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Lion's Killer Should Be Extradited: Zimbabwe


The American dentist who admitted to killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe paid for an illegal hunt and should be extradited to face justice, Zimbabwe's environment minister said Friday, Reuters reported. 

"Unfortunately it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he had already absconded to his country of origin," Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe's environment, water and climate minister, told a news conference of 55-year-old Walter James Palmer. "We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he be made accountable."

Muchinguri said the prosecutor general had started the process to have him extradited from the United States.

Palmer said he had hired professional guides and believed all the necessary hunting permits were in order for the hunt. The 13-year-old lion was a favorite with foreign tourists and the subject of an Oxford University study.

Photo Credit: File

Police Investigating After Finding Torso in New Haven Building


The day after police have found a torso in a vacant building in New Haven, police remain at the scene.

Almost two weeks after finding two dismembered legs and two arms in New Haven, Connecticut. police found a torso inside a former Salvation Army thrift store on Crown Street as state police cadaver dogs scoured the area.

Police said the legs belonged to Ray Roberson, 54, a homeless man who was last seen alive May 20 and missed a court date June 17. The arms were likely from his body as well, police said, but it is too early to know if the torso is from the same body.

Roberson was never reported missing prior to his death.

His legs, severed near the knee, were found on July 15 in the area of State and Court streets in New Haven, near the State Street Railroad Station.

The arms found in a plastic bag blocks away from the legs are likely Roberson's, police said.

On Wednesday, police obtained information that Roberson might have spent time at the now-vacant Salvation Army building at 301 George Street, which led to a search there as well as at another building, 274 Crown Street, which shares the same parking lot.

Around 2 a.m. on Thursday, police found the torso inside 274 Crown Street, the former thrift store.

It is too early to know if the torso was from the same man. The office of the chief medical examiner and state forensic lab must complete their investigation to determine that.

Authorities are investigating the case as a homicide and have said they do not know where Roberson was killed or dismembered and they are hoping someone will come forward with information to help solve the case.

Authorities said earlier this week that the crime appears to have been personal rather than random.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Beachcombers Sift Through Scraps for Signs of MH370


Beach cleaners scouring the sands of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean for trash have been handing their finds over to local police, hoping that the refuse will provide clues on the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, NBC News reported.

Johnny Begue was among the dozens scouring the shoreline and sifting through scraps of machinery, rubber and more.

He and his colleagues made the initial discovery of a barnacle-covered piece of debris that came ashore was from the missing jetliner. A number on the debris confirms it came from a Boeing 777 — and MH370 is the only missing such model in the world.

Begue later found a suitcase — origins unclear — and on Thursday he found an empty bottle of Chinese mineral water and turned it over to police. The majority of MH370's passengers were Chinese.

The discovery of the debris has also rekindled efforts by family members of passengers on board a missing Malaysia Airlines flight to seek greater compensation, aviation lawyers told Reuters.

"If there is evidence that the aircraft has failed, that very well may trigger a wave of lawsuits,” with families suing the aircraft’s manufacturer, a lawyer at firm Maurice Blackburn in Melbourne said.

Crash Closed I-84 East in Middlebury for Hours


Interstate 84 East was closed in Middlebury for hours early Friday morning after a crash.

The highway was closed between exits 16 and 17 after a crash that was reported around 12:30 a.m., according to an alert from the state Department of Transportation.

As of 4:15 a.m., the scene was clear, but traffic was still backed up.

No injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Plane Fragment Confirmed to Be From a Boeing 777


The airplane fragment found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is from a Boeing 777 — the same as missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 — sources told NBC News on Thursday.

The barnacle-covered plane piece was found by a crew cleaning the coastline Wednesday. On it was a number — 657-BB — which sources said is attached to a Boeing 777.

MH370, which disappeared in March 2014, is the only 777 known to be missing anywhere in the world. 

Lightning Strike Sparks 3-Alarm Fire at Danbury Condos


A three-alarm fire damaged nine condo units on Candelight Drive in Danbury after lightning struck the complex Thursday evening, according to fire officials at the scene.

Firefighters said two residents of the building at 51 Candlelight Drive saw lightning hit the building as storms rolled through.

Although the building's age made it difficult to fight the flames, no one was hurt and all pets were rescued.

The residents of three affected units are receiving temporary housing from the American Red Cross, according to the fire department.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Beautiful Weather to End the Work Week


Friday is a splendid end to the work week. Not only will the humidity be gone, but lots of sunshine is also expected and it will still be very warm, with temperatures well into the 80s.

Temperatures will reach about 80 around lunchtime and climb into the mid-80s during the afternoon. Lower humidity will make for much more comfortable weather after three days of oppressive humidity and our first heat wave of the year.

