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Virginia Police Help With New Britain Serial Murder Investigation


Police in Hampton, Virginia are assisting police her in Connecticut in the investigation into serial murders after several bodies were found behind a New Britain strip mall.

Officials from the Hampton, Virginia police department said on Thursday they are working in conjunction with the New Britain Serial Killer Taskforce.

On Aug. 20, 2007 a person who was looking for a place to hunt found human remains behind the shopping center at 593 Hartford Road.

In the days that followed, more remains were found. 

Authorities have identified seven victims and believe each was killed in 2003.

The task force is investigating those deaths and multiple sources have told NBC Connecticut that William Devin Howell, 45, is suspected of killing the victims.

Howell is currently serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with the death of Wethersfield resident Nilsa Arizmendi.

According to Associated Press reports from May, Howell grew up in Hampton, Virginia and Wavy.com, a local Virginia news station, reports that Howell lived in the home police are searching today.

Hampton police have not said anything about a possible connection to Howell, just that they are assisting with a search warrant connected to the task force.

According to Wavy.com, New Britain police contacted authorities in Virginia on Wednesday.

Police told Wavy.com that they have a search warrant for a yard and house at 100 Gumwood Drive in Hampton and served the warrant at 8:05 a.m. on Thursday.

Police have identified the victims as Diane Cusack, of New Britain; Joyvaline Martinez, of East Hartford; Mary Jane Menard, of New Britain; Melanie Ruth Camilini, of Seymour; Danny Lee Whistnant, of New Britain; Nilsa Arizmendi, of Wethersfield; and Marilyn Gonzalez as victims of the serial homicides.

Photo Credit: Hampton Virginia Police

1 Killed in Construction Accident at Sikorsky Airport


One person is dead after a construction accident at Sikorsky Memorial Airport on Thursday morning.

Fire officials said a worker was in a trench using an gasoline-powered saw to cut a water main when the saw apparently kicked back and struck the man’s neck around 8:30 a.m., according to police.

The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. The man's name has not been released, but officials said he is from Manafort Construction. According to the construction company, the employee began working for Manafort in 1996.

Air traffic in and out of Sikorsky has been suspended for most of the day, but airport officials said they expect flights to resume by about 6 p.m.

Bridgeport and Stratford police are investigating, along with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Manafort's safety team.

Once the investigation is complete at the airport, the construction company will finish replacing the water main. The final repair is expected to take between four and six hours.

"Manafort Brothers Incorporated is a family owned business and on behalf of our owners and employees we express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our departed colleague," Manafort said in a statement Thursday evening. "The company takes safety seriously and it is our sincere desire for all of our employees to go home safe at the end of each day. To lose an employee is heartbreaking, our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time."

The project the man was working on is part of ongoing airport safety upgrades, city officials said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Arrests in Viral Video Beating


WARNING: Some may find the video above disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

An apparent case of mistaken identity led to the violent caught-on-video group beating of a Philadelphia teen. Now, the alleged attackers have been arrested.

Several people kicked, punched and stomped on the victim as he's cornered against a stone wall along Wister Street in Olney on June 4. As he tries to get away, one of the attackers sucker-punches him to the back of the head then hit him in the jaw.

The entire attack was recorded by a bystander and eventually made its way to the website MediaTakeOut.com which posted it to Facebook. The video went viral with more than 4.2 million views and 93,000 shares.

A number of people who watched the beating video reached out to Philadelphia Police asking for an investigation. Detectives launched a probe and over the past few weeks made five arrests — four kids and an adult.

The victim suffered a concussion, black eye and dental injuries that will require surgery, detectives said.

The video claims the boy was beaten over making the honor roll at school, but detectives tell NBC10 they have no evidence that's the case. Their investigation found the attackers thought the boy was someone else who was involved in an earlier fight.

Detectives said the suspects asked the teen whether he was part of the earlier brawl, and after he replied no they beat him anyway.

All five suspects are charged with robbery, aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, theft and related offenses. They have yet to be identified.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police

School Prints 3-D Hand


An 8-year-old boy born without a right hand now has a new prosthetic one, thanks to the ingenuity of some teachers at his school and the district's new 3-D printer. 

Aidan Davidson of Accord, New York, was born without a right hand and has just tiny nubs for fingers at the end of his arm. He's relied solely on his left hand to do anything. 

