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    New research from the University of California, San Diego, has found that feelings shared on Facebook – via negative or positive posts or status updates – are contagious among online friends.

    The study, titled “Detecting Emotional Contagion in Massive Social Networks,” was led by UC San Diego professor of political science James Fowler and UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering PhD student Lorenzo Coviello, among several co-authors.

    Published in “PLOS ONE,” the research analyzed whether happiness and other emotions are spread from person to person on social networks such as Facebook.

    Using data from more than one billion anonymous status updates among more than 100 million Facebook users in the 100 most populous cities in the United States, the study found that positive posts beget positive posts, while negative posts beget negative ones.

    According to the research, positive Facebook posts are more influential than negative ones, spreading the positivity among others. Each additional negative post yields 1.29 more negative posts among friends, while each additional positive Facebook post yields an additional 1.75 positive posts among friends, the study deduced.

    In order to measure the emotional content of each post, UC San Diego says researchers used an automated text analysis software program called the "Linguistic Inquiry Word Count."

    The study also found that rainy weather changes the mood of Facebook posts – and that mood change can be contagious. The research says rainy weather increases the number of negative posts by 1.16 percent and decreases the number of positive posts by 1.19 percent.

    Upon analyzing friends living in different cities as those posting about the rain, researchers found that the moods of those being rained on impacted the moods of their dry friends.

    “For every one person affected directly, rainfall alters the emotional expression of about one to two other people, suggesting that online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony,” the study cites.

    “Our study suggests that people are not just choosing other people like themselves to associate with but actually causing their friends’ emotional expressions to change,” said lead author Fowler. “We have enough power in this data set to show that emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative.”

    Fowler said that in today’s digitally-connected world, it’s important to learn what can be transmitted through social media – including how much emotion can actually spread through social networks such as Facebook.

    “It is possible that emotional contagion online is even stronger than we were able to measure,” he said.

    This could have widespread implications, according to the researchers who write:

    “[Emotions] might ripple through social networks to generate large-scale synchrony that gives rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals.”

    Researchers suggest their findings could impact public well-being.

    “If an emotional change in one person spreads and causes a change in many, then we may be dramatically underestimating the effectiveness of efforts to improve mental and physical health,” said Fowler. “We should be doing everything we can to measure the effects of social networks and to learn how to magnify them so that we can create an epidemic of well-being.”

    Additional co-authors of the Facebook feelings study include UC San Diego political science graduate student Yunkyu Sohn; Adam D. I. Kramer and Cameron Marlow of Facebook; Massimo Franceschetti, also of UC San Diego’s Jacobs School; and Nicholas Christakis of the departments of sociology and medicine at Yale University.


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    Authorities have identified seven of the eight victims recovered from the rubble of two collapsed Manhattan buildings destroyed by a gas leak explosion Wednesday, including a 21-year-old man whose wife is six months pregnant. 

    Police confirmed Alexis Salas was one of the people who died in the explosion and collapse that also injured more than 70. Three people remain missing, police said.

    Salas was last seen Wednesday morning when he returned home from his night job at a Bronx restaurant, according to his father-in-law, Jorge Ortega.

    Salas' distraught 20-year-old wife, Jennifer Mendoza, is six months pregnant.

    George Amadeo was also confirmed dead in the explosion. The handyman lived in one of the buildings that collapsed, and he hadn't been seen since the explosion. His brother Mark Wiener told NBC 4 New York earlier Thursday he was holding out hope.

    "My thing right now is to find answers and my brother, whether he is alive or not," he said. 

    Five others who died in the explosion have been identified as Griselde Camacho, Carmen Tanco, Rosaura Hernandez, Andreas Panagopoulos and Rosaura Barrios Vazquez.

    Camacho, 44, was a sergeant with Hunter College's public safety authority and was assigned to the Silberman School of Social Work building, at 119th Street and Third Avenue, according to the school, not far from where she lived on Park Avenue. 

    Camacho had been employed by Hunter College since 2008. The school says it is planning to hold a memorial for Camacho. 

    "It was just horrific, and we've talked about it in every single one of our classes," said faculty member Igor Malinovsky. 

    "She was a wonderful person," he added. "I'm really saddened." 

