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Home Burns in 1,700-Acre Summit Fire in Calif.


A wind-driven wildfire that threatened homes in Southern California's Riverside County forced evacuations and road closures Wednesday afternoon, destroying at least one home.

At least 425 firefighters, 46 engine companies, 16 fire crews, six helicopters and six air tankers were sent to control the 1,700-acre two-headed blaze near near Banning, Calif., which sent up thick towers of smoke.

The massive blaze, dubbed the "Summit Fire," was at 0 percent containment as of 4:30 p.m. The fire was still moving quickly on its "right flank," where it was headed toward Cherry Valley and Oak Glen, fire Chief John Hawkins of CAL Fire's Riverside Unit told NBC 4 Southern California.

At least one home burned on Mesa Street at Sunset Avenue (map).

About 500 people had been evacuated, Hawkins said, and had been moved to aid centers.

At least one firefighter suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze. Hawkins said the first responder suffered burns to the face.

Regional air quality regulators issued a smoke advisory for the area around Banning, meaning people should avoid unnecessary outdoor activities anywhere smoke can be seen or smelled.

Hawkins said more crews were being called to battle the blaze in the rolling foothills and canyons.

"We are bringing in everything we can to get a hold on this fire," he said, adding that the area had very difficult access.

Hawkins said there are two "heads" to the fire: one north of Banning that is heading west toward an area north of the neighboring city of Beaumont; and another in the rugged foothills headed in the direction of the apple-growing community of Oak Glen.

Winds began to slow down about 6 p.m.

"We're looking a lot better," Hawkins said at the time, adding that the blaze is still "nowhere near contained."

The Banning Police Department evacuated residents on Indian School Lane near Eighth Street. Roads were closed on Wilson Street between San Gorgonio Road and Highland Springs Avenue. Residents in the Highland Springs Mobile Home Park also have been evacuated.

Banning PD asked residents in the Bench area just north of Banning to remain in their homes because surrounding roads were blocked by fire.

Evacuated residents were ordered to go to the Banning Community Center at 789 N. San Gorgonia Avenue. Evacuation centers for animals were set up in nearby San Jacinto and Beaumont.

Crews from Riverside County Fire Department and CAL Fire worked with multiple agencies — including from as far away as Orange County — to control the wildfire that started near North San Gorgonio Avenue and Summit Drive in Banning (map).

The blaze was reported at 12:38 p.m. at 10 acres. By 6 p.m., it had grown to consume at least 1,700 acres.

"We had an abnormally early start (to the fire season)," Hawkins said. "This is very concerning."

Areas of Southern California on Wednesday were under a red flag warning, or increased wildfire danger, which indicates a dangerous combination of high winds, hot temperatures and low humidity.

NBC 4 Southern California's Tony Shin, Jacob Rascon and Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.

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Photo Credit: Jacob Rascon

Police investigate 3 Home Invasions in Hamden


Hamden police are investigating reports of three home invasions and one attempted home invasion in the southern part of town on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Two people entered three houses as residents were asleep and stole electronic equipment, computers and cell phones, according to police.

During one of the home invasions, a motor vehicle was stolen, police said.

The houses are on on Rosina Road, Welch Street, Rockwood Road and Victoria Court.

Investigators said the intruders got into most of the homes through unlocked doors and windows on the first floor. However, they broke into one house through a locked first-floor window.

Police said the home invasions and the attempted home invasion occurred between 11 p.m. on Monday and 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Hamden Police are keeping a close watch on the neighborhood for anything suspicious.

Meena Ananth is one of the victims. He and his wife were asleep Monday night when someone got in through an unlocked kitchen window and stole his cell phone and laptops. He didn't know it until he woke up the next day and says it was a complete violation of privacy.

"It's a good thing we didn't wake up. If we had gotten up who knows what they had in their hand. The could have harmed us," said Ananth.

Police are urging residents to lock their doors and windows. illuminate your premises and utilize an alarm system if applicable.

Do not leave valuables in plain view.

If you see suspicious activity, call Hamden Police at (203) 230-4000 or 230-4040 to report it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Police Vow to Find Hit and Run Driver


A 2-year-old child was critically injured in Bridgeport on Tuesday by a hit-and-run driver, according to police.

