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    Parts of the Quinnipiac River Bridge will be closed next weekend as the Department of Transportation continues a long-term construction project.

    “It's a mad house now. It's going to be worse when they shut it down,” said Gene Frat.

    While the highway itself won't be completely closed, there will be exit ramps and lanes shut down.

    “One lane open at night over the course of the weekend. Two lanes will be open during the day. Exit 50 on ramp southbound will be closed, and there will be restrictions for Exit 46 from I-95 Southbound,” said Brian Mercure, Assistant District Engineer for the DOT.

    All of it will start on Friday, July 26 at 8 p.m. and continue until 6 a.m. Monday, July 29.

    “What we really need to do is take all the traffic on I-95 Southbound that's on the old Q-Bridge and put it on the new Q-Bridge so we can continue to work,” said Mercure.

    The DOT is putting out the word now about the Q-Bridge, which is actually named the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, so that drivers can make alternate arrangements.

    “When you have all the traffic going around, especially during the summer, it's going to be a mad house. I'm staying away from the highway,” said Frat.

    That is actually something the DOT suggests.

    DOT officials are asking drivers to reduce their speed when going through the area, so that they can make sure to read all the signs detailing the construction and detours. Plan for delays and arrange that alternate route ahead of time to bypass the traffic nightmare that will be I-95 in New Haven, according to DOT officials.

    “What good weekend is a good weekend to do it? I've said this in the past, in New Haven, there isn't really one, so this is part of our schedule and when all is said and done, the region will be better off for it,” said Mercure.

    The construction is weather-permitting. If it rains, it will be pushed back a week.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Construction on the Q Bridge next weekend will cause headaches for drivers, warns the DOT.Construction on the Q Bridge next weekend will cause headaches for drivers, warns the DOT.

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    A former federal prosecutor who pursued public corruption in Newark and appeared on TV as a legal expert was found underneath a bridge in New Jersey Wednesday, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

    Traffic was backed up for hours on Route 17 in East Rutherford Wednesday evening as police investigated the apparent suicide of John Fahy.

    Fahy, who was known across New Jersey as Jay, was an assistant U.S. attorney who led the public corruption unit in Newark, then served as prosecutor of Bergen County before going into private practice.

    Fahy appeared on several TV programs, including MSNBC, as a legal expert.

    "Jay was someone that all of us knew. So it obviously comes as a surprising shock to me as well," said Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli.

    Fahy was found during rush hour by two men who had been walking underneath a trestle on Route 17. He had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and there are no indications of foul play, according to law enforcement officials.

    "One has to wonder, a person like Mr. Fahy, why he would bring himself to this," said Molinelli.

    Route 17 was re-opened by 9 p.m.


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    New Haven police and the U.S. Secret Service are investigating after a skimming device was found on an ATM in downtown.

    Authorities wouldn't say which bank it belonged to, but said the micro-devices can scan card numbers and record video of pin numbers as customers type them in.

    “They're being manufactured now to blend into what the ATM machine itself looks like,” said New Haven Police Officer Dave Hartman.

    Police suggest taking extra precautions to protect your information when using the ATM.

    “The most important thing is to cover your key pad when you're entering your pin. The card can be cloned, but the card doesn't have your personal identification number information,” said Hartman.

    You should also take a close look at the ATM itself.

    “We recommend the slot reader that you actually put your card into, give it a shake. Grab the device, it should be solid,” said Hartman.

    Also, be aware of your surroundings, and keep an eye out for anyone lingering around the ATM trying to pick up your information.

    If anything or anyone looks suspicious, contact your bank and local police department.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The Hartford Riverfest fireworks have been rescheduled to today, July 18 at 9:30 p.m., after high water levels forced the event to be postponed.

    The signature event in the capital city has been postponed because of a new report from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service on flooding.

    The rescheduled event will be fireworks only.