    Across the street from where she worked, a deli worker said Camacho always had a smile on her face when came into the store. 

    "She was always happy, always happy with her job, her friends, her family," he said. "Everybody knew her. The whole block knew her." 

    The second victim identified in the explosion, Tanco, 67, was in her apartment at the time of the explosion, according to News 12, where one of her cousins works as a cameraman. 

    News 12 reports that Tanco's family set off on a frantic search when she didn't show up for work Wednesday. 

    Camacho and Tanco attended the same church, Bethel Gospel Assembly, according to the bishop. Both regularly volunteered their time there, Camacho working in the AV room to project visuals during the bishop's sermons and Tanco as an usher. 

    Bishop Carlton T. Brown faces the task of breaking news of Camacho's death to her mother, who lived in the same building and is now in the hospital recovering from injuries. 

    "Mother doesn't even know at this point about her daughter," he said.

    Tanco was involved in international mission trips, where she volunteered her dental assistant services, according to associate pastor Gordon Williams. He said people touched by her services overseas have been contacting the church. 

    "They've called me from overseas because they're stunned that this actually occurred," he said. 

    Hernandez, a 22-year-old restaurant cook from Mexico, was identified by police as another victim. 

    Panagopoulos, 43, who was among the four victims pulled from rubble overnight Wednesday, was identified as a fourth victim Thursday. Friends and family had been searching for the musician since the building collapsed, frantically sending out messages on social media, including one that read:  "Please RT if you've seen him in NYC hospitals. Name is Andreas, was in Harlem building that collapsed." 

    Mexican officials said Thursday a Mexican woman, Rosaura Barrios Vazquez, 43, was among those killed.

    The identity of the eighth victim hasn't been released. 

    More than 70 others were hurt in the blast. 

    --Checkey Beckford, Marc Santia and Chris Glorioso contributed to this report. 

     


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    Police have arrested a suspect in a robbery at Henry C. Reid & Son Jewelers in New Canaan in November.

    Three Rolex watches, worth a total of $55,000, were stolen from the jewelry store at 72 Elm Street in New Canaan around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, according to police.

    Authorities identified Ronald A. McIntyre, 37, as a suspect through blood left at the scene, police said.

    Four men tried to enter the jewelry store on that November afternoon, but an alert employee quickly locked the door.

    Unable to get inside the store, one of the robbers shattered a front display window with something like a sledge hammer, reached through the broken glass and took the watches.

    All four men fled, police said, and the investigation began.

    Investigators searching for evidence found blood and skin tissue at the scene and gave it to the Connecticut State Forensic Laboratory, which found a match to McIntyre, who has a long criminal history, according to police.

    McIntyre was arrested in New Jersey on March 11, where he has jail time pending.

    He will be extradited to Connecticut where he will be charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny.

    A warrant sets bond at $500,000.
     



    Photo Credit: New Canaan Police

    Police said Ronald A. McIntyre is accused of stealing Rolex watches from a jewelry store in New Canaan.Police said Ronald A. McIntyre is accused of stealing Rolex watches from a jewelry store in New Canaan.

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    The FBI announced Tuesday that it has received “credible intelligence” that FBI Most Wanted Terrorist fugitive Daniel Andreas San Diego may be hiding on Hawaii’s Big Island.

    Animal rights activist San Diego – the first domestic fugitive added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list -- was born in Berkeley.

    The 36-year-old San Diego is a former resident of Schellville in Sonoma County. He is wanted for his alleged involvement in three homemade pipe bombs that were detonated in the East Bay more than a decade ago.

    On Aug. 28, 2003, two bombs exploded approximately one hour apart on the campus of Chiron Corp., a biotechnology corporation in Emeryville, Calif. Then, on Sept. 26, 2003, one bomb strapped with nails exploded at Shaklee Corp., a nutritional products corporation in Pleasanton, Calif.

    His motive in both bombings appears tied to his association with animal rights extremist groups that targeted the two companies claiming they participated in cruel experiments on animals, according to FBI officials.

    San Diego, who was last seen in the Bay Area in October 2003, was indicted on felony charges in the bombings in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in July 2004, the FBI said.

