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    For half-a-century, a trade embargo has banned the sale of US goods to Cuba.

    But a Connecticut senator hopes to change that, by co-sponsoring the Freedom to Export to Cuba act which would repeal the trade embargo that's been on the books since 1960.

    On Friday, Democrat Chris Murphy held a round table discussion with Connecticut tobacco growers to hear their take on the issue. Many expressed support for the idea, hoping it would provide a new opportunity for business.

    "There’s more and more places where they don’t want you to smoke," said William Dufford, a South Glastonbury tobacco grower who's been in the industry for 40-years.

    Opening up diplomatic relations is the first step to getting products grown in US soil back over to Cuba.

    “This is an island that is just a handful of miles off of our shore with millions of potential customers," said Murphy.

    Tobacco is still big business in Connecticut, which is the 8th largest producer, employing 1,000 people and adding $40 million to the economy, but fields are dwindling.

    “In the 50’s there was probably 30,000 acres of tobacco grown in the valley, now there’s about three or four (thousand)," explained Dufford.

    The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would also remove a president’s authority to impose future embargoes, and repeal the prohibition on Cuban imports. That had some worried about an influx of Cuban cigars to the US that would hurt American tobacco growers, but officials explained that US tobacco is already getting to Cuba through South America, and Connecticut farmers are missing out. Proponents say this bill presents an opportunity to make money off the legal trade of American tobacco to Cuba.

    “I hope there’s some dollar signs, and keep us all in business," said Dufford.

    Senator Murphy said the proposal is not just good for business but good politically.

    “Once they get access to US goods, all of sudden political reform is not so slow to follow," said Murphy.
     


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    A farmer and a property owner in Michigan were installing drainage pipe in a wheat field when they discovered a 3-foot-long bone that were later identified as a part of a mammoth pelvis, the University of Michigan said in a press release.

    University of Michigan paleontologists worked in Lima Township, located about 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, to recover the skeleton of the animal, according to the release. They were able to retrieve the skull and two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs, the pelvis and both shoulder blades.

    The bones came from an adult male mammoth that lived 11,700 to 15,000 years ago, paleontologist Daniel Fisher said. However, the remains have yet to be dated.

    "We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it," Fisher said, according to the release.

    The team said they believe the animal was placed in a pond for storage, explaining that two boulders found near the skeleton may have been used to anchor the carcass, the release said.
     
    "We didn't know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a cow bone," property owner James Bristle said, according to the release.



    Photo Credit: University of Michigan
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Joggers and cyclists in New Haven are on alert after a robbery on a popular shoreline trail. It happened on the Farmington River Canal Trail Thursday night, and police are still searching for the suspects.

    New Haven Police say two men in their 20’s wearing light colored hoodies robbed a 21-year-old man on the trail near Munson Street. The victim was on the way to the City Climb Gym with friends when he says he was pushed off of his bike.

    “It’s definitely a little nerve racking but I don’t have too many ways to get around,” Andrew Barrentine said.

    Barrentine, in his first year at Yale University, says the school sent out an email alerting students about the incident.

    “It said that someone was right at this intersection and that their backpack was stolen,” Barrentine said.

    Police say the suspects took off with the backpack and the bike. The victim was hit several times, but not seriously hurt.

    “I’m going to make my nephew change his route and go home a different way,” Malak Hopes said.

    Police are urging those who use the trail to be on the lookout for the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact New Haven Police.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A cool and rainy Friday night did not stop people from enjoying the end of the work week.

    Many headed to fairs and football games.

    “It wouldn’t be the Berlin Fair if it didn’t rain at least one day,” says Brian Chapman, South Kensington Fire Chief.

    Chapman should know. For more than forty-years, firefighters here have dished out everything from fried clams to ice cream.

    “It’s been doing good. Milkshakes are always a big seller,” says Chapman.

    Friday was the first night of the fair, which goes through the weekend.

    After spending time at the fair, some people caught the other big outdoor event in Berlin. The Redcoats took on Northwest Catholic.

