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'Ice Missile' Hits Car, Driver Hurt


A 73-year-old Vermont woman is recovering from severe facial injuries suffered when a chunk of flying ice that witnesses said broke off the roof of a tractor-trailer smashed through her SUV's windshield.

Judith Donaghy, of North Hero, was driving Saturday on Route 2 in South Hero when the "ice missile" struck her car, according to Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County.

"This person could've been killed as a result of it," Allen observed, describing the smashed windshield which was struck by the so-called ice missile directly in front of the steering wheel.

Other drivers said a sheet of thick ice broke off the roof of a tractor trailer and hit Donaghy's hood and windshield, according to Allen. No one other cars were struck. The truck driver kept driving, perhaps unaware of what happened, Allen said.

Donaghy was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. Allen said he expects her to be released Tuesday.

Mitchell Richardson of Keeler Bay Service & Sales towed away the SUV from the scene.

"There was a lot of force," Richardson said, describing the impact from the ice to the hood and windshield of Donaghy's car. "I can't imagine what her experience was. I just can't."

Allen said he and his deputies are working to gather additional witness accounts and surveillance footage from businesses along Route 2. They hope of identifying the trucking company and give Donaghy an opportunity to receive an insurance settlement.

Allen said he found an image of an interstate trucking company that may have been involved, but would not release more information on the still-unfolding investigation.

There is no Vermont "ice missle" law that could lead to the application of penalties or criminal charges in this case, Allen said. He noted that state requirements around windshield visibility demand those be cleared, but there is no such law mandating ice be cleared from vehicles' roofs.

"I think we ought to do something about it," said State Rep. Kurt Wright, a Republican from Burlington.

Two years ago, Wright proposed "ice missile" legislation like Connecticut's, hoping to give Vermont law enforcement the ability to issue fines in egregious cases.

Wright recalled Monday in an interview with necn that the bill did not have traction in 2014. A prime argument against it, Wright acknowledged, was that there is no easy way to clean the tops of big tractor-trailers.

"We ought to work with the trucking industry to find a solution to this," Wright said Monday. "There's going to be a tragedy that occurs some time, and we're going to wish we had been stronger on it."

For now, Allen is urging drivers to take extra time to knock snow and ice off vehicles after storms, highlighting Donaghy's case as an example of why it's important.

"You know the snow's coming," Allen said of forecasts in advance of Vermont storms. "Get up a little bit earlier and clean off your vehicles, pick-ups and trailers you're going to be hauling. This is very serious."

Photo Credit: necn

Dow Drops 250 Points as Oil Prices Fall


Dropping oil prices continued to batter Wall Street Tuesday amid mixed reaction to some key earnings reports, CNBC reported. 

The Dow Jones industrial average slid more than 200 points in early trading. 

Shares of Exxon Mobil fell 2 percent in morning trade after the firm reported a 58 percent drop in profit, hurt by low oil prices. The world's largest publicly traded oil company also said it would cut spending this year by one-quarter, Reuters reported.

Energy fell more than 2.5 percent in morning trade to lead all S&P 500 sectors lower. 

Photo Credit: AP

Deadly Fall Down Elevator Shaft


An elevator repair worker was killed after he plunged seven stories in an elevator shaft at a high-rise building in New Jersey, authorities said.

The man was working on the roof of the 52-story Galaxy Towers on Boulevard E in Guttenberg when he fell down the shaft at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

He was found wedged between an elevator cab and the wall of the shaft seven stories below, according to the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration. He was performing routine maintenence at the time of the fall.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His body was removed by emergency responders, authorities said.

The man worked for Slade Industries. The company said it's still not clear how the man fell down the shaft.

"Slade Industries, Inc. is very saddened to hear of the accident at Galaxy Towers in Guttenberg, NJ this morning. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of our employee involved in the accident," the company said in a statement.

OSHA says it is investigating the fatality.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York

FBI Joins Probe Into Flint Water Lead Contamination


The FBI has joined a multi-agency investigation into whether any laws were broken in the Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis, NBC News reported. 

