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Hamden Crews Working to Rescue Hiker at Sleeping Giant


Hamden crews are working to rescue a hiker from Sleeping Giant State Park, officials said.

The fire department said that a hiker had been injured and crews were conducting a "lengthy" operation to extract the person.

There was no other information immediately available. 

Kenya Burns $150M Worth of Ivory


Kenya’s president torched more than a hundred tons of ivory from about 8,000 animals on Saturday, sending a message that trade in animal parts must be stopped, according to NBC News.

"Kenya is making a statement that for us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants," President Uhuru Kenyatta told dignitaries before setting light to the first of almost a dozen pyres. 

The ivory piles, which included elephant tusks and rhino horns, would have been worth a fortune to smugglers.

The country, which staged its first such burning in 1989, is seeking a total world ban on ivory sales as poaching poses an increased risk to endangered species. The call for the ban has been backed by Ali Bongo, president of Gabon, which is home to the forest elephant. 

Photo Credit: AP

1 Killed in Boston Duck Boat Crash


One rider of a motorized scooter was killed and another was injured in a crash with a duck boat in Boston Saturday, police confirm.

Authorities confirm a woman in her early 20s was operating the scooter, with a male passenger riding behind her.

Both victims were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where the woman was pronounced dead. The passenger is expected to survive.

"Heart goes out to the family," said Morgan Ralph of Boston. "I heard she was young, so, you know, it's even tougher."

Including the driver, there were 30 people on board the duck boat at the time. They have been taken to the Boston Police Department for questioning.

Police say the incident appears to be a tragic accident. According to Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, both vehicles were apparently on Charles Street, turning right onto Beacon Street when the crash took place.

"We'll conduct an investigation to see why the contact took place here," said Evans.

The duck boat, named Fenway Fanny, is operated by Boston Duck Tours.

"We are still trying to learn what happened," spokesperson Cindy Brown said. "It is very early in the investigation. We are cooperating fully with Boston Police and everyone involved."

This is not the first deadly crash involving a duck boat. Back in September, a duck boat crash killed five people in Seattle. In May of 2015, a Texas woman was struck and killed by a duck boat in Philadelphia

Photo Credit: necn

7 Tons of Pot Seized From Truck


Authorities discovered more than seven tons of marijuana stashed inside a truck passing through a cargo checkpoint in south San Diego Thursday – a huge haul valued at $7.1 million.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said officers were working at the Otay Mesa cargo facility when, at around 9:40 a.m., a man driving a Freightliner pulling a trailer entered the port of entry for routine inspection.

The Freightliner was alleged carrying a shipment of furniture. However, when a CBP officer referred the driver to another area for a more in-depth inspection, much more was discovered inside the trailer.

Officers ran the truck through the checkpoint’s imaging system, which revealed anomalies with the shipment. Officers opened the trailer and began sifting through the cargo. At that point, they discovered many boxes scattered throughout the trailer.

When officers opened the boxes, they discovered large, wrapped packages that tested positive for marijuana.

Package after package, CBP officers removed a total of 587 packages of pot from the trailer. Combined, the marijuana weighed 14,219 pounds.

The driver — a 47-year-old Mexican citizen — was turned over to agents with Homeland Security Investigations for further processing. The drugs, tractor and trailer were seized by officers.

Otay Mesa cargo port director Rosa Hernandez said this large-scale seizure demonstrates the commitment of her officers to “keeping our community safe from dangerous contraband.”

The Otay Mesa cargo facility is located less than 23 miles south of downtown San Diego.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Cruz Defends Position on 'Bathroom Bills'


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is standing his ground in his belief that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice opens the door for people "who are predators," dismissing criticism from reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner.

"The real danger is not people who are transgendered. It's people who are predators,” Cruz said in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd. "People who are predators…use that law as an excuse to go target our kids. And that is a real danger," he added.

Following a recent comment by Donald Trump in which he said Jenner could use any bathroom she wanted at Trump Tower, the former Olympian used a women's bathroom at a Trump property and posted a video to Facebook with the caption: "By the way, Ted, nobody got molested."

Cruz also criticized Trump, Pres. Barack Obama and former Sec. Hillary Clinton for coming out so-called "bathroom bills" like the one passed in North Carolina.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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Ariz. Officials Still Pursuing Merritt in Freeway Shootings


Arizona officials said they are still gathering evidence against Leslie Merritt, Jr., who was arrested in connection with 11 shootings that took place over two weeks last summer, NBC News reported. 

Prosecutors said they intend to proceed in the case against Merritt, who had been charged in four of the shootings on or near Interstate 10 in the Phoenix area that left drivers on edge. The shootings took place in late August and early September, but authorities say at least one was a “road rage” incident and others may have been copycats. No one was seriously hurt. 