    "With such short notice and due to conflicting commitments, it is just not realistic to reassemble a new program for an event the size of Riverfest," said Charlie Myers, Director of Programs and Events for Riverfront Recapture, in a press release.

    Myers said the new date still needs to be approved by a number of permitting agencies, but that the organization has "received tremendous support" and they don't anticipate any problems.

    "We appreciate everyone's patience as we have worked to come up with a new date for the fireworks," Riverfront Recapture President and CEO Joe Marfuggi said in the release. "With so much going on this time of the year, it was a challenge coordinating available dates with all ofthe organizations and service providers that are involved."

    The Northeast River Forecast center projections for water levels indicate that areas of the Riverfront Parks would be underwater, including the boat ramps needed for launching the fireworks barges.

    The strong river current and heavy floating debris in the river made it impossible to safely launch and secure the three barges from which the fireworks would have been shot last week, said Myers. 

    Check the Web site Riverfront.org for updates.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Riverfest in Hartford is postponed because of high water levels.Riverfest in Hartford is postponed because of high water levels.

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    If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s books, or films based on his books, then you will want to plan on attending a special live event in Hartford next week.

    The modern master of thrillers will be here for “Stephen King in conversation with Colin McEnroe” at 8 p.m. tonight at the Bushnell in downtown Hartford and proceeds from the event benefit the Mark Twain House and Museum.

    If you could not put down "Carrie," "The Shining," "The Shawshank Redemption," "It" or one of King’s many other best sellers, this is an event you will not want to miss.
     
    Tickets range from $25 to $250.

    VIP ticket packages, including a reception with Stephen King and a signed copy of his newest book, Joyland, are available.

    Reservations can be made at www.bushnell.org or 860-987-5900.

    Membership is available by calling 860-280-3112, or by going to www.marktwainhouse.org.

    The event takes place at William H. Mortensen Hall.

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Stephen King will be in Connecticut in July.Stephen King will be in Connecticut in July.

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    Hartford will be busy tonight with people heading in for Riverfest and Stephen King's talk at the Bushnell, but many of the tweens heading to the capital city tonight will be there to see Justin Bieber.

    Bieber’s Believe Tour makes a stop at XL Center tonight. 

    The show is sold out, which should not be a surprise.

    On Oct. 9, 2009, Bieber played his first ever arena show to a sold-out crowd at XL Center, according to the XL Center. 


    +
    One dollar of each ticket will be donated to Pencils of Promise, a charity that works to build schools and increase educational opportunities in the developing world.  The goal is to build 15 schools around the world for needy children.



     

     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Clear Channel

    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Singer Justin Bieber and musician Dan Kanter perform onstage during KIIS FM's 2012 Jingle Ball at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03: Singer Justin Bieber and musician Dan Kanter perform onstage during KIIS FM's 2012 Jingle Ball at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

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    Scientists at Caltech have found the “strongest” evidence yet to suggest a massive ocean once covered much of Mars’ now-dry northern hemisphere.

    Scientists estimate this huge body of water would have covered at least 100,000 square kilometers, or 38,610 square miles – 10 times the size of Los Angeles County.

    The findings are far from proof, but they do provide some of the most convincing support to date, lead author Roman DiBiase said in a Caltech news release Tuesday.

    At the heart of the hypothesis is a 100-square-kilometer portion of a "hypothetical coastline" -- an ancient delta where a river might once have emptied into a vast ocean, pictured below.

    Most of Mars’ northern hemisphere is flat and at a lower elevation than the southern hemisphere, suggesting that the border between the two would have been where a Martian ocean met land.

    If it existed, the ocean could have covered nearly a third of the red planet and may have harbored life, researchers said.

    "Scientists have long hypothesized that the northern lowlands of Mars are a dried-up ocean bottom, but no one yet has found the smoking gun," said Mike Lamb, an assistant professor of geology at Caltech and a coauthor of the paper describing the results.

