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Buses to Replace Some New Haven-Springfield Trains


Some passengers riding Amtrak between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts, may soon need to switch to a bus for part of their trip.

Beginning Monday, Amtrak will begin a substitute bus operation for certain weekday morning and evening shuttles. The buses are needed to accommodate construction of a second track as part of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Rail Program.

Addition of the second track is supposed to allow for an increase in service from the current six round-trip trains per day to 17 round-trip trains per day south of Hartford and 12 per day north of Hartford.

The busing of Amtrak shuttles will last approximately one year.

Amtrak personnel will be posted on-site in New Haven and Springfield to answer questions and direct passengers to their appropriate bus during the transition.

Will Joe Biden Challenge Hillary Clinton?


Vice President Biden has not ruled out a presidential run, according to NBC News sources — but it is far from clear whether he will enter the 2016 campaign, with much of the Democratic Party already behind Hillary Clinton.

These sources confirmed a New York Times report published Saturday that suggested Biden could still enter the presidential race, and that Biden allies have talked to party activists about the viability of a campaign.

The Times account suggested Biden's late son, Beau, had pushed his father to wage a third campaign for the White House.

In a statement, Biden's press secretary Kendra Barkoff did not rule out a Biden campaign, instead sidestepping the issue.

"As the Biden family continues to go through this difficult time, the Vice President is focused on his family and immersed in his work," Barkoff said. "In recent weeks, the Vice President has worked on the nuclear deal with Iran, traveled across the country to highlight the administration's economic priorities and more."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Several State Parks Reach Full Capacity


Several state parks are at capacity on a sunny close to the weekend.

As of 2:34 p.m. on Sunday, Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, Mount Tom State Park in Litchfield, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield and Miller's Pond State Park in Durham have reached full parking capacity.

Are you at the beach or a state park today? Send your photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com or tweet us at @NBCConnecticut.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Pilot Dies After Helicopter Crash at Russian Air Show


One pilot is dead and another injured after a fiery helicopter crash at a Russian air show on Sunday.

An Mil MI-28 helicopter went into a flat spin during aerobatics at the event before crashed and burst into flames. Reuters footage showed a figure emerging from the fiery wreckage. 

"The crashed helicopter belongs to Berkut aerobatic team. The MI-28 attack helicopter's control system failed during training," the head of the Russian Air Forces, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev said. "It's alarm system immediately sounded a warning. The pilots did their best to guarantee a safe flight."

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1 Dead After Tent Collapses


One person died and several others were injured after a tent collapsed at a suburban Chicago festival during Sunday's severe weather.

The incident happened at about 2:40 p.m. at Wood Dale Prairie Fest, which took place near Wood Dale Junior High, as 60 mph winds and large hail pounded the area.

"We were trying to squeeze in (the tent) so we didn't get hit by hail," an 11-year-old witness told NBC Chicago. "There was the tent, and it just flew and it crashed over."

The victim who died was identified by the DuPage County coroner as Steven Nincic, 35, of Wood Dale. 

In addition to the fatality, 15 were taken to area hospitals and several were treated and released on the scene, according to the Wood Dale Police Department. All of the victims were between the ages of 20 and 60.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, and we are also praying for all those who were injured or affected by this tragedy," Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said in a statement.

Wood Dale Prairie Fest is a four-day festival organized "to encourage community involvement and togetherness." The festival was held July 30 to Aug. 2.

The remainder of the festival was cancelled following the incident along with the town's National Night Out scheduled for Tuesday. 

Photo Credit: Susan Malinski

U.S.-Egyptian Relations Returning to 'Stronger Base': Kerry


During the first strategic dialogue between the United States and Egypt since 2009, Secretary of State John Kerry said the relationship between the two countries is returning to a "stronger base," despite concerns over human rights and democratic reform. 

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said that he and Kerry had no major disagreements with the United States but that there were "differences in points of views over some issues, which is natural."

