<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usThu, 26 May 2016 04:47:03 -0400Thu, 26 May 2016 04:47:03 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Training Alligator Trapping]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 21:13:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/052516+gator+trapping.jpg

Alligators, the potentially lethal lizards, are on the move. 180 pounds of muscle and teeth, with a chomp so powerful, one bite can shatter bones.

It's alligator mating season and because they're motivated by finding a mate, they're turning up in odd places.

"We've found them in public bathrooms, called out to people's homes, in their pools, on their cars, sometimes we've found them in their cars," explained Lorenzo Velos with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The newest crop of FWC officers has to know how to deal with those situations. Wednesday was training day at Everglades Gator Farm in Homestead.

Rope techniques were taught, along with how to blind the gator, in order to capture it. Keeping your digits is key, so hand placement is very important.

The trapping portion can be easy, at least compared to actually carrying the gator, especially one that's not cooperating.

For a 10.5-foot alligator, it took four officers to wrestle it and six to carry the 400-pounds of combustible power.

One of the officers being trained was rookie Juan Blanco, who has already responded to five calls in the field. He's had classroom training, but he said hands-on training has taught him so much more.

"Better techniques on how to keep my fingers on my hands," Blanco said.

The alligators caught are either relocated in the Everglades or taken to a farm. It may look like the animal is being hurt, but this is actually very humane, according to experts.

The techniques taught focus on safety. In the end, officers want go home with limbs intact, and the gators get a new home.

A nuisance gator is a different story. A nuisance gator is not afraid of people and has to be euthanized; they cannot be brought to a gator farm.

However, that nuisance gator is still used for science research and taken to the FWC biology offices in Davie. They do everything from weigh it, use the meat and the hides. They also check to see what it's been eating, which can tell a lot about the eco-system.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Highlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 10:23:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Trump-Rally-New-Mexico-AP_176461523600.jpg The 2016 presidential race has been contentious and full of surprises, with candidates fighting to the finish in superdelegate states. Check out scenes from the campaign trail and keep track of the candidates as they vie for a spot on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How Well Can You Spell? National Spelling Bee Knockout Words]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 10:37:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_854384059073.jpg

Stichomythia. Guetapens. Laodicean. 

Those hard-to-pronounce words have also spelled victory for some of the country's most lexical students: champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

But for the rest of the 200-plus students who participate in the spell-fest each year, the highfalutin vocabulary words prove more vexing. See with this quiz if you could have outspelled the studious contestants who made it to the finalist round. All the words featured in the quiz knocked out participants in recent years. 

And for those who want to continue to play along from home, this year's competition will take place from May 24 to May 26 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump: I've Used 'Aliases' in Business to Save Money]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 04:25:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_GettyImages-534301596.jpg

Donald Trump told Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night that he's used "aliases" throughout his career in real estate because "otherwise, they find out it's you, and they charge you more money."

"Over the years, I've used aliases," especially when doing real estate deals, Trump acknowledged in an interview on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

"I would never want to use my name, because you had to pay more money for the land," he said. "If you try to buy land, you use different names."

It was an unusual admission from Trump, NBC News reported, who made millions on often-risky real estate deals throughout the 1980s and '90s. He downplayed the tactic, telling Kimmel: "Many people in the real estate business do that."

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Torso Washes Up Near SF Bridge]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 02:20:33 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/211*120/baybridge21.PNG

Oakland police believe that a headless, limbless torso found near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Wednesday afternoon has been in the water for at least a month and on the rocks for a couple of days, based on the rate of its decomposition.

Oakland Police Department spokesperson Johnna Watson said investigators believe the torso might be of a young man, but it will take a few days to determine the age and gender.

The torso was discovered on rocks near the bay by a contract worker who was in the area, Watson said. She said the worker was on lunch break taking pictures of the bridge when he noticed the torso off of Burma Road near the foot of the eastern span of the bridge.

Investigators will try to find out if the death is related to a boating accident, suicide or a missing persons case.

As of 3 p.m., the torso was still at the scene of its discovery. Police and investigators were also there.