    Previous images of this region show it covered in ridge-like features called inverted channels, which are created after a river dries up, leaving behind coarse materials – like large gravel and cobbles – that were carried along the river bed by flowing water.

    Martian deltas have been discovered before, but most are inside a geological boundary, like a crater, which means they likely would have flowed into smaller bodies of water, such as a lake, not an ocean.

    The HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the images of the hypothetical ocean's coastline. The findings are published in Journal of Geophysical Research.

    "Both the ancient environments on Mars and the planet's sedimentary archive of these environments are turning out to be surprisingly Earth-like," Lamb said.



    Photo Credit: NASA/Handout

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    A man from Pennsylvania was briefly the world’s richest man when he discovered a little over $92 quadrillion dollars in his PaylPal account Friday.

    Chris Reynolds opened his monthly email statement and was stunned to find that his account had been credited $92,233,720,368,547,800.

    That amount would made Reynolds a million times richer than Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim who is worth $67 billion. Reynolds knew right away it was a mistake.

    "It's a number you don't see written out very often, even in national finance circles," Chris Reynolds, 56, told the New York Daily News. "My thought was a) it's a mistake and b) it's a big mistake. It was more funny than elating."

    Reynolds logged directly onto PayPal's website, where his account balance read $0, which was the correct amount.

    He posted the original PDF statement showing the erroneous transfer to his Facebook page and soon received emails from friends he had not been in touch with for many years.

    A PayPal representative called Reynolds and expressed embarrassment for the error. The company offered to donate an unspecified amount to a charity of his choice, Philly.com reported.

    "We think it's inspiring that he decided to use this occurrence to donate to a cause he believes in," Pay Pal said in a statement. "And we hope to honor this spirit by donating to a cause of his choice - we've reached out to him to make this offer and to let him know we are grateful that he's a customer!"

    Reynolds declined to name which charity he picked or how much PayPal donated on his behalf.



    Chris Reynolds opened his monthly email statement and was stunned to find that his account had been credited $92,233,720,368,547,800.Chris Reynolds opened his monthly email statement and was stunned to find that his account had been credited $92,233,720,368,547,800.

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    A 2-year-old boy  is in critical condition after he was found unresponsive in a backyard pool on Wednesday evening.

    Police said the boy and his parents were visiting a home at 36 Glenstone Road in Waterbury.

    The boy and other guests went swimming in the above-ground pool, and when everyone else went inside, the boy did not, police said.

    The boy's parents found him unconscious in the pool around 6:30 p.m.

    Firefighters performed CPR until an ambulance arrived and took him to St. Mary's Hospital, where he was listed as being in very critical condition, according to police.

    The boy taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center by LifeStar at 8 p.m. He is still very critical, police said.

    The name of the boy and his family have not been released.

    Police are calling this a terrible accident.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A 2-year-old boy is in critical condition after his parents found him in a pool outside this house in Waterbury, where they were spending the day.A 2-year-old boy is in critical condition after his parents found him in a pool outside this house in Waterbury, where they were spending the day.

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    San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, under fire for allegations of sexual harassment, will no longer be honored at a benefit for sex assault victims, but organizers still want him to be a keynote speaker.

    Special Section: Mayor Under Fire

    Tara Jones, spokesperson for the National Women Veterans Association of America, told NBC 7 it wasn’t a difficult decision to change the event planned Aug. 30 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego.

    Mayor Filner was initially chosen to receive a Lifetime of Achievement Award by the group. However, all that changed Thursday.

    Filner publicly admitted that he has disrespected women and even intimidated them in the past after he was asked to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.

    “He has admitted to having inappropriate behavior, we just don’t know to what extent that behavior is,” Jones said, adding that the behavior could range from aggression to sexual assault. “We just don’t have enough facts.”

    Now, Filner will not be honored but he has been invited to speak.

    “That’s not a hard decision if somebody is giving a cry for help saying there is a problem with inappropriate behavior,” she said.

