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    American Pharoah will line up alongside some of the world's fastest race horses Saturday in the hopes of dashing to victory in the Belmont Stakes and ending a long drought of Triple Crown winners.

    So what does it all mean? What's American Pharoah's story, and who's come before him? And what exactly is the Triple Crown, anyway?

    Test your knowledge ahead of the big race with our handy quiz below — and if you need a crash course in Triple Crown lingo, read up on horse racing's marquee events here.

    And you're off!

    Didn't do as well as you'd hoped? You might try reading up with these primers:

    Think you're more knowledgeable about horse names? Quiz yourself here.



    Photo Credit: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Jockey Steve Cauthen rides on Affirmed #3 who takes the lead during the Belmont Stakes on June 10, 1978 to win the Triple Crown at Belmont Park in Belmont, New YorJockey Steve Cauthen rides on Affirmed #3 who takes the lead during the Belmont Stakes on June 10, 1978 to win the Triple Crown at Belmont Park in Belmont, New Yor

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    Four miles of beach where tar balls had washed ashore were reopened to the public in Long Beach Friday morning.

    The stretch of beach were closed since Wednesdy, when the unidentified globs of petroleum appeared. Work crews spent the night on the beach during the cleanup along the shore from 1st to 72nd place, according to a news release from the Long Beach Fire Department.

    Long Beach's fire chief has said the tar balls were "considerably larger" than what normally appear on Southern California beaches, though tar balls and tar patties have been reported on beaches up and down the SoCal coast for over a week.

    Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement released Friday afternoon that the source of the tar balls remained unknown.

    Tar balls have been reported on beaches from Ventura County to Seal Beach. It remains unclear if their sudden presence is related to an oil spill in Santa Barbara that dropped thousands of gallons of crude oil in the ocean at Refugio State Beach.

    "We are investigating whether there is any connection to the Santa Barbara spill," Garcia said.

    Coast Guard officials have said after other tar ball sightings that samples were being analyzed. Officials in Long Beach have said they were testing oil found on their shore as well.

    The Long Beach tar balls haven't caused any health issues, Garcia said, and while "a few birds did unfortunately encounters some of the tar balls," they were cared for and released by local animal care workers.

    The LBFD advises anyone who sees a petroleum-based product on the beach avoid it and report it to the National Response Center hotline at 800-424-8802 and lifeguards at 562-570-1360.



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

    Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee  holds some of the tar-like substance collected June 4, 2015 in Long Beach.Long Beach Fire Chief Mike DuRee holds some of the tar-like substance collected June 4, 2015 in Long Beach.

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    Police have arrested a New Haven teen suspected of conspiring in a car shooting and possible attempted robbery on Thursday that sent a 49-year-old man to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the head. They are still searching for two other suspects.

    Nicholas Davis, 18, of New Haven, is believed to be one of three people George Ayala, 49, picked up who told him to drive to the Yale Bowl area, police said. Ayala sensed something was wrong and suddenly two of the passengers pulled handguns on him and fired shots into his head simultaneously from inside the car, police said.

    The incident happened near the intersection of Chapel Street and Yale Avenue at about 4:13 p.m.

    Police found out about the shooting after responding to a crash near Chapel and Norton streets and discovered the driver, Ayala, with two gunshot wounds in the head. He had been trying to drive himself to the hospital, when he crashed.

    Ayala was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The bullets didn't penetrate his skull, police said.

    Police took Davis into custody as one of the suspected conspirators in the shooting, charging him with conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

    While police are still searching for the two other people involved, they said they have identified two suspects.

    It's unclear which passengers fired the guns and the weapons have not been recovered at this time.

    The case remains under investigation.


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    Propane tanks exploded during a fire in Ledyard on Friday morning that destroyed a home on Ramblewood Drive.

    Firefighters were sent to the home around 3:30 a.m. When they arrived, the residents were out of the house and, there were heavy flames. Within 10 minutes, propane tanks started exploding and the roof  eventually collapsed.

    The fire was reported as a pool deck fire, according to officials. 

    The fire marshal is investigating the fire the family is looking for a new place to live.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A home was destroyed by fire on Friday morning.A home was destroyed by fire on Friday morning.

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    Stop & Shop is removing from its shelves select varieties of Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D.

    The move by the supermarket company follows a recall by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Inc.

