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    An 18-year-old woman was shot in the head in Chicago’s East Chatham neighborhood Tuesday, and her uncle says her weave may have helped save her life.

    "[Doctors] assumed that when the bullet kind of went in, it bounced out because she had the weave in her hair," said Chantal Hammontree's uncle Randy Berry. Doctors have not confirmed that the weave played any role in repelling the bullet.

    The teen was sitting in a car when shots were fired in its back window, hitting her in the head, police said.

    "She was coming home, and when her girlfriend let her out of the car, the guy walked up and just shot her," Berry said.

    Police said Hammontree was the only victim in the shooting just before 1:30 p.m. in the 900 block of East 83rd Street.

    She was taken to University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition and was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, according to police.

    Family members said Hammontree is an "A" student and recent high school graduate with plans to join the military.

    Berry told NBC Chicago Hammontree was conscious and talking at the hospital and is expected to survive.

    He believes the shooting stemmed from an incident with another uncle, who was shot and paralyzed in May in a gang-related shooting.

    "There was the 'East Side, West Side' type of thing going on," Berry said. "[The shooter] told her that because she was affiliated with him, they were going to shoot her also."

    The shooting comes after holiday weekend gun violence in Chicago left at least 11 people killed and 67 shot in a spate of shootings Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy called "unacceptable."

    "We had basically the same level of shootings that we did last year, which is unacceptable because this year we put a ton of effort into preventing it," the frustrated chief said Monday at his weekly press briefing to show off the illegal firearms taken off the streets in the previous days.

    Still, Chicago's top cop maintains the department's overall crime strategy is working. He reiterated statistics indicating that this year is on track to have one of the lowest crime rates in decades.

    Through Sunday, he said 11 fewer homicides have been recorded compared to the same time last year -- 185 compared to 196 in 2013. Shooting incidents, however, are up by 46, he said.

    There were eight incidents over the weekend when Chicago officers fired their weapons or were fired upon.

    Residents held a prayer vigil in the city's Roseland neighborhood to decry the violence Monday, some saying it isn't just about guns.

    "I feel like it's not the guns that's killing people. It's people behind the trigger," said George Barron, who was shot in both legs in May. "Every shooting it's gonna get worse. Everyone out for revenge."



    Photo Credit: NBC Chicago

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    Old Saybrook residents voted definitively to buy a 1,000-acre parcel of open space in a rare summertime referendum with a turnout officials called "staggering."

    According to a release from the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, town residents voted to approve $3 million in bonds to purchase an area of undeveloped land known as "The Preserve."

    There are only four access points to the preserve, located near the junction of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, well inland from Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River.

    "It's the largest remaining coastal forest that hasn't been protected between New York City and Boston," said Kate Brown of the Trust for Public Land, which worked out the deal worth more than $8 million with Lehman Brothers Holdings.

    “While walking along The Preserve land with members of the Old Saybrook community a few weeks ago, it couldn’t have been more clear that this breathtaking open space needs to be protected for our future generations,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, in a statement Tuesday night. “This forest land is the ideal place to spend an afternoon hiking, exploring, and observing Connecticut’s natural beauty. I’ve been committed to open space protection issues since my days as a state official and I know how committed the land preservation community has been to protecting The Preserve. Tonight's outcome is a huge win and I commend all those who worked hard to make it happen.”

    The plan was not without its opponents, though, one of whom objected to the land's sizable price tag.

    "Lehman Brothers is bankrupt so it might be a good idea if they just donated to the town," said John Donnelly.

    The state government is providing almost half of the money. Essex votes on its $200,000 share at a town meeting next Wednesday.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Old Saybrook residents voted on acquiring open space for more access to a preserve.Old Saybrook residents voted on acquiring open space for more access to a preserve.

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    A Stratford family asleep at their home when a fire started on the front porch made it out safely thanks to a Good Samaritan who called 911 and pounded on the door to wake them up.

    According to the fire department, a passerby caught sight of the flames at 108 Patterson Avenue just before 12:30 a.m.

    The witness told dispatchers smoke and flames were coming from the porch and basement area, then started banging on the front door to wake up the residents, who were sleeping inside, fire officials said. There were no working smoke detectors in the home.

    Firefighters said the residents’ son sleeping on the first floor heard the banging and went to wake up his parents, who were upstairs in a second-floor bedroom. The family made it out safely while fire crews headed to the scene.