    Other allegations made by anonymous accusers include groping, kissing and offensive language in the workplace.

    Mayor Filner has not directly responded to those allegations other to say that he should have due process under the law.

    The mayor's office has refused repeated requests from NBC 7 for an interview.

    An attorney for an employee of the mayor’s office told NBC 7 that his client has begun taking steps to formalize her allegations.

    Preparing for possible sexual harassment claims, the City of San Diego has also made adjustments to seating arrangements and instructions to employees who may come in contact with the mayor.

    “I am very surprised they have him as a speaker on this topic,” said political analyst John Dadian.

    Because of developments over the past week, Dadian said he was surprised to see the event’s promotional material unchanged.

    However, Jones said the group made the decision Friday, announced it Monday and are in the process of updating their website with the new information.

    When asked why the organization wouldn’t disinvite the mayor right away, Jones said “no comment.”

    Instead, she sees Filner’s continued involvement in the event as a step in the right direction.

    “If we have something going on in our mayor’s office, what a better place to start for change,” she said.


    Filner in a file image from May 2013.Filner in a file image from May 2013.

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    The heave wave continues and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is forecasting unhealthy air quality, especially the elderly, small children and those with respiratory problems, through Saturday.

    The reason is predicted elevated concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution and the highest levels of ozone will be found across south central and southeastern coastal Connecticut today.

    The high levels are expected to expand further inland on Friday and Saturday. 

    This can increase the likelihood of respiratory symptoms, breathing discomfort, coughing and difficulty breathing, so those affected should avoid strenuous outdoor activities and consider remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.

    Learn more about health effects from high levels of ozone here:

    Connecticut experienced 27 unhealthy air quality days during 2012 and 12 unhealthy air quality days so far this year.  When air pollution levels are predicted to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups” DEEP recommends:

    • Conserving electricity by setting air conditioners to 78 degrees
    • “Wait ‘til 8” to use energy intensive appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers;
    • Driving less by carpooling, vanpooling or using public transit;
    • Telecommuting if possible;
    • Refueling your vehicle after dusk and never idling a vehicle unnecessarily;

    The heat wave should break by late Saturday.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

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    A Manhattan courtroom was briefly evacuated Tuesday after bedbugs were spotted crawling up the neck of a man who showed up to answer a desk-appearance ticket, according to a published report.

    The woman who first noticed the bloodsucking creepy crawlers yelped to others in the courtroom and chaos ensued; several people ran out of the proceedings, including the man with the bugs on him, the Daily News reported.

    A Manhattan Criminal Court spokesman confirmed to the News that there was bug-related havoc in one of the arraignment rooms around 11:30 a.m., but said that no evidence of bedbugs was found in the area. 

    Court officers called in an exterminator as a precaution. The courtroom was evacuated for a time during the extermination treatment, and when it reopened, the three rows near where the alleged bug man had been sitting were roped off.

    Some court-goers were still highly disturbed by the idea of the bugs, despite court officers' assurances there was no evidence of bugs in the room even before the exterminator was called in. 

    "People were scratching themselves. Everyone in the courtroom was uncomfortable," one witness told the News. "I'm still scratching myself. Just telling the story I get itchy." 

    More New York-Area Stories:



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Martina Hingis, the multiple-Grand Slam Champion, will be in Connecticut next month to compete in the New Haven Open at Yale.

    The competition happens between August 16 and 24 and Hingis, 33, will compete in the doubles during the competition in August.

    The last time she was here to play in the tournament was in 2002 and she was a singles quarterfinalist.

    "I am looking forward to coming back to the New Haven Open to compete in doubles," Hingis said in a statement. "I feel in good shape at the moment after playing World Team Tennis. My competitive spirit is still very much alive and I love being out on court."

