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    Some Connecticut lawmakers are frustrated by drivers who ignore the state's ban on talking and texting on hand-held cellphones. They now want insurance companies to know when their customers break the law.

    Lawmakers hope the prospect of higher insurance rates will encourage people to hang up and drive.

    A bill supported by leaders of the legislature's Transportation Committee is awaiting action in the House of Representatives. It would add distracted driving to the list of moving violations that would be made available to insurance companies.

    Currently, if people violate the distracted driving law, they have to pay a fine and their insurer is none the wiser.

    The bill also increases fines. They now range from $125 to $300. Under the bill, they'd range from $150 to $400.

    Associated Press/NBC Connecticut
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A mental health patient obsessed by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School is in custody after escaping from an Orange County, California facility the day before, authorities said.

    Norris Phuoc Nguyen returned to the Royale Health Care Center at 4 p.m. Saturday, said Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.

    Friday afternoon, Nguyen walked away from the Royale Health Care Center, where he has been detained since December 2012.

    Police said the 23-year-old told them he visited a friend while he was away from the facility, and it does not appear Nguyen committed any crimes while he was gone.

    Authorities became familiar with Nguyen -- who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and repeatedly detained and institutionalized -- in August 2011. At that time, he walked into the Westminster Police Department dressed in camouflage and holding an assault rifle, saying he wanted to "die by cop," Garden Grove Police Chief Kevin Raney said.

    The weapon was not loaded, the chief said, adding that Nguyen did not have a permit for the firearm.

    Nguyen was questioned, and police found he was fixated on a teacher at an elementary school he had attended in Northern California, Raney said, declining to name the school.

    "We have statements and we have the firm belief that he is committed, unfortunately, to harming children at this specific school," Raney said.

    Nguyen had been detained periodically since then, Raney said, until it became apparent in interviews with him in December that he was obsessed by the massacre that left 26 dead at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012.

    Nguyen has spoken repeatedly both about protecting children and endangering them, Raney said.

    Nearly two weeks ago, Nguyen's mother, who lives in Huntington Beach, tried to gain custody of her son at a court hearing, but the judge refused to have him released, Raney said.


    Norris Phuoc Nguyen, pictured in an image from his Facebook page, escaped from a mental health facility on Friday, May 3, 2013.Norris Phuoc Nguyen, pictured in an image from his Facebook page, escaped from a mental health facility on Friday, May 3, 2013.

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    Uranie Roberts only has one way to describe it.

    "It's a miracle," she said.

    Lost for half a year, her beloved pet cat “Porsche” somehow found his way home.

    Last November, Roberts and her family, including Porsche, had to be evacuated by boat from their home in the Chadwick Beach Island section of Toms River after Superstorm Sandy hit the area. The family temporarily relocated to a relative’s home in Point Pleasant Borough before returning to Toms River. While the family was in Point Pleasant however, Porsche went missing.

    “He got out of the house and that was the last we saw of him,” said Carol Baumann, Uranie’s daughter.

    Baumann believed Porsche was gone for good. That was until Wednesday when she heard the familiar sound of meowing coming from the back deck of their Toms River home. When she walked towards it, she saw something she never thought she would see again.

    “I saw the green eyes and I said, ‘My God in heaven, it’s Porsche!’” said Baumann.

    Somehow the cat managed to travel eight miles through storm destruction, traffic and even over a bridge to get back to his original home.

    “It’s just amazing how he found his way home,” said Baumann. “I wish he could talk.”

    Baumann and Roberts plan to have Porsche checked out by a vet next week. They say however that it doesn’t look like he missed many meals in the past six months.

    “You could see he was eating,” said Uranie. “His fur is sleek and soft.”

    Whether he’s just extremely resourceful or truly does have nine lives, Baumann and Roberts are just glad to have him back.

    “It’s wonderful,” said Baumann. “I missed him so bad.”
     



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    Thousands of bikers plan to ride through Newtown today to raise money for those affected by December's shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Organizers say about 3,000 people are expected to participate in Sunday's Green Ribbon Ride, which will start in Shelton and end in Trumbull.

    Several  streets will be closed as the bikers make their way through the bike course.