    The following products are included in this recall:

    - Rachel Ray Chicken Lovers Variety Pack Wet Cat Food, 33.6 oz., UPC 7119000777, with best by dates through Dec. 1, 2016

    - Rachel Ray Nutrish Ocean Lovers Variety Pack Wet Cat Food, 33.6 oz., UPC 7119000778, with best by dates through Dec. 1, 2016

    Symptoms of excessive vitamin D consumption usually develop within 12-36 hours after ingestion and may include vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination and muscle tremors or seizures.

    Any cat experiencing these symptoms should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

    Customers who have purchased the product should discard any unused portions and bring their purchase receipt to Stop & Shop for a full refund.

    For additional information, you may call Ainsworth's customer care team at: (877) 650-3486 or Stop & Shop customer service at: (800) 767-7772.



    Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images

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    Route 154 is closed in Deep River due to a water main break, according to state police.

    The water main break is between Bridge Street and Curtling Road on Route 154, which is closed in both directions.

    State police said it's going to take time to clean up after the water main break and the road could be closed until Saturday.

    There is no word on any disruption to water service.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police are looking for the person(s) involved in a residential burglary on Route 16 (Middletown Road) in Colchester on Tuesday.

    A garage building detached from a home was broken into and several tools and pieces of equipment were stolen.

    Police are looking for a newer white Ford F-150 with an aluminum ladder rack that may have been connected to the crime.

    Police ask anyone with information to call Colchester police at 860-537-7270.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Route 32 has reopened in Mansfield Friday afternoon after a minor crash.

    The road was closed at Route 275 as crews worked to clear the two-car crash, but state police said at 5:21 p.m. that the state road has reopened.

    There were minor injuries in the crash.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police and firefighters set up a mobile command center in downtown D.C. all Friday afternoon and evening after a mass overdose outside the city's largest homeless shelter on a type of synthetic marijuana. 

    At least 11 people overdosed Friday on a drug known as bizarro, near the Community for Creative Non-Violence at 425 2nd St. NW, officials said.

    D.C. and Maryland officials have seen a sharp increase in overdoses from kinds of synthetic marijuana that use names including K2, spice, train wreck and bizarro.

    The drug can cause aggressive behavior and hallucinations, similar to the effects of PCP. The Maryland Poison Center said users can suffer heart attacks and seizures. 

    Firefighters responded to 11 overdoses, with seven people transported to hospitals and three people who refused treatment. Additional people appeared to be treated as NBC4 reported this evening.

    Police believe the dangerous drugs were sold at an open-air drug market that plagues the shelter and draws customers from across the region.

    "They suspect that a large shipment of really strong drugs came in from New York City," homeless advocate Eric Sheptock said.

    On the ground near the homeless shelter, News4 spotted a wrapper for strawberry-flavored synthetic marijuana with the brand name Mr. Nice Guy. 
    About 70 percent of people who use the drug are thought to be teenagers, according to a study by the University of Maryland. 
    D.C. officials normally average just one or two reported overdoses because of the drug each day.

    D.C. cracked down in April on convenience stores that illegally sell synthetic drugs. The attorney general's office filed complaints against half a dozen convenience stores in the Petworth neighborhood, as NBC4 reported.



    Photo Credit: NBC Washington

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    A guilty verdict was announced Friday in the trial of a former Los Angeles police officer charged with assault for kicking and shoving a handcuffed woman, who later died, during an arrest.

    Mary O'Callaghan, 50, was convicted of assault by a public officer stemming from the July 22, 2012 arrest of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas in the 9100 block of South Broadway Avenue.

    O'Callaghan — who was removed from the field and relieved of duty without pay — was criminally charged in October 2013 after an investigation by the LAPD.

    "She has not expressed remorse for anything that she has done simply because she was facing criminal charges, and the force that was used by officer O’Callaghan she's always felt has been reasonable and necessary under the circumstances," defense attorney Robert Rico said after the verdict.

    Thomas, who lost consciousness in the patrol car, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Cocaine intoxication was likely a "major factor" in Thomas' death, according to autopsy findings, though the coroner's report lists the cause of death as undetermined.

    "The Thomas family is asking for the maximum sentence because we believe the judge should send a message that police brutality will not be tolerated," family spokesman Najee Ali said Friday.

