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    A man’s body was found on a sandbar on the Connecticut River in Windsor on Friday morning and police have identified him as Lester H. Eldridge Jr., 56, of Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  

    Windsor police said they responded to the area of the Bissell Bridge Boat Launch at 8:10 a.m., then police and the Windsor Fire Department found Eldridge's body after launching a boat in the Connecticut River from East Barber Street.

    Eldridge dissapeared on May 14 from the area of South Street Bridge in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    Massachusetts State Police and the office of the chief medical examiner here in Connecticut are investigating.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A body was found near a boat launch in Windsor.A body was found near a boat launch in Windsor.

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    State police said they have found the vehicle that struck and killed a man on Route 44 in Barkhamsted on Friday and are holding it as evidence.

    A dark gray Toyota Tacoma was traveling east on Route 44 and attempted to turn left into the Log House Restaurant parking lot just after 9 p.m. on Friday when the driver hit a 50 cc black dirt bike and fled, police said.

    The dirt bike driver, 23-year-old Zachary Dube, 23, was brought to Hartford Hospital and died of injuries at 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, according to police. 

    Police were looking for a 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma in Magnetic Gray/Dark Gray with front end, front bumper, fog light bezel and passenger side damage.

    Authorities found the vehicle on Sunday evening and it is being held as evidence as police investigate.

    Anyone with information is asked to call (860) 626-1840 or text TIP711 with the info to 236748.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    This is a similar vehicle to the one involved in the crash Friday.This is a similar vehicle to the one involved in the crash Friday.

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    In the 40 years since fires sparked by lightning have been allowed to burn unabated in a section of Yosemite National Park, ecologist Scott Stephens has watched extensive conifer forests grow back as a patchwork of not just trees, but also meadows with wetland plants.

    Places in the Illilouette Creek Basin that were typically dry are now covered with four inches of water, said Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California at Berkeley.

    "And, amazingly a lot of these places maintain this wetness even during this four-year drought," he said.

    Those wet fields are assuming even more importance as parts of California face a heightened risk of fire this summer. Climate change has left the state’s winters drier and springs warmer, and it is beginning the fifth year of a drought so harsh that it has killed more than 29 million trees. The severe weather is even threatening the iconic giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    As the U.S. Forest Service revises how it manages its 193 million acres — with three forests in California's Sierra Nevada among the first to implement a new approach — Stephens and other fire scientists are urging it to go forward with plans to allow more fires to burn through dry vegetation. The accumulation of brush and grasses over decades makes it dangerous to try to put out every fire, he and six colleagues wrote in the journal Science last fall. Suppressing fires repeatedly simply promises more disastrous fires in the future. 

    "We’ve got to change course in the way we manage fire," Stephens said. 

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week warned about a potentially fiery season not only in Southern California, but also in the Great Basin of Nevada, portions of the Southwest and Florida and Hawaii.

    To prepare for the summer, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has hired 400 seasonal firefighters across the state whose focus will be on setting prescribed fires, removing dead trees, creating fire breaks, cutting back dense brush, and otherwise preventing fires.

    Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for Cal Fire, said the department had already fought 900 wildfires since the beginning of the year. 

    "All of those dead trees that are near homes are all fuel for wildfires," he said.

    Sixteen of the most historically significant wildfires on record, as designated by the federal government, erupted over the last 10 years, Vilsack noted. The most recent: The Rim Fire which burned 257,000 acres in the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada in 2013, one of the largest fires in California’s history.

    "We keep setting records we don’t want to see beat," Vilsack said in a statement after a briefing from the U.S. Forest Service, the primary federal firefighting service.

    Stephens was working in the Stanislaus National Forest at the time and recalls thinking how susceptible it would be to a high-severity fire. Nearly three years later, he compares its devastation to the landscape in the Illilouette — up to 20,000 acres of nothing but dead trees in the Stanislaus National Forest to small plots of only 3 to 5 acres on average of similar destruction in the Illilouette.