A pattern change is responsible for the more comfortable conditions that arrive on Friday and last several days. The jet stream will sink south and suppress the high heat and humidity to the southeastern United States.

A mix of sun and clouds is anticipated on Saturday. Given the nature of the upper-level flow, there can be an isolated storm later in the day. Temperatures will be in the upper-80s to near 90 degrees.

Sunday looks to be the pick of the weekend at this point, with mostly sunny conditions and temperatures again in the mid-80s to near 90 degrees.

Early next week looks unsettled with the chance of a shower or thunderstorm Monday and Tuesday with temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s.

Send your weather photos to us at shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Police Find Body of Worker Killed in Sewer Trench Accident


Police have recovered the body of a construction worker who became trapped in a sewer trench in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, on Friday.

The construction accident happened on Hazardville Road, where construction crews were working on a sewer trench when a pipe burst and a worker became trapped. The trench then filled with water, officials said.

Massachusetts State Police and first responders from several towns in Connecticut tried to rescue the worker but could not save him or her. They recovered the worker's body late Friday afternoon.

Massachusetts State Police are handling the investigation and expect to be at the scene for a while.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Search Continues for Missing Indiana Woman, Toddler


Family members of a Gary woman and her young nephew now missing for six days say they are sleepless and anxious but still hopeful the pair will be found with the support of the community.

Diamond Bynum, 21, disappeared with 2-year-old King Walker from her home Saturday, police said.

Indiana search crews in Lake and Porter counties hit the streets again Thursday in an attempt to find the two, who authorities said were last spotted at a McDonald’s Monday and not seen since.

Canine units have briefly picked up on the trace of them but then lost it, police said.

“It’s been so long, we thought we'd have this resolved by now,” Eugene Bynum Jr., Diamond's father and grandfather of the toddler, told NBC Chicago. “[But we’re] hopeful because we have so much help now. We just need the people of Gary to help us.”

The missing woman, who family members say is mentally challenged, has been without her medication.

“Diamond’s medication is very serious,” Eugene Bynum added. “It affects her moods. If she doesn't take it, she won’t think right at all … It just won't be very pretty sight. She may harm herself. I’m not sure.”

Lahsann Walker, Diamond's mother, said her daughter has an eating disorder where she doesn't know when she is full.

The family says they worry about how she is possibly taking care of herself and her beloved nephew on her own.

“This is the longest I’ve ever been away from King,” said the boy’s mother, Ariana Walker, as she wiped away tears. “I am trying to stay strong, but I don't even know what to do no more … I can't deal with it. It’s too much.”

Gary police have expanded their search to a grid covering several miles concentrating on the city’s West Side, near Diamond's Matthews Street home.

Gary Lt. Thomas Pawlak said police have not received any new leads on the two since the McDonald’s sighting.

“We're searching woods and vacant homes to see if they're in vacant house,” Lt. Pawlak said. “[We have] sent 10 teams out [searching the grid area.]”

On Thursday volunteers could be seen joining the manhunt to aid the search at the command center, where everyone knows the clock is ticking.

“The more they're gone, the more I don't know what happened,” a distraught Eugene Bynum said. “Diamond knows my number, she should've used it. We’re very worried now, extremely worried.”

2 Vernon Cruisers Hit in 90-Minutes


Two Vernon police cruisers were struck in two separate incidents on Vernon Avenue in a span of an hour and a half on Thursday night, according to police.

Officer Thomas Phelps’ cruiser was hit head-on while he was on patrol and Officer James Grzegorek was struck around an hour and a half later after leaving the hospital where he’d visited Phelps.

Phelps was on patrol at 8:44 p.m. when he saw a 2006 Nissan Sentra with an erratic driver cross the center lane, police said. The driver, Khong Saeng-Aly, 32, of Manchester, slammed into a 2007 GMC Yukon near 297 Vernon Road, then struck Officer Phelps’ cruiser, head-on, police said.

Officer Phelps’ hand was injured during the incident and the cruiser sustained moderate damage.

An ambulance transported Saeng-Aly to Rockville General Hospital to be treated for injuries. The other driver was not injured.

Vernon Avenue was shut down for several hours and police are investigating. No charges have been filed, but police said they are likely to come.

At 10:10 p.m., Officer Grzegorek was coming back from the hospital and noticed a 2005 Nissan pathfinder driving erratically in front of him in the area of 64 Vernon Avenue, so he put the emergency lights on.

The driver, a 22-year-old Vernon woman, stopped in the middle of the road, then suddenly started backing up and smashed into the cruiser, police said.

The woman has a learner’s permit, is learning to drive, backed up after panicking about being stopped, according to police.

