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    A 62-year-old Guilford woman who was taken to the hospital in "very serious condition" after her home caught fire on Wednesday night has died, according to the Guilford Fire Department.

    Police have identified the woman as Joan Andrews, of 2053 Long Hill Road in Guilford.

    Firefighters were dispatched to the house at 7:38 p.m.

    When crews arrived, a man said he tried to put out the fire on the first floor, but had to leave the house when he was overcome by smoke, and thought his wife was still inside, police said.

    Firefighters found Anderson, unconscious, on the first floor and transported her to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she was pronounced dead soon after, police said.

    Investigators have taped off the property and are still working to determine the cause.

    The cause of the fire in under investigation.




    Photo Credit: Sara Nguyen

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    Police have arrested a man who they said threatened to stab a relative’s 9-month-old baby to steal gasoline from one gas station, then threatened to stab the child at another gas station before leading state police on nine-mile chase with the child, unsecured and crying, in the front seat.

    It appears that the incident started in Wallingford and ended in Middlefield, where the suspect hit a state trooper’s cruiser.

    Wallingford police said they received a 911 call at 11:54 p.m. from a clerk at the Gulf Express at 1195 North Colony Road in Wallingford who reported a man carrying a young child went into the store and put $8 on the counter, but demanded $40 worth of gas, police said.

    When the clerk questioned the man, who was later identified as Richard Stevenson, 25, of Meriden, Stevenson pulled out a knife and held it toward the child, then pumped gas and left in a white vehicle, heading south toward Route 15, police said.

    Two minutes later, at 11:56 p.m., Meriden police received a call to respond to the Shell Gas Station at 927 East Main Street.

    The caller said a man who was driving a white Mercedes had just left the gas station after yelling that he needed a cell phone or he was going to stab a baby, then held up the baby and motioned as if he had stabbed it, police said. The caller said the man fled east on East Main Street toward Middletown.

    As all of this was happening, information was broadcast to police with a registration plate for the car, as well as a description of the vehicle and the driver.

    Moments later, Connecticut State Police reported that they chasing a white Mercedes heading west on Route 66 from Middletown and asked Meriden Police Department to set up stop sticks at the Meriden town line.

    A news release from state police says they tried to stop Stevenson on Meriden Road in Middlefield at 12:50 a.m., but he refused to stop. State police used stop sticks, but Stevenson continued to flee until hitting a state trooper’s cruiser, police said.

    Stop sticks were used, the vehicle was stopped at Interstate 691 and Stevenson was taken into custody.

    The baby, who has been in the front seat, was crying and transported to MidState Medical Center and evaluated by doctors who determined he was not hurt.

    Police said they also found a large knife in the car.

    Meriden police charged Stevenson with first-degree kidnapping, criminal attempt at assault in the first degree, risk of injury to a minor, threatening in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, breach of peace in the second degree, engaging in a pursuit and reckless driving.

    Meriden police then released him to the custody of Wallingford police, who said they identified Stevenson as their suspect from video surveillance footage, and charged him with robbery in the first degree, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Wallingford Police

    Richard Stevenson is accused of threatening a relative's 2-year-old son while stealing gasoline.Richard Stevenson is accused of threatening a relative's 2-year-old son while stealing gasoline.

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    The New England Patriots fired back at the National Football League on Thursday, releasing a lengthy response saying the conclusions of the Wells Report are "at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context."

    [CLICK HERE to read the full Patriots response to the Wells Report.]

    "The Wells Report in Context," written Patriots lawyer Daniel L. Goldberg, who represented the team and was present at all interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium, attempts to provide detailed context of the Wells Report, which led the NFL to suspend quarterback Tom Brady for four games, levy a $1 million fine and strip the team of two draft picks.

    "The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context," the document states. "The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee's recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot.

    "There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as 'not plausible.' Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored."

    The goal of the document, the team says, is to "provide additional context for balance and consideration."

