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Fire Truck Crashes Into Shuttle Bus


A fire truck slammed into a shuttle bus in front of a Westchester casino Wednesday evening, hurting 10 people in both vehicles, authorities say. 

Yonkers Fire Commissioner John Darcy said the fire department received a call to head to 41 Maple Pl. at about 6 p.m. Engine 313 pulled out of its fire station and about a half-block away, struck the Empire Casino shuttle bus, at Yonkers and Kimball avenues. 

The shuttle bus appeared to have been heading west when it was hit by the fire truck, Darcy said. It was a few blocks away from Empire Casino. 

"A lot of people were bleeding badly, mostly the people on the bus," said witness Tony Finar of Yonkers. "Taken out on stretchers, definitely not conscious." 

Six civilians on the bus were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Westchester Medical Center with varying degrees of injury, Darcy said. The extent of their injuries and their ages were not immediately clear, but at least some of them were elderly. 

All four firefighters in the truck suffered back and neck injuries and were taken to Jacobi Hospital. They're expected to be OK. 

Darcy said there was damage to the fire truck and "it looked like a pretty significant impact." 

Both police and fire departments are investigating the crash. 

Lion's Killer Apologizes to Dental Patients


The American dentist who shot a lion during what officials allege was an illegal trophy-hunt in Zimbabwe, has apologized — but only for the disruption caused to his dental patients, NBC News reported. 

Life-long hunter Walter James Palmer received a barrage of condemnation for killing Cecil, who was popular with tourists and was tagged by researchers in 2008 as part of a study at the U.K.'s Oxford University. Protests forced Palmer to shut his Minnesota dental practice doors and disappear from public view.

In a letter sent to his patients Palmer said: "I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible."

Zimbabwe wildlife officials allege Palmer paid $50,000 to guides who used meat to lure the animal out of a protected wildlife reserve. He then shot and injured the lion with a bow, before tracking it for 40 hours and killing it with a gun, according to officials.

Teen Driver in Deadly Crash Did Not Have License: DMV


The teenage driver whose car crashed on Interstate 84 in Southington, killing her and a 14-year-old passenger, did not have a driver's license, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

AnnMarie "Annie" Angelina Olender, 16, of the Plantsville section of Southington, was behind the wheel around 2 p.m. Tuesday when her car flipped over on I-84 eastbound and rolled down an embankment, hitting a tree. Olender and passenger Olivia Fusco, 14, of Southington, were both killed.

Police said the teens were both wearing seat belts, but the airbags did not deploy. It's not clear what caused Olender to veer off the road.

DMV officials said Olender only had a learner's permit, which she received April 22, just about three months prior to the crash that killed her.

State law requires teens with permits to drive with either an instructor, parent or other person over the age of 20 giving driving lessons. Unlicensed drivers are not allowed to drive with any other passengers.

Southington Superintendent Timothy F. Connellan sent out a statement to parents, teachers and staff on Wednesday mourning the loss of "two young members of our school community" who died in a "tragic accident."

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these two students and we grieve with them for their loss," Connellan said.

Southington is offering grief counseling through the town's Youth Services program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Wednesday through Friday at Southington High School and Southington Municipal Center. Counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available to those who need them.

Connellan said students, parents or guardians, faculty and staff can also reach out to Southington High School and Kennedy Middle School administrators or Southington Youth Services staff with concerns.

Community members will gather for a vigil at the Southington High School softball field from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Olender's family.

Photo Credit: Family Photos

LifeStar Called to Crash in Colchester


Police and LifeStar are responding to a crash on Pine Brook Road in Colchester.

Police said the road was closed briefly after multiple cars collided late Wednesday night. A LifeStar medical helicopter was called out, according to dispatchers for the service.

There has been no word on injuries.

Check back ford updates.

Willimantic Police First in State to Use Less-Lethal Weapon


For the first time, the FN 303 has arrived in the hands of Connecticut law enforcement.

Willimantic police say they're the first in the state to obtain the less-lethal weapon. They received about 20 of them at no cost thanks to a federal program.

This week police are training all their officers on the FN 303 and say, when used correctly, the weapon will have no long-term effects, unlike other, similar options.

