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Bristol Landlord Arrested Twice in Two Weeks


A Bristol landlord has been arrested for the second time in two weeks after police say he failed to make repairs to properties he owns.

Anthony Cammariere, who owns buildings at 37 Summer Street, 81 Park Street and 267 Main Street, turned himself in Wednesday morning. Police have charged him with 17 counts of violating the Bristol Housing and Property Maintenance code.

Cammariere was previously arrested on April 27 for allegedly failing to make repairs to some of his other properties. The city evicted a number of his tenants earlier in the month and condemned a 12-unit apartment building.

"What he’s doing is he is taking people’s last rents and he’s not putting money into these places, and no one should be forced to be living like these residents are living," said Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne.

The mayor said Cammariere has been given several notices to fix up his buildings. He described the homes as "unsafe" – some have open wiring, sewage on the floor and even a collapsed stairway.

Bristol resident Richard Nadeau said he knows Cammariere personally.

"They give him chances quite a bit. I know they have, and the thing is, it’s kind of hard being a manager of the apartments and owner. It’s hard on him," said Nadeau.

Cockayne said Cammariere is taking advantage of his tenants.

"He doesn’t care, because you know what? He’s going home to his nice house. He doesn’t live in Bristol. He’s going home to his nice house and he doesn’t care," said Cockayne.

Cammariere was released on a $1,000 bond. His court date is scheduled for May 14.

Our crews knocked on his office door Wednesday and asked to speak with Cammariere. While we saw him inside through the office windows, he did not answer.

NBC Connecticut also called his cell phone and left a message.

Twenty minutes later, our crews saw Cammariere flee through the back of his office.

Photo Credit: Bristol Police Department

"Gypsies" Arrested Over Shoddy, Unlicensed Home Repairs: Police


An East Haven couple who described themselves as "Gypsies" have been accused of making shoddy and illegal repairs on the homes of two elderly women and taking tens of thousands of dollars from them, according to police in Stamford.

Police arrested Tommy Miller, 44, and his wife, Bobbie White, also 44, after an eight-month investigation. Police said the investigation proved difficult because the neither one has formal identification, has ever held a typical job or has a driver’s license. The couple also moved around on a regular basis.

According to police, the couple befriended an 80-year old woman from Ogden Road in Stamford and an 86-year-old woman from Vine Road after meeting them at Newfield Shopping Center in June 2014.

Police said they talked the two victims into allowing them to perform general home and car repairs. However, the work they did was inadequate and posed a danger to the homeowner because of poor quality. One victim lost $38,000 and the other lost $2,200, police said.

Both suspects were described as Gypsies, also know as Roma, and unlicensed home improvement contractors who are in business with their sons, according to police.

Miller and White were each charged with two counts of second-degree larceny two counts of conspiracy at second-degree larceny and two counts of impersonating a licensed home improvement contractor.

Their bonds were set at $43,100 apiece. They're due in court Thursday.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police

The Tom Brady Scandal: Texts From "The Deflator"


New England Patriots' locker room staff accused of deliberately releasing air from the Patriots game balls after the footballs were examined by the referee complained about the work and the team's star quarterback, according to a NFL report released on Wednesday.

In colorful text messages included in the report between Jim McNally, the attendant for the locker room used by officials at Gillette Stadium, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant, McNally at one point refers to himself as "the deflator."

The so-called “deflategate” report, prepared by staff at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, found that it was “more probable than not” that McNally and Jastremski doctored the balls and that the quarterback Tom Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”

In the messages between McNally and Jastremski, the pair grouse about Brady’s unhappiness with the balls’ inflation levels and discuss Jastremski’s plan to provide McNally with a needle to inflate or deflate balls, the report says. The report says McNally requested cash and sneakers to be provided along with the needle.

A statement from the Patriots' chairman, Robert Kraft, defended the team and questioned the report's conclusions.

"To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement," he said.

Attempts to reach McNally and Jastremski for comment have been unsuccessful.