There are indications that the limbs may have been lost due to interactions with marine wildlife or contact with large rocks in the bay, according to Watson, who said the condition of the remains could possibly be explained by the length of time in the water.

"The more time a body's in the water the more it's apt to be exposed to all the different elements," Watson said.

Part of one femur was protruding from the torso, but the lower portion of the bone was gone.

So far the coroner has been unable to determine the decedent's ethnicity, but investigators will attempt to identify the remains using DNA. Watson said the investigation is ongoing.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Power Outage Leaves Most of Downtown Seattle in the Dark]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 21:07:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/SeattlePowerOutage.jpg

More than half of downtown Seattle was left in the dark Wednesday because of an equipment failure, NBC News reported.

The power outage forced employees in the city’s commercial district to stop working and powerless traffic signals caused delays.

About 60 percent of downtown Seattle was affected, according to the city’s public transportation system.

Crews were still investigating what caused the outage.

Photo Credit: Shelli Martineau]]>
<![CDATA[Man Climbs Hollywood Sign]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 04:40:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hollywood-sign-climb-chopper.JPG

A man climbed the Hollywood Sign waving a flag that read, "I'm Back," prompting a multi-agency response, including a helicopter, on Wednesday.

The man, revealed to be a self-proclaimed YouTube prankster named Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, was discovered on the letter "D" of the sign at 6 p.m.

The Los Angeles Police Department said he had been there for about 20 minutes.

LAPD said officers were en route as the man, dressed in all camouflage gear, climbed up and down the sign.

He was eventually detained by park rangers at 6:40 p.m. after climbing down the hill.

LAPD officers arrived and took over the investigation. 

The man was linked to the stunt via a Snapchat video he posted as he climbed the sign.

A second man at the scene was detained, but it wasn't immediately clear how he was involved.

No word was immediately available on what charges he may face.

NBC4's Irene Moore contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Feeding Livestock Antibiotics May Worsen Climate Change]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 19:43:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Cattle-GettyImages-498450492.jpg

A link may have been discovered between antibiotics fed to livestock and global warming, according to a study published this week, NBC News reported. 

Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder helped conduct the study, and fed antibiotics to 10 cows in Finland.

According to the study, the manure from cattle fed a common antibiotic produced even more methane than normal. The antibiotics kill off bacteria that compete with methane-producing microbes, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 

"We know that there are negative consequences of antibiotics, particularly this effect of antibiotic resistance," said researcher Tobin Hammer. "But this was a pretty unexpected link between antibiotics and this other important environmental issue that we care about — greenhouse gases."

Photo Credit: Press Herald via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Punches Robbery Suspect]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 19:29:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ArmedRobbery.jpg

A 7-year-old boy faced an armed robber head-on while shopping for a toy with his parents at a GameStop store in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Surveillance video shows two hooded men wearing masks rush into the video game store on 10100 Colesville Road on Friday, May 20, just before 9 p.m.

One suspect can be seen trying to grab the little boy before the boy punches the suspect in the stomach a couple of times.

"Well, he's tough. He's tough and, you know, I think instincts come out in situations like that," said the boy's mother, who did not want to be identified.

The pair of armed robbers ordered the boy and his parents, who were the only customers inside, to get against a wall near the store's counter, Montgomery County police said.

"It was scary. You're never prepared for something like that. You're not. So, you don't wish it on your worst enemy," said the boy's father, who also did not want to be identified.

The suspects then told two store clerks to get on the floor while they took cash and personal property, police said. They ran out of the store through the front door, police said.

No one was hurt during the robbery.

The boy's parents told News4 in D.C. they hope police catch the suspects to give their son peace of mind.

"When it's a young child, it's especially upsetting and infuriating for us because there's some innoncence that's lost there and there's some fear introduced into his life that, of course, he doesn't deserve," the father said.

Police described the suspects as two males in their 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches and 170 pounds. They were both wearing black hooded sweatshirts, black pants, gloves and masks.

Anyone with information is asked to call (240) 773-5070 or call anonymously at 1 (866) 411-8477.

