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  • 06/21/15--17:59: Plane Cabin Fills With Smoke

  • A LAN Airlines flight that departed from Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday was forced to return and make an emergency landing after smoke appeared in the cabin, airport officials said.

    The source of the smoke turned out to be a defective food warmer in the galley, LAX officials said.

    Flight 601 took off at 2:05 p.m. with 247 people on board bound for Lima, Peru, officials said. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner made a safe landing after returning to the airport.

    No one was injured, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.



    Photo Credit: KNBC

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  • 06/21/15--18:43: Passengers Sleep at Terminal

  • United Airlines has found itself trying to put out a customer service nightmare for the second time this week after nearly 300 Chicago-bound passengers were forced to spend the night on the floor of an airport terminal.

    Flight UA971 was on its way to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Rome Saturday when the flight had to make an unscheduled diversion due to an unruly passenger aboard. Law enforcement met the crew at a terminal in Belfast, Northern Ireland to take the disruptive passenger into custody. The Boeing 777 landed at 6.59 p.m. local time.

    “Then they left all the passengers, including my husband, on the tarmac in the plane for 5 hours before removing them and telling them to take their pillows and blankets because they will have to sleep on the floor in the Belfast airport,” Jacquelyn George wrote in an email to NBC Chicago.

    A spokesperson for United Airlines could not confirm how many hours the passengers sat on the tarmac during the diversion, but asserted that by the time the incident was resolved the crew had reached FAA’s maximum work hour limits, so the plane was not able to travel on.

    With not enough local hotel rooms available with room for the 269 passengers, they were asked to pass the time in the terminal.

    Customers were accommodated with food and “other services” to make them comfortable for the overnight stay, according to the airline’s spokesperson.

    Chicago passenger Billy Saviano told NBC News the flight was finally supposed to leave the airport Sunday at 1 p.m. local time but it was delayed until 4 p.m. — 21 hours after they landed in the U.K. and some 24 hours after they originally left Italy.

    Saviano also expressed frusteration in having to sit on the tarmac for a total of five hours before they were allowed inside. Then, he says, they were left in the dark once again.

    "[United] had us sleeping on the baggage claim floor and then moved us to departures," Saviano added. "They never sent us someone to explain what was going on."

     

    A photo posted by Veena (@veenajb) on

    Rick Sliter, 42, from San Diego, was traveling with his 70-year-old mother and two children, aged 8 and 10. He told NBC News passengers were given a $23 voucher for meals, which was later increased to $70.

    "I fully understand the compliance with FAA regulations but there was zero sense of urgency,” Stiler added. “Our bags are still on the plane. I can't imagine why they didn't [have] a different crew in here as quickly as possible."

    The flight of passengers is expected to make their final landing in Chicago at 7:05 p.m. Sunday.

    The complaints come exactly one week after the airline fought fury for forcing passengers to spend 20 hours in a Canadian military barracks during an unexpected stop from Chicago to London.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Former Illinois Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh sent a message to Caitlyn Jenner on Twitter for Father's Day, in true irony-ridden Walsh fashion. 

    In his tweet, Walsh referred to Jenner as a "great dad."

    Although Walsh did not specify the tone of his message, there is no question that it was meant to be sarcastic. Earlier this month, Walsh spoke about Jenner for nearly 10 minutes on his radio show, "The Joe Walsh Show," calling the media's reference to Jenner as "she" "comical."

    "Let's get this straight from the outset. He is not a woman," Walsh said on the show. "Bruce Jenner, his name is Bruce, Bruce, his name is Bruce, Bruce! Bruce Jenner is not a woman. He's not a woman. He can never be a woman. He will never be a woman. He is a man."

    Walsh, a Tea Party Republican who was elected to Congress in 2010, representing Illinois' 8th congressional district, is known for his public outbursts and strong views on conservative issues, such as gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research. Although he only spent two years in office, he became one of the best known congressmen for loudly defending his Tea Party views for a national audience.

    Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-8th) defeated Walsh in the 2012 election, during which Walsh claimed his challenger, an Iraq War veteran, was not a "true hero" because she talked publicly about her service. Duckworth and her supporters shot back, claiming Walsh was a "deadbeat dad" after it was discovered he owed $117,000 in child support. The issue has since been resolved. 