"When you hit somebody with a Taser, it locks them up, but they have to fall. Where they fall is going to be the problem. If you're on the concrete or highway, they can fall on the guardrail, they can fall and hit curbing," said Willimantic police spokesman Cpl. Stan Parizo Jr.

With the FN 303, police say the paintball gun-type projectile should stop the suspect while the paint or pepper spray inside marks the suspect or forces him or her down.

"When it hits you, it will splat out. All this paint will go all over you, or the OC [similar to pepper spray] will go into your face, into your eyes, and affect your breathing," said Willimantic Patrolman Robert Tatro.

Officers train to hit the extremities, or the torso, if the officer is far enough away.

"The head is off limits. The groin is off limits. The spine is off limits. The kidneys are off limits," said Parizo.

Authorities say it's the distance that makes the FN 303 safer for them. For pepper spray, officers can be up to 10 feet away from a target. For a Taser, that distance increases a bit to 16 feet. For the FN 303, it expands to 10 times that, at 160 feet.

"It's an officer safety issue. This allows our patrol personnel a standoff distance," said Parizo.

Authorities say the addition of a sight on top of the FN 303 is far more accurate than other means of less lethal force.

"It's very, very accurate. At 50 meters I can hit a quarter," said Tatro. "At 50 meters it's like getting hit with a baton."

Police say each round costs about a dollar, and the FN 303 holds 15 rounds. Willimantic expects to have the less-lethal weapon in every patrol car beginning next week.

Man Pinned by Tree, Impaled on Ladder Shares His Story


The man who was impaled by a ladder and stuck in a tree 15 feet off the ground in Trumbull last week is sharing his story exclusively with NBC Connecticut.

While firefighters with the Long Hill Fire Department will likely say they were just doing their job, the man who thought he would die up in that tree last Tuesday sees their actions very differently.

Tony Ferreira, 55, had his right leg impaled by a ladder during a tree-trimming project at his house on Fresh Meadow Drive.

"I was stuck there. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t move," Ferreira recalled.

He said a 2,000-pound log that he had cut was about to fall in the wrong direction.

"When I saw the tree coming towards me, I thought I was a dead man," he said.

The limb came down right on Ferreira, and the ladder he was standing on went through the back of his right leg and almost out the other side. Ferreira was stuck and in pain, but he still managed to call 911.

Dozens of firefighters, paramedics and police officers, along with trauma surgeons and tree experts rushed to the scene. Ferreira was pinned, impaled and in need of a high-angle rescue.

"You put all three of those together and it becomes extremely challenging," said Capt. Greg Sanfanandre of the Long Hill Fire Department.

It was a grueling process to free Ferreira without causing further injury.

"We always reassure the victim that we are there for them and that we’re doing everything that we can to help them," said Long Hill Fire Department Capt. Rob Murphy.

After an hour and 22 minutes, Ferreira was finally brought down from the tree.

"It felt like six days," he said. "That’s what it felt like."

Ferreira said he broke four ribs and injured several discs in his back. The ladder, he said, just missed the arteries in his leg.

He was released from the hospital after three surgeries and eight days in the hospital. His first stop was the the firehouse to thank the people who saved his life.

"Here I am walking – thanks to God, thanks to the fire department," he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Haven's Anchor Restaurant to Reopen Under New Ownership


A Yale University graduate is returning to the city where he studied to breathe new life into New Haven's shuttered Anchor Restaurant.

The once-bustling space at 272 College Street has sat vacant since New Year's, when the restaurant closed down amid reports of financial problems.

A petition to save the Anchor failed to keep it afloat.

Yale University Properties, which owns 272 College Street, has struck a deal with Yale graduate Karl Franz Williams to bring the Anchor back to life.

Williams also owns a successful cocktail bar in Harlem, New York, that has earned rave reviews and high praise from New York City publications, according to a news release from the Yale University Office of New Haven & State Affairs.

The Anchor will keep its name and will serve up a "simple yet classic" menu comprising healthy salads, sandwiches, small plates and mixed drinks, according to Yale. It will be open seven days a week.

"We are thrilled to be part of the New Haven community and part of the Yale University Properties’ portfolio," Williams said in a statement Wednesday. "We look forward to paying tribute to the great history of this nostalgic location while bringing a new world vibe to the food and beverage presentation. As a Yale graduate, it is extremely exciting for me to re-invigorate this concept for New Haven. I look forward to becoming a part of the diverse cultural fabric that makes New Haven great."

