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    Saturday marked the first official day of competition at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. That included the awarding of the Games' first medals and some looming showdowns on ice and snow.

    Here's what you need to know.

    Sochi’s first gold goes to America

    America can thank something called the “Holy Crail” for the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics.

    That’s what snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg named the trick he pulled for the first time Saturday, propelling him to a first-run score that no one could top.

    Kotsenburg said he had no advance plans for the move, which he executed in his first big jump, rotating four-and-a-half times in a helicopter position while grabbing the back of his board and pulling his legs back. He landed cleanly. The crowd gasped. The judges gave him a 93.5. A little while later, he was on top of the podium, his first win in a big competition, on the grandest of stages. Kotsenburg, 20, is from Idaho and has a surfer-dude persona which was on full display afterward. "I kind of do random stuff all the time, never make a plan up," he said. "I had no idea I was even going to do a 1620 in my run until three minutes before I dropped. It's kind of what I'm all about."

    Russia is still waiting for theirs

    At the end of competition Saturday, Norway led the medal race, with four total, including a pair of golds. Canada and the Netherlands each had three medals, including one gold. America won two:  Kotensburg’s gold, and a bronze won by moguls skier Hannah Kearney, the defending champion who'd been widely expected to take gold.

    And where was Russia, the host?

    Shut out.

    Biathlete Anton Shipulin was close to earning Russia’s first medal, gold at that. But he missed a target in the final shooting round, and ended up in fourth place. He said later, “I hate myself.”

    The drought won't last long. Russia should begin picking up medals on Sunday.

    Bode is back on top

    The final training run in the men’s downhill established American Bode Miller as a leading contender for gold when official medal races begin on Sunday.

    For the second time in three days, Miller — a five-time medalist — ended with the fastest time.

    That sets up a showdown with Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal in what could be one of the most exciting events of the Sochi Games.

    Miller has clearly been more aggressive in his training runs, while Svindal has admitted being more reserved.

    Asked what his objectives were Saturday, Miller said with a smile: "Um, not kill myself was primary."
    Svindal said of Miller: "He's skiing really well. That's his biggest advantage right now. Especially the top part, it's impressive.”

    Also on Saturday, the downhill event suffered a bit of a snag during the bib draw for Sunday’s race.
    The starting positions were drawn from a pot, but when two racers were put into the same spot, the Americans called for, and were granted, a redraw.

    The redraw didn’t drastically affect the lineup among the top racers. Steven Nyman of the U.S. drew the No. 1 spot after Jan Hudec of Canada initially had it, the Associated Press reported.

    Thank you, Meryl and Charlie

    Figure skating pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White bailed out the Americans in the figure skating team competition, winning the ice dancing short program.

    The first-place performance righted the Americans’ momentum after a lackluster Thursday. Teammates Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth in the ladies’ short program, and Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who finished fourth in the pairs free skate, did well enough to keep the team in medal contention. They ended Saturday in third place overall.

    Gold, however, is out of the question. The Russians pretty much have that wrapped up when competition concludes on Sunday. Canada is in second place.

    Here’s Johnny!

    Bobsledder Johnny Quinn pulled his own version of the scary scene from “The Shining” after getting stuck in the bathroom of his Olympic Village hotel room.

    A former professional football player, Quinn had just finished showering when he found that the door had jammed. He didn’t have his phone, so he ripped a hole and climbed through.

    Then his took a picture of it and posted it on Twitter with the hashtag "SochiJailBreak."



    Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

    American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Saturday.American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Saturday.

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  • 02/09/14--04:44: Olympian's "Broken Heart"

  • Bronze wasn't good enough for American freestyle skier Hannah Kearney, who took to Twitter after her race saying she had a "broken heart." 

    The 27-year-old 2010 Vancouver champion was hoping to set a record in Sochi Saturday for back-to-back gold medals at the Winter Olympics. Instead, she fell to third as Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe took gold and silver in moguls.

    “Bronze feels a lot like a broken heart,” the 25-time World Cup winner tweeted.

    Dozens of fans replied with their sympathy and support, Olympian Lauren Cheney among them.

    “Appreciated @HK_Ski honesty and emotion after winning bronze…#TeamUSA is still proud of you!” the Team USA soccer player tweeted.