But recently, the Rondout Valley Central School District in Ulster County purchased a 3-D printer with grant money, and art teacher Stephen Protoss had a light bulb moment that led to a collaboration with shop teacher Nick Bodnar and the district's occupational therapist Paul Scarpati. 

Protoss modified a free computer design for Aidan's specifications, and the trio purchased some inexpensive hardware to hold together the parts stamped out by the printer. 

Aidan now sports a Transformer-like appliance made of red plastic and metal fasteners. The additional material cost about $50.

"It's amazing," the plucky second-grader said as he described how he can now use his right hand to do something that for most people are considered as simple as opening a door or giving a friend a high-five. 

"As soon as they gave him that hand, his self-esteem shot through the roof," said Aidan's father, Jerry. 

Aidan now uses a fork and knife with his right hand and he can eat corn on the cob holding both ends for the first time, his mother Kim said. 

Aidan's parents said they had approached doctors about a prosthetic for their son but were told it would require surgery and the shortening of his right arm, a decision they weren't prepared to make. 

The new school-produced device couldn't come at a better time for the youngster, who is looking forward to riding his new bicycle for the first time ever.

Video Shows Officers Using Stun Gun


Passengers on an early Monday morning Metra train to Elgin, Illinois, got a first-hand lesson in law enforcement when an officer used a stun gun on a passenger the transit agency says was intoxicated and resisting arrest. The officer is also seen locking the man’s head between the officer’s legs and telling him to "shut the f--- up."

Video of the incident, which was posted to YouTube Wednesday, has sparked debate and added more to the national dialogue of how police respond to tense situations.

This happened on Milwaukee West Line train No. 2725, the last train from Chicago's Union Station to Elgin on the Sunday schedule. Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said a group of "apparently intoxicated" passengers were on the upper level of one car. Two of them were using "obscene" language, he said. 

When the train pulled into the Western Ave. Station, at 420 N. Artesian Ave., the conductor spotted two officers at the station and asked them to remove the two passengers from the train.

One of the passengers, who remained unidentified Thursday because he is a minor, came down to the lower level after repeated demands. The other man, identified as 20-year-old Ryan Hutchinson, of Bloomingdale, was recorded questioning why police were arresting his friend and refusing to come down from the upper level.

"I don’t need to come down. I’m not doing anything wrong," Hutchinson is heard saying.

Police tell the man he needs to come down the stairs because officers "told him to." One of the officers then comes up the stairs and tells the passenger to get up before pulling out a pair of handcuffs.

A scuffle and argument ensued and Hutchinson eventually told the officers, "I’m done."

The officers told Hutchinson to stop resisting, and then stun him with the stun gun. Passengers are heard yelling at the officers as the Hutchinson shouted "I’m not resisting."

But Gillis said that while Hutchinson said he wasn't resisting, he was, in fact, not allowing the officers to put him into handcuffs. It wasn't until after the officer used the stun gun on Hutchinson that officers were able to place him in handcuffs and remove him from the train.

In a brief conversation with NBC Chicago, Hutchinson called the officers’ actions "uncalled for."

Hutchinson was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His court date was scheduled for July 27.

Metra said in a statement, "Metra has a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for its riders. The incidents could've been avoided if Mr. Hutchinson had complied with the conductor's request to stop using obscene language."

The Metra train was ultimately 50 minutes late in reaching its destination in Elgin.

Photo Credit: Chris Marston, YouTube

Man Stabs Receptionist at Intercommunity Center: Cops


A 23-year-old man is facing charges after stabbing a receptionist at the Intercommunity Center on Main Street in East Hartford, according to police.

Police said Eddie Valentin, of East Hartford, walked into the facility at 281 Main Street on Thursday afternoon and stabbed the receptionist in the arm. It's not clear what prompted the attack.

Valentin left the facility and was taken into custody a short time later near the entrance to Route 2 westbound, according to police.

The receptionist was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment.

Valentin is being held on a $10,000 bond and is due in court Friday in Manchester.

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police Department

Woman Sexually Assaulted on Running Trail in Avon


Police are investigating after a woman was sexually assaulted while running on a trail in Avon around noon Thursday.

Police said the victim, who is in her early 30s, was running on the Rails to Trails path south of Scoville Road when a man grabbed her from behind, dragged her off the path and sexually assaulted her.

