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Missing Fla. Boys May Have Been Abducted by Father: Officials


Two boys missing from Tampa, Fla. and the people they’re believed to be with may be heading to or already in South Florida, the FBI said Friday.

An Amber Alert was re-issued for Cole Hakken, 4, and Chase Hakken, 2, who were last seen in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

They may be with their father Joshua Hakken, 35, and his wife Sharyn Hakken, 34, and they may be traveling in a 25-foot, 1972 Morgan sailboat, according to the FDLE. The vessel has a registration number of FL3717BK.

The boat has a blue hull, the name "Salty" with a picture of a paw near the back of the hull on each side, a blue Bimini top and a white sail with blue trim, the FDLE said.

Authorities urge anyone with information on the location of the children to call the FBI's Miami office at 305-944-9101, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department at 813-247-8200, or 911.

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

More Local Stories:

Photo Credit: FDLE

New York Aquarium Ready to Reopen After Sandy


The New York Aquarium is preparing to open for the first time since Sandy. Tom Llamas reports.

Fare Increases Possible on Two CT River Ferries


The state Department of Transportation is holding two public meetings to discuss plans to increase fares on two Connecticut River ferries.
Under the proposal, vehicle fares for the Chester-Hadlyme and Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferries will increase from the $3 per crossing to $6, beginning July 1.
State transportation officials say the increases are necessary to offset rising operating costs. Fares have not been raised since 2003.
The transportation department also plans to double fares for walk-on passengers and bicyclists from $1 per crossing to $2. The price of a discount coupon book with 20 tickets would increase from $40 to $80.
A meeting is planned May 20 at the Rocky Hill Community Center and May 22 at the Chester Meeting House.

Photo Credit: yoshio90/Instagram

Quinnipiac Students Roll Up Sleeves for "Big Event"


More than 1,000 Quinnipiac University students rolled up their sleeves Saturday, for a day of community service.
The students’ community service was part of a nationwide effort  for universities across the country, called The Big Event.
Dozens of those students concentrated on Sleeping Giant State Park; known for its hiking trails and beautiful scenery, the park is an oasis for those in the greater New Haven area, but the slew of storms this winter left it in disarray.
“We’re just going to be walking around, getting our exercise today while cleaning up trash,” said Kathia Fonseca, a freshman at Quinnipiac.
“Somebody has to care, or…it’s never going to get done,” said Quinnipiac freshman, Ashley Castro.
The hundreds of other student volunteers who weren’t at the park were bused to different areas across Connecticut, like Branford, Cheshire, Milford, Wallingford, and Waterbury. Some went to senior centers, others collected canned goods for shelters across the state.
“We have over 1,500 students go out,” said Keelin Walsh, a senior at Quinnipiac and one of the event organizers.
“We like to show the community how we like to give back. The community does so much for Quinnipiac University.”
The students’ volunteer work is welcome news to the community, especially those like Hope Metcalf, who visit areas like Sleeping Giant State Park and want it to stay clean and beautiful.
“It’s really nice. We love to come here with our dog. We appreciate it.”
This was Quinnipiac University’s 4th time participating in the annual event. The tradition began 31 years ago, at Texas A&M University.

Photo Credit: AP Images

Sales of Assault Weapons Skyrocket in Maryland


The sale of military-style weapons in Maryland has skyrocketed because of the concern they'll will be banned once the strict gun control bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly Thursday goes into effect.

At Engage Armament in Rockville, there are only a few assault weapons left because so many have been sold in anticipation of gun restrictions.

Ammunition has gone up in price -- that is, if you can even find bullets in stock.

"Everything's been bought up and we've had ammunition that came right off the trucks," said A.J. Wynne, an employee at Engage Armament. "They'd say, 'What is that?' I'd say, '9 mm.' [They'd say,] 'I'll take it.' Right before we're even done booking guns in, it's already sold."

Geogre Heffner was in the store Friday, purchasing a handgun that he had ordered months ago.

"When I came here two months ago, there was nothing to be had," he said. "The store was completely empty. I thought someone had come in and robbed it. Nothing on the shelves hardly at all.... Completely sold out."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement saying: "We fully support Governor O'Malley's comprehensive legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly. His leadership in the area of gun licensing, restricting access to military-style assault weapons and gun magazines will save lives."

