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Pride Flag Flying at Governor’s Residence


The LGBT pride flag is flying aside the Connecticut state flag at the governor’s residence this afternoon after the landmark Supreme Court decision today that all same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“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,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Connecticut for several years.

In 2009, Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed legislation to update the state's marriage laws to redefine marriage in Connecticut as the legal union of two people. State law previously defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Gov-Signs-Same-Sex-Marriage-Law.html

Four years earlier, she signed a civil union law.

Photo Credit: Governor Dannel Malloy's Office
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Urgent Care Doctor Accused of Sexually Assaulting 2 More Patients


An urgent care doctor in Norwich who was arrested in May and accused of sexually assaulting a teenage patient is accused of sexually assaulting two more patients.

Dr. Manoj K. Saxena, 45, of Mansfield, turned himself in on Friday at the Norwich Police Department and has been charged with second-degree sexual assault, as well as two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

On May 14, police arrested Saxena after an 18-year-old patient accused him of sexually assaulting her when she went to Concentra Urgent Care to be treated after a student bit her arm, according to the prior arrest warrant application

She told police that Saxena offered to conduct a breast exam and pap smear during the visit, then hugged her and kissed her forehead after.

He was released from custody in that case and is due back in court on July 14, according to online court records.

Following that arrest, detectives continued to investigate and two additional victims both said Saxena sexually assaulted them while “acting in his official capacity as a medical doctor” for Concentra Urgent Care at 10 Connecticut Avenue in Norwich.

Saxena posted a $60,000 court set bond and is scheduled to appear at Norwich Superior Courthouse on July 16.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Texas Couple of 54 Years Weds After Supreme Court Makes Gay Marriage Legal


Two men who have been together more than five decades were the first to get a license and be married in Dallas County Friday following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on equality that allows same-sex couples in all states to get married.

Jack Evans, 85, and George Harris, 82, who have been together for 54 years, received their license Friday and were married by a member of their church, Judge Dennise Garcia.

Garcia was on vacation Friday and had a clear docket. She tweeted that she'd spend as much time as needed at the courthouse to marry as many people as she could.

Texas' conservative leadership denounced the ruling Friday saying the Supreme Court judges are an unelected nine-member legislature imposing their personal views on the country while vowing emphatically to keep fighting for "traditional values."

Following the decision by the nation's highest court, President Barack Obama took to Twitter and said the decision is "a big step in our march toward equality."

Meanwhile, gay couples across the state began lining up for marriage licenses within hours of the Supreme Court ruling they had the right to wed. Some counties, including Denton, denied the applications saying they needed guidance from their district attorney or the attorney general.

In Dallas County, where licenses were being granted, the county's 13 district judges and five family court judges said they would waive the usual 72-hour waiting period between receiving a marriage license and performing the ceremony to allow couples to be married Friday.

That was good news for Kristy Johnson and Ingrid Snelling, a lesbian couple who, after 22 years together, rushed to the county clerk's office after hearing the Supreme Court's ruling.

“I just broke down and bawled when I heard it. There will be more tears. She’s the love of my life. My sun and my moon and my best friend. We’ve traveled together for 22 years," said Johnson. “And to now be able to take that step and make it official, legally. No more being turned away from hospitals and feeling humiliated when I needed to care for her — which has happened to me. This means a whole lot.”

Dallas County officials said they reserved extra space within the courthouse to accommodate the large crowds they expect. Courthouse hours will also be extended, officials said.

“I’m just so thrilled. We’ve been together eight years; I’ve been waiting for this moment for the last six. And today I am so proud to be an American. Proud to be here in Texas. So, so happy," said Brad Sanders. “We’re Texans. We were born here. We met here. We live here. It was important that we got married here."

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings echoed a similar sentiment Friday morning.

"Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing marriage equality is long overdue and wonderful news for Dallas, our state and our country. I am proud to lead a city that is home to numerous large businesses that have already embraced policies in support of gay and lesbian families. This court ruling will help our city and cities across America continue to grow and prosper," said Rawlings. "On a personal level, I am especially thrilled for my many close friends in the LGBT community. I expect that my family and I will celebrate with them at some very special marriage ceremonies in the coming months and years."

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the county's first openly gay sheriff, stopped by the Dallas County Records Building on Friday morning to see the line of couples preparing to seek marriage licenses. Valdez, who was in uniform, shook hands with some of the couples waiting in line to get their marriage licenses, offering congratulations.

