<![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 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:44:18 -0400 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:44:18 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teens Mowed Down Geese With SUV, Posted Video to Snapchat: SPCA]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:51:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/New-York-LI-Geese.jpg

Two New Jersey teens were arrested on animal cruelty charges after one allegedly lured a family of geese onto a road, then posted video of the other apparently mowing down the fowl with an SUV to the social media app Snapchat, authorities say.

The 17-year-old boys, both juniors at Colonia High School in Middlesex County, allegedly recorded video of one of them running over three geese in a roadway on June 8, according to the New Jersey SPCA.

The short video shows the geese sitting in the roadway. The SUV zooms by, crushing the geese underneath. Laughter can be heard off-camera as the vehicle leaves the frame. The carcass of at least one goose was found later on Dorsett Drive.

The teens allegedly uploaded the video to Snapchat afterwards, and the footage was circulated among students at the school.

The teens allegedly admitted to killing the geese during questioning.

The SUV seen in the video still had feathers embedded into the bumper, license plate and bumper, authorities say.

Each teen faces third-degree animal abuse charges, authorities say. Their names aren’t being released because they are both minors, and their cases will likely be heard in family court.

<![CDATA[At Least 3 More Portuguese Man-of-Wars Spotted on NJ, NY Beaches]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:43:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/man-of-war-ny-nj-0707.jpg

At least three more Portuguese man-of-wars washed up on tri-state beaches Tuesday, the latest in a string of sightings of the potentially deadly jellyfish-like creatures that have been washing up along the shores of New York and New Jersey in the last several weeks.

One of the venomous purple creatures was found on the beach on Fire Island Tuesday morning, while another two were spotted along beaches in Ship Bottom and Margate in New Jersey. At least one of the man-of-wars, in Margate, has been removed from the sand.

The findings come after a surfer noticed one of the floating terrors in the water off of Stathmere Beach. The animal was brought to shore and buried, and no one was injured. 

At least three or four other sightings have been reported recently -- including in Ocean City and Long Beach Island.

Officials say the northeast wind brings warm water from the Gulf Stream to shore, and along with it, seaweed and sea animals.

Portuguese man-of-wars, which are actually colonies of specialized animals called zooids,  have tentacles that grow from 10 to 30 feet long and marine biologists say their potentially deadly sting is far worse than what one would get from jellyfish normally found at the Jersey Shore.

Stings from man-of-wars can cause abdominal pain, changes in pulse, chest pain, collapse, headache, muscle pain and spasms, numbness and weakness, pain in the arms or legs, a raised red spot on the skin, runny nose and watery eyes, difficulty swallowing and sweating.

Photo Credit: Dorothy Smith Jacobs; Sarah Haber; Ted Greenberg]]>
<![CDATA[Mugger Robs Golden Retrievers Walking With Owner in Central Park: NYPD]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:32:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dog+mugging.jpg

A mugger stole an Illinois tourist's purse as she walked her two golden retrievers in Central Park Tuesday morning, making off with $20 and a bag of dog treats, according to the NYPD.

The woman was walking at West Drive and West 106th Street with her golden retrievers when the robber ran up and grabbed her purse, the NYPD says. 

The woman was not injured in the robbery. Her dogs later got a ride in an NYPD patrol car as authorities searched for the robber. 

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers a 800-577-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Filed Restraining Order Against Missing Baby's Dad]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:17:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Middletown+memorial+Aaden+Moreno.jpg

The mother of a missing 7-month-old Connecticut boy filed a restraining order against the father days before the man jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown, possibly taking his baby with him as he plunged into the Connecticut River. 

As part of the request, the mother filed statements saying Tony Moreno, 22, of Middletown, threatened to make their son, Aaden Moreno, disappear.

"He has told me he could make my son disapear (sic) anytime of the day. He told me how he could make me disapear (sic) told me how he could kill me. I sometimes am scared to sleep," the mother said in a statement filed with the court. "He told me he would put me in the ground and put something on me to make me disinigrate (sic) faster."

Police started searching for the baby after receiving a 911 from someone who reported that Tony Moreno threatened suicide before jumping into the river around 11:45 p.m. Sunday. That person told officers that the baby was crying in the background.

