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U.S. Extremist Attacks Far More Common Than Jihadi Terrorism


Almost twice as many people in the United States have been killed in terrorist attacks by individuals aligned with white supremacy and anti-government ideologies than by Muslim extremists since the Sept. 11 attacks, data compiled by one Washington-based research group suggests. 

Data analyzed by New America revealed that 48 people have been killed in "lethal terrorist incidents" in the U.S. committed by non-Muslims since September 2001, compared to the 26 who were killed by attackers who self-identified as jihadist. The ongoing analysis, which the center has been compiling since 2011, made headlines Wednesday after the New York Times cited the findings in a report on the threat of U.S.-born radicalism in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at a South Carolina church. 

Non-Muslims have carried out 19 deadly attacks since 9/11. Attackers identified as jihadists by the researchers launched seven in the same period.

Given the subjectivity of labeling cases as terrorism and weighing those incidents without clear motive, the researchers excluded several infamous attacks, including the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, and even the fatal shooting by a white man of his three Muslim neighbors in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The shooter in that case was said to be motivated by a parking dispute. 

In its list of deadly jihadist attacks, researchers included incidents of ideological murder committed by non-Muslims that received short-lived national media attention, including the 2012 neo-Nazi murder spree at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and the 2014 rampage by antigovernment and neo-Nazi couple Jerad and Amanda Miller, who killed two police officers and a third person in a Las Vegas Walmart.

Photo Credit: AP
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Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Launches for Summer


Summer is underway and for lovers of the arts in the Farmington Valley that means it's time for the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

The Hill-Stead Museum's 23rd Annual Sunken Garden Poetry Festival launches Wednesday night with the first of five performances and NBC Connecticut is partnering with the museum for the event.

The festival is held outdoors on the historical museum grounds off Route 4 in Farmington. There are poetry writing workshops before each reading and there are also concerts on the estate.

The museum also has an Impressionist art collection people can peruse and guests are welcome to walk the trails before the performance.

 Here's the schedule for featured poets:

  • Wednesday, June 24: Ted Kooser, Pulitzer Prize winner for 2005 and former U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06, and Hadara Bar-Nadav, Sunken Garden Poetry Chapbook Winner
  • Thursday, June 25: Writing workshop with Kooser, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 12: Marie Howe, New York state poet laureate, 2012-14, Ciaran Berry
  • Wednesday, July 22: Vijay T. Seshadrim, Pulitzer Prize winner for 2014, and Ravi Shankar
  • Sunday, Aug. 9: Li-Young Lee and Brooklyn poet laureate Tina Chang, Outspoken: Celebration of Asian Poetry
  • Wednesday, Aug. 19: Natalie Diaz, Aja Monet and Fresh Voices Competition winners, CT Young Poets Day

Visit www.hillstead.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Reaction to Tsarnaev's Apology


Two Boston Marathon bombing survivors said they did not feel convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's apology in court on Wednesday was genuine.

"He said he was remorseful," survivor Scott Weisberg said after Judge George O'Toole Jr. formally sentenced Tsarnaev to death. "I find that hard to believe since I've come to a lot of the trial and never really saw that at all from him. It really does not change anything for me. I think he spoke because people were sort of expecting that of him. I don't think he was genuine."

"A simple, believable apology would've been great," added bombing survivor Lynn Julian. "There was nothing simple that he said and nothing sincere."

Survivor Henry Borgard, however, said he wants to believe that Tsarnaev's apology was sincere.

"I was actually really happy that he made the statement," Borgard said. "I have forgiven him. I have come to a place of peace and I genuinely hope that he does as well. For me to hear him say that he's sorry, that is enough for me. And I hope - because I still do have faith in humanity, including him - I hope that his words were genuine, I hope they were heartfelt. I'm going to take it on faith that what he said was genuine.

"I was really profoundly affected, really deeply moved that he did do that. His statement, like ours, takes courage."

In May, the jury condemned Tsarnaev to die for setting off the two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line with his older brother, Tamerlan. Tsarnaev was also found guilty in the shooting death of an MIT police officer.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz was also asked for her opinion on Tsarnaev's statement, and said what struck her was what the convicted bomber didn't say.

"He didn't renounce terrorism, he didn't renounce violent extremism," she said.

