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Rescued Tigers Roam at Former U.S. Base in Germany


Animal welfare charity Tierart — "Animal Species" — recently opened a 34-acre state-of-the-art big-cat sanctuary, equipped with swimming pools, wooden "chill-out lounges" and rubber-ball entertainment for the stressed-out animals. The facility in Massweiler, near the French border, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

A former maintenance shed for military vehicles was renovated and turned into an indoor compound for the tigers. Their 16,000-square-foot outdoor enclosures are partly built above bunkers originally installed by the Nazis and later used by the U.S. army signal corps until they were vacated as part of the American military's drawdown in Europe.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Car Crashes Into Tree in Southington


A car crashed into a tree in Southington Sunday night.

It happened at the intersection of Queen and Spring streets.

The call came in at about 8 p.m.

It's unknown how many people were in the car.

There is no word on injuries.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Calif. Fires Burn Over 40 Acres


A 44-year-old homeless man was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of arson in connection with a Southern California brush fire that forced evacuations and shut down a freeway, police said.

As of 11:30 p.m., the so-called Lincoln Fire in Montebello had scorched about 200 acres and was 20 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The fire was reported about 1:30 p.m. in the Rio Hondo riverbed near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir.  Fire officials said the man, whose name was not immediately released, may have been cooking in the riverbed.

Rosemead neighbors who were under voluntary evacuation watched anxiously as the flames crept toward them over a hillside Sunday night.

"Flames right up in here is what scared me because that's when they told us that we needed to evacuate because it (the fire) was swinging around," Sandra Estrada said.

Shooting range areas of the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and Legg Lake, which was providing water for firefighting efforts, were evacuated just before 6 p.m. Firefighters issued voluntary evacuations for more than 30 homes on Muscatel and Hazel avenues and Darlington Street in South San Gabriel, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

All lanes of the eastbound 60 Freeway at San Gabriel Boulevard were temporarily closed due to the fire, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A helicopter that had been fighting the fire lost engine power and made a hard landing at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary in Whittier around 5:15 p.m., the LA County Fire Department said. All three people on board were uninjured, according to the FAA.

Just after 5 p.m., a young man who had been walking around the fire after being asked to leave from a dangerous area was detained by deputies, according to Dan Amador of the Montebello Fire Department.

Crews were battling the blaze in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and wind gusts as high as 21 miles per hour. The fire was burning in multiple areas and the command post, typically the safest place during a fire, was also threatened by flames.

Lincoln Avenue was closed between Rea Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard, according to Montebello Police Department. Drivers were advised to use Montebello Boulevard as an alternate route.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Train Speeds Restricted After Truck Strikes Overpass in Milford


A truck struck an overpass in Milford near Metro North train tracks Sunday night, affecting train operations, according to Metro-North.

The truck hit the High Street overpass. As a result, trains are working at a "restricted speed," according to Metro-North.

Metro-North inspectors are looking at the bridge.

If they determine there's no significant damage, regular speed on trains will be restored.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Shoots 2, Self After Standoff


A gunman fatally shot a man and woman Sunday before apparently turning the weapon on himself to end a long standoff with police in New Jersey, authorities said.

The six-hour standoff ended in the early evening when police found the gunman's body inside a home in Warren township, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office, The man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, a spokesman for the office said.

The identities of the shooter and his victims weren't disclosed by prosecutors. There was also no informaton about the motive for the shootings or details about the standoff

Local police and SWAT officers set up a staging area in a nearby shopping center. The standoff spanned several hours.

At least one police car was hit by the gunman's bullets, according to a law enforcement source. No officers had been injured, police said.

Warren is about 25 miles southwest of Newark.

Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel L Bryner

Foster Child Dies, Another Injured


A 2-year-old girl died and another was in critical condition Sunday after the pair was found unresponsive at a foster home in Auburn, Massachusetts. 

The children's foster mother called 911 at 12:23 p.m. Saturday, reporting two children were unresponsive, District Attorney Joseph D. Early said at a news conference Sunday. When emergency officials arrived, they performed CPR on one girl who was unconscious. 

"We heard a scream and then we saw the cops and we came outside and she had the baby in her arms," explained neighbor Sonia Guzman.

They were transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester where one girl was pronounced dead a short time later.

Worcester County officials said they are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results for the cause of the toddler's death. They say the other child remains hospitalized "in very critical condition."

Family members identified the deceased child as Avalena Conway Coxon.

"She was the most precious child," said grandmother Diane Coxon, fighting back tears. "She was the best baby." 

One other foster child and three biological children of the mother were removed from the home at 2 Pheasant Court, according to the Department of Children and Families. It was unclear if anyone else lived in the residence with the mother and children.