Tony Moreno survived the jump and is now in stable condition. The search for the infant is now considered a recovery mission, as crews search the river for the baby's body.

The restraining order the baby's mother filed against Moreno requires him to be at least 100 yards away from her and Aaden. A judge ruled to uphold it on June 29, six days before the baby disappeared.

The affidavit includes a statement from the mother on June 17 seeking "relief from abuse."

She said she lived with Moreno for two years and they were happy, but that everything changed when she became pregnant. Moreno began verbally abusing her, calling her "ugly," "stupid" and profanities, she alleged. Then his abuse became physical, she said, and he pushed her and poked her chest and forehead.

She said she told him not to hit her and his response was, "If you want me to show you hitting I could show you." The mother said "he has kicked me of bed while I had a fractured ankle."

"He has told me I can't take my son with out (sic) his approval. I can't bring him around my family with out (sic) his approval but he could do anything he wants with out (sic) letting me know," Aaden's mother wrote in her statement. "I fear for mine and my child's safety, (sic) He could hurt my child, he has told my child to shut up if he is making to (sic) much noise. Told his mom to watch him if he is making to (sic) much noise. Told his mom to watch him if he does not feel up to it. He left my son on the bed upstairs to cry and completely left the house. It feels that he is a danger to my child and me and would like to leave with my child and get full custody."

Moreno had told Aaden that if he didn't want to hold his bottle, then he wouldn't be fed and told his son several times a day that he wants to give up all rights to custody of him, according to the mother's statement. She said he told her he'd sign the papers to give her full custody if she paid for all of the legal fees and documents.

She submitted the statement the day after graduating from high school and said Moreno stole her dresses and took their son without her knowing.

"I did not know where he took my son," she said in her statement, adding that she was supposed to have lunch with her father at the time and that Moreno blocked her from getting her son and pushed her away.

She called police to get her son back, said she didn't know where her the baby was and wrote that she was "afraid" Moreno would do something to him because he was angry and "probably isn't thinking straight."

The terms of the restraining order also required Moreno to "surrender or transfer all firearms and ammunition." The restraining order barred him from assaulting, threatening, abusing, harassing, following, interfering with or stalking the mother or Aaden and prohibited him from contacting either of them.

Authorities are still investigating but said they expect to file charges.

On Monday evening, community members gathered at the Middletown green to hold a candlelight vigil for Aaden.

A Facebook group entitled "Help Find Aaden Moreno!!" has garnered the support of more than 2,000 people.

Middletown police ask anyone with information to call 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut and Silver Alert]]>
<![CDATA[Child Beaten for Taking Birthday Cake Dies: Police]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:01:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/070215+Robert+Leroy+Wilson.jpg

A 9-year-old boy who police say was beaten by his mother's boyfriend for taking a piece of birthday cake has died. 

Officials said Jack  Kirby Garcia had been handcuffed and then beaten by Robert Wilson, his mother's boyfriend, who was angry the child had eaten a piece of birthday cake without his permission earlier in the day.

Wilson, 31, was initially charged with first- and second-degree assault, child abuse, and reckless endangerment after allegedly attacking the child June 30, the Hagerstown Police Department said Thursday.

The boy was identified as Jack Kirby Garcia. Police, who had said they would pursue murder charges if the boy died from his injuries, plan to discuss the charges with the state's attorney general. Wilson is currently being held at the Washington County Detention Center on a $600,000 bond.

Oriana Garcia, the boy’s mother, allegedly denied her son medical attention and told police responding to the scene after an adult called 911 that he was simply “congested,” police said. She has not been charged.

First-responders were called back to the scene about 10:40 p.m. after Jack stopped breathing. Officials found him unconscious and unresponsive with bruises and cuts all over his body, police said.

Medical services transported the child to Children's National Medical Center in D.C. because of the severity of his injuries.

