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    A 72-year-old North Haven resident sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell from a 22-foot ladder at his home Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

    Police said the resident was trimming a large tree on the edge of his property on Benedict Drive when he fell. A neighbor called 911 around 4 p.m. and authorities arrived to find him unconscious on the ground.

    The man was rushed to the hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, according to police. His condition is unknown.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    The defense for Virginia's former first lady rested its case Wednesday afternoon in the public corruption trial against the former first couple of Virginia.

    Bob and Maureen McDonnell's eldest daughter took the stand in her mother's defense Wednesday morning. Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky portrayed a difficult relationship between her parents as she grew up -- one that didn't improve over time -- and said her mother had a "mild obsession" with businessman Jonnie Williams.

    While her father was in law school, her mother was waitressing with three children at home, Zubowsky said. "I just knew we didn't have much money."

    Her mother would buy things and then hid them from her father "until the bill came, and then there'd be an argument," she said.

    Zubowsky testified that her father was around less and less after he entered politics, and for him, "kids were a priority and my mom came last."

    To cope, her mother would drink and take long baths, Zubowsky told jurors. "I think she was depressed, so she'd try to escape," she said.

    Bob and Maureen McDonnell are accused of accepting more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from Williams, then the CEO of Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements.

    Defense attorneys have suggested the couple could not have conspired to provide special favors to Williams while McDonnell was in office because their marriage was crumbling and they were barely talking.

    Zubowsky said her parents struggled after entering the political spotlight. "I think they thought they were ready.... The fantasy of what they thought it would be like was a lot easier to accept than the reality....," she said.

    Zubowsky testified she watched communication between her parents decrease and arguments escalate.

    On a vacation at Camp Pendleton, after a fight between her parents, her father confided in her about her parents' relationship, something that had never happened before.

    "He actually opened up and said, 'I don't know what do do anymore. I can't make her happy anymore. I don't know what to do'.... It was a new low he reached," said Zubowsky, who is expecting the McDonnells' first grandchild.

    She said during frequent fights between her parents, her mother would always raise her voice. "I've never in my whole life seen him raise his voice," she said of her father.

    During a break, her mother cried and supporters consoled her, and her father appeared to wipe a tear from his eye, Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reported.

    She also testified that her mother had a "mild obsession" with Williams.

    When asked if Williams and her mother were good friends, Zubowsky said yes. When asked if they were business associates, she said no.

    Among the gifts, trips and loans Williams lavished on the family was a $10,000 monetary wedding gift to Zubowsky.

    Asked when she returned the money, Zubowsky had an icy reply: "When I realized Jonnie himself was a criminal."

    Prosecutors immediately objected.

    "As a defense attorney that is what you hope for, because for all intents and purposes the question was asked, the answer was given, and while there was an objection, the answer was already out there, and the adage that you can't unring that bell certainly proves true," said lawyer Charles James, who was observing the trial.

    Zubowsky was also asked about a tool shower held for her soon-to-be husband, Adam Zubowsky, in October 2012. She said that when her mother arrived at the event, she explained that Williams wanted to give the couple a special gift but couldn't attend because his wife was ill.

    Zubowsky said Williams called during the party and, over speakerphone, informed her that he wanted to get a generator for the young couple. Some days later, a Michael & Son contractor called to say he wanted to take measurements for a full house generator.

    Zubowsky said her reaction was, "What kind of generator is this?"

    She said she'd expected the gift would be a small generator from Home Depot or Lowe's. But after the contractor visit, Zubowsky said Williams' administrative assistant called to explain the logistics were too complicated and that Williams would send a $10,000 check instead.

    What was her reaction to a check of that amount?

    "I was overwhelmed. I thought that was a very large amount of money but we also put it in perspective," she said, explaining that she knew Williams was wealthy and that he had planned to fly in his private jet to the tool shower, which would cost more than $10,000.

    She said the couple deposited the check into a savings account and never touched it until they decided to return the money.

