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    A 66-year-old Florida woman was crushed by a homemade elevator when she went to visit her friend's Gulf Coast home earlier this week, authorities said.

    Margaret Elizabeth Harrison went to Jean Blair's home on Tuesday morning at about 7:30 a.m, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

    Blair has a motorized wheelchair and uses a homemade elevator to get around her three-story house, authorities said.

    On Tuesday, Blair rode the elevator from the third floor to the living area on the second floor. She then sent the elevator to the first floor for Harrison to use, the sheriff's office said.

    When Harrison hadn't arrived by 9 a.m., Blair called Harrison's boyfriend, who drove to the house and saw Harrison's car in the driveway. When he got in the house, he turned on elevator's power to raise it and saw Harrison was underneath.

    Fire Rescue pronounced Harrison dead at the scene. Autopsy results showed that her death was an accident, the sheriff's office said.

    The homemade elevator was added to the home after it was built about 17 years ago, the sheriff's office said. It was made by Blair's husband using a fork lift, wood and welded material. The couple told deputies it was maintained monthly, and it had never failed before.

    However, when Hernando County Building Department arrived at the house, it determined that there were no permits issued for any "lift" or elevator in the house. The "lift," which was found to have dangerous electrical connections, was deemed illegal and unsafe.The Hernando County Building Department shut it down, the sheriff's office said.

    Weird Stories:



    Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

    The woman was pronounced dead at the home.The woman was pronounced dead at the home.

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    One month after the Supreme Court struck down a crucial provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, gay Americans and the government alike are still sorting through the ramifications of the ruling — just as advocates double down on their efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the states.

    When the court declared unconstitutional a key part of the 1996 law that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages, it changed how married same-sex couples would be treated under the law, laying the groundwork for them to get the same federal spousal benefits and immigration rights as straight couples. It also gave a huge boost to the idea that same-sex marriages are marriages like any other.

    “The Supreme Court ruling has added a great deal of momentum, understanding and sympathy,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of national gay marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry. “We still have to take that momentum, understanding and sympathy and put them to work.”

    Putting them to work has meant, for Wolfson’s group, parsing the meaning of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and ensuring the federal government complies. It has also meant a renewed focus on shoring up public support for same-sex marriage nationwide and a flurry of new campaigns in states seen as ripe for legalizing it.

    BACK TO THE STATES

    Just as the court struck down a key part of DOMA, it also dismissed an appeal over California’s gay marriage ban, clearing the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the nation’s most populous state.

    California began marrying same-sex couples just two days after the Supreme Court handed down its ruling. It appears set, for now, to continue doing so, too: Despite efforts by Prop 8 proponents and by a San Diego county clerk, saying the ban was state law, the state’s Supreme Court refused this week to halt same-sex marriages.

    Illinois and New Jersey, both of which now recognize same-sex couples’ civil unions, are next on the list of states where advocates see a shot at legalizing same-sex marriage. So is Hawaii, also a civil unions state — and the state where the possibility of same-sex marriage recognition back in the '90s was enough to spur Congress to pass DOMA.

    Advocates say that where civil unions might once have been thought enough by state legislatures, the Supreme Court’s ruling suggest otherwise, and could help state efforts toward expanding protections.

    “The ruling was so clear in talking about how personally demeaning and unfair it is to gay couples like Edie and Thea, effectively saying, 'Your love is not respected,'” Wolfson said. “The ruling also made clear that there is no good reason for this discrimination.”

    An effort is underway in Oregon, meanwhile, to overturn a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, as well as to pass a new amendment legalizing same-sex marriage into the state constitution. If successful, the effort would be the first such successful effort at writing same-sex marriage into a state constitution.

    Also on advocates’ radar is Pennsylvania, one of the few states where there is no constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, even though a law exists that effectively bans it. That law is called the Defense of Marriage Act and, like the now-gutted federal version, was passed in 1996.

    Pennsylvania’s attorney general refused this month, after a lawsuit was filed challenging that ban, to defend it in court and called it “wholly unconstitutional.” And this week, an official in charge of marriage licenses for a county just outside Philadelphia forced the issue when he began issuing  licenses to same-sex couples despite the state’s ban.