"He did this for political reasons," added Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Ortiz also spoke of the strength, courage and resiliency shown by the survivors of the bombing.

"In the courtroom today, I felt proud not just to be a Bostonian, but also to be an American," she said. 

Vincent Lisi, the FBI's special agent in charge, echoed those sentiments.

"I hope today's proceedings can serve as a milestone as they continue their healing process," he said.

Photo Credit: necn

Wake for Slain Charleston Pastor Set for Thursday


Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church will hold a wake Thursday for slain pastor Clementa Pinckney, a reverend and state senator who was killed, along with eight others, in the massacre at the historic church last week.

The wake will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the church announced in a statement Wednesday.

Hundreds of worshipers crowded into the pews of Mother Emanuel, as the church is known, on Sunday to mourn Pickney and the eight other victims of the shooting at Bible study last week.

"It has been tough. It has been rough," said the Rev. Dr. Norvel Goff, a church elder who delivered Sunday's sermon. "But through it all, God has sustained us and has encouraged us. Let us not grow weary in well doing."

A lion of South Carolina government and a beloved figure in the Charleston community, Pinckney was a precocious public servant. He was ordained a minister at 18 and elected to the state House at 23, making him the youngest member of the House at the time.

"He never had anything bad to say about anybody, even when I thought he should," State House Minority leader Todd Rutherford told The Associated Press. "He was always out doing work either for his parishioners or his constituents. He touched everybody."

Vice President Joe Biden called Pinckney "a good man, a man of faith, a man of service who carried forward Mother Emaunel's legacy as a sacred place promoting freedom, equality, and justice for all."

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, has been charged with nine counts of murder in the church massacre. Authorities called the shooting a "hate crime." A website that may be linked with Roof featured white-supremacist rantings and pictures of Roof wearing white-supremacist iconography.

Photo Credit: AP/Inset: Allen University

Police Arrest Man Suspected of Abusing Pit Bull in Willimantic


Police have arrested a Willimantic man on animal cruelty charges after a 6-month-old female pit bull was found with fractured bones last month.

Willimantic police arrested Angel Villar Vargas, 30, of Willimantic on Tuesday and he was arraigned in court on Wednesday.

Officers responded to 22 Spruce Street on May 13 to help the Willimantic animal control office on a call involving an injured pit bull. Investigation revealed suspected animal abuse, police said.

X-rays showed the dog had a broken femur and fractured hip. The pit bull also had an ear infection. Investigators took the dog to a veterinarian for treatment and obtained an arrest warrant for Vargas.

The 6-month-old pit bull is healing from surgery.

The dog was placed with animal control.

Police charged Vargas with animal cruelty and issued him a $40,000 cash/surety bond. He appeared in court on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department

Former Addict, Now Nursing School Graduate, Pays It Forward


At just 24 years old, Eric Seitz was dying. He had been rushed to Harborview Medical Center, suffering from opiate withdrawal, as well as from the flesh-eating bacteria that were rapidly consuming his leg. The bacteria had come from the infected needles Seitz used for his heroin injections.


Six years later, Seitz has just graduated as class president from the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle. He's been clean ever since that fateful day, and now, he wants to care for others the way the nurses at Harborview had done for him over half a decade ago. And his leg was able to be saved, too.


Seitz doesn't have a job lined up yet, but he is hopeful he will start receiving offers very soon. He wants to pursue community nursing and work with the homeless.


"Somebody asked me, why do I want to do this?" Seitz said. "It's because I want to show them they have community."

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Car Crashes Into House in Meriden

Tsarnaev to Be Put to Death in Ind.


Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, sentenced to death Wednesday for the 2013 attack, will spend at least a portion of his remaining days at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The medium security federal correctional institution currently holds more than 1,300 inmates, according to its Federal Bureau of Prisons website. Executions there are conducted by lethal injection.

Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev's lead defense requested on Wednesday that the execution be carried out in New Hampshire, but U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. ruled that out and ordered Tsarnaev to be put to death in Terre Haute.

It wasn't immediately known Wednesday when Tsarnaev would be transferred to the facility, and his execution will no doubt be delayed several years by appeals. 

"I would like to now apologize to the victims, to the survivors," Tsarnaev said shortly before the judge formally sentenced him. "I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, the suffering that I've caused and the damage that I've done, irreparable damage."

He asked for Allah's mercy for those who died and those he injured and for him and his brother.