Charlie Moore, the Anchor's original owner, told Yale he is "delighted that the legacy of the Anchor will continue to be a part of the award winning New Haven restaurant scene."

It's not clear when the new Anchor will start serving customers.

Man With Guns Arrested After Asking for Directions to White House


A man found with three guns was arrested near the Capitol Building early Tuesday after he stopped an officer to ask for directions to the White House. 

Steve Randall Oney approached an officer about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on the 100 block of Independence Ave SW and asked where the White House was located, according to court documents. 

Oney told the officer he was visiting the area for the night and that he was in the process of moving, adding that everything he owned was in his late model Ford pickup truck with a Tennessee license plate. 

The officer noticed a propane tank and what appeared to be an ammunition box in the back of the truck. He asked Oney if he had any weapons in the vehicle, and the suspect acknowledged he had two guns in the front of the truck and one in the back, court documents say. 

Oney gave the officer permission to search the vehicle. According to prosecutors, officials found a .44 caliber revolver, a loaded .22 rifle and a 7 mm Remington rifle. The truck also contained a knife and three boxes of ammunition.

Oney was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

Court documents say Oney said he was unfamiliar with D.C. gun laws.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Willimantic Man Loses 2 Fingers When Musket Explodes in Hands


A Willimantic resident lost two fingers when he mishandled a ceremonial-style musket in his driveway Wednesday evening, according to police.

Police said a 39-year-old man poured too much gunpowder into the musket before firing it off in his driveway. The excess gunpowder put pressure on the chamber, causing the musket to explode in his hands.

The man lost two fingers on his left hand. Family members brought him to the emergency room at Windham Hospital, according to police.

Police are investigating and have seized the musket as evidence. The man has not been publicly identified and no charges have been filed.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Mr.TinDC

Trump in Scotland: I'm Number One With Hispanics


Presidential contender Donald Trump arrived at his Turnberry golf resort in western Scotland on Thursday for the first day of the Women's British Open, and was grilled about his provocative remarks on immigration in the U.S. by a combative pack of British reporters, NBC News reported. 

Trump, wearing a red hat emblazoned with his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," was asked if he represented the Hispanic population of America.

"A poll came out two days ago where I am number one with the Hispanics," Trump said. "I know you are surprised to hear that. But I am number one with the Hispanics. And I said that if I get the nomination I will win with the Hispanics."

The real estate mogul was also asked whether Lizette Salas, the American golfer currently ranked 29th in the world whose parents are Mexican, was "not too pleased you're here?"

He replied: "Don't know who she is."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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Community Remembers Southington Teens Killed in Crash


Hundreds gathered Wednesday evening at Southington High School to remember two teenage girls who died when their car flipped over on Interstate 84.

Olivia Fusco, 14, and driver Annie Olender, 16, were killed Tuesday.

Police said the car Olender was driving rolled over on I-84 east in Southington, then fell down an embankment and hit a tree Tuesday afternoon. Both teens were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials with the state Department of Motor Vehicles said Olender had a learner's permit but not a driver's license, meaning only her parents or adults teaching her to drive should have been in the car.

Wednesday's vigil, however, was not about placing blame.

Olender was an avid softball player, so community members gathered at the high school softball field in her honor.

"She’s the happiest one out there. She loved the game more than most people and she’s always there for anyone," said Amanda Delorme, a rising junior at Southington High School.

Fusco, a couple years younger, was looking forward to her freshman year at Southington High School. Friends said she inspired them to appreciate the little things.

"Just keep spreading the idea that you have to live life to the fullest. You can’t be sad all the time," said rising sophomore Taylor Harton.

But there was a message to teens about being responsible on the roads.

"There’s rules for a reason. Just, it will save your life if you just make that one right decision," said Harton.

Grief counseling is available at the high school and Southington Municipal Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Photo Credit: Family Photos

2 Seriously Injured in Fire at Southbury Retirement Community


Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after a fire on Thursday morning at Heritage Village, a retirement community in Southbury, but they have since been released.

Both of the injured people are residents of the community and one suffered a heart attack, officials said. 

