<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usSat, 27 Aug 2016 05:56:44 -0400Sat, 27 Aug 2016 05:56:44 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dwyane Wade Cousin Fatally Shot]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:48:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Aldridge0825.JPG

A woman was shot to death while pushing a child in a stroller on Chicago's South Side, police said Friday, and family identified the victim as a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade.

The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.

Several hours after his cousin was shot, Wade sent out a tweet about the killing.

Pastor Jolinda Wade, Dwyane's mother, identified Aldridge as her niece. Family spokesman Pastor Edward Jones confirmed Aldridge is Dwyane's cousin.

"This is one particular time our family wished we didn't have to be speaking to the media about anything," Jolinda Wade said. "(I) just sat up on a panel yesterday, (with ESPN wesbite) The Undefeated, talking about the violence that's going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that we would be the ones ... actually living and experiencing it."

Aldridge was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County where she was pronounced dead. A relative took custody of the child, police said.

Jones said Aldridge is a mother of four and had just had a baby. Jones said she and her family had recently relocated to the neighborhood and she was on her way to register her kids at school when she was shot. 

It was not immediately clear which school Aldridge was going to, but the shooting happened close to Dulles School, which was partially blocked off as police analyzed the scene. 

"She loved God, loved her family," Jones said. "Just like everyone else, just wanted a better life, to live a better life. This is tragic because now it struck home with us. Something has to be done. This has got to stop."

Wade called the killing senseless and said the Wade and Morris families were in a "sensitive, grieving place."

"She wasn't bothering anybody, just going to register her kids in school — and bullets that fly around have no name decided to find its way to her head," she said.

Wade said this is the second child her sister, Aldridge's mother, has lost to gun violence. 

Wade asked for prayers and said she will continue to be proactive in the community.

"We're still going to help and empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head," she said. "And all of our young people out there, senselessly shooting each other."

Two men are being questioned as persons of interest and an investigation is ongoing, police said.

Dwyane Wade decided to join his hometown bulls this summer, and has been a longtime supporter of the South Side, where his foundation has been active. In November, after Chicago police released video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting on the South Side, Wade wrote the teenager’s name on his shoes for an NBA game, along with the hashtag "#justice."

Photo Credit: Facebook/Family
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<![CDATA[Boaters Rescued After Writing 'SOS' in Sand]]> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 04:01:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/USNavy3_opt.jpg

A pair of mariners stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island for a week were rescued by a U.S. Navy air crew on Friday after writing "SOS" in the sand, NBC News reported.

The boaters were marooned on an island in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia, on Aug. 19 with limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

A Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) spotted the boaters on the beach near their makeshift sign on Friday.

A search and rescue team was called in and the survivors were rescued and transferred by patrol boat to Nomwin Atoll.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo/Released]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Doctor Wrote Health Letter in Just 5 Minutes]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/harold-bornstein-trump-doctor.jpg

Donald Trump's personal physician said he wrote a letter declaring the Republican nominee would be the healthiest president in history in just five minutes while a limo sent by the candidate waited outside his Manhattan office.

Dr. Harold Bornstein, who has been Trump's doctor for 35 years, told NBC News on Friday that he stands by his glowing assessment of the 70-year-old's physical state.

"His health is excellent, especially his mental health," he said in an exclusive interview at his Park Avenue office.

In his letter, Bornstein said there were no "significant medical problems" in Trump's history and that a recent examination "showed only positive results." The letter was written and released in December but has drawn fresh scrutiny in recent days as Trump's allies have questioned Hillary Clinton's health. 

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Dramatic Images: Deadly Quake Rocks Central Italy]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 23:04:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16238629738584.jpg Searchers scrambled to rescue people in central Italy where a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck early Wednesday, collapsing homes as residents slept and killing dozens.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Back-to-School Police Escort]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:41:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0E8A0898.JPG

Four-year-old Jackson Scherlen didn't have his father at his side on the first day of pre-K in Texas this week. But he did have about 20 of his father's brothers and sisters from the Amarillo Police Department to give him a hug and wish him the best.

Officer Justin Scherlen never missed the first day of school for his four children, according to the Amarillo Independent School District, but he died recently from complications of an on-duty vehicle crash that took place last year.

He left behind his children and wife, Jessica, and to help fill the void as the kids when back to school, nearly two dozen of his fellow officers escorted them to school on their first day, the school district said.