Erika Parmlee was holding the hand of her son, Corey when he was struck.

According to police, Parmlee had parked her vehicle in the 600 block of Capital Avenue around 9 p.m., with her two children inside.

She got Corey out of the vehicle and was standing outside her car, holding his hand on the street side in front of the driver's door when the crash happened, according to police. 

"My baby did nothing wrong," Erika Parmlee implored during a news conference Wednesday.  "Please help.  I just need someone to come forward for my baby."

The child who was still in the car unbuckled himself from the child restraint chair and jumped to the driver's seat.

When Parmlee tried opening the front driver's side door, Corey broke loose of his mother's grip and was hit by the vehicle that never stopped and continued east on Capital Avenue, police said. 

Corey suffered serious head trauma and was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent brain surgery.  He is listed in critical condition, police said.

Police don't have a description of the fleeing vehicle. 

"To the person who drove that car last night, we will find you," Police Chief Joseph Gaudett said.  "Turn yourself in now.  If you don't, we will find you."

Photo Credit: Family Photo

Trash Truck Rolls Over in Norwalk


A tractor-trailer carting a full load of trash rolled over at the Interstate 95 northbound entrance ramp from East Avenue in Norwalk around 4:45 a.m. on Thursday morning.

The load City Carting was carrying spilled on the southern side of the ramps merging lane, according to the Norwalk Fire Department.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was transported to Norwalk Hospital.

Contractors from the carting company were called to load the trash into other trucks and to pump out the 200 gallons of diesel from the fuel tanks.

A representative from the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection was called to supervise the off-loading of fuel before the truck could be up righted.

Parkway Auto and Nat’s towing was using wreckers to pull the truck from the East Avenue to assist the cleanup contractors before working to return the truck into an upright position.

State and Norwalk police were controlling traffic and investigating the cause of the crash.


Photo Credit: Norwalk Fire Department

Calif. Hiker Rescued After Massive, $160K Search Charged with Drug Possession


One of two teen hikers who got lost in the wilderness in Southern California, prompting a massive five-day search effort that cost more than $160,000, has been charged with the possession of methamphetamine found during the hike.

Authorities found an illegal substance in the car in which Nicolas Cendoya, 19, had traveled to the trailhead in the Trabuco Canyon area of Cleveland National Forest, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Gail Krause said Wednesday.

A felony charge of possession of a controlled substance was filed against Cendoya on Tuesday, according to Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's office.

The substance was 497 milligrams of methamphetamine, which was found in his car April 2, when sheriff's deputies were looking for information on him, Emami said.

That amount of methamphetamine is likely to be a supply rather that a dosage that could be consumed at one time, according to NBC4 Los Angeles' Dr. Bruce Hensel.

Authorities had said that they could only attempt to recover the $160,000 cost for the massive search for Cendoya and his companion, 18-year-old Kyndall Jack, if a criminal charge was filed against the hikers.

The cost of the multiagency search was released Tuesday and included the services of six agencies.

Cendoya, who spoke to NBC4 on Tuesday and said he would help pay back the cost of the search if needed, was not being held, Emami said. Cendoya said he didn't want his parents to be burdened with the search costs, which he called "insane."

Asked on Tuesday if he was on drugs during the hike, Cendoya said "absolutely not."

Cendoya and Jack, both of Costa Mesa, had headed onto the popular trails of Holy Jim Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest on Easter only to get separated at night. They had entered the wilderness with a single water bottle and no warm clothing.

Lost for several days, the two were found separately by rescuers in dense brush on April 3 and April 4.

A reserve deputy was seriously injured during Kyndall's rescue after he fell 60 feet and hit his head.

Both Jack and Kyndall were found dehydrated, disoriented and covered in cuts and bruises -- but they suffered no major injuries. Each said they had hallucinated through much of their time in the steep canyon area.

"I was in lucid dreams and hallucinations for days. I could see the helicopters flying over me every day. When the firefighters came up to me, I couldn't even believe it," Cendoya said after his ordeal. "We weren't meant to die."

He is set to be arraigned in Santa Ana Superior Court on May 22, Emami said.

