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I-291 Reopened in Windsor


Interstate 291 has reopend between Exits 4 and 3 in Windsor after a crash and fluid cleanup.

The crash involved a car and a box truck, according to police.

The road was closed as emergency crews clean the fluid spill.

At least one minor injury is reported.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

63 DUI Arrests Over Holiday


State police charged 63 people with driving under the influence during holiday weekend crackdowns and they issued thousands of tickets.

State police started the July 4 Holiday Operation at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and it ended on July 7.

They responded to 316 crashes, with 55 reported injuries.

They issued 2,487 speeding tickets, 533 tickets for seatbelt violations and cited 5,633 other moving violations.   

In 2012, state police responded to 323 crashes, made 45 DUI arrests and issued 1,059 speeding tickets.

Palm Beach Mom Arrested for Partying With Teenage Boys


When a neighbor called police after hearing commotion inside a Palm Beach Shores condo, officials said they found 39-year-old Kimberly Kiernan hosting a party for 26 teenagers - some as young as 14 years old.

Palm Beach Shores Police said they found bags of liquor and beer in the condo, along with marijuana residue.

Even worse, they found a 7-year-old boy locked in a separate room. Police said when they found him, the child said, "Mommy locked me in the bathroom."

They also said they found a 16-year-old passed out and choking.

Officials said Kiernan was drunk, unable to stand and urinating on herself.

"When the officers discovered there was underage drinking involved, all kids, it just got weird," Palm Beach Shore Police Chief Steven Kniffin said.

Her ex-husband said things had been weird there for a while, saying she liked to party with young, teenage boys, according to police.

Neighbors have complained about her loud parties in the past.

"It's pretty surprising," neighbor Chad Ferranti said. "You hate to see that."

Kiernan responded to the complaints by leaving a handwritten note in the elevator that read, "We respectfully complied with previous requests."

Kiernan was charged with cruelty towards a child, resisting officer arrest, giving false information to officers and contributing to minor delinquency. She was released from the Palm Beach County Jail Wednesday.

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Photo Credit: WPTV

"Horror Show" Hoarder Found Passed Out in Home


“They literally found a horror show inside.”

That’s how Pennsylvania SPCA humane law enforcement director George Bengal described what authorities found inside a stuffy, trash-filled Philadelphia home.

Firefighters responded to the 9100 block of Bickley Road near Welsh and Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia Sunday night to check on the well-being of an elderly man who has lived at the overgrown home for the past two decades who had called family members to let them know that he had fallen and couldn't get up.

When firefighters went inside they found the 70-year-old man unconscious in the hot home with an overwhelming smell.

The man was revived and taken to a local hospital.

After getting a search warrant, crews wearing full body hazmat suits including breathing apparatus entered the home.

“This place is a total, total mess just full of parasites, dead animals, live animals that are sick,” Bengal said. "If you can imagine flushing your toilet for five or six years and this is all where it goes, that's what the house looks like inside." 

According to the SPCA, there were five living cats, at least three dead cats, buckets of feces, rats and even live bats inside the house. There were also piles of trash, crumbling drywall and collapsing ceiling titles that made cleanup difficult on the crews and gave cats plenty of potential places to hide out.

Bengal said the flea infestation in the home is one of the worst he has ever seen.

The house was condemned by License and Inspections. The SPCA worked with L&I to ensure the safety of its officers before they resumed their search of the home Monday afternoon.

Neighbors say they rarely saw the owner but lately hadn't seen him at all.

"I know he's not well," said one woman. "All I know is I thought he only had one cat."

Bengal said the presence of bats is a clue that this level of hoarding has been going on for years. The SPCA plans on charging the homeowner with animal cruelty charges.

"Our goal here is not just to cite and arrest people for cruelty to animals," Bengal said. "Our goal here for situations like this is to get them mental health." 


Photo Credit: NBC10

HazMat Situation at Waterbury Park


Emergency crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to Fulton Park in Waterbury after a container of pool chemicals inside the park began to leak Monday morning, officials said.

The 15-gallon container held hydrochloric acid, which is used for the pool at the park.

In the high heat and humidity, gas built up inside the container, which was emitting a cloud of vapor, DEEP officials said.

Two park employees noticed the container and called police.

Police and DEEP officials were worried about the high concentration of the chemical and taped off a section of the park as they deal with the situation. Half the park is currently blocked off, according to DEEP.

DEEP officials said an environmental contractor will dispose of the drum.

No evacuations, road closures or injuries have been reported.

A HazMat crew remains at the scene.