Jack's body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiners in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The investigation is ongoing, authorities said. Investigators met Monday afternoon with the Washington County State's Attorney's Office to review the case. Any new charges in the case will be coordinated with the State's Attorney's Office.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[NASCAR's Austin Dillon 'Feeling Pretty Good' After Horrific Crash]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:23:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dillon5.jpg

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, who survived a horrific crash after his car went sailing into the protective fence at the Daytona Speedway Monday morning, said "the safety equipment did it's job."

"I'm feeling pretty good this morning actually for what we went through," Dillon said on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday. "It was a heck of a crash and the safety equipment did it's job and I'm here today."

Spectators and fellow drivers feared for Dillon's safety after his Chevy sailed upside down and careened into a fence before being slammed by two oncoming cars -- all at speeds estimated to be between 190 and 198 mph. Daytona President Joie Chitwood said 13 fans were attended to in the grandstands after the last-lap accident. 

"You see a wreck like that and you shouldn't be talking to a person as early as you guys are talking to me today," Dillon told "Today's" Matt Lauer. He added that the safety measures implemented by NASCAR are among the reasons why he emerged from his mangled car with only a bruised tailbone and forearm.

Dillon also addressed concerns many have over the safety of restrictor plate racing in which drivers race tightly bunched together at speeds of nearly 200 mph.

"I think for this type of racing we could probably bring the speed down a little bit and get the same style of racing that we want to see out there for the fans. Obviously we don't want cars getting in the air. So, we'll work hard to do that," Dillon said.

Meanwhile, Dillon said he is "just a little sore," but ready to get back in the hot seat this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway.

"We signed up for this as drivers," said Dillon about the risks of his sport, particularly during restrictor plate races. "It's a part of our race and we go to Talladega and Daytona twice a year."

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<![CDATA[IHOP's 57-Cent Pancake Short Stacks for 57th Birthday]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 09:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/national+pancake+day1.jpg

In honor of its 57th birthday, IHOP is selling its buttermilk pancakes for 57 cents a short stack on Tuesday.

The special runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at participating locations. There's a limit of one short stack of three buttermilk pancakes per customer.

The restaurant's short stacks originally cost 60 cents when the chain was founded in 1958.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Video Captures Dozens of Horses on the Loose in NJ]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:50:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/horses+on+the+loose+nj.jpg

Cellphone video captured dozens of loose horses trotting through a New Jersey township and being corralled by officials.

The horses escaped from the Watchung Stables in Union around 8:45 p.m., according to witnesses.

Springfield Police helped round up the horses and return them to the stables unharmed.

It still wasn’t clear how the horses escaped and police are investigating.

<![CDATA[Search Resumes for 7-Month-Old's Body]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:25:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AAden+Moreno+Middletown.jpg

Police are continuing to search for the body of a 7-month-old boy who they believe went into the Connecticut River when his suicidal father jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown late Sunday night.

The recovery mission resumed Tuesday morning, using boats, paddle boards and jet skies to search.

Police said the baby's father, Tony Moreno, 22, of Middletown, called someone threatening suicide before jumping into the river around 11:45 p.m. Sunday. That person dialed 911 and told officers Moreno's baby boy, Aaden, was crying in the background.

Officers rushed to the scene and saw Moreno jump. Middletown firefighters pulled him to shore and a LifeStar medical helicopter airlifted Moreno to the hospital, where he was initially listed in serious condition. Police said he was alert and conscious in the hospital as of Tuesday morning.

Police did not see Aaden with his father and searched the water for nearly 24 hours before calling that initial operation off.

"I’m hoping against hope that somebody will find that poor child," Tom Moreno, a relative, said.

Officials said there are challenges to searching the river, which changes courses. 

"It's very difficult. Visibility is very limited. You may have 1- or 2-foot visibility going in one direction you may have 0-visibility going in another direction," Middletown Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger said. "What you see on the surface, as far as a current, may not be what’s going on underneath. The current below the water could be a lot stronger than what’s on the surface."

State police issued a Silver Alert for the boy on Monday morning, but later said the chances of finding him alive are slim.

"The Middletown police department has been able to confirm that a 7-month-old listed as missing did enter the Connecticut River last night. The search for the 7-month-old boy is now classified as a recovery," Middletown police spokesman Lt. Heather Desmond said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Moreno's condition, meanwhile, improved in the hospital. While he's conscious and alert, it's not clear if he told investigators what might have happened to his young son.