    Money raised in the charity ride is slated to go to several charities, including the Sandy Hook Family Healing Fund, Newtown Police Union and Newtown's volunteer fire companies.

    Beginning at  7 a.m., Shelton police officers will be closing the following roads:

    1. HOWE AVENUE - From Wharf Street to Center Street - BOTH SIDES.
    2. HOWE AVENUE - From Center Street to Bridge Street - EAST SIDE OR NORTHBOUND CURB.
    3. CANAL STREET - From Wharf Street to Bridge Street - BOTH SIDES.
    4. CORNELL STREET - From Howe Avenue to Canal Street - BOTH SIDES.
    5. HILL STREET - From Howe Avenue to Canal Street - BOTH SIDES.
    6. WHARF STREET - From Howe Avenue to Canal Street - BOTH SIDES.
     

    There is also  a parking ban on all closed streets. The roads will remain closed until 12:30 .m.



    Photo Credit: Fred and Dora Morn

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    Five women in their 30s died Saturday night when a stretch limousine burst into flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over the San Francisco Bay, police confirmed to NBC News.

    Four other people in the limo escaped with burn and smoke inhalation injuries, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said. The car's driver was unhurt. 

    Montiel said the women were "probably killed by the fire," though the cause of death has not been confirmed,NBC News reported.

    Witnesses told NBC Bay Area the white Lincoln Town Car was not involved in an accident prior to catching on fire. It was not clear what could have sparked the flames. 

    The car was driving from Alameda to Foster City, Montiel said.

    When asked if an "explosion" had occurred, Montiel told NBC News it was unconfirmed, however he did say the "vehicle was partially engulfed."'

    A viewer named David Solomon sent in the picture above that he said of was of the limo.

    The fire was first reported around 10 p.m. in the third lane of westbound state Highway 92, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

    The bridge, located about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco, connects San Mateo and Alemada counties. The westbound lanes were closed for several hours.

     

     



    Photo Credit: David Solomon

    The limo caught fire trapping people inside, according to witnesses.The limo caught fire trapping people inside, according to witnesses.

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  • 05/04/13--08:03: Glimmer Needs a Home

  • In March, animal control officers in Waterbury found Precious, a 1-year-old pit bull mix, suffering from severe burns after receiving a call about a dog needed treatment.

    Now she is doing well, goes by the name Glimmer, and needs a forever home. 

    When officials found Glimmer, they said she might have suffered a severe case of mange and someone tried to treat it, but made the situation worse and Glimmer was suffering severe burns. 

    She was rushed to a hospital for treatment and Halfway Home, a North Haven-based rescue group, also stepped up and took over financial responsibility for medical care.

    Now, two months later, Glimmer is doing well and needs a forever home. 

    Glimmer and many other animals in need of a home are at Petsmart at 53 Boston Post Road in Orange today.

    The pet adoption event goes on until 4 p.m.

     

     

     


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    A six-year-old Florida girl was in critical condition Sunday after being shot by her 13-year-old brother Saturday night in Oakland Park, north of Fort Lauderdale Saturday night.

    According to neighbors, the children were playing a game when the shooting occurred.

    "They were playing hide and go seek. I don't know how it went down but he shot his sister," said neighbor Peter Milano.

    Milano saw a frantic woman he thought was the children's aunt running down the block.

    "She came up to me 'Is she ok? Is she ok?' At the time I didn't know what she was talking about," Milano said.

    The two children were home alone when the shooting happened, said Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office.

    Homicide detectives spent time talking with the 13-year-old. Neighbors said he drew pictures for investigators as he described what happened.

    "The kids probably, well, how could you  feel, you just shot your sister," Milano said.

    Though detectives are specially trained to deal with the most sensitive situations, Moschella said the fact that two children are involved made this job that much more difficult.

    "It is very difficult when dealing with children, specifically children who've been through a very traumatic situation," she said. "This family will never be the same after tonight, no matter how it ends up."

    The Child Protective Investigative Section was at the scene. Detectives believe the shooting was accidental and were still trying to determine exactly how the teen got access to the gun. It is still unclear whether charges will be filed as the investigation continues.