    Cheerleaders dressed in ponchos and rain boots. They rallied die-hard fans who did not have to worry about finding a seat in the bleachers.

    Keeping it dry and warm was a little more challenging.

    “I have a beach towel, blanket, umbrella, winter coat,” says Rhonda Arroyo, Berlin.

    The team says the artificial turf can handle the rain, though the conditions make it more difficult for players to grip the ball.

    In the stands, John Arroyo was making sure his cup of coffee was held tight.

    “Keep me awake and warm. It’s cold out here right now,” says Arroyo.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    One of the heroes credited with taking down a terrorist on a French train would have been attending a class at a community college in Oregon when a gunman opened fire in a mass shooting if he hadn't been at a rehearsal for "Dancing With the Stars."

    Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was one of three Americans credited with stopping a terrorist attack on a train in August, bolted from the "Dancing With the Stars" set when he heard about the massacre and headed straight to Roseburg, Oregon, a community he calls home.

    "It takes a special kind of person to live here," he said. "It's kind of a tough place to make a living and it's a really resilient community and the people who are here are here for a reason. It's definitely a setback, but it's not going to crush this community at all."

    Skarlatos said he was going to take some classes Umpqua Community College if it hadn't been for the unexpected opportunity to appear on the hit reality TV show.

    Skarlatos said he would have tried to take down Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, if he had been in the classroom when Harper-Mercer, an Army boot camp dropout who studied mass shootings, opened fire, killing nine people before he was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police.

    Skarlatos said he was with "Dancing" partner Lindsay Arnold when he received a text from a friend about the shooting. He said he then looked up the news on the Internet to confirm it.

    "I just sat down for a second and then hid in the bathroom so the cameras couldn't see me," he said.

    As far as he knows, none of his friends were among the victims.

    "My heart really goes out to the people who can't say the same," he said.

    Skarlatos and two friends, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and Anthony Sadler, 23, received worldwide acclaim when they tackled the gunman aboard a train while vacationing in Europe. The heroics earned Skarlatos his stint on "Dancing With the Stars."

    The next installment of the competition airs on Monday. If he misses that show he would be eliminated under the rules.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


    Alek SkarlatosAlek Skarlatos

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    Family and friends gathered Friday to remember two women gunned down in a shooting Monday night in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

    A prayer circle set the stage of the vigil for Patricia Chew, 23, and Lolita Wells, 46, the women killed in the shooting. Chew's 11-month-old infant and two other men were also wounded in the shooting. 

    The family was coming back from an outing when a barrage of bullets were shot in the 5300 block of South Aberdeen just after 7 p.m, police said. An 11-month-old suffered a gunshot wound in the shooting and was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition.

    "Her son asks about her I don't have anything to say," Persha Chew, Patricia Chew's sister and Lolita Wells' daughter, said at the vigil.

    Funerals for the two will be held on Wednesday. Meanwhile, family and activists are begging for anyone with information to speak up and "annihilate the code of silence in the streets."


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    A U.S. airstrike in the Afghan city of Kunduz may have killed nine staffers with Doctors Without Borders and 30 other people were missing after a blast in a trauma center on Saturday, NBC News reported.

    A spokesman for U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted at around 2:15 a.m. local time "may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility."

    "I can confirm that U.S. forces conducted an airstrike at approximately 2:15 a.m. (5:54 p.m. ET Friday) this morning October 3, in Kunduz city against individuals threatening the force. The airstrike may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility," Tribus said.

    At least three DWB staff were killed in the bombing and 30 more were unaccounted for, the group said in a statement.

    The DWB trauma center "was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged," the group said. It called the bombing an "aerial attack."
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Afghan security forces inspect the site of a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. The new leader of the Afghan Taliban says their capture of the northern city of Kunduz was a Afghan security forces inspect the site of a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz city, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. The new leader of the Afghan Taliban says their capture of the northern city of Kunduz was a "symbolic victory" that showed the strength of the insurgency — even though the Taliban pulled out of the city after three days.

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    Multiple bombs detonated in two locations of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, killing at least 15 people, the National Emergency Management Agency said Saturday.

