<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sat, 28 Feb 2015 18:10:31 -0500 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 18:10:31 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Swedish Teenager With Asperger's Missing in NYC]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:04:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/022815teen.JPG

A Swedish teenager with Asperger's syndrome has gone missing while vacationing with his father in New York, police said Saturday.

Marcus Kerttu, 15, was scheduled to depart the city Saturday, but instead his family was waiting for word of his whereabouts.

He was last seen Friday evening shortly before 8 p.m. at a McDonald's on Canal Street, police said. He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 120 pounds, wearing blue jeans, black sneakers, black coat and a black hat.



Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[The Big Freeze: February 2015 by the Numbers]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:36:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP47401093417.jpg

February 2015 was brutal. The bone-numbing, punishing cold shattered records in the Northeast, making February the coldest month for some cities since reliable records were first kept.

Some places recorded the most days of zero or below temperatures. Adding to the misery were multiple winter storms that buried Boston under piles of snow.

While the first day of March will be blustery, with and another snowstorm expected to hit Sunday evening, the end is surely near.

Weather Services International predicts that March, April and May should all be warmer than normal in the Northeast.

Take a look at the frigid February by the numbers:

6.2 degrees: The average temperature in Bangor, Maine, according to the National Weather Service. That's about 15 degrees below normal and easily beats the old record of 8.4 degrees, from January 1994.

9.2 degrees: The average temperature in Syracuse, New York, which shattered by 3 degrees the old record set in February 1934. That makes February 2015 the coldest month ever for Syracuse.

15.7 degrees: The average temperature in February in Hartford, Connecticut, according to First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. That's a degree below the current record of 16.5 degrees, which was set in February 1934. This month is also expected to break the 2004 record in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which stands at 21.9 degrees. The average temperature in the Bridgeport area in February was 19.7 degrees.

18.8 degrees: The average temperature in Boston, making February the second-coldest month on record. The city spent over 500 hours without breaking 32 degrees.

24.1 degrees: The average temperature in New York City. That’s some 11 degrees below the average of 35 for February, according the National Weather Service. Those numbers make the month the coldest recorded February in New York City since 1934, when the average temperature in Central Park was 19.9 degrees. February 2015 is tied with February of 1895 for the third-coldest observed in New York City.

102 inches: The amount of snow Boston received this winter, most of it in February. It’s just 5.6 inches shy of the snowiest winter on record, according to the National Weather Service. Another storm, however, is expected to hit Sunday, dumping 6 inches in some areas, according to the New England Cable News.

150: The number of structures in Massachusetts where roofs have collapsed because of the snow loads this winter, according to state officials, The Associated Press reported. On Sunday, a youth hockey team escaped without injury when part of a snow-weighted roof at a Canton, Massachusetts, skating rink collapsed.
 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Couple Could Be NY's Oldest]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:21:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/oldest+couple+rockland.jpg

With a combined age of 212 and 82 years of marriage, an upstate New York couple could be one of the region’s oldest couples, according to the Journal News.

The couple, Duranord and Jeanne Veillard, were married in November of 1932 – the same month former New York governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the United State’s 32nd president.

They’ve lived through nearly 12 presidential tenures since they’ve wed, and on Saturday will celebrate Duranord Veillard’s 108th birthday. Jeanne Veillard turns 105 in May.

The couple, initially from Haiti, moved to the New York in 1968 when Duranord Veillard lost his job as a judge in Port-au-Prince, the Journal News reports. They settled in Rockland County’s Spring Valley, and were followed by the rest of their family.

Since then, they’ve had a dozen grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

The newspaper reports that Duranord Veillard stays sharp by starting every morning with five to seven pushups, a cup of tea, oatmeal and fresh fruit. He and his wife also take lots of naps and stay in the house unless they’re going to doctor’s visits.

When asked, Duranord Veillard told the newspaper his secret to a long life.

“That’s God,” he said in a French Creole.

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<![CDATA[Roof of Ice Rink Collapses]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 18:08:30 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/179*120/canton+fire+pic+2.jpg

Coaches and parents are credited with saving the lives of two dozen students after the roof of an ice skating rink collapsed in Canton, Massachusetts.

It came crashing down with little notice - part of the roof over the Metropolis Rink is now gone.

"We were like, 'Why are we alive?'" said Norwood Youth Hockey Coach Mike Fanizzi. "We just looked at each other."

At 7 a.m., the team had just started practicing inside when the coaches heard loud, unusual noises coming from above.

"Heard a second snap and started screaming - we knew something was so wrong," said Coach Chris Sharkey

"I immediately started screaming to get off the ice," said Fanizzi. "I just knew that wasn't a natural sound."

That split-second decision saved lives.

"There were seven kids that we were staring at that were right underneath where it collapsed, and luckily, Mike's voice just was so loud that it forced them to move," said Sharkey.

Fifteen seconds later, the roof gave way.

"Right as we get to probably where the penalty box is, one of the other coaches and a mother went past us, and the roof collapsed right in front of us," said Fanizzi.

Even though the collapse happened at the other end of the rink, the force of it blew out a wall, creating even more damage.

Firefighters say heavy snow on the roof brought it down.

"Every single coach out there did a great job today," said Sharkey.

Remarkably, no one was injured.