    In addition to taking issue with the reported psi levels of the footballs, the team says the NFL "had already prejudged" the issues before Ted Wells was hired to look into the matter. "The Wells investigators, then, were hired by the League to investigate an issue that the League had already prejudged."

    The team says increased communications between Brady and Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski after the AFC Championship Game "do not make it more likely than not that there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing. They are totally consistent with complete innocence. It is only speculation to conclude otherwise."

    Also defended is Brady's refusal to turn over his cell phone, as the team says the league already had all of Jastremski's texts with Brady, along with phone records from Patriots locker room attendant James McNally.

    "Given the fact that Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally had both turned over their phone records, no adverse inferences should be drawn from the fact that Mr. Brady did not make his phone or its contents available."



    Photo Credit: FILE - AP

    Official game balls for NFL football's Super Bowl XLIX sit in a bin before being laced and inflated at the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.Official game balls for NFL football's Super Bowl XLIX sit in a bin before being laced and inflated at the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.

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    A Boston Marathon bombing survivor who has gone on to inspire many through her determination and resilience will deliver the commencement address at Southern Connecticut State University on Friday.

    Heather Abbott, of Newport, Rhode Island, went to a Red Sox game with several friends on April 15, 2013, carrying out a tradition, then walked over to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

    What was supposed to be a day of fun in the city turned to horror as the bombs exploded at the finish line and Abbott was struck by shrapnel when the second bomb went off.

    In the days that followed, Abbott went through several surgeries on her left foot, agonizing over whether to allow doctors to amputate. Ultimately, she decided to have her leg amputated below the knee.

    Months after the bombings, Abbott was living on her own. In the nearly two years to follow, she has persevered and not allowed being an amputee to stop her from participating in the activities she loves.

    Abbott has also become a motivational speaker and a National Amputee Coalition-certified peer counselor so she can help others.

    SCSU’s 2015 Undergraduate Ceremony will be at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on May 15.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    Heather Abbott, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, throws out the first pitch prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on May 11, 2013 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)Heather Abbott, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, throws out the first pitch prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays on May 11, 2013 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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    New Haven police have identified three suspects in the murder of a Connecticut father-to-be inside a New Haven gas station last month, including one man who is suspected of killing the owner of a Bridgeport store owner just days later.

    The New Haven victim, Sanjay Patel, 39, was shot more than five times during a robbery at the Pay Rite Food Store at the Citgo station on Forbes Avenue on the night of Monday, April 6.

    Police said one gunman shot Patel four times, the other shot him more than once, then fled with cash and a box of cigars. On Thursday morning police secured arrest warrants for three suspects.

    At 11:28 a.m., New Haven Police and U.S. Marshals served a warrant on Dwayne Sayles, 21, of New Haven, and charged him with felony murder, murder, criminal possession of a pistol and first-degree robbery. He is currently in custody at New Haven police headquarters.

    Warrants will also be served on Jamal Sumler, 23, as well as Leighton Vanderberg, 22, of New Haven,police said. 

    Vanderburg has also been charged in the murder of Jose Salgado, 57, a Bridgeport store owner.

    Salgado was working at the store he owns with his wife, Sapiao's Grocery at 351 Lexington Avenue in Bridgeport, on April 11 when armed robbers came in and demanded money, according to police.

    He was shot right after handing over the cash.

    Vanderberg will be charged with felony murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery in the murder of Patel.

    Sumler, who is also incarcerated in Connecticut, will be charged with felony murder, murder, criminal possession of a pistol and first-degree robbery.
     



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police

    Police have apprehended Dwayne Sayles and said Leighton Vanderberg and Jamal Sumler are in custody for other crimes.Police have apprehended Dwayne Sayles and said Leighton Vanderberg and Jamal Sumler are in custody for other crimes.

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    Blue Bell Creameries has reached an agreement with Texas and Oklahoma health officials on steps it must take before it can resume production start selling ice cream again, after a listeria outbreak forced it to recall all its products and shuttered its plants.