    The prosecution later asked Zubowsky whether it was right for her family to take the gifts, asking, "Isn't it true ... that you thought it was overboard and a little inappropriate for your family members to be taking these things?"

    "Yes," she said.

    Lawyers for the couple wrapped up their case Wednesday. Prosecutors called two rebuttal witnesses and could call another Thursday. Closing arguments could come Friday.

    Earlier Wednesday, Maureen McDonnell's friend April Niamtu became the first wtiness to testify in Maureen's defense.

    Niamtu told jurors that when she and Maureen met in 2009, Maureen was "passionate" about nutraceuticals.

    Maureen McDonnell's attorney is trying to show that the former first lady of Virginia had an affinity for healthcare products and suggesting them to friends, and that she wasn't only focusing on Williams' products.

    On Wednesday morning, defense for Bob McDonnell rested. The former governor testified in his own defense for more than four days, but Maureen McDonnell's lawyer said the former first lady's case should take about three hours.

    Once it wraps up, that will leave only closing arguments and instructions from the judge before the case goes to the jury.

    Bob McDonnell wrapped up his time on the witness stand Tuesday by acknowledging using bad judgment, but firmly denied criminal wrongdoing.

    The prosecution grilled McDonnell on the specific timeline of when he received the gifts and loans from Williams, trying to make the case that it lines up with McDonnell promoting Williams' company and its tobacco-based supplement Anatabloc.

    But on the stand, McDonnell was adamant that the money he received from Williams in 2012 was in the form of loans for MoBo, the small real estate company he owned with his sister -- not for him personally and not in exchange for favors.

    McDonnell got stern at times, telling the prosecutor, "If you're suggesting that I got a $50,000 loan for MoBo in order that I get Mr. Williams' calls returned then you're completely off base."

    The prosecutor responded, "No sir, that's not what I'm suggesting."

    McDonnell insists the loan from Williams was a business transaction between friends, not payback for his help in promoting Anatabloc.

    Prosecutor Michael Dry asked point blank, "You knew that March 6, 2012, loan was really a personal loan to you?"

    McDonnell replied loudly, angrily: "Mr. Dry, that is absolutely false! It is a loan to MoBo."

    A harsh portrait of Maureen McDonnell has emerged through weeks of testimony. Former governor's mansion staff members have said that she was quick to anger and seemed uncomfortable in her role as first lady.

    As he entered the federal courthouse in Richmond last week, Bob McDonnell said seeing that portrayal of Maureen was "very difficult." 

    He told reporters, "No one likes to talk about their marriage in front of the entire country, but this is part of the case." McDonnell also testified that he moved out of the home he had shared with Maureen the week before the trial.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut



    Photo Credit: The Washington Post

    RICHMOND, VA  –  JULY 31:  Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, surrounded by reporters, arrives for his trial at the Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, July 31, 2014. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)RICHMOND, VA – JULY 31: Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, surrounded by reporters, arrives for his trial at the Spottswood W. Robinson III and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, July 31, 2014. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

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    A San Jose family is grieving the loss of their Chihuahua mix, Sparky, who was brutally bludgeoned to death with a golf club after police say two boys broke into the home in an attempt to burglarize it.

    Sgt. Heather Randol said on Wednesday that the boys, ages 13 and 14, were arrested and booked into juvenile hall on residential burglary charges. One boy was also charged with animal cruelty.

    "We're devastated," homeowner Eric McKenzie told NBC Bay Area.

    Family members found the 12-year-old family pet bleeding to death upstairs shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday at their home in the 6800 block of Eldridge Drive. They called police to report that their home had been ransacked, and Sparky had been bludgeoned with a golf club.

    McKenzie said two his family's two other dogs, "Pokie" and "Moxie," were not hurt in the attack. “We were looking around for the third dog,” McKenzie said. “My daughter found him upstairs, laying on his side, whimpering, and pretty much unresponsive.” They took Sparky to the vet, but it was too late.