On Oct. 17, 2014, after Brady had complained angrily, the men exchanged these texts, the report says.

McNally: Tom sucks...im going make that next ball a f----- balloon
Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and
said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done...
Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though...
Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn... The refs f----- us...a few of then (sic) were at almost 16
Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them
McNally: F--- tom ...16 is nothing...wait till next sunday
Jastremski: Omg! Spaz

Then on Oct. 23, three days before a Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, Jastremski and McNally exchanged these messages:

“Can’t wait to give you your needle this week :)
McNally: F--- tom....make sure the pump is attached to the needle…..f----- watermelons coming
Jastremski: So angry
McNally: The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating

Here was their exchange on the next day, Oct. 24:

Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week
McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks....or its a rugby sunday
McNally: F--- tom
Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker
McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week

And again on Oct. 25:

Jastremski: Size 11?
Jastremski: 2 or 3X?
McNally: Tom must really be on you
McNally: 11 0r 11 half......2x unless its tight fitting
Jastremski: Nah. Hasn’t even mentioned it, figured u should get something since he gives u nothing

Eleven days before the AFC Championship Game, McNally and Jastremski discussed McNally receiving items autographed by Brady the following weekend, before the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, according to the report.

McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign
Jastremski: U got it kid...big autograph day for you
McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special
Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?
McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid

Finally before the start of the 2014-2015 season, McNally referred to himself as “the deflator.”

McNally: You working
Jastremski: Yup
McNally: Nice dude....jimmy needs some kicks....lets make a deal.....come on help the deflator
McNally: Chill buddy im just f----- with you ....im not going to espn........yet




Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images

Man Sexually Assaulted Teen He Met Through Craigslist: Cops


West Hartford police have arrested a 20-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a teen he met on Craigslist, then convincing the teen to give him money and jewelry in exchange for his silence.

Police said Steven J. Turner, 20, of New Britain, had sexual contact with a 15-year-old he met through Craigslist. The teen posted the ad several weeks ago and Turner responded.

According to police, the two exchanged text messages before Turner went to the victim's house, where the sexual contact took place.

Police said Turner then blackmailed the teen into handing over cash and jewelry by threatening to disclose the relationship and post pictures of the victim online.

Turner was arrested May 1 when he showed up to meet the victim expecting more money, according to police.

He has been charged with risk of injury to a minor, impairing the morals of children, second-degree sexual assault and first-degree larceny by extortion.

He posted $20,000 and is due in court May 14, according to online court records.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

Crews Battled Fire in East Hampton


Fire destroyed the back of a house at 501 Moodus Road, or Route 151. in East Hampton on Thursday morning.

The fire was reported at 7:30 a.m. and it was well-involved when firefighters arrived, officials said.

The homeowner and his dog were not home when fire broke out, and no injuries are reported, but officials said the back of the building was destroyed.

Surrounding towns provided mutual aid and it took 40 minutes to get the fire under control.

The local and state fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Thousands Expected at Rally to Preserve Charter School Funding


Thousands of parents, students and teachers are expected to rally on the steps of the State Capitol today to urge state lawmakers to protect funding for charter schools in Connecticut.

The organization, Coalition for Every Child, is holding the "Save Our Schools" rally and fighting a proposal that would cut funding for two schools set to open in Bridgeport and Stamford and reduce funding to existing charters.

"Families want legislators to prioritize great schools because they know education is the great equalizer," Jeremiah Grace, Connecticut state director for the Northeast Charter Schools Network and a spokesman for the Coalition for Every Child, said in a news release. "The future of hundreds of Connecticut children hang in the balance; State leaders need to support public charter schools in the biennial budget."

Organizers of the event said that should the appropriations committee’s proposal go through, more than 860 students who would have gone to a charter school will be without a seat in one.
That rally begins on the steps of the State Capitol at 4 p.m.