"It was very sad what happened to the girls, very sad," Guzman continued. "But she's a good mother. She is a really good mother with the kids, so I don't know what happened."

"She's good. She's out here and watches them," another neighbor said. "She does everything with them. She takes them on vacation, she's a good mom."

Early said officials were "very familiar" with the foster mother, who, he adds, has cooperated with the investigation. There was no initial sign of abuse and no one has been taken into custody, a police chief said.  

The DCF tells necn it is working to determine what went on at the foster home.

"The department is actively working with law enforcement and medical personnel to determine the cause of death of one child and hospitalization of another child today," said spokesperson Andrea Grossman in a statement. "The department is conducting its own investigation and collaborating with law enforcement on its investigation."

An air quality test performed on the home came back negative, ruling out carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Early.

"Whatever happened, it was maybe an accident. She's a good mom with all her kids. She was going to adopt the babies too," Guzman explained.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's press secretary, Elizabeth Guyton, said "he is deeply saddened to learn of this tragic situation and is in constant communication with leadership at DCF and public safety about their ongoing investigation."

Brazilian Protesters Call for Ouster of President Rousseff


Hundreds of demonstrators returned to the streets across dozens of Brazilian cities Sunday for a day of nationwide anti-government protests and to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff's second term in office has been shaken by a snowballing corruption scandal involving politicians from her Workers’ Party, as well as a spluttering economy, spiraling currency and rising inflation, making her popularity ratings fall to historic lows. 

In the third wave of demonstrations against Rousseff this year, protesters who were convened by social media across Latin America's largest country had few proposals to rally around except for the removal of Rousseff.

If she were impeached, as many demanded, the next in line would be Vice President Michel Temer, who is from another party but coordinates her legislative agenda. 

Photo Credit: AP

Tianjin Death Toll Rises to 114 as Rain Threatens Poison Gas Release


Authorities pulled more bodies from the site of last week's massive explosions in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, raising the death toll to 114 on Monday as crews scrambled to clear dangerous chemical contamination, NBC News reported. 

With storms moving into the area, environmental officials raised concerns that sodium cyanide exposed by the explosions Wednesday could release poisonous hydrogen cyanide into the air.

Seventy other people remained missing Monday morning, many of them firefighters, five days after the huge blasts at a warehouse storing hazardous materials lit up the night sky with a huge fireball, and the shockwave of the explosions shattered windows in buildings more than a mile away.

Photo Credit: AP

Fire Rips Through Torrington Carpet Factory


A three-alarm fire tore through a carpeting factory in Torrington on Sunday night and investigators are trying to determine what started it. 

The water flow alarm went off at the Alliance Carpet factory, at 180 Church Street around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday and neighbors reported a strange chemical smell, in addition to the smoke. 

Firefighters who responded to the scene saw smoke coming from the building and activated a third alarm because of the size of the building.

About six employees in the building at the time got themselves out and no one was injured, according to Torrington Fire Chief Gary Brunoli. 

Crews brought large bails of foam outside to extinguish them.

This was not the first time the building has caught fire. There have been several fires there in the past.

Some have been cases of arson, officials said, but most of the fires there have been accidental and all signs point to that being the cause again last night.

When the company grinds foam rubber used to make its carpets, it's easy to start a fire in the process, officials said.

"We’ve been here many times, not only for alarms but for some fires. The processes that they use in here it happens," Brunoli said.  "The guys are familiar with the building and with the amount of smoke and the size of the building and the staffing we have we wanted to make sure we had enough resources in case we had to go into defensive mode."

Even though it was expected to be business as usual on Monday morning, the investigation into what happened is still ongoing.

Firrefighters from Torrington, Harwinton, Winsted, Watertown, Waterbury, Torringford, Drakeville, Burrivills, Bantam and Washington responded and the Red Cross also came to the scene to provide food.

Car Hit Pole on Route 85 in Colchester


Route 85 has reopened in Colchester after a car hit a pole, however it will be partially closed and down to one lane during repairs.

Wires came down on the road due to the collision. There were injuries in the crash.

Eversource is on its way and when crews arrive, the road will be closed again as they work on the pole and wire repairs.

The car from the accident has been removed from the scene.

The road was closed near Route 354, but has since reopened. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Route 32 Reopens in Franklin After Tree Falls on Car


Route 32 has reopened in Franklin after a tree fell on a car.

There was an injury, but it wasn't serious.

The road was closed in the morning so crews could clear the tree and car from the scene.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Jeff Bezos Defends Amazon After Scathing NYT Portrait


Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a memo to staff that a New York Times profile critical of his company "doesn't describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day."