    According to the fire department, the son said he had smelled smoke earlier in the evening when he returned home from work but hadn’t notified authorities or checked its source.

    Nineteen firefighters managed to knock down the flames within about an hour, firefighters said. Damage was contained to the front porch and the family returned home after firefighters left.

    Residents are urged to check the batteries in their smoke detectors and replace smoke detectors after 10 years. Firefighters installed new smoke detectors at the Patterson Avenue home before leaving the scene.



    Photo Credit: Stratford Fire Department

    A family was sleeping inside this Stratford home when fire broke out in the basement of their front porch.A family was sleeping inside this Stratford home when fire broke out in the basement of their front porch.

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    Two Watertown High School students are facing harassment charges after setting up an anonymous Instagram account and using it to post hateful comments about other students, according to police.

    The students, who have not been identified because of their ages, were arrested early this month and are both charged with second-degree harassment.

    Investigators said the students created the social media account, which allows users to share photos, during the school day using a Watertown High School network.

    “The Instagram page, which has since been removed, was set up anonymously and not only targeted certain kids, but solicited other comments from their followers,” Watertown police said in a statement Tuesday.

    Detectives said page targeted two students in particular. According to the school district, the administration was first alerted of the account in May, and the site was only up for a couple weeks.

    The students were referred to the Torrington Juvenile Court and released to their parents’ custody.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Hartford police are investigating after more than $3,000 worth of computers were stolen from the Martin Luther King School over the holiday weekend, authorities said.

    According to police, a parent volunteer arrived at the Ridgefield Street school Monday to find the storage room door unlocked. The parent contacted the principal’s office, which in turn notified police.

    Detectives learned that six Lenovo laptops valuing $536 apiece had been taken from the storage room, which was locked prior to the holiday weekend.

    Police said a select number of school employees have access to the room and there were no signs of forced entry. It's possible the culprit is an employee who obtained the keys, according to police.

    "There was no alarm notification to us," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley of the Hartford Police Department. "There were no signs of active destruction to any property that would indicate a burglary."

    Hartford police is working with school security to investigate and identify a suspect.

    Anyone with informatoin is urged to call Hartford police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are investigating after $3,000 worth of laptops were stolen from the Martin Luther King School in Hartford over the holiday weekend.Police are investigating after $3,000 worth of laptops were stolen from the Martin Luther King School in Hartford over the holiday weekend.

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    Five children, ages 1 to 13, and two adults are in the hospital after a stolen car struck their van on Plainfield Pike Road/Route 14A in Plainfield on Tuesday afternoon.

    Police learned that a blue Toyota Camry had been stolen from 45 Lillibridge Road around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

    Witnesses told police the stolen car was driving westbound at a high rate of speed on Plainfield Pike Road, passing other vehicles in a no-passing zone. The car struck a green Ford Econoline getting off the Interstate 395 exit ramp near Starkweather Road, flipping the van onto its side, police said.

    The driver of the van, 44-year-old RaeAnn Pettigrew of Moosup, and 24-year-old passenger Krystyna Rathburn, were taken to the hospital along with two 13-year-olds and children ages 1, 9 and 12, according to police. Their injuries are non-life threatening.

    The driver of the Camry, identified as 40-year-old Douglas Phillips of 49 Lillibridge Road, just next door to the home from which he allegedly stole the sedan, suffered serious injuries, police said.

    Authorities are investigating.


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    Connecticut State Police presented awards Tuesday to more than 300 state and local police officers who responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012.

    Commissioner Dora B. Schriro and State Police Col. Brian Meraviglia led the ceremony at Rentschler Field in East Hartford at 11:30 a.m. and gave medals to the first responders.

    It was a solemn ceremony, and a year and a half after the tragedy, the air was still heavy with heartache.

    "It's important that we recognize the professionalism and the good work that was done by many, many people," said State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.

    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman were scheduled to address the award recipients at the event. 

    "In the midst of disaster and despair, so many in Connecticut rose to the occasion," Malloy said.

    Family members of Sandy Hook victims were also in attendance.

    "It will always be in our minds," Vance said. "Our hearts will always be broken."


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    A Waterford man is facing charges after officers found two young kids, ages 6 and 9, in the backseat of his car parked in New London, sweating and red-faced from the heat, according to police.

    John Morgan, 60, of Waterford, told officers he had stepped into his office for a few minutes, but police said they were on scene for at least 10 minutes before Morgan returned.