1 Taken to Hospital After Hamden Crash


One person was taken to the hospital after a crash at Whitney Avenue and Cannon Street in Hamden.

Police originally believed a pedestrian had been struck because a victim way lying on the ground, but investigators now say that person was riding in one of the vehicles and got out after the crash.

That person was taken to an area hospital and no information is available on the extent of injuries.

The intersection was closed for a short time, but it has since reopened and the scene is clear.

Woman Hopes Selfies Will Lead to Missing Phone


A Farmington woman was shocked to see photos of strangers show up in her Dropbox account and hopes police can use them to track down the people who got a hold of her missing phone.

Angela Valencis said she accidentally left her Samsung Galaxy S4 at a restaurant in West Hartford's Blue Back Square on Saturday.

It wasn't until the next day, when the mother of three bought a new phone and checked Dropbox that she noticed "selfies" of strangers showing up in her account, which automatically syncs new photos taken on her devices.

"This is very likely the person that has it is taking selfies of themselves, so that was when I realized, 'I think I found my guy,'" Valencis explained. "I started texting the phone and asking for it to be returned, saying, 'No questions asked. I'll pick it up. I'll meet you somewhere. Cash reward,'" she said.

Valencis said her pleas were ignored and that it's not really the phone she wants back – the phone contains photos and videos of her kids that were taken before she set up her Dropbox account in 2011 and were therefore never synced.

"I can't just make new memories of my baby 1-year-old's first Christmas. I can't turn back the clock and make those again. They're lost, so that's what I care about. That's what I'm missing. That's what I'm devastated about," said Valencis. "You can't bring those times back, so I'm kind of kicking myself for not saving everything. But I mean, it's my own fault I didn't do that, but I was banking on the good side of humanity."

Valencis is now hoping someone recognizes the strangers in the photos on her Dropbox account and comes forward to identify them, or that whoever has her phone returns it.

"If these pictures are still on there or on the memory card I will gladly take it back again. No questions asked," said Valencis.

West Hartford police are urging residents to report stolen phones right away.

Authorities recommend turning on the phone's GPS or using apps like Find My iPhone. They say it's a good idea to keep a passcode lock on it, and place a sticker on the back of the phone offering a reward if it's found with an alternate contact number to call.

Police say most stolen phones are left in cars or taken from work or school, so keep your phone in your pocket rather than a car, coat or purse.

Photo Credit: Angela Valencis

LAPD Chief "Very Concerned" About Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Homeless Man


The fatal police shooting of a man in a Southern California beach community has Los Angeles' police chief "very concerned," and his initial comments about the confrontation drew a swift response from the union representing officers.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck's comments Wednesday afternoon came hours after the shooting death of an unarmed homeless man in Venice.

"I am very concerned about this shooting," Beck said, adding that the department is planning to interview more witnesses and the officer who fired his weapon.

Beck, who has seen video of the shooting, added that it generally takes "extraordinary circumstances" for police to shoot an unarmed person, and it's unclear whether those circumstances existed in Tuesday night's shooting.

The surveillance video has not been released.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on Windward Avenue just west of Pacific Avenue. Police said two officers initially responded to a call about a person harassing people on Windward Avenue. They spoke briefly to the man, who walked away toward the boardwalk, police said.

The officers returned to their car but then saw the man struggling with someone on the sidewalk. The officers approached and a struggle ensued, ending with the shooting.

It was unclear how many shots were fired.

After the man was struck by gunfire, the officers called an ambulance and performed CPR, Beck said.
The suspect died at a hospital.

The chief said Los Angeles Police Department investigators had not yet interviewed the officer who opened fire on the suspect because he was still on medication after being treated for a knee injury suffered in the altercation.

"I don't know what was in the officer's mind," Beck said. "We expect to know more tomorrow (Thursday). At this point, it appears that it was a physical altercation."

Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, called Beck's comments "completely irresponsible" and said it is too early to suggest the shooting may have been improper.

