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Motorcyclist Killed in Crash


A motorcyclist died Saturday after crashing in a state forest on the East Hampton and Portland line.

Eden Cook, 52, of Glastonbury, was driving a Honda XR650 by himself on Woodchoppers Road in the Meshomasic State Forest just before 3 p.m. Saturday when he fell off his motorcycle and his head hit the road, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation (EnCon) police.

Someone passing by saw him lying on the ground and alerted authorities.

LifeStar was called to the motorcycle crash and then canceled.

It's unknown what caused the crash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hospitals Warned of Alcohol-Related Calls at Concert: PD


Hartford police had 10 undercover officers working the J. Cole concert at Xfinity Theatre in the capital city Saturday night.

Eight regional hospitals were "warned of high volume" due to "alcohol tox" and 20 ambulances were stationed at the concert in case they were needed, police said.

Hartford police said there were a lot of underage drinkers at the concert.

No further information was immediately available on whether there were any arrests. Police have not said how many people were hospitalized due to alcohol consumption.

Last Monday, two people were shot in the parking lot outside the Grammy-nominated hip hop artists show in New Jersey. Police charged a man there with attempted homicide and made 100 other arrests at the New Jersey concert.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

Missing Teen Boaters Search Ends


The families of two Florida boys who disappeared at sea announced Sunday they have ended their privately-led search for the teenagers, NBC affiliate WPTV reported.

According to a press release, the families called off their search at sunset on Saturday, Aug. 8. Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen went missing on July 24th, and were last seen leaving the Jupiter Inlet.

"We love our boys and want them home. Today, our hope becomes our prayer, that one day Perry and Austin will be returned to us. We thank everyone for their dedicated efforts and support," the families said.

The U.S. Coast Guard searched for a week, finding the boys' boat capsized in the ocean east of Daytona Beach.

The Coast Guard ended its search for the boys on July 31, while the families decided to continue their search privately.

A family spokesperson said Sunday, "Absent new information, continuing the search is not practical."

“We will never stop looking for our boys, Austin and Perry," the families said in a statement. "We want to thank the US Coast Guard and the many volunteers from Florida to Maine whose contributions were nothing short of extraordinary. We express a special debt of gratitude to the Palm Beach community for its generosity and outpouring of love and support. We ask that you join us in our prayer that one day Perry and Austin will be reunited with their families.”

The families are establishing a charitable foundation in honor of Austin and Perry, to promote youth boating education and include legislative action to enhance boater safety. A central focus will be preventing future incidents involving teenage boaters.

Photo Credit: WPTV

Brush Fire on Ragged Mountain in Southington


Firefighters have responded to a brush fire on Ragged Mountain in Southington.

No further information was immediately available.

2 People, Dog Escape Boat Fire


Two people and a dog were rescued from a sailboat that caught fire off the coast of Ocean City, New Jersey, Sunday morning.

Black smoke could be seen billowing from the vessel off Ocean City beaches as the fire burned.

Officials said a mayday call from the boat, which was about three miles east of Ocean City, came in at 10:49 a.m. and Coast Guard personnel from the Atlantic City station responded. Two people and a dog who were on the boat were rescued safely. The cause of the fire was under investigation Sunday afternoon.

Photo Credit: USCG
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GoFundMe Donates $10K to Family of Premature Baby


GoFundMe made a generous donation to a suburban Chicago family who claimed the crowdfunding website previously did not make their donation page available to the public because the photo of their ill premature baby was deemed offensive.

A $10,000 donation appeared on the GoFundMe page for baby Jacob Hinks from "The GFM Team" on Sunday. The message with the donation read, "Sending Baby Jacob and the Hinks family healthy and safe wishes."

GoFundMe also featured baby Jacob's page on their homepage at www.gofundme.com.

"This campaign reflects the importance of friends and family, and sometimes even strangers, when families need help the most," Kelsea Little, GoFundMe's media director, said in a statement. "We are happy to help the Hinks family in their time of need, just as thousands of other people do every day on GoFundMe."