The lead contamination dates back to April 2014, when Flint stopped buying water from Detroit and began using water from the Flint River, which corroded underground pipes, leaching lead into the system and poisoning children. 

Residents of Flint were also exposed to chemical byproducts, bacteria and Legionnaires' disease — but were repeatedly told the water was safe until this fall.

Two employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have been suspended, and an administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency resigned because of the debacle. 

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division are also involved in the probe. 

Photo Credit: AP

Girl Sees Twin Sister Killed by Car


A seventh-grader was hit and killed by a car in front of her twin sister as the two walked to school Monday morning on Long Island, school officials said.

The Elmont Memorial Junior-Senior High School student had gotten off the bus and was making her way to class at about 7:30 a.m. when she was hit by a car, according to district officials. She was pronounced dead soon after.

Police said 12-year-old Gabrielle Johnson was walking to school and tried to cross the street with two other girls against the traffic signal. She was not in a crosswalk when she was struck, they added.

Gabrielle's twin witnessed the horrifying crash, according to the girls' older sister. 

"We're devastated, we're extremely devastated," the older sister, Paula Johnson, told NBC 4 New York. "We lost our little brother in 2002 from a drunk driver, and now Gabby's gone." 

Philip Toussaint told NBC 4 New York he was on his way to work when he saw the girls begin to cross the street. He said he looked down at his phone, then looked up to a brutal scene.

"I heard the impact of the accident — the car hitting the girl, he said. "Then I looked up and I actually saw the girl's body flying through the air."

The driver, 38, stayed at the scene after the impact and isn't expected to face charges.

"We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic passing of a 7th grade student," district Supt. Ralph Ferrie said.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York/Family Photo

Mom, Toddler Fatally Shot in Md.


A Maryland elementary school teacher has been identified as the victim of a double shooting that also claimed the life of her 2-year-old daughter, News4 has learned.

NeShante Davis and her daughter, Chloe Nichole Davis-Green, were found shot at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of a townhome community on Palmer Road in Fort Washington, Maryland. 

Davis, 26, was a second-grade teacher at Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Capitol Heights, according to the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association.

Police said Davis' body was found in the parking lot of the townhome community. Her daughter was found injured in a nearby car. The toddler was rushed to a hospital, where she died. 

"This is absolutely unacceptable in any civilized community that a child should be killed," said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. "We are absolutely enraged."

No further information has been released. 

Anyone who may have seen or heard something in the area about 7 a.m. is asked to call police at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington
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Iowa Entrance Polls: Who Backed Clinton, Sanders


Hillary Clinton did best in the Iowa caucuses with married women, moderates and Democrats at least 65 years of age, while Bernie Sanders outperformed among Democrats between the ages of 17 and 44, first-time caucus-goers and those who described themselves as very liberal, according to according to Iowa entrance polls.

Clinton dominated Sanders among Democrats who value experience and electability in November, NBC News also reported.

Sanders trounced Clinton among Democrats who placed the most value on a candidate who is honest and trustworthy and those who want a president to advance policies that are more liberal than Obama. 

Photo Credit: AP

Burglars Strike at Southington Restaurant


Police are investigating a break-in and burglary at a restaurant in Southington early Tuesday morning. 

Police responded to the Spartans II Restaurant, at 930 Meriden- Waterbury Turnpike, at 4:45 a.m. after a burglar alarm went off and officers found that a door on the south side of the building had been forced open.

Inside, police found that two cash registers in the bar area and a cash register in the take-out area had been pried open.

It’s not clear how much money the burglars stole and the culprits remain at large.

Investigators are working on getting video surveillance of the burglary and they ask anyone who witnessed it or has information on it to call Detective Mark Beal at 860-378-1645 or email mbeal@southingtonpolice.org.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Connecticut Groundhog Chuckles VIII Predicts Early Spring


Happy Groundhog Day! Besides one snowstorm that had varied impacts in Connecticut, it barely feels like winter has arrived. 

And it seems it might be over before it can really get underway, according to the prediction of Connecticut's own groundhog, Chuckles VIII. She didn't see her shadow, so she has predicted an early spring on an unseasonably warm Feb. 2. 