    The steps include “rigorous facility cleaning and sanitizing, revised testing protocols, revised production policies and procedures designed to prevent future contamination,” the company said in its announcement Thursday.

    The statement did not specify exactly when production might resume.

    Blue Bell shut down production and recalled all of its ice cream after listeria was found in several flavors and three deaths in Kansas were linked to the bacteria.

    “We are committed to meeting the high standards and expectations of our customers and our regulatory agencies,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “State and federal regulatory agencies play an important role in food safety, and we hope that it will be reassuring to our customers that we are working cooperatively.”

    The agreement also requires Blue Bell to report any future positive tests for listeria to the health department within 24 hours. State health inspectors will be at the plant “regularly to evaluate test results and monitor the trial runs,” according to a separate statement from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

    The creamery also signed an agreement with health officials in Oklahoma, where it operates a plant near Tulsa, and is working on a deal with the state of Alabama, where it operates a third facility, the company said.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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    A former Waterbury library clerk accused of stealing $170,000 from a local library over five years because she thought she should be making more money has lost her persion, according to the office of the attorney general.

    The investigation started when the city’s personnel department found out that Lynette James, 51, had paid herself $12,000 in stipends over eight years that she was not entitled, police said.

    But that investigation uncovered more thefts and these were from the Silas Bronson Library, police said.

    At first, James denied stealing the money, but then police presented the evidence and James admitted to taking the money because she thought she should be earning more.

    James, who worked at the library from 1989 to 2014, said she started taking the cash in 2006 to help pay for her son’s college education and food, according to police.

    James was in charge of depositing money from the library and is accused of stealing as much as $100 per day over a five-year span.

    A news release from the office of Attorney General George Jepsen said she signed a stipulation agreeing for her pension to be revoked. She was scheduled to receive $13,000 per year. 

    The pension contributions she made will also be applied as restitution, police said.

     

    The money came from fines that library patrons paid for overdue books and videos, according to police.

    Police started investigating a little over a month ago and also determined that James was also paying herself thousands of dollars in an unauthorized stipend, police said.

     


     


    Lynette James is accused of stealing money from a library in Waterbury.Lynette James is accused of stealing money from a library in Waterbury.

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    Someone is in police custody after apparently flying a drone across from the White House on Thursday afternoon.

    U.S. Secret Service agents said they saw the small UAV drone flying about 100 feet above Lafayette Park shortly before 1:10 p.m. They detained the man flying the drone and ordered him to land it. Then they cleared Lafayette Park.

    A bomb squad checked the drone and declared it safe.

    Police also seized a Chevy CSR believed to be used by the man. He is now in custody of the U.S. Park Police.

    The drone never made it over the fence to the White House.



    Photo Credit: U.S. Secret Service

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    Missing dad Bob Gildersleeve, Jr. died in Tuesday's fatal Amtrak wreck, his company confirmed Thursday, two days after the Amtrak train he boarded in Baltimore speeded around a curve in Philadelphia and derailed. 

    A cadaver dog led investigators to Gildersleeve's remains as workers were moving the wreckage from the crash site to a secure location in Delaware. His body was found in the "large amount of wreckage" of the first passenger car, fire officials said, raising the death toll to eight.

    Gildersleeve's story went viral after his 13-year-old son Marc, who'd traveled to Philly with his family, held up a sign with a picture and information about his father, pleading for help in finding his dad.

    The 45-year-old vice president of corporate accounts for Ecolab was married with two children, age 13 and 16. 

    "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague," Ecolab CEO Doug Baker said in a statement.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Gildersleeve’s family took to the streets of Philadelphia to spread the word about his disappearance.

    “How, in this day and age, can we allow a train to go out of control at 106 miles an hour?” asked Bob Gildersleeve Sr., the victim's father.

    His wife Danna said in a statement Thursday that her husband had been "my best friend for 29 years." The two celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary on Mother's Day. 