    A PATCHWORK OF LAWS

    “The challenge is that the ruling doesn't recognize marriage in all states,” said Allison Steinberg of the New York LGBT rights advocacy group Empire State Pride Agenda. “It's confusing to people if their place of residence or their place of employment isn't in the same state as where they were married.”

    That, for many advocates, is another reason to double down on the state-by-state effort toward recognition of same-sex marriage in the states.

    But even states that had already recognized same-sex marriage are making their own efforts to comply with the ruling. This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that married same-sex couples — like Edie Windsor, the widow whose Supreme Court challenge ultimately felled DOMA — would be refunded the state estate taxes they had had to pay because the federal government didn’t recognize their marriages.

    The ramifications elsewhere aren’t so clear.

    “What the Supreme Court ruling did was create kind of a patchwork of laws,” Steinberg said. “What we're doing is trying to sift through that and communicate to our community the benefits that they’ll soon have access to.”

    That has meant working with federal agencies as they update their rules and policies to reflect the new federal status of married same-sex couples. Immigration agencies and the Pentagon have already taken major steps toward implementing the new rules, Wolfson said.

    “What's been impressive has been not just the overall momentum that the court has added to the campaign, but also the tangible protections that so many people have begun to share in — the lives that have already benefited,” he said.

    Still, more guidance is still needed from other agencies, particularly the Internal Revenue Service, he said. “Every day of denial is a day of real hardship and uncertainty for families.”



    Photo Credit: AP

    Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court at sun up in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court at sun up in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

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    A Plainville man was arrested today on larceny charges after going to police to complain that he was being short-changed on a plan to defraud Medicaid, according to authorities.

    Brian Borry, 43, of Dwight Street in Plainville, served as a personal care assistant to a disabled woman who allegedly concocted a scheme to bill the state for hours of care he never provided her, according to the Division of Criminal Justice.

    The personal care assistance program is intended to help disabled adults hire assistants to provide daily care at home rather than be placed in a health care facility.

    Between January and December 2010, Borry and the woman submitted 27 fraudulent billings that claimed he had worked between 48 and 52 hours bi-weekly, when he had worked less than half that amount of time, according to the warrant.

    He was paid $15,065 for about $6,600 worth of work, according to the warrant, and the woman deposited the checks and paid Borry, according to officials.

    However, Borry did not receive the share he expected of the proceeds from the fraudulent billings, so he went to Plainville police to complain about it and that he would be subject to taxes on the money, the warrant states.

    Inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney arrested Borry on Friday and charged him with larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community, conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree and insurance fraud.

    Borry was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court, G.A. No. 14, on August 7, 2013. The charges are merely accusations and Borry is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

    Larceny in the First Degree By Defrauding a Public Community and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny in the First Degree are class B felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Insurance Fraud is a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

    Additional arrests are expected, officials said.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCNewYork

    Brian Borry, 43, of Dwight Street in Plainville, served as a personal care assistant to a disabled woman who allegedly concocted a scheme to bill the state for hours of care he never provided her, according to the Division of Criminal Justice.Brian Borry, 43, of Dwight Street in Plainville, served as a personal care assistant to a disabled woman who allegedly concocted a scheme to bill the state for hours of care he never provided her, according to the Division of Criminal Justice.

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    A man accused of shooting a Willimantic police officer in the arm as he responded to a well-being call in June pleaded not guilty on Friday to assault, threatening and additional charges.

    Andrew Samuolis, 34, was arrested on Tuesday, June 25 after police responded to 31 Tunxis Lane in Willimantic around 11:30 a.m. to conduct a well-being check on a resident.

    Lt. Paul Vance, of Connecticut State Police, said they also found a man’s body inside the Tunxis Lane house and it appears to be homicide scene, Vance said.

    When the officer responding to the Tunxis Lane house arrived, he was ambushed and shot by a man, identified as Samuolis, who ran from the scene, according to state police.

    The officer called for help and local and state police, as well as SWAT officers, responded to Tunxis Lane and the area around the IGA on Route 32, where Samuolis was later found.

    The officer was taken to Windham Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening.injuries.

    Samuolis was believed to be wearing a bulletproof vest and ran through several residents' backyards, prompting evacuations, as police searched for him.