    Officers had initially noticed the car because one of the children had been opening and closing a rear door, police said. All four windows were rolled up and the doors were unlocked.

    Police said the temperature outside was 83 degrees at the time, but a thermometer placed inside the car showed the interior temperature to be 100 degrees with 58 percent humidity.

    Morgan was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor. He was held on $150,000 bond and is due in court tomorrow.

    It's the third time police have reported children left in hot cars today and the sixth incident in two weeks.

    This morning, police released information about a 15-month-old boy who died in a hot car in Ridgefield on Monday.

    Later, a mom from East Haven was arrested after reportedly leaving her kids in the car at a Target parking lot.



    Photo Credit: New London Police Department

    John Morgan, 61, of Waterford, has been charged with risk of injury to a minor after reportedly leaving a 6- and 9-year-old in a hot car with the windows rolled up.John Morgan, 61, of Waterford, has been charged with risk of injury to a minor after reportedly leaving a 6- and 9-year-old in a hot car with the windows rolled up.

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    A woman who was found unconscious in the pool at Veterans Memorial Park in South Windsor is alive and well today thanks to three lifeguards who rushed her to safety, according to the police department.

    South Windsor police said lifeguards Kelly Wentworth, Alexandra Jones and Brandyn Lucca spotted the woman floating on her back in 4-5 feet of water around 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Police said she was unconscious.

    The lifeguards pulled her from the pool and called 911. They began performing CPR when they failed to find a pulse, according to police.

    Police said the woman "regained confused consciousness" and the lifeguards kept a close eye on her until police and EMTs arrived on scene.

    The woman was taken to Hartford Hospital in stable condition, according to police.

    Police said she was "in very good spirits" Tuesday morning and will make a full recovery.

    "She thanks the entire staff at VMP for their rapid intervention and continued car," police said in a Facebook post Tuesday, adding that the lifeguards' quick thinking saved the swimmer's life.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    A heartbroken family was pleading for the public's help on Tuesday after a teenage girl died trying to stop a man who stole her iPhone, police said.

    Ruby Rubio, 15, was walking with her 7-year-old sister on West Warner Avenue in Santa Ana on July 3 when she was confronted by a man, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.

    The man snatched her iPhone before he jumped into the passenger seat of a silver or gray Pontiac waiting nearby, police said.

    Rubio had just gotten the iPhone one week earlier and promised her mother she would take care of it.

    Rubio chased after the robber and jumped onto the car as it began to drive away, but she fell off and was critically hurt, police said.

    "As they drove off, they swerved, she was hanging on to the trunk," Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. "She fell off, struck her head and that's how this started."

    The car drove away, and Rubio died at the hospital two days later.

    Her family spent those two days hoping she would pull through.

    "She would open her eyes and look at me for 5 seconds," said Rubio's mother, Marisol Hernandez.

    Rubio's friends said she always had a smile on her face and was always happy.

    "They have no heart," friend Maria Saucedo said. "That was dumb, what they did to her."

    The iPhone was found near the scene, appearing to have been tossed out of the car, police said.

    Police have yet to find the robber (sketch pictured). He is described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall wearing a black baseball hat, white tank top and light colored jeans.

    Santa Ana police urged anyone with information to call 714-245-8390 or 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
     



    Photo Credit: Vikki Vargas

    Ruby Rubio, 15, died on Saturday, July 5, 2014, after jumping on a robber's car to get back her stolen iPhone.Ruby Rubio, 15, died on Saturday, July 5, 2014, after jumping on a robber's car to get back her stolen iPhone.

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    After a crime-riddled weekend, Bridgeport officials and community leaders got together Tuesday to talk about ways to stop the violence.

    Mayor Bill Finch and Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett held a news conference Tuesday morning along with community leaders from the Center for Family Justice, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Project Longevity and FSW to discuss city initiatives to crack down on crime.

    It comes after a bloody holiday weekend during which six people were shot, two fatally.

    “We suffered a setback,” Finch said at the news conference. “We just never know with gun violence when it’s going to rear its ugly head.”

    Gaudett said he’s troubled by the weekend crime.

    “It’s absolutely concerning. It’s the stuff you lose sleep over,” he explained.

    Teresa Davison, whose nephew Abraham Davison was one of those fatalities, echoed city leaders’ concerns.

    “The violence here in Bridgeport has to stop,” she said.