The perpetrator is described as a man with a goatee standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall. Police said he was wearing sunglasses, a black shirt, a reflective vest and a baseball cap. Authorities have not identified a suspect.

Detectives are actively investigating and police said they have stepped up patrols along the path.

Anyone with information is urged to call Avon police detectives at 860-409-4230.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Rainbow Crosswalks Support Philly's LGBT Community


Rainbow-colored crosswalks have been painted in Philadelphia's Gayborhood.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the walkways made up of six red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet stripes are in support of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The crosswalks appeared Thursday morning. Backers say they were planned for some time.

Philly Pride Presents senior adviser Chuck Volz says the crosswalks were completed at a cost far less than the initial $26,000 estimate.

Independence Visitor Center employee Albert Lee says the crosswalks show tourists that Philadelphia is a gay-friendly city.

The rainbow crosswalks will be dedicated at the Annual Reminders Block Party on July 5 honoring the 50th anniversary of the first wave of U.S. LGBT rights group demonstrations.

Photo Credit: AP

Newington Daycare Set to Close Doors


The impending closure of a Newington daycare is leaving parents rushing to find child care.

Bill and Holly Fuzzard say their children, four-year-old Juliana and two-year-old Evan, have attended the Bright Horizons child care center located inside the Connecticut Department of Transportation headquarters building in Newington since they were infants.

But not for much longer. Parents received letters from Bright Horizons yesterday, notifying them that the center will close August 28th.

“None of the parents were ever informed that this was a possibility,” Bill Fuzzard told NBC Connecticut Thursday. “We have no reason why or what they are going to use the facility for.”

The Fuzzards estimate that some sixty families count on the facility for their childcare needs. But the center has only leased the space; it has not been officially sanctioned by the State or the Department of Transportation, and very few DOT employees are clients. In an e-mail Thursday, the Department told NBC Connecticut, in part, “As we ramp-up our transportation initiatives, we are increasing our staff base and are looking for additional locations inside the building for new engineers (mostly).”

Regardless of the reasoning, parents say the announcement has sent them scrambling.

“Do you lose a job so someone can stay at home with the child?,” Bill Longo said, telling NBC Connecticut he already missed some work time just trying to find a new facility for his three-year-old son Easton.

Bill Fuzzard points out that with the center closing instead of relocating, simple economics most certainly suggest an increase in cost.

“Of course when broader demand comes with a limited supply, prices will continue to go up,” he reasons. But he insists, the closure shouldn’t be just a concern to the families most immediately affected. Given that it traces back to a state agency, Bill Fuzzard says it’s counterproductive to the dozen or more child care workers employed at the center.

“They were very qualified, great people who provided excellent care for our kids, and they are going to be out of a job now.”

Bridget Perry, Bright Horizons spokeswoman, said the company will work with families to find suitable arrangements.

“We would have loved to continue operating the center,” she said in an email. “However, the DOT has made the decision not to renew the lease. We will do whatever we can to support families during this time as they look for new child care arrangements.”

The DOT emphasizes that Bright Horizons was completely independent of their department and that the corporation was only leasing space in the DOT building.

“We will not be renewing the lease or going out to bid on it and will in turn use the space for staff needed to carry out our increasing core functions,” DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said in an email.

High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage, Lethal Injections


The Supreme Court is preparing to hand down perhaps its most anticipated decision all year as its term winds to a close: the fate of the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The justices are expected to issue decisions in their remaining five cases on Friday and possibly Monday, after they gave the Obama administration big legal victories Thursday.

A pair of rulings Thursday upheld Obamacare subsidies nationwide, for patients who bought health care on both federal and state-run exchnges, as well as the use of a potent tool to fight housing discrimination.

The justices will take the bench again Friday to hand down more opinions. They should finish their work by early next week. In rare instances, the court will put off decisions and order a case to be argued again in the next term.

A look at the cases that remain:

—Gay marriage: Same-sex couples want the court to declare that gay and lesbian couples can marry anywhere in the United States. Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are asking the court to uphold bans on same-sex marriage and allow the political process, not the courts, to handle major societal changes. Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states.

—Lethal injection: Death-row inmates in Oklahoma are objecting to the use of the sedative midazolam in lethal-injection executions after the drug was implicated in several botched executions. Their argument is that the drug does not reliably induce a coma-like sleep that would prevent them from experiencing the searing pain of the paralytic and heart-stopping drugs that follow sedation.