After Egypt's fifth president, Mohamed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party, was removed from power in 2013 during protests, tensions between the United States and the country have risen. 

Egypt remains one of the United States' closet security allies in the Middle East, an area increasingly affected by turmoil in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. 

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Double Amputee Goes Cross-Country


A United States Marine—who lost both legs in combat—completed a journey across the country while hand-cycling to raise money to help injured Marines.

Toran Gaal and his support van driver, Brian Riley, another injured Marine, traveled more than 3,000 miles. The Semper Fi Fund provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families while they recover.

The San Diego-area veteran lost both of his legs while fighting in Afghanistan. The Semper Fi Fund assisted his own family in the years following his injury during his third deployment in 2011. Gaal stepped on a 12-pound pressure IED blew up causing him to not only lose his legs but also, 30 percent of his brain.

"If someone can be at end’s wit and sees someone that has had adversity, and seen them thrive, hopefully it will touch their hearts," Gaal said before he started his journey.

The two Marines started their quest on June 1 in California with a specialized bicycle to raise awareness for the Semper Fi Fund. His journey finished at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, greeted by nearly 100 friends and supporters.

Hundreds Cool Off With Farmington River Tubing


This summer has been busy on the Farmington River with people looking to cool off.

On Sunday, hundreds of people grabbed a tube and rode the river downstream in New Hartford.

They travel there from all over the Northeast.

“Getting some sun hopefully maybe a little sense of adventure on the way,” Lisa Trevino, of Bristol, said of her reason for coming.

Many pick up their tube and life jacket at Farmington River Tubing.

They are here to leave behind the hustle and bustle; no Facebook updates or selfies here.

“You can bring your phone with you down the river. It’s certainly not recommended. So, yeah if you want to reconnect with nature this is the wild and scenic designated Farmington River,” Jeremy Harraden, manager of Farmington River Tubing, said.

People jumped on the river for a meandering two hour ride which takes them three miles downstream.

Farmington River Tubing requires riders to be at least 10-years-old and wear a life jacket because the trip could get bumpy.

“You just went down a lot of rapids and then it was calm and then there were more rapids. So, it was fun,” Paige Schmincke, of Middlebury, said.

Staff members say this summer has had great weather so it’s been busier than previous years.

This is the peak of the season. Soon, it will be back to school.

That means your chance to lay back and enjoy the ride might pass you by.

“It was fun. I’d recommend it to anyone,” says Tess Griffin of Middlebury.

Now the ride costs $20 which includes the bus ride back.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Injured in Serious Motorized Scooter Crash


Main Street has reopened in Willimantic after LifeStar transported a teenager injured in a serious motorized scooter crash Sunday afternoon.

A 19-year-old male was observed driving erratically, darting in and out of traffic. Both the scooter and a car were heading eastbound when they collided as the driver of the car was taking a left turn into a parking lot. The crash happened near the Ives Street intersection at about 2:25 p.m.

"As you can see there's no skid, there's no yaw," Cpl. Stanley Parizo, spokesman for the Willimantic Police Department, said.  We've been looking at the pavement, there's two different types of pavement and we are unable to find anything that might have shown any type of deceleration for the scooter at this point."

The teen wasn't wearing a helmet and sustained skul and spinal injuries.

Crews treated the teenager at the scene. Then an ambulance transported the teenager to Windham Hospital and a LifeStar helicopter airlifted him from there to Hartford Hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

There was a family in the car at the time of the crash, but no one was seriously hurt. The driver, who had minor wounds from glas falling on him the collision, stayed at the scene.

Willimantic police aren't releasing information on the identities of the drivers at this time.

Police are asking witnesses to come forward and call Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr., of the Willimantic Police Department Department Accident Reconstruction Team. All calls will remain confidential.

Police are working to determine the cause of the crash and the accident remains under investigation.

It's possible the teen driving the scooter could face charges, police said.