    The 6-year-old is in critical condition at Broward Health Medical Center.

     



    Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

    A 6-year-old girl was shot by her 13-year-old brother in Oakland Park according to investigators.A 6-year-old girl was shot by her 13-year-old brother in Oakland Park according to investigators.

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    New Haven police say a 21-year-old man is in critical condition after being thrown from the hood of a car he was riding on as part of a game.

    Michael Carey, of Huntington Street in New Haven, was conscious and speaking with investigators on Saturday night despite his injuries. Police say he flew off the hood after the driver, Naquasia Ricks of West Haven, hit the brakes.

    Police say Carey willingly rode on the hood as part of what they called a dangerous game. They say there was no criminal involvement.

    Carey was taken to Yale New Haven hospital, where he is recovering.

    Two passengers were in the car at the time of the incident. Police are continuing to investigate.
     

    Associated Press/NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Police say a man surrendered to face charges in the deaths of a couple who were struck by a car when they were forced to walk on a Milford street because the sidewalk hadn't been cleared of snow.

    Police say the Tanksi family was walking on the shoulder of the road on Feb. 11 because a blizzard had covered the sidewalk with snow when they were hit. Fifty-three-year-old Kevin Tanksi died two days later, and his wife, 51-year-old Brenda Tanksi, died five days after the crash.

    Their 21-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries. A fourth relative wasn't injured. An arrest warrant was issued for the driver, 31-year-old James Dorso, who faces manslaughter and reckless driving charges.

    Police say Dorso turned himself in on Saturday. He was released on $25,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on May 28. A telephone listing for Dorso couldn't be found.
     

    Associated Press/NBC Connecticut


    James Dorso II of Milford was arrested for running over husband and wife, Kevin and Brenda Tanski with his Ford Explorer on February 11th.James Dorso II of Milford was arrested for running over husband and wife, Kevin and Brenda Tanski with his Ford Explorer on February 11th.

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    Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would charge users for making certain 911 calls.

    Legislators say a statewide law would clear up confusion about local mandates, such as the New Britain ordinance charging landlords for property complaint calls. New Britain officials say residents are not charged for these calls, and that the law is designed to hold landlords accountable.

    Opponents, such as the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, worry that the bill will discourage people from reporting real emergencies.

    The bill will be discussed in a Planning and Development Committee meeting on Monday.


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    Two bicyclists were injured in a hit-and-run crash in Granby Sunday afternoon, police said.

    A dark green Chevrolet Blazer, which looked to be a 1990's model, was driving northbound when it struck two bicyclists in the Creamery Hill area of Day Street.

    The vehicle fled the scene. Police described the front passenger as a heavyset blond woman.

    The bicyclists were transported by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center, where they are recovering from serious injuries.

    Police are still looking for the involved vehicle. Anyone with information is requested to contact Granby Police at 860-844-5335.

     


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    A motorcycle driver was seriously injured after crashing on Rt. 9 southbound this morning, state police said.

    The motorcycle was traveling southbound near exit 21 when driver Robie Irizarry, 60, lost control and crashed, according to police.

    Irizarry received serious injuries and was transported to Hartford Hospital for treatment. The entire right side of his motorcycle was damaged.

    Police have not identified the cause of the accident. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call State Police Troop H at 860-534-1000.

     


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    Accidentally spending $1 more than usual on Lotto Tickets paid off for a single mother of four in Southern California to the tune of $14 million.

    Thuan Le bought her winning SuperLotto Plus last week at a Mission Viejo CVS (map), where she typically buys $4 worth of Powerball tickets and $1 on a SuperLotto Plus ticket.

    When Le noticed she accidentally put $6 into the self-service machine, she took her chances on an extra – would-be winning – SuperLotto Plus ticket.

    Le checked the winning ticket with her friend. After ticking off the matching numbers one by one, Le was so excited, she ran screaming from the store, according to a news release from California Lottery.

    A single mother of four sons, Le said she plans to use her winnings to buy a house, travel and visit her parents in Vietnam.

    One of Le’s sons thought his mother was kidding when she called, exuberant to share the news.

    "We thought she was joking," her son told Lotto officials, "but we thought would she really joke like this? My older brother said, 'yes, she would.'"