    The explosions Friday night were in Nyanya and Kuje, both satellite towns of Abuja, agency spokesman Sani Datti said in a statement. He said 13 people died in the blast in Kuje and two in Nyanya. At least 41 people were wounded, Datti said.

    No group has claimed responsibility but the attack has attributes of others by Boko Haram, the home-grown Islamic extremist group. Boko Haram extremists have largely been carrying out attacks in the country's northeast but occasionally have attacked other towns.

    Violence from Boko Haram's six-year insurgency has killed nearly 20,000 people and displaced 1.4 million from their homes. At least 1,000 people have been killed since President Muhammadu Buhari took office earlier this year with the promise of wiping out the insurgents.

    Four suicide bombers killed at least 10 people Thursday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, the army said. No group claimed responsibility but Nigerian security forces blamed Boko Haram, which is based in the area.

    At least 39 others were wounded in the attack in the Sareji neighborhood of Maiduguri, military spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman said.

    Nigeria's military on Thursday also accused Boko Haram of poisoning water sources in the northeastern Nigeria.

    "Credible information ... indicates that though no human life was lost as a result of the barbaric act of the terrorists. However, some cattle were killed after drinking water from some poisoned sources," Usman said.

    In a separate incident, residents say five people were killed earlier Thursday by suspected Boko Haram militants in Kirchinga, a village in Adamawa state, which borders the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram hideout.

    Ahmad Musa, who fled the attack on his village, said militants shot indiscriminately at residents, forcing many to flee into nearby bushes to escape the onslaught.

    Buhari said Thursday his leadership has taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities.

    "That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets ... is indicative of their cowardice and desperation," he said.



    Photo Credit: File--AP

    People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a market in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Monday June 22, 2015.People gather at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a market in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Monday June 22, 2015.

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    The heavily armed gunman who slaughtered nine people at an Oregon college left a hate-filled note at the scene of his rampage and "felt the world was against him," law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

    Two officials familiar with the contents of the note say 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer, who was killed in after an exchange of gunfire with police Thursday at Umpqua Community College, wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

    He wrote that he was "in a bad way," one official said. "He was depressed, sullen."

    The officials said Mercer lamented the fact that he did not have a girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding: "He felt the world was against him."
     



    Photo Credit: Myspace.com via NBC

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    It was considered a symbolic move — President Lyndon Johnson going to the Statue of Liberty and signing an immigration bill that gave people from every country in the world an equal chance to come to America.

    The president himself described the legislation as less than revolutionary. "It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power," he said during the ceremony on Oct. 3, 1965.

    But, he noted, the new law also would "strengthen us in a hundred unseen ways."

    Fifty years later, there's been dramatic change as a result of the Hart-Celler Act that Johnson signed. A country that was almost entirely native-born in 1965 has a significant foreign-born population; demographic diversity has spread to every region, expanding a black-and-white racial paradigm into a multicolored one. Americans have gleefully adopted musical genres and foods that have immigrant origins, while remaining conflicted and uneasy politically over who's here, legally and not.

    Facts about Hart-Celler, also known as the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965:

    UNEXPECTED OUTCOME

    Pushed by the American families of European immigrants who wanted to bring relatives over, Congress decided to replace the nation's tightly controlled, country-of-origin immigration system with a process that divided visas equally between all countries, giving preference to immigrants with advanced skills and education, or family ties to U.S. citizens.

    For some in Congress, the thought was that virtually nothing would change. At that time, many figured immigrants from European countries would be the main beneficiaries.

    "Historic patterns of immigration had always been from Europe," said Erika Lee, a professor of immigration history at the University of Minnesota. "They were thinking this builds on those patterns."

    However, immigrants from places like Asia and Latin America came to the U.S. as well. Once they were in, they also made use of the family preferences to bring over their parents, children and siblings. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 59 million people have come to the U.S. since 1965, just over half from Latin America and a quarter from Asia.