    A wide-scale search of the ground and air was launched and a K9 unit found Samuolis near the IGA, took him into custody and brought him to Windham Hospital to be treated for minor K9 wounds.  

    Samuolis has been charged with criminal attempt of assault, criminal attempt of assault on a public safety officer, threatening, breach of peace and interfering with a police officer.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police have a suspect in custody after a police officer was shot in the arm this morning.Police have a suspect in custody after a police officer was shot in the arm this morning.

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    Norwalk police busted an elaborate marijuana grow house on Thursday and found 158 marijuana plants.

    Police said investigators received information that Matthew Rysz, 40, of 28 Edlie Ave. in Norwalk, was operating a hydroponic “grow” of marijuana inside his house.

    They investigated and arrested Ryszon Thursday after finding a large marijuana growing operation.

    Police said Rysz had built an elaborate growing system in the basement, which included a high-powered lighting system to grow the plants, irrigation and drainage system and a ventilation system to ventilate the marijuana smell and the heat from the lights out of the basement.

    Investigators also found several gallons of growing supplements and seized 158 marijuana plants all in different stages of growth.

    Police said most of the plants were mature and ready for harvesting, some were still months from maturing and there were several trays of seedlings.

    Rysz was arrested and held on a $15,000 bond.

    He was charged with drug possession, illegal cultivation of marijuana and operation of a drug factory, as well as additional charges.



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

    Police arrested a Norwalk man accused of running an elaborate marijuana growing operation out of his house.Police arrested a Norwalk man accused of running an elaborate marijuana growing operation out of his house.

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    A man who sneaked up behind a Central Park jogger, threw her to the ground and dragged her off the path last month in an alleged attempt to rape her says it was all a joke and "her eyes" made him think she had a sense of humor and would find it funny.

    Saul Alvarez was arrested about half an hour after the assault the night of June 28 and pleaded not guilty to first-degree attempted rape at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday.

    Shortly after he was taken into custody, the 21-year-old suspect told investigators "her eyes made me think that she had a good sense of humor and she would be a good person to play the prank on," according to court papers. 

    He told authorities he jogged behind her for a few minutes, then made his move when a potential witness on a bike rode away. He said he hooked his right arm under her arm from behind, and "took her down to the ground." Once he grabbed her, the woman began screaming, managed to break free, ran off and called police.

    "When I first took her down, I said 'prank," he told cops. "I've never done this prank in my life. This is the first time ever."

    "My prank was supposed to be to scare her by grabbing her from behind and taking her down to the ground," Alvarez said.

    He later clarified: "The only other time that I ever played this prank was on my wife few years ago and that's how we met."

    The self-professed prankster says his other favorite jokes are to switch out skateboard wheels with marshmallows and replace people's coffee with water.

    "I always 'Gotcha,'" he said. 

    Alvarez faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted. Information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.


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    A shipping mistake is causing some big problems for a California man after police intercepted 14 pounds of marijuana.

    Police said Edward Walker, 40, of Clear Lake, California shipped 14 pounds of marijuana to a Norwalk address of someone who had no idea what was in the boxes.

    When a Norwalk Police Department service dog detected the drugs in the packages, an undercover officer called Walker on the phone.

    Thinking the boxes were incorrectly delivered, Walker made arrangements for the boxes to be returned and to be delivered to the correct customer, police said.

    On Thursday, Walker flew from California to Norwich, with plans to meet the undercover officer on Connecticut Avenue, and negotiated for the package to be returned, police said.

    Additional officers showed up and Walker was arrested as he attempted to take possession of the marijuana.

    He was charged with drug possession, illegal manufacture and distribution of marijuana, sale possession of marijuana and additional charges.

    He was held on a $500,000 bond.

     



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

    Police arrested a California man when a shipment of marijuana winds up going to the wrong person.Police arrested a California man when a shipment of marijuana winds up going to the wrong person.

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    Vernon police have made a second arrest in connection with a robbery at People’s Bank in May.

    Police have arrested James Costello, 37, of Ocean Township in New Jersey, who surrendered to Vernon Police on July 25.

    Police said he is accused of driving the getaway car after the May 25 robbery of People’s Bank at 35 Talcottville Road in Vernon.