    Police said they were able to link the Eldridge Drive case with another burglary, reported at 2:30 p.m. in the 7000 block of Burnside Drive. In that case, the boys were there when police showed up, and they were arrested on site, police said. The boys attend Leland High School in San Jose, according to sources familiar with the case.

    Detectives later figured out that the boys were allegedly responsible for "several other residential burglaries in the area," Randol said, and officers connected them to Sparky's brutal death. Nothing was taken from the home where Sparky was killed.  “What was the purpose?” McKenzie asked. “To have fun?  They didn’t steal anything. I don’t understand.”

    Tuesday also happened to be National Dog Day, a 24-hour-period when dog lovers across the globe honored their furry best friends, many posting pictures all over social media.

    “Without Sparky around, there’ll be a hole in the house,” McKenzie said. “He was a member of the family. Very sad.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sparky's family

    Sparky, a 12-year-old Chihuahua-mix, was bludgeoned to death on Aug. 26, 2014 in San Jose. Police arrested two boys.Sparky, a 12-year-old Chihuahua-mix, was bludgeoned to death on Aug. 26, 2014 in San Jose. Police arrested two boys.

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    A North Haven man was taken to the hospital after falling from a 22-foot ladder on his property while trimming a large tree. 

    Shortly after 4 p.m., police received a call from a neighbor of the man on Benedict Drive reporting that they had heard a loud crash. The neighbor also heard the sound of the man's saw stop.

    Police arrived and discovered the 72 year old lying on the ground. He was transported to the hospital with life threatening injuries.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    A school bus driver was drunk, with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit, when she dropped students off at the Irving A. Robbins Middle School in Farmington on Wednesday morning, according to police.

    M and J school bus driver Tammy Costello, 44, of Bristol, was arrested at school this morning after an officer driving behind her noticed the bus tires swerve off the pavement, according to police.

    "He greeted students as they were getting off the bus, and a couple of them made reference to the potential that the driver may have hit a curb or two along the way," said Farmington police spokesman Lt. Colin Ryan.

    The officer spoke with the driver and immediately suspected she was drunk.

    Costello failed field sobriety tests and was brought to the Farmington Police Department, where breath tests came back at .139, then .134, more than three times the legal limit for the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, police said. 

    She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, failure to drive right, and 20 counts of risk of injury to a minor – one for each of the students on board.

    NBC Connecticut tried to contact Costello at her Bristol home, but there was no answer.

    Farmington Supt. Kathleen Greider has sent a letter to parents saying every child who was on the bus was brought to the nurse to be checked for injuries and any other concerns. 

    "All students returned to class after a thorough assessment and parents were contacted.  Please be assured that the safety of our students – your children – is our highest priority, and we take that responsibility very seriously," Greider said in the letter.

    She also provided parents with a letter from the bus company. 

    "The M and J Bus Company is appalled at the incident that occurred this morning involving one of our bus drivers. We are committed to working closely with the Farmington Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident. Please know that thorough background checks of all employees are conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles before employees are allowed to transport students," the statement  says.

    The statement says M and J Bus Company conducts alcohol and drug testing when they hire employees, who are also subject to "rigorous random alcohol and drug testing." 

    M and J has suspended Costello pending an investigation.

    "We hold our employees to the highest expectations and safety is our number one priority. We apologize to the Farmington community for this incident as we are a long-standing Farmington company and we are deeply committed to the safety of ALL Farmington students," the statement from M and J says.

    Costello was released on a $25,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court on Sept. 2.



    Photo Credit: Farmington Police

    Tammy Costello was drunk when she dropped students off at a school in Farmington on Wednesday morning.Tammy Costello was drunk when she dropped students off at a school in Farmington on Wednesday morning.

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    Community activists are protesting the arrest of a Hartford teen who police shot with a Taser last week and demanding that the officer be charged instead.

    They gathered at Albany Avenue and Main Street to march on Hartford police headquarters Wednesday evening.