    While most reaction was positive, Kearney also recieved blunt replies accusing her of being a sore loser and saying that she should be satisfied with merely being in the Olympic Games.

    An hour after her first post, Kearney reflected again on her place on the podium. “In better news, I contributed to the #TeamUSA medal count, I am healthy and I believe everything happens for a reason,” she wrote. The tweet was favorited by fans over 1,000 times.


     



    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Bronze Medallist, US Hannah Kearney, celebrates during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Moguls Flower Ceremony at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 8, 2014.Bronze Medallist, US Hannah Kearney, celebrates during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Moguls Flower Ceremony at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 8, 2014.

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  • 02/09/14--17:03: Where Bode Went Wrong

  • By the time Bode Miller reached the finish, the air of disappointment was palpable. Rather than the expected coronation and celebration, American fans stood silent in the grandstands, while his wife—professional beach volleyball player Morgan Beck—merely stared in disbelief. All Miller could do was crouch over his skis, shoulders and head slumped.

    After winning two training runs, Miller couldn't live up to his favorite status in Sunday's men's Olympic downhill, finishing a disappointing eighth place, over half a second behind gold medalist Matthias Mayer of Austria. As Miller prophetically reminded the media all week, fast training times don't equal gold medals.

    On paper, it was an ill-timed impact with a gate that ended Miller's chances of victory. After setting the fastest time on the track's technical upper section, the five-time Olympic vet looked poised to replicate the speed he'd showcased in training. If he had, he would have become the oldest ever Alpine gold medalist. Instead, Miller let his line run low in the course's mid-section, was forced to hurl himself through a panel gate and scrubbed precious momentum going into the critical lower section. 

    Miller would later tell reporters he switched tactics on race day, believing a tighter, riskier line was required to win. 
     
    "The visibility has changed a ton from the training run," Miller said. "The middle and bottom of the course slowed so much from the beginning of the race until I went that I thought you have to do something magical to win."
     
    On closer inspection, however, Miller's problems started well before that glaring mistake. In stark contrast to the relaxed and effortless skiing we saw in training, the five-time Olympic medal winner seemed to be charging too hard out of the gate, jamming his edges instead of executing smooth turns and making small mistakes from start to finish. On the all important Lake Jump (which sends skiers on a 60 meter flight), Miller was so off balance that he became twisted mid-flight, looking more like a freestyle skier than a racer.
     
    For the New Hampshire native, this race day flameout appeared to be a case of wanting the win too badly. Of course every skier who stands in the starting gate dreams of gold, but for Miller these Games are the last chance to a put a cherry on top of a storied career. And nothing would have given his Olympic career a more dramatic conclusion than gold in Alpine's marquee event, the downhill. 
     
    After sitting out last season to recover from knee surgery, Miller came into these Games in arguably the best shape of his life, leaving little doubt that Sochi was his main objective. Unlike the aloof, almost petulant attitude he displayed in Torino, where he entered the Games as a legitimate threat in all five Alpine events, only to leave without a medal (claiming he had more fun partying than skiing), Miller came to Sochi in high spirits, laying down the gauntlet in training and stating that it was a "pleasure for me to ski on this track." 
     
    Of course Miller didn't need to redeem himself in Sunday's downhill. He already did that four years ago in Vancouver, where he collected a gold, silver and bronze in three events, becoming America's most decorated male Alpine racer of all time. But Miller is a competitor with a legacy at stake, and he'll certainly want to leave his mark on these Sochi Games.
     
    Fortunately, he'll have a chance to do just that in Thursday's combined, an event in which Miller is the defending Olympic champion. 

     

     


    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    US skier Bode Miller reacts in the finish area during the Men's Alpine Skiing Downhill at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014.US skier Bode Miller reacts in the finish area during the Men's Alpine Skiing Downhill at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 9, 2014.

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    The second day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi kicked off on the snow and ice. Click to see the best photos from competition.

    Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

    Jamie Anderson gave the U.S. a gold medal sweep in the Olympics' first-ever slopestyle snowboarding competition.Jamie Anderson gave the U.S. a gold medal sweep in the Olympics' first-ever slopestyle snowboarding competition.

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  • 02/09/14--04:18: Two Car Accident in Westport

  • A two-car rollover in Westport this morning sent two people to the hospital.

