Articles on this Page
- 07/27/15--18:52: _TSA PreCheck Regist...
- 07/28/15--01:56: _Bicyclist Hit by Dr...
- 07/27/15--14:30: _'Wonderful Act of K...
- 07/27/15--13:21: _Boston's Olympic Lo...
- 07/27/15--16:40: _Public Hearing to D...
- 07/28/15--04:03: _Jeb Bush Calls Trum...
- 07/27/15--13:54: _Some Cilantro Banne...
- 07/27/15--20:17: _Hartford Democrats ...
- 07/28/15--03:44: _Scantic River State...
- 07/27/15--20:30: _Car Hits House in N...
- 07/27/15--20:51: _Ohio Woman's Death ...
- 07/28/15--03:34: _Gunman Not Involunt...
- 07/27/15--21:13: _Simple Hack Could '...
- 07/27/15--21:15: _Sanders' Candidacy ...
- 07/27/15--20:39: _Couple Steal $5K Wo...
- 07/28/15--04:00: _Calif. Girl's Body ...
- 07/28/15--03:50: _NJ Church Group to ...
- 07/27/15--20:46: _Shark Bites, Kayake...
- 07/28/15--03:38: _FBI Investigates Su...
- 07/28/15--03:07: _Captured ISIS Fight...
- 07/27/15--18:52: TSA PreCheck Registration Available at Bradley Airport
- 07/28/15--01:56: Bicyclist Hit by Drunken Driver in Hartford Dies
- 07/27/15--14:30: 'Wonderful Act of Kindness': Cop Shares Meal With Homeless Man
- 07/27/15--13:21: Boston's Olympic Loss Could Spell Win for L.A.
- 07/27/15--16:40: Public Hearing to Decide Fate of Historic Home
- 07/28/15--04:03: Jeb Bush Calls Trump's Immigration Comments 'Vulgar'
- 07/27/15--13:54: Some Cilantro Banned Over Feces, Toilet Paper in Fields: FDA
- 07/27/15--20:17: Hartford Democrats Endorse Luke Bronin for Mayor
- 07/28/15--03:44: Scantic River State Park Soiled Again
- 07/27/15--20:30: Car Hits House in New Britain
- 07/27/15--20:51: Ohio Woman's Death in Police Custody Being Investigated
- 07/28/15--03:34: Gunman Not Involuntarily Committed to Mental Hospital
- 07/27/15--21:13: Simple Hack Could 'Critically Expose' Most Android Phones
- 07/27/15--21:15: Sanders' Candidacy Inspires Merch
- 07/27/15--20:39: Couple Steal $5K Worth of Polish
- 07/28/15--04:00: Calif. Girl's Body May Be Found
- 07/28/15--03:50: NJ Church Group to Sleep at Philly Zoo for Pope Visit
- 07/27/15--20:46: Shark Bites, Kayaker Catches Back
- 07/28/15--03:38: FBI Investigates Suspicious Letters to Oregon Sheriffs
- 07/28/15--03:07: Captured ISIS Fighter: 'I Have No Life, No Future'
The Transportation Security Administration has opened an office at Bradley International Airport where customers can purchase and enroll in TSA PreCheck.
PreCheck was started several years ago as a service for passengers on commercial flights to bypass standard security measures so long as they underwent a full security screening and background check with intelligence agencies.
"You’ll bring your documents to show who you are, have your fingerprints done, have you provide some information, FBI will run a background check, run your name against some watch lists, an immigration check, a criminal history record check," said Mike McCarthy with the TSA.
The new application center at Bradley is the third in immediate proximity to Connecticut residents. Previously, customers had to go to either New Haven or Springfield, Massachusetts, in order to sign up.
For $85, you get five years of PreCheck coverage, which allows you quicker security screening for all flights leaving U.S. airports. All major U.S. airlines accept TSA PreCheck.
Being cleared with PreCheck allows passengers to go through security with their shoes on, keep a light jacket on and leave all liquids and laptops in their luggage.
McCarthy said he's not worried about the program becoming too popular.
If it does, he says, that's a good thing.