The coaches say they were just doing what anyone else would.

"I didn't even think twice," said Fanizzi. "I know none of the other coaches did, either."



Photo Credit: Canton Fire]]>
<![CDATA[Soup to Ices: Stores Switch With the Season]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:52:13 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Vendome.jpg

You know that spring is on the way in Brooklyn when The Soup Bowl becomes Uncle Louie G's Italian ices.

In mid-March, the sign comes down for the hole-in-a-wall take-out place with a devoted following and a daily selection of some 18 soups, and Uncle Louie G takes its place. The seasonal switch on Seventh Avenue keeps the storefront in the black throughout the year.

A similar change takes place at the Brooklyn Porridge Co. and the Vendome macaron bar, two other Brooklyn spots that turn into Uncle Louie G's Italian ice shops when a frozen treat no longer feels like a cruel joke.

"Today, the way the economy is, it’s a great concept," Uncle Louie G’s Dino Russo said. “This way you earn 12 months out of year."

Richard Gussoff approached Russo five years ago with his plan to offer soup in the Seventh Avenue shop, which until then had closed in November for the winter. Gussoff had sold three restaurants in Manhattan’s theater district not long before — a decision prompted by proposed monthly rent increases of up to $5,000 — and had noticed the shuttered space.

“Soup was always my forte in my restaurants,” he said.

J.P. Eggers, an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, compared the phenomenon to pop-up stores, increasingly popular in high-traffic areas where rents are high. A seasonal shop in a vacation location has little value once visitors go home, but real estate costs remain high for a store in a place like Brooklyn, he noted.

“The idea of leaving it with either no business because it’s closed or with a business that is just not going to make any money at that time of day or in that season just doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “It’s far too valuable a property to do that.”

Uncle Louie G, which also sells ice cream, was started about 20 years by Russo’s brother and sister-in-law. Russo and three friends took it over in 2009 and expanded the company so that today there are nearly 60 outlets throughout the metropolitan New York area and as far as Florida, Oklahoma, California and even Malaysia. The individual stores are owned by license-holders who pay $15,000 and agree to buy ices and ice cream from Uncle Louie G.

Russo was skeptical when Gussoff first came to him, doubtful that he would be able to sell enough soup to afford the space. Each man jotted down a number for the monthly rent on a napkin, and each wrote the same -- $2,000. The Soup Bowl opened.

“I’m not a spiritual person, but if something was meant to be, that was a good sign,” Gussoff said. “They’re happy because I’m paying the rent. It works because in the winter, you don’t really want ice cream except for a few kids, and in the summer you don’t want soup.”

The owners of the Brooklyn Porridge Co., Emily Hannon and Karyn Seltzer, similarly approached Uncle Louie G after spotting an empty store on Union Street. The two had worked together at a corporate restaurant, were fast friends and wanted to offer something to customers with dietary restrictions.

“We started researching porridge, and the whole idea of porridge and discovered it exists in every culture,” Hannon said. “It’s an ancient comfort food.”

Their porridge, gluten- and dairy-free, is made from steel cut oats, grits, amaranth millet or brown rice and is served with savory or sweet toppings, everything from braised red cabbage to wildflower honey.

Hannon and Seltzer hope to keep their restaurant open year-round by finding another location and adding summer items to the menu. They are looking for other ways to expand: making the restaurant replicable and franchising and selling their sauces, compotes and sweet and savory granolas online.

The seasonal store has allowed them to test their ideas without making a large investment, they said.

“It’s been a warm, friendly way to start something, to start a business,” Hannon said.

Vendome on Smith Street is the brainchild of Taryn Garcia, who had studied film and landed at the Food Network after moving from Colorado to New York.

“I wasn’t totally in love working in production, and I just thought, “God, they’re having so much more fun in the kitchen,” she said.

She ended up in Paris studying pastry art and while there noticed the long lines at some of the shops selling macarons, the meringue-based French confections. She knew then she would make them when she returned to the United States.

She and her partner, Adriana Troli, sell their macarons at Saks Fifth Avenue and later this year will open a permanent shop at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, the former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ printing plant that has been turned into condominiums.

In the meantime, Garcia found the Uncle Louie G space advertised on Craigslist as a pop-up store for just over $3,000 a month.

“We looked at the cost to see: How are we going to make money? Will we break even? Is this going to be a loss?” Garcia said. “We decided to go for it.”

In the new store, they will offer not only macarons, but also coffee, some breakfast and lunch foods and maybe even wine and Champagne.

Gussoff said he was not sure what he would do once Uncle Louie G returns next month. His soups are widely popular — his lobster bisque sold out the first day, thanks to the staff of nearby New York Methodist Hospital — but he said he knew business would drop off by 90 percent once the temperatures rise.

Still, his customers return each year, he said.

“There are people that come to us, and they say we're the only thing they like about winter,” he said.
 



Photo Credit: Noreen O'Donnell
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<![CDATA[Astronaut's Vulcan Tribute to Leonard Nimoy ]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:06:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/11036297_10153067319546772_6134829756795390802_n.jpg

American astronaut Terry Virts tweeted a photo tribute to actor Leonard Nimoy on Saturday from the International Space Station. 