    She became the youngest Grand Slam Champion in the 20th century at the 1997 Australian Open when she was just 16 years old. Last weekend, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

    "Adding newly minted Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis to the New Haven Open at Yale doubles field is fantastic news, and will complement a very strong singles field featuring five of the top 10 players in the world," Tournament Director Anne Worcester said. "I can remember when Lindsay Davenport returned to play doubles in New Haven after she’d stepped away from the tour when her first child was born. Our fans came out in droves to support her, and I know they will do the same for Martina."

    For more information on the 2013 tournament, volunteer opportunities and to secure tickets, log on to www.newhavenopen.com or call the New Haven Open Box Office at 855-464-8366.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30:  Martina Hingis arrives for the WTA 40 Love Celebration during Middle Sunday of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Martina Hingis arrives for the WTA 40 Love Celebration during Middle Sunday of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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    Police have arrested a Stamford man accused of beating another man who had been harassing him and his wife, according to police.

    Police arrested Rodolfo Calate-Morente, 35, after responding to an Aberdeen Street home in Stamford at 10:25 p.m. on Wednesday for a man assaulted with a baseball bat.

    The victim sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Stamford Hospital, police said.

    Police said the investigation remains active but investigators determined that the victim is a former acquaintance of Calate-Morente’s 25-year-old wife and had been harassing the couple for an extended period of time, police said.

    On Thursday night, the victim went to the Aberdeen Street home and Calate-Morente struck him with a bat, causing severe head injuries, according to police.

    The victim was rushed to Stamford Hospital, went in for emergency surgery and is serious condition in the ICU, police said.

    The states attorney’s office responded, applied for a search warrant, processed the scene and secured the evidence, police said.

    Calate-Morente was charged with first-degree assault and is being held on a $500,000 bond.
     



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police

    Police arrested Rodolfo Calate-Morente, who is accused of beating the man who had been harassing him and his wife.Police arrested Rodolfo Calate-Morente, who is accused of beating the man who had been harassing him and his wife.

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    Waterbury police arrested 10 women in a daylight prostitution sting on Wednesday.

    An undercover officer drove through the Hillside neighborhood and Freight street and acted as a "John", according to police. The women offered the undercover officer sex in exchange for money, police said.

    At least one of the women was arrested around 10:30 a.m. near Waterbury Superior Court, according to police.

    The following were all charged with prostitution:

    • Yvonne Readus, 43
    • Angelique Santiago, 46
    • Yadira Vasquez, 54
    • Elena Melendez, 26
    • Kayla Maygar, 24
    • Megan Musbek, 22
    • Kelly Lockwood, 44
    • Raelle Greene, 23
    • Alexandria Carlson, 23
    • Maria Erazo, 34


    Photo Credit: Waterbury Police

    Kelly Lockwood, 44, was arrested Wedesday as part of a prostitution sting in Waterbury.Kelly Lockwood, 44, was arrested Wedesday as part of a prostitution sting in Waterbury.

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    People who live and work in Farmington have had their cameras ready to capture images of bobcat cubs as well as mama bears and their cubs in town this week.

    Karen Oakes took photos of bobcat cubs on Spring Lane in Farmington around noon on Tuesday and shared them with us.

    SEE THEM HERE

    She said these little guys have been hanging around the parking lot.

    According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, bobcats are quite common in Connecticut.

    Chris Weigel shot video of a mother bear and two cubs walking through his yard this morning, shared it on YouTube and Tweeted it to us.

    Bear sightings are not uncommon in Connecticut, especially in Farmington.

    There have been 218 reports in town between July 19, 2012 and May 29, 2013.

    Learn more about black bears here.

    If you spot a bear, state environmental officials recommend you:

    • Enjoy it from a distance.
    • Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms or walk slowly away.
    • Never attempt to feed or attract bears.
    • Report bear sightings to the Wildlife Division, at (860) 675-8130.
       

     



    Photo Credit: Karen Oakes

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    A wildfire continued to rage into its fourth day Thursday, covering more than 35 square miles of California's scenic San Jacinto Mountains and prompting more evacuations.