"We love this program. Passengers love this program. Our officers love the program. It makes for a much easier screening experience for everybody and we liken it to a fast lane. As long as, the more popular it gets, the more PreCheck lanes we can add," he said.
A 69-year-old man struck by a drunken driver while riding his bicycle in Hartford last week has died, according to police.
Carlos Perez, of Hartford, was riding his bike on Wethersfield Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when he was hit by a car.
Perez was rushed to Hartford Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. He died four days later.
The driver who struck him, Dalia Bourassa, 38, of Terryville, failed a field sobriety test and was charged with driving under the influence. It's not clear if she has an attorney.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Hartford police at 860-527-6300 or submit an anonymous tip online.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
A Florida police officer's touching encounter with a homeless man is going viral after photos of the two of them sharing a meal were posted on Facebook.
Sgt. Erica Hay of the Ocala Police Department was photographed eating with the man by TiAnna Greene, who posted the photos of them sitting together on the curb.
"I don't know this officer, but, I admire her today and everyday. It appeared that she purchased this gentleman's breakfast and decided to sit down and have breakfast with him. Absolutely wonderful act of kindness that seemed to come naturally for her," Greene wrote. "Although I was only blessed to witness less than 2 minutes of her kindness that definitely came from the heart, it truly made my morning!!"
The photos quickly went viral, as Sgt. Hay received national attention for her generosity.
"If anyone knows this fine officer, please let her know that she made a difference today not only in the life of this gentleman, but, in the lives of everyone that she comes in contact with," Greene said. "I'm sure of that!! God bless us all!!!"
Hay told TODAY.com she noticed the man on her way to pick up breakfast at a local donut store.
"We're not a large community so I know most everybody, especially the homeless in the area, but I didn't know him," Hay said.
"He was just there by himself alone, so I just grabbed food and went back to eat with him. Nobody wants to eat alone," she said, adding: "I like eating with anybody."
Photo Credit: TiAnna Greene
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Ocala Police Sgt. Erica Hay shares a meal with a homeless man.
Now that the U.S. Olympic Committee has dropped Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games, Los Angeles is emerging as the back-up city.
“Los Angeles could bid with a couple of years notice,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and the author of “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.” “They don’t need seven years notice. They have almost all their venues already intact.”
In a statement Monday the committee's CEO, Scott Blackmun, said the federation was still interested in mounting a bid for the Summer Games. He did not mention a specific city.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that his office had not had recent conversations with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"I continue to believe that Los Angeles is the ideal Olympic city and we have always supported the USOC in their effort to return the Games to the United States," he said in a statement. "I would be happy to engage in discussions with the USOC about how to present the strongest and most fiscally responsible bid on behalf of our city and nation."
The U.S. Olympic Commitee ended Boston's bid after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a Monday morning press conference that he was not ready to sign a host city document that would force taxpayers to cover any cost overruns. The U.S. Olympic Committee had wanted him to sign the contract as soon as possible, he said. But he said he would not without more financial information about the Games and was willing to let the committee choose another city over Boston.
The host city contract, which does not need to be signed until 2017, guarantees that the International Olympic Committee will not be held responsible for any cost overruns.
The U.S. Olympic Committee’s board members had also wanted to know whether Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker supported Boston’s bid. Baker spoke to committee officials on Monday but said beforehand that he would have no answer for them because he was waiting to see a full report from a consultant commissioned to analyze the bid.
The deadline to officially submit bids to the International Olympic Committee is Sept. 15. San Francisco and Washington D.C. also competed to be the U.S. selection. A source told NBC Bay Area that it was now too late for San Francisco to submit a bid that could win. Jack Evans, a D.C. council member, said that the city was still vying to be chosen.
“We in the District would still be very interested," Evans said.
Officials from the U.S. Olympic Committee could not immediately be reached for comment.
Earlier Alan Abrahamson, a sportswriter, said that the U.S. Olympic Committee ought to kill Boston’s bid, Abrahamson, a journalism professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, called it the most dismal effort he had seen in 16 years of covering the Olympics.
