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Police Seek Armed Robbery Suspect


State police are looking for an armed robbery suspect in Haddam.

A man wielding a "knife-type weapon" robbed the Tylerville Mobil Mart at 1598 Saybrook Road in Haddam at about 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, police said.

State police from Troop F in Westbrook secured the scene when they arrived and searched for a suspect. A State police K-9 team assisted them and the Central District Major Crime Squad also responded.

The suspect fled on foot with an unknown amount of money.

Police described the suspect as a man in his mid-20s, wearing jeans, a dirty white T-shirt and a dark ski mask over his face.

No one was injured.

Police ask anyone with information on the incident to call Troop Fat 860-399-2100 or Det. Nolting at 860-685-8191.

Photo Credit: Haddam Police Department

Driver Hurt After Hitting House While Owner Was Home


A 60-year-old man was hospitalized after crashing into a house in West Hartford Wednesday morning while one of the residents was home.

Richard Liljedahl, 60, of West Hartford, was driving south on Brookmoor Road in his Audi A6 when he veered off the road, narrowly missing a utility pole. The car went over the lawn and crashed into the house at 70 Brookmoor. The crash happened at about 7:46 a.m.

An ambulance transported Liljedahl to the hospital for an evaluation after he was treated on scene for minor injuries.

The homeowner was in the room closest to the part of the house the car hit at the time of the one-car crash. She wasn't injured, but there was significant damage to a wall on the west side of the house, the wall inside, a radiator, a window, a bookcase and small trees.

The building inspector responded to the scene to look at the house and determined the homeowner can live in the house despite the damage to the house.

No charges have been filed at this time.

The crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Three People Shot at New London Cafe


Three people were shot at a New London cafe late Tuesday night.

New London police received a 911 call reporting shots fired at Nowhere Café in the city at about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Police found a gunshot victim in the parking lot next to Aaron's Rent to Own, police said. The person had been shot in the upper left thigh, according to police. An ambulance transported the victim to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital to be treated.

A second gunshot victim also arrived at the hospital. That person had been shot in the chest. The victim was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said.

A third victim also showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his back and abdominal area. He was also transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said.

There is no word on the severity of the injuries at this time.

The three shootings are likely related.

Police have not released the names of the victims at this time.

New London Police Department's Uniform Patrol and Investigative Divisions are investigating the shootings.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the shootings or has information to call the department at 860-442-444 or 860-447-1481.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dog Waste Dilemma Causes Friction


A dispute between neighbors in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn that was sparked by the stench of dog waste in a yard took an unusual turn when one of the parties involved retaliated by painting the side of her home in bright colors.

Neighbors in the 400 block of Longfellow Avenue in Glen Ellyn began complaining about the number of dogs living in Julie Dombrowski's home earlier this summer. They also complained about the stench of dog waste, which they said Dombrowski was not picking up.

Dombrowski, 54, was issued a citation on July 24 for exceeding the maximum number of pets. She owns four pets, but village code only allows three.

Dombrowski received the citation after neighbors complained to police. One day later, someone began painting the siding of the home in bright colors on just one wall. The rest of the home remains white.

Neighbors say the paint job was done in retaliation to their complaints.

"Just a finger in the air, that's what it looked like, and basically that's what we've been told it was," Mary Beth Speer, a neighbor, said.

The Glen Ellyn planning and development office has since received complaints from neighbors about the color of the home, but village officials say Dombrowski is not violating any codes with the paint job because there are no regulations of colors to single-family homes.

Environmental Health Services at the DuPage County Health Department also received complaints about dog waste in the yard. They conducted an inspection of the property on July 31 and issued a notice of violation to the owner, according to a spokesperson for the department. EHS gave the owner until Aug. 31 to clean up the dog waste.

Neighbors described the situation to NBC Chicago as "obnoxious" and "sad." They said this kind of conflict is not the norm among neighbors.

NBC Chicago attempted to reach out to Dombrowski but was unable to contact her.

Burning Man May Be Crashed By Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes may be the newest unwanted group at this year's Burning Man.

Burning Man blogger John Curley wrote that the winged creatures are in biting abundance this year in Gerlach, Nevada, near the stretch of desert that becomes Black Rock City from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7. 

Curley said that the region's intermittent light rain throughout spring and summer has brought the bugs into the area.