    Le’s lucky numbers were 5, 33, 25, 46, 32, and the Mega number 26. CVS Pharmacy will receive a bonus of one half percent, or $70,000, for selling the winning ticket.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    An Oxford woman charged with 41 counts of cruelty to animals will be arraigned today.

    Karen Desrosiers, 46, was arrested two months after officials seized malnourished animals from her property. She turned herself in to state police after learning there was warrant for her arrest, according to a news release from state police.

    Officials began investigating when the Oxford Animal Control received a complaint about a roaming animal on Feb. 20, according to state police.

    A search warrant issued for the property in February said horses and donkeys had badly overgrown hooves and skin conditions and no water. No hay and little animal feed was seen on the property, which was littered with construction equipment and old cars, according to state police, and one horse appeared to have wounds and injuries, though officials could not determine how they occurred.

    Four dogs, a cat, a horse, a donkey and a pig were seized from Desrosiers’ home in February.

    Police said the animals, including two miniature horses, a goat and 18 chickens, were kept in cages and corrals around the property.

    Desrosiers was released after posting a $5,000 non-surety bond.

    Officials from the state Department of Agriculture said Santana, the large horse, is still recouping and has a very long road ahead.

    Several other animals are OK and have been placed into homes.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A woman has been charged with 41 counts of animal cruelty two months after animals were seized from her property.A woman has been charged with 41 counts of animal cruelty two months after animals were seized from her property.

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    Gold medalist Gabby Douglas is crisscrossing the country, promoting her book.

    Douglas describes "Raising the Bar" as a big scrapbook with pictures, quotes, thoughts and memories.

    She said she hasn't been back to the gym since winning gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London but is headed back soon.

    "It's going to be hard, but I'm ready for it," she said.

    "I think I'm going to ease on in to it," she added, laughing.

    And she hasn't ruled out the 2016 Olympics.

    "I hope to see myself in another Olympics, and there's so many great opportunities that I could be doing, acting, producing, hosting," she said.

    The 17-year-old also hasn't ruled out college, though she said it's hard for gymnasts to do that while they're still competing.


    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas pens new book.Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas pens new book.

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    A 40-year-old Bridgeport man was killed in a crash on Interstate 95 in West Haven on Sunday afternoon.

    Officials said Michael Cooney, 40, of Bridgeport,was riding a motorcycle and hit the back of a Jeep on I-95 northbound between exits 42 and 43 just before 4:20 p.m.

    Cooney was thrown from his bike, officials said.

    The northbound section of I-95 remained closed until about 8:30 p.m., officials said.

    What caused the crash is not known, but officials said there was heavy traffic at the time.

     

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: Kristie Santana

    A man was killed in a crash on Interstate 95.A man was killed in a crash on Interstate 95.

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    A father and his sons were pulled from the Pacific Ocean Saturday in a daring rescue lifeguard are calling miraculous.

    A San Diego-based commercial fishing boat turned into a rescue boat after finding the three men drifting in the ocean two miles off the coast of La Jolla.

    One of the victims was unconscious in the water when the crew on the fishing boat found him.

    The men had been in the water for hours after their boat capsized according to RJ Hudson, captain of the charter boat New Seaforth.

    "We saw a man waving his hands and he looked like he clearly needed some help," said a passenger on the charter boat.

    The crew reacted quickly - calling for help and maneuvering for a rescue.

    "That crew on board the New Seaforth - they did a heroic job of getting the three people on board their boat in my opinion," said Lt. John Everhart with San Diego Lifeguard Services.

    But it wasn't just the crew working to save lives - it was an all hands effort.

    “We pulled him on the boat pulled him out of the way a couple other people stared CPR immediately," said Steve, one of the rescuers.

    Six people including three registered nurses performed CPR on the unconscious victim, taking turns to keep him alive.

    Christina Barrett was one of them.

    "It was pretty intense and scary,” Barrett said. “He was making movements so we were just yelling at him come on keep breathing."

    San Diego lifeguards arrived within 20 minutes and took over first aid as New Seaforth made it back to shore.