    "It's small," he said. "The forest is able to maintain itself. That's the key -- just having forests being able to maintain themselves, regenerate, evolve. The Rim Fire, that’s really different, terrible."

    The National Park Service began allowing so-called lightning fires to burn themselves out in Illilouette in the early 1970s. Most run into each other, Stephens said, and if an area has been permitted to burn in the last decade, the chance that a new fire will not spread is 90 percent or more.

    What was once an unbroken thick forest with a dense canopy now has gaps of up to 4 acres throughout, with sections of thinned woods that are more resilient to fire, he said. 

    Lauren Ponisio, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley, looked at the types of wildlife present in the Illilouette, especially bees, the most abundant group of pollinators there. Over two years she and others caught about 8,000 individual bees, representing about 160 species.

    "People don’t usually think of forests as really important places for bees," she said. "It is because when we think of forests, we think of these fire-suppressed forests, these closed canopy forests, but when you’re out in the Illilouette, it's just so heterogenous."

    In areas where there had been a mix of how often fires had burned and with what severity, there was more diversity of flowering plants and pollinators, she said. For every 5 percent increase in the diversity of the fires, there was one additional species of plants and one species of pollinators, she said.

    "One of the most widely supported theories in ecology is this idea that diversity begets diversity and so fire diversity begets habitat diversity which begets the diversity of wildlife," she said. "You have this nice relationship. And fire’s maintaining that."

    The National Park Service, with its 84 million acres of parks, has led the way in allowing fires to shape landscapes like the Illilouette, Stephens said. Now as the U.S. Forest Service considers far-reaching changes -- with the 4.6 million acres of California's Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra national forests among the first up -- its goal is for similar benefits.

    "We hope that the landscape can be restored to conditions where fires are more variable, with some areas burning at different intensities to provide the best mix of ecological conditions and habitat diversity," said Don Yasuda, a regional analyst and forest planning biologist with the U.S. Forest Service.

    The drought and devastating fires like the Rim Fire -- with their long-lasting consequences on old forests and the habitat of wildlife species like the Pacific fisher and California spotted owl -- have brought an urgency to the new approach, the service said in a statement.

    The soaring costs of fighting fires are an added impetus. The Forest Service spent more than $1.7 billion fighting fires last year, amounting to half of its budget. That contrasts with just 16 percent in 1995. When it exhausted its firefighting budget, the service was forced to draw on funds it had hoped to use for restoration projects. 

    Under the new plans, which are still in drafts and will not be finalized until late next year after time for public comments, fires would be treated differently in different zones — with the Forest Service focused on protecting communities in some areas and allowing fires to burn in others: both those sparked by lightning and controlled fires, some set along ridge lines and major roads. More prescribed, or set, fires would create more smoke but under controlled conditions that would affect communities less and for a shorter time than wildfires, it said. 

    "Research has proven time and time again that fire can be beneficial and is responsible for shaping the landscape," said Jennifer Anderson, a fuels planner for the national forests in California. "We have a choice to suppress every fire or to manage some fires to meet resource objectives at the right place and time."

    Among the biggest challenges is the enormous area that needs to be restored. Large fires are needed to periodically reduce vegetation — as opposed to intense fires that destroy large swathes of trees, it said.

    The Forest Service will be constrained by the number of people who live in and near the forests and by campgrounds, power lines, cell towers and infrastructure within the forests. Fires may never be able to burn to the extent that they once did, it said.

    Stephens predicts some opposition as soon as fires are allowed to burn. Communities will be affected, recreation curtailed, and there will be uncertainty about what the fires will do, he said.

    "But I’m convinced that if we don’t begin to do things like that, all we’re going to have is higher and higher vulnerability in our forests and eventually we’re going to have outcomes that are much worse," he said.



    Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Four-hundred miles of blackened trees are a constant reminder of the devastating Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park. The Forest Service spent more than $1.7 billion fighting fires last year, amounting to half of its budget. That contrasts with just 16 percent in 1995. When it exhausted its firefighting budget, the service was forced to draw on funds it had hoped to use for restoration projects.Four-hundred miles of blackened trees are a constant reminder of the devastating Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park. The Forest Service spent more than $1.7 billion fighting fires last year, amounting to half of its budget. That contrasts with just 16 percent in 1995. When it exhausted its firefighting budget, the service was forced to draw on funds it had hoped to use for restoration projects.