    Police previously arrested Arthur Allyn, 32, of the same address, in connection with the same robbery. He was extradited from New Jersey on July 17.

    Allyn is accused of robbing the bank after giving the teller a note. Police said detectives tracked down the vehicle used in the robbery and connected it to Costello and Allyn.

    Costello is charged with second-degree robbery, conspiracy for second-degree robbery, third-degree larceny and conspiracy for third-degree larceny. He was held overnight on a $200,000 bond and will appear in Rockville Superior Court today.

    No one was injured during this robbery, police said, and no additional arrests are expected in connection with the robbery.

    Vernon detectives are continuing to investigate the June 21 robbery of the same People’s Bank Branch and do not believe that the two robberies are connected.

    Anyone with any information about that robbery should call police at 860-872-9126. A reward is being offered for information about this robbery.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Vernon police have arrested a second suspect in a Vernon bank robbery.Vernon police have arrested a second suspect in a Vernon bank robbery.

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    Police are investigating after a man approached a girl as she was walking in Newington this afternoon and told her to get into his car.

    The girl told police she was walking on Willard Avenue by Garfield Street in Newington this afternoon when a man stopped his car beside her and told her to get into the vehicle, police said.

    When the girl refused, the man asked her a few questions and started to get out of the vehicle and approach her, police said.

    When the girl threatened to call police, the driver got back into his car and fled north on Willard Avenue, according to police.

    The girl described the man as tan, skinny, in his mid-forties and between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-10. She said he has short curly black hair and was wearing a dark T-shirt and khaki long shorts. 

    He did not have any facial hair.

    Police said the man was alone in a newer style black Chevrolet four-door sporty vehicle.

    Police checked the area and were not able to find anyone matching the description.

    Anyone with information should call Master Police Officer James G. Johnson at 860-666-8445.


    Police are investigating after a man approached a girl and told her to get into his car.Police are investigating after a man approached a girl and told her to get into his car.

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    Police are investigating the death of a man in Milford on Sunday afternoon.

    The preliminary investigation indicates that two youth entered the back of 10 and 16 Broadway, near Naugatuck Avenue, through a driveway just before noon on Sunday.

    It is believed that they were taking items from recycling receptacles when a man saw them and some sort of disturbance ensued between the three of them, police said.

    Then, another man got involved, suffered a medical condition and called 911, police said.

    He was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

    Police are investigating and gathering information from area residents, businesses and visitors to the area about the time frame between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.

    Police also sent a citywide mass notification message asking for assistance from residents.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Cortes at (203) 783-4731 or (203) 877-1465, email jcortes@ci.milford.ct.us or visit the Crime Tips section of the Milford police web site.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC

    Police are investigating the death of a man in Milford.Police are investigating the death of a man in Milford.

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    San Diego Mayor Bob Filner raised eyebrows on Friday when, instead of announcing his resignation, he told the press that he will check himself in for two weeks of intensive therapy amid allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior.

    Filner, however, is not the first politician whose clumsy mea culpa made headlines in recent history. He is currently in good company with New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, who is on the other side of the country trying to sidestep his own sex scandal. Weiner confessed to sexting more women after he resigned from Congress in 2011.

    Here is a look back at other awkward press conferences by politicians embroiled in sex scandals:

    Weinergate Part 1
    Anthony Weiner's first sexting scandal began in May 2011 when, during his tenure in Congress, he sent a sexually suggestive photo to a woman through Twitter. Although the embattled politician eventually confessed to his bad behavior, he at first denied that he posted the photo and blamed the tweet on hackers.

    Larry Craig
    The former Senator from Idaho was arrested on June 11, 2007 for lewd behavior after he solicited sexual activity from an undercover police officer at a Minnesota airport restroom. At the press conference following his guilty plea, he gave an awkward and robotic speech where he said he regretted his confession. "I am not gay. I never have been gay," he said. "In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away."

    Jim McGreevey
    The former New Jersey state senator outted himself and resigned on August 12, 2004 amid threats of a sexual harassment lawsuit from his gubernatorial campaign aide Golan Cipel. "I am a gay American," McGreevey said at the news event. He also confessed that he had "engaged in an adult consensual affair with another man," who many suspected was Cipel.