Photo Credit: Montgomery County Police Dept.
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<![CDATA[No 'Decision' or 'Timeline' Yet on Trump Endorsement: Ryan]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 14:30:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PaulRyan-AP_16140578310835.jpg

House Speaker Paul Ryan has not yet decided whether to endorse presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, NBC News reported.

"I haven't made a decision," Ryan told reporters in an off-camera briefing Wednesday. "I don't have a timeline in my mind." 

A spokesperson for Ryan shot down accounts that an endorsement was imminent.

Ryan announced earlier this month he was “not ready” to endorse the party’s presumptive nominee. But he says his team is working closely with Trump’s campaign, saying the two staffs meet “virtually every day.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Miss. Man Turns Himself In After Fatally Shooting Toddler Son]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 17:34:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DiataCrockettStLouis.jpg

A Missouri man accused of fatally shooting his 8-month-old son turned himself in Wednesday, according to police, NBC News reported.

Diata Crockett was taken into police custody Wednesday, according to a statement from the St. Louis Police Department. 

Crockett was arguing with his wife and shot at her as she got out of the car with their son. The bullet struck the boy, police said.

The man fled with the couple’s two other children, who were later found safe at a relative’s house in a St. Louis suburb. 

Police would not provide any other details and it was unclear whether Crockett was charged on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters' Drone Use Grows]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:32:34 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/2016-05-25-drone.jpg

As firefighters braved the smoke and flames from the ground and rooftops, a small object soared above their heads Wednesday morning, trying to assist their efforts as a five-alarm fire ripped through a Santa Clara, California, strip mall.

The drone was sent up by the Santa Clara Fire Department volunteers to try to pinpoint how to best fight the blaze, which affected about a dozen small shops and restaurants in the Koreatown mall.

The use of drones by fire departments and police agencies has grown across the country from Connecticut to Spokane, Washington, though there are some controversies and hurdles surrounding their use.

"It's not a perfect application for every fire," Santa Clara Fire Chief Bill Kelly told NBC Bay Area. "But a view from that vantage point helps us figure out tactical methods, like where to put the hose stream."

Kelly said the quality of the hobbyist drone isn't all that great, and the video doesn't provide deep thermal images. "But it was useful today," he said. "It gives you a bird's eye view."

Santa Clara police began using an amateur drone a year ago, and nearby Menlo Park has been using them, too.

There are basically two types of drones — ones used by hobbyists and ones used by the military, explained CalFire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff. And there are a few types in between, including commercial-style drones used for crop spraying and making movies.

CalFire does not own either of the types, she said. Rather, the state agency borrows U.S. Forest Service-owned, military-grade drones that can fly above 10,000 feet to document how large fires have spread, find hot spots and survey damage. The California National Guard in 2013 operated the MQ-1 "Predator" over the Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park to stream real-time video down to the command post.

At this point, CalFire is doing some research into whether a non-military-grade drone, which flies more directly over the scene, would be of practical use, Tolmachoff said, noting their use is gaining in popularity with local departments, such as Santa Clara.

While the images could be helpful, Tolmachoff said, there are challenges with using drones, too. The small aircraft can get in the way of large firefighting helicopters dousing the fires with buckets of water.

For example, a private drone hindered CalFire efforts in June 2014 as firefighters were fighting a fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and a hobby drone prevented CalFire from launching air tankers during the San Bernardino wildfire last July.

Coordinating between the drone and the helicopter — so that they don't crash into each other — would be a large effort. "One of those drones could bring down a chopper," Tolmachoff said.

Any kind of technology has advantages and disadvantages, said DroneLife.com editor-in-chief Frank Schroth, who nevertheless added that he is a staunch drone advocate.

Flying drones takes skill and practice, he said, and shouldn't be taken lightly, just as a driver wouldn't get behind the wheel without lessons and a license.

Schroth compared drones today to smart phones 15 years ago - there is a lot of room for growth and improvement.

"There is plenty of room for abuse," he said. "But as with anything, it has the potential to do a lot of good."