    Abraham Davison was shot and killed at William Street and Barnum Avenue just after 2 a.m. Sunday. Three others were shot at Indian Avenue and Pitt Street, and hours later, a woman was killed in a domestic shooting on Pearl Street. Her boyfriend is now in custody.

    City leaders vowed to make a change.

    “We’ll do whatever we can to make sure people are safe,” Gaudett promised. “The thing to do is to try and keep these kids busy.”

    Gaudett said he wants to redouble efforts to keep kids off the streets and focused on achieving their goals. He encouraged city residents to speak up if they see anything suspicious.


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    Donald Sterling testified Tuesday after skipping the opening day of testimony in a trial to determine whether his wife acted within her rights when she negotiated a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    Sterling had been ordered to appear Tuesday afternoon after he failed to show up in court Monday, as his lawyers tried to get the case moved to federal court. That request was denied.

    While Shelly Sterling entered the courthouse through a public entrance on Tuesday, Donald Sterling was allowed to use a private underground entrance.

    Once on the stand, the 80-year-old oscillated between angry and sarcastic outbursts and a soft-spoken demeanor, even choking up when talking about how much he loves his wife.

    "I trusted my wife, I love her," Sterling said about the document he signed authorizing Shelly to negotiate the sale.

    Sterling's animated testimony prompted the judge to admonish him to answer questions instead of "entertaining us." In response, Sterling said he was sure "questions will get better."

    Under cross-examination, a neurologist and a psychiatrist both testified that they had found Sterling mentally incapacitated, but also admitted they did not tell him their exams could be used to remove him as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which controls the Clippers and provides the framework under which the team can be sold.

    That led Sterling to call them "hired guns," claim one was drunk and say that neither should practice medicine.

    Sterling had choice words for Shelly's attorney, and often went off on tangents when answering his questions.

    "For God's sake, be a man! Stand up and be a man," Sterling said. "What do you want to accuse me of?"

    During one heated outburst, Sterling said fighting the sale of the team wasn't about his ego, but about economics, claiming he could get $3 billion to $5 billion in TV and radio rights, adding that while his wife may be beautiful, she's not qualified to negotiate such matters.

    Both sides are claiming Sterling's performance on the stand helps their case.

    "I think the claim (Sterling) lacks competency is a sham, it's absurd and I think that should become more obvious to all of you today," Sterling's attorney Bobbi Samini said.

    "Just as you saw the real Donald Sterling, and we saw the real Donald Sterling, the judge sees the real Donald Sterling now," Shelly's attorney Bert Field said. "He sees the guy just makes stuff up."

    His attorneys said Sterling did not attend Monday's proceedings because most of the day would be consumed with the motion to move the case.

    The first testimony Monday afternoon came from a neurologist who concluded that Sterling had Alzheimer's disease. Testimony about Sterling's health will be key to the trial because two doctors who examined Donald Sterling at Shelly Sterling's request declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust.

    Shelly Sterling negotiated the potential-record $2 billion deal with Ballmer after the NBA moved to oust the league's longest-tenured owner because of racist remarks made during a recorded conversation with a friend. She did so under terms of the trust that indicate incapacitation can be determined by two licensed doctors without ties to the family who are specialists in their field, according to her attorneys.

    A trustee must cooperate with such exams. Attorneys on both sides agreed last week that proceedings will focus on whether Donald Sterling was induced into undergoing mental examinations by two doctors without being told the reason.

    Donald Sterling was "blindsided" by the exams, to which he submitted under false pretense, according to his attorneys. He would have participated at more convenient times instead of being pulled out of legal meetings, the attorneys said.

    "He would have also eaten properly and have been well rested for the examinations and focused on taking the exam with the full and complete understanding what it was for and the serious nature of the exam," they wrote in filings.

    A doctor hired by Sterling's wife testified Monday about a two-hour interview at the Sterling home.

    "After it was over, I told him and Mrs. Sterling that he probably has Alzheimer's," Dr. Meril Sue Platzer testified Monday.

    "What was his reaction?" asked Pierce O'Donnell, an attorney for Sterling's wife.

    "I'm hungry. I want to eat," Platzer said.

    The trial also will address the question of what happens to a deal that hasn't been closed once a trust is revoked. Donald Sterling revoked the trust on June 9, weeks after Shelly Sterling negotiated the deal with Ballmer. In order for the deal to proceed, a judge must find that Shelly Sterling acted in accordance with the trust and that the deal is part of a "winding down" or the trust's affairs, as her attorneys claim.