—Independent redistricting commissions: Roughly a dozen states have adopted independent commissions to reduce partisan politics in drawing congressional districts. The case from Arizona involves a challenge from Republican state lawmakers who complain that they can't be completely cut out of the process without violating the Constitution.

—Mercury emissions: Industry groups and Republican-led states assert that environmental regulators overstepped their bounds by coming up with expensive limits on the emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants without taking account of the cost of regulation at the start of the process. The first-ever limits on mercury emissions, more than a decade in the making, began to take effect in April.

—Repeat offenders: The court is considering whether a catchall provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act, which gives longer prison terms to people with at least three prior violent felony convictions, is so vague that it sweeps in relatively minor crimes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images-Washington Post

Man Killed in New Haven Shooting


A man is dead after a shooting in New Haven early Friday morning and police are searching for the shooter.

Police have identified the victim as Jerome Myers, 48, of New Haven, and said he was shot several times.

The shooting happened just before 12:30 a.m. on Liberty Street near Carlisle Street.

Police received a 911 call at 12:26 a.m. and investigators have been focusing their investigation on Liberty Square Cooperative Homes.

Anyone with information should call New Haven police detective bureau at 203-946-6304. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Criss Angel Rescues Performer During “Supernaturalists” Rehearsal


Something went wrong during a rehearsal for the Criss Angel show at Foxwoods on Wednesday night and video captured the harrowing ordeal as a performer was trapped in a water-filled box.

Alex Belfield, of CelebrityRadio.biz, posted the video on YouTube. He also shared the story on his website.  The video is a CelebrityRadio.biz Exclusive. 

Las Vegas Sun reports that an “escapologist” was unconscious and trapped in a glass cage during a water escape act until Criss Angel pulled him to safety.

Following the incident, the opening night of the “Supernaturalists” was postponed until tonight to ensure the safety of the cast and crew, the Criss Angel Facebook page says.

“Safety is always paramount ‪#‎MagicRevolution‬,” a post on Criss Angel’s Facebook says.

“Following Wednesday evening’s rehearsal for Criss Angel’s production of The SUPERNATURALISTS, the show’s opening night performances have been moved to Friday June 26th. We assure everyone that the continued safety of the cast and crew is the paramount priority for Criss Angel and the Foxwoods team. Criss Angel has executive produced shows for decades, and we look forward to ensuring a fun, safe and entertaining experience for the artists and audience alike,” Foxwoods said in a statement.

Photo Credit: CelebrityRadio.biz Exclusive
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2016 Hopefuls on Gay Marriage Ruling


The presidential candidates’ reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage broke down predictably along party lines — with Democrats tweeting about love and equality and Republicans criticizing the justices.

Hillary Clinton’s reaction was short and colorful: “HISTORY” in the rainbow colors.

Clinton came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2013 after stepping down as secretary of state. When she ran for president in 2008, she opposed gay marriage.

Martin O’Malley praised the people of Maryland for leading the way on human dignity and equality.

He tweeted a photo of then 3-year-old Will Lewis-Benson laughing between his mothers, Amy Lewis and Tricia Benson on the day the Maryland House of Delegates approved same-sex marriage in 2012.

“There’s no greater human right than love," he said.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee congratulated the Supreme Court for a good ruling.

And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination, said the Supreme Court had fulfilled the words engraved on its building, "Equal justice under law."

"For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people," he said.

But Gov. Bobby Jindal accused the court of following opinion polls and trampling on states’ rights.

“Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that,” he said in a statement.

He predicted the ruling would open the way for an assault on the religious rights of Christians who disagree with the decision.

“The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies,” he said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the decision as judicial tyranny and vowed he would not acquiesce to an “imperial court.”

"The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity,” he wrote.

Like other conservatives, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania accused the Supreme Court of redefining marriage and said leaders do not accept bad decisions that they believe would harm the country.

"The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices," he wrote in a statement.

Now the public must respond, he said.

Carly Fiorina called the court an activist one that was ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law was, not what it should be.

She said in a statement that although she was in favor of all Americans receiving equal benefits and rights from the government, she did not believe the court could or should redefine marriage.

“I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country,” she said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who might run but says he has not made up his mind, said when asked at a press conference that he agreed with Chief Justice John Roberts: This was not a decision for five lawyers.