NBC4's Ryan Bourgard and Vikki Vargas contributed to this article.

Judge Allows Ill. Teen Terror Suspect to Await Trial at Home


A judge on Thursday granted a request for release from a suburban Chicago teenager accused of trying to join an al-Qaida-affiliated group.

Abdella Tounisi will await trial outside jail under home confinement and electronic monitoring, the judge said. Tounisi's father must be his third-party custodian.

After announcing his surprise ruling, the otherwise soft-spoken U.S. magistrate judge leaned forward on his bench Thursday and raised his voice, telling the teenager he should take the allegations seriously.

"This is no game, Mr. Tounisi. OK?" Judge Daniel Martin told him.

The slight, short Tounisi stood before the judge in orange jail garb and slippers, flanked by U.S. marshals. Some 30 friends and relatives sat on spectator benches; several cried after the judge ruled.

After ruling, the judge stayed his own order for 24 hours to give prosecutors a chance to appeal, which they announced later Friday they would do. A hearing in the matter was set for Friday.

Prosecutor William Ridgway had argued that Tounisi posed a threat to the community, saying he sought to hook up with the al-Qaida-linked group in Syria even after his friend Daoud's arrest.

"One would think that would be a wake-up call," Ridgway said about the arrest. "But it didn't deter him."

Tounisi persisted even as family and friends warned him not to get involved with extremists, Ridgway said. He quoted a friend as saying about Tounisi in a wiretap, "He will not die a martyr. He will die like road kill."

The prosecutor said Tounisi also is a flight risk, noting how he had managed to secure a U.S. passport on short notice and to scrape together money for a plane ticket.

"He's very resourceful," Ridgway told the judge.

But Tounisi's attorney, Molly Armour, said Tounisi came from a caring home and had no prior criminal record. She also said a terrorist-related charge shouldn't automatically deny release.

"The word 'terrorism' is a word that tends to taint everything," she told the court.

She also gestured to the back of the courtroom, where dozens of members of his community sat, assuring the judge they would also watch over Tounisi and see that he stays out of trouble.

"They are committed to being part of his life," she said. "That offers a backstop to the family."

Judge Martin said repeatedly that his decision to grant Tounisi release was a close call. He told Tounisi's father, Ahmad Tounisi, that a landline must be installed in the Aurora family home before his son could be released — to comply with home confinement and electronic monitoring.

The judge told Tounisi's father that he will be obliged to contact authorities immediately if his son takes "one step out of the house." The elder Tounisi said he understood and would comply.

Federal authorities said Tounisi is a threat and should remain behind bars, but the 18-year-old's family has said they believe he is innocent.

Tounisi faces one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a felony. He is accused of planning to join an al-Qaida group in Syria and was living with his family in Aurora when he was arrested last month at O'Hare International Airport.

According to the FBI, Tounisi was discovered through a sham website claiming to connect users with extremist groups. Prosecutors also allege he is friends with Adel Daoud, charged with trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside a Chicago bar last year.

Speaking with Tounisi's father after the arrest, he said he believes his son was looking for an escape and wouldn't hurt anyone.

Tounisi has yet to enter a plea. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The Associated Press' Michael Tarm contributed to this report.

Teens Charged With Setting Ledyard Brush Fire


Two teens have been charged with reckless burning in connection with a brush fire in Ledyard on Sunday.

The fire started in a wooded area off Captain Amos Stanton Road on Sunday and was reported at 1:12 p.m.

The Ledyard Fire Department, Gales Ferry Fire Department and brush fire units from the Old Mystic, Center Groton, North Stonington and Mohegan Fire Company responded and damage was limited to the wooded area.

Police said evidence recovered at the scene indicated that the fire was not accidental and the Office of the Ledyard Fire Marshal and Ledyard police investigated.

One of the teens charged is 15 and one is 14. The case was referred to the Superior Court for juvenile matters. http://www.ledyardct.org/index.aspx?nid=106


Photo Credit: Associated Press

Dozens of High School Students Suspended Over Twerking Video


Dozens of San Diego area high school students have been suspended and banned from prom or commencement because of a video showing them twerking, according to one parent.

The video, created recently by students in a media class at Scripps Ranch High School, shows teenaged girls performing the dance move while doing handstands to a YG song.