    Since losing the election 2012, he has become the host of "The Joe Walsh Show," which airs in Chicago on AM 560 The Answer from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every week night. The show also airs in New York from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on week nights. 

    Jenner was not the only person who received a Father's Day tweet from Walsh. The former representative also gave a sincere shout-out to GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, who was hosting an event in Chicago on Sunday. According to Twitter, Walsh attended the event, along with Illinois Sen. Jim Oberweis and Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church. 



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A man accused of keying several cars at a Hamden car dealership and causing $20,000 worth of damage was arraigned in court Monday.

    Police arrested Richard Chapman, 40, of Durham, who is accused of scratching parked cars with a key and damaging at least 14 vehicles.

    Hamden police learned of the vandalism when an officer saw someone walking toward Bob Thomas Ford around 3 a.m. on Saturday and heard a scraping noise.

    Staff from the dealership estimate the damage at around $30,000.

    Normally Bob Thomas Ford is helping customers who want body work done on their vehicles. But now the dealership itself needs work done on the damaged cars that need to be painted.

    "Oh yeah, fortunately we have a phenomenal body shop here but the business interruption is a real problem," Colby Pinette, of Bob Thomas Ford, said.

    The vandal scratched through the paint on the hoods of at least 14 cars. Pinette said there have been thefts before at the business, which has no fencing around its lot.

    Chapman isn't a previous customer and Pinette said "it really doesn't make a lot of sense" what the suspect's motive could be to key the cars.

    Hamden Police charged Chapman with six counts of first-degree criminal mischief and 10 counts of second-degree criminal mischief.

    Chapman was detained on a $20,000 bond and appeared in Meriden Superior Court Monday to be arraigned. His case was continued to July 13 and he was released on a written promise to appear in court on that date.

    Chapman has no prior criminal record.
     



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Police have arrested Richard Chapman. 40, of Durham, who is accused of keying more than a dozen cars at a Hamden car dealership.Police have arrested Richard Chapman. 40, of Durham, who is accused of keying more than a dozen cars at a Hamden car dealership.

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    Police were called to an elementary school graduation in New Haven on Monday morning when a parent saw another parent with a gun.

    Police said the father was carrying the gun at work and forgot to stop at home and drop it off before heading to the Lincoln-Bassett School for the graduation ceremony.

    He was cooperative, has a valid pistol permit, and was confused about whether to bring the gun into the building because it is illegal to leave in the car, police said.

    No charges have been filed and the incident is being referred to the state police firearms division.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police responded to a New Haven elementary school graduation after a parent spotted another with a gun on Monday morning.Police responded to a New Haven elementary school graduation after a parent spotted another with a gun on Monday morning.

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    A nurse who who was running a 5K in Orange on Saturday, a bystander and an on-duty police officer saved the life of a 68-year-old West Haven man who collapsed during the road race.

    Police said the man was participating in the Peck Place Panther Pounce 5K Road Race on Saturday and collapsed on the course.

    Police have not released the man’s name, but said he collapsed near Treat Lane and Ann Rose Drive and a registered nurse and a bystander rushed over to perform CPR.

    Orange Police Lieutenant Max Martins, who was assigned to the race, also responded and used an automated external defibrillator.

    After one shock through the AED and continued CPR, the man started breathing on his own and an ambulance arrived to bring him to the hospital.
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    A nurse who who was running a 5K in Orange on Saturday, a bystander and an on-duty police officer saved the life of a 68-year-old West Haven man who collapsed during the road race.A nurse who who was running a 5K in Orange on Saturday, a bystander and an on-duty police officer saved the life of a 68-year-old West Haven man who collapsed during the road race.

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    Sen. Angus King of Maine said Monday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery on Friday.

    The 71-year-old independent said the cancer was discovered early, during a routine annual checkup. It has not spread and he said he expects to make a full recovery.

    King says Maine residents should expect to see him back on the Senate floor within weeks and back on the campaign trail when he runs for re-election to a second term in 2018.

    "I'm looking forward to a full recovery and to continuing my service in the Senate," King said. "And no, this does not my affect my intention to run for re-election, except my poor little prostate won't be along for the ride."

