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    Fire destroyed a home in Mansfield, but the family who lives there is OK after a the family's 22-year-old son woke them up.

    When fire broke out at 163 Highland Road, the man woke up, smelled smoke and alerted the family, officials at the scene said.

    Four people were home at the time and got out.

    Mutual aid was called in to cover the fire station in the event of other emergencies in town.

    Highland Road is closed because of the fire.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut

    A child alerted the family to a fire in Mansfield.A child alerted the family to a fire in Mansfield.

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    It looks like Tom Brady is ready to get back on the field.

    The New England Patriots quarterback - fresh off his court appearance on Wednesday - posted a photo to his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon showing him taking the field at Gillette Stadium, with the message "Good to be HOME! Helmet is on... I'll see you tonight Gillette Stadium!!!"

    Later in the afternoon Comcast SportsNet New England's Mike Giardi confirmed that Brady would, in fact, play in the opener against the Green Bay Packers.

    Check back later tonight for updates on Brady's performance.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Firefighters are responding to a structure fire at 63 Washington Street in Norwich.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    One teen was killed and five others were injured after the boat they were riding in collided with a bridge in Fort Lauderdale early Thursday.

    The 13-foot boat around midnight struck the bridge on the south fork of the Middle River, at Dixie Highway and Northeast 18th Court, authorities said. 

    The teen who died was identified by friends as 17-year-old John Baker, a varsity football player at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. None of the other teens have been named.

    Three of the injured were taken to Broward Health Medical Center in critical condition. Another teen left the hospital early Thursday and the fifth teen remained at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

    The boat struck several places on the bridge and was wedged between the bridge and the ground, officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

    "Several of them were standing up, several were sitting down at different parts of the bridge unfortunately, there's not just one particular area that they hit," FWC spokeswoman Amanda Philips said.

    Phillips said it appeared that not all of the teens had a seat on the boat.

    "When the collision happened, it almost did like a pinball affect," Phillips said.

    Baker's friend, Brett Bartholomew, said the teens were all starting their senior year at St. Thomas Aquinas next week.

    Bartholomew said he was supposed to be on the boat with his friends Wednesday night and had planned to meet them later.

    He said Baker was his best friend and that they go boating nearly every day.

    "Great, upbeat guy, always fishing out on the boat with us," Bartholomew said.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation.

    Officials said the teens involved in the crash had permission to use the vessel, but have not said how the teens know the owner.

    In addition, the teen operating the boat had a Boating Safety Education Identification Card, according to officials.

    A community vigil was planned for Thursday at 6 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and another on Friday at noon.

    Community members also gathered along the coastline on Thursday evening to hold vigil for Baker and release balloons in his honor.



    Photo Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Courtesy

    John Baker was killed when a boat struck a bridge in Fort Lauderdale.John Baker was killed when a boat struck a bridge in Fort Lauderdale.

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    Joe Biden has been calling close friends to discuss the possibility of becoming a presidential candidate for the 2016 election, a longtime Democratic operative, and a source close to the vice president told NBC News. 

    "I think he is doing the analysis and homework," the source who got a call from Biden said.

    Aides are also "calling around" to Democratic operatives about a 2016 run.

    Biden is not calling to ask "if" he should run, but saying, "I am thinking about it but I'm also thinking about Beau," the source said. Beau Biden, the vice president's oldest son and former Delaware attorney general, died in May after battling brain cancer.

    The vice president would need to get through the grief of losing his son before running, however, he is not there yet, the source said.


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    Norwalk police are investigating the death after a 20-year-old man.

    Staff from the Norwalk Hospital Emergency Department called police around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday after an unresponsive male who was brought to the emergency room was pronounced dead.

    Police identified the man as Alejando Garcia and said his friends brought him to the hospital in a private car.

    Garcia was pronounced dead on arrival. His friends stayed at the hospital until police arrived and were cooperating with the investigation, police said.

    An autopsy performed on Monday showed no signs of foul play and the office of the chief medical examiner is waiting on more test results to determine the cause of death.

    Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Justin Bisceglie at 203-854-3181 or e-mail jbisceglie@norwalkct.org.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Middletown mother is facing risk of injury to a minor charges after her children, 2 and 4, wandered out of her house while she was passed out on the couch Wednesday, according to police, who said it's not the first time she left her kids unattended.

    Middletown police received a call around 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday reporting toddler-age children running around outside of 55 Tryon Street in Middletown. The caller told police the front door was wide open and their mother was passed out on the sofa and that similar incidents had happened before.

    Police arrived to find two kids, ages 2 and 4, on their front step and saw their mom asleep on the couch through the open door, police said. They later identified the mother as Lea Miceli, 34.

    So, police went inside the house and one of the officers told Miceli to wake up three times before she did. When Miceli woke up, police heard her say, "not this again."

    One of the officers took her children in the other room while the other officer questioned her. Miceli had difficulty answering questions as simple as her name and birth date, police said. Her demeanor was sluggish and confused, according to police.

    No other adults were home. Police observed several safety risks to the children like the wide open door, lack of supervision, several open or unlocked windows that could easily be pushed open and a live electrical wire plugged into the wall posing a fire hazard. They saw an open window without a screen or storm window in the first floor bedroom. The drop outside the window to the ground was 4 feet. There was a small table in front of that window that the 2-year-old climbed on while police were on scene, showing it was easy for them to access the window.

    The first-floor windows weren't locked and the screens were easy to push out. The 4-year-old opened one of them while police were there. There were unlocked storm windows on the second floor that a child could push open, police said.

    Police called the Department of Children and Families to the scene.

    Officers took Miceli into custody and turned the children over to the care of the father and DCF.

    Middletown's fire marshal responded due to the safety hazards police found at the home, police said.

    While processing Miceli, police discovered an active warrant for her arrest in their database for two risk of injuries to a minor charges from July 16. Police had investigated an incident at her home on July 8 when she left her children unattended, police said. 

    Police charged Miceli with two counts of risk of injury to a minor in the recent case and two counts of the identical charge for the July arrest warrant. Her bond was set at $25,000 in each arrest. Miceli is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Aug. 21.

    Middletown police said Miceli has a history of leaving her children unsupervised. On Oct. 8 of last year, police investigated when Miceli left one of her kids alone in a car. Then, on April 29 of this year police investigated a report that her kids were outside by themselves. Police previously arrested Miceli at her home on June 3 after police found her children unsupervised.


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    Dry, comfortable weather is in place and here to stay through tomorrow!

    An upper-level low passing by to the north will spark off showers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine but for Connecticut it just means a handful of clouds.

    Sunshine and a few puffy cumulus clouds will be the story today with temperatures in the lower-80s.

    Tomorrow is another weather winner with lots of sunshine, temperatures in the middle-80s and no humidity.

    The next chance of active weather arrives Saturday, but it won’t be a washout.

    A cold front diving south out of Canada will spark off scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening Saturday. The humidity will be noticeable with temperatures in the upper-80s.

    Most of the activity will likely be north and west of Connecticut, so northwestern areas of the state stand the best chance of getting wet. Any storms have the potential to produce downpours and lightning, but the severe threat is very low.

    The front washes out and doesn’t drop the temperatures much but it does get rid of any sign of humidity. Sunday will be hot with lots of sun and temperatures in the lower-90s.

    Temperatures continue to climb on Monday as a Bermuda high-pressure system sets up and pumps in the heat from the south. Lower- to middle-90s are in the cards and it will still be dry with lots of sunshine.

    Tuesday could make the stretch an official heat wave with a third 90 degree day. Showers and thunderstorms are possible as a cold front approaches.

    The humidity ramps up on Wednesday and with the cold front still in the vicinity, more showers and thunderstorms are possible.

    Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.
     


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    A construction worker was electrically shocked while repairing a ruptured water main on New Britain Avenue in Farmington Thursday afternoon.

    Police responded to the area of 906 New Britain Ave. after an officer assigned to the construction site radioed in a report of an injured construction worker.

    The Barber Utilities construction worker was digging a hole as crews were repairing a severed water main when he accidentally pierced an electrical line underground and was shocked, police said.