Valdez said she wanted to help celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage. She said the ruling means gay couples "are recognized as equal in every possible way." Valdez said she has been with her girlfriend for two years and they both cried Friday when they heard the news. She said they have discussed marriage but do not have plans right now to wed.

Tarrant County officials said Thursday that if there were a change in laws governing the issuance of a marriage license to same-sex couples, there would be no unnecessary delay in issuing such a license and began granting the licenses Friday morning.

Tarrant County judges were not granting waivers on the 72-hour mandatory wait, so couples there will have to wait to get married.

Denton County Clerk Juli Luke (R) denied marriage applications to all three same-sex couples who tried to obtain one Friday morning.

Luke said she is not defying the high court's ruling, rather she is taking her time and making sure this is done right, adding she wants proper forms from the county's vendor that don't specify "bride" and "groom."

Also, Luke is seeking guidance from the district attorney but is adamant she's just assuring this is done properly and legally. Tod King and Casey Cavalier reported they were denied a marriage license, as were Sara Nickell and Laura Hernandez.

In Travis County, the first marriage license in Austin was issued to Gena Dawson and Charlotte Rutherford, a couple of 22 years who planned to have a wedding later Friday after finding a judge to waive the usual three-day waiting period.

At a press conference this morning in Austin, LGBT leaders like Neel Lane shared their views on this historical day's effects on the Lone Star State.

"The 5th circuit case is still pending but the Supreme Court has made clear how the 5th circuit must rule," said Lane. "The 5th circuit was an appeal from an order that is now in effect, and there are marriages going on across the state right now. They're waiving the waiting period in courthouses all across the state, I will add not every courthouse, but a lot of them: In Austin, in San Antonio, in Dallas and the law is that state officials cannot prevent people marrying someone of the same sex. Those restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The constitution protects the federal rights of all US citizens."

In Houston, where a lesbian mayor oversees the nation's fourth-largest city, marriage licenses were being prepared after the Harris County clerk reversed himself and said he would no longer wait on state approval.

None of the same-sex couples now receiving licenses will be technically the first to marry in Texas. Earlier this year, a state judge ordered Travis County to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, who then wed before Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton had a chance to intervene.

Religious Leaders Unsupportive of Supreme Court Ruling, Reaffirm Love for All

The ruling, as expected, caused outrage among more conservative members of the local clergy, many of whom posted on Twitter or issued official statements,

Bishop Kevin Farrell, the head of the Catholic Diocese in Dallas, posted a short tweet simply asking for prayers.

In a more formal statement issued later in the day, Farrell said, "The same Constitution that has now been held to open civil marriage to same-sex couples confirms and protects the Church’s right to carry forward the historic teaching of the Church regarding the Sacrament of Marriage. As Catholics we believe in the dignity of each and every human being made in the image and likeness of God. As such, we accept all persons with respect, compassion, and sensitivity and must be mindful that, even in polarizing times, there is no place for derision or smugness. I pray that all persons who hold dear the civil liberties afforded by the United States Constitution will join us in working to safeguard the rights of people of faith to live and exercise that faith as they believe God requires."

Bishop Michael Olson, the head of the Catholic Diocese in Fort Worth, didn't post a message of his own but retweeted a message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calling the decision a "tragic error."

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, was more defiant and tweeted the decision was a landmark mistake that will result in spiritual consequences for years to come.

Pastor Jack Graham, who leads the congregation at Prestonwood Baptist Church, tweeted and issued a video statement where he said he was disappointed the Supreme Court chose to redefine marriage under the laws of man and that his church would not recognize same-sex marriages, host same-sex ceremonies or perform such ceremonies

“While we affirm our love for all people, including those struggling with same-sex attraction, we cannot and will not affirm the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior or any behavior that deviates from God’s design for marriage,” Graham said.

On social media, other prominent Texas religious leaders, including T.D. Jakes (Potter's House), Joel Osteen (Lakewood Church) Robert Morris (Gateway Church) and Ed Young (Fellowship Church), either tweeted about other things or were silent in the hours following the ruling.

Elected Conservative Leadership Vows to Keep Fighting for Traditional Values

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for the presidency in 2016, issued the following statement sharing his disappointment in the ruling — and highlighted what he'd do to maintain traditional values if elected president.

"I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I'm a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. 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."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Paxton and Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, all Republicans emphatically opposed to same-sex marriage, also issued statements Friday following the Supreme Court's decision.