The park is located at 500 Cooke Street.

Five Children Ejected, Injured in Dallas Crash


Dallas police say five children were ejected from an SUV after a crash with a pickup truck early Monday morning.

The collision took place just before 1 a.m. at Garland Road and Buckner Boulevard where police said a pickup heading eastbound on Garland Road ran a red light and struck a Lincoln Navigator broadside, spinning it around.

During the crash, the five children were ejected from the SUV.

All of the injured children were taken to Dallas Children's Medical Center, including 12-year-old girl who has severe head injuries. Another younger boy is also in fair condition Monday afternoon. The other children had bumps, bruises and road rash from being thrown into the intersection.

The Navigator was loaded with three adults and six children, police said the vehicle is designed to carry seven passengers, so it's obvious some of the passengers were not properly restrained.

Police said the driver of the pickup, 26-year-old Edward Rodriguez, tried to leave after the crash but several witnesses surrounded him and started taking pictures of both the man and his truck while keeping him from leaving the scene of the crash.

Police said Rodriguez who does not have a license, complained of neck and back pain and was taken to Baylor Medical Center.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with intoxication assault according to Dallas police. He's being held on $75,000 bond as well as several warrants out of Rockwall and Waxahachie.

Vehicle records show the owner of the Navigator was just nine minutes from home at the time of the crash.

Police said the intersection had red light cameras and witnesses said they saw a flash, so officers said it's likely there is a photograph proving the pickup ran the red light.

NBC 5's Kendra Lyn contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Suspected Drunk Driver Kills Couple Out on Daily Walk


A man suspected of driving under the influence struck and killed a married couple who were taking their daily walk in a San Diego-area neighborhood Sunday morning, officials confirmed.

The victims, a 79-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman, lived in Valley Center and were often spotted by their North County neighbors walking and holding hands each morning.

On Sunday, the married couple were walking on eastbound Old Castle Road near Mauka Drive around 6:15 a.m. when they were struck by an oncoming car.

California Highway Patrol officials said 20-year-old Oceanside resident Earl Smith Jr. -- suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol -- was driving a Toyota Corolla at an unknown speed on Old Castle Road when he drifted off the roadway and slammed into two pedestrians.

They were walking eastbound with their backs to traffic when the vehicle struck them.

CHP PIO Jim Bettencourt says the victims were killed instantly in the collision.

Their names have not yet been released, but neighbors recalled the couple took a stroll together around the block every day.

Resident Christina Rivera told NBC 7 she heard brakes screeching followed by the crash and ran to see what happened. When she went outside, she saw the two victims lying lifeless in the street.

Rivera was saddened to hear the couple walking had been killed in the suspected DUI crash.

“This couple, we saw them every day. I just saw them the other day walking. They were [always] around the neighborhood, and we’d wave at them. They were just always holding hands,” Rivera recalled.

Resident Joanne Martucci also heard the crash after letting her dogs out, and then ran outside.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw – the carnage,” Martucci told NBC 7. “It was just the saddest thing. Then I realized it was the couple that walks down the street every day, holding hands.”

“I see them daily, all the time. It’s like I knew them. It’s terrible; it’s sad,” Leonard Martucci, Joanne's husband, told NBC 7.

Many residents on Old Castle Road say the street is dangerous, and say they've witnessed many collisions there over the years.

Smith was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI following the crash. He was not injured, Bettencourt said.

He was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on DUI charges and gross vehicular manslaughter, and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Facebook Launches New Search Engine For All U.S. Users


Social networking site Facebook is launching its new search feature on Monday, according to The New York Times.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg released in January an early version of Graph Search, which was subjected to tests and improvements. Facebook will roll out on Monday the feature to several hundred million users in the United States and to those who use the American English version of the site, the Times reported.

The search tool allows users to ask questions, search topics and look for photos that are currently buried under old wall posts, links and photo albums in the newsfeed.

Graph Search, however, is far from perfect, according to Facebook officials. It is still missing many key components users want, like Yelp and Instagram integration and the ability to search status updates.

The feature is also not yet available on Facebook’s mobile apps, which are fast becoming the main source for Facebook service, according to the Times report.

Photo Credit: AP

Google Doodle Celebrates Roswell UFO Legacy


Google marked the 66th anniversary of the Roswell UFO event with a new Google Doodle on Monday.

The Doodle features an interactive game where the user is tasked with helping a stranded alien who crash-landed on earth return home by finding the pieces of his broken UFO.