    His coworkers pulled him from the hole in the ground, police said. The construction worker never lost consciousness. The injured man walked to an ambulance on his own, police said.

    The ambulance transported him to John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington for treatment.

    The extent of his injuries are unknown.

    The Connecticut Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. Police aren't releasing his name during the OSHA investigation and directed any further inquiries to OSHA.

    New Britain Avenue was shut down temporarily during the medical call and OSHA investigation at the scene, but the road has since reopened to one lane of alternating traffic, police said at 3:19 p.m.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    Bridgeport police are seeking the public's help in identifying and locating four to five people on bicycles who attacked and robbed a man in the city early Wednesday morning.

    Four to five men on bikes approached a 50-year-old man from behind and hit his head with their fists, police said. Then they stole $700, speakers contained in a black and silver bag, credit cards, his identification card and a cell phone from the victim, police said.

    Police responded to the scene of the reported robbery and assault at 1:57 a.m. on Wednesday.

    Medical personnel also responded and treated the victim's wound over his left eye.

    An ambulance transported him to Bridgeport Hospital for further medical aid.

    The Bridgeport Police Department asks anyone with information to call the detective bureau at 203-581-5201.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police said a man stabbed his coworker in the neck over a dispute about potato chips.Police said a man stabbed his coworker in the neck over a dispute about potato chips.

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    Ferguson's interim police chief — who was hired to help fix the scandal-plagued police department — was previously suspended three times in one year during his time on a Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, the news website Vocativ found. 

    The veteran Arizona cop, Andre Anderson, was suspended in 1996 for "significant problems, which later led to the discovery that he was "conducting personal business on city time and falsifying official documents," according to a Freedom of Information Act request obtained by the news site. 

    Anderson was suspended again for eight days without pay in July and August in 1997 and later in September for two days. The reasons for the 1997 suspensions were unclear. 

    The police chief was hired to help turn around the 45-officer department, which was rocked by several resignations in March after the release of a damning Justice Department report that found a culture of racism. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    Andre Anderson speaks during a news conference announcing him as the interim police chief of the Ferguson Police Department Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Ferguson, Mo. Anderson becomes the second interim chief since Police Chief Thomas Jackson stepped down in March.Andre Anderson speaks during a news conference announcing him as the interim police chief of the Ferguson Police Department Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Ferguson, Mo. Anderson becomes the second interim chief since Police Chief Thomas Jackson stepped down in March.

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    A volunteer firefighter accused of threatening another firefighter with a knife at a Manchester station is under suspension after police arrested him Wednesday.

    Eighth District Utilities Fire Department volunteer firefighter Dean Gates, 21, of Manchester, is facing second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace charges.

    Chief Don Moore, of the Eighth District Utilities Fire Department in Manchester, said Gates remains suspended pending the outcome of the case.

    He is accused of putting an 8-inch kitchen knife to another firefighter's throat because he was annoyed when the man reportedly made fun of him after he sneezed, according to police. The reported incident happened in a break room at an Eighth Utilities District fire station on May 27, police said. The firefighter who Gates is accused of threatening at knife-point was not injured in the altercation, according to police.

    Moore said the incident violated the department's Workplace Violence Policy.

    Police arrested Gates on Wednesday and he is due in court on Aug. 25.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A volunteer firefighter accused of threatening another firefighter with a knife at a Manchester station is under suspension after police arrested him Wednesday.A volunteer firefighter accused of threatening another firefighter with a knife at a Manchester station is under suspension after police arrested him Wednesday.

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    West Hartford police are looking for a suspect who they believe hit the same bank he robbed exactly a week ago at about the same time.

    Police responded to a bank robbery Thursday afternoon at the TD Bank at 143 South Main Street in West Hartford.

    Bank employees said a white male in his 40s displayed a note to one of the bank tellers demanding money Thursday at about 2:08 p.m. That's the same day of the week and time a man robbed the bank exactly a week ago on Aug. 6. Employees told police it was the same suspect this time around.

    No one was injured in the bank robbery.