    "He is an remarkable Dad to our daughter Ryan and son Marc. He is a loving son, brother and is definitely the 'fun' Uncle to his nieces and nephews. He is funny and sarcastic and lights up any room with his presence, humor and enthusiasm. He has been a dedicated employee and friend to his Ecolab family for over two decades. Our hearts are broken and we can't imagine a life without him," Danna said.

    Gildersleeve dropped his son off at lacrosse practice Tuesday and boarded the train instead of flying to New York, which he did more often. He was among the 8 dead and more than 200 injured in the crash.

    "He was in the first car," Gildersleeve Sr. said late Wednesday night. "It's turned inside out. They found his phone. His phone, they found. But they can't find him or his belongings."



    Photo Credit: Family Photo

    Gildersleeve family from left to right: Ryan, 16, Marc, 13, wife Danna and Bob.Gildersleeve family from left to right: Ryan, 16, Marc, 13, wife Danna and Bob.

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    Authorities are investigating after someone spotted an empty shell casing at the Prudence Crandall Elementary School in Enfield on Thursday afternoon, according to police.

    A K-9 officer is searching the property at 150 Brainard Road to check the building. Police said students had already been dismissed when the shell casing was found.

    It's not clear how the casing got there.

    Check for updates on this developing story.


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    Town officials and clergy members in Westport will meet with the community Sunday afternoon in response to the "White Lives Matter" fliers left outside homes earlier this month.

    Westport is one of four shoreline towns where fliers have been dropped. Residents of Fairfield, East Haven and Milford also noticed the racially charged leaflets, which first showed up amid unrest in Baltimore over the police-custody death of Freddie Gray.

    Although it's not clear who is behind them, the fliers in all four towns look identical: "#White Lives Matter" is printed in large black font on a white sheet of paper. The fliers are enclosed in plastic bags and weighed down with rocks.

    The phrase appears to be in response to the slogan "Black Lives Matter," which has gained support after the killings of black men by police officers in places like Ferguson, New York City and Baltimore.

    Westport town leaders Thursday in conjunction with the Interfaith Clergy Association of Westport and Weston, the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, Westport Human Services Commission, the Westport Board of Education, Westport Police Department and TEAM Westport.

    "We are deeply troubled by this campaign. While some have raised questions about the intent of the slogan, it is clear from similar campaigns in neighboring towns that this message was motivated by racism, which we reject absolutely and without qualification," the statement says. "Further, we contend that dismantling racism requires us to attend to the impact of actions, regardless of intent. These flyers attempt to co-opt a movement that has been created by citizens of color across our nation to redress disparities in treatment, based on race. We are united in declaring that these flyers have no place in Westport, which aspires to be an inclusive community that values a diverse population."

    The statement alleges that "there is much more work to do before our nation achieves genuine equality across race and ethnicity," and says the town plans to organize opportunities for "education, discussion and engagement" over the next several months.

    The first event – a community conversation – is slated for 4 p.m. May 17 at the Westport Library.



    Photo Credit: www.danwoog06880.com

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    Authorities are crediting a group of middle school students in South Windsor with helping to prevent a brush fire from spreading to a house on Gilbert Lane.

    According to the fire department, students at Timothy Edwards Middle School were riding the bus to school Thursday morning when they noticed fire in the bushes in front of the house. They told the bus driver right away, who called the fire department.

    A landscaper working nearby also spotted the flames and used a garden hose to extinguish them. Some of the home's siding melted from the heat, but fire officials said students' and lanscaper's quick thinking prevented the fire from spreading to the house.

    The fire marshal believes a discarded cigar lit mulch and a pine tree on fire. Firefighters are reminding residents to be extra careful when disposing of smoking materials in light of the extremely dry conditions.


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    An Amtrak employee has filed the first lawsuit in connection to Tuesday’s deadly train derailment that killed eight people and injured over 200 others in Philadelphia.

    The Bala Cynwyd law firm Coffey Kaye Myers & Olley, which is representing Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips and his wife Kalita Phillips of Philadelphia, confirmed with NBC10 that their clients are filing a lawsuit against Amtrak. Phillips is still hospitalized at Temple University Hospital.