    King also said that as a young man 40 years ago he was successfully treated for malignant melanoma. He said that outbreak and the prostate cancer are unrelated.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Sen. Angus King (ME-I), announced Monday he has prostate cancer and will be undergoing surgery Friday. He added he has no plans to abandon his re-election campaign in 2018.Sen. Angus King (ME-I), announced Monday he has prostate cancer and will be undergoing surgery Friday. He added he has no plans to abandon his re-election campaign in 2018.

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    A pickup hit a house in Wethersfield on Sunday evening and the driver was rushed to the hospital.

    Police responded to Goff Road around 10 p.m. after receiving a report of the pickup hitting the house and found it had struck the front of the house.

    The driver was pulled from the vehicle and first responders rushed the person to the hospital.

    No residents were injured and firefighters left the scene around 11:15 p.m.

     



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

    Police responded to a home in Wethersfield after a pickup crashed into it.Police responded to a home in Wethersfield after a pickup crashed into it.

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    New Haven police arrested convicted felon in the murder of 15-year-old Jacob Craggett in a triple shooting that happened last August.

    Lamont "Duce" Edwards, 37, is charged with murdering Jacob and assaulting Joshua Craggett, 24, and Timothy Jones, 24, with a firearm, as well as trying to shoot a fourth person, police said. He was already incarcerated for unrelated criminal charges, according to police.

    Jacob was visiting his grandmother the night he was killed on Aug. 8, 2014 and was shot half a block away. Family said he was heading home to make his 9 p.m. curfew.

    New Haven authorities say Jacob and his brother, Joshua, were in a vehicle with two others on Friday night when they were approached by at least two people who began firing at about 9:01 p.m. near Vernon Street and Davenport Avenue.

    His mother said Jacob got out of the car when he saw his brother was shot to try to help him and that was when he was shot in the back.

    Joshua and the driver of the vehicle were taken to the hospital in critical condition that night. Jacob would have been a sophomore this year at Hill House High School and played football.

    New Haven police charged Edwards with murder, two counts of first-degree assault with a firearm, criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault with a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and criminal possession of a firearm. Police also charged him with conspiracy.

    Edwards was previously convicted on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault with a firearm and multiple drug-related crimes, police said.

    Police ask anyone with information on the case to call detectives at 203-946-6316.


    A 17-year-old was shot during attempted robbery on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven this morning, according to police.A 17-year-old was shot during attempted robbery on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven this morning, according to police.

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    A 91-year-old Thomaston driver died in a one-car crash in Thomaston on Saturday.

    Thomaston police responded to the crash on Hill Road (Route 222) at 11:20 a.m. A 2003 Dodge Dakota pick-up truck was down an embankment, 50 feet below the southbound travel lane, when police arrived.

    Police found driver Charles Brehio, 91, of Thomaston, in the car and he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person in the car at the time of the crash.

    Upon investigating, police said Brehio was traveling southbound on Hill Road when he veered off the road, crashed through the guardrails and plunged down a steep embankment. It's unknown what caused the crash.

    Brehio was injured in the crash, but police are investigating whether he died of the accident injuries or of an outside factor like medical difficulties that could have caused the crash.

    Thomaston police are investigating the accident and cause of death and ask anyone with information to contact the department at 860-283-4343.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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    Stamford police have arrested a man who they said crashed into a neighbor on purpose at 250 Connecticut Avenue in Stamford on Monday morning.

    Police received the report at 7:04 a.m. and said A. Marvin Thompson was driving a 2006 Scion TC west on Connecticut Avenue, approaching a cul-de-sac, when he saw his neighbor pulling out of a double parked vehicle.

    Thompson was upset with the neighbor over a previous incident and drove his vehicle toward him, struck him and pinned him against another parked vehicle, police said.

    The victim sustained several fractures to his left leg, as well as facial injuries, and was transported to Stamford Hospital, where he was admitted to be treated for his injuries, police said.

    Police found Thompson near the crash scene, arrested him and charged him with first-degree assault.

    Police ask any witnesses to the crash to call the Stamford Police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Squad at 203-977-4712.



    Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

    Stamford police have arrested a man who they said crashed into a neighbor on purpose at 250 Connecticut Avenue in Stamford on Monday morning.Stamford police have arrested a man who they said crashed into a neighbor on purpose at 250 Connecticut Avenue in Stamford on Monday morning.