<![CDATA[Tough Response to Accidental Child Shootings in Detroit]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:46:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/guns-GettyImages-168998106.jpg

Detroit’s prosecutor wants firearm owners to secure their weapons, citing a wave of accidental shootings by children, NBC News reports.

Eight children have killed or been seriously injured with unsecured guns Wayne County, according to Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Most of the guns were legally owned by people who didn’t secure them, even though Michigan requires gun dealers to include a lock or safe-storage container with all sales.

Worthy wants to hold a meeting with hospital executives to plan a campaign to teach gun-owning parents how to keep their kids safe.

Laws requiring safe-storage have led to a decline in accidental shooting deaths nationally. But researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found a higher rate of these deaths in seven states that didn’t have safe-storage laws.

Since 2001, 868 children aged 14 and under have been killed nationally in accidental shootings and an estimated 10,543 children were injured during the same period, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Burned Imitating Video: NYPD]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 17:19:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Rockland-Child-Death-Emergency-Generic.jpg

A 12-year-old Queens boy set himself on fire while trying to imitate a YouTube “fire challenge,” police said.

The child doused himself with rubbing alcohol at his home on Watjean Court in Far Rockaway shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday and then set himself ablaze with a lighter, according to the NYPD.

After setting himself on fire he ran out of the home and was extinguished by his neighbor, according to the NYPD.

He had burns on his upper body and was taken to Nassau County Medical Center in critical condition, police said.

A “fire challenge” is a stunt in which participants voluntarily set themselves on fire for a short time while filming. There are dozens of videos on YouTube showing people participating in the stunt.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York, File]]>
<![CDATA[5 SEAL Trainees Blacked Out in Training Exercises in 2016]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 17:07:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Seaman+James+Derek+Lovelace.jpg

A Navy SEAL student who died two weeks ago was the fifth trainee in four months to lose consciousness during a pool exercise in California, according to Navy injury data obtained by NBC News and The Virginian-Pilot. 

More accurate data related to pool injuries was mandated after two blackout deaths last year. According to recent data, there have as many pool blackouts this year as were reported over the past 10 years at the training course in Coronado. 

Seaman James Derek Lovelace, 21, died on May 6 during a pool drill in California. His death has raised questions about whether instructors are following safety protocols and whether the training has become dangerous in recent years. Two other students passed out in back-to-back drills six weeks before his death, and two other students lost consciousness in March and January during training exercises. 

The Navy says there hasn’t been an increase in blackouts and that safety standards haven’t been wavered. The course is designed to produce people who can operate in remote and dangerous situations, and that the training has to be difficult, according to the Navy.

Photo Credit: U.S. Navy]]>
<![CDATA[Military Mom Returns Home Early, Surprises Daughters in Video ]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 17:37:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/MOM+SURPRISES+KIDS1.jpg

A Navy mom from Queens surprised her daughters this month when she returned early and showed up at their New York City school.

The reunion was captured in a touching video, which shows the daughters at a Saint Camillus Catholic Academy event moments before mom Laura Angeles makes her surprise appearance at the Rockaways school.

“Is it hard being away from mom?” an announcer at the event asks Angeles’ daughters.

“My dad can’t take it,” her older daughter responds to laughter.

Her younger daughter says that she misses her mom and carries around a stuffed animal that she gave her. 

“We have a really exciting surprise for you,” the announcer says.

Angeles enters the room, her girls run to embrace her, and there are many hugs and tears. 

Angeles and her husband both serve in the military, as does her brother. A friend said her family is important to the Queens community and helped out after Sandy. 

<![CDATA[Student Locked in Fridge Speaks]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 00:01:07 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/teen+locked+in+fridge.jpg

A Manhattan high school student who was locked in a refrigerator by classmates told NBC 4 New York he's faced taunts since the incident and "I don't know who to watch my back from."

The 16-year-old boy, who asked not to be identified, was locked in the commercial fridge at Food and Finance High School on West 50th Street on May 6.

Three students were arrested after the incident, and students at the school said last week that it was a prank. But the boy who was locked in the fridge said he doesn't see it that way and that he's been ostracized since the incident.