    “Drop those charges! They tased him!” protesters shouted during the rally.

    Community members are urging police to drop the charges against 18-year-old Luis Anglero, who was tased Aug. 19 while police were breaking up an unruly crowd at Albany Avenue and Garden Street. The encounter was captured on surveillance video.

    Family members allege that the officer used unreasonable force, but police say Anglero was uncooperative and aggressive. The incident is under investigation.

    “We believe officers used excessive force. They did not need to tase this teen,” said community activist Cornell Lewis. “This seems to be part of a national narrative as it pertains to police.”

    Hartford Police Chief James Rovella showed up at the rally, and authorities said they would respect the protesters’ right to demonstrate.

    “It’s a sensitive issue, understandably, so here at the police department, we understand their right to protect their concerns and we will provide them assistance and an escort as they march through traffic,” said Hartford police spokesman Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

    Anglero was charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer. He taken to the hospital for treatment and was released in good condition a short time later.

    The city held a community meeting to address violence just days after the incident.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Protesters marched on Hartford police headquarters Wednesday evening to demand that the charges be dropped again 18-year-old Luis Anglero, who police shot with a Taser last week.Protesters marched on Hartford police headquarters Wednesday evening to demand that the charges be dropped again 18-year-old Luis Anglero, who police shot with a Taser last week.

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    Market Basket's board of directors has signed a deal to sell the grocery chain to former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas for more than $1.5 billion, following months of massive employee protests and customer boycotts over his June ouster.

    Market Basket and Arthur T. Demoulas confirmed just after 11 p.m. that shareholders had agreed to a deal to give Arthur T.'s faction a majority stake — 50.5 percent ownership — in the company. Sources had previously confirmed the deal to NECN's Josh Brogadir and Peter Howe.

    "Effective immediately, Arthur T. Demoulas is returning to Market Basket with day-to-day operational authority of the company," the company and new owner said in a statement.

    Employees and customers started a boycott earlier this summer after Demoulas' firing, leading to bare shelves and little business for the New England supermarket chain.

    Current co-CEOs Felicia Thorton and Jim Gooch are staying in place pending the closing, which is expected to happen in the next several months. Arthur T. and his management team are returning during the interim period as the company's purchased is finished, the statement said. Arthur T. also said that all employees are welcome back to work to help "restore the Company back to normal operations."

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a joint statement they are "delighted that the parties have reached agreement on terms of sale and resolution of operating authority, so that employees can return to work and customers once again will be able to rely on these stores to meet their needs."

    Market Basket's board of directors fired Arthur T. and two other top executives on June 23. On July 15, executives at the company's headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, started calling for Arthur T.'s reinstatement. More than 2,000 employees rallied outside of Market Basket's headquarters on July 18, and the company fired eight employees who led the demonstration two days later. The rallies spread to the stores the next day, and continued at stores and headquarters for weeks.

    The board of directors said in a statement late Wednesday that their shared goal now "is to return Market Basket to the supermarket that its customers have come to rely on for service, quality and best prices."

    "We look forward to seeing you at your local Market Basket," the statement reads.

    Copyright Associated Press / NBC Connecticut


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    Metro-North trains are running on or close to schedule after wire damage in East Norwalk caused delays on part of the New Haven line

    Opposite side boarding was in effect on Thursday morning between Green's Farm and Noroton Heights but has since ended.

    Eastbound trains were not stopping at East Norwalk, Westport and Greens Farms, but the service has since been restored.


     


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    Bristol police have arrested two burglary suspects after investigating two suspicious people in an apartment complex parking lot.

    Police responded to 59 Burlington Ave. at 12:40 a.m. on Thursday to investigate after someone complained and described the two people, as well as the vehicle they drove off in.

    Police quickly spotted a car matching the description at the Snow-White Car Wash, at 12 Farmington Ave., and determined that a man who was in the car had broken into a parked car at the apartment complex while the woman he was with pulled on door handles of other vehicles, trying to get into them, police said.