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    Connecticut's governor signed a law Monday that seeks to improve access to higher education for by allowing children of undocumented immigrants living in the state to pay in-state tuition rates for state colleges, according to a release from the governor's office.

    The students are eligible for the rate if they attended a high school in Connecticut for a minimum of two years and graduated from one, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office said. Before Malloy signed the new law, children of undocumented imigrants had to go to high school in Connecticut for four years to qualify for in-state college tuition rates.

    “By making in-state tuition available to more students and expanding access to college, we will be bolstering Connecticut’s labor market by adding new, professional workers to our workforce – the type of residents that attract employers who are looking to fill the high-skilled, good-paying jobs that are needed compete in a 21st Century economy,” Gov. Malloy said in a statement. “Expanding education opportunities and delivering more access to a degree will ultimately support our overall economy, and again show employers that Connecticut has some of the best trained, best educated workers in the nation.”

    Click here for more inofrmation on the new law, An Act Concerning In-State Tuition Eligibility.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    (Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)(Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)

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    A 3-year-old girl died at a Pomona, Southern California, hospital after she was found unconscious in a vehicle on Father's Day during a hot afternoon in Pomona.

    Authorities said the death appears to be a "tragic" heat-related accident. The child remained in the vehicle after other family members exited outside a home on Rancho Jurupa Place at about 5 p.m.

    "When they returned home, everybody exited the vehicle and, as is sometimes common, they assumed that the other children had unbuckled the infant," said Sgt. Marcus Perez, of the Pomona Police Department.

    It was not immediately clear how long the girl was inside the car. Family members took a nap as the child remained in the vehicle, parked in the blazing sun in the driveway during a day of 90-degree heat.

    "The windows were up, it was a very hot day," said Perez.

    Authorities do not suspect foul play, Vasquez said.
     



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A view of the Pomona Police DepartmentA view of the Pomona Police Department

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    Los Angeles County Jail can be a dark and dangerous place, with little hope for real rehabilitation for the more than 17,000 inmates in the system.

    But once a week in cell block K6G at Men's Central Jail, the non-profit Strindberg Laboratory comes in to teach theater to prisoners, letting inmates put on real stage plays while behind bars.

    The theater program is run by husband and wife actors Michael Bierman and Meri Pakarinen. They started the program three years ago to give a voice to the voiceless.

    "There's a great need to speak in the jails. Because obviously when you are in incarcerated circumstances-- to have a voice, to be able to express yourself," Bierman said.

    After actors are released from custody, many continue attending theater workshops in a donated rehearsal space on Skid Row.

    Forty-seven-year-old Marshall May says he'd dreamed of being an actor all his life, but it wasn't until he went to jail that he got his chance. Now that he's free, he's performing with the Strinderg Lab on stages all around Los Angeles.

    May says the program has been a life line, despite criticism from some of his friends back on the cellblock.

    "'Oh child, you know you're not gonna do this. What do you think, you're gonna be on the Academy Awards next year?'  All kinds of negative stuff. However, anything to get away from the negativity and do something positive," May said.

    The program has allowed 37-year-old Luca Taoatao to follow his dreams of becoming a costume designer. He says he was skeptical when he first met the directors behind bars.

    "I said, why is someone going to want to spend time with us?  Why? They're not getting paid. Is something wrong with them?" Taoatao said.

    But for the first time in his life, he's showing up and following through with something because the group is depending on him, he says.

    Bierman is expanding the program to hire actors off Skid Row. His dream is to merge LA's haves and have-nots by introducing unlikely performers to new audiences.

    "If you look at the history of acting - until the studio system came up everybody who was an actor was a vagabond," Bierman said.

    The Strindberg Lab actors will perform their play "The Birds" next weekend at the Sidewalk Studio Theater in Burbank. If you'd like to donate or learn more about the program visit their website: strindberglaboratory.com.



    Photo Credit: Tommy Bravo

    Inmates at an LA County jail perform in a production as part of a program that teaches prisoners theater.Inmates at an LA County jail perform in a production as part of a program that teaches prisoners theater.

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  • 06/22/15--17:51: Driver Slams Into Home

  • An SUV driver who swerved to avoid hitting a dead cat in the middle of a Brooklyn street wound up hitting the gas pedal, flying over a curb and across three lawns before crashing into a man and then plowing into a house, taking out a light pole along the way, witnesses and authorities said. 