Virts shared an image of the split-fingered Vulcan salute against the backdrop of Earth. It contained no written message, but comes a day after the death of 83-year-old Nimoy.

Nimoy played the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock on the classic television series "Star Trek."

The actor was a native of Boston and the Massachusetts coastline is visible to the right of Virts' hand.

NASA tweeted it’s own tribute to Nimoy on Friday, explaining how so "many of us at NASA were inspired by Star Trek."

Other astronauts have been tweeting messages about Nimoy’s impact on their own careers.

"#RIP @TheRealNimoy who popularized #space travel for generations to come so we may live long and prosper," Scott Kelley said in a tweet.

Live Long and Prosper, Mr. #Spock!" tweeted Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, aboard the International Space Station.



Photo Credit: Terry Virts/ NASA
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Identity Thief Filled Out Tax Return Before Me, Victim Says]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:58:14 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/484588011.jpg

Virginia mom of three Brooke Taheri opted to spend her Valentine’s Day working on her taxes and didn't expect the holiday to get any less romantic.

Then she discovered her identity had been stolen.

“You get that sinking feeling in your stomach,” said Taheri, 37, of Fairfax County, describing the moment she realized something was wrong.

Tax-related identity theft is a growing concern, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which named it as one of its “dirty dozen” tax scams of 2015.

“Preventing and detecting identity theft and refund fraud remains a top priority for the IRS," the government agency said in a statement. "We have added and strengthened protections in our systems, and we continue to make important progress in stoping identity theft and other fradulent refunds."

Last year, the IRS initiated 1,063 identity theft-related investigations and the Federal Trade Commission reported receiving 109,063 complaints about tax-related identity theft, according to the IRS website.

Taheri found out she was a victim when she tried to e-file her taxes and got a notice saying the IRS already received her forms.

“I was livid and completely frustrated,” Taheri said.

Yet submitting your tax return is the only way to uncover the distressing news before the tax season's deadline hits.

Credit card companies continually monitor customers’ behavior, making it easier for them to pick up on any unusual activity. The IRS, however, only connects with taxpayers once a year. Fraudsters typically file early, beating taxpayers to the punch and making it difficult for the IRS to detect discrepancies against employers’ information, which the government agency receives in late spring.

Since many Americans have yet to file their returns this tax season, it is too early to tell how many others are victims of tax-related identity theft although the majority should not be affected.

About 1.5 million taxpayers received Identity Protection PINs, a six-digit unique number, by the IRS last year as part of a pilot program. The agency provided them with the extra security measure to all identity theft victims, including those whose data was compromised in schemes unrelated to their taxes.

The IRS also offered the PINs to another 1.7 million taxpayers whose accounts signaled they could be victims.

Filing early is one recommendation, but that didn’t prevent Taheri from experiencing a “very labor intensive” aftermath.

“Thus far I’ve spent over four hours on music hold with different federal and local government agencies and then once I talk to people it’s been another hour and a half,” she said.

Taheri filed a police report, contacted the IRS and the FTC, and checked with the Social Security Administration and other agencies to determine if her information had been used illegally, she said. And she still had to file her taxes, but now she must submit a paper copy along with an identity theft affidavit so the IRS can conduct its investigation, she said.

Updating your passwords and usernames regularly, and monitoring your credit report are a few other steps taxpayers should take to avoid identity theft, according to resources available on the FTC and IRS websites. Another suggestion: Don’t give your personal information when it is not required of you or through unsecure channels.

Taheri, who works in finance, admonished herself for failing to set up identity theft protection earlier.  She said she has now signed up for it. Taheri is also keeping a close eye on her credit reports and planning how she’ll avoid this in the future.

“As soon as I get my W-2s and tax information, I will be filing as early as I physically can,” she said. “I will be the first to file.”

And after a headache-filled Valentine's day, Taheri — who wasn't expecting a big hoopla — was finally able to celebrate with her family.

"By the time I got off all the phone calls, I think we got carry-out."



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[15 Tons of Pot Worth $19M Seized]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:44:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/otay+mesa+record+breaking+seizure+%282%29.jpg

More than 15 tons of marijuana hidden in a mattress shipment was seized at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry — the largest narcotics bust in the history of that border crossing and the second largest seizure at any crossing nationwide.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the find as they inspected a truck claiming to carry mattresses and cushions on Thursday evening.

The officer inspecting it referred it to an x-ray exam, where an anomaly was detected.

As the truck was docked for a more intense examination, a CBP officer raised the trailer's door and found plastic-wrapped packages, stacked floor to ceiling and front to back, filling nearly the entire truck. Just a few mattresses were stacked along the wall at the other end.

Officers tallied the find, which came to 1,296 packages containing about 31,598 pounds of marijuana. That load has an estimated street value of about $18.96 million.

The driver, a 46-year-old Mexican citizen with a valid border crossing card, was turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The tractor-trailer, cargo shipment and drugs were all seized by CBP officers.

The Otay Mesa cargo port of entry saw its last record-breaking bust in 2003 when 19,999 pounds of marijuana was discovered. The largest seizure ever recorded by CBP officers was 35,265 pounds of marijuana at the Calexico East port of entry in 2013.



Photo Credit: CBP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Chief Booked on Solicitation]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 02:57:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/022715+stephen+johnson+mug.jpg

Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach Friday, officials said.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert confirmed the arrest and said Johnson was fired immediately.