“Los Angeles is America’s Olympic city,” said Abrahamson, who wrote a column on the topic on his website, 3 Wire Sports. “It hosted the Games twice in 1932 and 1984. The Games are a part of the fabric of civic life in Los Angeles.”
Politicians, businesses and the people of California are behind the Olympics, he said. And like Zimbalist, he said Los Angeles could be ready with little notice.
“Los Angeles could host the Games on maybe two years notice and do a fantastic job,” he said.
Before Boston's bid derailed, Zimbalist said that Baker’s position was key because the state not Boston would have to be the Games’ guarantor.
“Nobody ever expected Boston to actually provide a guarantee,” he said. “They don’t have the resources to do it. Their budget is much too small.”
Zimbalist said that he thought Walsh, who had been closely affiliated with the pro-Olympics group, was trying to cover himself should the U.S. Olympic Committee reject Boston.
“I think that he’s trying to step out in front of that train and say, ‘I was first, I never wanted to put the Boston’s taxpayers at risk,’” Zimbalist said.
Boston’s bid had been expected to go to a statewide referendum next year. The organizers had said that if the majority of voters in Massachusetts and Boston did not vote in favor of it they would pull the bid. A group, No Boston Olympics, had formed in opposition to hosting the Games.
Photo Credit: Boston2024.org
A public hearing will decide whether one of West Hartford's historic homes will be demolished.
The debate revolves around the home at 2022 Albany Avenue, which was built in 1918.
The home is not only located in West Hartford’s historic district, but is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
"It’s one of the original houses in the area in the post World War I building boom," said Greg Galvin, chairman of the West Hartford Historic Commission.
But now its future is at stake. The developer has proposed demolishing the home and splitting the lot into two parts.
"He was hoping that we would waive the historical significance of the house so that the 90-day delay of demolition ordinance can be bypassed," said Galvin, who sent a letter to the developer urging him to reconsider.
Galvin believes the home’s history is too significant to tear it down, but he’s never walked inside to see it in person.
Some residents who have been inside said the home is not salvageable.
"The walls are down, the floors are buckling in some places, the plumbing and electrical are all torn up and out," said Art Fullerton, who lives nearby.
"I believe the developer could beautifully rebuild the home identical to that home that would be safe and stable," said West Hartford resident Michelle Tessier.
Galvin said he’s seen photos and believes the house can be saved.
Residents will provide their input at a public meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Room 312 of the West Hartford Town Hall.
Donald Trump's controversial comments on undocumented immigrants "offended millions of people," former Florida governor Jeb Bush said of his fellow Republican presidential candidate in a Spanish-language interview Monday.
Trump characterized many undocumented immigrants from Mexico as rapists and drug dealers in comments two weeks ago, dominating much of the presidential news cycle since.
Bush, a fluent Spanish speaker, said he sought to counter Trump's negativity on immigration with his own platform, he said in a wide-ranging interview with Jose Diaz-Balart, of MSNBC and Telemundo.
"You know I was hurt hearing somebody speaking in such a vulgar fashion," the Florida governor said in remarks translated from Spanish. "This makes the solving of this problem (of illegal immigration) much more difficult. When we have politicians talking like that, we cannot progress."
Bush added he believed the solution should be to make legal immigration easier. He pointed to his own outlook on the issue to show how far apart he is from Trump.
"I believe it's important that I as a candidate offer a more optimistic version than Trump's negativeness and other candidates," he said.
Bush touted his firm connection to Hispanic culture. He is married to a Latina woman and made strong comments on the recent opening of Cuba's embassy and the Castro brothers.
"I believe that the policy should be that we always want freedom in Cuba, we want democracy to change the relationship, but based on facts," he explained. "In this case, there aren't even promises that (Obama's) received to do this. And dictators are not going to leave quietly at night, they don't leave. We must be vigilant and this president does not recognize that."
Bush addressed hot-button comments made by another candidate, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, as well as Trump's.
Huckabee on Monday compared President Barack Obama's deal with Iran to the Holocaust, saying it would cause Israelis to be marched "straight to the oven door."