    According to FBI spokesperson Tom Simon in Honolulu, agents from the Honolulu and San Francisco FBI offices are canvassing specific communities, including Puna and Pahoa, looking for information about his whereabouts.

    The FBI describes San Diego as about 6 feet tall and 160 pounds.

    He has the following tattoos: A round image of burning hillsides in the center of his chest with the words "It only takes a spark" printed in a semicircle below; burning and collapsing buildings on the sides of his abdomen and back; and a single leafless tree rising from a road in the center of his lower back. These tattoos may have been removed, significantly altered or covered with new tattoos.

    He is known to follow a vegan diet, eating no meat or food containing animal products and avoids wearing anything made with animal products.

    In the past, San Diego has worked as a computer network specialist and with the operating system LINUX. The FBI thinks he may be using these skills as a form of income.

    The FBI is offering a reward of $250,000 for information leading to the capture of San Diego.

    Anyone with any information on San Diego should contact their local FBI office.

    Information from Bay City News was included in this report.


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    One person was seriously injured in a house fire in Bloomfield early this morning.

    Officials have not said who was injured, but this is just the latest difficulty for the family.

    Fire broke out in the kitchen of 45 Park Avenue in Bloomfield around 1 a.m.

    One of the residents is the mother of Ronald Taylor Jr., a 27-year-old man who was killed in a stabbing a few miles away in November.

    Firefighters had difficulty putting out the fire because a fire hydrant iced over.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    The fire marshal will be here later to determine the cause, but officials say they do know it started in the kitchen.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Fire broke out at 45 Park Avenue in Bloomfield early this morning. A serious injury is reported.Fire broke out at 45 Park Avenue in Bloomfield early this morning. A serious injury is reported.

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    Hartford police have arrested five people suspected of supplying laced heroin. 

    The Hartford Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Unit and SWAT team raided 108 Enfield Street in Hartford at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday as part of investigation into overdoses on Fentanyl-laced heroin in the Hartford region, police said.

    As law enforcement is investigating the sales, the state is increasing its resources in response to an increase in heroin overdose deaths.

    Hartford police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed the warrant and found more than 2,000 bags of heroin laced with Fentanyl, a potentially lethal combination of drugs. according to police.

    The bags were stamped "New World," "Bingo 9" and "Shine."

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that is more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Authorities also seized marijuana, cash and two motor vehicles.

    Juan Antonio Baez, 40, of 108 Enfield Street in Hartford and Carlos Cardona, 27, and Christopher Cardona, 29, both of 24 Milford Street in Hartford, were charged with federal narcotics trafficking violations.

    Romanita Gomez, 40, of 108 Enfield Street in Hartford, was charged with possession of narcotics and possession with intent to sell narcotics.

    Angel Gonzalez, 27, of 792 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Police also served him with three
    outstanding arrest warrants.

    This is an ongoing investigation.

    Heroin is a potent naturally occurring opioid that’s effect is amplified when used in combination with man-made opioids, increasing the likelihood of a death from overdose.

    The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is adding resources in response to an increase in heroin overdose deaths.

    “These fatalities are preventable. Treatment options for opioid addiction are available and we must link those using heroin to effective services” Commissioner Patricia Rehmer said in a statement. “We must also ensure widespread dissemination of Narcan, the life-saving drug that reverses drug overdoses. Addiction is a long term disease where relapses can occur but recovery is possible”

    This plan includes reaching out to substance abuse treatment providers and encouraging them to consider making it standard practice to provide Narcan education and prescriptions to people close to opioid addicts who are using or in recovery.

    Narcan is a prescription drug that reverses an opioid overdose and a layperson can administer it.

    The victim usually responds in one to two minutes, according to the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

    They will also be increasing education about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and heroin use through community forums over the next several months.

    The department's substance abuse treatment providers will continue to educate on the lethal combination of heroin and synthetic opioids and advertising treatment options and how to access them.

    For more, see the DMHAS website or the State Network of Care Web site.

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police

    Police made a bust in the investigation into tainted heroin.Police made a bust in the investigation into tainted heroin.

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    A piano technician working in the basement of one of the buildings that exploded in Manhattan, killing at least seven people, says he was probably saved by the musical instruments that fell around him and shielded him from the rubble.