    Mark Sanford
    The former South Carolina governor admitted in a news conference in June 2009 that he had an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina after his whereabouts became the source of national attention. During his disappearance, one of his aides said he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. The news conference began rather oddly with Sanford talking on about his "love for the Appalachian Trail" and his need to get away from the public eye. After rambling on for several minutes, he issued apologies to his family and staff for his indiscretion and lies.

    Bill Clinton
    After the story broke that Bill Clinton had engaged in an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the former president attempted to squash the scandal by speaking out about it at a press conference about -- of all topics -- his education initiatives. His adamant denial became one of the most well-known soundbites in his presidency. "I did not have sexual relations with that women," Clinton said.



    Photo Credit: AP

    From left to right: Bob Filner, Jim McGreevey, Mark Sanford, Anthony WeinerFrom left to right: Bob Filner, Jim McGreevey, Mark Sanford, Anthony Weiner

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    Remember the good ol' school days? When it was guaranteed that there would always be three months off for summer, one week off in the spring and a host of "teacher work days" in between? In this stressful working world, they probably seem like a lifetime ago.

    Americans, living as they do in the only developed country that does not nationally mandate paid vacation, savor rare days off.

    Co.Exist reported Friday that Working Families Party communications director Joe Dinkin wanted to share his vacation appreciation with the world — and in this digital age, what better way to do that than through his auto-reply email?

    His creative auto-reply, published on Co.Exist, is anything but a standard "I am out of the office" response, but rather a self-reflective, informative email that lets the reader know that Dinkin has got it pretty good.

    Hello,

    Thanks for your email. I’m on vacation this week…

    It occurs to me that I’m lucky to be able take a vacation. After all, almost one in four Americans don’t get any paid vacation time at all. Around a third don’t get any paid sick days. On top of that, Americans are working more hours -- family work hours are up more than 10% since the 1970s. And even though productivity and corporate profits are high, household income is stagnant or declining for everyone but the top 1%.

    Here in New Brunswick, workers are guaranteed two weeks vacation time. And in addition to Canada’s famous single payer healthcare system, the minimum wage is $10 an hour. (No funny math with conversion rates -- that’s $9.65 in US dollars.) Oh, and don’t forget about the employment insurance-paid sick leave and maternity leave.

    Sounds pretty good, right? It’s also supposed to be 10 or 15 degrees cooler here.

    -Joe Dinkin


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    Born on the same date and married for 75 years, a Long Beach, Calif., husband and wife died one day apart earlier this month.

    Helen and Les Brown, high school sweethearts who celebrated three-quarters of a century together this year, died July 16 and July 17, respectively.

    At Ma N' Pa Grocery in Belmont Heights, the store where Helen went every day, the couple’s story – published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram – is posted for all to read.

    Owner Renee Henderson noted how rare such long-lasting love stories are.

    "You don't see that these days; it's like one in a million," Henderson said.

    She recalls one day when Helen walked into the store, where she fancied the chicken wings, and her husband, the mashed potatoes and gravy.

    "She put her hand on his face and said, 'Isn't he the most beautiful man ever?' And that kinda stuck with me," Henderson recalled.

    MORE 4 YOU: SoCal news on the go - NBC4's free mobile app

    Helen and Les Brown were born on the same day in December 1918; they were 94 when they died.

    "It was a real love match, wasn't it?" their oldest son, Les Jr., told the Press-Telegram. "They were together every day for 75 years."

    The two met at Huntington Park High School and eloped in 1937, marrying against their parents’ wishes, the newspaper reported. They moved to Long Beach in 1963.

    A public service for the pair will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 5852 Belgrade Ave., Garden Grove.

    More Southern California Stories:

     


    Helen and Les Brown of Long Beach were married 75 years. They died one day apart in July 2013. Photo courtesy Ashleigh Ruhl/ Grunion Gazette.Helen and Les Brown of Long Beach were married 75 years. They died one day apart in July 2013. Photo courtesy Ashleigh Ruhl/ Grunion Gazette.

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    The owner of a Portland market got quite a surprise with a shipment of lobsters this week: A blue lobster.