Chuckles made the prediction at the Lutz Museum in Manchester early Tuesday morning.

Chuckles has a good track record, predicting a long winter a couple years ago just days before a February blizzard arrived.

Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow either, also predicting an early spring.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Injured in Tolland Structural Collapse


A contractor has been transported to a trauma center after the roof of a garage collapsed in Tolland.

The collapse is at 308 Crystal Lake Road and the contractor has been rescued, according to officials.

The bank owns the house and the contractor who was making repairs to bring it up to code did not have a permit to work on the property, according to the fire chief. 

Officials did not have information on the contractor's condition, but said the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. 

A building official is investigating.

Photo Credit: @TollandAlert

ISIS Pushed Back, But Threatens Libya: Kerry


The anti-ISIS campaign is "making a difference" in Iraq and Syria but the terror group is now threatening Libya and could seize that nation's oil wealth, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

Kerry said the deployment of U.S. Special Forces inside Syria, training programs for anti-ISIS fighters and upgraded intelligence have all contributed to helping push ISIS back.

"We're not telling people we're there yet but we are seeing that our concerted effort is moving in the right direction," Kerry said.

Still, he warned there were signs that ISIS could regroup in other countries, "particularly Libya."

Photo Credit: AP

Microsoft Recalls Power Cords Over Risk of Shock, Fire


Microsoft is recalling more than 2 million power cords that can overheat and causes fires or electrical shock, according to the company.

The recall applies to about 2.25 million AC power cables sold in the U.S. and 190,000 sold in Canada, Microsoft said in a news release Tuesday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Microsoft has received 56 reports of overheated cords causing fires and five reports of electrical shock.

Affected cords were sold before March 15, 2015 with Microsoft Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3 devices. Others were sold separately with accessory power supply units, the CPSC said.

Consumers with affected cords should stop using them and call Microsoft for a free replacement.

More information is available online or by calling Microsoft at 855-327-7780 toll-free weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Consumers can also call the CPSC Consumer Information Hotline at 800-638-2772 between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission

CT Restaurants Possibly Affected by Massive Credit Card Breach


Secure credit card information might have been compromised at two Connecticut Morton's restaurants during a massive data breach at Landry's restaurants and Golden Nugget Casinos nationwide.

Landry's released the list of restaurants on Friday that were affected at different times during one or both of the following periods, according to the company: May 4, 2014 through March 15, 2015 and from May 5, 2015 through December 3, 2015.

It's not clear if the Morton's restaurants in Hartford and Stamford were definitely affected because the locations closed before the investigation began and systems from the location were not available to examine.

The investigation into the security breach began in December after receiving reports of suspicious activity on customers’ cards that had been used at their establishments, according to the announcement.

Findings showed that hackers were able to install a program on payment card processing devices at certain restaurants, food and beverage outlets, spas, entertainment destinations, and managed properties.

“The program was designed to search for data from the magnetic stripe of payment cards that had been swiped (cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code) as the data was being routed through affected systems,” the company spokesperson wrote.

Landry's says heightened security measures have since been implemented to prevent similar situations happening in the future. Card owners that used a payment card at one of their affected locations during the periods of the breach will be mailed a letter or sent an e-mail with more information.

“If you used a payment card at an affected location during its at-risk window, we recommend that you remain vigilant to the possibility of fraud by reviewing your payment card statements for any unauthorized activity,” the company asked. “You should immediately report any unauthorized charges to your card issuer because payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner.”

Landry’s and Golden Nugget asks any customers with further questions to call (877) 238-2151 (U.S. and Canada), Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm EST.

The two Connecticut restaurants that might be affected are below, with additional establishments nationwide available on their website:

  • Morton’s
    - Hartford, the date of the breach is listed as Dec. 31, 2014, but the location closed before the investigation began. 
    - Stamford, the date of the breach is listed as Aug. 24, 2014, but the location closed before the investigation began 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump Takes to Twitter to Complain of Media Coverage


Billionaire Donald Trump began complaining about the media’s treatment of his campaign Tuesday morning after his loss to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa, tweeting that it was covering his “long-shot great finish” unfairly.