Google has displayed its soft spot for geek culture. Moog synthesizer creator Bob Moog was honored in May with an on-screen replica of his famous invention. "Hitchhiker's Guide" author Douglas Adams was immortalized with a Doodle in March. In December, the world's first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace, received her own Doodle.

In 1947, a man claimed he found the remains of a UFO that crashed in a field near Roswell, N.M. The event made international headlines, but the U.S. government sidestepped the rumors and maintains that the debris was from the crash of a weather balloon.

Woman Accused of Pushing Stroller in Street


Hamden police arrested an apparently intoxicated woman who was pushing her 1-year-old granddaughter in a stroller down the middle of the road on the Fourth of July.

Police arrived at Benham Street and Vantage Road around 10:15 p.m. on July 4 after a concerned witness reported that Audrey Smith, 48, was pushing a stroller in the middle of the road and refused to move to the shoulder.

Police said Smith, of 1199 Campbell Avenue in West Haven, told them she was walking her granddaughter to West Haven.

Smith appeared intoxicated, and when officers searched the stroller, they found a half-empty bottle of vodka, police said.

Smith was arrested and placed in the back of a police cruiser. According to police, Smith then started kicking the back seat and banging her head against the window.

She was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital and her granddaughter was taken to the Yale-New Haven Hospital's pediatric unit.

Police also contacted the Department of Children and Family Services. 

Smith was charged with risk of injury to a minor and interfering with a police officer. She was held on a $2,500 bond and is due in court on July 19.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Men Allegedly Steal $5,000 in Cigarettes


Police have arrested two men for allegedly stealing $5,000 worth of cigarettes from a delivery truck outside a Bristol convenience store Monday morning.

The suspects were arrested after reportedly stealing cases of cigarettes from an unlocked delivery truck at the Quick Mart at 916 Stafford Avenue in Bristol around 9:30 a.m. Monday, police said.

According to police, LeRoy E. Mccoy, 48, of 134 Oakland Terrace in Hartford, and Alphonso G. Williams, 53, of 404 Barbour Street in Hartford, loaded $5,000 worth of cigarettes into their car.

When the 43-year-old truck driver confronted the, the men jumped into the car and tried to run him down before fleeing the scene, police said.

The truck driver reported their license plate number, which helped Manchester police to identify and stop the car on Interstate 84, according to police.

The stolen cigarettes were recovered. Mccoy and Williams were arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, third-degree larceny and third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny.

Both are held in Bristol on $100,000  bonds and are due in court July 9 at 10 a.m.

Dog Locked in Hot Car for 13 Hours


Middletown police arrested a man after finding a dog locked in a 113.9-degree car for 13 hours without food or water on June 25.

Emiliano Badillo Jr., 18, was arrested at 143 Liberty Street in Middletown after police discovered a small dog panting heavily in Badillo's locked car. The car's windows were only open a few inches, and the dog appeared to be in distress, police said.

Badillo admitted to leaving the dog unattended in his car for a total of 13 hours, according to police.

Police said the ambient temperature was 95 degrees and the humidity was at 83 percent.

Badillo was charged with cruelty to animals on July 2 and is due in court tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Photo Credit: Casey Barker

1 Dead in New Milford Crash


New Milford police are investigating a crash that killed a motorcyclist and injured the driver of a car on Sunday.

According to police, 34-year-old Aman Egan was riding his motorcycle southbound on Danbury Road when Katherine Morehead, 21, of New Fairfield, pulled her car out of a driveway and attempted to make a left-hand turn.

The two collided in the northbound lane around 5:10 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Egan, of Lakeville, died of his injuries, police said. Morehead was transported to Danbury Hospital, where she is in stable condition.

Police are actively investigating the crash. Anyone with information is urged to contact New Milford police at 860-355-3133.

Suspicious Package Was Bag of Bus Tickets


Elm Street in New Haven has reopened after investigators determined that a bag found in a garage leading to the New Haven City Hall contained nothing more than bus transfer tickets.

The small plastic bag was found hanging near the opening of a tunnel that leads underneath city hall, the New Haven court house and much of Elm Street.

The bomb squad responded and X-rayed.

While Elm Street has reopened, the investigation continues because someone reported that a bomb was left there, officials said.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Danbury Teen Found Safe and Sound


Danbury Police have canceled a Silver Alert for a missing Danbury teen.

According to police, 14-year-old Katherine Olivia was found safe and sound by her mother.  Katherine was last seen around 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

Threat of Storms Today


Widespread showers and thunderstorms are likely today as the hot and humid weather continues.

