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Building Demolished After Partial Collapse


A building that has stood at Orange and Chapel streets in New Haven since before the Civil War is now a pile of rubble after it started to collapse on Sunday evening and needed to be demolished as a safety precaution. 

The historic 810 Chapel Street building building next to a busy bus shelter began to slowly crumble around noon Sunday as bricks fell from the building, according to the New Haven Register.

"New Haven is an old city and that is an asset, but it is also a challenge," New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said Monday.

New Haven's building official condemned the building after the falling bricks were noticed, Harp said. Firefighters were called at 3:25 p.m. and were dispatched to the scene. The area was secured with barrier tap. Then just after 5 p.m. after, an off-duty firefighter called in to report the building was in imminent danger of collapsing, so more crews responded.

Firefighters determined the building was collapsing from the roof down and "pancaking" onto the floors below.

The mid-19th Century building is about 150 years old.

Crews initially thought only the top of the building needed to go, but as things started moving, they realized the entire building would be unstable and would have to go.

Then at 10:05 p.m., the "3-foot decorative cornice fell from the building," Harp said.

 The remainder of floors began to "pancake down," fire officials said. That's when fire officials decided the building needed to be demolished for public safety.

The demolition process was completed by 4 a.m. Monday. Crews are searching through the debris to see if there is any salvageable and recycleable matterials.

"We can attribute this failure to neglect and building decay," Harp said.

Owner Paul Denz, of Northside Development Company, said they noticed a sagging issue with the cornice about six months ago and though the building was secure after installing strapping.

Harp said the owner previously planned to take the building down to build an apartment complex on the land and the land he owns next door.

Officials from the company that owns the building recently met with city officials about plans to demolish the building to build a new $10,000-square-foot commercial or residential building on the site.

Harp said the city expects to close the nearby bus stops until Friday. The city's transportation and traffic and parking officials will set up an alternate route for buses that stop in that area, she said.

The fire marshal was called out to inspect the building in 2011 and the owners were given a demolition order. However, they were given the option to restore it to a certain degree to prevent that from happeniing."

City officials will be inspecting commercial and vacant buildings in the city to prevent future issues like this from happening.

Chapel Street was closed from Church to State streets and Orange Street was closed from Crown to Elm streets, but both have since reopened.

It's believed the building's decaying roof was pushing out a wall, sending bricks down onto the streets as the roof began to come down, Harp said.

If you have a concern about your building being on the verge of collaps, you can contact the building department or the fire marshal.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Responded to Gas Leak in Glastonbury


Emergency crews responded to the intersection of Harris and Griswold streets in Glastonbury on Monday morning for a gas leak, according to Glastonbury Police.

Firefighters and crews from the gas company responded and emergency crews were gone by 11:46 a.m.

There are no evacuations.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Respond to East Hampton Fire


East Hampton firefighters are responding to a fire at 95 Main Street.

Traffic is being diverted around that area on Main Street.

The fire isn't big, according to fire dispatchers.

No injuries have been reported.

Man in Critical Condition After Bridgeport Shooting


A man is in critical condition after he was shot in the face and neck in Bridgeport on Monday morning.

Bridgeport Police received a call from Bridgeport Hospital at 12:21 a.m., reporting a gunshot victim, and the victim said he was shot in the area of William Street and Barnum Avenue, police said.

The victim was later transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Police are investigating and ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Bridgeport Detective Bureau at (203) 581-5201.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Respond to Threat at Norwich Courthouse


Police are responding to a threat at the Norwich Courthouse at 1 Courthouse Square and traffic is being diverted from the area.

No additional information was immediately available and one officer said, “everyone is at the scene.”

No information was immediately is available on the type of threat and it’s not clear if the courthouse is evacuated.

Check back for updates.

$470K in Cash Aboard Trigana Plane That Crashed: Official


A passenger plane that crashed with 54 people on board in Indonesia's Papua province was carrying around $470,000 in government cash for poor families in remote villages, a post office spokesman said Monday.

"There were four people carrying the money, 6.5 billion rupiah ($471,500)," PT Pos spokesman Abu Sofjan said, adding that it was part of an official assistance program for the poor and was intended to be distributed to villagers.

There was no suggestion that the large sum of money being transported on the plane was linked to its crash.

Rescue teams were heading to the mountainous site where the Trigana Air Service ATR 42-300 plane is believed to have crashed Sunday in the latest in a string of aviation disasters in the sprawling Southeast Asian archipelago.