Abbott said the court acted as "an unelected nine-member legislature" and that five justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage "have imposed on the entire county their personal views." He said he vows to keep defending traditional values, saying he's preparing a directive to state agencies "instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans' religious liberties."

After the ruling the governor was quick to take to Twitter, sporting the hashtag #tcot -- "Top Conservatives on Twitter."

The governor also issued a directive saying no state employee could be punished for refusing to violate their religious beliefs — which he said could include denying benefits to a same-sex couple.

Travis County Attorney David Escamilla disagreed and said his clerks could not refuse a marriage license to a gay couple over religious objections.

A day ahead of the landmark decision, Paxton urged all county officials stand pat and not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until receiving guidance from his office should the Supreme Court decision alter the law of the land.

Hours after the Supreme Court's decision, Paxton failed to issue any guidance to county officials but he was quick to put together a statement saying the "impact of this opinion on our society and the familial fabric will be profound. Far from a victory for anyone, this is instead a dilution of marriage as a societal institution."

In counties where marriage licenses were being issued, county officials said Paxton lacked the power to stop them.

In anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruing, Texas legislators passed the "Pastor Protection Bill" this spring that protects churches, clergy and ministers from being required to participate in a marriage that violates a religious belief.

On Friday, Patrick asked Paxton for a legal opinion on whether Texas judges and the county clerks who issue marriage licenses could refuse to perform ceremonies or issue licenses based on their personal beliefs. As of this writing, Paxton has not issued a legal opinion on Patrick's questions.

Texas passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2005 but it was not part of the case before the Supreme Court. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that the Texas' ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional but declined to enforce the ruling while it was on appeal.

Before Friday's ruling, same-sex couples had the right to marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Friday's ruling means the remaining 14 states in the South and Midwest will have to stop enforcing their ban on same-sex marriage.

NBC 5's Jeff Smith, Ken Kalthoff, Ellen Bryan, Todd L. Davis, Frank Heinz and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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Plastic Lawn Signs Create Controversy in Glastonbury


Glastonbury officials want town workers to remove plastic signs promoting businesses and bake sales, signs not authorized by the town government.

One sign for Tae Kwon Do and another behind it for a tag and bake sale are just a fraction of what people saw last weekend at the busy intersection of Hebron Avenue and New London Turnpike.

"I saw the signs. There was quite a few of them," said Bill Constantine of Constantine's Hardware.

Other signs promote "Tender living care," music lessons in Manchester and meal replacement shakes.

"Unless we're out there jumping up and down, – 'Come in here, come in here,' – they're not going to see us," said Judy Flynn, who opened The Fresh Monkee shake shop Monday.

It's tucked into a plaza between Hebron Avenue and Welles Street, not visible from either.

"So the sidewalk signs really kind of draw attention to the business and kind of create curiosity, and we've already had a few people come in this morning who would never have found us without them," she said. "I put them up this morning, keeping my fingers crossed that the town says, 'OK, we want to promote small business, we want to keep you going,' and the only way to do that is to bring people in."

Her signs are OK, said a town government official, if she keeps them "reasonable" by putting the signs up for a week or two to get the word out.

Man Nearly Severs Hand of Ex's New Boyfriend With Handsaw: Cops


A New York man was arrested in Stamford on Thursday after attacking his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend with a handsaw, nearly severing the man's left hand, according to police.

Stamford police said Cesar Olivero, 34, of New York, was waiting for his ex-girlfriend at her Stamford apartment around 11 p.m. Thursday when the woman and her new partner walked through the door.

According to police, Olivero attacked the two with a 15-inch handsaw. He struck the other man, a 45-year-old from Allendale, New York, in the head and on both hands, nearly cutting off the victim's left hand.

The conditions of the two victims are unknown.

Olivero was arrested and charged with home invasion, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, carrying a dangerous weapon and third-degree assault. He's being held on $250,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

Florida's Rick Scott Recruits Businesses in Norwalk


Florida Gov. Rick Scott told a group of business owners at a Norwalk hotel Friday that the primary reason for his trip to Connecticut is to convince businesses to relocate to the Sunshine State.

"We’re competing!" Scott told the crowded ballroom at the Norwalk Inn. "Whether we like it or not, we’re competing. There are countries competing with other countries for jobs, there are states competing with other states."

Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, which acts as a public-private partnership, purchased radio ads in Connecticut earlier in the week. The ad-buy and subsequent visit by Scott came on the heels of the Connecticut General Assembly approving both new and, in some cases, higher existing business taxes.