While we’re not expecting widespread severe weather, a few thunderstorms might become strong with gusty winds, lightning, small hail and torrential rain .

Storms bringing tropical downpours will develop across the state this afternoon and last, off and on, through the evening.

A flash flood watch has been issued for Hartford, Tolland, and Litchfield Counties for this afternoon and evening due to the potential for heavy rain in any slow-moving thunderstorms.

Storms are likely to continue through the week.

You can follow the threat of storms on our interactive radar.

If you spot severe weather, send photos into photos@nbccconnecticut.com

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Middletown Firefighters Build 9/11 Memorial


Middletown firefighters are pitching in extra hours to honor lives lost on 9/11.

The South District Fire Department on is showing its "south-side pride” by erecting a 9/11 memorial outside the firehouse on Randolph Road.

The memorial plaza, which will include part of a steel beam from the World Trade Center's North Tower, has been a work in progress for the past five years.

The South District Fire Department has spent the last few months collecting monetary and material donations to create the memorial, including a crane, a concrete pedestal for the steel beam and a number of granite benches.

The department is one of 2,000 designated curators of artifacts from the Twin Towers collapse. The application process for the North Tower artifact alone took over two years.

“This memorial will honor the fallen heroes of 9/11 and will help insure that the residents of Middletown never forget the events of that day,” said fire Capt. Michael Howley, the memorial committee spokesperson.

Local residents are encouraged to purchase memorial bricks, which range from $75 to $300 and are tax deductible. The first order is expected to be installed in early August, Howley said.

After the memorial is finished, remaining proceeds will be donated to benefit the families of New York firefighters who died or were injured on 9/11.

A formal dedication will take place on the 12th anniversary of the attack.

Bricks can be ordered at the district’s website. More information is available from Capt. Howley at 860-347-6661.

Photo Credit: South Fire District of Middletown

Pratt & Whitney Engines Powered Asiana Plane


The airplane that crashed over the weekend, killing two people and sending more than 180 people to hospitals in California, was powered by Pratt & Whitney engines made in Connecticut and the company will be taking part in the investigation.

Officials who are investigating Saturday's crash determined that Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was traveling "significantly below" the target speed during its approach and that the crew tried to abort the landing just before it smashed onto the runway.

What they don't yet know is whether the pilot's inexperience with the aircraft and at SFO played a role.

Saturday was the first time he landed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport.

A spokesman for Pratt & Whitney said they have a team in San Francisco helping in the investigation, NBC News reports.

As part of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation, officials will also be sending the engines back to the Windsor Locks facility.

“On July 6, an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines was involved in an accident at San Francisco International Airport. Pratt & Whitney is cooperating fully with investigating authorities, however we are unable to offer any further comment as the investigation is ongoing,” Pratt & Whitney said in a statement released on Saturday evening.

Photo Credit: AP

Violence Erupts at Bridgeport German Club


Bridgeport police have arrested two men in connection with a German Club brawl that led one suspect to shoot at an officer, authorities said.

Police arrived at the Bridgeport German Club, located at 416 Horace Street, at 11:08 p.m. Saturday after receiving reports of an armed fight inside the building. 

People were running out of the building and telling officers to hurry upstairs, according to police.

Once inside, police found 18-year-old George John, of Dover Street in Bridgeport, with a loaded .357-caliber revolver in his waistband. John fired at one or more officers as they attempted to confront him.

John was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

The event promoter, Robert Blackwell, was charged with multiple counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Although advertised as an "over 18" event, police found that minors had been allowed in and that Blackwell had made no attempt to keep weapons out of the club.

"This is what we had: a few hundred young people attending an event hosted by a promoter who cared more about profit than safety," said Asst. Police Chief James Nardozzi. "The result was unpredictable."

Police also found a loaded small-caliber pistol while checking the building.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Children Hit by Car in New Haven


Two young girls were struck by a car Monday afternoon near the intersection of Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Anita Street in New Haven.

The children, ages five and 12, reportedly tried to cross the street around 3:30 p.m. when they were hit by a black Jeep, according to police.

"When I pulled in my driveway, I just heard a big, loud noise," said neighbor Judy Pena. "I thought it was a car accident, not that somebody got hit."

According to the New Haven mayor's office, the children were playing outside across from their home when they saw their father pull into the driveway.

The five-year-old ran out to greet him, followed by the 12-year-old. Both children were struck, city officials said.

The children were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Witnesses said it appeared that the five-year-old had a broken leg and the older child had bruises on her face.

A young boy was also present, according to a city alderman who was at the scene. It's unclear whether the boy was injured.

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