Jackson hugged and high fived every one of the officers before going to class at at Coronado Elementary School.

"You have fun, OK? Be good," says one officer, as seen in video of the goodbye.

"See you, bud. Have a good day at school," says another.

The group posed for photos outside the school as well, preserving a bittersweet memory for the Scherlen family and their larger family at Amarillo PD.

"As a police department we feel like we're a family. We're around each other so much that we get to know each other, we get to know each other’s families that we feel that close,” Officer Jeb Hilton told NBC affiliate KAMR in Amarillo. 

The station reports that two of Scherlen's other children, a fourth and a second grader, were also escorted to school Monday, before the officers returned to take Jackson to his pre-Kindergarten class.

Photo Credit: Amarillo ISD]]>
<![CDATA[Horrifying Details Emerge In Girl's Murder]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:31:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GirlMurdered0825_MP4-147224262542600001.jpg An Albuquerque Police Department report reveals horrifying details about the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl early Wednesday morning.]]> <![CDATA[Stunned Family Watches Bear in Pool]]> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 03:02:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bearinnjpoolweb.jpg

A New Jersey family was stunned to find a 300-pound black bear wading in their backyard pool Friday afternoon. 

The bear was spotted by the family taking a dip in their pool in the backyard of their Rockaway Township house at about 3 p.m. Friday, they told NBC 4 New York.

Video captured from inside the home shows the bear wading in the pool, then walking around the family's lawn.   

"He popped our float! I think he's breaking our pool," homeowner Stacey Dowling says in the video.  

Dowling tells her husband Rick, "He's trying to get out. Babe, let's get him out!" 

Her husband immediately responds, "I'm not going out there! You crazy?" 

No one was injured by the bear and it eventually ran off, the family told NBC 4 New York.  

The bear visit isn't the first along Herrick Road this week. Two days ago, another bear was spotted on the street. And in the town, there have been several sightings in recent weeks. 

And who could forget the sight last year, when a mama bear and her five cubs took a dip in another backyard pool in Rockaway Township. 

Town officials are warning residents to be aware, and calling on the state to do more to lessen bear-human encounters. 

Photo Credit: Stacey Dowling]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:46:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/AP_16238818326772.jpg View weekly updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Campaign CEO Under Scrutiny for 1996 Charge]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:23:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16233666241411-stephen-bannon-trump-campaign.jpg

Stephen Bannon's appointment as chief executive of Donald Trump's campaign has drawn scrutiny to his personal history, including a 1996 arrest in a domestic-violence case that was ultimately dismissed, NBC News reported.

Court records show that Bannon was charged with three misdemeanors in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 22, 1996, after his then-wife claimed he attacked her.

A police report obtained by Politico and confirmed by NBC News details a New Year's argument about finances that allegedly became physical. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and about six months later the case was dismissed after prosecutors said they could not find his wife, court documents show.

Asked about the old charges, a personal spokeswoman for Bannon noted they had been dismissed, while the Trump campaign did not comment.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kerry: US, Russia 'Close' on Syria Agreement]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:30:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kerry-Lavrov-Syria-Talks-AP_897609403882.jpg

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the U.S. and Russia are close to a deal that could end the fighting in Syria, NBC News reported.

"Today I can say we achieved clarity on the path forward," Kerry said in Geneva, where he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have been negotiating on a way to reach a ceasefire. Kerry cautioned there is more work to do, but added, “we are close.”

Sources close to the negotiations told NBC News the framework of the agreement being discussed includes a nationwide ceasefire and unrestricted access given to humanitarian groups.

Still, some of those involved in the negotiations expressed concern that even if a deal was reached, it would not hold for long.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Visualizing the Olympics: Medal Counts & More]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 08:53:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149332217-edited.jpg Which countries have the most gold medals? And how much does it cost to host an Olympic Games? Get ready for the Rio Olympics – and the answers to those and many other Olympic-related questions – with this series of graphics. Click here for the visualization.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Elderly Couple Forced to Live Apart After 62 Years]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:15:55 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Anita+and+Wolf+Gottschalk.jpg

Anita and Wolf Gottschalk have been inseparable throughout their 62 years of marriage. But for the past eight months, the elderly couple has been forced to say a heartbreaking goodbye over and over again.