"In the case of Mike Huckabee, who is my friend, those words– that use of those type of words doesn't help," Bush said. "We must have a more civil policy in this country."
To read Bush's whole interview in Spanish, visit Telemundo.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Republican candidate Jeb Bush spoke with Telemundo about a wide range of topics, including fellow candidates and international issues.
It appears that cilantro contaminated by human waste is to blame for several years of intestinal illnesses among Americans, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA announced on Monday that it has identified the cause of hundreds of U.S. cases of cyclosporiasis after health officials found human feces and toilet paper in growing fields in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The administration will detain Mexican cilantro at the border from April to August and forbid products from Puebla from entering into the U.S. without inspections and certification, according to a partial import ban dated Monday by the agency.
Last August, the FDA and Texas authorities linked suppliers in Puebla to infected cilantro at four Texas restaurants. Monday’s announcement, however, confirms that the central Mexican state is the source of many more cases of the disease.
Several major U.S. restaurant companies confirmed to Bloomberg Business that the cilantro they use will not be affected by the ban. A spokesman for Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said that all of its cilantro comes from California. Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell, is also reportedly not affected.
As NBC reported last month, cyclosporiasis is not spread through human-to-human contact, but rather, through a host, such as contaminated food. Cyclosporiasis is caused by cyclospora, a single-celled, microscopic parasite that attacks the small intestine. According to the CDC, a cyclosporiasis infection can last from a few days to more than a month. Symptoms may go away, only to return later, and it is common to feel very tired. Cyclospora usually causes diarrhea and frequent bowel movements.
Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, increased gas and nausea. Other symptoms include vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms. Some people who are infected do not show any symptoms.
Cyclospora is a single-celled, microscopic parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis. The parasite is spread by people ingesting food or water that has been contaminated with feces.
The Hartford Democratic Town Committee endorsed Luke Bronin for mayor after incumbent Pedro Segarra walked out of the nominating convention Monday night.
The drama unfolded at Bulkeley High School, stunning the crowd of mostly party insiders. After the nominations, both candidates were expected to give short speeches.
"There comes a time when someone has to do what is in their conscience as the right thing. I decline the nomination for mayor of the city of Hartford," Segarra said, amid loud applause and cheers from his supporters.
The mayor then walked out.
"I am a resident of this city for 41 years and I will not lend myself to a process," Segarra said, stopping briefly in the hallway to address reporters. "The majority of the people in this city are happy with my leadership and I will take this to the people."
As Segarra supporters chanted "four more years" from the hallway, voting got underway in the high school auditorium.
In the end, 49 committee members voted for Bronin, a Yale Law School graduate and former legal adviser to Gov. Dannel Malloy, well over the majority of 40 required to win. Segarra supporters abstained from voting.
Segarra said he will gather petition signatures to qualify for the Sept. 16 primary.
Bronin, who has received the support of several candidates who dropped out of the race, said he was "honored" to accept the endorsement.
"What I've been talking about in this campaign is a mayor who takes responsibility and who holds himself accountable and what we saw tonight was a mayor who walked away when he knew he didn't have the votes and to me that says it all," Bronin said, accepting the endorsement.
Bronin has criticized the mayor for his response to recent violence in Hartford. His campaign said Segarra walked out before the vote because he did not expect to win the nomination.
Segarra, for his part, has accused Bronin of being an outsider and part of a political machine.
"I couldn't be farther from a machine in Hartford. This is about bringing change to Hartford," said Bronin.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
During the summer months, Scantic River State Park in Enfield becomes a destination spot for locals and out-of-towners, but neighbors say its popularity is leading to its ruin.
Emily McIntosh came out to enjoy the scenery Sunday and found the park's beauty marred by waste, so several residents rallied to clean it up.
"Picked up everything from underwear with human feces in it to beer bottles to broken bottles to garbage. You name it, it was there, and it was bad," said Enfield resident Kevin Kibbe.
More trash – including used toilet paper – littered the park Monday.
"When you start talking about the soiled underwear and diapers, it goes beyond a littering problem. It becomes a sanitation and health concern," said Enfield resident Emily McIntosh.