Thirty-two students danced and one student used school property to videotape the group outside class during 6th period.

Later, the student used school editing equipment to add music and post the clip to YouTube.

As a result, all 33 students were suspended as of Tuesday through the end of the week, the parent told NBC 7 San Diego.

For those unfamiliar with the trend, twerking involves popping of the hips in a suggestive dance move. Singer Miley Cyrus recently posted a twerking video and talked about the move with Ryan Seacrest. 

San Diego Unified School District spokesperson Jack Brandais refused to comment on the suspension saying the district will not discuss student discipline.

Brandais forwarded the specific section of the district website regarding the suspension appeal process.

One Scripps Ranch HS student posted an update via Twitter, “Suspended, banned from prom, and prevented from walking at graduation all because of an awesome twerk video. I don't understand.”

NBC 7 San Diego spoke to one of the teenagers disciplined because of the video and he told us that may not be the case.

“The seniors involved are on senior review and have to ask for their prom and graduation back in front of a panel,” the teenager told NBC 7.

On Tuesday, another student posted on Twitter, "To show support for everybody getting suspended, we should all twerk at once at lunch #freethetwerkteam."

The Scripps Ranch HS student handbook specifically outlines its sexual harassment policy prohibiting “verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting.”

Students must sign a page in the handbook that states: “At Scripps Ranch High school there is zero tolerance for students who cause major disruptions at school or school activities. Any student who causes a major disruption will receive a five (5) day suspension, a possible new school placement and may be arrested.”

Seniors may be denied attendance at prom or walking at graduation if they have committed a “zero tolerance infraction” the guide states.

The parent who spoke with NBC 7 San Diego felt the school was not uniform in handing out punishment.

The mother said the school should have used this as a teaching moment to remind students that when a person is videotaped, he or she never knows where it’s going to go.

Person Pulled from Burning Car in New Britain Has Died


A person who was pulled from a burning car at Chesley Park on Wildwood Avenue in New Britain this morning has died, according to New Britain police.

Police have released little information, but said a person was inside a car that was on fire and needed to be rescued.

A witness said the victim was a man. Video sent to NBC Connecticut shows people jumping over a chainlink fence to get to the victim.

The man's name has not been released.


Photo Credit: Submitted

Robbers Hit Clerk in Bristol Robbery


Police are looking for two men who hit the clerk at 7 Star convenience store in Bristol with a bat and fled with a money bag containing $9,500 in cash.

Bristol Police responded to a burglar alarm around 11 p.m. and the employee told police he was closing the store at 104 Stafford Ave., walked out of the business and was confronted by two men. 

One man put a gun to the employee’s head and the other man hit the victim’s arm and leg with a bat, knocking him to the ground, police said.

The men took the victim’s money bag, which contained $9,500 cash, according to police.

The victim was taken to Bristol Hospital to be treated for minor injuries and police searched the area, using a police dog, but did not find the robbers.

The robbers were dressed completely in black and black masks covered their entire faces, police said. 

One man was thin. The other was large with a muscular build. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call Bristol Police Department at 860-584-3011.


Body Found in Burnt Bridgeport Home


An investigation into a house fire in Bridgeport has turned into an investigation into the suspicious death after a man's body was found under some debris.

Investigators said there were signs of trauma to the body, which has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Police said they are trying to determine if there is any possible link between a shooting on Tuesday night and the fire at 1488-1490 Park Ave., at the corner of Worth Street.

The fire was reported shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, according to police.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., police responded to a report of a shooting victim on Linen Avenue, where they found Robson Santos, 38, suffering a gunshot wound to the area of his mouth. He was in serious but stable condition, according to police.

Later, police located evidence on Worth Street, near the fire scene, that suggested the shooting might have occurred there and that remains under investigation.

After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters turned over the scene to the fire marshal's office, which sought and secured an administrative warrant to enter the building to conduct an investigation into the cause.

During the course of the investigation, a man’s body was found under some debris. The detective bureau was alerted and detectives responded and were working in collaboration with fire investigators.

A neighbor near the scene of the fire said he saw the flames and began banging on the doors to alert the people living inside to get out.