"We're not sure yet how bad it will be out on the playa," he wrote, "but be smart and pack some lavender oil or bug spray or whatever you use."

A representative from Burning Man's communication team told NBC Bay Area that the organization is looking into whether mosquitoes may pose health hazards on the playa.

This year's tickets sold out in approximately 80 minutes.

Photo Credit: AP
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Golden Retriever Making 'Absolutely Remarkable' Recovery After Found Burned Across Back


A young golden retriever whose resilience is described as "absolutely remarkable" was recovering Tuesday at a Southern California animal hospital after a rescue group found him surrendered at an animal shelter with a third-degree burn.

The dog, a 1- or 2-year-old pup now named Fergus, was found at a shelter in Lancaster with a burn along his back, from his neck all the way to his tail.

“It breaks your heart,” said Barbara Gale of the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue group, which rescues surrendered golden retrievers from San Diego to Santa Barbara. “What did dogs ever do to anyone except bring love and joy? That’s what they’re on earth for.”

The same day NBC stations across the country were helping to Clear the Shelters on Saturday, Gale said the shelter handed over Fergus to be treated.

“It just was sick,” Gale said. “I was sick and my only thought was, 'How quickly can we get him?'”

“He was scared. He was very very scared when we first got him and confused,” she said, adding that he suffered a seizure when they first got him.

It is believed it was possible the person responsible for harming Fergus could have harmed other dogs. Gale said she heard there was another dog brought in the same week as Fergus with similar wounds.

The Animal Medical Center in West LA is caring for Fergus now, at limited cost to the rescue group. Dr. Alan Schulman said Fergus came in with severe tissue damage. On Thuesday night, Fergus began receiving laser therapy for the wound along his back.

“He hurt,” Dr. Schulman said. “There is no way you do not feel substantial pain and discomfort if you have this type of third-degree burn.”

For Fergus, named after an Irish word meaning "powerful," his tail-wagging hasn’t stopped since he awoke from his sedation.

“The fact that this guy still trusts people, wags his tail and will let us treat him considering the horrendous way that some person hurt him, is absolutely remarkable,” Dr. Schulman said.

Schulman said he did not believe the dog was set on fire, but rather something more sinister.

“It’s not the first one we’ve seen where some deranged individual goes ahead and pours battery acid or some other chemical up and down their back,” he said.

Dr. Schulman noted that Fergus is a loving dog that is easy to get close to when he is given attention. He said whoever harmed Fergus probably tried to pour the acid on his head but Fergus moved.

There has been no word on who may have done this to Fergus, but Gale says she has a feeling she knows the “type,” saying, “Only a coward, a bully, can do this.”

Dr. Schulman went a step further, crediting his South Bronx upbringing for his feelings, saying, “I’d be the first one to line up and hold him down and pour whatever chemical he poured on this dog right over him.”

The Golden Retriever Rescue group set up a GoFundMe site to help with the costs of Fergus’ care, with any amount over the goal amount going to helping the group’s cause of helping other surrendered dogs. To make a donation, click here.

For information on adopting Fergus, you can speak directly with the rescue here.

Photo Credit: Ernesto Torres

Watch: Baby Penguin Dives Into Life at Aquarium


Southern California's newest feathered friend made its debut Tuesday morning at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

Lily, a Magellanic penguin chick, was born at the aquarium on June 5 and joined the other penguins in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat after spending about two months in a nursery.

"She was a little reluctant to go swimming, but in the end she did and she seems to be enjoying herself," said Adrian Samora, a media relations coordinator at the aquarium.

Magellanic penguins, which are native to the coasts of Argentina and Chile, are not born with plumage suitable for water, so they are removed from their nests after 25 days and taken to a nursery until their watertight feathers come in. While they are in the nursery, they learn to swim and eat hand-fed fish, aquarium representatives said.

Lily, who represents the third generation of Aquarium-born penguins, is the seventh penguin to be born at the aquarium since 2013 and the 20th penguin to join the exhibit. Samora said she is slightly large for a baby and is eating whole fish.

Community members can support the new chick through the Adopt an Animal program.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

2 People Shot in Same Area of Bridgeport


Two people were shot in the same area of Bridgeport on Tuesday night.

Police responded to Stillman Street and East Main streets at 9:18 p.m. after receiving reports of gunshots and found the 29 year-old victim, suffering from a gunshot wound to his right upper chest.