The cruiser was damaged, but no one was hurt and police cited Delaney for failure to drive right and unsafe backing.
The two police cruisers are out of service as they are being repaired.

Photo Credit: Vernon Police

Woman Killed, Home Damaged in Middlefield Crash


A 23-year-old Waterbury woman died after her car went off the road and struck a tree in Middlefield late Thursday night, sending car parts into a nearby home, according to police.

Police said Asia Dickerson was driving southbound on Baileyville Road/Route 147 in Middlefield when she apparently lost control of the car while traveling through a curve near Lakeview Place.

The car veered off the road and onto the shoulder, then struck a tree in the front yard of the property at 159 Baileyville Road, according to police. 

Car parts came loose upon impact and hit the house, causing damage to a window and items inside the home, police said.

Dickerson was airlifted to Hartford Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police are investigating to determine the cause of the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bush: Trump 'Appealed to People's Anger'


Jeb Bush called his fellow Republican presidential contender Donald Trump's candidacy a "phenomenon," and said the business man has "appealed to people's anger."

"I was surprised that Donald Trump has surged. I think he's captured the deep frustration that people feel," Bush told NBC News' Lester Holt in an exclusive interview on Friday.

Despite Trump's campaign being controversial from the start—when he accused Mexico of sending its rapists and murderers to the U.S. during his kick-off annoucement—he has a large lead over the other GOP candidates, a Quinnipiac poll showed Thursday. 

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Refreshing Weather to Last Through Weekend


Far more comfortable air has moved into Connecticut and it’s here to stay through the weekend!

The cold front that passed through yesterday is now over the Atlantic Ocean, but a dramatic change in temperature is not in the forecast. The big change is the drop in humidity.

Nearly unlimited sunshine is expected for the balance of Friday, with only a handful of puffy clouds over the high terrain. Temperatures will be in the middle- and upper-80s.

Great sleeping weather is anticipated tonight as temperatures fall to near 60 degrees.

Tomorrow isn’t completely dry, as there can be a stray storm in the afternoon as a disturbance moves by to the north and east, but most areas will stay dry. Temperatures will be in the middle- and upper-80s.

Sunday is the pick of the weekend, with mostly sunny conditions and temperatures again in the middle- and upper-80s. It would make a great beach day as water temperatures in Long Island Sound are well into the 70s!

Another cold front approaches on Monday and will provide the lift as the humidity ramps up and the sun increases the amount of instability. Strong to severe storms are a possibility but it’s too far out to etch anything into stone.

The front isn’t a fast mover, so more showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast on Tuesday. It will be humid with temperatures in the 80s.

Wednesday looks pleasant with a mix clouds and sun in the wake of the cold front, but Thursday is a toss-up. Some indications are for a rainstorm, while others show high pressure building in.

For now, the Thursday forecast is for a chance of showers with temperatures near 80 degrees.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ad: Cops Can Handle Drug Dealers' Competition For 'Free'


A Georgia sheriff is hoping drug dealing "cutthroat" rivalries lead to arrests, NBC News reported.

"They are cutthroats and they will turn on each other all the time," Country Sheriff Stephen Jessup said Friday.

In a local ad put out by Jessup, it touts a "free service" to remove competition from drug dealing.

"Is your drug dealing competition costing you money?" the advertisement reads. "We off a FREE service to help you eliminate your drug competition!"

While no dealers have turned in any rivals yet, Jessup hopes this puts a dent in the small town's large drug problem: the 12,000 population garnered around 600 drug related arrests last year.  

Pre-Civil War Baseball Card Goes for Over $100K at Auction


An heirloom of a baseball player that is over 150 years old was sold at an auction in Chicago Thursday. 

The baseball card was passed down in the family for generations, until being sold for $179,250, according to NBC News. The Brooklyn Atlantics card was from roughly 1860. It was sold at a sports collector's auction.

The card had remained in the family of Archibald McMahon, an outfielder for the Atlantic Baseball Club of Brooklyn. The team was one of the first of baseball's first organized league. 

Among other things sold at the auction included shoes worn by Muhammad Ali and a Yankees jersey worn by Mickey Mantle. 

Photo Credit: NBC News

'Remain Vigilant': Advocates Want More Done to Curb Hot Car Deaths


Child deaths in hot cars are down this year, but that isn’t stopping parents and advocates from looking for long-term solutions to an all-too-familiar tragic situation.

On the eve of National Heatstroke Prevention and Awareness Day, concerned parents from across the nation submitted an open letter to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, asking to end their delay on finding technical solutions that could save lives. 

"This will never bring our children back, but we are committed to helping keep other families complete so they do not have to live with the grief and guilt our families deal with on a daily basis," the letter read.

Eleven children have died after being left in hot cars for too long this year, down from 21 deaths that happened before August 1 of last year, according to NoHeatStroke.org. There were a total of 31 hot car deaths in 2014.