    OPENING A CLOSED DOOR

    Immigration to the United States had been tightly controlled starting from the late 19th century, with outright bars on people from certain regions like Asia, and in 1924, an immigration law limiting the number of immigrants from a particular country at 2 percent of the population of that country already living in the United States in 1890. Restrictions loosened slightly over the middle 20th century, but it was still very difficult to enter from a non-favored nation.

    As a result, America in the middle part of the 20th century was atypical compared to both the country's origins and where it is now, said Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center.

    In 1965, only 5 percent of people in the United States were foreign-born. He contrasted that to the period between 1860 and 1920, where it was between 13 and 15 percent and where we are now, at 14 percent.

    "Today is more typical than 1970 in terms of the presence of immigrants in the population," he said.

    The U.S. has gone from 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and 1 percent Asian in 1965, to 62 percent white, 11 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian now, the Pew report said. By 2055, no one group is expected to have a majority.

    SOME LACKED PAPERWORK

    The law also led to the contemporary issues of immigrants in the country without legal documentation, said Alan Kraut, history professor at American University.

    Prior to 1965, countries in the Western Hemisphere didn't have quotas, so those in Mexico and Central America could come back and forth fairly regularly. Once the law was enacted, those countries had quotas as well, which were not high enough to meet the built-up demand.

    The law was signed a year after the U.S. formally ended its bracero program, which had allowed temporary workers to come from Mexico for more than 20 years. "Both of these laws really shut the door to a generation of cross-border migration," Lee said.

    Every country getting the same quota has also spurred huge backlogs for places like India, where demand is much higher than in other, less populous nations.

    A CHANGING AMERICA

    The larger U.S. culture has been greatly impacted by immigrants and the cultures they've brought with them, said Jeff Melnick, professor of American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. "You'd have to go really far to find an area of American life that's untouched by the realities of the '65 law," he said.

    He pointed to hip-hop as a prime example, which has roots in the toasting, or chanting over beats, practiced by Jamaican and other Caribbean immigrants and brought with them to New York City.

    Jim Bittner, president and general manager at Bittner-Singer Orchards north of Buffalo, New York, observed that, decades ago, the seasonal farmworkers were mostly Southern blacks who would leave an area when the work was done. Sometime in the 1980s that started to shift, with the workforce becoming increasingly immigrant, predominantly Hispanic.

    But it hasn't been all smooth sailing. Issues of how well America is bringing together all the people who live here now abound in all spheres, from conversations about representation in media and entertainment, to heated political debates about fences and deportations.

    "With one hand, the dominant culture of the U.S. is sort of taking their stuff and saying, 'This is delicious' or 'This is funky' or 'Wow, this is attractive,' while also saying, 'God, I wish those people wouldn't be taking our jobs,'" Melnick said.
     



    Photo Credit: File--AP

    U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson sits at his desk on Liberty Island in New York Harbor on Oct. 3, 1965, as he signs a new immigration bill.  In the background is the New Jersey shore.U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson sits at his desk on Liberty Island in New York Harbor on Oct. 3, 1965, as he signs a new immigration bill. In the background is the New Jersey shore.

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    The Vatican on Saturday fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families.

    Monsignor Kryzstof Charamsa was a mid-level official in the Vatican's doctrine office. In newspaper interviews published in Italy and Poland on Saturday, Charamsa said he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend.

    "The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

    As a result, Charamsa could no longer work at the Vatican or its pontifical universities, Lombardi said.

    Despite his dismissal, Charamsa remains a priest, although Lombardi hinted that his superiors could take further action.

    Charamsa had planned a press conference in Rome for midday on Saturday to discuss his sexual orientation and criticize the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for spreading "pervasive and blind homophobia," but was pre-empted by the Vatican action.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, left, and his boyfriend Eduard, surname not given, pose for a photo as they leave a restaurant after a press conference in downtown Rome, Saturday Oct. 3, 2015.Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, left, and his boyfriend Eduard, surname not given, pose for a photo as they leave a restaurant after a press conference in downtown Rome, Saturday Oct. 3, 2015.

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    Presidential candidate Jeb Bush drew a rebuke from the president for comments he made Friday about the university shooting that left nine people and a gunman dead in Oregon the day before.

