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Catering Contractor Stole Rolex from Home: Police


A man hired to help cater a party at a Westport home stole a $30,000 Rolex from the family throwing the party, according to police.

A resident of Maple Avenue North called police on July 23 to report that someone has stolen her Rolex watch from a second floor bedroom.

The family had hired a private vendor to cater at the house, according to police, and investigators identified Jonathan Farkas, 35, of Norwalk, as a suspect.

Farkas, an independent contractor for the catering service, confessed to the crime, according to police, and authorities recovered the expensive watch.

Farkas was charged with first-degree larceny. He unable to post $30,000 bond and was issued a court date of Aug. 20.

Photo Credit: Westport Police

Pilots Starved of Air Get Sick During Flight


British Airways pilots of a Boeing 777 got sick at the controls because their cockpit was starved of air while flying across the Atlantic, an official report said Thursday. 

The jet carrying 235 passengers and crew to Seattle on March 6 returned to London's Heathrow Airport for an emergency landing after all three crew members on the flight reported feeling unwell. 

The pilots wore oxygen masks and opened the door between the cockpit and passenger cabin— in contravention of security rules brought in after 9/11—according to the report by Britain's Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB). 

The report concluded that the air supply was blocked by debris including wire, bubble wrap, and insulation material trapped in a ventilation duct. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/FILE

I-95 South Congested in Waterford After Vehicle Fire


I-95 southbound is congested between exits 83 and 82 in Waterford after a vehicle fire, but the left lane is getting by.

Young EMT Dies After Trying to Save Woman’s Life


A Pennsylvania woman working as an EMT died while trying to save another woman’s life.

EMS1.com, an online resource for the EMS community, reported 22-year-old Samantha Agins, of Tobyhanna, was working at the New Jersey Jaycee Camp Saturday when a woman at the camp went into cardiac arrest.

The New Jersey Jaycee Camp is a summer camp for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Despite Agins’ best efforts, the woman died.

Over the course of several hours after she assisted the woman, Agins suffered a series of strokes, including a major one. Agins’ mother took her to Pocono Medical Center.

A doctor told Agins' mother that an artery was dissected when she performed the CPR, EMS1.com reported.  As a result, she suffered a stroke on her brain stem, which in turn killed all the nerves to part of her body.

Agins was transported to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where she was placed on life support. She passed away Tuesday evening.

Her mother Paula Agins told the Pocono Record the 4.0 student at East Stroudsburg University wanted to eventually become a physician's assistant.

A New Jersey EMT group will play bagpipes at her funeral, the Pocono Record reported.

“It’s been very overwhelming,” Paula Agins told the newspaper of the support the family has received. “It speaks to the testimonial of just what kind of kid she was.”

A memorial scholarship for students at Pocono Mountain East High School, where Agins attended, is being set up. To donate, you can send checks to:

200 Palmer Street
Stroudsburg, Pa. 18360
c/o Samantha C. Agins Memorial Scholarship

Photo Credit: Agins Family

Berlin Bank Robber Might Have Struck in West Hartford Too


Police are investigating a bank robbery at a TD Bank in Berlin and believe the man who committed it was behind two bank robberies in West Hartford.

A man robbed the TD Bank, at 1127 Farmington Ave. in Berlin around 4:50 p.m. on Thursday, police said.

He was alone and handed a note to the teller, demanding cash.

He was wearing a Yankee baseball cap, gray shorts, a black T- shirt with a white T-shirt underneath.

He is slim, has dark hair, stands between 5-feet-5 and 6-feet tall and is 25 to 35 years old, police said. He did not show a weapon.

A man robbed the TD Bank at 143 South Main Street in West Hartford two Thursdays in a row, police said. Berlin police said they have the photos from these robberies and believe it might be the same person, but are not 100 percent sure.

Anybody with information about the Berlin robbery should call Detective Sean McMahon or Sgt. John McCormack at 860-828-7080.