"As the final trier of fact in the use-of-force investigation and disciplinary process, the premature decision by the chief essentially renders the investigation process void," Lally said. "Additionally, by making his opinion public without having all of the facts, he influences the investigation for all parties involved, including his command officers and the public.

"As in the criminal justice system, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We encourage everyone to reserve judgment until the investigation has run its course, and the facts are collected and assessed."

Beck said the department is working with the District Attorney's Office and the LAPD's independent inspector general to investigate the shooting.

"We will expend all resources to find out the truth of what happened last night on Windward Avenue," he said.

Beck said during Wednesday's news conference that both officers involved were veteran officers in the Pacific Division. Beck also said that both the man who died and the officer who shot him were black men.

The suspect's name was not immediately released, but acquaintances identified him as 29-year-old Brendon Glenn, who came from New York City. Glenn had sought shelter and assistance at The Teen Project's Venice P.A.D. homeless center, according to the center's Timothy Pardue.

"He said he wanted his mom," Pardue said of a recent conversation with Glen. "I said, 'Can you get home?' He said, 'I can’t go home they won’t let me come home.'"

People who knew Glenn told the Los Angeles Times that he was a kind man who constantly told people he loved them. He was known for his "hand hugs” -- grabbing hold of someone’s hand before saying goodbye. Glenn treated his black Lab mix, Dozer, like "his baby,” one man told the newspaper.

But they acknowledged he also had his struggles, The Times reported.

The Venice shooting death comes more than two months after another fatal shooting that involved LAPD officers. On March 1, officers opened fire on a man during a scuffle that was caught on surveillance cameras, police body cameras and witness video on Skid Row.

The man who was shot and killed tried to grab one an officer's gun before the shooting, police said.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

$100K Watch at Airport Security


A gold, diamond-encrusted Cartier watch valued at more than $100,000 was left behind at a security checkpoint in Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this week, authorities said.

A Transportation Security Administration officer spotted the watch, the face of which was covered in more than 100 diamonds, unclaimed at the Terminal C checkpoint Tuesday and put it in a lost and found bin.

The watch's trim and band were also covered in hundreds of tiny diamonds, authorities said.

Federal officials managed to track the watch, which also had hundreds of tiny diamonds covering its trim and band, to the owner, a real estate entrepreneur from Japan who oversees multiple hotels and resorts in his country and other countries.

Authorities say the entrepreneur accidentally left the watch at the checkpoint as he passed through on his way home. Through a colleague in New Jersey, he sent TSA officers photos of him wearing it.

The colleague in New Jersey is expected to pick up the watch Thursday and get it back to its owner.

TSA at Newark also reunited a four-carat diamond ring with its owner two years ago after it was found on the floor at one of the airport checkpoints.

Travelers who believe they may have lost an item at a TSA checkpoint can contact TSA to try to find their item. Lost and found information is posted on the agency's website.

Photo Credit: AP

Second Arrest Made in Connection With New Britain Murder


New Britain police have made a second arrest in connection with the murder of a Meriden man in December.

Idaliz Zavala-Burgos, 32, of Springfield, Massachusetts has been charged with murder with special circumstances and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the death of Jesus M. Silva, 25, of Meriden.

Silva was found unresponsive in a vehicle near the intersection of Yeaton Street and Farmington Avenue in New Britain at 7:48 p.m. on Dec. 30 and pronounced dead at the scene.

The office of the chief medical examiner determined that Silva died from a gunshot wound and his death was ruled a homicide.

Joel Jaquez, 31, also of Springfield, Massachusetts, has arrested earlier this week in connection with the case and charged with one count of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

When Jaquez was arrested, he was in New Britain Police custody, being held on a $1 million bond, as a fugitive from justice out of Florida.

Zavala-Burgos was taken into custody in Springfield, Massachusetts at 1 p.m. on Tuesday help from U.S. Marshals and is being held on a $1 million court-set bond.

She is scheduled to appear in court in New Britain to be arraigned today.

