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Worker Critically Injured in 40-Foot Fall in Yale Smokestack


A person is in critical condition after falling 40 feet into a smokestack on Saturday morning in New Haven.

A worker fell into a smokestack at the Central Power Plant on the Yale campus at 120 Tower Parkway and crews pulled the person out of the confined space, New Haven fire officials said.

The worker is in extremely critical condition at Yale-New Haven hospital.

Campus building didn't lose power during the incident, Karen N. Peart, deputy press secretary of Yale's public affairs and communications office, said.

"An active investigation continues into an incident that occurred this morning at the power plant," Peart said.

The circumstances leading up to the worker's fall are unclear.

Hamden firefighters also responded.

Drunk Man Kicks Cops, Police Subdue Him With Taser: PD


An intoxicated man assaulted two police officers in East Windsor late Friday night, prompting an officer to use his Taser on him, police said.

Joshua Leighton, 21, of Broad Brook, was arrested after kicking two police officers and injuring at least one, police said.

Homeowners called police because they wanted a drunken man to leave their property at 9A Maple Street in East Windsor and police responded at about 10 p.m., police said.

Officers decided the man was so drunk he needed to go to the hospital, police said. When medics got to the scene, the man grew "irate" and got into a fighting stance facing off against officers, police said. The man wouldn't cooperate with police and officers handcuffed him after a struggle, police said. That's when police say Leighton kicked one of the officers in the nose and forehead.

The police officer sustained minor injuries.

Leighton fought with police again while they were processing his arrest., kicking a sergeant, police said. That prompted an officer to use his Taser to subdue him in the struggle.

Police charged Leighton with assault on a public safety official, interfering with an officer, second-degree breach of peace, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers are holding Leighton in custody on a $10,000 surety bond.

Crews Put Out Danbury Fire


Crews responded to a fire in Danbury.

The blaze broke out on Grand Street.

The Danbury Fire Department has extinguished the flames, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted just before 1:30 p.m.

Injuries were minor, Boughton said.

Photo Credit: @MikeSmithCT

U.S. Will Require Consumers to Register Drones


The federal government will announce a new plan requiring anyone buying a drone to register the device with the U.S. Department of Transportation, NBC news has learned.

The government has been concerned about the rise in close calls between unmanned drones and aircraft flying into and out of some of the nation's biggest airports. The plan is expected to be announced Monday.

Under the plan, the government would work with the drone industry to set up a structure for registering the drones, and the regulations could be in place by Christmas. 

Photo Credit: AP

School Street in East Hartford Closed Due to Downed Wires

Motorcyclist Injured in Stamford Crash


A motorcyclist was injured in a crash in Stamford on Saturday morning.

The motorcyclist crashed on High Ridge Road near Marva Lane, fire officials said. When firefighters arrived, the motorcyclist was lying on the roadway several feet away from the motorcycle, which was found on its side.

Firefighters and Stamford EMS tended to the motorcyclist at the scene.

"Fortunately, the operator of the motorcycle avoided significant injury due to the use of a helmet and protective leather clothing," Stamford firefighters said in a press release.

Stamford EMS drove the motorcyclist to the hospital to be medically evaluated and treated.

Turn of River Fire Department crews also responded to assist Stamford firefighters.

Stamford police are investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Car Hits School Bus Head-On in New London


A car struck a school bus head-on in New London late Saturday morning and the driver was cited with traffic violations.

Richard Nieves, 20, of New London, was driving northbound on Jefferson Avenue when he went around a curve too fast, traversed the double yellow line and hit a school bus coming from the opposite direction, police said. The crash happened at about 10:26 a.m.

Both the car and bus sustained extensive damage, so Jefferson Avenue was closed between Chester and Broad streets for about an hour. The road has since reopened.

No children were on the school bus at the time of the crash.

No one was reported injured.

Police charged Nieves with reckless driving and operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Robbery at East Haven Subway Restaurant


East Haven police are looking for the public's help to identify a man who robbed a Subway restaurant Saturday, police said.

A man came into the Subway at the 199 Main Street in the Trolley Square Shopping Center in East Haven and implied he had a weapon but never displayed one, police said.

The man got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

Police are looking for a heavy-set man in his mid to late 30s with dark hair and facial hair. The suspect was last seen wearing a gray U-Mass T-shirt, dark shorts or pants with white sneakers and had a tattoo under his left eye.

East Haven police ask anyone with information to call 203-468-3822.