    "They worked as hard as they could to get him back and he came back and it was good to see him spit some water out and take a breath on his own," Steve said.

    Hudson said the victims were a 47-year-old man and his two sons, ages 24 and 18.
     


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  • 05/06/13--05:35: 2 Hurt in Wethersfield Crash

  • At least two people were taken to the hospital after a sport utility vehicle hit a Department of Transportation truck in Wethersfield early Monday morning. 

    Wethersfield Police said the crash happened in the area of 1770 Berlin Turnpike.

    The road reopened just before 4 a.m.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    At least two people were taken to the hospital after a crash on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield.At least two people were taken to the hospital after a crash on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield.

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    A single-family house on Overlook Driver in Terryville sustained some smoke damage from a fire that broke out just after 12:30 a.m. on Monday, but no one was hurt.

    Investigators said the fire broke out in the boiler room and firefighters extinguished it quickly so it did not spread.

    Everyone inside got out safely.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A fire broke out in a boiler room of a house on Overlook Drive in Terryville.A fire broke out in a boiler room of a house on Overlook Drive in Terryville.

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    A bridal shower turned tragic on Saturday when five women died after the stretch limousine they were riding in burst into flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over the San Francisco Bay.

    Orville Brown, 46, the driver of the limousine, escaped unhurt. He told NBC Bay Area he thought the women were trying to get his attention to ask him to pull over so that they could smoke.

    “She said, 'No smoke - smoke smoke…pull over pull over pull over.' I saw the smoke, pulled over, by the time I was getting out the car there was a lady coming over the partition,” Brown said.

    Brown helped three other women come through the same partition to safety, he said.

    “We were all in shock. Scared. Crying. Frustrated," he said. "I just reach out to the families and wish we could have done more.”

    Brown said he thinks the fire may have been triggered by an electrical problem.  

    A bride was among the women killed and was identified by her sister-in-law Lovela Nicolas as Neriza Fojas. A family member told NBC Bay Area Fojas was recently married here in the United States, but was also planning a wedding in the Philippines on June 19. 

    Fojas was a registered nurse at Fresno Community Regional Medical Center, according to her family. The other four victims who did not survive were not identified Sunday night. 

    Four other people in the limo escaped with burn and smoke inhalation injuries, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said. The car's driver was unhurt. 

    The CHP credited good Samaritans who stopped and helped some of the women get out. 

    San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault told NBC Bay Area that the scene was the worst he had witnessed in his 20 years on the job.

    He said it was obvious to him that the women were trying to get out of the vehicle and were overcome by smoke. "My understanding is that three passengers got out the side back door on the drivers side, and one made it out the passenger compartment window successfully - to the driver's compartment," Fourcrault said.

    The coroner said three of the women made it out the back door on the driver's side. One made it through the divider into the driver's area. That is different than the driver described.  

    Fourcrault said four women who did not survive and were found near the front of the passenger compartment as if they were trying to get to the driver's area through the privacy divider. The coroner's office plans to use dental records Monday to positively identify the victims.  

    The highway patrol officer on the scene Saturday night said the women were "probably killed by the fire," though the cause of death has not been confirmed.

    Witnesses told NBC Bay area the white Lincoln Town Car was not involved in an accident prior to catching on fire.

    While the names of those killed have not been released, the CHP released the names, ages and hometowns of the women who survived and the driver. 

    The passengers who survived were Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose; Mary G. Guardiano, 42, of Alameda; Nelia Arrellano, 36, of Oakland; and Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro. 

    The surviving passengers were taken to Valley Medical Center and Stanford Hospital for treatment for burns and smoke inhalation.

    The bridge, located about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco, connects San Mateo and Alemada counties. The car was driving from Alameda to a hotel in Foster City, authorities said.

    A viewer named David Solomon sent in the still photo above.  The photos show the fire was in the rear of the vehicle. 

    The fire was first reported around 10 p.m. in the third lane of westbound state Highway 92, according to the CHP.

    A viewer sent us the below video from the scene.

     



    Photo Credit: David Solomon

    The limo fire was not preceded by a crash. It was not clear what sparked the fire.The limo fire was not preceded by a crash. It was not clear what sparked the fire.

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