A backlog in the Canadian health care system has made it impossible to move Wolf, 83, out of his transitional nursing home and into the care facility where Anita, 81, is living, their granddaughter Ashley Bartyik says.

Every other day, Bartyik drives Anita the 30 minutes from her Surrey, British Columbia, care complex to Wolf's so she can see her ailing husband. The visits always end in tears for the couple, Bartyik said.

In a Facebook post published Tuesday, Bartyik says her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia and appeals to users to share their story in hopes that it will attract the attention of policymakers, who can help not just her grandparents, but other elderly Canadians who are waiting for subsidized beds, she tells NBC News.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ashley Bartyik
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<![CDATA[Jaycee Dugard Loses Case Against Federal Parole Officials]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:28:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/JayceeDugardMug.jpg

A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Friday that Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped from South Lake Tahoe and held in Antioch by a parolee for 18 years, cannot hold federal parole officers liable for failing to supervise her captor.

The ruling was made seven years to the day she was rescued — Aug. 26, 2009. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had already ruled on the case in March, but Friday's decision was an expanded version of their original opinion. Friday's opinion now becomes a legal precedent.

Dugard had argued, unsuccessfully, that federal parole officers failed to do their jobs well before Phillip Garrido snatched her away from her family in 1991 in South Lake Tahoe.

But the appeals court said that Dugard had not been victimized by Garrido at the time he was placed under federal parole supervision, and there was no way to anticipate she could become a victim.

“Phillip Garrido, a parolee with a terrible history of drug-fueled sexual violence, committed unspeakable crimes against Jaycee Dugard for 18 years,” U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John B. Owens wrote in a 44-page decision, first filed in San Francisco. “State and federal authorities missed many opportunities to stop these tragic events.”

But he added, “While our hearts are with Ms. Dugard, the law is not.”

The Pasadena-based panel said federal law and its intersection with California law prevented Dugard for being compensated “for the incompetence of the parole office that was supposedly supervising Garrido.”

Chief District Judge William Smith dissented, saying his colleagues were misrepresenting California tort law.

Dugard's attorneys were not immediately available for comment on Friday, and neither was anyone at her foundation. Since being freed, Dugard became an author, a national speaker and the founder of the JAYC Foundation to help those who have been abused or traumatized.

Garrido held Dugard captive, sometimes in chains, in a backyard shed in Antioch and repeatedly raped and drugged her. She gave birth to two of his children during the ordeal. The three were discovered while visiting UC Berkeley and freed in August 2009.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, pleaded guilty in 2011 to kidnapping and sexual assault. On June 2 of that year, Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life imprisonment; Nancy Garrido received 36 years to life.

Dugard received a $20-million settlement from California and sued the federal government for similar compensation.

The Associated Press contributed to that report.

Photo Credit: AP, file
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<![CDATA[Months of Recovery Ahead for Louisiana Flood Victims]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:11:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Louisiana+Flooding+McClarty+Backyard.jpg

Richard McClarty stands in his gutted Baton Rouge home, drenched in sweat, speckled with white dust from sweeping drywall remnants off the floor.

"We're just taking it day by day right now," he says in the home he abandoned with his wife Wagner and son Eddie. 

They left August 13 as the flood water invaded their garage and lapped at their front door. "I carried my son through the water," McClarty recalls.

He estimates the flood water was about 3 ½ feet deep at the time, and that neighbors had to be rescued by boat amid the chaos.

Thousands were displaced in the storms, and at least 13 died. A federal disaster was declared for 20 Louisiana parishes, which President Barack Obama visited this week and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited the week before.

The McClarty family found a hotel to stay in, then hopped from one to another over the past dozen days, all the while beginning the clean-up process.

"We pretty much lost probably about 75 percent of our things," he explained matter-of-factly as he looked around his home. 

The McClartys' story is multiplied by thousands. Homeowners must take everything out of their homes, tear out dry wall and insulation, rip up carpeting, wood flooring, tile, cabinets — everything must go. The work needs to be quick so that mold doesn't take over the house.

Piles of people's lives line streets for miles and miles. About 120 homes are in the McClarty's subdivision. Richard says nearly every home took on some amount of water. A sofa with the tags still on was in a pile next door to the McClartys' home. Brand new, now trash.