Because of the growing garbage problem, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection banned alcohol at Scantic River State Park for 90 days this summer and will likely extend the ban.
NBC Connecticut crews noticed several large boxes of beer at the park, so it's clear not everyone takes the warning seriously.
"There's a number of enforcement actions over the weekend, arrests for alcohol and loud music, so that police presence by our officers as well as Enfield police will help curtail some of the problems there," said Tom Tyler, director of Connecticut State Parks.
Neighbors believe it's not enough. They argue that unless sanitary facilities, garbage bag dispensers and additional trash cans are installed, the problem will persist.
"Lack of respect. Some people just don't care. They have garbage? Someone else will get it. It's that mentality that's destroying the area," said Kibbe.
Regardless, residents plan to continue cleaning up the mess others leave behind.
Volunteers will hold their third annual park cleanup Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Police were called to Slater Road in New Britain after a car struck a house Monday night.
Witnesses said the crash happened at 289 Slater Road, near the corner of Queen Street and Corbin Avenue.
According to witnesses, the driver got out and ran.
It's not clear if anyone was hurt.
Police are at the scene investigating.
Photo Credit: See It Share It
The death of a woman who was in police custody after a domestic dispute in Ohio is now being investigated, officials said Monday.
Ralkina Jones, 37, was arrested July 24 after fighting with her ex-husband in a Save-a-Lot grocery store parking lot, police said.
Two days later, Jones was found unresponsive in her jail cell and later pronounced dead on Sunday morning.
There were no "suspicious" injuries revealed during an initial autopsy and the cause of death is under investigation, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiners Office.
The gunman who opened fire at a movie theater last week was not involuntarily committed to a hospital — a red flag that would have triggered local officials to report his mental health history to federal authorities.
Officials in Georgia clarified Monday that John "Rusty" Houser was never involuntarily committed in 2008 despite previous reports — a distinction that would have prevented him from buying the gun he used in the rampage.
According to the petition for a personal protection order, Houser's family says that on April 22, 2008, it petitioned a judge to involuntarily commit Houser because "he was a danger to himself and others."
A flaw called "Stagefright" in Google's Android operating system could let hackers take over a phone with a message -- even if the user doesn't open it, NBC News reported.
The flaw could "critically expose" 95 percent of Android devices, according to Zimperium, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability.
Stagefright, which Zimperium called the "mother of all Android vulnerabilities," allows people to send a video containing hidden malware to Android phones via a multimedia message (MMS) application. For the default messenger app on most Android phones, users don't even have to play the video.
"Patches have already been provided to partners that can be applied to any device," a Google spokesperson told NBC News in a statement.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Google Android phone on display at the Google conference in San Francisco, Thursday, May 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
As the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attracts more and more interest from around the country, it’s also inspiring a surge of support in surprising ways. Those include pro-Sanders displays on the bottoms of beer cans and on the sides of purses.
At the Burlington Beer Company in Williston, Vermont, brew master Joe Lemnah recently printed a message saying #FeelTheBern, a reference to Sanders, on the bottoms of cans of his Light in the Window IPA.
“It’s kind of like a little Easter egg, if you will,” Lemnah said, describing how a beer drinker may discover the slogan on the bottom of a can. “Politics and religion were always the things you don’t do with business, but I feel like those days are changing a little bit; where it’s safer to show how you actually feel.”
The support from the craft beer producer, who said he admires how Sanders has long championed agricultural concerns, comes as the candidate is drawing huge crowds at rallies nationwide. In those appearances, Sanders often decries what he calls the outrage of income inequality, and pushes for a political revolution to strengthen the working class.
The enthusiasm level and size of the crowds at Sanders events has led some political observers to describe his candidacy as one that challenges the sense it’s inevitable that Hillary Clinton will walk away with the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
Along with that surge of interest from rally attendees, Flashbags, an accessories line, has seen a surge in business. The company, as did Sanders’ political career, launched in Burlington.
“I just sent some out to Wyoming,” said Erin Cain of Flashbags, showing necn several designs of Sanders purses, which she said are hot sellers with liberal customers. “I can’t actually seem to make them fast enough right now.”