Photo Credit: AP

It's the Second Heat Wave of Summer


We are in the second official heat wave of the summer and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is warning about unhealthy air quality for people with respiratory problems.

Temperatures reached 91 degrees at Bradley Airport, making it the third day in a row of 90-degree weather or higher. The three-day hot stretch makes it a heat wave.

The last heat wave was at the end of July, when temperatures reached 93 on Ju;y 28, 95 on July 29 and 90 on July 30.

“It’s been several weeks since our last official heat wave, so I want to remind everyone to take simple precautions when temperatures are high and air quality is poor,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a statement. “If you find yourself outdoors for work or enjoying one of our great state parks, be sure to drink plenty of water and get to an air conditioned room if you need to cool down and catch your breath.” 

The hot weather is expected to continue on Tuesday.

There could be scattered thundershowers on Wednesday night and showers and thunderstorms are more likely on Thursday or Friday.

When air pollution levels are predicted to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups” DEEP recommends:

  • Conserving electricity by setting air conditioners to 78 degrees;
  • “Wait ‘til 8” to use energy intensive appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers;
  • Driving less by carpooling, vanpooling or using public transit;
  • Telecommuting if possible;
  • Refueling your vehicle after dusk and never idling a vehicle unnecessarily;

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Bank Robbery Suspect Shot by Police Dies


A bank robbery suspect police shot Aug. 14 after a chase has died.

State police said the suspect, Christopher T. Anderson, 53, of Hartford, died Aug. 16, succumbing to his injuries.

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

The incident started when a man handed tellers a note demanding money at First Niagara Bank at 481 Buckland Road in South Windsor on Friday.

A South Windsor police officer saw him fleeing the bank and get into a Toyota Matrix. The officer chased after him into Manchester and a group of Manchester police officers joined in on the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m. The suspect refused to stop for South Windsor and Manchester police.

State police from the Troop K barracks in Colchester responded to the area of routes 384 and 6 in Manchester to help South Windsor and Manchester police with the pursuit at about 3:30 p.m.

The chase ended on Route 44 in Bolton, where the Anderson crashed on the right side of the roadway, according to state police. The suspect started driving again and made it 200 yards before his vehicle broke down near the intersection of Routes 44 and 6, east of Bolton Notch.

As, State Trooper Brian Contenta and police officers approached the vehicle, state police said Anderson got out of the car and was brandishing a weapon in his hand when he got out of the car and disobeyed authorities' commands to stop. He advanced toward the trooper and officers, state police said.

Manchester Police Officer Jason Wagner deployed a Taser, but it didn't stop the suspect, who ripped the probes out. Anderson continued advancing on the officers with the weapon, prompting Contenta and Manchester Police Officer Layau Eulizier to open fire on him simultaneously and shoot him, state police said. It's unknown how many times Anderson was shot.

There is no word on how many shots were fired, but witnesses said they heard as many as five gun shots.

Anderson was taken to Hartford Hospital in an ambulance after the trooper and officers administered first aid, but died there Sunday. Contenta, Wagner and Eulizier weren't injured, but they were taken to the hospital to be evaluated. 

Contenta has been temporarily assigned to administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation, per state police policy. Wagner, the officer who deployed the taser, has been with the Manchester Police Department for 13 years. Eulizier, the Manchester officer who fird the gun, has been with the department for one year.

Police said Anderson acted alone.

Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime squad and the state's attorney's office in New London responded to the scene. They are looking into how many shots were fired and whether the suspect was indeed armed, state police said.

The Eastern District Major Crime squad continues to investigate the incident. State police were still on scene as of 3 a.m.

Anderson was shot once before by police during a New Haven police investigation into another bank robbery back in October of 2006. New Haven police located him inside a home at 74 Fowler Street and determined he might be armed, police said. When Anderson confronted officers during a lengthy standoff, police were "forced" to fire their guns at him, seriously wounding him, state police said. He was hospitalized after that.

Photo Credit: Storm Parker

State Monitoring Enfield Park Amid Trash Problems


The state is now keeping a closer watch on the Scantic River State Park in Enfield after residents complained for the second summer in a row about trash littering the popular swimming hole.

"What a change. I barely pick up any trash anymore," said Kayla Lagarde, of Westport, Massachusetts, who stops at the park while visiting her boyfriend who lives in East Windsor.