    Blue Lou, as he's been dubbed, is turning heads at Tri-Town Foods.

    "Never seen a blue lobster before. It's the craziest blue I've ever seen," one customer said on Friday.

    According to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, the blue color stems from a genetic defect that produces an excessive amount of a certain protein. The chances of finding a blue lobster are about two million to one.

    The store's owners say they don't want to sell Blue Lou, and instead will look to give him to an aquarium where he can live out the rest of his life.


    The owners of Tri-Town Foods in Portland found a blue lobster in a shipment of lobsters from Maine this week.The owners of Tri-Town Foods in Portland found a blue lobster in a shipment of lobsters from Maine this week.

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    Bridgeport police are investigating the death of a man at the Gathering of the Vibes music festival.

    According to police, an unresponsive man was found at the festival Friday afternoon. The victim, who was in his late 20s, was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Detectives are investigating the man's death as an apparent overdose, according to police.

    The victim's name has not been released while police notify the man's family.


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  • 07/26/13--20:10: Top News Photos of the Week

  • View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

    Photo Credit: AP

    Spain Train Crash: A train derailed in northwestern Spain on July 23, 2013, toppling passenger cars on their sides and leaving at least one torn open as smoke rose into the air. At least 80 people were killed in the incident. Relatives of victims react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. Click through to see more photos from July 19 to July 26.Spain Train Crash: A train derailed in northwestern Spain on July 23, 2013, toppling passenger cars on their sides and leaving at least one torn open as smoke rose into the air. At least 80 people were killed in the incident. Relatives of victims react at a victims information point in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Thursday July 25, 2013. Click through to see more photos from July 19 to July 26.

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    Family, friends, former classmates, and neighbors of Janice Pockett gathered for an emotional ceremony to remember the young Tolland girl who disappeared 40 years ago.

    The town's 300th Anniversary Committee raised money for a bench to honor the seven-year-old and it was dedicated at the Cross Farms Recreation Complex on Rhodes Road Friday night, the anniversary of her disappearance.

    The bench features Janice's picture, a butterfly, and the words "Never Stop Looking."

    "It's hard to believe it's been 40 years," Mary Engelbrecht, Janice's younger sister, told the crowd.

    Janice loved butterflies.

    When she disappeared, Janice was on her way to retrieve the butterfly she placed under a rock on Rhodes Road days earlier.

    That was July 26, 1973.

    She's never been seen since and the case remains unsolved.

    "There's nothing worse than not knowing what happened to my sister but there's always hope and I will not give up that perhaps someday her disappearance can be solved," said Engelbrecht.

    State police Lt. Paul Vance told the crowd tips are still coming in and he made a public plea for new leads.

    "If you know anything, give it to us anonymously, write us a letter, send us an email," said Lt. Vance.

    Organizers of the dedication displayed missing posters and news articles from the case.

    Barbara Dube was among the hundreds who helped search for Janice after she disappeared.

    "This is a wonderful town and we stick together and this shows it," said Dube.

    As the ceremony ended, Janice's loved ones released butterflies into the air in honor of the girl they lost so long ago.

    "It means so much to me that so many people have kept my sister alive in their hearts all these years. I'm just touched," said Engelbrecht.

    Pockett was one of three girls who went missing from the Tolland and Vernon areas back in the 1960's and 1970's. The other two are Lisa White and Deborah Spickler. None of those cases have ever been solved.

     


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    A North Texas woman is recovering following an attack from a swarm of bees that killed her two horses.

    The attack happened Wednesday evening behind a Pantego home in the 2500 block of Miller Lane, directly across the street from the police department.

    Kristen Beauregard told NBC 5 she was working with Chip, her prize miniature horse, in the backyard when -- unprovoked -- thousands of bees swarmed her and the horse. The insects are suspected to be Africanized bees.

    The pain from the stings was like being stabbed with hundreds of knives and torched with a flamethrower at the same time, she said. She still has some visible welts on her eyelids from the attack.

    Chip quickly became covered with bees and began thrashing wildly around the yard in pain, she said.

    She and the horse both jumped into the backyard swimming pool in an effort to escape the bees, but even that provided little relief. The bees hovered above the water and stung Beauregard's face when she would come up for air, she said.