Police are still investigating but said they expect to file charges.

Community members gathered at the Middletown green on Monday evening to hold a candlelight vigil for Aaden and a Facebook group entitled "Help Find Aaden Moreno!!" has garnered the support of more than 1,500 people.

"Whatever condition he’s in. I hope he’s found and that the family can get peace within their hearts," Kiana Beamon, a family friend, said.

Aaden is 2 feet tall and weighs 23 pounds, according to the Silver Alert issued Monday. He was last seen wearing black pants and a black-and-white striped shirt with a picture of Mickey Mouse on the front.

"I’m praying for a miracle that Aaden will be found alive but also praying for the family and comfort for them however this tragedy turns out," Djuana Beamont, a family friend, said.

In Connecticut, police will issue a Silver Alert for any child who is missing, along with missing people over the age of 65 and any other missing people who might have a medical condition requiring treatment.

Connecticut State Police will issue an Amber Alert when there is an "absolute emergency" in which the life of a child is in danger.

Middletown police ask anyone with information on the baby's whereabouts to call the police department at 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert and NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Guitar Sells for $526K]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:15:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/178*120/Guitar13.jpg

Bill Rathburn of Dallas, Texas is the proud new owner of Grateful Dead’s commemorative Fare Thee Well tour guitar. And it only cost him $526,000.

The D'Angelico EX-DC guitar was sold to the final bidder during intermission July 5 at the band’s final show at Soldier Field.

The instrument’s opening big started at $5,000 during the first Fare Thee Well concert in Santa Clara, California on June 27.

Fans started clamoring for auction item after Bob Weir played the guitar on stage the next night on June 28 during a performance of "Row Jimmy."

The prized memorabilia was signed by the four living original members of the group and the three guest performers.

Proceeds from the piece will be split among 17 charities tied to the band, with each organization reportedly getting roughly $30,000 each from the guitar alone.

The auction was put on by non-profit organization HeadCount as part of an effort called "Participation Row" that gave Grateful Dead-related charities a significant presence at the Fare Thee Well concerts.

The auction also included signed posters, Remo drumheads and "pit" tickets, and generated over $250,000 without the guitar, according to a release from HeadCount.

A signed poster sold for $21,000, and San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavey picked up another signed poster for $15,000. A signed Remo drumhead also generated more than $10,000, the HeadCount statement said.

Photo Credit: Jay Blakesberg]]>
<![CDATA[Children Likely Given Wrong Shots at Clinic: Audit]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:10:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/vaccine-OTSstock.jpg

An audit found five South Jersey children were likely given the wrong immunizations during a Salem County-sponsored "Shots for Tots" clinic, health officials said. The most egregious error, officials said, was when a toddler boy was likely given an excessive dose of a cervical cancer vaccine.

The free clinic was operated by the Salem County Health Department at Memorial Hospital of Salem County in Mannington Township, officials said. It has since been shut down.

Officials reviewed 22 patient records during an annual audit and found irregularities with shots given to at least five children between July 2014 and June 2015.

A nurse was fired after officials learned a 2-year-old boy was injected with a high dose of Gardasil, the cervical cancer vaccine. The child's mother and pediatrician were notified late last month, officials said.

Health officials are not sure whether the child would suffer negative effects, but said he may be at risk of neurological damage. Shots of the HPV vaccine are given to boys and girls starting at age 9.

The audit also found $20,000 worth of vaccines were not properly refrigerated. The drugs were thrown away.

Mandi Cassidy, the nurse who was fired, told NBC10 Salem County was throwing her under the bus. She insists she didn't make the mistake and resigned before the medical audit was even released. Cassidy claims the County is to blame. 

"I think they not only let down the residents of the county but they let down the nurse that should've been trained properly," she said. 

Officials say they will pay for the medical monitoring of the five children. 

Photo Credit: FILE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NY Woman Is World's Oldest]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:44:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/world%27s+oldest+person+brooklyn+1.jpg

A Brooklyn centenarian celebrated her 116th birthday Monday by being certified as the world's oldest living person. 