    During his closing argument Monday, Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Shannon Presby told the 11-woman, one-man jury that O'Callaghan's use of force was unreasonable given that the unarmed Thomas was being picked up for alleged child abandonment rather than a violent crime and posed little threat to officers. By the time O'Callaghan arrived on the scene, two other officers had already handcuffed Thomas and placed her legs in a "hobble" that tied them together, Presby said.

    The prosecutor said Thomas was "helpless in the back of that police car" and simply trying to sit up so she could breathe when O'Callaghan, frustrated in trying to retie the hobble, threatened to break Thomas' arm, shoved her on the chest and throat and kicked her in her stomach and then her groin.

    Thomas told officers her chest and legs hurt and she needed an ambulance, but "no matter what Ms. Thomas said, (O'Callaghan) refused to listen," the prosecutor said. None of the other officers used unreasonable force, Presby said, though they earlier used a leg sweep to trip Thomas to the ground and handcuff her.

    The other officers — who are not charged in connection with Thomas' arrest — had been sent to Thomas' home after her two children walked into the lobby of the LAPD's Southeast Area station, apparently waiting for their grandmother to pick them up. One of the officers testified that he warned O'Callaghan to stop and another pulled her back at one point, Presby told the jury panel.

    The prosecutor said the officers reported to emergency medical personnel that Thomas was "conscious" and suffering from "shortness of breath."

    "This is where the cover-up began," Presby told jurors, citing the misinformation as evidence that the officers knew O'Callaghan "had gone too far" but chose to hide behind the "blue wall of silence."

    Rico agreed that the real question for the jury was whether or not the force O'Callaghan used was reasonable under the circumstances. The defense attorney said O'Callaghan, an 18-year veteran, was called as backup to assist in getting the 6-foot-1-inch Thomas, who weighed 228 pounds, into the patrol car.

    She was there "to serve and to protect" while the rest of us were sleeping soundly, Rico told jurors.

    Thomas, who was high on cocaine and almost unrecognizable to a neighbor that night, kicked the door of the patrol car and refused to get in, the defense attorney told jurors.

    "It took three sets of handcuffs originally to handcuff her," Rico said, telling jurors that she bent the metal hook of one set of handcuffs.

    Thomas "was not cooperating from the second Officer O'Callaghan physically touched her," Rico said, "struggling, resisting, combative at times, under the influence of cocaine."

    Rico acknowledged that "what happened to (Thomas) was tragic," but told jurors that Thomas "would still be alive if she hadn't ingested cocaine that caused her heart to stop pumping."

    O’Callaghan is set to be sentenced July 23 and faces up to three years in prison.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Mary O'Callaghan, 50, appears in court in this undated image. She was charged with a felony count of assault by a public officer stemming from the July 22, 2012 arrest of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas.Mary O'Callaghan, 50, appears in court in this undated image. She was charged with a felony count of assault by a public officer stemming from the July 22, 2012 arrest of 35-year-old Alesia Thomas.

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    A 9 of clubs in a deck of the state's cold case playing cards was the key to solving the 2006 murder of a 20-year-old shot in front of Hartford's Bulkeley High School, leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

    Hector Torres, 27, pleaded guilty Friday in Hartford Superior Court to murdering Derrick Comrie, 20 and took a plea deal.

    Torres is suspected of gunning down Comrie on Jan. 10, 2006 after a basketball game at the high school in Hartford, according to the arrest warrant.

    Investigators received a tip through the cold case playing cards that led to his arrest, according to the state's criminal justice division. The cards had been distributed to inmates in state correctional institutions and had information printed on them about unsolved homicide and missing persons cases as well as the photos of the people killed or missing, according to a news release from the division.

    The playing cards were the brainchild of the Department of Correction and the Office of the Chief State's Attorney's cold case unit.

    Judge Joan Alexander scheduled Torres's sentencing for July 9, when he will also be sentenced for murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges for critically injuring Luis "Berto" Benitez, 28, in an early morning attack on Dec. 7, 2009 outside a convenience store on New Britain Avenue in Hartford. Benitez died of his injuries on March 14, 2010.

    Torres's plea agreement includes a sentence of 30 to 38 years in prison for all charges, according to the criminal justice division.

    The state's attorney's office for the Hartford judicial district is prosecuting both cases.