He said he had finished strong despite experts who said he could not do well in the country's first presidential nominating contest.

Trump went uncharacteristically silent ahead of Monday's results with a 7:30 p.m. tweet -- that appears to have since been deleted -- encouraging supporters to caucus for him.

Trump returned to his nearly 6 million followers just about 11 a.m. ET with a fusillade of attacks. Besides going after the media, he tweeted that voters were not giving him credit for self-funding his campaign.

The often bombastic businessman typically starts his day with a battery of tweets: insults about his competitors or exhortations to followers to, in the words of his campaign, “Make America Great Again.”

After weeks of packed rallies and poll numbers that suggested he had passed Cruz, Trump finished second in the country’s first nominating contests in Iowa Monday night, a loss that raised questions about the depth of his support. The Texas senator got the support of 28 percent of caucus-goers to 24 percent for Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had a strong third-place finish with 23 percent.

After his defeat, Trump told supporters Monday night: “We're leaving tonight and tomorrow afternoon we'll be in New Hampshire and that will be something special. It's going to be a great week.... I think we're going to be proclaiming victory I hope."

In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Trump's rivals were ready with "loser" barbs.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at his campaign headquarters in Bedford that, "we can stop with the Donald Trump inevitability, because the guy who does nothing but win lost last night."

Trump, who has been leading in New Hampshire polls, is scheduled to speak at a rally in Milford at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: AP
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N. Korea Says It Plans Satellite Launch This Month


North Korea announced that it plans to launch an observational satellite this month, two United Nations agencies said Tuesday.

The international community has dismissed similar claims in the past as smokescreens for North Korean tests of ballistic-missile technology, which the country is banned from developing under U.N. regulations.

Pyongyang said the latest satellite in the "Kwangmyongsong" program was set to be fired into orbit between Feb. 8 and 25, according to the International Maritime Organization. 

But the International Telecommunication Union said the information provided by North Korea wasn't sufficient to register the launch in its Master International Frequency Register. 

In January, North Korea said it tested a hydrogen bomb, but this was treated with deep skepticism by the United States and others in the West.

Photo Credit: AP

Brother Arrested While Bailing Out Sibling


A man who was posting bond for his brother at the South Windsor police station was arrested when police realized that there was a warrant for his arrest.

Police made the first arrest when they stopped a vehicle on John Fitch Boulevard for a violation around noon on Monday.

Bashdar Raouf, 33, of Hartford, was charged with failure to appear in the second degree.

When Raouf’s brother, Raidar Raouf, 29, of Hartford, showed up at the police station to post bond, police learned that he was also wanted on a re-arrest warrant, so police charged him with failure to appear in the second degree.

Bashdar Raouf was released on a $250 cash bond and Raidar Raouf was released on $2,500 cash bond.

Both are due in Manchester Superior Court on Feb. 11.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

Exotic Dancer Attacks Man Who Took Her Home: Police


An exotic dancer is accused of attacking a 72-year-old Bridgeport man who offered her a place to stay.

The Bridgeport man told police he met the woman at a strip cub and she told him that she had no place to stay because her alcoholic mother threw her out, the Connecticut Post reports, so the man offered that she could stay at his place for a bit.

The woman, identified as Aleksandra Kamiska, 32, took the man up on the offer, but things quickly went sour when the man confronted her after realizing that his credit cards were missing, the Post reports. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Good-deed-gets-punished-6799304.php

Kamiska threatened to file a false rape report, dragged the man by his feet, punched him and stole his wallet and car, according to police.

Police found Kamiska at a nearby McDonald’s and charged her with third-degree assault on an elderly person, second-degree larceny and interfering with an emergency call.

It’s not clear if she has an attorney.

'Puppy Bowl' to Feature 12 Adoptable Connecticut Pups


Before you watch the Broncos and the Panthers duke it out in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, how about a round of "a-paws" for Connecticut puppies picked to play in a dogged football game for the doggone cute Puppy Bowl XII.