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    Two lanes of Interstate 91 South were closed on the Enfield-East Windsor line after a large truck crashed, causing major traffic delays in the area. 

    The crash was between exits 46 and 45 and crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were called because of a diesel spill. 

    After the crash, there were major delays into Enfield .

    Follow Heidi Voight on Twitter for traffic updates. 

    Check the interactive traffic map to see if your commute is affected.  



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut,com

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    RHAM Middle School in Hebron promised “maximum security” as students and teachers head back to classes today after a threatening message was found in a bathroom Friday that warned something harmful would unfold at the school on Monday.

    State police are trying to figure out who was behind the hateful message.

    While their investigation continues, parents must decide what to do with their children and whether to send them to school.

    “It’s something parents take to heart because you see what’s going on in the world today,” says Jordan Porter, a substitute teacher at RHAM.

    Porter and other teachers, students and parents received an alert involving RHAM Middle School in which the superintendent warned the community of the threat and laid out what precautions were being taken.  

    “Working with the State Police, a plan was developed to provide for maximum security all day Monday. As part of that security plan we have requested that the State Police provide bomb sniffing dogs for a full sweep of the building prior to opening on Monday morning,” Dr. Robert Siminski, superintendent of Regional School District No. 8, wrote.

    Students and staff should expect to see more State Police and Hebron Police patrolling the campus.

    People NBC Connecticut talked to, including substitute teacher Jordan Porter, were happy with the district’s response to the threat.

    “It’s very scary and we’re going to take any threat seriously at the school,”  Porter said.

    Even with all the precautions they’re taking the district “will understand” if parents want to keep their child home from school on Monday, the superintendent said.


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    A Connecticut woman will spend more than three-and-a half years in prison after an investigation into a heroin processing mill in Hartford resulted in the seizure of more than 17,000 bags of heroin, according to federal authorities.

    Amanda Gambardella, 26, formerly of Hartford and Cheshire, was sentenced on Monday to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release for operating a heroin processing mill in Hartford,

    The investigation into Gambardella started when the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford task force received information that a drug trafficking organization was obtaining large quantities of heroin in New York City, transporting the drug to Connecticut in a vehicle equipped with a hidden compartment and distributing it in the Hartford area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

    She worked for the organization, storing and packaging heroin at her apartment on Adelaide Street in Hartford and rented a storage unit in East Hartford on behalf of the organization, according to federal officials.

    On Nov. 4, investigators searched the East Hartford storage unit and seized almost $800,000 in cash.

    On Nov. 5, investigators searched the Adelaide Street apartment and seized 778 grams of heroin, cutting agents, packaging materials and other paraphernalia associated with a large scale heroin processing mill, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    Authorities said they seized more than 17,000 bags of heroin packaged for street sale and around 200 grams of unpackaged heroin.

    Gambardella has been detained since Nov. 5 and pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.



    Photo Credit: NECN

    File photoFile photo

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  • 05/23/16--11:39: Yale Grads Receive Diplomas

  • The Yale University class of 2016 was on full display all over New Haven on Monday morning as students and their families and friends celebrated commencement.

    The main graduation event was held on the Old Campus where undergraduates and graduate students alike were all very excited to collect their degrees.

    “Yale has been awesome, obviously challenging, but it’s been the best four years of my life and I’m really sad to leave,” said Grace Brittan, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and plans to move to Boston.

    “It was a long process, but it felt good at the end,” said Apiwat Wang Wee Rawong, who earned a PhD in chemistry.

    The Pollard family of Middletown was excited to see Angela receive a degree in sociology.

    “We’ve been up since 5 this morning, getting breakfast for everyone and getting the family together,” her father, said Bryan Pollard, said.