In Prince George's County, youth violence is a growing concern. Seven teens have been shot and killed in the county during this school year.

"As... a person that has kids and [is] concerned about youth violence, I think [gun control is] something that would be a great asset to my kids that are growing up now, in today's society," said Prince George's County resident Darnell Johnson.

But opinion is divided whether gun control is the answer.

"Personally, I think the problem is a little deeper," said Prince George's County resident Dexter Taylor."We need to catch some of these younger people... and try to keep them from going in that direction in the first place."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Firefighters Fight Brush Fire in Burlington


Fire crews responded to a  working brush fire in the area of Upson and Covey Roads Saturday afternoon.

Tankers from Unionville and Burlington helped transport water. Tunxis and Harwinton tankers also responded.

A nearby public library was evacuated as firefighters fought to put out the flames.

"One of my coworkers got a call from someone in the fire department saying that we should evacuate the building. We closed up and went outside and watched them put it out and then we decided to re-open," said one librarian.

The fire spread for several miles, destroying 5 acres, said Deputy Chief Andrew Mercieri.

Fire officials said one firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation and was transported to Bristol hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Chicago to Pay $55K to Tasered Pregnant Woman


The city of Chicago will reportedly pay a $55,000 settlement to a woman who claimed she was shocked with a stun gun while eight months pregnant, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tiffany Rent, 31, filed suit against the city after she was shocked with a stun gun by a police officer in front of her two young children in June. 

Rent said she pulled into a handicapped parking spot in the Walgreen's lot on the 110 block of South Michigan Avenue while her fiance ran into the store. She then got out of the car to re-seat her 3-year-old when a Chicago police officer began writing her a ticket.

Police said she tore up the ticket and threw it at the officer. When the officer asked her for identification, police said she refused to comply.

Police said the officer deployed his stun gun when Rent tried to put her car in gear and drive away.

"I don't think that it should have went this far," she said. "It just makes me afraid of the Chicago Police Department because there's other women that may have went through this or that's going through this."

Attorney Keenan Saulter further argued a parking ticket is not a reason to use a stun gun.

"A parking ticket," he said. "Not even a moving violation, but a parking ticket should not involve someone pulling out a Taser."

The accused officers claimed they did not know Rent was pregnant, but the officer who deployed the stun gun is under review.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said stun guns should be used when overcoming assault or preventing escape and “you can’t always tell if somebody’s pregnant.”

Rent gave birth in July to a baby boy named Joseph.


Police Capture Escaped Inmate


Police have captured escaped inmate Lori Beyus according to officials from the York Correctional Institution.

State police were searching for the 49-year-inmate who escaped from prison grounds around 6:30 Sunday morning.

According to Department of Corrections records, Beyus is currently serving a 51 month sentence for second-degree robbery. She was sentenced in Jan. 2013.

Beyus was found on the side of I-95, in there area of North Bridebrook overpass, said police.

She was the third inmate this year to escape from the all-female facility.  On January 5th, two inmates escaped after time in the gym one Saturday night. The two women were found in Hartford the next day.


NYC Man Falls on Broken Glass During Fight, Bleeds to Death


Police say a man bled to death outside a New York City restaurant after he fell on a broken bottle during an argument early Saturday.
Witnesses tell police two men were involved in a dispute inside an eatery in Brooklyn and got into an altercation outside around 4 a.m.
When officers arrived, they found one of the men bleeding from a cut on his arm.
He was taken to a hospital, where he died. 
The victim was in his 20s. His identity wasn't immediately released.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

Thousands Seeking Immigration Reform Rally in Miami


Thousands of people took to the street of Miami on Saturday to demand comprehensive immigration reform.

The Miami rally,  one of many staged around the country Saturday, came days before lawmakers in Washington are expected to reveal a bipartisan immigration bill.

VIDEO: Potential Breakthrough in Immigration

Local demonstrators demanding changes wanted to send a loud, clear message to Congress.

"There so many people out there who have so many needs and so many challenges,” marcher Andrea Rodriguez said. “A simple thing like having a driver’s license or having a Social Security number prohibits them from just doing the best they can in this country.”