She said the park was littered with waste during past visits.

"It was absolutely disgusting. We would come here and we'd pick up bags full of trash," said Lagarde.

Two weeks ago, volunteers spent hours cleaning up the park and took all kinds of trash to the dump, including two toilets found in the river.

Residents say this part of the park can draw hundreds of people on summer weekends, many from out of state.

There's only one Porta Potty, and the town has supplied two trash bins to help control the trash problem.

"You want to take care of a resource like this and take out what you bring in," said Dennis Schain, the spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Schain says his agency is aware of the concerns and is taking steps to address them.

Earlier this summer, the DEEP banned alcohol in this section of the park. Schain said Environmental Conservation Police have also increased patrols here.

"This happens from time to time that really a small park gets discovered, attracts large crowds, and we do need to step in, increase our presence and get the word out and turn the situation around," said Schain.

Some here say it's not the state or town, but instead other visitors, who need to keep things clean.

"Clean up after yourselves. Leave no footprints," said Lagarde.

Smoking Manhole May Have Caused 3,000 Waterbury Outages


Eversource crews have restored power to the 3,300 customers who lost power in the city of Waterbury on Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the utility company said crews are working underground on the 800 block of North Main Street. The company is investigating to determine whether smoke coming from a manhole may have contributed to the issue.

Power has since been restored, according to Eversource.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: necn

#ClearTheShelters Finds Home for Hundreds of CT Pets


NBC Connecticut's Clear the Shelters campaign found new homes for more than 600 animals around the state, including Mauser, a German Shepherd-Rottweiler mix.

Mauser was the last of 15 dogs at the Almost Home rescue in Plainville that were adopted Saturday as part of Clear the Shelters.

"We were just looking to see what was out there and he caught our eye," said Bev Roche, the dog's new owner.

Mauser had been at the rescue ever since he was found wandering in the woods.

Now, he has a new home with two kids to play with.

"He's great. He's really great. He's good with the kids, good with us, he likes to run so it's a good thing I do too," said Roche.

In all, Almost Home adopted out 15 dogs, 23 kittens, 3 cats and a bird during the event.

"We cleared them all," said Meda Talley, of Almost Home.

Even though they cleared this shelter, it's pretty much filled up again just days later.

"Until ten o'clock this morning, we were pretty much empty. This morning, we got 12 more dogs, sad situation in one of our towns of hoarding," said Talley.

She says they're expecting to get even more animals soon.

Meanwhile, Mauser and hundreds if other animals across the state are enjoying their new homes.

"He's just great. Glad we did it," said Roche.

Man Found Lying in Road in Hartford Dies of Injuries


A 32-year-old Hartford man died Saturday after he was likely hit by a car and found injured in the middle of the road late Friday night, according to police.

Police said John Gonzalez, of Maple Avenue in Hartford, was lying in road seriously injured near 50 King Street around 11 p.m. Friday. He was rushed to Hartford Hospital, where he died the next day.

Hartford police are asking anyone with information about his death to call Det. Manny Pacheco at 860-757-4146 or submit an anonymous tip online.

Military Brats See More Violence, Drugs at School: Study


Kids from military families are more likely to say they're bullied at school, that they've tried alcohol, carried a weapon or been in a fight, a new study shows.

Researchers found that military brats (and they do prefer that term) were 50 percent more likely to be involved in violence, 40 percent more likely than civilian kids to be harassed and 90 percent more likely to admit to carrying a weapon.

"They fall into a pattern of what looks like being bullied or being isolated," Ron Avi Aston at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, who oversaw the study, told NBC News.

Especially in the past 15 years, their families have often been forced to endure long, stressful separations as one or more parents are repeatedly deployed in war zones including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Photo Credit: File - AP

Car Seats Emphasized After Crash Kills 4-Year-Old


Experts are emphasizing the importance of car seats for children while police investigate whether a 4-year-old killed in a New Haven rollover crash was properly restrained.

Kamorah Stanley and another child were ejected from the SUV they were riding in when the vehicle rolled over on Interstate 91 in New Haven on Saturday, according to police.

Kamorah died, and the other child was injured, along with six other people in the SUV, most of whom were family members, police said.

"All other occupants in the vehicle had sustained some sort of injury, mostly minor injuries, with the exception with the fatality of the 4-year-old girl," said state police spokesman Trooper First Class Kelly Grant.