He told police he heard two groups of people arguing, then heard shots.

A private vehicle brought the victim to Bridgeport Hospital, where he is in stable condition.

A 46-year-old man was also shot in the area. A bullet grazed his left shoulder blade. He told police he was walking south on East Main Street, toward Stillman Street, when he saw some kids running and then heard a couple of shots.

An ambulance transported him to Bridgeport Hospital.

Police are searching for the shooter or shooters and ask anyone with information about it to call the Bridgeport Detective Bureau at (203) 581-5201.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Witnesses: CT Transit Driver Ran Light Before Hitting Cars


A CT Transit bus crashed into several parked cars, then a tree and fence in Hartford early Wednesday morning and witnesses said the bus driver ran a red light moments earlier.

Just after 5 a.m., the bus hit three cars parked on Wethersfield Avenue, then hit a tree and a fence about 150 yards down the road.

"I heard squeals of a tire -- like someone was on their brakes," Leo Desrosiers, of Hartford, said.

Jose Torres, of Hartford, also heard the crash this morning.

"I just heard a big loud noise and everybody started looking out the window," Torres said.

No passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash and the cars struck were empty, but police said that the driver was taken to the hospital.

The nature of his injuries are unknown and police said he was alert when they arrived.

All vehicles involved were towed from the scene and the road has reopened. 

The official cause of the crash is under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut,com

Emergency Crews Respond to Manchester Crash

15 CT High Schools Make Top 500 List


Newsweek has ranked the top 500 high schools in the United States and 15 Connecticut high schools made the list.

Several criteria went into compiling the list of the best schools, including average SAT scores, average AP scores, ACT scores, graduation rates, college bound percentages, college readiness and more.

Weston High School is ranked 47th, but was tops among the local high schools, with an average SAT score of 1784 and 97.2 percent of students bound for college.

Staples High School in Westport came in at number at 63. It boasts that 93.2 percent of students are college bound and an average SAT score of 1767.

Ridgefield High School came in next, at 119, with an average SAT score of 1754 and a 92.8 percent college-bound rate.

Connecticut IB Academy, in East Hartford, came in at 158. The students' average SAT score is 1642 and 100 percent are heading to college.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School comes in at 185, with an impressive SAT score of 1717 and 88.5 percent college-bound rate.

Daniel Hand High School in Madison came in at 213, The college bound rate is 93.7 percent and the average SAT score is 1711.

Simsbury High School came in 273, with 91.5 percent of students bound for college and an average SAT score of 1716.

Newtown High School came in at 308. Ninety percent of students are college bound and an average SAT score of 1648.

Farmington High School came in next, at 312, with an average SAT score of 1670 and 94 percent of students college bound.

Woodstock Academy came in at 337, with 89.8 percent of students heading to college and an average SAT score of 1583.

Haddam-Killingworth High School came in at 353, with 91.9 students heading to college and an average SAT score of 1563.

Pomperaug Regional High School, in Southbury, came in at 374, with an 89.2 percent graduation rate and an average SAT score of 1622.

East Granby High School came in at number 377, with a 100 percent college bound rate and an average SAT score of 1597.

Hall High School, in West Hartford, came in at 416, with a 91.9 percent college bound rate and an average SAT score of 1638.

South Windsor High School came in at 479, with an average SAT score of 1628 and an 89.1 college-bound percentage.

Newsweek ranked Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia as the top high school in the country.  

Photo Credit: Newsworks

WATCH: Victim Strikes Back Against Armed Robber in Double Shooting


Investigators released dramatic video showing an South Florida automotive shop owner turning the tables on an armed robber during a scuffle and frightening shootout that ended with both men wounded by gunfire.

Andrew Hepburn was sitting in the office of CAD Auto Parts in Oakland Park just before 1 p.m. Monday when the two gunmen entered, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

One of the gunmen, later identified as 36-year-old Conrad Bloomfield, ordered the 39-year-old Hepburn to the ground face-down and pistol whipped him, officials said.

Bloomfield tried to put Hepburn's hands behind him him but when Bloomfield became distracted by his accomplice, Hepburn grabbed at his legs and they began to fight, said Dani Moshella with BSO.