More than 11 million people in the U.S. are undocumented, but want to work here legally without having to wait decades to become citizens, advocates say.

UM Law Students Help Undocumented Youths With Status

The marchers were joined by local community leaders including Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

"Most of these people here are my parishioners, and so I’m happy to stand in solidarity with them,” Wenski said. “But right now we have a moment of opportunity to gain immigration reform, and this rally is important so that Congress is reminded that we need a reform, but we need the reform to be a just one.”

Miami Mayor Regalado Gives State of City Address

Regalado said he believes that the Census didn’t count many Miami residents because they were afraid.

“These residents, if they can get to be permanent residents or citizens, they can take better jobs, they can buy houses, they can contribute more,” he said.

Groups from all over the country, including people who took part in Saturday’s Miami rally, plan to march in the nation’s capital Wednesday.

More Local Stories:


Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Danbury Road Race Supports Newtown First Responders


About 1,500 runners gathered on a beautiful morning to get their exercise and give back to the community.

The ninth annual Stratton Faxon Danbury half marathon, 5K and children's race, held Sunday, April 7, raised over $14,000 to support the Newtown Police Union.

The money will go to first responders who took extended leave after facing the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

Past and present police officers, firefighters and medical personnel from around the state showed their support by joining the Newtown Police Union team.

The half-marathon first-, second- and third-place winners were Amos Sang, 24, Mikael Tesfaye, 26 and Chris Zablocki, 24.

The top three 5K finishers were Jamie Stroffolino, 27, Kevin Boughan, 37 and Chris Tingue, 27.

Eleven-year-old Katalina Bachring won the half-mile kids' race.

First, second and third place half marathon winners were awarded cash prizes, while the top three finishers in all divisions received other awards. Live musicians performed at a post-race party from 10:40 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The races began between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. at Rogers Park in Danbury.

Connecticut's 169 Towns Competing to Draw Tourism


Connecticut's 169 towns are competing with each other to promote tourism in the state. Residents can vote for their favorite town on the state's "Visit Connecticut" Facebook page.

Destinations, attractions and businesses also are encouraged to mobilize their towns to vote. Using all the towns in Connecticut is seen as a way to draw tourists to historic and cultural sites, shopping and other activities in the towns.

The town that wins the most votes will be featured in a two-minute video on Facebook. The promotion is being launched with Connecticut's spring marketing campaign that includes tourism and business development advertising.

Associated Press/NBC Connecticut

Photo Credit: Visit Connecticut/CTvisit.com

Plainfield Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash


A 26-year-old motorcyclist was injured after plowing into a car on Norwich Road around 9 p.m. Saturday night.

Stanley Paplasky, of 72 Cemetary Road, Plainfield, drove through the intersection of Norwich Road and Lathrop Road, crashing into a car that was turning left at a protected green arrow.

Paplasky flew off his bike, which skidded into the middle of the street. Officers arrived to find him lying in the road alert and responsive. The other driver was not injured.

Paplasky was transported to the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. There has been no report of his condition.

He was not wearing a helmet.

Police are still investigating. Anyone who witnessed the accident should call the Plainfield Police Department at 860-564-0804.

Waterbury Woman Killed in Car Accident


A Waterbury woman died after losing control of her Nissan Murano and crashing into another car on Thomaston Avenue early Saturday morning, police said.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mallory Mailhot was driving southbound arounde 2 a.m. Saturday when she crossed the center line, smashing into a Honda Accord.

Mailhot was transported to Waterbury Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

The other driver was not seriously hurt.

20-Year-Old Milford Woman Dies in Crash on Rt. 7


A 20-year-old Milford woman died in a car crash on Route 7 in Brookfield early Sunday morning.

Marina Callisen, of Milford, was driving northbound near exit 11 at 1 a.m. Sunday when her car drifted onto the right shoulder. Callison drove through a metal guardrail and down an embankment.

She was declared dead at the scene.

Erin Hansen, 21, of Danbury, a passenger in the car, was transported to Danbury Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Motorcycle Driver Killed in Hit and Run


A motorcyclist died in a hit-and-run crash in Bridgeport Sunday afternoon, police said.

Two motorcycles were driving together on Boston Avenue Sunday afternoon. One motorcycle collided with a pickup truck near the intersection with Orchard Street. The motorcyclist flew off the bike and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck, described as burgundy and with a cap on the rear, drove off.