Firefighters responded around midnight and found a raging fire that affected five units and no residents will be allowed back in this morning.

The heat posed a problem for firefighters and fire marshal Barry Rickert said the firefighters do experience some heat exhaustion at scenes like this, 

The damaged units are considered a total loss and residents will be provided a place to stay at the hotel next door.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Despite Lower Unemployment, Many Millennials Still Staying at Home


Employment among young people has bounced back from Great Recession lows, but you wouldn’t know it by their living arrangements, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Young people are more likely to live at home now than they were in 2007, a trend that could have major implications for the nation's housing industry.

Overall, the job outlook for for Americans 18 to 34 is greater than it has been in the recent past. Unemployment fell from a high of 12.4 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent this year.

But the number of young adults living independently has continued to decline, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2015. Twenty-six percent of young people lived in a parent's home in 2015. When the unemployment rate peaked in 2010, 24 percent did. 

A college education is correlated with greater personal independence, Pew found. Seventy-five percent of young Americans with only a high school education or less lived independently, compared with 86 percent of those with a degree. Still, young people of all educational backgrounds are more likely to live at home now than they were in 2007.

Ironically, the accomplishment that has made it easier for many young people to seek better employment and greater independence, a college education, has also held back many from moving out and buying homes. Young Americans’ burdensome student loan debt has discouraged many of them from leaving home. 

Although there are nearly three million more Americans aged 18 to 34 now than there were in 2007, the number of households run by young adults has stayed flat.

Young people taking longer to move out may have wider consequences on the nation’s housing market and related industries, the study found. That could mean everything from fewer furniture purchases to cable installations. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Emergency Crews Respond to Vine Street in Hartford


First responders are at Vine Street in Hartford, but is it not clear what led to the response.

A fire truck, ambulance and what appears to be two police cruisers are at the scene.

Check back for updates.

Route 44 Closed in Pomfret After Crash

Planned Parenthood Reports Second Website Attack


Planned Parenthood said electronic traffic to its websites was snarled by computer hackers on Wednesday in the second cyber attack mounted against the healthcare organization this week, Reuters reported.

Websites operated by Planned Parenthood and its political branch, Planned Parenthood Action, were clogged by a wide-scale "distributed denial-of-service," or DDoS, attack, the organization said.

The group said on Tuesday it had notified the FBI that "extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services" had launched an attack on its information systems.

The cyber attacks happen as the organization faces a controversy over covertly recorded videos released this month by an anti-abortion group, showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

2nd Arrest in Danbury Pet Store Animal Cruelty Case


Police have arrested a second person in connection with an animal cruelty case at a Danbury pet store after two animals were denied emergency care and euthanized.

Kathy Seton, 29, of Cold Spring, New York, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of animal cruelty, the News Times reports. According to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Seton manages the American Breeders pet shop at 128 Federal Road in Danbury.

Her arrest comes two days after that of pet store owner Richard F. Doyle, 55, of Mahopac, New York. Doyle was arrested Monday after a months-long investigation that began in March when the Connecticut Department of Agriculture received animal cruelty complaints from pet store employees.

One employee said Doyle performed eye surgery on a dog, which he was not licensed to do, causing severe bleeding. Another told investigators she was instructed to administer medications and shots she was not licensed to give, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Doyle and Seton are both accused of failing to give medical attention to at least two animals that were later euthanized, including a critically ill exotic kitten and a sick Shih Tzu puppy that was vomiting, coughing and having diarrhea.

Doyle was charged with three counts of animal cruelty. He was released on a promise to appear and is due in court Aug. 6. It's not clear when Seton will go before a judge.

Employees who answered the phone at American Breeders said no one was available to comment on the case Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.

The worker who spoke with NBC Connecticut on Thursday said both Doyle and Seton are still involved in the pet store and are innocent until proven guilty.

A woman who answered the phone at Doyle's home in New York on Wednesday did not comment on the case but took a message for Doyle, who did not return our calls.

Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department

Grieving Friend of Man Killed at Traffic Stop: 'Our Lives Matter'


A longtime friend of Samuel Dubose, the unarmed black man shot to death by a white University of Cincinnati police officer during a traffic stop, says he hopes the killing will show the world that "our lives matter."