    “It is such a wonderful thing that she can graduate today and go off and just be part of contributing to so many great things in the word. I am so excited,” Alice Pollard said.

    School of forestry and environmental studies graduate James Ball just got married last week and, fittingly, used flowers from his wife’s bouquet to top his cap.

    He said he’s excited about the doors a Yale degree will open for him.

    “I was very blessed and fortunate to get in here and I feel like the opportunities here are something beyond what I might have gotten elsewhere and again, I think you take that with a certain humility and responsibility of then going out and taking full advantage of that degree,” he said.



    Photo Credit: File -- Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Vanderbilt Hall stands on the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S., on Friday, June 12, 2015.Vanderbilt Hall stands on the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S., on Friday, June 12, 2015.

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    President Barack Obama enjoys the highest approval from Americans since his second term began, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.

    Fifty-one percent of registered voters say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 46 percent who disapprove. Obama's approval rating remains dismal with self-described Republicans, who disapprove of his performance by an 88 percent to eight percent margin.

    But Americans haven't always been so pleased with him. His approval rating sunk as low as 40 percent before the 2014 midterm elections but subsequently rebounded, particularly since primary voting in the 2016 presidential race got underway at the beginning of this year.

    The president's relative political strength could be a significant boon for Hillary Clinton, whose 2016 candidacy is largely focused on preserving key aspects of his Democratic policy-making.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    President Barack Obama departs the White House for a week-long trip to Japan and Vietnam, May 21, 2016, in Washington, D.C. His approval is at its highest point since his second inauguration, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found.President Barack Obama departs the White House for a week-long trip to Japan and Vietnam, May 21, 2016, in Washington, D.C. His approval is at its highest point since his second inauguration, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found.

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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in a speech to union workers in Detroit on Monday, railed against Republican Donald Trump on everything from wages and immigration to paid family leave.

    "He could bankrupt America like he's bankrupted his companies," Clinton warned during remarks at the Service Employees International Union's annual convention. "Ask yourself: how could anybody lose money running a casino? Really."

    Clinton also unleashed on the presumptive Republican nominee for his charged rhetoric, NBC News reported.

    "We need a president who will use the bully pulpit to stand up for working families. But the last thing we need is a bully in the pulpit," Clinton said to big applause.

    Clinton said Trump's plan to deport more than 11 million undocumented immigrants would not only affect union families, but also the many Latinos she's met across the country who are concerned about what a Trump presidency could mean for them.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures while speaking to more than 3,000 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at the union's 2016 International Convention, Monday, May 23, 2016, in Detroit.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gestures while speaking to more than 3,000 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members at the union's 2016 International Convention, Monday, May 23, 2016, in Detroit.

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    New Britain's Democratic Town Committee formally endorsed Michael Trueworthy as the party candidate for Democratic Registrar of Voters.

    Trueworthy is looking for a return to public office after an exit in 2015 that includes an arrest at New Britain City Hall, and the shouting of gay slurs at a local bar in July 2014 according to a police report.

    He served on the New Britain City Council from 2003-2015, and for eleven of those years, he served as President of Majority Leader.

    Trueworthy says his days of drinking are over.

    “I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since that day and I’ve spent a lot of time and effort developing a support network that I can rely on to make sure that I’m healthy" Trueworthy said during a phone interview Monday. "Those days are behind me.”

    Republican Mayor Erin Stewart says she's slightly uneasy about the prospect of Trueworthy coming back into City Hall with a full time job.

    "It makes me feel uncomfortable about the potential to have him working in the same building as me.”

    Democratic Town Committee Chairman Bill Shortell says the only issue people should be talking about when it comes to the Democratic race is who would be a better candidate to register more voters.

    “Mike is the most dependable person that we got out there" Shortell said. "Mike, before one crazy day, had ten years of interrupted determined activity and since that day he has also been a pillar of Democracy and community civic pride in New Britain.”

    Trueworthy says he's on a good path now, and that one day in his life shouldn't define his future public life.