Burlington graphic designer Dave Barron, who has a side business called The Bernie Shirt said he has shipped hundreds of the garments to nearly all 50 states. “Bernie brings an electricity to the race you don’t often see,” Barron said.
Barron told necn he is donating a tenth of his sales to Bernie 2016, noting that buyers seem energized by how the sometimes wild-haired senator focuses on the little guy. “Bernie fights for everybody, which you don’t see in every candidate.”
Barron also noted the shirts are printed by New Duds in Winooski, another small Vermont business.
In response to an inquiry from necn regarding the support from the Burlington Beer Company, Flashbags, The Bernie Shirt, and other independent businesses around Vermont, the Sanders campaign issued the following statement:
“These are all examples of the many ways that Bernie's message is resonating. This is part of the grassroots movement that is growing in Vermont and all over the country. People in different, creative ways are sending a message to the billionaire class that they can't have it all.”
Joe Lemnah said he did receive a complaint about his beer cans, from someone backing Hillary Clinton. But Lemnah said that will not stop him from “feeling the Bern.”
Photo Credit: necn
A pair of thieves walked away with nearly $5,000 worth of popular nail polish and beauty supplies from a Florida beauty shop on Saturday, the police said.
The store is located on Pines Boulevard near University Drive in Pembroke Pines.
"They knew they were being watched, but they didn't care. They just took whatever they could," said employee, Sahara Larose.
Camera footage shows two people walking into Elegant Beauty Superstore and heading over to the Essie Nail Polish display. The woman suspect stashed a few nail polishes in her purse, while the man suspect stuck them in his back pocket.
The pair made their move Saturday afternoon; a day after employees said refilled the display.
The couple then brought the stolen merchandise and came back inside to take more, employees said.
The Essie Nail Polish bottles retail at $8 a piece, and the owner said they got away with about $5,000 worth of product.
If you know anything about this case, you're urged to call Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.
Santa Cruz police late Monday said they found a young girl's body believed to be that of Madyson Middleton, an 8-year-old girl who went missing Sunday.
The body was found in a dumpster just before 8 p.m. inside an enclosed area in the apartment complex where the girl lived, police said.
Police also said they have arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of homicide.
Speaking at a press conference late Monday, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said the discovery of the body was "extraordinarily heartbreaking news."
Madyson was last seen about 6 p.m. Sunday riding a scooter outside her apartment complex, the Tannery Arts Center on River Street.
Witnesses said the arrested teen, who also lives at the apartment complex, was calm and was cooperating with police when he was detained just before 8 p.m. Monday.
Earlier in the day, the FBI joined the search for the missing girl. Search crews and special K-9 teams spent the day scouring the complex, a nearby levee and the beach along the Pacific Ocean.
Madyson, who goes by “Maddy,” was riding her white Razor scooter, wearing a purple knee-high dress with black leggings, helmet and long dark hair pulled to the side in a braid. The girl, standing at 4 feet tall and weighing 48 pounds, was captured on video surveillance, which Santa Cruz police shared with the public.
"She was in the courtyard where she was supposed to be," her mother, Laura Jordan told NBC affiliate KSBW. "I already fell apart. Now, I'm just in survival mode. I can't explain how difficult this is."
Jordan added that her daughter has never run away, and that she's checked with all her friends, and assisted police in knocking on every door in the area.
Police said they will hold a press conference Tuesday to release further details.
NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez and Stephanie Chuang contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: Santa Cruz police via Middleton school photo. Photographer unknown.
Madyson Middleton, 8, of Santa Cruz
While some people are spending as much as $600 a night at hotels for Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to Philadelphia, a North Jersey church group is spending less money on a far less luxurious place to stay: the Philadelphia Zoo.
“The zoo makes it a little more down to earth because it’s more like a pilgrimage,” said Melissa Peters, a congregant at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. “We’re not gonna be staying in a hotel room where we have showers or where we have continental breakfasts and things like that. Instead we’re sleeping with animals in order to see the pope.”