According to the Hinks family, Jacob's fundraising page was originally only accessible to those who had a direct link, making it difficult to raise the needed funds to help offset the mounting medical expenses that come with his condition.

Jacob was born 13 weeks early at just 1.5 pounds. His condition was initially listed as “grim,” but has since been upgraded to “guarded” following at least one surgery and numerous complications.

When the organizer of the page, a close family friend, contacted GoFundMe, he or she claimed the popular crowdfunding website said the photo of the baby was "graphic" and may be offensive to some viewers.

"They responded right away and said, 'Unfortunately, we never published it because your son's image (was) too graphic and too inappropriate for our viewers to look at," Jacob's mother, Christina Hinks, said.

Jacob's parents said they were heartbroken by the company's decision. They claimed Jacob had no open wounds in the photos, only tubes and wires. According to a post on the fundraising page, GoFundMe suggested using a photo of the baby and his parents side by side, but the Hinks say they only have one photo like this because Jacob has been too sick for them to hold him.

"Go Fund Me had requested that we put a more 'appropriate' picture of Jacob (less tubes, etc) because they have sensitive viewers," a post published Sunday reads. "This baby is FOR REAL."

Once the Hinks family changed the photo, the page went public and donations began to pour in.

Several State Parks Reach Full Capacity


Several state parks have reached full capacity.

Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, Mount Tom State Park in Litchfield, Kent Falls State Park in Kent and Millers Pond State Park in Durham are at full capacity in their parking lots.

You can find timely updates on state parks closed on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's outdoor recreation website, @CTDEPoutdoorrec.

Bristol Business Evacuated Due to Acid Leak


A Bristol brewery was evacuated Sunday after employees discovered acid leaking from a storage container when they came to work.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) officials responded to Firefly Hollow Brewery at 139 Center Street for the hazardous material call. Clean Harbors was hired to clean up the acid leak under DEEP's supervision.

No one was injured.

People won't be allowed back into the building until the spill has been cleaned up.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stamford Gives Students Free School Supplies


It’s that time of year when parents and kids go back to school shopping.

But, it’s a cost that not everyone is prepared to pay… especially when you consider the price of school supplies went up 12 percent this year.

The Stamford community came together to make sure students start this school year with everything they’ll need to succeed with their Back to School Shop.

Eight-year-old Jaden Valez’s shopping bag was full.

"Shoes, socks, a coat, toothbrush, toothpaste, and I got a coat, I got pants, and a shirt," he said.

145 kids in need sorted through containers of calculators and crayons, tried on shoes, picked out pencils, and even got a brand new winter coat.

"At the store you need to buy stuff, but it’s free here," Valez said.

Stamford's “Back to School Shop” is an idea Jane Levene and Meryl Japha dreamed up two years ago.

“It makes them feel like they’re just like all the other kids and nothing here says oh you got that somewhere donated. They just go shopping, they’re going shopping!” Lavene said.

As the kids shop, their families were able to get information on area social services and sign up for a library card.

"There’s about 53 percent of this community that’s considered economically disadvantaged," Lavene said. "That’s a huge need in a town like Stamford, you just don’t expect something like that.”

Jaden, his sister Jenna, and four cousins are being raised by their grandmother. With school supplies now averaging $100 per pupil, buying new supplies for everyone is not an option.

“It’s tough. People lose their jobs, parents can’t support their kids, parents can’t things that their kids want, you know kids go in the store and they see something," Deborah Lowe, Jaden's grandmother, said.

“I think it’s great," Jenna Valez, 9, of Stamford, said. “There’s like a lot of good stuff here.”

Dr. Winifred Hamilton, Stamford superintendent, said, “One of the joys we have in education is to see the smile on a child’s face. To see delight. Because when there’s happiness and delight the doors open to so many other possibilities.”

Para-facilitator Elisha Hernandez is one of 150 volunteers. She got emotional watching her students pick out their new supplies.

“I see that they’re so happy just to get something new for back to school," Elisha Hernandez, a volunteer, said.

A feeling every child should have.

The event was for one day only.