A federal jury in May condemned Tsarnaev to die for bombing the 2013 marathon with his brother, Tamerlan. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when the brothers detonated two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line.

There have been only three federal executions since 1988, when a moratorium was lifted. The last execution at FCI Terre Haute was of Gulf War veteran Louis Jones Jr. who was convicted in the 1995 kidnapping, murder and rape of 19-year-old Army recruit Pvt. Tracie Joy McBride.

Timothy McVeigh, convicted in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was put to death  at the Terre Haute penitentiary in 2001.

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan spent nearly six years at the Terre Haute facility on a corruption conviction. 

Photo Credit: Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Prison Time for Dad Who Broke Baby Daughter's Arms, Legs


A local dad will spend eight years in prison for breaking his baby daughter's arms and legs, court officials said.

Morice Wilkerson was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, to be suspended after eight. He will also serve five years of probation, according to the court clerk in Fairfield.

Wilkerson was previously convicted of risk of injury to a minor in third-degree assault.

The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that the injuries to Wilkerson's daughter occurred in 2012. Wilkerson and his wife could not explain what caused the little girls broken bones.

The girl is now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and will be adopted, Hearst reports.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Correction

Police Make Arrest in Norwich Home Invasion


Police arrested a man Wednesday morning who is suspected in an armed home invasion at a Norwich home that happened in April.

Norwich police charged Leroy Thomas, 25, of New London, with home invasion, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, three counts of first-degree unlawful restraint, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and fifth-degree larceny for his suspected role in the April 24 incident.

After a lengthy investigation, police obtained a warrant for Thomas and served the warrant while he was appearing in New London Superior Court for an unrelated case. Police held Thomas in custody in lieu of a $250,000 court-set bond in the home invasion case and will be arraigned on June 25.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Middletown Man Wanted in Florida Arrested in Cromwell


Police and Cromwell have arrested a man wanted on three felony warrants out of Florida.

Edward S. Intagliata, 28, of Middletown, was arrested as a fugitive from justice on Wednesday. Cromwell police said they tracked him down after residents saw a Facebook post and tip them off.

he's taken into custody in the area of Sebethe Drive in Cromwell and was held on $1000 bond. He's wanted by Pasco County Sheriffs in Florida for lewd or lascivious battery.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

Celebs Head to Cromwell for Travelers Pro-Am


Big-name athletes and Hollywood celebrities all gathered at the green in Cromwell Wednesday afternoon for the Travelers' Celebrity Pro-Am.

Actor and comedian George Lopez flew in to Connecticut from LA just to support the cause.

He was better at entertaining the crowd than he was with his swing, and of course he took advantage of each available moment to crack a joke.

"My grandmother had Travelers insurance and when she fell at the story, they wrote the check quick," said Lopez.

Following behind Lopez was ESPN's Chris "Boomer" Berman, dressed to the nines in a bright magenta shirt and rocking longer locks than normal.

Boomer says he hasn't cut his hair since turning 60 but today, 90 is likely going to be his lucky number.

"I shoot about a 90. We'll see how it goes. Ninety could be really good or really bad," said Berman.

Connecticut being home for Boomer, he didn't let the nerves get the best of him.

NBC's own Matt Lauer was admittedly a little intimidated by the size of the crowd.

"They know you're not a pro golfer, but you still don't want to embarrass yourself off the first tee so I think this is as much pressure as an amateur golfer has," Lauer said.

It was all talk because once he got in the zone, his swing got quite the response from the spectators.

Even the tiniest fans stood in awe as they watched and waited for their favorite celebrities to approach the crowd for autographs.

"Lots of them I see on TV, and it's really cool," said Andrew Collins.

Alleged NYC Nursing Home Abuse Captured on Camera


Two nurses and a nurses aide have been arrested for allegedly dragging a disabled, bleeding patient across the hallway at a Queens nursing home, and neglecting to treat that patient for 20 minutes as he lay on the floor with an open head wound, authorities said Wednesday. 

Surveillance cameras captured the alleged abuse at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Far Rockaway in October. The company that operates the nursing home said it reviews surveillance tapes on a daily basis, and contacted the attorney general's office when officials saw the abuse on tape. 