    Phillips, an Amtrak employee, was "deadheading" in one of the rear railcars of Amtrak Regional Train 188 Tuesday night when the derailment occurred, according to the lawsuit. Deadheading is a practice in which a crew member is transported free of charge when they're not working. 

    During the derailment, Phillips was "violently hurled" inside the railcar and his body was struck several times before he slammed onto the floor, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit states Phillips suffered serious and permanent injuries including brain trauma, multiple contusions and lacerations of the body, multiple orthopedic and neurological issues and emotional trauma. 

    The lawsuit also states Phillips suffered a "loss and impairment of earnings and earning power," has undergone "great physical pain and mental anguish," and will have to pay "large sums of money" for medical treatment.

    Phillips and his wife are suing for a sum in excess of $150,000. They are asking for punitive damages in excess of $150,000 due to the alleged "gross reckless conduct of the defendant ."

    You can read the full lawsuit in the link embedded below. 



    Photo Credit: NTSB
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    May 13, 2015: NTSB investigators recovered the May 13, 2015: NTSB investigators recovered the "black box" and began their probe into the cause of the deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.

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    A Mesquite, Texas, man who pledged allegiance to ISIS and lied to the FBI about it was arrested on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint.

    Bilal Abood, 37, a licensed security guard, is charged with making a false statement to the FBI. He faces up to eight years in prison.

    Abood was born in Iraq and migrated to the United States in 2009. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen, prosecutors said.

    Abood tried to travel to Iraq from D/FW International Airport on March 29, 2013, but was not allowed to board the flight. He was interviewed by FBI agents, claimed he was going to visit family, and denied that he planned to fight for ISIS, the complaint said.

    He later admitted he planned to go to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army against the government, the complaint said.

    The following month, he left DFW for Mexico and traveled through various countries to get to Syria. When he returned in September 2013, he admitted to FBI agents that he had stayed in a Free Syrian Army camp and fought with the group, the complaint said.

    In July 2014, the FBI obtained a search warrant to search his computer. The search found that Abood had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 19, 2014 and had viewed videos of atrocities such as beheadings and had tweeted information on al-Baghdadi, prosecutors said.

    In his interview with FBI agents, he denied he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and that denial was the basis of his charge.

    It was not clear why agents waited nearly a year to arrest him.

    Abood does not face a terrorism charge and there is no allegation he was planning any attacks in the United States.

    A detention hearing is set for 9:30 am tomorrow. Abood is being held in federal custody. Attorney information for Abood was not immediately clear.


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    House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said Gov. Dannel Malloy's comments Wednesday about the opposition to his "Second Chance Society" proposal aimed to reduce penalties for minor drug offenses amounted to "name calling."

    The comment in question came during a press event touting why the reforms were necessary, especially considering the likelihood of stiffer penalties in the event of a drug possession charge in a school zone.

    When illustrating his point that more minorities live in urban and densely populated areas, Malloy told reporters, "To treat those folks different because they live in those communities is patently unfair and if not racist in intent is racist in its outcome."

    Klarides, a Republican from Derby, along with other members of the GOP, put a halt to the discussion of bills in the Connecticut House when she was informed of the comments, and many members later walked out.

    She interpreted the comment as being a jab at GOP members who voiced criticism of the governor's plan, many of whom live in suburban areas with few minorities or instances of drug-related crime.

    Malloy wasn't available Thursday to discuss his remarks.

    Klarides stands by what she said. She added that she thinks Malloy's comments are meant to garner national attention, which she said doesn't help the General Assembly conduct business.

    "If he is interested in running for something nationally, then all the best of luck to him, but if he is not interested in the job he was elected to do then he should consider where he wants to go," she said.

    Democratic leaders in the Connecticut House joined with Klarides to say the comments from the governor were not constructive toward the Democratic process.