The road was closed, but it has since reopened.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Phoenix Man Charged With Decapitating His Wife


A Phoenix man who is suspected of decapitating his wife and mutilating himself last week has been charged with first-degree murder, police said. 

Authorities called the scene of the murder "absolutely horrific." Kenneth Wakefield, 43, is suspected of killing his wife, Trina Heisch, 49, and leaving her body with two dead dogs inside the bedroom closet of their apartment. 

Officers found the couple's room covered in blood Saturday morning. Wakefield appeared to have stabbed himself multiple times in the chest and was missing part of his left arm along with one of his eyes. 

Photo Credit: Phoenix Police

LifeStar Airlifts Woman Injured in Fall at Enders Falls


Granby police say a female is recovering after a fall at Enders State Forest on Sunday.

Police have released very little about her fall or what led to it.

But the fall was serious enough that she had to be airlifted by LifeStar to a hospital.

Several people recently have run into trouble at Enders.

In early July, rescuers rushed there to help a woman who had slipped down a waterfall.

Last October, a man slipped on wet rocks and fell thirty feet. He had been taking pictures of fall foliage and the waterfalls.

The forest is a popular place for swimmers and hikers.

“It goes down like a slope and every level there’s a waterfall and each one gets a little bit bigger,” says Jess Blajda of Windsor.

But among the beauty, there are signs that the cliffs pose a hazard, the rocks are dangerous, and a warning for people to be cautious.

Regulars there realize how easily something could go wrong.

“They’ve tried to put stairs and stuff and those make it way better but sometimes the rocks get very slippery. Like if you’re going across one of the waterfalls because people like to do that,” says Blajda.

People who visit Enders often say the warning signs that greet you should be taken seriously.

“Wear really good shoes and don’t think you’re invincible. Don’t just think that oh it’s slippery but if I just hold steady I’m good. No, you don’t see it coming,” says Blajda.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigate Stabbing Near Colt Park in Hartford


Hartford police are investigating a stabbing near Colt Park in the capital city.

The injuries appear to be non-life-threatening.

No further information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Officials Name 2nd American Lion Killer


Cecil wasn't the first lion illegally hunted by an American doctor this year, authorities in Zimbabwe said on Sunday. 

A Pennsylvania cancer doctor and bow hunter Jan Seski is accused of killing another lion in April, wildlife officials allege. 

Officials say Seski's local-based guide "hunted without a quota and a permit."

The guide was arrested and officials say he's cooperating. Seski did not answer calls from NBC News.

Seski has not been accused of committing a crime and it is unclear whether Zimbabwe authorities will seek to extradite him.

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Ballon Released at Grave Ends Up at Bereaved Family's Home


An Oklahoma widow and her daughter released balloons and a written message on Father's Day this year—the first without dad— and may have gotten a "message" back.

The pair released the balloons at the father's grave and were shocked to find the balloon's note had showed up at their house—25 miles from the cemetery, NBC News reported.

Sandy Seibold and her daughter Saige Seibold are still mourning the loss of Johnny Seibold after he died from pancreatic cancer earlier this year. 

Saige was upset when the balloons were caught in a power line but eventually they were taken by a gust of wind. Upon returning home, Saige went downhill from their house to the pasture where she and her father worked together and spotted her message with the balloons.

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Several Hurt in NJ Multi-Car Crash


Multiple people were injured, including a police officer, after a speeding car crashed into at least one other car in Jersey City, setting off a chain reaction, police said.

The first car hit the second shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday at Ocean and Myrtle avenues, according to police. The impact of the crash sent the second car flying onto a sidewalk, where it hit a Jersey City police officer.

"I saw all these cars crashing," Heidi Morales, who witnessed the crash, said. "There was a lot of people screaming, crying." 

In a video obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York, neighbors can be seen rushing to the officer's side. Other people in cars nearby were also injured, according to witnesses.

Several people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, including the officer, who police said is expected to be OK. She was listed in stable condition Monday. 