According to prosecutors, the 51-year-old nursing home resident seen in the Oct. 23 video, who suffered from multiple debilitating conditions including altered mental status, fell in front of Esohe Agbonkpolor, a nurse at the rehab center, while in a hallway and Agbonkpolor did nothing to help.

Court papers allege the resident was left lying on his back on the floor for 12 minutes, at which time a certified nurse aide at the facility, Emmanuael Ufot, grabbed the injured man by his arm and dragged him into his room.

About 25 minutes later, the resident, wearing a backless gown that was pulled up over his naked body, emerged from his room, crawling along the floor on his back, bleeding profusely from a wound to the back of his head and another serious wound on his jaw, according to court documents.

Prosecutors allege in court papers that, for the following 20 minutes, Agbonkpolor and another nurse at the facility, Funmilola Taiwo largely ignored the resident and never appropriately treated the resident’s wounds, though they were working just a few feet away.

As they allegedly neglected the man, Ufot, in another attempt to get the resident back into his room, allegedly grabbed him by his hospital gown that was by then twisted around his neck, dragged him along the floor and dropped him in front of his room.

Taiwo, 34, Agbonkpolor, 39, and Ufot, 36, all face charges of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony, and willful violation of health laws, a misdemeanor. The three defendants were either fired from their jobs at Peninsula or resigned during the course of the investigation.

They were arrested Wednesday. Information on attorneys for them wasn't immediately available.

In a statement, nursing home administrator Elliot Norman said it has "zero tolerance toward any type of misconduct, abusive or negligent behavior by staff toward patients." 

He noted that Cardiff Bay Center LLC took over the nursing home in February 2013 when it was bankrupt and devastated by Sandy, and immediately installed a video surveillance system and established a daily review protocol. 

The nursing home is cooperating with the attorney general's office and "will continue to maintain absolute vigilance including the extensive use of our video surveillance system to ensure patient safety and the high standard of care we demand our employees deliver to our resident," Norman said. 

“My office will not tolerate nurses who callously fail to treat or endanger injured patients under their care,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “Caregivers must know that we will vigorously prosecute behavior that endangers our most vulnerable citizens. New Yorkers in nursing facilities deserve quality care and their loved ones deserve to know their caregivers act like the professionals they are."

Photo Credit: Handout

Rescue Underway in Meriden, LifeStar Called


A LifeStar medical helicopter has been called to South Mountain Road in Meriden while emergency crews work to rescue a person who is possibly injured, according to the fire department.

The scene is unfolding in the area of 601 South Mountain Road. The person's condition is unknown. No additional details have been released.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

WATCH: NY Thieves Strip Luxury Car


A New York City woman was stunned to find her brand new car stripped entirely of its tires and rims in Brooklyn, and even more shocked when she saw on surveillance video how quickly and efficiently two thieves managed to pry them off as other cars drove past.

The video taken on a Williamsburg block captures the entire theft early Monday morning. The thieves spot the Mercedes Benz, use a jack to hoist the car off the ground and rest the vehicle on garbage. Then they go for the tires, removing lug nuts one by one and rolling the tires away.

Once the job is complete, the thieves remove the jack and the car smashes back onto the ground. The pair drives away. 

It all happened as cars and even a sanitation truck pass by. 

"They're so nonchalant about it," said car owner Nicole Peluso. "He carries a huge jack across the street like it was premeditated. They knew what they were coming from. It's disgusting." 

Peluso said she'd saved up for years to buy the car, and the second car payment was only due Wednesday. There was less than 2,000 miles on it. 

"It's sitting tireless in an auto body shop somewhere," she said. "Two thousand dollars for each tire and rim. The part that it leaned on, the clay pot -- it broke and went through the rocker, the door of my car." 

Peluso said when she reported the theft to police, she was told no one had called 911 to report a burglary in progress. 

She's now hoping the video, shared first with NBC 4 New York, will help lead to the suspects. 

"I want them to be caught. I don't want them to be able to do this again, and I want them to pay for what they did to me," she said.

Mountain Road in Suffield Closed After Crash

Car Bumps Into Teen Crossing Against Light: Cops


Police responded to Farmington Avenue and Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford on Thursday morning to investigate after a pedestrian was struck and they said no one was injured.

A 14-year-old girl was crossing the street against the light at 7:14 a.m. when a car bumped into her, police said.

She was not injured and was not taken to the hospital.