    "I think the governor raising the issue of race is important but the way it came across in his speaking was more along the lines of racism so it made it difficult," said House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, a Democratic from Berlin.

    He added that there is some merit to the spirit of the governor's comments.

    "Look, nobody should be selling drugs. There should be consequences to that but given where they live it really has an effect on the term of their sentence," Aresimowicz said.

    Malloy's proposal would remove mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug possession. For a minor possession, a prosecutor could pursue no more than a one-year maximum prison stay. In school zones, possession of a drug by a non-student would carry a three-year maximum sentence without a minimum.

    Part of his argument is that – in major cities with dense populations and crowded neighborhoods such as Hartford Bridgeport, and New Haven – a minor drug possession almost certainly includes the more serious charge of being in a school zone, which he says is unfair to many minorities who live in those cities.

    The governor has not proposed removing mandatory minimums for charges relating to intent to sell.

    Luke Bronin, a candidate for Hartford mayor and former legal adviser to Malloy, wrote the Second Chance Society legislation. He says conversations about race are critical to getting at the heart of the matter of mass incarceration of young people in Connecticut.

    "I think the important thing to acknowledge is that there is a disparate impact based on geography and because of the way our state is built, that often means a disparate impact based on race," Bronin said. "The drug sentences in our cities have had a disparate impact on people of color and we should have an honest conversation about that."

    Rep. Edwin Vargas, a Democrat from Hartford who is a member of the Black and Latino Caucus, said race is worth discussing but it shouldn't dominate conversation about the Second Chance Society proposal. He conceded that the idea of second chances does take on an urban-versus-suburban tone.

    "I believe that some people in some towns represent different constituencies, will tell you that this is not as big an issue, but to bigger cities like the city of Hartford, it is an issue," Vargas said.


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    The sleep-deprived engineer who nodded off at the controls of a Metro-North train just before taking a 30 mph curve at 82 mph, causing a derailment in the Bronx in 2013 that killed four people and injured more than 70 others, will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

    The decision not to charge engineer William Rockefeller in the deadly crash had been expected.

    Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson made the decision weeks ago, his office said. The office had no comment on the delay in announcing his final decision.

    Rockefeller's sleepiness was due to a combination of an undiagnosed disorder — sleep apnea — and a drastic shift in his work schedule, the National Transportation Board determined. The agency said the railroad lacked a policy to screen engineers for sleep disorders, which contributed to the Dec. 1, 2013 crash. According to the NTSB, had a system been in place to automatically apply the brakes when an engineer nods off, the crash would have been avoided.

    The acting head of the NTSB at the time the report came out called the deaths and injuries "preventable," and politicians, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat from Connecticut, slammed the MTA, which runs Metro-North, and said it had "blood on its hands."

    Reached by phone Thursday, Rockefeller's attorney, Jeffrey Chartier, said he hadn't been notified about the decision not to file charges against his client. In response to NBC 4 New York's report, he commended the district attorney's office for the "thoroughness of their investigation and for coming to the same conclusion as the NTSB that there's no criminality on the part of Mr. Rockefeller."

    "I'm sure this will bring some closure to Mr. Rockefeller and others affected by this tragedy," Chartier said. 

    Meanwhile, authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this week's deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia. Eight people, including six with ties to New York and New Jersey, were killed in the crash, and more than 200 others were hurt. The NTSB has said the train was going at more than 100 mph around a 50-mph curve when it derailed Tuesday night.

    The engineer's lawyer says his client has "absolutely no recollection" of the crash.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

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    Someone stole thousands of dollars from the safe at a Watertown church and police are trying to determine who is responsible.

    Police said the burglary happened at the St. Mary Magdalen Rectory and Chapel, at 145 Buckingham Street, Oakville, at some point on May 3.

    The burglar or burglars went into the building, found a safe where the church collections are kept and stole between around $3,500 to $4000 in cash and checks, then left the building without being undetected.

    There were no signs of forced entry in the building and police said it’s believed the safe was not locked.