    The Mountain Fire, burning roughly 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, scorched 22,800 acres and destroyed 23 structures, including seven homes. Some 6,000 people have been ordered evacuated.

    RELATED: Mountain Fire photos | Firefighters Brace for Fierce Fire Season

    "It's grown into a monster that we haven't seen before," said San Jacinto Valley resident Ralph Savory, who was packed up and ready to go if deputies ordered him to evacuate. "We're waiting for the word. Got our cars packed. All we got left is us and our dogs."

    The nearby town of Idyllwild looked like a ghost town after it was evacuated Wednesday night.

    Many like Barb Lundquist chose to sleep in their cars.

    "I didn't think it was going to happen,” she said. “I didn't think they were going to evacuate us."

    All she could think about was whether she would lose her Idyllwild home she's lived in for three decades.

    "I'm exhausted,” she said. “I don't even know what time it is."

    Officials continued to call for mandatory evacuations of nearby communities as firefighters reported the blaze was 15 percent contained. Nearly 3,000 firefighters were working on the Mountain Fire, according to a Thursday morning report from fire officials.

    The fight against the fire had cost about $5.5 million by Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

    Crews trying to flank the fire had to watch out for burning debris crashing down the steep, timbered ridges in the San Jacinto Mountains, said  Norma Bailey, a Forest Service spokeswoman.

    "It burned actively through the night," Bailey told The Associated Press. "They're being careful of things that are rolling down the hillside."

    Evacuation orders remained in effect for the mountain resort town of Idyllwild and Fern Valley, including nearby San Bernardino National Forest areas and Mount San Jacinto State Park. Details were posted online.

    The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which takes visitors nearly 6,000 feet up steep Chino Canyon, was also closed Thursday.

    Crews from many agencies were working on the fire, and a news release from a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said firefighters' focus was on protecting homes in Idyllwild and elsewhere.

    "White, red and green fire engines and crew trucks can be seen throughout the town. The fire is color blind," wrote Forest Service spokesman John Miller.

    The Mountain Fire broke out Monday afternoon in steep, rugged terrain on private property just off State Highway 243 in the community of Mountain Center, south of Idyllwild (map).

    Evacuation centers were set up at the following locations:

    • Hemet High School, 41701 E. Stetson Ave., Hemet;
    • Hamilton High School, 57430 Mitchell Road, Anza;
    • Small animals can be brought to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter, 581 S. Grand Ave.

    More Southern California Stories:

     



    Photo Credit: Joel Cook/NBCLA.com

    The Mountain Fire near Mountain Center in the Inland Empire at as seen on Thursday, July 18, 2013.The Mountain Fire near Mountain Center in the Inland Empire at as seen on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

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  • 07/18/13--11:26: Dog Left Alone in Car Dies

  • Woodbridge police have charged a woman with cruelty to animals after her dog was found dead in a hot car, police said.

    Woodbridge police and Woodbridge Municipal Animal Control responded to a Lunar Drive parking lot around 4 p.m. yesterday after it was reported that a dog was left unattended in a car in 90-degree heat, police said.

    Officers found a 14-month old Yorkie-Chihuahua mix in the car, with the windows rolled up.

    Police said the dog’s owner, Tiffany July-Lindo, 24, of Waterbury, had left the dog in the car while she went to work inside a local business.

    When July-Lindo returned to the car around an hour later, she found the dog dead.

    July-Lindo is scheduled to appear in New Haven Superior Court on July 26 at 10 a.m.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A dog left alone in a car has died and the owner has been charged.A dog left alone in a car has died and the owner has been charged.

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    It was supposed to be an evening of fun. Eight-year-old Alaysha Carradine was sleeping over at a friend's house in Oakland, excited to go to a modeling show on Thursday with her buddy.