Photo Credit: East Haven Police Department

House Fire in New Britain


Several New Britain residents are displaced after fire ripped through a multi-family home on Winthrop Street Saturday evening.

New Britain public safety says crews were sent to investigate reports of a column of smoke that could be seen by drivers traveling down Route 9 and others in the area. Firefighters say they discovered a three-family home in the 200-block of Winthrop Street with fire showing in the rear.

Everybody made it out of the home and no injuries were reported.

The fire appears to have started on the rear porch and caused heavy damage to all three floors, according to firefighters.

Fire officials are investigating the cause.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Shot in Leg in Hartford


A woman in her 40s was shot in Hartford and injured on Saturday morning, police said.

The shooting happened near 94-96 Park Street at about 1:45 a.m.

The woman was shot in the right leg.

An ambulance transported her to the hospital be be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Major Crimes Division detectives are investigating the shooting.

Police have not released the victim's identity and no suspects have been identified at this time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Attacked Over Cracker Fight


Police say a man threw a hot sauce bottle and knocked his victim unconscious in a fight over graham crackers in Florida.

Riveria Beach police say Shawn Deandre Thomas was eating graham crackers this week at a church that provides meals for the homeless. Authorities said Thomas became upset when someone asked for his crackers so he picked up a bottle of hot sauce and allegedly threw it at the man's head, knocking him unconscious.

According to a police report, Thomas also punched another man in the throat when he tried to intervene.

Thomas is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery.

The Palm Beach Post reports the 40-year-old and a 57-year-old victims were taken to a hospital but their conditions were not known.

 It was not immediately known if Thomas had an attorney.

Photo Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

2 Extricated From Car After Vehicle Veers, Flips Into Ditch: PD


Emergency crews extricated two people from a car that veered off the road and flipped over in a ditch in Plainfield late Friday night and LifeStar responded to airlift a passenger to the hospital, police said.

Police received a 911 call at 10:32 p.m. on Friday reporting a one-car crash on Cemetery Road in Plainfield.

Helen Meskiewicz, 43, of Griswold, was driving westbound in her grey 2013 Hyundai Elantra when she lost control and the car went off the road and rolled over, ultimately landing in a ditch, police said.

LifeStar airlifted her passenger,Gerard Morin, 49, of Canterbury, to Providence Hospital in Rhode Island after crews rescued him and Meskiewicz from the car, police said.

An ambulance took Meskiewicz to Backus Hospital in Norwich.

Both parties are listed in stable condition.

Plainfield police and firefighters, Moosup firefighters, an American Legion Ambulance and American Paramedic responded.

The crash remains under investigation and the cause is unknown at this time.

Statue of Junipero Serra Beheaded


A statue of Saint Junipero Serra was decapitated Thursday, California officials said. 

The statue was placed at Lower Presidio Park in Monterey in 1891.

This is the third statue of Serra that has been defaced since Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. to canonize the controversial Saint. Another statue of Serra was vandalized in September at the church where he is buried in Northern California, according to church officials.

Serra's canonization was not without controversy — some Native Americans say California's missions, which Serra helped found, cut their ancestors off from their traditional languages and cultures and enslaved those who converted to Christianity.

New Renters Find 8-Foot Boa


A family in San Diego’s East County were terrified when they encountered the last pest you’d expect to find in a new rental house: an 8-foot boa constrictor.

The landlord at the La Mesa home said when the previous tenants moved out, they mentioned something about a lost snake but “didn’t seem concerned,” according to the Heartland Fire Rescue Department.

So as the new renters moved in to the 7000 block of Colony Drive, the landlord did not know to warn them about the serpent that lay in wait.

But on the afternoon of Oct. 10, the reptile decided to make its grand appearance. The new renter came out of her bedroom to find the huge snake slithering in her kitchen.

Taking up her children, she barricaded them and herself into a bedroom and called 911.

Heartland firefighters were the first to arrive, and before long, they had the situation well in hand.

Picking up the snake with gloved hands, the crew posed for a picture as they waited for El Cajon Animal Control officers to take it.

Animal Control, in turn, handed the snake over to Pet Kingdom in San Diego because of its great size.

According to Pet Kingdom’s reptile manager, the snake is a female Colombian red tail boa, about 8 years old.

The business currently has the animal quarantined to make sure it is healthy, and once it is checked out, it will be put up for sale, Heartland Fire officials say.

Photo Credit: Heartland Fire-Rescue Dept.