"I believe that we have enough evidence to develop probable cause to believe that he is the correct suspect," Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead told reporters Friday. "Our job was to develop probable cause, the county's job is now to build a case beyond a reasonable doubt." 

Merritt’s lawyers say he is “100% innocent” and that police made a rush to judgment. 

Prosecutors and police this week have faced questions about the investigation and arrest since a judge first reduced Merritt's bail to $0 and ordered him released — and after prosecutors moved to dismiss all charges without prejudice late last week.

Photo Credit: AP

Obama Roasts GOP Candidates at WH Correspondents' Dinner


President Barack Obama pulled out the punches during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday, taking jabs at the candidates vying for the Republican nomination. 

"It is an honor to be here at my last, and perhaps the last White House Correspondents' Dinner," he said, telling the audience how great they looked before getting right down to business.

Obama told the crowd at the 102nd and final dinner that his approval ratings have been rising, even in his final year in office. 

“What has changed?” he asked. “No one can figure it out.” 

Obama paused, allowing a moment to pass before a split-screen of Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump popped up on screen. 

Obama didn't stop there. He called out top Republicans, who have touted Paul Ryan as a possible nominee, if one can’t be chosen before the GOP convention in July. 

"Steak or fish?” he told the audience, referring to the choice on the evening’s menu. “A whole bunch of you wrote Paul Ryan. You may not like steak or fish, but that’s your choice.“ 

Ryan has said he will not seek the nomination. 

Obama wasted no time cutting into the three GOP candidates, saying “some candidates aren’t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke” over a photo of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

“And then there’s Ted Cruz,” he said, calling out the Texas senator for a mistake he made this week in Indiana when he referred to a basketball hoop as a “ring.”

"What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks? Football hats? But sure, I’m the foreign one,” Obama said, before moving on to an absent Trump. 

"Is this dinner too tacky for 'The Donald'?"

Trump’s absence “hurt” Obama, who said he “had so much fun last time.” Obama has singled out the real estate mogul in previous years, making fun of Trump's hair and the businessman's quest to see Obama's birth certificate. 

“Is he at home eating a Trump steak?” Obama asked. “What’s he doing?”

The president went on, making jabs at Trump's lack of foreign policy and experience, and his real estate prowess. 

"There's one area where Donald's experience could be valuable. And that's closing Guantanamo, because Trump knows a thing or two about closing waterfront properties into the ground."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump Leads Cruz in Crucial Indiana Primary


Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.

Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the GOP nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July.

According to the poll, 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the state.

Meanwhile, in the Hoosier State's Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by just four points, 50 percent to 46 percent.

Photo Credit: AP

Teen Missing in Farmington River Found Safely


A boy who went missing in the Farmington River in Simsbury was found safely on Saturday.

Police spent hours searching for a boy who went missing late Saturday morning. The person was found just before 2 p.m.

Simsbury Police said a 14-year-old boy ran from police on Saturday during an initial investigation and went into the Farmington River near Tunxis Road and Route 187. 

The boy going into the river prompted an immediate search from police and the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Department. 

Contact was made with the boy by cellphone a short while after he fled, police said. 

The boy was safely located and returned to his family.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Body Found on Wellington Street in Hartford

Crews Respond to Incident at Burr Pond in Torrington


Litchfield county dispatch confirmed that police, firefighters and an ambulance responded to an incident on Burr Pond in Torringinton.

Officials said someone was experiencing "medical issues" but it was not clear what those issues may have been.

There were no further details available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Arrests Ordered as Baghdad Protesters Stage Sit-In


Iraq's prime minister ordered authorities to arrest and prosecute protesters who attacked security forces, lawmakers and damaged state property after breaking into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone Saturday, NBC News reported.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's statement came a day after hundreds of anti-government followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr tore down blast walls and poured into the parliament building, pressuring the government to introduce reforms.

The demonstrators eventually left the parliament building Saturday night and were holding a sit-in at the Saddam-era Grand Festivities Square.

The Iraqi capital remained under a state of emergency on Sunday. Roads to and from Baghdad had reopened, however, after security forces secured the breach.

Photo Credit: AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images
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Obama Out: President Takes Last Shots at DC


President Barack Obama performed his brand of sharp-tongued comedy at the White House Correspondents' Dinner for the last time — wrapping up with "Obama out" and dropping the mic while the crowd cheered.

Obama's performance Saturday night proved he hasn't lost a step.

"If this material works well, I'm going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year," Obama quipped. "Earn me some serious Tubmans."

Obama drew plenty of laughs with his barbed remarks to a ballroom filled with journalists, politicians, and movie and television stars. It was his eighth appearance at the event and his last as president and he kidded about the pains of being a lame duck.

"Last week Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe," Obama cracked. "That was a slap in the face."