    The man left after he was given an undetermined amount of cash like the robber did a week ago, police said.

    In both cases, it's unknown whether the man left the area on foot or in a vehicle, according to police.

    Officers searched the area with the help of a New Britain police K-9 unit, but could not find the suspect. Police didn't find the suspect in last week's robbery at the bank either after a search with the help of a Farmington K-9 unit.

    Police said the man was wearing a short-sleeve shirt with green, white and black stripes and a baseball hat that was black and white. He is described as having a slender build and is 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 tall, according to police The suspect has short, dark brown hair, police said.

    Last week's TD Bank robbery suspect had a similar physical description. Police said he was wearing white golf shorts with large checkered stripes and that he was tan with a slender build. He was about 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 and had short, dark brown hair.

    No one was injured in the first robbery either. 



    Photo Credit: West Hartford Police Department

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    Three years after Connecticut abolished the death penalty for any future crimes, the state's highest court on Thursday declared capital punishment unconstitutional, sparing the lives of the 11 remaining death row inmates, including the two men who carried out the Petit family murders.

    Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky now get life sentences for a 2007 home invasion robbery in which they raped and strangled Jennifer Petit, tied her daughters Hayley and Michaela to their beds, and set the home ablaze.

    Petit's sister, Cynthia Hawke Renn, told NBC News that she is "disheartened" by the Connecticut Supreme Court's finding that a 2012 legislative repeal of the death penalty should also apply to those who committed their crimes earlier. 



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Steven Hayes and Joshua KomisarjevskySteven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky

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    No tests have been done to determine what would happen if a drone was sucked into a jet engine. 

    The federal government has required that planes be tested for how well they tolerate the impact of bird strikes, however, none of the major manufacturers have done the same for drone impact, NBC News has learned.

    CFM, GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney, which combined account for more than 80 percent of the engines used by the world's commercial planes, all confirmed they had not conducted such tests because the FAA has not mandated such testing.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A drone flies over Lake Michigan during the first round of the 2015 PGA Championship.A drone flies over Lake Michigan during the first round of the 2015 PGA Championship.

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    U.S. officials believe the terror group ISIS used chemical weapons in Iraq this week, defense and intelligence officials said Thursday.

    The terror group used mustard gas in an attack against Kurdish fighters, two defense officials and an intelligence official told NBC News. Mustard gas, infamously used during World War I, can cause blisters, blindness and respiratory damage.

    The defense officials said this is the second time ISIS has used chemical weapons — the first occurred in "recent weeks" in Syria — but they declined to provide more details, citing operational security concerns. 



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    An Iraqi woman walks past debris as men look at the damage following a bomb explosion that targeted a market in Baghdad's northern Shiite district of Sadr City on August 13, 2015. The truck bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 38 people in the Shiite-majority area of the capital, in one of the deadliest single attacks in the city in months.An Iraqi woman walks past debris as men look at the damage following a bomb explosion that targeted a market in Baghdad's northern Shiite district of Sadr City on August 13, 2015. The truck bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 38 people in the Shiite-majority area of the capital, in one of the deadliest single attacks in the city in months.

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    A traffic camera video shows the dramatic crash involving a Miami-Dade fire truck and ambulance that left seven firefighters and five civilians injured. 

    The video shows the fire truck hitting the ambulance about to enter an intersection near the Jackson Memorial Hospital. Not seen in the video is the fire truck rolling over from the impact after the collision. The ambulance was left with front end damage. 

    The seven firefigthers were in the rolled over engine truck while a grandmother and two children were in the ambulance. A third vehicle carrying two passengers was also involved.

    No serious injuries were reported after all were taken to the hospital and released Wednesday morning. 

    The collision remains under investigation by Miami Police.

     



    Photo Credit: ATS
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    What’s the future of the historic and troubled Amistad? The ship’s operator is more than $2 million in debt. Now the state wants to step in and save it.

    The Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, has been docked in New London since May. As visitors continue to tour the ship, repairs are also being done on it because it’s for sale.

    “Like brackets and fire extinguishers and take them off and sand them and paint them,” Said Amistad ship keeper, Scott Donnelly.