Cops Use Taser on Man Who Attacked Police in Park: PD


Bristol police used a Taser twice on a man who assaulted and injured two police officers responding to a suspicious vehicle complaint at Page Park in Bristol late Friday night.

Thomas D. Birdsell, 45, of Bristol, is facing multiple charges including larceny, cocaine possession and assaulting an officer in the incident after attacking and injuring Bristol Officers Brian Hileman and Daniel Perkins, police said.

Police responded to Page Park near Dewitt Drive in Bristol at about 10:06 p.m. on Friday after receiving a complaint about a suspicious vehicle.

Police found the car in a wooded parking lot off that road. a responding officer approached the car and a lone man in the car, Birdsell, grew belligerent and violent, punching the officer in the head and face multiple times, police said.

A second police officer pursued the suspect and deployed a Taser, which proved ineffective, police said. A Taser was deployed again and was working, but Birdsell removed the probe and hit a second officer in the head and face several times, police said.

Police activated an "officer in trouble signal" and police subdued Birdsell, police said.

They took him into custody. Upon further investigation, police discovered the vehicle was stolen and that there were narcotics and drug paraphernalia inside.

Police charged Birdsell with third-degree larceny, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, interfering with an officer, two counts of assaulting an officer and violation of a city ordinance for being in the park after posted hours, police said.

Officers Hileman and Perkins were transported to Bristol Hospital to be treated for head and facial injuries. They have since been released from the hospital.

Birdsell was also taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries he got while resisting his arrest, police said. After he was released from the hospital, he was returned back to police custody.

Officers held Birdsell in custody on a $250,000 surety bond.

He is scheduled to appear in Bristol Superior Court on Monday, Oct. 19.

Parents Fall Asleep, Toddler Found


Police have located the parents of a toddler who was found wandering barefoot in a downtown Philadelphia park. 

SEPTA Police Chief Tom Nestel III confirmed on Saturday that people found the little boy, believed to be about 2 years old, in LOVE Park overnight and flagged down some nearby SEPTA officers.

The officers took the little boy, whom was reportedly scared and upset when he was found, to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to be checked out.

Philadelphia Police were notified, Nestel said, and the department's Special Victims Unit is now handling the investigation.

A Philadelphia Police spokeswoman said the little boy was found about 11:50 p.m. Friday and was wearing a green long-sleeve shirt, black running pants and a diaper, but no shoes or socks at the time.

Shortly after the child was found, his parents, a 27-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, called police to report that he was missing, investigators said. The parents said they had been kicked out of a home where they were staying Friday and spent the night in LOVE Park, according to officials. The boy wandered off after the parents fell asleep and they were still sleeping when the child was found, police said. 

The 2-year-old boy as well as his 4-year-old sister were both placed in DHS custody. No charges have been filed but the investigation is ongoing. 

Photo Credit: Bill Newbold / Twitter @billfish215
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Turkey Would Shoot Down Planes Violating Its Air Space: PM


A day after Turkey shot down an unidentified drone near the country's Syrian border said it would not hesitate to shoot down planes violating its air space, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday. 

Syrian, Russian and U.S. coalition aircrafts are flying combat missions near Turkey's borders as part of the Syrian civil war.

"We downed a drone yesterday. If it was a plane we'd do the same. Our rules of engagement are known. Whoever violates our borders, we will give them the necessary answer," Davutoglu told a rally of his ruling AK Party.

Officials worry that Turkey, with the second largest army in NATO, could be drawn into military confrontation. 

Photo Credit: AP

2 Dead as Typhoon Koppu Batters Philippines



Slow-moving Typhoon Koppu weakened after blowing ashore with fierce winds in the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, displacing 16,000 villagers and knocking out power in entire provinces, officials said.


Army troops and police were deployed to rescue residents trapped in flooded villages in the hard-hit provinces of Aurora, where the typhoon made landfall early Sunday, and Nueva Ecija, a nearby rice-growing province where floodwaters swamped rice farmlands at harvest time.

After slamming into Aurora's Casiguran town after midnight Saturday, the typhoon weakened and slowed down, hemmed in by the Sierra Madre mountain range and a high pressure area in the country's north and another typhoon far out in the Pacific in the east, government forecaster Gladys Saludes said.

Howling winds knocked down trees and electric posts, leaving nine entire provinces without power, while floods and small landslides made 25 roads and bridges impassable. Authorities suspended dozens of flights and sea voyages due to the stormy weather, and many cities canceled classes on Monday.