The arrest warrant has been sealed and police have released no other information.
Anyone with information about the case should call Detective Karl Mordasiewicz at 860-826-3141.

Anonymous tips may also be made on the Community Tip Line at (860) 826-3199 or online at newbritainpolice.org.

Photo Credit: New Britain Police

Verizon Call Led to Heart Attack?


A Virginia woman has sued Verizon Wireless for $2.35 million, claiming the company caused her to have a heart attack during a customer service call.

Angela Hawkins, 53, filed a lawsuit in Chesapeake on Wednesday, The Virginian-Pilot reports. Hawkins told the newspaper she called Verizon last year to straighten out a billing problem. Representatives accused her of saying she was going to kill everyone and threatened to call police.

Hawkins's attorney says the call was so upsetting she was scared the police were going to arrest her. The day after the call, an EKG revealed she had a heart attack. Hawkins underwent surgery and spent four days in the hospital.

The lawsuit claims both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

A spokesman for Verizon Wireless declined to comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Car Smashes Into Physical Therapy


An elderly woman smashed her car through a Rockville, Maryland, parking garage and into a physical therapy office on Thursday morning, injuring herself and three other people, authorities say.

The car crashed into the office on Parklawn Drive at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Investigators say they don't know what caused it.

"There's not much of a barrier," Montgomery County Fire spokesman Pete Piringer said. "There's a parking space, a little cement, the sidewalk, a grassy area and then the building. It didn't take much effort to get in there."

Piringer says the driver of the car, an elderly woman, was taken to the hospital, along with a woman who was trapped under a desk and debris. Two others were also taken to the hospital. All of the victims have injuries that are not life-threatening.

Several people at the scene were also evaluated.

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Crash Closes Route 8 South in Shelton


A crash has closed the southbound lanes of Route 8 in Shelton.

Traffic is being diverted off the highway at Exit 14, according to state police.

Troopers are just arriving on the scene and say they don't yet know if anyone is injured.

2 More Arrested Amid Tainted K2 Overdose Investigation


Willimantic Police have arrested two more people as they investigate tainted K2, or synthetic marijuana, that sent 12 people to the hospital in Willimantic on Monday.

The arrests come after Willimantic police responded to a dozen cases on Monday of residents who ingested the drug exhibiing psychotic behavior. Investigators said they believe the K2 was laced with another substance.

Police have charged Charles Ward, a 31-year-old homeless man, and Ashley Easton, 24, of Willimantic, with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and  possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond for each was set at $50,000 and they were due in Danielson Superior Court this morning.

Police said tis is an ongoing investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Willimantic and more arrests are expected.

These arrests comes a day after police arrested four other people.

Thomas Gasper Jr., 39, was charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory and operation of a drug factory.

Vanessa Torruella, 22, of Willimantic, Jessica Klein, 31, of Willimantic, and Justin Blantz, of Willimantic. ave also been charged in connection with the investigation and are due in court on May 14.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police

Did Smoker on Oxygen Spark Blaze?


A deadly fire in a Maryland home may have been sparked by a smoker using an oxygen tank, Anne Arundel County fire officials said Thursday. 

A neighbor called 911 just after 11 p.m. Wednesday after spotting flames coming from a window of the Disney Avenue home.

Firefighters say a woman found during a search of the home was pronounced dead at the scene. She was the only person inside the home at the time.

Fire officials say the use of smoking products in conjunction with home oxygen may have started the fire.

No other injuries were reported.

It's unclear whether any working smoke alarms were inside the home.

Obama Library: How Big an Economic Boost Chicago Can Expect


If President Obama’s library and museum is built on Chicago’s South Side as expected, proponents say it could provide an economic boost to an area that the president himself once worked to revitalize.

Chicago would hope to replicate the growth in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, after former President Bill Clinton built his presidential center there. It transformed a run-down area into shops, restaurants and apartments.

Both Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner have talked up the library's economic possibilities for the city.