Wagner said the mold was already thick in the bottom cabinets, but when you stand in the gutted home, you don't smell the water, mold or dampness. There's a constant hum of fans, dehumidifiers and the air conditioning. If you didn't know the house was flooded, you might think they were doing some strange renovation. 

"It's pretty dried out," McClarty said. It's going to take months to get the home to a liveable state, and that's his goal right now.

The McClartys' home isn't in a flood zone, so they didn't have flood insurance. They will have to rely on federal money for any amount of help in the rebuilding process. Such is the case for thousands of the homes that were underwater.

"This has never happened here," McClarty said, adding that neighbors have lived in the neighborhood for 52 years and they have never been flooded.

The family has been getting help from co-workers from the NRG Energy plant where Richard works, members of the family's church congregation and volunteers from Team Rubicon, an organization made up of veterans and first responders who help following disasters with clean-up.

"We appreciate all the help we have gotten, but we still have a whole lot of work to do," McClarty said.

Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[Fact Check: Jill Stein Over the Top on Sea Level Rise]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:16:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/594383000-jill-stein-green-party-presser.jpg

Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein cherry-picked the findings of a disputed study when she claimed that global warming would cause sea levels to rise on average “not one yard but many yards” in as soon as 50 years. Scientific consensus says a more realistic rise is 0.33 to 1.33 yards above current levels by 2100.

Stein made her claim in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 23 during a press conference in which she discussed her Aug. 21 visit to flooded areas in Louisiana and the natural disaster’s link to climate change.

According to a 2016 report by the National Academies of Sciences, global warming is expected to lead to more moisture in the atmosphere. This, in turn, can increase the frequency of extreme rainfall events like the one that recently took place in Louisiana.

Primarily affecting regions around Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the flood damaged tens of thousands of homes and killed 13 people, NPR reported. The Red Cross also called the flood “likely the worst natural disaster in the United States since 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.”

Stein did accurately state, “Any one storm cannot be definitively pegged to climate change, but when you see so many at such extreme levels, there’s no question, according to the scientists, that this is a consequence of warmer air that holds much more water.” But then she moved on to exaggerate the extent of projected sea level rise.

Stein, Aug. 23: There are these growing warnings about sea level rise, according to James Hansen, the foremost climate scientist … he is predicting meters-worth, that is yards-worth — not one yard but many yards worth — of sea level rise as soon as 50 years from now. And that of course would be an absolutely devastating sea level rise that would essentially wipe out coastal population centers, including the likes of Manhattan, and Florida and so on, and actually all over the world, the entire country of Bangladesh.

This isn’t the first time Stein has exaggerated the extent of projected global sea level rise. But it is the first time she has cited Hansen’s work while making her claim.

Scientific Consensus on Sea Level Rise

Hansen, a climate scientist at Columbia University, and colleagues did conclude, “Continued high fossil fuel emissions this century are predicted to yield … sea level rise, reaching several meters over a timescale of 50–150 years” in a study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics in March 2016.

However, reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which are both collaborations of hundreds of scientists, project a much smaller rise over a longer period than Hansen.

The 2013 IPCC report predicts an average rise of between 0.26 to 0.98 meters (1 meter = 1.09 yards) in the global sea level by 2100, with the higher end entailing a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario.

The 2016 Global Change report similarly projects a 1 to 4 feet (3 feet = 1 yard) rise by 2100. However, the report also states, “In the context of risk-based analysis, some decision makers may wish to use a wider range of scenarios, from 8 inches to 6.6 feet by 2100.” Still, 6.6 feet translates to 2.2 yards, which is not “many” yards, and it also would not occur in “as soon as 50 years.”

In his paper, Hansen and colleagues argue that ice covering the North and South poles will melt at rates much faster than predicted by the IPCC and others. Instead of a linear rate, the researchers argue the rate will grow exponentially, doubling every 10, 20 or 40 years. This will lead to “multi-meter” global mean sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years, respectively, the authors conclude.

But the group also admits that, while the data they analyzed are “consistent with” a multi-meter sea level rise in around 50 years, they “cannot exclude slower responses.” This is why the researchers give a timescale of 50 to 150 years to reach several meters of sea level rise.

In an email to us, Hansen also explained, “If we stay on business-as-usual high emissions, I would say that several meters [of sea level rise] is unlikely in 50 years, though possible. In 100 years it is likely, and I can’t see how it could be avoided in 200 years.”