Jail records showed Johnson, 53, was being held on $300 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, deputies were conducting an undercover operation targeting solicitation of prostitution at a Dania Beach hotel when Johnson was arrested.

Authorities had placed an escort ad on backpage.com and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said.

Johnson had called the number on the ad and arranged to pay $100 for 30 minutes with two prostitutes, the report said.

When Johnson arrived at the hotel room, he was let in and handed over the $100, the report said. He had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.

A news release from the department said Assistant Chief Antonio Brooklen will serve as interim chief.

"We remain committed to excellence and integrity on every level," the department said in the release. "We will not allow Mr. Johnson's bad judgment to reflect negatively on the hardworking officers of the City of Miami Gardens and the residents they serve on a daily basis."

The department came under fire earlier this month following the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Lavall Hall.

Johnson said Hall attacked two officers with a broom handle and was shot twice with a Taser before he was fatally shot by an officer.

Hall's family has been critical of police in the wake of the shooting, holding a vigil and protest and demanding more answers in the shooting.

Johnson was named Miami Gardens' Police chief in May 2014 after a long career with the North Miami Police Department. He also served as North Miami's city manager from 2011 to 2014.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Wesleyan Student Will Survive OD "Against All Odds": Family]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:17:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WESLEYAN02232015.jpg

A Wesleyan University student who remains hospitalized nearly a week after overdosing on MDMA, or "Molly," is slowly recovering, according to a statement from family members.

"It is difficult to put into words how deeply grateful we are for the generous outpouring of love and support that we have received over the last few days," the student's family said in a statement Friday. "We are profoundly grateful to the teams at Hartford Hospital that went above and beyond to save our child's life. Thankfully, against all odds, our child will survive this terrible ordeal."

The student, who has not been publicly identified, was critically injured after overdosing last weekend and remains at Hartford Hospital.

"We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the Wesleyan community — the administrators, faculty, and students — for their concern and support. And we are thankful as well for the expert work of the Middletown Police Department," the family added.

Ten of the student's peers also received medical treatment. After being rushed to Middlesex Hospital on Sunday, two were airlifted to Hartford Hospital and two more were transferred by ambulance, officials said.

Only one student is still in the hospital.

Four of their peers were arrested on drug charges earlier this week, accused of selling the MDMA that sickened them.

Eric Lonergan, 21; Andrew Olson, 20; Zachary Kramer, 21; and Rama Agha Al Nakib, 20, were immediately suspended from the school.

Olson is the founder and co-president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Wesleyan. According to the warrants for their arrest, Kramer, Lonergan and Nabik are known as drug dealers among their peers.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Detective's Crash, Wife in Traffic]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:31:33 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/nypd+detective+killed+wrong+way+crash.jpg

An NYPD detective on his way to work in Queens, New York, was killed in a wrong-way crash on a Westchester highway early Friday that backed up traffic for hours, and the 46-year-old officer's wife was tragically stuck in the jam as she tried to take the couple's teenage daughter to school, officials and relatives say.

The officer, Paul Duncan, was headed south on the Sprain Brook Parkway near Greenburgh in a Honda Pilot at about 4 a.m. when a 2013 Honda Civic headed the wrong way crashed into the detective's SUV head-on. Duncan was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Civic, 20-year-old Efren Moreano of Yonkers, was taken to Westchester Medical Center and is in a coma, police say. It's not clear why Moreano was driving the wrong way.

Aerial footage from Chopper 4, which was first on the scene, showed one mangled vehicle on the highway and another stopped off the roadway.

Duncan's wife, Rechelle, said her husband normally leaves for work at the department's Internal Affairs Bureau in Queens around 8 a.m., but got an unusually early start Friday.

When she went to drive her daughter to school in the city shortly before 7 a.m., she encountered a police car blocking access to the Sprain Brook Parkway by her home. It took her two hours to get to the city, and she had no idea the traffic was related to a response to an accident that had claimed her husband's life.

"I don't even know how that's possible," a composed yet stunned Rechelle Duncan told NBC 4 New York.

She and her husband were high school sweethearts who had been married for more than 20 years. Rechelle Duncan said her husband was planning to retire from the NYPD this year.

"He was thoughtful, he was disciplined. He made really good dinners," Rechelle Duncan said of her husband. "He thought he was funny, a sharp dresser, a really good dad."

Now, she says, she plans to focus on staying strong for her 13-year-old daughter.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor said after the crash that the state police and Department of Transportation should both look into ways to improve infrastructure on the highway. 

-Jonathan Dienst contributed to this report

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<![CDATA[Uber Breach May Affect 50K Drivers]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:54:43 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP943907754143.jpg

Uber says a database containing the names and drivers' license numbers of 50,000 of its drivers was breached in May.

The ride-sharing service says it has notified the drivers and hasn't received any reports of the information being misused. Uber says it will offer a one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert identity theft protection service to the drivers involved.

The company said Friday the breach affects drivers in multiple states, but involves only a "small percentage" of its current and former drivers.

Uber says it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events in a statement posted on its blog and described them as a one-time occurrence. The San Francisco company says it has changed the access protocols for its database to prevent similar breaches.