Police said no one will be cited.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Girl Dies, 2 Brothers in ICU After Texas Pool Tragedy


A 10-year-old girl drowned and her two brothers remain hospitalized after all three were pulled from beneath the surface of a cloudy community swimming pool Wednesday as their mother, who was apparently unable to swim and tending two her two younger children, pleaded for help.

The five siblings were swimming in the shallow end of the pool with their mother at the MacArthur Place at 183 apartment complex on the 2300 block of North MacArthur Boulevard Wednesday afternoon when, according to police, the three drifted into the deep end as their mother's back was turned.

"When she didn't hear the sounds of the children playing anymore, she turned around and didn't see them anymore," Irving Police Department spokesman James McLellan said. "They appeared to have gone below the surface [of the water]."

The mother then began screaming for help, as police said they think she was unable to swim. A nearby maintenance man jumped into the pool and pulled two of the unconscious children out.

"That [drowning] can happen so quickly," McLellan said. "And very quickly, it becomes overwhelming for a single person to handle."

The three children were all transported to Children's Medical Center in Dallas where the woman's daughter, identified by the Dallas County medical examiner as 10-year-old August Smith, died. Irving police said the woman's two sons remained in the intensive care unit at the hospital Thursday morning in grave condition.

"According to [the] original officer that arrived first, she was not made aware that there was a third child in the pool," said McLellan. "In fact, she expressed a little frustration that she didn't know that."

Police are looking into the pool water's murky appearance for a possible reason no one noticed the third child. The pool was open and the water samples from the pool are being analyzed by code enforcement and the health department.

Irving city leaders released the following statement:


"We have established that this pool was in compliance with all City of Irving regulations when it was last inspected on November 10, 2014. Those standards and regulations mimic those established by the Texas Department of Health, and inspections occur every twelve months.


Officials said though the drowning appears to be accidental, they are trying to determine how the three children ended up under water. Police said the mother does not face any charges, but police are still looking for any criminal signs that point to negligence.

NBC 5's Johnny Archer Ellen Bryan, Jocelyn Lockwood, Holley Ford, Todd L. Davis and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: David Steele
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Caught on Video: News Crew Saves Man From OD


A news crew from an NBC station in Pittsburgh helped save a man who accidentally overdosed on heroin behind the wheel Wednesday night.

The crew was setting up for a live shot in Washington, Pennsylvania, when WPXI photographer Dave Clark noticed the man slumped in his car and began to give him CPR.

"I’m thinking, ‘OK, if we can just keep a pulse going till the paramedics get here, we'll be cool,'" he said. "But his pulse got weaker and weaker."

While Clark pulled the man from his car and administered CPR, reporter Cara Sapida dialed 911.

Medics arrived shortly after and were able to revive the man, who they said had overdosed on heroin. They said without Clark's quick action, the man likely would have died.

"Your cameraman originally brought his pulse back,” police officer Matt Karlowsky told WPXI. “He probably would've died if your crew wasn't there.”

Heroin and opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, with more than 800 heroin-related deaths in 2014 alone, WPXI reported.

Photo Credit: NECN

Chris Christie to Announce 2016 Bid Next Week: Sources


Gov. Chris Christie will announce his presidential campaign next week at his high school alma mater, sources familiar with the decision confirm to NBC 4 New York.

The New Jersey governor plans to announce his candidacy at an event at Livingston High School -- where Christie was once class president -- on Tuesday, the sources say. 

Christie has been widely expected to join the increasingly crowded field of Republicans seeking the party's nomination, and was at one time considered a 2016 front-runner. Thirteen candidates, including former New York Gov. George Pataki, have already announced campaigns. 

Christie had been a popular figure both in his home state and nationally thanks to his brash demeanor and actions in the wake of Sandy in 2012, but his approval ratings have dropped in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal last fall.

Christie was never implicated in the traffic-jamming political payback scheme, but two of his top aides were arrested in the aftermath of the scandal.

Christie has been touring his state and New Hampshire, an important state in the nation's primary elections, hosting a series of town halls.

In April, he told Matt Lauer in an interview on NBC's "Today" that he thought a governor would be the Republican party's nominee. 

“If I decide I want to do this, I’m going to do it honestly, and I'm going to go at as hard as I can and try to win every day,” he said. “I will never give being who I am, because that's a thing that stays with you forever."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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