    The Westport fire department responded to I-95 North in the area of Exits 17 and 18 around 5:30 a.m.

    There they discovered a Ford Sedan on its roof and a Chevrolet pick up truck laying on its passenger side.

    All of the occupants of the vehicles were able to walk away from the accident on their own. Two of them were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


    The two cars involved in a rollover accident in Westport Sunday morning.The two cars involved in a rollover accident in Westport Sunday morning.

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    One person is dead after being stabbed inside a home in Torrington early Sunday morning, according to police.

    Officers found 25-year-old David A. Vazquez, of 164 North Elm Street in Torrington, suffering from stab wounds at his home just after 3:30 a.m.

    Vazquez was transported to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said. He was then pronounced dead at 11:10 a.m.

    At this time, police say that this does not appear to be a random act and believe that the victim knew the suspect.

    No arrests have been made.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Torrington Police Det. James Crean at 860-489-2061.


    The scene at 164 North Elm St. in TorringtonThe scene at 164 North Elm St. in Torrington

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    The plans of a robber went completely wrong after pulling out a toy gun on a store clerk, according to Dallas police.

    Around 4 a.m on Saturday, officers responded to a disturbance at the Race Trac on Northwest Highway.

    Police say the 22-year-old suspect, Anthony Bell, walked into the gas station and pulled out a gun on the clerk.

    The cashier employee working at that time realized that the gun was just a toy and began to beat up the suspect.

    Bell was arrested and transported to the hospital. Police say he is charged with robbery, a second degree felony.

    The clerk suffered minor injuries.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    A Southern California man is accusing Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies in a federal civil rights lawsuit of attacking him and using a Taser on his genitals while his mother watched.

    Daniel Johnson, 26, filed the lawsuit in January against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after deputies allegedly threw him to the ground and attacked him for asking if he could pick up his father's cigarette to avoid a fine.

    Johnson was cooking dinner at his mother's Altadena home on Dec. 26, 2012, when a man knocked on the door to tell Johnson his father was being ticketed outside for putting out a cigarette on the ground, according to the filed complaint.

    The complaint describes Johnson's father as a 58-year-old disabled man who walks with a cane and often drops things because of nerve damage in his hands.

    LA Sheriff's "Deputy Abdulfattah," as named in the complaint, explained to Johnson he was giving his father a $1,000 ticket and community service for littering.

    Johnson offered to pick the cigarette up from the ground, when Abdulfattah told Johnson, "I can write you a ticket too if you want," according to the complaint.

    "I asked if it would be possible for me to just pick it up," Johnson told NBC4. "We don't have $1,000 to pay that ticket."

    Johnson's mother came outside as Johnson began to walk away, until the other deputy, named in the complaint as "Deputy Russell," allegedly grabbed Johnson from behind and tried to slam him against the patrol car and into a concrete post, the complaint states.

    Johnson's parents asked the deputies to "leave him alone" because he "hasn't done anything wrong."

    Russell, according to the complaint, allegedly put Johnson in a "full nelson hold" with his arms under Johnson's armpits and hand behind Johnson's head.

    At the same time Russell then allegedly took Johnson to the ground, Abdulfattah allegedly hit Johnson's father in the face, according to the complaint.

    While Johnson was held to the ground by Russell, Abdulfattah used a Taser on Johnson's genitals multiple times, the complaint stated.

    "He was definitely point blank," Johnson said. "He was right above me as he Tased me, so there's no mistake that he was trying to Tase me in my genitalia."

    His mother said the deputy stared at her while she screamed.

    "He's looking directly at me every time he pulls that trigger, and at one point my son says, 'Mom, I'm OK," Johnson's mother, Rose Gonzales, told NBC4. "So at that point, I realize this guy is doing this because I am reacting."

    Johnson could "smell his flesh burning from the tases" and was screaming in pain, according to the complaint.

    Johnson told NBC4 he begged the deputies to stop and repeatedly told them he was not resisting. He was eventually arrested for battery on a police officer, though he maintains in the complaint he never engaged in any physical contact with the deputies.

    Abdulfattah allegedly told Johnson to "shut up" when Johnson said his father needed his inhaler, the complaint stated.

    LA County Sheriff's Department officials would not comment on the case except to describe one of the deputies in question as "the best deputy in the division."