    Colin Patterson was in the Park Avenue piano store, Absolute Piano, Wednesday morning when he heard "a huge bang."

    "The building fell on me, and I got just one scratch," he said.

    Patterson said he is having a hard time understanding how he escaped unscathed, but credits the pianos that fell around him.

    "Pianos all over me," he recalled. "The pianos flew out, off the ground ... that probably helped me too."

    Patterson said he climbed out a back window.

    "It was just there, and I managed to get out," he said.

    Seven people have been confirmed dead and others are still missing in the rubble. More than 70 were hurt.

    Most of the people who were injured are expected to survive. At Harlem Hospital, where more than a dozen people were treated, one man who suffered from smoke inhalation described passing out as he ran from falling debris.

    "I just kept on going, just trying to get away," he said.

    Another man was driving a cab near the Metro-North tracks when he felt the blast.

    "He thought the train was falling on top of him, but that wasn't true," his son said. "His car got shattered but he's OK. He's shaken up." 



    Photo Credit: AP

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  • 03/13/14--13:52: Bad News for "Prime" Members

  • If you've ever wanted to sign up for Amazon Prime, you have a week to do so before a big price hike takes effect.

    The cost of a standard "Prime" membership is set to set you back $99, up from $79. The $20 rate increase is Amazon's first since the program launched nine years ago.

    Prime membership has expanded over the years to include free two-day shipping, free video streaming and a Kindle lending library.

    The online retailer detailed the price changes in an email to subscribers. If an existing member's renewal occurs before April 17, 2014, the subscriber will be charged the previous rate of $79 (and $99 for renewals thereafter).

    Amazon student memberships will cost $49 and "Prime Fresh" memberships will remain at $299. Prime Fresh members get free same-day and early morning delivery of orders over $35, including fresh grocery and local products found on AmazonFresh.com. It's currently only available in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    The standard membership price bump now makes Amazon Prime slightly more expensive than Netflix, which runs just under $96 per year, based on a monthly $7.99 subscription cost.



    Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

    The cost of Amazon's popular membership program, Amazon Prime, will increase this year to $99.The cost of Amazon's popular membership program, Amazon Prime, will increase this year to $99.

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  • 03/13/14--09:12: Scrabble Seeks New Word

  • Playing made up words that sound like the real thing to fool your relatives has been a long-standing tradition in the game of Scrabble. Now players have a chance to nominate a word they’d like to see added to The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

    The game’s manufacturer Hasbro is revising the Merriam-Webster's dictionary for the first time since 2005. Over the years, words like tweet, selfie and hashtag have become part of the lexicon, and the dictionary is going to be amended with thousands of new words, according to USA Today.

    At least one of the words will be picked by a Scrabble player. Fans have until March 28 to suggest words on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page.

    On April 2, Merriam-Webster will announce 16 finalists and fans can vote for their favorite word.

    "The Scrabble Word Showdown will let fans nominate and vote on words that are fun and relevant for today’s players,” Jonathan Berkowitz, Hasbro's marketing VP, said in a statement.

    The winning word will be revealed on April 10 and included in the updated edition of the Scrabble dictionary, which will go on sale in August. The fan-nominated word will also become playable in digital versions of the game.

    A sampling of words nominated on Hasbro's Facebook page included: texting, ew, zen, fracking, craycray, zoomba and twerk.

    "Fracking," Rachel K. Gillette said in her submission. "I was surprised that this was NOT a word yet! Played at last year's Scrabble Nationals! I hear it every day!"

    "Zen," Mark Tyrell suggested. "I get ironically angry every time I go to play it and can't."

    "'EW'" - I've been playing it in protest for years," wrote Jessica Alison Azar.  "That, or I always forget that it's not one of the two-letter words."

    Hasbro seemed on board with Azar's suggestion, responding, "Maybe it's time then that your unofficial word became official!"


     


    Scrabble is offering players the chance to sneak a word into its official dictionary.Scrabble is offering players the chance to sneak a word into its official dictionary.

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    Watertown police are issuing a warning about a scam targeting people who are looking to rent homes.

    Police said a scam artist will take out an ad showing a real home that is listed for sale on a popular realtor website and represent himself as the owner.