The president waxed nostalgic at times. "Eight years ago I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific."

And he acknowledged that the years had taken their toll. "I'm gray, grizzled ... counting down the days to my death panel."

On the other hand, he pointed out that his approval ratings are up. "The last time I was this high," he said, "I was trying to decide on my major." When he said he couldn't explain the rise in his popularity, two photographs of scowling presidential candidates appeared on ballroom screens: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Obama took a few more swipes at the presidential race, noting that "next year at this time someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be."

After calling presidential candidate Bernie Sanders the bright new face of the Democratic Party, Obama contrasted the slogan "Feel the Bern" with one he said was rival Hillary Clinton's: "Trudge Up the Hill." 

Republicans took most of Obama's humorous broadsides. "Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish," he told the diners, "and instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan." 

Obama said of the billionaire businessman and real estate mogul leading the GOP race: "He has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world — Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan."

He added: "And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable, and that's closing Guantanamo — because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground."

Turning serious, the president thanked the White House press corps and praised a free press.

Obama took a few hits, too. Preceding his remarks was a tongue-in-cheek video tribute to his seven-plus years in office that contained highlights of his verbal gaffes — his reference to "57 states" and misspelling 'rspect" among them — as well as light-hearted moments.

Comedian Larry Wilmore, the evening's professional entertainment, began by saying, "It's not easy to follow the president." Then he proved his point, offering a series of jokes about the president, different media organizations and various presidential candidates that often were racially tinged and drew a mixture of laughter and groans.

"Welcome to Negro night," Wilmore said, and added that Fox News had reported that "two thugs" disrupted an elegant dinner, also mixing in critiques of CNN's viewership and MSNBC's firing of black anchors.

Wilmore said the president is showing signs that his time in office has been hard on him. "You came in here looking like Denzel, now you're going out looking like Grady from 'Sanford and Son.'"

As usual the Washington Hilton ballroom was a celebrity-spotters dream. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other government officials taking a seat. Also on hand were Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Trump, a regular in recent years, was absent this time, but a son and daughter-in-law, Donald Jr. and Vanessa Trump, were spotted on the red carpet.

Among the film and television performers at the event were Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jared Leto, "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston, "Independence Day" stars Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, actress Rachel McAdams, and "Night Manager" miniseries star Tom Hiddleston

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Hundreds Gather to Remember Madeline Guarraia


More than one-thousand people turned out at the East Lyme High School Sports Complex on Saturday to remember a little girl, her life, and her courage.

The family of Madeline Guarraia family organized this as a way to honor the nine-year-old and thank the community for its support through difficult times.

“Reminds me how loved she was and a mother wants nothing else than that,” says Amie Guarraia, Madeline’s mother.

Madeline bravely fought cancer for five-years.

Sadly in the end there was no cure and she passed away earlier this month.

“I love Madeline. I knew her. She was a friend of mine. And she was such a strong fighter,” says Nina Pezzello of Waterford.

But along the way there was comfort in family, friends, and strangers.

“Madeline has inspired me so much,” says Mary Kate Mundell of East Lyme

Signs of support popped up everywhere, which some people brought to the football field. Madeline had even served as an honorary police officer.

While everyone could not attend the funeral, the family decided to celebrate her life, making sure Madeline was not remembered for how she died but rather how she lived.

“Nine years, we’re crushed. We have trouble going on without her but knowing she fit so much into nine years. You realize you’re celebrating the life of a full life lived rather than a nine-year-old girl. She was just so much more,” says Guarraia.

The family says the letters of encouragement for Madeline had been overwhelming.

Saturday was a chance for the first time to meet some of the strangers who had reached out to support the little girl.

11-Year-Old Connecticut Girl Missing Since Friday Located


An 11-year-old Meriden girl missing since Friday has been located and reunited with her family.

Jasmin Fagundo was last seen when she left for school on Friday morning, according to police.

A Silver Alert was issued for Jasmin late Saturday night.

Officers were not told about the missing girl until speaking to the girl's mother Saturday around 10 p.m.

The girl's step-father says Thursday night Jasmine asked her parents if she could go over to a friend's house for a sleepover and they said no.

When she didn't come home from school Friday, they suspected she'd gone over to a friend's house anyway.

They thought that friend's family would take her to the Daffodil Festival and bring her home afterwards.

But, when she still didn't return last night, they grew worried and called police.

Her family says they don't know which friend's house she could be at and don't have contact information for her friends' parents.

A lesson police say other families can learn from.

"Obviously at 11-years-old they're old enough to leave the school on their own and make arrangements with friends to go some where," said Meriden Sergeant Darrin McKay."So, you absolutely want to know who your children are hanging out with.  You want to know the names and addresses and hopefully the other parents so that in a case like that you can get in touch with them. A phone number or an address so you can least go over and check."