    Jared J. Garand, 25, of Unionville, was charged with burglary in the third degree, criminal attempt at larceny in the sixth degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree. 

    Nicole Raboin, 22, of Bristol, was charged with criminal attempt at burglary in the third degree, criminal attempt at larceny in the sixth degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the sixth degree.

    Garand and Raboin were each held on $10,000 and 5,000 bonds respectively.
     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Bristol police have arrested two burglary suspects after investigating two suspicious people in an apartment complex parking lot.Bristol police have arrested two burglary suspects after investigating two suspicious people in an apartment complex parking lot.

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    Market Basket's restored chief delivered heartfelt words of thanks to his supporters Thursday, just hours after his return to the helm of the grocery chain was announced.

    Arthur T. Demoulas, whose June firing as CEO sparked weeks of protests and boycotts, told a cheering crowd of hundreds of employees that he is in "awe of what you have all accomplished.

    "I've always believed that we are born into this world at a certain time and a certain place to be with certain people for a reason and a purpose. Everyone has a destiny and because of you I stand here with a renewed vigor and a sense of purpose," he told those gathered outside the company's Tewksbury, Massachusetts, headquarters.

    "And may we always remember this past summer, first as a time where our collective values of loyalty courage and kindness for one another really prevailed and in that process we just happened to save our company." 

    Demoulas and the board announced late Wednesday that an agreement has been reached for him to buy for $1.5 billion the 50.5 percent of the company owned by his rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.

    The restored chief credited employees' grassroots efforts for his victory, saying workers and supporters "displayed to everyone your unwavering dedication and desire to protect the culture of your company.”

    “You have demonstrated that everyone here has a purpose," he said. "You have demonstrated that everyone has meaning and no one person is better or more important than another, and no one person holds a position of privilege."

    The standoff had prompted intervention by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan.

    Trucks have started making deliveries to the New England supermarket chain.

    "Let's get to work and have lots of fun," said Demoulas.

    Watch his full speech below: 



    Photo Credit: NECN

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    A former daycare worker has been arrested after the daycare facility she worked for went to police because they believed she stole cash.

    Police said Jennifer Zubek, 32, of Meriden, is suspected of stealing more than $10,000 from a day care facility on Deming Street.

    Police started investigating in January, when the owner reported a suspicion that that Zubek, a former employee, had taken cash payments from the business. 

    Police investigated and served Zubek with a warrant on Wednesday.
     
    She was charged with larceny in the second degree and was later released on a $25,000 surety bond.

    Police said Zubek has not admitted to taking the cash.

    Zubek is scheduled to appear in Manchester Superior Court on Sept. 4.
     



    Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

    Jennifer Zubek, a former South Windsor daycare worker, is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from her former employer.Jennifer Zubek, a former South Windsor daycare worker, is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from her former employer.

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    Route 254 in Litchfield was closed at Richards Road after a utility pole and wires came down, but the road has reopened.

    Connecticut Light & Power responded and the scene is now clear.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A woman died at Burning Man early Thursday morning after falling under a bus carrying attendees of the weeklong gathering in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, authorities said.

    The Pershing County Sheriff's Department in Nevada confirmed the death, referring all other questions to Burning Man's promoter, who said the 29-year-old woman from Wyoming died just after midnight near the Central Camp Area.

    Event organizers said Alicia Louise Cipicchio was killed afterapparently falling underneath a "large vehicle" at the festival.

    The last time a person died at Burning Man was seven years ago when a woman died when she fell under a trailer being pulled by a bus, promoter Jim Graham said.

    "This is a terrible accident," Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said on the blog. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected."

    According to her Facebook page, Cipicchio worked at a Jackson Hole art gallery and previously studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

    At its peak, Burning Man had 68,000 "Burners" attend this year, Graham said.

    The festival describes itself as a gathering of those who "dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance."

    Bay City News contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    A metal sculpture is seen in this file image captured at Burning Man.A metal sculpture is seen in this file image captured at Burning Man.