    Speaking at a campaign stop in South Carolina, Bush urged caution on the government's reaction to the Umpqua Community College shooting, using the phrase "stuff happens" in reference to crises.

    "I resist the notion -- and I had this challenge as governor -- 'cause look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do," Bush said.

    Bush called the shooting "heartbreaking," but was speaking about the larger issue of how to set rules in the face of tragedy. 

    "We're taking people's rights away each time we do that and we're not necessarily focusing on the right challenge," he said.

    He said "the best laws" are usually at the state level.

    Bush's campaign addressed the outrage over his comments in statement:

    “It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political agenda in the wake of a tragedy. Taking shameless advantage of a horrific tragedy is wrong and only serves to prey on people's emotions.”

    President Barack Obama was asked to respond to Bush’s comments at a news conference Friday afternoon.

    "I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgment based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And they can decide whether they consider that 'stuff happening,'" Obama said.

    Bush, pressed by a reporter in Greenville about the phrase "stuff happens," said the choice of wording was not a mistake but about tragedies in general. He cited as an example an "impulse" to pass a law about fencing after a child drowns in a pool. 



    Photo Credit: File - AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Bedford, N.H., in this file photo.Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Bedford, N.H., in this file photo.

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    An Enfield dentist who was charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of a patient in 2014 has been placed on probation for two years and was granted accelerated rehabilitation.

    Dr. Rashmi Patel apologized for the death of his patient, Judith Gan, 64, of Ellington, when he
    appeared in court on Friday to answer to the charges with criminally negligent homicide and tampering with physical evidence. 

    Gan's daughter said she forgives him.

    "I choose to honor my Mom, her kindness and compassion. A lot of that's through forgiveness," Maggie Garden, of Wethersfield, said.

    Patel, a first-time offender, will also have to donate $1,000 over the next two years to a charity Patel would have supported. That was one of the conditions of being granted probation.

    Gan went to Patel's office Enfield office on Feb. 17, 2014 to have 20 teeth extractions, bone grafting and implants installed when she became unresponsive. She was then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she was pronounced dead.

    [[267406091,C]]

    In May, the state suspended Patel's license and the State Dental Commission held several days of hearings to determine whether the dentist's license should be re-instated and members found that Patel failed to respond appropriately when Gan's oxygen levels dropped.

    [[263724171,C]]

    In December, he was placed on five years of monitored probation, but the move to revoke his license altogether was denied.

    Patel had offices in Torrington and Enfield, where the negligent homicide took place, and he has surrendered his license to practice dentistry in Connecticut. On Sept. 10. he signed a voluntary agreement not to renew or reinststate his license.

    While Patel is on probation he faces civil proceedings, and attorney Richard Kenny said he is confident they will be resolved in probate court. 

    Patel's attorney, Hubert Santos, refused to comment on the case, but the criminal proceedings are over.

     

     


     



    Photo Credit: Enfield Police

    Dr. Rashmi Patel was been arrested in connection with a patient's death and has been granted ARD and probation.Dr. Rashmi Patel was been arrested in connection with a patient's death and has been granted ARD and probation.

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    A 27-year-old Hartford mother who was charged in connection with the death of her 1-year-old son, forgot the baby in a tub with the water running, according to court documents released Friday.

    The child, Antonio Armando Delgado Jr., was found unconscious in the bathtub on Elmer Street in July, just four days after his first birthday, and later died.

    His mother, Tamara Santana, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

    According to court documents, Santana told police she took a shower and then washed her 1-year-old in the shower with her, before placing the boy on the floor of the tub and getting out to dry herself off.  She told officers she then walked out of the bathroom and checked Facebook for about 5 minutes.  It was then that she told police she heard water running and ran back into the bathroom to find the baby face down in the water, according to court documents.

    The baby's father told officers he woke up from a nap, heard the water running and found the child unconscious in the tub while Santana was in the kitchen.  He has not been charged.

    Santana has been in prison on unrelated charges. When she appeared in court on Friday for the newest charges, bond was set at $600,000.

    Her public defender called it "academic."

