnson were both shot in the shoulder while their vehicle stopped at a traffic light.

Both were in stable condition at a hospital Sunday. A person close to Johnson confirmed it was the running back who was involved. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on Johnson's behalf.

Sheriff's deputies said another vehicle pulled up to the Jeep the men were in and opened fire. The Jeep's driver, Dreekius Oricko Johnson, was killed.

Deputies said no arrests had been made, and investigators were seeking witnesses to the shooting.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and everyone impacted by this tragic event," the Jets said in a statement.

The shooting adds some uncertainty to Johnson's playing career. Though he is expected to fully recover, Johnson, who will be 30 in September, is still officially on the Jets' roster but is due to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, when the NFL's new league year begins. The Jets cut ties with Johnson on Feb. 14, when they declined to exercise their contract option on him -- meaning he will be free to sign with another team.

He was signed to a two-year, $8 million deal by the Jets last April, after six years with the Tennessee Titans, to provide a versatile presence in the backfield. But, he had his worst statistical season while splitting time with Chris Ivory. He ran for 663 yards -- his first season under 1,000 -- and one touchdown, while catching a career-low 24 passes for 151 yards and a score.

Johnson also rarely resembled the dynamic player with game-changing speed who ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, earning him his "CJ2K" nickname while with the Titans. He rushed for 100 yards just once last season, when he had 105 on 17 carries, including a 47-yard scamper, against Miami last December.

While it likely didn't play a major role in the Jets' decision to part ways, Johnson also was arrested in Orlando in January on a misdemeanor weapons charge.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tractor Trailer Rollover Crash in Tolland


There are some lane closures after a tractor trailer veered down an embankment off Interstate 84 east in Tolland and rolled over, according to state police.

The right two lanes are closed as a result of the crash near exit 68.

The driver made it out of the truck, state police said, and there is no word on injuries.

The crash is causing delays.

Photo Credit: John Littell

Father of 6 Struck and Killed in Hartford


Hartford police have identified a pedestrian killed when a car struck him late Sunday night and police said the the driver they have in custody appeared to be intoxicated.

Frank Morales, 38, of Hartford, died after the driver of a 2001 Chevy Blazer ran a red light and hit him when he was leaving Ernie's Market in Hartford around 9 p.m. near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Williams Street, police said.

Morales, a father of six children ranging from 1-year old to another in the 20s, had stopped at the store to buy cigarettes and was struck when he left, Frank's sister, Janette Morales, said.

Hartford Fire Captain Helene Lynch said her department responded to the crash and performed CPR until an ambulance could transport Morales to St. Francis Hospital. Police said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police have not released the name of the driver who hit Morales, as well as a parked car, but said in a news release that the suspect appeared to be intoxicated. They've also identified the people in the car, but those names have not been released either.

Albany Avenue was closed from Sunday night to Monday morning, but the scene has since been cleared.

The cause of the crash is unknown. There were some icy patches in the area on Monday morning, but police said that it's too early to tell if that's a factor.

The investigation is ongoing and a accident reconstruction team from the Hartford police crime scene division is evaluating the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and Submitted

Cassandra C. in Remission After Forced Chemotherapy


A teenage girl taken into Connecticut state custody and forced by the state to get chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma is now in remission.

"It's true, I am in remission; and it would mean the world to me, (sic) to be able to come home to get the remainder of this nightmare over with," Cassandra C., 17, posted on her Facebook page.

Cassandra C., who remains away from home under the care of the state, didn't want chemotherapy and was previously fighting the state so she wouldn't have to get the treatment, but she lost in court so she was forced to undergo chemo.

In a statement to NBC Connecticut in January, DCF officials said they were exploring options for Cassandra C. to live in a specialized group home when she was released from the hospital.

Court documents show DCF took custody of her when she ran away from home after two days of chemotherapy and missed medical appointments. Her mother, Jackie Fortin, plans to fight those claims.

“We never blew off appointments,” Fortin said previously. “Did we have to reschedule some because of our work schedule? Absolutely.”

The state's highest court reviewed the case under an emergency appeal filed by attorneys representing Cassandra and her mother, taking up an issue previously decided by several other states – whether some minors are mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies.

The judges ultimately decided that Cassandra is not mature and will continue to receive chemotherapy. She turns 18 in September, a year after her cancer diagnosis.

Photo Credit: Jackie Fortin

Governor's Sales Tax Proposals Set for Hearing


Connecticut lawmakers will learn how taxpayers feel about Gov. Dannel Malloy's proposed tax changes in his new budget.

The legislature's Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee will hold a hearing on Monday on Malloy's plan to lower the state's sales tax rate from 6.35 percent to 5.95 percent by April 1, 2017. Meanwhile, his plan would eliminate the $50 sales tax exemption on the first $50 of clothing.

Malloy also proposed delaying a planned increase in the personal income tax exemption for single filers and an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit program.

While he wants to eliminate the $250 biennial business entity tax, Malloy received criticism from business groups for proposing limits on the use of state tax credits by hospitals and corporations.

Personal Finance for Kids Moves Beyond the Piggy Bank


After scouring the seemingly endless combinations of colorful bricks lining the shelves of the Lego store in Midtown Manhattan, Flynn Deady knows what he wants.