The victim’s name has not been released and the investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

"Dancing With the Stars" Pro Selling Stratford Home


Tony Dovolani, one of the stars of Dancing With the Stars, is moving from his Stratford home, and it is for sale.

Dovolani, who lives in the house with his wife, Trendelina, and their three young children, is selling the property because he is searching for a larger home that can better accommodate his family’s needs, according to a news release from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

“We have owned this home for eight years and will always treasure the time we spent living in Stratford. This is the only home that our three children have known, and while we are sad to move, we are also very excited about finding a new home where we can build many more happy memories as a family,” Dovolani said in a statement.

Dovolani, a champion ballroom dancer and instructor, is a co-owner of Dance With Me dance studios in Stamford, Ridgefield, Long Island and SoHo. 

He and fellow Dancing With the Stars pros Maks Chmerkovksiy and Val Chmerkovskiy own Dance With Me. He is also the spokesperson for Capezio dancewear. 

The 2,020-square-foot raised ranch Dovolani is selling is on a cul de sac. It has three bedrooms, 2 ½ bathrooms, a two-car garage and a finished lower level with a family room and eat-in kitchen. It is listed for $399,000.  You can see the full listing here.

Anton Tomaj, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker’s Stamford office at 925 Long Ridge Road, has the listing. You can reach him at (203) 322-2300 or anton.tomaj@coldwellbankermoves.com.

Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker and Getty Images

New Haven Murder Suspect Held on $1.75 Million


The suspect in the shooting death of a man on Chapel Street in New Haven on Monday is being held on $1.75 million.

Shaune Meyers was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon after a pursuit and a SWAT situation that closed down streets around Norton Street.

The victim, Qusaan McKoy, of Hamden, was shot outside the Haven Market around 9 p.m. on Monday.

There were outbursts in court from McKoy's family members who screamed at Meyers during his arraignment Thursday and said "you're an abomination to your family."

People in court were crying and extra marshals had to guard Meyers.

Prosecutors said McKoy was walking with Meyers and another person when McKoy had to run for his life. 

Meyers is accused of shooting McKoy, then going over to McKoy as he lie on the ground and shooting him again before going through his pockets.

McKoy's mother, Zella Jackson, came to Connecticut from Georgia after learning of her son's death.

"I loved my son," Jackson said.  "The last time I talked to him was Sunday.  I never expected that I would have to come here for this.  I miss my son.  It's my baby.  I carried him for nine months, and it hurts."

Officials said Meyers admitted to being under the influence of PCP on Wednesday and complained of breathing problems.  He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for evaluation.


Photo Credit: Beth Holly/New Haven Police

Former State Trooper to Lead East Hampton Police Department


East Hampton is beginning a new chapter with a new police chief.

Sean Cox, a 21-year-veteran, of the state police, has been tapped as its new police chief.

Chief Cox was sworn-in on Thursday morning after beating out dozens of other applicants for the town’s top law enforcement job.

“I have a very varied background to include -- major crime, internal affairs … being a resident trooper supervisor to two different towns … has prepared me to take over the ranks,” Cox said.

A new police chief is welcome news to people in East Hampton, including Lisa Baer.

“We needed a new one. It was time,” she said.

Chief Cox replaces Matthew Reimondo, whose tenure was rocked by controversy.

He was ousted by the town’s former manager in 2010, took legal action and then won his job back by popular vote.

Reimondo has been serving as interim police chief, a decision that didn’t sit well with many around town.

Town Manager Michael Maniscalco said he had many things to consider before deciding on a new chief.

“There were a lot of evenings spent sitting, thinking about this,” he said.

Now that it’s official, Cox wants to focus on transparency and working with the force.

“[I’ll be] meeting with the officers, getting to know them, getting them to know me,” he said.

Maniscalco said Chief Cox signals a fresh start for East Hampton.

“It’s definitely a new beginning. I think there’s a lot of things that we need to work on,” he said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Southington Girl in National Doodle 4 Google Contest


A Southington third grader is representing Connecticut in the national Doodle 4 Google competition.

One student from each state was chosen and Hope Scalise, of Derynoski Elementary School, was among the 50 state winners selected from more than 130,000 students who submitted entries this year.