Guinness World Records presented Susannah Mushatt Jones with a certificate naming her the world's oldest person on Friday, three days ahead of her birthday. Jones takes the title for oldest woman from Jerlean Talley, a Michigan woman who died in June at 116.

The recordkeeping organization said that Jones is celebrating her milestone Monday with family and again on Tuesday with members of her housing community. 

Jones was born July 6, 1899. At that time, the Spanish-American War had just ended, William McKinley was president and "automobile" was still a new term.

Jones was the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the third of 11 children, all of whom she has outlived. She moved to New York City during the Roaring Twenties and has more than 100 nieces and nephews.

"Are you an old lady or a young lady?" asked her niece Lois Judge during an interview earlier this year with NBC 4 New York's Roseanne Colletti.

"I'm old," Jones said.

Judge said Jones credits her longevity to not drinking, smoking or partying.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Fire Consumes Tx. Playground]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 21:25:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/KATY+PLAYGROUND+FIRE.jpg

Officials are investigating a massive fire at a Texas playground.

The playground equipment caught fire at Falcon Landing Boulevard and Falcon Drive in Katy Sunday, according to NBC affiliate KPRC.

The cause the of the fire has not been determined, but fireworks have been ruled out.

Fire officials told KPRC that no one was at the playground at the time of the fire.

There were no injuries.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Bullmastiff Tattles on Toilet Paper-Stealing Friend]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:22:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477854228TP7615.jpg

Abby the bulldog and Turner the bullmastiff are the latest adorable pets to have their 15 minutes of viral fame.

In a YouTube video uploaded on July 2, Abby is seen covered in an unraveled roll of toilet paper as she looks up guiltily at the camera.

“Did you make this mess?” the dogs’ owner says. She then asks Turner if Abby made the mess, to which Turner responds by gesturing his paw toward his fellow dog.

As of Monday afternoon, the video has more than 1.9 million views on YouTube. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Boston Marathon Bomber Files Preliminary Motion for New Trial]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:47:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP8930819036281.jpg

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has filed a motion for a new trial, despite personally admitting his guilt in court as he was formally sentenced to death for his role in the bombings and manhunt that left four people dead.

The motion was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

"A new trial is required in the interests of justice and judgments notwithstanding the verdict are required as a matter of evidentiary insufficiency," the motion reads.

Tsarnaev's lawyers said the motion was filed following the court's suggestion at a status conference, as a placeholder to address the court's concerns about ensuring compliance with time and preservation requirements.

Necn legal analyst and Massachusetts School of Law Associate Dean Michael Coyne says it's not unusual that this initial filing does not give specific grounds for the request for a new trial.

"I don't think they're suggesting there's newly discovered evidence, but they are suggesting that justice requires a new trial because of the insufficiency of the evidence as they see it with respect to the charges that the defendant was convicted of," Coyne said.

The court had given Tsarnaev until Aug. 17 to submit any post-trial motions and supporting material. Additional filings are expected before that date.

Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death on June 24.

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

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Suspect in SF Pier Slaying Says He Can't Remember Shooting]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:51:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SF+EMBARCADERO+SUSPECT+JAIL+INTERVIEW+-+22354321.jpg

The accused killer of a Pleasanton woman who was shot to death while strolling along Pier 14 in San Francisco with her father said he doesn't remember anything about the evening because he was high on drugs.

In a brief jailhouse interview Monday that was cut short by his defense attorney, Francisco Sanchez, 45, told Telemundo that he had been taking sleeping pills and smoking pot  on the evening he is accused of shooting 32-year-old Kate Steinle.

Appearing disheveled and confused, Sanchez told the reporter that he believes he was taken into custody on July 1 at the San Francisco County jail because police told him that he killed someone.

"They say I attacked someone," Sanchez told Telemundo, which is owned by NBC Universal, in Spanish. "If that's what they say, I say it's good because I've never been the type to contradict."

He also told the reporter that he often confuses capital letters with lowercase letters and didn't get enough schooling because he never had money to pay for the school fees.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Archdiocese held a brief prayer service Monday morning for Steinle, as it does for all homicide victims in its jurisdiction. Relatives have also launched an effort to raise money to support her family and favorite charities in her memory. 