    "She tried to avoid hitting that cat and she just lost it," said witness Stephan Lamour, who watched the wild ride unfold through his Canarsie neighborhood. "Instead of the brakes, she pressed the gas." 

    A family eating lunch inside the house where the SUV landed on the stoop were startled by the crash. 

    "We heard a large screech, tires, then there was a loud boom," said Marvin Kipp.

    "The house was shaking. The house was shaking, I wanted to see what was going on," said son Aubrey Kipp. 

    Aubrey and Marvin called police and ran outside, where Lamour run over and helped put the SUV in park. Together, the neighbors checked on the driver and the man hit by the car, who had been walking door to door deliver fliers for a decorating service.

    "I thought he went through the window and I said, 'What's he doing on the floor?'" said Lamour. 

    With so many children in the neighborhood and on the first day of summer when so many residents were doing yard work, neighbors said the crash could have been much worse.

    "It looked pretty nasty, but thank God it's good now," said Lamour.

    Neither the driver nor the man hit suffered life-threatening injuries, said police. The crash remains under investigation. 



    Photo Credit: Marvin Kipp

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    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has been diagnosed with an advanced, aggressive form of cancer, he announced Monday.

    Hogan, 59, revealed he has B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma during a press conference Monday, describing the diagnosis as "shocking news to me" but appearing determined to fight his illness. He said he was diagnosed just days ago.

    "I won't just beat this disease, I will fight it and beat it and be a stronger governor when we get to the other side," he said.

    Hogan's revelation came five months to the day after he was inaugurated as governor. He said he told his family the tough news on Father's Day, and was surrounded by them in Annapolis when he made his public announcement shortly after 4 p.m. Monday.

    He said he has tumors that have spread through his abdomen and are pressing up against his spinal column.

    "On a stage [of cancer], we're not quite sure yet," he said. "It's at least very advanced stage III, if not stage IV."

    Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, the body's disease-fighting network, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    Hogan said he was diagnosed after finding a lump under his chin while shaving. "They found 12 more of these things in my neck," he said.

    He said he had "20 or 30" more tumors in his core and groin area, adding he has been having many tests and procedures and that his team of doctors are treating his case aggressively.

    The governor says his doctors have told him he has a good chance of beating the disease and he will soon be taking time off to undergo aggressive chemotherapy due to the fast-growing nature of his cancer. 

    "As far as the treatment, they want to be as aggressive as possible...." he said. "They’re going to put me in the hospital for four days and shoot me with intense chemotherapy in intensive care."

    He also said he expects to lose his hair as a result.

    "Most likely I'm going to lose my hair -- I won't have these beautiful gray locks," he said. "I may trim down a bit."

    He said he didn't know how it started or how long he has had the illness.

    "It just hit me in a very short period of time," he said.

    The governor appeared nervous at the start of his his press conference, but seemed to become more upbeat and confident as he went on. He cracked jokes but said, "It's a tough time to go through."

    Hogan said he plans to work as much as he is able, describing himself as a workaholic. He was greeted with laughter when he said that if he halved his work hours, he would still be working more than any other governor.

    "I’m going to miss a few meetings but I’ll have every capacity to make decisions," Hogan said. He said Lieutenant Gov. Boyd Rutherford will step up "even more," as will his cabinet.

    "The fact is, I'm just like the more than 70,000 people diagnosed with lymphoma every year who fight it, beat it and continue to do their jobs at the same time," Hogan said.

    Hogan said he has energy and not much pain, but not much of an appetite, either.

    "I've been feeling fine," he said.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE PHOTOFILE PHOTO

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  • 06/22/15--15:50: Leah Still Headed Home

  • After spending the last seven weeks at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia undergoing stem cell therapy for her cancer, Leah Still is finally headed home, she and her father Devon Still announced in an Instagram post on Friday.

    After her cancer went into remission two months ago, the Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle, said his daughter suffered a setback earlier this month. On Friday, the Stills were told that Leah was all set to go home.

    Last June, 5-year-old Leah was diagnosed with stage-4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer in young children.

    Still has shared his daughter’s progress online with his more than 464,000 Instagram followers.