The Times article cited interviews with current and former Amazon employees who said they were pushed to extremes — working at all hours, being encouraged to send secret feedback to their colleagues' bosses —- in service of becoming a good employee called an "Amabot."

Some workers described crying at their desks and the article also claimed managers showed little sympathy for those faced with illnesses or bereavements.

Bezos said the article "claims that our intentional approach is to create a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard. Again, I don't recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don't, either." He called for workers to email him or report such behavior to their human resources team.

Photo Credit: AP

Gunmen Kidnap Foreign Aid Worker in Kabul, Afghanistan


Gunmen kidnapped a foreign female aid worker in the Afghan capitol of Kabul Monday, police said, NBC News reported.

The head of the capitol's police criminal investigation department, Fraidon Obaidi, told NBC News that the agency she was working with asked that her identity and nationality not be released.

"I can assure you that we will do all what we can to set her free and bring those behind this crime to justice," he added.

No group took responsibility for the kidnapping.

Photo Credit: AP

Deadly Explosion Rocks Bangkok Near Shrine


At least 12 people are dead after a bomb on a motorcycle exploded during rush hour in a major intersection of Thailand's capital Bangkok, NBC News reported.

Eighty-one people were wounded, according to police.

The blast happened in an upscale shopping area near Erawan shrine, a major tourist attraction that is especially popular with visitors from East Asia.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Photo Credit: AP

DMV to Reopen Tuesday


After being closed for a week for computer upgrades, the Department of Motor Vehicles is getting ready to reopen Tuesday.

The $25 million project to modernize its 50-year-old computer system was scheduled to be finished on Tuesday, but it was completed early. Offices will reopen Aug. 18. The registration database was be updated during the upgrade.

The modernization project, which started in 2009, involves 14 million vehicle and customer records and the rewriting of over 40-million lines of computer code. The DMV is putting more services online.

If your driver’s license or car registration expires before the DMV reopens Tuesday, officials said you’ll be able to renew it until Oct. 10 without paying a late fee. Additionally, licensing services will continue to be available at all DMV offices and select AAA offices during the closure.

For more information about the DMV’s Computer Upgrade: http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=4755&q=568534

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Grand Ave. Bridge in New Haven Closed to Cars for 2 Weeks


The Grand Avenue Bridge in New Haven will be closed for two weeks, starting today, for maintenance and routine repairs.

The Grand Avenue Bridge will remain be open to pedestrian traffic during the planned repairs, which are expected to be done by Friday, Aug. 28.

The city’s Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking is working to coordinate traffic signals along alternate routes and the New Haven Police Department is planning to have a uniformed officers in the area to help alleviate any traffic congestion.

To get around the bridge closure, take Front Street or Quinnipiac Avenue to the Ferry Street Bridge or take Middletown Avenue or Quinnipiac Avenue to Route 80. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Cooling Centers Open


Today could be the second heat wave of the summer as temperatures are expected to climb into the 90s.

Middletown and Simsbury have already opened cooling centers.

Middletown (Monday, Aug. 17 and Tuesday, Aug. 18)

  • Municipal Building Council Chamber, 245 deKoven Drive, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Middletown Police Department lobby, 222 Main Street, 24 hours
  • Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Elderly citizens are advised to use the Senior Center, 150 William Street, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Middletown fire, South and Westfield fire districts will open the following fire hydrants Monday, Aug. 17 and Tuesday, Aug. 18:

  • The Highlands Crescent Drive bus stop, 12 to 4 p.m.
  • Maplewood Terrace, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Summer Hill Road and Woodbury Circle, 2 to 5 p.m.
  • MacDonough School, 12 to 3 p.m., 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Santangelo Circle, 12 to 3 p.m.
  • Daddario Road, 6 to 8 p.m.

Simsbury (Monday, Aug. 17 through Wednesday, Aug. 19)

  • Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow Street (lower-level entrance), open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.
  • Eno Memorial Hall (senior center), 754 Hopmeadow Street, open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
  • More information about staying safe in extreme heat is available by calling the town's Social Services Department at 860-658-3283.

Officials from Stamford have warned residents to keep an eye out for these heat stroke signs and symptoms:

  • If someone has a body temperature that's 105 degrees or more
  • Hot and dry skin with red spots
  • Confusion mentally
  • Someone has lost consciousness
  • Someone is convulsing

People at the greatest risk of heat-related illnesses, according to Stamford officials, include:

  • Infants
  • Young children
  • Mentally ill individuals
  • People who are physically ill
  • Anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure

You should call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room if you are experiencing those symptoms. Also, make sure to get the person out of the sun and use water to help the individual cool off.

Call 211 or check 211ct.org for information on other shelters and alternative resources to beat the heat in Connecticut towns.