Scalise will be honored in the school’s auditorium at 2 p.m. today at 240 Main St. Southington, Connecticut.

Students, grades K through 12, were invited to redesign the Google logo inspired by the theme “My Best Day Ever.”

Hope's doodle is "Drifting in the Sky."

"My best day ever would be if I could go skydiving. It would be such fun! Feeling a rush of excitement while you jump through the sky and having a great view down below. I would see cool planes and strange birds that fly so high and even kites!," she wrote.

The 50 state winners’ doodles will be displayed in a special exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The public can vote for their favorite doodle and help select the five national finalists among the 50 state winners.

Voting is open from May 1 to May 10 on the Doodle 4 Google site.

The five national finalists and the national winner will be announced on May 22 at an awards ceremony in Google’s New York City office.

All 50 state winners will be invited to the ceremony.

The national winner’s doodle will be displayed on Google’s homepage on May 23 and she or he receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his/her school.




Photo Credit: Doodle 4 Google

Warren Buffett's New Twitter Account Is "in the House"


Warren Buffett — known for investing in traditional media — has finally joined the ranks of new media.

The billionaire unveiled his new Twitter handle on Thursday during a speech. Buffett posted his first tweet at 12:20 p.m. ET and had amassed over 75,000 followers by Thursday afternoon.

The business mogul has shied away from investing in technology companies because he says he can't predict the future of those businesses the way he can with insurance or manufacturing companies.

Buffett says even though he may not understand Twitter well, he knows it can't be all bad because one of the company's co-founders is from his home state of Nebraska.

$20 Brings Ex Back 10 Years Later


Ten years after their break up, a Waterbury woman showed up on her ex-boyfriend’s porch in New Haven, demanding $20, according to New Haven police.

When police responded and charged her with first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of peace, they served her with four outstanding warrants.

Police responded to Hillside Avenue at 8:41 a.m. after a complaint was made and a 53-year-old man told officers he has been trying in vain to get his ex-girlfriend to leave him alone.

The two broke up in 2003, according to police, and Carol Ann Mansfield, 44, showed up on her ex-boyfriend’s front porch this morning, yelling and demanding $20, according to police.

He told her over and over again to leave, which just made her angry, according to police.

Then, he gave her the money to avoid further disruption for his neighbors and to preserve his failing health, according to a news release.

Mansfield was served with four outstanding warrants with charges including; third-degree criminal mischief, three counts of first-degree criminal trespassing, eight counts of second-degree failing to appear in court, use of a motor vehicle without permission, three counts of probation violation and second-degree threatening.


Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Pause Before You Pucker: Lipstick May Contain Toxins


Watch out, ladies — before you pucker up, make sure your lips aren't covered in poison.

A new analysis at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses used by young Asian women commonly found in drugstores and department stores.

The results were troubling: They detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns. Their findings were published online Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Earlier studies also have found metals in cosmetics.

But the Cal researchers estimated risk by analyzing the concentration of the metals detected and consumers’ potential daily intake of the metals, and then comparing this intake  with existing health guidelines, according to UC Berkeley's News Center.

"Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter," said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."

Lipstick and lip gloss are of special concern because when they are not being blotted on tissue or left as kiss marks, they are ingested or absorbed, bit by bit, by the individual wearing them, the study authors said.

For most women, there is no reason to toss the lip gloss in the trash, the study authors said.

But they hoped their study – and discovery of metals in the makeup – would prompt more oversight by health regulators. There are currently no U.S. standards for metal content in cosmetics. The authors note that the European Union considers cadmium, chromium and lead to be unacceptable ingredients – at any level – in cosmetic products.

"I believe that the FDA should pay attention to this," said study lead author Sa Liu, a UC Berkeley researcher in environmental health sciences. "Our study was small, using lip products that had been identified by young Asian women in Oakland. But the lipsticks and lip glosses in our study are common brands available in stores everywhere. Based upon our findings, a larger, more thorough survey of lip products – and cosmetics in general – is warranted."

Using acceptable daily intakes derived from this study, average use of some lipsticks and lip glosses would result in excessive exposure to chromium, a carcinogen linked to stomach tumors. High use of these makeup products could result in potential overexposure to aluminum, cadmium and manganese as well. Over time, exposure to high concentrations of manganese has been linked to toxicity in the nervous system.