But experts are skeptical that Obama's library will draw bigger crowds than any other president's as predicted by boosters. And while such libraries typically bring economic benefits, predicting just how much is tricky, they say.

A report commissioned by the University of Chicago found last year that Obama's library would bring 800,000 visitors a year, 1,900 permanent new jobs and a $220 million economic boost annually for the city.

“I think it is on the optimistic side, though they do have a substantial impact usually,” Benjamin Hufbauer, a professor at the University of Louisville and the author of “Presidential Temples: How Memorials and Libraries Shape Public Memory," said of the report.

President Bill Clinton's library, built in a depressed section of Little Rock, is the best example of a library and museum spurring an economic transformation, he said. An analysis of its effect by the Little Rock-based Boyette Strategic Advisors and released in October found that investment in the downtown areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock have totaled $2.46 billion since the location of the Clinton Presidential Center was announced in 1997.

"Chicago of course is a huge city compared to Little Rock so I'm not sure it's a direct one-to-one comparison," Hufbauer said.

The Barack Obama Foundation could announce a final decision on the location as early as next week though it has been widely reported that the president has selected the University of Chicago's proposal to build the library in the city. The University of Illinois, the University of Hawaii and Columbia University in New York have also been in contention.

Even if visitors flock to a library in the first years after it opens, the numbers drop off. Last year, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, drew 490,887 people. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, California, was the second most popualr presidential library with 383,470, according to attendance figures provided by the National Archives and Records Administration.

In contrast, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, drew only 59,499 visitors; the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, 51,703. The least popular presidential library: Herbert Hoover's in West Branch, Iowa, with 43,085 attendees.

"The thing about these presidential libraries is that in general, the first few years it's huge and then it goes into a slow decline," Hufbauer said. "Now, sometimes it can be reinvented, new exhibits can be brought in and it can go up, but the general trend is they open really big and then slowly over time it goes down."

Anthony Clark, another presidential library expert and the author of “The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity & Enshrine Their Legacies," said a library is most popular the year it opens and the year the president dies. He argued that the National Archives' attendance numbers can be inflated because they may include counts of guests at outside events being held at the libraries or other such visitors.

“Some of the libraries are more diligent at being conservative with the numbers and some of them are widely inflated,” he said.

The National Archives and Records Administration responded that the libraries provide data in a number of areas, including attendance at museums and public programs, according to its reporting requirements.

The administration has not done any studies on the libraries’ economic impact.

The report for the University of Chicago by the Anderson Economic Group in Chicago, released a year ago, acknowledged that its prediction for visitors was twice that of the Reagan library, the perennially popular facility. It noted that an Obama library on Chicago's South Side would be an urban institution more accessible to transportation and a large base of visitors and would benefit from Chicago's tourist amenities. Because Obama is the first African-American president, his library would draw tourists for reasons other libraries do not.

Other conclusions: Of the 800,000 visitors, 350,000 would come from outside the Chicago metropolitan area, and they would spend about $110 million annually, including $31 million on food and goods in the neighborhood near the library. That's enough to support 30 new restaurants, 11 new shops and a new hotel, according to the report.

Construction would cost $380 million, a figure the report authors based on the price of other presidential libraries and the Chicago market. The construction costs plus other expenditures would bring the economic impact to $600 million.

Taxes to the city would increase by $5 million a year, according to the prediction.

Clark said that the report on the Clinton center was only one he was aware of that assesses completed libraries.

The Obama library, meanwhile, has sparked controversy over plans to build it in one of the city’s parks — either on 20 acres in Jackson Park along Lake Michigan or on 21 acres in Washington Park next to the university, both designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Some residents have threatened a lawsuit over the loss of parkland, which prompted Illinois lawmakers to change state law to specifically permit presidential libraries provided the public still has access. Rauner signed the bill on Friday.

Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff, has called the library a unique opportunity, economically and culturally, and one that the city should not miss.