Scott said that’s why his state has gotten aggressive.

"When your legislature and your governor raises taxes and makes it more difficult for companies to do business, it gives me this opportunity to be here and get more companies," Scott said.

Bart Shuldman, chairman and CEO of TransAct Technologies Inc., helped organize the meeting. TransAct is a high tech printing company that does business around the world from its base in Hamden. Shuldman said his interest in Scott’s remarks was more about how to make Connecticut a better place to live and work rather than coming up with reasons to leave.

"This was not about moving jobs out of Connecticut. It’s anything but," Shuldman said. "This was non-political. No political leaders here. These were businesspeople that care about this state. We have a fantastic state, but you know what? Things are getting bad."

The Connecticut Democratic Party and labor leaders from across the state held an opposition-themed news conference outside the hotel where Scott spoke. They said the appearance was nothing more than a political ploy to boost the unpopular Florida governor’s image. Recent approval ratings have hovered below 40 percent in recent months for the second-term Republican.

"These trips are about self-promotion, not economic development," said Nick Balletto, the chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party.

He also remarked on how GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is visiting New Hampshire for a similar economic development trip soon.

Scott said it’s not his concern that business owners are looking for tips on how to make Connecticut a better state for business. He added that his appearance in Connecticut only helps his cause of expanding job growth.

"I’m trying to make Florida into the best place in the world to make jobs. I have two daughters. I have three grandsons. I want them to live in Florida close to me and they’re not going to live there if they can’t get a job," Scott said.

Bristol Hospital Cuts 43 Positions, Citing Financial Constraints


Bristol Hospital announced Friday that it has terminated 37 employees and cut six vacant positions, citing financial constraints.

Eighteen of the cuts occurred over the past eight weeks and 19 more took effect Friday. Six vacant positions will also be scrapped, bringing the total number of affected positions to 43, according to a statement released by the hospital. This represents 5 percent of the hospital's workforce.

“There will be, and has been, no impact to the safety and quality of the care provided at the bedside or to the support staff that ensures the patient/visitor experience is nothing short of extraordinary,” hospital president and CEO Kurt Barwis said in a statement Friday.

According to the hospital, the workforce reduction will save the facility $3.6 million annually. Barwis said the hospital lost more than $923,000 during the eight months ending May 31 and started the fiscal year with a $3 million reduction in Medicare payments and a $2 million reduction in Medicaid payments. He wrote that further Medicare and Medicaid cuts will take effect later this year.

“We are one of the lowest cost hospitals in Connecticut with some of the highest quality and safety outcomes. We cannot cut our way to financial viability given our cost position and the severity of these cuts. It remains critical that we all continue advocacy efforts. We must, and we will, continue to grow and improve the services that we provide to the communities that we serve,” Barwis said.

Barwis added that the hospital community is “experiencing great personal and difficult loss” in light of the cuts.

“Tomorrow, as difficult as it truly is, we must dig down deep and find our way back to what has been the key to our success, our culture of family,” he stated.

Hartford Mayor Reacts to City Rating Downgrade


Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra downplayed the significance of a downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service during an interview Friday.

Moody’s cited unreliable funding sources in order to balance the city’s budget, such as the selling off of assets for cash to pay for continuing expenses.

The mayor defended the moves by saying that the city avoided a tax hike on residents.

"We've opted to sell assets in order not to increase the mill rate, which is important for our residents, our homeowners and our businesses," he explained.

The city finalized the sale of a parking garage earlier this year that netted $14 million and the mayor touted the move as a way to balance the city’s spending plan to end the fiscal year.

Mayoral candidate Luke Bronin said such budgetary decisions are irresponsible.

"It's one-time cash” Bronin said. “It comes on the heels of another garage sale the year before, which was one-time cash to close the budget deficit."

Bronin, who most recently served as legal adviser to Gov. Dannel Malloy, said such decisions set the city on a path toward future budget problems.

"The city of Hartford has been engaged in irresponsible and unsustainable budget practices. We've been selling off city assets to close our deficit. We've been raiding long-term education funds. I wish we were not being downgraded. It's going to cost us. It's going to make our job more difficult," Bronin said.

Segarra said the Moody’s decision wasn’t all bad news, because a rival ratings agency maintained the city’s current level.

"I think it's a concern. It's never good news to hear of a downgrading but the fact that at least the other bond rating agency Standard & Poor's affirmed it means that there's differing opinions as to what our status should be in regards to the rating," he said.