Grant said police are still investigating whether safety restraints were used in the vehicle.

Kevin Borup, associate director of the Injury Prevention Center at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, said every person should be restrained. The safest place for children is the back seat.

"In Connecticut, all children should be in a car seat until they're 7 [years old] and 60 pounds," said Borup.

Borup said children under 2 years old should be in a car seat that faces the rear of the car to reduce strain to the neck and head if an accident occurs.

Research shows children have a 50 percent higher survival rate if they wear a child safety restraint.

"If you’re unrestrained, you're going to bounce around in the vehicle hitting the part of the vehicle, hitting other passengers and if you’re unlucky, ejected from the vehicle," said Borup.

The driver of the vehicle on I-91 has not been charged, but Grant said that could change.

"Charges are going to be pending depending on what the troopers are going to find in their investigation," Grant said.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Police, Hospital Staff Hold Active Shooter Drill


Police teamed up with medical personnel Monday to prepare for an active shooter scenario, which was once considered unthinkable but has now become all to real in Connecticut and across the country.

"Police officers responded to a disgruntled family member who let off an improvised explosive device and also shot many victims," explained Stephen Donahue, program director at Hartford Hospital's Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation.

He said the drill could play a major role in saving lives in the future. Participants received hands-on tactical training to increase survival rates during a mass casualty incident, learning how to stop the bleeding with a tourniquet and stabilize a patient.

"Without this type of training, some of these victims could be seriously injured or have a high risk of death prior to arriving at the emergency department," said Hartford Hospital emergency physician Dr. Thomas Nowicki.

Brian Wallace, who works on West Hartford's Tactical Unit, said this type of physical training is key to emergency responders' preparation.

"This is kind of 'where the rubber meets the road' type of thing. It’s good to take the classroom and bring it to the realistic type of training," said Wallace.

Hartford Hospital recently received a grant to allow it to hold simulations monthly with police officers and military personnel throughout the region. Some 175 officers from 63 state agencies have been trained so far.

Student-Athletes Beat the Heat at First Practices


It's that time of the year when athletes head back to practice. It's also when the heat and humidity seem to be at their highest.

Monday was the first day that Connecticut high schools that didn't hold spring practice were allowed to start their season. Players at Glastonbury High School beat the heat by taking extra water breaks.

“We stood over here for like two minutes and just drench ourselves with water. We drank it, we sprayed it. You name it," said senior Jake Madnick, of the wheeled water contraption they use to stay hydrated called "the cow."

The cart has several hoses of water to serve several players at one time,

Their coach talked to his players about the importance of hydration. Scott Daniels even sent an email ahead of time to make sure his players came prepared for the heat.

Daniels said he built half-dozen breaks into their Monday practice. They were also ordered to wear only T-shirts, shorts and helmets, something he said is required by state law in the first days of practice.

"We’ll run some drills today where we have no shell, no hats. I’ll say pop your tops, where they’re going to take their helmets off where I think they’re getting a little overheated," Daniels said.

He said he also planned to hold their team meeting inside.

Newington High School pushed its first practice of the season back to the evening to take advantage of cooler temperatures.

Many schools have athletic trainers who stand on the sidelines during practice, and teach the coaches how to look for heat stroke in their players.

Allison Steingiser, Glastonbury's athletic trainer, said it's important parents continue to keep an eye on their athletes when they return home from practice.

"They're not acting differently than usual. Making sure they're eating well. They're pushing their fluids when they get home. That's a big one re-hydrating, making sure they're ready for the next day," she said.

It’s not just the air, but the triple-digit turf temperatures under their cleats. Daniels said the turf is always 10-12 degrees hotter in this kind of weather. The team’s captain said believes it keeps the players on their toes.

"I think you can shave a couple of seconds off your 40 time if you keep moving on the turf," said Keyion Dixon.

He and many of his teammates found another way to stay cool during this summer's conditioning program. After five-day-a-week practices, they pulled out a Slip 'N Slide.

“We called it Thirsty Thursdays; it’s like the last conditioning day we have and all the guys are ready for it," said Dixon.

Daniels said depending on how well they do in practice this week, he may let them bring it out this Thursday.

Photo Credit: Becky Stickney

Fraternity Called to Trial in Case of Deadly Yale Bowl Crash


The Sigma Phi Epsilon national fraternity and members of the chapter at Yale University have been called to trial in the case of a deadly crash at a 2011 football tailgate.