When the University of Chicago could not assure access to the parkland, Emanuel orchestrated the transfer of 20 acres from the Chicago Parks District to the city for the library's use.

"It can be on the South Side. It can be on the West Side, but it cannot be on the Upper West Side of Manhattan," Emanuel said while campaigning for a second term at Chicago City Hall.

Photo Credit: AP

Ex-Judicial Marshal Charged With Human Trafficking


New charges have been filed against a former judicial marshal in Waterbury who was previously arrested on charges pertaining to prostitution and child pornography.

Michael Connelly, 53, of Waterbury, who worked in the Waterbury courthouse for 30 years, has been charged with trafficking in persons, three counts of impersonation of a police officer and three counts of coercion.

He is the brother of the late Waterbury State’s Attorney John Connelly, a man who successfully prosecuted cases against four of the men on death row.

Michael Connelly turned himself in to Western District Major Crime Detectives at Troop A in Southbury around 6:15 a.m. on Thursday, according to state police.

This was the fourth time state police have arrested Connelly since 2014 and authorities
said these charges stem from a lengthy investigation into allegations of criminal misconduct dating back to 2013.

Connelly is being held on a $450,000 court-set bond, appeared in Waterbury Court this morning and is due back in court on May 29 in Bantam.

Joseph D'Alesio, executive director of operations for the Connecticut superior court system, said in January that Connelly was placed on unpaid administrative leave in November when police began investigating his conduct.

WATCH: Puppy Takes First Steps


Jesse, the adorable mastiff mix puppy that was found lying in the woods and unable to walk last month, continues to recover and earlier this week stood on all four legs without help.

Video posted to Facebook by the New York Bully Crew shows the pup standing on all fours without a harness and very little help from a handler as she tries to grab a treat. The pup's progress comes weeks after she was found abandoned with an inhumanely hacked-off tail near a blanket in a park in Harlem.

NBC 4 New York first reported on Jesse a few days after she was found in mid-April. At the time, she couldn’t walk without the help of a special harness, and the group was taking her to veterinarians and neurologists to figure out why she couldn’t use her legs.

The group said in a Facebook post Wednesday that it may never be known why Jesse couldn't use her legs when she was found, or if she'll ever be able to walk unassisted. But it appears she has made some strides: other posts show Jesse swimming in a therapy pool, walking with the help a trainer and sitting up on her own. One video shows her running into therapy with the help of a harness.

“We also know that we must follow through for as long as needed to ensure that we do not give up on her, as we know she will never give up,” the group said. “We are all elated to see the progress that Jesse has been making, but we know there is so much more work to do.”

The rescue thanked donors in the post for their help in rehabilitating Jesse but asked for additional contributions to her care. The group has started an online fundraiser for the dog’s care and is already more than halfway to a $10,000 goal. Donations can be made here.

Photo Credit: New York Bully Crew
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40 Firefighters From 9 Departments Battle Litchfield Condo Fire


Forty firefighters from nine fire companies were called to the Hunters Chase Condo Complex in Litchfield after a unit under construction went up in flames Thursday afternoon, according to fire officials and emergency dispatchers.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk Fire Department, which responded to the scene, said the fire on Hunters Drive broke out around 1:35 p.m. Thursday. Crews arrived to find flames engulfing the condo unit, which appears to be vacant.

Norfolk fire spokesman John Barbagallo said the fire was contained mostly to one of four units in the building, although a neighboring unit sustained some damage. Half the building is a loss.

According to Barbagallo, the complex is new and building was empty at the time. One or two people do live in the building, but were not home when the fire started.

The fire appears to have started on the upper level of the burning unit.

Barbagallo said a fire marshal is investigating to determine the cause of the fire, which does not appear to be suspicious.

Firefighters from Litchfield, Bantam, East Litchfield, Torrington, Harwinton, Norfolk, Burlington, Morris and Torringford were called to the scene.

Photo Credit: Edward Peruta
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