Photo Credit: Berlin Police

Puppy Stolen from Bridgeport Home


Someone stole a puppy from a woman in Bridgeport and police are trying to figure out who did it.

A 32-year-old Bridgeport woman called police on Thursday morning to report that a man and woman forced their way into her home at 3880 Main St. and stole her puppy from her coach.

The victim told police that she met a 32-year-old woman named “Yolanda” while shopping in Pet Co. in Stratford on Friday, Aug. 7 and they exchanged phone numbers when Yolanda offered to sell a 5-week-old male Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle mix puppy.

The women met two days later on Wilmot Avenue in Bridgeport and the victim paid $300 in cash for the puppy, police said.

Two days later, the two women were texting about the well-being of the puppy and the victim texted her address to “Yolanda.”

On Thursday, morning, “Yolanda” showed up at the victim's home with a man and they knocked on the door, police said.

When the victim wouldn’t let them in, they forced their way into the apartment, pushed the victim's mother away from the door, and took the puppy off the victim's couch, police said.

The female suspect claimed she was taking the puppy because the money the victim paid her was counterfeit, then they fled in a gold four-door 1995 to 1998 Chevy Malibu with dark tints, police said.

The male suspect was between 20 and 25 years old and was wearing a black uniform.

The victim's mother injured her left arm and leg, but did not need medical attention.

Anyone with information should call Bridgeport Detective Bureau at (203) 581-5201.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump's Video Juxtaposed Obama with 'Jihadi John'


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump posted a video on his Instagram account Thursday showing a masked ISIS executioner, accusing Democrats of "having fun" as foreign policy crises erupt around the globe.

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The footage of "Jihadi John" — who featured in ISIS propaganda videos featuring the beheadings of Western hostages — and a scene from the deadly September 2012 attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was interspersed with a photo showing a smiling President Obama in a golf cart and video of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton dancing amid confetti with her husband.

The words "politicians are having fun on our dime while the world is burning" conclude the video before Trump's campaign slogan is displayed. 

Photo Credit: AP
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2 Minors Killed After Tree Limb Falls on Yosemite Tent


A limb from an oak tree fell on a popular part of Yosemite Valley early Friday, killing two young campers who were sleeping in a tent, according to Yosemite National Park officials.

Park rangers responded to the Upper Pines Campground about 5 a.m., but it was too late, the park service said in a statement.

The names, ages, and places of residence of the victims are not being released. The campers were only described as "minors." The Stanislaus County Corner had not yet received the bodies and couldn't offer any more information as of 12:30 p.m.

"Our thoughts are with the families as they grieve this tragedy," said park Superintendent Don Neubacher.

The area around the oak tree along with the broken branches has been cordoned off with yellow caution tape. "We just suggest people be aware of their surroundings, but in this particular situation, they were in a designated campsite," a park ranger told reporters at the site of the accident.

"What makes me sad is that it was totallly out of the control," a camper at Upper Pines Campground said.

Park officials are currently investigating what caused the limb to break off.

Falling trees are common in forests, especially during California's drought. "It's probably more common than you think," said Pete Angwin, a pathologist for the U.S. Forest Service Pacific SW region. Angwin wouldn't comment on the Upper Pines Campground case, but confirmed that the Forest Service has seen an uptick in the number of dead and decaying trees. "Some trees just die from a simple lack of water, they also die because they are not able to fight off various insects," he said.

The Forest Service is currently running aerial surveys to keep an eye on tree mortality rates. "Trees that are dead are the most likely to fall," Angwin said.

Angwin added that decay in oak trees is fairly common.

On Sunday, a wildland firefighter was killed near Lake Tahoe, battling the Sierra Fire, after a tree fell on him.  A second firefighter, who was also injured during the same incident, was treated for injuries during the same incident.

In July 2013, a 21-year-old camp counselor at Camp Tawonga near Yosemite died after a tree fell on her. Three others were injured. In May 2015, legal documents obtained by NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit showed camp leaders had been warned about the tree for years. Read and watch Vicky Nguyen's investigations below:

In January of 2012, a Yosemite parks concession employee was killed by a branch from a tree fell and struck his tent cabin.