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    Police are looking for the driver they say told a 26-year-old woman he was a cabbie before driving her and her three children to a homeless shelter, where he allegedly tried to sexually assault her in front of her children.

    The driver picked up the woman and her children on 207th Street in Manhattan early on Sunday, police say. The woman asked the driver to take her and her kids -- ages 1, 3 and 5 -- to the shelter at Queens Boulevard near 51st Avenue, the site of the former Pan Am hotel.

    When they got there, police say the man drove around the back of the building and started to assault the woman and her children.

    Surveillance footage released by the NYPD (above, warning: some may find the footage disturbing) shows the man pulling the 5-year-old out of the car and putting the child on the sidewalk.

    The suspect is then seen trying to grab at the woman, who fights him off. Then, the man is seen grabbing the 3-year-old out of a back seat and tossing the child to the sidewalk.

    The man gets in the car, and he and mother tussle briefly before the he puts the car in gear and drives off.

    The children were taken to Elmhurst Hospital with minor injuries. It wasn’t clear if their mother was hurt.

    Aaron Ling, whose family called 911 after hearing screaming, said the mother was panicking.

    "She kept screaming, 'Policia! Policia!'" Ling said. "I just ran over here because I thought someone was dying."

    Anyone with information on the driver is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. 


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    The Hebron mom accused of hitting and killing RHAM Middle School teacher Dawn Mallory after dropping off her son at school in March made a brief appearance in court on Thursday and the case has been continued to September.

    Elizabeth Everett, 50, who was charged with felony misconduct with a motor vehicle and unsafe backing, was drinking before the crash, according to court documents.

    A trooper at the scene smelled alcohol on her breath, and toxicology results revealed her BAC to be .07, just shy of the .08 legal limit, according to the affidavit.

    Police said she accidentally drove into the bus lane after dropping off her son at the high school on March 14, then realized her mistake and attempted to back out. That’s when she struck 65-year-old Dawn Mallory, a seventh-grade math teacher.

    According to the affidavit, Everett’s car was traveling at least 14 mph at the time of the crash. Investigators found there were no mechanical problems with her car, which had a working backup camera.

    Everett, who works as a consultant for Aetna in Hartford, told police she was looking over her shoulder when she heard the impact, then got out and saw Mallory bleeding on the ground, the affidavit says.

    Mallory was taken off life support March 28 and died of head injuries sustained during the crash, the affidavit says.

    Her family plans to sue the town of Hebron, claiming the parking lot was dangerous.

    The town has since added speed bumps and altered traffic patterns to make the area safer and continues working to improve the campus parking lot. More changes were made before the start of the school year.

    Everett appeared in court briefly and the case was continued to Sept. 30.


    The mother of a RHAM High School student who struck and killed teacher Dawn Mallory in the school parking lot was in court on Thursday and the case was continued.The mother of a RHAM High School student who struck and killed teacher Dawn Mallory in the school parking lot was in court on Thursday and the case was continued.

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    Police have issued a Silver Alert for a 14-year-old Hartford girl who has been missing since Monday.

    When Jillian Burgos was last seen, she was wearing a purple shirt, gray shorts and white sneakers. She was carrying a blue book bag with a butterfly design.

    Jillian has black hair and brown eyes. She is 5-feet-7 and weighs 285 pounds, according to the Silver Alert.

    If you have information on Burgos’ whereabouts, call Hartford Police at (860) 757-4000.



    Photo Credit: Silver Alert

    Police have issued a Silver Alert for Jillian Burgos, who has been missing since Monday.Police have issued a Silver Alert for Jillian Burgos, who has been missing since Monday.

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  • 08/28/14--08:25: Back to School in New Haven

  • Students headed back to school in New Haven on Thursday, ready to meet the academic challenges ahead.

    Students at Lincoln Bassett Elementary are seeing new teachers and improvements, such as new classroom designs, thanks to grant money from the state bond commission.