    Photo Credit: DCJ

    This state-released cold case playing card showing a picture of murder victim Derrick Comrie in 2006 led to the arrest of Hector Torres, 27, who pleaded guilty.This state-released cold case playing card showing a picture of murder victim Derrick Comrie in 2006 led to the arrest of Hector Torres, 27, who pleaded guilty.

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    An Amtrak train collided Friday afternoon with a tractor-trailer carrying 70,000 pounds of bacon that was obstructing the tracks, officials said.

    The train was passing through Wilmington, southwest of Chicago, when it collided with a truck near Illinois Route 53 and River Road. The trailer of the truck was overturned and split open, with its contents strewn about an embankment. The cab of the truck was separated from the trailer and came to rest on the opposite side of the train.

    There was no immediate word of injuries to crew or passengers, but 10 ambulances were called to the scene.

    The train, Texas Eagle Train 22, left San Antonio on Thursday bound for Chicago, passing through St. Louis earlier Friday morning. The collision means Train 302, which was already more than four hours late as of 5 p.m., is delayed even further.

    Passenger Sam Herwitz said there was an impact followed by confusion when the train stopped and there were no crew announcements for about 20 minutes.

    "No one knew exactly what we were supposed to do. We didn't really know if we'd hit something or we had just done a brake-check kind of thing," he told NBC Chicago.

    Herwitz said another passenger next to him bumped his head on the seat in front of him and that he saw a woman transported to an ambulance. The driver of the tractor-trailer, he said, walked away from the crash. 

    "There's boxes everywhere. But somehow the driver was OK," he said. "The truck that hit the train is in pieces."

    Herwitz said passengers were being shuttled on buses to Wilmington High School.

    This is a developing story.


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

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    In an effort to prevent the death of another child left in a hot car, Connecticut's child advocates have launched a public service campaign reminding parents to "Look Before You Lock."

    Raising awareness around this issue followed the death last year of 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz, the Ridgefield toddler who died after being left in a hot car by his dad.

    The President of Connecticut Children's Medical Center was joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D) and Chris Murphy (D), as well as child advocates from Connecticut Safe Kids and other organizations to kick off the campaign, "Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock," now in its second year.

    The public service campaign is funded by the Department of Transportation.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Firefighters are responding to a house fire in Hamden.

    The blaze at 240 Welton Street is under control.

    The fire marshal was requested at the scene.

    No further information was immediately available.


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    Vernon police are investigating a possible car wash robbery.

    They have a suspect in custody tied to an incident on Talcottville Road. An ambulance was dispatched to 373 Talcottville Road for a report of an assault.

    LifeStar was initially called and then canceled.

    No further information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

    Vernon PoliceVernon Police

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    Bacon Truck Hits Amtrak

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  • 06/05/15--15:19: Regional Beach Forecast

  • High pressure builds in across the northeast this weekend, providing delightful weather! A northwest breeze will prohibit sea breezes on Saturday, meaning shoreline temperatures will be similar to inland temperatures. Sunday brings perfection, with full sunshine, though the wind will turn off the water and result in a cooler afternoon than Saturday.

    Long Island Sound
    Saturday: A.M. clouds give way to unlimited sunshine in the afternoon. Highs: Upper-70s.
    Sunday: Sunny, a tad cooler. The water temperature is near 60 degrees. Highs: Lower-70s.

    Cape Cod
    Saturday: A.M. clouds give way to limitless sunshine in the afternoon. Highs: Lower-60s.
    Sunday: Sunny, a bit cooler. The water temperature is in the upper-50s. Highs: Middle-60s.

    Jersey Shore
    Saturday: Isolated morning shower, otherwise A.M. clouds give way to unlimited sunshine in the afternoon. Highs: Near 70 degrees.
    Sunday: Sunny, a tad cooler. The water temperature is near 60 degrees. Highs: Middle-60s.

    Coastal Maine
    Saturday: Isolated morning shower, otherwise A.M. clouds give way to limitless sunshine in the afternoon. Highs: Near 70 degrees.
    Sunday: Sunny, a bit cooler. The water temperature is only in the upper-40s to near 50 degrees. Highs: Middle-60s.



    Photo Credit: necn

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    Newington police are looking for a dog that bit a middle school student walking to school Friday morning.

    A girl was walking to Wallace Middle School in Newington at about 7:50 a.m. Friday from Fleetwood Road when a dog bit her near Halleran Drive, police said. The bite left puncture wounds on her.