"I feel like it's me against everybody at this point," he said on Tuesday. 

The boy said no teacher was in the classroom when fellow students locked him in the fridge. He said they then pounded on the door with large chef's knives and threatened to kill him.

"They're real knives," he said. "I was thinking, 'What if they opened the door and they really wanted to kill me?'" 

He added, "It was was pitch black, I just started freaking out."

After about 10 minutes, the boy said he called his mother. She in turn called the school. The boy was let out and three of the students were later arrested. 

The boy missed several days of school after the ordeal and said that he can't sleep because he fears retaliation. He also said his doctor diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and that students and teachers have mocked him.

"There are faculty that will say to me, 'Stay frosty,'" he said. "They think it's a joke. It's not a joke."

The boy's mother told NBC 4 New York she was outraged that students had access to chef's knives without supervision. She also said the Department of Education initially tried to downplay the incident, claiming students didn't have weapons because the knives are tools.

"Children were in danger if children were running around with knives and no supervision," the boy's mother said. "There was imminent danger."

The DOE again maintained that there were no weapons involved on Tuesday, however. 

"The safety and security of students and staff is our top priority. The school followed protocol in responding to an incident that was reported and the students involved were disciplined appropriately," the DOE said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Survivor Recalls Texas Flood]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 05:49:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/jonathan+mccomb.jpg

Memorial Day weekend marks the anniversary of historic flooding that swept across much of Texas, claiming lives and ravaging the region.

One year later, Jonathan McComb still remembers with incredible precision the night his family slipped away in the floods of Wimberley.

"It was sunshine, we were in the river playing, barbecuing, radio playing, girls are laying out in their swim suits," McComb recalled.

Nightfall brought epic rains.

"In an instant it was on us, and there was nothing you could do and no way out," McComb said.

The Blanco River swelled 28 feet in an hour and a half, pulling the family's vacation home, where they were staying with the Carey and Charba families, from its foundation. The house was floating down the river.

"When we hit the bridge, it took the whole second layer off. It was an awful, awful sound," McComb said.

In the chaos, the families got split up. McComb remembers being alone in the cold river and praying.

"I'd been under long enough and I said, 'I'm going home, I know what happened to everybody else and I just, you know, I'm too tired. I have nothing left in me,' so I just went limp underwater," he said.

McComb said he struck a hard object, possibly a rock, and began fighting again and made his way toward shore. A stranger helped him and called an ambulance.

McComb spent several days in the hospital while search crews began looking for the bodies of his family and friends.

"There was always hope, but I knew the second that I wasn't with them, they were gone," he said.

McComb has spent the last year recovering at the family's home in Corpus Christi. His children's drawings and play table are set up just as they were. Their book bags still hang from hooks in the mudroom. Framed memories are everywhere and he has added some, too.

"They were all incredibly unique and beautiful and I miss them," McComb said of his family.

He said his young daughter, Leighton, came to him in a dream one night and brought him a sliver of peace.

"I said, 'What happened?' She said, 'We're OK. We got picked up by a man on the river and it was Jesus.' That was huge for me, hearing that," McComb recalled, choking back tears.

Honoring them, he said, means moving forward. McComb is renovating the master bedroom and bathroom — something he and his wife Laura had planned to do.

"A new start. Unfortunately. It's not replacing anything. It's starting over and beginning again. We are here for a reason. You don't really know what that reason [is]; you just continue to have faith and it will be presented to you at some point," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ballerinas Dance to Hip Hop]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:21:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Chicago-Ballerinas.jpg

If you thought doing squats was a workout — try doing them en pointe.

Video of Chicago ballerinas dancing to Jason Derulo’s "If It Ain’t Love" is going viral and viewers can’t help but be mesmerized by the dancers’ strength, beauty and poise.

The footage was posted last week on Instagram by Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center instructor Homer Hans Bryant and features the "Hiplet Sur Les Pointes" class.

The video was captioned "Because we can."