Photo Credit: KSEE

Crews Battled Brush Fire in Hamden


Crews responded to a brush fire in Hamden on Friday morning.

Police received several 911 calls between 10:02 a.m. and 10:05 a.m. about heavy smoke coming from the wooded area West of Hill Street and North of Dunbar Hill Road, so Hamden firefighters went out to investigate.

A park warden from West Rock Ridge State Park also noticed smoke in the area and notified the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Crews accessed the brush fire from Mountain Road, near the Farm Brook Reservoir, and found an area of five to seven acres on the western side of the reservoir burning.

Six career and four volunteer firefighters worked with DEEP rangers and extinguished the burning field, as well as underbrush and root systems, and got the fire under control at 11:04 a.m.

Hamden fire marshals were called in to assist the state in investigating the origin and cause of the fire.

Hamden fire officials said the area is frequented by day hikers and several stopped to watch. Anyone with information about this fire should call Fire Marshal Brian Dolan at 203-407-3182.

Photo Credit: Hamden Fire Department

Deputy Sheriff Drowns Saving Friend


A Northern California sheriff's deputy died Thursday while saving a friend in Lake Tahoe who had jumped into the water to save a friend, authorities said.

Deputy Sheriff Carlos Francies, 30, of Sacramento died Thursday after he jumped into deep lake water about 3 p.m. on a day with strong gusty winds. He was not wearing a life jacket, South Lake Tahoe police said. And a high wind warning for Lake Tahoe had been issued, with forecasts of winds gusting to 40mph. 

The friend he went to help survived.

The agency is "devastated by the death," Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said at a Friday news conference. He added that the department sends its "deepest condolences" to Francies' friends, family and colleagues. "We've lost one of our family members."

As South Lake Tahoe Police Lt. Brian Williams explained it, Francies was visiting South Lake Tahoe with family and friends, spending the afternoon on El Dorado Beach near the intersection of US Highway 50 and Lakeview Avenue.

Francies and his girlfriend, his sister and another male friend had rented paddles and kayaks near the beach.  Francies and his girlfriend were on the paddle boards, while his sister and the other man were on kayaks, Williams said. 

All four were in the lake, more than a hundred yards off shore, in water that was about 15 feet deep.  Francies’ sister was the only one of the four who had donned a life jacket, Williams said.

Francies saw his sister fall off of her kayak. His friend jumped off his own kayak to help her.

While doing so, the deputy's own kayak drifted off, Williams said. And he tried to retrieve it by swimming while clutching a paddle.

After helping Francies' sister back aboard her kayak, the man began swimming to retrieve his own kayak, Williams said.  Because he swam while still holding his paddle, Williams said it appeared to Francies from a distance that his friend needed help.

Francies jumped into the water and began swimming toward his friend.  Almost immediately, Francies began to falter and get into trouble himself, Williams said.

Williams said that the off-duty deputy and former Sacramento State University football player was struggling to stay on the surface and called to his girlfriend, who is a registered nurse, to toss him the life jacket from her paddle board.

She tried.

But she had to throw the jacket against strong wind, Williams said.  The life jacket fell far short her boyfriend.  She then jumped into the water to get the life jacket and bring it toward Francies.  It was then that she saw her boyfriend start to sink. 

Meanwhile Francies’ sister had fallen once again into the lake while the rescue attempts were being concentrated on her brother, Williams said.

She was able to get onto her kayak but was struggling to get back to shore against the strong wind.  Someone on a motorized boat was able to assist her safely back to shore.

Lee said that Francies was hired in December 2011 and had last been working at the Martinez detention facility. He had also worked in custody services and court security. He was "well liked" and "hard working," Lee said.

Francies' colleague stressed the actions that the deputy took to help his pal.