    Police said they are trying to find the dog that bit her and the owner to make sure the dog is up to date on its shots.

    The dog was likely a mix between a pit bull and a boxer and was either black or grey. The canine was on a leash at the time of the attack.

    Police described the possible owner as older and large-framed and said he has gray hair and was wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.

    Police ask anyone who has seen a person and dog matching those descriptions to call Officer Petlik at 860-594-6227 or send a private message on the Newington Police Department Facebook page.


    Newington PoliceNewington Police

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    A plane heading from Newark to Bradley Airport made an emergency landing after a small fire broke out in the cockpit on Friday afternoon, according to state police.

    CommutAir Flight 4776, operating as United Express, had taken off from Newark, New Jersey with 36 passengers and three crew members on board.

    Shawn Morris, of New Haven, said people onboard started to smell smoke about 10 minutes before landing. The airline reported the fire at about 12:15 p.m. as it approached Windsor Locks.

    “We heard that we were going to make an emergency landing, so that’s kind of when the panic started setting in in a lot of people,” Morris said. "They told us what to do. They told us to put our heads down. We made a very smooth landing actually. It worked out OK.”

    State police said the plane is a Dash 8 turboprop aircraft and the small fire caused a smoke condition, but everyone got off the aircraft and is safe.  The pilots were able to put out the fire.

    Passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the plane and "were bussed to the terminal," according to CommutAir.

    “We are very thankful for the quick response of our flight crew to ensure the safety of our passengers - the aircraft has been removed from service and will undergo a thorough maintenance evaluation," the airline said in a statement.

    Several Connecticut residents, including Adam Loubier, of Hebron, were among the 36 passengers on board, and some did what they could to help. 

    "I was the first one out the window, so I just was helping people out," he said.

    Tasaya Northover, of Waterbury, commended the flight attendants for staying calm and explaining exactly what the passengers needed to do.

    "They had to open up the exit doors on the sides of the airplane and we had to kind of jump out the window, but there were two guys at the bottom catching us,” she said.

    United Airlines released a statement about what happened.

    “At approximately 12:15 p.m. CommutAir flight 4776, operating as United Express, reported a fire in the cockpit while on approach into Hartford. The crew quickly extinguished the fire and landed safely. Passengers and crew safely evacuated the aircraft and were bussed to the terminal,” a statement from United Airlines said.

    Officials from the Connecticut Airport Authority said a plane with a mechanical incident landed safely at Bradley and the Airport is open.

    “We are very thankful for the quick response of our flight crew to ensure the safety of our passengers - the aircraft has been removed from service and will undergo a thorough maintenance evaluation,” United said in a statement.

    The National Transportation Safety Board and the airline are invesigating the incident and and plane is being examined.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    There was a small fire in the cockpit of a United Airlines plane that landed at Bradley on Friday.There was a small fire in the cockpit of a United Airlines plane that landed at Bradley on Friday.

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    A woman suffered life-threatening injuries after being struck by a broken bat at Fenway Park Friday evening.

    The game between the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics was delayed while paramedics tended to the patient, according to Comcast SportsNet New England web editor and reporter Jimmy Toscano. She was rushed out of the stands on a stretcher.

    The patient was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    "It's a scary moment," said manager John Farrell. "An accident like this tonight is certainly disturbing. And like I said, our thoughts and concerns are with her and her family."

    A's third baseman Brett Lawrie was batting against Boston starter Wade Miley when the bat splintered, sending the piece of wood into the stands.

    Right fielder Shane Victorino tweeted a note of sympathy.

    Fans were understandably shocked by the accident.

    "Security guard came down to us and told us exactly what happened - that she got cut in the face, and she had to get rushed to the hospital, they had to bring a team in to clean up the blood that was there," said Rich Penta of Norwood.

    "We just saw someone coming out on a stretcher, and it was very upsetting," said Lauren Levine of Needham. "It was really scary."

    "You don't think about the danger that you could possibly be in when you're sitting at the game at Fenway," said Emily Hardman of Brookline. 

    Some fans told necn there appeared to be a child with the woman who was whisked out of the park with her.

     

    The patient's name was not immediatel released. There has been no further word on her condition.



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

    A fan is attended to by medical staff after she was hit by a broken bat during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Fenway Park on June 5, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.A fan is attended to by medical staff after she was hit by a broken bat during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Fenway Park on June 5, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.

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