Officials in various towns are advising residents to take the following precautions in the extreme heat:

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day and avoid dehydrating drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • Stay inside if you can or minimize your exposure to the sun. If you do venture outside, put sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher on.
  • Wear clothing that's lightweight or loose-fitting.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned place like a library, mall or movie theater during the hottest peaks of the day.
  • While electric fans may make you more comfortable when it's hot out, they will not ward off possible heat-related illnesses in high 90-degree weather.
  • Don't leave children, senior citizens or pets in a vehicle that is closed or leave pets outside for a long duration.
  • Check on elderly family members and neighbors.
  • Have your family doctor's phone number posted next to your phone at home or easily accessible in your cell phone.
  • Limit outdoor activity to early morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on physical activity.
  • Drink two to four glasses of cold, non-alchoholic fluids an hour if you choose to exercise. Sports beverages replace salt and minerals you lose when you sweat, so if you're on a low-salt diet, check with your doctor before having a sports drink.
  • Rest often in the shade.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the son and stay cool, wear sunglasses and put sunscreen on that's SPF or highers.
  • Eat well-balanced and regular light meals.
  • Stay on your home's lowest floor.

Bridgeport's emergency management website and downloadable extreme heat guide have more information on how to stay cool and beat the heat.

Boston Doctor Dances for Charity


Dr. Adnan Khera, an anesthesiology resident at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center, has been raising money for charity in an unconventional way: as a dancing street performer. Khan has been busting moves since spring, while wearing his scrubs, the hashtag #DoctorBeDancing written across his back.

“I would say I’m an average-to-good dancer,” Khera told NBC. “I’ve not had any formal training.”

So far, he has raised more than $5,000 for charities that include the Animal Rescue League of Boston and Community Servings, which brings meals to the homebound and critically ill. The donations Khera has raised have fed more than 50 people.

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Hit-and-Run Driver Strikes Female Pedestrian


A female pedestrian was struck in a hit-and-run crash in North Branford on Sunday night and police are looking for a car that was involved.

It happened in the area of 248 Branford Road at about 8:50 p.m. Police found a woman sitting on the road in the area when they arrived and she was conscious and alert.

She was transported to a local hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Police haven't released her name.

The driver fled the scene and was last seen traveling north on Branford Road. Police are searching for a dark-colored Mitsubishi with no plates that was last seen heading toward Route 80.

North Branford police said an active investigation is underway. Police collected evidence at the scene.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Officer Tim Cunningham at 203-484-2703.

The road is open to traffic.

23 CT Nail Salons Shut Down Over Wage Violations


Several nail salons recently inspected without notice have been shut down due to wage violations and recovered more than $47,000 owed to employees.

The Department of Labor's Wage and Workplace Standards Division recently investigated 25 nail salons in Connecticut after receiving numerous complaints from people working at nail salons and reading news coverage of "questionable health and employment practices at nail salons, according to the labor department.

Of those, the labor department shut down 23 nail salons for wage violations.

State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said that the division got $47,350 back from the salons in wages owed to employees, mostly because of establishments that violated minimum wage laws. She said the division hopes to collect more money to give back to the employees.

"An additional $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under reporting payroll and paying employees in cash and $21,300 for wage and hour violations," according to the labor department.

Officials from the labor department made unannounced visits to the salons on Aug. 3, issuing stop work orders for the following nail salons.

Unannounced visits to the salons on August 3, 2015 resulted in Stop Work orders being placed on the following establishments:

Hartford: La Nails, American Nails, Modern Nails, Pink Nails, Touch Nails
New Haven: Magic Nail and Spa, Fashion Nail and Spa, Outo Nails
Stamford: Fiji Nail Salon, Cozy Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Lux Nails, Ace Nails
Branford: Oasis Nails, Pretty Nail and Spa, Sera Nail Salon, Town Nails, Simply Nails
Westport/Darien/Southport: Posh Nail and Spa LLC (three locations), Queen Nail and Spa, Finger Nails

At the nail salons shut down for violations, investigators learned many employees were paid with cash with no payroll records to trace it, they were paid below the minimum wage of $9.15 an hour and they weren't being paid for overtime, according to Gary Pechie, director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division. The inspectors also took issue with the salons' worker's compensation coverage, reporting that they didn't have proper coverage.

Many salon employer groups contacted the labor department after the investigation, so the division will give them educational materials about state laws that apply to those types of businesses.

“The wage division places a high priority on outreach and education and we urge employers with questions about wage laws to contact the unit at 860-263-6790 or visit the agency website at www.ct.gov/dol and click on ‘wage and workplace standards’ for guidelines,” Pechie said.

Any other employees who weren't paid the right amount of money or who haven't received payment are encouraged to download a complaint form from the website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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