    Johnson, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley with no criminal history, said the battery charges were never filed and the case was dropped. He said he just hopes audio recordings or video exist of the confrontation.

    "When there's nothing to verify what actually happened, it becomes a state where it's their word versus ours," Johnson said.


    Daniel Johnson, 26, of Los Angeles, is alleging in a federal civil rights lawsuit that he was attacked and burned in the genitals with a Taser by LA County sheriff's deputies in 2012.Daniel Johnson, 26, of Los Angeles, is alleging in a federal civil rights lawsuit that he was attacked and burned in the genitals with a Taser by LA County sheriff's deputies in 2012.

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  • 02/09/14--22:51: NY Man Missing in Mexico

  • Authorities have launched a search for a former financial trader from New York who went missing on a motorcycle trip in Mexico last month.

    Harry Devert, 32, of Westchester County was last heard from Jan. 25, when he called his girlfriend to say the Mexican military was escorting him out of the state of Michoacán, which they told him was too dangerous. He last told her that he would contact her later. 

    "I don't know if he's been kidnapped, I don't know if he skidded off the road, I don't know what's happened to this master communicator who has gone off the grid," said his mother, Ann Devert.

    She said her son, a consummate traveler, had planned to write a book about his trip. She said the area he visited was supposedly controlled by a drug cartel.
       
    Devert's family said American and Mexican authorities are working to find him. Devert's friends have also set up a Facebook page titled "Help Find Harry" to aid in the search.


    Harry DevertHarry Devert

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    Route 30 has reopened on the Ellington/Tolland town line, according to state police.

    The road was closed for several hours while crews battled a structure fire.

    It's not clear if anyone was injured in the fire.

    Check back for updates.


    It only took firefighters five minutes to control the blaze.It only took firefighters five minutes to control the blaze.

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    The men’s luge singles wrapped up today in Sochi, and Ridgefield’s own Tucker West managed a 22nd-place finish in the finals Sunday.

    Felix Loch of Germany brought home the gold with a final-run time of 51.764 seconds, Russia's Albert Demchenko landed the silver medal with a 51.764-second final run and Armin Zoeggeler of Italy snagged the bronze with a time of 51.994 seconds.

    West's final run timed out at 52.696 second.

    At only 18, West is the youngest man to ever compete on the U.S. Olympic Luge Team. He hails from Ridgefield, where he grew up doing the luge after building a course with his father, Brett.

    He made his Olympic debut Saturday and went into the second day of competition in 23rd place. With 19 lugers to go on Sunday, he found himself in 3rd place, but was ultimately bumped down to 22nd.

    See the full results here.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Tucker West of the United States makes a run during the Luge Men's Singles on Day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sliding Center Sanki on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 08: Tucker West of the United States makes a run during the Luge Men's Singles on Day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sliding Center Sanki on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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    The second day of competition at the Sochi Games ended Sunday with Norway atop the medal board, the U.S. in third and with Russia finally exerting its power.

    Behind those rankings were some remarkable performances, on ice and snow.

    Here are some of them.

    America’s slopestyle sweep

    A day after American slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won Sochi’s first gold medal, teammate Jamie Anderson won the women’s event, giving the United States a sweep in the competition’s Olympic debut.

    Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took silver and Jennie Jones of Britain won bronze.

    Considered one of the greatest slopestylers of her generation, Anderson, 23, said she struggled to maintain a sense of calm before her championship run.

    She’d crashed during a Wednesday training run, and talked about how difficult the course had been.

    But in the end, she almost made it look easy.

    "I think most of us have been thinking about this for a few years," Anderson said, according to The Associated Press. "To just have that moment come so quick and really knowing this is your moment, you just want to shine and do your best and show the world what a fun sport snowboarding is."

    Russia’s first medal

    It took until Sunday, but the host country finally got on the medal board.

    The first medal, a bronze, came as a bit of a surprise.

    Speedskater Olga Graf wasn’t expected to land on the podium in the women’s 3,000 meters. But her run of 4:03:47 drew roars from the home crowd. Graf, looking a bit stunned, Graf raised her arms in triumph. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent congratulations.

    She ended up in third, while Dutch skater Ireen Wust won the gold. Defending Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won silver.