    Police said both of Antonio's parents were home when the incident happened and tried to drive the boy to the hospital, but stopped for help when they saw firefighters on Sigourney Street.

    The fire crew began CPR on the baby and then rushed him to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, but the child had suffered life-threatening injuries and was removed from life support.

    The office of the medical examiner's office has not determined the cause of death.


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    Hundreds of walkers raised tens of thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association, Saturday. Despite the rain, people flooded into Rentschler Field for the annual Hartford Heart Walk. The event was a family affair for Leigh Pechillo.

    “When my son was a baby he was diagnosed with two congenital heart defects and had open heart surgery, six months after that my father had quadruple bypass surgery,” said Pechillo.

    At the age of 44, Pechillo could not escape the silent killer herself.

    “On Mother’s Day I actually collapsed at home after having heart burn, of a massive heart attack, and my husband saved my life using CPR,” she said.

    Physical fitness is key to a healthy heart. Before the walk stepped off, Albert Staten of West Hartford was recognized for the changes he’s made since his heart attack.

    “I’ve actually started to eat differently, I’m reading more labels than I ever read before as far as what I purchase. I’m actually starting to learn how to cook,” said Staten.

    The goal is to raise $250,000 this year. Donations are still being accepted online: http://heartwalk.kintera.org.

    “The money we raise here really goes to fund research and a lot of important community based activities,” said Garth Graham, chair of this year’s event, and President of the Aetna Foundation.

    From programs that teach CPR, to advocating healthy lifestyles, and research to end this deadly disease. Not only is heart disease the number one killer of men and women, but stroke is number four.

    The money will also help young heart patients.

    “At the Children’s Hospital we do about 150 cardiac surgeries every year,” said Dr. Seth Lapuk, a pediatric cardiologist at Connecticut Children’s Hospital.

    Startled by his wife’s episode, Pechillo’s husband got checked out this summer and learned he had a congenital heart defect that had gone undetected his entire life.

    “It’s a killer and we need to do everything we can to help save more lives and create more survivors,” Pechillo said.
     


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    Singer/songwriter Josh Groban wasn't walking alone when he took to the stage at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford last week. He had a choir of Connecticut college students performing a couple songs from his new album with him.

    "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Anthem" from Groban's new "Stages" album now have special meaning to Eastern Connecticut State University's Eastern Chamber Singers.

    The chorus accompanied Groban with back-up vocals for both the songs live at the concert on Sept. 26.

    “It feels absolutely unreal to have been part of this experience,” said Tiara Lussier, an English major at Eastern in the class of 2019. “It's amazing coming in as a new student at Eastern, becoming part of such a welcoming group, and only a few weeks into the semester, getting an email saying ‘change of plans, we’re singing with Josh Groban!’ It was a very enlightening experience; it made me realize that music really is what I want to do in life.”

    They were recruited to perform because they were the "top recommended ensemble in the area," according to a news release from the university.

    “I am elated that Eastern Chamber Singers' reputation in the music community has reached such heights that we were sought out for this concert,” said David Belles, conductor of the Eastern Chamber Singers. “It is a reminder that hard work, focus and dedication to excellence pays off in the most unexpected ways.”



    Photo Credit: Eastern Connecticut State University

    Eastern Connecticut State University students performed Eastern Connecticut State University students performed "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Anthem" with Josh Groban at Oakdale Theatre on Sept. 26, 2015.

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    A gas stove is the suspected source of an explosion Saturday that killed a woman, injured three passersby and devastated a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York. 

    The 1 p.m. blast tore the facade from the front of a building on 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park, fire officials said.

    The explosion might have been sparked while a high-end stove was being disconnected from a gas line, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during a news conference with Mayor de Blasio. Investigators believe the blast occurred on the second floor, he said.

    The woman who died was found in a stairwell near the second floor, the commissioner said. Her identity wasn't disclosed. Firefighters believe she was the only person in the building.

    A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building, Nigro said. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.

    Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly brought under control. Five firefighters sustained minor injuries, Nigro said.