Late Sunday night, the typhoon was blowing over the northern mountainous province of Ifugao and was continuing to weaken. It had sustained winds of 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 160 kph (100 mph) and was blowing northward at just 5 kph (3 mph), according to the government's weather agency. It's expected to weaken to a tropical storm by late Monday and exit the main northern island of Luzon on Wednesday.

While weather conditions had begun to improve in some towns, and villagers had started to clear roads of fallen trees and debris, Koppu still packed a ferocity that could set off landslides and flash floods, officials said.

"We're asking our countrymen not to become complacent," said Alexander Pama, who heads the government's disaster-response agency, citing how rainwater could cascade down mountainsides after Koppu passed and flood villages.

That happened in low-lying villages in six towns in Nueva Ecija, near Aurora, where some residents were trapped on rooftops by floodwaters, said Nigel Lontoc of the Office of Civil Defense.

A teenager was pinned to death on Sunday by a fallen tree, which also injured four people and damaged three houses in suburban Quezon city in the Manila metropolis. In Subic town, northwest of Manila, a concrete wall collapsed and killed a 62-year-old woman and injured her husband, Lontoc said.

Three fishermen who had gone missing at sea were rescued off northern Bataan province, and three other missing people were found in an evacuation camp in Aurora's Baler town, he said.

President Benigno Aquino III and disaster-response agencies had warned that Koppu's rain and winds may potentially bring more damage with its slow speed. But Saludes, the government forecaster, said that there was less heavy rain than expected initially in some areas, including in Manila, but that fierce winds lashed many regions.

Koppu, Japanese for "cup," is the 12th storm to hit the Philippines this year. An average of 20 storms and typhoons each year batter the archipelago, one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, barreled through the central Philippines, leveling entire towns and leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

Photo Credit: AP

CA Cleanup Efforts Underway After Flash Floods


A major cleanup is underway in the Antelope Valley in Southern California after recent flash floods caused a heavy mudflow that inundated cars and homes, and prompted road closures in many areas.

Crews are contending with mud up to four feet deep in some areas, and are working on clearing 29 miles of county roads, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

California Highway Patrol said it could be several days before all roads were reopened.

The devastation is a result of Thursday's storm, which flooded the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas. County fire crews helped some motorists escape their swamped vehicles and get to safety. Flood and mud also damaged homes in Palmdale and Lancaster.

Rainfall records for Oct. 15 were set Thursday in Palmdale, Sandberg and Fox Field in Lancaster, according to the National Weather Service.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he will ask his colleagues on Tuesday to declare a state of emergency for QuartzHill, Leona Valley, Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and surrounding areas.

Most roads were reopened Friday, including the 5 Freeway at the Grapevine, where crews cleared mud, rocks and other debris from the roadway.

Route 58, the Mojave-Barstow Highway, remains closed, after nearly 200 cars were trapped under mud and debris. Officials have not yet given word on when it will reopen.

There are still hard road closures, meaning only emergency and utility vehicles are able to pass, on Elizabeth Lake Road between City Ranch Road and Godde Hill, and between Lookabout and Lake Hughes roads, as well as Munz Ranch Road between Lancaster and Elizabeth Lake roads, Deputy Jodi Wolfe of the sheriff's Palmdale station said.

Residents with identification may use Godde Hill from Avenue N to Elizabeth Lake Road. Once on Elizabeth Lake Road, the CHP will escort vehicles, Wolfe said.

LA County Fire checked door-to-door and found no casualties or injuries in the area.

Vehicles owners were being asked Saturday to retrieve their abandoned cars from the area or risk being towed by LASD and CHP.

For further information on vehicle storage, contact the Palmdale Sheriff Station 661-272-2400 or CHP Station 323-259-2010.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Thousands of Migrants Reach Slovenia Through New Route


Thousands of migrants surged into tiny Slovenia on Saturday as an alternative route opened in Europe for them after Hungary sealed its border for their free flow, adding another hurdle in their frantic flight from wars and poverty toward what they hope is a better life in Western Europe, NBC News reported.

The closure of Hungary's border with Croatia early Saturday caused redirection of thousands of people — including women and small children soaked in cold rain — further west toward Croatia's border with Slovenia. 

The small European Union-member state has limited capacity to process large numbers wishing to head toward richer European Union countries such as Germany, Austria or Sweden.

This could leave thousands stranded in Croatia and further east and south in Serbia and Macedonia — the countries on the so-called Balkan migrant corridor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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