But back in March, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University and a lead author on a chapter of the IPCC’s third report, told The Guardian: “I’m always hesitant to ignore the findings and warnings of James Hansen; he has proven to be so very prescient when it comes to his early prediction about global warming. That having been said, I’m unconvinced that we could see melting rates over the next few decades anywhere near his exponential predictions, and everything else is contingent upon those melting rates being reasonable.”

In 1988, Hansen, then a NASA scientist, testified before Congress on the dangers of global warming. His testimony instigated broader awareness of the issue, which has led some to call him the “father of climate change awareness.”

Steven Goodbred Jr., an environmental scientist at Vanderbilt University and expert on sea level rise in Bangladesh, agrees with Mann that Hansen’s warnings should be heeded, but also said Hansen’s latest findings are over the top. “Meters of sea level rise would require major collapse of Greenland or East Antarctic ice sheets,” Goodbred told us by email. “While improbable, the evidence that Hansen et al put forth warns us not to think impossible.”

Not as Simple as Sea Level Rise

Goodbred also told us issues in Bangladesh, which Stein mentioned specifically, can’t be boiled down to sea level rise. The Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, which flow from China and India to Bangladesh, together “deliver the largest sediment load on earth” at around 1 billion metric tons per year, he explained. “That sediment distributed across Bangladesh’s low-lying coastal region could keep pace” with the current rate of sea level rise, “perhaps with relatively limited consequences (though certainly not none).”

Along these lines, “any reduction in that supply would harm the system’s ability to respond to sea level rise,” added Goodbred. “Threats to sediment delivery (that are more probable than Hansen et al scenarios) include dam construction, water diversion, and increased irrigation/water extraction in upstream areas of India and China.” Many of these modifications to the river systems are already planned or ongoing, he said, and represent as much of a threat to Bangladesh as sea level rise does.

Mann told us the situation in Florida and Manhattan, which Stein also pointed to specifically, can’t be reduced to sea level rise either. “Even 5-6 m of sea level rise would not submerge New York City, or most of Florida,” he said.

“Due to the threat to our coastlines from the combined effect of sea level rise and potentially more potent hurricanes, we might indeed be looking at managed retreat from coastal regions like Miami and New York City on a timeframe of 50 years,” he added. “But it wouldn’t be because of inundation of these regions. It would be because the cost to insure property would become prohibitive given the greatly increased coastal risk.”

In other words, Miami and Manhattan probably won’t be completely underwater in 50 years, but it may become too expensive for many to live there due to increased property insurance costs.

Stein was on the mark when she said warmer air, which can hold more water, has the potential to bring about more extreme weather events, such as the one in Louisiana.

But her claim that global warming would cause sea levels to rise on average “not one yard but many yards” in as soon as 50 years is “an example of a greatly exaggerated version of reality that has a kernel of truth to it,” Mann told us.

Current scientific consensus puts the likely global mean sea level rise at a maximum 1.33 yards above current levels by 2100. And for Manhattan, Florida and Bangladesh in particular, issues go above and beyond sea level rise.

Editor’s Note: SciCheck is made possible by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harambe Hall?]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:25:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HarambeDorm0826_MP4-147224262304300001.jpg A petition on the website Change.org is pushing to get a residence hall at Eastern Kentucky University re-named after slain Cincinnati Zoo gorilla, Harambe. ]]> <![CDATA[Italian Girl, 10, Rescued From Earthquake Rubble]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 10:45:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Italy-Pescara-Rescue-2-147208278230500001.jpg A 10-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble in Pescara del Tronto on Wednesday 17 hours after the quake struck central Italy.]]> <![CDATA[Woman Shoots Down Drone Hovering Over Robert Duvall's House]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:00:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/082616+robert+duvall+Jennifer+Youngman.jpg

A Virginia woman says she shot down a drone after she spotted the device flying over her famous next door neighbor Robert Duvall's house and it veered onto her land.

Jennifer Youngman said she was cleaning two guns on her front porch in Fauquier County when she saw two men park in front of the actor's home. 

The men set up a table and began operating the drone over "The Godfather" star's property.

The device buzzed about 75 feet in the air and disturbed his cows, Youngman said. 

But when the men appeared to have lost control of the drone, Youngman took action.

“They were going a little too fast and they went over my airspace," she told The Fauquier Times, which was first to report the story. "I had my .20-gauge there, so I put two 71/2 birdshot shells in it, and there you are.”