    “We’re putting it towards technology, personnel, for instance,” Principal Janet Brown-Clayton said of the grant money. “We have staff now that didn’t exist before.”

    There is also a new attitude at the school.

    “So we’re trying to set the tone for this year so we can destroy the spirit of average. Enough is not good enough. We want our kids to soar,” Brown-Clayton said.

    Marchel Smith, of New Haven, said the family has been preparing for the last two days.

    “They are very excited. We’ve been preparing for the last two days. Haircuts and I think they’re ready,” Smith said.

    Thaddeus Harrison, a fifth grader, headed to school with his sister and said he is looking forward to improvements that have been made.

    Mayor Toni Harp and other officials met students today as they stepped off the bus and Supt. Garth Harries started his day welcoming back students at Hillhouse High School.

    “Here at Hillhouse, we have two academies forming as part of our transformation agenda,” he said.
     


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    Police have issued a Silver Alert for an 85-year-old New Haven man who has been missing since Wednesday.

    Melvin Gilmore was wearing khaki pants, a green shirt and black sneakers when he was last seen.

    Police said Gilmore is African American and described his hair as “sandy.” His eyes are brown.
    He is 5-feet-11 and weighs 134 pounds.

    No photo was released.

    Anyone with information should call New Haven Police at 203-946-6316.


    Police have issued a Silver Alert for an 85-year-old New Haven man who has been missing since Wednesday.Police have issued a Silver Alert for an 85-year-old New Haven man who has been missing since Wednesday.

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    After a damaging earthquake altered plans for their dream wedding in Napa, a La Mesa couple says the shaky start only reinforced what's truly important to them.

    Newlywed Caitlin Rasmussen recalls the moment a magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck on her wedding day. But despite the rubble and the wreckage, her love and commitment weren't shaken. There was no way she was not going to marry the love of her life.

    Thanks to the creative spirit of her friends and family, the bride and groom got to just that. And the Big Day was even better than they expected.

    “I seriously thought I was going to die,” she said. “I thought the building was going to fall over just because I thought it was swaying.”

    Sunday’s earthquake caused an estimated $300 million in damages and left hundreds of homes and private buildings red- or yellow-tagged in the community east of San Francisco.

    Caitlin and her then-fiance, Matt Rasmussen, immediately checked in with family and friends to make sure they were okay. Many reported damage in or around their homes.

    Just hours before they were to say their vows, the young couple didn’t know if the 125-year-old home they had picked for a venue had survived.

    Churchill Manor had sustained damage. However, the management offered to host the ceremony if most events were held outside.

    With manor employees unable to work, wedding guests cleaned up the outside of the venue and set up the tables and chairs before the ceremony.

    When the restaurant hired to cater the wedding suffered so much damage they had to cancel, friends and family stepped up.

    Instead of the obligatory meat, fish and vegetarian wedding entrees, the Rasmussens had a barbecue food truck.

    Their wedding cake - something many couples discuss and plan for well before the ceremony - was purchased last-minute.

    “They were literally stopping at a Costco and Whole Foods picking up desserts for us,” said Matt.

    Caitlin says the day really put things into perspective for her.

    “None of those things matter. Getting married is really about us and our family,” she said.

    “Disasters bring communities together.”



    Photo Credit: Courtesy photo from the Rasmussens

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    Four adults and a child were displaced when fire tore through a two-family home at 47 Riverside Avenue in Norwalk on Thursday afternoon.

    Police said, via Twitter, that the fire has been knocked down, all residents are out of the building and no one was hurt.

    However, the house is uninhabitable and crews from the American Red Cross have responded to help.

    The road remains closed to traffic between Belden Avenue and New Canaan Avenue. Police urge drivers to use Spring Hill Avenue or the Route 7 Connector instead.
     



    Photo Credit: Norwalk Police

    Police battled a fire on Riverside Avenue in Norwalk on Thursday.Police battled a fire on Riverside Avenue in Norwalk on Thursday.

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