During the fight, Hepburn got Bloomfield's gun and shot him repeatedly. The second gunman then shot at Hepburn from outside the office, and one bullet went through a wall and hit Hepburn. Surveillance video released Tuesday shows the violent encounter. 

The accomplice ran away from the scene, and a witness who was there also ran away, officials said.

Hepburn and Bloomfield were both taken to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment for gunshot wounds. Hepburn was doing well, but Bloomfield was listed in critical condition.

Detectives are looking for the accomplice, who fled the scene in a dark grey late model BMW. Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Cherington Out As Red Sox General Manager


Ben Cherington, General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, is stepping down, the team said on Twitter Tuesday night.

Dave Dombrowski will be the president of baseball operations effective immediately and will report to Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chairman Tom Werner.

Cherington will assist Dombroski with the transition. 

Photo Credit: necn

New Haven Police Pursuit Leads to North Haven


New Haven police officers are in North Haven, pursuing a man they have a warrant for, according to police.

No additional information is available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Long Lines Continue at DMV Day After Software Rollout


A day after Department of Motor Vehicles branches in Connecticut reopened and debuted new software that had prompted a week-long closure, wait times have still been several hours for some services.

Enfield and Wethersfield locations were still crowded Wednesday. People waiting in line in Enfield reported issues with missing titles. One woman reported being at the DMV in Enfield for 14 hours. DMV officials said they're looking into the issue.

The average wait time at the Enfield DMV just after 1 p.m. was 48 minutes for license and ID cards renewals, four hours and 11 minutes for registrations and two hours and 56 minutes for express transactions. In Wethersfield just after 1 p.m., the average wait time for license and ID card renewals was an hour and 35 minutes, as well as two hours and 55 minutes for out-of-state transfers, an hour and 49 minutes for new non-driver's IDs, four hours for registrations, 46 minutes for express transactions and an hour and 54 minutes for a knowledge test.

That's in comparison to average wait times of five to seven hours on Tuesday.

All branches will remain open to serve customers who are standing in line at normal closing time Tuesday, according to Seymour.

Despite the delays, DMV officials said no serious issues arose during Tuesday's rollout. Long waits have been routine in other states where DMV offices upgraded computer systems.

"We knew that the lines would be long. It happened as occurred in other states. We ask the public for patience as everyone adjusts to the new system. It will improve services and wait times at DMV as it breaks in," DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala said in a statement Tuesday.

According to Seymour, about 1,000 DMV customers who visited branches Tuesday could have completed their transactions online and saved themselves the in-person wait.

Another way to avoid the lines at the DMV is to go to a AAA location near you. AAA offers many DMV services, such as license renewals, state identification renewals or license duplicates and IDs or learners permits.

"We were expecting a dramatic increase in customers who’d been urged by DMV to choose AAA as a more convenient alternative but some AAA office managers actually described the day as 'quiet,' AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter said.

New services are now available on the DMV website as a result of the upgrade, including the ability to check for property tax payment status, insurance and delinquent parking violations; track wait times online, reprint registration certificates, cancel registrations, order special plates and replace damaged plates.

The $25 million project to modernize the DMV's 50-year-old computer system was scheduled to be finished Tuesday, but was completed early and offices reopened Aug. 18. The modernization project, which began in 2009, involves 14 million vehicle and customer records and the rewriting of more than 40-million lines of computer code.

For more information about the DMV’s computer upgrade, see the fact sheet online.

Read our Troubleshooters story about the new software upgrades here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State to Install GPS Tracking on CTtransit Buses


 CTtransit buses will soon have GPS devices on them that provide real-time bus location information to riders, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

The State Bond Commission approved the $7 million allocation last month.

“This is all part of transforming our systems. It’s good for residents, it’s good for businesses, and it’s good for CTtransit. With real-time bus location information, it’s another step in our effort to take Connecticut into the future,” Malloy said. “We want the CTtransit experience to be easy and user-friendly, and the addition of this technology will make travel more convenient and reliable. This is a smart, strategic step in continuing the modernization of our infrastructure to move us towards a new era in economic growth that will support Connecticut families and businesses and create a best-in-class transportation system.”

GPS tracking was deployed on CTfastrak buses in central Connecticut and this technology will be on 500 CTtransit buses throughout the state.