But, the group hopes to expand the program to more Stamford students next year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump on Megyn Kelly: 'What I Said Was Appropriate'


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wasn't backing away Sunday morning from his "blood" comment regarding Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, that prompted the host of the conservative gathering RedState to withdraw his invitation to the event over the weekend.

Trump said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he "doesn't mind apologizing" when he is wrong — but insisted he's not wrong. He claimed his controversial statement criticizing Kelly's questioning during Thursday's Fox News primary debate was justified.

Asked to clarify on whether he realized he was making a "demonic or animalistic" comments, or references to hormones, Trump said his statement was taken out of context.

"All I said is there is blood pouring out of her eyes and there was blood. And then I said you know what, I'm going to get on to the next sentence because frankly I don't have to talk about the blood coming out of her ears and her nose. It's a very common statement," Trump said.

Photo Credit: AP

2 Officers Injured in Fatal Medical Disturbance with Man: Source


Two Hartford officers are off the job because of their injuries connected to an incident involving a man who died who was sedated after being tased by police during a medical disturbance, according to a law enforcement source.

Matthew Russo, 26, resisted when Hartford's Mobile Crisis team, Hartford police and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to his home at 38 Kelsey Street at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

A law enforcement source described the 26-year-old as an obese individual with a history of violent behavior. The source said Russo became combative and he was hit with what’s called a “drive stun”, a setting on a taser used to inflict less pain on a person.

The device was assigned to the officer, state police said. Then, medical personnel gave him a sedative, state police said.

When Russo began having trouble breathing, EMS officials administered medical aid. He was transported to Hartford Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

“This is the 17th time in the past 11 years someone in Connecticut has been tasered and died shortly after," David McGuire, legislative and policy director of ACLU of Connecticut, said. "So this to us highlights the need for further reform and transparency.”

McGuire said this Taser-related death will be the first in Hartford County referred to an outside prosecutor. That’s a requirement of a recently enacted excessive force law.

McGuire said it’s okay for police to be armed with Tasers. But he thinks it’s important to make sure the devices are used responsibly.

“We’re calling on police across the state to arm their tasers with cameras which will record video whenever a taser is used and in a complicated case like this where there was a health issue it will help kind of clarify what led to the tasing and dispel any questions quickly," McGuire said.

State police from the Western District Major Crime squad responded to the incident at 12:30 a.m. and have taken over the investigation.

Officials from the office of the chief medical examiner in Farmington responded, as well, and will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The family living at 38 Kelsey Street declined to comment.

The incident remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Soaker Expected Tuesday After Sun for Little League Regionals


The nice weather will hold Monday for the start of the Little League regionals in Bristol, but be prepared for a soaker on Tuesday.

It's supposed to pour all day, dropping more than an inch of rain on the state.

But the rain is much needed to water that browning grass and your plants.

The rain is expected to last from daybreak to sunset on Tuesday. The temperature will be cool and in the 70s.

There could be some pop-up showers on Wednesday, but otherwise, nice weather is expected to return for the remainder of the week.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stabbed at Hartford Nightclub


A man was stabbed at NV Nightclub on Allyn Street early Sunday morning.

Hartford police received a call at about 1:51 a.m. about an incident involving a large crowd at the 180 Allyn St. club.

The intersection near the nightclub was closed as police investigated.

Once police broke up the group of people, they discovered a man who had multiple stab wounds.

The man declined medical attention, but emergency responders still transported him to the hospital because of the severity of his wounds. He underwent surgery.

The man is listed in stable condition.

Police have no suspect in custody at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Willetts Avenue in Waterford Closed


Willetts Avenue in Waterford is shut down after a car struck a pole.

Police say there are only minor injuries, but the pole snapped and the road is closed while crews make repairs. They advise drivers to avoid the area.

Community Mourns Father, Coach Killed in Crash


Connecticut’s youth football community is in mourning. They are remembering a beloved coach who was killed in a motorcycle crash.

Police say 26-year-old Kamron Redding-Hall was riding on Friday night in East Hartford. But things went horribly wrong on the Exit 55 off ramp on I-84 eastbound that night. That was where police say Redding-Hall lost control of the bike, hit a guardrail, and died.