    The scammer then explains that the home is still on the market, but to contact him directly because he is firing the real estate agent and renting the house out on his own.

    Rather than meet the prospective renter in person, the scammer says he is out of the state for some reason, like a new job, and tells the person to drive by the house and see if they like it.

    Then, he creates a sense of urgency by saying several people are interested in renting the house and asks for a deposit to be wired to him.

    Once he obtains the money, he cuts off contact.

    Watertown Police urge residents to be cautious when wiring money to anyone they are unfamiliar with.
     


    Watertown police are issuing a warning about a scam targeting people who are looking to rent homes.Watertown police are issuing a warning about a scam targeting people who are looking to rent homes.

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    A 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, a man with a gun robbed Newtown Savings Bank in Trumbull and police are asking for help to find him.

    Police said the man went into the branch at 926 White Plains Road and demanded cash from one of the tellers.

    After the robber received the cash, he fled in a stolen green Honda, which police found at the Park Street commuter lot near Route 25. 

    No injuries were reported during the robbery.

    Police ask anyone who saw the green Honda or anyone who was inside it at the bank or in the commuter lot to call the Trumbull Police at 203-261-3665 or report anonymously by texting ‘TRPD’ plus any information to CRIMES (274637).


    Police are investigating a bank robbery in Manchester.Police are investigating a bank robbery in Manchester.

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    Police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing 1-year old boy.

    Emanuel Crespo was last seen Sunday in New Haven, according to police.

    He is 2-feet tall, weighs 26-pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes.

    Police have not released a photo or additional information.

    Anyone with information on Emanuel's whereabouts should call New Haven Police at  203-946-6316.


    Emanuel Crespo has been missing since Sunday.Emanuel Crespo has been missing since Sunday.

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  • 03/13/14--19:15: "PopPop's" Obit Goes Viral

  • A Delaware grandfather “is now exploring the universe” but not before leaving his family with a pre-written obituary.

    Walter (Walt) George Bruhl, Jr., a native of Newark & Dewey Beach, Del., died March 9 at the age of 81 in Punta Garda, Fla.

    But, before he went, Walter left a gift for his descendants -- his own witty death notice.

    “He drifted off this mortal coil… His spirit was released from his worn out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe," wrote Walt.

    “There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so that he would appear natural to visitors," he wrote. "Cremation will take place at the family’s convenience and his ashes will be kept in an urn until they get tired of having it around. What’s a Grecian Urn? Oh, about 200 drachmas a week."

    Bruhl, who was born in Philadelphia on April 20, 1933, surprised his family with the eulogy.

    “It was a complete surprise to me,” Bruhl’s grandson Sam told BuzzFeed. “I couldn’t help but cry and laugh hysterically through the whole thing.”

    Sam uploaded the whole thing to Reddit and from there it took off. Since landing on the Internet, Walt’s obit has been read by tens of thousands of people.

    “I knew immediately that it needed to be shared,” Sam told BuzzFeed. “People need those little bits of inspiration each day, and I know my PopPop would love to be that for people.”

    Walt served as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War and then worked as an electronics apprentice at Philadelphia’s Naval Yard before carrying on a 31-year career with DuPont.

    “…After 31 years with The Co., he was given a fine anniversary dinner and a token gift and then ‘downsized’ in Dec. of 1993. He was rehired as a contract employee in June of 1994, doing the same job that he had been ‘downsized’ from, and stayed until July of 1995."

    A truncated (and edited) version of Walt’s ode to himself appeared on Delaware Online that focused more on Bruhl’s accomplishments and less on his musings.

    The printed obit kept Walt’s own words at the end:

    "Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Walt's life in their own way, raising a glass of their favorite drink in his memory would be quite appropriate. Instead of flowers, Walt would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor unfortunate soul in his name."

    A memorial luncheon is planned for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Deerfield in Newark, Del.


    Walter Walter "Walt" Bruhl, Jr.

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    Unless you have an unquenchable desire for snow, today’s burst of winter has you dreaming of spring.

    At First Act Bakery in Torrington, they decided to make up some “Summer Sun” cupcakes, as well as lemon treats.

    "We did a bunch of lemon options today to make it seem a little brighter," Stephanie Watts said. “I think a lot of people are looking forward to the summer and anything that helps excite them about it is good.”