    Eventually her boyfriend, who heard her screams, brought her into the house and called 911.

    "I've been in Pantego for 26 years, and this is the first time I've seen anything like this," said Police Chief Thomas Griffith, who helped respond to the incident.

    Pantego is a town in Tarrant County near the city of Arlington.

    Several Pantego firefighters, paramedics and police officers responded to the scene.

    Firefighters used foam to douse the bees, while paramedics and police officers wearing only button-up shirts helped Beauregard pull Chip and her Shetland show pony, Trump, away from the swarm.

    Chip was stung hundreds of times and his body was covered in welts, Beauregard said. He died from his injuries that night.

    Trump initially survived but succumbed to his injuries Thursday.

    Emergency responders tried to provide oxygen to the animals using breathing masks and administered epinephrine injections and Benadryl in an effort to stop the swelling, Griffith said.

    Beauregard, whom paramedics estimate was stung approximately 200 times, praised the efforts of the emergency crews who risked their lives in an effort to save her and her animals.

    A beekeeper removed on Thursday the approximately 6-foot-tall beehive that was home to an estimated 30,000 bees. It was located in a shed about 30 yards from the scene of the initial attack.

    Beauregard told NBC 5 that neither she nor her horses did anything to provoke the bees prior to the attack.

    She said she had seen some bees going in and out of the shed as early as February and had asked the woman she leases the land from to have an exterminator called in. The work was never done, Beauregard said.

    Beauregard said she now encourages anyone who sees bees or a potential hive to have them eradicated to prevent an incident like what happened to her.



    Photo Credit: Kristen Beauregard

    Chip, a prize miniature horse, and Trump, a Shetland show pony, died after thousands of bees attacked the horses and their owner, Kristen Beauregard.Chip, a prize miniature horse, and Trump, a Shetland show pony, died after thousands of bees attacked the horses and their owner, Kristen Beauregard.

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  • 07/27/13--11:17: Fatal Shooting in Hartford

  •  

    Hartford Police are investigating after a fatal shooting early Saturday morning.
     
    Police responded to the intersection of Albany Ave. and Vine St. after Shot Spotter had recorded multiple shots fired. A resident of the area called police to report a male was lying on the ground suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
     
    When police arrived, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper chest in front of 717 Albany Ave.
     
    The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital and was initially listed in critical condition.He succumbed to his injuries at 5:45 a.m.
     
    This is the 12th homicide of the year in the city.
     
    Police are still searching for a suspect. Police say that there are few witnesses and they are asking anyone with information to step forward.

     


    Hartford Police are investigating a fatal shooting at Albany Ave. and Vine St.Hartford Police are investigating a fatal shooting at Albany Ave. and Vine St.

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    An exotic dancer from Southern California will get back her more than $1 million in life savings that a Nebraska state trooper seized during a traffic stop last year, after a federal judge said authorities failed to prove the money was connected to drug activity.

    Friends of Tara Mishra, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, were traveling across country on March 3, 2012 as part of a business deal that fell through for a nightclub in New Jersey when they were stopped by a state trooper for speeding on Interstate 80 in North Platte, Nebraska, court documents said.

    The trooper seized the more than $1 million in cash, which was bundled in bags in $10,000 increments, after a consensual search of the car.

    Nebraska state troopers turned over the money to the federal government for a federal civil forfeiture action. Mishra hired an attorney who filed claim to get the money back. A judge ruled in her favor on July 18.

    "We’re very happy,” said Roger Diamond, Mishra's Santa Monica attorney. “We won the case. People said we wouldn’t be able to do it."

    U.S. District Court Judge Joseph F. Bataillon wrote in his judgment that "the government left too many unanswered questions."

    "There is no nexus between the currency and any illegal activity," he wrote.

    As an exotic dancer for years, Mishra had saved the money in bank safe deposit boxes with the hope of one day buying a business so she could quit her job as a stripper, court documents said.

    Mishra, an ex-con who served prison time for felony transporting controlled substances in 2003, testified in court that she had her friends drive the money across country because she didn’t want to risk driving herself and getting robbed.

    The U.S. government has 60 days from the date of the judgment to file an appeal, said John Higgins, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Drug Enforcement Unit in Nebraska. 

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