Youngman, who said she does a lot of clay shooting, took down the drone with a single shot, she said.

The men were angry but fled when Youngman threatened to call police.

“They were kinda mad, but they knew to not come on my property,” she told the Times about the incident, which she said occurred a few weeks ago.

The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office said no one had filed a criminal complaint related to the incident. Police said they had not heard from the men with the drone.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Courtesy of Jennifer Youngman]]>
<![CDATA[More US Companies Pledge Equal Pay for Women]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:04:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/OBAMA_WOMEN_GettyImages-540174764.jpg

Twenty-nine additional employers have signed on to the White House equal pay pledge, which asks companies to conduct a yearly analysis of pay by gender with the goal of eliminating unequal compensation.

Apple, Chobani, Delta Air Lines, Facebook, General Motors, Hilton, IBM and IKEA are among the companies and organizations that have joined the effort, bringing the total to more than 50, according to the White House. Friday’s announcement was made on Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates women’s right to vote.

President Barack Obama initiated the pledge in June as part of a summit on women, the United State of Women. The companies also agree to review hiring and promotions practices and to promote practices that will close the national wage gap.

A typical woman working full-time earned only 79 percent that paid to a typical man in 2014, according to the White House.

The Labor Department also added protections for transgender men and women to guidelines for federal contractors that are meant to guard against sex discrimination.

The first piece of legislation that Obama signed after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned restrictions on time periods in which discrimination complaints could be filed.

The Obama administration also extended minimum wage and overtime to more than 2 million home health-care workers, many of them women.

Fifty-seven percent of women are in the labor force, down from 60 percent in 1999, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Defends Work of Family Foundation]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:23:51 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ClintonAltRight-AP_16238837035319.jpg

Hillary Clinton is defending the work of her family foundation, saying the organization needs more time to ensure the continuity of their programs. 

If elected, Clinton said she'll take additional steps to make sure there are no conflicts of interest between her administration and the global charitable network founded by her husband. 

Winding down the programs and finding partners, she said, takes time. 

"We're going to make sure we don't undermine the excellence and the results," she said in an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe.". 

Former President Bill Clinton announced last week that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the Clinton Foundation would no longer accept foreign and corporate donations, he would step down from its board and he no longer would raise money for the organization. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dr. Petit Discusses Running for Office After Tragedy]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:48:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Dr+William+Petit+Today+Show+1200.jpg

Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut, opened up during an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today" show about the decision to run for the state House of Representatives and about moving forward after the tragedy that took his family nine years ago.

Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke Petit, and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were killed during a night of horrors in their home in July 2007. Dealing with the survivor’s guilt will be part of Petit’s life forever, he said when asked.

“It’s packaged up and compartmentalized a little bit,” he said. “It’s sort of like on the top shelf in the closet in a small box and occasionally it comes out and you open the box and have a terrible night or a couple of terrible hours, or a terrible weekend, or whatever the case might be.”

“And then you come to grips and talk to your wife, and you talk to your son, and you talk to your family and your friends and you wrap it up again and you put it back in the closet knowing it’s probably never going to be gone,” Petit said. 

He said the time after the murders was difficult. He was made president of the Petit Family Foundation, which was set up to honor the memory of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela, but getting out of bed was difficult.

“I would basically would be in bed the entire day, then get up, come to the meeting and then, you know, go back to bed,” he said.

It was through that foundation that he met Christine Paluf and they married in 2012Their little boy, William, will be 3 in November. 

Petit, who now lives in Plainville, is running as a Republican.

He has been an outspoken supporter of the death penalty and was critical of the state Supreme Court’s decision to abolish it. But he said his personal tragedy was not the impetus for running. 

“You know, some people still stop and say, ‘I know where you stand. You’re for the death penalty.’ And I say, ‘Well, you know, I’m not really running on the death penalty," he said. "So what’s important to people is the quality of life, the economy, their jobs, their children’s futures.”

During an interview with NBC Connecticut last month, the retired endocrinologist said he wants to see state spending reined in. He said he agrees with the layoffs issued by Gov. Dannel Malloy because benefits like health insurance and pensions have gotten out of control.

The seat Petit is running for is now held by Betty Boukus, a Democrat, who has been in office for more than 20 years.