Sanchez, who was identified by the many witnesses at the scene, was taken into custody and is awaiting arraignment. A police source told the San Francisco Chronicle that Sanchez said he was shooting sea lions and hit her by mistake.

And in a longer jailhouse interview with KGO-TV over the weekend, Sanchez said he found a gun wrapped up in a T-shirt at the pier under a bench. Sanchez also told the station he kept re-entering the United States and making San Francisco as his adopted home because it is a sanctuary city, meaning he knew officials would not deport him back to Mexico. According to immigration officials, Sanchez had been deported to Mexico five times, the last time in 2008.

Sanchez also told KGO that he felt sorry for Steinle's family and that he should be given the strictest punishment so that he can tell her parents in court that he no longer wants to live.

The Steinle family has mixed emotions after learning that federal immigration agents had wanted to deport Sanchez once he finished a jail sentence for a marijuana offense, which the San Francisco County Jail did not do. The sheriff's legal counsel, Freya Horne, told NBC Bay Area on Friday that's because city, county and state law gives San Francisco the right to refuse immigration detainers if the suspect has no other outstanding warrants. Sanchez had none, Horne said, which is why ICE was never notified.

Steinle's family, however, is trying to stay away from the politics of the case, and instead, focusing on the memory of their loved one. Her brother, Brad Steinle, described his sister as the “most loving, beautiful and amazing” person with a “special soul, a kind and giving heart.”

Brad Steinle set up a GoFundMe page on July 4, asking that people support their family and also raise money for his sister's two favorite charities, the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation and PAWS. A separate page was set up by her work colleagues at Medtronic to raise money on behalf of her family.

The day before Steinle was killed, her brother said she changed her Facebook cover photo with a saying that read, “Whatever’s good for your soul….do that.”

He asked that anyone who knew his sister, and even those who didn't, honor her memory by living life by those words.

Telemundo's Cristina Londono and Gisela Crespo contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Telemundo]]>
<![CDATA[Bullet That Killed Chicago 7-Year-Old Watching Fireworks Was Meant for Father: Police]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:45:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/amari+brown+new2.jpg

The bullet that struck 7-year-old Amari Brown on the Fourth of July while he was watching fireworks was meant for the boy's father, according to Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Antonio Brown, Amari's father, is a documented gang member who has been arrested 45 times on gun and theft charges, McCarthy said. His most recent arrest was in April on a gun charge.

In a press conference to address the Fourth of July weekend violence in Chicago, McCarthy charged that tougher gun laws could have prevented the tragedy that killed Amari.

"If Mr. Brown was in custody, his son is alive. That's not the case," McCarthy said.

Amari was watching fireworks with his father in the Humboldt Park neighborhood just before midnight Saturday when gunfire erupted, striking the boy and a 26-year-old woman, who survived the shooting. Police said the two victims were not related.

The boy's father said he thought the noise was the fireworks, and he didn't realize his son had been shot until Amari called out to him.

Friends and family held two vigils on Sunday in memory of Amari, who they say wanted to be a dancer or a police officer.

"Tell them you love them every day," the boy's mother said.

A $1,000 reward will be offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the shooter.

Amari was one of nine people killed in shootings across Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.

<![CDATA[9 Dead, 46 Wounded in Chicago]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 21:17:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/fourth+of+july+shooting+victims.jpg

Nine people died and 53 others were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Fourth of July weekend.

Among those who died was a 7-year-old boy who was shot while watching fireworks in Humboldt Park with his father just before midnight Saturday.

Amari Brown and his father were standing on the sidewalk in the 1100 block of North Harding when gunfire erupted around them, striking Amari and a 26-year-old woman, who was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition, police said. Both were shot in the chest.

The boy's father said he thought the sound of gunfire was just fireworks, and he didn't realize Amari had been shot until the boy called out for him.

Amari's family say the little boy was a "jokester" and acted like a typical 7-year-old who loved to run and play. They say the best way to describe him is "a sweet, sweet little boy."