The driver of the first car was arrested at the scene and taken to an ambulance in handcuffs. Police said they'll run tests on him to see if he was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. 

Police are continuing to investigate the crash.

Weather Threat Affects Lollapalooza


After a temporary evacuation earlier in the day, Lollapalooza announced that their remaining performances Sunday night would be moved to earlier start times as severe weather threatened Chicago again.

The festival ended early without a second evacuation, and all festival-goers made it out of Grant Park safely.

Earlier in the day, Lollapalooza announced an evacuation due to severe weather in the Chicago. Gates reopened at 3:30 p.m. after the storm passed through, and music resumed at 4 p.m.

Despite the brief evacuation period, none of the performances were cancelled, according to Lollapalooza organizers, who said all sets would be rescheduled.

Lollapalooza organizers urged festival-goers to head to the nearest exit for a "brief" evacuation. They were directed by festival staff and the Chicago Police Department to "pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue," according to a statement from concert promoter C3.

There are three emergency evacuation shelters: Grant Park North, Grant Park South and Millennium Lakeside Garages. All shelters can be accessed through vehicle entrances on Michigan Avenue.

The concert promoter reported that all festival-goers, staff and artists "calmly and safely exited from Grant Park."

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Cook and DuPage counties until 3 p.m., threatening 60-mph wind gusts and hail the size of golf balls.

Photo Credit: Colin Hughes

Jewish 'Terrorism': Israel OKs Jailing Citizens Without Trial


Israel's security cabinet approved a new measure Sunday that will allow law enforcement officials to detain citizens suspected of carrying out violence against Palestinians, without a trial. 

These types of detentions are already commonly applied to Palestinian militant suspects and heavily condemned internationally.

The extention of "administration detention," to non-Palestinian suspects comes two days after a Palestinian home was torched, killing a toddler and sparking calls for the government to crack down on Jewish nationalist attacks. 
While no one has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, the security cabinet called it "a terror attack in every respect," and vowed to "take all steps necessary to bring those responsible to justice."

Photo Credit: AP

Greek Stock Market Tumbles After Reopening


The Athens stock exchange plunged nearly 23 percent after it reopened Monday for the first time in five weeks.

Traders were expecting volatility on the first day back since June, when capital controls on Greek banks forced the market to close amid questions about the country's financial fate. Greek banks opened on July 20 after Greece and its lenders came to an 11th hour bailout agreement that prevented it from leaving the euro zone.

Though some bailout details are still being worked out, the country is deemed stable enough for the stock market to reopen with some restrictions. 

'Crazy Out Here': Pleas to Mayor After Deadly Weekend in NYC


After a deadly weekend of gun violence in New York City that left three people dead and 16 others wounded, community leaders are calling on Mayor de Blasio to step up and crack down on shootings plaguing the city's streets. The mayor responded Sunday night, saying the NYPD would beef up patrols in high crime neighborhoods.

Nearly 20 people have been shot in seven shootings since Friday. Two people were killed and 11 wounded on Sunday. On Saturday, one person was killed and five others were wounded in gun violence.

A 24-year-old man was killed in a shooting in Canarsie late Friday. Then early on Sunday a 20-year-old man was shot to death in a playground in the Soundview section of the Bronx. A short time later on Sunday, a 46-year-old man was killed in Fort Greene. And then in East New York, nine people were shot at a family house party.

Late Sunday afternoon community leaders demanded that de Blasio do more to end the violence. At a Brooklyn Borough Hall rally, Tony Herbert, a community advocate, said that de Blasio has ignored his coalition of parents and clergy, who want to put thousands of volunteers in neighborhoods where violence is prevalent to mentor at-risk young people.

"Where's our mayor?" Tony Herbert, a community advocate, said at Brooklyn Borough Hall. "Why are you not out here denouncing what's going on in our community. We've been fighting for an opportunity to sit down with you to give you a plan, so that you can actually act with us on this."