    Later came the Russians’ first gold, in the team figure skating competition, led by 31-year-old legend Evgeny Plushenko and 15-year-old sensation Yulia Lipnitskaya. The Russians ran away in the inaugural team event, with 75 points to second place Canada’s 65 and America’s 60.

    The current medal standings are: Norway first, with seven medals, two of them gold; Netherlands second, with four medals, including two golds, and the U.S. third, with four medals, including two golds.

    Gracie Gold’s debut

    The team figure skating’s Sunday program also featured the Olympic debut of another young skater, American Gracie Gold. She didn’t disappoint.

    For months, Gold has been the face of American medal hopes, a lot of pressure for an 18-year-old. But she handled the pressure with poise, and no big errors.

    With that, Gold positioned herself as among the small group of favorites in the individual competition, which begins later this week.

    Ashley Wagner’s meme

    One of Gold’s teammates Ashley Wagner caused a stir of an entirely different kind.

    After a redemptive mistake-free routine in Saturday’s short skate program of the team competition, Wagner sat in the kiss-and-cry room to watch her scores come in.

    This was a special moment for Wagner, who once ranked fourth in the world but barely made the Olympic team after placing fourth in the U.S. national championships. Many questioned whether she belonged in Sochi, and her first routine there was sign that she did.

    But when Wagner saw her score — 63.10, which put her in fourth place — her outraged expression was captured on national television.

    The image was captured and bounced around the internet. It also became the most rewatched moment among TiVo viewers, the company said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

    The second most rewatched moment was of Lipnitskaya spinning with one leg held vertically over her head during her short program routine.

    Bode’s flameout

    That awesome showdown everyone was expecting in the men’s downhill between veterans American Bode Miller and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal?

    Didn’t happen.

    Miller, who skied the fastest times in two of the three training runs, made a costly error Sunday that slowed him on a key jump and ruined his chances at any kind of medal.

    The impact was apparent as soon as Miller crossed the finish line: he crouched down, head slumped, while his wife stared expressionless and American fans fell silent.

    Miller ended up in eighth. Svindal was a little better, coming in fourth.

    The winner was someone no one expected: 23-year-old Matthias Mayer of Austria, who’d never won a major international race.

    Later, Miller told reporters what happened: he changed tactics on race day, trying for a more riskier approach. It failed him.

    Miller, who has five Olympic medals, will be back on the mountain later this week for the combined, in which he won the gold in Vancouver.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Jamie Anderson of the United States waits to receive her score in her Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.Jamie Anderson of the United States waits to receive her score in her Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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  • 02/09/14--21:21: 6 Killed in LA Crash

  • Six people were killed and a 21-year-old woman faces criminal charges after she crashed her car while driving the wrong way on a Los Angeles County freeway while allegedly under the influence early Sunday.

    Authorities responded to the crash around 4:40 a.m. on the Pomona (60) Freeway in Diamond Bar, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    Olivia Carolee Culbreath is accused of driving a red Chevrolet Camaro when she crashed into two other vehicles, officials said.

    A family of four was killed in the wreck, and two other people died while being taken to a hospital in Irvine.

    A total of five women and one man were killed, officials said. A man driving a Ford SUV survived the wreck.

    "There are witnesses saying she was exceeding 100 mph," CHP Spokesman Rodrigo Jimenez said. "We believe alcohol had something to do with this crash."

    Authorities said the Culbreath was hospitalized in critical condition with a broken femur and a busted bladder. 

    Culbreath faces felony DUI charges and vehicular manslaughter charges, Jimenez said.

    A Sigalert was issued for traffic in the area. The westbound 60 Freeway was closed for hours as officials examined the wreckage.

    The cause of the crash is under investigation, officials said.
     



    Photo Credit: Reggie Kumar

    A 21-year-old woman was charged with DUI, vehicular manslaughter after she crashed on the 60 Freeway, killing 6 people while driving the wrong way.A 21-year-old woman was charged with DUI, vehicular manslaughter after she crashed on the 60 Freeway, killing 6 people while driving the wrong way.

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    About 30 students attending religious education had to be evacuated after the kitchen in their temple caught fire Sunday in Woodbridge.

    Students studying at the Ezra Academy at the Congregation B'Nai Jacob , 75 Rimmon Road, were evacuated around 11:15 a.m. after a fire started in the kitchen. 