Sgt. Shawn Welch, president of deputies sheriff's association, called what Francies did a "heroic" act saying Francies was an "outstanding person and professional."

Photo Credit: Contra Costa Sheriff’s Dept.
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Police Investigate Untimely Death in New London


Police are investigating the untimely death of a 53-year-old man in New London Friday afternoon.

Officers and firefighters from New London responded to garage bay 4 at 10 Walker Street in the city at 12:40 p.m. to investigate a 911 call reporting a man having trouble breathing.

New London police dispatchers talked the 911 caller through doing CPR on the man until police and emergency crews arrived.

The man's breathing was "very shallow" and emergency responders transported him to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, police said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police don't suspect foul play was involved in the man's death, but they continue to investigate.

The office of the chief medical examiner will do an autopsy on the body and assist with the investigation.

Police are not releasing the man's identity until they notify his family.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Heat Wave Possible Early Next Week


Sunny skies dominate for the rest of this Friday with temperatures in the middle-80s.

Storms in New York State might approach the northwest corner late, but that would be the exception and not the rule.

Tomorrow the heat continues to build. A cold front moves closer, but it will also be in the process of washing out as high pressure takes command. Thus, an isolated storm is possible, but many stay dry.

Temperatures will peak in the upper-80s inland and middle-80s on the shoreline. Humidity levels will be moderate.

Sunday is dry with abundant sunshine, moderate levels of humidity and temperatures in the lower-90s. It will likely be the start of a heat wave!

Middle-90s are expected on Monday with mostly sunny skies. A Bermuda high-pressure system results in a southwesterly flow in Connecticut and that pumps in the heat and humidity.

Unlike many heat waves, the air will still have a dry feel to it on Sunday and Monday. It’s not until Tuesday that it becomes very humid and that humidity sticks around though the middle part of next week.

Another cold front approaches late Tuesday, but it doesn’t come close enough to Connecticut to cause widespread storms.

Any shower and thunderstorm activity on Tuesday and Wednesday looks to be isolated, occurring especially in the higher terrain where the lift will be enhanced. Temperatures will be in the lower-90s Tuesday, before falling back into the 80s on Wednesday.

Three or more consecutive days of 90 degree weather makes a heat wave. So far this year, only one has occurred and that was in July. Keep in mind, the average high temperature is only in the lower-80s this time of year!

A low-pressure system rides along the cold front near the Great Lakes and lifts the front north as a warm front by the middle part of next week.

Thursday should turn out dry during the day before the possibility of numerous showers and thunderstorms arrives on Friday.

Stay with the NBC Connecticut First Alert weather team for the very latest forecast on-air, online and on the app.

Northeast Regional Beach Forecast for Aug. 15 and 16


The third weekend of August is here and a beautiful weekend is on tap. A cold front approaches on Saturday, but washes out and gives way to high pressure. That means most stay dry, though there can be a shower in coastal Maine.

High pressure takes command on Sunday and it will make for one of the nicest beach days of the year. Temperatures will be well into the 80s with little humidity and unlimited sunshine.

Long Island Sound
Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Middle-80s.
Sunday: Unlimited sunshine! Highs: Middle-80s.

Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Lower-80s.
Sunday: Full sunshine. Highs: Middle-80s.

Cape Cod
Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Lower-80s.
Sunday: Unlimited sunshine! Highs: Lower-80s.

Jersey Shore
Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. Highs: Middle-80s.
Sunday: Full sunshine. Highs: Middle-80s.

Coastal Maine
Saturday: Clouds and sun, an isolated shower possible. Highs: Middle-80s.
Sunday: Unlimited sunshine! Highs: Middle-80s.

Hartford Police Search for Missing 23-Year-Old Woman


Hartford police are looking for a missing 23-year-old woman from the capital city.

Tashauna Jackson, 23, of Hartford, was last seen getting into a man's car voluntarily on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at about 11 p.m., police said. She was reported missing the next day.

Police said they have since located the man she was reportedly with and his vehicle. They seized the car and detectives are interviewing him.