Photo Credit: Meriden Police

Man Fired Shot Into Bathroom When Person Took Too Long: Police


Vernon police have arrested a man accused of firing a gun into a bathroom because he thought someone was taking too long using the facilities.

Around 3 a.m. on Sunday, police were called to the Portico 1 Villa Apartments, 142 Vernon Ave., in the area of apartment #80 for a report of a highly intoxicated man who shot a gun inside an apartment.

Police said they located Shawn Cummins, 22, of apartment #80, and he was highly intoxicated.

Officers learned through their investigation that Cummins had gone to his neighbor's apartment to hang out around 2 a.m.

While they were hanging out, Cummins became upset when someone wouldn't get out of the bathroom, then took out a 9mm handgun he had concealed in his waistband and fired one round into the closed bathroom door, just missing the person inside, police said.

Cummins then left the apartment and fired a second shot into the outside wall of the apartment complex.

Cummins was arrested and charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

Cummins was charged with reckless endangerment, threatening and disorderly conduct.

Following his arrest, police searched Cummins' apartment and seized a .45 caliber handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun. He did have a Connecticut pistol permit, which was also seized.

He is being held on a $20,000 cash bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday at Rockville Superior Court.

It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Silver Alert Issued for Missing South Windsor Man


South Windsor police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing 53-year-old man.

 John McLean was reported missing Friday, April 29 by two friends. Police say McLean may have been in the area of the Manchester, Vernon and South Windsor town lines that evening. He has not been seen since. He is believed to be on foot and friends are concerned for his well-being.

 McLean is described as 5-foot-6, approximately 130 pounds with brown hair and no teeth. He was last seen wearing two jackets, one with a red hood. Anyone with information is asked to contact the South Windsor Police department at 860 644 2551

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

March for Babies Raises $400K for March of Dimes


Thousands of people came out to Rentschler Field in East Hartford this morning for the March of Dimes March for Babies.

The annual event is held in locations across the country and raises funds for research to fight premature birth and defects. The East Hartford event raised $400,000.

 “Our mission is to give every baby a healthy start we want every baby born full term and healthy and to prevent birth defects, pre mature birth defects and infant mortality,” explained Leigh-Anne Lefurge, Director of Communications for the March of Dimes CT.

 For many families, the March for Babies is a chance to pay it forward to an organization that has helped them along the way. The Walder family is an example.

 “We’re running today to give back. We have four healthy premies, NICU graduates, and they’re running because they can and we want to help other babies have the same outcome we had,” said Cynthia Walder.

 The event is designed for both parents and children to participate. The morning kicked off with a Run for Babies 5K, which includes a children’s Superhero Sprint. Afterward, walkers led by March of Dimes Ambassadors hit the course for the March for Babies.

 “We’ve been doing this for 5 years, it means so much to us, but we were like we’re really going to make this year extra special,” said Susan Vassiliou, a March of Dimes Ambassador.

 NBC Connecticut participated with a team of over 60 staff members, who ran, walked and volunteered as partners in a caring community.

 Across the nation March for Babies raises close to $100 million each year. For more information visit the March of Dimes website here

Driver's Breath Alcohol Level 4 Times Legal Limit: Police


Willimantic police arrested a woman accused of driving with a breath alcohol content over four times the legal limit Sunday.

Police say they responded to Spring Street around 5:10 p.m. for reports of a driver crashing into two parks cars then fleeing. A short distance from the scene on Prospect Street they stopped 39-year-old Jacqueline Steinberg, of Willimantic.

 Steinburg, who was not injured, was arrested after failing roadside standardized field sobriety tests. Police say her BAC registered at .332 percent. The legal BAC limit in Connecticut is .08 percent.

 Steinburg is charged with driving under the influence, evading responsibility, and failure to drive right. Her bond was set at $1,500.

 “…A BAC this high is fairly uncommon and is one of the top 5 highest I have seen here in the past 19 years. It is irresponsible for anyone to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired, but this border lines on egregious behavior with a BAC this high,” said Corporal Stanley Parizo, Jr. of Willimantic police.

Zika Birth Defects May Be 'Tip of the Iceberg': Experts


The explosion of cases of birth defects caused by Zika virus may be the "tip of the iceberg," experts said Sunday.

Many cases have probably been missed because babies looked normal when they were born, NBC News reported. But hidden birth defects are almost certain to turn up as the babies grow.

"The microcephaly and other birth defects we have been seeing could be the tip of the iceberg," Dr. Sonja Rasmussen of the CDC said at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore. Brazil has confirmed 2,844 cases of Zika in pregnant women.

But there is some good news coming out of the early observations of the yearlong epidemic in Brazil: Children are rarely infected with Zika.

Photo Credit: AP, file
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