    The fire was contained to the kitchen that is located off of the school's gym. No injuries were reported.

    Firefighters on scene say that there is a significant amount of smoke damage to the temple.


    The stove that caught fire at the congregation.The stove that caught fire at the congregation.

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    Fire officials responded to a major house fire on Hancock Avenue in Bridgeport this morning.

    When firefighters arrived at 880 Hancock Avenue, heavy fire was coming from the second and third floors and attic, according to fire officials.

    No injuries were reported, and firefighters said the home was empty when the fire broke out.

    The house is heavily damaged.

    Firefighters are investigating to determine the cause of the fire.


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    A Qunnipiac hockey player is taking time off to represent her native Sweden on the ice in Sochi.

    Erica Uden-Johansson came to Quinnipiac University after being recruited at a hockey camp in Sweden. She jokes that the real reason she decided to attend was because Quinnipiac’s colors – blue and yellow – match Sweden’s.

    Uden-Johansson said it was tough transitioning to life in Connecticut, but she’s grateful for everything she’s learned along the way.

    “It was really difficult in the beginning. I barely talked English at all… but then again, no one spoke Swedish to me, so I had to speak English,” Uden-Johansson said, adding, “I’ve definitely grown to be more outgoing and just grew up, basically.”

    She said Quinnipiac has helped to hone her hockey skills and positioned her well for her second Olympic appearance.

    “It feels really great to be here,” she told NBC Connecticut’s Kevin Nathan, “and also that I can take everything that I’ve learned from Quinnipiac to use it here… combined with the stuff that we use for Team Sweden.”

    Sweden is off to a good start after edging out Japan on Day 2 of the Games. Although Jenni Asserholt made the winning shot, Uden-Johansson played an aggressive game with a team-high four shots on goal. She saw just under 10 minutes of playing time.

    Uden-Johansson competed in the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, when Team Sweden fell short in overtime during the bronze medal game. This year she’s hoping for a place on the podium.

    She’ll return to Quinnipiac next year to play her senior season.

    Team Sweden will face Germany on Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Erica Uden-Johansson plays hockey for Team Sweden and Quinnipiac University.Erica Uden-Johansson plays hockey for Team Sweden and Quinnipiac University.

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    The team figure skating competition in Sochi has become a story of age: the enduring performance of an aging Russian male champion, and the debut of two young females, one American and the other Russian.

    The legend, 31-year-old Evgeny Plushenko, turned in two stellar routines that propelled the Russians to gold. Two days after placing second in Friday’s short skate, he won Sunday’s free skate.

    The youngsters, 15-year-old Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya and 18-year-old American Gracie Gold, stamped their own marks.

    Lipnitskaya, following up on her breathtaking short routine on Saturday, scored 141.5 in the free skate, vaulting her from darkhorse to favorite in the individual competition.

    Gold delivered a solid technical routine in Sunday’s free skate, scoring a personal best 129.38, helping the U.S. clinch the bronze medal.

    American stars Meryl Davis and Charlie White easily won the final program of the team competition, the ice dance free skate, with a score of 114.34, their personal best. In second were their closest friends and rivals, Candians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Russians Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov finished third with 103.48.

    But thanks to Plushenko, there was no catching the Russians, who won gold with 75 overall points. Canada took silver with 65 points and America bronze with 60. They were trailed by Italy, 51, and Japan, 50.

    The results gave Plushenko his fourth career Winter Games medal, and Russia’s first gold in Sochi. Russia was shut out of ice skating medals in 2010 in Vancouver, marking the low point of a decline from Soviet dominance that is now starting to reverse.

    The Russians’ win was made easier by last-minute lineup changes by the other four teams involved in the final medal round. In many cases, the countries’ top skaters did not take the ice Sunday, presumably to allow them to focus on the individual competitions later in the Games.

    Gone from the men’s free skate were three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who beat Plushenko in the short program on Friday.

    In the ladies’ free skate, Carolina Kostner of Italy and Mao Asada of Japan, who finished second and third, respectively, in the short program, did not compete.

    That set up a showdown between Gold and Lipnitskaya.

    Gold skated first of the two, hitting all her jumps in a poised routine that made her look as if she was ready to shoulder all the medal hopes that America has heaped on her.