Photo Credit: Today Show
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<![CDATA[Judge: Jumping Over White House Fence Not Free Speech]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:52:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WHite-House-Jumper-AP_145425272487.jpg

Jumping over the White House fence is not free speech, a Washington, D.C., judge has ruled.

The ruling came in the case of a Connecticut man who hurtled over the White House fence, draped in an American flag, on Thanksgiving Day 2015. Joseph Caputo had asked the judge to dismiss his case, arguing the fence jump was an exercise in free speech.

A federal judge ruled the case must proceed, and said some of Caputo’s claims are frivolous. In his formal opinion, reviewed by the News4 I-Team, the judge ruled, "There is, after all, no First Amendment right to express one’s self in a nonpublic area like the White House."

Caputo is scheduled to go on trial in D.C. on Sept. 12, charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering restricted government grounds.

His jump triggered a lockdown at the complex in November 2015. Prosecutors said Caputo did so while the first family was inside the White House.

"It was a serious and dangerous act that put multiple lives at risk, including the defendant’s own," prosecutors said in a court filing.

According to court records, Caputo argued he breached the White House grounds with the "noble purpose" of "calling attention to various deficiencies in the Constitution."

The court records said Caputo was trying to call attention to a government failure "to pay attention to domestic issues."

The fence jump was the first of its kind after the 2015 installation of new spikes atop the White House fence.

Victoria Pena of Houston said at the time the man was standing with other people visiting the White House compound when he rushed toward the fence carrying what appeared to be a binder. 

"I just heard him take a big, deep breath and whisper to himself, 'All right, let's do this,' and he took off," Pena said. "It was chaotic. Everyone around us was yelling, and kids were crying. It was pretty unexpected."

"Casually, I'm just there taking pictures and I see a ninja coming through, climbing," witness Amar Marwaha of London said.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Pena via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Why Back-to-School Is Becoming a Summer Thing]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:15:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/denver-back-to-school.jpg

Though the weather is still hot enough to go swimming, many public school students across the country are staring at the summer sun through a classroom window.

Many schools have done away with the tradition of beginning classes after the Labor Day weekend. While many classes are already in full swing, some schools are already looking ahead to next year and debating whether to begin fall classes even earlier. 

There are more than 13,000 school districts across the country, all of which have their own rules for determining the academic calendar. But pushing fall start dates forward is usually driven by an effort to improve academic performance, by giving teachers and students more time to prepare before end of the year exams in the spring.

Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland is currently considering a proposal to shift its scheduled summer up and end the break earlier in August. If approved in November, the 2017-2018 school year will begin on Aug. 21, two weeks before Labor Day and a week sooner than its 2016 start date.

Derek Turner, the Montgomery County spokesperson, said the proposal has received mixed reaction from the community and that more than 1,000 people have submitted feedback online, with some parents concerned about an earlier fall start date conflicting with summer camp end dates.

The county proposes that moving up the calendar will give teachers an additional week of instruction before end of the year assessments like national Advanced Placement exams.

Turner said the beginning of the school year can lend itself to increased productivity in the classroom.

"As we get further in the year students get more and more distracted," Turner said. "So the earlier we start…the better off we are."

Rebecca Kaye, the policy and governance adviser for Atlanta Public Schools, said having an early August start date allows the Atlanta school system to include breaks more frequently throughout the 180 class days.

“The longer you go in school with no breaks we have more student discipline incidents,” Kaye said. “I think that’s a combination of kids having more conflict and emotional stuff built up as well as teachers having more anxiety.”

Atlanta Public Schools has one of the earliest fall start dates in the country, starting their 2016-2017 school year on Aug. 3. Kaye said classes will begin next year on Aug. 1.

"What we saw when we mapped it out was that [incidents of student discipline] would increase, increase, increase, increase, and then we would have a break and it would drop," she said. "That's why we try not to go too long without people having a break to let off some steam and come back refreshed."

Kaye said Atlanta’s early August start date allows the first instructional semester to end by winter break at the end of December, so high school students don't have to spend the holiday break studying for exams.

Pedro Noguera, a professor of education at New York University, said an earlier fall start date does not have any direct effect on student learning.

"The research shows that 180 school days across the year in different ways doesn't necessarily make a difference for kids," Kaye said. "It's about how you use the time and quality instruction."

Photo Credit: Denver Post via Getty Images]]>