    The ship has been for sale at $550,000. Now, State Attorney General George Jepsen has proposed selling the state subsidized ship for $315,000 to a new non-profit group called Discovering Amistad Incorporated.

    Jepsen hopes to pay off the ship’s debt and preserve its educational mission.

    New London Mayor Daryl Finizio hopes the new owners will keep the boat in the city.

    “The situation of the Amistad is under state control and the city of New London has no direct role in the matter,” Finizio said. “But we obviously hope that the ship, which is a treasure for the state, is appropriately restored and we hope that after the restoration is complete that perhaps they’d consider staying in New London.”

    The Amistad is important to New London since it was here in 1839 when African captives were brought to the city on the Amistad and eventually freed.

    In a statement, Jepsen said, "It remains our goal in seeking the receivership last year, to set forth a path that will ensure that the ship is protected, that it is able to continue to carry out its educational mission and that its future is secure."



    Photo Credit: Associated Press

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    Connecticut is one of sixteen states that offer tax-free back to school shopping. This year, the rules for Connecticut’s tax-free week are different than what many consumers may be used to. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, August 16 through midnight on August 22, shoppers will be able to get some back to school buy tax-free.

    “I take the kids shopping every year and it’s a great thing,” said Cary Jacobs, of New Haven, who takes her grandchildren school shopping each August. She said she tries to get the most bang for her buck by hitting the stores during Connecticut’s tax-free week.

    “You go from one store to the next and it really is a good thing for the state,” Jacobs said. “It’s a good thing for the consumer.”

    Quinnipiac University School of Business Professor David agrees that this is a win-win week. “Although the state loses some revenue, it should earn gratitude from the citizens who also save money on acquiring items that they will probably need for the start of the school year,” he said.

    Qualifying items include clothing and footwear that costs $100 or less. That is different from previous years when $300 or less was the cut-off for the tax-free exemption. For items on sale, the reduced sales price is used to determine whether an item is taxable.

    Even with the changes, shoppers are already eyeing deals to start the school year off with some deals.

    “It’s a nice time because it’s right before school because that’s when everyone wants to get new clothes and new stuff for their dorm and stuff,” college student Katie Jacobs said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    After six years, New Haven’s State Street bridge construction project is almost complete. That is a welcome sight in a busy part of the Elm City. It has been so long since the bridge has actually served as a bridge, people around the span have gotten used to life without it.

    “It’s difficult for some of our customers to navigate the detours and get off the highway and come here,” said Tracey LaPorte, an employee at Chestnut Fine Foods & Confections on State Street.

    She has been waiting for the day the construction equipment leaves and the bridge reopens.

    “For all the businesses, that’s what we thrive on is foot traffic and people walking by and getting to come in and know the area,” said LaPorte.

    The bridge has been shut down since 2009. Construction was supposed to be done in two years and cost around $6 million. Six years later, the final price tag is closer to $28 million.

    “About every construction problem and nightmare that you might encounter on a project of this kind was encountered here,” said Sen. Martin Looney, (D) District 11, who represents residents in New Haven, North Haven and Hamden.

    From finding and then having to replace a major water main, to discovering pollution problems along the banks of the Mill River that had to be solved, to navigating the red tape that comes with a plan overseen by local and state and federal officials; progress on the project was slow.

    “You had to connect these neighborhoods and you had to get this thing done right and I think they got it done right,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

    Now the neighborhood is ready to start enjoying the “new normal” the new bridge may bring. “It’s exciting for them to also get all these new customers to also come through and do well,” said LaPorte.

    Final repairs were set to be made on Thursday night and Friday morning. The State Street bridge is set to reopen to traffic Friday afternoon.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    After six years, New Haven’s State Street bridge construction project is almost complete. That is a welcome sight in a busy part of the Elm City. It has been so long since the bridge has actually served as a bridge, people around the span have gotten used to life without it.After six years, New Haven’s State Street bridge construction project is almost complete. That is a welcome sight in a busy part of the Elm City. It has been so long since the bridge has actually served as a bridge, people around the span have gotten used to life without it.

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