Crowds Flock to Southington Food Truck Festival


At dinner time for the crowd at the old Southington Drive-in on a beautiful evening, some people start with dessert at the Food Truck Festival, not that there aren't suitable starters.

"We do Reuben fritters, deep fried corned beef," said Steve O'Connor of the Get Your Irish On truck. "Corned beef – it's what it's all about. People say they don't like it, but when they taste it – there's different variations the way we make it – 99 percent happy."

He's from Southington and so are some of the other vendors, with nine trucks in all expected. They say if people know, they'll show.

"There's no doubt," said Dave Mele, from inside the Deli Rescue truck. "Southington is definitely the town where people come out. We do the town green on Music Night and they come out for that so I hope they're coming out tonight."

The drive-in adjoins Rec Park in Southington. Right off Interstate 691, it's convenient for anyone in Central Connecticut.

"It's a perfect spot," said the organizer, Dee Babkirk. "Bring your families, your blankets, your tables, your chairs, anything – it's a perfect location."

It goes until 8 p.m. and will take place every Friday night until September on Route 322/Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in Southington.

Facebook Lets Users Show Their Pride with Rainbow Filter


Facebook is now offering a rainbow filter that anyone can overlay on his or her profile picture, following Friday’s landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide,

The site’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg applied the filter to his own picture and posted a graphic showing two maps, one from 2008 and one from 2015, that showed the huge increase in membership in LGBT Facebook groups.

“I’m so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recogized as equal couples under the law,” Zuckerberg said.

In addition, the Facebook Stories page posted a video profiling Justin Kamimoto, who “started a Facebook group to support LGBT+ youth in California’s Central Valley.”

Six million people in the United States identify as LGBTQ on the site, according to Facebook. The company was one of 379 corporations and employer organizations that urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage, in a friend-of-the-court brief.

In February 2014, Facebook expanded users’ ability to self-identify with the gender of their choice, adding 56 options to the original “male” and “female” categories.

But Facebook wasn’t the only social media site pumping up the pride on Friday. Twitter, which also supported the ruling, also got in on the celebration, offering two new emojis, #Pride, a rainbow flag, and #LoveWins, a rainbow-flag heart.

Many companies updated their social media to reflect support for the court’s decision, in addition to Facebook and Twitter. Even The Weather Channel got in on the act, tweeting, of course, a rainbow.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Ben & Jerry's "I Dough, I Dough" Ice Cream Honors Gay Marriage


Friday marked a major milestone for same-sex marriage in the U.S. – and ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is among those celebrating the landmark Supreme Court decision.

The beloved brand's classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream has a new name to honor marriage equality. Relabeled "I Dough, I Dough," the carton depicts interlocking wedding bands, a red heart, rainbow flag and two cows with their tails linked.

"With this ruling, the SCOTUS recognizes the bond of love and commitment between two people, and protects the fundamental rights and freedoms that come with it," Ben & Jerry's said in a press release Friday.

"I Dough, I Dough" will be available throughout the summer at participating stores nationwide and can also be purchased online, according to the company.

See the full text of the Supreme Court decision here.

Photo Credit: Ben & Jerry's

White House Lit Up With Rainbow After Marriage Ruling


The colors of the Pride rainbow were splashed across the White House Friday night after the Supreme Court granted equal marriage rights to all Americans.

Lights in the colors of the rainbow were illuminated on the north side of the executive mansion after dusk.

"Today we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we've made our union a little more perfect," President Barack Obama said outside the White House just after the ruling, which he hailed as a "victory for America" and as "justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

"Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins," Obama tweeted Friday morning.

Gay and lesbian couples already could marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

One Escaped Killer Shot Dead After 21-Day Manhunt


One of the convicted murderers who escaped from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York three weeks ago, leading police on a manhunt through miles of difficult terrain, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers Friday, two senior state officials tell NBC News, and another law enforcement official tells NBC 4 New York gunfire was later heard as authorities tried to close in on the second fugitive.

Richard Matt was shot after he, armed with a shotgun, walked up to Customs and Border Patrol officers who were sweeping a wooded area in Malone, the Franklin County town to which authorities had narrowed their search following the discovery of new DNA evidence in a cabin, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation tells NBC 4 New York.

The officers ordered Matt to put up his hands, and he challenged them; that's when he was fatally shot by the officers, State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico confirmed in a news conference held alongside Gov. Cuomo Friday evening.