     

    In the meantime, she is hoping spring is warm enough for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.


     

     

     


    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Two people were critically injured in a crash in Bridgeport this morning.

    A Buick LeSabre went through a red light at the intersection of Stratford and Union avenues at 7:47 a.m. this morning and collided broadside with a Ford sport utility vehicle, police said.

    Two men who were in the Buick had to be extricated from the heavily damaged vehicle and were brought to Bridgeport Hospital, where they are listed in critical condition, police said.

    The man and an 11-year-old girl who were in the Ford were treated and have been released, police said.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    A Buick LeSabre went through a red light at the intersection of Stratford and Union avenues at 7:47 a.m. this morning and collided broadside with a Ford sport utility vehicle, police said.A Buick LeSabre went through a red light at the intersection of Stratford and Union avenues at 7:47 a.m. this morning and collided broadside with a Ford sport utility vehicle, police said.

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    A 78-year-old Mississippi man who two weeks ago was discovered alive and kicking inside a body bag after he was pronounced dead, died on Thursday, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

    Holmes County, Miss., Coroner Dexter Howard confirmed that Walter Williams died at around 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

    Williams’ family said after his near-death experience that they were just happy to spend some more time with him.

    "He's got very strong faith, and he instilled it in us all," Williams' daughter, Mary Williams, told the paper. "That's how we know it's the Lord that brought him back, and not just the man."

    Williams, of Lexington, Miss., was pronounced dead the first time on February 26 after a coroner failed to detect his pulse. He was taken to Porter and Sons Funeral Home to be embalmed where he began kicking inside the body bag.

    An ambulance was called to transport Williams -- who was known as "Snowball" or "Snow" because he was born during a Mississippi blizzard--- to the hospital where he was stabilized. Shortly after he was talking to family and friends.


    Williams, a father of 11, grandfather of 15 and great-grandfather of six, was receiving at-home hospice care for end-stage cardiovascular disease and was suffering from severe hypoglycemia, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

    Officials at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said that Williams' critical hypoglycemia mixed with medications given during hospice care would have made it tough to find a pulse, The Clarion-Ledge reported.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Walter Williams, a 78-year-old man who was discovered alive in a body bag after declared dead two weeks ago, died on Thursday.Walter Williams, a 78-year-old man who was discovered alive in a body bag after declared dead two weeks ago, died on Thursday.

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    A man robbed a Subway restaurant in Vernon at knifepoint on Wednesday night and police have released surveillance photos in hopes someone will know who he is.

    Police received a 911 call from a worker at the Subway Restaurant at 53 Hartford Turnpike around 9:30 p.m. reporting an armed robbery and police rushed to the scene.

    Authorities said the robber confronted one of the restaurant workers, demanded money and stole some out of the cash register.

    Once he had the cash, the robber ran from the store and fled in a silver or gray vehicle.

    He was skinny and wearing blue jeans as well as a white hooded sweatshirt with black cursive writing across the chest.

    Police said no one was injured in the robbery.

    Anyone with information is urged to call Vernon Detectives at 860-872-9126 and use extension 7301 for the anonymous crime tip hotline.
     



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

    Police are investigating a robbery at the Subway in Vernon.Police are investigating a robbery at the Subway in Vernon.

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    A Chicago-based photography store has closed its doors and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.

    Calumet Photographic, which sells and rents photography equipment and supplies, announced on its Facebook page Thursday that it will immediately close its stores in the United States.

    “After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue),” the company wrote. “It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We'll miss each other and we'll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything.”

    At the same time, the company's website and Twitter pages both disappeared.

    The company listed between $50 million and $100 million in assets and between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

    While some commenters responded to the "goodbye post" with sympathy and sadness, others claimed employees and customers were not told of the news until after the stores closed.

    “So my wife is just told NOT to come to work.. she's out of a job.. NO HR mention, NO mention of final paycheck, NO mention of what to do about insurance? NOTHING?! Really???” one commenter posted.

    “Calumet didn't have the decency to tell there [sic] employees what was happening they had to show up at work to find out it was closed. How about treating your employees with respect,” another said.