Donald Trump wrote, referring to former President George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, another  Republican presidential candidate: "Once again the Bush appointed Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard! Remember!"

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who might run for the Republican nomination, told residents of his state that the government would not coerce them to act against their religious beliefs.

He called the decision a grave mistake.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he was disappointed with the decision. Marriage laws should be left to the states, he said.

"Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written," he said in a statement.

Ben Carson wrote that he strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision, but that the ruling was now the law of the land. He said he supported same-sex civil unions but to him marriage was a religious service.

"I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected," he said in a statement. "The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs."

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed that the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. But he also said he would respect the court's decision.

"Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress," he said.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that he believed in traditional marriage and thought that the justices should have left the decision to the states.

But he added, striking an inclusive tone, "I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the right to change marriage laws should lie with the people not the justices.

"This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years," he said.

The next president must make it a priority to nominate judges and justices who will apply the Constitution as written and originally understood, he said.

He also called for respecting those who disagree.

"A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court's decision today," he wrote. "In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Detroit EMT Fired After Refusing CPR on Baby: Officials


A Detroit EMT has reportedly been fired amid outrage that she refused to perform CPR on a baby who later died. 

Ann Marie Thomas was originally suspended then fired from the Detroit Fire Department Wednesday, after refusing to answer a call regarding an 8-month-old baby who had trouble breathing, according to NBC Detroit affiliate WDIV.  The baby, who was taken to the hospital by a crew that arrived 19 minutes after the original call, died the following day.

Despite originally answering the call with her partner from less than a mile away, Thomas wanted to wait until another crew arrived because she was worried the family was hostile, the station reported. Her supervisors said the scene did not have any indication of hostility, and asked four times for Thomas to respond to the call.

An internal report into the incident quotes Thomas as saying she didn't want to be on the scene for 10 minutes doing CPR because "you know how these families can get."

While Thomas was fired, she is currently not facing any criminal charges.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Future NBA Stars' Fashion Sense Shines at Draft


One of the NBA's biggest nights provides the stars of the show a chance to display their best (and sometimes wildest) suits.

Each year, it seems, draft picks step up their fashion game, and the 2015 NBA Draft, held Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was no exception. 

Take Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, from the University of Arizona Wildcats. While he was selected 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, the attention might have been focused on his red and black checkered pants.  The color scheme was a perfect fit for the Blazers, but the match was short-lived. He was traded soon after to the Brooklyn Nets.

Devin Booker wore a bright blue suit as his name was called by the Phoenix Suns, who took him with the 13th overall pick. His orange tie matched the Suns hat he donned on stage for the photo opportunities.

Perhaps one of the most animated players, Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell, pointed above as he wore a red and white suit with a checkered shirt (although Buckeye fans would call the suit "scarlet"). He was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, so he didn't quite match his new team's color scheme. 

Breaking away from bright colors and going toward patterns, Karl-Anthony Towns wore a gray, black, and white chevron-patterned suit jacket. The former University of Kentucky Wildcat, who was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, broke from tradition by showing up without a tie.

Now that the draft is out of the way, the players can focus on basketball.  The 2015-16 season will start on October 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Enjoy Connecticut Historic Garden Day on Sunday


Connecticut is home to many beautifbellamy-ferriul and unique gardens, both public and private, and 14 historic gardens across the state will be open on Sunday for Connecticut Historic Garden Day.

These delightful places offer visitors an opportunity to explore a variety of garden styles and time periods.

Member sites host special events and activities celebrating their historically significant garden. 

Following are the gardens you can visit during the event on Sunday.

For more information, visit Connecticut’s Historic Gardens.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Investigating Death of 78-Year-Old West Hartford Woman


Police said they do not suspect foul play in the death of a 78-year-old West Hartford woman, but they are investigating it as a possible untimely death.

Police responded to a medical call on Boulevard at 6:48 a.m. on Thursday after the woman’s son found her outside the house and she was unresponsive, according to police.

Medics performed CPR and transported the woman to UConn Hospital. West Hartford police later learned the woman died.

Police said they do not suspect foul play, but they are investigating the case as a possible untimely death and working with the Office of the Medical Examiner.