    “I don’t know how long you can hold something over somebody’s else head before it gets unfair. I’m not going to respond to her comments. I’m not running against her. This is a Democratic primary. She’s a Republican. I’m not going to engage.”

    Stewart says she has a right to feel the way she does. The door Trueworthy broke is steps from her office.

    “With a track record of the past, you never know. I didn’t know to anticipate what actually happened that day so how would I know on a daily basis?"


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    Hartford's first-ever charter high school is about to have its first graduating class.
    Four years after they began, Achievement First Hartford High School seniors will receive their diplomas.
    Students such as Sebastien Kerr and Imani Vellon were part of a lottery selection process that got them into the school as freshmen.
    Vellon recalls first seeing the classrooms named after the alma mater of the teachers teaching inside.
    “We wouldn’t be able to get to where we want to go without hearing other people’s story,” Vellon said.
    Because of that, Kerr had vision.
    “We aim for what we want to learn, and my job is to get all the skills I need to reach that aim,” Said Kerr.
    Now Kerr and Vellon are two of 36 seniors who will be part of the first graduating class of Achievement First Hartford High School.
    Kerr has been accepted into UConn, where he wants to study to be a sports agent. Vellon will be attending Springfield College and hopes one day to be a Supreme Court justice.
    Both students say they probably wouldn’t be furthering their education if it weren’t for his school’s mindset – which insists on the importance of attending college.
    “We’re from a city where you know it looks like, it appears that we aren’t college students, we’re not meant to go to school. But we are. We deserve every opportunity that we are given because we’ve earned it. We work very hard,” Kerr said.
    “Before I came to this school I wasn’t worried about college, I didn’t think I would actually finish high school I was just worried about going to the next grade and going to the next grade but now I have a vision for the future,” Vellon said.
    The students say it’s thanks to the support of their teachers they get to set an example for the other graduating classes.
    "Whatever dream you have, it’ll come true one day," Kerr said.

    Students graduate June 16.Hartford's first-ever charter high school is about to have its first graduating class.

     

    Hartford's first-ever charter high school is about to have its first graduating class.

    Four years after they began, Achievement First Hartford High School seniors will receive their diplomas.

    Students such as Sebastien Kerr and Imani Vellon were part of a lottery selection process that got them into the school as freshmen.

    Vellon recalls first seeing the classrooms named after the alma mater of the teachers teaching inside.

    “We wouldn’t be able to get to where we want to go without hearing other people’s story,” Vellon said.

    Because of that, Kerr had vision.

    “We aim for what we want to learn, and my job is to get all the skills I need to reach that aim,” Said Kerr.

    Now Kerr and Vellon are two of 36 seniors who will be part of the first graduating class of Achievement First Hartford High School.

    Kerr has been accepted into UConn, where he wants to study to be a sports agent. Vellon will be attending Springfield College and hopes one day to be a Supreme Court justice.

    Both students say they probably wouldn’t be furthering their education if it weren’t for his school’s mindset – which insists on the importance of attending college.

    “We’re from a city where you know it looks like, it appears that we aren’t college students, we’re not meant to go to school. But we are. We deserve every opportunity that we are given because we’ve earned it. We work very hard,” Kerr said.

    “Before I came to this school I wasn’t worried about college, I didn’t think I would actually finish high school I was just worried about going to the next grade and going to the next grade but now I have a vision for the future,” Vellon said.

    The students say it’s thanks to the support of their teachers they get to set an example for the other graduating classes.

    "Whatever dream you have, it’ll come true one day," Kerr said.

    Students graduate June 16.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images

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    Wait times at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks may as well be minuscule compared to locations like Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis.

    The average wait time during peak travel times in the morning and early evening are less than 30 minutes at Bradley, according to the Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, Kevin Dillon.

    “When you consider what’s happening around the country at other airports, in some cases, 90 minute wait times, we feel pretty good about our 30 minute wait time here at Bradley" Dillon said. "But that’s something we’re going to monitor and continue to protect as go forward.”

    Dillon says he has staff dedicated to tracking wait times all hours of the day. The airport handles about 16,000 passengers every day and they expect an additional thousand each day of the upcoming holiday weekend.