    Some customers were questioning how they can retrieve equipment left at the store for repairs or be refunded for recent purchases.

    “So I have an outstanding order will I be receiving it or be getting a refund, would be kind of nice for the people who did support the business to know!?” one commenter posted.

    “I still have a camera in the repair shop there. How will I get it back?” another commenter wrote.

    A few hours after their original Facebook post, the company said they were exploring opportunities to reopen “select locations.”


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    New Canaan police have arrested a suspect in a home burglary in November 2011.

    At 3:16 a.m. on November 8, 2011, a homeowner on Michigan Road confronted a burglar inside his home and chased him outside, police said.

    Investigators were able to obtain the intruder’s fingerprint and palm print, police said. The Connecticut State Forensic Laboratory analyzed the evidence and linked it to Miguel A. Palencia, 29, of Stamford, who has a criminal history.

    Early Wednesday morning, police arrested Palencia on a warrant that charges him with second-degree burglary.

    Palencia and was transported to Norwalk Superior Court to be arraigned and is presently incarcerated at the Bridgeport Correctional Center.

    He is due back in court on April 1, according to court documents.
     



    Photo Credit: New Canaan Police

    Miguel A. Palencia is accused of a home burglary in New Canaan.Miguel A. Palencia is accused of a home burglary in New Canaan.

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    A former police officer accused of killing a man in a movie theater during a dispute over texting had used his own phone to send a message to his son minutes before the shooting, according to documents released Thursday by Florida prosecutors.

    Curtis Reeves' son, Matthew Reeves, told detectives that his father texted him at 1:04 p.m. Jan. 13, the documents show. Curtis Reeves told his son he was already seated inside the theater. Matthew Reeves, who is a Tampa police officer, made plans to meet his parents at the theater for the 1:20 p.m. showing of "Lone Survivor" but was late because he stopped to wash his truck, he told detectives.

    Matthew Reeves said he had walked into the dark theater while the previews were playing and looked around for his parents. It was then, investigators said, that Reeves shot 43-year-old Chad Oulson.

    "Matthew said he did not see the shot directly, but the noise and light drew his attention to the top row of seats," Pasco County Sheriff's detective Aaron Smith wrote.

    Matthew Reeves tried to help Oulson by pressing a stranger's T-shirt against Oulson's bleeding chest wound.

    Curtis Reeves, 71, was charged with second-degree murder. He also was charged with aggravated battery; authorities say the bullet that struck and killed Oulson also struck Oulson's wife, Nicole, in the finger as she tried to shield her husband.

    Reeves has pleaded not guilty to both counts. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.

    Reeves is being held without bail in the Pasco County Jail. His attorneys say Reeves acted in self-defense. Reeves told police that Oulson hit him in the face, possibly with a cellphone. Other witnesses, including Reeves' wife, say they never saw Oulson strike Reeves.

    Reeves' attorneys did not immediately return a call for comment regarding the hundreds of pages of newly released discovery evidence documents. A judge ruled Wednesday that the documents could be released publicly.

    In early February, the evidence was sealed from the public for 30 days so Reeves' attorneys could review it and perhaps challenge all or parts of its release to the public. They had no challenges Wednesday, largely because much of the information was released during a two-day bond hearing.

    A chunk of the documents are from Reeves' personnel file from his decades as a Tampa police officer. Reeves regularly received outstanding evaluations and numerous letters of commendation for leadership skills and for training he led on gun safety and other topics. He retired in 1993.

    The file also contains an interview with Jamira Dixon, a 35-year-old woman who said that in December, Reeves became upset with her because she was texting in the same movie theater. During the incident, she said, Reeves complained to a manager, then continued to stare at her throughout the movie and made her feel uncomfortable.

    The documents also offer witness interviews of the Jan. 13 shooting. They reveal the chaos and confusion in the theater when Oulson was shot.

    Edward McFadden, 76, told Pasco County Sheriff's detective Matthew Myers that he was seated in the theater and heard a loud noise behind him.

    "He told me it sounded like a gunshot, but he wasn't sure if it was real or from the previews because they had just shown a preview for 'Robocop,' which had a lot of gunshots in it."


    Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, makes his first court appearance via a video link from jail on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, makes his first court appearance via a video link from jail on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.

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