Cadaver Dog Detects Possible Remains in 1997 Cold Case


Eighteen years after Kristen Modafferi finished her shift working at a coffee house in San Francisco and disappeared, possible new evidence has emerged in this Bay Area cold case thanks to a cadaver dog.

On Thursday, a black Labrador named Buster, and his handler, identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as Paul Dostie, visited the Jayne Avenue home in Oakland where the then-18-year-old had been living when she disappeared. Dostie had been hired by Modafferi's parents, who haven't given up on finding her, as evidenced by a meticulous website with search updates and an offer of a $50,000 reward for information related to the case.

The dog got a hit in the basement, Modafferi's family said by phone, of what appeared to be decaying human remains. Oakland police also visited the home on Thursday, and police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said that her officers would be communicating with the dog's handler on what the results end up revealing from the smells the dog unearthed. The dog perked up at smells in the basement as well as some soil inside, the Chronicle reported.

Modafferi vanished from San Francisco on June 23, 1997, after clocking out from her shift at Spinelli's Coffee Shop in the Crocker Galleria in San Francisco. Modafferi, a North Carolina college student who had been living in Oakland for just weeks, was supposed to start a summer course in photography at UC Berkeley the day after she went missing.

"I know in the beginning there was investigation done -- just don't know how thorough it was," her father, Bob Modafferi, said in a phone interview with NBC Bay Areaon Thursday. "I felt more should have been done back then in my opinion."

Modafferi said analysts will try to determine how old the remains are, and if they are linked to his daughter.

"We just don't have any answers, so this would give us needed closure," he said. "Would be great for our family. It's hard to live without that."

Modafferi's disappearance was in the news earlier this year when her name surfaced in connection with the Robert Durst case. A recent HBO documentary linked him to several murders over the years. Police looked at Durst in connection to Modaferri's case, but nothing came out of it.

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Anyone with information should call Oakland police at (510) 238-3641 or (800) VANISHED. The Modafferi family has set up a web site.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Preps Underway for Hartford City Pride Rally Tonight


A large crowd is expected for the Hartford Capital City Pride Rally tonight, which is taking place just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that all same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Connecticut Latinos Achieving Rights and Opportunities is hosting the rally at the Old State House, the site of the first, Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual and Transgender Pride celebration in the state 33 years ago, according to a news release.

"We are going back to a location that is historically significant for the LGBT community in CT. In 1982, when we were last assembled together here for a celebration, we didn't have all of the protections from discrimination, adoptive and marriage rights, like we do today. It took a lot of courage to be out on that lawn back then. Some of us wore masks to hide our identities. But this year, we'll celebrate who we are in our many races, ages, and religions and give tribute to the founders of the 1982 event," Hartford Capital City Pride Rally Committee Chair Dr. Richard Stillson said in a news release.

The rally is scheduled to take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the back lawn of the Old State House at 800 Main Street.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra will be one of the speakers, according to a schedule from his office.

Police said extra officers will be at the site to assist with foot and vehicular traffic.

Following the high court's decision, Gov. Dannel Malloy ordered that the LGBT pride flag be placed at the governor's residence. 

“This is a historic moment, and we should recognize and celebrate its significance.  Equality, freedom, justice and liberty – all recognized by the Supreme Court in this ruling that moves our nation forward.  I am proud to fly the pride flag at the Residence today,” Malloy said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Tent Rents at $900 a Month


A Bay Area man is renting a tent in a Mountain View backyard for $46 a night through the Airbnb website.

It's not a prank, though John Potter, the Airbnb host putting his tent for rent, says it sort of started that way. 

Potter said he listed the tent on Airbnb for $20 a night partly as a joke, but got serious about it when his inbox overflowed with inquiries. 

"I got many, many responses at $20 per night," Potter said.

He then tested out the tent for monthly rentals at $900 per month and he still gets inquiries from people who want to rent the tent out as temporary housing.

San Francisco has the most expensive rental market in the country. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco jumped to $3,410 in the beginning of this year, according to real estate listings site Zumper. 

Potter's tent is a nine-by-seven Coleman tent and is pitched in his parent's backyard. The accommodation is not big on amenities.

"Well, unfortunately we don't actually offer breakfast and we don't technically offer a bed," said Potter. 

Included with the tent is a pillow and a blanket. Potter also offers a hot shower inside the house if a renter need one.

Potter will also allow use of his WiFi and drag a power cord out if people need access to electricity.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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