While the Instagram post has received more than 1,000 likes on the social media site, Brazilian Facebook page So Bailarinos re-posted the video on its account, where it has since garnered more than 6.8 million views.

"All I see is strong women doing something a lot of folks can't do," one user commented on the video. "I was impressed and that's how champions are created and change happens somebody pushes the envelope. Even for warming up it shows great skill strength rhythm and timing."

"I do pointe and let me tell you it is not an easy thing to do," another wrote. "These girls have incredible balance and extreme strength in their ankles in order to be able to do this."

The dance center wrote on Facebook it was excited so many had watched the video.

"We love what we do and it’s really cool to be recognized," the post read.

Photo Credit: Homer Hans Bryant/Instagram
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<![CDATA[Candy-Like Edible Marijuana Is Sending Kids to ERs]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 14:26:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/149252006-edible-marijuana.jpg

In Oregon, an 8-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after finding a marijuana cookie at a park. In Michigan, two children were sent to the ER after getting into a man's stash of gummy candy containing THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, "Today" reports.

Marijuana is now legal for either recreational or medical use in 24 states and the District of Columbia. But "edibles" containing marijuana are spreading everywhere, and kids are getting hurt from California to New York. Last year alone, poison control facilities across the country reported 4,000 kids and teens were exposed to marijuana.

"This is extremely dangerous," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, told "Today" national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "When young children get ahold of these products, they can have severe reactions, including nausea, vomiting, disorientation, anxiety-like reactions and even psychotic reactions that can make them do things they wouldn't normally do."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
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<![CDATA[Dogs and Apartments: How to Make It Work]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 04:05:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Corgi-GettyImages-512536165.jpg

The security deposits. The potential landlord problems. The hesitation. The guilt? Renters can often face roadblocks when considering whether to adopt a dog.

But even if you don't own your own home, you can still be an excellent pet parent -- you'll just need to figure out a few things first:

Q: Which breeds are best for apartment living?

Don't rule out a big dog just because you live in an apartment; some larger breeds are actually low-energy. And while you may think any smaller breed might work out, some can be high-strung -- and you don't want your dog barking every time a neighbor walks down the hall.

The AKC has compiled a list of "Best Dogs for Apartment Dwellers," which includes bulldogs, pugs, greyhounds and shih tzus (see full list here). However, since many rescue dogs are of mixed or unknown background, keep in mind that you should take a pooch's individual personality into account.

Speak to someone at the shelter who's familiar with the dogs. If you adopt from a rescue group, your potential pooch is likely coming from foster care -- that means its foster "parents" can offer plenty of insight as well.

Q: But there's no yard! What do I do about exercise for my dog?

Of course, the D.C. area has plenty of dog parks in nearly every jurisdiction -- these can be even more fun for your dog than a simple yard, since there will be plenty of other dogs for him or her to play with. But don't discount long walks, either. If you're in an urban area, walks around the city mean plenty of interesting smells to sniff, as well as people (and squirrels!) to meet.

Local trails, such as those in Rock Creek Park, are another great option for your dog. Figure out the closest one to you, grab a pair of sneakers and enjoy nature, get some exercise and spend time with your fur kid.

In addition, a growing number of apartment communities now have dog parks or dog-friendly spaces. If you're considering moving soon, look for buildings that offer such amenities.

What about in the winter? If you can afford it, consider having your pooch hang out at a dog daycare a couple of days per week. After a day of tumbling around with other furry friends, your dog will be happy and tired out. You can also consider taking your pooch to walk around a pet-friendly store such as PetSmart or Petco. He or she will get to meet other dogs and maybe even pick out a new toy.

Other low-cost options will let you socialize along with your dog. If your building allows other dogs to visit, invite a dog-owning friend over with his or her pooch, and let the dogs play in your apartment while you and your pal catch up. Or visit a friend who has a yard -- just bring some wine or something to grill as a thank you.

Q: Don't some places have restrictions on breeds?

Yes, both individual buildings and certain localities may have restrictions. For example, pitbulls are banned in Prince George's County. Make sure you know the laws and rules where you live. If you have trouble finding information from official sources online, call the dog-licensing office in your county or city and simply ask.