    NBA owners must approve the deal and are scheduled to meet July 15 to vote. Ballmer's offer is set to expire on the same day. If the sale isn't completed by Sept. 15, the league said it could seize the team and put it up for auction.



    Photo Credit: Bill Robles

    Donald and Shelly Sterling appear in court on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.Donald and Shelly Sterling appear in court on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

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    Arlington firefighters honored a young girl Tuesday whose 911 call saved her grandmother's life.

    Six-year-old Claire Sullivan was given a hero award at the fire station. She said she was just acting on instinct when she called 911 to get help for her grandmother.

    “The first thing I did, I didn't know what to do, so I just thought about picking up the phone,” Claire said Tuesday.

    Claire's grandmother had been babysitting her on June 11 when she began slipping in and out of consciousness. But when she called 911, Claire didn’t know the address.

    “My Mimi, it's like she's dead, but I think it's her blood pressure,” Claire said in the 911 call. “Now she's like on the couch, but it sounds like sleeping, and it's like she's knocked out!”

    The 911 operator in Arlington kept Claire calm for about 15 minutes as first responders tracked the call.

    “When the people come to take care of my Mimi, can one of them stay with me, so I won't be alone?” Claire asked the 911 operator.

    “Yes, ma’am, they're gonna stay with you, honey. They're not gonna leave you alone,” the operator responded.

    Her grandmother is expected to be okay. Claire now has her address memorized.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

    Six-year-old Claire Sullivan was presented a certificate for her heroic decision to call 911 and get help for her grandmother who was in and out of consciousness.Six-year-old Claire Sullivan was presented a certificate for her heroic decision to call 911 and get help for her grandmother who was in and out of consciousness.

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    Plainfield police have tracked down and arrested a 31-year-old alleged drug dealer and say officers found her in a motel parking lot with 14 grams of crack cocaine and 213 bags of heroin.

    Police arrested Sheri Bouthillier, also known as “Cody,” after receiving reports of a woman selling heroin in Moosup and staying at the Knights Inn Motel in Central Village.

    Officers encountered her in the Knights Inn parking lot Tuesday evening in possession of heroin, crack cocaine, a digital scale and packaging materials, according to police.

    Bouthillier was arrested and charged with possession of heroin, possession of crack cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    She was held on a $25,000 bond and is due in court Wednesday.



    Photo Credit: NBC10.com

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    A 27-year-old East Haven mom is facing charges after leaving an infant and toddler in a locked car in North Haven on Monday, according to police.

    Police said Cassandra Donnejour Nonossiold parked her car outside the Target store on Universal Drive after 9 p.m. Monday.

    She reportedly took one infant into the store with her and left the two other children sleeping in the car. Police said the windows were "marginally opened."

    The children were not injured. Police said they had been alone in the car for more than 15 minutes when officers arrived.

    Nonossiold was arrested and charged with leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle.

    This is the fifth hot car incident in Connecticut over the past two weeks.

    A 15-month-old boy died after he was left in a hot car in Ridgefield on Monday.

    The East Lyme, New London and Orange police departments have also made hot car arrests.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Cassandra Donnejour Nonossiold, 27, of East Haven, is accused of leaving two children in a hot car in this parking lot at Target on Universal Drive in North Haven on Monday.Cassandra Donnejour Nonossiold, 27, of East Haven, is accused of leaving two children in a hot car in this parking lot at Target on Universal Drive in North Haven on Monday.

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    A 15-month-old boy has died after being left unattended in a hot car on Monday, according to police in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

    Police said the staff at Danbury Hospital contacted them around 6 p.m. Monday. The child's father reportedly drove him to he hospital after finding the baby in his car and becoming concerned for his welfare.

    It's not clear exactly how long the boy was left unattended in the car, but Danbury Police Captain Jeff Kreitz said in a news release he was there for "an extended period of time."

    Temperatures reached 88 degrees in the Ridgefield area Monday afternoon.

    The baby's cause of death has not been determined and authorities have not released the child's name. Police said the family lives in Ridgefield.

    It's the fourth incident in which a child or children was left alone in cars in the past two weeks in Connecticut.

    Police in East Lyme, New London and Orange have arrested men and women accused of leaving children alone in their vehicles.

    Police are warning parents of the dangers of leaving their children in cars over the summer, when temperatures inside the vehicle can reach triple digits.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A 24-year-old MMA fighter with Down Syndrome is taking his fight to court after the Florida Boxing Commission said he can't compete in a sanctioned fight.