A 22-gauge shotgun belonging to Matt was recovered from the scene. No shots were fired by Matt, and no officers were injured, D'Amico said. 

Law enforcement was able to zero in on the wooded area where Matt was found after getting a 911 call just before 2 p.m. from a man who reported hearing a loud sound while towing a mobile camper on Route 30, according to D'Amico. He at first thought it was a flat tire and got out of the camper to inspect the vehicle; he didn't find a flat and proceeded to a campground in a nearby town.

That's where he found a bullet home in the camper and called 911, said D'Amico. State police responded and determined the camper had been shot about 8 miles back, and multiple agencies were deployed to that area. Officers got into a cabin there and smelled gunpowder. 

As law enforcement conducted a ground search in the woods near Route 30, the tactical team from Customs and Border Protection heard movement and coughs and found Matt. They engaged him, and when he refused to comply, shot him, D'Amico said. 

The manhunt is ongoing for the other escaped murderer, David Sweat, though law enforcement sources say two sets of footprints were located in the woods so they believe the two killers were traveling together. 

"There's no indication that Sweat wasn't with Matt," D'Amico said. 

Law enforcement officers converged on a limited wooded area late Friday afternoon where they believe Sweat may be hiding, an official said, and a round of gunshots was heard as officers tried to close in on him. D'Amico declined to detail the ongoing search for Sweat, saying only: "We are going to continue to use the same tactics over the past few weeks, which is to search 24 hours a day until we find him." 

He reminded the public to remain vigilant and to call 911 immediately and not approach Sweat in case of a sighting. 

Thom Kelly, 36, says he was at his mother-in-law's house near Route 30 around the time of the shooting.

"We heard a lot of sirens by Route 30 so we stepped out to see what happened," Kelly said. "One local officer stopped by and said, 'We got one.'"

At a news briefing earlier Friday, Guess said the search efforts had shifted slightly north after police found items dropped by Matt and Sweat in a cabin and field north of their last suspected location. The findings, combined with other evidence, gave investigators "a high degree of confidence" that the men may have been making a run for the border, Guess said.

Guess wouldn't reveal what evidence was connected to the men, but said that officials presumed the escapees were traveling under the cover of darkness.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation told NBC News that DNA belonging to at least one of the escaped prisoners was found in the cabin in Malone. According to those sources, the cabin owner noticed the place had been broken into at some point Wednesday or Thursday.

The timeline and location of the positive DNA test confirmed that at least one of the prisoners was able to travel about 13 miles northwest since evidence indicated the duo had been near Owls Head Saturday, the sources told NBC News.

On Friday, as the search extended into its 21st day, a small contingent of New York state troopers were stationed along power lines in Malone, and motorists had to pass through a checkpoint. Other heavily armed troopers combed sheds and went door-to-door in the efforts to find the men.

Sweat and Matt broke out of the prison in Dannemora on June 6. Authorities say they cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells, crawled down a catwalk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe and then emerged from a manhole outside the prison.

Sweat, 35, was serving a life sentence without parole in the killing of a sheriff's deputy. Matt, who turned 49 on Thursday, was doing 25 years to life in the kidnapping, torture and hacksaw dismemberment of his former boss.

Meanwhile, New York state prison officials said Friday that a corrections officer facing charges related to the escape has been suspended without pay.

Gene Palmer's suspension from his $72,644-a-year job comes after he was arrested Wednesday night on charges of promoting prison contraband, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.

Palmer has told investigators he provided paint, tools and prison catwalk access to Matt and Sweat. The veteran guard says he had no idea they were planning to escape, and investigators have said they have no reason to believe otherwise.

He is free on $25,000 bail.

Another prison worker, tailor shop instructor, Joyce Mitchell is charged with helping them escape. Authorities say Mitchell smuggled hacksaw blades, a screwdriver and other tools into the prison by hiding them in frozen meat that Palmer delivered to the inmates.

Photo Credit: AP

2 Injured in Violent Road Rage on I-95 in Orange


One person was slashed and another was shot during a violent road rage incident that prompted police to close a ramp to Interstate 95 North in Orange on Friday morning.

Police responded to I-95 north near exit 41 around 9 p.m. after a report of a road rage incident and determined that people in a car a tractor trailer had both been heading north near exit 40 when something happened to spark the road rage.   

The driver of the car pulled off the highway at exit 41 and the truck driver pulled over, got out of the truck, ran up to the driver’s side of the other car as it was stopped at the end of the ramp, hit the car with something and cut the other driver’s face, police said.