Uber is the latest company to report a data breach in recent months. Others include retailer Home Depot, health insurer Anthem and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The problems can be costly as well as damaging to consumers' perception of a company.

Uber is privately-held and valued at $40 billion. It lets passengers summon cars through an app in more than 250 cities worldwide, but faces multiples legal and regulatory challenges as it expands in the United States and abroad. The company has been criticized over the thoroughness of the background checks it does on drivers and other safety issues as well as its method of raising prices when demand goes up.

Earlier this month Uber introduced new safety features for riders in India, include a "panic button" on its app that would let riders notify police in an emergency and a "safety net" that would let riders share trip details with others. The features were rolled out after a highly-publicized case where a passenger said she was raped by an Uber driver.

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<![CDATA[Slushy Waves Hit Nantucket Shore]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:07:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jonathan_Nimerfroh+%28104+of+6%29.jpg

It’s been so cold in New England that even the ocean waves are freezing.

A Nantucket-based photographer and surfer captured images of waves with the consistency of a 7-Eleven Slurpee hitting the coast of Nantucket, in Massachusetts, on Friday, Feb. 20.

“The wind was howling from the southwest which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not change the shape,” Jonathan Nimerfroh said in an email to New England Cable News. “What resulted was perfect, dreamy, slush waves.”

The temperature was a high of 19 degrees that day, according to Nimerfroh, and the waves were around 2 feet high.

When Nimerfroh went back the beach on Saturday to take more photos of slurpee waves, it was even colder. The water had a thin sheet of ice over it and there were no waves at all.

Normally, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s not unusual for the harbor to freeze.

New England has experienced outsized snowfall and cold this winter. Boston has received 102 inches of snow, just 5.6 inches shy of the snowiest winter on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Another storm is expected to hit this weekend, dumping 6 inches in some areas. It won't take much to shatter the record.
 



Photo Credit: Jonathan Nimerfroh, www.jdnphotography.com]]>
<![CDATA[Polar Bear Cubs Go Outside For First Time]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:33:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PolarBearBabies.jpg Two polar bear cubs venture outside for the first time since they were born in November 2014. One of the triplets died shortly after birth.]]> <![CDATA[Wooden Passenger Fools Carpool Lane]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:34:15 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Fake+passenger.JPG

A Long Island man allegedly used a wooden figure in a hooded sweatshirt to drive solo in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lane because, he told officers, he was late to his new job, police said.

A Suffolk County Highway Patrol officer noticed the fake passenger when he pulled the man over for speeding at 77 mph at 6:30 a.m. on Friday in Dix Hills.

A photo of the crudely made dummy shows a wooden board with a block-shaped, wooden head wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

"I was trying not to laugh at the guy because I thought it was quite silly," said officer Jonathan Abrams. 

Abrams said for a moment, he actually thought it was a real person.

"The silhouette was realistic enough," he said. "You see people with hoods up, sleeping in the front seat all the time." 

The driver, James Campbell, told NBC 4 New York the officer seemed to have a sense of humor about it.

"He said, 'Passenger, can I see some ID?' And I said, 'Officer, I don't think so,'" said Campbell, chuckling. 

Campbell told the officer that he was driving to a new job and didn't want to be late.

"He said he started a new job and he couldn't afford to be late to his new job, so traveling through the HOV lane allowed him to get there a little bit faster," said Abrams. 

He was issued summonses for speeding and occupancy violation.

Campbell didn't seem deterred. He pulled up to his home Friday evening after work with the dummy still in the front seat, saying he'd been using it for months. 

He said, "He's got a sister down in the basement and on special occasions, I bring her out and she wears a tutu." 



Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Dept. ]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Charged in Friend's Suicide]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:53:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Conrad+Roy+Michelle+Carter.jpg

A young woman who says she tried to help a Massachusetts teen before his 2014 suicide now faces manslaughter charges after text messages allegedly revealed that she encouraged him to take his own life.

Court documents from New Bedford court outline a deeper look into the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy, a student from Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.

In July of 2014, Fairhaven Police found Roy's body in his car parked behind a store. They believe he committed suicide by means of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now, 18-year-old Michelle Carter of Plainville is facing involuntary manslaughter charges, having been indicted as a youthful offender.

After Roy's body was found, according to documents, police accessed his cell phone. There, they found thousands of text messages between Roy and Carter.

"Michelle not only encouraged Conrad to take his own life, she questioned him repeatedly as to when and why he hadn't done it yet, right up to the point of when his final text was sent to her on Saturday evening, July 12, 2014," police wrote after reviewing the messages.

The new charges have reopened old wounds for the Roy family.

"All I can think of is his smiling face," said Conrad's grandmother, Janice Roy. "He used to come play with his cousins on the beach."

Police also allege Carter misled friends and Roy's family members when he was missing.

The documents say that in other texts following his death, she told friends she heard him killing himself over the phone.

Police say Roy had told Carter he was scared to leave his family, but that Carter encouraged him to commit suicide.

"When he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck," read the court documents. "But instead of telling him to stay out of the truck and turn off the generator Carter told him to 'get back in.'"

The court documents also show that Roy confided in Carter, saying, "I feel like I'm only staying alive for other people, not myself." He also reportedly said, "There's nothing anyone can do for me that's gonna make me wanna live."