Donte Fleming, who knew Dubose for 20 years, described his friend as a loving father and gentle man.

"He had a good spirit in him, so I can't understand why someone would shoot him," Fleming told NBC News on Thursday. "I watched the long version of the tape last night, and I still don't have any words for it."

Officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday. He shot and killed Dubose after pulling him over for a missing front license plate. The officer was wearing a camera that proved crucial to prosecutors.

Number of NYC Legionnaires' Cases Rises Amid Deadly Outbreak


Nearly four dozen people have gotten sick amid what the Health Department has described as an "unusual" spike in Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx, officials said Thursday, adding 15 cases to the total authorities gave a day earlier in announcing the deadly outbreak.

Forty-six cases of the disease, a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia spread through the air, have been reported in the south Bronx since July 10, city officials said Thursday. Two of the 46 patients, a man and a woman in their 50s, have died from the illness; authorities say they had other lung problems as well as Legionnaires'. Their identities have not been released. 

The cases have been reported primarily in High Bridge, Morrisania, Hunts Point and Mott Haven, since July 10, the Health Department said. 

Legionnaires' disease is caused by exposure to the bacteria Legionella; in most cases, people are exposed to the bacteria by inhaling contaminated aerosols from cooling towers, hot tubs, showers and faucets or drinking water. 

Since the cases are widely dispersed — as in they're not clustered in one or two buildings —authorities do not believe the outbreak is connected to any contaminated drinking water, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said at a news briefing Thursday.

"The water supply in the south Bronx remains entirely safe. We don't know the source of this outbreak, but in recent months we have seen outbreaks associated with cooling towers and that's why we're focusing on them," Bassett said. "We're testing every cooling tower we can find in the area." 

Twenty rooftop cooling towers, which are primarily on commercial buildings, have been tested so far; another 10 were tested Thursday, authorities said, and results were expected within a day.

Mayor de Blasio said that thus far, two rooftop cooling towers in the area had been found to be contaminated, including one at Lincoln Hospital and one at a private housing facility. Both are now being disinfected; the decontamination will be completed by Friday afternoon, authorities said.

De Blasio and Bassett said there has been no evidence of contamination within Lincoln Hospital, and though the hospital has confirmed it is treating patients with the disease, Bassett said no one -- neither patients nor employees -- contracted it at the facility.

Both officials stressed there was no concern for alarm.

"People have to understand that this is a disease that can be treated -- and can be treated well if caught early," de Blasio said. "The exception can be with folks who are already unfortunately suffering from health challenges, particularly immune system challenges. But for the vast majority of New Yorkers, if they were even exposed, this can be addressed very well and very quickly so long as they seek medical treatment."  

Legionnaires' disease usually sets in two to 10 days after exposure to the bacteria and has symptoms similar to pneumonia, including shortness of breath, high fever, chills and chest pains. People with Legionnaires' also experience appetite loss, confusion, fatigue and muscle aches.

It cannot be spread person-to-person and those at highest risk for contracting the illness include the elderly, cigarette smokers, people with chronic lung or immune system disease and those receiving immunosuppressive drugs. Most cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

The Health Department urges anyone with symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.

"We are concerned about this unusual increase in Legionnaires' disease cases in the south Bronx," Bassett said Wednesday. "We are conducting a swift investigation to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future cases."

James Rouse, 42, died of Legionnaires' three months ago; he's not one of the two deaths linked to the more recent Bronx outbreak, but his family wonders if it's connected. He lived in Manhattan but taught music to children in the South Bronx. On April 30, he went to the hospital with a 104-degree fever, was diagnosed with Legionnaires' and then died 10 days later.

"If it turns out those two people died and it's related to my brother's death, and something could have been done about it — that kind of tragedy, I couldn't put into words," said brother John Rouse of Coram.

An outbreak last hit the Bronx in December. Between then and January, 12 people in Co-op City contracted the potentially deadly disease. Officials said a contaminated cooling tower was likely linked to at least 75 percent of those cases. No one died in that outbreak.

Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library

Police Respond to Crash on I-395 in Norwich


State police are responding to a crash on Interstate 395 south in Norwich, and the Department of Transportation reports the highway is closed.

According to the DOT, two cars collided on the southbound side between exits 81 and 80.

There has been no word on injuries.

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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