No one is in custody for the shooting. Activist Pastor Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church on the West Side, said he will offer a reward for any information leading to the offender's arrest.

Another victim of a fatal shooting was a 17-year-old boy who was shot near recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King. The teen, identified as Vonzell Banks, a junior at Dunbar Vocational High School, was likely not the intended target, police said.

Banks and a 19-year-old man were standing outside the park at about 4:45 p.m. Friday when a vehicle approached them and someone inside opened fire, police said. The 19-year-old was shot in the right foot and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition stabilized.

Banks' aunt, LaShanda Childs, told the Chicago Sun-Times that her nephew was playing basketball with his older brother and some friends when the shooting took place. Childs described Banks as a "church boy," who loved playing the drums and who attended Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer.

The park in which Banks was fatally shot was named after Hadiya Pendleton, a King College Prep honor student who was gunned down just days after performing at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony with her high school band.

The first homicide of the long holiday weekend happened Thursday evening in the Little Village neighborhood. A 20-year-old man was riding a bicycle in the 2700 block of South Karlov when someone ran up to him and began to shoot him repeatedly in his upper body, police said.

The victim was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Another man, 46, was killed in a shooting in the South Side Washington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning, police said.

The man and a 43-year-old woman were walking in an alley in the 9100 block of South Ashland when someone in a passing car fired shots at them, killing the man and injuring the woman.

Early Saturday, a  26-year-old man was sitting on a porch at about 12:05 a.m. in the 4800 block of South Justine in the Back of the Yards neighborhood when someone walked up to him and shot him in the back, police said.

The victim was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

A 23-year-old man was killed and two other injured in a shooting early Sunday morning in the North Side Albany Park neighborhood.

The three victims were sitting inside a van in an alley near Sunnyside and Kimball when a gunman walked up to them and fired shots.

The victims who survived the shooting were identified as a 26-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy.

In another fatal shooting incident, two men were sitting inside a car at about 6:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of West 89th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood when another man walked up to them and opened fire, police said.

One of the men, age 25, was shot multiple times and was later pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The second victim, whose age was not known, was found unresponsive in the car and pronounced dead on the scene.

The most recent fatal shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Calumet Heights neighborhood. A 48-year-old man was shot in the chest at about 4:55 p.m. in the 9200 block of South Harper, police said.

The man was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The holiday weekend is often marked by an uptick in violence in Chicago. Last year, there were a total of 67 people shot — 11 fatally — throughout the long weekend.

At least 41 other people were wounded in shootings since Thursday, including the following incidents: 

  • A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were shot at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of North Hudson in the Old Town neighborhood.
  • A man was shot in the arm and chest at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday near the Chicago Blue Line station in West Town.
  • A 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen at about 10:05 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of East Ohio Street, just a few blocks from Navy Pier, following the Fourth of July fireworks show.
  • A 24-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the 6600 block of South Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood.
  • Two men, ages 23 and 21, were shot at about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of West Addison in the Portage Park neighborhood.
  • A 41-year-old man was shot in the back and arm while sitting in a car at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. The incident happened in the 4200 block of West Cermak in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
  • A man was shot in the shoulder and leg at about 11:45 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of East 44th Street in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood.
  • A 19-year-old man was shot at about 11:40 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of West 104th Street in the Roseland neighborhood.
  • A 33-year-old man was shot in the chin, arm and stomach at about 7:45 p.m. Friday in the 3500 block of West 24th Street in the Little Village neighborhood.
  • A 25-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 12:15 a.m. Friday in the 2100 block of West Randolph on the Near West Side.
  • A 19-year-old man was injured at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday when a gunman on a bicycle approached him and began firing shots. The incident happened in the 11800 block of South State in the West Pullman neighborhood.

<![CDATA[Top Photos: U.S. Wins 2015 World Cup]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:43:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479605440.jpg The United States defeated Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 World Cup in Vancouver.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Oreo Thins': Cookies Get Slimmer, 'Sophisticated' Look]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:56:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP88321729079oreothins7615.jpg

Oreos are getting a skinny new look, and its maker says the new cookie is a "sophisticated" snack for grown-ups that isn't meant to be twisted or dunked.