As the truck driver was heading back to his truck, the driver of the car chased him, pulled a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, fired several shots and shot the truck driver several times, police said.

The truck driver got back into his truck and headed north on I-95 until stopping in the area of exit 44, where state troopers met up with him.

Both men were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. 

Western District Major Crime Detectives responded to the scene and took over the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information should call State Police Detective Allegro at 203-696-2565. 

Police noted the car driver had a valid pistol permit.

Neither man's name has been released.

Subway Rider Punched in Head


Police are looking for a woman who allegedly punched a subway rider in the head when he asked her to calm a screaming child who was with her. 

The 65-year-old man was riding the A train in the area of the 207th Street station in Washington Heights Thursday afternoon when a woman boarded with a screaming child, according to police. 

As the child continued to scream, the man asked the woman to have the child stop screaming. 

The request apparently enraged the woman, who began cursing at the man and then punched him in the head, police said.

She got off the train with the child at 168th Street station and fled.

The victim refused medical attention at the scene.

The suspect is described as being in her mid-20s and about 5 feet 8 inches tall (see attached cellphone video released by police). 

Disabled NYC Teen a Valedictorian


Brooklyn teenager Johileny Meran was all smiles Friday as she received her high school diploma. But her journey to graduation day wasn't easy.

Meran has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She was bullied as a child, grew up in a homeless shelter and lost her mom to cancer five years ago. The odds seemed stacked against her. 

But she was motivated to not only get her diploma from Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, but to walk away with top honors. She was named valedictorian and received a full scholarship to New York University. 

"I made it through. I was able to overcome many of the things that stood in my way," she said. 

Her commencement speech Friday brought family members and classmates to tears. 

Her uncle beamed as he said, "It's a good feeling when somebody have the power, the inspiration to keep going, working for something she believed in."

"The best thing about her, she doesn't give up," Meran's counselor Mariela Regaldo said.

Meran plans to study neuroscience at NYU and join the fight against cancer, a disease that taught her about loss and also about overcoming adversity. 

"It inspired, she inspired me to keep going and that's why I'm here today." 

Hundreds Attend Hartford LBGT Pride Rally


People of all backgrounds joined together to celebrate at the Hartford Capital City Pride Rally on the lawn of the Old State House Friday.

A long fight was over.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage to be legal in all 50 states and struck down bans in 14 states.

“It’s such a momentous day after 15 years of doing this work here in Connecticut,” says Anne Stanback.

Stanback helped lead the charge for marriage equality in Connecticut.

She and others know how far the country has come.

“In Connecticut, a lot of people said this is impossible and later they said it was inevitable. It was neither impossible or inevitable. It took a lot of hard work,” says Stanback.

This rally started 33-years ago.

People at the first event remember the fear back then.

“It was scary because there were so many people with signs of hatred,” say Julio Morales, Vernon.

The signs have changed; so have many people’s feelings about same-sex marriage, though not everyone’s.

“The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires them to impose same-sex marriage on all 50 states. I think that puts more work on all of us who have fought for traditional marriage,” says Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

People at the rally say their mission for equality and justice is not over.

They say the LGBT community still needs more protection from hatred.

“Employers can still deny jobs, landlords can still evict, and restaurants can still kick people out simply because they are gay. And now my mission and priority will be to stop that kind of discrimination,” says Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Travelers Championship Brings in the Green for Charity


As golfers were hitting the greens at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, others took a swing at helping the next generation.

Since 1952, the Travelers Championship has given $32-million dollars back to charity.

One of the organizations that benefits is the First Tee of Connecticut, an organization devoted to helping kids learn the game of golf, no matter their family’s financial status.

“It’s just really fun to come out here and play on the course with all of my friends and just hang out and have fun,” said program participant James Mullarkey.

“Golf, to me, is a way to learn about life. So, he gets to learn about life in First Tee,” added his father Jay.

First Tee gets great exposure at the Travelers Championship. Its headquarters sit right next to the practice greens.

“It allows us to tell the world what we do, how we do it, and how important it is for us to get the support of the community to make these programs for our kids affordable and accessible,” said David Polk, the First Tee of Connecticut executive director.

First Tee received the $10,000 Pro-Am purse on Wednesday. Saturday, $30,000 in scholarships were handed out by the organization to kids who might not otherwise be able to afford the program.

From the beginning, the Travelers Championship has been about giving back, donating 100-percent of the net proceeds to 140 different charities each year.