Check with your landlord or leasing agent to determine any breed or weight restrictions on dogs in your buildings.

Q: Does it cost extra to have a pet in an apartment?

Sometimes. Some buildings charge an extra fee for pet rent, which can be anywhere from $25 to $80 or more. If you're planning to move soon, look for buildings that don't charge this extra fee. However, if you're in a place that does charge pet rent, remember that, if you can afford it, it's a small price to pay to have a loving new companion.

In addition, some buildings charge an extra security deposit for renters who have pets. This should be spelled out in the terms of your lease.

If you're worried about getting your deposit back -- whether your general security deposit or the specific pet one -- your best bet is being extra-vigilant, which will be good for both your dog's health and your bottom line. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise so he or she doesn't get bored and cause damage. Take your dog outside promptly and regularly (and get a dog walker if you're gone for long stretches) to avoid accidents. Crate-training can be a good option to keep your pet relaxed and avoid damage for short stretches of time; talk to your vet to determine the best method for your dog.

Q: How do I find a pet-friendly building?

You'll probably just have to do your legwork on this one, but remember that many apartment-search sites allow you to filter specifically for those buildings that allow dogs.

There are also a few things you can do to stack the deck in your favor if you're looking to move.

Before you begin your search, make sure you have all your pet's important documents in order, such as rabies and other vaccine certificates, dog license, spay or neuter certificate, and microchip information. Many rental companies ask to see this information when you're applying for a place or moving in, and having your materials ready to go ensures there won't be any last-minute scrambling to find a missing document.

PetFinder.com suggests assembling a pet resume: "It may sound silly, but this can really work. Be sure to include a description of your dog's personality, any obedience training completed, validation of shots and health, letters of recommendation from your prior landlords and neighbors, and of course, a photo. Who can resist that beautiful puppy face?" 

Q: How do I get my new dog used to apartment living?

Whether you own a large house or a small apartment, you'll want to create a cozy space just for your dog: a crate, corner, spot under a table, or even a closet (with the door left open, of course) that feels safe and comfortable. "Dogs are den animals," according to the American Humane Society, and they need their own, closed-in space to feel secure.

You'll also want to establish a routine with your dog. "Dogs are smart and most can easily adapt to the apartment lifestyle," PetFinder.com said. "You can make things easier on your pet by establishing and sticking to a routine. Set times for potty breaks, feeding, walking, and playing."

While some people may feel guilty over bringing a dog into an apartment, remember that your potential pet might be living in an even smaller space in a shelter, and without a loving "parent" or family. If you feel ready to adopt a dog, you can make it work in an apartment if you prepare properly and are cognizant of your pet's needs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF]]>
<![CDATA[Whole Foods Opens 1st 365 Store]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:16:41 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/172*120/365_preopening_party_shopping_carts_main_image.jpg

Southern Californians will be the first in the nation to check items off their grocery lists at Whole Foods' new 365 market, which opened in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood Wednesday with the promise of lower prices and a "streamlined customer experience."

The high-end grocery chain's smaller quality-meets-value store at 2520 Glendale Blvd. will feature product selections from Whole Foods Market's 365 Everyday Value brand and a curated mix of products from Friends of 365 including Allegro Coffee Company, teaBOT and by CHLOE, plus partners Loomstate and Instacart.

"It's an awesome thing," Silver Lake resident Joseph Tan said. "If they actually have lower prices, well see."

Doors opened at 9 a.m. following a cake-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the Austin-based company's first 365 store in the nation. Grand opening deals, including discounted food items, will be offered.

The 365 store boasts a different look than typical Whole Foods stores. The space is airy and accented with blues, reds and yellows. All price tags are digital and fewer printed signs are displayed.

A loyalty program offering personalized offers and deals will also be launched.

More locations are planned for Southern California, including in Long Beach, Santa Monica, North Hollywood, Claremont and Los Alamitos. Two locations in the Bay Area — San Francisco and Concord — are also planned.