Mondelez International Inc. says it will add "Oreo Thins" to its permanent lineup in the U.S. starting next week. The cookies look like regular Oreos and have a similar cookie-to-filling ratio, except that they're slimmer. That means four of the cookies contain 140 calories, compared with 160 calories for three regular Oreos.

And since they're for adults, Oreo says they weren't designed to be twisted open or dunked. That's even though about half of customers pull apart regular Oreos before eating them, according to the company.

"If people want to do that, it's clearly up to them," said Janda Lukin, senior director of Oreo for North America at parent company Mondelez International.

In explaining what exactly made them more grown-up, she said that if regular Oreos are like pancakes, then Oreo Thins would be like crepes.

Despite having fewer calories per serving, Mondelez says the new cookies aren't meant to be a diet snack. Still, the "Thins" name could be a stealth way to appeal to people who want to watch their weight, without the stigma of being seen as a diet food.

Although the original Oreos started in the U.S. in 1912, Americans won't be the first to taste the Thins. The slimmer cookies were rolled out last year in China to address the company's tumbling cookie sales in the country.

Lukin said the slimmer cookies helped win back "lapsed users" in China, or younger women who wanted something that wasn't quite as rich. In the first eight months, she said Oreo Thins generated $40 million in sales.

During a conference call in April, Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld had noted the success of the Thins in China and said the company would make them available "around the world."

The Thins could help the company's North American cookie business, which declined in the first three months of this year. Mondelez said the Thins will be available starting July 13, and that they'll cost the same as regular Oreos.

Lukin noted that it took months for the company to perfect manufacturing for the Thins. Early on, she said 60 percent of the cookies were breaking, but that the rate eventually came down to 3 percent. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2 Man-of-Wars Wash Up on NJ Beaches in 2 Days]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:49:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/more+manofwars.jpg

More Portuguese man-of-wars turned up at a Jersey Shore beach Monday amid a spate of disturbing sightings along the coast and a day after another one of the potentially deadly purple jellyfish-like creatures washed up at a different New Jersey beach 20 or so miles up the coastline.

Derek Goss was at Strathmere Beach on Prescott Avenue in Cape May County Monday afternoon when a surfer noticed one of the floating terrors in the water. It was safely brought to shore, Goss said, and lifeguards buried it in the sand. He said no one was hurt.

Goss' photos showed a moon-shaped creature that appeared like it may have been partially eaten by other marine life. Authorities with Upper Township Beach Patrol confirmed Goss' sighting, and said it marked the third or fourth sighting this week alone. All were dead, officials said.

The finding comes a day after another Portuguese man-of-war was found on 26th Street Beach in North Wildwood, another Jersey Shore town. In that case, the man-of-war was also removed and authorities said no one was injured.  

Man-of-wars were also spotted in Ocean City and Long Beach Island last month. 

The first recent sighting of a man-of-war was June 21 in Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island. 

Officials say the northeast wind brings warm water from the Gulf Stream to shore, and along with it, seaweed and sea animals.

Portuguese man-of-wars have tentacles that grow from 10 to 30 feet long and marine biologists say their potentially deadly sting is far worse than what one would get from jellyfish normally found at the Jersey Shore.

Stings from man-of-wars can cause abdominal pain, changes in pulse, chest pain, collapse, headache, muscle pain and spasms, numbness and weakness, pain in the arms or legs, a raised red spot on the skin, runny nose and watery eyes, difficulty swallowing and sweating.

Photo Credit: @thedcgoss/Twitter; North Wildwood Beach Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[Vietnamese Teens Missing at LAX]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:17:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/150705-tourists-missing-lax.jpg

Officials called off a search for two teenage Vietnamese girls who went missing at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night after police learned they planned to leave their tour group upon arrival in the U.S.

The girls, ages 12 and 17, willfully left the airport and family members knew of their plan to leave the school group, airport police said.

Earlier, police reported the two girls did not speak English and have no connections in Los Angeles. They were last seen with a man, but authorities had no further information.

The investigation was being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, airport police said in a tweet.

Photo Credit: LAX Airport Police]]>