    Photo Credit: Devon Still
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    Three extreme-skydiving enthusiasts accused of parachuting off of the World Trade Center in September 2013 were found guilty Monday of reckless endangerment, reckless endangerment of property and BASE jumping — all misdemeanors — but were acquitted on felony charges of burglary, the most serious offense.

    James Brady, 33, Marko Markovich, 28, and Andrew Rossig, 34, were in New York State Supreme Court to hear the verdict.

    “In the nearly two years since this BASE jump occurred, the three men who parachuted off One World Trade Center have yet to acknowledge the dangerousness or cost of their actions,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said.

    The three extreme-skydiving enthusiasts are expected to be sentenced in August.

    At 3 a.m. on September 30, 2013, the men entered 1 World Trade Center and climbed up 104 flights of stairs to the tower's communication ring, Vance said. They then picked up equipment left by Brady, who worked as an iron worker at the construction site, and parachuted off of the building one by one.

    Upon witnessing one of the skydivers land on the streets below, a manager at a local bagel shop called 911.

    Following a joint investigation between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD and the Port Authority Police Department, the defendants were arrested in March 2014.

    A judge refused to toss out the felony charges against them in November 2014, saying they displayed "inexcusable self-indulgence."

    The New Yorkers pleaded not guilty to felony burglary, reckless endangerment and other charges in the leap, which was captured in a YouTube video. The stunt raised questions about security at the then-unfinished skyscraper.

    The parachutists acknowledge making the jump. They said that they didn't imperil anyone and that the charges are overreaching by embarrassed authorities.

    But the judge said they created a "substantial risk" of injury to people below.



    Photo Credit: AP

    James Brady and Andrew Rossig, foreground left and right, two parachutists who jumped from One World Trader Center in September 2013, are accompanied by attorneys Timothy Parlatore, background left, and Andrew Mancilla, to surrender to police, in New York on Monday, March 24, 2014. Monday's arrests came eight days after a 16-year-old was arrested on charges of climbing up to the top of the nation's biggest skyscraper.James Brady and Andrew Rossig, foreground left and right, two parachutists who jumped from One World Trader Center in September 2013, are accompanied by attorneys Timothy Parlatore, background left, and Andrew Mancilla, to surrender to police, in New York on Monday, March 24, 2014. Monday's arrests came eight days after a 16-year-old was arrested on charges of climbing up to the top of the nation's biggest skyscraper.

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    LifeStar is responding to Sandy Brook Road in Colchester after a teen fell, according to Litchfield County Dispatch.

    Dispatchers said the victim is 14 years old and fell at a private residence. No information was immediately available on where the teen fell from.

    Check back on updates.


    LifeStar is responding to Sandy Brook Road in Colchester after a teen fell, according to Litchfield County Dispatch.LifeStar is responding to Sandy Brook Road in Colchester after a teen fell, according to Litchfield County Dispatch.

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    Joined by some of Connecticut's elected officials, executives with United Technologies broke ground on the new Research Center that will be located in the heart of the company's sprawling East Hartford campus.

    "The investment will transform the United Technologies Campus into the Research Center of tomorrow and provide the resources and foundation for all of the technologies that this team will develop," said UTRC Director David Parekh.

    The building will formally open in 2017.

    The new research center was a part of the negotiations between the company and Connecticut state officials like the governor and top members of the Connecticut General Assembly. The deal led to a commitment from UTC that it would stay in Connecticut for years to come and that the company would get to cash in on roughly $400 million in unused tax credits.

    "That's something that had never been before," said Gov. Dannel Malloy during the event.

    He added that the partnership with the state is something other companies can look at for themselves to decide whether Connecticut is a good place for business.

    "I think every relationship is one unto itself," Malloy told reporters following the groundbreaking.

    When asked about the proposed sale or spinoff of Sikorsky that UTC executives announced last week, Malloy said, "The sale or spinoff of Sikorsky is something that we have to deal with but I think that we’re in better shape now with the agreement that we have in place to compete for that than we would have been without it."

    The new research center will also contribute to the partnership between UTC and UConn. Mun Choi, executive vice president and provost of the UConn School of Engineering, said a state-of-the-art facility like the research center will only help students.

    "This really provides the best elements of a public and private partnership that really works," Choi added.

    Six hundred existing UTC employees will work in the new research center.


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