    Police said they are following several leads and reviewing evidence from the scene.

    Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Ferrucci, at the Watertown Police Department, at 860-945-5200 or call CrimeStoppers at 860-945-9940.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The top member of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee said in the wake of Tuesday's deadly Amtrak derailment that Connecticut has to invest in ways to prevent such tragedies from happening.

    "These are the things that we need to get into place as soon as possible, and obviously with this accident that just occurred, it shows you that safety is of the utmost importance, no matter what we talk about – whether it’s trains, airplanes, cars – no matter what it is, and we need to get those procedures and safety mechanisms in place as soon as possible," said Rep. Tony Guerrera, a Democrat from Rocky Hill.

    Guerrera has helped to usher the governor's 30-year $100 billion infrastructure and transportation improvement package through the legislature. He says any projects can't happen without new revenue.

    "That is why need to get some kind of revenue coming back into the state whether it’s tolling, congestion pricing, whatever it is," Guerrera said.

    According to Gov. Dannel Malloy's administration, the state has invested $142 million in positive train control technology for Metro-North's New Haven Line.

    The technology is a combination of Internet and satellite connections with the ability to track a train as it moves and slow it down if the processors determine it's traveling too fast.

    Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said that, had positive train control been installed along the route and on the train that crashed, the accident could have been prevented.

    Guerrera said the technology is a vital part of the state's transportation improvements.

    "What I don’t understand is with all of the technology that’s out there, why we don’t implement procedures to make sure that there’s always going to be human errors at times but there are mechanisms that can prevent that," Guerrera said.

    George Cahill is an attorney and railroad expert.

    "The infrastructure’s very old, it needs to be inspected more often, more money needs to be put into the track and the road bed and the bridges. We’re neglecting that," he said of Connecticut's aging system.

    Malloy said the Amtrak crash shouldn't deter train riders nor should it slow the investment being pursued in rail in Connecticut.

    "Overall it’s a very safe way to travel, but having said that, we need to do everything in our power to make it as safe as possible and here in Connecticut that’s what we’re doing with our proposal."

    The Connecticut Department of Transportation declined to answer any media inquiries regarding the Amtrak crash or rail infrastructure in Connecticut.


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    The Connecticut Siting Council voted 5-2 Thursday afternoon to approve plans to build a 785-megawatt duel-fuel power plant in Oxford, according to the council's acting executive director.

    The Towantic Energy Plant, to be developed by Competitive Power Ventures, will be situated several miles from Interstate 84 in Oxford and expected to cost more than $400 million to complete.

    The proposal has been at the center of an ongoing debate in town, with critics voicing concerns about health and safety hazards, decreased property value and a close proximity to the Waterbury-Oxford Airport, and proponents touting the prospect of job creation, increased tax revenue and a stronger regional power supply.

    Competitve Power Ventures has said the location is ideal and will be safe for neighbors.

    The initial plan called for a 500-megawatt power plant, while a modified proposal called for 800 megawatts. Regulators settled on 785 megawatts.

    Company officials said this winter that construction could start as soon as the end of 2015 and the power plant could be operating in 2018.


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    Norwich police have arrested a doctor who is accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old patient while treating her in March.

    Police said Dr. Manoj K. Saxena, 44, of Mansfield, was working at Concentra Urgent Care, at 10 Connecticut Ave. in Norwich, when the assault happened on March 30.

    It’s not clear what injury the teen went to the doctor to be treated for, but police said Saxena sexually assaulted the woman while treating her.

    Ross McLerran, of Concentra, said they take allegations of inappropriate behavior very seriously.

    "We will cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities, but cannot comment on any pending matter," he said.

    Saxena turned himself in at Norwich Police headquarters on Thursday and has been charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault.

    He posted $100,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear at Norwich Superior Courthouse on May 28.
     



    Photo Credit: Norwich Police

    Dr. Manoj K. Saxena has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage patient.Dr. Manoj K. Saxena has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage patient.

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