    Instead, the unimaginable happened, even in a city that has sometimes become desensitized to violence. The would-be third grader was gunned down just after 11 p.m. Wednesday when she opened the door and was met with a barrage of bullets - at least 12 holes were found riddled in the front door.

    Alaysha, who her family called "Ladybug," was killed, earning her the dubious distinction of becoming Oakland's 54th homicide victim this year. She had turned 8 less than a month ago on June 28.

    Her 7-year-old friend, her 4-year-old brother and their 63-year-old grandmother were also struck by bullets, but all three are expected to recover from the shooting at an apartment complex in the 3400-block of Wilson Avenue near MacArthur Boulevard, not considered to be among Oakland's roughest parts of town. In fact, nearby is a quaint library and a strip of well-trafficked shops and restaurants.

    The mayor and the police chief visited Children's Hospital late Thursday morning, bringing teddy bears to the surviving brother and sister.

    MORE: "It's Heartbreaking, She Was Such a Sweet Girl"

    "Tragedy has struck again," Jesse Fowler, 24, told NBC Bay Area on Thursday morning. Alaysha, whom he described as a funny, talkative, helpful student at Fruitvale Elementary School, is the daughter of his girlfriend, Chiquita Carradine, who was in Washington, D.C., when her daughter was killed. He broke the news to her by phone, and she is heading back home. 

    "She's not doing too good," Fowler said of Alaysha's mother. "She doesn't want to accept it.

    Detectives were not sure on Thursday morning whether the bullets were intended for this apartment in a killing that one officer called "heinous." 

    A $25,000 reward was immediately put up by police and CrimeStoppers for information leading to an arrest.

    Fowler had dropped off Alaysha on Wednesday afternoon to sleep over at the home of her 7-year-old friend, where Khamel Hardin, 22, also lives. His niece, nephew and mother were those injured. He said he had no idea why someone would pop off a fusillade of shots at the apartment building where he lives. His niece and Alaysha loved modeling: Alaysha had modeled in a Juneteenth celebration in San Francisco this summer, walking down the runway in a black leotard and multicolored flouncy skirt.

    "It's just not safe," Sharon Smith, Fowler's mother who often cared for Alaysha, told NBC Bay Area through tears. "I have no idea why this would have happened. I know the kids didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just heartbreaking."

    Smith described Alaysha with superlatives such as "sweet,"  "beautiful" and a girl with "such a big heart." She said Alaysha was the type of girl to always help others and lay her clothes out first thing in the morning. "She was such a big girl," Smith said. "She was absolutely an angel."

    RAW VIDEO: Interviews with Family Friends

    Anyone with information should call Oakland police at 510-238-3821 or the anonymous tip line at 510-773-2508.


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    The state announced $400,000 in grants and loans to Akademos, Inc., a Norwalk-based online book seller to expand its operations and hire seven additional employees

    “Supporting companies like Akademos is an important part of our overall strategy to grow jobs and accelerate our economy,” Malloy said in a statement. “Small businesses make up well over 90 percent of Connecticut employers, so ensuring they are able to compete in a global marketplace is critical. Partnerships between state government and the private sector allow businesses and industry to grow, and most importantly, hire more staff.”

    The funding is coming from the Department of Economic and Community Development, which will provide a $100,000 grant and 10-year $300,000 loan at 2 percent interest.

    The company’s plans include building new software services that lower the costs of textbooks and other educational material.

    Akademos created the Textbook Adoption Tool, which helps faculty select the right textbooks based on quality, affordability and faculty reviews. They also launched TextbookX, an e-commerce site that helps students find the lowest priced textbooks.

    “This funding will allow us to expand faculty awareness and student access to lower-cost educational materials as well as enable us to continue to develop and introduce new textbook delivery options,” John Squires, CEO of Akademos, said.


    The state is giving a Norwalk company $400,000 to expand and add jobs.The state is giving a Norwalk company $400,000 to expand and add jobs.

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