    While the boxing commission says Garrett Holeve can train and take part in exhibitions, where there is no score kept, it will not allow the Cooper City fighter to take part in an actual competition.

    "He didn't understand why he's not allowed to compete," said his father, Mitchell Holeve. "He understands he has Down syndrome, but he doesn't feel like it's stopped him from competing, and yeah, he was very depressed."

    He said when his son got the news in August, he was so upset that it took him weeks to get back to the gym.

    "I was disappointed," Garrett Holeve said. "I was crying."

    Mitchell Holeve said his son has lived his entire life without letting Down Syndrome get in the way, training like any other MMA fighter.

    "People see his work ethic and they see how much he wants it and that kind of attracts them to him," he said. "They respect the effort that he puts in."

    The fighter has even found an equally-matched opponent to go up against -- Special Olympian David Stephen from Nebraska who has monoplegic cerebral palsy.

    Now, the Holeves said they are prepared to take the fight to court, by suing the Florida Boxing Commission to court for discrimination.

    "He's trained like any other MMA fighter is trained," attorney Amanda Heystek said. "Garrett is trained to compete."

    Calls from NBC 6 to the Florida Boxing Commission were not returned.



    Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

    Garrett Holeve is taking his boxing gloves to court.Garrett Holeve is taking his boxing gloves to court.

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    Firefighters battled a raging 2-alarm blaze at 887 Park St. in Hartford early Wednesday.

    Flames were spotted shooting from the top floor of the four-story building  just after 4 a.m.

    The building was evacuated and no one was injured, according to fire officials.

    The building houses Santiago Market on the bottom floor and apartments on the three floors above the market.

    Buses were brought in as a temporary shelter for residents.

    Several roads around the building were closed while firefighters worked to bring the flames under control.

     


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    A Chicago father stood before reporters on Wednesday morning and tried to make sense of losing his second child to gun violence within a year.

    "Now I've got to bury another child. ... I buried my last-born last year and now I've got to bury my firstborn this year," Pierre Curry told the throng of reporters gathered along the Dan Ryan Expressway.

    Nearby, the body of his daughter, 25-year-old Jasmine Curry, remained slumped over the wheel of her blue 2005 Dodge Caravan. She and two passengers were southbound on Interstate 90/94 at about 4 a.m. when shots were fired, Illinois State Police Capt. Luis Gutierrez said.

    Curry, a pregnant mother to two girls and three boys, was shot in the head. A female passenger was not injured. That unharmed passenger told authorities there was another person in the minivan -- a man -- who jumped out and ran away before police could respond to the call of shots fired, Illinois State Police spokesman Monique Bond said.

    "My heart, my gut, [tells me] it was some crap, gang-banging crap. I just know it," an emotional Pierre Curry said. "She's got five kids. I just found out from my daughter today that she was pregnant."

    Curry described his daughter -- "Sade" as she was known -- as a sweet family woman and a hard worker. Wednesday was to be her first day on a new job, he said.

    He believes the shooting is somehow related to the killing of his 17-year-old son, Pierce Curry, who was shot in the head while riding in the rear passenger seat of a vehicle last August. Curry said no arrests have yet been made in that case.

    "They got to get these fools," he said.

    Curry's mother, LaTonia Mardis, said the children were with her when their mother was killed.

    "She'd just left me, dropped all her kids off," said Mardis. "I guess the Lord said it was her time and he was ready for her. He didn't want her to suffer no longer so He came and got her."

    Authorities couldn't immediately say whether the shots were fired at the van or from inside, but Bond early Wednesday afternoon said another vehicle -- a silver Dodge Intrepid -- may have been involved. She did not have Information about the model year or license plate.

    Gutierrez said crime scene investigators were scouring the area for clues and that video footage from Chicago Police Department cameras was being reviewed. There were no arrests in the case as of 2 p.m.

    Anyone with information on the case should contact the Illinois State Police at 847-294-4440.

    In addition, community activist Andrew Holmes said a $1,000 reward was being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter. Tips can be made by calling 800-883-5583, he said. 



    Photo Credit: Pierre Curry

    Jasmine Sade CurryJasmine Sade Curry

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    Route 68 in Durham was closed because of a brush fire on Wednedsay.

    A transformer explosion sparked the brush fire by Pent Road around noon, according to the Department of Transportation.

    Route 68 reopened around 6 p.m.


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