Carter's attorney says his client is not a killer.

Roy's Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony's Church, Mattapoisett. Visiting hours will be held on Friday from 4-8 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Captain Conrad H. Roy III Scholarship Fund, c/o Northeast Maritime Institute, 32 Washington St., Fairhaven, MA 02719. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.



Photo Credit: Northeast Maritime Institute/Facebook.com]]>
<![CDATA[The Handball-Playing Grandmas of Bolivia]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:19:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP14805720858.jpg Indigenous Aymara grandmothers play handball in El Alto, Bolivia. These women stay healthy by remaining active. In this case, playing a group sport that is nontraditional in Bolivia.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Juan Karita ]]>
<![CDATA[ Woman, 91, Lands Her Dream Job in Silicon Valley]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:38:18 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-02-27+at+12.50.11+PM.jpg

Some land their dream job just weeks after graduation, but for Barbara Beskind, 91, it took several decades.

Beskind finally fulfilled her longtime dream of becoming a tech designer when she was hired at a top design firm in Silicon Valley two years ago.

"As a 10-year-old I wanted to be an inventor,'' Beskind told NBC's "Today show. "I've arrived. But it took me about 80 years."

She had a knack for design at an early age, making a hobby horse out of old tires during the Great Depression when she was just ten years old.

But she was discouraged to pursue a career in design by her high school guidance counselor who told her engineering schools don't accept females. So she decided to join the U.S. Army, where she served as an occupational therapist, while also writing books and learning to paint," she told "Today."

Two years ago she read about IDEO, known for designing the first mouse for Apple and other devices, and decided to apply for a vacant position. 

"Our culture is telling us, aging equals decline,'' IDEO associate partner Gretchen Addi told "Today". "And Barbara is very solidly standing there and saying, you know, 'I'm gonna call you on that.'''

Beskind focuses on projects related to aging. She has designed what she has dubbed a "trekker,'' a modified version of a walker, which is being developed into a prototype by IDEO.

She said coming to work every Thursday makes her "feel 30 years younger."

"Age is not a barrier to performance," she told "Today."  "Live life as an adventure, and expect change and endorse it, embrace it."

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<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:11:57 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP415523851281.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Google Expansion Worries Hometown]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:58:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/google22.jpg

New expansion plans for Google headquarters, known as the Googleplex, has the city of Mountain View in a tough position as city leaders try to accommodate their biggest corporate taxpayer as well as non-Google residents who feel the tech giant is swallowing their town.

“I think most of us in Mountain View are concerned about where are we going to house the employees that work there, the new employees. How will they get to work given the traffic bottlenecks that already exist?” asked Mountain View councilman Lenny Siegel.

Reportedly, the new plans highlight a campus focused on walking or biking to work, which means one thing to Siegel: Mountain View must build new housing.

“We’re expecting as we put housing in north Bayshore and near north Bayshore that we’ll reduce the amount of miles traveled by commuters,” he said.

A mobile home park in the shadow of Google headquarters is also in the cross hairs.

“There is a mobile home park in north Bayshore, about 360 units and a growing number of Google employees are moving in there,” he said. “Now it’s unfortunately displacing some of the residents, they’ve been bought out basically.”

Gregory Legg, who lives in Mountain View said many of his neighbors are Google employees and they’re doing wonders for property values

“It’s actually bringing it up, the property values, which is good. It’s real good,” Legg said. “I mean, before, it was pretty low. And now it’s brought it up quite a bit.”

But with the higher prices, Rosemary Dozie Antoine said she will probably have to move.

“We would like to get out of here because everything’s too expensive for what I do,” she said. “And for what my husband does. So we need to kinda’ need to get out of here.”

The higher real estate is benefiting some, but pushing out others.

“It’s the housing and transportation issues that make me question the value of all this high-tech growth,” she said.

Siegel said opening up Moffett Field for a type of park-and-ride plan that would help alleviate street congestion could be in the works. But his main focus is discussing new housing developments around Google, something the council said no to last year.
 


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<![CDATA[Testimony: Hernandez Texts Missing]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:55:35 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/Hernandez+0218.jpg

Aaron Hernandez watched in court Friday as his phone records were shown for all to see.

Ricardo Leal, an official with Sprint, hashed through the complicated details for hours.

At the end of the day, even Hernandez was laughing, as things got tense between Leal and his attorney.

Also Friday, jurors caught an inside look at text messages Hernandez sent to his alleged "right hand man," Ernest "Bo" Wallace of Bristol, Connecticut.

Just hours before Odin Lloyd was killed, Hernandez frantically texted Wallace, "Get ur [expletive] up here," and "Hurry ur [expletive] up [expletive]."

Earlier in the day, before Hernandez allegedly drank and smoked pot at a Providence, Rhode Island, bar, he sent a message to Wallace, presumably about his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins.

"All yall trying to step tonight my girl getting on my nerves," read the text. "Waddup Hey jus don't be too late my [expletive] please cuz with trying to b stuck wit her all day an nite."

A mystery also unveiled Friday, as Hernandez, according to phone records, appeared to have deleted two texts he sent to Wallace on June 15, one day after Hernandez went clubbing with Lloyd and one day before Lloyd was killed.