While deaths are down year over year, officials warn that families are not in the clear, with a few warm months still to come.

“We’re going into a very hot month and we don’t know what’s going to happen in August, or September or October,” Kate Carr, president of SAFEKIDS Worldwide said in an interview with NBC Owned Television Stations. “This is important all the time. You have to remain vigilant about this every single month.”

There have been close calls with hot cars recently. The latest to make headlines happened Thursday in a New Jersey parking lot, where a young girl was saved by police after bystanders noticed she had been left in the car while her mother shopped inside.

While some high-tech efforts to prevent the deaths have been introduced, such as a car seat that sounds an alarm when the car is shut off to remind parents of their child sitting in the back seat, activists say they want more from the government officials.

“Look at technology; we’ve heard thousands of ideas, we have an eight inch pile of different patents and at this point we need to get the government on board as well,” said Janette Fennell, founder of KidsandCars.org.

In 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act was passed. But some little has been done in the three years since the creation of the law, which promised car safety research.

"During that period of time, we lost our beautiful little boy, Ben. I can't help but imagine that he would still be alive today if the Department of Transportation had sprung into action when they first learned about this risk over a decade ago," one parent, Lindsey Rogers-Seitz, said in the letter.

Officials recommend keeping a shoe, purse, or other important item in the back seat of the car, or keeping a stuffed animal in the front seat as ways to remember children in the vehicle. They add it’s important to remember this can happen to everyone, and take the necessary precautions.

“As hard as we educate and they educate, they say 'It’s not going to happen to me,'” Fennell said. “Ninety percent of the time it happens to the best parents. It’s not bad people.”  

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Baghdad Hits Temperatures As High As 120 Degrees Fahrenheit


While the U.S. has been hit hard with high temperatures, it pales in comparison to Baghdad, Iraq.

The city is the hottest city in the world, climbing temperatures upward of 120 degrees Friday, according to NBC News. The city felt closer to 159 degrees. 

And Iraqis don't have air conditioning to cool off. Citizens have said they have to go sometimes up to six hours without electricity due to power shortages. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Traffic Getting by on I-95 Southbound in Milford


Traffic is getting by on Interstate 95 southbound in Milford after a tractor-trailer crash prompted police to shut down the highway late Friday afternoon.

The highway was closed briefly in the area of exit 40. According to the Department of Transportation, a tractor-trailer collided with another vehicle between exits 40 and 39B.

Although the highway has reopened, traffic is congested for miles between exits 46 and 39B, according to the DOT.

There has been no word on injuries. DOT cameras showed an ambulance at the scene following the crash.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Department of Transportation

Man Stabbed by Roommate Attacks Medical Personnel: Cops


Two roommates from Hamden are facing charges after police say one stabbed another, who in turn attacked medical personnel in an ambulance bringing him to the hospital.

The incident sent six Hamden police officers to the hospital for treatment of injuries or exposure to blood.

Andrew Stolar, 32, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with two counts of assault on emergency medical personnel and disorderly conduct.

His roommate, Shawn Williams, 52, was also charged with disorderly conduct.

Police said the two got into a violent fight at their home at 1879 State Street in Hamden around 3:30 p.m. Thursday during which Williams stabbed Stolar. Police arrived to find Stolar lying on the floor bleeding.

Stolar and Williams were put into ambulances and taken to the hospital. While inside the ambulance, Stolar attacked two American Medical Response members who were treating him, according to police.

Both men were held on $25,000 bond and were scheduled to appear in court Friday. It's not clear if they have attorneys.

Walnuts Recalled for Salmonella


Update: A spokesman for the company, Josh McColough, said the recall was issued on May 1 and is no longer in effect. 


"All packages related to this recall have been recovered," McColough said. "This was a re-release of an old recall that is no longer in effect."

Sanfilippo & Sons, Inc., announced a voluntary recall on May 1 of Fisher brand chopped walnuts packaged in 10 ounce plastic bags over concern they may be tainted with salmonella.

The voluntary recall is the result of a routine sampling program where the Food and Drug Administration found salmonella in one of the 10 ounce bags. All affected bags have since been recovered, according to a company spokesman. 

The nuts were sold nationwide and in Puerto Rico. Consumers who have purchased the nuts with "Best By" dates of Mar. 3, 2016 were asked to return them to the store for a full refund.

Salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickens 1 million every year in the United States. Of those 1 million, 19,000 require hospitalization and 380 are killed.

"Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. However, in some, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized," the CDC reports.

Consumers or customers who have questions about the above recall may contact John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. customer service toll-free at 800-874-8734 Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. CT

Photo Credit: Food and Drug Administration
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