Average use was defined as a daily ingestion of 24 milligrams of lipstick a day. Those who slather on the lip color and reapply it repeatedly could fall into the high use category of 87 milligrams ingested per day.

Lead was detected in 24 products, but at a concentration that was generally lower than the acceptable daily intake level. However, the lead levels still raised concerns for young children, who sometimes play with makeup, since no level of lead exposure is considered safe for them, the researchers said.

Ann Rojas-Cheatham, director of research and training at the Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice in Oakland, co-authored the study. The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Education Research Center helped support this research.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Job Seekers Crowd Job Fair


Tiffany Reyes recently lost her job working in community outreach for the city government in Hartford and she knows finding a new job will be a challenge.

"I don't think my chances are that high," she said. "I went from a good salary.  The salaries are pretty low right now, to be honest with you."

Her research on what she might be able to do led her to Rentschler Field, where the Urban League organized its thirteenth annual Job Fair.  More than four hundred people showed up.

"We try to help people stay empowered because there are jobs out here.  There is hope for people," said Yvonne Matthews, the organizer.

"It is getting harder.  More and more jobseekers are not coming up with jobs," she said.

She agreed with longtime unemployed people at the job fair that it can be difficult for job seekers to stay positive.

"I've been looking for a little over two years," said Janel Simmons.   She said what keeps her going is the need to support her three children, "and I pray," she said.

Pete Lopez was showing his resume to employers.  It revealed he last worked in 2009.  "This is my second job fair in a row.  They had one yesterday at the Marriott in Farmington.  It's tough out there."

Gov't to Appeal Ill. Teen Terror Suspect's Release


The government said Thursday it will fight a federal judge’s decision to release a suburban Chicago teenager, accused of attempting to link up with what he thought was an al-Qaida-backed terror group in Syria.

Abdella Tounisi of Aurora, Ill. is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terror organization.

Tounisi has been on the government radar since last summer, when he and a friend, Adel Daoud, allegedly discussed bombing a west suburban restaurant. An FBI affidavit says Tounisi "recommended certain attack techniques, offered ideas about targeting, and researched locations online to analyze their feasibility," but eventually backed out of the planned attack, in part, because he believed a third party with whom Daoud was associating was an undercover law enforcement agent.

After Daoud was arrested in September, Tounisi was visited by FBI agents, who said he admitted assisting Daoud in "target selection." But they said in spite of that visit he continued doing "extensive online research" on violent jihad, centering on Syria and an Al Qaeda-backed terror group there.

Unbeknownst to Tounisi, the website he visited was actually an undercover front maintained by the FBI. When he sent emails asking for assistance in joining the Syrian group, officials said, his messages were being read by the federal agents.

On Thursday in court, prosecutor Bill Ridgeway begged Judge Daniel Martin to keep Tounisi behind bars.

"This is someone who has expressed an interest in dying as a martyr," Ridgeway warned, noting that when he was interviewed by the FBI, Tounisi admitted his "interest in engaging in jihad overseas."

Prosecutors revealed they had been listening in to the family’s phone conversations for months, and had heard a Tounisi relative pleading with the boy, "You will not die a martyr…you will die like road kill!"

Defense attorney Molly Armour insisted Tounisi posed no danger.

"He’s charged with attempting to leave the community, not harm it," she said. "The word terrorist is a word that tends to taint everything it touches."

The judge said he felt a need to protect the community but would allow Tounisi to be transferred to home confinement. Still, he delivered an angry lecture to the suspect.

"This is no game, Mr. Tounisi," Martin scolded. "You’ve got an entire law enforcement wing concerned that you could do some terrible things."

The judge indicated he felt comfortable putting Tounisi’s father in charge of his confinement, despite the fact that prosecutors had submitted evidence that the family had been overheard saying they were powerless to stop the young man’s jihadi ways.

Tounisi stayed in custody Thursday as his parents scrambled to have a land-line phone installed to transmit data from the home monitoring device. Prosecutors said they would go before a different judge Friday morning to keep him behind bars.

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