Just days before Lloyd was killed, Hernandez allegedly made a reference to gun clips, texting Wallace, "U grab everything out of the car...clips and cds and everything?"

Wallace replied, "Yes, sir."

In another text days before Lloyd was killed, Hernandez seemed to apologize to Wallace, texting him, "Love u [expletive] I wanted to kill u but u know I love u hit me tomorrow get some rest and tell the rest I love them."

Wallace wrote, " K. One love. My bad today."

Later in the day, Hernandez's defense team filed a motion to stop prosecutors from showing a gun to jurors. While the prosecution alleges the defendant was seen in surveillance footage holding a Glock .45, which they say was the murder weapon, the gun itself was never found.

Hernandez's attorneys argue that an upcoming witness may infer to jurors that the suspect was holding the murder weapon in the video.

Judge Susan Garsh has not yet made a decision on the matter.



Photo Credit: necn]]>
<![CDATA[Trucker Used Hydraulic Bumper to Avoid GWB Toll: Police]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 08:41:01 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GWB+bumper+device.jpg

Police arrested a 45-year-old man for allegedly using a mechanical bumper on the front of his truck to lift and conceal his license plate so that E-ZPass cameras couldn't identify him after he blew through a toll gate on the George Washington Bridge.

The man drove the truck through the toll lane around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say that he used a black toggle switch on the truck's dashboard to activate a hydraulic bumper, which lifted the license plate, making it impossible for E-ZPass cameras to see the truck's license plate number.



Photo Credit: PAPD
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<![CDATA[Earl Lloyd, First Black NBA Player, Dies at 86]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:14:52 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP861620179640.jpg

Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court," West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. "When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

Lloyd, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, lived in Crossville, Tennessee. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Congressman Seeks Medal of Honor for "American Sniper" Chris Kyle]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:23:10 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kyle-memorial.jpg

A Texas congressman is pushing to grant the highest military honor to "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican, introduced on Thursday the "Chris Kyle Medal of Honor Act," which would authorize and request President Barack Obama to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Kyle for acts of valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Chris gave the ultimate sacrifice and served his nation with distinction and bravery while saving countless American lives,” Williams said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “There is no doubt that this true American hero is worthy of our nation’s highest military honor."

Williams' office staff has been in contact with Kyle's family, who is aware of the plan.

"While the Medal of Honor will not bring back a husband, father, son and a model Texan, we owe Chris Kyle and his family a great deal of gratitude for his relentless devotion to his country," Williams said.

Kyle, a Navy SEAL, served four tours in Iraq and is credited with the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history. A film based on his book, which is in theaters now, was nominated for an Academy Award. 

Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were shot and killed by Marine Eddie Ray Routh at a Texas shooting range in February 2013. Routh was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the killings earlier this week. 

The Medal of Honor has been awarded 3,507 times since its first presentation in 1863.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[New Details in Reservation Killing]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:28:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/barona+swat.jpg

A newly obtained court document may shed light on why a woman has not been charged after her son was found dead in a freezer and her boyfriend shot to death.

The awful event unfolded on Jan. 16 when security was called out to a home on the Barona Indian Reservation.

According to a Jan.21 search warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 7 Thursday, the first Barona security officer to arrive saw a man — 32-year-old Julio Ricardo Moggiotti — outside with “an ax in his hand and was using it on the ground.” The officer asked if the woman inside the house was OK, and Moggiotti said yes.

Moggiotti went back inside, and a few seconds later, the officer heard one gunshot. Moggiotti appeared for a moment, holding his stomach and saying he had been shot. He then turned back inside, and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Elaina Welch, emerged from the home with a shotgun, the affidavit says.

Welch told the security officer, “He’s in the house. I shot him. I’m so scared,” according to the document. She asked to be taken somewhere else and believed she shot Moggiotti in the hand.

Saying she was 3-months pregnant with Moggiotti’s baby, Welch told the officer “she had recently been beaten by Julio and he had been forcing her to stay against her will.” However, Moggiotti’s mother told investigators Welch had used a bat to hit her boyfriend.

According to the document, Welch told investigators Moggiotti had been acting weird lately and was taking medicine for psychological issues, saying things that did not make sense.

“Elaina said Julio made her beat her own child,” the affidavit says. She said Moggiotti killed her 3-year-old son Roland, taped him up, put him in the freezer and zip-tied the freezer.

On Jan. 16, Welch claimed she unplugged the house phone so Moggiotti could not hear 911 dispatchers try to call her back after she reported Roland’s death. 

After Moggiotti was found dead in the house, Welch was taken into custody. When deputies obtained a search warrant for the property, they found Roland's body buried under frozen food in the freezer. 

However, Welch was released from jail days later with no explanation from the district attorney’s office. A spokesperson just said the case is still under investigation. There is no word on if Welch is cleared or if she will face charges in the future.

Another search warrant obtained by NBC 7 details items found in the house during a search by deputies shortly after the alleged crime was reported. Among the 54 pieces of potential evidence seized by investigators were a Mossberg shotgun and shells, a .22 caliber rifle, a  box of ammuniton, a knife, marijuana, prescription medicines, $600 cash, pepper spray, a knife and an ax.

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<![CDATA[AA Named in Lawsuit After Passenger Dies]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:38:24 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/aa+suit.jpg

A passenger on an American Airlines flight died after she had trouble breathing and was forced to give up her oxygen, according to a lawsuit.

The suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Dallas, by the woman’s husband, Joost Tallieu of British Columbia, Canada.

The airline declined comment.

Sharon Tallieu was on a flight from DFW International Airport to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2013, when she experienced respiratory distress, according to the lawsuit.

She was given oxygen, which helped, but her husband told flight attendants she had a pre-existing lung condition and needed immediate medical care, the suit said.

He asked for an ambulance to be waiting when they landed, but instead she was greeted by workers with a wheelchair, the lawsuit claims.

“While disembarking the aircraft and over Joost Tallieu’s objection, a member of the flight crew demanded that (she) give up the oxygen supplied earlier by the flight crew that had been keeping her alive,” the lawsuit said.

She died about 30 minutes later, according to the suit.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Man Wins Suit After DUI Arrest]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 22:29:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/203*120/02-26-15_Santa-Monica-Lawsuit-Recording.JPG

Sennett Devermont said the moment he saw flashing lights behind him after making an illegal right-on-red turn in Santa Monica, he started recording audio on his cellphone.

"In court, it’s my word against the officer’s and I believe I would lose every time," he said. "So with that audio, I was able to say to the court this is really what I sounded like, this is what I said, this is what he said."

Devermont, the mastermind behind a popular mobile app that lists local DUI checkpoints called "Mr. Checkpoint," posted the confrontation on YouTube and it received more than a million views.

That video also helped him secure a $70,000 judgment with the City of Santa Monica.

In the recording, Devermont is heard telling the officer that he has a right to refuse a field sobriety test.

"Do I have to do this?" he asked the officer.

"Yes, you do," the officer responded.

"By law?" Devermont continued.

"Yes you do," the officer repeated.

"I don’t think I do," Devermont replied.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says Devermont had a First Amendment right to refuse the field sobriety test, but adds that an officer can still make an arrest if there’s reasonable suspicion of drunken driving.

In this case, though, a judge did not believe the officer had that.

In court documents, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson said it is his belief that the officer was "antagonistic" and that Devermont had "simply and calmly" asserted his right not to perform any field sobriety test.

"Where the hell did you learn that from?" the officer is heard saying in the recording.

Devermont responded "That’s the law, officer."

Devermont said he had studied much about DUI law in the state of California ever since he started his Mr. Checkpoint app nearly five years ago.

"I imagine this is something that happens quite a few times but it’s not actually captured on a recording," said ACLU Staff Attorney Jessica Price.

Upon reading up on the case, Price applauded Devermont for having the foresight to start recording with his phone.

"Here, the officer said the speech was slurred and that the plaintiff was being antagonistic," she said. "But by reviewing the recording, the judge was able to make his own assessment that the plaintiff’s speech was in fact not slurred, and that if anyone was being antagonistic in this encounter, it was the officer."

Devermont spent a night in the Santa Monica jail and a blood test confirmed he had not been drinking. He filed a lawsuit against the city and it took three years before it was settled.

The ACLU said a phone can be a powerful tool. In Devermont’s case, even the judge believed the officer did not have the reasonable suspicion to arrest him and that it was “merely for retaliation” against him.

"Certainly this night the footage was worth $70,000," Devermont said, adding that he believes everyone should take the moment to record their interaction with police for any reason.

Neither the Santa Monica Police Department or anyone from the City of Santa Monica returned NBC4’s request for comment.

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<![CDATA[Maid Burned, Beaten in Home: NYPD]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:06:11 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/maid+beaten+bayside+queens.jpg

A New York City couple allegedly kidnapped and tortured their housekeeper inside their home when they thought she was stealing from them, then drove to her home and ransacked the place while holding her at knifepoint, police sources say.

Devanand Lachman, 32, and Ambar Lachman, 31, have been arrested on felony assault, felony kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges, police said.

Sources said the couple, who live in Bayside, Queens, believed their maid, 54-year-old Daisy Machuea, stole money and jewelry from them. When she went to clean their home the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 13, Devanand Lachman and another man allegedly burned her with a plumber's torch and repeatedly hit her on the body with an object, according to police and the victim. 

Machuea told NBC 4 New York through her friend and housemate, Oscar Ramirez, who translated from Spanish for her, "They kept punching, one guy this side, the other guy the other side." 

Ambar Lachman then came into the house, and the three suspects put Machuea into a car and drove to Machuea's home on Long Island, Machuea said.

Ramirez said he was watching TV when the suspects knocked on the door. He opened it to find the couple and their accomplice holding a knife to Machuea's throat and demanding their valuables, he told NBC 4 New York. 

"The guy told me, 'If you move, the other guy will kill her," said Ramirez. 

Ramirez said they stole their cellphones and ransacked the home. 

The suspects eventually left and that's when the victims called police. Both went to the hospital, and Machuea was treated at a local hospital for burns to her face and legs, in addition to bruising to her body, according to police. 

Attorney information for the Lachmans wasn't immediately available. Devanand Lachman remains behind bars while his pregnant wife has posted bail. 

Police are searching for the accomplice in the kidnapping and assault, described as about 30 to 35 years old, and about six feet tall with a medium build.

Anyone who recognizes the man depicted in the police sketch is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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