The state Department of Transportation is encouraging riders to download apps to their smart phones, such as “Transit App,” that will utilize the GPS tracking information provided on the bus system.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Knocks Down Beach Drone, Faces Felony Charge


In the latest battle over when and where drones should be allowed to fly, a Carlsbad man is facing felony charges, accused of damaging a drone he felt was flying too close on a San Diego County beach.

"I feel wronged. I've been violated," Augustine Lehecka told NBC7.

Lehecka spent Sunday at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. At one point, he says he noticed a drone with a camera mounted to it flying over the crowd.

"I almost felt like I was being watched by a peeping Tom," he said.

Lehecka says he also worried about the safety of his group because there were small children involved.

He says when the drone flew near enough to them, he took off his shirt, and threw it. The shirt got caught in the quad-copter's blades and brought it to the ground.

"The drone fell to the ground and I considered it a closed case," said Lehecka, but it wasn't over.

Someone called San Diego County sheriff's deputies and Lehecka was arrested 10 minutes later. He spent the night in jail and is now facing felony vandalism charges.

The pilot of the drone, who spoke with NBC 7 on the condition the station not use his name, released part of the video from Sunday. The video is shot from high above the crowd and the pilot claims Lehecka called him a pervert.

"You can clearly see that I was not invading anybody's privacy. I was just flying around the park," said the pilot.

The pilot says he recorded the drone being hit by the shirt, but is not releasing that part of the video for now. He claims Lehecka attacked the drone as it was landing just a few feet off the sand.

The pilot also says he relies on the drone for his work.

"He did $750 in damage to my quad copter, and that's my livelihood," said the pilot. "I'm in a world of hurt right now. I really am."

Right now, there is no law in California against flying drones in public places like a beach.

This week, lawmakers in Sacramento discussed a proposal to ban drones near emergency situations like wildfires. This follows multiple incidents around the state where aircraft had to be grounded during firefighting efforts because drones were spotted in the airspace. If that law passes, it could mean fines of up to $1,000 and possible jail time for anyone who interferes with first responders.

That law would not affect public places where there is no emergency, leaving what happened over the weekend in the gray area of the discussion on how to regulate drones.

Lehecka is scheduled to be arraigned on felony vandalism charges later in August. He said he plans to bring the issue to trial if necessary.

"I believe this may be the defining moment about flights over people," he said.

The pilot, on the other hand, says this particular incident could be ended much easier.

"Just pay for it so I can get back to work," said the pilot. "That's all I want."

Photo Credit: AP

6-Year-Old Ejected from Car in Shelton Dies


A 6-year-old child has died after being thrown from a car during a crash on Route 8 in Shelton on Tuesday afternoon, according to state police.

Police said a 36-year-old Ansonia woman driving a Chevy Tahoe on Route 18 North by exit 12 in Shelton around 3:12 p.m. on Tuesday hit the back of a Ford F150 pickup that had slowed down because of traffic ahead.

The Tahoe flipped over, went down the center embankment and the 6-year-old was thrown from the vehicle, police said. The child died from injuries sustained during the crash.

The other people in the Tahoe were transported to Bridgeport Hospital. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the pickup was transported to Griffin Hospital. No information was released on the extent of his injuries.

The Tahoe, pickup and the Acura in front of the truck were towed from the scene.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Milford Bank Robber’s Note Said He Was Armed: Police


 A man who robbed a Milford bank on Tuesday night passed the teller a note that said he had a weapon and wanted money, police said.

The robbery happened at the People’s United Bank, at 1636 Boston Post Road in Milford, and staff members reported it around 4:15 p.m.

Police said he did not show a weapon and ran toward Woodruff Road after receiving the money.

No description of a motor vehicle used was released. The robber was described as a thin man, who was wearing an oversized gray T-shirt, cargo shorts, a blue baseball hat with sunglasses on the hat, dark sneakers and white socks.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Detective Michael Moreno at (203) 783-4729, email mmoreno@ci.milford.ct.us or visit the Milford Police Department web site. 

Photo Credit: Milford Police

Truck Hits Cars in East Windsor


A tractor-trailer hit four cars on Route 5 in East Windsor on Thursday morning and there are several injuries, but none are life-threatening, police said.

The crash happened near Phelps Road and the intersection was closed, but has since reopened.

During the closure, drivers were able to take Route 159 or Scantic Road.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police
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