“It was devastating. Actually, he was supposed to start coaching on Monday,” says Phil Bryant, president of the Hartford Hurricanes.

Redding-Hall was known as “Coach Kam” to members of the Hartford Hurricanes.

“He was one of the best coaches and I really liked him and he was always like there for me and he would help out all the other kids,” says Daron Bryden, a former Hurricanes player.

The coach had been a running back at Weaver High School where the team won several state championships. Now he would volunteer countless hours inspiring another generation of players and helped make a new field a reality for the Hurricanes.

That team and former players are thinking about Coach Kam and his other family, including his two young sons.

“We’ve seen his family come out and be major supporters of our community and that’s where it hurts the most to see a family that’s dedicated years of changing lives in the city go through such a tragic time and we’re going to stand behind them as much as possible,” says Bryant.

The coach’s family is asking for prayers as they go through this tough time. The family has set up a Go-Fund-Me page to help his sons’ education.

Police are still investigating the crash and ask anyone with information to give them a call.

'He Would've Killed Me': Alabama Mayor Describes Vicious Assault


An Alabama mayor said Sunday he was violently beaten with a sawed-off baseball bat outside his part-time barbershop job by his former radio talk show co-host, NBC News reported.

Larry Barton, who is about to run for his fifth term as mayor of Talladega, told NBC News from his hospital room that the attacker repeatedly hit him in his face, legs, and knees before he was able to grab the bat.

Barton recognized the man once he was able to pull his hood off of his face.

"If I hadn't been successful getting him off of me, he would've killed me," Barton said. 

Photo Credit: WVTM

Shots Fired Near U.S. Consulate in Istanbul


At least one assailant opened fire near the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul early Monday, sparking a gunfight with police before fleeing the scene, NBC News reported.

A female suspect was shot by security services inside a nearby building and captured, police sources told NBC News. A male fled the scene, sources said. 

The shooting came hours after the U.S. military announced that a detachment of six F-16 fighter jets have arrived at Turkey's southern Incirlik Air Base to join the fight against ISIS militants.

Separately, an explosion at a police station in the Istanbul neighborhood of Sultanbeyli killed three people and injured at least 10, the Dogan news agency reported.

Photo Credit: Richard Engel / NBC News

Police Commission Chair Resigns After Arrest


The Windsor Locks Police Commission chair has resigned following his arrest in Florida after police say he tried to cash in a stolen lottery ticket.

Leon County Jail in Florida confirms that Michael Royston, 49, was arrested Thursday at the Florida Lottery headquarters when he tried to cash in a lottery ticket worth $520,000. Police say Royston stole that ticket from his niece.

Royston denies wrongdoing, but resigned from his role on the police commision.

"I adamantly deny any wrong doing in which I have been accused," Royston said in a written statement Sunday. "I do not want this to effect [sic] the Commission or The Windsor Locks Police Department while I exonerate my name, therefore I have resigned from the Windsor Locks Police Commission. It has been an honor and a privilege serving the citizens of Windsor Locks."

Royston is charged with intent to defraud, grand theft over $100,000, and filing a false claim. He is out on bond.

Windsor Locks First Selectmen Steven Wawruck Jr. declined to comment on the arrest.

Fire Breaks Out at Canterbury Home


Firefighters battled a fire on Water Street in Canterbury on Sunday night and called in mutual aid because there were no fire hydrants in the area.

The three people who were in the home at 434 Water Street when fire broke out around 11:45 p.m. were able to get out before firefighters arrived, officials said.

No one was injured during the fire.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation and the American Red Cross is assisting the residents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hunting Ban Lifted 10 Days After Cecil Killing


Zimbabwe has lifted a ban on big-game hunting just 10 days after the killing of Cecil the lion, officials told NBC News on Monday.

Hunting was suspended on Aug. 1 in the area surrounding Hwange National Park where Cecil was killed by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, sparking international outcry.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the moratorium had been axed across most of that area. The ban remains in place on farmland where Cecil died, as well as several other farms were officials allege animals were killed illegally, parks spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo told NBC News.

Photo Credit: File
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