“Last year was $1.5 million and we’re on pace to break that record this year,” said Tournament Director, Nathan Grube.

Travelers’ premier charity, Hole in the Wall Gang camp, which serves 25,000 seriously ill children in the region, was also picked by the PGA in 2014 to be its national charity of the year. The grant that comes along with title will send 12 kids to camp.

“Events like this and organizations that support us are super important. All of our services are provided free of charge to the children and families we service,” said Beth Starkin, a spokesperson for Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Grube says non-profit organizations use the tournament to thank their donors, fundraise for free, and gain new exposure for their cause.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

3 Arrested in Night Club Cocaine Trafficking Investigation


Police arrested three people after a lengthy investigation into cocaine trafficking out of a Norwalk night club, police said.

Norwalk police suspected Segunda Alvarado, 51, of Norwalk, of selling cocaine from the inside of Area 504 at 6 Commerce Street in Norwalk. As a result of the investigation, police served Alvarado four arrest warrants Friday on narcotics charges.

The Special Services Division of the police department stopped Alvarado and her boyfriend Luis Alonzo Amaya Palma, 44, of Norwalk, in the vehicle they were in on Friday. Police found Alvarado in possession of 71 plastic baggies and 11 aluminum folds containing a total of about 46.77 grams of cocaine, police said. Palma had $847 on him and 15 plastic baggies filled with 7.56 grams of cocaine, according to police.

The packaging of the cocaine was consistent with evidence of street level sales, so police took Alvarado and Palma into custody, police said.

Investigators obtained a search and seizure warrant for the couple's 9 Warren Street home on the third floor. As they were searching, they discovered Elsides Amaya Palma, 37, of Norwalk, inside. He lives there with couple. Amaya Palma fought with police, so they arrested him on a charge of interference with a search warrant.

Police found $1,485 and 263.91 more grams of cocaine in the home.

In total, police seized 318.24 grams of cocaine and $2,578, as well as the 2007 Acura MDX they stopped Alvarado and and Luis Alonzo Amaya Palma in because it was used to traffic narcotics, police said.

Police charged Alvarado with four separate counts of possession of narcotics and possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Her bond was set at $75,000 for each of the four warrants. She was also charged with possession of narcotic, possession of narcotics with intent to sell and conspiracy for the drugs police found on her June 26, police said. Her bond for that arrest was set at $250,000.

Norwalk police also charged Luis Alonso Amaya Palma with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, conspiracy and operating a motor vehicle without a license. The bond was set at $250,000.

Elsides Amaya Palma's bond was set at $5,000.

Police remind residents they can report crimes to the department's tip line at 203-854-3111, submit them on the Norwalk police website at www.norwalkpd.com or text CRIMES (274637) and type NPD in the text field.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Towns Postpone Fireworks Due to Rain


As rain moves in, East Haven, Coventry, Danbury and Branford have postponed fireworks displays originally schedule for Saturday.

CoventryFest at Patriots Park has been rescheduled to Sunday, June 28 at 3 p.m. There will be live performances, a castle bounce and a balloon animal artist for the kids and fireworks at the end of the event. There is limiting parking at the site of the event for $10 and off-site parking is $15. More information is available on the CoventryFest website.

Fireworks at Candlewood Town Park in Danbury scheduled for Saturday have been postponed to Sunday night, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted.

The Danbury Symphony Orchestra Concert that was orginally supposed to be on the Green has been moved to Danbury High School at 43 Clapboard Ridge Road Saturday at 7:30 p.m. due to possible storms.

Branford has also postponed its fireworks to Sunday at 9 p.m., according to the Branford Fireworks Facebook page.

The East Haven 15th Anniversary Independence Day Fireworks-Beach Party is postponed to Monday due to rain in the forecast.

Rain and poor sea conditions in the forecast contributed to the Vietnam Veterans/Town of East Haven Fireworks Committee's decision to postpone the event, as the fireworks are launched on a barge from the water and it takes several hours for the person operating the fireworks to set up.

Cosey Beach Avenue will close from Coe to 2nd avenues on Monday at 2 p.m. to make room for the food court. Any other road closures in the area will start at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Entertainment will begin on the beach at 2 p.m. and food vendors will start selling food after 4 p.m. The Sandpiper and Beach Head Restaurants will be open regular hours.

The Bronx Wanderers will start playing at 7:30 p.m. The fireworks will be at 9 p.m. on Monday.

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