    It appears that the building is home to housewares store and several apartments. The building was severely damaged and could collapse, fire officials said.

    "We will be doing a full investigation," said de Blasio.

    The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.

    "This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."

    On March 26, a gas line exploded at a Sushi restaurant in the East Village. Two men were killed and 25 others were injured. Evidence indicated that someone had tampered with the gas lines or meters, investigators said at the time.

    The East Village incident occurred one year after a similar blast killed eight people in an East Harlem building. Federal investigators released a a report a few months ago that blamed the explosion on poorly crafted pipe-joint and an old sewer line that cause a gas line to break.


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    Dallas police say they have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting a Dallas dentist last month at her Uptown apartment parking garage.

    Kristopher Love, 31, is charged with capital murder and is being held on a $2.5 million bond, Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron announced in a Friday evening press conference.

    Love also faces a federal charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Geron said when Love was arrested, he was allegedly in possession of the weapon believed to have been used in the murder.

    Jail records did not list an attorney for Love Friday.

    Geron said an alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Brenda Delgado, is wanted on a capital murder charge and is considered a fugitive.

    Murder in Uptown Parking Garage Sept. 2

    Kendra Hatcher, 35, was fatally shot Sept. 2 in the parking garage of her Uptown apartment complex.

    Geron said investigators believe the motive in the deadly shooting was murder-for-hire. Delgado is suspected of having a role in the planning of the murder, Geron said.

    Police said Hatcher pulled into the garage at her residence, the Gables Park 17 apartments on Cedar Springs Road, and parked her vehicle at about 7:45 p.m.

    Sometime before Hatcher arrived home, the driver of a Jeep Cherokee followed another driver into the garage and parked, according to Geron, with the Dallas Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Division.

    While Hatcher parked, Geron said, someone got out of the Cherokee and appeared to approach Hatcher. Police said witnesses then described hearing a gunshot and the person who exited the Cherokee then returned to the vehicle and drove away.

    Hatcher was found deceased next to her car.

    Woman Arrested on Capital Murder Charge

    Dallas police said 23-year-old Crystal Cortes admitted her involvement in the murder.

    According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Cortes told detectives she was behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee spotted by a witness on the the night Hatcher was shot and killed.

    Cortes told detectives she was paid $500 to drive a man to that parking garage for a robbery. She also said that man she drove is the shooter, according to the affidavit.

    According to an arrest affidavit, Love admitted to his role in the robbery which resulted in Hatcher's death.

    Cortes was arrested Sept. 4 and also faces a capital murder charge.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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    Gov. Cuomo has created a scholarship and fellowship honoring former aide Carey Gabay, who was fatally shot after being caught in gang crossfire.

     

    The scholarship will be awarded annually to five students at State University of New York schools and will cover the full cost of attendance.

    The fellowship is open to attorneys interested in public service. Winners will spend two years in the office of the counsel to the governor focusing on issues relating to violence and poverty.

    To be eligible for the programs applicants must come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Gabay was shot in the head during a predawn party celebrating the West Indian Day Parade Sept. 7. He died Sept. 15. No arrests have been made.

    The 43-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer served as first deputy general counsel at the Empire State Development Corp.



    Photo Credit: AP

    A legal aide for Gov. Cuomo, Carey Gabay (inset), was shot near the route of the West Indian Day Parade early Monday morning. Earlier in the day a man was stabbed to death at the location. It was one of several outbursts of violence in the neighborhoods surrounding the parade, which included the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man at this scene. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)A legal aide for Gov. Cuomo, Carey Gabay (inset), was shot near the route of the West Indian Day Parade early Monday morning. Earlier in the day a man was stabbed to death at the location. It was one of several outbursts of violence in the neighborhoods surrounding the parade, which included the stabbing death of a 24-year-old man at this scene. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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    Temperatures are below average for this time of year on this drizzly Saturday.

    It will be chilly Saturday, reaching the upper 40s to low 50s.

    There will be drizzle and wind throughout the day.

    It should get drier toward the evening.

    Sunday will be cloudy with passing showers.

    This week we'll see a break in showers and nicer temperatures.


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