    TSA checkpoints nationwide have been plagued by long wait times in recent months. The reasoning is a combination of record travel numbers, and agent staffing levels.

    Bradley is an airport, Dillon fears, that could have TSA agents pulled in order to fill gaps at Boston's Logan, New York's LaGuardia and JFK airports.

    Even with existing staffing, Dillon says he needs more people working at the security checkpoint to keep people moving through smoothly. Without help from TSA, DIllon says he's going to dedicate personnel to getting customers through security.

    “We’ve told the TSA that we’re prepared to have some of our staff pick up some of their non-certified positions to even try to enhance that 30 minute wait time.”


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    Firefighters are battling a brush fire near along Route 31 in Tolland.

    The fire is burning about 20 acres, according to Tolland County Dispatch.

    The fire has shut down Route 31 (also know as Mile Hill Road) near Dockerel Road, according to the Department of Transportation.

    Several departments from the area have been called into to help fight the blaze.


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    The Stratford Fire Department have an interesting problem on its hands. Two Ospreys have built a nest on a communication antenna at the department and firefighters said it's causing problems for those walking into work below.

    "We have Ospreys that have built a nest up there and basically it's causing a little bit of problems with dropping stuff down on the main entrance of the fire station," Stratford Fire Chief Robert McGrath said.

    The Ospreys, which can grow 2-feet long and have a wingspan over 5 feet, often drop large sticks, and in some cases entire fish, their main source of food, on those walking below.

    Last week, an air conditioning unit was damaged after a bass was dropped from above and landed inside. On Sunday, firefighters say the birds dropped a kitten.

    The other concern is that the nest could prevent the communication antenna from operating properly, according to the chief.

    “Could compromise the signal going back and forth from the two towers," said Chief McGrath.

    According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Osprey are no longer endangered. Their nest can be moved if there are no eggs inside, which firefighters say is the case with this nest.

    DEEP officials said April and May are egg-laying months for the birds, so firefighters are working on a plan to get the feathered visitors to leave.

    "It's entertaining I can tell you that at best. But really, it's a nuisance," Chief McGrath said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The Stratford Fire Department have an interesting problem on its hands. Two Ospreys have built a nest on a communication antenna at the department and firefighters said it's causing problems for those walking into work below.The Stratford Fire Department have an interesting problem on its hands. Two Ospreys have built a nest on a communication antenna at the department and firefighters said it's causing problems for those walking into work below.

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    The FBI has been looking at whether Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's 2013 campaign accepted political contributions that were forbidden by federal law, NBC News reported.

    Investigators are especially interested in contributions from Wang Wenliang, a Chinese politician. The investigation was first reported by CNN.

    Contributions by foreign nationals in U.S. elections are barred, but Wang's spokesperson says he has permanent U.S. resident status.

    A lawyer for McAuliffe's campaign said Monday that neither he nor the governor has been contacted by the FBI.

    McAuliffe is a one-time board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation set up by former President Bill Clinton and likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    File image of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. The Democratic governor is the subject of a federal investigation into whether he violated campaign finance laws.File image of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. The Democratic governor is the subject of a federal investigation into whether he violated campaign finance laws.

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    Five people died Monday morning in a small plane that crashed in Hawaii, NBC News reported.

    The plane was carrying four skydivers and the pilot. Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the crash site, in an open field near Port Allen airport on Kauai, state and local officials said.

    A fifth person was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

    NBC affiliate KHNL identified the plane's operator as Skydive Kauai. A message seeking comment was not immediately returned.



    Photo Credit: Kauai County via AP

    Emergency response vehicles near the site of a plane crash in Hanapepe, Hawaii, on Monday, May 23, 2016. All five people aboard a small plane died in a fiery crash on Kauai, officials said.Emergency response vehicles near the site of a plane crash in Hanapepe, Hawaii, on Monday, May 23, 2016. All five people aboard a small plane died in a fiery crash on Kauai, officials said.