The company says two more stores are slated to open this year in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Bellevue, Washington, and up to 10 more are expected to open next year.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of 365 by Whole Foods
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<![CDATA[Arrest in Case of Missing Fla. Vet]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:33:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/052516+tricia+todd+arrest+murder.jpg

The ex-husband of a missing Florida Air Force veteran has been arrested and charged with her murder, the Martin County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday.

Air Force airman Steven Williams, 30, is facing second-degree murder and child neglect charges. Williams has been ordered held without bond and court records don't indicate whether he has hired an attorney.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said Williams confessed to killing 30-year-old Tricia Todd — a mother and hospice nurse — and disposing of her body in a wooded area near Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

Todd's body hasn't been found. Snyder said Wednesday crews were searching a 15-mile wide area, redoubling their efforts to find her remains.

Todd was last seen at a Publix grocery store in Martin County on April 27 prompting a large-scale, multi-agency search, NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

Officials said Todd was killed the night of her disappearance and that her 3-year-old child was nearby when she was killed. He had no accomplices in the killing or in disposing of the body, officials said. 

Williams had been cooperating with authorities and even agreed to a polygraph test on May 3.

"Nothing in (William's) lengthy interview — and it was a long and detailed interview — nor his polygraph exam indicated that he was involved or had any additional information about Tricia Todd's disappearance," Snyder previously said.

He was also interviewed by a lieutenant, two detectives and an assistant state attorney in North Carolina, where he was stationed at an Air Force base.

Williams was seen on camera buying gas at around 1 a.m. on the day Todd went missing, later telling investigators that she asked him for it because the fuel in her car was running low, NBC News reported.

Officials said Williams was taken into custody Tuesday in North Carolina and was brought back to Martin County.

Williams had been assigned as a field training detachment instructor with the Air Force's 372nd Training Squadron. The Air Force said in a written statement Wednesday they are "cooperating fully with civil authorities in this case."

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

Photo Credit: Martin County Sheriff's Office / Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Netflix to Stream Disney Movies Starting in September]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 12:06:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/455692374.jpg

Netflix has just scored a big deal. The world's leading streaming service and Internet television network will add to its offering the latest Disney movies starting this fall. 

"From September onwards, Netflix will become the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar," Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote on a blog post

In the meantime, Sarandos shared, Netflix is gearing up for summer offering "Jurassic Park," "Jurassic Park: The Lost World," "Jurassic Park 3" and "Spotlight" in June.

Netflix has more than over 81 million members in over 190 countries.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hacker Who Says He Breached Clinton Server Pleads Guilty]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 11:56:10 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/160505-guccifer-headshot-2.jpg

A hacker known as Guccifer, who claims he broke into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server, pleaded guilty Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Marcel Lehel Lazar, who's Romanian, entered guilty pleas to charges of identity theft and unauthorized access to protected computers before a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia. He could face up to seven years in prison. 

Prosecutors said he broke into the e-mail and social media accounts of about 100 Americans, including members of the family of former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush.

Lazar served time in a Romanian prison and was brought to the U.S. in late March to face federal charges.

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Alligator Found Outside School]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 23:55:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/gator-school.jpg

A large alligator found outside a Dallas' Steam Middle School early Wednesday morning has a new home, according to game wardens.

Dallas police said an officer was patrolling the area near Steam Middle School on the 9300 block of South Polk Street just after midnight when he saw what he thought was a log.

As the officer approached, he realized it was actually a 6-foot alligator outside the school.

Dallas County Game Warden officials arrived at the school at about 4 a.m. and captured the gator. Game Warden Jamie Sanchez speculated that the gator wandered to the school from the nearby Trinity River.

Officials said they were moving the gator to the Palmetto-Alligator Slough Preserve in Seagoville. They were unable to obtain a permit quickly enough, though, so they released the gator into the Trinity River in south Dallas County.

Alligators are native to North Texas and it is not uncommon to see them near streams and rivers. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, alligators sometimes move between habitats in the spring and summer.

Tips on what you can do if you see an alligator can be found here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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