Twelve puppies available for adoption through the Connecticut Humane Society will be featured in the 12th annual Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

Addison, Blossom, Charlotte, Little Foot, Miller, Pete, Petrie, Ruby, Spike, Violet, Cera and Mo are also touring this week leading up to the Puppy Bowl to promote the event and cause on various media broadcasts and websites. They appeared on ESPN and SportsCenter last Thursday and the TODAY show on Monday. You can also see them on E!News.com at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 and Weekend Today from 7 to 9 a.m.

The humane society staff members said they "can't wait to join the fun again" after having such success participating last year, which generated a lot of "calls, emails and social media buzz around the country with people from as far away as Louisiana and Illinois calling the Connecticut Humane Society to adopt puppies.

The humane society expressed gratitude to Animal Planet for including them in the promotion and said "animal welfare groups around the country are very grateful for the emphasis put on pet adoptions through Puppy Bowl."

The "Puppy Bowl" airs on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CST on Sunday, Feb. 7 before the big game.

The "team lineup" will be available for adoption after their Feb. 7 Puppy Bowl appearance. You can visit www.cthumane.org/adopt for more information and to check on the puppies' statuses.

Peruse the Puppy Bowl pups up for adoption at the humane society's Newington and Westport locations this year and see if one of them catches your eye! 

Photo Credit: Connecticut Humane Society

Get Your Full Refund: Free Tax Prep in Hartford, Greater New Haven


Free tax preparation is available for hard-working individuals and families in Hartford as well as the Greater New Haven area.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp announced Volunteer Income Tax Assistance tax centers in New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, and Woodbridge and are now open to low-income families.

You can call 2-1-1 or visit freetaxhelpnewhaven.org to find the closest location and to find out if you qualify for the free services.

Volunteers will help individuals get help preparing and electronically filing federal and Connecticut state tax returns.

Greater New Haven locations:

  • Believe In Me Empowerment Corp., 423 Dixwell Ave., New Haven: Tuedays, Wednesday and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., by appointment only.  Call (203) 772-2771
  • Brookside Estates, 6 Solomon Crossings, New Haven: Mondays, 4 p.m. to 8 p..m; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment only. Call (203) 691-6599 ext. 102
  • Clemente Leadership Academy, 360 Columbus Ave., New Haven: Mondays, Wednesdays and  Thursdays: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
  • Columbus Family Academy, 255 Blatchley Ave., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 
  • Community Action Agency of New Haven, 419 Whalley Ave., New Haven, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., by appointment only. Call (203) 859-6635
  • Elm Haven Community Center, 230 Ashmun St., Wednesdays: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Emanuel Lutheran Church, 280 Humphrey St., Sundays: noon to 4 p.m. 
  • Evergreen AAA VITA, 1138 Whalley Ave., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
  • Gateway Community College (for students and alumni only), Mondays and Thursdays: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., SaturdaysL 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • New Haven Free Public Library – Downtown, 133 Elm St., New Haven, Mondays-Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 7:30 .m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • New Haven Public Library –Wilson Branch, 303 Washington Ave., Tuesdays: 5 p.m. to  - 7:30 p.m., Saturdays: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Spanish-American Merchants Association (SAMA)/JUNTA for Progressive Action, 258 Grand Ave., 2nd Floor, Monday 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent St., Fridays: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital (for employees only), Check with human resources for hours
  • L. M. Keefe Community Center (operated by Quinnipiac School of Business), 11 Pine Street, Hamden, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  •  Hagaman Memorial Library, 227 Main Street, East Haven, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., by appointment only. Call (203) 468-3890
  • Stop and Shop Community Room, 460 Elm Street, West Haven, Mondays, Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Woodbridge Senior Center, 4 Meetinghouse Lane in Woodbridge, Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m .
You can schedule an appointment at the YMCA at 135 Broad Street, Hartford, CT 06105 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m .and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon.

Call the United Way 2-1-1, a free, multilingual helpline open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, or YWCA at (860) 525-1163, ext. 129 to schedule an appointment or schedule online here

Individuals or families with a household income up to $62,000 may file their own taxes for free online here

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pedestrian Dead After Being Hit By Truck on I-95 in Darien

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