Jackson still hasn't been located as of 5 p.m. on Friday. Police said she doesn't have a history of going missing.

Jackson has black hair and brown eyes. She is 5-foot-3 and weighs about 125 pounds. She has a tattoo on her right wrist that says "Tasha" and rose tattoos on her right breast and right leg.

Police have searched secluded areas in the region and continue to investigate.

The circumstances surrounding Jackson's disappearance are unknown, but it doesn't fall under Silver or Amber Alert criteria.

However, police said they are still "extremely concerned" for her safety.

Hartford police ask anyone with information on Jackson's whereabouts to call the department as soon as possible at 860-757-4214 and ask for Sgt. Andrew Weaver. You can also leave anonymous tips online on the Hartford Police Department's website.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

U.S. Hostage Was Raped by ISIS Leader, Family Told


Kayla Mueller, the American aid worker who died while being held captive by ISIS, was repeatedly raped by the terror group's leader in Syria, her family confirmed Friday, according to NBC News.

U.S. officials told the family in June of the assaults by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a representative of Mueller's family told NBC News.

The assaults took place at a home where Mueller was being held along with girls from an Iraqi religious minority group who were also sexually abused, The Associated Press reported.

One of those girls, 14, escaped in October 2014 and after returning to Iraq told U.S. officials that the al-Baghdadi frequently visited the house and took Mueller as his "wife."

Mueller, a 26-year-old from Prescott, Arizona, was taken hostage with her boyfriend in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.

The parents' account was first reported by the Independent newspaper of London.

Photo Credit: Jamal Kassi

Trump Calls Boston Mayor a 'Clown'


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was back in New Hampshire on Friday after a recent poll showed his numbers in the state are slipping.

Trump hosted a packed rally at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton Friday night. He also held an unexpected question and answer session before the event.

While at the rally, Trump didn't cover much in terms of specific policies, but his audience loved it.

"It's the summer of Trump," he said.

Trump described elected officials in Washington as "stupid leadership," then added that foreign leaders are "smarter, and sharper, and more cunning than our leaders."

Trump also turned on the Republican opposition.

"Nobody ever attacked me like Sen. Lindsey Graham. I mean, what he said. And he went from 1 percent to nothing," he said.

In classic Trump fashion, he attacked everyone, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

"He's a clown, Marty Walsh. I don't even know who he is," he said. "This guy Marty Walsh, he spends all of this time and effort and money on an Olympic bid and then he goes out and, and he's talking about Ice Bucket Challenges. Get a real mayor."

He currently leads the GOP field in New Hampshire and nationally.

This is his first visit to the Granite State since last week's GOP debate and his controversial remarks about Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images

Democratic 2016 Candidates Speak in Iowa


Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley will make comments at the “Wing Ding” dinner fundraising event in Clear Lake, Iowa.

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Crews Respond to Stratford Fire


Firefighters are responding to a fire in Stratford, according to News 12.

The fire originated in an outdoor grill that had a 20-pound propane fuel tank, News 12 reports.

No further information was immediately available.

I-95 Crash in Branford Causes Delays


State police and Branford firefighters have responded to a minor motor vehicle crash on Interstate 95 north in Branford.

The accident happened near exit 56. Traffic is getting by, but there are some delays in the area, as of 9:07 p.m.

No one is reported injured.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Death Toll in China Blasts Rises to 85


The death toll in a series of powerful explosions that rocked the Chinese port city of Tianjin has risen to 85, state media reported Saturday, citing local authorities.

Officials said Saturday that 21 firefighters are among the dead, according to NBC News. Forty-four people have been rescued after the powerful explosions erupted at a warehouse containing dangerous chemicals at around 11:30 p.m. local time Wednesday, state media reported. More than 720 people have been injured.

Tianjin Fire Department head Zhou Tian said the fire has mostly been extinguished at the site of the explosions, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Friday morning, rescuers found a 19-year-old firefighter alive, more than 31 hours after the explosions.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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