Community leaders would specifically like the city to use emergency funds to finance the many organizations out in the neighborhoods trying to end the violence.

"NYC is in crisis due to gun violence," Herbert said.

Tommy Holliday, who says he works with Herbert, said Sunday that the NYPD shouldn't have gotten rid of the stop-and-frisk police tactic.

"Police should have kept stop-and-frisk, because it's crazy out here," Holliday said. "They should bring it back because it's getting worse and worse." 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said Sunday evening that he's launching a week-long gun violence awareness campaign. An open casket and provocative imagery will be placed outside Borough Hall as part of the campaign, a press release said.

Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, was with anti-gun violence advocates at a vigil in Canarsie Sunday evening for Donnell Smith, who was killed in a shooting there Friday. Smith's family was expected to be at the vigil.

In a statement Sunday, de Blasio's press secretary, Karen Hinton said that the mayor and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton are adding officers to high crime areas as part of the summer's "All Out" effort, including the precincts where this weekend's shootings occurred.

"The mayor takes very seriously each incident and has directed NYPD to beef up its presence in these areas," Hinton said. "Overall crime is going down, but Mayor de Blasio will continue to be diligent about preventing crime and locking up criminals."

On a radio show Sunday, Bratton said that overall crime is down in the city.

"The state of the city is actually very good," Bratton said. "Crime numbers are looking good overall. We've had an overall decrease of five to six percent in crime." 

But according to NYPD crime statistics, before Sunday's party shooting there was a 120 percent increase in shooting victims in the 75th precinct, which covers East New York, compared to last year.

The nine people who were shot in East New York are expected to survive their injuries.

The shooting occurred just after 2 a.m. Sunday in East New York at an all-day party at a house near the intersection of Stanley Avenue and Crescent Street.

At least 13 people were taken to area hospitals, according to a spokesperson at the Fired Department of New York. Those who weren't shot were being treated for cuts and bruises.

"They like to throw parties, there's nothing wrong with that," one neighbor said. "Except sometimes they allow other people off the street to come in, and the problem with that is you don't know what they're bringing with them."

Police were still investigating at the scene Sunday. There was no information about a motive for the shootings and the shooter or shooters were still on the loose. Police did find a BMW sedan with the rear door open and what appeared to be bloody hand prints on the car's grill.

At approximately the same time, police responded to a report of a shooting in the Fort Greene neighborhood and found the body of a 46-year-old man in a courtyard across from the Walt Whitman Houses on North Oxford Walk.

The victim, whose identity wasn't disclosed by police, had sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Children Critically Injured in Boating Accident


Two children are in critical condition after a boater and emergency crews rescued them from the water following a boating accident near Jennings Beach in Fairfield Sunday afternoon.

Fairfield's Emergency Communications Center received a call reporting two children were unconscious in the water due to an accident.

A boater in the area spotted them and pulled them from the water and waited with them for emergency crews to get to the scene.

Bridgeport Police and Fire Departments and Westport Fire Department rescue boats also responded.

Emergency responders didn't know exactly where the children were when they first arrived, so police and firefighters went to Jennings Beach to look for them from the shore and plan how to proceed.

Responders located the children and got them onto the rescue boats to take them to Fairfield's gas dock. Firefighters, police and ambulance crews were waiting. Once the children were quickly stabilized, ambulances transported them to Bridgeport Hospital to be treated for critical injuries.

American Medical Response paramedics put them on advanced life support and firefighters helped crews transporting them to the hospital.

“This emergency was quickly managed due to the practiced and coordinated response from our local police and fire marine partners and support from the Port Security Grant programs that have provided emergency response vessels to local Police and Fire Departments in the region,” Assistant Chief Scott Bisson said in a statement. “The quick actions of the private boaters that pulled the girls from the water and called 911 directly impacted the speed and effectiveness of medical care.”

Fairfield Police continue to investigate the accident, but cleared the scene at 5:08 p.m.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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