Peters and 220 other parents and children from the church will sleep on the floor of the Philly Zoo buildings housing the bird and insect exhibits during the Pope’s visit to Philly for the World Meeting of Families in September.
“A pilgrimage is very different from a vacation or a trip,” said Cathy Hunt, another congregant. “A pilgrimage is a prayer experience and any discomfort that you’ll feel the excitement will be tenfold that.”
Church leaders say Pope Francis was named for Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals. They plan on publicizing their unique accommodations on Instagram and Twitter in the hopes that Pope Francis will take notice.
“If he kisses one of our kids I’ll be smiling the whole ride home,” said Father Gino de la Rama.
The church members will pay $120 a person for the overnight stay at the zoo and the bus ride. The church office said they’re getting phone calls from people asking if there is still room on the zoo floor. Philadelphia zoo officials say they’re completely sold out however.
Fisherman love catching big fish. But when the catch is almost as long as the vessel you’re in (and has extremely sharp teeth) the day makes for one heck of a story.
On Thursday July 23, just before 7 a.m., Austin Lorber and his fishing partner David Le were on kayaks about a mile and a half off of La Jolla. David threw out a mackerel and felt something take the bait.
“As soon as he hooked up we noticed a fish jump way out of the water, probably five or six feet,” said Lorber. “I looked back thinking it was a dorado because those are typically what will jump like that that we get around here. And then … I saw a shark. Makos around here are the only ones that will jump like that.”
The mako, typically an open-water swimmer, likely followed the abundance of bait and game fish in San Diego waters close to shore. Once David saw what it was he thought about just letting it go.
“He was kind of hesitant to bring it in but then I let him know that they’re great eating,” said Lorber. “Yes, they’re dangerous, but I was going to take care of the gaffing, which is really the dangerous part.”
Austin had his GoPro camera rolling to capture what happened next:
“It was already going for the kayak and I was lucky enough to sink the gaff right as it was about to bite the kayak. I just had to hold on to it for about 45 minutes as it dragged me around. I didn’t want to get my hand anywhere near that head until it had been tired for at least a half hour.”
Eventually the fish tired itself enough for Lorber, with the help of another kayak angler, to get it in to his fish hold and (after fishing for a few more hours for the yellowtail they had originally targeted) paddle it back to shore.
Representatives from the department of Fish and Wildlife were at the landing. The 5-foot-long mako easily outran the 60-pound scale that was available so they estimated the fish to weigh around 100 pounds. The 31-year-old Lorber has been fishing since he was a child, but this experience was something he’ll never forget.
“That was a bucket list moment, for sure. That’s number one for me easily.”
The catch has certainly not gone to waste. As of Monday night he said he only had about 10 pounds of mako steaks left.
“Those are the best steaks in the ocean,” says Lorber, “those and thresher shark; beautiful, beautiful steaks.”
Lorber knows a thing or two about food. He and his brothers own Fratelli’s Italian Kitchen in San Marcos and Oceanside. Austin says he’s looking in to obtaining a commercial fishing license so he can serve his fresh catch at the restaurant.
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
Austin Lorber and his friend had a run-in with a mako shark on a kayak less than two miles from La Jolla. (photo courtesy: Austin Lorber)
Haz-mat teams and federal investigators responded across Oregon on Monday after numerous sheriffs received suspicious mail, some of it delivering an unknown substance, authorities told NBC News.
A college dropout, looking for a different life from his own in Turkey, surrendered after three days of fighting for ISIS and told NBC News joining the militants leaves him with "no life, no future."
"They burn your life, they leave nothing," the 24-year-old said from a Kurdish-run Syria where he has been held since being captured over a month ago. "I can't do anything now. If I go to them [ISIS], they will kill me. If I go to Turkey, they will arrest me. If I stay here, I will go to prison. I have nothing. The only escape for me is death."
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he joined ISIS to get out of Turkey, where he had few friends and his parents were pressuring him to study and get married.
"My life was hard and nobody liked me," he said while crying. "I didn't have many friends. I was on the Internet a lot and playing games."
Now, he said, "I have no life, no future."
Photo Credit: NBC News