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    Oscar-winning actress and activist Angelina Jolie has been appointed a visiting professor at one of Britain's most prestigious universities.

    The London School of Economics announced Monday that Jolie will be working with students studying for a master's degree in Women, Peace and Security.

    Among others appointed to teach the course is former British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

    "I hope other academic institutions will follow this example, as it is vital that we broaden the discussion on how to advance women's rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict," Jolie said in a statement.

    "I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the United Nations."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Angelina Jolie at a press conference under the rain as part of her visit at a Syrian refugee camp near the city of Zahle in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on March 15, 2016. She will be a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.Angelina Jolie at a press conference under the rain as part of her visit at a Syrian refugee camp near the city of Zahle in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on March 15, 2016. She will be a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

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    A New Haven man is searching for the heroes who helped him with a dramatic rescue on the Milford Connector Saturday night. The passing motorists stopped to help pull two women to safety after their car overturned and went up in flames.

    It happened just before midnight Saturday near exit 2A, the on-ramp to I-95 North toward New Haven. The driver of the car managed to free herself from the wreckage, but two passengers were trapped.

    Bill DeCarlo of New Haven was traveling home with his family when he came across the car on fire. He immediately got out and helped along with three other men.

    “I put out the fire with my hand and dragged her up the hill,” Bill DeCarlo said. “I guess I have second degree burns on these fingers.”

    A few burns and a few minutes later, the passengers were out and the paramedics arrived, but the three men he says helped him were gone.

    “We were together maybe 10 minutes, but nobody got any names,” DeCarlo said.

    Now, with the help of Facebook, he is trying to find his fellow rescuers.

    “I just want to have a beer and said hi,” DeCarlo said.

    His post has been shared hundreds of times since he wrote it Sunday night. It caught the attention of Chad Fisher, who also happened to be there that night.

    “They were yelling in the car hitting the window yelling help me,” Fisher said.

    It is a call he said he could not have answered without the other three. He said one man helped him break open the back window and another helped him pull the passengers out seconds before the car went up in flames.

    The women were taken to Yale Trauma Center. Their identities and conditions have not yet been released. The accident is under investigation.

    DeCarlo is still searching for two other rescuers and he is asking them to get in touch with him on his Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/bill.decarlo.9?fref=ts  or contact the Milford Fire Department.


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    The Transportation Security Administration on Monday replaced its head of security and created a centralized incident command team, moving dramatically to address the issue of long airport lines.

    Kelly Hoggan, the agency's assistant administrator for security operations since 2013, will be replaced by Darby LaJoye, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said in an internal memo obtained by NBC News.

    LaJoye, a deputy assistant TSA administrator, was previously a top security official at two of the world's busiest airports: Los Angeles International Airport and JFK in New York.

    Hoggan, who has been the focus of congressional inquiries into staffing and pay decisions, was reassigned to new duties, Neffenger said.

    The appointment is part of a series of moves that Neffenger has taken since hundreds of passengers were stranded in security lines as their planes took off at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport earlier this month.  



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Travelers move through a TSA checkpoint at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in this file photo.Travelers move through a TSA checkpoint at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in this file photo.

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    Ansonia schools were dismissed early Monday after an anonymous post on an after school app indicated a possible threat, according to police.

    The city put all four of its schools on lockout at 1:15 p.m. on Monday and canceled all after school activities after learning of the potential threat, according to a statement on the school department website.

    Ansonia's school superintendent said the post was made in reference to Ansonia High School, though police said it was unclear which school may have been the subject of the posting.

    Police responded to all schools to ensure students were safe as they were being dismissed.  All students were dismissed without incident, police said.

    Dr. Carol Merlone, the Ansonia Superintendent, has decided to close all Ansonia Schools Tuesday, May 24th. 

    Merlone said the decision was made " in conjunction with law enforcement."



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The John C. Mead school was one of the Ansonia schools dismissed early after a possible threat was posted on an after school app on Monday.The John C. Mead school was one of the Ansonia schools dismissed early after a possible threat was posted on an after school app on Monday.

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