    Lipnitskaya competed on a level of her own, with near-inhuman spins and almost-perfect jumps, all with a easy demeanor. It was a complete performance that brought even the stoic Russian President Vladimir Putin to his feet.

    Earlier, in the men’s free skate, Plushenko landed all of his jumps cleanly and finished with a score of 168.20 — lower than his team was expecting, but enough, nonetheless, to come in first.

    Kevin Reynolds of Canada finished in close second, with a score of 167.92, followed by Tatsuki Machida of Japan. American Jason Brown, inserted as a replacement for Jeremy Abbott, who stumbled in Friday’s short program, finished fourth with a 153.67.

    “I really wanted to do well for the team,” Brown said afterward.

    He also admitted being a bit stunned at being on the same ice as Plushenko.

    “It’s so surreal,” Brown said.

    He is among many young skaters on the ice in Sochi who grew up admiring Plushenko.

    Plushenko, who endured several back surgeries to make it to the Sochi Games and narrowly missed winning gold in Vancouver in 2010, has said that he only wanted to compete in the team events this time around. But there is still a good chance that he could skate in the individual program.

    Plushenko said his back was hurting him, but there was no question what he will do.

    "I will skate individual," he said.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Gracie Gold's solid Sunday routine helped the United States clinch the bronze medal in the team figure skating competition.Gracie Gold's solid Sunday routine helped the United States clinch the bronze medal in the team figure skating competition.

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    A 60-year-old Groton man has been arrested and charged after he allegedly shot his relative with a flare gun Sunday morning.

    Police said David J. Walski, of 55 Crouch Avenue, fired several rounds at his male relative with a flare gun, striking him one time. The victim was transported to William Backus Hospital for a non-life threatening injury.  One of the flares entered the victim’s residence, but no significant damage was caused.

    At around 9:20 a.m., a 911 caller reported a man was shot in the area of 69 Fountain Street and the perpetrator  fled from the area in a blue Chevrolet.

    Officers observed the described vehicle traveling away from the scene, and encountered Walksi when they stopped the car on Washington Street. Inside the vehicle, police discovered the flare gun they say Walksi used in the shooting.

    Walski was charged with first and second degree assault, first- degree reckless endangerment, driving with weapons in a motor vehicle, carrying a dangerous weapon, and breach of peace.

    He was held on a $100,000 bond and will appear in Norwich Superior Court on Monday.

    Police ask that anyone with information regarding this incident contact the Norwich Police Department at 860-866-5561.
     



    Photo Credit: Norwich Police

    David WalskiDavid Walski

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    Thick smoke and heavy fire consumed a Waterford home on Josan Drive as more than 30 firefighters attacked the fire from both sides.

    According to fire officials, the massive fire broke out just before 4pm.

    It took firefighters more than two hours to put out the blaze. Mutual aid from surrounding towns also responded.

    "We did an aggressive interior attack, knocked it down, we actually thought we had it put out and then we found out that the fire had gotten up into the attic space," said Oswegatchie Fire Captain John Slyvestre.

    That's when the flames broke through the roof, engulfing the house and even lighting up nearby trees. Neighbors said a son and his elderly mother were inside when it all began.
     
    "My neighbor came running over saying his house was on fire and to call 911," said Traci Nelson.
     
    After Nelson alerted first responders, she ran to the front of the home, realizing the man's mother needed help.
     
    "He had gotten his mother out to the front porch, but she had no shoes, and she wouldn't come off the porch," said Nelson. "So I just threw her over my shoulder and carried her out to the driveway."
     
    Even with the fire quickly spreading, Nelson, a New Haven AMR Paramedic, didn't hesitate to rush up to the home to grab her friend.
     
    "I'm used to it," said Nelson. "I work on an ambulance, so that's what I do for a living."
     
    The place mom and son have called home for decades is now destroyed. Fire officials believe it began in the back near the furnace, and it appears there's nothing left to salvage.
     
    The Red Cross is helping the two residents and providing them with emergency lodging, food, and clothing.

    The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
     

     

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Firefighters responded to a second-alarm blaze at a multi-family home in New Haven.

    The fire started shortly after 10:00 p.m., at 180 Henry Street.

    Fire crews battlied heavy smoke conditions.

    No injuries have been reported.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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