Fraternity member Brendan Ross was driving a U-Haul truck during a Sig Ep-sanctioned tailgate event at the Yale Bowl on Nov. 19, 2011 when he lost control and drove the truck into a group of pedestrians before hitting another vehicle.

Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Massachusetts, was killed, and two other women were hurt, including Sarah Short, a Yale student at the time of the crash who is suing the fraternity and Ross.

Police said after the crash that Ross passed a field sobriety test at the scene.

"I'm sober; I'm sober," he said, according to court documents, later adding, "Oh my God, what did I do? It was an accident."

Ross was initially charged with criminally negligent homicide and was denied probation.

He later pleaded guilty to two infractions – improper start and unreasonable speed – in a deal with prosecutors. His accelerated rehabilitation ended Jan. 31, 2015.

His attorney previously said the U-Haul truck malfunctioned, but U-Haul has challenged that claim.

According to a press release from Faxon Law Group, the case will now go before a jury.

"The national fraternity was seeking to bypass the jury and move directly to judgment," Eric P. Smith of Faxon Law Group said in a statement Monday. "The court’s ruling ensures the case against the national fraternity will go before a jury where we will present evidence establishing why the national fraternity is fully responsible under the law for Ross’ negligent actions."

NBC Connecticut has reached out to Sigma Phi Epislon national headquarters for comment.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Says Siri Made the Call That Saved His Life


A Tennessee teen is alive today thanks to Siri, he says.

Eighteen-year-old Sam Ray says the voice recognition service on his iPhone — famously named Siri — called emergency dispatchers after his truck fell on him while he tried to make repairs.

Ray told media outlets that a jack collapsed, pinning him under nearly 5,000 pounds of metal in a location where he couldn't be easily seen or heard. He says he was trying to get free when he heard Siri activate.

"I said 'Call 911,' and that was all it said," he said.

Rutherford County dispatcher Christina Lee says she first thought it was a mistaken pocket-dial, but then she heard his screams for help and sent crews, who rescued him.

She said she knew his general location from the cellphone signal, but Ray helped them pinpoint his exact whereabouts.

"The map got to his street. ... It got pretty close," Lee said. "But he was yelling his address, and that was the best thing he could have done."

When volunteer firefighters arrived, they raised the truck back up with a jack and pulled Ray out. He was under the truck for about 40 minutes.

"I could feel myself slipping," he said. "I was starting to accept that I wouldn't get out."

Ray and Lee met Friday for the first time after the July 2 incident.

Rick Miller, who is chief of trauma and surgical care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said Ray suffered broken ribs, a bruised kidney, cuts and a concussion, and he had burns on one arm. Miller said Ray is lucky his wounds weren't worse.

"Sometimes these crush injuries can be devastating and can kill you," Miller said. "I've never heard of a story where you can figure out a way to use Siri to call 911 and get yourself rescued."

Sam Ray said he is thankful to be alive.

"I guess I'm stuck with an iPhone for the rest of my life," he said. "I owe them that."

Photo Credit: File - AP

First Female Soldiers to Graduate From Army's Elite Ranger School


Two female soldiers will graduate from the Army’s elite Ranger School this week, becoming the first women ever to complete one of the most grueling combat training courses in the world, the Army said Monday.

The 96 soldiers were winnowed from 400 — 19 of them women — who started the course on April 20. Over the following weeks, more than three-quarters of the trainees fell short of making it through grueling training marked by limited meals, sleep deprivation and physical tests in harsh conditions — all while hauling a 60-pound rucksack.

Women were admitted to the course this year in a one-time assessment of the program to determine how to open combat jobs to women after the Defense Department ordered that all occupations be open to women beginning in 2016.

Photo Credit: AP

Video Shows Bangkok Bombing Suspect Leaving Backpack


A suspect clad in a yellow T-shirt was being hunted Tuesday in connection with a deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine popular with tourists that killed 22 people, NBC News reported.

Surveillance video of the man shows him carrying a backpack in one location near the scene of Monday's bombing and then later without the bag, Thailand's police chief Somyot Pumpanmuang told reporters.

At least 22 people, including nine foreigners, were killed in the attack during Monday night's rush hour. Witnesses described a scene of horror after the blast caused scattered body parts, blasted windows and burned motorcycles to the metal.

A second explosive was later thrown from a bridge in the Thai capital.

Photo Credit: Reuters
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