The 6-year-old has set his sights on a 77-piece box to construct a miniature Empire State Building. When it comes time to purchase the $21.99 set, it will be young Flynn picking up the tab.  

“I think it’s important for him to know what to do with the money he has,” Jeff Deady, Flynn’s father, said. 

While he's only in kindergarten, Flynn has a bank account seeded with $700 from his father and grandmother.  The boy will shyly tell those who ask that he wants to spend his savings on Legos, though his dad is hoping to use the account to teach his son valuable money lessons.

He's not alone. 

Following years of recession and financial turmoil, a push has emerged to increase financial literacy in the classroom and at home for children, before they have to face decisions about student loans, retirement savings, salaries and credit.

Magazines, video games and books urging frank discussions about finances at a young age have hit the market. Forty-three states now include personal finance as part as their educational standards, up from 36 a decade ago, according to the Council for Economic Education Survey of the States for 2014. One 2013 survey by a mutual fund found that nearly three-quarters of parents talk regularly with their children about money.

“We need to end the epidemic of silence in families,” said columnist Ron Lieber, whose new book “The Opposite of Spoiled" encourages parents to speak more freely with their kids about finances. 

Lieber, a columnist for the “Your Money” section of The New York Times, told NBC Owned Television Stations his 9-year-old daughter asks about money all the time, and he is more than happy to answer her questions. 

While it's not yet clear how much of an impact the early money education will have on children's finances as they grow up, there are no shortage of available resources.

Jean Chatzky, financial editor of the "Today" show, doles out money advice to young savers through Your $: Financial Literacy For Kids, a new monthly magazine for fourth, fifth and sixth graders designed to teach students how to use and save their money.

The magazine is distributed to 2 million students in schools and available for free online for teachers. It covers topics like the cost of owning a dog, Bitcoin and using mobile phones for purchases.

“Today money is invisible,” Chatzky told NBC Owned TV Stations. “It is important to get kids to understand that it is real. When I was a kid, I put my money in the bank and I could see it growing. That was inspiring. Today, because of higher interest rates, you put your money in the bank and nothing happens.”

Some major banks are also getting in on the early money education trend. At the beginning of February, Visa partnered with Michigan Treasurer Kevin Clinton, the nonprofit Jump$tart Coalition and Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron to expand a free educational video game statewide. “Financial Football” is designed to teach students about personal finances with sport-themed fun.

Citibank, meanwhile, is working with schools and organizations to expand its own financial literacy workshops. The financial institution has invested $75,000 for workshops at Perspective Charter Schools in Chicago.

Greg Lowe, development officer at Perspective Charter Schools, says the workshops, which teach students how to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for a college education and how to maintain a good credit rating, fill a “huge need” for the school system.

“High school students just don’t have those experiences,” Lowe said.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has put his own money into giving young kids a financial boost, launching an animated series called "The Secret Millionaires Club" that aims to teach financial decision-making and business entrepreneurship for children 7 to 14.

Not all parents believe discussions about money, long taboo in society, should start at such a young age.

Joanna and Julian Watkins, on vacation in New York from England, said they aren't making hands-on finance experience a priority for their 8-year-old son Nicholas. They also believe such instruction should come from the home, not the classroom, at such an age.

“It’s a personal choice for the parents," Joanna Watkins said. "We are getting into how to have an allowance at the moment, although he isn’t saving any money yet. Everything in there is our doing.”

It's not yet clear how helpful such programs will be in the long run. Some studies show that finance classes do not provide any real skill set for managing money. One study published in “Management Science” found that "even large interventions with many hours of instruction have negligible effects on behavior" less than 2 years down the road.

Another study compared the financial health of students who graduated both 15 years before and 15 years after financial literacy education was mandated in all 43 states. They found no difference.

But the researchers, including Shawn Cole, a professor of finance at Harvard Business School, did find that students in states that required them to take additional math classes managed their money better, especially when it came to home equity and investments. He believes that emotions might get in the way of financial decisions without key math skills.

Cole told NBC that with his own kids, ages 4 and 6, he talks about money a little but spends more time on teaching them math.

“It might be time to get them bank accounts though,” he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Brand X
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School Bus Involved in Crash in Hartford


A school bus has been involved in a crash at Clarke and Nelson streets in Hartford.

Children are on the bus, but were not injured, officials said.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sheep and Lambs Survive Columbia Barn Fire


Fire destroyed a barn on Cards Mill Road in Columbia early Monday morning, but the lambs and sheep that were inside survived thanks to some creativity and a roof rake.

Four sheep and five lambs, including three that were born yesterday, were inside part of the split-level barn when the fire broke out, but they would not come out of the barn at first and officials believe that the sheep would not leave their babies.

At first, firefighters tried to use a pole to get the animals out, but that did not work, so they borrowed a roof rake from a neighbor and got the babies out of the barn. The parents soon followed.

All the animals appear to be OK, but one might have gone a veterinarian.

Route 66 was closed on the Columbia and Willimantic town line because of the fire, but has since reopened.

Area fire departments were also called for mutual aid.

The investigation into the fire and the source of several explosions heard continues.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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