Police are still investigating and are searching for the truck.

Teen Dies in Danbury Crash


Police are investigating a crash on Route 7 that killed a 19-year-old Danbury woman.

Mayra Tenesaca was driving southbound on Route 7 when she swerved across the on-ramp at exit 7. Her car crossed onto the crass, hitting a guard rail on the right shoulder. Tenesaca was ejected upon impact.

The car continued forward and crossed both northbound lanes, hitting a light pole on the shoulder of Route 7 northbound. The car was totaled.

Tenesaca, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Starvation, Not Radiation Likely Affecting Calif. Sea Lion Pups


More than 1,000 ailing sea lion pups have washed ashore in Southern California over the past three months, and a national fisheries expert says a lack of food source is likely the cause, not radiation as reported by some media outlets.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has assembled a team of experts to research the cause of the beached sea lion pup problem.

NOAA has been granted an official declaration of what’s called an Unusual Mortality Event (UME). The status allows for the establishment of a panel of experts to convene to look for answers and will also provide for extra funding.

On Thursday, NOAA held a conference to discuss that research. Experts said the leading hypothesis their panel is looking at focuses on a lack of food source, starvation and dehydration. Other potential causes being studied include possible infectious diseases or pollutants in the ocean.

Experts believe pups are being affected in greater numbers than adult sea lions because they are limited in how far they can travel and unfamiliar with the environment.

Over the weekend, some news outlets reported that radiation from Japan’s March 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster is also being looked at as a possible cause for the UME concerning sea lion pups.

On Sunday, NBC 7 San Diego spoke with Jim Milbury of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service who said experts “haven’t ruled out” the possibility of radiation affecting the sea lion pups. However, Milbury said it is highly unlikely that radiation is to blame.

“Radiation is being looked at, just like everything else. We haven’t ruled it out, but we really don’t suspect this at all,” Milbury told NBC 7. “We don’t suspect radiation because this would also mean other animals in the ocean would be affected, especially in the oceans of Hawaii, closer to Japan, and we haven't seen any of that.”

Milbury says the more plausible cause is simply starvation.

“For some unknown reason that we’re still researching, their food prey has moved to another location in the ocean and the sea lion pups can’t get to it,” he explained.

So far in 2013 in San Diego, there have been seven times the number of sea lions that have beached themselves compared to the same time period last year. From Jan. 1 to Mar. 31, NOAA experts say 214 sea lions have washed ashore locally. Last year during this time period, 32 sea lions were found on San Diego’s shoreline.

SeaWorld animal care specialists tell NBC 7 they have rescued six sea lions from local beaches just in this past Friday and Saturday alone.

The number of ailing sea lions has risen across all of Southern California, in coastal counties stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego, according to NOAA Fisheries.

Milbury confirms there have been 1,100 beached sea lions across these coastal counties from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31. The historical average for this time period is 131, he said.

Milbury says NOAA’s research conducted by this new panel of experts will take several weeks.

Until then, he says a big concern is making sure people don’t touch or contact beached sea lions since they are wild animals. Instead, he says local beachgoers should report stranded sea lions to authorities such as SeaWorld’s animal rescue team in San Diego.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Eugene Garcia

The Life and Times of Margaret Thatcher


Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke at age 87. Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister. The conservative leader led Britain from 1979 to 1990 and was a close ally of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Woman Charged With Eyeglass Frames Thefts


An East Windsor woman accused of stealing eyeglass frames has been arrested in South Windsor and charged with larceny in the fourth degree.

South Windsor police arrested Bernice Tompkins, 47, of Broad Brook, on an arrest warrant on Saturday.

The charges filed against Tompkins are in connection with a complaint a local eyewear store filed in January 2013 after staff noticed that several pairs of eyeglass frames were missing after Tompkins had visited the store.

Surveillance video shows Tompkins entering a store with a man, police said. While Tompkins distracted the clerk, the man took several pairs of frames, according to police. 

Officers were later able to identify Tompkins as one of the suspects and obtained an arrest warrant for her. She was arrested on April 6 and later released on $1,000 non-surety bond. 

She is scheduled to appear at Manchester Superior Court on April 18.

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